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Publication numberUS3084687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1963
Filing dateMar 2, 1959
Priority dateMar 2, 1959
Publication numberUS 3084687 A, US 3084687A, US-A-3084687, US3084687 A, US3084687A
InventorsAlvin R Kallmeyer, Walter J Kingsley
Original AssigneeAlvin R Kallmeyer, Walter J Kingsley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Underwater breathing-viewing apparatus
US 3084687 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 3,034,687 UNDERWATER BREATHIIIG-VEEWING APiARATUS Alvin R. Kallmeyer, 14935 Longacre, Detroit,

Walter J. Kingsley, 2604 Rochester, Royal Oak,

Filed Mar. 2, 1959, Ser. No. 796,372. Claims. (6!. 128-145) Mich and Mich.

This invention relates to a combination breathing-viewing apparatus particularly adapted for use by underwater swimmers, skin divers, and children learning the art of underwater submersion.

Swimmers and bathers, children as well as adults, find great enjoyment in being able to remain submerged beneath the water surface for extended periods of time. However, this has generally been impossible except with the use of expensive underwater breathing apparatus, usually in the form of an oxygen storage tank and hose connection leading to the swimmers face mask, the entire assembly being strapped to the swimmers back. Such apparatus has been comparatively bulky and difficult to handle by small children and has greatly added to the weight of equipment carried by the swimmer. As a result, such devices have not become widely utilized by underwater swimmers, particularly children swimmers who cannot comfortably support or carry a relatively heavy oxygen storage tank.

In many situations underwater swimmers desire to simultaneously view objects above the water surface as well as objects under the water surface. In conventional arrangements it is impossible to achieve this simultaneous underwater-above water viewing, it being necessary for the swimmer to completely surface in order to observe above water objects and to completely submerge in order to view underwater objects.

From the above remarks it will be appreciated that the underwater swimmers activities would be of greater enjoyment if he were provided with a low cost, easily carried device having the capability of permitting him to remain submerged for extended time periods while having a clear view of the entire panorama of objects in his vicinity, including underwater objects and above water objects.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a device of the immediately above mentioned character, i.e. a device enabling the user to remain for extended time periods underwater while permitting him to have a clear view of the panorama of objects in his vicinity, including above water ob'ects and underwater objects.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device of the above mentioned character which is of comparatively light weight and which is of such design as to impose very little burden on the swimmer in his swimming movements.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of the above mentioned character which is of such design as to be properly, operatively located for use by a person while in a prone swimming position underwater.

It is an additional object of the invention to provide an underwater viewing-breathing apparatus which is of such design as to be readily retained on the head of the user without tendency to become disengaged during swimming operations.

Another object of the invention is to provide a viewing-breathing apparatus wherein the user is enabled to have a wide range of view of underwater objects, including objects directly in front of his path, objects directly below, and objects to either side.

Another object of the invention is to provide a breathing-viewing apparatus, which may be constructed from a minimum number of parts, the principal part being cap able of formation as a high strength, one piece molded unit.

3,684,687. Patented Apr. 9, 1963 Another object of the invention is to provide a viewingbreathing apparatus which may be utilized by children as well as adults Without danger that inexperienced bathers will inadvertently drown or encounter mishaps during its use.

Another object of the invention is to provide a viewingbreathing apparatus which may be safely used without danger that underwater parts connections will become disengaged, the device preferably being constructed with the major component formed as a single one piece element so as to eliminate such connections as might leak after prolonged usage.

A further object is to provide an underwater viewingbreathing apparatus which allows normal breathing through the users nose without manipulation of knobs, control buttons or the like which would be a source of confusion and possible danger to the user.

Another object of the invention is to provide an underwater viewing-breathing apparatus wherein atmospheric air is taken in at the upper portion of the apparatus and delivered to the user adjacent the lower portion thereof, the arrangement being characterized by an ability to automatically close the air intake opening in the event that the upper portion of the apparatus should for any reason become submerged underwater, as for example by a swimmer driving toward the lake bottom or a child inadvertently lowering his head in the water below a predetermined level.

Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of one embodiment of the invention taken on line 11 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the FIG. 1 embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view on line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

in the drawings there is shown an underwater breathing-viewing apparatus 10 comprising a periscope housing structure 12, a breathing apparatus 14, and a mask structure 16.

Periscope structure 12 comprises a generally upright housing defined by four side walls 20, 22, 24 and 26 interconnected at their upper ends by means of an inclined upper wall 28. The upper end area of wall 22 above point 30 is constructed of transparent material 32, and the under surface of wall 28 is provided with a light refleeting element in the form of a mirror 34. Mirror 34 could if desired be replaced by a light reflecting prism, and the mirror can be formed of different light reflecting materials, such as the conventional silver coating, stainless steel, or polished aluminum.

In normal usage structure 10 is positioned with its upper end portion located above the water surface so that light enters through transparent portion 32 and is reflected by element 34 axially downwardly in the periscope structure '12 onto a second light reflecting element 36 located in a generally elbow-shaped lower end portion of structure 12. The length and design of the periscope structure is preferably such that no intervening lenses or provided between part of mask structure 16. Preferably wall 33 is inclined at the angle shown in FIG. l to enable the apparatus to be strapped onto a users head and retained in operative viewing position thereon when he assumes a prone swimming position- The peripheraledge of wall 38. seats within a groove 4d formed in a rubber mask portion 42 of annular configuration. The mask portion is of such design as to have its peripheral portions tightly engage the face portion of the user, the retention of the mask portion on the user being accomplished by means of conventional straps 44 adapted to extend around the users head. Preferably the mask is of sufficient area to enclose the. users nose and eyes without overlying his mouth, although the mask can be constructed as a larger element to also enclose the users mouth if desired. The size of themask will also be determined by the general size of the users head, in general a smaller mask being provided for children and a larger mask for adults. Straps 44- may of. course have adjustable connections with one another to facilitate a tight fi-t on the users head irrespective of his head size.

-It will be noted from, FIGS. 1 and 3 that peripheral edge portions 46, 48am S ll of viewing wall 38 are located outside .the pointof connection with the periscope structure 12. Also, the entire lower end portion of the periscope structure 12 below line 52 is formed as a transparent. section (exclusive of light reflector 36). Thus the lower. portion 22a of wall 22, the lower portion 2% of wall. 2%, the lower portion of wall 24, are all constructed to.-transmit light. Additionally, bottom wall portion '54 of the periscope structure is constructed of light transmit-ting material. The transparency of these wallportions cooperates with the transparency and character of wall 38 to permit the user to have a substantially unobstructed view ofunderwater objects located directly in front of the periscope structure l2 as well as objects located to both sides of the periscope structure and beneath the periscope structure. In this connection the wall areas 48 and 50 permit view of the objects located to the side of the periscope structure, and the Wall portions' 46 and 54 permit a clear view of the objects located below the periscope structure. The arrangement is such that the swimmer is enabled to have a clear view of substantially the entire underwater panorama as well as a clear view of the above water panorama without undue shifting of his eyes or other movement of his head. Thus, the user can easily shift his eyesight from mirror 36 to wall portion 22a without any head movement.

Referring to the breathing structure indicated generally by numeral 14, there is provided above wall 28 an air intake chamber 56 defined by a wall 58 and two parallel walls 60 and 62 extending to sealed connections with wall 28. Wall 58 is provided with air intake openings 59 for introduction of atmospheric air into chamber 56. Chamber 56 discharges through a port 64 defined by partition 66 into an air receiver chamber 68 formed by the upwardly angled wall 7%) extending across the upper portion of wall :23. Air receiver chamber 68 communicates With a breather tube structure defined by two wall portions 72 and 74 extending outwardly from walls 60 and 62 and turning downwardly at 76 and 78 into connection with wall 23. Walls 72 and 76 cooperate with wall 60. and a portion of wall 23 to define a passage 77 extending generally downwardly from the air receiver chamber '68. Similarly walls 74 and 78 cooperate with wall 62 and a portion of wall 28 to define another air passage 79 extending downwardly from the air receiver chamber 68. These air passages connect at their lower ends with a passage 3d defined by two parallel walls 82 and84, a portion 36 of wall 26 and a fourth wall 88. Air,

passage extends downwardly along the outer face of wall 25 to approximately the line 52 (FIG. 1) where it turns and extends substantially horizontally through an opening 90 in the viewing wall 38. In this manner the air passage communicates with the interior space defined by wall 38 and annular mask portion 42.

In use of the apparatus, the structure is positioned in an upright position as shown in FIG. 1 with the upper portion of the structure above water and the lower portion submerged. The swimmer may take a prone swimming position and be supplied wit-h air through the air intake openings 59 in wall 58. The air from said intake openings flow through inlet chamber 56 and port 64 into air receiver chamber 68, downwardly in the passages 77 and 79 to the elongated passage 8t), and thence throughopening to the user. It will be noted that opening 90 is located in the upper central portion ofthe Wall 38 so as to be closely adjacent the users nostrils when the device is in use. Thus, the user may breathe freely by closing his mouth and breathing in and out through his nos-- trils. The location of opening 90 is such as to promote free, unharnpered breathing so as to enable the swimmer to remain submerged for extended periods of time. Also, the location of the opening 90 is such that it does not in terfere with viewing of the above water objects or underwater objects.

In the event that the swimmer should inadvertently or otherwise cause the upper portion of the structure to become submerged underwater the port 64 will automatically close so as to'prevent Water from entering pas sage tltl in such manner as to interfere With-his breath ing. When port 64 is closed the supply of air through openings 59 is of course cut off, but the various air pas sages and chambers provide a reservoir of air for allow ing the swimmer to remain submerged for some time. Additionally, when. the upper portion of the structure again moves above the water surface the port 64 is automaticallyopened to again admit air to the chamber 68 and the connected passages.

'ln order to provide for the desired automatic opening and closing of the valve element 94 of light weight construction. Normally the -valve element gravitates to its illustrated FIG. 1 position adjacent opening 96 in wall 88. However, in the event that the upper portion ofv the structure should become submergedthe water will initially enter through intake openings 59 are located above the level of opening 96 So-thatasthe upper portion of the structure becomes submerged the water will enter opening 96 before entering the air intake openings valve element94-1will be automatically activated to a port-sealing position during submersion of-the upper end portion. of the structure. When the upper portion of the It is preferred that the structure 12 be formed elude substantially all light from the periscope tube exthrough the transparent portion of wall 22 between point 30 and portion of walls 2d and 24 above the entire wall 26 is opaque. In

main wall areasof the periscope line 52 is opaque, the line 52 is opaque, and

spite of the fact that certain wall areas of the structureas opaque elements and-certain should be constructed other wall areas should be constructed ans-transparent elements it is possible, through the design of the illustrated structure to form the primary component of the structure as a single one piece unit. Thus, the structures of opaque material so as to ex-.

chambers 56 and 58, passages 77 wall 38 may be constructed from a single plastic molding, and opaque coloring applied to the atmospheric wall areas after formation. The design of the unit is such that it may be constructed in two right and left half portions parted along imaginary line 98 (FIG. 2,). Thus, the left hand portion of the structure can be formed in one set of molds, and the right hand portion may be constructed in a second set of molds, after which the valve element 94 may be inserted into the assembly, and the parts connected together along the parting line 98. The mask portion 42 may be mounted on the wall 38 as the last operation in the assembly procedure.

It will thus be seen that the device is capable of very low cost manufacture so as to be capable of large scale distribution to skin divers, adult users, and children. At the same time, since the major component of the device may be formed as a single one piece element, there are no underwater connections which could develop leaks after prolonged usage. Thus, the device is well adapted for a long service life.

It will be appreciated that various modifications of the illustrated structure may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. Thus, the character of mask portion 42 may be altered considerably, the length of periscope structure 12 may be varied within limits, and the arrangement of chamber 56 with respect to the breather passage 30 may be modified while retaining the operating features. Certain features of the invention are susceptible to use in structures employed out of the Water, and advantageous results may be obtained by adopting some features of the invention without utilizing all features thereof, the novel features and arrangements being particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. The combination comprising a generally upright periscope structure; the lower wall portions of the periscope structure being transparent; the lower end portions of said periscope structure being formed as an elbow portion opening in a generally horizontal direction; a transparent viewing wall closing said opening and being inclined at an angle to the general axis of the periscope structure for permitting the periscope structure to take an upright position while enabling the user to assume a prone swimming position underwater; said viewing wall having peripheral portions thereof extending outwardly beyond its point of connection with the periscope structure to enable the user to view underwater objects through the peripheral portions; an annular flexible mask element sealingly carried on the peripheral edges of the viewing wall for engaging the facial area of the user; means carried by the mask element for retention thereof on the users face; a breather tube extending from an upper portion of the periscope structure downwardly therealong and through the viewing wall into fluid communication with the mask element interior; said aforementioned elbow portion being transparent for enabling the user to view underwater objects forwardly of the periscope structure and below said periscope structure.

2. The combination comprising a generally upright periscope housing structure having elongated side walls, and an inclined top wall, and having its lower end portion formed as a transparent elbow in the line of vision of a user and opening in a generally horizontal, rearward direction; a first light reflecting element positioned on the lower surface of said inclined top wall, and a second light reflecting element positioned within the elbow portion for enabling above water objects to be viewed through the elbow portion opening when the periscope structure is positioned with its lower portion within the water and with its upper portion above the water surface; a light transmitting viewing wall closing the rear of the elbow and extending at an angle to the axis of the housing structure for enabling the user to assume a prone swimforming periscope 12, and 79, passage 80, and

ming position underwater with his face adjacent the viewing wall; a lower transparent viewing wall Closing the bottom of said elbow for downward underwater vision and an upper transparent viewing wall closing the front of said elbow above and adjacent the second light reflecting element for forward underwater vision; a flexible mask portion of annular configuration sealingly engaged.

with the peripheral edges of said viewing wall to enclose the facial area of the user and preclude entrance of water within the mask portion; wall mean-s carried on said inclined top wall and defining an air inlet chamber, an air receiver chamber, and a port therebetween; a floatable valve element within said inlet chamber guided for movement toward and away from said port; at least one air inlet opening through the inlet chamber wall means in an area thereof adjacent the valve element to feed atmospheric air through the port when the valve element is in a lower portion of the inlet chamber; at least one water intake opening in the area of the inlet chamber wall means adjacent the valve element for permitting water pressure to advance the valve element to a position closing the port when the upper end portion of the structure is submerged; and a breather tube structure carried on the periscope housing structure in fluid communication between the air receiver chamber and the viewing wall.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the housing structure, viewing wall, inlet chamber wall means, air receiver chamber wall means, and breather tube are integrally formed together as a one piece construction.

4. A combination periscope and underwater viewing and breathing device comprising an elognated periscope housing having a canted upper end wall provided on its inner surface with light reflecting means with a portion of said housing adjacent said light reflecting means being of transparent material, said housing terminating at its lower end in an elbow opening in a direction generally transverse to the axis of said housing; a light reflecting element positioned in said elbow in light reflecting alignment with said light reflecting means on said canted upper end wall; said elbow being formed of transparent material adjacent said light reflecting means and said elbow being formed integrally with a transparent viewing wall of larger peripheral dimension than said elbow; an air intake housing formed on the outer surface of said upper end wall and having a valve port, and a valve member freely movable therein for movement into and away from said port; an air conduit formed integrally with said elongated periscope housing and with said elbow and extending from said air intake housing through said transparent viewing wall; and an annular flexible mask element carried on the peripheral edges of said viewing wall in fluid-tight relation thereto.

5. A combination periscope and underwater viewing and breathing device, including a periscope housing having an upper end wall provided with a first light reflecting element; said housing terminating at its other end in a transparent elbow in the line of vision of a user and provided with a second light reflecting element positioned in light-transmitting relation with respect to said first light reflecting element, a lower transparent viewing wall closing the bottom of said elbow adjacent said second light reflecting element for downward underwater vision and an upper transparent viewing wall closing the front of said elbow above and adjacent the second light reflecting element for forward underwater vision, said elbow terminating in an integrally formed transparent wall of larger peripheral dimension than said elbow, said wall having an opening therein, an air intake housing formed integrally with said upper end wall and having a valve port, and a valve member freely movable therein for movement against and away from said port, and an air conduit connecting said air intake housing and said opening in said transparent wall.

(References on following page) 7 References Cited in'the file of this patent 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,250,896 Stokesbary July 29, 1941 2,516,897 2,317,236 Wilen et 'al. Apr. 20, 1943 5 ,90

8 Wilen Apr. 20, 1943 Shipman Feb. 8, 1944 Burle June 5, 1945 McCullough Aug. 1, 1950 Girden Oct. 27, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2250896 *Jul 10, 1940Jul 29, 1941Delbert L StokesbaryFront view mirror device
US2317236 *Mar 29, 1940Apr 20, 1943Alexandre KramarenkoBreathing apparatus for swimmers
US2317237 *Nov 16, 1940Apr 20, 1943Wilen Charles HSwimmer's mask
US2341391 *Dec 26, 1940Feb 8, 1944Shipman Emanuel FCombination welding protective device and periscope
US2377671 *Jun 28, 1943Jun 5, 1945Burlo Edward EWelder's periscope
US2516897 *Mar 13, 1947Aug 1, 1950Fred NinnessUnderwater observation periscope
US2909959 *Nov 26, 1958Oct 27, 1959Barney B GirdenSwimming face mask with periscope
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5886839 *May 6, 1997Mar 23, 1999Arnone; Guido A.Toy periscope mask for playing aquatic games
US5901702 *May 20, 1994May 11, 1999Bernard; AndreOrientation aid for use when swimming on the back
US6122100 *Nov 20, 1998Sep 19, 2000Miller; Robert D.Headgear apparatus for viewing in a periscopic direction and a forward direction simultaneously
Classifications
U.S. Classification128/201.11, 359/857, 359/895
International ClassificationB63C11/16
Cooperative ClassificationB63C2011/126, B63C11/16
European ClassificationB63C11/16