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Publication numberUS2178330 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 31, 1939
Filing dateAug 23, 1938
Priority dateAug 23, 1938
Publication numberUS 2178330 A, US 2178330A, US-A-2178330, US2178330 A, US2178330A
InventorsJames R Thomas
Original AssigneeEmerson Thomas H, Fannie Wilder Thomas, Harry R Thomas, Helen Rebecca Thomas, James Gladwyn Thomas, Muriel Thomas Matthews, Rosswell W Thomas, Ruth Thomas Koock
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game and game-board apparatus
US 2178330 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


J. R. THQMAS GAME ANDVGAME'BOARD APPARATUS Filed Aug. 23, 1938 @wx SIPM (H015 Mm .LBV.LS @was PJEN 9 'ON v'1d 2 n.900 DE? Fono INVENTOR JAMES R. THOMAS 135 D'rimng Shaka wir Hoving Wells Tan Png Drillng l Plagars Conraekx MQ Bd From mager: GrAllor on Hand Sale opnonax PsooucxNG lgs @5,000

l Hausbau of OH Patented Oct. 3.1, 1939 UNITED STATES N l 2,178,330 PATi= :NT OFFICE '2,178,330 GAME AND GAME-BOARD APPARATUS AppuwumiAugust 2s, 193s, serial No; 226,212- sclaims. l(crm-134) This invention relates to a game andfto a gameboard apparatus adapted thereto. It relates more particularly to a game of entertainment and instruction which can beplayed for amusement.,

While this game .is educational and may be played by one person alone,-it will generally be played for amusementby a plurality of persons at any one time, and may be most conveniently played by any number ofplayers betweentwo and eight inclusive.` It is an educational game in that it is designed toinstruct the players in the prospecting, producing, and marketing phases of the oil industry. However, there are certain features of my game which I believe to be novel and new as regards games in general, and insofar as these novel features are concerned, I do not desire to be restricted toa game which deals only with the oil industry.

It is an object of my invention to provide a game in which the play is carried out in at least two distinct phases.

It is a further object of my invention to provide a gamecompri'sed of at least two phases, the first of which represents an attempt to reach a desirable goal, and the second of which represents a series of events lwhich result from the attainment of a goal.

Still another object of my invention is to pro vide a game `representing' the oil industry.

A further object of my invention is to provide a gameY in which is represented first, the prospecting for oil or the drilling of an oil well, and second, the production of oil and/or marketing in connection therewith.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent as the following disclosure and discussion proceed. j v

Various features of my invention will now be described in connection with various features of the oil or petroleum industry in general. Many people livingin all parts of the United States, and foreign countries, are acquainted with few, if any. of the actual and interesting drilling, producing, storing, and marketing operations of the petroleum industry, although many of these same people may be familiar with the motor-fuel service stations which are a common sight in most communities. In playing my game, as adapted to the petroleum industry, itis possible to carry on realistic operations of an oil business, and the players are thus educated as Well as entertained. The playing board of my game may be constructed of cardboard, heavy paper, wood-board, or metal sheeting, or the like, of any convenient 55 dimensions. A convenient and preferred board can be made by drawing a suitable design, to be hereinafter more fully described,` on heavy paper which is preferably in the shapeof a square, although it can' have any other more or less regular polygonal figure. The playing board has two separate lpaths or courses,` preferably one inside the other, runningaround the outside edges, parallel' thereto andt'o each other, one of which is a ,"drilling patlil'orol'umn, and the other a producing and/ormarketing path. A player progresses along one or the `otherof these paths in a series of moves, and-'eaclifof these paths is divided intora convenient number of spaces, a play- .er in any particular move passing over a certain number of spaces and ending his move upon one of them. Some of these spaces. are designated with various penalties or rewards, so that when a player's move ends upon such a space, he gains or losesin'the play inwhatever manner is designated on the space. These spaces, on the "drilling path or column, indicate various conditions which might be met in drilling for oil, While in the producing path or column, they indicate various conditions which might be met in .the producing and/or marketing of oil, as will be more specically described hereinafter. The drilling column terminates in a series of spaces which represent the actual completion oi an oil well, each of these spaces representingv an oil well of various capacities, including zero capacity, or in other words, a dry hole.

