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Publication numberUS366494 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 12, 1887
Publication numberUS 366494 A, US 366494A, US-A-366494, US366494 A, US366494A
InventorsGeorge E. Marks
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Artificial leg
US 366494 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Mode I.)



No. 366,494. Patented July 12, 1887.




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 366,494, dated July 12, 1887.

Application filedNovemberlF, 18$? Serial No. 184,144. (No model.)

To all whom it may concern.-

Be it known that I, GEORGE E. ll'lARKS, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Sound Beach, in the county of Fairfield and State of Connecticut, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Artificial Legs, of which the following is a specification.

The invention relates to improvements in artificial legs in which the leg and foot are made in one piece, or in two parts rigidly united; and it consists, first, in a rigid leg and foot formed from the natural crook of the grain in a tree, whereby the grain in the foot is brought at about right angles to that in the body of the leg, and, second, in a rigid leg and foot, the latter being partly of rubber and the former substantially semi-cylindrical in cross section and adapted to snugly receive the front portion of the leg, the rear part of the leg be ing inclosed by a leather casing.

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention embodied in an artificial leg adapted for amputations in and below the ankle-joint such as Symes, Pirogoffs, Heys, and Choparts 0perationsand also for amputations above the ankle-joint, and in said drawings Figure 1 is a perspective view of the leg and foot made from the natural crook of the root or limb of a tree, the grain being shown in the line of the greatest strain. Fig. 2 is a central vertical longitudinal section of the leg and foot, and Fig. 3 is perspective View of the leg adapted for amputations above the ankle.

In the drawings, A denotes the body of the leg, and B the foot, both being made from a single natural crook of the grain in a tree, and the foot having along its sole and front portion a section of rubber or analogous material, C. The body of the leg A (shown in Figs. 1 and 2) is substantially semi-cylindrical in cross section and is gradually tapered downward toward the foot, being conformed as nearly as possible to the natural stump upon which it is to be used. The inner concave surface of the leg A will be given such form as will best adapt it to fit snugly and easily against the front portion of the stump of the wearer, and at its'lower portion, D, it is concavcd to comfortably receive the end of the stump according to the nature of the amputation. The lower side edges of the leg are removed, as shown at E, to prevent undue compression on the enlarged lower portion of the stump, avoid a cumbersome appearance of the article, and to add to the comfort of the wearer.

At the base of the leg the material of which it is formed extends horizontally forward ,and rearward in lines which, as accurately as possible, represent the natural front, instep, and heel portions of the foot, that part of the material F simulating the heel being concaved on its upper surface to afford a comfortable bearing for the end of the stump. The front portion of the foot B extends to a point slightly in rear of about where the natural toes would be located, and is continued forward to the proper length and in the required form by the rubber section C, which constitutes the toes and entire sole of the artificial foot, and, 0wing to its position, pliability, and elasticity, entirely dispenses with the necessity of employing the usual ankle-joints or analogous appliances.

The rear part of the natural stump of the wearer will be inclosed by the leather casing G, the lower tapered end of which is rigidly attached to the rear portion of the heel F, while its side edges, H, are provided with eyelets, and when in use will be brought around the leg A and secured on the front thereof by a cord or lacing, l, as illustrated in Fig. 1.

There are many advantages gained by the construction of the leg and foot sought to be protected herein, and principally among them is the increased comfort to the wearer resu1ting from the peculiar formation of the article, and this is accomplished without prejudice to the strength or durability of the structure. Most important results are obtained from the fact that the leg and foot are in a single piece and made from the natural crook ofthe root or limb of a tree, since by such construction the natural grain of the wood is in the direct line of the greatest strain to which the limb is subjected while in use, the natural joint between the leg and foot is a more effectual conneetion of the parts than any artificial union and will not be prej udicially affected by moisture, and the limb maybe slender, light, and trim and simulate in all its parts the natural limb, and yet be much stronger than the j ointed bulky forms of artificial legs heretofore used.

It is especially desirable that an artificial leg be slender about the ankle, so as to relicve it of a weighty unnatural appearance, and this is effectually accomplished by my invention-without any sacrifice of strength and d urability. It is a matter ofgreat convenience,

also, and frequently essential that the lacingcord be on the front of the leg; but in this position it has heretofore proven uncomfortable to the leg of the wearer. This objection is obviated by my invention, since the stump has a well-fitting surface to bear against and the lacing-cord is wholly removed from contact therewith. The rubber section is of great importance, since, as aforesaid, it dispenses with the necessity of employing an ankler joint and prevents any noise from or jarring of the leg and presents a natural firm walkjug-surface.

When the invention is to be adapted for amputations above the ankle-joint, it will be in substantially the form illustrated in Fig. 3, in which the body of the leg and foot are made from the natural crook of the grain in a WVhat I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-

1. An artificial leg in which the body of the leg and the foot are in a single piece of material and made from the natural crock of a root or limb of a tree, substantially as set forth.

2. An artificial leg in which the body of the leg and the foot are asingle piece of wood, and the natural grain of the wood in the foot is at substantially right angles to that in the body of the leg, substantially as set forth.

Signed at New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, this 27th day of November, A. I). 1885.


Witnesses: EDWARD WOLFF,


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4547913 *Jul 11, 1983Oct 22, 1985Flex Foot, Inc.Composite prosthetic foot and leg
US4959073 *Jun 6, 1988Sep 25, 1990John MerletteFoot prosthesis and method of making same
US5156631 *Sep 16, 1991Oct 20, 1992John MerletteFoot and leg prosthesis and method of making same
US5458656 *Dec 20, 1993Oct 17, 1995Flex-FootEnergy-storing prosthesis leg pylon vertical shock leg
US5486209 *Jul 1, 1994Jan 23, 1996Phillips; Van L.Foot prosthesis having auxiliary ankle construction
US5509938 *Jan 4, 1994Apr 23, 1996Phillips; Van L.Prosthetic foot incorporating adjustable bladder
US5514185 *Jan 21, 1994May 7, 1996Phillips; Van L.Split foot prosthesis
US5549714 *Jan 12, 1995Aug 27, 1996Phillips; Van L.Symes foot prosthesis
US5593457 *Sep 22, 1995Jan 14, 1997Phillips; Van L.Foot prosthesis having auxiliary ankle construction
US5766265 *Jun 7, 1995Jun 16, 1998Phillips; Van L.Prosthetic foot having curved integral support
US5976191 *Oct 8, 1996Nov 2, 1999Phillips; Van L.Foot prosthesis having curved forefoot
US6019795 *Jun 15, 1998Feb 1, 2000Phillips; Van L.Curved prosthesis
US6406500Nov 2, 1999Jun 18, 2002Van L. PhillipsFoot prosthesis having curved forefoot
US6527811Dec 16, 1997Mar 4, 2003Van L. PhillipsFoot prosthesis with modular foot plate
US8795385Oct 20, 2011Aug 5, 2014Ossur HfAdjustable socket system
US8945237 *Aug 12, 2011Feb 3, 2015Cj Socket Technologies Inc.Adjustable prosthetic limb socket
US9050202Jun 28, 2013Jun 9, 2015Ossur HfAdjustable prosthetic limb system
US9248033Jul 29, 2014Feb 2, 2016Ossur HfAdjustable socket system
US20020087216 *Feb 25, 2002Jul 4, 2002Atkinson Stewart L.Prosthetic walking system