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Publication numberUS1535035 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1925
Filing dateApr 30, 1923
Priority dateApr 30, 1923
Publication numberUS 1535035 A, US 1535035A, US-A-1535035, US1535035 A, US1535035A
InventorsRichard Philipp
Original AssigneeRichard Philipp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic building toy
US 1535035 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 21, 1925.

Filed April 30, 1923 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 April 21, 1925.

R. PHILIPP MAGNETIC BUILDING TOY Filed April 50, 1923 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented Apr. 21, 1925.




Application filed April 30, 1923. Serial No. 635,709.

To a]? whom it may can earn:

Be it known that I, RKHARD PHILIPP, a citizen of Germany, residing at 36, Uferstl'assc. Eisenach (Germany), have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Magnetic Building Toys, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to improvements in toys, and the object of the improvements is to provide a toy ordinarily in the form of toy building blocks or an apparatus for instruction or experiment, which is based on magnetic attraction acting on certain elements or the like of structures or other bodies for conne: ting or otherwise affecting the same. As compared to similar toys consisting of elements adapted to be composed into structures of various forms and having no mechanical joints, novel andsurprising results are obtained, the magnetism acting in opposition to the gravity of the elements and permitting the same to be suspended without making use of mechanical joints or to be placed in positions with their centers of gravitation laterally of the bases thereof. I urthermore, in my improved system joints can be made which permit the elements to be set in any angular position without rcquiring locking means. the elements being held in the said positions exclusively by magnetism.

\Vith these and other objects in view my invention consists in providing a suitable support adapted to exert magnetic forces and cooperating with elements adapted to receive therefrom magnetic forces and to transmit the same from one to the other.

In order that my invention. be more clearly understood several examples embodying the same have been shown in the accompanying drawings, in which the same reference characters have been used in all the views to indicate corresponding parts. In said drawings,

horseshoe magnet used in my a )paratus and more particularly designed or use in a magnetic-toy in the form of toy building blocks.

Fig. 2 is a perspective view showing a box suitable for receiving building or other -ele'- ments of the toy and connected with the horseshoe magnet shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing a Fig. 3 is an elevation showing a modification of the magnetic base;

Figs. 4 to 6, 9 to 16 and 27 and 28 are elevationsillustrating the use of the apparatus for composing different structures, making experiments, and producing movable figures;

Figs. 7, 8 and 17 to 26 show different elements used in my improved system.

In Fig. 1 I have shown a horseshoe magnet designed for use in my improved system. As shown the shanks 2 of the magnet the ends of which are respectively a north pole N and a south pole S are bent out of the plane of the magnet upwardly and rearwardly so as to be spaced from and parallel to the body of the magnet, and the top faces of the said shanks are disposed in a plane providing the support for the structures and other objects, the elements of which are preferably made from iron.

The horseshoe magnet is mounted within a box or casing 3, the upper ends or shanks of the magnet being disposed in cut-out portions of the top wall of the box and the median part being located within the box. The box 3 contains a drawer receiving the elements of-the structures and the drawer is so disposed that with the drawer closed the elements bridge the poles of the magnet.

I have found that when constructing the magnet in the manner described with its pole pieces bent upwardly and rearwardly the magnetism is substantially uniform and powerful over the whole area of the top faces of the shanks, while in a magnet of ordinar construction the magnetic force is in a hig or degree concentrated on the poles.

In Fig. 3 I have shown a modification comprising a plurality of magnets 61, and the shanks 62 of the magnets are not parallel to the bodies thereof but at acute angles thereto. Thereby I am enabled to place a plurality of similar magnets one beside the other in the manner shown in the drawing and, by grinding the top parts thereof in the'manner indicated, to provide a broad plane top. face having uniform magnetic action all over the area thereof.

hen composing structures or other figures from the elements care must be taken that always free poles are produced at the ends of the elements which are adapted to hold further elements added thereto. Therefore, as long as building is not completed the magnetic circuit should not be closed. For example, when placing two rods 5 and 6 on the poles N and S of the magnet there will be a north pole at the top end of the rod placed on the north pole of the magnets and a south pole at the top end of the rod placed on the south pole.

