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Publication numberUS2794295 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1957
Filing dateMar 23, 1956
Priority dateMar 23, 1956
Publication numberUS 2794295 A, US 2794295A, US-A-2794295, US2794295 A, US2794295A
InventorsRobertson Theodore A
Original AssigneeRobertson Theodore A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wheeled tumbling toy
US 2794295 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 4, 1957 T. A. ROBERTSON WHEEL-ED TUMBLING TOY Filed March 23, 1956 INVEN-TOR msooons A. ROBE/7 TSOIV BVWMMWMW ATTORNEYS United States Patent.

WHEELED TUMBLING TOY Theodore A. Robertson, Chicago, 111.

Application March 23, 1956, Serial No. 573,436 6 Claims. (Cl. 46-201) This invention relates to wheeled toys, and in particular to wheeled toys capable of unique tumbling or rocking movement, and concomitant self propulsion on a level surface.

A principal object of the invention is to provide a novel wheeled toy constructed and designed, when positioned endwise on a level surface and released, to rock or rotate through an angle of approximately 270 to an upright position on its wheels.

A further object of the invention is to provide a wheeled toy adapted to rock with an irregular movement onto its wheels, terminating the movement with a residual inertia force effective to drive the toy on its wheels in forward direction. 7

Another object is to provide a distinctive action toy for use by and entertainment of young children. Related objects are the provision of a simple and durable toy, inexpensively manufactured and assembled. Other objects will be in part obvious, and in part pointed out hereinafter.

The invention and the novel features thereof may best be made clear from the following description and the accompanying drawing, in which:

'Figure l is a side elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a diagram sequentially illustrating positions occupied by the toy in the'initial portion of its rocking operation;

Figure 3 is a diagram sequentially illustrating positions occupied by the toy in the final portion of its rocking operation, and

Figure 4 is a front elevational view of the embodiment of Figure l, on reduced scale.

Referring to the drawings, the illustrated embodiment of the invention comprises a generally oval shaped body member 10, which may be constructed of wood, plastic, metal or the like. The side surfaces 12 of the body member may be planar and parallel, and the edge or peripheral surface 14 is desirably of appreciable width, as seen in Figure 4, and normal to the side surfaces. The body member may conveniently be sawed, for example, from a wood board, and if made from plastic or metal a suitable casting or forming operation may be employed.

Cylindrical elements or pegs 16, preferably made of wood, are arranged at the front and rear of the body member 10 and at right angles to the sides 12 thereof (Fig. 4). These pegs 16 may conveniently be mounted in and extend through holes suitably formed in the body member and a wheel 20 is attached to the end of each peg. A small, slender object, such as a nail, may be inserted into a central aperture in each wheel 20 and then driven into the end of peg 16 for attaching the wheels thereto, the nails thus acting as an axle and hearing surface for the wheels. The wheels 20 may be made entirely of rubber or a similar material or they may include a central hub of a rigid material having a rubber Patented June 4, 1957 'ice tire thereon. The purpose of having rubber or a similar resilient material on the ground engaging surface of the wheels will become apparent as the description proceeds. It will be noted that the pegs 16 extend laterally of the body member sides 12 a relatively large distance, so that when the wheels 20 are mounted thereon, thebody member will be stable in an upright position and therefore may be inexpensively made quite thin as shown in Figure 4, with little danger of tipping or turning over due to lateral forces.

The body member 10 may be appropriately decorated or brightly painted and marked with indicia 22, 24, 26, 28 to simulate a racing car or the like.

The peripheral surface 14 of the body member 10 includes a lower portion 30 and a convex upper portion 32 merging into arcuate front and rear portions 34, 36 respectively. The lower portion 30 may be flat while the upper portion 32 preferably comprises an apex or summit 38 disposed rearwardly of the longitudinal midpoint of the body member. The apex 38 is the highest point on the vehicle when mounted upright on a level surface. The arcuate front and rear portions 34, 36 are prefer-ably circular, with the radius of curvature of the front portion smaller than that of the rear portion.

It should be observed that the center of gravity of the body member 10 is located at a greater distance from the lower portion 30 of the surface 14 than the axes of the front and rear wheels 20.

In operation of the toy vehicle, the body member is positioned on its front end in approximately vertical position on a level surface with the sides 12 perpendicular to this surface, as illustrated by position A of Figure 2. The rear end of the body member may be held by the fingers to retain the toy in this position. To initiate the rocking movement of the toy, the body member is released or it may be slightly tilted or pushed forward in the direction of the arrow adjacent position A in Figure 2. In any event, the weight of the body member, acting through its center of gravity, will cause the toy, when released, to rock or rotate through on the front portion 34 and convex upper portion 32 to the rear portion 36, as indicated by positions B, C, D, E and F and in the direction of the arrows of Figure 2. In falling from position A to position D, wherein the apex 38 engages the level surface, the body member acquires an angular momentum which is sufiicient to continue the rocking of the body member to position F. At this point the body member has rocked or rotated rapidly through 180 and the angular momentum having been somewhat decreased in the movement of the toy from position D to position F causes a slower rocking of the toy on the rear portion 35 than on the front and convex portions 34, 32. The momentum, however, is still suflicient to rock the body member slowly on the rear portion 36 and rear wheels 20 to the positions G and H of Figure 3, whereat the rocking movement terminates with the toy in upright position on the level surface. At this point, the residual angular momentum in the toy will be effective to drive or propel the body member on the wheels in the direction of the arrow 40 in Figure 3. If desired, an impact releasable spring motor (not shown) may be drivingly connected to the front or rear wheels 20 so that when the wheels strike the level surface at the end of the rocking movement, the impact will release the motor to drive the toy forwardly at a greater speed and for a longer distance than that produced by the angular momentum alone.

It will thus be seen that the front, rear and convex portions of the body member surface 14 permit said member to rock smoothly through 270, from an endwise position to an upright position. Moreover, when the toy has rocked through approximately 180", the rocking movement is slowed down considerably, giving an eyecatching and unique delayed action to the final 90 rocking movement. In this regard, the toy gives the appearance of terminating its forward rocking-movement 'after it has-covered 180; and then reversingits movement.

the front wheels 20 strike the level surface with an impact which is partially absorbed by the rubber in the wheels. This impact absorption enables the transition between the rocking movement and straight line moveand s disposed that they do not come into contact with the level surface until after the front of the body member has begun moving downwardly from position F to position G. If the diameter of these rear wheels were too large, they would contact the level surface prema- As the toy rocks through the final positions G and H,


turely and tend to prevent or impede the final 90 rocking movement of the toy. Obviously, the toy may be used as a simple push or a pull toy, if desired.

While a single, preferred embodiment of my invention has been shown and described herein, it will be understood that the toy, rather than representing a vehicle, may be constructed to represent animals, boats or any other desired object. Additionally, the body member 10 may be other than rectangular shape in transverse crosssection, and the upper surface of the body member need not be smoothly curved, as shown, but may include sharp changes in contour providing the general outline of the surface is convex in a manner similar to that described. Other changes in the size, shape and arrangement of the portions of generallyarcuate outline, said rear portion having a greater radius of curvature than said front portion and extending higher above a level surface than said front portion when the toy is upright on the level surface, said arcuate rear portion curving forwardly at its base to a position adjacent the axis of rotation of the rear wheels, and said curved upper surface having an apex disposed at the highest point on said toy above the level surface whereby the toy is rockable on said upper surface from the front to the rear thereof and thence to an upright 2. The toy defined in claim 1, wherein the apex of the curved upper surface is disposed rearwardly of the longi tudinal mid-point of the body member.

3. The toy defined in claim 2 wherein the front and rear arcuate sections comprise circular arcs.

4. An ambulant toy comprising a body member provided with front and rear wheels journalled thereto and adapted to roll on a level surface: said member having a convex upper cylindrical surface thereon, said surface being uninterrupted in outline and extending 'longitudinallyfrom the front of'said member to the rear thereof, the front and rear of said surface being defined by circular arcuate portions, and an apex on said surface disposed at the highest point on said toy when mounted upright on a level surface, said apex being disposed rearwardly of the longitudinal mid-point of said member.

5. The structure defined in claim 4 wherein the front arcuate portion has a smaller radius of curvature than said rear arcuate portion.

6. The structure defined in claim 5 wherein the radius of curvature of the rear wheels is approximately onebody member and wheels may be resorted to without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. An ambulant toy comprising a body member provided with front and rear wheels journalled thereto and adapted to roll on a level'surface: said member having a curved upper surface of generally convex outline and terminating at the front and rear of said member in half that of the rear arcuate portion, and further wherein the rear portion curves forwardly at its base'to a position below and adjacent the axis of rotation of the rearwheels.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Harris Dec. 8, 1925 1,586,608 Carver June 1,1926 1,937,162 Parrish Nov. 28, 1933' 2,035,081 Lower Mar. 24, 1936 2,137,357 Schmid Nov. 22, 1938 2,510,310

Francis June 6, 0

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1564785 *Mar 12, 1925Dec 8, 1925Mawhinney Last CoAnimated toy
US1586608 *Nov 2, 1922Jun 1, 1926Carver George WWheeled toy
US1937162 *Nov 16, 1931Nov 28, 1933Parrish Mary EToy
US2035081 *Nov 2, 1934Mar 24, 1936Sun Rubber CoToy automobile
US2137357 *Feb 26, 1937Nov 22, 1938Max SchmidToy vehicle with sounding means
US2510310 *Apr 19, 1946Jun 6, 1950Francis Albert WToy vehicle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3772824 *Dec 30, 1971Nov 20, 1973Marvin Glass & AssociatesToy vehicle apparatus
US6227934Jul 9, 1998May 8, 2001The Simplest SolutionToy vehicle capable of propelling itself into the air
US7982423Jul 3, 2008Jul 19, 2011Bossa Nova Concepts, LlcStatically stable biped robotic mechanism and method of actuating
US8038504Dec 10, 2010Oct 18, 2011Silverlit LimitedToy vehicle
US20090009123 *Jul 3, 2008Jan 8, 2009Sarjoun SkaffStatically stable biped robotic mechanism and method of actuating
WO2009006581A1 *Jul 3, 2008Jan 8, 2009Bossa Nova Concepts, LlcStatically table biped robotic mechanism and method of actuating
U.S. Classification446/465
International ClassificationA63H17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H17/00
European ClassificationA63H17/00