US 2994967 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1961 R. B. KLAMER ET AL 2,994,967
BLOCK BENCH TOY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 25, 1960 REUBEN B. KLAMER 8:
DONALD W. HERRICK Inventors.
HER ZIG & JESSUP,
Aug. 8, 1961 R. B. KLAMER ET AL BLOCK BENCH TOY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 25, 1960 REUBEN B. KL MER &
DONALD W HERRICK Inventor s.
P U S W E n Jr G m m R E W V. B MN Unite This invention relates to a block bench toy and more particularly to a toy bench adapted to receive blocks of varying configurations for suspension therein and ejection therefrom for providing a source of amusement and education to children at the pre-school age level.
This invention provides a new and improved block bench toy including a stepped, or optionally flat, upper wall having extending therethrough a plurality of openings of varying configurations and adapted to receive therethrough a plurality of blocks each having a configuration complementary to one of the openings. The blocks, when inserted through the openings, are supported by a platform pivotally secured within the bench for pivotal movement from a normal block-supporting, horizontal position to an inclined position so that the blocks fall through the openings and are spilled outwardly of the bench through an open side thereof. The platform is manually pivotable into an inclined position by virtue of a handle secured thereto at the pivot point thereof and extending outwardly of the bench for manual manipulation, whereby the platform may be selectively pivoted into an inclined position to spill the blocks outwardly of the bench. The platform is spring-biased into the normal block-supporting position.
Additionally, the block bench of this invention provides sound-producing means responsive to the pivotal movement of the platform to produce a resonant sound when the blocks are spilled away from the bench.
This invention is educational to the user inasmuch as the blocks of various configurations must be matched to their respective openings in order that the blocks may be inserted into the openings and a source of amusement inasmuch as children at the pre-school age level derive great pleasure in knocking down or knocking apart structures which they have constructed. Although many devices have been heretofore devised for knocking apart structures, this invention offers a unique attraction to the user in causing the blocks to drop from sight into the bench and to be spilled or ejected therefrom through an open side thereof.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a new and improved block bench toy which provides a source of educational and amusement value to children of the pre-school age level, teaching them to distinguish between configurations of objects yet providing means whereby the child may quickly and readily cause the blocks to be spilled or ejected therefrom.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved block bench of the character described in which a block supporting platform thereof is automatically biased into a block-supporting position and which is rates Patent ice this invention and illustrating a portion thereof in exploded relationship;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a side view thereof, as viewed from the right side of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 44, with parts shown in elevation;
FIG. 5 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 4, with parts thereof shown in a normal position; and
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view, similar to FIG. 5, with parts thereof shown in another position.
Referring in detail to the drawings, there is shown by way of illustration, but not of limitation, a block bench toy designed and constructed in accordance with this inveution and generally referred to by the numeral 10. The toy 10 comprises a housing 11 generally resembling a bench and having a top wall 12, herein illustrated as being of a stepped configuration, opposing end walls 13 and 14, the end walls 13 and 14 also being stepped to form horizontally offset portions 13a and 13b, and 14a and 141;, respectively, and side walls 16 and 17. The top wall 12, as herein illustrated, is preferably stepped to form vertically oflfset top wall portions 12a and 12b, each of the portions including a plurality of openings 18 extending therethrough, each opening preferably being of a different configuration, such as the various geometrical examples of configurations illustrated. The side walls 16 and 17 are cut away as at 19 to provide openings 21 thereby giving the housing 11 a general appearance of a bench having a pair of opposing legs 22 supporting a top 23. The housing 11 is preferably molded, die-cast, or otherwise formed, of a durable material such as a high impact plastics material, or the like, to withstand the rough handling generally associated with children at the pre-school age level and for more economical manufacture.
A plurality of blocks 24 are provided, each having a configuration complementary to one of the openings 18 and detachably fitting the opening to educate the user of the toy to distinguish between configurations and by'requiring the user to match a block 24 to a complementary opening 18 in order that the block may be inserted therein. A platform 26 is pivotally mounted'within the housing 11 and is stepped in configuration, substantially complementary to the top 12. The platform 26 includes a vertically offset center portion 27 and depressed end portions 28, each being equally vertically spaced from the portions 12a and 12b, respectively, a distance appreciably less than the over-all height of the blocks 24. The blocks 24, when inserted into their respective openings 18, extend a slight distance above recessed portions 29 surrounding each opening 18 and have their upper surfaces 31 substantially flush with the upper surface of the top wall portions and 12b.
The platform 26 is pivotally supported within the housing 11 at one end thereof by an outwardly extending pin 32 rotatably disposed within an aperture 33 of the end wall portion 13a. The. platform is rotatably supported at its other end by means of an opposing. pin 34 rotatably disposed in an aperture 36 of the opposing end wall portion 14a of the housing for pivotalmovement from a normal, block-supporting, horizontal position, illustrated in- FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, to a block-spilling or ejecting position illustrated in FIG. 6. A handle 37 is cemented, or otherwise secured, to the end of the shaft 34 extending outwardly of the housing 11 for manual manipulation for positioning the platform 26 into the block-spilling position of FIG. 6, Whereas one or more spring means 38 are secured as by rivets, or the like, to the underside of the platform 26 and co active with the housing 11 to bias the platform into the normal blocksupporting horizontal position.
