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Патент USA US3093418

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June 11, 1963
P. s. FLETCHER
3,693,409
RocKER CHAIR
Filed June 20, 1960
/
ma@
'lee
United States Patent
3,093,409
Patented .lune 1l, 1963
2
1
on the rocker member for rearward movement out of a
3,093,409
ROCKER CHAIR
Peter S. Fletcher, Delray Beach, Fla., assigner to
Anton Lorenz, Boynton Beach, Fla.
Filed June 20, 1960, Ser. No. 37,402
5 Claims. (Cl. 297-89)
The present invention relates to reclining chairs, and
normal sitting position. The rocker cam is operable in
the normal sitting position to rock the rocker member
and the unit upon actuation by the occupant of the chair
to realize a first rocking motion. The rocker cam is 0p
erable during rearward movement of the unit to tilt the
unit on its base to provide a stable tilted sitting position
wherein the rocker cam is operable to provide a second
rocking motion similar to the ñrst motion but centered
in particular to a rocker type of reclining chair which
includes a ñrst or normal sitting position wherein the 10 about the tilted sitting position of the rocker member 0n
the base. As a feature of the invention, a leg-rest is pro
chair may be rocked and a second tilted or sitting posi
vided which is movable from a stored or retracted posi
tion wherein the chair may be rocked. Advantageously,
ltion to an elevated leg-supporting position, with provision
the chair may incorporate a leg-rest which is moved into
for moving the leg-rest to the elevated leg-supporting
position in dependence on the rearward movement of the
unit.
When in the normal sitting position, the chair occupant
vated leg-supporting position.
can rock or tilt back by pushing against the floor with his
It is generally known to provide a rocker chair which
or her feet. When the chair occupant desires to estab
comprises a base which is engaged by a rocker member
having a body-supporting unit thereon, such that the chair 20 lish the tilted sitting position (commonly referred to in
the trade as the “T.V. position”), the occupant merely
occupant may, when seated in the body-supporting unit,
pushes with his or her hands on the arm rests of the chair
rock back and forth. It has further been suggested that
such as t0 move the seat and back-rest unit rearwardly,
such rocker chair be provided with a leg-rest which is
an elevated leg-supporting position in dependence upon
movement of the chair into the tilted sitting position
wherein the chair is rocked with the leg-rest in its ele
mounted on the chair for movement from a stored or
which in turn tilts the arm rests and the unit into the tilted
chairs of this type have been provided with means for
on the chair base.
locking the same in a tilted >back position, with the leg
The above brief description, as Well as Ifurther objects,
features and advantages of the present invention, will be
more fully appreciated by reference to the following de
retracted position to an elevated leg-supporting position. 25 sitting position and moves the leg-rest into the elevated
leg-supporting position. To achieve a rocking motion in
In such chair, the leg-rest may either be spring-biased to
the tilted sitting or T.V. position, it is merely necessary
move to the extended leg-supporting position upon re
for the chair occupant to rock his or her body, or a part
lease of a locking mechanism by an actuating handle, or
may be manually moved into the extended leg-support 30 thereof, and the entire structure, including the seat and
back-rest unit, the leg-rest and the arm rests, Will rock
ing position by manipulation of a handle. Further,
rest extended or retracted in accordance with the desires
lof the chair occupant, such means usually requiring the
provision of a second handle to be operated by the chair
tailed description of an illustrative embodiment accord
occupant.
duced by the provision of independent means for man
ing to the present invention, when taken in conjunction
with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
ually releasing or actuating the leg-rest and/or locking
FIG. l is a side elevational view, with the adjacent
Apart from the inherent complexity intro
the chair in one of a number of positions, the need for 40 arrn rests removed, and with parts broken away and sec
tioned, showing an improved rocker chair embodying
one or more handles to be operated by the chai-r occupant
to establish the various chair positions is a deterrent to
the widespread commercial acceptance of a rocker chair
of this type. The average consumer, particularly in the
field of home furnishings, is reluctant to purchase or use
a chair which is not completely automatic and requires
features of the present invention, the full lines showing
the first or normal sitting position, and the respective dot
dash and dash lines and the directional arrows showing
the chair rocked rearwardly and forwardly; and
the facility to operate mechanisms associated with the
showing the chair in the tilted sitting or T.V. position,
with the leg-rest moved into the elevated leg-supporting
it
chair, no matter how simple such mechanisms may be in
-the use of the chair (Le. the manipulation of one or more
handles). Quite apart from this, the handles, which must
be external to the chair proper and in an easily accessible
location, for example at the side of the chair frame, are
relatively unsightly and are tell-tale evidence of the me
chanical nature of the chair.
