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Publication numberUS1316524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1919
Filing dateJul 21, 1918
Publication numberUS 1316524 A, US 1316524A, US-A-1316524, US1316524 A, US1316524A
InventorsA. E. Watts
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1316524 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



a N 4% i44w 1 ENTOR. WITNESSES.-

$1M Maw Patented Sept. 16,1919.


APPLICATION FILED JULY 2/. l9I81 PatentedSept. 16, 1919.




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1,3 1 6 ,524. Patented Sept. 16, 1919.




Patented Sept. 16, 1919.




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APPLICATION FILED JULY 27,19IB- Patented Sept. 16, 1919.



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UNITED ALFRED E. wears, 01w


Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Sept. 1 6, 1919.

Application fil ed my 27, 1918. Serial No. 247,042.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, ALFRED E. lVATTS, a citizen of the United States, residing at Duluth, in the county of St. Louis and State of Minnesota, have inventedcertain new and useful Improvements in Swimming-Instruction Machines, of which I do hereby declare the following to be a specification. 7

My invention relates to swimming instruction apparatus andhas for its object the provision of apparatus to be used on land for forcing the student through the movements of swimming, moving his arms and legs in perfect unison and in such manner and at such times with relation to each other, and with such repetition'as to impress upon his mind a correct lmowledge of the operation, and to create or develop in the student a tendency to unhesitatingly employ such movements when he enters the water, as a re-' sult of which he will accomplish the act of swimming. My invention is particularly adapted to teach the movements employed in i the well-known breast-stroke style of swim ming, wherein the swimmer lies breast downward and extends his arms and hands forwardly from points near his shoulders, sweeping them at full length from the forward position laterally and backward, at the same time drawing up his knees and kicking-'backwardly. ll ith this, and other objects "in view, my invention consists of the constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

i In the drawings, Figure 1, is a perspective view of a machine embodying my invention, showing the movable parts thereof at the position corresponding to the position of the students fully extended arms when nearly at the limit of their-lateral and backward sweep. Fig. 2 is a central vertical longitudinal section of said machine showing the moving parts thereof in approximatelythe same positionas in Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of a portion of one side of said machine, showing one of the hereinafter described arm operators in the position corresponding to the beginning of. the students arm stroke. Fig. i, is a view similar to Fig. 3, except that said arm operator is shown in the position corresponding to the position of the students arm when fullyextended and moved only a short distance along its lateral and backward path from its farthest forward position. 1 Fig. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section on the line AB' of Fig. 3. Fig. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section on the line CD of Fig. 3. Fig. 7 is a detail perspective view of the heroinafter described spring-coupled blocks or carriage, shown in the position corresponding to Figs. 3, 5 and 6. Fig. 8 is a fragmentary plan view'showing portions of the hereinafter described power transmission gear. Fig. 9 is'a plan view of a modified form of carriage which may, if desired, be employed instead of the form or structure shown in Fig. 7 Fig. 10 is an end view of said modified forn Fig. 11 is a transverse section of said modified form of said carriage supporting arm, on the line EF, of Fig. 9. L ig. '12 is a side elevation of said modified form of carriage and arm. Fig. 18 is a side elevation of said modified form of carriage and arm, showing a modified form of track rail which may be employed instead of the form of hereinafter described track rail shown in Figs. 3, 5 and 6. Fig. 1a is an end view of the hereinafter described guide or track wheel adapted to run on said modified form of track, and of a portion of the track rail on which it runs.

