US 2573132 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 30, 1951 G, W, FRENCH 2,573,132
' HEARING AID SUPPORT Filed Jan.. 2l, 1948 l@ K774i@ Patented Oct. 30, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ,HEARING AID SUPPORT George W. French, Chicago, Ill.
Application January 21, 1948, Serial No. 3,403
3 Claims. 1
The invention relates generally to hearing aid attachments, and more particularly to a device for operatively connecting a sound reproducer to the ear of the wearer.
The present invention is an improvement of the devicess disclosed in my co-pending application, Serial No. 678,720, filed June 24, 1946, now Patent No. 2,545,731, issued March 20, 1951, and has among its objects the production of such a device which is not readily noticeable when in use, and in which the weight of the sound reproducer may be carried by a part of the wearers garment, or means other than the wearers ear, the latter carrying only the very small weight of the ear piece.
Another object of the invention is the production of such a device which is so constructed that the ear piece does not have to be specially designed to the users ear, the device being so constructed that it will be rmly retained in pla-ce on the ear, and yet capable of being readily removed or inserted therein, so that the device may be worn only when actually required.
Many other objects and advantages of the construction herein shown and described will be obvious to those skilled in the art from the disclosure herein given.
To this end my invention consists in the novel construction, arrangement and combination of parts herein shown and described, and more particularly pointed out in the claims.
In the drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like or corresponding parts:
Fig. l is a side View of a portion of a human head illustrating the use of the present invention; :i
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention with a sound reproducer attached thereto;
Fig. 3 is a rear elevational view of a supporting element for the device; and
Fig. 4 is a sectional View taken approximately on the line 4-4 of Fig. 3.
The present invention contemplates the use of an ear piece of universal type, adapted to be inserted in the users ear, in which, the ear piece may be operatively connected to a sound reproducer, such as that commonly in use, by a relatively long hollow tube capable of satisfactorily directing sound from the reproducer to the ear piece and the users ear. The portion of the hollow tube adjacent the ear piece is preferably constructed of a relatively stili material, whereby the same may be shaped to provide suitable support on the ear for the ear piece when in use. The remainder of the tube may be flexible or pliable so that it may extend downwardly to the users body and connected at its free end to the sound reproducer, novel means being provided for supporting the free end of the tube and the sound reproducer from the users garments, or the like whereby the weight of the reproducer is carried by such supporting means instead of the ear.
Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to Figs. 1 and 2, in the embodiment of the invention illustrated, the numeral I, indicates generally an ear piece of universal type which may be manufactured in several sizes such as small, medium and large to provide satisfactory results in ears of substantially all shapes and sizes Without special tting or molding of the ear piece to the individual ear. The ear piece I, may be made of any suitable material, as for example, a plastic or the like. Secured to the ear piece I, in the embodiment illustrated, is a tubular member 2, constructed of a relatively stiil plastic or other suitable material, the member 2 being more or less U-shaped, having two leg portions 3 and 4 connected by a curved portion 5, the leg 3 being slightly curved as indicated at 6, so that the device may be applied to the users ear as illustrated in Fig. l with the ear piece I inserted in the ear canal, the member 2 extending over the ear and the curved portion 5 of the tube resting upon the top of the ear with the leg 4 extending downwardly behind the ear. The ear piece I is provided with a bore 'l therein, adapted to operatively connect the ear canal with the hollow tube 2.
Operatively connected at the end of the leg 4 of the relatively stiff tube 2, is a relatively flexible or pliable tube 8, the latter being constructed of a suitable plastic or other material preferably having relatively little sound absorbing properties. The end 9 of the tube 8 may be secured to the leg 4 of the tube 2 by any suitable means, the end of the leg 4 in the construction illustrated being inserted into the adjacent end 9 of the tube 3 and cemented thereto. The opposite end II of the tube 8 is secured to a hollow connecting member I2 constructed of plastic or other suitable material and provided with suitable means I3 for engaging a sound reproducer I4. The means I3 may be of any suitable construction, the details of construction depending upon the particular type of sound reproducer employed. The end II of the tube 8 may be secured to the connecting member I2 by any suitable means, as for example, in the same manner as 3 that described for the connection of the end 9 with the leg 4 of the member 2.
The exible tube 8 is preferably of a length to extend downwardly from the users ear to the upper chest portion of the user, asillustrated in Fig. 1.
Associated with the tube 8 is means for supporting the free end of the tube and connecting member I2 from. the users garments, suchmeans, in the embodiment of' the invention illustrated, comprising a small cylindrically shaped block I5 having a bore I6 therethrough, through which extends the tube 8. The diameter of the bore I6 is substantially of the same size as the external diameter of the tube 8, so that the block I5 is frictionally engaged with the tube 8 to maintain the block in any desired relative position with respect to the tube, but permitting adjustment of the block I 5 along the tube 8 by exerting suiiicient tension on the tube to draw the same through the block. Secured to the block I5 by a screw II and threaded` intov the block, is a spring clip member I8, the latter being operative to maintain the block in position on a part of the users garments, as for example, the shirt collar c which is inserted between the clip I8 and the rear face I9l of the block. While I have illustrated a spring clip for securing the block I5 to. a garment or the like, it will be apparent that other securing means, as for example, a pin or the like may be employed depending upon the type of garment employed. Likewise, the member I5 may be of any suitable shape and size and may beornamented to suit individual tastes.
