Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3562566 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1971
Filing dateFeb 16, 1967
Priority dateFeb 16, 1967
Publication numberUS 3562566 A, US 3562566A, US-A-3562566, US3562566 A, US3562566A
InventorsKircher Paul J
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Power operated toothbrush producing either oscillatory or reciprocatory motions
US 3562566 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent a corporation of Pennsylvania POWER OPERATED TOOTI-IBRUSI-I PRODUCING EITHER OSCILLATORY OR RECIPROCATORY MOTIONS Primary Examiner-Milton O. Hirshfield Assistant ExaminerR. Skudy Attorneys-F. H. Henson, Ralph T. French and B. B. Sklar, Jr.

ABSTRACT: A power operated toothbrush capable of providing two distinct modes of operation. An electrically reversible motor unit including an output shaft imparts movement to mode generating mechanism which produces either oscillato- 7 Claims 6 Drawing Figs ry or reciprocatory motion depending on the polarity of the U.S.Cl 310/80, motor unit which is controlled by means of a double-pole, 310/50, 310/75, 310/83; 74/55 double-throw switch supported in the outer wall ofa casing of Int. Cl H02k 7/06 a size, shape and weight making it suitable for being handheld Field of Search 310/80,79, and for housing the mode generating mechanism and the 75, 50, 47, 83; 74/55 power unit.

LI; o 68 I I PATENTEU FEB 9 I971 SHEET 2 BF 2 POWER OPERATED TOOTHBRUSH PRODUCING EITHER OSCILLATORY OR RECIPROCATORY MOTIONS This invention relates, in general, to domestic appliances and, more particularly, to power operated toothbrushes.

In order to facilitate hygienic care of the teeth and gingival areas, a variety of power operated devices have been developed and are currently available to the consumer. The variety of such devices can be attributed to the long existing controversy as to the efficacy of one brushing motion versus another. The most generally accepted of these devices employ mechanisms for imparting either pure oscillatory or pure reciprocatory motion to the toothbrush, acceptance being with laymen and dentists alike.

Normally, only one or the other of the above-mentioned motions is produced by any one power unit, The one known exception to this is found in a power operated toothbrush which produces simultaneous oscillatory and reciprocatory motion. It will be apparent that this combination of motions neither satisfies the advocate of pure oscillatory motion nor the advocate of pure reciprocatory motion.

Since power operated toothbrushes can be purchased in accordance with ones preference as to motion, it is possible to satisfy all the members of a single family but only at the additional expense of buying a second, or even a third power toothbrush, if the preferences of all the members of the family do not coincide. For that matter, a single user may desire two separate power units if he brushes, for example, different portions of his teeth and gingival areas in different directions or by applying different motions thereto.

It is, accordingly, the primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved power handle for toothbrushes.

A more particular object of this invention is to provide, in a power handle for toothbrushes, mechanism for imparting different motions to the brush thereof as desired by the user.

Another object of this invention is to provide new and improved mechanism capable of producing dual motion, which mechanism is simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture.

Briefly, the above-cited objects are accomplished by providing a casing of the size, shape and weight making it suitable for being handheld. Supported within the casing, adjacent one end thereof, is a carriage having a shank rotatably supported thereby and with an end thereof extending through an opening in the above-mentioned end of the casing. A post member for supporting a toothbrush is affixed to the protruding end of the shank. A pair of hinge members having one end attached to the carriage and the other end secured adjacent opposite sidewall portions of the casing interior serve to support the frame for translational or reciprocating movement along or about the longitudinal axis of the casing. The frame is provided with a slot the longitudinal axis of which is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the casing. A first eccentric mounted for rotation within this slot imparts the above-mentioned motion to the frame end, consequently, to the brush.

A bracket attached to the shank at its end remote from the post member is provided with a slot the longitudinal axis of which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the casing.

A second eccentric mounted for rotation within the lastmentioned slot and supported by the shaft supporting the first eccentric effects rotation of the shank and, in turn, the post member and toothbrush about the longitudinal axis of the casing. 1

Supported within the casing below the above discussed motion imparting mechanism is a conventional toothbrush motor which may be energized by means of a battery or by means of household power supply which has been suitably stepped down and rectified to provide approximately 1.5 VDC. The rotor of the motor has affixed thereto an output pinion which meshes with an idler gear adapted for rotation about an axis which is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the motor and supported on a common shaft with the two eccentrics and intermediate thereof. A shuttle bar having a noncircular cross section is supported within a similarly shaped bore in the idler gear. The shuttle bar is beveled at both ends thereof so that it either engages ratchet teeth provided in one of the eccentrics or is moved by the teeth, depending on the direction of rotation of the idler gear. Each of the eccentrics is provided with ratchet teeth so as to act in a similar manner depending on rotation of the idler gear.

The motor which is energized through a double-pole, double-throw switch which serves to reverse the polarity of the motor and thereby direction of rotation of the idler gear to ultimately transmit motion to one or the other of the eccentrics thereby effecting reciprocating or oscillating movement of the toothbrush.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when considered in view of the following description, reference being had with respect to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is an elevational view, partly broken away, of a power handle representing the invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view, partly broken away, of the device shown in FIG. 1, but rotated clockwise relative to the position shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged and exploded perspective view of the motion producing mechanism of the power handle shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, including broken away portions, taken on the line lV-IV of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to that shown in FIG. 4, but illustrating the relative orientations of the same elements for a different mode of operation; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line VI-VI of FIG. 2.

Referring now to the drawings, especially FIG. 1, reference character 10 designates generally a power handle, made from any suitable material, for example, plastic. The handle I0 comprises a hollow casing 11 which is longitudinally tapered from the bottom to the top thereof. The casing 11 is provided with an opening 12 at the top thereof and has an opening 13 at the bottom thereof through which a dual motion producing mechanism generally indicated at 14 may be inserted. Supported within the casing l l subadjacent the mechanism 14 are a conventional DC motor 16 and a rechargeable battery 17. It will be understood that other power sources, for example, hydraulic or mechanical, in lieu of the motor 16 may be utilized. Once all of the components adapted to be housed in the casing 11 have been inserted a snap-on end cap 18 may be put in place.

The power handle 10 is provided with a double-throw, double-pole rotary switch 19 (see FIGS. 2 and 6). The switch 19 comprises an actuator knob 21, made from any suitable material, for example, plastic, which cooperates with a contact carrier member 22 the underside 23 of which carries spaced apart electrical conductors 24 and 25 having terminal portions 26 and 27, respectively, extending to opposite sides of the underside 23.

As can be seen in FIG. 2, the knob 21 and the carrier 22 are mated by means of a tongue 28 and a groove 29 through apertures 31 and 32 in the casing I0 and an electrically nonconducting frame member 33. To prevent leakage into the casing 11 an O-ring seal 30 is disposed intermediate a portion of the knob 21 and the casing 11. Affixed to the terminals 26 and 27, as by soldering, are electrical leads 34 and 36 which are ultimately, although not shown, connected to the motor 16 in a conventional manner. A pair of electrical conductors 37 and 38 secured to the frame member 33 comprise, respectively, finger portions 39 and 40 which rest intennediate the conductors 24 and 25 when the switch 21 is in the OFF position. Each of the fingers 39 and 40 is adapted to contact either of the conductors 24 or 25 depending on the direction of rotation of the knob 21 (i.e. either clockwise or counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 6). The electrical conductors 36 and 38 also comprise terminal portions 41 and 42', respectively, to which electrical leads 43 and 44 are connected. The leads 43 and 44 are ultimately, although not shown, connected to the negative and positive sides of the battery 17. respectively. With the leads connected as discussed. the output shaft 46 of the motor 16 will rotate counterclockwise, or as viewed in FIG. 3. when the knob 21 is rotated counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 6 or clockwise as viewed from the left of FIG. 2. In this position the finger 39 engages the conductor 29 and the finger 40 engages the contact 24. Reverse rotation of the knob. of course. will reverse the polarity of the motor 16 thus producing clockwise rotation of the shaft 46 as viewed in FIG. 3.

Supported within the casing 10, adjacent the opening 12. is a carriage 47. best shown in FIG. 3. The carriage 47 is supported for translational movement along this longitudinal axis of the casing by means of a pair of hinges 48 and 49 (see FIG. 2). To this end corresponding ends 50 and 50 of the hinges 48 and 49 are captivated in suitable slots 51 and 52 provided, respectively, in the frame member 33 and a similar frame member 53, the frame members being disposed adjacent opposed portions of the interior of the casing 11. Opposite ends 54 and 56 of the hinge members are attached to opposite sides of the carriage 47. v

The ends 54 ad 56 of the hinges are provided withsubstantially semicircular recesses 57, only are shown (see FIG. 3). Each of the recesses 57 serves as one-half of a journal for receiving bearing surfaces or annular bosses 58 and 59 of a shank 61. The other half of the journal is provided by block members 62 and 63 having substantially semicircular recesses 64 (only one shown in FIG. 3). The block members are secured to the ends 54 and 56 by means of pin members 66.

The shank 61 is rotatably supported in the journals provided by the semicircular recesses 57 and 64 and an end 67 thereof extends through the opening 12 and has affixed thereto a post member 68 adapted to carry a toothbrush indicated at 69. The lower end 70 of the shank 61 is received in a bracket 71 and is rigidly affixed thereto. The bracket 71 is provided with an elongated slot 72 (see particularly FIGS. 1 and 3) the longitudinal axis of which extends in the same direction as the longitudinal axis of the casing 10.

