US 2668714 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 9, 1954 w. F. HUCK BOWLING BALL RETARDER Filed April 5, 1951 Patented Feb. 9, 1954 BOWLING BALL RETARDER William F. Huck, Forest Hills, N. Y., assignor to The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, a
corporation of Delaware Application April 5, 1951, Serial No. 219,458
This invention relates to a bowling ball retarder or stop device and particularly to a bowling ball retarder having sufficient capacity to stop or retard two bowling balls which strike the device in quick succession.
In bowling, after a player makes a shot, a pin boy, or in some cases an automatic ball returning machine, places the ball upon a return track located alongside the alley and sufficient momentum is imparted to the ball to enable it to return to a rack located at the players end of the alley. The rack comprises a pair of parallel rails which will hold bowling balls. Each end of the rack is supported, the end support nearest the player being a terminal unit which has a ball stop surface to arrest the movement of balls coming onto the rack. The rack is lined up at its alley end with a return track so that a ball which is returned along the return track will automatically pass upwardly over a rising portion of the track and then enter the rack.
In order to avoid damage from returning balls, a ball retarder is used at the entrance end of the ball rack. These retarders are generally designed to stop the progress of a ball and then permit it to roll by gravity down a slight decline in the rack rails to the storage portion and thereby enable all balls to enter the rack at a uniformly slow speed.
The present invention discloses a tandem arrangement of ball retarders which will take care of two balls returned in rapid succession. Accordingly an object of this invention is to provide a new and improved ball retarder for use in a bowling alley whereby balls being returned at a relatively high speed will have their speed decreased to a safe level upon entering the ball rack.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a plurality of ball retarders to prevent each of a number of bowling balls being returned in quick succession from passing onto the ball rack at an excessive speed.
A further object of the invention is to provide a ball retarder having a pair of closely spaced ball retarding devices capable of handling balls returned in quick succession.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a ball retarder in which the operation of connected dashpots whereby the retarder units are made operative in sequence,- the operation of one retarder enabling the dashpot in another retarder to offer resistance to the passage of a following ball engaging the other retarder.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawing, in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation, partially in section, of the improved bowling ball retarder showing particularly the linkage between the two retarders;
Fig. 2 is a front view of the device of this invention showing the blocking means of the retarder element; and,
Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional view showing the valve arrangement of one of the dashpot pistons.
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawing and will herein be described in detail one'specific embodiment, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated. The scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.
Referring now to the drawings, the device of this invention is adapted to be used in conjunction with a bowling ball return track supported in elevated position above the floor 2 of the alley. The return track includes cross braces 3 and 4 which support a trackway member 5 through the medium of the base support 6. Mounted on the trackway are a pair of rails 1 (Fig. 2) along which bowling balls 8 and 8' are adapted to roll.
The retarding device is located within a closure having side panels 9 and 9a which extend from the floor to a position above the track I, the general shape of the side members 9 and So being indicated in broken lines in Fig. 1. Within the closure defined by the side walls are located two dashpots generally indicated 10 and II which form a part of the retarding device of the invention. Inasmuch as many of the component parts of the retarding devices including the dashpots I0 and H are similar, similar parts have been given identical reference numerals with those associated with the dashpot. It) being primed in order to simplify, the disclosure.
Thus, each dashpot includes a U-shaped ball blocking member having a pair of arcuately curved arms 12 and I20. pivoted intermediate their ends to stud shafts l3 and I3a respectively fixed in the side supports 9 and 9a. The arms are connected by the base member M of the U- shaped ball blocking member which is provided with a pair ofspaced crank arms I5, 15a which rotatably supports a bearing pin [6 to which the upper end of piston rod I8 is connected. Rollers l9 and l9a are provided at the outer ends of each of the arms I2 and [2a and are preferably constructed of rubber or other resilient material. These rollers extend in blocking relationship into the path of movement or" a ball rolling along the trackway.
The dashpot devices in and H. each include. a cylinder 2|. pivotally mounted; at its lower end upon a bracket 23 fixed to the floor and each is provided with a piston 24 reciprocable therein and secured to the piston rod it. Each piston is provided with a longitudinally extending pas sage adapted to be partially blocked. bya ches valve 25 in order that the piston apd cylinder;
devices may function as dashpots in the well known manner.
The portion 20 of the cylinder belowthe-pisten forms a reservoir for the fluid used in operating the dashpots. Preferably this fluid is a hydrau- 11c fluid, such as thou h clea ly the fluids may be used. A compression spring 26 is located in the reservoir 26 and. bears. against the lower end of the cylinder and the. lower end of the piston constantly to urge. the. piston toward the position illustrated in Fig. l in which. the retarders are positioned in blocking relatignfihip to a ball moving along the track.
It will be noted that the. upper andlower .& of the cylinder 21 are. connectedv together by if passages including the conduits. 21 and 2B}. The conduit 23 is connected 0 hport 2,9 in. the it: end of the. reservoir 2.!) and, to a port ,il in the upper end of the reservoir 20 and immediatelf-l below the piston 2. 3 therein. A second port 32 positioned oppositethe port 3.! is connected to one end of the conduit 21,, the. other end being. con.- nected tothe port in that part. of the. cylinder 1 o e the ist -.24-
Referring to. Fig, 3,. it will be. notedthat the p st ni me ieed e leae saw xt d n longitudinally therethrotrgh in. which. passage th e i cat d re 5- cerm c edt one nd to the ball check valve 25 and at the other. end extending u nto the hollow n th p sto r is. A p ra ity Q u d pa sa s de pe ede portion 3110 hecylin er ba e t Pi te w th th pa s g Si es tha l-may Pas t renehh piston to. permit damnene rw eme t th The operation of. the. device is believed to be obvious from the fore o ne;d ip ien;. When a. first. ball 8' rolls; along the tragkwa y it first strikes the rightehand. retarder. Inasmuch as the piston is is-at. that time in thepositien illustrated inv Fig. 1., thepiston 24. may move treely downwardly within. the cylinder 2|; because .of the fluid passages. provided connecting the two ends of the cylinder 21 together; Thus therighthandv retarder is) inoperative to block; aball and is pivoted freely by the ball to-thepositionshown in broken linesv in Fig. 1.v The ball. continues until it strikes the left-hand retarder which; offectively blocks the-balrin its passage alongthe track. The. weight .of. the, ball. moves. thelefthand retarder down to the. positionshow-n in roken lines in; Fig.1, whereupon the b85111.8 -"Wi1i be released. The: downward-movement. of the left-hand retarder moves the...pist0ni 24' .downwardly: within the cylinderl'l'fi. If during. the time that the piston 24 ismoving downwardly in response to-the weigh't of'theball 8 a second hall 8 should rel-l along thetrackway it'w-ill' be blocked by therigh-t-hand retarder inasmuch as the p rt nd 3?" vi d" ih t d' tt endeared n s n he s t e ifl vails, the right-hand dashpot is rendered operative to block a ball and then to release it when the piston is moved downwardly to lower the arms to the position shown in broken lines.
Clearly, if the arrangement of the alley is such that more than two balls may roll at one time along the trackway, a third retarding device constructed similarly to the device H may be includ n the et g syst m Tli third tarder would include a cylinder having its ends connected together by passages and ports similar to the passages and ports 27-4-33 although they woul'ctbe connected to the cylinder 2| rather than to the cylinder 21'. Additional units similarly lin edin tandem may be provided should the occa ie e I? I claim:
I. Ina-.bowlingball return device having a fixed runway for the balls a retarding device comprising at least a first and second retarder pivoted on said runway and normally positioned in the path of a ball on the runway for retarding the movement of the ball and later releasing it, a damping element for each retarder, andmeans including a control connection-between damping elementsoperative to cause either a red-notion the damping effect on the first retarder when the second retarder is not blocking a ball or to restore said damping eifect on said first retarder when said second retarder is blocking a ball.
2, A retarding device fora bowling ball return track comprising, a retarder, a second retarder; said retarders being separately mounted inspaced apart positions along said track and normally positioned in the path of a ball moving along said track with each' of said retardersbeingadapted to stop a ball and then to release it", means for rendering the first retarder'inoperative to block a hall, and means actuated by the second retarder when blocking a ball torender the first retarder operative to block a. second ball moving along said track;
3. A bowling ball retarding device for use with areturn track comprising, a=-first and a second retarder spaced apart alongsaid track and norn zally positioned the path of aball moving therealong, means adapting each retarder to-stop a ball and then to release it includin a hydraulicpiston and cylinder devicefor each retarder, a restricted opening through each piston to form adashpot, a fluid passage normally connecting together the ends of the cylinder tor the first retarder to render the last mentioned retarder inoperative tolol'ock a ball, and means operative by movement of the piston associated with-the second retarder to close said passage to render the first retarder operative to-block a ball;
4. A bowling ball retarding device-for use with a return track comprising, a first and a second retarder spaced apart along said track and normally positioned in the path of a ball moving therealong, means adapting eachretarder'to stop a ball-and then t'orelease it including a hydraulic piston and cylinder device for and' 'connect'ed to each of the retarders, an opening through each piston toform a dashpot, resilientmeans in-each cylinder for moving the piston therein to on'e end of the cylinderto move the retarder connected'theret'o into the; path 'ofa ball moving along the track, a fluid passage connecting together the ends of the cylinder'associ'ated with the first'retarder, said passage including the portion of thecylirrder 'of the second retarder immediately adj acent the lower edge of thepiston thereinwherebymovement oft astmen'tioned piston in response to a remen heid' -im its: re-
tarder closes said passage to render the first retarder operative to block a second ball moving along said track.
5. A bowling ball retarding device for use with a return track comprising, a first and a second retarder pivotally mounted in spaced relationship along said track and. normally positioned in the path of a ball moving therealong, means adapting each retarder to stop a ball and then to release it including a hydraulic piston and cylinder device for each retarder, a piston rod connecting each piston to its associated retarder, a spring in each cylinder constantly urging the piston therein upwardly to pivot the retarder connected thereto into the path of a ball moving along said track, an opening through each piston to form therewith a dashpot whereby to block a ball moving along said path and later to release it with downward movement of the piston, a fluid passage connecting the portion of the cylinder of the first device below the piston therein to the portion of said cylinder above the piston to render said piston freely movable downwardly, said passage including the portion of the cylinder of the second device immediately beneath the piston in said second device whereby downward movement of the last mentioned piston in response to a first ball held in its associated retarder blocks said passage to render the first retarding device operative to block a second ball moving along said track.
WILLIAM F. HUCK.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 655,034 Verstraete July 31, 1900 1,979,466 Hedenskoog Nov. 6, 1934 2,528,341 Creely Oct. 31, 1950 2,566,109 Anderson Aug. 28, 1951