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Publication numberUS3317928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1967
Filing dateSep 25, 1964
Priority dateSep 25, 1964
Publication numberUS 3317928 A, US 3317928A, US-A-3317928, US3317928 A, US3317928A
InventorsAnton Root
Original AssigneeAnton Root
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lowering and raising seat for tubs and the like
US 3317928 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

INVENTOR.

/////d// fmzf, XII /11 f 62/1 LOWERING AND RAISING SEAT FOR TUBS AND THE LIKE 5 Sheets$heet 1 A ;g /I7 A. ROOT May 9, 1967 Filed Sept. 25, 1964 A. ROOT May 9, 1967 LJOWERING AND RAISING SEAT FOR TUBS AND THE mm;

. 1 4 2 f f f H m/v f M u W s E MD vfi fw a m 5% my 3 M W. ff W W a a May 9, 1967 A. ROOT 3,317,928

LOWERING AND RAISING SEAT FOR TUBS AND THE LIKE I NVEN TOR.

aw 6' 42M #liarzrgyn United States Patent 3,317,928 LOWERING AND RAISING SEAT FOR TUBS AND THE LIKE Anton Root, 1814 Jackson St., North Chicago, Ill. 60064 Filed Sept. 25, 1964, Ser. No. 399,276 12 Claims. (Cl. 4-185) This invention relates to a package unit to be mounted on a wall at the end of a tub which package unit contains a chair that may be lowered or raised int-o and from the tub.

Invalid and semi-invalid persons are faced with problems of entering and leaving a tub for bathing. Various mechanical units and assemblies have been provided to raise and lower such persons into the tub. Some of said units must be rolled to and away from the tub and others are complex structures which are either mounted to walls or tubs. Many units occupy much space and others lack flexibility and desirable features such as removing the seating surface for cleaning or replacement. It is accordingly a primary object of this invention to provide a package unit for mounting on the wall over a tub, which package contains a seat assembly which may be lowered for active use and retracted for inactive storage.

Another object is a bath chair package unit which permits selective seating in the tub or outside the tub on a retractable seat.

Another object is a bath chair package mounted on the wall over the end of a tub which may be simply and quickly moved to active position, and in which power means slowly raise and lower the surface for comfortable and safe use for the bathing subject.

Another object is a package unit which may be closed to view when not in use and which may be quickly opened and placed in operation when desired.

Another object is a bath chair package unit to be mounted on the wall over the end of a tub, said package having a retractable seating assembly with a seating surface of flexible material which may be easily removed for cleaning or replacement, and in which said flexible material may be easily reinstalled.

Another object is a package containing a retractable bath chair seat assembly in which a part of the package is rigidly secured to a wall at one end of the tub and another part of the package may be swung out so that the seat assembly may be placed in position over the side of the tub to permit convenient seating by a user.

Another object is a bath chair package, as described, in which the seat assembly includes flexible seating material with means on the underside of such material to anchor the material when the seat is fully lowered within the tub.

These and other objects are attained by the invention which will be described in detail and which is shown in the enclosed drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic top plan view of the package mounted on a wall over the end of a tub;

FIGURE 2 is a schematic side elevational view in partial section of the package, wall and tub shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view on a large scale of the package unit with parts removed and parts in section;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the package on an enlarged scale showing the seat assembly lowered to active position with parts in section and parts removed;

FIGURE 5 is a schematic front elevational view in section of the seating;

FIGURE 6 is an exploded perspective of an arm assembly used in the seat assembly; and

FIGURE 7 is a side elevational view of the gear train and motor with parts in section and parts removed.

The use of like numerals in the various views will refer to like structures and elements.

Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, a package unit shown generally as 10 is mounted rigidly and securely to a wall 12 by bolts such as 14. Below the package is located one end 16 of a tub, another end is shown at 18, and a side at 20. The package includes an outer housing or box 22 and an inner housing or box 24. One side 26 of the inner box is joined to a side 28 of the outer box by a heavy hinge such as 30. This permits the inner box to be swung out over the side 20 of the tub as indicated in FIGURE 1 by phantom line. The package may be provided with a cover 32 to close from view the contents of the inner box when the bath chair is not used. Such cover is preferably hinged as at 29 and 31 at a side opposite to the hinge so that the cover may be swung to a side of the tub opposite from side 20, for example. With this arrangement, the inner box will be swung to the opposite side of the tub so that the seat assembly may be moved from Within the inner box over the outside of the tub, or over the inside of the tub, as desired.

Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, the inner box is shown structurally reinforced by crisscrossing T irons and 42 in which the depending stems 44 and 46 are welded or abutted against the back 48 of the inner box. The'top flanges 49 and 50 of the T abut against the top 52 of the inner box and the sides 54 and .56 respectively. Channels 45 and 47 are shown at the sides of the box and a similar channel 51 is shown at the top. The ends of such channels are shown angled to abut against adjoining ends of the T irons. Such channels are fixed to the box by appropriate welds or the like. An angle 58 laterally extends to Ts 40 and 42 and is secured to the stems of such Ts by welds such as 60' and 62. Corner bracket supports 63 and 64 are shown at the bottom of the box to provide additional reinforcements. Two sides of such supports may have turned-in legs (not shown) to be fixed to the side and bottom of the box by Welds. Two bracket elements have apertured bosses 68, 69 which have integral flange portions 71, 72 by which the bracket elements are fixed to the back wall by four bolts. One bolt is shown at 73 in flange 71 and the other at 74 in flange 72. The bosses hold rotatable bearings 75, 75 which are integrally formed with ofiset body sections 78 and 79 of bearing elements shown generally as 80* and 81. The bearing elements are adapted to rotate to up and down positions by bearings 75, 76 rotating within their respective bosses. Each rotatable bearing has side bearing inserts such as and 86 shown with rotatable bearings 75. Aligned openings in the bearing inserts receive end parts 87 and 88 of a shaft shown generally as 89. The shaft contains an intermediate part 90 which is connected to end part 87 by removable collar 92 and pin 94, and to end part 88 by a similar removable collar 96 and pin 98. The shaft may be easily dismantled by removing the collars to repair or replace the shaft or the shaft parts.

The ends of the shaft have worm gears 100 and 102 which are attached thereon by screws such as 104, 106. The shaft is rotated by belt 108 turning gear 110 fixed to the shaft. The belt is turned by the electric motor shown generally as 112 mounted to angle 58 by studs and nuts shown generally at 114 and 116.

A pair of spaced arms 118, are adapted to be rotated at their inner ends by gears 100 and 102 respectively. The arms are part of the seat assembly which is raised and lowered as a unit. The arms may be supported in their lowered or active position by collapsible means such as link hinges, one of which is shown at 117.

Such hinges include a link fixed to the box and pivoted at 121 to another link 123 fixed to the plate 122. The assembly also includes the bearing elements 75 and 76 with their bearing bores 82 and 83 to receive arms 118 and 120. The bearing elements are fixed to a supporting plate 122 to the top side at each bottom corner. The plate has a curved front edge 124, and such plate extends to both arms.

The two arms are alike in construction and operation but the description will pertain to arm 118 alone. Arm 118 is shown as having a solid portion with its lower back end having a gear fixed to the solid portion by a screw or pin 136. This gear is turned by Worm 100 of the shaft in a corner cutout 137 of the plate 122. The arm has an upper or front hollow or tube portion 138 with an end 140 that telescopes over the end of the solid portion. A screw or the like 142 locks the hollow portion to the solid portion. Attached to the plate by welds, soldering or the like, is a carriage member 146 which holds the bearing races 148 and 150 of bearing 152. The arm rotates within such bearing.

A flexible material seat 154 is suspended between the arms 118, 120 and is adapted to be raised or lowered by respectively being rolled or unrolled around the arms 118 and 120. Arcuate covers such as 155 and 156 may be provided for the rotating arms so the user does not contact such rotating arms. The arcuate covers may be curved around the inside of the arms, relative to the user, and may be secured to the bottom of the plate by a plurality of bolts such as 157 and 158.

The flexible seating material 154, which may be strong duck canvas, is locked in the hollow portion 133 of the arm in such a way that the canvas may be removed for cleaning or replacement. This is accomplished by removing a plug or closure 162 from the end of the arm. Such a plug is shown with a threaded stem 164 to engage thread 166 in the end of the arm. The threaded stem body also provides support for the hollow portion of the arm at its upper or outer end. The plug 162 as shown has a bore 168 which receives a spring 170 that urges ball 172 outward against spherical socket 174. This permits the arm to be snap locked against the top 52 of the inner box when the arm is moved to an inactive position, as shown in FIGURE 3 by phantom outline. The end of the other arm is similarly designed in the present embodiment.

Reference may now be made to FIGURES 5 and 6. When the closure or plug 162 is removed, then the retaining means for the seat are longitudinally withdrawn from the hollow portion. By this action, a side of the seat is carried along and removed from slot 177 which extends along a substantial axial length of the tube portion of the arm. The seat is retained preferably by overlapping end 182 of the flexible material after it has been turned around a rod or elongated retainer 184. The rod is wider than slot 177 so it is retained therein. The overlapped portion is secured as by strong stitching indicated at 183. The overlap forms an enclosed loop 185 which is dimensioned to permit easy entry and removal of the rod 184. A frictional slip collar 187 is provided on the end of the arm to constrain the walls of the arm from spreading at the slot when the plug 162 is inserted. The arm has a down-turned lip as at 189 to limit movement of the collar further on the arm.

The bottom of the seating material is shown provided with anchoring means, such as suction cups 190 and 191, adapted to securely engage the bottom 194 of the tub when the seat is placed in a fully lowered position. The arms 118 and 120 rotate clockwise and counterclockwise as indicated by the arrows in FIGURE 5 so that when the seat is fully rolled up on the arms, it will be substantially taut and parallel to the bottom of the tub as indicated by phantom line 196 showing the suction cups 190 and 191 in the raised position.

It will be seen from FIGURE 5 that there is a small space between the top of the tub and the bottom of the arm so that the flexible material preferably has clearance to accommodate any bellying of the canvas when the weight of the user is placed in the seat. A clearance of about 4 inches has been found satisfactory.

The motor is shown generally at 112 with a gear train reduction so the worm gears 100 and 102 rotate at substantially lower and safer speeds. Looking at FIGURE 7, an electric motor 192 is in housing 194 and journalled appropriately at 196 and 198. The motor shaft 200 may turn at high rates of speed of about 20,000 rpm. and this shaft has geared portion 202 which meshes with gear 204 fixed to shaft 206 journalled at 208 and 210. Shaft 206 has gear portion 212 which meshes with gear 214 fixed to shaft 216 which is journalled at 218 and 220. Shaft 216 rotates at a substantially reduced rate, say about 550 rpm. The reduced rotation turns gear 222 which drives belt 108. This further reduced the rotational speed so that a shaft 89 turns about 300 r.p.m. Worm gears 100 and 102 further reduce the rotational rate so that arms 118 and 120 rotate at the low and safe speeds of about 15 rpm. The user turns the motor on and off by an appropriate switch conveniently positioned, such as at 145, on the cover portion 155 of the rotating arm (see FIGURE 4). The connections of the switch to the motor are not shown but such are conventional. It will be realized that the switch may be otherwise positioned, such as in the end wall or on the tub or in a separate portable control.

The use and operation of the invention are as follows:

A safety chair which can be slowly raised and lowered has been shown as disposed in a package unit consisting preferably of an outer metal and an inner metal box. The inner box is preferably of a similar configuration to the outer box but of smaller overall dimensions so that it can freely swing in and out of the outer box.

The outer metal box is securely fastened to the wall by preferably applying connectors to the studding behind the wall.

This package is particularly versatile because it permits seriously incapacitated users to sit in the chair outside the tub. Even if the user is paralyzed from the waist down, he can lower himself into the chair which has been positioned over the side of the tub. He would only need an attendant to lift his legs and feet over the side of the tub and then swing the chair over the tub.

A side of the inner box has been shown hinged to an adjoining side of the outer box by a heavy duty hinge such as a piano hinge so that the inner box may swing out about 90 directly over the side of the tub and support the weight of the user. It should be realized, however, that other pivotal means or hinges may be used at the junction of the sides to swing the box more than 90, if desired, to facilitate seating outside the tub.

The rotatable arms in the retractable seat assembly are lowered to a fully' active positive which is substantially horizontal to a plane running through the top of the tub. The arms are operable in this position either over the side of the tub or directly over the tub.

A seating should be used which is flexible, strong and serviceable. Such a seating material, together with a strong construction of the box and other accessories of the seating assembly, support great weights safely. The unit may be constructed with a capacity life of 500 lb. or more. Once the chair is positioned over the tub, it may be conveniently controlled to lower the user to any desired level, say from 2 inches to 10 inches from the bottom of the tub.

The combination of the seating surface of flexible material together with the rotating arms leads to a comfortable and serviceable seat which has the added advantage of being removable for cleaning and replacement. Flexible seating material is highly desirable for a bath chair,

therefore its removal for cleaning or replacement is an important feature of the invention. Such seating materials are comfortable and they additionally give the user a sense of safety and security because of their cradling effect. This is very important, especially for older users and invalids or semi-invalid users. Removal and reinstallation of the seating material has been provided by the locking assembly within the tube portions of the arms. Such an assembly is out of the way but is still easily accessible by simply removing the closure at the end of the tube portions. Such closure preferably has a threaded stem for positioning within the tube so that said stem supports or maintains the dimensional spacing or extent of the tube. The sides of the seating material are conveniently turned around or lapped over an elongated retainer which is then inserted in the hollow portions of the arms. It is an advantageous feature that the elongated retainer may be removed as a unit from the tube portions, and the seating material may be conveniently released or installed in a free working area. This eliminates the problem of working in tight quarters and performing complicated manipulations in locking and unlocking the seating materiaL- I The flexible material seat is lowered and raised at a slow rate by means which provide great power for handling users of great weights. Such means have been shown as a great train with a reduction system in which different numbers of teeth in the gears convert the initial high rotation rate of the motor to a very low rotational rate of the arms. The illustrated embodiment of this reduction system provides a motor shaft gear 202 with a small number of teeth such as 8T. It engages a larger gear of 4ST, and then gear 212 of 10T turns gear 214 with 66T. The rate is then reduced from 66T to 12T with gear 222, and then to 22T with gear 110 which results in shaft 88 turning at about 15 r.p.m.a reduction from the original motor rotation of about 20,000 r.p.m. Thus, the final lifting point of about 15 r.p.m. represents a greatly reduced rotation which provides great power for lifting or raising users of great sizes. The lifting power is in fact far in excess of what is ordinarily required.

The Worm gears 100 and 102 at the end of shaft parts 87 and 88 serve a dual function of turning the gears such as 135 on-the arms and acting as hinges with such arm gears in raising and lowering the arms. When not used, the arms are moved or retracted to an upper position which requires very little deep space in the package, say only about three inches.

The invention may now be practiced, but such practitioners will know that the invention is not restricted to the particular embodiments which have been shown. The scope of the invention is not to be restricted except by the terms of the following claims as given meaning by the preceding description.

I claim:

1. A bath chair package to be mounted on the wall at one of the ends of the tub which includes, in combination, an outer housing adapted to be rigidly fixed to the wall, an inner housing having a plurality of sides, one of said sides pivoted on a vertical axis to the outer housing so that the inner housing may swing to a position over the side of the tub, a retractable seat assembly within the inner housing, a seating surface in said assembly, said seating assembly movable to active position so the seating surface may be used, means to raise and lower the seating surface, and said seating surface movable back into the inner housing when inactive.

2. A bath chair package as in claim 1 further characterized in that the means to raise and lower said seating assembly includes a pair of spaced rotatable arms, means to rotate the arms, and said seating surface is of flexible material which is rolled up and unrolled by such arms.

3. A bath chair package as in claim 2 further characterized in that means to rotate the arms includes a motor connected to the arms by a reduced gear train so that the arms rotate at a reduced rate from the rate at which the motor turns over.

4. A bath chair package as in claim 1 further characterized in that the seating surface has an underside with a suction cup attached thereto to secure the seating surface to the bottom of the tub in the fully lowered position.

5. A bath chair package as in claim 1 further characterized in that the seating assembly has means which allow removal and replacement of the seating surface.

6. A bath chair package as in claim 1 further characterized in that the side of the inner housing is pivoted to the outer housing by a heavy duty hinge extending along the junction of said side with the outer housing.

7. A bath chair package adapted to be rigidly mounted on the wall above one of the ends of the tub which includes, in combination, an outer box, means to rigidly secure the box to the wall, an inner box within the outer box, the inner box having a configuration similar to the outer box so that the inner box is snugly but swingably positioned within the outer box, a heavy duty hinge vertically pivoting a side of the inner box to an adjoining side of the outer box so that the inner box may swing out over the side of the tub, a retractable seat assembly disposed within the inner box, the seat assembly including a flexible seating surface, means in the inner box to raise and lower the seating surface to active position and inactive position, and means in the seat assembly to permit replacement of the flexible seating surface.

8. A bath chair package adapted to be mounted on the wall over one of the ends of the tub which includes, in combination, an outer housing, means to rigidly secure the outer housing on the wall, an inner housing within the outer housing, a plurality of sides on the inner housing, one of said sides of said inner housing pivoted on a vertical axis to the outer housing by a heavy duty hinge, a retractable seat assembly disposed within the inner housing, the seat assembly having spaced arms, a flexible seating surface suspended between said arms, one of the ends of said arms having means adapted to engage rotatable means within the inner housing when the arms are lowered to active position, the arms having passageways extending at least partly along their axial lengths, a slot in each arm communicating with the passageway, the opposite sides of the flexible seating surface positioned in said passageway and extending out of said slots, and means to releasably lock the opposite sides of the flexible material within the passageway.

9. A bath chair package as in claim '8 further characterized in that the means to releasably lockthe opposite sides of the flexible material include an elongated retainer within a loop formed by an overlapping side edge of the flexible material and said overlapping sides connected together at a point which dimensions the loop sufficiently to permit easy entry and removal of the elongated retainer.

10. A bath chair package adapted to be mounted on the wall over one of the ends of the tub, which includes, in combination, an outer box, means to rigidly secure the outer box to the wall, an inner box of similar configuration to the outer box so said inner box may be positioned within the outer box, a heavy duty vertical hinge pivoting a side of the inner box to an adjoining side of the outer box so that the inner box may swing out over the side of the tub, a retractable seat assembly disposed within the inner box, the seat assembly including a pair of spaced rotatable arms, a passageway in at least a forward portion of each arm, an elongated slot in the forward portion of each arm, a flexible material seat, the opposite sides of the seat passing through the slots, means within the forward portion of said arms to releasably hold said opposed sides within the arms, removable means at the forward ends of the arms to allow access to passageways in the forward portions, engaging means on the rearward portion of each arm, driving means which connect with the engaging means of the arms to rotate said arms at low rotational rates so the flexible material seat may be raised and lowered slowly and safely to an active position substantially horizontal to a plane through the top of the tub and to raise the seat to the inactive position within the inner box wherein the arms are substantially vertical to said plane through the top of the tub, and means to control the driving means so that the seat is selectively lowered by being unrolled from around the arms and selectively raised by being rolled up on said arms.

11. A bath chair package as in claim 10 further characterized in that the means within the passageways of the forward portions of the arms includes an elongated retainer within a loop formed by an overlapping side edge of the flexible material, and said overlapping sides connected together by stitching so the loop is dimensionally set.

12. A bath chair package as in claim 10 further characterized in that the removable means at the ends of each arm is a closure, a stern on the closure, means to releasably lock the stem within the arm so that said closure may be removed and may support the dimensional extent of the arm when in place, and constraining means on the slotted arm to limit expansion of the arm when the stem is locked in place.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,263,611 4/1918 Scroggin 4185 X 2,045,110 6/1936 Spiess 4-185 2,565,761 8/1951 Dean 4185 X 2,965,153 12/1960 Purcell 312235 X LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

H. I. GROSS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3889304 *May 24, 1973Jun 17, 1975Soederberg Ab TollamBathing device for invalided persons
US4031576 *May 24, 1976Jun 28, 1977Helen Charlotte EpsteinInvalid toilet aid
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Classifications
U.S. Classification4/561.1, 312/235.2
International ClassificationA61G7/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/1003, A61G7/1074, A61G7/1044, A61G7/1059, A61G7/1015
European ClassificationA61G7/10N2, A61G7/10Z2, A61G7/10S4, A61G7/10A2, A61G7/10T10