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Publication numberUS3739397 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1973
Filing dateJan 6, 1972
Priority dateJan 6, 1972
Publication numberUS 3739397 A, US 3739397A, US-A-3739397, US3739397 A, US3739397A
InventorsTruelove J
Original AssigneeProtective Prod Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shoulder pad apparatus
US 3739397 A
Disclosed is a shoulder pad apparatus comprised of opposed U-shaped members adapted to be worn over the shoulder and attached to form a protective pad for the wearer's shoulders and upper chest and back. The ends of the U-shaped members are interconnected by an adjustable bridge which supports a pad for protecting the wearer's sides and ribs.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Umted States Patent 1 1 v 1 A 11 1 3,739,397 i Truelove 1 p 1 I 1 1 51 Jurie 1 9, 1973 i [5 SHOULDER PAD APPARATUS 1 2,163,463 6/1939 Kennedy 2 2 2,196,124 4 1940 S '1h....... 7 Inventor: Vernon 2,892,193 6i1959 S2316 2 2 [73] Assignee: Protective Products, Inc., Grand t I Prairie, Tex. Primary Examiner-Alfred R. Guest 2] Filed; J m 1972 AttorneyJack A. Kanz [21] Appl. No.: 215,776 t 1 [57] ABSTRACT 1 Disclosed is a shoulder pad apparatus comprised of op- [52] U.S. Cl. .1 2/2 p se U-shaped members a apted to be worn over the [51] Int. Cl A41d 13/00 h ld r nd a ched to form a protective pad for the [58] Field of Search .L'. 2/2, 2.5 w ar r houl ers an upper chest and back. The ends p a of the U-shaped members are interconnected by an ad- 1 [56] References Cited justable bridge which supports a pad for protecting the UNITED STATES PATENTS wearers sides and IibS.

2,108,336 2/1933 iileliand 2 2 1 5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures I0) I 2 l4 0 \J o o I 1 l (9 v I i K 2 1 i T O 1M) m o o 1s 1 1 ll Y l5 1 31b 1 1 9 Oi.

1 30b 7 f\ I 3m 30 E I 1 r 3 c t 300 O O 34 1 f I f 52 i 20 i 1 A I4 35 SHOULDER PAD APPARATUS This invention relates to protective body pad equipment. More particularly, it relates to football shoulder padsincluding an adjustable pad for protecting the ribs and sides.

Protective pads of various designs are worn by participants in many contact sports. For example, football players conventionally wear shoulder pad apparatus which generally comprise a pair of opposed U-shaped members adapted to be placed over opposite shoulders of the wearer. The U-shaped members define a central opening therebetween for receiving the neck of the wearer. The front and back portions, comprising the legs of the U, are adapted to cover at least portions of the upper chest and upper back of the wearer. The central portions, comprising the base of the U, cover the shoulders of the wearer.

Conventional football shoulder pads are composed of aplastic hull having resilient padding attached to the inside thereof. Hinged epaulettes are attached at the base of the U and extend over the shoulder and upper arm of the wearer.

The legs of the U-shaped members are joined by lacy ing members or other attaching devices which allow the I wearer to attach the two U-shaped members forming a unitary shoulder pad when worn. However, the individual U-shaped members may be disengaged to remove the device from thewearer.

Conventional shoulder pads as described above offer protection to the wearers shoulders and upper chest and back. However, conventional equipment offers no protection whatsoever to the wearers ribs on the wearers sides between the arms and the waist.

Modified shoulder pad equipment has been constructed to produce a rib protector by bridging the legs of the U with a curved padded member which offers some protection for the side of the wearers body under the arm. Such modified apparatus, however, is not individually adjustable. Accordingly, the spacing between the front and rear legs of each U-shaped member is fixed and. cannot be altered to fit the particular size of each individual wearer. Since such pads cannot be ad- U justed to fit snugly against the wearers ribs, they offer little protection. Furthermore, they are often uncomfortable to the wearer. More important, however, the bridge must be secured firmly against the wearers rib cage to offer substantial protection. Since the eppulettes extend over thewearers shoulders; when the arms are raised the entire shoulder pad hull is raised.

However, with the bridge members snug against the i an adjustable bridge. The rib pad, however, is slideably secured to the bridge allowing the bridge and the shoulder pad to move vertically on the wearers body while the rib pad remains fixed. Since the length of the bridge is adjustable the pad may be adjusted to fit any particular wearer. Furthermore, by allowing vertical movement of the shoulder pad while allowing the rib pad to remain stationary, movement of the wearers arms is not restricted. The rib pad may thus be designed to provide comfortable protection for a major portion of the wearers shoulders, chest and rib cage without restricting use of the arms.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become more readily understood. from the following detailed description taken in connection with the appended claims and attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shoulder pad appara tus incorporating the rib pad of the invention, and

FIG. 2 is a side view of a portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1. q

Shoulder pad apparatus incorporating the features of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. The conventional pad comprises opposed U-shaped members 10 and 12. The legs 11 and 13 of U-shaped members 10 and 12, respectively, are interconnected by detachable locking or lacing device 20. i

As shown in FIG. 1 one leg 11 of the U-shaped member 10 and the opposed leg 13 of U-shaped member 12 are joined to form a pad covering at leastthe upper portion of the wearers chest. The opposite legs of the members 10 and 12 are similarily joined to form a pad covering at least the upper portion of the wearers back. When joined, the pad members 10 and 12 define an opening 14 to receive the wearers neck. Such pads are generally formed of a plastic shell which supports a resilient padding material 15. Hinged epaulettes l6 and 17 are conventionally secured to the base portion of the U-shaped member to, define a pad extending over the shoulder and part of the upper arm of the wearer.

The apparatus as described hereinaboveis the conventional form of football shoulder pads. In accordance with the present invention a rib protector pad is incor porated into the conventional football shoulder pad de-. sign. The rib protector pads'30 and 31 are supported horizontally between the ends of the legs ll and 12 of the U-shaped members 10 and 12, respectively. The rib pads 30 and 31 comprise a curved shell 30a and 31a to which are attached resilient padding 31b and 30b. The rib pads 30 and 31 are of sufficient length to bridge the distance between the ends of the legs 11 and 13 and.

are curved to substantially conform to the side of the wearers body. Each pad 30 and 31 carries a plurality of straps 32 and 34 extending vertically from near the top of the pad to near the bottom of the pad. The straps 32 and 34 are attached to the pad only at their ends,

thus forming loops between the shell and the straps.

The ends of the legs 11 and 13 of the U-shaped members 10 and 12 are bridged by a rigid or semi-rigid frame member 35 of adjustable length. Bridging frame 35 may be formed by a pair of interconnected straps of rigid plastic material similar to that which is used to form the U-shaped members 10 and 12, or may constitute an integral extension thereof. The bridging frame 35 is preferably slightly U-shaped, extending downwardly from the leg of U-shapedmember l0 and upwardly to join the opposite leg 11a of the U-shaped member 10. Bridging frame 35 is also curved outwardly at the base to conform to the curvature of the rib pad 30. In the preferred embodiment bridging frame 35 is comprised of a pair of overlapping straps, one extending from the end of each.leg of the U-shapedjmember 10. The overlapping ends of the straps are provided with a plurality of apertures whereby they may be joined together by means of screws, bolts or other de vices to form a bridge of variable length.

i It will be observed that the width of bridging frame 35 is substantially less than the width of the rib pad 30.

Therefore, with the bridging frame 35 in the loops formed by the straps 32 on the back of the pad the bridging frame may move vertically and horizontally with the shoulder pad without moving the rib pad 30. The rib pad 30, however, is held snugly against the wearers side at all times. Accordingly, when the apparatus is worn, the bridging frame 35 may be adjusted to hold the pad snugly against the ribs of the wearer while allowing the shoulder pad apparatus to move vertically as the wearers arms are raised and lowered.

In the preferred embodiment the padding material 44 extends well below the ends of legs 11 and 13 to provide padding between the wearers body and the substantially vertical portions of bridging frame 35. Accordingly, it will be observed that when the apparatus is in place a substantial portion of the wearers chest region is encased in padding material supported by a rigid plastic shell.

Bridging frame 35 not only serves to support the rib pad, but also aids in distributing impact shock received on the rib area over the remainder of the shoulder pad. Furthermore, a shock received on the front portion of the shoulder pad will be partially transmitted to the rear part of the pad by means of the bridging frame 35. However, since the bridging frame 35 may move within the loops formed by the straps, the bridging frame does not restrict movement of the shoulder pad. It should also be noted that although the bridging frame 35 serves to hold the rib pad 30 against the wearers side,

movement of the shoulder pad does not cause rubbing or chafing of the bridging frame against the wearer. Accordingly, the apparatus of this invention provides pad protection for a major portion of the wearers chest without restricting his activity and without causing discomfort.

It is to be understood that although the invention has been described with particular reference to specific embodiments thereof, the form of the invention shown and described in detail is to be taken as the preferred embodiment of same, and that various changes and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. Shoulder pad apparatus comprising a. a pair of opposed substantially U-shaped members adapted to be interconnected and worn over the shoulders, the legs of each U-shaped member being attached to the opposed legs of the opposite U- shaped member forming a protective pad over the upper portions of the chest and back,

b. frame means interconnecting the ends of the front and back legs of each of said U-shaped members and curved to substantially conform in the shape of the wearers body,

c. pad means adapted to be worn between said frame means and the wearers body, and

(1. means interconnecting said frame means and said pad means which permits vertical movement of said frame means with respect to said pad means.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said frame means comprises rigid straps, one strap extending from the end of each leg of said U-shaped members and overlapping to form a bridge interconnecting the ends of the U-shaped members.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein the overlapping ends of said straps are provided with means for adjustably securing the straps together to form a rigid frame member.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said pad means comprises a curved rigid shell, resilient padding attached to the inner surface of said shell, and a plurality of substantially vertically disposed straps secured near the upper and lower edges of said pad defining loops for said frame means.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein the width of said frame member is substantially less than the length of said loops.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2108336 *Jun 16, 1937Feb 15, 1938Helland Nelean DBody protective armor
US2163463 *Jan 25, 1938Jun 20, 1939Kennedy Allen EProtective garment
US2196124 *May 19, 1938Apr 2, 1940Smith Herman EFootball player's equipment
US2892193 *Mar 28, 1956Jun 30, 1959Sowle Theo JCombined hip and body harness
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4158242 *Jun 6, 1977Jun 19, 1979A-T-O Inc.Shoulder pad
US4322858 *Sep 17, 1979Apr 6, 1982Douglas Equipment Manufacturing Co.Protective garments for football players
US4562655 *May 28, 1985Jan 7, 1986Jensen CorporationHigh momentum heating system for an ironer
US4715066 *Oct 24, 1986Dec 29, 1987Figgie International Inc.Shoulder pad
US5029341 *Aug 22, 1989Jul 9, 1991Riddell, Inc.Football shoulder pad
US5337417 *Aug 25, 1993Aug 16, 1994Figgie International Inc.Rib protector
US5571465 *Dec 18, 1995Nov 5, 1996General Motors CorporationMethod for making fiber-filled bolstered cushion
US5579538 *Nov 22, 1994Dec 3, 1996Brunty; Steven H.Shoulder pad accessory
US5987654 *Nov 20, 1997Nov 23, 1999Bauer, Inc.Light-weight shoulder pads
US6845522Dec 11, 2001Jan 25, 2005Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Shoulder pads with integral arm protectors
US7765624Apr 13, 2007Aug 3, 2010Adams Usa, Inc.Shoulder pad
US8272073Dec 31, 2007Sep 25, 2012Stromgren Athletics, Inc.Athletic protective padding
US8336124 *Nov 22, 2011Dec 25, 2012Sport Maska Inc.Upper body protective garment
US20020069454 *Dec 11, 2001Jun 13, 2002Jean-Francois BelandShoulder pads with integral arm protectors
US20120060268 *Nov 22, 2011Mar 15, 2012Ryan CrelinstenUpper Body Protective Garment
US20130291294 *Nov 17, 2011Nov 7, 2013Manny LegaceChest protector with movable abdomen protector
U.S. Classification2/462, 2/465, 2/464
International ClassificationA63B71/12, A63B71/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/12
European ClassificationA63B71/12