US 2992598 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 18, 1961 A. EINFALT TOY SWITCHBACK OR SCENIC RAILWAYS Filed Feb. 9, 1959 W 2,992,598 Patented July 18, 1961 U d m- Pam:
2,992,598 TOY SWITCHBACK R SCENIC RAILWAYS .Alfred Einfalt, Numberg, Germany, assignor to Gebrii- The invention relates to a toy switchback or scenic railway, the track of which has supported sections running one over the other,
Toys of this type have always a considerable fascination when the vehicles run along the track, race round the curves and easily negotiate the ascentsfland descents. To enable the vehicles to climb steep ascents in a reliable manner they are in many cases provided underneath with a driven pinion or sprocket wheel which cooperates with teeth or ribs on the track. 9 9 i 7 When erected these toys are a bulky structure which requires a relatively great amount of space. Consequently they must be foldable for storing, packing and shipment. Therefore the problem arises of devising a construction which can be quickly and easily folded or collapsed and set up or erected and which can be manipulated by children. Another problem is to make foldable construction so that when erected the track has the necessary support and reliable rigidity.
These problems are solved by the invention in a manner which is both simple and progressive in that the track can be erected and collapsed by means of foldable supports capable of being detachably fixed on the upper section of the track. At the same time it has been found particularly advantageous to hinge the supports on the lower track section and to secure the supports to the upper section of the track by means of plug-in connections.
The invention presents the advantage that by exerting gentle pressure, the supports can be released from their plugged-in position and folded on to the lower track section with the result that the upper track can rest on the lower track section, whereby it may, however, be necessary to disconnect the upper track section at one or several places, chiefly those where there is a steep gradient, by uncoupling the track parts at these places.
A particularly advantageous construction is attained by making the supports in the form of stin'ups extending over the lower track section like archways. These stirrups, being two-armed, not only impart increased rigidity but they add to the interest of the toy in that they have the appearance of bridges or the like under which the vehicles run. They also present the advantage that their two arms can be mounted in a simple manner by means of inwardly directed points or pins engaging holes or depressions formed in lugs bent out from the track.
The above-mentioned plug-in connection by means of which each of the supports can be detachably fixed on the upper track section, preferably consists of a small one-hole socket formed in the upper track section and a plug-in projection formed on the stirrup support which projection can be pushed into the socket.
Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the drawing which illustrates diagrammatically and by way of example one possible embodiment of the invention.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the toy set-up ready for use;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the toy in folded state and packed in the lower half of a box;
' 'FIG. '3 is a section through aplug-in connection taken online III,III'0f FIG; 1; and
FIG. 4 across-section taken on line IV-IV. of
FIG. 3. I
' As "shown in the drawing, the toy comprises a lower track section a and an upper track section b. It is also possible to provide more track sections arranged one above the other. 7
The track is composed of a plurality of partswhich are interconnected by suitable coupling devices. Usually they are plugged together. Inthe drawing three such plug and socket connections are shown at c c and 0 These connections are preferably arranged at the resting and or the curves of the track.
'The track can be" set-up and collapsed, for which purpose'the supports d areprovidedwhich, in the example illustrated are eachintheform of an inverted U-shaped stirrup ithe arnisofi :which embrace the lower track section. These-supports have on each of their two arms an inwardly directed point or pin e by means of which the stirrups can be mounted pivotally on lugs 3 formed on the track and provided with holes or depressions for receiving the points or pins.
As already mentioned, the supports d are detachably connected to the upper track section b by means of a plug and socket connection; such a plug and socket connection is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. .A socket g is arranged parallel with the track section and is formed in the track section b by pressing slightly downwards the strip of material i between the two incisions h, and k A plug nose k, formed by a tab extension at the upper edge of the yoke portion of the stirrup is bent out from the plane of supporting stirrup by the proper angle to enter the socket g to form the detachable connection.
To collapse or fold the track it is only necessary to exert slight pressure on the supporting stirrups d in the direction indicated by the arrows to release the plug and socket connections. The supporting stirrups then fold over and come to rest on the lower track section a. The upper track section b then rests on these: stirrups d in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2. If necessary, parts of the track can be disconnected, as stated above. In the example illustrated this is only advisable at and 0 It is likewise possible to cover-in the upper track section b. This can be attained in a very simple manner by providing one of the supporting stirrups d with a supplementary stirrup d encircling the upper track section, as shown by way of example in FIGS. 1 and 2.
1. A toy switchback or scenic railway comprising a track having an upper section running over a lower section thereof, supporting means for the track comprising a plurality of spaced members hingedly connected intermediate their ends to the lower track section, the upper portion of each member and the upper track section having cooperating elements therein for detachably maintaining the member in substantially vertical supporting position, the lowermost portion of the member forming a base for supporting the track, said cooperating elements comprising a plug on the upper portion of each member and a socket formed on the upper track section for detachably receiving the plug.
2. A toy switchback or scenic railway comprising a track having an upper section running over a lower section thereof, supporting means for the track comprising a plurality of spaced members hingedly connected intermediate their ends to the lower track section, the upper portion of each member and the upper track section having cooperating elements therein for detachably maintaining the member in substantially vertical supporting position, the lowermost portion of the member forming a base for supporting the track, said spaced members for receiving the pins.
7 4. A toy switchback or scenic railway comprising a track having an upper section running over a lower section thereof, supporting means, for the track comprising a plurality of vertical supports spaced along said track,
each support comprising a flat piece of sheet material in the form of an inverted U having its arms straddling the lower track section, each arm being provided with an inwardly extending point engaging the track section and forming a pivotal connection between the arm and the track section, and the yoke portion of the support memberhaving a tab extension formed at the top thereof and hent-outof the plane of the support member and forming a plug element, and the upper track section having a H socket formed therein parallel with the plane of the track and forming a socket for said plug element.
5. A toy switchback or scenic railway comprising a track having an upper section running over a lower section thereof, supporting means for the track comprising aplurality of vertical supports spaced along said track,
each support comprising a flat piece of sheet material I the form of an inverted U having its arms straddling the lower track section, means pivotally connecting the lower ends of the arms of each support to the lower track section, and the yoke portion of the support member having a tab extension formed at the top thereof and bent out Qfflhfl plane of the support member and forming a plug element,,and the upper track section having a socket formed therein parallel with the plane of the track and forming a socket for said plug element.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Bauer Sept. 14, 1926 2,227,241 Bonnett et al. Dec. 31, 19 40 Damiano May 1, 1951