US 2226885 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1940- H. E. WILLIAMS ETAL 2,226,885
GAME APPARATUS Filed Dec. 19, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I I a Jun m Mr J. I l Jlliams wfiy nA.fim'a/ui INVENTORS.
7 :10 ATTORNEY.
Patented Dec. $1, 1940 STATES GAME APIARATUS Harry E. Williams and Lyndon A. Durant, Chicago, Ill.
This invention relates to amusement apDa ratus, particularly the so-called pin ball or bagatelle games, and has for its principal object the provision of a novel score control mechanism including a confined ball on the playboard and mechanism for automatically causing the ball to move back and forth when a certain score has been achieved, there being score. indicating and control mechanism actuated by the confined ball in a certain manner.
Viewed from another aspect, it is an object of the invention to provide, in a pin ball game or like apparatus having a ball playing board with certain score objectives thereon, such for example as ball-operated switches in ball pockets, novelty score control means comprising a ball confined in a pen on the top of the board and electromagnetic means beneath the board for causing the ball to move back and forth in the pen when a certain score objective is obtained, together with a score indicating board, and a. stepping switch actuated by the ball each time the same moves across the pen, to register a score depending upon the value of the particular objective obtained,
"" and means for automatically stopping the confined ball when the appropriate score has been indicated. 7
A further object is the provision of a novelty control device in the nature of a pen mounted on the top side of the ball playing board and adapted to confine a magnetically attractable ball free to move back and forth between the opposite ends of the pen. magnetic means arranged beneath the board, and switch means situated approximately midway between the ends of the pen for operation by the ball to break the circuit for the magnetic attracting means periodically and thereby effect the back and forth movement of I the ball, said switch means also being adapted for connection in a score control circuit.
Yet another object is the combination of the foregoing novelty control device with various score objectives or ball switches on the play- H board and severally actuated by skillful playing of the game such that different objectives or pockets will have different values and cause the confined ball to be moved back and forth a certain number of times depending upon that score of the component parts of the illustrative emvalue, togetherwith score indicating means operbodiment described hereinafter in view of the annexed drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is-a fragmentary perspective of a pin ball game showing the confined control ball;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary section along 5 line 22 of Fig. 1, showing the magnetic ball moving means and ball restoring means for the regular score pockets;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary longitudinal section through the ball pen and driving magnet taken 10 along line 33 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a plan view of the switching mechanism; and
Fig. 5 is a circuit diagram.
Referring to Fig. 1, a preferred form of amuse- 16 ment apparatus in which the invention has been successfully incorporated includes a ball playing board It on which are situated a number of objectives or ball pockets Ii, Ha, lib, etc. At one side of the board is a projecting alley I! up which playing balls are projected by any suitable means for movement onto the playboard with the object of lodgment in one of the pockets ll. The projecting means is not illustrated, since such devices are commonly known in the art and do not form per se part of the present invention. At the rear of the playboard is a score indicating panel l3 with suitable score indicating indicia M delineated thereon and adapted to be illuminated by electric lamps situated behind corresponding numbers and adapted to be illuminated by certain control mechanism described hereinafter and operated dependently upon the lodgment of a ball in one or another of the score pockets ll, Ha, etc.
The novelty control means constituting the principal feature of the present invention is so called because it combines the visual efiect of the movement of a confined ball back and forth with the visual effect of illuminated lamps on the score control panel, there being an element of entertainment, interest fixation, and fascination in watching the control ball oscillate back and forth in its pen and correlating the movement of this ball with the fluctuating illumination of the lamps in the score control panel.
The novelty control means includes the provision on the playboard ill of means for confining the control ball for movement in a predetermined path, said means in the present instance comprising the provision of a pair of parallel rails l5 extending preferably transversely of the board (the latter being tilted downwardly from the panel 13 in most games), there being bumpers l6 provided at opposite ends of the alley or pen defined by the rails. A magnetically attractable ball ll is confined between the rails and is free to move back and forth against the bumpers l6. A guard rail i8 is disposed on the uppermost side of the pen to prevent arrest of the playing balls and assure movement thereof toward the scoring pockets.
Means for effecting movement of the confined ball in the pen includes the provision of an electromagnet l9 (Figs. 2 or 3) mounted beneath the board with its core or armature 2i! situated midway between the ends of the pen, the winding of the magnet being adequate to set up a magnetic field strong enough to attract the ball to the core from an extreme position at either end of the alley or pen. A control button 2! is disposed at the mid point in the pen for engagement and depression by the ball ll when attracted by the magnet to close a control switch 22. This switch, as will appear in the description of the circuit diagram hereinafter, is arranged to efiect an opening of the energizing circuit for the magnet so that the ball may move off the button 2| by the combined restorative action of the same coacting with the spring arm of switch 22 which holds it in normally raised condition, and the momentum gained by the ball in being attracted onto the button.
The score objectives Ha, etc., each include a ball-operated control device, such for example as the leaf spring switches 23, 23a, 231), which are normally open and adapted to be closed by a ball dropping into the corresponding pocket. Any well-known means may be provided for effecting removal of the balls from the score pockets, the present embodiment by preference employing kick-outs each comprising an arm 24 attached to the plunger 25 of a solenoid 26 mounted beneath the board adjacent each of the score pockets, the solenoids being energized to effect raising movement of the arms 24, which lifts the ball in the corresponding pocket out of the latter for gravitation down the playboard to be reused.
The circuit connections and cooperating switching means employed in conjunction with the novelty control device includes a commutating or limit switch generally indicated at 30 in the circuit diagram of Fig. 5. The commutating or limit switch employed in the present arrangement is provided with three banks of contacts 3|, 32 and 33, each corresponding to one of the score pockets ll, Ila or lib. Bank 3| is connected by a conductor 3|a to one terminal of the score switch 23 corresponding to the score pocket I I, the other side of this score switch, along with one terminal of each of the remaining score switches, being connected by a common conductor 35 to one terminal of a battery 36. Similarly, the remaining two banks 32 and 33 are connected by common conductors 32a and 33a to the corresponding score switches 23a, 23b, and the remaining terminal of the battery 33 is connected to a common conductor 31.
Each bank of commutator contacts is provided with a wiper connected in common by conductor 38 to one terminal of a holding relay 39, the remaining terminal of which is connected by conductor 40 to one contact of a spring switch with a normally closed contact 4| connected to the common battery return 31. Thus, when any of the score switches is closed by a ball dropping into a pocket, a power circuit will be closed through one of the commutator banks 3|, 32, 33 to energize the holding relay 33, and this relay will close contacts 32 (switch A, Fig. 4), thus connecting battery from feeder 35 to the ball attracting magnet winding IS, the opposite terminal of which is connected through a normally closed switch 43 in circuit with the battery return conductor 31.
The ball attracting magnet l9 having been energized as aforesaid, the magnetically attractable ball H will be attracted to the button 2|, the combined weight of the ball and force of attraction of the field of the magnet, causing the switch 22 to be closed, thus connecting battery through switch 42 to one terminal of the step-up delay magnet 44, circuit to which is completed from its remaining terminal to the battery return conductor 31. Operation of the delay magnet M closes a switch 45, as indicated by dotted lines,
thus connecting battery from conductor 35 to the strapped terminals of the score step-up magnet 54 and the commutator stepping magnet 16, the return terminal of the score magnet being connected to the battery feeder 31 while the re maining terminal of the commutator magnet is connected to one terminal 41 of a normally open spring switch contact 48 (switch B, Fig. 4) (which is closed by holding relay 39) connected to the return side of the battery 31, thus causing the commutator wipers to he stepped around by action of a ratchet mechanism 46a (Fig. 4) driven by the step-up magnet or solenoid 43.
If a ball has been lodged in pocket having an assigned score value of 1000 points, the switch 43 (D in Fig. 4), as indicated by the dotted line arrow in Fig. 4, is normally closed (see Fig. 5 also) and will be opened each time the magnet 44 is energized, thus opening the circuit to the ball attracting magnet l9 momentarily, with the result that the combined restorative action of the ball-operated control switch 22 in restoring button 2| to raised position, and the momentum of the ball, will assure that the ball moves away from, the button 2| so that switch 22 will again open, thus deenergizing the delay magnet 44 and the stepping magnet 46, which immediately restores switch 43 to closed circuit condition so that the ball magnet I9 is again energized with a consequent return of the ball onto the control button 2| and a repetition of the foregoing action of the delay and stepping magnets. The delay magnet 44 is regulated to release slowly enough to give the ball time to move a substantial distance away from the button before being attracted again.
From this description, it will appear that each time the ball is attracted to engage the button 2|, the commutator switch is stepped once, but since there are a different number of contacts in each of the banks 3|, 32, and 33, the number of times the commutating switch will step will depend upon which of the scoring switches 23, 23a, etc., is closed by the ball. In this manner the different score values of the various pockets are accounted for.
The score indicating means includes a bank of lamps 50 each having one terminal connected in common to the battery feeder 31 and each having its remaining terminal connected to one of the contacts 5| in the contact bank of score switch generally indicated at 52 in Fig. 4, this switch also being a stepping switch similar to the commutator switch 30 and having a wiper contact arm 53 connected to the other battery feeder 35. Thus, energization of the stepping magnet 53 of the score switch will cause wiper 33 to move successively into engagement with the aaaasss 3 contacts 5| to illuminate one or another of the lamps 50 which are situated behind'the score panel l3.
Switch 45, as indicated by the dotted line arrow 5 in the circuit diagram, is operated by the stepup delay coil.
The stepping magnet 54 of the score switch, it will be recalled, is energized by action of switch 45 each time the ball switch 23 is closed, and the 1 number of times the score switch will step will therefore be determined by which bank of contacts 3|, 32 or 33 has been connected by lodgment of a playing ball in one of the score pockets to step the commutator switch; but since the num- 15 her of contacts in each bank of the commutator switch is different, it will be apparent that the score switch will he stepped a difl'erent number of times depending upon the score value of the 30 the result that contact arm 48 falls back to en- 1 gage contact 49 and connect battery from conductor 31 to one terminal of a commutator reset solenoid 60, the remaining terminal of which is connected through a normally open zero-break 35 switch iii to the other battery terminal, switch 6| (see Fig. 4) being normally held open by a pin 62 on the ratchet means 46a when the latter is in its initial or zero position, switch 6! closing when the commutator switch makes even one step 40 from initial position, and remaining closed until magnet 60 is energized for the purpose of restoring the commutator switch to its zero position. Both the score and commutator switches employ spring means tensioned by stepping of the switch- 45 es away from initial position and efiective to restore the wipers to such positionwhen a suitable latching pawl is released by action of the magnet 60, for example, in the commutator switch.
50 The score switch is reset to zero condition by energization of its resetting solenoid 65, one terminal of which is' connected to common battery conductor 3'! 'and the other terminal of which is connected through a manu- 55 ally controlled switch 63 adapted to be closed by operation of a coin slide 61 or other master control device associated with the game apparatus.='
Detailed statement of operation Assuming that the game apparatus is in the condition shown in the several figures and the player projects a playing ball up the alley i2,
and a ball migrates into the opening H, the corresponding ball switch 23 (Fig. 5) will be closed and connect battery from conductor 35 through the first contact of contact bank 3| to the rotary wiper and thence via conductor 38 through the winding of holding relay 39, conductor 40, switch 704i, to return to battery via conductor 31, thus causing r'elay 39 to pull up and close switches 42 and 48.
As a result of the closure of switch 42 by the holding relay, battery is connected through the 75 commutator switch to one side of the ball attracting magnet I 9 and through the closed switch 43 (D) to battery return 31, thus energizing the magnet I9 and attracting the ball I! onto button 2i, with a resultant closure of switch 22, which in turn connects battery to the step-up delay sole- 5 noid 44, in consequence of which switches 43 and 45 (D and C) are respectively opened and closed.
- Opening of switch 43 breaks the ball magnet circuit, with a consequent opening of switch 22 to the delay relay; meanwhile, closing of switch 45 (C) energizes solenoid 54 to step the score counter once, and solenoid 46 to step the commutator switch once (switch 48 (B) meanwhile having been closed by action of the hold-' ing relay 39). When the ball rolls off the button 2|, switch 22 opens as aforesaid, and after a very short interval the delay solenoid 44 is released, again causing switch 43 to close to energize the ball attracting magnet which pulls the ball back onto the button with a repetition of the operation of the delay relay and the score and commutator switch solenoids, this action being repeated a number of times corresponding to the number of contacts in bank 3|.
Should the ball have lodged in pocket Hb, instead, the same train of events would take place, with the exception that the score and commutating switches would be stepped a greater number of times owing to the larger number of contacts in bank as. 80
As soon as the commutator wiper passes the last contact in the bank energized by a scoring ball, holding relay 39 is released and switch arm 48 drops back to engage contact 49 and connect battery to the commutator reset solenoid 60, the zero break switch 6! being closed at this time and opened as soon as the ratchet pin 62 is restored to normal position against switch 8|.
