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Publication numberUS3046561 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 31, 1962
Filing dateJan 15, 1960
Priority dateJan 15, 1960
Publication numberUS 3046561 A, US 3046561A, US-A-3046561, US3046561 A, US3046561A
InventorsMarinese Anthony J, Oddo Carl A
Original AssigneeMarinese Anthony J, Oddo Carl A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bowler's protective thumb ring
US 3046561 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 31, 1962 A. J. MARINESE ETAL 3,046,561

BOWLER'S PROTECTIVE THUMB RING 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTORS Anfhogyiflfarmes' (1601 A. OddO,

Filed Jan. 15, 1960 July 31, 1962 A. J. MARINESE ETAL BOWLER'S PROTECTIVE THUMB RING 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 15, 1960 INV ENTOR$ jjfczrmasa Oddo,

Ambwy 61 Carl A United States Patent Ofifrce Patented July 31 1962 3,046,561 BOWLERS PROTECTIVE THUMB RING Anthony J. Marinese, Buffalo, N.Y. (505 Maple View Road, Cheektowaga 25, N.Y.), and Carl A. Oddo, Buifalo, N.Y. (58 Cloverdale Road, Cheektowaga 25,

Filed Jan. 15, 1960, Ser. No. 2,664 3 Claims. (Cl. 2-21) Bowling or ten pin balls are gripped by the thumb and by one or two fingers and are accordingly provided with openings which extend substantially radially, these openings of course being in convenging relation. In the control of the ball, for example as when throwing a hook, aiming for the pocke or regulating the throw for a particular kind of spare, an important factor is the pressure exercised by the thumb, the opposed finger pressure being intended to be sufiicient merely to prevent the ball from slipping from the hand.

in the course of an evening devoted to bowling, due to the muscular effort imposed upon the thumb in the control of the ball and the necessity for the free release of the ball with minimum frictional pressure or drag of the thumb and fingers upon the walls of the openings at the moment of release, the thumb becomes swollen to some extent and therefore does not have its suitable fit in the thumb opening and also becomes subject to considerable abrasion and soreness, all of which, in addition to and in connection with the discomfort, adversely aifects the accuracy of play. As these conditions develop progressively there is a reflex tendency on the part of the player to relieve to some extent the pressure of the thumb and to transfer some of the controlling pressure to the finger or fingers with the result that these also tend to swell and become sore and abraded.

These objectionable conditions are well known among bowlers and have obtained throughout the period in which the game has been played. In order to overcome or minimize them various modifications of the thumb and finger openings have been proposed, these in general taking the form of cushioning insents permanently fitted in the openings. The constructions proposed have not been altogether satisfactory for their intended purposes and moreover greatly increase the cost of manufacture of the bowling ball with added increase in the maintenance of service in the bowling alleys where a large number of balls are required, varying in weight, in the diameters of the thumb and finger openings and in the relation of the Openings to one another, in order that a ball may be selected which best measures up to the span of the hand and the requirement for the proper fit of the thumb and fingers in the openings.

We have found, empirically, that the objectionable conditions above pointed out may be relieved by means of a device which may be fitted upon the thumb, carried independently of the bowling ball upon the person of the individual, will be responsive to adequate thumb pressure in the control of the bowling ball, will enable the release of the bowling ball without frictional drag, will at all times have an appropriate fit in the thurnbopening, and will impose no added reflex burden upon the finger or fingers.

This invention relates to a thumb carried thumb protector and thumb actuated gripping device for use with standard bowling balls.

Its objects are, with optimum economy, to provide for adequate control of the bowling ball and for its free release while at all times protecting the thumb against swelling, soreness and abrasion.

The device of the invention in the embodiments herein shown includes an outer member of circular crossappropriate metal.

diametrically to have an accurate, yet free and easy, fit' in the thumb opening, is shaped and proportioned longitudinally to conform to the outline of the thumb and to accommodate the extension of the knuckle of the thumb as the thumb is bent in the exercise of pressure upon the wall of the thumbopening, and an inner member of yieldable resilient cushioning material, such as foam rubher, which is of circular cross-section. As herein shown the inner member is cemented to the outer member, conforms to its longitudinal outline and projects with thumb protecting eifect, beyond the upper and lower edges of the outer member. For brevity and convenience the device may be called a bowlers protective thumb ring.

In the drawings: g 7

FIGURE 1 is a fragmenatry section of a bowling ball in a plane coincident with the longitudinal axes of the thumb and the finger openings, this finger showing a bowlers hand in elevation with a finger and thumb projecting into the respective finger and thumb openings and also showing in elevation the protective thumb ring fitted upon the thumb.

FIGURE 2 is an elevation of the thumb ring viewed from the side thereof from which the knuckle projects.

FIGURE 3 is a horizontal sectional view on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2. 7

FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal sectional view on the line 44 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is an elevation of the blank from which the inner yieldablernember is formed.

FIGURE 6 is an elevation similar to FIGURE 2 and showing an alternative construction.

FIGURE 7 is a longitudinal sectional view on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a horizontal sectional view on the line 88 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 9 is a longitudinal sectional view of the outer member of the device in the form shown in FIGURE 6.

Referring/to FIGURES l to 5:

The bowling ball B is formed with a thumb opening T and a finger opening F, some balls having one finger opening and others having two. In gripping and controlling the ball the thumband fingers are inserted in these openings as shown in FIGURE 1.

The device includes an outer member 1 of circular crosssection and which in this particular form is of substantially rigid material such as a suitable plastic oran The member 1 in the longitudinal direction is shaped to conform to the outline of the thumb and has a wall part 2 overlying the inner side of the thumb and having a longitudinal extent substantially conforming to the length of the thumb and an opposed shorter wall part 3 which overliestthe outer side of the thumb. The lower end of the wall part 3 terminates above the knuckle of the thumb and substantially above the lower end of the wall part 2 with the result of an open clearance 4 into which the knuckle of the thumb extends and which enables the bending. of the thumb. with. the knuckle free from contact with the wall of the opening T. The member 1 along its upper edge is shaped to conform to the joint between the thumb and the hand and in this shaping, with the thumb inserted into the opening T, therwall part 3 projects well beyond the opening and the wall part 2 terminates at the face of the ball B. The lower edge of the member 1 of course extends obliquely from the wall part 2 to the Wall part 3 and is preferably of ogee curvature as shown at 5 in FIGURE 1. The upper edge of the member "1 also extends obliquely from the wall part 2 to the wall part 3 and is similarly and preferably of ogee curvature as shown at 6 in FIGURE 1.

The device also includes an inner member 7 composed of resilient cushioning material such as foam rubber and which conforms in shape and dimensions to the member 1. The blank for the member 7 is shown in FIGURE 5 and is fashioned into circular cross-section and fitted conformably within the member 1 to which it is secured by any suitable cement. The member 7 is of greater longitudinal extent than the member 1 whereby it has a thumb protecting portion 7a of annular section which projects suitably beyond the upper edge of the member 1 with its edge conforming in outline to the upper edge of the member 1 and a thumb protecting portion 7b of curved section which similarly projects beyond and conforms in outline to the lower edge of the member 1.

In annular section and longitudinal extent the devices are made in sizes from which a selection may be made which will conform to the thumb of the particular individual. Diametrically the member 1 will be somewhat less in dimension than the diameter of the thumb opening T in order that as fitted upon the thumb it may be freely inserted into and removed from the opening T.

In effecting the control of the ball pressure is applied by the thumb directly against the member 7 which protects the thumb by serving as a cushion and the wall portion 2 of the member 1 is thereby pressed against the adjacent wall portion of the thumb opening T with such force as will enable the player effectively to control the ball. At the moment of release of the ball the thumb pressure is withdrawn and the member 1, because of its smaller diametrical dimension, is then freely removed by the thumb from the opening T with no appreciable frictional resistance by the wall of the opening.

It will be manifest that the thumb at all times is protected against swelling, abrasion and soreness. The portions 7a and 7b and the member 7 protect the thumb from sharp edge contact with the lower and upper edges of the member 1. The bearing of the member 7 upon the back of the thumb directly above the knuckle insures that the ring cannot be stripped from the thumb when the ball is released. Because the thumb is thus at all times protected there will be no reflex tendency to use the fingers in the control of the ball or otherwise than to prevent the ball from slipping from the hand.

Referring to FIGURES 6 to 9:

These figures show an alternative form in which the outer member, here designated 1a, instead of being of substantially rigid material is composed of somewhat yieldable solid material, e.g. suitably vulcanized rubber, which has the advantage of optimumly effective frictional engagement with the wall of the thumb opening. In order to prevent its deformation by the thumb the outer member 1a is pre-formed in its portion of annular section with an annular groove 8 to accommodate a binding ring 9 of any suitable rigid material, e.g. metal, the outer face of which is substantially flush with the outer face of the member 1a. In other respects the form shown in FIGURES 6 to 9 is similar to the form shown in FIG- URES 1 to 5.

In both constructions the thumb ring as an entirety is of circular cross-section dimensioned to have an accurate and secure fit upon the thumb and is characterized by l) a longer wall part substantially conforming to the length of the thumb and to overlie its inner side, this part being adapted for frictional engagement under the pressure of the thumb with the wall of the thumb opening,

(2) a shorter wall part in opposed relation to the longer wall part to overlie the outer side of the thumb above the knuckle, (3) its internal resilience and yieldability, thereby to serve to cushion the thumb, and (4) the open clearance due to the relation between the longer and shorter wall parts, the clearance accommodating the knuckle and enabling the thumb to be bent in its application of pressure by means of the longer wall part to the wall of the thumb opening.

Words indicative of location in the foregoing description and in the claims, namely, upper, lower, above," and below, are based upon the position of the thumb ring as shown in FIGURE 1.

We claim:

1. A bowlers protective thumb ring to fit upon the thumb and comprising an outer member of generally cylindrical configuration and of stable form having a relatively long semicircular wall section of a length to overlie the inner side of the thumb for substantially its full length and longitudinally curved to conform to the curvature of the thumb and a diametrically opposed semicircular short wall section to overlie the outer side of the thumb above the knuckle and an inner member composed of resilient cushioning material conforming substantially in shape and dimension to the outer member and secured thereto, the inner member projecting above and below the upper and lower edges of the outer mem ber, and the outer member being diametrically proportioned to have a free and easy fit within the usual thumb opening of a bowling ball with its long wall section adapted for frictional engagement under the pressure of the thumb with the wall of said thumb opening.

2. A bowlers protective thumb ring as set forth in claim 1 wherein the short wall section as the ring is fitted upon the thumb is proportioned to extend beyond the surface of the bowling ball and the upper edges of the inner and outer members are shaped to conform to the joint between the thumb and the hand.

3. A bowlers protective thumb ring to fit upon the thumb and comprising an outer member of generally cylindrical configuration and of stable form having a relatively long semicircular wall section of a length to overlie the inner side of the thumb for substantially its full length and longitudinally curved to conform to the curvature of the thumb and a diametrically opposed semicircular short wall section to overlie the outer side of the thumb above the knuckle and an inner member composed of resilient cushioning material conforming substantially in shape and dimension to the outer member and secured thereto, the outer member being diametrically proportioned to have a free and easy fit within the usual thumb opening of a bowling ball with its long wall section adapted for frictional engagement under the pressure of the thumb with the wall of said thumb opening, the inner member bearing upon the back of the thumb direct-. ly above the knuckle to insure that the ring cannot be stripped from the thumb when the ball is released.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 617,929 Fowble Jan. 17, 1899 1,516,385 Keck Nov. 18, 1924 1,755,014 Morrison Apr. 15, 1930 2,827,635 Rasmus Mar. 25, 1958 2,903,701 Robinson Sept. 15, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US617929 *Aug 22, 1898Jan 17, 1899 Finger shield orpwotxxtor
US1516385 *Apr 4, 1924Nov 18, 1924Margurette Keck SarahThumb shield
US1755014 *Oct 31, 1929Apr 15, 1930Beuret Morrison CarrieThumb saver
US2827635 *Oct 24, 1955Mar 25, 1958Rasmus Adam MBowler's thumb protector
US2903701 *Feb 11, 1958Sep 15, 1959Alvin E RobinsonArcher's finger protector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3343177 *Dec 22, 1965Sep 26, 1967Albert C BellamyArcher's finger protectors
US3467379 *May 31, 1966Sep 16, 1969Kistner Howard MBowling guide
US4062540 *Aug 16, 1976Dec 13, 1977Calentine Danny DBowling ball control device
US4681012 *Aug 18, 1986Jul 21, 1987Stelma Michael JDrummer's glove
US4966174 *Aug 11, 1989Oct 30, 1990Stanczak James JFingernail protector
US5172910 *Aug 12, 1991Dec 22, 1992Ashurst Donald OMethod and apparatus for improving bowling ball control
US5688181 *Dec 11, 1995Nov 18, 1997Albert; David M.Bowling aid
US5906546 *Nov 17, 1997May 25, 1999Albert; David M.Bowling aid
US6055669 *Oct 9, 1998May 2, 2000Albert; David M.Bowling ball glove
US6675392Jun 24, 2002Jan 13, 2004David M. AlbertGrip-enhancing glove
US6734349Mar 21, 2003May 11, 2004Conrad AdamsFingertip musical tap assembly
US7264553 *Sep 15, 1999Sep 4, 2007Addington Randall AMethod for improving a bowler's control over the release of a bowling ball from the bowling ball finger grip hole
US7421787 *Aug 17, 2005Sep 9, 2008Wonder Thumb Products, LlcThumb utensil with cutting board
US7458946Jan 17, 2006Dec 2, 2008Ryscavage Thomas SDigit pad and method for treating trigger finger and trigger thumb
US7743690 *Sep 5, 2008Jun 29, 2010Wonder Thumb Products, LlcThumb utensil with cutting board
US20040025224 *Mar 7, 2003Feb 12, 2004Albert David M.Grip-enhancing material
US20040081801 *Oct 17, 2003Apr 29, 2004Albert David M.Grip-enhancing material
US20050043108 *Aug 21, 2003Feb 24, 2005Joel RosenblattBowler's Positive Control System And Method
US20070039193 *Aug 17, 2005Feb 22, 2007Wonder Thumb Products, LlcThumb utensil with cutting board
US20070167894 *Jan 17, 2006Jul 19, 2007Ryscavage Thomas SDigit pad and method for treating trigger finger and trigger thumb
US20090038159 *Sep 5, 2008Feb 12, 2009Jackson Wells WhiteThumb utensil with cutting board
US20120324622 *Dec 27, 2012Bruce HellerGolf training device and method therefor
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/21, D15/136, D29/114, 473/61
International ClassificationA63B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B37/0002
European ClassificationA63B37/00B2