US 2861278 A
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Nov. 25, 1958 YOUNG 2,861,278
BODY CONTOUR CONFORMING AND SUPPORT ING DEVICE Filed May 27, 1957 MODESTO P Pou/va o I/VVENTOR I HUEBNER, BEEHLERXWORREL .4 TTORNEVS United tates. Patfi l O BODY CONTOUR CONFORMING AND SUPPORTING DEVICE Modesto P. Young, Fresno, Calif.
Application May 27, 1957, Serial No. 661,772
' 9 Claims. c1. 5-317 The present invention pertains to a body supporting device and more particularly to such a supporting device adapted to conform to the contour of a body overlaying the device so as to provide positive support for concavities of the body. 7
.The present application is a continuation-in-part of my prior copending application S. N. 569,366 filed March 5 1956, for Mattress Support, now abandoned.
. It is important that all parts of the body receive adequate support when sleeping, resting, or otherwise reclining. This is especially true for the natural concavities or arches of the back. Stuffed and inner spring mattresses frequently fail to provide sufiiciently uniform support' throughout although possessing limited resilient compressibility. More recently, advances have been'made in solving the described problem by the provision of foam rubber mattresses. However, even when lying on one of these mattresses, on ones back forexample, the mattress does not fill inor positively arch up into the cavity of the back to provide support therefor. On the other hand those portions of the body which protrude, such as the posterior, depress the mattress and cause the, latter to exert an upward reactive force in support of the protruding portion." Probablythe back more than any other part of, the body needs this positive support. The subject invention isdesigned to aid a mattress in providing the desired support by forcing thev mattress to conform or arch'up into hollows of the body.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a body supporting device. 1 f Another object is to provide a body supporting device which conforms to body contour. ,Another object is to provide positive support for concave portions of the body when reclining. f Another object is to minimize back aches. v .Another object isto provide a mattress insert adapted to provide body support auxiliary to themattress. 'Another object is to provide an undulating device adapted to arch into body concavities incident to pressure of body protrusions on the device.
T Another object is to provide a body supporting device which conforms to surfaces on which 'it is supported without impairment of function. Another object is to provide a-device of the nature described which can be made indifferent sizes in accordance with variousbody sizes and further to accom modate one or more persons independently of each other. 1, 'Another object is to provide a body supporting deviceadapted for use under a variety ofmattresses Another object is toprovide a body supporting device adapted for releasable insertion between a mattress and a mattress support which does not impair ventilation through the mattress. Other objects are to provide a body. supporting and contour conforming device which is economical, lightweight, durable, dependable in operafi fi and simple to construct and use.
These together with other objects will become more 2,861,278 Patented Nov. 2s,f1s5s fully apparent upon reference to the following description and accompanying drawing. In the drawing: Fig. 1 is a side elevation, partially in cross section, of a bed including a mattress and a mattress support; a person reclining on the'mattress, and a body contour conforming and supporting device of the present invention interposed the mattress and the mattress support and illus-, trating the action of the device in use.
Fig. 2 is a somewhat enlarged, perspective of the bod contour conforming and supporting device. Fig. 3 is a somewhat enlarged cross-section taken 0 line 33 of Fig. 2. I Referring more particularly to the drawing, a con'- ventional bed is generally indicated by numeral 10'. The bed is shown as including spaced parallel head and foot posts 11 and rigidly interconnected by a horizontal frame -13. Asubstantially rectangular mattress supporting box 14 of springs, not specifically shown but well known in the art, is rested on the bed frame and provides a fir but resiliently depressible upper surface 15.
A substantially rectangular resiliently flexible and compressible mattress 20 of innersprings, foam rubber, or other type having resilient flexibility and compressibility, is supported on the box 14 of springs in the usual manner. The mattress has a lower surface 21 contacting the upper surface 15 of the box and an upper body supporting surface 22.
For purposes of understanding the invention more clearly, a human body 28 is shown in Fig. 1, rested on the upper surface 22 of the mattress 20 longitudinally thereof. So as to provide convenient basis for later reference, it is to be noted that the head 29, the shoulders 30, the inwardly concave back 31, the outwardly convex posterior 32, and the legs 33 of the body are shown.
A body contour conforming and supporting device as constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 40. The device includes a flexible, elongated, substantiallyrectangular,latticedbacking frame 41. The frame pro vid'es spaced parallel transversely extendedflat 'end frame members 42 of equal length and of resiliently flexible material,gand a plurality of transversely spaced-parallel; longitudinally extended inner and outer flat frame members 43 of resiliently flexible material and having opposite ends 44 and 45 underlying and rigidly connectedby rivets 46 to the end frame members 42. Inaddition, the frame includes a plurality of intermediate, longitudinally spaced, parallel, transversely extended, flat frame members '48 of resiliently flexible material having opposite ends'49 and 50 overlaying and rigidly connected tothe' outermost lo'n gitudinal frame members betweenand parallel to the end members; The intermediate and end frame members are also of substantially equal length. It is to be noted that: the intermediate transverse'frame members extend under? the intermediate longitudinal frame members and are not connected thereto. The longitudinal frame members de-i fine the length of the frame, and the transverse frame members define the width of the frame, as will be evident. A plurality'of flat, elongated, resiliently flexible, body contouring leaves :offixed, substantially equal length to bow upwardly in the middle away. from: 'theflfraine members. This rigid connection further insures that the ends; of the leaves are. held against movement-longitudinally of'the frame.
"The leaves 55'have very little longitudihalrigidity or,
stated otherwise, have considerable longitudinal flexibility'.., This ,flexibility is sufficient: to permit... longitudinal undulating movement of. the. leavesll toward. and: away from their respectively longitudinal frame..members 43 incident to application offorces, indicated at 60 and-Q61, di'rectedj'substautially perpendicularlyagainst the leaves. at longitudinally spacedpositions.therealongt. Inthis re-. spect the-leavesare. to be contrasted; with. so called spring slats;or. strips of the prior, art,. usually of wood, which have considerable longitudinal rigidity andlimitedflexihility., Such slats are knownofortheirspringing action when held inupwardly arched positionandallowed.to. straighten and bow resiliently under pressure t-herebyto give cushioned support. The leaves of .the:subj ect invention. are not intended to function: asspringsand: haverno apreciable springing, action. They function. as and: are principallyintended. to. be body contour conforming membersj The characteristics of. the material ofwhich. the frame 41 and...particularly the leaves .55. are constructed. are important inachieving,theundulating, bodycontour conforming action described. The material must becapable of..the. described flexibility but also must have sufficient rigidity to becapableof body support in. the upwardly arched positions of the leaves, for example; The material. is' not elastic, and it must not crease or crack-incident to the.,undulating movement. It has been found that the frame members 42, 43 and 48, and the leaves 55 canv be cut from sheets of a laminated plastic consisting; of a phenolicresin and paper, and of. slightly less than onesixteenth of an inch thick. It is to be understood, that these specifications of material and dimension are. not limiting but merely in aid of obtaining a,. fuller understanding of the invention.
Operation The operation of the described embodiment of the presentinventionis believed to bereadily apparent and is briefly summarized at this point. The body contour-com forming. and supporting device 40 is adapted-to be releas ably inserted between the boxed springs '14- and the mat-- tress .20. with the. frame 41 rested against and conforming torthe-upper surface and with-the leaves 55 upwardlybowed. into slidable engagement with the lower surface 21 of; the'mattress. The device is positioned longitudi nallyof therbed 10. Preferably, the width of the-frame is; slightly greater than the widthof thesleeping or recliningmea. of the body 28. The length,: on the otherhand, is.-less1than the length of the body and thus-the length of. the'reclining area. For example, a commercial'ema bodiment ofthe invention has a frame length of approximately forty-five inches and a frame-widthofapproxh mately twenty-nine inches. Parenthetically, this commercial embodiment has leaves 55 which are approximately forty-five and one-half inches long. In relation to the human body, the frame length is approximately equal to the distance from the shoulders to the calf area of the legs 33. Naturally, these dimensions maybe varied depending on the size of the person using thedevice.
After the device is positioned between-the mattress ZOand. the boxed springs 14 in generally the upper portiorrrof the sleeping or reclining area, as shown in Fig; l, a'zpersonZS may recline on the upper surface ZZ 'of the mattress: in the usual manner.- The downwardly convexed posterior 32 depresses the mattress downwardly againstthe leaves. 55. Since the posterior is generally above the lower; part of the device, with respect to the-length of the bed. v10, the lower portions of the leaves, again with re= spect to the .bed length, contact their respective longitudinal; frame members 43. However, this causes the leaves t'o undulate upwardly into engagement with the mattress andrspecificallycauses the upper'portions; with respect to th'e length of the'bed m; of theleaves to b'ow upwardly against the mattress to cause it to flex upwardly into the arch of the b'ack'31 to provide support therefor. Because of the provision of the frame members 43 underneath the leaves, the latter are compelled to bow upwardly into areas of the least downward force or resistance. Any combination of downwardly directed force are distributed throughout the length ofthe-leaves and converted to upwardly directed arches at positions spaced longitudinally of the forces. Assuch, the leaves conform to thecontour of the body 28.
Although the-device. 40 is shown under a mattress 20 of a bed 10 it could be employed under other body supporting members, as on achaise lounge, sofa-or. the like, or even used directly to support a body 23 in contact therewith. Not only does the frame 41 enable the undulating action of the leaves 55, but further, it is suificiently flexible to conform to the surface, as 15, on which it is supported. ln. ,addition..its open. construction. does; not inhibit ventilation usually, important l in environments. of. thisnatu're. v i FronLthe, foregoing; it,. will; be.evident that ahighly, eifective body contour conforming andnsupportingdevice. has beenprovided. I The. undulating; leaves. proyidesupport especially forinwardly concave portionsQof. thebody. which so frequentlyfailto. achieveproper. support from conventional mattresses. andv other. body supporting members. Accordingly mattresses-and thelike, with whichit is usedare, ablemoreeifectively to perform. their intended function..,. 1
Although the. ,iiiventiou has. been, herein. shown. and. descrihedinwhatis. conceived tobe. the most practical; and preferredembodiment,.itis recognized that, departures. may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, whichis not to be limited to thedetails disclosedherein but is... to beaccordedfthe full: scope ofthe claims so as. to embrace any and. all equivalentdevices. and apparatus.
Havingdescribed. myinvention, what .I claim as news and desire .to secure by Letters Patentis:
1. In. a .body contour conforming. and supporting dee. vice, an..elo.ngated'. resiliently flexible, flat backing member. of. predetermined; length having opposite. endsand. an. elongatedfiatfhighly flexible body contouring member. of
, sheet materialfhavingga. fixedlength .greaterthamthe. le'ngthlof and positioned over the backingmemberand having opposite ends rigidly connected to the -.opposite. ends of the backing member so as to be curvediupwardly from the backing member, the ends of the contouring member being rigidly heldagainst movement longitudinally of "the backing member, the contouringmember havingappreciable longitudinal flexibility 'facilitatinglongitudinal undulatingimovementthereof toward and "away from the backing member incident to application of 'force on the contouring member moving it toward the backing memher,ithere being sufficient flexibilityin the.contour-. ing member 1 such that the contouring member. exerts negligible-reactive forceiin opposition to. said force moving the contouring memberptoward the backing; member.-
2. The body contourforming' and supporting device of claim '1 whereinthe contouring member is made ofxthin plastic sheet material.
3. The body contour conformingand supporting device of'claim-l wherein the. contouring member. is made of plastic sheet material of approximately one-sixteenth of an 'inch thick-and has a length extended over approxi mate-1y; one-halfthe length ofabody lying. on the. device.
4. The body contour conforming and 'snpportin'gdevice of clairirl whereimthe contouring member is made, of alaminated'plastie'sheet including, lamina of phenolic resinand-paper and is" approximately one-sixteenth of an iiichinthickness;
53 A body contour conforming and supporting device comprising an elongatedresili'entlvflexible backing means of prede'terminedlength ,having opposite ends,'.and a plurality of spaced substantially parallel elongated fiat substantially flexible body contouring members of thin sheet material and of fixed lengths greater than the length of the backing means positioned over the backing means and having opposite ends rigidly connected to the opposite ends of the backing means so as to be upwardly arched from the backing means, the ends of the contouring members being rigidly held against movement longitudinally of the backing means, each of the contouring members having a longitudinal flexibility equivalent to the longitudinal flexibility of an elongated laminated plastic sheet including lamina of phenolic resin and paper having a thickness of one-sixteenth of an inch and a length of forty-five inches so as to enable relatively unrestricted longitudinal undulating movement of the contouring members toward and away from the backing means incident to movement of the respective contouring member toward the backing means at longitudinally spaced positions therealong.
