US 3135098 A
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June 2, 1964 F, E. ROOT 3,135,098
UNDERWATER GARMENT Filed NOV. 3, 1961 INVENTOR. FRANK E. ROOT BY FULWIDER, MATTINGLY s HUNTLEY ATTORNEY United States Patent M 3,135,098 UNDERWATER GARMENT Frank E. Root, Harbor City, Calif., assignor to R .U.D .A., Inc., Compton, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Nov. 3,1961, Ser. No. 150,002 3 Claims. (Cl. 61-70) The present invention relates to garments, but more particularly to garments for underwater use.
The sport of underwater exploration and fishing, which is commonly known as skin diving, has become very popular in recent years. Perhaps the most important single accessory for use in practicing this sport is the jacket or garment worn by the diver. This garment must perform a number of different important functions. For instance, such garment must carry the weights which counterbalance the normal buoyancy of the divers body so as to permit himto move up and down at will within the water. Also, such garment may serve as the mounting means for breathing apparatus for the diver.
Jackets for underwater use must be of such construction as to be firmly fastenable to the body of the diver so that the breathing apparatus and counterbalancing weights are maintained in the proper position relative to the wearers body. Of no less importance, is the requirement that the jacket must be quickly and easily removable for purposes of safety. That is, in the event the jacket becomes entangled with ropes, plant life or other objects within the water, it may become mandatory for the diver to quickly and completely release himself from the jacket.
Prior garments of this general type have been cumbersome to wear and have failed to provide certain desirable functions. For instance, such prior devices have been so constructed as to greatly restrict the breathing movements of the wearer when it is firmly fastened to the wearers body. Also, such prior-devices have not provided' the mandatory safety feature of quick removal to enable the diver to free himself from the garment. Also, prior jackets have not provided convenient and effective weight-receiving pockets for holding the above-described counterbalancing weights.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a garment for underwater use which overcomes all of the shortcomings of prior devices.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garment for underwater use which can be easily and rapidly removed from" the wearers body.
7 Another object of thepresent invention is to provide a garment as characterized above which although being easily removable, is nonetheless firmly fastenable to the wearers body.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garment as characterized above which can be firmly secured to the torso of the wearers body while still permitting the usual movements'of the wearers body during normal breathing.
Another object of this invention is to provide in a garment for underwater use as characterized above, weightretaining means which are maintained closed by the normal effects of-the weights themselves.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garment as characterized above which affords the wearer the necessary freedom of movement required for swimming through the water.
Another object is to provide a garment as characterized above which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture and which is rugged and dependable in operation.
The novel features which I consider characteristic of my invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The device itself, however, both as 3,135,098 Patented June 2, 1964 to its organization and mode of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a diver wearing a garment according to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the garment shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a front elevational view of such garment;
FIGURE 4 is a rear elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the bottom rear portion of the garment;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the top rear portion of such garment; and
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 7-7 of FIGURE 3.
Like reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, the embodiment chosen for illustration of the present invention is shown on a diver 10 and is identified generally with the numeral 12. The diver is also shown wearing a diving cap 14, a face mask 16, and a pair of fins or flippers 18. As is well understood by those persons skilled in the art, the face mask 16 protects part of the divers face, particularly his eyes, while affording transparent means through which the diver may see the surrounding area. Needless to say, mask 16 is made to conform to the divers face and is provided with water-tight sealing means to prevent water from getting between the mask and his face. The swim fins 18 are used, of course, to propel the diver through the water with an appropriate kicking action.
As shown most clearly in the other figures of the drawings, the garment or jacket 12 is in the form of a vest formed of heavy duty mildew-resistant canvas having left and right front panels 20 and 22, respectively, joined to a rear panel 24. The longitudinally extending forward edge margins of the front panels are free, the rearward edge margins thereof being appropriately sewed to the rear panel to provide arm holes 26 and 28. All of the free edges of the garment may be provided with suitable hemming tape as shown at 30 to provide a more finished appearance to the garment and to prevent fray ing of the exposed edges. The lower portion of the rear panel 24 is extended as, at 24a to afford additional protection for the lowerback of the wearer, andto afford means for accommodating the proper size oxygen tank or other breathing apparatus as will hereinafter become more apparent.
Fastening means in the form of a pair of transversely disposed upper straps 32 and 34, and a pair of transversely disposed lower straps 36 and 38 is provided for firmly fastening the garment to the torso of the wearers body. The straps 32 and 36 may be provided with metallic end pieces 32a and 26a respectively to prevent fraying of the ends of such straps and to facilitate their insertion into the respective buckles to be hereinafter described.
Each of the straps 34 and 38 is provided with a suitable buckle as shown at 40 and 42 respectively. Each buckle is comprised of a pair of annular or ring-like members which may be circular or square in shape, and may be formed out of metal, plastic or any other suitable material.
As shown at 44, rivets may be employed for firmly attaching the straps 32, 34, 36 and 38 to the front panels of the garment. This, of course, is in addition to the usual stitching employed for such purpose.
Each of the front panels 20 and 22 is provided with a pair of weight-receiving pockets. The pockets 46 and 48 on the left front panel 28 are identical with the pockets 50 and 52 on the right front panel 22. Accordingly, only the pockets 46 and 48 will be described herein in detail.
Each of the pockets 46 and 48 is generally rectangular in shape and is made of heavy duty mildew-resistant canvas. The pocket 46 is formed with a front member 46a and a rear member 46b which are sewn together at their side and bottom edges to provide the pocket. The upper portion of the front member 46a is sewn along its upper edgemargin to the left front panel 20. tothereby provide a pocket opening 460 facing said panel member.
In like manner, the lower pocket 48 is provided with front and rear member's 48a and 48b stitched together as shown, the upper portion of member 48a being firmly sewed to the front left panel 20 immediately beneath the pocket 46 as shown most clearly in FIGURE 7 of the drawings. Thus, pocket 48 is also provided with an opening 48c which faces panel 20.
Attached to rear panel 24 in a generally cylindricallyshaped housing 54 formed of heavy duty mildew-resistant canvas and defining a longitudinally extending open-ended enclosure. Such housing is rigidly secured to panel 24 by a suitable sewing operation along the opposite side edges thereof.
As shown most clearly in FIGURE of the drawings, a Y-shaped strap arrangement 56 is fastened across the bottom of housing 54 to provide an adjustable end wall therefor. Strap arrangement 56 is provided with end portions 58 and 60 which are interposed between the lower end 5411 of housing 54 and the lower portion 24a of rear panel 24. Means such as rivets 62 may be employed in addition to the usual stitching to retain end portions 58 and 60 in their assembled positions.
Strap arrangement 56 further includes an adjustment strap 64 which may be provided with a metallic or plastic end piece 64a. Strap 64 cooperates with a buckle 66 mounted relative to housing 54 by a loop 68 of strap material. Buckle 66 is comprised of a pair of annular members similar to the buckles 40 and 42 on the front of garment 12.
As shown most clearly in FIGURES 2, 4 and 6, a pair of straps 70 and,72 are provided across the upper end of housing 54. Said straps are fastened between the opposite edges of the upper end 54b of housing 54 and the rear panel 24 as shown most clearly in FIGURE 6. The free end of strap 70 is provided with a metallic or plastic end portion 70a while the free end of strap 72 is provided with a buckle 74 comprising a pair of annular rlngs.
A loop of canvas material is sewn on one side of housing 54 as shown at 54c for receiving the emergency actuating lever for the breathing apparatus as will hereinafter become more apparent.
Fixed to the straps 36 and 38 and depending therefrom as shown most clearly in FIGURE 2, is a plurality of game loops 75 to which fish or other underwater objects may be attached.
The garment 12 is particularly well adapted for underwater use, and is attached to the torso of the diver in a quick and easy manner. The breathing apparatus in the form of a tank 76 of pressurized oxygen is inserted into the housing 54 on the rear panel 24 of the garment, the pair of straps 70 and 72 being connected across the top of the tank to hold it against strap arrangement 56 across the lower end, which is tightened or slackened to adjustably raise and lower the tank 76. The. emergency lever 76a of the breathing apparatus is inserted through the loop 540 on the side of housing 54 to be within easy reach of the diver. Such lever 76a releases a reserve supply of oxygen afterthe main supply within the tank 76 has beenconsumed.
The garment 12 may then be. attached tothe divers body as shown in FIGURE 1, the pairs of straps 32 and 34 and 36 and 38 being fastened across the chest of. the
wearer. The buckles 40 and 42 are of the type wherein the free strap is initially inserted through both buckles and thereafter is looped over the top ring or annular member for insertion under the bottom member. However, to afford quick release. of the garment in the event of an emergency, the straps 32 and 36 are reversely folded back on themselves prior to being looped over the upper annular member and inserted under the lower member. Due to this arrangement, a quick pull or jerk on the ends of straps 32 and 36 causes such straps to become disengaged from the respective buckles. Thus a single pull on each, strap causesit to be completely released from its buckle. This feature, together with the fact that the entire garment, including. the breathing apparatus and counterbalancin'g weights, is quiteheavy, permits the garment to fall away from the diver. to enable him to escape the existing peril.
A further feature of the present invention is the provision of straps 32 and34 such. that they are not joined at the rear panel 24 but rather are brought merely to approximately the respective outer edges of the housing 54. This provides a section of rear, panel 24 between such straps to provide a predeterminedamount of flexibility for accommodating the usual expansion and contraction of the divers chest as he breathes. This feature is particularly desirable when using self-contained breathing apparatus as for instance tank 76 which affords pressurized oxygen to the diver 10 through suitable flexible conduits 76b. The pressurized oxygen causes the divers chest to expand as compared to his chest size when the garment was put on out of the water. Thus in view of this initial expansion and the usual breathing movements thereafter, itis necessary to have a predeter mined amount of flexibility the fastening. means for the garment 12.
It may or may not be desirableto separate straps 36 and 38 at the rearpanel 24 depending upon the particular persons build and the way in which the garment 12 fits his torso. That is, such straps would not have to be separated at rear panel 24 if they did not restrict his breathing movements. On the other hand, if such restriction was encountered, a predetermined gap should be 'left between the straps 36 and 38 to take advantage of the flexibility of the canvas material.
Buoyancy Weights should be inserted into pockets 46, 48, 50 and 52. This may be done either before or after the garment has been fastened to the wearers body. Insertion of the weights is accomplished by individually tilting the pockets upwardly. so as to expose the openings thereof. The weights are then inserted upwardly into the pockets, after which they may be returned to their original positions. After this hasbeen accomplished, the weights within each pocket will keep it closed due to the fact that the opening thereof will be facing the respective front panel of the. garment. Thus the weights are prevented from falling out or from being inadvertentlypushed out of the pockets. In order to remove the weights, the aboveexplained operation is merely reversed. That is, the pockets are again tilted upwardly to expose the openings thereof to permit the weights to be removed.
It is thus seen that the present invention provides a garment or jacket forunderwater use which does not require straps between the legs of the wearer which might prove to be cumbersome and uncomfortable. Also, the present invention provides a garment which affords all of the desired functions forunderwater use.
Although I have shown and described certain specific embodiments in my invention I am fullyaware that many modifications thereof are possible. My invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.
1. A garment for underwater use comprising:
a main portion adapted to fit about the torso of the wearer;
and a weight pocket located on the outside of said main a vest having right and left front panels; and a pair of upwardly open weight pockets hingedly attached at their outwardly disposed upper portions to the outside of said panels, respectively, whereby weights inserted into said pockets are gravity removable by outwardly and upwardly pivoting the unattached remainders of said pockets.
A garment to support weights and breathing apparatus for underwater use, said garment comprising:
vest having a pair of longitudinally extending free margins at the front thereof;
pair of upwardly open weight pockets hingedly attached at their outwardly disposed upper portions to the outside of the front of said vest whereby weights inserted into said pockets are gravity removable by outwardly and upwardly pivoting the unattached remainders of said pockets;
and quick-release fastening means attached to said vest and including a first transverse strap adjacent the upper portion of one of said edge margins, a second transverse strap adjacent the lower portion of one of said edge margins, first and second generally annular buckles for each of said first and second straps and located adjacent the upper and lower portions of the edge margins opposite said ones of said edge margins, each of said first and second straps being of a length sufiicient to permit it to be reversely folded to form a loop insertable through the adjacent said first buckle, thence through the adjacent said second buckle, and thence reversely foldable and insertable through the adjacent said first buckle whereby the wearer of said vest may quickly effect separaration of said free edge margins by pulling on each said loop and allowing the weight of the breathing apparatus and the weights to strip away said vest.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 653,201 Ancevine July 10, 1900 1,128,941 Brown Feb. 16, 1915 1,959,331 Bour May 22, 1934 2,120,420 Topper June 14, 1938 2,375,655 Irvin May 8, 1945 2,448,416 Carter Aug. 31, 1948 2,794,186 Butters June 4, 1957 2,817,393 Mitchell Dec. 24, 1957 2,982,105 Akers May 2, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 166,197 Sweden Feb. 10, 1959