US 3878563 A
A flexible body portion formed to cover the face, neck and ears, and having eye, nose and mouth openings formed therein. A flexible skirt affixed to the outer surface of the body portion so as to partially surround the nose and mouth openings and extend downwardly thereover to provide a downwardly opening air duct so that expelled air is directed away from the eyes and air taken in is warmed slightly by the circuitous path.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,878,563
Pulju 1 1 Apr. 22, 1975  PROTECTIVE FACE MASK 960.52? (31910 layshc 3/206 1,035.21 H912 c uary 206 [761 Hug) 2.305.605 12 1942 Craig et a1. 2/21 R x Menflhgih 3,360,423 12/1967 Lindberg 161 160 x 3,501,370 3/1970 .lurcdinc 161/160 7 June 1973 3,768,100 10/1973 Colman ct 111. 2 9  Appl. N0.: 367,709
Related s Appfication Data Primary E.\'amineri'i. Hampton Hunter  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 108.836. Jan. 22. gg fi Agent F'rmMel-Cham' Gould' Smlth &
1971. abandoned. e
 U.S. Cl. 2/9  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl A42b 1/06 I 158 Field of Search 2/9, 206, 202. 205, 172, body 9 formed over fdce- 7/174 7 87 161/160 and ears, and having eye. nose and mouth openings formed therein. A flexible skirt affixed to the outer  References Cited surface of the body portion so'as to partially surround the nose and mouth openings and extend downwardly UNITED STATES PATENTS thereover to provide a downwardly opening air duct 557,625 4/1896 Tolle 2/206 50 that expelled air is directed away from the eyes and Mllljl'rlly air taken in is warmed by the circuitous 835.170 191) A on )6 891,122 6/1908 5 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEUAFRZZIBYS levssss SiiiU 1 0F 2 E5. z 2 75. J
PROTECTIVE FACE MASK CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This is a continuation in part of my copending patent application Ser. No. 108.836. filed Jan. 22. I971. and now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Snowmobiles and the like. in many instances. participate in their sport during sub-zero weather and. because the snowmobiler may be traveling at relatively high speeds it is necessary to wear a protective mask to prevent the face from freezing. It is also necessary to wear goggles and. in some instances. a helmet. It should of course be understood that a protective face mask may be utilized for a variety of sports and activities other than snowmobiling but the use and operation will be essentially similar.
2. Description of the Prior Art A variety of prior art masks are described in patents wherein goggles or lenses are incorporated in the mask and complicated air ducts are utilized to direct expelled air over the lenses to allegedly prevent fogging of air which is taken in may be drawn over the lenses prior to being taken in to create a steady flow of air over the glasses to prevent fogging. In all instances. the masks are extremely complicated and expensive to manufac ture. Further. the complicated duct work can easily become crimped or clogged with snow so that the mask will not operate properly and must be abandoned.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to a protective face mask including a flexible body portion formed to cover the face with eye. nose and mouth openings formed therein and a flexible skirt affixed to the outer surface of the body portion between the nose and eye openings and partially surrounding the nose and mouth openings to form a downwardly opening air duct which directs expelled air away from the eye openings and provides a circuitous path to warm air prior to being taken in.
The mask is attached to the wearer's head by means of two stretchable bands extending around the back of the wearer's head. The lower of these bands is attached to the main portion of the mask by means ofa quick release loop and hook fabric fastener. In addition. the mask has ear flaps to shield the ears of the wearer and a flexible front n'eck piece which extends from the lower chin portion ofthe mask downwardly to fill in the front portion of the wearer's neck. A nape neck piece is attached to the lower of the two head straps to cover the nape of the wearer's neck.
The mask is constructed primarily ofa laminated material which is flexible. strong. an effective wind barrier and temperature insulating.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved protective face mask for snowmobiles and the like.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a protective face mask which is simple and inexpensive to produce and which cannot malfunction under the most severe conditions.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the accompanying specification. claims and drawings.
BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the drawings. wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the Figures:
FIG. I is a plan view of a blank for an embodiment of the protective face mask;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a blank for a duct forming portion of the protective face mask;
FIG. 3 is a view in front elevation of the protective face mask assembled and correctly positioned on a wearer;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the protective face mask as seen from the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a blank for another embodiment of the protective face mask;
FIG. 6 is a view in side elevation of the embodiment of the protective face mask illustrated in FIG. 5 in an assembled position and correctly positioned on a wearer.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating the material utilized in the protective face mask;
FIG. 8 is an exploded plan view of the protective face mask showing the body portion and the various attached parts in blank;
FIG. 9 is a view in front elevation of a protective face mask showing the positioning of the various attached parts;
FIG. 10 is a view in side elevation thereof:
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view of the protective face mask as seen from the line llll in FIG. 8 illustrating the material utilized in the body portion. and
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view of the protective face mask as seen from the line l2l2 illustrating the material utilized in the various mask attachments.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the figures the numeral 10 generally designates the body of the protective face mask. illustrated in blank form in FIG. I. The blank for the body 10 is cut from a flexible cloth-like material. preferably having a relatively air-impervious outer surface 11 (see FIG. 7) which may be a vinyl fabric or the like and a relatively soft lining 12 on the inner surface which may be a thin layer of spongy plastic or rubber material. cotton. wool. etc. The blank for the body I0 is somewhat oval-shaped with three V-shaped notches 15 of material removed along the upper edge and a large V-shaped notch 16 of material removed from the lower edge. The notches l5 and 16 allow the material of the body 10 to be gathered and sewn into position so that the body 10 is formed to fit slightly over the top of the head of the wearer and somewhat under the chin. In this embodiment. the body 10 is formed to cover as much of the bare portions of the face as possible to provide the maximum amount of protection. Further. the upper portion of the body 10 extending slightly rearwardly over the top of the head. aids in maintaining the protective mask correctly positioned over the face of the wearer. In this embodiment. the lower portion of the body 10 is formed to flt beneath the chin of the wearer so that a helmet and helmet chin strap can be worn simultaneously with the protective face mask. Further. a short apron 17 may be added. by sewing or integral forming. which extends downwardly from the lower portion somewhat below the collar of outer garments to cover the neck. Thus. no bare skin is exposed to cold air.
A pair of eye holes 20, an opening 21 for the nose and an opening 22 for the mouth are cut in the body at the correct locations. The eye holes should be sufficiently large to see through conveniently but sufficiently small so they can be covered easily by a pair of goggles or the like. The nose opening 21 is generally rectangular in form and should be sufficiently large to receive an average nose therethrough so that breathing can be accompanied comfortably. A mouth opening 22 is provided to aid in breathing under strenuous conditions and to allow some communication while the protective face mask is in position.
Referring to FIG. 2. a flexible skirt 25 is illustrated in blank. The skirt 25 may be formed of the same material as the body 10. In the present embodiment the skirt 25 has the shape of a section of a circle. but it should be understood that many other shapes of modifications might be designed by those skilled in the art. The skirt 25 is affixed to the front of the body 10. by some convenient means such as sewing of the like along an in verted. generally V-shaped seam located on opposite sides of the nose opening 21.. so as to form an air duct in communication with the nose opening 21 and mouth opening 22. The apex of the skirt 25 is positioned above the nose opening 21 and generally between the eye holes with the straight sides of the skirt generally parallel with and spaced from the sides of the triangularly shaped nose opening 21. The length of the skirt 25 is such that it extends somewhat below the chin. The generally triangular skirt 25 is larger than the area within the V-shaped seam and it is attached to the body 10 so that it flares outwardly and downwardly to form an inverted generally conically shaped air duct Thus. the air duct 26 directs exhaled air from the nose and/or mouth downwardly away from goggles or glasses covering the eye holes 20. Because the exhaled air is moisture laden and warm. it is essential that this air be directed away from the goggles or glasses since it will cause immediate fogging or steaming and result in frost covering the goggles or glasses in cold weather. Further. exhaled air maintains the inner surfaces of the air duct 26 in a somewhat warmed condition so that air taken in by the wearer. which must pass through the air duct 26, is slightly warmed. This diverting of the direction and slight warming of air taken in by the wearer is essential on very cold days and. especially. when the wearer is operating a snowmobile or the like. In all known prior art face masks which supply ducts and the like for the intake of air or exhaling air. the construction of the ducts is such that light snow and moisture from exhaled air can accumulate therein and eventually hamper or completely clog the cuts so that breathing therethrough is difficult or impossible. In the present face mask the air duct 26 is formed from flexible skirt 25 so that breathing and movement of the wearer produce a natural movement of the skirt 25 to cause ice and snow particles within the air duct 26 to be continually loosened and dropped from the air duct 26 to prevent accumulation thereof.
In the present embodiment two elongated elastic bands are utilized to maintain the protective face mask properly positioned over the wearers face. The bands 30 are positioned in vertically spaced apart relationship with opposite ends thereof affixed to opposite sides of the body 10in the general vertical area of the eye holes 20 and nose opening 21. The bands 30 are positioned so that the body 10 is maintained in relatively tight abutting engagement with the face of the wearer generally below the eye holes 20 and around the nose opening 21. The body 10 must fit tightly against the face in the general area of the eye holes 20 to prevent exhaled air from passing upwardly toward the eye holes 20. Also. the bands 30 must maintain the protective face mask correctly positioned on the face to prevent it from slipping downwardly or upwardly during use. While a pair of vertically spaced apart bands 30 are utilized to affix the face mask to the wearers face in the present embodiment. it should be understood that many other types of securing means might be utilized by those skilled in the art and the present bands 30 are illustrated because of their comfort and simplicity.
A second embodiment of the protective face mask is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 wherein similar parts are designated with similar numbers and all of the numbers have a prime added to indicate a different embodiment. In the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6, the lower end of the body 10' is not formed to fit beneath the chin but extends downwardly a substantial distance beyond the chin to form an apron to aid in protecting the neck of the wearer and preventing snow and cold air from en tering the neck opening of the wearer's clothes. This particular embodiment of the protective face mask is not constructed for use with a helmet having a chin strip (although such a helmet may be used therewith if desired because the material is flexible). since the apron is not formed to fit the chin and must be folded or formed around the chin to accommodate a chin strap. In this embodiment an air duct 26' is formed with a skirt 25' similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2 and the body 10' is similar to the body 10 except for the lower portion thereof. In the embodiment of FIGS. 8-12 a quick-release loop and hook fabric fastener 31 is attached to one end of the lower head band 30. This fastener 31 is used in combination with a mating fastener 31' which is attached to the body portion of the protective mask. In this way. the lower head band 30 can be affixed to the body portion of the mask in various positions to assure a snug fit of the mask of the wearer's head. The fastener 31-31 is shown in FIG. 8.
FIGS. 8-10 show in detail the neck and ear protection features of the present protective face mask. A front neck piece 17 is provided to shield the wearers neck from the effects of wind and temperature. It is a generally rectangular piece of material having one edge attached to the bottom edge of the body portion of the mask. The method of attachment may be by sewing or other suitable means. The front neck piece 17 extends downwardly to protect the front portion of the wearer's neck. This is illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10.
A nape neck piece 18 is provided to protect the back of the wearers neck from wind and temperature. It is a generally square piece of material which is fastened to the lower head band 30. It extends downwardly from the band and lies across the nape portion of the wearers neck. The nape neck piece is attached to the head band 30 at a single point. This allows the head band 30 to stretch without being constrained by the fabric of the nape neck piece 18. The nape neck piece 18 is attached to the inside ofthe neck band 30 so that when the band is in its wearing position. the band goes over the nape neck piece holding the piece against the wearer's neck. This is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 10.
Two ear flaps 19 are attached to the opposite side edges of the body portion 10 of the protective mask to shield the cars from wind and temperature. The ear flaps 19 are generally arcuate pieces of material each having a concave edge sewn to a side edge of the mask body portion generally opposite the eye openings 20. The ear flaps extend outwardly and over the wearers ears. The ear flaps 19 are also sewn to the adjacent edge of the front neck piece 17. This is shown in FIG. 10. This method of attachment allows the ear flaps 19 to be under the head band 30. Thus when the protective face mask is put on the wearers head. the head bands 20 lay over the ear flaps 19 holding them snugly against the wearers ears. This allows the ear flaps 19 to adequately protect the wearer's ears from wind and temperature while at the same time leaving the ear flaps 19 loose enough and with enough open area behind them to allow the wearer to hear while the face mask is on.
In this embodiment. the front neck piece 17. the nape neck piece 18 and the ear flaps 19 are constructed of a cotton and foam laminated material. As shown in FIG. 12. the outer layers 40 of the material are a cotton fabric and the inner layer 41 is a foam such as polyure thane. The materials are bonded in a laminate. This type of material construction allows a non-abrasive fabric to bear against the wearer's skin and prevents irritation in these areas where the skin moves against the material. The foam inner layer 41 provides temperature and wind insulation. This fabric construction is shown in FIG. 12.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 8-12. the body 10 is a laminated material as shown in FIG. 11. having a relatively soft inner lining made from nylon fabric. an intermediate insulating layer 13 of foam. such as polyurethane. and a relatively air-impervious outer lining 11 which is a vinyl fabric.
A very unique feature of the face mask is the generally triangular skirt that covers the nose and mouth openings. In the embodiment of FIGS. 8-12. a single relatively large opening is provided to accommodate both the nose and mouth of the wearer. The skirt 25 extends from an apex located between the breathing and eye openings downwardly and outwardly along an invertedfgenerally V-shaped seam located on opposite sides of the breathing opening. The skirt is larger than the ares within the V-shaped seam to form a downwardly opening. generally conically shaped air duct 26 between the skirt and the main body portion. The skirt extends down to at least the chin of the wearer so that exhaled air is directed away from the eye openings. The seams are attached along opposite sides of the skirt from the apex downwardly to points at about the level of the bottom of the breathing opening. The flexible skirt 25 is thus constructed and affixed to the body portion 10 such that it cannot flap upwardly. expose the face of the wearer to the wind. or press tightly against the face to hinder breathing. It cannot flap upwardly because it is secured along seams located on opposite sides of the breathing opening. It cannot press tightly against the face because the skirt is larger than the area within the V-shaped seam. The resulting conically shaped air duct tends to stay open even under heavy wind conditions. Because the flexible skirt extends to at least the chin of the wearer. the moist exhaled air is directlyfar away from the eye openings to prevent fogging of glasses. in addition. the conically shaped air duct tends to pre-warm the air being inhaled through the duct. The resulting face mask is an especially effective means of protecting the face of a person exposed to cold weather and heavy wind conditions. even if the person is moving at high speed on a snowmobile or the like.
What is claimed is:
l. A protective face mask for snowmobilers and the like comprising:
a. a flexible body portion having side edges and a bottom edge. said body portion being formed to cover substantially all portions of the face of a wearer that are exposed to the weather".
b. a fitted chin portion formed in said flexible body portion c. eye and breathing openings formed in said body portion:
d. means for securing said body portion in relatively tight abutting engagement with the face ofa wearer to substantially prevent exhaled air from passing upwardly under said body portion toward the eye openings:
e. a flexible skirt formed from a generally triangular piece of material. having a pair of side edges thereof affixed to the outer surface of said body portion from an apex of the skirt located between the breathing and eye openings. downwardly and outwardly along an inverted. generally V-shaped seam located on opposite sides of at least the breathing opening. to partially surround the breathing opening. said skirt being larger than the area within said V-shaped seam to thereby form a downwardly opening. generally conically shaped air duct between the skirt and the body portion. said skirt extending down to at least the chin of the wearer to direct exhaled air away from said eye openings;
f. a flexible front neck portion extending generally downwardly from said chin portion to cover the front of a wearer's neck; and
g. a pair of flexible ear flaps attached to said body portion by joining a first edge of each said flap to a side edge of said body portion generally opposite said eye openings. said flaps extending outwardly from said body portion to cover the ears of a wearer. and a second edge of said flaps being attached to an adjacent edge of said flexible neck piece.
2. A protective face mask as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for securing said body portion to a wearers face include two stretchable head bands spatially attached to lower and upper points on the side edges of said body portion and extending around the wearer's head with one end of said lower band being removably attached to said body portion by a quickrelease loop and hook fabric fastener comprising a first fastener attached to said one end and a mating fastener attached to said body portion.
3. A protective face mask as set forth in claim 2 wherein a flexible nape neck piece formed from a generally square piece of material is attached to the lower of said head bands and extends downwardly therefrom to cover the nape of a wearers neck.
4. A protective face mask as set forth in claim 2 wherein said ear flaps and front neck piece comprise a 7 8 laminated material comprising cotton outer layers a laminated material comprising a bonded-together bonded to a foam inner layerv water and wind impervious outer layer, a foam interme- 5. A protective face mask as set forth in claim 1 diate layer and an inner layer otnon-stretchable fabricv wherein said body portion and flexible skirt comprises