Support device

Abstract

Claims

1. AN ARTICLE FOR POSITIONING THE SCROTUM OF A MALE USER, SAID ARTICLE OF CLOTHING HAVING WAIST AND LEG PORTIONS AND PRINCIPALLY COMPRISING A SUPPORT MEMBER FOR MAINTAINING THE SCROTUM ADJACENT WITH THE UPPER PORTION OF THE THIGHS IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE USER IS IN THE STANDING OR SITTING POSITION, SAID SUPPORT MEMBER BEING DEFINED BY A CLOTHLIKE COMPONENT HELD IN A SIDEWARDLY EXTENDING
Jan. 3, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 6, 1964 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Jan. 3, 1967 J. D. KELLE 3,295,520 SUPPORT DEVICE Filed July 6, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR JOSEPH D. KELLER United States Patent 3,295,520 SUPPORT DEVICE Joseph D. Keller, 1820 Winchester Drive, Winter Park, Fla. 32789 Filed July 6, 1964, Ser. No. 380,298 13 Claims. (Cl. 128159) This invention relates to a unique article of mens clothing, and more particularly to a unique undergarment arrangement providing great comfort to the male wearer, especially when he has moved into a sitting position. In the past, a number of undergarment arrangements have been proposed to meet certain requirements, many of these being in the nature of athletic supporters, and the like. Others have been more in the nature of garment liners or pouch-like devices for maintaining desired separation between certain of the genitals of the male wearer. However, most if not all of these prior arrangements have been rather ordinary in construction, ofiering little unique advantages, and for one reason or another causing annoyance and discomfort to the wearer. The present invention is uniquely desiged to provide highly advantageous lifting action for the scrotum when the wearer moves from a standing position to a sitting position, thereby preventing the annoying pinching action brought about as a result of the testicles being disposed so as to be pinched and cramped by the inner thigh portions and clothing of the individual. In the furtherance of this basic goal I provide an undergarment in the nature of a hammock-like arrangement disposed so as to be worn across the front of a mans thighs, so as to form a cradle for the scrotum, to protect and position the testicles. As may be preferred, the hammock-like member may be secured in a proper location in the undershorts worn by men, or if desired may be utilized as a specially designed garment having as its purpose the provision of a scrotum support member which is disposed and held across the upper portions of the thighs by suitable straps. Other embodiments include a modified leg arrangement for mens shorts to provide a hammock or support directly from the material of the shorts, as well as a preformed arrangement for certain uses. By virtue of these novel arrangements, no restraint or annoyance is provided when the male wearer is in a standing position, but at such times as he bends at the waist and at the knees so as to move toward a sitting position, the hammock-like member disposed across the front thigh portions undergoe a definite rotation, so as to form a holder in which the scrotum is efiectively disposed, thereby preventing the scrotum from descending into the undesired position between the thighs as he attains the seated position. In other words, the action of the thighs is utilized for the benefit and comfort of the wearer. The several embodiments of this invention set forth herein involve in each of the various forms a hammock or sling that functions by the just-explained leg motion to actually rotate the testicles from the usual position, forwardly and upwardly some 90 so as in effect to dispose same somewhat in the lap of the individual. This it will be realized is in reality a quite comfortable position, in which the wearer of my unique garment suffers no discomfort despite the fact that his scrotum is kept away from the more usual position between or below the thighs. As a matter of fact, such position is not too unlike the position a person eventually seeks when he is forced to find comfort after prolonged sitting. The advantages of my invention may be obtained at extremely low cost inasmuch as no elaborate designs or constructions are involved. These and other objects, features and advantages will be more apparent from the enclosed drawings in which: FIGURE 1 is a front view of a simplified arrangement of a hammock member in accordance with my invention wherein the points or location are set forth where the hammock member is secured to achieve the desired efiect; FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 but showing a slightly different conformation resulting from the change of position of the wearer; FIGURE 3 is a drawing of a waist encircling embodiment designed to be worn as a separate article; FIGURE 4 is a view of the hammock-member secured within undershorts; FIGURE 5a and 5b are views of a preformed arrangement in accordance with my invention; FIGURE 6 is a viewof a hammock-member that in affect is a tailored version of the item shown in FIG: URE 1; FIGURE 7 is a view of the use of the preformed arrangement disposed within undershorts; and FIGURE 8 is a view of an embodiment in which the hammock-like member is created from the legs of the undershorts by virtue of the legs being attached together in a particular manner. Referring to FIGURE 1, the hammock-like member 10 is shown in the basic position in which it is arranged to be disposed across the upper portions of the wearers thighs, and retained in a position behind the