US 2728926 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. M. EMERY Jan. 3, 1956 PILLOWS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 10, 1955 IN VEN TOR.
W. M. EMERY Jan. 3, 1956 PILLOWS Filed Feb 10, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
United States Patent.
PILLOWS William M. Emery, New Providence, N. J. Application February 10, 1953, Serial No. 336,121
15 Claims. (Cl. -338) My present invention, like my copending application No. 290,060 of May 26, 1952, now abandoned, relates to a head pillow.
An object of my invention is to provide a tropical or summer pillow using a novel principle for cooling a sleeper including a heat exchanging transfer liquid media to continuously remove heat relatively rapidly from a relatively small area of the body of a sleeper by conduction and to dissipate said heat at a reduced rate but through a much larger area from said media by radiation to the atmosphere, the operating temperature of the heat exchange media being cooler than body temperature but warmer than the atmosphere.
An object of my invention is to provide a tropical pillow for Warm weather comfort by means of utilizing the fact that water even at room temperature such as 70 to 80 F., if brought into good conductive contact with the human body will have an appreciative cooling eflect thereon, by providing a pillow filled in part with water and in part with lightly compressed air, the latter providing resiliency essential for comfort.
Another object is to provide a cooling device for the human body which normally is effective without alternate refrigeration or ice insertion due to its thermal capacity and conductivity, and radiation therefrom.
Another object of my invention is to provide a pillow suitable for encouraging the relaxation of supine sleepers by supporting the head chiefly from the nape and adjoining portion of the back of the head and also by providing a cradle for the head with lateral side walls ad jacent to the head which tend to keep the neck of the supine sleeper substantially straight, normal to the shoulders and unkinked even after the neck muscles are fully relaxed. Another object is to provide a design which utilizes said lateral side walls of said cradles as part of plateau located on either side of the cradle and of suflicient height and supporting capacity to support the head of a side sleeper at a height that keeps the neck of the side sleeper substantially straight, level and free from kinks, this head height being materially higher than the head of a supine sleeper when resting in the cradle section of the pillow. Another object is to provide nosenotches and breathing apertures for prone or stomach sleepers. Another object is to provide a pillow adjustable as to height to suit sleepers of varying sizes and habits and a pillow having various heights and portions especially suitable for sleepers who shift between supine, prone and side-sleeping postures. A further object is to provide resilient lateral pressure to steady the head against side rolling or neck bending.
Other objects will be apperceived from the following description, claims, and the accompanying illustrative drawings in which,
Fig. l is a plan view of an uninflated pillow, I
Fig. 2 is a plan view of the pillow of Fig. 1 when inflated,
Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic section illustrative of the pillow contour along line 3-3 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is similar to Fig. 3, but taken along 4-4 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 5 is similar to Fig. 3, but taken along line 5-5 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 6 is similar to Fig. 3, but taken along line 6-6 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 7 is similar to Fig. 3, but taken along line 7-7 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 8 is a bottom view of Fig. 2.
Fig.9isaside or end view of Fig. 2.
Fig. 10 is a letter E oriented parallel with Fig. 2 to illustrate the geometric similarity between the head supporting areas of the pillow and said letter E,
Fig. 11 shows typical structural details and is not to scale. It may be considered as section taken along the beginning of the left end of line 44.
Fig. 12 shows a self-sealing valving means which may be used in an alternate construction. 1
The embodiments shown in the drawings are inflatabies using air or air and liquids but my invention is not necessarily limited to filling with such fluids, but includes filling the casing with any conventional pillow filling material including sponge or foam rubber either cast, out or shredded.
Any inflatable pillow can be stuffed with shredded material or feathers without departing from its inflated shape.
Likewise foam rubber can be cast to practically any shape that can be assumed by an inflatable pillow when inflated, but practically no non-inflatable pillow would retain its prescribed shape if its covering was made nonporous and it was inflated, without completely altering its design and construction.
Comparison of Figs. 1 and 2 show that the bottom edge 18 is curved in Fig. l, but becomes straight when inflated. Also the angles of gusset seals 13 and 13' change. Changes such as these and others illustrated are difficult to predict or describe. Even more diflicult to predict from the flat plan, is what the comparative load carrying capacity or hardness of the various sections will be when inflated. Generally it would appear that the load carrying capacity of a section varies within a range between the second and third powers of the perimeter of the section. This often provides a rather incomprehensible and hard to believe result.
Figs. 2 to 9 illustrate my invention as if the pillow were pressurized with liquid and gas or gas alone. This is not necessarily so when in use. When not fully in flared, the portion supporting the head or under primary loading varies in height or elevation according to the inflation. Because of its softness, it easily conforms to the shape of the portion of the body which it supports. The liquid and/or gas displaced by the load immediately passes to the non-loaded sections and they become fully inflated and increasingly hard.
Figs. 8, 9, and 11 show a top and bottom sheet of vinyl plastic identified as 14 and 14' respectively. These are identical and heat sealed together at 16 to form a pneumatic and/or hydraulic casing. Fig. 11 at 16 show-s the shrunken or compressed or fused wall of typical heatseals and also shows gusset heat seal typical of 13 and 13' (Figs. 1 and 2) of gussets 17 and 17' (Figs. 3, 4 and ll).
Referring to Fig. 2, the pillow is substantially symmetrical about its vertical center line 6-6, like the letter E of Fig. 10. Two side sleeping plateaus 40 and 4d are interconnected by nape roll 20 which is extended toward tuft 19 by tapered nape extension 21. The three fingers 22 and 23 and 23' have practically no load carrying capacity and in fact are usually out of contact with the heady of a supine sleeper. In Fig. 10 portions numbered 140, 140', and 121 are considered equivalent to the portions 40, 40' 20 and 21 respectively just de:
Patented Jan. 3, 1956 I scribed and constitute the usable load carrying sections of my pillow.
A cradle generally indicated as 25 is formed by inner side walls 41 and 41' of plateaus 4i) and 40' respectively and nape roll and extension 21. The tapering cross section of a rapidly lessening load carrying capacity of extension 21 is defined by the proportions and location of the nose notches or ventilator holes 26 and 26. These also help to determine the contour of the plateau side walls 41. and 41', and it may be said that plateaus ll and 48" are separated from extension 21 and the nape roll 20 by holes 26 and 26. A webbing or diaphragm 27 interconnects 41 and 41 with 21 pneumatically and physically. The tufts 19, 23 and 2 restrict the inflated height of the diaphragm 27. The diaphragm includes fingers 22, 23 and 23. It will be noted that points 2? and 29' of holes 26 and in Fig. i are separated materially further than in Fig. 2. Thus if diaphragm 27 was non-fillable it would hang slack when the pillow was filled. Fingers 22, 23 and 23' take up this slack and add to the pneumatic resiliency which tends to bring walls 41 and 41 together and position them thereafter. When the pillow is filled, walls 4i and dl bounding the cradle are quite close to the head of the supine sleeper and support the head laterally chiefly by contact just above the ears, not only because of the proximity of walls 41 and 41 and their normal surface resiliency but because of the bodily or locational resiliency of plateaus ll and 41 with respect to each other and also because of resiliency due to the liquid or gaseous filling of the diaphragm fingers 22, 23 and 23' just described. The holes 26 and 26 are so proportioned and located that the nape roll 26 and the walls 41 and 41' are countersunk or otherwise shaped to avoid uncomfortable pillow pressure against the ears of the supine sleeper while providing the lateral support described above the ears against head rolling. This requires nicety of ingenuity and is a novel feature of my invention which is essential to the comfort of the supine sleeper.
The support of the head of a supine sleeper by nape roll 28 with its extension 21 is definitely relaxing and sleep producing. However, it would be difiicult to so position the head or to balance it on extension 21 unless the pillow also provided close cradle walls such as 41 and 41 to position the head so that the nape would rest on the extension 231. The ventilation through holes 26 and 26 is particularly effective because of the space around the ears and because of the limited contact area of extension 21 beneath the head.
Although, as shown in Fig. 8, the unloaded and fully inflated height of nape roll 2b is very similar to the height of plateau and 4% the head of the supine sleeper is supported usually about one inch or less from the mattress by 2% and 21 whereas the face of the side sleeper is usually supported about 3 to 4 inches above the mattress by as and 4b. This is because the load supporting capacity of 29 is much less than that of 40 and because the area of the neck which is impressed into 2i) is so much less than the area of the side face resting on plateau 4t and also because leverage of the fulcrum provided by the heavy shoulders adjacent to the nape roll 29.
These final head heights are essential for the comfort of the sleeper. But the housewife, in making the bed, requires the bottom edge 18 of the pillow be straight and of uniform height so that when covered with a counterpane, the pillow will look conventional. This provides a paradox of structural and functional requirements which called for considerable ingenuity to satisfy.
To meet these requirements with respect to the side sleeping plateaus 40 and 40' the minimum perimeter of the plateau is much greater than nape roll 20 thereby providing load carrying capacity probably equal to the second or third power of the respective perimeters. This perimeter of all would result in an excessive height for the side sleeping plateaus 40- and 4% except for the gussets 17 and 17" which limit the height of 40 and 49 and flatten them, without reducing their load carrying capacity.
Nose notches 42 and 42 are provided in the pillow ends or edges.
In use my pillow provides comfort for the supine sleeper, who has his head in the cradle 25, supported by nape roll 20 and extension 21 at a height dependent upon the air pressure, and cradled against side rolling or neck kinking by cradle side walls. If the sleeper chooses to roll onto his right or left side, his check will automatically find higher support suitable for side sleeping. This shift from supine to side posture and automatic shift from cradle 25 to plateau 40 or 40' is similar to the rolling action between two gears. Now, if the roll of the sleeper is continued into a prone or stomach sleeping posture, the nose of the sleeper will automatically arrive approximately at nose notch 42 or 42.
Some prone sleepers prefer to use the holes 26 as nosenotches and they find them quite satisfactory for this purpose.
The pillow is initially heat-sealed at in (see Fig. 1), all around except for one very small opening. Then by means of a suitable nozzle or hollow needle a quantity of liquid 56) is injected between top and bottom sheets 14 and 14 and thereafter a quantity of gas $1 is inserted and then the small opening is finally closed hermetically, completing the seal. Any suitable liquid may be used such as water and any suitable gas may be used such as air except that certain heavy inert gases may have advantages insofar as they may be less likely to leak or oxidize the sheets will and 4%.
An alternate method of filling or varying the liquid and air content of the pillow while maintaining a substantially permanent seal is shown in Fig 12 where a vinyl tube 63 is sealed at 61 to sheet 14 and a cartridge 63 containing self-sealing rubber 62 under compression closes tube 6%. Now rubber 62 is of a type that can be pierced by hypodermic needles and will seal when the needle is withdrawn.
By using hypodermic needles or the like as nozzles the pillow can thus be filled, emptied or the pressure varied.
The exact proportions of the liquid and gas and their temperature would of course vary through a range of practicality according to weather conditions and taste of the user or the discretion of an attending physician if used for physical therapy. Taking an example within the range, suppose the pillow were filled one third full of water (about 6 quarts) at a temperature of 70 F, then the pillow would still be 23 F. cooler than the human skin. Now the atmosphere at 70 does not feel cool to the skin, because conductivity through air is relatively slow, but if the neck were impressed into the nape roll 29 or extension 21 until the plastic sheet directly thereunder closely conformed to the neck and contacted the liquid 50 (shown only in Figs. 4 and ll) then at 70 F. the liquid would feel cool to cold. On the other hand if the cheek rested on plateau 40, Fig. 4, where there would be gas or air iilled space 51 between liquid 50 and sheet 14 of plateau 40 then sheet 14- of plateau 443 would feel less cool to the cheek than the nape roll 2;; did to the neck when it was impressed therein. But both 2% and 48 would still feel cool and would stay cool unlike a conventional pillow which almost at once feels hot on a hot night. The liquid 50 tends to air condition gas 51 and maintain it at a suitable temperature, especially because of the inevitable moist nature of the inner walls of sheets i4 and 14" and the inevitable high humidity of 51.
