US 3139630 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 7, 1964 HUNT 3,139,630
RHYTHM ROCKER Filed June 15, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 M. L. HUNT RHYTHM ROCKER July 7, 1964 INVENTOR. @2 6 $48115 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 15, 1961 United States Patent 3,139,630 RHYTHM ROCKER Max L. Hunt, 630 N. 3rd Ave., St. Charles, Ill. Filed June 15, 1961, Ser. No. 117,440 1 Claim. (Cl. 5-109) This invention relates to an improved construction for a rhythm rocker and especially to one which may be used with any common wheeled cradle on a conventional floor and the rocker providing reciprocating motion for the cradle has an attractive appearance suitable for use in a nursery.
It is generally well accepted that it is desirable to rock an infant to sleep by moving the infants bed in a regular reciprocating motion. There are many devices for providing this particular movement. Some of these devices provide a crib or cradle which is mounted on springs and a reciprocating engine moves the infants bed up and down to bounce the crib on the springs. It is readily apparent that this particular construction requires that the entire crib be especially designed for the instant application which makes the crib expensive.
Another type of construction mounts a crib on a raceway or track so that the crib which is mounted on wheels is moved back and forth along the track by a reciprocating engine. This particular construction is also undesirable because it requires numerous extra parts and the reciprocating engine is not attractive so as to enhance a nursery or other similar room.
A third type of prior art device is one which has a bassinet mounted on springs which springs are connected to upright supports. An engine of some type is connected to the bassinetto move the bassinet containing an infant relative to supporting structures which are on wheels. Again, this particular construction is undesirable in that it requires a specific construction for a crib which is expensive and also does not provide an attractive appearance in a nursery.
It is therefore a principal object of the hereindisclosed invention to provide an attractive rhythm rocker for use with an infants bed which has a bed of conventional construction and the rocker moves the bed on a conventional floor, thereby eliminating a specially constructed bed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a rhythm rocker for use with a conventional bassinet and the rocker is in the form of a recumbent animal which rocker reciprocates the conventional bassinet on a floor without the use of tracks or other similar devices.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide a rhythm rocker for use with an infants bed which rocker is portable and may be conveniently carried by a single person.
It is a further object of the hereindisclosed invention to provide a rocker for reciprocating an infants bed which rocker is in the form of a recumbent animal and the animal has a movable limb which is readily attachable to the infants bed.
It is a still further object of the instant invention to provide a rhythm rocker for reciprocating an infants bed which rocker has an attractive appearance in the form of a recumbent animal, having one limb of the animal mov able, and provides a convenient connection to the bed for moving the bed, and the engine includes a musical sound generator for producing soothing music for an infant.
Other objects and uses of the hereindisclosed invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a perusal of the appended specification in the light of the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a bassinet on wheels connected to a recumbent dog embodying the hereindisclosed invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view through the body of the dog shown in FIGURE 1 showing the mechanism of the recumbent dog; and,
FIGURE 3 is a side elevation of the dog shown in FIGURE 1 with a portion of the dogs body broken away to show the interior construction of the dog and the means for attachment of a movable limb of the dog to the bassinet shown in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to the drawings and especially to FIG- URE 1, it may be seen that a cradle 01' bassinet generally indicated by the numeral 10 has a rhythm rocker generally indicated by numeral 12 connected thereto for reciprocating the bassinet. It may be further seen that the rocker is in the form of an attractive animal, namely a recumbent dog.
The bassinet 10 is of conventional construction in that it includes a basket 14 which is fixed to four substantially upright supports or legs 16, i8, 20 and 22. It may be noted that each of the aforementioned legs is identical in construction to each of the other legs. A cross member 24 is fixed to legs 16 and 13 at their respective lower ends while a cross member 26 is fixed to legs 20 and 22. Each of the legs has a caster 23 fixed to its lowermost portion to provide. a wheel for supporting each respective leg.
Considering now the construction of the rocker or animated animal figure 12, it may be seen that the figure includes a base 30 which is particularly adapted for positioning on a conventional floor 31 in that four soft rubber pads 33 (only two pads are shown in FIGURE 3) are secured to the base for engagement with the floor to provide a friction means for the base. The animal figure includes a hollow shell 32 which is fixed to the base 30 by means of a plurality of screws 34, two of which are shown in FIGURE 3. The shell has an elongated external limb aperture 36 in which is mounted a-movable external limb 38 which is in this instance the right front paw of the recumbent dog figure.
A mechanical means for reciprocating the paw 38 is provided within the hollow dog figure. The mechanical means includes a frame 40 which is fixed to the base 3%) by conventional means which are not shown. The frame has fixed therein an electric motor 42 which is connected to a conventional source'of electrical energy through conventional leads which are not shown in this instance. The electric motor is mechanically connected to a transmission 44. In this nstance, the transmission 44 is a speed reduction transmission which has an output shaft 46 protruding therefrom. It may be noted that inasmuch as the transmission is a speed reduction transmission, the shaft 46 rotates at a speed substantially less than the electric motor. A crank 48 having a boss 50 formed integral with one end has the shaft 46 fixed in said boss to rotate with the output shaft. The crank 48 has fixed at its other end a pin 52 which serves as a slide block as will be seen hereinafter. A slotted piece or slide 54 having a slot 56 receives the pin 52 which is free to slide within the slot but is held therein by an enlarged head 58 on the pin. A slide plate 59 is secured to the base 36 and the plate supports the slotted piece inasmuch as the distance from the axis of rotation of the crank tothe top of the plate is greater than the length of the straight slot 56. The slide has a connecting rod or pitman 6t) welded thereto at one end of the connecting rod. The connecting rod has a threaded portion 62 on its other end which portion is threaded into the external movable limb 38 to fix the rod and the limb to each other. The external movable limb 38 has a hook portion 64 on its free end which hook portion engages the cross member 24 as is shown in the drawing. Since the limb is only pivotally connected to the crank through the pitman and the slotted piece, it is evident that the hook portion may be attached to acradle at a wide range of heights above the floor 31 to make the instant engine substantially universally acceptable.
In addition to the mechanical means for reciprocating the paw 38, a musical sound generator is mounted within the hollow animal figure. In this instance, the musical sound generator is of the conventional cylinder and comb type and is generally indicated by numeral 7 0. The sound generator includes a wall 72 which is fixed to the shell 32. The wall has a conventional comb 74 mounted thereon and a cylinder 76 juxtapositioned the comb. The cylinder has a plurality of pegs or prongs 78 protruding therefrom and engageable with the comb 72 for producing musical notes. The cylinder is rotatably driven by a spring motor 80 which has a key 82 protruding therefrom. A key 82 protrudes from the front of the animal figure to provide a convenient means for winding the spring motor.
The operation of the rhythm rocker or cradle engine is simple so that a mother or a nurse may readily use the instant invention without the necessity of cumbersome and expensive additional equipment, and the mother or nurse may move the instant device tosuit her convenience. The infant is simply placed in the basket of the bassinet 10, and the motor is energized to reciprocate the bassinet with the infant contained therein while melodious music is made by the sound generator. It may be noted that the engine 12, in this instance is in the form of an attractive recumbent dog, is connected to the bassinet by means of the hook portion 64 on the movable external limb 38. The hook portion is placed over the cross bar 24 and inasmuch as the bassinet is movably mounted on wheels 28, as the arm reciprocates the bas sinet moves on the floor, and the pads on the base frictionally engage even a smooth floor so that the animal figure remains stationary. The comb and cylinder 70 is wound by the external key 82 to wind the spring motor for rotating the cylinder in order to produce the music.
Considering now the specific operation of the animal figure, as was noted above, the external movable limb is connected to the electric motor. As the electric motor rotates, it turns the output shaft 46 through the transmission 44 at a substantially reduced speed. As the shaft rotates, the crank 48 is rotated so that the pin 52 has a circular path at a constant angular speed. The movement of the pin moves with it the slotted member 54 which rests on the plate 59. The rotation of pin 52 moves the slotted member 54 in a reciprocating motion. It may be noted that when the pin is in the position shown in FIGURE 3, it is a point in which the slotted member is in its outermost extension, and when the crank 48 is in the position shown in a dotted form, the slotted member is in its inwardmost extension. It has been found that a stroke length of approximately two inches is a particularly desirable stroke. It is important to note that the instant construction is such that as the slotted member with the external movable limb moves toward one extremity or the other as it approaches and leaves the extreme point, the rate of movement of the limb is very small, so that as the limb is going toward an end position, the speed is constantly decreasing until the limb comes to a stop. Then, the speed of the limb starts to increase slowly until a maximum speed is reached when the crank 48 is in a vertical position, and from that position on, the speed starts to decrease. It may be appreciated that this particular motion provides for a smooth rhythmic motion which is particularly soothing to the infant in the bassinet, and the rate of 12 reciprocations per minute is particularly effective. Furthermore, the use of the aforementioned rate at the two-inch stroke is non-habit forming so that an infant does not require rocking on all occasions.
It may be appreciated that the height of the cross member 24 is immaterial to the operation of the instant device, so that the engine 12 may be used with bassinets having cross members of practically any height. The slotted member 54 rests on the plate 59 while the hook portion 64 engages the cross member. Thus, the external movable limb with the slotted member is supported at two points and the animal figure may be connected to a cross member of any height. The instant device is further adjustable inasmuch as the paw 38 may be rotated on pitman 68 so that the paw may be placed into engarnent with a vertical member as well as a horizontal member, thereby making the instant device readily adaptable for use with any type of infants bed.
It is readily apparent that although an animal figure representing a recumbent dog is shown herein, any figure may be used instead of a recumbent dog. Other modifications, uses or alterations of the instant construction will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, but it is to be expressly understood that the present invention is limited only by the appended claim.
What is claimed is:
A cradle engine for use with a cradle mounted on wheels, said cradle engine comprising, in combination, a base, friction means mounted on the bottom of said base, a hollow figure mounted on said base, said hollow figure having an elongated external limb aperture, an electric motor mounted on said base within said hollow figure, a speed reduction transmission mechanically connected to said electric motor, said speed reduction transmission having an output shaft having an axis of rotation substantially parallel to the plane of the base, a crank mounted on said output shaft for rotation therewith, a pin mounted on said crank for rotation about the axis of rotation of said shaft, a slide plate mounted on said base below the pin, a slide slideably engageable with the slide plate and having a slot slideably receiving the pin, said slot having a length greater than the distance from the pin to its axis of rotation, an external movable limb being a portion of said animal figure and being movably positioned in said limb aperture, said limb being connected to said slide for movement therewith through a two-inch stroke, and means on said limb for connecting the limb with the cradle, whereby the limb is connectable to the cradle at a variety of heights and the rotation of the output shaft by the electric motor reciprocates the limb and the cradle.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 697,248 Hawley Apr. 8, 1902 792,447 Perotti June 13, 1905 2,566,983 Coltrane Sept. 4, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 49,508 Germany Nov. 6, 1889 548,918 Canada Nov. 19, 1957