US 3282253 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1966 J. w. RYAN ETIAL PLAY INSTRUMENT FOR GAMES 0F INTRIGUE INVENTORS L 4 /?)"/7/V Filed Feb. 18, 1965 United States Patent 3,282,253 PLAY INSTRUMENT FOR GAMES 0F INTRIGUE John W. Ryan, Bel Aire, and Conrad B. Sloop, Long Beach, Calif., assignors to Mattel, Inc., a corporation of California Filed Feb. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 433,695 1 Claim. (Cl. 120-l) The invention relates to a writing pen adapted for use as a childs play item and has particular, utility with reference to childrens games of the cloak-and-dagger variety.
With this in mind, attention is directed to our copending application entitled Code Game, filed in the United States Patent Office under Serial No. 433,694 on even date herewith, the disclosure of said application being herein incorporated by reference. Briefly, the disclosure of said copending application involves a mode of writing code messages using certain inks or other marking media and means are disclosed wherein the coded messages may be readily decoded by the use of appropriate optical filters. The herein disclosed writing instrument is particularly designed for use in association with the play system described in the copending application.
Therefore, it is a primary object of the invention to provide an ink writing instrument, namely, a pen particularly adapted for use in the play activity of children when employed in a play system, such as disclosed in said copending application.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an operable pen of the type described, which, though appearing as a writing instrument is also in fact an operable water gun or simulated weapon, though disguised as an apparently innocuous device.
Specifically, the invention comprehends a pen having an elongated hollow pen barrel including a rear or upper portion which is telescopically received within a simulated and hollow pen top. In the area of telescopic reception, the pen top is provided with an inner, annular abutment, the latter being engageable with an annular ridge formed on the pen barrel. Thus, the pen top is slideably moveable relative to the pen barrel but not demountable therefrom. A barrel cap is secured to and closes the upper or rear end of the barrel. A grommet seal of rubber of similar material is fiexdly secured to the barrel cap externally thereof and is positioned within the cavity formed in the pen top. The seal is in continuous peripheral engagement with the internal surface of said cavity. The pen top is closed by a top cap which is fixedly secured thereto and has centrally formed therein a small opening or pin-hole which establishes communication between the internal cavity and the atmos-' phere. It will be apparent that the size of the cavity formed within the pen top may be varied by relative movement of the pen top. Thus, the pen top may be moved to reduce the cavity to minimal size and the top cap placed in water. Upon extension of the cap to maximum size, the cavity will fill with water.
These and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent in the course of the following description and from an examination of the related drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the assembled writing instrument,
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the center divider used in the invention,
FIGURE 3 is an end elevational view of the pushbutton cartridge extender employed in the invention,
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the structure shown in FIGURE 3,
Patented Nov. 1, 1966 ice FIGURE 5 is a detailed view of the grommet seal utilized in the invention, and
FIGURE 6 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIGURE 1.
Describing the invention in detail and directing attention to FIGURE 1, it will be seen that the pen comprises a barrel 30 having a top 66 positioned thereon. Integrally formed with the top 66 is a cantilever depending clip 31 which is conventionally used to position the pen in a users pocket.
Referring to FIGURES 3 and 4, it will be seen that detailed views of the pushbutton cartridge extender are here shown. The extender 46 comprises a main body portion 47 having a pushbutton 48 projecting upwardly therefrom. The upper surface of button 48 may be provided with integrally formed serrations, as shown in FIGURE 4, to aid in the manual movement hereinafter described. The main body portion 47 of the extender 46 is arcuately formed, as shown in FIGURE 3, to the complemental curvature of the inner surface of cavity 36 of pen barrel 30. A ledge 49 is integrally formed on the extender 46 rearwardly of the button 48. Integrally formed and extending further rearwardly from the ledge 49 is a downwardly biased flexible finger or cantilever spring element or segment 51. While the pushbutton cartridge extender may be formed of any material that will provide the hereinafter described function, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, it is suggested that nylon or acetal resins be employed. Such materials are non corrosive and adapted therefore to this use. They offer the inherent strength necessary. for this application, consequently will not fracture easily and provide long service life. Further, the segment 51 is required, as hereinafter will be described, to offer a biasing spring pressure and it has been found that the suggested materials admirably fulfill this requirement.
A central divider is employed in the invention and is shown in detail in FIGURE 2. Referring to said figu e, the divider is indicated generally at 42 and comprises a central vertical wall 39 joining upper and lower transverse edges 41, 41. The center vertical wall 39 is enlarged adjacent the rear terminus thereof, as at 37, the purpose of which will hereinafter be described. Again it is noted that the divider may be formed from a variety of materials, but reasons of economy, strength, and long service life in the intended application, suggest that it is preferable the divider be molded of high-impact polystyrene.
Directing attention to FIGURE 6, a longitudinal, central vertical sectional view of the assembled pen, it will be seen that the pen barrel 30 is provided with opposed elongated slots 32 and 34. Internally, the pen barrel defines a cavity 36 having a tip opening 38 at one end and a cylindrical opening 40 at the other end. The divider 42, is centrally and longitudinally positioned within the cavity 36 intermediate the openings 32 and 34, and in that area, divides the cavity 36 into opposed compartments 44, 44. Specifically, the bosses 35, 35 of divider 42 are received within slots 33 formed internally of the barrel and properly locate the divider therein.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a red pushbutton cartridge extender 46 is disposed in one compartment 44 with the button 48 thereof, projecting through related elongated opening 32. A white pushbutton cartridge extender 50 is disposed in the ot er compartment 44 .and is provided with a pushbutton 52 extending through opening 34.
