|Publication number||US2866275 A|
|Publication date||Dec 30, 1958|
|Filing date||Dec 27, 1955|
|Priority date||Dec 27, 1955|
|Publication number||US 2866275 A, US 2866275A, US-A-2866275, US2866275 A, US2866275A|
|Original Assignee||Schuyler Reynolds|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (10), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
2 Sheeis-Sneei; l
.Filed Dec. 27, 1955 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Dec. 30, 1958 Filed Dec. 27, 1955 2 Sheeis-Shee 2 BY Zf/W 7PM ATTORNEY nited States l' i atent 2,866,275 EDUCATIONAL GAME APPARATUS Schuyler Reynolds, Columbus, Ohio Application December 27, 1955, Serial No. 555,536 Claims. (Cl. 35-9) This invention relates to mechanical game apparatus, having specific reference to a game apparatus of the type employing generally a frame formed with an inclined playing surface over which rolling ball elements travel gravitationally for Contact with stationary abutments carried by the surface, thereby determining or varying the course of travel of the ball elements during their descent along said surface.
In the past, game devices of this character have been formed so that after the ball elements are positioned at the top of the inclined playing surface of a given game, the movements of said elements along different courses are controlled by chance contact with various obstructionorming means and without player control or guidance.
Also, such prior game devices rely for player interest primarily in the diversity of courses which a manually uncontrolled ball element may take in its obstructiondeilected rolling progress toward the bottom of a playing surface, and to the chance-controlled scoring positions which such a ball element occupies when its rolling motion is nally stopped. Further, in such game apparatus, nothing is offered usually requiring thought or quick mental perception on the part of the players thereof in obtaining a desired result, nor are means provided subject to actuation by the players in response to mental stimulation provided by the game to control the rolling progress of the ball element in obtaining directional positioning thereof conducive to a high or desirable sco-re.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a mechanical game wherein a player, upon observing an initial course of descent of a ball element over an inclined surface, may, through proper operation of a manual control, and before the rolling element cornes to a stop at the bottom of the surface, divert its course of travel toward a desired position of discharge different from that which the element when uncontrolled is caused to follow.
A further object is to provide an improved mechanical game which in the operation thereof provides educational values by offering its players tests for their knowledge and mental alertness.
Another important object is to provide an educational game `of this character having a plurality of separate channels through which rolling elements are caused to pass, and wherein, during playing of the game, and through the use of suitably arranged indicia means, a problem is posed by the passage of an element through one of the channels, which problem, if correctly solved in the time required for the element to pass through a given channel, may, by the selective operation of a player-actuated control, be diverted from a normal position of deposit to a position disclosing that a correct solution to the problem presented was made by the player.
For a further understanding of the invention, including additional objects, advantages and specific details of its mechanical construction, reference may now be had to the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a top plan view of the apparatus;
Fig. 2 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view along the line 2 2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a transverse line 3-3 of Fig. l;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary Vertical sectional View similar to Fig. 3 and showing the ball-actuating mechanism in its ball-releasing position;
Fig. 6 is a transverse vertical sectional view taken along the line 6 6 of Fig. 1.
Referring to the drawings, the game apparatus of the present invention provides an inclined table-like frame or boxing 10 which is enclosed by upstanding side and end walls and an inclined transparent top wall, all composed of suitable materials. The table frame, in the specific construction illustrated, is provided with a ball-receiving feed channel 11 which extends along the left hand and top edges of the frame, and through which a series of ball elements 12 may be fed gravitationally for engagement with a pivotally mounted, depressible plunger device 13. The foremost ball 12 in the row at the top of the frame is pressed by means of a cam 14 on the outer end of the plunger 1S into engagement with a leaf spring 15 and the ball thereby crowded past a lip 16, whereby to forcibly project the ball rst across the pin-unobstructed top portion 16a of the frame 10.
The ball when so projected will eventually migrate or roll downwardly through one of a series of longitudinally extending, parallel channels 17 having entrances at their upper ends and detined in this instance by a multiplicity of transversely spaced and longitudinally staggered, upstanding pins 18, or other equivalent projections. The longitudinally extending portions of the channels 17 are extended to provide angularly disposed extensions 19 which, in this instance, are defined by being formed between a multiplicity of upwardly projecting pyramidal bosses 2l), formed usually as integral parts of the bottom wall of the frame 10. The channels 17, together with their angular extensions 19, are arranged so as to direct a ball element passing through one of the channels to a given outlet slot 21, the latter being formed between divider elements 21a disposed at the lower end of the channel maze provided by the bosses 20.
In registry with each of the outlet slots 21 is a ballreceiving aperture 22 formed in a plate 22a and through which a ball, passing through a given slot 21, will drop normally into a depressed transversely extending pocket 23 adapted for the reception of ball elements for which incorrect responses have been made, as will be later explained. However, to prevent a ball from dropping into the incorrect answer pocket 23, the player may insert, in the form of my invention illustrated, a stylus 24 into one of a plurality of openings 24a formed in the top wall of the frame, so that the lower end of the stylus will be disposed to divert a ball laterally of an aperture 22 and downwardly across bridging webs 25 formed in the plate 22a into a correct answer pocket 26 disposed below and in parallel adjacent relation to the pocket 23. Such diversion is made positive by the stationary row of guide ribs 27 depending in spaced parallel order from the underpart of the top wall of the frame. These ribs engage the upper portions of the ball elements, so that as an element strikes the lower end of the inserted stylus, it will be deflected to pass between adjoining ribs and over the required web to pocket Z6.
Removably positioned to extend across the upper wall of the frame are indicia prising a question and answer containing card or panel 29. Across the upper edge of the card there may appear vertical sectional view along the in printed form suitable problems 29a, such as arithmetimeans, here indicated as com,
cal problems, pictures of animals, different` colors or .many other thought-provoking representations whose relative simplicity or complexity will be geared to the age level of the person or persons playing the game. These cards are, of course, interchangeable so as to provide more or less complicated problems depending upon the age and knowledge of the player. Appearing along the bottom edge of the card 27 is a row of answers or responses, as shown at 29b, to the problems printed across the top edge, although such answers are preferably disposed out of longitudinal registry with the particular problem posed.
In the use of the game, assuming that a ball is projected by the plunger device 13, the player of the game watches to see into which of the entrance channelsV 17 the ball 12 passes, and correlates the problem 29a appearing in registry with the particular channel through which the ball is passing. At this time the player endeavors to place the stylus 24 into the appropriate hole or aperture 24a corresponding to the correct answer 29b to the problem posed. If the player positions the stylus in the co-rrect answer aperture, the ball after passing downwardly through the diagonally extending lower portions 19 of the channels, as formed by the bosses 20,
will strike the stylus 24, being thereby diverted from the incorrect answer pocket 23 to the correct answer pocket 26. Also, if the player does not select the correct answer opening 24a, or fails to promptly insert the stylus 24 in the correct opening before the ball 12 passes from the channel exits, then the ball will be caused to drop through an aperture 22 and into the incorrect answer channel 23.
For example, as illustrated by arrows in Fig. l, assuming that a given ball element 12 is projected by the spring 15 and eventually enters the right side, longitudinal channel 17 in alignment with the problem Z-l-l, the ball element, upon reaching the lower end of the channel 17, as defined by the pegs 18, will travel diagonally or angularly across the lower surface area of the bottom wall through the relatively adjoining, diagonal channel 19 defined by the pyramidal bosses 20 to the outlet slot 21 in alignment or registry with the answer indicia 3, not shown. Similarly, assuming that a given ball element enters an intermediate longitudinal channel 17, say for example, the channel 17 which is in alignment with the problem 4-l-3, such ball, upon leaving the lower end of the longitudinal channel 17, will enter the adjoining diagonal channel extension 19 and will be diverted first diagonally rightwardly through one of the channels 19, as viewed in Fig. l, until the ball strikes the right hand side of the maze formed by the bosses 2t), and then will be diverted diagonally leftwardly through another channel 19 disposed in relatively adjoining and in rectangular relation to the first channel 19, and be discharged through the outlet slot 21 in alignment or registry with the answer indicia 7.
Thus, if the player is sufficiently perceptive and promptly places a stylus 24 in the proper opening 24a corresponding to the correct answer to the problem, the stylus will then prevent the ball from dropping through an aperture 22 into the incorrect answer pocket 23, and will, instead, divert the ball across the associated bridge 25 and into the correct answer pocket 26.
Thus it will be seen that the present game apparatus 1s a challenge not only to the'players ability to solve the problem registered with the channel through which the ball passes, but to do so rather expeditiously before the ball can drop downwardly through an aperture 22 into the first pocket 23.` The purpose ofthe rows of offset channel-defining pins or posts 18 is to retard, somewhat, the progress of the balls through the channels to give the player time to ascertain the problem requiring solution by noting the particular channel through which the ball is passing. The slope of the playing surface of the frame and the rolling speed of'a ball, element thereover are such asvto necessitate promptness on thepart of the player in solving the problem and to correctly place the stylus. The pockets 23 and 26 communicate at one end of each thereof with the lower end of the guide channel 11 for the return of ball elements to the top of frame or boxing at the conclusion of play of any given game. The apparatus is simple, easy to employ and offers its players both amusement and exercise of their intellects. It will be understood when the indicia sheet contains two or more problems having a common response, such as two plus two or three plus one, the channels which have their entrance portions disposed in registry with such common problems may be merged in the maze-forming portion of the playing surface to provide a single or common outlet.
While the preferred form of the invention has been set forth in considerable detail, nevertheless it will be understood that the construction is subject to certain variations or modifications without departing from the' spirit and scope thereof as set forth in the following claims.
l. In an educational game; frame means having upper and lower portions; means carried by said frame means defining a plurality of separate, downwardly extending channels into which a rolling element may be introduced and guided in a given path of travel toward the lower portion of said frame means; means for depositing a rolling element into one of said channels; passage-forming means in said frame means arranged to normally receive rolling elements passing from said channels; manually operated means movable selectively to positions to obstruct said passage-forming means and thereby to divert a rolling element passing from a given one of said channels away from said passage-forming means; pocket-forming means arranged to receive rolling elements diverted from said passage-forming means by said manually operated means; problem-posing indicia disposed in visual alignment with each of said channels; and problem-solving indicia correlated to said problemposing indicia and visually associated with said manually operated means, whereby to indicate to a player of said game a position to which said manually operated means may be moved to divert a rolling element from said passage means to said pocket-forming means.
2. In an educational game; an inclined table member having upper and lower end portions; means for depositing a ball onto the upper end portion of said table member; means on said table member defining a plurality of separate, downwardly extendingchann'els for guiding a ball deposited onto the upper end of said table member in a given path of travel toward the lower end thereof; a first ball-confining pocket means on said table member arranged to normally receive balls passing from said channels; manually operable means selectively movable to a position to obstruct said first pocket means and to divert a ball passing from a given one of said channels away from said first pocket means; a second ball-confin ing pocket means arranged to receive balls diverted from said first pocket means by said manually operable means; problem-posing indicia disposed in alignment with each of said channels; and problem-solving indicia correlated with said problem-posing indicia and visually associated with the said manually operable means, whereby to indicato to a player of said game a position to which said manually operable means may be moved to divert a ball from said first pocket means to said second pocket means.
3. A game apparatus comprising a base having an upper end portion disposed in elevated relation to a lower end portion; means for introducing a ball device onto thc upper end portion of said base; means on said base defining a plurality of ball-guiding channels, said channels having exit ends opening toward the lower end of said base; a first ball-receiving pocket means disposed adjacent the exit ends of said channels and arranged normally to receive a ball discharged from said channels; a
, posed in alignment second ball-receiving pocket means arranged at the lower end of said base; manually operable means movable to a position to divert a ball element discharged from the exit ends of said channel means from said first pocket means into said second pocket means; and indicia means providing a group of problems, one of which being diswith each channel and additional indicia means providing a group of answers to the problems posed by the first indicia means and disposed in alignment with said ball-diverting means.
4, Mechanical game apparatus, comprising: a frame having a downwardly sloping playing surface formed with an unobstructed area at the top thereof; manually operated means for depositing rolling ball elements in varying positions on said area; longitudinally extending guides arising from said surface and defining a plurality of openended channels for passage therethrough of a ball element deposited on said area; means provided on said playing surface forming a plurality of angularly disposed continuations of said channels; first indicia means posing a plurality of problems, one of which being arranged in registry with each of said channels; separate incorrect and correct passage means formed in the lower part of said surface for the reception of ball elements discharged from the angular continuations of said channels; playeractuated means movable selectively relative to said frame to positions to preclude entry of a ball element into said incorrect passage means; and second indicia means providing answers for the problems posed by said rst indicia means for indicating to a player the proper position to move said player-actuated means to preclude entry of a ball element into said incorrect passage means.
5. Mechanical game apparatus as defined in claim 4, and wherein the frame includes a boxing having a bottom wall forming said playing surface, upstanding marginal walls and a transparent top Wall.
6. Mechanical game apparatus as dened in claim 4, and wherein the frame includes a boxing having a bottom wall forming said playing surface, upstanding marginal walls and a transparent top wall, said indicia means being removably mounted on said top wall.
7. Mechanical game apparatus comprising a base, including a downwardly sloping playing surface having an open unobstructed area at the top thereof; player-operated means for projecting ball elements in various paths of travel over said area; guide means provided on said playing surface and dening a plurality of spaced channels communicating at their upper ends with said area, and terminating in lower ball-discharging ends each of said channels being adapted to receive a ball element rolling downwardly of said surface from said area; the lower ball-discharging ends of at least certain of said channels being offset laterally with respect to their upper ball-receiving ends; indicia means disposed in registry with the entrance portions of each of said channels presenting to the player a problem requiring mental solution; playermanipulated means movable to positions of registry with the outlet ends of said channels to divert a ball element discharged from the lower end of a channel toward a given path of travel; and second indicia means presenting to the player an answer to a problem posed by said rstnamed indicia means and arranged to indicate to the player a proper position to which said player-manipulated means should be moved to divert a ball element toward said given path of travel.
8. Mechanical game apparatus as defined in claim 7, and wherein the ball-receiving upper portions of said guide means are formed so that the channels defined thereby are disposed in straight longitudinally extending parallel order, the sides of the channels presenting par- 6 tial obstructions in the path of ball travel through the channels to retard the rolling speed of ball elements engaged thereby.
9. Mechanical game apparatus as defined in claim 7, and wherein the guide means are composed of rows of relatively spaced upstanding projections with the projections of adjoining rows disposed in offset relation with respect to each other.
l0. Mechanical game apparatus, comprising: a boxing having a bottom providing a downwardly sloping playing surface, side walls and a transparent top, said playing surface having an unobstructed ball-projecting area in the upper part thereof; means for the reception of a row of ball elements, said means terminating in a ball outlet communicating with said area; manually operated, spring-pressed plunger means cooperative with said outlet for releasing a foremost ball element from the outlet and forcibly projecting the same across said area; rows of relatively spaced and staggered projections arising stationarly from said surface, the arrangement of said projections causing the same to define a plurality of open-ended, parallel, longitudinally extending channels on said surface for the retarded passage of a ball element rolling therein from said projecting area; a multiplicity of stationary boss formations arising from and extending across said playing surface below said channels, said formations providing a plurality of relatively intersecting diagonally extending grooves, each of said grooves at its upper end being disposed in registry with the communicating lower end of one of said channels, panel means removably mounted on the top of said boxing over the boss formations of said playing surface, indicia means mounted on said panel containing a series of problems wherein each problem is disposed in alignment with one of said channels, said indicia means further containing a series of responses to said problems; the response to any given problem being disposed in registry with the ball outlet end of a boss-defined groove which has its upper end in receiving relation to a channel arranged in alignment with the problem posed; passage means for incorrect responses disposed below said bossdened grooves, said passage means communicating with the ball-discharging lower ends of said grooves by a plurality of apertures formed in the lower portion of the boxing, said apertures being relatively separated by bridge-forming webs; relatively spaced stationary divider elements disposed in a transverse row between said apertures and the ball-discharging ends of said grooves to form ball-guiding outlets in longitudinal registry with said apertures; a row of transversely spaced guide ribs carried by the top of said boxing and disposed above said apertures in ball-guiding relation thereto; a correct response pocket means disposed adjacent the lower end of said playing surface in parallel relation to said passage means; and a manually operated device selectively insertable into any one of a row of openings formed in the top of said boxing, said openings being disposed n registry with said outlets so that the lower portion of the inserted device is arranged in a position to deflect movement o-f a ball element from an aperture in registry with the device to cause the ball element to travel over an adjoining bridge web of the aperture and into said correct pocket means.
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|U.S. Classification||434/327, D19/64, 273/119.00R, 273/118.00A|