US 3711958 A
A dryer, particularly for drying the body of a person, includes a toweling in the form of an absorbent material which is preferably porous and is arranged around or adjacent fan or blower in a position such that the fan may direct a drying fluid which is advantageously heated air against one side of the toweling while an article or a person is arranged at the opposite side in contact with the towelling so as to be dried thereby. The toweling advantageously includes one or more layers or a single layer having pores preferably such that there is some degree of flow-through of the air but there is sufficient resistance to the air flow so that the toweling bellows out and the drying surface is enlarged. In one arrangement the dryer includes a platform or stand with fan-supporting brackets on each side of the stand, each of which support a generally hemispherical-shaped toweling around the discharge of the fan and a heater associated therewith. The size of the toweling is such that when the fans are operated the two towelings balloon outwardly from opposite sides of the platform and intersect centrally over the platform at a position in which a person would normally stand to be dried. The platform advantageously includes means for turning on and off the fan or heater and for illuminating the toweling with an ordinary white or a multi-colored light as desired.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Lepage  DRYING DEVICE  Inventor: Marc D. Lepage, 209 West 109th Street, Apt. 3-W, New York, NY. 10036  Filed: March 25, 1970  Appl. No.: 22,540
 US. Cl. ..34/88, 34/95, 34/239, 34/243  Int. Cl ..F26b 19/00  Field of Search...-. ..34/9, 17, 71, 95, 243, 88, 34/239, D16. 1; 4/158; 15/308, 100, 3.1, 3.16, 3.17
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,592,444 4/1952 Matelena ..40/214 X 3,536,906 10/1970 Bloom ..240/10 C 1,065,806 11/1926 Briggs et a1. ..55/378 X 1,214,234 l/l917 Skinner ..34/71 2,127,121 3/1938 Kelley ..34/99 X 3,189,929 6/1965 Koppehele ..15/308 2,714,151 7/1955 Becker ...34/88 X 1,685,345 9/1928 Voss .34/243 rilllllll 1 Jan. 23, 1973  ABSTRACT A dryer, particularly for drying the body of a person, includes a toweling in the form of an absorbent material which is preferably porous and is arranged around or adjacent fan or blower in a position such that the fan may direct a drying fluid which is advantageously heated air against one side of the toweling while an article or a person is arranged at the opposite side in contact with the towelling so as to be dried thereby. The toweling advantageously includes one or more layers or a single layer having pores preferably such that there is some degree of flowthrough of the air but there is sufficient resistance to the air flow so that the toweling bellows out and the drying surface is enlarged. In one arrangement the dryer includes a platform or stand with fan-supporting brackets on each side of the stand, each of which support a generally hemispherical-shaped toweling around the discharge of the fan and a heater associated therewith. The size of the toweling is such that when the fans are operated the two towelings balloon outwardly from opposite sides of the platform and intersect centrally over the platform at a position in which a person would normally stand to be dried. The platform advantageously includes means for turning on and off the fan or heater and for illuminating the toweling with an ordinary white or a multi-colored light as desired.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures LIGHT PATENTEDJMZs I975 3.711.958
INVENTOR. MAVEC 0. di /46E ATTORNE/S' DRYING DEVICE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates in general to the construction of dryers and in particular to a new useful dryer particularly for a person which includes means for directing a drying gas such as air against or through a toweling material which is adapted to be positioned with its opposite side in contact with the article or person to be dried.
With the highly improved constructions of the present day sanitary systems and bath arrangements there is an increasing tendency to use elaborate fixtures for toning the body as well as for facilitating the whole aspect of body care. One essential need is a drying arrangement for facilitating the drying of a person after a bath which will be efficient in operation and simple and pleasant to use. In order to satisfy such a need the present invention provides a drying device which comprises toweling in the form of a fabric which is arranged so that a drying fluid such as air may be directed against one side while a person or an article to be dried may be arranged on the opposite side in a position to contact this opposite side and to be dried both by the absorbent toweling material and by the drying fluid.
In a preferred arrangement of the invention the apparatus includes a dryer in the form ofa fabric or cloth which is arranged at the discharge of a fan and heater and is advantageously made of a material which is porous at least to some degree so that the action of the fan against the material causes it to balloon outwardly and present an enlarged billowing drying surface out of the pores of which the drying fluid may exit. Two of the generally hemispherical-shaped towelings are arranged in opposition on an upright stand at a position such that when they are fully extended they intersect substantially centrally over a platform which is provided for the user of the device. A fan or heater is advantageously associated with each hemispherical piece of drying material and when the fan is actuated, such as by a person stepping on the platform, the two opposite balloon or like portions of the dryer intersect centrally and against the body of the person standing on the platform to provide a drying action. The drying may be completed by moving of the person in association with the toweling and by presenting all of the parts of the body adjacent to the toweling. The drying proceeds with a pleasant sensation and the complete operation is thorough and efficient and may be accomplished in a short period of time. The esthetic appearance of the device is enchanced by the provision of multicolored light within the material which, for example, may be tuned for the temperature of the operating heater so as to provide a visual concept of the drying operation.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to. provide an improved dryer which includes a toweling which is arranged at the discharge of a fan in a position to bellow out by the operation of the fan and which presents a drying surface on the side opposite from the fan.
A further object of the invention is to provide a drying apparatus which includes a platform for a person arranged between two balloon-like toweling parts, each of which is acted upon by a fan blowing in a direction toward the center of the platform to cause the two towelings to substantially intersect at the center of the platform so as to dry a person positioned on a platform between the two towelings.
A further object of the invention is to provide a drying device which includes a toweling material such as a fabric and preferably one which has some pores which is arranged in a form of a hemisphere around a central fan and heater in a position to cause the discharge of the fan to make the toweling bellow outwardly, the toweling material advantageously being such that it will absorb moisture and will permit the free drying action of the drying fluid to act upon an article or a person positioned there against.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dryer which is simple in design, rugged in construction and economical to manufacture.
The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.
IN THE DRAWINGS:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the view partly in section of a drying apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention; and
FIG. 2 is an end elevation of view of the drying apparatus.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings in particular the invention embodied therein in FIG. 1 comprises a drying device, generally designated 10 which includes a central platform generally designated 12 arranged centrally between two upright members or stands 14 and 16 of a supporting stand generally designated 18 which is arranged to extend outwardly from each end of the platform 12.
In accordance with the invention each stand 14 and 16 includes spaced upright elements 20 and 22 which provide a support for a fan bracket 24 which carries a fan motor 26 and a rotatable fan or blower 28. A wired grill 30 provides a protection at the exterior side of the fan 28. A heater 32 is advantageously supported at the discharge of the fan in a position to cause a heating element 34 therein to heat the air which is blown in a direction of the arrows 36 of FIG. I from the exterior of the device through the heater.
Each stand 14 and 16 also includes an annular member 38 which provides an external guide or support for balloon-like toweling 40 and a fan shroud or cover portion 42.
The toweling 40 is advantageously made of a material which will be normally limp when there is no air flowing through the fan but will bellow out into a substantially hemispherical form as indicated in FIG. I when the fans are directing a drying fluid against one side thereof. In a preferred form the toweling 40, forexample, may comprise a textile material of one or more layers with an exterior or drying surface made of a material which has absorbent qualities, for example, a terry-cloth material. In the preferred form the material is such that there is some flow-through of the drying fluid so that the drying fluid such as heated air will exit through the many pores of the material at the drying surface and provide a rapid drying action on the person or article to be dried.
As in the embodiment of the device illustrated the platform 12 includes a central stand or plate 44 of a size to easily accommodate a person standing in an upright position as'indicated by the bather 46. The plate 44 is advantageously supported on an annular member such as an inner tube 47 which is inflated and which will permit some deflection of the plate 44 so as to actuate a button 48 of a switch 50 which is connected through leads 52 to an electrical supply and through the fan motor 26. The heater coil 34 may also advantageously be connected to the switch 50 for actuation thereby when the person stands on the platform 44.
In order to enchance the appearance and the esthetic use value of the device it advantageously includes a lighting system generally designated 54 which provides an interior light within the toweling 40. For this purpose the lighting system 54 may advantageously include a thermostatic or other control device (not shown) for causing a variation of the color of the light in accordance with such things as time of use, intensity of air flow, temperature of air flow, etc.
When a person such as the bather 46, wishes to use p the device, she merely steps on the platform 44 to actuate both the heater coil 34 and the fan blower 26 and this causes the material 40 to blossom out from a limp position into the balloon-like hemispherical configuration indicated in the drawings so that a major portion of the exterior drying surface of the material moves against the person 46 and provides an immediate drying action. in addition, the person may move backwardly and forwardly in respect to the two separate and opposed hemispherical portions 40,40 in order to enchance the drying action and to provide a pleasant warm and drying sensation.
What is claimed is:
l. A dryer comprising platform means, including a stand portion on each side of a central platform, a balloon-like toweling mounted on each of said stand portions, having a ballooning portion extending outwardly toward said platform, a fan mounted on said platform within each of said balloon-like portions for blowing drying air into said balloon-like portions to cause inflation thereof and outward movement toward the center of said platform.
2. A dryer according to claim 1, including heating means associated with said fan for heating a fluid directed into said balloon-like portions.
3. A dryer according to claim I, wherein said balloon-like' portions are made of a material having pores permitting the flow of the drying fluid therethrough.
4. A dryer according to claim 1, wherein said platform means includes a central platform plate for accommodating a person between said balloon-like portions of said toweling, means resiliently supporting said plate for movement of said plate by the weight of the person standing thereon, and switch means operated by movement of said plate and connected to said fan means for actuating said fan when a person steps on said plate.
5. A dryer as claimed in claim 4, including light means located within at least one of said balloon-like portions, said balloon-like portions intersecting substantially centrally over said plate, when said fan is operating in a location to contact the body of the person standing on said platform.
6. An ornamental light fixture comprising a support frame, a foldable porous bag secured peripherally to said frame in an unencased location, light means mounted within said bag on said frame for illuminating said bag, and fan means associated with said frame and arranged to discharge into said bag to cause the inflation and erection thereof.
7. An appliance according to claim 6, wherein said light means comprises a lamp located within said frame and illuminating said bag from the interior.
8. An ornamental light fixture comprising a support frame, a foldable porous bag secured peripherally to said support frame in an unencased location, a colored light mounted within said bag on said frame and directed toward said bag and illuminating said bag with a colored light which extends through the material of said bag, and fan means associated with said frame and arranged to discharge into said bag to cause the inflation and erection thereof.
9. A heating appliance comprising a support frame, a porous foldable bag secured peripherally to said support frame in an unencased location, said bag being exposed in the atmosphere and being fully erectable outwardly from said frame, a heater within said frame and fan means associated with said frame and arranged to discharge through said heater and into said bag to cause the inflation and erection thereof and the discharge of heated air therethrough.
10. An ornamental light fixture comprising a support frame, a foldable porous bag secured peripherally in said frame in an unencased location, said frame being tubular and said bag being a tubular bag and having an open end which is secured to the top of said frame and which when deflated collapses, an electric light in said bag and fan means associated with said frame and arranged to discharge into said bag to cause the inflation and erection thereof to form said bag upright as a continuation of said frame.
11. An appliance according to claim 10, including a light carried on the interior of said frame illuminating said bag.
12. A dryer for persons, comprising a porous toweling material forming a bag having an opened end, a frame, said toweling material being mounted on said frame with its open end sealed around said frame and located in an unencased open position for exposure of an outer surface thereof in the atmosphere for contact by a person to be dried, said bag of toweling material being fully extendible in front of said frame, an electric heater mounted with said frame and fan means for directing air through said heater and against the inner surface of said toweling material to cause the toweling material to bellow outwardly to erect said bag and to present the opposite outer surface thereof for drying contact with the person to be dried.
13. A dryer according to claim 12, wherein said toweling material comprises a balloon-like form of a toweling having pores permitting flow of the drying fluid therethrough.
16. A dryer according to claim 12, wherein said toweling comprises first and second substantially hemispherical toweling parts arranged in opposition, said fan means including a separate fan arranged to direct a drying air through said hemispherical toweling portions from opposite directions toward the center, said toweling material portions being capable of billowing outwardly from opposite directions toward each other.