US 1718230 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. W. GRAVES STRUCTURAL TOY June 25, 1929.
Filed Sept. 24, 1927 Patented June 25; 1929.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
HENRY W. GRAVES, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
Application filed September 24, 1927. Serial No. 221,650.
thereby requiring considerable time in threading the bolt parts on each other when assembling the desired structure, and also requiring the use of tools for this purpose.
My invention aims to provide structural toy elements so arranged that they can readi- 1y be assembled into rigid structures in an endless Variety of arrangements without the use of bolts or ordinary spring cotters thereby not requiring the use of tools for assembling or disconnecting the parts.
Furthermore, my invention aims to provide construction toy elements consisting of connectors having counterpart perforations, and strips having compressible end portions ada ted to interlock interchangeably with per orated portions of the connectors. the connectors and strips also having interengageable portions for preventing a relative movement of the connected elements.
More particularly, my invention provides toy construction elements in the form of strips having counterpart bent-up ends and having their end portions slotted to make them laterally compressible, the bent up ends having portions adapted to engage one face of a connector when a main portion of the connector engages a face of the main portion of the strip. It also provides connectors having a plurality of slots through which any bent-up strip end may extend and having integral parts disposed for fiat-wise engagement with stri ends projecting through the slots, and aims to form the connectors and dispose the slots so as to afford desirable relative positionings ofthe several strips connected by any connector.
Furthermore, my invention aims to provide strips and connectors for this purpose which can be cheaply manufactured and which can easily be'manipulated even by a child for connecting and disconnecting them.
Still further and more detailed objects will appear from the following specifications and from the accompanying drawings, in which,-
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of the frame of a bridge constructed with strips and connectors embodying my invention. a
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary view of the same.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged and vertical transverse section taken along *the correspondingly numbered lines of Fig. 1. v
Fig. 4 is an enlarged view of the punched blank from which the connecting members shown in Figs. 1 to 3, inclusive, were formed.
Fig. 5 is an enlarged erspective View of one of the strips of the first two figures.
Fig. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the connectors after it has been formed. 7
In accomplishing the purposes of my invention after the manner illustrated by the drawings, I provide strips which have counterpart slotted and notched ends bent from them, and which can be cheaply formed from sheet metal. Each such strip desirably has its ends 7 bent at right angles to, and extending in the same direction from, the main and straight intermediate portion 8 of the strip Each strip is also provided with two longitudinal and preferably medial slots 9 which extend respectively from the tips of the bent-up ends around the bend and for such a distance along the main strip portion 8 as to make the strip ends laterally compressible.
To connect such strips, I provide connectors, also formed of sheet metal, each such connector including a metal body portion 10 having a plurality of counterpart slots 2, each of whichslots is slightly wider than the thickness of one of the end strip ends and somewhat narrower than such a strip end. Each connector also has adjacent to each slot a finger 4 extending at of the connector, which webs can readily be formed out of the stock which is bent up from thesheet material to afi'ord the slots. Each strip end is .also provided at its lateral edges with opposed notches 1 which notches are close to the adjacent face of the main strip portion 8 by a distance corresponding 'to the thickness of the material from which each connector is formed, these'.
notches being each of a width corresponding to the saidthickness and of such a depth that the distance between the opposed bot.-
toms of the two notches corresponds to the strip end '7 is preferably tapered edgewise to facilitate its insertion through any of the said slots.
When a strip end is being inserted through a slot in a connector, as was done by moving the strip end 7 of Fig. 3 downwardly through the adjacent slot in the main portion 10 of a connector, the tapering of the tips of the strip affords a cam action through the engagement of the edges of the tips with the ends of the slot. Consequently, the two parts into which the longitudinal slot divides the bent up strip end are forced toward each other. By making each such longitudinal slot 9 at leasttwice as wide as the depth of either of the edge notches 1 and by extending each slot 9 for a considerable distance along the main strip portion 8, I readily permit the said cam action to compress the bent up strip end to an effective width less than the length of the connector slot 2, so that the bent-up strip end can easily be slipped through the connector body part 8 until the notches 1 aline with. that body part, whereupon the resiliency of the slotted strip springs the two strip end portions apart so that the ends of the slot in the connector enter the notches 1 in the strip. 7
Since these notches are close to the face of the strip directed in the direction in which the bent-up ends 7 extends, the adjacent main vstrip portion 8 then bears flatwise against the back of the connector (or against the top of the connector body part 10 in Fig. 3). Consequently, the strip cannot rock in a counterclockwise direction about the longitudinal axis of the slot throu h whichthe bent-up end of the strip extend wise direction about the same axis, owing to the flatwise engagement of the bent-up end with the finger 4 on the connector adjacent to the edge of the said slot. And, since each connector slot corresponds substantially in length to the distance between the edge notch bottoms on the strip end and in width to the thickness of the strip end, this nector instantly by digitally compressing its quick and simple.
