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Publication numberUS2446707 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1948
Filing dateMar 10, 1945
Priority dateMar 10, 1945
Publication numberUS 2446707 A, US 2446707A, US-A-2446707, US2446707 A, US2446707A
InventorsCharles Leight
Original AssigneeCharles Leight
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ear plug
US 2446707 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

C. LEIGHT Au w, 1948.

EAR PLUG Filed March 10, 1945 Fig 5 I INVENTOR. fihqrles-Le Patented Aug. 10, 19 48 i Nil E D S TAT ES F F I C 2,446,707

EAR PLUG Charles Leight, Los Angeles, Calif.

Application March 10, 1945, Serial No. 582,081

3 Claims. I

This invention relates to sound absorbing de Vices, and particularly to an ear plug adapted to decrease or attenuate the amplitude of sound waves reaching the ear drum of a person.

Ear drum protectors or ear plugs are wellknown in the art, prior devices being constructed in many different forms and of difierent material having sound absorbing or attenuating properties. The present ear plug is in accordance with the basic construction of my prior plug disclosed and claimed in my abandoned application, Serial No. 513,395,.filed December 8, 1943,.but is'an improvement' over this prior plug from the standpoint of the means for manipulating the plug in and out of the ear chan'neland from the standpoints of ventilation and pressure equalization.

Since ear plugs are worn by a" considerable number of people, particularly those working in noisy areas, it has become necessary to design the plugs not only to have a high sound absorbing quality, but also the plug should be formed in a manner so that it is quickly and easily inserted in the ear passage and removed therefrom. When uesd by airplane pilots and passengers, the plugs should permit the equalization of the air pressure between both ends thereof, especially during rapid changes in altitude. It is also necessary that the interior of the plug be ventilated. The present invention is directed to such a construction, which not only provides the maximum efiiciency in protecting the ear drum from extraneous noise, but also is constructed so as to be quickly adjusted in the ear channel and removed therefrom when it becomes necessary to remove the plug for short intervals during conversation. Many prior plugs have been provided with flanges or tabs, but these elements either lie flush with the meatus of the ear or have insufficient rigidity to satisfactorily function as a handle.

The principal object of the invention, therefore, is to provide an improved ear plug for use by persons.

Another object of the invention is to facilitate the insertion and removal of an ear plug from the ear channel.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved ear plug which provides satisfactory sound attenuation and which is quickly adjustable and removable from the ear channel.

A further object of the invention is to provide 2 an ear plug with a tab which does not interfere with the function of the plug, while providing means for inserting: and removing the plug Withfacility.

A stillfurther object of theinvention is to'provide'imp'roved ventilation for an ear plug.

A still further object of the invention is toprovide an improved ear plug which facilitates pressure equalization without destroying the sound'attenuation qualitiesof the plug.

Although the novel features which are believed to be characteristic: of this invention will be pointed out. with particularity in the appended claims; themanner of its organization and the: mode'of its operation will be betterunderstood by referring: to the? following drawings, forming.- a part hereof; in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of one form of ear plug embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a. perspective view of a second modification of the ear plug embodying the invention.

Fig. 3 is a sectional view partly in cross section of the ear plug shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an end view of the ear plug of Figs. 1 and 3, and

Fig. 5 is an enlarged detailed view of the handle construction for inserting and removing the ear p ug.

Referring now to Fig. 1, the ear plug of this modification has a cylindrical body portion 5 with a pointed tip and the enlarged, cylindrical body portion 6, the end of which has a tab or handle I made up of a section 8 extending at right angles to the axis of the plug and to which is a grip portion 9 integral with section 8 and parallel with the axis of the plug. The cylindrical portions of the plug have a shell or skin of thin flexible material, such as sheet rubber, the tip of the plug having breather or ventilating holes II and I2 therein (see Fig. 3), which also function to equalize the pressure at both ends of the plug. The interiors of the tip portion 5 and of part of the enlarged portion 6 are filled with finely ground sponge rubber as shown at I4 in Fig. 3. The end of the plug is closed with a stopper I5 of normal sponge rubber, which is drilled with a ventilating passageway I 6, the hole I6 cooperating with holes II and I2 to permit air to enter the interior of the plug. Since the hole It is in comparatively rigid material, while the skin and ground rubber portion of the plug is soft and resilient, the contracting and expanding bellows action passes air in and out of holes II, l2, and I6 as the plug is inserted and removed from the ear. In this manner, the sponge rubber is kept fresh and pliable. The passages avoid the complete sealing of the inner ear channel from the outer air, thus permitting pressure equalization.

To the skin of the plug at the rear end is attached the handle I which may be molded with the skin. The handle sections 8 and 9 have a thickness from two to three times that of the shell of the plug in order to provide the rigidity necessary to permit manipulation of the plug. The section 8 connects to the cylindrical portion 6 over one-half of its circumference to strengthen the connection, the section then narrowing down to the width of the section 9. A tapered fillet I0 is provided along the line of joinder between the section 8 and portion 6, so the plug may be pulled parallel with its axis without tearing,

This type of plug handle construction has been found to permit the user to grasp the grip portion 9, and, with the tip of his thumb abutting the face of the portion 8, the plug may readily be inserted into the ear channel. With the plug inserted in this manner, the section 8 will be in contact with the meatus of the upper part of the ear, while the section 9 will extend outwardly where it may be quickly grasped when it is desired to remove the plug from the ear. This construction provides suificient rigidity so that the plug is easily controlled solely by grasping the handle which makes it unnecessary for the user to touch the portion of the plug which contacts the ear.

Referring now to Fig, 2, the plug shown therein differs from the plug shown in Fig. 1 by the use of a sectionalized flange 20 positioned midway between the ends of the cylindrical body portion which is of uniform diameter throughout its length, except for the tip. The interior construction of the plug of Fig. 2 is identical with that of Fig. 1, as shown in Fig. 3, while the breather holes function in the same manner. It is also to be understood that this handle construction may be applied to other types of ear plugs to improve their manipulation.

I claim as my invention:

1. An ear plug comprising a thin resilient skin of cylindrical shape having one end pointed and the other end open, a spongy resilient filler within the major portion of said skin, a resilient plug for closing the end of said skin, and a handle having a section extending at right angles to the axis of said plug and a second section attached to the end of said first section and extending parallel with said plug,

2. An ear plug in accordance with claim 1, in which said pointed end has openings therein and an opening is provided in said resilient plug.

3. An ear plug comprising a thin resilient skin of cylindrical shape having one end pointed and the other end open, openings in said pointed end, a finely divided resilient filler within the major portion of said skin, and a more rigid resilient plug for the open end of said skin, said plug having an opening therein, contractions and expansions of said skin passing air in and out of said openings to ventilate said filler.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US706975 *Jun 6, 1901Aug 12, 1902William A BullockDevice for protecting the ear-drum.
US968008 *Mar 23, 1909Aug 23, 1910Charles W WallerNoise-arrester.
US1016877 *Jan 18, 1911Feb 6, 1912 Ear-protector.
US2053995 *Jan 17, 1935Sep 8, 1936Leo M HoeyEar plug
US2393005 *Apr 18, 1944Jan 15, 1946Veneklasen Paul SEar protector
GB553362A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2538339 *Sep 15, 1949Jan 16, 1951Thomas Mary JEarplug
US2670737 *Sep 11, 1950Mar 2, 1954Cantor Jacob JEar protector
US2672863 *May 29, 1951Mar 23, 1954Charles LeightEar plug and sound absorbing material construction
US5153387 *Dec 31, 1990Oct 6, 1992Syracuse UniversityLayered earplug
US5452731 *Oct 25, 1994Sep 26, 1995Dickman; Donald E.Disposable, hygroscopic ear plug including tear-away portion
US5727566 *Dec 20, 1996Mar 17, 1998Howard S. Leight And Associates, Inc.Trackable earplug
US5904143 *Oct 21, 1996May 18, 1999Magidson; MarkFoam earplug with non-permeable elastomeric coating
US6484726Jun 30, 2000Nov 26, 20023M Innovative Properties CompanyArticulating earplug
US7130437Jun 26, 2001Oct 31, 2006Beltone Electronics CorporationCompressible hearing aid
US7506720 *Jul 21, 2006Mar 24, 2009Hicks Tammera DAnimal ear protection apparatus
US7510046 *Dec 2, 2005Mar 31, 2009Cabot Safety Intermediate CorporationLow attenuating push-in earplug with integral handle
US20020025055 *Jun 26, 2001Feb 28, 2002Stonikas Paul R.Compressible hearing aid
US20070080018 *Dec 2, 2005Apr 12, 2007Doty Marc LLow attenuating push-in earplug with integral handle
U.S. Classification128/864
International ClassificationA61F11/00, A61F11/08
Cooperative ClassificationA61F11/08
European ClassificationA61F11/08