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Publication numberUS2235563 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 18, 1941
Filing dateApr 14, 1939
Priority dateApr 14, 1939
Publication numberUS 2235563 A, US 2235563A, US-A-2235563, US2235563 A, US2235563A
InventorsRidgway Herbert N
Original AssigneeRidgway Herbert N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Amusement device
US 2235563 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 18, 1941. H. N. RIDGWAY AMUSEMENT DEVICE Filed April 14, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 March 18, 1941. N, RIDGWAY AMUSEMENT msvrcs 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 14, 1939 Patented Mar. 18, 1941 UNITED ATNT OFFICE 2 Claims.

My present invention is a novel and improved amusement apparatus, and more particularly relates to a boat, or a plurality of boats, each adapted to carry passengers, and each arranged 5 to be propelled or drawn in a tank or runway of water, with provision for effecting a jumping or leaping action of each boat and simulating a high-speed motor craft.

Important features consist in the construction and arrangement of means which will propel each boat from a single source of power and yet permit each boat full freedom of movement, as well as displacement for the load of passengers carried and, furthermore, to allow the pitching action incident to the wave effect upon each boat independently of the other, and all while being moved at any speed desired from the common source of power..

A further important feature consists in the provision of safety means which will eliminate the danger of rocking of a boat while still permitting the pitching action and, particularly, the capacity for jumping orleaping from the Water, when desired without interruption or interference with the driving mechanism.

A still further and important feature consists in the provision of means automatically actuated so that when each boat is at rest or at the end of the ride, it will be independently and automatically swung into contact with the edge of the tank to facilitate loading and unloading of passengers, and also will be automatically drawn away from the tank edge and loading position as soon as the moving mechanism starts and each and all boats are under way in the tank.

A still further important feature of my present invention consists in the safety controlling features, whereby,when each boat is actuated to jump, leap, or fly thru the air simulating highspeed motor boats hitting a wave, it is controlled in its path of movement and line of travel while still permitting freedom of action of the boat and insuring safety in flight and landing without affecting the operation of any preceding or succeeding boat in the apparatus and without interruption in the propelling power.

In carrying out my present invention I contemplate providing a substantial tank or runway filled with water, preferably of oval shape or round, and of sufliicent capacity to give straight away stretches for attaining speed and effecting the jumping or flight actuations.

In order to propel such a fleet of boats, I prefer to utilize an endless cable submerged within the water, and preferably concealed from view, and operate the same around suitable pulleys, drums, and guideways to control the direction and line of travel of the boats, providing a suitable source of driving power to one or more of such drums or pulleys, together with suitable tensioning and adjusting means which will tighten the endless cable, as desired, and. also facilitating the varying strains and stresses in the operation of the mechanism of the apparatus.

In order to effect the jumping or flight actuation, I prefer to arrange a plurality of suitably inclined planes or platforms which can be operated at will, thus to permit the free floating of each boat over the same, when desired, and when attaining speed, and then to throw the jumping or leaping platform into position so that a boat, or successive boats, may ride up over the platform and leap or jump thru the air to a landing in the water beyond the platform, while being continuously connected to the endless cable and driving means.

Important features consist in providing operating and controlling means for the jumping platforms so that same may be brought into operative position or depressed below the draft of the boats passing over same at will; means for insuring the individual action of each boat both during travel at speed and when the propelling means is discontinued, so that each boat will individually and automatically swing into loading and unloading contact at the edge of the tank; and other details and advantages will be hereinafter more fully pointed out and claimed.

Referring to the drawings illustrating preferred embodiments:

Fig. 1 is a plan View of an oval tank and installation utilizing two drums from which a propelling cable is led;

Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional view on an enlarged scale on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view on the line 44 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view showing a leaping platform in operating position;

Fig. 6 is a view corresponding to Fig. 5 illustrating the anti-friction platform construction;

Fig. 7 is a detailed view of the platform-operating and locking means, and

lg. 8 is a diagrammatic plan view of a rotary embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary view, partly in crosssection, illustrating an attaching means for the modification of Fig. 8.

Referring to the drawings and the form illlustrated in Figs. 1 to 7, an oval-shaped tank is shown, having a bottom I, sides 2, and a marginal platform 3 overhanging the inner surfaces of the sides 2 slightly, as indicated in Fig. 2, wherein any desired level of water, indicated at 5, is supplied. Positioned in the bottom portion of the tank near opposite ends are two grooved drums or wheels, one as indicated at 6 being mounted on a fixed shaft 7, and the other 8 being mounted on a pivot 9 carried in a movable slide I0.

These drums 6 and 8 maybe made in any form desired, being herein illustrated as comprising disc-like top and lower sides united by a rim II, leaving an outer groove If in which an endless cable or rope I5 is led and extending around each of the drums. The drum 8 is arranged for sliding adjustment for assembling, and has a pulley tensioning member, this being best shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

For this purpose I provide guideways i6, IE3 at each side of the sliding bearing Iii carrying the pivot 9, these guideways being grooved and being adapted for adjustment under yielding tension by tightening thethreaded screws I8,

screws to project for adjustment and manipulation is also provided.

It will thus be seen that the cable i5 when fitted, and with the adjusting screws 18 tightened will always exert a yielding tension thru the springs 26 on the adjustable drum I 8, thus providing for varying loads on the cable I5 and yielding action as the boats travel around the rim of the groove I2 of each drum during the operation of the apparatus.

Any suitable driving means may be arranged but, as herein shown, I may provide a direct drive on the shaft 1 from a motor 25 underneath the bottom I, which motor operates thru a reduction gear 26 and bevelled gears 21 and 28, the latter keyed to the shaft 1, which shaft passes thru a suitable bearing 36 having a recess to receive packing material 32 and a follower 33 thru which the shaft 1 also passes. A supporting collar 3I, as shown in Fig. 3, is also provided.

In order to facilitate the rotative operation of the drums 6 and 8, I provide a plurality of idler rolls 35, 35 at any suitable or convenient position, substantially as illustrated in dotted lines in Fig. 5, and approximately as shown in Fig. 3, over which the outer rim portions of the drums may rest and travel. Secured to the endless cable I5 are a plurality of freely-floating and load-carrying boats, each adapted to carry its own load while floating in the tank, and a description of one will, therefore, be sufficient for all said boats.

Such boats may be of any desired capacity, and comprise a suitable hull 46 having, as herein shown, longitudinal seats 4|, 41, an after deck 42, a forward deck 43, and sprayhoods 44. Positioned at the forward end of each boat is an open tube or hollow shaft extending from the bottom to and thru the forward deck 43, which constitutes a bearing for the staff 46.

This hollow shaft 45-is set in an angular position (as best shown in Figs. 5 and 6) relatively with the longitudinal axis of the boat 40, as best shown in Figs. 5 and 6, which is a most important feature, and actuates the boat 40 to swing laterally from its line of travel when the cable I 5 is at rest or moving very slowly. As each boat naturally tends to swing outwardly, owing to the relative angle of the staff and the inherent buoyancy of the boat, this inclination of the staff 46 and shaft 45 acts to swing the stern portion 43 of the boat in to the rim 3*0f the tank, so that the aft deck 42 of the boat will be in convenient position for passengers to step into or out of each boat while same is thus at rest.

Preferably, I so position the spacing of the surrounding rim and the line of travel of the boats that the length of the boat from the staff 46 to the stern will be slightly greater from that of the cable to the rim and, hence,- the stern of each boat will contact at a slight angle with the rim 3 and not be swung by the same, as indicated in dotted lines at 50 in Figs. 1 and 8. i

The staff 46 extending freely thru the hollow shaft 45 thus permits each boat to, rise and fall with its varying load to seek its own displacement as well as to lift and drop and pitch slightly, due to any wave effect, but the rigidity and strength of the staff 46, together with the guiding instrumentalities, will restrain the rocking action of the boat and, hence, provide an important safety factor.

Each staff extends downwardly and carries an anti-friction roller 5| adapted to travel on the bottom 52 of a guiding track, this track having upstanding portion 54with lugs 55 and 56 adapted to bear against the staff 46 (see Fig. 4) together with the upper slot 51 thru which the staff passes. Between the slot 51 and the bearing strips 55 and 56, I provide a clamp 60 arranged to be secured around the staff 46 and to clamp the endless cable I5, this clamp comprising a pair of members and joined by clamping screws 62, 62.

Preferably I arrange this clamp so as to impart a slight angular position to the staff 46 particularly when the same swings off the guiding strips on the parallel portion of the line of travel of the endless belt I5 and on to the drums 6 and 8 so as to give the effect of banking the boat around a curve and offset the centrifugal force thereto and also to more accurately simulate a speed boat when making a turn.

With the construction as thus far described, the drums 6 and 8 are positioned in the track, the endless cable I5 is fitted, the side guiding tracks 53 and 54 are applied and, preferably, mounted on sleepers to have them properly spaced andcarry the track in alignment with the grooves I 2 in each of the drums, and thereupon the staffs 46 are clamped to the cables at predetermined spaced intervals and each boat 40 mounted thereon.

The staff 46 is the only driving connection between the boat and the endless cable and, thus, permits free pivotal action of the boat as it swings around the drums While the tension springs 20, 20 will hold the belt in yielding tension and permit such variation in the load and strain on the endless cable I5 as may be incident to the operation of the apparatus, as well also as the slight extra action of the staff around the rimof the drums,

the drum 8 yielding for all purposes I i l Inorder to allow-for any centrifugal action of the boats as they swing around the drums and to enable the staff to engage the guides 54 and 55, I provide a flanged portion 86 on the outer rim of each of the straight portions of the guides in the line of travel of the belt, as shown in Fig. 1.

Asthus far described, the boats may :be readily operated and with the cable at rest, each boat will swing in to the edge of the tank with the stern portion of each in contact with the rim 3. Upon starting the motor 25, the drum 8 will rotate and impart motion to the cable I5 and, hence, to each of the boats, which will readily and rapidly turn in the line of travel with the cable, swinging the stern portion of each boat away from the tank and practically in .alignment with the pulley of the cable thru the staff 46 and tubular bearing 45 of each boat. v

I may, if desired, form a continuous outer guard, as shown at 38, Fig. 1, around the outside of either drum as a further safety factor in case of breakage of the endless cable I5.

In order to provide the jumping or leaping effect desired to simulate the action of a speed boat in rough or wavy conditions, I have provided a plurality of, what I have termed as, leaping platforms. These platforms are ordinarily at rest sufficiently submerged under the level of the water 5 in the tank so that each boat, even when loaded to its capacity, will float freely thereover but each platform may be brought into operative position at will. If desired, operating means can be attached to each platform, but I have herein shown a single operating device for a plurality of platforms .which may thus be brought into operative action simultaneously and after the series of boats have attained a proper speed of travel soas to produce a leaping, jumping, or flying effect, with the consequent thrilling sensation to the riders.

Any suitable or desirable means can be utilized for effecting the leaping action, but as herein shown, I have provided a pair of flexible members I8 and II adapted to be spaced at each side of the staff 46 and, hence, of the slot 51 in the guideways, which members may be of metal, preferably curved, and adapted to present an inclined plane in the line of travel of the boat 48 of which said boat will be thrown during its forward motion and, hence, will effect a flying leap thru the air and back into the level of the water.

A simple and efficient operating means consists in hinging the rear portion of each of these curved members 18 to supports 12, 12 by pivots I3 and with the link 15, hinged as shown at 18, to a forward portion of the members 18 and II and with the bottom of the link 15 hinged to a sliding plate 11 adapted to slide in side guides 18, 18, as best illustrated in Figs. 1 and 5. Movement of the slides 1'! toward the rear post I2 or against the line of travel of the boats will act to raise the members 18 and II, lifting them into the line of travel of the boat and, hence, creating an inclined or sliding plane up which the boat can readily travel, while still driven forward by the cable I5 because of the sliding action of the staff 46 in the hollow shaft 45, as will be appreciated.

I have here shown two such leaping platforms, and I have arranged to operate both simultaneously by providing a cross-bar 88 pivoted at 8i to the bottom I, and with the opposite ends of the cross-bar 88 being slotted and engaging pivots 82 attached to each platform. A link 84 pivoted at 85 at one side of the cross-bar pivot 8i extends thru a guide 88 and to one end of the operating lever 88, the lower end of the lever and the inner end of the link 84 being pivotally connected at 89, as best shown in Fig. 5. The lever 88 is fulcrumed on a pivot 88 secured to the rim of the platform, and I arrange a ratchet 9| and spring 82 to swing the lever 88 into engagement with said ratchet and hold the same into the position to which it may have been moved by the operator.

Thus the platforms 18 and II will be locked in operative or inoperative position, as desired, until the lever 88 is manipulated to change or release the same. A rib or tooth 93 is fitted on the lever 88 for engagement with the enlarged member 9 I as illustrated in Fig. 7.

In Fig. 6 I have illustrated an anti-friction type of platform, comprising a pair of side members 94 carrying a series of rolls 95, 95 on pins or axles 98 extending between the side member 94, which is similarly supported, pivoted, and op.- erated as described in connection with the members l8 and H.

