US 2705144 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 29, 1955 v R|DGwAY 2,705,144
' AMUSEMENT SLIDE Filed May a, 1953 2 Sheets- Sheet l [Lo N Q Ana-M70)? R: IN Q J fl'waser tm/oarmy I ll- 7 22; 0.411104 R? M AMUSEMENT SLIDE United States PatentC "cc AMUSEMENT SLIDE Herbert N. Ridgway, Winthrop, Mass. Application May 8,1953, Serial No. 353,721 9 Claims. (Cl. 272-565) This invention relates to an amusement device such as may be installed in amusement parks and the like, and it has for its principal object to provide an amusement device which will give a person using it a sensation akin to that experienced by a parachutist when making a parachute jump.
Another object of the invention is to provide an amusement device of this type having a landing element in the form of an elongated sheet of steel or similar material which is suspended at its like curve with its upper end to said landing element.
Another object of the invention is to provide an amusement device of this type which is constructed so that the length of the free gravitational drop of the person using the device may be varied to provide a relatively short drop or a relatively long drop.
In the drawings wherein I have illustrated a selected embodiment of the invention:
Fig. 1 shows a side view of the amusement device.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged view of the top of the tower showing the carriage thereon in vertical section taken along the line 2-2, Fig. 5.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary detail showing the manner of connecting the upper end of the landing element to the tower.
Fig. 4 is a front view of the apparatus.
Fig. 5 is an enlarged plan view of the tower showing the carriage thereon in section along the line 5-5, Fig. 2.
Fig. 6 is a sectional fragmentary view showing a portion of the track on which the carriage runs.
The apparatus comprises a tower element 1 which may have any desired height up to 75 feet, or more, and which is provided at its upper end with the means for releasing the person who is using the amusement device, which means shall be hereinafter more fully described.
Associated with the tower is a landing element in the form of an elongated sheet 2 of steel or other suitable material, the upper end of which sheet is pivotally secured to the tower 1 atan elevated point, as shown at 3, and the lower end of which is pivotally secured at 5 to a supprt'4 which is spaced horizontally from the tower. The length of the landing element 2 is such with relation to the points of suspension 3 and that said element will hang in a catenary-like curve shown in Fig. 1 with its upper end 6 elevated well above the lower end and having a position slightly inclined to the vertical, while the lower end 7 will curve laterally from the tower and terminate in a substantially horizontal portion at its lower pivotal end.
The landing element may be pivotally connected to the tower and to the support 4 in any suitable way. As shown welded thereto a head 9 which constitutes the cooperating part of said hinge, these two hinge parts being connected together by the pivotal bolt 3. A similar hinge construction may be employed for pivotally connecting the element to the fixed support 4.
The tower 1 has mounted thereon means, located above the upper inclined portion '6 of the landing element, to
lower end of the landing such person for a'gravitaupper portion of the land- The platform can be released by moving the lever 17 to the right, Fig. 2, to withdraw the latch 16 from the platform extension.
Associated with the platform is a spring 21 which is connected at one end to the under side of the platform, as shown at 22, and is connected at its other end to the carriage, as indicated at from its operative position into Mounted on the carriage 13 is closed. The front wall 27 of the housing is preferably of plate glass so that spectators can see a person who has entered the housing and is standing on the platform 14.
In'using the device, the carriage is adjusted on the rails 12 so as to bring the platform 14 over the upper inclined portion 6 of the landing element 2. The person who is to use the device will ascend to the deck 10 of the tower and enter the housing 24 through the door 25, after which the door will be locked. It will be understood that during this time the platform 14 is in its operative position and is locked therein by the locking latch 16. The operator of the device then actuates the lever 17 to release the lock for the platform and the weight of the person on the platform together with the spring 21 will instantly swing the platform from its operative horizontal position into its vertical inoperative position) When this occurs, the person occupying the housing will serve to convey the person to the lower end of the landing platform. If desired, a receiving mat 28 may be employed at the delivery end of the landing element onto which the person will be deposited.
The landing element willpreferably be provided with side walls 29 of canvas or the like which will prevent the person using the device from sliding sideways oif from the steel sheet during his journey along the length of the landing element. The upper ends of the two canvas sides are shown as connected to the tower by suitable springs 30 and the lower ends of such canvas sides are connected to posts 31 by means of other springs 32. This gives the canvas sides sufficient flexibility to accommodate any bending movement of the steel sheet 2 due to the impact of the falling person against it and the journey of such person along the lower portion of the landing element.
The length of the gravitational movement of the person using this device from the platform tothe landing eleelement can be varied by moving the carriage 13 on the rails 11. If the carriage and housing are in the position shown in Fig. 1 there will be provided a drop of a length about two-thirds the height of the tower. if the person using the device wishes to experience a shorter drop, the carriage will be moved to the right, Fig. 1, so as to bring the platform 14 over the upper portion 6 of the landing element near its upper end, as shown by dotted lines in Fig. 1. When in the dotted line position the gravitational drop through space of the person using the device will be less than that which results when the carriage and housing are in the full line position, Fig. l.
' Means are provided for automatically locking the platform in its inoperative position when it is swung into the dotted line position, Fig. 2. For this purpose there is provided a locking latch 33 which is engaged by the extension 20 of the platform when it is swung into a vertical position and which serves to automatically lock the platform in such vertical position, thereby preventing any rebound thereof as the person is gravitating through the open end of the housing.
The rails 12 are provided with stop blocks 34 at their outer ends to limit the outward movement of the carriage.
If desired the support 4 together with the mat 28 and posts 31 may be mounted for adjustment as a unit toward and from the tower 1, thereby to vary the shape of the catenary-like curve of the landing element 2. If, for instance, the support 4, mat 28, and posts 31 are adjusted into the dotted line position, Fig. l, the portion 7 of the landing element will sag below the pivotal discharge end as indicated indotted lines so that during the last part of the journey over the landing element of a person who has been dropped out of the housing will be up the inclined end portion 40 of said landing element and thereby the speed of movement of such person will be retarded.
, While I have above described my invention as embodied in an amusement device, yet used for training people for parachute jumps inasmuch as the sensation which a person experiences when released from the housing 24 and gravitating through free space on to the landing platform is very similar to that which a parachutist experiences when he makes a parachute jump.
1. An amusement device comprising a platform, means supporting said platform above a fixed reference elevation, said platform being pivotally mounted to said supporting means to turn about a horizontal axis between a horizontal operative position and a vertical inoperative position and adapted to support a person, releasable locking means to hold the platform in its operative horizontal position, an elongated steel sheet which is flexible in the direction of its length, means suspending the sheet from its two ends with one end considerably higher than the other and the upper end secured to said platform supporting means below but at one side of the platform, and the lower end spaced horizontally from the vertical plane of the upper end, said sheet presenting a catenarylike curve with the upper portion having a vertically inclined position directly beneath and spaced from the platform and the lower portion curving horizontally, whereby when the platform locking means is released with a person standing on the platform, such person will have a free gravitational movement through space onto the inclined portion of the sheet and will be conveyed thereby to the lower end thereof. 1
2. An amusement device as defined in claim 1 in which the platform is movable horizontally to place a person thereon at different distances from the vertical plane of the upper end of the sheet, thereby to provide longer or shorter vertical gravitational drops of a person from the platform to the elongated sheet when the platform is released.
3. An amusement device comprising a supporting structure, an elevated platform pivotally mounted on said structure to turn about a horizontal axis from an operative horizontal position to an inoperative vertical position, releasable locking means to. lock the platform in its operative position, said platform when in its operative position adapted to support a person, an elongated sheet of metal which is fiexible in the direction of its length, means suspending the upper end of the sheet to the support ng structure at a point below the platformsand at one s de the structure can be like curve with of the vertical plane of the platform axis, a support below and spaced horizontally from the upper end of the sheet, means securing the lower end of the sheetto said support whereby the upper portion of the sheet hangs in a.
vertically inclined position directly beneath the platform and the lower portion of the sheet curves laterally to the support, and means to release the platform locking means whereby the weight of a person on the platform will swing it into its inoperative position and such person will have a gravitational movement through space from the platform to the upwardly inclined portion of said sheet, and will slide over the sheet to the lower end thereof.
4. An amusement device comprising a tower, a carriage mounted thereon form pivotally mounted on said carriage to turn about a horizontal axis between a'horizontal operative position and a vertical inoperative position, a landing element in the form of an elongated metal sheet which is flexible in the direction of its length, means pivotally connecting V the upper end of said sheet to the tower at a point below the platform and at one side of the horizontal axis thereof, a support located below the upper end ofthe sheet by a distance less than the length thereof and hori zontally spaced from the vertical plane of the platform axis, means pivotally connecting the lower end of the sheet to said support whereby said sheet is suspended in a catenary-like'curve with the upper portion having an inclined vertical position spaced directly beneath the platform and the lower endcurving horizontally to said support, and releasable locking means to hold the platform in its operative position whereb when the platform is released with a person standing thereon, such person will have a free gravitational movement through space onto the landing element, the horizontal position of the platform determining the length of the gravitational movement of such person between the platform and the landing element.
5. An amusement device comprising a landing element n the form of an elongated steel sheet which is flexible in the direction of its length, entirely from its than the other by a distance less than the length of the sheet, and with the two ends spaced from each other horizontally, whereby the sheet will hang in a catenarythe upper portion inclined slightly to the vertical and the lower portion curving laterally, a platform, means supporting said platform directly above and spaced from the upper inclined portion of the landing element said platform being mounted for movement between an operative horizontal position over said upper inclined portion of the landing element, in which position it is adapted to support a person, and an inoperative position 1n which it provides no support for such person, releasable locking means to hold the platform in its operative position, means to move the platform from its operative to its inoperative-position upon the release of 6. An amusement device as defined in claim 5 in which the platform is movable horizontally to place a person thereon at different distances from the vertical plane of the upper end of the landing element, thereby to provide longer and shorter gravitational drops of such person from the platform to the landing element.
7. An amusement device comprising a tower, an openbottorned housing supported thereby, a pivotally mounted platform turnable about a horizontal axis between a horizontal operative position in which it forms the floor of the housing and a vertical inoperative position at one side of the housing, a landing element in the form of an elongated metal sheet which is flexible in the direction of its length, means supporting said landing element at its two ends with one end considerably higher than the other and with the lower end spaced horizontally from the vertical plane of the platform axis, whereby said landing element is suspended in a catenary-like curve with the upper end portion havingan inclined vertical position spaced directly beneath the platform and the lower end curving horizontally, and releasable l cking means to hold the platform in its operative position, the platform-is released witha person standing thereon and occupying said housing, such' person will have .a free for horizontal movement, a platmeans suspending said sheet two ends with one end at a higher level whereby when gravitational movement through the open bottom of the ousing onto the upper inclined portion of the landing element and will slide down the landing element to the lower end thereof.
8. An amusement device as defined in claim 7 in which the housing and the platform are movable horizontally, thereby to provide longer or shorter gravitational drops of the person from the housing to the landing element.
An amusement device as defined in claim 3 in which the support to which the lower end of the elongated sheet is secured is adjustable horizontally toward and from the supporting structure,
thereby to vary the shape of the curve of the lower portion of said sheet.
UNITED STATES PATENTS Carver May 17, 1898 Maynes Apr. 8, 1913 Maynes Mar. 6, 1917 Ridgway Apr. 10, 1928