US 3049831 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 21, 1962 G. H. EVANS ROLLING MARBLE DEVICE Filed May 8, 1957 INVENTOR George H. Evans ATTORNEYS United States Patent Office 3,049,831 Patented Aug. 21, 1962 3,049,831 ROLLlNG MARBLE DEVICE George H. Evans, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor of onehalf to Richard K. Stevens, Washington, DC. Filed May 8, 1957, Ser. No. 657,883 2 Claims. (Cl. 46-43) This invention relates to a marble game toy device which provides amusement and is of educational value to children as it demonstrates some of the elementary principles of mechanics.
The amusement and education of children can be enhanced by the utilization of game devices which attract their attention and at the same time demonstrate principles of science and mechanics. This invention contemplates a rolling marble game in which a procession of rolling marbles are twirled down a spiral track and the procession of marbles is kept in continuous motion by insertion of each marble, as it leaves the spiral track, into an upwardly directed track. By the force of one marble pushing the other, a chain of marbles extends up the track to the pinnacle of the spiral where, through an opening, one marble at a time is ejected onto the spiral track as a marble is inserted into the upwardly directed track.
In addition to its usefulness for amusement and educational purposes, this invention can be used as a display device providing attractiveness and beautificaton to the surroundwings in which it is placed.
The main object of this invention is to provide a toy of amusing character or a device having interesting visual effect whereby operating playing pieces or balls are fed sucessively through an upwardly inclining track, one ball pushing against the other, so that the ball at the upward end of the track will emerge and by gravitation automatically travel down the spiral cone-shaped arrangement to the base where the ball or playing piece again is inserted in the upwardly extending track to form a continuously moving amusement or display device having attractiveness and playing appeal.
Having described the invention in the foregoing in a general way, there follows a more detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plane view of the spiral marble game apparatus showing the outline of the spiral arrangement, the base and the hole in which the balls are inserted for elevation to the top of the spiral track, and
FIGURE 2 is an elevated view in cross-section on the line 22 of FIGURE 1 showing in detail the track arrangement for elevating successive balls to the top of the spiral track.
Referring to the drawings, FIGURE 1 shows a spiral marble game base supported by side member 11 to form a box-like construction. Located on the base 10 and central therewith is a cone-shaped member 12 which provides the shape for the spiral game device. At the top of the cone 12 is a circular opening 13 through which marbles or playing pieces 14- emerge.
Positioned on the cone 12 is a vertically extending spiral wall 15 which starts from a point 16 and spirals about the cone terminating at a point 17 adjacent to the circular opening 13 tluough which the playing pieces emerge. This spiral wall is so spaced in its winding that it defines a spiral track with the face of the cone as its base. The spiral track is wide enough to accommodate the playing pieces and retain and direct their gravitational travel.
Located around the front side of the base 10 are opposite side walls 18 and 19 and a front wall 20. In the left-hand front corner are high walls 21 and 22 forming a receiving corner for the playing pieces as they leave the spiral track at the point 16. This arrangement allows the playing pieces 14 to descend the spiral track by gravity in a clockwise spiraling manner and to exit from the spiral track and be retained on base 10 by the high sidewalls '21 and 22.
Located in the right-hand corner of the base 10' is a hole 23 which pierces the base. On the underside of the base and in line with the hole 23 is a curved conduit or passageway 24 which runs from hole 23 up along the undersurface of the cone 12 and terminates at hole 13. This arrangement provides a conduit or passageway through which playing pieces can be transported from the base 10 to the top of the cone 12. The formation of the passagesway 2.4 may be a smooth conduit having a circular cross-section and bent and inclined upward so that successive playing pieces do not by gravity force the playing pieces out of the hole 23. Also, the track or conduit may be corrugated (see FIGURE 2) so that each playing piece has a restraining force thereon to prohibit downward motion due to gravity. Additionally, the entrance end of the conduit can have a detent arrangement which will allow for the insertion of the playing piece but will not permit it to be pushed back out of the conduit by the column of playing pieces beyond it.
In play, the game operates with seven or eight playing pieces or marbles. The number of playing pieces depends, of course, on the size of the device and the length of the spiral track. As each marble is inserted in hole 23 by the player, the conduit 24 becomes filled until the first marble inserted reaches the top of the cone 12. At this point, the insertion of another marble in hole 23 causes a marble to exit from hole 13 and by gravity roll down the spiral track. As each marble leaves the spiral track at point 16, it is retained on the base 10 by high walls 21 and 22. As the playing pieces leave the spiral track, if the player constantly feeds them into hole 23, there is effected a procession of marbles rolling down the spiral track.
This game, by the nature of the rolling pieces, fascinates players, young and old, and has been found to be an eye-catching device which has display value for attracting people to look at displays around the device. Decorative coloring of the marbles, such as spiral striping, gives varied effects and makes the device even more attractive both for display and amusement purposes.
In cases where the device is to be used for display purposes, an automatic ball plunger arrangement can be used to force marbles or balls coming off the spiral track into the conduit so that the balls will be moving continuously down the spiral arrangement.
It is also to be noted that the device of this invention leads itself to modern methods of plastic molding.
What is claimed is:
1. In a rolling marble game device comprising a base having a substantially fiat surface, a vertical extending truncated cone element mounted on said base having its vertical axis perpendicular to the surface of said base, a spiral wall mounted on the outer periphery of the surface of said cone element defining a spiral track extending upwardly and inwardly around the outer surface of said cone element to the top thereof, and conduit track means defining an opening in said base, adapted to receive a playing piece, adjacent to the base of said cone element and extending to the top thereof for providing communication between said base and the top of said cone for continuously conveying a series of playing pieces in juxtaposition with each other from the base of said cone to the top of said spiral track by continuous insertion of said playing pieces in said opening.
2. The rolling marble game device of claim 1 in which said conduit track means has a plurality of re- 3 4 tention means therein adapted to resist downward move- 1,573,990 Mueller Feb. 23, 1926 ment of substantially all the playing pieces positioned 1,590,242 Howard June 29, 1926 in said track means. 2,400,013 Lowell et a1 May 7, 1946 References Cited in the file of this patent 5 Monaco 1950 UNITED sTATEs PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 338,468 Germany June 18, 1921 737,367 Dieringer Aug. 25, 1903