Title:
Combination helmet and rear view mirror
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination helmet and rear view mirror to enable a wearer to observe objects and events occurring behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards. In a preferred embodiment, the helmet is of the type that is commonly used by one playing baseball or softball. A mirror is affixed to the helmet at the underside of the brim thereof so as to lie above the eyes and in the line of sight of the wearer. In this manner, the wearer (i.e., a batter) will be better able to see reflections in the mirror corresponding to the movements of the catcher behind home plate so that the batter will quickly and easily gain an early indication of the catcher's target for the pitcher and the intended location of the next pitch to be thrown, whereby to increase the batter's chances for hitting the ball and successfully reaching base.



Inventors:
Reams Jr., Earl D. (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/888237
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/12/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/425
International Classes:
A42B1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LINDSEY, RODNEY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Morland C.Fischer (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. In combination: a helmet to be worn on the head of a wearer; and a mirror affixed to the helmet and positioned in the line of sight of the wearer so as to enable the wearer to see a reflection in said mirror and observe objects and events occurring behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards.

2. The combination recited in claim 1, wherein the helmet has a cap portion to cover the wearer's head and a brim projecting outwardly and forwardly from the cap portion, said mirror affixed to said helmet at said brim.

3. The combination recited in claim 2, wherein said mirror is affixed to said helmet at the underside of said brim so as to lie above the eyes of the wearer.

4. The combination recited in claim 3, wherein said mirror has a flat reflector surface and a curved backing surface lying opposite said reflector surface, said curved backing surface engaging the underside of said brim when said mirror is affixed to said helmet.

5. For a helmet having a cap portion to cover a wearer's head and a brim projecting outwardly and forwardly from the cap portion, the improvement comprising a mirror affixed to the helmet at the underside of the brim so as to lie above the eyes and in the line of sight of the wearer by which to enable the wearer to see a reflection in said mirror and observe objects and events occurring behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a rear view mirror affixed below the brim of a helmet such as, for example, that worn by a baseball or softball player, to provide the player with easy visual access to events happening behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards. In this manner, the player can see the movements of the catcher to gain an early indication of the intended location of the next pitch thrown by the pitcher so as to increase the player's chances of hitting the ball and successfully reaching base.

2. Background Art

During the game of baseball or softball, a pitcher attempts to throw a ball to a catcher without the batter getting a hit and reaching base. To help the pitcher fool the batter, the catcher will often change his position behind home plate while setting up a target towards which the pitcher throws the ball. It is not uncommon for the catcher to move from one side of the plate to the other from one pitch to the next in an effort to make the batter guess where the catcher's target will be located and where the next pitch will be thrown. Since the batter must concentrate on the incoming pitch, he will not have time to notice the location of the catcher behind him and, consequently, the corresponding location of the catcher's target towards which the pitched ball is thrown.

It would therefore be desirable to reduce the guess work of the batter by enabling him to be able to quickly and easily determine the position of the catcher behind the plate so as to know the intended location of the next pitch without having to take time to turn his head around to look backwards.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In general terms, a combination helmet and rear view mirror is disclosed to enable a wearer to see objects and events located behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards. In a preferred embodiment, the helmet is of the type that is commonly worn by those playing baseball or softball. In this manner, the batter who wears the helmet will be able to view the movements of the catcher behind home plate so as to gain an early indication of the catcher's target for the pitcher and the intended location of the next pitch, whereby to increase the batter's chances of hitting the ball and successfully reaching base.

