US 3315405 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 25, 1967 A. L. HOFFER 3,315,405
DRINKING STRAW ATTACHMENT Filed Sept. 23, 1964 I N VEN TOR.
,4 Tree/V675 United States Patent Arthur This invention relates in general to an attachment that is adapted to be placed on the end of a drinking straw and more particularly to such an attachment as will rotate as a consequence of the movement of liquid through the drinking straw.
Drinking straws have been modified in structure to incorporate various attachments which will attract the interest of a child. However, the devices thus far proposed require a change in the design of the straw and thus are not adaptable to drinking straws that are presently manufactured.
Accordingly, it is a major purpose of this invention to devise an attachment to a drinking straw which will serve as an amusement and attract the attention of a child using the drinking straw but which will not require any modification in the structure of the drinking straw.
It is a related purpose of this invention to devise such an attachment that may be used repeatedly with drinking straws so that the amusement element will be available to the person who uses paper and other disposable drinking straws.
It is a more specific purpose of this invention to devise an attachment for drinking straws that will include a rotating element which rotates in response to the movement of liquid through the straw when the user drinks liquid through the straw.
Other purposes and objects of this invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description and drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of this invention attached to a drinking straw;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-section through the FIG. 1 device along the plane 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an end view of the revolving hub taken along the plane 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the housing taken along the plane 4-4 of FIG. 2.
As may be seen from the figures, the attachment of this invention has a collar 11 which slips .by friction fit over a standard straw 12. The collar 11 is preferably flared very slightly towards its outer end 11a so that manufacturing variations in the straw 12 diameter can be accommodated and an adequate friction fit attained. The attachment 10 is held on the straw 12 by a friction fit between the end of the straw 12 and the collar 11.
The attachment 10 has two main units, one being the stationary housing 14 and the other being the rotating housing (or hub) 16. In the embodiment illustrated, the housing 14 and hub 16 may be designed to simulate the shape of the major segment of an outboard motor, with dummy blades 18 rigidly attached to the hub 16.
The hub 16 has three impeller blades 19 rigidly mounted inside the hub 16, these impeller blades 19 being curved in such a fashion that when fluid flows into the hub 16 toward the straw 12 (as indicated in FIG. 2), the impeller blades 19 will be caused to rotate about the shaft 20. In this fashion, when the user of this straw attachment 10 drinks liquid through an attached straw 12, the liquid being drunk causes the entire hub 16 to rotate about its main axis and thus simulate the rotation of the blades of an outboard motor. Because the blades 18 do no work, it is preferable that they be angled in such a fashion as to create minimum drag on the rotating hub 16. The blades 18 are dummy blades which are attached 3,315,495 Patented Apr. 25, 1967 to the hub solely for their amusement value. It is the impeller blades 19 within the hub 16 which do the work of rotating the hub 16.
The inner end of the shaft 20 has a small pop bead 22 which can be manually inserted into the pop bead socket 24 in the stationary housing 14. Spokes 26 hold and center the pop bead socket 24 within the housing 14 so that the rotatable hub 16 may be held in position by the housing 14 and yet be free to rotate. The speed of rotation of the hub 16 is sufficiently small so that there will be no binding of the pop bead 22 inside of the pop bead socket 24 during rotation. Thus this inexpensive and simple journal (pop bead 22 and socket 24) may be employed.
The space between the rotatable hub 16 and fixed housing 14 should be kept as small as possible so that the bulk of the fluid which enters into the housing 14 will come through the hub 16 and thus hit the impeller blades 19. However, the fit does not have to be particularly tight since some fluid leakage can readily be tolerated and indeed is even desirable as a means of maintaining lubrication between the rotating hub 16 and the housing 14.
Although one embodiment of this invention has been described in detail, it should be clear that various modifications in the embodiment would be obvious to one skilled in this art. The object of this invention is the employment of an impeller 19 inside of a hub 16 so as to cause the hub 16 and whatever else may be attached to the hub 16 (such as the dummy blades 18) to rotate. Although a simulated outboard motor is one shape which the attachment 10 may take, other shapes would be equally possible and just a matter of choice. For example, the nose of an airplane or an abstract windmill could also be simulated.
Accordingly, the invention and claims are not limited by the particular embodiment disclosed. The following claims are to be given a construction commensurate with the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A drinking straw attachment comprising:
a first housing having a first end and a second end,
a second housing rotatably mounted about an axis at said second end of said first housing and having an interior in communication with said interior of said first housing,
impeller means fixedly mounted within said second housing to cause said second housing to rotate when fluid passes through said second housing into said first housing,
and receiving means at said first end longitudinally aligned with said axis for detachably receiving a drinking straw, said receiving means being in comrnunication with the interior of said housing.
2. The attachment of claim 1 further characterized by dummy blades attached to the outside of said second housing to rotate when said second housing rotates.
References Cited by the Examiner RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner.