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Publication numberUS2973604 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 7, 1961
Filing dateOct 22, 1957
Priority dateOct 22, 1957
Publication numberUS 2973604 A, US 2973604A, US-A-2973604, US2973604 A, US2973604A
InventorsDigirolamo John V M, Moses Zion
Original AssigneeLionel Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Operating horse car and corral
US 2973604 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 7, 1961 J. v. M. DIGIROLAMO ETI'AI. 2,973,604

OPERATING HORSE CAR AND CORRAL 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct 22, 1957 INVEN'II'ORS W m 4 am flN )N Q 5 Z ME Me n. W W a n B March 7, 1961 J. v. M. DIGIROLAMO ETAI. 2,973,604

OPERATING HORSE CAR AND CORRAL 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct 22, 1957 INVENTORS c/OH/VKMOlG/QOZAMO MosEs ZION March 7, 1961 J. v. M. DIGIROLAMO ETAL OPERATING HORSE CAR AND CORRAL 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 22, 1957 who 0 f ne wzafis All! Mass 2/ 7M ATTORNEYS J. V. M. DIGIROLAMO EI'AI.

OPERATING HORSE CAR AND CORRAL March 7, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 22, 1957 w z m IV 1/ l'lfa yosE g z/o/v W 21 459;?

ATTORNEYS Un ted S a s P ten 0,

OPERATING HORSE CAR AND C ORRAL John V. M. Digirolamo, Orange, NJ., and Moses Zion, Brooklyn, N.Y., assignors to The Lionel Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed oct'z fz, 1957, Ser. No. 691,619

' 4 Claims. (Cl. 46- 40) The present invention relates to a toy railroad loading system and also to a toy railroad car employed in this system; I

A wide variety of devices have been proposed for the loading and unloading of toy railway cars with various articles. Among the more successful of these has been the device described in application Serial No. 200,416,

entitled "Toy Railway Trackside Accessories, filed December 12, 1955, by Joseph L. Bonanno and Frank Pettit, now Patent Number 2,882,644.

' The present invention constitutes an improvement over that described in the aforesaid application. Although the two inventions have a number of common objectives, the invention described hereinbelow accomplishes these objectives in an entirely diiferent manner. Further, the present invention employs -simpler and more rugged structures which maybe manufactured in a considerably more economical manner. V

' An object of the invention is to provide an improved system for loading and unloading toy railway cars.

Another object of the invention is to provide an impnoved self loading toy railway car.

A further objectof the invention is to provide simpler devices and stronger ones for employment in a system for loading toy railway cars.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a durable and easily adjusted system for the handling of vibration-propelled articles.

Other objec'tsand advantages of'the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the detailed disclosure hereinbelow.

Among the inventive features of the novel article handling system are the drop doors or ramp doors provided on the railway car which function in the lowered position as ramps for transferring articles between the car and the adjacentloading stage or landing, and which also "serve as doors of the car in the vertical position. A novel suspension ofthe'se ramp doors has the elfect of raising the inner or bottom one of the doors as it is turned to the loading position where it is inclined slightly below the horiiontal. Also the vibratory armature used in the car is provided with a simple and very effective adjustment for controlling the vibration by means of the air gap between vibratory armature and coil. A sliding gate mechanism is provided for halting the unloading of articles from the car either while the car is moving or when loading at the landingior corral. This involves a lost motion linkage arrangement whereby this gate is controlled by a horizontal sliding' door on the car, but does not restrict greater movement of that door. In addition, the car platform and the landing are mounted on simple resilient leaf springs in orderthat they may be vibrated vertically to move articles as desired. Still further the base of the loading stage is provided with reversible legs so that its height may be adjusted readily and vertically slotted links connect it to toy tracks to maintain the necessary alignment in the system. These features permit the same equipment to be used interchangeably with a plurality of I 2,973,604 Patented Mar. 7,1961

gauge tracks.

