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Publication numberUS2263727 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1941
Filing dateMar 23, 1940
Priority dateMar 23, 1940
Publication numberUS 2263727 A, US 2263727A, US-A-2263727, US2263727 A, US2263727A
InventorsSamuel H Gensburg
Original AssigneeChicago Coin Machine Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball objective
US 2263727 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Ndv. 25, 1941. s. H. GENSBURG BALL OBJECTIVE Filed March 25, 1940 SamueLH 691255 INVENT fy 15 ATT RNEY.

Patented Nov. 25, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE BALL OBJECTIVE Samuel H. Gensburg, Chicago, Ill-., assignor to Chicago C'oin Machine Mfg. 00., Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application March 23, 1940, Serial No. 325,508


This invention relates to amusement apparatus and has as its principal object the provision of means fo-rdefining a target or playing objective in a game, particularly a ball rolling game.

More specifically, the invention provides a novel form of objective on the ball rolling board, for example, of a bowling game, the objective being in the nature of a shadow created in a lighted area of the board, and mechanism including an operating element situated in the shadow to cause the obliteration of the shadow when a ball or like projectile enters into the shadowed area to engage and actuate the operating element.

Viewed from another aspect, it is an object of the invention to provide an arrangement of lamps and reflectors to cast shadows in certain areas of a ball rolling board which are to constitute target objectives at which a player may bowl or otherwise project a ball, together with switch means for controlling the lamps and operating elements for the switch means situated in the shadowed portions of the objectives or targets'to be engaged and operated by a ball or the like successfully directed at the shadowed area. Another object is the provision of means for 'definingshadows in an illuminated portion of the playing board and electric lamps controlled by balls entering the shadowed portions to illuminate the latter and cause their obliteration to give an indication of a successful play.

A still further object is the arrangement of electric lamps and reflecting means to define an illuminated area on a playing boardwith shadows situated in certain positions to define ball objectives and means for changing the focus of the lamps with respect to the reflecting means to obliterate the shado-wwhen a ball enters the region in which the shadow is defined.

Other objects, advantages and novel aspects of the invention reside in certain details of construction as well as the cooperative relationship of the component parts of the illustrative embodiment described hereinafter in view of the annexed drawing, in which:

Fig. 1 is a fragmentary perspective with parts shown in section of the pin bed and coacting lamp and reflector means for creating shadows to represent the pins;

Fig. 2 isa plan view of, the reflector unit used in Fig. l;

Fig. 3 isa vertical section of a modified shadow-creating and eiiacing means; 7 a

Fig. 4 is a circuit diagram corresponding to the arrangement of Fig. 1;

the arrangement of Fig. 3.

The present invention is primarily intended for use in connection with a bowling game, such as shown in U. S. Patent No. 2,194,830, filed January 17, 1940, Serial No. 314,261, wherein there is disclosed an arrangement of electric lamps and means for directing light from those lamps to define localized areas of illumination in the pin bed of a bowling game, the lighted areas being arranged in the positions usually occupied by the tenpins, and there being switch means in certain of the illuminated areas to be engaged by the bowling ball to effect the extinction of lamps to indicate the striking of the various pins. In the present arrangement, the'pin bed of the bowling alley may be said to be an illuminated field and. the tenpins are represented by appropriately positioned shadows, the striking of the pins being indicated by the obliteration of the corresponding shadows.

In one arrangement, as shown in Fig. 1, the ball rolling board It) constitutes a portion of a bowling alley, particularly the pin bed or seat thereof, and theball objectives or targets are designated in certain positions on the board by shadowed areas I] created in an otherwise illuminated field I2. These shadowed areas are each situated in one of the positions in which a tenpin would be positioned in the customary set-up of bowling pins,.that is, approximately in triangular array, apparent in Fig. 2.

