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Publication numberUS2639544 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 26, 1953
Filing dateJul 19, 1948
Priority dateJul 19, 1948
Publication numberUS 2639544 A, US 2639544A, US-A-2639544, US2639544 A, US2639544A
InventorsCoffin David W
Original AssigneeCoffin David W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy engine kit
US 2639544 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 6, 1953 D. w. COFFIN 2,639,544

TOY ENGINE KIT Filed July 19, 1948 s sheets-sheet 1 Inventor Davz'a" W Cofli'n by his flfiorneys May 26, 1953 w, co 2,639,544

TOY ENGINE KIT Filed July 19, 1948 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 24 Inventor David W Cofim by his Attorneys hm W Patented May 26, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 6 Claims.

This invention relates to a toy electric engine and more particularly has to do with an educational assembly adapted to illustrate and teach principles of full size internal combustion engine theory.

The fundamental object of my invention is to provide in kit form, the essential pieces for assembly of imitation internal combustion engines which can be made to run electrically from the standard transformer supplied with mechanical toy sets or electric trains. For this purpose the usual toy electric motor is not satisfactory since the electric motor operates on entirely different principles than does the internal combustion engine and the appearance of such an electric motor cannot be made to simulate the appearance of an internal combustion engine.

A device of this nature must be extremely inexpensive yet workable. It must imitate as nearly as possible the appearance as well as the operation of the particular type of internal combustion engine intended to be copied. It must have a minimum number of parts from which a maximum number of engine types may be assembled within the skill of the average grade school boy. The parts must be inexpensively designed to teach the child as much as possible about the actuation of an internal combustion engine and they must be so arranged when assembled, that the cooperation of the working parts to affect the desired result is obvious. The toy must be completely safe in all respects. Last but not least, the engine must be capable of selfactuation when assembled, since this has the greatest appeal for the youngster.

For the above requirements I have selected a solenoid type of motor such as described in Radtke Patent No. 1,131,614, and Moodyman Patent No. 1,886,040. Such a motor can be made to simulate the appearance and operation of an internal combustion engine by placing the solenoid in the cylinder and using a reciprocating armature to portray the piston of an internal combustion engine. In this way the lead to the solenoid imitates the spark plug wire. Furthermore, the crankshaft, connecting rods, and frame may likewise be assembled and positioned to best educational advantage. While I am aware that solenoid engines of this general nature have been proposed to perform useful work, none of these devices have been intended for educational purposes, and an especially important feature of novelty in my construction resides in the valve and camshaft mechanism.

A- primary object therefore of the invention is 2 to provide an educational toy engine which is simple to manufacture and which may be constructed by children.

A further object of the invention is to provide a toy of the type described which is self -propelled and illustrates to a maximum degree the various parts and functions of an internal cumbustion engine.

A still further object is to provide in a toy of the character described an imitation poppet valve which serves to make and break the electric circult to the various cylinders. J

A still further object is to provide in a toy of the class described, a straight cam shaft on which a cam adapted to operate the valves may be frictionally rotated so that the child is enabled to appreciate the effect of valve timing with respect to the piston and the crankshaft of an internal combustion engine.

Further objects will be apparent from the specification and drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation of a radial aircraft engine constructed with the elements of a kit in accordance with the invention and showing the electrical connections;

Fig. 2 is a front elevation of the structure'of Fig. 1 with the front plate partially broken away to expose one connecting rod and with a greater number of cylinders shown in broken lines;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional detail seen along the line 3, 3 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a perspective detail of the crankshaft of Figs. 1 and 2;

Fig. 5 is a side elevation of an eight cylinder type engine using the same cylinders and valve construction but a modified crankshaft, camshaft and frame;

Fig. 6 is a section as seen at 6, 6 of Fig. 5; and Fig. 7 is a perspective showing the bottom of one of the cylinders.

Throughout the detailed description of the drawings, it will be clearer to use internal combustion engine terminology in referring to parts on the toy engine that are intended to simulate or which have the same function as, the corresponding parts of an internal combustion engine. It must be emphasized that the novelty of my construction resides in the ingenious imitation of internal combustion engine theory for educational purposes, and in the provision of inexpensive parts for assembling such an engine rather than in the function of the engine itself. In other words, my contribution is to the educational toy art, not to the internal combustion engine nor the electric motor art.

Since a primary purpose of my invention is to supply a kit from which a wide variety of engine types may be assembled, I have selected the radial type of engine as best illustrating the variety of engine assemblies that can be made. It will be understood, however, that the vertical, in-line, horizontal, V and inverted types can be made up from the same kit of component parts.

Referring now more particularly to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a radial type engine may be constructed from a twelve-sided polygonal ring Ill which is provided with suitable punched holes to accommodate cylinder hold-down bolts ll for cylinders l2, and angle brackets 53, I3. Side plates I l, l i are attached to the brackets l3 by means of screws l5, l5 and together with the member i simulate the crankcase of a radial engine. A double-throw crankshaft i5 is journaled in side frames 14 and axially retained therein by means of collars ll, H. A suitable bracket or supporting leg 18 may be bolted to either plate l4 so that the motor may be mounted on a base.

Fig. 2 shows in end elevation a four cylinder radial engine in which the cylinders are set at 90 apart. In broken lines, 3 additional cylinders are shown, any one or all of which may be added as an optional form. The radial assembly contemplates staggered cylinders when more than two cylinders are installed. Fig. 1 shows how the cylinders are arranged alternately on the flats on ring l0. lhe maximum number of flats provided in the present form is twelve so that two banks of staggered cylinders, six cylinders per bank may be provided. Obviously a larger ring may be supplied for a greater number of cylin ders if desired.

The crankshaft (*3 ex ends axially beyond plates !4 and carries, in the case of an assembly having more than one bank of cylinders, fibre cam 48 at each end of the crankshaft. The radial engine cams iii are of the same contour at each end of the crankshaft but in all forms the cam itself is made of a dielectric material such as Bakelite or fibre since one electrical lead is grounded to the frame.

The valve construction, more clearly shown in Fig. 3, comprises a long, button-head rivet 20 which is turned down at one end to provide a shoulder for washer 2i retained thereon by means of nut 22 and lock Washer 23. The valve guide 24 is outwardly flanged at 25 and is retained in dielectric bracket 25 by means of a spring collar 21. The valve spring 28 abuts the end of collar 21, and the head 20a of valve 20. The valve seat 29 is an electrical conductor and is retained on member 26 by means of screw 38 and nut 31 which also retains spring binding post 32. Electrical contact to the valve is made through an elongated washer 33 to which is attached insulated wire '34. It will thus be apparent that when the valve or rivet 22: is closed, the electrical circuit is closed between the clip 32 and wire 34 whereas when the valve is raised by means of cam 19, the circuit is open. The washer 2| actually simu later, the head of the conventional poppet valve, and the assembly of the valve guide 21, as well as the valve spring 28 is roughly similar to internal combustion engine practice. Each valve assembly is identical and the valves are used in all types of engines so that it is unnecessary to describe them in connection with other forms.

Each cylinder 12 has a coil or solenoid 35 axially positioned therein and is provided with imitation cooling fins 3G. The cylinder wall 31 is retained in the assembly by means of cylinder head 38 and cylinder bolts II. The piston 39, which acts as the armature for solenoid 35, is pivotally attached to connecting rod 40 by means of wrist pin M, and to bearing plate 42 by means of crank pin 43 (Fig. 4). Additional holes in bearing plate 42 may be provided to accommodate added cylinders and connecting rods. In order to insure correct timing of the pistons, one of the connecting rods 40' may be elongated to surround the crankshaft IG, thus preventing relative movement of the bearing plate 42 with respect to connecting rod 40.

Insulated wire 34 is connected to the solenoid 35 at M (Fig. 3) and extends through the top of the cylinder head 38 to imitate a spark plug. A convenient source of electrical current (Fig. 1) may be the usual 6-12 volt transformer. One

lead from the transformer is grounded to the i ame I'll through lead 46 and spring binding post whereas the other lead 43 is connected to the binding post 32 for each cylinder as shown in Fig, 1.

