Nursing tray
United States Patent 2118900

This invention relates to a nursing tray. It is made so as to help persuade a child to take food from a dish. The way this can be done, according to the invention, will be explained after the drawings and description of the tray construction are given. In the accompanying drawingsFig. 1 is...

Stanley, Schade Frank
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Stanley, Schade Frank
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/541, 126/246, 215/376, 215/395, 215/396, 220/737
International Classes:
A47G19/02; A47G19/22; A47G23/02
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This invention relates to a nursing tray. It is made so as to help persuade a child to take food from a dish. The way this can be done, according to the invention, will be explained after the drawings and description of the tray construction are given.

In the accompanying drawingsFig. 1 is a side view of the tray with the dish in It; Fig. 2 is a sectional composite view of the separated parts; Fig. 3 is a top view of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a bottom view of Fig. 1; Fig. 5 is a sectional detail view on line 5-5 of Fig. 1; Fig. 6 is a sectional composite view of the separated parts showing a slightly modified form of the'invention; Fig. 7 is a side view of the assembled parts of Fig. 6; Fig. 8 is a bottom view of Fig. 7; and Fig. 9 is a side view of a form of the invention like that in Fig. 1 but with a slightly different arrangement of tray and dish.

a5 The tray shell I is preferably made so that it appears as a bowl of sturdy and plain exterior construction. It may be made to appear as a simple dish like Fig..1 or as a combined tray or dish holder as in Fig. 9. At the bottom are shown 3g recesses 2, Fig. 4, in which dry cells 3 may be inserted against springy contacts 4 tending to hold the cells 3 in position for energizing the electrical wiring system. The wiring, except for necessary terminals, is conveniently molded in the material of the tray, such material being made of glass, pottery, plastic or other composition that insulates, so that bare wire may be used. Centrally of the tray bottom, on the inside, is a lamp socket 5 to receive lamp 10, surrounded by a reflector seat 6 to receive reflector 7. The glass cover 8 will close the top of reflector 7 resting on its rim and serve as a dish supporting wall of the tray. This transparent glass 8 serves as a good surface on which a cut-out picture 9 may be laid out 48 smoothly.

Picture 9 is contemplated as one cut from the children's page of a newspaper or picture book.

A characteristic of the picture is that it be on semi-transparent material such as the paper of a newspaper so that the light from'lamp 10 will show brightly under the picture and go through the picture to illuminate it strongly enough to serve the purpose of the invention. Of course the picture element of the combination can be varied in a great many ways. But since it is a feature of the invention to change the picture frequently, emphasis is put on successively using cut-out pictures from the children's page of a newspaper, although of course pictures may be made up in other ways, and silhouettes may be 0 used. This it is expected will all be managed by the nurse.

The picture element 9, as indicated, is placed on glass cover plate 8 and conveniently held in flat position by a retaining rim 1 made of rather stiff springy material with integral ears 12 adapted to spring into 'holding recesses 13' in the tray.

When the parts shown in Fig. 2, with glass eating bowl 13, are telescoped together, the com- 1a bination will have the simple appearance of Fig. 1-just a bowl or simple tray appearance except for a finger piece 14 for the lamp switch.

The lamp switch is best shown in Mg. 5 and indicated in the other figures. If the finger piece g2 14 is pressed, terminals 15 and 16 contact to light the lamp. Terminal 16 is in the form of a rather strong leaf spring as common in electrical switch constructions so it will open the switch when the finger pressure is released. The leaf spring N as indicated in Fig. 5 is split to provide for portion 16'. Finger piece 14 may slide back and forth like a slide switch between the two positions indicated in Fig. 5. When pushed to the dotted line position, the disk-shaped bottom of 80 piece 14' slides under spring end 17 of a terminal in the wiring and, by having bottom disk portion 14' made of conductor material, while 14 is otherwise a non-conductor, contact is made between terminals 16' and 17, with the same result 85 as between 15 and 16, the terminal II having a leg, indicated in Fig. 4, to connect to the same wire W as terminal 15. Also spring terminal 17 will hold the disk portion 14' for switch closed position until finger piece 14 is pushed back to full line position. The wiring W to the batteries in the recesses of the tray I is clear from Figs. 2 and 4 and the switch from Fig. 5. It is a nice feature of the invention that all this wiring W, except the necessary terminals and switch, can be molded in the insulating material of the tray I, making the latter of simple appearance mechanically, wh!ch is an advantage from the standpoint of use as a tray.

The, mechanical and electrical constructions of the combination are disclosed by the foregoing description. And it will be clear that there is provided a tray for transparent dish 13, a lamp, a reflector, and a picture frame arranged in a particular manner for the particular use of coax- 65 the side of the tray. It is contemplated that this 5 switch may be rather difficult for the child to manipulate, so as to retain some mystery in the combination regarding the way to work it. One plan is to light the picture in the frame as a reward for eating to the bottom of the dish. Many 10 uses will occur to the nurse that are unnecessary to specify here.

In Figs. 6, 7, and 8 there is shown much the same invention in the combination of a tray or holder for a drinking glass. In this combination there are some other features which I will describe.

The principal one is the switch for turning the light on and off. It is arranged, as indicated in the tray of Fig. 6, to turn the light on when the tray is tipped to drink from the glass or the combination is tipped up for looking through the drinking glass bottom to view the picture 28. For this purpose a mercury switch might be used, but there is shown the cheaper construction of a gravity switch as an alternative. The ball or pendulum weight 21 is hung in recess 21', from a pendulum hanger construction of any usual kind mounted for easy turning in a socket terminal 20 of the lamp wiring. As the tray is tipped, sO ball or weight 21 swings over to contact the circumference 23 of the other terminal and this contact lights lamp 24. When the tray is again placed level, ball or weight 21 automatically breaks the contact and the lamp 24 goes out.

.r, Except for this feature the base of tray 25, its molded-in wiring, terminals, recesses to removably insert batteries 3, are the same as described in connection with that of the other tray.

The upper recess 26 in tray 25, however, is shown provided as a shallow recess with an elongated lamp 24 to save space. The surface of this space may be made white or of light enough color to act as a reflector and dispense with a separate reflector element. The glass cover 27 fits on a shelf of recess 26, to help make the frame for picture element 28, which as before is held flat on the glass by spring rim 29, with ears 29' to snap into recesses 30. The glass 31 with its transparent bottom is put in the tray or holder to rest on top of the picture.

The nursing tray shown in the three forms of Figs. 1, 7, and 9, for eating or drinking, is most useful when a child needs to be coaxed to eat.

This is usually after weaning, while regular eating habits are being established, and when for one cause or another there is an apparent lack of appetite but a real need for food.

As made for the purpose, the nursing tray promptly attracts the child's attention to the food container, by the light or picture or both.

The light can be flashed on and off or left on.

There is variety in the light. There is variety in the change of pictures in the picture window which can be easily managed by the nurse's cuts5 outs from newspapers or picture books and put successively in the tray. There is also variety due to the different effects given by the kinds and amount of food in the dish through which the light can show more or less. The idea is to first attract the child's attention to the dish, then hold the attention, and use the variety of ways to coax the child to give attention and take the food in order to discover what there Is in the picture window at the bottom of the dish. There is the light to coax, as also its flashing on and off; there is the picture-never necessarily the same as at the time of the previous use of the bowl; and there is the element of mystery and play-all of which tend strongly and pleasantly to divert the child from the mere task of eating to something else, but nevertheless holding attention to the eating act as the child's part of getting at the picture. These effects, managed by the nurse, can be graded nicely to coax the child to do what the nurse wants, which of course is to drink the milk and eat the food at the right time. The tray is the means to the nurse's main object.

Of course the tray is also useful as a. plaything, even when the child's appetite is all that one desires. In such a case the mild play element during the time of eating tends to improve digestion.

I am aware of prior art children's dishes having pictures made in the dish material. I am claiming as my invention specific improvements going to do more than that general idea will do for the child. These improvements are pointed out in the following combination claims.

I claim: 1. A nursing tray for a single dish comprising in combination a base portion having a plain exterior, a rim to hold the dish centrally of the tray and within the body of the tray and its rim, a hollowed out space extending down from the rim, an electric lamp, a reflector, and a picture frame within said space, the frame being located centrally of the rim and at the top of the reflector, additional hollowed-out space adjacent said aforementioned space, batteries and a switch in said additional space and a transparent dish for the tray adapted to rest within the rim with the dish bottom above the picture frame.

2. A nursing tray comprising a body of insulating material having a hidden recess space for dry batteries in its under surface, a picture frame mounted across the walls of a dish-receiving opening extending downwardly in said tray from the upper surface thereof and a recess for a lamp under said frame, a support in the dish-receiving opening for a transparent dish or glass to set above the picture frame and wiring between the battery recess and lamp recess, said wiring between said recesses being molded in the tray body of insulating material.

3. The combination of a child's nursing tray made up of bottom and side walls, means to reflect light upwardly within the side walls, a lamp in the tray to furnish such light, removable means to hold a translucent picture sheet extended across between the side walls of the tray and above said lamp, and a food dish having a transparent bottom wall, the bottom portion of said dish and the upper portion of said tray being made to telescope one with the other and thereby bring the bottom of the dish at rest inside the tray just above the plane of said picture sheet so as to clearly show a picture through said bottom.

4. The structure of claim 3 and a self-contained electric circuit and batteries in said tray for its lamp, and a weight operated switch to operate said lamp circuit upon tipping of the tray. FRANK STANLEY SCHADE.