In the drawings, 1 is a frame of any suitable construction, whereon is mounted a rotatable main power shaft 2, which said shaft may be rotated by any suitable means, as by a motor 2, and a worm 2* driven by said motor and engaging ,a worm wheel 2" mounted on said shaft and adapted to turn therewith; or, if preferred, said shaft may be manually rotated by means of a crank 52?. Said shaft is provided with journal boxes of any suitable number or construction as 2*. Mounted upon one end of said shaft is a gear 2. Mounted in bearings of any suitable construction secured to said frame is a transversely-directed rotatable transmission shaft 3, upon which is mounted a gear 3 adapted to rotate therewith andto engage and be driven by said gear 2 Said shaft 3 is provided with a crank 23 of any suitable construction whereby power from said shaft 3 may be transmitted through a connecting rod 4. to a rockbar or leverh mounted upon said frame. Upon said shaft- 3 are also mounted gears 8 and 3 adapted to turn with said shaft 3; said gear. 3 being adapted to engage and turn a gear 6 mounted upon a vertical shaft 6 and adapted to turn therewith, and said gear 8' being adapted to engage a gear 7 mounted upon a vertical shaft 7 and adapted to turn therewith, the constructlon and arrangement of parts being such thatthe shafts 6 and? turn whichin cooperation with hereinafter described guides operate asarin and hand e0ntrols. Since the mechanisms mounted upon said shaft 6 are for operatingthe students left arm and hand and correspond to the naechanisms mounted upon said shaft .7 for operating the students right armand hand, it is not believed necessary to describe the left arm mechanism further than to say-that the left arm mechanism operates in unison with .the right arm mechanism in an opposite direction.

Upon the upper end of said shaft 7 1s preferably mounted. a transverse or radially- ,directedguide of any suitable; structure, as

sleeves 7 which guide is adapted to turn With said shaft 7, and which. guide engages and supports a reoiprocable arm or lever 8 of any suitable construction. Mounted upon the outer end of said lever is a carriage of any suitable construction preferably comprising a rigidly mountedblock 8 and intermediate of said block and said guide 7 a slidable block 8*, which blocks arelcoupled together by any suitable tension means which will tend to draw them together-but permit, them to separate .a limited distance, as by, one or more springs 8. Depending from said block 8 is a guide wheelS, and depending from said block 8 is a guide Wheel .8 of any. suitable form or structure. Said guide wheels are adapted to engagerespectively the outer and inner sides of an approximately elliptical track or cam rail-9, which. track follows a coursecorresponding to thecourse followed in the breaststroke by a swimmers right hand. Said track is supported on said frame inany suitable manner, as by a spider 9. Said track surrounds said guide 7" longitudinally thereof, and it will thus be apparent that since said guide 7 rotates with said shaft 7 said blocks 8 and 8 will, by means of the reciprocable arm or lever 8, be swung in a planeparallel to said track, and by means-of saidguide Wheels 8 and 8 will be held in coursesparallel to the course of said rail 9. Erected upon either of said blocks 8 or 8, is a pin 10 which is stationary withrespect to the block upon which it is erected. Mounted upon the forward end of said frame 1 is a centrally positioned longitudinally extending guide rod 11 upon which is mounted a slidable block 12 in which block is fixed one or more transversely disposed guide rods 13 extendin on each side of said block at right angle sto said rod 11 and. above said track-9. Mounted upon said pin 10 is a guide follower of any suitable structure adapted to Upon the upper endsof said shafts engage said guide 18, as a guide wheel 1 1 interposed between the parallel rods 13, whereby the movement-"of the spring-coupled blocks and pin 10 around the course of said rail 9 will be translated into a reciprocating movement of the block 12 along said rod 11. Mounted. upon said rod or rods 13 is a reciprocable base plate 15 provided at its end nearest said'block 12, with an eye engaging said pin 10,- bywhich the. motion of the spring -coupled blocks parallel tothe course of saidrail is translated. into a reciprocating movement of said base-plate along saidrod or rods 13. Loosely mounted upon said pin lOiis a table16through'which said pinv extends, and positioned at: one end of said table is a handrest 17 hinged at one .side by means of a hinge rod. 16": to said table;16. Extending at;the same end but.

opposite side from "said tab1e161is a lip 16" adapted to limit the drop of the freeside of said hand rest. Mounted upon said hand restare shallow bridges 17 a and 17 secured towhich. bridges and extending across said handrest is a hand retaining strip;17,.of any, suitable material. i

