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Publication numberUS3695493 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1972
Filing dateAug 31, 1970
Priority dateAug 31, 1970
Publication numberUS 3695493 A, US 3695493A, US-A-3695493, US3695493 A, US3695493A
InventorsKarr Robert J
Original AssigneeKarr Robert J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for applying or removing gloves
US 3695493 A
Abstract
This invention relates to a mechanism for and method of applying and removing fluid impermeable gloves without the necessity of manually contacting the exterior of the gloves. The mechanism employed comprises a means for suspending and sealing a glove within a vacuum chamber and means for evacuating the chamber to outwardly distend the glove to a size greater than that of the user's hand. After the insertion of the hand into the distended glove, the chamber is restored to atmospheric pressure and the glove fits the hand due to the inherent resiliency of the previously distended glove. The hand, with the glove applied thereto, is simply removed from the chamber. A reversal of this procedure, i.e., inserting the gloved hand into the chamber evacuating the chamber, and removing the hand, leaves the glove suspended in the chamber. The present disclosure provides a novel, inexpensive, pedal-operated device for carrying out these functions simultaneously on both hands of a user.
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United States Patent Karr [54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING 0R REMOVING GLOVES [72] Inventor: Robert J. Karr, 1605 Sixteenth St.,

Wyandotte, Mich. 48192 [22] Filed: Aug. 31, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 68,173

52 u.s.c1. ..223/1l1,312/l,2/162 51 Int. Cl. ..A47j 51/06 [58] FieldofSearch ..312/1;223/111;2/159, 162,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,938,685 12/1933 Breuls et a1. ..312/1 X 1,996,377 4/1935 Hinchen 223/1 11 3,415,582 12/1968 Trexler "312/1 Primary Examiner-James C. Mitchell Attorney-Cullen, Settle, Sloman & Cantor 1451 Oct. 3, 1972 [57] ABSTRACT This invention relates to a mechanism for and method of applying and removing fluid impermeable gloves without the necessity of manually contacting the exterior of the gloves. The mechanism employed comprises a means for suspending and sealing a glove within a vacuum chamber and means for evacuating the chamber to outwardly distend the glove to a size greater than that of the users hand. After the insertion of the hand into the distended glove, the chamber is restored to atmospheric pressure and the glove fits the hand due to the inherent resiliency of the previously distended glove. The hand, with the glove applied thereto, is simply removed tfrom the chamber. A reversal of this procedure, i.e., inserting the gloved hand into the chamber evacuating the chamber, and removing the hand, leaves the glove suspended in the chamber. The present disclosure provides a novel, inexpensive, pedal-operated device for carrying out these functions simultaneously on both hands of a 7 Claim, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIJBIS 1912 SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR. ROBERT J. KARR.

CULLEN, SETTLE, SLOMAN 8 CANTOR.

ATT 'YS.

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING OR REMOVING GLOVES BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention refers to gloved handling devices which accommodate the attachment and removal of gloves from the hands of a user without the necessity of touching the gloves with the bare hands. Thus, it is possible to avoid contamination of the gloves while placing them on the hands (as is necessary in the application of sterile surgeons gloves or the like), and it is also possible to remove the gloves without contacting the exterior of the gloves manually (as is necessary where the outsides of the gloves are contaminated after usage with chemicals, radiation or the like).

Anyone who has ever attempted to apply and remove elastomeric gloves, of rubber, plastic or the like, will be completely familiar with the problems which are involved. In order to stay in place on the hands and in order to avoid the loss of the sense of touch by the user, the glove must fit tightly. This means that the hands and the gloves are of essentially the same size and the gloves must be rolled onto, stretched over, and vigorously pulled onto the hands. If the hands are wet or if the sterility of the gloves must be maintained, the difficulties are greatly multiplied. Much the same difficulties are encountered in removing the gloves, since they must be peeled from the hand. Once again, additional difficulties are encountered where the gloves are wet or where they are covered with harsh detergent, corrosive chemicals or the like materials harmful to the bare hands of the user trying to remove the gloves.

The present invention solves the difficulties of applying or removing the gloves in a very simple manner. The glove is simply placed into and sealed within an airtight chamber surrounding the glove, the surrounding chamber is evacuated and the glove is distended radially outwardly uniformly along its length, the fingers being individually distended. When the glove is so distended, the hands of the user can be readily inserted into or removed from the glove, and this is true even where the hands of the user are wet or where the glove would normally be too small for the hand of the user. The application and removal of the gloves is accomplished without the necessity of the user manually contacting the exterior of the gloves, thus maintaining sterility during application of the gloves and preventing contact with any harmful substances on the gloves during removal.

In addition to the broader aspect of the invention as above set forth, the present application is also con-- cerned with a specific glove applying and removing apparatus which is portable, inexpensive and effective to apply or remove both gloves of a pair from the users hands at the same time.

More specifically the present apparatus includes two housing or compartment sections disposed adjacent each other, and each such section has a vacuum chamber in the lower portion thereof and a glove retaining chamber superimposed thereon. Each of the glove retaining chambers contains a form shaped to resemble the lower portion of the left or right arm of the human body and at the lower end the form is in open communication with the vacuum chamber in each compartment. The upper ends of the compartments and the forms are open to permit insertion of gloves into the forms. The gloves are provided with a rim seal around the wrist end of the glove which provides a retainer for the glove to maintain the glove in the form and at the same time provides a circumferential seal around the upper edge of the form.

Each of the vacuum chambers surmounts a spring loaded bellows which has a valve normally connecting the interior of the bellows with the atmosphere in the inoperative position of the device. The lower ends of the bellows are connected to opposite ends of a treadle disposed between the vacuum chambers. Upon depression of the treadle, the bellows will be extended and the valves in the lower closure plates are closed to interrupt communication with the atmosphere, causing the forms in the glove retaining compartment sections to be evacuated. The gloves thus are distended outwardly to permit a person to insert his hands into the vacuum expended gloves within the compartments or to remove his hands from the gloves. Upon release of the treadle, the spring loaded bellows are returned to their normal collapsed position, thereby returning air at atmospheric pressure into the forms. The gloves then return to their normal configuration surrounding the hands of the wearer. At the upper end of the collapsing movement of the bellows, the air valves of the bellows automatically open to establish communication with the atmosphere, thereby equalizing the air pressure between the out-side and inside of the gloves in the forms.

The present invention will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The accompanying drawings illustrate the preferred embodiment of the improved in which:

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the device with parts broken away and shown in cross-section for clarity;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse cross-section through the device in FIG. 1 as seen along line .3-3 thereof;

FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view of parts of the device in FIG. 1 illustrating their superimposed relationship in assembly;

FIG. 5 is a vertical cross-section through a bellows assembly incorporated in the device in FIG. 1 and FIG. 6 is an enlarged fractional cross-section through the rim portion of a flexible glove to be used with the present device.

I DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With continuing reference to the drawings, the present novel glove handling device, generally indicated at 10 in FIG. 1 to 3, comprises a frame structure 12 which has a base or bottom plate 14 for support of the device 10 on the floor or other supporting surface.

The bottom plate 14, at opposite ends, supports a pair of housing 16 and 18, respectively, which extend vertically upwardly therefrom in parallel aligned relationship to each other.

Each of the. housings l6 and 18 is made up of two sections superimposed upon each other of which the lower sections 20 are attached to the base plate 14 and the upper sections 22 are interconnected by a crossspan 24. The pair of lower and upper housing sections 20 and 22, respectively are divided from each other along a horizontal place 26 so that the pair of upper housing sections 22 can be removed as a unit from the pair of lower housing sections 20 for servicing and cleaning of the device.

In assembly, as shown in FIG. 1, the housing sections 20 and 22 are held together in vertically aligned relationship by means of releasable clamps 28 as indicated in FIG. 1. The cross-span 24 is connected between the upper housing sections 22 and is provided with a pair of egg shaped apertures 32 which serve to retain a pair of utility gloves (not shown) in ready position as will be explained more in detail further on in the description. Adjacent the upper surface of the cross-span 24, a handle 34' is pivotally mounted to the opposed inner side walls of the upper housing sections 22, so that the glove handling device can be conveniently carried from one location to another. The handle 34 is normally folded down upon the cross-span 24 as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Both housings l6 and 18 of the device 10 are of identical construction and have identical internal operating parts and thus, it will be sufficient to describe only one thereof, it being understood that the description applies to the opposite housing as well with reference numerals applied to the same parts.

Thus, with reference to the left-hand housing 16, the superimposed housing sections 20 and 22 are of tubular structure and aligned along a vertical axis. The lower housing section 20 forms a tubular chamber or compartment 25 which is open at the top by means of an aperture 27. The aperture 27 receives and supports an bellows assembly 30 by means of a radial flange overlying said chamber 25.

With particular reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, the bellows assembly 30 comprises a bellows 34 which is circumferentially sealed at the top to the top plate or flange 32 and at the bottom to a bottom plate 36. The bellows 34 is collapsed in retracted position by means of a contraction coil spring 38 disposed internally of the bellows 34 and having its upper end coil secured to the bellows top plate 32 by means of clamps 40 and screws 42 and its lower end coil is secured by similar means to the bottom plate 36.

A rod 44 is centrally fastened to the underside of the bottom plate 36 of the bellows for axial extension therefrom. A pin 46 extends in transverse direction through the rod 44 and outwardly to both sides thereof for attachment of the rods 44 to the underside of one end of a treadle 48 normally disposed above the base plate 14 in horizontal, parallel alignment therewith. The treadle 48 extends transversely into both lower housing sections 20 for attachment to the rods 44 of the bellows 34, as seen in FIG. 1. The intermediate portion of the treadle 48, between the opposed housing sections 20, forms a foot pad 50 for actuation of the treadle 48 downwardly towards the base plate 14. Normally, the treadle 48 is held in the raised position as shown in FIG. 1, by means of contraction of the springs 38 within the respective bellows 34. When the treadle 48 is depressed against the combined forces of the springs 38, the bellows 34 are simultaneously extended downwardly thereby increasing the volume of the bellows.

As seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the top plate 32 is centrally provided with an aperture 52 which opens into the upper housing section 22. Thus, when the bellows 34 are expanded by means of a force on the treadle 48, air is pulled from the forms 96 in the upper housing sections 22 through the trap 78 and into the expanding bellows 34, as will be understood, and a partial vacuum occurs in the forms 96 in the upper housing sections 22.

As particularly seen in FIG. 5, the bottom plate 36 of the bellows assembly 30 is likewise provided with an aperture 54 into which extends a plunger 56 which is telescoped inwardly of the bellows 34 within a plunger housing 58 secured to the bottom plate 36. The plunger 56 is attached outwardly of the bottom plate 36 to a.

flexible valve plate 60 which is spring biased in the direction towards the bottom plate 36 by means of a spring 62 supported on the end of a bracket 64 which is attached to the underside of the bottom plate 36.

The plunger 56 is provided with a slot 66 to provide communication between the interior of the bellows and the atmosphere when the plunger is extended outwardly from the bottom plate 36, as shown in FIG. 5. The slot 66 in the plunger 56 communicates through an aperture 68 in the plunger housing 58, with the interior of the bellows 34 and thus, normally connects the in terior of the bellows 34 to the atmosphere. The inner end of the plunger 56 is attached to the end of an ac tuating rod 70 which movably extends through the plunger housing 58 upwardly through the bellows 34 for normal, inoperative abutment against the underside of the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30 to retain the valve plate 60 in the open position.

As seen from the position shown in FIG. 5 (the inoperative position of the bellows assembly), the rod 70, by abutment against the underside of the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly, displaces the valve plunger 56 outwardly against the force of the valve closing spring 62 to expose the slot 66 to the atmosphere. When the treadle 48 is depressed downwardly, the rod 70 is moved away from the top plate 32, thereby causing the spring 62 to expand and move the plunger inwardly to close the slot 66 against the atmosphere and cause the flexible valve plate 60 around the valve aperture 54 to tightly close the aperture. Further continuing downward movement of the treadle 48 then causes air to be drawn through the aperture 52 in the top plate 32 into the bellows 34 for a purpose to be described more in detail hereafter.

With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 4, the upper housing section 22 is likewise of tubular configuration corresponding in cross-section with the tubular crosssection of the lower housing section 20. The upper housing section 22 is open at the bottom for circumferential abutment upon the upper rim 21 of the lower housing section 20 around the bellows assembly 30 disposed below the top plate 32 which closes the upper end of the lower housing section 20. The upper end of the upper housing section 22 is open, as at 72, and has a pilot extension 74 having an egg-shaped opening 76 in axial alignment with the opening 72.

