Sunday, January 31, 2010

1912 - The First Chiropractic-related Patent?

Was this chiropractic table, granted a patent on Aug. 6, 1910, the first patent for something related to chiropractic? It's the earliest I've been able to find.

The patent was filed on Dec. 3, 1910 by John H. Schenck of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Presumably, Schenck was a doctor of chiropractic, but that remains unknown at this time. I was under the impression that Williams (founder of the current Williams Healthcare Manufacturing company) was the original producer of a Hylo style table (a table that raises up like this one), but maybe Schenck's design was first and never went into production. According to my patent search, William G. Williams' patent for a Hylo style table didn't come about until 1924, and was granted in 1929.

According to the patent, Schenck's purpose for this table was so that the table "may be elevated into vertical position so that the patient may be properly positioned upon the table while erect and lowered into a horizontal position for treatment and again raised into upright position so as to leave the table without producing any ill effects of an undoing of the good effects produced by the treatment."

In the picture from the patent, note that there is no split cushion or space for the face, necessitating that the patient always have their head rotated during an adjustment. I always find it fascinating that it took so long to figure out that they could use a split cushion or put a hole in the table for the face for patient comfort! Gee...

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