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Publication numberUS3881471 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1975
Filing dateMay 20, 1974
Priority dateMay 20, 1974
Publication numberUS 3881471 A, US 3881471A, US-A-3881471, US3881471 A, US3881471A
InventorsGrube Clifford E
Original AssigneeAss Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydrotherapy foot bath
US 3881471 A
Abstract
The improved hydrotherapy foot bath disclosed provides comforting and refreshing hydro-massage for feet and the like. The foot bath comprises a molded plastic body including a tub compartment and a second, separate compartment. The tub compartment has side and bottom walls and is adapted to hold a volume of water that affords hydro-massage action. The second compartment is isolated from the tub compartment so as to prevent the ingress of water from the tub compartment into the second compartment and houses a conventional electromagnetic coil type vibrator. The vibrator is mounted in the second compartment so as to impart vibratory motion to the walls of the tub compartment. This vibratory motion causes the continuous formation of multitudinous, relatively small waves in the water in the tub compartment which in turn afford the hydro-massage action. A pair of arch support pads are mounted in the bottom wall of the tub compartment so as to provide support for the feet of a person using the bath.
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United States Patent [191 Grube May 6,1975

[ HYDROTHERAPY FOOT BATH [75] Inventor: Clifford E. Grube, Niles, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Associated Mills, Incorporated, Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: May 20, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 471,455

Primary ExaminerLawrence W. Trapp Attorney, Agent, or FirmMolinare, Allegretti, Newitt & Witcoff [57] ABSTRACT The improved hydrotherapy foot bath disclosed provides comforting and refreshing hydro-massage for feet and the like. The foot bath comprises a molded plastic body including a tub compartment and a second, separate compartment. The tub compartment has side and bottom walls and is adapted to hold a volume of water that affords hydro-massage action. The second compartment is isolated from the tub compartment so as to prevent the ingress of water from the tub compartment into the second compartment and houses a conventional electromagnetic coil type vibrator. The vibrator is mounted in the second compartment so as to impart vibratory motion to the walls of the tub compartment. This vibratory motion causes the continuous formation of multitudinous, relatively small waves in the water in the tub compartment which in turn afford the hydro-massage action. A pair of arch support pads are mounted in the bottom wall of the tub compartment so as to provide support for the feet of a person using the bath.

PATENTEUHAY' ems 3,881 #171 SHEET 1 OF 2 HYDROTHERAPY FOOT BATH BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an improved hy- 5 drotheraphy bath and more particularly, to an improved hydrotheraphy foot bath for providing comforting and refreshing hydro-massage for the feet and the like.

The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath of the present invention comprises a substantially unitary, molded plastic, body having a first, upwardly open tub compartment and a second closed, separate compartment. The size and shape of the tub compartment are such that a persons feet or elbow, forearm, wrist and hand can be easily placed therein, and the tub compartment is adapted to hold a relatively large volume of water, i.e., sufficient water to cover a persons feet or elbow, forearm, wrist and hand when they are resting in the tub compartment.

The tub compartment is defined by a substantially flat bottom wall and side wall. The second compartment is isolated from the tub compartment by bottom, side and top walls so as to prevent the ingress of the water in the tub compartment into the second compartment. A conventional electro-magnetic coil type vibrator is disposed in the second compartment and is adapted, when actuated, to impart vibratory motion to the walls of the bath and thus to the walls of the tub compartment. This vibratory motion produces thousands of active waves in the water, and these multitudinous waves help refresh and relax hot tired feet and the like.

A pair of arch support pads are mounted in the bottom wall of the tub compartment adjacent to the middle of the compartment. The pads are spaced apart, side by side, so that a persons feet can rest comfortably within the tub compartment while the arch of each foot is individually supported by an arch support pad.

The arch support pads are made of molded resilient plastic, and their upper surfaces are contoured to generally conform to the arch of a foot. The bottom or undersurface of the arch support pads are generally flat except for an integral, nipple-like portion which depends from the center of the undersurface. A pair of spaced apart recesses are formed in the bottom wall of the tub compartment. Each recess is designed to receive a nipple-like portion of an arch support pad and has at least two, relatively thin, inwardly directed projections integrally formed adjacent to the upper, open end of the recess. These projections serve to releasably retain a nipple-like portion of a pad within the recess in such a manner that the pads can be easily removed.

The upper surface of the bottom wall of the tub compartment and the top wall of the second compartment have an anti-skid texturized finish formed thereon. This anti-skid finish minimizes the chances of a person slipping while stepping into or out of the bath.

The body of the improved hydrotheraphy bath has an attractive and pleasing design and shape. Because of its unitary, molded construction and because it requires only one moving part, a conventional electro-magnetic coil type vibrator, the improved hydrotheraphy bath of the present invention is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and maintain. This affords a significant commercial marketing advantage.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved hydrotheraphy foot bath wherein hydromassage action for the feet and the like is afforded that helps soothe away minor aches, pains and tension.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved hydrotheraphy foot bath of the type described wherein the improved bath comprises a molded plastic body having a tub compartment adapted to hold a relatively large volume of water and a separate compartment isolated from the tub compartment so that water in the tub compartment cannot leak into the separate compartment; wherein an electro-magnetic coil type vibrator is mounted in the separate compartment so that when the vibrator is actuated, multitudinous relatively small waves are continuously formed in the water in the tub compartment whereby these waves afford hydro-massage action; wherein a pair of spaced apart, resilient arch support pads are detachably mounted in the bottom of the tub compartment; and wherein the upper surfaces of the arch support pads are contoured to generally conform to the arch of a foot. A related object of the present invention is to provide an improved hydrotheraphy bath of the type described wherein an integral nipple-like portion depends from the otherwise substantially flat undersurface of an arch support pad; wherein the bottom of the tub compart ment includes a pair of spaced apart recesses therein which are adapted to releasably receive the nipple-like portions of the arch support pads; wherein at least two relatively thin, inwardly directed projections are integrally formed adjacent to the upper open end of each recess; and wherein these projections serve to releasably retain a nipple-like portion of an arch support pad within the recess.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved hydrotheraphy bath of the type described wherein the bottom of the tub compartment of the bath has an anti-skid texturized surface formed thereon; and wherein the electromagnetic coil type vibrator includes means for selectively controlling the frequency of the vibrations imparted to the water in the tub compartment.

These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a view of one end of embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a view of the other end of the embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along the line 77 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the recess formed in the bottom of the tub compartment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath of the present invention, as designated by the section line 9 in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a view similar to that of FIG. 9 except that an arch support pad is shown detachably mounted in the recess and that the recess has been rotated 90 from the position shown in FIG. 9.

Throughout the various figures of the drawings, the same reference numerals will be used to designate the same parts of the improved hydrotheraphy foot bath of the present invention. Moreover, when the terms right, left, upper, lower, bottom or top are used herein, it is to be understood that these terms have reference to the structure shown in the drawings as it would appear to a person viewing the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An improved hydrotheraphy foot bath of the present invention, generally indicated at 21, comprises a molded, body 23 which is preferably made from a relatively strong, stain resistant plastic material. The body 23 includes an upwardly open tub compartment 25 which is adapted to hold a relatively large volume of water and a second, separate compartment 27 which is best shown in FIG. 7 and which is isolated from the tub compartment 25 so as to prevent the ingress of water from the tub compartment into the second compartment 27. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 7, the tub compartment 25 is of such a size and shape as to permit a person to rest both his feet or his elbow, forearm, wrist and hand therein while submerged in water in the tub compartment 25.

The body 23 includes a continuous, generally vertically disposed side wall 29 and an integral substantially flat, horizontally disposed bottom wall 31. A continuous lip 33 is integrally formed on the upper end of the side wall 29 about the exterior of the body 23. Five support members 35 are mounted on the lower surface of the bottom wall 31 and are utilized to support the bath 21 on and above a generally horizontal surface.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 7 and 8, an interior, generally vertically disposed wall 37 extends across one end of the bath 21. A generally, horizontally disposed top wall 39 extends from the upper end of the interior wall 37 to the adjacent side wall 29. The interior wall 37 and top wall 39 are integral with the bottom and side walls 29 and 31. A trough 41 is integrally formed between the side wall 29 and the adjacent edge of the wall 39. The trough 41 is designed to convey water back to the tub compartment 25 which is defined by the side wall 29, bottom wall 31 and the interior wall 37.

The second compartment 27 is defined by the interior wall 37 and the top wall 39, together with a separate, removable curved wall 43. A pair of screws 45 are used to secure the wall 43 to the bottom wall 31 so that the wall 43 will remain in the position shown in FIG. 7.

A conventional, electro-magnetic coil type vibrator 47 is mounted in the second compartment 27. More specifically, conventional mountings 49 are utilized to attach the vibrator 47 to the interior wall 37 so that actuation or operation of the vibrator 47 will impart vibratory motion to the interior wall 37 and thus to the side wall 29 and bottom wall 39 of the bath 21. This vibratory motion will cause the continuous formation of of multitudinous, relatively small waves in the water in the tub compartment whereby the water affords a hydro-massaging action. The vibrator 47 is connected with a source of electrical current, via cord 51. A conventional switch 53 controls the operation, or actuation, of the vibrator 47 and may be used to selectively control the frequency of the vibrations imparted to the walls of the tub compartment 25.

An anti-skid, texturized surface 55 is formed on the upper surface of the bottom wall 31 and on a portion of the upper surface of the top wall 39. This surface 55 minimizes the possibility that a person may slip as they are stepping into or out of the bath 21 and also adds to the pleasing or attractive appearance of the bath 21.

A pair of recesses 57 are formed in the bottom wall 31 adjacent the center thereof. As best illustrated in FIGS. 6-10, the recesses 57 have a generally eliptical, transverse cross-section, and each of the recesses 57 has a pair of relatively thin, inwardly directed (with respect to the longitudinal vertical axis of the recess), integral projections 59 formed thereon adjacent to the upper end of the recess and adjacent to the minor axis of the eliptical cross-section.

A pair of arch support pads 61 are adapted to be detachably mounted on the bottom wall 31 of the tub compartment 25 so as to provide support for the arches of a person resting his feet in the tub compartment 25. More specifically, the pads 61 are made from a soft resilient plastic material and have contoured, upper surfaces 63 which generally conform to the arch of a foot. The undersurfaces 65 of the pads are generally fiat so as to conform with the upper surface of the bottom wall 31, except that each pad has a depending, nipple-like portion 67 formed in the middle of the undersurface 65. Each of these nipple-like portions 67 has a size and shape which permits it to be facilely inserted within a recess 57. The projections 59 function to detachably retain the nipple-like portion 67 within the recesses 57 unless and until the pads 61 are positively lifted or removed from the bottom wall 31. As shown in FIG. 2, the recesses 57, and thus the pads 61, are spaced apart a sufficient distance so as to permit a person to simultaneously rest both his feet on the pads 61 in the tub compartment 25.

In view of the foregoing it should be apparent that the improved hydrotheraphy bath of the present invention affords important commercially attractive advantages. The body 23 has clean pleasing lines. Moreover, the body 23 can be substantially, completely made from a single molding operation and since the vibrator assembly is the only mechanical parts required, the bath can be manufactured and maintained relatively inexpensively.

It should also be apparent to those having ordinary skill in this art that various features of the embodiment of the improved hydrotheraphy bath described herein may be modified. For example, the body 23 could be fabricated from a plurality of separate members, and the switch 53 could be a simple off-on switch. Therefore since the invention disclosed herein may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof, the preferred embodiment of the invention described herein is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims, rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

I claim:

1. An improved hydrotheraphy foot bath for providing comforting and refreshing hydro-massage for feet and the like comprising:

a body including an upwardly open tub compartment and second separate, closed compartment, the tub compartment having a side wall and a relatively flat bottom wall and being adapted to hold a volume of water;

wall means for isolating the second compartment from the tub compartment so as to prevent ingress of water from the tub compartment into the closed compartment;

means detachably mounted on the bottom wall of the tub compartment for providing support for the arches of a persons foot disposed in the tub compartment; and

means for selectively imparting vibratory motion to the walls of the tub compartment so as to cause the continuous formation of multitudinous, relatively small waves in the water in the tub compartment whereby the water affords hydro-massaging action.

2. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim ll wherein the arch support means includes two, spaced apart, resilient pads; and wherein each arch support pad is detachably mounted on the bottom wall of the tub compartment.

3. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 2 wherein the upper surfaces of the pads are contoured to generally conform to the arch of a foot; and wherein the undersurfaces of the pads generally conform to the upper surface of the bottom wall of the tub compartment.

4. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 2 wherein the bottom wall of the tub compartment includes two, spaced apart recesses therein; wherein the undersurface of each of the pads has a nipple-like portion depending therefrom which is adapted to fit snugly within a recess; and wherein the recesses each include means for releasably retaining the projec tions therein.

5. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 4 wherein the upper surfaces of the pads are contoured to generally conform to the arch of a foot; and wherein the undersurfaces of the pads, except for the depending portion, generally conform to the upper surface of the bottom wall of the tub compartment.

6. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 5 wherein the body is made from plastic; wherein the bottom wall of the ,tub compartment has an anti-skid, texturized surface formed thereon; wherein the vibration imparting means is an electro-magnetic coil type vibrator unit; and wherein the vibrator unit includes means for selectively controlling the frequency of the vibrations imparted to the walls of the tub compartment.

7. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 1 wherein the body is made from plastic; and wherein the bottom wall of the tub compartment has an anti-skid, texturized surface formed thereon.

8. The improved hydrotheraphy foot bath described in claim 1 wherein the vibration imparting means is an electromagnetic coil type vibrator unit; and wherein the vibrator unit includes means for selectively controlling the frequency of the vibrations imparted to the walls of the tub compartment.

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Referenced by
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US3925830 *Mar 17, 1975Dec 16, 1975Delaney Francis BudFoot shower and spray device
US3965495 *Jun 2, 1975Jun 29, 1976Dazey Products CompanyHydrotherapy foot tub having heating and massaging means
US4057053 *May 4, 1976Nov 8, 1977Clairol IncorporatedFoot bath massager
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Classifications
U.S. Classification601/158, D24/213
International ClassificationA61H23/02, A61H35/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H35/006, A61H23/0218
European ClassificationA61H23/02F, A61H35/00F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 26, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: POLLENEX CORPORATION A MISSOURI CORPORATION
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:POLLENEX CORPORATION, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION (FORMERLYKNOWN AS ASSOCIATED MILLS, INC.);REEL/FRAME:006631/0318
Owner name: POLLENEX CORPORATION, A MISSOURI CORPORATION
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:ODYSSEY INVESTORS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006631/0310
Effective date: 19930430
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK;REEL/FRAME:006631/0305
Oct 4, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF CHICAGO, THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ASSOCIATED MILLS, INC., A CORP. OF IL;REEL/FRAME:005866/0178
Effective date: 19910927
Owner name: HARRIS TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, A CORP. OF IL
Owner name: ODYSSEY INVESTORS, INC.,, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ASSOCIATED MILLS, INC., A CORP. OF IL;REEL/FRAME:005866/0187