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Publication numberUS3476399 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1969
Filing dateDec 11, 1967
Priority dateDec 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3476399 A, US 3476399A, US-A-3476399, US3476399 A, US3476399A
InventorsFinn Lawrence A
Original AssigneeWheelees Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Skates
US 3476399 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

L. A. FINN Nov. 4, 1969 SKATES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 11, 1967 INVENTOR. law/n70! ,4. I??? M Maw Noir. 4, 1 969 A. FINN 3,476,399 SKATES Filed D80- 11, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Zawrmce A Finn BY United States Patent O 3,476,399 SKATES Lawrence A. Finn, Jacksonville, Fla., assignor to Wheelees, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., a corporation of Florida Filed Dec. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 689,532 Int. Cl. A63c 17/04, 17/00 U.S. Cl. 280-1125 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A roller skate including two wheels and an axle mounting same with a support plate for supporting the arch portion of the skaters shoe between the wheels. An elongated fastening member releasably secures the skate to the skaters shoe. The skate may include small wheels with the axle support plate and shoe sole all closely adjacent the ground or large wheels wherein the mid-portion of the axle, support plate and shoe sole are closely adjacent the ground.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION This invention relates to coasters or skates, and more particularly to a low-cost, two-wheel skate with which the skater can stand, walk, run, or coast with safety.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved skate and a method of rolling, coasting or gliding by which the skater can coast using wheels to support the central or arch portion of the shoe, and in which he can rotate the front or sole portion of the shoe into contact with the skating surface to permit the skater to stand, walk or run on the entire sole portion of the shoe, .or to rotate the rear or heel portion of the shoe into contact with the skating surface to retard or brake the rolling or coasting on the skate.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved skate with which the user thereof acquires forward momentum by foot and shoe contact with the skating surface, such as by running, or walking, and thereafter expend that acquired momentum by coasting on the wheels of the roller skate.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved skate which will permit the contacting of the skating surface by the heel of the skaters shoe such as to act as a brake to retard and/or stop the rolling or coasting on the wheels of the skate and which will permit the skater to merely return to running or walking to cease coasting on the wheels of the skate.

In general these objects are accomplished by providing an improved skate comprising a pair of axially aligned, laterally spaced wheels with an axle extending between the wheels which are journalled to the opposite ends of the axle. The skate is provided with a support plate for receiving and supporting a portion of the skaters shoe and is connected to the mid-portion of the axle between the wheels. The support plate is positionable in the arch of the skaters shoe closely adjacent the shoe heel, and is tiltable forwardly whereby the skaters shoe sole contacts the skating surface for stability of the skater thereon and is tiltable rearwardly whereby the skaters shoe heel contacts the skating surface for retarding movement of the skate. The skate further includes fastening means for releasably securing the skate to the skaters shoe.

The coaster or skate provides a means whereby the skater may accelerate himself via contact with the surface then expend his accumulated momentum in a roll or glide via the utilization of the wheels or the skate and a means whereby the wearer may walk or run then glide on the surface at his immediate discretion. In practice such a skate is attached to each foot just forward of the heel.

The skater then maintains traction with the surface by standing, walking or running on the ball of the foot.

The running on the ball of the foot by the skater then assuming a sliding stance or skate board stance transfers the skaters momentum to the wheels. The accumulated forward momentum is thereby converted into an extended glide or roll on the coaster.

,Ihe skater may alternately run or glide at his immediate discretion. The design of the skates is such that either the heel or the ball of the foot can be placed in contact with the surface at any time for desired stability or traction.

\ In summary the skates provide a means whereby the skater may have foot contact with the surface for stand' ing, walking or running traction yet instantly roll across a surface on wheels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of this invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the skate of this invention in position on and connected to the foot and shoe of a skater;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3A is a view similar to FIG. 3 depicting another clip for the skate of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of portions of the skate of this invention, shown in disassembled fashion;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view showing the use of a pair of skates of this invention;

FIG. 6 is a further side elevational view showing the use of a pair of the skates of this invention;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the skate of this invention, portions thereof being shown in phantom lines;

FIG. 8 is a detailed side elevational view partially in cross section of the embodiment of the skate as shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the skate, shown in the disassembled form; and

FIG. 10 is a detailed side elevational view of a clip used in this embodiment of the skate.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in detail now, and in particular to FIGS. 1 through 4 thereof, the roller skate or foot coaster 10 of this invention, as depicted therein, is seen to include a pair of small wheels 12 and 14. These wheels 12, 14 are of adequate size, approximately two inches in diameter, to permit easy rolling thereof on a sidewalk type surface. Wheels 12 and 14, of the ball-bearing type, are respectively mounted on the opposite ends 16 and 18 of a shaft or axle 20. A cap of the snap-on type, such as depicted at reference numeral 22 is attached to the outer ends 16 and 18 0f axle 20 after the skate wheels 12 and 14 have been respectively positioned on these ends to maintain and retain the wheels thereon.

Additionally attached to shaft 20 is a frame member 24 provided for the reception of the skaters foot26, positioned at the lower extremity of his leg 28, and his shoe 30. Frame member 24 includes a foot or support plate 32 adopted to receive and provide a rest or platform for the foot 26 and shoe 30 of the skater. The middle or central portion 34 of support plate 32 is recessed downwardly (see in particular FIG. 3) to strengthen frame member 24, and to further receive the axle and allow the top portion of axle 20 to be at substantially the same height as support plate 32. Frame member 24 further includes two generally upright side walls 36 and 38 which position foot 26 and shoe 30 on support plate 32 to prevent lateral movement of the shoe 30 within frame member 24, and also prevent the possibility of wheels 12 and 14 rubbing against the sides of the skaters shoe 30. The upper portion of side walls 36 and 38 terminate in respective fenders 40 and 42, which generally project over and conform to the shape of wheels 12 and 14 and prevent the skaters pants cuffs from rubbing on the wheels.

Side walls 36 and 38 include respective outwardly recessed portions 44 and 46 which strengthen and rigidify the side walls. The lower edge 48 of portion 44 and the lower edge 50 of portion 46 maintain shaft 20 securely within recess 34 of support plate 32.

The skate 10 is maintained on the skaters shoe 30, at the arch thereof and closely adjacent to the heel of the shoe with the same abutting one of the edges of support plate 32, by means of a support strap 52. The support strap 52 is made from any suitable resilient material such that the same can be stretched tightly across the top of the skaters shoe 30 and secured to the skate at each of its sides by means of attaching clips as depicted in FIGS. 3 and 3A. The support strap 52 depicted in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 is made of a heavy band or loop of stretchable rubber.

Attaching clip 54, as depicted in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 and used at both ends 58 and 59 of the stretchable support band 52, is of the S-type having one leg 56 which fits within end 58 of the looped support strap 52 such as to secure clip 54 therein. This leg 56 of clip 54 terminates in a small loop 60 to prevent the same from readily becoming disconnected from support strap 52. The other or opposite leg 62 of clip 54 is secured under that portion of side wall 38 where the same joins fender 42. A small loop 64 is provided on the end of leg 62 to prevent the same from becoming readily detached from its anchored position beneath side wall 38 and fender 42.

With particular reference to FIG. 3A now, a second attaching clip 66 is shown therein and is used to connect the ends 58 and 59 of supporting strap 62 to frame member 24 of the skate. This additional attaching clip, usable with the skate of this invention, is of a generally C-shape or type having a narrow opening 68 on one of its sides. The side 70 of C-clip 66 opposite to opening 68 fits within the end loop 58 of supporting strap 52 and is secured therein, while side 72 of C-clip including opening 68 is maintained underneath that portion of frame member 24 where side wall 38 and fender 42 join.

When using the C-shaped clip 66 with the invention, the same is meant to remain affixed to frame member 24 at the point where the side walls 36 and 38 respectively join fenders 40 and 42 such that the elasticized band 52 stays attached to the skate, and is stretched over the toe of shoe 30 in positioning skate 10 on the skaters foot, as depicted in FIG. 1. If the S-shaped clip 54 as depicted in FIG. 3 is employed with the invention, leg 56 thereof is meant to remain attached to the end 58 of support strap 52, while leg 62 is selectively attached to and disconnected from frame member 24 at the junction of side wall 38 and its fender 42.

In using the roller skates or foot coasters of this invention, a pair 10 and 11 of the roller skates are respectively attached to the skaters feet and shoes 30 and 31, respectively positioned at the lower ends of the skaters legs 28 and 29. Each of the skates 10 and 11 is positioned in the arch of its respective shoe closely adjacent the heel 33 of each shoe, and an edge of support plate 32 of each skate abuts the heel 33 of its respective shoe. The skates 10 and 11 are maintained on the skaters shoes in the proper position by means of the elasticized supporting straps or bands 52 which are stretched over the top of the shoe. When the skates are properly in position on the skaters shoes, the sole and heel of each of the shoes will be approximately one inch above the surface when the skater assumes a rolling position with his shoes in a generally horizontal position. Due to the nearness of the skaters shoe to the surface he can contact his heel therewith to retard or brake his roll, or he can contact the entire front portion of his shoe sole to walk and/ or run on the surface to thereby gain momentum for coasting and rolling on the surface, all of which will be explained more fully in connection with FIGS. 5 and 6.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6 now, the use of the novel roller skates of this invention is depicted therein. FIG. 5A shows the still or standing position of the skater with the skates 10 and 11 attached to respective shoes 30 and 31. In this standing position (FIG. 5A) the entire sole of the shoe is in contact with the ground or surface terrain over which the skater is to traverse in order to provide ready stability and balance of the skater. Depicted in FIG. 6A is the walking and/or running position of the skaters legs 28 and 29. During this walking and/or running position (FIG. 6A) the toe and ball portion of the skaters feet are in contact with the ground surface to permit the skater to readily run thereon in order to gain momentum for later coasting and maneuvering on the roller skates 10, 11. In FIG. 6B is depicted the surf board type stance which the skater assumes and maintains after obtaining momentum, to coast and maneuver on the roller skates at his will and in an enjoyable manner. In this coasting position or stance (FIG. 6B) neither the sole nor heel of the shoes 30 and 31 contacts the surface to interfere with rolling on the wheels 12 and 14 of each skate. The retarding or stopping of the coasting is depicted in FIG. 5B. In this position (FIG. 5B) the heel 33 of one of the shoes is made to contact the terrain or surface and thereby act to brake, retard or stop the roll or forward travel on the skates 10 and 11 and the skater. In this manner (as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6, and hereinabovedescribed) the individual skater of developed proficiency using the novel roller skates of this invention can readily control his rolling and maneuvering on the skates. Once the skater obtains some proficiency in the surfboard type stance as depicted in FIG. 6B, such as to provide stability and balance on the Wheels, rapid running can be terminated in the surfboard type stance to result in considerable and enjoyable coasting and maneuvering on the skates. Should an obstruction appear in the path of the skater when the same is rolling on the wheels, which might retard the rolling of the wheels or jeopardize the balance and stability of the skater, the same is easily by-passed by momentarily reverting to the running position (depicted in FIG. 6A) from the rolling or coasting position- (depicted in FIG. 6B) and then returning back to the rolling or coasting position.

Referring to FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10 now, a second embodiment of the novel type roller skate of this invention is depicted therein, and includes larger wheels and a dropcenter or offset axle or shaft connecting those wheels. In this embodiment a skate adapated to fit the left foot and shoe 81 of the skater is shown; a skate to fit the right foot would be similar to this unit but would be the reverse thereof.

Skate 80 includes a pair of wheels 82 and 84 which are substantially larger than wheels 12 and 14 of the embodiment of the invention depicted in FIGS. 1-4. These larger wheels 82 and 84 permit easier rolling over surfaces that might considerably retard the smaller wheels 12 and 14.

A shaft or axle 86 having a drop-center or downwardly offset portion 88 extends between the wheels 82 and 84. One end 90 of shaft 86 extends through a central opening 92 within wheel 82 and connects this wheel to the shaft. The connection is maintained by a small snap-type cap 94, and a small washer 96 is provided on the axle 86 interiorly of wheel 82. In like manner, wheel 84 is attached to the other end 98 of axle 86, the connection being maintained by a small snap-type cap 100 positioned on end 98 and a small washer 102 provided on the shaft interiorly of wheel 84.

Axle or shaft 86 includes an upright portion or riser 104 extending between the downwardly offset or drop-center portion 88 and end 90 of the shaft, and further includes a second riser or upright portion 106 extending between and connecting the drop-center portion 88 with end portion 98 of axle 86.

Attached to the drop-center portion or downwardly offset portion 88 of axle 86 and between the uprights or risers 104 and 106 is a support plate 108. The connection between support plate 108 and axle portion 88 is accomplished by welds, such as at 110 and 112, and this connection is such that the angle between support plate 108 and risers 104 and 106, when viewed from an end of axle 86, is approximately 90 degrees, as clearly seen in FIGS. 7 and 8. The angle between riser 106 and support plate 108 as indicated by reference numeral 114, is approximately 90 degrees; while the angle between support plate 108 and riser 104, at reference numeral 116, is approximately 100 degrees to conform to the shape of the inside of the skaters shoe or instep thereof adjacently above the arch of the shoe 81.

