US 2911660 A
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Nov. 10, 1959 s, KLEMAS ETAL POWER TOOTH BRUSH Filed Sept. 16, 1957 FIG. 4
u INVENTORF my 0%? (xi/I45 .M/lif/KX rf/f MW; m 64% BY MM United States- Patent POWER TOOTH BRUSH Seymour Klemas, James R. Kaye, and Lowell M. Kaye, Bronx, N.Y.
Application September '16, 1957, Serial No. 684,030
'"1 Claim. (CI. 15-28) This invention relates to improvement in motor powered tooth brushes and other implements used to clean the teeth and mouth that are adapted for home usage.
Conventional devices of this class are generally made with a motor driven shaft in geared engagement with a mouth cleaning instrument such as a tooth brush, gum massager, etc. The cleaning instrument generally comprises a shaft which extends at right angles to the motor shaft. Such an arrangement necessitates a complicated bulky gearing arrangement to transmit rotary motion from the motor shaft to the cleaning instrument shaft, disposed at right angles thereto. Consequently an expensive unwieldy assembly results which is not feasible for ordinary home usage.
In the instant invention a simplified organization is provided which is suitable for home use both in its operation and its cost.
In brief the novel construction comprises a housing containing small batteries which are electrically connected to a motor whose axis is at right angles to the housing axis. The motor drives a shaft which is axially coupled to a mouth cleaning tool such as a tooth brush. Thus the motor drives the tool axially and there is no need for gears to elfect a right angle transmission. A more compact device results which is more practical for home usage.
The invention also contemplates other improvements such as an improved switch to actuate the motor, and a flexible rotary drive shaft for the cleaning tool which is adjustable to permit better access to various parts of the mouth.
The main inventive object is therefore the provision of a motor driven mouth treating tool which is of simplified construction and which involves a minimum fabrication cost.
A more specific important object of this invention is the provision of a motor powered rotary mouth treating tool whose axis of rotation is in alignment with the axis of the motor shaft.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a motor driven mouth treating tool powered by batteries and controlled by a simplified switch.
A further inventive object is the provision of a flexible driving shaft for the above described device which can be adjusted to assume various angular positions relative to the motor shaft.
Additional objects and novel features of this invention will become clearer from the following detailed description, claim and accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a side elevation of the invention showing the preferred embodiment.
Figure 2 is a front elevation of the device of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a side elevation of a form of gum massaging tool.
Figure 4 is a similar view of another form of massaging tool.
Figure 5 is a partial section of the connection between the driving shaft and the driven shaft of the cleaning tool.
Figure 6 is a partial side view of another form of the invention provided with an adjustable neck.
Figure 7 is a partial sectional view showing details of the construction of the adjustable neck of Figure 6.
Figure 8 is an end elevation of the device of Figure 1 showing details of the switch.
In Figures 1 and 2 the preferred embodiment is seen to comprise a tubular housing 10 containing axially aligned batteries 11 and 12. At the forward end of the housing an integral head 13 is provided at right angles to the housing. A rigid casing neck 14 is removably coupled axially to the head 13 by means of the coupling flange 15 and screws 16. A small motor 17 is disposed within head 13 with the axis of its driving shaft 18 at right angles to the axis of housing 10. Shaft 18 projects concentrically through neck 14 and is provided at the outer end with a clutch 19 to which the shaft 20 of mouth treating 'tool 21 is removably connected to, as will be described in more detail. Tool 21 just clears the end 22 of neck 14 sufiiciently to permit rotation but not sufliciently to permit contact between the users mouth and the shaft. The curved elongated lines of neck 14 facilitates insertion into the mouth and precludes any possible injurious contacts between the rotating shafts and the mouth. Plastics, metals or other suitable materials may be used to fabricate the neck.
One end of motor 17 is electrically connected to a pole 23 of the batteries and the other end to the metallic housing 10 at 24. The rear battery 12 makes contact with a metallic spring conductor 25 which in turn is connected to a terminal 26 which projects thru an insulator 27. Insulator 27 is pressed by spring 25 against an end Wall 26 and is attached to an actuating knob 27 that projects through a metallic conductor wall 26A. Terminal 26 extends through insulator 27 into a slot 28 formed in wall 26A. It is to be noted that housing 10 electrically connects motor 17 to wall 26A.
The electric circuit is completed when terminal 26 contacts the walls of slot 28. When this condition occurs, electric current will flow from the batteries thru pole 23 into motor 17 then, via contact 24, into housing 10 and wall 26A which thru terminal 26 conducts the.
current thru spring 25 into the batteries. In Figure 8 the off position is shown wherein terminal 26 is in the center of slot 28 and hence not in electrical contact with wall 26A. Clockwise rotation of the knob 27 will cause terminal 26 to contact wall 26A at 29 which corresponds to the on position.
Wall 26 is integrally connected to a cap 30 which is removably atfixed about the end of housing 10 by means of a bayonet slot arrangement 31 (see Figure 2). When cap 30 is secured to the housing, spring 25 abuts battery 12.
1 In Figure 5, the clutch 19 for connecting shaft 20 to motor shaft 18, is more clearly shown to comprise a detent 32 which projects into a bore 33 formed axially through shaft 18 for the purpose of snugly receiving shaft 20. Detent 32 is connected to a spring 34 which is secured to the walls of clutch 19 by a screw 35. Detent 32 is slidably disposed in a slot 36 which intersects bore 33. The spring normally holds the detent within bore 33. Insertion of shaft 20 into bore 33 forces detent 32 slightly outward of bore 33 due to beveled surface 37. Further insertion causes the detent to enter. socket 38 under the influence of spring 34. The engagement between detent 32 and the walls of socket 38 is sufficient to transfer rotary motion from shaft 18 to shaft 20 and hence drive tool 21 in rotary fashion. Tool 21 can be removed by merely pulling it outward from bore 33. The tapering walls of socket 38 will force detent 32 outwardbf bore 33 to release the shaft 20. Thus the various'mouth treating tools shown in Figures 1, 3 and 4 can be readily connected and removed from the device.
In operation, knob 27 is rotated to the on position thereby completing the circuit as described before. The motor 17 is activated to rotate the clutch 19 which in turn operates tool 21 or the other forms shown in Figures 3 -and 4. The neck 14. is purposely made long enough to provide easy access to the deepest parts of the mouth.
Because the drive is direc-twithout right angled gearing arrangements, a more compact device results. Moreover, the maintenance is practically negligible. 7 Due to the relatively small energy-losses in this device, as occasioned by the direct axial drive, suflicient operatingpower is delivered by conventional batteries. However, it is to be noted that the device can be adapted for operation by an external electric power source without invention.
In Figures 6 and 7 a novel modification is described wherein a flexible neck 39 is attached to the head 13. As seen in Figure 7, the neck encloses a flexible shaft 40 comprising a coiled spring. The neck 39 comprises an inner shell 41 of a soft pliable material such as brass, tin, etc. and an outer flexible jacket 42 preferably of plastic or rubber. The outer jacket stilfens the inner shell 41 which functions as a guide for the flexible shaft 40, confining its movement to rotation about an axis approximately coincident with the axis of the neck. The flexible construction of the neck is such that'it can be deformed to assume a variety of positions angularly disposed to the axis of head 15. Thus shaft 4 0, which drives a treating tool, will rotate about such inclined axis, It can be readily appreciated that such a construction will permit greater access to the various parts of the mouth. Flexible shaft is integrally connected to the motor shaft 43 .and to a tool 44.
Having described in detail the inventive features, grant of Letters Patent is desired for these features as defined in the following claim:
In a motor operated tooth brush, an elongated housing having a head portion and a handle portion disposed at right angles to each other, .said head portion extending from an extremity of the handle portion beyond the perimeter of the handle portion, in combination with a neck formed of flexible material, said neck including an inner flange adapted for removable connection with the head portion where it extends beyond the perimeter of the handle portion, said neck portion being normally axially aligned withthe head portion forming a hollow tubular extension thereto adapted to receive a flexible operating shaft from a motor adapted to be mounted within the head portion, said neck being tapered at its outer end for insertion into the users mouth and adapted to receive a tooth brush for connection to the flexible shaft, said neck being formed of flexible material which can be deformed to a position out of axial alignment with the head, said material having properties whereby such deformation is maintained until the user manually deforms the material to another position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 789,385 Rudolph May 9, 1905 873,123 Gardy ec. 10, 1907 1,480,461 Nutter Jan. 8, 1924 1,598,411 Allen Aug. 31, 1926 2,598,275 Lakin May 27, 1952 2,778,043 Arf Jan. 22, 1957 2,808,602 Gregoire Oct. 8, 1957
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