US 2883192 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April .21, 1959 R. ROYSTON PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT Filed Sept. 5. 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Pom-A T A vs ra/v April' 21, 1959 Filed Sept. 5, 1957 R. ROYSTON PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENIOR. R0552? AoxsTo/v ATTOQNEY United States Patent PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT Robert Royston, Mill Valley, Calif., assignor of one-half to Henry Gifford Hardy, Oakland, Calif.
Application September 5, 1957, Serial No. 682,167
Claims. (Cl. 272-2) This invention relates to playground equipment, and more particularly to the type of construction which permits children to exercise their climbing and pulling desires, safely and leisurely.
Practically every child of normal capacities is possessed of the innate desire to climb and to move upwardly by his own efforts, not only to experience mild sensations of height, but to increase his view and horizon through sheer curiosity. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to supply play apparatus suitable for playgrounds of all types, which allows the child to experience the sensation of height with complete safety.
It is another object of the invention to provide climbing apparatus which has the minimum of risk and a maximum fall or drop of approximately two feet at any one location.
Another object of the invention is to provide a play construction which may be likened to a vertical maze in that it tends to lead the child onward and upwardly simply because each area immediately above is not clearly visible until he climbs up into it.
Another object is to provide apparatus for children of open-wire covering, so that they may have the experience of height without any problem of claustrophobia.
Another object is the provision of a colorful and intriguing piece of .plaground equipment occupying a minimum of space.
A still further object is to provide a modular piece of playground equipment which may be used alone or extended as a unit, or which can be combined with other features, as the conditions indicate or as they are desired.
It is another object to provide a playground structure which is protected from the sun. Many pieces of equipment, such as slides, become .so hot from the suns rays that children cannot use them. The screening and solid side portions break up the suns rays to an extent sufiicient to permit the children to use the same in comfort even on the hottest days.
Further objects are to provide a construction of maximum simplicity, economy and ease of assembly and disassembly, also such further objects, advantages and capabilities as will fully appear and as are inherently possessed "by the device and the invention described herein.
The invention further resides in the combination, con struction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and while there is shown therein a preferred embodiment thereof, it is tobeunderstood that the same is illustrative of the invention and that the invention is capable of modification and changeand comprehends other details of construction without departing from the spirit thereof or the scope of the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings:
Figure 1 is a vertical section taken on the line I-.I of Figure 3 and shows the completely assembled modular unit of this invention;
Figure 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the erence to Figure 1, where the complete modular unit is shown in vertical section, the entire assembly is constructed around two vertical pipes 10 and 11, which are anchored firmly in the ground 12, or other suitable base. The pipes 10 and 11 may be poles or any other suitable material, but pipe is more satisfactory due to its ability to withstand weather and will not, of course, raise. splinters. The pipes 10 and 11 may be anchored in concrete 19 in the ground 12, although some reasonably soft condition should be maintained around the pipes at the ground level to avoid bruises and skinnings when children play in and around the apparatus a little too enthusiastically.
The structure which is hung onto the two vertically upright pipes 10 and 11 is substantially a square, as shown in the transverse section of Figure 3, and generally the framework is constructed simply of angle irons. The four corners are vertical angle irons 14, 15, 16 and 17. At each floor level there is a substantially square ledge or floor level frame made of angle irons 20, 21, 22 and 23. These are, of course, secured to the vertical angle irons 14 to 17, inclusive, for floor supports at the various levels. Each one of these floor level frames is also hung from a pair of angle irons 24 and 25 which pass on opposite sides of the vertical pipes 10 and 11 and are secured thereto in any suitable manner. At each floor level the portion provided with a solid floor 26 projects beyond said pipes 10 and 11 a sufficient distance to cover the width of the angle iron 24 or 25, as the case may be. This portion is indi.- cated at 27 and is cut out to permit it to be lowered into place around the pipes 1d and 11.
The portions of the structure at each floor having solid flooring 26 are usually provided with solid side walls 3g and 31 which, as will be observed in Figure 1, are arranged in an alternately upward pattern. The other alternate areas of siding are of substantial screen material as at 32 and 33. The end walls 34 and 35 are preferably solid screening from top to bottom. The top also is preferably screened by panel 36. This leaves only one face of the structure uncovered and that is preferably closed by spaced bars 38 which provide an open view, as well as gripping bars at the top of the structure. However, this area may be screened as well if desired.
Since the floor levels are normally about two feet apart, a structure such as shown in Figure 1, is approximately thirteen and one-half feet high, including the eighteen inches which is the distance from the first floor level 26, to the ground 12. The only opening in and out of the modular structure is the entrance opening indicated by the arrow 40. A small child wishing to use this apparatus crawls into this opening between the pipes wand 11,
which are spaced from the side walls at each side only a'sufiicient distance to provide liberal structural clearance and sutlicient hand grip all the way around, but without danger of the child getting caught in the pipe and the side wall. A child crawling in at the entrance arrives upon a solid flooring 26 with solid side panels 30 and 31, but looks straight ahead through the end wall screening 34. Immediately above his head, however, is the opening indicated by the arrow 41 and a child of the age for which this apparatus is suitable, is then able to stand erect on the first floor which is indicated as 26. He is then able to look out through the side screens 32 and 33 and the end screen 34. By repeating the process in the reverse direction, he can climb to the second level represented by the flooring 26 with a similar experience as upon entering at the entrance end 40. This experience is repeated at each higher level until the top level is attained, where the child may stand on the flooring 26 Here he is able to survey the surrounding landscape through the side screen panels 32 and 33 and the end screening 34. As explained before, at the top the child looks through one side which is formed of the bars 38. This can be for the purpose of steadying himself in the event there is any tendency to be upset by the height.
The projection of the flooring as at 27, beyond the center line defined by the pipes and 11, makes it possible for the child to stand on any floor level and look around without any substantial danger of inadvertently stepping off of the flooring during his gazing, the past center overhang of the flooring being a safety feature. Further, the staggered climbing is an additional safety factor, because the maximum fall is approximately two feet at any one level. Further, as before indicated, the exposure of the pipes 10 and 11 from top to bottom provide gripping means at every point. Accordingly, it will be observed that much care and thought has been provided for the childs safety and enjoyment of this apparatus, which satisfies a basic instinct in all young children Using the single structure of Figure 1 as a modular unit, the enjoyment may be multiplied and varied in numerous ways. For example, and with particular reference to Figure 4, two such units may be established so that their end walls 34 face each other. By merely stopping the screening end wall 34 at the floor level indicated as 26 the two may be bridged together by a" crossover, which is generally indicated by the numeral 50. The crossover is supported on angle irons 51 secured at each end to the modular units, to which is secured a solid flooring 52. Suitable structural cross bracing (not shown) is provided for required structural strength. The side walls 53 are preferably screened from top to bottom and the roof screening 36 is continued all along the top as indicated at 36a. Such an arrangement as is shown in Figure 4 finds particular usefulness in that traffic may enter at one side, go up, cross over and down the other side. It is apparent that in a single modular unit the trafiic must enter and leave at the single opening 40. This is not a detriment, however, for as many as ten children have been in a modular unit at one time without crowding or discomfort.
The arrangement shown in Figure 4 may be revised to eliminate the crossover 50 and bring the two walls 34 together so that both units have a common wall 34. Here again, if desired, one side could be the entrance end and the other side the exit end, with climbing up and down provided. It i equally apparent that other forms of amusement equipment may be added, such as slides, as any one of the areas of the end walls may be opened to provide attachment of a slide outlet.
The alternate arrangement of side panels and particularly the ofiiset solid panels 30 and 31 provide areas for color and decoration which greatly add to the enjoyment of the apparatus and present a pleasing, gay appearance which tones the play area to a very great degree.
It is apparent that only one central support may be used, but for structural support and ease of construction the two vertical pipes are preferred. Also, the equipment need not be in the form of a square, but may be cylindrical with the floor levels proceeding upwardly and even in the manner of a helix. supported on the ground surrounding the central support and this is intended to be included.
Thus, it is demonstrated that a safe and lively playground apparatus is provided herein, which not only accomplishes all of the objects which have been here set forth, but many others as well.
1. Modular playground apparatus having several vertical levels comprising in combination a central vertical support for supporting the entire apparatus, an enclosed frame mounted on and supported by said central support, said frame being substantially rectangular in plan with four vertical sides, and divided vertically into several equidistant horizontal floor levels, solid flooring covering slightly more than half of the area arranged alternately at the several floor levels within said frame, and covering for all four sides and the top for enclosing said frame except at the lowermost level where one side of said enclosed frame is left open as .a place of ingress and egress.
2. Modular playground apparatus having several vertical levels comprising in combination a central vertical support for supporting the entire apparatus including a pair of spaced pipes securely mounted in the ground, an enclosed frame mounted on and supported by said central support, said frame being substantially rectangular in plan with four vertical sides, and divided vertically into several equidistant horizontal floor levels, solid flooring covering slightly more than half of the area arranged alternately at the several floor levels within said frame, and covering for all four sides and the top for enclosing said frame except at the lowermost level where one side of the enclosed frame is left open as a place of ingress and egress, the two opposed vertical sides one of which contains said ingress and egress opening being completely covered with a substantial screen, and the other two op posed side walls having solid covering adjacent the flooring and screening at the portion of the flooring level which is not floored, so as to present a vertical pattern ofalternate solid and screen areas.
3. Playground equipment including in combination a pair of modular structures having several vertical levels appropriately faced and spaced with respect to each other, and each comprising a pair of spaced vertical supports, an enclosed frame mounted on and supported by said supports, said frame being substantially rectangular in plan with four vertical sides and divided vertically into several equidistant horizontal floor levels within said frame, solid flooring covering slightly more than half of the area at each floor level and arranged alternately at the several floor levels, protective covering for all four sides and the top of said frame except at the top floor levels of the facing sides of said modular structures which are open, an enclosed protected crossover means connecting the two structures and their respective openings at the top floor levels, and openings in the enclosed sides at the lowermost levels which form places of ingress and egress to said equipment.
4. Modular playground equipment having several vertical levels comprising in combination a central vertical support for the entire apparatus, an enclosed frame mounted on and supported by said central support, said frame having an enclosing vertical wall with several equidistant horizontal floor supports throughout its height, solid flooring covering slightly more than half of the area at each floor level, with each floor being offset with respect to the floors immediately above and below, and a protective covering for said frame and the top thereof except at the lowermost floor level where it is open as a place of ingress and egress.
Likewise, the frame can be 5. Playground equipment including in combination a pair of modular structures having several vertical levels appropriately faced and juxtapositioned with respect to each other, and each comprising a pair of spaced vertical supports, an enclosed frame mounted on and supported by each pair of said supports, said frames being substantially rectangular in plan with four vertical sides and divided vertically into several equidistant horizontal floor levels within said frames, solid flooring covering slightly more than half of the area at each floor level and arranged alternately at the several floor levels, a protective covering for all sides and tops of said frames except at the top floor levels of the facing sides of said modular structures which are open providing a crossover access References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,950,481 Costello Mar. 13, 1934 2,206,581 Shapiro July 2, 1940 2,625,714 Clark et a1. Jan. 20, 1953 OTHER REFERENCES Architectural Forum, volume No. 94, issue No. 4, April l951,pages 118-121.