US 2794644 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 4, 1957 s, JOHNSON 2 ,794,644
1 CHANCE GAME DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 4, 1957 s. JOHNSON CHANCE GAME DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jfll so, 1954 United States ljatent C) 2,794,644 CHANCE GAME DEVICE Sidney P. Johnson, Washington,'D:C.' Application July 30,1954, Serial No; 446,781 2' Claims. (Cl. 273+-147) My invention relatesto chance ;or game devicesfor use with games, such as for example, backgammonand other games, that require a plurality of prismatic members of the nature of dice. These'prismatic members are hereinafter called dice or dies in.the' plural and die in the singular for convenience and becauseof the lack of a simple designation in the languagetherefor.
A principal object of the invention is ,to provide a unitary device containing a pair of dice ,with numbered or marked faces or flats;- the device being operable by hand to provide an unpredictable and uncontrolled; display of a chance combination of dice numbers or-marks;
A further object of the invention is to'provide-a single unit device of a type described which will rapidly. come to a stop and display a score or groups of scoresfor one or more players.
Thepreferred form'of a game device: in accordance with the invention is in the'nature of 'a top havinga whirl-head by means of which. it can be whirled or manually set into spinning motion onits tip, preferably 'ona fiat surface. The game device spins until its spinning momentum or gyroscopic' force isinsufficient to keep it upright, whereupon it falls sidewise to a stationa'ryposie tion with its chance display facing upwardi To obtain the chance display the device comprises a pair of hexagonal die members or dice, each having number-indicia from one to six on its six faces. 'Ihese-diemembers also rotate while the game device rotates; but the device is so constructed that the members will rotate haphazardly and independently so that they provide one or. more chance displays when the device topples over and stops.
Theforegoing and other objects of. the invention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof to which theinvention in its broadest aspect is not limited. The description is to be taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which are'substantially to scale. In the drawings:
Fig. l is a side view of the Whirl-head end of adevice in accordance with the invention; thedevice' being at rest on -a horizontal supporting plane indicated by the line A-A;
Fig. 2 is a plan view of the device shown in Fig. l; the device being shown at rest on a horizontal supporting. plane which corresponds to the plane of the drawing- P p Fig. 3 is a sectional instantaneous view of the. device, the device being in an upright position with its extreme; lower tip on the horizontal supporting plane indicated by the'lineA-A;
Fig. 4 is a sectional view of a modified detail of the invention; and Figs. 5-1l are views for illustrating the principle of operation of a device in accordance with the invention; the views showing successive positions of :the device as it topples from an upright spinning position to stationary horizontal display position-.-
The device shown in the: drawings comprises a central shaft 2 of any suitable material, preferably a metal such as, for example;'stainless' steel or aluminum. The; shaft 2 has a pointed or rounded spin-tip'4. Aweightin'g member or flywheel 6, in the'preferred form of a section of 'a sphere, is press fitted or otherwisefixed to the shaft 2 somewhat above the spin-tip 4. vTlfhe flywheel anember 6 is somewhat less than a semi-sphereiand hasan upper Patented June 4,1957
2 I v v face 8 having a circle as a periphery. The-maximum horizontal diameter of the member 6 bears a relation to the diemembers subsequentlydescribed. 111' the embodiment' shown this diameter is thatof the circular face S.
The flywheel member 6 also acts-as a support-or spacing member for a first washer 10 on the shaft 2. Above the Washer 10 the shaft 2 successively holds, asshown in Fig- 3, 'a first die member 12,-a second washer 14, a second die member 16, and a third washer 18. A knurled whirl-head 20 is press fitted onto the top end of the shaft 2. The bottom of the head 20 is spaced from the face 8 of the. flywheel member 6 a distance somewhat greater than the sum of the thicknesses of the three washers 10, 14 and 18, and the: two dice 12 and 16.
'Ihefirst Washer. 10 has a center hole which justabout fits the shaft 2 so. that the washer lies flat on the face 8; but the: washers 14 and 18 and the die members 12 and 16:have somewhat oversize center holes so that they can rotate about :the shaft 2 as an axis.
The die members 12 and 16 have the same size and shape, beingihexagonal prismatic members. Each has a. pair ofv parallel bases and six'outer flats or faces-22. Each baseis in the form of a regular hexagon. Preferrab1y,. the thickness and size of each die member is chosen to make the faces 22 square, but they can-be rectangular or other suitable shape. The six faces or flats of each die member have difierent indiciathereon, the indica representing numbers from one to six as in the conventional die. The arrangement of the indicia on one die member differs from that on the other so as .to provide a sum of seven on all pairs of two aligned faces of the dice when the dice are rotated relative to each other to the proper position. A satisfactory arrangement of number-indicia on consecutive faces of the die members is as follows:
One. die-1, 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. Other die-6, 3, 2, 5, 4, 1.
The die members 12 and 16 may be of the-same mate'- erial, a colored'plastic being preferred with the. indicia impressed therein and subsequently clearly visibly painted.
In accordance with the invention, the game device is constructed to cause the dice 12 and 16 to rotate relative to each other in a chance manner when the device 'is spinned. This is accomplished by having the, washers 10 and 14 of different coeflicients of friction. For example, the washer 10 can be made of cork or rubber, and the washer 14 of brass. The washer 18 can be identical with the washer 14.
To permit the game device to topple over and rest on a pair of flats or faces 22 of the dice 12 and 16, the maidmum thickness of the flywheel member .6 in a direction perpendicular to the shaft 2, in this case the. diameter of face 8, is less than the minimum dimension perpendicular to the shaft 2 of the dice 12 and 16; this last dimension corresponds to the distance between a pair-of parallel sides of the hexagonal periphery of a base of the 'dice12 and 16. As an indication of this construction, in a specific embodiment of the invention as shown in the drawing, the minimum dimension of a die member was one inch while the diameter of the face corresponding to face 8 was seven-eighths inch. This means that the die members extend radially beyond or-overhang?. the flywheel 6 at every radial point thereof. In this sense, the die members overhang all the'remaining parts of' the gamedevice.
For operation, the game rdevice maybe held upright with its tip 4 resting on a table or other generally "level surface as represented by line A.A in Figs.1 and -3, and with its whirl-head 20 between the:thumb1andfore finger of a hand of a player. The device is spurt ,or whirled by suitable movement of these fingers in;known for topsfof this general kind. While the device spins rapidly it remains upright; but upon losing enough momentum it topples over onto an edge of the lower die member"12.'}f The most :stable rest position ofitlie :dide is flat on a face of each of the dice E12 and 16.; The device comesfto'rest in sucha position where "thefaces opposite those jon which the; device rests are level and face upward,
-2,794,e 44 r i washer 14. Because 'of the difference in the frictional characteristics of the Washers, the upper die member 16 ;at some period or periods during spinning of the device rotates at a. different speed from the die member 12; that is, the. die members rotate relative to each other. The amount of relative rotation is completely unpredictable, and is a matter of chance. This relative rotation apparently takes place primarily duringacceleration anddeceleration of the device. It is also possible that relative rotation is influenced by the fact that the upper die member 16 bears on the lower die member 12 through washer 14, thereby causing both bases of the die member 12 to be acted upon by pressure forces, whereas only the lower base of the upper die member 16 is so acted upon. 1
When the game device topples over, two faces, one on each die member, are flat and on.top, as indicated in Fig. 2, and the indicia thereon indicate the players score or display, as previously described.
Themanner 'of playing the game is subject to many variations. Thus, one player may have the indicia on the two top fiat horizontal faces as his score. A second player can have the indicia on the two faces slanting from one side of the horizontal faces as his score; and the third player can have'the indicia' on the other two' faces slanting from the horizontal faces as his score. Thus, a single operation of the device'provides a score for more than one player. By also coloring some or all of the faces differently, further distinct combinations of pairs of faces can be chosen by players, so that several players can have scores from a single operation of the device. For example, the faces on each die could be colored consecutively white and red, or red, white, yellow, red, white, yellow. 7 r
In the embodiment of Figs. 1-3, the whirl-head 20 is shown press fitted onto the end of shaft 2. However, the whirl-head may be attached to the shaft in any suitable manner; and is shown in Fig. 4 as being screwed to the shaft; The latter construction permits ready disassembly and assembly of the die members and washers on the shaft. 7
Figs. 5-11 illustrate the operation of the device as I have observed it. In these figures, comparatively stationary parts are indicated by being shaded.
The whirl-head 2i), central shaft 2, and the flywheel 6 are constructed to be unitary, being rigidly held together. When the device is held vertically for spinning the lower die member 12 rests on the lower washer 10 which rests on the face 8 of the 'fiywheel. The middle washer 14 rests. on the lowerfdie member 12, and the upper die member 16 rests on this washer; Thcre'is a clearance between the top washer 18 and the whirl-head 20.
' The only turning force that can be applied to the lower die member 12 arises from the friction forces between the rotating flywheel 6, the washer 10 and the die member. The possible friction from theshaft 2 to the die members can be neglected becauseof the oversize holes in the die members. Similarly,the turning force for die member 4 V t 16 comes from the friction forces arising through washer 14. Consequently, all parts do not come up to spinning speed at the same time, thus introducing elements of chance.
Further elements of chance occur in the sequence that the device undergoes in toppling over after enough energy of rotation has been dissipated.
The first-action in falling is indicated in Fig. 6 where the assembly slithers on the spin-tip4 and a tangent point on the flywheel surface.
As the device topples further, the device tends to fall or roll further up on the curved surface of the flywheel as shown in Fig. 7. This occurs until a corner of the lower die member 12 strikes the surface A'A on which the device has been spinning. This is shown in Fig. 8, The lower die member 12 tends to stop spinning, but the upper die member 16 continues to spin relatively rapidly.
The lower die member moves on its c orner until a full edge of one of its faces rests on the surface A- -A, as indicated in Fig. 9. The device pivots on this edge as con tinued toppling of the device brings the upper die member 16 nearer to the surface A-A as shown in Fig. 10; and the device stops with the top faces of the two die members horizontal with the surface, as indicated in Fig. 11.
Thus there are many independent elements of uncontrolled chance in the act of spinning the device and its toppling to a rest position. v V a While I have described my invention in one of its preferred embodiments, it is obvious that the teaching thereof can be applied in various other embodiments within the scope of the invention and claims.
1. A spinnable game device in the nature of a top, comprising a spin tip on one end and a whirl head on the other, a shaft portion between said ends, a pair of physically similar die members loosely mounted on said shaft portion for rotation relative thereto and to each other,
' I each of said die members having a hexagonal periphery in a cross section perpendicular to said shaft portion and six faces substantially parallel to said shaft portion, said six faces having different number indicia thereon from one to six, said die members radially overhanging the remaining parts of said game device, a weighting member at the lower end of said shaft below said die members, the largest diametrical dimensionof said weighting member being only slightly less than the distance between parallel faces of a die member, and washers formed of material having different coeflicients of friction for torque transfer to each of said die members whereby to efiect variation in rotational speeds between said die members during operation of said game device, said weighting member having a convexly curved outer surface.
2. A game device comprising a shaft provided with a spin tip at one end and a whirl head at the other end, a weighted member for effecting angular momentum adjacent said spin tip, a plurality of polygonal prisms rotatably mounted on said shaft intermediate said weighted member and said Whirl head, said prisms being independently rotatable, a first washer intermediate said weighted member and one prism, a second washer intermediate said one prism and the other prism, wherein when said device is spun said one prism rests on said washer and said other prism rests on said second washer, said washers being of materials having different coetficients of friction to thus effect rotary speed variation of said prisms.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS