US 2250275 A
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July 22, 1941. J; T. RIDDELL PROTECTIVE SHIELD SUPPORT Filed Aug.- 12, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 July 22 1941.
J. r. RIDDELL PROTECTIVE SHIELD SUPPORT Filed Aug. 12, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 July'zz, 1941- J. T. RiDDELL 2,250,275
PROTECTI VE SHIELD SUPPORT Filed Aug. 12, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 y 22, 1941- J. T. RIDDELL. 2,250,275
PROTECTIVE $HIELD SUPPORT 7 Filed Aug. 12, 1940 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 part of tension elements that transmit the strains Patented July 22, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE rao'rao'rrvn sun-1w surron'r 7 mm '1. Riddell, Chicago, 111. Application August 12, 1940, Serial No. 352,215
This invention relates to mounting upon the body of the wearer protective shields for resisting shock, such for example as the helmets, chin ticular reference to an arrangement of straps.
mounted within the shield in such manner as to yieldingly space the same from the head or other A body part of the wearer.
The main objects of this invention are to provide an improved form of cushioning means in the interior'of hollow or interiorly concave shields. which cushioning means is made up for the most of the shocks; to provide a structure of this kind that is particularly adapted for use in shields made of stiff substantially rigid material, such as football helmets, chin guards and body protectors made of solidified plastic materials; and particularly to provide an improved form of head gear and body protector for use by football players.
A specific embodiment of this invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a football helmet in such disposition as to display a portion. of the internal equipment by means of which it is mounted on the head of the wearer and adapted to resist shocks.
Fig. 2 is an inside view of the chin guard.
Fig. 3 is a view 'of the helmet as it would appear from the bottom with its side walls in section at the level indicated by the broken line 3-3 of Fi .1. 7
Fig. 4 is a side elevation showing the head gear and chin guard in their assembled relation to each other on the head of the wearer.
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a shoulder and chest protector showing the same as mounted on the body of the wearer.
Fig. 6 is an inside view of one of the two members comprising the device of Fig. 5, showing the arrangement of the suspension and cushioning means.
Fig. 'l is a perspective view of a leg protector as positioned on the body of the wearer.
" Fig. 8 is a sectional view of the same as taken on line 8-8 of Fig. '1. 1
Fig. 9 is an inside view of the same.
Fig. 10 is a perspective view of a hip protector embodying the invention, and,
Fig. 11 is a sectional view of on line ll-l| of Fig. 10.
For the purpose of illustration of the present invention, the drawings show the protective shield in the form of a football player's head and body gear in which the main outer shell is made of suitable solidified plastic material; such as cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate, venyl resin and the like; but for the purposes of this invention, the shell may be of any appropriate stiff material that is rigid enough and sufliciently strong to resist the kind of shocks for which it is designed and it is an essential feature of this invention to provide cushioningv meansof such nature that the majority of the shocks received upon the shield shell or helmet will be transmitted only indirectly to the body 01 the wearer and will be resisted mainly by the pull of tension elements of the structure upon points on the shell remote from the point at which the shock is received.
' In accordance with the present invention, the outer shell is of stiff material, as aforesaid, and is shaped to conform generally with the shape of the body part that it is intended to protect which, in the case of the shell I of the helmet, would be the head of the wearer, and is of such size that this shell wall will for the most part of its area be spaced a substantial distance from the surface of the wearer's head.
In the form shown in Figure 1, the helmet shell is provided with cheek extensions 2 which are equipp d with internal sponge pads 3 that bear on the wearer's face at points on his cheeks below and forward of his ears. These are the only pads of this nature that are used in this particular helmetand that perform the usual function of such pads for directly resisting shock. Shocks on the shell at any point remote from these pads are resisted by tension members of the shield supporting structurewhich transmit their strains to the shell body.
the same as taken The helmet shell is shaped so as to protect the forehead and temples of the wearer and its front edge 4 is positioned slightly above the position of the eyes of the wearer while its rear edge 5 extends down over the nape of the wearer's neck.
The support against downward pressure or shock on the top of the shell is provided by a series of radiating straps Gwhose lower ends are secured to the helmet shell by rivets 1 and whose upper ends are folded and secured upon themselves to form loops 8 through which a cord 9 is drawn in such manner as to form a crown-like sling resting on the wearer's head, so as to space the topof the shell about an inch or more above his head.
Lateral spacing of the shell structure from the wearer's head is accomplished by providing a head band III that encircles the wearer's head,
I the shell at the level of application of this being preferably of the same sizeas the sweat band of a hat for that wearer and this head band is carried by a series of chordal suspension straps I I arranged about the head band in in the manner shown in Fig. 3. These suspension straps ll may be fixedly fastened or anchored by the same rivets I which fasten the crown sling straps 6.
To this end the rivets 1 are arranged about the mid-height of the head band I 0. The straps H are stretched taut in chordal relation to the concave areas l2 of the shell that are subtended or bridged by these straps and the straps I l have their medial portions fixedly secured or anchored as at I3 to the head band H) which, on account of the number and position of the straps II, is thereby distorted to polysided form. The effect of this is that, when the head band is slipped into position over the head of the wearer, it will conform approximately to the dotted line H of Fig. 3, causing the taut suspension straps Ii to be slightly bowed inwardly and to be placed under additional strain; thus rather definitely positioning the shell upon the head in approximately uniformly spaced relation thereto in the vicinity of the head band. The head band It preferably has a moistureresistant cover l5 over the front portion thereofthat contacts with the skin of the wearers foreead. A
By this arrangement of tension members represented by the tautly drawn segments of the head band l0 and chordal straps II, it will be seen that a shock at any point about the surface of the helmet is not transmitted directly to the wearers head in the vicinity of the blow' but is transmitted by slings, made up of portions of these tension members, and thus spread. over a large area of the wearers head and through the entire network of straps is carried to all of the rivets I and resisted by the stiffness of the shell against bending at those points.
The resultant effect is that the stiff shell and the head of the wearer cannot be brought together at any point by any shock which is within the limits that can be withstood by the shell and suspension means which connect it with the wearers head. In other words, if a blow is received upon the shell at any point, the force of the blow will be transmitted in the form of a thrust at both sides of the point of impact and this thrust will be transmitted by all of the rivets I that are remote from the point of impact to those parts of the chordal suspension straps that are directed toward that lies adjacent said point of impact; but the force to the head of the wearer is distributed over the entire semicircumferential part of the head band that has its mid point opposite the point of impact.
A neck sling similar to that afforded by the aforesaid headband system is attached in the neck portion of the helmet. This sling is made up of-chordal straps l6 spanning inwardly concave areas of the shield surface and a secondary strap II that is attached to the mid points l8 of the chordal straps it. These straps are assembled so as to be normally stretched taut and fixedly secured or anchored in the same manner as the segments of the head band and its chordal suspension straps.
The chin guard I9 is made of stiff material, preferably the same as that of the helmet proper 'and its inside concave surface is spanned by a series of straps constituting primary chordal strap I elements 20 secured to the shell by rivets 2| and the segment of the head bandsling strap elements 22 secured in taut relation between mid points 23 of the taut chordal straps 20. The segments of these two sets of straps that form the extremities 24 of the sling systems are preferably double. I find that three of these sling systems arranged about as shown in Fig. 2 provide adequate support for the chin guard.
In order to attach the chin guard to the cheek portions of the helmet, the chin guard is provided with a pair of tongues 25, molded integrally with the marginal portions of the shell l9. The cheek portions of the helmet have integrally molded clips 26 for the purpose of embracing these tongues 25. These tongues and clips serve to position the chin guard on a helmet and a strap 21 extends around the chin guard and has its ends fastened to the cheek pieces so as to serve the double purpose of securing the chin guard to the helmet and fastening the helmet firmly upon the head of the wearer. Guide clips 28, molded integrally on the chin guard serve to position and maintain this strap as shown in Fig. 4.
With the exception of the two resilient pads 3 at the lower extremities of the cheek pieces, the helmet is suspended on the head of the wearer and cushioned therefrom entirely by means of flexible slings and tautly drawn flexible chordal suspension elements, and not only does this afford protection against shocks as aforesaid, but it spaces the helmet awayfrom the wearers head in such a manner as to provide for maximum freedom of ventilating air flow.
The cheek pieces 2 of the helmet are equipped with fastening means for a chin strap comprising a snap fastener stud 29 on one of the cheek pieces 2 and a pair of parallel slots 30 that provide a buckle formation on the other cheek piece 2. The chin strap 21 is provided with a snap fastener socket 3| at one end for engagement with the snap fastener stud 29 and its opposite end is laced through buckle studs 30 as will be readily understood.
Other arrangements and embodiments of my invention are illustrated in Figs. 5 to 11 inclusive and comprise various portions of football players protective gear. Figs. 5 and 6 illustrate the inventlon as applied to a shoulder and chest protector comprising two half-sections or members 32 and 33 of suitable stiff material, one fitting over and around each shoulder, laced together to secure the protector on the body of the wearer and to complete the assembly of the device. In this device, as in the helmet show n'in Figs. 1, 3 and 4, the suspension means comprise primary chordal straps or tension members 34, extending from front to back of the protector, across the concave portions of the same, connectedat intermediate points to the protector shell and having sling strap elements 35 secured in taut relation between midpoints of the primary chordal segments. The four corners of each half-section that might contact the body of the wearer are provided with resilient pads 36. Otherwise all padding or cushioning in the device is provided by the suspension means.
The members 31 are shoulder caps or guards hinged to the respective shells 32 and 32 at the pivots 38 and arranged to overlie the openings through which the wearers arms are extended. These caps are also provided with the chordal suspension means of my invention to cushion the wearer's body from shock.-
Figs. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate a leg protector 33 made of suitable stiff material and-concaved to the leg contour. This device has a plurality of the before described chordal suspension means spaced acmss its inner or concave side and the entire margin of the inner surface is provided with a resilient cushion means 40 where the said margin might contact the body of the wearer in use. p The principal cushioning suspension in this device, as in the others described, is provided by the primary chordal'straps and the sling straps thereto attached.
Figs. and 11 illustrate the invention as embodied in a hip protector made of suitable stiff material such as a suitable plastic, the device being in the form of a shell 4| shaped to fit around the wearers hips and having laced-on depending flaps or guards 42 for the thighs. In this device, as in the others described, the cushioning suspension is provided by a plurality of spaced chordal straps extending around the concaved interior of the protector and having sling straps secured at intermediate points between spaced points of fastening where the chordal segments are joined to the protector shell or body. As shown such suspension is provided in both the shell 41 and in the flaps 42. Also resilient cushion members 43 are provided at points on the interior of the hip protector shell where contact with the wearers body might occur.
Although the several specific embodiments of this invention that are herein shown and described for the purpose of illustration are of football players protective gear, it will be understood that the invention is also applicable to other forms of protective shields for other purposes and that numerous details of the devices shown may be altered or omitted without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the following claims.
1. A shield for personal wear, comprising a stiff shell having a generally concavely curved cross section for overlying a convex portion of the wearers body, flexible primary chordal straps stretched across successive arcuate regions of the shield and anchored thereto and arranged in angular relation to each other in substantially the same plane, and a secondary strap bridging the angle between the primary straps and anchored to the primary straps between their anchorages, whereby all of said straps will cooperate under tension to space the shield from the wearers body for resisting shocks on said shields 2. A shield for personal wear, comprising a stiff shell having a generally concavely curved cross section for overlying a convex portion ofthe wearers body, a series of flexible primary chordal straps stretched across successive arcuate regions of the shield and anchored thereto and arranged in angular relation to each other in substantially the same plane, and a series of secondary straps bridging the respective angles between the primary straps and anchored to the primary straps between their anchorages, whereby all of said straps will cooperate under tension to space the shield from the wearers body for resisting shocks on said shield.
.3. A shield for personal wear, comprising a stifi shell having a generally concavely curved cross section for overlying a convex portion of the wearers body, a series of flexible primary chordal straps stretched across successive arcuate regions of the shield and anchored thereto and arranged in angular relation to each other in substantially the same plane, and a series of secondary straps bridging the respective angles between the primary straps and anchored to the primary straps between their anchorages, said secondary straps forming a closed band adapted to flex about said convex portion of the wearers body and cooperate with said primary strapsfor between'their anchorages.
5. A protective helmet comprising a stiff shell, a series of radiating suspension straps secured to each other and to said shell to form a crownlike cradle to space the wearers head from the top of'saidshell, a head band within said shell below said crown-like cradle and spaced inwardly from said shell, and a series of chordal straps stretched across successive arcuate regions ofsaid shell in the plane of said head band and anchored to the shell in angular relation to each other, said head-band having portions bridging the angles between the chordal straps and anchored to the chordal straps at points between their anchorages.
6. A protective helmet, comprising a stifi shell, a head band enclosed by said shell and spaced inwardly therefrom, and a series of chordal straps stretched across successive arcuate regions of said shell in the plane of said head band and anchored to the shell in angular relation to each other, said head band having portions bridging the angles between the chordal straps and anchored to the chordal straps at points between their anchorages and a neck sling structure at the back of said helmet and comprising chordal strap subtending successive arcuate regions of said shell and anchored thereto in angular relation to each other in a plane below said head band, and secondary straps subtending an angle between adjacent chordal straps and anchored -to the chordal straps between their anchorages.
7. A helmet comprising a head shell and a chinguard shell of stiff material each having contending adjacent arcuate regions of the shell, be-
ing anchored thereto and arranged in angular relation to each other in substantially the same plane, and a secondary strap'bridging the angle between the primary straps and anchored to the primary straps between their anchorages whereby said straps will cooperate under tension to space the shell from the wearers head.
JOHN T. BIDDEIL.