US 2909959 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
B. B. GIRDEN 2,909,959
SWIMMING FACE MASK WITH PERISCOPE Oct. 27, 1959 2 sheets-sheet 1 Filed Nov. 26, 1958 TTTF' Z INVENTOR BARNEY 3. Guava/V A RNEY Oct. 27, 1959 B. B. GIRDEN I SWIMMING FACE MASK WITH PERISCOPE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 26, 1958 INVENTOR.
BA (M6) 5 6 440 2,909,959 Patented Oct. 27, 1959 2,909,959 SWIMMING- FACE MASK WITH PER-ISCOPE Barney e. Girden, New York, N.Y. I Application November 26, 1958, Serial No; 776,644
11 Claims. (61588-4) The present invention relates generally to improve 'ments in optical devices, and more particularly is directed" to an improved periscope device for use by swimmers.
This application is a continuation-impart of my copending application for United 'States Letters Patent identified as Serial No. 597,013, filed July 10, 1956 now abandoned, for Swimming Face Mask With Periscope,
ln recent years, personal underwater activities,.both of a subsurface nature and of a surface nature .with underwater vision, and without the use of diving suits and helmets fed with air from "a remote source, have become very popular. These activities include submarine explorationand nature study, underwater sports, such as, spear fishing, and operations of a more immediate. economic nature such as, salvage activities and the like. In order to provide comfortable and adequate underwater vision, the swimmer or diver is provided with a face mask which may be in the form merely of goggles, or
may cover, in addition to the eyes, the nose, or the nose and mouth of the wearer. The face mask is provided with a transparent viewing portion, which may be in the form of a pair of lenses or a single window, and with a flexible flange or the like effecting a water-tight seal between the face mask and the face of the wearer so that water is excluded from the space between the wearers eyes and the transparent portion or faceplate of the mask. Further, the face mask may be provided with breathing tubes or Snorkels, or with a conventional underwater compressed air system. Y
resilient flanges extending rearwardly therefrom and being either integral, or-in water-tight engagement with the frame, and dimensioned to make a water-tight seal with the face of awearer, and a transparent face plate secured in the frame and extending in a plane substantially perpendicular to the normal line of vision of the wearer, while the 'periscope'includes an elongated tube secured to the face mask, either by being formed integral with the frame of the face mask or by extending in watertight relationship through an opening in the face mask, and, reflective elements fixedly mounted within the tube in optical communication with one another and being Inemploying the above described conventional underwater face masking, particularly, when swimming on the surface, the body is in a horizontal or prone position and the face and face mask are immersed in the water with the wearers line of vision being directedsubstantially downwardly. As a result, the swimmer cannot'maintain a desired course and is completely oblivious to the con ditions above the surface of the water, and this situation may often prove dangerous. For example, in the presence of breakers or a violent surf, the swimmer whose sight is directed downwardly may be caught unawares therein and roughly handled with a great likelihood of bodily injury. The presence of floating objects, as well as other swimmers in the vicinity, likewisepresent a personal hazard'to a swimmer whose vision is directed downwardly through the face mask.
Accordingly, it-is an object of the invention to provide a swimming face mask with a periscope which is arranged with respect to the face mask so that-the directline of vision through the face plate or transparent portion of the face mask and the line of vision from the periscope enclose an angle greater than forty-five degrees, and preferably close to ninety degrees, thereby to permit the wearer to direct his view downwardly through the face angularly disposed. to produce a line ofjvision forward from the'upper end of the periscope tube more nearly parallel than perpendicular to the plane of the face plate, The above, and other objects, features and advantages of the invention, will be apparent in the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, forminga part hereof, and wherein: Fig.1 is a side elevational view of a swimming face mask with periscope embodying the invention, and which is shown in its normal position ofuse on a swimmer;
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the swimming face mask with periscope shown in Fig. 1, but with portions thereof being broken away for convenience of illustration; j.
Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 3- -3 of Fig. 2;
Fig- 4 is a horizontal sectional View taken along the line 44.of Fig. 2;
t Fig. 5 is, a side elevational view of a swimmingface mask with 1 periscope constructed inaccordance with another preferred embodiment of the invention;
' Fig. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the swimming face mask with periscope shown in Fig. 5; and
Fig. 7 is asectional view taken along the line 77 of Fig. 6. v
Referringto the drawings in detail, and initially to Fig. 1 thereof, it will be seen that, in the embodiment of the invention there illustrated, the face mask generally identified by there ference numeral 10 is of conventional tegrally formed flange member 13. The frame portion plate for observing underwater activity and, without shifting his or her head, to conveniently view the scene above the surface of the water through the periscope.
