US 3583001 A
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J1me 1971 H. R. STEINHOFF 3,583,001
BATH TUB BACK REST Filed Dec. 9. 1969 3,583,001 BATH TUB BACK REST Harold R. Steinhoff, RR. 1, Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada Filed Dec. 9, 1969, Ser. No. 883,374 Claims priority, applicjziggoCanada, Mar. 7, 1969,
Int. Cl. A47k 3/12 US. Cl. 4-1855 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a back rest for use in supporting a human body in a reclining position when in a bath tu Previous proposals have fallen into two main classes; the first is virtually a type of legless chair adapted for water immersion and the other type have used the back of the bath tub or the wall or floor of the bathroom as a structural support. A third type rest relies on frictional forces at the top face of the bath tub edge.
The legless chair type of back rest is, of course, somewhat uneconomical to manufacture since a wholly unnecessary seat is provided; and the result is not very satisfactory as the user cannot lean back far with any degree of stability as there is insuflicient weight on the chair seat due to the buoyancy of water. Prior art arrangements to overcome this defect result in loss of simplicity.
The second type of back rest suffers from the disadvantage that it either cannot be adjusted for position along the bath tub or else it requires adjustment from outside the tub or both. The third type is too easily moved, and the support plane available to the user is at an angle dependent on a coefiicient of friction with a surface that may be wet.
I have found that the disadvantages of the prior art are avoided by providing a generally T-shaped back support portion having a broad upright portion with a base which is narrower than the inside width of the conventional bath tub having side walls with upper rims and a bottom wall over a length greater than the depth of the bath, and which has rigid outgoing members to give a width greater than that of the inside width of the bath tub and a vestigial seat portion attached to the back support portion upright portion. It will easily be understood that the vestigial seat portion adequately locates the device when subjected to the weight of the user (even though lessened by the force of buoyancy due to the Water) and the mem bers rest on the top of the bath tub side rim to provide a second location which prevents the bath tub back rest from falling backwards. Of course the members must be wide enough to span the top adequately, so that slight twisting or movement of one side does not disengage the shoulder; the width of the upright of the T is broad enough to span the width of the users back.
I prefer to make the back rest of single integral structure having two substantially planar surfaces which are sufficiently yielding to conform to the contour of the human body, and which are inclined to one another at an angle appreciably greater than a right angle. However, for instance, a hinged two part structure could be made United States Patent ice within the general scope of the broadest aspect of the invention.
In a preferred embodiment of my invention, I make the back rest as a frame of tubular metal and provide a close fitting watertight bag as a cover. This may conveniently be closed at the top by means of press studs, slide fasteners or the like. This construction permits ease of cleaning, convenience of manufacture and comfort in use.
In the drawing which illustrates the preferred embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a back rest according to the invention in position in a conventional tub;
FIG. 2 is a section in elevation taken on the plane indicated by lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front view of a cover for a back rest with the top end open;
FIG. 4 is a front elevation for the frame; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevation of the frame.
A back rest 10 according to the preferred embodiment comprises a tubular metal frame, 11, which may be made of, for instance, aluminum and a covering bag 12 of waterproof material such as a rubberized canvas or fabric, or sheet plastic. The frame has two generally planar portions although made in a single closed loop in three dimensions. The first portion framing the vestigial seat comprises two sides 13, spaced apart by less than the width of the tub; these sides preferably diverge slightly as this helps the preferred bag type cover to fit snugly and easily, and they are formed integral with the end member 14 to give a U-shaped horizontal frame portion.
The frame then continues upwardly forming sides 15 (integral with members 13) to give the second planar frame for mounting the back support. Sides 15 also diverge slightly as this not only assists in slipping the covering bag on and off quickly but also adds to the strength of the frame; bath tubs are effectively of a trapezoidal cross section in that the curved transition of the tub side walls to the tub base necessitates reducing the vestigial seat width; and parallel sides 13, 15 would result in greater stresses on the outgoing shoulder portions 16.
These shoulder portions 16 are each of sufficient width to give a good bearing surface on the top of the tub wall. The two sides then continue upwardly and then inwardly and the two ends 17 are joined at the top as by welding or an internal plug as this reduces the tendency for any rough edges to cut the bag which is preferably watertight as well as being of waterproof material.
The cover 12 comprises a tapered bag-like body open at its larger upper end and fitted with snap type closures 18; of course, a slide-fastener closure device may alternatively be used. The sides and bottom of the bag are sealed, as by seam 19 stitched through lapped edges and binding tape 20. The material may be a heat-weldable plastic, in which case a heat welded seam or lap may be provided for the seal. Alternatively, a rubber or rubberized fabric may be used in which event a rubber cement can be used to form the seal.
To assemble the unit, the cover is drawn over the frame; the bottom 15 being inserted first, and the top opening is closed. The whole assembly is placed in the tub as shown in FIG. 1 wherever the user finds most suitable. The user sits on the vestigial seat portion on the bottom of the tub and leans back as the frame shoulders 16 are supported by the sides of the tub.
I have used the term vestigial seat to indicate that a proper seat is not required so long as the user sits upon part of it so that his weight prevents the back rest from sliding along the bath. Of course, the seat portion (and the back) may be filled with foam rubber for added comfort if desired.
While there has been shown and described what is at present considered the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. A bath tub back rest comprising a back engaging portion of generally T-shaped profile having a broad upright portion with a base, adapted to support the back of the user in a conventional bath tub having side walls with upper rims and a bottom wall and narrower than the inside width of the bath tub, the back engaging portion having two rigid outgoing members to give a width greater than the width of the bath tub so as to enable said rigid outgoing members to rest on the side wall rims of the bath tub, the length of the back engaging portion between the outgoing members and base of the back engaging portion being such as to enable the base of the generally T-shaped back engaging portion to be adjacent the bottom wall of the bath tub when the back rest is in use, and a vestigial seat portion attached to the base of the generally T-shaped back engaging portion, the vestigial seat portion having a width narrower than the width of the bath tub such that said seat portion may rest on said bottom wall and having a length along the tub sufficient to enable movement of the complete assembly to be inhibited when subjected to the weight of the user.
2. A bath tub back rest as claimed in claim 1 in which the periphery of the back portion and the seat portion is formed by a single closed loop in two planes forming a frame.
3. A bath tub back rest as claimed in claim 2 in which the width of the frame below the two rigid outgoing members tapers continuously.
4. A bath tub back rest as claimed in claim 3 in which a tapered bag of waterproof material fits snugly over the tapered portion of the frame to provide body supporting surfaces.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,676,354 7/1928 Sachsse 4-l'85 2,483,077 9/1949 Walsh 4l85 2,724,124 11/1955 Whitten 4l85 3,210,775 10/1965 Jongeneel 4185 3,235,306 2/1966 Chernivsky 297296; 4--185 FOREIGN PATENTS 858,992 1/1961 Great Britain 4185 701,519 1/1965 Canada 4185 240,759 4/1946 Switzerland 4l85 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner D. B. MASSENBERG, Assistant Examiner