6. A body contour conforming and supporting device comprising a pair of spaced end members, a plurality of laterally spaced parallel elongated resiliently flexible flat backing members of predetermined lengths having opposite ends respectively rigidly connected to the end members, and a plurality of laterally spaced substantially parallel, thin elongated flat appreciably flexible body contouring members of fixed lengths greater than the lengths of the backing members individually positioned over the backing members and having opposite ends rigidly connected to the opposite ends of the backing members so as to be upwardly bowed from their respective backing members, the ends of the contouring members being rigidly eld against movement longitudinally of their respective backing member, each of the contouring members having a longitudinal flexibility approximately the same as the longitudinal flexibility of an elongated strip of laminated plastic including lamina of phenolic resin and paper and having a thickness of approximately one-sixteenth of an inch and a length of approximately forty-five and one-half inches so as to enable free longitudinal undulating movement of the contouring members toward and away from their respective backing member incident to movement of the respective contouring member toward its backing member at longitudinally spaced positions therealong, said longitudinal flexibility being such that each contouring member offers negligible resistance to a force tending to move the contouring member toward its respective backing member.
7. In combination with a mattress support having an upper surface, and a resiliently flexible and compressible mattress having a lower surface rested on the upper surface of the mattress support and an upper surface adapted to support the human body longitudinally thereof; a body contour conforming and supporting device releasably inserted between the mattress and the mattress support comprising an elongated substantially rectangular latticed frame disposed longitudinally on the mattress support, longitudinally spaced parallel flat end frame members of resiliently flexible material, a plurality of transversely spaced parallel longitudinally extended flat frame members of resiliently flexible material rigidly connected at opposite ends to the end members, and a plurality of intermediate longitudinally spaced parallel transversely extended flat frame members of resiliently flexible material rigidly connected at opposite ends to the outermost longitudinal frame members between the end members; and a plurality of flat elongated thin highly flexible body contouring leaves of sheet material and of fixed substantially equal length greater than the length of the frame individually positioned over the longitudinal frame members having opposite ends rigidly connected to the end frame members so that the leaves are upwardly bowed from the frame into depressing slidable engagement with the lower surface of the mattress and the ends of the leaves are rigidly held against movement longitudinally of the frame, the leaves having little longitudinal rigidity and appreciable longicavity in said body so that the upper surface of the mattress conforms to contour of the body.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein the length of the latticed frame is substantially one-half the length of such human body and is positioned generally centrally of the mattress in spaced relation to the opposite ends thereof.
9. In combination with a mattress support having a substantially flat resiliently depressible upper surface, and a substantially rectangular resiliently flexible and compressible mattress having a lower surface rested on the upper surface of the mattress support and an upper surface adapted to support the human body longitudinally thereof and in a predetermined area of predetermined length and width; a body contour conforming and supporting device releasably inserted between the mattress and the mattress support comprising an elongated substantially rectangular latticed frame rested on the mattress support below said predetermined area and disposed longitudinally of the mattress having a width greater than said predetermined width and a length less than said predetermined lengthlongitudinally spaced parallel flat end frame members of resiliently flexible material, a plurality of transversely spaced parallel longitudinally extended flat frame members of resiliently flexible material rigidly connected at opposite ends to the end members, and a plurality of intermediate longitudinally spaced parallel transversely extended flat frame members of resiliently flexible material rigidly connected at opposite ends to the outermost longitudinal frame members between the end members,
the intermediate transverse frame members underlaying and being unconnected to the intermediate longitudinal frame members; and a plurality of flat elongated highly flexible body contouring leaves of fixed substantially equal length greater than the length of the frame and of thin plastic sheet material individually positioned over the longitudinal frame members having opposite ends rigidly conected to the end frame members so that the leaves are upwardly bowed from the frame into depressing slidable engagement with the lower surface of the mattress and the ends of the leaves are rigidly held against movement longitudinally of the frame, the leaves having little longitudinal rigidity and appreciable longitudinal flexibility so that longitudinally spaced portions thereof are alternately upwardly bowed incident to depression of other portions longitudinally spaced from the bowed portions whereby when a portion of a leaf is depressed into flat engagement with its associated longitudinal frame member by a convex part of a body rested on the mattress, another portion of said leaf longitudinally spaced from the depressed portion rises into engagement with the mattress to force its upper surface into a concavity in said body so that the upper surface of the mattress conforms to the contour of the body.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 174,062 Carter Feb. 29, 1876 276,901 Seely May 1, 1883 540,194 Ryan May 28, 1895 2,302,514 Atkinson Nov. 17, 1942 2,414,978 Richardson Jan. 28, 1947' 2,545,310 Rosberger Mar. 13, 1951