In Fig. 8 I have illustrated a modified form wherein a large drum or disc I88 is employed in a circular tank I8I, having a rim I82 in which the series of boats 48 are swung into rotative action. The disc I88 is mounted on a shaft I83 and actuated by a motor and reduction gear thru bevelled gears similar to that illustrated in Fig. 3, and shown in dotted lines in Fig. 8.

In this form I provide the top edge I88 of the disc I88 and the bottom edge I81, thus providing a predetermined angle to which the staff 46 can be secured by a bolt, or in any other desired manner, as shown in Fig. 9.

Also, it will be appreciated that instead of utilizing a disc or drum, either in the form shown in Fig. 1 or 8, I may construct a rim or ring-like structure which will carry the cable or boatattaching means and be driven in any suitable manner. In the particular form shown in Fig. 8,

owing to the constant centrifugal action of theboats, a leaping platform I85with operating means can be positioned immediately outside the line of travel of the attaching staff 48, and a suitable jumping, leaping, or flying operation will be imparted to each boat 48 in this form, as will be appreciated.

Thus, it will be seen that I have developed an extremely simple but highly efiicient apparatus to produce interesting, amusing, and thrilling riding effects, together with most important safety factors, and also automatic means and mechanism which will cause each boat independently to swing into loading and unloading contact with the sides or landing portion of the tank in which the boats are floating as soon as the driving power stops. portant factor, because, in case of unexpected stoppage of the driving power from any means, each boat will swing at once into position to unload its passengers. Also, the double bearing for the driving staff prevents rocking of the boat, thus preventing the danger of carelessness by the passengers in loading or unloading, or the efforts of inconsiderate persons trying to rock the boat.

The yielding tensioning means is also most important as it prevents undue strain on the driving cable, drums, and staff; while the arrangement for inclining the staff, particularly in banking around curves and to aid in the automatic tendency to swing the stern of the boat into the landing position, is most important; while the I his is a very imfreeclom and capacity of each boat to sustain its load to follow wave actions and to simulate a speed boat jumping over a wave thru the air and landing accentuates the thrilling effect of riding in this amusement apparatus.

While I have described the boats Ml as simulating a conventional boat, it will be appreciated that any floating vessel of any shape or size, such as skifis, punts, or even tubs, or the like may be utilized.

I claim: c

1. Amusement apparatus comprising a tank of Water and a plurality of passenger carrying boats adapted to float thereon each boat having substantial length, breadth, and depth, with capacity for carrying a plurality of passengers therein; driving means for said plurality of boats pivotally connected to each boat at a point forward of its lengthwise center and adapted to draw said boats around a predetermined path in said tank, movable mechanism arranged in the line of travel of said boats and normally permitting each boat to float freely over said mechanism, and means operable at will to force said mechanism in contact with any one of said boats to cause them to rise from their normal displacement in the water during the continual travel thereover to produce a jumping effect on each boat independently of each other, said pivotal driving connection to each boat controlling the sidewise rocking of each boat independently of each other boat and irrespective of its load of passengers.

2. In amusement apparatus of the kind described, a plurality of passenger carrying boats fioatable in a tank of water each boat having a substantial length, breadth, and depth, with capacity to support a plurality of passengers on its own displacement in said tank, means to move each boat through water in said tank by connecting means to each boat at a point forward of its lengthwise center, and permitting each boat to seek its own displacement and to follow wave inclinations, said movable connecting means being attached to a towing cable and being held in predetermined vertically inclined position by a track beneath the water level, said track and towing cable being positioned relatively with respect to a side of the tank to cause said boat to follow a pre-determined path upon stoppage of the towing mechanism where-by the rear of each boat will swing on said connecting means to come to contact with the edge of the tank.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3404635 *Apr 16, 1965Oct 8, 1968Walt Disney ProdBoat amusement ride
US3865041 *Apr 16, 1973Feb 11, 1975Arrow Dev CoRotary platform vehicle passenger loading system
US5813497 *Feb 20, 1997Sep 29, 1998Iwamoto; YukioMethod and apparatus for serving and displaying food
US7437998 *Dec 19, 2005Oct 21, 2008Mack Rides Gmbh & Co. KgWater-ride facility
US8375864 *Jul 29, 2011Feb 19, 2013Disney Enterprises, Inc.Floating omnimover ride
US20060130698 *Dec 19, 2005Jun 22, 2006Guenter BurgerWater-ride facility
U.S. Classification104/73
International ClassificationA63G31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63G3/02
European ClassificationA63G3/02