The upper housing section 22 is elongated into vertical direction and is adapted to receive a cup-like member or trap 78 having an irregular somewhat triangular cross-section as seen in FIG. 4. The cup-like member 78 is retained in the lower portion of the chamber or compartment 23 of the upper housing section 22 for support on the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30 which forms the top closure for the chamber 26 of the lower housing section 20. The cuplike member 78 is formed by a circumferential wall 80 and a bottom 82. The wall 80 provides an upper rim 84.

A short tube 86, which is open at both ends, projects through the bottom 82 of the cuplike member and extends upwardly into the cup-like member 78 and also extends downwardly from below the bottom 82, as shown in 88 in FIG. 4. At one lower corner, the cuplike member is provided with a pin 90 extending from the bottom 82 and fitting into a pilot hole 92 in the top 21 of the lower housing section 20.

In assembly, the cup-like member 78 is placed on the a top 21 of the lower housing section and over the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30, so that the dependent tube section 88 extends through the central aperture 52 of the top plate 32 into the interior of the bellows 34. Simultaneously, the guide pin 90 is inserted into the pilot hole 92 for properly rotationally positioning the cup-like member 78 on the lower housing section 20.

The upper surface of the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30, around the central aperture 52, is provided with sealing ring 94 extending circumferentially around the aperture and which may be bonded to the plate 32. When the cuplike member 78 is placed into position, a seal is established between the underside of I the bottom 82 of the cup-like member 78 and the upper surface of the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30.

The elongated compartment 23 of the upper housing section 22 is further adapted to receive a contoured form, generally indicated at 96, which is shaped roughly to resemble a hand and lower arm portion of a human body. It will be understood that one of the housing sections 22 receives a form 96 resemblingthe lower left-arm portion of the human body and the opposite housing section 22 receives a similar form 96 resembling the right lower arm portion of the human body. Thus, the forms 96 and cup-like members 78 of both housing sections are identical, mirror images of one another.

The form 96 is hollow and comprises an upper truncated arm and wrist portion 98 which is open at the top providing a circumferential edge 100. The form 96 extends downwardly, from the wrist portion 98, into a widened finger portion 102 extending along a transverse, curvilinear axis and a thumb portion 104 separated from the finger portion and substantially comprising a tubular body. Both, the finger portion 102 and thumb portion 104 of the form 96, are open at their lower ends and project through a support plate 106 which joins both portions together. This plate 106 is substantially triangularly shaped in a horizontal plane transverse to the central axis of the form 96, to match the substantially triangular shaped form of the cup-like member 78.

The finger portion 102 and thumb portion 104 of the form 96 extend through the joining plate 106 and below thereof to form extensions 103 and 105, respectively. The lower side of the plate 106 of the form 96 is provided with a sealing ring 109 adapted for sealing engagement around the free upper circumferential edge 84 of the cup-like member 78.

In assembly, the form 96 is placed in vertical position upon the open top of the cup-like member 78, so that the extension 103 of the finger portion 102 and extension 105 of the thumb portion 104 project into the cuplike member between the wall 80 and the tube 86, as seen in FIG. 1. When so assembled, the support plate l06supports the form 96 upon the top of the cup-like member 78, and the sealing ring 109 forms an air-tight seal between the cup-like member 78 and the form 96.

It will be noted that the members 78 and 96 are supported one on top of the other and both on top of the lower housing section 20 by their own weight, without the use of any fastening means, such as screws or clamps orthe like. A shoulder 22a inside the housing sections 22, respectively, engages the'plate 106 and urges the members 78, 96 and 32 into sealing engagement. The adjoining interfaces of the members are separated by surface sealing means 94 and 109 which provide effective air-tight seals when the members are assembled together in the position shown in FIG. 1.

Both the cup-like member 78 and the associated form 96 are preferably made as by molding or the like, from a light-weight synthetic material of a type having heat and chemical resistance characteristics.

It will be seen from FIG. 1 that (following assembly of the form 96 on the cup-like member 78) the extended finger portion 103 and thumb portion 105 extend into the cup-like member 78, a distance below the upper open end of the tube 86, which provides open 7 communication with the interior of the bellows 34 disposed in the lowerhousing section 20. Thus, when the treadle 48 is depressed downwardly to expand the bellows 34, the valve 60 is closed instantly permitting air to be evacuated from the form 96 through the extended finger portion 103 and thumb portion within the cup-like member 78 by means of the communicating tube 86.

It will also be .noted from FIG. 1 that the left-hand upper housing section 22 contains a left-hand form 96 and the opposite upper housing section contains a right-hand form 96. The perspective illustration in FIG. 4, in this instance, depicts the right-hand form 96.

Each of the forms 96 in the upper housing sections 22 are adapted to receive a utility glove, indicated at 108, which is preferably made of a resilient, expansible rubber like or similar pliable, air and fluid impermeable material. The utility glove 108 has a wrist portion which terminates in an open gauntlet or rim 112, which is circumferentially reinforced by a ring 1 13 of substantially rigid material as seen in FIG. 6. This ring maintains the shape of the rim which is formed in a substantial egg shape to compliment the egg shaped aperture 76 in the pilot extension 74 of the upper housing sections 22 and the similarly egg shaped circumferential upper edge 100 of the forms 96. Conventionally, the glove terminates in fingers 114 adapted for insertion into the finger portion 102 of the form 96 and a thumb portion 116 adapted for insertion into the thumb portion 104 of the form 96 as seen in FIGS. 1 and 4. When the glove 108 is inserted into the form 96 as shown, the gauntlet or or sealing rim 112 at the upper end of the glove, will be seated upon the upper edge 100 of the form in sealing engagement therewith and so as to retain the glove in suspended position within the form 96. Opening 76 in pilot extension '74 is adapted to guide and correctly orient .the glove and its rim into sealing position.

In operation of the apparatus, when it is desired to put on gloves, a pair of gloves 108 are placed in their respective forms 96 in the upper housing sections 22 of the apparatus so that the fingers 114 of the glove extends into the finger portion 102 and the thumb 116 of the glove extends into the thumb portion 104 of the form 96. The ring 113 of the glove supports the glove in suspended position within the form and sealing the interior of the form against the atmosphere. Thereafter, when the foot pedal 48 is depressed, the bellows 34 are simultaneously expanded, causing instant closing of the valves 60 at the bottom of the bellows to cut communication with the atmosphere.

Further expansion of the bellows 34 by continuing pressure on the, pedal or treadle 48 to the position shown at 48 in FIG. 1, causes air, trapped in the forms 96 by means of the sealing rims 112 of the gloves 108, to be evacuated from the forms 96. This evacuation is accomplished through the communicating tube 86 in the cup-like member 78 and through the extended finger and thumb portions 103 and 105 respectively of the forms 96, which extend into the cup-like member 78. The seal 94 between the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30 and the cup-like member 78, together with the seal 109 between the cup-like member 78 and the form 96, effectively prevent seepage or entrance of air therebetween. The forms 96 will be substantially evacuated of air which is being pulled into the expanding bellows 34 for captive retainment therein.

As seen at the right in FIG. 1, evacuation of air from i the forms 96 causes the wrist portion 110, fingers 114 and thumb 116 of each glove to expand or distend outwardly into tight engagement against the inner surfaces 97 of the forms 96, provided for by the resilience of the glove material. The gloves 108 remain then in the expanded position as long as the foot treadle 48 is depressed, thereby permitting a person to effortlessly put his hands in the respective gloves in the forms 96. The foot treadle 48 may then be released causing the bellows return springs 38 to contract or collapse the bellows 34. The lower retainer plates 36 of the bellows act as a piston to push the air, previously pulled into the bellows 34, back upwardly'through the communicating tube 86 into the cup-like member 78 and from there through the finger and thumb extensions 103 and 105 back into the forms 96. The gloves 108 are allowed to return to their original shape, in effect collapsing inwardly into tight engagement with the hands and wrist of the wearer. At the upper end of the pressure return movement of the bellows 34, and just prior to the end of the stroke, the rod 70 of the equalizing and cut-off valve 60 comes in abutment against the top plate 32 of the bellows assembly 30, causing the rod 70 to move the plunger 56 outwardly of the bottom plate 36 to again expose the slot 66 in the plunger. This action reestablishes communication of the interior of the bellows with the atmosphere, to thereby finally and fully equalize the pressure between the gloves and the interior of the form 96.

