US 2765581 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0d. 9, 1956 A ADLER v 2,765,581
PLAY BLOCK Filved Feb. 2, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 vW-v l IN VEN TOR.
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Oct. 9, 1956 A. ADLER v 2,755,581
PLAY BLOCK Filed Feb. 2, 195e :s 'sheets-sheet 2 ay@ T -z fram/EV Uc. 99 i956 A. ADLER 2,?65581 PLAY BLOCK Filed Feb. 2, -1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 'F'O Fael 4Fumo ,W W
ATTORNEY 2,765,581 PLAY BLOCK Alfons Adler, New York, N. Y.
Application February 2, 1956, Serial No. 563,035
6 Claims. (Cl. i6-26) The present invention relates to a play block, in general, and to a play lblock which includes connecting elements for connecting adjacent play blocks, which connecting elements may be inserted into the latter, in particular.
This application is a continuation-impart of the copending patent application Serial No. 425,237, iiled April 23, 1954.
Play blocks are known which are connected by connecting pins having resilient ends, whereby 'the head of the connecting pin is slidably guided in a narrowing bore provided in each play block. An end member extending through the resilient ends of the pin prevents the involuntary removal of each pin. The connection between each pair of adjacent play blocks is brought about by advancing the connecting pin in the bore of the adjacent play block and by spreading the resilient ends of the pin without the wide portion of the bore of the adjacent play block. The shoulder formed between :the wider and narrower portions of the bore serves as abutment vfor the resilient ends of the `connecting pins. This known arrangement has, however, a number of drawbacks and among them -appears the necessity of advancing of the head of the connecting pin by means of a small rod to be inserted into the narrow portion of the bore, which makes the process of connecting a plurality of play blocks rather difficult. In addition, the connecting pin may be advanced with one of its ends in one direction only, while its other end cannot penetrate the narrow portion of the bore. Thus, a new play block may be joined on one side only, whereby `the connecting pin may be of short length only and in its advanced position is rto be inserted into the short, narrow bore of the adjacent play block only, which measure limits fthe possibility of a side connection between the play blocks.
It is, therefore, one object of the present invention to provide a play block in combination with connecting means which permit the connection of adjacent play blocks without :the use of auxiliary members and which connecting means permit a removal in either direction from each play block and also fthe arrangement of connecting members of any rdesirable length, thereby increasing the speed of connecting and disconnecting, respectively, of a plurality of play block-s.
It is another object of the presen-t invention to provide a play block in combination with connecting members to be inserted into the respective play blocks to be connected, the latter having recesses extending therethrough, the recesses being of equal cross-section throughout and are equipped with small cavities equally spaced apart from each other, the small cavities being adapted to retain Ithe connecting members in their respective operative positions by receiving spring extensions projecting from the connecting members in their respective positions.
I-t is yet another object of the present invention to provide a play lblock in connection with connecting members to be inserted into the respective play blocks to be connected in which theconnecting member comprises a longitudinal sheet metal strip vwhich is inserted into the Patented Oct. 9, 1956 recesses of the play blocks or lthe sheet metal strips may be slidably inserted into the connecting members, whereby as a step for simplification of the manufacturing process narrow longitudinal strips are stamped out on three sides from fthe metal `sheets equally spaced apart from each other at a distance complementary to the small cavities provided in the recesses of the play blocks which stamped out portions are slightly bent to form springs projecting yout of fthe plane of 'the metal sheet and to replace separately attached spring members.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a play block in combination with connecting members to be inserted into lthe respective play blocks to be connected in which the said play blocks have additional recesses disposed at opposite edge portions and extending substantially to the center of the play block, in order to permit .an angular attachment of a play block to another block in such manner that the longitudinal end face of one play block assumes va posit-ion flush with the end face yof the other play block.
With ithese and yother objects in View which will become .apparent in the following detailed description, .the present invention will 4be clearly understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is an elevational view of a play block with lengthwise and crosswise connecting members extending therefrom;
Figs. Zand 3 are sections yalong `the lines 2 2 and 3-3, respectively, of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is fragmentary view of a cavity in a recess shown at enlarged scale;
Figs. 5 and 6 are perspective top views of wall connections of play blocks, the walls being disposed at different angles;
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary perspective View of a second embodiment 'of the connecting member inserted into a play block;
Fig. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a .third embod-iment of a yconnecting member inserted into a play block;
Fig. 9 `is a plan view of one-half of a block designed for angular connection with Ithe second block;
Fig. 10 is an end view seen along the lines 10-10 of Fig. 9;
Fig. 11 is a section along the lines 11-11 of Fig. 9;
Fig. l2 is a plan view of the other half of the block complementary tothe half shown in Fig. 9;
Fig. 13 is an end view seen along ,the lines 13-13 of Fig. 12;
Fig. 14 is aysection through two blocks connected in -angular arrangement; and
Figs. 15 and 16 indicate two further variations of the spring member.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular to Figs. 1 to 4, the present invention comprises a play block 1, preferably of a flat rectangular shape which has crosswise disposed recesses 2 extending throughout the play block 1 at different levels in the different directions and being of equal, preferably rectangular, cross-section. The recesses 2 are adapted to receive and to guide the connecting members 3 which may be inserted into the recesses 2. The connecting members 3 may be inserted into the recesses 2 from either side of the play block and form a sliding fit inthe recesses 2. Theconnecting members 3 are equipped with holding elements 4 comprising substantially at springs 5 which form a hook-shaped end 6, the latter projecting over the side faces 7 of the connecting members 3. The fiat springs 5 are secured to the connecting members 3 and` tend to extend beyond the side faces 7 thereof. A cut-out 8 is provided in the connecting members 3 opposite the hook-shaped ends 6 of the ilat springs 5, which cut-outs 8 permit the press-l ing of the at springs 5 within the contines of the side faces 7 of the connecting members 3. The end of the at springs 5 remote from the hooked end is secured to the connecting members 3 by rivets 9, screws or the like.
The recesses 2 extending crosswiseV through the play blocks have cppositely disposed cavities 10 and 11 which have preferably the shape of a callot to receive the hooked ends 6 of the flat springs 5 and thereby prevent an involuntary axial movement of the connecting members 3, while, on the other hand, the exertion of a greater force permits the axial movement of the latter by forcing the fiat springs 5 to withdraw from the cavities 10 and 11, respectively.
The first pair of oppositely disposed cavities 10 and 11 in the recesses 2 are arranged in such manner and spaced apart from the end faces 13 and 14, respectively, of the play block 1, that upon insertion of the connecting member 3 into the recess 2, one end 12 of the connecting member 3 lies flush with the respective end faces 13 and 14 of the play block 1. While this one end 12 of the connecting member 3 is iiush with the corresponding end face of the play block 1, its other end projects beyond the opposite end face of the play block 1 to be inserted into a corresponding recess 2 of an adjacent play block. Each recess 2 has preferably at least two pairs of oppositely disposed cavities 10 and 11, which cavities are spaced apart for the length a and the iiat springs 5 are spaced apart on the connecting members 3 equally with the length a. Each connecting member 3 has at least three pairs of holding elements 4 and each pair of such holding elements is spaced apart from its adjacent pair for the length of a.
As clearly shown in Figs. l to 3, similar longitudinally disposed connecting members 3 are provided in each play block, which are inserted in a corresponding recess 2 thereof. The holding elements 4 are of like structure and spaced apart equally for the length of a', the relation between the length of a and the length of a being equivalent to the relation of the length to the width of the play block 1.
The recesses 2 and 2 are, as stated before, preferably of rectangular cross-section so that if one connecting element only provides the connection with an adjacent play block, the two play blocks are secured against rotation relative to each other.
The play blocks may be equipped with pin-like extensions or with corresponding recesses in order to prevent a relative side movement of adjacent play blocks or to secure plate-like frames thereto.
The connecting members 3 and 3 permit the connection of a plurality of play blocks in any desired manner. In the arrangement shown in Fig. 2 of the drawing, an additional play block may be joined at the end face 13 as well as at the end face 14 and also at the end face 1S of the play block 1, whereby the recesses provided in the joined play blocks are free to receive additional connecting members for joining further play blocks to expand the entire structure in any direction. It is, of course, also possible to arrange the connecting members 3 and 3 in the corresponding recesses 2 and 2 in such manner by a sliding movement that one end of the connecting members 3 and 3 extends for the double length of a and a', respectively, beyond the end faces of the respective blocks, while its other end extends for a and a', respectively, into the recess of the play block, thereby permitting the insertion of an additional connecting member into the same recess. In this manner, a great number of possibilities for joining a plurality of play blocks to form different structures is made possible. It is furthermore also possible to change connecting members of shorter length to those of greater length if greater structures are desired.
The play blocks as wel] as the connecting members may be made of any suitable material, as for instance wood, plastic, metal or the like.
Referring now to Figs. 5 and 6, it will be seen that a vertically disposed play block 1 is provided and, as shown in Fig. 5, a horizontally disposed play block 12 is connected to the play block 1 by screw bolts 16 so that by this connection a roof or bridge structure between oppositely disposed play blocks may be achieved.
In the structure shown in Fig. 6, the vertically disposed play block 1 is connected to an angularly arranged play block 13 by means of screw bolts 16', whereby the withdrawal of the screw may be used to change the angular relationship between the vertically disposed play block 1 and the angularly disposed play block 13.
It is, of course, also possible to provide hinge connections between the play block 1' and 12 (Fig. 5) or 1' and 13 (Fig. 6), thereby permitting different angular positions between the respective play blocks. It is also possible to makc some of the connecting members of two parts which are connected by hinge members, so that the connected play blocks may be put into any desired angular position relative to each other.
While the connecting member disclosed in the first embodiment shown in Figs. l to 5 consisted of a longi; tudinal bar which is equipped with a plurality of equidistantly spaced apart recesses and separate spring members are provided which are secured to the blocks in such manner that the hook-shaped ends of the spring members are mounted in said recesses or cavities, the embodiments shown in Figs. 7 and 8 disclose two simplified structures of said connecting member.
Referring now to Fig. 7, the connecting member 32 is inserted into the recess 22 of the play block 12, which connecting member 32 may be made of either plastic, metal or wood and which connecting member is equipped with a longitudinal recess 172 preferably adjacent one end portion of the connecting member 32, which recess 172 is adapted to receive a flat sheet metal plate 182. A plurality of preferably rectangularly shaped cut-out portions 192 are stamped out on three sides thereof from said sheet metal plate, which stamped out portions are equidistantly spaced apart in the same manner as the springs were arranged in the embodiment shown in Figs. 1 to 4. Thus, the distance between the slightly raised hook-shaped portions of the said cut-out portions 192 are spaced apart for the distance a or a', depending upon whether the connecting member 32 is adapted for longitudinal or crosswise connection of adjacent blocks.
Referring now to Fig. 8, the embodiment shown in Fig. 7 can be further simplified by reducing the connecting member to a simple sheet metal plate 183 which constitutes the connecting member in this instance and is to be inserted into a proper longitudinal or crosswise disposed recess 23 of the block 13. The sheet metal plate 183 is here again equipped with a plurality of equidistantly spaced apart cut-out portions 193 which function as the spring members equivalent to the special spring members 5 of the first embodiment. The distance between the respective cut-out portions 193 will be equivalent to the distance a and a', respectively, depending upon whether the connecting member is disposed in longitudinal or crosswise direction in the block 13.
While the resilient cut-out portions 192 and 193 are preferably made of rectangular shape, it is not necessary to confine these cut-out portions to such shape and Figs. 1S and 16 show additional cut-out portions 194 and 195, respectively, which are of a circular design and have several radially projecting members entering a correspondingly shaped cavity of the block.
In order to simplify also the structure of the block, Figs. 9 and l2 indicate two halves of such block, which halves are shown in such manner that the inner faces engaging the other half of the block are shown in a top plan view. Accordingly, Fig. 9 shows one half of the block 14 while Fig. 12 shows the other complementary half of the same block 14. This block is Particularly designed to receive a fiat metal sheet plate 183 as connecting member. It can be easily ascertained that the block half 14 shown in Fig. 9 has two crosswise disposed recesses 24 which are eqoipped with corresponding cavities 114 spaced apart for a predetermined amount a to receive the projecting cut-out portions 193 of the at metal sheet plate 183 upon sliding the latter in the recess 24. The other half of the play block 14 shown in Fig. 12 has a longitudinal recess 24 which is likewise equipped with cavities 114 which are adapted to receive corresponding cut-out portions 193 of the metal sheet plate 183. The formation of each blocl; by two thus prepared half blocks simplifies the arrangement of the comparatively low recesses therein for the respective longitudinal and crosswise arranged connecting members.
Referring now to Fig. 14, an arrangement is shown in which play blocks may be joined at an angle towards each other instead of end to end arrangement as disclosed in the previous embodiments. In the example given in Fig. 14 one play block 15 is joined with a second play block 15, the latter being disposed at a right angle towards the block 15. A single liat metal sheet connecting member 135 which is bent at a right angle brings about the connection of the blocks 15 and 15. In order to connect the two blocks 15 and 15 in such manner that the end face of the block 15 disposed flush with the top face of the block 15, the half block which constitutes one element of the entire block 15 is equipped with a recess 2115 which recess is of a length which is equal to the distance of the longitudinal recess 25 from the top face of the block 16. By providing such recess of the stated length in the block 15, the end face of the latter lies automatically flush with the top face of the block 16 upon connecting the blocks 15 and 15 by means of the connecting member 185. The distance of the cut-out portions in the block 16 are again equal to the distance a which receives the spring members 195 in the corresponding cut-out portions 115. Corresponding cut-out portions 205 for joining another block to the block 14 are also indicated in the block half shown in Fig. 9.
While I have disclosed several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be understood that these embodiments are given by example only and not in a limiting sense, the scope of the present invention being determined by the objects and the claims.
1. A play block having at least one crosswise disposed channel and one lengthwise disposed channel, the said lengthwise disposed channel being arranged on a different level than that of said crosswise disposed channel in the said play block, each of the said channels being of equal cross section throughout the width and length, respectively, of the said play block, a longitudinal connecting member of a cross section complementary to that of the said channels and of a length greater than that of the said channels and slidably receivable by the latter, a plurality of cavities disposed in the said channels equidistantly spaced apart from each other in longitudinal direction thereof, the end cavities being half this distance from the respective block faces, and a plurality of spring members extending from said connecting member and projecting into the said cavities in operative position, the said spring members being spaced apart at a distance equal with that of the said cavities, and the connecting members being of such length that when one end of each of the said connecting members is ilush with the end face of the said play block the other end extends beyond the opposite end face of the said play block for a length equal to the distance between each pair of adjacent cavities in longitudinal direction of the said channel and the said spring member is located midway between the said one end of the connecting member and the said opposite end face of the block.
2. The play block, as set forth in claim 1, in which the distances between said cavities in said channels are chosen in relation to the length of the channels and the distances between each pair of adjacent cavities in the respective crosswise and lengthwise disposed channels correspond with the relation of the width to the length of the said play block.
3. A play block having at least one crosswise disposed channel and one lengthwise disposed channel, the said lengthwise disposed channel being arranged on a different level than that of the said crosswise disposed channel in the said play block, each of the said channels being of equal cross section throughout the width and length, respectively, of the said play block, a longitudinal connecting member of a cross section complementary to that of the said channels and of a length greater than that of the said channels and slidably receivable by the latter, a plurality of cavities disposed in the said channels equidistantly spaced apart from each other in longitudinal direction thereof, the end cavities being half this distance from the respective blocks faces, and a plurality of recesses on the outer face of the said connecting member and a flat spring having a hook-shaped end secured to the said connecting member in each of the said recesses, the said hook-shaped ends of said ilat spring being received by the said recesses in inoperative position and projecting into the said cavities in operative position, the said flat springs being spaced apart at a distance equal with that of the said cavities, and the connecting members being of such length that when one end of each of the said connecting members is flush with the end face of the said play block the other end extends beyond the opposite end face of the said play block for a length equal to the distance between each pair of adjacent cavities in longitudinal direction of the said channel and a hook-shaped end of a spring is located midway between the said one end of the connecting member and the said opposite end face of the block.
4. The play block, as set forth in claim 1, in which the said connecting member comprises a longitudinal bar having a longitudinal recess open at one of its longitudinal faces, a flat plate received by said recess of the connecting member, and a plurality of equidistantly spaced apart portions stamped out from said flat plate member to function as said spring members for the connecting member.
5 The play block, as set forth in claim 1, in which the said connecting member comprises a longitudinal flat member having a plurality of equidistantly spaced apart stamped out portions to function as said spring members.
6. The play block, as set forth in claim 1, in which the said play block has a recess disposed at one end face of said block for a length and depth which is equal to the distance of the longitudinal recess from said end tace and for a width equal to the width of said longitudinal recess.
References Cited in the iile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 419,099 Arold Ian. 7, 1890 1,308,254 Otto July 1, 1919 2,063,895 Mack Dec. 15, 1935 2,143,667 Troiel Jan. 10, 1939 2,465,005 Bostic Mar. 22, 1949 2,487,654 Hoffman Nov. 8, 1949 FOREIGN PATENTS 595,027 Great Britain Nov. 25, 1947