Help pull up trousers with inventor’s Pants On Easy
If you have lost your autonomy because your injured, recuperating from surgery or just getting up there in age, a local man says he has an invention that could help.
Jim L., a city employee, has invented a way to help folks who can’t easily bend down to their legs to put on their pants. Jim, a code enforcement supervisor who invented Pants On Easy last year, said he came up with the idea after surgery for a degenerative bone condition left him immobilized for two months.
The product is “for any person who has a limitation for bending over to put their pants on,” the 58-year-old said. It helps you to be, to a degree, somewhat independent.”
The only problem is it’s not yet for sale. Jim is seeking a manufacturer for his product, which he declines to describe in much detail because it hasn’t been patented. A patent would protect from being copied.
He describes it as a “very user-friendly, simple design” that he constructed using $5 or $6 worth of commonly found materials.
“It’s not technical whatsoever,” he said.
Jim said he invented the product because “hip kits” that are currently available - some of which include long shoehorns and poles that can hold a sponge or grab socks and other clothing -didn’t fit his needs. He credits his 34 years as a licensed contractor - he worked in construction before joining the city four years ago - for his creative skills.
“Working in construction, alone a lot of the time, I’ve had to be innovative to accomplish the task,” he said.
That’s a quality his city coworkers have learned to appreciate. Brenda T., his boss at the city’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, said Jim is renowned for his skills.
“We had this new office furniture,” she said, “and he figured out how to put it together.”
Through his invention, Jim joins a storied tradition of American inventors that can be traced back to Ben Franklin’s invention of the lightning rod and bifocals more than 200 years ago. That tradition continues today with more than 85,000 patents issued to Americans last year. Almost 3,000 of those went to Floridians, a healthy number, but way behind the nation’s undisputed leaders in innovation, Californians, who scored almost 20,000.
Jim said he has written to more than 200 manufacturers over the past year and has developed another invention - a household cleaning item that he’s also keeping secret.
If that pans out, who knows, he might become a full-time inventor.
“I’m full of ideas all the time,” he said. “I’d never thought of it as a career. But I’d enjoy it.”