Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2998196 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1961
Filing dateMay 7, 1959
Priority dateMay 7, 1959
Publication numberUS 2998196 A, US 2998196A, US-A-2998196, US2998196 A, US2998196A
InventorsEenigenburg Jr Joseph H
Original AssigneeEenigenburg Jr Joseph H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined track and panel hinge for folding toy railroad train boards
US 2998196 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 29, 1961 Filed May 7, 1959 MBINED J. H. EENIGENBURG, JR 2,998,196 mcx AND mm. FOR FULDING TOY RAILROAD BOARDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 1'

Joseph H. Eenigenburg,Jr.

ATH'ORNBYS Aug. 29, 1961 TOY RAILROAD TRAIN BOARDS Filed May 7, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 33 4 9 I INVENTOR W Joseph H. Eenigenburg, Jr. [2 9 ATTORNEYS liaise 2,998,196 COINED TRACK AND PANEL I-IlNGE FOR FOLDING TOY RAILROAD TRAIN BOARDS Joseph H. 'Eenigenburg, .lr., 11130 Normal Ave. Chicago, Ill. Filed May 7, 1959, Ser. No. 811,590 12 Claims. (Cl. 238-) This application is a continuation-in-part of my application Serial No. 348,664, filed April 14, 1953 and allowed November 14, 1958, now abandoned.

This invention relates generally to toy railroads and more specifically to a foldable track coupling used in making foldable railroad train boards composed of pivotally connected sections or panels.

The invention contemplates a new hinge means which not only directly connects the tracks fastened on the foldable panels but which also serves to pivotally unite the panels for folding movement; and it may be used in connection with either electrically or mechanically operated trains.

Various forms of collapsible or foldable track boards and tables have been proposed in which the panels are of wood and are connected to each other by ordinary hinges; and in such prior devices various attempts have been made to connect the track sections fastened to the foldable panels so that the rolling stock will pass over the hinge lines of adjacent panels without derailment and with the minimum of noise and clatter. Some of these prior art devices have been complicated and hence expensive, and due to the warping of the wood panels, it has been difficult to set up the train board for use. The present invention aims to overcome these drawbacks and to greatly simplify the construction of a folding railway board.

The principal object of the invention is to provide a track hinge or coupling so constructed that it will permanently join together the tracks aflixed to adjoining panels and also serve as the means of hinging the panels to each other.

Another object is to provide a track hinge of this character which is of simple and inexpensive construction, which will prevent track separation and ofi-centering should warping occur in the board, and which will maintain permanent horizontal alinement of the track when the board is in use to reduce clatter and eliminate derailment as the train passes over the joint between panels.

Another object is to provide a track hinge of this character which may be sold to purchasers who desire to make their own folding track boards or tables, thus enabling many, who could not afford to buy a complete assembled train set board, to have a satisfactory foldable board.

Another object is to provide a track hinge of this character for use with electrically operated trains, which eliminates the necessity of providing auxiliary electrical contact devices with wires strewn over or under the board, or the provision of auxiliary measures to bridge the gap between track elements which would otherwise terminate near the panel joints.

With the above and other objects and advantages in view, the invention resides in the novel combinations and arrangements of parts and novel features of construction hereinafter described and claimed, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which show the present preferred embodiment of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic plan view of a foldable toy railway board in its open position and constructed in accordance with my invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the same;

Patented Aug. 29, 1961 3 ice FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the device in its folded or closed position;

'FIG. 4 is a detail perspective view on an enlarged scale of one of the track couplings or hinges and two adjoining panels, the latter being broken away and in section;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view similar to FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a detail side view on an enlarged scale of a portion of the device in its foldable position, parts being broken away and in section; and

FIG. 7 is a detail vertical section taken substantially on the line 7-7 in FIG. 4.

