US 2474135 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 1949- G. H. WHITE 4 2,474,135
ADJUSTABLE EARPIECE SUPPORT Filed June 5, 1947 INVENTOR.
ATTORNEY Patented June 21, 1949 UNITED STATES TENT OFFICE ADJUSTABLE EARPIECE SUPPORT George H. White, Hartford, Conn, assignor to The Gray Manufacturing Company, a corporation of Connecticut 9 Claims.
The manner of supporting body supported receivers of both acoustical and electrical types has failed to keep pace with the developments in the several arts in which they are used. From the early days of telegraphy and telephony there have been continued efforts to improve such devices for use in the fields of radio, hearing aids, transcription and communication generally, but thus far nothing has been proposed which is satisfactory from the standpoints of light weight, ease of application and removal, permitting freedom of movement by the wearer, comfort in use for sustained periods, and adjustability to accommodate difierences in ear structures.
Head bands, ear plugs, helmets, and supports for attachment to the pinna and other portions of the body have been disclosed in the patented art and produced commercially, but all of them have been subject to one or more of the disad vantages of excessive weight, general discomfort, irritation to the skin, restriction of movement, and inconvenience in their application and removal.
As a matter of fact, such objections to earpieces of the types heretofore available have accounted for appreciable resistance to the adoption of office transcribing equipment. The typical secretary almost without exception objects to the use of a head band for supporting an earpiece because of its appearance, because it is uncomfortable to wear and because it spoils the appearance of her coiffure. Devices that plug into one or both ears are irritating to the skin, reduce the fidelity of the sound produced and for other reasons have failed from the standpoint of universal I acceptability. Various constructions intended to be supported from the pinna of the ear have been proposed, but they have not possessed the degree of adjustability, comfort and convenience required for their adoption to any appreciable extent.
The present invention seeks to overcome the many disadvantages inherent to devices previously proposed for this purpose by providing an earpiece comprising a plurality of pivotally articulated members adjustably related for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, one of the members providing means for attachment of a sound source. It is proposed that there be two such pivotally articulated members, one of which may have a curved surface substantially complementing a posterior portion of an average pinna. The articulation of the members will preferably occur forwardly of the pinna and the member providing means for attachment of the sound source will preferably support such sound source adjacent the concha of the human car. It is also proposed that yieldable means he provided for maintaining the members in an adjusted relationship with respect to one another during ordinary operating conditions. The articulated members may be relatively offset and the sound source supported thereby may be of a sound translating type, which may itself be adjustably mounted on one of the members. The adjustability of the sound translating device may include rotation, and it may be resiliently mounted with respect to one of the articulated members. It is contemplated that at least one of the articulated members be yieldable so as to partially compensate for variations in sizes and shapes of various ears. The sound translating device is preferably mounted externally on one of the members for assuming an operative position spaced from the pinna for reasons involving both acoustics and comfort. One of the articulated members preferably possesses a depending end providing means for attachment of the sound source, this end having an operative position overlying the concha of the average human ear. One of the articulated members is provided with portions for engaging above and behind the pinna of the human car. It is advantageous that at least one of the articulated members be resilient, and under many circumstances it is preferable that the members have substantially coplanar portions, in which case they may likewise possess ofiset portions. It is particularly advantageous where the earpiece is to be used optionally with the right or left ear that the member to which the sound source is to be attached have opposed surfaces each providing means for such attachment. Under these circumstances, it is contemplated that a recessed resilient ring be carried by one of the members providing yieldable meam for attachment and detachment of the sound source.
A more complete understanding of the present invention will follow from a description of the attached drawing wherein:
Fig, 1 is a perspective view of one contemplated form of the earpiece supporting an electrical sound translating device;
Fig. 2 is an elevation showing the earpiece with the sound translating device removed, in position on a human ear;
Fig. 3 is anelevation showing the remote surfaces of the device depicted in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary section taken along line 4-4 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is an elevation taken from the left end of the device depicted in Fig. 3;
Fig. 6 is a view corresponding to Fig. 3 of a modification;
Fig. '7 is a fragmentary section taken along line 1-1 of Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is an elevation of the left end of the device depicted in Fig. 6 showing a sound translating device as applicable to either surface and Fig. 9 is a plan view of the earpiece depicted in Fig. 6.
The earpiece depictedin-Figs; l to-5-inclusive comprises a supporting'member ZD'adapted to be positioned posteriorly with respect to the pinna 22 of a human ear depicted in Fig.2, the member having a curved edge 24 of a formation. contemplated to complement the junction of the average ear with the head. A depending member 26 is pivotally articulated at its -upper-end tothe-forward end of the supporting member 28 by'means-of a rivet 23 or the like',-with suit-able bearing means such as washers 30 interposed between the members. A spring Washer 32- is inter- -posed between one end of the rivet and-a proximatesurface of one of the members sdthat any adjusted-position imparted to i the *members will be retained, undisturbed by forces-to which the-device might be subjected in norma-l" use. At the same-time. the resilient washer -32-will permit the members tomoverelatively without injury'to the ear of thewearer should-any un- -usual forces be encounteredduring the use of the-device:- An electrical-sound translating device 34 has been shown'as-mcunted on the depending member '25 in Fig, *1"; having-a "pair of iii] issecured to thedepending-end of the member -28- ina position that will.approximatelyoverlie -the concha, the ring .being. suitably-attached thereto bymolding. friction, on .o.therwise,-.and
.preferablybeing coplanar. with the surfaces of the member itself. As will be apparent from Fig. 4, the ring 50 is pr'ovidedwith an inner peripheral groove 42 to receive a resilient annulu's having a normal internal'diameter less I the translating device 34.
than'thatof the ring 49 to serve asasnap'fastener to receive a gro'ovedmipple ddprojecting-irom Thus-dt-will follow,
i that the sound translating device can beatta'ched and detached with respect to thedepending membe1fl26 by merelysn'appingit to or'f-rom itszopera- ".tive relationship,and due tothG l'IaltllIGZOI, the 1': .joint, the sound translatingdevice can berctated :about the axis of itsnipple 461so-that- -.-suitable disposition of the conductors 36 can .beonade 1 with aminimu-m' of inconvenience to the wearer.
. Various materials can be used for. producing the members 20 and 26, .amongwhioh various synthetic resins and plastics have beenafound to be eminently satisfactory from the standpoint of weight, appearancecomfort, and workability. The earpiece thus describedjs' primarily-intended for use with one ear only; in the case described,
- the right ear,-and for this reason, the-articulated members have been shown a's-relativelyoilset in their entireties. It will 'be evidenttosthose skilled in the art that a-mere"reversal' of relative posi tions of the various parts would produce an earpiece especially applicable to the left ear of a user. Inasmuch as commercial requirements render it desirable that a device be as universally ap- 5 plicable as possible, an earpiece has been depicted in Figs. 6 to 9 inclusive, intended for application to either a right or left ear by merely shifting the sound source or sound translating device from one'surface of the depending member to the other.
In this modification, the supporting member 50 has its forward end pivotally articulated with sirespect to the depending member 52 by means of a rivet 28 or the like together with the bearingwvashers Sfiuand a resilient washer 32 as in '5; the caseof the-preceding example. Near its forward and upper end however, the supporting ca membr. 504s offset to provide a connecting portion. in a plane parallel to but displaced from its major surfaces. Similarly, the depending member 52 provides a connecting portion 56 whose surfaces areparallel to but displaced from its maj'or surfaces; Byvirtue of-this displaced relationship of' the cooperating connecting portions,- the major-'suriaces of the'articulated memg5 bers'will be symmetricallydisposed with regard *to a'comnmn medial=plane as viewed in plan in Fig. 9. -Tl1is'disposition of the members renders the device equally suited for use with either ear,
"-"particularlysince the internal groove 42 of the gymounting'rihg 49 is centrally disposed with respect to the ringwhereloy the-resilient-anm1lus Mwill engage-the groovecl nipple 26 and retain it in assembled"relationship with the earpiece upon insertion fromeither surface of the-depending'member 52.
Since Fig. "2 depicts the general--relationship -"*-*Withthe-humanear assumed by eitherform of the 'device -described,-it will be noted that the *"*articulated 'portions of the memberswill lie forac ward-ly'of thepinna; themounting ring and con- 'sequently the'sound source will lie adjacent the conchaand' the enlarged lower end '53 of the supporting member will assume a position pos- -terior with respect to the lobes!) of the ear. Where the material constituting the articulated members possesses yi'eldability-and/orresilience,
. thedevicewill conform somewhat better to some "'.types of ear "structures, which are known to vary considerably. Under'many'circumstances; two such earpieces willzbe"usedsimultaneously by an operator, one -":t'suppo1'ted at'each car: In this event; the several conductors 1 can bez'connected' "electrically and physically in'a manner toprovide the most con- ".VGII1BI1C8 to theiuser.
"""TWhereas'only two modifications'of the invenp'i'tion'have been described with; reference to the drawings; various alternative constructions will ".j'i suggestthemselves to those skilled in the art fimjust as they have been recognized already by the present inventor, and accordingly, thescope I, of this inventionshould notbe restricted beyond the substanceof the appendedclaims.
.1. .Aniearpiece comprisinga plurality of articu- .m-clated members, pivot means adjustably. relating 2 said members forengagementv of opposite surfaces :5 sr'Of: the pinnaof theehuman ear, one of'said memhers providing-.means for attachment of :a sound -::::scurce.
:2. Anxearpiecemomprising twomembers ad- ":is: justablyrelated for.- engagement: oi opposite sur- Jiiufacesi'of the .pimiatof the human, ear, pivot .means fit-articulating :saidzsmembers *aforwardly OfI.L.Said
pinna, one of said members providing means for attachment of a sound source.
3. An earpiece comprising a plurality of articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, and yieldable means maintaining said members in an adjusted relationship, one of said members providing means for attachment of a sound source.
4. An earpiece comprising a plurality of articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, and a resilient socket carried by one of said members for attachment of a sound translating device.
5. An earpiece comprising two articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, and means for attaching a sound translating device rotatably to either surface of one of said members.
6. An earpiece comprising a plurality of articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, one of said members having a depending end spaced from said pivot means by a distance substantially equal to that between the pinna and concha of an average human ear providing means for attachment of a sound source, said end being adjustable with respect to said pivot means to a position overlying the concha of the average human ear.
'7. An earpiece comprising a plurality of articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, and fastening means accessible from opposed surfaces of one of said members for attachment of a sound source at either of said surfaces.
8. An earpiece comprising a plurality of articulated members, pivot means adjustably relating said members for engagement of opposite surfaces of the pinna of the human ear, and a recessed resilient ring carried by one of said members providing yieldable means for attachment and detachment of a sound source.
9. An earpiece comprising a support; said support having a suspending portion for engagement behind the pinna of either human ear and having a portion depending from said suspending portion for locating a receiver adjacent the outer surface of either ear; fastening means carried by said depending portion; and a receiver providing complementary fastening means releasably and reversibly interengageable with the first said fastening means whereby said earpiece is applicable to either a right or left ear, one of said fastening means including a socket providing a resilient detent, the other of said fastening means including a plug containing a recess for reception of said detent.
GEORGE H. WHITE.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,581,882 Stace Apr. 20, 1926 1,587,643 Harman June 8, 1926 2,136,720 White Nov. 15, 1938 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 436,377 Germany Oct. 30. 1926