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Патент USA US3088137

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May 7, 1963
3,088,127
c. EAMES
DUAL PURPOSE FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION
Filed NOV. 6, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVENTOR/m
CHARLES EAMES
ATTORNEYS
May 7, 1963
c. EAMES
’ 3,088,127
DUAL PURPOSE FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION
Filed Nov. 6, 1959
I
,
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
INVENTOR
CHA RLES EA MES
ATTORNEYS
United States Patent Of?ce
3,088,127
Patented May 7, 1963
1
2
3,088,127
the two units are adapted to function cooperatively but
at different times, the one being used while the other is
DUAL PURPOSE FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION
Charles Eames, Venice, Calif., assignor to Herman
Miller, Inc., a corporation of Michigan
Filed Nov. 6, 1959, Ser. No. 851,468
1 Claim. (Cl. 5-2)
in storage and vice versa. Thus, the space occupied by
this furniture is used with maximum e?iciency because it
is utilized at all times and is readily adapted from one
type of use to another.
These and other objects and purposes of this invention
will be understood by those acquainted with the design
and construction of buildings and furniture upon reading
struction. More particularly, this invention relates to a
furniture construction including a ?rst and a second unit 10 the following speci?cation and the accompanying draw
ings, wherein:
of furniture interconnected together, the ?rst unit provid
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ?rst unit of furniture,
ing support for the second unit and positioned to avoid
a bed being shown, positioned for use.
interference with the ?rst unit when it is in use. The sec
This invention relates to a dual purpose furniture con
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bed shown in FIG.
ond unit accessible for use only when the ?rst unit is
15 1 moved to its storage position and a second unit of fur
moved to a position of storage.
niture, a chair being shown, secured thereto, the chair
This application covers a related invention to that dis
being shown in its position of use in solid lines and in its
closed and claimed in patent application entitled, Storage,
storage position in phantom lines.
?led concurrently herewith in which I am a co-inventor
FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2, except
with Don Albinson.
I
r
that the second unit of furniture comprises a desk or
The cost of constructing many types of housing facili
table.
ties, such as dormitories, motels and hotels is presently so
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2, except that the sec
great that it has become essential that the space in each
ond unit of furniture comprises a lounge.
room or subdivision of such a building be used to its
FIG. 5 is an exploded, perspective view showing the
maximum e?icieney. Failure to do this results in a capi
manner in which the panels supporting this dual purpose
tal investment so great that the space cannot be rented at
furniture construction are secured to a wall.
a rate which will amortize the initial investment. To
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the bed platform shown in
overcome this dif?culty, there has been an ever increasing
FIG. 1, certain parts being broken away to better show
trend toward built-in facilities in such buildings. Rooms
its structure.
with built-in facilities may be made smaller than rooms
conventionally ‘furnished and yet afford the desired im 30 FIG. 7 is an exploded, fragmentary perspective view of
a modi?ed means for securing the panels to their support
pression of spaciousness necessary to make them useful
ing structure.
'
and attractive. This invention goes still further and in—
Brie?y, this invention discloses a dual purpose furniture
corporates a dual purpose furniture construction to be
utilized in such buildings. This dual purpose furniture 35 construction including a pair of spaced supporting mem
bers, a ?rst unit of furniture positioned between the sup
construction provides one unit of furniture which is mov
porting members and pivotally secured thereto and mov
able from a position of use to a storage position. A
able from a generally horizontal position of use to a gen
sec-ond unit of furniture which may be adapted vfor an
erally vertical position of storage between the supporting
entirely unrelated use is secured to this ?rst unit of furni
ture, the second unit being usable only when the ?rst unit 40 members. A second unit of furniture is secured to the
bottom of the ?rst unit of furniture and supported there
is in storage position and stored out of the way when the
by, the second unit of furniture being movable from a
?rst unit is being used.
position of use to a position of storage substantially ?ush
Besides the great advantage obtained from the conser
with the bottom of the ?rst unit of furniture. The size
vation of space, this invention provides a further advan
tage in that the dual purpose furniture construction is es 45 of the second unit of furniture in its position of storage
is such that it does not interfere with the ?rst unit of
pecially adapted to be supported on a wall, making no
furniture when the ?rst unit of furniture is positioned for
contact with either the ceiling or the ?oor. This leaves
use with the second unit of furniture in its storage posi
the floor clear and readily accessible for cleaning. This
tion therebelow.
speeds cleaning operations, thus, reducing overhead. It
Referring speci?cally to FIGS. 14, the reference nu
assures complete sanitation of the facilities.
50
This furniture construction is both simple in construc
meral 10 indicates a wall of a room.
