Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oh, patents! Dr. Scholl’s® foot comfort

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Dr. Scholl’s foot comfort and footwear products were first manufactured at the turn of the 20th century in Chicago, Il.,, in 1906, by a podiatrist named William Mathias Scholl. Among the originally patented products there were various cushion insoles, ball of foot cushions, anti-corn pads, compression stockings, the “foot-eazer” (an arch support), and orthopedic shoes. The company was an international success as early as 1915 when a retail store was opened in London (UK).  

 To date the company produces lines of foot comfort products and footwear that respond to specific foot problems such as arch pain, corns, callouses and bunions, blisters, heel or ball of foot pain; or specific  lower back problems such as arthritis, as well as specific skin problems such as Athlete’s foot, foot odor or nail fungus.

The company’s very popular mid 1970s wooden “exercise” sandals which purportedly tone calf muscles, with a contoured sole that espouses foot anatomy and a colored leather strap, propelled Dr. Scholl’s footwear into the fashion world.

Today the company headquarters are located in London (UK), and it is owned by Merck & Co in the US, which markets all the Dr. Scholl’s® foot comfort and footwear products under the original brand name.

 Among the thousands of patents granted and assigned to  Scholl Inc. in Chicago, you will find below the abstract of patent US 4124946, granted for a Built-in insole and article of footwear containing same which discloses the Dr. Scholl’s® classic and well known contoured insole, where contoured is defined as: 

“ in keeping with the plantar surface of a human foot and in a manner to support the foot in an anatomically correct position while lending a cushioning effect on the sole of the foot as well as being absorbent to perspiration”.

 You will also find one of the patent drawings of the insole, and below a picture of a marketed Dr. Scholl’s® original contoured “exercise” wooden sandal with the colored strap. 

 Abstract US4124946

This invention relates to a supporting insole built into a shoe or other article of footwear, and to the article of footwear containing said insole, the insole being shaped to conform to the plantar surface of a human foot and seated in a recess in the outsole to which the insole and upper are attached.
Hmmmm, this is patented chocolate for your feet!...

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