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Publication numberUS3606320 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateJun 6, 1968
Priority dateJun 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3606320 A, US 3606320A, US-A-3606320, US3606320 A, US3606320A
InventorsCurtis L Erwin Jr
Original AssigneeCurtis L Erwin Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3606320 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Filed June G.

c. L. ERWIN, JR 3,606,320

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IHM' F74 vb `v2 e a 3/4 1m. r: 'um' u Q mf 62 l4-` Q 64 i0/ :se 37 lll l I 'Il 'H' o 24NK Il ,l H' S l I IN -38 ftgw' l l I l 5 L V2 go C 8 2 oo@ l .j L un.. lol 1 v :2O '6 1 1 l [wlw L l/ Il w, o 5% 25% B v 321 4'6 50h/" "2 @K5 37 dans. 2 50a ab 4 5 5052 545860 2e CURTIS L ERWIN, JF( VENTOR Sept. 20, 1971 c. L. ERWIN, JR

TREADMILL 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June C, 1968 FIG. 7



United States Patent Of ice 3,606,320 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A frame has a pair of end drums over which operates an endless belt. One of the drums is driven by a variable speed electric motor to cause traveling movement of the belt whereby a person can exercise by running on the belt. An odometer is connected into the drive system to measure the distance traveled by the belt. The odometer has a distance indicating dial, preferably miles and fractions thereof, and operates a switch in the circuit to the drive motor to control operation of the motor. Also provided are variable speed control means for the motor and also a time indicator, the speed control means operating a switch in the circuit to the drive motor and arranged to control olf and on operation of the motor. A hand rail is provided on the frame, and a housing is mounted on the handrail for supporting the odometer, speed control means and time indicator in a conveniently accessible and viewable position. The belt has a roughened surface for conditioning the feet. The frame and belt have a disconnectable joint allowing them to be folded into a compact package for shipment and storage.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to new and useful improvements in treadmills.

The exercise of running, commonly known as jogging, has been established as beneficial to the health and is being widely accepted. Many persons desiring to exercise in this manner `are not able to do so in view of the lack of facilities such as a place to run. The art of such exercise can be developed under a specic program, namely the traveling of a certain distance in a certain time. Such a program to be successful must be closely supervised in order to advance the training as determined by the distance to be run as well as the rate of running. Treadmills have heretofore been provided but a planned program of running is not conveniently possible in their use because the distance and rate of travel can not be accurately established in a planned program of running.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, applicants invention is directed to a treadmill having as its primary objective to employ distance measuring means in combination therewith. Other objects are to provide a treadmill of the type described having a -belt driven 'by an electric motor and also having distance measuring means operating a switch in the circuit of the motor arranged to shut off the motor after a selected distance is traveled by the belt; to provide variable speed control means also in the circuit of the motor for varying the speed of the belt; and to provide timing means in the circuit of the motor to keep track of belt operating time.

Another object is to provide a treadmill having a hand rail and means on the hand rail for supporting an instrument housing in a conveniently viewable and accessible position.

Another object is to provide a treadmill with a traveling belt having a conditioning surface for the feet of runners exercising thereon.

Yet another object is to provide a treadmill of the type described having a jointed frame and belt arranged such that said frame and belt can be compacted for shipment and storage.

The invention will be better understood `and additional objects and advantages will beome apparent from the following description illustrating a preferred form of the device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the treadmill of the present invention, a portion of such treadmill being broken away;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the treadmill, a portion of this view also being broken away;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional IView taken on the line 3 3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged foreshortened and fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken on the line 5 5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken on the line 6 6 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional View taken on the line 7 7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a frame portion of the treadmill knocked down for shipment or storage;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of rail means also knocked down for shipment or storage; and

FIG. l0 is a wiring diagram of electrical operating means for the treadmill.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in particular to the drawings and rst to FIGS. l-6, the treadmill of the invention comprises a frame including a bottom plate 10, a belt Support plate 12 and upright reinforcing struts 14 connecting the bottom plate 10 and belt support plate 12 into a rigid frame. Supported at each corner of the bottom plate 10 are short posts 16. A pair of the posts 16 at one end of the frame support for free rotation end shafts 18 of a drurn 20. A

pair of the posts 16 at the other end of the frame rotatably support end shafts 22 of a drum 24. One of the end shafts 22 extends through its respective post 16', as seen in detail in FIG. 5, and has a drive connection 26 with a variable speed electric motor 28 secured to a side extension 30 of the bottom plate 10. Motor 28 operates the shaft 22 through a gear reduction mechanism 32.

