US 3732574 A
Protective head gear comprising a helmet having a face mask hingedly connected thereto at a central upper location, with the forward edge of the helmet being retained in substantial registration with the rear edge of said face mask portion by elastic connecting means.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Hale 1 1 May 15, 1973  PROTECTIVE HEAD GEAR 3,220,014 11/1965 Strohm et a1. 2/9
3 3,167,783 2/1965 Wolfe [751 memo Hale, wlnlamspor" 3,113,318 12/1963 Marietta ..2/9  Assignee: Little League Baseball lnc., Williamsport, p Primary Examiner-+1. Hampton Hunter Attorney-Eyre, Mann & Lucas  Filed: Apr. 21, 1971  App]. No.: 136,137  ABSTRACT Protective head gear comprising a helmet having a  U.S.Cl ..2/9 face mask g y connected thereto at a central  Int. Cl. ..A42b 1/08 PP location, with the forward edge of the helmet 58 Field of Search ..2/9, 173, 206, 8, being retained i substantial registration with the rear t 2/10 edge of said face mask portion by elastic connecting means.  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure 3,373,443 3/1968 Marietta 5/9 Z0 1 x l 4 2a 1a 40 f#- o o o. ,l 15;. .ta v 11.1
i 1 J ifl l? 36 1 3 V l 2 a" 54 1. f5 /3 I /v 34 1 32 f PATENTEDHAY 1 51912,
INVENTOR (PE/f/JTO/V ([H/ME 1 PROTECTIVE HEAD GEAR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing, the helmet is gener- .The present invention is directed toward protective 5 ally constructed in the manner of protective helmets head gear which affords protection for both the face and the skull of the wearer from the hazards of sport, and yet will allow quick and easy removal in the course of play. The protective head gear embodying the present Invention is particularly adapted for use by a baseball catcher, who frequently must doff his protective head gear rapidly in the course of play of a baseball game, e.g., in order to chase pop fly balls.
2. Description of the Prior Art Various types of head gear have been constructed for the purpose of providing protection to the wearer in the course of play of various games. For example, U. S. Pat. No. 3,373,443 (Marietta) discloses a combination helmetand face mask hingedly connected at the temple portions and adapted particularly for use in hockey. However, because of the requirements of the game of hockey, this combination is designed to fit as close to the wearers head as possible so as to provide a close fit to preclude shifting of the head gear during the rapid maneuvers of the player. To effect such stability on the wearers head, Mariettas face mask portion extends under the wearers chin, with the helmet portion extending to the base of the neck. Thus, it is apparent that this combination may not be readily doffed, and therefore does not meet the needs of a baseball catcher. U. S Pat. Nos. 3,132,345 (Keith) and 3,196,458 (Keith) disclose two variations of a protective mask for use in the game of baseball. The first variation connects the transparent protective mask by elastic straps to a sweat band detachably connected to the interior of an ordi nary baseball cap and by another strap which passes around the wearers neck. The second variation utilizes ear hooks hingedly connected to the transparent protective mask with no connection at all to the wearers head gear. U. S. Pat. No. 3,204,251 (Child) discloses a hockey head protector in the form of a two-piece helmet. The two pieces are connected at their temple portrons by adjustably positioned screws in parallel slots in the first helmet portion, and a transverse slot in the second helmet portion through which the two screws extend. There is no face mask portion in this combination.
SUMMARY on THE INVENTION Applicants invention is embodied in a protective head gear formed by a modified helmet and a face mask hingedly connected thereto in such a manner as to maximize the space between the helmet and face mask when hmged apart against the urging of an elastic connecting member.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Applicant's novel protective head gear may best be understood by reference to the accompanying drawing, whIch is a side elevation of the protective head gear, with the broken line showing the position assumed by the face mask relative to the helmet when hinged forward by the chin portion of the mask as indicated by the arrows. The illustrated head gear is symmetrical about a vertical plane parallel to the plane of the drawmg and extending through the center of the head gear.
currently worn by professional baseball players, with the exception that the front of the helmet 10 does not include an eye shade, but rather comprises a forward edge 12 which substantially frames the face of the wearer by extending from the top of the helmet and down both sides thereof to the helmets bottom edge 13 as it extends to the front of the ear covers 14 in which apertures 16 are formed to enhance the wearers ability to hear. This forward edge 12 extends nearly vertically upward from the bottom edge 13 and curves forward from the top of the ear covers 14. The helmet 10 incorporates interior padding (not shown) distributed in a conventional manner. Face mask 18 is hingedly connected to the helmet at a central position which divides the forward edge 12 of helmet 10 into two peripheral segments of substantially equal length. This pivotal connection may be effected by a belt strap 20 looped around a securing bar 22 in the face mask 18 and connected to a belt buckle 24 on the belt strap 20 as shown, for example. The belt strap 20 may be connected to the helmet 10 by any suitable means such as rivets 26, for example. By hinging the face mask 18 to the helmet 10 at the highest possible location on each element, the space created between the two elements when hinged apart is maximized, thus facilitating removal by the wearer. The rear edge 28 of the mask 118 is substantially in registration with the forward edge 12 of the helmet 10. However, exact registration is not critical, since the face mask 118 includes interior padding 30 removably attached to the mask by straps 32 having snap fasteners 34 at the ends thereof. The forward edge 12 of helmet 10 may abut this padding 30 over certain portions of the length of the edge 12, and such padding 30 may be deemed effectively to constitute a portion or portions of said rear edge 28 to the extent that said forward edge 12 is in registration therewith. The mask 18 and the helmet 10 are also elastically connected below the point of pivotal connection. This connection may be effected by means of an elastic strap 36 extending around the rear portion of the helmet 10 and connected to each side of face mask 18 by a pair of means such as a belt strap 38 looped through one of the apertures in the mask (such as the eye slot as shown) and connected to a buckle 40 carried on belt strap 38. The protective head gear thus formed may be readily donned by grasping the face mask 18 at its lower extremity (the chin portion) and hinging same forward to the position indicated by the dotted line. Similarly, in the course of play, the protective head gear may be quickly doffed by again hinging the face mask 18 forward and raising the protective head gear upward and backward to remove same. The rear portion of bottom edge 13 of the helmet 10 does not extend downward so far that removal in this manner would cause this edge portion to bite into the players neck. The chin portion of the face mask extends downward a sufficient distance to provide the necessary protection for that part of the wearers face, but does not v bodiment thereof, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the'art. It is the applicants intention to cover all those changes and modifications which could be made to the embodiment of the invention herein chosen for the purposes of the disclosure without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Protective head gear comprising:
1. a helmet having a forward edge which substantially frames the face of the wearer;
2. a face mask having a rear edge substantially in registration with said forward edge of said helmet portion;
3. first connecting means hingedly connecting said face mask to said helmet at an upper central position; and
4. second connecting means operative elastically to interconnect said helmet portion and said face mask portion at lateral positions below said point of hinged connection and normally to draw said edges into registration.
2. Protective head gear according to claim 1 wherein said face mask includes padding which effectively constitutes at least one portion of said rear edge of said face mask.
3. Protective head gear according to claim 1 wherein said first connecting means comprises a belt strap on which a buckle is mounted, said belt strap being connected to said helmet by at least one rivet, and said face mask includes a securing bar around which said belt strap is looped and connected to said buckle.
4. Protective head gear according to claim 1 wherein said second connecting means comprises an elastic strap extending around the rear portion of said helmet and including a pair of means connecting the endsof said elastic strap to each side of said face mask.
5. Protective head gear according to claim 4 wherein said face mask includes an eye slot, and each of said pair of means comprises a belt strap looped through said eye slot at opposite sides of said face mask and connected to a buckle carried on said belt strap.