Broadly, i-t is an object of the present invention to pro
vide a rocker type of reclining chair which obviates one
or more of the aforesaid diñ’iculties. Specifically, it is
within the contemplation of the present invention to pro
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 1 but
position, the dot-dash and dash ylines and the directional
arrows showing the chair rocked rearwardly and for
wardly.
Referring now speciñcally to the drawings, there is
shown in FIGS. l and 2 a rocker chair constructed in
accordance with the present invention, and generally
designated by the reference numeral 10, which comprises
a base 12, a chair frame or support 14 and a seat and
back-rest or body-supporting unit 16 having a back-rest
18 and a seat 20 which is mounted on the support 114 for
movement between a first or normal sitting position illus
íirst sitting position wherein the chair occupant may rock, 60 trated in FIG. l, and a second tilted or T.V. position
vide a rocker chair which is constructed to establish a
and by merely pushing against the chair frame may estab
lish a tilted sitting position wherein a leg-rest incorpo
rated in the chair is moved to an elevated leg-supporting
position, and in which tilted sitting position the chai-r oc
cupant may rock. Such tilted sitting position is partic
ularly appropriate for reading, sewing, television viewing
shown in FIG. 2. Disposed beneath the forward end of
the seat 20 of the unit 16 is a leg-rest 22 which is mounted
by a leg-rest mounting and control arrangement 24 for
movement to an extended and elevated leg-supporting
position forwardly of the seat 20 in response to move
ment of the unit 16 from the normal sitting position of
' In accordance with an illustrative embodiment demon
FIG. l into the tilted sitting position of FIG. 2.
In this illustrative embodiment, the base 12 includes
strating objects and features of the present invention,
a pedestal having four legs 26 which extend radially and
and like activities.
there is provided a rocker chair comprising a base, a 70 downwardly from a swivel assembly 28. The swivel
assembly, which is of conventional construction and sub
rocker member having a rocker cam engaging the base
ject to a latitude of variation and change, includes a sta
to rock thereon, and a seat and back-rest unit mounted
3,093,409
3
4
tionary plate 30 serving as a stationary raceway, to which
the legs 26 are secured. Substantially coextensive with
the stationary plate Sii is a movable plate 32 which serves
nection, it is to be noted that the front and rear pairs of
springs 50, S4 are substantially unstressed in the stable
position illustrated by the full lines in FIG. l, with the
rear pair of springs 54 being placed in compression when
the chair is rocked rearwardly to the dot-dash position,
and with the front pair of springs 52 being simultaneously
placed in tension. Conversely, as the chair is rocked for
wardly, the front pair of springs 52 is placed in compres
sion and the rear pair of springs 54 is placed in tension.
Movement of the body-supporting unit 16 rearwardly
as a movable raceway, with ball bearings 34 being inter
posed therebetween.
Axially of the movable plate 32
is a depending stub shaft 36 which is received within an
appropriate bearing opening centrally of the stationary
plate 30, and is held against removal from the assembled
position by a lock nut or washer (not shown). Although
the base -12 has been illustrated as incorporating a swivel
assembly 28, it will be appreciated that the chair has
useful application with or without the swivel assembly.
