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Publication numberUS2861390 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1958
Filing dateJun 22, 1956
Priority dateJun 22, 1956
Publication numberUS 2861390 A, US 2861390A, US-A-2861390, US2861390 A, US2861390A
InventorsRichard Martin
Original AssigneeRichard Martin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gravity actuated mechanical toy
US 2861390 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 25-, 1958 x R. M ART IN 2,861,390

GRAVITY- ACTUATED MECHANICAL TOY Filed 'June 22 1956 Richard Mar fin IN VEN TOR.

United States Patent This invention relates to :amusement devices and particularly to amusement devices which may be classified as toys.

object of the present invention is togtprovide an amusement device for both adultsgand children vwherein thepull of gravity is used-to provide-the 'mode =of. force necessary to cause the toy to perform, thegperformance being a series of motions, movementsjand .gyrations, that -follow-a general pattern of oscillations. and translations. --More explicitly, the toy is so constructed that eitris :in'itially supported on an inclined'plane surface by a Ecenter protrusion on the bottom, :or base, -of-the 'toy.and. any point on the outer edge of 'a disk that rises. from-the bottom,or base, and when set in :motionias bytapping :gently-or relying on the'vertical. component of .-the :gravitationalforce available on lan"incline.d1 plane surface, it tips slightly so that it rolls on the circularrz'rim 2,861,390 Patented Nov. 25, 1958 .;c'onstruction .and operation as more fullyi hereinafter described :and' claimed, :reference being bad to the j a'c .cQm anyingadraWings,gforming a-part hereof, wherein like numerals refer toxlike parts:throughouheand in 5 -which: Y

xsFigure *lsiis aiperspective.view of attoy which has :been

'constructed in :accordance with: the "principles cof ithe invention, this toy being shown :in its operative condition that.-is, imounted on-an-iinclined; plane surface an'dishowdefined by the edge of the bottom of the toy and the face, even if only an extremely small fraction. of aninch atsome part of the oscillatory movement of 'the' toy. When the toy reaches the top of its swing the center of gravity of the toy is approximately vertically over the center protrusion and therefore the toy commences to settle down, momentarily resting on the edge of the disk, this resting point being the sole support of the toy. Because of the high rotary inertia of the toy it continues revolving about this point of support so that the center of the toy swing-s slightly forward as it continues to settle downwardly on the inclined plane surface. The toy is now supported on the center protrusion and the edge of the disk and is ready to oscillate in the opposite direction. Accordingly, the toy has moved a short distance down the inclined plane and due to inertia of the toy is ready to begin an oscillation on the inclined plane surface in the opposite direction from the first described operation.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a toy that has been made in accordance with the above, wherein the disk that constitutes a part of the bottom of the toy is eccentric with respect to the longitudinal axis of the body and the protrusion that rises from the surface of the disk. In this way the toy is caused to face generally in one direction, whereby if the toy is made as a caricature of an animal or a human being or any other object which has normally a front and a rear, the direction of motion down the inclined plane is automatically such as to have the toy facing in the front direction.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a toy capable of providing amustment for children and adults, the toy being manufacturable at an extremely low cost and being susceptible to assuming many forms and configurations so that a large variety of different appearing toys may be presented, each embodying the same principles of operation.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of ring in ;phantom 'xlin'es :itwo xextremes .in the oscillatory ;movement :ofithe toy;

Figure=2 is adongitudinal sectional view of theztoy of Figure 1;

:Figure:3 is .a bottom' -view .of-ithe toy. in:Figure 2; Figure .4' :is a: Tfragmentaryisectional view showing the toy .in its initial or "starting position, resting on the protrusion and a part-zof I the vedge of- 'the disk on the bottom ofrthe toy;

'Figure '5 is1a'fragm'entarysectional 'view showinganother stage in one oscillation of the toy, this other'stage -'being after the toy 'h'as' been set in motion, this view illustrating principally that the toy oscillates onthe rim of .the bottommnd the circular 'Ledge c'ofthe disk that constitutes :a .part of the: bottom,-=;and;

--Figure -6 :is a fragmentary :sectional view showing the 'toyas it reachesthe top Eof-its oscillatory swing, the toy-momentarily resting on the edge; of the ;disk,-this .constituting the solesupport -for the-toy. atgthis instant.

.Inorder to .demonstrate the principles 'of the invention, there is an inclinedtplanesurface lotillustrated, this surface being .inthe form,.of, a tilted table .top,-board .or

other improvised panel. -By selection of a material. or a coveringffor. .the.rnate'rial having arcoefiicientof frictionamia'ble 'tofthefbottom o'fthe toy; the ,panel on which the 'toy is operative maybe used to enha rice 't hemot'ions of thetoy. For exarripleya toy constructed of brittle material, as a synthetic resin such as Bakelite together with a steel protrusion has been found to operate extremely satisfactorily on a plywood panel. Although the same toy will operate on a smoother surface or on a rougher or on a surface having a higher coefficient of friction, better results were obtained on the wood panel.

Toy 12 is constructed as a person, but it is to be understood that the toy may be constructed in simulation, mock simulation or caricature of any animal, person or object. The specific illustration involves a body 14 that may be molded plastic, papier mache or other preferably lightweight materials. The body has a longitudinal axis on which the neck 16 and head 18 are located and through which the center pin 20 passes. This center pin may be of metal, wood or other materials and terminates in a protrusion or point 30, after passing through the bottom, or base, 32 of the toy. The bottom may be formed integral with the remainder of the body as a separate part and cemented or otherwise joined thereto. This is an important part of the toy 12 and consists of a circular member having a circular rim 40 and the protrusion 30 in its axis and a bottom surface 41 from which circular disk 42 protrudes. The disk is of a thickness greater than the length of protrusion 30, but only slightly so. The circular edge 50 of disk 42 constitutes a line contact seat for the toy during its normal operation. The bottom of the toy is made rather heavy with respect to the remainder of the toy, and the toy is so constructed that the center of gravity of it is rather high. In this way the rotary inertia of the toy as it is in operation remains sufficiently high to keep the toy in continuous oscillatory and transitory motion.

In operation, the toy is placed at rest on the inclined plane surface and is supported by the center projection 30, as a point, and on the edge 50 of the inner circle which is defined by the edge of disk 42. This condition is shown in Figure 4 and at 3. this instant the rim 40 is completely separated from the supporting surface. By having the disk 42 eccentric of the body of the toy (Figure 3) the normal rest position will be with the front of the toy. facing downwardly of the supporting surface (see Figure l) and the toy will maintain in general this attitude during the motions'thereof. y V

The toy may be set in motion in two ways. tapped gently forcing it to swing in one direction or it may be set in motion automatically by the vertical component of the gravitational pull, as by tilting the supporting surface slightly in excess of the inclination required ing. In either case the toy tips slightly forward and rolls on edge 50 and rim 40 simultaneously. This condition is portrayed in Figure 5, this figure showing clearly that the protrusion 30 is preferably. separated from the supporting surface 10. As the toy rolls, for example to the left s s own n Figure 1, it rolls on the rim 40 and edge 50 until it reaches the top of its oscillatory swing at which position the center protrusion begins to settle down, the toy momentarily or instantaneously resting on the edge 50 alone.

However, due to the high rotary inertia the toy continues revolving about this point on edge 50 so that the center of the toy, for example as defined by protrusion 30, swings slightly forwardas. it settles onto surface 10 in order to reach the starting position (Figure 4) again. However, this starting position is at the top of an oscillatory swing of the toy and there is available in the toy enough potential energy to swing the toy again in a second stage of operation, this second stage being a second oscillatory swing in the opposite direction. Accordingly, in its gyrations, the toy swings in a direction generally transverse to the inclination of surface 10'and at the same time rotates slightly. At the top of the swing the toy roma be to keep the toy inoperation once it commences oscillat- Y? toy commences to swing in the opposite direction following the same procedure as previously described.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, 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 and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows: 7

In combination, a downwardly inclined panel and a gyrating toy thereon having an upright elongated body, and means on said body engageable with said panel and adapting said body to oscillate on the panel between limits of oscillatory movement under pull of gravity and to rotateabout its longitudinal axis in response to such oscillation, said means comprising a circular fiat bottom on said body having a circular bottom edge concentric to said axis, a protuberance depending from said bottom in said axis, anda flat disk fixed on and depending from said bottom eccentrically of the same and having a bottom edge below said circular edge eccentric to said protuberance and spaced inwardly of said circular edge and on which and said circular edge said body is oscillatable between said limits and tiltable in opposite directions on said eccentricedge and rotatable in said limits to lower and lift said protuberance onto and off said panel, re-

spectively, and revolve the protuberance downwardly of thepanel for oscillation of said body on said eccentric edge and the lowered protuberance in said limits and gravitational rotation of said body downwardly of the panel on said eccentric edge when the protuberance is raised.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,471,528 Kling May 31, 1949

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2471528 *Mar 2, 1945May 31, 1949Kling Lester EChild's rocking bowl
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3100946 *Sep 21, 1959Aug 20, 1963Charles B MessengerTumbling device
US3936965 *Nov 14, 1973Feb 10, 1976Borge Andreas RavnSupport for figure having movable members and means for moving same in response to acceleration or deceleration
US4764148 *May 1, 1987Aug 16, 1988T. K. Wong & Associates LimitedToy adapted to crawl down a vertical surface
U.S. Classification446/316
International ClassificationA63H15/02, A63H15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H15/02
European ClassificationA63H15/02