For a better understanding of the nature of this invention, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the article handling system in which toy horses are shown ready for movement around the corral through the toy car from one end to the other and return to the corral or landing as soon as the system is activated by an electric current;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the entire system including a partial section taken along the plane of 2-2 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 3 is an elevation view with the near side of the car removed, taken along the plane of line 3-3 in Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a partial vertical section taken along line 4-4 of Fig. 2 with parts broken away;

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary elevation similar to Fig. 4 but with the sliding door in the open position;

I Fig. 6 is a horizontal section taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 is a vertical section taken on line 7-7 of Fig. 2 but with the ramp door down and a toy horse entering the car;

Fig. 8 is a vertical section of the trackside loading accessory taken along line 8-8 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary section taken along the plane 9-9 of Fig. 2 but with the ramp, door down and showing a toy horse leaving the car;

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary vertical section taken along the line 10-10 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 11 is a vertical section of a fragmentary nature taken along the line 11-11 of Fig. 3 and showing the ramp door in the elevated position;

Fig. 12 is taken in the same plane as Fig. 11 but illustrates the ramp in the lowered position;

Fig. 13 is a view similar to Fig. 12 taken at the other end of the car along line 13-13 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 14 is a fragmentary view partly in section taken along line 14-14 of Fig. 2 showing the loading stage arranged for 027 gauge track;

Fig. 15 is a fragmentary bottom view of the base and a reversible leg taken along 15-15 of Fig. 14;

Fig. 16 is a vertical section of a detail taken along line 16-16 of Fig. 13; and

Fig. 17 is a view similar to Fig. 13 with the trackside accessory rearranged for 0 gauge toy track of greater depth of both rails and ties.

Returning now to Fig. 1, it will be seen in this overall view of the system that the toy horses 20 may be propelled by vibration across the loading accessory designated generally at 22, along the walled path of landing 24, across the lowered loading ramp door 26, through the toy freight car 28 and out over the lowered unloading ramp 30. The inclines 32 and 34 are part of the vibrating landing 24 and are set on an angle shallow enough to permit the free motion of the animals 20 either up or down. A fence rail or wall 35 keeps the animalss confined to the path and headed in the proper direction on landing 24. The swinging gate 36 opens into the corral section 38 of landing 24 which is provided with a simulated drinking fountain 40. With gate 36 swung to the right dotted line position in Fig. 2 the horses 20 are directed into the corral, while swinging the gate to the left dotted line position leads the animals from the corral onto the pathway of landing 24 headed in the proper direction to reach loading incline 34. The terminals 41 are connected to leads (not shown) to introduce alternating current of the proper frequency and voltage from a suitable source, such as a toy train transformer or the track, into the trackside accessory.

Turning now to Fig. 2, the car 28 with two of the toy animals shown therein, is illustrated with the ramp doors 26 and 30 in their retracted or vertical positions in alignment with inclined ramps 32 and 34. Except when the door operating mechanism of the car is energized as described later, these ramp doors are so loadedby the crank bar 42 and theweight of the coil armature described later and so supported that they close under the influence of gravity. The ramp doors 26 and 30 turn on the pivots 4'4 and 46 respectively which are each fastened in bosses 48 which are molded integrally with. the plastic doors. The pivots turn in the slotted lugs 50' and 52 which will be described hereinafter;

Within the car is the vibrating platform 54' which extends from one ramp door to the other and which is in the form of a trough inasmuch as it is closed in by the sides or walls 56 and 57' and open at the. top. Referring now. to Fig. 3', it will be observed that this vibrating platform or trough, which is desirably of a light-weight plastic material, is resiliently supported for vibration by the leaf spring or metal ribbons 58 which are secured to the angle brackets 60, formed integrally with side wall 57 of platform 54' and frame 6-2 by rivets or screws.

Vibration of the car platform 54 is produced by the electromagnetic coil 64 mounted in the inverted U-shape frame 66 which is open on both sides. The two legs of the. frame are attached to the car frame 62 by screws. The insulated lead of the coil is shown at 70 and the other side of the coil winding is grounded.

It will be noted in Fig; 4 that the vibration-propelled toys 20 are mounted on bases 72 equipped with resilient fingers 7-4 therebelow that are inclined to the rear. It is well known in the art that when such articles are in. con.- tact with a vertically vibrating surface, like car platform 54, they move forward a short distance with each. cycle of vibration to which the platform is subjected.

Figs. 4 to 6- illustrate the sliding gate. mechanism which is used to prevent any of the horses 20' from leaving the car when a full carload is being loaded or merely retained inthe car. The construction of this gate is most easily visualized from Fig. 2 wherein the gate is. shown inv solid lines as member 76 inits. open position and in dotted lines in the closed position 78*. In the same drawing it will be noted that the lug 80 projecting from the sliding door 82 opens and closes the gate 76 A shaped sheet metal strip 84 is spot welded to the gate. 76 to form. an assemblage which: is slidably mounted in two relatively wide but shallow notches cutv into the wall. 56 which is adjacent to door 82. By reference to. Fig. 6 it will be appreciated that this assemblage. straddles and grips the portion of the wall 56' which. is shown at the right. Be,- tweenthe two notches 86 is the wall tab 88 which. is a portion of wall 56. This tab aids in retaining the gate assemblage in place on wall 56. Two tabs 90 and. 92 project above and are integral with the sheet metal@ strip. 84. It is these tabs which engage the door lug 80. and transmit the motion of door 82 to gate 76. It will be appreciated from Fig. 4, wherein the door lug. 810 is shown in solid lines at the right in engagement with tab 90 for opening the gate 76 and in dotted lines at the left in engaging tab 90 to close that gate, that there is aconsiderable amount of lost motion in the travel of door lug,

580 between the tabs 90 and 92. The travel of gate 76 is distinctly smaller than the full travel of door 82 be.- tween its opened and closed positions, therefore, the lostmotion linkage is provided to allow the door itsfull amplitude of travel.

Fig. 7 illustrates the loading. of a horse onto the car from the trackside accessory 22. It will be noted that this accessory also contains a vibratory member, landing. 24, which is mounted for vertical vibratory movement indepedent of the base 94 on the inclined resilient. springs 96. These leaf springs. are. formed. from flat. ribbons of metal similarly to the. resilient springs 58. in the car. Their ends are fastened to the base. and the vibrating landing. The loading ramp section 34 of the landing 24 terminates in. a relatively deepledge 97 which allows the outer end of door 26 to descend slightly below the upper edge 98 of the loading incline when the ramp-door is in loading position. This permits the toy animals when propelled by vibration to easily cross the joint between the ramp door and the loading incline. This figure also shows the same ramp door 26 in the vertical position in dotted lines.

Turning now to Fig. 9,, a. toy horse 20 is traversing the ramp door 30 in passing from the vibrating car platform. 54. to the vibrating incline. 32'. It will beobservcd that the ledge 109- at the upper end of. incline 32 is shallower than ledge 97', therefore, the outer end of door 30 is slightly higher than the. upper edge 102 of incline 32 to prevent any ridge which might check the motion of the vibration-propelled article. This is accomplished by having the loading or left end of the vibrating car platform 54 lower than the unloading or right end of that same platform as is readily apparent upon reference to Fi 4.

%"n Fig. 8', it will be observed that the' landing, 24 is vibrated vertically by the electromagnetic coil 10.4' which is actuated by alternating current of the proper voltage passing through the. pair of terminals 41 and pair of leads 106. The amplitude of vibration of the landing is controlled. by adjustment ofthe screw 108.

In. connection with Fig. 7 it is also to be noted that the car coil 64 is actuated by similar alternating. current supplied to the lead 70 by an insulated shoe 110 attached to the railway truck' 112 and containing a. metal contact button 114. That button rests upon a. short contact blade 116 which is insulated from the. track. structure. The coil in the car is energized bycurncnt passing, to the contact' blade 116 from a, switch. (not shown) or other control' device that is connected to a toy train; transformer or to a contactor touching the third rail. of the track or to any other suitable current source. This electromagnetic coil can be energized. only when the contact button 114 is. resting upon the short. section of contact blade 116. This assures proper alignment of ramp doors. 2.6 and 30 with the inclines 32 and 34 respectively.

Fig. 10 illustrates the manner of mounting the vibratory armature 118 which is tapped to receive ascrew 120. Armature. 118 can. be raised or lowered to adjust the air gap between magnet coil and. vibratory armature by simply loosening the screw which passes. through the ad-- justing. slot 122 in the wall 57 of thevibrating platform in the. car, then retightening, the. screw to fasten the armature 118 to the wall. This adjustment" permits the amplitude of the. vertical vibratory motion. applied to the car platform 54 to. be varied at will.

The same electromagnetic. coil 64 also functions. in combination with a second armature. 124 as a solenoid. This armature is. drawn inside the. coil. when the. coil is energized thereby lowering the rampdoors 26 and 30 until their outer edges are in contact with: the ledges 96 and 100 respectively of the landing inclines. This motion is transmitted from. the. armature 124 through the flanged channel member at its lower end to crank bar 42 riding in slot 127 in. the channel: member 126. The crank rod 42 is rigidly secured in: the two plastic bosses 130 which are integral parts of the ramp-doors 26 and 30 respectively. Ramp doors 26 and 3.0 are mounted on the pivots 44 and 46 respectively in the bosses 48. These pivots rest inthe slots 132 (see Fig. 1.1) which restrict their displacement but not their rotation; These slots are cut into the sheet metal tabs 50 and 52 which are desirably integral with the frame of the car. Rubber collar 128- surrounding the armature 1 24- acts as a stop to: limit. the movement of armature 124 into the coil 64. As. is apparent in Figs; 1 and f2; as the" crank bar 42 is pulled from its lower to its upper positionv by' armature 124 risingas coil 64 is energized, it swings both ramp.

' doors to their lower positions and thismotion is aided considerably by provision "of-a ledge 136 (Fig. 7), on the loading or left rampdoor 26. In addition, the inner or lower end of this ledge is rounded at 138 to provide a cam action against edges 56 and 57' which facilitates the lowering of the ramp door. it is to be emphasized that Figs. 11 and 12 depict right or unloading end of the vibrating car platform 54 which is higher than the loading end at the left end of the car. Accordingly it is apparent that the ramp door 30 must be raised at its inner end 31 as the door is lowered in order that the inner end of the door will be raised sufficiently to contact firmly the lower edge 136 of the vibrating platform 54 (see Fig. 9). This is readily accomplished by trimming away the edge of platform 54 and walls 56 and 57 so that the distance from corner 136 to the upper end of slot 132 is equal to the distance between pivot 46 and the lower edge of the ramp door 30. With these distances so adjusted, the upward pull on bar 42 by the solenoid also pulls up pivot pin 46 to the top of slot 132 to produce the desired contact between the lower or inner edge of door 30 and the platform edge 136 as indicated in Fig. 12. At the left or loading end of the car platform 54, the platform and side walls 56' and 57' are trimmed substantially the same. Accordingly, the pivot 44 is held in the bottom of its slot 132 throughout the lowering of the door as represented in Fig. 13, and thisbrings about the desired abutment between the door and the loading or left edge of platform 54. Such contact is .desirable at each end of the loading platform to avoid a ridge capable of offering significant resistance to the toy animals 20 in traversing the joints between the vibrating loading platform 54 and the ramp doors 26 and 30. Vibration of the ramp doors 26 and 30 in the lower position is assured not only from the contact just mentioned,

but also from contact of the doors with the ledges 97 and 100 respectively of the vibrating landing 24. By reason of the raising of the pivot 46 in slot 132'as the ramp door 30 is lowered, there is adequate compensation for the difference in elevation of the ends of platform 54 resulting from its inclination (see Fig. 4). This feature makes it possible to have the same two ramp doors at exactly the same elevation when in their vertical position as both pins 44 and 46 are then at the bottom of the slots 132. This is highly desirable in permitting a symmetrical and accordingly more realistic design of the shell 139 (Fig. 1) of the car.

Turning now to Figs. 14 to 17 inclusive, it will be noted that 027 gauge track of low rail depth and tie depth is used in Fig. 14, while that in Fig. 17 is 0 gauge track of greater depth in both respects. This alteration is readily accomplished by means of the vertical slots 140 in the vertical ears 142 which are integral with the angle members 144. It will be noted that the inner bearing rail 146 rests in a slot 148 in such manner as to maintain the proper distance between car 28 and loading stage 22 at all times. The slotted member 142 is held to the base 94 by means of the flanged pin or rivet 150 which is adapted to slide easily up and down the slot 140.

The height of the base is readily adjusted by means of the reversible rubber legs that have a shallow section 152 on which the base rests in Fig. 14 at the lower level and a deep section 154 on which the base is supported at a higher level in Fig. 17. By referring to Fig. 15, it will be apparent that the legs are readily removable through the hole 156 in base 94 and may be turned to the proper position and slid into the slots 158 which engages the recessed section 160 of these legs. Three or more of the reversible legs may be used to support the base and it is evident that changing from one gauge track to the other is a simple matter.

The operation of the article handling system described .hereinabove consists of bringing car 28 into position on the track adjacent the loading accessory 22 with ramp doors 26 and 30 aligned with the inclines 34 and 32 respectively and shoe contact button 114 engaging the contact blade 116 (Fig. 7). Then both electromagnetic coils 64 in the car and 104 under the landing are energized to set up vibrations in landing 24 and car platform 54. Activating coil 64 also swings the ramp doors down to bridge the gap between the ends of the car platform and the two inclines, thereby transmitting the vibrations to the two ramp doors. Any toy horses 20 therein will be propelled around the walled path made up of landing 24 with its inclines loading door 26, car platform 54 and unloading door 30 unless they are directed into the vibrating corral section 38 or halted by the gate 76 in the car at the will of the operator.

While only one embodiment of the invention is disclosed hereinabove, it is to be understood that this is merely to illustrate the principles of the invention-and does not constitute a limitation on the various means or modifications which may be employed in practicing this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A self-loading toy railway car which comprises a frame, a platform inclined to the horizontal and resiliently mounted on said frame of the car for vibratory motion relative to the frame, electromagnetic means mounted on said frame and connected to said platform for vibrating the platform, two pivoting ramp doors adjacent the ends of the platform and located at the same elevation thereas when in a lowered position, and means actuated by said electromagnetic means for pivotally lowering the ramp doors to bring their inner ends into aligned abutment With the car platform, whereby the inner ends of the lowered ramp doors are located at elevations corresponding to ends of the platform thus permitting the passage thereover of vibration-propelled articles.

2. A self loading toy railway car which comprises a platform resiliently mounted on a frame of the car for vibratory motion relative to the frame, a ramp door pivotally mounted on said car and movable between an opened and a closed position, electromagnetic means for vibrating the platform and means actuated by the same electromagnetic means to lower said ramp door into substantial aligned abutment with a portion of said platform.

3. A self loading toy railway car which comprises a platform resiliently mounted on a frame of the car for vibratory motion relative to the frame, a ramp door pivotally mounted on said car and movable between an opened and a closed position, electromagnetic coilactuated vibratory means for vibrating the platform, and armature means actuated by the same electromagnetic means to lower said ramp door into substantial horizontal alignment with'the platform whereby to permit passage of vibration-propelled articles across the ramp.

4. A self loading toy railway car which comprises a frame, a platform resiliently mounted on said frame for vibratory motion relative to the frame, electromagnetic means mounted on said frame and connected to said platform for vibrating said platform, at least one ramp door pivotally mounted on said frame adjacent an end thereof, and means actuated by said electromagnetic means for lowering said ramp door to bring its inner end into aligned relationship with said platform.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,168,983 Wallingford Jan. 18, 1916 2,658,307 Pettit Nov. 10, 1953 2,660,001 Smith Nov. 24, 1953 2,748,262 McCrea May 29, 1956 2,799,ll9 Bonanno July 16, 1957 2,813,648 Pettit Nov. 19, 1957 2,817,183 Digirolamo Dec. 24, 1957 2,882,644 Bonanno Apr. 21, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1168983 *Apr 16, 1915Jan 18, 1916Henry WallingfordDoor-bridge for railway-cars.
US2658307 *Oct 23, 1946Nov 10, 1953Lionel CorpMerchandise unloading toy car
US2660001 *Feb 14, 1951Nov 24, 1953Gilbert Co A CToy with traveling figurette
US2748262 *Jun 4, 1951May 29, 1956William J MccreaTelevision lamp
US2799119 *Nov 22, 1954Jul 16, 1957Lionel CorpCoaling stations for toy railroads
US2813648 *Aug 5, 1955Nov 19, 1957Lionel CorpToy cars
US2817183 *Nov 17, 1953Dec 24, 1957Lionel CorpTrackside accessories for toy railroads
US2882644 *Dec 12, 1950Apr 21, 1959Lionel CorpToy railroad trackside accessories
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3667154 *Oct 22, 1970Jun 6, 1972Tomy Kogyo CoToy school bus and station device therefor
US4150507 *Jun 1, 1977Apr 24, 1979Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.Toy for loading a vehicle
US4571205 *Jan 20, 1984Feb 18, 1986Marvin Glass & AssociatesExpress delivery playset
US5679047 *Oct 26, 1995Oct 21, 1997Engel; Robert W.Vibratory toy and game apparatus
US6206232Feb 24, 1999Mar 27, 2001Oddzon, Inc.Article dispenser
US6254095 *Sep 28, 1999Jul 3, 2001Bon-Gee LiuTable horse racing
US6322416Jan 28, 2000Nov 27, 2001Brian M. BurkePhotochromatic toy
DE1166068B *Jul 26, 1961Mar 19, 1964Mangold Gama FabSpielfahrzeug
U.S. Classification446/3, 446/427, 105/436
International ClassificationA63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/00
European ClassificationA63H19/00