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Publication numberUS3514786 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 2, 1970
Filing dateFeb 6, 1968
Priority dateFeb 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3514786 A, US 3514786A, US-A-3514786, US3514786 A, US3514786A
InventorsTerwilliger Al G
Original AssigneeTerwilliger Al G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective garment
US 3514786 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1970 A. G. TERWILLIGER' 3,514,785

PROTECTIVE GARMENT Filed Feb. 6. 1968 INVE'NTOR. fl/ G.- Terwf/fiyer HGEIVT United States Patent 3,514,786 PROTECTIVE GARMENT Al G. Terwilliger, 44 W. Palmer, Detroit, Mich. 48202 Filed Feb. 6, 1968, Ser. No. 703,288 Int. Cl. F41h 41/02 U.S. Cl. 22.5 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The value of protective garments for both sporting and combat purposes has long been recognized as evidenced by the wide variety of such garments used over the centuries. The era of the knight with its crusades and tournaments probably produced the most interesting of such garments. From that time until this the search has gone on for garments that provide the optimum amount of protection and yet allow the body normal mobility. Each sport and each type of combat situation present their own unique requirements of protection.

It is an object of this invention to provide a protective garment for the upper torso which allows almost com pletely normal body mobility. It is another object to provide a protective garment for the upper torso which is particularly useful for law enforcement oflicers, national guardsmen and reservists during riots, and the like situations, to protect them from stabbings, thrown objects and the like injuries. However, the vests of this invention should not be confused with the so called armored vests. It is particularly an object to provide a protective garment for the upper torso of harness drivers to protect them in the event of an accident during a race. The vests of this invention can also be advantageously worn by jockeys, rodeo riders, automobile racing drivers, and other sportsmen. Other objects, advantages and uses of the present invention will be apparent from the following more detailed description of the invention, the examples, and the claims.

This invention relates to a vest-like garment for the protection of the upper torso, said garment being constructed of two bilaterally symmetrical halves, said garment having means for joining the halves in front, and means for flexibly joining the halves in back, each of said halves being constructed of two layers of fabric having disposed between said layers three selectively contoured parts backed by an elastomeric padding, said parts being made of a material resistant to shattering and to penetration by sharp objects, the first of said parts being contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum in front up over the clavicle and down in back to a point at about the bottom of the scapula, the second of said parts being essentially rectangular in shape and contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum in front down to about the waistline and from about the bilateral center of the torso in front around the side about two-thirds of the distance to the spine in back, the third of said parts being essentially rectangular in shape and contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the scapula in back down to a point just below the hip and from about the second part to about the spine.

FIG. 1 is a right front view of a preferred embodiment of a garment of this invention while FIG. 2 is a back view of the same garment. FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a portion of the garment.

As can be seen from the drawing, the garment 10 is vest-like in shape and is constructed of bilateral symmetrical halves. The garment is provided with suitable means 11 for joining the halves in front such as buttons, snaps, hooks or preferably a zipper. The garment is provided with suitable means 12 for flexibly joining the halves in back such as a strip of elastic o-r lacing. As shown in the drawing, means 12 consists of an upper and lower lacing of nylon cord which not only gives the desired flexibility but also allows for some adjustment of the size of the garment. The garment is constructed of two layers of a suitable fabric having disposed between the layers of each half, three selectively contoured protective parts. An example of a suitable fabric for construction of the garment is a cotton-polyester blend which has been given a permanent press treatment. The garment is made by placing the three parts between the layers of fabric and then sewing the layers of fabric together.

While not essential, it has been found advantageous to place one or more rows of stitching, such as at 16, between the parts to assure their staying in place.

As can be seen from the fragmentary cross-sectional view of FIG. 3 which illustrates the construction of the garment, the garment is constructed of two layers of fabric 19 having disposed between said layers a part such as 14 having an elastomeric pad backing 20.

Each half of the garment contains three parts contoured to follow the body lines. These parts can be made of any suitable material which is resistant to shattering and to penetration by sharp objects. Thus, for example, these parts can be made of metal, glass fabric reinforced epoxy resin or polyester resin laminates, or a suitable plastic such as polyethylene. The latter material is preferred at this time. If so desired the plastic, such as parts 14 and 15, can be split at appropriate places either prior to or after it is joined with the elastomeric backing. This is done when more flexibility in the garment is desired and results in no'loss in protection. While the thickness of the plastic can be varied to meet the specific needs of the intended use, generally speaking about a As" thickness will suffice for most situations. As should be obvious, the parts need not be of uniform thickness throughout but certain portions can be thicker if desirable. It should be noted at this point that in a garment employing parts wherein the plasticis of uniform thickness, the shock absorbency can be increased by raising portions of the plastic. Such raised areas are illustrated in the drawing and designated by the numeral 18 in all places.

Each of the above parts is backed with an elastomeric padding. This padding. can be a natural or synthetic elastomer and thus, for example, in addition to natural rubber, a polyurethane, polysulfide, polyacrylate or silicone rubber can be employed. The elastomeric padding can be solid or foamed, and generally speaking about a /5" thickness will be satisfactory for most uses to which the garment will be put. The preferred elastomer at the present time is a closed cell polyvinyl chloride foam. The elastomeric padding must at least cover the back of the part and preferably extends beyond the edges of the part from to 1". The elastomer is best attached to the part by means of a suitable adhesive. In addition to making the garment comfortable to wear, the elastomeric backing also gives added protection from inury.

One of the above mentioned parts 13 is contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum (breast bone) in front up over the clavicle (collar bone) and down in back to a point at about the bottom of the scapula (shoulder blade).

The second of the above mentionedparts 14 is essentially rectangular in shape and is contoured so as 3 to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum in front down to about the waistline and from about the bilateral center of the orso in front around the side about two-thirds of the distance to the spine in back.

The third of the above mentioned parts 15 is also essentially rectangular in shape and is contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the scapula in back down to a point just below the hip and from about the second part to about the spine.

If so desired, additional protection can be obtained for the shoulder and shoulder joint by attaching a fourth part 17 of elliptical convex shape and backed with an elastomer as the previous parts. Part 17 is sewn between two pieces of fabric and then attached to the main garment by any suitable means such as sewing or grommets and lacing as shown in the drawing.

The following incident illustrates the utility of the protective garment of this invention. A harness driver, wearing a protective garment made in accordance with this invention, was driving his three year old filly in a race when another filly broke in front of him. He was unable to miss her and had stopped his own filly to avoid hitting her driver when two other fillies hit him from behind and fell on top of him. When they finally got the two horses off from him he had no feeling, but in a few minutes feeling returned and he was able to walk off the track. While he had numerous bruises over his entire body, he suffered no broken bones. The brand new sulky he was driving at the time of the accident was completely ruined.

That which is claimed is:

1. A vest-like garment for the protection of the upper torso, said garment being constructed of two bilaterally symmetrical halves, said garment having means for joining the halves in front, and means for flexibly joining the halves in back, each of said halves being constructed of two layers of fabric having disposed between said layers three selectively contoured parts including an elastomeric pad backing said parts, said parts being made of a material resistant to shattering and to penetration by sharp objects, the first of said parts being contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum in front up over the clavicle and down in back to a point at about the bottom of the scapula, the second of said parts being essentially rectangular in shape and contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the sternum in front down to about the waistline and from about the bilateral center of the torso in front around the side about two-thirds of the distance to the spine in back, the third of said parts being essentially rectangular in shape and contoured so as to extend from a point at about the bottom of the scapula in back down to a point just below the hip and from about the second part to about the spine.

2. A vest-like garment as defined in claim 1 which also has attached to each half at the shoulder for the protection thereof, an elliptical concave-convex fourth part having an elastomeric pad backing and two layers of fabric enclosing said fourth part, and stitching securing said two layers of fabric together.

3. A vest-like garment as defined in claim 2 wherein selected portions of said parts are raised outwardly from the remaining portions.

4. A vest-like garment as defined in claim 3 wherein the second and third parts are each split forming a plurality of parts to obtain increased flexibility.

5. A vest-like garment as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for joining the halves of the garment in front is a zipper, said means for joining the halves in back is nylon cord lacing, said fabric is a cotton-polyester blend, the contoured parts are polyethylene plastic, and the elastomeric backing is polyvinyl chloride foam.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,640,987 6/1953 Ehlers 22.5 3,061,839 11/ 1962 Foster 22.5 3,162,861 12/1964 Gustafson 22 3,337,875 8/ 1967 Blakeney 22.5

MERVIN STEIN, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2640987 *Jun 2, 1952Jun 9, 1953Us ArmyArmored garment
US3061839 *Sep 17, 1959Nov 6, 1962Us Rubber CoArmored housing fabric
US3162861 *Jun 10, 1963Dec 29, 1964Gustafson Donald EBatter's chest protector
US3337875 *May 28, 1964Aug 29, 1967William E BlakeneyProtective vest
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4195362 *Jun 14, 1978Apr 1, 1980Maglificio Biellese Fratelli Fila S.P.A.Shock resistant jacket
US4514862 *Jul 25, 1983May 7, 1985Costa Anthony AGun recoil protector
US4866789 *Nov 21, 1983Sep 19, 1989Dormco, Inc.Protective body suit
US4993076 *Jul 21, 1989Feb 19, 1991Dierickx Edward GChest protector
US5020156 *Nov 14, 1989Jun 4, 1991Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Baseball catcher's chest protector
US5044011 *Mar 23, 1990Sep 3, 1991George HendersonArticulated body armor
US5101511 *Mar 13, 1991Apr 7, 1992A.C.E. International, Ltd.Protective jacket
US6519782May 1, 2001Feb 18, 2003Hos Development CorporationBaseball catcher's chest protector
US7076806Dec 30, 2004Jul 18, 2006Christopher Sean Van WinkleBody armor
US7100217Jan 10, 2005Sep 5, 2006Panzenboeck PeterUpper body protector for protecting persons from compression trauma
US7426753 *Sep 16, 2003Sep 23, 2008Paul Brent RiversProtective garment
US7865967Jul 17, 2006Jan 11, 2011Christopher Sean Van WinkleBody armor
US8082602 *Aug 15, 2008Dec 27, 2011Sport Maska Inc.Upper body protective garment
US8336124 *Nov 22, 2011Dec 25, 2012Sport Maska Inc.Upper body protective garment
US8578513 *Aug 8, 2005Nov 12, 2013Safariland, LlcDeltoid arm protection system for ballistic body armor
US20110277202 *Apr 27, 2011Nov 17, 2011Mcqueer Pamela SWoman's bullet resistant undergarment
US20120060268 *Nov 22, 2011Mar 15, 2012Ryan CrelinstenUpper Body Protective Garment
WO2004004499A1 *Jul 8, 2003Jan 15, 2004Hilgarth KurtUpper body protector for protecting people from compression trauma
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/2.5, D29/101.3
International ClassificationA41D13/015
Cooperative ClassificationA41D13/015
European ClassificationA41D13/015