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Publication numberUS3854146 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1974
Filing dateMay 4, 1973
Priority dateDec 18, 1972
Publication numberUS 3854146 A, US 3854146A, US-A-3854146, US3854146 A, US3854146A
InventorsDunning F
Original AssigneeDunning F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Football facemask
US 3854146 A
A football facemask of one-piece construction formed of a base material such as aluminum coated with a suitable plastic-like coating. The facemask has a four-point resilient attachment to a football helmet capable of substantially absorbing shock and thus preventing injury to the player.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Dunning Dec. 17, 1974 [54] FOOTBALL FACEMASK 3,729,746 5/1973 Humphrey 2 9 [76] Inventor: Fred R. Dunning, 3800 Oakes Rd.,

Brecksville, Ohio 4414] Primary Examiner-James R. Boler Assistant ExanzinerPeter Nerbun [22] Ffled' May 1973 Attorney, Agenr, 0r FirmBaldwin, Egan, Walling & [2]] Appl. N0.: 357,462 Fetzer Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 3l6,l26, Dec. 18, [57] ABSTRACT A football facemask of one-piece construction formed [52] U.S. CI. 2/9 of a base material Such as aluminum mated with a 5 l] 1m. Cl A42b 3/00 Suitable Plastic-like coating- The facemask has fourss Field of Search 2/9, 10, 173 Point resilient attachment to a football helmet Capable of substantially absorbing shock and thus preventing [56] References Cited j y to the p y UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 Claims, 4 DrawingFigures 3,373,443 3/1968 Marietta 2/9 1 FOOTBALL FACEMASK This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 316,126, filed on Dec. 18, 1972.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The present invention is directed to a football facemask such as the type disclosed and claimed in the present applicants US. Pat. Nos. 3,319,261; D. 204,927; D. 204,730; D. 204,731; D. 207,479; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,263,236 of D. C. Humphrey.

The facemask of this invention distinguishes over the present state of the art of facemasks development of the type referred to by providing a facemask construction formed of a single piece of material such as aluminum or like material coated with a suitable plastic coating and which has a four-point resilient attaching means to the players helmet, each being capable of some movement upon receipt of a blow being struck thereon to substantially absorb the resulting shock.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved facemask that is strong, lightweight and durable, formed of a strong, economical, one-piece integral construction, the mask being thus durable and lightweight; being made from a base material such as an aluminum alloy protected by a plastic coating, and which is provided with a four-point suspension or attaching means for attachment to the players helmet.

Another object is to provide a facemask construction as above described and which is formed to lie in close proximity along the surface of the players helmet whereby the latter provides additional surface support therefor.

These and other objects will become apparent from the specification that follows, the appended claims, and the drawings in which:

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a facemask embodying the present invention and attached to a conventional football helmet;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 indicated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 indicated in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a modified attachment for attaching the sides of the facemask to the helmet.

The present invention provides a strong, economically made facemask of an integral one-piece construction of plastic-coated material such as aluminum. The mask of the present invention has many advantages, one of which is its very light weight which contributes to the speed and endurance of the player wearing said mask.

As seen in the drawings the facemask identified in its entirety at 1 is provided for attachment to a conventional football helmet 5, the mask comprising an upper arcuately curved bar and a lower arcuately curved bar 15. The bars 10 and extend across the face opening of the helmet to protect the face of the player, the side ends of the bars converging together to define an integral side fastening portion 18, each portion having an elongated slot 19 therein.

Each side end portion of the mask is formed integrally with an upper extending arm or head portion 20 continuing upwardly from said portion 18 and which is intended to lie on the surface of the forehead part of the helmet 5. As best seen in FIG. 1, each head portion 20 in turn terminates in a somewhat enlarged circular terminal 21. Each terminal is provided with a hole 22 formed preferably centrally therein.

As readily seen in the drawings, a pair of integral short generally vertical bars 28 and 29 are provided between the upper bar 10 and the lowerbar 15. The mask is made of a suitable base material, preferably being stamped from an aluminum alloy core 30 that is coated with a tough durable plastic coating 32 which is softer than the core. The core is preferably made from a high strength, durable, shock resistant, stampable, aluminum alloy of a high aluminum content such as aluminum alloy 2024 T-3.

The side portions 18 are resiliently attached to the opposed side surfaces of the helmet 5 by means of elon gated straps 35 each of which is looped through the slot 19 and wrapped around the side end portion 18 as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. One end 35a of strap 35 lies against the outside surface 52 of the helmet 5. The other end of strap 35 is integrally formed to abut against the opposite surface of the end 35a of said strap. With the strap looped through the slot 19, the bumper 35b is positioned as best seen in FIG. 2 in close proximity to the adjoining surface part 18 of the mask whereby as a result of a blow being struck upon and received by the mask tends to move rearwardly and he mask is forced against each bumper 35b whereby the shock is substantially absorbed. The bumper 35b and opposite strap end 35a are provided with mating apertures as seen in FIG. 2 through which the stem of a fastener 41 shown in its present form as somewhat T- shaped in section. As seen in FIG. 2, the stem 40 of the fastener is extended from within the interior of the helmet through a hole 42a in the helmet wall and thence through the strap apertures. A suitable plastic washer 42 is preferably disposed within the helmet interior and is interposed between this interior surface and the head 41a of the fastener 41. A screw 43 is threadedly engaged within the fastener 41 being inserted through the aperture of the bumper 35b, the latter preferably having a recess or undercut portion 45 formed therein to accomodate the slotted head of the screw 43.

With this construction, the fastener 41 and associated screw 43 resiliently fasten each side part 18 of the facemask to the adjacent side or ear portion of the helmet so that a relatively small amount of movement is realized at said connection upon a blow being struck to the facemask capable of absorbing the shock resulting therefrom.

As seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, each upper terminal 21 of the facemask is also resiliently attached to the front forehead portion of the helmet 5, and for this purpose the helmet is provided with a pair of apertures spaced apart so that one of said apertures underlies one of said terminals 21.

Each terminal 21 is formed with aperture 22 as aforementioned which mates with each helmet aperture 50.

An elongated cylindrical bushing 52 is formed integrally with an enlarged circular shoulder 53 approximately at its middle to define upper part 54 and lower part 56 as seen in FIG. 3.

The upper part 54 is insertable into helmet aperture 50 sufficiently to place the shoulder 53 against the outside surface of the helmet 5. The lower part 56 is insertable into terminal aperture 22.

An elongated cylindrical internally threaded nut 60, T-shaped in cross section, is placed within the bushing 52. A suitable plastic washer 61 is interposed between the head 60a of the nut 60 and the interior surface of the helmet 5. Screw 63 is extended through the opposite end of the nut 60 and threaded therein to resiliently bind the terminal 21 to the helmet 5.

As seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, upon a blow being received on the mask 1 each terminal attachment is effective to provide a resilient connection operable to absorb said shock. As will likewise be apparent, the attaching means incorporated herein provide a four-terminal attachment, each of which is capable of absorbing any blows applied to said mask.

In FIG. 4 is shown another embodiment of mounting strap 70 for resiliently mounting each side part 18 of the facemask to the helmet. Strap 70 is somewhat similar to strap 35 but has a bushing 70a formed integrally on its one end surface 700 lying over the helmet exterior, and which bushing extends into the aperture 72 formed in the side wall of helmet 5. Strap 70 is also preferably formed with bumper 70b which functions in the same manner as bumper 35b in the embodiment of strap 35 shown in FIG. 2.

Fastener 75, which is shown to be similar in cross section to fastener 41, extends through bushing 70a from within the interior of the helmet 5, and screw 76 threadedly engaging said fastener resiliently fastens each side portion 18 of the facemask to the associated side of the helmet 5.

Having thus described one embodiment of the present invention it is realized that the same is susceptible to various modifications and combinations of parts coming within the scope of the inventive concepts thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. In a face mask and a helmet wherein the mask is an integral one-piece construction of a light metal core and a plastic coating covering said core, and wherein the mask comprises a plurality of arcuately curved bars which extend across the face opening of the helmet and which converge on each other at each end to form integral side portions and means for operable attachment of said side portions to the helment, and said mask having arm portions integrally connected with said side portions lying along the surface of the helmet overlying the forehead of the user thereof, and each arm portion terminating in a terminal, said terminals being spaced apart from each other on said helmet surface, fastening means fastening each terminal to the helmet comprising a bushing having a first part extending into the helmet and a second part extending into said terminal, an enlarged shoulder surrounding said bushing and located in between said first and second parts, fastener means disposed in said bushing and in pressure engagement with each said helmet and said terminal to resiliently bind the latter to said helmet.

2. Fastening means for a face mask as defined in claim 1 and wherein the fastening means includes an internally threaded nut disposed in said bushing and screw means threadedly engaged with said nut.

3. Fastening means for a face mask as defined in claim 1 and wherein washer means are interposed between the nut and the helmet.

4. Fastening means for a face mask as defined in claim 1 and wherein the means for operable attachment of the side portions of the helmet comprise strap means having bumper means positioned to be engaged by the face mask when a blow is struck thereon so as to absorb the force of said blow.

5. Fastening means for a face mask as defined in claim 4 and wherein fastener means extend through the bumper means and the strap means in pressure engagement with said helmet and said strap means to resiliently bind the side portions of said face mask to said helmet.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3373443 *Feb 24, 1966Mar 19, 1968Michael T. MariettaCombination helmet and face mask
US3729746 *Apr 30, 1971May 1, 1973Schutt Manuf CoArrangement for connecting a face guard to a helmet
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4028743 *Aug 4, 1975Jun 14, 1977Christensen Cai VProtective head-wear
US4086664 *Aug 26, 1976May 2, 1978Schutt Manufacturing CompanyFootball face guard
US4220301 *May 7, 1979Sep 2, 1980Safe-T-Gard, Inc.Flexible strap type mounting device
US4271537 *May 14, 1979Jun 9, 1981Wichita Pro-Tech Inc.Protective helmet with releasable face guard apparatus
US4631758 *Apr 11, 1986Dec 30, 1986Athletic Safety Products, Inc.Protective headgear
US4837866 *Jul 18, 1988Jun 13, 1989Pro-Line, Inc.Shock attenuation tension mounting for face guard
US4933993 *Jan 30, 1989Jun 19, 1990Mcclelland J BProtective mask
US5806088 *May 21, 1997Sep 15, 1998Zides Sport ShopFace guard
US5963990 *Apr 11, 1997Oct 12, 1999White; Michael D.Releasable grip facemask for helmet
US6102033 *Mar 10, 1998Aug 15, 20003M Innovative Properties CompanyAttachment system for replacement helmet respirator lens
US6743312 *Oct 1, 2002Jun 1, 2004Yu Hsun Enterprise Co., Ltd.Method of fabricating a ball protective mask
US7146652 *May 10, 2005Dec 12, 2006Riddell, Inc.Face guard connector assembly for a sports helmet
US7900279Sep 8, 2006Mar 8, 2011Riddell, Inc.Sports helmet with clamp for securing a chin protector
US8528118Jun 3, 2011Sep 10, 2013Riddell, Inc.Sports helmet
US8656520 *Aug 2, 2007Feb 25, 2014Gus A. Rush, IIIAthletic helmet
US8938818Mar 15, 2013Jan 27, 2015Riddell, Inc.Sports helmet
US9004801 *Jan 19, 2012Apr 14, 2015Wally Wayne TatomirMounting assembly for a face shield
US20040060624 *Oct 1, 2002Apr 1, 2004Jung-Tso ShihMethod of fabricating a ball protective mask
US20050235403 *May 10, 2005Oct 27, 2005Ide Thad MFace guard connector assembly for a sports helmet
US20070266471 *May 3, 2006Nov 22, 2007Chi-Ching LinSport face mask
US20080092277 *Sep 8, 2006Apr 24, 2008Nelson KraemerSports helmet with clamp for securing a chin protector
US20080163410 *Jan 5, 2007Jul 10, 2008Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Shock-absorbing facemask attachment assembly
US20090031479 *Aug 2, 2007Feb 5, 2009Dr. Gus A. Rush IiiAthletic helmet
US20120222199 *Sep 6, 2012Wally Wayne TatomirMounting Assembly for a Face Shield
DE3235948A1 *Sep 29, 1982Apr 21, 1983Pier Luigi NavaVorrichtung zur befestigung von gurten an kunststoffkoerpern, insbesondere helmen
U.S. Classification2/9
International ClassificationA42B3/20, A42B3/18
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/20
European ClassificationA42B3/20