Since the trial of car seats capable of being converted into sleeping couches, on the Michigan Central, and other railroads in the West, numerous plans have been devised with a view of remedying the defects which experience has made manifest attending those in use. In this improved plan the objectiona1Jle feature of transverse partitions is avoided, and reveriible scats having all the conveniences and comforts of the usual form of car seat are provided, which can in a few moments, and with little labor, be converted into double sleeping couches, capable of accommodating all the passengers in the car. In our illustrations, Fig. 1 reprcsents a side elevation of two of the car seats in a position to be occupied by the passengers in a sitting posture, and Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the same scats converted into double sleeping couches. A represents the frames on which the bottoms, A', of the seat's rest, being supported on legs, B. C are the arm rests at the end of the seats, one hlf of which, C, is made permanent, and the other half, C', hinged to the same, to admit the swinging half to be opened and brought parallel to the permanent part. D are the backs, cushioned on both sides, and attached to the arm rests, C, by_ pivoted bars, E, so as to enable them to b; reversed at pleasure. F are bolts, secured to the upper corners of the backs, D, and parallel with the ends of the same, so as to admit of them being forced into corresponding hasps on the ends of the backs of the next seat, and in the same relation thereto as the bolts to their back corners, in such a manner as to enable the upper edges of the backs, when brought together in the position represented in Fig. 2, to be sccnred ta line, and by the assistance of dowel pins, projecting from the edge of one seat, and entering corresponding openings in the edge of the other, and a suspension rod or cord, H, having books at its end, which are attached to staples at the ends of the backs, to be sustained in a sufficiently firm manner at their ends next the passage way through the car, to prevent them giving way when employed as a double couch. When it is desired to convert the bottoms and backs of the car seats, as represented in Fig. 1, into the sleeping couches represented in Fig. 2, the swinging portions, C', of the arm rests are opened, and the cushioned backs, D, are turned upward, and brought to a horizontal position, with their edges in contact, and being secured and sustained by the bolts, F, dowel pins, and suspension hooks attached to the wire or cord, H, at their inner cnds, are further sustained at their ends next the sides of the car by swinging hooks or bars, G, which can be turned parallel with the sides of the car when not employed for this purpose. This system of arrangement forms the upper tier of couches, the edge of each back pressing against the next in succession, and thus forming a brace for them all. The additional cushioned frames, A2, on top of the bottoms, A', of the seats, are then placed betwcen the said bottoms, A', and on a line with the same, with their edges resting on the ribs or projections on the sides of the frames on which the bottoms rest, so as to form a continuous additional tier of double berths or couches at a proper distance apart, to enable a free ventilation of air from the window, W. The couches thus formed may be provided with longitndinal division bars or rails, and pillows and other articles of bedding, which, when not in use, can be stowed away in the spaces, I J, below the bottoms of the scats j and .if necessary, folding curtains may be attached to each set of berths, to ensure privacy where needed. The advantages claimed for this plan of seats are, that it affords all the conveniences, inoluding perfect ventilation, of the ordinary car seats, with the comforts of a sleeping car, and that the expense of rendering them susceptible of this change is but slight. It is, moreover, applicable to almost all railroad cars at present in use. It was patented September 19, 1854, by H. B. Meyer, of Cleveland, Ohio. Any further information can be obtained by addressing thc patentee, or Albert J. Meyer, M.D., No. 110 Grand street, New York.
This article was originally published with the title "Meyer's Reversible Car Seat and Couch" in Scientific American 13, 48, 377 (August 1858)