US 3805297 A
A sanitary mitten having the thumb stall and finger stall connected at the end to form a large hanging loop, the web between the thumb stall and the finger stall being reinforced to cause the sanitary mitten to hang with the lower margin open. The lower margin may additionally be cuffed to further bias the mitten toward the open position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Margolis 3,805,297 [451 Apr. 23, 1974 DISPOSABLE SANITARY MITTEN  Inventor: Hyman J. Margolis, 3036 N. 45th St., Milwaukee, Wis. 53210  Filed: Mar. 15, 1973  Appl. No.: 341,659
 US. Cl. 2/158  Int. Cl. A4ld 19/02  Field of Search 2/l58, 159, 160, 161R,
Primary Examiner-George V. Larkin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wheeler, Morsell, House & Wheeler 57 :ABSTRACT A sanitary mitten having the thumb stall and finger stall Connected at the endto form a large hanging loop, the web between the thumb stall and the finger stall being reinforced to cause the sanitary mitten to hangwith the lower margin open. The lower margin may additionally be cuffed to further bias the mitten toward the open position.
10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures /4 V 7, i a; ii //2, l 1 22 -66 i .1l 4; l a
DISPOSABLE SANITARY MITTEN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Known sanitary hand coverings are usually so expensive that they must be washed and reused, which is an expensive and frequently unsatisfactory procedure. Also, they are substantially always in the form of gloves which are expensive to manufacture and require a good deal of manipulation to put on. Such manipulation can itself be a source of infection since it is necessary to touch the outside surface. Frequently the assistance of a second person is required. At the same time, there is a need for a sanitary hand covering which is not only cheap enough for the general public to use, yet safe enough for use in hospitals both by personnel and by patients and which is convenient to remove, and reuse without any assistance whatever in putting the sanitary cover on the hand, either from other persons or from the other hand, in order to avoid contamination of the person by a surface which has touched other surfaces which are contaminated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION My invention consists of a sanitary mitten in which the thumb stall and the finger stall are joined at the very tip, to create an opening between the thumb and the fingers which may be used for hanging and reapplying the mitten. The opening is completely sealed from the interior of the mitten and therefore doesnot create a sanitary problem and is sufficiently large so that a door knob or the like may be used as a temporary storage place. The sanitary mittens of my invention are also provided with a reinforcement at the web between the thumband the forefinger. This stiffened area extends for about an inch on both sides of the seam. It holds the sides'of the sanitary mitten apart. An optional feature is a cuff at the wrist of the sanitary mitten which further holds open the sides of the mitten. In its preferred form the mitten is made from plastic film and may be generally rectangular in shape. The hole between the thumb and index finger is heat sealed completely around its margin and may be circular or non-circular. It preferably occupies most of the area between a thumb stall extending at a fairly sharp angle from the rest of the sanitary mitten, and the finger stall which is generally aligned with the wrist portion, in order for the hole to be large enough to encircle an object of substantial size such as a door knob. An optional feature is the. provision of small evaporation holes in surfaces of the sanitary mitten which are not used for grasping to permit evaporation and escape of heat from the hands in the event that mittens are used for prolonged periods.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of one illustrative sanitary mitten of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the sanitary mitten of FIG. 1 on a hand.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the sanitary mitten of FIG. I hung on a doorknob.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a second embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is an end view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Although the following description is detailed and exact to fully disclose the embodiment of my invention which I now regard as the best mode of practicing the invention, this description is intended as illustration rather than as limitation, the scope of my invention being defined in the claims. FIGS. 1 and 4 show one il- 12 and 13 of the plastic film in such position as to define a thumb stall 26 for the mitten 10. The entire periphery of the opening 22 is heat sealed at 23 to prevent contamination of the inside of mitten 10. The opening 22 is large enough to allow the mitten 10 to be hung from a doorknob 28, as shown in FIG. 3, and is positioned to permit entry of a hand, as shown in FIG. 2, with the thumb and fingers inserted in the appropriate stalls 24 and 26 respectively.
The bottom of the opening 22 is reinforced at 30 by heavier, stiffer, plastic material which tends to spread the two layers 12 and 13 of the mitten l0 apart at the bottom end 20 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 so that the hand can be inserted into the bottom end 20 of the mittouching the outside of the mittens.
In use, it is contemplated that the sanitary mittens of this invention would normally be hung up near the place where they are to be used, eg. on the knob of the bathroom door in a hospital room. The patient would slip the mittens on before entering the bathroom and use the mittens for opening the door and turning on the light, thereby avoiding contamination from touching the doorknob and light switch, which have been handled by former patients and by [hospital personnel. While in the bathroom, the mittens could be stored on the inside doorknob until the hands are washed, and then be slipped on again before leaving. The mittens could also be removed at other times when they are not needed and left hanging open for the next use by the same person.
In other applications, e.g. in a bakery, the mittens could be stored on a suitable hook or peg near the baked goods and be put on before handling the baked goods. The mittens would then be removed before handling the customers change. In many applications of the invention, the mittens are repeatedly put on and are then hung up, so it is important for the bottom end of the mittens to be biased partially open when they are hung up so that the mittens may be quickly and easily slipped on without touching their outside surface.
The bottom of the mitten may also be biased open by means of a resilient cuff, or by a partial cuff. FIGS. 5 and 6 show a second embodiment of the invention 32 which is reinforced by stiffening ribs 34 at the side corners of the bottom edge 36 of the mitten. Ribs 34 are heavier plastic portions which form a partial cuff and tend to hold the bottom end 36 of mitten 32 open when it is hung up. This embodiment has an opening 38 which is heat sealed at 40 and is reinforced at 42 by heavier plastic material which tends to help spread the bottom end 36 open. The opening 38 is positioned to divide the mitten into a thumb stall 44 and a finger stall 46. In this embodiment, the reinforced portion 42 is extended upwardly at 48 along the thumb stall 44 so as to tend to hold the thumb stall 44 open. This is not an essential feature of the invention, but it is helpful since it allows the thumb to slip in more easily. This embodiment is also reinforced at 50 and 52 by heavier plastic material which tends to spread the sides of the mitten and thus makes it easier to slip the thumb and fingers into their corresponding stalls 44 and 46. The reinforcements or stiffeners at 50 and 52 also help to keep the lower end 36 of the mitten in the open condition, and greatly stiffen the mitten against lateral flopping which would prevent easy hanging and removal or insertion of the hand.
The plastic material used for the mittens l and 32 is preferably water impervious and therefore it may be desirable to'form ventilation holes in the back side of the mitten such as indicated at 54 in FIG. 2. The sur face with which articles are touched is unperforated. The holes are not an essential feature of the invention, but are helpful in hot weather or when the mittens are used for prolonged periods.
In both of the above described embodiments, the space between the thumb stall and the finger stall is closed at its outer end by a strip of material which joins the outer end of the thumb stall to the outer end of the finger stall. This strip is shown at 25 in FIG. 1 and at 45 in FIG. 5. The strips 25 and 45 are important because they provide the supporting means by which the mitten may be hung from a doorknob or from a similar support.
In the manufacture of the above described embodiments of the invention, the side margins may be joined together by being heat sealed or cemented together or by being part of the same sheet of material. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the two layers 12 and 13 may be integrally joined at margin 14 and heat sealed at margins 16 and 18. Alternately, the layers 12 and 13 could be integrally joined at margins 16 and 18 and heat sealed at margin 14, or may be heat sealed at all three margins l4, l6 and 18. Any method of sealing which is convenient and effective may be employed in connection with this invention. The reinforcing material at 30, 34, 42, 50, and 52 may be heat sealed to plastic layers 12 and 13 or may be attached thereto by a suitable cement. The opening 22 may be oblong in shape as shown or it may be circular, square, or any convenient shape. The mitten may be rectangular in shape as shown or may be rounded at the end corners if desired. These and other modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and this invention ineludes all modifications falling within the scope of the following claims.
1. In a sanitary hand covering made of two adjacent layers of plastic film material having sides and one end at which the layers are sealed to each other and having free unsealed margins forming an open end for receiving a hand, a thumb stall for receiving a thumb, and a finger stall for receiving a group of fingers, the improvement wherein the material forming the distal end of the thumb stall is joined to the material forming the adjacent distal end of the finger stall to provide a strip of material from which the hand covering may be hung, and further comprising biasing means normally urging the layers of said hand covering away from each other at said open end to permit a hand to be easily inserted into said open end.
2. A sanitary hand covering asdefined in claim 1 wherein said biasing means comprises stiffening material added between said thumb stall and said finger stall at the lower margin of the opening therebetween.
3. A sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 1 wherein said biasing means comprises stiffening material secured along the margin forming said open end.
4. A sanitary covering as defined in claim 1 wherein said biasing means comprises stiffening material added to the closed end of the thumb stall and finger stall portions of the covering.
5. A sanitary hand covering constructed of a pair of layers of a thin film of water impervious material, said layers of material being joined together in the plane of the hand in a continuous line extending from one side of the wrist around the hand to the other side of the wrist,the area of the hand covering which comprises the thumb stall being separated from the remainder of the hand covering by an opening of substantial size between said thumb stall and said remainder of the covering, the margins of the opening being entirely enclosed by the material of said film, the margins of said opening being sealed to secure the two layers of said material to each other and exclude contamination, the area of said covering between the said thumb stall and the portion which receives the fingers and which bears against the base of the thumb and the first finger in use being stiffened with additional material in a direction at right angles to the seam, said stiffening constituting biasing means to tend to separate the layers of material forming the palm and the back of the hand covering.
6. A sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 5 wherein said opening is large enough to fit over a doorknob.
7. A sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 5 in which wrist portion of said hand covering is stiffened with additional material in a direction at right angles to the open end of said wrist portion, said stiffening constituting biasing means tending to hold the end of said wrist portion open.
8. A sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 5 in which a portion of said continuous seam is stiffened with additional material in a direction at right angles thereto, said stiffening constituting biasing means to tend to separate the layers of material forming the palm and the back of the hand covering.
9. Sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 5 and further comprising a plurality of relatively small ventilation openings formed in the layer of material that constitutes the back of the hand covering.
10. A sanitary hand covering as defined in claim 5 wherein said hand covering is generally rectangular in shape, said opening being formed within said rectangular shape and being completely surrounded thereby.