US 3688775 A
A sun bathing apparatus which is characterized by providing the combination of a comfortable lounge means with an apertured conduit for selectively sprinkling water on a person reclining on the lounge means. The lounge means is further characterized by incorporating a plurality of convenience features that are easily accessible to a person reclining thereon. In addition, the entire combination of the lounge means, convenience accessories, and water-sprinkling conduit arrangement are collapsible into a conveniently manually portable bundle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Raymann Sept. 5, 1972  SUN BATHING AND TANNING APPARATUS  Inventor: Elizabeth F. Raymann, 178 Woodlawn Ave., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201  Filed: Feb. 19, 1971  Appl. No.: 116,968
 US. Cl ..l28/366, 128/372  Int. Cl. ..A6lh 33/00  Field of Search ..128/372, 373, 366; 4/155  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,059,314 4/1913 Petter ..128/366 X 1,669,484 5/1928 Mowry 128/372 2,567,614 9/1951 Merriam ..4/l55 Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney-Vale P. Myles ABSTRACT A sun bathing apparatus which is characterized by providing the combination of a comfortable lounge means with an apertured conduit for selectively sprinkling water on a person reclining on the lounge means. The lounge means is further characterized by incorporating a plurality of convenience features that are easily accessible to a person reclining thereon. In addition, the entire combination of the lounge means, convenience accessories, and water-sprinkling conduit arrangement are collapsible into. a conveniently manually portable bundle.
11 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SUN BATI'IING ANDTANNING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to sun bathing apparatus and more particularly to a portable sun bathing pool that is adapted to be moved manually to a suitable sunny location where a user may employ it to hasten and enhance the tanning effect of the sun's rays on his body, while maintaining a relatively cool and comfortable body temperature, by selectively moistening the body with water dispensing means incorporated in the apparatus. a
Before the present invention, it was generally known that the combination of sunlight and water on the human body may have desirable therapeutic effects. For example, one type of sun bathing apparatus is designed to afford a user with the advantages of some of these effects. Another example of prior art bathing apparatus which teaches the combination of a bath cabinet having water-sprinkling means with a source of artificial light for heating the body of a person housed in the cabinet is known. Such early devices had several disadvantages that rendered their common use impractical. Outstanding among these disadvantages were that such prior art bathing cabinets were relatively expensive to construct and they were so cumbersome that convenient storage when not in use was difficult and movement of the apparatus was severely limited by their weight and size. I
Another factor that may have contributed to the obsolescence of the type of early prior art sun bathing cabinet disclosed by the two patents mentioned above was the advent of various sun bathing creams and lotions that are used to keep the skin of a person moist, and in some instances partially shaded, while he is taking a sun bath. Of course, some recently developed tions also are designed to stimulate the proteins present in the human skin to further enhance the sun's tanning effect. Although such tanning lotions have enjoyed wide commercial acceptance, their use also fails to provide an optimum means for obtaining a deep, uniform tan from the suns rays. For example, not only are these creams and lotions relatively expensive to use, they are frequently uncomfortable'to apply, and often are objectionably sticky once applied. Moreover, since such creams provide no means for cooling a sun bathers body, it is usually necessary for a bather to frequently arise and immerse his body in a nearby lake or swimming pool to prevent undue overheating. These periodic immersions often serve to remove the sun cream or lotion that had been applied, so additional 10- tion must again be applied when the sun bath is continued. Of course, the need to repeatedly massage additional layers of sun tanning lotion over the body is frequently undesirable.
It is a primary object of my invention to provide a sun bathing apparatus that is inexpensive to manufacture, convenient to use, and that overcomes all of the disadvantages of the prior art sun bathing and sun tanning means identified above.
Another object of my invention is to provide a conveniently portable sun bathing pool that is provided with manually operable means for selectively sprinkling water over the body of a person reclining in the pool, thereby to quicken the tanning effect of the rays of the sun without requiring a sun bather to endure the uncomfortable body temperatures usually sustained in a sun tanning experience.
