US 2774599 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 18, 1956 2,774,599
G- M. DUNN FOLDING GAMEBOARD AND BIGIDIFYING AND TURNING ATTACHMENT THEREFOR Filed Oct. 11, 1954 Gilbert M Dunn INVENTOR.
hired States Patent FOLDING GAMEBOARD AND RIGIDIFYING AND TURNING ATTACHMENT THEREFOR Gilbert M. Dunn, Concord, Application October 11, 1954, Serial No. 461,396 5 Claims. (Cl. 273---136) usual step-by-step manner without disturbing the playing pieces on the top surface of the board. I
It is a matter of common knowledge that playing boards in the category of endeavor under advisement are usually rectangular in plan and are made up of hingedly connected half-sections which .fold into overlapping relation 5 for compactness and convenience when not in use, similar, for example, to well known checker boards. These boards are, of course, made of various kinds of sheet material,
such as Masonite, linoleum, commercial plastics, etc. in
playing games such as keyword and scrabble, the players constantly encounter the inconvenience of rotating the board so that it faces each player when it is his turn to play. The need for turning the playing board is recurrent with each play. As is well known, it is a step or stage in the play which is frequently clumsily handled resulting in delay and often in a controversy over disturbed playing pieces.
There has long existed the need, "it is submitted, for a practical addition to the simple sectional folding-typerplaying board to. appropriately solve the difficult-to-handle turning problem. Rendering the conventional-type playing board freely and readily turnable acceptably and without fuss is destined to materially add to the pleasure of the game and promote its continued popularity. The instant invention has to do, therefore, with a playing board having flat top and bottom surfaces with the required printed playing media. Pivot means, of one type or another, is provided, and utilized on the bottom surface and situated at the central axial turning point of the board and is adapted to slightly space the bottom surface above the table or other support surface, this in a manner to permit the board to be progressively turned by hand in a horiboard may be handily turned step-by-step and without disturbing the playing pieces on the top surface thereof.
zontal plane about a vertical axis, whereby said playing An object of the invention is to provide a scrabble or equivalent playing board constructed as above stated wherein the required pivoting means may be made-2min-v tegral part of the board by the manufacturer, or, may, as is herein more clearly observed, be made in the form of readily attachable and detachable accessory means to supplement theconventional board andto render it turnable for the purposes'stated. 1 1 v 1 A further obj ct of the invention is to structurally, functionally andotherwise improve upon similarly constructed and performing game boards and the like and,in doing so, to provide an'adaptation'. in which manufacturers, retailers andusers will find their respective requirements and needs effectually contained and met. i More specifically, novelty is predicated on a construction, this in the form of an attachment, which issuited to 2,774,599 Patented Dec. 18, 1956 "ice 2 volume construction, will retail economically on a volume sales basis, which is in keeping with the requirements of low shipping costs per unit, is compact, convenient and otherwise adaptable to fulfill the requirements to be satisfied.
Other objects, features and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description and the accompanying sheet of illustrative drawings.
In the drawings, wherein li ke numerals are employed to designate. like parts-throughout the views:
Figure l is a bottom perspective view of a scrabble or equivalent playing board constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention with the board in readiness for use;
Figure 2 is a sectional view taken approximately on the central section line 2-2 of Figure 1, looking in the direction .of the arrows;
Figure 3 is a perspective view of the pivoting means, this as an attachment, and showing the same by itself and with its components assembled to provide a handy triple-part assemblage providing a compact and convenient package; and
Figure 4 is'a cross-section on the line 44 of Figure 3.
Referring now and more particularly to the drawings .by way of reference numerals and accompanying lead lines, the numeral 3 designates a suitable playing board which, as before mentioned, is conveniently identified here as a scrabble or equivalent game board. The matter of materials, shape and size is immaterial insofar as the essence of the invention is herein concerned. While the playingboard could be of one-piece solid construction, it is, generally and preferably, the style commonly used, and is therefore made up or'composed of rectangular companion half-sections which are denoted by the numerals 4 and 5. The. adjacent longitudinal edges. of the half-sections are hingedly connected together by that which may be identified broadly as a hinging seam or equivalent means 6. The means here comprises lengthwise strips of tape, fabric tape, for example, which are denoted by the numerals 7 and 8. These bridge the joint at the complemental edges. of the sections 4 and 5 and provide a well known type of folding hinge. Although it is of no patentable moment here, it is to be explained that the playing board will, of course, be properly decorated by printing and the flat top side will have appropriate printed media thereon for playing the game according to the rules.
' It is within the purview of the inventive concept herein under advisement that the playing board 3 may be turned out bythe manufacturer with centrally disposed depending pivot means to render it turnable. In these circumstances, the meansis therefore broadly referred to conventional scrabble board. In carrying out this aspect of the over-all concept, I provide severalcomponents; namely, two'ada'pters ltl. and 12 and a complemental strip "member 14. In practice, the "strip member so far used is a'fiexible steel strip having rounded marginally beveled ends 16 and 18. There is a central indented or extruded boss at 20, as shown in Figure 2, which provides the central pivot or spindle. The numeral 22 mere lyz'designates a patch of felt or the like which covers the boss or pivot and serves to guard against marring the table or other support surface (not shown). The strip 14 is slightly shorter than the surface of the playing board against which it is positioned. It is also wide enough to bridge the hinge or seam, more specifically, the joint 6 between the hinged sections 4 and 5. Therefore, it is applied against the bottom and partly overlaps and is thus superimposed against the hinging seam, as illustrated in the drawings, and it serves as a stifiener and it is detachably maintained in place by way of the adapters 10 and 12. l
The adapters are preferably channel-shaped members and each is the same in construction and the description of one will sufifice for both. Each adapter comprises a relatively narrow flange 24 which fits over the marginal portion of the top surface and a wider bottom flange 26 which contacts the bottom surface; the flanges being joined by a web 28. These flanges are resilient and slightly yieldable so that they may be easily slipped on and off, that is, applied and removed to the cooperating marginal edge portions of the playing board. They are preferably in spaced parallelism and opposite one another, and they are put in position first and then, the strip member 14 is applied and the rounded beveled ends are wedged in between the playing board and the bottom flanges. The flanges thus serve to clampingly hold the strip 14 in place. The aforementioned leveling and board balancing members or elements are of any appropriate construction. They are here shown in the form of felt disks 36-30 which are glued or otherwise fastened to the bottom of the wide flange 26 whereby these four felt disks or members are circumferentially spaced and cooperate with the center pivot in an obvious manner. These adapters 10 and 12 serve not only as anchors for the pivot-equipped strip member, they also constitute braces for rigidifying the playing board. When they are applied in the centered positions shown, they bridge the hinge joint 6 and thus convert the oblong folding board into ready-to-use rigid square form. When the rounded ends of the strip 14 are wedged in place between the bottom surface of the board and the bottom flanges of the adapters, they are thus frictionally maintained in place, and the attachment when thus applied becomes a temporary rigidifying and turning device or means for the playing board. That is to say, with the attachment in place the playing board is rigid and may be manually and optionally turned in a horizontal plane about a vertical axial center. The felt covered pivot 20 becomes the spindle on which the entire assembly is elevated ever so slightly to eleminate friction drag and to allow rotation of the board with the slightest touch. The felt covered pivot depends to an elevation slightly below the coplanar felt disks 3G30 so that adequate clearance is provided, and yet, wobbling and tilting of the board is prevented. The board is now complete with the point of contact with the playing table at the point of rotation and four balancing points, one at each of the two side channel members. The five contact points are covered with felt padding to protect the playing surface from damage during the playing of the game. 7
It will be evident that the subject matterof the invention has to do not only with a playing board provided with centralized pivot means regardless of the mode of construction involved, the rigidifying accomplishment is also of significance and importance. That is to say, the idea of providing structural means which allows the halfsections to be spread out in coplanar relation and sustained in this flat state by way of attachable and detachable adapters or the like is a phase of the matter to be taken into account here. It will be recalled, in this connection, that sectional and foldable game boards in this field of endeavor are often too flimsy for satisfactory use and the sections often are out of line with one another when the board is spread out for use. The application of the attachment overcomes this difficulty and a firm and stable playing board is thus assured when the adapters are attached in the manner herein illustrated.
Then, too, the phase of the over-all invention emphasized by way of Figures 3 and 4 is likewise important. Therefore, emphasis is to be accorded the aforementioned objective which has to do with low shipping costs per unit and compactness and convenience attending the same. That is to say, the packaging merits of the assembly or unit seen in Figures 3 and 4 are not to be overlooked, and it will be noted in this connection that the components 10, 12 and 14 provide the desired nesting accomplishment in that the channel-shaped adapters 10 and 12 telescope together, as brought out particularly in Figure 4, the strip member being sandwiched therebetween. This extreme compactness is a very desirable feature to both the manufacturers and users. This nested arrangement is compact enough to fit easily into boxes used by the manuafacturers of scrabble and keyword games, without additional or needed space for packaging.
It is believed that the invention herein disclosed will aptly and satisfactorily serve a long felt need and that it therefore constitutes an appreciable achievement in that it is a practical aid to a currently popular table game extensively used by those who like and advocate its use.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the device will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications andequivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. For use on and in association with a manually foldable tabletype gameboard, a rigidifying and turning attachment for said gameboard comprising a strip member separate from said gameboard and having a pivoting boss intermediate its respective ends, and clamping and retaining adapters removably attachable to opposite marginal edge portions of said gameboard and adapted to bridge the central portion of said gameboard parallel to each other and at right angles to said strip member, the ends of said strip member being detachably connectible with the intermediate portions of said adapters, whereby to permit the gameboard to be converted from its compact folded form to unfolded playing form with the half-sections coplanar and joined rigidly with each other.
2. The structure defined in claim 1, and wherein said adapters are channel-shaped in cross-section, each adapter having resilient flanges which lend themselves to ready application and removal in relation to the cooperating surface of the half-sections of said gameboard.
3. The structure defined in claim 2, and wherein said adapters are each of a length less than the length of said strip member and the strip member is of a thickness less than the cross-section of the channels in the respective adapters whereby the strip member may be fitted into the channels and the two adapters telescoped together I in a manner to substantially retain the strip member situated therebetween for compactness and convenience of handling and packaging after the adapters and strip member have been completely removed from the complemental portions of said gameboard.
4. In combination, a relatively thin portable playing board having flat top and bottom. surfaces and embodyinga pair of folding half-sections having adjacent edges connected by way of a hinging seam, pivot means underlying and contacting said seam and having a board pivotingboss situated at the central axial turning point of said board and adapted to space said bottom surface above a table or other support surface in a manner to permit the board to be optionally and manually turned in a horizontal plane about a vertical axis, said pivot means comprising a readily applicable and removable strip member separate from said board, said strip memher having the stated boss midway between its respective ends, said strip member being of a length substantially commensurate with the length of said seam, and a pair of individual and rigidifying adapters removably and frictionally attached to their intended respective opposite marginal edge portions of said board and bridging said seam, said adapters being parallel to each other and disposed at right angles to said strip member, the respective ends of said strip member being detachably connected with their respective adapters.
5. The structure defined in claim 4, and wherein each adapter is elongate, channel-shaped in cross-section and embodies top and bottom flanges clampingly and frictionally contacting the respective top and bottom surfaces of said board, and small felt disks fastened to 15 2,098,417
6 the underneath surface each bottom flange adjacent the respective ends of each flange, said disks constituting table contacting and board leveling and balancing members the bottoms of said disks being in a common plane, a plane slightly above the lowest plane of said boss.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 132,905 Fleishman Nov. 12, 1872 662,948 Lawrence Dec. 4, 1900 1,512,442 Arnold Oct. 21, 1924 1,673,825 Hofiman June 19, 1928 1,941,558 Labbe Jan. 2, 1934 Fisher Nov. 9, 1937