US 2714510 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 2, 1955 R. c. OPPENLANDER ET AL 2,714,510
MECHANICAL CARD SHUFFLER Filed June 12, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 f (M HMH llll-lllll Il lllll o I I I I I I I INVENTORS Richard C. Oppenlonder 8 John O. Rowley Jr.
United States Patent 2,714,510 MECHANICAL CARD SHUFFLER Richard C. Oppenlander, Englewoorl, and John C.
Rowlcy, In, Denver, Coio., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Rocco Products Inc, Minneapolis, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Application June 12, 1950, Serial No. 167,574 Claims. (Cl. 273-149) This invention relates to mechanical card shufiiers and more particularly to one of the type which will remove cards from a single stack or pile in an alternate manner and direct them to two different separate places.
One of the objects of the invention is to produce a mechanical card shuflier of the type referred to which will be economical to manufacture, simple and easy to operate, and eflicient and dependable in its shuflling functions, regardless of the varying thicknesses of cards as present- 1y manufactured.
Another object is to produce an improved means in a mechanical shufller which will insure the removal from a stack of cards of a single card only by a predetermined rotational movement of a segmental cam member having a friction surface.
Still another object is to provide an improved gap structure for insuring that the bottom card only of a pile of cards will be removed when acted on by a force causing it to slide in the direction of the plane in which it is positioned.
A further object is to produce an improved arrangement of segmental cam members having frictional surfaces for causing alternate cards from a pile of cards to be moved in opposite directions by a continuously rotated member.
A still further object is to produce improved means for removing a card from the bottom of a pile of cards and placing it in a compartment below and at one side of the pile.
Yet a further object is to so construct a compartment for a pile of cards and associate therewith rotatable members for acting on the bottom card of the pile weight means for acting on the top of the pile that successive single cards can be efficiently removed from the bottom of the pile by a continuous rotation of the rotatable member.
A further object is to produce a mechanical shufiler for cards that can be folded into a compact structure having a neat appearance when the shuflier is not in use.
A still further object is to produce a mechanical shuffler for cards which embodies a central compartment and card receiving compartments on each side thereof with the side compartments being so constructed and pivotally mounted that they can be folded over the central compartment to reduce the overall dimension of the shuflier When not in use.
Other objects will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings showing a card shufiler embodying my invention.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a top view of the card shufiler with its top open and ready to receive a pile of cards for shuffling, said view having some parts broken away to show details;
Figure 2 is an end view of the shufl'ler shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of a part of the shuffler with cards therein and the weight thereon, said view being taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 1;
2,714,510 Patented Aug. 2, 1955 Figure 4 is a side view with certain parts broken away so as to show the gearing and other details;
Figure 5 is an enlarged sectional view showing the gap arrangement; and
Figure 6 is a perspective view of the shuffler folded up.
Referring to the drawings in detail, our improved mechanical card shufiier has a central casing structure having rear and front walls 10 and 11, side walls 12 and 13, and a bottom 14, with the rear and front walls being higher than the side walls.
In the upper central compartment C at the central part thereof is a support plate P which has a width approximating one-third of the length of the compartment. This support plate is mounted in the desired position by support legs 17 and 18, suitably secured to the bottom 14 of the casing structure, as can best be seen in Figure 3. The compartment C, as thus ing of the pile of cards in the compartment, portions of the front and rear walls of the casing structure are provided with notches or openings 19 and 2t] and the upper marginal portions of the panels 15 and 16 are flared outwardly so as to permit easy entry of the pack into the compartment. The notches 19 and 20 are to allow for parts of the hand which holds the cards during the placing of the pile in the compartment to be free of any interference by the walls. The compartment C is arranged to have a lid L which is pivoted to the rear wall 10 by hinges 21.
The casing on each side of the compartment C and at levels below the compartment is arranged to have associated therewith two card receiving compartments R and R The compartment R has a bottom 22 and three side walls 23, 24 and 25.
The compartment is open at the top and the opposed side walls 23 and 25 have their free ends pivotally conthe casing structure this function.
The outer wall 24 of compartment R has a cut out opening 28 and such joins with a notch 29 in the bottom wall. The opening so said pile can be easily grasped and lifted out.
The other receiving compartment R is a. duplicate of R and is constructed with a bottom 30, and side walls 31, 32 and 33, with the side walls 31 and 33 connected by pivot pins 34 and 35 to the front Wall 11 of the casing structure, and a gearing casing structure attached to the rear wall 10 to be hereinafter referred to. The side wall 13 of the casing structure forms the other wall for the receiving compartment R An opening 36 in side wall 32 and a communicating notch 37 in the bottom permit a pile of cards in the compartment to be easily grasped by a thumb and finger.
The receiving compartments R and R are so formed and pivoted to the casing structure that they can be folded over the casing structure as shown in Figure 6 when the shufl'ler is not in use. Thus there will be produced a compact boX-like form. The walls 24 and 32 of the compartments overlie the lid L of the central compartment C and thereby hold the lid in closed position.
When the compartments are swung outwardly the bottoms thereof will assume nearly horizontal positions, such positions being determined by the engaging of the inside edges of the bottoms with the side walls of the casing structure. With the outer sides of the compartments slightly higher than the inner sides a space will be provided below each compartment so that the grasping of cards in the compartment will be facilitated and not interfered with by the table surface on which the shufiler sets.
Beneath the support P for the central part of the compartment C and extending crosswise through the box are three parallel shafts 38, 39 and 40, said shafts being suitably journaled in the walls 10 and 11 of the casing structure. The two outer shafts 38 and 39 are positioned on the same level below the central shaft 40 and these two outer shafts are arranged to be substantially directly below the side panels of the compartment C. The shafts 38 and 39 are arranged to be rotated in opposite directions and this is accomplished by the rotation of the central shaft 40 and suitable gearing mounted on the ends of the shafts which project beyond the rear wall 1%. As best seen in Figures 1 and 4, the projecting end of the central shaft 40 has a gear 41 mounted thereon and meshing with a smaller gear 42 mounted on the shaft 38. The shaft 38 also carries a gear 43 which meshes with a gear 44 on the shaft 39. The gears 43 and 44 are of equal diameter and thus the two shafts 38 and 39 will always be driven at the same speed but in opposite directions shaft 40. The central shaft is arranged to be manually rotated by means of a crank structure 45 which is made by bending an extended portion of the end of the shaft 40 which projects out of the front wall 11 of the casing opposite the gearing. The gearing can be enclosed by a suitable casing structure 46.
The shafts 38 and 39 are arranged to carry the means for engaging a card at the bottom of the pile in compartment C and removing it therefrom. After one card has been engaged and removed, the succeeding bottom card will be engaged and removed. Cards removed from the bottom of the pile will alternately be directed in opposite directions. Thus every odd card will move to one receiving compartment and every even card will move to the other receiving compartment. To accomplish the removal of bottom cards, the shaft 38 has secured thereto two segmental members 47 and 48 and the shaft 39 has secured thereto two segmental members 49 and 50. The members 47 and 48 on the shaft 38 are on opposite sides of the support plate P at the bottom of the compartment C and likewise the members 49 and S0 areon opposite sides of said support plate. These segmental members have arcuate surfaces 51 extending over an angle of approximately 129 degrees and these surfaces are the ones which will engage the surface of a card and remove it from the bottom of a pile in the compartment C. Each segmental member has a rubber covering provided by a rubber band 52 suitably held upon the edge of the member to thus provide the arcuate portion with a good friction surface capable of non-sliding contact with the smooth surface of a card. The radius of the arcuate surface of the segmental members will be such that the band surface will extend slightly above the plane of the support plate P, thus insuring that the arcuate friction surface of each segmental member can fully en age with a card surface and pull it from beneath the pile in compartment C.
Particular attention is called to the construction of the segmental members and the manner of application of the rubber band. These members have a hub 53 Whereby attachment to the shaft by a set screw is accomplished. This hub carries a thin plate 54 on one side of which is attached a curved piece 55 having the desired arcuate surface. The rubber band 52 is then placed on this curved piece 55 and as can be seen in Figure 3 the by a rotation of the central 4 band will then not encircle the shaft. This will permit mounting of the band on the segmental members after such are placed on the shaft and the shaft mounted. A band can be replaced at any time without removal of a shaft or a segmental member.
The two segmental members 47 and 48 on the shaft 38 have like positions, as do also the segmental members 49 and 50 on the shaft 39. By like position is meant that the arcuate surfaces have the same radial position on the shaft. However, the segmental members 47 and 48 will be so arranged on shaft 38 and with respect to the segment members 49 and 50 on the shaft 39 that as the shafts rotate in opposite directions one set of arcuate surfaces will engage the bottom card and pull it out during the period in which the other set of arcuate surfaces is completely out of engagement with any card. Thus, the segment members on one shaft will be active in pulling a card while the segment members on the other shaft will be inoperative, and then as these latter se ment members become operative the first mentioned segment members will become inoperative, having completed the pulling of a card from the bottom of the pile.
A very important feature of our invention is the gap arrangement whereby a single card only can be pulled from the bottom of a pile of cards in the compartment C. This gap arrangement is associated with each end of the support plate P. As shown in Figures 2 and 5, the panel 15 of the compartment C has its lower edge spaced some distance above the plate with the exception of its central part. This part has a downwardly extending finger 56 of somewhat V-shape with a rounded lower end. This lower end of the finger member is positioned in spaced relation with respect to the end of the support plate to provide the gap G. It will be noted that the gap G has a short width, which width will be a very small fraction of the length of a playing card. The space between the finger 56 and the top surface of the support plate P will be slightly greater than the thickness of a playing card, but will be less than the thickness of two playing cards. This spacing has been found, for all practical purposes, to be somewhere between .015 and .018 inch. In a similar manner the other panel 16 of compartment C has secured thereto a downwardly extending finger 57, which is identical with the finger 56 and this finger defines, with the opposite end of the support plate, a gap G identical with the previously described gap G created by the finger 56 and the support plate.
In order to supply added weight on the bottom card of the pile of cards in the compartment C and thus insure that the bottom card will be pressed downwardly with sufficient force to create the desired frictional engagement of the segment members, particularly when the pile becomes small, there will be provided the weighted member W. This weighted member has a curved shape and is arranged to be carried on the end of a wire arm 58. The wire arm is V-shaped with the legs thereof having out-turned projections so as to form the hinge pins for the hinges 21 of the lid and also pivot means for the weight and arm. The weight is so attached to the closed end of the U-shaped wire arm that it has a sloppy connection and thus the weight will always be free to have a limited universal movement with respect to the wire arm. This is very important since it is necessary that the weight follow the movement of the pile of cards as the segmental members are rotated and cards are caused to be engaged and removed from the bottom of the pile. During the removal of the cards, the pile will rock back and forth, due to the fact that segment members onone longitudinal side of the pile will act upon the pile and raise it slightly at this side and then the other segment members will act on the opposite longitudinal side of the pile and raise it somewhat. The raising of the pile is caused by the fact that segment members during acting on the pile, project slightly above the top surface of the support plate P as can be seen in Figure 3. During this rocking of the pile of cards it is necessary that the weight continue to act fully upon both sides of the pile and thus it is seen that to accomplish this the weight should be mounted for limited free universal movement. In order that the weight will be raised with the lid L, the underside of the lid has a hook 59 so as to catch one leg of the wire arm as the lid is raised. The hook is so arranged that the arm and weight are not picked up by the hook until the lid is partially opened. This arrangement also allows the arm such free movement that the weight can follow the top of the pack down to the plate P.
As the cards move through the gaps G the trailing edge of a card may have a tendency to be kicked up by the action of the segmental members, just as it leaves the gap. To prevent this and insure that the card Will not overturn as it goes into a receiving compartment, each gap has associated therewith deflecting members 61) (see Figure These members are attached to the outer surfaces of the panels and 16 and have an outwardly extending lower edge 61 associated with the fingers forming the gap. The edge is slightly above the lower end of a finger, thus a card when it comes through the gap will be held horizontal and as its trailing edge leaves the gap it is prevented from having a turn-over movement. It will also be noted that the top edges of the side walls 12 and 13 are curved inwardly toward the ends of the plate P so that a leading card edge will easily pass over these walls Without catching.
From the foregoing description it is believed to be obvious how the improved mechanical shuffler operates. A single pile of cards will be placed in the compartment C, the lid L raised and also the weight W. The cards can be easily placed in the compartment by grasping them with a finger at one end and a thumb at the other. The two notches l9 and 2d at the ends of the compartment will then receive the finger and thumb during the placing of the cards on the support plate P. It is to be noted that the lid L at the hinged edge thereof is provided with an arcuate recess 19' for additional finger clearance when placing the cards on plate 1. The lid is now closed and the weight W swung so it will rest on the top of the pile of cards. Now, to perform the shufi'ling, the crank will be turned so that the shaft ll) rotates in the direction indicated by the arrow in Figure 3. This will result in the two shafts 33 and 3% being rotated, as well as the segment members carried thereby. Consequently, first the segmental members carried by the shaft 38 will engage the bottom card on the pile and remove it through the gap G and into the receiving compartment R Shortly after this card is removed from the bottom of the pile by the segment members 4-7 and 43 the segmental members 49 and 5b will assume positions where they will engage the bottom card, which has replaced the bottom card just removed, and cause this card to be shifted through the other gap G into the receiving compartment R As the crank is continued to be rotated, cards will then be taken from the bottom of the deck and moved first in one direction and then in the opposite direction until. all the cards of the pile have been removed. When this occurs half of the cards will be in the receiving compartment R and half in the compartment R The cards will then be properly mixed into two piles in the receiving compartments and can be put together and dealt. The shuffling accomplished by the shufiler will be the reverse of that usually done by hand. in hand shufiling, a pack of cards is separated and then, if perfect shuffling is performed, the cards in one pile will be alternately inserted between the cards in the other pile to produce a single pile.
During operation of the shuffler it is to be noted that the central part of the pile of cards only is supported and the Weight acts on the pile to maintain the bottom card firmly against the support plate and with sufiicient force on the pile of cards that a good friction contact can take place 1: C so that a card being and having a dimension through between the segmental members and the bottom card. As a bottom card is picked up by segmental members, the ends of the cards will be pushed upwardly slightly, but the center of the card will be maintained against the support plate and thus the card can move through the gap G. shuffling could not be efficiently accomplished if the finger forming the gap G was not so constructed that the gap had a very small width with respect to the length of the card. If it were attempted to construct the compartment removed from the bottom of the pile had to move through a long slot, then it would be practically impossible to get this card through the slot since a part of it would no doubt be deflected (during pulling operation) out of line with the slot and the card could then not go through the slot. With the gap having a very narrow width with respect to the card length and a weight acting to hold the bottom card so it will always be presented to the gap properly, then when the card is acted upon by the friction members with suificient frictional grip to pull a card, it will easily move out of the compartment C into a receiving compartment. This gap arrangement also permits cards to be shuflled whether new or used and it used, regardless of whether they have been bent somewhat by hand shufliing. in the operation of the shufiier, the bottom card is always hunted into a gap G by operation of the rotating segmental members before these members begin to act to raise the pile in compartment C. As segmental members initially engage a card they shift said card laterally and into the gap. As they continue to rotate they lift the pile slightly and this relieves the weight of the pile from the plate P and places the weight on the segmental members, thus increasing the friction between the segmental members and the bottom card with the result it will be easily forced on through the gap.
When the shufller is not in use the compartments R and R can be folded over the compartment C and the casing structure with the compact box form shown in Figure 6 resulting. Dust and dirt will then be kept out and a smaller size structure is present for storage or carrymg.
Being aware of the possibility of modifications in the particular structure shown without departing from the fundamental principles of our invention, we desire it to be understood that the scope of the invention is not to be limited in any manner except in accordance with the appended claims and structure equivalent to that set forth.
What is claimed is:
1. In a mechanical card shufiler, a support member for a pile of cards, a member cooperating with the support in spaced relation directly above the top surface of the support for defining a gap centrally of the length of one side of the pile of cards when placed on the support, said gap being in length a fraction less than onefifth of the length of said one side of the pile of cards which a card can pass only slightly greater than the thickness of a card, means acting against the bottom card of the pile on each end portion only thereof to move the bottom card in the plane thereof through the gap, and means comprising a vertically positioned plate projecting from a point at the gap outwardly beyond the gap for preventing a card from moving upwardly from the gap after being moved therethrough.
2. In a mechanical card shufiler structure having a central compartment for receiving and supporting a pile of cards, means defining gaps on opposite sides of the supporting part of the central compartment through which a card can freely pass from the bottom of the pile, card receiving compartments at opposite sides of the central compartment, positioned below the level thereof, and being open at the top, rotatable members positioned beneath the central compartment for so frictionally acting on the end portions of the bottom card of a pile of cards placed therein that cards will be alternately moved into the card receiving compartments at the sides thereof,
and means in the form of vertically positioned plates extending from the opposite sides of the central compartment at points beginning at the top of the gaps and projecting toward the receiving compartments for preventing upward movement of a card as it is moved from the central compartment to a receiving compartment.
3. In a mechanical card shuffier, a structure having a central compartment for receiving and supporting a pile of cards, a card receiving compartment having a bottom, side Walls and open top at two opposite sides of the central compartment with the bottoms positioned below the support level of the central compartment, rotatable members positioned beneath the central compartment for so frictionally acting on the bottom card of the pile that cards will be alternately placed in the card receiving compartments at the sides thereof, each of said card receiving compartments having openings in its side wall remote from the central compartment and also a companion opening in the bottom to permit a finger and thumb to be placed in grasping position above and below a pile of cards received in the compartment and thereby allow for easy removal of the pile, and means for pivotally mounting the receiving compartments to the shuffler so that they can be swung to positions where portions of the side walls willoverlie the central compartment to thereby make a compact article when the shuffier is not in use, said last named means comprising ears on the compartments extending along the outer surfaces of the end walls of the shufiler and pivot pins for the ears.
4. In a mechanical shuifler, casing structure having a central compartment provided with end and side Walls for receiving a pile of cards, card receiving compart-- ments positioned on each side of the central compartment and each having a bottom and side walls but being open at the top, means for moving cards from the bottom of a pile of cards in the central compartment into the receiving compartments in an alternate manner, and
means for so pivotally connecting the ends of the receiving compartments to the casing structure having the central compartment that the receiving compartments each can be swung so that a side wall is in an overlying position with respect to the central compartment and other side walls are at the end walls of the central compartment when the shufiler is not in use and thereby decreasing the overall length by approximately one-half.
5. In a mechanical shuiT'ler, casing structure having a central compartment for receiving a pile of cards, a hinged top for the central compartment, card receiving compartments positioned on two opposite sides of the central compartment and each having a bottom and three side walls but being open at the top and one side, means for moving cards from the bottom of a pile of cards in the central compartment into the receiving compartm nts in alternate manner, and means for so pivotally connecting the two sides of the receiving compartments which have ends adjacent the open outer surfaces of the end Walls of the casing structure having the central compartment that the receiving compartments can be swung to enclose the central compartment when the shuifier is not in use, and when in such enclosing position there will be a side Wall from each receiving compartment overlying a portion of the hinged top of the central compartment. and thereby making a compact article and maintaining the hinged top in closed position.
References Qited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,014,219 Hall Jan. 9, 1912 1,184,196 Michell May 23, 1916 l,955,926 Matthaey Apr. 24, 1934 2,048,942 McConnell July 28, 1936 2,159,958 Sachs May 23, 1939