US 3528106 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1970 R. A. AUSTIN 3,528,106
SHOULDER GUARD Filed April 9, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN'IIQR. Russell A.Aus1|n A ORN Y BYMKZQHML R. A. AUSTIN SHOULDER GUARD Sept. 15, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed April 9, 1969 INVENTOR. Russell A. Austin ATTORNEY United States Patent Texas Filed Apr. 9, 1969, Ser. No. 814,759 Int. Cl. A41d 13/00 US. Cl. 2-2 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A shoulder and upper body guard for football players comprising a semi-rigid protective covering for the breast, back and shoulders while engaged in the game of football, and consists of a pair of right and left similarly shaped members of light and resilient material, such as semi-rigid plastics, and conformable to the upper body of the wearer and flexibility connected across the front and back by suitable fastening devices. Shoulder caps or epaulets are hingedly attached to each member in a manner which will limit their downward movement under applied force, to protect the shoulders of the wearer, while possessing limited flexibility.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention has reference to subject matter described in US. Pat. No. 3,431,560, dated Mar. 11, 1969, to Russell A. Austin, and US. Pat. No. 2,430,502, dated Nov. 11, 1947, to Hugo Goldsmith.
SUMMARY This invention relates to shoulder and body protectors for football players, and the like.
A prime object of the invention resides in the provision of a protective armor for players in such games as football, hockey, and other such hazardous sports, and which comprises a pair of similarly formed right and left members shaped to conformably embrace the shoulders, breast, shoulder blades in back of the body, the rib cage and the clavicular area in front and over the shoulder between the neck and the shoulder tips.
Another and important object of the invention is that of providing an improved arrangement by which the shoulder caps or epaulets are hingedly attached to the respective body members to afford adequate protection for the shoulders of the wearer by restricting the downward movement of these elements toward the shoulders while providing for limited flexibility thereof to allow for some yieldability under stress.
Broadly, the invention is designed to provide a protective device for the vital parts of the upper body of the player against injuries peculiar to the game of football, and especially to aflord a semi-rigid shield about the shoulders, the rib cage, and the clavicle bones, the anatomical parts most vulnerable to injury under the substantial stresses encountered in scrimmage.
While the foregoing objects are paramount, other and lesser objects will become apparent as the description proceeds, when considered in connection with the appended drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the embodiment of the invention as worn by a player shown in broken lines.
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view opposite that of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view showing the extended portion of the right body member, the rib cage of the wearer, and showing one of the shoulder caps.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view showing the forwardly extended protective shoulder flaps.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional 'view, on line 5-5 of FIG. 4, showing the hinged association of the shoulder cap with one body member and its seating action thereagainst, and
FIG. 6 is another enlarged fragmentary sectional illustration, on line 6-6 of FIG. 3, showing the uppera portion of the flanged seat limiting the downward movement of the shoulder cap.
The invention seeks to provide a protective device which comprises a pair of right and left sections 10 and 11 flexibly joined at the back by one or more straps 12 riveted, or otherwise secured, to opposing marginal edges of the members, and detachably securable to the wearer by lacing 13, or other device, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Each of the sections 10 and 11 are substantially U-shaped in vertical section, as indicated in FIG. 3, to conformably embrace the shoulders of the wearer (shown in broken lines in FIGS. 1 to 3) and provide a shield for the breast, rib cage and clavicular area in front of the wearer, and for protection of the shoulder blades and rib area in the back.
While the front depending portions 14 and 15 of the sections 10 and 11, when associated as in FIG. 1, present a marginal contour defining a breast protector, the corresponding portions 16 and 17 in the rear have extended portions 18 and 19 which are curved radially in slightly inclined planes around the body, embracing the rib cage on each side and under the arms, terminating in front of the body adjacent to the marginal edges 20 and 21 of the portions 14 and 15, as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, and detachably secured thereto by straps 22 arranged through slots 23 in the ends of the members 18 and 19, each having a fastener 24 thereon which is joined to a pin 25 in each of the front portions 14 and 15.
The entire assembly is preferably formed of plastic material having suitable flexibility yet possessing sufficient rigidity to withstand shocks of substantial force. The wrap-around feature provided by the radial extensions 18 and 19 obviously affords protection for the wearers rib cage without restricting body movements or the discomfort resulting from a sense of confinement.
The shoulder portion 26 of each of the sections 10 and 11, being arcuate, is reinforced by a conforming plastic plate 27, which is secured by rivets 28 to each section 10 and 11, as shown in FIG. 6'. The outer arcuate portion of each plate 27 is offset to form a shoulder 30 and a flange 31.
A shoulder cap or epaulet 32 is hinged by a strap 33 to each shoulder portion 26 of the sections 10 and 11 so that the inner curved edges 34 on each side of the epaulet 32 will abut the shoulder 30 in its normal seated position, overlapping the flange 31, and thus prevent the epaulet 32 from being depressed against the wearers shoulder, as indicated in broken lines in Figure 5.
The outer perimeters of the shoulder portions 26 extend beyond the shoulders 30 whereby to define an arcuate channel 35, and guide tabs 36 are formed at the rear of each shoulder portion 26, as shown in FIG. 2 and 6, and curved outwardly to guide the epaulets 32 to their seats and to prevent excessive lateral displacement thereof under any applied force.
A flap 37 is hinged to each of the shoulder portions 26 by the straps 33 which are folded over the outer edges of these members and secured by rivets 38, the flaps 37 extending over the epaulets 32, and are downwardly curved over the upper portions of the front members 14 and 15. Each end of each flap 37 is flexibly anchored to the sections 10 and 11 by straps 39, as shown in Figures 1, 2 and 4.
Both of the sections 10 and 11, as well as the epaulets 32, are padded with a suitable material 40, such as foam rubber, covered by a lining material 41. All edges of the 3 members are provided with a cushioned binding 42. The sections 10 and 11, the epaulets 32 and the flaps 37 are suitably reinforced by embossments 43.
What is claimed is:
1. In a protective device for football players, in combination, a semi-rigid shield comprising a pair of opposingly formed and flexibily joined sections, each having an arcuate shoulder portion adapted to conformably embrace a shoulder, and having front portions adapted to depend over the clavicular area and breast of the wearer, and rear portions for depending over the shoulder blades, the said rear portions having integral lateral radial extensions for embracing the rib cage and terminating forwardly thereof, flexible means on each of said lateral extensions for detachably and adjustably joining the same to said depending front portions, a shoulder cap hingedly attached to the shoulder portion of each section and having a rim, a reinforcing plate attached to and conformably embracing each shoulder portion, the said reinforcing plate having an outer offset portion extending below and outwardly of the level of said reinforcing plate formed therewith providing an abutment engaged by the adjacent rim of each shoulder cap in its uppermost position.
2. A protective device as described in claim 1, a tab element formed on the rear of each shoulder portion extending outwardly from and over said abutment for restricting each shoulder cap from lateral movement with respect to said abutment.
3. A protective device as described in claim 1, the said means for joining said lateral extensions to said front portions comprising adjustable straps having detachable fasteners thereon, and means for detachably joining said sections in front of the wearer.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,846,193 2/1932 Glahe 2--2 2,108,336 2/1938 Helland 22 2,741,767 4/1956 Weeks 22 2,953,789 9/1960 Morgan et a1. 22 3,431,560 3/1969 Austin 22 PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner