US 3279794 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1966 L. M. JENKINS TEETER BRIDGE TOY Filed Jan. 24, 1964 p-A M m United States Patent 3,279,794 TEETER BRIDGE TOY Lois M. Jenkins, Fremont, Nebr., now by change of name Lois Jenkins Sherman, assignor to Lojen Apparatus Incorporated, Bemidji, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Jan. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 339,989 Claims. (Cl. 272-56) The present invention generally relates to a toy structure of the type which can be used for various purposes such as a teeter toy or seesaw or as a bridge or the like so that children may play on and around as well as with the toy which is portable and also quite colorful.
An object of the present invention is to provide a multiple use toy which includes a straight surface and an arcuate surface whereby the arcuate surface will form a rocking toy in the form of a teeter toy or seesaw when it engages a supporting surface and the flat surface enables the toy to be used as a small hill or bridge and is provided with road markings thereon thereby providing children with a surface upon which they may walk or run and also drive small cars, tractors or other vehicles. This enables children to learn safety rules of the road for vehicles at a very early stage. For example, with road markings thereon, including centerline markings, children may learn to keep to the right side of the road and proper centerlines may be provided such as yellow lines which indicate no passing zones or the like thereby not only providing a highly amusing and entertaining toy but one which is educational as well.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a multiple use toy having an aperture therethrough so that when the device is used as a small hill or bridge, the aperture serves as an opening under the bridge thereby allowing children to drive small cars or other vehicles or animals therethrough and also provides a storage space for such vehicles, toys or the like thereby enabling a child to drive his vehicle under the bridge and stay there in a concealed or partially concealed position or various toys, vehicles or the like may be stored inside the aperture or under the road.
When the arcuate surface is disposed on the supporting surface, a very safe teeter toy or seesaw is provided for little children since the supporting surface will always be engaging the arcuate surf-ace, the danger of one child suddenly letting another child drop as sometimes occurs in a conventional seesaw is substantially eliminated. Handhold o-r grip apertures are provided on the sides which enable the children to grip the device when using it as a teeter toy.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a toy or apparatus in accordance with the preceding objects which is portable and capable of being carried by children thus enabling them to use it in many combinations and with various other pieces of equipment to 'build imaginary highways, bridges and the like limited only by the limits of their imagination. The present invention is quite useful in teaching safety rules as well as being enjoyable and capable of building physical fitness and generally providing entertainment, relaxation and enabling a child to express creativity by using the toy in many different orientations and uses.
Still a further important object of the present invention is to provide a safety type toy which may be used either as a teeter toy or simulated roadway or bridge which is quite simple in construction, easy to use, relatively inexpensive to manufacture and capable of many and varying uses.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like Patented Oct. 18, 1966 numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of the construction of the present invention illustrating the manner in which it is used as a simulated roadway or bridge;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 illustrating the structural details of the invention; and
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which the toy is used as a teeter toy or seesaw type of device.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the multiple use toy of the present invention which is illustrated in use as a bridge or small hill in FIGURES 1 and 2 and as a teeter toy in FIGURE 3. The structure of the toy 10 itself includes a generally rectangular planar member 12 having a pair of side walls 14 attached thereto along one side edge thereof and in perpendicular relation thereto. The edges of the side walls 14 remote from the planar member 12 are arcuate as at 16 and as illustrated in FIGURE 2, the arcuate edge 16 is smooth throughout its length and the ends thereof merge with and join with the ends of the planar member 12.
Interconnecting the side walls 14 adjacent the arcuate edges 16 is an arcuate roadway member 18 which parallels the arcuate edges 16 and has the terminal ends thereof joined with and merging into the top surface of the planar member 12 as illustrated in FIGURE 2 so that the approach to the roadway 18 will be gradual and relatively smooth. Approximately three inches of the roadway at each end thereof is flush with the floor surface and the slope starts generally from this point. The roadway defined by the arcuate member 18 may be colored black with a central white line 20 thereon and solid yellow lines 22 and 24 are also painted thereon indicating that as you approach the crest of the hill defined by the roadway, there is a no passing zone in that vehicles should not cross over a solid yellow line when on their side of the road thus enabling children to become associated with safety regulations and safe operation of a vehicle.
In the center of the toy tunnel the side walls 14 have provided therein an enlarged aperture 26 of rectangular configuration with the aperture being of any suitable size capable of enabling small toy vehicles to be pushed therethrough or driven therethrough thereby simulating a bridge. The hollow interior of the device also enables the opening 26 to receive various toys for storage purposes. For example, the device could be employed as a parking garage for toy vehicles or the like thereby enabling children to simulate entering and leaving a parking garage or the like.
For use when the toy is employed as a teeter toy, there is provided a plurality of slot-like handgrips or openings 28 adjacent the planar member 12 and adjacent each end of the side walls 14 thus enabling children to sit or lay on the planar member 12 and retain themselves in position thereon by gripping the handholds 28 in an obvious manner. Also, the openings 28 serve as means for observing the interior of the enclosure formed by the toy and also enables anyone that may be within the confines of the toy to observe exteriorly thereof.
The toy may be constructed of any suitable material capable of withstanding rather rough usage and it may be constructed of plywood, pressed fiberboard or the like with the components thereof secured together in any suitable manner. Also, the toy may be constructed of plastic materials secured together by bonding procedures conventional in plastic toys.
When the toy is used as a teeter, the children may place their feet on the floor or on the ground in substantially the same manner as they do in using conventional teeter toys thus enabling them to use their legs for imparting motion to the teeter toy in a conventional manner. However, in some instances, the children may place their feet in the opening 26 and let the device rock freely for a while. The device enables a child to use it in many different ways. For example, when using it as a teeter toy, the child may lay across the device instead of sitting on the end as in a conventional teeter toy. In lieu of the handgrips, projecting handles formed by dowels may be attached to the side walls since these may be more practical in certain instances. However, the particular shape, configuration and orientation of the handgrips may be varied depending upon the overall size of the device and the materials from which it is to be constructed.
Children may walk across or along the roadway when employed in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 thereby enabling the children to learn balance and agility. This would be especially beneficial to handicapped children so that such childrenmay practice their skills on this type of apparatus. By using the device as a roadway and bridge, the children may run their cars or other vehicles under the bridge and store them in the ends which are enclosed and the device may be considered part of a clover-leaf interchange or used in many other imaginative ways. All of the sides and edges are rounded and smooth so that children may put their hands anywhere on the teeter bridge and not get splinters or engage a rough surface. The toy is quite strong and sturdy so that there is no danger of collapsing and it may hold the weight of an adult even though it is constructed for small children.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A multiple use my comprising a planar member of generally rectangular elongated configuration, a pair of side walls attached to one surface of said planar member, the edge of each side wall remote from the planar member being arcuate and smoothly curved from endto-end thereof with the ends of the arcuate edge merging with and joining with the ends of the planar member, and an arcuate member interconnecting the side walls and having the ends thereof merging and joining with said planar member thereby forming a roadway for passage of small vehicles, pedestrians or the like when the planar member is used as a base, said toy being usable as a teeter toy when inverted with the planar member uppermost for forming a seat for receiving children, said arcuate member interconnecting the side walls including a centrally disposed dividing line on the arcuate member for dividing the surface of the arcuate member into two lanes to simulate a roadway, and solid yellow lines on the surface of the arcuate member on the side of the dividing line nearest a vehicle approaching the crest of a hill while ascending the hill thereby simulating actual roadway markings so that children may become familiar with such markings and the significance thereof, each of said side walls being provided with an enlarged opening therein, said openings being aligned and extending to said planar member thereby defining an opening through the toy simulating the passage under a bridge when the arcuate member is employed as a roadway for enabling small cars to be driven therethrough or stored thereunder, said opening also defining access to the interior of the toy for enabling storage of vehicles or other toys therein.
2. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said side walls is provided with handgrip means adjacent 4 each end of the planar member so that children positioned on the planar member when using the device as a teeter toy may retain themselves in position by grasping the handgrip means.
3. A multiple use toy comprising a planar member of generally rectangular elongated configuration, a pair of side walls attached to one surface of said planar member, the edge of each side wall remote from the planar member being arcuate and smoothly curved from end-to-end thereof with the ends of the arcuate edge merging with and joining with the ends of the planar member, and an arcuate member interconnecting the side walls and having the ends thereof merging and joining with said planar member thereby forming a roadway for passage of small vehicles, pedestrians or the like when the planar member is used as a base, said toy being usable as a teeter toy when inverted with the planar member uppermost for forming a seat for receiving children, said arcuate member being disposed inwardly in generally constant spaced relation to the arcuate edge of the side walls whereby the end edges of the arcuate member are spaced inwardly from the end edges of the planar member for smoothly merging therewith thereby providing a gradual approach surface for a vehicle approaching the roadway.
4. A convertible teeter toy and simulated bridge toy comprising a pair of side wall members having a straight edge and an arcuate edge, a planar base member interconnecting the straight edges of the side walls, and an arcuate roadway member interconnecting the side walls at the arcuate edge thereof whereby the toy may be used as a simulated bridge when the base member is disposed on a supporting surface and used as a teeter toy when the toy is inverted and the base member is disposed uppermost for receiving a child or children, each of said side walls having an enlarged opening thereinfor enabling access into the interior of the toy for storage purposes and also enabling the feet to be placed therein when using the device as a teeter toy and enabling vehicles to be driven therethrough to simulate an overpass or bridge when the arcuate member is used as a roadway with the base member disposed on a supporting surface.
5. A multiple use amusement and exercising device comprising an elongated planar member having parallel side edges and parallel end edges, a pair of parallel side wall forming members, each side wall forming member having a straight edge attached to a side edge of said planar member and being coextensive therewith, each side wall forming member also having an arcuate free edge, an arcuate member interconnecting the side wall forming members adjacent the arcuate edges thereof with the ends of the arcuate member spaced inwardly from the outer ends of the planar member, said arcuate member having a dividing line thereon for indicating driving lanes of a roadway, said side wall forming members having openings defined therein to enable passage of toy vehicles and the like therethrough, said side wall forming members also having handholds adjacent each end thereof and adjacent the planar member to enable persons occupying the planar member to retain themselves in position when the arcuate edges of the side wall forming members are engaged with a supporting surface.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,244,371 10/1917 Reynolds 27256 1,403,196 1/1922 Rasely 46-24 1,441,940 1/ 1923 Nafe 27256 1,493,882 5/ 1924 King 27256 2,231,089 2/ 1941 Rorer 46--1 3,109,645 11/ 1963 Thorson 27256 X RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
F. B. LEONARD, A. W. KRAMER, Assistant Examiners.