Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2539712 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1951
Filing dateOct 5, 1948
Priority dateOct 5, 1948
Publication numberUS 2539712 A, US 2539712A, US-A-2539712, US2539712 A, US2539712A
InventorsWettlaufer William L
Original AssigneeWettlaufer William L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vibratory therapeutic cushion
US 2539712 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 30, 1951 w. L. wi-:TTLAUFER 2,539,712y

VIBRATORY THERAPEUTIC CUSHION Filed Oct. 5, 1948 l 5 Sheets-Sheet l 1-Jir- 3 K.' 72

Jln- 30, 1951 w. l.. WETTLAUFER 2,539,72

l VIBRATORY THERAPEUTIC CUSHION Filed oon-5, 194s ssheets-sheet 2 IN VEN TOR.


1ML 30, 1951 l w. WETTLAUFE 2,539,712

VIBRATORY 'IxI-IERAPEUTIC CUSHION Filed oct. 5, 1943 s sheets-sheet s IN VEN TOR.

u Maffia??? ZUeZ-ZZQU/r i Patented Jan. 30, 1951 UNITED STATESl PATENT OFFICE vIBnAToRY THERAPEUTIC CUSHION william L. Wetnaufer, Buffalo, N. Y.

Application october 5, 194s, serial No. 52,839

7 Claims. l

This invention relates to a vibratory cushion or pillow, and it has particular reference tothe provision of a comparatively small and easily portable cushion in which is incorporated a vibratory member, whereby the article may be employed for therapeutic purposes.

It: Vhas heretofore been proposed to provide chairs and tables with vibration generators competent to create oscillatory vibrations which, when transmitted to the user, may impart a benecial massaging action. Such pieces of furniture, however, are generally found in the ofces of physicians and physiotherapists, and they are accordingly available only to those who call for treatment. The present invention contemplates the provision of a useful vibration genrator in the form of a cushion or pillow which can be used in a variety of ways, either statically or dynamically, and which the user may enjoy in his own home or office as the need arises. Such pillow may be readily transported, andits size and comparative cheapness are additional advantages tending to increase its field of usefulness.

The invention will be further described by reference to p-ractical embodiments thereof, shown inthe accompanying drawings, wherein:

' Fig. 1 is a plan of one form of the cushion, with portions broken away to show the internal structure;

Figs. 2 to 4 are views taken on the correspondingly numbered section lines on Fig. 1, and drawn on an enlarged scale;

Fig. 5 is a section on the line 5 5 of Fig. 3, drawn on `an enlarged scale;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view, partly in section, of a modied form of driving connection;

. Fig. 'l is a plan of another form o f motor and vibrator assembly which may be incorporated in the jcushion;v

Fig., 8 is a longitudinal section through the vibrator structure of Fig. 7; and

Figs. 9 and l0 are sections on the correspondin gly numbered lines of Figs. 8 and 7 respectively. jf As shown in' Figs. 1, 2, and 3, the cushion ccmprisesaggenerally rectilinear body of soft suppr'ting material encased in a cover Ii of fabric., l'eather, 4or"the like. In the embodiment illustrated, the cushion is made of "a size which can be conveniently used on a chair seat or back, or as a foot rest, say about sixteen inches long, a foot wide, and two to three inches thick. A strap -I'i secured to one end provides a means for carrying thejushion, oranchoring Kit in a desired posi,- tion lon'jal chairor divan. `WitlfiJi-n the; -cove r are4 layers of sponge rubber, respectivelyL designatedby the reference numerals I3, It, and l5, which are advantageously cemented together along their contacting surfaces.

Along its upper end, as viewed in Fig. 1, and at substantially the median plane, the layers of rubber are cut away a few inches to form a pocket I6, into which extends a small electric motor assembly Il. This assembly, in turn, includes a motor I8 mounted within a casing I9, which-is generally slightly spaced from the motor shell. The casing I9 is formed with apertures 2l for the free circulation of air, and it also contains rheostat control switch 22 whose control knob 23 projects beyond the casing. The motor shaft carries a small fan 25,', which creates a draft of air through the casing when the motor is energized. It will be seen that one end of the pocket l5 is open to the atmosphere, and that the apertures 2l at one end of the casing E9 are also exposed. Effective air circulation to cool the motor is therefore obtained, and this feature eliminates a cause of failure which would exist if the motor were embedded in the cushion.

The motor and casing assembly is retained in the pocket I6 in spaced relation thereto by a pair of iiexible straps 2E and 2l, which encircle the casing and extend transversely thereof on either side of the layer I4. Machine screws or rivetscZ extend through the straps and rubber sheet I6 to anchor them together. The material employed for the straps, as shown in the instant embodiment of theA invention, is preferably aV woven fabric, such as webbing, belting or pieces of trunk strap, but other materials, such as light gauge sheet metal, may also be employed. As previously noted, the layers of rubber are cemented together, and are-contained in a cover, so that the motor assembly is securely positioned.

The Vcentral layer lof rubber I4 is also out away longitudinally and at its median plane to providea recess 29 for a tubularvcasing 3|, in which is mounted a vibration generator 32. The generator comprises a shaft 33, fairly light and therefore somewhat flexible, which is rotatably mounted in spaced bearings 34v and 35 pressed into thejcasingM, and which extends to the shaft of the motor I 8. The end of the motor shaft maybe axiallyidrilled to receivethe end of the shaft 33, and the two shafts may be coupled by soldering, with a set screw, or any other desired fashion.- Between the bearings 34 and 35, the shaft 33 is provided with an eccentric or unbalanced weight 36,- which may take the form of a short length of longitudinall'yjslotted drill rod-brazed or otherthe shaft 33 is rotated, the eccentric 36 imparts a condition of dynamic unbalance, which sets up vibrations of undulatory form, and these are transmitted to the entire cushion.

The end of the casing 3| adjacent the pocket I6 is protected from undue gyratory movement by a pair of half round flanged clamps 31 which engage the casing end through a rubber bushing 38, and are secured to the casing and to each other through screws 39. These clamps also encircle a boss 4| on the end of the motor casing I 9, thereby retaining the entire assembly in operative relation. It is desirable to provide an addi'- tional anchorage, as otherwise aV condition of shaft whipping may be encountered between the motor and the bearing 35, which would lead to` unsatisfactory performance.

An alternative method of protecting the shaft is shown in Fig. 6. The motor casing I9 is-formedv with a boss 42 through which the shaft 33 extends for connection to the motor, as previously' described. The casing 43 for the eccentric is similar to the casing 3|, except that it is shorter, being only slightly longer than the distance between the bearings 34 and 35. The length of the shaft between the bearing 35 and the boss 42 is encased in a tightly coiled helical spring 44 whose ends are supported in rubber bushings 45 and 46, respectively located in the end of the casing 43 and the boss 42. The shaft 33 is freeto rotate within the spring, the internal wall of which damps and limits any tendency to develop a sustained flexing or whipping action.

In the form of the invention shown in Figs. 7 to 10, there is provided a somewhat more rigid mounting or chassis for the motor and generator assembly. This form of mounting may be incorporated in the three layer rubber cushion previously described, simply by making the cut out portions of the middle layer of proper size. The assembly comprises a plate which may be a piece of light plywood or similar material, longitudinally cut away to provide a slot 52. The motor casing I9 is mounted in the slot, to project partially beyond the plate 5| by means of bands 53 and 54 cut from belting or like material, and having ends bolted to the board by screws 55. A shaft casing 56 is also mounted on the board by means of two flexible bands 5l. and 58, interconnected by screws 59, and located at the end of the casing remote from the motor.

A drive shaft 6| is mounted in the casing 56 by means of bearings 62 and 63, located at the shaft ends, and advantageously comprising bronze self-lubricating bushings set in rubber collars. An eccentric G4 is mounted on the shaft between the bearings, andin this embodiment the connectionv is effected by drilling a piece of rod ol center, sliding it over the. shaft, andthen peening its. thin wall into the shaft surface, as indi,- cated by the reference numeral 65. The connection between the motor shaft 66 andthe drive shaft 6| is effected by axially drilling.. the. shaft ends, spacing them slightly, and insertingin the drill holes a short length of' flexible shafting 6l, asf is shown in Fig. 8. Such piece of shafting. provides 'a flexible coupling between thev motor and drive shafts in a very simple andn inexpen sive manner, and does not require additional space.

In order to connect the motor end of the casing 56 to the boss 4|- of the. casing |9, a short length of fairly stiff but flexible tubing 68, such and is secured in place by hose clamps 69. In view of its short length, the tubing 68 is resistant to large movement under the influences imposed by operation of the fractional horsepower motor employed, yet its inherent resilience permits very small movements in response to such forces.

As heretofore noted, the motor and generator.. mounted on the plate 5|, can be inserted in the rubber cushion, and be operated to generate undulatory vibrations which are transmitted to the surface. In the form of the invention first described, it was contemplated that the cover material would be formed around the pocket |6 sof as to conceal that part of the motor casing within the pocket. As shown in Fig. 10, layers of open mesh wire or fabric are positioned over the front and back faces of the pocket, so that the air current induced by the fan 24 may circulate outwardly, as well as being returned along the side walls.

In use, the cushion may be employed statically or it may be employed dynamically'to transmit to the user the physiological benefits of the vi-brations. Thus, a person may sit on the cushion and supply motive power to the generator through the motor lead wire I2, or he may use it in the same way as a back or foot rest, or place it on other portions of the body. The character of the vibrations may be readily discerned, as by placing a pencil in Various positions on the. cover. A generally cylindrical body, such as a pencil, when placed parallel to the axis of the generator, will be seen to travel lengthwiseand. also tend to rotate on its own axis. Placed transversely, the motion is more of a periodic displacement up and down on the surface. Small shot contained in a druggists phial may be observed to rotate in a progressive or screw-like manner, thereby indicating that the vibrations are regular and periodic, and of a type considered. to have beneficial therapeutic effects.

It will accordingly be seen that there has been provided an inexpensive and durable therapeutic article which lends itself to a wide variety of applications. While the invention has been described in detail with respect to certain embodiments thereof, it is not intended that it should be restricted to precise details, but that it should be accorded a scope and range of equivalents'v commensurate with that expressed in thefollowing claims.

I claim:

l. A therapeutic cushion comprising a body of' soft supporting material, a cover enclosing said material, a shaft casing embedded within the body of material, a rotatable vibration generator having an eccentric portion rotatably mounted in the shaft casing, a drive shaft connected to the generator and extending through the casing to a region. exterior thereof, and motor rneansconnected to the shaft to actuate the generator.

2. A therapeutic cushion comprising a body of soft supporting material, a cover encasing the material, a protective shaft casing embedded within the body of material and disposed along a central axis of the body and between the ends. thereof, a rotatable eccentric vibration generator mountedv in and axially of the casing, a motor positioned adjacent a marginal portion of the` cushion and substantially at said central axis. supporting straps for the motor extending therearound and into the body of material to retain. said motor in position, and a drive shaft passing. throughthe. body ofmaterial andv connecting the motor and generator.

3. A therapeutic cushion comprising a body of soft supporting material, a cover enclosing the body, said body being formed with a pocket at one end thereof and substantially equidistant from the sides thereof, a motor assembly positioned in the pocket in spaced relation thereto, said assembly comprising an apertured casing and an electric motor mounted therein, support--l ing straps encircling the motor and extending into the body, means for retaining the straps within the body to retain the motor assembly in position, a shaft casing in the body in line with the rotative axis of the motor, a generator shaft connected to the motor and extending therefrom into the shaft casing, said generator shaft having a flexible portion, spaced bearings in the casing for said generator shaft, and an eccentric member secured to the generator shaft between` the bearings.

4. A therapeutic cushion comprising superimposed layers of soft supporting material, a pocket formed in the material along a marginal portion thereof, a recess formed within the body at the center thereof in line with the pocket, a shaft casing in the recess, bearings in the casing, a generator shaft rotatably mounted in the bearings bration generator assembly mounted in the recess,

and extending from the casing to the pocket, an

electric motor and a casing therefor in the pocket,

the shaft of said motor extending in line with said axis, a shaft casing in the recess, bearings in the shaft casing, a drive shaft mounted in the bearings and extending toward the motor, straps ensaid assembly comprising a plate formed with an axial slot, a motor mounted in the slot at o-ne end of the plate, a shaft casingmounted in the slot in line with the motor, a drive shaft mounted in the shaft casing, an unbalanced weight secured to the drive shaft, and a flexible coupling between the drive shaft and the motor.

7. A therapeutic cushion comprising a body of soft resilient supporting material, a cover for the body, a plate positioned within the body, a slot formed in the plate longitudinally from an edge thereof, an encased motor positioned in the slot at said edge, straps encircling the motor and secured to the plate to retain the motor in position, a shaft casing ypositioned in the slot in line with the motor, straps encircling the casing and secured to the plate, bearings in the casing, a. drive shaft mounted in the bearings and having an unbalanced weight secured thereto between the bearings, a resilient sleeve connecting the casing to the motor, and a flexible shaft connecting the drive shaft to the motor adjacent the sleeve.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,872,674 Carroll Aug, 23, 1932- 2,425,655 Tompkins Aug. 2, 1947 2,460,245 Summerville Jan. 25, 1949

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1872674 *Dec 29, 1930Aug 23, 1932Carroll CharlesPortable device to aid hearing
US2425655 *Mar 22, 1944Aug 12, 1947Edwin H TompkinsTherapeutic device
US2460245 *May 26, 1945Jan 25, 1949Aeromat Products Company IncMassaging apparatus or the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2687717 *Jun 19, 1952Aug 31, 1954Owen K MurphyCushion type motor operated kinesitherapy device
US2786465 *Jul 21, 1955Mar 26, 1957William N MoxleyMassage pillow
US2833276 *Aug 17, 1954May 6, 1958Owen K MurphyMotor operated kinesitherapy device
US3062203 *Oct 30, 1958Nov 6, 1962Cory CorpHeat massage pad
US3092100 *Oct 2, 1962Jun 4, 1963Oetinger NormanArticle of furniture having massaging action
US3464405 *Mar 7, 1966Sep 2, 1969Kallus SamuelVibrator-massage device
US4344422 *Jun 5, 1980Aug 17, 1982Immel Joseph DOrthopedic bed
US4592345 *Dec 14, 1983Jun 3, 1986Wahl Clipper CorporationBack massager structure
US5014687 *Oct 3, 1989May 14, 1991Raffel Product Development Co.Mounting for vibrating motor
US5140977 *Apr 15, 1991Aug 25, 1992Raffel Product DevelopmentMounting for vibrating motor
US7402145Jun 9, 2004Jul 22, 2008Woggon Dennis AMethod of neuromusculoskeletal proprioceptive re-education and development of a living body using corrective chair and vibration
US8185986 *May 29, 2012L&P Property Management CompanyAdjustable bed base having vibrating motor in pocket
US8500663 *Nov 6, 2009Aug 6, 2013Health E CompanyVibrating massage roller utilizing a plurality of supports and eccentric weights
US20100113992 *Nov 6, 2009May 6, 2010Brian P. GodfreyVibrating Massage Roller Utilizing a Plurality of Supports and Eccentric Weights
US20110010860 *Jan 20, 2011L&P Property Management CompanyAdjustable Bed Base Having Vibrating Motor In Pocket
DE1133858B *Mar 6, 1958Jul 26, 1962Owen Kenneth MurphyTherapeutisches Kissen mit einem eine vibrierende Bewegungsenergie uebertragenden Motor
EP1222904A1 *Dec 18, 2001Jul 17, 2002Thomas BrandstätterApparatus for preventing snoring
U.S. Classification601/57, 601/70, D24/215
International ClassificationA61H23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H23/0263
European ClassificationA61H23/02R2