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Publication numberUS3095668 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 2, 1963
Filing dateFeb 10, 1959
Priority dateFeb 10, 1959
Publication numberUS 3095668 A, US 3095668A, US-A-3095668, US3095668 A, US3095668A
InventorsClarence T Dorsett
Original AssigneeClarence T Dorsett
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic blocks
US 3095668 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

C- T. DORSETT MAGNETIC BLOCKS July 2, 1963 Filed Feb. 10, 1959 FIG. 6.

INVENTOR. C L AREA/CE 7." 0025577 zz/w ATrORA/EY United States Patent 0 3,095,663 MAGNETIC BLOCKS Clarence T. Dorsett, 1020 Holly Ave., Arcadia, Calif. Filed Feb. 10, 1959, Ser. No. 792,343 2 Claims. (CI. 46-25) This invention pertains to new and improved magnetic blocks which are useful for both amusement and educational purposes. I

Wood blocks have been used as toys for children since almost the beginning of recorded history. Such blocks are commonly employed to build various real or imaginary structures. When used in this manner wood blocks serve to amuse children, but they also serve a more unportant function. They serve to educate children as to fundamental rules which must be followed in building any structures.

In order to increase the educational value of toy blocks it is known to place upon the surfaces of such blocks various types of indicia such as letters, pictures or the u like. Theoretically a child can learn by placing these blocks together in a given order, as in forming words, a complete picture comprised of a plurality of smaller pictures or the like. Frequently it is, however, difiicult for a child to assemble such blocks together in a desired manner due to the fact that no means are provided upon them for holding adjacent block surfaces against one another.

Many efforts have been made at providing toy block structures including such means. With the advent of modern plastic molding techniques many toy blocks have been manufactured so as to have special shapes which are adapted so that a surface on one block will fit into a corresponding adjacent surface on another block so as to secure the blocks together. It has also been proposed to hold adjacent toy blocks to one another using bar or other magnets located within the blocks themselves. Various types of snap fasteners have also been proposed for this same use.

Such prior efforts at providing blocks which can be secured together have different limitations of either a utilization or a commercial type, or both. Frequently prior structures of the types indicated in the preceding discussion have been too expensive to be commercially accept able on a wide scale. Also, the irregular surface configuration on many of these prior structures have limited both the play and educational value of such prior blocks. This is because it is diificult if not impossible to place indicia upon irregularly shaped surfaces and because such surfaces give a definite indication as to how the blocks should be assembled.

A broad general object of this invention is to provide new and improved blocks for use by children. More specifically it is an object of this invention to provide blocks using magnetic fields which serve to hold these blocks with respect to one another in a desired configuration or pattern. A more specific object of this invention is to provide blocks of the type indicated which are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and which are easily constructed in a wide variety of difierent manners.

These and other objects of this invention as Well as many specific advantages of it will be more fully apparent from a detailed consideration of the remainder of this specification, including the appended claims and the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGS. 1 to 6 are partial views of pairs of blocks of this invention; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a set of blocks of this invention.

The drawing is primarily intended so as to clearly indicate the nature of several different presently preferred forms or embodiments of this invention and to indicate 3,095,668 Patented July 2, 1963 how a plurality of blocks of this invention are used together. Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will realize that the basic features of this invention as herein described may be applied to virtually an unlimited number of different types of blocks through the exercise of normal or routine mechanical skill.

As an aid to understanding this invention it may be stated in essentially summary form that it concerns mag netic blocks, each of which includes a center block matrix or number having at least one planar surface adapted to be located against a corresponding surface of another block and held against such a surface through the use of a magnetic field. Such a holding action is erected through the use of co-acting magnetic particles on these surfaces. Preferably such particles are employed in groups which differ from one another in their magnetic properties, and, in case they are of a permanent magnetic character, as to their orientation.

The term block" used in this summary is employed in a broad sense to designate any three dimensional ob ject having at least one planar surface as indicated. Preferably such blocks have many more than one surface of this type so that each of the blocks of this invention can be held with respect to a plurality of other similar blocks. Suitable blocks for use with this invention have geometric shapes such as the shapes of tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, icosahedrons, prisms, pyramids, etc.

Such blocks can be manufactured of any convenient non-magnetic substance or material such as wood, polystyrene, various conventional phenolic and formaldehyde polymers and the like. They can be a solid piece of a single material or can be erected by securing several pieces of material to one another as through the use of an ad hesive. Such blocks can be solid or hollow as desired.

The magnetic particles used with the blocks of this invention can be of either of two general types; they can be of either a permanent or a non-permanent magnetic type depending upon their ability to produce a magnetic field outside of themselves. Suitable permanent magnet particles are composed of known iron-nickel and other related alloys and various oxide compositions such as barium ferrite, cobalt ferrite and the like. Suitable nonpermanent magnetic particles are composed of pure irons and various known related soft alloys, as well as many compounds such as manganese-zinc ferrite, nickel zinc ferrite and the like.

Because of the type of construction employed with the blocks of this invention such magnetic particles should be sulficiently small so that they can be applied to a surface together with an appropriate binder using conventional techniques such as stenciling, silk screening, spraying or the like. In general the use of particles larger than 200 mesh size, Tyler standard sieve scale, is disadvantageous because of difliculty in satisfactorily forming a block surface containing magnetic particles.

Such a surface of a magnetic diameter is preferably formed by coating a block with a mixture of magnetic particles and a binder as briefly indicated above. Such a mixture should preferably contain as high a proportion by weight of magnetic substance as it is possible to use and still obtain a surface coating which is sulficiently strong in a physical sense to withstand a great deal of physical abuse and abrasion. Although the relative proportions of binder and magnetic particles desired will vary depending upon factors such as the inherent character of the hinder, the nature of the particles and the like, it has been found that as a general rule no more than two parts by weight of particles should be used per part by Weight of binder. The use of more magnetic material than this will normally result in a physically weak coating while the use of less will result in a coating which does not have the desired, optimum magnetic qualities.

Such mixtures of magnetic materials and binder may be made in a number of different manners similar to the manners in which conductive inks for use in electrical devices are made. The precise method will depend upon the nature of the binder used. If desired, of course, a mixture of binders can be employed.

One suitable binder for use with this invention is any type of common silk-screen lacquer. Mixtures of magnetic particles with such lacquers can be formed by simple stirring or mixing" procedures. The same techniques can also be followed with binders such as carbon solutions of sodium silicate, solvent solution of cellulose acetate or various acrylic resins, and other known resins capable of being applied to a surface in solution form. in case the resin-magnetic particle mixture contains a solvent the weight of such a solvent should not be considered in determining the amounts of resin and particles to be used in forming the mixture.

Similar mixing procedures can also be employed where the resin being used in the binder is in an uncatalyzcd or catalyzed liquid form. Both milling and other related techniques can be employed with binders such as known epoxy resins (based on the condensation of epichlorohydrin with bis-phenol-A) and known so-called "polyester" resins such as resins based upon the reaction of maleic anhydride with ethylene glycol. Uncatalyzed resin binder mixtures of this type are, of course, mixed with a known type of catalyst just prior to being applied to a surface. Any binder-magnetic particle mixture may, of course, contain conventional pigments, wetting agents or the like.

Mixtures of any of the above types can be applied to the surfaces of blocks in forming the structures of this invention in accordance with conventional techniques as by the use of a screen, a stencil, a spray gun, a brush or various other equivalents so as to create non-self supporting coatings. In case such a mixture should require heating or exposure to air in order to become solid and to bond to the surface of a block appropriate conventional equipment may be used for these purposes. The magnetic coatings created in this manner may be further covered with thin layers of ink, lacquer, paint or the like after they have been formed so as to create various indicia upon them or so as to improve their appearance. However, these coatings in and of themselves may be disposed so as to present a desired configuration or appearance which if desired can be an indicia such as a letter or a partial or complete picture or the like.

The manner in which these coatings is used is important with this invention. All of the blocks of this invention have surfaces which .are adapted to be held together through the use of magnetic forces. These pairs of surfaces are disposed on different blocks so that each of such pairs of surfaces is on a different block. The coating on at least one of the surfaces of each pair of surfaces is composed of permanent magnetic particles oriented within the coating so as to achieve a holding action in connection with the magnetic particles on the other surface of this pair of surfaces. This type of magnetic holding action is a direct result of the magnetic field set up by the permanent magnetic particles, and a completion of a flux path or circuit including the magnetic particles on each of the surfaces of this pair.

In order to achieve such a holding action it is only necessary that at least parts of the surfaces of each of the pairs which are adapted to be positioned against one another are coated in the manner explained. If desired the other of the surfaces of each pair of surfaces besides the surface coated with permanent magnetic particles may be coated with either non-permanent magnetic particles or permanent magnetic particles oriented in such a Way as to achieve the holding action explained. The desired orientation of permanent magnetic particles may be caused by subjecting these particles to a high intensity magnetic field either as they are being placed together with a binder upon a surface or after such a coating containing a binder has been created. The precise method used will depend upon the nature of the binder employed. If desired permanent magnetic particles may be magnetized either before such a coating is created or after such a coating has been created.

The actual nature of this invention is best more fully explained by referring to the accompanying drawing. In FIGS. 1 through 6 of this drawing there are shown various types of surfaces which are adapted to be held together in accordance with this invention. Each of the surfaces of each of the pairs indicated in these various figures are, of course, located upon dilferent blocks of this invention.

In FIG. 1 there are shown surface coatings 10 and 12, each composed of permanent magnetic particles held together and held upon surfaces 14 of blocks 16 by the use of a binder. In the coatings 1t} and 12 the permanent magnetic particles are oriented as shown by the letters N and S so that when the blocks 16 are positioned together a holding action is achieved.

In FIG. 2 there are shown other blocks 18 having surfaces Zd, one of which is provided with a permanent magnetic coating 22 in which the particles are oriented as shown by the letters N and S in the drawing. The other surface 3 is provided with a coating 24 using nonpermnncnt magnetic particles instead of permanent magnetic particles. These two surfaces are adapted to be held together through the use of magnetic force as previously described.

In FIG. 3 there are shown block 26 having surfaces 28 which are adapted to be held together in the same manner. In this figure of the drawing only part of one of the surfaces 28 is provided with a coating 30 of the same character as the coating Iii while all of the other surface 28 is provided with a permanent magnetic coating of the same type as the coating 10.

In order to illustrate the fact that partial coatings may be used on both of the surfaces of this invention which are adapted to be held with respect to one another there are shown in FIG. 4 blocks 34 having coatings 36 located upon only parts of the surfaces 38 of these blocks which are adapted to be held with respect to one another. Both of the coatings 36 are preferably of a permanent magnetic character in which the permanent magnetic particles are oriented as shown by the letters N and S.

In H6. 5 there are shown blocks 40 having surfaces 42 which are adapted to be held together through coatings 44 and 46. The coating 44 is substantially identical to either of the coatings 36 previously described while the coating 4.6 is of a non-permanent magnetic character because of the nature of the magnetic particles disposed within it.

In FIG. 6 there are shown blocks 48 having surfaces 50 which are adapted to be held together by means of coatings 52 and 54. These coatings are similar to the coatings 44 and 46, respectively, but differ from them in that the non-permanently magnetic coating 54 covers all of the surface 50 of one of the blocks 48.

Preferably the blocks of the present invention are employed together in sets, and each of these blocks includes more than one planar surface adapted to be located and held against at least one other planar surface of another block by virtue of the type and orientation of the coatings on these surfaces. These sets offer a great deal in the way of entertainment value because of the fact that they can only be secured together in certain specified, and frequently unexpected manners, unless of course, the manner in which they are to be located together is indicated by various surface indicin placed upon these planar surfaces.

This type of construction is briefly indicated in FIG. 7 of the drawings in which there are shown three different blocks 6%), 62. and 64. It will be realized of course that more blocks than those shown in this figure are preferably employed with a set of blocks of this invention. One of the blocks 60 is provided with a surface 64 which is adapted to be positioned against a surface 66 of the block 62. In order to hold these surfaces 64 and 66 together a magnetic coating 68 in the form of the letter C is located on the surface 64 and another magnetic coating 70 in the form of the letter D is located upon the surface 66. Preferably the coating 68 is of a permanent magnetic character and is oriented as shown by the letters N and S while the coating 70 may be of either an appropriately oriented permanent magnetic character or a non-permanent magnetic character.

The block 60 also includes a surface 72 which is adapted to be held against a surface 74 on a block 61. Preferably the surface 74 is provided with a triangularly shaped coating 76 of a permanent magnetic character oriented as indicated in the drawing by the letters N and S while the surface 72 is provided with a coating 76 of a non'permanent magnetic character and has a shape as indicated. The coating 76 may, however, be of a permanent magnetic character and be oriented so as to achieve a closed flux path with the coating 74.

Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will realize that virtually an unlimited number of block surface configurations can be developed within a set of blocks of this invention and that some of these blocks can be coated in such a manner that they will repel certain surfaces and attract others in accordance with the orientation of permanently magnetic particles. Because of the nature of this invention it is to be considered as being limited only by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A set of blocks, each of said blocks of said set being formed out of a non-magnetic material, said blocks of said set having surfaces adapted to be held against other surfaces of other blocks of said set by magnetic force,

said surfaces also being adapted to be repelled from other surfaces of other blocks of said set by magnetic forces, some of said surfaces being at least partially covered with an adherent non-self supporting coating consisting of permanent magnetic particles sized so as to pass a 200 mesh standard Tyler sieve and a nonmagnetic binder holding said permanent magnet particles in place, other of said surfaces being at least partially covered with an adherent non-self supporting coating consisting of non-permanent magnet magnetic particles sized so as to pass a 200 mesh standard Tyler sieve and a non-magnetic binder holding said non-permanent magnet magnetic particles in place, said coatings containing not more than one part by weight of binder for each part by Weight of particles, said permanent magnet particles being oriented Within the coating on each of said some of said surfaces so as to provide poles concentrating magnetic flux in order to provide the forces necessary to hold and repel similarly coated surfaces of blocks Within said set, said other of said surfaces of blocks within said set being capable of being held against surfaces covered with a coating including said oriented permanent magnet particles.

2. A set of blocks as defined in claim 1 wherein part of said coatings are adapted so as to represent indicia.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,669,644 Andrews May 15, 1928 2,219,074 Guillou Oct. 22, 1940 2,570,625 Zimmerman Oct. 6, 1951 2,600,951 Edwards June 17, 1952 2,744,031 Mumma May 1, 1956 2,795,893 Vayo June 18, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,076,940 France Apr. 28, 1954

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US3213027 *Mar 30, 1962Oct 19, 1965Rca CorpFerroelectric device, ferroelectric body and method of fabrication thereof
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US20110201247 *Aug 18, 2011Mega Brands International, S.A.R.L., Luxembourg, Zug BranchMagnetic And Electronic Toy Construction Systems And Elements
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Classifications
U.S. Classification446/92, 252/62.53, 252/62.55, 12/146.00B, 52/DIG.400, 40/621, 428/900, 252/62.54
International ClassificationG09B1/38, A63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S428/90, Y10S52/04, A63H33/046, G09B1/38
European ClassificationG09B1/38, A63H33/04M