US 3366970 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1968 G, E. MORGAN 3, 6
SHOULDER FAD APPARATUS Filed May 10, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Gerard 8, 7710731111.
INVENTOR Feb. 6, 1968 G. E. MORGAN SHOULDER FAD APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 10, 1965 //v VENTOR gsrard Z1. Woryan mww Feb. 6, 1968 G. E. MORGAN SHOULDER PAD APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1'1 Filed May 10, 1965 I N VEN TO R Gerard 6. Morgan United States Patent 3,366,970 SHOULDER PAD APPARATUS Gerard E. Morgan, Glenview, Ill., assignor to John T. Riddell, Inc., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Illinois Filed May 10, 1%5, Ser. No. 454,504 13 Claims. (Cl. 22)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an improved shoulder pao apparatus. The invention is particularly directed to a shoulder pad construction which is designed to combine completely adequate protection for the wearer with a high degree of mobility thereby providing the desired freedom of movement.
Shoulder pads are most commonly used for football players although applications in other activities are also contemplated. In any use of the shoulder pads, it is desirable to provide a relatively high degree of mobility in the pad constructions so that the movements of the individual wearing the pads will not be unduly restricted. In addition, it is of course desirable to achieve such mobility in a construction which will also provide adequate protection against blows delivered to the wearer and against other forces which are applied in the course of a football game or the like.
It is a primary object of this invention to provide a new concept for the design of shoulder pad constructions whereby completely adequate protection of the wearer of the shoulder pads can be combined with a high degree of freedom of movement.
It is a more particular object of this invention to provide a shoulder pad construction which includes members designed for protecting the wearer in the area of the shoulders, the members being highly effective from the standpoint of protection against external forces.
It is a further particular object of this invention to provide a shoulder pad construction characterized by the features referred to in the foregoing objects while also being characterized by mobility features which provide for an extremely great degree of freedom of movement.
These and other objects of this invention will appear hereinafter and for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, specific embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevation of a shoulder pad construction characterized by the features of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a rear elevation of the construction shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of blanks adapted to be employed in the manufacture of U-shaped body members for incorporation into a shoulder pad construction of the type contemplated by this invention;
FIGURES 4 through 7 comprise detail views illustrating the manner in which separate sections of the shoulder pad construction move relative to each other to achieve the desired freedom in the construction;
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken about the line 88 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary front elevational view of one alternative form of the invention;
FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary view illustrating an additional alternative form of the invention; and,
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary front elevational view illustrating a still further alternative form of the invention.
The shoulder pad construction of this invention is adapted to assume the form of various conventional shoulder pad designs. In particular, the construction includes generally U-shaped portions which are adapted to be placed over the opposite shoulders of the wearer. These U-shaped portions define a central opening between them for receiving the neck of the wearer. Front and back portions comprising the legs of the U are adapted to cover at least parts of the upper chest and upper back of the wearer. Central portions comprising the base of the U cover the respective shoulders of the wearer.
In accordance with the improvements of this invention, sections of the shoulder pad construction are adapted to be provided in overlapping relationship with respect to other sections. Means are provided in the construction for holding the overlapping portions in position on the shoulders of the wearer, however, the respective sections are adapted to move relative to each other while maintaining the overlapping relationship. The proper design of overlapping sections enables the wearer to undergo certain body movements without undue restriction. In particular, the pads provide a high degree of freedom for the arms of the wearer. Furthermore, the design of the pads is such that the wearer will not be subjected to uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous action of the pads which will occur under certain conditions with conventional shoulder pad designs.
FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings illustrate a particular construction 10 which embodies the features of this invention. This particular construction includes shoulder cap members 12 and epaulets 14 of conventional design. The members 12 and 14 are adapted to be attached to the body members 16 and 18 of the construction. It will be appreciated that various conventional designs for the epaulets and caps as well as various means for attaching of these members are available for use.
The body members are of a U-shaped construction, and they each include central portions 15, front portions 20 and back portions 22. As best shown in FIGURE 3, the interior edges 17 defined by the central portions are located in spaced apart relationship to thereby provide a central opening for the head of the wearer. In the embodiment shown in these figures, the lowermost sections of each of the front and back portions define end portions having a configuration such that an overlapping relationship is achieved between these end portions. Each of the overlapping end portions is interconnected by means of a joint member which includes a pin 24. As best shown in FIGURE 8, the pin 24 includes heads 26 which hold the pin with respect to the back portions 22. A similar connection is achieved between the respective front portions 20.
It will be noted that the back portions 22 each define an opening for receiving the pin 24. In one back portion, the opening comprises a slot 28 while in the other back portion, the opening comprises a circular hole 30. With this arrangement, lateral movement between the back portions can be achieved. A similar slot 32 is utilized in one of the front portions whereby lateral movement can also be accomplished between these portions. This lateral movement when combined with the swivel action which characterizes the pin 24 provides a highly ideal arrangement.
FIGURES 4 through 7 illustrate the type of movements which characterize a construction of this invention during use. As shown in these figures, one of the front portions 20 overlaps the other with pin member 24 providing the interconnection therebetween. In FIGURE 4, the members are in a normal position. In FIGURE 5, the portions 20 have been pivoted relative to each other decreasing the overlapping relationship. In addition, these members are squeezed together in the area of the pin 24. This type of action results when the arms of the individual wearing the pads are raised over his head.
FIGURE 6 illustrates the back of the shoulder pads when the arms are raised while FIGURE 7 illustrates a normal situation for the shoulder pads as viewed from the back.
The slotted arrangement provided in the shoulder pads is of particular importance when the arms of the player are extended forward. In such a situation, the freedom for lateral movement between the overlapping sections will permit the front portions to be squeezed together while the back portions can be pulled apart. It will be obvious that the size of the slots 28 and 32 will depend upon the degree of freedom necessary. It is contemplated that a pair of slots about 1% inches long could be employed. A pin /4 inch in diameter can only be effectively employed. It will be understood, however, that the length of the slots can vary widely depending upon the degree of freedom which is to be provided, the location of the slots and various other factors. Furthermore, it is possible to provide great improvements in shoulder pads without including any lateral movement on one side of the shoulder pad, and in some instances, on both sides of the shoulder pads.
FIGURE 9 illustrates one alternative form of the invention. In the construction shown, the shoulder pad includes epaulets 40 and shoulder caps 42 of a conventional nature. The U-shaped members 44 which are employed extend over the shoulders; however, in this instance, the members terminate at a higher level. Continuations 46 of these members extend downwardly beyond the terminations of the body members 44.
The sections 46 of the respective body members overlap in the manner previously described. A pin member 48 is adapted to be attached to the construction for holding the sections 46 together and a slot 50 is defined by one of the sections 46 whereby the swiveling and lateral movement previously described can be achieved.
In the arrangement of FIGURE 9, the sections 46 are attached to the body members 44 by means of pins 52. These pins provide a pivotal connection whereby the sections 46 are adapted to swing relative to the body members 44. In addition, these elements are interconnected by means of a separatae pin 54 which moves in the slot 56 defined by the body member 44. In the use of the shoulder pad constructions shown in FIGURE 9, upward movement of the arm will first result in swiveling movement of the body member 44 with respect to the section 46. Freedom for this movement is provided by means of the slot 56.
When the limit of movement between the body member 44 and the section 46 is reached, additional movement is possible between therespective sections 46. Thus, the provision of the pin 48 and slot 50 providesfor relative lateral movement between these sections as well as swiveling movement.
FIGURE 10 illustrates an arrangement wherein body members 60 extend to points adjacent each other without overlapping. A separate plate 62 is associated with these body members, and each of the body members is located along opposite edges of the plate 62. Swivel jointconnections comprising pins 64 and slots 66 are provided for the upper end of this arrangement while additional pins 68 and slots 70 are provided adjacent the lower end. This combination providesfor desired swiveling action as well as relative lateral movement. The inclusion of the pins at both the upper and lower edges provides for holding the respective members of the combination in their proper positions. It will be noted that a pin 74 and slot 76 can similarly be provided in the arrangement shown in FIG URE 3. With respect to all of the above discussion, itwill be appreciated that arrangements comparable to any of the arrangements described are suitable for use on both the front and back sides of shoulder pads, and combinations of the alternative arrangements discussed herein are also contemplated for use in the same shoulder pad construction.
FIGURE 11 illustrates an arrangement which also includes shoulder caps 80 and epaulets 82, these members being of conventional design. The members 80 and 82 are attached to the U-shaped body member 84, and this body member extends to front and back portions 86 and 88 which Overlap with respect to corresponding front and back portions of a similar combination.
Elastic straps 90 and 92 are associated with each of the U-shaped body members 88. The strap 90 fits under the armpit while the strap 92 fits around the neck. Each of the combinations including the members 80, 82 and 84 comprises an independent section and leftand righthand sections are adapted to be worn by a wearer to achieve the complete shoulder pad construction.
It will be noted with respect to the arrangement of FIGURE 11 that the respective sections 84 are essentially "free to move independent of each other. In prior art arrangements, separate parts of shoulder pad constructions are usually permanently attached or are laced together when worn. With such an arrangement, one part of the construction will usually not move to any significant extent independently of other parts. Accordingly, many movements of any athlete can be materially restricted due to the shoulder pad designs.
In the case of the constructions shown in FIGURES 1 through 10, the swivel joint connections permit several movements of one side of a shoulder pad construction completely independently of the other side of the construction. Obviously, movements involving arm raising merely require pivoting action, and there is no restriction of such movements as is the case when the U-shaped body members are laced together along a vertical line at their junctures.
The constructions described provide clear advantages from the standpoint of increased protection of the wearer. By providing overlapping sections, the relatively rigid material of the U-shaped body members will form a continuous barrier across the front and back of the shoulder pad construction. This arrangement is superior to more conventional constructions which provide laces or the like at the junctures of the shoulder pad sections. In this connection, reference is made to FIGURE 1 wherein there are illustrated extensions 94 and 96 of the U- shaped body members. These extensions can alternatively be employed to provide a greater degree of protection for the chest and back. With the design of the shoulder pads of this invention, such an alternative can be readily realized since there is no restriction of movement between these extensions.
The construction shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 illustrates an added feature of the instant invention. This feature relates to the use of an elastic band 98 which is attached at the points 100 to the back side of the construction. The ends 102 of the band extend around to the front of the construction where they are adapted to be attached to the studs 104 associated with the front sections of the construction. Pads 106 are associated With the band on opposite sides of the construction for protection of the sides of the wearer.
As an additional alternative, elastic straps 108 may be associated with the shoulder pad construction. These straps serve to normally urge the constructions back to an unstrained position, and they can be employed to insure that the pads will return to a normal position once forces applied thereto have been relieved.
Various additional features for use in combination with the constructions described will be obvious to those skilled in the art. Bushings could be included in the openings defined by the respective sections at the swivel joints to reduce wear. Padding may be provided over the heads of the pin members to prevent any injury occurring due to these exposed heads. In this connection, it is contemplated that the pin members may be permanent members or they may be removable as by providing threaded heads for the pin members.
The shoulder pad construction described is characterized by many advantages when compared to conventional shoulder pads. The swiveling and lateral movement features reduce ride-up which is a basic problem in the case of conventional pads. This ride-up occurs particularly in the case of ends and halfbacks attempting to catch passes by lifting their arms over their heads. When the ride-up occurs, the conventional pads are raised to the extent that the exposure of the shoulder area which occurs can result in a much greater likelihood of injury. The pads of this invention provide more significant coverage for the sternum and upper spine, and it will, therefore, be apparent that the pads are capable of providing greater mobility while also providing greater protection.
It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the constructions described which provide the characteristics of this invention without departing from the spirit thereof particularly as defined in the following claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. In a shoulder pad construction comprising a pair of U-shaped body members having substantially the same configuration, the legs of each of the U-shaped members defining front and back portions for extending over the chest and back of the wearer, and the base of each of the U-shaped members comprising an interconnecting central portion for extending over a shoulder of the wearer, one central portion being provided for placement on one shoulder of the wearer and the other central portion be ing provided for placement on the other shoulder of the wearer when the body members are assembled for use, said central portions each defining interior edges which are located in opposed, spaced apart relationship when the body members are assembled defining a central opening between the central portions for insertion of the head of the wearer, the improvement wherein each of said legs includes an end portion formed as part of each of said front and back portions at interior locations thereof, said end portions of the front portions and said end portions of the back portions being disposed in overlapping relationship when said body members are assembled, and including swivel joint means associated with the overlapping end portions for securing said body members together, said joint means permitting relative movement of said end portions, and said overlapping relationship being maintained in substantially all positions of movement of the wearer.
2. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said end portions each include an opening formed therein with the openings in adjacent end portions being in alignment with each other and wherein said swivel joint means each comprise a pin extending through said openings, said pin defining an enlarged head at each end.
3. A construction in accordance with claim 2 wherein said openings define elongated laterally disposed slots whereby said pins are adapted to move laterally in said slots to provide combined swiveling and lateral movement between said end portions.
4. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said end portions are separate pieces and include means movably attaching said separate pieces to said body members permitting swiveling movement of said separate pieces with respect to said body members.
5. A construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein said joint means are located in closely spaced relationship with respect to the top edges of the end portions.
6. A construction in accordance with claim 5 including an additional joint means located in closely spaced relationship with respect to the lower edge of said end portions.
7. A construction in accordance with claim 1 including elastic means attached to each of said front and back portions for normally urging said front and back portions toward each other.
8. A construction in accordance with claim 1 including adjustable band means attached to the lower edges of said back portions and said front portions.
9. A construction in accordance with claim 8 including pads carried by said bands at locations intermediate said front and back portions for covering the sides of the wearer.
10. In a shoulder pad construction comprising a pair of U'shaped body members having substantially the same configuration, the legs of each of the U-shaped members defining front and back portions for extending over the chest and back of the wearer, and the base of each of the U-shaped members comprising an interconnecting central portion for extending over a shoulder of the wearer, one central portion being provided for placement on one shoulder of the wearer and the other central portion being provided for placement on the other shoulder of the wearer when the body members are assembled for use, said central port-ions each defining interior edges which are located in opposed, spaced apart relationship when the body members are assembled defining a central opening between the central portions for insertion of the head of the wearer, the improvement wherein each of said legs includes an end portion formed as part of each of said front and back portions at interior locations thereof, said end portions wherein said end portions are separate pieces and include means movably attaching said separate pieces to said body members permitting swiveling movement of said separate pieces with respect to said body members being provided in overlapping relationship when said body members are assembled, and including means for securing said body members together, said securing means permitting relative movement of said sections, and said overlapping relationship being maintained in substant'ally all positions of movement of the wearer.
11. A construction in accordance with claim 10 wherein said end portions are separate pieces having means movably attaching said separate pieces to said body members.
12. A construction in accordance with claim 11 including swivel joint means interconnecting said pieces to said body members and additional swivel joint means located at an overlapping point of said end portions for interconnecting said end portions.
13. A construction in accordance with claim 10 wherein each of said body members comprises a separate member, said securing means comprising straps attached to each of said body members for holding said body members in position on the wearer, one of said straps of each body member having its ends attached adjacent the in- 7 8 terior edge of each body member and between the central 2,968,045 1/1961 Johnson 2-279 nortion and the end portion of each front an? back por- 3,153,871 12/1964 Morgan non permlttmg IGIBIIV? m 0v ernent betwnen said mernpers 3,166,760 1/1965. Rasmussen whlle substantially malntalnmg sald ovellapplng relatlonship. 5 FOREIGN PATENTS Refemlm Cm 213,443 3/1958 Canada. UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,640,042 8/1927 Latina JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
2,014,991 9/1935 Snyder 2r2 G H KRIZMAN A J 2 545 9 3 1 51 rvfitchel 10 ICH mutant F'Xammer'