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Publication numberUS2563608 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 7, 1951
Filing dateJul 22, 1946
Publication numberUS 2563608 A, US 2563608A, US-A-2563608, US2563608 A, US2563608A
InventorsThomas Laufer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Labyrinth game
US 2563608 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

8 0 3 6 2 Rm HG um Am m m L 1 5 9 11 7 A Filed July 22, 1946 INVENTOR.

THOMAS Ill/III ,11'rokhbr wLi Patented Aug. 7, 1951 LABYRIN TH GAME Thomas Laufer, Forest Hills, N. Y., assignor to Arthur J. Morgan, Paul L. Erdos, and Thomas Laufer, copartners, doing business as The Troll Workshop, New York, N. Y.

Application July 22, 1946, Serial No. 685,518

3 Claims. i

This invention relates to labyrinth games, and more particularly, is concerned with that type of labyrinth game wherein the playing piece is a rolling body, such as a coin, which is moved by tilting the labyrinth.

It is an object of the invention to provide a game of the character described in which the playing piece is trapped if it is improperly moved over the playing field.

It is another object of the invention to provide a game of the character described in which the playing piece is removed from the playing field if the game is improperly played.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a game of the character described in which the playing piece is led to one point if the game is successfully completed and to a diiierent point if the game is improperly played.

It is an additional object of the invention to provide a game of the character'described in which the playing piece is inaccessible to the player when once introduced but which is returned if, and only if, the game is successfully completed.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a game of the character described wherein the playing piece is inaccessible to the player when once introduced and can be recovered, if the game is properly manipulated but wherein, if the game is improperly handled, the playing piece will be led to a depository, as for example a bank.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a game of the character described in which the labyrinth includes dead end passageways which if traversed too far will cause the player to lose the playing piece.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a game of the character described which includes as an element thereof a bank and which is particularly adapted. to emplo a coin as a playing piece, the game being so constructed that if properly played the coin will be returned to the player, but if improperly played the coin will be conducted to the bank.

It is still a further object of the invention to provide a game of the character described which comprises relatively few and simple parts and which is inexpensive to manufacture.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims,

In the accompanying drawings, in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of the invention,

Fig. 1 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of a game constructed in accordance with my invention;

Fig. 2 is a top view of the game with its cover removed to better illustrate the labyrinth; and

Figs. 3 and 4 are sectional views taken substantially along the line 3-3 and 4-4, respectively, in Fig. 2.

Referring now to the drawings, I0 denotes a game embodying my invention and comprising three pieces, to wit: a cover I2, a labyrinth portion I4, and a depository portion I6.

The cover I2, which serves as a top closure for the labyrinth portion, comprises a disc I8 whose contour conforms to that of the labyrinth portion and which desirably is fabricated from a transparent material, e. g. a transparent plastic or glass, in order that the playing piece can be observed as the game is played. A skirt 20 integrally depends from the periphery of the disc I8 and serves to connect the cover to the labyrinth portion I4.

The depository portion I6 comprises a receptacle R which is adapted to be fitted onto and beneath the labyrinth portion. Said receptacle includes a bottom wall 22 having an upstanding fiange 24 integrally extending from its periphery. The receptacle may be of any shape, but most convenientl has a plan configuration identical with that of the cover so that it too will match the outline of the labyrinth portion. The receptacle can be made from any material, for example, plastic or metal. The bottom wall of the receptacle has a central aperture 26which defines the the tube 28 and is provided with a central aperture 36 through which said tube 28 extends. The

aperture 36 forms the open bottom end of a second tube 38 in which the tube 28 is partially nested. Said second tube is closed at its upper end by a top wall as which covers the open upperend of the first tube 28.

A large opening 42 is formed in the wall 40, said a r 3' opening running into a slot 44 of about the same width as the second tube 38. Said slot extends all the way down to the playing field 3'4, and, if desired, may run a short distance into said field. The tube 28 has a slot 46 in registry with the slot 44 in the tube 38 and preferably this latter slot 46 is at least as wide as the slot 44. The widths of the opening 4'2, the slot iii and the slot :5 are controlled by the size and type of playin piece which is intended to thread the labyrinth.

The horizontal wall 34 functions as the base of a labyrinth which may consist of any suitable network of paths. The labyrinth, however, differs from conventional labyrinths in that it includes one or more dead end paths some or all of which have traps which will catch the playin piece if it goes too far into such paths. Said traps may be in the form of openings which extend through the gameboard and conduct into the depository any playing piece which is caught. Said openings may constitute the ends of the dead end paths or may be in addition to blocks which close off the ends of the paths.

The labyrinth herein shown is formed bya plurality of. segmentally circular sectors 48 integral with and extending upwardly from the bottom wall. Each of these sectors has an angular length of'less than 90 and the sectors are so arranged as to form several quadripartite sets of sectors defining uniformly broken circles of successively greater diameters concentric with each other and with the tube 33. The spacing between adjacent circles thus defined is slightly greater that the width'of a playing piece to be used so that said piece may freely roll between radially spaced sectors. Additionally the sectors of each set are spaced apart circumferentially a distance. sufficient to pass the'playing piece. The sectors are so mutually disposed that a sector in one circle overlaps the ends of'the sectors in the adjacent outer and inner circles. In other words, because the sectors are less than 90 in angular length and because there are only four sectors in each circle, each set of sectors will form a circle having four openings with the openings in each circle out of registration with the openings in the ad jacent inner and outer circles. If desired the openings in every other circle can be in registration, as illustrated This arrangement, however, is principally for esthetic purposes and does not add to the difficulty of threading the labyrinth.

It will now be apparent that a playing piece introduced .in the annular space between the sleeve and the outermost set of sectors it can be rolled along this space until it comes to an opening between circumferentially spaced sectors whereupon the game may be manipulated to cause the piece to roll into the annular space between said first mentioned set of sectors and the sectors defining the next inner circle. In this manner, said piece will successively pass from each annular space to the next smaller annular space until the tube 38 is reached, whereupon the piece will be able to roll through the opening 42, and the slots 44 and 46 and fall to the outside of the device where it can be recovered through the open bottom end of the tube 28.

The several radially interconnected annular spaces between adjacent quadripartite sets of sectors are converted into a labrinth having one or more dead end paths by providing through openings 50 in the bottom wall 34 of the annular spaces between adjacent set of sectors 48 where it is desired to terminate the paths. As shown one or more openings are formed in each an- 4 nular space except the innermost. Each of said openings preferably covers the entire space between radially adjacent sectors and is long enough to permit the playing piece to fall through into the depository. However, said opening can be less than the full width of the space provided that I it is large enough to freely pass said piece and in such event the manipulation of the game may involve handling the game so that the object can safely pass the trap which the opening 50 .comprises.

Means may be provided for optionally attaining access to the depository. Such means may comprise either means to detachably secure the depository portion it to the labyrinth portion H5 or means to removably close an opening in said depository portion. Both such means are illustrated herein, it being understood that the same may be alternatively employed.

The means for detachably securing the. depository portion to the labyrinth portion comprises a padlock 52 whose shackle 54 passes through the loops of staples 56, 58 embedded, respectively, in

the flange 26 of the depositor portion and the skirt 20 of the cover. Optionally, the staple 53 may be secured to the ledge 32 instead of the skirt 2!]. I

The alternative means for obtaining access to the depository portion comprises a through circular aperture 68 in the bottom wall 22 of the depository. Said aperture is closed by a cover 62 which may be made from sheet metal, said cover, and optionally the aperture 50, being of such construction that the cover can be removably secured in place. To this end the cover includes a circular crown 64 slightly smaller in: diameter than the circularaperture 60. Said crown has a depending peripheral skirt 66 fromwhose lower edge a flange 63 extends outwardly.

The crownhas two or more outwardly extending ears it which may be struck out from the material of the skirt 66 and flange 83. The distance between the cars it and flange 68 is slightly less than the thickness of the bottom wall 22. .The

aperture 6!] has a set of notches 12 large enough to freely pass the ears "i0 and spaced apart angularly the same distance as said ears.

To secure the cover in place, the ears 10 are lined up with the notches "i2 and thrust therethrough bringing the same approximately into the plane of the upper surface of the bottom wall 22. The ears iii are downwardly convex so that when the cover is now turned the ears will cam themselves on to the upper surface'of said wall out of registration with the notches, thus locking the cover in place.

To facilitate rotation of the cover, any noncircular opening l4 may be cut into the crown.

Means is provided to introduce a playing piece in the outermost annular space, said means, by way of example, comprising an aperture such as a slot 16 in the disc it immediately above said space. The shape of the aperture will be controlled by the type of playing piece which the labyrinth is designed to be used with. One such typical piece is a coin. It will be understood, however, that other types of playing pieces may be used, as for instance, spheres.

-It should be mentioned that it is within the scope of my invention to eliminate the cover. In this case, the depository acts as a container to receive pieces which have not successfully threaded the labyrinth and need not function as a bank.

which achieves the several objects of this invention and is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.

As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:

1. A coin game comprising a closed depository, a lock-controlled access means for said depository, a labyrinth including a bottom wall which constitutes the top wall of the closed depository, said bottom wall of the labyrinth having a large number of upstanding closely spaced walls which define a network of narrow paths for a coin rolling on its edge, means providing lateral connections between adjacent paths, some of said paths having slots elongated longitudinally thereof, each of said slots extending completely across its associated path and constituting a dead end to such path, said dead ends being spaced from the lateral connections between the paths of the labyrinth, said slots extending downwardly through the bottom wall of the labyrinth and opening into the depository, those interconnected paths without slots defining a continuous route which will conduct a coin from the start to the finish of the labyrinth.

2. A coin game comprising a closed depository, a lock-controlled access means for said depository, a labyrinth including a bottom wall which constituted the top wall of the closed depository, said bottom wall of the labyrinth having a large number of upstanding closely spaced walls which define a network of narrow paths for a coin rolling on its edge, means providing lateral connections between adjacent paths, some of said paths having slots elongated longitudinally thereof, each of said slots extending completely across its associated path and constituting a dead end to such path, said dead ends being spaced from the lateral connections between the paths of the labyrinth, said slots extending downwardly through the bottom wall of the labyrinth and opening into the depository, those interconnected paths without slots defining a continuous route which will conduct a coin from the start to the finish of the labyrinth, and means providing an opening to the outside of the game at the finish of said labyrinth to permit a coin which has successfully threaded the labyrinth to be recovered.

3. A coin game comprising a closed depository, a lock-controlled access means for said depository, a labyrinth including a bottom wall which constitutes the top Wall of the closed depository, said bottom wall of the labyrinth having a large number of upstanding closely spaced walls which define a network of narrow paths for a coin rolling on its edge, means providing lateral connections between adjacent paths, some of said paths having slots elongated longitudinally thereof, each of said slots extending completely across its associated path and constituting a dead end to such path, said dead ends being spaced from the lateral connections between the paths of the labyrinth, said slots extending downwardly through the bottom wall of the labyrinth and opening into the depository, those interconnected paths without slots defining a continuous route which will conduct a coin from the start to the finish of the labyrinth, a means providing an opening to the outside of the game at the finish of said labyrinth to permit a coin which has successfully threaded the labyrinth to be covered, and a transparent member covering the labyrinth, said member having an opening therein leading to the start of the labyrinth.

THOMAS LAUFER.

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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 403,012 Washburn May 7, 1889 423,276 Rech Mar. 11, 1890 615,413 Sharpe Dec. 6, 1898 656,886 Geisel Aug. 28, 1900 747,989 Leonard Dec. 29, 1903 1,074,816 Randall Oct. 7, 1913 1,635,020 Wilkins July 5, 1927 1,716,823 Eune June 11, 1929 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 569,356 France Jan. 6, 1924

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2742291 *May 15, 1953Apr 17, 1956Philip SimonBall puzzle skill toy
US3087732 *Feb 15, 1962Apr 30, 1963Curran Robert JMaze with a mechanical memory
US3218754 *Nov 26, 1962Nov 23, 1965Bruce Hunter HowardPuzzle coin bank
US3260236 *Apr 6, 1964Jul 12, 1966Jones Grant CAnimal maze
US3625516 *Jan 26, 1970Dec 7, 1971Black Tulip Toy Co IncInvisible maze puzzle
US3827694 *Jan 24, 1972Aug 6, 1974Lemelson JGame apparatus
US4182052 *Jul 19, 1978Jan 8, 1980Liu Hsing ChingEducational toy
US4674749 *Jan 21, 1986Jun 23, 1987Those Characters From Cleveland, Inc.Maze puzzle
US5437408 *Nov 2, 1993Aug 1, 1995Chesnut; John M.Animal coin bank
US7503563 *Nov 8, 2005Mar 17, 2009The Lindy Bowman CompanyCombined gift container and kinetic puzzle
US20060226601 *Nov 8, 2005Oct 12, 2006The Lindy Bowman CompanyCombined gift container and kinetic puzzle
USD699009 *Sep 11, 2013Feb 4, 2014Kyle HansenPet bowl
USD706495 *Mar 25, 2014Jun 3, 2014The Kyjen Company, Inc.Pet bowl
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/109, 273/153.00R, 446/8, 446/71
International ClassificationA63F7/00, A63F7/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/041, A63F2250/24, A63F2250/13
European ClassificationA63F7/04B