US 2506308 A
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May 2, 1950 s. MAYNIER TOE SEPARATING DEVICE Filed July 3l, 1947 R. WH Ew VA mM M E 5 jrraP/vf/ Patented May 2, 1950 UNI T ED S TAT ES PATEN T 0 FFI CE TOE SEPARATING 'DEVICE Stella :Maynier, Forest Hills, tN.` Y.
Application July 31, 1947, Serial No. 765,058
(Cl. 12S-81) `5 Claims.
Thepresent mvention is .directed-toa device for separating the toes ofthe human foot Vfor various purposes, such ras for medication, treatment or--the like.
vIn many cases it becomes desirable to provide f a device for separating the itoes of a person for various purposes, asfor example, .to prevent irritation between :the toes, to treat infections of the .feet and to apply polish or lacquer tothe toe nails. For thisv purpose, vvarious toe separator devices have been produced, :as for example, in one such :device there wasa base member and .formed integrally-therewith were four upstandingmembers intendedto enter vthefspaces between .the toes. :Such opstanding members were of various 1constructions but-in all cases the;7 were vfirmly secured tothe v.base member and were of Irelatively :impervious hard material. As :a result, they were` extremely uncomfortable V'for the wearer land they tended to compress lthe ltoes out .of shape. Suchseparators Vwere made laccording to a standard. pattern and since the spacing and size of the .toes of diiierentindividuals vary greatly andthe depth of the Vspaces between l'the toes are of .Widely varying sizes, vsuch separators can be worn with comfort by only a very few persons.
The present invention :is intended and ladapted to overcome the diiiculties and disadvantages inherent in prior structures ofthe type described,
it being among the objects :of the present Vinvention to provide a toe separating device which is convenientito use and which is readily adapted for appiioation to various types and sizes of feet.
'It iszalso among the objects ofthe present invention to provide a toe separating device where- .5'.
in the separator elements are made of -a soft spongy material, which are so formed that they may be readily inserted between the toes and `not cause any discomfort to the wearer. It is further among the objects of the present invention to'provide a device of the type ldescribed wherein the 4separator elements vare formed separatefirom the base on which they vare mounted and .areso connected that relative -movexnentof the separators Ywith :respect to' each other and with the mounting thereof is obtained.
'In .the faccompanyng'drawing constituting 1a part ljhereof, fin which 'like reference characters indicate like parts,
Fig. 1 is :a top planlview of the front poi'tiono afoot, showing the toe separating device ci the present invention 1in .position;
Fig. 2 is a kvertical lcross-sectional View of the device shown in Fig. :l detached-from'the foot of, the user:
Fig. 3 :is a fragmentary .vertical wcross-sectional vview'iiaken alongithelineS-Ii of Eig. 1 and. illustrating .one method .of mounting the toe separator elements to the ibase;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged `fragmentary View of a modified -form of structure illustrating a difierent method for mounting .theseparatorelements on -the base, and
Fig. 5is aside view/of a modification thereof.
There isprovided a base l which is :a flat piece o'f relatively soft material rsuch as sponge rub- 'ber, made to approximately resemble the outline of Vthe afoot of the user. cemented to lthe .bottom ofbase I vis, a thinviexible-sheet of 'impervious material 2, said material being lrelatively tough `and acting as aisupport'for the relative-ly :soft base l. The front part 3 of base l khas vthe separator elements thereon land-'the toes -f-of the foot l are `adjacent fto said edge when the device is in use.
Mounted on base i arefour upright separator elements 5, each of which is adapted to-enter into spaces 6 between toes l of the foot. The central portions 18 of each of separator 4elements v5 are concave so -that when viewed from the end as in Fig. 2,r said elements are of approximately hourglass form. The Vpurpose of such shape is to conveniently Viit into spaces 6 Yand to conform with thegeneral shape ofthe sides lof 'the toes. Elements 5 are formed of 'highly yporous spongy material'suchas'soft-spongy rubber and the material is such ythat it is readily deformed to alarge degree by relativelylight pressures such as would be Vexerted by the sides of the toes. Because of this, even-though the shape Yof elements 5 does not exactly conform with the shape of the toes orl the Vsize of the vspace Vbetween them, the elements by the light Vpressure of the adjacent toes willreadily become deformed so as to accommodate themselves Without discomfort for the user.
Elements 5 as shown Ain Fig. 3 are mounted by means of elastic threads, cords or fthellre 9, one of which is threaded Ythrough a central vertical opening in `each separator 5, through a suitably placed opening'in 'base I and tied together vas shown at vlll below element '2. The upper end of N vrelative toeachfother and to the base and -nda proper position with respect to space 6. In actual use, the device is quite comfortable even though it is worn for a considerable length of time.
In Fig. 4, there is shown a modification of the mounting means wherein elements are of a somewhat different shape in that the upper edges I2 thereof are rounded and made smaller than the upper edge of the same elements shown in Figs. l to 3, thereby exposing the toe nails so that lacquer or polish may be applied thereto. Cemented to the bottom of element 5 of Fig, 4 is a tough iiexible sheet I3, similar to sheet 2. An elastic cord, thread, band or the like I4 is threaded through sheet 2, base l and sheet I3 and the ends I5 thereof tied in a knot which lies between element 5 and base I. By reason of the toughness of sheets 2 and I3, the anchorage of thread it is rm and secure. The exposed loop of thread lil at the bottom of base i is hardly visible and the knot i5 is concealed at all times, thereby providing a neat appearing article.
Although the invention has been described setting forth two specific embodiments thereof, said embodiments are intended to illustrate the invention and not to limit the same as numerous variations in the details of construction may be made within the principles herein set forth. For instance, base I need not be, as shown in Fig. 1, of such size and shape as to cover the entire sole of the foot but may be made smaller and the shape thereof may be different from that shown. It is merely necessary that there be provided a base of sufficient size as to carry the separator elements and so that the edges thereof do not press into the sole of the foot or toes to cause discomfort to the user. Sponge rubber is not necessary for the base but otherr flexible materials such as absorbent fiber, felt, leather or the like may be used. Separators E may be made of various forms although it is preferable that the thickness at the center be less than the thickness at the top and bottom.
The device of the present invention may be incorporated into shoes, such as the Grecian sandal. Such a modication is shown in Fig. 5. The base I, having separators 5 as above described, has an ankle band IB of suitable character, which band may be of elastic material to snap about the ankle or may be of fabric, leather or the likey and be open with a buckle or equivaient means for holding the same about the ankle. One or more rear straps Il extend from the rear of the base I to the rear of band i6, and a plurality of front straps I8 extend from separators to the front of band It. Said band may be ornamented or jeweled and said straps may also be suitably decorated. Such a sandal may be worn for long periods of time as a corrective for the form of the toes.
It is also possible to utilize the device as foot- Wear for adults and for children. In the latter case, it will keep the childs toes in the proper position so that they Will not become deformed, as would be the case with improperly fitted shoes. My new device may be adopted to be worn within ordinary shoes for its beneiicial effects. In the appended claims, it is intended to protect the device whether it is a separate unit or is incorporated other footwear, such as shoes or sandals. .In place of individual threads 9 for each of the separators, one may use a single thread and pass the same through all four separators of a imit. For instance, it may be threaded through a needle, which is passed up and down through each separator from big toe to little toe, and the two ends of the thread knotted on the underside of the base. While rubber is the preferred material for the separators, other substances having similar properties may be substituted for the same, such as synthetic rubber and plastics. Also, such separators instead of being made of uniform texture throughout may be hollow in the center and may, for example, be made of thin plastic material molded to the desired forms and sizes.
The means for mounting the separators on the base may be quite different from that shown and the elastic threads used may be of any suitable substances. Also, in place of the elastic threads, other means for securing elements together to allow flexibility may be substituted as, for example, a light spiral or other form of spring may be incorporated in the base I or in the lower part of separators 5, or both, to give a similar effect. The impervious sheets 2 and I3 may be omitted or equivalents substituted therefor.
The shape of the separators may be other than that shown and any form thereof adaptable for the purpose may be used. It is not necessary in all cases that the rubber bands or the like be secured by knotting but it may be cemented onto either the base or the separator, or both. In some cases the rubber bands may be entirely omitted and there may be provided slits in the base and the separators may have thin or neck portions which can be introduced into the slits to hold the separators in position.
Although the specification refers to soft spongy material for the separators, such material need not be sponge rubber or the like but any material of sufcient softness or flexibility, such as cloth, felt, compositions or the like may be used in place thereof and all these materials are included in the terms used herein. The device with or without some slight modification may be used to separate the ngers of the hand for special purposes, as for example, when applying nail polish to the fingers, and in the claims, the reference to a toe separating device is intended to include also a device for separating the lingers of the hand.
These and other changes in the details of the physical structure of the device may be made Within the principles herein set forth and the invention is therefore to be broadly construed and not to be limited except by the character of the claims appended hereto.
l. A toe separating device comprising a base of a at member adapted to be placed below the toes of the user, a plurality of upstanding separators mounted on said base, said separators being separate elements and being spaced apart to approximately correspond With the spacesA between the toes and adapted to enter into said spaces, said separators being mounted on said base for movement relative thereto by elastic threads passing through said separators and allowing both vertical and horizontal relative movement of said separators.
2. A toe separating device comprising a base of a flat member adapted to be placed below the toes of the user, a plurality of upstanding separators mounted on said base, said separators being separate elements and being spaced apart to approximately correspond with the spaces between the toes and adapted to enter into said spaces, said separators being mounted on said base for movement relative thereto by elastic threads passing through the body of said separators and anchored in said base, thus allowing both vertical and horizontal relative movement of said separators.
3. A toe separating device comprising a base of a flat member adapted to be placed below the toes of the user, a plurality of upstanding separators mounted on said base, said separators being separate elements and being spaced apart to approximately correspond with the spaces between the toes and adapted to enter into said spaces, said separators being mounted on said base for movement relative thereto by elastic threads passing through the body of said separators and anchored in said base, thus allowing both vertical and horizontal relative movement of said separators, said base consisting of a thin, flexible, tough bottom layer and a soit, spongy upper layer attached thereto, said threads passing through said layers and anchored to said bottom layer.
4. A toe separating device comprising a base of a flat member adapted to be placed below the toes of the user, a plurality of upstanding separators mounted on said base, said separators being separate elements and being spaced apart to approximately correspond with the spaces between the toes and adapted to enter into said spaces, said separators being mounted on said base for movement relative thereto by elastic threads allowing both vertical and horizontal relative movement of said separators, a thin, exible, tough material attached to the lower side of said separators and a similar bottom layer at- 6 tached to said base, said threads being anchored to both of said thin, exible, tough materials.
5. A toe separating device comprising a base ci' a substantially flat member adapted to be placed below the toes of the user, a plurality of upstanding separators mounted on said base, said separators being separate elements and being REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the ie of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,080,305 Scholl Dec. 2, 1913 Y 1,163,490 Weil Dec. 7, 1915 1,930,413 Bruel Oct. 10, 1933 2,095,664 Grenfell Oct. 22, 1937