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Publication numberUS3251075 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 17, 1966
Filing dateJun 27, 1962
Priority dateJun 27, 1962
Publication numberUS 3251075 A, US 3251075A, US-A-3251075, US3251075 A, US3251075A
InventorsJr William R Eschenbruecher, Norman H Saltness
Original AssigneeBetter Living Inv S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inflatable pillow
US 3251075 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Maym17, 1966 N. H. SALTNESS ETAL 3,251,075


INFLATABLE PILLOW 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 2'7. 1962 twill/Ill 000 EEO 90 000 GOG a 9 INVENTORS NORMA/V h. 541. TIVESS WILLIAM R. ESCHENBRUECHER, JR.


ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,251,075 INFLATABLE PILLOW Norman H. Saltness, Hyattsville, Md., and William R.

Eschenbruecher, Jr., Alexandria, Va., assignors to Better Living Inventions, Falls Church, Va., a company of Virginia Filed June 27, 1962, Ser. No. 205,733 1 Claim. (Cl. -337) This invention relates to pillows, cushions, mattresses, or articles of a similar nature which provide support for the body when sitting or reclining, and more particularly to articles of this type which are capable of providing a soft, yieldable support of relatively large thickness when desired, but which will require only a small fraction of space for storage.-

One object of the invention is to provide a pillow, or the like, of generally rectangular shape which is capable of being expanded in thickness for use, but may be collapsed substantially flat when not needed.

Another object of the invention is to provide an inflatable pillow, or the like, which may be completely deflated for packing or storage, and is capable of inflation in Varying degrees in accordance with the use to which the article is to be put. I 1 v 1 Still another object of the invention is the provision of an inflatable, bladder means capable of expansion and contraction in thickness without changing its over-all dimensions in width and length.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel blank capable of being fabricated into an inflatable bladder of generally rectangular configuration, but which will retain its rectangular configuration-regardless of the extent of inflation.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art after reading the following specification in connection with the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of inflatable pillow in accordance with the present invention and shown in expanded condition;

FIG. 2 is a cross-section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section'taken on the line 3-.3 of FIG. 1; I

FIG. 4 is a perspective view on a slightly enlarged scale showing the bladder means in expandedcondition;

FIGS. -5 and 6 are similar to FIGS. 2 and-3, except that the article is shown in contracted condition;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of one form of blank which may be used to fabricate the bladder means;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of another form of blank for fabricating the bladder means, and;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of one form of interior support for the bladder means.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is shown in FIG. 1, a preferred form of the completed invention comprising essentially an outer covering, indicated generally by the numeral 10, and an intermediate enclosure, or padding, indicated generally at 11; and an expandable air bladder, indicated generally by the numeral 12.

The outer covering 10, may comprise a fabric cover composed of two rectangular pieces of material such as percale 13 and 14, sewed together on three sides along the seam 15 and having the fourth side joined'by closure means such as a conventional zipper 16.

The intermediate enclosure 11 provides not only a quality of resistant softness characteristic of a conventional pillow, such as one filled with down or foam rubber, but also is capable of a certain amount of lateral expansion and contraction (in accordance with the extent to which the inner bladder 12 is inflated), but does so 3,251,075 Patented May 17, 1966 their margin edges and 21 as by heat-sealing or gluing to form an envelope within which the bladder means 12 is contained.

The intermediate core may be covered'by an expansible fabric covering 17 and, in addition, it may be considered desirable to cover the exterior of the bladder with similar 32, 33. A line extending between 'the'points 29 and 32 lows, such as goose-down, feathers, particles of spongy Dacron, or the like.

From an inspection of FIG. 4, it will be seen that the bladder 12, when inflated, is a generally rectangular body having top and bottom panels 22 and 23, respectively, side panels 24 and 25, respectively, and end panels 26 and 27, respectively. The opposite end margins of the.

panel-25 are notched, one end being out along the line 28, 29 and 30, the other end being cut along the line 31,

32 and 33 to provide a bellows-like action. It should be noted that the marginal line between 28 and 29 is disposed at a degree angle with respect to the margin extending between 29 and 30; similarly, the margin 31, 32, is disposed at a 90 degree angle with respect tomargin will be disposed parallel to and midway between the upper and lower parallel margins 28, 31,.and 30, 33,

respectively. The -end panel 26 is also provided with notched end margins indicated at one end by the line 28, 29 and 30, and at the other end by'the line 34, 35 and 36; The line 28, 29, on end panel 26 is also disposed at 90 degrees with respect to the end margin 29, 30, just as it was in the case of the side panel 25.

At the other end of panel 26, the margin between 34 and 35 is disposed at 90 degrees with respect to the margin between 35 and 36, and a line between points 29 and 35 is also arranged midway and parallel to the upper and lower parallel'margins 28, 34, and 30, 36, respectively. The configuration of the other end panel 27 is substantially identical to that of panel 26, just described, one

end margin of panel 27 being defined by a line between points 31, 32 and 33, while the other end margin is defined by a line extending between points 37, 38 and 39;

It will thus be seen that the side and end panels 24, 25, 26 and 27 provide, in effect, a form of bellows which permits the bladder to expand and contract, and at the same time, to allow the top and bottom panels 22 and 23 to remain in substantially flat parallel relationship,

lines defined by these points. The purpose of the dia-- phragm is to prevent the side and end panels from blowing outwardly beyond the edges of the top and bottom panels when the bladder is expanded. The diaphragm The margins of this diaphragm are .elasticity or stretch.

itself is perforated by a large number of openings 41 to allow free passage of air between the upper and lower sections of the bladder. A standard valve mechanism 42 is provided in one of the end panels to allow the admission of air into the bladder.

The material of which the bladder is to be constructed is of some importance to the success of the invention. The top, bottom, side and end panels should be con structed of some relatively thin flexible, air-impervious, sheet material, which, however, has substantially no It should, however, be capable of a slight amount of deformation since it is obvious that there will be a slight change in the configuration and dimensions of the side and end panels depending upon whether the pillow is deflated, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, or inflated, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. On the other hand, if the material used had the elasticity of a sheet of ordinary latex rubber, the pillow would provide no support for the head of the user when inflated.

Materials satisfactory for the fabrication of the bladder are those classed as synthetic vinyl resins, but other synthetic sheet plastics having similar physical characteristics would be suitable. While the diaphragm is intended primarily to confine the lateral expansion of the bellows-like side and end panels and therefore the material used in its fabrication should have a characteristic primarily of non-stretchability; materials used for the construction of the remainder of the bladder have sufficient resistance to stretch to be suitable for forming the diaphra gm.

While it would be possible to fabricate the bladder by cutting out a large number of individual pieces of sheet material and joining them together along the fold lines by conventional bonding methods such as dielectric heating, or by means of adhesives as is well known in the sheet plastic art, it is preferable to cut out a single blank such as the one disclosed in FIG. 6 of the draw- This blank may comprise a main body portion A, defined by the fold lines 43, 44, and 46. This portion will form either the top or bottom panel when fabricated, but it will be assumed for purposes of later illustration that it will become the bottom panel 23.

The blank in FIG. 6 also includes an upper bellows section B, a lower bellows section C, and side bellows portions D and E. The upper bellows portion B is defined by the fold lines 43, 44, and 47, 48, having notched side margins defined, respectively, by the numerals 47, 49, 43 and numerals 48, and 44. The numerals 49 and 50 also defining the fold line in the mid-portion of the bellows. The lower bellows portion is defined by the fold lines 46, 45, and 51, 52, having notched margins 46, 53, 51, and 45, 54, 52., The end bellows section D is defined by the fold line 43, 46, and the parallel exterior margins 55, 56, with upper and lower notched margins defined, respectively, by numerals 55, 57, 43, and 56, 58, 46. In the completed article, this panel D becomes the end panel 26 with the fold line 57, 58, of the blank becoming fold line 35, 29, of the completed bladder.

The other end bellows section E is defined by the fold line 44, 45, and the exterior margin, 59, 60, having upper and lower notched margins defined by the numerals 44, 61, 59, and 45, 62, 60, respectively. This bellows section becomes the end panel 27 in the completed article, the fold line 61, 62, being equivalent to the fold line 38, 32, of the completed article.

Extending above the bellows section B is the rectangular tab portion F, while depending below the bellows portion C is a rectangular tab portion G. The tab F is defined by the fold line 47, 48, the exterior parallel margin 63, 64, and end margins 63, 47, and 54, 48. The depending tab portion G is defined by the fold line 51, 52, and the exterior parallel margin 65, 66, and has end margins 51, 65, and 52, 66.

The total area of tabs Fjand G is substantially equivalent to the top panel 22 with a slight overlap between the exterior margains of these panels to allow for bonding them together.

In fabricating the bladder from the blanks shown in FIG. 6, the portions B, C, D, E, are folded inwardly about their respective fold lines 43-44, 44-45, 45-46, and 46-43, and at each of the four comers the portions of the notched corners are joined to each other by suitable means along their entire length. Thus, the marginal portion 43-49 will be joined to the marginal portion 43-57, as by means of adhesive or in the case of suitable materials, by means of dielectric heating, or other appropriate means.