A further object of the invention is to provide a portable sun bathing pool having an inflatable cushion and means for adjusting the water level in the pool so that a bather may recline on the cushion in a shallow pool of water that may readily be adjusted to any suitable depth.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description of it that is given hereinafter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one preferred embodiment of the invention, a generally rectangular shaped, inflatable container is provided with an inflatable cushion in the form of an air mattress and pillow. The cushion is mounted within the container and an elongated water conduit is mounted around a major portion of the upper periphery of the container so that water may be selectively sprinkled through apertures in the conduit onto the body of a person lying on the cushion within the container. The container and air mattress combination are readily portable so that a user may conveniently move them to a suitable sunny location, then recline on the air mattress and manually control the water-sprinkling means to selectively cool and moisten his body in order to enhance the tanning effect of the suns rays and to keep desirably cool during the tanning process. In addition, a sun shade and other convenient accessories are provided at the edge of the container so that they are easily available to the sun bather.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of one preferred embodiment of the sun bathing apparatus of my invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view, partly in cross-section, of the sun bathing apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an end view, taken along the plane 3-3 of FIG. 1, showing a cross-sectional view of the sun bathing apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation view, in reduced scale, of the sun bathing apparatus depicted in FIG. 1, showing such apparatus in a deflated and bundled form that enables it to be readily transported.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. I of the drawing, the structural detail and novel features of my invention will be described more fully. As seen in FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of my invention comprises a sun bathing apparatus that includes a water container 1 that has a generally rectangular-shaped bottom wall 2 (See FIG. 2.) and a plurality of inter-connected side walls 3, 4, 5 and 6. The bottom wall 2 and side walls 3-6 may be formed of any suitably rugged, flexible material such as polyethylene plastic film or rubberized cloth that is water impervious. In the preferred embodiment of my invention, these walls are formed of thermally molded polyethylene plastic film that is mils thick. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many suitable methods may be used to form the container 1. However, in the preferred embodiment of the invention depicted in FIGS. l-3 herein, the bottom wall 2 is formed integrally with the side walls 3-6, as best seen in FIG. 3, and each of the side walls comprise a hollow generally tubular cross-section which incorporates four substantially flat sections A, B, C and D (as seen in FIG. 3 of the drawing). The side walls 3-6 are thus inter-connected with each other and are mounted in water-tight relationship with the bottom wall 2 so that whenthey are inflated to extend upward from the bottom wall 2, a completely water-tight container is formed.
In order to inflate the side walls 3-6, a pressure responsive check valve 7 is mounted in any conventional manner in the, outer wall section C of side wall 6. The check valve 7 may be a suitable standard type of valve such as those currently used on air mattresses, or on inflatable automobile tires. In addition, an inflatable cushion 8, that is generally coextensive in shape with the bottom wall 2 of the container 1, is mounted therein. It will be understood that the inflatable cushion 8 is also formed of a suitable air-impervious material such as polyethylene plastic or suitably rubberized fabric. In the embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, the same plastic material is used to form cushion 8 as that used to form the container 1. This construction make the cushion 8 suitably adapted to support the weight of a person in spaced relationship on its upper surface, away from the bottom wall 2 when the cushion 8 is inflated. It will be noted that a pillow 8a is formed integrally with the cushion 8 at one end thereof, and a second pressure-responsive check valve 9 is suitably mounted on a flexible, hollow valve stem 90, in a suitable conventional means in one wall of the cushion 8, or pillow 8a, to provide means for inflating them to a desired pressure. When thus inflated, the cushion 8 and pillow 8a help support the vertical arrangement of side walls 3-6 of container 1 in their respective upright positions.
I have found that a comfortable support can be formed by filling the cushion 8 and pillow 8a with water, rather than with air. Therefore, in practicing my invention in certain of its embodiments where a waterfilled cushion is preferred instead of an air-filled one, the check valve 9 may be similar to the type of valve used on tractor tires, which are adapted to be inflated with either air or water. Of course, in such applications, provision will be made for conveniently draining water from the interior of cushion 8 through valve 9. For example, the pressure-responsive check valve mechanism of valve 9 may be removable from the valve stem 9a in a well-known conventional manner. In order to further facilitate the draining of cushion 8 in such an embodiment of the invention, a combination carrying handle and hanger 3a is provided on the outer surface of wall 3. The handle 3a may be a simple plastic strap, or as in the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, it is formed of a suitable rigid plastic that is thermally welded to the plastic wall 3. As best seen in FIG. 1, the handle 3a contains a notch 3b that can serve to position it centrally on a supporting hook or nail, if it is desired to hang the container 1 in a vertical position to allow liquid to drain out of the cushion 8 through valve 9.
The handle 3 provides a convenient grip for carrying the container 1 when it is deflated and folded into its readily portable bundle form, as shown in FIG. 4. In order to retain the container 1 in such an easily transportable bundle, a pair of snaps 6a and 6b are permanently mounted on the outer surface of sidewall 6 as seen in FIG. 4, and a suitable plastic strap 60 having cooperating snap-lock means embedded therein is snapped into the position illustrated when it is desired to carry the container 1. Of course, it will be apparent that a similar strap and snap-locking arrangement may be provided on the opposite side 4 of container 1 to stabilize the bundled configuration of the container. Also, those skilled in the art will recognize that other locking means may be used in lieu of strap 60 and snaps 6a and 6b, if desired, in various modifications of the invention.
Pursuant to an important teaching of my invention, means defining a water conduit adjacent a number of the upper edges of the side walls of container 1 is provided so that water may be selectively sprinkled on the body of a person reclining on the cushion 8. In the form of the invention being described, the conduit 10 comprises a polyethylene plastic hose of the type used to seep or sprinkle thin jets of water on irrigated areas, such as lawns. Toward that end, means defining a plurality of apertures such as the apertures 11 are provided at spaced-apart points along substantially the entire length of the conduit 10. Each of the apertures 11 is between 50 and mils in diameter and they are, respectively, positioned along the inner surface of the conduit 10 in a manner such that water is forced outward through them at angles between approximately 15 and 45 with respect to the bottom wall 2 of container l. The hose or conduit 10 is thermally welded to the upper peripheral edge of flat wall section A of sidewalls 3, 4 and 6, as best seen in FIG. 3, so that it is held securely in operating position when the side walls 3-6 are inflated. One end of the conduit 10 is sealed and the other end is coupled to a manually operable water valve means 12 for controlling a flow of water from a suitable pressurized source (not shown) into the conduit 10. Because it is anticipated that the sun bathing apparatus of my invention will normally be used in the yard of a private home where a standard lawn hose is available, the water valve 12 is coupled to a standard threaded hose connection 13 that enables it to be quickly and easily joined to such a conventional lawn hose having a threaded end connector. It should be apparent that, with the novel combination of features of my invention, a person lying on the cushion 8 may conveniently manipulate the water valve 12 to selectively sprinkle water from the conduit 10 onto his body thereby moistening it to enhance the tanning effect of the sun on his body while simultaneously cooling it during a tanning operation.
The advantages of my apparatus as a suntan enhancing means are further increased by the provision of means forming an efficient light-reflecting surface on substantially the entire area of the inner surfaces A of the two longer side walls 4 and 6 of container 1. These light-reflecting surfaces 14 and 14 (see FIG. 3) are formed of a layer of aluminum paint that is adhered to the inner surfaces of the flat sections A of the respective side walls 4 and 6. It will be apparent that other light-reflecting means might be utilized, but aluminum paint has been found to be desirably flexible and durable in the present application, and it affords reflecting surfaces that are operable to cause indirect rays of sunlight to be directed against both sides of a person lying on the inflatable cushion 8 so that the tanning effect of the sun is increased. To assure this desirable tanning effect, the flat wall sections A which are the innermost wall sections of the generally tubular side walls 4 and 6, are positioned at an angle between 100 and l40 with respect to the bottom wall 2 so that they reflect sunlight in a direction upward and inward with respect to the bottom wall 2. 7
It will be apparent that the tanning effect of sun rays reflected from the sloped innermost flat sections A of side walls 4 and 6 may be varied by the amount of water that is allowed to collect in the container 1 during a sun bathing session. In order to regulate this variable factor, as well as to provide means for adjusting the moistening and cooling effect of the water collected in the container 1, a water-drain valve 15 is mounted on a suitable hollow valve stem 15a through the side wall 6 adjacent the bottom thereof so that the level of water trapped in container 1 may be controlled by suitably balancing the rate of flow of water into container 1 from the apertured conduit 10 against the rate of flow of water from the container through the water-drain valve 15. A conventional faucet-type valve is used for the water-drain valve so that a small continuous flow of water may be allowed to pass through it, if a sun bather desires to stabilize the level of water in container l and still have a continuous flow of water coming into the container from the conduit 10. Of course, the valve stem 15a is sealed in water-tight relation in wall A, so that water cannot enter the tubular area of side wall 6.
Since it is frequently desired to secure a deeper sun tan on all portions of the body other than the bathers face, a readily collapsible, flexible awning means 16 is mounted on the one of the side walls 5, which does not support a portion of the water conduit 10. The awning means 16 comprises a U-shaped metal frame 17 that is secured at its two ends by threaded wing nuts 17a or other conventional mechanically adjustable means to a pair of metal shafts, one of which is identified by the number 18, that are supported respectively by the flexible plastic loops 19 and 20. A piece of canvas 21 is stretched over and secured to the U-shaped metal member 17. In use, after a sun bather has exposed his face to the suns rays for a desirable length of time, the rods 18 are mounted in the supporting loops 19 and 20 and the U-shaped member 17 and canvas awning 21 is adjusted into a desirable horizontal position, such as that shown in FIG. 2, by adjusting the pressure of the butterfly nuts 17a, to hold it in such a position. It will be noted that the sides of pillow 80 substantially cover the sloped flat wall sections A of side walls 4, 5 and 6 adjacent the bathers head so that these wall sections do not cause overexposure of the sides of the bathers head due to sun rays being reflected from them. Moreover, the awning means 16 is wide enough to prevent most of the suns rays from falling directly on the sloped sections A of side walls 4 and 6.
In addition to the numerous novel features of my invention which are disclosed above, a pair of flat tray means 22 and 23 are mounted on the respective top surfaces of the generally flat uppermost wall sections B of side walls 4 and 6 to afford slip-resistant means for supporting liquid beverage containers or other articles in positions thereon that are readily accessible to a person lying on the inflatable cushion 8. In fact, both of the tray means 22 and 23 comprise generally flat depressed surface areas that are thermally molded in the upper wall sections B, but it will be appreciated that in other embodiments of the invention various clip-on tray arrangements might be utilized to provide equivalent functions. However, since it is frequently desirable to have a cool beverage conveniently available to quench a bathers thirst during the course of a sun tanning session, such tray means have been found to be a most advantageous accessory for use with the present sun bathing apparatus.
From the foregoing description of my invention, it will be apparent that in order to put the apparatus into use, both the air cushion 8 and pillow 8a, as well as the inflatable side walls 3-6, are inflated to a suitable pressure through check valves 7 and 9, respectively. Then, a water hose is connected to valve 12, with coupling 13, and water pressure is applied to the hose from a remote control valve. Before entering the pool or container 1, a sun bather may place any desired beverages, cosmetics or other accessories that might be desired during a sun tanning session, in the trays 22 and 23. The awning means 16 may be positioned in supporting loops 19 and 20 and the canvas awning 21 may be moved into a vertical position initially so that it does not shade the bathers face. If desired, the bather may initially open valve 12 to partially fill the container 1 with water, or he may simply moisten his body with a short sprinkling cycle from conduit 10, then turn off the water flowing through valve 12 until a further moistening is desired either to enhance the tanning operation of the suns rays or to cool his body during the tanning session.
Since the sun bathing apparatus of my invention is conveniently light-weight and portable it may be easily moved, manually from position to position during the course of a tanning session in order to keep the body desirably positioned with respect to the sun. Also, it will be apparent that the water level in container 1 may be selectively adjusted by the water-drain valve 15 in the manner described in detail above. Finally, when the bathing session is concluded the drain valve 15 may be opened to remove most of the water from the container 1. Then, check valves 7 and 9 can be opened to reduce the air pressure in the side walls 3-6 and the cushion 8 and pillow 8a so that the entire apparatus may be easily rolled into a bundle that is easily carried and conveniently stored away until the next use.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, from the foregoing description of my invention, that various modifications and improvements may be made in it without departing from the true scope and spirit of the invention. For example, although a separate air cushion 8 and pillow 8a are shown in FIGS. 1-3, it will be apparent that these members may be formed integrally with the side walls 3-6 or the bottom wall 2 of container 1, so that a single air check valve (either valve 7 or 9) may be used to inflate the entire assembly, since an integral passageway could easily be formed in such an embodiment to allow air to flow throughout all of these components. In like manner, it will be apparent that the side walls 3-6 of the invention need not be shaped in the particular tubular configurations shown. For example, these walls could be relatively annular in cross section if such a configuration is deemed more suitable for certain applications of the invention. Thus, it is my intent to encompass within the scope of the following claims all such modifications and improvements of my invention. I r i What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is: g
