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Publication numberUS2143667 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 10, 1939
Filing dateNov 26, 1935
Priority dateNov 26, 1935
Publication numberUS 2143667 A, US 2143667A, US-A-2143667, US2143667 A, US2143667A
InventorsTroiel Arthur E
Original AssigneeTroiel Arthur E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building block
US 2143667 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. W, 1939. A. E. TROIEL BUILDING BLOCK Filed Nov. 26, 1935 2 Sheets5heet 1V ATTORNEY I mm, 1939 A.E.TRO|EL 3, 7

Fil ed Nov. 26, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 10, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 3 Claims.

This invention relates to building blocks, and especially to blocks for the instructio-nand entertainment of children.

Itis the object of the present invention to provide an'attractive, inexpensive and durable set of blocks or building units capable of being securely locked together by simple connecting members and without the use of tools to form rigid structures of various shapes, the blocks being so designed that a relatively small number of blocks may be employed in setting up a great variety of structural shapes.

M'y invention consists essentiallyof blocks of wood or the like that are slotted in a uniform manner for the reception of metal connecting members The connecting members are designed to slip into the slots of the blocks in various positions and combinations of positions to make possible the fabrication of rigid structures that are easily assembled and. may be readily disassembled, when desired, without in any way defacing any of the building units.

One form of my invention is exemplified in the i 25 accompanying drawings, and further of its objects and advantages are made apparent in the following specification, wherein reference is made to the drawings.

In the drawings-- Fig. 1 is a perspective View of a corner of-a building constructed of blocks made in accordance with-my invention and showing typical uses of various shapes and sizes of blocks and connecting members;

35 Fig. 2 is 'a perspective view of a single block,

showing in detail the manner in which the blocks areslotted-for the reception of connecting members;

Figs. 3,4; 5, 6 and 7 are perspective views of- 0 various types ofconnecting members for locking together blocks such as that disclosed in Fig. 2;

Figs. 8;9; 10,11 and. 12 are perspective views of blocks and connecting members illustrating typical uses of the different types of connecting 45 members for securing the'blocks in various positionsrelative toeach other;

Fig. 13 is a perspective viewofa stack of blocks, showing a clipmember and illustrating the manner in which such member maybe used to pre- 50 vent separation of theblocks in a vertical direction.

Referring moreparticularlyto the drawings, a typical block is illustrated at II] in Fig. 2. The blocks Hlare formed of standard thickness and 55--have a width doubletheir'thickness and may be maximum length.

While these proportions are desirable and the above stated dimensionshave been found convenient to form a small set of building blocks, it will, of course, be understood that the dimensions may be increased or decreased to form blocks of any size while the general proportions are maintained. For simplification of the description the size of the blocks will be assumed, as "stated above,as 1" x 2 in cross section.

Each block is slotted in accordance with a uniform plan. The slots may be saw kerfs which are simply and inexpensively produced with a motor driven circular saw. For blocks of this size I have foundthat slots slightly less than 1 5" in width are desirable as metal connecting members of this thickness are sufficiently strong, and the slots are not large enough to deface the blocks or hinder the appearance of a finished structure built with them A desirable arrangement of slots is illustrated inFig. 2 where the ends of the block are shown as provided withcrossed slots H and I2 at right angles to each. other and equally spaced from the edges to'which they are parallel. Still assuming the: @cross section of the blocks to be 1" x 2', the block ends willbe divided by these slots into sections approximately /z" x 1". Slots l3, cut-centrally of the edges of the blocks and extendingsthroughout their length, connect the -end slots II and a slot l4, formed on oneface of 35.

the block, connects the end slots l2. On the edges [5 slots l6 are out My" from the ends ll of the blocks. These slots are parallel to the ends of the block and cooperate with the slot I 3 to divide the end portions of the edges l5 into two 40 /2" squares. Any side of one of these squares is equal-toone-half the thickness of a block. Consequently, the slots in adjacent blocks will align when the blocks are placed end to end, as illustratedin Fig. 8, when the blocks are overlapped 1" or thedistance of their thickness, as illustrated in Fig. 9, or when they are arranged to form a right angular corner, as illustrated in Fig, 10. This makes possible the use of the connecting members presently to be described for connecting or looking the blocks to each other'in a large variety of different positions.

The connecting members illustrated in Figs. 3 to 7, inclusive, are preferably formed of metal, but maybe made of any suitable material that is sufficiently strong and rigid to serve their purpose. In Fig. 3 I show a small substantially square metal plate i8, which I prefer to term a singleslot bar, having a slot it formed therein midway between two. parallel edges. The thickness of the member I8 is such that it will slip into the slots formed in the blocks and the width of the slot it is sufiicient ,to receive a member of the same thickness.

In Fig. i I show a three-slot bar 29, similar in dimensions to the single slot bar it except that it is longer and differing also in that it is provided with three slots 2i equally spaced along one of its edges, the spacing between the slots being approin'mately one-half inch.

Fig. 5 illustrates a connecting member that will be referred to as an L-bar 22, having a slot 23 spaced approximately one-half inch from one end and having a half inch square out from its opposite end, leaving connected to the bar an car 23, bent at right angles to the bar 22. The connecting member, illustrated. in Fig. 6, is termed a Z-bar 25 and is similar in dimensions to the other connecting members but is provided with half inch square cars 26 at opposite ends and bent at right angles to the plane of the main portion of the bar. Tension bars 2 such as illustrated in Fig. '2, may be provided in any desired length. These bars are formed of metal just one-half of the thickness of the metal from which the other connecting members are formed so that they may overlap each other within a slot in the block. One edge of each tension bar 2'! is provided with equally spaced slots 28 throughout its length. A row of'perforations as is provided along the same edge, the perforations being formed in the metal between the slots 28 and a similar row of perforations 36 being formed along the opposite edge of the tension bar.

Some typical uses of the connecting members above described are illustrated in Figs. 8 to 12, inelusive, of the drawings.

In Fig. 8 two of the blocks it are secured in position with their ends in abutment by means of a Z-bar 26. In this use of the Z-bar the main portion of the bar is inserted in the aligning slots l3 of the blocks Bil and the ears 26 of the bar are received by the slots it. This forms an interlocking connection between the blocks maintaining close contact between their abutting ends and substantially preventing twisting or turning relative to each other in any direction. The 2- bar, as is true of all of the connecting members, has a width substantially twice the depth of the slots formed in the blocks, and consequently onehalf of the bar projects upwardly from the blocks, as illustrated, in a position to receive the slots 53 of other blocks which will be laid on edge on top of the blocks it in the construction of a wall or the like; 7

In Fig. 9 the Z-bar is illustrated in a position ready for insertion into the slots of a pair of blocks that are overlapped to form a jog or step in the side of a wall. In this position the main portion of the Z-bar is disposed transverse 1y to the blocks and will be inserted into the aligning slots it while he ears 2% will be received by the longitudinally extending slots is.

Fig. 16 illustrates a pair of the blocks it arranged to form a corner, with one end of one block abutting a side of the other block so that the slot E3 of the first block aligns with the slot it of the second block. This figure also illustrates the manner in which an L-bar 22 and a three-slot bar 2% may be combined to securely I 2,14s,ee7

lock the blocks together in this position and present an upwardly extending edge bymeans of which the next tier of angularly disposed blocks will be supported in proper position. The L-bar 22 is positioned at right angles to the three-slot bar 2%. These two connecting members are interlocked with each other by means of their respective slots 23 and 25. The ear 2 of the L-bar will be received by the slot it in a block it) and the portion of the bar will fit into the slot E3 of the same block and extend into the slot l6 oi the next block. The three-slot bar is received ,by'the slot is of the latter block and after the connecting members have been inserted in the proper slots their upwardly projecting portions will form a cross at the corner which will be received by the slots of the next adjacent tier of blocks to support them in a position of alignment with the first tier.

Fig. 11 illustrates one manner in which blocks it may be connected with their ends in abutment when it is desired that the connection be made without any of the connecting members exposed to view. In this figure a three-slot bar 29 and a single slot bar iii are combined with their slots 2i and. it in register to form a cross. This cross is insertable into the end slots H and I2 of adjacent blocks to maintain them in alignment with each other.

When two or more of the blocks l9 are to be supported in end-to-end alignment to form a beam in which more or less tensile strength is necessary or desirable, tension bars of the type illustrated in Fig. 7 may be used. If a length greater than that presented by a single tension bar is needed two or more bars may be overlapped at their ends, as illustrated in Fig. 12. The tension bars are received by the slots l3, formed in the edges of the blocks and any number of blocks of random length may be combined to form a tension bar having the required length.

In Fig. 12 I have illustrated the use of single slot bars ES interlocked with the tension bars at intervals to be received by the slots N5 of the blocks it. This will retain the blocks against longitudinal sliding movement on the tension bars and will add to the tensile strength of the made-up beam where two or more tension bars are combined to obtain exceptional length. In the event that unusual strength is necessary in the beam small rivets or pins 35 may be inserted through aligning perforations in the tension bars to insure against sagging of the beam.

While in most instances these pins will not be necessary, it has been found that by merely slipping them through aligning perforations in the bar additional rigidity is obtained and. it is unnecessary that they be peaned over or otherwise secured in the bar, as they are substantially the same diameter as the perforations and are held in place by friction sufiiciently for ordinary purposes and yet may be easily removed when the structure is being disassembled.

When the blocks are superposed to form a wall in the manner illustrated in Fig. 13, their end slots ii will be in alignment and through the use of tension bars 2'! and single-slot bars i8 interlocking with the tension bars and received by the slots 52 in the ends of the blocks vertical separation may be prevented. In some instances, however, the ends of the blocks will not be accessible as they are illustrated in Fig. 13 and in order to prevent vertical separation'o-f the blocks and to provide a structure that may be easily transported from place to place without danger of its coming apart I have provided clips 44, which consist of metal bands having their ends 45 bent at right angles for reception by the slots l4 in the sides of the blocks. These clips 44 may be of various lengths to hold any number of blocks together; the one illustrated in Fig. 13 being of a suitable length for three blocks. If desired, the ends 45 of the clips may be bent at slightly more than a right angle so that it will be necessary to force them into the slots l4, and with this arrangement the resiliency of the clip will prevent its being dislodged as the structure is moved from place to place.

Referring now to Fig. l of the drawings, I illustrate a small portion of a structure being erected with the blocks and connecting members above described. In this view blocks H) of various lengths are illustrated as forming a foundation by being placed on edge. It is obvious that blocks in the same position superimposed on this foundation will make a continuous wall. Where it is desired that windows and doors be provided in the wall the same blocks may be used on end as illustrated. These blocks are held against being dislodged as their end slots receive the upwardly extending portions of connecting members which are employed for interlocking the foundation blocks. For simulating vertical posts of smaller dimensions blocks, such as that illustrated at 36 in Fig. 1, are provided. These blocks are square in cross section and are provided with longitudinally extending slots 31 along opposite sides which are also continued across their ends where they are crossed by transverse slots 38.

For providing arched windows or doorways blocks having one corner cut away arcuately are employed, as illustrated at 39. Blocks of the type illustrated at 38 are provided in various lengths to be interposed between the arch blocks 39 so that the window or door openings may be of any width desired. Moulding cutters may be employed to dress the edges of the blocks 38 and 39 to lend a finish and decorative effect to the windows and doorways. Floors and ceilings or the like may be built up of the standard blocks II), which may be supported relative to eachother and relative to the structure itself by means of the tension members 21 and three-slotted bars 20 registering with the slots H and I3 of the blocks forming the floor, and with the slots l4 of the foundation or other portions of the structure. Gable blocks of the type ilustrated at 40 and 4| are provided for fabricating roofs or other surfaces disposed at an angle to the main structure.

These gable blocks are slotted in a manner similar to that described for the blocks [0 but are provided with additional slots 43 parallel to their angular edges and spaced approximately onehalf inch from said edges. These slots serve to support a roof built-up of blocks l0 in the same manner that the floor illustrated in Fig. 1 is built up and supported.

Blocks of other shapes may be provided for ornamenting structures fabricated with the simpler forms of blocks described.

While I have, for the purpose of illustrating my invention, shown but a few blocks and connecting members of simple design and illustrated a limited number of combinations in which these members may be employed it is of course to be understood that various changes may be resorted to in the design, construction and arrangement of the several parts within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:-

1. In combination with building blocks slotted for the reception of connecting members, fiat metallic tension members comprising elongated strips insertable in aligned slots of two or more adjacent blocks, said tension members being of a thickness permitting their overlapping within the slots of the blocks.

2. A set of building blocks comprising rectangular block members slotted on their edges and sides, slotted interlocking connecting members cooperating with the edge slots of the blocks to retain them in position with their edges abutting to form wall structures, and clip members comprising fiat bands with right-angularly bent ends engageable with the side slots with the bands disposed flat against the side walls of the blocks to prevent separation of the blocks forming the wall structure.

3. In combination with building blocks slotted for the reception of connecting members, tension members comprising elongated strips insertable in aligned slots of adjacent blocks, said tension members being slotted for interlocking engagement with connecting members disposed at right angles to the tension members, and said tension members being of a thickness permitting them to overlap within the slots of the blocks whereby the two tension members may be locked against relative longitudinal movement by said connecting members.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2765581 *Feb 2, 1956Oct 9, 1956Alfons AdlerPlay block
US5036634 *May 14, 1990Aug 6, 1991Lessard Ronald RKnock down shelter and storage structure
US6746297Jul 29, 2003Jun 8, 2004Mattel, Inc.Toy building construction set
US6874291 *Mar 10, 2000Apr 5, 2005Ralf D. WeberUniversal structural element
US7340868Aug 28, 2004Mar 11, 2008Weber Ralf DUniversal structural element
WO2002102486A1 *Jun 19, 2002Dec 27, 2002Zebersky JuddModular house toy
U.S. Classification446/122
International ClassificationA63H33/10, A63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/105
European ClassificationA63H33/10G