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Publication numberUS3322116 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 30, 1967
Filing dateFeb 13, 1964
Priority dateFeb 13, 1964
Publication numberUS 3322116 A, US 3322116A, US-A-3322116, US3322116 A, US3322116A
InventorsFrank M Murphy, William I Sturm
Original AssigneeFrank M Murphy, William I Sturm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vibratory massage apparatus
US 3322116 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 30, 1967 MURPHY ET AL 3,322,116

VIBRATORY MAS SAGE APPARATUS Filed Feb. 13, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. 4 FRANK M. MURPHY W/LL/AM STURM May 30, 1967' F. M. MURPHY ET AL 3,322,116

VIBRATORY MASSAGE APPARATUS Filed Feb. 15, 1964 s Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. FRANK M. MURPHY WILL/AM STURM F. M. MURPHY ET AL VIBRATORY MASSAGE APPARATUS May 30, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 13, 1964 INVENTORS.

FRANK M MURPHY BY WILL/AM STUEM United States Patent Filed Feb. 13, 1964, Ser. No. 344,725 9 Claims. (Cl. 12833) This invention relates generally to motor driven massaging devices and more particularly to a vibratory massage apparatus adapted to be installed in a suitable chair, table, or the like for benefically massaging the back and other parts of the human body.

The beneficial effects upon the human body of various physical forces and motions such as vibration and massage have long been recognized. Accordingly, there have heretofore been provided a great variety of devices and machines, both manual and electrical or motor driven, for applying such forces to the body. Perhaps the best known of the automatic massaging devices are those which take the form of a chair or table on which the user rests comfortably while receiving the beneficial treatment. The appeal of the massaging chairs is of course great because one can either use the same as an ordinary piece of furniture or else passively sit in it and utilize its massaging actions.

However, despite their desirability, the prior massaging chairs and the like have been characterized by certain disadvantageous features which have militated against more universal acceptance thereof. In general the prior motion producing devices were complex arrangements which often included various levers, cranks, pulleys and belts in addition to the usual motor and massage rollers. Not only were these devices prohibitively expensive and subject to frequent breakdown, but they also necessitated a chair which was bulky, cumbersome and ungainly in appearance. Frequently, the great number of moving parts resulted in undesirable noises during operation. Where vibratory motion was provided, the same generally was produced by an unbalanced weight on the motor shaft. Since the motor was not readily accessible, it was virtually impossible to change or vary the amplitude of vibration being provided. Frequently, the bearing relationship of the rollers against the body of the user was rigidly fixed so that there was no compensation for the varying weights of persons using the device. In addition, it was frequently impossible to obtain one kind of motion without the other, i.e., vibration without roller movement and vice versa.

It is therefore an important object of this invention to provide a vibratory massage apparatus which overcomes all of the disadvantages described hereinabove.

Another object of the invention is to provide a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described which is compact and relatively small in size so that the same may be readily installed in chairs of ordinary size and design.

A further object is to afford a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described in which three forms of motion are available, namely, vibration alone, massaging roller motion alone, and combined vibration and massaging roller motion.

Still another object is to provide a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described having novel vibration producing means and in which the amplitude of vibration may be readily adjusted as desired.

Yet another object is to afford a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described in which the rollers are yieldably mounted so that they are able to comfortably accommodate, and compensate for, persons of differing weight. A related object is to afiford such an apparatus in which the rollers are capable of relatively free or floating motion so that they are able to closely follow the body contour of the user.

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Still a further object is to provide a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described having novel motion and direction reversing means which oscillate the rollers over the full length of the back.

Yet a further object is to afford a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described having novel hearing means which virtually insure against their breakdown or replacement.

Another object is :to provide a vibratory massage apparatus of the character described which may be relatively inexpensively manufactured, and yet is most durable, trouble free, simple to use, and efficient for the purposes intended.

With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and a combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in the form, proportion, size and minor details of the structure may be made without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantage of the invention.

For the purpose of faciliating an understanding of our invention, we have illustrated in the accompany drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, our invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.

Referring to the drawings in which the same characters of reference are employed to indicate corresponding or similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair showing a vibratory massage apparatus embodying the principles of the invention operationally installed therein;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of the vibratory massage apparatus removed from the chair;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the plane of line 3-3 in FIG. 2 and viewed in the direction indicated;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 5-5 in FIG. 4 and viewed in the direction indicated;

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view, partially in elevation and with the rollers and spring members removed, taken on the plane of line 66 in FIG. 2 and viewed in the direction indicated;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on the plane of line 77 in FIG. 2 viewed in the direction indicated, and showing the internal structure of the vibration producing means;

FIG. 8 is a circuit diagram of the electrical circuitry of the apparatus; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary elevational view taken on the plane of line 99 in FIG. 6, viewed in the direction indicated, and illustrating in dotted outline the relative position of the direction reversing means during various stages of operation.

