US 3483569 A
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Dec. 5 6, 1969 l. ARMENDARIZ 3,483,569
UNDERWATER EYEMASK Filed June 4, 1968 IN VENTOR. [SIP/45L fiWEMAR/Z a rim A T TUR/WEY United States Patent 3,483,569 UNDERWATER EYEMASK Israel Armendariz, 15435 S. Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, Calif. 90260 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 655,455, July 24, 1967. This application June 4, 1968, Ser.
lint. Cl. Afilf 9/04 US. Cl. 2-14 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE For use with scuba diving mouthpiece-breathing appara us, a wrap-around windowed mask which disposes a closed air chamber overlyin the wears eyes and nose, with a nose socket having resilient tabs normally holding the nostrils closed against inhaling from the chamber but permitting occasional snort exhaling thereinto to increase the pressure of the confined air when underwater. Face-contoured contact edges of mask are formed with elastomeric V-grooves which progressively diverge under pressure of increased depth of water so as to maintain water-tight seal. The mask has a rigid midline strut, externally overlying the window, which holds together upper and lower cross stretches of the frame and allows interchangeable windows.
This is a continuation-in-part of my pending application, Ser. No. 655,455, filed July 24, 1967, now abandoned.
Background of the invention In the prior art there are examples of goggles for swimmers which leave the end of the nose exposed to the water in order to allow breathing when the nose emerges from the water from time to time. Then with the development of scuba diving equipment and provision for both inhaling and exhaling of pressurized air through a mouthtube connected to the regulator and breathing tank, the end of the nose was enclosed in the eye chamber or mask. One reason for this was to enable the user to expel water which leaked into the closed air chamber, by his snorting into the mask and thus increasing the pressure of its confined volume of air. However, it was still possible for a user to unthinkingly inhale this confined air, with the possible result of the collapse of the mask-chamber due to the increased water pressure at depth. He might even, in the event of panic, inhale the water which pressed into this chamber; in addition, such panic may cause the wearer to tear off the mask (as well as to lose the mouthpiece) so as to directly inhale the water and drown.
When this became appreciated, it was suggested to provide an externally-operated clamp to hold the nostrils shut within the eye chamber. However, this then required manipulation whenever the wearer desired or needed to blow out water or to increase the pressure of confined air; such manipulation is not always possible, especially when the hands are necessarily employed at other underwater tasks, and in any event this is an operation which is not readily performed with ease at times of stress. At best, it amounts to almost the opposite of an automatic procedure, such as is presented by the present structure with which the wearer-whenever he becomes conscious of pressure in his ears or against his eyeballsrnay automatically snort into the air chamber so as to dispel this discomfort. This may occur, for example, once every five feet or so upon initial descent and perhaps every two or three feet as he gets to greater depths (e.g., 30 to 60 feet). Also, when occasionally the eyemask is put on under water, the water content of the chamber can be all blown out by continued snorting.
Brief description There is here provided an underwater eyemask having a windowed wraparound frame with elastomeric V- grooved face-contact edges, which V-grooves are progressively spread apart against the wearers skin as a water-tight seal by action of increased water pressure at depth, the frame being vertically held together by a midline strut overlying the window, and internally having a nose socket including resilient tabs for normally holding the nostrils shut but permitting occasional exhalation into the closed air chamber of the mask in order to blow out water and/or increase the air pressure therein. As noted in the above abstract, the eyemask is intended to be used with the siandard scuba diving equipment, that is, shoulder-borne air tank, automatic pressure regulator, and mouthpiece breathing tube. The air content of the eye chamber does not enter into respiration except as alreadybreathed air is enhaled into it to increase pressure in the chamber; air is never inhaled therefrom.
Description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of my diving mask shown in place on the head of a user.
FIGURE 2 is an inside, or rear elevational, view of the mask without the head attachment straps.
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the mask in place on a user with a portion broken away to sh w a vertical section.
FIGURE 4 is a bottom plan view of the mask with a portion appearing in section.
FIGURE 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 3.
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the anchor pin or strut.
Description of the preferred embodiment Essentially my scuba diving mask is formed of a forwardly convex, oval-shaped frame A, contoured peripherally to overlie the forehead above the eyebrows, extending down along the outer edge of each checkbone and coming together just beneath the nose. Along each side are or curve 10, 12, of the frame A, there is embedded a pair of eyelets 14, 16, which project laterally outward with a forwardly turned hook 18 to which a head strap 20 can be attached.
The edge of each side arc or stretch 10, 12 is formed wi h a V-shaped groove 11, 13 (FIG. 2) which due to the deformability of the material, results in the head straps 20 drawing the side edges 10, 12 tighter against the side of the head.
The contoured construction of the frame permits peripheral vision by use of a correspondingly curved panel or wrap-around lens plate 22. This may be multi layered if desired, but for simplicity has been shown as a single layer. The lens plate 22 has it edge inserted in corresponding grooves 23, 24 of the frame A and can be removed at will, for cleaning, or for replacement with a prescription lens, for the individual user. An anchor pin 25 has its hook end 25a pivotally inserted through an aperature 26 (FIG. 3) with the upper shank portion 27 laterally inserted through a slit 28 of the frame, so that its terminal crosspiece 29 thus is lodged in a sunken socket extending downward from the top ledge 30 of the frame. The anchor pin thus prevents the top 8 and bottom 9 stretches of the frame from spreading apart in use, despite the rearward pull on the sides from the head strap, and the frontal pressure of deep water against the window.
