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Publication numberUS3230544 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1966
Filing dateAug 4, 1964
Priority dateAug 4, 1964
Publication numberUS 3230544 A, US 3230544A, US-A-3230544, US3230544 A, US3230544A
InventorsMager Frank J
Original AssigneeMager Frank J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Headgear having a neck protecting flap
US 3230544 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 25, 1966 F. J. MAGER 3,230,544

HEADGEAR HAVING A NECK PROTECTING FLAP Filed Aug. 4, 1964 INVENTOR. FRANK J. MAGER .4 TTOR NE Y United States Patent 3,230,544 HEADGEAR HAVING A NECK PROTECTING FLAP Frank J. Mager, 1907 Grand Blvd, Mouessen, Pa. Filed Aug. 4, 1964, Ser. No. 387,423 4 Claims. (Cl. 2-3) This invention relates to protective headgear, and more particularly to the provision of novel means associated with headgear for protecting the neck of the wearer against injury.

The use of headgear on helmets in various sports and other activities is quite common. Particularly in the game of football, considerable body contact is encountered by the player, and football helmets are mandatory to protect the heads of the players against injury. In most cases, the helmet comprises a rigid plastic or leather shell formed to generally fit a wearers head and which is padded on the inside to avoid direct contact of the inside of the helmet with the wearers head. The helmet is usually provided with a face guard rigidly affixed to the helmet to protect the face of the wearer.

In recent years, serious injury has resulted to many football players as a result of ill-fitting helmets or as a result of the face guard being pushed upward during play. The impact of the rear rim of the helmet on the back of the neck may cause serious injury to the cervical vertebrae or other areas of the neck. The use of additional padding in the rear of the helmet which contacts the neck area has not been effective to avoid these injuries.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved protective headgear which employs novel means in the neck area to protect the wearer against neck injuries.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved protective headgear containing novel means for protecting the neck area which is easily adaptable to existing forms of headgear and which does not materially add to the cost of manufacturing the headgear.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved protective headgear which is suitable as a football helmet and which is particularly adaptable for use in football helmets comprising a face guard.

The present invention and the attainment of the above objects will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure which follows:

In its broadest aspects, the present invention contemplates a protective headgear comprising a rigid shell generally contoured to fit the head, a hinged, rigid rim portion at the rear of said headgear, and resilient shockabsorbing means on the inner surface of the rim portion, whereby the said rim portion upon contact with the neck of the wearer will be displaced and will not rigidly bear down on the neck of the wearer.

In the accompanying drawings, the invention has been shown merely by way of examples and in preferred forms, and it is contemplated that many variations and modifications thereof may be made which will be comprised within the scope thereof.

Referring to the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the headgear of the present invention showing one embodiment thereof and also showing in phantom view the headgear in a displaced position;

FIGURE 2 is a section along line 22 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevation of another embodiment of the headgear of this invention and also showing in phantom the hinged member in its distended position;

FIGURE 4 is a rear elevation of the headgear embodiment shown in FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged partial side elevation of the hinged member shown in FIGURE 3 in its distended position.

3,230,544 Patented Jan. 25, 1966 The headgear 10 shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings comprises a rigid shell 11 of molded resinous construction or fabricated of leather and the like. The headgear normally contains resilient padding (not shown) in the crown and forehead portions. Ear portions 12 and 13 are provided including ear ports 14 and 15 for communication. Jaw sections 16 and 17 are normally padded as shown at 18. A conventional face guard 19 is rigidly attached to the jaw section by means of rivets such as at 20' and 21'. A flexible chin strap 22' is also provided.

Heretofore, conventional headgears were constructed with a rigid rear section which would be located in the area generally indicated by the letter A in FIGURE 1. The lower rim portion of the rigid rear section was normally spaced a short distance from the wearers neck. If the face guard was jarred or kicked upward and the headgear was moved to the position shown in phantom in FIGURE 1, the rear rim would sharply strike the back of the wearers neck thereby possibly causing serious injury to the neck.

Injuries can now be avoided by providing a cutout portion 20 (FIGURE 2) in the rear section of the headgear. A unitary hinge means or flap 21 is provided which covers the cutout portion 20. The flap 21 is hinged by rivets to the shell at any convenient points such as at 22 and 23. The flap is normally positioned over the cutout portion 20 and held in place in elastic strip 24. The elastic strip is disposed through a series of loops such as 25 and 26 positioned on the flap. The elastic strip 24 is secured at its ends to the bottom rear portion of the headgear by means of swivel clips 27 and 28 and swivel posts 29 and 30' located on the inside of the shell. A resilient padding 31 may be provided to cover the elastic strip, loops, etc. to further protect the wearers neck.

It is seen from the above described embodiment that if the headgear is displaced while being worn to the position shown in phantom in FIGURE 1 that the rear rim portion will not continue to bear down on the wearers neck. The padded flap will bear lightly on the neck but will swing freely away from its normal position in relation to the shell. In this manner, there will not be any severe force applied to the neck, and accordingly injury thereto will be precluded. When the headgear is properly adjusted on the wearers head after having been displaced, the elastic strip 24 will return the flap to its normal position.

Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGURES 2 to 5. The headgear 10a shown is generally the same as the one shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. However, in this modification a hinge or flap member is designed to fit within and coextensively with the cutout portion of the headgear.

Flap members 31 and 32 are provided in the cutout section generally indicated by the numeral 30. In FIG- URES 3 and 4 the flap members are shown in their normal position. FIGURE 3 also shows the distended position of the flap members in phantom. FIGURE 5 shows details of the flap members in their distended position.

Flap member 31 is hinged to the shell by means of hinge 33. Flap member 32 is hinged to flap member 31 by means of elastic hinge 35 and 36 which are suitably secured as by means of rivets to each flap member.

Flap members 31 and 32 are positioned within the cutout portion and are held in their normal position by elastic strips 37 and 47 respectively. The elastic strip 37 is disposed through a series of loops 40, 41, and 42 and is secured at its ends to the side of the cutout portion by means of swivel clips 38 and 39 and swivel posts 43 and 44 located on the inside of the shell. Similarly, flap member 32 has elastic strip 47 disposed through a series of loops 48, 49 and 50 and secured to swivel posts 53 and 54 by means of swivel clips 51 and 52.

Thus, in the embodiment last described, it is clear that if the face mask 19a is kicked or jarred upward, the flap members 31 and 32 are distended when they strike the neck of the wearer of the headgear. Thereafter when the headgear is adjusted to the proper wearing position on the head, the elastic strips 37 and 47 return the flap members to the cutout portion. Although resilient padding has not been shown in the embodiment shown in FIGURES 3 to 5, it is understood that it is to be used on the insides of the flap members 31 and 32 for purposes of further protection.

As stated above, many modifications and variations of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. Two embodiments have been described above which have been found practical and economical. However, it is understood that particular details thereof may be modified so as to provide more elaborate and costly variations. The embodiment shown in FIGURES 3 to 5 instead of having two flaps could be constructed to only have one unitary flap to fill the cutout portion.

What is claimed is:

1. In a protective headgear construction of the type having a rigid shell comprising a crown portion and depending ear covering portions and generally contoured to fit the head and having a rigid rear rim portion normally spaced from the back of the neck of the wearer, the improvement comprising a cutout section in said rear rim portion, a flap member behind said ear portions covering said cutout section and contoured to fit around the neck of the wearer, said cutout section being defined by side edges and an upper edge, said flap member including side edges wherein said side edges of said fiap overlap said side edges of said cutout portion, said flap member being pivotally connected at both sides of said shell permitting said flap member to telescope upwardly over the crown of said shell, elastic means attached to said flap member and said shell, said elastic means normally retaining said flap member in contact with said cutout section and permitting substantial outward and upward movement of said flap member, whereby said flap member upon contact with the neck of the wearer will be displaced and will not bear down on the neck of the wearer.

2. In a protective headgear construction of the type having a rigid shell generally contoured to fit the head and having a rigid rear rim portion normally spaced from the back of the neck of the wearer, the improvement comprising a cutout section in said rear rim portion, a flap member fitting and being coextensive with said cutout section and contoured to fit around the neck of the wearer, said flap member being hinged to the upper part of said cutout portion by hinge means and being formed of at least two sections hinged to each other by hinge means, elastic means attached to said flap member and said shell, said elastic means normally retaining said fiap member coextensive with said cutout section but permitting substantial outward and upward movement of said A flap member, whereby said flap member upon contact with the neck of the wearer will be displaced and will not bear down on the neck of the wearer.

3. In a protective headgear construction of the type having a rigid shell comprising a crown portion and depending ear covering portions and generally contoured to fit the head and having a rigid rear rim portion normally spaced from the back of the neck of the wearer, the improvement comprising a cutout section in said rear rim portion, a flap member behind said ear portions covering said cutout section and contoured to fit around the neck of the wearer, said cutout section being defined by side edges and an upper edge, said flap member including side edges wherein said side edges of said flap overlap said side edges of said cutout portion, said flap member pivotally connected at both sides of the upper portion of said shell permitting said flap member to telescope over the top of said shell, elastic means disposed across said cutout section and attached to the inner portion of said shell and said flap member, resilient padding means disposed on the inner surfaces of said flap member and said shell, said elastic means normally retaining said flap member in contact with said cutout section and permitting substantial outward and upward movement of said flap member, whereby said flap member upon contact with the neck of the wearer will be displaced and will not bear down on the neck of the wearer.

4. In a protective headgear construction of the type having a rigid shell generally contoured to fit the head and having a rigid rear rim portion normally spaced from the back of the neck of the wearer, the improvement comprising a cutout section in said rear rim portion, a flap member fitting and being coextensive with said cutout section and contoured to fit around the neck of the wearer, said flap member being hinged to the top of said cutout portion by hinge means and being formed of at least two sections hinged to each other by hinge means, elastic means attached to the inner portions of said flap member sections and to the inner portion of said shell, resilient padding means disposed on the inner surfaces of said flap member and said shell, said elastic means normally retaining said flap member coextensive with said cutout section but permitting substantial outward and upward movement of said fiap member sections, whereby said flap member upon contact with the neck of the wearer will be displaced and will not bear down on the neck of the wearer.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,364,662 1/1921 Wagner s 23 1,537,178 5/1925 Maynard 2-3 1,660,375 2/1928 Dieterle 23 2,777,127 1/1957 Marietta 23 2,888,681 6/1959 Stuart et al. 26 3,139,623 7/1964 Joseph 23 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1364662 *Apr 23, 1919Jan 4, 1921Wagner Louis GProtective cap
US1537178 *Oct 11, 1923May 12, 1925Drapermaynard CompanyHelmet
US1660375 *Jan 15, 1927Feb 28, 1928George A ReachHeadgear
US2777127 *Nov 5, 1954Jan 15, 1957Marietta Michael TAthlete's headgear
US2888681 *Feb 21, 1957Jun 2, 1959Huxtable Leonard GHelmet with combined neck and ear shield
US3139623 *Jan 19, 1962Jul 7, 1964Jr George W JosephFootball helmet back flap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3323134 *May 24, 1965Jun 6, 1967Aurealius ThomasFootball helmet construction
US3591863 *May 19, 1969Jul 13, 1971Harry E RichardHelmet
US3860966 *Mar 19, 1973Jan 21, 1975Clarence Eugene BrownSafety helmet
US5123408 *Sep 18, 1991Jun 23, 1992Gaines Leonard FSports helmet braced for protection of the cervical spine
US5638551 *May 5, 1995Jun 17, 1997Societe A Responsabilite Limitee Dite OverforingHelmet including a device for fixing the helmet to the occipital portion of a user's head
US5657492 *Sep 14, 1995Aug 19, 1997Esposito, Jr.; Joseph M.Protective head device
US5659900 *Jul 8, 1993Aug 26, 1997Bell Sports, Inc.Sizing and stabilizing apparatus for bicycle helmets
US5774901 *Aug 15, 1996Jul 7, 1998Bell Sports, Inc.Sport helmet retention apparatus
US5794272 *Jan 31, 1996Aug 18, 1998Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.For a cyclist
US5887288 *Oct 19, 1995Mar 30, 1999Bell Sports, Inc.Sizing and stabilizing apparatus for bicycle helmets
US6131207 *Dec 29, 1995Oct 17, 2000Gallet S.A.Helmet having resilient bending means in the lower rear portion of the shell thereof
US6401261 *Mar 29, 1999Jun 11, 2002Bell Sports, Inc.Sizing and stabilizing apparatus for bicycle helmets
US7958572 *Dec 7, 2006Jun 14, 2011PjdoFoldable protective helmet
US8739599Mar 2, 2011Jun 3, 2014Bio-Applications, LLCIntra-extra oral shock-sensing and indicating systems and other shock-sensing and indicating systems
WO1996021370A1 *Dec 29, 1995Jul 18, 1996Gilles BassonImprovement to a helmet having resilient bending means in the lower rear portion of the shell thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/415, D29/106
International ClassificationA42B3/32
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/32
European ClassificationA42B3/32