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Publication numberUS2566379 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 4, 1951
Filing dateFeb 10, 1949
Priority dateFeb 10, 1949
Publication numberUS 2566379 A, US 2566379A, US-A-2566379, US2566379 A, US2566379A
InventorsStrong Earl G
Original AssigneeStrong Earl G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball return means for bowling alleys
US 2566379 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 4, 1951 E. G. STRONG BALL RETURN MEANS FOR BOWLING ALLEYS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 10, 1949 Earl 6. Strong JNVENTOR BY (WW 8% p 4 1 1 E. G. STRONG 2,566,379

BALL RETURN MEANS FOR BOWLING ALLEYS Filed Feb. 10, 1949 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 V a j Earl 6. Strong Uh INVENTOR.

mu -"lulu" "/3 9 p 7 BY Mm wyawyyM i atented Sept. 4, 1951 BALL RETURN MEANS FOR BOWLING ALLEYS Earl G. Strong, Milan, Ohio Application February 10, 1949, Serial No. 75,728 i 1 Claim. (01. 273-49) This invention relates to bowling alleys, and has more particular reference to means for automatically returning the playing balls to the players end of a bowling alley.

The present invention is an improvement upon the ball return means disclosed in my U..S. Letters Patent No. 2,207,643, dated July 9, 1940.

The primary object of the present invention is to generally simplify and improve the ball return means disclosed in my above mentioned patent.

Another object is to provide a ball return means of the above kind which is simple in construction and highly efficient in operation.

The exact nature of the present invention will become apparent from the following description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a fragmentary top plan view showing the pin end of a bowling alley provided with the present ball return means;

Figure 2 is a vertical longitudinal section taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a vertical longitudinal section taken on the line 33 of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a rear elevational view of the construction shown in Figure 1;

Figure 5 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken on the line 5-5 of Figure 2.

Referring in detail to the drawings, 5 indicates the pin end of a bowling alley including the usual floor 6 over which the playing balls are rolled as customary in bowling. A ball return trough or gutter 1 extends along one side of the floor 6 for the return of the playing balls to the players end of the alley. Associated with the pin end of the alley is a supporting structure 8 on which may be mounted an elevated forwardly projecting pin supportin frame 9, as disclosed in my above mentioned patent.

A transverse driven shaft I is journalled on the supporting structure 8 and is geared at l l to a transverse drive shaft l2 journalled on the structure 8 behind the shaft 10. Th drive shaft I2 is belted as at I3 to an electric motor l4 carried by a bracket I mounted on the structure 8 rearwardly of said shaft I2 and near the side of the alley at which the gutter l is located.

An upwardly yieldable transverse check roller [6 is journalled in the structure 8 above the rearwardly inclined rear end portion I! of the floor 6, so that the space between the bottom a-f said rollerlB and the floor portion I! is normally slightly less than the diameter of the playing balls. The shaft of roller It is belted as at [8 to the driven shaft l0, and a spring actuated tightener I9 is provided for the belt l8.

A substantially vertical transverse arcuate plate 28 is pivoted at its lower edge to the structure 8 as at El so as to extend upwardly from the rear edge of the floor portion H and behind the roller IS. A tension spring 22 is connected to the plate 28 to normally swing its upper portion forwardly into close proximity to the roller l6. A rearwardly sloping delivery platform 23 is hinged at its forward edge to the upper edge of plate 20 as at 24, and is slidably supported on a cross member 25 of the structure 8. The ball return trough or gutter l is provided at its rear end with an upwardly curved arcuate extension 261, and the platform 23 is inclined laterally to deliver the playing balls by gravity into the upper end of said extension 26. Platform 23 has an oblique rail 2'! to prevent the balls from rolling rearwardly off of the same and to guide them into the extension 26.

Journalled on the structure 8 is a shaft 28 carrying a friction wheel 29 disposed in front of and concentric with the trough extension 26 so as to frictionally engage playing balls delivered into the latter. The belt It extends about pulleys on the shaft of motor It, on drive shaft I2, and on the shaft- 28 so as to drive the friction wheel 29 and the drive shaft I2. The wheel 29 preferably has a pneumatic tire 30.

In operation, motor I l drives the roller [6 and friction wheel 29, through the driving connec tions described, in the directions shown by arrows. As the balls pass the pins, not shown, they pass beneath the roller l6 and are elevated thereby onto the platform 23, the latter and plate 29 yielding rearwardly. From platform 23, the balls roll by gravity into the trough extension 26 and are peripherally engaged by friction wheel 29 so as to be given forward momentum sufficient to deliver them in trough 13 to the players end of the alley.

From the foregoing description, it is believed that the construction, operation and advantages of the present invention will be readily understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art. Modifications and changes in details of construction are contemplated, such as fairly fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

Having described the invention, what is claimed as new is:

In a bowling alley having a floor, a ball return trough along one side of the floor, said trough having an upwardly extending arcuate extension at its rear end, a supporting structure at the pin end of the alley, a transverse check roller journalled in the supporting structure above the rear end portion of the floor, a transverse plate pivoted at its lower edge and disposed at the rear end of the floor behind said check roller, yieldable means acting to swing the plate toward and to a position close to the check roller, a rearwardly sloping ball delivery platform slidable on the supporting structure and hinged to the top of said plate, said platform being inclined laterally to the upper end of said extensionof the ball return trough, an oblique guide rail on the platform for leading the balls on the platform laterally and rearwardly to the trough extension, a ball-propelling friction wheel journalled on the su port= ing structure concentric with and in front of said trough extension, said friction wheelhaving a resilient ball-engaging tire; and means for driv- 15 ing said friction wheel and said check roller to elevate balls onto said platform between said roller and said plate and to deliver them from be tween said extension and said friction wheel through said trough to the players end of the alley.


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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,292,738 Estabrook Jan. 28, 1919 1,375,835 Fairchild Apr. 26, 1921 1,647,451 Kniebusch -1 Nov. 1, 1927 2,207,643 Strong -1 July 9, 1940 2-,292 753 Gerald Aug. 11, 1942

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1292738 *Jun 11, 1917Jan 28, 1919Frank Eugene EstabrookAutomatic pin-setting machine.
US1375835 *Dec 14, 1917Apr 26, 1921Oren J FairchildAutomatic bowling mechanism
US1647451 *Sep 13, 1926Nov 1, 1927Kniebusch Frank WBowling-games apparatus
US2207643 *Jan 31, 1939Jul 9, 1940Strong Earl GBowling alley
US2292753 *Apr 14, 1941Aug 11, 1942Charles GeraldBall retarder for bowling alleys
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2729206 *Jun 20, 1952Jan 3, 1956Wilson Eliot BBall throwing device
US2765172 *May 1, 1951Oct 2, 1956American Mach & FoundryBowling ball handling and return mechanism
US2796261 *Nov 16, 1953Jun 18, 1957Turner Martin FBall storage rack
US2964318 *Jun 10, 1957Dec 13, 1960American Mach & FoundryBowling ball handling and return mechanism
US3042403 *Jun 30, 1958Jul 3, 1962American Mach & FoundryBowling ball stop mechanism
US3101195 *Jul 14, 1960Aug 20, 1963Joseph SzostBowling ball impeller
US3375005 *Aug 17, 1965Mar 26, 1968Jay E. CookBall throwing machine and target net
US3425691 *Jul 19, 1965Feb 4, 1969Lenhart Ronald ABowling ball accelerator mechanism
US4025071 *Mar 5, 1976May 24, 1977Hodges Kenneth MTennis ball server and court installation
US4552120 *Sep 30, 1982Nov 12, 1985Kent J. NallBatting instruction system
US5188556 *Dec 13, 1991Feb 23, 1993Mark HarteliusBall rolling toy
US5396876 *Jan 25, 1993Mar 14, 1995Liscio; Edward P.Apparatus and method for propelling a rolling hockey ball
US7000922 *Apr 28, 2004Feb 21, 2006Norton David ABall projector for surface projectile game
U.S. Classification473/111, 124/78, 124/1
International ClassificationA63D5/00, A63D5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63D5/02
European ClassificationA63D5/02