In accordance with an aspect of the invention, the underwater f ace'mask includes a frame portion having sealed in the groove.
12 and integral flange member 13are preferably made of a natural or syntheticfrubber, or of any other suitable .elastomeric material, and the flange member 13 preferably tapers in thickness toward its inner, or free edge 14 'which conforms in shape to the corresponding contour of the face of the swimmer S.
A face plate 16 of a suitable transparent material, such as, an organic plastic, for example, methyl methacrylate, has its peripheral edge received in a corresponding groove 17 formed in the inner face of frame portion 12, with the edge of the face plate being hermetically In order to support the mask on the face of the swimmer S and to ensure a water-tight seal between the surface of the face and the edge 14 of flange member 1'3, the face mask 10 further includes a band or strap 18 which may have a conventional adjusting buckle (not shown), and which has its ends suitably secured to bosses 19 (Fig. 1) provided on the opposite sides of the frame portion 12.
It should be noted that, while the mask 16 illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4, inclusive, is of the type extending from the forehead to a region between the upper lip and nose plate or a single lens extending across the full width of the mask, or the mask may cover the full face of the wearer in a manner well-known in this art. V
A lateral extending, generally rectangular aperture is formed in the upper portion of flange member 13 of frame 12 and is surrounded by an integral upstanding collar or sleeve 21 which defines an entrance throat and is provided, along its upper peripheral edge, with a remforcing flange or rib 22. 1
The periscope which is generally identified by the reference numeral 20 includes an elongated tube or housing 23 of generally rectangular cross-section and preferably formed of a relatively rigid plastic material. The housing or tube 23 has a transparent portion 24 at the upper end of its front wall and a transparent portion 25 at the lower end of its back wall, and thelower end portion of housing 23 extends through the throat defined by the sleeve 21 and is in water-tight relationship to the latter, with the lower end of the housing or tube 23 being disposed directly behind the upper portion of face plate 16. The upper and lower ends of the housing or tube 23 are sealed by inclined end walls 26 and 27, respectively. It should be noted that, with the exception of the transparent portions 24 and 25, the material of the housing or tube 23 is preferably opaque.
Upper and lower reflecting elements or mirrors 32 and 33 are suitably secured against the inner surfaces of the end walls 26 and 27, respectively, and the inclination of the lower reflecting element 33 is such that the angle between the longitudinal axis of tube 23 and the reflecting surface of the element 33 is equal to the angle between the upper line of sight of the swimmer S wearingthe face mask 10 and the medial portion of the surface of reflecting element 33. Furthermore, the inclination of the upper reflecting element or mirror 32 is such that-the angle between the longitudinal axis of the tube 23 and the plane'of the reflecting surface of element 32 is equal to the angle between that reflecting surface and the horizontal when the mask is disposed in its normal position of use, as indicated in Fig. 1 of the drawings.
Further, it will be noted that the longitudinal axis of the housing or tube 23 of periscope 20 and the plane of the face plate 16 enclose an angle which is very substantially greater than forty-five degrees so that,' when the face mask 10 is in its normal position of-use with the face plate 16 directed downwardly, as in Figs. 1 and 2, the housing or tube 23 extends generally vertically upward from the mask 10 so as-to dispose the transparent portion 24 above the surface of the water W. It will be also noted that the forwardly directed line of sight from the reflecting element 32 of periscope 20 is more nearly parallel than perpendicular to the plane of the face plate 16, so that an angle of almost ninety degrees is enclosed between the direct line of vision down:
wardly through face plate 16 and the forwardly directed line of vision from the reflecting element 32 of the periscope.
Although the reflecting elements 32 and 33 have been illustrated as members separate from the end walls 26 and 27 of the periscope, it is to be understood that the reflecting elements may be formed by suitably coating the end walls 26 and 27 so as to provide a reflecting surface on the latter.
At least one breathing tube or snorkel device 34 is preferably provided on the face mask 10, and each tube 34 includes a pipe 36 preferably extending generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the periscope housing 23 and having a U-shaped tubular member 37 extending from its upward end and formed with a downwardly directed opening 38. A float type valve 39 of conventional form is provided for closing the opening 38 and includes an arm 40 hingedly connected to the member member 42 being mounted on the upper face of float 41.
37 and carrying a float 41 at its upper end with a gasket 3 When the upper end of the snorkel is dispoSQtl. E J QW p p 4 v the surface of the water W, the weight of the float 41 causes the arm 40 to hang downwardly from its pivotal axis, as in Fig. 1, so that the gasket 42 of the valve 39 is spaced from the opening 38 which is thereby exposed or uncovered to permit the entry of air through member 37 and pipe 36 into the face mask 10. However, when the upper end of the snorkel or tube 34 is immersed in the water, the float 41 urges the gasket 42 into watertight sealing relationship with the opening 38, thereby preventing the entry of water into the interior of the face mask. A boss or coupling member 44 is formed on the outer surface of the flange member 13 and defines a well or bore receiving the lower end of the pipe 36 and communicating with an opening 43 formed in the inner surface of the flange member 13 at the side of the latter. Although only one snorkel or tube 34 has been illustrated on the face mask 10 of Fig. l, a second, similarly constructed snorkel or tube may be located at the opposite side of the mask 10, or the two snorkels or tubes may be otherwise conveniently located.
In use, the face mask 10 is applied to the face of the swimmer, as illustrated in Fig. 1, with a water-tight seal being effected between the edge 14 of flange member 13 and the abutting surface of the swimmers face. As the swimmer floats on the surface of the water with his head immersed, his central line of vision is normally directed substantially downwardly and slightly forwardly inclined so that the swimmer has a clear underwater view through the face plate 16. However, the swimmers angle of vision is such that it encompasses the lower transparent portion 25 of periscope housing 23 and the reflecting element 33, so that the swimmer simultaneously has a horizontal forward view or line of vision above the surface of the water by way of the periscope. Merely by appropriately tilting his eyes, the swimmer may obtain an exclusively subsurface or exclusively above-surface view, as desired.
In the above described swimming face mask with periscope, the periscope housing 23 extends through an opening in the flange member 13 of the face mask into the interior of the latter and is produced as an element separate from the face mask. However, it is to be understood that the periscope may be otherwise mounted on the face mask so long as it is so located that the lower reflecting element of the periscope is encompassed by the angle of vision of the swimmer when the face mask is applied to the swimmers face. Thus, with reference to Figs. 5, 6 and 7 of the drawings, it will be seen that a swimming face mask with periscope constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention has the periscope housing constructed as an integral p of the-frame of the swimming face mask.
More specifically, in the preferred embodiment of Figs. 5, 6 and 7, the face mask generally identified by the reference numeral 50 includes a generally elliptical frame portion 51 of a suitably rigid plastic and having a transversely extending part or cross-member 52 (Figs. 6 and 7) dividing the interior of the frame portion 51 into a relatively large opening 53 and a relatively small, laterally elongated opening 54. A transparent face plate 55 preferably of a plastic material, for example of methyl methacrylate, is suitably secured, for example, by a snap ring 56 (Fig. 6), in the opening 53 of frame portion 51, while a transparent window 57, preferably also of plastic, is suitably secured in the opening 54.
Face mask 50 further includes a flange member 58 preferably formed of a natural or synthetic rubber or any other suitable elastomeric material and having a lower edge portion closely engaging about the outer periphery of frame portion 51 and formed with an inner groove which receives a circumferential projecting rib 59 formed on frame portionSl. The flange member 58 is suitably secured to frame portion 51, for example, by a clamping band 60 extending around the edge portion of flange member 58 engaging the periphery of frame portion 51 and 33 having, apertured lugs. 61 (Fig. 7 at its. opposite, ends reeeivinga nut and. bolt: 62 by which the ends. of the clampingband 60 may be drawn together to tighten the latter about the flange portion 58 on the periphery of frame portion 51. v
The flange member 58 preferably tapers in thickness toward its free edge 63 which conforms in shape to the corresponding contour of the face of the swimmer. As in the first described embodimentof the invention, the face mask 50 has a band or strap 64 secured to the opposite sides of flange member 58 as at 65 (Fig. 5), in order to support the mask on'the face of the swimmer and to ensure a water-tight contact between the surface of the swimmers-face and the flange edge 63.-
As previously indicated, in the preferred embodiment of Figs. 5, 6 and 7, the periscope, which is generally identified by the reference numeral 66 includes an elongated housing 67 integral with'the frame portion 51 of facemask 50. As can be seen particularly in Figs. 6 and 7,, the periscope housing 67 includes an elongated tube portion 68 having its longitudinal axis disposed approximately at right angles with respect to the plane of the face plate 55 so that the tube portion 68 extends substantially vertically, as in Fig. 6, when the face mask 50 is in its normal position of use. The periscopehousing 67 further includes a tunnel-like portion 69' (Figs. 5 and 6') extending upwardly and rearwardly from the lower. part of tube portion 68; withthe latter being considered in its normal vertical position, and joining the frame portion 51 around the opening 54 of the latter.
The periscope housing 67 is completed by an upper transparent portion 7i at the top of the forwardly directed wall of tube portion 68, and inclined upper and lower end walls 71' and 72, respectively. Inclined upper and lower reflecting elements '73 and 74, respectively, are disposed against the inner surfaces of end walls 71 and 72 and, as is apparent in Fig. 6, the upper reflecting 73 is preferably formed with a convex reflecting surface for the purpose hereinafter described in. detail.
Asin the first embodiment of the invention, the inclination of the upper reflecting element 73 is such that the angle between the longitudinal axis of tube portion 68 of the periscope housing'and the plane of the reflecting surface, at the center of the latter, is equal to the angle between: the plane of. the reflecting surface, at the center of the latter, and the horizontal, when the mask is disposed in its normal. position of use, while theinclination of the lower reflecting element 74 is such that the angle between the longitudinal axis of the tube portion 68 and the plane of the lower reflecting surface is equal to the angle between the upper line of sight of the swimmer wearing the mask 50 and the central portion of the reflecting surface of element 74.
From the above, it will be apparent that, with the swimming face mask and periscope of Figs. 5, 6 and 7 in its normal position of use on a swimmer, the swimmers central line of vision is normally directed substantially downwardly, as indicated in Fig. 6, but the angle of vision is such that it encompasses the lower reflecting element 74 of periscope 66 so that the swimmer simultaneously has a horizontal forward view or line of vision above the surface of the water by way of the periscope, and convex reflecting surface of the upper reflecting element 73 provides a wide angle view above the water, both in the vertical and horizontal directions.
The swimming face mask and periscope of Figs. 5, 6 and 7 also has breathing tubes or Snorkels associated therewith, but, in this embodiment of the invention, the breathing tubes 75 and '76 are formed integral with the periscope housing 67 and extend along the opposite sides thereof, with the breathing tubes 75 and '76 communicating with the interior of the face mask 50 through openings 77 and 78, respectively, formed in frame portion 51 at the opposite sides of the opening 54 (Fig. 7). Further, the upper end portions of breathing tubes 75 and. 76 project above the top. end.wal1 7'1-. of the perithe valve member '81-, which is mounted; forpivoting about adiar'nertically extending axis82, is slightly el-- liptical, for example, as. would be the case whenl the valve member 81 is. cut from a piece of cylindrical stock with its parallel oppositev faces being inclined-with respect to the longitudinal axis-of the cylindrical. stock, so
that the valve member 81 can swing between the open position illustrated in full. lines: in Fig. 6 and aclosed position, illustrated in broken-lines-in Fig. 6, and wherein the edge of valve member 81 seats against. the periphery of opening80j inorder to limit the pivotal movement of the valve member at the closed position thereof; Further, an arm 83 extends. from valve member 81 and is joined to a float 84 which normally tends to assume a depending position, as in Fig; 6, for retaining; valve member 81 in its open position so long as the float isdisposed above the surface of the water. I-twillbeappare'nt'that, when the float 84" is submerged, the buoyancy thereof will tend to lift the float. with respect: to the pivoting axis 82 of valve member 81, and thereby turn the: latter to its closed position.