In order to dislodge the scoring balls from the pockets, the present arrangement provides 0 for the closing of switch 4| by the momentary operation of the resetting solenoid 60 and associated restoring mechanism, switch M connecting battery to the three kick-out solenoids 26, 26a, 26b, thus throwing any and all bails out of the scoring pockets. The score which has been set up on the panel i3 may be cleared by operation of the master control 61 to close switch 66 and energize solenoid 65, which will release the ratchet mechanism of the score switch for restoration by its spring means to zero position.'
The various advantages and objects of the invention may be accomplished by modifications of, the particular embodiment specifically described herein, and it is intended that the appended claims shall include all equivalent arrangements fairly coming within their call.
Having thus described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. In an amusement apparatus including a ball playing board and means for playing balls thereon, together with a score objective to be attained by playing one or more of said balls in a certain manner, novelty score control means comprising 55 a magnetically attractable control ball, and means confining the same for limited movement in a predetermined area on said board, electromagnetic means for effecting movement of said magnetically attractable control ball back and 70 forth in said area, score objective means operably controlled by a ball played on said board for energizing saidelectromagnetic means, score indi- .cating means and switching mechanism operably effecting energization of said electromagnetic means to cause movement of said control ball different amounts depending upon which score objective is achieved as aforesaid, and switching means operatively controlled by said ball in the movement thereof for operating said score indicating means to indicate a score corresponding to the particular score objective obtained.
2. In an amusement apparatus including a ball playing board and means for playing balls thereon together with ball scoring pockets in which playing balls are to be lodged in playing the game, novelty control means comprising, in combination, a score switch operatively associated with each score pocket, a ball pen on said board, a magnetically attractable control ball arranged for movement back and forth in said pen, electromagnetic attracting means situated to attract said control ball to a certain position in the pen, a switch operated by said ball in the pen at said certain position, said score switches being connected in a circuit to energize said attracting means when a ball is lodged in a score pocket, means actuated by said switch operated by the magnetically attractable control ball to deenergize said attracting means momentarily,- means for causing said control ball to move away from said certain position after deenergization of the attracting means, and impulse-operated switching mechanism operably controlled by said switch which is actuated by the control ball.
- 3. In an amusement apparatus including a ballv playing board and means for playingballs thereon together with ball scoring pockets in which playing balls are to be lodged in playing the game, novelty control means comprising, in combination, a score switch operatively associated with each score pocket, a ball pen on said board, a magnetically attractable control ball arranged for movement back and forth in said pen, electromagnetic attracting means situated to attract said control ball to a certain position in the pen, a switch operated by said ball in the pen at said certain position, said score switches being connected in a circuit to energize said attracting means when a ball is lodged in a score pocket, means actuated by said switch operated by the magnetically attractable control ball to deenergize said attracting means momentarily, means for causing said control ball to move away from said certain position after deenergization of the attracting means, and impulse-operated switching mechanism operably controlled by said switch which is actuated by the control ball, said switching mechanism being arranged and constructed to be impulsed a different number of times depending upon which score switch has been operated and to effect deenergization of said electromagnetic attracting means at the termination of said predetermined number of impulse operations corresponding to the particular score switch operated by lodgment of a ball in a particular pocket, together with score indicating mechanism operably controlled by. the switch actuated by the control ball in the pen, and means coacting with said switching mechanism for restoring the same to an initial condition after each operation thereof by lodgment of a ball in a particular pocket. 7
4. In a ball game apparatus including a playing board and means for projecting balls on said board for movement into one of a plurality of score pockets, novelty score control mechanism comprising, in combination, a score switch operatively associated with each score pocket for operation by a ball lodged therein, an elongated confined runway on said board, a magnetically attractable control ball in said runway, electromagnetic means arranged to attract said ball toward the middle of the runway, a control switch arranged in said runway for operation by a control ball when attracted as aforesaid, an electrically operable stepping switch including a number of common contacts in banks, there being as many banks as there are score pockets, each of said score switches being connected with one of said banks in a power circuit for actuating said stepping switch, lodgment of a ball in one of said pockets effecting operation of the stepping switch a number of times corresponding to the number of contacts in the corresponding bank, said stepping switch and said score switch means cooperating to effect energization of said attracting means, said switch operated by the control ball cooperating with said stepping switch to effect stepping operation of the latter and intermittent deenergization of said attracting means, whereby the stepping switch will step each time the ball is attracted, the number of steps depending upon which of said score switches is operated as aforesaid, and score indicating mechanism operably controlled by said stepping switch.
