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Publication numberUS3326556 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1967
Filing dateFeb 14, 1964
Priority dateFeb 14, 1964
Publication numberUS 3326556 A, US 3326556A, US-A-3326556, US3326556 A, US3326556A
InventorsAndersen Robert K
Original AssigneeAndersen Robert K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Horseshoe game apparatus and shoereturning and stacking mechanisms therefor
US 3326556 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 20, 1967 K. ANDERSEN 3,326,556





HORSESHOE GAME APPARATUS AND SHOE-RETURNING AND STACKING MECHANISMS THEREFOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 14, 1964 m w Rmw S OE v T E N W 0 T mK m I R E B O R June 20, 1967 v R. K. ANDERSEN 3,326,555

HORSESHOE GAME APPARATUS AND SHOERETUHNING AND STACKING MECHANISMS THEREFOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Feb. 14, 1964 INVENTOR. K. ANDERSEN ROBERT ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,326,556 HORSESHOE GAME APPARATUS AND SHOE- RETURNING AND STACKING MECHANISMS THEREFOR Robert K. Andersen, 413 S. Main St., Nephi, Utah 84648 Filed Feb. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 344,937 18 Claims. (Cl. 273103) This invention relates to apparatus useful in connection with a game of horseshoes constructed in accordance with the disclosure of copending application Ser. No. 270,275, now Patent No. 3,216,726 filed Apr. 3, 1963 by me and George W. Winslow entitled, Scoring Apparatus for Remotely Scored Games.

In that application, there is generically disclosed apparatus particularly applicable to the game of horseshoes in adapting that game for exploitation commercially indoors. As specifically disclosed with respect to the game of horseshoes, there is only one stake, in combination with a shoe-tossing area remote therefrom, with means for projecting a view of the stake area at the remote shoetossing area for score-keeping purposes, and with means for returning the tossed shoes to the shoe-tossing area.

The present invention is concerned with the overall combination of one stake, a shoe-tossing area remote therefrom, means for returning the tossed shoes to the shoe-tossing area, and means for automatically stacking the shoes at the tossing area for easy access by players.

It is also concerned with the particular mechanisms going into such overall combination.

In accordance with the invention the stake is retractable, and a magnetic pick-up bar is arranged to traverse the stake areafollowing stake retractionto move the tossed shoes from their scoring positions onto conveying means for return to the tossing area. The conveying means include an elongate conveyor extending from the stake area to the tossing area, and stationary shoe-orienting members projecting over the carrying surface of the conveyor for engaging and turning mis-aligned shoes so their open ends face opposite the direction of conveyor travel.

Stacking is accomplished automatically when the shoes discharge from the conveyor onto a rack, which comprises an inclined rail engaged by the open ends of the respective shoes as they drop off the end of the conveyor.

There is shown in the accompanying drawings specific embodiments of the invention representing what are presently regarded as the best modes of carrying out the generic concepts in actual practice. From the detailed description of these presently preferred forms of the invention, other more specific objects and features will become apparent.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the game apparatus;

FIG. 2, a vertical section taken on line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3, an enlarged horizontal section taken on line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4, a vertical longitudinal 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5, a similar view taken on line 55 of FIG-3 section taken on line and partially broken away to show a pick-up bar carriage and track;

FIG. 6, a vertical transverse section taken on line 6-6 of FIG; 3 and with the protective cover for the electromagnets removed for clarity;

FIG. 7, an enlarged view of the target stake and stake driving mechanism;

FIG. 8, an enlarged vertical longitudinal section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9, a horizontal section taken on lines 99 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10, a fragmentary vertical section taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11, a schematic diagram of an electrical control circuit for the game apparatus.

Referring now to the drawings:

In the illustrated preferred embodiment the game apparatus has a playing surface, shown generally at 10. The playing surface includes a shoe-tossing area 11, having a mens foul line 12 and a womens foul line 13 at one end, and at the opposite end a scoring area 14, which may have centrally positioned concentric scoring circles such as are shown at 15 and 16. The scoring area is constructed of a layer of foam rubber 17 topped with a layer of butyl rubber 18 (see FIGS. 2, 4 and 6) to provide a surface with the proper resiliency necessary to insure some, but not an extreme amount, of bounce of horseshoes landing thereon. The scoring area is bounded on its sides by arms 19 and 20 and at its back by a backstop 21 to prevent horeshoes bouncing or rolling off the playing surface and beyond the range of a pick-up bar 22, to be more fully described.

Men players stand behind foul line 12, and women players stand behind foul line 13, to toss horseshoes toward a stake 23 protruding up through the resilient coverings of scoring area 14, in the center of concentric circles 15 and 16.

The stake is preferably made of hard nylon or similar material that is tough and does not give off a loud and objectionable noise when struck by a metal horseshoe. It extends slidably through a guide sleeve 24, which is permanently mounted to the flooring 25 on which the layers of foam rubber and butyl rubber are placed such that its upper end is substantially flush with the top surface of the layer of butyl rubber 18. The lower end of the stake is connected by a pivot pin 26 to slots 27 in clevis 28 at one end of a link 29. The other end of link 29 is fixed for rotation with a drive shaft 30 extending outwardly of gear box 31. Drive shaft 30 is driven by reversible motor 32, through belt 33, pulley 34 and input shaft 35, counterclockwise to pull stake 23- through sleeve 24 to the down position shown in phantom line (FIG. 7), or clockwise to move the stake up into the illustrated full line position. As will be further explained, the stake is pulled down before the pick-up bar is moved away from its back position, and, after the pick-up bar has moved to its back position, the stake is moved up to again serve as a target.

Pick-up bar 22 includes a carriage formed of a pair of interconnected guides 36 and 37, with wheels 38 and 39, respectively, mounted thereon for guided movement in recessed rails 40 and 41, respectively, mounted on the inside of arms 19 and 20. A connecting member 42, interconnects guides 36 and 37 and carries one or more rows of electromagnets 43, above and spaced across the playing surface such that they can readily attract and pick up horseshoes positioned on the scoring area of the playing surface.

Chains 44 and 45', respectively positioned within arms 19 and 20, pass around sprockets spaced at the scoring area. Both ends of chain 44 are fixed to guide 36 and chain 45 is similarly connected to guide 37, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The pick-up bar is driven by a reversible motor 46 and a belt acting to rotate drive sprockets 47 and 48, interconnected by a rod 49. Thus, actuation of motor 46 to rotate sprockets 47 and 48 counterclockwise (as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5) moves the pick-up bar away from its position beneath back-stop 21 out over the scoring area. Similarly, rotation of sprockets 45 clockwise (as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5) moves the pick-up bar back to the illustrated position of FIGS. 4 and 5, beneath the back-stop, carrying with it any horseshoes picked up by the electromagnets 43.

operation of conveyor belts Once the pick-up bar has returned to its back position beneath back-stop 21, motor 46 is stopped and the electr-omagnets de-energized, the horseshoes dropping from the magnets onto a conveyor belt 50 extending transverse the longitudinal axis of the playing surface.

At this time motors 51 and 52 are energized to initiate 50, 53 and54. Horseshoes dropped onto conveyor belt 50 are transported to the end' of the belt and fall into chute 55 and onto belt 53. Chute 55 holds the horseshoes at an angle with respect to the belt 53 and frictional engagement of the belt with the outer peripheries of the horseshoes rolls them along and out of the chute where they fall fiat on the conveyor belt.

This coaction of the chute and conveyor belt is very important since it serves as a means to disentangle two or more horseshoes that have become interlocked.

Additional means are provided along the edges of conveyor belt 53 to position the horseshoes for proper feed onto a stacker 56. These additional means include a guide block 57 which extends from one side of conveyor belt 53 to approximately the center line thereof, and is feathered or inclined away from its side adjacent the side of the conveyor outwardly toward its center line edge and from midway its length toward both the front and tail end of the block. This is best seen in FIGS. 3, 9, where the block is shown positioned above conveyor belt 53.'In FIG. 3 a pair of horseshoes are shown being properly positioned on the conveyor. belt by the block. The block is preferably formed of two materials, with an upstream portion 58 made of metal, plastic or other 3 material having a low coefficient of friction and a downstream portion 59 of wood or other similar material having a somewhat greater coefiicient of friction than that of portion 58. Thus, a part of each horseshoe easily rides up upstream portion 58 and onto downstream portion 59, and, since it cannot slide as easily on portion 59, it rotates as the belt continues to move the part of the horseshoe in frictional engagement therewith. Each horse shoe continues to rotate, as shown, until its open end is pointed opposite the direction of movement of the conveyor belt and the horseshoe has moved off the block. Should one horseshoe somehow become positioned on top of another, the top one will contact a pig-tail 60a, FIG. 5, of switch 60, positioned above the conveyor belt such that it will not be contacted by a single horseshoe lying flat on the belt. Momentary closing of switch 60 energizes a pair of electromagnets 61 downstream of switch 60, and the top horseshoe is picked up and held for a period of time before being released. This insures the horseshoes being delivered individually to the stacker. 5

Additional pig-tail switches and electromagnets can be arranged along the length of the conveyor belt, as


In the event the horseshoes are not centered on the belt, or properly positioned, even after passing guide block 57, additional positioning blocks 62 are provided at both sides of the conveyor belt to correct the shoe position. These positioning blocks include a first angular contact surface 63, a notched portion 64, and a second angular contact surface 65 spaced from the first contact surface a distance substantially equal to the spacing between horseshoe ends plus the'width of the shoe. Horseshoes contacting the blocks are pivoted in the manner illustrated by the three horseshoes shown in FIG. 3 and 65 are positioned in the center of the conveyor belt.

Horseshoes carried by conveyor 53 fall onto conveyor belt 54, and this belt carries them up from beneath the playing surface and drops them onto bar 66 of stacker 56. Bar 66 is raised at its end adjacent conveyor belt 54 and slopes downwardly away from the belt such that horseshoes falling onto the bar slide down to a stacked position against stacker end wall 67. Conveyor belt 54 is driven by means of a chain interconnecting sprocket 53a 75 8, and 25 fixed to the tail pulley of conveyor belt 53, and a sprocket 54a fixed to the head pulley of conveyor belt 54.

It has been found that a rough surface on the conveyor belts insures better travel of the horseshoes, and this is especially true of the vertically rising belt 54. Furthermore, if desired, belt 54 can be provided with spaced knobs, not illustrated, extending outwardly from the belt surface to act as hangers for the horseshoes.

The sequence of operation of the apparatus described above is best explained with reference to FIG. 11 which shows an electrical wiring diagram for the game.

As illustrated main switch 70, which may be located at'a cashiers booth, for example, controls the overall operation. When switch 70 is closed, a relay coil R1 is energized. This closes relay switch S1 and completes circuits through lights 71, used for illuminating the game and for advertising purposes, and through the television camera 72 and the television receiver 73, both of which are used for scoring purposes in the manner described in the aforementioned copending patent application Ser. No. 270,275, filed Apr. 3, 1963.

Now, assuming a player has completed his tosses and wants to retrieve the horseshoes, he momentarily pushes start button 74. This completes the circuits through relay coil R2 and contact 74a of start button 74 and through relay coils R3 and R4, contact 74b of start button 74,

and normally closed contact 76a of a limit switch 76,

FIG. 4. Energization of R4 closes switch contact S4 to complete a holding circuit that maintains R3 and R4 0 energized even after start button 74 is released. At the Pushing start button 74 also completes a circuit 5 through relay coils R5 and R6, contact 740 of start button 74, and normally closed contact 77a of a limit switch 77, FIG. 5, positioned to be opened when the pick-up bar is in its extreme forward position. This circuit is maintained even though push button 74 is released, through a switch contact S6, that closed upon energizing of relay coil R6. Switch contacts S5 are closed when R5 is energized, but motor 46 does not operate at this time, since switch contact 76b is open to break the motor energizing circuit. Another switch contact S6 is closed when R6 is energized and is connected in series with the switch contacts S2, which, in turn, are closed when relay coil R2 is energized. This series connection forms one holding circuit to maintain relay coil R2 energized after the push button 74 has been released. Another holding circuit is 0 provided through contact 75a of a limit switch 75, FIG.

. contact 760 is opened, thereby de-energizing R3 and R4 and opening switches S3 and S4. Switch contact 76b is simultaneously closed to complete the circuit through switch contacts S5 and energizing reversible motor'46 to drive the pick-up bar to its forward position, where it engages limit switch 77. This opens contact 77a, de-energizing R5, opening switch contacts S5, and breaking the circuit to motor 46.

The stake is now in its lowermost position, and the pick-up bar has been moved to its forward position. Simultaneously with the opening of switch contact 77a normally open contact 77b is closed to complete a circuit energizing relay coils R7, R8 and RTD through limit switch contact 78a of a limit switch 78, FIG. 5, which is c l osed when the pick-up bar is away from its rearmost position. This closes normally open switch contacts S7 and S8 to provide a holding circuit around contact 77b, energize magnets 43 through rectifier 87, start operation of timer motor 79, and energize solenoid 80. Energization of solenoid 80 moves contact 81 to provide a holding circuit through timer motor 79 and contact 82 to complete a circuit energizingrelay coil R9. Energization of relay coil R9 closes switch contacts S9 to drive conveyor motors 51 and 52, and the conveyors will continue to run until timer motor 79 is timed out, opening switch contacts 83 and 84.

In the meantime, after -a predetermined period of time to prevent damage to motor 46 while it reverses, time delay relay coil RTD has closed switch contact STD to energize relay coil R10. This, in turn, closes switch contacts S10 and drives motor 46 to move the pick-up bar to its back position. Once the pick-up bar reaches its back position and hits limit switch 78, contact 78a is opened, de-energizing R7, R8, RTD and R10, and contact 78b is closed. Motor 46 is stopped and the electromagnets are de-energized, dropping horseshoes they picked up on their return trip onto conveyor belt 50. The conveyor belts continue to run until timer motor 79, which remains actuated through the holding circuit including contact 81, times out, and contacts 83 and 84 are opened. This allows the shoes to be carried back to the stacker 56.

With the pick-up bar in its back position a circuit is completed through relay coils R11 and R12, normally closed contact S6, contact 76b, which closed when stake 23 reached its lowermost position, and contact 78b, which closed when the pick-up bar reached its back position. This closes both switch contacts S11 to drive reversible motor 32 and raise the stake, and switch contact S12 to provide a holding circuit around contact 76b, which contact opens as the stake is raised. When the stake reaches its uppermost position and engages limit switch 75, the contact 75a is opened, the holding circuit for relay coils R11 and R12 is broken, the pick-up bar is in its back position, the stake is up, and the circuit is ready for another operation.

Whereas there is here illustrated and specifically described a certain preferred construction of apparatus which is presently regarded as the best mode of carrying out the invention, it should be understood that various changes may be made and other constructions adopted without departing from the inventive subject matter particularly pointed out and claimed herebelow.

I claim:

1. Horseshoe game apparatus, comprising: a stake; means defining a scoring area containing and surrounding said stake; means remote fiom said scoring area defining a shoe-tossing area; shoe-conveying means extending from said scoring area to said shoe-tossing area; shoe pick-up means operable over said scoring area for moving tossed shoes from their scoring positions onto said conveying means; means for retracting said stake to allow. said pickup and shoes carried thereby to pass freely over said stake; and means for first actuating the stake retracting means and then the shoe pick-up means to prevent engagement of said stake by said pick-up means.

2. The horseshoe game of claim 1, further comprising shoe-orienting means associated with said conveying means.

3. The horseshoe game of claim 2, further including shoe-stacking means at the tossing area terminus of said conveying means.

4. The horseshoe game of claim 1, further comprising means cooperating with said conveyor means to disentangle shoes transported thereby.

5. The horseshoe game of claim 1, further comprising means to prevent stacked horseshoes being transported to the terminus of the conveyor means.

6. A horseshoe game according to claim 1, wherein the scoring area is constructed of resilient material.

7. A horseshoe game according to claim 1, wherein the scoring area is constructed of a layer of butyl rubber overlying a layer of foam rubber.

8. A horseshoe game, comprising a stake; means defining a scoring area containing and surrounding the stake; means remote from said scoring area defining a shoetossing area; shoe pick-up means including a plurality .of electromagnets for picking up the shoes; movable suptrol means, including a switch at the shoe-tossing area for operating said means driving said support means; shoeconveying means extending from said scoring area to said shoe-tossing area for receiving shoes from said shoe pickup means.

9. A horseshoe game according to claim 8, wherein means are provided to lower the stake below the level of the surface of the scoring area, thereby enabling the support means to pass thereover.

10. A horseshoe game according to claim 9, wherein the means provided to lower the stake includes a journaled shaft; a linkage arm having one end fixed to the shaft and a longitudinal slot in the other end; a pivot pin interconnecting the bottom of said stake and the slot in said linkage arm; a reversible drive motor; and means interconnecting said reversible drive motor and said shaft whereby actuation of said motor rotates said shaft.

11. A horseshoe game according to claim 8, wherein the shoe-conveying means comprises a first conveyor belt running beneath the electromagnets when they are in their back position; another conveyor belt running transverse to said first conveyor belt, said first conveyor belt terminating at a point above said second conveyor belt, whereby horseshoes carried on said first conveyor belt are dropped onto said second conveyor belt.

12. A horseshoe game according to claim 11, wherein shoe-orienting means are provided adjacent the top surface of the second conveyor belt to center horseshoes on said second belt and to position them so that the open end of the horseshoes faces opposite the direction of travel of the second conveyor belt.

13. A horseshoe game according to claim 12, wherein the first and second conveyor belts are positioned below the surfaces of the scoring and shoe-tossing areas.

14. A horseshoe game according to claim 13, wherein a third conveyor belt is positioned at the head end of the second conveyor belt to receive horseshoes therefrom, said third conveyor belt leading upward from said second conveyor belt to a point above the surface of the scoring and shoe-tossing area; and shoe-stacking means at the tossing area terminus of the third conveyor belt to receive horseshoes therefrom.

15. A horseshoe game according to claim 14, wherein the shoe-stacking means includes a base; a horseshoe receiving bar supported by said base, said bar having one end positioned adjacent and slightly below the center upper surface of the third conveyor belt at its terminal end and the other end positioned at a lower level, whereby horseshoes carried by said third conveyor fall onto said bar and slide down the rod to a suspended, stacked position.

16. A horseshoe game according to claim 12, wherein the shoe-orienting means includes a guide block extending from one side to the center of the conveyor belt, said block being tapered from the center at the conveyor side, outwardly in all directions and being formed of an upstream portion and a downstream portion, said downstream portion having a greater coefiicient of friction than said upstream portion.

17. A horseshoe game according to claim 10, wherein the shoe-orienting means includes a plurality of positioning blocks positioned along opposite sides of the conveyor belt, said positioning blocks each including a first contact surface for engagement by the shoes, a recess intermediate its length, and a second contact surface formed in said recess, said first and second contact surfaces being spaced apart a distance equal to the distance between the ends of a shoe plus the width of one shoe end.

. 7 a 18. Horseshoe game apparatus, comprising a stake; means'defining a scoring area containing and surrounding means operable over said scon'ng area for moving tossed .shoes from their scoring positions onto said conveyor -means; shoe-orienting means associated with said conveying means; and shoe-stacking means at the tossing area terminus of said conveying means for receiving the oriented shoes from said conveying means and making them accessible to a player.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Wenyon 273-100 X Alien 273,-126 X Randles 198-33 De Witt et a1 273 103 X Austin 198-33 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. 'DELBERT B. LOWE, Examiner.

M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1216382 *May 12, 1916Feb 20, 1917Daniel J GormanGame.
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US2832457 *Oct 22, 1954Apr 29, 1958Clevite CorpOrientator for c-shaped articles
US3006648 *Feb 11, 1960Oct 31, 1961Roland D CiccaroneArchery range
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3356368 *Mar 4, 1964Dec 5, 1967Dixon Dale EHorseshoe target with floor simulating clay
US3467383 *Feb 17, 1966Sep 16, 1969Guy Jean Martin MiermansAerial projectile target game with spin-imparting projector
US4130281 *Jul 29, 1977Dec 19, 1978Leber Ralph EHorseshoe pitching game apparatus
US5556106 *Jun 14, 1995Sep 17, 1996Jurcisin; Gregory D.Soccer training device and method of training
US6000524 *Sep 22, 1997Dec 14, 1999The Pillsbury CompanyApparatus for orienting randomly organized articles
U.S. Classification273/336, 198/444, 273/395, 198/506, 198/416, 198/525, 198/394
International ClassificationA63F9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/02
European ClassificationA63F9/02