|Publication number||US3256036 A|
|Publication date||Jun 14, 1966|
|Filing date||Jul 30, 1964|
|Priority date||Jul 30, 1964|
|Publication number||US 3256036 A, US 3256036A, US-A-3256036, US3256036 A, US3256036A|
|Inventors||Nolan John E|
|Original Assignee||American Radiator & Standard|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (19), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
J. E. NOLAN LIFT DEVICE June 14, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 30, 1964 INVENTOR John E. Nolon ATTORNEY J. E. NOLAN June 14, 1966 LIFT DEVICE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 30, 1964 INVENTOR John E. Nolon BYJM Wm ATTORNEY June 14, 1966 J. E. NOLAN 3,256,036
LIFT DEVICE Filed July 30, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig. 5.
INVENTOR John E. Nolan BY v ATTORNEY June l J. E. NOLAN LIFT DEVICE 5 Shee Filed July 1964 n/ J 7. mm WV m N v, W m Wm M J a B W 1 4) 4. %M HK J. E. NOLAN LIFT DEVICE June 14, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 30, 1964 n Rm mm mi 6% w 5 J mm aw om m on mm mm mm ww vw ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,256,036 LIFT DEVICE John E. Nolan, Jetfersontown, Ky., assignor to American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 30, 1964, Ser. No. 386,174
4 Claims. (Cl. 29716) This invention relates in general to new and useful improvements in lifting apparatus and more specifically to a fluid actuated apparatus for lifting an invalid, handicapped, or aged person onto and out of a bathtub or the like.
Heretofore, several attempts have been made to devise a satisfactory, economical, convenient and easy to use lift for assisting an invalid, handicapped, or an aged person into and out of a bathtub or the like. However, the known prior structures, while capable of performing the desired function were relatively costly and complex in structure. Also, the known lift devices were relatively cumbersome and frequently required the assistance of others to operate the same. One difficulty with the known lift constructions is that they are relatively bulky and diflicult to store or put away after use. For this reason, considerable effort was required each time such lifts had to be placed into and out of operation. As a result, such devices frequently became a fixture next to the bathtub thereby causing interference and inconvenience in the normal use of the bathtub or bathroom.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved readily disassembled lift which is relatively simple in strucutre, relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and positive in operation.
Another object is to provide an improved lift which can be readily erected and disassembled with a maximum.
of ease and a minimum of effort.
Still another object is to provide a lift which can be readily disassembled and stored out of sight in a minimum of storage space.
Still another object is to provide a relatively light weight, sturdy, durable, readily portable lift that can be readily and quickly disassembled without the use of any tools or implements of any kind.
Still another object is to provide a fluid actuated lift that can be readily operated by the person using the lift.
Still another object is to provide a bathlift having an improved valve construction for controlling the operation of the lift, such valve being located so as to be readily accessible to the person on the lift.
The foregoing objects, features, and advantages of this invention are attained by a fluid actuated bathlift comprising a base member and a lift assembly adapted to be readily detachable connected thereto. The base member is provided with a generally upright supporting post to which a lift assembly is detachably connected. The lift assembly includes an upright, light weight, column having a bearing block connected to the lower end thereof to define the means by which the column is detachably connected to the supporting post of the base member. The interconnection between the column and the post of the base member is such that the lift assembly is rotatably journalled about a substantially vertical axis and detachably connected thereto. A cylinder isslidably or telescopically received on the column for extension between an extended and retracted position. Means defining a fluid pressure chamber is disposed between the upper end of the column and the upper end of the cylinder. In accordance with this invent-ion, a conduit adapted to connect to a source of fluid pressure is connected to the upper end of the cylinder so as to be in communication with the pressure fluid chamber. There may be interposed in the conduit 21 valve for controlling the fluid pres- 3,256,036 Patented June 14, 1966 sure in the chamber, the valve being rendered readily accessible to the person on the lift.
In accordance with this invention, a seat means is connect d to the cylinder. The seat means comprises a back portion connected to the cyl nder portion of the lift and a seat portion which is hingedly connected to the cylinder of the lift so as to be foldable between an operative position in the erected position of the lift and a folded inoperative position in the disassembled position of the lift.
A feature of this invention resides in the provision wherein the lift assembly can be readily detached from the base member and whereby the seat portion can be readily folded with respect to the lift assembly in the disassembled position thereof so that the entire unit when knocked down can be stowed or stored in a minimum space or area.
Another feature of this invention resides in the provision that the seat is hingedly connected to the lift assembly so that it can be folded between inoperative and operative position and which in the inoperative position is compactly folded for stowage.
Other features and advantages will become more readily apparent when considered in view of the drawings and description wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the lift of the instant invention shown in the raised operative position.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view illustrating the lift in the disassembled or knocked down position.
FIGURE 3 is a side View of the lift shown in its lowered position and having parts thereof shown in section.
FIGURE 4 is a front view of FIG. 3 and also showing the control valve.
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the base member.
FIGURE 6 is a bottom end view of the base member.
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged perspective view of the lower column portion and lower guide of the lift assembly.
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged detail sectional view of the fluid pressure chamber of the lift assembly taken along line 8--8 of FIG. 3.
FIGURE 9 is a cross-sectional view of the improved valve for controlling the flow of fluid to the pressure chamber of the lift assembly, the respective parts of the valve being shown in the position for introducing fluid into the pressure chamber.
FIGURE 10 is a cross-sectional view of the valve in FIG. 9, .but showing the valve components in the position exhausting the fluid pressure from the pressure chamber.
Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
Referring to the drawings, there is shown in-FIG. l the improved lifting apparatus of the instant invention. As shown therein, the lift comprises a base member 21 which may be formed as a rectangular casting having a top wall portion 22 and connected depending side wall portions 23. Formed on the top wall portion 22 is an upwardly extending post 24 having aconical portion which tapers upwardly and inwardly. As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the front and rear ends of the base member 21 are each provided with an arcuate shaped portion 25 for receiving transversely extending tubes or bars 26' which have their respective outer end portions 26A downwardly bent to define relatively short legs. Connected to the base member can be firmly secured to a supporting surface, as for example, to the bottom or base of a bathtub. To facilitate the breaking of the vacuum of the respective suction cups 27, a finger lift or pull tab 28 is formed integral with eachof the respective cups.
In accordance with this invention, a lift assembly 29 is detachably connected to the post member 24 of the base member 21 enabling the lift device to be readily erected or disassembled. As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 7,
the lift assembly 29 comprises a generally upright, light weight, column 30 to form the piston portion of the lift assembly 29. The column 30 is made preferably of a light weight material, such as aluminum, thin gauge stainless steel or the like. In the illustrated embodiment, it is formed with a rectangular cross-section. Connected to the lower end of the column 30 is a bearing block 31, preferably made of plastic material or the like which may be press fitted to the lower end of the hollow column 38 and secured thereto by a suitable fastener 32 (FIG. 3) such as a bolt or rivet.
As best seen in FIG. 7 the bearing block 31 includes a bottom wall 31A portion having integrally connected thereto a pair of opposed upwardly extending side flanges 31B which are interconnected intermediate the ends thereof by a relatively thick transversely extending web portion 31C which tapers upwardly and inwardly. As shown, the web portion 31C of the block 31 has a tapered bore or opening 31D extending therethrough to define asocket adapted to receive the conical post 24 of the base member 21 to form the detachable connection therebetween. If desired, the lower portions of the bearing block flanges 313 may be provided with a silghtly, outwardly curved or arcuate contour to insure a friction tight fit between the hollow rectangular column 30 and the bottom of the bearing block 31. To facilitate disconnection of the bearing block 31 from the post 24 and to provide the necessary resiliency to form a satisfactory and snug bearing therebetween, the bearing block 31 may be provided with an elongated slot or cut 31E, which resiliently permits the upper portion of the bearing in the bearing block to spread to release the post 24. The slot 31E eliminates tight wedging between the tapered opening 31D and the conical post 24 thereby permitting freedom of movement therebetween without excessive looseness.
