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Publication numberUS2941218 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 21, 1960
Filing dateOct 10, 1955
Priority dateOct 10, 1955
Publication numberUS 2941218 A, US 2941218A, US-A-2941218, US2941218 A, US2941218A
InventorsRead Robert L
Original AssigneeRead Robert L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hand plate for swimming and aquatic therapy
US 2941218 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 21, 1960 R. L. READ HAND PLATE FOR SWIMMING AND AQUATIC THERAPY Filed on. 10. 1955 INVENTOR. ROBERT L. READ Jamal United States Patent HAND PLATE FOR SWIMMING AND AQUATIC THERAPY Robert L. Read, 1448 31st St., San Diego, Calif. Filed Oct. 10, 1955, Ser. No. 539,452 9 Claims. (Cl. 9-307) The present invention relates generally to devices for use by swimmers and those taking aquatic exercises, and more particularly to hand plates of special design adapted to be placed on the hands while the user is swimming, exercising or undergoing aquatic therapy. I

The primary object of this invention is to provide hand plates which present an enlarged surface area to increase resistance to movement through water, thereby enabling a swimmer to achieve greater speed with greater ease and which, when used as a physical training device, has therapeutic value as an aid in restoring wasted muscles of the physically handicapped, and improvement in muscular development of anyone using the device in regular exercises. Y

Another object of this invention is to provide hand plates which present an enlarged surface area to increase resistance to movement through water thereby being particularly useful as a device for carefully handled progressive training of athletes.

Another object of this invention is to provide hand plates which simulate and merely accentuate the effect of the human hand in typical swirrnning strokes, that is, by presenting a substantially enlarged cup-shaped surface to the water at an attitude similar to that of the human hand in the swimming strokes.

Another object of this invention is to provide hand plates which are practicable and inexpensive to manufacture.

Another object of this. invention is to provide hand plates which are adapted for fabrication from many different materials, so that the choice of material can be according to the dictates of availability and price considerations, the exact sizes and proportions being matters easily determined to suit particular conditions and needs.

Another object of this invention is to provide hand plates with which extension plates and ballast weights similar to those described in my. copending application, Serial No. 449,438, filed August 12, 1954, now U. S. Patent No. 2,850,748, can be employed.

Another object of this invention is to provide hand plates which conform generally to the hand as held naturally in swimming so that the hands will not tire or become chafed.

Still another object of this invention is to provide hand plates on which the hand need not be tightly closed in fistlike manner during the swimming strokes, this object being accomplished in part by so forming the plates that the thumb can be employed to hold the plate on the hand while the fingers are extended or relaxed.

Finally, it is an object to provide hand plates which are simple, safe and convenient to use and which will give generally eflicient and durable service.

With these and other objects definitely in view, this invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of elements and portions, as will be hereinafter fully described in the specification, particularly ward and lateral edges ofthe pointed out in the claims, and. illustrated in the drawing which forms a material part of this disclosure, and in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the plate designed for the left hand.

Figure 2 is a plan view of the plate designed forthe left hand.

Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of the plate taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of the plate taken in line 4-4 of Figure 2.. 1

Similar characters of reference indicate similar identical elements and portions throughout the specification 'and' throughout the views of the drawing.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a plate 10 designed for use on the left hand. It is obvious that the plate for the right hand is the exact opposite counterpartof the plate shown, and therefore, no drawings of the right-hand are shown.

As illustrated in the drawing, the plate 10 is tetrahedral or generally rectangular or rhomboidal in plan form, having two substantially parallel sides 12 and 14. For convenience in reference to the various portions of the plate, the plate will be considered as being viewed ina position as placed on a users hand stretched forwardly and with the palm of the hand down, it being important to note that the plate, unless otherwise mentioned herein, will be that plate used'with the left hand. The edge 12 is, therefore, the outside edge and the edge 14 may be considered the inside edge of the plate. The forward edge 16 is substantially rectilinear and is inclined so that the angle at the outer forward corner 18is g'reaterthan the angle defined at the inner forward corner 20, it being remembered also that the corners of the plate are all chamfered or rounded. It is this inclination of the forward edge 16 that gives the plate the slightly rhomboidal form. The rear edge of the plate is bifurcated into two portions 22 and 24 by the thumb slot 26, which extends more or less centrally of the rear edge of the plate forwardlyand slightly inclined toward the edge 14, so that a bight portion 28 is provided for the metacarpal bone of the thumb. a

A finger slot 30 is provided substantially centrally of the plate and extending more or less transversely thereof, with a slight angle of inclination, on the order of 16, to 20, with respect to a line perpendicular to the sides or edges 12 and 14, the most forwardly. disposed portion of the slot being at the end adjacent the bight portion 28. The finger slot is proportioned to accept all of the fingers of the users hand, and therefore properly termed a four-finger slot, while the thumb is positioned in the thumb slot 26. The thumb slot 26 has a widthapproximately one-half the length of finger slot 30. The forplate :10 areupwa-rdly arched. f y The plate is longitudinally arcuate and the heel'portions 32 and 33 are cupped, this longitudinal curving and cupping being best illustrated in Figure 4, while the plate is also transversely generally arcuate, as most clearly indicated in Figure -3. In other words, the plate is generally dished or concave on its underside and generally convex on its upper side. This curvature of the plate ex tends to the forward edge 16 which is slightly upwardly arched at the center, this feature being indicated in Figure 4. The hand grip 34 is substantially rectilinear and is depressed slightly so that an outer abutment 36xis defined at one end of the finger slot and hand grip 34, while another abutment, which may be referred to as the inner abutment 38, is defined at the opposite end of the finger slot 30 and hand grip 34.

The plate is not smoothly arcuate in a transverse direction, since the wall 40 is provided at the outer side of the plate, extending from the 'outer end of the finger slot to the. heel portion 32, this wall 40 blending at the top Patented June 21, 1960 into the abutment 36. A corresponding wall 42 is pro-v vided at the inner side of the plate extending from the inner end of finger slot 30 to the heel portion 34-, the upper edge of this wall 42. blending into the abutment 38. An approximately flat portion 44 is disposed outwardly; of or transversely opposite to the thumb slot, rearwardly of the finger slot and inwardly of the abutment 35,. this portion constituting a rest for the Palmaris Brevis muscle or heel of the users hand. The hand grip is generally parallel to a plane extending through the forward and rear tips of the hand plate and this may be thought of as being generally tangential to the general longitudinal curve of the hand plate. In other words, the general fore and aft directional disposition of the hand grip must be such that, when the hand grip portion is grasped naturally and firmly, the rear edge portions 22 and 24 are prevented from coming into contact with the wrist.

A very important feature of this invention is the upwardly arcuately curved portion 46 which is designed to receive comfortably the metacarpal bone portion of the hand. This arcuate portion is defined by adjacent portions of the hand grip 34, the abutment 38 and the wall 42.

The. abutment 38 is more pronounced or higher than the abutment 36 and the hand grip 34 dips downwardly from the end adjacent the thumb toward the end adjacent the little finger. The approximately flat portion, 44 is also inclined in the same direction to accommodate the greater local thickness of the hand.

Forward side plates 48 may be secured in parallel vertical relation to the forward portions of the edge portions 12 and 14, and rear side plates 50 may be secured to the plates is greatly enhanced. It will also be noticed that the slightly transverse arcuate curvature form of plates of this character represents a novel and completely satisfactory solution to the problem long encountered in the use of swimming aids. In instant invention, this curvature has been correlated with features of other plates in such a manner that all of the advantages of substantially 1 flat plates are retained.

The importance of the cupping of the heel portions 32 and 33 should not be overlooked in evaluating this invention, since the smaller cupped areas balance the larger convex area forward of the hand grip when the plate is moved in backstroke thus preventing the plate from any tendency to tilt unduly and thus preventing the heel portions from contacting the wrist.

The operation of this invention will be clearly comprehended from a consideration of the foregoing description of the mechanical details thereof, taken in connection with the drawing and the above recited objects. It will be obvious that all said objects are amply achieved by this invention.

Further description would appear to be unnecessary.

It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without the rear portions of the edgeportions 12 and 14, in substantially coplanar relationship to the corresponding forward side plates. These side plates laterally encase the general forward concavity of the plate and the general concavity of the heel portions 32 and 33. The lower edges of the side plates 48 and the upper edges of the side plates 50 may be rectilinear as illustrated. These side plates 50 greatly enhance the cupped feature of the forward and rear portions of the plate and greatly increase the resistance of the plates to passage through water. a

The operation of this invention will be clearly understood from a consideration of the foregoing description of the mechanical details thereof, taken in connection with the above recited objects and the appended drawings. In recapitulation, and by way of further explanation as to the actual use. of the device, it should first be noticed that the slightly rhomboidal shape with the inner forward corner 20 projecting in the general direction of the finger of the hand constitutes a very satisfactory leading edge for the plate as it is forced through the water. The finger and thumb substantially completely fill the finger slot and thumb slot so that there is little water allowed to escape through the plate when the device is'in use. The forward edge of the finger slot 30 is inclined to define a corner adjacent the index finger smaller than the angle at the corner adjacent the knuckle of the little finger when viewed in plan in a position as employed on a users'hand stretched forwardly with the palm down.

The flat portion or rest 44 adds to the comfort of the user as does the upwardly arcuate portion 46. It is note- Worthy that the hand need not be held in fist-like attitude with the fingers and the thumb firmly gripping the hand grip 34, but that'both the fingers andthumb can be somewhat relaxed and disposed in a natural attitude assumed by thehand when no plates are used and the hands are somewhat-cupped for swimming. In other words, as long as thethumb is extended on the underside of the plate, and within the upwardly arcuate portion 46, with the fingers inserted through the finger slot and the upper portions of the fingers abutting or engaging the-forward edge. of the finger slot 30, the plates will be reasonably firmly held on the hand. The result of this is that the hands.) do not tire and the enjoyment ofswimming with;

departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawing are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.

1 claim:

1. A hand plate for swimming and therapeutic aquatic exercise comprising a plate of generally tetrahedral elongated plan form; said plate being transversely generally arcuate and having an intermediate portion curved 1ongitudinally of the plate and the forward major portion of the plate being generally concave on its lower side; said plate having hand-receiving openings including a four-finger slot disposed generally transversely and centrally of portion of the plate into opposed heel portions; said thumb slot having a width approximately one-half the length of said four-finger slot and thus dimensioned to receive only the thumb of the hand using the hand plate; said intermediate portion including a rest for that portion of hand adjacent to the Palmaris Brevis muscle and said rest being a portion disposed transversely opposite to said thumb slot.

2. A hand plate for swimming and therapeutic aquatic exercise comprising a plate of generally tetrahedral elongated plan form when viewed in a position as employed on a users hand stretched forwardly with the palm down; the plate in said position having an intermediate portion curved longitudinally of the plate, and an upwardly extending abutment in said intermediate portion for lateral engagement of the hand said plate having a four-finger slot disposed generally transversely and centrally of the plate, and a thumb slot having a width approximately onehalf the length of said four-finger slot.

' 3. A hand plate for swimming and therapeutic aquatic exercise comprising a plate of generally tetrahedral elongated plan form when viewed in a position as employed on a users hand stretched forwardly with the palm down; said plate having a four-finger slot disposed generally transversely and centrally of the plate, and a thumb slot having a width approximately one-half the length of said four-finger slot the plate in said position having an intermediate portion curved longitudinally of the plate, and upwardly extending abutmcnts in said intermediate portion for lateral engagement of the hand; said abutments terminating in upstanding walls adjacent to the lateral edges of the plate.

4. A hand plate for swimming and'therapeutic aquatic exercise comprising a plate of generally tetrahedral elongated plan form when viewed in a position as employed on a users hand stretched forwardly with the palm the plate, and a thumb slot dividing the rear 5 slot having a width approximately one-half the length of said four-finger slot the plate in said position having an intermediate portion curved longitudinally of the plate, and upwardly extending abutments in said intermediate portion for lateral engagement of the hand; said abutments terminating in upstanding walls adjacent to the lateral edges of the plate; said Walls being continuous with and merging at the top edges thereof into said abutments; said walls terminating short of the ends of said plate.

5. A hand plate for swimming and therapeutic aquatic exercise comprising a plate of generally tetrahedral elongated plan form when viewed in a position as employed on a users hand stretched forwardly with the palm down; said plate having a four-finger slot disposed generally transversely and centrally of the plate, and a thumb slot having a width approximately one-half the length of said four-finger slot the plate in said position having an intermediate portion curved longitudinally of the plate, and upwardly extending abutments in said intermediate portion for lateral engagement of the hand; said abutments terminating in upstanding walls adjacent to the lateral edges of the plate; said walls being continuous with and merging at the top edges thereof into said abutments; said walls terminating short of the ends of said plate; the lateral and forward edges of the plate when viewed in said position all being upwardly arched.

6. A plate according to claim 2 wherein the forward edge of said fingerslot is inclined to define a corner adjacent the index finger smaller than the angle at the corner adjacent the knuckle of the little finger when viewed in said position.

7. A hand plate according to claim 1 and including parallel depending side plates secured to lateral edge portions of the forward major portion of the plate.

8. A hand plate according to claim 1 and including parallel upstanding side plates secured to lateral edge portions of said heel portions.

9. A hand plate according to claim 1 wherein said heel portions are generally concave on their upper surfaces.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,159,972 Larson May 30, 1939 2,211,536 Clayton Aug. 13, 1940 2,290,943 Conley July 28, 1942 2,569,200 Smith Sept. 25, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2159972 *Sep 19, 1938May 30, 1939Arvid LarsonSwimming device
US2211536 *Nov 20, 1939Aug 13, 1940Clayton Jr Richard ASwimmer's glove
US2290943 *Jun 24, 1940Jul 28, 1942Conley Robert ASwimming device
US2569200 *Jul 28, 1949Sep 25, 1951Smith Emerson VSwimming paddle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3111694 *Mar 21, 1962Nov 26, 1963Nelson Fredrych PSwimming paddles
US4233925 *Feb 21, 1979Nov 18, 1980Proctor Douglas B IPaddles for boats
US5062816 *Jul 2, 1990Nov 5, 1991Zonco, Inc.Aquatic sporting device
US5899444 *May 21, 1997May 4, 1999Rempe; Tami M.Hand-held cutting board
US7361070 *Jul 21, 2004Apr 22, 2008Bolster BrianAquatic propulsion device for swimmers
US7566252Mar 27, 2008Jul 28, 2009Brian BolsterAquatic propulsion device for swimmers
WO2009079522A1 *Dec 17, 2008Jun 25, 2009Michael SickBody surfing method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/56, D21/807
International ClassificationA63B31/00, A63B31/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B31/04
European ClassificationA63B31/04