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Publication numberUS1204921 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1916
Filing dateMay 14, 1915
Priority dateMay 14, 1915
Publication numberUS 1204921 A, US 1204921A, US-A-1204921, US1204921 A, US1204921A
InventorsSilas D Wills
Original AssigneeSilas D Wills
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Life-preserving suit.
US 1204921 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




1,204,921. Patented Nov. 14, 1916.

2 SHEETS-SHEET l- Elnomtz S. D. WILLS.



1 204,92 1 a Patented Nov. 14, 1916.


W 21, 6mm



Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Nov. 14, 1916.

Application filed May 14, 1915. Serial No. 28,143.

To all whom it may concern:

Be'it known that I, SILAs D. WILLS, a citizen of the United States, residing at Fort Payne, in the county of Dekalb and State of Alabama, have invented new and useful Improvements in Life-Preserving Suits, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to life preservers and consists of a sectional suit which may be readily placed upon and around the body of the wearer and which will protect the wearer against the action and temperature of the water, keeping the wearers body and clothing dry and. warm and also keeping the wearer afloat, the suit being also provided with means whereby the wearer may propel himself more rapidly than is possible with the ordinary swimming operatlon.

One of the principal objectsof the present invention is to providea novel construction of suit embodying a plurality of sections or pieces having a novel connection between them so as to efi'ectively exclude water from the interior of the suit.

A further object of the invention is to provide in combination with the suit proper, a detachable and inflatable air pouch of novel construction combined with an air pump which may be manipulated by the wearer of the suit.

With the above and other objects in view, the invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts, as will be hereinafter more fully described, illustrated and claimed.

In the accompanying drawings :Figure 1 is a front elevation of a suit embodying the present invention. Fig. 2 is a rear elevation of the coat or waist. Fig. 3 is a front elevation of the trousers. Fig. 4 is a cross section on the line 4-4 of Fig. 1. Fig. 5 is a detail perspective view of the jointed connecting rlng. Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view of the trousers showin one of the hinged paddles connected to t e foot covering extension thereof. Fig. 7 is a detail longitudinal section through a portion of the air pouch showing the end connecting means. Fig. 8 is a cross section on an enlarged scale on the line 88 of Fig. 7. Fig. 9 1s a fragmentary view partly in section and partly in elevation showing a separable boot and the attaching means therefor.

Fig. 10 is a view partly in elevation and partly broken away showing another form of head covering or helmet.

In the preferred embodiment of this invention t e life preserving suit embodies two pieces, A enerally designating the coat or waist and the trousers.

The coat and trousers overla each other and in order to connect them y a watertight joint, the trousers have securel fastened thereto by a water-tight jo1nt, a jointed connecting rin 1, formed with a pivot joint 2 at one si e and a lap joint 3 at a diametrically opposite point as shown in Fig. 5 so .as to enable said ring to be extended or opened and closed as may be required.

The ring 1 is grooved or concaved in its outer side, being concavo-convex in cross section and the lower portion 3' of the coat or upper garment section is provided with an elastic gore 4 adapting said portion of the upper section to be placed around the ring 1 1n overlapping relation to the upper portion of the trousers, the waist bein confined around the trousers by means 0 a tie or cord 5 as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. This cord draws the upper section. of the garment tightly and closely around the ring 1 of the lower section of the garment and prevents water from getting into the suit at the point referred to.

The upper section of the suit is provided with sleeves 6 and gloves 7 and is also provided with a head covering hood 8 having at the front an observation window 9 and a connection or nipple 10 for the adjustment of an air hose to supply air to the wearer. In the ordinary use of the suit, however, the connection 10 is sealed by means of a plug 11.

p 12 designates an air intake valve at one side of the hood 8 and 13 designates an air exhaust valve at the opposite side. These valves enable the operator to breathe freely while excluding water.

The trousers B comprise the foot covering portions or extensions 14 each of which is provided with a tightening strap 15 and a metal toe clip 16 securely fastened thereto and having hinged thereto at 17 a paddle 18 which automatically opens and closes to enable the wearer of the suit to propel himself through the water. Each of the leg portions of the trousers is provided adj acent to the knee with a take-up strap 19.

At opposite sides of the trousers are pouch holders 20 in the form of loops which are firmly secured to the trousers by rivets 21 or equivalent fastening devices. 22 designates a flexible and inflatable alr pouch adapted to encircle the suit and inserted through the loops 20. The detailed construction of the air pouch is best illustrated in Figs. 7 and 8 wherein it will be seen that the pouch is provided at each end with an tight heads 23 and 24. The head 24 is provided with projecting catches 25 whlch are adapted to be engaged by spring catches 26 slidable radially in openings in the head 23, the stems "of said catches passing through openings in a projecting annular flange 27 of the head 23 as shown in Fig. 7. 'A filler block 28 is fitted to the head 24 and provided with an annular groove 29 to receive a flexible flap 30 projecting beyond the head 24 and held in the groove 29 by means of a cord 31. The construction just referred to enables the air pouch to be readily disconnected from the suit and as readily connected thereto so that should the air pouch become punctured or injured in any way a new pouch may be readily applied to the trousers.

To enable the wearer to inflate the air pouch 22, an air pump 31 is fixedly attached to the trousers as shown in Figs. 1 and 3 and connected to the airpouch 22 by means of a flexible tube 30. The wearer may thus fully inflate the air pouch himself before entering the water. I

In some cases it may be found desirable to provide separable boots instead of forming the foot covering extensions integrally with the. trousers. Such an arrangement is shown in Fig. 9 in which 32 designates one of a pair of detachable boots. Each boot is provided with a metal connectin ring 33 surrounding the same and secure thereto with a water-tight joint and the bottom portionof the trousers leg indicated at 34 overlaps the leg covering portion of the boot 32, and is secured in the outer concaved side of the ring 33 by means of a cord 35, the joint being similar to that described in connection with the upper and lower sections A and B of the suit. .The boot 32 and trousers leg 34 are additionally connected by one or more take up straps 36 and buckles 37 as shown in Fig. 9. It is also intended to provide each of the boots 32 with a toe clip 38 to which a swimming paddle 39 is pivotally connected at 40.

The suit throughout is formed of waterproof material such as canvas properly treated to exclude water. The suit entirely encompasses the wearer and protects him from the action of the water, keeping him dry and warm and sustaining his head and shoulders well above the water by means of the air pouch 22. When the suit is taken ofl, it may be collapsed or folded and compactly stored for use when needed; Ordinarily the suit and all parts thereof will be sufficiently large to enable the same to be worn outside of the usual clothing and shoes, any slack in the trousers being compensated for by the take-up straps 19.

In lieu of the integrally formed head covering shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the separable head covering or helmet illustrated in Fig. 10 may be employed wherein 41 represents the body of the helmet provided with a bottom flange 42 around which the remainder of the suit may be firmly clamped by any suitable means. The helmet is shown as provided with pipes 12 and 13 corresponding with the pipes 12 and 13 of Fig. 1 and is also provided with an observation window 43 shown in the form of a door hinged at 44 and held normally closed by means of a spring 45 and a catch 46. The helmet is also shown as provided with internally arranged pads 47 and 48 to protect the operator in case the helmet strikes against any hard object.

at I claim is In a life preserving suit, the combination of trousers, foot coverings detachably fastened to the bottom thereof by water tight joints, an inwardly offset coupling ring of concavo-convex shape in cross section fastened to the trousers below the waist line and above the crotch, shoulder straps terminally attached to said trousers, loops secured to the trousers in line with the hips, a coat section embodying a head covering and a skirt portion adapted to waist portion of the trousers, a flexible tie surrounding the skirt portion of the coat and adapted to press the same tightly into the inset ring 0 the trousers, and a split annular air pouch flexible throughout and adapted to be inflated, said pouch embodying air-tight heads at the extremities thereof, an annular flap extending beyond one of said heads, a filler block fitted to one of the heads and lying within said flap and formed with an annular groove to receive a portion of the flap, a flexible tie confining said flap in the groove of the filler block, catches projecting through said filler block overlap the and having shoulders, a projecting flange In testimony whereof I afiix my signature at the oppofiite extllfmityhof thie1 poulclfi, and in presence of two witnesses.

spring catc es wor ing t roug sai ange and engaging the first named catches, said SILAS WILLS 5 pouch as a whole being insertible through Witnesses:

and removable from the aforesaid loops on JOHN A. DAVIS,

the trousers. J. B. HARALSON.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2582811 *Jan 31, 1947Jan 15, 1952Harvey L WilliamsGarment
US2702386 *Mar 22, 1949Feb 22, 1955Temple Safety On Sea Mfg Co InFire and water safety suit
US2732231 *Oct 21, 1952Jan 24, 1956 Zobel
US2779331 *Sep 12, 1952Jan 29, 1957Trexler Philip CProtective garment
US3951160 *Dec 5, 1974Apr 20, 1976Nitu Jon EBall umbrella
US4062079 *Aug 11, 1975Dec 13, 1977Potter Cyril SInflatable body suit
US6851203 *May 23, 2002Feb 8, 2005Thomas E. RoelofsFootwear with attachable covering
US20020174565 *May 23, 2002Nov 28, 2002Roelofs Thomas E.Footwear with attachable covering
US20130283645 *Apr 25, 2012Oct 31, 2013Sharanda HouserSystem for straightening footwear
U.S. Classification441/105, 2/82, 36/1.5
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/093