INTRODUCTION TO PATENTS
GLOSSARY OF PATENT TERMS
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3. Circumstances and Date of Conception:
On 13 July 1994 I was planting a tree in my back yard. In order to plant the tree I had to dig a rather large hole. It was a hot summer and the soil was very hard. It was therefore difficult to force the blade of the shovel into the ground. I tried using my foot to step down on the shoulder of the shovel blade, however I was wearing tennis shoes and pressing down upon the narrow shoulder hurt the arch of my foot. I thought what if I had a pedal attachment that could be connected to the top of the shovel blade. The pedal would have a large surface area so that it would not hurt my foot as I forced the blade into the soil.
4. Description of the Invention:
a. Purpose - My digging aid is used to help in the digging of a hole in the ground, particularly when the soil is hard.
b. Drawings - My invention and how it attaches to a shovel is shown in FIGURE 1.
c. Description of the Parts - My digging aid is for use with a conventional shovel having a shovel blade (1), a socket (2), and a handle (5) inserted into the socket (2). The digging aid consists of a sleeve (4) which has a pedal (5) against which foot pressure may be applied. The sleeve (4) fits around the socket (2) of the shovel and is retained in place by a U-bolt (6).
d. Use - The digging aid is removably attached to the socket (2) of the shovel blade (1) directly above the shoulder (7) of the blade. The attachment is made by a U-bolt (6) which connects around the socket (2) of the shovel and holds the sleeve (4) of the digging aid firmly against the socket (2). The user then uses his or her foot to press down upon the pedal (5) of the digging aid to force the blade of the shovel into the soil. The foot can be placed on the right side of the socket (2), on the left side of the socket (2), or the foot can be turned so that the entire foot lays along the pedal (5).
e. Novel Features - I have looked in hardware stores and in various garden supply catalogs, and can nowhere find a product similar to mine. I did find one device which attaches to the shoulder (7) of the shovel, however this product had a very small surface area, and is quite difficult to attach. I believe that my invention has the following novel features which are not disclosed in the prior art:
f. Advantages - My invention fits virtually fits any shovel, is easy to install, and greatly reduces the amount of work required to dig a hole. It is made of galvanized or stainless steel, and therefore will not rust. No prior art device provides the novel features and results listed in e. above.
5. Testing Results:
On 15 August 1994 I tested a prototype version of my digging aid. I found that by using my invention, the blade of the shovel could penetrate approximately 8 inches of hard soil. Without my invention, only a 5 inch penetration could be achieved by applying foot pressure to the shoulder of the shovel blade.