As illustrated in Fig. l, when in use, the end II, connecting member I2 andV sound reproducer I4 are supported by themember I5 connected to the collar c of the user, whereby all weight of such depending elements are supported from the users collar c or other portion of the garments instead of from the ear, and as the tube 2 is constructed of a relatively stii material, the ear piece I will be firmly retained in the ear regardless of movement of the users head and of the intermediate portion of the tube 8 between the tube 2 and the member I5.
- Referring to Fig. 3, it will be noted that the bore I6 in the member I5 extends at an angle with respect to the slip I8 so that when the member I5 is applied to a part of the garment, asv for example, the lower edge of the collar c, the bore I6 extends in the general direction of the users ear, thereby eliminating any sharp bends or kinks in the tube 8 adjacent the member I5. As previously mentioned, the ear piece I may be readily inserted in, or removed from the ear so that it is unnecessary to wear theV device in the ear other than when it is to be actually in use. For example, if the person does not desire to use the hearing aid, the ear piece I, may be removed from the ear and placed in a vest pocket or the like, or if desired, merely allowed to hang from the member I5. However, when its use is desired, it may be readily reinserted in the ear, these operations being comparable to the use of reading glasses or the like, wherein the user will carry the same in hispocket until their use is required, at which time, theyare taken out and positioned for use, and after which, they are again replaced in the pocket. While most persons who are hard of hearing normally do not require continuousruse of a `hearing aid over a long period of' time, due to theA construction of prior ear pieces and associated parts, they could ear.
While the type of supporting member I5 illustrated in the drawings is particularly adapted for use with mens garments, where desired, a pin or the like may be employed to pin the member VI5 to any suitable part of a garment, as for example, a ladiesz dress or the like.
Having thus described my invention, it is obvious that various immaterial modifications may be made in the same without departing from the spirit of my invention; hence, I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the exact form,4 construction, arrangement and combination of parts herein shown and described or uses mentioned.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by I Letters Patent is:
l. In a hearing aid device, an elongated hollow ear piece, the intermediate portion of which is of lesser thickness than the end portions thereof, one end portion being rounded' to form a tip adapted' to be inserted into the ear canal of the user, a generally U-shaped` hollow tube constructed of a relatively sti material having a pair of spaced, substantially straight leg portions connected by a curved intermediate portion adapted to extend in inverted position over the ear of the user with the intermediate portion positioned over the ear and the leg portions depending downwardly therefrom on opposite sides cf the ear, said straight leg portions being substantially parallel with the free end of one of said leg portions extending at an angle to the plane of said parallel legs, saids free end being adapted to be rigidly connected to the opposite endl portion of said ear piece for communicating with the interior thereof, with the axis of said end of the tube extending transversely to the axis of said ear piece whereby the latter axis extends outwardly and upwardly with respect to said plane, said leg portions being of relative lengths to position the opposite free end of said tube behind Ythe ear of the user, and means secured to said opposite end of said tube for operatively connecting a sound reproducer thereto.
Y 2. In a hearing aid device, an elongated hollow ear piece, the intermediate portion of which is of lesser thickness than the end portions thereof, one end portion being rounded to form ai tip adapted to be inserted into the ear of the user, a generally U-shaped hollow tube constructed. of a relatively stii material having a pair of spaced, straight leg portions connected by an intermediate curved portion adapted to extend in inverted position over the ear of the user with the intermediate portion extending over the ear and the leg portions depending downwardly therefrom on opposite sides of the ear, the free end of one of said leg portions being adapted' to be rigidly connected to the opposite end portion of said ear piece and. communicating with the interior thereof, withthe axis of said ear piece extending `upwardly and inwardly when the device is positioned upon the head of user, said leg portions being of relative lengths to position the opposite free end of said tube behind the ear of the user, and means connected to said opposite end of the tube for operatively connecting. a sound reproducer thereto.
3. In a hearing aid device, an elongated hollow ear piece, the intermediate portion of which is of lesser thickness than the end portions thereof, one end portion being rounded to form a tip adapted to be inserted into the ear canal of the 5 user, a generally U-shaped hollow tube constructed of a relatively stiff material having a pair of spaced leg portions connected by a curved intermediate portion adapted to extend in inverted position over the ear of the user with the leg portions depending downwardly therefrom on opposite sides of the ear, said leg portions generally lying in substantially a common plane for a portion of their length, the free end of one of said leg portions extending at an angle to the plane of said parallel legs, said free end being adapted to be rigidly connected to the opposite end portion of said ear piece and communicating with the interior thereof, with the axis of said end of the tube extending transversely to the axis of said ear piece whereby the latter axis extends outwardly and upwardly with respect to said plane, said leg portions being of relative lengths to position the opposite free end of said tube behind the ear of the user, a relatively flexi- 6 ble tube of approximately the same diameter as said U-shaped tube secured to the free end of the latter, and means secured to the free end of said flexible tube for operatively connecting a sound reproducer thereto.
GEORGE W. FRENCH.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS