US 3581315 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
S. MILLINER STEAM BATH June 1 1971 Filed Aug. 26, 1968 .3 Sheets-Sheet 1 lIlI INVENTOR. SHIRMAN MkER ATTORNEY Julie 1, 1971 s, MILUNER 3,581,315
STEAM BATH Filed Aug. 26, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. SHIRIMAN MILLINER ATTORNEY S. MILLINER June 1, 1-971 STEAM EAT}! 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 26. 196 8 INVIiN'HDR. SHIRMAN MILL! R BY Z 7 ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofice 358L315 Patented June 1, 1971 3,581,315 STEAM BATH Shirman Milliner, 610 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102 Filed Aug. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 755,305 Int. Cl. A61h 33/10 US. Cl. 4-162 17 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A steam bath with cabinet normally permanently joined to a wall, or built into a recess in a wall, adjacent a bathtub, the cabinet being foldable into a closed compact unit and having swinging doors which open to rest upon sides of the bathtub during use to expose a man-enclosing flexible envelope, such as substantially impervious fabric, attachable to the doors to cause the envelope to drape into the bathtub. A folding, internally attached seat is shifted from a collapsed into a horizontal disposition and is secured to the doors in their open position, and structure is provided for safely generating and thereafter introducing steam within the envelope.
The invention relates to steam bath and more particularly to a compact steam bath attached to or within a wall adjacent a conventional bathtub and conveniently foldable between an open, usable position disposed in part within the bathtub and a closed, out-of-the-way position.
Conventional steam baths for home use have not become widely accepted and used largely because they have proved to be expensive, cumbersome to use and difficult and awkward to store when not in use. At times, the use of bathtubs having special attaching devices to suspend a fabric lid is required. Moreover, a safe, economical and eflicient means of making steam available for home use has not, until this present invention, been available.
It is a primary object of the present invention to overcome or substantially alleviate the problems of the prior art, particularly of the type mentioned above.
The present invention comprises novel steam bath structure which is an attractive addition to the decor of a bathroom and, in a closed, inactive condition, preferably occupies only narrow space along a wall in the bathroom and which has swinging doors capable of being opened and cooperating with a conventional bathtub to maintain an attached man-enclosing envelope is a desired disposition during use. The envelope is concealed behind the closed doors during non-use. A folding seat, normally enclosed within the envelope, is provided along with structure for safely generating and delivering steam to the interior of the man-enclosing envelope.
iIt is therefore another primary object of the present invention to provide novel steam bath unit.
Another significant object is the provision of novel foldable steam bath structure which unfolds into a bathtub or the like for use and folds into a compact unit adjacent the bathtub during non-use.
It is another important object of the present invention to provide an improved, economical comfortable, safe steam bath for human use.
Another meaningful object of the present invention is to provide a unique steam cabinet which is permanently attached to a wall adjacent a conventional bathtub.
One still further object of the present invention is to provide a unique steam cabinet having doors which rest upon the upper edge of a conventional bathtub and attach to a steam-receiving flexable envelope to restrain the envelope in a suitable disposition during use.
A further and no less important object of the present invention is to provide novel seat structure for a steam bath which is adapted to attach to swinging doors when the doors are in an open position and which seat is easily folded into a compact, hidden position when not in use.
It is one still further object of the present invention to provide a novel steam bath for home use which accommodates safe, efiicient communication of steam to the interior of a man-enclosing envelope.
These and other objects and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates in top perspective one presently preferred steam bath embodiment of this invention in folded, compact position attached to a vertical wall adjacent a conventional bathtub;
FIG. 2 is a top perspective representation of the steam cabinet embodiment of 'FIG. 1 in the unfolded condition, ready for use with parts broken away for clarity;
FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a cross-section taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a cross-section taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a cross-section taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 9 is a top perspective representation with parts broken away from clarity of another presently preferred steam bath embodiment of this. invention used in conjunction with a conventional bathtub and shown in the open, ready-to-be-used position;
FIG. 10 represents in top perspective the steam cabinet embodiment of FIG. 9 in partially folded condition;
'FIG. 11 is a partial cross-section taken along lines 11-11 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary elevation viewed along lines 12-12 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of steamcommunicating tubing and related structure adapted to be used with the embodiment of FIG. 9;
FIG. 14 is a cross-section taken along lines 14-14 of 'FIG. 13; and
FIG. 15 is a transverse cross-section taken along lines 15-15 of FIG. 9.
One presently preferred embodiment of the steam bath of the present invention is illustrated in folded, compact condition above the back end of a conventional bathtub in FIG. 1 and is generally designated 20. The steam bath 20 occupies only a narrow space adjacent or within a wall when not in use, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The steam bath 20 comprises support structure in the form of an essentially rigid cabinet 21 including an essentially rectangularlyshaped frame 24 and a front portion comprising hingedlyconnected doors 26 and 28. The frame 24 and doors 26 and 28 are preferably formed from suitable synthetic material, such as resin impregnated fiberglass. The doors 26 and 28 and the frame 24 may be exteriorly and/or interiorly ornamentally decorated and/ or colored to contribute to the decor of the room in which the steam bath is to be situated. It is presently preferred that the steam bath 20 be permanently fixed in the position essentially as shown in FIG. 1 adjacent a bathroom wall by suitably passing screws through the back wall 23 of the cabinet 21 and the plaster or wall board into the studs of the bathroom wall. See FIG. 6. Alternatively, the steam cabinet 20 may be recessed and screwed or otherwise secured within the bathroom wall so that the doors 26 and 28 are flush or nearly flush with the wall.
The doors 26 and 28 are maintained in closed position preferably by action of magnetic latches 29 and 31 (FIG. 2) located on the frame 24 and metal plates 33 and 34 respectively located near one corner on the doors 26 and 28. The magnetic latches will yield to a separating force to allow the doors 26 and 28 to pivot at the hinges 30 and 32 to the open position shown in FIG. 2. The doors 26 and 28 at the bottom carry supports or feet 25, respectively (FIG. 8), which, when the doors are opened, rest on the respective horizontally-disposed upper side edge portions 35 and 36 of the bathtub 22. The feet 25 are screw connected to bottom lips 27 of the doors 26 and 28 respectively.
A steam-receiving human being-enclosing envelope or bag 38 of flexible, Water and steam impervious fabric or the like is folded and stored behind the doors 26 and 28 during non-use. When doors are open to the position of FIG. 2, the envelope 38 is allowed to freely fall down until the bottom floor at 37 f the envelope rests against the floor 40 of the bathtub 22.
The envelope 38 is preferably formed of fabric material treated so as to be water repellant and impervious to steam. Although treated fabric material is presently preferred, clearly other materials such as flexible plastic and other suitable flexible materials could be used.
The top of the envelope 3 8 at the back is preferably attached to the inside of the back 23 of the cabinet 21 by snap fasteners 39 and 41 (FIG. '6) or other suitable detachable connectors. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 8, the envelope 38 becomes disposed in a suspended predetermined erect shape by attaching the top of the envelope 38 at the front corners 50 and 52 to the doors 26 and 28, respectively. More specifically, the corner portions 50 and 52 are each provided with a female snap connection 54 which is adapted to alternatively be received by a mating male snap connection 56, 58 or 60 serially, Vertically disposed on the doors 26 and 28, depending on the size of person intending to use the steam bath. Thus, the position of the corner portions 50 and 52 of the envelope 38 are attachable to the doors 26 and 28 at any one of three locations to accommodate a selection of a preferred at-rest spread and draped erect configuration for the envelope 38. The envelope 38 is also provided at the top 42 thereof with an essentially circular, central aperture 44 (FIG. 2) adapted to expose to the exterior the neck and head of a person using the steam bath 20. The envelope 38 is longitudinally openable from the inside or the outside by way of a zippered or otherwise partable opening 46 connecting the aperture 44 to the bottom 37 of the envelope 38. The zippered opening 46 accommodates ingress into and egress from the envelope 38 by the person using the steam bath 20.
A seat 62 (shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and is arcuately displaceable from an essentially vertical position adjacent the back of the frame 24 (not shown) to an essentially horizontal position, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The seat 62 is rotatably connected by U-shaped brackets 68 and 70 (FIG. 4) to a rigid, hollow tube 72. The hollow tube 72 is fixed to and passes through the frame 24 at connections 64 and 66, which also seal between the tube 72 and the frame 24. The fabric envelope 38 is provided with apertures (not shown) through which the tube 72 passes to reach connections '64 and 66. The tube hollow 72 is shown in FIG. 3 as having spaced steam ports 74 directed essentially horizontally underneath the seat "62, when the seat 62 is rotated to the horizontal position. The tube '72 is threaded at one end 76 (FIG. 3) and is adapted to receive a plug 78 at the other end '80. The trailing end 76 is connected by means of a threaded coupling 82 to a steaminlet tube 84 in a conventional maner. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the steam-inlet tube 84 is connected to a conventional steam generator 86. Although other suitable types of steam generators could be used, one presently preferred steam generator is a vaporizer known as the De Vilbiss Model 142 Electric Steam Generator, manufactured by 4 the De Vilbiss Company of Somerset, Pa. The steam generator, advantageously, may be used at a location remote from the steam cabinet and envelope so that any danger of electrical shock, which might be possible if water or steam condensate were in contact with the electrical parts of the generator, is substantially avoided.
When the seat 62 is in the horizontal position, the seat is capable of holding the weight of the person using the steam cabinet by a locking mechanism in the form of laterally extendable-latch dogs 88 and 90 (FIGS. 5 and 8) of rods 89 and 91 located adjacent the forward edge 92 of the seat 62. Each latch 88 and 90 extends laterally beyond the respective ends 94 and 96 of a hollow tube 98. The hollow tube 98 is integrally secured to the seat 62 and is provided with an axial slot 100 communicating the hollow of the tube with the exterior. The lower edge of the slot 100 is provided with a plurality of arcuate notches 102 which are adapted to receive pins 104 and 106, respectively rigidly connected, as by threads, to the centrally-disposed ends 93 and of the rods 89 and 91. See FIGS. 5 and 7. The rods 89 and 91 along with the latch dogs 88 and 90 are laterally movable in the hollow of the tube 98 when the latches 88 and 90 are rotated so that the pins 104 and 106 are out of the grooves 102 and centrally disposed within the slot 100. When it is desired for the latch dogs '88 and 90 to be secured to the doors 26 and 28 to support the user, the respective rods 89 and 91 need merely to be rotated and extended, with the front edge of the seat slightly elevated so that the seat does not lie in a horizontal plane, until the latch dogs 88 and 90 are respectively in alignment with the hollow interior or female receptacle of brackets 112 and 114 carried by each door. Then the pins 104 and 106 are rotated into engagement with the adjacent notches 102 and the dogs are lowered into the brackets 112 and 114, respectively. The brackets 112 and 114 are respectively attached to doors 26 and 28 by screws 116 or the like (FIG. 8). The brackets 112 and 114 are presented to the interior of the envelope 38 through apertures (not shown) suitably fabricated in the envelope 38. It should be observed, therefore, that by lateral extension or retraction of the latches 88 and 90, the seat 62 may be attached in a generally horizontal position even though the doors 26 and 28 may be resting upon tub edges 35 and 36 in any one of a plurality of positions relative to the frame 24.
Thus, erection and use of the steam bath 20 is easily accomplished by opening the doors 26 and 28 and resting the lower edge of each door respectively upon the edges 35 and 36 of the bathtub 22. The envelope 38 will automatically fall to the floor 40 of the bathtub 22 and the envelope is in a spread, draped condition by attaching snap fasteners 54 at the corners 50 and 52, respectively, to the related matching snap fasteners 56, '58 or 60 on each door 26 and 28. The zipper tab 48 is actuated to open the envelope 38 at opening 46 and the person using the steam cabinet positions the seat 62 by arcuately displacing the seat 62 from the vertical to the horizontal positron. The rods 89 and 91 are rotated to disengage 104 and 106 from grooves 102 and thereby accommodate free axial movement thereof. The dogs 88 and 90 of rods 89 and 91 are fitted into the hollow of the adjacent bracket 112 or 114, respectively, attached to the doors 26 and 28. When the latch dogs '88 and 90 are so connected to the brackets 112 or 114, the person can actuate the steam generator 86 causing steam to enter the envelop 38 through ports 74 in tube 72, place himself upon the seat 62, position his neck and head in the aperture 44 and close the zlpper-opening 46. The reverse of these steps, including folding of the envelope 38 into the cabinet 21, provides for easy, out-of-the-way compact storage of the steam bath 20.
