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Publication numberUS3360814 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 2, 1968
Filing dateMay 6, 1966
Priority dateMay 6, 1966
Publication numberUS 3360814 A, US 3360814A, US-A-3360814, US3360814 A, US3360814A
InventorsScheurer Robert S
Original AssigneeRobert S. Scheurer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sporting equipment
US 3360814 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 2, 1968 Filed May 0, 1966 R. s. SCHEURER 3,360,814

SPORTING EQUIPMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ROBERT S. SCHEURER W ATTORNEY Jan. 2, 1968 R. s. SCHEURER 3,360,814

' SPORTING EQUIPMENT Filed May 6, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ROBER/T s. SCHEURER United States Patent ABSTRACT OF DISCLOSURE A buoyant jacket positionable about the chest of the wearer for supporting the wearer in the water in a rearwardly and upwardly inclined position.

This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, Ser. No. 447,417, filed Apr. 12, 1965, now Patent No. 3,300,797.

This invention relates to sporting equipment and more particularly to life jackets.

An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved life jacket for supporting the wearer thereof in the water.

Another object is to provide a new and improved life jacket for protecting the wearer from injury when the wearer strikes water with relatively great force, as when falling while being towed at a relatively high speed on water skis.

Still another object is to provide a life jacket which is resilient to conform to the chest of the wearer and grip the chest through substantially its whole area whereby the jacket cannot move relative to the chest to impart a blow thereto when the wearer strikes the water with relatively great velocity and force.

A further object is to provide a life jacket formed of a buoyant substance having a greater volume of a buoyant substance in the front than in the back so that it will cause the wearer to float in a rearwardly inclined position to hold the wearers head out of the water and his face facing upwardly.

A still further object is to provide a life jacket having a body portion formed of a flat sheet of resilient shock absorbent buoyant substance which when disposed about the chest of the wearer assumes an arcuate shape with the internal cross sectional area of the life jacket being inherently smaller than the area of the chest of the wearer, the vertical edges of the body portion being provided with fastening means for drawing the edges of the body portion toward and into close proximity to one another whereby the body portion may be stretched resiliently about the chest of the wearer and cause the body portion to firmly grip the chest.

Another object is to provide a life jacket wherein the body portion at the adjacent vertical edges thereof is provided with recesses in which are disposed the fastening means, such as straps and buckles so that the adjacent edges may be positioned close to one another.

Still another object is to provide a life jacket having shoulder straps connected to the body portion which limit downward movement of the jacket on the body of the wearer.

Still another object is to provide a life jacket wherein all edges of the body portion exposed to stresses and strains are provided with reinforcing means of greater strength than the shock absorbing substance of which the body portion is formed to prevent tearing of the body portion.

A further object of the invention is to provide a life jacket having reinforcing means secured to the body portions, the reinforcing means including a non-elastic back reinforcing assembly embedded in the upper portion of the back section of the body portion and two non-elastic Patented Jan. 2, 1968 front reinforcing assemblies embedded in the front sections of the body portions, the shoulder straps and fastening means of the jacket being secured to the reinforcing assemblies.

A still further object is to provide a life jacket wherein the reinforcing means includes elastic reinforcing means at peripheral portions of the body portion between the back and front reinforcing means.

A still further object is to provide a life jacket wherein the assembly of the body portion and the reinforcing assemblies is covered with a Water impervious resilient coating.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the reading of the following description of a device constructed in accordance with the invention, and reference to the accompanying drawings thereof, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a life jacket embodying the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a back view of the life jacket;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the assembly of the flat body sheet, the reinforcing means and the auxiliary flotation means or pads of the life jacket;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of one of the auxiliary pads of the life jacket;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on line 77 of FIGURE 6; and

FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the reinforcing assemblies of the jacket.

Referring to the drawings, the life jacket 20 embodying the invention includes a body portion formed of a fiat sheet 22 of a resilient shock-absorbing buoyant substance, such as unicellular vinyl or rubber foam having numerous small voids or cells which render the density of the life jacket much lower than the density of water. The sheet which may be of a suitable thickness, for example, three-quarters or one inch thick and has a back section or panel 23, side sections or panels 24 or 25, and right and left front sections or panels 26 or 27, respectively. The front sections 26 and 27 have upper extensions 28 and 29 respectively, whose rear edges 31 and 32 together with the top edges 33 and 34 of the side sections 24 and 25 and the side edges 35 and 36 of the upper portion of the back section define the upwardly opening right and left arm holes or recesses 37 and 38 for receiving the arms of the wearer.

A pair of right and left front auxiliary flotation pads 39 and 40 are secured to the sheet at the front and side sections thereof. Arcuate resilient reinforcing strips 42 and 43 are secured by an adhesive, a bonding agent or the like to the upwardly facing edge surfaces of the sheet and the flotation pads defining the right and left arm holes. An inner bottom resilient reinforcing strip 44 is similarly secured to the sheet adjacent its bottom edge and its opposite end portions overlap the front sections. The reinforcing strips are preferably formed of the same substance as the sheet such as vinyl or rubber but are solid instead of uni-cellular in structure so that while they are elastic, they are stronger and offer a much greater resistance to tearing than the substance of the sheet 22 itself. The reinforcing strip may be of suitable thickness, for example, .040 gauge.

The back section 23 of the sheet has a vertical slit 46 therein in which a back reinforcing assembly 48 is disposed. The back reinforcing assembly includes a piece of nylon fabric 49 to which an upper horizontal reinforcing strip 50 and a pair of vertical buckle straps 51 and 52 are secured by rows of stitches 53. The back reinforcing assembly 48 after a suitable adhesive or bonding agent is applied to both sides thereof is inserted into the slit 46 and the inner and outer upper portions 58 and 59 respectively, of the back section of the sheet defined by the slit are pressed inwardly to abut and be adhesively secured to the back reinforcing assembly. The interior surfaces defining the upper portions also have such adhesive or bonding agent applied thereto prior to insertion of the back reinforcing assembly in the slit. The upper portions of the sheet are held compressed against the reinforcing assembly until the adhesive or bonding agent sets.

A right reinforcing assembly 60 which is disposed between the right flotation unit 39 and the front section 26 of the sheet 22 includes a substantially rectangular panel or piece 61 of nylon fabric to which are secured three buckle straps 61, 62, and 63, a vertical reinforcing strap 64 and a vertical buckle strap 65 by means of rows of stitches 66. A padding 67 of a shock absorbent substance, which may be of vinyl or rubber foam, is disposed about and secured to the buckle strap and its lower inwardly tapered end portion extends between the front flotation pad 39 and the top portion 28 of the right front section of the sheet. The right front reinforcing assembly 60 is secured to the front flotation unit and the right front section of the sheet by a suitable adhesive or bonding agent, as is the lower portion of the padding 67.

The vertical edge 68 of the sheet is provided with a top upwardly and laterally opening top recess 69, a middle laterally opening middle recess 70, and a bottom downwardly andlaterally opening recess 71. The right flotation pad 39 has similar top, middle and bottom recesses 72, 73 and 74, respectively, which are aligned with the recesses 69, 7t and 71 respectively. The vertical strap 64 of the right front reinforcing assembly extends into the top and bottom recesses and through the middle recesses of the sheet and the pads. The top buckle strap 61 extends laterally outwardly through the top recesses, the middle buckle strap 62 extends laterally outwardly through the middle recess and the bottom buckle strap extends laterally outwardly through the bottom recesses.

The left reinforcing assembly 60a, the left flotation pad 40 and the left front section 26 of the sheet 22 are mirror images of the right reinforcing assembly and the right flotation pad and, accordingly, the various components of the left reinforcing assembly, the left flotation pad and the left front section have been provided with the same reference numerals, to which the subscript a has been added, as the corresponding elements of the right reinforcing assembly, the right flotation pad and the right front section.

In the manufacture of the life jacket, the reinforcing assemblies and the flotation pads-are secured to the sheet 22 in the manner'described. The arm hole reinforcing strips 42 and 43 are secured to the sheet 22 and the flotation pads at the edges thereof defining the right and left arm holes and the bottom reinforcing assembly strip 44 is secured to the inner surface of the sheet 22. This assembly of the reinforcing strips and the sheet is then coated with a plastic resilient substance, such as vinyl, rubber or the like. The coating and the reinforcing strips are also resilient and thus permit the portion of the life jacket below the back reinforcing assembly 48 and between the left and right front reinforcing assemblies to stretch resiliently. The reinforcing assemblies are of course flexible but are not resilient and will not stretch to any appreciable degree.

of suitable buckles 31a, 82a and 83a and similarly secured to intermediate portions thereof and to the vertical strap 64 extending through the recesses of the left flotation pad and the left front section of the sheet by pairs of rivets.

The straps 65 and 65a may then be inserted through the buckles 76 and 77, respectively, to the degree necessary to position the life jacket properly on the chest of the wearer. The internal cross-sectional area or space defined by the internal surface of the life jacket, when the life jacket is wrapped about the chest of the wearer, is smaller than the chest when the jacket is in its inherent non-stretched condition so that its vertical edges are spaced two to four inches apart when the jacket is placed on the wearer. The life jacket is then stretched resiliently to bring its vertical edges close to or in contact with each other by inserting the straps 61, 62 and 63 through the buckles 81, 82 and 83 and drawing the front sections of the chest of the life jacket toward one another. The buckles are now positioned in the complementary or aligned recesses of the life jacket at its vertical edges to permit this movement of the two front sections to one another. The body portion of the life jacket is now stretched resiliently about the chest of the wearer and engages it firmly so that no part of the body portion is loose on or spaced from the chest. Any loose portion of the life jacket would tend to strike the wearer if the wearer fell with great force into the water. The reinforcing assemblies which, while flexible, are not resilient now hold the shoulder straps in proper position on the wearer and the required circumferential stretching of the life jacket occurs in the portions thereof between the front reinforcing assemblies 60 and 60a and below the back reinforcing assembly 48. The buckles 76 and 77 of the shoulder straps are at the back of the wearer and are not therefore likely to come in contact with the wearer. The front portions of the straps 65 and 65a are protected by the resilient sleeves 67 and 67a and will therefore not bite into the flesh of the wearer. The buckles 81, 82 and 83 are now positioned in the aligned recesses in the adjacent vertical edges of the life jacket and are spaced from the body by the thickness of the sheet 22.

The arm hole reinforcing strips 42 and 43 extend between opposite upper ends of the back reinforcing assembly and the upper ends of the front reinforcing assemblies while the reinforcing strip 44 overlaps the lower ends of the front reinforcing assemblies so that the entire periphery of the sheet 22 is reinforced and protected against tearing. The tears to the sheet 22 are likely to start at the edges and outwardly from the internal surface thereof since when the wearer falls with great force into the water, the portions of the jacket on the side of the wearer opposite the side which strikes the water tend to move away from the wearer and fold. The reinforcing strips are thus at locations most likely to be sub jected to severe strains and stresses.

Since the front vertical edges of the life jacket may be positioned very closely or actually in contact with each other, a large volume of the sheet and the front flotation pads is located at the front of the wearer so that when the wearer floats in the water, the jacket tends to hold him in an upright slightly vertically rearwardly inclined position with his head held not only above water by the jacket but will also with his face facing upwardly. As a result, should the wearer be unconscious, he will still be held in position to breath.

It will be apparent that the life jacket may be made in several sizes, for example, small, medium and large, and that due to the provision of the straps and buckles each jacket may fit a relatively wide range of chest sizes.

It will further be seen that the positioning of the buckles in the aligned recesses in the vertical adjacent edges of the life jacket places the buckles in position wherein they are not likely to be moved into contact with the body of the wearer and at the same time the 7 jacket can be used over a relatively large range of chest sizes. A wearer having a very large chest may have the vertical edges of the jacket separated when the jacket is stretched about his chest but enough of the volume of the flotation substance of the like jacket is positioned at the front of his body to hold him floating in a rearwardly and upwardly inclined position with his head out of water and facing upwardly.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory only, and changes in the details of the construction illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A life jacket including: a substantially rectangular body of resilient low density substance adapted to be stretched about the chest of a wearer to position vertical opposite end edges of said body adjacent one another at the front of the chest of the wearer, said body having a back panel, a pair of side panels extending forwardly from opposite sides of said back panel, and a pair of front panels spaced forwardly of said back panel and extending toward each other from forward sides of said side panels and providing said opposite vertical end edges of said body, said front panels having a plurality of vertically spaced aligned recesses at said vertical edges, aligned pairs of recesses in said vertical edges opening to one another; a back reinforcing assembly including a rectangular flexible non-resilient panel embedded in the upper portion of said back panel and having an upper edge portion extending above the upper edge of said back panel; a pair of front reinforcing assemblies secured to said front panels, each of said front reinforcing panels including a substantially rectangular flexible non-resilient panel secured to its associated front panel, said panels of said front reinforcing assemblies having portions extending into said recesses of said front panels of said body; a plurality of fastening means secured to said portions of said front reinforcing panels for securing said front reinforcing panels to one another, each of said fastening means being disposed in an aligned pair of said recesses when said jacket is on the chest of a wearer; and a pair of shoulder strap means secured to said front and back reinforcing assemblies for limiting downward movement of said body portion on the chest of a wearer.

2. The life jacket of claim 1; and resilient reinforcing means secured to said body portion between said back and front reinforcing assemblies to reinforce peripheral edge portions of said body between said panels of said reinforcing assemblies.

3. The life jacket of claim 2; wherein said fastening means comprises straps each provided with a buckle secured to the panel of one of said front reinforcing assemblies and straps secured to the panel of the other of said front reinforcing assemblies and releasably connectable to said buckles.

4. The life jacket of claim 3; and auxiliary flotation pads secured to exterior surfaces of said front panels, said pads being of the same resilient low density substance as said body.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,623,993 4/ 1927 Anderson 9342 2,226,564 12/ 1940 Kienitz 9342 2,749,552 6/1956 Feste 9340 X 2,807,035 9/ 1957 Phillips 9342 3,261,042 7/1966 Baker 9342 MILTON B'UCHLER, Primary Examiner.

T. W. BUCKMAN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1623993 *Sep 27, 1922Apr 12, 1927Airubber CorpHeat-retaining garment
US2226564 *Oct 8, 1937Dec 31, 1940Rubatex Products IncLife preserver
US2749552 *Feb 14, 1955Jun 12, 1956Feste Stephen KWood veneer vest
US2807035 *Apr 9, 1956Sep 24, 1957Safety First Supply CompanyLife preserver vest
US3261042 *Apr 14, 1964Jul 19, 1966Gentex CorpBuoyant jacket
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3449778 *Sep 21, 1967Jun 17, 1969American Tent Co IncAdjustable water safety jacket
US4123814 *Jul 20, 1977Nov 7, 1978Ettinger Enterprises, Inc.Flotation device
US7052211 *May 6, 2005May 30, 2006Curry Michael BBuoyancy compensating device protective cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/112
International ClassificationB63C9/00, B63C9/115
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/115
European ClassificationB63C9/115