US 3224776 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' Dec. 21, 1965 J- J. MEHELICH 3,224,776
ENCLOSED SELFCONTAINED BALL-CONTROLLED GAME APPARATUS Filed May '7, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet l II II ll l/ l INVENTOR. JOHN J. MEHEL ICfi/ 141.5 A rr'meA/EY Dec. 21, 1965 .1. J. MEHELICH 3,224,776
ENCLOSED SELF-CONTAINED BALL-CONTROLLED GAME APPARATUS ZZM Q M J. J. MEHELICH Dec. 21, 1965 ENCLOSED SELF-CONTAINED BALL-CONTROLLED GAME APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May '7, 1964 M 3 Q a NNw T m I H15 ,4 r TOEA/EY United States Patent 3,224,776 ENCLOSED SELF-(IONTAINED BALL-(IGN- TRQLLED GAME APPTUS John J. Mehelich, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignor to Wolverine Toy Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed May 7, 1964, Ser. No. 365,675
Claims. (Cl. 273-121) This invention relates generally to enclosed self-contained ball-controlled games and more particularly to the manner of constructing the enclosure and the ball projecting element.
Games with molded unitary transparent plastic tops with an integral depending perimetral wall and integral depending ball intercepting and engaging members that cooperate in playing the game are well known in the art. Such game have sheet metal bottom or base fastened to the molded top and walls by different structures and methods. One such structure is shown in United States Letters Patent No. 2,634,129 wherein a sheet metal b0ttom has perforations to receive aligned plastic studs depending from the molded plastic top. After the ends of selected studs are protruding through corresponding perforations in the metal bottom, the ends are riveted over on the under side of the bottom by heat or other convenient method to hold the fiat metal bottom to the top and wall enclosure.
An improvement over this structure is disclosed in US). Patent application Serial No. 257,377, filed February 11, 1963, wherein simple provision was made to anchor the perimeter of the sheet metal base to the bottom of the perimetral wall that is integral with the molded top of the game rather than forming perforations in the bottom and using the ball intercepting and engaging elements as a means of fastening. This improved structure eliminated any possibility of the edges of the perimetral wall pulling off and away from the sheet metal bottom which may result from a sharp blow on the bottom. Also this improved structure eliminated the possibility of riveting the studs too tightly to the metal bottom, causing the same to buckle or pull away from the integral sides.
This structure was further impoved by the provision of means to maintain the central portion of the sheet metal bottom upwardly against the bottoms of the depending ball intercepting and engaging elements.
The principal object of this invention is the provision of an improved structure of anchoring the sheet metal bottom to the molded unitary plastic top and the integral perimetral wall in view of the above cited structures and the prior analogous art.
Another object is the provision of means to anchor the perimeter of the sheet metal bottom or base to the perimetral wall without folding the edge of the bottom to anchor the same or rivet the bottom to the molded top or perimetral wall, The sheet metal base need only be inserted in place and will stay integral with the rest of the game without any special anchoring after once placed into position.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a recess or perimetral shoulder on the bottom edge of the depending perimetral Wall having spaced fastening members or pins integral within the recess to mate with aligned perforations spaced along the edge of the sheet metal base. The perforations have sharp edges and corners which cooperate with the fastening members to protrude into the fastening member and anchor the base on the top and wall enclosure, thus preventing the bottom or base from retracting from this position.
Another object of this invention is the provision of depending cylindrical pin members integral from the hot- 3,224,776 Patented Dec. 21, 1965 tom edge of the perimetral wall, which cylindrical pin members in an opposing manner cooperate with adjacent fastening members within the recess to aid in prevention of the bottom from disengaging from the top and wall enclosure caused by, for an example, a blow by a sharp instrument or dropping of the game itself. Thus the cylindrical pin members materially aid the perimetral fastening members to lock the sheet metal bottom in position. The cylindrical pin members or posts prevent any lateral withdrawal of the semicircular perforations of the sheet metal bottom from the perimetral fastening members in the recess.
Another object of this recess is an improved ball projecting element structure eliminating the need of supplementary structure in order to provide proper guiding of the ball projecting element when the same is in its firing position.
Thus an improved construction is herein disclosed to a game apparatus commonly called a bagatelle game, wherein the bottom of the game is secured to the molded transparent plastic top and side perimetral walls through the use of peripheral abutments or fastening members. These fastening members are molded as an integral part of the perimetral wall of the molded top and are substantially as long as the perimetral shoulder or recess depending from the perimetral Wall. The bottom is secured to these peripheral abutments or fastening members by cutting semicircular perforations in the edge of the bottom, whose dimensions are smaller than those of the peripheral abutments or fastening members. These peripheral fastening members may be square, cylindrical or of any other contour or shape. When the bottom member is pressed into place the corners or two sharp edges of each perforation are bent back or away from the direction of forcing the bottom on to the molded top and perimetral wall. The edges of these bent perforations thereby act as a clamping device which locks the sheet metal bottom in position.
The game apparatus is further improved by the use of a plurality of downwardly depending and projecting posts or pin members placed on opposite sides of the apparatus. These posts or pin members are spaced from the recess or peripheral shoulder approximately one-sixteenth of an inch. These posts depend from the bottom edge of the perimetral wall and prevent any fiexure of the perimetral side Walls laterally owing to the fact that the apertures or perforations received by these post members provide at least a full one-sixteenth of an inch of metal between said post members and the edge of the metal sheet bottom, thus providing a lateral lock in holding the side walls from flexing outwardly. Thus the posts or pin members prevent the semicircular perforations from being constructively torn from their fastening members, which members are formed integral with the perimetral depending wall.
Other objects and advantages appear hereinafter in the following description and claims.
The accompanying drawings show for the purpose of exemplification without limiting the invention and claims thereto certain practical embodiments illustrating the principles of this invention wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the game apparatus illustrating the features of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the game apparatus illustrating this invention.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view along the line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the game apparatus illustrating this invention.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the ball projecting element comprising this invention.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the ball projecting element taken along the line 66 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged longitudinal View showing the ball projecting element.
FIG. 8 is an enlarged exaggerated sectional view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 4, the game apparatus illustrating this invention comprises generally an enclosed self-contained game having an integral molded unitary transparent top 1 of plastic material which is provided with a depending perimetral wall 2 which is of uniform depth as shown in FIG. 2 and is integral with the top 1 including the rearward end 3, the forward end 4, and the sides 5 and 6. As clearly illustrated in FIG. 3 for the full length of the depending perimetral wall 2 there is provided a recess or perimetral shoulder 7 located on the bottom edge of the wall. Recess 7 consists of a horizontal flange 8 and a depending vertical wall 10 both running for the full perimeter of the wall and game.
Leg means are provided near the forward end of the game apparatus as indicated at 11 and at the indented portion 12 of the rearward end 3 of the game as indicated at 13 in FIG. 2. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the leg means 11 cooperates with the leg 13 and the rearward edge of the game as illustrated at 14 so as to engage the table surface which is illustrated by the line 15.
The integral molded unitary top 1 is provided with many integral depending ball guiding and ball intercepting elements that are molded integral with the top and depend downwardly with their ends in alignment with the plane of the horizontal flange member 8. One form of interceptor element is shown in FIG. 1 in the form of cups or pockets 16. Additional intercepting elements are in the form of guide posts 17. These posts are placed in appropriate positions to deflect the path of movement of the ball as it intercepts and strikes the same so that the ball may pass laterally to one or more of the intercepting pockets 16. The guide post 18 may be provided with a rubber sleeve (not shown) since this post receives most of the projected balls.
The ball 20 upon leaving the ball projecting element 21 will travel around the inner face of the forward end of the perimetral wall 2 and will be deflected backwardly on contact with the guiding post 18 and depending upon the force of impact. Thus the ball may return to the ball projector 21 or it may deflected to one or more of the pockets 16 and posts 17 as it proceeds down the sloping bottom 22 of the game.
Another ball guiding element is in the form of the division walls 23 and 24 which separates the storage passage 25 from the passage 26 of the ball projecting element 21. Both of these division walls 23 and 24 are integral and depend from the top 1. The passage 26 and the division wall 24 aid in guiding the ball 20 as it is projected towards the forward end 4 and to the field of play.
At the rearward end of the game apparatus there is provided separator posts 27 for receiving any ball that is not caught by one of the pockets 16 in the field of play. After all the balls 20 have been projected into the field of play by the projector element 21 the game apparatus is tilted forward causing all the balls 20 to roll towards the forward end 4. Thus the game may be tilted toward its side 5 so that the balls 20 will enter the opening 28 of the passage 25 and proceed downwardly in the storage position 25 to be in position for projection by the projecting element 21. This position is indicated in FIG. 1.
As shown clearly in FIGS. 1 through 4, there is provided within the recess 7 abutments or fastening members 30 which are preferably semicylindrical in shape and extend substantially for the full length of the vertical wall 10 of the recess 7. At least two independent cylindrical pin members 31 are provided on each side 5 and 6 of the game apparatus and depend from the bottom edge of the perimetral wall 2. Thus the pin members 31 depend independently from the perimetral wall 2 without being integral with the horizontal flange 8 or the vertical wall 10 of the recess 7. One pin member 31 on each side 5 and 6 may be sufficient in order to oppose removal of the bottom 22 from the molded top 1. However the provision of at least two members 31 on each side of the game apparatus substantially improves the opposition to any removal of the bottom after the same has been placed in position.
The peripheral pin members 311 as shown in FIG. 1 are somewhat uniformly spaced within the recess 7 along the full perimeter of the game. The pin members 31 are placed usually in that portion of the same where the support of the bottom is most likely needed and also that portion where the sides 5 and 6 and the perimetral wall 2 may have a tendency to flex outwardly.
In FIG. 4 the bottom 22 is shown in position on the molded unitary member. The bottom 22 is provided with semicircular perforations 33 and circular perforations 34 wherein perforations 33 are cut to be in alignment with the fastening members or abutment members 30 and the circular perforations 34 are cut to be in alignment with the depending posts or pin members 31. It is important to note that the cross-sectional dimension of the perforations 33 and 34 are somewhat smaller than the corresponding members 30 and 31, respectively, so that when the sheet metal bottom 22 is pressed into position the sharp edges 35 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 8 of the perforations 33 and 34 will bend downwardly or in a direction opposite to the direction in which the bottom 22 is being forced on to the molded plastic member. When the bottom 22 is completely pressed into position as shown in FIG. 3 so that the edge of the bottom 22 is completely within the recess 7, the sharp edges 35 of the perforations 33 and 34 will have a tendency to bite or press into the sides of the fastening members 31 and 31, thus locking the sheet metal bottom 22 in position.
Referring to FIG. 8 which is an enlarged and exaggerated view for purposes of clarification of a feature comprising this invention, an attempt is made to show how the sheet metal bottom 22 is bent or curved upwardly at 36 between the fastening members 30 and the independent posts or pin members 31. This curved feature 36 thus causes the edges 35 to lodge in these pin members 30 and 31 due to a slight springing action and thereby repelling any removal of the bottom 22 from the fastening members 30 and the post members 31. Therefore the post members 31 and the fastening members 30 cooperate in an opposing manner in order to retain the bottom 22 in position. It should be noted also that the post members 31 on opposite sides 5 or 6 of the game apparatus may also cooperate in a similar opposing manner as discussed above except that any curvature in the bottom 22 between opposite opposed posts 31 would not be of such significance as compared with the curvature 36 as shown. Furthermore any curvature in the sheet metal bottom 22 in the middle portion thereof would not be wanted for the balls 20 would have a tendency to roll towards the sides 5 and 6 of the game. Thus to insure that bottom 22 is kept substantially in a flat position the guide posts 17 as shown in FIG. 3 extend to the very bottom of the perimetral wall 22, the ends of which are in alignment with the plane of the horizontal flange member 8.
In addition to that already noted above another divisional wall 32 is provided to form part of the passage 25 as shown in FIG. 1. This wall 32 helps to deflect and position the balls toward the projector element 21 and the passage 26. Thus each ball in turn moves forward consecutively into the passage 26 in order to be propelled by the projector 21.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 5 through 7, there is illustrated the ball projector element 21 which is another feature comprising this invention. The ball projector .element 21 comprises a shank portion 37, a knob or finger grasping member 38, and a guide member 40.
The shank portion 37 is provided with a cross-sectional Configuration in the form of a cross as shown in FIG. 6 and is slidably engageable in the slot 41 of the indented portion 12 of the perimetral wall 2. It should be noted that the slot 41 opens downwardly through the recess 7 so that the projector element 21 may be placed within the slot 41 before the bottom 22 is placed in position or pressed in position within the recess 7. The slot 41 in the area where it is slidably engageable with the shank 37 is reinforced with the member 42 which is molded integrally to the perimetral wall 2. The member 42 on its inside edge 43 has the same contour as the slot 41 at its uppermost edge.
Spring means 44- are provided to surround the shank portion 37 of the projector element 21, the ends of which recline against the guide member 40 and the inside portion of the perimetral wall 2 as indicated at 45. Thus the spring means 44- maintains the projector element 21 in a normal forward position unless pulled rearwardly by the finger grasping member 38. The projector element 21 is limited in its rearward movement by the stops 46 which come in contact with the upper edge 47 of the guide member 40 and therefore resist further rearward movement of the projector element.
The shoulder 48 of the finger grasping member 38 upon engagement with the member 42 prevents continual forward movement of the projector element 21 by the spring means 44.
The guide channel 50 consists of the divisional wall 32 and the divisional wall 23 which extend to the rearward end 3 of the perimetral wall 2. These two walls 32 and 23, together with the bottom 22 and the top 1, form a guide channel in which the projector element 21 guided by the guide member 40 may move forwardly and rearwardly therein.
It should be noted that an important feature of this invention resides in the guide member 40 of the projector element 21 and the fact that the slot 51 only surrounds the upper portion of the cross-sectional contour of the shank portion 37. This is shown in FIG. 7 wherein there is a slight tendency for the projector element 21 to drop downwardly at the forward end or guide member 40 due to the tension of the spring means 44 and due to the fact that the shank portion 37 is loosely engageable within the slot 41. Thus an improved projector element is provided in that the guide member 46 being constantly in contact with the bottom 22 in the side and guided within the divisional walls 32 and 23 provides a structure which is more accurate in guiding and projecting the ball into the field of play. Such a structure is more accurate in guiding the balls upon projection than a structure wherein the slot 41 follows the full contour of the shank 37 which would lift the guide member 49 of the projector element 21 off the bottom 22. Furthermore such a structure could not be easily manufactured since the shank 37 would have to be molded actually within the perimetral wall 2. In the structure shown, assembly is made relatively easy since the slot 41 opens downwardly and outwardly of the per imetral wall 2. The ball projector element 21 thus may be inserted in the slot 41 before the bottom 22 is pressed into position. Therefore an improved projector element is provided not only in manufacturing and the construction of the game apparatus per se but also in guiding the projected ball 20 into the field of play.
1. An enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus consisting of an integrally molded unitary transparent top of plastic material having a continuous perimetral downwardly depending wall of uniform depth, a right angle downwardly disposed recess on the bottom of said perimetral wall, said recess open inwardly of said molded top and continuous for the full perimeter of said perimetral wall, a plurality of spaced fastening members formed integral within said recess, a fiat sheet bottom having the configuration of said recess to mate there- 6 with, a plurality of spaced perforations in said fiat sheet bottom on the perimeter thereof in alignment with and smaller in dimension than said fastening members to engage the latter upon securing said bottom to said molded top and resist removal therefrom, oppose-d pin members integral from the bottom of said depending wall and adjacently spaced from said fastening members, aligned perforations in said flat sheet bottom smaller in dimension than said pin members to engage the latter upon securing said bottom to said molded top and opposedly cooperate with said adjacent fastening members in resisting removal of said bottom from said molded top.
2. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 1 characterized in that said molded transparent top has integral depending ball intercepting and engaging elements.
3. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 1 characterized in that said fastening members are substantially cylindrical pins formed integral to each flange of said right angle recess.
4. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 1 characterized in that said opposed pin members are aligned on opposite sides of said perimetral wall on the bottom thereof to opposely cooperate with adjacent fastening members and with opposite pin members.
5. An enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus consisting of an integrally molded unitary trans parent top of plastic material having a continuous perimetral downwardly depending wall of uniform depth forming ends and sides, a right angle downwardly disposed recess on the bottom of said perimetral wall, said recess open inwardly of said molded top and continuous for the full perimeter of said perimetral wall, a plurality of spaced fastening members formed integral within said recess, a flat sheet bottom having the configuration of said recess to mate therewith, opposed pin members integral from the bottom of said depending wall and adjacently spaced from said fastening members, a plurality of spaced perforations in said flat sheet bottom in alignment with and smaller in dimension than said fastening members and said pin members to engage and forcibly lock on said members upon securing said bottom to said molded top and resist removal therefrom, said molded transparent top and perimetral wall having an indentation at one end thereof, slot means in said perimetral wall at said indentation, a ball projecting element slidably engageable within said slot means, a departing guide channel molded to the underside of said top and aligned with said slot means, spring means surrounding said ball projecting element for normally pushing the projecting element forward, said ball projecting element guided in forward and rearward movement in said slot means by said channel.
6. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 5 characterized in that said ball projecting element consists of a shank having a cross-sectional configuration of a cross, a finger grasping member on one end of said shank, and a guide member on the other end of said shank to guide said ball projecting element within said channel of said molded top when pulled and when released under the tension of said spring means.
7. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 6 characterized in that said guide member is of rectangular configuration.
8. The enclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus of claim 5 characterized in that said guide channel includes stop means to limit the rearward movement of said ball projecting element in said slot means.
9. The apparatus of claim 5 which also includes oppositely disposed leg means depending from said top and depending perimetral wall and foot means at said indentation.
10. An inclosed self-contained ball-controlled game apparatus including a transparent top having integral depending ball intercepting and engaging members and having an integral depending perimetral wall, said wall continuous for the perimeter of said top, a downwardly and inwardly inturned flange on the bottom edge of said Wall and otfset therefrom, a plurality of spaced substantially cylindrical pin members formed integral within said inturned flange, and opposed independent cylindrical pin members integral with the bottom of said perimetral wall but spaced from said inturned flange, a metal bottom having perforations smaller in dimension than said pin members and aligned with said pin members to forcibly lock on the latter upon engagement of said top with said bottom.
it: 0 References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 849,554 4/1907 Middleton 12421 2,634,129 4/1953 Lohr et al. 273-l21 3,026,864 3/1962 Gray 12427 FOREIGN PATENTS 96,278 6/1963 Denmark.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,224,776 December 21, 1965 John J. Mehelich It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 6, line 48, for "departing" read depending Signed and sealed this 18th day of October 1966.
ERNEST W. SWIDER Attesting Officer EDWARD J. BRENNER Commissioner of Patents