US 3500474 A
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March 17, 1970 H. w. AUSTIN ADJUSTABLE HEADBAND Filed Oct. 8. 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEYS.
March 17, 1970v H. w. AUSTIN ADJUSTABLE HEADBAND Filed Oct. 8. 1968 2 Sheets -Sheet 2 INVENTOR United States Patent M 3,500,474 ADJUSTABLE HEADBAND Harry W. Austin, Monroeville, Pa., assignor to Mme Safety Appliance Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Oct. 8, 1968, Ser. No. 765,932 Int. Cl. A42b 1/22, 3/06 US. Cl. 2-3 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A flexible headband has overlapping end portions that are slidingly connected together by a ratchet tooth and slot arrangement, whereby the size of the headband can quickly be reduced while on the head by simply sliding one end portion along the other, or enlarged after pinching the part carrying the ratchet teeth to disengage them from the ratchet slots.
Headbands used in protective helmets and the like are practically always made adjustable in size so that they can be made to fit different heads comfortably. Various means for adjusting the headbands have been provided, but most of them, if not all, require the adjustment to be made while the handband is not on the head. An objection to this is that the wearer must more or less guess at the adjustment he should make and then try on the hat or helmet to see whether the headband fits. If it does not, he must change the adjustment. This could happen two or three times before a correct fit is obtained.
It is among the objects of this invention to provide an adjustable headband, which can quickly and easily be increased or reduced in size while on the head, which can be made in one piece, which does not require separate fastener members, and which is simple and inexpensive in construction.
The preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view of the headband;
FIG. 2 is a rear view;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical cross section taken on the line IIIIII of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a similar view but showing part of the band deformed to allow the headband to be expanded;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the headband laid out fiat, with the central portion broken away;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged end view taken on the line VI-VI of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged longitudinal section taken on the line VHVII of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged end view taken on the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 9 is an enlarged longitudinal section taken on the line IX-D( of FIG. 5.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the headband 1 is a flexible member that preferably is molded completely in one piece from a suitable synthetic plastic material. The band, of course, is designed to extend around the head, with its end portions 2 and 3 disposed in overlapping relation at the back. The band may be straight from end to end, in which case its end portions will overlap up on the head. On the other hand, as shown in the drawings, the rear portion of the band may extend downwardly and across the nape of the neck. Regardless of which type of band it is, the manner in which the overlapping end portions 2 and 3 are connected is the same. The band may be provided in suitable locations with slots 4 for receiving headed studs on clips (not shown), by which the band can be attached to a hat or helment. Cradle straps that cross over the top of the head can also be 3,500,474 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 attached to the clips. Secured in the front portion of the band is a flexible sweat strip and forehead cushion 5.
In accordance with this invention, one end portion of the headband 2 is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced transverse ratchet slots 7, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. The other end portion 3 of the band extends behind the slotted portion and has a more or less flat end area that engages the back of the slotted portion. The top and bottom of this fiat end extend forward across the edges of the slotted portion and are provided with means, such as flanges 8, that engage the front of the slotted portion as shown in FIG. 3. The flat end and the flanges together form a channel-like slide 9 that receives the slotted portion, along which the slide can slide. For a purpose that will be explained presently the inside height of the slide is a little greater than the height or width of the slotted portion of the headband in the slide.
The end portion of the band that carries the slide is provided with a longitudinal guide slot 11 extending inwardly or forwardly away from the slide and helps guide the slide. Integral with the opposite end of the band and fitting in the guide slot is a lug 12 (FIGS. 6 and 7) provided with a head 13 that overlies the back of band portion 3 above and below the guide slot. This lug may be a generally rectangular member that projects just far enough to permit a finger to move it along the slot. The head and lug not only aid in adjusting the headband, but they hold the adjoining end of the band flat against the overlapping portion 3.
The inner or fiat surface of the back of slide 9 is provided with one or more ratchet teeth 15 that project forward into some of the ratchet slots 4, as shown in FIG. 3. These teeth face toward the opposite end of the band, which means that the sides of the teeth that are more or less perpendicular to the adjoining portion of the band face toward guide slot 11 as shown in FIG. 9 and engage the left-hand sides of the ratchet slots as viewed in FIG. 2. The other side of the teeth is inclined or curved from their free edges backwardly toward the free end of the slide. Consequently, the projection of the teeth into some of the ratchet slots normally prevents lug 12 from being moved toward the slide, which would enlarge the headband, but allows the lug to be moved away from the slide because the portions of the band between the ratchet slots can slide over the inclined surfaces of the teeth.
Assuming that the band has been expanded to its largest diameter, which means that the lug head 13 would be at or near the slide end of guide slot 11, the band is applied to the head and the wearer then grips the top and bottom of slide 9 between the thumb and first finger of his right hand and pulls it to the right as he pulls the lug head to the left with a finger of his left hand. This slides the slotted portion of the band to the left across the ratchet teeth until the headband fits the head snugly and comfortably. The operation takes only a moment and it is all done While the headband is in place on the head. There is no presetting of headband size and then trying on.
To loosen or enlarge the headband for any reason, the slide is first pinched vertically between the thumb and forefinger of one hand engaging the top and bottom of the slide, which causes the back of the flexible and resilient slide to bow rearwardly as shown in FIG. 4 and thereby withdraw the ratchet teeth from the adjoining slots. The band then can be expanded by pushing the lug head 13 to the right, or by pulling to the right on the slotted portion 2 of the band, which will move freely through the temporarily deformed slide. When the slide is released, it will flatten out again and push its teeth into the slots in front of it to prevent further enlargement of the headband.
By forming the front of the slide from the two-vertical flanges 8 instead of from a solid piece, the two ends of the headband can quickly be connected together or separated. The initial conriection is made by simply slipping the slotted portions 2 into the slide from the front by sliding that portion in between the opposed edges of the flanges. The sides of guide slot 11 then can be spread apart far enough to permit the head of lug 12 to pass through it. Assembly of the band is facilitated by spacing the slide flanges a considerable distance apart to form an entrance gap between them. They need to overlap the slotted portion of the band only far enough to hold that portion in the slide. It will be seen that the headband can quickly be tightened or loosened on the head whenever desired, so the' most comfortable fit can always be maintained without having to make off-thehead adjustments.
1. An adjustable headband comprising a flexible band adapted to extend around the head with overlapping end portions at the back, one of said portions being provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced transverse ratchet sets, the other end portion having a resilient end area engaging the back of said slotted portion of the band, the top and bottom of said end area extending forward across the edges of the slotted portion and provided with means engaging the front of the slotted portion, said means and end area forming a slide slidingly receiving the slotted portion and having'an inside height greater than the width of said slotted portion, said other end portion of the band being provided with a longitudinal guide slot extending inwardly along it away from "said-slide, a lug securedto the opposite end of the ban and projecting through said guide slot, and a head secured to the lug and overlying the back of the band above and below the guide slot, the inner surface of the back of said slide being provided with one or more ratchet teeth projecting forward into some of said ratchet slots and facing toward said opposite end of the band to prevent said head and slide from moving toward each other, and the back of said slide being bowable rearwardly away from said slotted portion when the slide is manually compressed vertically, whereby to temporarily withdraw said teeth from the ratchet slots so that said head and slide can be pulled toward each other to increase the size of the headband.
, to permit removal of the lug and head from that slot.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,461,604 2/1949 Huntsman 2--8 2,461,605 2/ 1949 Huntsman 2--8 3,079,609 3/1963 Hoffmaster 2-8 JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner