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Patented Oct. 15, 1946
2,409,367
UNITED `STATES PATENT oFFlcE '
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Charles W. Leguillon and Carroll P. Krupp,
Akron, Ohio, assignors to The B. F. Goodrich
Company, New York, N. Y., la corporation of
New York
ì Application September 22, 1942, Serial No. 459,266
1I) Claims.
This invention relates to protective clothing
and especially to suits of water-tight construc
tion substantially enclosing and protecting the
wearer’s body against objectionable exposure,
including flotation suits.
`
Under some conditions of shipwreck, sailors
are forced to jump into the water and to en
deavor to remain afloat until rescued. It is de
sirable to provide effective protection for the
personnel against the weather and the water dur~
ing such an emergency.
While the invention is useful especially in the
construction of flotation suits for mariners, it is
applicable in many of its features also to other
(Cl. 2--82)
2
In order to protect the wearer against objec
tionable and harmful exposure, it is desirable that
Va flotation suit I0, such as is shown in Fig. 1, en
close completely the wearer’s body, except for
his face, in a'substantially water-tight manner.
The suit Il) includes, accordingly, a headpiece II
which is integral with an outer covering I2 for
the body or torso and the limbs including the
hands and feet.
Preferably, the head piece II having an open
ing for the'face fits snugly against the head of
the wearer and is made of flexible material which
may be stockinet fabric impregnated or coated
with a suitable water-proofing substance such
forms of protective clothing such as sleeping
as Va rubber-like or other plastic material.
bags, jackets, and wading suits for Sportsmen,
fire ñghters, suits, and other complete or partial
slackness IIa in the headpiece Il at the back
A
of the neck in the region of joinder with a torso
portion I3 is desirable to permit freedom of head
movement. The headpiece Il is joined integrally
Objects of the invention are to provide for
clothing effectively protecting the wearer’s body 20 with the torso portion I3 by sewing, or by a suit
able adhesive such as rubber cement, or both.
against objectionable exposure, to provide effec
The outer covering l2 is generally loosely fit
tively for water-tightness together with ease of
ting with considerable fullness in the torso por
donning and dofling the clothing, to providecon
tion I3, to‘permit the wearer to be fully clothed
venient access to the interior of the suit afloat,
and to provide comfort to the wearer.
25 with auxiliary flotation means such as an in
flatable vest or belt and to permit access to the
Further objects are to provide simplicity of
interior of the suit by withdrawing the arms
construction, and to provide for convenience of
from sleeves 3l and 32. This covering is made
manufacture, and convenience and effectiveness
of strong, flexible and substantially water-tight
of operation.
body coverings.
.
Still further objects are to provide for admit
ting a portion of the wearer’s body into the cloth
ing, and to provide for substantially sealing an
opening therein against leakage.
These and other objects and advantages of the
invention will be apparent from the following de
scription.
30 material and may be made of duck fabric having
an impregnation or coating of rubber-like or
other suitable plastic material.
For facilitating donning the suit Iû, there is
provided a neck opening having marginal por
tions Ida and Ido and a divided front portion
IEa and I5b in the outer covering IZ‘. ` The front
portion I5@ and I5?) of the torso portion I 3 is split
centrally and downwardly from the neck opening
part of this specification, and in which like
to approximately the crotch of a trouser portion
numerals are employed to designate like parts
throughout the same,
40 I2a., and the margins Ißa and Iiìb thereof are
joined detachably by a slide fastener I1 or other
Fig. 1 is a front view of a flotation suit in
suitable fastening means.
'
cluding a headpiece constructed in accordance
In the accompanying drawings, which form a
with and embodying the invention, parts being
' It is desirable that the divided front portion
broken away and in section,
I5a and I5b andthe neck opening be sealed in
y
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the suit showing 45 some suitable manner `so as toirender the suit
l0 water-tight. To this end an extensible front
the margin of the neck opening in a closed and
portion I8 of flexible and substantially water
contracted condition,
i
tight material, which is lighter in weight and
Fig. 3 is a view like Fig. 2 except that the suit
more ñexible than the outer covering I2, is se
is in a fully closed condition,
Fig. 4 is a rear View of the suit showing the 50 cured to the inside of the margins I lia and `Ifib
of the covering I2 along the lines I9 and 2t and
pocket in an inflated condition, parts ' being
to a margin 2i ofthe opening in the headpiece
broken away and in section,
II by sewing, or a suitable adhesive like rubber
Fig. 5 is a view taken along line 5-5 of Fig`
cement, or both, as shown in Fig. .1.. The front
1, and
Fig. 6 is a view on an enlarged scale taken 55 portion I8 has considerable fullness, especially
in the upper reaches thereof, whereby it may be
along line 6--6 of Fig. 2.
`
`
2,409,367
3
4
extended outwardly thus defining a large opening
for admitting the wearer’s body, and in the closed
wardly through an aperture in the exterior wall
of the strip 24, the aperture being reinforced
condition providing an ample air pocket for
by a grommet 2B and a fabric patch 30. When
buoyancy. In the extended condition of the
the suit ID is in the closed condition, as shown
portion I8, which is continuous across its width Cn in Fig. 3, the looped portion 26a of the draw
between its attachments at I9 and 2a and, like
string 26 is disposed in the space between the
a bag or pouch, has considerable fullness, may
extensible front portion I8 and the margins Ißa
droop as shown in Fig. 1, but may be folded and
and I6b of the divided front portion I5a and I5b.
drawn up to its closed position closer to the
In the operation of donning the suit Iíl, the
wearer as shown in Figs. 2 and 3.
1,0 wearer first places the divided front portion I5a
During closure of the divided front portion I5a
and I5b in a fully opened condition by manipu
and |517, the extensible portion I8 is disposed
lating the slide fastener I'I downwardly thus
inside the outer covering I2 in a plurality of
disengaging the margins Iöa and |619 whereby a
overlapping folds, bellows fashion. It also has
V-shaped opening is formed, as shown in Fig. l,
substantial fullness in a portion 22 thereof adja
and extends the bellows-like extensible front
cent the neck of the wearer and extending be
portion I3 outwardly to its maximum fullness,
yond the margins I4a and I4b of the outer cover
including the marginal portions 23 and the folded
ing I2, as shown in Fig. 3, to permit freedom of
strip 24. Then grasping the torso portion I3 in
head movement.
.
the region of the neck opening, the wearer in
It is desirable that a marginal portion 23 of 20 serts his body, feet first, through this opening
the extensible front portion I8 defining the open
largely defined by the front portion I8, and pulls
ing for admitting the wearer’s body be adapted
the outer covering I2 up over his shoulders,
for arrangement into a plurality of elements
thereafter inserting the arms into sleeve por
-preferably a multiplicity thereof, in overlapping
tions 3I and 32.
and closely contacting relationship, preferably 25 Next the headpiece II is pulled on over the
in the form o-f plaits 25 or flat folds, in order to
head and the margin of the neck opening in the
provide for substantially sealing against the neck,
front portion I8 is contracted by grasping the
when so positioned, thus preventing the entrance
looped portion 26a of the draw-string 26 and
of water into the suit ID.
sliding the clamp 28 upwardly until the folded
We have found that this may be accomplished 30 strip 24 is positioned in a plurality of overlapping
satisfactorily by utilizing a folded strip 24 or
and closely contacting plaits 25 against the neck.
flattened tube of soft, iiexible and substantially
This contraction of the strip 24 permits arrang
water-ti-ght material, such as a closely woven,
ing the extensible front portion I8 in loosely
smoothly finished rayon fabric or fabric lightly
overlapping folds extending downwardly in the
impregnated with rubber or other suitable rna 35 space defined by the margins IEa and IEb of the
terial, which is more flexible and is lighter in
divided front portion I5a and |51). In fact, owing
weight than` the material of the extensible front
to the ability of the draw-string 26 to hold the
portion I8. The strip 24 is attached to the mar
front portion of the suit in, the margins Iûa, |61;
gins 2| and 23 of the headpiece Il and the ex
need not be brought together or attached except
tensible front I8, respectively, by sewing, as shown 40 for added protection and neatness.
in Fig. 1, the strip 24 extending along the upper
In the arrangement illustrated in Figs. 2, 3 and
margin 23 of the front portion I8 continuously
6, the draw-string 26 being under tension presses
from one margin 2l of the headpiece to the other
the plaits 25 inwardly against the ñeshy part of
margin thereof and the strip 24 is of sufficient
the neck adjacent and below the jawbone, and
depth to permit the desired puckering or folding
also it pulls downwardly upon the patches 2l
into a multiplicity of plaits 25 in order to present
causing the margin 2l of the headpiece II to
collectively a succession of the bent edges of the
fit snugly against the forehead and the cheeks,
plaits stacked against one another and in edge
all of which is accomplished without discomfort
on relation to the wearer’s neck to obtain a sub
to the wearer. By virtue of the inward pressure
stantially continuous sealing surface against a -
of the string 26, the plaits 25, being of soft, yield
neck portion 33 of the wearer by virtue 0f the
able material, are bent into an overlapping and
yieldability and closely contacting condition of
the material, which puckering and contracting
contacting relation to one another thus provid
of the strip 24 to form a plurality of closely con
tacting plaits is effected by means of drawing
the strip 24 along a draw-string 26 within the
fold at the margin of the strip 24. Fig. 6 illus
trates more in detail the sealing surface thus
obtained. Owing to the softness of the material
the plaits 25 lie close to each other and close to
60
the skin of the wearer and it has been found that
this action, especially in the fleshy region under
the chin, provides a substantially water-tight
seal without uncomfortable tautness of a draw
string 26.
The iiexible draw-string 26, for example a
braided hemp or linen cord, is disposed within
and in association with the folded strip 24, as
shown especially in Figs, 1, 5 and 6, the ends of
ing a substantially continuous sealing surface
contiguous with the neck, and since they are also
in a closely contacting condition throughout their
width, a substantially fluid-tight seal of the neck
opening is obtained.
After positioning the looped portion 26a of the
string 26 adjacent the outside of the extensible
front portion I8, the margins Ißa and I6b of the
outer covering I2 are joined together by engag
ing the slide fastener I1. The fullness of the
front portion I8 permits a bulge in that part ex
tending above the margins I4a and |41?, as shown
in Fig. 3, which assists in protecting the plaited
strip 24 against water spray. The flotation suit
I 0 is thus placed in a closed condition.
The wearer may squat to expel excessive air
from the suit prior to jumping into the water,
the string being attached to patches 21 secured 70 and by jumping feet first with the arms close
in a Suitable manner as by sewing, to the upper
reaches of and at each side of the helmet II
adjacent the margin 2l.
The draw-strin-g has
a middle section in the form of a looped portion
26a having a sliding clamp 28, and it extends out
to the sides or brought together over the head
he may jump from considerable height without
undue concussion and without taking water into
the suit.
In an emergency, the closure of the
75 divided front portion I5@ and I’5b by operating
2,409,367
5
"
'
6,
the slide fastener may be dispensed with With
outV appreciably altering the water-tightness of
the suit'.
'
'
v
,
,
For maintaining the wearer in an upright posi
tion in the water when he is equipped with
auxiliary notation means such as an inflatable
vest or belt, the feet of the suit l0 may be
weighted, if desired. The headpiece il» and the
hands of the suitv may be of a distinctive color,
such as yellow, for ready identification of the 10
wearer.
Thel flotation suit l0 may, if desired, be pro
yieldabil'ity and closely folded condition of said
material, a draw-string disposed in` said margin
for thus puckering and positioning the latter, said
draw-string being detachably secured to each side
of the headpiece at' the upper front reaches there
of in a manner to‘draw'said flat-folds against the
neck- and to dra-w theA headpiece down upon the
head, and means for detachably securing together
said> outside portions of the suit in a manner to
enclose said extensible portion in a contracted
condition,
3. A flotation suit including an integral head
vided with an integral flotation means such as
piece and torso portion having flexible walls of
an inflatable pocket or air bag 34. A wall por
tiony 34a is made of flexibleï material and may be
substantially water-tight material and includingrv
separable outside portions ofthe front thereof,
said torso portion having an extensible front
portion within said outside portions in the region
rubber-like or other plastic material. v The wall
of said»Y headpiece, said suit having an opening
34a is secured` to the outer covering I2 by sew
therein defined inV part by said- extensible front
ing, or` an adhesive such as rubber cement, or 20 portion and in part by said headpiece for ad
mitting the wearer’s body, the extensible por
both.
Preferably, the air bag 3:4 is disposed adjacent
tion of said torso portion at the opening compris
the shoulders upon the torso portion I3 in the ’ ing a margin of soft, flexible and substantially
manner shown in Fig. 1 to. provide for a center
water-tight material contractible into a plurality
of buoyancy of the suit IVD whi-ch permits elimi 25 of overlapping plaits, the plaits being in contact
nating the need for the expedient of weighting
substantially throughout their width and‘being
positionable against the wearer’s neck to present
the feet. A suitable valve 35 and tube 35 en
able the pocket or air bag. 34 to be conveniently
a substantially continuous sealing surface across
inflated either before or after the wearer jumps
the` plaits by virtue of the yieldability and closely
into the water.
plaited condition of said material-Q` a draw-string
Variations may be made without departing
` disposed in said margin >for- thus contracting and
made of a woven fabric impregnated or coated
with a suitable water-proof substance such as a
from the scope of the invention as it is defined
positioning said margin, said draw-string being
in the following claims.
We claim:
l. A flotation suit including an integral head
detachably secured to each side of the headpiece
at the upper front reaches thereof ina manner
35
to draw said plaits against the neck and to draw
piece and torso‘portion having flexible walls of
the headpiece down upon the head, and slide>
substantially water-tight material and including
fastener means extending along said outside por
separable outside portions at the front thereof,
tions for bringing together said outside portions
said torso portion having an extensible front por
tion within said outside portions in the. region 40 of the suit in a manner to enclose said extensible
of said headpiece and an opening inthe region
of the neck for admitting the wearer’s body, said
suit at the opening comprising amargin of sub
stantially water-tight material relatively soft
and flexible as compared to said material of the
torso portion and puckerable into a multiplicity
portion in a contracted condition,
4. A flotation suit including a headpiece open
at the face thereof and a, torso portion of sub
stantially VWater-tight flexible material and hav
ing an opening defined by said headpiece and
said torsofportion for admitting the wearer’s body,
the headpiece comprising a neck covering open
at the front providing continuity of open front
in
said torso portion, neck covering and head
tionable in edge-on relation against the wearer’s
piece
and having fullness at the back for freedom
neck for presenting a substantially continuous 50
of movement of the wearer’s head, said suit at
sealing surface across the flat, folds by virtue of
the opening comprising a margin across and
the yieldability and closely folded condition of
terminating at the forward margins of the open
said relatively soft and flexible material, a draw
front of said neck covering, said margin compris
string disposed in said margin and secured to
ing a multiplicity of substantially flat elements of
each side of the headpiece at the ear region there
a substantially water-tight material (relatively
of for thus puckering and positioning the latter,
soft and flexible as compared to the material of
and means for detachably securing together said
the torso portion and adapted to lie in overlap
outside portions of the suit in a manner to en
ping relationship and in extensive contact, one
close said exensible portion in a contracted con
with another, the edges of said elements being
dition.
00 collectively positionable against one another in
2. A flotation suit including an integral head
edge-on relation to the wearer’s neck beneath
piece and torso portion having flexible walls of
the lower jaw to present a substantially continu
vsubstantially water-tight material and includ
ous sealing surface across the edges of the ele
of overlapping and contacting flat folds and the
bent edges of the folds being collectively posi
ing separable outside portions at the front there
ments at the neck of the wearer, and means in
of, said torso portion having an extensible front 65 association with said elements for thus position
portion within said outside portions in the region
ing said margin in the overlapping and contact
of said headpiece and an opening in the region
ing relationship of said elements.
of the neck for admitting the wearer’s body, said
5. A protective suit comprising a body covering
suit at the opening comprising a margin of soft,
including a portion of relatively heavy flexible
iiexible and substantially water-tight material
material and a second portion of lighter and more
puckerable into a plurality of overlapping and
flexible material than that of the first said por
contacting flat folds positionable -against the
-tion and said covering having an opening therein
defined by the first and second said portions for
wearer’s neck in the fleshy region beneath the
admitting the wearer, said second portion being of
lower jaw to present a substantially continuous
substantial fullness to facilitate entry of the
sealing surface across said folds by Virtue ofthe
2,409,367
7
wearer, the margin of the opening at said second
portion comprising a third portion of mate
rial of still greater flexibility as compared to that
of the material of the first and second said por
tions, and means in association with said margin
neath the jaw and along Ythe same, said means
being disposed at each side of the headpiece and
being secured thereto in a manner such that
under the contraction by said means said mate
rial will be drawn against the neck upward toward
for holding the margin against the wearer and
for gathering said second portion and said third
portion in against the wearer.
6. A protective suit comprising a headpiece, a
the head downward toward the jaw.
9. A notation suit comprising a headpiece hav
ing an open face, a torso portion having ñexible
torso portion having flexible walls, said suit hav
ing an opening therein defined in part by said
torso portion and in part by said headpiece for
admitting the wearer, the margin of said torso
portion at the opening comprising soft flexible
material adapted by virtue of its softness and
ñexibility to be pressed against the wearer’s neck
the head and the headpiece will be drawn upon
walls of substantially water-tight material, said
suit having a front opening therein deñned in
part by said torso portion and in part by said
headpiece for admitting the wearer, said opening
providing a continuously open front through the
torso portion, the neck region and the face of
the headpiece, the margin of said torso portion
to present a substantially continuous sealing sur
at said opening comprising soft flexible sheet
face along said margin conforming to the neck,
material contractible in a multiplicity of close
and means extending along said margin for thus
folds to present a substantally continuous sealing
pressing said material against the wearer’s neck, 20 surface along said margin conforming to the neck
said means being disposed at each side of the
by virtue of the yieldability and closely folded
headpiece and being secured thereto in a manner
condition of said sheet material, and means in
such that under the action of said means said
cluding a draw-string extending along said
material will be drawn against the neck upward
margin for thus contracting said sheet material
toward the head and the headpiece will be drawn 25 against the wearer’s neck immediately beneath
upon the head downward toward the neck.
ì
the jaw and along the same, said draw-string be
'7. A protective suit comprising a headpiece, a
ing secured to each side of the headpiece in a
torso portion having flexible walls, said suit having
manner such that under the contraction by said
an opening therein deñned in part by said torso
means said sheet material will be drawn against
portion and in part by said headpiece for admit 30 the neck upward toward the head andthe head
ting the wearer, the margin of said torso portion
piece will be drawn upon the head downward
at the opening comprising soft flexible material
toward the jaw.
contractible to present a substantially continuous
10. A protective suit including an integral head
sealing surface along said margin conforming to
piece and torso portion and having an open face
the neck, and means extending along said margin
in the headpiece and a front opening deñned by
for drawing said material against the wearer’s
the headpiece and the torso portion and including
neck immediately beneath the jaw and along the
the open face of the headpiece for admitting the
same, said means being disposed at each side
wearer, said opening providing a continuously
of the headpiece and being secured thereto in a
open front through the torso portion, the neck
manner such that under the action of said means
region and the face of the headpiece, the margin
said material will be drawn against the neck
of the torso portion at said opening comprising
upward toward the head and the headpiece will
soft flexible material across and terminating at
be drawn upon the head downward toward the
the forward margins of the open face of said head
`law.
piece and puckerable into a multiplicity of sub
8. A protective suit comprising a headpiece, a
stantiallyr flat folds in overlapping relationship,
torso portion having flexible walls, said suit having
said folds being in contact with one another sub
an opening therein defined in part by said torso
stantially throughout their width and collectively
portion and in part by said headpiece for admit
presenting a succession of bent edges positionable
ting the wearer, the margin of said torso portion
in edge-on relation to the neck of the wearer to
at the opening comprising soft flexible sheet 50 present a substantially continuous sealing surface
material contractible in a multiplicity of close
across said bent edges of the folds by virtue of the
folds to present a substantially continuous seal
yieldability and closely folded condition of said
ing surface along said margin conforming to the
material, and means in association with said folds
neck by virtue of the yieldability and closely folded
for thus positioning and puckering the margin.
condition of said material, and means extending 55
along said margin for thus contracting said mate
CHARLES W. LEGUILLON.
rial against the wearer’s neck immediately be
CARROLL P. ICRUPP.
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