The length of a player's move is equal. in,

spaces, to a number which is determined by chance, as by a throw of a die or of dice, orthe operation of some other chance-determining element. The actual movements and positions of the players are conveniently represented by the movements and positions of various tokens, one for each player, These tokens can be of various sizes anddesignsf-such as miniature trucks, tank cars, engines, tools, oil tanks, or other convenient equipment related toor used in the petroleum industry, or any otherconvenient articles or shapes. A supply of miniature oil storage tanks,

or the like, is provided for the use of the players in accounting for oil they own in storage, acquired by production, or by purchase. A supply of miniature oil-weil derricks, or some other convenient set of articles such as pins, is provided for the use of the players in accounting for oil wells completed, either as producers or as dry holes.`

A supply of imitation or play money or the like is provided for use in making transactions in the paymentof drilling, oil storage, and other ex' penses incident to prospecting for, producing, and iiia'rketing of oil, and the like.

The actual apparatus or implements employed in playing one modification of my invention will j now be described in connection'with the drawingy which forms a partl of this specincation.

Fig. 1 represents diagrammatically approximately one-half oi' aboard suitable for playing mh a game, the half not shown being essenm tially a duplicate c! the half shown.

Fig. 2 represents diagrammatically certain tokens and other implements, not drawn to scale, which may be used by the players in playing the game.

l. In Fig. 1, 2l represents the playing board in general, which serves as a playing field and which, in this case, is in the shape of a square. Around the periphery of this board, and parallel to the sides thereof, are two courses or tracks,

n one of which, 2|, is-designated as a Drilling column andthe other, 22, is designated as a Producing and marketing column. Each of these courses-,is divided into a series of spaces.. In this instance the inner course 2| is divided into a total z5 of forty-eight spaces, of which there are twelve along each side, which may be numbered serially, and the outer .course 22 is divided into a total of seventy-two spaces, of which there are eighteen along each side, which may be numbered serially n also. These. numeralshowever, have not been shown.` In neither case are these numerals signiiicant'astov the space, other than to number theni serially, and in that .manner aid in the play. By'turningV the half of the board shown u `through an angle o! 180 about the center of the line which divides the total board into two halves, and in the plane oi' the board, the unshown half of the board for this modification can bedetermined.

40 In each of the courses some of the spaces are labeled to indicate various conditions or situations encountered. In the case of the course 2| these conditions or situations are similar to those which a driller might encounter in drilling ar'roil 45 well, some of which are favorable to his progress, such as "Shale formation, easy drilling, Sand formation, Veasy drilling, and the like, and some oi' which are unfavorable to his progress, such as Lime formation, hard drilling", "Set casing, pay

50 supply company, "Delay, drillers gone to town, and the like. It will readily be seen from the frequency and titles of the unfavorable situations that the game truly reflects the conditions of the actual drilling of a well, wherein numerous and 55 extensive adverse conditions are oitenencountered. In the case of the course 22 these conditions and situations are similar to those encountered inthe production and marketing of petroleum, some of which are favorable to a-person so w engaged, such as Sell oil on hand to refinery", Oil iiow from wells to tank, Get bids for oil", and the like, while some of these conditions are unfavorable, such as Well gone dry-abandon?, Storm-lightning strikes tanks, and the like.

a5 In this modification, the conditions and situations pertinent to crude oil only have been shown. It will, of course, be understood that the refining of oil and/cr the marketing o! refined productsv may be represented, in addition to or in the place of 70 the production and marketing of crude` oil.

It is not necessary'that all of the said spaces in either one orl the other course be designated to represent conditions encountered in the iield of endeavor concerned, nor is it necessary that y 75 such spaces be arranged or, distributed in any particular order or grouping. Spaces not so designatedmay be leftblank, or may be vcolored as desired, or may contain pictures or scenes pertinent to or reminiscent of the petroleum industry.

Extending from each of the four corners toward 5 the center of the board are diagonal paths 23 which also comprise a series of spaces, a. series of six spaces being indicated in the present modiiication which may be numbered serially toward the center of the board. In the present instance, all these spaces f are indicated as being blank spaces. It is intended that these paths lshould be continuations of the Drilling column" or course 2|,and they' lead directly to a series of spaces which representa completed well. However, if it is sov desired, any or all of these spaces may be designated to indicate conditions favor.

able or unfavorable to` a. player, as discussed in connection with course 2|. If such is done, all of the said paths 23 should be the same length Q0 and have similar indications at similar points along their length. The oil derricks 2l are, in this modification, used, only for decoration. If desired the paths 23 may extend throughout part or all of the length `of the derricks 24. z5

'I'he paths 23 terminate in a series of spaces 25 to 30, inclusive, which represent a completed oil well. AThese spaces represent various initial capacities of a completed oil well, including a "dry hole", or no -production atall,l as indicated by the gq spacell.

In a part of the area of the playing board 2U there are kprovided various portions or sub-areas which may be of help to indicate and record quantities of petroleum acquired by production or purv chase, producing oil wells, dry holes, and the like. The oil is preferably stored in tank farms 3|, one for each player. In each tank farm there are indicated sites for tanks having various capacities upon which can be placed various tokens-to indin cate stored oil such as the tokens or tanks 52 to be hereinafter described.- 'I'here Vare also various leases 32, on which may be placed indicia, such as tokens or .oil well derricks to be hereinafter described, each time a player completes a circuit 5 of the course 2| and travels down a given path 23 to complete a well by attaining one of the spaces 25-30. v I,

Referring-now moreparticularly to Fig. A2, a symbol or token is generally provided for -each player which,v represents the player'and by means of which his position rduring' play may be indicated and followed. I have herein represented eight such tokens at IU to 41,-inc1usive, which are respectively an engine 4l, a tank truck 4|, a tank 55 car I2, an oil drum I3, an oilcan 4l, a wrench 45,

a gasoline pump I0, and an automobile 41. Other distinctive tokensl or symbols'may, vof course, be provided if andas desired. It is preferable that suchtokensrrepresent in miniature diversified obo jects whichare pertinent to the subject in connection with which the game is being played, inasmuch as this adds more interest to the game. In addition there is :provided any suitable chance- Idetermining element or means, such as the two dice, which are of common knowledge. A number of miniature oil wellderricks, such as oil well derrick' 5|, are -provided,by.means oi.' which the number of wells drilled by a player may be indicatedf- Buch 4miniature wellsmay be` provided 7a with a pin or pin-like extension on the bottom, as

'indicated in the driving, sothat tliey may be somewhat rigidly" fixed-in suitable holes in the lease areas 32. Miniature tanks 52 may be pro valen to inaleate'andam in recording ou in starm vsuch v-is distributed` -in play. moneyA is: A'5-thousand .dollar fbills; .ten-v `-1thousand dollar age." 'A Preferably* theyfwillhave the saine crossse'ctional-area as theitank sites in the' tank farms 3l, and may 'havetheirf capacities indicated, as shown. j If desired, all Vtanks Vof -on`e capacity may also haveithefsamecolor, which will be different from the color'of 'tanks' having-other capacities. Play money ofiA various denominations, which 'is notfspecificallyf--shown but which :is commonly usedLin many games,may be provided in substantial quantities. A suitable frame Workor-lightning rod-' 53-fmay be' provided which -can bev `acquiredby a player ifv and as he may desire, and fora 'price, to protect certain storage tanksrfrom the fu'll lpenalty I,of being struck by lightning,` as :can -be vprovided for inthe rules for playing the game g v.

-' v,Onespecific-embodiment of ymy invention will now be fur-'therdescribed in connection'with certainrules by which'such. a game may beplayed. These lrules have been' found to-be satisfactory for playing my game :and providing considerable amusement andtinstruction in theplaying thereof.

However, iti-s ,to be' understood that such. rulesV some other convenient amount) of playmoney orY capital, and va ltoken for-use in moving around the playing board A- convenient distribution 'of $50,000.- capital initially-given each. player -when seven bills, eight BFhundred =dollar.bi1ls, and ten 'l-.hundred dollar bills, -in the imitation or play -money provided; fHowe'venfinstead of Ausing

money, the" gamemay be satisfactorily, and sometimes more easily played if simple accounts are kept for' each player upon a score pad or other piece of paper. A pair of dice, which is used by all players, is also provided.

Some person, who may be one of the players, is chosen as treasurer to administer the refinery, supply house and drilling contractor funds, and to issue oil-well derricks and oil storage tanks as they are required, and toreceive and disburse the play money and/or keep accounts.

Each player throws the dice and the player throwing the highest number begins the play, the player to the left of first lplayer is second, and

, so on around in turn. Each player is allotted a corner of the board (if there are more players than corners, two players may start from each of one or more corners) from which his play begins. Each player throws the dice in turn and proceeds with the play, moving his token in the drilling columnv 2l the number of spaces indicated upon the throw of the dice. Penalties and rewards are received by the players as indicated in the spaces upon which the token stops at the end of each turn, if such is indicated. After a player has gone around the complete circuit of the drilling column 2|, and his token has been n returned to its Ystarting place, the play continues on the corresponding diagonal track 23 into the' may be that the number used in the nal move maybe the total number of the dice. if this is six-or'less, or the larger number indicated by one die is used if the sum is over six. If a well is completed as a dry hole, it is necessary to return to the drilling column to drill another well; this procedure is repeated until a producing oil well is completed. After completing a producing oil well, the player begins at his designated starting corner in the outermost column or producing and marketing column 22, moving histoken the indicated number of spaces upon Athe throw of the dice and receiving the benefits or penalties as required from the spaces upon which the token stops. at the end of each turn.

Aftercompleting thev circuit of the producing and marketing column, the player begins the drilling of another well by startinghis token againin the drilling column 2|. In going from .the producing and marketing column to the drilling column, the player may use the remaining number of moves allowed bythe throw of the dice, vit 'not being'necessary to throw the dice so that the token stops on the last space in the producing and marketing column before going back i-nto the drilling column. Afteranother oil-producing well has been completed, the player then againreturns vto producing and marketing column. This alternate playing in the drilling col- .umn and. producing and marketing column is continued. until 'a determined number of wells .has been drilled and completed, at which time the player continues to move his token around the producing and marketing column until the game is terminated or until he goes broke and is eliminated from'the game. After a player has completed a producing oil well and has oil stored in his tanks onv his tank farm, he may buy and sell 'oil from other players who have oil in storage'V or .desire to purchase '011.

As the playing progresses, the players are required to payout money in penalties as well as to receive money in rewards when their tokens stop on spaces so designated. In this manner the players either reduce or increase their original $50,000 cash capitalor cash assets if an accounting system is used. Any amount of cash may be decided upon as the winning figure; doubling the original $50,000 cash has been found to be a convenient figure. In other words, the first player who obtains $100,000 in cash is declared winner and the play is terminated.

Any number of oil wells may be drilled. The playing time is determinedby the number of players and the number of wells it is decided to drill.- The completion of four producing wells by each player has been found satisfactory. A

player may gol broke" by paying out all of his capital in penalties or in other ways. so that all of his money and resources are exhausted. In such a case the player is eliminated from the game.

There are. spaces in the producing and mar- 'i keting column which are-designated Well gone dry-abandon and return to drilling column". 05

When a player ends his move upon one of these spaces, it is generally understood that he is to abandon only one; producing oil well, although of course he loses, by this none of the oil already produced from thel well which must be aban- 7o doned.

