US 2738617 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 20, 1956 c. s. CAPEHART 2,733,617
ARTICULATED UNDULATING AND CRAWLING TOY Filed July 29, 1954 'ARTICULATED UNDULATING AND CRAWLING TOY Charles s. Cape'hart, 1).; Land, Fla, assignor of one-half to C. Gary Starling, Orlando, Fla.
The present invention relates to toys of the type that may be drawn'or self-propelled over and along" a floor, or other surface, for the entertainment or amusement of young children and is of that type which has movable jointed sections, forming the body of the toy, to which sections movement is imparted from the movement of the toy to simulate animated locomotion of a form of life simulated by the design of the toy.
The toy of the present invention differs from thosepreviously known and proposed in that it is constructed of a multiplicity of entrained members pivotally connected or iinkned together in tandem so as to articulate vertically with respect to each other and each having a lower arcuate rocker surface that produces an undulating or sinuating motion withrespect to each other, when drawn over. a surface upon which the toy is supported.
The object of the invention, therefore, is to produce a very simple, novel, durable and relativelyinexpensivetoy having relatively few parts and. which will effectively produce an unusual and amusing mechanical body motion to the toy that will hold the interest of children for their entertainment.
The object of the inventionis' attained by the provision of a linkage of a plurality of body sections arranged in tandem and each having an arcuate or rocker surface adapted to. engage a supporting surface, such as the ground, a floor, table or the like, the adjacent upwardly extending portions of said sections, formingsaid arcuate surfaces, being connected for free articulating movement, one of the end sections of said linkage forming a head section having a traction wheel or roller eccentrically journalled thereto at a point forward of its rocker surface,
the axis or axle of said wheel being positioned to raise and lower the head section to alternately bring its rocker surface into and out of engagement with the supporting surface over which the toy is drawn or propelled. The contact of the rocker portion of the head section with the supporting surface causes it to swing or rock forwardly about said axis, as the toy is moved over said supporting surface, and the head section is weighted to swing backwardly by gravity when its rocker is out of contact with the supporting surface, to again contact the supporting surface. This repeated action of the head section causes the connected ends of the trailing link sections to alternately rise and lower and the curved or rocker portions of these sections to alternately slide and rock over the supporting surface thus. producing a vertical undulating movement effect, simulating the crawling movement of a fmeasuring worm or of a caterpillar.
A clearer understanding of the invention maybe had from the following detailed specification of one form in which the invention has been constructed when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings- Figure 1 is a side elevation of one form of the present invention in one of the positions its component parts assume in their movements when being drawn or propelled over a supporting surface;
nited States Patent ice Figure 2 is a side elevation similar to Figure l of another position of the component parts of the toy, when drawn or propelled over a supporting surface;
, Figure 3is a top plan view of Figure 1; and
Figure 4 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially on line 4 4 of Figure 1.
'having an arcuate or rocker under-surface 13. In order to achieve the effect or illusion of a worm, the sections 10, 11 and 12 are shown as approximately U-shaped with the free end portions'10 11 11 and 12 curved or flared outwardly and hingcdly connected to the adjacent v end of its neighboring section by a horizontally disposed pivot pin 14'. To assure that one body section will follow the others in a straight line and provide for simple and sturdy construction, the articulated ends 10 11 11 and 12 may be formed with interengaging parts as, for instance, shown in Figures 3 and 4 where the sections 11 and 12 have their upper ends 11 and 12 bifurcated vertically, as at b, and receive therein, respectively, reduced or tongue portions t formed on the adjacent ends 10 and 11 of sections 10 and 11, respectively, the pivoted pins 14 extending through said bifurcated and tongue portions of the adjacent sections.
One end section 10 may provide the head section of the toy and maybe of larger proportions than the trailing sections and maybe fashioned as shown to simulate a caricature design of the head of a worm or other design or ornamentation.
The head section 10 is maintained in a vertical position by rollers or wheelrneans positioned in advance of its rocker surface 13 and journalled eccentrically to the head section. As shown in the drawings, this wheel means may take the form of two rollers 15, one arranged on each side of the head section and fast upon the end of an axle 16 having its intermediate portion extending through a journal bushing or bearing 17 in the head section It), spacing washers 18 being interposed between the rollers and the sides of the head section. As stated, the axle 16 is fixed eccentrically to identically or approximately aligned offcenter points of the respective rollers so that the rotation of the rollers over a supporting surface S will evenly raise and lower the head section 10. Also, the axle journal bushing or bearing 17 is so positioned with relation to the diameter of the rollers 15 and the rocker surface 13 of the head section 10 that, when the shorter radii of the rollers are in about a 45 angle from their uppermost 7 position, shown in Fig. l, as the rollers are rotating over a surface, the portion of the head section forward ofits rocker portion 13 is progressively lowered toward the supporting surface S so that frictional contact therewith will cause-the head portion h to rock forwardly about the axle 16. This forward rocking action continues until the minor radii of the rollers pass their lowermost position (shown in Fig. 2). as the toy is being drawn over the supporting surface S by the pull-cord 19. As the the supporting surface S which limits the rearwardly swinging movement of the head portion h.
The repeated action of the rollers causes a continuous forward and rearward oscillation of the head portion 11 and causes the jingling of a bell 29 loosely suspended in an eye-opening 21 therein; and, also, causes the end portion ltl of thehead section to alternately raise and lower the end portions of the sections i1 and 12, thus producing an undulating vertical movement throughout the entire body of the toy.
To recapitulate the operation of the toy, it will be assumed that the toy is in its normal position shown in Figure l and resting upon a supporting surface S. Then, when the toy is drawn over the surface S by the pull-cord 19, rollers 15 will rotate forwardly, in a directio'nof the arrow, allowing the axle in to move progressively downwardly toward the supporting surface S carrying with it the forward portion of the rocker surface 13 of the head section ill and, due to the frictional contact therebetween, the head portion [1 rocks forwardly on the operating surface to the position shown in Fig. 2. This movement of the head section it? raises its end portion it? from the position shown in Figure l to the position shown in Fig. 2 and, correspondingly, raises the forward end portion Ill of the section 11, which causes the rocker portion 13 of section ll to slide forwardly on the supporting surface S. At the same time, when the forward end portion li of section 11 was raised, its rear end portion 11 is lowered carrying with it the pivoted end portion 12 of section 12. As the end E of section 12 is moved downwardly, section 12 is caused to rock forwardly on the supporting or operating surface S, to assume the position shown in Figure 2. This operation, just described, occurs in about half revolution of the wheels of the rollers 15.
As the pull on the pull-cord 19 continues, the rollers 15 continue to rotate forwardly, in the direction of the arrow, and the axle 16 now begins to move upwardly away from the supporting surface S to raise the forward end of the rocker portion 15 of the head section above and out of contact with said supporting surface, thus allowing it to gravitate backwardly about the axle 16 where the rear portion of its rocker surface 13 again contacts the supporting surface S (as shown in Figure l) and slides forwardly on the supporting surface until the axle 16 again lowers the front end portion of the head section as above described. However, during this last stated operation of the head section it), the adjacent ends 10 and 11 of sections it and 11 are moved downwardly causing section 11 to rock forwardly on its rocker surface 1'3, which raises its rear end portion 1?) (connected with the end 12* of the tail section 12), whereby the tail section 12' slides forwardly on its rocker surface 13 for a distance over the operating surface S. At this time, the rollers 1'5 will have completed one revolution from their position shown in Figure l, the cycle of operation being repeated by the continued forward movement of the toy by means of the pull-cord.
It is within the purview of the present invention to make, at least, the head section bulbous, such as by casting or molding the same with a slot or opening in its underside to receive a single supporting roller 15 of appropriate length to give stability to the toy while being drawn or propelled over a supporting surface S.
It is also within the purview of this invention to provide the rollers with a rubber or other frictional circumferential surfaces and to power-drive the same by a spring motor, or the like, installed within a compartment in the head section 10. Also, while only two entrained sections it and i2 have been described and shown for the purpose of convenience, additional sections 11 may be added to the entrainment and they will perform their undulating movement automatically without any further change in design or construction of the device or of. any other parts of the device.
Having thus described the invention and the manner in which the same may. be performed, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise construction herein shown and described as other variations and modifications may be made without parting from the spirit of the invention and that the invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
That which is claimed, as new, and to be secured by Letters Patent, is:
l. A toy comprising a plurality of substantially U- shaped members arranged in a tandem series with their closed end portions downward and adapted to rest upon a supporting surface, adjacent ends of the legs of said U-shaped members being pivotally joined for vertical articulation, the closed ends of said U-members being arcuate and forming rocker surfaces, one end U-shaped member forming the tail section of the toy and the other end member forming the head section of the toy, and traction roller means eccentrically journalled to the head section at a point forwardly of its rocker surface, and positioned to cause the roller means, in its rotation, to lower and raise the rocker surface of the head section into an out of engagement with the supporting surface, said head section being designed so as to be weighted to rotate on said axis rearwardly of said roller means when out of contact with said supporting surface.
2. A mobile toy simulating the movements of an animated object, when in motion, and comprising a plurality of body sections arranged in tandem and pivotally connected together at their adjacent portions for free vertical articulated motion, a traction wheel means carried only by the forward section of said series of body sections, each of said body sections being formed on its underside with an arcuate rocker-surface extending foreand-aft of the toy and adapted to move over a supporting surface, said traction wheel means being mounted and positioned relative to the rocker-surface of said forward section to cause its said rocker-surface to alternately engage and disengage said supporting surface as the toy is moved thereover, whereby a vertical undulating or sinuating crawling motion is imparted to all of said body sections of the toy when moved forwardly over said supporting surface.
3. A crawling toy comprising a series of entrained body sections each being formed with an arcuate rocker-form undersurface and having its ends pivotally connected directly to the adjacent ends of adjacent body sections to articulate vertically, said rocker-surfaces of said body sections being adapted to rest upon a supporting surface over which the .toy is moved and one of said sections being the front head section, and a traction roller means eccentrically journaled to said head section only in advance ofv its rocker-surface to engage said supporting surface and positioned to alternately raise and lower the rocker-surface of the head section out of and into contact with said supporting surface as the toy is moved, said head section being biased to swing rearwardly for a distance about the axis of said roller means when out of contact with said supporting surface, whereby a vertical undulating or sinuating crawling motion is imparted to said series of sections constituting said toy when the toy is moved forwardly over said supporting surface.
4. A mobile toy adapted to be moved forwardly over the ground or a supporting surface, said toy comprising a body member simulating an object and having its lower edge of arcuate rocker-form extending fore-and-aft thereof, in the direction oftravel of the toy, to contact the ground to effect a movement of the body member when the toy is moved-over said ground, traction roller meanspositioned relatively to and eccentrically journalled on a single axis to the body member for continuous contact with the ground and to raise said body member with its rocker portion out ofcontact with the ground during a portion of its cycle of rotation, as the toy is moved forwardly overthe ground, and having said axis positioned forwardly of the effective ground-engaging portion of said rocker and of the center of gravity of said body member for biasing said body member to swing rearwardly about the axis of said roller, when the rocker surface is raised out of contact with the ground, to allow said rocker to again engage with the ground, whereby the forward movement of the toy over the ground causes said body member to oscillate forwardly and rearwardly in rapid succession as the toy progresses in its travel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS