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Publication numberUS2068403 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1937
Filing dateJun 12, 1936
Priority dateJun 12, 1936
Publication numberUS 2068403 A, US 2068403A, US-A-2068403, US2068403 A, US2068403A
InventorsAlbin L Ekstrom
Original AssigneeAlbin L Ekstrom
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicular apparatus
US 2068403 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1937- A. 1.. EKSTROM VEHICULAR APPARATUS Filed June 12, 1956 Patented Jan. 19,' 1937 UNITED sT rEs PATENT; orFicE VEHICULAR APPARATUS Albin hrEkstrom, Portland, Oreg. J Application June 12, 1936, Serial No. 84,918 g '16 Claims. 01. 46 -201) My invention relates to vehicular toy apparatus in which a self-propelled vehicle is arranged to traverse a curved or circular path. The path is defined by a track which also carries the electrical connections for powering said vehicular toy apparatus. The most common embodiment of this type of toy apparatus is an electric train in which a miniature engine and cars are caused to move about a circular path defined w by miniature rails and having electrical connections to supply power to the electric motors of said train. I

The object of my invention is to provide a modification of this type of toy apparatus adapted for toys resembling automobiles as well as trains and miniature railroad equipment, which apparatus includes a track that may be easily varied to produce a multiplicity of tortu-.

ous paths, the track or roadway being flexible to of being rolled up and being placed out of the way for storage. Said track also is adapted to define a pendant guide slot lying in the center of said roadway, which roadway is inclined to 25 provide a bank" when the toy vehicle moves about a curve.

Ayehicle embodying'my inventionis provided with a single guide wheel adapted to engage said guide slot formed in the road surface and to fol- 3 low said road surface and to be maintained in electrical connections with the terminals imbedded in said track member. The guiding wheel is made of insulating material having two hubs made of electrically conductive material 35 and said hubs constitute the two terminals engaging the electrical terminals, the latter also serving as wearing element for said guide Wheel. Said track element is constructed to have such flexibility that the parts return to their normal 40 shape, although the track as a whole is quite plastic to permit lateral as well as vertical manipulation.

Further details of my invention are hereinafter described with reference to the accompanying 45 drawing, in which:

Fig. 1 is a plan view of a short section of track, the frame of a vehicle is shown operatively mounted thereon and the electric circuit is dia- I permit said lateral manipulation and is capable toy vehicle embodying invention shown in engagement with the guide slot with the electrical terminals shown imbedded therein, the elecguide slotand bears upon-sand makes electrical connection with the terminals'embedded in said track and lying at opposite sides of the guide slot, said figure being-taken substantially on the line -5 in Fig. 4:."

My vehicular toy apparatus includes a track a preferably made of, a multiplicity of sections joining longitudinally together. Said track sections may bemade of any length,'storage being one of the major factors determining the length of the sections. Each track section defines a road surface upon its upper face a. Said upper face is ineli'nedjd'ownwardly toward the edges a2 'from t-themiddle portion a3. Extending inwardly from. the edges of the track are a series of slots b ofsubstantial width, said slots extending inwardlytowards the center of the track a distance slightly'in. excess of one third of the overall width'of said track. Said slots are pro vided to permitlateral fiexing'of the track sections. ;The inner edges of the track sections on a curvecontract the slots and the outer edges distendthem as is indicated in Fig. 1.

The middle portion a3 of the track is substantially rectangular in form. Housed in said portionare two stiiTening members 0. Said stifien ing members 'are preferably more rigid than the material of which the track is made, although pliable or plastic, so that lateral curvatures of said track will be accommodated. Said stiffening members tend 'to hold the track at said fixed curvature. The track itself preferably is made of a material or a composition such as rubber which is flexible as well as yielding.

Underlying the guide slot 0 and tyingthe stiffening members 0 together are a series of connector elements d. These connector elements tend to maintain the stiffening members a fixed distance apart and thereby to maintain the central guiding slot 0 to a fixed width. Said slot extends downwardly from the upper face of the track a distance thru the major thickness of the track. ,Ofiset shoulders are provided at the sides of said slot and in them are imbedded two spaced electrical terminals I. Said electrical terminals preferably are provided with downwardly extending studs j which are imbedded in the track section so as to hold said terminals in place. Said terminals are also adhesively secured or vulcanized to the track so that they will not become in-' advertently disconnected therefrom. The upper faces of said terminals lie below the upper surface a of the track so as to minimize the danger of short-circuiting between said terminals. The outer edges a2 of the track preferably terminate in a relatively sharp edge so that if a turn of too short a radius is formed in the track the wheels of a vehicle carried thereby may run off said edge and return to it with ease.

A vehicle adapted for being driven along said track may be in the form of a miniature automobile g. My toy apparatus is not limited to vehicles of this character, but may equally serve with toy vehicles of the train type. ,Said vehicle is provided with the usual running gear which is adapted to ride upon the upper face a of said track. Extending forwardly of said vehicle is a guide wheel 71. carried by forwardly projecting arms 1'. Said arms preferably are separate from each other and are secured together but are spaced apartby an insulating block 7'. The arms are pivotally secured at one end by a king bolt is passing thru the insulating block 7' being secured to the front axle member I of the vehicle. One of the guiding arms 1' projects rearwardly of the king bolt and is pivotally secured to the middle of a steering link 1n. Said steering link is pivotally secured at its ends to steering arms 12. secured to the front or guiding wheels of the toy vehicle.

The guide wheel is adapted to ride in the guiding slot e and is preferably made of electrically non-conductive material, as is indicated in Fig. 5. Secured to the faces of the guide wheel h are two electrically conductive hubs h. Said hubs bear upon the electric terminals 1. said terminals running continuously along said track. Said hubs h are preferably inclined obliquely and the terminals and the upper faces of the terminals are similarly inclined. Thus, the guide wheel and its hubs tends to be forced downwardly in the oblique or V-shaped recess lying between the electrical terminals so as to be in constant engagement and in constant electrical connection with said terminals.

Crank shaped pivot pins 11 extend laterally from -the guide wheel 71. and are in electrical connection respectively with the hubs h thereof. Said pivot pins are carried by and are in electrical contact with the arms 1', respectively, constituting the guiding elements for the vehicle.

An electric motor q is carried by said vehicle and. electrical connections r, r' are diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 3 as being connected therewith and with the arms 2'. A switch s is diagrammatically illustrated as being, located in the connection r to make and break the electrical circuit to said motor q. A source of electrical energy is diagrammatically illustrated as a battery it connected across the electric terminals.

It is to be remembered that said terminals extend in continuous form. The battery being connected to both of said terminals thus forms a circuit when the switch s is closed thru one terminal. The connectinghub on that side, pivot pin, arm and electrical connection r forms one lead to the motor q. The return circuit is thru the connection 1', the other arm 2', the other hub of the guide wheel 71. thru the pivot pin t on said side, then to the terminal and back to the opposite side of the battery. Thus, when the manual switch s is closed, the electric motor can be energized merely by placing the guide wheel h in the central guiding slot 0. This automatically locates the electrical connection in contact and causes the vehicle to be propelled and to be guided along said central guiding slot.

The track a constitutes a road surface for the vehicle. Said road surface being flexible can assume vertical undulations and can easily conform to a floor surface. laid over rugs, uneven floors or even over a lawn with little attention to the smoothness thereof. The track can be formed into any lateral curve, the location of the slots 6 thereof, however, limiting the degree of sharpness of the radius of said curve. Said slots are proportioned to prevent too sharp curves being formed which might tend to overturn the vehicle at normal operating speeds by the effect of centrifugal force. When said vehicle is passing about a curve, the inclined surface a of the track tends to provide bank in said roadway because the vehicle tends to move along the inside curve which is lower than the I central portion thereof and the vehicle tends to ride with its wheels towards the center on the outside of said curve.

When the track is to be picked up and stored this can be quickly done because the track can be rolled or folded up to occupy a minimum space. The parts are arranged so that they will not become permanently distorted and will tend to resume their normal shape when the track is again laid upon a relatively smooth surface.

I claim:

1. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self Thus, said track can be propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle.

2. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to en gage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle, said surface being inclined upwardly from both marginal edges.

3. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelledvehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle, the marginal edges of said track being serrated to facilitate the arrang ing of said track in curved form.

I 4. In vehicular toy apparatus including a. self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth.

at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle, said track being made of flexible material.

5. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a. road surface for the vehicle, said track being made of flexible material, pliable reinforcing elements arranged at the sides of the way.

6. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle, said track being made of flexible material, pliable reinforcing elements arranged at the sides'of the way, transverse elements secured between said reinforcing elements underlying said way and adapted to maintain the latter to fixed spacing.

7. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said track being of such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle. said track being made of flexible material, pliable reinforcing elements arranged at the sides of the way, spaced transverse elements secured between said reinforcing elements underlying said way and adapted to maintain the latter to fixed spacing.

8. In vehicular toy apparatus including a self propelled vehicle, a track element, a central way defined therein, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said way formed as a pendant slot lyingbelow the surface of the track element.

9. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central way defined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track element, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way.

10. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central way defined therein, two electric terminals carriedby said track element lying at opposite sides of said way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way.

11. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central way defined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track element lying at opposite sides of said way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said way formed as e. pendant slot lying below the surface of the track element, said terminals comprising two continuous spaced bars.

12. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central way defined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track element lying at opposite sides of said 'way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said terminals comprising two continuous spaced bars, their upper surfaces being inclined towards said way at oblique angles.

13. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a centralway defined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track element lying at opposite sides of said way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said terminals comprising two continuous spaced bars, the element ofthe steering apparatus engaging said way being a journalled wheel, said wheel being electrically non-conductive, electrically conductive hubs on both sides of said wheel, each adapted to engage a terminal. l

14. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central way defined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track elementlying at opposite sides of said way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said terminals comprising two continuous spaced bars, their upper surfaces being inclined towards said way at oblique angles,

the element of the steering apparatus engaging said way being a journalled wheel, said wheel being electrically non-conductive, electrically conductive hubs on both sides of said wheel, each adapted to engage-a terminal, the engaging portions of said hubs corresponding to the oblique faces of said bars.

15. In vehicular toy apparatus including a vehicle having an electric motor and elements constituting an electric circuit for the latter, a track element, a central waydefined therein, two electric terminals carried by said track element lying at opposite sides of said way, steering apparatus for said vehicle provided with an element adapted to engage said way, said terminals comprising two continuous spaced bars, the element of the steering apparatus engaging said way being a journalled wheel, said wheel being electrically nonconductive, electrically conductive hubs on both sides of said wheel, each adapted to engage a terminal, said wheel carried by an arm comprising such breadth at each side of the way as to constitute a road surface for the vehicle.

" g L. EKSTROM.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification104/140, 104/304, 191/22.00C, 104/288, 104/244, 238/10.00F, 104/247, 104/244.1
International ClassificationA63H18/12, A63H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H18/021, A63H18/12
European ClassificationA63H18/12, A63H18/02B