The illuminated field on the board is provided through the medium of a plurality of reflector portions l3 secured by any suitable means (not shown) above the pin bed or board and each receiving light from a corresponding source in the nature of an electric, lamp l4 mounted within a housing or shell 15 in juxtaposition with an oppositely directed housing or shell IS, the shells or housings of each lamp unit being suspended by a thin but rigid bracket arm I! attached to the center part of the corresponding reflector as at I 8. i

The lamps M are connected in controlled cir cuits later to be explained, the corresponding reflectors l3 being constructed and arranged so as to reflect parallel rays, indicated at R, down onto the board around the lamp housings l5 and 16 in such manner that the housings will cast the shadows II which indicate the target objective at which it is intended the ball shall be directed.

In order to give an indication or signal that a ball has been successfully directed at one or more of the shadows to enter the shadowed area, there is provided a control means including switches I9 and mounted beneath the board and each provided with an operating means or arm Ila and 20a, respectively, with a portion IIb and 201), respectively, projecting through a suitable opening in the corresponding shadowed portion so as to be engaged and moved by a ball successfully directed thereat.

It will be understood in the illustration of Fig. 1 that there are intended to be ten of the shaded areas corresponding to the usual tenpins, and there may therefore be ten of the switches I9 or 20 or a lesser number where it is desired that the shadow efiacing means for several of the shaded areas shall be controlled by a single switch and operating member.

Means for obliterating or effacing the shadows in the arrangement of Fig. 1 includes the provision of lamps 2| in the downwardly directed housings or shells I6, these lamps being variously illuminated by operation of the switches I9 or 20 to emit the rays R and illuminate the corresponding shadowed areas.

In the circuit diagram of Fig. 4, the lamps I4 are normally energized from battery B through circuit connections 3|l30 through a master switch 32 which is actuated by means of a slide 33 at the beginning of the game, it being understood that there will be ten of the lamps I4 in such a circuit where the invention is employed in a bowling game, and illumination of all of the foregoing lamps will cause the pin bed of the alley to be illuminated, with a corresponding number of appropriately positioned shadows II in each of which may be situated one of the switch operating elements llb, for example, the corresponding switch means I9 having one of its terminals connected to conductor 30 and battery B, and having its other terminal connected to one terminal of an efiacing relay winding 34,

the opposite terminal of which is connected to the remaining terminal of the power source or battery.

Assuming that a ball enters the shadowed region II and depresses the switch operating element II b, the resulting closure of switch I9 will energize relay 34 and attract armature 35 to close a power circuit through conductor 35 and conductors 30 to illuminate the effacing lamp 2|, with a resultant illumination of shadow II and a disappearance of the shadow.

In order to restore the game to initial condition and cause the reappearance of the shadows,

lamps 2| are energized by operating the master control slide 33 to close a restoring switch 31 and struction, thus breaking the circuit through lamp 2| so that lamp I4 and its associated reflecting means may again create the necessary illuminated and shadowed regions on the playfield. It is to be understood that whereas in a game of tenpins, ten pairs of lamps M and 2| would be employed, it is contemplated that some of the lamp control circuits, such as illustrated in Fig. 4, may be combined for control by less than ten of the switches |9-2E|, etc. and while there may be as many obliterating and resetting devices 3438 as there are lamp groups |4-2|, there will be only one master control means 3Z33-3I.

One form of reflector assembly is illustrated in Fig. 2 wherein a generally triangular stamping is shown to be provided with ten triangularly arranged reflecting concavities, the marginal portions 4| of the stamping being curved appropriately to direct light downwardly onto the board to provide a main illuminated area of substantially triangular extent along the sides of the triangularly arranged illuminated areas resulting from the placement of the reflectors I3.

The concavities or individual reflector portions I3 have a curvature calculated as shown, to reflect light from the source l4 situated in the region of the principal focus in parallelism with the major axis of said focus so as to minimize diffusion and provide a source of parallel rays suitable for defining the shadows II, the shells I5 operating to confine the light from. each individual source I4 within the effective area of the corresponding reflector, and the downturned shells I6 operating similarly to confine the light from the corresponding lamps 2| to the area which would be occupied by the corresponding shadow.

A modified arrangement for creating and effacing th objective-designating shadows is shown in Fig. 3, wherein reflector elements 50, which may be individual stampings or concavities in a common stamping of the type shown in Fig. 2, are provided in number corresponding to the number of targets, in this case ten, for representing the ten bowling pins. With each reflector element is associated an electric lamp 5| having a masked or opaque surface portion 52 and seated in the lower end of an armature element 53 reciprocating vertically in the bore of a solenoid 54 mounted above the axial opening 55 in the corresponding reflector section or concavity.

The arrangement is such that when the plunger 53 of the solenoid is raised to its full line position, the lamp 5| will also be in full line position, in which such of the light rays as are permitted to issue therefrom will be reflected in directions approximately parallel with the major axis of the reflector 50 down onto the board II], this position of the lamp along the major focal axis with respect to the center of the reflector element 5|! being such as to cause a minimum amount of light to be reflected along the major axis toward the board ID, with a resultant blind spot creating a substantial shadow The adjustment of the lamps 5| with respect to the focal constants of the reflector 50 will vary with the size of the reflectors and lamps and the area of board to be covered, as well as the distance of the units 55-5I54 above the board It], and since the latter determinants are matters of optional design, the adjustments in each individual case are left to the designer for execution in accordance with principles well known to those skilled in the illuminating arts.

By dropping the lamps 5| into the dotted line position of Fig. 3 from normally raised full line position, the shadowed area II will be substantially effaced because the rays reflected by the reflector 50 will, in part, be converged, as indicated by the dash-dot lines, toward the shadowed area The shifting of the focal relation of lamp 5| with respect to the reflector 50 is accomplished by energizing and deenergizing the solenoid 54 in accordance with one arrangement shown in Fig. 5, wherein the winding of the solenoid 54 has one of its terminals normally connected by a conductor to one terminal of a ball-operated switch 66 whose other terminal is connected through a master switch 6| to one side of the power source or battery B, the remaining terminal of the winding 54 being connected by conductor 62 through a setting switch 63 to battery By operating a master slide 64, switches 6| and B3 are closed to energize winding 54 and pull up plunger 53, which will effect a closing of a locking switch 55 by engagement therewith of an insulated collar 56 on the plunger (Fig. 3), thereby closing a circuit around conductor 62 to maintain the winding 54 energized as long as switch 66 shall remain closed.

As soon as a ball is projected into the shadowed area H to engage and depress the corresponding switch operating element 65, for example, ball switch 66, which is normally closed, will be opened to deenergize winding 54 long enough to permit plunger 53 ,to drop and open the locking switch 55, thus effacing the shadow H by changing the focal relationship of lamp 5| with respect to its reflector 50.

In order to restore the shadow, it is necessary to operate the slide 64 and energize the solenoid 54 through switches 6| and 63 long enough to close the locking switch 55 again.

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 my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. In an amusement apparatus of the class described, means providing a light receiving surface over which balls are rollable, light emitting means and light reflecting means arranged at a point above said surface to illuminate the latter, light impeding means arranged with respect to said light emitting and light reflecting means to define a shadowed area in the illuminated area on said surface, said shadowed area constituting a target objective on said surface and at which a ball employed in using the game apparatus may be directed, auxiliary light emitting means arranged beneath said light impeding means and normally ineffective to emit light, and means including a control element situated in the shadowed area aforesaid to be engaged and actuated by said ball for rendering said auxiliary light emitting means effective for eifacing said shadow to indicate a successful play.

2. In an amusement device, in combination, means providing a light receiving surface over which a ball is adapted to be rolled, means for directing light onto said surface, means for impeding light directed as aforesaid to create a shadow in a certain portion of said surface and thereby define an objective at which a ball may be directed over said surface, a lamp arranged in said means for impeding light and normally in non-illuminating condition, and control means arranged with respect to said shadow to be engaged and actuated by a ball entering the shadowed area whereby to effect the direction of light into said shadowed area, said control means arranged in circuit with said lamp to illuminate the latter when a ball enters the shadowed area as aforesaid.

3. In an amusement device, in combination, means providing a light receiving surface over which a ball is adapted to be rolled, means for directing light onto said surface, means for we venting the passage of light onto a certain portion of said surface illuminated as aforesaid to create a shadowed area on said surface, said shadowed area constituting an objective at which a ball may be rolled, and means including a normally unilluminated second light source arranged upon illumination to illuminate said shadowed area, together with control means cooperating with said second light source and including an operating element situated with respect to said shadowed area to be engaged and operated by a ball therein, to cause the illumination by said second light source of said shadowed area and to efiace the latter when the operating means is engaged by a ball, whereby to give an indication of a successful play.

4. In an amusement apparatus including a ball playing field, ball objective means comprising a reflector spaced from said field, a light source optically related to said reflector to illuminate a portion of said field, means in the path of light reflected from said reflector to define a shadow in said illuminated portion of the field, said shadow constituting an objective, a normally unilluminated second light source optically related to the shadow portion of said field and adapted upon illumination to illuminate the latter, and means actuated by a ball entering said shadowed portion and thereby attaining said objective, for effecting illumination by said sec-0nd light source of the shadowed portion to efface the latter and indicate the scoring of a successful play.

5. In a ball game including a ball rolling board, in combination, a plurality of reflectors spaced opposite the ball rolling surface of said board, a light source mounted with respect to each of said reflectors to illuminate adjoining areas on said board, means associated with each light source for limiting the substantial emission of light to an adjoining reflector, said last-mentioned means also preventing substantial emission of light from the corresponding reflector to create a shadowed area on said board within the confines of the area illuminated thereon by the corresponding reflector, a second light source associated with each reflector and arranged for illumination to illuminate the corresponding shadowed area, means for confining the emission of light from said second-mentioned light sources within the area illuminated by the corresponding first-mentioned light sources, and control means including an operating element situated with respect to one of said shadowed areas for engagement and actuation by a ball therein for effecting illumination of the corresponding second-mentioned light sources to efface the corresponding shadow and indicate a successful play.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2572456 *Apr 22, 1950Oct 23, 1951Republic Patent CorpSimulated bowling game apparatus
US2599902 *Dec 10, 1949Jun 10, 1952Royal Patent CorpSimulated bowling game device
US2656189 *Nov 15, 1951Oct 20, 1953Rock Ola Mfg CorpAmusement game apparatus of the shuffleboard type
US2673637 *May 27, 1949Mar 30, 1954Charles O BrunerGame device
US2722421 *Mar 20, 1950Nov 1, 1955Raymond T MoloneyLuminescent game target
US2990177 *Jul 6, 1959Jun 27, 1961Hutchison Billy JIlluminated inserts for spot bowling
US3120956 *Aug 3, 1961Feb 11, 1964American Mach & FoundryManually or automatically illuminated bowling guide
US3239660 *Jan 31, 1961Mar 8, 1966Jr Joseph F HallIllumination system including a virtual light source
US4438930 *Aug 28, 1981Mar 27, 1984Wico CorporationRollover switch apparatus
US4560167 *Feb 10, 1984Dec 24, 1985Sidinter S.A.Device for training to play golf
US7297069 *Sep 7, 2005Nov 20, 2007The Puttalite Company LimitedPutting practice aid
US9108097 *Feb 24, 2014Aug 18, 2015Eric C. RhoneDevice for golf practice putting and target imager
US20060252567 *Sep 7, 2005Nov 9, 2006Michael Kevin DonovanPutting practice aid
EP0172739A1 *Aug 16, 1985Feb 26, 1986Tri-Star DataA fastening device
U.S. Classification273/118.00A, 473/65, 362/243, 473/74, 362/286
International ClassificationA63F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/00
European ClassificationA63F7/00