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Publication numberUS2692994 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1954
Filing dateSep 23, 1949
Priority dateSep 23, 1949
Publication numberUS 2692994 A, US 2692994A, US-A-2692994, US2692994 A, US2692994A
InventorsFrederick Edward R, King Ellis G
Original AssigneeFrederick Edward R, King Ellis G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fibrous glass life preserver
US 2692994 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 2, 1954 E, 6. Km ET AL 2,692,994

FIBROUS GLASS LIFE PRESERVE-R Filed Sept. 23 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TORS Ellis Grog King 0 y Edward Fredenck ATTORNEY Nov. 2, 1954 E. G. KING ETAL FIBROUS GLASS LIFE PRESERVER Filed Sept. 23, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 uvmvroxs Ellis Gmy King BY Edward R. Frederick W ATTORNEY Nov. 2, 1954 E. (5. KING ETAL 2,692,994

FIBROUS GLASS LIFE PRESERVER Filed Sept. 23, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 FlG.3. A

uvmvroxs Ellis Gray Kinq BY Edward R. Frederick b I O United States Patent FIBROUS GLASS LIFE PRESERVER Ellis G. King, Shelton, Wash, and Edward R. Frederick, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of theNavy Application September 23, 1949, Serial No. 117,324

1 Claim. (Cl. 9-20) The present invention relates to fibrous glass life preservers and more particularly to jacket life preservers which automatically bring the wearer to a desired position in the water by means of fibrous glass flotation means.

Presently available life preservers are filled with inflammable materials such as cork and kapok which must all components of the preserver are domestically available in quantity. The preserver will also support an unconscious man in the correct position in the water and will bring him to that position from any attitude in which he may strike the water without any assistance from the wearer.

The improved buoyant elements employed by the present lite preserver are capable of retaining their supporting powers for periods of several days of continuous use. The buoyant elements consist of siliconetreated fibrous glass contained in a sealed envelope of vinyl resin which protects the fibrous glass and reduces or eliminates the loss of buoyancy caused by the absorption of water by the fibrous glass.

It is anobject of the present invention to provide a jacket-type life preserver which will be self-righting and which will support an unconscious man for a long period of time.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a life preserver composed entirely of domestically avail- I able materials.

It is a final object of the present invention to provide a life preserver which can be stored or worn for long periods of time without appreciable loss of buoyance.

Further objects and advantages will be made apparent by reference to the following description and by reference to the appended drawings in which:

Fig. l is a view of the improved life preserver as worn by an individual.

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the life preserver with the shoulder seams separated and the collar removed.

Fig. 3 is a view showing the buoyant elements employed in the improved life preserver;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view of a buoyant element of the life preserver; and

Fig. 5 is a partial view of the life preserver showing details of the construction thereof.

Referring now to Fig. 2, the jacket is shaped to form two front sections and a back section joined together and is constructed of two similar pieces of fabric, such as cotton duck, placed back to back and stitched together at the outer edges to form a cavity between them. The upper portion of the back section is provided with an opening 13 by cutting one of the pieces of duck and binding the edges of the opening thus formed with binding tape which is adapted to receive the lacing 14. The two pieces of duck are stitched together at a line 15 just below the-lacing 14 to form the backpocket 16.

Each of the front sections of thejacket 10 is provided with an opening 17 which fitted with a lacing 18. The

pieces of fabric are stitched together as indicated at 19 to complete the front pockets 20.

The tunnel 44 is formed completely through the jacket 10 by the stitching 28, and the tunnel tape 45 is pulled through the tunnel with the ends extending from each end. The tunnel tape 45 is stitched to one end of the tunnel 44 to prevent its pulling out and becoming lost.

The body strap 40 is sewed to the back section of the jacket 10 by stitching through the two layers of duck. Its lower edge is located near the lower edge of the arm holes 11 so that the body strap 40 may be pulled through the arm holes. The body strap 40 is provided with a metal ring 41 at one end and a-loop eye hook snap 42 and an adjustable tension slide 43 at the other so that its length may be easily adjusted. The body strap 40 may be made of cotton webbing or other suitable material while the metal parts are made of a non-corrosive metal such as brass or stainless steel. A pair of jacket tie tapes 49 are attached to the jacket 10 near its top.

The leg straps 47 are attached to the lower edge of the acket 10 under the rear edges of the arm holes 11 and the leg strap buckles 48 are attached to the lower edge of the jacket under front edges of the arm holes. The leg straps 47 are of sufficient length to pass between the wearer's legs and pass through the leg strap buckles 48. The leg straps 47 may be made of cotton webbing or other suitable material, and the leg strap buckles 48 may be of any well-known type.

The collar 39 is constructed from two thicknesses of fabric back to back and stitched together around the outside edges and as indicated by the dashed line 37. The collar has an opening 34 which is covered by the overlapping flaps 35, which opening provides access to the collar pocket 39 between the two layers of material. The portion 38 of the collar is separated from the collar pocket 39 and is intended to be connected with the top of the acket 10 so as to provide a flexible connection between the two parts of the life preserver. A pair of collar tie tapes 32 are attached to the outside seams of the kcollar so to hold the collar closed about the Wearers nec It will be understood by those skilled in the art that any material may be used for the collar 30 and the acket 10 as desired. The collar is worn against the wearers neck and face and should therefore be' of a smooth texture to prevent chafing, suitable materials for thel collar including nylon, rayon, and soft cotton materia s.

As shown in Fig. 5 the jacket 10 is provided with a vertical slit 50 cut in the outside layer of fabric under each arm hole, said slit being of suflicient length to allow the loose ends of the leg straps 47 to be inserted for carrying them in the jacket 10 when it is worn dry. The

. straps 47 may thus be conveniently stored in the jacket when they are not in use and they therefore do not interfere with the wearers movements in any way. The slit 50 is bound with tape to prevent tearing in the usual manner.

The jacket is assembled by stitching the seams 21 to the seams 22 on each side to form the shoulders of the jacket, and the collar 30 is stitched to the top of the adapted to have the collar tie tapes 32 pass through them before being tied together.

. The pockets 16, 20 and 39 in the collar 30 and the acket 10 are adapted to receive buoyant pads, each of which is shaped to fit the corresponding space in the pockets and is a separate and removable element in itself. The buoyant pads consist of two sets of front pads, each set consisting of a lower front pad 24 and an upper front pad 25, a back pad 23, and a collar pad 26, as shown in Fig. 3.

Ordinary padding materials are buoyant for a short time because the surface tension of the water entraps air inside the mass. However, the surface tension is broken when the material becomes wet and the air escapes,'thus greatly reducing ,the,,buoyancy.of the. material. 'It hasb'eenfound 'that'fibrous as w en treated with a silicone, does-not become -wetted and the-quantity of air entrapped in the mass may be satisfactorily maintained for a considerable period of time. The volume of air which isentrapped in the silicone treated fiber glass will vary over a wide range as the weight of fiber glass per unit volume is changed. Experiment has-shown that the optimum weight of fiber glass per cubic foot is about 6 pounds for maximum lift.

The mechanical movement caused by the wearers breathing produces alternate compression and expansion of the buoyant material and, greatly speeds the escape of the air from the material if-it is submerged. Since such movement and agitation cannot be conveniently prevented, other means must be found to prevent the buoyant material from rapidly losing its supporting power. All the buoyant pads except the collarpad 26 are enclosed in an envelope made of a vinyl resin or other suitably soft, impervious, scalable material sealed around the fibrous glass. As is well-known, vinyl resins are imprevious to water, flexible and may be securely sealed to another piece of vinyl resin by pressure and-heat at the junction of the two. Therefore, so long as the vinyl resin remains impervious, no water reaches the fiberglass and the buoyance of the pad remains unchanged regardless of length of time the pad is submerged. However, even if the vinyl becomes ,punctu'red, water is allowed to enter only at such puncture and its pressure is exerted on only the area of the puncture so that the water absorption of the packing is materially reduced, and the agitation caused by the wearers breathing is almost eliminated.

When a pad absorbs water, the air contained in the packing is forced to the top of the pad and the water settles to the bottom. It has been found that thepercentage of water absorbed varies to a large extent directly with height of the pad, and that several short pads placed one above the other, absorb a smaller percentage of water than a single pad of the same dimensions and weight. However, it will be apparent that the process of subdivision also adds extra material to the pads and that the process cannot be extended indefinitely without substantially eliminating all advantage of subdivision. It appears that a subdivision into two or three sections produces optimum reduction in water absorption.

Referring now to Fig. 4, the silicone'treated fibrous glass 55 is enclosed in a fabric bag 56 made from cotton material such as muslin. Obviously other materials may be used in the bag if desired, but muslinhas been used because it is cheap and readily available. The fibrous glass'55 is packed into the bag until it is compressed to the desired density and the bag is then stitched closed. The bag when filled is shaped to be of substantially the same thickness throughout, and tufting as indicated at 57 is added in several points to prevent the fiber glass from shifting its position in the bag.

The filled bag is then inserted in-the vinyl resin envelope 58 formed by heat sealing the vinyl resin together on three sides, and a sufficient quantity of air is removed to cause the vinyl envelope to collapse on the muslin bag 56, after which the vinyl envelope 58 is sealed to complete the pad.

The distribution of the buoyancy of the acket must be such that the wearer will be brought to a near-vertical position from any position in which it strikes the water. It has been found that buoyance of the pads needed to support a man should be distributed approximately in the following ratio.

Collar pad 3.5 lbs. buoyancy. Back pad 5.9 lbs. buoyancy. Lower front pad (2) 5.9 lbs. buoyancy each. Upper front pad (2) 2.9 lbs. buoyancy each.

The back pad 23 is designed to fit just below the wearers neck, and extends substantially less than one-halfthe length of the jacket. With the buoyancy th u s distributed, the wearer is supported in a reclining position of about seventy degrees with the water line with the head and collar above the water. Since the collar 30 is normally out of the water, no vinyl envelope is used on the collar pad 26. The buoyancy of the pads should be changed in the same proportion if the preserver is made smaller or larger.

The life preserver is assembled by inserting the collar pad 26 in the collar 30 through the opening;-34'-and-the apsSS retain the'co'llar pad within the collar pocket.

The upper front pads .25 are inserted through theslits 17 in the front pockets 20 and forced upward until the upper end of the pad reaches the shoulder scam 21, and the lower front pads are then inserted in the front pockets 20 after which the pockets are closed by means of the lacings 18. The back pad 23 is inserted in the back pocket 16 and the pocket is closed by the lacing 14.

The wearer puts the life preserver on by passing his arms through the armholes, tying the ends of the tunnel tape 45, and tying the jacket tie tapes 49. Each of the collar tie tapes 32 is passed through the D ring 33 on the opposite side of the jacket and the tapes then tied together. The leg straps 47 are passed between the legs and fastened by the leg strap buckles 48, and the body strap 40 is snapped loosely around the jacket.

It will be noted that the collar 30 is drawn under the wearers chin in such a manner as to support and cushion his head, and the jacket is prevented from rising on the wearers body upon striking the water by the leg straps.

The appearance of the life jacket is shown in Fig. 1.

The life preserver is reversible and it is not important which side of the garment is on the outside, since all fastenings are arranged to function in the same manner from either side. The body strap 40 may be pulled through the arm holes 11 if the life preserveris puton with the body strap on the side next to the wearer. The body strap 40 is sufiiciently strong to support the-wearer and may be used to lift him from the water or to attach him to a boat or a life raft, if desired.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The cloth employed may bechanged to any type desired and the straps and tapes may be made in any form and of any desired materials. The muslin bags may be omitted and the fibrous glass put directly in the impervious-envelope. The fabric components of the jacket and collar may be made up of a number of sections stitched in a desired manner so as to save cloth and labor in manufacture if advantageous. The leg straps may also be omitted if desired.

