US 2671221 A
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March 9, 1954 J K. TRIPLETT EAR MUFF 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 6, 1950 mmvrozc xmm 72/ L T March 9, 1954 J K. TRIPLETT EAR MUFF 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 6 1950 INVENTOR. J Kama: 7k/pLETr ywwaw March 9, 1954 J K. TRIPLETT EAR MUFF 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 6 1950 l M w T W mm w Ob o ATTOI/Vi/i Patented Mar. 9, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
EAR MUFF J Karrol Triplett, Chicago, 111.
Application March 6, 1950', Serial No. 147,886
This invention relates to "ear muffs andisp tio'ularly concerned with an'ear muff which may be readily converted from substantially semicircular operative position to a flat article which may be conveniently carried in the pocket or otherwise stored forfuture' use.
It'is therefore among the primary objects of the invention to provide a novel-and-improved ear muff" which maybe" foldable from operative to inop'erativeposition.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide a deviceof the character set forth in which means are provided by which the structure is automatically locked in operative position so as to retain such operative position without danger of inadvertent movement therefrom.
Another object of the p-rsent invention is to provide in a device of the character described means bywhichthe device may be retained in a flat, inoperative position.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an ear muff, including a neckengaging and protecting portion such that the efiiciency and effectivenessof the device is materially enhanced.
A further object of the present invention is. to. provide in an ear mufi, spring means by which the device will'fun'ction to retain itself in operative position on the wearer with minimum danger of accidental displacement'therefrom.
A further object'of the present invention is to provide in a device ofthe character described novel and improved hinge means whereby the device may be readily moved from" inoperative position to operative position and vice versa and one in which such hinge means provide for the automatic securement of the device in operative position after it hasbeen so moved.
Numerous other objects and features of the present invention will be apparent from consideration of the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a perspective view of an ear rnufi of the present invention in operative position upon a wearer.
Figure 2 is a perspective view of one form of the present invention shown in its fiat inoperative position. v
Figure 3 is a top plan view of that form of the invention shown in Figure 2 showing the device partially opened and intermediate the operative andinoperative'position.
Figure 4" detail inner elevation of thehinge of'the device shownin Figures2 and 3*with the Figure 3.
Figure 5 isaview similar to Figure4showing the hinge in fully open position.
Figure dis a sectional view taken" along the line 66 of Figure 4.
Figure '7 isa similar section taken alongthe line 1 1 of Figure 5-.
Figure 8 is a top 'plan'view' of the hinge shownin'the position of Figure 5;
Figure 9 isa view illustratingthe manner-of applying the internal spring structure" to'the'- cover material of the device.
Figure 10 illustrates amo'dified form or spring structure and illustrates the mode of securing such modified structure;
Figurell isa perspective'vi'ewofa" modifica tion of the invention shown infiat, inoperative position.
Figure 12is a view similar to FigureS of the structure disclosed in'Figure 11.
Figure 13' is a sectional view taken along the line I 3| 3' ofFigure' 15- showing the hingeof' the device of Figure 1 with the hinge closed.
Figure 14 is a view of the hinge ofthedevice shown in Figure 11; showing the hinge" arts moved in preparation for completion of" the hinged movement.
Figure 15 is a side elevation of'the-hinge' shown in the positions indicated in Figures *11', 12"and13'.
Figure 16 is a view similar to Figure" 14 show-- ing the hinge in locked position.
Figure 17 is asection taken along the line ITI-ll of Figure 16.
Figure l8is atop-plan view of'the device of Figure 11 showing thehinge in fully open positiornand Figures 19a and 1% are detail views of the op.- posite ends-of the ear muff shown inFigure. Ill
The ear mufi of the present invention 'ischaracterized-by the provision of a'pair of hingedly united wings indicated generally by numerals l0 and II in Figures 2 and 3, each'wing includesla normally semi-circularspri'ng frame indicatediby the numeral l2"in Figure 2upon which is mounteda suitable covering i3. The framesarehin'g; edly joined'by a hinge means generally indicated at M. When thehinge I4 is inclosedposition; as inFigure 2, the'wingstmay berflexed to parallelism against the tension ofthe frame- [2 and secured in-s'uch parallelism'byfasuitablestrap t5 and button 16'. The-.top and'ends. of the wings may be provided with as suitable bead llwhich is designed to partially encircle the ear of the wearer so as to aid in snugly embracing the ear to guard the wearer from the elements.
The hinge of that form of the invention shown in Figures 2 and 3 comprises a pair of hinge plates 20 which are suitably secured to parallel upper and lower spring frame members 12 by rivets 22; each hinge plate includes an inwardly extending pair of hinge ears 23 provided with aligned bores adapted to receive a hingle pintle 25. As seen more clearly in Figure 5, the mating faces of the ends of the ears of one side and those of the other side are correspondingly cut away to form semi-circular steps 26. Between such pairs of ears there is provided an expansion spring 21 mounted upon the pintle 25, one end of which abuts the inner face of one ear of one hinge plate while the opposite end abuts the inner face of an opposite ear of the opposite plate in such manner as to provide for normal tension urging the pairs of ears towards each other. As mentioned above and as will be noted more particularly in Figures 6 and 7 the pintle engaging ears of the hinge plates are circular in transverse cross-section and the steps formed therein are of half-round configuration and thus when in registration the steps will cause the hinge ears to be outwardly spaced with respect to each other against the tension of the springs. When, however, the half-round step 26 of one pair of hinge ears is rotated out of abutting relation with the companion step of the opposite ear the hingle plates may move towards each other interengaging the lugs.
As illustrated, the half-round steps in the ears of the hinge plates are arranged so that the flat portions thereof are substantially normal to the plane of the hinge plates to which they are attached and by this arrangement it will be seen that the steps of one pair of hinge ears will be out of abutting relation with the steps of the hinge ears oppositely only when the hinge plates are substantially lying in the same plane and in which position the wings of the ear muff are in operative position. When the lugs are in such interrelation it will be seen that the intermediate spring therebetween will have forced the lugs together into interengagement, as indicated in Figure 5, and the spring will retain the lugs in this mutual plane. When it is desired to re-fold the hinge the hinge plates with their lugs are moved away from each other as by an upward pressure on one hinge plate and a downward pressure on the other against the tension of the spring. In so moving the hinge plates the steps of the lugs will be out of the mutual transverse plane of the steps of the other lugs and thus the hinge will be released to permit relative rotation of the hinge plates and the hinge may be closed.
In use of the device shown in Figure 2, it will be understood that for carrying purposes the device is in the position shown in Figure 2 with the hinge closed, that is with the hinge plates lying parallel and with the strap secured by the button It retaining the wings in flat parallelism against the tension of their spring frame. When the device is to be used the button i6 is released and the wings will assume the semicircular position shown in Figure 3 and the hinge may then be opened until the hingle plates attain the substantial parallel position at which time the ear steps of one hinge plate will be out of abutment with the ear steps of the other plate and the spring will force the plates together longitudinally of the pintle to secure them against inadvertent closing. In this position the normal disposal of the wings is such as to form a substantially complete circle, as may be noted in Figure 18. However, when the device is applied, as shown in Figure 1, it is sprung to form a substantial semi-circle which terminates at the ears of the wearer while the back of the device engages the wearers neck to protect the same.
When the device is removed it will resume its substantial circular position and may be refolded in flat position only after pressure is exerted on the opposite plates to move the ears out of their mutual plane against the tension of the spring, thus permitting relative rotation of the hinge plates so that they may be closed. It will be noted that in so closing the hinge the steps are again in abutment thus retaining the spring under compression and the parts separated longitudinally of the pintle in which position they are retained until the device is again opened. After the hinge has been so released and the hinge moved to the closed position, as indicated in Figure 3, the wings are again flexed into a straight position lying parallel to each other and are thus secured by the strap I5.
Referring now more particularly to Figure 9, it will be seen that in one form of the invention the flexible frame member l2 may comprise a pair of spaced longitudinally extending frame bars secured to the hinge plates 20 and extending outwardly to the end of the envelope-like covering 13 of the wings. The outer ends of the bars are riveted or otherwise secured to an end plate 32 and in this form of the invention the wing coverings are formed by two parallel pockets 3| and 3|, the backs of which are formed by a single piece of material and between the pockets there is formed a flap 33 on one pocket which is adapted to overlie a smaller flap 34 on the opposite pocket so as to provide a covering for the hinge protecting the wearer from contact therewith when the device is in use. In assembling this form of the invention the wing frames are flexed in fiat parallel position and simply slipped into the parallel pockets to which they may be then secured by a suitable stitching. It will be readily seen that this form of assembly provides a convenient means for rapidly inserting the frames within said pockets and provides ease for removal of the covering should it become worn or soiled.
By referring more particularly to Figure 10, it will be seen that in this form of the invention the wing frames are formed by a pair of converging flexible metal straps 35 which are secured to the hinge plates 20 and extend outwardly towards each other to engage an end plate 36 substantially at the center thereof, as indicated at 37. In this form of the invention the plate 36 is pivotally mounted at the joined ends of the straps 35 and may be pivotally moved to extend substantially parallel therewith as the wing frames are inserted within the pockets of the wing coverings. As the end 36 approaches the end of the pockets the closed ends thereof will engage the plate to pivotally move it to a vertical position parallel with the plate 28 and in this manner the plate may be inserted although substantially wider than the body of the pocket thus to provide a suitable end stiffening member completely filling the enlarged ends 38 of the pockets.
Referring now to the modification shown in Figures 11 to 18, the ear muff generally desighatedas 4|] comprises two substantially identical pads 4| connected at one end by a hinge assembly 42 -and held in fiat, folded side by side relationship by means of a strap 43.
Referring now to Figures 19A and 19B, a frame work for each pad 4|is provided by a pair of parallel spring steel strips 44 which are fixed at their outer ends to an outer end plate 45 and at the inner ends to an inner end plate 46 by any suitable means, such as rivets 41'. A mesh or web 48 is provided which is fixed to the frame by any suitable means, as by means of threads 49:passing around the spring steel strips 44 and threads 50 passing through holes punched in the outer end plates 45. Linings or coverings 55 of felt or other suitable material are provided, one for each of the pads 4|, and these coverings 5-5 terminate at their inner ends at 56 somewhat short of the hinge assembly 42. An elastic band 5'! is provided which bridges the hinge assembly and is stitched or otherwise secured at 58' to the frame-work of the pads 4|. The inner ends of the coverings 55 are left open so that the elastic band 5'! is free to pass therethrough in the manner and for the purpose described hereinafter.
Referring to Fig. 16, each inner end plate 46 is formed with outwardly extending fingers 65 each of which is tapered outwardly at 61 and has an ear 66 projecting at a right angle to the finger. The inner end plates 45 are also formed with bushings 61a to slidably receive a hinge pin 68 having knobs or buttons =69 at opposite ends thereof. As will be seen, the hinge pin 68 is of somewhat greater length than the distance between the outermost bushings 61a when the latter are arranged in end to end and staggered relationship as illustrated. It will also be seen the fingers 65 and the ears 66 are arranged in alternating relationship so that the tapered surfaces 61 are in contact with one another and the ears 56 are in interlocking relationship with the fingers 65. An expansion spring 19 is also provided, and it is compressed between the inner bushings 6111, one of which is fixed to the righthand end plate 46, as viewed in Figure 16, and the other is fixed to the lefthand end plate 46. The end plates 48 are also formed with brackets 7| terminating in buttons 12 which are arranged in'ax'ial alignment with the hinge pin 68.
In operation, and assuming that the ear muff ifi is' folded as shown in Figure 11, the snap fastener element 15 on strap 43 will be released from its mating snap fastener element 16 (shown in Figures 19A and 19B). Upon release of the pads 4| they will automatically spread apart under the force of springs 44 to assume the double U shape shown in Figure 12. In this position the interlocking fingers 65 and their ears 6 6 will assume the positions hown in Figure 15, in which the tapered edges 6! of the fingers 65 will overlap and the ears 66 will overlap the fingers 65; thus, effectively locking the hinge assembly I in the partially opened position shown in Figure 12. The buttons 12 will then be grasped between the thumb and index finger, as shown in Figure 14, and will be pressed inwardly toward one another. It will be apparent that the adjacent bushings 61a will be spread apart against the expansive force of the spring and that the interlocking fingers 65 and ears 66 will be disengaged from one another so that, as long as the buttons 12 are thus pressed together, the two pads 4| may be swung in either direction about the hinge pin 68.
'| I so as to bring'the pads'4l'in'to the fully open position shown in Figure 18. The strap 4-3-wi1l then befa'stened by means of its snap'fastener e1ement'l5 to a co-operabl'e snap fastener ele'- ment 1'! so as to be secure and out of the w'ay: The two pads 4| will then be spread apart sufii ciently to allow the ear muff to'be slipped over the rear of the wearers head, as shown in"Fi'g ure' 1.
It will be apparent that with the pads4-| intheposition shown in Figure 18, the interlocking fingers-BS-and ears 66 of the hinge assembly will be interlocked in the manner-shown in Figure 16,- thus preventing reverse movement of the pads to closed position.
Collapsing the pad merely necessitates per-"- forming the same operations in reverse order; Thus, the two buttons 12 will be grasped and operated, as shown in'Figure l4. The'tw'o pads" 4| will be swung from the position shown in Figure 18 to that shown in Figure 12 and the buttons 12 will be released. Then the ends of the pads 4| will be grasped by hand and'forced against the urging of the springs 44 into a-flat; side-by-side relationship, as shownin' Figure 11;
and they will then be secured in this position by" means of the strap 43.
It will thus be apparent that an ear mufi has been provided which is simple in its'construc' tion and operation. Among the manifold advantages of this ear muff may be mentioned-the following:
It is easily operated to be folded intoa-compact flat condition so that it'can be carried in a' pocket; It is'equally easily opened to operative position for wearing. Also, the pads 4| are automatically locked in either open or closed position by means of the interlocking elements of the hinge assembly. Attention is further directed to the fact that the pads 4| have a considerable Width and provide a desirable protection for the wearers neck. The elastic band 5l cooperates'to' achieve this desirable result; Thus, the elastic band 5'! overlies the critical portion at the rear of the ear muff, thereby protecting thenape-of the neck. Since the bandbl is elastic and slid able through the open ends of the coverings 55 it readily adjusts itself to different spacings'of its anchor points 58 owing to difierent positions of the pads 4|. In the practice of th present invention-it will be understood that the invention is not confined to the specific structural details here shown but that numerous changes, modifications and the full use of equivalents may be resorted to Without departure from the spirit or scope of the invention as outlined in the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent is: 1. An ear muif, comprising a pair of flexible normally semi-circular spring frames hingedly connected to each other at one pair of ends for swinging movement about an axis perpendicular to the plane in which the frames are curved from a first position where the frames have a generally common center of curvature outwardly to a second position where the convex side of the frames abut, a covering mounted on the free end portions of the frames thereby providing wings, means for releasably locking the wings in said first position, and means on said covering for releasably locking the free ends of the wings together after the wings have been swung to said second position and flexed flat in back-to-back relation to provide a small flat package.
2. An ear muif, comprising a pair of flexible normally semi-circular spring frames hingedly connected to each other at one pair of ends for swinging movement about an axis perpendicular to the plane in which the frames are curved from a first position where the frames have a generally common center of curvature outwardly to a second position where the convex side of the frames abut, a covering mounted on the free end portions of the frames thereby providing wings, means for locking the wings in said first position responsive only to relative movement between the wings in a direction parallel to their pivotal axisto release the wings for piovtal movement to said second position, and means on said covingfor releasably locking the free ends together after the wings have been swung from said first to said second position and flexed flat in backto-back engagement to provide a small flat package.
3. An ear muff, comprising a pair of flexible normally semi-circular spring frames hingedly connected to each other at one pair of ends for swinging movement about an axis perpendicular to the plane in which the frames are curved from a first position where the frames have a generally common center of curvature outwardly to a second position where the convex side of the frames abut, a covering mounted on the free end portions of the frames thereby providing wings, mean for locking the wings in said first position responsive only to relative movementbetween the wings in a direction parallel to their pivotal axis to release the wings for pivotal movement to said second position, spring means urging said wings against movement in the direction to unlock said wings, and means on said covering for releasably locking the free ends of the wing together after the wings have been swung from said first to said second position and have been flexed fiat in back-to-back engagement to provide a small fiat package.
4. An ear muff, comprising a pair of flexible normally semi-circular spring frames hingedly connected to each other at one pair of ends for swinging movement about an axis perpendicular to the plane in which the frames are curved from a first position where the frame have a generally common center of curvature outwardly to a second position where the convex side of the frames abut, a covering mounted on the free end portions of the frames thereby providing wings,
means for locking the wings in said first position responsive only to relative movement between the wings in a direction parallel to their pivotal axis to release the wings for pivotal movement to said second position, spring means urging said wings against movement in the direction to unlock the same, and a strap secured to said covering on the concave side of one Wing adjacent the free end thereof and carrying a snap member adapted for releasably locking engagement with a complemental snap member secured to said cover on the concave side of the other wing adjacent the free .end thereof, when the wing are swung from said first to said second position and then flexed flat in back-to-back engagement, to hold the wings in a flat condition.
5. An ear muff, comprising a pair of flexible normally semi-circular spring frames, hinged means joining the frames at one pair of ends for pivotal movement about an axis perpendicular to the plane in which the frames are curved from a first position where the frames have a generally common center of curvature outwardly to a second position where the convex sides of the frames abut, a covering mounted on the free end portions of the frames thereby providing wings, said hinged means comprising a hinge pin, interlocking fingers including a finger fixed to one of the wings and another finger fixed to the other wing, said wings being mounted on said hinge pin for relative movement in one direction axially of the pin to separate the fingers from one another, yieidab-le means urging said wings in the opposite direction, said fingers being arranged to engage one another when said wings are swung to their first position to releasably lock the wings in said position, and means for releasably locking the free ends of the wings together after the wings have been swung from their first position to their second position and have been flexed flat in backto-back engagement to provide a small flat package. 7 r
J KARROL TRIPLETT.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 184,006 Edgar Nov. 7, 1876 375,594 Basch Dec. 27, 1887 397,583 Cohn Feb. 12, 1889 836,087 Callahan Nov. 20, 1906 2,184,996 Jacobs Dec, 26, 1939 2,246,031 Barit-Z et a1. June 17, 1941 2,464,331 Mason Mar. 15, 1949