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Publication numberUS2551698 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1951
Filing dateDec 31, 1947
Priority dateDec 31, 1947
Publication numberUS 2551698 A, US 2551698A, US-A-2551698, US2551698 A, US2551698A
InventorsDonald Pearl, Seiden Herman L
Original AssigneeRaymond T Moloney
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oscillating ball bumper and actuating mechanism
US 2551698 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 8, E951 D. PEARL Erm.

oscILLATING BALL BUMPER AND ACTUATING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Deo. 31, 1947 N .Q n E m, g Q NN Afm w @NN Q N\\ 5.. m

` QN NW N .m NIFIIN v. EN N May 8, E951 D. PEARL ET A1.

OSCILLATING BALL BUMPER AND ACTUATING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 3l, 1947 In efe-for; /w fw/.few

Patented May 8, 1951 OSCILLATIN G BALL BUMPER AND ACTUATING MECHANISM Donald Pearl and Herman L. Seiden, Chicago, Ill., assignors to Raymond T. Moloney, Chicago, Ill.

Application December 31, 1947, Serial No. 794,936

3 Claims. l

The invention disclosed herein pertains to ball rolling games, particularly the mechanical type adapted for coin-freed operation, the principal object being the provision in such a game of a shiftable ball bumper the movements of which can be controlled by the player for the purpose of altering or attempting to alter the course of a ball rolling over the playing eld in a direction to strike such bumper.

In the type or" ball rolling game for which the novel bumper is originally intended, one o r more small balls are freed for use by the player, and these balls are usually positioned automatically before a plunger-like projector which the player manipulates as he sees fit to propel the ball out toward the upper reaches of an inclined playing board or iield, down which the ball will roll with directional and velocity compcnents dependent in part upon the players operation of the plunger or projector.

On the ball rolling lield there are usually numbers of obstacles, commonly called bumpers, which deflect the balls striking them and add interest and action to the game. Generally, previously known types of bumper are lixed in position on the iield, and while some old types have movable parts, generally the player has no discretionary control over the functional reactions of such bumpers.

According to the present invention, one or more pivoted or analogously movable bumpers are provided on the playing neld, together with mechanism controlled by the player for causing the bumper or bumpers to shift or change position at a desired instant, as when a ball seems to be travelling toward impact therewith and it is desired to avoid such impact, or vice versa.

Further objects are the provision oi a plurality of shiftable bumpers, selectively operable means for actuating the bumpers to cause them to shift in more than one direction and for reversing that direction at will, and means for equalizing the shifting action of the several bumpers with respect both to the shifting and normalizing or at-rest condition thereof.

. Additional objects and aspects of novelty and utility relate to details of the construction and operation of the illustrative form of the invention depicted and described hereinafter in view of the annexed drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a ball rolling game incorporating the novel bumpers;

Fig. 2 is a vertical section of the same along lines 2 2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the ball rolling table or board shown in Fig. l; Fig. 4 is a fragmentary bottom plan view identical with part of Fig. 3 but showing the bumper shifting mechanism in operated condition;

Fig. 5 is a vertical sectional detail, to magnified scale, along lines 5 5 of Fig. 3, showing one of the bumpers. v

The form of ball rolling game shown in Fig. 1 includes a playing eld or board Ill, which-is usually provided with a glass cover (not apparent) as 'part ci a cabinet structure, andv this board has a projecting alley il at the end of which is a ball shooter or projecting plunger I2. Balls B are automatically delivered into shooting position before said plunger by conventional mechanism, not shown, and the player withdraws and lets go the projecting plunger I2 and shoots the ball B up alley I I to follow lthe curved ramp i3 and possibly strike and rebound from a bumper lli. In any event, the projected ball will ultimately continue a downward course over the board from the region of the ramp I3 toward the lower end and an exit opening I 5..

In the course of travel as aforesaid, the projected ball may encounter a numberfof scoring switches I6 or the like, controlling conventional score register means, and these scoring switches or instrumentalities are guarded by numbers of other bumpers or deilectors II, I8 `and I9, the latter three designations indicating diiferent styles or shapes of bumper, all known in the art, to distinguish particularly from the novel shiftable bumpers indicated at 2B and ZGA. The bumper or deflector members such as indicated by references Il, I3, and IS, are fixed in posi.- tion, while bumpers 20 and 20A are -shiftable under control of the player, as will hereinafter appear. y

The construction of the shiftable bumpers is best understood from an inspection Yof Fig. 5, wherein the bumper 2c, of somewhat elongated, oblate, shape (as in Fig. l) and preferably made of plastice equipped with a rubber rebound band 2i, is mounted on a stem 22 rotatable in a bush'- ing 23 secured in the playing board Ill. The lower end of the stem projects below said board and is fitted with some form of lever or cranky consisting, for example, of a collar 25 secured to said stem as by set screw 25 and having aixed thereto a crank or lever arm 2S, the end of which (see Fig. 3) is slotted as at 21 for driving engagement with means such as the pin 28 on a shifting member or bar 29.

A11 of the bumper structures 221 and 20A- 21A are of the same construction, the surlx A in these reference numerals simply indicating the second set of shiftable bumpers, the characteristic of which is that they shift in a different direction from. the bumpers 2B of the first set, as will appear.

Thus, the bumpers 20A have similar stems 22A with actuating crank levers 26A having pin-andslot driving connection 2A--28A with a shifting member or bar 29A.

Means common to each set of shiftable bumpers for shifting or actuating the same, includes, in the case of the bumpers 20 of one set, Fig. 3, the elongated bar or member 29; and in the case of the bumpers 20A of the second set, the bar 29A;

these actuating bars 29 and 29A and associated operating mechanisms are identical, so` that parts identified by reference numerals having the sufx A will be understood to be identical to parts hav'- ing the same numeral without the suina.

Thus, the bar 29 is mounted to reciprocate or slide'on the underside of the ball playing board in brackets 3D attached thereto; at one end, each said actuating bar is connected, as at 3l, to the plunger arm 32 of an electromagnetic solenoid or: coil 33, which, when energized, draws the plunger 32m and slides the bar 29 in a direction toward the solenoid 33.

Means for normalizing the bars 29 and 29A, and for equalizing the displacements thereof and the bumpers associated therewith, includes the equalizer structure consisting of a plate 35 secured to theunderside of the board and having pivoted at 36 and 36A thereon equalizer levers 37 and 31A.

The adjacent ends of said levers are joined by a common equalizer spring 38 anchored on pins 39, 39A, while the opposite or working ends of said levers are .respectively equipped with fingers 40, 40A adapted to bear against corresponding stud rollers 4l and IA on the corresponding actuating bars, there being a pair of stop pins 42, 32A on theequalizer base plate against which the equalizing levers are urged by spring 38 in normalized condition. Accordingly, one equalizing spring is utilized for all bumpers, but the driving connection between said spring and the bumpers is impositive, for reasons to appear.

Either solenoid 33 or 33A may be energized by the player at will; and in Fig. 3, a simple circuit for this purpose is shown to include a power Source, for example the battery 55, having one terminal connecting' with-a common conductor 46 to one terminal, each, at 41 and 41A, of the two solenoids. The remaining terminal 48' or 48A of each solenoid connects to one contact 49 or 49A of a player control switch, while the remaining terminals 5D, 50A of said switches connect with a common conductor 5! to the return terminal of` power source or battery 45.

Each pair of player control contacts 49-50 or 49A-5DA may be closed by depressing an operating button 52 or 52A (Fig. l) on the front of the game cabinet, with a resultant energization ofthe corresponding solenoid.

If preferred, each set of bumpers may be separately shifted by its corresponding control switch button 52 or 52A; however, additional novelty and action effects are procured by the provision of means linking the two actuating bars 29 and 29A for coaction, this means being shown in Fig. 3 to include a link bar 50. pivotally connected as at 54X and MY to special crank levers or arms 26X and 26Y for the special end'most bumpers 20X and ZUAX of each set.

As depicted in Fig. 4, if it is assumed that the solenoid 33 is energized, then bar 29 will shift in the direction of the arrow, i. e. toward said solenoid; but the bar 29A will shift in the opposite direction, as indicated by the arrow, by reason of the connection afforded by link means 54, 26X, 26Y, since in the latter action, crank 26X tends to move clockwise, thus shifting the; link 54 toward bar 29A, so that crank 26Y also rotates clockwise, causing bar 29A to move in a direction opposite to the motion of bar 29.

Accordingly, bumpers 20 in one set will rotate in one. direction, and bumpers 20A in the other set will rotate in the same sense or direction. If solenoid 33A is the one energized, however, the bumper action is reversed or anticlockwise as to both groups.

In Fig. 4, the action just described, i. e. shifting of bar 29, urges roller stud 4| against finger 40 to pivot equalizer' lever 3! clockwise against the tension of spring 38, while lever 31A remains at rest and the impositive driving linkage afforded by rollers means MA permits the latter and its bar 29A to shift in the opposite direction under urgence of linking means 54. Thus, when the solenoid is de-energized, spring 38 returns bar 25 to normal through impositive connection 3?-{38-4-1, and 29A is similarly normalized through the normalizing motion of link 54. When the additional solenoid means 33A is actuated, the normalizing action is eiected through equalizing lever means 31A, 113A, MA and 54.

It will now be apparent, by way of summary, that the invention provides, in a known type of ball rolling game, a plurality of shiftable bumpers arranged for coaction in sets, with mechanism for actuating each set, a common normalizing and edualizing means for the sets or groups, and a correlating or linking means by which the groups can be actuated together and in reverse directions, as well as control means for the player for eiecting these actions.

Having thus particularly described the invention and the construction and operation thereof, what we point out and claim as our invention is:

l. Bumper apparatus of the class described and comprising in combination, parallel shift bars, equalizer mechanism common to said bars and having spring-normalizing and equalizing lever means impositively engaging with said bars and urging the same into a normal position, electromagnetic means for each said bar and operable to move the same out of said normal position, bumper means moved by eacn said bar, and means linking said bars for joint movement responsive to movement of either bar by the electromagnetic means aforesaid.

2. In a bumper actuating mechanism for ballrolling games, at least two reciprocable shift bars and means for mounting the same beneath a ballrolling board, equalizing spring mechanism ior moving said bars to normal position, a group of bumpers associated with each bar, the bumpers of each group being pivoted on opposite sides of the corresponding associated bar with their pivotal axis normal to the plane of reciprocation of such bar, link means drivingly interconnecting the bumpers of each group with the corresponding associated bar such that the bumpers of each said group which are on one side of a given bar turn in a direction opposite from the bumpers oi said group on the opposite side of said bar, and electro-mechanical actuating mechanism for selectively movingsaid bars simultaneously in the same or opposite directions from normal position.

3. Shiftable bumper means for a ball rolling game having a playing surface, said means including a pair of parallel shift bars, means mounting said bars for reciprocation in said game beneath said surface, means linking said bars for joint reciprocatory motion in opposite directions, a pair of equalizing levers mounted for pivotal movement between said. bars, stop means limiting movement of said levers toward each other, spring means common to said levers and yieldingly urging the same in directions toward each other to the limit of movement determined by said stop means, electromagnetic means energizable to shift either bar in the same direction, means providing an impositive driving connection between each said bar and one of said equalizing levers in the respective directions of shift of the bars by the electromagnetic means as aforesaid, bumpers disposed at said playing surface and pivoted for motion about axes normal to the plane of movement of said bars, crank means drivingly interconnecting some of said bumpers to one said bar and the remainder of the bumpers to the other said bar, shifting of said bars causing pivoting of the bumpers interconnected therewith, and player-controlled means for energizing said electromagnetic means to eiect shifting of either bar, selectively.



REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2901253 *Jan 11, 1955Aug 25, 1959Jr Harry C GrantSimulated baseball game apparatus
US4109916 *May 17, 1976Aug 29, 1978Marvin Glass & AssociatesPinball game with simultaneous projectors
US4431188 *May 18, 1981Feb 14, 1984Bally Manufacturing CorporationBall type game apparatus with laterally movable ball striking mechanism and control therefor
US4438928 *Aug 19, 1982Mar 27, 1984Wico CorporationPinball game with ganged kicker mechanisms
US4504057 *Dec 23, 1982Mar 12, 1985Wico CorporationPinball game and rotatable bumper therefor
US4773646 *Jan 28, 1987Sep 27, 1988Williams Electronics Games, Inc.Moving target assembly
US4805906 *Oct 13, 1987Feb 21, 1989Home Safe Corp.Pinball machine construction
U.S. Classification273/121.00A
International ClassificationA63D13/00, A63F7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/027
European ClassificationA63F7/02P1