US 2889624 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 9, 1959 F. MCDONALD 2, 8
CHILD'S SPOON Filed March 26, 195? kim-1M United States, Patent CHILDS SPOON Frederick H. McDonald, Berkley, Mich. Application March 26, 1957, Serial No. 648,535 1 Claim. (Cl. 30-324) This invention relates to eating instruments such as knives and forks and spoons, and particularly pertains to an eating instrument, such as a childs spoon, which is equipped with an enlarged section or block portion intermediate the ends of the handle equipped with finger receiving channels or sockets for properly aligning the food holding portion in a substantially horizontal position to prevent the spoon twisting in the hand of the user and also to properly locate the spoon in the users hand.
Specially formed childs eating spoons and forks have been employed heretofore to facilitate the proper positioning of the spoon to the hand and also to properly align the spoon in a suitable food holding position, however, the several devices of the prior art have not proven entirely satisfactory inasmuch as they are complicated in design and construction, expensive to manufacture, diflicult to use, and do not actually properly locate the spoon in a natural position for the user so that in his natural arm and hand movements in eating the spoon remains properly horizontally aligned for containing the food in the spoon.
With the foregoing in view, the primary object of the invention is to provide a childs eating spoon which is simple in design and construction, inexpensive to manufacture, easy to use, easy to adapt to the childs facility, and which does not require unnatural or clumsy positioning.
An object of the invention is to provide an enlarged portion in the handle portion intermediate the ends thereof which houses finger receiving channels or sockets for receiving the thumb and index finger of the chlid so as to properly align the spoon relative to the childs hand.
An object of the invention is to provide a childs spoon having finger receiving channels or sockets which naturally align the spoon relative to the childs hand and to his hand and arm movements in eating so as to hold the food holding portion in a substantially horizontal position from the plate to the mouth and points intermediate thereof.
An object of the invention is to provide a depending tang on the bottom of the spoon for encirclement by the users ring finger so that the force of the ring finger thereagainst urges the thumb and index finger into the sockets or channels.
These and other objects of the invention will become apparent by reference to the following description of an eating instrument such as a childs spoon, embodying the invention taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of a form of the inventive device.
Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the device seen in Fig. 1 with the intermediate enlarged handle portion shown in cross-section to show the interior construction and integration of the channels.
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the spoon in the holding position of a childs hand showing the finger and thumb inserted in the receiving sockets of the handle.
Fig. 4 is a modification of the device seen in Figs. 1 through 3 with the enlarged portion of the handle being formed in an attractive ornamental design such as an animals head.
Fig. 5 shows a modified device including a depending tang on the handle bottom for gripping by the ring finger; and
Fig. 6 is a partial bottom view of Fig. 5 taken on the line 6-6 thereof.
Referring now to the drawing wherein like numerals refer to like and corresponding parts throughout the several views, the eating spoon disclosed therein to illustrate the invention comprises a food holding portion 10, a handle 11 attached to the food holding portion 10, an enlarged section 12 in the handle 11 intermediate the ends thereof housing an open ended channel 13 constituting receiving sockets 14 and 15 on either side thereof for receiving the thumb and index finger of the hand, and a depending tang 35 for encirclement by the ring finger.
More particularly, the food holding portion 10 has a dished portion 20 for containing food and the handle 11 has an end 21 connected to the portion 10 and an end 22 remote from the portion 10; the block 12 or enlarged handle section 12 is disposed intermediate the ends 21 and 22 of the handle 11 and is equipped with the channel 13 leading into the enlarged section or block 12. Preferably the channel 13 is curved or angled intermediate its length so as to incline the socket portions 14 and 15 towards the rear end or top end 22 of the spoon. This inclination of the sockets 14 and 15 forming the channel 13 provides a more adaptable receiving angle for the childs fingers and these sockets or channels can be reduced in cross-sectional area as they lead inwardly into the enlarged section or block 12 so as to provide contact with the users fingers over a large area to prevent pivoting. If desired a wall may divide the sockets 14 and 15.
The modified showing in Fig. 4 shows the enlarged or block portion 12A formed in the shape of an animals head to lend attractiveness and play attraction to the spoon and to reduce any objection that a purchaser might have to the enlarged portion 12 which may appear unattractive to some purchasers.
Referring to Figs. 5 and 6 in conjunction with Fig. 3, the tang 35 is preferably a crescent shaped block disposed on the underside or bottom of the enlarged section 12 and provides a trigger-like gripping means adapted to lie on the inside of the users ring finger 36 so that the ring finger 36 pressure against the tang 35 moves the sockets 14 and 15 backward against the forward pressure of the thumb 33 and index finger 32 thereby securely seating the spoon relative to the hand.
In use, the childs hand 30 is positioned in a pen or pencil holding condition and the handle 11 laid against the top portion 31 of the hand and with the lower end 21 of the handle 11 lying over the last three fingers of the hand; the index finger 32 is inserted in one socket such as 14 (for a right handed person) and the thumb 33 is positioned in the socket 15 and the ring finger 36 looped over the tang 35 thereby locating the handle in the proper relationship to the hand, and positioning the food holding portion 10 substantially horizontally. It will be noted that in the movement of the hand from the position seen in Fig. 3, which would be in a plate contacting position, that the spoon will then lie in the same horizontal position relative to containing the food when the user moves his hand 30 from the position seen in Fig. 3 to a position adjacent his mouth so that the spoon holding portion 10 will remain in a food supporting condition during the travel of the spoon from the plate to the mouth,
The inventive child's eating spoon with these features constitutes a compact, durable, neat appearing device, easily adapted to a childs demands, and easily cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition due to the fact that there are no portions which would harbor food particles. The device can easily be made ofsynthetic resin by injection molding or out of metal by die casting thereby making the manufacture of the article inexpensive. V
Although but two embodiments of the invention have beenshown and described in detail, with one ornamental modification, it is obvious that many changes may be made in the size, shape, detail, arrangements of the various elements of the invention. within the scope of the appended claim.
, I claim: I
5 An eating instrument, such as a childs spoon, for persons learning to use cutlery in eating comprising, a food holding portion, a handle on said portion, an enflarged housing on said handle portion intermediate the 20 2,380,855
ends thereof, and opposite sides on said housing disposed substantially parallel to said handle; said housing having internal opposed interconnecting sockets on either side lying substantially cross-wise to said handle opening outwardly through said opposite sides; said sockets being adapted axially to receive the ends of both the thumb and index finger of the user so as to position said food holding portion substantially horizontally at all times during hand movement in eating.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITEDSTATES PATENTS D. 88,553 Hunt Dec. 6, 1932 1). 146,824 Goodwin May 27, 1947 1,096,602 Coles May 12, 1914 1,121,701 Willis Dec. 22, 1914 1,625,003 Walker Apr. 19, 1927 Lower July 31, 1945