Title:
Shower stool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A stool adapted for use in a shower is disclosed, having a triangular platform and three legs depending from the platform. A receptacle having a hinged, movable cover and adapted to hold a razor is located on the top surface of the platform. The legs are spaced inwardly from the edges of the platform to avoid intrusions from the shower wall. The stool is constructed of a light-permeable material and contains indicia which is visible from outside the platform.



Inventors:
Matthews, Pamela J. (Evanston, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/365090
Publication Date:
07/06/2006
Filing Date:
03/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/022; A47K3/34; A47K3/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090178190PASSIVELY DISCHARGING AND WATER-SAVING TOILET BOWLJuly, 2009Jun
20030037368Self-locking commode apparatusFebruary, 2003Clark
20070028378Bed bathFebruary, 2007Hudson
20080263756CHILD TRAINING POTTYOctober, 2008Marsden
20030229938Sanitary deviceDecember, 2003Hayashi et al.
20090151068Curtain With Pockets Integrated ThereinJune, 2009Rice
20080148474SHOWER BASE WITH FLOW ENHANCING COVERED DRAINJune, 2008Witt
20060288469Closetool exhauster with an air dividing caseDecember, 2006Gan
20060162061Flexible plastic swimming poolJuly, 2006Liu
20070240258Pillow with radioOctober, 2007Roberts et al.
20070011799Drainage fitting for a toiletJanuary, 2007Brooks



Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEAL, GERBER, & EISENBERG (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A stool adapted for use in a shower comprising: a platform constructed of a light-permeable material; a step surface located on the platform; and a plurality of legs depending from the platform.

2. The stool of claim 1, further comprising indicia located within the platform and visible from outside the platform.

3. The stool of claim 2, wherein the indicia are substantially two-dimensional.

4. The stool of claim 2, wherein the indicia are three-dimensional.

5. The stool of claim 1, wherein the light-permeable material is acrylic.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional application of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/910,742, filed Aug. 3, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference and made a part hereof, and upon which a claim of priority is based.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a stool for use in a shower to facilitate the shaving or washing of a person's legs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is common practice for a person to shave his or her legs. Women customarily shave their legs for cosmetic reasons, and both men and women often shave their legs when engaged in sporting activities such as competitive swimming or bicycle racing.

When a person desires to shave his or her legs, shaving most often is accomplished when bathing, either in a bathtub or in a shower stall. In both situations, shaving the legs can be difficult and cuts to the skin or damage such as razor burns often occur, as shaving the legs is an awkward procedure. In this wet and soapy environment it is easy for the person's leg to slip, which can result in cuts or other injuries. The procedure is further complicated by the unavailability of a convenient location for the person to place grooming aids when shaving. When shaving, it is generally necessary for the person to have shaving soap or shaving cream and a razor.

When standing in a shower stall, a person will generally lean from the waist attempting to shave the lower leg portions. Another approach is for the person to stand on one foot and maintain balance while bracing the other foot against a wall of the shower stall. Either operation is somewhat hazardous as the person may slip or fall in the wet slippery environment of the shower. Also, accessibility to grooming aids is not convenient as generally these are either placed on the floor of the shower stall or maintained in a caddy suspended from the shower head.

Various prior devices have attempted to address one or more of these problems. Specifically, U.S. Pat. No. 6,115,857 shows a foot support for use in a bathing enclosure having foot support surfaces, storage areas for canisters, and a recess to receive a safety razor.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,920,926 discloses a foot support having an elevating structure including legs, a footrest with an angled sole, and holders for a razor and a shaving cream container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,465,435 discloses a wall-mounted foot support for use primarily in a shower having a horizontally-inclined step plate.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,340,070 discloses a leg shave plate with an inclined upper surface, designed to be mounted in the corner of a shower stall.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,579,545 shows a multi-purpose foot support having three receptacles intended to hold a razor, fresh water, and shave gel, lotion, or soap.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,640,723 shows a shower stool in which the entire cover may be tilted upward about a hinge to provide access to a storage space below the cover for storage of grooming aids.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,341,528 discloses a triangular shower foot rest for placement in the corner of a shower stall, having a downwardly-sloped top section and two shelf units in the back walls of the rest.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,489,448 shows a foot support having legs for support, indentations to follow foot contours, and a V-shaped prow to fit into the corner of a shower stall.

U.S. Pat. No. Des. 287,075 shows a shower stool with an angled foot support surface that swings open to reveal a storage compartment.

The prior devices have certain disadvantages. First, none of the prior art devices provides a compartment for storage of a razor that can be closed or covered to contain the razor without moving the entire platform. Moving such a large component is cumbersome, especially in the confined space of a shower, and requires the user to remove his or her foot from the platform. Second, the prior art devices are not adequately adapted to be temporarily placed in the corner of a shower. Some of the prior devices are permanently placed in the shower corner. Still others are intended to be temporarily placed there, but are not adapted to avoid intrusions from the shower wall, which could frustrate attempts to place the device near the wall, or use the wall to brace forces exerted on the stool by the user. Third, the prior devices do not disclose means by which to enhance the aesthetics of such devices or to tailor the aesthetics of such devices to different demographics of consumers.

The present invention is provided to solve the problems discussed above and other problems, and to provide advantages and aspects not provided by prior stools of this type. A discussion of the features and advantages of the present invention is deferred to the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention is a stool adapted for use in a shower comprising a triangular platform having a top surface, a bottom surface and at least one support leg depending from the platform. The stool includes a receptacle adapted to hold a razor and located on the top surface of the platform, having a hinged movable cover.

In another embodiment, the stool includes a second receptacle having a cylindrical shape adapted to hold a cylindrically-shaped container and having an opening located on the top surface of the platform.

In another embodiment, the stool has three legs depending from the platform, each leg proximate each of the three corners of the platform. The legs are spaced inwardly from any of the three edges, so as to avoid contact with shower wall intrusions.

In another embodiment, the platform is constructed of a light-permeable material, such as acrylic, and contains indicia within the platform and visible from outside the platform.

In another embodiment, the platform has a step surface on the top surface to provide a resting place for a person's foot.

In another embodiment, the stool includes a first step extending between two of the legs, located below the bottom surface of the platform, and a second step extending between the same two legs, located below the first step.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a stool adapted for use in a shower, situated in the corner of a shower;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the stool of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the stool of FIG. 1, a razor, and a container of shampoo;

FIG. 4 is a cross-section view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the stool of FIG. 1 situated in the corner of a shower;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of an alternate embodiment of a stool adapted for use in a shower; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a stool adapted for use in a shower, containing indicia within the stool, which are visible from outside the stool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings, and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

Referring now in detail to the FIGS. and initially to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown a stool 10 adapted for use in a shower to assist a person in shaving or washing his or her legs. The stool 10 generally comprises a triangular platform 11 having a top surface 17, a bottom surface 18, and three support legs 12 depending from the platform 11. The platform 11 preferably includes a razor receptacle 20, a container receptacle 22, and a step surface 14 where the foot of the user may be placed. Additional steps 15 are preferably located between the legs 12 of the stool 10, where they can also function as structural support for the legs 12. The entire stool 10 is preferably made of a light-permeable material, containing indicia 50 located inside the stool 10 that are visible from outside the stool 10.

The platform 11 is preferably triangular in shape, and most preferably a right triangle. The platform 11 of the stool 10 shown in FIGS. 1-3 is right-triangular. In an alternate embodiment, the platform 11 may not be right-triangular, as shown in FIG. 6. The right-triangular shape allows the stool 10 to fit closely in the corner 34 of a bathtub or shower, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Alternately, the platform 11 may be of any practical shape. The stool 10 preferably has three legs 12, with one of the three legs 12 proximate to each of the three corners 19 of the triangular platform 11. One of the three legs 13 is preferably longer than the other two legs 12, creating an angled platform 11 that is not parallel to a base surface upon which the stool 10 sits. Such a configuration is more ergonomic for a person to rest his or her foot upon. The stool 10 may have any number of legs 12 of varying lengths, particularly if the platform 11 is not triangularly shaped.

The legs 12 are preferably spaced inwardly from any of the three edges 16 of the triangular platform 11 to allow the legs 12 to avoid contact with shower wall intrusions. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the space between the edges 16 of the platform 11 and the legs 12 allows the edges 16 of the platform 11 to contact the shower walls 30, while the legs 12 extend to the floor 31 of the shower unobstructed. Intrusions, such as a soap dish 33 or the curved area 32 where the shower wall 30 meets the shower floor 31, are avoided. Alternately, leg 12 placement on the stool 10 may vary, particularly if the geometry of the platform 11 is different.

The platform 11 preferably contains at least one razor receptacle 20 and at least one container receptacle 22, both of which are accessible on the top surface 17 of the platform 11. The razor receptacle 20 is adapted to hold a razor 21, particularly a safety razor, and is of sufficient size and shape to do so. Preferably, the razor receptacle 20 is a shallow tray located in a cavity in the platform 11, with an opening in the top surface 17 of the platform 11 to permit access to the receptacle 20. Drain holes 26 are preferably located in the bottom of the razor receptacle 20, allowing water to drain out of the receptacle 20, rather than collecting there. Alternately, the razor receptacle 20 may take any other suitable form. Still further, a razor receptacle 20 may be capable of holding more than one razor 21.

The preferred razor receptacle 20 includes a hinged movable cover 24 that may be opened or closed to expose or conceal the razor receptacle 20. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the hinge 25 is preferably located near, and parallel to, the edge 16 of the platform 11. The cover 24 is preferably the same size and shape as the opening of the razor receptacle 20. In this configuration, the cover 24 is substantially flush with the top surface 17 of the platform 11 when closed. The razor receptacle 20, cover 24, and hinge 25 may alternately take one of many other possible forms. Finally, the stool 10 may contain more than one razor receptacle 20, as shown in FIG. 6, or may not contain any razor receptacle 20.

The container receptacle 22 is preferably cylindrical in shape and is adapted to hold a cylindrically-shaped container 23, such as a bottle of shampoo or a can of shaving cream. The preferred container receptacle 22 is a cylindrical cavity in the platform 11 with an opening in the top surface 17 of the platform 11 to permit access to the receptacle 22. Drain holes 26 are preferably located in the bottom of the container receptacle 22, allowing water to drain out of the receptacle 22, rather than collecting there. Alternately, the container receptacle 22 may be deeper, extending completely through the platform 11. In this configuration, a basket, retaining tab, or similar structure (not shown) is necessary to support the container 23. The container receptacle 22 may alternately take one of many other possible forms, and may be shaped differently to accommodate a different shape or type of container 23. Finally, the stool 10 may contain more than one container receptacle 22, as shown in FIG. 6, or may not contain any container receptacle 22.

A step surface 14 is preferably located on the platform 11 at the edge 16 of the top surface 17. The step surface 14 provides an ergonomic resting place for the foot of a person shaving or washing his or her leg. The stool 10 shown in FIGS. 1-4 has a step surface 14 located at the edge 16 opposite the longer leg 13 of the stool 10. This step surface 14 is illustrated in more detail in the cross-sectional view in FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 4, the preferred step surface 14 is formed by a recess 40 in the top surface 17 and the edge 16 of the platform 11. Alternately, the step surface 14 may be substantially level with the top surface 17. The step surface 14 preferably has a gripping surface 41 to enhance traction and prevent the user's foot from slipping on the step surface 14. Preferably, this gripping surface 41 is a series of ridges 42 parallel to the edge 16 of the platform 11, but any relatively high-friction or high-traction surface will function suitably. Additionally, the step surface 14 preferably contains drain holes 43 that allow water to drain through the step surface 14, rather than accumulating there and causing a risk of slipping. As shown in the cross-sectional view in FIG. 4, the preferred step surface 14 contains both ridges 42 and drain holes 43. The step surface 14 of the stool 10 shown in FIG. 6 has a ridged gripping surface 41 and no drain holes 43, and is level with the top surface 17 of the platform 11. The step surface 14 may take one of many possible alternate configurations, or may not be present at all.

The stool 10 preferably includes two steps 15 below the bottom surface of the platform 11, as shown in FIGS. 1-4. These steps 15 extend between two of the legs 12 of the stool 10 directly below the step surface 14 on the platform 11. The addition of these steps 15 allows the stool 10 to contain three step surfaces of varying heights to comfortably accommodate persons of differing heights or degrees of flexibility. In this configuration, the steps 15 also function as structural supports for the legs 12 of the stool 10, increasing stability and strength. Like the step surface 14 on the platform 11, these steps 15 preferably contain a gripping surface 41 and drain holes 43. FIG. 4 illustrates a stool 10 containing two steps 15 having a ridged gripping surface 41 and drain holes 43. The stool 10 may alternately have a greater or smaller number of steps 15, or may have no steps 15 at all.

The stool 10 is preferably constructed of a light-permeable material, allowing at least some light to pass through, such as a translucent, transparent, or semi-transparent material, or the like. More preferably, the stool 10 is made from a transparent material, which is most preferably acrylic. In the preferred embodiment, decorative indicia 50 are located within the platform 11. The light-permeable material allows such indicia 50 to be visible from outside the stool 10, as shown in FIG. 7. The indicia 50 may be either three dimensional or thin and substantially two dimensional, and may be engineered to appeal aesthetically to different demographics of consumers. For example, the indicia 50 can comprise a series of small flowers or golf balls, intended to appeal generally to female and male users, respectively. The stool 10 may contain one or more of a nearly limitless variety of indicia 50, to appeal to persons with specific interests. In alternate embodiments, the entire stool 10, or any portion thereof, may be light permeable and/or contain indicia 50.

When connected, the above-described components form a stool 10, as shown in FIGS. 1-7. The legs 12 depend from the platform 11 and support the platform 11 above the base surface upon which the legs 12 rest. The razor receptacle 20 and the container receptacle 22 contain openings in the top surface 17 of the platform 11, to be easily accessible. The hinged cover 24 of the razor receptacle 20 is located at the edge 16 of the top surface 17 of the platform 11. The step surface 14 of the platform 11 is located at the edge 16 of the platform 11 opposite the longest leg 13 of the stool 10. The additional steps 15 are located, one above the other, directly below the step surface 14 on the platform 11, forming a three-stepped stool 10.

The stool 10 facilitates shaving or washing a person's leg in the shower by providing several ergonomic steps 14,15 for elevating the leg above the floor. The elevation of the person's leg allows the leg to be shaved or washed without requiring the user to bend excessively at the waist or sit down. The gripping surface 41 increases the safety of the stool 10 by reducing or preventing the user's foot from slipping off the stool 10. Additionally, the placement of the stool 10 in the corner 34 of the shower prevents the stool 10 from slipping on the floor 31 of the shower, further increasing the safety of the stool 10. A razor 21 can be placed in the razor receptacle 20 for convenient access and storage. This eliminates the likelihood of misplacing the razor 21 and keeps the razor 21 within easy reach at all times during shaving. Similarly, a container 23 of soap, shampoo, shaving cream, or similar substance can be placed in the container receptacle 22 for convenient access and storage. When placed in the receptacle 22, the container 23 will be within easy reach at all times during shaving or washing. The stool 10 described herein allows a person to shave or wash his or her leg with increased ease and safety.

While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.





 
Previous Patent: Adjustable bathtub for children

Next Patent: Shower stool