US 2709318 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
T. S. BENJAMIN TOY CONSTRUCTION ELEMENTS Filed Nov. 24, 1952 TOY CONSTRUCTION ELEMENTS Theodore S. Benjamin, Granite City, 111., assignor to W. R. Benjamin Co., Granite City, 111., a partnership Application November 24, 1952, Serial No. 322,200
1 Claim. (Cl. lo-26) This invention relates to toy construction elements. The invention is an improvement upon those set forth in Patents 2,088,128 and 2,170,771 of Walter R. Benjamin, dated July 27, 1937, and August 22, 1939, respectively.
Among the several objects of the invention may be noted the provision of improved means for combining certain rod, hub and bushing parts to form various construction toys, such that the hub parts may receive the rod parts either rigidly with the bushings acting as keys or in a rotary manner, the bushings acting as thrust collars; the provision of toy construction elements of the class described wherein the manufacturing operations are simplified and their number reduced for making the elements; the provision of bushings of the class described which will permit articulation of a hub part and a rod either at the end of the rod or at any point betweenits ends; and the provision of a bushing of the class described which may by hand be conveniently applied to or removed from any of its intended operating positions. Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the constructions hereinafter described, the scope of the invention being indicated in the following claim.
In the accompanying drawing, in which several of various possible embodiments of the invention are illustrated:
Fig. 1 is an isometric view of a split bushing constituting itself an improved element of the invention;
Fig. 2 is an elevation showing various useful combinations of spool type hub elements and rod parts incorporating the bushing of Fig. 1, parts being broken away to show partial sections;
Fig. 3 is an elevation showing other useful combinations, parts being broken away to show sections;
Fig. 4 is an end view of an improved element, useful in certain circumstances as an alternative to the spool type hub elements shown in Figs. l-3;
Fig. 5 is a cross section taken on line 55 of Fig. 4; and
Fig. 6 is a top plan view of Fig. 4.
Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
In the later of said patents (2,170,771) are shown construction elements incorporating hub parts having holes in them and two sets of rods of different diameters, the ends of all of which rods are slotted. The smaller rods are for free running fits in the holes, allowing relative rotation, whereas the larger rods are adapted for tight fits of their slotted ends in the holes. The slotted ends of the small rods are for obtaining snug fits in bushing or capping elements which elements may then be tightly fitted into the holes. These capping elements cannot be positioned anywhere other than the ends of the rods. Consequently, when it is desired to have one of said hub elements rotary at a mid portion of one of the small rods, rubber Washers are employed as thrust elements. And when it is desired to have one of the hub elements States Patent nonrotary at a mid portion of one of the small rods, a wedging piece of string must be employed. In the earlier Patent 2,088,128 the rubber thrust members are not shown, but it shows similar bushing elements applicable to the rod ends only. This earlier patent also employs only one set of rods of one diameter with holes in the hubs of different diameters.
The present invention provides for hub elements having holes of one size, and a single set of bushings which may function (1) at the ends of unslotted small rods for rigidly anchoring them in any of the openings, (2) anchoring hub parts to intermediate portions of the small rods, or (3) functioning as thrust members adjacent a rotary hub part located intermediate the ends of the small rods. The invention also provides for an improved form of hub.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, numerals 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 14 show identical spooltype cylindric hubs, each having eight radial blind-end holes or sockets 13 and one axial hole 15. Unlike the multiple-sized holes shown in said Patent 2,088,128, all of the holes 13 and 15 are of the same diameter. Marginal grooves 17 serve as means whereby the spools 1 may be used as pulleys by receiving a driving rubber band, string or the like.
Indexed at L-1 and L-2 are examples of a set of largerdiameter rods which, as in said patents, are axially slitted at the ends (see numeral 21 herein). The slits allow the ends of the rods L-1 and L-2 to become radially resilient and to be tightly received in any of the equal-diameter holes 13 or 15.
Examples of a set of smaller-diameter rods are shown at 8-1, 8-2, 8-3 and 84. Unlike the smaller-diameter rods of Patent 2,170,771, the small rods herein are not slotted at their ends, that is, they are radially solid throughout their entire lengths. This results in a manufacturing saving. It also aids in visually distinguishing the small rods from the large ones, without color differentiation, although the latter may be used.
Instead of employing a solidly circular bushing which can act only as an end cap for a split rod, as in Patent 2,170,771, I omit the end splits in the small rods S1, S-2, etc. and employ a split bushing 19, the latter as shown in Fig. 1. This bushing 19 consists of a cylindric sleeve 23 open at both ends, as shown at 25 and 27, having a flange 29 at one end slotted throughout its length as shown at 31. This bushing is made of flexible material such as sheet metal, plastic or the like, so that when it is forced onto a small rod (which rod is slightly larger than the inside diameter of the bushing) the'bushing springs slightly outward so as to fit itself snugly on the rod but allowing it to be conveniently manually pushed into any axial position on the rod. The wall thickness of the bushing 19 is sufiicient that when it is on the end of a small rod and then placed in one of the holes 13 or 15, a tight nonrotary fit results between the rod, bushing and hub.
The split bushing 19 replaces three former ditferent parts, namely, a bushing that could only be used on the ends of the small rods, the elastic thrust washer to prevent endwise movement on a small rod of a revolving part thereon, and a string or other means to key a part desired to be fastened rigidly in a mid position on a small rod.
Thus, as shown in Fig. 3, small rods S1 and S2 may be firmly anchored in holes 13 and 15 of spool 3 by means of the split bushing 19 when positioned at the ends of these rods. The other two bushings 19 shown act as thrust members at the other ends of these rods 5-1 and 8-2 to prevent the spools 1 and 5, which are rotary on the small rods, from slipping off the rod ends.
In Fig. 2 is shown spool 7, rigidly joined with spools 9 and 11 by large split-end rods L-l. and L-2. Within the resulting rigidly spaced holes 13 in the spools 9 and 11 is located a rotary small red 5-3 without bushings at its ends. At an intermediate point on this rod is shown one of the bushings 19 which has been slipped onto the rod from one of its ends. Slipped over rod 5-3 is spool 12, which becomes attached or keyed thereto by the bushing 19. Small rod S4l is also rigidly anchored in an opening 13 in spool 12 by a bushing 19. Between the ends of the small rod S4 is located spool 14, which is rotary and is prevented from endwise movement by the application of: two adjacent bushings 19.
It will be understood that the parts shown in the drawings and above-described are only exemplary of a larger number that may be used in a set, and that the examples of various combinations shown are likewise exemplary of many more that can be constructed. It will also be understood that the rods and spools or hubs and the like may be made of wood, plastic, metal, etc., wood being preferred; and that the bushings 19 may be made of any suitable resilient material such as sheet metal, plastic, etc., light sheet metal being preferred.
Figs. 4, 5 and 6 show a novel hub part which may be used in connection with, or substituted for, the spool such as shown at numeral 1. This part is constituted by a central cylindric portion 33 flanked by two opposite frustoconical portions 35 having a common axis along which is formed an opening 37. Equally spaced (preferably eight) circumferential openings 39 are provided in the cylindric portion 33. These form blind sockets. The outer ends of these sockets are traversed by a central peripheral groove 41 in the cylindric portion 33 for receiving a flexible connector band such as a rubber band, string or the like. Four equally spaced circumferential openings 4-3 are provided in the fiusto-conical portions 35 which also form blind sockets. In the case such as shown, wherein the angle of a frusto-conical portion 35 is 45 with respect to its base, it is preferable that the angles of the center lines of the sockets 43 be located also at 45 with respect to the bases of the frusto-conical portions 35. In other words, the center lines of these openings 43 are perpendicular to generating elements of the conical surfaces of portions 35. Such generating elements are exemplified at numeral 45 in Fig. 6.
The advantage of a hub such as that shown in Figs. 4-6 over those shown in Figs. 2 and 3 is that the rods may be inserted at additional angles to the axis of the hub. While this effect has heretofore been accomplished by means of spherical hubs, the disadvantage of such a spherical hub is its cost of construction. In the case of wood construction material for the purpose, it is difficult to turn such a spherical hub. And it is difiicult to drill the required sockets at various angles because a sphere does not lend itself to convenient alignment in drilling jigs and fixtures. By means of my new form of hub the openings may be introduced at lower cost and with higher accuracy with suitable jigs and fixtures.
In view of the above, it will be seen that the severalobjects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.
As various changes could be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Combinable toy construction elements comprising at least one cylindric rod of relatively large diameter having axially slitted ends which are thereby made radially compressible and visibly distinguishable, at least one rod of relatively small diameter and having solid unslitted ends, at least one hub member having an axial opening therethrongh and peripheral openings forming sockets, all of said openings being of substantially the same diameter and. adapted compressively to receive and tightly anchor the slitted ends of said large rod and adapted freely to receive said small rod for relative rotation therein at any depth of insertion, at least one radially resilient bushing consisting of a sleeve having anend flange, both of which sleeve and flange are traversed by a slot extending from end to end of the bushing, said sleeve having a noninterrupted cylindric interior and exterior except for the slot, the outside diameter of the small rod being slightly greater than the inside diameter of the cylindric interior of the bushing so as to expand the bushing slightly with a snug sliding fit for convenient manual movement of the bushing to set positions axially along the entire length of said small rod, the thickness of said sleeve of the bushing being suificient that the sleeve, when slightly expanded in any position on a small rod, will have an outside diameter large enough to engage tightly within any of the openings of the hub member, whereby said bushing functions tightly to wedge the hub member to either end of the small rod or at points intermediate thereon, or to function as a manually movable flanged thrust member adjacent the hub member when the latter is positioned for rotation anywhere on a small rod.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,085,460 Michaelis Jan. 27, 1914 1,198,263 Pajeau Sept. 12, 1916 2,042,007 Kennedy May 26, 1936 2,156,003 Tinnerman Apr. 25, 1939 2,170,771 Benjamin Aug. 22, 1939 FOREIGN PATENTS 539,143 Germany Nov. 25, 1931