Figs. 5-7 illustrate a V-type engine which may be assembled from the same cylinders l2 and valve assemblies 20, 20. There are eight cylinders shown in the engine of Figs. 5 and 6 and for this purpose a four-throw crankshaft is jcurnaled in end frames 5!, 5i. The end frames 51 are in turn bolted to angle brackets 52. 52 by means of bolts 53, 53 and a plurality of holes 54 in each one of the end frames permits limited variation of the angle enclosed between the cylinder banks. ckets 52 are mounted upon a slotted base 55 eans of bolts 56, one of which also accomll'l -.ates the sprin binding post 57 for the ground connection.

Brackets Si, 56 directly support the end cylinders l2, E2 in each bank by means of cylinder bolts Ii whereas intermediate cylinders l2, 12 are mounted on plates 58, $8 (Fig. 7) which are longitudinally connected to brackets 5| of adjoining plates 53 by means of links 59, 53. The links are mounted on cylinder bolts H under plate 58 by means of nuts 30. Plates 58 are also provided with a pair of apertures El adjacent one edge in which the valve members 26, 25 are mounted by means of bolts 62, 62.

Crankshaft 50 is provided at one end with a timing gear 63 which meshes with camshaft timing gears 63 mounted on camshafts 54, N by means of set screws The opposite end of crankshaft 50 carries a flywheel 65' to provide smooth operation for the engine and also to simulate full scale practice. The camshafts 64 are straight and are axially retained in the frames Si by means of collar 61 and are provided with a plurality of cams G8, 68 having flats 680.. The cams are of a dielectric material such as fibre and are resiliently pressed onto spring sleeves 69 with sufiicient force to prevent relative'rotation of the cams and the camshaft during engine operation, but at the same time enable the cams to be individually timed during assembly of the engine by rotating the-sleeves 62 with respect to each camshaft 63.

The construction and operation of the connecting rods ti 40 may be identical to that shown in Fig. 4, but in the preferred embodiment bearing plate 42 is omitted, which in turn dispenses with the necessity of the elongated connecting rod 40'. It will be understood that the construction of Fig. at corresponds generally to conventional internal combustion engine practice in ch-a st conne ti ed J'Qu sls the crank throw but the other connecting rods are journaled to the master rod.

The spring binding post 51 serves as the ground terminal corresponding to binding post 41 and it will be understood that the connections it? are made in substantially the same way that the electrical connections of Fig. 1 are shown. Obviously, a smaller number of cylinders may be assembled by sliding frames 5|, 5| longitudinally closer together and the same base member may be advantageously used for a vertical engine assembly as well.

It will thus be understood that the primary purpose of the invention is to provide an additional construction kit from which over sixty different types of engines can be assembled depending upon the number and arrangement of the cylinders. For the purpose of clarity, only illustrative engine forms have been shown herewith, but the ability to assemble a wide variety of engine forms from a minimum number of parts and to provide an operating engine is an important feature of the invention. Special emphasis is directed to the dielectric cams and the ability to adjust the cams on the cam shaft or the crankshaft, as the case may be. The poppet type of valve which electrically performs a function similar to the poppet valve of an internal combustion engine is a distinct feature of novelty in such a construction toy.

I claim:

1. A construction toy kit comprising a plurality of imitation internal combustion engine parts from which a variety of imitation internal combustion engine types may be assembled, said kit including imitation engine cylinders; a solenoid contained within each imitation cylinder; a a sleeve axially mounted within each solenoid to form an imitation cylinder wall therein; a plurality of armatures to imitate internal combustion engine pistons, one of said armatures to be mounted within each of said imitation cylinder walls for reciprocation therein; a plurality of brackets for mounting said imitation cylinders, solenoids, and cylinder walls; an open frame on which said brackets and the parts assembled thereon may be removably mounted for assembling said parts to simulate an internal combustion engine; a plurality of dielectric cams to simulate the valve-actuating cams of an internal combustion engine; a plurality of dielectric brackets to be mounted on said frame, one adjacent each of said imitation engine cylinders; a plurality of imitation poppet valves, one to be mounted on each of said last-mentioned brackets adjacent one of said imitation cylinders and to be reciprocated by said dielectric cams, each of said imitation poppet valves including an electrical conducting portion; an imitation crankshaft to be journaled in said frame and to be connected to said armatures to be rotated by said armatures as they reciprocate within said imitation cylinder walls, rotation of said crankshaft rotating said dielectric cams to cause reciprocation of said imitation poppet valves; and spaced electrical contacts to be connected to a source of electrical energy and to said solenoids and to be opened and closed by the conducting portions of said imitation poppet valves as said imitation poppet valves are reciprocated by said dielectric cams to effect alternate actuation of said solenoids to simulate alternate operation of the cylinders and pistons of an internal combustion engine.

2. A construction toy kit comprising a plurality of knock-down imitation internal combustion engine parts from which an imitation internal combustion engine may be assembled, said kit including an open framework to simulate an engine crankcase; at least one imitation internal combustion engine cylinder to be mounted on said framework; a solenoid contained within each of said cylinders; an imitation cylinder head for each of said imitation cylinders; means for attaching and detaching each imitation cylinder, solenoid, and cylinder head to said framework; an armature reciprocable in the bore of each solenoid to simulate the piston of an internal combustion engine; an imitation crankshaft to be journaled in said framework and to be connected to each armature, said imitation crankshaft having crank portions each in alignment with the bore of at least one of the solenoids when said imitation crankshaft is journaled in said framework; an imitation connecting rod to be pivotally secured to each armature and to a crank portion of said imitation crankshaft, said imitation connecting rods being clearly visible and accessible through said framework when the imitation engine is assembled; means for attaching and detaching said imitation connecting rods one to each of said armatures and to the crank portions of said crankshaft; an imitation poppet valve to be slidably and visibly mounted on said framework adjacent each imitation engine cylinder mounted thereon; a valve spring for each of said imitation poppet valves simulating the valve springs of an internal combustion engine; cam means operated by said imitation crankshaft for reciprocating said imitation poppet valves in timed relation to rotation of said imitation crankshaft; electrical contacts to be operated by reciprocation of each imitation poppet valve to energize and de-energize said solenoids to cause said armatures to simulate the operation of the pistons of an internal combustion engine, each of said contacts to be included in an electrical circuit; and electrical connections from each of said contacts to one of said solenoids, said connections being controlled by said imitation poppet valves and passing through said imitation cylinder heads to simulate the appearance of the spark plug of an in ternal combustion engine.

3. A construction toy kit in accordance with claim 2 in which the framework is polygonal and in which one of the said imitation cylinders and associated parts is assembled on each of the fiat sides of said framework to thus simulate a radial type internal combustion engine.

4. A construction toy kit in accordance with claim 2 in which the connections from said contacts to said solenoids pass through the imitation poppet valves when said valves are in positions simulating the closed positions of the poppet valves of an internal combustion engine to thus energize said solenoids to cause movement of said armatures in one direction, and wherein said imitation poppet valves when in positions simulating the open positions of the poppet valves of an internal combustion engine de-energize said solenoids to permit said armatures to be moved in the opposite direction.

5. A construction toy kit comprising a plurality of knock-down imitation internal combustion engine parts from which an imitation internal combustion engine may be assembled, said kit including an open framework; a plurality of imitation internal combustion cylinders to be detachably mounted on said framework; a plurality of threa s taching said cylinders to the framework; aplurality of imitation internalicombustionr engine pistons, oneto be mounted within the boreof each weach having one-endconnected to one ofiasaid armatures and itszotheraend'to'betconnected to said crankshaft; meansincluding screws-and circular bearingwplates for. connecting said other ends of said connecting rods to said crankshaft;

O solenoid for axial reciprocation therein; a dieleca camfloperatively connected to said crankshaft tric cam to be journaled in said framework to imito imitate the valve actuatin 01ml of an internal tate the valve actuatingcain'of 'aninternalcombustion e gine; a plurality. of i ta D D- "-b'ustion engine; aiplurality of: i t t poppet pet valves each mounted on'said framework adlvea-one'to be'slidably mounted on said frame. 10 njacent one of said imitation'internal combustion work adjacent oneoithe imitation-internalcom- Engine Cylinders and c l ving a headslidbustion engine cylinders to be reciprocat d by ably mounted in the vframework :andactuated by said cam, said imitation poppet valves each in- Cam to Simulate Operation P pp eluding an electric make andlbreak mechanism, a; valve of an internal. combustion engine; a source to be connected in an electric circuit'connected of-elec'filical Ene gy for actuatin rs d im t pistons for rotating thedielectric cam in timed relation to-movement of the-imitationpistons,

saidcams actuating-said imitation poppet valves "ands-aid electric make and break-mechanism I "alternatelyto energize and de-energizesaid solenoids.

-6. A construction toy kitcomprising'a pluinternal combustion engine and-electrical connections between saidsource of electrical energy and the solenoid .within each .of :said. imitation cylinders. one of 'ISEtlCl. connections z leading through the imitation poppet valve operatively associated witneach'imitation cylinderiand being made and broken by saidljassociatedzimitartion valve as saidimitation valveiis moved by said cam to simulateclosed andsimulated'open positions, respectivelmsaid imitation valvepwhen in. simulated closed position. closingsaidzconnection and.supplyingelectrical energy to its associated solenoid to energize the same. and when in simulated open position,:opening said: connection and breaking the supply :of-relectricalzenergy to said associated solenoid to de-energize: the same.

- -ra1ityofknock-down imitation internalcombustionengine parts from which an imitation internal combustion engine may be assembledsaid kit including a plurality of imitation internal combustion engine'cylinders; a plurality or angle brackets; means including screws and perforated DAVID WV.-COFFIN.

7 References Cited in the file of thislpatent plates for connecting-the angle brackets to form an open framework means, for mountingsaid UNITED STA'IES PATENTS imitation internal combustion engine cylinders Number Name Date on said frameworky'a 'plurality of'solenoids one 1,737,051 Kcenig 26,1929 withineacn of said-imitation internal combus- ML88604O Moodvman Novhl; 1932 -tionengine'cylindersr-a plurality of 'arinatures, 40 2,056,719 Gelnavw 1936 one reoipr'ocable within thebore of each-of said 2,3383% March 1943 imitation internal combustionenginecylindei's to r simulate the pistons of an'internal-"combustion FOREIGN PA'EEN Pb engine; an imitation crankshaft to be'journaled Number Country I Date in said framework imitation-connecting rods j 846,054 France May 2?,1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1737051 *Aug 9, 1928Nov 26, 1929Metal Ware CorpToy electric engine
US1886040 *Aug 28, 1930Nov 1, 1932W S HuntElectric motor
US2056719 *Dec 29, 1933Oct 6, 1936Gelnaw John FElectric motor
US2338005 *Mar 20, 1942Dec 28, 1943John MorchPower plant
FR846054A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3688136 *Jul 28, 1970Aug 29, 1972Salverda Robert EMagnetic motors
US4012675 *Aug 4, 1975Mar 15, 1977Schulze Jr Everett ESwitching system for solenoid reciprocator
US4024421 *Mar 24, 1976May 17, 1977Teal Benjiman RMagnetically operable engine or power plant
US4093880 *Apr 28, 1977Jun 6, 1978Teal Benjiman RMagnetically operable engine
US4345174 *Jun 1, 1981Aug 17, 1982Angus Motor CorporationElectromagnetic engine
US4473763 *Sep 30, 1981Sep 25, 1984Mcfarland Douglas FSolenoid motor
US5702283 *May 31, 1996Dec 30, 1997Larami LimitedReal sounds toy engine
US6457977 *Jan 2, 2001Oct 1, 2002Walter P. SchiefeleInternal-combustion engine instructional kit
DE963673C *Jun 19, 1954May 9, 1957Eberhard PaesslerSpielzeug-Elektromotor
U.S. Classification446/484, 434/389, 310/24, 310/35
International ClassificationG09B25/00, G09B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationG09B25/02
European ClassificationG09B25/02