scrotum of the individual by being appropriately secured at several p-reestablished locations. As will be more apparent hereinafter, these locations may be utilized for directly securing the hammock member 10 to the undershorts worn by the male, or for use in conjunction with a waist encircling band designed to maintain the hammock-like member 10 in a desired position. It is significant to note that the hammock-like member 10 may be made from cotton cloth or the like which maybe in a basically rectangular configuration as shown in FIGURE 1, with the upper central portion thereof drooped somewhat, as shown in FIGURE 2, so as to form a comfortable boundary with the underside of the scrotum. Alternatively, the hammock-like member can be formed more nearly from a cloth containing a U cutout as shown in FIGURE 6, in which the rear upper part of the scrotum is disposed between the two arms of the U and against the bottom of the U with the testicles resting more or less in the central front portion of the hammock-like member. Referring in more detail to FIGURE 1, it will be noted from thi illustrative showing that the hammock member 10 is supported at upper locations 11 and 12, these points being comparatively close together in order to assure that the point 13 will maintain desired contact with the upper posterior part of the scrotum at all times. Points 11a and 12a are also support locations, corresponding to the right and left ends of this member. As will therefore be apparent, the point 13 on the hammock represents the location of contact with the rear upper portion of the wearers scrotum when this gar ment is being worn, with the wearers testicles being located approximately at point 14. The upper boundary of member 10 may be of a stretchable material to facilitate close contact of hammock to rear upper part of the scrotum. It is also be noted that anchor points are formed at locations 15 and 16 in order that the member 10 Will be somewhat taut or stretched when the wearer is in the standing position. The locations 15 and 16 are anchored such as by the use of the leg bands in the case 3 of a hammock member worn independently of the wearers undershorts, or secured to the undershorts in the event same are worn in conjunction with my device. As will be apparent, when the wear is utilizing the hammock member in the proper manner, his genitals will be disposed in such a manner with respect to the hammock that the hammock will position and separate same from his thighs and clothing, in this manner to prevent the undesired dropping and entrapment of the testicles between the thighs and clothing when the wearer moves to the sitting position. As previously mentioned, prior art devices, in contrast, hold the testicles within a sack or pouch like arrangement with sack sewn to the undershorts. To be at all effective when the eventual sitting position is reached, the prior art sack must hold the testicles in a somewhat raised position while the body is standing so as to perform as a holding device after the body assumes a sitting position. This raised position is unnatural while in a standing position and tends to produce a cramped feeling much like an athletic supporter would. It should be noted however that when the wearer of my hammock-like device is in the standing position, in most instances he will be oblivious to the presence of the hammock member inasmuch as the scrotum is in the natural position. It is only when he moves from the standing position to the sitting position that the highly advantageous features of my invention come into play, for at that time, because of the action of the hammock formation resulting from the location and cooperative motion of the thighs, the testicles are moved by the hammock through a movement of approximately 90, so that they will be disposed and positioned to a location of comfort. Similarly, when the wearer further moves into the lying position, his testicles will continue to be supported by the hammock and will be prevented thereby from an undesired movement into a location between the thighs, where discomfort may take place. It should be noted that as the wearer moves to a sitting position, a front folding 21 is created, which further protects the scrotum. This is shown in FIGURE 2 and is formed as locations and 16 are stretched across the thighs when assuming a sitting position. It should be observed at this point that various prior devices have been designed to act as a separator between the scrotum and body surface. While this feature may in some instances be desirable, particularly in warm weather, these prior art devices have totally lacked the lifting and positioning feature that is achieved by the use of my device in addition to the aforementioned separating action. This is to say, although the hammock member does effectively separate the scrotum from the legs, this is not the principal purpose of my unique design, but rather the unique lifting and positioning action that is brought about by the hammock as the wearer moves into the sitting or lying position, 'at which time the thighs in effect lift the hammock member with respect to the testicles, thereby rotating them out of the gravity biased position and into a position that is more nearly in the lap of the wearer. Prior devices of the previously mentioned athletic supporter type serve to package the testicles in a .fixed position but still vunerable to pinching by the thighs and clothing. Other devices, such as those sewed integrally to undergarments, become a part of the garment