'Referring more particularly to the various figures of the drawings, the reference numeral 10 indicates generally a vibratory massage apparatus embodying the principles of the invention. The apparatus 10 comprises an elongated central support member or track 12 which may be substantially channel-shaped in cross section as indicated in FIG. 3 of the drawings. A suitable motor M is secured to the track 12 adjacent one end thereof, and the motor may include a cooling fan F.

A rigid bearing bar 14 is longitudinally secured to the front surface of the track 12, and the bar is spaced there- 3 from by means of a spacer collar 16 and a reinforcing bar 18 (see FIG. 6). A pair of sprocket wheels 20 and 22 is rotatably mounted on the bearing 'bar 14 at opposite ends thereof, and the wheel'20 is coupled to the drive shaft 24 of the motor M. An endless pitch chain 26 of usual construction is mounted between the sprocket wheels 20 and 22, so that the same moves in response to the rotation of the motor drive shaft. The rigid bearing bar 14 serves not only as a mount for the sprocket wheels 20 and 22, but also as a force transmitting member which absorbs virtually all of the stresses to which the sprocket wheels are normally subjected. As a result, substantially all wear on the sprocket wheels and their bearings is eliminated, and the pitch chain 26 may likewise be more efliciently mounted with greater tautness than was possible with other more conventional sprocket and chain arrangements. In addition, the bar 14 comprises a safety feature by affording a form of chain guard rendering it virtually impossible to catch a finger or other object between the chain and sprocket wheels.

Slidably mounted on the track 12 is a carriage indicated generally by the reference numeral 30. The carriage 30 comprises a carrier member 32 of generally inverted channel cross section, and including a web 34, a pair of arms 36, 36 and a pair of flanges 38, 38 (see FIG. 3). The carrier member 32 is mounted in opposed relationship on the track 12, and is retained thereon by means of a plate such as 40 connected to the flanges 38. A plurality of slide bearings such as 42, made of nylon or Teflon or the like, may be mounted on the carrier member 32 to facilitate the sliding movement of said member along the track 12.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 4, 6 and 9, it is important to note that the web 34 of the carrier member 32 is formed with a transverse slot 44 adjacent one end thereof. A coupling member or stub pin 46 having a central bore 48 and an enlarged diameter base portion 50 is rotatably connected to the chain 26 by a connector pin 52 positioned through the bore and one of the chain links (see also FIG. 5). As indicated, the stub pin 46 projects through the slot 44 so that the base portion 50 abuts the inner surface of the carrier web 34, thereby coupling the carrier member 32 to the chain 26.

The manner in which oscillatory movement of the carrier 32 is achieved may now be appreciated by referring to FIG. 9 of the drawings. Assuming a clockwise movement of the chain 26 and stub pin 46, when the pin is positioned on the right side of the chain as viewed in FIG. 9, the carrier is caused to move downwardly. When the stub pin reaches the sprocket wheel 20, it must of course follow the chain around said wheel and then move upwardly on the left side of the chain. At this point of direction reversal, the stub pin moves from right to left within the slot 44 and causes the carrier to move upwardly. When the pin 46 reaches the sprocket wheel 22,

the same procedure is of course repeated in reverse so that the carrier is thereby caused to oscillate up and down along the full length of the chain.

To facilitate the movement of the stub pin 46 within the slot 44, the same may be made from a low friction material such as nylon or Teflon. In addition, a plate 54 having an identical slot in registry with the slot 44 may be secured to the web 34 to increase the thickness of the slot marginal edges and reduce any cutting effect of said edges on the pin 46.

A pair of outwardly bowed spring members 56, 56 is connected in opposed relationship to the plate 40 and carrier member flanges 38 At their opposite ends the spring members 56 are connected under tension to a rigid roller frame 58. The roller frame 58 comprises a pair of cross members 60, 60, a pair of axles 62, 62, journalled through said cross members at opposite ends thereof, and a plurality of massage rollers 64 rotatably mounted on said axles. It will thus be appreciated that the rollers 64 are capable of resilient motion toward the track 12 when suflicient force is exerted thereon to overcome the normal outward urging of the spring members 56. Additionally, the band-like spring members permit a limited amount of torsional movement of the rollers in all directions. In this respect, the rollers may be said to be mounted in free floating relationship.

Mounted on the roller frame 58 is an electrical vibration producing means indicated generally by the reference numeral 65 (see FIGS. 3 and 7). The vibration means 65 comprises a vibrating plate 66 which is connected to the cross members 60. Rigidly secured to the inner surface of the vibrating plate 66 is one arm 68 of a bifurcated member made of a magnetic metal and having a second arm 70, said arms being resiliently connected by an integral arcuate segment 72. A metal core 74 and electrical coil 76 of ordinary construction is mounted on the second arm 70. When current flows through the coil 76, the magnetic flux in the core 74 tends to attract the arm 68. Where the power source comprises alternating current, the cyclical changes of magnetic polarity result in a vibration of the arms 68 and 70 and the vibrating plate 66. Since the plate 66 is connected to the roller frame 58 which is in turn mounted on the resilient spring members 56, the entire roller frame and the rollers 64 are caused to vibrate. A protective housing such as 78 may be connected to the plate 66 to complete the vibration means 65.

Turning to the circuit diagram of FIG. 8, it will be seen that individual controls are provided for the motor M and the vibration producing means 65. Connected serially with the motor M is a switch 80. A second switch 82 is provided for energizing the vibration means 65, and a variable resistor or rheostat R is likewise connected serially with said means. By adjusting the rheostat R, the amplitude of vibration produced by the means 65 may likewise be adjusted. It will thus be appreciated that the apparatus 10 may be operated to provide movement of the rollers 64 alone, vibration of the rollers 64 alone or combined movement and vibration of the rollers 64. In

addition, the amplitude of vibration may also be varied.

the apparatus 10, he may cause the rollers 64 to oscillate and massage the full length of the back, or he may stop the rollers at any desired point on the back to obtain the beneficial results of the vibration. The operator of course leans back against the rollers and the spring members 56 permit said rollers to yield resiliently as required by the bearing weight of the particular operator. In addition, the previously described free floating mounting of the rollers permits said rollers to readily follow the f body contour of the user for most beneficial results.

From the foregoing description and drawings, it should I be apparent without further description that we'have' provided a novel vibratory'massage apparatus which is compact and may be conveniently installed in any suitable.

chair, table, or the like. The apparatus may be used to provide vibration and massage, either singly or in combination, and the amplitude of the vibration may be adjusted as desired. Moreover, the bearing and direction reversing means are of a simplified and virtually indestructible construction which insures long and trouble free operation.

It should of course be appreciated that while the apparatus has been shown and described as mounted in an ordinary chair C, the same may likewise be mounted in any other suitable structure such as contour chairs, chairs with reclining backs, padded tables, and the like. It should likewise be appreciated that while the rollers have been described as resiliently mounted on the carriage by means of the spring members 56, they may also be rigidly mounted on the carriage. Thus, for example, the entire apparatus 10, and particularly the track 12, could be resiliently mounted in the chair or other structure. In such a case, the entire apparatus would be caused to vibrate. It is believed that our invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages should be readily understood from the foregoing without further description, and it should also be manifest that while a perferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are nevertheless capable of wide variation within the purview of our invention as defined in the appended claims.

What we claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. Vibratory massage apparatus comprising a track, a carriage mounted on said track, a plurality of massage rollers, a pair outwardly bowed spring members connected at on end thereof to said carriage, said rollers being connected to the opposite ends of said spring members and in spaced relationship with said track, means connected to said rollers for vibrating said rollers and springs, drive means, and means coupled with said drive means and carriage for reciprocating said carriage along said track.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said second mentioned means comprises a vibration plate connected to said rollers, and electrical vibration producing means secured to said vibration plate.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 in which adjustment means is electrically associated with said vibration producing means for varying the amplitude of vibration produced thereby.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said last mentioned means comprises an endless chain coupled to said drive means, and a stub pin mounted on said chain, said carriage being formed with a transverse slot, said pin being slidably accommodated in said slot.

5. Vibratory massage apparatus comprising an elongated track, a rigid bearing bar secured to said track in parallelism therewith, a sprocket wheel rotatably mounted at each end of said bearing bar, and endless chain mounted on said sprocket wheels, an electric motor mounted on said track and drivingly coupled to one of said sprocket wheels, a carriage mounted on said track, a massage roller frame, a pair of relatively broad outwardly bowed spring members connected at one end thereof to said carriage, said frame being connected to the opposite ends of said spring members in spaced relationship with said track, means mounted on said carriage for vibrating said frame, and means coupled with said carriage for reciprocating said carriage along said track.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 in which said frame comprises a pair of parallel rigid cross members, a pair of axles journalled between said cross members at opposite ends thereof, and a plurality of massage rollers rotatably sesame mounted on each of said aides, said spring members being connected to said cross members.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 in which said second mentioned means comprises a vibration plate connected to said cross members, electrical vibration producing means secured to said vibration plate, and adjustment means electrically associated with said vibration producing means for varying the amplitude of vibration produced thereby.

