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Publication numberUS3585990 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 22, 1971
Filing dateFeb 14, 1969
Priority dateFeb 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3585990 A, US 3585990A, US-A-3585990, US3585990 A, US3585990A
InventorsBlachly Donald L, Edwards Margaret M, Haeselich Willi K
Original AssigneeOster Mfg Co John
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric massager
US 3585990 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors Donald L. Blachly Glendale; Margaret M. Edwards, Milwaukee; Willi I K. Haeaelicli, Waukesha, all 01, Wis. Appl. No. 800,046 Filed Feb. 14, 1969 Patented ,lune 2 2. 1 971 Assignee John Outer Manufacturing Co.

Milwaukee, Wis.

ELECTRIC MASSAGE]! 20 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl 128/36, ZOO/61.53 lnt.Cl A61h 1/00 Fieldoi Search 128/32, 36, 41,6S;200/61.45,61.53,6 l.52

l1 .s I

g l ,6'3 .99 i 1 \9 21 8 Primary Examiner-L. W. Trapp Attorney-George R. Clark ABSTRACT: An electric massager adapted for use in a wet environment having a housing enclosing an electric motor for rotating an eccentric which vibrates a massaging element on the exterior of the housing. Batteries in the housing supply power to the motor and an inertia switch, which is actuated by striking the housing, controls the energization of the motor.

age; 60

85% x ,7 i I l- "I a 73 i 5-7? 7- 59E n 44:; T a 7 iii 82 --l- J 25 ELECTRIC MASSAGER 1 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates in general to electric massagers and more particularly to battery operated massagers which are adapted for use in the shower or bathtub to aid in the shampooing'of the user's hair as well as massaging the user's face and body.

Electric massagers are frequently used in the home for stimulating the users scalp as well as massaging the face and body to relax and tone the muscles. Due to safety consideration, electric massagers having a power cord connectable to a household electric outlet are not used when a person is in a wet environment such as taking a shower or bath. However, in many instances, it is desirable to operate a massager under such conditions. For an example, an electric massager would be most helpful when shampooing the scalp because the massager with the proper massaging attachment can gently loosen dandruff and work the soap into a desirable lather. To thoroughly clean their hair, many people prefer to let the lather remain on their scalp for two or three minutes before rinsing. Under these circumstances a massager could not only work the soap into the hair but also provide an invigorating massage. Since many people shampoo their hair while taking a shower, such an electric massaging device must be completely safe and also must be arranged so that water cannot damage or interfere with its performance. Moreover, such a product would be soothing to use on the face or body muscles while soaking in a tub of hot water.

Inasmuch as an electric massager must have a switch to control the operation of the device, the switch should be disposed so that it can be easily actuated even when the user has their eyes closed to keep soap from coming into contact therewith. Such a device should not be affected by the wet environment, and preferably the switch should be totally enclosed within the massager housing without any actuating means extending through the housing.

Summary of the Invention The present invention relates to an electrically operated massager which can safely be used in a wet environment having a housing with a massaging element on its exterior and enclosing an electric motor for vibrating the element. Disposed within the housing are battery means for supplying power to the motor and an inertia switch electrically connecting the battery means and the motor for controlling the same. The inertia switch is closed by impacting the housing in one direction, and the switch is opened by the housing being struck from the opposite direction. Another aspect of the invention relates to the manner in which the parts are organized and cooperate with each other.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an electric massager which can safely be used in a wet environment and which is easily manufactured.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a battery operated massager having a totally enclosed inertia switch which is actuated by impacting the housing.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

Brief Description of the Drawing For a better understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawing in which:

. FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electric massager embody ing the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the massager;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the massager with the lower portion of the housing, electric lead wires, and the batteries removed;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of the battery contact plate with the locking screw shown in broken lines for clarity of illustration;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the inertia switch with the pendulum member and contact springs shown in solid lines in the open position and shown in broken lines in the closed position;

FIG. 6 is an exploded assembly view of the massager in the inverted position with the batteries removed; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic wiring diagram.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment Referring now to the drawing in which like numerals designate like parts throughout the several views, an electric massager is generally designated by the reference numeral 20 and includes a housing 21 preferably molded from a suitable plastic which is electrically nonconducting and a massaging element or attachment 22 mounted thereon. More specifically, the housing 21 comprises a lower or hand grasping portion 25 and an upper or attachment portion 26. The lower housing portion 25 has a somewhat spherical section 29 at the bottom of which is a somewhat mushroom-shaped section 30 having a relatively thin stem 32 merging into a relatively large pedestal 33 with a ring-shaped flat surface 35 adapted for supporting the massager 20 when in its upright storage position as shown in F I68". 1 and 2. The lower housing portion 25 can be molded integrally or as shown in FIG. 2, the spherical section 29 can be molded separately from the mushroom section 30 and joined together by some suitable manufacturing technique such as using a solvent which fuses the plastic parts together. As used in this specification the relative terms such as upper, lower, top, bottom, etc. are for convenience purposes only and refer to the massager in the upright storage position.

