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Publication numberUS2740127 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 3, 1956
Filing dateMay 3, 1952
Priority dateMay 3, 1952
Publication numberUS 2740127 A, US 2740127A, US-A-2740127, US2740127 A, US2740127A
InventorsBeryl Whitehead Mary
Original AssigneeBeryl Whitehead Mary
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable hat
US 2740127 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1956 M. B. WHITEHEAD 2,740,127

FOLDABLE HAT Filed May 3, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet l MARY BEQYZ. m/TEHEAD,

INVENTOR.

3 MZ SuIUZ-T Arrae/veys.

April 3, 1956 M. B. WHITEHEAD 2,740,127

FOLDABLE HAT Filed May 3, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 VIII/I/I/I/ MARY BEQYL- W? TEHEAO,

IN V EN TOR.

BY 3% S 1am A 7- 702MB Y5.

FGLDABLE HAT Mary Beryl Wlniteheatl, Yuma, Aria. Application May 3, 1952, Serial No. 235,847 8 Claims. (Cl. 2-177) This invention has to do generally with foldable hats that utilize a ribbed structure, similar in certain superficial aspects to that of an umbrella.

A number of attemps have been made in the past to develop a foldable hat based upon the same principle of operation as the umbrella. Those previously developed hats have comprised a ribbed structure with positively acting means for locking the ribs in open position, and with additional means for fastening the structure upon the head of a wearer.

An important feature of the present invention is that the hat is held open by an entirely different principle from that utilized in the umbrella. In accordance with the invention, the means for securing the hat upon the head is so arranged that it can perform at the same time, in cooperation with the head itself, the function of holding the hat in open condition.

That aspect of the invention oifers many important advantages. The relatively elaborate and heavy mechanisms employed in previous structures for the sole purpose of holding the hat open can be either greatly simplified and lightened, or even dispensed with altogether. The hat may therefore be lighter and more comfortable on the head, more economical to produce, and more reliable in operation.

Furthermore, in accordance with the invention, the interior of the hat is substantially entirely free of obstruction, and may therefore rest closely upon the head. In preferred form of the invention, the ribs and, to a lesser degree, the interior of the cover between ribs may rest directly upon the head, providing a pleasing and novel style, not previously possible.

A further important advantage provided by the invention is the relative ease with which the new type of hat may be opened and closed. In preferred form of the invention, the hat is held open solely by action of the ties that hold the hat in position on the head. Upon release of those ties, the hat may be removed from the head, and may then be immediately folded without manipulation of any locking mechanism. And in donning the hat, it is only necessary to open it, place it upon the head, and fasten the ties by which it is held in position. Again, it is unnecessary to operate any special locking mechanism before the hat can be used.

The invention further permits the hat to be held open by a yielding, rather than a positive, type of restraint. When each rib is urged yieldingly toward open position, the hat may be free to conform to the shape of the wearers head or coifieur. Thus, one rib, or one group of ribs, may open more widely than another rib, or group of ribs, tending to equalize the pressure of the hat and permit it to rest more lightly on the hair, as compared to a hat that is rigidly locked in a positively defined open position. Moreover, the described yielding action provides a more uniform contact with the head, tending to hold the hat more securely in position on the head. Therefore, less tension of the chin band is required, particularly in stormy weather.

p as Fig. 5, and on line 6--6 Patented Apr. 3, 1956 Such flexibility of detailed shape of the hat further provides increased variety and adaptability of style. At the same time, the provision of ribs that are relatively stiif insures a definiteness of general form and integrity of fundamental design that cannot be obtained with more completely flexible structures, such, for example, as hoods and scarfs. The resulting combination of definite basic form with flexibility of detailed shape is of primary importance in providing the novelty and beauty of style demanded by women, for whom the invention is particularly intended.

Foldable hats in accordance with the invention have particular utility as rain hats, since the ribbed structure permits the hat brim to be wide enough to give fully adequate protection to the neck and the face. Moreover, the convenience of ready foldability is especially useful in a rain hat, which may be used only occasionally, but must be at hand when needed. Theinvention may also be embodied, for example, in hats for protection from the sun and in hats that have no special function other than decoration.

A clear understanding of the invention, and of its further objects and advantages, will be had from the following description of certain typical manners in which it may be carried out. However, many variations may be made in the detailed structure and operation of the invention. The particular embodiments here described, and the accompanying drawings which form a part of that description, are intended as illustration and not as a limitation upon the scope of the invention, which is defined in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a perspective representing an illustrative hat in accordance with the invention in typical open condition;

Fig. 2 is a perspective, representing the hat of Fig. 1-

in typical closed condition;

Fig. 3 is a vertical medial section of the hat, showing in phantom lines a wearers head in typical position;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary section in the same aspect as Fig. 3, but at enlarged scale and illustrating a modification;

Fig. 5 is a vertical medial section, tion;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary section, taken in the same aspect of Fig. 7, but at enlarged.

showing a modificascale; and

Fig. 7 is a section on line 7-7 of Fig. 6.

A preferred illustrative embodiment of the invention is represented in Figs. 1-3. A foldable frame, indicated generally by the numeral 20, typically comprises the relatively stiff ribs 22 and a hinge structure 24 by which the ribs are mutually pivoted at or near their inner ends. Hinge structure 24 maycomprise, as represented in Fig. 3, a cap member of moderately flexible material such as heavy fabric or flexible plastic, to which the upper ends of the individual ribs are peripherally connected in any suitable manner, as by cementing. The ribs are preferably, although not necessarily, of the same length, and their outer ends may terminate in small knobs, as indicated at 26. A small loop 28, preferably of elastic, may be permanently connected to the lower end of one rib. Such a loop can readily he slipped over the terminal knobs of the other ribs, as shown in Fig. 2, to hold the hat in folded condition. Loop 28 may also serve to identify the rib that goes at the back of the head when the hat is worn.

A cover 30 of relatively flexible sheet-like material, such as light fabric or plastic, extends between adjacent ribs. The cover is connected to each rib at its outer end, and is preferably also connected, as by cementing, along at least a portion of the length of each rib. In open con dition of the hat, cover 30 is preferably substantially taut between ribs, and may act to limit, either actually or potentially, the maximum angle at which the ribs of any adjacent pair can diverge from each other.

A novel feature of the illustrated structure is the fact that, although the angles between each rib and its two neighbors are determined in open position, as by limiting action of the cover, the angle between two opposite ribs is not positively determined by any structural restraint. For example, ribs at the front and back of the hat may diverge from each other at a different angle from that between opposite side ribs. Thus, the hat when open is not necessarily accurately circular in section, but may assume a great variety of forms, oval, elliptical, or irregular. And that variety of form is made possible without departing from substantially taut condition of the cover between. each pair of adjacent ribs.

Such flexibility of form of the hat enables it to fit comfortably and. securely, resting gently and firmly upon the head all the way around. Such variety of shape is indicated, for example, in Fig. 3, by the slight irregularity of the lower edge 31 of cover 30. For example, the angle between ribs 22a and 2212 at the front and back of the hat, respectively, is shown to be greater than the angle between the two side ribs, one of which is shown at 22c in Fig. 3.

It has not previously been possible to provide flexibility of the type described in a hat utilizing a ribbed structure, because the only means available for holding such structures open produced a positive restraint, leading to a substantially regular and rigid structure. An important. aspect. of the present invention is the provision of means for holding the hat flexibly open, in the. sense described, by a yielding type of action that permits each rib to accommodate itself to the shape of the head of the individual wearer. As already indicated, that may be accomplished by means of the chin band and associated mechanism, by which the hat is also secured to the head. Yielding action of that structure may be produced primarily through asuitable type of connecting structure between the chin band and the ribs, by which tension of the chin band is distributed yieldingly among the several ribs. Alternatively, the yielding action of the chin band in holding. the hat open and in securing it upon the head may be produced or supplemented by the use of elastic material in the chin band itself, or in the connections between it andthe several ribs.

The term chin band is used throughout the present specification and claims in the broad sense of a binding that engages the head, passing, for example, beneath the chin or around the back part of the head; it may be of resilient material and may comprise, for example, either a single loop or a pair of members that can be releasably connected in any suitable manner to form a loop. As illustrated in the drawings, the chin band 3.4 typically comprises two elongated members 34:: and 34b, adapted to be tied beneath the chin. to form a continuous binding of suitable length.

' In Fig. 3 the head of the wearer, indicated in phantom lines, is in supporting relation to the. ribs at points intermediate their length. That supporting relation may be of any type known to the art, and need not be of the illustrative type shown, in which the head directly engages each rib. The point at. which support of each rib is actually applied is indicated schematically, for the ribs 22a and 225, by the arrows 42. Regardless. of the detailed support mechanism, that. point of effective support for each rib functions as a fulcrum, aboutwhich the rib may swing in the manner of, a lever. That fulcrum point may shift somewhat longitudinally of the rib as the angle of the rib varies, for example, as the. hat; shifts from nearly open to fully open condition. However, in practice such shifting of the fulcrum along. each rib is not great, and does not require special consideration.

In accordance with the present invention, tensionable connections are provided between the chin band and the ribs in such a way that when the connections are tensioned forces are applied to the ribs in a manner tending to swing the ribs into open position. Those forces are typically applied to the ribs at respective points spaced longitudinally of the ribs inwardly of the points at which the ribs are supported upon the head of the wearer. In the modification of Figs. 1-3, the forces exerted by the connections from the chin strap are applied to the ribs at points indicated typically for the ribs 22a and 22b by the arrows 41. The tension forces at 41 cooperate with the supporting forces at 42 to produce couples tending to swing the respective ribs toward open position. Or, considering the points of application of the supporting forces 42 as fixed fulcrums, the tension forces at 41 tend to swing the respective ribs about those fulcrums toward open position.

The. result, from either viewpoint, is that tension transmitted from. the chin band. serves the dual function of securing the hat upon the head and holding it in open condition.

Fig. 3 shows illustratively a preferred type of connecting structure. A bridle 36, shown in the illustrative form of a closed loop of flexible material, such as light cord or ribbon, or the like, engages the respective ribs successively all the way around the hat. The bridle is preferably connected to each rib in a manner to be freely movable transversely of the rib, at least through a limited distance. For example, such freedom of movement may be provided by means of short flexible side links connecting the bridle loop to definite points of the respective ribs. Or such movement may take place if the bridle simply overlies each rib, as in Fig. 3, at a point Where the rib is not directly connected to cover 30. The bridle may thus slide freely transversely of the rib. It may also slide longitudinally of the rib, but only as far as the point 37, at which the rib and cover are connected, as by cement. That connection thus constitutes a limit stop. for the free movement of the bridle. A corresponding inner limit stop may be provided if desired inward of the bridle. An alternative structure, illustrated in Fig. 4, comprises an aperture in the rib, through which bridle 36 passes freely. In the illustrative embodiment of Fig, 4, aperture 38 is shown as a notch which opens upwardly and in which. the bridle may be retainedby the overlying cover 30,. which may be secured to the rib immediately adjacentthe notch on both sides.

Eachend of chinband 34 is shownconnected to bridle 36 by intermediate portions 45 at two spaced positions, preferably one in front of and one behind a side rib of the hat. Such points of connection are indicated at 39 in Fig. 3, spaced forward and back, respectively, from sidev rib 220. That double connection between each end of the. chin band and. the bridle. aids. in distributing the tension of the chin band among the several ribs, andalso tends to stabilize the hat against tilting forward or back on the head. Uniform distribution of tension from the chin band to the several ribs may be further aided by suitable determination of the longitudinal positions of connection of the bridle with the respective ribs. For example, as indicated in the drawing, the bridle may engage side ribs 22c (between the points of connection with the chin band) relatively far out. on the ribs; may engage front and back ribs 220 andZZb (which are farthest from a point of connection with the chin band) relatively nearer the apex of the cone; and may engage the intermediate ribs at intermediate positions.

The magnitude of the torque or couple tendingto swing the ribstowardopen. positionmay be determined in large part by the; point of application of theforces. exerted from the chin band. For example, to increase the opening torque, the bridle loop. 36, may be. made: smaller, and its points of connection. with the several ribs shifted correspondingly. inward towardthe apex of thecone.

An advantage of the type of bridletillustrated. is that th'e forces applied from it to the several ribs are not positive in nature, but are yielding in the sense that swinging movement of one rib or group of ribs in one direction may be compensated by movement of another rib or group of ribs in the opposite direction. Flexibility of the hat is thereby maintained, and it is free to conform to the shape of the head, each rib tending to swing inward until supported by the head, as at arrows 42. Such inward swinging of one rib may be compensated by corresponding outward swinging of one or more other ribs, which may happen to receive more support from the head, maintaining the hat open and the cover substantially taut between each pair of adjacent ribs.

Figs. 5-7 show another illustrative type of connection between the chin band and ribs. A relatively rigid crown member 50 is provided, to which the respective ribs are pivotally connected in any suitable manner. The tension of the chin band is applied to the ribs via the crown member, tension forces being transmitted to the spective ribs through their pivotal connections.

In the particular embodiment shown, crown member 50 has a depending peripheral flange 51, of which the lower portion 52 is turned inwardly at an oblique angle and apertured at 56, as shown best in Figs. 6 and 7, to receive the respective ribs 43. The cover 20a may be secured, as by cementing, directly to the outer face of flange 51, with sufiicient slack in a radial direction, as indicated at 46, to permit the ribs to swing freely to closed position, represented by dot-dash lines in Fig. 6. As illustrated, ribs 43 are formed with neck portions 44 of reduced diameter near their inner ends 58. Apertures 56 in crown member 50 are formed as slots that extend upward from its free flange edge. The slots are reduced in width at their months, as shown at 57, to a dimension which will just allow the neck portions 44 of the ribs to be forced into the slots. Once in place, the ribs are retained effectively in the slots, in which they are received with sufficient clearance to permit free pivotal movement with respect to the crown member.

The chin band, of which one end is shown in Fig. 5 at 34c, may be connected directly to crown member 50. Connection of each end of the chin band is preferably made at two points of the crown member, spaced as widely from each other as is practicable in a forward and back direction; and the points of connection of the opposite ends of the chin band are preferably mutually spaced laterally of the hat. For example, if the flange portion 52 is substantially circular and the hat has eight ribs, connection of the chin band may be made at four points close to the respective ribs that are oblique with respect to the medial and lateral planes of the hat, Such connections are indicated at 60 in Fig. 5, close to the oblique ribs 43d.

In the modification of Figs. 57, the individual ribs are supported, as in the previously described modification, at points intermediate their length by force transmitted from the head of the wearer, as indicated for ribs 430 and 43b by the arrows 42. And the tension forces from the chin band, being applied to the ribs at their pivotal connection to crown member 50, as indicated by the arrows 41, cooperate with the supporting forces at 42 to produce couples acting on the respective ribs and tending to swing them toward open position.

A limited degree of resilience is preferably provided in the connections between the chin band and ribs. That may, for example, be accomplished by introducing a section of limited length of elastic material. In preferred form, the forked portion 45 adjacent each end of the chin band, that is, between point 34d and the points of connection 60 to crown member 50 in Fig. 5 or the points of connection 39 to bridle 36 in Fig. 3, may be of fabric-covered rubber, or the like, and the remainder of the chin band and connecting structure may be of substantially non-elastic material. Such limited use of elastic material is found to give desirable resilience, so that the chin band will be comfortably tight after it is tied; and, at the same time, to preserve the relative constancy of dimension that gives firm stability of the hat on the head.

I claim:

1. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to the rib and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a generally conical enclosure, the interior of said enclosure being substantially free of obstruction and adapted to receive the head of a wearer in position to support each rib at a point intermediate the length thereof, a tensionable chin band and tension transmitting means connected to the chin band on opposite sides of the hat and engaging all of the ribs at points thereof that are spaced inwardly of the said intermediate points, said tension transmitting means comprising a relatively rigid member to which the ribs are pivoted near their inner ends for swinging movement between open and closed positions, and tensionable connections between the chin band and the said member, tension of the last said connection being transmitted to the ribs through their pivotal connections to the member. I

2. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a generally conical enclosure, the interior of said enclosure being substantially free of obstruction and adapted to receive the head of a wearer in position to support each rib at a point intermediate the length thereof, a tensionable chin band and tension transmitting means connected to the chin band on opposite sides of the hat and engaging all of the ribs at points thereof that are spaced inwardly of the said intermediate points, said tension transmitting means comprising a relatively rigid crown member of generally circular form having a depending peripheral flange, the edge of the flange being slotted to receive the respective ribs in pivotal relationship for swinging movement between open and closed positions, and tensionable connections between the chin band and the said crown member.

3. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to and enclosing the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a generally conical enclosure, a closed loop of flexible material engaging the successive ribs at respective intermediate points thereof, and a chin band having its ends connected to the loop at opposite sides of the hat.

4. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to and enclosing the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position t ereof to form a generally conical enclosure, a closed loop of flexible material engaging all of the ribs at respective intermediate points thereof and freely sliclable transversely of the ribs at the points of said engagement, and a tensionable chin band having its ends connected tothe loop at opposite sides of the hat.

5. A foldable hat, comprising aplurality of relatively stifi ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to and enclosing the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a generally conical enclosure, a closed loop of flexible material passing successively between each rib and the cover and freely slidable transversely of the ribs, and atensionable chin band having its ends connected to the loop at opposite sides of the hat.

6. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stilf' ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheetlike material connected to and enclosing the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a generally conical enclosure, a closed loop of flexible material passing between the ribs and the cover and engaging the ribs at respective contact points intermediate their length and freely slidable transversely of the ribs, the cover being free of the ribs at said contact points and being connected to the ribs immediately outwardly of said contact points, and a tensionable chin band having its ends connected to the loop at opposite sides of the hat.

7. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively flexible sheet-like material connected to the ribs and extending tautly 136-- tween adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form a I generally conical enclosure, the interior of said enclosure being substantially free of obstruction and adapted to receive the head of a wearer in position to support each rib at a point intermediate the length thereof, a tension-- able chin band, and tension transmitting means connected to-the chin band onopposite sides ofthe hat and engaging all of the ribs at points thereof that are spaced inwardly of the said intermediate points, said tension transmitting means transmitting tension of the chin band directly to the ribs.

8. A foldable hat, comprising a plurality of relatively stiff ribs, pivot means connecting the ribs at one end thereof for swinging movement between a mutually parallel closed position and a mutually diverging open position, the ribs in open position lying substantially in the surface of a cone, a cover of relatively'flexible sheet-like material connected to the ribs and extending tautly between adjacent ribs in open position thereof to form agenerally conical enclosure, the interior of said enclosure being substantially free of obstruction and adapted to receive the head of a wearer in position to support each rib at a point. intermediate the length thereof, a tensionable' chin band, and bridle mean connected to the chin band on opposite sides of the hat. and engaging all of the ribs at points thereof that are spaced inwardly of the said' intermediate points, said bridle means including a closed loop passing over all of the ribs and distributing tension of the chin band yieldingly' among all of the ribs.

References Cited in-the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US854906 *Oct 29, 1906May 28, 1907William A PierceHat holder and band.
US2140647 *May 27, 1937Dec 20, 1938Myers Lloyd DUmbrella to be worn on head
US2200783 *Mar 17, 1939May 14, 1940Karl VollmerSun hat
US2343052 *Dec 14, 1942Feb 29, 1944Gifford Reuben WHat fastener
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3125763 *Mar 9, 1962Mar 24, 1964 Protective head covering
US6341381 *Jan 14, 2000Jan 29, 2002Joseph Bernard Rink, Jr.Disposable rain hood
US6454125Jan 2, 2002Sep 24, 2002Joseph Bernard Rink, Jr.Stacked assembly of disposable rain hoods
US6648171Mar 28, 2002Nov 18, 2003Joseph Bernard Rink, Jr.Stacked assembly of disposable rain protection devices having a reinforced holder
DE1123803B *May 18, 1956Feb 15, 1962Klepper Werke KgAls Kopfbedeckung zu verwendende Tragtasche fuer Bekleidungsstuecke
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/171.3, 2/200.2
International ClassificationA42B1/20, A42B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA42B1/201
European ClassificationA42B1/20B