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Publication numberUS3055357 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 25, 1962
Filing dateNov 4, 1959
Priority dateNov 4, 1959
Publication numberUS 3055357 A, US 3055357A, US-A-3055357, US3055357 A, US3055357A
InventorsHenry R Redka
Original AssigneeHenry R Redka
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3055357 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 25, 1962 H. R. REDKA 3,055,357..

FOOTBATH Filed Nov. 4, 1959 l. a T? INVENTOR.

States The present invention relates to a therapeutic bathing vessel and more particularly to an improved footbath adapted to be used for therapeutic treatment of the feet.

Numerous footbaths have been proposed or used in the past and basically all such footbaths comprise a vessel in which one or both feet may be introduced.

In order to provide a practical footbath which will be readily adaptable for use without special precautions and preparations, the footbath of this invention incorporates a novel combination of important features. It is apparent that no single footbath is at present available which incorporates the necessary features in a sufficiently practical manner to make the use of the footbath simple and popular so that the substantial advantages offered by such a therapeutic device are largely overlooked. The present invention provides a novel footbath combining in a new and novel manner the various necessary features and it combines them in such a Way that an extremely adaptable, attractive and efiicient footbath is provided. The bath is at the same time so conveniently and easily used that its therapeutic values will be taken advantage of on many occasions where the effort and preparations involved previously discouraged such a use.

One of the principal benefits to be obtained from a footbath is the application of over-all heat to the feet. In order for this application to be fully successful it is desirable that the heat be applied at a predetermined and constant temperature over a sufiiciehtly long period to realize the full benefits. The novel footbath of the invention provides for this by incorporating an automatic heat control thereby removing the necessity of replenishing or reheating the bathing liquid. It is also necessary in order to achieve the maximum benefit that the user be able to position his foot in the bath in a relaxed manner and additionally to flex or move the bathed member so that gentle circulating action is provided which increases the therapeutic benefits of the heat application. It is desirable that this be done conveniently and without splashing or otherwise causing or requiring excess care to prevent spillage of the bathing liquid.

The beneficial eifects of the above advantages will be largely lost unless the bath itself can be provided in a convenient lightweight form of attractive design so that the bath is easily stored and handled without chipping, cracking or fracturing and so that the average person does not hesitate to use it and to consider it an attractive addition to the home medicine cabinet or the institutional equipment inventory. The footbath of the present invention also, therefore, incorporates an improved novel design which simultaneously provides the above advantages while also being of an attractive nature and having a lightweight and a pleasing shape which is readily adapted for coloring in pleasing shades.

The footbath of the present invention also is designed to be flexible so that its material as well as its shape combine to increase the comfort of the bath in use and its ease of handling and storage. In addition, to the above advantages, the footbath is formed of heat insulating material so that the maintenance of a desired temperature Within the bath is greatly facilitated and so that the heat is confined to the bathing liquid and does not otherwise heat the remaining portions of the bath which would make it uncomfortable and uneconomical. The full benefits of heat therapy in many cases are obtained when such therapy is combined with a physical vibration to increase the atent and bathers circulation and to relax and massage the muscles. It is also desirable, therefore, that such a massaging or vibrating means be included in the footbath and the novel design of the present invention achieves this result by providing a combined vibrating means together with massage assisting pads in the interior of the bath.

It is accordingly an object of this invention to provide an improved footbathing vessel.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved foot-bathing vessel with integral massage means.

Another object of this invention is to provide a footbathing vessel in which heating and vibrator units are detachably provided so that the footbathing vessel may be used with or without either or both of them.

Other and further objects of the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.

Although the invention as herein described relates to a footbathing vessel for a single foot, it is not intended to be so limited, as it is evident that changes in design could easily be made to have it extend to a similar vessel for both feet or other members.

A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of the footbath with the heating unit and vibrator;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the footbath of FIG. 1, and showing a foot being bathed in the vessel;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the vibrator with its corresponding covering mat shown in a detached position; and

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary detailed view of the papillae or finger-like rubber mat which fits at the bottom of the footbathing vessel.

Referring to the drawing, a hollow vessel adapted to receive one or both feet is illustrated at 1. The vessel is preferably shaped in the form of an oversized shoe for complete ankle submersion as best illustrated in FIG. 2 with the provision of sufficient space to permit the user to readily insert and remove his foot and to allow the foot 2 to be moved about and flexed while in position within the vessel 1 without any tendency to tip the vessel 1. In its preferred form the vessel 1 is made of a relatively flexible, non-absorbent, chemical resistant material such as a polyethylene plastic. Use of such a plastic provides a smooth and agreeable surface for the bathers foot and also provides an unbreakable, non-corroding container of light weight which has insulating properties to retain the bathing liquid at its desired temperature. In addition the use of a plastic such as polyethylene or other plastics of the same general characteristics provides a vessel which is readily formed by suitable molds and which may be formed with an attractive design in pleasing colors.

By forming the vessel 1 in the shape of a shoe, the maximum benefit is obtained from a minimum of volume of the bathing liquid and the users foot 2 may also be flexed or otherwise agitated to obtain the maximum benefits of the bath in a relaxed manner without any possibility of injury to the foot or of the splashing of the bathing liquid out of the vessel 1.

In order to obtain additional benefits from the footbath the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the drawings includes a vibrator means illustrated generally at 3. As seen in FIG. 3 the preferred embodiment of the vibrator means comprises two vibrator pads 4 and 5 respectively with the pad 4 being located beneath the heel portion of the vessel 1 and the pad 5 being located beneath the sole portion of the vessel 1. To improve the transmission of the vibration to the users foot 2, a flexible pad 8 is preferably positioned between the vibrator pads 4 and 5 and the flexible bottom 6 of the vessel 1. The vibrator pads 4 and 5 are driven by suitable electrically driven vibrator coils or motors 7 and a remote control switch for the electrical drive means is illustrated at 9 with a suitable extension cord to make the switch handy for the user of the bath.

The preferred vibrator means 3 is detachable from the vessel 1 to permit the vessel 1 to be cleaned and filled and otherwise handled independently of the vibrator 3 and its associated electrical vibrator equipment. As seen in FIG. 2 a suitable flange 10 is provided at the upper edge of the vibrator 3 to position the vessel 1 thereon with the vibrator pads 4 and 5 in position beneath the heel and sole portions respectively of the vessel 1 and also to removably retain the vessel 1 on the vibrator 3.

A thermostatically controlled heater means illustrated at 11 is also provided to maintain the temperature of the bathing liquid 12 at a predetermined level. An adjustable control knob 13 permits the thermostat 14 to be set at the desired value so that the heater 15 maintains the bathing liquid at the preset temperature. The heater means 15 is also preferably detachably mounted by an adjustable screw 16 so that it may be removed together with or independently of the vibrator means 3 when the vessel 1 is filled or cleaned. A convenient electrical attachment is provided for the heater means 15 by providing extra outlets 17 on the vibrator means 3 which may be connected by suitable cord 18 to the heater 15 and which are themselves connected to the same source as vibrator pad motors 7 by the cord member 19.

In order to provide additional massaging action for the users foot a pad member 20 is removably fitted into the bottom 6 of the vessel 1 and this pad has a corrugated or papillary upper surface as illustrated in FIG. 4 to permit a massaging action as the users foot 2 is moved about and to provide a light gripping action between the bottom of the users foot and the pad 20 to allow the foot 2 to remain stationary in the vessel 1 while the foot 2 is held in a relaxed state.

As described above the footbath is formed of separate units such as the liquid containing vessel 1, the vibrator 3, the heat and thermostat 11 and the pad 20. This enables the various units to be acquired and stored separately or to be used in various combinations. The provision of the removable massaging pad 20 also allows this pad to be washed to remove any accumulated powder or medicine or other matter which may precipitate from time to time out of the bathing liquid.

It will be seen that a new and novel footbath has been provided which combines the advantages of an attractive,

convenient, corrosion resistant, lightweight footbath with a footbath having improved therapeutic properties resulting from a combination of a thermostatically controlled heater for the bathing liquid together with a built-in vibrator massaging action and an improved footbath shape which permits the user to either use it in complete relaxation or to combine bathing with massaging and flexing actions. The footbath of the invention is extremely useful due to its lightweight and its detachable components which permit the vessel to be removed for filling and washing independently of the electrically controlled heater and vibrator means. In addition to these advantages the footbath of the present invention combines these features in a novel way wherein a pleasing and attractive footbath design is achieved so that the footbath makes an attractive and convenient addition to home medicine cabinets and institutional equipment.

As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A footbath comprising a base having a hollow interior surmounted by a flexible pad surrounded by an upstanding flange electric vibrator means enclosed within the interior of the base and including a vibrating element operatively engaging [the under surface of said pad, a bathing vessel :formed of resilient plastic material of oversize genenally f oot and-ankle shape in side elevation and wide enough for insertion of two feet therein, having relatively wide upstanding front and "back walls and la flat bottorm formed of said resilient material and mounted on said pad and adapted to contain water and a 'foot or pair of feet to be bathed, whereby said water may be agitated and said foot or feet may be vibrated by operation of said electric vibrator means, and a thermostatically controlled electric heating element mounted on one of said upstanding walls at substantially the vertical longitudinal center plane of the vessel.

2. A footbath as claimed in claim 1 including a resilient pad removably positioned at the bottom of said vessel and having a papillary corrugated upper surface adapted to make massaging engagement with a foot in the vessel.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 438,931 M antinot Oct. 21, 1890 1,222,669 Pur-nell Apr. 17, 1917 2,311,613 Slayter Feb. 16, 1943 2,904,037 Cassidy Sept. 15, 1959 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,055,357 September 25-, Henry R. Redka It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below Column 4, line 27, after "flange" insert a comma Signed and sealed 'this 12th day of February 1963.

(SEAL) Attest:

ERNEST w. SWIDER DAVID LADD Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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U.S. Classification601/46, D24/204, D23/270, 601/DIG.170, 601/15, 601/158, 607/86
International ClassificationA61H35/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S601/17, A61H35/006
European ClassificationA61H35/00F