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Publication numberUS1064743 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1913
Filing dateApr 15, 1912
Priority dateApr 15, 1912
Publication numberUS 1064743 A, US 1064743A, US-A-1064743, US1064743 A, US1064743A
InventorsIrwin Floyd Kepler
Original AssigneeGoodrich Co B F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1064743 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented June 17, 1913.


1T SE5 INVENTOR Z firm/v fiaro AZPufi 6y I a Wag I. F. KEPLER.



1,064,743. Patented June 17, 1913.



mwm FLOYD KEPLER, or AKRON, onto, assxouon T0 rim 1 n. 6001111101:

compan or NEW YORK, N. Y., A conroxa'rron on NEW YORK.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, IRWIN F LOYD KEPLER, a citizen of the United States, residing at Akron, in the county of Summit and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Life-Preservers, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to life preservers, and particularly to a device of this class designed for the use of aviators and others likely to be precipitated into the water in a stunned or otherwise helpless condition.

The device is particularly designed to permit a maximum freedom of movementand to support the wearer face up in the water, with the mouth and nose well above the surface, so that the wearer even if unconscious will not drown. These results are secured by the proper proportioning and arrangement of the buoyant portions of the device in the general manner shownin the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Figure 1 is a front elevation of the complete device; Fig. 2 is a central vertical sec tion of the same; Fig. 3 is a horizontal section on the line cc of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a rear elevation; Fig. 5 is a section on the line ee of Fig. 1; and Fig. 6 is a view showing the position assumed by the life preserver when supporting a man on the water.

The life preserver consists of a west 1 of the general form shown in the drawings, made preferably of a laminated fabric consisting of cloth and rubber, though any other fabric impervious to air and water may be used. The back 2 and the other portions which are not inflated are not necessarily made of such fabric but in practice it is found simpler so to make them. The vest fastens down the front with straps 3 and buckles 4 and is provided with a vent 5 in the back having take-up straps 6 and buckles 7. A belt 8 is attached inside the preserver by loops 9 and serves to fasten the same securely at the Waist to prevent its riding up unduly. The front portions of the vest consist of a series of substantially vertical intercommunicating cells or lobes 10 which are formed by providing an inner wall 11 and an outer wall 12 connected to gether at intervals by stays 13 which are so constructed as to permit the passage of air through or around them from one cell to the next adjoining. This effect may be secured Specification of Letters Patent. Application filed April 15, 1912. Serial Io. 690,868.

and the position.

Patented June 17, 1913.

by making the stays 13 of cloth or the like, or in any other way known in; the art. A pair of cells 14 constructed in the same eneral manner as those heretofore descri d, and\of considerable size and thickness, extend across the back of the vest and are connected thereto only at their upper extremities, so that the cells 14 may swing u back of the wearers head, as indicated in ig. 6 when the wearer is in the water, but may lie across his shoulders, as shown in Fig. 2, when he is in an upright position. It will be observed that the cells 14 are of considerable size, and are large enough to support the wearers head well above the surface, as will later be more fully pointed out. The cells 14 are connected through tubes 15 to the two sets of cells at the front of the vest entire preserver may therefore be inflated through a single valve 16. This valve 16 is mounted on a tube 17 which when not in use is tucked into a loop 18 provided to receive it.

By constructing the vest with the stays described it beconies possible to very tightly inflate the vest without distorting its form and consequently the preserver gives a very stable and unvarying support to the wearer.

This point is of. the utmost importance for in many cases the wearer will be thrown into the water stunned and unable to control his The main air chambers of the life preserver being located at the front, the wearer will inevitably be supported face up and the buoyant action of the cells 14 will lift his head clear of the water as shown in Fig. 6.

It is to be noted that the life preserver is not clumsy or unwieldy, and therefore does not impede the movements of the aviator, while controlling his machine.

I have also constructed vestsof this gen eral character in which instead of inflating the cells I fill them with granulated cork or similar buoyant material. This method makes a vest which is practically as light as that constructed with air cells. and by some may be preferred. Both methods are contemplated in my invention. The primary feature of the same is the form and location of the buoyant masses which support the wearer.

Having thus described the invention, what I claim is1- 1. In a life preserver, the combination of .a vest-like garment; a buoyant mass of limited thickness mounted in the front thereof; and a second flat buoyant mass flexibly attached by one edge across the shoulders of said garment, and adapted normally to lie flatuponthe back of the wearers shoulders but to swing up and support the wearers head when he is in the water.

2. In a life preserver, the combination of a "est-like garment; air chambers formed in the front portion thereof, one at each side, and each consistin of a plurality of inter communicating cefis; another air chamber hingedly attached across the shoulders of said garment and adapted both to lie in contact with the shoulders and to swing to a position back of the wearers head to support the same; and means for inflating said air chambers.

3. In a life preserver, the combination of a vest-like garment; air chambers formed in the front portion thereof, one at each side, and each consisting of a plurality of intercommunicating cells; another air chamber hingedly attached across the shoulders of said garment and adapted both to lie in contact with the shoulders and to swing to a position back of the wearers head to support the same; means for inflating said air chambers; and a belt connected to said garment and adapted to hold the lower portion thereof in position upon the wearer.

In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.



WALTER K. Mmns, ILLA N. Knm.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2950488 *Aug 14, 1956Aug 30, 1960Goodrich Co B FInflatable flotation vest
US4344620 *Nov 9, 1979Aug 17, 1982Debski Andre JExercise vest
US5030153 *Jul 30, 1990Jul 9, 1991Ero IndustriesFlotation vest
US7037155 *Jul 25, 2003May 2, 2006Freeman Jeffrey GPersonal flotation devices
DE10001302A1 *Jan 14, 2000Jul 19, 2001Guenter RoskopfLife jacket for persons involved in marine disasters comprises individually inflatable air chambers arranged in garment for upper body of wearer
U.S. Classification441/115
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/115