If the cooling liquid is initially at room temperature and said temperature is appreciably less than that of the human body, then if the neck is impressed into the liquid throughout the night and cooled thereby, the liquid would be expected to gradually continue to increase in temperature, but if and as it did so it would be warmer than the atmosphere and accordingly the liquid if sufficiently spread out would radiate such additional heat back into the atmosphere, thereby preventing any material increase in the temperature of the liquid within the pillow. In other words my pillow provides a structure favorable to a continuous cycle under most livable conditions wherein the liquid acts only as a distributing or transfer agent taking heat from the neck or some other part of the body and radiating it to the atmosphere more rapidly than said portion of the body could radiate heat to the atmosphere if it were exposed thereto by itself. Note that the area of the sheeting 14 in contact with the liquid plus the surface area of the liquid in contact with gas 51 is much greater than the area of the neck below the surface of the liquid.
Since a certain amount of gas is necessary to provide sufiicient resiliency for comfort I consider that 60% liquid to be the maximum ratio of liquid to total volume that would be desirable in my present embodiment. Since a minimum amount of liquid will often suifice where its temperature is lowered or the weather is not hot probably would probably be a minimum that would have an appreciable effect.
The cooling effect of the liquid may be varied somewhat according to whether the head rests directly on the sheeting or whether a pillow case or other covering is used therebetween, because, as pointed out, the sensation of coolness tends to be due to speed of conductivity rather than temperature differentiation.
While the temperature of the liquid may be lowered by placing the pillow in a refrigerator, or a tub of spring water, this is unnecessary in most American homes where there are spots such as floors, basements, bathrooms, etc. where the average temperature seldom exceeds 70 to 75 F. The floor is usually cooler than 3 to 5 ft. above the floor. If a pillow is kept in such a place a suitable temperature can be conveniently maintained without refrigeration or changing the liquid in the pillow. It is a basic purpose fully met'by my invention to provide a cooling device or bag in the form of a pillow that does not need to be chilled in a refrigerator nor filled with ice water or the like nor to have the water frequently changed in order for the device to effectively cool the head and neck of the user.
Because of the relatively high conductivity from liquid to nape and because of the nape temperature of 93 to 98 F, a suificient temperature differential is provided even if the liquid temperature is 80 to 85 F. to produce a cooling effect in contrast to the hot sensation of a conventional pillow which by its nature is a wonderful insulator which practically prevents appreciable cooling of the skin it contacts and because of its softness such a pillow contacts a much larger skin area than my pillow.
My pillow is also advantageous for headaches, to reduce fever, and as a substitute for an ice bag with this difference. First, it is comfortable, secondly, the extremely low temperatures common to ice bags are not necessary. The low temperatures of ice bags 34 F. may be dangerous if continuously applied whereas my pillow is used at a temperature range not uncommon for swimming such as 50 to 85 F. The human body is more accustomed to these temperatures which are particularly desirable and suitable for use with my invention.
The cooling of the nape I have found to be relaxing and soporific and conducive to reducing mental activities and stimuli which resist sleep.
Accordingly, the liquid cooling of my pillow is advantageous for warm weather and tropical use, but is also beneficial for inviting sleep and is thus in harmony and advantageous conjunction with the physical design features of my pillow which also encourage relaxation and comfort and also invite sleep. The combination of these two approaches to the sleep and relaxation problem in a single unit produces sleep olftimes when neither one by itself would be sufficient. Sleep is one of those states which is absolute, almost asleep or half asleep are not enough.
It is to be appreciated that gussets 13, and webbing 2'7 with associated elements constitute the means forming one type of channel extending from and to the bottom cylindrical part or other part of the pillow whereby warmed water will seek a higher level when the neck or other .part is resting on the cylindrical pressing said portion into the water.
It is to be understood that the term head portion as used herein means the head, neck and parts of the shoulders adjacent the neck.
1. A pillow, including top and bottom sheets joined together to form an enclosure to confine a suitable gaseous medium to resiliently space said sheets apart, the joining of said sheets together being such as to provide a pillow substantially E-shaped in plan when said sheets are resiliently spaced apart and thereby providing two longer outer arms, a shorter intermediate arm and a generally cylindrical appearing portion interconnecting said arms to form one edge of the pillow, the free ends of said arms of said E being webbed together and said longer outer arms being separated from the intermediate arm by joining said top and bottom sheets adjacent to the cylindrical appearing portion and between the shorter arm and each of the longer arms respectively.
2. A pillow as set forth in claim 1 wherein the maximum spacing apart of said top and bottom sheets in the long arms and said cylindrical appearing portion is approximately the same.
3. A pillow as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shorter intermediate arm is diminishingly tapered from its juncture with the cylindrical appearing portion.
4. A head pillow comprised of a roll-like portion forming one edge of the pillow and three arms disposed substantially normal thereto and extending in the same direction therefrom, the outer two of said three arms being wider and longer than the intermediate arm, and said intermediate arm being diminishingly tapered from its juncture with the roll-like portion.
5. A head pillow comprised of a roll-like portion forming one edge of the pillow and three arms disposed substantially normal thereto and extending therefrom in the same direction in the manner of a letter E and, the two outer arms of the E being horizontally broader in a direction parallel to the axis of said roll like portion, than the intermediate arm.
6. A head supporting pillow comprising a roll-like portion forming one edge of the pillow and three arm portio'ns extending therefrom, said pillow being formed substantially in the manner of the letter E, and vent holes on each side of the intermediate one of the three arm portions and adjacent to said roll-like portion and lower part of each of the outer arms respectively.
1 7. A'multi-purpose pillow for providing support to the head of a person sleeping on his back or on either side comprised of a nape roll part and two side sleeping plateau parts, said nape roll part extending between and connecting'bottom corners of said plateau parts, said nape roll part and said plateau parts having their bottom edges in substantial alignment, said nape roll part and said plateau parts being so constructed and arranged that when the head of a back sleeper is properly positioned in relation to said nape roll part, the sides of the head will receive support from the adjacent edge portions of said plateau parts, and said plateau parts being of such height that, in cooperation with said aligned bottom edges, it is possible for a sleeper to roll to either side sleeping position without longitudinal shifting of the sleeper and to obtain support for the head at an elevation which is suitable for side sleeping.
8. A multi-purpose pillow for providing support to the head of a person sleeping on his back or on either side comprised of two sheets hermetically sealed together about their peripheries and internally in such a manner as to produce when inflated a nape roll section and two side sleeping plateau sections, said nape roll section extending between and connecting bottom corners of said plateau sections, said nape roll sections and said plateau sections having their bottom edges in substantial alignment, and said plateau sections being flattened by means of ties conmeeting said two sheets locally to restrain forces OIh I'-' portion and dewisetending to cause continuous bulbous contours after inflation.
9. An inflated pillow formed from two generally rectangular-shaped flexible sheets hermetically sealed together comprised of two mounds which are suitable in area, height, and flatness for the comfortable support of the side of the face of a side sleeper, ties interconnecting said sheets at the location of said mounds in such a manner that said flatness is provided, a nape roll joining. the inner bottom parts of said mounds together, and the portions of said sheets between the upper parts said mounds being so sealed and said roll and said mounds being so formed as to provide a cradle structure for the head when the back of the head is positioned between said mounds whereby side rolling of the head is limited when so positioned.
19. An inflatable pillow which is adapted when inflated to support the neck and to cradle the head of a supine sleeper and which is also adapted to support the side of the head of a sleeper when sleeping on either the right or left side, said pillow being comprised of two generally rectangular-shaped sheets of thin flexible material hermetically joined together at the peripheral edges thereof; said sheets having the upper central portions thereof connected by seals inwardly of the peripheral edge in such a manner that a nape roll is formed inwardly of the central bottom peripheral edge and two side sections for supporting the head of a side sleeper are formed between respective sides of said peripheral edges and said central seals and the ends of said roll when said pillow is inflated; said upper central seals also being arranged so that the upper central part of said pillow is appreciably less thick, when said pillow is inflated, than said nape roll and the two side sections of said pillow; the portions of said sheets forming said sections being centrally connected by tie ribs in such a manner that said side sections are flattened when said pillow is inflated whereby two side sleeping mounds are provided.
1 1. The inflatable pillow according to claim and further including, the feature that, when said pillow is inflated, said upper central seals are arranged so that a short conical formation extends centrally from said nape roll and between the lower sides of said side sections whereby said nape roll and said conical formation provide support for the neck and the adjacent part of the head and whereby a generally E-shaped inflated pillow is provided.