Another presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9-15. With reference to FIG. 9, a steam bath, generally designated 120, comprises support structure in the form of a cabinet 121, preferably formed of resin impregnated fiberglass or wood with a treated fiberglass or plastic external veneer. In the closed position, the external appearance of steam bath 120 is very similar to that of steam bath 20. The steam bath 120 is preferably permanently attached to or in a wall adjacent a conventional bathtub 22 in one of the ways heretofore mentioned in conjunction with steam bath 20.
The cabinet 121 of the steam bath 120 comprises a rectangular frame 122, a back wall 123 and openable doors 124 and 126 pivotally-attached to the frame 122 by conventional hinges 128 and 130. The doors 124 and 126 each have a peripherally thickened border 115 which defines an interior central recess 116. Also, doors 124 and 126 have on the lower edge thereof supports or feet 119 which are essentially the same as feet 25 heretofore described in connection with steam bath 20, and which similarly engage the upper edges 35 and 36 of the tub 22 when the doors are open. The steam bath 120 also comprises an envelope or bag 132, preferably formed of a lightweight, flexible water and steam impervious plastic material suspended, for example, at the top near the back from the cabinet 121 by snap fasteners 137 (FIG. 12) in the manner heretofore described. The doors 124 and 126 are maintained in a closed condition by magnetic latches 129 and 131 mounted to frame 122 and associated metal plates 133 and 135 carried by the doors. The top 134 of the envelope 132 is provided with a central, neck-receiving aperture 136 and a longitudinally disposed closable opening 138. The opening 138 is made closable or partable by a zipper or the like. The purpose for the aperture 136 and the opening 138 is substantially identical to those described in relation to the aperture 44 and the opening 46.
At least a portion of the bottom or floor 140 of the envelope 13.2 is provided with a mesh or screen 141, which allows water accumulating as condensed steam within the envelope 132 to pass out of the envelope 132 into the floor 40 of the tub 22 without allowing steam to readily pass therethrough.
Steam conveying conduit structure 142 provides for introduction of steam at spaced locations into the interior of the envelope 132 adjacent the floor 140. The steam ingress conduit structure 142, best shown in FIGS. 9, 13 and 14, comprises a supply tube 144 which is interposed between the steam generator 86 and an enlarged female coupling 171. The coupling 171 is secured to the tube 144 by a suitable bonding agent or adhesive 1 43 such as epoxy resin. The coupling is connected to a T-connector 146 by forcing the shank 173 of the connector 146 into an aperture 175 centrally disposed in the face 190 of the coupling 171 until a press-fit relation is formed around the annular recess 177 in the shank 173, the T-connector communicating the steam from without to within the envelope 132 adjacent the floor 140. The T-connector is preferably nylon and conducts steam received from a conventional steam generator 86 to selected portions of the interior of the envelope 132 by plastic tubes 147 and 148. The tubes 147 and 148 are respectively press-fit onto hollow arms 149 and 151 of the T-connector 146 so that steam conducted through the tube 144 will be conducted in similar amounts through tubes 147 and 148 adjacent the wall-floor juncture 150. If desired the tubes 147 and 148 may be secured, as by sleeves of fabric to the envelope to maintain the tubes in desired dispositions within the envelope. The steam originating at the steam generator 86 is passed into the supply tube 144 through a nozzle 152 (FIG. 15) attached to and projecting from the steam generator 86. The nozzle 152 is preferably a rigid plastic tube, such as nylon, having an annular recess 153 adjacent the leading end 155 thereof and another annular recess 157 adjacent the trailing end 159 thereof. The nozzle 152 is forced into an enlarged aperture 161 located in the cap 87 of the steam generator 86 until a restrained press-fit relation is formed between the periphery of the aperture 161 and the recess 157. The nozzle 152 is also provided with a downwardly projecting flange 163 which is secured by a screw 165 to lip 83 of a cup integral with the cap 87. The annular recess 153 in leading end of the nozzle 152 receives the centrally disposed aperture 181 in the face 192 of female coupling 179 in restrained press-fit relation, the female coupling 179 being bonded to the tube 144 by epoxy resin or other suitable adhesive.
Referring again to FIG. 9, a foldable seat 154 is illustrated in a substantially horizontal position within the envelope 132. The seat 154 may be located in the horizontal position by arcuate displacement from a non-use folded, generally vertical position accommodated by flexible hinge 143, preferably a one-piece polypropylene strip having a centrally axial reduced thickness, folding portion 145 which separates a flange 199 of the hinge 143 attached to the seat from the flange 167 attached to the lower portion of the frame 122. The seat 154 is connected by screws to the flange 199 of the hinge. The frame 122 is similarly connected by screws to the flange 167.
The seat 154 is provided with locking mechanism in the form of laterally extendable latch dogs 156 adjacent the leading edge 158 thereof. The dogs 156 comprise the terminal ends of two identical though opposite hand rods, similar in purpose, structure and appearance to the previously described rods 89 and 91. FIG. 11 illustrates one such latch dog structure; however, it should be understood that the same latch structure exists adjacent both side portions 166 of the seat 154. Thus, only one dog 156 will be described. Referring to FIG. 11, the illustrated rod of which latch dog 156 forms a part is slidably disposed within a hollow cylindrical tube which is rigidly carried within the seat 154 adjacent the leading or front edge 158 thereof. The dog 156 extends from a transverse notch 164 in the side 166 of the seat 154. When the cabinet 121 is in folded condition the dog 156, with the rod thereof retracted, fits within notch 164. When the cabinet 121 ies unfolded and the seat 154 is displaced to a generally horizontal position the dog 156 laterally extends through the aperture 191 in the fabric 132 for attachment to the door 124 in a manner hereinafter more fully described. The dog 156 is provided with only one transverse groove 168 existing in a vertical plane. The location of the groove 168 is selected so that the dog 156 will be disposed in a female receptacle in the form of a blind bore 174 in the adjacent door 124 when the door 124 is in the open position. If desired, the dog 156 could be provided with more than one groove 168 to provide for a selection of door positions during use.
A resilient spring member 170, embedded at one cut within the seat 154 at 162, is adapted to be biased to project at the other end through an aperture 172 in the hollow cylinder 160 and into the groove 168 when the rod with the dog 156 and grooves 168 face vertically downward, the rod being rotatable to disengage the groove 168 from the spring 170. Thus, when the dog 156 is turned vertically downward, the spring member will engage the groove 168 and prevent axial displacement of the rod of which dog 156 is a part, thereby maintaining the locked relation between the dog 156 and blind bore 174. When the dog 156 is turned to an essentially horizontal position, the spring member 170 will be forced out of engagement with the groove 16 8 and onto the smooth exterior of the rod permitting easy axial displacement of the rod.
When the doors 124 and 126 have been opened sufficiently to permit the feet 119 to rest upon the upper edge surfaces 35 and 3 6 of the bathtub 22, the rods terminating in dogs 156 may be rotated to the horizontal plane and axially extended until the dogs 156 are in generally vertical alignment with the blind bores 174 of the open doors. Thereafter, each rod is rotated until the associated dog 156 is vertically disposed and the rods are axially locked in position by engagement of springs 170 with grooves 168. Each dog 156 is then inserted into the adjacent blind bore 174 locked in the border 115 adjacent the recess 116 in each door 124 and 126.
As illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 12, during periods of non-use, the envelope 132. may be folded compactly within the frame 122, the front, bottom corner portions 176 and 178 of the envelope 132 being temporarily attachable to the upper corners 180 and 182 of the frame 122 by hook and ring structure 183 best illustrated in FIG. 12. While preferably two hook and ring structures 183 are used, only one will be described. The hook and ring structure 183 comprises a hook 184 fixed by screws or the like to the corner 180 and 182 of the frame 122 and a ring 186 connected by means of a fabric loop to the lower front corner 176 and 178 of the envelope 1.32. The temporary attachment provided by the hook and ring 1 83 structure is advantageous to prevent the envelope 132 from automatically falling from the frame 122 when the doors 124 and 126 are opened and to make it easier to restrain the envelope in the folded position within the frame 122 as the doors 124 and 126 are closed.
The embodiment of FIG. 9 is unfolded and used in essentially the same manner as the embodiment of FIG. 1 except, in the unfolding step, the envelope will not fall to the floor by itself when the doors 124 and 126 are opened. Therefore, each ring 186 must be removed from the adjacent hook 184 before the envelope 132 will fall to the floor 40 of the tub 22. Thereafter, the upper front corners 193 and 195 of the envelope 132 are attached at 188 and 18 9 respectively to open doors 124 and 126 adjacent the upper distal corners thereof by snap fasteners which are substantially similar to female snap fasteners 54 and male fasteners 56, -8 and 60 previously described.
The present invention, above-described, provides an improved steam cabinet which is easily assembled and, after use, is foldable into a compact, decorative bathroom fixture. Moreover, it is apparent from the foregoing that a safe, convenient steam cabinet structure has been provided which is easily and conveniently used with a conventional bathtub or like structure. Also, it has been found that the present invention retains the steam within the interior of the envelope so that the bathrom atmosphere remains relatively dry and, therefore, the walls, mirrors and other surfaces in the bathroom do not collect condensed steam.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
1. In a collapsible steam bath for use with a conventional bathtub, the steam bath comprising cabinet means including a frame adapted to be attached to a wall above and adjacent the bathtub and door means joined to the frame means and movable from a closed to an open position during use of the steam bath; seat means movably carried by the cabinet means so that the seat means can be shifted from a compact position within the cabinet means to a position extending beyond the location of the door means when closed and presenting a generally horizontally-disposed seat surface in the extending position; flexible envelope means substantially enclosing the seat means and separating the seat means from the door means, the envelope means being foldable into the cabinet means for storage during non-use and unfolded during use, and, spaced attachment means carried at the interior of the cabinet means coupled to other spaced attachment means carried at the exterior of the envelope means so as to suspend the envelope means from the interior of cabinet means into the bathtub during use such that a person may situate his body upon the seat surface and be confined within the envelope means; and
means for communicating steam to the interior of the envelope means.
2. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein said door means comprise a pair of essentially vertically-dis posed doors hinged to the frame means and, when open, are respectively adapted to rest upon opposed upper side surfaces of the bathtub.
3. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein said seat means are essentially planar, are hingedly-attached to the cabinet means adjacent the rear edge of the seat means and are provided with latch structures adjacent the leading edge of the seat means for latching the seat means in the extending position and for causing the load imposed by the user on the seat means adjacent the leading edge thereof to be transferred through the latch structure to the bathtub during use.
4. In a steam bath as defined in claim 3 wherein said latch structure comprises angularly-extending laterallydisposed spaced dogs, each laterally movable and adapted to be received by a female receptacle carried by the door means.
5. In a steam bath as defined in claim 4 wherein said dogs each comprises an L-shaped rod which is axially restrained by locking structure carried by the seat means in an extended position when the dogs are rotated into a generally vertically-extending plane and which are released by the locking structure for axial displacement relative to the seat means when rotated substantially out of said vertically-extending plane.
6. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein said envelope means comprise a treated fabric which is detachably connected by the attachment means to the frame means and the door means at spaced locations interior of the frame means and door means during use to hold the fabric in a spread draped condition, the fabric further comprising a closable opening for ingress and egress of the user.
7. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein said envelope means comprise a water pervious portion disposed at the bottom thereof to allow condensed steam to drain as water from the envelope means into the bathtub.
8. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 further comprising a steam generator located remote from both the cabinet means and the envelope means toavoid any risk of electrically shocking the user and which delivers steam to the steam communicating means.
9. In a steam bath as defined in claim 8 wherein the steam generator comprises a portable vaporizer.
10. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein the steam communicating means comprises a tube forming part of the seat means and having at least one port for introducing steam received by the hollow interior of the tube through the port into the envelope means.
11. In a steam bath as defined in claim 1 wherein the steam communicating means comprises hollow tubing disposed adjacent the floor of the envelope means which delivers steam to the interior of the envelope means at spaced positions adjacent the floor of the envelope means and the feet of the user.
12. A bath for containing steam and the like comprising a cabinet comprising a relatively narrow rigid frame having a predetermined vertical dimension, means for mounting the cabinet to a vertical wall support, and swinging door structure having essentially the same vertical dimension as the rigid frame, a generally moistureimpervious flexible receptacle, the swinging door structure closing to conceal the interior of the frame and opening to accommodate unfolding and vertically lowering of the concealed receptacle of sheet material from behind the door structure until the receptacle extends well below the frame and door structure and presents a vertical dimension substantially greater than the vertical dimension of the frame and door structure, the receptacle circumscribing and confining the body of the user and being detachably connected by fastener means to the interior of the cabinet at spaced locations in the unfolded, erect condition during use of the bath, the flexible receptacle being interrupted by a generally closable opening therein accommodating ingress and egress of the user and exposure of the users head during operation, and means for issuing steam into the interior of the receptacle.
13. In a method of installing and using a bath for containing steam and the like: mounting a cabinet to a vertical wall adjacent and immediately above a bathtub, swinging door structure of the cabinet above the top edge of the bathtub from a contiguous position with a stationary generally vertical frame of the cabinet to an open position and maintaining the door structure in the open position by support structure, mounting a flexible userenclosing receptacle of sheet material to the interior of the cabinet, unfolding and lowering the receptacle of sheet material from within the frame into an erect disposition extending well below the frame into the bathtub, the receptacle being releasably attached to the frame and the door structure at spaced locations interior of the frame and door structure, shifting a seat from a vertical position within the frame which is parallel to the frame to a second position to present a generally horizontal usersupporting surface essentially completely surrounded by the receptacle.
14. In a method as defined in claim 13 wherein said seat shifting step comprises locking the front portion of the seat in load-transferring relation to the support structure.
15. In a method as defined in claim 13 further comprising attaching elevated portions of the receptacle by releasable fasteners to elevated portions of the door structure.
16. A bath for containing steam and the like comprising a cabinet having a frame, means mounting the frame to a wall or like structure, opposed swinging doors which close edge-to-edge to form the front face of the cabinet and which are oppositely hinged to the frame and oppositely rotate to open the cabinet, a seat pivotally carried by the frame for movement from a vertical inactive position to a generally horizontal position during use, means supporting the seat in the horizontal position, a generally vertically erect bather-enclosing receptacle capable of being concealed behind the swinging doors within the frame in a folded condition when not in use, the receptacle being substantially longer and extending well below the bottom of the frame when the receptacle is unfolded and erect, the receptacle being carried by the frame and comprised at least principally of flexible essentially impervious material, the receptacle being substantially enclosed for encircling the seat, the receptacle being interrupted by a partable ingress and egress opening and by means for placing the bathcrs head outside the receptacle during use, and means for issuing steam into the interior of the receptacle.
17. In a collapsible steam bath comprising a rigid, essentially rectangular frame adapted to be disposed adjacent one end of a bathtub, the frame having a central recess bounded by a transversely enlarged peripheral 'border;
a pair of openable doors, one hingedly connected to the peripheral border on each side of the frame, the doors each being provided with holding latch structure which cooperates with latch structure on the frame to maintain the doors in a closed position and at least one foot pedestal on the bottom edge of each door adapted to rest on the upper side edge of the bathtub when the doors are in open position;
an essentially unitary steam bather-receiving envelope of foldable material comprising a back detachably connected to the frame at spaced locations within the recess, sides removably attachable to the open doors adjacent the distal top corners, a top having an aperture adapted to receive the neck of the steam bather, a front comprising a partable opening beginning at the aperture in the top and extending through a substantial length of the front of the envelope to accommodate ingress and egress of the bather and a floor comprising a mesh drain to allow steam condensate to drain from the envelope, the envelope being (a) completely confinable and concealed within the recess when the material is folded into the recess and the doors are closed and (b) openable into a suspended erect condition for use when the envelope is unfolded and so connected and attached;
a foldable seat connected to the frame adjacent the recess by a plastic hinge having a reduced thickness fold line accommodating selective arcuate displacement of the seat into and out of the recess, the seat comprising latch dogs, each dog being laterally extendable to be detachably connected in a female receptable to one of the doors when the seat is arcuately displaced to a horizontal position, the latch dogs being selectively laterally restrained in a selected extended position accommodating alignment of the latch dogs and the female receptacle; and
steam delivery structure which communicates remotely generated steam to the envelope and releases steam within the envelope at a plurality of locations adjacent the feet of the steam bather.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS HENRY K. ARTIS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R,