US 2582844 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 15, 1952 Q MQURFIELD 2,582,844
PNEUMATICALLY ACTUATED MARBLE GAME APPARATUS Filed Aug. 4, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet l Carl L. Mourf/e/d IN V EN TOR.
A TTORNEY Jan. 15, 1952 c. MOURFIELD PNEUMATICALLY ACTUATED MARBLE GAME APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 4, 1949 Carl L. Mburf/e/d INVENTOR.
ATTORNEY Jan. 15, 1952 c, MOURFlELD 2,582,844
PNEUMATICALLY ACTUATED MARBLE GAME APPARATUS Carl L. Mourfie/o/ IN VEN TOR.
Patented Jan. 15, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFF I CE "PNEUMATICALLY ACTUATED MARBLE GAME APPARATUS Carl-7L. Mourfield,,Dall-as, Tex., assignor to Chas. E. Logan, Dallas, Tex.
ApplicationjAugust 4, 1949, Serial'No. 108,609
The principal object of the invention is to provide a machine whose foremostfeature of novelty resides in a circularand preferablyconvex playing field over-which balls or marbles are constrained to travel under the 'iniiuen'ce of air under pressure supplied from an air :chest'sub- "j acent to the playing field througha multiplicity of orifices circumferentially spaced :about the perimeter of the playing field. Moreover, the
machine includes a'blower'forsupplying" air to the air chest or manifold, as it -may-also be referred to; an aperture-in the-geometrical center 'of-the playing held; a d'efiectingplate disposed strategically with respect to the central aperture to direct marbles generallytowards-the-center of the path of the marbles ontheir course about the playing fieldtopropel the same in the direction of the baflle plate.
Another object of the invention is to '2 provide an amusement. device in whichmarbles are .propelled over a pre-arranged area-having an. opening restricted to a single marble and-Ltowards which marbles are generally directed by adjacent means, together-with a provision iorsuspending movement of the marbles when one-of theznum- X ber falls into the opening.
Still anothertobj'ectof the inventionisztozprovi'de 'a'coinoperatedamusement machine; in which a group of vari-colored:'marblesv are: initially propelled by-pneumatic means over-a circularfiel'd and trapped singly in a centralopeningin the field. to rconclude the ,play, combined with means to "expel the entrapped:marbie from the opening to initiatea new. lay.
' 1A'"Sti11' further object of-theinvention-:resides in the novel 'mechanism :for accomplishing the foregoing objects which will become .manifest as the description proceeds, "taken .in 1 connection with the annexed drawings wherein:
Figure :1 is a front perspective view :of an amusement machineconstructed accordingto the invention.
Figure 2 is a view in vertical section on a. slight- 1y larger scale, taken on line 2-2 of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a vertical sectional viewtaken on line 3-'3 of 'Figure l, :viewing'themachine in a directionopposite-to Figure 12.
"Figure 4 is a "fragmentary sectional'view of the marble actuated stoppingswitch and marble releasing plunger.
Figure 5 is:a bottom plan view *of "theswitch,
partly section and taken on line 1 5-4 of Figurea.
Figure '6' is an elevational view of the tilt switch on an enlarged scale.
Figure 7 is a transverse sectional view of the tilt switch taken on line 1-'! ofFigure 6.
Figure 8 is.afragmentarytopplan view on a still larger scale, with portions broken away .to
disclose concealed parts, and
Figure 9 is a perspectiveview of the operating switch, locking arm andreleasing magnet.
Continuing with a more detailed description of the drawing, reference'numeral denotesa case which maybe of any desired-shapebut forpurposes of illustration is shown as being square and is provided-with a removablebottom H. -A frame [2 surrounds the top of the case and embraces a glass panel l3,"the latter. overlying the playing board or field, to'bespecificallydescribed presently.
Immediately below the .glass cover :panel :13 is another panel 14 having a central opening 15. The panel [4 is preferably of cast metalor plastic and. has formed on or aifixed toits undersidean annular manifold l6 whose inner periphery is flush with that of the central. opening I 5:of.:the panel.
A circularsair chest I! is suspended from the underside of'the' lower panel i4 and embraces the opening [5 therein "in themanner best revealed in'FiguresZ and 3 andithis air chestisofsdiminishing cross-section from its intake;end, to=which is attached the discharge of azblower vl8,to:its opposite end, which is closed. Air from theblower [8 enters theair'chest and is forced through a multiplicity or orifices IS 'in the manifold 16, which aretangent to the central area of a' pl-aying field, consisting of a circular-plate 'orzdisc'; 29 Whose perimeter underlies the =manifo1d 15.
The circular plate 20 has a'slig'htlyrconvex 'top surface so-that a group of varicoloredmarbles 2| (Fig. 2) will normally remain at'the outer edge of the plate against the manifold 16, as shown until displaced inthe manner toibezpresently explained. 'Theplate 20 has anopening 22 in its geometrical center of :adiameter only slightly greater than that of the marbles-2i and to prevent the marbles from becomingdisplaced upwardly from the race-way adjacent the manifold 16; a flat ring 23 is affixed to thezpanel I 4, whose inner edge extends slightlyinwar'dly 'of the edge of the central opening l5 of the panel. This ring precludes the likelihood that 'anybof the marbleswillleave the race-way andbecome lodged between the panel i4 and the glass i3.
It is apparentfrom the foregoing that :when
the blower I B is operated, the air from the chest l1, discharged through the orifices 19 will be expelled against the balls or marbles 21, causing them to move rapidly around the race-way. To arrive at the score of a game, each player selects a color among the vari-colored marbles as his own and in order to score, it is necessary that the selected marble enter the opening 22 in the plate 20 by causing the group of marbles to deviate from their circular course around the plate 20. This is accomplished by a bafile arm.24 (Figs. 3 and 8), slidably disposed in a slot in the manifold l6, between a pair of guide pins 25. This arm 24 has a deflecting surface 21 on its operative end, against which marbles collide in their course around the race-way, propelling them in the direction of a deflecting plate 28. The marbles have a tendency to pause after impinging the deflecting plate 28, due to the incline presented by the convex surface of thejplaying field and to the fact that the marbles are set to spinning by their impact with the bafile arm and deflecting plate. This lends interest to the game but the pause is of short duration since other marbles sometimes collide at this point, causing the marble to either enter the scoring hole 22 in the plate 20 or return to the raceway. Should a marble enter the scoring hole 22 however, the blower will cease operating until another coin is deposited into the conventional coin slide 29. (Figs. 1, 3 and 8.) This procedure will be fully explained later.
Returning to the baffle arm 24 (Fig. 8), it will be observed that a link is pivoted at 3| to the outer end of the arm 24. This link is also pivoted at 32 to the underside of the panel M which has been broken away in this figure but this pivotal engagement is shown in Figure 3. To the opposite end of the link is pivoted at 33, one end of an arcuately shaped lever 34. The lever 34 lies alongside the inner surface of one wall of the case Ill and is held within limits at its opposite end by a guide bracket 35. A rod 36 lies generally parallel with the lever 34 and has one end turned at right angles and entering a hole in the lever at 31 (Fig. 8) and at its opposite end, the rod connects with the plunger 38' of an air cylinder 39, which is aflixed to one wall of the case. The purpose of the described arrangement is to permit unrestricted retraction of the baille arm 24 from its position in the race-way but to allow its return slowly to the described position, after again energizing the motor 49 which operates the blower 8. This action enables the marbles to travel two or three times or more around the race-way before the bafiie arm protrudes to interrupt their travel in the manner explained, and contributes further interest to the game.
To accomplish the above described action, the coin slide 29 has an arm 4! (Figs. 3 and 8) extending upwardly therefrom which is brought up against a roller 42, mounted on a stub shaft depending from the underside of the lever 34, when the coin slide 29 is thrust inwardly. Engagement of the arm 4! with the roller causes the lever 34 to move in the direction of thrust of the coin slide, imposing tension on the rod under the resistance of a coil spring 43, which is attached at one end to the wall of the case l0 and at its other end to the end of the arcuate lever 34. This action causes the plunger 38 of the air cylinder 39 to move from the cylinder to draw air into the latter. The air is slowly expelled from the cylinder under the energy stored in the spring 43 and as this occurs, the baflle arm resistance of a coil spring ll.
4 24 is returning to its operative position in the race-way of the playing field 20.
To operate the machine, current is supplied through a conventional transformer 44 from a house circuit by means of a service cord, not shown, attached to a current inlet plug 45 (Fig. 3). From this transformen'current'iis supplied to a marble actuatingswitch through wires 43 and 41. This switch, which is shown in detail in Figures 4 and 5, consists of a bar 48 which is so balanced on a bearing 49 that its operative end 50, which lies immediately under the marble receiving opening 22 in the plate 20, will be normally raised by the weight of the tail portion 5| of the bar. The operative end 50 of the bar has a circular-opening 52 therein through which is adapted to be extended a plunger 53, operating in a guide sleeve 54. This plunger is for the purpose of dislodging a marble falling into the hole 22 'andhas a head 55 thereon which is adapted to engage the marble and urge it out of the hole.
Pivoted at 56 (Fig. 3) to the underside of the air chest I! is one end of a lever 51. This lever extends downwardly at an angle towards the center of the case and has a longitudinal slot 58 therein which receives the marble displacing plunger 53. A collar 59 is afiixed to the plunger 53 on each side of the lever 51 (Fig. 2) to prevent sliding displacement of the lever longitudinally on the plunger. It is apparent that by raising and lowering the lever 51 on its hinge 56, the plunger 53 will be raised and lowered vertically. Movement of the lever 51 is accomplished by means of an arm 60 (Figs. 3 and 8) which is attached to and extends laterally from the inner end of the coin slide 29 and which slidably engages the underside of the sloping lever 51 when the coin slide is thrust inwardly. This action may be either for the purpose of ejecting a marble from the hole 22; for starting the blower motor 40 or both.
The blower motor 40 receives current through wires El and plug 62 (Fig. 3) which latter is inserted in a socket 63, affixed to a wall of the case. Current is supplied to the socket through wires 64 from the transformer 44, one of the wires 64 joining a wire 65 (Fig. 3) leading to a switch 66. A second wire 6'! leads to the switch 66 from the inlet plug 45.
As the coin slide 29 is moved inwardly following the insertion of a coin, an arm 68 (Fig. 8), mounted on and depending from the inner end of the slide, is brought up against a leaf contact 59 of the switch 65 (Figs. 3, 8 and 9). This leaf contact, as in these figures, holds a switch locking arm 10 in disengaged position against the The locking arm 10 is pivoted at T2 to a mounting plate 13, affixed to one wall of the case by means of a flange 14 (Figs. 3 and 9) and this plate carries also a magnet 15 which functions to disengage the looking arm 10 from the switch contact 59, to open the circuit to the blower motor 40, when a marble enters the hole 22 and actuates the switch 50 thereunder or when the case It! is tilted for any reason.
The magnet 15 has a wire 16 connected to the wire 41 which is joined to one of the contacts of switch 59 and a companion wire H which leads to the pendulum switch and the wire 45 leading to the companion contact of the marble switch 50. Still another wire 8| leads from the circular contact 83 to the transformer 44.
Referring to Figure 9; the magnet 15 is shown as having an armature plate -82, hinged to one *end thereof and undercontrol of acoilspring'a.
An arm 83 is hinged at one "endat' 34 to' an extension'85 on the armature plate 82 and extends under the magnet towards ,the opposite end of a .chest H, to emerge'from an of the numerous .orifices' I9 inthe manifold [6, at1an angleltoithe race-way around the deck or playingfieldf'lii. Thus, 'Jthe marbles are caused to travelfin'lthe race-way until'the baffle "arm24, whose"action has been delayed by the air chamber 39, moves across the race-way. When this occurs, the marbles are deflected against the angular plate 28 and when a marble falls into the central opening 22, the pivoted switch 55 will be depressed by the marble into engagement with its contact which will cause the magnet 75 to become energized. This action will cause the magnet to attract the armature plate 82, moving the arm 83 pivoted thereto towards and against the switch locking arm 1e, thereby moving the same out of locking engagement with the leaf contact 69 of the switch 65. The switch will then open the circuit to the blower motor 46.
When the coin chute 29 is again thrust inwardly, the lateral arm cc will be again brought into Sliding engagement with the angular lever 51, thus raising the marble ejecting plunger 53 to remove the marble which has fallen into the hole 22. If a coin has been deposited in the coin chute, the blower will again start operating for a new game, the coin in the meantime falling into a receptacle 88 (Fig. 3)
Should an effort be made to encourage a marble to enter the hole 22 by tilting the case it! while the blower is operating, the pendulum switch '18 will energize the magnet and open the circuit to the motor 4%].
Manifestly, the construction as shown and described is capable of some modification and such modification as may be construed to fall within the scope and meaning of the appended claims is also considered to be Within the spirit and intent of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An amusement machine comprising a case, a circular and slightly convex deck in said case having an opening in the center thereof, an annular manifold adjacent the perimeter of said deck, defining a marble race-way and having circumferentially spaced orifices disposed to discharge air in directions tangent to said deck, a blower in said case below said deck, an annular air chest in communication with said manifold into which said blower is adapted to discharge air under pressure for release through said orifices to propel marbles around said race-way, a bafile automatically movable into said race-way to divert marbles from their circular course therein, a deflector mounted stationarily on said deck between the center opening thereof and said raceway against Which marbles are directed by said baffle to deflect the same generally towards the opening in said deck, electrical means for operating said blower and means for deenergizing said electrical means when "a marble enters' sald ideck opening.
"An' amusement imachine .including' a slightly convex and circular'deck havingzan opening: inits center, a manifold surrounding'said deck and de- "fining a race-=way:.for marbles on said deck, said manifold having circumferentially spaced orifices disposed to discharge'stre-ams' of air in'd-ireetions marbles around saidrace way, a baffle for: changing thenormal course of said marblesabout'said race-way, means for automatically moving said "ba'ffie to operative position, means fordelaying movement of said bafiie" to operative .position,
"means against which marbles are 'directed-bysai'd bafile for deflecting marbles towards the opening in said deck, and means eifective to suspend function of said air supplying means when a marble falls into said deck opening.
3. A coin operated amusement device including a circular deck having a central opening, an air manifold surrounding said deck having orifices disposed to release air in directions tangent to said deck and defining a marble race-way, means for supplying air into said manifold for discharge under pressure through saidorifice to propel marbles around said race-way, means automatically movable into said race-way for diverting marbles from said race-way, stationary means against which said marbles are directed by said automatically movable means for deflecting said marbles towards the center of said deck, means for manually retracting said automatically movable means, and means operative to suspend discharge of air through said orifices when a marble falls into said deck opening.
4. A coin operated amusement device including a circular and slightly convex deck comprising a playing field on which is disposed a group of vari-colored marbles, said deck having an opening in its center adapted to receive said marbles singly, means surrounding said deck through which air is discharged onto said deck in a direction to propel said marbles in a circular course around said deck, means for supplying air under pressure to said air discharge means, a baffle movable into the path of said marbles, a deflector plate stationarily mounted on said deck against which marbles are deflected by said baffle effective to influence the marbles generally towards the opening in said deck, means for delaying operation of said bafiie, and means for suspending operation of said air supplying means when a marble falls into said deck opening.
5. In a coin actuated amusement device, a circular deck on which is disposed a group of varicolored marbles and having an opening therein adapted to receive a single marble of said group, pneumatic means for propelling said marbles in a circular course about said deck, means automatically movable into the path of said marbles for diverting said marbles from their course, means against which marbles are deflected by said automatically movable means for directing the same generally towards the opening in said deck, and means operative to suspend function of said pneumatic means when a marble of said group falls into the opening in said deck.
circular deck on which a group of marbles are adapted to travel, said deck having an opening for receiving a single marble of said group, pneumatic means for propelling said marbles on said deck, a bafiie arm movable automatically into the path of marbles travelling around said deck for diverting said marbles from their normal course about said deck, a deflecting plate disposed on said deck adjacent said opening and against which said marbles are directed by said baffle arm to influence the same towards said opening, means for manually retracting said baiiie arm to inoperative position, and .means for rendering said pneumatic means ineffective when a marble of said group falls into said deck opening.
, 7. An amusement device as set forth in claim 6 in which the pneumatic means consists of a circular air chest below the deck, a manifold surrounding said deck and having a multiplicity of angular orifices collectively in communication with said air chest and disposed for directing air onto said deck tangent to the center thereof and a blower for supplying air to said air chest.
CARL L. MOURFIELD.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 646,785 Alden Apr. 3, 1900 1,104,469 Beseman July 21, 1914 1,858,020 Linke May 10, 1932 1,899,706 McLean Feb. 28, 1933 2,026,902 McClellan Jan. 7, 1936 2,044,906 Jarvis June 23, 1936 2,112,255 Swenson Mar. 29, 1938 2,078,382 Hanshaw Apr. 27, 1937