Title:
Athletic helmet
United States Patent 2150290


Abstract:
This invention relates to an athletic helmet for use in football and other athletic games. Heretofore it has been customary to provide helmets to be worn by players in football and other athletic games for the purpose of protecting the head from injury. To maintain the crown of the helmet...



Inventors:
Mulvey, Joseph A.
Application Number:
US17185837A
Publication Date:
03/14/1939
Filing Date:
10/30/1937
Assignee:
Mulvey, Joseph A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/12
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Description:

This invention relates to an athletic helmet for use in football and other athletic games.

Heretofore it has been customary to provide helmets to be worn by players in football and other athletic games for the purpose of protecting the head from injury. To maintain the crown of the helmet above the top of the wearer's head to prevent the head from receiving directly the impact of blows on the crown of the helmet, it has been customary to provide in the upper part of the helmet a pair of non-stretchable cross straps arranged at right angles to each other and having their ends fastened at the base of the crown portion of the helmet. These straps engage the head of the wearer and maintain the helmet with its crown in spaced relation to the head. This construction, however, is not very satisfactory since the impact of blows on the top of the helmet is directly transmitted to the head of the wearer through the medium of the straps without any substantial diminution of the force of the impact and consequently injuries are frequent.

The primary object of the invention is the provision of a helmet equipped with pneumatic cushioning devices for protecting the head of the player against shocks and impacts.

Another object is the provision of cushioning devices which are detachably fastened in the helmet by means permitting the devices to be quickly detached when necessary and new cushioning devices installed without appreciable loss of time.

Yet another object is the provision of a cushioning device to be engaged by the crown of the head which is adapted to center the helmet upon the head and to afford a space in the crown of the helmet for absorbing head blows and impacts.

A further object is the provision of a helmet of the character described which is of simple yet efficient construction.

Other objects of the invention will be set forth and described hereinafter.

My invention contemplates a helmet comprising a casing of any suitable form of construction adapted to engage the head of the wearer and having in its crown portion a pneumatic cushion interposed between the head of the wearer and the crown of the helmet. Preferably, the cushion is of annular tubular form and is fastened to the inner face of the helmet around the base of its crown portion to provide a space between the cushion and the top of the helmet. Any suitable means may be provided for fastening the cushion in place but preferably it is provided with a peripheral flange adapted to be attached to the free edge of a strip of suitable material which is secured at its other edge around the base line of the crown portion of the helmet.

One of the important features of my invention resides in attaching the pneumatic cushion to the helmet in such a manner that it may be easily and quickly detached and a new cushion substituted whenever circumstances require it. Various means may be used for this purpose such as lacings or what is commonly called "zippers". In using the former, the flange of the cushion and the free edge of the fastening strip are provided with eyeleted holes and these two parts may be securely fastened together by lacings passed through the holes. In the latter, the edges of the flange and of the fastening strip are provided with complementary "zipper" members adapted to be locked together by the operation of the usual well-known "zipper" fastener. My invention also contemplates the provision of an elongated tubular pneumatic cushion adapted to be fastened in the front portion of a helmet for protecting the forehead and temples of the wearer and this cushion may be fastened to the helmet by any suitable means in the same manner as the crown cushion, so that, when necessary, it may be easily and quickly removed to permit the substitution of another cushion.

In the accompanying drawings illustrating one embodiment of the invention, Figure 1 is a front elevation of a helmet constructed in accordance therewith; Fig. 2 is a central vertical sectional view on line 2-2 in Figure 1; Fig. 3 is a horizontal sectional view on line 3-3 in Fig. 2, showing the crown pneumatic cushion and lacing means for fastening it within the helmet in plan view; Fig. 4 is a plan view on a reduced scale of the crown cushion adapted for lacing attachment to the helmet; Fig. 5 is a central vertical sectional view similar to Fig. 2 of the upper portion of the helmet, showing the "zipper" form of means for fastening the crown cushion within the helmet; Fig. 6 is a plan view on a reduced scale of the crown cushion attached to the fastening strip by a "zipper" device; Fig. 7 is a side elevation of a deflated pneumatic cushion for protecting the forehead of the wearer and adapted for lacing attachment within the helmet; and Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the same in inflated condition. ) Referring to the drawings, 10 indicates generally a casing of any suitable construction adapted to enclose the head of the wearer and having a crown portion II, a front portion 12, a & back portion 13 and depending side portions or ear flaps 14. An extensible strap 15 mounted in holes 16 in the lower ends of the ear flaps serves to fasten the helmet in position upon the head of the wearer.

The crown II may be made of fibre board or other suitable stiff non-yielding material and may be reinforced by a lining 19 of suitable material such as canvas or duck and on the outside by straps 20 preferably of leather running from front to rear and fastened thereto by suitable stitching 21. The lining 19 may be extended downwardly to reinforce the front and back and the side flaps which are preferably of leather.

In addition, these parts are provided with a relatively thick lining 22 of felt or other cushioning material.

'Behind the front portion 12 and extending the full width of said front portion is inserted a panel 23 of stiff material such as fibre board or leather board, which is shaped to curve outwardly, thereby producing a bulge on the lower portion of the front of the helmet. A portion 24 of the felt lining 22 is turned upwardly in engagement with the panel 23, thereby forming a pocket 80 25 between the two portions of the felt lining.

The purpose of this pocket will be described hereinafter. All of the foregoing parts of the helmet are fastened together by any suitable means such as lines of stitching 27.

5 The casing is provided in various parts with suitable holes 28 for ventilation, and the ear flaps have each a larger hole 29 adapted to register with the ear of the wearer to facilitate hearing when the helmet is worn.

My invention resides in the provision of pneumatic cushioning devices in the helmet for absorbing the impact of blows or shocks on the head of the wearer. The more important of these devices is adapted for mounting in the crown of the helmet and in its preferred form comprises a pneumatic cushion in the form of an annular tube 30 provided with a peripheral, outwardly extending and integral flange 31 (Fig. 4). The tube and flange may be made of any suitable material such as rubber or rubber composition. Since the flange serves for fastening the tube in proper position in the helmet, it may be reinforced by a thin layer 32 of suitable fabric or other material. The tubular portion 30 is provided with a 65 valve 34 for inflating it with air under pressure.

Any suitable form of valve may be employed for this purpose, such as a valve constructed in accordance with United States Letters Patent No. 1,992,764 to I. D. Perry, issued February 26, 1935.

For fastening the cushion in the top of the helmet, preferably in suspended position and spaced apart from the crown, a strip 36 of flexible material such as leather is fastened to the inner face of the helmet entirely around the base of the crown portion II by any suitable means such as stitching 37. Along its upper free margin, the strip 36 is provided with a continuous series of holes 38, preferably eyeleted, and the flange 31 of the cushion has a similar series of holes 40. These two parts are fastened together by lacing 42 passed through the holes 38 and 40 (Fig. 3).

A pair of lacings may be used for this purpose, but one lacing doubled will be found more practical because it necessitates but one knot.

In Figures 5 and 6, there is shown another means which may be used for fastening the crown cushion in the crown of the helmet. This means comprises what is commonly known as a "zipper" device, in which the two edges to be attached together are provided with complementary series of teeth adapted to be locked together or unlocked by a traveling cam member. In using this device, the top edge of the fastening strip 36 carries a series of "zipper" teeth 46 and the outer edge of the flange 31 of the crown cushion carries a complementary series of "zipper" teeth 47, the two series being adapted to be locked together by the traveling cam member 48. It is apparent that the use of this means permits the crown bladder to be changed in a helmet in a 16 few moments.

The other cushioning device contemplated by my invention, which may be termed a brow cushion, is in the form of an elongated flattened tube 50 adapted to be mounted in the pocket 25 in the front of the helmet for protecting the forehead and temples of the wearer. Along its top edge, the tube is provided with an upwardly extending flange 52 integral therewith for fastening it in position in the front of the helmet, which flange may be reinforced in the same manner as the flange of the crown cushion.

The brow cushion is mounted in the pocket 25 formed in the front of the helmet and extends around the two sides of the helmet, a distance sufficient to protect the temples of the wearer.

The pocket 25 formed in the front of the helmet between the felt layers may, if desired, be extended to its sides, but when this is done, it is preferable to extend also the ends of the reinforcing panel 23 and to bulge outwardly the sides of the helmet similarly to the front.

For fastening the brow cushion in position, its flange 52 is provided with a marginal series of holes 56, preferably eyeleted, and the bottom edge of the fastening strip 36 is provided with a similar series of eyeleted holes 58, so that these two parts may be fastened together by lacing 60 in the same manner employed for the crown cushion. In place of the lacing attachment, the "zipper" means may be used for fastening these parts together by providing their engaging edges with complementary "zipper" elements and a locking cam.

In preparing the helmet for use, the two cush- 60 ions are inflated in the usual manner. The valves of both are positioned in register with ventilating holes 28 which permit a needle to be inserted through such holes into each valve for inflating the cushion, after which the needle is withdrawn and the valve is automatically closed by the pressure in the cushion. The helmet is then ready for use.

In use, the top of the wearer's head engages the crown cushion which, because of its circular 80 form, tends to center the helmet on the head and to maintain it in that position. Since there is a space between the cushion and the crown of the helmet, any blow upon that part is dissipated downwardly through the sides of the helmet and then upwardly through the fastening strip to the cushion. The impact of the blow is thereby spread all around the helmet instead of being transmitted in a direct line and its reduced force is then absorbed by the cushion. One of the direct results secured by my construction is that the impact of blows on the top of the head is spread around the helmet which dissipates the force of that impact. Whatever force finally reaches the cushion is again spread over the entire area T of the cushion and absorbed by it, so that the wearer suffers no shock.

To a slightly less marked degree, the brow cushion operates in the same manner to protect the forehead of the wearer from the impact of blows thereon.

One of the important advantages of my invention is that the cushion, in case of deflation due to the failure of the valves, or other cause, may be very easily removed from the helmet with the expenditure of very little time and effort and new cushions mounted in their places. This operation, whether or not the lacing or zipper means are used, can be carried out in a very few minutes. It is to be understood that my invention is not to be limited to the precise construction herein shown and described, since it may be embodied in various other forms within the purview of the following claims.

What I claim is:1. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, an annular pneumatic cushion mounted within said casing adjacent the crown portion thereof but spaced apart therefrom, said cushion having a peripheral reenforced flange detachably fastened to said casing and being adapted for engaging the crown of the head of the wearer for protecting it against shocks and impacts.

2. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, a strip of flexible material fastened along one longitudinal edge thereof to the interior face of said casing around the bottom of the crown portion and an approximately annular pneumatic cushion of rubber composition having an integral peripheral flange detachably fastened to the free edge of said strip in spaced relation to the crown of said casing, said cushion being adapted to engage the crown of the head of the wearer for protecting it against shocks and impacts.

3. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, a strip of sheet material fastened along one longitudinal edge thereof to the interior face of said casing around the bottom of the crown portion and an annular pneumatic cushion having a reenforced peripheral flange detachably fastened to the free edge of said strip to hold said cushion in spaced relation 60 to the crown of said casing, said cushion being adapted to engage the crown of the head of the wearer for protecting it against shocks and inpacts.

4. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit 1 over the head of the wearer, a strip of flexible material fastened along one longitudinal edge thereof to the interior face of said casing around the bottom of the crown portion, an annular pneumatic cushion mounted in the crown portion of said casing in spaced relation thereto, said cushion having a peripheral flange, and means for detachably fastening said flange to the free edge of said strip.

5. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, a strip of flexible material fastened along one longitudinal edge thereof to the interior face of said casing around the bottom of the crown portion and having its free edge provided with lacing holes, an annular pneumatic cushion mounted in the crown portion of said casing in spaced relation thereto, said cushion having a peripheral flange provided with lacing holes, and lacing threaded through said holes for detachably fastening said flange to the free edge of said strip.

6. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, a strip of flexible material fastened along one longitudinal edge thereof to the interior face of said casing around the bottom of the crown portion, an annular pneumatic cushion mounted in the crown portion ol said casing in spaced relation thereto, said cushion having a peripheral flange, and a "zipper" device for detachably fastening said flange to the free edge of said strip.

7. A helmet comprising a casing adapted to fit over the head of the wearer, an annular pneumatic cushion fastened in the crown portion of said casing for cushioning the top of the head of the wearer and an elongated tubular pneumatic cushion mounted inside the front of the helmet for cushioning the forehead of the wearer, both of said cushions being provided with valves permitting their inflation and with integral s5 flanges provided with lacing holes for fastening them within said helmet.

8. In a helmet, a pneumatic cushion comprising a tubular member of approximately annular form provided with a valve permitting its inflation and with an integral peripheral flange adapted for fastening it in suspended position in the crown of the helmet.

9. In a helmet, a pneumatic cushion comprising a tubular member of approximately annular form provided with a valve permitting its inflation and with an integral peripheral flange provided with closely associated holes for lacing it in detachable position in the crown of the helmet.

10. In a helmet, a pneumatic cushion comprising a tubular member of approximately annular form provided with a valve permitting its inflation and with an integral peripheral flange having secured to its marginal edge a "zipper" element adapted to co-operate with a comple- Ws mentary "zipper" element for detachably fastening said cushion in the crown of the helmet.

JOSEPH A. MULVEY.