Oct, 1, 1946. _ ' i H. F.l GEORGE _ 2,408,388 STEERING WHEEL Filed Feb. l2, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet l d,nvr/Emma. l - (369520596, l ' u :7%5 Oct. l, 1946. ' H.' F. GEORGEv A ` »25,408,388 STEERING WHEELV Filed Feb. 12, _1944 2 sheets-sheet 2 2 » ,d " ’f/////////////////////l//////////////////////////////¿ Patented Oct. 1, 1946 2,408,388 UNITED f STATES .PATEIN T- O‘FFFI CE < ~ ~’ 2,408,388@ v " . y. - » . STEERING- WHEEL `@luitenant . ¿Harryl February George,v 12, i944,"se?ia1'No.'522,649 Chicago, -1' Claim. (01.774-55/21) , . 1: _ This'A invention relates-'- to a-steering" wheel, and V’My invention further resides inthe combina while it is particularly adapted to steering wheels _ forA automobiles and the rlike it is not limited ‘ tion„’construction and arrangement of parts illus trated' iny the accompanying; drawingsjand - while thereto, but is- capablev of' use’ in airplanes, motor boats, tanks and in many other instances to which it may bev adapted. The structure is such nI >have shown therein preferred embodiments; I wi’s'h it understood that the same vare susceptible onmodiñcation and change without departing as to greatly facilitate its eiîective-'an'd economical manufacture, and" is' o_f' particularvalue in that it' admirablyv lends* itself to the'> ready application "over the rim~ portion'of‘a protective, ornamental 10 from the spirit of my invention. In the drawings: f _ 1 isa top plan view of a steering wheel embodying Ymy invention. Y ' and: useful covering. In the oldA forms of» steering' wheels prior'to'my Fig. 2‘is a' vtransverseV vertical rsection through the steering >vvîhee'ljon‘theïl‘ine 2'-"-2 o_f Fig. 1, with present invention',l ¿therefhave been Ymany -com plicated structures'thathave not possessed the the cover' housing 'in' _ place over _the hub. desired combination of Y streng-tti, economy of manufacture, Yand.pleasing appearance. Also in the prior 'steering wheels“,v whenit' was desired to apply a decorative covering tofthe rim, Ythe same, Fig; -3`i‘s'a perspective view of the rim element orA theß wheel before' lia-ving the>` h'u'b clamping plates applied> thereto. ' Fig. ‘lis’ a planvi'ew'of" thefgroov'e'd' face of one 'ofthe hub'fcla’rriping plates. ' when such material- -as plastics’ or the like were Fig. 5‘ i's> a transverse vertical section Yon a re used, would involve too great Yan expense -for~ 20 duced vscale''offaiïlo’the'i' YÍ‘Örl‘?l` >0f hub Construction. materials and molds,«and` wouldY -in- many cases Fig'. 6ï`isy a transverse vertical section on the result in the development of-'cracks that would 'iinefrs-feorr'iafi. _ ' p greatly mar the ornamental appearance, a's'f’well Figi _’7 _isa fragmentaryl 'perspective' view,` o‘n- an as lessen the efficiency, and bea menace Vto, the safety of the' operator. _ ` Among'the objects of my. invention iste-provide a steering wheel having a' novel" rim ‘construction 'so formed 'as to enable an» ornamentaland useful tubular covering of `5'fie1`da-ble "material of the desired size, to 'be started overa free e'n'd of Ft'l‘ie‘ ‘ rim structure and pulled there'along'to'cover‘the desiredportion ofthe rim. . Another object is to- provide anovel vfneilrod of applying'a tubular *covering- o'ff‘ yieldableïmate rial overfthe- rim of the steer'ingwh'eel". A further Objectis to provide `a novelV method, and resulting structure, forformi-'n'g 'nnger grip projections or recesses in the steering- wheel'rim_ and covering therefor. A still further object is to provide' a" novel> method, and resulting structure', for applying to »a steering 'wheel' rim, a permanently' or teìnp'o rarily yieldable covering such as a plasti'cï‘mate rial', rubber', yield'abl'e textile or fabric; or other material 'adapted to the purpose. _ - An additional object isr te make use y»oiï‘î'a com bined lubricantv and cementingf material l’when applying'the yieldable ’tubular 'coveringV to 4the rim. ' Another object i's 'to makeîposs'ible the"use',"as " an ornamental ri'mcovering, of athermoplastio resin, rubbenor other suitable-yieldable material. OtherV objects, ’advantages- and' capab_ilities,~"in- herently possessedv >by ’myr invention, will later Y more fully appear. enlarged-'scala of Va portion ofthe ri'in and a por i'tion of a yiel'dable covering in position to be pulled- longitudinally thereover. _ _ Vis _a rtransverse ve'rtical'section on the _linea-Blof: Fig. 7', before vthe ¿covering is applied thereto- _ Y Fig; 9" isa side view,V partly inlelev'ationand partly inverti'cal section, off‘ the portion of rim shown in`Fig; '7, and after the coveringr has been pulled> longitudinally ` th‘ereover. ' Fig1 10 is a transverse vertical- section on the ' Fig'. `1‘1 _afvie‘w similar to Fig'. 1f)- but showing a; modified form of gri-p' projection. Fig’. 1-'2 is a‘îbottdm pl'an'viévvwof Fig. 11 but With the covering omí-'ttfedí eiírcep't ynear the lower end, and Showing" tf‘le rieles" through which a tool is ii’is’ertet‘lv for' Órh'fiiïn’g' the grip. _ Fig. 13’ is a»- fragmentary perspective view of' a portion of’ a rim'v of >rnodiiîed'1' construction with ` the »co‘veri'n‘g- iin vpositio'ifi»v only' partway thereover. . ` Figa 14’ isa' vertical' transverse section on the lineM-M of Fig. 13. Fig'. 115 is a'f-ra’gïmentaryvertical longitudinal section'througlä a. portion of the rim and cover and f showingV a further> modification. Fig. 16 is a vertical transverse section on the li'nïe " |3544 5 (JïfA 15i Referring more in detail'. to the drawings, my inventioncompri'sesa hollow tubular rim lf, pref erably‘ of' metal, b_u'táincluding' any material Yother metal, that vvi'l_ladaptA itself to. the spiriti of 2,408,388 3 casing t0 temporarily slightly enlarge its diam eter to such degree as to enable it to be slipped so that in applying the covering these bent ends and arms 5 and E may be sprung apart sufficiently over the exterior of the rim, after which the cov ering willreturn to a size suiiiciently to grip the rim. It will also be understood that during such enlargement of the covering or casing the remote to permit the covering to pass over each of them individually as it is slid on over the rim. The inner end portions 'I and 8 of arms 5 and 6 are each curved, as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and '4, with their extreme inner ends unattached to each s other, so that before being secured in the hub of the steering wheel these ends are free to haveVv the covering passed on over either one of them, then all the way around the rim and back to the 15 other arm with the ends of the covering terminat- -> ing at 9 and I0 preferably in a _position just out 4 pull, or any available means to effect such move ment. If desired, air or other pressure, may be applied to the hollow interior of the covering or this invention. For illustrative purposes I have shown this tubular rim as being of one piece with its ends bent inwardly at 2 and 3 to preferably contact each other at 4 but not fastened together, end will be plugged up or otherwise stopped to permit the application> of such interior pressure. During the slipping or otherwise forcing of the covering ór casing over the rim a lubricant is applied to the outside of the rim or inside of the casing, to assist such movement, and the lubri cant- will thereafter dry and cement the covering . or casing lto the exterior of the rim. Any of the many available lubricants may be used, among which may be mentioned as illustrative only and The covering is designated generally at I2 and comprises a suitably yieldable material that may 20 not in a limiting sense, soap, a phenolic glue, a plasticizing glue, or any other suitable glue, ce be pulled on, or otherwise forced over the rim, side of the hub Il. ' preferably around its entire circumferential length, although it may be stopped short of such ' ment, or lubricating agent desired. The covering or casing, when kbeing applied to the rim will be started over one end of either of distance if desired without departing from the spirit of my invention. For the covering mate 25 theL end portions 1 or 8, then pulled or forced around the rim I and if desired left to the amount rial I may use any suitable thermoplastic resin, shown> (or other amount) in Figure 1 upon the rubber, or other desirable and suitable yieldable arms 5 and 6, it being understood that theseV arms material. One thermoplastic resin that may be may be sufñciently laterally separated while the mentioned isVinylite, although as will be under stood, there are many vinyl and otherresins hav 30 casing is passing thereover and around the'rim. Or the casing may be terminated at anyv point ing yieldable properties rand adaptable for this around the rim or upon the arms desired. A'The purpose. As stated, rubber may be used as well casing or covering will be applied to the rim be as any of the many rubber-like plastics. fore the rim is placed into and secured to the hub. After the covering has been applied to the rim, as later more fully described, the'curved end por es A further feature of my invention is the-pro vision on the tubular rim of leither protuberances tions 1 and 8 of the arms 5 and 6 will be placed or depressions as desired, to afford better grip in corresponding depressions I3. and I4 in -the ping actionon the stearing wheel. In Figures~7 lower hub plate I5, and the top hub plate I6 hav to 10 inclusive, gripping protuberances are shown ing complemental depressions then placed there over and fastened by bolts, screws or the like I1 40 in the form of rivets, or similar` devices, each having a neck 20 and head 2I, the neck being . to the lower hub plate to securely fasten the rim snugly inserted in a hole formed at any desired element therebetween, as seen in Fig. 2.Y As will location on the rim, preferably at the top, yand be understood, the hub plates will be keyed or the lower face of the head bearing against the otherwise fastened to the upper end portion of a steering post (not shown). For» ornamental 45 rim. Any desired number of these rivets,-or similar devices, may be applied to the rimfand purposes there will be secured to the hub plates at any suitable distances apart. When the yield a hub housing I8, preferably made in two halves able covering or casingy is forced longitudinally and of a suitable plastic material. If desired the over the rim, as described above, it will subtan hub construction may be like that shown in Fig. 5 in which stamped metal is used, in which the 50 tially follow the upper contour ofleach of the rivet heads, andfthus form gripping protuber upper and lower plates are stamped into the de ances or humps h to afford more effective grasp sired shape by the use of dies or the like, and ing- of the wheel by the operator. These are when assembled and connected together by mar clearly shown in Figures 9~and 10, while Figure 7 ginal rivets or the like, havel a sleeve inserted into the centra1 opening, said sleeve having an 55 shows the covering just starting over one of the _»rivet heads. For conservation >of space Figure 7 upper flange supported upon the upper plate and shows the covering as being started on a frag a central opening to receive the steering post. ment of the rim, instead of starting on the free Also, as indicated by dotted lines in Fig. 1, an end of one of the end portions 'I and 8 as would Vadditional strengthening arm I9 may be added if ' desired, and be of any suitable construction, >such 60 actually occur. Figures 11 and 12 show how a modiñed form for example as generally indicated in my Patent of protuberance or hump is formed in the mate No. 2,276,477, granted March 17, 1942, for “Steer rial of the rim. The rim in this form is pro ing wheel.” Other forms for such additional videdpreferably in its lower face (although other stiffening arm may be used as desired, or it may locations could be used) with suitably sized and be omitted if the additional stiffness is not pre ferred. ' The usual nut (not shown) will be applied at the top of the steering post to bear against the top of the hub construction and within the hub housing. The covering or casing I2, which, as described above, is of a yieldable plastic resin or other suit able material, will be applied over the rim by slip ping, pulling or otherwise forcing it thereover in any manner desired, including a manual or other , spaced holes 2,2, through each of which will be inserted a swaging tool with a rounded endv to contact the inner- face ofv the opposite side of the rim. Application of suitable blows, or ,pres sure in a press, or otherwise as desired, to the tool will force the metal vof the opposite side of the rim outwardly into a bulge or protuberance 23, over which the yieldable covering I2, herein - before described, will be forced and causedto cling thereto when the covering cornes ¿toits 2,408,388 5 ñnal rest, thus forming humps or gripping pro tuberances h' similar to the humps h in Figure 9, and for a similar purpose. In Figures 13 and 14.V I have shown a rim hav spaced depressions 26 are formed, into which the yieldable covering extends as shown in these ñgures to form gripping depressions. Diiferently spacedand differently shaped pro ing a continuous slot a through its lower wall, 5 tuberances> or> humps and depressions -may be through which slot at suitable intervals a swag used >`without departing from the spirit> of my ; ing tool may be inserted and under pressure invention; form bulges or protuberances 24 in the opposite Having described my invention, I claim: wall of the rim, and over which the yieldable In a steering wheel, an elongated metal tubular covering will be stretched or slipped,fas earlier 10 rim having a circular portion and inwardly ex described, resulting in gripping protuberances h” tended end portions, means for detachably secur similar to those previously described, and for a ing said end portions together, said rim having similar purpose. Also in the form of Figures 13 an elongated slot in its bottom side, anda yield and 14 the covering or casing will be extruded, able ornamental thermoplastic resin vcovering or otherwise formed, with a longitudinal rib 25 15 snugly fitting around the exterior surface of the which will follow and be positioned- in the slot a rim, said covering having in its bottom wall an when the covering is applied to the rim. elongated rib ñtting into the slot of the rim, and In Figures 15 and 16 a similar procedure is being of a nature enabling pulling it longitudi followed, except that instead of forming out nally over the rim. , wardly extending bulges in the rim, suitably 20 ' HARRY F. GEORGE.