US 3076207 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 5, 1963 c. E. MANHART LIFE JACKET 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 21, 1958.
INVENTOR: Charles E. Manhart Feb. 5, 1963 c. E. MANHART ,0
LIFE JACKET I Filed Aug. 21, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mmvrom' Charles E. Manhcrt BY it Sttes.
fllfiih? Patented Feb. 5, 19%3 3,076,207 LIFE JACKET Charles E. Manhart, 3133 SW. 25th Terrace, Miami, Fla.
Filed Aug. 21, 1958, Ser. No. 756,455
5 Claims. (Cl. 9338) This invention relates to life jackets and pertains more particularly to that type of life jacket which is inflatable by means of a compressed air, carbon dioxide or the like gas bomb. I
' Life jackets of the type normally used, as for example,
by lines, of necessity, must be of relatively light weight but yet at the same time they must besufficiently simple in design and construction as to enable a user to easily don the jacket without the danger of misapplying it.
Additionally, such jackets must also be comfortable and, lastly, it is of course in the interest of economics that these jackets be constructed as inexpensively as possible.
It is therefore of primary concern in connection with this invention to provide an improved form of life jacket of the general character described above herein wherein the jacket is characterized particularly by its simplicity in construction whereby the simplest of operations is required for donning the jacket for use and wherein certain features of the construction are such that the manufacturing process is materially simplified rendering the jacket of extremely economical construction.
Anotherobject of this invention resides in the pro vision of an improved form of life jacket constructed in a the form of a yoke which is adapted to fit over the users head to extend around behind the neck and hang down on the chest of the wearer, certain securing straps being associated with the yoke assembly to hold the same in place.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved form of life jacket in accordance with the preceding paragraph wherein the yoke assembly is formed of two separately inflatable yoke pieces and each of which is additionally formed from substantially identical pairs of mating panels sealed along their edges to form a continuous pocket throughout each yoke piece before the entrapment of air or pressurized gas therewithin.
Another object of this invention is to provide an im proved form of life jacket in the form of a yoke constructed from two separately inflatable yoke pieces, each of which is of generally U-shaped configuration and wherein the two yoke pieces are joined together along the boundary of their inner edges and wherein such joining together at the back of the users neck is accomplished by extending inner marginal flaps of the yoke pieces in sandwiched relation between the yoke pieces so that when the separate yoke pieces are inflated, the ballooning eifect of the yoke will maintain the flaps out of contact with the users neck so as to avoid any chafing, the flaps also being utilized for the anchoring thereto of securing straps for the jacket assembly.
A still further object of this invention resides in the I construction of a life jacket wherein the finished product embodies a pair of yoke pieces, each of generally U-shaped configuration and with the yoke pieces being r, disposed in superimposed relationship, one upon the 2 other, and joined together along inner marginal boundary areas thereof and wherein each of the yoke pieces is formed from four separate panels which are substantially identical in construction to each other and wherein the four panels are laid upon each other in a fashion to form a closed U-shaped tube, the panels being sealed around the outer and inner marginal edges to effect this tube construction and wherein there is furtherprovided flaps at the inner center of the bight of the U-shaped yoke pieces for effecting the securement thereto of strap means by means of which the jacket is fastened or secured to the users body, these flap pieces being further characterized by a staggered overlapped disposition relative to'each other so that the strap means may be secured to all of these flaps in overlapping relation thereto with outer edges thereof being readily joined to the flaps by virtue of the staggered relationship and without requiring the fastening means or stitching, as the case may be, to extend through all of the layers of the flaps and strap means.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved life jacket in accordance with the immediately preceding paragraph wherein the stated flap means is projected outwardly away from the point of contact with the back of the users neck by virtue of it being disposed in sandwiched relationship between the superimposed yoke pieces, thus eliminating the tendency of the flap to otherwise chafe the users neck when in use, the yoke pieces when inflated serving to positively hold the flap means completely out of contact or engagement'with the back of the users neck and with the flap means and associated strap means thereby also serving to hold the yoke piece which is disposed immediately adjacent the users body into proper contact therewith and anchoring the same in place while leaving the outer yoke piece free, when inflated, to extend around the users neck in cushioning relationship thereto effecting a degree of comfort hitherto unknown in such devices. Still another object of this invention lies in the improvement in the construction of life jackets embodying substantially identical panels as a base unit for the manufacture of the jacket wherein ears or projections on the separate and individual panels may be incorporated for the purpose of securing thereto desired emergency articles such as flares, illuminating devices, sea marker dye packages, signaling devices and the like, wherever desired or necessary, and wherein at the same time the life jacket is characterized by the ease and rapidity with which is may be donned and wherein the construction is such that its very appearance will apprise the prospective user of the proper manner of donning the jacket with substantially no possibility of donning the jacket backwards.
As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive, since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims rather than by the description preceding them, and all changes that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims or that form their In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view showing the improved life jacket positioned on a user and inflated, showing the operative condition thereof;
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the jacket as shown in FIG. 1 and illustrating the securing or anchoring means for the jacket assembly and its disposition relative to the yoke FIG. 3 is a front elevational view illustrating the manpieces forming the jacket assembly; ner of donning the life jacket;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken generally along the plane of section line 44 in FIG. 2 illustrating the neck of the user as related to the jacket assem bly when inflated and indicating the manner in which the flap means is held out of contact with the users neck to prevent chafing;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the life jacket assembly prior to fastening the .yoke pieces.v together attheir free ends and illustrating the relative disposition of the flap means with respect to the two yoke pieces;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of one of the individual panel assemblies utilized in the manufacture of the jacket;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional'view taken substantially along the plane of section line 7 7 in FIG. 5 illustrating the staggered overlapped position of'the flap means and the manner in which the securing means is anchored thereto; and
FIG. 8 is a partial plan view showing the flap means of the individual panels of one yoke piece in operative disposition with respect to each other.
Referring at this time more particularly to FIGS. 1
and 2, the reference numeral 10 indicates in general the life jacket assembly applied to the users body and which will be seen to include a yoke assembly including two separately inflatable yoke sections 11 and 12 each of generally U-shaped configuration so as to form a yoke or collar to be fitted over the users head in the manner substantially as shown. Both of the yoke sections 11 and 12 extend around behind the user's neck and depend from opposite sides thereof forwardly upon the chest of the user with the inner yoke section 11, which is disposed nearest the users body, lying substantially flat against the body for a reason hereinafter described. The other or outer yoke section 12, when inflated, tends to throw itself forwardly to more or less firmly clamp around the users neck and to extend. or project forwardly of the users body in the manner shown, the portion clamping around behind the neck serving the function of forming a cushion or pillow for the comfort of the user, particularly after prolonged submersion.
As stated hereinbefore, the two yoke sections 11 and 12 are separately inflatable and for this purpose there are provided compressed gas bombs generally indicated by the reference characters 13 and 14 attached to the respective yoke portions 11 and 12, and which have suspended therefrom the pull cords 15 and 16 by means of which the compressed gas is released to be discharged into the two yoke sections 11 and 12. Guard sheets 17 and 18 are secured to the yoke sections and may have snap fasteners such as 19 associated therewith so as to be snapped about the compressed gas bombs to protect the same and to avoid abrasion between the bomb assemblies and the yoke sections themselves.
Additionally, the two separately inflatable yoke sections 11 and 12 are provided with inflating tubes 20 and 21 respectively having check valves 22 and 23 associated therewith and terminating in mouthpieces 24 and 25 so that the inflation of the yoke sections 11 and 12 may be topped off by the user blowing through these mouthDieces 24 and 25 to substantially completely inflate and fill the yoke sections, as desired.
An advantageous feature of this invention is that the 'two yoke sections 11 and 12, when flat, are of substantially identical construction and configuration and are disposed in superimposedrelationship one upon the other so that it is perfectly obvious even to the uninitiated that the proper method of donning the jacket is in accordance with the showing of FIG. 3 wherein the central opening is slipped over the head of the user with the major portions of the yoke sections extending on the front side of the users body in the region of the chest, as shown. Furthermore, this particular type of construction permits the life jacket to be donned very readily and rapidly and does not require any experience, supervision or training in the donning operation, a consideration of considerable importance when it is realized that such jackets are intended for use under emergency conditions where the rapid donning of the life jacket is of considerable importance. It is virtually impossible for the user to don the life jacket in the reverse direction since it is believed obvious and reasonable that the jacket be' donned in the manner shown.
As will be herein morefully described, securing means, see particularly FIG. isp'rovided for anchoring or securing the life jacket-to the users body and which includes the branched or divided upper section 30 spreading into divergent legs 31 and 32 to which are connected the straps 33 and 34 which pass under the armpits'of the user, as shown, and which are joined together through the quick securing clasps 35 and 36 to a central depending strap 37 which is commonly joined to the lower ends of the yokesections 11 and 12, see particularly FIG. 1. In this mannen after the jacket is initially donned in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3, the user slips his arms between the straps 33-and 34, and the yoke sections to end up in the relative position illustrated .in FIG. 2, and the pull ends 38 and 39 of the straps 33 and 34 are jerked or yanked so as to snug the strap or securing assembly to the users body and thus hold the life jacket in position relative thereto. After the jacket has been thus donned, the pull cords 15 and 16 may be pulled or yanked to effect the inflating or filling of the inflatable yoke sections 11 and 12 and any topping off may be performed through the tubes 20 and 21.
Referring at this time more particularly to FIG. 6, it is to be understood that the two yoke pieces 11 and 12 are each formed from a series of four panels of a shape substantially identical to that shown in FIG. 6 and as indicated by reference character 40 thereon. Each such panel includes a main body portion 41 having an upper extremity 42 provided on the inner edge thereof with a laterally extending tab or flap 43 and which is provided also on its inner edge, but at the lower free end portion 44 of the panel, with a laterally directed tab 45. Four of such panels are disposed in predetermined relationship to effect the construction of each yoke piece, with the panels being alternately overlapped at the upper regions 42 and at corresponding portions of their flaps 43 in the manner shown most clearly in FIG. 5.
In FIG. 5, it will be understood that the upper extremity of panel 46 is disposed outermost and that overlapped immediately thereunder is the upper extremity of right-hand side panel 47 and, immediately thereunder, is the upper extremity of that panel directly underlying the panel 46 and, lastly, the upper extremity of that panel directly beneath the panel 47, the inner and outer marginal edges or boundaries 48 and 49 of these panels being sealed with respect to each other so as to effect a generally U-shaped tube in each yoke piece. The flaps 43 are staggered so that opposite side edges 50 and 51 thereof, see particularly FIG. 8, are laterally ofiset with respect to each other to present, in these regions, only double layers of the fiaps in each yoke piece assembly. The reason for the staggering of the flaps so that only double layers are provided in the regions 50 and 51 is so that the securing means 30 may be secured along the opposite edges thereof to these flaps through the double layers of the flaps, rather than four layers of the flaps.
The tabs 45 are ultimately to be joined in overlapping relation whereby the lower ends of the yoke pieces are joined to each other so that the entire assembly is in the form of a yoke or collar. Sandwiched between these tabs 45 which are joined together is the depending strap piece '37 and to which the quick acting clasps 35 and 35 are secured in the manner shown in FIG. 1 in cooperation with the straps 33 and 34.
, The two yoke pieces themselves, in'addition to being joined along their inner boundaries or marginal edges in the regions of the tabs 45', are also joined together through the flaps 43 and this is accomplished by sandwiching these several flaps between a pair of strips constituting the securing membersv 30, stitching or like means being utilized to effect the securement between the members 30 and the flaps 43. However, the flaps 43- are directed outwardly away from the inner boundary or marginal edge of the yoke pieces so as to be sandwiched between the two yoke pieces when the same are deflated or fiat and superimposed upon each other. This directs the flaps and the associated portions 30 outwardly away from the users neck as is illustrated best in FIG. 4.
-Therefore, when the jacket is inflated as illustrated in FIG. 4, the ballooning of the yoke pieces 11 and 12 will positively position the flaps 43 out of contact with the back of the users neck in the manner substantially as shown so as to prevent any chafing of the users neck when the device is actually in use.
Corresponding panels may be provided with laterally projecting cars such as those indicated by the reference characters 60 and 61 in FIG. 5, provided with eyelets 62 and 63, presenting means by which various accoutrements may be easily attached to the life jacket assembly. For example, signaling devices, illuminating devices, marking devices or the like may be suspended or attached to the life jacket by means of these eyes and eyelets.
It will be noted that the main body portion of the elements 39 serves to hold down the bight portion of the inner yoke section 11 against the users back and to thus, in general, hold this yoke section firm against the users .body, particularly in the region of the neck so as to per- .mit the cushioning effect which will be, as noted most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 4, effected at the back of the neck and .at the lower rear portion of the users head when the assembly is inflated.
What is claimed is:
l. A life jacket comprising an inflatable yoke assembly adapted to be positioned over a users head to extend around behind the neck and to depend from either side thereof toward the waist, said assembly including a pair of similarly formed U-shaped yoke pieces, each being separately inflatable with such yoke pieces being normally flat and disposed in superimposed relation one upon the other, said yoke pieces being joined together along their inner edges at the lower extremities thereof and having integral laterally extending flaps on the inner edges in the central regions thereof, said flaps being projected from the inner toward the outer marginal edges of the yoke pieces to be sandwiched between the yoke pieces when the same are superimposed, and a harness secured to said flaps including a strap secured to the flaps and divided to pass therefrom beneath the users armpits and being joined at the opposite ends of the division to the lower ends of said yoke pieces.
2. A life jacket comprising a yoke assembly for disposition over the head of a user and having strap means secured thereto for holding the yoke assembly in place, said .yoke assembly including a pair of separately inflatable yoke pieces, each of U-shaped Configuration with the two such yoke pieces being disposed in superimposed relation, each yoke piece including two pairs of mating panels with the upper extremities of the mating panels being disposed in staggered relationship to each other and'sealed along the inner and outer marginal edges of the panels to present a closed generally U-shaped tube in each yoke piece, each of said panels having an integral laterally projecting flap on the inner edge thereof at its upper extremilapping relationship with opposite side edges of alternated flaps extending outwardly beyond the corresponding edges of the immediately adjacent flaps thereby presenting opposite side areas in the flaps of only double thickness, said strap means including portions sandwiching the flaps of the yoke pieces therebetween .and directing the same outwardly from the inner marginal portions of the yoke pieces toward the outer marginal portions thereof so as to be sandwiched between the yoke pieces when the same are superimposed and such that the flaps are directed away from the back of the users neck when in use.
3. A life jacket comprising an inflatable yoke assembly adapted to be positioned over a users head to extend around behind the neck and to depend from either side thereof toward the Waist, said .assembly including a pair of similarly formed U-shaped yoke pieces, each being separately inflatable, with such yoke pieces being normally flat and disposed in superimposed relation one above the other, said yoke pieces being joined together along their inner edges so that they are free to expand when inflated without disturbing the lie of that yoke piece disposed next to the users chest, and a harness secured to the yoke assembly, said harness including a strap secured to the yoke assembly at that point thereof which is to be disposed behind the users neck and being divided to pass therefrom beneath the users armpits and being joined at the opposite extremities of the division to the lower ends of said yoke pieces, each of said yoke assemblies being comprised of four substantially identically formed panels, each having laterally inwardly directed tabs at its lower extremity and each also having a laterally downwardly directed flap at its upper extremity at the inner marginal edge thereof, said tabs of the several panels being joined together whereby the yoke ty and the several flaps being disposed in staggered overassembly is in the form of .a collar and the iiaps being likewise joined together by and between said strap of the harness and directed thereby from the inner toward the outer marginal edges of the yoke pieces to be sandwiched between the yoke pieces when the same are superimposed and to be directed away from contact with the users neck toward the outer boundaries of the yoke sections.
4. A life jacket comprising an inflatable yoke assembly adapted to be positioned over a users head to extend around behind the neck and to depend from either side thereof toward the waist, said assembly including a pair of similarly formed U-shaped yoke pieces, each being separately inflatable with such yoke pieces being normally flat and disposed in superimposed relation one upon the other, said yoke pieces being joined together along their inner edges at the lower extremities thereof and having integral laterally extending flaps in the central inner mar ginal regions thereof, said flaps being projected from the inner toward the outer marginal edges of the yoke piece to be sandwiched between the yoke pieces when the same are superimposed, and a harness secured to said flaps including a strap secured to the flaps and divided to pass therefrom beneath the users armpits and being joined at the opposite ends of the division to the lower ends of said yoke pieces, each of said yoke pieces being comprised of four substantially identically formed panels, each having laterally inwardly directed tabs at its lower extremity, said tabs of the several panels being joined together whereby the yoke assembly is in the form of a collar and the flaps being likewise joined together by and between said strap of the harness and directed thereby away from contact with the users neck toward the outer boundaries of the yoke sections.
5. A life jacket construction comprising a pair of initially superimposed yoke sections, each consisting of four separate panels substantially identical in configuration, said upper extremities of said panels being joined together in overlapping relationship and the lower extremities of such panels being all joined together whereby each yoke section is in the form of a collar, the two yoke sections being disposed in superimposed relationship and having laterally directed flaps at their upper, inner extremities, said flaps being disposed to lie back upon the main body portion of the yoke sections so as to be sandwiched between the yoke sections when secured together and with the yoke sections being secured to each other in this region by the flaps, the flaps being directed away from the inner and toward the outer marginal edges of the yoke pieces, and anchoring means secured to said flaps to extend therefrom downwardly along the users back to hold the central portion of the yoke section closest to the users body substantially flat thereagainst, even when inflated, and straps extending therefrom for disposition beneath the armpits of the user and for 8 securement at their free ends to the lower extremities of said yoke sections.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,128,423 Manson Aug. 30, 1938 2,405,484 Bailhe Aug, 6, 1946 2,508,303 Sturtevant May 16, 1950 2,538,775 Goldsmith Jan. 23, 1951 2,621,342 Boyle Dec. 15, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS 486,134 Italy Nov. 2, 1953