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Publication numberUS3604750 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 14, 1971
Filing dateNov 19, 1968
Priority dateNov 19, 1968
Publication numberUS 3604750 A, US 3604750A, US-A-3604750, US3604750 A, US3604750A
InventorsDoering Esther W
Original AssigneeDoering Esther W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Harness
US 3604750 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Esther W. Doering 202 No. 9th Street, Olivia, Minn. 56277 [21] Appl. No. 776,979 [22] Filed Nov. 19, 1968 [45] Patented Sept. 14, 1971 [54] HARNESS 24 Claim, 8 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 297/389 [51] Int. Cl. A47d 15/00 [50] Field of Search 297/389,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,170,703 8/1939 Waxman et al. 297/389 X 2,451,007 10/1948 White 297/385 X 2,851,033 9/1958 Posey 297/389 X 3,099,486 7/1963 Scott 297/389 3,136,581 6/1964 Caballero 297/384 3,301,594 1/1967 Pukish, Jr. 297/389 3,380,776 4/1968 Dillender 297/389 3,466,090 9/1969 Posey 297/389 2,823,046 2/1958 Banta 297/385 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall AttarneyRobert C. Baker at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual. The harnesses are first affixed to a chair and then body holding elements of the harnesses are used to secure a seated individual for safety.

One type of harness especially useful for holding infants is formed from a length of flexible sheetlike material having the following panels in sequence: A seat section, a back section, and a back overlap section which extends from the top of the upright back of a chair downwardly on the rear side. Flexible members or straps connected to the length of material are used to firmly fasten the seat section, back section, and back overlap panel to a chair. Shoulder straps affixed to the back section are crossed over the chest of an individual; and a crotch extension equipped with a sash or belt is drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual, connected to the crossed shoulder straps and then secured laterally and rearwardly of the individual,

The harness for adults or invalids likewise includes a seat section, back section and back overlap panel, preferably with an underseat panel interposed between the seat section and back section and a slot along the rear edge of the seat section through which the back section and back overlap panel are drawn after the seat section and underseat panel are stretched about the seat of a chair. Additionally, in the embodiment designed especially for use by adults, the long shoulder straps are preferably fixed at one end to the underseat section, and extended upward behind the back section to locations in the back section from which they are extended to cover the chest of the individual. The adult embodiment has separate thigh straps affixed to the seat section. They are adapted to be drawn separately upwardly between the legs of an individual iEQQEtBi? 15 151..

PATENTED SEPI 419m 3'604750 sum 1 0F 2 INVENTOR. ESTHER W. DOERING ATTORNEY PATENTED sam 4197i SHEEI 2 BF 2 I N VEN UR.

ESTHER W. DOERING ATTORNEY HARNESS This invention relates to new harnesses useful to convert a chair into a security chair for holding an individual in a sitting position while at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual.

An important feature of the harnesses of this invention is that they are designed to be attached or secured first to a chair, and thereafter accommodated to an individual at the time the individual sits in the chair.

One major embodiment for the harnesses of the invention is especially useful to provide a security chair for infants. An optional feature of this embodiment is that it may be formed to be convertible into a carrying bag for diapers when not used as a safety or security device.

Another major embodiment is especially useful to provide a security chair for adults or invalids, particularly invalids confined to wheel chairs.

Harnesses according to this invention are designed to secure an individual against dangerous falls out of a chair, whether the individual is an infant or an adult, and provide this desirable result by means which do not constrictively circumscribe or encircle the limbs of the individual. The arrangement of the body-holding elements of the harnesses taught herein is such that an individual held in a sitting position by the elements is allowed free movement for his limbs as well as substantial movement for his torso without being released or escaping from the protective action of the holding elements.

Security harnesses of a variety of types have been known heretofore. For the most part, however, they have been so designed that the elements of the harness must first be jacketed about the torso of an individual (which is not always practical to accomplish on an invalid or a wiggling infant), and then secured to a chair at the time the individual is placed in the chair. The problem of placing an infant or invalid in such harnesses is compounded whenever the harness is designed with special arm or neck holes, as has been customary for some harnesses of the prior art. Also, an individual equipped with a harness having elements such as hole openings which constrictively encircle or circumscribe his limbs or neck is uncomfortable and generally quite restricted in his movements with respect to the harness. But far too frequently, while the individual is restricted in his movements by such prior art harnesses, the possibility for unsafe movement may still be present and may cause hazards other than falling to arise.

A prior art teaching which appears to depart from the approach of first jacketing harness elements about an individual is set forth in Hlivka U.S. Pat. No. 2,652,183. The harness of that patent is designed to be first placed upon a chair and then fitted about the legs and waist of an individual seated in it. The seat part of the harness merely rests upon the seat of the chair. Also, in terms of practical use, the harness of that patent is not effective to prevent an infant from struggling to a standing position on the seat of the chair and simultaneously raising the harness upward and carrying the harness on him as he stands. Alternatively, if the bloomer apron of that patent is not sized properly to the child, and is loose on the child, the child may work his legs up under him within the bloomer apron and wiggle out of the harness. But, if the bloomer portion is so sized as to circumscribe snugly the thighs of the infant, a possible problem off impairing circulation in the thighs of the infant as he gains weight may arise; and still there exists a further problem in that nothing according to that patent teaching would prevent the infant from struggling to a standing position while carrying the complete harness with him. Further, the back panel of that harness would appear to flap or fall forward and annoy an individual in the harness. In short, the harness of the noted patent, while superficially appearing to be one in which the individual is not first placed prior to affixing it to a chair, is actually one that does behave in the manner characteristic of those harnesses especially designed to be first placed upon an individual and then attached to a chair.

Objections aforenoted for harnesses of the prior art are overcome by following teachings form this disclosure. Fundamentally, harnesses of this invention are free of members which constrictively encircle the limbs of an individual.

These harnesses comprise (i) a set section of flexible material adapted to extend as a covering upon the seat portion of a chair, (ii) means for fastening the seat section upon the seat portion of the chair, (iii) a back section of flexible material connected to the seat section and adapted to extend as a covering upon the first surface of the upright back of the chair, (iv) means for fastening the back section on the front surface of the upright back of the chair, and (v) body harness means for holding an individual in a seated position on the seat section. The body harness means preferably comprises lower body holding elements adapted to extend between the forward central area of the seat section and laterally spaced locations at each side and rearwardly of the individual.

In both of the major embodiments for the harnesses of this invention, the preferred means for fastening the back section on the front surface of the upright back of the chair comprises a back overlap panel of flexible material united at one edge to the uppermost edge of the back section. This back overlap panel is adapted to extend from the top portion of the upright back of the chair downwardly upon the rear side of that upright back. Means are provided to hold the depending portion of the back overlap panel against upward movement and thereby also hold the back section of the harness in position on the front surface of the upright back of the chair.

Especially to be emphasized is the fact that the seat section of harnesses of this invention is normally firmly held on the seat of a chair, and usually not merely placed in a position of rest thereupon. In this connection, it is preferably fastened upon the seat portion of the chair, suitably by means comprising a flexible member adapted to extend as a connection underneath the seat of the chair from one edge to an opposing edge of the seat section.

Preferred body harness means for holding an individual in seated position on the seat section of the new article comprises upper-torso holding means connected to the back section of the harnesses, usually also with lower body holding means connected to the forward central area of the seat section of the harnesses.

The upper torso holding means comprises elements adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on the seat section of the harness; and the lower body holding means comprises elements adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs or through the crotch area of an individual seated on the seat section of the harness and connected to the upper torso holding means.

In the embodiment especially designed for use by invalids, the lower body holding elements consist essentially of two strap members, each permanently connected at one end to the forward central area of the seat section, and each being adapted to be drawn between the legs of the individual over a thigh and then secured rearwardly of the individual.

The invention will further be described by reference to a drawing made a part hereof wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan schematic view of an infant-type harness of the invention shown in flattened stretched-out condition;

FIG. 2 is.a schematic front perspective view of an infant held by the harness of FIG. 1 and particularly illustrating the arrangement of the body harness members of the harness of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3'is a schematic rear perspective view of the showing in FIG. 2-,

FIG. 4 is a plan schematic view of an alternate infant-type harness, also shown in flattened stretched-out condition;

FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view, partially broken away, showing the folding for a harness, as illustrated in FIG. 2, to form a bag suitable for carrying diapers or the like;

FIG. 6 is a plan schematic view of an adult-type harness according to the invention (especially one designed to hold invalids in a sitting position in a chair such as a wheelchair or the like), shown in flattened streteched-out condition;

FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective view of a wheel chair equipped with the harness of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a schematic perspective view of the harness of FIG. 6 illustrating the arrangement of the elements as they are arranged on a chair and about an individual held in a sitting position.

Referring to the drawing, particularly FIGS. 1-5 inclusive, the major embodiment of the invention especially useful to provide a safety seat for infants will first be described. This structure comprises a seat panel or section 10 of flexible sheetlike material (eg fabric) adapted to extend as a covering upon the seat portion of a chair, and a back section 1 1 of flexible sheetlike material connected to the seat section and adapted to extend as a covering upon the front surface of the upright back of a chair. The seat section 10 and the back section 11, as illustrated in the drawing, may be parts of a continuous length of flexible material.

Alternately, the substantially rectangular panel forming the seat section and the substantially rectangular panel forming the back section may be joined by sewing or sealing or snapping them together at the dash line 12, which represents the line of direct connection between the seat section 10 and back section 11 in the continuous length. Preferably, the seat and back section are permanently united together, as distinguished from being severably united by snap elements or the like.

Means are provided for fastening the seat section upon the seat portion of the chair; and this means preferably comprises a flexible member which extends underneath the seat of the chair from one edge to an opposing edge of the seat section.

The fastening means is illustrated in FIG. 1 as a strap having the two parts 13 and 14 adapted to extend as a connection underneath the seat of a chair. Part 13 of the seat fastening strap is illustrated as being united permanently to lateral edge 15 of the seat section 10; whereas part 14 is illustrated as being permanently united to lateral edge 16 of the seat section 10. The two parts 13 and 14 are conveniently and quickly severable and reconnectable, as by means such as male and female snap members 17 and 18.

In FIG. 4, the seat fastening strap 19 is illustrated as being permanently united to the lateral edge 20 of seat section 10. It is adapted to extend as a flexible connection underneath the seat of the chair from the lateral edge 20 to lateral edge 21 of the seat section 10. Cooperating snap fastener elements 22 and 23 at the end of strap 19 and the lateral edge of seat section 10, respectively, are used for connecting and severing the strap 19. Preferably, snap fastening member 22 joins with snap fastening member 23 underneath the panel of seat section 10 on the chair, inasmuch as this reduces the likelihood of inadvertent disconnection by an infant while being held in the harness.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the snap fastening elements 17 and 18 join the two parts of the seat fastening strap together underneath the chair, and are quite inaccessible for inadvertent disconnection. Likewise, however, they are not as easily reached for connection at the time of installing the seat panel 10 on a chair as the snap members located as illustrated at 22 and 23 in FIG. 4.

Elements for fastening the back section 1 l as a panel on the front surface of the upright back of a chair preferably include a back overlap panel 24 of flexible sheetlike material united at one edge to the uppermost edge of the back section 11. This back overlap panel is adapted to extend from the top portion of the upright back of a chair downwardly upon the rear side of that upright back. The dash line 25 illustrates the approximate location of the connection between the back overlap panel 24 and the back section or panel 1 l. Preferably this connection is permanent; and the usual practice is to form the back overlap panel 24 as an integral part of the continuous length of sheetlike material or to unite it permanently thereto by sewing or sealing. The back overlap panel 24 is usually approximately rectangular in shape, but may comprise straplike elements for arrangement over the top of a chair back or a structure of approximately triangular configuration, with the base of the triangle being the part nearest the line of connection between it and the uppermost part of back section 11.

A strap member consisting of two parts 26 and 27 (see FIG. 1), each respectively united at one end to a lateral edge 28 and 29 of the back section 11, is provided for fastening those lateral edges or portions of the back section to the depending part of the back overlap panel 24. Cooperating snap fastening members 30 and 31 located at or near the outer or terminal ends of the strap parts 26 and 27 provide severable and reconnectable means for joining the parts of the back section fastening strap together. To be recognized is the fact that the two parts 26 and 27 of the fastening strap for the back section might be severably and reconnectably fastened individually to separate cooperating snap elements on the back overlap panel 24. A preferable arrangement is to thread the free ends of the fastening strap members 26 and 27 respectively through slotted openings 32 and 33 (or a single slotted opening replacing the two illustrated in FIG. 1) in the depending tab extension 34 at the lowermost depending part of the back overlap panel 24, after which snap fastener elements 30 and 31 are united.

In FIG. 4, a single strap 35 is shown united to lateral edge 28 of the back section 11. Cooperating snap fastening elements 36 and 37 at the end of the strap 35 and the opposite lateral edge 29 of back section 1 1, respectively, are used to fasten the single strap 35 about the rear of the upright back of a chair (suitably after threading strap 35 through slotted opening 32 and 33 of the depending tab 34 of he back overlap panel).

The back section fastening strap 35, or strap elements 26 and 27, after being threaded through a depending portion (i.e., slots 32 and 33 of depending tab 34) of the back overlap panel 24, or otherwise connected thereto as by snap elements or buckles, serve to hold the back overlap panel against upward shifting movements. In this manner, the back section is held firmly against flapping forward or other undue shifting to cause discomfort or lack of firm support for the upper torso holding elements to be described.

However, instead of strap 35, or strap elements 26 and 27, or as an optional additional feature, flexible tie strings 38 and 39, attached each at a respective lateral edge 28 and 29 of the back section 11, may be used to fasten the back section in place. These tie strings 38 and 39 may be joined together through the openings 32 and 33 (or connected by snaps or buckles to the depending back overlap panel) to hold the back overlap panel in position, and thereby hold or contribute to the holding of the uppermost portion of the back section 11 against the front of the upright back of the chair.

Generally, however, when these tie fasteners are used, the tie string 38 is tied in a bow to tie string 40 affixed at one end to the lateral edge 41 of he back overlap section 24; and tie string 39 is tied to string 41 affixed at the opposite lateral edge 43 of the back overlap section 24.

After the seat section and the back section have been appropriately fixed upon a chair, an individual is helped into a sitting position on the chair and body harness members of the new harness are easily and conveniently accommodated to the individual to hold him in that sitting position on the seat section. These body harness members suitably include elements adapted to extend between the forward central area of the seat section 10 and laterally spaced locations illustrated at numerals 28 and 29 at each side and rearwardly of the individual.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4, the body harness members especially effective as lower-body holding means for the infant safety harnesses suitably include a crotch panel 44 connected to the central forward area of the seat section 10. Dotted line 45 is used to illustrate the approximate dividing line between the seat panel 10 and the crotch panel 44. A laterally extending sash, for example, a belt or strap 46, is connected to the crotch panel 44, preferably near the anterior or outermost portion thereof and suitably (but not necessarily) in a slidable or shiftable manner through the opening formed by a loop 47 affixed (analogously to a belt loop) to the anterior portion of crotch panel 44. Sash 46 is adapted to be extended to and past laterally spaced locations associated with the back section rearwardly of the individual; and in the infant embodiment, this usually is accomplished by extending sash 46 about the waist of the infant and then to the lateral edges of the back section 11 and behind that back section. Usually, the ends of sash 46 are extended to the rear of the upright back of the chair and then tied in a knot or bow, or joined together by severable and cooperating snap fastening elements 48 (shown at the terminal ends of the sash strap 46 in FIG. 1). FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the location of crotch panel 44 and the relative position of the sash strap 46 as it is extended to laterally spaced locations about the sides of the individual toward the rear and then joined at the rear of the individual through the slotted openings 32 and 33 in the overlap panel 24. If desired, loops 58 may be provided at the lateral edges 28 and 29 of the back section (or at lateral edges of the back overlap section), through which the sash strap 46 may be threaded on its way to being joined, or to which the ends of sash strap 46 may separately be affixed without being joined at the rear of the individual.

Upper torso holding means, preferably in the nature of spaced shoulder straps 49 (but possibly in the nature of a bib as a much less preferred option), extend from the upper half of the back section 1 ll, suitably from laterally spaced locations 50 and 5 ll. This means is adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on the seat section on the chair. Shoulder straps 49 normally are crossed over the chest of the individual (or drawn to a position indicating the same to cross at a location over the chest of the individual).

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, means are provided at the terminal portion of each shoulder strap 49 for slidably or shiftably connecting the sash strap 46 thereto; and this means suitably consists of a loop 52 sewn or shaped on the terminal end of each shoulder strap 49 of FIG. 1. Through the openings so formed, the sash strap 46 may be and preferably is threaded on its way to be drawn laterally about the sides of the individual. The resulting arrangement on the individual is as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3; and it will be noted that the infant is not placed in any discomfort, does have considerable freedom of movement, especially for his limbs, can shift his body, but cannot escape from the safe protective custody of the harness.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, shoulder straps 49 are precrossed, but preferably not sewn together at their crossing intersection. The outer lateral edge of the terminal portion of each shoulder strap 49 is connected by a strip or strand 54 of material. On crotch panel 44 is affixed a flap or short strip of material 55, which (at the time of installing the harness on an individual seated in a chair equipped with the device of this invention) is placed through the opening formed by the lateral edges of shoulder straps 49 and the connecting strip 52 between them, and then is fastened to the crotch panel 44 as by connecting cooperating snap fastening'elements 56 and 57. Thus, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the sash or belt 46 is not necessarily threaded through or connected per se to any element of the shoulder straps 49 on its way to the rear of the individual, but is connected to the shoulder straps 39 of the upper torso holding means through the intermediate flap or tab 55 with which it is associated. If desired, however, the flap 55 may be omitted, and the sash itself, on its way to the rear of an individual, may be threaded through the opening formed by the shoulder straps 49 and connecting element 52 between them.

When such is done, the sash 46 serves also to perform the function of tab 55 to draw or hold the shoulder straps toward a crossed position. It will also be appreciated that the specific nature of a connection between a flap 55 and the shoulder straps 49 may be altered in a variety of ways without departing from the fundamental principles for connection between the upper torso holding straps 49 and the lower body harness elements 44 and 46, as discussed herein.

Preferably, at least a portion of the length of each shoulder strap 49 is elastic (or stretchable and retractable); and a suitable elastic fabric portion is illustrated at numeral 59. To provide snug fastening of seat section 10 and back section 11 to chairs of different sizes, the straps 19 and 35 of FIG. 4 (and strap elements 13 and 14 plus 26 and 27 in FIG. I), or at least a portion thereof, also are preferably formed with material having elastic properties. However, where the use of elastic inserts or fully elastic straps is considered objectionable, it may be suitable to employ nonelastic, straps designed to be connected together or attached to another part by tying a knot or bow.

The showing in FIG. 5 illustrates but one type of folding for an illustrative harness to form a bag or carrying case suitable for carrying diapers when the harness is not affixed. to a chair. To be observed is that the length of material forming the seat section 10, back section 11, and back overlap 24 is folded transversely at about the middle of the back section 11. Fastening snap member 53, on the depending portion of the back overlap panel 24, is then connected to snap member at approximately a middle location on the under surface of the seat section 10. Sash 46 is suitably tied, as illustrated, to form a handle for carrying the bag. Also to be observed is that strap members 19 and 35 are drawn about the back overlap panel 24 and the upper half of the back section 11 and then fastened by attaching fasteners 22 and 23 and 36 and 37 respectively. This serves to hold the folded length of material in the bag form.

embodiment of the invention especially useful to provide a safety seat for adults or invalids will be described. This structure comprises a seat section 61 of flexible material adapted to extend as a covering upon the seat portion of a chair, and a back section 62 of flexible material connected to the seat section (although not directly connected to the seat section). The back section 62 is adapted to extend as a covering upon the front surface of the upright back of a chair.

In the view shown in FIG. 6, the side of the seat section 61 seen is the side which is next to the seat of a chair when the harness is installed on a chair; the opposite side or surface is the surface exposed and sat upon after the harness is installed on a chair.

Means are provided for fastening the seat section 61 upon the seat portion of a chair; and this means preferably comprises a flexible underseat bottom panel member 63 adapted to extend as a connection underneath the seat ofa chair from one edge to an opposing edge of the seat section 61. Dotted line 64 illustrates the approximate line of division between the seat panel 61 and the underseat bottom member 63. The underseat bottom panel 63 is united (preferably permanently and not solely by severable fasteners) to the seat section 60 as well as to the back section 61. It, in essence, forms the link connecting the seat section 61 with the back section 62. Also united to the back section 61 is a back overlap panel 65; and dotted line 66 illustrates the approximate line of division between the back section 62 and overlap panel 65. The connection between these panels is suitably formed by sewing or sealing the material of the panels along the line of division between the panels.

At the rear edge of seat section 61 (i.e., terminal end of a length of flexible material out of which the back overlap panel 65, back section 62, underseat panel 63 and seat section 61 are formed) is provided means 67 cooperative with elements 68 at or connected to the rear edge of under seat panel 63 to fasten seat section on the seat of a chair. Suitably, a slotted opening 67, located centrally along the rear edge of seat section 61, is large enough to permit the entire back overlap panel structure 65 and back section 62 to be drawn through it. As the back section 62 is stretched or pulled upward and the back overlap panel 65 installed down the upright back of the chair, seat section or panel 61 is simultaneously fastened in position upon the seatof the chair. The arrangement on installation of the harness upon a chair is such that the seat section 61 is provided with means 67 cooperative with the rear edge 68 of the bottom panel 63, or the lowermost part of the back section 62 associated with the rear edge 68, to hold the rear Referring now to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 of the drawing, the major edge portion of the seat section 61 in place. Significantly, the arrangement holds the seat section 61 against forward movement away from the back section 62.

The flexible back overlap panel 65, after being stretched into a depending position down the rear part of the upright back of a chair, is held in position by joining severable snap fastening elements 93 and 69 on the lateral edge 70 and elements 71 and 72 on lateral edge 73. This simultaneously fastens or holds the back section 62 on the front surface of the upright back of a chair.

To be noted are two elongated slots laterally spaced from each other in the upper half of the back section. These slots 74 and 75 are adapted to receive through them shoulder strap members 76 and 77, respectively. Although the shoulder straps might be immovably fixed to a lateral location (such as illustrated by the location of slots 74 and 75), greater comfort for an adult is provided when the arrangement as illustrated is employed. Thus, just prior to affixing the snap fasteners 93 and 71 of the back section 62 to cooperating elements on the back overlap member 65, it is customary to thread shoulder strap 76 through slot 74 and shoulder strap 77 through slot 75. Since shoulder strap 76 is permanently sewn or affixed to the rear edge of underseat bottom panel 63 at a laterally ofi'set location (to the left in terms of the harness on a chair), and shoulder strap 77 is permanently sewn at one end to an opposite laterally offset location (to the right), the threading of strap 76 through slot 74 and strap 77 through slot 75 serves to cross shoulder straps 76 and 77 prior to a time they are threaded forwardly through the shoulder strap openings in the back section 62. The portion of the shoulder straps 76 and 77 from the fixed location 78 and 79 up to their passage through openings 74 and 75 is located behind the back section 62 next to the upright back of a chair (and behind it). The result is that each shoulder strap 76 and 77 extends from fixed laterally spaced locations 74 and 75 in the upper half of the back section. However, each shoulder strap may be shifted or moved within or through the fixed laterally spaced locations (i.e., slots 74 and 75) of the back section 62.

Preferably, the shoulder straps are firmly united and immovably united to laterally spaced locations 78 and 79 at the rear edge of the underseat bottom panel 63, as illustrated. Also, in order to provide additional means for fastening the seat section 61 in position, laterally spaced elongated slots 80 and 81 along the rear edge of the seat section 61 permit shoulder straps 77 and 76 respectively to be drawn through them prior to being crossed and drawn through the slots 74 and 75 in the upper half of the back section 62. This feature constitutes an alternate means whereby the seat section 61 may be fastened upon the seat of the chair; but it is generally preferable to employ the feature of feeding the shoulder straps through the slots 80 and 81 of the seat section in combination with (instead of as an alternate to) feeding the back section 62 and back overlap panel 65 through the elongated slot centrally located at the rear of the seat section 61. Nevertheless, alternate means substituting for the slot means may be employed to achieve severable connection or uniting of these elements to hold the seat member in position.

Body harness members, specifically lower body harness members, for holding an individual in a seated position on the seat section include elements in the nature of strap members 82 and 83 which are adapted to extend between the forward central area of the seat section 61 and laterally spaced locations associated with the back section 62 rearwardly of an individual held by the harness. Each strap member 82 and 83 is permanently connected at one end to the forward central area of the seat section 61 as it is positioned upon a chair (see FIGS. 7 and 8). One of these strap members, for example, strap member 82, is adapted to be drawn upwardly through the crotch area between the legs of an individual seated on seat section, and then over his right thigh and secured rearwardly of the individual on his right side. The other strap member, for example strap member 83, is adapted to be drawn upwardly through the crotch area over his left thigh and secured rearwardly on his left side. Means by which the strap members 82 and 83 are secured rearwardly of the individual suitably consists of ring or belt buckle elements 84 and 85, fixed on the lateral edges of the back overlap panel 65 and through which straps 82 and 83 may, respectively, be slip threaded and frictlonally held.

As illustrated in FIG. 8, strap 82, after being drawn over the right thigh of the individual, is threaded through a loop 86 at the free or unattached terminal end of the shoulder strap 77, and strap 83 is fed through a loop 87 at the terminal end of shoulder strap 76, prior to being affixed at the laterally spaced locations rearwardly of the individual. The arrangement is such that the lower body holding means (i.e., straps 82 and 83) are effective holders but do not prevent an individual from crossing his legs if he should choose to do so. This feature is, of course, made even more possible whenever the straps 82 and 83 are formed of a somewhat elastic material or are provided with elastic inserts.

Preferably, shoulder straps 76 and 77 are each equipped with an elastic insert 88 so that some give or stretchability is imparted to them to contribute to comfort for movement by the individual in the harness without seriously sacrificing the safety features of the harness.

Frequently also the harness is provided with reinforcement strips, such as strips 89 and 90 in the back overlap panel 65, and strip 91 along the rear edge of the underseat bottom panel 63 where the shoulder straps 76 and 77 and the back section 62 are firmly sewn or afiixed to the bottom panel 63. A similar reinforcing panel or strip 92 may be located at the rear edge of the seat section 61 where the slots 67, and 81 are located.

The panels and strap members of harnesses according to the invention may be formed out of a wide variety of flexible sheetlike materials. Fabric materials are especially useful. lllustrative fabrics are canvass, duck cloth, quilted cottons, and anyother suitable fabric either having sufficient strength to withstand the expected strain during use of the harness or reinforced with straps or strips at high strain areas to impart greater resistance to rupture or tearing. Leather is useful. Plastic film materials, optionally reinforced by lamination or quilting to woven or nonwoven fabric or other sheet material may also be used. Dual layers with intermediate padding or reinforcement may add to the comfort feature of the harness. Stiffeners may be used to impart greater body to different sections such as the back or seat sections of the harnesses; but generally, at least some drapability is preferably retained in all sections or panels of the harness.

Variation in the shape of sections or panels useful in practicing the invention is possible without sacrifice of the funda mental benefits of the invention. For example, the panels may be formed to have an approximately oval shape, or an approximately hourglass shape, and joined together at longitudinal or side areas to form the length of material for fixing to the chair. A random or a regular pattern of holes maybe present in the panels; but this sometimes adds expense without a commensurate benefit.

Even possible, and sometimes desirable, is the expedient of forming whole panels or parts of panels or sections out of elastic material or with elastic strap inserts connecting the edge parts of a panel or forming the link between different sections or panels. Illustratively, to impart greater adjustability for the adult-type harness to accommodate it to wheel chairs of different sizes, the underseat bottom panel 63 may be equipped with elastic at one edge connection portion to an adjacent panel or section. It may have an insert of elastic material either extending completely across its width an elastic strap or two joining front and rear portions of that bottom panel 63. The shape of that underseat bottom panel, particularly where a single midsection elastic insert is included, may advisedly approximate that of an hourglass.

It will be appreciated that the exact line of demarcation between different sections or panels of the harnesses is to some extent a function of the size of the chair on which a harness according to the invention is affixed. For example, a

back-overlap panel may, in the case of a high-backed chair, occupy some of the front surface of the upright back of the chair; but in essence, its function is that of a piece of material extending down the backside of the back of the chair to hold or assist in holding the back section of the harness in place.

Connecting flexible strands of material such as sashes e.g. straps, belts, tie strings and the like) may assume a variety of forms. Different elements from one or more illustrated embodiments may be used in substitution of or in addition to analogous elements of other embodiments illustrated and described. Where desired, shoulder straps 76 and 77 of FIGS. 6-8, inclusive, need not be crossed before passing them through the lateral locations 74 and 75 in the upper half of the back section 62. Or, they may not be crossed over the chest of an individual.

Also to be noted is the possibility of employing upper torso holding members as the sole body harness members of harnesses according to the invention. For example, shoulder straps (such as those numbered 49 in FIGS. 1-5 and those numbered 76 and 77 of FIGS. 6-8 inclusive) may be employed without lower body holding members (such as elements 44 and 46 of FIGS. 1-5; and elements 82 and 83 of FIGS 6-8). Under such circumstances, the shoulder straps (after being or without being crossed over the chest of an individual) are extended or drawn laterally under the arms of the individual toward the rear of the back section or back overlap section and fastened. They may be fastened to a buckle element such as elements 84 and 85 of FIGS. 68; or, if made long enough, they may be fastened together behind the individual by using snap members or by typing them together. Thus, where desired, lower body harness means may be omitted in favor of major reliance on upper torso holding means such as shoulder straps. Generally, where this is done, the harness will primarily be used to hold an individual other than a small infant.

If desired, the means for holding the back section on the front of an upright back of a chair may be such as to form, with the back section itself, an envelope. For example, the back overlap panel 24 of FIG. 1 may be not only united at one edge to the uppermost edge of the back section 11 of FIG. 1, but also united at its lateral edge portions 42 and 43 to part or all of the lateral edge portions 28 and 29 of the back section 11 so as to form an inverted pocket or envelope. The resulting envelope may be slipped over the upright back of a chair. Similarly, the means for holding the seat section in place on the seat of a chair may, with the seat portion 10 itself, substantially envelope the seat ofa chair, particularly a chair designed to have a cantilevered seat.

Permanently uniting different parts of the harness together may be accomplished by any suitable means. For example, one may use sewing, or sealing such as by adhesives (or heat sealing where suitable plastics are used). Frequently, from the standpoint of economy of manufacture, the different sections or panels of the harness are formed from a single length of flexible material so as to avoid as much sewing (or other means for joining separate panels together) as possible.

It will also be appreciated that the specific form for fastening elements permitting connection and disconnection between the severable and connectable parts of the harness may vary considerably without departing from the essential features of the invention. For example, hooks and eyes may be useful where the strain upon them, as from the activity of a very small infant, is not apt to dislodge them. Bucklelike fasteners, as conventionally employed for belts, may optionally be employed. Slip fasteners relying upon a friction grip on a sash or strand of material may be employed.

A number of other variations are possible while still retaining the major benefits of the invention; and it will be recognized that, although the major embodiments have been characterized for infant or adult use, either type may be used both for infants and adults.

An interesting further variation is one wherein the seat section is omitted, and the function of holding is performed solely by the upper torso holding means. Another is that of fastening parts of the harness by snap fasteners cooperative with elements built into or made as a part of a chair.

Even possible is the manufacture of a chair with body-harness means or elements as discussed herein attached to the seat or upright back or both; and in this variation, the seat section and back section of the harnesses above-described become integral with or a part of the seat and back of the chair.

That which is claimed is:

1. A harness useful to convert a chair into a security chair for holding an individual in a sitting position while at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual, said harness being free of members which constrictively encircle the limbs of an individual and comprising (i) a seat section of flexible material adapted to extend as a covering upon the seat portion of a chair, (ii) means connected to said seat section for fastening said seat section upon the seat portion of the chair, (iii) a back section of flexible material connected to said seat section, said back section being adapted to extend as a covering upon the front surface of the upright back of the chair, (iv) means for fastening said back section on the front surface of the upright back of the chair, and (v) releasable and adjustable body harness means for holding an individual in a seated position on said seat section, said body harness means being adapted for attachment and removal from an individual without releasing the means fastening said seat section and back section on the chair.

2. The harness of claim 1 wherein said means for fastening said seat section upon the seat portion of the chair comprises a flexible member adapted to extend as a connection underneath the seat of the chair from one edge to an opposing edge of said seat section.

3. The harness of claim 2 wherein the flexible member consists essentially of a strap connection extending from one lateral edge to the opposing lateral edge of said seat section, said strap connection being conveniently and quickly severable for removal of said seat section and reconnectable to fasten said seat section upon the seat portion of a chair.

4. The harness of claim 2 wherein the flexible member consists essentially of a bottom panel of material united at one edge to the anterior edge of the seat section and connected at its opposite edge to said back section.

5. The harness of claim 4 wherein the rear edge portion of said seat section is provided with means cooperative with the lowermost part of said back section to hold the rear edge portion of said seat section against forward movement away from said back section.

6. The harness of claim 5 wherein said means to hold the rear of said seat section against said forward movement comprises a slotlike opening along the rear edge portion of said seat section, through which opening said back section is adapted to be drawn upwardly to thereby prevent said forward movement.

7. The harness of claim 1 wherein said means for fastening said back section on the front surface of the upright back of the chair comprises a back overlap panel of flexible material united at one edge to the uppermost edge of said back section, said back overlap panel being adapted to extend from the top portion of the upright back of the chair downwardly upon the rear side of said upright back.

8. The harness of claim 7 having severable and reconnectable means for fastening lateral portions back section to the depending part of said back overlap panel.

9. The harness of claim 7 having severable and reconnectable means for fastening lateral portions of said back section to the depending part of said back overlap panel, said severable and reconnectable means comprising a strap connection adapted to extend between said lateral portions off said back section and through a port opening at the depending part of said back overlap panel, said harness being adapted to be folded into a compact diaper-carrying bag when not affixed to a chair.

10. The harness of claim 1 wherein said body-harness means for holding an individual in a seated position on said seat section consists essentially of two strap members, each of which is permanently connected at one end to the forward central area of said seat section, one of said strap members being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual seated on said seat section over his right thigh and secured rearwardly of said individual on his right side, and the other of said strap members being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of said individual over his left thigh and secured rearwardly of said individual on his left side,

1 l. The harness of claim 1 wherein the body-harness means for holding an individual in seated position on said seat section comprise upper torso holding means extending from said back section and lower body holding means connecting to said forward central area of said seat section, said upper torso holding means being adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on said seat secton on the chair, and said lower body holding means being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual seated on said seat section on the chair and joined to said upper torso holding means.

12. The harness of claim 1 1 wherein sad upper torso holding means consists essentially of two spaced shoulder straps so arranged that one end of each extends from fixed laterally spaced locations in the upper half of said back section as said back section is affixed to a chair, said shoulder straps being adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on said seat section on the chair and crossed over the chest of said individual.

13. The harness of claim 12 wherein the lower body holding means consists essentially of a crotch panel connected to a forward central area of said seat section and a laterally extending sash attached to the anterior portion of said crotch panel, said crotch panel being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual over the lower abdominal area of said individual and said sash being adapted to be connected to depending ends of said crossed shoulder straps over the chest of an individual and then extended to laterally spaced locations at each side and rearwardly of said individual.

