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Publication numberUS1985568 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1934
Filing dateMar 23, 1927
Priority dateMar 23, 1927
Publication numberUS 1985568 A, US 1985568A, US-A-1985568, US1985568 A, US1985568A
InventorsHall George L
Original AssigneeSwimsafe Products Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bathing suit
US 1985568 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. L. HALL BATHING-SUIT Dec. 25, 1934.

s Sheets-Sheeti Filed March 25-, 1927 M lib-clue 6. 1.. HALL BATHING SUIT Dec. 25, 1934.

1927 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 23,

wuewtoo age fiall G. L. HALL Dec. 25, 1934.

BATHING SUIT Filed March 23, 1927 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 {gauge 7 5 -1 mm) W Patented Dec. 25, 1934 BATHING SUIT George L. Hall, Greensboro, N. 0., assignor to Swimsafe Products Company, Memphis, Tenn., a corporation of Maine I Application March 23, 1927, Serial No. 177,599

8 Claims.

This invention relates to improvements both in the features of construction of a body garment as an article of apparel especially designed for use when bathing, and in the combination thereof with means of rendering the garment buoyant.

The primary object is the production of a body garment of superior construction and utility, and a further object is the enhancing of such utility by the adaptability of thegarment to be rendered buoyant.

A more detailed object is the extension of such adaptability'to the point of enabling quick and easy change to and from a condition of buoyancy, and a further carrying forward of this object is the capacitating of the garment structure for varying the extent or degree of buoyancy with facility.

Another object is the provision of a buoyant unit susceptible of demountable application to a bathing suit, that is easily, quickly and eifective- 1y applicable to and removable from a garment, and the production of a coordinating suitstructure therefor.

Still another object is the production of such a combination having the appearance of completeness at all times as if all parts of the suit structure were permanent whether the buoyant means be present or absent entirely or in greater or less degree.

A further important object is'the utilization of a buoyant element in combination with a bathing suit without appreciably or substantially detracting from such suit the characteristics of the best types of bathing suits commonly in use and non-buoyant, including graceful lines, neatness, trim, lightness, flexibility and capacity to conform to the lines of the body.

A still further object is the preservation of the effectiveness of the buoyant means under all conditions of intended, regular, and ordinary use.

A more detailed object is the production of a suit especially and peculiarly well adapted for use for facilitating and expediting teaching and learning the art of swimming. 1 With these andmany other objects in View, as will in part hereinafter be stated and in part be come apparent, the invention comprises improved garment construction, improvedbuoyant means, and improved features of combination of garment and buoyant element construction.

The invention also comprises certain other novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts and certain other novel parts, all as will be specified or rendered obvious hereinafter, and subsequently particularly pointed out or covered in theappended claims.

In the accompanying drawings,-

Figure 1 is a perspective view of .a bathing suit incorporating an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the structure being shown in use.

Figure 2 is an enlarged front elevation of the suit seen in Figure 1, parts being broken away for disclosing parts in the rear and parts being seen in elevation.

Figure 3 is a sectional elevation of one of the buoyant units in place, parts being broken out and parts broken away, and the liner fabric being seen in section, the parts being seen on a still further enlarged scale.

Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 2 on a slightly reduced scale, all buoyant units being omitted.

Figure 5 is a transverse section taken on the plane indicated by line 5--5 of Figure 4, the parts being seen on an enlarged scale.

Figure 6 is a transverse, verticalsection through the front Walls of the suit taken on the plane indicated approximately by lines 66 of Figure 2, a fragment only being shown, and the parts being seen on a greatly enlarged scale.

Figure '7 is a similar section taken on the plane indicated by line 7-7 of Figure 1, the parts being seen on an enlarged scale, slightly reduced relative to the scale of Figure 6.

Figure 8 is a longitudinaLvertical section taken on the planes indicated approximately by line 8--8 of Figure 4.

Figures 9 and 10 are sectional elevations of a buoyant unit detached, Figure 9 being of the side, and Figure 10 of the edge thereof.

Figure 11 is a view similar to Figure 4 of a slightly modified embodiment.

Figure 12 is a fragmentary elevation with parts broken away to disclose rear structures, the fragment being from the structure seen in Figure 11 with a buoyant unit applied.

Figure 13 is a longitudinal, vertical section taken on the planes indicated by line 13-13 of Figure 11.

Figure 14 is a view in side elevation of the inner fabric or liner detached, its relative location being indicated by'the dotted line showing of the balance of the garment.

Figure 15 is a similar view of the more'complete inner fabric or liner of the structure seen in Figure 4 detached, with the location relative to the balance of the garment indicated by a dotted line showing of the exterior or enclosing fabric. Figure 16 is a transverse, horizontal section on a greatly enlarged scale taken on the plane indicated by line 16-16 of Figure 2, and showing, somewhat exaggerated, the lateral lap of the ends of adjacent buoyant elements.

In the art to which this invention relates, it is regarded as desirable to have the unit restricted to as few parts, as compact, and as form-fitting as possible. To this end, it is customary to design the suit of one-piece of knitted fabric, the waist or body portion being knitted both to the skirt and to the trunks. In some proposed forms, the waist and skirt are integral and the trunks are stitched within the skirt, and in other forms the waist and trunks are one piece and the skirt stitched to the upper portion of the trunks or the lower portion of the waist. In such forms, there is but a single thickness of fabric at the waist and the chest and vital organs of the user are frequently inadequately protected from cold.

The present invention provides for astructure differing radically from such known or proposed forms without detraction from the appeal and chic or any useful or desirable feature of modern bathing suits, and still providing for added comfort and protection of the wearer by employing substantially two complete body garmentsone nested within the other and so connected as to give the same exterior appearance and freedom and comfort in use substantially as the modern one-piece suit. Where trunks and skirt are employed, the outer garment includes a waist or body portion and an integral skirt, while the inner garment also includes a Waist or body portion, preferably slightly reduced in some dimensions from the outer waist, and. an integral pair of trunks. The main or outer garment and the liner are connected in a manner to lend substantial oneness to the whole structure, and still the connection is such as to afford means of demountable and inconspicuous application of buoyant means. When a skirt is not required, as in a childs garment, the main or outer garment comprises an integral waist portion and trunks, and within the waist portion is arranged the liner or'inner garment inthe form of a second waist portion terminating just short of the trunks or of the leg portions of the trunks, and the two garments with their connections likewise provide the anchorage for the buoyant means.

For details of a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference is had to the accompanying drawings, in which the outer or main garment is designated by the general reference character A and the inner garment or liner is indicated by B. Garment A has the body part or waist 1 formed integral with the skirt 2; and liner B has the body part or waist 3 formed integral with the trunks 4. The waist 1 may assume any desired contour and style as may also the skirt 2 and trunks 4, and the liner waist 3 follows exactly the inner surface contour of waist 1 except that shoulder straps 5 are provided as integral extensions of waist 1 and are not required for liner waist 3 but could be added without departing from the invention. The exact shape, arrangement and use of shoulder straps 5 are identical with those of an ordinary bathing suit and, therefore, do not require detailing.

Liner waist 3 has its upper edge stitched, at 6, for the full length of such edge to the waist 1, the edges of the two being sewed together throughout those portions which lie parallel, as for instance along the under portions of the armhole 7, and, where the upper edge of liner waist 3 strikes straight across just beneath the yokes 8 formed by the union of waist 1 and shoulder straps 5, such edge of liner waist 3 is stitched directly to the material of waist l. The stitching 6 may form a binding for the engaged edge or edges, but, when the garment is made entirely of knitted fabric, which is preferred, a selvage is preferably knit as an integral part of each garment factor to protect the respective edges and prevent raveling. In this case, the stitching 6 is formed as inconspicuous and fiat as possible consistent with effective anchorage of the garment factors together.

At preferably uniformly spaced intervals about the garment, the waist 1 and a portion of the skirt 2 (assuming the skirt to begin at the waist line) are sewed by columnar or vertical, that is longitudinal, lines of stitching 8, 8, to the liner waist 3 and upper portion of trunks 4, preferably down to the leg portions thereof. Said lines of stitching 8 preferably extend from stitching 6 down approximately to the leg portions of the trunks 4 where said stitching terminates substantially in the same transverse plane of the garment. The inner and outer factors of the garment are thus effectively anchored together, and function as a unit so far as the use of the garment is concerned while in its condition as seen in Figure l, in which condition it is intended and especially well adapted for use. It is noted there is no cross stitching intersecting the lines of stitching 8, so that long tube-like areas or elongated pockets 9, 9, are formed by and between the inner and outer factors of the garment. The pockets 9 are closed at their upper ends by the stitching 6, and are left open at their lower ends.