Support plate 108 includes two outwardly extending tabs 118 and 120 which extend slightly beyond the sole and heel of the shoe when the skate is properly in place on the foot of the skater. Each of tabs 118 and 120 has a respective opening 122 and 124 therewithin to receive a suitable anchoring or attaching means.

The skate 80, as shown in the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 7-10, is attached to the skaters foot similarly to skate 10, of the embodiment as depicted in FIGS. 1-4. That is to say, that a yieldable or elasticized supporting strap or band 126 is stretched over the top of the skaters shoe, as depicted in FIG. 7 and attached at its ends 128 and 130 to the opposite sides of skate 80. The stretchable supporting strap 126 as depicted in FIGS. 7-9 is a flexible loop of heavy rubber material. While strap 126 is shown as a loop or band of rubber, other similar materials could be used if desired. Support strap 126 is attached at its end 128 and 130 to the skate 80 on the respective ends 90 and 98 of axle 86 interiorly of washers 96 and 102; the attachment being made by a clip 132 at each end of the strap 126.

Clip 132, see in particular FIG. 10, is fabricated from spring wire and includes a loop or eye 134 which encompasses or surrounds the ends 90 and 98 of axle 86. Spring wire clip 132 further includes two side portions 136 and 138 attached to loop 134 and two overlapping leg portions 140 and 142 respectively attached to side portions 136 and 138 which lie in touching arrangement to each other when in the unstressed condition to thereby close clip 132.

The skate 80' is further attached to the skaters foot and shoe 81 and securely maintained thereon by means of an anchoring strap 144 which is positioned and secured around the heel portion 146 of the skaters shoe, as depicted in FIG. 7. Strap 144 can be fabricated from any suitable elasticized, yieldable or stretchable material, that used in the strap depicted in FIGS. 7-9 is a loop or band of stretchable rubber. Strap or band 144 is attached at its ends 148 and 150 to support plate 108 at its respective end tabs 120 and 118. The connection between strap 144 and support plate 108 is made and maintained by means of spring wire clips 132, as more clearly depicted in FIG. and explained hereinabove. The loop or eye portion 134 of clip 132 passes through the openings 122 and 124 within respective end tabs 118 and 120, while the leg portions 140 and 142 of clip 132 pass through and are maintained within ends 148 and 150' of loop 144.

The foot support plate 108, and in particular its rearward edge 152, is so constructed and arranged that this rearward edge 152 is tapered or offset to form an angle as indicated by reference numeral 154. The tapering of rearward edge 1-52 of support plate positions the wheels 82 and 84, when skate is properly in position and attached to the skaters foot and shoe 81, in planes which are parallel to the longitudinal axis of the foot of the skater. In practice it has been found that this angle at 154 is generally in the neighborhood of 3 degrees to insure the proper alignment of Wheels 82 and 84 when rearward edge 152 is positioned in abutting relationship with heel 156 of skaters shoe 81, as more particularly depicted in FIG. 7.

Skate 80 is positioned on the skaters foot and shoe 81 by first slipping the same, and in particular support strap 126, over the front and toe portion of shoe 81 until the skate becomes positioned at the arch portion of the shoe, with the rear edge 158 of support plate 108 abutting the heel 156 of shoe 81 and the strap 126 passing over the top of the shoe as indicated in FIG. 7'. Next anchoring strap 144 is stretched and positioned about heel portion 146 of shoe 81 to further secure and retain skate 80- on the skaters foot, all as more clearly depicted in FIG. 7. When the skate 80 is properly positioned on shoe 81, as depicted in FIG. 7, the heel 156 and the front portion of the sole of the shoe 158 are approximately one inch above the surface over which the skater is to traverse. In this manner the skater can readily contact the surface with his heel 156 or the sole portion 158 for ready stability and balance as in the standing position depicted in FIG. 5A, or the walking and running position as depicted in FIG. 6A, or the retarding and braking position as depicted in FIG. 5B.

The skate 80, of the second embodiment of the invention as depicted in FIGS. 7-10, is used in the same manner and for the same purposes as the skate 10 of the first embodiment of the invention as depicted in FIGS. 1-4. An additional advantage of skate 80, of this second embodiment of the invention, is that the larger wheels permit easily rolling over surfaces which might considerably retard the smaller wheeled skate of the first embodiment. Skate 80 with its larger wheels 82 and 84 could readily be used by a child with a pair of ski-type poles to transport himself in a novel way over most any surface at a fairly good pace.

What is claimed as new and what it is desired to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A roller skate for use on relatively flat surfaces such as sidewalks comprising in combination. a pair of axially aligned, laterally spaced apart Wheels, an axle extending between said pair of wheels with said wheels journalled to the opposite ends of said axle, a support plate for receiving and supporting a portion of the skaters shoe between said laterally spaced apart wheels, said support plate being connected to the mid-portion of said axle between said wheels with said support plate being at a height no greater than the top of the mid-portion of said axle, said support plate being positionable at the arch of the skaters shoe closely adjacent the shoe heel, said support plate being tiltable forwardly whereby the skaters shoe sole contacts the skating surface for stability of the skater thereon, said support plate being tiltable rearwardly whereby the skaters shoe heel contacts the skating surface for retarding movement of said skate, and readily attachable and detachable fastening means attached to said skate for releasably securing said skate to lhe skaters shoe.

2. The roller skate as defined in claim 1 wherein said fastening means includes an elongated member passing over and around the skaters shoe and foot adjacently above the arched portion thereof.

3. The roller skate as defined in claim 2 wherein said fastening means includes a pair of elongated members, one said member passing over and around the skaters shoe and foot adjacently above the arched portion thereof, the other said member being attached to said skate and passing around the heel portion of the skaters shoe whereby the rearward edge of said support plate is maintained closely adjacent the front edge of the heel of the skaters shoe.

4. The roller skate as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said pair of wheels has a small diameter for maintaining the opposite ends of said axle closely adjacent the skating surface, said axle throughout its length generally lying in the same horizontal plane.

5. The roller skate as defined in claim 4 wherein said support plate includes two generally upright, laterally spaced side walls attached to the opposite ends thereof, said side walls laterally positioning and supporting the skaters shoe therebetween, said side walls preventing contact between the skaters shoe and said Wheels.

6. The roller skate as defined in claim 5 wherein each said side wall further includes a generally horizontally disposed fender connected to the upper portion of said side wall, each said fender extending outwardly from respective said side wall and generally over respective said wheel.

7. The roller skate as defined in claim 6 wherein said fastening means includes an expansible member, said member having opposite ends connected respectively to said skate at the respective attachments of said fenders to said side walls and spanning said plate, said member being adapted and arranged to be positioned over and stretched across the skaters shoe and foot adjacently above the arched portion thereof.

8. The roller skate as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said pair of wheels has a large diameter, said midportion of said axle being downwardly offset from said opposite ends of said axle whereby said support plate connected to said mid-portion is maintained closely adjacent the skating surface.

9. The roller skate as defined in claim 8 wherein the rearward edge of said support plate abuts the forward edge of the heel of the skaters shoe, said rearward edge of said support plate being at a small angle with respect to the centerline passing through said pair of wheels as measured from the instep of the shoe toward the outer shoe edge whereby said wheels are aligned with and maintained parallel to the longitudinal axis of the skaters shoe when said skate is properly positioned thereon.

10. The roller skate as defined in claim 8 wherein said plate includes opposite end portions and said fastening means includes a pair of elongated members attached to said skate, one of said members having its ends connected respectively to said opposite end portions of said axle of said skate and passing over and around the skaters shoe and foot adjacently above the arched portion thereof, the other of said members having its ends connected to respective opposite end portions of said support plate and positioned on and passing around the heel portion of the skaters shoe whereby the rearward edge of said support plate is maintained closely adjacent the front edge of the heel of the skaters shoe.

11. The roller skate as defined in claim 1 wherein said fastening means includes an expansible member, said member having opposite ends connected to said skate and spanning said plate, said member being adapted and arranged to be positioned over and stretched across the skaters shoe and foot adjacently above the arched portion thereof.

12. The roller skate as defined in claim 11 further comprising selectively detachable means connected between one said end of said expansible member and said skate for releasably securing said member to said skate.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,155,982 10/1915 Withycombe. 1,751,942 3/ 1930 Nanz 280-1125 2,572,671 10/ 1951 Shaw 28011.12 X

OTHER REFERENCES 723,266 8/ 1942 Germany.

LEO FRIAGLIA, Primary Examiner M. L. SMITH, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1155982 *May 8, 1915Oct 5, 1915Robert Morse WithycombeAttachable outer sole for boots and shoes.
US1751942 *Jul 1, 1927Mar 25, 1930Nanz RobertRoller skate
US2572671 *Mar 21, 1949Oct 23, 1951Shaw Everett RDance gliding device
DE723266C *May 25, 1939Aug 1, 1942Dr Walther FrischFussbekleidung mit zur rollenden Fortbewegung des Traegers dienender Rolle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification280/11.25
International ClassificationA63C17/04, A63C17/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63C17/08
European ClassificationA63C17/08