US 2147237 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 14, 1939.
E. BLUTHARDT I 2,147,237
TOY BUILDING BLOCK Filed March 22, v 1937 Patented Feb. 14, 1939 UNITED STATES OFFIQE 3 Claims.
This invention relates to toy building blocks and particularly to such devices providing a plurality of shapes which may be comprised in a set for educational and entertaining construction purposes.
The main objects of this invention are to provide an improved set of toy building blocks having variously shaped units which may be interfitted and interlocked with each other for construction purposes without the aid of extraneous key members; to provide an improved toy building block having a body mass that is an integral multiple of a predetermined cubical unit; to provide such a device wherein each unit of the entire body is disposed flush with a common plane; and to provide an improved toy building block characterized by having its body comprised of multiples of integrally connected whole cubical units of predetermined size arranged to define spaces each equivalent to one or more of said whole predetermined units.
A specific embodiment of this invention is shown in the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective View of a fanciful construction embodying the improved building blocks specifically claimed herein and a variety of different other shapes of building blocks not claimed.
Fig. 2 is a plan view of one form of the improved building block.
Fig. 3 is a plan view of another form of the improved building block.
As shown in Figs. 2 and 3 of the drawing, each of the improved building blocks is designed to embody, as a single member, a plurality of integrally connected identical cubical units of predetermined size and such blocks are intended to be comprised in a set of blocks of different shapes each of which is characterized by comprising the same predetermined whole cubical unit or a multiple thereof.
The individual blocks comprising the set may be made in a variety of forms, as indicated in Fig. l, and the set of blocks may include one or more of each variety. In the form shown, each of the improved blocks is arranged so that each primary unit comprised in the body mass will be flush with a common plane, thus the block is exactly one unit deep but occupies an area in the said plane exactly the same as though the respective number of primary units were set side by side in the desired arrangement, the primary units being combined so as to extend the body mass in two dimensions only. It will be understood, however, that the complete set of building blocks may also include forms in which the primary units are combined so as to extend in multiples in three dimensions.
In combining the predetermined primary cubic units to form the improved building blocks, the arrangement may be such as to form spaces lying within the gross plan area of the block, which area is defined by projecting the edges of the extremities of the block to complete an imaginary four-sided rectangular area, and the dimensions of such space or spaces are identical with the dimensions of one or a multiple of the primary cubical unit as the case may be. Thus, the improved blocks may be perfectly interlocked or interfitted as will be hereafter described.
As shown in Figs. 2 and 3 my improved block forms herein claimed each comprises a U-shaped body in which the legs are spaced one cube unit apart. One of the legs has a length of one cube unit and the other leg has in addition thereto a projection of one cube unit length. As shown in Fig. 2 the cube unit addition or projection is axially disposed with respect to the respective leg; and as shown in Fig. 3, the cube unit or addition is on the outer or exterior side of the respective leg.
The construction illustrated in Fig.- l is built by a combination of the above mentioned blocks together with the improved forms shown in plan in Figs. 2 and 3, which blocks are identified by the numerals 4 and 5, and it will be noted that the improved blocks may be so interlocked with other blocks and interfitted as to provide aconstruction of substantial stability without the use of pegs or keys to tie the blocks together.
For example, in building the construction illustrated in Fig. l, a base in two sections will first be formed by combining the blocks identified by the numerals 4 and 5. Each base section is formed by first placing two of the number 4 blocks together so that the long leg of the number 4 block It is placed in vertical abutment with the short leg of the number 4 block II, the block Hi being set so as to lie in a plane at right angles to the block I I and each of the blocks being set so that their respective legs project vertically. A number 5 block I2 is then placed crosswise of the block ll between the vertical legs thereof and interfitted so that the body of the block ll between its vertical legs will fit into the single unit space it of the block I2. A number 4 block I4 is then set over the top of the long leg of the number 4 block Ill in a transverse relationship so as to be parallel with the number 4 block H, the long leg of the block I fitting into the cubical space I of the block I4 and the short legs of the blocks l4 and H being in vertical alignment. A number 5 block I6 is then placed so as to straddle the base of the short leg of the block M which is fitted into the space [3 of the block [6. This illustrates the manner in which the block H is fitted into the space 13 of the block l2.
The second section of the base is then constructed in the same manner but with reversed relation of the component blocks as indicated in Fig. 1.
After the base sections of the construction have been formed, a superstructure is then built by interlocking two number 5 blocks I1 and I8 in opposed relationship by means of an oblong block i9, and fitting these members on the two base sections as shown, the spaces 20 of the interlocked number 5 blocks I! and 18 providing seats into which the projecting corners of the number 4 blocks M of the bases are fitted. Due to the fact that the oblong block I 9 interlocking the number 5 blocks I1 and I8 has a length of three cubic units and because the spaces I3 of the blocks I1 and IB are exactly the size of one unit, it will be seen that the blocks I! and 18 will be spaced apart a distance equivalent to one unit. Hence, the super structure may be completed by placing another block 2!, which is shown in the form of a cross, on top of the blocks I1 and [8, so that one of its legs is fitted into the space between the blocks I! and I8. If desired, the super structure may be increased by fitting other blocks vertically on the upper leg of the block 2 I.
It will now be appreciated that the basic and essential characteristic of my improved building blocks is that the body of each block has dimensions exactly the same as some whole multiple of a predetermined primary cubical unit, and that any space or spaces formed by the particular plan arrangement of the cubical units comprising one of the blocks is also of the same dimensions as one or more of the said primary units. It is this feature that distinguishes my improved building blocks from the building blocks heretofore known.
It is known that in building blocks as heretofore provided certain units are of a form exactly equivalent to a multiple of some cubic unit. However, in prior sets of building blocks that scheme has not been carried out to include both the solids and the spaces defined by the solids which, in my improved blocks, are exact multiples of the primary cubic unit. Also, in the building blocks heretofore provided this scheme has not been applied to and embodied in each and every block of an entire set of blocks.
From the construction of Fig. 1 it will be readily seen that not only can the several improved blocks be interfitted and interlocked with each other, but also constructions embodying hanging members can be made, as for example, the disposition of the block iii in Fig. 1, which block is clearly off balance and would be unstable were it not for its perfectly interfitted relation with the block I4.
Other advantages of my invention reside in the fact that each block of an entire set may be interlocked or interfitted squarely and perfectly with any block which includes a space bounded on two opposite sides by portions of the block body, and thus novel and entertaining structures may be built with the improved blocks which are impossible of construction with ordinary building blocks.
These advantages considerably enhance my improved building blocks as an instructive and I educational toy and permit a greatly increased exercise of the users inventive and designing capacity.
Although specific embodiments of this invention are herein shown and described, it will be understood that modifications of the forms shown may be made without departing from the spirit of this invention as defined by the following claims.
1. A toy building block comprising a plurality of cube units of like dimensions integrally connected and arranged to form a U-shaped body one cube unit in thickness, the legs of the U being spaced one cube unit, one leg having a length of one cube unit, and the other leg having in addition thereto a projection of one cube length.
2. A toy building block comprising a plurality of cube units of like dimensions integrally connected face to face and arranged to form a U- shaped body one cube unit in thickness, the legs of the U being spaced one cube unit, one leg having a length of one cube unit, and the other leg having an axial cube unit projection thereon.
3. A toy building block comprising a plurality of cube units of like dimensions integrally connected and arranged to form a rectangular U- shaped body one cube unit in thickness, the legs of the U being spaced one cube unit, one leg having a length of one cube unit, and the other leg having a cube unit projection on the exterior side thereof.