Conversely, if it is desired to remove gloves from the hand of a wearer, the wearer places his gloved hand into the respective left or right hand form 96 within the upper housing sections 22 of the apparatus, so that the fingers 114 extend into the finger portion 102 and the thumb 116 into the thumb portion 104 of the forms and the sealing rim 112 is in sealing abutment with the upper edge of the forms. Thereafter, the wearer depresses the foot pedal or treadle 48 causing expansion of the bellows 34 which repeats the above described process of evacuating air from the forms 96 around the gloves 108, to cause expansion of the gloves against the internal surfaces 97 of the forms 96. Thereafter the wearer effortlessly can remove his hands from the gloves. Upon release of the treadle 48, the empty gloves then remain suspended within the respective forms 96 and can thereafter be removed at any desirable time for disposal of the gloves or cleaning by gripping the upper rim 1 12 of the gloves.

The cup-like member 78, in cooperation with the finger and thumb extensions 103 and 105 and the cornmunicating tube 86 of the cup-like member, effectively prevents the entering of contaminants, fluids or the like into the bellows 34. An effective liquid trap is provided by the shape and position of the extensions 103 and 105 relative to the communicating tube 86, which, as seen in FIG. I, has an upper open end disposed above the lower open ends of the finger and thumb extensions 103 and 105 of the form 96. Any contaminants or fluids dripping from the gloves 108 in the forms will pass downwardly onto the bottom 82 of the cup-like member 78 without entering the communicating tube 86 in the cup.

lt will be seen from the foregoing description and with reference to the appended drawings that the present improved, glove manipulating apparatus 10 can be easily and quickly disassembled for cleaning and servicing of the various units and thereafter be quickly reassembled, requiring no special skill or removal of fasteners or the like.

Disassembly is accomplished simply by unlocking the side catches 28 which secure the upper housing sections 22 to the lower housing sections 20, thereafter the upper housing sections can be removed as a unit due to their connection by the cross-span 24. The respective forms 96 and cup-like member 78, normally retained in the upper housing sections 22, are then exposed and can be simply taken apart since they are not fastened to each other nor to the lower housing sections 20. The collected contaminants and fluids can then be removed from the cup-like member 78, and the apparatus is quickly reassembled in reverse order.

In order to service the bellows assembly assembly 30, the bottom ends of the lower housing sections 20 are open to gain access to the interior of the chamber 25 in order to move the pin 46 of the operating rod 44 of the bellows 34 from the retaining slots 47 in the underside of the treadle 48 by pulling the rod 44 downwardly. This releases the connection between the treadle 48 and the bellows operating rod 44. The expansible member 30 can then be lifted out through the top aperture 27 at the upper end of the lower housing sections 20.

Although the cup-like members 78 and forms 96 are preferably made of molded synthetic material as described herein and for the purposes above explained, all members of the apparatus, including the housings and the members 78 and 96, may be made of any desirable and available material, such as plastics or metals.

As previously stated herein, the utility gloves 108 to be utilized with the present improved, glove manipulating apparatus must be made of resiliently expandable rubber or rubber-like material. The gloves have a sealing rim at the open or wrist end of the glove, shaped in plan view to conform with the cross-sectional shape of the open upper end of the forms 96 for circumferential sealing engagement therewith. Although the opening 76 in the housing section 22 as well as the open upper ends of the forms 96 and the sealing rim 112 of the gloves have been shown and described herein to resemble an egg-shape, any other suitable cross-sectional configuration may be utilized, providing the openings are large enough to accommodate a variety of sizes of hands of persons using the apparatus, and should be preferably of such shape as to closely resemble the actual shape of a human arm and hand.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to a particular embodiment, it will be obvious to anyone skilled in the art to which the invention pertains that various changes in structure, arrange ment and details may be made without departing from the spirit and essential characteristic of the invention as defined by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for the sterile manipulation of gloves to attach and remove a pair of gloves from the hands of a wearer, comprising:

a frame having a first longitudinal housing section and a second similar longitudinal housing section spaced therefrom, each of said housings being tubular and defining upper and lower superimposed chambers in communication with one another, said lower chamber being a vacuum chamber, said upper chamber being open at the top and each of said upper chambers containing a hollow open topped form of substantially egg-shape in plan and further shaped to substantially resemble a truncated lower arm portion of the human anatomy, with its lower end connected to and in sealed communication with said lower chamber, said truncated form being at least as long as the glove fingers, there being one chamber for all the fingers and a single chamber for the glove thumb, means for evacuating said lower chamber, the pair of gloves, each having a reinforced sealing rim of substantial egg-shape at the wrist portion thereof, a hollow upright pilot extension at the upper end of the form and of substantial egg-shape with its walls oriented with the form open end, each of said gloves adapted for insertion into one of said forms oriented and guided by said pilot extension with said reinforced sealing rim extending circumferentially over the upper edge of said form opening to seal said form and said upper chamber opening and to assure the proper location of the glove thumb and glove fingers within the corresponding form openings, so that when said lower chamber is evacuated, said forms in said upper chambers will be evacuated, causing said gloves in said forms to expand outwardly against the internal surface of said forms permitting the wearer to easily move his hands relative to the gloves positioned in said forms.

2. An apparatus for the sterile manipulation of gloves to attach and remove a pair of gloves from the hands of a wearer, comprising:

a frame having a first longitudinal housing section and a second similar longitudinal housing section spaced therefrom, each of said housings being tubular and defining upper and lower superimposed chambers in communication with one another, said lower chamber being a vacuum chamber, said upper chamber being open at the top and each of said upper chambers containing a hollow opentopped form shaped to substantially resemble a truncated lower arm portion of the human anatomy, with its lower end connected to and in sealed communication with said lower chamber, means for evacuating said lower chamber, the pair of gloves each having a reinforced sealing rim at the wrist portion thereof, each of said gloves adapted for insertion into one of said forms with said reinforced sealing ring rim extending circumferentially over the upper edge of said form opening to seal said form and said upper chamber opening, so that when said lower chamber is evacuated said forms in said upper chambers will be evacuated causing said gloves in said forms to expand outwardly against the internal surfaces of said forms permitting the wearer to easily move his hands relative to the gloves positioned in said forms, each of said forms being supported on a cup-like member disposed in the bottom of said upper chamber; said form at its lower end having an extended finger portion and a thumb portion separated therefrom; said finger and thumb portions being open at their lower ends and extending into said cup-like member; a plate attached to the lower end of said form adjoining said finger and thumb portions and adapted to support said form on said cup-like member along the upper rim thereof; said means providing communication between said vacuum chamber and the interior of said form comprising a tube in said cup-like member in communication with said vacuum chamber for selective passage into or evacuation of air from said form through the open ends of said finger and thumb portions within said cup; and sealing means circumferentially disposed between the rim of said cuplike member and said support plate of said form.

3. In the apparatus as defined in claim 2, said communication tube extending upwardly through said cup and said finger and thumb portions of said form extending into said cup a distance below the upper open end of said tube; whereby said cup provides a trap to catch fluids or solid contaminants dripping from the gloves suspended within said form to prevent entering of the contaminants into said vacuum chamber below said cup.

4. An apparatus for the sterile manipulation of gloves to attach and remove a pair of gloves from the hands of a wearer, comprising:

a frame having a first longitudinal housing section and a second similar longitudinal housing section spaced therefrom, each of said housings being tubular and defining upper and lower superimposed chambers in communication with one another, said lower chamber being a vacuum chamber, said upper chamber being open at the top and each of said upper chambers containing a hollow opentopped form shaped to substantially resemble a truncated lower arm portion of the human anatomy, with its lower end connected to and in sealed communication with said lower chamber, means for evacuating said lower chamber, the pair of gloves each having a reinforced sealing rim at the tive to the gloves positioned in said forms, said means for evacuating said lower chamber comprising an expandible bellows assembly having an upper and lower closure plate, means supporting wrist portion thereof, each of said gloves adapted Said bellows assembly in Said lower h b f for insertion into one of said forms with a said rein- Jacem upper end thfareof an openmg m forced sealing ring rim extending circumferentially .upper c lg p of f beHPWS assemtgly Openover the upper edge of said form opening to seal l olito Sal an actuatmg means or movsaid form and said upper chamber opening, so that mg Sal?! lower closure plaiqdownwardly to evacw when said lower chamber is evacuated said forms ate q an g cut'off Yalve in said upper chambers will be evacuated causing means. avmg mova Va p unger reclpro said gloves in said forms to expand outwardly Cally dlsposed m l Opening m the lowe'rplosuie against the internal surfaces of said forms perplate; a Stem on Sald valve .angagmg mitting the wearer to easily move his hands relaupper closure plate Pl retammg the valve 15 plunger in an open position when the bellows in intive to the gloves positioned in said forms, said means for evacuating said lower chamber comprisactive and movable to closed position when the lower closure plate is moved downwardly.

ing an expanible bellow assembly having an upper and lower closure plate, means supporting said bellows assembly in said lower chamber adjacent the upper end thereof, an opening in said upper 6. An apparatus for the sterile manipulation of gloves to attach and remove a pair of gloves from the hands of a wearer, comprising: I

housings frame having a first longitudinal housing closure plate of said bellows assembly opening onto said form, and actuating means for moving said lower closure plate downwardly to evacuate said form, an equalizing and cut-off valve means said disc closing the one closure plate opening when the bellows is actuated by moving the closure plates away from one another.

section and a second similar longitudinal housing section spaced therefrom, each of said hosings being tubular and defining upper and lower superimposed chambers in communication with one carried by one of the closure plates of said bellows another Said lower chamber being a vacuum assembly; said one closure plate having an openchamber, Said upper Chamber being open at the ing; a valve plunger reciprocably disposed in said top and each of said upper chambers containing a Opening; a Stem on Said Valve P g extendmg hollow open-topped form shaped to substantially toward the other of said closure plates of said bel- 3O resemble a truncated lower arm portion f the lows assembly to normally retain Said Valve human anatomy, with its lower end connected to Plunger in an p Position when the Stem abuts and in sealed communication with said lower said other closure plate at which the interior of the chamber, means f evacuating i lower bellows assembly Communicates the athamber the pair of gloves each having a rein mosphere; a disc attached to Said Valve P g forced sealing rim at the wrist portion thereof,

each of said gloves adapted for insertion into one of said forms with a said reinforced sealing ring rim extending circumferentially over the upper edge of 5. An apparatus for the sterile manipulation of gloves to attach and remove a pair of gloves from the hands of a wearer, comprising:

, a frame having a first longitudinal housing section said form opening to seal said form and said upper chamber opening, so that when said lower chamber is evacuated said forms in said upper chambers will be evacuated causing said gloves in and a second similar longitudinal housing section spaced therefrom, each of said housings being tubular and defining upper and lower superimposed chambers in communication with one another, said lower chamber being a vacuum chamber, said upper chamber being open at the top and each of said upper chambers containing a hollow opentopped form shaped to substantially resemble a truncated lower arm portion of the human anatomy, with its lower end connected to and in sealed communication with said lower chamber, means for evacuating said lower chamber, the pair of said forms to expand outwardly against the internal surfaces of said forms permitting the wearer to easily move his hands relative to the gloves positioned in said forms, said means for evacuating said lower chamber comprising an expandible bellows assembly having an upper and lower closure plate, means supporting said bellows assembly in said lower chamber adjacent the upper end thereof, an opening in said upper closure plate of said bellows assembly opening onto said form, and actuating means for moving said lower closure plate downwardly to evacuate said form, said acgloves each having a reinforced sealing rim at the mating means further including an attachment wrist portion thereof, each of said gloves adapted member extendmg from Sald lower end Plate for for insertion into one of said forms with a said rein- Operable attachment to a nua actuator to forced sealing ring rim extending circumferentially thereby 'fl g f bellows assembly agam 5t the Over h upper d f id f opening to Sea] force of said resilient member upon actuation of said form and said upper chamber opening, so that Sald actuaton 7. In the apparatus as defined in claim 6, said manual actuator comprising a foot treadle operably connected Said gloves in Said forms to expand outwardly to both said bellows assemblies in said first and second against the internal Surfaces of said foms pep housing sections for simultaneous operation of both.

mitting the wearer to easily move his hands relawhen said lower chamber is evacuated said forms in said upper chambers will be evacuated causing

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Classifications
U.S. Classification223/111, 2/162, 312/1
International ClassificationA47G25/90, A47G25/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G25/904
European ClassificationA47G25/90G