US 3145048 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1954 R. F. DOWDY ETAL 3,145,048
BABY WALKER Filed July 5, 1963 INVENTORS. RALPH F. DOWDY LLOYD F. DOWDY TTORNEY United States Patent 3,145,048 BABY WALKER Ralph F. Dowdy, Rte. 2, and Lloyd IF. Dowdy, Mohawk Star Rte, both of Springfield, Greg. Filed duly 5, 1963, Ser. No. 2935991 I Claim. (Ci. 297-5) This invention relates to a baby walker and, more specifically, to a device adapted to support an infant, prior to learning to walk, in order to enable the infant to move about the room easily and safely.
A primary object of the present invention is to provide a baby walker having an improved structural combination which will support the infant in a stable and safe position, which will facilitate the folding of the walker into a substantially flat, compact article, and which will be simplified in structure and economical to manufacture.
A particular object of the present invention is to provide a baby walker of the type indicated which will combine a novel base and infant supporting frame, with the latter comprising a pair of intersecting and pivotally interconnected frames one of which is rotatably attached to the base and the other of which is detachably connected to the base in order to provide a simplified, folding structure.
The manner in which these objects and other advantages are attained will be apparent from the following brief specification with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the baby walker showing the same in use;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view, with parts broken away;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing a portion of the base support of the walker, taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing means for detachably connecting one end of the infant supporting frame to the base, taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing the pivotal connecting structure between the infant supporting frame and the base, taken on the line 6--6 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing the seat supporting structure, taken on the line 77 of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 8 is a side elevational view, with parts broken away, showing the entire device in a folded condition.
Referring to the drawings, the walker of the present invention comprises an annular base 10 which, in a preferred construction, is C-shaped in cross section to form a rigid support member. The outer peripheral surface 12 of the base is concaved, and the inner peripheral surface 14 thereof is substantially flat and disposed vertically (FIG. 3).
Mounted on the outer peripheral surface 12 is a resilient bumper 16. This bumper preferably is tubular in cross section, having an interior chamber 18 adapted to be inflated. For this latter purpose, a valve 26, FIGURE 2, comprises an integral part of the bumper and projects in wardly through a suitable aperture in the base ltl. It will be noted that the base It) and bumper 16 comprise essentially the strucure of a bicycle rim and tire.
Base Ill is mounted on casters 22 which have their upwardly projecting shaft portions 24 rotatably secured to sockets 24 welded to the inner flat surface 14 of the base. Preferably at least four casters 22 are utilized and are equally spaced around the base to prevent any tipping of the walker when an infant is supported thereon. The casters 22 permit rolling movement of the walker in any direction.
Mounted on the base 141! is an infant supporting frame comprising a pair of generally U-shaped frame members 26 and 28 preferably of tubular construction. Each of the frame members 26 and 28 has a pair of elongated, inter mediate leg portions 30 terminating at their lower or free ends in angular leg portions 32 and at their upper ends in flat seat-holding portions 34. Leading angularly from the the seat-holding portions 34- are extensions 36 connected by lateral portions 38.
The angular construction of the leg portions is such that in the unfolded condition of the walker, FIGURE 1, portions 32 are vertical, portions 30 are inclined relative to the base, portions 34 are horizontal, and portions 36 are substantially vertical. In the unfolded condition of the walker, lateral connecting portions 38 are horizontal. One of such portions 38 serves as a gripping handle and the other serves as a back support for the infant. The intermediate leg portions 30 are bent outwardly at at to form lower widened portions thereof.
The two frame members 26 and 28 are disposed in intersecting relation and are pivotally connected by pins 4-2. This pivotal interconnection is located adjacent the upper end of intermediate leg portions 30. Although frame members 26 and 28 are of substantially similar shape, the frame member 28 is of less lateral dimension than the frame member 26 whereby, as seen in FIGURE 2, frame member 28 is disposed inside of frame 25 to permit free pivotal movement of these two parts in folding and unfolding movements.
The free ends of frame member 26 are pivotally connected to the base It) by bent pivot pins 62., FIGURE 6, secured to the base and projecting upwardly and laterally. These pins engage apertures 4-4 in the side walls of the leg portions 32, such apertures being located upwardly a short distance from the bottom end of the frame portions 32. This pivotal support of the frame member 26 permits rotation of the supporting frame relative to the base for folding purposes as will be described hereinafter.
The free ends of frame member 28 have detachable interconnection with the base lltl. Such interconnection is accomplished by a pair of latch pins as, FIGURES 4 and 5, having enlarged head portions 48. The free ends of frame 28 have an open bottom end 49, or otherwise have a bottom opening socket, of a sufficient diameter to receive the enlarged heads 48. A side wall of each of the free ends of frame member 28 is provided with a slot 54 extending only a portion of the distance around the frame member. These slots are adapted to receive edge projecting portions of the latch pin heads 43 by first moving the open ends of the frame member down over the pins and then moving such ends laterally.
In a preferred construction, the relative lateral spacing of the pair of pins 46 and the free ends of the frame 28 is such that said free ends must be sprung apart or together in order to be moved down over the pins 46. After moving the free ends down over the pins and releasing such ends, they spring together or apart to accomplish the engagement of projecting heads 48 with the slots 50. Thus, interlocking engagement between the base and the infant supporting frame in the unfolded condition of the walker is accomplished. In the illustrated form, the slots 5t are provided on the outer, lateral sides of the free ends 32 whereby for detachably connecting said free ends to the latch pins it is required that they be spaced such that it is necessary to spring them outwardly in the direction of arrows 51 in FIGURES 2 and 5 to move them down over the pins. Then, when the ends are released, the resiliency present in the member 28 causes the legs thereof to spring inwardly whereby to engage and hold the edges of heads 48 in the slots 5t).
Supported on the frame members 26 and 28 is a flexible seat 52 having leg openings 54. The forward and rearward ends of the seat are supported on rods 56, FIGURES oneness 2 and 7, each having first right angle end extensions 58 and second right angle extensions 60, the latter extensions being rotatably mounted in apertures 68 in the frame member portions 36. The front and rear edges of the seat are attached to the rod in any suitable manner, such as for example by folding such edges over the rods and stitching or otherwise securing the folded portions to the body of the seat. The offset disposition of the seat engaging rod 56, resulting from the angular extensions 58, provides an adequate space beneath the transverse connecting portion 38 of the frame 28 to allow the child to grip the portion 38.
The sides of the seat are also attached to the frame members 26 and 28, and this is accomplished by extension tabs 64 on the sides of the seat adapted to be folded over the top of frame portions 34. Connection of these tabs to the body of the seat is achieved by snap buttons 66.
Folding of the present device is accomplished by first springing the free ends of frame 28 apart sufficiently to disengage the projecting edges of latch pin heads 48 from their slots 50, whereupon the infant supporting frame is rotated upwardly on pivot pins 42 to a point where the bottom ends of member 28 clear the heads 48 of pins 46. Then the infant supporting frame may be collapsed by spreading the respective ends of the frame members 26 and 28 apart, but preferably, in order to make a more fiat and compact package, as illustrated in FiGURE 8, the frame member 28 is rotated clockwise as viewed in FIG- URES 1 and 8, to bring the lower or free ends of the frame members 26 and 28 together in a substantially parallel relation. The infant support frame is then pivotally moved into flat abutting relation with the base.
Thus the present device folds into a compact article for storage and handling. Also, the device is extremely simplified in its construction and therefore economical to manufacture. Furthermore, in view of the wide span of the base and the multiple castersused, it cannot be tipped by the infant. The inflated bumper 16 on the base allows the infant to move about the room without damaging furniture, Walls, etc., and without having the infant come into personal contact with the same.
It is to be understood that the form of my invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape,
size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the subjoined claim.
A baby walker comprising a ring-shaped base member, supporting wheel means carried by said base member, a pair of similar, generally U-shaped frames each consisting of a top lateral connecting bight portion and a pair of legs, pivot means joining said frames intermediate the ends of adjacent legs for relative rotative folding and unfolding movements, hinge means connecting the lower free ends of the legs of one of said frames to the forward portion of said base member, the top bight portion of said latter mentioned frame constituting a back support on the walker, the top bight portion of the other of said frames constituting a front gripping handle, means for detachably securing the lower free ends of the legs of said other frame to the rear portion of said base member, said latter mentioned means including a pair of upwardly extending pins on said base member having enlarged heads but capable of telescopically receiving the lower free ends of the legs of said other frame when these legs are sprung into'alignment with said pins, latch slots for said pin heads in the ends of said legs of said other frame, and seat means supported from said frames in suspended relation, whereby, upon detachment of said legs of said other frame from the rear portion of said base member, said other frame can be rotated into approximate parallel relationship with the companion frame and said frames then swung as a unit in a folded position substantially parallel with said base member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 613,582 Lund Nov. 1, 1898 1,826,502 Brown Oct. 6, 1931 2,606,593 Beurskens Aug. 12, 1952 2,636,633 Carlson Apr. 28, 1953 2,758,847 Shone Aug. 14, 1956 2,788,056 Parker Apr. 9, 1957 2,986,401 Altadonno May 30, 1961 3,048,440 McPherson et a1 Aug. 7, 1962 3,083,050 Gill Mar. 26, 1963