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Publication numberUS3422224 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1969
Filing dateApr 2, 1965
Priority dateApr 2, 1965
Publication numberUS 3422224 A, US 3422224A, US-A-3422224, US3422224 A, US3422224A
InventorsCurran William W
Original AssigneeBenton & Bowles Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hat with voice amplifying system
US 3422224 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 14, 1969 w. w. cuRranLxN HAT WITH VOICE MPLIFYING SYSTEM Filed April 2, 1965 United States Patent O Claim ABSTRACT oF THE DIscLosURE A self-contained voice amplifying system which is worn by the operator as an integral part of a hat for amplifying his voice and extending the range thereof, and which permits him to move about freely.

This invention relates to a novel hat having a built in voice broadcasting device whereby the wearer can transmit his voice in amplified form over a much greater distance than it would naturally extend. This hat: construction is particularly advantageous for military helmets, firemens helmets, construction workers helmets, and hats for shipmasters or dock crew foremen.

There has long been need for apparatus whereby a person issuing verbal instructions can amplify his voice so as to extend for a much greater distance than is normally the case. For example, a iire chief issues orders to his men at a fire; a construction foreman instructs his men in noisy construction areas such as mines, steel frame buildings or the like; shipmasters and dock crew foremen issue commands during the docking and unloading of ships. In the past, manual megaphones have been used, and there have also been available electrical ampliiier systems which could be operated from a fixed point but could not be readily moved about with the operator. Such electrical amplifier systems are relatively bulky and, due to the need for wiresrunning to an electrical supply system and wires running between the microphone and the ampliier, have not permitted complete mobility of the operator.

I have overcome the shortcomings of the prior art by devising a completely self-contained hat and amplifier system which is worn by the operator as a part of a protective helmet and permits him to move freely about. Connection to an outside source of electrical current is not needed, nor are the bulky microphones and amplifiers of the prior art. Furthermore, the principal elements of the amplier systemare located in positions where they are well pro tected against deleterious outside influences, such as blows and the entrance of water, snow, ice, or dust.

In accordance with my invention the novel hat comprises a crown carrying a speaker on the inside of the crown, with the crown having at least one aperture adjacent the speaker for the transmittal of sound to the outside. An amplifier is also positioned within the crown and electrically connected to the speaker and one or more batteries are mounted on the inside of the crown, as in a suitable box, an-d electrically connected to the amplifier. A switch controlled microphone is carried by the hat and electrically connected through the amplifier to the speaker. Thus there is provided a completely operative self-contained voice amplifying system forming an integral part of the hat, and completely mobile with a person wearing the hat.

The novel features of the invention will be described in more detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. l is a vertical sectional view through a fremens helmet type of hat embodying the invention, parts being shown in elevation;


FIG. 2 is a schematic wiring diagram of the amplifier system of the hat;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a part of the hat of FIG. 1 showing details of the microphone construction and installation; and

FIG. 4 is an elevational view, seen from the bottom in FIG. 1, showing details of a battery receptacle installed in the hat.

Referring to the drawings a hat H in accordance with the invention comprises a crown 11 and a brim 13, having the conventional shape of a iiremans helmet. However, it is to be understood that other types of hats such as military helmets and the well known construction workers helmets, having only very slight brims or none at all, are embraced within the invention.

A large aperture y15 is located in the front of the crown to receive a transistorized ampliflier-speaker unit 17 having a pair of lateral studs 16 projecting far enough to overlap the edge of the aperture on the inside of the helmet. This unit is retained in place on the inside of the crown by a perforate cover plate 19 of larger diameter than aperture 15, overlapping the aperture on the outside of the crown, and carrying a pair of bolts 21 'which extend through holes in the crown into threaded bores in the studs. Cover plate 19, which constitutes a part of the crown, has a plurality of apertures for sound transmission.

If desired a separate speaker and amplifier can be used, with the speaker mounted in aperture 15 and the ampliiier mounted elsewhere within the crown.

In order to protect the amplifier elements and also the head of the wearer from contact with the hard material of the hat crown, which can be formed 0f steel or a hard resin such as polystyrene resin, a head harness 23 is provided. Harness 23 is made up of a plurality of crisscrossed arcuate exible straps 25 carried on a flexible rim strap 27 adjacent the lower edge of the crown 11. Harness 23 is captured within the crown between the top of the crown and a battery receptacle 29, the latter having a stud 30 passing through holes in the straps 25. A bolt 31 passes through aligned holes in the stud 30 and the crown and is secured to a cap nut 33 on the outside of the crown.

Battery receptacle or box 29, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, is a T-shaped plastic box having leaf springs therein for holding a plurality of dry cell batteries 35, for example three, connected in series with one another. A hinged cover 37 closes the receptacle and helps to hold the batteries in position while protecting them against the entry of water or other foreign material. It is obvious that the batteries can be mounted in other ways, e.g. can be taped to the inside surface of the crown.

A pair of connecting wires 39 and 41 extend from the batteries to the amplifier-speaker unit 17 for energizing the speaker when sound waves are transmitted thereto from a microphone 43.

'Ihe microphone 43, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, is disc shaped and includes an on-off switch 45 which can be operated by the wearer of the hat so as to avoid an excessive drain on the batteries when the voice is not being transmitted. Alternatively there can be provided a rheostat for varying the volume of the sound. Microphone 43 is connected to the amplifier-speaker unit by three electrical wires 47, 49 and 51 which are of sufficient length to permit movement of the microphone by the hand of the operator at will between his mouth and a liixed mounting on the hat.

A retaining bracket or holder 53 on the side of the hat H is so constructed and arranged as toengage the microphone to hold it safely in position when not being used by the wearer, thus leaving the wearers hands free for other activities. In the particular embodiment shown, bracket 53 is attached to the rim 27 of the head harness 23 and extends downwardly therefrom..The sides S4 of the bracket:

are arcuate in shape to lit the disc shaped microphone, and are suiciently resilient so that when the microphone is pushed up into the bracket through the open lower end thereof, the arcuate Sides 54 grip it and hold it firmly in position. It is evident that other types of mountings, such as hooks, can be used, and that the microphone can be mounted on the crown itself if desired. Alternatively, the microphone can be secured to the hat by the connecting wires alone.

The wiring diagram of the loudspeaker system itself is shown schematically in detail in FIG. 2, like numbers being employed as in FIG. l to designate like parts. In the unit 17 the amplifier is designated 17a and the speaker 17s.

From the foregoing description it is evident that I have provided a completely self-contained hat and amplifier system which permits the wearer the utmost in mobility. It is also evident that most of the essential elements of the electrical system are all located so as to be well protected against outside blows, or the entrance of water, ice, or dust from the outside. While the microphone is necessarily somewhat more exposed than the rest of the system, even this is protected by the crown and rim of the hat as much as possible commensurate 'with ready accessability to the hand of the wearer.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the invention, as hereinbefore set forth, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claim.

I claim:

1. A self-contained voice amplifying hat comprising:

(a) a crown formed of hard material and having a hooded aperture projecting therefrom in a forward direction with respect to `the user vand-.a-perforatedcover plate for said aperture,

(b) an amplier-speaker unit mounted within said aperture,

(c) a receptacle and battery means housed therewithin secured to the top of said crown, said battery means being electrically connected to said amplifier-speaker unit, Q

(d) a microphone electrically connected to said amplier-speaker unit through said battery means,

(e) a switch at said microphone for connecting toand.

disconnecting said amplifier-speaker unit from said battery means,

(f) a head harness attached to said crown so constructed and so arranged therewithin as to engage a users head while maintaining such head spacedV from said crown, and,

(g) a holder bracket support by said head harness fory engaging said microphone, said microphone beingv attachable to and detachable from said holder at will for use at the users mouth.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Basic Theory & Applications of Transistor, Army Technical Manual TM 11-690, Marchv1959, page 4.y

WILLIAM C. COOPER, Primary Examiner. i I

U.S. Cl. X.R.

2/1950 Eash 1'79-156` 6/1966 Goldsworthy 179`f-156 X- UNITED STATES PATENT oEEICE CERTIFICATE 0E CORRECTION Patent No. 3,422,224 January 14, 1969 William W. Curran It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the heading to the printed Specification, lines 3 to 5, for "assignor to Benton Bowles, Inc., New York, N. Y., a

corporation of New York" read assignor, by mesne assignments, to Texaco Inc. a corporation of Delaware Signed and sealed this 8th day of July 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.

Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, IR.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2497871 *Feb 21, 1947Feb 21, 1950Eash George HHelmet mounted loud-speaker
US3258534 *Feb 25, 1963Jun 28, 1966Forrest C GoldsworthySafety headpiece loudspeaker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4819270 *Jul 3, 1986Apr 4, 1989Leonard LombardoStereo dimensional recording method and microphone apparatus
US5115472 *Oct 7, 1988May 19, 1992Park Kyung TElectroacoustic novelties
US6609913 *Jul 15, 2002Aug 26, 2003Felix M. BattsEducational youth fireman helmet
U.S. Classification381/75, 381/367
International ClassificationA42B3/04, H04R27/00, H04R27/04
Cooperative ClassificationH04R27/04, A42B3/0406
European ClassificationA42B3/04B, H04R27/04