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Publication numberUS3186004 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1965
Filing dateJun 7, 1962
Priority dateJun 7, 1962
Publication numberUS 3186004 A, US 3186004A, US-A-3186004, US3186004 A, US3186004A
InventorsRichard E Carlini
Original AssigneeRichard E Carlini
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective helmet
US 3186004 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1, 1965 R. E. CARLINI PROTECTIVE HELMET Filed June '7. 1962 ENTOR. Richard E. C grlz'zzz United States Patent 3,186,094, PRUTECTHVE HELMET Richard E. Carlini, 386 (Iumberland Parkway,

DesPlaines, Ill.-- 7 Filed June 7, 1962, Se No. 299,829

' 4 Claims. (Cl. 2-3) This invention relates to a protective helmet and more particularly to a helmet for use by players of Americantype football.

As the sport of American football has advanced since its inception, the equipment used by players for their protection from injury has reached a high state of development. Initially, protective head covering was not used by the players in football. As the number of head injuries increased football helmets became an accepted item of equipment to the point that helmets are now required by most conference rules. The football helmets, which were used priorto World War II, were primarily a leather cap with ear flaps. Later the helmets were improved to provide webbing in the helmet to give a greater degree of protection to the wearer. Subsequent to World War II a type of helmet was introduced which has a hard outer shell made of plastic with a web support mounted in the shell to space it from the wearers head. This particular type of helmet is now in common use by all major college and university football teams.

The present day plastic helmets give players a substantial degree of protection, but because of their hard outer shell, the players used the helmets as battering rams. This particular use of the helmet by the players has caused a large number of head and spinal injuries to the players. The combination of the hard outer shell and the webbing support, though improved over the oldfashioned leather helmet, has not served to reduce percentage-wise the number of head and spinal injuries. As a matter of fact, the percentage of head and spinal injuries has increased rather than decreased. It is therefore one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide an improved protective helmet which provides a greater cushioning for a wearers head than the present popular hard plastic and web suspension helmet now in vogue.

It is another object of the instant invention to provide a protective helmet which will adequately protect the wearer from the shock of an impact and at the same time have an outer surface which minimizes the danger of injury to other players.

It is a further object of the hereindisclosed invention to provide a protective helmet which protects the wearer from shock and minimizes danger of injury to other players and has a sufficiently rigid structure to receive and to position firmly face bars or other similar accessories to protect the wearers teeth and face from frontal injuries.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a protective helmet which has a soft outer surface, an in termediate. hard shell and aplurality of air-filled suspension strips which engage a wearers head to protect the wearer from injury and provide a high degree of comfort, which helmet is simple to construct and relatively inexpensive to produce.

Other objects and uses of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a perusal of the following specification in light of the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a players head shown in outline in a helmet embodying the hereindisclosed invention with portions of the helmet being broken away in FIGURE 1 with portions of the helmet separated in order to show better the construction of the instant helmet; and

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of the instant helmet taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1.

Referring now to the drawing and especially to FIG- URE 1, an athletes head generally shown in outline is shown with a protective helmet 10 mounted thereon to illustrate how the helmet is worn. The helmet 10, which embodies the present invention, generally consists of an inflatable inner supporting liner 12 which is engageable with the wearers head, a rigid skeleton 14 which is engageable with the liner and a soft flexible resilient casing 16 which covers the skeleton 14.

The liner 12 is made up of a plurality of resilient tubes which act as cushions between the skeleton 14- and the wearers head. The liner has a peripheral tube 18 which defines the outer periphery of the liner. A center tube 20 has one end opening into the front portion of the peripheral tube 18 and the other end connected to the rear portion of the peripheral tube so that the center tube divides the liner into two halves. Mounted in each of the halves of the liner is a doughnut tube 22 which surrounds the ear of the wearer and is engageable with wearers skull and upper portion of the wearers jawbone. The doughnut tube 22 also communicates with the peripheral tube. Eachv of the doughnut tubes 22 is connected to the central tube 20 by means of a plurality of finger tubes 24. The finger tubes 24 extend radially outward from the doughnut tube and provide a passage for flow of a fluid between the central tube and the doughnut tube.

As may be seen in FIGURE 2 the liner 12 has a valve 26 fitted into the peripheral tube. The valve 26 is a conventional valve and controls the flow of air in and out of the liner 12. Inasmuch as all of the tubes are interconnected, it is readily apparent that the liner may be simply inflated by applying air under pressure to valve 26 in a conventional fashion.

As was mentioned above, the skeleton 14 is mounted in engagement with the liner 12. The skeleton 14 con:

forms to the liner 12 so that all of the tubes in the liner are in engagement with the skeleton. The skeleton 14 has a peripheral guard 38 which is engageable with the peripheral tube 18 and a center bar 40 extends from the front portion of the skeleton to the rear portion to divide the skeleton 14 into two substantially equal halves. Each half of the skeleton has an arcuate portion or doughnut shield 42 which is engageable with a portion of its respective doughnut tube 2.2. In the center of each of the arcuate portions 42 is an ear aperture 44 which also provides ventilation to the interior of the helmet. A plurality of ribs 46 extend from the arcuate portion 42 to the center bar 46 to increase the rigidity of the skeleton and each of the ribs 4-6 is engageable with its respective tubular finger 24 so that the tubular fingers provide cushioning between the wearers head and the ribs 46. The space between the ribs 46 provides a path for air to flow through the helmet for ventilation. It is evident that the skeleton 14 is substantially rigid and the material used in the manufacture of the skeleton is a suitable molded plastic of the same type which is presently used for the manufacture of the outer shell of helmets.

The casing 16 is positioned over the skeleton 14 to provide a soft exterior for the skeleton. The casing 16 is made of a foam polyester and any polyester is suitable for use as long as it is resilient and does not easily take a permanent deformation. The casing 16 conforms to the shape defined by the skeleton 14 and has a plurality of vent apertures 48 which register with the spaces between the ribs 46 as may be clearly seen in FIGURE 3. The

3 casing also has an ear aperture 50 on each side which ear apertures 50 register with car apertures 44. The casing 16 is covered with a fabric 52 which in this instance is a woven nylon to provide a vented thin membrane. fabric serves to protect the casing from unnecessary abrasion and it also protects the casing from gouging by sharp objects such as cleats.

It is clear that a face bar 54 may be conveniently fixed to the instant helmet in a conventional fashion. The face bar is fixed to the skeleton 14 in a conventional fashion with the casing and fabric between the face bar and the skeleton. A chin strap 56 is also fixed to the helmet in the same manner that the face bar is fixed to the helmet.

It may be seen that the instant helmet does not lend itself to ready use as a battering ram, in that'the outer surface or the helmet is soft, so thus the player is discouraged from using his head as a battering ram which is often the cause of severe head and spinal injuries.

A more important aspect of the instant protective helmet is that the instant helmet has improved cushioning qualities. In experiments which were conducted with a helmet embodying the construction. described herein and a conventional hard outer shell web supported helmet the instant helmet had a 30% improved ability for absorbing the impact of a weight which was swung as a pendulum from a selected height.

It is evident from the construction that, when a force engages the protective helmet, additional cushioning is achieved by the casing 15. Force is then transmitted to the skeleton and then a secondary cushioning is achieved by the inflated liner 12. Thus, there is a double cushioning effect and an improved distribution of the force on the helmet.

A further advantage of the instant helmet is the improved vcntilation which the present helmet provides. A common complaint regarding the hard shell molded plastic helmets is that the helmets are unduly hot because of the lack of ventilation. The instant construction provides for direct ventilation through the helmet so that the wearerss head does not become unduly hot. Furthermore, as the wearer participates in the game and his helmet comes into use there is a pumping action through the helmet as the tubes of the liner are periodically compressed and returned to normal, so that air is pumped in and out of the helmet to provide additional cooling. If it also readily apparent that it is not necessary to have the player engage in contact in the game to achieve this cooling. When the player runs, there is a slight bounce of the helmet on his head which causes a pumping action to cool his head.

Although a specific embodiment of the hereindisclosed invention has been shown and described in detaiil above, it is readily apparent that those skilled in the art may make various and sundry modifications, changes and alterations without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. It is to be expressely understood that the instant invention is limited ony by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A protective helmet comprising, in combination, a vented resilient casing; a rigid vented skeleton positioned within said casing; and an inflatable inner supporting liner for engagement with a wearers head positioned in engagement with the interior of the skeleton to provide a cushion between the Wearers head and the skeleton, said liner having a flexible peripheral tube, a center tube having one end connected to and communicating with a forward portion of the peripheral tube and the other end connected to and communicating with a rearward portion of the peripheral tube to divide the peripheral tube into two halves, a pair of ear doughnut tubes connected to and communicating with opposite sides of the peripheral tube,

The

4; and a plurality of finger tubes connected to and communicating with the center tube and the doughnut tubes.

2. A protective helmet comprising, in combination, an inflatable inner supporting liner for engagement with a wearers head, said liner having a plurality of vents; a skeleton in engagement with the liner, said skeleton having an outer peripheral guard in engagement with the liner, a center bar formed integral with the peripheral guard and in engagement with the liner, a pair of doughnut shields formed integral with the peripheral guard and in engagement with the liner, and a plurality of ribs formed integral with the doughnut shields and the center bar and in engagement with the liner; and a resilient casing covering the skeleton, said casing being vented to allow air to pass therethrough.

3. A protective helmet comprising, in combination, an inflatable inner supporting liner for engagement with a wearers head, said liner having a pair of doughnut tubes for surrounding a wearers ears, a peripheral tube connected to the doughnut tubes and defining the outer pcriphery of the liner, a center tube having opposed ends connected to the peripheral tube, and a plurality of finger tubes connected to each of the doughnut tubes and extending substantially radially therefrom and being conneeted to the center tube; a skeleton in engagement with the supporting liner, said skeleton being in engagement with each of the tubes of the liner; and a flexible resilient casing covering the skeleton to provide a soft outer surface for the skeleton and to provide a soft protective helmet.

4. A protective helmet comprising, in combination; an inflatable inner supporting liner for engagement with a wearers head, said liner having a flexible peripheral tube, a center tube having one end connected to and communicating with a forward portion of the peripheral tube and the other end connected to and communicating with a rearward portion of the peripheral tube to divide the peripheral tube into two halves, a pair of ear doughnut tubes connected to and communicating with opposite sides of the peripheral tube, a plurality of finger tubes connected to and communicating with the center tube and the doughnut tubes, and a valve for controlling the flow of fluid into the liner; a skeleton in engagement with the liner, said skeleton having an outer peripheral guard in engagement with the peripheral tube of the liner, a center bar formed integral with the peripheral guard and in engagement with the center tube, a doughnut shield formed integral with the peripheral guard and in engagement with each of the doughnut tubes, each of said doughnut shields being formed integral with the peripheral guard, and a plurality of ribs formed integral with the doughnut shields and the center bar; a resilient soft casing covering the skeleton; a fabric covering the casing; a face guard fixed to the skeleton; and a chin strap fixed to the skeleton for securing the helmet to a wearers head.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,072,321 9/13 Fitch 23 1,868,926 7/32 Tatore et al. 23 2,296,335 9/42 Brady 23 2,618,780 11/52 Cushman 23 2,985,883 5/61 Marietta 29 FOREIGN PATENTS 116,305 12/42 Australia. 848,011 9/60 Great Britain.

JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner. DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification2/413, D29/106, 2/68
International ClassificationA42B3/04, A42B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/122
European ClassificationA42B3/12B2