At the other corners, the margin 44-50 will be joined to margin 44-61; margin 45-62 will be joined to the margin 45-54, and margin 46-58 will be joined to margin 4653. After this procedure, the respective bellows portions B, C, D and B, will be folded outwardly and back along their medial fold lines; namely, 49-50; 53-54; 57-58, and-61-62. The diaphragm 40 may then be put in place and joined along its marginal edges to the abutting sections B, C, D and E, along the fold lines just enumerated.

The remaining end marginal portions of the bellows sections are then joined to each other along their abutting edges. In this case, the margin 47-49 will be in abutting relationship with the margin 57. Similarly, margin 48-50 will be joined to margin 59-61; margin 60-62 will be joined with margin 52-54, and margin 51-53 will be joined with the margin 56-58.

At this point, only the flap portions F and G will remain unsealed and they should then be folded inwardly along their respective fold lines 47-48 and 51-5-2, in which position the exterior margin 5-5-56 of the bellows portion D will be in abutment with the margin 47-63 of the flap F and margin 5-1-65 of the flap G, and they should be joined with each other along their entire abutting portions.

The exterior margin 59-60 of the bellows portion B will be in abutting relationship with the margin 48-64 of fiap F and the margin 52-66 of the fiap G, and these marginal portions should be joined together. Finally, the abutting margins 63-64 of flap F will be joined with the abutting margin 65-66 of the flap G.

These operations having been completed, a bladder similar to that disclosed in FIG. 4 will have been com pleted by the insertion in one of the end panels of the valve 42.

Another form of blank for fabricating the bladder is shown in FIG. 7, but in this instance, two such blanks must be used. In this modified form, the blank is octagon-ally shaped having marginal edges defined by the numerals 67-68-69-70-71-72-73-74. A central re'ctangular area H is defined by the fold lines 75-76-77-78, which area in the final fabricated article will comprise either the top panel 22 or the bottom panel 23. At each side of the central area H, there are two trapezoidally shaped areas I and K, one of which is defined by the fold line 75-78 and the margins, 78-73-74-75; the other of which is defined by the fold line 76-77, and the margins 77-70-69-76. Above and below the area H are the trapezoidally shaped areas L and M, one of which is defined by the fold line 75-76 and the margins 76-68-67-65; the other being defined by the fold line 77-78 and the margins 78-72-7'1-77.

To complete the finished product, the portions J, K, L and M, are all turned inwardly along their respective fold lines and their abutting margins are joined to each other; that is to say, margin 75-75 is joined with the margin 67-75; margin 68-76 is joined to the margin 69-76; margin 70-77 is joined with margin 7 1-77, and margin 72-78 is joined with the margin 73-78.

Another similar blank is prepared in the same way,

after which they will be brought into opposing relationship with a diaphragm member 40 incorporated between them. In this position, the margin 69-70 of one of the blanks will be joined with the margin 73-74 of the other blank and one side margin of the diaphragm. The margin 73-74 of the first blank will be joined with the margin 67-70 of the second blank and the other side margin of the diaphragm. However, the margin 67-68 of one blank will be joined with the similarly enumerated margin of the other blank and in the margin of the diaphragm. And, finally, the margin 71-72 of both blanks will be joined together and with the remaining margin of the diaphragm.

Furthermore, it should be understood, as has been previously stated, that the purpose of the diaphragm member 40 is to provide lateral support for the bellows-like action of the side and end panels of the bladder. Therefore, while the most practical manner of providing this lateral support is to fabricate the diaphragm in a single sheet, it would also be possible to subdivide it into two or more separate pieces extending between opposite side panels.

Similarly, while it is more practical to join the diaphragm member with the side panels along its entire marginal surface, this would not be necessary so long as the diaphragm is secured to the side and end panels at spaced intervals suflicient to provide the necessary transverse strengthening.

Having disclosed several forms in which the invention may be practised, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that various modifications and improvements may be made which would come within the scope of the annexed claim.

We claim:

An inflatable pillow comprising, a pair of substantially flat sections of yieldable padding material substantially co-extensive in area, means to confine a body of air between said sections to position them in vertically spaced substantially parallel relation, said air-confining means including bellows-like vertically expandable bladder means composed of air-impervious flexible substantially nou-' References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,748,399 6/1956 Rookofi 5348 2,751,953 6/1956 Grimm 5-348 X 2,814,053 11/1957 Sevcik 5-348 2,990,070 6/ 1961 Cushman 5-3 48 X 3,016,938 1/1962 Akrep l505 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.

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U.S. Classification5/644, 383/3, 5/711
International ClassificationA47C27/08, A47G9/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47C27/18, A47C27/081, A47G9/1027
European ClassificationA47C27/18, A47G9/10D, A47C27/08A