The helmet according to the preferred embodiment includes a hard shell cap portion to cover the batter's head, a pair of side ear flaps depending downwardly from the cap portion to cover the batter's ears, and a brim projecting forwardly from the cap portion. The mirror is mounted on the helmet at the underside of the brim by means of an adhesive bonding material, or similar fastener. The back of the mirror may be flat or curved to conform to the contour of the brim. Accordingly, the batter will be better able to look rearwardly by merely shifting his eyes upwardly towards the mirror located underneath the brim so as to view the image reflected therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a helmet of the type that is commonly worn by a batter playing baseball or softball and having a mirror mounted underneath the brim thereof in accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the helmet of FIG. 1 showing the mirror attached underneath the brim;

FIG. 3 shows one example of a mirror that is suitable to be located underneath the brim of the batting helmet of FIGS. 1 and 2; and

FIG. 4 shows a batter wearing the helmet of FIGS. 1 and 2 having the mirror of FIG. 3 so as to enable the batter to see objects behind him without having to turn his head around to look backwards.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The combination helmet and rear view mirror which forms the present invention is initially described while referring to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. As is best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the helmet 1 to which the rear view mirror 20 is affixed is a conventional baseball or softball helmet. However, it is to be expressly understood that the helmet 1 could have other uses and shapes where it is desirable to be able to view objects and events behind the wearer without first having to turn around and look backwards. By way of example only, the helmet 1 could also be of the type worn by those riding a bicycle, a motorcycle, a horse, or any other vehicle or animal where the wearer's primary attention is focused straight ahead and in the direction of travel.

The helmet 1 has a hard shell cap portion 3 to cover and protect the wearer's head. Padding 5, typically manufactured from foam or any other suitable cushion material, is strategically placed below the cap portion 3 to engage the wearer's head and absorb shock and similar forces to which the helmet 1 is subjected during use. A pair of side ear flaps 7 depend downwardly from the cap portion 3 so as to lie in spaced opposing alignment with one another to enclose and protect the wearer's ears.

It is important that the helmet 1 have a surface that is of sufficient size to accommodate the mirror 20 thereagainst. Moreover, the mirror 20 must be affixed to the helmet surface so as to be in alignment with the wearer's eyes to enable the wearer to see rearwardly by merely shifting his eyes towards the mirror to view the image reflected therein. In the case of the baseball/softball helmet 1 of FIGS. 1 and 2, a relatively wide brim 10 projects forwardly from the cap portion 3 to shade the wearer's eyes. The underside of the brim 10 of the usual baseball/softball helmet 1 is typically of sufficient size to establish an area upon which the mirror 20 can be mounted.

As is best shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the mirror 20 to be carried by the helmet 1 at the underside of the brim 10 has a generally oval reflector 22. However, depending upon the type of helmet to be used by the wearer and the shape of the brim thereof, the reflector 22 may also be round, square, rectangular, etc. The mirror 20 has a mounting surface or backing 24 that lies opposite the reflector 22. The mounting surface 24 of mirror 20 can be flat, as shown, or curved to provide an arcuate contact surface (designated 26 and shown in phantom lines) to conform with the contour of the brim 10 against which the mounting surface 24 will lie. To this end, the mounting surface 24 of mirror 20 is preferably affixed to the underside of the brim 10 of helmet 1 by means of a commercially adhesive bonding material. However, other conventional fastening means may also be used to affix mirror 20 to brim 10.

FIG. 4 of the drawings shows the mirror 20 of FIG. 3 affixed to the underside of the brim 10 of the helmet 1 of FIGS. 1 and 2 so that the mirror reflector 22 is positioned overhead the wearer when the helmet 1 is properly worn. It may be necessary to tilt the mirror 20 when the mounting surface or backing 24 thereof is affixed to brim 10 so as to enable the wearer to have adequate visual access to reflections of objects and events located behind him. In other words, locating the mirror 20 below brim 10 and in the line of sight of the wearer is equivalent to providing the wearer with “eyes in the back of his head” so that he can be made aware of rearward activities without having to turn his head around to look backwards.

In the present example, where the helmet 1 is worn by a batter attempting to hit a baseball or a softball, the batter will be able to quickly and easily view the movements of the catcher behind him by simply looking upwards toward the reflector 22 of mirror 20. In this manner, the batter will gain an early indication of the target set by the catcher and the intended location of the next pitch thrown by the pitcher so as to increase his chances of hitting the ball and successfully reaching base.