8. The apparatus of claim 5 in which said carriage comprises a web overlying said track, said web being formed with a transverse slot, and said last mentioned means comprises a stub pin mounted on said chain, said pin being slidably accommodated in said slot.

9. Vibratory massage apparatus for mounting in a chair or the like comprising an elongated track of substantially channel-shaped cross section having a planar base wall, an elongated rigid bearing bar secured to the inner surface of said base Wall and in parallelism therewith, a sprocket wheel rotatably mounted at each end of said bearing bar, an endless chain mounted on said sprocket wheels, a stub pin mounted on said chain and projecting away from said base wall, an electric motor connected to the opposite surface of said base wall and drivingly coupled to one of said sprocket wheels, a channel-shaped carriage having a web and a pair of arms mounted in opposed relationship on said track, said carriage web being formed with a transverse slot accommodating said pin there-through for reciprocating said carriage over said track, a pair of relatively broad outwardly bowed spring members connected in opposed relationship to said carriage, a massage roller frame having a pair of rigid cross members connected to the opposite ends of said spring members and spaced from said track, a plurality of massage rollers rotatably mounted on said frame, a vibration plate connected to said cross members and adapted to vibrate said frame and rollers, electrical vibration means secured to said vibration plate, rhe-ostat means associated with said vibration means for varying the amplitude of vibration produced thereby, an electric switch serially connected to said motor for activating said motor, and a second electric switch serially connected to said vibration means whereby said rollers may be caused to reciprocate without vibration, vibrate without reciprocating and simultaneously reciprocate and vibrate.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,817,077 8/1931 Gustaveson 128-57 2,156,839 5/1939 Butfalow 128-49 2,320,261 5/1943 Bufialow 128-47 2,884,923 5/1959 Butfalow 128-57 2,972,347 2/1961 McNair 128-57 X 3,093,497 10/1961 Nunes 128-57 3,113,567 12/1963 Russell 128-33 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primaiy Examiner. L. W'. TRAPP, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3389699 *Apr 11, 1966Jun 25, 1968Niagara Therapy Mfg CorpRoller massage assembly
US3405709 *Oct 11, 1967Oct 15, 1968Niagara Therapy Mfg CorpReciprocating gyratory massage assembly
US3480007 *Sep 7, 1967Nov 25, 1969Dillon K KilcupRoller back chair
US3687133 *Nov 27, 1970Aug 29, 1972Nicholas T GrubelicMassaging machine
US3736920 *Mar 18, 1971Jun 5, 1973Niagara Therapy Manuf CorpTraveling massager assembly
US3812846 *Oct 24, 1972May 28, 1974H TroutMassaging machine
US4190043 *Aug 28, 1978Feb 26, 1980Thompson Terry DMassage table drive system
US5330416 *May 19, 1992Jul 19, 1994France Bed Co., Ltd.Rolling massage apparatus with vibratory support
US5352186 *Jul 26, 1993Oct 4, 1994Kabushiki Kaisha Japan HealthFinger pressure device
US5456657 *Dec 8, 1993Oct 10, 1995Cheng; Wen-LiangMassaging chair with an adjustable back support
US5462516 *Dec 29, 1993Oct 31, 1995Niagara Therapy Manufacturing, Inc.Cyclical action massaging chair
US5769799 *Jan 9, 1997Jun 23, 1998Daughtry; Dallas K.Massaging support chair with powered rollers in back and seat support
US5776085 *Sep 18, 1996Jul 7, 1998Stone; Leonard J.Apparatus for attaching a massaging machine to a support member
US6039705 *Jul 2, 1998Mar 21, 2000Wu; Dong-HerStructure of a pad type roller massager
US6196983 *May 21, 1999Mar 6, 2001Dong-Her WuAuxiliary device fastened with a back massaging chair for enhancing massaging effect
US6346088Jun 13, 2000Feb 12, 2002Leonard J. StoneApparatus for attaching a massaging machine to a support member
US6443917Jun 16, 1998Sep 3, 2002Eurokeyton, S. A.Massaging device for a rest armchair
US7770965Apr 9, 2003Aug 10, 2010Shane ZwezdarykChair
US8500663Nov 6, 2009Aug 6, 2013Health E CompanyVibrating massage roller utilizing a plurality of supports and eccentric weights
WO1998057611A1 *Jun 16, 1998Dec 23, 1998Eurokeyton SaMassasing device for a rest armchair
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/52, D24/215, 601/66, 601/99, 601/116
International ClassificationA61H23/02, A61H1/00, A61H15/00, A61H37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H15/0078, A61H2201/1669, A61H23/0218, A61H2201/0138, A61H2201/0149, A61H2201/0142