l. A sun bathing apparatus comprising a water container that is readily portable to enable it to be manually moved into a suitable location for use by a personwishing to sun bathe, said container having a generally rectangular shaped bottom wall and a plurality of inter-connected side walls formed of flexible, airimpervious material, and mounted adjacent the respective edges of said bottom wall and extending upward therefrom in water-tight relationship therewith, each of said inter-connections between said side walls also being water-tight, thereby to make the container watertight from the bottom wall to the top edges of said side walls, each of said side walls being hollow and inflatable, pressure-responsive check valve means mounted in one of said side walls to enable said side walls to be inflated to a predetermined pressure, said bottom wall and said side walls all being collapsible thereby to render the apparatus readily foldable into a bundle that is manually portable, an inflatable cushion positioned within said side walls on said bottom wall, means for inflating said cushion to a predetermined pressure, said cushion being generally coextensive in shape with the bottom wall of the container and being adapted when inflated to support the weight of a person in spaced relationship away from said bottom wall on its upper surface whereby a person may sun bathe on said cushion in a pool of water confined within said container and thereby hasten the tanning effect of rays of the sun while maintaining a comfortable body temperature.:
2. An invention as defined in claim 1 including means defining a water conduit adjacent a number of the upper edges of said side walls, means defining a plurality of apertures in said conduit at spaced-apart points along substantially the entire length thereof, whereby water can be sprinkled through said apertures from said conduit onto a person lying on said cushion, means for releasably connecting said conduit to a source of water under pressure, and manually operable valve means for controlling a flow of water from said source into said conduit whereby a person lying on said cushion can conveniently manipulate said valve means to selectively sprinkle water from said conduit onto his body thereby to moisten it and enhance the tanning effect of the sun on his body while simultaneously cooling it. j V
3. An invention as defined inclaim 2 wherein means definingan air passage between the interior of said side walls and the interior of said inflatable cushion are provided whereby said side walls and said cushion can be inflated simultaneously through said check valve.
4. An invention as defined in claim 2 including an inflatable pillow formed integral with said cushion, and including a second pressureuesponsive check valve mounted in one wall of said cushion for inflating it and said pillow by forcing air under pressure through said second check valve.
An invention as defined in claim 2 including a combination carrier-hanger handle mounted on one of the side walls of said container that is remote from said means for inflating the cushion, and locking means for retaining the container in a predetermined bundled configuration when it is deflated, whereby the handle may be conveniently used to manually transport said container. I g
6. An invention as defined in claim 2 including means, forming an efficient light-reflecting surface on substantially the entire area of the inner surfaces of the two longer side walls of said container, thereby to afford reflecting surfaces that are operable to cause indirect rays of sun light to be directed onto both sides of a person lying on the inflatable cushion.
7. An invention as defined in claim 6 wherein said light reflecting surfaces are formed of a layer of aluminum paint that is adhered to said inner surfaces of the two longer side walls of the container.
8. An invention as defined in claim 7 wherein each of said side walls is tubular in cross section, said tubular cross-section comprising four generally flat wall sections, the uppermost and lowermost of said generally flat wall sections being substantially parallel to the bottom wall of said container and the outermost wall section being substantially perpendicular to the bottom wall of said container when the side walls are inflated, the innermost wall section being positioned at an angle between and with respect to the bottom wall, thereby to reflect sunlight in a direction upward and outward with respect to said bottom wall.
9. An invention as defined in claim 8 including tray means mounted on the top surface of at least one of said generally flat uppermost wall sections to afford slip-resistant means for supporting a liquid beverage container in a position thereon that is readily accessible to a person lying on said inflatable cushion.
10. An invention as defined in claim 8 including a flexible awning means mounted on one of the side walls, and including manually positionable awning support means for selectively holding the awning in an extended position over one end of said inflatable cushion thereby to shade that end of the cushion from the direct rays of the sun so a person lying on the cushion can conveniently position his head in this shaded area to protect it from overexposure to the sun while the remainder of the body is being tanned.
11. An invention as defined in claim 2 including a manually operable water-drain valve mounted through one of said side walls adjacent the bottom thereof, whereby the level of water trapped in said container may be controlled by suitably balancing the rate of flow into said container from the apertured conduit against the rate of flow from the'container through said waterdrain valve.