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Publication numberUS3132441 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 12, 1964
Filing dateNov 24, 1961
Priority dateNov 24, 1961
Publication numberUS 3132441 A, US 3132441A, US-A-3132441, US3132441 A, US3132441A
InventorsMahovsky Henry C
Original AssigneeHenry J Herrmann, Kenneth Roberts
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Parallel spaced hoops forming a ball runway connected by resilient clips
US 3132441 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


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United States Patent 3,132,441 PARALLEL SPACED HOOPS FORMING A BALL RUNWAY CONNECTED BY RESILIENT CLIPS Henry C. Mahovsky, 13700 Carlisle, Detroit 5, Mich, assignor of one-third to Kenneth Roberts and one-third to Henry J. Herrmann, both of Detroit, Mich.

Filed Nov. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 154,460 2 Claims. (Cl. 46-43) This invention relates to a toy and more particularly to a device which enables a child to twirl a ball around a circular track regardless of the position in which the track is held.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an entertaining toy of economical construction.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of the toy of this invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the manner in which the toy is manually manipulated to produce a twirling action of a ball.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view through one of the handles of the toy.

The toy includes a pair of round hoops and 12, the diameter of which may vary as desired without appreciably affecting the operation of the toy. Each of the hoops 10 and 12 is preferably fashioned as a plastic tube as illustrated in FIG. 3 which is bent into circular shape with its ends suitably connected together. The two hoops 10 and 12 are secured together in spaced parallel relation by a plurality of clips .14. Two diametrically opposite clips designated 16 have handles 18 mounted thereon by means of screws 20 which extend through openings 22 in the clips and thread into the inner ends of handles '18 as at 24. The number of clips 14, 16 employed for securing the two hoops together will of course vary in accordance with the diameter of the hoops. For example, where the hoops are about 18" in diameter, six clips 14, 16 may be employed as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Clips 14 and 16 are of identical shape with one exception which will be explained. The clips have the configuration shown in FIG. 3. Each clip includes a flat center portion 26, the ends of which flare laterally outwardly and radially inwardly as at 28 with the extreme ends being formed as circular segments 30 having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the tubes from which hoops 10 and '12 are formed. Clips 14 are preferably fashioned as stampings. Furthermore, these clips are of a resilient construction and accordingly are preferably formed from steel strip and heat treated to spring temper.

The segments 30, it will be noted, have a circumferential extent slightly greater than semi-circular so that the free end 32 of each section is spaced from the outwardly flaring portion 28 of the clip. This enables the segments 30 to be snapped over the hoops. The segments 30 thus resiliently engage the hoops to retain them in position. In order to positively prevent any circumferential displacement of the clips 16 to which the handles 18 are connected, the outwardly flaring portions 28 are lanced as at 34 so that the sharp end 36 of the lanced tabs have a tendency to dig into the plastic hoops and thereby firmly retain the handle supporting clips 16 in position on the hoops.

It will be observed that the flat center portion 26 of each clip is spaced radially outwardly of the spring segments 30 at the opposite ends of the clip. The heads of screws 20 are likewise olfset radially outwardly of the hoops '10 and 12. The two hoops thus provide a circular track in which a ball 38 is adapted to roll. As will be observed "from FIG. 2, the radially outwardly offset central portions 26 of the clips 14, 16 provide ample clearance for rolling movement of the ball around the track formed by the two hoops.

The formation of the clips from a resilient material such as heat treated sheet steel is important for several reasons. In the first place, it enables the two hoops to be snapped into the circular segments at the opposite ends of the clip to firmly retain the hoops in position. Furthermore, by forming these clips from a resilient material, a desirable whipping action is obtained when one of the handles is gripped manually and reciprocated quickly through a slight angle by means of the wrist. When the toy is thus manipulated, the weight of the hoops and the twirling ball are suspended from the flat center portion 26 of the clip on which the gripped handle 18 is mounted. As the wrist is actuated, the flat center portion 26 of the clip is torsioned first one way and then the other so that a slight motion of the wrist will produce a substantially greater amplitude in the travel of the hoops as indicated by the broken line showing in FIG. 2, for example. This whipping action causes the ball to twirl around the track formed by the hoops and to be retained in the track by the centrifugal action involved regardless of the position in which the hoops are disposed. For example, the ball can be started twirling with the hoops in a vertical plane and the hoops can thereafter be rotated to any other position desired as long as a slight snap action is imparted to the hoops by the users wrist. This whipping action is very desirable because it requires much less effort to keep the ball twirling than if the handle supporting clip '14 were absolutely rigid.

I claim:

1. A toy comprising a pair of circular hoops of the same size and shape, said hoops each being circular in cross section, a plurality of clips extending between and engaging the hoops to maintain them in parallel spaced relation, said clips each comprising a resilient strip of steel having a body portion and an arcuate segment at each end thereof, said segments having a diameter in their relaxed condition less than the cross section diameter of the hoops and a circumference substantially greater than one half the cross section circumference of the hoops with the opposite ends of each segment being spaced apart circumferentially of the hoop cross section to allow the segments to be snapped over the hoops, said segments, when snapped into engagement with the hoops, extending circumferentially around the radially and axially outer surface portions of the two hoops so as to leave the radially inner surface portion of the two hoops free of obstruction to thereby form a pair of smooth uninterrupted circular tracks enabling a ball having a diameter greater than the spacing between the hoops to roll around the inside of the spaced hoops, at least one of said clips having a handle member aflixed thereto at the center of the body portion and extending radially outwardly of the hoops, the body portion being sufiiciently resiliently flex- =ible in the plane thereof to impart a whipping action to the hoops when the handle is angularly oscillated manually in a plane parallel to the planes of the two hoops, whereby a ball can be caused to whirl around the inside of the two hoops by a slight angular oscillation of the handle.

2. A toy as called for in claim 1 wherein the body portion of each clip comprises a pair of legs each inclined radially outwardly of the hoops from one end of an arcuate segment, the radially outer ends of said legs being interconnected by a fiat strip portion extending transversely between the planes of the two hoops.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Pace Oct. 19, 1897 Jack May 213, 1899 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Aug. 27, 1948

Patent Citations
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US591876 *Nov 30, 1896Oct 19, 1897 Marble-racket
US625680 *Dec 27, 1898May 23, 1899 Is peters co
US2485064 *May 9, 1947Oct 18, 1949Krant PaclanToy
US2501934 *Sep 6, 1944Mar 28, 1950Sponge Aire Seat Company IncFabric securing means for upholstered seats
US2861318 *Jan 26, 1954Nov 25, 1958Ft Products LtdFasteners
US2974439 *Dec 23, 1958Mar 14, 1961Fawick Thomas LSounding play hoop
GB607232A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3668803 *Feb 11, 1971Jun 13, 1972Miller George JBall rolling toy
US4171090 *Dec 19, 1977Oct 16, 1979Rolf EisenburgTrackway for a trackborne toy
US4319425 *May 1, 1980Mar 16, 1982Shine Thomas MGravity operated track
US4593911 *May 17, 1985Jun 10, 1986Bruce R. DoyleOrbiting action device
US6953377 *May 5, 2004Oct 11, 2005Alessandro QuercettiSuspended runway
US7882788 *Oct 1, 2008Feb 8, 2011Carl SorensonRail system for spherical objects
US7946903May 4, 2007May 24, 2011Mattel, Inc.Wheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
US8465339May 24, 2011Jun 18, 2013Mattel, Inc.Wheeled toy vehicles and playsets for use therewith
WO1982000410A1 *Jul 30, 1981Feb 18, 1982O TaylorBall whirling toy and method of exercise using said toy
U.S. Classification446/170
International ClassificationA63B67/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/12, A63B67/08
European ClassificationA63B67/08