US 2362962 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 14, 1944. l G. H. BINGHAM, JR y 2,362,962
LIFE SAVING APPARATUS v Filed Sept. 3, 1945 f Patented Nov. 14, 1944 iT-UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE "yLIF'sAvING ArPARA'r'Us George H. Bingham; Jr., Lincoln',vMass.', :a4ssgnor :fito Gambrdge Rubber Company@ Cambridge, vlV I1atss'., acorporation of Massachusetts Abplatiop'september s, i943.' serial '-NO. 501,100 1i claims. (C1. 9-20) 'This invention relates to so-.called over-board suits Vand similar garments. A typical 'suit vof 4this character is .adapted to envelope the wearer completely, exceptvfor his. face.. 'It is intended 4to exclude water at all otherv points, and for this reason it is equipped with a hood 'so con# ,structed that vit can .be .fastened .tightly varound Y 'theiace While Athese suits'vary considerably in construction, they are 'all ,intended tov give the l wearer yprotection .for a substantial. period of time 'in' the event that he is blown over-board or is compelled to go over-board for .any reason.
The sailorsand others who wear these suits ,also wear under ,them continuously, a life preserver of some approved type. and in order to assist; ,the ,'man, when he is thrown into the water, in remaining approximately upright; his bootsusually are weighted with lead, or'some equivalent material;v This is important 'for the -'reason that when aman is (thrown over-board hefrnay .either be 'knockejdunconscious when he strikes the/.water or vhe mayv be in that condiy l tion before he hitsv 'thexwaten :the life Apreserver alone may no1-,keep 'his 'face above the water, so that he is likely todrown unless someprecautions are taken to oat him In either event,
sufficiently high to 'keep hisA head out of water. The weighting of his vboots assists materially ,in accomplishing 'this object. Y
`While equipment ,of this character 'ha'sbeen lthe means of saving innumerable lives, it is obvious that th-e rweighting of the feet is a disadvantage of this kind of equipment so f aijas ordinary activities are concerned, andit also adds to the dead weight that must be noated.j In aci-- dition, if the sea is rough' when a manjgoes overboard, the buoyancy afforded by the' cliiepreserver'ac'ting against the ,weighted Lbody may not float the man highenough to enablehim to take care of himself effectively for any r'gre a tlength of time.
The Apresent invention aims to devise a combined overboardsuit andlife preserverwhich will supplement `the action of Ythe `ordinary life pre'server sufnciently to give the user the added .height jabove thewater necessary forh'is safety .and which will 4reduce and, in many lcasesfavoidy readjn connection with the accompanying drawing, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
In the drawing,
Fig. v1 is a rear elevation of van over-board suit and life preserver combination embodying this invention;
Figs. 42 and 3 arelsmall views illustrating this combination Vin actual use;
Fig. 4 isa vertical, vsectional view of a portion ofthe inflated llite prserver illustrated in the Alatter figures, showingdetails of the connecting means between thismember and the suit whereby the life preserver is automatically inatedwhen the wearer goes over-board;
Fig. 5'` is a view similar" to Fig. 4 but showing .thelife preservarl in its folded or normal posicheck valves which theinvention may take;
Fig.. 9 is avvertical, sectional view on the line Fig; 10`isfaisectional view of an auxiliary inflating valve with which the life preservermay optionally b e equipped.
3 Preliminary to a -detailed description of the construction shown, it may be `pointed out that in lany over-'board suit Yavrsizeable body `of air is continuously trapped `whenthe suit is fastened tightly aroundthe wearers neck or around his face, lif the suit is equipped with a hood. If .the wearergoes over-boardand into the water,
y the hydrostatic pressureforcesout this` trapped air through such restricted paths, of escape as itprnay 'nd in theupper part ofthe suit., This invention utilizes the air expelled from the suit the necessity 'for weighting 'his boots.` rItfisfalso anobjeclt ofthe 'invention to devisean apparatu's fof this character which willautomatic'ally innate itself |when Athe wearer goes into the water,
f whether he lis unconscious or not, and without .any .action on .his part.
The nature of the inventionwillbe readilyunif derstood froml the following description when vto inflate't-he life preserver automatically.
` Referringrst toFigs. l, 2 and 3, an over-board suit vis there illustrated at'2 as customarily worn. -As above indicated, 'it 'is designed to enclose the body completely and includes boots, mittens and a hood, Vthe face Alonly being exposed'when the suit is Afastened up tightly. According to 'this ini vention a liffe'preserv'er 3, whichV may be of any i suitafme type putas herefshown, is of the ordinary ring form,fi s connected vto the back of the Jsuit at the -neck portion thereof by a nipple 4 and a, cooperating iixtureof a'fbutton-type secular disk a, Fig. 6, of rubber, either natural` or synthetic, is mounted, with its center anchored to the bottom spider and its margin restingfon the valve seat in the spider. These'partsrin both i valves are so related that the disks canopen to'- ward the right, Fig. 4, to permitair to flow freely This life preserver does, however, add very materially to the buoyancy available to the wearer; it becomes inflated automatically without any action on his part; and it preferably is attached to the suit in the neighborhood of the back of the neck where it is normally out of the way. Because of the fact that its buoyancy is exerted upon a much higher part of the body than is that of the .ordinary life preserver, it tends to keep `the wearer upright in the water Y and therefore reduces the amount of weight required in the shoes.
The life preserver may be deflated, when dethrough the valves from the suit into the life preserver, but each will prevent any such viiow in the opposite directon.
`Such a valve and the nipple 4 may both be readily vulcanized orotherwise secured permanently to the rubber body of the life preserver 3. The nipple is made of rubber, or equivalent elasticmaterial, so that it can be' stretched over the button, as shown in Fig. 4, and uponbeing .released will grip the button suiiiciently to hold the life preserver to the su'itrmly; but it can, nevertheless, be pulled off., when desired After the parts. have been .separated the check, valve in the life preserver prevents the escape of air from it, and that on `thejacket prevents the entrance of water into` it.-
` Normally the lifeopreserver is foldedvinto a compact form, as illustrated in Fig. 5, and it is held in place onthe wearers back by a flap or .patch 8,\Fig. l, the loweredge of which is secured permanently to the suitwhile .the upper edge is releasably-fastened to` the suit by two or more snap fasteners AS'of thetype vwhich hold quite securely against ylateral strains, but are released lreadily bypressure `exerted in, the direction of their own height.
, Assuming the apparatus to be folded under the .nap 8,' as above described, and that the wearer jumps. or is thrown, over-board, the air `trapped in bis suit will be expelled by the hydrostatic pressure of the surrounding water, and naturally willf'be forced into 'the upper vpart of theQsuilt l where it will flow through the valves 6- '5,"Fig. `4,
into the life preserver 3.y As` the latterbecomes inated and expands, the pressure so brought to bear onthe fasteners 9 9 will unfasten them, lthus automatically releasing the life preserver.` As iniiation continues, part ofthellife preserver will be 'thrown up above 'the wearers head, and if the -nip'pleis attached to the inner surface ofthe life preserver, as shown in Figs.I 2 and 4, and its volume is so proportioned to that of the trapped air in the suit thaty it becomes blown up fairlytightly, then it-will flip over the wearers head into approximately the position illustrated iii) in Fig. 2.' This laotion'fcomes about because of i When the life preserver is completely inflated `the wearer can pullfit downaround his waist, as shown in Fig. 3,- if he` wishes,and he can reach around at `his back` and pull it free from the suit whenever he desires.
ing the valve disk a inwardly. I prefer, however, to equip it with a kink valve of the type disclosed in a pending application of mine which can be conveniently used for deating or for producing a higher degree of pressure in the life This valve is shown somewhat diagrammatically inFig. 10. It comprises a rubber tube .l2 vulcanized in the bent position there illustrated with `one end free and "open and the opposite end secured to the life preserver. In
.its normal position, as illustrated, the collapsed section at the bend prevents any flow of air through the tube, but if it is pulled out into a more or less straightened position, the collapsed `section then opens and permits the relatively free flow of air through it in either direction. Normally it is locked in its closed condition by a stra1: ,'vulcanizedv to the life preserver and under which the free end of the valve is tucked. But when the wearer goesinto the water and his life" preserverr is inflated, he canproduce a greater degree of ination or pressure in it by straightening out the tube I24 and blowing through it. This ability totop offfthe inflation often is very important. When he releases it, the tube `automatically closes.
In some ,cases it will be..found preferable to make the life preserver as an integral. part of the suit itself, -and such a construction is illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 where the suit is indicated at 2 and the life preserver 3 is made by vul- ,canizing an annular ysection of rubber, or other waterproof sheet material, around a part, or all, of the .body section of the garment. A tube I3 permanently connects the life preserver with the. neck portion of the garment so as to conduct airfrom the latter into the former and a check valve 6 vislocated at one end or the other ,of this tube-usuallyat. the lower end. This construction has the advantage of being relatively compact and lessrbulky when it is deflated ,than that above described. Also, it cannotbe. detached fromthe suit, which sometimes is an advantage but not desirable at other times. Some of the beneiits of this invention may be obtained in. suits which do not have all of the characteristics of overboard suits, but which, nevertheless, are capable of trapping and hold- .ing for a Asubstantial period of time a suicient body of air to inflate the life preserver automatically if the weareris thrown into the water. While l such garments may not answer the technical definition of suits, they are herein included in that term. Consequently, while I have herein shown and described a preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be evident that the invention may be embodied in other forms withouty departing from the spirit or scope thereof. v
Having thus described my invention, what I desire to Vclaim as new is:
1. The combination of agsuit adapted to trap a body of air and-to hold it for a substantial period of time, an inflatable life preserver, and means connecting said life preserver, with said rsuit for conducting air displaced from the suit into said life preserver to inflate the latter, said connecting means including a check valve permitting a substantially free flow of air from the suit into the life preserver but preventing'a reverse ilow.
2. The combination of a substantially Watertight suit, an inflatable life preserver, and means connectingsaid life preserver with said suit to conduct air displaced from the suit into said lifev preserver,`said connecting means being so associated with said life preserver and said suit that the inflation of the life preserver will result in throwing part of it upwardly above the wearers head. v
3. The combination of a suit adapted to trap a body of air and to hold it for a substantial period of time, an inflatable life preserver, means connecting said life preserver .with said suit for conducting air displaced from the suit into said life preserver to' inflate the latter, means for releasably fastening the life preserver between said suit and said life preserver including a check valve permitting a relatively free flow of air fromthe' suit'into the life preserver but preventing such flow in the opposite direction, and means associated with said valve for preventing the folding of the life preserver from obstructing the flow of air through the valve.
4. A combination according to preceding claim l, in which said life preserver is equipped with an extensible elastic valve through which the in a folded condition to said suit, the connections connecting said life preserver withA said suit to conduit air displaced from the suit into said life preserver, said means releasably fastening said life preserver to the back of said suit.
7. The combination of a substantially watertight suit, an inflatable life preserver, and means connecting said life preserver with said suit to conduct air displaced from the suit into said life preserver, said conducting means being releasable, and additional means for releasably fastening said life preserver to said suit.
8. The combination ofy a substantially watertight suit, an inflatable life preserver, and means connecting said life preserver with said suit to conduct air displaced from the suit into said life preserver, said means being constructed to prevent a reverse flow of said air out of said life preserver.
9. The combination of a substantially water'- tight suit, an inflatable life preserver, a tube connecting said life preserver with said suit to conduct air displaced from the suit into said life preserver, and means cooperating with said tube to seal the air in said life preserver against escape therefrom.
. 10. The combination of a suit adapted to trap a Abody of air and to hold it for a substantial.
.from the suit into the life preserver, said means including a valve preventing a reverse flow of air out of said life preserver.
l1. The combination of a substantially watertight suit, an inflatable life preserver releasably connected with said suit, and means connecting said life preserver with said suit to conduct air displaced from the suit into said life preserver; said air conducting means including a check valve permanently connected to the suit and another check valve permanently connected to the life preserver, and said means including parts disconnectable at a point between said valves, whereby said valves remain with the respective articles to which they aresecured after the removal of the life preserver.
GEORGE H. BINGI'IAM, JR;