US 3167794 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1965 B. B. BROWN 3,
FOLDABLE YOKE LIFE PRESERVER Filed June 12, 1961 s Sheets-Sheet 1 Feb. 2, 1965 B. B. BROWN 3,167,794
FOLDABLE YOKE LIFE PRESERVER Filed June 12, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 2, 1965 B. B. BROWN 3,167,794
FOLDABLE YOKE LIFE PRESERVER Filed June 12. 1961 s Sheets-Sheet s Unitedstates Patent 3,167,794 FOLDABLE YOKE, LIFE PRESERVER I Belden B. Brown, Wallacks Point, Stamford, Conn.
' Filed June 12, 1961, Ser. No. 116,498
7 1 Claim- (Ci. 9-338) This is-a continuation-in-part of application, Serial No. 84,806, fiIedJa nuaryZS, 1961, now Patent No. 3,065,476. f I r The present invention relates to life saving devices and more particularly to yoke-type lifepreservers.
Pillow and Combined cushion and life-belt life preservers are known. Generally the known combined cushions and life belt preservers consist of life belts or jacket or vest type life preservers that are relatively cumbersome'to place into use particularlyif the wearer is in the water when he attempts to put the life saving device on. Yoke-type life preservers are; known, how ever, these known life preservers require considerable storage space and can only be used exclusively for a life saving function. g r l It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a foldable, yoke-type life preserver usable as a life saving device, decorative cushion, headrestbr pillow easily stored asa compact buoyant foldedunitand readily accessible when needed. I j
A feature of the yoke-type .life preserver according to the invention is that the life preserver comprises two halves of molded closed cell: plastic; foam which are buoyant. 'Thdtwo'halves are pivotally attached to each other so that they may be disposed adjacent in side-byside relation in an extended condition forming substan! tially extensions of each other. One of the halves is provided with 'athrough substantially circular or oval opening for receiving the neck of the wearer. The two halves can be folded so that one overlies the otherin registry therewithv forming a compact, buoyant folded unit which can becovered to'provide a decorative and utilitarian cushion or pillow. l
One of the halves forming the body of the lifepre server is provided .with an upstanding portion which is received within'the. neck-receiving'opening of the other half of the life preserver when the preserver is .in a folded condition so that" a 'pillow or cushion with substantially smoothsurfaces is formed and can be covered as indicated heretofore. f V The cover is readily removable to allow quick access tothe preserver. In a folded and covered condition'the life preserver canbeused as a life saving cushion. It can also be openedfreadily in the water permitting the release of the life preserver which being a yoke-type life preserver, can be readily put into use by a person in the water without the difficulties encountered when attempting to put on a vest or belt type life preserver while in the water. :1; Other features andadvantages of the yoke-type life preserver in accordance with the present invention will be. better understood as described in the following specification andappended claim, in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:
FIG. I isa perspective-viewlof a life preserver, according to the invention; and is'illustrative of a condition in which two body portions forming two halves of the life preserver are in an extended side-by-side position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the life preserver shown in FIG. 1 in a folded condition;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the life preserver, according to the invention, and is illustrative of one method by which thebody halves are pivotally connected;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of anotherembodiment of the life preserver, according to the present invention, and is illustrative of integral pivoted body halves;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the folded life preserver shown in FIG. 2 with a cover thereon;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view'taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 are perspective views of a life preserver-covered accordingto ,the invention. in a folded condition and are illustrative of the manner in which the cover can be constructed for. easy access to the life preserver; 1 f
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a life preserver, according to the invention, and illustrates the life preserver in an extended condition;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the life preserver shown in FIG. 10 illustrating'its appearance in a folded condition; Y
FIG. 12 is a' perspective view of stillanother embodiment of a life preserver of the typefshown inQFIGFIO;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary perspective. view of another embodiment of a life preserver of the type shown in FIGS. 10 and 12; and 4 r FIG: 14: is a perspective view of a fiexible hinge member usable to pivotally hinge the body .halves of embodiments of the life preserver, according to the invention.
According to the drawings a yoke-type life preserver 1 constructed according to the invention consists of two halves or body portions comprising a buoyant first body portion 2 and a second buoyant body portion 3. The first portion has, a through substantially circular opening 4, extendingthrough to the opposite major face surfaces thereof, for receiving the neck of a wearer of the life preserver and is provided witha through slit 5 starting at the opening 4 and extending to aside surface 6 and terminating thereon. The second buoyant body por tion'3 is formed fromtwo parts 9, 10 defining a narrow slit12 between them which is substantially a continuation of the slit 5 when the body halves are. disposed adjacent each other in a side-by-side extended relationship in the manner shown in-FIG. 1, Theeslits 5 and 12 and more particularly the slit 5 function to permit placement of the. Iife'preserver over the head of the wearer without an excessively large opening when the life preserver is made of a material that does not have, very much give or stretchability. Y Y
The halves have substantially equal thickness and substantially equal peripheral dimensions and are pivotally connected by. heavy fabric strips, as for example web strips 14, 16 bonded or otherwise secured to buoyant body portion 2 and the two parts 9 and 10 respectively. The strips 14, 16 are bonded or otherwise secured to the life preserver halves by a water resistant bonding agent and have tear strength sufficient to withstand tension comparable to that which the body halves themselves can withstand. The. strips are flexible so that the body portions are positionable face-to-face relative to each other and the body portion 2 can overlie body portion 3 in registry therewith so that the life preserver can be folded into a compact unit in the manner shown in FIG. 2 and when the body portions are in an extended condition a small space may be formed between them.
The two parts 9, 10 forming the second body half have an upstanding plug-like insert portion 18 which has substantially the same. transverse dimensions as the transverse dimensions of the opening 4 and is received therein in the manner shown in FIG. 2 when the life preserver is folded into a compact folded unit. The plug-like element serves also to hold the two halves from excessive relative movement when in a folded'condition and the life preserver is being used as a cushion or headrest. The life preserver is worn in the manner of a bib with the plug-like insert portion 18 extending forwardly of the wearer and is pro- Patented Feb. 2, 1965 vided with suitable tie-straps,'for example .FIG. 3.
a pair of web. straps 20 secured'to the body portion 2 and apair of straps 21' secured to respective parts of the portion 3 through openings 23, 24 in the manner shown and which may be suitably' provided' Withsnaps or; other securing I means, not shown, if desired.= When the -life preserver is being worn in this manner. the element or insert portion 18 functions toprovide the lower or second portion of the life preserver with greater displacement'than the upper or first body portion with the opening 4. I
- The two body halves are preferably made of a buoyant plastic, for eXarnple,:a unicellular-vinyl or foamformed by trea'tment of a suitable polyester; lThe plastic-rnaterial1 isfof .suflicient thickness and area to buoyup or sustain.
the wearer of a given weight depending on the, individual preserver. The body portions preferablyhave the zone or area in which the openings or holes 23, 24am disposed and the areas to which the strips 14,- 16 are bonded made of a strengthened plastic material to insure adequate strength in these areas- The opening 4 is suitably disthe cover. -The,cover is provided with straps 46 secured thereto so that the covered preservercanbe used in the manner comparable to a life ring when a user is in the. Water and he wishes to hang on tothebuoyantcushion rather than removethe preserver from its cover. In order to provideeasy access tov the life-preserver and, quickremovalof the casing orcover, 43; the cover is provided. with a quickrelease materia1,-for Iexample, -Vel-Cr'o, along posed on the body portion Zproviding asufiicie'nt distance I or space 26between the opening and a side or end surface 27 of body portion=2 so thatthe head of the wearer of the life preserver is buoyed up and held up comparable to the i function of a,collar on a vest life jacket or preserver.
While the embodiment shown in'FIGL l has the strips 14, 16 bonded or otherwise secured to corresponding face surfaces of the twoportions 2, 3 another embodiment of V the life preserver is theuse of strap hinges or web strips 3 29, 30. mounted on the side surfaces 31, .32 of-two body halves 34, of a life preserver in the manner shown in The strap hinges may be bonded or molded directly into the plastic therein and form a straphinge seams or corresponding marginal edges ,47-51 so that a quick yank on thehandlAS willpull the cover apart in the manner shown in FIGS.- 7' and. 18 permitting quick access to thelife preserver. It is understood that cor- I responding marginal edges jointly, forming ,a .seam are similarly'numbered to simplify the drawingsl a Moreover, quick releasecan be provided by the use of rust-proof snaps 54 provided along margins orsearnsof a cover 56 in a construction of the type shown'inFIG. 9 on seams corresponding to those shown in FIGS.- 7 and 8;
- The rust-proof snaps are madeofqbrass or some similar rust-proof material. I
The yoke-type life preserver; according to the invention,
is also constructed'with the body halves or portions of substantially the same, peripheral configuration and thick-v ness of buoyant plastic materialwith the second body portion constructed as anintegral. whole. f Examples of this type of constructionareillustrated inFIGS. 10-13. C Qrding to'iFIG. 10' a yoke-type life preserver constructedfof integral body portions 'comprises a buoyant first :body' portion. 60 and a second buoyant bodyportion 61. The first body portion '60 has a through opening 64 extendingthrough the body portion to the major face 'surv faces thereof andconfigured for receiving the neck of a operable somewhat comparable 'to'butt-hinges'whenthe Y abutting sides 31', 32 are placed in adjacent,-substantially abutting relationship when the jacket "is "in an extended position comparable to the manner shown in FIG. 1." T
The life preserver is constructable in the manner shown in FIG. 4 with two body halves 37, 38ljoin'ed, along an adjoining edge 39 of the bodyportions. In this instance the plastic joining the body-portions is sufficiently reduced in thickness to permit face-t'o-face positioning; of the body halves 37,38 in registry in themanner shown in FIG. 2.1
' It will be understood that the plastic inthis instance along the area 39 is of sufficient strength towithstand repetitive flexure'and the stresses to whichthejacket would normally be subjected to in use by a wearer-jumping into the Water or whilein the water; I
It will beunderstood that in the various embodiments II described the configuration of the life preservers is the same and each of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 3 and wearer of, thelife preserver. ln' thisconstru'ction the opening vti t differs from the openings of the other embodi- 'ments, for example theopeningA, in that it is non-circular and is substantially oval in configuration.
A through slit 65 is provided .inthe first-bodyportion starting at the neck-receiving opening .64 and extending to a' side surface 66 ofthe portion .60 and terminates there. on. p The second buoyant bodyportion 61 substantially form'sfa continuation of. the portien 60 when the bodyhalves or portions arev disposed adjacenteach other in a side-by-side extended relationship in-the' mannershown in FIG; 10.
The two bodyportions 6,0,- 61 are of substantially equal" thickness and substantially equal peripheraldimension and are pivotally connected by hinge means comprising afleX- 1ble,- thick fabric strip .69 bonded .or otherwise secured to the life preserverhalves by a water resistant-bonding agent.
The. strip69 is bonded .on thebody halves, on a major face surface thereof whichcorrespond to the inner-face surfaces ofthe life, preserver when the preserver; is folded casing or cover 43in the manner shown in FIGJ. The
cover 43 is preferably made of a decorative, water repel not shown, to provide breathing of the. life preserver in the event that the preserver is constructed of amaterial requiring access to the atmosphere or while. drying out after. use. tion internally of the casingor cover 43 .as shown in FIG. 6, the insert 18 is flush with, the corresponding s urfaces of the two halves of the life preserver so that a lent material and may be provided with breather holes.
smooth compact unit usable-as a pillow or cushion is I formed.
A 'handle45 is mounted on an edge of a panel of the, cover which provides easy removal of the preserver, from I When the. life preserver is in a foldedcondi- I in the manner illustrated inPIG'. '11. The hinge strip 69 fixes the two body. portions relative to each other. holding :them in alignment and spaced inthe position shown in FIG. 10 corresponding to an extended condition with a space 71 between the. two body portions. I
The strip 69 is made of a-flexible material toallow folding the life preserver with. the body portion 60 overlying the body portion 61 as illustrated inFIG. 11. The strip 69 and the bond formed between it :and the body portions havetear strengthsufli'cient'towithstand tension comparable to and greater than that which the body halves I themselves can withstand. The fiexible'hinge strip 69: 65'
may be provided witha tab 69a which is foldable over'a, sidesurface 70 of the .portion 61 and bonded thereon, to preclude tearing of ,the'plastic material-from which the body portions are formed. v The second body portion 61 is providedwith a prominence and plug-like element .or insert 73*which'is' dis-' posed in an upstanding position on a major inner face of this bodyportion and is made of the' same material as the. body portion. This upstanding-insert is formed integral with the body portion or otherwise bonded thereon. The. plug-like element or insert 73 isireceived'in the opening 64 thereby substantially filling it to form a cushion. The element 73 is oval configuration and in the xampl i lus d as the lo e pa x iaq ntth body portion 61 dimensioned to fit substantiallysnugly in the opening 64, Theelernent 73 has bevelled side sur 1 faces 73a thereby leaving a space, as shown in FIG. 11 between its side surfaces and the surfaces defining the opening 64. Its height is such that its top 73b is substantially flush with the outermajor face surface of the body portion 6 0 when the jacketis in its folded constrip of fabric 77 bonded on the major inner face of the second body portion. The remaining length 75b of the strap is free to encircle the waist of the wearer and is provided with a hook 79 securable to a ring 78 on the fixed length 75a of the strap. The fabric strip 77 is bonded with a water resistant adhesive or otherwise secured to the inner face of the second body portion and has a part thereof adjacent the ring 78 and extends across the inner major face of the portion 61 and thereby provides protection against abrasion and wear from the-hook 79 when hooked on the ring 78 during use of the preserver and reinforces the portion of the preserver to which the tie strap is anchored. The strap 75 is, of course, provided with adjustment means for variably adjusting the overall length thereof. The tie strap is folded in the manner shown in FIG. 10 to allow folding the portions into a cushion.
Another embodiment of a foldable life preserver in which the second body portion is constructed as an integral whole is illustrated in FIG. 12. In this embodiment, a first buoyant body portion 82 is pivotally connected to a buoyant second body portion 83 which is constructed as an integrated whole and is provided with an upstanding plug-like insert portion, not shown, receivable in an opening 85 in which the neck of thewearer is received. In this construction hinge means in the form of a flexible fabric strip 87, constructed similarly to the strip 69, is bonded as heretofore described to the next adjacent side surfaces of the two body port-ions as illustrated. The hinge means 87 has a cutaway portion forming a tab which permits a through slit 89 in the first body portion 82 to be open from the side surface of the first body portion 82 into the neck opening 85 so that the body portion 82 can be readily manipulated on placing the portion 82 over the head of the wearer.
A third embodiment of the type of construction of the life preserver in which the second body portion is formed as an integral whole is illustrated in FIG. 13 in which a buoyant first body portion 90 is pivotally secured to a second buoyant body portion 92 and hinge means 93, in the form of a flexible strip of fabric material, is bonded on a side surface of the second body portion 92 and on the inner major face surface of the first body portion 90 so that the portion 90 can be folded overlying the body portion 92 and only substantially one half of the hinge means is disposed between the two body portions when the jacket is in a folded condition.
In this embodiment a plug-like portion, not shown, is formed or otherwise mounted on the body portion 92 and is received in an opening 94. The construction of the hinge means or strip 93 is substantially similar to the construction of FIG. 14 in which a tab 93a is bonded onto the major inner face surface of the second body portion 92 and allows a through slit 95 to operate in the manner hereto-fore described with respect to the other embodiments of this type of construction of the life preserven. It is to be understood that in each construction, the hinge, means holds the two body portions in fixed spaced positions when the life preserveris in an extended condition and allow the portions to be placed in face-to-face relationship in registry when the life the preserver is folded into a compact unit. Moreover, in each construction the plug-like insert increases the displacement, thereby increasing the buoyancy, of the second portion so that the second portion can lift more weight. Moreover, those skilled in the art will recognize that if the wearer is prone in the water with his face downwardly the ineserts or pluglike elements will be effective in each embodiment to cause the wearer to be rotated and held so that his face is upwardly relative to the surface of the water when the wearer is inclined relative to the vertical that is in a lifeless, or motionless prone position. But there is no impediment to swimming with the preserver on.
The life preserver illustrated in FIGS. 10-13 may each be covered with a decorative cover or casing, not shown, in the manner heretofore described with respect to the other embodiments so that a smooth compact unit usable as a pillow or cushion is formed as heretofore disclosed.
It is to be understood that the two body halves or portions of each of the embodiments of the life preservers illustrated and described can be made by molding the halves or alternatively the body halves can be made from sheets of suitable buoyant plastic material which are themselves molded or otherwise formed and then cut to dimension- Moreover, the life preservers are preferably coated or otherwise covered by a protective skin, for example, by dipping in known manner in a suitable self-vulcanizing plastic material that will strengthen the various bonds and increase the tear strength of the body halves and other component body parts of the life preservers.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described it will be understood that many modifications and changes can be made within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What I claim and desire to secure by letters patent is:
A foldable, yoke-type life preserver comprising buoyant first and second body portions pivotally secured for movement relative to each other for positioning in adjacent side-by-side relationship and positionable relative to each other in face-to-face relationship so that one body portion overlies the other in registry therewith so that said life preserver is foldable into a compact, buoyant, folded unit and in said side-by-side relation the life-preserver is inan extended condition and said body portions form substanconfiguration of a quadrilateral in which at least two sides are substantially parallel, said first portion having a through opening spaced inwardly from the outer edges of said first body portion and extending through to the major face surfaces of the body thereof for receiving therein the neck of a wearer of the life preserver, said buoyant second body portion comprising a single, unitary, buoyant prominence on a major surface of said second body portion, said prominence being disposed spaced inwardly from the outer edges of said second body portion in a position for insertion into said through opening in said first body portion and having circumferential dimensions defining a volume comprising a single center of buoyancy displaced relative to a center of buoyancy of said second body portion and displaced outwardly from said major face surface in a position outwardly from said major surface effective to position thet wearer in an upright position jointly with said portions and to develop a turning moment effective to rotate the wearer of said preserver to a position in which the face of the wearer is constantly kept ina direction away from the water in" 1,366,345 Bailey Jam--25, 1921' the event the wearer is'in a rest condition in the water, 1,670,887 I Gibson May 22, 1928 and means to' secure the life-preserver on the body of the; 2,313,151 Johnson Mar. 9, 1943 wearer with said'second body portion lower than said 2,374,580 Brown" Apr; 24; 194 5 first portion and said prominence extending in a direction 5 2,629,118 Frieder' Feb. 24, 19 53 away :from the front side of the body of said wearer. v 2,897,821 1 Lerner .f Aug. 4, 1959 References Cited in the file of this patent 3% w f- Y- 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS y OR G A N 1,002,701 Kasztriner Sept. 5,1911 10 7 6,433-