Although my invention has been described particularly in vconnection with the production and., marketing of oil, itis not necessarily' always be restricted tothis modiiication. Other c mercial enterprises which are divided into two or more phases may also be represented by somewhat similar modifications. As only one example, the building of an apartment house or hotel might well be a first phase, with renting of the apartments or rooms a second phase.

What I claim is:

1. A board game apparatus, including, in cornbination, a board having a series of spaces constituting a path affording a first continuous track for the continuity of play, certain of saidspaces being designated to infiict penalties upon'a player whor ends a move thereon and others of said spaces being designated to provide benefits to a player who ends a move thereon, the Said first track terminating in one of a series of goals each favorable to a player'in a degree different from the others, a second series of spaces affording a second con-I tinuous track for the continuity of play, certain of said spaces being designated to inflict penalties upon a player who ends a move thereon, and other of said spaces being designated to provide benefits to a player who ends a move thereon.

2. In a game board apparatus, the combination comprising a 'board constituting a playing-field, a first circumferential path around said field representing the drilling of an oil well and comprising a series of spaces representing various conditions encountered in the drilling of an oil well, a ,diagonal path comprising a series of spaces and leading from the termination of said first path toward the center of said board and terminating in a series of zones each representing a producing oil well of a capacity different from the others, a second circumferential path around said field representing various conditions encountered in the marketing of oil, said first path and diagonal pathto be traveled by a player before said second path is traveled.

3. A game apparatus adapted to be played by a plurality oi players each having a movable playing piece and each operating in turn means for indicating the number of increments said piece is to be movedalong a playing path, which comprises a playing board having a first marked path of travel comprising a plurality of distinct increments and having at one end a series of goals of different values, only one of which goals is to be attained by any one player at the end of any one trip along said first path, and at least one other marked path of travel comprising a plurality of distinct increments,I said second path to be traveled by each player only after said first path has been traveled and one of said goals attained.

4. A board game apparatus adapted to be played by a plurality of players, which comprises a board constituting a playing field, a first path on said board comprising a series of spaces which constitute a continuous track for continuity of play for each player, a series of goals of different values, said first path ending with one of said series of goals of different values at least one of which is adapted to return the player to the start of said path, a second and independent path on said board comprising a series of spaces which constitute a continuous track for continuity of play, said second path to be traveled by each player, after attaining a goal which does not return him to said first path.

5. A board game apparatus including in combination, a board constituting a playing-field and having a series of spaces constituting a path affording a first continuous track for the continuity of play, the said first track terminating in one of.' a series of goals each favorable to a player in a degree different from the others, and a second series of spaces affording a second continuous track for the continuity of play.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2691528 *Nov 1, 1951Oct 12, 1954Laidlaw RonaldChance-controlled game device
US2723857 *Jul 29, 1952Nov 15, 1955Du PontEducational oil game board
US2964323 *Apr 1, 1955Dec 13, 1960Louis W MosesStrategical war game apparatus
US3729198 *May 3, 1971Apr 24, 1973Abbott JOil field board game apparatus
US3885792 *Aug 10, 1973May 27, 1975Marvin Glass & AssociatesGame apparatus
US3980307 *Apr 14, 1975Sep 14, 1976Raub Donald WStock market game apparatus
US4162075 *May 4, 1978Jul 24, 1979Iannucci Albert HBoard game involving electric utility plant operations and finance
US4264077 *Apr 10, 1979Apr 28, 1981Horne Ian RBoard game
US4272080 *Jun 7, 1979Jun 9, 1981Breslin Edward PEducational board game
US4341388 *Jan 19, 1981Jul 27, 1982John CarterDriving game board apparatus
US4529205 *Oct 20, 1983Jul 16, 1985Bowker Dennis EWinery game board
US4648601 *May 1, 1985Mar 10, 1987Carmichael Tracy JMulti-level board game
US5265879 *Sep 28, 1992Nov 30, 1993Christian GarconTravel assistance game
U.S. Classification273/254, 273/256
International ClassificationA63F3/04, A63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00006, A63F3/0457
European ClassificationA63F3/04K