US 3691980 A
A musical potty chair comprising a chair member having a central opening in its seat below which a potty receptacle is removably received and wherein a mechanical, electrically-energized music making device plays a tune upon a child first being seated or seating himself upon the chair and thereafter liminating body waste into the potty receptacle, is described. The energizing circuit for the music device has a first normally open-circuited electrical switch mounted in a leg of the chair and adapted to be closed-circuited by the weight of the child sitting on the chair, and a second normally open-circuited electrical switch associated with the potty receptacle when in position below the seat opening and operative to be closed-circuited in response to the added weight of body waste deposited into the potty receptacle to complete the energizing circuit to the music making device and thereby play a rewarding tune.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Shastal l .1541 MUSICAL POTTYCHAIR  Inventor: John F. Shasta], 2600 S.W. 53rd Avenue, West Hollywood, Fla.
221 Filed: April 27,1971 21 AppLNo; 137,815
 11.8. CI ..ll6/67, 4/134  Int. Cl. ..G08b 3/00  Field of Search ..4/l, 110, 134,138,112, 142;"
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,075,308 3/1937 Simonsen 16/67 2,361,677 10/1944 Bramhall ..116/67 2,535,704 12/1950 Snyder et a1 .-..116/67 2,766,716 10/1956 Mackey ..1 16/67 2,788,764 4/1957 l-leadlee ..116/67 2,802,444 8/1957 Gilmour ...l 16/67 2,896,567 7/1959 Gilmour ..1 16/67 3,020,528 2/ 1962 Swanson et a1. .;116/67 3,059,608 10/1962 Lee ..116/67 3,172,390 3/1965 Garthofner ..4/1 34 1451 Sept, 19', 1972 3,364,478 l/l968- Dee Ward ..1 16/67 v Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr.
Attorney-Ernest H. Schmidt 57 ABSTRACT device plays a tune upon a child first being seated or seating himself upon the chair and thereafter liminat- .ing body waste into the potty receptacle, is described.
The energizing circuit for the music device has a first normally open-circuited electrical switch mounted in a leg of the chair and adapted to be closed-circuited by the weight of the child sitting on the chair, and a second normally open-circuited electrical switch associated with the potty receptacle when in position below the seat opening and operative to be closed-cirv cuited in response to the added weight of body waste deposited into the potty receptacle to complete the energizing circuit to the music making device and thereby play a rewarding tune.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENIED SEP 19 I872 v mm:
INVENTOR dO/M/ E sH/isrflL MHXM HTTORNEX fore been devised. Such musical potty chairs as have been devised however, are deficient in one or more respects, principally in that no provision is made for preventing operation of the music making device when the potty chair receptacle is accidentally or intentionally weighted by the child in play by the use of toys or otherobjects of such size as can be placed in the receptacle. Thus, once the child has learned that he can produce the music simply by placing toys or other ob-' jects in the potty receptacle, he is likely to do this for his own amusement, to the annoyance and confusion of his parents.
It is, accordingly, the principal object of this invention to obviate the above-described deficiency of musical potty chairs heretofore devised by requiring two steps be taken before the musical device will operate, first the seating of a small child upon the chair, and then the depositing of matter within the potty receptacle. Since the weight to be seated on the potty chair or within the potty receptacle must be substantially equal to the weight of the child, it will normally be physically impossible for the child to complete the first step other than by seating himself upon the chair in the position of proper use of the device.
A more particular object of the invention is to provide a musical potty chair of the character described wherein themusical device to be actuated is in the form of an electrically-motorized mechanism, and wherein the actuating motor is battery-actuated in an energizing circuit including two normally open-circuited electrical switches, the first of which is affixed in one leg of the potty chair to be actuated or closed-circuited upon sufficient weight being placed upon the seat of the chair, and the second switch of which is actuated or close-circuited upon a small amount of waste matter being deposited within the potty receptacle associated with the chair.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description when read with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote corresponding parts throughout the several views;
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a musical potty chair enibodyingthe invention;
FIG. 2 is a rear view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view thereof; and
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, reference numeral designates, generally, a musical potty chair embodying the invention, the same preferably being constructed of wood and comprising a substantially rectangular seat back member l 1, rectangular seat side members 1 13, a horizontal seat member 14 affixed laterally between said seat side members in substantially central position therealong from top to bottom, and a vertical front wall member 15 enclosing the front of the chair beneath the seat member 14. The seat member 14 is provided with a central rounded potty opening 16, and is formed, along its front edge, with a pair of symmetrically arranged arcuate leg recesses 17 and 18.
As illustrated in FIG. 2 the seat back member 11, while extending upwardly beyond the upper ends of the seat side members 12, 13, terminates at the level of the seat member 14 to provide a rectangular opening 19 at the back of the chair for the removal and replacement of a potty receptacle 20, as is hereinbelow more particularly described. The potty receptacle 20, which is preferably integrally formed of a tough synthetic plastic material, has an outwardly-extending peripheral flange 21 at its upper end, which flange is integrally formed with a downwardly-extending handle 22 for convenience in inserting and removing said potty receptacle form the chair.
As means for removably retaining the potty receptacle 20 in use position immediately below the chair seat opening 16 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the underside of the seat member 14 is fitted, at each side of the seat opening 16 and in spaced, parallel relation with I respect to the seat side members l2, 13, with a pair of elongated guide channel members 23, 24 which may be of wood, said guide channel members being provided with opposed, longitudinally-extending recesses 25, 26, respectively. The guide channel member recesses 25,26 together with underside portions of the chair seat member 14, define longitudinal slots so spaced from one another as to receive opposed flange portions of the potty receptacle 20 for guiding and retaining said potty receptacle in use position below the seat member opening 16. With reference to FIG. 2, it is to be noted that while the longitudinal recess 25 in the guide channel member 23 is only of sufficient depth to receive a flange portion of the potty receptacle 20, the longitudinal recess 26 in the guide channel member 24 is of substantially greater depth to accommodate a receptacle-actuated electrical switch, as is hereinbelow more particularly described.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the rectangular side members 12, 13 of the musical potty chair 10 are provided in and along their lower ends with shallow rectangular recesses 27, 28 defining short front and back legs 29, 30, respectively, in the chair side member 12, and front and back legs 31, 32, respectively, in the chair side member 13. Similarly, the lower end of the chair front wall member 15 is provided with a shallow rectangular recess 33.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, a push button switch 34 is fitted in an opening in the underside of the back leg 32, which push button switch is normally open circuited and adapted to be closed circuited when sufficient weight is placed on the chair seat member 14, as is hereinbelow more particularly described.
As further illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the longitudinal recess 26 in the guide channel member 24 is fitted with a longitudinally-extending leaf spring switch arm 35 having a short, downwardly-bent end contact p0rtion 36. As best shown in FIG. 4, the rear end portion of the leaf spring switch arm 35 is bent downwardly and 3 friction-fitted within an oblique slot 38 in the guide channel member 24 so that the opposite free end of said spring normally is yieldingly constrained against an undersurface portion of the seat member 14. The guide channel member 24 is also fitted with a rounded fixed contact member 37 disposed directly below the end portion 35 of the leaf spring switch arm 35 in spaced relation with respect thereto. The leaf spring switch arm 35 and the contact member 37 together comprise a normally open circuited switch adapted to be close circuited when said switch arm is pressed into contact with the fixed contact member 37. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the spacing between the outer end of the leaf spring switch arm 35 and its associated contact member 37 is such that the switch remains open circuited even when the potty receptacle is fitted in place between the guide channel members 23, 24 as described above, with a portion of the potty receptacle peripheral flange 21 constrained between the underside of the seat member 14 and the upper surface of the leaf spring switch arm 35.
' As best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the push button switch 34 is connected in series with the leaf spring switch arm 34 and a dry cell D, replaceably fitted in a connector receptacle 41 secured against the underside of the seat member 14 in a front corner thereof, by electrical conductors 39 and 40. The remaining terminals of the dry cell D and the fixed contact member 36 are connected in series with a motorized music making device 43, affixed against the underside of the seat member 14 in the remaining front corner thereof, as by electric conductors 42 and 44. It will thus be understood that when both the push button switch 34 and the potty-actuated switch comprising the leaf spring switch arm 35 and fixed contact member 37 are closed circuited, an energizing circuit will be completed from the source afforded by the dry cell D to actuate the electrically motorized music making device 43. Since the construction and operation of such musical movements or devices are well known, being commonly used in music boxes and the like, a more detailed description thereof is not deemed necessary.
As best illustrated in FIG. 3, abutment stop members 45 and 46, preferably in the form of small wood blocks, are fixed against the underside of the seat member 14 in such position as to limit the inward movement of the potty receptacle 20 when placed in position below the seat opening 16 in the manner hereinabove described by abutment with peripheral portions of the potty receptacle flange 21. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, a push button switch 48, which may be identical with the push button switch 34 but not connected in the energizing circuitry, is fitted in the back leg of the musical potty chair to provide for balanced stability in the use of the chair, as is hereinbelow described.
