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Publication numberUS332211 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 8, 1885
Filing dateSep 18, 1885
Publication numberUS 332211 A, US 332211A, US-A-332211, US332211 A, US332211A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Peyse pbotheeoe
US 332211 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.)


PUZZLE. No. 332,211. Patented Deo. 8, 1885.




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 332.211,(1ated December 8, 1885.

Application filed September 18, 1885. Serial No. 177,477. (No model.)

T0 all whom t may concern:

Be it known that I, PRYsE PROTHEROE, a subject of the Queen of England, residing at Surbiton, in the county of Surrey, England, have invented new and useful Improvements in Puzzles, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to improvements in puzzles in which the definite arrangement of movable parts or blocks, each having a character-such as a letter or numeral-for identification, is indiscriminately broken up or disturbed, so that the relative positions of the parts to their proper and original positions are unknown to the operator, the task being then for the person to arrange the characterized parts or blocks into their original positions, while the construction and arrangement of the operating parts of the puzzle conne the possible movements to certain definite limits.

My invention consists, essentially, in a device embodying in its construction a base having a groove or track, in which is confined atrain consisting of a certain number of blocks, each being properly marked with a distinguishing letter or gure, and these blocks can slide along the length of the track or groove, but cannot be lifted up or removed therefrom in anyway except by means to be hereinafter described. The blocks are also held together to form a continuous ltrain by followers engaging the groove or track and situated at each end of the train, said followers being held togetherby a rod secured to the same end, extending over or to one side of the blocks composing the train, whereby the blocks are held closely side by side and caused to slide when actuated as one continuous train. To mix up or transfer the blocks forming the train, I employ a circular disk capable of rotation, which disk I shall hereinafter term the turn-table.77 This turn-table is provided with a groove or track, which extends diametrically across the same, and which is adapted to receive, when in the proper position, a definite number of the blocks and retain the same in its rotation, while at the same time it blocks up the path of the train while switching the blocks, but does not interfere with the motion of the train when the grooves or tracks coincide, so that the train can be made to cause the delivery of the blocks from and upon the turn-table. It is evident that by means of this turn-table, with the co-operation of the train, any definite number of the blocks can be transferred to any part of the train at will, the problem being to return the blocks to their original positions by the aid of the said turn-table after the said blocks have been indiscriminately mixed by the previous use of the turntable.

The specific construction and arrangement of the above-mentioned parts are. more fully pointed out in the following specilication and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure l represents a plan view of-my puzzle, showing t-he turn-table partially rotated. Fig. 2 is a transverse cross-section of the same in the plane yy, Fig. l. Fig. 3 represents a plan view of a modification of the puzzle, in which a second groove or track, which crosses the rst track, is added to the example shown in Fig. l. Fig. 4 is a transverse section thereof in the plane y' y', Fig. 3. Fig. 5 is a plan view of a modification, which is constructed'with a circular groove or train, and is provided with several turntables for switching the blocks.

Similarletters indicate corresponding parts.

In the drawings, referring at present more especially to Figs. 1 and 2, the letter A designates the base ofthe puzzle, constructed preferably of Wood and with a flat face; but it can also be made of cardboard, glass, or other suitable material, or in any other form. In this base A is formed a groove or track, B, extending rectilinearly across the said plate to the proper length, and into this groove or track are fitted blocks C, which are adapted to slide in the said groove or track in one continuous train, and for this purpose the said blocks are held together, as shown in this example, by followers D D', which latter bear against the ends of the train, and are rigidly connected with each other by a rod, E.

F is the turn-table, situated in the center of the groove or track, and it consists of a circular disk, f, having therein a groove or trackJ B', which extends diametrically across th. same, and when this turn-table is in the proper tracks in a continuous train.

position the grooves B B coincide, and the blocks A can be moved along the grooves or To effect the rotation of the disk f, a button or knob, f', Figs. 2, 4, and 6, is attached to the bottom of the disk, the said knob being then on the under side of the base A. The knob is turned as convenient by the operator; but other means for effecting the rotation ofthe disk which would suggest themselves can be employed.

In order that the blocks B may not be lifted out or removed from the groove except by the turn-table F, the groove is made of a wedgeshapcd cross-section or some other of the numerous cross-sections which will effect this purpose, and the blocks B are shaped to conform to the groove. In the example shown in Fig. 1 I have employed thirteen blocks, each being characterized by two ofthe letters found in the words Humpty Dumptie, one set of letters being upright while the other set is reversed. However, it is only necessary to use one character on cach block, two being used so that one series of letters will always be upright, and also to render t-he problem more complex and interesting.

As shown in Fig. 1, the blocks A have been arranged so that the upper series correctly represents the words previously referred to, the turn-table having been rotated through a short distance in the direction indicated by arrow 1 marked thereon, and carries with it several of the blocks, and, as here shown, it is made of such a diameter that live blocks neatlyv fit therein and allowit to be rotated. If the rotation ofthe turn-table is now continued until the groove therein coincides in direction with the groove B in the base,the block having thereon theletters P M willbe carried next tothe block having thereon letters T IVF,77 block E, next to block i?, Src., whereby the relative positions of the blocks are changed. Now,

' while the two grooves coincide the train can be moved, say, toward the right, so as to bring from one to five new blocks upon the turntable, whereby one or all of the blocks previously upon the turn-table are delivered to the groove in the base on the opposite side of the turn-table, where they remain during the next following rotation of the turn-table. By thus indiscriminately operating the device the blocks can be thoroughly mixed, after which the problem consists in replacing the blocks in the proper positions to spell the words Humpty Dumptie77 by only operating the train and turn-table..

The extreme difficulty of said problem will be readily perceived when the number of possible combinations of these letters are observed.

Instead of thirteen blocks, more or less can be used, the difficulty of solving the problem naturally increasing with. the increase in the number of blocks.

In the modification shown in Figs. 3 and 4, a secondary groove or track, B2, is used, which crosses the groove or track B preferably at right angles, and a differently-shaped crosssection of groove or track is employed. rIhe turn-table F is situated at the juncture of the two tracks B B2 in a position to be capable of 7o Y is provided with only one track, vso that one.v

of the tracks in the plate is always blocked when the track in the turn-table coincides in direction with the remaining track.

In the modification shown in Figs. 5 and 6 the track or groove B is made circular or endless, and three turn-tables, F, are employed, the blocks being in this case circular, and other slight detail changes necessary to the change of track are introduced. It is evident that two trains of blocks can be arranged alongside of each other, with or without divisions between the said rows of trains. The ends of the grooves or tracks Ymay be made so as to be permanently open or closed. If left open, the blocks can be arranged by sliding the same out of the groove or track.

In the examples shown in the drawings the tracks were all sunk below the surface of the base and table; but the tracks may be on an elevation above the plane of the base and turn-table, and other unimportant modications of detail parts as would suggest themselves can be substituted without departing from the spirit of my invention.

It will be observed from Figs. 2, 4, and 6 that the disk f is sunk into the base, whereby the ends of the groove in the turn-table is closed up, which prevents the block in the same from leaving the track thereon until the two tracks B B coincide in direction. However, other means for such a guard may be employed.

What I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-

l. rIhe combination, in a puzzle, of a basepiece, a train of characterized blocks held upon and capable of moving in a definite path on said base, and a rotating device intersect- IIO ing the said train and provided with means to p receive at one side two or more of the blocks comprisinglthe aforesaid train and to deliver at the other side one or more of said blocks, substantially as described.

2. The combination, in a puzzle, of a base provided with a track, a train of characterized blocks tted to and movable along said track, and a turn-table having a track and intersecting the track of the base, substantially as described. I

3. The combination, with the base A and the track:thereof, of the blocks on the track, the followers and rods for holding the blocks together in line, and the turn-table, located in the length of the track, for receiving two or more of the blocks from one side of the track to reverse the same and deliver the same from its opposite side, substantially as shown and described.

4. The combination of abase having a track, a train of characterized blocks movable along said track, a rotating disk having a diametrical track and intersecting the track of the base, and followers for moving the train of blocks, substantially as described.

5. The base A, provided with two or more intersecting tracks, blocks arranged in trains in the tracks, a turn-table situated at the intersection of the tracks and provided with a diametrical track, and means for holding the

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4412681 *Feb 22, 1982Nov 1, 1983Irwin Thomas JTwo dimensional logical toy
US4418914 *Jan 11, 1982Dec 6, 1983Peter BauerToy puzzle arrangement
US4451040 *Jun 22, 1982May 29, 1984Ashley Jonathan JTabular puzzle
US4471959 *Sep 1, 1981Sep 18, 1984Erno RubikLogical toy
US4553754 *Feb 16, 1982Nov 19, 1985Wiggs C CBead puzzle
US4871173 *Sep 2, 1988Oct 3, 1989Binary Arts CorporationPuzzle or game having token filled track and turntable
US5785318 *Jun 18, 1997Jul 28, 1998Nesis; DovAmusement device of shifting block type
US7168703 *Jun 14, 2005Jan 30, 2007Ferdinand LammertinkPuzzle game incorporating a rotational element and methods of playing thereof
US7604234Feb 15, 2007Oct 20, 2009Thomas CutrofelloGear puzzle
US20060279041 *Jun 14, 2005Dec 14, 2006Ferdinand LammertinkPuzzle game incorporating a rotational element and methods of playing thereof
USD791244 *May 28, 2015Jul 4, 2017Fikst, LlcGift card gear puzzle
WO1990002591A1 *Aug 31, 1989Mar 22, 1990Binary Arts CorporationToken filled track and turntable
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/0826