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Publication numberUS2226287 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1940
Filing dateOct 26, 1938
Priority dateOct 26, 1938
Also published asDE711504C
Publication numberUS 2226287 A, US 2226287A, US-A-2226287, US2226287 A, US2226287A
InventorsRobert H Miller
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic coupler
US 2226287 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

24, 19410. H; MIL R 2,226,287

MAGNETIC COUPLER Filed Oct. 26, 1938 Y v I l.

' Inventor: Robert H. Miller;

His Attorney Robert H. Miller; aidi g; It o lE ee m ilmflier York mementos,gem;emanate. I I

. Thisinvention relates to toy trains am'i vehicles and more particularly-to means for re I leasably couplingthe ends of adjacent cars lto' gether. I I I I Because 01' the "limited 'clearancesibetween the I endsoi-adjaeent cars in toy trains', it .is a-adiflicult matter to couple and uncouple the carswtpro-f videdwith' the conventional hook andE- eye type of connectors. It is irequently necessary for the operator, usually a child, to liftthe *carsnom. the track and to observe closely the cooperating parts 1 I to properlyvflt; them together. -'1 he operation,

I often-results in the spilling of the Itrainfand is;

- anything but realistic. Furthermorej, -acar;pro-

- 'carso the train;

' :gl igltisfan object ot this invention; to providen- "ne'w'and improved magnetic draft; "coupling for 1 ZOatoy" trains-which can be'operated- -by me'ansof;

' wilevers extending-tram, the sides of,the-"cars Inarealistic-manner."

' d vel and- 'm'yinvention, attention isedirected-to 25 theiollowing descriptionand the'claims appended I thereto tahen' in connection with the accompany part'sthereoljbeinghrolren away to bring out cer otgadiustment'rflgst 5 Iand'fl are views; illustratoi-the invention.

' arranged -a,surrounding cupiI-o'f nonvid'ed with-anoutwardlilextending I adapted, toextend an 'a-perture provided 1 -in' the ;lowerl'portionoij'the end'wall ls-aor the car.-

.The head oi-the l mg 1 portionkflllfmay be pe'e'nedf overithe edges ofxthe aperture to retain-the cup Z vided witha hook'at-one end'a'nd an eye at" the and 8 9 1 Po it 1' 1 81 the"lu8 other is not reversible with respect" to the other I I I II I I I I I desired such as byabolt passedthrough -theiapen ture in the car end' -wall and threaded into. the:

endof. the cup II; Ank-operatin'gyl ever-:.'2'0 "se-x 1mg oresolderingl'ext nds'n in n c any andup- I I I I with-respectt0theiaxis --otevrotation of=the" I -For a-comideration oi whati-lbelie've tobe- I I I I I II II J I be rotated through anangie oi approximately 90 II I I I netic-coveritma'y;beprovlded for the' 'icoupler- *Referringthe drawing, Flg'. iis-asideelevawhich maybe secured onto the fendlWhlljoithe on, '01 the end oz-upair of toy train: cars prodedlwithcbupllnss according to my invention, 3 I I I I I throush'which the lever may extend',t1ieopen-' ta'in 'stmcturaldetails; Fig. 2 is a perspective vview theI e nd or one car illustratingthe-operatlon the coupler-{control lever; Figs. 3fand' 4-iare.

fragmentary sectlonal'pei'spective views of pair'sqribpupnng devices in diflerentrelative positions be moved from side inside to effect the above described adjustment of the coupler. As indicated,

