US 2007238 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. H. ANDERSON CLEANING DEVICE July 9, 1935.
Filed Oct. 5, 1934 R O T N E V m Elinor 11A nderson ATTORNEY Patented July 9, 1935 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 1 Claim.
The present invention relates to a device for cleaning coverings having a nap, such as suede, velvet, velours and the like.
The widespread use and popularity of suede,
5 velvet, velour and other nap fabrics in articles of apparel and in the home has presented the problem of how these materials may be cleaned to remove dirt, dust, spots and the like in a convenient manner. The problem can be discussed specifically by reference to suede shoes, now a common article of women's wear. There are really three problems involved, the first of which is due to the nature and physical characteristics of suede leather, the second to the circumstances under which cleaning is necessary (when the article to be cleaned is being worn by a person) and the consequent limitation on the structure of the cleaning device, and the third the cost of that device.
Suede leather has a peculiar physical structure. It has a dense nap which readily collects dirt and dust. One obvious means of removing such dirt is a cloth, but this means fails because the use thereof causes the nap to lie down. This action not only further imprisons the dirt but also impairs the appearance of the fabric because its attractiveness depends upon the nap being raised at all times. The cleaning device must be such that it will not only satisfactorily remove dirt, but also perform this function without laying the nap of the fabric. Another obvious means is a brush but brushes do not satisfactorily remove dirt and dust.
The first and third problems above mentioned have been solved by the applicant's discovery that sponge rubber, a readily available and cheap material, has the peculiar property of being able satisfactorily to remove dirt without laying the nap. Furthermore, when the nap has accidentally been laid, sponge rubber can be used to recondition the nap.
Just why sponge rubber has the peculiar property set forth is a matter subject to explanation as hereinafter set forth, but whatever may be the explanation or reason, the fact remains that sponge rubber solves the first and third problems mentioned above, i. e., it presents a material that is cheap and possesses the peculiar property of removing dirt without laying the nap.
The three problems referred to were not solved however by discovering this special property of sponge rubber. It was desirable to devise a carrier and holder for the cleaning article to permit the convenient application thereof. It was also desirable to provide an article which could be readily carried by the person of the user, i. e.,
in a pocket or handbag. It was furthermore desirable to provide a suitable cover so that the sponge rubber would not transfer the dirt removed to the person or other clothing of the user.
What has been said of suede leather and arti- 5 cles made therefrom, e. g., shoes, applies also to articles made of antelope leather and/or fabric having a thick nap, i. e., velvet, velveteen, velours, corduroy, felt, etc.
The present invention provides a solution of 10 the interrelated problems set forth above.
Further description of the invention will be made by reference to the accompanying drawing which is intended solely for illustrative purposes to present one specific embodiment of the clean- 1 ing device, in which:
Figure 1 represents the article enclosed in its carrier and envelope and ready for convenient disposal in a pocket or handbag.
Figure 2 represents the article with the enve- 20 lope folded back and exposing the sponge rubber.
Figure 3 shows the envelope folded so that it serves as a handle by means of which the article can readily be applied by hand to the substance to be cleaned.
The sponge rubber mass I may be as shown rectangular, having end portions 4. One of the fiat surfaces of the mass of rubber is securely united, as shown in Figures 2 and 3, with the central portion 3-3 of an envelope 2 which por- 30 tion is at least substantially coextensive with the adjacent surface of the sponge rubber and preferably extends somewhat beyond the ends 4 of the rubber as shown at 3. The envelope has side portions or flaps 5 which can be folded over the 35 rubber as a wrapping to completely cover it and prevent its contact with the person or clothing of the user except when desired. These flaps are provided with securing means such as a snap fastener 6 and provided with dimensions such that 40 one flap folds over the other as shown clearly in Figure 1 and may be detachably secured thereto by means of said snap fastener 6.
When the cleaner is to be used the flaps 5 are folded apart and back as shown in Figure 3 so as 45 to be in finger-grasping spaced relation, whereupon by inserting one finger between the flaps and grasping the fiaps with the two adjacent fingers (or by an adjacent finger and the thumb as shown) the flaps serve as a convenient handle or means of applying the rubber to the article to be cleaned without soiling the fingers by contact with the sponge rubber. This is done by lightly rubbing the article with the rubber, whereupon the rubber will remove dirt and dust without destroying or laying the nap of the material to be cleaned.
The envelope 2 comprising central portion 33 and flaps 5 may be made of leather, sheet rubber, suede cloth or other suitable pliable material. Rubber has the advantage that it can be secured to the sponge rubber by vulcanization so as to be substantially integral therewith and sheet rubber for the envelope is preferable for that reason and because of its water-proof characteristics. Suede cloth is a fabric somewhat resembling suede leather, is water repellent and offers, like rubber, the advantage of washability. Leather can be attached by cement to the sponge rubber but offers the disadvantage that it is not well adapt ed to washing (except waterproof artificial leather). A substantial surface of contact between the sponge rubber and the envelope surface attached thereto is desirable to withstand the shearing force which is communicated to this surface during application of the article. Consequently it is desirable that the sponge rubber have at least one fiat surface having an area of the order of at least one square inch.
It is also desirable that the sponge rubber (and surrounding envelope) have a somewhat elongated shape as shown because the envelope is also the handle by means of which the rubber is applied and it is convenient that the handle be sufficiently long so that it cooperates conveniently with the fingers of the hand as shown in Figure 3.
It will be noted by reference to the drawing that the mass of sponge rubber has one axis that measures the length (parallel to the edges 1 of the strip) and another axis (parallel to the edges 8) that measures the width. The strip of material serving as support, envelope and means of application of said sponge rubber has edges 8 which measure the length thereof and edges 1 defining the ends of the strip. The sponge rubber is positioned so that one axis thereof (the long axis in Figures 1, 2 and .3) is substantially at right angles to the edges 8 (measuring the length of the strip) and about midway between the edges 1 with one of the flat surfaces of the sponge securely attached to the strip the width of which is somewhat great. r than the length of the sponge rubber mass. The portions or flaps 5 are therefore adapted to be foided together (as shown in Figure 1) to form an envelope enclosing'and coaxial with the mass of sponge rubber the ends 4 of which are then recessed within the edges 8 of the strip. Moreover each of the flaps 5 has about the same surface and during application of the sponge rubber are folded apart as shown in Figure 3 into fingergrasping spaced relation thereby serving as a holder or handle. The two axes of the sponge rubber might be equal, i. e., the latter may be square or circular. It is preferred, however, to have the shape somewhat elongated as shown.
The virtue of having the ends of the sponge rubber recessed as shown is that this feature keeps .those ends out of contact with surrounding obiects without the necessity of special end pieces. Such end pieces might be used but they would be awkward and would interfere with the convenient function of the flaps I (cooperating with the fingers of the user as shown in Figure 3) when these are employed as a handle.
As already indicated, sponge rubber is the material which, so far as known at present, is best adapted for the purpose of the present invention and an investigation of the reasons for this peculiar phenomenon leads to the following conclusionsz Sponge rubber has a larger external and internal surface due to its possession of a structure characterized by a large number of small cells. Therefore it is able to retain and absorb dirt and dust very efllciently due to the large surface of contact presented by a small volume of the sponge rubber. The walls of the cells at the surface of the sponge rubber are more or less perpendicular to the surface to be cleaned and therefore present an innumerable number of scrapers. The walls of these cells have the inherent resilience of rub.- ber and friction thereof in contact with other surfacesand although due to this friction the dirt removing efliciency is high, no injury to nap surfaces is caused by virtue of the softness, resiliency and elasticity of the cell walls. Moreover, sponge rubber can readily be washed and freed from its accumulation of dirt.
Although the invention has been described in sufficient detail and clarity' to enable it to be practiced by those skilled in the art, no limitation of the claim is intended other than may be called for by the prior art.
What I claim is:
In a cleaning device, an elongated and relatively narrow cleaning mass of sponge rubber having a flat surface of considerable area, an elongated rectangular sheet of flexible material having its central portion directly secured to said flat surface, the length of the mass being less than and extending in the direction of the width of the sheet, said sheet forming resultant side flaps of substantially equal length, said flaps being of a length to be foldable around the entire mass with the adjacent edges disposed in overlapping relation, and separable fastening elements for the flaps respectively attached thereto, said flaps when unfastened being capable of being reversely bent to form resultant holding wings whereby said mass may be reciprocated in the direction of its length.
ELINOR H. ANDERSON.