The upper end of the column 30 has'connected thereto a bearing guide or collar 33. The bearing guide 33 is provided with a marginal flange portion 33A to function as the upper guide or bearing for the cylinder 34 or movable member of the lift assembly, and depending flange portion 33B by which it is secured to the column by suitable fasteners 35. A piston cup 36 made of a resilient material such as rubber or the like and comprising an inverted cup shaped member having upwardly extending resilient flange portions 36A adapted to frictionally engage the side walls of the cylinder 34 is also secured to the column 30. The bottom of the piston cup shaped member 36 has connected thereto a depending flange 36B which is received within the hollow column 30 and secured thereto by fasteners 35. Thus, upper bearing member 33 is secured to the column 30 with the same fasteners 35 that secure the depending flanges 36B of the piston cup 36 to the column.
In accordance with this invention, the movable member of the lift comprises the cylinder 34, which is preferably formed of plastic. Accordingly, the cylinder 34 is mounted on the column for relative sliding movement with respect thereto. A heating means 37 is connected to the lower end of the cylinder and together with the upper bearing 33, they provide the bearings or guides for the cylinder 34 reciprocating relative to the column between the raised and lowered positions. As best seen in FIG. 7, the lower bearing member 37 comprises a collar which is adapted to be received in the cylinder 34 and secured to the lower end thereof by a fastener 38. The outer surface of the collar is substantially cylindrical and it is adapted to be snugly received within the lower end of the cylinder 34. The internal surface of the collar 37 is provided with a pair of opposed channels 39 to define a loose slideway for receiving the column 30. As shown, the shoulder portions 39A defining the opposed channels or grooves 39 prohibit relative rotation of the cylinder 34 relative to the column 30. Thus, the upper guide or bearing 33, hereinbefore described, and the lower hearing or collar 37 cooperate to guide the cylinder along the column between the extended and retracted positions thereof.
Suitably secured to the upper end of the cylinder 34 is a cap or closure 40 to define with the cylinder walls and piston cup 36 an expandible fluid pressure chamber 41. As shown, the cap 49 is provided with 21 depending stern 40A to form a stop to limit the position of the cylinder 34 with respect to the piston cup 36 in the lowered position of the lift. As best seen in FIG. 8, the cap or closure 40 has formed integral therewith a handle means 42 whereby the assembly may be readily grasped to facilitate the assemble and disassemble of the lift device 20. Formed in the handle portion 42 is a passageway 43 which is in communication with the fluid pressure chamber 41 defined between cap 40, the cylinder 34, and the piston cup 36. One end of the passageway 43 may be provided with internal threads 44 to which there may be threaded an elbow 45. A flexible conduit 46 is connected to the elbow for supplying the fluid necessary to exert the pressure for effecting displacement of the cylinder.
In accordance with this invention, a seat arrangement is supported from the cylinder 34. The seat comprises a back rest 47 which is suitably secured to the cylinder 34 by means of a bracket or strap 48 which extends around the cylinder 34 and permit-s the back rest 47 to be readily adjusted or turned on the cylinder. The seat 49 is hingedly connected with respect to the cylinder 34 so as to be folded between an operative position in the erected arrangement of the lift 20 and a folded or inoperative position in the disassembled or knock down position of the lifting device. This is readily attained by a seat support 50 defined by a reversely bent tube having opposed leg portions 50A arranged to straddle the cylinder and a connected bight portion 50B. The seat 49 is connected to the leg portions 50A by suitable fasteners or the like. A strap or bracket 51 pivotally connected to the cylinder 34 about pivots or fasteners 38 connects the seat support 50 to the cylinder 34 for pivotal movement between a folded and unfolded position thereof. The arrangement is such that the seat 49 and seat support 50 ar rendered readily foldable as'best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. In the operative position of the seat, as seen in FIG. 1, it will be noted. that the bight portion 508 of the seat bracket 40 functions as a limit stop for the seat 49.
A valve means 55 may be interposed in the conduit 46 for controlling the amount of fluid pressure introduced into the fluid pressure chamber 41 of the lift device 20 whereby the relative displacement of the cylinder 34 with respect to the column 30 can be controlled. The control valve assembly .55 comprises a valve stem 56 which is adapted to connect the upper or inlet section 46A of the conduit 46 to the outlet or lower conduit section 4613. The opposed ends of the valve stem 56 may be serrated 56A to provide for a firm and positive connection with the respective conduit sections 46A, 46B. The stem 56 is provided with opposed longitudinally extending bores or passageways 57, 58 which open to the respective ends thereof, the respective bottoms 57A, 58A of the bores 57, 58 terminating in spaced relationship with respect to one another at a location intermediate the length of the stem 56. Each of the respective bores 57, 58 is provided with a laterally ertending port opening 59, 60 respectively which open to the exterior of the stem 56. Slidably connected along the axis of the stem 56 is a valve sleeve 61. As shown, the valve sleeve 61 is provided with spaced upper and lower inturned flange portions 61A, 61B ad- 5. jacent the ends thereof which space the body 61C of the sleeve 61 from the stem so as to define an annular pass-age- Way 62 there'between.
The ends of the sleeve 61 exteriorily of the respective flanges 61A, 61B are provided with recessed portions 63 for receiving a suitable pack-ing 64, such as O-rings, to prohibit leakage. The arrangement is such that the sleeve 61 is rendered slidably connected along the valve stem so as to place the respective port openings 59, 60 into and out of communication with one another, as will be hereinafter described. Stop means are connected to the valve stem to limit the relative sliding movement of the valve sleeve 61 with respect to the valve stem. In the illustrated form of the invention, the stop means comprises a lock washer 65 or the like suitably connected in an angular groove formed in the valve stem and spaced above and below the sleeve 61 to limit the movement of the sleeve therebetween. A valve housing 66 is provided for enclosing the valve sleeve 61. The valve housing 66 comprises an upper and a lower cylindrical member 66A, 66B, the lower housing member 66B being provided with offset shoulder 67 adapted to form a seat for receiving a Washer 68 against which the valve sleeve 61 bears. The upper end of the lower housing member 6613 is provided with an internal threaded portion 69 that receives the external threaded portion 70 of the upper housing member 66A. As shown, the upper housing member 66A is arranged to bear against a washer 71 interposed between the sleeve 61 and the housing member 66A. Thus, the movement of the valve housing 66 effects sliding movement of the valve sleeve 61. The arrangement is such that the annular passageway 62 defined by the valve sleeve 61 will connect the respective port openings 59, 60 into and out of communication, depending on the setting of the sleeve 61.
In operation, the pressure fluid chamber 41 in the lift assembly 29 is charged by moving the valve sleeve 61 against the lower stop 65 to the position shown in FIG. 9 so that the respective port openings 59, 60 are open to the passageway 62 defined by the valve sleeve 61. When this occurs, it will then be apparent that the flow of fluid from the inlet conduit section 46A to th outlet conduit section 46B is through bore 57 and out through port opening 59 into the passageway 62 defined by the valve sleeve 61, through port opening 60 to bore 58, and thence to the conduit section 46B to the pressur fluid chamber 41. Thus th buildup of fluid pressure within the pressure chamber 41 effects relative displacement of the cylinder 34 to its extended position.
By moving the valve sleeve 61 upwardly against the upper stop 65 to the position shown in FIG. 10, the fluid pressure of the pressure chamber 41 is relieved as the fluid therein is exhausted by flowing from conduit 46B through bore 58 and out through the port 60 whereby thefluid is discharged as indicated by arrows A, B, C (FIG. 10). The fluid thus exhausted is emptied into the tub.
