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Publication numberUS3108283 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1963
Filing dateMar 31, 1961
Priority dateMar 31, 1961
Publication numberUS 3108283 A, US 3108283A, US-A-3108283, US3108283 A, US3108283A
InventorsJack Gasaway
Original AssigneePaul H Reedy, Samuel B Smith
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bathing cap
US 3108283 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct.29,1963 J. GASAWAY 3,108,283

' BATHING QAP Filed March 31, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 United States Patent 3,108,283 BATHLIG CAP lath Gasaway, 11842 Kiowa, Les Angeies, Caliii, assignor at one-half to Paul H. Reedy, Newport Beach, Caiiih, and Samuel B. Smith, Chicago, EL, jointly Filed Mar. 331, i961, er. No. 99,907 1% Claims. (Cl. 2--68) This invention relates to a non-leaking bathing cap by the use of which the swimmers hair can be maintained in a dry state independently of the depth to and from which the swimmer may descend and rise.

Heretofore various attempts have been made to pro vide leak-proof bathing caps. Generally speaking, these have met with failure because of the fact that when the cap is pulled over the swimmers head a certain amount of air remains in the cap until the head is submerged. At the time the head is submerged the water pressure on the outside of the cap forces some of the retained air out of the cap and compresses the balance of the air inside the cap. The deeper the swimmers head is submerged the more air is forced out of the cap and the greater is the compression taking place on that air which remains in the cap.

Eiforts to meet these objections by virtue of providing inflated bands extending within the cap and about the wearers head met with negligible success. Various ways have been provided for inflating such bands and various forms of components to ease the effects of the bands upon the Wearers head have been tried. Prior art caps, except for cumbersome and heavy divers helmets, so far as is known, have all been of the type formed of elastic material, rubberized fabric, rubber, or other flexible waterproof material generally formed and contoured so as to be shaped closely to the wearers head when in use. In some instances, inflatable bands have been applied about the caps and the pressure within the band has been built up by means of an inflating ball or some similar instrumentality.

Nevertheless, it has been found that with the completely resilient form of covering structure whereby air is forced out of the cap, submersion of the wear produces sufficient pressure so that when the swimmer begins to rise from the maximum depth in the water which he has reached, the external pressure on the cap is released and there is a tendency of the cap to return to its original size, due primarily to the springing of the hair of the wearer. In so returning to its original size, the air which was forced out of the cap during submersion must be replaced, as a semi-vacuum has been created. As the swimmer rises from his maximum depth to the surface the pressure becomes less and less and in order to provide equalization inside and outside the cap some Water enters the cap about its edges as the wearer rises from a submerged status since there is no other medium of equalization available.

According to the present invention the defects of the prior art are overcome by the use of a rigid cap or covering structure which may be maintained at a fixed spacing from the skull of the wearer. This (region is sealed-ofi by a barrier pressure band which initially exerts a force only very slightly above atmospheric but which is subject to increase determined by the depth in the water to which the swimmer may move. Under such circumstances the Water pressure, as the wearer submerges deeper and deeper, cannot decrease the air space between the cap and the head so long as the barrier sealing-off region of greater pressure is between the internal air space and the Water.

The present invention provides such a pressurized barrier region about the head of the wearer and, generally 'ice speaking, along the peripheral boundaries of the covering cap structure. This barrier region is initially established at a pressure just slightly above atmospheric, but, as the wearer submerges deeper and deeper, the pressure diftference is adapted to be increased automatically to an extent such that it is greater than that of the water on the outside so that water is precluded from entering into the fixed air chamber. Likewise, when the wearer rises from a maximum depth in the water, the pressure differential at the barrier region between the free air space and the water will be reduced but will be greater than that at which the water tends to press inwardly of the covering structure, so that with the water being unable to decrease the air space between the covering and the skull of the wearer as the swimmer submerges, no internal vacuum is created and consequently no water is drawn into the cap as the wearer rises to the surface from a submerged position.

This is accomplished with the present invention by providing the cap or head-shaped outer structure as a rigid plastic or other generally helmet-shaped covering shaped substantially to fit the head of the wearer. Conformity to the shape of the skull is generally provided by internal skull spacers formed of plastic, rubber, or other types of elastic material. In some cases, however, rigid spacers may be used since their prime function is to keep the rigid dome at a fixed distance from the wearers skull so that compression either will not occur or will be held to a minimum. Various ways may be provided to maintain a control of the pressure and to preclude leakage both upon submersion and upon rising from a submerged position to the surface.

