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Publication numberUS2292150 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 4, 1942
Filing dateApr 30, 1941
Priority dateApr 30, 1941
Publication numberUS 2292150 A, US 2292150A, US-A-2292150, US2292150 A, US2292150A
InventorsMurray Albert L
Original AssigneeMurray Albert L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Endless inflatable swimming belt
US 2292150 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

4, 1942. A. L. MURRAY 2 2,292,150

ENDLESS INFLATABLE SWIMMING BELT Filed April 30, 1941 I N VEN TOR. A252???" 1 N'HKE/YX Patented Aug. 4, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ENDLESS INFLATABLE SWIMMING BELT Albert L. Murray, Auburn, Ind.

Application April 30, 1941, Serial No. 391,038

13 Claims.

This invention relates to an inflatable device to be worn by a swimmer for buoyantly supporting the body of the swimmer.

The chief object of this invention is to provide a device of endless character, belt-like in form, which is inherently capable of expansion and contraction and which has a portion only of which is inflatable for buoyancy purposes.

A device such asthe present invention is intended to be worn by the swimmer with the inflatable portion at the chest and terminating adjacent the arms so that freedom of arm movement is not restricted and further so that the inflatable portion is below the body of the swimmer when in the water and not above the body where it serves little useful purpose.

The chief feature of the invention consists in forming an endless belt structure of extensible character, a longitudinal portion of which is readily inflatable for body support or buoyancy purposes.

Another feature of the invention resides in the formation of such endless belt formation in a relatively simple and economical manner.

A further feature of the invention consists in the formation of such a belt structure so that buoyant capacity can be varied as hereinafter pointed out more fully.

A further feature of the invention consists in providing in a belt of the character indicated a plurality of parallel inflatable portions.

Another feature of the invention consists in theparticular type of inflating stem stopper and its connection therebetween and to the endless belt to prevent loss of such stopper.

The buoyant capacity of this invention is such that. it will support the body of the swimmer and keep the mouth and nose above the water surface, even though the person roll over on his or her back from the normal swimming position.

Other objects and features of the invention will be set forth more fully hereinafter.

The full nature of the invention will be understood from the accompanying drawing, the following description and claims:

In the drawing,

Fig. 1 is a more or less diagrammatic view of the device inflated and mounted on the body of a swimmer.

Fig. 2 is an elevational view of the devices illustrating its endless character, the inflatable portion or portions being inflated.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged plan view of the connection between the reenforced strap or strip portion of the endless belt and the adjacent inflatable end portion of the belt.

Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view through the inflatable portion of a single tube. type belt.

Fig. 5 is a View similar to Fig. 4 and of a multitube type belt. I

In Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawing, l0 generally indicates the strap portion of the endless belt structure and. II the inflatable body portion thereof, said portions being united together permanently at their ends thereby forming an endless belt arrangement.

The strap portion ofthe belt .10, see Fig. 3, is a relatively thin and comparatively narrow strip of rubber which is inherently extensible. The parallel side edges thereof are provided with, a rib arrangement 12. Extending across the belt are zig-zag reenforcing rib arrangements l3 forming a diamond-like rib pattern which, in the extension of the strap portion, elongate uniformly with the body portion of the strip or strap.

Each end of this portion I0 is provided on opposite sides with a relatively thin fabric re.- enforcement [3a. This reenforcement conforms to the surface of the strip I0. It has the desired tensile strength for the purpose hereinafter set forth. It is associated with the body portion ID by means of rubber cement and/or raw rubber or the like. It may be applied to the end of the strip I0 by being doubled upon itself and having the strap nested between the doubled portions. This particular strip has elongation capacity, for example, a 3" length easily can stretch to 6 without rupture. It is comparatively light and it may be said that the diamond shaped grillage reenforcement l3 and the connected longitudinal edge reenforcement I2, constitute the main tension resisting portion of the strap. Of course, the sheet portion integral and coextensive therewith also is similarly extensible therewith.

The thickness of the sheet 10 is only about /64., whereas the thickness of the sheet ID, to gether with the reenforcement, is about T 6. The width of this strip is approximately 2" so it is readily understood that the belt portion is comparatively light in weight, comparatively narrow and is quite extensible in view of the fact that it can extend 100% or more without rup ture.

The inflatable portion of the endless belt structure is, preferably, formed from a single sheet of rubber or rubberized fabric which is somewhat extensible, but not to the same degree as the strip portion.

Referring to Figs. 4 and 3 by way of example, wherein Fig. 4 illustrates a Single tube type stru ture, it will be noted that the rubber sheet M has its two edges brought together and lapped as at [5. This forms a longitudinal seam, and this seam is made by first buffing the two surfaces of the adjacent edges which are to be lapped. Then a layer of rubber cement is applied to the buffed and cleaned surfaces and a layer of raw rubber gum may be applied thereto or therebetween and the longitudinal edges are lapped as shown in Fig. 4. This joint is then vulcanized by heat and/or pressure, as desired. This forms the tube arrangement.

In the form shown in Fig. 5, the sheet 14 has its longitudinal edges lapped as at 15. In this form of the invention, however, the midportion [6 of the sheet I4 is buffed and has applied thereto a layer of rubber cement and then has applied thereto a layer of raw gum. If desired, the inside face, opposite the adjacent face at the joint [5, is similarly treated and the adjacent faces of the longitudinal edges treated as before. The four surfaces are then placed in contact, as shown in Fig. 5, and permanently secured together as a unitary longitudinal seam of leakproof character forming a multi-tube arrangement.

Since the connection lfia, see Fig. 5, consttiutes the sole difference between the form of the invention shown in Figs. 4 and 5, as described up to this point, reference will now be had more particularly to Fig. 3, it being understood that the following applies to either of the aforesaid forms of the invention.

Each end of thetubular structure thus fabricated has its interior surfaces cleaned, buffed and coated with a layer of rubber cement. If desired, a layer of raw gum may be included therebetween. The fabric reenforced end l3b of the strip Hi is then inserted into the tubular structure so that when the end portions thus treated are secured together under heat and/or pressure, the entire end structure comprises a closed end for the tube or tubes and the reenforced end of the strip is rigidly anchored thereto. This en-d structure, preferably, has its square corners cut off as at Via, the entire end structure being designated by the numeral H. Of course, the seal at the end extends sufficiently into the tube forming portion M, as indicated at l'lb, to seal completely the end of the tube.

In the multi-tube form of the invention it will be quite apparent that the extreme ends of the joint 15, Ma and it, initially are not sealed together. This is to permit the insertion of the fabric reenforced end l3b therebetween. Each of the tubes thus formed, preferably near one of the ends, is provided with a valve structure which herein is shown including a rubber tube 23 with an enlarged end 2!, the tube being seated in an opening 22 in the tube wall and projecting therefrom, the head portion 2| bearing against the inner surface of the wall and having a cemented and gummed union therewith, the stem 2a on the outside of the tubular portion being encircled by a raw rubber portion 23 so that when the vulcanization occurs for uniting permanently this valve arrangement to the tubular structure, the same becomes an integral part thereof. This tube has the open bore 24 therethrough.

Any suitable form of stopper or control member may be provided. Herein, a simple form thereof is a conoidal tip 25 connected by a neck 26 to a grooved body portion 27. When this stopper is inserted into the free or outer end of the valve tube 20, the latter is swelled as at 28 so that the free end of the tube 20 collapses or tightly grips the neck portion 26 of the stopper, the sealbeing effected between the swollen or distended portion 28 of the tube 20 and the conoidal tip 25. This stopper can be of wood.

To prevent loss of the stopper, there may be provided from scrap from the sheets forming the inflatable body portions or from other rubberized fabric scrap material an elongated member 29 folded upon itself at 3B. Adjacent the fold are the registering openings 3|. Near the ends of the strap 29 are provided the openings 32. These openings 32 receive the tube portion 20 and frictionally anchor the doubled strap to the tube and prevent accidental separation therebetween. The grooved end portion 2'! of the stopper is readily seatable in the two registering apertures 3| which serve to yieldingly retain the stopper and strap together, thereby preventing accidental loss of the stopper, and do not in any way interfere with the valve tube closing action of the stopper and do not in any wav interfere with the use of thedevi'ce.

When the device is to be used it is inflated in the usual manner by blowing into the tube 20 until the desired degree of inflation of the tubular body portion is secured. When that has taken place, the tube is gripped between the finger and thumb and escape of the air from the tubular body portion is prevented. This gripping also serves to stiffen the tube 20 near the end so that the conodial end 25 of the stopper can be forced into the said free end of the finger compressed portion of the tube 20. When the stopper has been forced into the free end of the tube 23, the tube is sealed. Thereafter the stopper end 21 may be engaged in one hand and the tube adjacent the stopper received portion may be engaged in the other hand and the two hands brought together to further seat the stopper in the end of the tube 20, thereby sealing the inflatable tubular portion against air escape.

When it is desired to deflate, all that is desired is to grip the tube 2|] in one hand and pull outwardly on the grooved portion 21 of the stopper. When the conoidal end thereof is free of the tube 20, the air escapes. Considerable force must be asserted to stopper this tube 20 and unstopper the same, thereby insuring retention of air while the device is in use.

The sheet [4 forming the body of the inflatable tubular portion is, preferably, of rubberized fabric and may have some inherent extensibility, if desired.

The purpose of the fabric reenforced ends of the strip I9 is to insure that the strip l 0 will not separate from the tubular body portion.

The reduced corners Ha need not be effected but the ends may be square ends, if desired. They may also be curved or be as illustrated in Fig. 3 as preferred.