5. In an amusement device including ball playing means with ball pockets having assigned score values in which a ball is to be lodged by playing the game, score control means compris ing in combination: a score switch operatively associated with each pocket, a ball pen arranged in view of the player, a control ball movable back and forth in the pen, electrically actuated means for effecting said movement of the ball, a control ball switch actuated intermittently by the control ball moving as aforesaid, and impulseoperated switching means in circuit with said ball moving means and eachsaid score switch and arranged to be operated a different number of times determined by different score switches cooperable with the operations of said control ball switch, and electrical score indicating means operated in steps by cooperation of said control ball switch and impulse-operated switching means.
6. In an amusement device including ball playing means with ball score pockets each having a difierent assigned score value and each pocket having a score switch operated by a ball therein, novelty score control means comprising, in combination, an electrically operated score indicator adapted to be operated in steps, a stepping score switch for operating said indicator, a ball pen, an electromagnetic ball in said pen, electromagnetic means for attracting said ball to a certain position in the pen, means cooperating with said attracting means for effecting movement of said ball away from said position when not under the influence of said attracting means; and switching mechanism including a control ball switch situated adjacent said certain position for actuation each time the control ball is attracted as aforesaid, and an electrically operated limit switch connected in a circuit with each score switch, said control ball switch and said stepping score switch to cause said control ball to move to said certain position a number of times corresponding to the assigned score'value of whichever score switch is operated, said stepping switch being stepped a corresponding number of times.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 further characterized by the combination therewith of electrically actuatedmeans for automatically dislodging balls from score pockets at the conclusion of each operation-of said stepping switch by lodgment of a ball in a score pocket.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 further characterized by the provision of electrically controlled means for restoring said limit switch automatically to an initial starting condition subsequent to each operation thereof by lodgment of a ball in a score pocket, whereby to condition the same for further operation when balls are lodged in additional score pockets.
9. In a game apparatus including a plurality of score pockets, each provided with a score switch operated by a ball lodged in the pocket in playing the game, novelty score control means comprising a ball pen arranged in view of the player, a control ball in the pen, electrically actuated means including a control ball switch operatively associated with the pen to be operated by the ball when moved into a certain position therein, means for efiecting movement of the ball into and out of said position, and limit switch means connected in a circuit with said ball moving means, said control ball switch and each. of said score switches for operation a difi'erent number of times depending upon arbitrarily assigned values for each pocket and determined by con-' nection of said limit switch means with a power circuit by operation of a given score switch, for l moving said ball back and forth in the pen a number of times corresponding to the arbitrary value of whichever score switch is operated.
10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 further characterized by the combination therewith of an electrically operated visual indicator operable in steps, stepp switch means for operating said indicating means, and means operably controlled by said control ball switch for actuating said stepping switch anumber of steps corresponding to the movement of the control ball as aforesaid.
11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 further characterized by the combination therewith of an electrically operated visual indicator operable in steps, stepping switch means for operating said indicating means, and means operably controlled by said control ball switch for actuating said stepping switch a number of steps corresponding to the movement of the control ball as aforesaid, said limit switch means being of a type moved away from a starting position a number of steps depending "upon the score value of the scoreswitch actuated, and means controlled by said limit switch for automatically restoring the same to starting position when it has operated the requisite number of steps following operation by any score switch.
12. In a device of the class described, novelty score control means'in the form of a ball runway, a magnetically attractable ball confined in said nmway, electromagnetic means for attracting said ball to a predetermined position in the runway, means for efiecting movement of the attracted ball away from said position when said attracting means is deenergized, and switch means situated in the region of said predeteremined position for actuation by said ball when attracted thereto, said switch means being adapted for connection in a control circuit, and means operably controlled by said switch means for efiecting intermittent energization of said attracting means whereby said ball will be caused to oscillate relative to said position and efl'ect intermittent operation of said switch means.
HARRY E. WILLIAMS. LYNDON A. DURANT.