US 2315257 A
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Mam}! 1943- J. HQHARLOW ,3 5, 5
' MACHINE PROVIDING FACILITIES FOR BATTING BASEBALLS AND DRIVING GOLFBALLS Filed Aug. 25, 1941 EShGQtS-ShGt 1 INVENTOR.
March 30, 1943. J, HARLOW 2,315,257
MACHINE PROVIDING FACILITIES FOR BATTING BASEBALLS AND DRIVING GOLFBALLS Filed Aug. 25, 1941 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
HARLOW March 30, 1943. H
MACHINE PROVIDING FACILITIES FOR BATTING BASEBALLS AND DRIVING GOLFBALLS.
Filed Aug. 25, 1941 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 mm wm mllli INVENTQR.
. I v c esseancf Patented Mar. 30, 1943 UNlTED- TES FATE orrics MACHINE PROVIDING FACILITIES FOR BAT- TING BASEBALLS AND DRIVING GOLF BALLS My present invention relates to the provision of a machineproviding facilities for batting baseballs and driving golfballs. As will be appreciated', my invention is in the class of recreational or amusement devices suitable for installation at parks, fairs, circuses and like places.
devoted to outdoor recreational gatherings. The extensiv popularity of both baseball and 5 golf inspires a great many people toeither try their ski-ll, or practic to improve their ability, in batting baseballs or driving golfballs. It has been my object to provide a machine which will either toss up baseballs for batting or tee golfballs for driving and which may be installed separately or in groups or batteries, so that with a group or battery of machines several customers or players may play or practice at the same time.
In connection with the installation of a group orbattery of such'machines it has been my further object to so design themachines and installation that the respective machines may be serviced or put into and out of operation and supplied with the desired number of the desired variety of balls from a central station by a; single at-' tendant who also may collect the consideration for'the use of the equipment.
I have also had in mind, as a further object of my invention, the provision of facilities for retrieving the balls after play, and the returnof the retrieved balls'to the central station where they may be again distributed.
In attaining the above enumerated general objects army-invention, as will hereafter be seen, I have: provided a machine, mechanically simple in; operation, which is structurally economical to build; and install; which, after being supplied with a desired number of. either baseballs or goltballs,
will, without any further attention, toss up the baseball's; or tee the golfb-alls as the case may be, at desired intervals, say twenty seconds. The mechanism for selecting the baseballs from the goliballs and the delivery of each to the proper facilities for tossing them up or teeing them as well as. the facilities for tossing and teeing are such as are not liable to break or get out of order.
Also, while providing ample room for seeing and judging the skill. of the play, the facilities for retrieving the balls, while simple and. effective, not only greatly enlarges the customer or player capacity of'the device but actually prevents this usually tedious" detail of operation from interfering with. the play, as not only are a number of balls being retrieved at the same time but also during play.
jects by means of the structure illustrated in the v accompanying drawings in which- Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic or schematicplan for an installation of a battery of two of my machines, particularly illustrating the retrieving facilities and the inter-relation thereof with the machines and the attendants station.
Fig. 2 is a central longitudinal section of the construction shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a cross-section of the construction shown in Figs. 1 and 2, taken in front of the machine.
Fig. 4 is a side elevation of the baseball tossing and golfball teeing element with one of the later:- al risers or standards or braces broken away for greater clearness.
Fig. 5 is a top plan of the structure shown in Fig. 4.
Fig. 6 is a section on line B-6 of Fig. 4.
Fig. 7 is a section through the ball selecting drum and related appliances, transverse to the shaft.
Fig. 8 is an elevation, partially in section, at right angles to the View shown in Fig. 7.
- Fig. 9 is a sectional detail on line 9-9 of Fig. '7 illustrating the relation of the ball feeding star wheels.
Fig. 10 is a perspectiv detail of the baseball tossing rod and the manner in which it may be readilyput out of operation when the patron wishes to practice with golfballs.
Fig. 11 is a detaiL'partially in section, of the tee for the golfball and the upper end of the tee-- ing rod.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout theseveral views.
The player having made requisite arrangements with the attendant, the attendant, by means of a switch (not shown), closes the circuit of the service current to the motor l5 (shown in Fig; 8), and places th required number of the desired kind of balls in the hopper of the channel I6 (shown in Figs. 1 and 2), through which channel the balls proceed by gravity to the feed chute I1 (shown most clearly in Fig. '7) The slot IS in the bottom of the feed chute is of such a width as to cause baseballs to roll over it but to cause goliballs to fall through to a lower parallel channel l9. Both the channels I1 and [9 have communication with the selecting and distributing drum 20. but the balls in these channels are prevented from entering the drum by the star The feed wheel 22 is narrower than the wheel 7 2|, as shown in Fig. 9, so that they will not interfere in rotation, and are proportioned to receive a single ball between adjacent arms or spokes and to deliver one ball at a time to the interior of the drum when the wheels are rotated, provided there are any balls in their respective channels to be delivered.
The arms or spokes of the feeding wheels are of such length as to extend within the drum 20, through the center of which passes a shaft 23, the rotation of which operates all of the parts of the baseball tossing and golfball teeing unit of my machine. Keyed to the shaft 23 is a hub 24 to which are secured, in any desired manner, a longer arm 25 and a shorter arm 26. The shorter arm 26 is of a length to pass over a golfball lying at the bottom of the drum 29 but to sweep a baseball in such a position up along the peripheral wall of the drum 20 through its lower semi-circumference. To prevent the ball from running toward the center in the upper semi-circumference of the drum, the arm is provided with an inclined cross batten 21 which causes the ball to roll against an end wall of the drum until it reaches an aperture 28 (shown in Fig. 8) through which it tumbles into co-operation with the baseball tossing facilities. The longer arm 25 is proportioned to engage and sweep a golfball in the same manner as the short arm 26 engages and sweeps a baseball except the cross batten 29 is slanted in an opposite direction so as to cause the golfball to roll on the opposite end of the drum 2!] until it reaches an aperture 29 therein (shown in Figs. '1 and 8), through which it passes into association with the golfball teeing facilities.
To conclude the description of the facilities for effecting a distribution of the baseballs and golfballs to the respective tossing and teeing instrumentalities, it may be said that the arms of both of the feed wheels 2| and 22 extend into the drum and are rotated by engagement with the longer golfball sweeping arm 25 as it causes no trouble whatever to have a ball fed into the cylinder by one revolution and be swept along by the next. The attendant should provide the player with the kind of balls he requires, and when he does so the normal operation of the machine will proceed as described, but, if through inadvertence, both kinds of balls are fed. to the machine they are successively delivered to their respective co-operating facilities and no harm is occasioned.
The lower golfball feeding wheel 22, as will be seen from Figs. '1 and 9, provides the entire support for the ball during a portion of its passage to the cylinder while this is not so with the baseball feeding wheel 2 I. Therefore, to prevent the wheel 22 from accidentally being thrown too far and into a position in which it would not support the ball properly, there is provided a spring stop 29 secured in the path of rotation of the arms or spokes of the feeding wheel 22 by attachment to th base 39. The spring 29 is of suificient sturdiness to stop the rotation of the wheel when it is moving by inertia alone but is sufficiently flexible to bend out of the way of the arms or spokes of the wheel when they are moved through engagement with the arm 25 rotating in the drum The base 30 (shown in Figs. 4 to 8 inclusive) is hollow so as to permit the mounting of the motor l5 thereunder, as shown in Fig. 8. The spindle or shaft of the motor extends beyond the side of the base, and has mounted upon its extended end a round or V grooved pulley 3| as may be desired. Arising from about the middle of the longitudinal sides of the base are substantial flanged risers 32, in about the middle of which are provided journals or bearings 33 for the shaft 23. The end of this shaft which is over the pulley 3| is provided with a similar but larger pulley 34, and a belt 35 running around these pulleys transmits the power. Secured to and extending between the tops of the risers 32 is a substantial top or platform 36.
The drum 20 is positioned between the base 30 and the platform 36, and also fixed in and xtending between the base and platform, on the pulley side of the machine, are four rods 31 which serve as guide rods for the movable part of the assembly which tosses up the baseballs. As shown in Figs. 5 and 6, about in the center of the location of the rods 31, in the platform 36, opposite the aperture 28, is provided a hole 38 of a size suitable for the unobstructed passage of a baseball. At a distance below the platform 36 sufficient to easily receive a baseball is fixedly secured a plate 39 having a hole 40 therein located directly under the hole 38, which hole 40 is of a size to provide a rim for a cup to receive a baseball. Below the plate 39 and parallel therewith is a similar plate 4| which slides upon and is guided by the rods 31. Securing the plates 39 and 4| fairly closely together are the relatively sturdy contractile springs 42.
To withdraw the plate 4| from the plate 39 and release it sharply so that the recoil of the springs 42 will toss the baseball a suitable distance in the air, I affix to the bottom of the plate 4| 2. fitting 43 much resembling a stanchion socket, in which, so that it may be rotated, is secured a rod 44, which, about opposite the shaft 23, is provided with a transverse rod 45 extending upon opposite sides of the rod 44.
Keyed, or otherwise fixedly secured, to the shaft 23 is a collar or hub 46 carrying the parallel arms 41 which extend upon opposite sides of the rod 44 and, for a part of their rotation engage, carry down and release the transverse rod 45 when it is positioned to extend into their path. When the rod 44 is adjusted to bring the transverse rod 45 parallel with the arms 41 there is no engagement and the operation of the baseball tossing portion of the machine is discontinued, To readily make such an adjustment, a small hole 48 is bored in the plate 4|, as shown in Fig. 5, so that a suitable tool may be passed to engage and rotate the rod 44. To increase the guiding effect of the rods 31, I have secured to the bottom of the plate 4| collars 43 through which these rods pass. The lower end of the rod 44, as clearly seen in Fig. 8, reciprocatesin a bore provided in the top of the base 39, which serves to assist in guiding the movement of the rod 44 and supplements the guiding action of the rods 31.
As clearly seen in Fig. 8, I securely attach to one of the risers 32, just below the aperture 29 in the drum 20 for the discharge of the golfballs, a block 50 which is bored to provide a guide for a plunger 5| operated by an eccentric 52 secured to the shaft 23, as shown in Figs. 6 and 8. In the platform 36, immediately above the guide for the plunger 5|, which has a diameter slightly larger than that of a golfball, is a perforation or aperture or port 53, surrounding which, upon the top of the platform 36, is secured a circular brush 54. After the plunger 5| forces the golfball up through the central aperture in the brush 54, the withdrawal of the plunger leaves the ball teed upon the expanded flexible bristles of the brush, as seen in Fig. 11. So that the golf club will cause no damage if the stroke comes before the plunger has entirely withdrawn, I cap the upper end of the plunger with a short length 55 of flexible fabric and rubber tubing or hose, as shown in Fig. 11.
The retrieving means, and also the feature which greatly reduces the space necessary for installation from yards to feet, which is particularly shown in Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive, is a tent or marquee like structure of a special shape formed of vertical rods 56, the lower ends of which enter the ground, transverse or horizontal rods 51, which extend between the tops of the vertical rods, and guy wires 58, which permits the securing of a remarkably strong and durable structure. The general relation of the rods and guy wires is shown in Figs. 1 to 3, although not too great departure from the specific arrangement there shown may not interfere materially with the general ends sought.
The part of the structure 59 immediately around the machines where the batting and driving occurs is covered, top and sides, with a relatively light rope or metal netting 60 so as to prevent fouls and slices from disturbing anyone who might be standing near. This netting should be put on loosely so as to gradually absorb the force of the stroke and not bounce the ball. From the rods and guy wires forming the part of the structure to permit the flight of the ball are hung or suspended relatively narrow side curtains El and top curtains 62 of the same netting, and, of course, a rear end curtain 63. The mesh of this netting should be sufficiently small so that the balls will not wedge therein,
Underneath the entire flight portion of the structure is disposed a stiff, preferably metal, mesh 64 which is of sufficiently small mesh to cause the balls to roll thereon and which slopes from both sides to the center, as shown in Fig. 3, and from the rear to the front, as shown in Fig. 2. From the lowest point of the netting 64 I provide preferably buried or otherwise covered conveyor belts 65 leading to the attendants station or office 66.
It will be of course understood, and in fact seen from Fig. 2, that the locations for the baseball tossing and golfball teeing machines are excavated and the machines installed with their upper platforms 36 substantially flush with the surface of the ground.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
In association with a plurality of amusement devices requiring respectively different sizes and characters of balls for the playing thereof, an inclined channel for the conveyance of said several sizes of balls, said channel having an aperture therein through which the smaller balls gravitate, a channel parallel to said first mentioned channel for the receipt of said smaller balls, means located at the exit of both said channels for controlling the delivery of balls therefrom, a drum for receiving balls delivered from said channels, ports located in the upper semi-circumference of the ends of said drum, arms of different lengths rotated concentrically of said drum and battens or guides carried by said arms for directing said balls respectively to said respective ports.
JESSE HANCOCK HARLOW.