US 2616630 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
V. DE MICHELE Nov. 4, 1952 TOY RAILROAD Filed July 25, 1946 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR VINCE/V7.05 M/cHELE ATTORAEY a i )3! FIG. I. 7
V. DE MICHELE TOY RAILROAD Nov. 4, 1952 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 25, 1946 INVENTOR; VIA/GEN TflE M HELE TORZVEY Nov. 4, 1952 v, 5 c E 2,616,630
TOY RAILROAD Filed July 25, 1946 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 ATTORNEY Patented Nov. 4, 12952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE TOY RAILROAD Vincent De Michele, Brooklyn, N. Y. Application July 25, 1946, Serial No. 686,138
This invention relates to childrens toys, particularly to toy railroad systems.
As is well known, the assembly and dis-assembly of conventional railroad systems require con? siderable time and also a certain amount of skill frequently beyond the ability of a small child. The track system must be assembled by combining individual rails, the accessories must be installed and various electrical contacts must be established. Adults have frequently not the time or inclination to accept such task. As a result, a child can enjoy an expensive and educational toy. such as a railroad, only at rare intervals.
Accordingly, one of the objects of the invention is to provide a novel and improved toy railroad which is ready for use without requiring time consuming and tediousassembly of dis-assembly work.
Another object of the invention is a novel and improved toy railroad the track system'and accessories of which are permanently mounted so that the toy can be made ready for use by simply placing the train or trains on the tracks. 7
Another object of the invention is a novel and improved toy railroad which is ready for use and enjoyment-by simply opening a box and which can be equally conveniently stored by closing the said box.
Another object of the invention is a novel and improved toy railroad in which all electrical control devices employed for operation of a train and accessories are also permanently mounted on or within the box so that it is merely necessaryto connect a single wire to an outlet to make the control devices operative. j
Another object of the invention is a toy railroad including various novel features, such .as'
automatic control of green and red signals by a moving train. a Another object of the invention is anovel and improved toy railroad the track system. of which is more attractive and interesting for the child by landscaping the right of way of the track system and permanently mount various accessories closely to the track system, said landscaping and accessories being also used to conceal theelectrical control devices and wire connections.
Other and further objects, features. and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter set forth and the novel features thereof defined by the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings a now preferred embodiment of the invention is shown by way of illustration and not by way of limitation.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of a base plate supporting 2 a toy railroad system according to the invention in position ready for use.
Fig. 2 is an isometric view of a box, as is used according to the invention to mount permanently the base plate with the railroad system, the box being shown in an open position.
Fig. 3 shows an isometric view of the box in its closed position.
Fig. 4 shows a side view of the box partly closed.
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of Fig. 4 on an enlarged scale, the box being shown in a nearly unfolded position, and
Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic circuit system of an electric toy railroad according to the invention.
As previously explained, one of the principal objects of the invention is to provide a novel and improved toy railroad the track system and electrical control devices (in the event, the invention is applied to an electrical toy railroad) are permanently assembled and mounted in a box which, when opened, constitutes a base for the track system and which can be closed without requiring a dis-assembly of any parts of the track system or the control devices. The box, when closed, completely covers all parts of the toy railroad so that the entire toy is well protected against damage and can be easilymoved or stored.
Referring now to the figures in detail:
Fig. 2 shows a box generally designated l0 made of any suitable material such as Wood, metal or plastic. Box It consists of two symmetrical portions II and I2. Portion ll comprises a base 13 and side walls l4, and portion l2 cornprises a base I5 and side walls IS. The two portions H and 12 are joined by hinges I1 and 18 respectively fastened at the upper outer edges of the side walls [4 and I6, as can best be seen on Fig. 2. As a result, bases [3 and I5 form a continuous base plate when the box is in its open position. The box can be locked in its closed position by any suitable means such as snap locks I9 and 20 respectively. Ahandle 2| is provided to facilitate transportation of the box. As will be apparent, the side of the box opposite the front wall will be open when the box is closed, for no partition wall between box portions H and I2 is provided. In order to close this rear wall of the box when the same is open, a' flap 22 is hinged by means of hinges 23 to the lower edge of box portion II. This flap rests against the bottom side of base l5.when the box is open, as can best be seen on Fig. 2 and is turned upwardly to abut against the edges at the open side of thebox when the same is closed, as can best be seen onFig. 3. Hooks23' are provided to secure flap 22 in its 3 position closing the rear wall of box In. In order to facilitate movement of the box, either when open or closed, ball casters or coasters 24 or similar gliders are provided. These coasters permit to move a box either closed or open, by simply pushing slightly against the same.