Secured in the
wall 10 are a pair of spaced, parallel rails 11, the same
tion and easy to operate. Because of the dual purpose of
reference numeral indicating both an upper and a lower
the furniture construction, many parts are eliminated be
rail. The lower rail is spaced .a signi?cant distance above
cause of the fact that two independent furniture units
are no longer necessitated. It is especially adapted for 55 the ?oor F and the upper rail is spaced a signi?cant dis
tance below the ceiling C. Supported on the rail 11 are
long wear even though given long and rough usage as is
a pair of panels 12. For attachment to the rails, each
often the case in motels and dormitories.
of the panels has a top spline 13‘ and .a similar bottom
Over and above all this, a completely new concept in
conservation of space is taught. This dual purpose furni
spline. The splines are anchored to the panels by suitable
ture construction adds much to conventional construc 60 means such as screws 14 (FIG. 5). The splines. project
beyond the rear edge of the panel and have a vertical
tions teaching the provision of a furniture unit which
slot 15 extending partially through the spline. The upper
may be collapsed or otherwise moved into a storage posi
and lower splines are identical except that the lower spline
tion when not in use. This invention provides a second
is inverted so that the slot 15 opens upwardly rather
unit of furniture which is of a type that would normally
only be used when the ?rst unit of furniture is in storage 65 than downwardly. The splines hook into a hat-shaped
anchor ?tting 16 having a slot 17 for inter?tting with and
position. This second unit of furniture is designed to
seating the spline. The anchor ?ttings 16 are secured to
function only when the ?rst unit is in storage and to
the rail-s, such as the rail 11, by means of a pair of screws
occupy the space used by the ?rst unit when positioned
18 which engage the nut 19 mounted on ‘the inside of the
to be used. The second unit is supported by the ?rst unit
and is moved to a position of storage such that it will 70 rail. To facilitate assembly, the nuts may be tempo
rarily retained in the rails by the springs 28.
not interfere with the ?rst unit when moved to its posi
FIG. 7 illustrates a modi?ed means for anchoring the
tion of use. Although interconnected and interrelated,
3,088,127
3
4
panels 12 to the rails 11. In this construction, the same
bolts 18, nuts 19 and springs 28 are used. However, the
spline 13a is T-shaped and its head 29 seats against the
face of the rail 11. The bolts 18 secure it to the rail
11 through holes adjacent the ends of the head. It will
be recognized that other forms of attachment can be
used within the scope of this invention.
It will be noted that the panels 12 do not touch either
the other face with a skin 83a. These skins may be of
any suitable material such as plywood, a dense pressed
WOOd board or other material. The whole is preferably
illustrative since other means could very well be used
the rearward ends of the arm frames or links 43. The
less intermediate rails may be used, as required. This
frame is enclosed on one face with a skin 83 and on
joined into a single structural unit 20 by suitable ad
hesives.
Mounted to the back of bottom face 83 of the bed
the ?oor or the ceiling with this arrangement, their ends '" platform 20 is a second unit of furniture, shown in FIG.
being spaced a signi?cant distance from both. This
2 as a chair 41). The chair 46“ has a seat frame 41, a
structure is described in more detail in the co-pending
back frame 42 and a pair of arm frame members 43.
application entitled, Storage. The above description of
The inner or rearward ends of the seat frame member 41
the means of securing the panels to the rails is merely
are pivotally attached to the anchor brackets 44 ‘as are
without departing from the principles of this invention. It 15 back frame member 42 is pivotally attached to the seat
will also be recognized that for the purposes of support
frame member at the pivot 45. It is also attached to
ing the dual furniture construction of this invention, it
the arm links at the pivot 46. This permits the chair
is unnecessary to employ the rails 11 since any other
to fold from the open position shown in solid lines to
specific type of secure anchoring means for attaching the
the folded or storage position shown in phantom lines.
panels to the wall may be utilized and this invention is 20 In its storage position it is substantially ‘flat against the
not to be considered as limited to the use of the rails and
surface of the bed 25. The chair 4!), in folded position,
the speci?c attachment means illustrated in FIG. 5.
is secured to the bed platform by suitable means such
Further, in its broadest sense this invention is not lim
ited to panels mounted on a wall. Rather, the broadest
as straps 47.
in a more limited aspect the panels do comprise a part
nuts on inner side of platform threaded into the side rails
The chair 40 is entirely supported by the bed 20 since
aspect of this invention may be practiced through the 25 the anchor brackets 44 are secured to the bed platform
utilization of other types of support means. However,
by any suitable means such as screws or bolts and “T”
of tln's invention because of the manner in which they
81 or the intermediate rails 82. It will be noted that
cooperate with the structure of the dual purpose furniture
the chair in both folded and open positions has no struc
construction of this invention.
30 ture touching the ?oor, being entirely supported upon the
Pivotally secured between the panels 12 is a ?rst unit
bed. Before the bed is lowered, the chair is folded and
of furniture, shown to be a bed 20 in FIG. 1. The bed
latched or secured by the straps 47. The bed can then
20 is positioned between the panels 12 and pivotally se
be released and lowered into sleeping position, as shown
cured thereto at the pivotal connections 21. Thus, one
in FIG. 1. In this case, the chair being folded up under
end of the bed 20 is entirely supported by the panels 35 ‘the bed platform is stored as a suspended structure be
12. The other end of the bed is supported by the leg
neath the bed but spaced above the ?oor. In this case,
22 which is attached to .the bottom of the bed 20 by
the location of the foot plate 26 for the bed securing latch
brackets 23 (FIG. 2). A latch means 24 is provided at
is particularly desirable in the center beneath the chair.
the end of the bed 20 away from the wall 10; which
This tends to prevent accidental release of the bed sup
may be of the spring loaded type. The purpose of this 40 porting latch and at the same time tends to prevent any
latch means and the operations thereof will be explained
possibility of lowering the bed before the chair has been
hereinafter.
A header bar 30 joins the panels 12 at their top. The
header bar 30 is provided with a latch opening 31. Shelves
folded to afford access to the bed release latch.
FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative second unit of furni
ture secured to the bed 20. In this ?gure, a desk 50 is
35 are shown mounted between the panels 12, together 45 substituted for the chair 40. The desk 50 is hinged to
with a light 36 (FIG. 1). The pivotal connections 21
the bed at 51 by any suitable means such as a piano hinge.
are spaced a distance from the wall 10, providing a space
The outward or forward end of the desk 50 is supported
for a mattress 25 on the bed 20 when the bed is piv
by the arms 52 which are pivotally secured .to the bed
oted upwardly. The spacing of the pivotal connections
20 at 53. The arms 52 engage and support the desk 50
21 from the wall 10 also allows room for the light 36 50 when it is in open .and usable position, as shown in solid
and the shelves 25, which may store objects normally
lines in FIG. 3. The desk 50 is shown in lowered or
used only when the bed is positioned for use. The shelves,
light ‘and spacing for the mattress do not constitute a
part of this invention but rather show a very practical
environment therefor.
storage position in phantom lines in FIG. 3, the arms
52 pivoting against the bed 20‘, the desk 50 lowered upon
them and secured to the bottom of the bed by suitable
55 means such a a strap 54.
As one lifts the end of the bed 20 lying away from
the wall 10 upwardly, the end v20 pivots about the piv
otal connections 21 and is positioned between the pan
FIG. 4 illustrates yet another alternative use of the bed
as a support ‘for other units of furniture. In this ?gure,
a lounging platform or low table 60 is substituted for the
els 12 as shown in FIGS. 2-4. The latch means 24 pro
chair 40 or the desk 50. Again, the platform 60 is hinged
jects into the latch opening 31 of the header bar 30,
locking the bed 20 in raised or storage pisition. A foot
plate 26 is provided on the bottom- of the bed 20‘ at its
end nearest the wall 10, the foot plate 26 being oper
to the bed 20 by any suitable means such as a piano hinge
61. The outward or forward end of the platform 60 has
a supporting leg 62. Thus, the platform on one end is
supported entirely on the bed and on the other end by
ably connected to the latch means 24 by means of a
the leg 62.
rod 27 (FIG. 6), providing a simple means to detract
the latch means 24 from the latch opening 131 so that the
bed may be lowered to the position shown in FIG. 1.
The bottom of the bed 20 is so constructed internally
that other units of furniture may be mounted upon it
which are useful and available when the bed is in raised 70
age position, the platform 60 is folded into storage posi
or folded condition.
FIG. 6 illustrates a construction
Before the bed 20 is removed from its stor
tion ?at against the outer face 83 of the bed platform.
In this position it is retained by any suitable means such
as the strap 63. When the bed is lowered, the leg 62 also
serves as the support for the outward or forward end of
the bed, serving the same purpose as the leg 22 described
for the bed platform 20 which will permit this. The bed
platform 20 has a structural frame consisting of a pair
hereinbefore. Thus, leg 62 serves as a support in‘ both
the use of the bed and the use of the platform 60. The
platform 60 may be designed for any one of several pur
of end rails 80, a pair of side rails 81 and two or more
poses.
It could be so designed that it serves as a day
intermediate rails 82. It will be recognized that more or 75 time lounge, cot or sofa. ‘It could be in the form of a
3,088,127
6
5
work bench or a coffee table. It will be recognized that,
if desired, the whole unit may be moved up the bed so
I claim:
A dual purpose furniture construction in combination
that it could provide a full height table such as a desk
with the structure of a room- having a ?rst component
or drafting table. In this case, the outward supporting
legs could not serve both the bed and the platform but
this would be immaterial to the dual character of the fur
niture unit.
and a second component: means for hanging said ?rst
component upon a wall with its lower end spaced from
the ?oor and its upper end spaced from the ceiling; said
means comprising a pair of rails secured on said wall
parallel to the ?oor and to each other, a pair of side sup’
It should also now be obvious that the dual character
port panels arranged vertical to the floor and to the Wall
of this furniture is illustrative rather than exhaustive of
the various types of dual purpose usages which may be 10 with one edge secured to said rails; said ?rst component
having a ?rst panel hinged about its lower end between
incorporated into a room by the use of this invention.
and to the lower ends of said support panels for swinging
For example, the ?rst unit of furniture need not neces
movement from a substantially vertical storage position
sarily comprise a bed as shown in the drawings. Rather,
the ?rst unit of furniture could comprise a table while the
to a substantially horizontal open position; a header bar
second unit of furniture could be a chair :and so on. It 15 secured between and to the upper ends of said support
panels; said ?rst component and said header bar having
is to be understood that this invention has provided a dual
cooperating locking means for locking said ?rst panel in
purpose furniture construction which incorporates two
storage position; said second component being pivotally
unrelated units of furniture in one construction. When
connected to the outer face of said panel and movable
the ?rst unit of furniture is in use, the second unit of fur
niture is in storage and completely hidden. When the 20 from a storage position generally flat against said panel
to an open position extending outwardly from said panel
?rst unit of furniture is moved to a storage position, the
when said panel is in‘ storage position; said locking means
second unit of furniture may then be used while being
including a trip lever projecting outwardly from said
supported by the ?rst unit of furniture and occupying the
panel below said second component and a latch located
space it was using before being moved to storage position.
An entirely new concept in the conservation of space 25 at the top of said ?rst component with means for inter
connecting the lever and latch whereby said trip lever can’
has been disclosed in that a single unit of furniture actu
The purposes which are
cause unlocking of said locking means when said second
served are unrelated, the one normally being used when
the other would not normally be used. For example, the
component is in storage position but is inaccessible from
above when said second component is open.
ally serves a dual purpose.
conversion of a ‘dormitory, motel or hotel room from a 30
living room or study in ‘daytime to a bedroom at night.
Further, if additional space is desired in the room, the
entire furniture construction occupies practically no space
‘as both units are adapted to be positioned for storage.
With a dual purpose furniture construction of this type, 35
rooms in buildings such as motels and dormitories can
initially be made much smaller without prejudice to their
actual usable space.
The advantages of such an arrange
ment are many and obvious.
A structure for this dual purpose furniture unit has 40
been shown which is sturdy and well adapted for long and
rough usage. The parts of this furniture construction
are relatively uncomplicated, thereby necessitating a mini
mum of repair. Further, the structure is such that it
facilitate-s easy, quick ‘and dependable operation.
While a preferred embodiment and execution‘ of this
invention has been illustrated and described, modi?ca
tions thereof may be made. Such of these modi?cations
as incorporate the principles of this invention are to be
considered as included in the hereinafter appended claim,
unless this claim, by its language, expressly states
otherwise.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
357,530
Krause _______________ __ Feb. 8, 1887
507,576
Zislsperger ___________ __ Oct. 31, 1893
517,458
895,571
Hopkins ______________ __ Apr. 3, 1894
Merrill ______________ __ Aug. 11, 1908
1,104,615
1,191,307
1,916,509
2,159,494
2,257,211
45
2,588,785
2,669,730
2,671,230
2,931,686
Braden ______________ __ July 21,
Hornschuch __________ __ July 18,
Hammer ______________ __ July 4,
Wright ______________ __ May 23,
1914
1916
1933
1939
Willoughby __________ __ Sept. 30‘, 1941
Will ________________ __ Mar. 11, 1952
Bystrom _____________ __ Feb. 23, 1954
Potter _______________ __ Mar. 9, 1954
Afdal ________________ __ Apr. 5, 1960
FOREIGN PATENTS
518,147
205,700
Canada ______________ __ Nov. 8, 1955
Austria ______________ __ Oct. 10, 1959
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