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Publication numberUS2393340 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 22, 1946
Filing dateJul 29, 1944
Priority dateJul 29, 1944
Publication numberUS 2393340 A, US 2393340A, US-A-2393340, US2393340 A, US2393340A
InventorsStanton Russell Elwyn
Original AssigneeUs Government
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Applicator for ear protectors
US 2393340 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 22, 1946 j I E.s. RUSSELL 27,393,340

APPLI0ATR FOR EAR PROTECTORS Filed July 29, 1944 swm Patented Jan. 22, 1946 UNITED STATE s PATENT OFFICE APPLICATOR. FOR EAR PROTECTQRS Elwyn Stanton Russell, Belmont, Mass., assignor to the Government of the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of War Application July 29,

'7 Claims.

1944, Serial No. 547.202

This invention relates to. an applicator and 'whichim-mediatelysurround and definethe ear canal. It is required that this car plug be located in a relatively advanced position in an ear canal in spaced relationto the. tympanum cit-eardrum.

However, the tubular construction noted and the compliant character of them aterial, combine to provide a member which is somewhatlacking; in stiffness.- When the ear plug is held between thumb and finger and pressed into the ear canal, it tends to collapse upon itself. This makes it diflicult to locate properly the member inthe ear canal. v v

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved applicator for inserting, a tubular ear plug in the external meatus of an ear. Another object of the invention is to devise application means for engaging within av tubular ear plug, with a view to temporarily imparting stiffness to the plug so that it may be correctly positioned in an advanced position in an ear canal. Still another objectv is to. devise an applicator which may be readily disengaged from a tubular ear plug after the plug member has been correctly positioned. The invention is also directed toproviding a. simple, cheap and efficient,

applicator device which may be furtherutilized as a means of supporting and carrying ear plugs when these members'are not in use.

The nature of the invention and its objectsiwill be more fully understood from the following deindicated in an operative position;

Fig. 2 is a view in side elevation illustrating the applicator of the invention engaged withinan ear plug; 1

Fig. 3 is a perspective view illu..trating, the applicator with the ear plug removed therefrom;

Fig. 4 is a view in end elevation of the applicator with its cap element removed; I

Fig. 5 is a cross section taken on the line, 5-5 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 6 is a side elevational view diagrammatically illustrating an ear in which an ear plug is located; and v Fig.7 isa plan cross sectional view of an ear canal diagrammatically illustrating an ear plu located therein. p I

In general, the applicator of; the invention includes a central body-portion or base of cylindrical form. At either end of the body pprtion are provided a plurality of'resilient prongs or. tips. The prongs in a slightly compacted position. are adapted to engage: with an ear plug and they serveboth as a means of stiffening the ear plug and pressing it into an ear canal in an advanced position. When the ear plug is not .in use. the prongs further function as a holder. Surroundinc: the prongs and ear plugs in spaced relation thereto are cap elements. which, together with the central body portion, constitute a closed container for carrying the. ear plugs.

Referring more in detail to the drawing, numeral l denotes a central body portion of cylin- 'drical shapewhich may be formed of. any desired material, such as rubber, plastics, fibrous materials, and the like. Extending around. the periphery of the central body portion l is an annular rib 2. formed with flat sides 4 and a peripheral edge 3 which is scored with tiny grooves orfotherwise roughened to provide a gripping surface. At points immediately adjacent the sides 4 of the ribZ. the body portion! is recessed toprovide annular grooves 5 and 6..

Numerals I and 8 indicate cap elements which are adapted to sl-idablyengage over the ends, of

the central body-portion l. The caps may, if desired. be formedwith slots l0 and H to allow the caps to beslightly expanded in passing over the ends of the body portion and to provide for headings l2v and I3, of the caps l and 8 respectively, being snapped into the grooves 5 and 6.

lnthis position the edges of the caps rest against the sides 4 of the rib 2. The roughened'surface of. the rib provides a convenient means of gr pping the applicator when removing one of the cap elements. .I may also desire to provide a clip member l4 mounted on the cap 8 (Fig. 1'). for securing the assembled unit inside a pocket.

Numerals l5 and. I6 denote two. sets of prongs formed at. the right and left sides respectively of the central bodyportion I, as viewedin Fig. 1

of the drawing. The prongs, are preferably molded to constitute an integral part of this member and are characterized by a substantial degree of resiliency. The prongs have rounded tips I5a and [6c and preferably are formed with an arcuate cross section, as may be more readily observed from an inspection of Figs. 4 and 5.

The arcuate prong portions are arranged in circumferentially spaced apart relation to one another with their outer peripheral surfaces lying in a. circle which is concentric with respect to the circle represented by the periphery-of the central body portion l. The inner surfaces of the prongs l6 are concaved, and lie in the circumference of a relatively smaller circle. In addition, the prongs,

extend axially outward with the edges of each prong lying in parallel relation to the edges of an adjacent prong.

The prongs are designed toengage in an ear plug of tubular construction having a cavity which opens at the outer end of the plug. In the drawing, I have indicated one form of tubular ear plug 11 with which the applicator may be employed; As may be more clearly observed in Fig. 3, the ear plug I! is formed with a resilient tip 18 andan eccentric lip I9. 20 indicates a tab member for use in removing the ear protector from an ear canal, and 2| refers to an opening or cavity at the outer end of theplug. Figs. 6 and '7 of the drawing illustrates an ear 23 and ear canal 24 in which the ear plug is designed to be used.

The prongs, of a respective set, are designed to engage resiliently within the opening 2! with a that the ear canal 23, in a horizontal plane, is characterized by a reversely curved formation and in order to advance the ear plug l1 beyond the point at which the ear canal is thus reversely curved, a certain amount of rigidity is required. The prong members, when engaged within the opening 2| of the ear plug, provide this required and disengagement, and makes it possible to light pressure which will cause the plug to cling to the prongs and which will avoid permament' to spring outward against the inner surface of the When thus engaged ,within the ear plug the prongs provide both a means of holding the plug in a fairly rigid state and a means of passing the plug into an ear to the desired extent. In carrying out this operation, a preferred method is to employ one of the cap elements 1 as a handle by leaving the element snapped into place about the central body portion l, as is illustrated in- Fig. 2 of the drawing. This allows the applicator to be supported in the hand while the thumb and finger are free to compress the prongs when desired. The plug and applicator prongs are then inserted in the ear canal and advanced to a point at which the lip l9 comes to rest against the ear. The prongs may then be slightly compacted while at the same time the thumb is held against the lip. l9 and the prongs are disengaged from inside the plug without Changing its position in the ear canal. l

Figs. 6 and '7 diagrammatically illustrate the plug in an operative position in an car. It will be observed that the tip l8 engages in the ear canal 24 at a point well beyond the point of reverse curvature of the ear canal and at the same time the lip l9 rests against the cartilage portion 25 (Fig. '7), which forms a stop for limiting the extent to which the ear plug is advanced in the ear. A correct location of the plug is further obtained by disposing the plug with the longer edge of the tab 20 in a substantially vertical position (Fig. 6). Both the lip 19 and the, tab 20 serve as guides for indicating how to hold the applicator just prior to inserting the plug. v

From an inspection of Fig. 7, it will be seen secure positively the plugs in a position in which they are ready for use at all times. As noted above, one of the caps may at any time be conveniently used as'a holder and when both of the caps are in place there is obtained a simple and efiicient container for holding a pair of ear plugs.

While I have shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, the size and shape of the body portion and prongs may be changed in various ways, the number of the'prongs may be varied,

and they may be arranged in an offset manner, a single applicator tip may be employed, and various other modifications resorted to, in keeping with the spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

l. A device of the character described, comprising a cylindrical body portion having an annular rib centrally disposed therearound, cylindrical cap elements mounted around the ends of the body portion and detachably secured against the annular rib at either side thereof, a plurality of prongs formed at the ends of'the body portion, said prongs extending axially outward in spaced relation to one another and to the cap elements.

2. An applicator for ear plugs, said applicator comprising a cylindrical body, cap members detachably fitted around the ends of the cylindrical body, a plurality of sets of prongs located at either end of the cylindrical body, said prongs of respective sets being of a resilient character for the purpose of engaging within an' ear plug in a slightly compacted position.

3. An applicator for ear plugs comprising a base and resilient means located in the base for the purpose of engaging within an ear plug.

4. A device for holding and applying a tubular ear plug, said device including a body portion, a plurality of sets of resilient prongs axially disposed at either end of the body portion, said prongs of respective sets being of an arcuate cross section and having their outer peripheral surfaces lying in a circle, said prongs being adapted to be compacted into a substantially tapered position and to hold resiliently a tubular ear plug mounted around their extremities.

5. An applicator for holding and applying ear plugs, said applicator comprising a body portion, a plurality of sets of resilient elements projecting from either end of the body portion, said resilient elements of respective sets adapted to be engaged in the open ends of ear plugs in a slightly compacted position, caps surrounding the ends of the body portion and resilient elements in spaced relation thereto to constitute a container.

6. A holder and applicator comprising, a central body portion having intermediate its ends a cylindrical rib whose outer surface is suitable for manual engagement, sets of prongs of resilient material mounted on the sides of said body and forming an outer surface substantially cylindrical in shape on the sides and substantially hemispherical in shape on the ends, ear plugs each carried on the hemispherical end of one of said sets of prongs so as to be readily detachable therefrom, and caps each inclosing one of said ear plugs and having quickly detachable engagement with said body portion, whereby, when one of said caps is detached, the other can serve as a handle during the use of the body portion and of the prongs as an applicator to place the uncovered ear plug in an ear.

"I. A device according to claim 6 in which the body portion and each or said caps have either 5 retain said caps on said body portion.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4053051 *Sep 10, 1976Oct 11, 1977Mine Safety Appliances CompanyEarplug package and method of making it
US4219018 *Mar 29, 1979Aug 26, 1980Norton CompanyEarplug unit with inserter and tie
US4321998 *Mar 6, 1980Mar 30, 1982Norton CompanyEarplug container
US5609164 *Oct 23, 1995Mar 11, 1997Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyMethod of forming an earplug containment device
US8616213 *Nov 11, 2008Dec 31, 2013J3 Group, LlcEarplug insertion device
DE1183198B *Mar 12, 1963Dec 10, 1964Harold ForerGeraet zum Formen, Einfuehren und Entfernen von Ohrstopfen aus Fasermaterial
U.S. Classification128/864
International ClassificationA61F11/08, A61F11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61F11/08
European ClassificationA61F11/08