The spring means 38 is herein illustrated as being a leaf spring and having an end 39 hearing against the wall 17 of the housing 11 for biasing the platform into its uppermost position. The spring may be optionally secured as to the wall and having its end 39 hearing against the underside of the platform 26, if desired. The uppermost horizontal position of the platform is determined by a pair of limiting stop members 41 secured to, or formed integrally with, the under side of the top wall 12.- By olfsetting the end walls 13 and 14, as previously described, horizontal portions 42 are formed. The portion 42 adjacent to the handle 37 forms an efiective stop to limit downward pivotal movement of the handle by abutment therewith, as best seen in FIG. 6, and thereby limiting downward pivotal movement of the platform 26. The upper surface of the horizontal wall portion 42 may be decorated with simulated block tops 24' and recesses 29' to complement the upper surfaces 12a and 12b.
The sound-producing means 43 is responsive to the pivotal movement of the platform 26 to produce a resonant sound when the platform 26 is positioned into its block-spilling position, whereby the resonant sound is produced at the time that the blocks 24 are spilled from the platform outwardly through the opening 21. The sound-producing means 43 includes a resonant, bellshaped member 44 secured to the underside of the wall portion 42, as at 46. A hammer 47 is resiliently secured to the housing 11, as at 45, so that when the platform 26 is pivoted downwardly, as best seen in FIGURE 6, a cam surface 50 thereon contacts the hammer to cam it into striking engagement with the bell 44 to produce a resonant sound. An improved resonant sound is produced by supporting the hammer 47 by means of a resilient arm member, in the form of coil spring 48, causing the hammer 47 to resiliently strike the bell 44 and ricochet therefrom to avoid a non-resonant clack-ing sound which would be produced with a relatively rigid striking arm.
As will now be more clearly understood by the forgoing description, the block bench toy comprises a housing 11 having a top wall, of stepped or other configuration, through which a plurality of openings 18 extend, each opening having a different configuration. A plurality of blocks 24 are inser-table through the openings 18, each slidingly fitting one of the openings 18 by a platform 26 pivotally secured within the housing and spaced from the top wall. The platform 26 is manually pivotable from a normal horizontal, block-supporting position, into which it is biased by a spring means 38, to a block-spilling or ejecting position in which the platform is selectively inclined downwardly and directed towards an opening 21 of the housing to spill blocks supported thereon through the opening 21 and outwardly of the housing. A resilient sound is produced at the time that the blocks are being spilled outwardly of the housing by means of sound-producing means 43 provided within the housing and actuatable in response to movement of the platform, wherein a hammer 47 is camrned tov strike the bell 44 when the platform 26 is pivoted downwardly into the block-spilling position.
While we have herein shown and described our invention in what we have conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of our invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and methods.
What we claim is new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A block bench toy comprising: a hollow housing have a substantially horizontal top wall and an open side wall; means defining a plurality of openings extending through said top wall; a platform pivotally secured in said housing and selectively positionable into a horizontal position adjacent to said top wall and an inclined position angularly sloped in a direction towards said open side Wall; a plurality of discrete blocks, eachdimensioned to detachably fit one of said openings and supportable therein by said platform in its horizontal position, said blocks being gravity-biased to fall through said opening into said housing and on said platform when said platform is in said inclined position and spill therefrom outwardly of said housing through said open side, sound producing means in said housing and responsive to pivotal movement of said platform from said horizontal position into said inclined position for producing a resonant sound simultaneous with spilling of said blocks, cam means on said platform and said sound producing means including a resonant member secured in said housing adjacent to said platform, hammer means secured adjacent to said resonant member, and said hammer means being engageable by said cam means soas to bias said hammer means into contact with said resonant member during pivotal movement of said platform means into said inclined position to produce a resonant sound simultaneously with spilling of said blocks.
2. A block bench toy, comprising: a hollow housing having a horizontal top Wall, an open side wall, means defining a plurality of openings extending through said top wall, each of said openings having a diiferent configuration; a platform pivotally secured in said housing and selectively positionable into a horizontal position adjacent to said top wall and an inclined position angularly sloped in a direction towards said open side wall; a plurality of discrete blocks, each dimensioned to detachably fit one of said openings and supportable therein by said platform in a horizontal position, said blocks being gravity biased to fall through said opening into said housing when said platform is in said inclined position and spill therefrom outwardly of said housing through said open side, stop means on the underside of said top wall and coactive with said platform for limiting pivotal movement of said platform into its horizontal position, second stop means on said housing and coactive with a portion of said platform for limiting pivotal movement of said 7 platform into its inclined position, said second step means v ment of said platform into said inclined position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,416,959 Segal May 4, 1947 2,623,303 Mindel Dec. 30, 1952 2,774,150 Genin Dec. 18, 1956 2,911,740 Miller Nov. 10, 1959