The pockets 9 are designed and adapted to receive the buoyant means. Proposals have been made to make quilting of buoyant fibre, such as kapok batting stitched and cross stitched between two pieces of fabric, but the result has been almost board-like stiffness and wholly unfit for bathingsuit purposes. If used solely as life preservers, a certain degree of success might attend the use of such proposed structures, but the oldfashioned solid cork section life preserver is more reliable, less expensive, and just as successful. Again I have myself proposed with a fair degree of success filling pockets in the walls of a bathing suit with kapok, as seen in my co-pending joint application with Ernest W. Black, filed February 20, 1926, Serial No. 89,706, which has eventuated into Pat. No. 1,842,653, but even the form shown in said co-pending application, while far superior to all other previously known forms, is not entirely acceptable and has proved to be of little actual commercial value, largely because of the lack of protection against water-logging of the buoyant fibre and the permanent nature of the location of the fibre within the garment. Though kapok saturates extremely slowly, when it does get wet, it dries just as slowly and perhaps slower. It is quite desirable, therefore, to avoid possibility of depreciating the buoyancy of kapok by constant exposure to water and likewise to avoid the necessity of waiting unduly for a bathing suit to dry after use; and I have also found it of primary importance and value, for many obvious reasons, to make it possible to quickly eliminate part or all of the buoyant element at any time for varying or entirely eliminating the buoyancy. I have, therefore, invented, after long and expensive study and experimentation both in the commercial world regarding what is and what is not acceptable as a bathing suit, and in the practical field of what will and what will not assist on the one hand and interfere on the other, and successfully practiced the idea of quick and easy demountability of a buoyant means. Iprefer the word demountable to describe the characteristic of the ability of the buoyant means to be eliminated or supplied, both in whole or in part, because any other term or expression that might carry the idea of attachment or anchorage of the buoyant means is at least indefinite if not actually inaccurate and misleadin'g, since there is'noactual physical attachment or fastening of the buoyant means, and if described as anchored a special connotation must be read into the word to mean securingwithout direct or actual connection; and the idea of dem'o'untability, borrowed from the art of demountable rims for automobile wheels, seems to include in its natural meaning the thought of effective' and non-displaceable location during use while providing for quick and easy removal, and interchange if desired, when such removal is required. To the end, therefore, ofproviding buoyant means possessing the capacity of effectively re maining in place during use while adapted for easy and quick removal in part or whole without in'the least interfering with the character or usefulness of the bathing suit, and with the further idea of not detracting from the desirable features of an ordinary bathing suit, when using the buoyant means, and also enabling the improved suit'to be used without the buoyant means exactly as any ordinary bathing suit, I have constructed buoyant means in the form of a number of individual units,-as best seen in Figures 3, 6, 7, 9, and 1 0. Each unit consists of a bag or tube 10 of waterproof and mildew-proof material, rubber being preferred for such impervious materialfor manyreasons, including effectiveness, flexibility, and comparative ease and inexpensivenessof construction, but this phase of the invention is by no means limited to the use of rubber, and other'acceptable impervious substance being adapted to be substituted for rubber within the intent, spirit and scope of the invention. Each tube 10 is preferably elliptical in cross section and should be made in'the form of as flat an ellipse as practicable, considering the material of the casing and its functions. Each tube 10 is filled with buoyant material, such as kapok 11, it being the intention to'fill the same only to the extent required for maintaining the walls of the tube distended while under the compressing stresses of use. "The amount of kapok used in different tubes of uniform dimensions should be uniform as nearly as reasonably possible, but it is not commercially practicable to insist upon too great precision in filling the tubes, the expense being prohibitive, and it is also preferable to have a little too much fibre in the tubes than too little. As a reasonably practicable commercial proposition, I prefer to ram or tamp the kapok in place either by hand or by an automatic machine. Each tube 10 is sealed across each end, as by cementing 'the two-sides together into a cross strip 12 extending in'the direction of the longitudinal axis of; the ellipse described by a cross section of the tube, said strip 12 in each instance being, therefore, means additional to the initialshaping of the tube for preserving its elliptical shape. Cross strips 12 also serve effectively in aiding the demountable retention of the unit in place during use as hereinafter indicated. When preparing a tube 10, oneend issealed by the formation of the part 12, the tube isfilled with the buoyant fibre, and then theother endis likewise sealed.

When it is desired to employ the improved suit as an'ordinary bathing garment, the parts are left as seen in Figures 4 and 5; but, when full buoyancy is required, a tube'lO is inserted into each pocket 9 to produce the condition seen in Figures 1, 2, and 3. As best seen in Figures 3 and 16, the cross strip producedby sealed end 12 distends the walls of the respective pocket somewhat beyond their normal proportions, the material of the surrounding fabric being sufficiently elastic to cause said walls beyond each end of each tube to contract, as seen at 13 in Figure 3, so that the fabric is interposed'in the path-of removal of the tube and offers ample resistance to effectively retain the tube in place against-longitudinal accidental or other undesired displacement. The elasticity of the Walls of each pocket 9 and that of parts 10 and 12 will, on the other hand, enable ready manual withdrawal of the tubes 1 l0 whenever desired. In 1 actual use throughout a long range of tests, the tubes '10 have never shown any tendency to move within the pockets 9 except when pulled out or'p'ushed in under purposely applied force;- 'Of course, each tube 10 may be made of any length desired and will vary with size of suits and othercondi tions, but I prefer to make the pockets 9 of substantially greater length than that o'f'the tubes 10, not because required, since-onlya small excess length is ample for-holding tubes 10 in place, but'as a reassurance to the user andalso to enable introduction of tubes 10 of greater length. Two people of the same size are seldom if ever of the same weight, and it is desirable to employ tubes 10 of'sufiicient length for effectively supporting the user in water, whatever his weight r'egardless of size, when all pockets 9 are supplied with tubes. It is also desirable to have all tubes 10 inany given garment ofuniform length-for uniformly distributing sustaining stresses, and, of course, a substantialmargin of safety will be provided so that a person ofconsiderable over weight will find a suit of standard equipment of tubes 10 satisfactory. I

To insert a tube 10, the upper end is'introduced manually into the lower, open end of a pocket 9; and the tube is forced lengthwise up in the pocket until the lower end of the tube is wellup within the pocket. A substantially uniform arrange ment of the tubes 10 about the chest is desirable."

By comparing the showing in Figure 5 withthat in Figure 6, where the garmenthas ,not'bee n donned and the fabric is under no other stress than the distension caused by'the tubes l0,it will be seen that the surrounding fabric elastically and snugly grips all parts of the tube, and the contraction of the pocket area at 13, see Figure 3, is only an exaggeration of what occurs about the whole end of each tube l0,-the fabric contracting similarly to 13 at all places beyond the end of the tube, and the pocket being smaller at such-contracted places will, of course, resist longitudinal movement of the tube. I

To remove a tube 10, the operator introduces a thumb and finger into the lower, open end of the respective pocket 9, grasps the end :of the tube and pulls the tube out. Removing or demounting and replacing of the buoyant means in whole or part is thus easily and quickly accomplished, and insures a highly satisfactory condition at all times in view of the absolutely dependable mounting and retention of the tubes while in use, In learning or teaching to swim, the present invention is of especial value, since the learner, when full buoyancy is provided, has a sense of absolute security and safety, and can make play of what he might otherwise consider dangerous or at least trying work. His opportunity to acquire the habits of swimming motions, and the ease with which he can assume and maintain a swim,-

ming posture while learning the reasons forand the efficacy of the necessary strokes are ,prac tically perfect. After mastering any; attempted stroke, the learner may test his proficiency by removing one or twoof the tubes 10, or more if he cares to, but enough at least to, cause his weight to slightly exceed the buoyancy of the garment he is using. Finding he is ableto take care of himself, he may remove some more of tubes 10, and so onuntil he is-wholly unsupported. When he'finds he has removed too much of his support at any time, by virtue of this invention, he can easily and quickly remedy the error by returning as many tubes 10 to their pockets 9 as he finds necessary.

The buoyancy feature of the invention is of maximum availability, and yet the suit is well adapted for use without the buoyancy means, and when so used differs from the ordinary, modern bathing suit chiefly in being superior thereto in affording additional protection against cold without appreciable additional weight and no additional cumbersomeness. I prefer to construct the improved suit of the best knitted wool fabric, but it may be made of other materials as desired.

Flattened, elliptical cross sections for tubes 10 decrease the thickness of the garment wall, increase longitudinal flexibility, and improve the appearance of the garment over cylindrical tubes.

