US 3080167 A
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United States Patent Ofi Patented Mar. 5, 1963 3,080,167 ROTATABLE BALL RUNWAY TOY DEVICE Virgil L. Hansard, 11001 Apache Ave. NE, Alhuquerque,.N. Mex.
Filed May 9, 1960, Ser. No. 27,899 2 Claims. (Cl. 273109) This invention relates to a rotatable ball runway toy device and has for an object to provide a mechanical toy that needs dexterity to play with, and serves to increase the dexterity of the player as he plays with the toy, improving his sense of timing and his skill.
A further object of this invention is to provide a ball runway mounted on a handle, wherein the runway provides track surfaces on itsopposite sides, with the tracks diverging from a midpoint until they are so wide apart that the ball falls through, whereupon the runway must be quickly rotated or reversed tov catch the ball on the opposite side of the tracks and repeat the play as long as possible.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a toy needing a great deal of dexterity to play with, that may be used competitively among several players to determined who has the greater amount of dexterity.
With the above and related objects in view, this invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts, as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1'is a side elevational view of the invention in one operative position.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view on line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is atop plan view on line 33 of FIG. 1, the handle, however, being shown in a different supporting position in dashed outline.
' FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view on line 4- 1- of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 are sectional views on an enlarged scale in opposite directions on lines 5-5 and 6-6 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a still further enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the connection between the carriage and the sleeve.
Referring in greater detail to the drawing wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts, there is shown at 10 the rotatable or reversible ball toy device of this invention that is a challenge to the dexterity of the player. This toy device 10 comprises a ball runway 12, a ball 14 and a handle 16.
The runway 12 comprises a pair of spaced apart tracks 18 and 19 having track surfaces 20 and 21 on their top and bottom sides, and the tracks 18 and 19 are secured together at their ends by transverse connecting portions 22. The spaced apart tracks 18 and 19 diverge outwardly from each other commencing at their midpoints 24 to their connecting bars 22, the distance between the tracks 18 and 19 at their midpoints 24 being sutliciently less than the diameter of the ball 14 when placed on the top of the tracks 18- and 19 adjacent the midpoint 24 when held in a horizontal position will roll toward the nearer end portion 22, but before it can reach such end portion 22, the distance between the diverging tracks 13 and 19 becomes greater at position 15 than the diameter of the ball 14, thus permitting the ball to fall through the space between the tracks 18 and 19 adjacent the transverse connecting bar 22.
If the player is sufficiently dexterous, he will manipulate and rotate the runway 10 about its longitudinal axis as shown by arrow 11 in FIG. 3 by means of the handle 16 to bring the bottom surface 21 of the tracks 18 and 19 to the top and catch the falling ball 14, before it can drop too far, on the now upper track surface and cause the ball to roll to the opposite end of the runway and then repeat the process, and continue to repeat the process until he misses.
The handle 16 comprises a handle rod 27 connected to the center of the bight 28 of a U-shaped member 3t) whose legs 32 and 33 have inturned bosses 3 4 and 35 at their ends spaced apart a distance sufficiently that they may be secured to the outside of the. runway 12 by a pivot member 26, such as a bolt and. nut as shown, extending through the leg bosses34 and 35 and then through the mid points 24 of the tracks 18 and 19, the tracks 18 and 19 being located between the inturned bosses 3'4 and 35 of the handle legs 32 and'3-3'.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the handle 16 may hold the runway 12 with the runway 12 horizontal and the handle 16 in vertical position or the handle 16 may be held in a horizontal position as shown in dash outline in FIG. 3, the runway 12 being pivotally supported at its midpoints 24 on the pivot member 26. In one dexterity game played with this toy device,,the runway 12 maybe. pivoted somewhat freely on the pivot member 26, but in another game, it may be desirable. to prevent free pivotal movement, but yet to permit the handle to be held either vertically or horizontally. When free pivotal movement is desired, only the pivot member 26 extends between the tracks 18 and 19.
When, however, it is desired. to hold the. handle either horizontally or vertically against too free rotation about the pivot member 26, a coil spring 36 is placed about the pivot or bolt and nut member 26, between the tracks 18 and 19, and a sleeve 38 is placed about the coil spring to protect it. against mishandling.v One of the tracks, such as track 18, and one of the bosses, such as boss 34, are provided with cooperating key and slot means 41 and 42 on their adjacent faces, and while the tracks 13 and 19 are slightly biased outwardly from each other at their midpoints 24, yet permit somewhat free rotation of the runway 12 about the pivot member 26, the addition of the coil spring means 36 increases the bias of the tracks 18 and 19 toward the bosses 34 and 35 and causes the cooperating slot and key 40 and 42 to resist free rotation yet permit desired rotation and to hold the handle 16 and runway 12 at any position of rotation, it being noted from FIGS. 5 and 6 that slot and key means 40 and 42 are located at 90 positions so as to hold the handle 16 either at right angles to or in the same plane with the runway 12.
The use of this toy device requires dexterity, and in use requires proper timing and skill, and of course, continued use increases the skill and the timing of the player.
When the toy device 10 is in the position shown in FIG. 3, the end furthest from handle is fairly easy to master, but the end closest to handle is harder to master, because the field of play is shorter, therefore the hand has to be faster and more accurate. When the toy device 10 is in the position with handle 16 extending vertically down beneath the runway 12, it is still harder to master, because the runway 12 has to travel a greater distance to get into position for the ball 14 to come back on the other side. Therefore the hand has to be faster and even more accurate than ever before.
Operation of This Toy Device 10 With Handle 16 in Horizontal Position When all the parts are installed, each end of the runway 12 will be wider than the ball 14 causing the ball to drop through the runway ends when the ball 14 reaches these points.
Place the ball 14 on and near one end of the runway 12, tilt the opposite end down and this will cause the ball to roll in that direction, just as the ball 14 starts to drop through the end of runway, turn handle 16 about its axis, and as the ball 14 is going through raise that end 3 up higher than the opposite end. The spin of the ball 14 will carry ball 14- through the inside of runway 12. When the ball 14 is through, it will start coming back on the top side.
Operation of This Toy Device 10 With Handle 16 Extended in Upright Position With handle 16 extended to upright position, by compressing both sides of runway 32 inward at or near midpoint 24 to compress spring 36 to unmate slot as and key 42, the ball 14 is placed on and near the end of runway 12 while handle it? is held in one hand. The opposite end of runway is tilted down, causing the ball 14 to roll down the runway 12, and just as the ball starts to drop, that end of the runway '12 is brought up. Just as the ball 14 is almost through runway 12, the runway is brought on up over the players head and the runway leveled 01f in a horizontal position. The runway is tilted opposite the ball 14 downwardly. The ball will travel the runway to the end just as the ball starts to drop and the player should start bringing the runway (ball end first) back down. As the ball is dropping through, that end has to be brought down in a fast, but even drop. The ball will go through the runway and start back on the other side of the runway. The runway is leveled and the ball will slow down. The player repeats this over and over again until he misses.
Windmill Operation 0] This Toy Device To make a windmill toy omit spring 36 from the toy. Have the toy in horizontal position. Hold the handle rod 27 in one hand, place the ball 14 on and near the opposite end of the runway. Tilt the handle end of the runway down and the ball will roll on the runway toward the handle end. As the hall 14 star-ts to drop through the runway at position L reach out with one hand past the centerline and assembly, pushing the runway down and around 180 in a Windmill efiect. Then the ball is on the top side and opposite end again. This is kept up until the player misses.
Although this invention has been described in considerable detail, such description is intended as being illustrative rather than limiting, since the invention may be variously embodied, and the scope of the invention is to be determined as claimed.
Having thus set forth and disclosed the nature of this invention, what is claimed is: g
l. A rotatable ball runway dexterity toy device comprising a ball, a ball runway comprising a pair of tracks joined together as a unitary device, and handle means for supporting said runway, said tracks being spaced apart at their midpoint a distance less than the diameter of said ball, the spacing between said tracks gradually increasing Tom said midpoint toward said ends to a distance greater than the diameter of said ball permitting said ball to pass between and through said tracks adjacent their ends to be caught and supported on the reverse surfaces of said racks by proper manipulation thereof, said handle means comprising a U-shaped member and a handle rod extending from the bight of said U -shaped member, and means for pivotally securing said handle means to said midpoint of said ball runway, said handle securing means comprisin a pivot member extending through said midpoint of both said tracks and through the ends of the U-legs of said handle means, said .U-legs extending outside of said tracks, and means for biasing said runway tracks into non-pivoting relationship to said handle, said biasing means comprising coil spring means about said pivot member between said tracks urging said tracks outwardly into contact with said handle member U-leg ends, and cooperating slot and key means on said handle and said runway.
2. The toy device of claim 1, and a spring protecting sleeve about said spring means on said pivot member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,237,748 Schwarzenzer Apr. 8, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS 429,146 Germany May 18, 1926