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Патент USA US3068534

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Dec. 18, 1962
Filed March 1, 1960
- 9
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
' ‘1,4,1
Jn venfor:
Dec- 13, 1962
Filed March 1. 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Fig; 5 ,9, 12
M M4448. Mb» '
United States Patent 0 f 1C€
Patented Dec. 18, 19132v
upper and with mounting means with the help of which
it may be installed in a vulcanizing machine; a heel
component slidably connected to the rear end face of
Werner Klee, Uphnsen, near Achim, Germany, assignor
the forward component; and means operatively connected
to Herbert Ludwig, Usen, Post Achim, Germany
with both components for reciprocating the heel com
Filed Mar. 1, 196%), Ser. No. 12,105
ponent between an operative position in which its bot
1 ?aim. (Qt. 18-46)
tom face is flush with the bottom face of the forward
component and a second position in which the overall
The present invention relates to shoe lasts in general,
length of the last is reduced by moving the heel com
and more particularly to improvements in composite shoe
lasts of the type utilized for holding articles of footwear 10 ponent in upward direction toward the mounting means.
It is preferred to form the rear end face of the forward
in vulcanizing presses and the like.
component in such a way that the heel component,
In the vulcanizing of shoes, boots and other articles
while moving from its operative into its inoperative posi
of footwear, the last is subjected to very high stresses
tion, is caused to travel upwardly and at least slightly
which develop when the bottom die is moved into contact
with the rubber mass that ultimately forms the sole of 15 forwardly either throughout or at least in the initial
stage of its movement to thereby bring about the neces
the article mounted on the last. Consequently, the lasts
sary reduction in overall length of the last. In operative
of the collapsible type are not practical for use in vul
position, the bottom faces of both components are fully
canizing machines because the articulately joined com
aligned with each other and the front end face of the
ponents of such lasts cannot withstand the stresses. Par
heel component is complementary to the rear end face
ticularly the hinges and the locks disposed between the
of the forward component so that no material can be
individual components of collapsible shoe lasts are sub
caught therebetween.
jected to excessive wear and tear, and must be replaced,
In one of its preferred forms, the rear end face of the
or the entire last discarded, after comparatively short
forward component is formed as a concave surface whose
periods of actual use.
Certain more recent constructions utilize composite lasts 25 center of curvature is lacated at a point rearwardly and
externally of the shoe last, or said rear end face may as
in which the components are movable toward and away
sume the form of a straight upwardly and forwardly in
from each other in order to alternately shorten or lengthen
clined surface. The means for reciprocating the heel
the shoe last. A serious drawback of such constructions
component with respect to the ‘forward component may
is-that the material of an article of footwear is pinched
between the relatively movable parts when the latter 30 comprise a lever-actuated eccentric system, a toggle
mechanism, a system of meshing gears and toothed mem
move from spaced-apart position into or toward abut
bers in the ‘form of gear segments, or a similar structure.
ment with each other. According to another prior pro
It is preferred to provide stop or abutment means adja
posal, the shoe last may be shortened by moving one or
cent to the bottom face of the forward component which
more components downwardly and beyond the general
plane of the bottom face of the device. Such arrange 35 arrests the heel component in its operative position, and
to further provide means for locking the heel component
ment brings about excessive deformation of the articles
in such position. Alternately, the eccentric or toggle
mounted on the last which more than offsets the ad
mechanism which recipro-cates the heel component may be
vantage that the overall length of the last is shortened
provided with a self-locking feature to positively hold the
for more convenient insertion into or withdrawal from
heel component in operative position, i.e. in a position in
a shoe or the like. Particularly the upper half of the
article is subjected to very high expanding stresses which
which the bottom faces of both components are properly
aligned with each other.
may bring about actual destruction. Moreover, the dan
ger that the insole would knick or break is ever present.
Otherfeatures of the invention reside in the provision
An important object of the present invention is
of very rugged and wear—resistant guide means, preferably
to provide a composite shoe last which can readily and
dovetailed joints de?ned by the end faces of both com
repeatedly withstand very high stresses developing in a
ponents, for controlling the movements of the heel com
vulcanizing machine, whose overall length may be rapidly
ponent with respect to the forward component; in the se
reduced for convenient insertion into or withdrawal from
lection of especially suitable heat conducting substances
an article of footwear, and which may be safely held in
as a material of both components; and in such mounting
operative full-lenth position in the course of a vulcaniz
of the heel component that an article of footwear
mounted on the improved shoe last has a natural tendency
ing operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a shoe
to slip off the latter when the heel component is moved
last of the above outlined characteristics which consists
in a direction away from the bottom face of the forward
of a small number of component parts, which can be
manufactured at low cost, which is constructed in such 55
The novel features which are considered as character
a way that the article of footwear cannot be caught be
istic for the invention are set forth in particular in the
tween its component parts, and which can be inserted or
appended claim. The invention itself, however, both as
withdrawn without subjecting any part of a shoe, boot or
to its construction and its method of operation, together
the like to appreciable stresses.
with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be
A further object of the invention is to provide a shoe
best understood from the following detailed description of
last for use in vulcanizing presses which embodies a self—
three speci?c embodiments when read in connection with
locking feature for holding its component parts in opera
tive position during a vulcanizing operation, which is
constructed and assembled in such a way that a compara
the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a shoe last for use
in a sole vulcanizing machine which embodies one pre
tively short movement of one of its component parts 65
ferred form of the invention, the last being shown in op
suflices to permit convenient insertion into or withdrawal
erative position;
from an article of footwear, and whose relatively movable
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the last as seen
component parts are connected by rugged and long
from the right-hand side of FIG. 1;
lasting joints.
With the above objects in view, the invention resides 70 PEG. 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary sectional view
showing the connection between the upwardly reciproca
essentially in the provision of a shoe last which com
bie heel component and the reciprocating means there
prises a forward component, preferably formed at its
for, the section being taken along the line III—III of
When the heel component 5 assumes its extreme upper
most or releasing position which is shown in FIG. 4, the
FIG. 1, as seen in the direction of arrows;
FIG. 4 illustrates the last in inoperative position dur
sole or bottom face of ‘the composite last 0 is shortened
ing insertion into or withdrawal from an article of foot
by a distance a which equals the length of the bottom face
of the component 5. Such shortening of the last is always
sufficient for convenient insertion or withdrawal of the
iFIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a modi?ed shoe
last in operative position which it assumes in an article of
footwear during the vulcanizing operation;
last from an- article of footwear particularly since, and as
may be readily observed in FIG. 4, the lower half of the
heel component 5 in the latter’s uppermost position ac
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a shoe last con~
structed in accordance with a third embodiment of the 10 tually moves forwardly and into the cavity bounded by
the arcuate end face 2. The phantom line 5p indicates
invention, the last ‘being shown in operative position; and
the outline of component 5 in its extreme lowermost or
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the shoe last of
operative position.
FIG. 6 in inoperative position.
Referring now in greater detail to the illustrated em
bodiments, and ?rst to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4,
there is shown a last 3 of the type utilized for mounting
an article of footwear in a sole vulcanizing machine, better
known as a vulcanizing press. The last preferably con
sists of aluminum which is a very good heat conductor,
but it may be made of steel or another suitable metallic
An important advantage of the construction shown in‘
FIGS. 1 to 4 is that no slot is formed between the adja
cent end faces 2, 5a of the components 4, 5, respectively,
such as could bring about a pinching or jamming of the
shoe upper or of the inner lining between the ‘two com
ponents. The height of the heel component 5 is such
that it preferably always extends beyond the upper edge
of the shoe upper so that the latter cannot be wedged between the reinforcing plate 6 and the end face 2 when the
heel component is caused to move in upward direction.
When the last 3, assumed to be in the position of FIG.
4, is properly inserted into an article of footwear or into
a shoe upper prior to the application of a sole thereto,
vulcanizing operation. In addition, the mounting means
the lever 7 is pivoted back into the position of FIG‘ 1_
1 carries the arrangement which reciprocates the heel
whereby the shaft 8, the eccentric 9, the sliders 11 and
portion 5 of the last in a manner to be described in full
the plate 6 return the heel component 5 into the latter’s
detail hereinafter.
extreme lowermost position in which its bottom face is
The last 3- comprises a forward portion or component
again ?ush with the bottom face of the forward com
4 ‘and a rear or heel component 5. The rear end face
ponent 4. The shoe upper is thereby stretched and main-v
2 of the forward or main body portion 4 is of concave
tained in proper position so that the rubber outsole may
shape, and the heel component 5 is formed with a com
‘be vulcanized thereon.
plementary convex front end face 5a which slides along
The reference numeral b indicates in FIG. 4 the verti
the concave end face 2 when the heel component is moved 35
cal distance between the bottom face of the heel com»
into and between the positions of FIGS. 1 and 4. The
ponent 5 in operative lowermost position and the center
end face 2 is formed with arcuate guideways 18 and the
of curvature of the rear end face 2. This distance b
front end face 511 comprises suitable tenons 18a constitut
preferably equals or approximates the height of the vamp
ing with guideways 18 a dovetail joint which slidably
guides the heel component 5 along the concave rear end 40 or of the counter of the article of footwear which is proc-*
essed on the improved last, i.e. the radius of curvature
face 2. It will be readily understood that the assembly
of the end face 2 is at the level of the upper edge of a
18, 18a may be replaced by a different joint as long as the
substance. The upper end of the shoe last proper, i.e. of
that part which is actually receivable in an article of foot
wear, is integrally connected with mounting means 1 in
the form of a substantially rectangular block by means
of which the last is rigidly held in the press during a
joint is capable of satisfactorily guiding the heel compo
shoe on the last 3. When the distance b is selected in the‘
nent 5 with respect to the forward component 4.
The upper end face of the heel component 5 carries a
just described manner, the upper half of the heel com=
or more screws or other fastening means.
upper edge of the shoe upper, i.e. when it is already with“
drawn from the latter. The outline 5p actually repre;
sents the outline of a human heel, the so-called heel arch
which, as is well known, begins to curve inwardly and
forwardly at the lower end of the Achilles tendon, i.e.
above the heel bone. By moving along such an arc, .the
heel component 5 is readily insertable into or removable
from a shoe upper without subjecting ‘the latter’s upper
edge portion to excessive expanding stresses. In other
ponent 5 will begin to advance rearwardly and beyond
reinforcing plate 6 which is rigidly secured thereto by one 45 the outline 5p only when it moves to a level above the
This plate car
ries a pair of symmetrically arranged angular sliders 11
whose inwardly projecting ?anges extend into substan
tially elliptic recesses or channels 16 formed in the op- ,
posing sides of an eccentric reciprocating element 9. The
latter is received in a cutout ‘1a provided in and extend
ing forwardly from the rear end face of the mounting
means 1 and is mounted olf center on a transverse shaft
or pivot axle 8. The shaft 8 is formed with a key 3a
which extends into a complementary groove of the nearly
elliptical eccentric element 9 so that the parts 8, 9 al
ways move in unison. The shaft is rotatable by a handle
or lever 7 which is non-rotatably secured thereto by one
or more screws 19, by a key, or in any other suitable 60
When an operator desires to shorten the last 3, i.e.
either prior to the introduction into an article of footwear
or for withdrawal from the latter, the actuating lever 7
is preferably pivoted in forward direction, i.e. toward the
toe portion of .the ‘forward component 4, whereby the
eccentric reciprocating element 9 moves into the posi
tion of FIG. 4 causing the sliders 11 to travel in their
respective recesses 19 and to move the heel component
5 upwardly and along the arcuate rear end face 2, the
component 5 being guided in such movement by the dove
tail joint 18, 181:. The connection between parts 6, 11 on
words, the upper half of the heel component 5 moves
rearwardly of the actual outline of a shoe upper only
when the last 3 is already in the inoperative position of
‘FIG. 4-. Of course, when the article of footwear deviates
from its customary shape in that its upper comprises a
high top, the upper half of the heel component 5 will
bear against the backstay. However, this presents little
or no problem because the top and the backstay are not
reinforced and, therefore, can yield to an extent much
greater than the stiff counters of a shoe. In addition, and
as is also observable in PEG. 4, the rear edge of the heel
component 5 slopes downwardly and forwardly whereby a
shoe mounted on the last 3 has a natural tendency to slip
off the forward component 4.
Consequently, the im
proved last is equally useful as a holder for low or very
high articles of footwear during a vulcanizing operation.
When the lever 7 is actuated to turn the eccentric re
ciprocating element 9 and to move the heel component 5
the one hand and the heel component 5 on the other hand
into the extreme lowermost position, the latter is arrested
may comprise one or more bolts 6a indicated in MG. 3
by a suitable abutment or stop 20 which is provided at
by two vertical dot~dash lines.
75 the lower end of the rear end face 2, i.e. close to the
bottom face of the forward component 4. The stop 20
prevents the movement of component 5 into a position
in which the latter’s bottom face would project beyond
the bottom face of the forward component 4, i.e. the un
derside of ‘the composite last 3 then presents a smooth,
continuous surface. The stop 20 is preferably provided
component in place as the eccentric element 9 of FIGSQ.
1 to 4. The locking means 21 resists the pressure which
is exerted against the bottom face of the composite shoe
last 3’ during a sole vulcanizing operation.
Accurate formation and ?nishing of arcuate end faces
2, 5a and 2’, 5a’ on the components of shoe lasts 3, 3' re
spectively, adds somewhat to the manufacturing cost of
these devices. Such cost may be reduced by constructing
at the lower end of the dovetail joint 18, 18a.
A very important advantage of the comparatively solid
the shoe last in the manner shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The
and hence strong eccentric reciprocating element 9 is that
it provides a very stable connection between the parts 10 forward component 4” of the last 3" is formed with a
straight, forwardly and upwardly inclined rear end face
1, 4 on the one hand, and the heel component 5 on the
2" which cooperates with the straight front end face 5a"
other hand. In addition, and as may be observed in FIG.
of the heel component 5". The inclination of the end
1, when the heel component 5 abuts against the stop 24),
face 2” with respect to the general plane of the bottom
the eccentric element 9 is moved at least slightly beyond
face of the forward component 4" is between 45 and 90
its dead center position whereby it locks the heel com
degrees and, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, preferably closer
ponent in the extreme lowermost position unless the lever
to 90 degrees than to 45 degrees. In fact, the inclina
7 is actuated by hand to move the eccentric element to
tion of the lower halves of arcuate end faces 2 and 2’,
the other side of the dead center position.
too, is within this general range. The provision of straight
FIGS. 1 and 4 illustrate that a space receiving the
plate 6, the sliders 11 and the lower portion of eccentric 20 end faces 2", 5a" greatly simpli?es the formation of the
dovetail joint 18", 18a" since the latter’s components, too,
element 9 is formed between the upper end face of the
extend along straight lines.
heel component 5 and the cutout 1a in the rear portion
The heel component 5" is reciprocated by a toggle
of the mounting means 1. This space is especially large
mechanism comprising an actuating lever 7" which is
when the component 5 is in the position of FIG. 1 and
keyed on a transverse shaft 8" rotatably carried by the
provides room for movements of said component into the
mounting means 1" of the forward component 4"; a ?rst
position of FIG. 4. Though it does not in any way affect
reciprocating link 14 which is non-rotatably ?xed to the
the operation or usefulness of the last 3, such space
shaft 8"; and a second reciprocating link 16 which is
nevertheless is undesirable insofar as it exposes certain
articulately connected with the link 14 and with the heel
moving parts and may permit accumulation of foreign
matter such as could, in the long run, affect the move 30 component 5" by means of pivot pins 15, 17, respectively.
ments of the heel component, for example, by permitting
entry of dust into the grooves 18 (see FIG. 2). The
shoe last 3’ of FIG. 5, though very simillar to the device
of FIGS. 1 to 4, comprises a modi?ed heel component
5’ which is shaped in such a way that no space is formed
along the rear end face 2' of the forward component 4’.
When in operative position of FIG. 5, the component 5’
completely ?lls the cavity bounded by the rear end face
2’. The means for reciprocating the component 5’ with
respect to the forward portion or component 4' comprises
a spur gear 12 which is received in a cutout 1a’ formed
in the rear portion of mounting means 1’ and which is
non-rotatably mounted on a transverse shaft 8', the latter
The pins 15, 17 are parallel with the shaft 8". The
downward movement of the heel component 5" is limited
by a stop or abutment means 12h" located close to the
bottom face of the forward component 4".
The toggle mechanism operates as follows: When the
operator desires to withdraw the heel component 5” in
upward direction, he pivots the lever 7 " in rearward direc
tion whereby the links 14, 16 cause the heel component
to travel along the forwardly inclined rear end face 2.",
the heel component being guided in such movement by
the sliding dovetail joint 18", 18a". It will be readily
understood that the toggle mechanism must be of rugged
construction in order to withstand stresses exerted against
the underside of the heel component during a vulcanizing
being rotatable in the mounting means 1' and traversing
operation. This also applies to the guide means 18",
the cutout 1a’. The connection between the handle ‘7’
and the shaft 8' is such that these parts always move in 45 18a”. In the construction of FIGS. 6 and 7, the actuat
ing lever '7" preferably extends into the cutout 1a" of
unison. The teeth of gear 12 mesh with the teeth of a
the mounting means 1"; however, such construction is
segment 13 which is rigidly secured to the upper face of
equally possible in the shoe lasts 3 and 3’.
the heel component 5' and forms an extension of the
As is shown in FIG. 6, the heel component 5" comes
arcuate front end face 5a’. The latter also carries one
member of the sliding dovetail joint 18', 18a’ which is 50 into abutment with the stop 20" when the toggle mech
anism including the parts 7", 8", and 1447 moves at
adapted to guide the heel component in movements be
least slightly beyond its dead center position, i.e. the
tween the two extrerne positions. The abutment means
tobble mechanism embodies a self-locking feature which
20' prevents downward movements of the component 5’
prevents upward movement of the heel component when
beyond the position of FIG. 5. The length of front end
the last 3" is in actual use.
face 50’ equals the length of the rear end face '2'.
It will be understood that the reciprocating means
When the lever 7’ is pivoted in forward direction, the
toothed means 12, 13 bring about an upward movement
of the embodiments shown in FIGS. l—4, 5 and 6-7 may
of the heel component 5' whereby the latter’s pointed
upper end portion travels upwardly and rearwardly be
be interchanged, if desired. For example, an eccentric
reciprocating system may be utilized in the last 3", or the
yond the mounting means 1' to shorten the combined
last 3 may comprise a system similar to the one shown in
FIG. 5 merely by adding one or more intermediate gears
bottom face of last 3’ in the same manner as described
in connection with 'FIGS. 1 to 4. In such position, the
last 3' may be readily inserted into or withdrawn from
an article of fotwear. When the last is properly received
in the shoe, the lever 7' is pivoted back into the position
of FIG. 5 to thereby move the heel component 5’ along
the rear end face 2.’ and into abutment with the stop
means 20'. A schematically represented locking pin 21
or the like is then inserted through a pair of aligned bores
between the gear which is operated by the actuating lever
and the toothed means on the heel component.
over, the con?guration of the mounting means which
forms part of the forward component may be changed,
if desired, to ?t into different types of vulcanizing presses.
Regardless of whether the forward component is formed
with a concave or with a forwardly and upwardly inclined
rear end face, upward movement of the heel component
in the heel component 5’ and mounting means 1’ to pre 70 along such end face invariably results in suf?cient re
duction in the overall length of the shoe last so that the
vent undesired rotation of the gear 12 into heel-lifting
latter is readily insertable into and removable from
position. Such locking means should preferably be pro
an article of footwear without damaging the upper part
vided because the heel reciprocating gear 12 is coaxially
mounted on its shaft 8' and, therefore, has no dead cen
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully re
ter position in which it could automatically lock the heel 75
veal the gist of the present invention that others can, by
applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various
applications without omitting features that, from the
standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential charac
teristics of the generic and speci?c aspects of this inven
tion, and therefore, such adaptations should and are in
tended to be comprehended within the meaning and range
of equivalence of the following claim.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by
Letters Patent is:
A variable~length shoe last for use in vulcanizing
presses and the like, said last comprising, in combination,
a forward component having a bottom face and a concave
rear end face extending upwardly from said bottom face,
said rear end face having a center of curvature located
rearwardly and externally of said last and that portion
of said rear end face which is adjacent to said bottom
face being inclined in forward direction; mounting means
for said last located above and rigid with said forward
component and having a top face; a heel component
having a top and a bottom face and a convex front
end face complementary to and connected with the rear
end face of said forward component slidably along the
same, the height of said heel component being smaller
than the combined heights of said forward component and
said mounting means; and reciprocating means operatively
connected with said components for sliding said heel
component along said rear end face of said forward com
ponent from an operative position in which the bottom
faces of both components are aligned with each other
in direction toward said top face of said mounting means
into a releasing position a distance not exceeding the
cliiference between said combined heights of said forward
component and said mounting means and the height of
said heel component so that also in said releasing posi
tion the top face of said heel component is not located
above said top face of said mounting means, the length
of that portion of the shoe last which includes the por
tions of said components adjacent to the respective bot
tom faces being reduced when the heel component is
moved from said operative toward and into said releasing
position whereby the shoe last may be conveniently in
serted into and Withdrawn from an’ article of footwear.
References (liter! in the file of this patent
Crawford ____________ __ Aug. 1, 1922
Stewart ______________ __ Oct. 17, 1922
Ulcek ________________ __ Sept. 4, 1951
Farmer ______________ __ Apr. 12, 1960
France ______________ __ Oct. 18, 1955
Switzerland __________ _. Oct. 15, 1954
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