US 3039791 A
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June 19, 1962 HQRQWITZ ETA], 3,039,791
TRICYCLES HAVING SYNTHETIC RESINOUS PORTIONS Filed Oct. 21, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 J1me 1962 H. HOROWITZ ET-AL 3, ,79
TRICYCLES HAVING SYNTHETIC RESINOUS PQRTIONS I Filed Oct. 21, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 June 19, 1962 H. HOROWlTZ ETAL TRICYCLES HAVING SYNTHETIC RESINOUS PORTIONS Filed Oct. 21, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 June 1962 H. HOROWITZ ETAL 3,039,791
TRICYCLES HAVING SYNTHETIC RESINOUS PORTIONS Filed Oct. 21, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 ilk United States Patent C) 3,039,791 TRICYCLES HAVING SYNTHETIC RESNOUS PORTIONS Harry Horowitz, Brooklyn, and Abraham Schneiderman, Westbury, N.Y. (both of 276 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.) Filed Oct. 21, 1960, Ser. N o. 64,2139 1 Claim. (Cl. 280-259) This invention relates generally to the field of toy vehicles, and more particularly to an improved lightweight tricycle suitable for use by children who have reached the age of five years and younger.
Tricycles are generally well known in the art, the traditional type being manufactured from steel tubing, welded or otherwise interconnected to form a frame to which are attached a front steerable fork member, a pair of rear wheels, a saddle and a handlebar element capable of imparting motion to the forked member. Normally, propulsion is provided by attaching pedals to a wheel supported by the forked member. With the increased cost of labor in recent years, devices of this type presently sell for many times their former cost, thus making the device less attractive from the standpoint of the purchasing parent. Such devices, once purchased, are normally left by children in places where they will be exposed to the elements, and, where metallic construction has been employed, rust, damage due to bending, rot of the saddle element, and similar attrition render the useful life of such devices extremely short.
It is therefore among the principal objects of the present invention to provide an improved form of tricycle constructed almost entirely from injection molded synthetic resinous materials, which will substantially duplicate the more expensive less durable metal counterpart.
Another object of the invention lies in the provision of a tricycle constructed almost entirely of synthetic resinous materials, which will possess adequate mechanical strength roughly comparable with metal tricycles existing in the art, and with a considerable reduction in weight.
, Another object of the invention lies in the provision of a synthetic resinous tricycle of the class described which may be assembled by a purchaser with only ordinary tools in the course of a few minutes, thus facilitating the packaging of the device for retail sale, and permitting subsequent disassembly should the purchaser desire to transport the device.
A further object of the invention lies in the provision of a tricycle possessed of the above advantages, in which the cost of fabrication is materially reduced as contrasted with metal counterparts, thus permitting consequent wide sale, distribution and use.
A further object of the invention lies in the provision of a tricycle which will be substantially rust-proof, having few metallic parts, which may be easily plated against rust, and which for the most part are shielded or enclosed by protective synthetic resinous members.
A feature of the invention lies in the fact that almost all of the components comprising the tricycle may be formed using simple injection molding fiom well known thermoplastic materials.
A still further feature of the invention lies in the fact that since all of the exposed components are of synthetic resinous material, the likelihood of scratching articles with which the device may come into contact is substantially reduced, thus permitting the device to be employed indoors as well as outdoors.
These objects and features, as well as other incidental ends and advantages, will more fully appear in the progress of the following disclosure, and be pointed out in the appended claim.
In the drawings, to which reference will be made in the 3,039,791 Patented June 19, 1962 specification, similar reference characters have been employed to designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a rear elevational view thereof.
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view thereof.
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view thereof.
FIGURE 5 is a bottom plan view thereof.
FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view of the fork element as seen from the plane 6-6 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary plan view with the saddle element removed.
FIGURE 8 is a bottom plan View of the saddle member.
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary exploded view of the front wheel element.
FIGURE 10 is a vertical sectional view as seen from the plane 1010. in FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 11 is a vertical sectional View as the plane 11-11 in FIGURE 3 In accordance with the invention, the device, generally indicated by reference character 10, comprises broadly: a longitudinal frame element 11, a transverse frame element 12, a fork element 13, a handlebar element 14, rear wheel elements 15, a front wheel element 16 and a saddle element 17.
The longitudinal frame element 11 is formed as a single injection molding using a synthetic resinous material having high mechanical strength and a small degree of resiliency. We have found polystyrene to be particularly suitable, the same offering is good combination of high strength, light weight and reasonably low cost. The element 11 includes a fork-engaging hollow column 19 bounded by an outer cylindrical surface 20, an inner cylindrical bore 21, an upper edge surface 22 and a lower edge surface 23. Extending rearwardly from the forkengaging column 19 is a longitudinal column 25 including an upper planar member 26, a lower planar member 27 and a vertical planar member '28 interconnecting the upper and lower planar members 26 and 27 along their principal axes to form an I-shaped' cross section best seen in FIGURE 10 of the drawing. A horizontal planar member -29 interconnects the upper and lower planar members 26 and 27. At the relatively forward portion 36) of the longitudinal column 25 and on either side of the vertical planar member 28 are a plurality of ribbed reinforcing members 31 which extend rearwardly in lesser degree to the horizontal planar member 29-.
The upper planar member 26 is bounded by a pair of seen from outer edges 32 and 33 diverging in a rearward direction as well as an upper surface 34 and a lower surface 35. The rear end 36 thereof terminates in an edge 37 at the point of interconnection with the horizontal planar member 29.
The lower planar member 27 is slightly shorter, in overall length, and is generally parallel tothe upper planar member 26, being bounded by outer edges 38 and 39, an upper surface 40 and a lower surface 41. The rearmost edge 42 thereof interconnects with the horizontal planar member 29. l
The vertical planar member 28 includes a left surface 44, a right surface 45, upper edges 46 and lower edges '47, and forms with the upper and lower planar members 26 and 27 a left-hand channel 49 and a right-hand channel which are partially filled by the reinforcing members 31. a The hor zontal-planar member 29 is generally rectangular in configuration, and is bounded by an upper surface 54, a lower surface 55, side edges 56 and 5 7, as well as forward and rearward edges 58 and 59, respectively.
Screw-engaging holes 60 extend from the upper to the lower surface and provide means for engaging the transverse frame element 12.
The transverse frame element 12 is also injection molded from polystyrene or similar material, and includes an upper planar member 62., a lower planar member 63, a vertical planar member 64 and end members 65 and 66. A forward channel 67 and a rearward channel 68 contain reinforcing ribs 69 generally similar to the ribs 31. Stud axle members 70 and 71 extend outwardly of the end members 65 and 66, respectively, and provide means for mounting the rear wheel elements 15.
The fork element 13 is also integrally molded, and includes a vertical column member 73, a forked member 74 and bearing members 75.
The vertical column member 73 includes an upper portion 77, a column-engaging portion 78, and a thrustbearing portion 79. V a
The upperportion 77 includes a non-circular handlebar element-engaging lug 80 and a cylindrical part 81 of cellular construction best seen in FIGURE 6. The cells 82 are of generally rectangular configuration, and are arranged so that their principal axes are parallel to the parting motion of the mold (not shown) in which the element 13 is formed. The column-engaging portion 78 is adapted to be fitted within the forkengaging hollow column 19, and includes a plurality of outer arcuate parts 83, inner arcuate parts 84, which are interconnected by reinforcing ribs 85. A pair of bearing surfaces 89 support the lateral thrust exerted upon the fork element 13. The thrust-bearing portion 79 includes a horizontal bearing part having an upper surface 101 which engages the lower edge 23 of the column 19. The part 100 is supported by a cellular structure 102 including vertical ribs 103.
The forked member 74 is formed integrally with the column member 73, and includes a left-hand clevis portion 105 and a symmetrical right-hand clevis portion 106. The portions 105 and 106 are formed by a continuous outer wall 107 and a continuous inner wall 108 which are interconnected medially by a reinforcing wall 109. Additional reinforcing ribs 110 are provided at the upper portion thereof, the same being disposed in vertical planes.
The bearing members 75 include a left-hand cylindrical portion 113 and a right-hand cylindrical portion 114, the former having a relatively smaller bore 115, and the latter a relatively larger bore 116.
The handlebar element 14 is preferably formed from a softer more flexible synthetic resinuous material, as for example polyethylene. It includes a centrally disposed column-engaging member 119 having a lower cylindrical portion 120 and an upper non-circular socket portion 121. Extending from the column-engaging member 119 is a longitudinally disposed brace 122 and a pair of transverse braces 123 and 124. The handlebar 125 is molded integrally with the braces 122-124, and includes integrally molded grips 126 and 127 having a cylindrical outer surface 128 of cellular construction. The handlebar element 14 is engaged upon the lug 80 using a single screw 131, the remaining exposed portions of the column member 73 being covered by a cylindrical cover member 130 at the time of assembly.
The rear wheel elements 15 are substantially similar, each including an integrally molded axle-engaging member 132 having a bore 133 therein engageable upon an axle member 70-7 1, a plurality of spokes 134 and a rim 135 which may simulate a tire.
The front wheel element 16 is constructed to facilitate assembly without the use of tools, and by those having only ordinaryskills. It includes a front wheel member 136, and an axle member 137. The axle member 137 includes a centrally disposed front wheel-supporting portion 138, first bearing portion 139 corresponding in diameter to the bore 116 and a second bearing portion 141 corresponding in diameter to the bore 115. Disposed outwardly of the bearing portions 139 and 141 are a pair of lugs 142 and 143 of non-circular cross section, eachincluding an outwardly extending tip 144 and 145, respectively.
The axle member 137 is of composite construction, including a metallic core 146 for added strength. Disposed within the outer synthetic resinous portion 146' are a pair of elongated troughs 147 and 148, each disposed on opposite sides of the principal axis of the 'core 146 and commencing at opposite ends of the same.
Rotational motion is transmitted to the axle member 137 through a pair of metallic crank members 149 and 150, each including an inner portion 151 engageable within a trough 147143, a laterally offset portion 152 and a footengaging portion 153. The offset portions 152 are covered by plastic crank members 154 and 155, each having a transverse bore 157 corresponding in cross section to the lugs 142143 and a connecting channel 158 which partially encloses the offset portions 152. A second transverse bore 157 permits passage of the foot-engaging portion 153 of a crank member 149-150, and mounts a pedal member 159, preferably also of synthetic resinous molded construction.
As best seen in FIGURE 9, torque is transmitted through the metallic crank member to the corresponding plastic crank member, and then through a non-circular lug 142- 143. By positioning the inner portions 151 eccentrically with respect to the principal axis of the axle member 1 37, it is impossible to assemble the front wheel element 16 without positioning the crank members in proper mutual relative position.
The saddle element 17 includes a saddle support member 161 molded directly upon the longitudinal frame element 11. The saddle support member 161 includes a longitudinal portion 162 and a transverse portion 163 forming a T-shaped projection extending in an upward direction. Mounting tips 165 and 166 extend upwardly from the upper surface of the member 161 and through corresponding openings 173 in an integrally molded saddle member 17. The saddle member 17 includes a conventionally contoured upper surface 168 and a lower surface 169 having a recess-forming member 170, the cross section of which corresponds to the member 161. The openings 171 and 172 are preferably counter bored to permit securing the same below the surface 168.
Assembly of the device is facilitated by the use of pushon type fastening devices adapted to engage the relatively soft surfaces of the synthetic resinous components. The rear wheel elements 15 are engaged with the axle members 70 and '71 of the transverse frame element 12, and
push-on fasteners 72 installed projecting ends of the members 70 and 71. Nuts and bolts 184, 185, 186, 187 and 188 interconnect the planar member 29 with the upper surface of the transverse frame element 12. The saddle element 17 may then be positioned upon the saddle support member 161, with fastener elements installed at points 165 and 166. The fork element 13, as has been mentioned, is maintained in position by a single screw which also maintains the handlebar element '14, and the front wheel element 16 is installed as indicated in FIGURE 9, fastener elements being employed at points 144, 145, and 181.
We Wish it to be understood that we do not consider the invention limited to the precise details of structure shown and set forth in this specification, for obvious modifications will occur to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains.
We claim: r
In a front wheel element construction for use in conjunction .with a tricycle or similar device, a forked member having bearing-forming portions at each of two lower ends thereof, a composite axle member having a principal axis and including a metallic cor-e portion and a synthetic resinous outer portion surrounding said core portion; said outer portion including first and second bearing surfaces engaging said bearing-forming portions, a wheel-engaging portion disposed between said first and second bearing surfaces, a wheel engaged upon said wheel-engaging portion, crank-engaging lugs on each end portion of said axle, there 5 being a first elongated trough in said axle extending parallel to and eccentrically disposed with respect to said principal axis of said axle extending from one of the lugs in a direction toward the other ofsaid lugs, there being a second elongated trough symmetrically arranged in said axle and extending in an opposite direction from the other of said crank-engaging lugs; a pair of metallic crank members each having a trough-engaging portion, an axially ofi-set portion, and a. foot-engaging portion, said trough-engaging portion of each of said crank members engaging one of said troughs, a pair of synthetic resinous crank members each having a channel therein and a socket communicating with said channel, said channel at least partially enclosing 5 v an oflset portion of one of said metallic crank members, said socket engaging one of said crank-engaging lugs.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 521,943 Weaver June 26, 1894 1,216,273 Brigel Feb. 20, 1917 1,469,884 Bried Oct. 9, 1923 1,600,453 Corcoran Sept. 21, 1926 1,987,404 Korte Jan. -8, 1935 2,167,020 Anderson July 25, 1939 2,937,035 Moll May 17, 1960 2,944,833 Wintermantel et al July 12, 1960