14. The harness of claim 12 having, in addition, means uniting the depending terminal ends of said shoulder straps in crossed condition, and wherein the lower body holding means consists essentially of a crotch panel connected to the forward central area of said seat section, said crotch panel being provided with severable and reconnectable means for attaching it to said means uniting the depending terminal portions of said crossed shoulder straps.

15. The harness of claim 12 wherein the means for fastening said seat section upon the seat portion of the chair comprises an underseat bottom panel of flexible material united at one edge to the anterior edge of said seat section and united at its opposite edge to said back section.

16. The harness of claim 15 wherein each of said shoulder strap members is united at a laterally spaced location to the rear edge portion of said underseat bottom panel, wherein said laterally spaced locations in the upper half of said back section are slotlike openings, and wherein said shoulder straps are adapted to be extended upwardly from said locations at the rear edge of said underseat bottom panel and forwardly through said laterally spaced openings in said back section in the upper half thereof.

17. The harness of claim 1 1 wherein the lower body holding means consists essentially of two strap members, each of which is permanently connected at one end to the forward central area of said seat section, one of said strap members being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual seated on said seat section over his right thigh for connection to said upper torso holding means before being secured rearwardly of said individual on his right side, and the other of said strap members being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of said individual over his left thigh for connection to said upper torso holding means before being secured rearwardly of said individual on his left side.

18. The harness of claim 17 wherein said upper torso having means consists essentially of two spaced shoulder straps so arranged that one end of each extends from a fixed laterally spaced location in the upper half of said back section as said back section is affixed to a chair.

19. The harness of claim 1 wherein the body harness means for holding an individual in seated position on said seat section comprises upper torso holding means being adapted to back section, said upper torso holding means being adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on said seat section in the chair.

20. The harness of claim 19 wherein the upper torso holding means comprises two spaced shoulder straps so arranged that one end of each extends from fixed laterally spaced locations in the upper half of said back section as said back section is affixed to a chair, said shoulder straps being adapted to be drawn over the shoulders of an individual seated on said seat section for crossing over the chest of said individual and then extended laterally of the individual under his arms, and means for releasably securing said shoulder straps in said position.

21. The harass of claim 1 wherein said means for fastening said back section on the front surface of the upright back of the chair comprises a back overlap panel of flexible material united at one edge to the uppermost edge of said back section and united at lateral edge portions to lateral edge portions of said back section, whereby said back overlap panel and said back section form an envelope adapted to fit over the upright back of a chair.

22. A harness useful to convert a chair into a security chair for holding an individual in a sitting position while at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual, said harness being free of members which constrictively encircle the limbs of an individual and comprising (i) a back section of flexible material adapted to extend as a covering upon the front surface of the upright back of the chair, (ii) means for fastening said back section on the chair, (iii) body harness means for holding an individual in a seated position, said body harness means comprising upper torso holding means consisting essentially of two separate straps, each having one end extending from said back section and the other end free of attachment, said shoulder straps being adapted to be drawn separately over the shoulders of an individual and then placed in crossed position over the chest of said individual, said shoulder straps being essentially uniform in width throughout the length thereof, and releasable means for securing said free ends of said shoulder straps laterally with respect to the individual to hold said shoulder straps in said chest crossed position.

23. A chair with harness members to hold an individual in a sitting position while at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual, said harness members being free of members which constrictively encircle the limbs of an individual and comprising upper torso holding means consisting of two separate shoulder straps, each having one end extending from the upright back of the chair and the other end free of attachment, said shoulder straps being adapted to be drawn separately over the shoulders of an individual and then placed in crossed position over the chest of said individual, said shoulder straps being essentially uniform in width throughout the length thereof, and releaseable means for securing said free ends of said shoulder straps laterally with respect to the individual to hold said shoulder straps in said chest crossed position.

24. A chair with harness members to hold an individual in a sitting position while at the same time permitting comfortable shifting movements by the individual, said harness members being free of members which constrictively encircle the limbs of an individual and comprising lower body holding means in the nature of two thigh straps, each affixed at one end to a central forward area of the seat part of the chair and having the opposite end thereof free of attachment, one of said thigh straps being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of an individual seated in said chair over his right thigh for attachment of its free end laterally on the right side of the individual, the other of said thigh straps being adapted to be drawn upwardly between the legs of said individual over his left thigh for attachment of its free end laterally on the left side of the individual, and means laterally with respect to the in- UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION 3,604,750 September 14, 1971 Patent No. D t d Inventor-( Esther W. Doering It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 64, "off" should read of Column 2,

seat line 10, "first" should read front Column 4, line 29, "he" should read the line 52, "he" should read the Column 8, line 67,after "width" insert or Column 9, line 6, after "sashes" insert an opening parenthesis; line 31, "typing should read tying Column 10, line 65, after "portions" insert of said line 71, "off" should read of Column 11, line 15, "connecting" should read connected line 23, "sad" should read said Column 12, line 1, "having" should read holding line 8, "being adapted to" should read extending from said line 22, "harass" should read harness line 39, after "two separate" insert shoulder Signed and sealed this lst day of August 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents line 2, "form" should read from line 5 "set" should read DRM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM-Qc 6O37G-F'O9 U 5 GOVERNMENT FRINYING OFFICE I969 0-556-33L

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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/467, 297/484, 297/485
International ClassificationA47D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47D15/006
European ClassificationA47D15/00F2