US 2166045 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
- y 1939- H. L. FLETCHER 2 Sheets-S beet Filed March 12, 1938 July 11, 1939. H. L. FLETCHER GRIP FOR HANDLES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 12, 1938 Patented July 11, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Application March 12, 1938, Serial No. 195,613 In Great Britain March 16, 1937 7 Claims.
The present invention relates to grips for handles of tennis or badminton rackets or other shaft-like bodies, for example, the handles of certain types of tools and generally for all devices intended to be encircled by the hand and fingers for the purpose of gripping, the grip being of the type provided with external helical projections between the convolutions of which it is intended that the fingers of the user shall lie. Hitherto it has been the practice to form such a grip as a tubular sheath whereon the helical projections are formed adapted to be drawn over the handle or the like. This operation is, however, somewhat diificult, especially as regards adjusting the projections to the desired angular position relatively to the handle.
An object of the present invention is to overcome this drawback whereby the grip may be very readily applied to the handle in any desired position.
A further object of the invention is to provide a tennis racket or other handle of improved form whereby the firmness and comfort of grip by the hand are enhanced.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in a grip for a handle of shaftlike form, in particular a tennis racket or the like, comprising a strip of flexible material having thereon a series of ridges so located and inclined that, when the strip is wrapped around the racket handle or the like, the ridges constitute the required helical projections. The wrapping may be carried out in a helical manner, the ridges being so inclined and spaced that, when the strip is thus wrapped, they lie in register with each other to form one or more helical projections. Obviously, by suitably designing the strip, the pitch of the helix may be increased to any desired extent up to the point at which it becomes infinite, that is to say, the abutting edges of the strip lie parallel to the axis of the handle or the like around which it is wrapped. The strip and the ridges thereon may be of any appropriate material, such as rubber, leather or canvas'or of a combination of such materials.
The invention is applicable to grips having projections or ribs of any appropriate shape, nor is it confined to the case in which the helix is single, but it may be applied in connection with helices having two or more starts. Likewise it is not necessary that, in a grip in accordance with the present invention, the helix or helices shall be of uniform pitch throughout the entire length: such pitch may be varied in order to conform to the direction naturally assumed by the fingers in grasping the racket or other article. Further, the ribs need not be continuous, but portions of any or all of them may be omitted so as to present one or more plain surfaces, for instance, for the accommodation of the palm of the hand,
In carrying the invention into effect, the ridges to constitute the helical projections may be formed in any appropriate manner, such, for example, as by moulding them on the strip when, for instance, rubber is incorporated in it. Certain of the ridges may be omitted or shortened so that the ribs are correspondingly interrupted to provide one or more plain surfaces as above referred to.
In order that the invention may be clearly understood and readily carried into effect, it will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, various forms of grip for the handles of tennis rackets and wherein:
Figure 1 is a front view of the handle of a tennis racket suitable for a right-handed player and wherein the helical projections are discontinuous,
Figure 2 is a rear view of the handle depicted in Figure 1, a portion of the flexible strip constituting the grip being shown as unwound,
Figure 3 represents a grip for a tennis racket handle similar to that depicted in Figure 1, but suitable for a left-handed player, a portion of the flexible strip being shown as unwound,
Figure 4 illustrates a grip suitable for a righthanded player wherein the helical projections are continuous,
Figure 5 depicts a strip of flexible material suitable-for wrapping around a handle to form a grip in such a manner that the abutting edges lie parallel to the axis of the handle, and,
Figure 6 illustrates, to an enlarged scale, one method of forming the ridges on the flexible strip.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, the handle I of wood is of the octagonal cross section usual in tennis rackets. For the purpose of forming a grip there is wound helically around the handle I a strip of flexible material 2, this strip being tapered off at its ends at such an angle that, when it is wound around the handle I so that its edges 'abut the one on the other, the ends of the strip lie in planes at right angles to the axis of the handle. The strip 2 is provided with a series of ridges 3 so disposed and inclined that, when the strip is wound helically around the handle, the ridges 3 will register with one another to form a series of helical projections 4, 5, 6, I and 8. The registration of the ridges 3 with one another is particularly well illustrated in Figure 1 in respect of the projections 5 and I. It will be realised that the ridges 3, shown in Figure 2, on the unwound portion of the strip 2 constitute, when the latter is wound around the handle l, the whole of the projection 8 and the greater part of the projection 1. In this construction the ridges 3 are located on that side of the strip 2 which is wound in contact with the handle I. Thus the ridges bear on the handle and, the strip being wound on with a certain amount of tension, the ridges serve to bulge the flexible material of the strip outwardly so as to form the helical projections. As clearly indicated, the projections are discontinuous and, in this instance, each extends approximately half-way around the handle I, thus leaving a plain portion to accommodate the palm of the hand while the fingers lie between the helical projections. If desired the flexible strip 2 may be secured to the handle I by adhesive along the whole or a portion of its length. Generally speaking, however, it is only necessary to secure the strip in proximity to its ends either by adhesive or pins, by winding with twine or in any other appropriate manner.
Figure 3 illustrates a construction of grip suitable for a left-handed player. In this instance the flexible strip 2, as in the construction shown in Figures 1 and 2, is' wound around the handle 1 to a left-handed helix, but it is necessary that the projections 9, I0, I I, l2, l3, shall be to a right-handed helix. Accordingly, as seen clearly in the representation of the unwound portion of the strip, the inclination of the ridges 3 is opposite to that in the previous case and these ridges lie more nearly transverse to the length of the strip 2. Further, as indicated, each of the helical projections 9 to I3 is constituted by two of the ridges 3 registering the one with the other, those on the portion of the strip 2 shown unwound serving to complete the projections I2 and l3. The constructiondepicted in Figure 3 differs further from that shown in Figures 1 and 2 by virtue of the fact that the strip 2 is so wound around the handle I that the ridges 3 are on the outside and thus directly constitute the helical projections.
Figure 4 illustrates a construction suitable for a right-handed player bearing resemblance to that shown in Figures 1 and 2 but wherein the helical projections are continuous. The features of this construction will be evident without further description.
The flexible strip shown in Figure 5 is intended to be wrapped around a handle in a non-helical manner, that is to say, it is so placed around the handle that its opposite edges l4l5, and I6l1, abut on each other and lie along the handle in a direction parallel to its axis. The ridges 3 are inclined as indicated and extend onlypartiallyacross the flexible strip 2, so that, when the latter is wrapped around the handle as above described, the ridges constitute helical projections extending partially around the handle. The wrapping operation may be performed by hand, the strip being secured in any desired manner, but it is preferred,
to employ a form of press comprising two or more trough-like members shaped to the contour of the handle. In use the strip is pressed into one of these members by the handle superposed on it and its ends are then'brought together by fitting the remaining member or members of the press and secured by adhesive or otherwise as desired. The internal surface of the press is provided with a series of grooves spaced and inclined to correspond to the location of the helical projections formed by the ridges 3.
According to the method of making the flexible strip with ridges illustrated in Figure 6, there is employed a base of substantially inextensible material l8, such as leather, to which lengths of rubber or rubberised cord l9 are attached by adhesive to constitute .the ridges. These lengths of cord may be of square section as shown or of any other desired cross section. Finally, there is laid over the lengths of cord l9 a layer which may be of textile fabric, rubber or any other appropriate material, extensible or inextensible, secured to the base material l8 by adhesive. On the other hand, sheet rubber may replace leather as the base material.
In any construction according to the invention the outside surface of the grip may be serrated or otherwise roughened to increase the gripping effect.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A grip for a handle, comprising a strip of flexible material wrapped around said handle so that two of its edges adjoin one another, said strip having a series of at least two ridges inclined to said edges and with intervening uninterrupted spaces, said inclination of the ridges being such that, on said strip being wrapped around said handle, helical projections are formed by said ridges, each of said spaces being of sufiicent width to accommodate one of the fingers of the hand.
2. A grip for a handle, comprising a strip of flexible material wound helically around said handle so that two of its edges adjoin one another, said strip having a series of ridges inclined to said edges and with intervening uninterrupted spaces, said inclination of the ridges being such that, on said strip being helically wound around the handle, the ridges register to form helical projections, each of said spaces being of sufiicient width to accommodate one of the fingers of the I hand.
3. A grip for a handle, comprising a strip of flexible material wrapped around said handle in such a manner that two of its opposite edges adjoin along a line parallel to the axis of said handle, said strip having a series of at least two ridges inclined to said edges and with intervening uninterrupted spaces, said inclination of the ridges being such that, on said strip being wrapped around said handle, helical projections are formed by said ridges, each of said spaces being of suflicient width to accommodate one of the fingers of the hand.
4. A grip as in claim 1, wherein said strip is wrapped around said handle, with said ridges in contact with said handle.
5. A grip as in claim 1, wherein said strip is wrapped around said handle, with said ridges on that side of said strip remote from said handle.
6. A grip for a handle, comprising a body of flexible material wrapped around the handle, a 5.
plurality of ridges on said body and extending obliquely thereof, said ridges extending helically about the handle when the body is wrapped therearound and said ridges being spaced apart to provide between them spaces of sufficient width to each accommodate a finger of the hand.
7. A grip for a handle, comprising a strip of flexible material wrapped helically around the handle, a plurality of groups of ridges on and extending obliquely of a face of the strip and each extending at one end to an edge of the strip, said strip when helically wrapped around the handle having the ridges of one group registering with those of another group to form helical projections, the spaces between the ridges and the helical projections formed thereby being of sufficient width each to accommodate a finger.
nARoLD LEWTHWAITE FLETCHER.