In order that the operation of the lift device 20 can be actuated by the person utilizing the same, the control valve 55 is disposed into the conduit 46 at a position so as to be rendered readily accessible to the person or patient seated on the seat 49 of the lift.
To assemble the lift 20 from its shipping position shown in FIG. 2 to its erected position, shown in FIG. 1, a person need only remove the base portion 21 from the position as shown in FIG. 1 and place it on a supporting surface, as for example, on the bottom of a bathtub by applying'pressure to adhere the suction cups 27. With the base member 21 securely positioned in the tub, the lift assembly 29 can be readily attached to the post 24 thereof simply by mating the socket 31D of the bearing block 31 with the upright conical post 24 of the base member 21. The back rest strap 47 which encircles the cylinder 34 is loosened so that the back rest 47 may be turned approximately 180 degrees on the cylinder 34 from the position of FIG. 2 to that of FIG. 1. It will be understood that the back rest 47 is turned 180 degrees only after removal from the shipping box and may be maintained in the position shown in'FIG. 1 at all other times. With the lift assembly 29 secured to the base member 21, the seat 49 can be readily folded into the operative position as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The conduit 46 is then connected to the source of fluid supply as for example, to a faucet or to a T connection fixed to a shower head 76 or spicket of a bathtub.
The apparatus 20 is now readied for use. The seat 49 is raised by turning on the water and shifting the valve housing 66 and associated slide valve sleeve 61 to a position indicated in FIG. 9. In this position of the valve, it will be apparent that the fluid or water is directed from the source of supply to the pressure fluid chamber 41 whereby the pressure buildup of fluid within the chamber causes the cylinder and connected seat means 49 to raise relative to the supporting column 30. When the seat 49 has been raised above the side of the tub, the assembly and seat connected thereto is rotated to a position for receiving the patient or invalid. With the person properly seated thereon, the seat is then again rotated so as to overlie the tub. The patient is then lowered by shifting the valve 55 to the position of FIG. 10 so that the weight 'of the person on the seat causes the fluid within the pressure chamber 41 to be exhausted through the valve 55 as previously described herein. Thus the patient is safely placed in the bath. Upon completion of the bath, the procedure is reversed, and the person can be removed simply and quickly from the tub.
To limit the upward movement of the cylinder 34 relative to the column 30, a stop pin 77 (FIG. 3) is positioned to extend transversely of the column 30 so as to be engaged by the lower bearing guide 37 of the cylinder in the uppermost position thereof.
The apparatus 20 may be readily disassembled simply by disconnecting the conduit 46 from the source of fluid supply. The lift assembly 29 is then detached from the base member 21 and the seat portion 49 is folded against the cylinder 34 of the lift assembly. The cylinder 34 with the seat folded thereagainst and the separated base member 21 may then be conveniently stored occupying a minimum of space. The hose may be conveniently wrapped around the cylinder and seat as desired. It will be observed that with the seat folded on the cylinder 34, the bight portion 50B of the seat support 50 provides a convenient handle for carrying this subassembly. The cylinder and seat subassembly may be conveniently placed against a vertical wall with the handle 42 resting on the floor and the bight portion 50B resting against the wall. Similarly the separated base member 21 may be stood on end'and rested against the wall adjacent thereto. Thus the unit may be temporarily stowed against a wall in this manner between usages. It will be observed that by stowing it in this manner any water left in the cylinder will not leak onto the floor. Thus the lift device 20 can be readily disassembled for convenient stowage without the use of any hand tools.
While the instant invention has been described with reference to a particular embodiment thereof, it will be readily understood and appreciated that variations and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the instant invention.
What is claimed is:
1.- A bathlift comprising, a lift assembly, means defining a base for supporting said lift assembly, means for readily disconnecting said lift assembly from said base means, said lift assembly including telescoping members, a seat, means hingedly connecting said seat to one of said members for folding said sea-t relative thereto in a disassembled position of said lift assembly, means defining an extensible chamber between said telescoping members, means for introducing a fluid pressure into said chamber to effect relative movement between said members,
said seat hinge means comprising a U-shaped bracket having opposed leg portions straddling said one telescoping member and a bight portion connecting said leg portions, said leg portions being angularly bent intermediate the ends thereof whereby the free ends thereof are adapted to extend laterally of said one telescoping member, means pivotally connecting said leg portions to said one telescoping member, said seat being connected to said leg portions, and said bight connecting said leg portions limiting the pivotal movement of said seat in the operative position thereof.
2. A bathlift comprising, a base, a fluid-actuated lift assembly detachably connected to said base whereby said assembly can be readily connected and disconnected therefrom between an erected position and disassembled position, said lift assembly including a column, an outer cylinder slidable on said column for movement relative thereto between an elevated extended position and a lowered retracted position, upper and lower sleeve bearings for guiding said cylinder on said column, a piston fixed to the upper end of said column whereby said cylinder defines an expandible chamber above said piston, seat means carried by said cylinder, means hingedly connecting said seat means to said cylinder whereby said seat means is adapted to be folded between an operative position in the erected position of said lift assembly and a stowed position in the disassembled position of said lift assembly, said hinge means comprising aligned fasteners extending through the wall of the cylinder into the lower sleeve bearing to connect the bearing and cylinder to the seat means.
3. A bathlift comprising, a base having an upright tapered supporting post, a fluid-actuated lift assembly said lift assembly including a normally upright column, a bearing block in the lower end of said column, said bearing block having a tapered socket formed thereon for rotatably receiving said supporting post in the erected position of said lift whereby said column is releasably and rotatably journalled one said base, the walls which form the upper portion of the tapering socket having at least on elongated slot therein to prevent tight wedging of the post in the socket, an outer cylinder slidably telescoped on said column for movement relative thereto between an extended elevated position and retracted lowered position, upper and lower sleeve bearings for guiding said cylinder on said column, said upper bearing being fixed to the upper end of said column, and said lower bearing being fixed to the lower end of said cylinder, seat means carried by said cylinder, means for hingedly connecting said seat means to said cylinder whereby said seat means is adapted to be folded between an operative position in the erected position of said lift and a stowed, inoperative position in the disassembled position of said lift, said hinge means comprising aligned fasteners extending through the cylinder wall into the lower sleeve bearing to connect the bearing and cylinder to the seat means.
4. A bathlift comprising a base having an upstanding tapered post carried thereon; a fluid-actuated lift assembly comprising two normally upright telescoped members defining an expansion chamber therebetween, whereby introduction of pressure fiuid into said chamber causes one of the members to be raised with respect to the other; a seat arranged to move with said one telescoped member; said other member having a tapering socket in its lower portion which snugly and rotatably mates with the upstanding post to detachably and rotatably mount the lift assembly on the base; the walls which form the upper portion of the tapering socket having at least one elongated slot therein to prevent tight wedging of the post in the socket.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 504,855 9/1893 Wright 297349 1,719,929 7/1929 Ferris 297353 2,270,233 1/1942 Shaw 297347 2,362,746 11/ 1944 DeVries 297- 349 2,509,671 5/ 1950 Christensen 251-344 2,686,557 8/1954 Karlsson 4-185 2,725,578 12/1955 Keller 4-185 2,779,949 2/ 1957 Crispen 41 2,798,533 7/1957 Frank 297335 3,045,660 7/1962 Manley 108-134 FOREIGN PATENTS 957,599 5/1964 Great Britain.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
F. K. ZUGEL, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||297/16.1, 297/344.19, 248/415, 4/564.1|
|Cooperative Classification||A61G7/1059, A61G7/1003, A61G7/1019, A61G7/1076|
|European Classification||A61G7/10Z4, A61G7/10T10, A61G7/10N6, A61G7/10A2|