In Figures 11 to 14 inclusive, 1 have shown a slightly modified embodiment, the difference from that above described being that the skirt {is omitted, and the main or outer garment includes the trunks as an integral part, while the liner comprises only a waist portion. Ihe structure and its uses will be fully understood from the foregoing, the corresponding parts being designated by similar reference characters altered by the use of aprime mark in each instance to designate the fact of a modified embodiment. In these figures, A is the main or outer garment, which is formed of a waist or' body garment 1' and trunks 2. Within is the liner body B" consisting of the waist 3' having no appended part, but otherwise corresponding to the waist liner 3 above. Shoulder straps 5? are arranged at the upper end of waist 1, providing the arm-holes '7. Stitching 6' connects the upper end of the liner to the main garment, and lines of stitches 8" further connect these factors and form the pockets 9' open at'their lower ends. Buoyant tubes 10 are insertable in pockets 9 and removable therefrom, and the parts are proportioned, constructed and function so far as said pockets and tubes are concerned as tubes 10 in pockets 9. The operation is essentially the same as described above, the garment, however, being designed especially for use by those not requiring a skirt.

What is claimed is:+

l. A bathing suit comprising the combination of inner and outer garment factors each having a waist portion substantially a duplicate of the other, a pair of trunks pendent from one of the waist portions, and stitching connecting the waist portions to form pockets between the garment factors, the lines of the stitching running substantially longitudinally of the garment factors and one end of each pocket being left open.

2. A bathing suit comprising the combination of inner and outer garmentfactors each having at waist portion substantially-a duplicate of the other, a pair of trunks pendent from one of the waist portions, and stitching connecting the waist portions to form pockets between the garment factors, the lines of the stitching running substantially longitudinally of the garment factors and the lower end of each pocket being ldt open.:

3. A bathing suit comprising a garment having a buoyant element-receiving pocket for a demountable buoyant element, the pocket being of material possessing some elasticity, and the pocket being of less normal cross sectional area than that of the buoyant element to be received, the pocket having a permanently open portion for the ready introduction and removal of the buoyant element. 7

4. A bathing suit comprising a garment having a buoyant element-receiving pocket for a demountable buoyant element, the pocket being of material possessing some elasticity, and the pocket being of less normal cross sectional area than that of the buoyant element to be received and of greater length than such element, the pocket having a permanently open portion for the ready introduction and removal of the buoyant element.

5. In bathing suit construction, the combination of nested garment factors of material possessing some elasticity, I stitching arranged in spaced parallel lines connecting said factors and forming pockets therebetween, and independent buoyant elements adapted -to be separately removably inserted into saidpockets, the parallel lines of stitching being extended for a substantially greater distance than the length of the buoyant elements, and the pockets being left with openings enabling the ready insertion and removal of said buoyant elements. a

6. In bathing suit construction, the combination of nested garment factors of material possessing some elasticity, stitching arranged in spaced parallel lines connecting said factors and forming pockets therebetween, and buoyant elements adapted to be removably inserted into said pockets, each buoyant element being of greater crosssectional area than that of .any one pocket in an unstretched condition, the said lines of stitching being of substantially greater length than the length of the buoyant elements, and the lower ends of the pockets being left open for the ready insertion and removal of the buoyant elements. I

7. A bathing suit comprising a garment having a buoyant-element receiving pocket and a buoyant element demountably located therein, the buoyant element and pocket being of such relative dimensions that the pocket possesses greater length than the buoyant element while the buoyant element frictionally .engages lateralportions of the pocket, and the pocket being permanently open at one partfor enabling and facilitating ready application and removal of the buoyant element to and'from the pocket.

8. A bathing suit comprising a garmenthaving a buoyant-element receiving pocket and a buoyant element demountablyiocated' therein, the buoyant element and'pocket'being of such relative dimensions that the pocket possesses greater length than the buoyant element while the buoyant element frictionally'engages the lateral portion of the pocket, and the pocketbeing permanently'open atone part for enabling and facilitating ready application and removal of the buoyant element toan'd from the pocket, the permanently open portion of the pocket being spaced below the lower end of the buoyant element when the latter is in its operative relation to the pocket.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2751611 *Aug 23, 1954Jun 26, 1956Mann Julia ISwimming belt
US2775776 *Oct 28, 1952Jan 1, 1957Mark ShawBuoyant garment
US4956878 *Aug 16, 1989Sep 18, 1990Boynton Nancy VSwim suit construction
US5778451 *Feb 3, 1997Jul 14, 1998Rhea; Richard L.Buoyant swim garment and method of manufacture
US6871357 *May 23, 2003Mar 29, 2005Talia HermanFlotation swim garment for children
WO1999059437A1 *May 10, 1999Nov 25, 1999Cattan ElioHigh-buoyancy swimming costume
U.S. Classification441/102, D02/731, 2/67
International ClassificationA41D7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA41D7/001
European ClassificationA41D7/00B