In use, the massager 20 can be easily and firmly grasped by the user with the user's hand positioned so that the fingers extend on both sides of the stem 32 and the users fingers and palm grasping the spherical section 29. Such a grip cannot be easily loosened even when the relatively smooth plastic housing 21 is wet or covered with soapy water. This is to say, the

users grip on the massager is facilitated by the fingers being disposed between the pedestal 33 and the spherical section 29 so that the grasping of the spherical section tends to force the top of the fingers against the pedestal 33.

As may be conveniently seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the attachment housing portion 26 has a somewhat spherical sidewall 37 which is complementary to the lower spherical section 29. Moreover, the housing portion 26 includes a raised relatively flat upper wall 39 around which is disposed an annular locking rib 40. The upper housing portion 26 may be integrally molded or the sidewall 37 can be made separately from the upper wall 39 and subsequently being joined together by use of a suitable solvent which welds the plastic pieces together. In the present embodiment, the latter approach is utilized.

Mounted to the upper housing wall 39 is the massaging attachment 22 which is recessed to abut against the wall 39 and locked in position by receiving the locking rib 40 in a complementary groove 41. Preferably, the attachment 22 is fabricated from a rather resilient material such as rubber whereby the attachment may be easily stretched to permit the rib 40 to enter into the groove 41. A plurality of resilient massaging fingers 44 extend away from the upper wall 39 and are adapted to gently massage the users scalp. It should be appreciated that the removable attachment 22 can be replaced by other attachments which are specifically designed for use on the user's face or the users body.

To firmly unite the upper and lower housing portions 25 and 26, the upper portion 26 is provided with screw threads 43 which cooperate with threads 44 on portion 25. In order to prevent moisture from entering into the housing 21, a resilient O-ring 47 is disposed between the two portions 25 and 26 so that as the two portions are screwed together they clamp against the O-ring 47. a

Referring now to FIG. 3 it may be seen that the upper housing portion 26 includes internal wall means 50 comprising two battery clamping portions 52, circular motor receiving portion 53 at the edge of which is a vertically extending groove portion 55, reenforcing portion 56, switch supporting wall portions 58 and 59. and a roof portion 60 which extends horizontally in the area defined by the battery clamping portions 52 and the motor receiving portion 53. For the purpose of vibrating the attachment 22 the housing 21 is provided with an electric motor assembly 63 including a direct current 3 volt I ampere motor 65 having a drive shaft 66 on which is a drive pinion 67 in driving engagement with .an eccentric 70 which is rotatably supported by a stationary shaft 72 which is rigidly locked to the electric motor 65 by means of a setscrew 73. As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 6, the eccentric 70 includes an integraI gear 75 which is in driven engagement with the pinion 67 whereby as the motor drive shaft 66 rotates, the eccentric 70 rotates on shaft 72. Inasmuch as the eccentric is out of balance with respect to shaft 72, the rotation of the eccentric generates unbalanced forces on the shaft 72. The electric motor assembly 63 is assembled to the upper housing portion 26 so that the electric motor 65 is received within the wall portion 53, and the motor 65 is firmly held against the roof portion 60 by means of a resilient U-shaped bail 77 which is anchored to the roof portion and biases the motor against the roof portion. The upper end of shaft 72 is received within a bearing 79 formed integrally with the upper wall 39. It should be noted that the shaft 72 lies along the longitudinal axis of the massager 20 and is disposed at the center of the upper wall 39. Thus, as the eccentric 70 is rotated by the electric motor 65 unbalanced forces are transmitted to the upper wall 39 for vibrating the attachment 22.

For supplying power to the electric motor assembly63 the housing 21 is provided with two dry cell batteries 82 and 83 which are preferably of the standard C-size 1.5 volt. These batteries are received in clamping portions 52 and are oppositely oriented as shown in FIG. 7 in order that they may cooperate with each other in supplying electrical power by means of lead wires to the electric motor 65. An electric contact 85 for each battery is positioned within the clamping portions 52 adjacent to the roof portion 60 wherein the full insertion of the batteries within the portions 52 forces them to make an electrical connection with the contacts 85.

Turning our attention to the lower housing portion 25 and to FIGS. 2 and 4, it may be seen that an electrically conducting cup-shaped plate 88 is secured to the portion 25 by means of screw 89. The plate 88 has a doughnut-shaped flange 91 and a downwardly spaced central disc 92 at the center of which is a key-shaped opening 93. Extending upwardly from the flange 91 are four spaced protuberances 95 which are spaced in such a manner that two of the protuberances are in alignment with the center of batteries 82 and 83. The inside of the lower housing portion 25 is formed with an annular collar 98 within which is an upstanding projection 99 which has a key-shaped configuration complementary to the plate opening 93 so that the projection 99 can extend therethrough. Due to the irregular configuration of the opening 92 and the projection 99, the plate 88 is not permitted to rotate with respect to the lower housing portion 25 once the screw 89 is locked into threaded engagement with the projection 99 wherein the head of the screw limits the upward travel of the plate 88. Positioned below the plate 88 and surrounding the projection 99 is a coil spring 102 for biasing the plate 88 upwardly towards the batteries 82 and 83. There is sufficient clearance between the plate opening 93 and the projection 99 to permit the plate 88 to pivot vertically. The threads 43 and 44 are oriented with respect to the housing portions 25 and 26 whereby once these portions are assembled together, the center of each battery is in alignment with one of the protuberances. Therefore, when it is necessary to insert batteries into the massager 20, the lower housing portion 25 is unscrewed from upper housing portion 26 providing access to the inside of the housing 21. As

indicated hereinbefore, two batteries are inserted into the clamping portions 52 with the batteries oppositely oriented. Once the batteries are in position, the housing portions are again screwed together during which time the plate 88 is forced into contact with the batteries. Since during the threading operation the housing portions are rotating with respect to one another, the plate protuberances 95 strike laterally against the ends of the batteries. Inasmuch as the plate 88 is pivotable and is spring-biased upwardly, the plate can easily deflect permitting the batteries to be rotated downwardly into proper engagement with the plate 88. After the housing portions are secured together the spring 102 forces the plate protuberances 95 into engagement with the center of the batteries. Thus, good electrical contact is insured even if the batteries have recessed center portions because the protuberances 95 extend above the flange 91. It should also be appreciated that the plate 88 biases the batteries against contacts 85 and towards roof portion 60 with the result that the batteries are tightly held to prevent them from being loosely vibrated due to the rotation of eccentric 70.

To control the operation of the electric motor assembly 63, an inertia switch assembly 110 is positioned within the housing 21. The electrical switch assembly 110 includes a plastic electrically nonconductive frame 112 having three large projections 114, 115 and 116 and six small projections 118, 119, 120, 121, 122 and 123 extending from one side of the frame and a straight rib 125 projecting from the other side of the frame. An electrically conductive switch cam or pendulum 127 having a somewhat T-shaped configuration defined by legs 128 and 129 is pivotally mounted on projection 114 so that the pendulum may swing through an arc governed by the pendulum leg 128 moving between projections 115 and 116. To lessen the friction between the frame 112 and the pendulum 127, the frame is molded with an arcuate ridge 131 disposed immediately below the pendulum leg 129. Leg 129 is formed with a periphery 132 having a notch 133. To complete the switch, a resilient contact leaf spring 135 is mounted to frame 112 by small projections 118, 119 and 120, and

similarly resilient contact leaf spring 137 is supported by being threaded through small projections 121, 122 and 123. At the free end of contact leaf spring 135 is a curved portion or detent 138, and similarly at the free end of contact leaf spring 137 is curved portion or detent 139. When the switch pendulum 127 is in the stable position shown in FIG. 7 and in solid lines in FIG. 5, the switch is open because only curved portion 138 of leaf spring 135 is making electrical contact with the pendulum. Therefore, the switch is in the open position because no electrical connection is being made between the contact springs 135 and 137. The switch pendulum 127 is held in the stable position by spring portion 138 being received within and biased towards periphery notch 133. However, when the switch is impacted causing pendulum 127 to swing downwardly so that the leg 128 moves adjacent to projection 116, the leg 129 is disposed with the contact leaf spring curved portion 139 biased in the notch 133 thereby holding the pendulum in this stable position while the contact leaf spring curve portion 138 is in engagement with the periphery 132 of the leg 129 establishing an electric connection between the two leaf springs via the pendulum 127. Therefore, when the pendulum 127 is in the stable position shown by broken lines in FIG. 5, the switch is in the closed position.

In accordance with the present invention, the inertia switch assembly is inserted into housing 21 wherein it is disposed adjacent to switch supporting wall portions 58 and 59 with the frame rib positioned in the groove portion 55. To prevent any movement of the frame 112 with respect to the housing upper portion 26, a suitable solvent can be used to weld the rib 125 to the groove portion 55. It should be appreciated that with this construction that the pendulum 127 and contact springs and 137 are trapped onto the frame 112 by means of the frame projections 114-116 and 118-123 being conconveniently seen in FIG. 3.

To actuate the inertia switch assembly 112, it is merely necessary to impact the housing 21 from the proper direction. More specifically, to start the electric motor 65, the user impacts or taps inwardly in a longitudinal direction on the attachment 22 or the wall 39. The striking of the attachment or the housing wall 39 causes the pendulum 127 to move downwardly to the closed position shown in broken lines in FIG. 5 due to the inertia force exerted primarily by the pendulum leg 129. Similarly, when it is desired to stop the motor 65, it is merely necessary to tap the pedestal 33 with an inwardly longitudinally directed blow which causes the pendulum 127 to move upwardly as seen in FIG. 5 to the position shown in solid lines, again due to the inertia force on the pendulum. The amount of force necessary to cause the pendulum to move is determined to some extent by the tension between the pendulum and the contact springs I35 and 137. The engagement between the spring detent I39 and the pendulum notch 133 when the switch is closed should be sufficiently strong to prevent movement of the pendulum due to vibration generated by the eccentric, but the engagement should be sufficiently weak to permit movement of the pendulum when the housing is properly struck. It has been found desirable to have the inertia switch activated by a force equivalent to dropping the massager on one end from a 5 inch height. With the inertia switch being totally enclosed within the housing 21, the user can easily control the operation of the switch even if his eyes are closed due to the use of soap in his hair.This can be accomplished by the user merely tapping the easily distinguishable ends of the massager to activate the switch. The massager is constructed with a sealing arrangement to prevent the entrance of moisture. However, if moisture should enter into the housing or if the housing were to be broken, there is no danger because the batteries are of such a low voltage that the user cannot detect any electrical energy when he shorts out the batteries. Another advantage of this massager is that the batteries can be very easily and quickly replaced by merely unscrewing the housing portions.

What we claim as new and desired to be secured by Letters Pat. of the United States is:

1. An electrically operated massager comprising a housing having an end on which a massaging element is secured and an opposite end adapted for supporting said massager, motor means positioned within said housing for vibrating said massaging element, battery means disposed within said housing for supplying electrical power to said motor means, and switch means within said housing and in electrical connection with said motor means and said battery means, said switch means being actuatable when said housing is impacted at one of said ends for starting said motor means and being actuatable when said housing is impacted at the other of said ends for stopping said motor.

2. The combination set forth in claim I, wherein said housing is separable between said ends for providing 'access therein and said housing being electrically nonconductive.

3. The combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said housing is formed with integral means for releasably securing said massaging element thereto.

4. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein said switch means includes an electrically conducting pendulum member pivotally mounted for swinging between a stable position causing said switch means to be open and another stable position causing said switch means to be closed, wherein the impacting of said housing ends can cause said member to change stable positions.

5. The combination set forth in claim 2 including means disposed between said housing ends for sealing said housing against the ingressing of moisture.

6. In an electric massager comprising a housing having a massaging element on its exterior and enclosing motor means for vibrating said element, battery means within said housing for supplying power to said motor means, an inertia switch in said housing electrically connected to said battery means and motor means for controlling the power supplied to said motor means, said inertia switch being actuatable to permit power to be supplied to said motor means when said housing is struck from one direction and actuatable to prevent power from being supplied to said motor means when said housing is struck from the opposite direction.

7. In the massager of claim 6, wherein said inertia switch comprises a nonconducting frame on which is pivotally mounted an electrically conductable pendulum member, said frame provided with spaced abutment means for limiting the are through which said member can pivot, a pair of spaced electrically conductable contact leaf springs biasing toward said member and spaced so that both springs are in engagement with said member when said member is in a stable position contiguous to one of said abutment means, and only one spring is in engagement with said member when said member is in the other stable position contiguous to the other of said abutment means.

8. In the massager of claim 7, wherein said springs are each formed with a detent portion, said member having recess means, one of said spring detent portions engaging said member recess means when said member is in one stable position and the other spring detent portion engaging said member recess means when said member is in the other stable position, the engagement between said spring detent portions and said member recess means being sufficiently strong to prevent movement of said member when said motor means is vibrating said element but the engagement being sufficiently weak to permit the movement of said member when said housing is properly struck.

9. In the electric massager of claim 6, wherein said housing being formed with an internal wall portion, said frame formed with integral projection means extending from one side thereof, said projection means supporting said member and said springs, said frame positioned in said housing with said projection means extending toward said wall portion, housing means maintaining said frame contiguous to said wall portion whereby said member and said springs are maintained on said projection means.

10. An electric massager comprising a housing having a massaging element on its exterior and enclosing motor means for vibrating said element, at least two batteries positioned in said housing for supplying power to said motor means, a switch in said housing for electrically connecting said batteries and said motor means, said housing including separable portions with a first portion receiving said batteries and a second portion supporting an electrically conducting plate adapted to make electrical contact with the ends of said batteries facing said plate, said plate being movable in the direction toward said batteries and biased towards said batteries, said housing portions being in threaded engagement whereby said portions are rotated with respect to each other for locking engagement, said plate being secured to said second portion in such a manner as to prevent relative rotational displacement.

11. The electrical massager of claim 10, wherein said plate is formed with protuberances extending toward said batteries, the threaded engagement between said housing portions being in such a manner that one of said protuberances is in alignment with the center of each battery.

12 The electric massager of claim 11, wherein said plate is secured to said second portion so that said plate can pivot towards and away from said batteries.

13. An electric massager comprising a hollow housing having a wall at one end on which a massager element is mountable, an electric motor positioned in said housing and in driving relationship with an eccentric rotatably mounted on a shaft lying along the center line of said housing and of said wall, said shaft having one end anchored to said wall whereby the rotation of said eccentric by said motor causes vibratory forces to be transmitted to said element on said wall, battery means in said housing for supplying power to said motor, and switch means totally enclosed by said housing and electrically connecting said motor and said battery means for controlling the energization of said motor.

14. The electric massager of claim 13, wherein said shaft other end is supported by said motor, gearing means disposed between said motor and said eccentric for transmitting power from said motor to said eccentric.

15. The electric massager of claim 13, wherein said housing includes first and second portions which are separable to provide access to said battery means, said first housing portion including said wall and defining means for receiving and supporting said motor, said switch means and said battery means, and spring means resiliently locking said motor within said first housing portion means.

16. The electric massager of claim 15, wherein said second housing portion being provided with a contact plate for making electrical contact with said battery means, means biasing said plate against said battery means for making a good electrical contact therebetween and biasing said battery means into said first housing portion means.

17. The electric massager of claim 15, wherein said housing is formed of electrically insulating material, seal means disposed between said housing portions to prevent the entrance of moisture within said housing whereby said massager is adapted for use in a wet environment.

18. An electric massager comprising a hollow housing having a first end on which a massaging element is releasably mounted, motor means in said housing for vibrating said massaging element, battery means for supplying power to said motor means, an inertia switch totally enclosed by said housing and electrically connecting said motor means and said battery means, said housing having a second end including a somewhat mushroom-shaped member extending away from said first end, said inertia switch being disposed so that the striking of either housing end can actuate said switch.

19. The electric massager of claim 18, wherein said mushroom-shapedmember includes a stem portion and outer enlarged pedestal portion, said portions arranged to facilitate the grasping of said massager wherein the user's finger can extend by each side of said stem portion and under said pedestal portion while holding said second end.

20. The electric massager of claim 19, wherein the outer surface of said pedestal portion is flat and said massager is adapted to be in a stable upright storage position when said outer surface rests on a horizontal surface, and said second end having a somewhat spherical portion adjacent said stem portion so that the user's fingers can easily grasp said spherical portion. 5

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3919575 *Sep 19, 1974Nov 11, 1975Bosch Gmbh RobertVibrator generator
US4052981 *Aug 3, 1976Oct 11, 1977Bachmann Robert JMassaging method and apparatus
US4669452 *Apr 17, 1985Jun 2, 1987Ichikawa Press Industry Co., Ltd.Electric vibrator
US4846158 *Aug 15, 1988Jul 11, 1989Akihiko TeranishiHand type electric massage machine
US5582581 *Feb 27, 1995Dec 10, 1996Horton; AzorMassage soap bar apparatus
US5725304 *Nov 27, 1996Mar 10, 1998Makita CorporationBattery concrete vibrator
US6234986 *Oct 23, 1998May 22, 2001Headwaters Research & Development, Inc.Hand-held wet/dry sculpted massager that floats
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US20020049400 *Aug 22, 2001Apr 25, 2002Dwayne LaceyHead massaging device
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Classifications
U.S. Classification601/72, 200/61.53
International ClassificationA61H23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H23/0263
European ClassificationA61H23/02R2