US 2691845 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1954 B. JEPSON MOVABLE FIGURE DEVICE Filed March 8, 1950 BEQJVHIQD JEPS 0N I Patented Oct. 19, 1954 UNITED STATES ATE T OFFICE 1 Claim. 1
This invention relates to the mechanical control of puppets which term includes any figures simulating human or animal form having articulated arms, legs, body, head, hands or other members, adapted to be moved by an interior mechanism. Such puppets, whatever form they take, will hereinafter be referred to as mechanical dolls.
It is the object of the invention to provide for an improved and simple form of doll which has a reasonable approximation to a human or animal form (hereinafter referred to as a mammalian figure) which is capable of performing pleasing and natural motions under the direction of the person manipulating the drive mechanism of the doll.
The accompanying drawing illustrates a typical construction according to the invention. As shown, the mammalian figure is of human form and the doll has an upper body portion 18 made for example of balsa wood and in the form of strutting so as to form a hollow member to which is articulated the head 13, and the lower trunk portion H the connection between portions in and 'H consisting of a ball and socket joint 12. Supported for free rotation within the head 13, the body portions H and a leg portion 80 is an operating rod 14 having a crank 15 at the joint 12 and a crank 16 at the flexible neck portion 11 which extends from the head to body portion 10. The body has arms 18, 19 which may be articulated to the crank. The leg 80 is an elongated tubular extension 80 affixed to and projecting from the body portion 7 l. The leg carries at its lower end a gear 81 with an undulating track 82 which rolls on a tapered track 83 formed in the upper plate 84 of a stand 85; the operating rod 14 has an external portion 88 which passes through the tube 80 and at the lower end has a crank 81, below the gear Bl, being terminated by a vertical part 88 which is mounted on bearings 89, 90 housed inthe stand 84. The vertical rod part 88 carries a worm wheel 9| which forms part of a drive from an electric motor 92 mounted within the stand. When the operating rod is rotated by the drive of the motor 92 the undulating track of the gear 8| will roll on the track 83 with the result that simultaneously with the convolutions of the articulated members of the body, the body will move bodily around rod part 88 at a difierent speed and direction and the undulating track 82 will produce a varying speed. By this means the range of variation of movement of the doll is increased. To vary the tilt of the articulated members, the point of articulation may have a double crank portion while an exaggerated bow ing action may be achieved by slotting the figure at the point of articulation.
A mechanical doll comprising a head, an articulated bod comprising an upper body portion and a lower body portion to simulate a mammalian figure and articulated connections in said figure including one such connection between said head and body and another such connection in the form of a ball and socket joint between the upper and lower body portions, a tubular elongated body support affixed to and extending from said lower body portion, an operating rod extending through the head, the body and the tubular support, bearings in said head, body and support supporting said rod for free rotation therewithin, a crank in the rod at each of said connections, an extension of said rod projecting externally of said support, a stationary stand housing a rotational mounting for said extension, a drive wheel affixed to said extension for rotating said rod, a crank in said extension above said drive wheel and cam means afiixed to and encircling the free end of said body support said cam means comprising an inclined undulating peripheral contact surface, and an inclined endless track on said stand adapted to be engaged by said contact surface in frictional running engagement to produce varying differential rotation between said rod and said support.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 176,590 Brigham Apr. 25, 1876 569,950 Boettcher Oct. 20, 1896 788,110 Lehmann Apr. 25, 1905 1,615,663 Varga Jan. 25, 1927 1,685,358 Harcourt Sept. 25, 1928 1,784,183 Fike Dec. 9, 1930 2,290,801 Dale et al July 21, 1942 2,526,886 MacDonald Oct. 24, 1950 2,559,201 Schy July 3, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 237,083 Great Britain 1925 334,373 Great Britain 1930 370,473 Great Britain 1932 484,180 Great Britain 1936 958,188 France Sept. 12, 1949 642,713 Great Britain Sept. 13, 1950