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Publication numberUS2993530 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 25, 1961
Filing dateApr 9, 1958
Priority dateApr 9, 1958
Publication numberUS 2993530 A, US 2993530A, US-A-2993530, US2993530 A, US2993530A
InventorsLittle Alma M, Pettey James R
Original AssigneeVanguard Toy Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hobby horse and support
US 2993530 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 25, 1961 A. M. LITTLE ETAL HOBBY HORSE AND SUPPORT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 9, 1958 m EVE EZUTE Alma M. LZzf/e r/Zzmes 7E. Pe/feg July 25, 1961 A. M. LITTLE ET AL 2,993,530

HOBBY HORSE AND SUPPORT Filed April 9, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 95 42.9094 124 2 1 .5 F A 4 92 Q 40 118 -L f 13:? if 5% MWWWInU" lac E 2121215 Alma M Lm/e c/Zzmga 1?. Pezzey July 25, 1961 A. M. LITTLE ETAL 2,993,530

7 HOBBY HORSE AND SUPPORT Filed April 9, 1958 s Sheets-Sheet 3 L225 ILZUT'E A/ma M. Lizf/e James 3. Peizey United States Patent 2,993,530 HOBBY HGRSE AND SUPPORT Alma M. Little and James R. Pettey, Salt Lake City, Utah, assign'ors to Vanguard Toy Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2 copartnership Filed Apr. 9, 1958, Ser. No. 727,425 7 Claims. (Cl. 27252) The present invention relates to improvements in toys. More particularly, the invention relates to an improved toy adapted to be ridden by a child, such as a spring suspended hobby horse.

The present application is a continuation-in-part of our application entitled Hobby Horse, Serial No. 482,534, filed June 18, 1955, now abandoned.

Toys which provide a movable support for a child have been universally popular as wholesome, entertaining and useful in developing the muscles and coordination of children. An example of this type of toy is the hobby horse and spring suspended hobby horses have achieved considerable popularity and success. In this type of elastically suspended toy wherein a seat is provided for a child on a riding member which may be in the form of an animal such as a hobby horse, the available elastic motion of the riding member is important both to the enjoyment of the child, to the development of his coordination and strength, and also to the safety with which the child may use the toy. In addition to the importance of the factor of available motion, the stability of the toy is important so that the child may fully use the available motion without upsetting the toy or otherwise endangering himself. Another factor which is important and which is somewhat dependent on the form which the riding member takes, is the accessibility of the riding member so that the child may easily and safely mount and dismount and utilize his creative imagination in the use of the toy.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved elastically suspended riding toy which has improved features of motion, stability and accessibility.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a spring suspension for a riding toy which will avail improved motion in universal direction and which is especially well adapted to use with spring suspended hobby horses.

Another object of the invention is to provide a spring support for a riding toy which avails increased stability for the toy during operation in order to both improve the safety of use of the toy and enlarge its practical use.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved elastically suspended riding toy which has irnproved accessibility and eliminates the need for members which are located so as to create hazards for the child and to decrease the scope of its use. A particular feature of this object is the provision of a spring suspended hobby horse which is free from elements at the sides, the front, and the rear so that the child may slide off of the horse in almost any direction, may leap out to the horse from substantially any location and can assume various positions while riding the horse to give full scope to his creative and imaginative play.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved spring suspended hobby horse which has improved characteristics of force which tend to return the horse to its normal position with deflection in any direction, and which has especially improved action in motions in forward and backward directions, in up-and-down directions, and in lateral directions.

Other objects and advantages will become more ap parent with the teaching of the principles of the invention in connection with the disclosure of the preferred em "ice 2 bodirnents thereof in the specification, claims and draw-- ings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an elastically supported riding toy shown in the form of a horse and embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line II--II of FIGURE 1, and particularly illustrating apparatus for securing a spring support to a body of the riding toy and illustrating the lateral action of the riding toy;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the spring support illustrating the method of applying the covering on the structure;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional line taken substantially along line IVIV of FIGURE 2 with certain parts removed for clarity;

FIGURE 5 is a vertical section taken along line V-V or along line Va-Va of FIGURE 4, illustrating the ar rangement of the springs; 7

FIGURE 6 is a sectional line taken along line VI--VI or line VIa-Vla of FIGURE 4 illustrating the arrangement of the springs in another location;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken along line VII- VII of FIGURE 4, illustrating the arrangement of the springs of still another location in the spring support as sembly;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the toy assembly illustrating foot supports which are in the form of stirrups;

FIGURE 9 is a detailed perspective view of a twopiece yoke assembly for connecting the spring supports to the horse;

FIGURE 10 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG- URE 4, but illustrating another form of spring support assembly;

FIGURE 11 is a sectional view taken along line XI of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a sectional view taken along line XII- XII of FIGURE 10; and,

FIGURE 13 is a sectional view taken along line XIII= XIII of FIGURE 10.

As shown on the drawings:

In FIGURES l, 2 and 8, a riding member is shown in the form of a horse 14. It will be understood that while the riding member 14 is shown in the form of a horse, other forms of riding members could be provided such as in the shape of other animals.

The horse 14 is formed of plastic or similar material and is preferably hollow. The horse will thus be formed of a relatively thin-walled plastic with the body 16 being shaped to form a seat 18 in the shape of a saddle for supporting a child. The horses body is provided with a head 20 and the body wall has laterally opposed openings through the head to receive a lateral extending dowel 22 to be gripped by a child as he rides the horse. The horse also has fore legs 24 which are provided with laterally extending openings for receiving a dowel 26 which acts as a foot rest.

The body of the horse 14 is provided with bottom openings or passages 28 and 30 in order that the spring support member 32 may extend upwardly into the hollow body of the horse. This permits the horse to be connected to the spring support 32 inside of the body of the horse with the support being located nearer the rider and nearer the center of gravity of the combined horse and rider.

The spring support member 32 in its entirety has a substantially circular shape projecting in a substantially vertical plane. The assembly utilizes a fiat surface type of spring, curved to form a circular shape when assembled.

As is illustrated in FIGURES 1, 2 and 4 and in the sectional views 5, 6 and 7, the spring support member 32 includes a first arcuate semi-circular spring assembly portion 34 and a second opposed similar semi-circular spring assembly portion 36. As illustrated, particularly in FIGURE 4, the two portions are secured together and.

in. their assembled arrangement form a complete loop. The upper ends 38 and 40 of the assembled spring pottions 34 and 36 are rigidly secured to a connector 42. The lower ends 43 and 44 of the spring portions are also rigidly secured together by a connector 46, The connectors are located in diametrically. opposed relation with respect to the completed spring assembly and form part of the assembly and span the space between the ends .of the spring portions 34 and 36. The spring portions 34 and 36 with the end connectors 42 and 46 form a generally circular spring support means for the horse.

- Each of the spring portions 34 and 36 are formed of multiple spring elements or parts as will be later described in detail. For purposes of securing the rigid connector 46, radially extending holes 48 and 50 are drilled through the elements of the spring portions 34 and 36 and bolts 52 and 54 are inserted into the holes, The bolts receive nuts to'draw together an upperpart 56 and a lowerpart 58 of the connector 46. The connector is formed of parts which are either castings or stampings and are shaped to rigidly clamp together the lower ends of the spring portions 34 and 36 and to support the springs on a base 60.

The base is provided with four legs 62, 64, 68 and 70 which are illustrated in the form of pipes having feet 72, 74,- 76 and 78 at their ends. These feet'rnay be in the form of rubber tips slid over the ends of the pipes. The inner'ends-of the pipes or legs extend into the shaped hollow tubular passages of the-parts 6 and 58 of the connector 46. The bolts 52 and 54 draw the parts of the connector together, and additional bolts 80, 82, 84 and 86 extend through holes formed in the-upper-part 56 of the connector and pass through holes in the legs and are either threaded into threaded holes in the lower part of the connector or will receive nuts to draw the parts of the connector together. The connector thus joins the legs of the base "and forms a rigid connecting element for supporting the spring support 32.

The connector 42 which joins the upper ends 38 and 40 of the spring portions 34 and 36 and is rigidly secured thereto includes a lower curved plate 88 and a yoke 90. Radial holes are drilled through the plate 88 and the yoke 90 as well as the ends of the spring portions to receive connecting bolts 92 and 94. Nuts are threaded on the ends of these bolts to clamp together the elements of the spring portions 34 and 36.

The yoke 42, as illustrated in the details of FIGURES 1, 2 and 8, has a central portion 95 joined by laterally extending sides 96 and 98. The ends of the sides 96 and 98 are flanged horizontally outwardly to be secured to horizontal mounting bars 100 and 102. The yoke 42 may be formed of a pressed sheet metal and the horizontal mounting bars 100 and 102 may be formed of wood.

For supporting the weight of the horse body on the yoke 42, laterally extending openings such as shown at 104 and 106 in FIGURE 2 are formed in the wall 16 of the horse. The lateral openings receive horizontally extending protuberances 108 and 110. The openings 104 and 106 formed in the posing side walls at the rear of the horse and similar openings are provided near the front of the horse at the front end of the mounting bars 100 and 102. Horizontally extending protuberances 112 and 114 project from the front ends of the mounting bars to extend into the openings formed in the side wall of the front end of the horse.

The protuberances may be formed in any suitable manner such as by a screw or rivet extending through the mounting bars 102 and fitted with an enlarging bushing so as to increase the cross-sectional support area of the protuberance. 1

Thus the yoke 42 with the mounting bars 100 and 102 rigidly secures the horse at the uppermost portion of the elastic support spring 32.

The support spring is formed in its entirety of the portions 34 and 36 in combination with the rigid connectors 42 and 46, and forms a generally circular loop and perrnits elastic movement of the horse in a universal direction. The spring 34 will flex with up and down movement of the horse and with movement in the back and forth direction. The spring arrangement also permits lateral movement of the horse as indicated by the dotted line ottset positions of the spring in FIGURE 2. In operation the horse possesses improved dynamic stability which, for

' purposes of the present mechanism, may be'defined as the tendency of the horse to return to its normal posi tion with deflection. With movement of the horse in any direction which deviates from its upright position at rest, the resistance to displacement of the position of the horse will increase as a function of the displacement. The improved characteristic of this resistance enhances the performance of the horse from the standpoint of enjoyment of the child and increases its safety from the standpoint of preventing accidental upsetting of the horse or dislodging the child who is riding the horse.

' The spring support 34 in the form illustrated in FIG- URES 4 through 7, includes a plurality of coacting segmental springsor spring parts; The sections 34 and 36 aresubstantially identically constructed and therefore only one section is shown in full in FIGURE 4. Each of the sections 34 and 36 includes an outer fiat spring leaf 116 and 118, each of which is semi-circular in shape. The outer spring leaves 116 and 118 extend completely around the outside of the portions '34 and 36 to be clamped in the connectors 42 and 46.

Semi-circular inner spring leaves 120 and 122 are positioned on the inside of the spring portions 34 and 36 and are clamped by the lower connector 46 but stop short of the upper connector 42. 1

At the upper end of the spring support 32, segmental leaf springs 124 and 126 project arcuately downwardly a short distance from the sides of the connector 42 and are positioned inside of the outer springs 116 and 118 and in juxtaposed relation thereto. Inside of the segmental springs 124 and 126 are additional segmental leaf springs 128 and 130. These spring leaves are in juxtaposed relation to the inner spring leaves 120 and 122 and are longer than spring leafs 124 and 126. Both sets of segmental spring leaves are held by the connector 42 at the top of the spring support 32.

While the sections of FIGURES 5 and 6 are taken along V-'V and VIVI or along Va--Va and Via and We: the numerals for the parts on the first sectional lines are used for ease of reference.

At the lower portion of the spring support 32, segmental spring leaves 130 and 132 lie inside in flat coacting juxtaposed relation to the semi-circular spring leaves 116 and 118. Inside of these segmental spring leaves are additional segmental spring leaves 134 and 136, which are longer than leaves 130 and 132 and which are in juxtaposed relationship and outside of the inner semi-circular spring :leaves 120 and 122. All of the spring leaves are held within the rigid connector 46 of the base of the spring support 32.

The segmental springs lend digidity to the circular support spring 32 at the upper and lower portions and cause the assembled spring support 32 to be more elastic at its sides or at the diametrically opposed portions through which section VIIVII is taken than at the upper and lower ends near the connectors.

As illustrated in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, an outer housing or shield 138 encloses the spring leaves. The shield provides an attractive exterior for the leaf springs, helps retain them in their assembled juxtaposed relationship, and protects the springs. The shield holds the .springs in juxtaposed relationship and still allows enough clearance so that they will slide in relation to each other along the path of their OW are When the assembly is flexed.

The shield in a preferred form, is formed of an elongated length or strand 140 of material which is wrapped helically around the assembled spring leaves. The strand 140 may be formed of aluminum or plastic or similar material which is rigid in nature but sufiiciently resilient to flex with the flexing of the springs. The shield is applied in a manner similar to that illustrated in FIGURE 3, by being wrapped helically around the spring leaves to be thus formed. With bending of the leaves the individual adjacent helices flex but retain protective relationship to the spring leaves.

FIGURES through 13 illustrate an alternative spring support structure. In this structure, a substantially circular annular outer flat spring 142 forms part of a spring support assembly 144. Coaxial therewith and spaced inside of the outer circular spring is an inner annular flat spring 146. Springs 142 and 146 are illustrated in the form of continuous integral flat spring rings. At the lower portion of the support spring assembly 144, and between the spring rings 142 and 146 is an arcuate segmental spring 148 which extends upwardly in both directions in juxtaposed relationship to the inner surface of the outer spring ring 142. Inside of the segmental spring leave 148 is another shorter arcuate segmental spring leaf 150. The spring rings 142 and 146 and the spring leaves 148 and 150 are clamped together by a connector 152 at the base. The connector includes an upper block 154 and a lower block 156 and the blocks and springs are drilled to receive bolts 158 and 160. The bolts extend through the springs and blocks and connect to a base 162.

At the upper portion of the support spring assembly 144, a segmental spring leaf 166 is positioned, having an arcuate shape and lying in juxtaposed relation to the outer surface of the inner spring ring 146. Outside of the segmental spring leaf 166, and between the spring leaf and the outer spring leaf 142 is an outer filler strip 164. The filler strip extends along inside of the outer spring ring 142 to the ends of the lower segmental spring 148. At the ends of the segmental spring leaf 166 and extending to the ends of the segmental spring leaf 150 are inner filler strips with strip 168 being at one side of the assembly and strip 170 being at the other side of the assembly. The filler strips coacting with the segmental springs provide an assembly 144 which is of substantially equal thickness throughout the circle. A riding member 172 is attached by suitable means to the support spring assembly 144 and this need not be described in detail. The riding member, if desired, may also take the form of the riding member as shown in FIGURES 1 through 8 and may be attached by a similar connector. A shield 174 is provided to house the springs and their filler strips as illustrated in FIGURES 10 through 13.

In operation, a child will mount the toy figure of the horse 14 and sit on the seat 18. He will grip the dowel 22 and place his feet on the dowel 26 and move to create motion in any of the universal directions possible. The circular support spring 32 supports the horse on the base 60 and is connected to the horse by means of the yoke 42. With movement of the horse, the resilient elastic spring 32 will permit movement in a forward and backward direction, in an up and down direction and in a lateral direction. With any movement of the horse out of the normal stable position it will tend to stabilize itself and the resiliency of the spring will urge it back to its rest position to provide a dynamically stable toy.

FIGURE 8 illustrates another form of foot rest provided for the horse. In FIGURE 8 the horizontal support bars 100 and 102 have horizontally extending pins 175 and 176 projecting outwardly through the openings in the body of the horse. The pins project beyond the outer surface of the body to provide pivotal supports for stirrups 178 and 180.

The stirrups are of substantially identical structure and have vertical arms 182 and 184 pivotally supported on 6 the pins and 176. At their lower ends, the arms 1 82 and 184 carry horizontal outwardly extending foot rests 186 and 188.

The stirrups in this arrangement will support the rider in a standing position and the weight of the rider will be transferred directly to the horizontal support bars 100 and 102 so that the weight need not be borne by the body of the horse.

FIGURE 9 illustrates another form of yoke for connecting the support spring 32 to the horse. In the form shown in FIGURE 9, the yoke assembly 42a is formed of two parts 190 and 192. The parts each have holes with part 190 provided with holes 194 and part 192 provided with holes 196 and the holes are in alignment so that the parts will be made rigid by bolts extending through the holes. The two parts of the yoke 42a will in some instances increase the ease of assembly with the horse in mounting it on the spring support and are easily made by stamping sheet metal. In the form as shown in FIGURE 9, the parts are not provided with wooden supports but horizontal support bars 198 and 200 are provided which are integral with the parts 190 and 192. Each of the horizontal bars 198 and 200 carries laterally extending protuberances 202, 204 and 206, 208, respectively.

Thus it will be seen that we have provided an improved spring supported riding toy which meets the objectives and advantages hereinbefore set forth. The structure has improved features of motion, stability and accessibility.

It will be observed that the body of the horse is free from interfering elements on all sides so that a child may mount or dismount in any direction. This enhances the safety of the horse since there are no projections on which the child can fall or be caught. It also increases the pleasure obtainable from the horse in that the child can treat the toy in the same manner as a live horse leaping into the saddle from any direction and assuming various postures in riding without interference from mechanical elements.

We have, in the drawings and specification, presented a detailed disclosure of the preferred embodiments of our invention, and it is to be understood that we do not intend to limit the invention to the specific forms disclosed, but intend to cover all modifications, changes and alternative constructions and methods falling within the scope of the principles taught by our invention.

We claim as our invention:

1. A riding toy comprising in combination, a first arcuately shaped spring means, a second similar arcuately shaped spring means, a first rigid securing member rigidly connected to the ends of said first and second spring means with the spring means projecting in a common plane to be operated in a vertical position, a second securing member rigidly connected to the other ends of said spring means with the spring means in combination with the securing members forming a closed loop, a base support connected to said first securing member for rigidly holding the spring means in an upright position, and a riding member adapted to carry a child and rigidly secured to said second securing member to be secured in an upright position at the upper ends of the spring means for being elastically supported on the spring means for stable elastic movement in the plane of the spring means and for elastic movement laterally of the spring means.

2. A stably suspended riding toy for supporting a child comprising a riding member having a seat for supporting a child, a spring support assembly including a first arcuate downwardly extending spring portion projecting forwardly from the riding member and a second downwardly extending arcuate spring portion projecting rearwardly of the riding member, means for rigidly attaching said spring portions to said riding member, a base for supporting said spring portions, means for rigidly securing said base to the spring portions at a location diametrically Opposed from the riding member, first segmental springs secured at the top of the spring portions and projecting in juxtaposed relationship in both directions along the said first and second spring portions to coact therewith in rendering an elastic support for the riding member, and second segmental springs rigidly secured at the lower end of said spring portions and projecting in juxtaposed relationship along said spring portions substantially equidistant from the lower ends to coact therewith for elastically supporting the riding member, said segmental springs lending elastic rigidity to the spring portions over the coextensive length whereby the spring portions are unsupported at locations intermediate the ends of the said segmental springs.

3. A riding toy comprising in combination, a first fiat spring supporting member arranged in a general arcuate shape, a second flat spring supporting member having a generally arcuate shape, a riding member adapted to carry a child, means secured to the riding member and secured to the upper ends of said first and second spring support members with the ends in spaced relationship and the springs extending downwardly in a common vertical plane but with their arcuate shapes in opposing directions, a base for supporting said spring members, and means connected to said base and mounting the lower ends of said spring members on the base with the ends of the members being in spaced apart relationship whereby elastic support for the riding member is aiforded by the spaced spring memhers.

4. A riding toy comprising in combination a riding member, a base member, an annular spring assembly between the riding and base members extending upright from the base member to support the riding member including outer spring leaf means having an annular shape, and

inner spring leaf means lying on the inner surface of said 3 outer leafmeans with ends separated at the upper portion of the assembly, means for holding said leaf means in the assembly, means connecting the riding member to the outer leaf means, and means connecting the base to the inner and outer leaf means whereby the inner leaf means is free at its upper ends to slide relative to the outer leaf means.

5. A riding toy in accordance wit-h claim 4 in which said outer spring leaf means is formed in twoparts with the ends of the parts connected at the top and bottom of said annular spring assembly.

6. A riding toy in accordance with claim 4 in which said outer spring leaf means is a'continuous band.

7. A riding toy in accordance with claim 4 in which the riding member has a hollow body with openings with the annular spring assembly projecting through the openings up into the hollow body, and in which said means connecting the riding member to the outer leaf means includes a yoke secured between its ends to said outer spring leaf means and secured at its ends to the walls of the hollow body.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 414,675 Caldwell Nov. 12, 1889 1,289,382 Brurock Dec. 31, 1918 1,755,619 Westerlund Apr. 2-2, 1930 1,890,699 Shoemaker Dec. 13, 1932 2,494,094 Horstman Jan. 10, 1950 2,659,602 Cowsar Nov. 17, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 178,136 France Aug. 24, 1886 225,7/16 Great Britain Sept. 3, 1925

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US414675 *Dec 29, 1888Nov 12, 1889 caldwell
US1289382 *Jul 5, 1918Dec 31, 1918Nelson J BrurockToy riding-horse.
US1755619 *May 6, 1929Apr 22, 1930Charlie WesterlundToy
US1890699 *Jun 18, 1930Dec 13, 1932Shoemaker Joseph JExercising apparatus
US2494094 *Jun 19, 1946Jan 10, 1950Walter G HorstmanExercising stool
US2659602 *Jun 21, 1951Nov 17, 1953Orville E CowsarRocking horse
FR178136A * Title not available
GB225246A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3599973 *Apr 16, 1969Aug 17, 1971Ahrens Claude WesleyPlayground swing apparatus
US3730524 *Apr 7, 1971May 1, 1973Green MMulti-game system
US4351521 *Jun 30, 1980Sep 28, 1982Eagle Rubber Co., Inc.Riding toy for children with spring support base
US4379550 *Jul 9, 1979Apr 12, 1983Multikunst Legepladser I/SGround supported playground device
US4696467 *Feb 20, 1986Sep 29, 1987Margaret MarkowRidable recreation device
US4902004 *Sep 28, 1988Feb 20, 1990Gerlach Michael JExercise hoop
US7784869 *Sep 19, 2006Aug 31, 2010Mathiesen John PMotion support apparatus
US8152609Aug 28, 2009Apr 10, 2012Cnh America LlcSupport assembly for moveable members of an agricultural combine and devices thereof
US8834243Feb 29, 2012Sep 16, 2014Cnh Industrial America LlcSupport assembly for moveable members of an agricultural combine and devices thereof
US20070090672 *Sep 19, 2006Apr 26, 2007Mathiesen John PMotion support apparatus
US20110053667 *Aug 28, 2009Mar 3, 2011Cnh America LlcSupport assembly for moveable members of an agricultural combine and devices thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification472/103, 248/626
International ClassificationA63G13/00, A63G13/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63G13/08
European ClassificationA63G13/08