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Publication numberUS3059929 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1962
Filing dateSep 21, 1960
Priority dateSep 21, 1960
Publication numberUS 3059929 A, US 3059929A, US-A-3059929, US3059929 A, US3059929A
InventorsGunars Licitis
Original AssigneeMarvin I Glass
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball game
US 3059929 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. LlCITlS Oct. 23, 1962 BALL GAME Filed Sept. 21, 1960 cym/4;

3,059929 BALL GAME Gunars Licitis, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Marvin I. Glass, Chicago, 111. Fires sept. 21, rasa, ser. Na. 57,492 Claims. (Cl. 273-96) The invention relates generally to manipulative toys, and is more particularly related to toys for throwing and catching balls.

Games involving the throwing and catching of Objects in rapid succession have long been a source of fascination for young and old alike. The art of juggling has long been popular. Games such as jai alai are also fascinating to many people. S'iich games tend to develop and challenge the adroitness and coordination of the player.

Several types of toys for throwing and catching objects have been developed to provide similar amusement to the player. In some of these toys, a ball was thrown upwardly by means of a single-shot type of ejector. These toys did not operate rapidly enough to fully challenge the player`s skill. In other toys, balls were thrown upwardly in succession from one opening and were caught in a hopper. These toys were complex in construction and could not be aimed in a great number of directions without the possibility of causing unintentional discharge of balls from the toy.

It is an object of this invention to provide a toy for developing and challenging the manipulative skill of a player.

A more specific object of this invention is to provide a ball-throwing and catching toy for developing and challenging the adroitness and coordination of the player.

A further object of this invention is to provide a toy for throwing and catching balls which is simple to construct and operate.

Further objects of this invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings of one embodiment of the invention, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a top view, partially broken away, of a toy embodying the features of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side view of the toy shown in FIGURE 1, partially cut away to show the internal construction clearly; and

FIGURE 3 is a partial side view of the toy shown in FIGURE 1.

Referring more particularly to the accompanying drawings, the toy shown is designed to throw and catch one or more balls in rapid succession. A ball that has been thrown into the air is caught in an inlet scoop 8 which is secured to a housing 11) which has an inlet 12 and an outlet 14. The inlet scoop 8 guides the ball into the inlet 12. Mechanism within the housing is designed so that when it is rotated, it will transport the ball from the inlet =12 to a point within the housing 1d near the outlet 14, where the mechanism ejects the ball through the outlet 14. This mechanism is a spring blade structure 15, which includes one or more resilient elements or spring blades 17 carried upon a shaft 18 which is rotatably mounted within the housing 1d. The shaft 18 and spring blade structure 16 are rotated by means of a crank 20 which is connected to the shaft 18 through a gear train 22. A projection 24 is mounted in the path traveled by the tips of the blades 17 as they rotate. As one of the blades 17 passes the projection 24, the blade 17 is caused to flex and then spring back, ejecting the ball through the outlet 14. The process outlined above is repeated rapidly when a plurality of balls is used, and the balls are thrown and caught in rapid succession.

The housing 111 is preferably economically constructed of plastic and comprises two similarly shaped Vertical sides 28 and 34), each of which has a generally arcuatelyshaped edge extending along its lower and rear boundaries, straight edges along the upper and forward boundaries, and a hole 32 for receiving one end of the shaft 18.

An arcuately-shaped portion 34 integrally interconnects the rear of sides 2% and 311. A generally rectangularly shaped support 36 joins sides 23 and 311 at the most for- Ward portion of their upper boundaries.

The upper edges of the sides 28 and 30 and the rear portion 34, together with the rear edge of the support 35, define the boundaries of the outlet 14, while the forward edges of these elements describe the inlet 12.

The inlet scoop 8 is also desirably constructed of plastic and has a curved forward portion 38 and two curved side portions 4h and 42, each being join-ed to the forward portion 38 at one of the rear boundaries of the for- Ward portion 38. The rear edges of the side portions 49 and 42 and the bottom edge of the forward portion 33 are straight and are secured to the corresponding forward edges of the housing 1d by means of rivets 44 or by any other suitable means such as cementing.

The spring blade structure 16 is rotatably mounted within the housing 10 so that it cooperates with the sides 28 and 30 and the rear portion 34 of the housing 19 in forming one or more compartments 46 into which balls enter at the inlet 12. When the spring blade structure 16 is rotated, the compartments carry the balls from the inlet 12 to a position near the outlet 14, where the balls are ejected. The ejection is accomplished when one of the blades 17 passes the projection 24 extending from the inside surface of the rear portion 34 of the housing 10; The projection causes the blade 17 to fiex as is shown in FIGURE 2, and to then release and propel a ball through the outlet 14.

The spring blade structure 16 is preferably constructed as a single unit of resilient plastic or spring metal having one or more resilient elements or spring blades 17 extending from a common hub which has a square-shaped hole in its center, designed to fit onto a mating portion of the shaft 18 so as to be secured to the shaft 18. Any other method of securing the spring blade structure 16 to the shaft 18 may be used if desired. The specific embodiment shown in the drawings has four spring blades 17 spaced angularly equidistant from one another. When r this embodiment is used with balls of suitable size, a chamber '47 is formed by the cooperaton of the spring blade 17 being flexed and the one preceding it in order of rotation, with the sides 28 and 30 and the rear portion 34 of the housing 10. The walls of the chamber 47 guide the exit of balls from the outlet 14. The chamber 47 also serves as a compartrnent for storage of balls prior to their ejection through the outlet 14.

Suitable means for rotating the spring blade structure 16 is provided. In the disclosed embodiment, this means includes the crank 20 which has a handle 48 rotatably mounted at one end of a crank arm 50. The crank arm 5G has at its other end a square hole which mates with a similarly-shaped portion of a second shaft 52 so as to secure the arm 50 to the second shaft 52. The second shaft 52 passes through a spacer 53 and then through a hole in the side 30 of the housing 10. A pinion gear 54 is suitably secured onto the end of the second shaft 52 that extends into the housing 10. The pinion gear 54 is intermeshed with an internal gear 56 having a solid web 58, as shown in FIGURE 1. The solid web 58 is suitably secured to the shaft 18. The pinion gear 54, together with the internal gear 5d, comprise the gear train 22. The gears 54 and 56, the shafts 18 and 52, and the crank 29, are preferably econorncally fabricated of plastic. The gear train 22 reduces the eifort necessary to eject the balls and, in cooperaton with the crank 20, increases the stability of the toy in the players hand as the crank 20 is turned. If desired, the spring blade structure 16 may be rotated by a spring motor or other similar means. A ball 60 is shown in dotted Outline in FIGURE 2, just prior to its entry into the inlet scoop 8. Another ball 62 is shown just prior to its ejection through the Outlet 14. The balls 60 and 62 may be of any type that will fit within the compartments 4d, but are preferably light weight, resilient balls such as table-tennis balls.

In operation, the toy is held at the bottom by the player in the palm Of one hand while balls or other small objects are loaded into the inlet scoop Then the crank 2d is turned by the player and the balls are carried in succession from the scoop 8 to a position adjacent to the outlet and are there ejected in succession from the Outlet by the action Of the spring blades. The player turns the. crank 20 as rapidly as he desires, thereby ejecting balls in succession, and at the same time maneuvers the toy to catch the descending balls.

It can be seen that this toy, when used as described above, sirnulates the act of juggling quite well and develops and challenges the dexterity and skill of the operator in catching the descending balls in rapid succession. This toy can also be used in other games, such as games where the player ejects balls against a wall and catches them on their rebound, or in games of throw and catch involving two Or more players, each using one of the toys.

The toy disclosed herein is of relatively simple construction in that it uses a single. spring blade structure 16 for several different functions. When the spring blade structure 16 is rotated, it cooperates with the housing 1d in forming compartments that carry balls from the inlet 12 to the Outlet 14. In addition, the spring blade structure 16 acts in Cooperation with the projection 24 to eject balls in rapid succession when the spring blade structure 16 is rotated. Still further, the use of a plurality of blades in the spring blade structure 16 provides for a chamber 47 whose Walls guide the exit of a ball through the Outlet. Finally, the projection 24 is positioned and preferably has such a length along the periphery of travel of the blade 17 so that, in Cooperation with the angular spacing of the blades 17, the blade defining the leading end of the chamber 47 blocks the Outlet 14 until the following blade engages the projection incident to rotation of the crank. Thus, tilting of the toy prior to engagernent and subsequent release of the following blade will not result in accidental loss of the ball through the Outlet 1d. This permits a greater variety of games to be played with the toy because it facilitates aiming of the toy in many different directions.

Moreover, the cranl: 20 and the gear train 22 are arranged so that balls may be fired in rapid succession by a relatively simple motion. The rapidity of ejection is Controlled by the speed at which the player turns the crank 2G.

Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A toy for throwing and catching balls, comprising a housing including an inlet and an Outlet, means secured adjacent to said inlet for guiding balls into said inlet, a shaft, a plurality of spring blades extending radially from said shaft, said blades being spaced apart so as to co- Operate with said housing in forming a plurality of compartments, said shaft being rotatably mounted within said housing so that said compartments are movable between said inlet and said Outlet so as to thereby transfer balls from said inlet to adjacent said Outlet, means within said housing for fiexing each of said blades as it moves from said inlet to said Outlet so as to tension and release each of said blades in succession and to thereby eject balls in succession through said Outlet, and crank means 'for rotating said blades by hand including a crank mounted exterorly of said housing and means interconnected between said crank and said blades for changing the speed at which said blades rotate to a speed less than,

but directly Proportional to, the speed at which said crank is rotated.

2. A toy for throwing and catching balls, comprising a housing including an inlet, an Outlet, and two sides interconnected by a rear portion and a support so as to form said inlet and said Outlet, a scoop secured adjacent to said inlet 'for guiding balls into said inlet, a shaft, a plurality of spring -blades extending radially from said shaft, said blades being spaced apart sO as to cooperate with said sides and said rear portion of said housing in forming a plurality of compartments, said shaft being rotatably mounted within said housing so that said compartments are movable between said inlet and said Outlet so as lto thereby receive balls in succession at said inlet and |transfer said balls from said inlet to adjacent said Outlet, a projection secured within said housing in the path of said blades and incident to movement thereof for flexing each of said blades so as to tension and release each of said blades in succession and to thereby eject balls in succession through said Outlet, a crank mounted exterorly of said housing, and a gear train comprising two or more gears intermeshed with one another and connected between said crank and said blades, said gear train changing the speed at which said blades rotate to a speed less than, but directly proportional to, the speed at which said Crank is rotated.

3. A 'toy comprising a plurality of balls in combination with a housing including `an inlet, an outlet, and two sides interconnected by a rear portion and a support so as to form said inlet and said Outlet, a scoop secured adjacent to said inlet for guiding said balls into said inlet, a shaft, a plurality of spring blades extending radially from said shaft, said blades being spaced apart so as to cooperate with said sides and said rear portion of said housing in forming a plurality of compartments, said shaft being rotatatbly mounted within said housing so that said compartments are movable between said inlet and said Outlet so as to thereby receive said balls in succession at said inlet and transfer said balls from said inlet to adjacent said Outlet, a proiection secured within said housing in the path of said blades and incident to movement thereof for flexing each of said blades so as to tension and release each of said blades in succession and to thereby eject said balls in succession through said outle't, a crank mounted exterorly of said housing, and a gear train comprising two or more gears intermeshed with one another and connected between said crank and said blades, said gear train changing the speed at which said blades rotate to a speed less than, but directly proportional to the speed at which said crank is rotated.

4. A toy for throwing and catching balls, comprising a housing including an inlet and an Outlet, a plurality of resilient elements extending from a common shaft, said elements being spaced apart so as to cooperate with said housing in forming a plurality of compartments, each of such size as to accommoda-te but a single ball, said shaft being rotatably mounted within said housing so that said compartments are movable between said inlet and said Outlet so as to be first open to said inlet and thereafter open to said Outlet to thereby transfer balls from said inlet to adjacent said Outlet, means within said housing for fiexing each Of said elements as it moves from a position extending toward said inlet to a position extending 'toward said Outlet so as to tension each of said elements in succession and to release each of said elements in succession when the precedng compartment is open to said Outlet to thereby eject the ball entrained in said precedng compartment through said Outlet, and means for rotating said shaft.

5. A tOy for throwing and catching balls of a particular size comprising a housing defining a passageway having an inlet in which to catch said balls and an Outlet from which tO project said balls, and means (lisposed in said passageway between said inlet and said Outlet for transporting balls from a position adjacent said inlet to a position adjacent said Outlet and then projecting them from said outlet, said means including a shaft rotatably mounted Within said housing, a plurality of resilient elements aflixed at regular intervals about the circumference of said shaft and extending generally radially therefrom, successive elements being relatively so spaced and of such size as to provide in cooperation With said housing compartments in said passageway, each of said compartments being of such size as to accommodate but la single ball of said particular size and each being first open to receive a ball from said inlet and then open to discharge the ball to said outlet as said shaft and elements are rotated, means mounted within said housing in such relation to said elements as to flex each of said elements as each rotates from a position extending toward said inlet to a position extending toward said outlet and to release each of said elements successively when `lthe compartrnent preceding it is open to said outlet thereby to project the ball entrained in the preceding compartrnent from said outlet, and means coupled to said shaft to rotate the same.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 791,828 Siefken June 6, 1905 930,918 Barry Aug. 10, 1909 1,927,424 Trubenbach at al Sept. 19, 1933

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US791828 *Feb 6, 1904Jun 6, 1905Frank H SiefkenTarget-trap.
US930918 *May 5, 1908Aug 10, 1909Henry BarryToy.
US1927424 *Dec 21, 1931Sep 19, 1933Frank WarholickToy rapid-fire gun
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3105683 *Aug 10, 1962Oct 1, 1963Kimbrell Hershel EPractice device
US3521617 *Oct 23, 1968Jul 28, 1970Heinz Donald DBall pitching machine
US3992006 *Mar 18, 1975Nov 16, 1976Marvin Glass & AssociatesCompetitive ball game apparatus
US4262443 *Feb 8, 1980Apr 21, 1981Marvin Glass & AssociatesPop-up whale
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/509, 124/16
International ClassificationA63B65/00, A63B65/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63B65/12
European ClassificationA63B65/12