US 2991478 A
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T. ZBIKOWSKI SAFETY HELMET July 11, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 14, 1959 INVENTOR.
. TED ZBIKOWSKI mm ATTORNEYS T. ZBIKOWSKI SAFETY HELMET July 11, 1961 Filed Oct. 14, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
TED ZBIKOWSK! BY ATTORNEYS= United States Patent Qfiice Patented July 1 1, 1961 2,991,478 SAFETY HELMET Ted Zbikowski, Detroit, Mich., assignor to Joseph Buegeleisen Company, Southfield, Mich. Filed Oct. 14, 1959, Ser. No. 846,456 1 Claim. (Cl. 2-3) This invention relates to a safety helmet and more particularly to a strap means for securing a safety helmet to the head of a wearer.
Safety helmets are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for motocycle drivers. The helmets currently available are usually secured to the wearers head by some sort of strap. These straps are either relatively thin and light for use in warm weather to expose the sides of the head of the wearer, or in the alternative are heavy and large and cover the entire side of the head and the rear of the head for cold weather use.
However, none of these straps are adequate for both cold weather and warm weather use and particularly, the light weight straps used for warm weather do not protect the ears of the wearer from winds normally encountered in motorcycle driving.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to form a safety helmet with a strap means which is adaptable for both warm weather and cold weather use and which is formed to protect the ears of the wearer against rushing winds when the helmet is used in warm weather.
A further object of this invention is to form a strap construction for safety helmets which is formed of a pair of open straps which overlie a substantial portion of the sides of the wearers head, but which neverthehless expose the head through the straps and wherein the opening may be sealed off by means of a suitable insert for cold weather use, and further, wherein flaps are provided to protect and shield the ears of the wearer from rushing winds when the insert is removed.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following description of which the attached drawings form a part.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the helmet upon the head of a wearer and shows the insert in position.
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but with the insert removed.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section elevational view.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with the insert and shell liner removed.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 5-5 of FIG. 4, and
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the insert per se.
The helmet 10 illustrated in the drawings is similar in construction to the safety helmet disclosed in my prior application, Ser. No. 814,707, filed May 21, 1959.
It is formed of a thin wall, rigid shell 11 which may be made of some suitable hard plastic material of sufiicient strength to resist impact. The bottom 12 .of the shell is open to fit over the users head. As shown in FIG. 1, the shell is contoured to fit the head and thus, is provided with a forward end 13, and a rear end 14.
A thick, resilient bead -15, which may be formed of rubber or the like resilient material, extends continuously around the bottom edge of the helmet and may be channeled to receive the bottom edge of the shell, as shown in FIG. 3, for example.
A liner 16 is secured to the inside wall of the shell. This liner may be formed of a sheet of uniform thickness, foam rubber or a foamed plastic material. It may be adhered to the shell by a suitable adhesive or be inserted loosely in the shell and remain in place by friction.
The invention hereof is concerned with the strap construction for holding the helmet upon the head of the user. Thus, a pair of straps 20 are secured to the opposite sides of the helmet. Each of these straps is formed in a U-shape having upwardly diverging legs 21 which have their free ends 22 secured to the shell by means of rivets 23 or the like. These free ends fit between the liner and the shell so that they and the rivets are covered.
As can be seen, a substantial size opening 23a is formed between the diverging legs 21 of each of the straps. The straps are arranged to overlie the sides of the wearers head, with the opening 23 being arranged so that the ear of the wearer is in the opening and is not covered by the straps.
In order to protect the ears of the wearer from onr-ushing winds, particularly where the helmet is used by a motorcycle driver, a flap 24 is provided on each of the straps. The flap extends the full height of the opening and covers only a small part of the opening in the horizontal direction, as seen in FIG. 4. It is secured to the forward leg of each of the straps along a seam 25. The strap and the flap may each be made of leather or of a suitable cloth material or a combination of cloth faced with leather so that they are soft, pliable and flexible.
The flap 24 is curved and it extends outwardly out of the plane of the strap so as to form a Wind screen or windshield for the ear. Thus, while the ear is exposed, it nevertheless is protected by the wind screen from the high velocity winds encountered in mototrcycle driving.
The bases 26 of each of the straps are interconnected by elongated strap means 27 which may be two pieces of ordinary webbing each having an end sewn to one of the straps 20 and their opposite ends interconnected by a suitable buckle (not shown).
Where the helmet is to be used in cold weather and it is desired to protect the sides of the users head, an insert 30 may be used. This insert is provided with side portions 31 which are of the same size and shape as the U- shaped straps except that they do not have openings. They are interconnected by a band 32. The insert is placed within the helmet with the side portions secured to the inside face of each of the straps 20 by means of snap fasteners having snap fastener halves 33 secured to the insert and snap fastener complementary halves 34 secured to the inside faces of the straps 20. Also, snap fasteners 34 are provided on a tab 36, which is a short strip having an upper end secured to the helmet against the shell and a lower depending end having the snap fastener halves. Thus, the band portion 32 of the insert is fastened to the tab.
The insert can be easily snapped into place and easily removed when desired. The insert may be formed of cloth or leather which can be easily folded when not in use and can be easily pushed into shape when it is snapped into the helmet.
When the insert is used, it closes the opening 23 in each of the straps 20 and completely covers the users ears and the sides and rear of his head. In so doing, it more tightly grips the helmet against his head and also reenforces the straps.
This invention may be further developed within the scope of the following attached claim. Accordingly, it is desired that the foregoing description be read as being merely illustrative of an operative embodiment of this invention and not in a strictly limiting sense.
I now claim:
A safety helmet comprising a thin wall outer shell shaped to fit over a human head and having an open bottom defined by a continuous bottom edge and a forward end and a rear end; a pair of substantially identical straps formed of a flexible leather-like sheet material for fastening the helmet upon the head, the straps being located at opposite sides of the hehnet; each strap being U-shaped with its legs diverging upwardly away from the base of the U and with the top, free ends, of each of'the legs being fastened to the shell near the open bottom thereof; each of the straps being arranged to overly a substantial portion of its respective side of the head, with one of its legs being arranged to be closely adjacent to, but forwardly of the respective ear of the head and the other leg being arranged to be at the rear of said ear, with the opening between the two legs of each U-shaped strap arranged to overly the respective ear so that the ear is completely exposed between the two legs; each of said straps having an identically formed ear flap, the ear flaps each being formed of an elongated, narrow sheet of flexible material, the flaps each being of a length at least as great as the length of the rear edge of the forward leg of its respective strap between the junction of the two legs forming that strap to the point where the forward leg meets the bottom edge of the shell, and each flap having its long edges normally substantially vertically arranged with one of its long edges being continuously secured to its respective forward leg rear edge and its lower end continuously secured to the References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,923,941 Roth et a1. Feb. 9, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 578,240 France June 26, 1924 530,434 Great Britain Dec. 11, 1940 83,282 Denmark Mar. 25, 1957