When the inflatable portion is of multitubular character, each tube is provided with an air filling and air release tube or valve. arrangement, as previously described and. as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, the former indicating a single tube arrangement and the latter indicating a double tube arrangement. With a multi-tube arrangement, either or both tubes may be inflated. If both tubes are inflated, puncturing of one tube by engaging a sharp nail, snag or the like encountered in swimming, diving, climbing back on to a pier, will nevertheless leave the other tube inflated, thereby insuring some buoyancy capacity being retained. When considerable buoyancy is desired, therefore, both tubes are inflated. When safety is desired, both tubes are inflated.

It will be quiteapparent that the only additional cost of a multi-tube structure over a single tube structure is the cost of effecting the union Ilia shown in Fig. and the additional cost of providing and applying the additional valve structure.

A structure of the character previously described, therefore, is devoid of all metals and there is nothing to rust.

Furthermore, it has been ascertained that two sizes of the structure are ample to provide for the accommodation of practically all chest measurements. The smaller size will readily accommodate the smaller children and youths. The larger size will accommodate the average size individual and those with an extremely large chest measurement.

The invention as shown in Fig. 1 is normally worn so that the inflatable portion is immediately in front of the arms and in front of the chest. In this manner it is the equivalent of adding additional lung capacity to the swimmers body for buoyancy purposes.

It will be quite obvious that inasmuch as the extensible strip l0 passes across the back and the junction between the strip and the tubular inflatable portion occurs adjacent the arm pits that the inflatable portion does not interfere in any manner with any arm movements for swimming.

It will, furthermore, be understood that by reason of the extensible character of this structure that the same does, with varying friction force dependent upon the extension of the strip, primarily grip the body of the swimmer so that accidental loss of the device in swimming does not occur.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in great detail in the foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character.

The several modifications described herein, as well as others which will readily suggest themselves to persons skilled in this art, are all considered to be within the broad scope of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims.

The invention claimed is:

1. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in tubular form with lapping sealed longitudinal edges, and lap sealed ends.

2. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in parallel multi-tube form, opposite ends of the tubes having lap sealed ends.

3. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of sli htly more than half the length of theendless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the inflatable portion includinga single rubber sheet arranged in parallel multi-tube form, opposite ends of the tubes having lap sealed ends, the sheet longitudinal edges lapping the body portion and edges, all being secured together for multi-tube formation.

4. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with a grid type reenforcing face integral therewith.

5. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of saidinflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof. e

6. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof, the strip having a grid type reenforcing face integral therewith.

7. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in tubular form with lapping sealed longitudinal edges, and lap sealed ends, the latter having the strip fabric reenforced ends included therebetween and anchored thereby.

8. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a noninflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in parallel multi-tube form, opposite ends of the tubes having lap sealed ends, the latter having the fabric reenforced strip ends included therebetween and anchored thereby,

9. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a non-inflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof, the strip having a grid type reenforcing face integral therewith, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in tubular form with lapping sealed longitudinal edges, and lap sealed ends, the latter having the fabric reenforced strip ends included therebetween and anchored thereby.

10. An extensible belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body purposes and of an order of slightly more than half the length of the endless structure and a noninflatable, longitudinally extensible portion connected at opposite ends to the adjacent ends of said inflatable portion, the non-inflatable portion of the structure including a rubber strip with fabric reenforcement at the ends thereof, the strip having a grid type reenforcing face integral therewith, the inflatable portion including a single rubber sheet arranged in parallel multi-tube form, opposite ends of the tubes having lap sealed ends, the latter having the fabric reenforced strip ends included therebetween and anchored thereby.

11. In a swimmers buoyant, belt-like structure, an inflatable portion, an elongated comparatively small bore tube having one end in communication therewith for inflation and deflation purposes, a grooved stopper for the other end of the tube, said stopper having an intermediate enlarged portion which, when seated in the tube swells the same for sealing purposes, and an elongated strip including an aperture at each end, one apertured strip end being frictionally mounted on the tube and the other apertured strip end seating in the stopper groove.

12. A structure as defined by claim 11 characterized by the strip including a length of strip material doubled upon itself.

13. An extensible endless belt-like structure, a portion only of which is inflatable for body floating purposes and of an order of approximately half that of the endless structure, the other and non-inflatable portion being longitudinally extensible, said non-inflatable portion when not extended being of an order of but slightly less than half the length of the structure and being extensible to at least half the length of the strucutre when body mounted.

ALBERT L. MURRAY.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2894271 *Feb 25, 1957Jul 14, 1959Smith Robert BAppliance for floating the human body in water
US3181184 *Apr 26, 1963May 4, 1965Dan W DuffyInflatable devices
US3775788 *Nov 15, 1971Dec 4, 1973B MarkwitzInflatable swimming supports
US5347656 *Jul 10, 1992Sep 20, 1994Ccc Acquisitions Corp.Figure-enhancing pneumatic bathing suit
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/117
International ClassificationB63C9/15, B63C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/155
European ClassificationB63C9/15A