The carriage 47 has an elongated slot 73 the longitudinal axis of which as can plainly be seen in FIG. 3 is in a direction perpendicular to the corresponding axis of the slot 72.

The slots 72 and 73 are adapted to receive, respectively, eccentrics 74 and 75 provided with elongated bores 76 and 77 for rotatably mounting thereof on a shaft 78 which is supported above the motor 16 by means of a shaft support member 79 attached to the top thereof.

Mounted for rotation on the shaft 78 intermediate the eccentrics 74 and 75 is an idler gear 81 provided with teeth 82 adapted to mesh with a prior gear 83 affixed to the motor shaft 46 and to thereby be driven either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the direction of rotation of the pinion 83. The idler gear has an elongated substantially square bore 84 therethrough for receiving a shuttle bar 86 having a substantially square configuration in cross section. The bar 86 has ends 87 and 88 which are beveled at approximately 45 angles. The eccentrics 74 and 75 are provided with sets 89 and 90 of ratchet or saw-shaped teeth which cooperate with the beveled ends 87 and 88 to transfer motion from the pinion 83 to either the eccentric 74 or the eccentric 75 depending on the direction of rotation of the idler gear 81 which, in turn, depends on the direction of rotation of the pinion.

As noted hereinbefore with respect to the switch 19 the pinion 83 will rotate CCW (so as viewed in FIG. 3) when the switch 19 is rotated CCW as viewed in FIG. 6. In this instance the idler gear will rotate clockwise as viewed in FIG. 3 and CCW as viewed from the right of FIGS. 4 and 5 in which case the end 88 of the shuttle bar 86 will effect rotation of the eccentric 75 which, in turn, effects reciprocating movement of the carriage 47 and, therefore, of the brush 69. This reciprocating movement represents a first mode of operation. The interaction of the end 87 with the teeth 89 will produce a camming effect therebetween which will insure shifting of the shuttle bar to the position shown in FIG. 5 in the event that it was initially in the position shown in FIG. 4. It should be apparent that exactly the reverse will take place if the switch 21 is rotated clockwise as viewed in FIG. 6. In this position the polarity of the motor 16 will be reversed, the result being to effect rotation of the bracket 71 to produce oscillatory or a second mode of operation to the brush 69 while the carriage 47 has no effect on the movement of the brush 69.

A flexible apron or sealing gasket 92 FIG. I) provided with an aperture 93 is held in place across the opening 12 by means of a retainer ring 94 which is snapped in place after the gasket 92 is installed. The post member 68 fits tightly in the aperture 93 to prevent water leakage into the casing 10.

Since numerous changes may be made in the abovedescribed apparatus and different embodiments of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the foregoing description or shown in the accompanying drawings, shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. A power handle for a toothbrush comprising:

a hollow casing;

toothbrush support means protruding from one end of said casing;

means connected to said support means and mounted within said casing for imparting first and second modes of operation to a toothbrush mounted on said support means, said mode imparting means comprising a first member for providing translational movement along the longitudinal axis of said casing and a second member for providing oscillatory movement about said longitudinal axis with said support means affixed to one of said members;

first and second eccentrics mounted within said casing on a common shaft for rotation about an axis perpendicular to said longitudinal axis and wherein each of said first and second member is provided with an elongated slot for receiving one of said eccentrics and the longitudinal axis of which lie in perpendicular planes;

power means operatively connected to said mode imparting means; and

means for selectively effecting one mode of operation or the other when said power means is energized.

2. Structure as specified in claim 1, including rotary means carried by said common shaft intermediate said eccentrics, means carried by said rotary means for effecting rotation of one of said eccentrics when said rotary means rotates in a first direction and for effecting rotation of the other of said eccentrics when said rotary means moves in the reverse direction.

3. Structure as specified in claim 1, wherein said eccentrics are provided with sets of sawteeth on the faces thereof adjacent said rotary means and wherein said means carried by said rotary means comprises an element adapted to be automatically moved into and out of engagement with one or the other of the sets of sawteeth.

4. Structure as specified in claim 3, wherein the inclined surfaces of the teeth of one of said sets extend in opposite direction from the inclined surfaces of the other of said sets of teeth and wherein said element carried by said rotary means has beveled ends the inclined surfaces of which extend in opposite directions whereby one of said beveled ends engages the teeth of one of said eccentrics to thereby rotate said one of said eccentrics when said rotary means moves in said first direction and said element is shifted by cam action so that the other of said beveled ends engages the other of said eccentrics when said rotary means moves in the opposite direction to thereby effect rotation of the other of said eccentrics.

5. Structure as specified in claim 4, wherein said power means comprises an electric motor having a pinion affixed to the output shaft thereof and positioned so that it engages gear teeth provided on said rotary means.

6. Structure as specified in claim 4, wherein said means for selectively effecting one mode of operation or the other comprises a double-pole, double-throw switch operatively connected to said motor reversing polarity thereof.

7 Structure as specified in claim 6, wherein said switch is rotary.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2648787 *Jun 24, 1950Aug 11, 1953Smithson Jr Charles BMotor-driven toothbrush
US3196299 *Jul 5, 1963Jul 20, 1965Scovill Manufacturing CoPortable electric unit for toothbrush or the like
US3379906 *Aug 27, 1965Apr 23, 1968Sunbeam CorpElectric appliance with selective motion conversion means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4318446 *Oct 10, 1978Mar 9, 1982Caterpillar Tractor Co.Linear motion impactor device
US4458374 *Mar 25, 1982Jul 10, 1984Hiroshi HukubaElectric tooth brush holder
US4756202 *Feb 10, 1987Jul 12, 1988Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.Transmission gearing
US5077855 *Jun 5, 1990Jan 7, 1992Emilio AmbaszMotor-driven toothbrush
US5253382 *Aug 31, 1992Oct 19, 1993Janos BenyPower operated toothbrush
US5383242 *Jul 28, 1993Jan 24, 1995Bausch & Lomb IncorporatedElectric toothbrush
US5435034 *Oct 3, 1994Jul 25, 1995Bausch & Lomb IncorporatedElectric toothbrush
US5465444 *Jul 28, 1993Nov 14, 1995Bausch & Lomb IncorporatedElectric toothbrush
US5471102 *May 9, 1994Nov 28, 1995Becker; Gregory R.Reciprocating shaft device
US5664634 *Oct 23, 1995Sep 9, 1997Waxing Corporation Of America, Inc.Power tool
US5689850 *Dec 27, 1995Nov 25, 1997Eureka Technologies Innovation Engineering (1987) Ltd.Accessory device for toothbrushes
US5822821 *Jan 12, 1996Oct 20, 1998Pentalpha Enterprises Ltd.Electric toothbrush
US5974614 *Mar 2, 1998Nov 2, 1999Ross; Keith B.Triple brush gum blaster
US6581233 *Mar 2, 2000Jun 24, 2003Perfect Steam Appliance Ltd.Electrically operable toothbrush
US6813794 *Oct 15, 2002Nov 9, 2004Shixing WengVibratory electric toothbrush
US7246533 *Jun 21, 2004Jul 24, 2007Black & Decker Inc.Reciprocating counterweight structure for a reciprocating saw
US8136249Aug 10, 2007Mar 20, 2012Izumi Products CompanyLocking device
US8141444Oct 26, 2007Mar 27, 2012Black & Decker Inc.Bearing structure for a reciprocating shaft in a reciprocating saw
US8516641 *Apr 10, 2008Aug 27, 2013Jean DiamondToothbrush
US20040068809 *Oct 15, 2002Apr 15, 2004Shixing WengVibratory electric toothbrush
US20040068811 *Jun 18, 2003Apr 15, 2004Jacqueline FulopManual and electronic orthodontic toothbrushes
US20040237678 *Jun 21, 2004Dec 2, 2004Lagaly Michael AnthonyBearing structure for a reciprocating shaft in a reciprocating saw
US20080041174 *Oct 26, 2007Feb 21, 2008Michael LagalyBearing Structure for a Reciprocating Shaft in a Reciprocating Saw
US20080052883 *Aug 10, 2007Mar 6, 2008Izumi Products CompanyLocking device
US20080271271 *Mar 25, 2008Nov 6, 2008John Geoffrey ChanModular electric toothbrushes
US20090100948 *Sep 30, 2008Apr 23, 2009Takashi UshikuRectilinear-motion actuator
US20100132140 *Apr 10, 2008Jun 3, 2010Jean DiamondA toothbrush
EP1886774A1 *Aug 13, 2007Feb 13, 2008Izumi Products CompanyLocking device for an electric shaver
WO1994005230A1 *Aug 30, 1993Mar 17, 1994Janos BenyPower operated toothbrush
U.S. Classification310/80, 310/75.00R, 310/83, 15/22.1, 74/55, 310/50, 15/22.2
International ClassificationH02K7/06, A61C17/16, H02K7/14, A61C17/34
Cooperative ClassificationA61C17/3418, H02K7/06, A61C17/3472, A61C17/3445, H02K7/145
European ClassificationH02K7/14B, H02K7/06, A61C17/34A7