In addition, the inner contact edge of the upper stretch 8 is formed with a V-groove 7 (FIG. 3) which spreads apart somewhat against the wearers forehead under water pressure at increasing depths, so as to form a tighter Water-excluding seal, and this V-groove continues peripherally down both sides 31, 32, and across the bottom 33 so as in each stretch to snugly dispose the two edges of a longitudinally split lip 34 against the wearers skin. The lip, along its lower stretch, has its two ends angularly upturned to form an opposing pair of contact tabs 35, 36 which are positioned to press against the opposite sides of the wearers notstrils so as to hold them closed.
It will be seen that the inner peripheral lip 34, in conjunction with lens plate 22 thus forms a closed air chamber 21 which overlies the eyes and the length of the nose. Below the end of the nose, this chamber is closed by a nose-receiving socket 37 formed by a cross lip with a medial platform surface 38, and a thickened (hence less flexible) protuberance 39, 40 on each side thereof. The slightly downcurved edge 41 of the generally horizontal platform 38 tightly presses the wearers skin just below the end of the nose, and inwardly a short upstanding wall 42 forms the end of the socket into which the Wearers nose is pressed.
Accordingly, it will be seen that the chamber 21, initially filled with air on putting on the mask above water, is sealed against entrance of water when the diver has descended to depth; and the wearer cannot deplete this trapped air by inhaling it, since his nostrils are held shut by the tabs 35, 36. However, as the external water pressure increases with greater depth, it is desirable to increase the air pressure in chamber 21, as already noted. This can be accomplished by the wearer simply exhaling suddenly or snorting into the chamber. The quick spurt of air forces the resilient tabs 35, 36 transiently to bend divergingly in order to permit the exhaled air to enter the chamber 21 from the nostrils (but not to escape into the external water) so that this exhaled air is added to that already in the chamber, and the constant resiliency of the nose tabs 35, 36 continues to hold the nostrils shut and prevent inhalation of the chamber air.
Upon ascending, the wearer can reduce the pressure of the trapped air if desired, simply by inserting a finger between his face and the V-edge of the mask so as to permit a little air to escape into the water. Should water leak into the mask at this time, it can be blown out by the process of snorting just described. In this connection, it will be realized that any mass-produced face-contoured mask will vary in its closeness of fit from one individuals face to another. This also is accommodated by the peripheral split or V-groove which provides a snugger fit even in shallow Water (or out) than could be obtained in the absence of a custom-fitted mask for each wearer.
What is claimed is:
1. An underwater eyemask including:
a deformable frame supporting a transparent window therein and covering at least the upper portion of the wearers face including the eyes and nose so as to define a closed air chamber formed by said frame between the window and the eyes and including a nose socket on the inside surface of said frame within said air chamber, the frame having an elastorneric,
longitudinally split, continuous contact edge extending from either side of said nose socket and contoured sealingly to fit against the wearers forehead and face,
said contact edge being characterized by a generally V-shaped groove adapted to be progressively spread apart against the Wearers skin by external water pressure against the window, thereby to maintain a water-tight seal between said closed air chamber and the external water,
said nose socket including resilient nose-engaging means disposed normally to continuously hold both nostrils of the wearer closed against inhaling from the air of said chamber, which means exert a generally constant pressure on said nostrils regardless of depth of Water at which the eyemask is worn, whereby the wearer may exhale readily into said air chamber by overcoming said constant pressure so as deliberately to increase the pressure of confined air within said chamber when underwater.
2. The structure of the preceding claim 1 wherein said window is thrust-inserted into corresponding grooves formed in a surrounding margin of said deformable frame, and a one-piece, manually detachable strut connects upper and lower lengths of said margin with one end of the strut pivotally secured to one margin and the other end inserted in a transverse groove and thrustreceived in a T-shaped sunken socket formed in the other margin, whereby upon detachment of the strut with deformation of said margin, said window can be easily removed and replaced.
3. In an underwater eyemask covering at least the eyes and nose of the wearer and including sealing means forming a closed air chamber overlying said eyes and nose, said sealing means including a nose socket on the inside thereof within said air chamber, and resilient noseengaging means on said eyemask extending within said nose socket normally to continuously hold both nostrils of the wearer closed against inhaling from the air of said chamber, which nose-engaging means exert a generally constant pressure on said nostrils regardless of depth of water at which the eyemask is worn, whereby the wearer may exhale readily into said air chamber by overcoming said constant pressure so a deliberately to increase the pressure of confined air within said chamber when underwater.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,397,250 11/ 1921 Goodyear. 2,526,181 10/1950 Wilen. 2,881,444 4/1959 Fresh et al. 3,027,562 4/1962 Widenor. 3,336,599 8/1967 Gatti et al.
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,052,722 9/1953 France.
516,855 2/1955 Italy.
H, HAMPTON HUNTER, Primary Examiner