Although the housings 2'3 and 67 of the periscopes described in connection with the illustrated embodiments of the invention are shown to behollow, it is apparent that such housings can be replaced by solid members of glass or light transmitting plastic, such as, methyl methacrylate, having polished surfaces corresponding to the reflecting elements 32 and 33' and the reflecting elements 73 and 74, respectively, so as to achievetotal'reflection off such polished surfaces. With such arrangements,'the buoyant effect of the air within the illustrated hollow periscope housings is eliminated, thereby'facilitating the making of deep dives while wearing the swimming face mask with periscope;
Although specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail herein with reference to -the accompanyingdrawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention, except as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is: v
1. The combination of an underwater face mask including a frame portion having a resilient flange member extending therefrom and dimensioned to effect a watertight seal with the face of a wearer, and a transparent face plate secured in said frame portion and extending in a plane substantially perpendicular to the normal line of vision of the wearer; and a periscope including a water-tight housing secured to said face mask and having a lower transparent portion within said mask encompassed by the angle of vision of the wearer and an upper transparent portion facing forwardly when said face plate is directed downwardly, and reflecting surfaces in said housing providing an optical path through said housing between said lower and upper transparent portions and terminating in a forward line of vision from said upper transparent portion which is more nearly parallel than perpendicular to the plane of said face plate.
2. The combination as in claim 1; wherein said housing is separate from said frame portion of the face mask, and said flange member has an opening therein through which said housing extends in water-tight relationship to said flange member.
gamma 7 3. The combination as in claim I; wherein said housin is integral with said flange portion of the face mask.
4. The combination of an underwater face mask including a frame portion with a transparent face plate therein intended to face downwardly in a normal position of use of the face mask, said frame portion having a resilient flange extending therefrom and dimensioned to effect a water-tight seal with a swimmers face and to dispose said frame portion relative to' the swimmers face so that the swimmers normal line of vision is directed substantially downwardly through said face plate in said normal position of use; and a' periscope including an elongated hollow housing secured to said face mask and extending upwardly from the latter in said normal position of use, said housing being opaque with the exception of a view admitting lower portion in said face mask adjacent said face plate and encompassed by the angle of vision of the swimmer and a view admitting upper portion, and reflecting surfaces in said housing providing an optical path through the housing between said lower and upper portions of the latter and terminating in a line of vision passing through said view admitting upper portion which is more nearly perpendicular than parallel to the swimmers normal line of vision.
5. The combination as in claim 4; wherein said view admitting lower and upper portions of the periscope housing are constituted by transparent parts providing a water-tight seal for the interior of the housing in order to protect said reflecting surfaces against deterioration bywater in which said face mask and periscope are immersed.
6. The combination as in claim 5; wherein said resilient flange has an opening therein and said periscope housing extends into said face mask through said opening of the flange and is in water-tight sealing engagement with the latter.
7. The combination as in claim 5; wherein said periscope housing is integral with said frame portion of the face mask, and said frame portion has an opening therein communicating with the interior of said housing; and wherein said transparent part constituting the lower view admitting portion of the housing is mounted in said opening of the frame'portion.
8. The combination of an underwater face mask including a frame portion with a transparent face plate therein intended to face downwardly in a normal position of use of the face mask, said frame portion having a resilient flange extending therefrom and dimensioned to effect a water-tight seal with a swimmers face and to dispose said frame portion relative to the swimmers face so that the swimmers normal line of vision is directed substantially downwardly through said face plate in said normal position of use; and a periscope including an elongated hollow housing secured to said face mask and extending upwardly from the latter in said normal posi tion of use, said housing being opaque with the exception of a lower view admitting portion adjacent said face plate and encompassed by the angle of vision of the swimmer and an upper view admitting portion which is directed forwardly adjacent the upper end of the housing in said normal position of use, and reflecting surfaces in said housing providing an optical path through the housing between said lower and upper view admitting portions and terminating in a forward line of vision through said upper view admitting portion which is sub stantially horizontal in said normal position of use.
9. The combination as in claim 8; wherein said reflecting surfaces include upper and lower reflecting surfaces, with said upper reflecting surface being convex to provide a wide angle view through said upper view admitting portion of the periscope housing.
10. The combination as in claim 8; further comprising at least one breathing tube extending upwardly from said face mask substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the periscope housing and having a downwardly facing, air admitting opening adjacent the upper end of the breathing tube, and fioat controlled valve means for closing said air admitting opening when the latter is submerged.
11. The combination as in claim 10; wherein two breathing tubes are provided, said breathing tubes being integral with said periscope housing and extending along the opposite sides of the latter, the lower ends of said breathing tubes opening into said face mask through said frame portion of the latter, and the upper end portions of said breathing tubes extending above said periscope housing and being joined by a common, hollow cross-member having said air admitting opening therein.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,610,553 Jones Dec. 14, 1926 2,526,181 Wilen Oct. 17, 1950 2,725,876 Maille Dec. 6, 1955