to essentially form a liner or pouch for the testicles. This construction does not allow device motion independently of the garment motion and therefore cannot compensate or satisfy the various position requirements of the testicles as the body assumes different positions. With my device it should be observed that the critical portions of the hammock move separately and independently of other garments, the motion being controlled by the thighs, and the hammock positioning the testicles so as to adjust to varying positions of the body while shape and as the body takes a sitting position the testicles are easily accidentally removed from the pouch or are pinched within the pouch from the thighs or clothing of the wearer. As can readily be visualized, the pouch requirements for the testicles when the wearer is in the standing position is different than when in the sitting position and without adequate consideration and compenating action, with control means, discomfort occurs. These requirements including control means has been successfully met with my device as will be seen. As also stated earlier, prior art type pouches are completely ineffective in providing freedom and comfort when the pouch, and testicles contained therein, become trapped or pinched, such as for example when the legs are crossed. Significantly, my device prevents testicle pinching even when the legs are crossed as the crossed leg will operate the hammock so as always to assure repositioning of the testicles supported within the hammock. With the panel like portion of my device arranged over one thigh, continuing under and behind the scrotum, and further continuing over the other thigh, and portions of the device boundary, particularly the bottom, moving free so as to be independent of the undergarment, the scrotum is always controllably positioned to a location above the inside portion of the thighs and 1 positioned free from the area where entrapment can. This action is not achieved by a prior art type occur. pouch-like arrangement sewed inside an undergarment and as a result these pouches are forced to follow a position of the undergarment with no controllably operated means to meet the specific positioning requirement of 1 the scrotum independently of the undergarment movement. the hammock is being formed as a result of the body taking a sitting position is therefore a most important feature of my invention, and quite significantly, the inner portions of the thighs are in effect utilized to help bring about the wearers comfort. The forming of a hammock from the member of FIGURE 1 is illustrated in FIGURE 2. Bringing prine cipal upper support points 11 and 12 together while stretching 15 and 16, after bringing the lower boundary upward by thigh action forms the configuration of FIG- URE 2. As earlier explained, the upper boundary of a member 10 is effectively supported at 11, 12, 11a and 12a, and with the upper boundary positioned under the scrotum at point 13, the ends 15 and 16 operated by the thighs form the hammock inasmuch as the lower. boundary is free to move independently to bring about the result shown in FIGURE 2. As can now be seen, this action is quite unlike that expected from a pouch" sewn within a garment as taught by prior art devices. Whereas the hammock member 10 of FIGURE 1 is essentially vertical as the wearer is in the standing position, the lower boundary is moved to a position across the wearers lap as the wearer moves to a sitting position to form the hammock-like configuration of FIG- URE 2. By varying the amount of draped material at location 14 a more or less deeper hammock can be formed. The hammock size can also be controlled by varying, the attachment locations, such as by varying the distance between locations 11 and 12,15 and 16, and similar points of location. Furthermore, if desired, the ham mock member can be tailored to provide and define an Having the hammock free to move, as directed by the thighs, independently of the undergarment, while 1 opening for the scrotum as shown by location 21 of FIGURE 6. As should now be apparent, my device involves the use of a hammock member having means at the ends thereof for stretching and maintaining the bottom portion of the hammock across the upper front thigh portions of the wearer as well as maintaining the central top portion in close contact with the rear upper portion of the underside of the scrotum. Turning to the actual embodiments of my invention as a first embodiment for maintaining the hammock in the aforementioned desired operating position, I pro vide as illustrated in FIGURE 3 a waist-encircling band 20 that is connected to points 11 and 12 of the hammock member, as well as to corner points 11a and 12a, thus to provide a desired position for the hammock on the wearers body as well as to cause the hammock to be maintained with the point 13 in contact with the upper underside of the scrotum. In this embodiment point 15 is connected to a first leg band 17 and with point 16 connected to second leg band 18, these leg bands encircling the wearers legs so as desirably maintain the hammock in the proper location for supporting the scrotum. Another embodiment of my invention is revealed in FIGURE 4 wherein the principal upper support points 11 and 12, as well as lower corner points 15 and 16 are each secured at respective appropriate positions in the undershorts of the wearer, as are upper corners 11a and 12a. If desired, a continuous stitch or seam may be provided between points 11a and 15 and between points 12a and 16. To enable movements of member or panel independently of the garment so as to permit the thighs to perform device contouring over the thighs and under the scrotum, the device lower boundary is not continuously stitched between points and 16. It should be noted that the hammock 10 may be used in conjunction with undershorts of the boxer type, undershorts of the so called jockey type, as well as with swimming suits, pajamas, and also can perform as supporters such as athletic supporters and rupture suspensories. In the embodiment of FIGURE 4, the penis and testicles are normally disposed inside the front flaps of the shorts, but over the member 10. As a third embodiment of my invention, it will be noted in FIGURES 5a, 5b and 7 that in another embodiment of my invention the hammock member can be a panel like structure 40 designed to be worn by the wearer as an attached or unattached insert to the undergarment with or without leg or waist straps. In this design, the insert can be preshaped, or being flexible can receive shaping and thigh contour from an outer garment. With this device the thighs while still used to operate the lifting action, are also used as support working in conjunction with a somewhat tightly fitting undergarment to keep the insert aligned and held to the proper position. The scrotum as before is disposed in U cut 41, and this device provides scrotum positioning by the thighs even when the undergarment is extremely brief or otherwise free of garment leg portions. Turning to a fourth principal embodiment of my invention, it will be noted in FIGURE 8 that in yet another embodiment of my invention, the hammock member may be formed not of a separate piece of cloth, but rather from the leg portions of the wearers undershorts. More specifically, I have found that by stitching a vertical seam 22 between the left and right leg of the shorts, that an entirely satisfactory hammock or panel 23 can be created for the supporting of the testicles providing that this scam is disposed sufliciently far forward in the leg portions of the shorts. This is to say, the seam is run not between the portions of the leg in the stride of the garment, but in a rather forward portion. As can be seen in this arrangement, the leg por- 6 tion of the undershorts is not affected so as to present leg movement difliculty Within the garment. As will be noted in the FIGURE 8 of the drawing, by virtue of the placement of this seam, a hammocklike member or panel is formed which quite appropriately forms a support for the wearers testicles and operates as in the previous embodiments to bring about a lifting action and control of the testicles when the wearer moves into the sitting or lying position. By varying the location of this seam the lifting action can be increased or decreased, the more forward position producing the greatest amount of lifting action. As will be obvious, in this embodiment the entire genitalia of the wearer is disposed thru opening 19 so that the testicles may reside down alongside the seam 22 between the leg members. In this instance, an apron like member 30 is sewn or otherwise disposed over the front of the wearers shorts so as to afford some privacy for the wearer in the event he is clad only in his shorts, but with the additional advantage of course of separating his genitalia from his outer clothing, which of course might otherwise be uncomfortable against his skin. As will be apparent, an appropriate flap or opening is disposed in this outer apron member so that desired access may be had. As is therefore to be seen, I have provided a highly eifective article of clothing for positioning the scrotum of a male wearer, involving a support or hammock-like member disposed between the thighs and scrotum and at least partly positioned by direct thigh movement. This support member forms a highly advantageous direct support for the scrotum when the user is ina sitting position with the thighs substantially horizontal. As should be understood, a number of support means for the hammock-like member may be provided Within the scope of this invention so as to maintain this member in proper supportive contact with the scrotum, as well as in contact with the thighs to such an extent that movement of the user into a sitting position will bring about a positioning of the scrotum so as to prevent thigh contact with the scrotum from causing discomfort to the user. Other embodiments within the scope of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and I am not to be limited to the embodiments illustrated and described herein except as required by the scope of the appended claims. I claim: 1. An article for positioning the scrotum of a male user, said article of clothing having waist and leg portions and principally comprising a support member for maintaining the scrotum adjacent with the upper portion of the thighs irrespective of whether the user is in the standing or sitting position, said support member being defined by a clothlike component held in a sidewardly extending manner in the inner front part of the article by upper and lower support means, said upper support means being generally adjacent said waist portion, and said lower support means being adjacent said leg portions. 2. The article as defined in claim 1 in which said support member is .held in place as a result of the direct support of the users undergarments. 3. The article as defined in claim 1 in which said sup port member is held in place by elastic bands encircling the users waist and legs. 4. The article as defined in claim 1 in which said support member is created from the leg members of the users undershorts. 5. The article as defined in claim 1 in which said support member is a preformed member of formable material substantially conforming to the thigh contour of the wearer, as well as a portion of the abdomen. 6. A device for preventing the scrotum of the wearer from dropping to a position between the thighs when the wearer has moved to a sitting position, said device comprising a waist portion, leg portions, and a hammocklike member disposed between the thighs and the scrotum of the wearer, support means attaching the uppermost portion of said hammock-like member generally in the area of said waist portion, so as to maintain said hammock-like member in contact with the upper posterior portion of the wearers scrotum, and additional support means attaching to said leg portions for maintaining said hammock-like member substantially taut across the thighs of the wearer when the wearer is in a sitting position. 7. The device as defined in claim 6 in which the means for maintaining said hammock-like member in contact with said scrotum is a waist-encircling band, said additional support means being leg bands. '8. The device as defined in claim '6 in which said hammock-likemember is maintained in position in undershorts of the 'wearer by virtue of being secured at a plurality of locations in such undershorts. 9. The device as defined in claim 6 in which said hammock-like member is formed from the leg portions of the wearers undershorts being stitched together, an aperture above said hammock-like member through which the genitals of the wearer extend, the scrotum of the wearer thereafter being supported by said hammock-like member. 10. An article of clothing for a male wearer, comprising a waist portion, leg portions, and an elongated hammock-like member disposed across the front of such article, with the testicles of the wearer being arranged to be disposed in a central portion of said member, and on the side thereof opposite his thighs, and support means se cured generally in the area of said waist portion for maintaining an upper central portion of said member in contact withthe upper posterior portion of the scrotum of the wearer, as well as secured to said leg portions so as to maintain said member substantially taut across the thighs, in the direction of its elongation. 11. The article of clothing as defined in the claim 10 in which the upper central portion of said member is cut out to form a U-shaped portion to accommodate the .wearers scrotum. 12. The article of clothing as defined in claim 10 in is the upperboundary of said member when the wearer is in the standing position, said principal support points being spaced slightly away from and on each side of a vertical centerline of said member so as to be disposed, on either side of the scrotum, thereby to assure desired: contact of the upper boundary with the upper posterior portion of the wearers scrotum, and additional support at the four corners of said member to assure tautness of saidmember, whereby when the wearer moves from a standing position to a sitting position, said member, because of its positioning and tautness moves the testicles of the wearer to a position above the thighs. 13. In .a males undergarment having a waist encircling portion and leg portions, means defining in the front inner portion of said undergarment a sidewardly-extending support member of clothlike material that forms a support for a portion of the male wearers anatomy, means generally in the area of said waist encircling portion for supporting upper right and upper left portions of said, support member, means adjacent the right and left leg portions of said undergarment for anchoring the lower right and lower left portions of said support member, thereby to cause said support member to be arranged across the front inner portion of said garment, the lower portions of said support member tending to be positioned relative to the upper portions thereof, upon the wearer assuming a sitting position, such raising being a consequence of the wearers thighs and therefore said leg portions assuming a substantially horizontal attitude at that time. References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 847,779 3/ 1907 Jarrett 128-158 1,074,147 9/1913 Whitlock 128-158 2,435,406 2/1948 Prance 128-96 2,872,685 2/ 1959 Denbo 2-224 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.

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Patent Citations (4)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-1074147-ASeptember 30, 1913Wilmore B WhitlockSupporter.
    US-2435406-AFebruary 03, 1948Edgar E PranceTruss
    US-2872685-AFebruary 10, 1959Weldon O DenboMan's undergarment
    US-847779-AMarch 19, 1907John R JarrettSuspensory.

NO-Patent Citations (0)

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Cited By (7)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-2006200893-A1September 14, 2006Boston James LAthletic Hammock
    US-4195630-AApril 01, 1980Patricia Connery Koko, Marie H. Koko, Ruth ConneryMen's undergarments
    US-6671899-B1January 06, 2004Jeffrey E. OjaPerson lifting strap
    US-8726423-B2May 20, 2014Hai GuUndergarment, particularly for men
    US-8782817-B2July 22, 2014Hai GuUndergarment, particularly for men
    US-9687382-B2June 27, 2017Julia Beerman, Kara Lowenstein, Solomon L. Lowenstein, JR.Support device for male genitalia
    WO-9839981-A1September 17, 1998Kevin HartleyCaleçon a suspensoir