Operative over the drums 20 and 24 and driven by the latter drum is an endless belt 34 traveling over the top surface of plate 12, the said plate supporting the belt in a flat plane to provide a good running surface. Preferably, the belt 34 is provided with a plurality of apertures 36 which serve in one instance to provide traction on the belt and in a second instance to massage and condition the feet. Although the conditioning means for the belt are illustrated as apertures, it is to be understood that other means, such as small cleats or knobs can be used to accomplish the gentle massage desired while the person is walking or running on the treadmill. Also, the drive connection 26 preferably comprises an overrunning clutch type connection or the like so that the belt will not come to a sudden halt when the motor stops. Thus, the runner will not lose his balance when the motor stops.

A pair of the end posts 16, preferably at the idler drum end, have adjustable support longitudinally of the frame 10 so that a desired drive tension can be applied to the belt 34, and for this purpose the posts have flanges 37 which receive bolts 38 passing through elongated adjustment slots 40 in the frame 10.

Posts 16 have upwardly opening sockets 42, FIGS. 4-6, for receiving end standards 44 for a handrail 46, FIGS.

1 and 2. By means of the handrails 46 a person can steady himself while getting on or ot the treadmill and while in the act of walking or running on the treadmill.

Means are provided for indicating the distance traveled by the belt 34, and for this purpose a conventional odometer cable 48, FIGS. l and 2, leads from the gear reduction mechanism 32 to an odometer 50 supported in a housing 52 secured to the handrail 46. The mechanical connection of the odometer cable between the gear reduction mechanism 32 and the instrument 50 is accomplished by conventional and well understood means. The odometer 50 has a distance indicating needle 50a and mileage designations 50b as desired, such designations preferably comprising to 2 miles in fractions of one-fourth miles.

Also supported in the housing S2 are variable speed control means 54 for the motor 28, whereby the motor can be operated at selected r.p.rn.s to achieve a desired miles per hour linear travel of the belt. The variable speed control means 54 may have a selected number of settings S8, comprising slow, medium and fast or additional settings including an off setting.

The housing 52 also supports a timer 60 of conventional construction. Preferably the timer has minute and second hands and suitable minute and second designations clearly imprinted thereon for ready viewing by the runner.

In a preferred construction, and with particular reference to FIG. 10, odometer 50 operates a switch 50c in circuit wires 56 of the motor 28. Switch 50c is arranged such that when the needle 50a is at the zero mileage position the switch is open but at all other positions of the needle the switch is closed. Thus, the switch is in closed circuit position in all settings except its zero setting. Preferably, the needle 50a is driven in one direction only, namely, in the counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2, and may be hand set in a clockwise direction whereby the runner can set the odometer needle to a desired distance and the odometer needle will then be returned to zero under driving power of the cable 48. Such odometer structure is of conventional structure and therefore is not detailed herein.

As thus apparent, the motor is capable of operation while the odometer needle is set on any mileage designation except zero and will be shut off when said needle reaches zero. The variable speed control 54 is also arranged to control the operation of the motor in that it operates a switch 57, FIG. 10, in the circuit to the motor. More particularly the switch 57 is arranged to `be open in the olf position of the speed control 54 but to be closed in all other positions. Thus, in order for the motor to be put in operation, switch 57 must be on any position other than its olf position and the needle 50a must at the same time be in any position other than its Zero position.

In the operation of the treadmill a person can set the pace desired by suitable adjustment of the variable speed control means 54. Such speed control means can cause operation of the belt at a walking speed or at a maximum running speed such as a speed amounting to a fourminute mile if desired. By proper setting of such control means a person can run at the desired miles per hour in following a conditioning program. That is, he may wish to run at a slow speed in initiating the training program and as his condition improves he may run at a faster pace. Such is accomplished by proper settings of the control means 54. The distance to be walked or run is set by selected adjustment of the odometer needle 50a. Thus, certain distances can be walked or run at a selected pace. When a person desires to exercise, he rst steps onto the treadmill and then sets the odometer needle to the distance desired. Although the switch 50c closes when such setting is made, the circuit to the motor is still closed, assuming of course that the speed control means 54 is set on its off position. The person can then move the speed control means 54 to its rst position to close the circuit to the motor and place the treadmill in operation.

This first position may comprise a walking speed of the belt, so that the person can initiate his movements with balance. The speed control means can then be moved up to a faster setting gradually so that the runner can still maintain his balance. Such gradual build-up of speed is not mandatory, however, since the handrails can be used for maintaining balance even when starting out at a fast pace.

Timer 60 is observed by the runner in conjunction with the reading of the odo-meter to determine the speed at which the running is pregressing. Since the timer is in the circuit with the motor it will be initiated in its operation simultaneously with said motor. The timer is hand set to its zero position before the switches 50c and 57 are closed. The instruments on the housing are conveniently viewable and accessible to the runner as he exercises and can be manipulated as he runs. Although the treadmill is shown as having a horizontal run of the belt for supporting the runner, it is to be understood that such run may be inclined simply lby supporting the frame on an inclined surface.

It is desired that the treadmill be knocked down for shipment and storage, and for this purpose the bottom frame plate 10 and belt support plate 12 have transverse jointed connections 62 at approximately their centers, FIGS. 1 and 3. Such connections comprise a hinge connection which may be readily separated by removal of a hinge pin 64. Belt 34 has a similar jointed connection 66, FIGS. 2 and 7, disconnectable by a cross pin 68. Also the handrails 46 are formed in two parts with one of the parts having a projection removably tted into a hollow end 72 of the other part as shown in FIG. l. Each of the railing parts has a hinged connection 74 with their respective standards 44 for folding and each of the standards 44 is removable from the sockets 42 in the posts 116. Thus, for shipment or storage the standards for the side rails can be removed from the sockets 42 and then the two portions of the side rails separated and folded to a condition shown in FIG. 9. Thereupon, the belt may be removed from the drums by removing the pin 68 and the frame knocked down in two parts by disconnection of joints 62. The frame may be stored or shipped in the condition shown in FIG. 8. For the purpose of partial dissasembly as just described, odometer cable 48 and the electrical lines have suitable conventional plug-in connections, not shown.

It is to be understood that the form of my invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A treadmill comprising:

(a) a frame,

(b) a pair of parallel drums on said frame disposed in spaced relation,

(c) an endless belt operating over said drums,

(d) power means for driving one of said drums to cause linear movement of said belt such that a person can run on the belt to keep up with the travel thereof,

(e) said belt-having a plurality of apertures substantially covering the length and the width of the treadmill for conditioning the feet of the runner,

(f) an odometer operative with the endless belt to measure the linear movement of said belt,

(g) said odometer having a dial of distance designations comprising a start designation and selected distance designations and a setting needle associated with said designation,

(h) said needle being arranged for setting manually for preselecting a distance to be run,

(i) said needle being returned to its start position by said power means whereby to move from a set position to its start position by operation of the treadmill.

(References on following page) References Cited UNITED 6 FOREIGN PATENTS 384,019 12/1932 Great Britain 272-69 416,105 9/ 1934 Great Britain 272-69 5 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner R. T. STOUFFER, Assistant Examiner U.S. C1. X.R. 12S-25B

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3826491 *Jun 18, 1973Jul 30, 1974Del Mar Eng LabExercise treadmill
US4406451 *Jun 22, 1981Sep 27, 1983Salvatore GaetanoCollapsible bidirectional jogging apparatus
US4616822 *Aug 1, 1984Oct 14, 1986Trulaske James AExercise treadmill
US4643418 *Mar 4, 1985Feb 17, 1987Battle Creek Equipment CompanyExercise treadmill
US4938469 *Feb 21, 1989Jul 3, 1990Conray CompanyAquatic exercise apparatus
US5002015 *Dec 9, 1988Mar 26, 1991Aerotrace Hydraulics, Inc.Submerged treadmill system for exercising animals
US5062626 *Feb 20, 1990Nov 5, 1991Proform Fitness Products, Inc.Treadmill speed adjustment
US5066000 *Oct 19, 1990Nov 19, 1991Dolan Francis PPortable multi-surface track
US5102380 *Feb 1, 1989Apr 7, 1992Proform Fitness Products, Inc.Cooling exercise treadmill
US5141479 *Aug 3, 1990Aug 25, 1992General Electric CompanyDrive arrangement for a treadmill
US5830113 *Nov 20, 1996Nov 3, 1998Ff Acquisition Corp.Foldable treadmill and bench apparatus and method
US5855537 *Nov 12, 1996Jan 5, 1999Ff Acquisition Corp.Powered folding treadmill apparatus and method
US5868648 *May 13, 1996Feb 9, 1999Ff Acquisition Corp.Foldable treadmill apparatus and method
US6123646 *Jan 16, 1996Sep 26, 2000Colassi; Gary J.Treadmill belt support deck
US6974404Oct 2, 1997Dec 13, 2005Icon Ip, Inc.Reorienting treadmill
US7192388Feb 26, 2002Mar 20, 2007Icon Health & Fitness, Inc.Fold-out treadmill
US7540828Mar 3, 2005Jun 2, 2009Icon Ip, Inc.Reorienting treadmill
US8951167 *Apr 6, 2012Feb 10, 2015Joong Chenn Industry Co., Ltd.Anti-drift mechanism for treadmill
US20130190140 *Apr 6, 2012Jul 25, 2013James ChenAnti-drift mechanism for treadmill
USRE39180 *Sep 19, 2002Jul 11, 2006Colassi Gary JTreadmill belt support deck
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WO2008138121A1 *May 8, 2008Nov 20, 2008Steve A CopelandFolding treadmill
U.S. Classification482/7, 601/35, 601/27, 482/54
International ClassificationA63B22/00, A63B22/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B22/02, A63B2022/025, A63B2210/50
European ClassificationA63B22/02