US 2649803 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 25, 1953 R. F. ANDRE 3 SNAP-FASTENER TOY BLOCKS Filed June 24, 1952 Z'Sheets-Sheet l FIG-3 INVENTOR.
, ROBERT E ANDRE 33 ATTORNEYS Aug. 25, 1953 R. F. ANDRE 2,649,803
SNAP-FASTENER TOY BLOCKS Filed June 24, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
ROBERT F. ANDRE ATTORNEYS 7%h wmnw Patented Aug. 25, 1953 SNAP-FASTENER TOY BLOCKS Robert F. Andre, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as-
signor, by mesne assignments, to International Molded Plastics, Inc., a corporation of Ohio Application June 24, 1952, Serial No. 295,213
.This invention relates to toy building sets of the type consisting of a series of block-like building elements by which children can build various objects or structures, depending upon their ingenuity, imagination and creative ability.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending United States patent application for Toy Building Set, Serial No. 128,342, filed November 19, 1949, and now abandoned.
Although children obtain some amusement and entertainment from toy building elements which merely can be stacked upon one another for the construction of various objects, they will obtain far more enjoyment if the building elements can be detachably connected in various combinations and particularly, if the elements are of various shapes and sizes. With such building elements, various objects within the imagination and ingenuity of children not only can be constructed but also can be preserved as long as they desire. Almost everyone is familiar with the exasperation experienced by children when structures or objects which they are building fall apart or come tumbling down before their completion, but if the building elements can be detachably connected in various assemblies, no such experiences of frustration will occur.
The present invention therefore has for its primary object the provision of a'toy building set which comprises a series of building elements provided with means by which various combinations of said elements can be detachably connected, in a simple, easy and reasonably durable manner, for the creation of a large variety of objects or structures, limited only by the imagi nation, ingenuity or creative ability of the child.
A further more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a toy building set in which the connecting means for the building elements are of avtpe which permits relative rotative movement of the detachably connected building elements, a feature which obviously adds much to the enjoyment afforded by the use, of the present building set.
A further more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a toy building set in which the connecting means for the building elements are snap fasteners, the cooperative parts of which are permanently secured to the elements, in varying locations, for the simple and easy detachable connection of the elements in various combinations for the creation of a host of objects or structures.
A further more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a toy building set in which each building element is provided with at least one fastening part for detachable connection to the fastening part of another element. and in which many of said elements are provided with a plurality of such fastening parts, thereby enabling more than two elements to be detachab y connected in combination for the creation of an object or structure.
A further more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a toy building set in which some of the building elements thereof are provided with snap fastener parts in the form of projecting studs, other elements are provided with snap fastner parts in the form of socket members to receive and detachably retain the studs of other elements, and in which many elements are provided with both studs and socket members, thereby materiallyincreasing the number of combinations in which the elements of the set can be assembled and detachably connected.
A further more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a toy building set in which the building elements thereof, each with means for enabling it to be detachably connected to another element or to other elements, are of various shapes and sizes, there being, for example, elements in the form of generally rectangular blocks to provide bodies or the like, elements of disc-like form to provide wheels, base members or the like, elements of post-like form to provide posts, legs or the like, and elements of triangular form for various uses.
Further objects of the present invention, and certain of its practical advantages, will be referred to in or will be evident from the following description of a toy building set embodying the present invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figs. 1 to 12 inclusive are perspective views of the various building elements which comprise the toy building set here chosen for the disclosure of one embodiment of the present invention; and
Figs. 13 to 16 inclusive are perspective views of various combinations of the building elements detachably connected in imaginary simulation of various objects or structures.
Before the toy building set here illustrated is described, it is to be understood that such set is illustrative of only one embodiment of the invention, for obviously, the number, size and shapes of the building elements, and the number and location of their snap fastener parts may be .variedas desired. It also is to be understood a that the terminology or phraseology herein used is for purposes of description and not of limitation, as the scope of the present invention is denoted by the appendant claim.
As shown by Figs. 1 to 12 inclusive, the toy building set here illustrated, for the disclosure of one embodiment of the invention, comprises twelve building elements, of block-like form and of any suitable material, such as hard wood or any other substantially rigid material.