Upon use of the musical potty chair, the weight of the child upon his sitting himself upon the chair will cause the push button switches 34, 47 to be depressed. The depression of the electrically-connected push button switch 34 closes its normally open-circuited switch to complete a circuit path between one terminal of the dry cell D and the leaf spring switch arm 25 through conductors 39 and 40. Since the switch comprising the leaf spring switch arm and its associated fixed contact member 37 is still open-circuited, however, the
electrically motorized musical device 43 will not yet be energized. As soon as the seated child has a bowel movement or passes water, the added weight thus imparted to the potty receptacle 20 causes a slighttipping thereof against the resilient reactive force of the leaf spring switch arm 35, so that said switch arm is moved downwardly into contact with the associated fixed contact member 37 to complete the energization circuit to the electrical motor M of the musical mechanism 43, whereupon it will commence operating to play any appropriate musical tune such as How Dry I Am. Such operation not only will notify the attending parent that the child is through with using the potty chair, but also rewards the child with a pleasant sounding tune for having performed properly.
It is to be noted that two steps are necessary, effected in sequence, in order to energize the musical movement mechanism and thereby produce the music; first the seating of the child on the potty chair and then the performance of his duty. The spring stiffness of the push button switch 34 is so chosen as to be actuated or close-circuited only upon use by a child weighing in excess of approximately l5 pounds, so that any toys or other objects that a small child could place in the ,potty receptacle 20 would not close circuit said push button switch and thereby operate the musical device. The sensitivity of the leaf spring switch arm 35, moreover, is such as to be moved into closed-circuited contact with its associated fixed contact member 37 upon as little as an ounce in weight being deposited in the potty receptacle 20, to insure operation of the musical device upon use of the potty chair for the intended purpose. It is also to be noted that as soon as the child is lifted from the chair, the push button switch 34 will automatically be returned to open-circuit condition again to de-energize the musical device 43 and thereby stop the playing of the musical tune.
While I have illustrated and described herein only one form in which my invention can conveniently be embodied in practice, it is to be understood that this embodiment is given by way of example only, and not in a limiting sense. The invention, in brief, comprises all the embodiments and modifications coming within the scope and spirit of the following claims.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A musical potty chair comprising, in combination, a chair having a seat member with a central opening, a potty receptacle, means for removably securing said potty receptacle beneath said seat member and in register with said seat opening, an electrically motorized music making device, a normally open-circuited energizing circuit for said music making device, and means controlled by the sequential application of a first downward force on said seat member and a second downward force on said potty receptacle for close-circuiting said energizing circuit and thereby operating said music making device.
2. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for removably securing said potty receptacle comprises a pair of guide channel members affixed in spaced parallel relation with respect to the underside of said seat member at each side of said central opening, said potty receptacle having an outwardly-extending flange at its upper end opposed porsaid guide channel members.
3. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 2, wherein said guide channel members comprise longitudinally-extending recesses along which said flange portions are slidingly received.
4. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 3, wherein said means for close-circuiting said energizing circuit comprises a first normally open-circuited switch in one of said longitudinal recesses.
5. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 4, wherein said chair is provided with rear legs and wherein said energizing circuit further comprises a second normally open-circuited push-button switch mounted in the underside of one of said rear legs to be operated upon weight being applied to said chair seat member, said first and said second normally open-circuited switches being connected in series in said energizing circuit.
6. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 4, wherein said first normally open-circuited switch comprises a leaf spring switch arm one end of which is fixed with respect to its associated guide channel member r and the other end of which is resiliently biased in the direction of the underside of said chair seat, and a fixed contact member fixed with respect to said associated guide channel member beneath the outer end of said leaf spring switch arm and adapted to be contacted by said switch arm upon pressure being applied upon the upper surface thereof.
7. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 6, wherein a flange portion of said potty receptacle is receivable between the upper surface of said leaf spring switch arm and said underside of said chair seat member.
8. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 7, wherein said normally open-circuited energizing circuit further comprises a series-connected dry cell, said dry cell and said music making device being mounted beneath said chair seat member.
9. A musical potty chair as defined in claim 8, including a second push-button switch similarly mounted in the remaining back leg of said chair to provide for balanced stability in the use of the chair.