12. An inflatable head pillow comprised of two generally rectangular-shaped sheets, each having two short sides and'two long sides, of thin flexible material which are sealed together at the peripheral edges and are further sealed together interiorly of said peripheral edges by internal sealings; said internal sealings being so arranged that, when said pillow in inflated, said pillow is restrained inwardly of the central portion of the upper of said longer edges from being inflated to less than half the height of the remainder of said pillow whereby a depressed upper central part is formed; said internal sealings being further arranged so that the lower central part of said pillow forms a short generally-cylindrical neck roll when said pillow is inflated; and the two side portions of said sheets extending outwardly from said depressed upper central part and from the ends of said short neck roll to each of said two short sides being restrained inside of said pillow by tie ribs of such construction that, when said pillow is inflated, said restrained side portions of said pillow form two flattened side mounds adapted to support the head of a side sleeper and having a height about equal to the height of said neck roll whereby two side sleeping mounds and a neck support and a head cradle for the back sleeper, areprovided.
1-3 An inflated pillow for providing support to the head of a person sleeping on his back or on either side comprisedof a nape roll part about the width of a persons head and two'- side sleeping plateau parts, said nape rollpa-rt extending between and connected to the bottom interior corners of said plateau parts, said nape roll part 8 and said plateau parts having their bottom edges in substantial alignment; the top interior corners of said plateaux being connected by webbing, and said pillow having said parts and said webbing being formed by generally rectangular shaped portions of thin flexible material which are sealed together.
14. An inflatable pillow which is adapted when inflated to support the neck and to cradle the head of a supine sleeper and which is adapted to support the side of the head of a sleeper when sleeping on either his right or left side at a higher elevation than the back of the head when sleeping in a supine manner, said pillow being comprised of two generally rectangular-shaped portions of flat, flexible non-porous sheet material, said portions being hermetically joined at the peripheral edges thereof, said portions of sheet material being further sealed interiorly of the peripheral edges to form when inflated wide plateaux at both ends of said rectangular-shaped portions of sheet material,- the' width and cross section of said plateaux when inflated being such as to support the weight of the head of a side sleeper with a minimum of deformation of said plateaus, said interior sealing of said portions of sheet material also being so arranged to form when said pillow is inflated a roll extending between said two plateaux and extending along one edge of said joined rectangular portions of sheets material, said roll having lesser width and cross section area than said plateaux when inflated but having substantially the same height as said plateaux whereby said neck roll will flatten and deform considerably under the weight of the neck and adjacent body parts of a supine sleeper although the original height, when inflated, of the plateau and the neck roll is substantially the same, said sheets also being joined by a plurality of sealings' between the interior edges of said plateau and between interior edge of said roll and the opposite central edge of said rectangular portions of sheet material, and said plurality of sealings being closely adjacent each other so that when the pillow is inflated the cross section area of said pillow between said plurality of sealings is much less than that of said plateaux and said roll so that portions of said pillow between said plurality of sealings have very little resistance to deformation and flattening under the weight of the head of a supine sleeper whereby a head cradle is formed between said plateaux and between the roll and the opposite side of said pillow when all portions of said pillow within the peripheral sealed edges are equally inflated.
l5'.- Aninflatable pillow comprised of two generally rectangular shaped sheets of thin flexible material hermetically joined together at the peripheral edges thereof, said sheets having the upper central portions thereof connectedby seals inwardly of the peripheral edges in such a manner that a roll is formedinwardly of the central bottomperiphera'l edges and two side sections are formed between the respective sides of said peripheral edges and the ends of said roll when said pillow is inflated; said upper central seals also being arranged so that the upper central part of said pillow is appreciably less thick, when said pillow is inflated, than said roll and the two side sections of said pillow, one portionof said sheets forming said sections beingconnected by the ribs in such a manner that said side sections are somewhat flattened when said pillow is inflated.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 773,828 Titus Nov. 1, 1904 2,167,622 Bentivoglio c Aug. 1, 1939 2,295,906 leacour s Sept. 15, 1942 2,522,120 Kaskey et ai Sept. 12, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS 302,608 Great Britain Dec. 13, 1928 414,131 reat Britain Aug. 2, 1934 439,936 Great Britain Dec. 17. 1935