|Publication number||US2574067 A|
|Publication date||Nov 6, 1951|
|Filing date||Mar 29, 1947|
|Priority date||Mar 29, 1947|
|Publication number||US 2574067 A, US 2574067A, US-A-2574067, US2574067 A, US2574067A|
|Inventors||Richard L Seidman|
|Original Assignee||Richard L Seidman|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (10), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
' R. SEIDMAN 2,574,067
FLEXIBLE TRACK ELEMENT AND STRUCTURE Filed March 29, 1947 Nov. 6, 195] FIG. 7
RICHARD L. SEIDMAN INVENTOR ATTOR Y Patented Nov. 6, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT, OFFICE FLEXIBLE TRACK ELEMENT AND STRUCTURE Richard L. Seidman, South Norwalk, Conn.
Application March 29, 1947, Serial No. 738,073
My invention relates to tracl; elements of a flexible nature which are bendable into a variety of shapes and to track structures formed from one or more of such elements and especially to flexible track elements and track structures formed therefrom which are useful as means for supp t n and guiding o jects of a mobile cha acter mounted for movement thereon.
Objects o my invention are the provision oi novel flexible track elements employable individually or in combination with each other or with one or more auxiliary track elements of a rigid character whereby to provide track structures which may assume a variety of curvatures d which may be positioned to extend horizontally as well as along inclines and which are adapted for use as tracks for toy trains, toy roller coasters, various-vehicles and the like and for other purposes, such asmeans for transporting mobile objects, which may serve as carriers between separated points, as, for example, between difi r nt locations in a building or between build ings themselves or for other purposes.
Other objects of my invention are to provide a flexible track, element which may be bent into a variety of shapes or configurations by reason of a novel constructional design employing a body of flexible material which encases a pliant core member, bendable substantially universally in any manner; and to provide an element of such character in which the flexible body is f rmed f a ganic plastic material and the core member comprises flexible tube means extending lengthwise of and from end to end of the body, and especially tube means comprising 10 Claims. (crassflexible metallic tubing.
Further objects herein reside in providing flexible track elements which may be constructed in relatively long lengths and which may employ casting or molding practices in the formation thereof in providing flexible track elements in which the body of each element has a bottom portion usable as a supporting base and a top portion having means integrally formed therewith and extending lengthwise of the body and forming a trackway for guiding a mobile object adapted to be movably supported on the body; and to provide flexible track elements in which the trackway on each element is in the form of flange means or channel means.
Still further objects of this invention are to provide a track structure comprising one or more flexible track elements of the character described; to provide a track structure of one or more flexible elements together with coupling means for uniting track element ends located in opposed relation to each other; to provide coupling means between opposed track element ends wherein the track-way-forming means at each opposed track element and are joined in a substantially continuous connection; and to provide couplingmeans whereby one or more substantially rigid auxiliary track elements may be connected to an end of a flexible track element or may be connected between opposed flexible track element ends.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the arti! cles possessing the construction, combination of elements'and arr ngement of parts which are exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing where- Figure l is a transverse section through a flexible track element of the invention and'shows a set of vehicle wheels mounted thereon;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of aflexible track structure;
Fig. .3 is a section on line 33 and shows details of a coupling which unites opposed track element ends;
Fig. his a section similar to Fig. 3 and shows coupling means for associating an auxiliary and substantiallyrigid track element with a flexible track element;
Figs. 5, 6 and 7 are transverse sections of different embodiments of flexible track elements, each showing a vehicle mounted thereon.
In a generic sense, my invention provides means for supportably guiding mobile objects. As indicated, the invention is especially suited for the provision of track structures employed in connection with toys, for example, trains, roller coasters and other vehicles. Such use serves admirably for the purpose of illustration and is employed to that end, it being understood that the sameis not to be taken as a limitation of the invention.
In Figs. 1, 2 and 3 of the drawings I have shown a type of flexible track element well suited for supporting wheeled vehicles and generally prefamed for that purpose. This embodiment of my flexible track elements Iii, each of which comprises a body l of flexible material having a bore 12 extending longitudinally therethrough and a pliant core member l4 encased and engaged within the bore. Body H, as shown, is of one piece construction and has a bottom portion adapted to provide a base on which the track element may be supported and a top portion having spaced-apart flanges l5 integrally formed with the body.
Flanges extend from end to end of body II and provide trackway-forming means in the shape of rails for guiding a mobile object which is movably supported thereon, as, for example, the schematically represented railway truck I6 associated with element ii]. Core member M, as
shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3, comprises flexible tubing and is adapted to extend from end 'to end of bore H2 in body H of the track element. If the core member is in the form of a rod or bar it may be made slightly shorter than bore 12 for a purpose which will presently appear.
As already mentioned, body H is of flexible character and for this purpose there may be employed any flexible material which may be formed with the cross-section desired for the track element. Core member 14 is of a pliant nature and is substantially universally bendable whereby it may be bent in whole or in part to assume a variety of shapes and configurations by bending of a character which includes curving, turning, twisting as by the application or torsional force, deflecting, inclining, flexing and the like. While being of a pliant nature, core member 14 should possess sufficient stiffness to resist forces which tend to straighten it from a bent condition and which may be imparted thereto by the flexing of the encasing body I! whereby the latter is substantially maintained in the general shape assumed by the core member. body of the track element, besides being flexible, may also possess elasticity. Core member l4 may be a solid bar or rod, in which event it is formed of a material which may be indefinitely worked or shaped or bent into different configurations without causing fatigue or strain or hardening which would result in its rupture or fracture. For this purpose well known relatively soft metals and alloys may be employed. Preferably, however, core member [4 is formed of flexible tube means.
The invention is generaly intended to be carried out with metallic tubing, of which there are many well known types, although tubing comprising an organic plastic material of the character hereinafter named may be employed. Flexible tubing employed may have a jointed construction or may be formed like that used in conventional electric lamps of the goose neck type having flexible tube means wherein a metal strip having a wedge shaped cross-section is wound about a spiral spring to continuously engage the spiral elements of the spring from end to end thereof. Also, tubing of one-piece construction may be used for core member 14.
The flexible material of body II is preferably one which may be cast or molded. Such practices, which include extrusion molding within their scope, not only permit body ll of a track element to be shaped as desired but conveniently allow core member [4 to be encased within the body by forming the body about the core member. Furthermore, the trackway-forming means, for example, flanges I5 of Fig. 1 may be formed Within these limits, the material of the as an integra1 part of the body of the track element when it is cast or molded whereby the necessity of specially securing the trackway means on the body is eliminated.
Flexible materials which may be cast or molded to form the body of track elements of the invention may be found among organic plastic compounds. As examples thereof mention may be made of the vinyl resins such as polyvinyl acetate, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl acetate-chloride copolymers, as well as copolymers of vinylidene chloride and vinyl chloride and also the polyvinyl acetals. In addition, synthetic and natural rubbers may be employed for the track element bodies when used with core members ofiering sufficient stiffness to resist the elasticity of such materials.
From the foregoing it will become apparent that since core member IA of track element It is substantially universally bendable, the flexible body H which encases it will be similarly bent to assume the general shaped condition of the core member, and due to the stiffness of the core member will be substantially maintained in such condition. Furthermore, flexible body II is so designed that stresses imparted thereto on the bending of its encased core member will leave the track-forming means on body I I substantially unafiected and in operative condition.
The universally bendable feature of track element 10, which is followed in all embodiments of my invention, makes it possible to bend or shape the track element. to assume horizontal and vertical curves, by which I mean curves having their centers of curvature lying respectively in horizontal and vertical planes passing through the longitudinal axis of the track element. Consequently, a-relatively long track element having its base supported in a horizontal plane, for example, upon a floor, may be arranged to have one or more straight portions and one or more curved portions,,or it may be arranged to have a part of its base supported in a horizontal plane and another part thereof at an incline to the horizontal support whereby to provide a vertical curve or curves, or the track element may be arranged to provide a combination of horizontal and vertical curved portions and straight or tangent portions. Furthermore, by suitably twisting a track element as a part of the shaping operation, banking of the curve or curves to be bent therein may be effected.
From the foregoing it will be appreciated that a track element It, having a length of several feet, preferably of four or five feet or more, when carried upon a horizontal support may be bent to bring its ends into opposed relation to each other and by securing the ends together eifect the formation of a continuous track structure. In this manner, track structures providing track systems of various geometrical configurations may be provided, for example a structure in the form of a circle, or ellipse, or an oval, or a structure of irregular curvature. Likewise, it will be appreciated that a continuous track structure may be formed of several coupled together track elements. At the same time it is to be understood that my' invention is not limited to continuous track structures but comprehends structures wherein the opposite ends thereof are unconnected or are discontinuous. Also, as will presently appear, my invention includes within its scope a-track structure having a continuous portion and a discontinuous portion joined there-' to as,'tor example, a closed van'd'curved portion having a discontinuous spur connected thereto by'switch means. 1
The joining of the opposite ends of a track structure in continuous operating connection may be accomplished by the use of a wide variety of coupling means, the form of which is secondary totheir function. For this purpose, the .coupling may conveniently be accomplished by clip means in the form of a flanged slide, pin means, plugmeans, threaded means or the like adapt! ed to be engaged within channels, recesses or bores formed in or near the ends of the body of the track element-or elements to be joined, or. the coupling may be carried out by plate means adapted to be detachably fastened .by screws or the like to the sides of the body of the track element or elements being coupled, or the union may be efiected by any combination of such coupling means. Additional utility is found in the coupling means of the character contemplated by the invention in that such means may be, employed to effect a connection between a flexible track element and an auxiliary track element such as a switch or a cross over or a special element employable at the end of a discontinuous track structure as, for example, a member having an inclinedv surface usable with types of roller coaster. structures where the vehicle after passage over a coaster course formed of one or more flexible track elements 'is discharged therefrom. onto a horizontal support. Thecoupling means may be in the form, of individual members adapted to be attached in engagementat the time the; coupling is made to, ,thetrack element ends they are to join. Side plates of the character heretofore mentioned, or a clip having a flat base portion and overturned side flanges engageable within channels or slots in the adjacent track element ends, may .be named as specific examples of such coupling means. Furthermore, the coupling means may be fixedly carried by a track element at one end thereof. As an example of this latter expedient, mention may. be made of a special auxiliary tx ack element having a plug and/or pins fixed to the end thereof to be connected to a flexible track element end. Alternately, the coupling means may be fixed to one or both ends of a member or block which is adapted to form a joint between two track element ends which are to be connected as, for example, opposed flexible track element ends or the end of an auxiliary track element and an end of a flexible track element.
The last-mentioned type of coupling means,
because j of its adaptability to various usages, has been made the subject of specific illustration inFigs. 2 and 3 where it is shown in coupling connection withopposed flexible track element ends. In particular, Figs. 2 and 3 are fragmen tar-y views of a track structure comprising one or moretrack elements l0 and detail a part of the track structure wherein a pair of opposed track element ends 2| and 22 are joined in continuous opera-ting connection by means of a coupling member 20. The part of the track structure to the right of coupling member 20 is disclosed in Fig. 2 as being arranged to have a straight portion'or tangent leading into acurved portion while only a straight portion of the track structure is shown to the left of the coupling memb M In detail, and with reference to both, Figs. 2
and 3, the coupling member 20' .comprises a joint block 23. having a cross-section which .substan. tially duplicates the cross-section of track element Ill. Consequently, the upper surface .of block 23 is provided with trackway-forming means such as the spaced-apart rail flanges 25 which are substantially similar to rail flange l5 of track element It]. Cylindrical extensions or plug members 26 extend from the opposite ends of block 23 and are adapted to engage with a pair of opposed track element ends for uniting the same.
Plug members 26 are pushed into bores 12 at the opposed track element ends and are frictionally engaged within said bores. With track element I 0, a plug member 26 is of a character to be effectively engaged with the flexible tube means which form core member I l. If core member I 3 is stopped short of a track element end, plug means .5 may be constructed to engage with the walls of bore [2 in the track element. When coupling member 20 is in connection position, flanges 25 carried thereon are located so as to form a continuation of trackway-forming means it at the united track element ends whereby to effect a continuous 0perative connection therebetween.
If desired, additional means may be employed in uniting the coupling member and the track element ends. Thus, joint block 23 may be pinned to the opposed track element ends 2| and 22 by pins 2! adapted to be received in frictional engagement within aligned holes in the track element ends and the ends of the block member. In Fig. 3, pins 21 are shown in the ends of the abutting rail flanges i5 and-25. Instead of, or in addition to pinning rail flanges I5 and 25, pin means may be employed at various other locations in body II at the track element ends and in the ends of block member 23 for pinning the opposed track element ends to coupling member 20.
Coupling member 20 may be formed of any appropriate material and may possess a solid crosssection. Conveniently, coupling member 28 may be cast or molded, in which event any of the already named plastic materials, as well as other plastics of a less flexible nature, may be employed. Casting or molding the coupling mem-- ber possesses the advantage that plug members 26 may be integrally formed therewith and need not be separately attached, although it is to be understood that if desired individual plug means may be utilized and the same may be suitably fastened to the ends of the coupling member.
Alternately, if desired, the plug, members on coupling member 26 may be dispensed and block 23 provided with a longitudinal bore. Un-
der such circumstances, core members it may extend beyond the track element ends to engage Within the bore just described. Also, in instances where block 23 is provided with a bore, plug means in the form of a rod engaged therein and extending beyond the ends thereof, may be utilized.
While coupling member 20 has been shown in operative connection between opposed flexible track element ends, as pointed out, it may be connected at one end to a flexible track element and at its other end to an auxiliary track element.
'Also, as-previously noted, the auxiliary track element secured to a flexible track element by coupling member 20 may take any of a variety of forms or shapes as, for example, the special end member lmentioned in connection with a roller coaster and usable for placing a vehicle on a flexible track element from a horizontal support or for taking it oif of a flexible track element by the use of a trackway on an inclined surface of the auxiliary element.
The coupling means, as also heretofore stated, include means which permit a rigid auxiliary track element in the form of commercially available track cross overs, switches and the like, to bejoined to the opposed ends of one or more flexible track elements. One coupling means of this character is shown in Fig. 4 as comprising a coupling member All which is similar to coupling member 20 of Figs. 2 and 3 in that it is formed with a joint block 43 adapted to support trackway-forming means with a cylindrical or plug member 48 extending from one end of block 43. A portion of block 43, adjacent the plug element end thereof, is given a cross-sectional shape substantially like that of track element i whereby to provide trackway-forming means in the form of flanges 45 which are supported upon the body of the joint block. The remainder of the top portion of block 43 is shaped to provide a flat seat or surface 41 upon which one end of a rigid track element 43 is supported. Element 48 makes use of conventional construction utilizing rigid rails or flanges supported on rigid cross-ties and may be in the form of a switch, cross over, straight or curved track section, or the like.
It will appear from Fig. 4 that coupling member 40, when engaged with track element ID, has its flanges 45 affecting a continuous connection with flange E5 of track element Ill. Rigid track element 48 is disclosed as having one end thereof seated upon surface 41 of block 43 and its flanges aligned with flanges 45 and pinned thereto. A second coupling member 48 is employed for securing the opposite end of rigid track element 48 to the flexible track element end which would appear to the left of Fig. 4 but which is not disclosed in the drawing.
It may be observed that Fig. 4 also serves'to illustrate how an auxiliary track element, having a specially shaped top surface provided with trackway means thereon, may be connected to the end of a flexible track element when the auxiliary element is provided with a plug member which extends from the end thereof to be connected to the flexible track.
In this way, the track structures of my invention are subject to considerable modification and may be formed into many complicated track sys: tems or shapes other than the simple continuous structures heretofore described. For example, a figure eight track structure may be formed with two lengths of the flexible track element In, four coupling members 40 of the type shown in Fig. 4, and a rigid track cross over element. This figure eight structure can be supplemented as desired by adding into it one or more rigid track switch elements together with one or more lengths of flexible track. Other designs for track structures may be similarly made.
In Figs. 5, 6 and '7, further types of flexible track elements are disclosed. Generically, track elements 51169 and P0 of the just-mentioned figures of the drawing, respectively comprise body member-s Si, Si and H which encase flexible tube means 55, 5d and Hi located in bores 52, 62 and. 72 in the respective track element bodies, and in this regard follow the basic construction disclosed in connection with Fig. 1. Likewise, track elements 50, 60 and ID are made of similar materials and in a similar manner to track-element l0. Coupling means similar to those heretofore 8 described are'intended for use with track elements 50, 60 and Ill. Distinctions between flexible track elements 50, 60 and 10 and track element Hi reside in the shape given to the respective bodies thereof and in the trackway-formirg means on the top portion of these bodies.
In Fig. 5, the top portion of body 5| of track element 50 is provided with trackway-forming means in the shape of a channel 55 which runs lengthwise of the track element and from end to end thereof. This embodiment is disclosed in connection with a wheeled vehicle 56 having one or more members 51 secured to the body or chassis of the vehicle and which are adapted to be engaged within channel 55 whereby the vehicle is maintained upon the flexible track element 5 and guided thereon.
The embodiment disclosed in Fig.5 of theinvention is intended to embrace the formation of at least a pair of spaced-apart channels in the top of body 5|. of flexible element 50 which are adapted to engage flanged wheels l6 of the type shown in Fig. 1.
In lieu of trackway-forming channel means in the top portion of the flexible track elements,.a single flange 65 may be employed as is disclosed in Fig. 6. Flange (55 extends lengthwise of track element 50, from end to end thereof, and is adapted to be engaged by members 61 carried upon the chassis or body of wheeled vehicle 56 whereby to guide and maintain the vehicle upon the flexible track element. Flange 65 also may be employed to provide a monorail construction.
The embodiment of the flexible track element disclosed in Fig. '7 makes use of a bodyll having a relatively deep channel 15 formed in the top portion thereof. This channel extends length wise of the track element, from end to end thereof, and is shown as having a semi-circular crosssection but may have a generally U shaped cross-section with the arms of the U parallel to each other or in spreading relation from the bottom of the element to the top thereof. Channel 15 forms the trackway of element 10 and is adapted to support a movable object therein, as for example, the wheeled vehicle 16 which preferably is constructed to have a low center of gravity. Flexible track element 18 is adapted for use in roller coaster track structures and also for use as a conveyor track for objects which are without wheels and which may be slidably supported in channel 15 or which are round or spherical and are susceptible to being rolled along the channel. Since the movable object is mounted within the channel, thereason for giving the channel considerable depth becomes apparent. 1
While the invention has been illustrated primarily in connection with track structures adapted to be supported upon a single horizontal surface, as hereinbefore pointed out, the flexible track elements of the invention are well adapted to be employed in track structures having a series of vertical curves or one or more vertical curves in conjunction with one or more horizontal curves or winding curves which are of ascending and descending character. Thus, the invention permits the formation of a variety of closed or discontinuous track structures which have portions of their trackways elevated with respect to otherportions thereof. When the latter is the case, the track element or elements of the closed or discontinuous structure may be carried upon any suitable support means, the specific nature Of which is not a part of the present invention.
In regard to the support of the track elements, it may be observed that the base portion provided in all of the illustrated embodiments of the invention is well adapted for seating upon a variety of support structures as, for example, a floor, trestle means, inclined planes and the like. Alternately, many other support arrangements may be provided and merely by way of one illustration thereof, pins engaged inthe opposite sides of'a track element may be employed to suspend the same from a supporting structure.
The fact that a track structure may be adapted to assume vertical as well as horizontal curves is of importance in providing for dispensing and for storage of the track element. For example, track elements may be formed in relatively long lengths of fifty feet and up, and for shipping, storage and dispensing purposes may be wound upon reels. When it is .desired to employ a track element of such relatively long length it is merely unwound from the reel and may be returned thereto for storage. When being sold, a desired footage may be unwound from the storage reel and severed from the remainder of the element left upon the reel. Similarly, the storage of shorter lengths may be effected upon reels and the like.
As previously pointed out, the invention is not limited to track for-wheeled vehicles but contemplates means for movably supporting and guiding any type of mobile object or device carried thereon. Neither is the invention limited to use solely with toys but may serve for the transportation of conveyor or carrier devices and in this regard may provide a transportation or communications system.
Since certain changes may be made in the above subject matter without departing from the scope of the invention herein involved, it is in- .tended that all matter contained in the above description, or shown in the accompanying drawing, shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A track element comprising an elongated one piece body of flexible material having a bottom portion, a top portion and two side portions, said body being substantially universally bendable, each side portion being longitudinally continuous and laterally uninterrupted for the length of said element and respectively joining corresponding edges of said top and bottom portions, said top portion having means formed thereon which extend lengthwise of the element from end to end of said top portion and provide a trackway for guiding an object adapted to be movably supported upon said body, said bottom portion being formed to provide a supporting base for said element, and means for substantially uniformly transmitting to said body forces which are applied to bend said track element and for maintaining said body in a bent shape comp-rising a pliant and substantially universally bendable core member encased within said body and extending generally centrally of the body and at least approximately from end to end thereof, said core member having sufflcient stiffness to resist forces which are set up in said body when said body and core member are bent and which tend to straighten said core member from a bent condition.
2. A track element of the character defined in claim 1 wherein said body is provided with a bore which extends longitudinally through the body and which is located generally centrally of the 10 body, and wherein said core member comprises flexible tube means engaged within said bore.
3. A track element comprising an elongated and substantially universally bend-able one piece body of a flexible organic plastic material having a substantially uniform cross section from end to end thereof and provided with a bottom portion, a top portion and two side portions, each side portion being'joined respectively to corresponding edges of said top and bottom portions, said top portion having means formed thereon which extend lengthwise of the element from end to end of the top portion and provide a trackway for guiding an object adapted to be movably supported on said body, said bottom portion being formed to provide a supporting base for said element, and a pliant core member comprising flexible metallic tube means encased within said body and extending at least approximately from end to end thereof, said flexible tube means being substantially universally bendable and having suflicient stiffness to resist forces set up in said body When said track element is bent and which tend to straighten the flexible tube means from a bent condition, said flexible tube means being positioned to extend generally centrally of said body whereby stresses imparted to said body by said flexible tube means upon the bending of said tube means are substantially uniformly applied to said body.
4. In a track element upon which movable objects may travel, an elongated one piece body of flexible material having a bottom portion, a top portion and two side portions, each side portion being longitudinally continuous and laterally uninterrupted for the length of said element and respectively joining corresponding edges of said top and bottom portions, said top portion having at least one flange formed thereon and extending above said top portion and lengthwise of said element from end to end of said top portion, said flange providing means for. guiding an object adapted to be movably supported upon said body, said bottom portion being formed to provide a supporting base for said element, and a pliant core member encased within said body and extending at least approximately from end to end thereof, said core member being substantially universally bendable and having sufficient stiffness to resist forces tending to straighten it from a bent condition and to substantially maintain said body in the general shaped condition of said core, said core member being positioned within said body to extend generally centrally thereof whereby stresses imparted to said body upon the bending of said core member are substantially uniformly applied thereto.
5. A track element comprising an elongated one piece body of flexible material having a bottom portion, a top portion and two side portions, each side portion being longitudinally continuous and laterally uninterrupted for the length of said element and respectively joining corresponding edges of said top and-bottom portions, said top portion having a pair of spaced apart rail-form- 1 ing flanges formed thereon and extending above said top portion and lengthwise of said element from end to end of said top portion and which are adapted to guide the Wheels of a wheeled vehicle supported for movement thereon, said bottom portion being formed to provide a supporting base for said element, and a pliant core member encased within said body and extending at least approximately from end to end thereof, said core member being substantially universally bendable and having sufficient stiffness to resist forces ,to substantially maintain said body in the general shaped condition of said core, said core member being positioned within said body to extend generally centrally thereof whereby stresses imparted to said body upon the bending of said core member are substantially uniformly applied thereto.
I 6. A track element as set forth in claim 5, wherein said bodycomprises a flexible organic plastic material and said core member comprises metallic tube means. V
7. A track element of the character bendable into a variety of shapes comprising an elongated one piece body of flexible material having a bottom portion, a top portion and two side portions, each side portion being longitudinally continuous and laterally uninterrupted for the length of said element and respectively joining corresponding edges of said top and bottom portions, said top portion having channel means formed therein and extending towards said bottom portion and lengthwise of said element from end to end of said top portion, said channel means providing a guideway for guiding objects movably supported on said body, said bottom portion being formed to provide a supporting base for said element, and a pliant core member encased within said body and extending at least approximately from end to end thereof, said core member being substantially universally bendable and having sufiicient stifiness to resist forces tending to straighten it from a bent condition and to substantially maintain said body in the general shaped condition of said core, said core member being positioned to extend generally centrally of said body whereby stresses imparted to said body upon the bending of said core member are substantially uniformly applied thereto.
8. A track element of the character defined in claim 7 wherein the channel means thereof has a cross section which approximates a semi-circle and is adapted to support an object therein for movement in contact with the surface of said channel at least at locations closely adjacent the deepest part of said channel. 9. In a track structure, in combination, from one to a plurality of track elements, each element having trackway-forming means providing a trackway for guiding an object adapted to be movably supported upon said element, at least one element comprising an elongated flexible body having a bottom portion formingfa supporting base and a top portion having means thereon integral with and extending lengthwise of said body and forming said trackway and a pliant core member encased within said body, said core member being substantially universally bendable and extending substantially centrally of said body and at least approximately from end to end thereof, and coupling means engageable with each pair of track element ends located in opposed relation for uniting said opposed ends and joining the trackway-forming means at said ends in substantially continuous connection.
10. In a track structure, in combination, from one to a pluralityof track elements, each element having trackway-forming means providing a trackway for guiding an object adapted to be movably supported upon said element, at least one element comprising an elongated flexible body having a bottom portion forming a supporting base and a top portion having means thereon integral with and extending lengthwise of said body and forming said trackway and a pliant core member encased within said body, said core member being bendable substantially universall and extending substantially centrally of said body and at least approximately from end to end thereof, and coupling means engageable'with each pair of track element ends located in opposed relation for uniting said opposed ends,- saidcouplingmeans carrying trackway-forming means which are operatively aligned with the trackway-forming means on said opposed track element ends when said coupling means is in coupling engagement with said opposed ends. s
RICHARD L. SEIDMAN.
REFERENCES CITED' The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
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|U.S. Classification||238/10.00R, 238/10.00C|
|International Classification||E01B25/00, A63H18/02|
|Cooperative Classification||E01B25/00, A63H18/02, A63H18/021|
|European Classification||A63H18/02B, E01B25/00, A63H18/02|