US 2664291 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 29, 1953 PETTERSON 2,664,291
HELICAL RUNWAY BALL GAME Filed Oct. 6, 1950 INVENTOR. Harold]? Patterson ,2 v BY 27/:
HIS A TTORNEK Patented Dec. 29, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE HELICAIJ RUNWAY BALL Harold F. Petterson Redwood: City, Calif. Applicationflctobeh 6, 195'0, Serial No. 188,740;
1 Claim. 1
an improved game. apparatus in which a series of equal helical loops. form a ball runway.
A further object is toprovide an improved game in which the skill of aplayer is called upon to entrap' the ball in-an intermediate one of the series of equal loops constituting the ball runway.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent in the following description in the light of the drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of my improved game apparatus; and
Fig. 2 is a side elevation of Fig. 1 with parts thereof broken away and shown in section for purposes of illustration.
The game, generally designated It, includes a base I I supporting a ball runway I2 for receiving a ball l3 from a ball projector I4 and ball return means I5 associated with the ball runway.
The base II is a boxlike structure It having a surface 26 provided with legs 2! for supporting the surface 28 at a reasonable height from asurface upon which the base is to rest. This base H is preferably a single unit either cast or stamped from a single piece of metal or plastic material as desired.
The surface is provided with a plurality of ball exit openings 23 each of which is preferably equally spaced from the other and in alignment with each other transversely of the surface 20.
The ball runway l2 comprises a tubular element 25 having an internal passage suitable to permit the ball I3 to roll freely through the tubular element. The tubular element 25 is bent into a helical coil 25 to provide a series of convolutions 27 of equal diameter. These convolutions are spaced from each other equidistantly much the same as the threads on a straight helical screw. The distance between the convolutions corresponds to the distance between the exit openings 23 provided in the surface 20 of the base I I and each convolution is provided with an opening 28 registerable with a corresponding opening 23 in the surface 20. Consequently, when the coil 26 is laid horizontally upon the surface 20 the openings 28 in the convolutions coincide with the corresponding ball exit openings 23 in the surface 20.
Theballreturrrmeans I5 consists of a plurality of identically formed return runways 30, each of which comprises a tube 3| having an elbowed end 32 disposed} witlr its open end 33- extending through arespectiveexit opening 23' andsecured to the corresponding convolution 2? in alignment with the opening 2:; therein. In this manner the tubular element 25 is secured to the horizontal surface not the base H. Beyond the elbowed end 32 the tube 3| consists of an inclined section 36 having its free end extending through an opening 35 provided in the front Wall 36 of the base-l I.
The end 31 of tube- 31 extending from wall 36 of the base I'I is cut' away-as at 33 and has part of the remaining periphery of, the tube bent up and welded into a ball retaining cup 39.
The entrance end of the tubular element 25 which constitutes the ball runway I2 comprises a straight section 40 extending substantially tangentially from the first convolution 2? of the tube 25. This section 40 of tube 25 rests upon the surface 20 of base I I and forms a housing for the ball projector I4 hereinbefore mentioned.
The projector I4 consists of a conventional type ball propelling means having a plunger il reciprocable in a cap 42 secured to the open end of section 49 of the tube 25. The plunger ii is encircled by a compression spring 43 having one end bearing against the cap 42 and its opposite end bearing against a washer M secured to the plunger. The free end of the plunger 4| is adapted to extend through a guide stop 45 secured within the section 40 of the tube 25 so as to strike the ball I3 which is initially deposited within tube 25 through an entrance opening 46 formed in section 48 adjacent the guide stop 45.
It is by manipulation of the plunger ii that skill is required, it being an object of the player tocause the ball I3 to drop out of an exit opening 2823 as close to the plunger as possible. Ordinarily, in order to project the ball 53 over the first hump in the first loop, i. e., convolution 21, the momentum of the ball is such as to normally carry it over to the second, third and perhaps successive loops, it being obvious that the ball gains momentum during the downward travel in each loop. It is therefore apparent that it is much easier to propel a ball all the way through the runway I2 so that it discharges into the last ball return runway 38. Consequently, scoring value of each convolution enhances in proportion to its nearness to the projector I l.
Obviously, the tubular element 25 can be made transparent by the use of clear plastic tubing thereby enabling the player to see the manner in which the ball l3 reacts with respect to a particular stroke of the plunger 41. The ball return runways in such case should also be made of the same kind of material to facilitate welding or securing the runways 30 and I2 together in accordance with the usual practices in causing adherence of such material.
It should also be noted that the ball runway 12 may be constructed of channel shaped material so that the ball is visible in troughlike convolutions. However, in order to keep the ball within the runway I2 the gap at the open side of the channel type runway should be of less width than the diameter of the ball 13. In this connection it is contemplated that the inner periphery 50 of the convolutions 21 be ground away to leave a restrictive slit (not shown) through which the ball can be seen as it travels through the runway (2.
While I have described the foregoing game in specific detail it will be apparent that it is susceptible to variations, modifications and alterations without departing from the spirit of my invention. I therefore desire to avail myself of all variations, modifications and alterations as fairly come within the purview of the following claim.
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is: V
In an apparatus of the class described including a base having a horizontal surface provided with a plurality of ball exit openings, the combination therewith of a tubular ball runway having one straight end supported on said horizontal 4 surface, a ball projecting means in said one straight end of said tubular ball runway, said tubular ball runway being coiled about a horizontal axis to provide a plurality of convolutions of equal diameter each having a ball drop-out opening in the lowermost extremity of its outer periphery, said convolutions being spaced from each other with their drop-out openings in register with corresponding ones of the ball exit openings in the horizontal surface of said base, and a plurality of ball return means in said base each having a ball receiving end extending through corresponding ones of the ball exit openings in said horizontal surface and into the respective drop-out opening in the convolutions of said tubular runway for securing said convolutions to said horizontal surface.
' HAROLD F. PETTERSON.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,380,450 Wiggins June 7, 1921 1,442,054 Dixon Jan. 16, 1923 1,896,915 Peo Feb, 7, 1933 1,974,860 Bowling Sept. 25, 1934 2,041,678 Hirschauer May 19, 1936 2,083,463 May June 7, 1937 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 335,131 France 1904