US 2717691 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 13, 1955 A. E. COLLINS 2,717,691
RETURN BALL WRAPPING Filed Sept. 9, 1954 FIG. 2
INVENTOR. ARTHUR E COLLINS ATTORNEYS United States Patent RETURN BALL WRAPPING Arthur E. Collins, Rockville, Conm, assignor to The Bar:
Rubber Products Company, Sandusky, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Application September 9, 1954, Serial N 0. 454,994
1 Claim. (Cl. 20645.33)
The present invention relates to packaging means and particularly to a return ball wrapping.
Soft rubber return balls have for years been a staple article in the toy field. They are small rubber balls with long elastic threads attached and are suitable for use as a toy by themselves or in connection with paddles or bats to which the free end of the elastic thread is attached. These soft rubber return balls easily become soiled with handling. It is necessary for marketing purposes that return balls be suitably individually packaged to avoid great wastage due to consumer rejection of dirty or even slightly soiled balls or elastics.
The object of the present invention is to provide return ball wrappings which are more attractive and marketable and more economically manufactured than those of the prior art.
The broad object of the invention is accomplished by providing for gripping engagement of a return ball by a piece of web in which the ball is packaged, the elastic thread associated with the ball being wound around one side of the ball, and the edges of the web being gathered and secured on the opposite side of the ball.
The objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a specific embodiment of the invention.
Figure 1 is a partially sectional view showing a preliminary wrap of a return ball according to the invention.
Figure 2 is a partially broken away view showing a form of finalized wrapping according to the invention.
The preliminary wrap shown in Figure 1 may be provided by rotating a return ball around a central axis while guiding the elastic thread 11 associated with the ball into take-up engagement with one hemisphere of the ball; in the illustrated embodiment, this happens to be the bottom hemisphere of the ball 10.
The central portion of a wrapper or piece of web 12 of cellophane or other desired wrapping material, which wrapper may initially be of flat conformation, is contacted with the central portion of the hemisphere on which the elastic thread is wound, preferably during winding thereof. Upon completion of winding, the wrapper 12 is drawn upwardly to capture the elastic thread against the one hemisphere, as shown in Figure 1.
The marginal portions of the wrapper are simultaneously or subsequently gathered and secured on the opposite hemisphere of the ball. As shown in Figure 2, securing of the marginal portions of the web may be accomplished by twisting them rather tightly together as illustrated.
The superior return ball packages contemplated by the invention may be readily and economically mass-produced as follows. A wrapper is placed between coaxial rotatable members; a ball 10 is then placed on the wrapper 12 and between the rotatable members with its associated elastic thread 11 extending from the ball radially outwardly from the axis of rotation of the coaxial rotatable members; the coaxial rotatable members are then brought together to engage the wrapper between the ball and one of the co- "ice axial rotatable members during their rotation, and the elastic thread is simultaneously guided toward the area of tangency of the ball and wrapper to wind up the thread on the ball.
Thereupon, while continuing to rotate the ball and engage it between the coaxial rotatable members, the coaxial rotatable members, on the one hand, and a ball-receiving bushing, on the other hand, are shifted axially with respect to each other to draw the bushing at least partially over the ball from the axial direction corresponding to the side of the ball which initially engaged the wrapper to draw the wrapper around the ball and capture the wound thread, thus establishing the preliminary wrap shown in Figure 1. The marginal portions of the wrapper are then secured together at the side of the ball generally opposite to the side of the ball which initially engaged the wrapper, as by heat-sealing, or by twisting to produce the specific final wrap shown in Figure 2.
Apparatus and methods for producing wrapped return balls of a type contemplated by the invention are illustrated and described in greater detail in my copending applications, Serial No. 505,399, filed April 20, 1955, and Serial No. 505,400, filed April 21, 1955, respectively.
It will be seen that the thread 11, which would be nonself-supporting in wound position on one hemisphere of the ball 10, is maintained as part of a firrn self-supporting package by the Wrapping 12 which captures the thread against the one hemisphere of the ball while having its own marginal portions secured at the opposite side or hemisphere of the ball. Additionally, the one hemisphere of the resulting package exhibits the thread in neatly arranged position on the ball and within the smooth wrapping, constituting a neat and attractive display.
The return ball wrapping improvements contemplated by the invention obviously need not be confined in all details precisely to the above disclosure. The scope of the invention is defined in the following claim.
\Vhat is claimed is:
A wrapped return ball comprising an elastic ball and elastic thread attached thereto, said thread having a length equivalent to at least a plurality of diameters of said ball, a transparent wrapper comprising a piece of a transparent web of wrapping material surrounding said ball and thread, said thread being wound around one hemisphere only of said ball, marginal portions of said wrapper being gathered and secured at the other and opposite hemisphere of said ball to cause said wrapper to capture and maintain said thread in said wound position without the gathered and secured portions of said wrapper being visible from the side of said ball from which said wound thread may be viewed in its entirety.
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