In orderto oscillate said table 16 on said pinlO sov as. to keep said hand rest-in line with the students forearm at all times without muscular effort, said table is provided at its opposite end with a lever 16, to'which is connected one: end of a bell crank lever 18, the opposite end or heel of which is journaled on a post 15 erected on said base plate .15. To the free arm of said bellcrank lever is pivotally connected one end ofsecond lever19, theopposite end of which is pivotall-yengaged by? a second post 15 erected on said base plate 15. Intermediate of the ends .ofsaid lever 19, there is pivotally connected thereto a thrust arm 20 extending therefrom in the direction of said pin 10 and provided near il'tSvOIJ-POSllTG: end with an anti-friction wheel 20 adapted to bear against the pe-.

riphery of a cam 21 keyed to said pin 10 above said-table 16. The free end of said arm 20 is forked to engage-said pin 10. A spring 22 is engaged at one end by said base plate 15 and at the opposite end by one of said levers, as by said bell-crank lever, for

keeping said anti-friction wheel'20 in constant pressure contact with said cam 21. It will be observed, therefore, that although said cam 21 does not rotate around said pin 10, it does rotate around the prolonged axis of shaft 7 and thus its greater and lesser diameters are successively presented tosaid anti-friction wheel-'20?resulting, when the greater diameter of said cam is so presented, 1.

in theyoscillation of said table 16 in one direction, while when the lesser' diameter of said cam is so presented, said spring 220peratcs throughthe engaged lovers to oscillate said table16 in the opposite direction, the structure being such that the central longitudinal axis of said table 16 and hand flexible support may be adjusted. The rearrest is kept in line with the central longitudinal axis of the students right forearm as'he makes the stroke.

When starting his stroke the swimmers hand is assumed to be palm downybut after his arm has been extended forwardly full length and commences to make the lateral and backward sweep the palm should be turned outwardly with the thumb side down. To effect thiswithout muscular effort, I

. erect on said hand'rest 17, a finger 17 adapted ,atsuitable times to be engaged by a cam 17 keyed to said pin 10, whereby "said hand rest is'tilted on its side hinge 16 during the outward and backward sweep of the arm of the student, said cam 17 passing 'by said finger 17 and permitting the free side of said, hand rest to drop upon the lip 16 during the retraction of the students hand toward his shoulder and during the forward movement of his-hand'from a position near 'theshoulder to full arm forward position. i a i Mounted upon said frame in rear and above saidarm and hand-operating mechanisms is a stationary bed or body support 23 :of any suitable structure for supporting the body of the student in prone position, upon which bed 'is mounted an adjustable head rcstpreferably comprising a pad 23 secured to rods 23 which rods are adapted ward end of said flexible support is secured to a spreader bar 25 extending transversely of said frame 1 and mounted at itsopposite ends'on carriages 25 25 adapted to movelongitudinally of said frame 1 on stationary guides as 25 secured to said frame.

Depending from a carriage connecting bar 25 are forks26. Journaled on said frame 1 is a rock frame comprising a transversely directed rock shaft 27, posts 27 27 erected on said rock shaft, anda head bar 27 mounted on said posts, said head bar being parallel to said rock shaft and to said spreader and being closely straddled by said forks. In order to rock said rock frame, Iprovide the rock lever -5 rigidlysecured to said rock shaft. Upon said rock lever is mounted an adjustable sleeve 5* adapted to be fixedat a greater or less elevation thereon by any sultablemeans as by a set screw 5 Pivotally secured at one end to said sleeve is the connecting rod at, the opposite end of which rod is journaled on the crank 3 interposed inthe power transmission shaft 3. It will be observed that said rock frame operates to move said spreader toward or away from said bed, thus contracting or expanding said leg support longitudinally. Secured to said leg support at its rearward end are footholds of any suitable construction as straps 28 adapted to engage the ankles or feet of the student. Thus whenthe leg support is contracted the student will be forced to bend his legs at the knees, at the same time the flexlble support will be slackened, so that his knees can be depressed. When the leg support is expanded the student will be forced to straighten his legs and at the same time the flexible support will become taut or flattened, thus continuing to give the legs proper support in their straightened position. It is also desirable that the student should part his knees when he bends his legs, to compel which, a forwardly project ing centrally positioned arm 29 is rigidly secured to said spreader below said flexible support. Whensaid spreader moves forward to bend thestudents legs, said flexible support sags down upon saidarm 29 which in a measure supports it along its longitudinal axis but permits it to drop lower at each side. .The shallow, rounded ridge thus formed in said flexible support tends to part the students knees.

It will be observed that said arm 8 is reciprocable and is adapted to yield in one direction to the pull exerted by the block 8 and guide wheel8 in cooperation with the outer side of the track rail, and to yield in the opposite direction to the pull at other moments of the block 8" and guide wheel 8 in cooperation with the inner side of the track rail, such latter pull being transmitted fromrsaid block 8" to said arm 8 through said tension springs 8. In Figs. 9, 10 and 12 are shown a. modified form of track guided carriage and supporting arm and arm guide therefor, in which said guide comprises a bar 30 rigidly secured to said shaft 7, and said carriage supporting arm comprises parallel reciprocable bars 31, 31

engaging said guide at opposite sides, said bars being adjustably connected together by end pieces 31*,319 'Mounted upon one end of said arm is a carriage comprising a fork 32, in which is journaled a grooved guide wheel 33 adapted to bear upon the top of said rail 9 and engage both sides thereof.

Formed on or secured to said fork is said pin 10. In Figs. 13 and 14 is shown a modified form of said track comprising a grooved track rail 34 adapted to engage an overhead flanglessguide wheel 35 journ'aled in said fork.

It-is obvious that said structure and cerj tain' parts thereof may be'further modified In operation, the student lies face down upon said bed,i-preferablyresting-hisforepbrt, lof a longitudinal ly extending body rest headupon said head rest, and is preferably secured to' said bed by abelt tohprevent slippingx Thest-udent lays his handsupon said hand" rests ivithin the loops of the hand retaining strips and his feet are secured by the foot strapsatthe spreader'bar and: the machine IS tlIBH set 111'TI10tI011 by said motor or E by said hand crank 52, whereupon without special muscular effort or mental study the students arins, hands and limbs will be forced by the apparatusthrough the rmovements suitable to the breast stroke style-of swimming.

WhatIclaim is' v 1; The combination with a' suitable frame, ofa track-supported on said'frame near the forward end thereof, said track being. positioned at one side of the'eentral longitudinal axis out said frame, said track describing a course corresponding: approximately to-the course ofmovenientof OIIQ'Of the handsofa syvimmer'in the breast-strokestyle oii-s vimming; a centra-lly positioned longitudinally extending stationary guide mounted upon the forward end of said i'i'amen'earsaid track,'a slidab'le block engaged-by said longitiidinal guide, a" giiide member or members carried bysaid *blotzleand extending across said 1011- gitudinal guide and over" said: track and over thea-re'a inclosedthereby, a rotatable shaft'journaled on said =fi'a 1neand extending at right angles to the radial plane of said traek and' into the areainclosed thereby,

m'ean'sfor rotatingrsaid'shaft, a radially disposed armcarried bysaid shaft and'adapted to extend over said track, a carriage mounted on said arm, tra'ck engzitgingmeans secured to said carriage 'and'adapted'to engage said 'tracktodiold said" carriage at all times in 'posi'tion over the track rail, a fixedpin-or post erected on saidcarriag -a guide follower' mounted on said pin and adapted to engage" said transversely directed guide member or members, said follower being --adapte'd*during its movement with said carriagd along said-track tdcause saidtrans- 'verse guide'inember and its'slidable block supportto move back and forthalong' said longitudinally directed guide, a tablejournaled on said pin, a tiltable hand rest supported by said table at one end thereof,

'me'ans including a: cam formed'on or keyed was to said pin for tilting'said handrst at inter'vals, a slidable base mounted on said transverse guide,-one endof: said base being engaged bysaidpin,a*secoiid cam formed on or keyeditosaid pin, leversmountedon said slidable" base and connectedto said table and adapted to be actuated by saidfsecorfbed, a reciprocablefoot support in. rear of StLlCl body rest, arm and hand operating means positioneddforwardly of said body rest, said operatingrineans being adapted to move theusers'arms at hisshoulders and elbowsvand to turnhishands: pivotal'ly at his Wrists as .inthe act of breast strokelswimining, said-foot support beingyadaptedito bend and straighten the legs of a user as in the act of breaststroke swimming, i and means for synchronously operating said arm operating means and: footisupport to cause the user to bend and straighten his-legs and extend and i retract 1 his arms as in the act of breast-strokeswimming Su-The combination with a suitable support, of a body rest or bed, longitudinally .directed guides mounted one said support rearwardlyof said zbed, longitudinally movable' carriages.- mounted; Oi1=St1Clguides, a

-tr a-nsversely directed-rod10r bar adapted to be moved longitudinallyofisaid support by said carriages, a'flexible 'legisupport in rear of said bed,xsaid:leg supportabeingsecured at itsend farthest from said bed'to said transverse bar, and means for moving, said carriages back and forth along said zguides.

4t. The combination With a suitable support,- of a 'bodyrest'orbed mounted thereon and adapted .to sustaiiithe 'body of the user, a longitudinally directed centrally positionedstationary guide mounted on said support forward of'said bed, a-ytrack mounted on said support I at the left of said :longitudinal guide, said track describingya course corresponding approximately to the course of movement of a swimmers left-hand in swimningsiii breast-stroke style, atrackmounted on-said support f at the-right of saidilongitu-dinal guide, the; latter track describing a course corresponding approximately to the course of movement of a swimmers right hand. when swimming in breast-stroke style, a i lefthand 1 rest, iineans for supporting said lG'flJ'llflild'l'BSbflbQVG/ said left-track and for swingi'nglsaid left hand rest ina course parallel: andiconcentrie torsaid left track in a direction opposite to the normal direction of movement of clock hands,- aright hand ;rest, means forsupporting said right hand rest above said right-traok-and for swingingsaid r-ightharidrest in a course parallel and concentric to said right track in a direction lzs similar to the normal direction of: movement of clock hands, means for oscillating said hand: rests duringtheir progress so as to keep their longitudinal axes directed toward said bed, a movable foot support mounted on said frame rearwardly of said bed, and means for moving foot support toward and away from said bed.

5. The combination with a suitable frame of tracks mounted upon the forward end thereof at opposite sides respectively of the longitudinal axis of said frame, hand rests positioned adjacent to said tracks respec:

tively, means for supporting one of said hand rests, said means being ada ted in cooperation with the respectively L j'acent track to swing said hand rest in a course parallel to said track, means for supporting the other of said hand rests, the latter said means being adapted to swing said other hand rest in a course parallel to the respectively adjacent said track, and means for tilting said hand rests during a portion of their swinging movement.

6. The combination with a suitable frame, of a body support mounted thereon; arm governing means mounted upon said frame forward of said body support, said means being adapted to engage the users hands and extend, diverge, flex and retract his arms as in the act of breast-stroke swimming; leg governing means comprising a transversely directed adjustable support mounted on said frame in rear of said body support, a rearwardly extending flexible leg support secured at its forward end to said adjustablesupport, a reciprocable support for the rear ward end of said flexible support, means including a rock frame for reciprocating said reciprocable support longitudlnally of said frame toward and away from said body support, said flexible support being adapted to sag downwardly when said reciprocable support is moved toward said body support, mean carried by said reciprooable support and extending beneath said flexible support for limiting the sag of said flexible support along its longitudinal axis for part of its length, means for securing the feet of the user at the rearward end of said flexible support; and means common to said leg governing means and to said arm governing means for operating said leg governing means and said arm governing means synchronously.

In testimony whereof, I hereunto affix my signature, in presence of two witnesses.

ALFRED E. WATTS. Witnesses:


Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of ratents,

Washington, D. 0.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3791646 *Sep 27, 1971Feb 12, 1974Marchignoni AExercising and teaching apparatus for limb training and for teaching swimming
US6352493 *Aug 29, 2000Mar 5, 2002James DavisSwimming simulation system
US20130281264 *Apr 19, 2012Oct 24, 2013Her-Fa ChenSwimming exercise device
U.S. Classification482/56
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/10