US 3132862 A
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G. B. PRATT PIT CLEARING MECHANISM May 12, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 15, 1961 INVENTOR.
May 12, 1964 G. B. PRATT 3,132,362
PIT CLEARING MECHANISM Filed Sept. 15. 1961 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent ()flice 3,132,862 Patented May 12, 1964 3,132,862 PIT CLEARING MECHANISM Goodrich 13. Pratt, Muskegon, Mich., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Brunswick Corporation, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 15, 1961, Ser. No. 138,513 4 Claims. (Cl. 273-43) This invention relates to apparatus used in the game of bowling and more particularly to a ball-handling mechanism.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved ball-handling mechanism usable in the pit of a bowling alley.
Another object of the invention is to provide a ballhandling mechanism usable in the pit of a bowling alley which also assists in the handling and conveying of bowling pins.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a ballhandling mechanism for a bowling alley having a pit and a kickback with a ball exit opening in which a ball is conveyed from the pit to the opening in a minimum amount of time whereby the total time required to return a ball to a bowler is reduced.
A further object of the invention is to provide a ballhandling mechanism for a bowling alley having a pit and a kickback with a ball exit opening comprising, a pit cushion mounted in the pit, means in the pit for supporting and guiding a ball to a location adjacent the pit cushion, and a rotatably mounted elongate anger in the pit adjacent the pit cushion and at a level beneath the pit cushion and extending to said exit opening, and means for rotating said auger in a direction to cause movement of a ball engaged therewith to said kickback opening.
Further objects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of the ball and pin-handling mechanism associated with the pit and of a bowling alley and with the pit cushion and pin elevator shown in section as taken generally along the line 1-1 in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 2 is a vertical, longitudinal section of the mechanisrn shown in FIG. 1 and taken generally along the line 22 in FIG. 1.
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many diiferent forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail an embodiment of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated. The scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.
The mechanism disclosed herein is associated with a bowling alley in which an alley bed terminates at a tail plank 11 and a pair of ball gutters 12 and 13 are disposed at the sides of the bed. A pair of kickbacks 14 and 15 define the side limits of an alley pit located to the rear of the tail plank 11.
A pit board is located within the pit for receiving a ball and pins which move from the alley bed into the pit and which conveys pins to a pin elevator 21 in the form of a ring which is rotatably mounted at the rear of the alley for elevating pins, as is known in the art. The pit board 20 embodies an integral frame 22 which supports a forward pit board member 23 sloping slightly towards the rear of the pit and a rear pit board 24 which is centrally depressed at 24:: whereby pins are guided to the central part of the pin elevator 21. The pit board 20 is resiliently mounted by means of a pair of front mountings indicated generally at 25 and a pair of rear mountings indicated generally at 26, each of which includes flexible supports in the form of rubber grommets 27, whereby the pit board can be oscillated about a generally central vertical axis. The pit board 20 is oscillated by a pair of links 28 and 29 located at opposite sides of the pit and each connected at one end to the pit board frame 22 and with their other ends eccentrically connected to a shaft 30 extending across the pit and mounted in bearing supports 31 and 32 upstanding from the bed of the pit. The shaft 30 is driven from a motor 33 connected to the shaft by pulleys and a belt 34.
A space is provided between the forward pit board 23 and the rear pit board 24 in which a rotatable elongate member 35 is positioned. This member is fastened to the shaft 30 and rotates in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2. This member, by its rotation, functions to aid in propelling bowling pins to the rear of the pit board and beneath a pit cushion 36 which is located above and slightly to the rear of the rotatable member 35. The pit cushion is of the type disclosed in the copending application of Alexander J. Albrecht, Serial No. 97,032, filed March 20, 1961, and now Patent No. 3,096,090. Further reference may be made to the patent for a detailed disclosure of the pit cushion and its mounting. Generally, the pit cushion 36 is mounted at each of its ends to an arm 37 shown in FIG. 2 at the one end of the cushion, with the arm being rotatable to a slight degree about a mounting rod 38 by a resilient ring 39 disposed therebetween. The lower edge of the cushion 36 is positioned from the pit board a distance sufiicient to permit pins to travel thereunder, but to prevent a ball from passing to the rear of the cushion and the swinging of the cushion is limited so as to prevent movement thereof to a position to permit a ball to pass thereunder. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a ball 40 may rest on the rotatable member 35 and be held in position thereon by engagement with the pit cushion 36. The rotatable member 35 extends transversely of the alley to a ball exit opening 41 in the alley kickback 14 and has a spiral 42 thereon, thus forming the member 35 into an anger which functions to feed the ball laterally of the pit to the ball exit opening 41.
With this construction, a ball is on the anger as soon as possible and is carried out of the pit and away from bowling pins travelling to the rear of the pit by power means exerting a positive force on the ball in a direction to move the ball to the ball exit opening.
As shown at the left-hand end of the anger in FIG. 1, a reverse land projection 43 is provided which functions to engage any bowling pin located in the area of the ball exit opening 41, and positively deflect the pin or pins from the area of the opening, so that a ball may readily pass through the opening for return to a bowler.
1. A ball and pin-handling mechanism for a bowling alley having a pit and a ball exit opening at the side there of, comprising: a pit board sloping to the rear of the pit; a transverse opening in the pit board a pit cushion having one end adjacent said ball exit opening, said pit cushion positioned above and slightly to the rear of the transverse opening whereby pins may pass under the pit cushion but not a ball; and a rotatable auger having one end adjacent said ball exit opening, said auger positioned in said transverse opening for physically contacting and propelling pins rearwardly under the pit cushion, and physically engaging and moving a ball laterally along the pit cushion to the ball exit opening at the end of the pit cushion and anger, while said ball is physically contacted and directed by both said auger and said pit cushion.
2. A mechanism as defined in claim 1 in which said rotatable auger has means at an end thereof adjacent the ball exit opening for breaking up a pin jam.
3. A ball and pin-handling mechanism for use in the pit of a bowling alley, said pit including a pair of kickbacks with a ball exit opening through one of said kickbacks, comprising: a pit board for receiving a ball and pins from an alley, said pit board having a transverse opening between the front and rear portions thereof; pin elevating means at the rear of said pit board; a transverse pit cushion overlying said pit board adjacent to, and to the rear of, said transverse opening and substantially parallel therewith, with one end of said pit cushion adjacent said ball exit opening, said pit cushion spaced from said pit board a distance greater than the maximum diameter of a pin and less than the diameter of a ball to permit passage of pins therebeneath While preventing the passage of a ball; and a transverse, rotatable, elongate auger located in said transverse opening, substantially filling said opening and at a level beneath said pit cushion and substantially level with said pit board and having one end of said auger adjacent said ball exit opening, said auger physically contacting said pins and ball and directing the pins under the pit cushion toward the pin elevating means and physically advancing said ball laterally along the pit cushion to said ball exit opening at the ends of the pit cushion and auger while said ball physically contacts both said pit cushion and said auger.
4. A ball and pin-handling mechanism for use in the pit of a bowling alley, said pit including a ball exit opening in the side thereof, comprising: conveying means in said pit for receiving a ball and pins from an alley; pin elevating means at the rear of said pit; a transverse pit cushion overlying said conveying means and having one end adjacent said ball exit opening, said pit cushion spaced from said conveying means fa distance greater than the maximum diameter of a pin and less than the diameter of a ball to permit passage of pins therebeneath while preventing the passage of a ball; and a transverse, r0- tatable, elongate auger having one end adjacent said ball exit opening, said auger being substantially parallel with, adjacent to and at a level beneath, said pit cushion and substantially level with said conveying means, for physically contacting said pins and ball and directing the pins under the pit cushion to the pin elevating means and physically advancing said ball laterally along the pit cushion to said'ball exit opening at the ends of the pit cushion and auger while said ball physically contacts both said pit cushion and said auger,
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