Therefore the structure can-be continued on eachof the said poles. If however the top ends of the rods are connected in the ,manner shown in Fig. 4 bya bar 7 permitting the passage of the magnetic flux the magnetic circuit is closed, and it is not possible any more 'to continue the construction on the elements so far composed and. to hold the same together by magnetic force, because there is no free magnetic pole. If however in the manner shownin Fig. 5 two rods 8 and 9 are placed on the same pole, for example on the north pole, similar poles are produced at the top ends of both rods, which poles are north poles in the present example. If now a third rod 10 is placed on the said rods 8 and 9 the structure shows a north pole at its top which is adapted to hold further elements by magnetism. Therefore a rod 11 may be placed on the said structure, and on the rod 11 a further rod 12, which likewise provides a free pole adapted to have a ball 13. and a thin rod 14 suspended therefrom. If in the arrangement shown in Fig. 4 having rods 5 and 6 placed on both poles it is desired to connect the said rods by a transverse bar and to permit further construction by magnetism, a transverse bar must be used which is not adapted to close the magnetic circuit, in order to provide the free poles required for the further construction, and said bar must consist at the joint of magnetic metal. Therefore the said transverse bar 15 consists of a body of a suitable non-magnetic metal such as aluminum and it has shoes of magnetic metal secured to 1ts ends, as is shown 1n F igs. 6 and 7. As appears more particularly from Fig. 7, the nonmagnetic body 15 is formed at both ends with tenons 15 fitting in corresponding sockets or bores of the shoes 15 made from iron. I wish it to be understood that I do not limit myself to the construction of the joints between the body 15 and the shoes 15 shown herein After thus providing a transverse connection between the rods 5 and 6 further rods may be placed on the ends of the rods 15 which rods are held in position by magnetism. As shown in Fig. 6 two vertical rods 16 and 17 are placed on the said shoes, and on the top ends of the rods 16 and 17 wed e shaped pieces 18 -and 19 are placed the beveled faces of which are directed inwardly and towards each other. Thereafter magnetizable rods 20 and 21 are placed on the beveled faces perpendicularly thereto. so that the said rods are inclined towards each other and make contact with each other I at their top ends. The structure is completedhy placing a member 22 of cubic form into the corner provided between the top faces of the memhers 20 and 21. The parts 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. 21 and 22 all consist of magnetizablc material, so that the whole structure is held together by magnetism emanating from the poles N and S.

In some cases similar poles must be connected by non-magnetizable rods, because actions. An example of an element of this type has been shown in Fig. 8 in which the non-magnetic body parts have received the character 72, while the magnetic parts have received the characters 71 and 7 3.

In Figs. 9 and 10 I have illustrated the repelling and attracting action exerted by free magnetic poles on movable elements which likewise provide free magnetic poles. As shown in Fig. 9 two rods 23 and 24 are placed on the pole N of the magnetic base plate. On the top of the rod 23 there is a ball 25 of iron, and the said ball carries an iron needle directed with its free end to wards the rod 24. At the free ends of the needle and the rod 24 there are similar poles. Therefore the needle is repelled, and it is directed upwardly and at an angle to the horizontal, as is shown in Fig. 9. If however the rods 23 and 24 are placed on the poles N and S in the manner shown in Fig. 10, dissimilar poles are provided at the top end of the rod 24 and the free end of the needle, which poles attract each other so that the point of the nedle is directed towards the top end of 24.

The same effect is produced in the modification shown in Fig. 11 where a rod 2? has been placed on the north pole of the a magnetic base. Laterally of the said rod and at the side of the south pole there is a short rod 28 which engages the side face of the said rod with one of the edges of its top face. Thereby a north pole is produced at the downwardly directed free end of the rod 28, which is attracted by the south pole of the base. Therefore the rod 28 is set in inclined position and directed towards the south pole of the base, the angu-- lar position depending uponthe gravity of the rod and the magnetic force. If the roil 28 is brought out of its position by depressing or lifting the same it returns into its median position after a few oscillations.

This fact may he used for making movable figures. Fig. 12 shows a figure composed of rods and representing an animal the tail 29 corresponding to the member 28 shown in Fig. 10. Therefore by lifting and releasing the rod 28 the animal appears to wag its tail. In a similar way I may represent an animal moving its head or of its body. In some cases I construct the elements for composing representations of animals or other natural figures in the true forms-of the parts represented thereby. so

that the complete structure is a true representation of the animal or the figure. The child playing with the toy will be able to find out various forms to be represented bv the elements.

In Fig. 13 I have shown an example showing a structure representing a house;


the elements of the structure being erected on both poles of the magnetic base plate. Fig. 14 shows a structure in which the elements are placed on the same pole of the magnetic base plate, the centers of gravitation of the rods being located laterally of the supporting bottom faces of the ele ments. By reason of the magnetic forces the whole structure has sufiicient stability. Various structures may be produced by simultaneously using a plurality of magnets or cases having magnets mounted therein. Thereby I am enabled to erect structures having broad bases.

In Fig. 15 I have shown a structure erected on twomagnetic base plates or casings. Fig. 16 illustrates an interesting experiment. At the beginning two casings are placed in close relation to each other as is shown in Fig. 15, and on adjacent poles rods ,and 31 respectively are placed, which are connected by a transverse rod Thereafter the casings haw. been shifted apart. the rods 30. 31 and 32 sticking to each other so that their joints are not broken notwithstanding the movement of the bases. One of the rods 30has remained in vertical position, while theother one has been setin inclined position by the lateral pull exerted thereon.

It will be understood that the figures described above are intended to give a few examples, and that the elements shown herein or elements of a different configuration may be combined into various structures.

In Fig. 17 I have shown a further modification of an elementconsisting of a body another part portions 44. By inserting a rod .length of which is nearly equal to the total -mechanical connection terial. Fig. 1B shows a strip 39 of sheet metal representii'ig tiles atits upper face. In a similar way metallic strips representing the side walls of a house may he provided with doors and windows.

In such cases in which it is desired to erect large structures I prefer to construct the body of the elements of light non-magnetic material and to coat the same with magnetic metal at such parts where the action of magnetism is desired. Elements of this construction have been shown by way of example in Figs. 19 to 21. As shown in Fig. 19 a core of aluminium or another light metal or other material is pro vided with 'a jacket 51 of-iron. In the modification shown in Fig. 20 the rod 52 is provided only at its ends with caps of iron, andin the example shown in Fig. 21 a rod 54 of non-magnetic material carries a collar of iron. Furthermore, to reduce the gravity the elements may be in the form of hollow bodies, as is shown by way of example in Fig. 22 showing a part of a tubular rod. In Fig. 23 I have shown a tubular rod composed of a non-magnetic median body 43' and two para magnetic end 56 the length of the magnetic and non-magnetic parts 44 and 43 and the cross-section of which corresponds to the area of the hollow 45 the parts 44 can be magnetically connec ed if desired. A rod of this construction may under circumstances be used for humorous experiments, for example by inserting the same at a part of a structure where. a magnetic connect-ion is not allowed, and after completing the structure passing the iron rod 56 from one side into the hollow 45 until it makes contact with the opposite end part 44. in order to cause the structure to break down by closing the magnetic circuit.

In Fig. 24 I have shown a spherical joint to be used in my improved system. As shown the said joint consists of a block 46 in the form of an obtuse pyramid. At its top the said block is formed with a semispherical socket 47 adapted to be engaged by a spherical trunnion 48 provided at one end of a rod 49. A

reason of the magnetism as a joint for suspending the element without providing a between the trunnion and the bearing block. By reason of the spherical joint of this type may be used as. a bottom joint or by magnetic attraction the rod maybe inclined relatively to the block without falling, the rod being held by the frictional engagement of its spherical trunnion in the block. Therefore the rod 49 may be held in the position shown in Fig. 25 without being supported at its free end.

In Fig. 26 I have shown a cylindrical joint comprising a bearing block 59 having a cylindrical socket and a cylindrical trunnion 58 formed on the rod 57 It will be understood that elements of any known or preferred configuration may be used. For example the rods may have any desired cross-sections, the elements may be in the form of disks of difierent circumferences, of balls. polyhedrons etc. or they may be in the form of natural objects of any type, and all of the said elements may be made entirely or in part of iron, as has been described above.

Instead of the permanent magnets referred to above I may use electro-magnets, if there is a supply of electric energy which permits of a. more extended use'of the system. For example I may break down the structures erected by means of magnetism by switching out the electric current. Furthermore more powerful magnetism can be produced by electric energy, which permits the construction of higher and heavier structures. A

Permanent magnetism and electro-magnetism may be combined in my improved system. More particularly both sources of magnetism may be used in connection with structures having movable parts, the permanent magnetism being used for holding the elements of a structure togethen while more powerful electro-magnetism is used for changing the position of movable parts, for

which purpose it is brought to action as.


In this way I am enabled to produce mechanically operated apparatus. For example, Fig. 27 shows a catapult. A. rod 64 is supported near its end .on a pillar 63 placed on the north pole N, and it is normally held in horizontal position by magnetism. The free end of the rod 64 is a north pole. On the same pole there is a supporting member 66 constructed at its top end 66 in the form of a cylindrical bearing for the cylindrical portion 68 of a rocking lever 68 carrying a spoon 68. Preferably the supporting member 66 and the rocking lever are made from iron. Below the free end of the rod 6-1 there is one of the poles of the electromagnet 65 and preferably the south pole. \Vhen energizing the said electro-inagnet the rod 64 is suddenly attracted, which therefore strikes against the arm 68 of the rocking from. Also the bearing portion 68" of the lever 68' is made from iron, while the throwing lever itself consists of non-magnetic material. If now a rod 65 magnetically acted upon by the pole S is brought below the free end of the rod 6 L, the same effect is produced as by switching in the electromagnet shown in Fig. 27.

Whilein describing the invention reference has been made to various examples embodying the same I wish it to be understood that my invention is not limited to the constructions shown in the drawings and that various changes may be made in the general arrangement of the apparatus and the construction of its parts without departing from the invention.

I claim 1. A building toy comprising a box, a horseshoe magnet disposed with its body on the bottom of the box and with its shanks bent upwardly and rearwardly into the top wall of the box, and a drawer for the reception of building blocks inserted into said box in the space left between the body and the poles of the magnet.

2. For use with a magnetic base a building block of tubular form consisting of a median part of non-magnetic material and ends of soft iron carried by the median part, and a core of soft iron removably fitting within said tubular, body and adapted to provide a magnetic connection between said iron ends.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature in presence of two witnesses.


G Witnesses:


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U.S. Classification446/92, 335/285, 335/302, 273/456, 124/4, 335/237
International ClassificationA63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/046
European ClassificationA63H33/04M