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Publication numberUS2953789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 27, 1960
Filing dateNov 26, 1957
Priority dateNov 26, 1957
Publication numberUS 2953789 A, US 2953789A, US-A-2953789, US2953789 A, US2953789A
InventorsMorgan Manuel E, Peithman Albert D, Ralph Carman Edmund
Original AssigneeMorgan Manuel E, Peithman Albert D, Ralph Carman Edmund
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Football shoulder pad
US 2953789 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1960 M. E. MORGAN ET AL 2,953,789

FOOTBALL SHOULDER PAD 2. Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 26, 1957 M m m m f. ORGAAI;

Azaawr .D. Pam MAN,

KEGAN BELLAMY l; KEQAN 3'5:

p 1960 M. E. MORGAN ET AL 2,953,789

FOOTBALL SHOULDER PAD 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 26. 1957 WWW IN V EN TORS. NAA/ufl E. MEGA/V,-

KEQAN BELLAMYQ KEG/W @tt'gs.

FOOTBALL SHOULDER PAD Manuel E. Morgan, 310 West Oak, Albert D. Peithman, 301 Dixon St., and Edmund Ralph Carmen, 306 West St., all of Carbondale, Ill.

Filed Nov. 26, 1957, Ser. No. 698,968

2 Claims. (Cl. 2-2

The invention relates to improvements in football shoulder pads and more particularly to the novel construction and assembly of the component parts thereof in a manner for affording greater protection to the aeromioclavicular region of the body than has heretofore been possible.

Shoulder pads of the character used by football players are made up of two like body protecting portions laced together at the front and back of the wearer, and each comprising a rigid inverted U-shaped member including a chest part, a back part and a bridging shoulder part connecting said chest and back parts; a molded shoulder cap and a substantially inverted U-shaped cantilever shoulder flap or epaulet. The shoulder cap and the epaulet are each hingedly connected to the bridging shoulder part in a manner to be free to swing upwardly independently of each other so as not to hamper upward movement of the wearers arms, but which normally are disposed in overlying relationship to cover and protect the wearers shoulder when subjected to shocks, blows or thrusts during use. g

It has been established that present day football shoul der pads of the general character referred to do not afford adequate protection against direct downward'blows on the epaulet. Such blows cause the epaulet to transmit undue downward pressure on the wearers shoulder and particularly in the regions of the clavicle and acromio-clavicular joint. It is therefore an object of the invention to provide novel means, in the form of a cantilever strap, on the epaulet for reinforcing said epaulet against partial collapse under shock and for affording additional cushion or shock absorbing means therein.

Prior known football shoulder pads also include various means effective to varying degrees of satisfaction, to

resist twisting movement of the epaulets laterally into an inefficient, dangerous, or uncomfortable position. For example, should the epaulet be subjected to a blow in a lateral direction and in the area of its depending front or chest protecting portion, said portion may be displaced laterally across the chest sufilciently to causeit to strike the wearers chin or face. Some known prior structures utilize snubbers in an attempt to restrain such lateral displacement, thus adding to the cost of the equipment with questionable results. The presence, in the herein disclosed structure, of the novel cantilever strap on the epaulet and of novel means on the chest part of the body portion, to be described hereinafter, each affords a very effective means to restrain such lateral movement in response to applied lateral forces and it is therefore another object of the invention to provide novel means to restrain excessive lateral twisting of the epaulet without the use of snubbers or other costly accessories. i 7

Still other objects of the invention are to provide a football shoulder pad of the character referred to with novel integral means to reinforce the epaulets and to absorb and cushion shocks and blows applied to the epaulets in a direction tending to cause said epaulets, or the underlying portions of the shoulder pad, to exert Patented Sept. 2'7, 1960 excessiveand dangerous pressure in the region of the acromio-clavicular joint; or applied in a lateral direction tending to cause the epaulets to twist laterally into an ineffective position; to provide means for supporting the epaulets in a position to substantially square the shoulders of the wearer thus overcoming the present round shouldered appearance of a wearer of a football shoulder pad; and to provide a shoulder pad that is not expensive to manufacture, easy to arrange and adjust to the wearer, and very effective in its use.

With the foregoing and such other objects in view, which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in form, proportion, size and minor details of the structure may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring to the drawings in which the same characters of reference are employed to identify corresponding parts:

Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of a football shoulder pad embodying the features of the invention.

Fig. 2 is a top plan view of one of the two like portions of the shoulder pad.

Fig. 3 is an end view thereof.

Fig. 4 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken on line 44 of Fig. 2, and illustrating a fragment of the shoulder skeleton of the wearer.

Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 5-5 of Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is a bottom plan view of an epaulet.

The foregoing objects are attained in the construction of a body protecting portion of any preferred constnuction, generally, and having incorporated therein novel means preferably in the form of ribs or serrations formed on the chest and back parts thereof which are adapted to be abutted by the free end portions of the epaulets so as to resist lateral twisting of the epaulets. Novelly constructed means in the form of cantilever stnaps is also provided on the bottom face of each eqa-ulet, which is effective to cushion the shock of a blow downwardly on the epaulet and to cause the substantially rigid epaulet to bow upwardly in a direction opposed to the direction of the blow and thereby increase its resistance to crushing forces. Such bowing also tends to carry the end portions of the U-shaped epaulet inwardly toward the body so as to locate them in position to abut the related edges of or the serrations or ribs on the body protecting parts and thereby resist lateral shifting or twisting. In the construction herein disclosed the cantilever straps are carried on the bottom face of the eqa-ulet and bridge the underlying shoulder part of the body protecting portion mounting the epaulet. This strap rests against the said underlying shoulder portion so as to maintain the epaulet in a slightly elevated position that squares the shoulders of the wearer. The cantilever strap comprises a nonstretchable inelastic pliable strap, preferably fabric Webbing, which bridges the underside of the epaulet much in the manner of a loose bow string and has its end secured firmly to the free end portions of the epaulet. Consequently, when a downward force is applied to the epaulet the fabric strap is tensioned as the epaulet moves downwardly toward the underlying portion of the shoulder pad assembly. Tensioning of the strap pulls the connected ends of the epaulet inwardly downwardly thus causing the epaulet to bow upwardly against the applied force so as to increase its resistance to such shock. As a result, the full force of the blow is transmitted directly to the sure and shock transmitted to the underlying shoulder part back part 13 connected to the chest part by a bridging shoulder part 14.

The body portions 11 are each made of heavy gauge shape-retaining fiber stock lined on their under faces with suitable padding 15, preferably comprised of cushion rubber having a fabric covering. This padding extends beyond the edges of the body portion and terminates in marginal beads 16 and a thickened outwardly extending shoulder portion 17 (see Fig. 4) that overlies the aeromioclavicular joint in the shoulder of the wearer. The padding may be secured to the body portion by stitching or otherwise. The two body portions are laced together at the front and back, as at 18. Each body portion has a reinforcing ofiset or rib 19 in the shoulder area 14 thereof and also preferably is formed with an upwardly offset margin 21 on the outer free edge of said shoulder area.

A molded shoulder cap 22 is mounted on each body portion half to overlie the wearers shoulder. Each shoulder cap 22 is in the form of a segment of a sphere and each is fabricated of heavy gauge shape-retaining fiber-stock lined on its under face with a cushion rubber pad 23 having a fabric covering. The edges of the pad 23 protrude beyond the margins of the shoulder cap to provide beads 24 and it is thickened in the area of the outer portion thereof as at 25. The shoulder cap preferably has a reinforcing offset 26 therein and it is secured to the upwardly offset margin 21 of the body portion by a leather hinge 27 of substantial width. Rivets 28, or other suitable means, may be used to secure the leather hinge to said body portion '11 and to the shoulder cap 22. The shoulder cap 22 is therefore mounted so as to be capable of free limited movement relative to the body portion to which it is attached so as not to hinder the wearer in movement of the arms.

The epaulets 29, which overlie the body portions 11 and the related shoulder caps 22, also are formed of heavy gauge shape-retaining fibre stock preferably having a transverse upwardly offset reinforcing rib 31 in the medial area thereof. Each epaulet is substantially U- shaped transversely; and is lined on its under face with a fabric encased rubber cushion 32 stitched or otherwise secured thereto and extending beyond substantially all of the marginal edges thereof to form a surrounding head 33.

The inwardly disposed edge of the epaulet is secured to the shoulder part 14 of a body portion 11 by means of a hinge strap 34, anchored by rivets 35, which is of considerable width so as to afford a flexible yet relatively non-distortable hinge connection. The hinge mounting is such that the epaulet overlies the shoulder part 14 of the body portion to which it is attached and it also overlies a substantial portion of the shoulder cap 22 and is provided for the purpose of absorbing or cushioning the stock of a blow directed downwardly in the direction of the clavicle bone 36 and acromio-clavicular joint 37 (Fig. 4) of the wearer.

In order to provide additional protection to the clavicle bone and acromio-calvicular joint, the epaulet herein disclosed is provided with novel means effective to greatly increase the tensional strength of the normally bowed epaulet while under the impact of a heavy blow downwardly. Such strengthening is effected in a manner to cause the epaulet to exert a counter thrust against the force of the blow and, further, to increase its normal cushioning effect. This is obtained in the present instance by providing a cantilever strap 68 on the bottom face of each epaulet.

As is perhaps best illustrated in Figs. 4 and 6, this strap 38 comprises a piece of heavy fabric webbing that bridges the epaulet from end to end, longitudinally, and has its end portion 38w carried upwardly around the ends of the epaulet and riveted to the top face thereof, as by rivets 39. This how string strap is of such length that it never lies flat against the underside of the epaulet and it is adapted to bridge and seat on the top face of the upwardly offset margin 21 of the body portion 11 so as to hold the epaulet in an outwardly upwardly extending position normally. As best shown in Fig. 4, the strap 38 and offset 21 lie above the clavicle bone 36 and in the region of the acromio-clavicular joint 37.

When a blow is struck downwardly on the epaulet, the web strap 38 is tensioned longitudinally across the shoulder part of the body portion 11 and it absorbs a large portion of the shock of the blow and the force of the blow is thereby prevented from being transmitted downwardly against the clavicle bone and acromio-clavicular joint. Tensioning of the strap 38 under this condition also pulls the extreme end portions of the epaulet inwardly toward each other, at the time of impact, thereby increasing the curvature or are of said epaulet (indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 5) and causing it to exert an upward thrust in a direction opposed to the direction of the applied forces. This reverse or counter thrust also absorbs some of the applied shock and further reduces the shock impact on the clavicle bone and on the acromio-clavicular joint.

The action of the web strap 38, when tensioned under impact, has the further elfect of minimizing lateral shifting or twisting of the epaulet. This effect is obtained while the epaulet is bowed upwardly owing to the inward movement of its end portions. As illustrated in Fig. 3, the said end portions normally lie in planes outwardly of the planes of the chest and back parts 12-13 of the body portion 11. However, when bowed under impact, the epaulet end portions are carried inwardly substantially into the planes of said chest and back portions. Substantially the same situation arises when the epaulet is struck in a lateral direction, in the area of either end thereof, so as to move the struck end inwardly toward the body. As a result of this positioning of either or both epaulet ends, any lateral shifting of the epaulet is resisted by abutment of the opposed edges of the epaulet and end portion with the chest or back parts 12--13. However, should the position of the epaulet at the time of impact be such that one or the other end portion thereof is not in position to abut the related edge of the chest or back part, said displaced end portion will strike against and be restrained in its twisting movement laterally by ribs 41 formed on the outside faces of said chest and back parts.

Although not necessary to the efiicient and effective functioning of the cantilever strap 38, there may be a similar strap 42 (Fig. 4) attached to the underside of the shoulder cap 22 to assist in the absorption of a blow applied against said shoulder cap. Also, the football shoulder pad may include the usual adjustable elastic body straps 43 attached to the body portions 11 for positioning under the arms of the wearer to prevent displacement of the shoulder pad upwardly.

As many possible embodiments may be made in the invention, and as many changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth, it is to be understood that all matters hereinbefore set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. Shoulder-pad construction comprising an internally padded yoke-like body shield for the base of the shoulders and for the upper portion of the chest and back, the shield being composed of stiff sheet-like material arcuately formed to fit across the base of the shoulders closely adjacent to the sides of the neck of the wearer and to extend downwardly therefrom across the chest and back, each shoulder-crossing portion being arched upwardly and outwardly away from the neck and shoulder to confine the support of the body shield largely to the base of the shoulders, internally padded arched epaulets for the respective shoulders, each epaulet being composed of stiif sheet-like material, means hinging the inner edge of the upper portion of each epaulet to the body shield near the neck opening to permit free upward arm movement, downward force on either epaulet causing it to engage the associated upwardly and outwardly arched shoulder-crossing portion of the body shield as a fulcrum, the fulcrum and the hinging means acting to confine the said downward force largely to the base of the shoulder, each said epaulet having an underlying support strap secured at its ends to the lower part of the front and rear portions of the epaulet, the said strap being sufliciently short, and being so disposed, that it engages the said associated fulcrum and suspends the epaulet thereon responsive to downward force on the epaulet, such downward force tensioning the strap to assist in maintaining the epaulet arched.

2. Shoulder-pad construction comprising an internally padded yoke-like body shield for the base of the shoulders and for the upper portion of the chest and back, the shield being composed of stiff sheet-like material arcuately formed to fit across the base of the shoulders closely adjacent to the sides of the neck of the wearer and to extend downwardly therefrom across the chest and back, each shoulder-crossing portion being arched upwardly and outwardly away from the neck and shoulder to confine the support of the body shield largely to the base of the shoulders, internally padded arched epaulets for the respective shoulders, each epaulet being composed of stiff sheet-like material, means hinging the inner edge of the upper portion of each epaulet to the body shield near the neck opening to permit free upward arm movement, downward force on either epaulet causing it to engage the associated upwardly and outwardly arched shoulder-crossing portion of the body shield as a fulcrum, the fulcrum and the hinging means acting to confine the said downward force largely to the base of the shoulder, arched substantially rigid shoulder caps for the respective shoulders, means hinging the top inside portion of each shoulder cap to its associated shoulder-crossing portion of the said body shield, each epaulet partly overlying its associated shoulder cap and being held normally out of contact therewith by the said fulcrum and hinging means of the epaulet.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,761,2/06 Glahe June 3, 1930 1,805,734 Jones May 19, 1931 2,250,275 Riddell July 22, 1941 2,251,018 Lookabaugh July 29, 1941 0,540,952 Kennedy Feb. 6, 1951 2,636,170 Goldsmith Apr. 28, 1953

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1761206 *Aug 14, 1929Jun 3, 1930Spalding & Bros AgShoulder pad
US1805734 *Sep 9, 1929May 19, 1931Jones Howard HPad for football players
US2250275 *Aug 12, 1940Jul 22, 1941Riddell John TProtective shield support
US2251018 *Jul 31, 1939Jul 29, 1941Lookabaugh Edwin MFootball shoulder pad
US2540952 *Aug 6, 1948Feb 6, 1951Kennedy Allen EShoulder protector
US2636170 *Dec 28, 1950Apr 28, 1953Sport Products IncFootball shoulder pad
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3127614 *May 5, 1961Apr 7, 1964Bennett Don BFootball shoulder pad and cushion liner therefor
US3504377 *Oct 4, 1968Apr 7, 1970Biggs Ernest R JrProtective shoulder pad
US3528106 *Apr 9, 1969Sep 15, 1970Austin Sporting Goods IncShoulder guard
US4467475 *May 11, 1983Aug 28, 1984Gregory John RUpper body protector apparatus
US4516273 *Jul 9, 1984May 14, 1985John R. GregoryUpper body protector apparatus and method
US4680814 *Aug 29, 1986Jul 21, 1987Figgie International Inc.Shoulder pad spring arch system
US4694505 *Mar 30, 1984Sep 22, 1987Corrado FlosiUpper body protector for off-road riders
US5054121 *Feb 8, 1990Oct 8, 1991Figgie International Inc.Athletic pad
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/462
International ClassificationA63B71/12, A63B71/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/12
European ClassificationA63B71/12