The chair frame 14 includes opposed upstanding spaced
arm rests 38 which are interconnected by one or more
cross braces, such as the intermediate cross brace 4G and
the rear cross brace 42. Resting on the cross braces 4G,
42, and secured thereto, is a rocker member 44 which is
provided with a curved rocker cam 46 on its under
on 4the rocker member 44 under the control of the con
trol linkage -is effective to shift the center of gravity of
the body-supporting unit rearwardly as the body
supporting unit moves into the second or tilted sitting
position illustrated in FIG. 2. In this illustrative em
bodiment, the front and rear guiding links 56, `62 respec
tively move through ascending Áarcs and then move
through descending arcs into the position illustrated in
surface. It will be appreciated that the rocker member
FIG. 2 wherein a stop 68 on the rear guiding link 62
44 and rocker cam 46 is a unitary part of the support 14, 2.0 abuts the rocker member 44 to block further movement
and in this sense the entire support 14 may be considered
of the four-bar `control linkage which includes, as a
to provide a rocker member. The rocker cam 46 rests
upon and engages a base member 48 having a cam
supporting surface 50 on its upper face. The rocker
cam 46 makes successive contact with the cam-supporting
surface Si) as the chair is rocked back and forth in the
positions illustrated in FIGS. l and 2 respectively. Inter
posed between the base member 4S and the rocker mem
ber 44 are front and rear pairs of springs (only one of
each of the front and rear pairs of springs being shown
relatively stationary link thereof, the portion of the rocker
member 44 intermediate the front and rear pivotal
mounts 58, 64, and as movable links thereof, the front
guiding link 56, the portion of the seat intermediate the
front `and rear pivotal connections 60, 66 and the rear
guiding link 62. The rearward movement of the center
of `gravity includes a ñrst or locked phase during which
the center of gravity rises such that there is a tendency
for the body-supporting unit to remain in the ñrst or
in the drawings and designated by the reference numerals
normal sitting position of FIG. 1, `and further includes a
second or self-balancing phase during which the center
52, 54). The springs are received in respective cut-outs
of gravity is lowered to compensate for the movement
44a, 48a, provided in the rocker member 44 and in the
of the leg-rest 22 into the elevated leg-supporting posi
base member 43. The cut-outs 44a, 48a open through
the rocker cam 46 and cam-engaging surface Sil, and
tion. The locked phase is characterized by a definite,
together define a housing for the front and rear pairs of
but small, rise in lthe center of gravity of the unit and
chair occupant at the start of the rearward movement
springs 52, 54. Suitable means (not shown) are provided
for securing the opposite ends of the springs 52, 54 to
from the normal sitting position, as shown in FIG. 1, to
the tilted sitting position, as shown in PIG. 2, which rise
the top and base Walls respectively of the cut-outs 44a,
48a, of the rocker member 44 and the base member 48. 40 Itends »to urge the body-supporting unit 16 into the nor
mal sitting position and necessitates effort on the part
A control linkage mounts the body-supporting unit 16
of the occupant to move the center of gravity upwardly
on the rocker member 46 for rearward movement from
through the locked phase and into the self-balancing
the ñrst or normal sitting position of FIG. 1 to the second
phase wherein the center of gravity is lowered. The self
or tilted sitting position of FIG. 2. In this illustrative
balancing phase provides for a movement of the body
embodiment, the control linkage includes a front guiding
supporting unit 16 which will balance the movement of
link 56 disposed in an upwardly and forwardly inclined
the leg~rest 22 as it carries the legs of the chair occu
attitude in the sitting position of the chair and having a
pant upwardly to the elevated leg-supporting position for
wardly of the seat 20. This motion is characterized by
end to the seat 2t) of the body-supporting unit 16. Spaced 50 a dropping of the center of gravity of the unit 16 and
the part of the body of the chair occupant supported
rearwardly of the front guiding link 56 is a rear guiding
thereon as the leg-rest 22 and the legs of the chair occu
link 62 which is disposed in a forwardly inclined attitude
pant are moved upwardly. In determining the path of
in the sitting position of the chair and has a rear pivotal
movement of the center of gravity during the successive
mount 64 on the rocker member 44 and a rear pivotal
connection 66 to the seat 20 of the body-supporting unit 55 locked and self-balancing phases, it will be appreciated
that the whole weight of the body of the chair occupant
16. The control linkage, including> the front and rear
is on the body-supporting unit 16 during the ñrst or
guiding links 56, 62 and their respective pivotal mounts
locked phase and only part of the body of the chair occu
and pivotal connections between the rocker member 44
pant is on the body-supporting unit 16 during the second
and the body-supporting unit 16, mounts the body
supporting unit for rearward movement with substantially 60 or self-balancing phase. Substantially no change in pitch
or tilt »is imparted to the unit 16 by the control linkage
no change in the pitch of the body-supporting unit 16
in either of the phases, 'in .that the change in pitch is
relative to the rocker member 44. Further, as will be
front pivotal mount 58 at its lower end on the rocker
member 44 and a front pivotal connection 60 at its upper
appreciated by progressively inspecting FIGS. l and 2,
produced almost completely by the tilting action of the
rocker member 44 under the influence of `the rearward
and as will be speciiìcally described, the rocker cam 46
of the rocker member 44 stabilizes at a different position 65 shifting of the center of gravity of the chair occupant's
body and of the weight of the body-supporting unit 16.
on the cam-engaging surface 50 of the base member 48
Although a simple lfour-bar control linkage has been
in the position illustrated in FIG. 2 such as to impart,
shown in this illustrative form of the invention, it will
be appreciated that other types of linkages and their
to the body-supporting unit in the FIG. 2 position. The
center of gravity of the body-supporting unit 16 in the 70 equivalent pin-and-slot guiding mechanisms may be em
first or normal sitting position of FIG. l, establishes a
ployed in the chair to establish first and second stable
first stable position of the rocker member 44 on the base
positions for »the rocker member 44 on the base member
member 48 such that the body-supporting unit 16 may
48 in which stable positions the body-supporting unit
be rocked about the ñrst stable position, as shown in FIG.
may be rocked under control of the chair occupant. As
l by the dot-dash and dash line showings. In this con
is seen in FIG. 2, the center of gravity of the body
in conjunction with the control linkage, the desired pitch
l
3,093,409
6
in the normal sitting position of lFIG. '-1 to establish the
and indicated by the directional arrows. When the chair
occupant desires to move the body-supporting unit 16
into the tilted sitting or T.V. position, the occupant
second stable position about Iwhich the body-supporting
pushes with his or her hands on the arm rests or sides
supporting unit in the tilted sitting or T.V. position is
disposed sufficiently rearwardly of the center of gravity
38 of the chair and the body-supporting unit 16 will
unit 16 may be rocked with the leg-rest Z2 elevated. In
move rearwardly to bring the body-supporting unit into
the -second stable position illustrated in FIG. 2, the rear
the tilted sitting position. Incident to such rearward
pair of springs 5'4 are placed in compression, while the
movement, the leg-rest 22 moves to the elevated leg
front .pair of springs 52 are placed in tension, with the
supporting position and the rocker cam 46 of the rocker
rocker member 48, the chair frame ~14 »and the body
member 44 assumes a second stable position on the cam
supporting unit 16 rocking back and «for-th about such sec
engaging surface 50 of the base member 48». In such
ond stable position. 'I'he degree of tilting of the rocker
second stable posit-ion, with the leg-rest 2.2r elevated and
member 48 and of the unit 16 may be readily controlled
the body-supporting unit V16 pitched in accordance with
by the amount of rearward shift of the center of gravity
the degree of rearward shift of the center of gravity
inciden-t to movement of the body-supporting unit from
»the FIG. 1 position to the FIG. Z position. In the pre 15 of the unit, the entire assembly of the body-supporting
unit 16, the leg-rest 22, the chair 4frarne «14 and the asso
vious reference to the center of gravity, it will be appre
ciated -mechanisms may be rocked back and forth, as
ciated that the design must take into account Ithe weight
shown by the dotted line showings in FIG. 2 and indicated
of the ybody-supporting unit and its associated `frame and
-by the directional arrows. When the chair occupant de
linkage mechanisms, as well as the weight of the average
sires to restore the chair to the normal sitting position, it
chair occupant.
is merely necessary to lean forwardly and push against
In this illustrative embodiment, the leg-rest mounting
the leg-rest, which will cause the chair to return from the
and control 4arrangement 24 includes three pairs of
T.V. position illustrated in FIG. 2 to the normal sitting
mounting links having their adjacent ends pivotally con
position illustrated in FIG. l, with a corresponding move
nected together, with the links crossing over each other
and being pivotally mounted on the seat and pivotally 25 ment of the center of gravity through the self-balancing
and locking phases respectively.
connected to »the leg-rest 22 to provide the well known
lazy tong or scissor type of leg-rest mounting linkage.
, From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that there
has been provided, in accordance with the present inven
tion, a rocker chair which has two stable rocking posi
change as will Ábe `apparent ‘by considering the patents 30 tions, namely a iirst position wherein the body-supporting
-unit is in a substantially upright attitude, with the leg
owned by the assignee of the instant application related
res-t of the chair stored, and a second position wherein
to leg-rest mounting linkages. Specifically, the leg-rest
the body-supporting unit is tilted back at an appropriatey
mounting linkage 24 includes a iirst link pair 70, 72 hav
pitch relative to the support for television Iviewing, read
ing their adjacent ends pivotally connected at a pivotal
connection 74, a second link pair 76, 78 having their 35 ing and the like, and with the leg-rest elevated to a leg
supporting position. Movement to either of the posi
adjacent ends pivotally connected at a pivotal connection
tions by the chair occupant is achieved in a simple man
80, and a third link pair 82, 84 having their adjacent
It will of course be appreciated that the leg-rest mount
ing linkage is subject to Va latitude of modiûcation `and
ends interconnected at a pivotal connection `86. The ñrst
link 70 of the iìrst link pair has a pivotal mount 88 on
ner, requiring no manual manipulation such as the op
eration of handles or the like. -Further, the mechanisms
the forward portion of the seat, while the first link 76 40 employed for establishing the mode of operation of the
chair and its respective stable Arocking posit-ions‘are rela
ot the second link pair has a pivotal connection 90 on
tively simple, thereby facilitating mass production manu
the seat at Va point spaced »forwardly of the pivotal con
Áfacture at relatively -low unit cost, and ease of assembly.
nection `88. The second link 72 of the iirst link pair
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is
crosses over the lirst link 76 of the second link pair and
intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances
has a pivotal connection 92 thereto, with the forward
some features of the invention will be employed without
end of the second link 72 of the first link pair 70, 72
a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is
having a pivotal connection '94 to the ñrst link 82 of the
appropriate that the appended claims be construed
third link pair. The second link 78 of the second link
broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and
pair has a pivotal connection 96 to the ñrst link 82 of
the third lin-k pair intermediate its ends and a pivotal 50 scope of the invention herein.
What I claim is:
connection l90 at its -forward end to the leg-rest 22.
l. A rocking chair comprising a base, a body-support
Finally, the second link S4 of the third link pair has a
ing unit, a rocker member mounted on said base for
pivotal connection 100' at its forward end to the leg-rest
2ï2. The leg-rest mounting and control arrangement is
rocking thereon, mounting means mounting said body
completed by a direct actuating link 102 which has a 55 supporting unit on said rocker member for rearward
movement thereon from a normal sitting position to a
pivotal connection 10'4 at its forward end to the link 70
tilted sitting position, a leg-rest, a leg-rest control linkage
and a pivotal mount 106 on the chair :frame 14. In re
operatively connected between said body-supporting unit
sponse to rearward movement of the body-supporting
and said rocker member to move said leg-rest -from a
unit 16 relative to the chair frame 14 and to the rocker
member 44 which is a part thereof, the pivotal connec 60 retracted position to an elevated leg-supporting position
in response to said rearward movement of said body
tions 8‘8, 90 of «the leg-rest mounting linkage will be dis
supporting unit on said rocker member to said tilted
placed rearwardly and will turn to an upward and for
sitting position incident to rearward pressure against said
ward 4arc to thereby move -the leg-rest Z2. from its stored
back-rest by the chair occupant, said body-supporting
position illustrated in FIG. 1 to an elevated leg-supporting
position spaced forwardly of the seat 20 of the body 65 unit and said rocker member- when in said normal sitting
supporting unit 116.
In order to facilitate a more thorough understanding of
the present invention, lreference will now be made to a
position with said leg-rest in said retracted position
having a tirst stable equilibrium position and being rock
able on said lbase lforwardly and rearwardly about said
first stable equilibrium position under control of the
typical sequence of ope-rations:
When the chair is in the normal sitting position illus 70 chair occupant, the rearward movement of said body
supporting unit relative to said rocker member under
trated in FIG. l with the leg-rest 22 in the retracted or
stored position, the chair occupant can rock back and
cont-rol of said mounting means causing said rocker
forth or move the body-supporting unit 16 to a tilted
member to
rock rearwardly to
assume
a
second
stable equilibrium position relative to said base, the
attitude, by pushing against the floor with his or her
feet, as shown by the dotted line showings in FlG. 2 75 combined effect of the rearward rocking of said rocker
3,093,409
8
member to said second stable equilibrium position and
body-supporting unit on said rocker member to said tilted
the rearward movement of said body-supporting unit
.sitting position incident to rearward pressure against said
back-rest by the chair occupant, said body-supporting unit
and said rocker member when in said normal sitting posi
tion with said leg-rest -ín said retracted position `having
under control of said mounting means causing said body
supporting unit to assume said tilted sitting position, said
leg-rest being moved to said elevated leg-supporting posi
tion in response to the rearward movement of said body
a first stable equilibrium position and being rockable on
supporting unit into said tilted sitting position, said body
supporting unit and rocker member when ,in said tilted
said base forwardly Aand rearwardly about said first stable
equilibrium position under control of the chair occupant,
the rearward movement of said body-supporting unit rela
tive to said rocker member under control of said mount
ing linkage causing said -rocker member to rock rear
wardly to assume a second stable equilibrium position
relative to said base, the combined effect of the rearward
rocking of said rocker member to said second stable
equilibrium position and the rearward movement of said
`body-supporting unit under control of said mounting link
age causing said ‘body-supporting unit to assume said tilt
ed sitting position, said leg-rest being moved to said elevat
ed leg-supporting position in response to the rearward
movement of said 'body-supporting unit into said tilted
sitting position with said leg-rest in said elevated leg
supporting position being rockable on said base for
wardly and rearwardly about said second stable equilib
rium position of said rocker member `on said base u-nde-r
control of the chair occupant.
2. A rocking chair according to claim 1 wherein the
movement of said body-supporting unit rearwardly rela
tive to said rocker member under control lof said mount
ing means is effective to shift the center of gravity of said
body-supporting unit rearwardly, said rocker member
engaging said base at a first location in said normal sitting
position of said body-supporting unit, said rocker mem
ber engaging said base at a second location spaced be
hind said -ñrst location in said tilted sitting position.
3. A rocking chair according to claim 2 wherein the
rearward shift of said center of gravity includes a locked
phase during which said center of gravity rises such
that there is a tendency for said body-supporting unit to
sitting position, lsaid body-supporting unit and rocker
member Awhen yin said 4tilted sitting position with said leg
r-est in said elevated leg-supporting position being rock
able von said y‘base forwardly and rearwardly about said
second stable equilibrium position of said rocker member
on said base under control of lthe chair occupant.
5. A rocker chair according to claim 4 including a
remain in said first sitting position when said body-sup
porting unit is rocked therein and further includes a self
pedestal and a swivel `interposed fbetween said pedestal
balancing phase during which said center of gravity is
and said ‘base such that said base may be turned about a
30 vertical axis when said body-supporting unit is in said
lowered `to compensate for the movement of said leg
rest into said elevated leg-supporting position.
4. A rocking chair comprising a base, a body-support
ing unit, a rocker member mounted on said base for
rocking thereon, a four-bar mounting linkage mounting
said body-supporting unit on said rocker member for rear
ward movement thereon from a normal sitting position
to a tilted sitting position, Ia leg-rest, a leg-rest control
linkage operatively connected between said vbody-support
ing unit and said rocker ymember to move said leg-rest
from a retracted position to an elevated leg-supporting 10
position in response to said rearward movement of said
sitting positions.
References Cited in the file of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,940,510
2,951,528
2,963,077
Schliephacke _________ __ June 14, 1960
Maurer ______________ __ Sept. 6, 1960
Knabusch et al ......... __ Dec. 6, 1960
498,671
Canada ______________ __ Dec. 22, 1953
FOREIGN PATENTS
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