As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, there are two elements l and I2 of rectangular form, which may be considered as the body-forming elements of the present set, the element In of Fig. 1 being slightly larger in cross-section and quite a bit larger than the element l2 of Fig. 2.
As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, there are two triangular elements l3 and 14 of duplicate form, elements which may be used for a variety of purposes, as will hereinafter appear.
As shown in Figs. 5 to 8 inclusive, there are four post-like elements I5, I6, I! and I8 of duplicate form, elements which are of square cross section and which are used as posts, legs and the like in the building of various articles or structures.
And, as shown in Figs. 9 to 12 inclusive, there are four disc-like elements l9, 2!], 2| and 22 of duplicate form, elements which can form wheels, serve as base members for the support of constructed objects or be used for other purposes.
For the detachable connection of these building elements in various combinations or assemblies for the creation of production of an almost countless number of different objects or structures, depending upon the imagination or ingenuity displayed, the elements are provided with simple snap fasteners, a type of connecting means which is well within the understanding and manipulating skill of even very small children.
As shown in Figs. 1 to 12 inclusive, each building element has secured thereto, in a permanent and durable manner, at least one snap fastener part, that is, either a projecting stud or a cooperating stud-receiving and retaining socket member. However, to enable the elements to be detachably connected in combinations or assemblies of more than two elements, and thus make possible the creation of an infinitely greater variety of objects or structures, including objects or structures of a more complex nature which will stimulate the imagination and develop the ingenuity of children, most of the elements of the present set are provided with a plurality of snap fastener parts in various locations thereon, with some of such parts being of the stud type and others being of the socket type.
Although, of course, the number, type and location of the snap fastener parts on the various building elements may be varied as desired by the manufacturer of these toy building sets, all but five of the elements of the here illustrated set are provided with a plurality of snap fastener parts. The elements having but a single snap fastener part are the four disc-like elements I9, 20, 2| and 22 of Figs. 9 to 12 inclusive and the triangular element 14 of Fig. 4. As here shown, the disc-like elements 19 and 20 of Figs. 9 and 10 are each provided on its side face 24, at the axis or middle thereof, with a stud type fastener part 25, and the disc-like elements 2! and 22 of Figs. 11 and 12 are each provided on its side face 24 with a socket type fastener part 26. As to the triangular element Hi of Fig. 4, it is provided on its rear face with a socket type fastener part 26, located substantially midway between its side edges and its top and bottom edges.
Inasmuch as the rectangular element IQ of Fig. l is the largest element of the present set, and will be used as the body or principal carrying element in many objects or structures, such element is here provided with six fastener parts, located on three of its side walls and on one of its end walls. As shown in Fig. 1, there is a stud type fastener part 25 on its end wall 28, a stud type fastener part 25 on its side wall 29 adjacent the end wall 28, and two fastener parts on its side wall 30, a stud type fastener part 25 adjacent the end wall 28 and a socket type fastener part 26 adjacent the other end wall. In addition, there are two fastener parts, an upper stud type part and a lower socket type part, on the side wall (not shown in Fig. 1) which is opposite the side wall 30, the fastener parts on said unshown side wall being opposite or in transverse alignment with those on the wall 30.
As the other rectangular element of the set, element [2 of Fig. 2, will be a principal part in many objects or structures, it is here provided with four fastener parts for the detachable connection of other elements thereto. As shown in Fig. 2, there is a stud type fastener part 25 on its end wall 31, and a stud type fastener part 25 on its side wall 32. There also is a stud type fastener part on the wall (not shown in Fig. 2) which is opposite the side wall 32, the fastener part on such unshown wall being opposite or in transverse alignment with the fastener part on wall 32, and a socket type fastener part on the end wall not shown in Fig. 2, the fastener parts on the two end walls being opposite one another or in longitudinal alignment.
As to the four post-like elements 15, It, I! and I8 of Figs. 5 to 8 inclusive, they will primarily be used as posts, legs, arms or supports, and they are thus provided with fastener parts on their end walls. For increased utility thereof, each of the post-like elements is provided on one end wall 33 with a stud type fastener part 25 and on its opposite end wall 34 with a socket type fastener part 26. In addition, a stud-like fastener part 25 is secured to a side wall 35 of two of the postlike elements, the side wall fastener part of element [5, Fig. 5, being adjacent its socket-carrying end wall 34, and the side wall fastener part of element I6, Fig. 6, being adjacent its studcarrying end wall 33.
