US 3548818 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 219,011 8/1879 Page 2/45 Re. 17,772 8/1930 Glass 2/44X 3,116,735 1/1964 Geimer 128/78X 3,338,236 8/1967 McLeod,Jr. 128/87 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner.1. Yasko A!torney-W0lf, Greenfield and Hieken PATENTED [15022 I970 INVENTOR DAVID KAPLAN BY 9%0%%WW9 ATTORNEYS SHOULDER BRACE This invention relates to body supports and binders and more particularly, the invention relates to shoulder braces.
At thepresent time there are a number of shoulder braces available which are designed to place tension on the shoulders and draw them back to straighten the back of the wearer and provide substantial support. All of the prior art devices known to applicant, depend upon one or more straps across the chest or abdomen to provide sufficient tension at the shoulders to furnish the necessary support. Effectively, these prior art devices depend upon pressure on the chest or abdomen to create tension on the shoulders and this consequently results in some unnecessary discomfort to the wearer.
One important object of this invention is to provide a simple shoulder support free of all chest and abdomen bands etc.
Another important object of this invention is to provide a shoulder brace which provides the necessary tension on the shoulders without accompanying discomfort or strain on other parts of the body.
Another important object of this invention is to provide a shoulder brace which will not irritate the skin or shift on the body so as to cause rubbing on the skin.
Still another important object of this invention is to provide a shoulder brace which is free of extra straps or other body encircling bands which may create bulk and be noticeable when worn under normal wearing apparel.
To accomplish these and other objects, the shoulder brace of this invention includes a back panel and a pair of shoulder loops whose ends are secured to the top and bottom of the back panel. The loops are designed to extend about the shoulders when the garment is worn in the manner of a small vest with the panel at the back. The back panel and the two loops are longitudinally stretchable, and each is therefore capable of exerting a substantial pull on the shoulders to hold them straight and furnish the desired support.
These and other objects and features of this invention along with its incident advantages will be better understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of one embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoulder brace, looking at the front constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shoulder brace of FIG. 1 taken from the rear; and
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the section line 33 in FIG. 2.
The embodiment of my invention shown in the drawing includes a back panel and a pair of shoulder straps 12 and 14. Each of the shoulder straps is independently secured to the top and bottom of the back panel in' the manner described below to form two separate shoulder loops.
The back panel 10 is composed of two vertical strips 16 and 18 which are designed to lie against the upper back with the upper edge 20 of the back panel lying just below the neck of the wearer. The back panel may be approximately 8 inches in height, and its bottom edge 22 lies a short distance downwardly from the, top between the wearer's shoulder blades. The panels are stitched together along their adjacent longitudinal side edges 24 and 26 as suggested by the row of stitching 28 as seen in FIG. 1. The longitudinal seam 28 which joins the two panels introduces a measure of yieldability which would not otherwise be present.
The strips 16 and 18 as well as the shoulder straps Hand 14 are each made of elastic webbing which is stretchable in a longitudinal direction and which is incapable of being stretched transversely. Thus, the straps l2 and 14 are stretchable in their body encircling direction about. the shoulders.
Each of the straps l2 and 14 sewn at their ends to the top and bottom of the panel strips 16 and 18 define arm holes 30 and 32 through which the arms extend so that the straps extend from the back immediately below the neck, over the top of the shoulders, and then under the arms to the middle of the back at the bottom of the panel 10.
The upper end 34 of the strap 12 is shown secured to the strip 16 of elastic webbing in the back panel It) at an angle of about by rows of zigzag stitching 36, 38 and 40. Because the end 34 of the strap 12 extends almost at right angles to the longitudinal direction of the strip 16, it is evident that the overlay of one on the other cancels any longitudinal stretchability in either of the strips in the overlapped region by virtue of the fact that neither is stretchable in a lateral direction. The end 42 of the strap 12 is connected to the bottom of strip 16 by rows of zigzag stitching 44, 46, as, and 50, the last identified row joining the strap to the bottom edge 52 of strip 36. As indicated, the ends 54 and S6 of strap 14 are similarly connected to the top and bottom of strip 18 respectively of back panel 10.
Because of the overlap of the ends of the straps on the back panel strips, only the central portion of the back panel which is not covered by either of the strap endsis really stretchable in a longitudinal direction. However, even the short sections of the back panel strips which are uncovered provide a substantial degree of stretch in the shoulder brace so that it may fit comfortably on individuals of varied body builds. The flexible central portions of the panels 16 and 18 are joined as suggested in FIG. 2 by a row of fagoting stitching 58 which allows each of the panels to stretch longitudinally with respect to the other because of the looseness of the stitch. Moreover, the edges of one of the panel strips may overlap the edge of the other when the two shift in some way under the body motion because of the looseness of the fagoting stitch.
For maximum comfort, the elastic webbing from which the back panels and loops are made should be provided with an Helanca backing or lining, which is shown in FIG. 3. The lining in no way interferes with the stretchability of the garment. In that FIG, the loop 12 is shown to be composed of a webbing layer 60 and a lining 62, and the lining does not impede the stretch of the webbing and is most comfortable when worn against the skin. The lining not only enhances the comfort of the support, but retains the garment in place on the body. That is,the shoulder straps will not shift on the body when the body moves or twists.
In the manufacture of the garment, three inch wide elasticized webbing has proved suitable for use both in the straps and in each of the strips which comprise the back panel. As suggested above, the back panel may be approximately eight inches long, and each of the shoulder straps may be approximately 17" in length measured along its longitudinal center line. It should be recognized that the shoulder straps may be made as a single continuous strip; that is, the ends 42 and 56 may be continuous rather than comprise the ends of separate straps. If each is stitched to the back panel in the manner shown and described, the shoulder brace will function the same, whether each strap is separately fabricated or alter natively formed as part of a continuous unit.
From the foregoing description it will be appreciated when the garment is worn, there are no bands across the chest or abdomen which must be manipulated to apply the desired tension to the straps about the shoulders. Rather, the loops formed by straps I2 and M operate independently of one another and do not depend on any such body encircling bands. Therefore, the garment is of minimum bulk. The configuration of the back panel allows it to distort under body movements without applying uncomfortable pressures or points of irritation to the body. Rather, the loops which circle the shoulders merely pull them back into the desired position, and each is very comfortable by virtue of the lining provided on each strap and the back panel.
Because numerous modifications may be made of this invention without departing from its spirit, it is not intended to limit the breadth of this invention to the single embodiment illustrated and described. Rather, it is intended that the scope of this invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
11. A shoulder brace comprising:
aback panel made of elastic material and stretchable vertically when worn;
and a pair of shoulder loops each made of elastic webbing and secured at their ends to the top and bottom of the back panel and adapted to extend from the back panel over and about the shoulder and under the arm and return to the back panel when worn;
each of said loops and said back panel being provided with an Helanca lining;
said back panel including two vertical stripes of elastic webbing stitched together along their side edges by a row