US 3268223 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1966 H. c. WOODSUM. JR 3,268,223
ROTATABLE PLAYGROUND DEVICE Filed March 18, 1964 R O T N E V m United States Patent 3,268,223 ROTATABLE PLAYGROUND DEVICE Harold C. Woodsum, Jr., 18220 Dunblaine, Birmingham, Mich. Filed Mar. 18, 1964, Ser. No. 352,767 3 Claims. (Cl. 272-433) This invention relates to playground equipment in general and more particularly to a new and different piece of equipment for use in playgrounds, back yards and elsewhere and which is fun to use and helps build strong young minds and bodies.
Playground equipment hasnt changed much over the years. The old standards are still used without much variation. Swings, see-saws and slides are still most common. Merry-go-rounds and monkey-climbs are probably next in popularity. Although, such as trampolines have been proposed, these things are usually too dangerous for children to use without some instruction and supervision.
Ideally this sort of body-building equipment for children, whether for playground, back yard or indoor use in gyms or the like, should be simple and sturdy in construction to withstand any possible mistreatment. It should be relatively inexpensive for maximum use and popularity. It should also be maintenance free for like reasons. It should require little or no instruction as to use. And it should be fun and a challenge to brighteyed competitive youngsters.
From a physical education standpoint, a good piece of playground or like equipment will be sufiiciently attractive and fun to encourage its own use by youngsters. It will also require some physical exertion, preferably of new and different muscles not ordinarily given enough attention, and some coordination of senses and body movements, so that stronger and more natural aptitudes will aid in the development of dormant and less developed senses and reflexes. Ideally, it will be usable by two or more persons, as well as one, for cooperative or competitive play.
These and other goals come readily to mind and emphasize the true multipurpose use that every piece of playground or like equipment should serve. a
It is an object of this invention to provide a playground or like device which will be attractive and fun to use for children of all ages.
It is an object of this invention to provide a playground, back yard or like device which is simple to use and helps build strong young well coordinated bodies and minds. In this latter respect, it is usable by one or more persons and requires the development of reflex actions and coordinated movements under constantly changing conditions.
It is an object of this invention to provide a multipurpose piece of playground or like equipment which is simple and relatively inexpensive in construction to enable widespread use and maximum popularity.
More specifically, it is an object of this invention to provide a piece of playground or like equipment which includes a vertically disposed bar that is fixed at one end, will support one or more persons on the other end and can be made to sway and oscillate back and forth as they shift their weight about. In addition, the means for supporting one or more persons on the bar is rotatable so that a combination of movements is obtainable and other movements and sensations are produced; the most common being a gyration or nutational movement synonymous with the movement of an outer space platform in the minds of youngsters.
It is an object of this invention to provide a device productive of the aforementioned mutational movement by means of a rod having a length-to-radius ratio and/or being of a material causing it to bend or lean under a load. It must also have a stiffness whereby it may be made to oscillate when deformed beyond its load balancing capacity, but still (and always) within its elastic limits. Quite obviously the ferrous metal or plastic bar or pole must have a safety factor preventing any mishap, but this presents no problem.
The platform for supporting youngsters, and which is rotatable on the vertically disposed bar, will also include a peripheral rail or support, at between waist and shoulder height for youngsters, which will enable them to lean back and hold on as they shift their weight back and forth or sideways to produce the oscillating and nutational movements that can be accomplished.
These and other objects and advantages to be gained in the practice of this invention will be better understood and appreciated upon a reading of the following specification in regard to a preferred embodiment v of the invention and having reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is 'a top plan view of a playground device made in accord with and embodying different aspects of this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a side plan and partially cross-sectioned view of the playground device shown by FIGURE 1 as seen substantially in the plane of line 2-2 thereon with one phase of oscillation demonstrated. I
FIGURE 3 is a small perspective of the device shown by FIGURES l and 2 as it would appear in use.
FIGURE 4 is a side plan view, partially cross-sectioned, showing a playground device made in accord with the teachings of this invention and including certain modifications.
The playground device 10 is shown to include a stand 12 which supports a vertical rod 14. A platform member 16 is rotatably supported by means 18 on the upper end of the vertical rod 14.
The stand 12 is shown to include a tripod arrangement with legs 20, 22 and 24. Each of the legs include an anchor 26 which is provided near its outer end. The lower links 28 of the arms cooperate with the upper locking links 30 and 32 to make the stand collapsible for shipping, transportation and storage purposes. However, it will be appreciated that the stand is used as shown and that its ends are securely fixed by leg bolt anchors '26 into soil or mass concrete, when used outside, or into other fixed media when used in a gymnasium or the like.
The stand 12 includes spaced journal bearings 34 and 36 which receive the lower end of the rod 14 therein to support it in a vertically disposed relation.
The rod 14 may be solid, hollow, of ferrous metal, or fiberglass, or of any suitable general shape and material which will enable it to have sufficient axial rigidity to support a member on the upper end thereof and to have lateral give which will enable it to bend under a load but still have sufiicient stiffness to bounce back and therefore be caused to oscillate back and forth. Normally, this will mean that the rod 14 should have a lengthto-radius ratio commensurate with the modulus of elasticity of the material of which the rod is made so that lateral deformity is possible, without set and permanent deformation, as will be better understood in the description of the use of the playground device 10 which is subsequently given.
It will be noted that the vertical rod 14 includes spaced cross bars 38 which provide a ladder for climbing up to the platform member 16.
The platform member 16 includes a bottom wall 40 in which is provided a trap door 42. Stanchions 44 are provided peripherally about the bottom wall 40 and standing thereover. They are connected together by wire rope or chain 46 which provides leaning support for persons using the playground device as will later be better understood.
A center sleeve column 48 is provided centrally over a hole in the bottom wall 40 for receiving the end of the vertical rod 14 therein.
A bearing support 50 receives and supports the whole platform member 16 rotatably on the upper end of the vertical rod 14.
From the foregoing description and reference to the drawing figures, it should be apparent that one or more persons may climb the cross bar ladder 38 provided on the vertical rod 14 and gain access to the platform member 16 through the trap door 42 provided in the bottom wall 40 thereof. By standing on one side of the platform member 16 and leaning back against the wire rope or chain 46 which extends between the stanchions 44, and then leaning forward towards the vertical rod 14, a persons weight in shifting back and forth can be made to cause the vertical rod 14 to oscillate back and forth.
It will also be apparent that the platform members 16 may be made to rotate about the vertical rod 14 since it is not fixed thereto but is, in fact, rotatable on the bearing support 50. Such rotation is accomplished by persons standing on the platform shifting their weight to the right or left at the same time that they lean back and forth to cause the rod to oscillate.
The combination of the back and forth and side ways shifting or ones weight will produce nutational movement of the platform member 16 and rod 14 as is best shown by FIGURE 3.
The sensation created is unknown in present playground equipment. It may be likened to a swing upside down, a merry-go-round in part and the whip of the amusement park. In any respect, it is different and inspring to youngsters. Furthermore, it is wholesome, safe and helps develop coordinated minds and bodies in the reflex action and planning necessary to make the device perform as has been described.
The fun which one person can have with the playground device is doubled when used by two people and they may cooperate together, in a team effort, to make the platform sway back and borth on the vertical rod or to rotate on the rod in the course of its oscillation. They may also compete with each other to prevent the platform member 16 from being placed in orbit or, in other words, operated in the manner which has been described.
FIGURE 4 shows a few simple variations in a like piece of playground equipment 110. The platform member 116 is more of a closed gondola and is supported by hearing means 150 within the closed end of the center sleeve 148 and the end of the vertical rod 114.
The playground device 110 is shown having the vertical rod 114 thereof supported within a sleeve 112 in concrete mass 158 covered with sand, sawdust or other media 160.
It will be appreciated that the playground device 110 is used in the same manner as the playground device 10 previously described.
Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been shown and described in detail, and one modification thereof, it will be appreciated that other modifications and improvements are within the scope of the teachings set forth. Such of these improvements and modifications as are within the spirit of this invention and are not specifically excluded by the language of the hereinafte'r appended claims are to be considered as inclusive thereunder.
1. A playground device, comprising:
a vertically disposed member having means of fixed support provided at the lower end thereof,
a turntable including means for leaning support for persons standing thereon,
means rotatably mounting said turntable on the upper end of said member,
and said member having a length-to-radius ratio permissive of oscillating movement under the control and influence of persons supported on said turntable and in the course of shifting their weight.
2. The playground device of claim 1,
said turntable being rotatable in the course of oscillating movement of said vertically disposed member and in the relocation of the weight of persons supported on said turntable in the course of rotation for inducing nutational movement of the assemblage.
3. The playground device of claim 1, including:
a stand having radially disposed arms and means provided thereon for fixed ground engagement,
and vertically disposed means provided on said stand for receiving and supporting said vertically disposed member and said turntable thereover. I
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,236,962 8/1917 Maxham 272--33 2,815,952 10/1957 Glasberg et .al 27278 2,831,686 4/1958 Ivor 272-33 2,949,298 8/1960 Speelman 272- X 3,167,312 1/1965 Blanchard 27257 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
F. B. LEONARD, A. W. KRAMER,
. Assistant Examiners.