As will be evident from Figs. 1 to 12 inclusive, the number, shapes and sizes of the buildin elements of the present toy building set, and the number, type and locations of the snap fastener parts on said elements, are such as to enable an almost unlimited variety of objects or structures to be created by the detachable connection of said elements in various combinations or assemblies.
Merely for purposes of illustration, there are shown in Figs. 13 to 16 inclusive, four objects or structures produced by the detachable connection of various combinations or assemblies of the present building elements. In the structure of Fig. 13, nine of the elements are detachably connected to form what a young child may regard as a Mister Long Legs or some other fictional character with which he is familiar. In the structure of Fig. 14, ten of the elements are detachably connected to form what a child may regard as a camel. In the structure of Fig. 15, nine of the elements are detachably connected to represent, in the imagination of a child, a covered wagon, baby buggy or the like. And in the structure of Fig. 16, eight'of the elements are detachably connected to form what a child may regard as a crane.
The illustrated structures of Figs. 13 to 16 inelusive are, of course, but exemplifications of the innumerable ways in which the elements of the present building set may be detachably connected for the production of a wide variety of objects or structures. The child quickly learns to dis tinguish the two types of fastener parts, and although at times he may try to connect two socket members or two stud members, he soon finds that two elements can be connected only by inserting the stud member of one into the socket member of another. The large variety of possible combinations or assemblies of the present building elements enable a child to give free rein to his imagination and creative instincts, and as the objects or structures which he creates can be preserved for proud display to others, due to the connection of the elements in the created assembly or combination, the child derives added pleasure from his creations, and there is an incentive to him to achieve what he regards as marked likenesses to various objects or to obtain unusual or unique effects.
As to the snap fasteners by which the present building elements are detachably connected in various combinations or assemblies, such snap fasteners can be of any suitable form which will perform as herein described. As here shown, they are simple metal members, some of stud type and some of socket type, but all with central apertures for the reception of nails or the like for the securement of the fastener members to the wooden building elements. The apertures of the fastener members are of course, closed by the heads of the nails or the like, so that the fastener members have a neat and pleasing appearance.
Although the snap fastener parts comprising the stud type fastener part 25 and the socket type fastener part 26 have been described generally, their specific structure will be discussed at this point with special reference to the structure shown in the drawings. The male fastening part 25 has a round or cylindrical portion extending upwardly, outwardly, and approximately perpendicularly from the building element face on which it is mounted, as shown for example in Figs. 3 and 9. At the base of this extending portion, where it is secured to the face of the building element, an annular flange portion is formed protruding up from the building element surface and surrounding the axis of the extending portion. This flange has a lower surface engaging the building element face on which the part 25 is secured and has an upper surface spaced above the securing face of the building element to form a'bearing surface mentioned in more detail hereinafter. The female fasteningpart 26 of Fig. 11, for example, has an opening therein forming a round or cylindrical socket portion extending down into said building element to which it is secured while having a mouth opening outwardly and upwardly therefrom. An annular lip or ring portion is located at the mouth and surrounds the axis of the opening of the socket portion. This ring or lip portion has a lower surface engaging the upper face of the building element to which it is secured. The ring or lip portion protrudes or extends outwardly from the surface or face of the building element to which the female fastening part is secured to provide an upper surface in Fig. 11 spaced above said building element face for a bearing surface. When two or more building elements are assembled together, as shown in Figs. 13 to 16 inclusive, the male fastening part 25 is interengaged by a snapaction with the female fastening part 26 and the bearing surfaces of the fastening parts engage each other. The building elements are readily detachable and are also rotatable relative to each other so that the objects shown in Figs. 13 to 16 of the drawings can be readily transformed into other common, everyday objects.
An examination of Figs. 13 to 16 inclusive of the drawings will reveal that the opposed surfaces or faces on adjacent building elements connected together by snap-fastening parts do not touch each other but that these faces are in spaced apart relationship. When the extending portion of male fastening part 25 securely snaps into the socket portion of its coacting female fastening part 26, the bearing surface on the flange portion of male fastening part 25 engages the bearing surface on the annular lip or ring portion of the female fastening part 26 to keep the opposed faces on adjacent building elements in proper spaced relationship. This structure, provided by the suitably formed fasteners in the drawings, has distinct advantages. First, a good bearing surface is provided between the elements for relative rotation thereof so that the building elements in Figs. 13 to 16 of the drawings can be easily rotated to transform the objects shown therein into other everyday objects without disengaging some or all of the snap-fastener parts. If the opposed faces of the building elements were not spaced apart but instead were touching, the disadvantages would be that the building element faces might be marred during rotation and that rotation would be performed with difiiculty because of the frictional resistance between the faces. Second, the mutually engaging bearing surfaces on the flange portion of the male fastening part 25 and on the annular lip or ring por tion of female fastening part 26 provide a fulcrum for ready separation of the interengaged fastening parts. A child with relatively little strength can readily disengage the snap-action fasteners by taking hold of the respective sub stantially rigid building elements and, instead of merely pulling them straight apart, obtain a good leverage by tipping or cocking one element relative to the other. In other words, the child can readily separate the fastener parts by fulcruming the lip portion of the female fastening part 26 on the flange portion of male fastening part 25 and then tipping one substantially rigid building element relative to the other to disengage the extending portion of male fastening part 25 from the socket portion of the female fastening part 26. Third, in spite of the ease of relative rotation between the fastening parts and of the ease of disassembly thereof, the fastening parts 25 and 26 are interengaged, as shown in Figs. 13 to 16 inclusive of the drawings, with little effort by a snap-action to provide a relatively stable arrangement so that the building elements do not fall apart in normal usage.
Although the building elements may have the natural finish of the wood or other material of which they may be made, for added attractiveness they preferably are colored, the coloring material being a vegetable dye or the like which is not harmful, even if a child should put one of the elements into his mouth. For easy selection,
the elements which are of duplicate form may be of the same color, but of contrasting color with respect to the other elements. For example, the rectangular element ID of Fig. 1 may be red, the rectangular elements 12 of Fig. 2 may be blue, the two triangular elements [3 and [4 of Figs. 3 and 4 may be orange, the four post elements l5, I6, I! and 18 of Figs. 5 to 8 inclusive may be green, and the four disc elements I 9, 20, 2| and 22 of Figs. 9 to 12 inclusive may be yellow, or these four elements may be left in their natural Wood finish.
To those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates, other features and advantages of toy building sets embodying the present invention will be evident from the foregoing description of one such embodiment.
Having described my invention, I claim:
A toy building set comprising a plurality of building block elements of substantially rigid material, each of said elements having an outside surface in one plane and walls extending at angles to said one plane from said surface, said walls extending from said surface for a substantial distance to provide a gripping area for the users hand grasping said walls upon assembling and disassembling said elements, fastening means on said surfaces, respectively, for joining said elements together, said fastening means consisting of a male fastening part and a female fastening part, some of said elements having at least one male fastening part secured thereto at the said surface thereof and other of said elements having at least one female fastening part secured thereto at the said surface thereof, said female fastening part having a round socket portion and a ring portion positioned at the mouth of, and surrounding said socket portion, said ring portion being disposed adjacent to and extending outwardly from the surface of the element to which the female fastening part is secured whereby the mouth of the socket portion is spaced from said surface, said male fastening part having a round extending portion and having a flange portion disposed adjacent to, but extending outwardly from, the surface of the element to which the male fastening part is secured and surrounding said extending portion, said extending portion of the male fastening part and said socket portion of said female fastening part being interengageable in a snap action and readily detachable arrangement and being rotatable relative to each other, said ring portion of the female fastening part and said flange portion of the male fastening part being interengageable with each other and forming an annular bearing between joined elements during rotative movement and also providing for spacing between the joined elements and a fulcrum for separation of the interengaged fastening parts upon hand-grasping said Walls of the joined elements respectively and changing the angular disposition of the said walls of one element relative to the other to tip one of the joined elements relative to the other, the distance said walls extend from the respective surfaces of said elements being substantially greater than the distance separating the opposed surfaces of joined elements.
ROBERT F. ANDRE.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,216,840 Ramsey Feb. 20, 1917 1,449,080 Bail Mar. 20, 1923 2,013,771 Tompkins Sept. 10, 1935 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 160,228 Great Britain Mar. 8, 1921