US 2343468 A
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March 7, 1944. H MESSINER 2,343,468
PROPULSION DEVICE FOR SWIMMERS Filed Nov. 18, 1942 fe ATTORNEY.
Patented Mar. 7, 1944 UNITED PATENT l(JFliflClE'.
2,343,468 n PROPULSION lDEVICE Fon sWIMMEnrs naptlaj.. Messanger, L's Angeles, Calif., assigner of one-half to Angeles', Calif.
Lawrence P. Romano, Los
Appllea'tion November 1s, 1942, serial No. 466,016
' (ci. 9;-21 l 7 Claims.
The present invention relates to devices for assisting swimmers in propelling themselves through the water, and is more particularly concerned with devices of that character adapted for attachment to the feet.
It is an object cf the present invention to provide an improved propulsion device adapted for attachment to the feet of a swimmer, embodying iins mounted for` pivotal movement with respect to the swimmers feet and being so disposed thereon as to lie more nearly in alignment with the swimmers legs.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a propulsion device adapted for attachment to the feet of a swimmer, embodying comparatively rigid ns mounted for pivotalmovement with respect to the swimmers lfeet and being so disposed thereon that each "iin has upper and lower portions that are substantially n in alignment with the swimmers legs so as to cause the swimmers propulsion to be more porpoise like in character.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a propulsion device adapted for at'- tachment to the feet of a swimmer, embodying comparatively rigid fins mounted for pivotal movement through a xed angle of such extent as to impose a minimum of drag or fatigue on the swimmer upon oscillation of the legs while producing a minimum of shock incident to reversal of direction of movement of the legs.
This invention possesses many other advantages and has other objects which may be made more easily apparent from a consideration of one embodiment of the invention. For thisl purpose there is shown a form in the drawing accompanying and forming part of the present specication. This form will now be described in detail, illustrating the general principle of the invention; but it is to be understood that this detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best dened by the appended claims.
Referring to the drawing:
Figure 1 is a view showing a pair of propulsion devices applied to the feet of a user;
Figure 2 is an elevational View of one of the devices taken as indicated by line 2 2 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a side elevation of the device, partly in section; and,
Figure 4 is a transverse section taken on line 4 4 of Figure 3.
As disclosed in the drawing, the propulsion device consists of a main body IIJ having a last-like shape so as to conform to the human 14foot. `The body has a surface II adapted to be engaged by the sole of the foot and is provided with a toe strap I2 at its forward 'end for securing it to the `front end of the 'foot and crossing heel and ankle 'straps I3 and I4 for securing it to the rearward portion of the foot. The body I0 is also provided with a suitable and preferably ilat `base surface I5 to enable "the wearer to walk Without difficulty.
A fm I6 is oscillatablfyr or pivotally carried at the toe end of the body I0, where it is re'- ceived within a 'generally rVj'sh'afze'd slot I'I. The n I6 is guided inits oscillatory movement by a pair of Vspaced guide'w'ays in the form of 'pins I8 extending betweenthe ysides I9 andv 20 of the slot I1 andpass'ing `loosely 'through holes in the fin. A ,'fsuitable pin 22`exten'ds across the slot inwardly of the guideways Iv8 and passes loosely through `a hole at the lrear of 'the n to provide a fulcrumY point about which the fln ca`n oscillate or` pivot.
The `sides I9 and 2`Ill of the V-shapedslot I1 constitutes stops `for positively determining the 'amplitude of oscillation if the en le with ire- "spect vto the body Ill. vvIfl desired, washers ,or pads 23 and 24 of `suitable material maybe placed on the' guideways I8 adjacent the frefspctive sides I9 and 20 of the slot I'I Yto func'- tion as yieldablestops Y'and avoid any sudden impact that might result from Acontact between the comparatively rigid fin and the rigidbo'dy.
As has just been indicated, the body il! and the fin I6 are made of comparatively rigid matejrial, which -neverthe'lessis preferablybuoyant in water, so that the swimmer feels ver'y little if any additional weight on his feet while swimming. Such material may be wood, or a synthetic resin.
The propulsion devices are made up in pairs corresponding to the right and to the left foot of the swimmer. Each device is fastened to the appropriate foot by means of the straps I2, I3 and I4. As the swimmer oscillates his legs vertically, each fin attached to the body of the device is alternately moved by the resistance of the water in the direction opposite to that in which the leg and foot are moving. That is, when the leg is moving upwards, the iin I6 is swung downwards relative to the body into engagement with the stops 23 at one side of the slot II. Conversely, downward movement of the leg causes the nn I6 to swing about its pivot in an upward direction with respect to the body to the extent limited by its engagement with the stops 2l at the other side of the slot.
It is to be noted that the sole engaging surface Il of the body I lies in a plane making an angle with the median plane of the fin I6 within its associated slot I1, the two planes diverging from one another in a direction leading from the heel portion of the body l0 to its toe portion. Although the foot is distended during swimming, the provision of the angular positioning of the sole engaging surface of the body I0 with respect to the n I6 results in the iin occupying both upward and downward positions relative to the body that are more nearly in alignment with the swimmers leg. This causes the ns to be oscillatably related to the swimmers legs more nearly in the fashion of the tail fin of a porpoise to its body, resulting in greater propulsion efficiency than if the median plane of the fin in the body slot, were parallel to the sole engaging surface of the body.
That the inclination of the sole engaging surface of the body to the median position of the iin causes the latter to coordinate its movements and operate in conjunction with the leg more nearly like a porpoises tail iin and body is evident from an inspection of Figure 1. This gure discloses that the sole of the foot, even when distended, makes an appreciable angle with the leg. This angle is compensated for within a reasonable degree by the angle between the iin and the sole engaging surface of the body, resulting in substantial alignment of the fin with the body when it passes through its median position.
The angle of movement of the iin I6 with respect to the body I0 is chosen to prevent undue fatigue or strain on the swimmer -and shocks to his system. If this angle were too small, the n would be substantially rigid with the body and the swimmer could propel himself through the` water only with dilculty. On the other hand, if this angle of movement were too great the iin would strike the stops with such force as to cause shocks to be transmitted to the swimmer. The selection of a proper angle through which the n can swing on the body overcomes these two diniculties. Such angle may be of the order of ten degrees of swinging movement on each side of the medi-an position of the fin. Larger and smaller angles of movement can also be used within limits, and eilicient propulsion devoid of shocks is still obtainable. The angle of movement of the Iln on each side of its median plane should not be less than five degrees nor more than thirty degrees to accomplish the desired results.
1. A propulsion device for swimmers comprising a body adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, and a substantially rigid n mounted on said body at its toe end for pivotal movement thereon through a xed angle.
2. A propulsion device for swimmers comprising a body adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, a substantially rigid fin pivotally mounted on said body at its toe end, and means on said body engageable with said 1in for positively limiting its pivotal movement with respect to said body.
3. A propulsion device for swimmers comprising a body having a surface adapted to engage the sole of a swimmers foot, a n pivotally mounted on said body at its toe end and having a median position with respect to the body lying in a plane making an angle with said surface, said plane and surface diverging from one another in a direction leading from the heel portion of the body to its toe portion.
4 A propulsion device for swimmers comprising a body having a surface adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, a substantially rigid n pivotally mounted on said body at its toe end ior pivotal movement thereon through a xed angle, said iin having a median position with respect to the body lying in a plane making an angle with said surface, said plane and surface diverging from one another in a direction leading from the heel portion of the body to its toe portion.
5. A propulsion device for swimmers comprising a body adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, said body having a slot in its toe end, a substantially rigid iin pivotally mounted on said body in said slot, said iin being engageable with the sides of said slot positively limiting its pivotal movement with respect to said body.
6. A propulsion device for swimmers comprising, a body adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, and a substantially rigid n mounted on said body for pivotal movement with respect thereto between limits, at one limit said -fin lying in a plane diverging from the sole of the ing, a body adapted to engage the sole of the swimmers foot, and a substantially rigid fin mounted on said body for pivotal movement with respect thereto between positions in planes diverging in opposite directions from the plane of said sole.
HAROLD L. MESSINGER.