I II I I I I l coupled cars-form surfaces which may rock across ing'a secondi'tnodiflcation of the invention; and. Fiat-1'1; is. a view illustrating a" third modification I i Itis understood, course, that the alignedmag- ",nets have sumcient attractive ioree to hold the end of adjacent-cars together even though, the magnet poles besomewhat separated'while-th'e' ears are'negotiatins turns. i

toaF se f r 'ns-f, l- .mi f represent the'Iends of --adjacent toy m'm ears eaen;or wi;icn- 1s provided on the abutting en'ds" with similar coupling deuces' IZ andn accordfi k- 1! nv n n: n t e c u i s d v c J are similar in all respects,1only' one need 'gb'e' de-j f-scribedin'detaih ,A permanent magnet i4-,.fprei- 'erahlyvifetn' ned in the,shape or a horseshoe, :is'

cars may be connected together by so adjus'ting' I i l a fiatm' hl t e'mesn i about 'their longitudinalaxes with res pec I I other by means-o! the operating levers. ll juntil strength; Iaild commoulyi-lrnown 'by i hee trade- I name Alnicot; A' pin lfi; extendinlt between the *polesof the magnet secures'theclosed end there- :ot imair st 'the end wall of they cup, the ends .of

i 'thgpixi It riveted onmama-m w 8 ups-s e nafi-ib The? tojthe wall-11o! 'it he 50- magnet to' bez'rotated' aboutz i The endlwall ot the cup -i5 in ngjuuqinaraafla =centrally, pro;

maybe substituted bysaliy otl i'er zes -ante: means cured ontoth'eslde wan-q the 'eup il ias by weld; 2 0 3 cup and magnet-b! meansor which. the cup degrees as indicated by. the. dotted; lines lIi n the I second position in- Fig.-2 'li'desii'ed a-non-magg car inv any "suitable manner. An: cip'e'nizig-=v 226i: 4 provided in thejupper surface of the cover portioning bei'nglbf such size as to allow thelever to the cover i l is provided with an outwardly'extend- I ing. curved portion 23. Theseportions of two each other to allow the cars tonegotiate turns in :As'ilIustrated in-Fig. -3, the 'a iacentendsoi' the'couplers withrespect'to each other that j' similar magnetic poles are cars will t e dtwetb b e m8 t t a in so 4 WW? 4? 13- T un buvld' P19 118 thepoles are suiliciently separatedand thefmagis usporuo it. it 1 netic field between them so weakened that the cars may be readily moved apart. With this coupler, it is not necessary that theoperator watch closely the alignment of connector parts, since the cars are coupled by merely bringing the ends of adjacent cars in close proximity to each other with the magnets in the proper relative position of adjustment. Although the cars may, of course, be separated by merely pulling them apart, it is preferred to embody suitable operating levers for shifting the magnets relative to each other, in order that a more realistic operation of the train may be retained. It is further obvious that the cars may be. reversibly arranged with respect to the others of the train. 7

In Figs. 5 and 6 is shown a modification of the invention which adapts itself readily for use in connection with toy train cars to a modern stream-lined design. The ends of adjacent cars 30 and 3|, which are adapted for telescopically fitting intoeach other as shown, are provided with magnetic couplers arranged somewhat difierently than in the previous embodiment. The coupiers each comprise a permanent magnet 32secured, at the closed end by a connection 33 upon a transversely extending control rod 34. The rod is loosely mounted in the side walls of the car, one or both ends of the rod 34 being provided with a crank portion 35 by means of which the magnet may be rotated in the vertical plane from the coupling position, shown in full line, to the uncoupled position, shown in dotted lines 36 (Fig. 5). The magnet may be supported in the coupling or horizontal position by means of a transversely extending rod 31, one end of which 38 extends beyond the side wall of the car so as to provide a stop for the crank 35 when the magnet is shifted to the inoperative position. The ends of the magnet 32 are preferably provided with arcuate pole pieces 39 and 40 of such a configuration that the pole pieces of adjacent couplers may rock over each other to allow the cars to shift with respect to each other while negotiating a turn without causing too wide a separation of the magnet poles.

In Fig. '7 is shown a still further modification of the invention in which the coupling devices each comprise a permanent magnet 42, secured as by pins 43 to a control lever 44. The lever is pivotally secured as at 45 to a portion 46 aflixed to the car wall 41. The opposite car wall 48 is provided with a slot 49 through which the end 50 of the control lever is adapted to extend for manipulation. A non-magnetic portion 5! forms a part of or the entire end wall of the car, the corresponding portions of adjacent cars being adapted to abut against each other during the coupled condition of the cars. The portions 5| are outwardly curved so that the ends of adjacent cars may rock across each other while the train is negotiating turns. To uncouple the cars, one or both levers 44 are shifted so as to cause a suihcient separation of the magnet poles so that adjacent cars may be moved apart.

It is obvious that it is not essential that permanent magnet couplers be provided on both ends of each car. If desired, a piece of magnetic metal may be so arranged on one end of each car which will be attracted by the magnet on the end of the adjacent car to hold the cars together. The coupling may be broken, of course, either by pulling the cars apart or by shifting the magnet by some such means as described in connection with the last two modifications.

It is further obvious that couplings, vfor. example, of the type shown in Figs. 1 and 2 may be readily attached to theends of cars previously provided with other forms oif coupling devices. For this purpose, the riveting 1118 It may be replaced by a bolt or other suitable fastening means.

Thus, with my invention I have accomplished an improved coupling arrangement for small vehicles such as toy trains which comprises a permanent magnet member for attachment to one such vehicle and a magnetic member for attachment to the other of such vehicles in cooperative relation with the permanent magnet member. With such arrangement the vehicles may be held in physical engagement or abutment during movement of one of them by the action of the magnetic pull. My arrangement in addition includes means associated with at least one of the magnetic members for adjustably supporting and moving such member relative to the other member to reduce the magnetic pull between the members and thereby uncouple the permanent magnet coupling.

Having described the principle of operation of my invention together with the apparatus which I now consider to represent the best embodiments thereof, I desire to have it understoodthat the apparatus shown is only illustrative and that the invention may be carried out by other means.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In combination with a pair of miniature cars, a couplingmeans between said cars, said coupling-means comprising a permanent magnet secured to the abutting end of one ofsaid pair of cars, a magnetic member secured to the abutting end of the other of saidpair of cars, said magnet and said member so arranged that said cars are normally held together by magnetic attraction between said magnet and said member, and means mounted on one of said cars operative for causing a relative separation between said magnet and said magnetic member.

2. In combination with a pair of toy train cars, a coupling means between said cars, said coupling means comprising a horseshoe magnet movably secured tothe ends of each of said cars for holding said cars together by the magnetic attraction between the adjacent dissimilar poles, and means for rotatably shifting one magnet with respect to the other about the longitudinal axis thereof.

3. A coupler for miniature vehicles comprising a horseshoe permanent magnet, a cup of nonmagnetic material, means for securing said horseshoe magnet in said cup with the closed end of said magnet adjacent the closed end of said'cup, means for supporting said cup so as to allow said cup and magnet to be moved about its longitudinal axis, and lever means secured to said cup for shifting said cup and magnet about said axis.

4. In combination with a pair of toy cars, a coupling means between said cars, said coupling means comprising a pair or permanent horseshoe magnets longitudinally arranged in the ends of.

horseshoemagnets movably-secured onto the ends or each of said cars,-arcuate pole pieces secured onto theends of each of said permanent magnets,

said"pole"pieces being curvedin the horizontal plane of'saidca'rs so as to allow relative pivotal movements'by'theiends of said cars without causing separationof-the magnets; and means for uncoupling said cars-including means. forshiftlng onefofisaid permanent magnets with respect to the other,

6: In combination, a pair of toy train cars, the' r 'end'walls of said'cars being-.convexly, curved, a

portion. 01' once! said end walls being non-magnetic, a permanent magnet secured in one or saidcars, the poles "thereof arranged adjacent said non-magnetic end wall portion and adapted to magnetically attract a portion adjacent the end shifting said permanent magnet relative to said non-magnetic end wall. portion.

7. In combination with a pair of relatively small vehicles, coupling means between said vehicles, said coupling means comprising a permanent magnet secured to one of said vehicles and a magnetic member secured to the'other of said vehicles, means for mounting said magnet and said member to said vehicles whereby said magnet and said member may be'moved relatively to each other and to said vehicles, said vehicles being held in abutment by magnetic attraction between said magnet and said member during a predetermined alignment of said magnet and said member and released upon the movement of said magnet andsaid member from said aligned relationship by said mounting means.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2417339 *Jun 23, 1943Mar 11, 1947Bailey Meter CoRecorder with magnetically positioned indicator
US2420282 *Apr 21, 1944May 6, 1947Foxboro CoPressure operated switch
US2461088 *Mar 13, 1947Feb 8, 1949Shortt Charles RMagnetic toy train
US2475573 *Oct 18, 1944Jul 5, 1949Bailey Meter CoMagnetically coupled recorderindicating instrument
US2500180 *Sep 21, 1945Mar 14, 1950Hubbell HarveyCoupling for toy trains
US2557634 *May 21, 1948Jun 19, 1951Eugene Cox IsaacFountain pen
US2607157 *Aug 25, 1948Aug 19, 1952Toy Craft CorpMagnetically coupled toy train
US2648127 *Aug 20, 1948Aug 11, 1953Arthur E NelsonMagnetic lid holder
US2691386 *Apr 6, 1951Oct 12, 1954June L MadisonFluid level safety control valve
US2697642 *Sep 28, 1949Dec 21, 1954Rudy JeromeMagnetic handle connection
US2838009 *Oct 4, 1950Jun 10, 1958Lionel CorpToy railroads
US2893551 *Jun 20, 1955Jul 7, 1959Schloemann AgDevices for the removal of the cut-off discard from presses
US2939243 *Aug 8, 1957Jun 7, 1960Duggar Robert GMagnetic toy building blocks
US3264678 *Oct 4, 1965Aug 9, 1966Alfred F ParmeleeMagnetic hinge pin assembly for eyeglass structure
US3302566 *Jul 22, 1964Feb 7, 1967Blanchet Paul GHandle and stamp body magnetically coupled
US3303606 *May 5, 1964Feb 14, 1967Morley MannMagnetic toy vehicle set
US3330066 *Feb 27, 1964Jul 11, 1967Fisher Price Toys IncMagnetic connector for wheeled toys
US3450271 *Feb 13, 1967Jun 17, 1969Bissett Ernest ERailcar coupling
US3538648 *Dec 22, 1967Nov 10, 1970Western Electric CoMagnetic bounce eliminator
US3628811 *Oct 22, 1969Dec 21, 1971Magnatronic Controls IncAutomatic coupling device
US3641693 *Jan 11, 1971Feb 15, 1972Pinnow James EMagnetic tip-up signal for ice fishing
US3680865 *Mar 9, 1970Aug 1, 1972Grover M DavisGame board with magnetic game pieces
US3802034 *May 1, 1972Apr 9, 1974Bell & Howell CoQuick release magnetic latch
US3831832 *May 8, 1972Aug 27, 1974J GrayConnectable box structures
US4017386 *Oct 28, 1975Apr 12, 1977The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.Magnetic sweeper
US5954520 *Dec 19, 1996Sep 21, 1999Schmidt; William P.Magnetic coupler
US6012396 *Mar 12, 1998Jan 11, 2000Schulz; Bruce DeleonElectric rail transportation system, vehicle, and rail used in the transportation system
US7293671 *Apr 17, 2006Nov 13, 2007Senften David AMagnetic coupling and uncoupling system for model railroad rolling stock
DE102008032877A1 *Jul 14, 2008Jan 21, 2010Manfred LuikCoupling device for model vehicle, has coupling with magnet, where north pole and south pole are arranged transversely to longitudinal axis of model vehicle
U.S. Classification213/75.00D, 7/901, 209/215, 269/8, 213/219, 235/91.00M, 280/504, 315/382, 280/400
International ClassificationA63H19/18
Cooperative ClassificationY10S7/901, A63H19/18
European ClassificationA63H19/18