US 2690032 A
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P 23, 1954 A. M. ZALKIND 2,690,032
CHILD'S PLAYING BLOCK Filed Oct. 23. 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 i a A I 6 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Sept. 28, 1954 A. M. ZALKIND 2,690,032
. CHILD'S PLAYING BLOCK Filed on. 25, 1951 k 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 JF, f
INVENTOR "21w 5 y r I ATTORNEY Patented Sept. 28, 1954 UNITED STATES ATENT OFFICE 3 Claims.
This invention relates to playing blocks for children, and more particularly to blocks which can be oriented in various ways so as to provide various pattern effects.
It is a primary object of my invention to provide a set of playing blocks such that a childs imagination will be stimulated in the use thereof to the extent that such blocks may be oriented in various ways so that structures may be built having certain symmetrical aspects of design. It is a further object of my invention to provide a structure for a block that will render it easily grasped and handled by a very young child. It is an additional object of my invention to provide a set of blocks so constructed that they coact with each other in various ways for constructing various buildings and other objects. It is another object of my invention to provide a set of playing blocks which avoid solid construction to the end that such blocks can be made of a minimum of material.
In carrying out the invention I have devised a plurality of identical blocks in the shape of cubes, but constructed in such a manner that they are light, very easily grasped and manipulated and exceedingly simple to manufacture. To accomplish their purpose, my blocks comprise spaced, parallel plates preferably of square shape, which plates are maintained in spaced and parallel relationship by intermediate posts to which they are secured.
My invention will now be described in detail in conjunction with the appended drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a persepctive of one of the blocks forming my set;
Fig. 2 is a horizontal section taken through two blocks of the type shown in Fig. 1, placed side by side;
Fig. 3 is an elevation of blocks placed side by side;
Figs. 4, 5 and 6 are various views of basic structures built with the blocks;
Fig. 7 is a plan view of a modified form;
Fig. 8 is a section through 8-8 of the modified form of Fig. '7;
Fig. 9 is a perspective of a further modification;
Fig. 10 illustrates a structure built with the modification shown in Fig. 9.
Referring now to the drawing, and particularly Figs. 1 and 2, the block illustrated therein consists of a pair of plates I0 and [2, preferably of wood or fibrous material, nailed or otherwise suitably fastened to posts I 4 and I6 disposed in an intermediate fashion as shown. Thus the block can be made of die cut hardboard elements H] and I2 and turnings I4 and I6, resulting in a structure which can be mass produced by what are probably the cheapest methods known in the toy industry insofar as the use of wood or fibrous elements are concerned.
A particular feature-of the block is the disposition of the posts [4 and It with respect to the edges of the plates. As shown in Fig. 2, the posts are spaced in such a manner that the distance d is equal to twice either of the distances d Accordingly, if the blocks are lined up as shown in Fig. 3, a completely symmetrical structure is efiected by virtue of the distances between posts being all equal, thus d equals 11 The posts are, of course, centrally disposed with respect to the edges a and b of the plates.
Preferably the posts should be of a different color than the plates, and in order to give cubical external dimensions to the block the posts are of such length, depending on the thickness of the plates, so that the height of the block as viewed on Fig. l is the same as the length or width which latter dimensions are, of course, equal to each other. A singular advantage of my blocks as so constructed is the fact than an infants or very small childs hand can readily grasp them from various positions either by seizing a plate or a post, and manipulation and orientation of the block is easily accomplished. This is an important distinction over the conventional type of childrens playing blocks where, unless such blocks are made very small, an infant or very small child cannot get a sufficiently secure graspto properly handle the block. In other words, my block by virtue of the unique construction is inherently capable of use by very small children even though such blocks may be made fairly large.
Considerable evidence has been amassed from actual tests with children to show that a plurality of blocks constructed in accordance with my teaching fascinate children of blockplaying age and stimulate them to use imagination and initiative for constructing various structures wherein the blocks are disposed in various symmetrical patterns. Certain basic pattern combinations are shown in Figs. 4 through 6 and it will be appreciated that the patterns which can be effected by a set of my blocks are well nigh infinite. For example, any of my blocks can be oriented so as to present several different aspects. Thus, upon consideration of Fig. 1 it will be seen that the block may be viewed looking towards a plate surface or viewed looking towards both posts or viewed looking towards a single post,
the other post being directly aligned with the post viewed. Figs. 4 through 6 show these various aspects. Further, the blocks may be nested as shown in Fig. or they may be hung on each other or rested on each other edgewise as shown in Fig. 6.
The modified form shown in Figs. '7 and 8 cornprises a block which may be assembled and disassembled by virtue of posts 20 and 22 being insertable in apertures 2x1 or 26 provided in the plates 3'6 and 32. The posts are turned with shoulders such as shoulder 34 so that proper spacing of the plates is maintained. The posts are provided with kerfs such as 36 so as to provide a resilient frictional grip within the plate apertures. Thus as a child progresses in dexterity -he may assemble and disassemble the blocks and create various additional pattern effects by using a single post between blocks and rotating the blocks with respect to each other.
The modification of Fig.9 diifers from the block of Fig. l to the extent of providing notches 410 in the plates. Thus a structure can be interlocked as shown in Fig. whereby additional pattern variation is provided.
By providing slots in the posts of the form shown in Figs. .'7 and 8, it will be apparent that even further variation :in structure can be effected.
While my blocks have been described in conjunction with abstract patterns as illustrative of the structures that may be built, it will be appreciated that they are fully susceptible for building various types of known structures such as buildings and other objects familiar to children. In this regard, owing to the several ways in which my blocks can be oriented, more realistic and interesting effects can be obtained than would ordinarily be possible with conventional solid blocks. Further, it will be apparent that blocks have the distinct advantage over solid blocks of the same cubical dimensions. For ex ample, asolid block must be made quite small in order for a very young child :to be able to lift and handle it. On the other hand my blocks may be made much larger than a solid block of equivalent cost and weight. Inasmuch as the retail pricing of blocks" is in direct proportion to the size thereof, and the attractiveness of blocks to marketed at considerably lower prices than could solid blocks of the same cubical size, while at the same time being usable by very young children.
I believe the above disclosure is illustrative of a preferred and highly desirable combination of elements and their physical and dimensional relationships insofar as a set of childrens blocks is concerned. However, I do not seek to be expressly limited to the precise illustration except as set forth in the appended claims.
1. A 'childs block comprising a pair of square plates and a-pair of posts intermediate said plates, secured thereto, and maintaining said plates in spaced parallel, aligned relation, said posts having axes disposed in a plane midway between and parallel to a pair of opposite edegs of said block and said postsv being spaced relative their thickness so that the spacing between posts is equal to twice the distance from either post to the edge nearest thereto, said posts having a length relative the thickness of said plates that the block is .a cube.
2. A childs block :as set forth in claim 1, said plates being provided with notches in their edges of, a width substantially equal to the thickness of one of said plates whereby a plurality -:of blocks as set forth. may be finterloclcingly engaged.
3. A child's block as setforth in claim 1 wherein said posts are substantially cylindrical in cross-section.
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