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Publication numberUS2843379 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1958
Filing dateJan 5, 1956
Priority dateJan 5, 1956
Publication numberUS 2843379 A, US 2843379A, US-A-2843379, US2843379 A, US2843379A
InventorsMerritt Oscar K
Original AssigneeMerritt Oscar K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Amusement apparatus
US 2843379 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United rates AMUSEMENT APPARATUS Oscar K. Merritt, Mount Airy, Isl. C. Application January 5, 1956, Serial No. 557,527 3 Claims. (Cl. 2.72--41) The present invention relates to play equipment, and more particularly to play equipment or apparatus for use at playgrounds, schools, homes, and the like, to provide amusement and exercise for children of many different age groups simultaneously.

Many types of play equipment or apparatus are available and in use today by children at playgrounds, schools, and homes. Such apparatus performs its intended function quite adequately but virtually all of such equipment is limited in that the use of each piece is usually conned to one age group. As a result playgrounds or the like require a wide variety of separate and distinctly different pieces of play apparatus, each piece normally being for use primarily with a particular age group.

The necessity of having different pieces of play apparatus is a serious cost as well as space factor to private schools. As a result, most private schools are inadequately equipped. Similarly, play equipment purchased for home use has a relatively short active life use, since a piece of play equipment possessing attraction and usability by a four year old child will be too simple and will have no attraction for the child when he reaches seven years old. This prevents the average family from providing proper play equipment at the home that will be usable over a wide span of years.

It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a single piece of play apparatus possessing attraction and usability by children of widely varying age groups.

AnotherV object of the present invention is the provision of play apparatus that will permit children of several different age groups to have simultaneous use of the equipment.

A still further object of the present inventon is the provision of play apparatus that will possess attraction for the child over a period of many years.

Still another object of the present invention` is the provision of a play apparatus that will provide the child with considerable exercise, thus facilitating his healthful growth.

Another' object of the present of a play apparatus that will permit a user to climb either horizontaly, spirally, or vertically, and also obtain rotary and swinging movement.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of play apparatus that is of an extremely simple construction and is quite reasonable in cost.

Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of play apparatus that is extremely safe with respect to any age group using it.

Other and additional objects will become manifest from the ensuing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

Broadly stated, the present invention paratus comprising a vertical post adapted invention is the provision is a play apto be mounted in the terrain, said post having joint means at its upper free end, a plurality of down lines mounted at one end to the joint means in spaced relation therearound, said lines being capable of substantial universal movement around said post, seat means extending completely around said vertical post in spaced relation therefrom, the opposite ends of said down lines connected to said seat means in spaced relation therearound, and a plurality of cross lines connected to said down lines in vertically spaced relation, said cross lines lying in a plane substantially parallel to said seat means.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the present invention then consists of the means hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the annexed drawing and the following description setting forth in detail certain means in the carrying out of the invention, such disclosed means illustrating, however, but one of various Ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.

The present invention is illustrated, by way of example, in the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a side elevation of an illustrative embodiment of a play apparatus made in accordance with the present invention showing the apparatus in mounted position on the ground.

Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the play apparatus shown in Fig. l illustrating one form of line association of the various components.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged'cross section illustrating one form of mounting means to permit universal movement.

Fig. 4 is a top plan View of the joint means shown in Fig. 3.

Referring now to the drawings, an illustrative embodiment of play equipment or apparatus made in accordance with the present invention and generally designated by reference numeral 10 is shown. The play equipment 1l) comprises a center or vertical post 11, one end of which is xed or positioned in permanent or semipermanent relationship in the ground. The post 11 preferably consists of a metal pipe to provide suticient rigidity although a wooden post of sufficient strength or the like may be employed. The opposite free end of the vertical post 11 is provided with joint means, generally designated by reference numeral l2, which is so designed as to possess substantially universal movement with respect to the top free end of the post 11. The joint means l2 further should be so proportioned and constructed that it will have a perimetal edge sufficiently spaced from the post 11 that children using the apparatus Will not have their hands or lingers damaged by the universal movement thereof.

The joint means 12 which are illustrated by Way of example in the drawings and particularly in Figs. 3 and 4 is of the ball and socket type. The illustrative form of joint means 12. comprises a cylindrical base member 13 adapted to be snugly positioned partially within the open free end of the vertical pipe 11. The base member 13 is provided with a circular flange 14 at a point slightly spaced from its top end. rl`he circular flange 14 is of a diameter corresponding in general to that of the vertical post 11 and will rest on the top end thereof to insure the positive positioning and retention of the base member 13 therein. A ball neck 15 is centrally mounted at one end in integral relationship with the top surface of the base member 13 and extends upwardly therefrom, the opposite free end of the ball neck 15 being provided with an integral ball 16. The length of the ball neck l5 is important since it will function in relationship with socket elements, as will be pointed out more fully hereinafter, to control the movement of the socket.

A socketv body i7 is provided to receive and be in operable relationship with the ball 16, the configuration of the socket body 17 being square, as shown, or it may be circular, oval or the like equally as well. The open or bottom end of the socket body 17 is provided with 3 v an integral flange plate 18 which is detachably secured by means of bolts or studs to a cover plate 19. The perimetal edge of the integral flange plate 18 and the cover plate 19 are provided with a plurality of spaced openings 2t) therearound, each to receive and retain one end of an inclined'down line, as will be discussed more in detail hereinafter. The diameter of the flange plate 18 and the cover plate 19 must be sufficiently large that during the movement of the socket body 17 around the ball 16, the perimetal edges of the flange and cover plates 18 and 19 will not come into close proximity to the center post 11. This construction thus eliminates the possibility of pinching or damaging the fingers or hand of a child.

The cover plate 19 is provided with a central opening 21 which is of a size suiiicient to permit the free movement of the ball neck 1S therein, but insufficient to permit the passage of the ball 16 therethrough. The socket body 17 is partially filled with bearing material 22, such as, for example, Babbit metal, which will envelope the ball 16 vand will provide a smooth even bearing surface for the socket body 17 to move around the ball 16. A grease fitting 23 is threadably secured to the socket body 17 to permit lubrication between the formed bearing surface and the ball 16.

The size of the opening 21 and the length or height of the ball neck are correlated with one another to permit an adequate universal movement of the socket body and yet insuiicient to provide an area sufficient to permit pinching of the hands or fingers of the users. It will be found advantageous to have the vertical circumferential edge of the opening to be inwardly inclined to provide a circular angular bearing surface to insure smoother and more even universal movement of the socket body 17 around the ball 16.

A plurality of vertical or down lines 24 are connected at one end by hooks or the like to the spaced openings of the joint means 12, and extend downwardly therefrom in inclined relationship. The lines 24 may be of any suitable material, such as, for example, link chain, cable, rope, cordage, or the like, although of these materials link chain is preferred primarily due to its cost, its weathering characteristics, and its strength. Y The opposite free ends of each of the vertical or down lines 24 are connected by means of hooks, rings or the like to substantially rigid, endless seat means 25 at spaced points therearound to insure substantially uniform spacing of the down lines 24 with respect to one another. The length of the vertical or down lines 25 should be such that the seat means 25 will be spaced from the ground suiiicient to permit a small child to easily seat himself. This can be accomplished by having the Vdown lines 24 of a length such that when the seat means 25 are swung or pushed inwardly toward the center post 11, the lowest portion or side of the seat means 25 will be only 6 to 8 inches above the ground thus insuring the child easy access to the seat means. A particular and preferred `dimensional arrangement is to have the length of the vertical or down lines 24 substantially equal to the diam v eter of the bottom portion of the seat means 25. This particular assembly will, in cross section, substantially define an equilateral triangle which will permit ready seating of a small child and give a wide angle of swing, and yet tends to check the swing before the center post 11 is contacted.

The substantially rigid, endless seat means 2S is preferably circular in configuration with the center post 11 constituting substantially the center point of the circle. The formed circle should be of a size suflicient that when the seat means 25 swing inwardly during the operation of the apparatus, the probability of the seat means 25 striking the center post 11 is lessened. Another factor tending to prevent the seat means 25 from coming into contact with the center post 11 with enough force to @be dangerous is that when one side of the apparatus approaches the center post, the weight on that side is moving substantially horizontally. At the same time the weighton the opposite side is moving nearly vertically. ln other words, the overall shape and proportions permit a preferred maximum swing movement of approximately 30. By using shorter down lines in proportion to the diameter of the circle of member 26, still more stability will be achieved. Experience indicates that a 30 angle seems to be suflicient for safety. As more children get on the apparatus, adding additional weight, it becomes progressively more difiicult to achieve sufficient swing motion to cause injury by violent contact with` the center post. This construction just described defines, in effect, a conical conguration which is capable of rotation around the pole as well as back and forth movement with respect thereto, or both movements can be achieved simultaneously.

The seat means 25 may be of any suitable design and any suitable material, and may be of a configuration other than circular, such as, for example, octagonal, square, or the like. The seat means 25, as shown for illustrative purposes only in the draw-ings, comprises a circular bottom seat por-tion 26 and a top circular hand portion 27 spaced upwardly and slightly inwardly therefrom and lying in a plane parallel thereto, each of which are made from metal tubing or piping. However, it is to be understood that while this form is preferred, there are other seat means readily available that can be utilized equally as well and are within the contemplation of the present invention. For example, individual seats can be associated with the down lines, or a continuous wooden seat member can be likewise associated with the down lines.

A plurality of cross or horizontal lines 28 are provided which bridge the distance between each of the spaced down or vertical lines 24. The cross lines 28 will lie in a plane substantially parallel to that of the seat member 25 and will be connected to each down line 24 at one or more spaced points along the inclined longitudinal length thereof. This association of the down or vertical lines 24 and the cross lines 28 will result in the formation of a plurality of vertical ladder sections extending upwardly around the apparatus which terminate at the top free end of the center post 11.

This results also in that portion of each pair of the vertical lines 24 extending downwardly from the point of jointure of each with the short down lines 29 being angular with respect to the upper portion of each of the vertical lines 24. This arrangement results in the formation of a small isosceles triangle sections B on each side of the ladder sections A. This construction results in the formation of sections C which will possess a contiguration substantially identical with the ladder sections A.

As shown, the sections C are not provided with cross lines throughout the vertical length of each, the reason for this being to encourage the user to climb upwardly in a spiral direction as well as a completely vertical direction. It is to be noted, however, that sections A, B, and C are provided with cross lines adjacent the bottom sections with horizontal lines 24 which extend completely around the apparatus and serve to connect all sections to one another. Similarly, sections A and C are connected to one another by the horizontal lines 28 extending completely around the apparatus.

The use of the apparatus 10 described hereinbefore is believed apparent. A small child who is not of an age old enough to do any material climbing can be placed on the seat means 25 and the apparatus rotated to give a merrygo-round effect. At the same time the apparatus may be swung back and forth during the rotation. An older child can simultaneously climb the line either directly vertically or spirally. The apparatus 10 therefore provides simultaneously swinging, rotation, and climbing means in a simple single device for use by children of varying age groups. For the younger child, a challenge is presented which will facilitate his development by continually seeking to advance to the use of the ladder sections.

I claim:

1. A play apparatus comprising vertical support means, joint means tiltably and rotatably secured to the top free end of said support means, a plurality of exible long down lines secured at one end to said joint means in inclined relation therewith and in spaced relation therearound, a plurality of flexible short down lines, each being secured at one end to one of said long down lines and extending downwardly therefrom and around at least a portion of the periphery at least sufficient to provide adjacent ladders whereby a child may climb vertically or diagonally, seat means extending completely around said support means in spaced relation therefrom, said seat means having rotational and swinging movement with respect to said support means, the bottom free ends of each of the short and the long down lines connected to said seat means in spaced relation therearound, and at least two cross lines connected to said short and long down lines in vertical spaced relation, said cross lines lying in a plane substantially parallel to said seat means, said short and long down lines and said cross lines providing a plurality of vertically extending ladders.

2. A play apparatus comprising vertical support means, joint means tiltably and rotatably secured to the top free end of said support means, a plurality of flexible long down lines secured at one end to said joint means in inclined relation therewith and in spaced relation therearound, a plurality of flexible short down lines, each being secured at one end to one of said long down lines and extending downwardly therefrom and around at least a portion of the periphery at least suicient to provide adjacent ladders whereby a child may climb vertically or diagonally, seat means extending completely around said support means in spaced relation therefrom, and having rotational and swinging movement with respect to said support means said seat means including a bottom, substantially rigid, endless rail member and a top, substantially rigid, endless rail member spaced above and in a plane substantially parallel to said bottom rail member, the bottom free ends of each of the short and the long down lines connected to said seat means in spaced relation therearound, and at least two flexible cross lines connected to said short and long down lines in vertical spaced relation, said cross lines lying in a. plane substantially parallel to said seat means, said short and long down lines and said cross lines providing a plurality of vertically extending ladders.

3. A play apparatus comprising vertical support means, joint means tiltably and rotatably secured to the top free end of said support means, a plurality of flexible long down lines secured at one end to said joint means in inclined relation therewith and in spaced relation therearound, a plurality of flexible short down lines, each being secured at one end to one of said long down lines and extending downwardly therefrom, seat means extending completely around said support means in .spaced relation therefrom and having rotational and swinging movement with respect to said support means, the bottom free ends of each of the short and the long down lines connected to said seat means in spaced relation therearound, the length of said down lines being substantially equal to the diameter of the bottom portion of said seat means, and at least two ilexible cross lines connected to said short and long lines in vertical spaced relation, said cross lines lying in a plane substantially parallel to said seat means, said short and long down lines and said 4cross lines providing a plurality of vertically extending ladders.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 444,585 Ullven Jan. 13, 1891 1,529,890 Hoppes Mar. 17, 1925 1,901,964 Haskell Mar. 21, 1933 1,927,682 Edwards Sept. 19, 1933 2,646,281 Hurst July 21, 1953

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US444585 *Dec 11, 1889Jan 13, 1891Horace IRoundabout
US1529890 *Apr 16, 1923Mar 17, 1925Everwear Mfg CompanyPlayground apparatus
US1901964 *Jan 13, 1932Mar 21, 1933Haskell William EPlayground device
US1927682 *Jan 29, 1931Sep 19, 1933Edwards Arthur OCircular swing
US2646281 *Apr 16, 1951Jul 21, 1953Clay E HurstUndulatory merry-go-round
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3794316 *Sep 17, 1971Feb 26, 1974T TomanClimbing rope gymnastic apparatus
US4116433 *Aug 30, 1976Sep 26, 1978Koerner Dieter FClimbing type gymnastic apparatus
US4159113 *Jun 4, 1976Jun 26, 1979Recreation Systems Co.Child recreation structure
US5330400 *Apr 22, 1993Jul 19, 1994Huberman Joseph GClimbing and play structure
US6174266Jan 29, 1999Jan 16, 2001John E. MerrillPlayground equipment
US6342013 *Aug 7, 2000Jan 29, 2002Ff Acquisition Corp.Apparatus and method for a child's suspended merry-go-round
Classifications
U.S. Classification472/14, 482/36, 248/371
International ClassificationA63B7/06, A63B7/00, A63G1/42, A63G1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63G1/42
European ClassificationA63G1/42