-It will be noted that the jacket may be easilylaundered by removing the buoyant pads, and that damaged pads may be separately replaced, if necessary. It is contemplated that the fiber glass pads will outlast the jacket, and that the pads will be used in several jackets in succession which reduces the cost of the life preservers.

What is claimed is:

In a life preserver, a front opening fabric jacket having a pair of front sections and a back section, each of said front sections containing a closable front pocket covering substantially the area of the front section, a pair of first buoyant pads adapted to fit the upper portion of said front pockets respectively and a pair of second buoyant pads adapted to fit the lower portion of said front pockets respectively, said back section containing a closable back pocket covering the upper portion of said back section and extending downwardly less than one-half its length, a third buoyant pad adapted to fit said back pocket, each of said first, second and third buoyant pads comprising a fabric container stuffed with siilcone-treated fibrous glass, said fabric container being tufted and'having an envelope of vinyl resin sealed about said fabric container, a collar attached to said jacket and containing a closable collar pocket extending throughout its length, a fourth buoyant pad adapted to be inserted in said collar pocket, said fourth buoyant pad comprising a tufted fabric container stuffed with silicone treated fibrous glass and fastening means attached to said jacket and said collar to secure said jacket about thewearers body and to draw the collar under the wearers chin.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 166,477 Richards Aug. 10, 1875 1,044,652 Hartwig Nov. 19, 1912 1,162,214 Boddy et al. Nov. 30, 1915 1,291,488 Edmonds Aug. 26, 1919 1,336,400 Young Apr. 6, 1920 1,366,344 Bailey Jan. 25, 1921 1,536,627 -Potter May-'5, 1925 (Other references on following page) 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS Number Name Date Number Country Date 2,392,576 Caselle Jan. 8, 1946 116,470 Australia Feb. 4, 1943 2,405,484 Bailhe Aug. 6, 1946 5 447,313 Italy Apr. 8, 1949 2,433,847 Jennings et a1. Jan. 6,-1948 473,987 France Feb. 3, 1915 2,660,736 Biefeld Dec. 1, 1953 482,809 Great Britain Apr. 5, 1938

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2893020 *Apr 8, 1954Jul 7, 1959American Pad & Textile CoFlotation garment
US3037220 *Feb 25, 1960Jun 5, 1962Jantzen William LSail-float
US3094722 *Oct 27, 1960Jun 25, 1963Lerner Lovie EBathing suit
US3094723 *Mar 26, 1959Jun 25, 1963Manhart Charles EBuoyant cushion device
US3201808 *Mar 11, 1963Aug 24, 1965Marksway Entpr A GBuoyant undergarment
US3266069 *Jul 17, 1964Aug 16, 1966Stearns Mfg CompanyBuoyant garment structure
US3405414 *Jun 2, 1966Oct 15, 1968Gentex CorpReadily reversible buoyant jacket
US3972526 *Oct 7, 1974Aug 3, 1976Cox Jr James FInflatable body balloon
US4015300 *May 6, 1976Apr 5, 1977Hayward John SFlotation jacket
US4131974 *Aug 9, 1976Jan 2, 1979The Secretary Of State For Defence In Her Britannic Majesty's Government Of The United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern IrelandFlotation stoles
US4137586 *Jul 11, 1977Feb 6, 1979Stearns Manufacturing CompanySurvival suit
US7037155 *Jul 25, 2003May 2, 2006Freeman Jeffrey GPersonal flotation devices
US7288011 *Jun 30, 2005Oct 30, 2007Ganley John GPersonal floatation device
US20130005203 *Jul 1, 2011Jan 3, 2013Barbis Richard AFoldable flotation device
U.S. Classification441/110, 156/213
International ClassificationB63C9/00, B63C9/115
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/115
European ClassificationB63C9/115