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Publication numberUS3146461 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 1, 1964
Filing dateNov 20, 1962
Priority dateNov 20, 1962
Publication numberUS 3146461 A, US 3146461A, US-A-3146461, US3146461 A, US3146461A
InventorsKavanagh Frank J
Original AssigneeProt Equipment Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Athletic equipment
US 3146461 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1954 F. J. KAVANAGH 3,146,461

ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT Original Filed May 8, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.|

FIG.3

INVENTOR. FRANK J. KAVANAGH Was 54:44!

HIS ATTORNEYS.

p 1, 1964 F. J. KAVANAGH 3,146,461

ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT Original Filed May 8, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet. 2

FIG.9

INVENTOIL FRANK J. KAVANAGH Myra HIS ATTORNEYS.

United States Patent Pennsylvania Continuation of application Ser. No. 657,771, May 8, 1957. This application Nov. '20, 1962, Ser. No. 239,872

Claims. (Cl. 2-2) This invention relates to athletic equipment and, more specifically, to protective equipment adapted to be worn by athletes for the prevention of injury, one object being the provision of more satisfactory equipment of this nature.

Protective equipment, such as helmets, shoulders pads, hip pads, shin guards, and the like, are commonly Worn by athletes engaging in a great variety of sports involving bodily contact where the danger of injury is present. Such equipment has heretofore comprised a relatively hard outer shell of leather, vulcanized fiber, or other material of this nature, and an inner layer of soft padding material. The hard outer layer received the shock and served to spread the impact over a large area where it was absorbed and cushioned by the soft material underneath.

Many sports involve violent bodily contact between the players. In cases of this sort, the hard outer shell of con ventional equipment often causes injury to opposing players, particularly if an unprotected part of their body should come into violent contact with the hard portion of the opponents equipment. For this reason, it is desirable to provide protective equipment having no hard outer surface and consisting entirely of soft padding material, and the provision of such equipment is another object of this invention.

While protective equipment consisting entirely of soft cushioning material has heretofore been known, such equipment has not proved satisfactory because of the inability to protect the wearer from impact delivered in a small area by a relatively sharp object such as an opponents foot or knee. When such a blow is delivered on conventional soft protective equipment, the padding cannot spread the impact over a larger area, and therefore absorb the localized impact, and consequently inadequate protection is afforded. It is another object of this invention to remedy these shortcomings of known soft, protective equipment by providing equipment having high resistance to localized impact.

Athletic protective equipment, particularly used in schools, is often worn by different persons. This interchange of equipment often causes the spread of infection from one wearer to another. For this reason, it is another object of this invention to provide protective equipment which may be easily cleaned and disinfected in order to prevent the spread of contagion between different players.

Protective equipment worn by athletes engaged in strenuous athletic activities presents a considerable impediment to free motion. For this reason, a further object of this invention is the provision of protective equipment of relatively light, compact and flexible nature which will offer the least possible impediment to free action on the part of the players.

Players engaged in strenuous athletic activities tend to perspire rather freely. Conventional protective equipment, composed of cloth, felt, hair or other similar fibrous material, tends to absorb large quantities of perspiration which adds considerably to their weight and makes such equipment unpleasant to wear. For this reason, it is a still further object of this invention to provide athletic protective equipment having an impervious, moistureproof surface, which will not absorb perspiration during use.

3,146,461 Patented Sept. 1, 1964 This application is a continuation of cation, Serial No. 657,771, filed May abandoned.

To these and other ends the invention resides in certain improvements and combinations of parts, all as will be hereinafter more fully described, the novel features being pointed out in the claims at the end of the specification.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a set of shoulder pads embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, schematic crosssectional view of the plastic material used in this invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a blank of the shoulder piece of the pads of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a view of the blank of FIG. 4 after folding it and forming;

FIG. 6 is a top inforced member;

FIG. 7 is a top inforcing member;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a blank and FIG. 9 is a view of an arm member after forming.

Athletic protective equipment embodying this invention and herein described for purposes of illustration, preferably comprises one or more pads cut from foam plastic material, formed to conform to the portion of the body to be protected, and coated with an impervious vinyl plastic coating.

The material used for forming the equipment of the present invention preferably comprises a closed-cell foam material which is soft, has the property of high impact resistance, and relatively slow recovery to its initial shape. Foamed vinyl plastic material, such as that sold commercially by the United States Rubber Corporation under the name Ensolite has been found satisfactory for this purpose. Such material is shown in schematic cross section in FIG. 2. This material is composed of a large number of small closed non-interconnected cells each filled with a suitable gas. These cells each form an individual resilient cushion, which forms a shock absorbing mass. However, the relatively nonelastic nature of the vinyl plastic imparts a certain amount of deadness to the entire mass which absorbs and dissipates impact energy and prevents the plastic from rapidly returning to its initial form. This combination of properties forms a structure that is soft, and readily absorbs and dissipates shock. While the foam plastic as described above presents a porous surface, the pores are not interconnected, and thus, the gas trapped in each individual cell is compressed by shock and forms a resilient, shock absorbing cushion.

Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a set of shoulder pads made in accordance with this invention. The shoulder pad of FIG. 1 comprises elongated shoulder members 16 (FIGS. 4 and 5), arm pieces 12 (FIGS. 8 and 9), and outer and inner reinforcing members 14 and 16 (FIGS. 6 and 7, respectively). Shoulder members 10 are elongated strips of foam plastic, as shown in FIG. 4, each having a tapered section 18 along its inner edge and a pair of triangular darts 2% cut into the other or outer edge. A plurality of eylet holes 15 are punched along one or both inner edges for the reception of laces, as hereinafter described. Members 10 are folded in a substantially U-shape as shown in FIG. 5, and the edges of the darts 20 are cemented together to make the pieces conform to the natural curve of the wearers shoulder. Tapered area 18, which is adjacent to the wearers my pending appli- 8, 1957, and now plan view of a blank of an outer replan view of a blank for an inner refor an arm piece;

neck, improves the smoothness of the fit, and allows greater freedom for movement.

Arm pieces 12 are cut from a sheet of foam material in the irregular indented shape shown in FIG. 8. These pieces are folded into a substantially U-shaped form as shown in FIG. 9, and the edges of the indentations are adhesively fastened together at 21 to produce a shape as shown in FIG. 9. These pieces may be reinforced by a line 22 of stitching running up the front, across the top, and down the back as shown in the figure. Further reinforcement may be provided by strips of tape 24 (FIG. 1) applied to the lower edges.

The shoulder pads are assembled by cementing armpieces 12 to shoulder member 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Outer and inner reinforcing pieces 14 and 16 are then cemented in place as shown in the figure. Tabs 26 are sewn to the front and rear of members for the reception of buckles as hereinafter explained.

The assembled halves of the shoulder pad are then coated by spraying with an impervious vinyl plastic coating material which will bond to the foam plastic and produce a smooth, resilient, and impervious surface 36 (FIG. 2). Two half shoulder pads are then assembled by means of lacing 28 and 30 inserted in holes 15, and buckles 32 are fastened to the free ends of tabs 26. Suitable straps 34 are then attached to buckles 32 for reinforcing and holding the lower portion of the shoulder pads together. While the components of the shoulder pads and other protective equipment embodying this invention may be cut from sheet material as described above, it is contemplated that these pieces may be made by molding or aariiy other known method of forming plastic foam rnateri An important feature of this invention is the omission of any hard outer shell members of leather, fiber, or the like material, which form a prominent feature of conventional shoulder guards heretofore known in the art. Since the closed-cell vinyl plastic used in the manufacture of the equipment of the present invention has high impact resistance, the wearer is completely protected, while the omission of hard members prevents injury to opponents who may come into violent contact with the wearer. Thus, equipment herein disclosed not only affords complete protection for the wearer, but also serves to protect the other players from possible injury.

The protective equipment herein disclosed is lighter than conventional equipment, and therefore, tends to minimize the fatigue suffered by players in active sports. The flexible nature of this equipment and the omission of rigid members affords a more comfortable fit and greater freedom of action than that afforded by conventional equipment. The impervious surface makes this equipment easier to clean and maintain, and minimize the danger of infection when such equipment is worn by more than one player. At the same time the non-absorbent nature of the impervious coating prevents the absorption of perspiration which materially adds to the weight of conventional padded equipment comprising fibrous materials.

While this invention has been herein illustrated in terms of a set of shoulder pads, this construction is equally applicable to any other type of protective equipment whether of a non-piece nature, such as shin, thigh and arm guards, or equipment built up of a number of members such as hip guards and the shoulder guards described above. In each case, the omission of hard outer shell members, and the shock absorbing qualities of the material used, and the impervious nature of the coating have all the advantages described above.

It will thus be seen that the invention accomplishes its objects and while it has been herein disclosed by reference to the details of preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that such disclosure is intended in an illustrative, rather than a limiting sense, as it is contemplated that various modifications in the construction and arrangement of the parts will readily occur to those skilled in the art, within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In athletic protective equipment, a jacket comprising a pair of members each consisting of a one-piece body of flexible, closed-cell vinyl material adapted to extend over a shoulder and around the adjacent upper portion of the wearers body, said members having edges adapted to extend adjacent each other at the front and back of the wearer with portions thereof cut away to provide a neck opening and said adjacent edges being formed with lacing eyelets, lacing means for adjustably securing said adjacent edges together, a one-piece pad of said material having a part extending over and cemented to the shoulder portion of each member and a part for covering and protecting the upper portion of the arm with the opposite edges of said parts extending inwardly to form a hinge therebetween, reinforcing strips of tape enclosing and cemented to said hinge edges, and reinforcing and cushioning layers of said closed-cell vinyl material cemented to the surfaces of said pads, said members and their parts and cushioning layers being covered with a continuous coating of impervious plastic material to render the same impervious to moisture and dirt.

2. In athletic protective equipment, a jacket comprising a pair of members each consisting of a one-piece body of flexible, closed-cell vinyl material adapted to extend over a shoulder and around the adjacent upper portion of the wearers body, darts cut into the outer edge of each member with the edges of said darts cemented together to conform each member to the wearers shoulder, said members having inner edges adapted to extend adjacent each other at the front and back of the wearers body with portions thereof cut away to provide a neck opening and said adjacent edges being formed with lacing eyelets, lacing means for adjustably securing said adjacent edges together, a one-piece pad of said material having a part extending over and cemented to the shoulder portion of each member and a part for covering and protecting the upper portion of the wearers arm with the opposite edges of said parts extending inwardly to forma hinge therebetween, reinforcing strips of tape enclosing and cemented to said hinge edges, and reinforcing and cushioning layers of said closed-cell vinyl material cemented to the upper and lower surfaces of said pads, said members and their pads and cushioning layers being covered with a continuous coating of impervious plastic material to render the same impervious to moisture and dirt.

3. In athletic protective equipment, a jacket comprising a pair of members each consisting of a one-piece body of flexible, closed-cell vinyl material adapted to extend over a shoulder and around the adjacent upper portion of the wearers body, said members having inner edges adapted to extend adjacent each other at the front and back of the wearers body with portions thereof cut away to provide a neck opening and said adjacent edges being formed with lacing eyelets, lacing means for adjustably securing said adjacent edges together, a one-piece pad of said material having a part extending over and cemented to the shoulder portion of each member and a part for covering and protecting the upper portion of the wearers arm with the opposite edges of said parts extending inwardly to form a hinge therebetwen, reinforcing strips of tape enclosing and cemented to said hinge edges, reinforcing and cushioning layers of said closed-cell vinyl material cemented to the surfaces of said pads, tabs of plastic sheet material secured to the outer edge of each member adjacent the outer ends thereof, and buckle and strap means adjustably connecting said tabs and the outer ends of each member for reinforcing and adjustably holding together the lower outer ends of each member to conform the same to the wearers body.

4. In athletic protective equipment, a jacket comprising a pair of memberseach consisting of a one-piece body of flexible, closed-cell vinyl material adapted to extend over a shoulder and around the adjacent upper portion of the Wearers body, darts cut into the outer edge of each member with the edges of said darts cemented together to conform each member to the wearers shoulder, said members having inner edges adapted to extend adjacent each other at the front and back of the wearers body with portions thereof cut away to provide a neck opening and said adjacent edges being formed with lacing eyelets, lacing means for adjustably securing said adjacent edges together, a one-piece pad of said material having a part extending over and cemented to the shoulder portion of each member and a part for covering and protecting the upper portion of the wearers arm with the opposite edges of said parts extending inwardly to form a hinge therebetween, reinforcing strips of tape enclosing and cemented to said hinge edges, reinforcing and cushioning layers of said closed-cell vinyl material cemented to the upper and lower surfaces of said pads, tabs of plastic sheet material secured to the outer edge of each member adjacent the outer ends thereof, and buckle and strap means adjustably connecting said pads and the outer ends of each member for reinforcing and adjustably holding together the lower outer ends of each member to conform the same to the wearers body, said members and their pads and cushioning layers and tabs being covered with a continuous coating of impervious plastic material to render the same impervious to moisture and dirt.

5. In athletic protective equipment, a jacket comprising a body of flexible closed-cell vinyl material adapted to extend over the shoulders and around the adjacent upper portions of the wearers body to enclose and protect the same, said body having an opening at one side with the edges thereof arranged to extend into proximity with each other, means for releasably securing said edges together, said body having portions thereof cut away to provide a neck opening, a pair of pads of said material each having a part extending over and cemented to one of the shoulder portions of said body, each of said pads having a part for covering and protecting the upper portion of one of the arms of the wearer with the opposite edges of said parts extending inwardly to form a hinge therebetween, reinforcing strips of tape enclosing and cemented to said hinge edges, and reinforcing and cushioning layers of said closed-cell vinyl material cemented to the surfaces of said pads, said body, said pads and said cushioning layers being covered with a continuous coating of impervious plastic material to render the same impervious to moisture and dirt.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,970,130 Dickenson Aug. 14, 1934 2,013,794 Taylor Sept. 10, 1935 2,338,535 Pfleumer a Jan. 4, 1944 2,414,051 Mallory Jan. 7, 1947 2,550,044 Delsalle Apr. 24, 1951 2,976,539 Brown Mar. 28, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 946,202 France May 27, 1949

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1970130 *Mar 18, 1933Aug 14, 1934Alfred Edwin DickensonProtective device
US2013794 *Nov 14, 1932Sep 10, 1935Taylor James PFootball guard
US2338535 *May 28, 1942Jan 4, 1944Rubatex Products IncShock absorbing and buoyant vest
US2414051 *Sep 20, 1943Jan 7, 1947Wingfoot CorpSuit
US2550044 *Jan 5, 1948Apr 24, 1951Daniels C R IncShoulder protecting device
US2976539 *Dec 8, 1953Mar 28, 1961Us Rubber CoCold weather clothing
FR946202A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3257666 *Dec 16, 1963Jun 28, 1966Hoffman Clarence ARecoil pad
US3446880 *Dec 31, 1964May 27, 1969James H EnicksMethod of manufacturing a protective athletic pad
US3533621 *Jul 28, 1967Oct 13, 1970Clark Maurice HShoulder springboard device
US4320537 *Apr 25, 1980Mar 23, 1982A-T-O Inc.Shoulder pad
US4514862 *Jul 25, 1983May 7, 1985Costa Anthony AGun recoil protector
US5060313 *Apr 2, 1990Oct 29, 1991Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Football shoulder pad with outer pads
US5187812 *Oct 24, 1991Feb 23, 1993Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Football shoulder pad with outer pads
US5487187 *Mar 22, 1994Jan 30, 1996Zide; Rodney M.Underarm straps for shoulder pads
US7828759Apr 9, 2009Nov 9, 2010Arensdorf Stephen CHeel lock ankle support
US8272073Dec 31, 2007Sep 25, 2012Stromgren Athletics, Inc.Athletic protective padding
US20020152542 *May 27, 2002Oct 24, 2002Dennis Michael R.Body-contact protective interface structure and method
US20040128748 *Nov 13, 2003Jul 8, 2004Monica Mark D.Protective pad apparatus having air ventilating and restrictive radiant heat transfer/absorption aspects
EP0005615A1 *May 11, 1979Nov 28, 1979Jhoon Goo RheeA protective device for parts of the body
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/462, 2/16
International ClassificationA63B71/12, A63B71/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/12
European ClassificationA63B71/12