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Publication numberUS2321009 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1943
Filing dateSep 27, 1940
Priority dateSep 27, 1940
Publication numberUS 2321009 A, US 2321009A, US-A-2321009, US2321009 A, US2321009A
InventorsChurchill Owen P
Original AssigneeChurchill Owen P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Swim fin
US 2321009 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 8, 1943. o. P. CHURCHILL 2,321,009

SWIM-FIN Filed Sept. 27, 1940 3 vwmwbom OWEN 2 CHuecH/LL,

W574 MW Patented June 8, 1943 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,821,009 SWIM FIN Owen 1'. Churchill, Los Angeles, Calif. Application September 2'1, 1940, Serial No. 358,687

Claims.

My invention relates to a novel type of swimiln which is'attached to the feet and is used as an aid in swimming, water treading, lifesaving, and in other aquatic pursuits.

My invention more particularly relates to imjprovements in swimming devices, which are worn on the feet of the person engaged in aquatic activities and whereby the swimming speed is materially increased. My invention, in the experience of aquatic experts, instructors and professional swimmers, represents an emcient and practical improvement in swimmin means. It has been approved and is being regularly employed by professional swimming instructors, coaches, swimmers, life guards and the like.

The use of devices embodying my invention enables a person to propel his body through the water at a materially increased speed and at a minimum of effort and fatigue. The device may be used with equal advantages for either lon or short distance swimming. I

The feet and legs of a human being were not designed by nature for swimming and other water activities and the use of my invention converts the feet into swimming members of correct hydrodynamic structure and design.

Swimming instructors employ devices incorporating my invention as it has been found that the use thereof gives confidence to beginners, and the art of swimming may be learned much more quickly and readily than where the unaided feet are relied on.

By increasing the speed of the swimmer the divices employing my invention likewise act to elevate the feet of the swimmer and thereby tend to overcome a problem which always confronts persons who are learning to swim, as it is difficult for a beginner to keep the feet elevated. l

In addition to increased speed, the use of my invention enables a person to tread water much more efficiently and safely and in that respect is a distinct advantage to persons employed as life guards, for it enables them to perform rescue work in a manner which is otherwise thought to be impractical if not impossible. For example, the life guard while using devices incorporating my invention can much more easily stand erect in the water with chest and shoulders above water and thereby have the complete free use of his arms and hands in performing the rescue work. He can also much more readily support and propel the other person through the water because of the increased swimming efficiency which the devices provide.

Devices embodying my invention have special utility in that they permit a relaxation of the ankles which is desirable in advanced swimming. The devices are also highly efficient for increasing speed while swimming under water.

Devices embodying my invention may be used with great efliciency by persons engaged in diving. The devices may be employed in such sports and industries as the following: spearing fish, abalone hunting, lobster catching, pearl diving, etc. They may also be used very successfully for swimming under water or for standing in and treading water whenit becomes necessary to inspect and disengage mooring lines and anchor chains of vessels which have become fouled or tangled and generally to inspect the condition of a vessel's hull which is at or below the water line. In such connection the devices enable the user to have the free use of his hands and arms while supporting himself in the water by means of the devices in a substantially upright position.

My invention so materially increases the speed of a swimmer that ordinarily a person using same can swim as fast without his hands as he could by employing his feet and legs without the devices. The devices also enable life guards and others who desire to wear life belts and jackets to progress with material speed through the water, which is ordinarily very difllcult, if not impossible, without the use of my invention.

Devices employing my invention can be used with equal efficiency for any kind of a kick employed in speed and short or long distance swimming. They have been found advantageous for the scissors kick, the flutter kick, the frog kick. and all other well known movements of the legs and feet which are variously employed by swimmers. The devices enable a person to attain what may be termed a propeller push which resembles the action of a fish fln or tail. The tapering of the devices affords a fish fin streamlining which gives an increased area of push or propulsion with a minimum of water resistance.

I am familiar with and in fact am the exclusive licensee under United States Letters Patent 2,099,973, dated November 23, 1937, granted to Louis de Corlieu, for Life saving and swimming propelling device. Without minimizing the emcacy and scope of the invention claimed in that patent, I consider my invention to be an improvement and to have many advantages thereover, some of which may be enumerated as follows:

I dispense entirely with any and all metal reinforcements. I thereby decrease the weight of the devices and attain such advantages as increased flexibility, which is desirable while walking with the devices on dry land or in riding surf boards and the like, and also while using the devices in the water; I eliminate the necessity of utilizing the type of crepe rubber which which have a longer life than does crepe rubber: I overcome the inherent disadvantages of metal which will rust and break and bend while in use and which tends to tear the enclosing rubber structure under certain conditions of use. The hazard of injury to the wearer which is ever present in the use of metal is entirely eliminated in my invention. My devices are also constructed so as to fit the feet of the wearer which advantage is attained by molding and curving the foot pocket over the instep so as to afford a snug but comfortable fit or closure.

My invention attains still other advantages which result from improved structure and form over the invention of the aforementioned patent, and otherwise, and which will become obvious from a further description thereof.

An object of my invention is to provide in a swim-fin of the character described a relatively flexible construction which when in use in the water will adapt itself to the movement of the feet and legs while swimming, treading water, and the like, and which with a minimum of water resistance will aiford an increased area of propulslon.

A further object of my invention is to provide in a swim-fin of the character described a propelling device which may be utilized by beginners as well as by expert swimmers, life guards and others, and which materially increases the speed while swimming and which likewise increases the buoyancy of the body while at rest or standing in the water.

Another object of my invendon is to provide in a swim-fin of the character cescribed a symmetrical stream-lined molded rubber device which is relatively simple and inexepensive to manufacture and which can be molded and manufactured in one piece. In such respect I wish to point out that devices which embody the invention of the aforementioned Patent 2,099,973 are made in approximately 18 pieces which are cemented together and which have all of the disadvantages which are inherent in such construction. For instance. pieces may pull apart while in use and devices embodying my invention will last longer and will stand considerably greater stress and strain than the other type of devices. 7

A still further object of my invention is to provide in a device of the character described a hole or orifice disposed in the bottom thereof, which permits the expulsion of water and sand which may collect in the foot pocket and which at the same time provides a suction cup or grip when the devices are used by a person standing or walking, on a slippery Surface, such as surf boards, aquaplanes and the like.

Another object of my invention is to provide in a device of the character described reinforcing beads along the top and bottom sides thereof which aiford sufiicient firmness but at the same time provide the desired degrees of flexibility to permit the eiiicient use of the device.

Devices incorporating my invention may be made of rubber or of synthetic rubber or other rubber substitutes and compounds.

Another advantage possessed by devles embodying my invention is that identification marks and symbols and'instrutlons may be molded or impressed in the-rubber and will not wash or want 01!. as would be the case if they were merely stamped. etcs In the drawing:

Figure l is a perspective of the devices attached to the feet of a swimmer in substantially horizontal position.

Figure 2 is a top plan view of a pair of the devices. the upper one being intended for the left foot and the lower one for the right foot.

Figure 3 is a side elevation of the device intended for the left foot.

Figure 4 is a longitudinal cross-section of the device taken on the line 4-4 of Figure 2.

Figure 5 is a bottom plan view of the device intended for the right foot.

Figure 6 is a horizontal cross-section taken on the line 6li of Figure 4.

Figure 7 is a horizontal cross-section taken on the line 1-1 of Figure 4.

Figure 8 is a horizontalcross-section taken on the line 8ll of Figure 4.

The preferred form chosen to illustrate my invention comprises a left fin l and a right fin I. An eleastlc heel strap 2 constitutes the "heel" portion of the device and joins a central portion 3 which consists of a hollow wedge shaped foot pocket 4 having a convexly curved top 5 and bottom 6. An equivalent structure and form might eliminate the convex curvatures, but I prefer them as shown to conform to the instep and ball of the foot respectively.

It would be an equivalent to use a stronger or larger heel strap than the preferred form illustrated in my present application, or even to eliminate the heel strap entirely and to extend the foot pocket to the extreme rear end of the device.

A hole or orifice 'l is disposed in the bottom of the central portion for drainage purposes and to provide a suction cup on flat surfaces.

The "toe" portion ll of the device which joins the central portion is relatively ilat and of increasing breadth and in the preferred form has a curved diagonal end 9, although a straight edge could be used. There are reinforcing tapered beads I0 extendingalong the upper and lower sides or edges of the central and "toe portions of the device and which extend substantially to the end of the said toe" portion. It is important that these beads provide a firmnass to the structure sufilcient to withstand collapse under water pressure but sufllcient iiexibllity to permit a yielding of the flu progressively toward the "toe" portion as the fin is moved against the water.

The use of my invention may be described as follows: The left finis placed on the left foot of the wearer and the right tin on the right foot, by inserting the foot within the foot pocket comprising the central portion, so that the heel strap engages the foot just above the heel or at the point where the achilles tendon is located.

Y Due to the flexibility of the devices it will be found that the user is able to walk with comparative ease and unless the surface be especially rough or sharp, such as from rocks or glass, no injury to thedevices will result.

when the user is in the water he may employ the devices in the same manner as he would use his legs and feet without the devices, and with very little practice he will be able to augment the use of the feet and legs so as to propel himself through the water with materially increased speed and ease and with a minimum of discom fort and fatigue.

Whatever be the basic movement. imparted to the fins by the wearer, such movement results in a propulsion generating at the heel and carried outwardly to the "toe" of the fin. The

streamlining or hydrodynamic shape, embodied in a. structure flexible yet firm enough to withstand collapse under water pressure, utilizes an action similar to that of a fish's flu or tail, and imparts a thrust duringboth oscillating movements of the foot. 4

The devices may be utilized for swimming, either in the normal position or on the back, and will afford increased speed notwithstanding the type of leg kick which may be employed.

It will also be found that a person wearing the devices may stand upright in the water by "tr-ceding and expose a much greater portion of his body above the surface thereof than he would be able to do without the devices even with the hands employed as a supplementary means to keep afloat.

When standing on a wet, slippery surface such as an aquaplane or surf board, it will be found that the hole in the bottom of the center section will act as a suction cup more securely to hold the fin against the wet surface thereof. The hole will also act as an outlet for sand and water which might otherwise collect and remain in the foot pocket.

If the fin is used for life saving, it will be found that the user can readily support himself in an upright position in the water and have the full and free use of his arms and hands.

Persons learning to swim will be able to use the fins with equal facility and will find that the use thereof greatly reduces the time necessary in order to become an emcient swimmer.

Other uses and applications of devices embodying my invention will be obvious to anyone utilizing same and no attempt is made herein to enumeriate all of those uses and objects.

Various modifications constituting equivalents may be used in the details of the device within the scope of my invention, and my invention is not to be limited to the preferred form which I have illustrated and described in this application.

I claim:

1. A swim-fin of resilient material. adapted to be mounted on the foot and embodying a hydrodynamic fin shape comprising a heel gripping section, a central section forming a pocket to receive the forepart of the foot, and a toe extension web continuing the natural wedge shape of the foot, the toe extension web having one side diverging with respect to the other toward the free end, and said end being diagonally formed whereby the outer side is longer than the inner A side, the central section and the toe extension under resistance of water and displacing water with a propeller-like thrust when moved at right angles to the normal plane of said fin. F

3. A swim-fin of resilient material adapted to be mounted on the foot and embodying a hydrodynamic fln shape comprising a heel gripping section, a central section forming a pocket to receive the forepart of the foot, and a toe extension web continuing the natural wedge shape of the foot, the said heel gripping section, central section and toe extension web having one side diverging with respect to the other from the heel toward the free end of the extension, the wedge being longer along the outer side than on the inner side, the end of the toe extension web being substantially diagonal from the shorter side to the longer side, and marginal reinforcements along the said sides whereby the fin is rendered more flexible in the region of its medial longitudinal lines than along its sides, tending to cup under resistance of water and displacing water with a propeller-like thrust when moved at right angles to the normal plane of said fin, said marginal reinforcements comprising beads raised from the upper and lower surfaces of the fins whereby a directional thrust is imparted for the displacement of water longitudinally along the surfaces of the fln.

4. A swim-fin of resilient material adapted to be mounted on the foot and embodying a hydrodynamic fln shape comprising a heel gripping section, a central section forming a pocket to receive the forepart of the foot, and a toe extension web continuing the natural wedge shape of the foot, the said heel gripping section, central section and toe extension web having one side diverging with respect to the other from the heel toward the free end of the extension, the wedge being longer along the outer side than on the inner side, the end of the toe extension web being substantially diagonal from the shorter side to the longer side, and marginal reinforcements along the said sides whereby the fin is rendered more flexible in the region of its media] longitudinal lines than along its sides, tending to cup having a gradually increasing flexibility toward the said end.

2. A swim-fin of resilient material, adapted to be mounted on the foot and embodying a hydrodynamic fln shape comprising a heel gripping section, a central section forming a pocket to receive the forepart of the foot, and a toe extension web continuing the natural wedge shape of the foot, the said heel gripping section, central section and toe extension web having one side diverging with respect to the other from the heel toward the free end of the toe extension, the wedge being longer along the outer side than on the inner side, the end of the toe extension being substantially diagonal from the shorter side to the longer side, and marginal reinforcements along the said sides whereby the fin is rendered more flexible in the region of its medial longitudinal line than along its sides, tending to cup under resistance of water and displacing water with a propeller-like thrust when moved at right angles to the normal plane of said fin, said marginal reinforcements comprising beads raised from the upper and lower surfaces of the flns whereby a directional thrust is imparted for the displacement of water longitudinally along the surfaces of the fin, and said beads terminating approximately the same distance short of the end oi the toe extension web leaving the end unreinforced whereby it will tend to flex diagonally substantially parallel to the end edge thereof.

5. A swim-fin of resilient material, adapted to be mounted on the foot and embodying a hydrodynamic fln shape comprising a heel gripping section, a central section forming a pocket to receive the forepart of the foot, and a toe extension web having one side diverging with respect to the other toward the free end. the toe extension web being relatively thin throughout its medial portion. and having marginal beads relatively thick at thin forward portion and tapering to merge into the planes of the web toward the end thereof, whereby the web is rendered increasingly flexible toward the end and a directional thrust is imparted for the displacement of water longitudinally along the surfaces of the fln.

OWEN P. CHURCHILL.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2423571 *Dec 20, 1944Jul 8, 1947Wilen Charles HSwimming tail
US2588363 *Jun 17, 1946Mar 11, 1952De Corlieu Louis MarieCrawl-fins
US2672629 *Apr 14, 1949Mar 23, 1954La Trell Jack KSwimmer's propulsion aid
US2889563 *Feb 27, 1956Jun 9, 1959Lamb Edward WSwim flipper
US5266062 *Jul 28, 1992Nov 30, 1993John L. Runckel TrustAmphibious footwear
US5290194 *Apr 16, 1993Mar 1, 1994KranscoSwim fin with differential stiffness characteristics
US5906525 *Jul 16, 1997May 25, 1999Melius; John DavidSwim fins flexible body/boot, firm wing caudal tail/blade and possible modular construction for versatility
US6095879 *May 13, 1999Aug 1, 2000Mccarthy; Peter T.Methods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US6146224 *May 18, 1999Nov 14, 2000Mccarthy; Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6371821Nov 14, 2000Apr 16, 2002Nature's Wing Fin Designs, LlcHigh efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6413133 *Aug 1, 2000Jul 2, 2002Mccarthy Peter T.Methods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US6482059Feb 1, 2001Nov 19, 2002Mccarthy Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6497597Mar 5, 2002Dec 24, 2002Mccarthy Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6568973Feb 21, 2001May 27, 2003Salvas Sub S.P.A.Swim or dive fin
US6568974Sep 26, 2001May 27, 2003Scubapro Europe S.R.L.Swim and scuba fin
US6585548Jan 4, 2002Jul 1, 2003Mccarthy Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6607411Jan 4, 2002Aug 19, 2003Mccarthy Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6712656Dec 28, 2001Mar 30, 2004Mccarthy Peter T.Methods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US6719599Nov 19, 2002Apr 13, 2004Mccarthy Peter T.High efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US6843693May 9, 2001Jan 18, 2005Mccarthy Peter T.Methods for creating large scale focused blade deflections
US6884134Jul 18, 2003Apr 26, 2005Mccarthy Peter T.High deflection hydrofoils and swim fins
US6918805Jan 22, 2004Jul 19, 2005Mccarthy Peter T.Methods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US7018256Jun 25, 2004Mar 28, 2006Mccarthy Peter TMethods for creating large scale focused blade deflections
US7101240Nov 13, 2003Sep 5, 2006Mccarthy Peter THigh efficiency hydrofoil and swim fin designs
US7465205Jul 19, 2006Dec 16, 2008Mccarthy Peter TMethods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US7581997Sep 5, 2007Sep 1, 2009Mccarthy Peter TMethod for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
US7601041Aug 21, 2006Oct 13, 2009Mccarthy Peter THigh deflection hydrofoils and swim fins
US7862395Sep 7, 2007Jan 4, 2011Mccarthy Peter TMethods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
WO1994023804A1 *Mar 29, 1994Oct 27, 1994KranscoSwim fin with differential stiffness characteristics
WO1999058203A2 *May 14, 1999Nov 18, 1999Peter T MccarthyMethods for creating consistent large scale blade deflections
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/64
International ClassificationA63B31/11, A63B31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B31/11
European ClassificationA63B31/11