tip, so that the entire manipulation is very To allow for a. desirable directioning of the several strips interlocked with each connector, I preferably arrange the slots in each flat connector body portion 10 as tangents s in the upper portion of Fig. 3.- Likewise, the strip cannot rock in a clockto semi-circles of uniform radii, and with the consecutive slots diverging 45 degrees from one another. Since most structures require strips disposed in several planes, I also desirably provide connectors having two flat body portions forming Webs 10 at right angles to each other, as shown by Fig. 6 in which the slots in the upright body ortion were tangential to a semi-circle a out the center A in the blank of Fig. 4 while the slots in the horizontal body portion were tangential to a semi-circle. about the center B in the same blank. Then I provide strips so proportioned that the lengths of certain strips plus twice the uniform radius of the said semi-circle will have the radio of l to the equare root of 2 to the length of other strips plus twice the same ratio.- This proportioning enables my construction elements to be used for structures like that of Fig. 1 without bending or bowing themain portions of any strip.
Having thus equipped the connector blanks with slots in uniform arrangements While I have shown and described only one embodiment of my invention, I wish it to be understood that I do not desire to be limited thereto except as may be required by the state of the prior art.
I claim as my invention:
1. Elements for a structural toy comprislng strips having counterpart and longitudinally slit ends bent up at angles to the main portions of the strips, the said bent end portions having opposed lateral notches ad- ]acent to the bends, and connectors each including a flat portion having slots substantially corresponding in width tothe thickness of one ofthe strip end portions and in length to the distance between the bottoms of the opposed notches in the strips.
2. Structural toy elements as per claim 1, in which the slitting of, the strips also extends beyond the bent end portions for a considerable distance longitudinally in the main strip portions.
3. Structural toy elements as per claim 1, in which each strip end is laterally tapered towards its tip to a width smaller than the length of oneof the slots in the connectors.
4. Structural toy elements as per claim 1, in which eachconnector has integral webs extending at right angles to the face of the connector adjacent to longitudinal Walls of the slots at one side of the latter.
5. A structural toy comprising single-piece metal strips, and single-piece sheet metal connectors interlocking with and digitally releasable from the strips; each connector including a flat metal portion having a plurality of counterpart slots; each strip having end portions bent up at rightangl'es to its main portion and in the same direction from the latter, each strip having a longitudinal slot extending from each tip through the adjacent bent up ortion and into the main portion of the strip the width of the strip at each bend corresponding substantially to the length of one of the said slots, each b'ent up end port-ion having at its opposite edge outwardly directed shoulders spaced from the nearer face of the latter by a distance substantially equal to the thickness of one of the connectors 'and adapted to engage one face of a connector when the said bent-up portion is slipped through a slot in the connector from the other face of the latter.
6. A structural toy comprising single-piece metal strips, and single-piece sheet metal connectors interlocking with and digitally releasable from the strips; each connector including a flat metal portion having a plurality of counterpart slots; each strip having both end portions bent up at right angles to its main portion and longitudinally slotted to permit digital lateral compression thereof; each of the said end portions having oppositely directed hooking portions and being formed so that when extended through one of the said connector slots until the adjacent main portion of the strip extends close I and parallel to one face of the metal connector portion in which that slot is formed,
the edges of the end portion respectively engage the ends of that slot, and so that the said hooking portions respectively project beyond the ends of that slOt and overhang the opposite face of the said connected portion.
7. A structural toy comprising single-piece strips formed of resilient metal and each having counterpart end portions, each strip end portion being provided with two oppositely directed hook formations opening edgewise of the strip, and single-piece connectors provided with counterpart slots each corresponding substantially in width to the thickness of the strip and in length to less than the Width of the strip across the tips of the hook formations, each strip having a longitudinal slot extending into it from each end between the hook formations, the slot being of such width and length that each hook formation can be flexed toward the other to permit the slotted end of the strip to be-inserted through one of the slots.
8. .A structural toy as per claim 7, in which each strip end is tapered laterally of the strip so that the Width of the strip at its extreme tip is-less than the length of one of the slots.
9. Astructural toy element comprising a resilient metal strip of generally uniform Width having each end thereof bent at right angles to the main portion of the strip and having a longitudinal slot extending towards the middle of the strip from each end of the strip for a considerable distance beyond the adjacent bend in the strip, the bent-up portion having opposed edge notches adjacent to the corresponding bend, the width of'the longitudinal slot being at least equal to the joint depth of the two opposed notches.
10. A structural toy comprising singlepiece strips formed of resilient metal and having each end thereof longitudinally slitted to make the said ends laterally contractible, each strip end having opposed edge recesses; and connectors having a plurality of counterpart pairs of formations interchangeably adapted for interlocking with one of the strip ends; each pair of the said strip longitudinally inward of the recesses bears fiatwise against a face of the connector. Signed at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois,
, Sept. 20, 1927.
HENRY W. GRAVES.