Referring more in detail to the drawings FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 show somewhat diagrammatically one form of folding railroad board which may be constructed by the use of my improved hinges which perform the double function of pivotally connecting the foldable panels and of being a part of the trackage for the rolling stock. As Shown the board has a center section or panel 10 and two end sections or panels 11 which fold from their horizontal positions in FIGS. 1 and 2 to their upright positions in FIG. 3. The rectangular panels which are preferably made of plywood, may be fastened to rectangular supporting frames composed of furring strips 12 extending along all four edges of the panels. The center panel is preferably about 20" wide so that the device when folded may readily pass through a doorway. The center panel may be supported on four casters 13 to permit rolling of the folded device into storage space. To retain the two side or end panels in folded position a suitable upright backstop or support 14 may be fastened to one end of the center panel, and hooks 15 and coacting eyes 16 may be used, as shown in FIG. 6, to temporarily connect these parts. If desired a backstop may be at each end of the center panel and it may be an ornamental device, carry a sign, etc., but as shown it consists of two spaced uprights 17 fastened at their lower ends to the panel and having their upper ends connected by a horizontal bar 18, the ends of which stop the end panels 11 when they reach vertical positions, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 6. At the outer corners of the panels 11 may be fastened blocks 19 to serve as supporting feet to assist in holding these panels, when lowered, in the horizontal plane of the center panel .10. On one or more of the panels may be mounted a transformer, control box, etc., as conventionally illustrated at 211.

My new track hinge or coupling is indicated as a whole by the numeral 21, and one will be used at each point where a line of track crosses a joint between the panels. The trackage system or rail layout will vary according to the size of the board and the desire of the owner, but as shown in FIG. 1 there is a continuous main track 22 with opposed straight portions and a siding 23 parallel with one of the straight portions so that three track lines cross the joints between the center stationary panel 10 and the two foldable end panels 11.

Each of the hinges 21 comprises two members 24 and 25 connected by a pair of alined pivots 26. The members 24 of the several hinges are fastened along the longitudinal edges of the center panel by screws or similar fastenings 27, while the members 25 are similarly fastened as at 28 along the adjacent edges of the panels 11 and in opposed relation to the respective members 24 so that the panels will swing about the several pivots or hinge pins 26; all of the latter along each joint being in axial alinement.

The members 24 and 25 of each pair are of the same construction except at their pivotally connected ends; and each comprises a fiat and elongated or rectangular attaching or base plate 29 along the edges of which are upstanding parallel track bars or rails 30 which form portions of the track lines on which the wheels of the rolling stock run. The remaining portions of the track lines 22 and 23 are composed of the standard track units now commonly used in toy railroads. These units consist of parallel track rails connected by cross ties and a central current conductor rail insulated from the cross ties. The heads of the rails are tubular to form socketed ends and in the sockets at one end of the unit are frictionally retained coupling pins to enter the sockets of the next adjacent unit. Preferably one of these track units 31 is fastened on the panel between the two members 24 in each of the track lines as shown in FIG. 1. The ends of the hinge track bars or rails 30 are formed with sockets 32 to frictionally retain coupling pins 33 which enter the sockets in the track rails of the units 31, as well as the track units which are fastened to the panels 11 and which abut the hinge members 25, as will be understood on reference to FIGS. 1 and 4.

When electric trains are to be used on the board, each track hinge 21 may have suitably mounted on the base plate of each of its members 24 and 25, a centrally located electric conductor rail 34. Such third rails may be of various constructions but I preferably make them similar to the track rails 30 and pivotally connect them at the hinge line between the base plates 29. These conductor rails 34 may be rectangular metal bars supported on strips 35 of insulating material and rigidly fastened to intermediate portions of the attaching plates 29 by machine screws insulated from such plates, or fastened in any other suitable manner parallel with the rails 30. The far ends of the rails 34 terminate in the vertical plane of the adjacent ends of the rails 30: and are formed with sockets to receive and retain coupling pins 36 which are similar to the pins 33 and enter sockets in the conductor rails of the usual track rail units 31. The near or adjoining end of the conductor rails 34 of each hinge unit are hingedly connected by overlapping joints in the manner of the track rails, as presently described.

The hinge members 24 and 25 are preferably made of metal and have sufficient strength to serve as effective hinges for the panels. While they are shown as having their track bars 30 cast or formed integral with their base plates or hinge leaves 29, they may be made of multiple pieces spot welded, riveted or otherwise suitably assembled; and they might be stamped out of sheet metal. While holes for the fastening screws 27 and 23 might be formed in the plates 29, the screws are shown in openings in the rail bars 30 and have their heads flush with the tops of the latter.

Overlapping joints are provided as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, at the pivotal connections between the: track rail portions 30 of the members 24 and 25 of each track hinge to insure smooth passage of the wheels of the rolling stock over the joints and to reduce clatter and noise. The pivotal connections are near the top or wheel engaging portions of the rails and permit the latter to swing upwardly. The hinge pins 26 are in alined holes in the reduced and overlapped portions 39 and 40 of the rails 30 of the two members. The ends of the portions 39 on the rails of the member 24 are beveled at 41 to engage undercut portions 42 on the rails of the member 25. The end portions 40 of the rails of the member 25 project beyond the edge of the panel 11 and the extremities of these portions 40 are rounded at 43 to clear the panel 10. This structure provides strong and eifective hinge joints and insures horizontal alinement of the track rails so the trains will pass over the joints of the panels without derailment and with the minimum of noise. As above noted when the conductor rails 34 are used on the base plates 29 of each unit, their adjoining ends have reduced and overlapped portions 45 and 4-6 pivotally connected by hinge pins 47. The latter are in axial alinement with the pins 26 of the track rails 30. By thus connecting the conductor rails in the same manner as the track rails, the hinge unit is strengthened and its appearance improved. At the same time, the cost of producing the hinge unit is reduced. My new track hinge may be sold in pairs or sets and will enable anyone handy with simple tools to out plywood panels of the desired thickness and size, and then mount the hinges and track units so as to have a folding train board at small expense. The track hinges are of universal application for either mechanical or electrically operated trains, and for simple or elaborate track layouts. The track hinges make it possible to construct a trouble free folding train board which overcomes positively the damaging result of board warping and which insures the continuation of the track across the area where sections of the train board join.

From the foregoing, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, it will be seen that novel and advantageous provision has been made for carrying out the objects of the invention, and while preferences have been disclosed, attention is invited to the possibility of making variations within the scope of the invention as claimed.

I claim:

1. As an article of manufacture for use in making a toy railroad train board having foldable panels, a combination track and panel hinge comprising two attaching plates adapted to be fastened at the abutting edges of two panels, a pair of track rails rigid with each of said plates, the wheel-engaging portions of the rails of the two plates having their adjacent ends reduced in width and disposed in overlapping relation, axially alined pivot pins in the overlapped ends of the rails of the two plates, said plates being flat and of generally rectangular shape, openings extending through said plates to receive screw fasteners for fixing them on the panels, and track rail coupling means at the ends of said track rails remote from their ends which are connected by said pivot pins, whereby when the hinge is attached to two horizontally disposed panels at abutting edges thereof, the panels will be foldably connected to swing upwardly toward each other on the axis of said pins.

2. The combined hinge of claim 1 in which said track rails are formed in one piece with the respective attaching plates.

3. The combination of claim 1 together with electrical conductor rails mounted rigidly on and electrically insulated from said attaching plates and disposed in parallel relation with said track rails, the ends of the conductor rails at the adjacent edges of the two attaching plates being laterally overlapped, pivot pins in said overlapped ends of the conductor rails disposed in axial alinement with said pivot pins of the track rails, and conductor rail coupling means at the ends of said conductor rails which are remote from the last mentioned pivot pins.

4. As an article of manufacture for use in making toy railroad train boards having foldable panels carrying a track layout, a combined track rail and panel hinge having pivotally connected track rails so constructed and arranged that they may serve as a hinge on which two horizontally disposed adjoining panels with abutted edges may fold upwardly, said hinge comprising two flat and elongated attaching plates adapted to be fastened to adjoining foldable panels of a foldable toy railroad train board and pivotally connected track. rails extending lengthwise of and rigid with each of said plates, said attaching plates each having a sufficient area to extend between and underlie the two track rails thereon, whereby the pivotal connection between the rails may serve as a hinge between adjacent panels and on which the panels may fold.

5. The combination of claim 4 together with electrical conductor rails mounted rigidly on and electrically in sulated from said attaching plates and disposed in parallel relation with said track rails, said conductor rails being disposed on the areas of said plates which connect the two track rails of each plate, means pivotally connecting said conductor rails at the adjacent edges of the two attaching plates, the pivotal connections of both the conductor rails and the track rails being in axial alinement.

6. As an article of manufacture, a combined track rail and panel hinge for foldably joining two track rail carrying panels of a foldable toy railroad train board, said hinge comprising two flat and elongated attaching plates forming hinge leaves adapted to be secured in opposed relation along abutting edges of the upper faces of two adjoining panels when the latter are abutted in horizontal alinement, two parallel track bars rig-id with and rising from the top face of each of said plates, the track bars of the two plates extending lengthwise of the latter and being at least as long as the respective plates, the track bars on one plate having their ends at one end of that plate projecting beyond the edge of that end of the plate, the track bars of the two platw being in longitudinal alinement when the two plates are fixed horizontally in opposed relation on two abutting horizontal panels with the said projecting track bar ends extending beyond the adjacent edge of the panel to which said one plate is fixed, the track bars on the two plates being also in longitudinal alinement with track rails on the two panels when the panels are so disposed, the side faces of the adjacent ends of the track bars on the two plates being cutaway to provide reduced extensions at the adjoining edges of the plates, said extensions on each of the alined track bars of the two plates being disposed in laterally overlapping relation and formed with alined transverse pivot openings, and pivot pins in said openings, the pivot pins of the two parallel track bars being in longitudinal alinement, whereby the two plates are hinged together and, when said plates are fixed to two panels, the latter will be hinged together for upward folding.

7. As an article of manufacture, a combined track rail and panel hinge for foldably joining two track rail carrying panels of a foldable toy train board, said hinge comprising two generally rectangular attaching plates forming hinge leaves and having openings therethrough for fasteners to secure the plates in opposed relation along adjacent edges of the upper faces of two adjoining panels when the latter are disposed in horizontal alinement, two parallel track bars rigid with and rising from the top face of each of said plates, said track bars having vertical side faces and also extending in parallel relation to the longer sides of said attaching plates, the track bars on one plate extending from end to end of that plate and having their ends at one end of that plate projecting beyond the edge of that end, the track bars of the two plates being in longitudinal alinement when the two plates are fixed horizontally in opposed relation on two adjoining horizontal panels with said projecting ends extending beyond the adjacent edge of the panel to which said one plate is fixed, the track bars on the two plates being also in longitudinal alinement with track rails on the two panels when the panels are so disposed, the side faces of the adjacent ends of the track bars on the two plates being cutaway to provide reduced extensions at the adjoining edges of the plates, said extensions on each of the alined track bars of the two plates being disposed in laterally overlapping relation and formed with alined transverse pivot openings, and pivot pins in said openings, the pivot pins of the two parallel track bars being in longitudinal alinement, whereby the two plates are hinged together and when said plates are fixed to two panels the latter will be hinged together for folding.

8. In a toy railroad train board, the combination with two adjoining panels each carrying track units, of a pair of hinges connecting the adjacent edges of the two panels for folding movement of one panel relative to the other, each of said hinges comprising two fiat and elongated attaching plates fastened adjacent abutting edges of the panels, a pair of opposed track rails rigidly united to each plate and extending lengthwise of said plates, the track rails on the two plates being in longitudinal alinement with each other and with the rails of other track units on the panels when the toy is in use, the top wheel-engaging portions of the adjacent ends of the track rails of the two plates having reduced portions arranged in laterally overlapping relation with the reduced portions of the rails on one plate projecting beyond the adjacent edge of the panel to which that plate is fastened, and longitudinally alined pivots uniting said reduced and overlapping end portions of the rails on each plate, the pivots of both hinges also being in longitudinal alinement, whereby the pivotally connected rails of the two hinges form the means uniting the two panels for upward folding and constitute a part of the trackage of the train board.

9. The combination of claim 8 in which said track units on the adjoining panels include electrical conductor rails disposed between the track rails, and in which each of said hinges has on the portion of its attaching plate which is disposed between the track rails an electrical conductor rail rigid with and electrically insulated from the attaching plate and disposed in parallel relation with the respective track rails, the conductor rails on the attaching plates of each hinge being in longitudinal alinement with each other and with the respective conductor rails of said track units when the two panels are in horizontal alinement, and pivot pins pivotally connecting said conductor rails of each hinge at the adjoining edges of the respective attaching plates, the pivot pins of all of the conductor rails and all of the track rails being in axial alinement.

10. In a foldable toy railroad train board, the combination'with two adjoining panels each carrying track rail units, of a pair of combined track rail and panel hinges connecting the adjoining edges of the two panels for folding movement from horizontally alined positions, each of said hinges comprising two attaching plates forming hinge leaves, the latter being fastened to the tops of the two panels in opposed relation along their adjoining edges, two parallel track bars rigid with and rising from the top face of each of said plates, the track bars on one plate having their ends at one end of that plate projecting beyond the edge of that end of the plate and also beyond the adjacent edge of the panel to which said one plate is fastened, the track bars of the two plates being in longitudinal alinement with each other and with the track rails of said units to form a part of the trackage of the train board when two panels are in horizontal alinement, the said projecting ends of the track bars on said one of said plates having their vertical side faces cutaway thereby providing reduced extensions, the side faces of the adjacent ends of the track bars on the other plate being also cutaway to provide similar reduced extensions, said extensions on the alined track bars of the two plates being disposed in laterally overlapping relation and formed with alined pivot openings, and pivot pins in the alined openings, all of the pivot pins of the pair of hinges being in longitudinal alinement, whereby the respective plates of the two hinges are pivotally connected and the two panels are hinged together for folding.

11. In a toy railroad train board, the combination with two adjoining panels each carrying track rail units, of a pair of combined track rail and panel hinges connecting the adjoining edges of the two panels for folding movement from horizontally alined positions, each of said hinges comprising two substantially rectangular attaching plates forming hinge leaves and fastened to the tops of the two panels in opposed relation along their adjoining edges, two parallel track bars rigid with and rising from the upper face of each of said plates, the track bars on the two plates having vertical side faces and also extending in parallel relation to the longer sides of said attaching plates, the track bars on one plate extending from end to end of that plate and having their ends at one end of the plate projecting beyond the edge of that end, the track bars of the two plates being in longitudinal alinement with each other and with the track rails of said units to form a part of the trackage of the train board when two panels are in horizontal alinement, the said projecting ends of the track bars on said one of said plates extending beyond the adjacent edge of that plate having their side faces cutaway thereby providing reduced extensions, the side faces of the ends of the track bars on the other plate being also cutaway to provide similar reduced extensions, said extensions on the alined track bars of the two plates being disposed in laterally Overlapping relation and formed with alined pivot openings, and pivot pins in the alined openings, all of the pivot pins of the pair of hinges being in longitudinal alinement, whereby the respective plates of the two hinges are pivotally connected and the two panels are hinged together for folding.

12. As an article of manufacture a combined track rail and panel hinge for use in making a toy railroad train board having foldable panels, said article comprising a pair of flat plates adapted to serve as hinge leaves and formed with fastener-receiving openings to permit them to be fastened in opposed relation on the tops of two train board panels disposed horizontally with their adjacent edges in abutted relation, a pair of parallel track bars on the top of each of said plates, the bars on the two plates being in longitudinal alinement when said plates are disposed in the same horizontal plane, the alined track bars on the two plates having their top Wheel-engaging portions at their adjacent ends in laterally overlapped relation and formed with axially alined pivot openings, and longitudinally alined pivot pins in said pivot openings and adapted to serve as hinge pintles connecting the tWo-hinge-leaf-forming plates, to permit the article to be used as a combined track rail and panel hinge for a toy railroad train board having foldable panels.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1267279 *Aug 31, 1917May 21, 1918Sylvester ScalpelliRail-joint.
US2590676 *Jul 30, 1947Mar 25, 1952Bradley Neil C HCabineted toy railroad
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4937207 *Feb 3, 1989Jun 26, 1990Link Group InternationalPortable toy vehicle racing set
US5813351 *Feb 6, 1997Sep 29, 1998Chen; Yu-BingRacetrack structure
US5839937 *Mar 19, 1997Nov 24, 1998Thomas; Richard RoyPortable model railroad
US5863087 *Apr 10, 1997Jan 26, 1999Swartz; WalterLocomotive carrier/portable steaming bay apparatus
US7537509Jun 11, 2007May 26, 2009Mattel, Inc.Toy track devices
US7651398May 4, 2007Jan 26, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy vehicle raceways
US7690964May 4, 2007Apr 6, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy ramp devices
US20080009219 *May 4, 2007Jan 10, 2008Michael NuttallToy ramp devices
US20080014832 *May 4, 2007Jan 17, 2008Ostendorff Eric CToy vehicle raceways
US20080113585 *Jun 11, 2007May 15, 2008Julian PayneToy track devices
Classifications
U.S. Classification238/10.00A, 238/10.00E, 238/232, 238/166
International ClassificationA63H19/30, A63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/30
European ClassificationA63H19/30