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Publication numberUS2790175 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1957
Filing dateNov 23, 1953
Priority dateNov 23, 1953
Publication numberUS 2790175 A, US 2790175A, US-A-2790175, US2790175 A, US2790175A
InventorsSowle Theo J
Original AssigneeSowle Theo J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Face guard
US 2790175 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 30, 1957 J, sow 2,790,175

FACE GUARD Filed Nov. 25, 1955 IN V EN TOR.

22w CZ Sow/e United This invention relates to face guards for athletes and, in particular, to face guards attachable to helmets or other head gear.

One object of this invention is to provide a face guard which is attachable at two points to a helmet or other headgear, such as a football helmet, automobile race drivers helmet or the like, and at its third point rests against the front of the wearers chin, thereby bringing about a three-point support of the guard which enables the elimination of the bulky and uncomfortable padding commonly used in other guards which are hot and stilling to the wearer.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the foregoing character which is of skeleton construction so that in addition to the portion extending from each side of the guard down to and in front of the chin, it requires only an additional portion extending from the sides of the guard across the face in front of the nose to give adequate protection to the wearers face and eyes, in cooperation with the helmet or headgear to which it is attached.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the foregoing character which by reason of the two points of attachment to the headgear or helmet in combination with the fixed third point of engagement with the chin, is easily adaptable to fit all wearers and attachable to all sizes of helmets, regardless of the different sizes of wearers faces, as well as being simple in construction, of light weight and of low cost of production.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the foregoing character which is held against the chin by a chin strap extending downward to the chin around the chin portion of the guard, thereby firmly holding the guard against displacement by blows and securing the guard in position automatically when the chin strap is snapped or otherwise fastened in position, as is necessarily done when the wearer puts on the helmet alone.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the foregoing character which allows the wearer to lift the guard away from his face by using the two points of attach rhent to the helmet or other headgear as pivot pointsor hinges.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the foregoing character wherein the face guard, by being attached at its sides to the helmet or other headgear by means of adjustable fastenings, such as lacings, renders the adaptation of the face guard to the individual wearer a rapid and easy matter.

Another object is to provide a face guard of the fore-,

Other objects and advantages of the invention will beatent ice tion of the accompanying drawing, wherein:

Figure 1 is a side elevation of a face guard, according to one form of the present invention, shown as attached to a football helmet and held in position against the front of the wearers chin by a chin strap attached to the helmet;

Figure 2 is a front elevation of the face guard and helmet shown in Figure 1; and

' Figure 3 is a central vertical section through the forward portion of the face guard of Figures 1 and 2, showing its forward point of support against the front of the chin of the wearer.

Many forms of sport, such as football playing, automobile racing and the like, result in injuries to the nose, teeth, lips, jaw, cheekbones, eyes and other adjacent portions of the face, and face guards hitherto provided for protection of these facial areas have been unsatisfactory for various reasons. Some such prior guards have been in the form of masks covering the major portion of the face and tending to stifle the wearer in hot weather, as

well as resulting in irritation to the wearersface by reason of dust working its way under the extensive padding previously provided. Such prior masks also have not been adaptable to different sizes of faces or heads, thereby requiringit to be made in various sizes, with consequent high cost of production and necessarily high cost to the purchaser. Such prior guards and masks which extended over the entire face have also been bulky and heavy, with numerous points of attachment to the helmet or head gear which render a trim and satisfactory fit virtually impossible because of the wide variety of sizes and shapes of faces. Such prior face guards or masks have also frequently been loose-fitting and relatively insecure by reason of being easily displaced when subjected to blows from different angles, and'lacking a firm and solid positioning of the guard.

The present invention provides a face guard which, although of skeleton construction, nevertheless provides complete protection, is easily adjustable to different sizes of faces, and requires no padding whatever, aside from an 1 optional pad between the front of the guard and the front of the wearers chin. The face guard of the present invention is secured at its sides to the sides of the helmet or headgear and in addition to this U-shaped portion extending from each side of the guard down to and in front of the chin, requires only a bridge portion extending from the side portions of the guard across the face in front of the nose to give adequate protection to the wearers face and eyes, in cooperation with the helmet or other headgear to which it is attached. The face guard of the present invention is automatically held against the front of the wearers chin by a chin strap which also holds the helmet or other headgear in position, so that the guard may be easily lifted away from the face when the chin strap is released, merely by using the two points of attachment to the helmet or other head gear as pivot points. The face guard of the present invention makes use of the fact that the wearers chin is a strong and firm part of the face which is capable of sustaining severe blows which would seriously injure the other parts of the face. Proof of this fact is seen in the punishment which the jaw sustains in boxing, wrestling and like sports.

Referring to the drawings in detail, Figure 1 shows a face guard, generally designated 10, according to one form of the invention as attached to a headgear, generally designated 12, such as a football helmet having a chin strap 14 passing in front of and beneath the chin of the wearer. The headgear 12 is of any suitable type and may also consist of the helmet used by a race driver for the protection of his skull and forehead, and has a top portion 16 extending down over the forehead to a front or forward portion 17 having a lower front edge 18 at approximately thelevel of the eyebrows with a rearwardly and downwardly extending edge portion 20 and 22 respectively following the approximate location of the cheek bonesto leave visionfrom the eyes unobstructed. The lower'portion 22- of. the frontedge, generally designated 24, has a roundedcorner 26 where it joins the. lower edge 28 of the head gear or helmet 12'. Ear guards. or protectors 30 are optionally provided and the chin strap 14 has an anchorage portion 32 securedas by a snap fastener 33 to the lower portion of the helmet forwardl'y'of the ear guards 30. The chin strap 14 issee cured to the side portions 33 of the helmet 12'. in any suitable manner, such'as by the buckle 34showninFigure l" or by a" quick-detachable snap fastening or. any other suitable form'of fastener. The forward portion: 36 of the chin strap is.cupped,,having an upper part 38 passing infrontof' the chin of the wearer and a lower. part 40. passing beneath it; The face guardl ltlds'ma-d'e. of'any suitable material, suclf as synthetic plastic, preferably transparent synthetic plastic.

The'face guard has an approximately U-shaped main. portion 42 with upper. end portions. 44. securedLby anysuit-able fastenings 46 to the side portions 33- of' the. headgear 12. The main portion 42 hasside. portions 48 of arcuate' shape extending downwardly and forwardly around thefr'ont' of the wearers chin, the front portion. being designated with the reference numeral 50; A month opening 52' of horizontally-elongated outline is provided between the front portion50 and. a bridge portion 54 whichjextends upwardly and forwardly at. an. inclined position, having its opposite end portion 56 joining the side. portions 48 of the main portion 42 justbelowthe. dose level. The. bridge portion54 hasa front porti'on58 which extends over the lower. front portion of the nose and which has an inner surface 60 spaced away from the nose to keep it out ofcontact with the nose. The upper edge 62 of the bridge portion 54 extends: forwardly and. upwardly from is junction 64 with the forward. edges 66 of the side portions 48. The lower edge 68 of the bridge portion 54 extends upwardly and. forwardly at'approximately the level of the bottom of the nose to provide: protection for the nose andmouth.

Theupper edge 70 ofthefront portion 50-lies approxi.

mately at the level of the lower lip and joins the lower edge. 6801? the. bridge portion 54 at the corners 72.0f

the mouth openingf52 corresponding to the. corners of the wearers mouth. The upper part 33 of the forward portion 36 of the chin strap 14 is optionally secured by anysuitabl'e fastener or fasteners74 to the front portion 50 of the main portion 42, and a small. pad 76 is optione ally secured, as by cementing, to the inner surface 78. of. the forward portion 59 and engages thefrontof. the: chin of the wearer below the level of the-teeth. The pad or'cushion 76 is preferably of elastic.-deformablematerial; such' asnatural' or synthetic rubber or sponge rubber, or:

a resilient. synthetic plastic. The side portions 48--and bridge portion 54 of the face guard 10 elsewhere than. at the front portion 50 are preferably out of contact with the face of the wearer, thereby providing a space through which cooling air can. pass, ventilating the guard and rendering it comfortable on the face. Moreover, this same space prevent-s dust from irritating the wearer by coming between the guard and. the face, as in prior types of mask or face guard having large areas of'padding directly engagingthe face. 7

In the use of the invention, assuming the face guard 10 to have been attached in the above-described manner to the helmet or other headgear, and assuming the chin.

strap 14 to be in its released position, the wearer puts on: the helmet 12 and face guard 1%) simultaneously by holding the helmet 12 above his head and pulling it downward over the top of his skull, while holding the frontportion 50 and bridge portion 54 in. an upwardly-swung position; around the fastenings' 46 as pivots. After he pulls the upper portion 16 of the helmet 12 downwardly over the top of his head, he swings the face guard 10 downwardly and inwardly into the position shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3, bringing the cushion or pad 76 against the front of the chin or jaw and at the same time pulling the chin strap 14 backward to a position where it can be fastened in its closed position shown in Figure 1.

During the game, race-or other activity, the helmet 12 protects the skull and main portion of the head of the wearer from blows from above, from the sides or from the rear. The forward portion 17 of thehelmet 12 protects. the forehead, down as far astheeyebrowsand eyes, and the bridge portion 54 cooperates with the fora for. the cheek areaof. the face.

' having a lower central portion configured to fit around and ward portion 17 in providing. an eye opening 80. The bridge portion 54 protects the nose and mouth and, by reason of its rigid and integral connection with the side portions 48 of the main portion 42, provides protection The front. portion. 59 cooperates. with, the bridge portion 54 to. protect themouth, lips and teeth, while still enabling the user totalk, breathe freely, drink or expectorate. The shock of a blow falling upon the face guardis borne by the face guard and transferred by it partly to the helmet 12 at; the points of attachment 46 and partly to the wearers chin or jaw through the cushion or pad 76. Thefront of the jaw is naturally of suflicient strength to sustain such blows, especially when they are muffied or reduced by the. padding 76 and by the transfer of a portion of the blow to the side portions 33 of the helmet or other headgear 12.. The skeleton construction of the face guard 10, while giving, adequate protection to the face, at the same time gives adequate vision to the user and satisfactory ventilation.v

To remove the head gear 12 and face guard 10, the user unsnaps or releases the chin strap 14, Swings the forward portion 50 of the face guard 10 upward around the fastening points 46 as pivots, and raises the 'head gear 12 upwardly off his head with an upward motion of his, hands. Thus, the same motion which removes the helmet or other headgear 12 also removes the face. guard 10. The chinstrap 14 assists in holding the face guard 10 in. position and provides additional support and protection from. the efiects of lateral blows against the sides of. the. face guard.

What I claim is:

l. A face guard adapted to be attached to the opposite, sides: of an athletic helrnent, said face guard comprising a half-mask. member of approximately U-shaped longitudinal section. configured to cover only the lower part of wearers-.fa.ce below the eye level thereof: and hay ing .a lower central portion configured to fit around. and

rest, against the. front of the wears. chin and side arms 'of. arcuate shape extending, upwardly and rearwardI-y; from said lower centralportion, said. sidearms having,

upper endswith means thereon for pivotally attaching said guard. to.;said:sides of said helmet, and a bridge bar ex-,

tending, forwardly from said side arms and secured thereto..at its opposite ends, said bridge bar having an upper U shaped member, said upper central portionbeing spaced above'said lower central portion, said central portions having a mouth opening, disposed. therebetween.

' 2,1 A face guard adapted to be attached to the opposite sides ofan athletic helmet, said face guard comprisinga half 'mask member. of approximately U-shaped longi tu'din'alflsection. configured to cover only the lower part of the .wearers face below the eye level thereof and rest. against .thefront of the wearers chin and. side. arms o'farcuate' shape extending upwardly and rearwardly from said lower central portion, said side arms having upper ends with means thereon for pivotally attaching said guard to said sides of said helmet, and a bridge bar extending forwardly from said side arms and secured thereto at its opposite ends, said bridge bar having an upper central portion disposed uppermost on said half-mask member below the wearers eye level and adapted to arch over the wearers nose; and a chin strap having opposite ends adapted to be secured to said opposite sides of said helmet and having a middle portion connected to and engaging the lower central portion of said U-shaped member, said upper central portion being spaced above said lower central portion, said central portions having a mouth opening disposed therebetween.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS White Apr. 29, 1913 P-aupa July 9, 1918 Greenfield Jan. 21, 1919 Manson Apr. 2, 1935 Ellis Mar. 17, 1942 Fay June 20, 1944 Zeller .Oct. 10, 1950 Weaver et al. Nov. 4, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1060220 *Jul 15, 1912Apr 29, 1913John D GazzoloFace-mask.
US1272309 *Aug 25, 1917Jul 9, 1918Thos E Wilson & CoAviation-helmet.
US1291846 *Feb 23, 1918Jan 21, 1919Isidore GreenfieldFace and ear shield.
US1996078 *Apr 27, 1933Apr 2, 1935Manson Frank GHelmet
US2276612 *Aug 11, 1941Mar 17, 1942Ellis Miriam SFace guard for infants
US2351752 *Jul 31, 1942Jun 20, 1944Fay Joseph HProtective mask
US2525389 *Nov 25, 1949Oct 10, 1950Zeller Herman LProtective face guard
US2616081 *May 13, 1948Nov 4, 1952Davis George WFace protecting mask
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2881442 *Aug 23, 1954Apr 14, 1959Sowle Theo JCombination face and head protector
US2890457 *Feb 20, 1956Jun 16, 1959Marietta Michael TFace mask
US2908911 *Oct 18, 1956Oct 20, 1959Sowle Theo JAdjustable face guard
US2929070 *Sep 9, 1957Mar 22, 1960Novak William RFace guard for football players
US2954564 *Jan 27, 1958Oct 4, 1960Sowle Theo JAdjustable face guard bar
US2965902 *May 1, 1958Dec 27, 1960Louch Delbert GHead protector
US3190973 *May 13, 1960Jun 22, 1965Leonard P FriederRigid shell helmet and rigging and sound attenuating means therefor
US3216023 *Feb 15, 1962Nov 9, 1965John T Riddell IncJaw protector
US3787895 *Jul 21, 1972Jan 29, 1974Belvedere PProtective face mask and padding material therefor
US6938272 *Apr 30, 2004Sep 6, 2005Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.Protective sports helmet having a two-piece face cage
US20090031484 *Aug 2, 2007Feb 5, 2009Lester BroersmaProtective face guard with transparent shield
US20130291272 *May 1, 2013Nov 7, 2013Outeru Gear, Inc.Face cover
EP0033057A1 *Feb 5, 1980Aug 5, 1981Peter HedigerFace guard for sportsmen, especially for ice hockey players
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/9, D29/106
International ClassificationA42B3/08, A42B3/20, A42B3/04, A42B3/18
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/20, A42B3/08
European ClassificationA42B3/08, A42B3/20