The invention as herein described has included among its objects those of providing a cap or covering structure which will not only be comfortable and readily worn by the wearer, but which will also accomplish the desired function of maintaining the wearers hair in a dry state without discomfort. Other objects of the invention are those of providing a Water barrier or seal medium to prevent water entering into the helmet or covering and to maintain the effectiveness of the barrier at varying water depths. Still other objects and advantages of the invention includes those of providing a structure for use as a cap covering which is attractive, comfortably worn, capable of being marketed at a nominal price, and which is highly eflicient in its use. Many other objects will suggest themselves when the following description and claims are considered together with the accompanying drawings which illustrate the invention in certain of its preferred forms.

By the drawings:

FIGURE 1 schematically illustrates one form of the cap covering in use;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the cap structure of FIGURE 1 taken generally longitudinally through the cap element per se from front to back;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG- URE 2 and is to illustrate a preferred method of providing automatically changing pressure within the boundary limits of the cap or helmet in accordance with existing external pressure effective on a fluid reservoir;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the cap structure of FIGURE 1 looking in a direction substantially to the position in which FIGURE 2 is shown and is taken along a line substantially through the center of FIGURE 2;

FIGURES 5 and 6 represent further modifications of the structure of FIGURE 3 and illustrate small sections of the cap structure, FIGURE 5 showing a somewhat similar pressure control to that of FIGURES 1-4 and showing pressure control in one of a pair of tubular components formed inside the helmet structure, and FIGURE 6 showing an inlet to provide in the second of a pair of tubes at about the boundary of the head covering element an inlet for water thereby to maintain a pressure control within the helmet which will be proportional to the pressure exerted upon the helmet surface by the water;

FIGURE 7 is a modification and shows a portion of the helmet with pressure control effective along a plurality of internal contour bands;

FIGURE 8 is a modification to show a preferred form of helmet structure providing supplemental cushioning for the wearer, at the region of the boundary limits and barrier territory;

FIGURE 9 shows a modified arrangement of the diaphragm construction to control pressure build-up within the head-band surrounding the wearer;

FIGURE 10 is a modified arrangement to show a preferred form of head-band and provides inflating mechanism at the barrier region thereof combined with a suitable chin-strap for the wearer; and

FIGURE 11 is a modification of the pressure-control structure in the regions of the wearers head-band. barrier.

Referring now to the drawings for a further understanding of the invention, the helmet proper It is preferably formed of a substantially rigid plastic shell contoured generally to the head shape of the wearer and large enough to slip over the head. In this form the helmet is arranged to extend forwardly as at 13 to cover to a desired extent the forehead of the wearer. It is also arranged to extend downwardly at the rear, as at 15, to a position substantially to the base of the skull at which the hairline genenally tenm-inates. The hard plastic material of which the helmet is formed is then preferably contoured to extend from the rear and along each side of the wearers head just slightly above the ears to meet with the downwardly depending forehead covering section 13. Ear-flaps "17 are generally provided and firmly secured to the rigid helmet 11. The car flaps are preferably in the nature of flexible and pliable material such as soft rubber, soft plastic, or other suitable forms of fabric to permit ready folding back where desired. Depending from these ear-flap covering sections 17 it is convenient to fasten a suitable chin strap member 19 which fastens below the wearers chin.

Within the interior of the helmet a plurality of cush ioning components 21 in the form of spongy, soft or rigid and resilient material are provided both for locating the unit to the head of the wearer and resiliently cushioning and spacing it from the head of the wearer. About the lower periphery :of the helmet and extending completely around the structure from the front region 13 to the rear region 15 and over the recessed ear region there is an internal head-band 23 of desired cross section firmly attached to the helmet inner wall. The head- 'band 23 is made as a hollow, tubular or rectangular member. This band forms a barrier region between the interior of the helmet and the outside. It is formed of a pliable and resilient composition and is capable of being inflated to desired pressure through one or more entry ports 27 which communicate with a reservoir region 29 supplied as a generally bulbous-shaped component rigidly secured to the helmet wall. The attachment of the reservoir region is preferably at the rear so that when held to the helmet in leak-proof fashion there is an air-tight fit between the outer thelmet wall ll. and the reservoir Wall 31. With this arrangement prior to sealing the tubular head-band 23 internally of the helmet and connecting the reservoir thereto through the entry port 27, the combination of the two elements is inflated (by any desired means, not shown) to a relatively low pressure above atmospheric so that when the wearer covers the head with the helmet, the flexible head-band will fit generally close to the skull and will apply against the skull a pressure of relatively minor value above atmospheric. This low pressure is unobjectionable and scarcely noticeable to the wearer.

Illustratively, and to exemplify the nature of the invention, the head-band 23 may be provided as a more or less rectangular shaped component which has crosssectional dimensions of about Vs inch at its narrow lower and upper regions 33, which is the region subjected to water pressure from beneath the helmet during submersion and it may have a dimension illustratively of about /2 inch along its sides 35. With the peripheral dimension of the average head being about 22 inches, this size tubing can be seen to comprise a volume of approxi mately 1.37 cubic inches. If new the volume of the reservoir 2 be assumed to be comprised of a region of about 4 x 3 x 0.5 inches it will be seen that the reservoir volume is 6 cubic inches. This would provide a mechanical advantage of approximately 5 to 1 between the reservoir and the tubular element.

Further than this, with the assumed dimensions of the tubular element, the area of the tubular head-band 23 in contact with the we-arers head would be about /2 inch by 22 inches, making a contact area of 11 square inches. The area of contact of the reservoir 2) with the water for the assumed conditions will be 4 x 3 or 12 square inches, making this provide a mechanical advantage of about 1.1 to 1. Lastly, considering the area of the head-band in contact with the water for the assumed dimension of the headband 23, Water pressure will be effective on a region of approximately Va inch by 22 inches or there will be 2.75 square inches in contact with the water. Compared to the area or" the reservoir in contact with the water there will be in this respect a mechanical advantage of about 4.3 to 1.

Consequently, it can be appreciated that the head-band provides a barrier of low pressure between the head of the wearer and the interior of the helmet for that region between the outer hard plastic element 11 and the skull. At the same time, the head-band provides a barrier between the skull and the external water so that if the wearer is to use the helmet and submerge, and it be borne in mind that water exerts approximately 0.45 lb. pressure per square inch against all surfaces for each foot of water depth, the assumed head-band inflated to a value of 1 lb. per square inch pressure against the head is such that if the wearer submerged to a depth of 2 feet, for instance, there would be an additional 0.9 lb. per square inch exerted on the external chamber or reservoir 29 which would-be transmitted into the headband and this would be the same pressure that would be exerted per square inch of head-band from the water itself. Due, however, to the mechanical advantage of the reservoir, it can be appreciated that the head-band will always be exerting more pressure against the head of the wearer than the surrounding water and consequently leakage cannot occur. By the same token, leakage cannot occur when the wearer rises to the surface because the head-band provides a seal between the skull and the rigid plastic which prevents compression of any air in the space between the rigid helmet and the skull of the wearer in the region above the head-band.

For most circumstances the ear-flaps 17 need not be made of a form to keep out the water, although it can be appreciated that by holding them tightly to the wearer by the chin-strap 19 a reasonably satisfactory shielding effect can be achieved. For many conditions, and particularly where the wearer intends to use the cap for diving purposes, it is desirable that the ear-flaps be turned up against the outer surface of the helmet, in which event the chinstrap can be reversed over the top of the helmet to connect to the ear-flaps.

The modification of FIGURES 5 and 6 provides in the head-band 41 a pair of chambers or separated regions 43 and 45. As was the case with the form in which the invention is illustrated in FIGURES 1-4, the tubular section 43 is arranged to communicate with the reservoir 29 by way of the entry port 27 and its purpose need not be further explained. Where desired in order to equalize pressure it is in some cases desirable to permit entry of water to the top section of the head-band which can be assured by way of the entry port 47 leading into the top section of the head-band 45.

Alternatively, for equalization purposes and in order to insure further comfort of the wearer, the head-band may be provided as shown by FIGURE 7 with a pair of tubular elements 49 and 51 each leading into the reservoir 29 by way of entry ports 52 and 53.

The showing of FIGURE 8 provides minor modifications, particularly in the provision with the tubular headband 33 also constituting cushioning elements 57 adapted to relieve the wearer from further pressure of the band. For convenience of illustration, the reservoir of FIGURE 8 is shown in a modified form and illustratively may form a part of the head-band itself, as shown more particularly in FIGURE 9.

In the modification of FIGURE 9 a rigid reservoir chamber 61 is formed into the hard plastic structure and secured thereto in leak-proof fashion at the joint 63, which is maintained both air-tight and water-tight with respect to the plastic wall 11. Seated beneath the circumferential reservoir 61 and abutting the interior wall 11 of the helmet there is a flexible diaphragm member 65 having access through the opening 67 of the water. The flexible diaphragm (illustrated in its flexed position by the dotted outline) also seals in air-tight fashion to each of the reservoir region 61 and the hard plastic wall 11 at its peripheral regions so that, despite flexing, water from without the hard plastic shell 111 will not be able to enter into the reservoir 61 but will flex the diaphragm (such as to its dotted outline position) so as to compress air contained in the reservoir.

The tubular member 57 is attached to the outer surface of the reservoir 61 and forms a cushioning element 69 which fits against the skull of the wearer and which is in communicating relationship to the interior of the reservoir by the port 71. The relationship between the interior of the tubular member 57 and the reservoir 61 is such that increased pressure from water external to the wall 11 acting through the opening 67 will cause pressure to build-up in the reservoir and thereby be transferred to the interior of the tubular head-band 57. The dotted outline shown at 69' illustrates the flexure of the resilient tubular head-band 57 so as to adapt itself to use by different wearers and also shows the expansion tendency when the air in reservoir 61 is compressed at greater water depths to move the diaphragm 65 to a flexed position, such as 6-5 to reduce the reservoir air volume. In this form of the device it becomes clear (as by FIGURE 8) that various diaphragm elements 65 and water-entry ports 67 may be peripherally spaced about the helmet both for aesthetic reasons and to provide, as well, a more sensitive control of pressure in the tubular head-band 57.

FIGURE shows a slightly modified arrangement whereby the wearer may adapt the structure of FIGURE 9 to any desired initial inflated pressure or by which the inflated pressure, in use, may be increased or decreased. The reservoir 61 may be connected through a port 73 to a tubular member 75 having therein a spring-pressed valve 77 arranged to seat by means of a closure member 79 upon an opening 51 in a flexible tubular member 83 secured in air-tight position to member 75. The closure member 7% is pressed against the opening 81 by means of a spring adapted to exert pressure greater than atmospheric pressure thereon. In order to determine the pressure against which water entering the reservoir 6-1 through the port 67 shall be forced to act, the reservoir may be inflated by mouth-pressure (or otherwise) by the mouthpiece 87 attached to the flexible tube 33, the applied pressure being sufficient to overcome the pressure of closure of the valve 77. The pressure on valve 77 must be such that it will cut off air (or fluid.) exit from the reservoir. If desired, the pressure within the reservoir may be released at the choice of the user by manually (for instance) pressing the valve pin 89 at a region of the flexible tubular member adjacent thereto thereby to provide an opening passage to atmospheric conditions from the reservoir 61 through the flexible tube 83 and the mouthpiece 87.

FIGURE 11 illustrates a slightly further modified arrangement wherein there has been, for instance, a generally rigid metallic band or element 91 sealed within the peripheral region of the helmet at a position substantially adjacent to the sealed head-band tubular member 93. This head-band element is capable of flexure in a manner similar to that shownby the diaphragm 61 of FIGURE 9. A suitable pressure of the order of 1 lb. per square inch -(or slightly more if desired) may be established within the tubular head-band member 93 and then, by pressure exerted from the water upon the exterior side-wall 95 of the helmet adjacent to the element 91 and by arranging the helmet to have some resiliency in the region of the band 91, and by providing the area of band 91 greater than the underexposed area 97 of band 93, pressure within the tubular head-band '93 will be increased for different depths of use of the helmet by way of a compression of the air, thereby to maintain the tight seal between the wearer and the water.

It will be apparent that various other modifications of the invention may be made within the spirit and scope of this invention.

Having now described the invention, what is claimed is:

l. A bathing cap comprising a substantially rigid helmet to cover the head of a wearer, a fluid-tight tubular member secured to the interior wall of the helmet in a region substantially adjacent to the open edge thereof, the said tubular member being adapted to serve as a headband for the wearer, a reservoir connected in sealed fashion to the helmet and adapted to be exposed to external pressure varying fnom atmospheric to that existing at varying depths beneath the water surface, a connecting passage between the tubular member and the reservoir, the said reservoir and the tubular member being normally adapted to be pressurized at a pressure slightly above atmospheric so that with increasing external pressure the pressure within the internal tubular member due to pressure applied from the reservoir is increased and a leak-proof fit to the wearers head is maintained.

2. The bathing cap claimed in claim 1 wherein the fluid-tight tubular member is rectangular in cross-section and wherein the longer dimension of the cross-sectional form is secured at one side to the interior of the helmet with the second longer dimension side adapted to form the head-band positioned against the wearers head.

3. The bathing cap claimed in claim 2 comprising, in addition, cushioning means positioned interiorly of the helmet for resting against the head of the wearer.

4. The bathing cap claimed in claim 1 wherein each of the volume and exposed surface area of the reservoir exceeds volume and exposed areas of the fluid-tight tubular member.

5. The bathing cap claimed in claim 1 comprising, in addition, flexible diaphragm means peripherally spaced adjacent to the fluid-tight member and adapted to be flexed with increasing external pressure so that compression of fluid within the tubular member is varied in proportion to changing external pressure and a tight fit between the helmet and the wearers head is maintained.

6. The bathing cap claimed in claim 1 comprising, in addition, means to increase and decrease the reservoir pressure independently of the operating depth.

7. The bathing cap claimed in claim 6 wherein the means to increase the pressure within the reservoir is provided by a tubular member adapted to connect to an external source of fluid pressure and a normally closed valve means adapted to open under inlet pressure to permit passage into the reservoir at times when external fluid pressure exceeds that of the reservoir and adapted at other times to remain closed, and means to relieve reservoir pressure independently of external pressure.

8. A bathing cap comprising a substantially rigid helmet for covering the head of a wearer, a fluid-tight tubular member fiorming a wearers head-band secured to the intenior 'wall of the helmet in a region substantially adjacent to the open edge thereof, a fluid-tight reservoir of outer area and internal volume greater than that of the tubular member sealed to the helmet outer wall and adapted to be exposed to external pressures varying from atmospheric to those existing at varying depths beneath the water surface, a connecting passage between the reservoir and the tubular member to maintain equalized pressure in each, the said reservoir and the tubular member being adapted to be pressurized when exposed to 15 8 tive on the reservoir the applied internal tubular pressure is increased to a value greater than that of the inwardly-pressing water.

9. The bathing cap claimed in claim 8 wherein the fluid-tight reservoir is secured to the outer surface of the helmet. i

10. The bathing cap claimed in claim 8 comprising, in addition, a plurality of spaced cushioning means positioned interiorly of the helmet for resting against the 10 head of the wearer.

leifers Aug. 10, 1920 Naundorf Mar. 2, 1937

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1349206 *Jul 30, 1917Aug 10, 1920Gen Patent Manu Facturing CompBathing-cap
US2072483 *Jul 28, 1936Mar 2, 1937Karl Naundorf WilhelmBathing cap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3403406 *Jul 5, 1966Oct 1, 1968Ernest WeissbergBathing cap
US3488774 *Jun 30, 1967Jan 13, 1970Abbott Augustus NPneumatic swim cap
US3503076 *Jul 10, 1968Mar 31, 1970Marks Lillian ISwimming cap with rigid dome
US3725953 *Jan 24, 1972Apr 10, 1973Us NavyFull view diver{40 s mask
US4768231 *Jun 1, 1987Sep 6, 1988Schrack Michael EProtective headgear
US5349702 *Jan 21, 1993Sep 27, 1994John L. Runckel, TrustLeak-proof cap with improved seal construction
EP0486220A1 *Nov 7, 1991May 20, 1992Paula SommersSwim cap
U.S. Classification2/68
International ClassificationA42B1/12, A42B1/04
Cooperative ClassificationA42B1/12
European ClassificationA42B1/12