US 2930613 A
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March 29, 1960 H. Km 2,930,613
TOY FOR BALANCING AND WALKING I Filed Oct. 13, 1 958 INVENTOR.
HAROLD KATZ l B FIG. 3 Z
ATTORNEY 2,930,613 I TOY F012 BALANCING AND WALKING Harold Katz, University City, Mo. Application October 13, 1958, Serial No. 766,771
1 Claim. (Cl. 272-57) The present invention relates to a toy for balancing and walking, somewhat in the manner of the use of stilts. Its purposes are to provide a device for exercise and amusement; and more specifically to develop skill in balancing and moving about by the control of the distribution of the users weight with his feet.
A further purpose is to provide tilt limiting means so that an unskilled user will not be caused to fall; and by the tilt limiting means to provide a challenging diversity of methods for mounting the toy and establishing balance thereon.
Referring now to the drawings:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of the new device, with its maximum up-tilted position shown in dashed lines;
Figure 2 is a top plan view of the device;
Figure 3 is an end elevation of the device with the maximum side tilted position shown in dashed lines.
The feet of the user of the device are accommodated upon ribbed treads which may be secured adhesively to a pair of spaced platforms 11, which may conveniently be made of plywood. The upper surfaces of the platforms 11 are each somewhat larger in area than the foot of a user, and the spacing between their centers is chosen at a comfortable spacing for children, say fifteen inches. The platforms 11 are secured to the outer ends of a fairly shallow horizontal beam 12 which rigidly interconnects them. The beam is substantially narrower than the platforms 11, so that they project on both sides of a vertical plane of symmetry a, as shown.
A pair of legs 13 secured to the beam 12 extend downward from it inward of the ends of the beam and, more significantly, inward of the outer margins 14 of the platforms 11. The leg location is near the inner margin of each platform, rather than at its center, so that unless the users Weight is well distributed between the two platforms, the toy will tend to tilt endwise as shown in Figure 1. These outer margins 14 of the platforms may be rounded semi-circularly so there is a gradual transition from the substantially equal length of their projection beyond the plane of symmetry and the distance which they extend endwise outward from the legs 13.
I have found it preferable to utilize legs 13 whose length is no greater than the length of projection of the platforms beyond the plane of symmetry, nor than the distance by which the legs are located inward from the outer edge of the platforms 11. If the length of the legs 13 below the upper surfaces of the platforms 11 equal such projection and distance, the angles of tilt shown in Figures 1 and 3 will be 45", which is a challengingly great angle, in fact greater than may be desirable for use by children unfamiliar with the device. Preferably, the legs should be perhaps only half as high, so that the angles of maximum tilt, as shown in Figures 1 and 3, will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 to 30.
The bottoms of the legs 13 are equipped with nonskid caps 15, which may be of a plastic or a synthetic material which has both non-skid likely to mark or mar the floors.
In using the toy, the child places his feet on the platforms 11 and attempts to establish a balance on the nonskid caps 15, which serve as balancing points. Once he establishes balance, he attempts to walk, much in the manner of walking on stilts. The problems of weight distribution and muscular control are, however, substantially different from stilt-walking, as are the problems of mounting the device.
Mounting may be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as setting the device upright on the caps 15, the user sitting in a chair' and placing his feet on the platforms 11 and then attempting to rise on the device; or placing the feet equally on the treads 10 of the platforms 11 with the device tilted away from vertical, as in Figure 3, and then attempting to establish it in an upright posi-- tion; or placing one foot on one platform 11 to hold the device tilted endwise as in Figure 1, and then placing the other foot on the other platform 11 and attempting to tilt the device back to level and to establish balance on the caps 15.
Another procedure for mounting the device is to place the feet along the inner edges of the platforms 11 over the legs 13, so as to minimize the tendency to tilt; then to move the feet outwards to the center of the treads 10, where the user may exert control over his weight distribution as necessary to advance the legs 13 progressively and. thus to make the device walk.
For walking forward or backward, it is obvious that the weight must be only partially shifted from one foot of the user to the other. Completely removing weight from either platform 11 will cause the device to tilt endwise to the position shown in dashed lines in Figure 1. Accordingly the children using the present toy develop skills in balancing and shifting their weight as between the various portions of their feet.
When the rounded outer margins 14 of the platforms 11 are resting on the floor, in either of the tilted positions shown in Figure 1 or Figure 3, they provide a tendency to roll from one of such tilted positions to the other, which adds difficulty to mounting the device and increases the elements of skill and excitement.
Various changes may be made in form, construction, and proportions of the device disclosed without departing from the scope of the present invention, which is to be considered as fully coextensive with the claim which follows.
A toy for use in balancing and walking, comprising a beam having a vertical plane of symmetry, platform means to support one foot of a user at each end of the beam and projecting therefrom on both sides of the plane of symmetry, and rigidly afiixed legs extending downward from the beam inward of the outer margins of said platforms, said legs being located on said plane of symmetry the legs of downward extension of said legs beneath the outer margins of the platform means not exceeding either the distance by which the legs are located inward of the outer edges of said platform or the length of projection of the platforms beyond the plane of symmetry.
properties and is not References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 451,583 Spencer May 5, 1891 1,754,109 Kitze Apr. 8, 1930 1,911,572 I-Iulander et al. May 30, 1933 2,253,996 Bechman Aug. 26, 1941 2,714,007 Jordan July 26, 1955