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Publication numberUS3176428 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 6, 1965
Filing dateJul 10, 1961
Priority dateJul 10, 1961
Publication numberUS 3176428 A, US 3176428A, US-A-3176428, US3176428 A, US3176428A
InventorsEugene Slingluff
Original AssigneeSunlite Plastics Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Take-apart toy propeller
US 3176428 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A ril 6, 1965 E- SLINGLU FF TAKE-APART TOY PROPELLER Filed July 10, 1961 INVENTOR EUGENE SLINGLUFF ATTORNEYS 3,176,428 TAKE-APARTTOY PROPELLER Eugene Slinglutf, Milwaukee, Wis., assignor to Sunhte Plastics, Inc., a corporation of Milwaukee FiledJuly 10, 1961, Ser. No. 123,036 1 C a (CI- 46- This invention appertains to games and toys and more particularly to construction toys of the type embodying rods and coupling means of various characters for connecting the rods together at different angles to fabricate buildings, bridges etc.

It has been proposed to utilize hollow rods or tubes in lieu of solid wooden pieces, and common paper drinking straws (due to their ready availability and cheapness), have been suggested for use as the hollow rods. However, such paper straws have been found inadequate for toy construction purposes, since the same are rigid and will not give or bend and the straws quickly crack and crease and upon the insertion of a coupling pin in an end thereof, such end splits and will not hold the coupling pin.

One of the primary objects of my invention is to form the straws from a plastic material possessing resiliency and flexibility and to use such straws for toy construction purposes, whereby an economic but sturdy building set will be provided for children in which the straws can be bent in any desired are without breaking, and whereby coupling pins can be inserted in the ends thereof without splitting such ends and in which the straw ends will give upon the insertion of a coupling pin therein and effectively grip the pin.

Another salient object of my invention is the provision of a toy building set capable of forming different structures not heretofore possible with wooden rods, paper straws and the like, such as arched roofs, round towers, windmill vanes, propellers etc., such structures being possible by use of resilient and flexible plastic straws.

A further important object of my invention is to provide a toy building or construction set embodying a plurality of rigid plastic coupling members including hubs and radially extending socket pins and a plurality of straight lengths of resilient and flexible plastic straws, the straws being capable of use in their straight lengths or bent into desired arcs and curves to form arches etc., thereby eliminating the necessity of supplying various characters of molded curved pieces in a building set.

With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the novel construction, arrangement and formation of parts, as will be hereinafter more specifically described and claimed, and illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which drawing FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a building structure constructed from my novel resilient and flexible straws, parts of the figure being shown broken away to illustrate structural details;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of one of my improved straws, parts of the view being shown broken away and in section;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary detail transverse sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, the view showing one type of joint connection;

FIGURE 4 is a detail fragmentary longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, and

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view showing the extreme flexibility of the straws and illustrating the formation of a simulated windmill vane, propeller, or the like, parts of the view being shown broken away and in section.

Referring to the drawing in detail, wherein similar reference characters designate corresponding parts United States Patent 0 ice throughout the several views, the letter S generally indicates my improved toy building or construction set. This set includes a plurality ofnormally straight lengths of hollow tubes or straws 10, and a plurality of various types of couplings 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Other types and characters of coupling means 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 can be utilized in the set, but a suflicient variety of such coupling means has been illustrated to show the fundamentals of the set S.

Each of the coupling means 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 includes a hub 16 and one or more radially extending coupling pins 17. The coupling member 11 is shown having only one pin; the coupling member 12 with two pins; the coupling member 13 with three pins; the coupling member 14 with four pins and the coupling member 15 with eight pins.

The hollow tubes or straws, form the essence of the present invention, and the straws can be made all of one length or various lengths, as may be desired. However, as best shown in FIGURE 2, the straw is formed from plastic material possessing flexibility and resiliency. Thus, a straw for toy building purposes is provided which is tough and rugged and which can be bent into various shapes without creasing, tearing or splitting. Thus, the straw can be bent into various arcs and curves to form arches (see FIG. 1), windmill vanes, propellers etc. (see FIG. 5

Obviously, various types of structures can be built by children, and one such structure has been shown in FIGURE 1. By referring to FIGURE 1, it can be seen that a plurality of the straws 10 can be utilized for horizontal beams and a plurality of straws can be used for uprights and that the straws can be bent to form desired arches, now indicated by the reference'character 18. In fabricating a structure, straws can be inserted within the hubs 16 of the coupling members and the pins 17 can be inserted in the terminals of the straws. Obviously, where four straws radiate from the hub the coupling 14 is utilized and a transverse straw or strut can be inserted in the hub 14. Great stress is laid on the extreme flexibility and resiliency of the straws to form the arches 18. When a structure is dismantled, the straws will assume their normal straight position, due to their inherent resiliency. The coupling pins 17 have an exterior diameter substantially equal to or slightly greater than the interior diameter of the straws 10. Consequently, when a coupling pin 17 is inserted in a straw terminal the wall of the straw tends to give and grip the pin. Also due to the plastic material, the straw terminals will not crack or split, and this is in contradistinction to paper straws which split and tear upon the insertion of a coupling pin therein.

Particular attention is now directed to FIGURE 5 and it can be seen that the straws It can be practically bent back upon themselves and the straw terminals can be forced over the pins 17 of the coupling member 15. The bent back straws 10 thus form or rather simulate the appearance of propeller blades, windmill vanes and the like. The hub 16, of course, provides means for placing the same over another straw and such straw then simulates a shaft for a propeller.

By forming the straws of flexible and resilient plastic, various curves and arcs can be made and thus building structures of various types can be made which were not possible with the use of straight lengths of rods or rigid tubes. In the construction set S the straight pieces themselves, as just stated, can be bent into various shapes and the same will reassume their straight lengths without breaking when a building is dismantled.

Thus with the use of my flexible resilient plastic tubes, it is unnecessary to provide a plurality of different characters of molded curved pieces.

' arm age From the foregoing it can be seen that l have provided a simple but ruggedvtoy building or construction set in which round structures, archesiand the like can be readily formed.

Changes in details maybe made Without departing from the spirit or the scope of. this invention, but What I claim" asne'wis: I 1 An article formed from a plurality of normally straight.- J

bentback upon thems'elves .withtheir terminals inserted overthe pins to simulate propeller blades. 1

flexible resilient plastic straws'andi a coupling mem ber' forsaid straws, said "article comprisingaplurality of straws all being of substantially equal length, and acoupling member for'said straws, said coupling member ir'l eludinga hub having an opening atits axial center'of a size and configuration to receive a straw end and a p1u rality 'of radially extending pins integralwithathe outer periphery of said hub, the pins being inserted in the ends.v of said straws, the straws being bent against their inherent resiliency and associated with said radially extending pins in such a manner that said flexible resilient straws are References Cited in the tile of this patent p I 1 UNITED sTArEs'PATENTs 1,153,155 Fritsch se r. 7, 1915 "2,035,531,- Butche -l n r; I Mar.31,1936 2,712,200 Dearling July 5, 1955 2,959,888 'Noble a aa Nov. 15, 1960 p FOREIGNVPATENTS r 1,059,155 France Feb. 10, 1954

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1153155 *Feb 9, 1915Sep 7, 1915Marie Elizabeth FritschMiniature aeroplane.
US2035531 *Apr 15, 1935Mar 31, 1936Butcher Claude RToy aeroplane
US2712200 *Sep 24, 1952Jul 5, 1955Harry S DearlingShape-retaining interlocking toy element
US2959888 *Sep 15, 1959Nov 15, 1960Ideal Toy CorpInterlockable toy elements
FR1069155A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3303581 *Apr 6, 1965Feb 14, 1967Steelcraft Mfg CompanyScale model door frames
US3648404 *Apr 14, 1969Mar 14, 1972Ogsbury Charles SConnector unit having radial arms for straight or angular connections
US3745694 *Feb 22, 1972Jul 17, 1973Columbia Broadcasting Syst IncToy beads and assembly
US3865375 *Nov 29, 1973Feb 11, 1975Raymond Lee Organization IncOutdoor game including tubular hoop structure and plurality of balls
US4068844 *Dec 2, 1976Jan 17, 1978Tempel Gary JMethod and apparatus for a game
US4152864 *Jul 12, 1976May 8, 1979Habisohn Victor JDevice for forming bubbles from planar film shapes
US4899496 *Oct 29, 1987Feb 13, 1990Chew Ii Bonnie GPortable child enclosure
US4921369 *Sep 12, 1988May 1, 1990Chew Ii Bonnie GConnector for portable furniture including a bed and a child enclosure
US5049105 *Mar 13, 1990Sep 17, 1991Magic Mold CorporationHub connector for tubes in toy construction set
US5310376 *Apr 19, 1993May 10, 1994Combi CorporationToy that can be assembled independently by a child
US5318470 *Mar 30, 1993Jun 7, 1994Denny Wayne HModular construction assembly
US5491950 *Oct 18, 1994Feb 20, 1996Obegi; JosephModular shear panel system
US5769994 *Mar 8, 1996Jun 23, 1998Handsontoys, Inc.Method of manufacturing an elongated, lightweight formable article
US5846111 *Aug 14, 1997Dec 8, 1998Grimsel; WolfgangConstruction kit for kites and model gliders as well as presentation objects and surfaces
US6478649 *Apr 19, 2002Nov 12, 2002John F. HobackFlexible space structure construction connector for variably sized building elements
US8708765Nov 17, 2011Apr 29, 2014Fort Magic, LlcKit for constructing a play structure
WO2003089098A1 *Nov 4, 2002Oct 30, 2003Hoback John FFlexible space structure construction connector for variably sized building elements
U.S. Classification446/107, 446/126, 403/176
International ClassificationA63H33/10, A63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/108
European ClassificationA63H33/10T