US 2100658 A
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NOV. 30, 1937. 5 w F N 2,100,658
BUILDING BLOCK I Filed March 11, 1956 Patented Nov. 30, 1937 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Application March 11,
My present invention pertains to toy buildingblocks, and more particularly to the manner of connecting the same.
The invention is illustrated in the annexed 5- drawing wherein:
Fig. l is a side elevation of a group of blocks, each having one or more sockets for the reception of connectors, said blocks being held together by such connectors.
Fig. 2 is a plan view of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged view of my improved connector.
Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view, on the line A-A, of Fig. 3.
The main object of this invention is to provide a simple, strong and universal set of toy buildingblocks, or elements, which may be economically produced; which may be readily assembled and disassembled, even by a child, without any special 2 instructions as to their use; and which may be employed in building a great variety of objects such as animals, houses, fancy designs, the letters of the alphabet, etc.,for amusement and educational purposes. 25 My present invention relates particularly to the formation of the connector (the body portion of which may be made of wood, hard rubber, metal or other suitable material) which may be compressed so as to reduce certain of its dimensions in the act of inserting it into the cooperating socket or recess in the block; the connector, when so inserted, at all times maintaining a spring pressure against the walls of the recess.
Another feature of the invention relates to the special formation of the connector, whereby the opposite ends thereof may be compressed independently of each other; so that when one end of the connector is compressed in entering the socket of one block, the opposite end of the 40 connector remains in its normal distended, or expanded, condition until it in turn is compressed upon entering the socket of the second block. This feature assures normal independent spring tension by each end of the connector against the walls of the respective recesses of the blocks in which they are inserted, even though the recess in the block in which one end of the connector is inserted is of somewhat greater diameter than the recess in the block in which the other end 5 of the connector is inserted.
Another feature of the invention is the expander (shown as of a tubular form-preferably composed of rubber, but which may consist of a metal spring or other resilient substance) which, in one form of my invention, is located inside 1936, Serial No. 68,343
the body of the connector. The expander is specially desirable when the connector is made from wood or other substance which is liable to remain reduced in size when compressed for a prolonged period, or subjected to unfavorable 5 climatic conditions, since the expander retains its resiliency and serves to restore the wall of the connector to its normal distended condition when the connector is withdrawn from the socket or recess in the block. The expander also serves to strengthen the connector and prevent breakage when stepped on or otherwise abused by the user.
Another feature of the invention is the relation of the connectors to the blocks in connection with which they are used; it being important (in or der that the two ends of the connector may function normally and independently) that the depth of each recess, into which the connector is to be entered, shall be substantially equal to one-half the length of the connector.
While, in the drawing, only cubical blocks are shown, it is to be understood that blocks of any desired shape or size may be employed. Moreover, while the drawing shows an expander inside the connector, the connector (especially when composed of hard rubber, spring metal or other similarly resilient material) will function satisfactorily without any such expander.
Attention is also called to the fact that the strength of the tension of the connector against the inner walls of the socket in the block may be varied by making connectors having walls of increased thickness to afford increased tension or decreased thickness to afiord decreased tension.
Moreover, while the connector in its preferred form is of a substantially cylindrical form in its outer contour, the connector may also be made in other formsas oval or square or rectangular as to its outer contour; the essential feature being that the connector be tubularit must have an interior hole or channel in order to function properly.
Referring to Fig. 1, it will be noted that there are four cubical blocks, denoted by I, 2, 3 and 4. The adjoining faces of these blocks have corresponding recesses, and in each pair of such recesses there is a connector; the connector 5 between blocks l and 2 being shown by means of a cut-away sketch; the connector between blocks 2 and 3 being shown in outline; and the connector between blocks 3 and 4 being invisible. The numerals 6, 1, 8 and 9 indicate sockets (each of a depth equal to one-half the length of a connector) 55 in the sides of blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4. The numbers Ga and la indicate the sockets in which the connector is inserted.
In Fig. 2, the upper surfaces of blocks I, 2 and 4 are shown, the sockets beingdesignated 10, H and I2.
In Figs. 3 and 4, showing the connector in enlarged form, I3 is the body of the connector, which is preferably substantially tubular in form. I4 is a longitudinally disposed slot in the wall of I3. [5 is a latitudinally disposed slot in the wall of i3, which slot [5 crosses the slot M at I6 and preferably extends more than half-way through the connector body 53 approximately to the point I! in order to admit of the maximum amount of independent flexibility of the two ends of the connector consistent with the necessary strength of the body l3 of the connector. l8'is the expander, which is shown in cross-section in Fig. 4 and is indicated by vertical dotted lines in Fig. 3. 2! is the opening through the expander IS. The expander may, however, consist of sponge rubber or other resilient material without any such center opening. Numerals 2222 indicate the rounded or beveled ends of the connector, for facilitating the entry of the connector into the socket of the block.
While the connector, in its preferred form, has both a longitudinal slot and a latitudinal slot, a tubular connector having a longitudinal slot but no latitudinal slot would also be within the scope of my invention, as would also be a connector having a tubular portion with one or more longitudinally-disposed slots therein.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. In combination, a plurality of toy buildingblocks, each having a recess therein for the reception of a connector; and a connector having a body portion tube-like in form, and having a longitudinally-disposed slot or kerf extending through the wall thereof, there being Within such body portion a resilient,longitudinally-disposed expander tending to restore the Walls of such body portion to a normally expanded condition when the connector is withdrawn from the recess in a block.
2. A tube-like connector for toy building blocks having in the body portion of such connector a longitudinally-disposed slot extending from the outer to the inner surface of the wall thereof, and having within said body portion a resilient member adapted to act as an expander for such body portion.
3. A tube-like connector for toy building blocks having in the wall of the body portion thereof a longitudinally-disposed slot and a latitudinally-disposed slot, and having within said body portion a resilient member adapted to act as an expander for such body portion.
4. A tube-like connector for toy buildingblocks having on one side of the body portion thereof a longitudinally-disposed slot severing the wall thereof from end to end, said body portion also having a latitudinally-disposed slot which intersects the longitudinally-disposed slot at a point approximately midway between the ends-of the connector, whereby the ends of the connector may be compressed or distended independently of each other; there being in said body portion a resilient, longitudinally-disposed, tubelike member adapted to act as an expander for the body portion of the connector and to restore it to normal size after it has been withdrawn from the recess of a block.
5. In combination, two toy building-blocks, and a connector; the connector consisting of two tube-like sections of substantially equal length, partially separated from each other by a cross slot, and each section being split from end to end by a longitudinal slot,- whereby each such section is rendered independently resilient in cross section throughout its entire length; and each block having a recess of a depth substantially equal to half the length of the connector, whereby the end of the connector, upon entering. a recess, will contact the bottom wall thereof. when the cross slot of the connector arrives at the mouth of the recess. v
6. In combination, a plurality of toybuildingblocks and a connector; the connector consisting of two longitudinally-aligned tube-like sections of substantially equal length and diameter, partially separated from each other by a cross slot extending from the outer to the inner surface of the wall of the connector, and each such section being split from end to end by a longitudinal slot, by means of which cross slot and longitudinal slots each of such tube-like sections is rendered independently resilient in cross-section; and each block having a recess of a diameter slightly smaller than that of such tube-like sections and of a depth substantially equal to half of the length of the connector, so that either end of the connector, upon entering a recess in one of such blocks, will be compressed in cross section and the end of such section will contact the bottom wall of the recess when the cross slot of the connector comes into alignment with the mouth of the recess, thus leaving the other section of the connector in a normally expanded state so that it in turn will be compressed in cross section as it is inserted in a corresponding recess in another block, thereby causing the two blocks to be held together.
' STANLEY W. FINCH.