Ink cartridges 54 and 56, of the ball point variety, are disposed within the cavity 36 and have their inner ends positioned, respectively, in the compartments 44. A spring retainer 57 is disposed in cavity 36 forwardly of the dio vider 42 and is apertured to receive the bodies of the respcctive cartridges 54 and 56. The cartridge extenders 46 and 50 are respectively provided with abutments 58 and 60 which engage the inner ends of the cartridges 54 and 56 which, in turn, are biased into engagement with the abutments 58 and 60, respectively, by associated coiled springs 62 and 64. The springs telescopically receive the bodies of the cartridges 54 and 56 within the respective compartments 44 and each have one end bearing against the spring retainer 57 and another end bearing against a cripped portion 65 provided on an associated cartridge 54, 56. Each extender 46 and 50 includes a ledge 49 adjacent integrally formed cantilever, flexible spring element 51. Upon manual forward movement of an extender, the element 51 engages divider 42 and biases ledge 49 outwardly into interfering lock with the edge of slot 32 or 34 as is shown with reference to extender 50. The related ink cartridge is biased to extend through tip opening 38 and the related coil spring cooperates to maintain both the lock and cartridge extension. Internal depression of either p-ushbutton 46 or 52 disengages ledge 49 and the related coiled spring induces cartridge return as shown at 46.
A hollow cylindrical pen top 66, telescopic-ally receives one end of the pen barrel 30 and is provided, in the area of telescopic reception, with an annular internal shoulder 68. A pen barrel cap 70 is fixedly disposed within the cavity opening 40 to close same. An annular outwardly extending ledge 72 is abu-table with internal shoulder 68 and prevents disassembly of the top from the pen barrel 30. A flexible grommet seal 74, of the flexible flap type, is securely connected, as at 76, to the barrel cap 70 and is in continuous pezipheral engagement with the inner surface 78 of the pen top 66. A pen top cap 80 is securely positioned on, and covers, the external terminus of pen top 66. The pen top cap 80 is provided with a central, relatively small opening or pin hole 82 therein, which establishes communication between the internal cavity 79 and the atmosphere.
Noting that the pen top 66 is slideably moveable on the pen barrel 30, it will be apparent that the relative size of the cavity 79 may be varied as a result of such movement. Thus, the cavity 79 may be conventionally filled with water by the child, and, by appropriate manipulation of the pen top 66, the arrangement can be utilized as a water gun.
The ultimate purpose of the structure hereunder consideration is that the childs interest be attracted and retained. Keeping in mind the climate of the childs play activity, namely, intrigue, espionage and cloak-and-dagger activity, it will be apparent that the ability to write messages selectively, with different inks and create coded messages is clearly attractive to the child. However, when the device by which he accomplishes this activity of intrigue is also formed and arranged to provide a disguised weapon, the childs interest is greatly increased. There the childs interest is maintained over an extended period of time and the play value of the toy is materially enhanced. Even in the absence of coding play, children have a notorious fondness for water pistols and for surprising their playmates, both of which desires may be satisfied simultaneously by an operative, innocent-appearing pen which may be used for ordinary writing and yet is operative as a water pistol.
The invention as shown is by way of illustration and not limitation and may be subject to modifications all within the scope of the appended claim.
What is claimed is:
A writing pen adapted for use in cloak-and-dagger games of children, said pen comprising:
(a) 'a hollow, longitudinally elongated barrel, said barrel having an encompassing sidewall, an open end and a closed end, a tip opening provided in said closed end concentric with the longitudinal axis of said barrel, said sidewall being provided with slots centrally thereof and on opposite sides thereof;
(b) a divider positioned within said barrel and intermediate said slots, said divider defining with said barrel a pair of opposed compartments in the area of said slots;
(c) a first ink cartridge having a first type of ink therein disposed within said barrel and having a segment thereof received within one of said compartments;
(d) a second ink cartridge disposed within said barrel and having a segment thereof received within the other compartment;
(e) means carried within the respective compartments and operatively engaging the respective cartridges to effectuate selective manual extension of the respective cartridges through said tip opening, said extension means including a push-button extending through a related slot for manual actuating thereof, said extension means comprising:
(I) a spring retainer disposed within said barrel between said divider and said tip opening, said spring retainer embracingly receiving said cartridges;
(II) coiled spring means disposed in each compartment and surrounding a related cartridge;
(III) abutment means carried by each extension means and engaging the terminus of a related cartridge, each of said coiled spring means being interposed between said spring retainer and an associated abutment means;
(IV) a ledge formed on each extension means and spaced from an associated abutment means; and
(V) a cantilever spring integrally formed with each extension means and directed annularly inwardly of said barrel, each of said cantilever springs being operative to pressure engage said divider upon manual movement of an associated extension means toward said tip opening, whereby an associated ledge is biasingly urged outwardly and into locking engagement with the edge of a related slot;
(f) a cylindrical top telescopically receiving said open end of said barrel, said top including a closed bottom Wall and an encompassing sidewall, said sidewall having an inner surface which is reciprocatingly movable relative to said barrel and which defines with said bottom wall a cavity, the volume of said cavity being selectively variable in response to said reciprocating movement;
(g) said open end of said barrel being closed by seal means preventing the entry of deleterious matter into said compartments, said seal means including a ortion disposed within said cavity and operatively interposed between said barrel and said inner surface of said top in continuous peripheral engagement with said inner surface for eifecu'ating a liquid seal therebetween; and
(h) pin-hole means establishing communication between said cavity and the atmosphere whereby said top and said seal means effectively coact both as a water gun and a closure member for said opposite end of said barrel.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,877,931 3/ 1959 Goldfarb 22279 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,007,806 2/ 1952 France.
805,608 5/195-1 Germany. 462,221 3/1951 Italy.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner.