US 2802249 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
13, 1957 v KULP RETAINER FOR HEARIN G AID com;
Filed Feb. .17, 1955 INVEYTIOR.
United States Patent RETAINER FOR HEARING AID CORD Victor E. Kulp, Pittsburgh, Pa. Application February 17, 1955, Serial No. 488,958
8 Claims. 01. 2481) This invention relates to hearing aids and, more particularly, to a device for holding the cord of a hearing aid receiver close to the head and neck of the wearer.
The usual hearing aid unit consists of two separate parts: a receiver which is worn in the ear and a transmitter which is worn below the neckline, usually being supported by the clothing. Electrical conductors in the form of a cord connect the two. Ordinarily, this cord dangles loosely from the receiver, often extending out many inches from the head, which is not only unsightly, but can be annoying to the wearer. In some cases, instead of having the cord hang directly from the receiver, the wearer will loop it over and behind his ear; but since there is nothing to hold the cord close in place, especially at the base of the ear, it tends to form a large are along the side of the head and remains unsightly and annoying.
It is accordingly among the objects of this invention to provide a device that will hold the cord of a hearing aid receiver close to the wearers head and neck, so that the cord will have a neat appearance and will be less conspicuous and more comfortable to-wear, and that can be simply and economically made.
In accordance with this invention, the cord retainer includes a U-shaped ear clip element comprising a base and a pair of arms extending therefrom. Also extending from the base, and in a plane different from that defined by the arms, is at least one resilient member that is bent to form an eye between that member and the base. This eye is provided with a restricted passage for inserting a hearing aid cord, which is slidably retained within the eye. As a result, when the ear clip is slipped over the lobe of the wearers ear, the cord will be held neatly against his neck at the base of the ear.
The invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. 1 is a plan view of the invention;
Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the device of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the device of Fig. 1;
Figs. 4, 5 and 6 are, respectively, similar views of a modified form of the invention; and
Fig. 7 is a side view of a portion of a human head illustrating the use of the invention.
Referring to Figs. 1 to 3, there is a U-shaped ear clip member comprising a base 1 and extending therefrom a pair of resilient arms 2, all lying substantially in the same plane. The arms, equal in length and substantially parallel to each other, are preferably provided with rounded protuberances 3 on the inner sides of their free ends for frictionally engaging the ear lobe of the wearer. Since lightness in weight and some degree of resiliency are desirable, the ear clip (as well as the cord retaining element to be described below) is preferably made of moulded plastic, although other materials are also suitable.
The cord retaining element includes at least one curved resilient member extending from the base in a plane that is substantially normal to the plane defined by the arms 2. In the embodiment shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3, there is a single such member 10 extending out from the base and bent to form an eye 11 between the members and the base. This eye is adapted to receive and retain a hearing aid cord 12 (shown in broken lines in Fig. 3). Between the free end 13 of the resilient member 10 and the base 1 is a passage 14 through which the cord may be passed into the eye. is restricted, in that it is normally narrower than the diameter of the cord; but, since member 10 is resilient, its free end can easily be forced away from the base to enlarge the passage and permit the cord to be slipped into and out of the eye.
I of the cord is facilitated by rounding the free end 13 of the resilient member. Once the cord is threaded within the eye, it is slidably retained therein, and the position of the retainer on the cord can be readily adjusted as explained below.
Figs. 3, 4 and 5 show a modified cord retaining element, in which the eye 20 is formed by two oppositely curved resilient members 21 extending from the base, the free ends 22 of those members being slightly spaced apart to form a central passage 23. That passage is restricted; and the cord is inserted therethrough into the eye, and retained there, as described above in connection with Figs. 1 to 3.
In using the device, the cord is slipped into the retaining eye, and the receiver is inserted in the wearers ear. After the cord has been looped over and behind the ear, the clip, with the cord retained therein, is slipped over the lobe of the ear adjacent the head, with the retaining eye towards the head. By drawing the cord through the eye until it fits snugly behind the ear, one obtains the neat arrangement of the cord shown in Fig. 7. When so arranged, the cord is held against the side of the wearers head and is not displaced by casual movements of the head and body.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, I desire to have it understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.
1. A U-shaped ear clip for holding the cord of a hearing aid close to the wearers head, comprising a base, a pair of substantially parallel resilient arms extending from the ends of the base and adapted to frictionally engage between them the lobe of the wearers ear, and at least one resilient member extending from the base at an angle to the plane of the arms and having a free end spaced from the base, the resilient member having a bend to define an eye, and said free end of said resilient member being arranged to alford a passage for the cord thereby giving access to the eye to permit the cord to be inserted in the eye, where it will be slidably retained.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1, in which the passage has a normal width less than the diameter of the cord so that the cord will be normally retained within the eye.
3. A device in accordance with claim 1, in which there is a single resilient member that is curved approximately in the form of a semicircle and extends from one end of the base with its free endadjacent the other end of the base but spaced therefrom to form said passage.
4. A device for holding the cord of a hearing aid close to the wearers head, comprising a base, a pair of substantially parallel resilient arms extending from the ends The passage 14 The, insertion and removal of the base to form a U-shaped ear clip, the arms being adapted to frictionally engage between them the lobe of the wearers ear, two resilient members extending from the ends of the base at an angle to the arms, each member being curved toward the other to form an eye between the members and the base, and the free ends of the members being spaced apart to form a passage giving access to the eye, whereby the cord can be slipped through the passage into the eye and slidably retained within the eye.
5. A device in accordance with claim 4, in which the passage between the free ends of the members has a normal width less than the thickness of the cord, Whereby the cord may be forced through the passage because of the yielding resilience of the members.
6. A device for holding the cord of a hearing aid close to the wearers head, comprising a base, a pair of substantially parallel resilient arms of approximately equal length extending from the base to form a U-shaped ear clip, each arm being provided adjacent its free end with an inwardly projecting protuberance for frictionally engaging the lobe of the wearers ear, and at least one curved resilient member extending from the base in a plane substantially normal to the plane of the arms and curved to define an eye, said curved resilient member means being arranged to afford a passage adjacent the free end thereof thereby giving access to the eye to permit the cord to pass into and out of the eye.
7. A device in accordance with claim 6, in which there is a single resilient member that is curved approximately in the form of a semicircle and extends from one end of the base with its free end adjacent to but spaced from the other end of the base to form said passage.
8. A device in accordance with claim 6, in which there are two resilient members extending from the ends of the base with the free ends of those members spaced apart to form said passage.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS l,064,777 Sachs June 17, 1913 1,296,584 Bicker Mar. 4, 1919 1,346,777 White July 13, 1920