The box has been shown as having a rectangular shape, when closed, but it should be understood that any other suitable shape of the box may be provided.
The entire track system and all accessories are mounted on a base plate, generally designated 30, constituted by two portions 3| and 32 .joined by hinges 33. Each of portions 3| and 32 has the same size as bases l3 and I4 so that the position of hinge 33 corresponds to the-positions of hinges l1 and I8 when base plate 33 is fittedinto box Ill. The base plate is removably mounted within the box, spaced from the bases I3 and I thereof and also from the top edges of thebox. Any suitable means may be provided to fasten the base plate within the box such as screws, hooks, guiding noses and grooves. .Re-inforcing and supporting ribs extending either fromthe base plate or the bases of the 'box'may'be provided. between the base plate and the bottom of the box, as formed by bases 13 and I5. As the-mounting of a plate in a box is well known in the art,it need notbe described here in detail.
In the embodiment of the invention, .as shown on Fig. 1, two independent endless track systems, generally designated 35 and 35 respectively, are provided. The track system36 has a branch 3'! joinedto the main track bya switch33 and ending in .a block 39. However, it should-be noted in this connection that the scope of the invention is not and shall not belimited to the illustrated track systems but that various layouts of track systems may be employed. As the track "systems are-intended for the operation of electric trains, each track system may-comprise 'three rails. In theevent, mechanical trains areemployed, two rails will of course be sufiicient for'eachtrack system. The rails of the track system may-consist'of individual railsjoined together or oi-a. continuous,-correspondingly bent rod. They are fastened to base plate 30, which may be made of wood, plastic or metal, by any suitable -means, insulated from each other. If desired, ties may vbeprovided to join-the rails of each of the track systems. Each rail of both track systems is provided with joints 43 at the folding line of base plate 30 to permit a folding .of the base :plate when box It is closed. These joints may be con:- stituted by conventional pins 83 at one rail end engaging a corresponding opening of the opposite rail end, as is conventional for the joining-of toy rails. As can best be seen on Fig. 5, the connecting rail ends are supported on ties 82. This figure also shows that 'thepins 83 of the rails meet the receiving sockets of the rails 'on a flat are rather than on a straight line but the pins will engage the rail sockets nevertheless by reason of the slight play which in practic'eis always present and permits a smooth engagement of the rail ends.
Base plate 30 further'serves to support any desired variety of accessories, such as a car or truck 4|, a gate 4-2, red and greensignal lamps 43, a station house 44, sidingsfl, etc. As the design of these accessories is not essential for the understanding of the invention, they are not shown in detail.
The accessories can be fastened directly to the base plate or by means of small bases removably 4 secured in cut outs provided in the base plate, as is indicated on Fig. 1 by rectangles. Generally, it is preferable to fasten the accessories removably so that they can be removed, either for repair or for replacement.
In order to make the appearance of the track system more realistic, a dummy lake 56 made of painted glass or other suitable material placed in a cut out o'f base plate 30 may be provided.
The arrangement further shows a cut out 5! simulating a valley, bridged by the tracks by means of a bridge 52. The free space of the base plate may be covered with colored gravel to simulate rocks and vegetation. Trees 53 may also be provided. Additional valleys 54, 55 and 56.a-re indicated at the edges of the base plate. At the left lower corner of the base plate and removably fastened to the side walls of box section H, there is provided a panel board 51 on which the various switches and knobs-are assembled that are required to operate trainsplaced on .the track systems and the various accessories, above referred to. The panel board-shows a 'pilot light 58 to indicate whether the system is under current,-two rheostat knobs'59 and E'ilto control the'speed of the trains, a switchfil to operate gate 42, a switch 62 to control'track switch 38, a switch '63 to turn off and on-lights in station house 44 and of car 4|. Furthermore, two buttons 64 and 65 may be provided to operate different whistles. These whistles-may be mounted on the base plate by means 'of'a'plate 6B.
In order to couple and uncouple cars, coupling means 61 areasso'ciated with branch line 3'! and controlled by buttonsBB-mounted on panel'boar'd 5-1. In as muchas such coupling means'are well known in the art of toy railroads and accessories therefor, they are not described here in detail, but it suflices to show the general location of these coupling means-and their-controlmeans. Two transformers, 6-9 and 10, indicated by rectangles on Fig. 1, are mounted either on base plate 30 or in the-space betweenthe base .plate and the bottom of the box. In case, the transformers are mounted on base plate 33, they are preferably concealed by station house 44 or a simulated rock formation.
The foundations of the various accessories, the valleys-and the shores of the lake can'be advantageously covered with colored plaster of :Paris to make theseparts' of the arrangement to'appear more natural.
*Current is connected with the control devices through a single cable H connected 'to .a socket I l "which can be-plugge'dintoa conventionaloutlet.
The circuits 'essential for the understandin of the invention shall now be described in connection with Fig. 6.
According to Fig. 6, track system '35c0m'pri'ses three rails 12, "I3 and 14. Track system 38 comprises three rails 75, 76,11. Rail 12 isdivided in four sections 12a, 12b, =72cand'1-2d by insulators 18, 19,80 and 8'! separating-the rail sections. All electriccontrol devices and accessories'of' t'he railroad system are energized by means of the two step-down transformers 63 and '10. The transformers are connected by leads "85, -86 and leads 81 and 88 respectively to the power line 89 which may be a standard -volt power supply. Transformer has several tapssuch as taps for 8-volt and 16'-volt, and transformer 10 has -6-volt taps. It should of course be understood that the transformers can be tapped for any other's'uitable voltage.
*i li'here are-provided'a green signal lamp 90 and a red signal lamp I'. Signal .lamp'00 is connected by a lead-02 170 section 12d ofrail I2. Red lamp 0i is-corinected hy a lead 93. to section 120 of rail I2. The two lamp are interconnected by a lead 94. which is connected by 'a lead 95to one tap of transformer [0. The other tap of this transformer.- is connectedby a lead 06 to rail I4.
-'Let it now be assumed that a train is passing overtracks 35. This trainfwill electrically connectrails 12' and I4. ."As aresult, a circuit will be closed for green lamp 90 when the train istravelling over track section 12a. This circuit may be tracedfromitransformer I0 through leads 05, 0'4, lamp 90, lead 92, rail section 12a, the train, rail I4, and lead back to the transformer. Similarly, a circuit is closed for red lamp BI when the train is travelling over rail section 120. This circuit may be traced from transformer I0 through lead 96, rail I4, the train, railsection ;'I2c, lead 03, lamp 9|, leads 94 and 05 back to the transformer. Whena train istravelling over sections 12b or 12d, both lamp circuits are interrupted. As a result, a green lamp zone, a red lamp zone and two' dead zones appear when a train is travelling over tracks 35.
' The-'speed'of trains travelling over tracks y and 35 respectively is controlled by means of rheostats, designated S 'I-and 98 respectively. Resistance elements 09 and I00 of the rheostats are connec'tedby a lead IOI including a switch I02 and a safety fuse I03 to a lfi-volt tap of transformer 09. The slider contact I04 of rheostat 91, the position of which is controlled by knob 59, is connected by a lead I05 to rail I3.v Similarly, slider contact I06 of rheostat 98, the position of which is controlled by knob 60, is connected by a lead I0'I to rail I6. The other 16-vo1t tap of transformer 69 is connected by a lead I08 to rails I4 and TI respectively.
As a result, an energizing circuit is closed by an engine placed on tracks 35 which may be traced as follows: from transformer 00 through lead I08, the engine, lead I05, slider contact I04, resistance element I00, lead IOI, closed switch I02, fuse I03, back to transformer 69. As a result, the energy supplied to the engine and hence the speed of the engine can be controlled by adjustment of slider contact I04. A similar circuit may be traced for an engine placed on tracks 36.
The circuit for the operation of track switch 38 may be traced as follows: from one 16-volt tap of transformer 09 through leads I0! and H0, the contact arm I I I of a double-throw switch having stationary contacts H2 and H3, and lead H4 or lead II5 to the control device I I6 of track switch 38 and back through leads II! and I08 to the other 16-volt tap of transformer 60. As will be apparent, an energizing circuit is closed either through lead H4 or lead II5 when contact arm I I I is placed in engagement with either of contact H2 or H3. The control device H6 is so arranged that the position of track switch 33 will be controlled by the position of contact arm I I. If this contact arm is placed in its neutral position (as shown), the track switch will remain in the position in which it was last placed.
Gate 42 is connected with the 8-volt taps of transformer 69 by a circuit which may be traced as follows: from one 8-volt tap through a lead I20, the gate mechanism, a lead I2I, and switch 6| back to the other 8-volt tap of the transformer.
The gate mechanism and also the track mechanism which are controlled by the above described 6 circuits are of conventional design. Generally, they operate by means of electro-magnets which, when energized, move the parts to be displaced into oneor the other position. As the specific designs of the gate and track switch mechanism are not essential for the understanding of the in-' vention, they need not be described here in detail.
There are further provided several lamps such as I25 and I20 which serve to illuminate car M and station house respectively. These lamps are'connected to the 8-vo1t taps of transformer- 00 by circuits which may be traced for lamp I25 as follows: from one terminal of lamp 125 through a lead I21, lead I20, 8-volt transformer taps, leads I2! and 128 and switch 63-to theother lamp terminal. Lamp I26 is connected in paral lelwith lamp I25 by leads I30 and I3I.
It should of course be understood that any desired numbers of lamps may be connected in a similar-manner, for instance lamps may be pro vided along the right of way.
a As previously mentioned, the toy railroad sys It s'h'ouldbe further understood that additional 1 accessories may be permanently mounted on base plate 30 which, when electrically operated, can be connected to control switches placed on the panel board. As will be evident from the previous description, the most essential feature of the invention consists in assembling and permanently mounting the entire railroad system in a portable box which, when opened, presents the toy railroad in a position ready for use and which requires merely the plugging in of the Single connection I I While the invention has been described in detail with respect to a certain now preferred example and embodiment of the invention it will be understood by those skilled in the art after understanding the invention, that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and it is intended therefore, to cover all such changes and modifications in the appended claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A toy railroad arrangement comprising a substantially rectangular rigid box composed of two substantially symmetrical portions, each of said portions including a bottom wall, a base plate substantially coextensive with said bottom wall and supported on the same parallel thereto and spaced apart, two side walls and front wall, the fourth side of each box portion being open, hinge means at each upper side Wall corner distal to the respective front wall pivotally joining said box portions for placing said box portions either in a set-up position in which the respective side walls, the bottom walls and the base plates are in alignment thereby forming a complete box open at the top, or in a closed position in which the respective side walls and front walls abut against each other at their upper edges, a track system supported on each base plate, each track system including a rail end portion positioned at said open box portion side and facing one the other, and coupling means telescopically engageable with each other and positioned to engage one the other in the open position of the box portions and to be disengaged in the closed position of the box portions.
2. A toy railroad arrangement comprising a stantially rectangular rigid box composed of two substantially symmetrical portions, each of said portions including a bottom wall, a base plate substantially coextensive with said bottom wall and supported on the same parallel thereto and spaced apart, two side walls and a front wall,
the fourth side of each box portion being open, hinge means at each upper side wall corner distal to the respective front wall pivotally joining said box portions for placing said box portions either in a set-up position in which the respective side walls, the bottom walls and the base plates are in alignment thereby forming a complete box open at the top, or in a closed position in which the respective side walls and front walls abut against each other at their upper edges, 2. track system supported on each base plate, each track system including a rail end portion positioned at said open box portion side and facing one the other, coupling means telescopically engageable with each other and positioned to engage one the other in the open position of the box portions and to be disengaged in the closed position of the box portions, electrical control means for controlling the operation of a train placed u on said track systems fixedly mounted in the space between said base plates and said bottom walls, and train accessories fixedly mounted on said base plates.
3. A toy railroad arrangement as described in claim 1, wherein a supplementary wall member corresponding in height approximately to the combined height of the side walls is hinged to one of the bottom walls at the open side edge thereof, said supplementary wall member being placeable in a position substantially parallel to the bottom walls in aligned position or in a position substantially parallel to the front walls when the box portions are in said closed positions thereby completing the walls of said box, and wherein clamping means are provided on said supplementary wall member for releasably holding the latter in said parallel position.
VINCENT DE MICHELE.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 178,652 Martinez June 13, 1876 1,600,554 Marquis Sept. 21, 1926 1,626,267 Caruso Apr. 26, 1927 1,636,416 Handy July 19, 1927 1,776,262 Le Noir et al. Sept. 23, 1930 1,911,241 Rosenthal May. 30, 1933 1,914,116 Ford June 13, 1933 2,198,306 Fisher Apr. 23, 1940