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Publication numberUS3132443 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 12, 1964
Filing dateJan 23, 1961
Priority dateAug 13, 1957
Publication numberUS 3132443 A, US 3132443A, US-A-3132443, US3132443 A, US3132443A
InventorsKuhn James O
Original AssigneeKenner Products Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Construction toy comprising means for locking a horizontal beam member between two detachably joined vertical column members
US 3132443 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

3,132,443 IZONTAL.


HABLY JOI D VERTICAL COLUMN MEMBER Original Filed Aug. 13, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 :g z a 11 IVVENTOR.


. the beams and columns is United States Patent 3 1132 443 coNsTnUcrroN 'roY co iurarsntc MEANS non LGCKHNG A HORIZQN'IAL BEAM MEMIBER BE- TWEEN 'IWl) DETACHAELY JIGINED VEll'lllCAlL COLUMN MEMEERS James 0. Kuhn, (Iiucinnati, Ulric, assignor to Kennel Products Company, a corporation of Delaware Original application Aug. 13, M57, Scr. No. 67?,dd5, now Patent No. 3,002,315, dated Oct. 3, 1961. Divided and this application Jan. 23, I961, Ser. No. 84,116

3 Claims. (Cl. 46-28) This invention relates to childrens toys and is particularly directed to a novel building or construction set including a series of elements which can be assembled to form miniature office buildings, stores, and the like. 'I'he present application is a division of the pending United States patent application of James O. Kuhn for Toy Construction Set, Serial No. 677,885, filed August 13, 1957, now Patent No. 3,002,315.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a construction set having members which can be easily assembled and disassembled and which are adapted to form a rigid structure that cannot be inadvertently collapsed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a realistic construction set which will not only amuse a child, but which will pnovide him with a basic knowledge of building fundamentals.

More particularly, a construction set of the present invention comprises three basic units. These units are vertical columns, horizontal beams, and wall panels. In an assembled structure the beams and columns, which are preferably similar to miniature I beams, are fitted together to form a skeleton fnamework. The wall panels are then applied to the exterior of this framework so that a very realistic structure both in construction and appearance is formed.

Each of the columns of the present invention is provided with a lug extending from one end thereof; the opposite end of the column having a lug receiving socket recessed therein and mortise forming projections extending longitudinally beyond the socket. The ends of each beam are provided with tenons adapted for insertion in the column mortises for forming a joint between the beams and columns.

One of the principal advantages of the present construction is that when additional stories are added to a structure by inserting the lug of an upper column into the socket of a lower column, the upper column functions to lock the beams carried by the lower column against disengagement. Moreover, the tenons of these beams form a continuation of the socket and thereby provide additional support for the upper column so that a particularly firm joint is formed between the beams and columns.

In addition to the elements described above, each of provided with one or more transversely extending lugs which are adapted to be received within suitable apertures formed in the wall panels. The lugs and apertures are of substantially the same diameter so that the wall panels are frictionally held in place to form a skin on the assembled beam and column framework.

As explained in detail below, another advantage of the present construction is that the panels not only form the exterior walls of the building, but they also function to increase the rigidity of the construction.

An additional advantage of the present invention is that the component members can be economically molded and can be merchandised as a relatively compact package.

These and other objects of the invention will become more readily apparent from a consideration of the tollowing detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one floor of a typical structure embodying the present invention with certain wall portions removed;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view showing a joint construction;

FIGURE 3 is an elevational view of one side of a column;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the column shown in I FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a bottom plan view of a column;

FIGURE 6 is an elevational view of a column rotated from the column of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 7 is a side elevational view of a beam;

FIGURE 8 is an end elevational view of the beam shown in FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 9 is a top plan view of a beam;

FIGURE 10 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line ill-Jill of FIGURE 11 showing a joint formed in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 11 is a vertical cross-sectional view of a joint formed in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 12 is a plan view of one form of roof panel;

FIGURE 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along line PIE-13 of FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 14 is a plan view of a modified form of wall panel;

FIGURE 15 is a cross-sectional view along line l5-l5 oi FIGURE 14.

FIGURE 1 illustrates the first story of a typical building which can be fabricated with the constructional members of the present invention. The building lit comprises a floor ll, wall panels 12 and 13, vertical columns 14 and beams .15. It is to be understood that additional stories can be added or the floor plan can be enlarged to any desired size by interconnecting additional vertical columns, beams, and wall panels to those shown in the manner explained below. In addition to these basic construction elements, the complete building set preferably includes root panels adapted to cover the structure, the roof panels being trictionally held in place between a set of tour interconnected beams as explained below, and suitable decorative appurtenances such as flag 16 which is trictionally held between spaced lugs on a pole.

As best shown in FIGURE 2, floor it is formed from a sheet of fiberboard, plastic or the like, having a plurality of spaced apertures 17 adapted to receive in press fit relationship lugs 18 formed on the lower ends of vertical columns 614.

The construction of vertical columns 14 is shown in detail in FIGURES 3-6. As there shown, each of the columns is of generally an I shape in cross section including two spaced flanges 2d and 21 interconnected by a web '22. The lower end of the vertical column is provided with a lug 13 formed integral with the end of web section 22. In the preferred embodiment, lug 18 is square in cross section.

The opposite end of column M- includes a socket forming portion 25 of rectangular cross section having a square socket 26 formed therein of substantially the same size as lug 118. This end of the column is also provided with four upstanding projections 27. These projections extend longitudinally of the column from each of the four corners. Projections 2.7 are preferably spaced from one another and of triangular cross section; as best shown in FIGURES 4 and 10; each projection forms with its adjacent projections 21 dove-tail mortise for receiving a dovetail tenon 34 formed on the end of a beam 15.

In addition to these elements each of the columns is provided with four transversely projecting lugs or pins 28-36. The lugs 28 extend outwardly from web'2 2 beyond the edges of flanges ill and ill. Lugs 3t; extend outwardly at right angles to lugs 23 from the center of flanges 26 and 21. In the preferred embodiment, transverse lugs 23 and 34} are disposed closely adjacent to the end of column 14 having lug 13 formed thereon. Columns 14 and beams 15 are preferably formed of a molded plastic material; although it is contemplated that they can be die cast from a suitable metal if desired.

The construction of beams l is shown in detail in FIGURES 7, 8 and 9. As they are shown, each of the beams is of generally I shaped cross section and in cludes spaced flanges 31 and 32 interconnected by web 33. Each end of the beam carries a triangular tenon These tenons extend from the outer surface of flange 31 along the edge of web 33 a distance corresponding to approximately one half the height of the beam. The height of tenons 34- coincides exactly with the depth of slots 35 formed between adjacent triangular projection 27 of colurns 14. in addition to tenons 34, beam 15 is further provided with a pair of transverse lugs or pins 36. These lugs extend outwardly from the center portion of upper flange 31. Additionally, certain beams may be provided with lugs (not shown) extending outwardly from flange 31 parallel to web 33 in a manner similar to lugs 33 formed on columns 14. These additional lugs formed on certain beams are employed to hold a roof section in place.

Side panels 12; and 13 are representative of a wide variety of wall panels which can be provided. In general, each of the wall panels is formed from a relatively stiff sheet of plastic or the like. The panels are of rectangular configuration having a height equal to the length of a column 14- (excluding lug l8) and a length substantially equal to the length of a beam plus the width of two columns. Each of the panels is provided with three spaced apertures 37, 3t"; and it). Aperture 3% is disposed adjacent to the upper edge 41 of the panel, while apertures 37 and 4% are disposed at the lower portions of side edges 4-2 and d5 of the panel. These apertures are preferably of the same size as lugs 28, 3t and as formed on the columns and beams so that when a wall panel is snapped over these lugs the panel is frictionally held in place. It is to be understood that the panels can be provided as by embossing, painting or the like, with any desired design including windows, store fronts, designs simulating brick walls, and the like.

FIGURES 14 and 15 show a modified form of panel which is not only very attractive, but has greatly increased ri idity compared to the planar panels of FIG- URES 1 and 2. As there shown, panel St? is formed from a relatively thin sheet of plastic material of rectangular configuration. Several windows 51 are formed in the panel by providing recessed portions which are separated by iarcuate ribs 52. The area 53 beneath each of the windows is also indented to further enhance the attractiveness of the panel. in addition to providing panels of realistic and attractive appearance, the provision of recessed areas functions to provide stiffening ribs within the panel which substantially increase the rigidity thereof. Panel 56 is provided with three spaced apertures 54- in the same manner as the panels shown in FIGURE 1.

Each kit further includes a plurality of signs bearing suitable indicia such as Supermarket, Post Office, Department Store and the lik. These signs are adapted to be mounted on the exterior of a panel by press fitting the sign over one of the transverse lugs 36, the lug passing through a suitable opening formed in the sign as is best shown in FIGURE 1.

The present building construction kit further includes a plurality of roof panels, such as panel 55 shown FIGURES 12 and 13. As is shown, the roof panel 55 is of generally square cross section having removed portions 56 at each of the corners thereof. The roof panel has a depressed center section 57 of square outline and of just slightly larger dimensions than the space between the projecting lugs 36 of a set of four beams assembled to form a square. Thus, the roof panel is adapted to be placed over and wedged between a group of beams, the roof panel being frictionally held in place by the engagement of lugs 36 with shoulders 58 formed on the roof panel. In the preferred form of roof shown, depressed center portion 57 is provided with a plurality of upstanding domes 6%. These domes provide the functions of enhancing the appearance of the roof and increasing its rigidity. Other roof panels can be formed of the same general shape as panels 55, but including a substantially flat depressed portion 57 having no domes 60 formed therein.

In assembling a structure using the construction elements of the present invention, lugs 18 or vertical column 1 2- are inserted in apertures 17 of floor panel ll. Next, adjacent columns (re interconnected by slipping the end tenons 34 or" a beam l5 down between the projections 27 in the upper ends of the columns. The joint formed in this manner is best shown in FIGURES 10 and 11. Each pair of columns and their interconnecting beam or beams form a generally rectangular framework adapted to receive a wall panel. The wall panel is placed over the framework by aligning the panel with the columns and beams so that lug 36 of beam 15 passes outwardly through opening 35, while lugs 3b of columns lid pass outwardly through openings 37 and 4s. The panel openings are spaced apart a distance slightly less than the spacing of the lugs on assembled beams and columns so that the panel is placed in tension when it is mounted over the beams and columns. This interengagement of lugs 30 and as and the panel apertures not only frictionally supports the panel, but moreover rigidly locks the beam and columns assembled relationship. It will be appreciated that a beam can only be disengaged from the columns by shifting the beam longitudinally of the columns. HOW- ever, when a panel is in place over the beam and columns this movement is '"revented.

In order to additional stories, or floors, to the b "ding, a second column 314:: is placed above the column 14-. As is best shown in FIGURE 11, lug 18a of column 24a is inserted in socket as, the endwiseportion of lug 13:! being received within the socket and the remaining portion of the socket being receivedwith the extension of the socket formed by the four inwardly facing ends of tenons 34- formed on beams 15. As best shown in FIGURES l0 and ll, faces 46 of the tenons form an extension of socket 2s and are thereby effective to provide additional support for column 14a. In turn, the low rmost surface of flanges Zita and Zia web 22a of column 1 4:: abut the upper surface of tenon 3:4 firmly loci 'ng the tenon within the dove-tail mortise joint fouled by projecting portions 2'7. The upper ends of columns 14a are then connected by beams in the same manner as columns 14- and a panel is mounted over each pan of adjacent columns and the interconnecting beam.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the provision of three standard elements, i.e., panels, columns,

and the beams, permits the construction of multi-storied buildings having a wide variety of shapes in plan view. The particular connection of tenon 34 to the mortise formed between projections 27 also permits cantilevered structures, if desired. Moreover, the particular design of the tenon and its cooperation with the mortise and socket 26, together with the interconnection between the panels, beams, and columns provides an unusually rigid construction in multi-storied buildings. Also, by employing diflerent panels, many different types of structures, such as office building stores, factories and the like, can be made from a single kit. to build bridges or other structural members, this can readily be done by merely omitting the panels.

ln a general manner, while there has been disclosed in the above descriptionwhich is deemed to be the most practical and efficient embodiment of the invention, it

Furthermore, if it is desiredshould be well understood that the invention is not limited to such embodiment as there might be changes made in the arrangemenn disposition and form of the parts Without departing from the principle of the present invention as comprehended with the scope of the accompanying claims.

7 Having described my invention, I claim:

1. A beam and column construction for a building toy comprising, a vertical column, a longitudinally extending lug projecting from the lower end thereof and a lug receiving socket recessed in the upper end thereof, a longitudinally extending projection disposed at each corner of said upper end and spaced from each other, each projection forming with its adjacent projection a tenon receiving mortise, and a beam having on at least one end thereof a tenon lodged in said mortise, said socket having vertically extending walls, the end surface of said tenon, when lodged in said mortise, forming one wall of an extension of said socket.

2. A joint in a toy building construction comprising, a first member having a lug receiving socket recessed in one end thereof, at least two projections extending longitudinally from said end of said member, said projections being spaced to form therebetween a tenon receiving mortise, and a second member having at one end thereof a tenon lodged in said mortise, and a third element termimating in a lugdisposed in said socket, the end surface of said tenon forming at least a partial extension of said socket partially supporting said lug and element.

3. A joint in a toy building construction comprising, a first member having a lug receiving socket recessed in one end thereof, at least two projections extending longitudinally from said end of said member, said projections being spaced to form therebetween a tenon receiving mortise, and a second member having at one end thereof a tenon lodged in said mortise, and a third element terminating in a lug disposed in said socket, the end surface of said tenon forming at least a partial extension of said socket partially supporting said lug and element, said third member having transverse dimensions greater than the transverse dimensions of said lug, whereby a por- 1 tion of the third member adjacent to said lug overlays said tenon, locking said tenon between said first and third members.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 311,793 Stranders Feb. 3, 1885 1,420,748 Rader June 27, 1922 1,706,696 Kohler Mar. 26, 1929 2,075,259 Battjes Mar. 30, 1937 r 2,116,301 Champ'lin May 3, 1938 2,147,373 Laird Feb. 14, 1939 2,968,118 Paulson Jan. 17, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 64,146 Netherlands Sept. 15, 1949

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Referenced by
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US3571965 *Jun 11, 1969Mar 23, 1971Gibb Bruce LEducational construction member and unit
US3849930 *Nov 16, 1972Nov 26, 1974Kohner Bros IncToy playhouse and accessories
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U.S. Classification446/112, 403/381, 52/283, 403/364, 446/127, 446/105, 446/126, 403/345
International ClassificationA63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/044
European ClassificationA63H33/04H