US 3333851 A
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L. B. ROSEN GAME APPARATUS INCLUDING PIVOTAL SLIDEWAY MEMBE ,333,851 RS AND Aug. 1. 1967 CONTROL MEANS FOR MANUALLY DIRECTING THE TRAVEL: OF A BALL THEREOVER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 20, 1964 BY I ATTORNEYS Aug. 1, 1967 L. B. ROSEN 3,333,851
GAME; APPARATUS INCLUDING PIVOTAL SLIDEWAY MEMBERS AND CONTROL MEANS FOR MANUALLY DIRECTING THE TRAVEL OF A BALL THERE-OVER Filed April 20, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIIG 4 VENTOR ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,333,851 GAME APPARATUS INCLUDING PIVOTAL SLIDE. WAY MEMBERS AND CONTROL MEANS FOR MANUALLY DIRECTING THE TRAVEL OF A BALL THEREOVER Leonard B. Rosen, RD. 2, Jamestown, Pa. 16134 Filed Apr. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 360,888 3 Claims. (Cl. 27395) The present invention relates to a new and improved game apparatus and especially to a game of skill which is designed for both entertainment and amusement.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus of the projected ball type wherein a ball or like projectile is propelled by a hand operated striker in a substantially vertical plane for gravitating movement past or onto successive slideway members projecting from a substantially vertical plane.
A more particular object is the provision of a game apparatus including a housing with a substantially vertical visual playing panel, a manually operated striker upon which a ball means rests, and a control mechanism for selectively controlling the descent of said ball means in the housing.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a game apparatus in which a plurality of slideway members in the form of pivotally mounted elongated slideways are maintained in Vertically spaced relation to one another and operatively connected to a common operating member which is in turn operatively connected to a control mechanism for moving the slideway members between a first inclined position and a second inclined position wherein a ball means resting on anyone of the slideway members will be gravitated through a vertical plane in a zig-zag path along the successive slideway members or wherein the ball means will gravitate directly downwardly past the successive slideway members to an inclined pathway for return to the hand operated striker.
Consistent with the above general and basic specific objects of the invention, there are certain more detailed objects of the present invention, including the following:
(a) The provision of an amusement or game apparatus werein a guide means is provided at the top of the housing in overlying relation to a defined pathway for guiding the propelled ball means therefrom and onto an operable slideway member disposed at the uppermost portion of the housing between a front and rear wall thereof;
(b) The provision of an amusement or game apparatus wherein a plurality of slideway members are operably connected by a vertically extending connecting arm, and wherein an operating wheel means is operably connected to the vertically extending connecting member such that the slideway members may be moved through an oscillating motion between a first inclined position, a horizontal position and a second inclined position, to propel a ball means resting on any one of the slideway members to the next successive slideway member and downwardly toward the next successive slideway member, etc. through a zig-zag path until the ball means gravitates to an inclined pathway and returns to the defined pathway;
(c) The provision of an amusement or game apparatus wherein the pivotally mounted slideway members are secured to the housing in a vertical disposition so that the player can freely turn said wheel operating means to simultaneously actuate each of the slideway members;
(d) The provision of an amusement or game apparatus wherein the front wall of a housing comprises a transparent material so that the ascent of the ball means "ice through a defined pathway and the descent of the ball means in the housing along the slideway members or past each of the successive slideway members, to an inclined pathway is visible to the player of the game apparatus;
(e) The provision of such an amusement or game apparatus which is free of any complicated mechanical parts and yet relatively light in weight and sufiiciently strong to withstand continuous use; and,
(f) The provision of an amusement or game ap paratus conforming with the preceding objects of the present invention wherein the same is durable in operation and which can be manufactured from existing materials so as to be available at a profitable commercial price.
The invention resides in the combination, arrangement, and construction of the overall apparatus, as well as in certain sub-combinations and arrangements incorporated therein. The invention will be better understood, and objects other than those set forth above, will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings presenting preferred and illustrative embodiments of the present invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of an amusement or game apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a partial rear elevation of a control mechanism and operating assembly for the game apparatus shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional side view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, FIGURE 3 showing an operating assembly and timing indicator associated with the game apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional side View taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2, FIGURE 4 showing the construction of operating slideway means in the game apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a partial front elevational view partially in section of a ball striker assembly as the same appears before a ball means is projected upwardly in the housing of the game apparatus shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a partial front elevational view partially in section and substantially the same view as FIGURE 5 but presenting the ball striker assembly as the same appears after a ball means has been projected upwardly through the housing;
FIGURE 7 is a side view of a supporting member associated with the housing of the game apparatus shown in FIGURE 1, FIGURE 7 presenting portions of the housing in phantom line; and
FIGURE 8 is a front elevational view of the support member shown in FIGURE 7.
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention described below and illustrated in the drawings, the game apparatus has been generally designated by the reference numeral 2. The game apparatus comprises an overall housing generally designated by the reference numeral 4 which housing includes a pair of horizontally spaced apart side walls 6 and 8, a bottom supporting wall 10 extending transversely between the side walls 6 and 8, and a top wall 12 also extending transversely between the side walls 6 and 8. Covering the back portion of the housing 4 and extending between the side walls and top and bottom walls is a rear wall 14- thereon. A centrally disposed vertically extending support member 16 is secured at the bottom portion thereof to the base wall 10 and at the uppermost portion thereof to the top wall 12.
The centrally disposed support member 16 supports a plurality of pivotal slideway members 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 by means of the pin members 18', 20', 22', 24' and 26' 3 shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. These pin members extend through the upstanding support member 16, the individual slideway members and then into the rear wall member 14 on the back of the housing 4.
Since the configuration of each of the slideway members 18-26 is substantially identical, it would appear necessary to only describe one of such members for a suflicient understanding of the overall construction thereof. Thus, the slideway 18 includes an elongated transversely extending member having an upper concave surface thereon designated by the reference numeral 28 extending from one end 30 to the other end 32 thereof. The bottom surface of the slideway member 18 is substantially flat in configuration as are both the ends 30 and 32 and the side Walls 31 and 33. It should be noted that each of the slideway members 18-26 is pivotally secured to the upstanding support member 16 and the upstanding rear wall 14 by the pins 18'26', respectively, passing through each of the slideway members at a point between the central vertical axis and one end thereof. In order to effectively support each of the slideway members, a second pivotal securement is provided by means of the pins 34, 36, 38, 40 and 42 extending through each of the slideway members, respectively, and a first vertically disposed control member 44, as shown in FIGURE 4. The vertically disposed control member 44 is pivotally connected at the bottom end 46 thereof to a transversely extending second control member 50 by means of a pin connection 48. The second control member 50 is secured to the upstanding support member 16 substantially intermediate the ends thereof.
A control wheel assembly generally designated by the reference numeral 52 is also supported on the upstanding support member 16 of the housing 4 for rotational movement in a plane parallel to the faces of the housing. The control wheel assembly 52 comprises a rim 54 having spokes or supporting ribs 56 extending radially from the internal periphery of the rim 54 toward a central or hub section 58. The transversely extending second control member 50 which is pivotally secured at 48 to the upstanding first control member 44 is further secured to the rim 54 of the control wheel assembly 52 at 60 and 62 so that rotation of the wheel 54 in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction will correspondingly impart a tilting motion to the control member 50, a reciprocal vertical motion to the control member 44 and an oscillating motion to the slideway members 18-26.
The control wheel assembly 52 is pivotally secured to the housing 4 by means of a journal member 64 and a shaft 66 extending from the hub portion 58 on the control wheel assembly through the upstanding support member 16 and the rear wall 14. The journal member 64 extends between the upstanding support member 16 and the rear wall 14 for maintaining proper orientation of the shaft 66. Since the control member 44 is pivotally attached to each of the slideway members 18-26 by means of the pins 3442, the reciprocal vertical movement of the control member 44 imparts a simultaneous alternating inclination or oscillation to the slideway members such that they move from a first inclined position corresponding to the uppermost position of the control member 44 to a second inclined position corresponding to the lowermost position of the control member 44.
The prescribed movement of the slideway members 18-26 will initially move the ball 70 from the end 30 toward the end 32 of the slideway member 18 along the concave face 28 thereof, and onto the end 72 of the next successive slideway member 20. Then, by rapid movement of the control wheel 54 to the left, or in other words, in a counterclockwise direction, the slideway 20 will be downwardly inclined toward the side wall member 6 so that the ball 70 will then travel thereon toward the end 74 thereof. By continuing the rapid alternating rotational movements of the control wheel 54 the ball 70 is propelled downwardly along each of the successive slideways in a zig-zag path until the same reaches the end 76 of the slideway 26. At this point, the ball 70 will descend onto the inclined wall member 78 extending from the sidewall 8 to an upstanding wall means 80 horizontally spaced from the side wall 6. Thus, a pathway 82 is defined between the sidewall 6 and the Wall means 80 and between the bottom wall 10 and the top wall 12 of the housing. It should be here noted that the upstanding wall means or partition 80 terminates at a point 84 vertically spaced from a ball guide 86 secured to the top wall 12 of the housing.
It will be noted that the end 30 of the uppermost slideway member 18, as clearly shown in FIGURE 1, will be spaced from the upstanding wall means or divider wall 80 a distance less than the diameter of the ball means 70 when the slideway member 18 is inclined downwardly somewhat toward the wall means 80. In this position the ball means 70 is retained. on the end 30 of the slideway member 18 until the slideway members are pivoted to the position shown in FIGURE 1 by rotation of the control wheel assembly 52 in a clockwise direction. Additionally, it will be seen from the drawings that alternate ends of the slideway members overlie the next lower slideway member whereby the ball means is capable of descending from one slideway member to the next when the slideway members are properly pivoted so that they are alternately inclined in opposite directions. Further, the remainder of the ends of the slideway members, other than end 30 of slideway member 18, are spaced from the side wall 8 or the wall means 80 a distance greater than the diameter of the wall means 70 in all positions of the slideway members whereby the ball means is capable of bypassing the slideway members when the slideway members are improperly controlled.
The inclined wall 78 extends from the side wall 8 toward the upstanding wall means 80 and cooperates with a slot or hole 88 therein so that the ball 70 can return to the defined pathway 82 after either traversing the zigzag path over the slideway members 18-26 and down the inclined pathway of the wall 78 having a concave upper face 90 thereon or after descending directly from the end of one of the uppermost slideway members.
It should be here noted that a transparent front wall 15 extends between the side walls 6 and 8, the top wall 12 and the inclined wall 78 as well as overlying the defined pathway 82. Thus, the player or operator of the game apparatus can see the complete operation of the various elements and the ascending and descending movement of the ball 70.
By means of a ball striker generally designated by the reference numeral 92 shown in FIGURES 1, 5 and 6, the ball 70 is projected upwardly through the defined pathway 82. Because of the arcuate contour 94 on the guide 86, the ball 70 is guided over the top portion 84 of the wall member 80 on to the uppermost slideway member 18 at the end 30 thereof. Due to the relationship set forth hereinabove between the end 30 of the slideway member 18 and the wall means 80, the ball 70 will be retained on the slideway member 18 when the slideway members are initially downwardly inclined toward the wall means 80 and until slideway members are pivoted to incline them in the opposite direction. The
ball striker 92 comprise a base member 96 secured to the top face 98 of the bottom wall 10 and a pair of upstanding arm members 100 and 102 through which a pivot shaft 104 extends. The ball striker member 106 is pivotally secured to the shaft 104 and extends transversely of the housing 4 in spaced paralled relation to the rear wall 14 thereof. The ball striker 106 extends towards the side wall 6 and passes through a slot 108 in the bottom of the wall member 80 so that the front portion 110, or the ball engaging part of the ball striker 106, lies within the pathway 82 for engaging the ball 70 on the top surface 112 thereof.
In operation, the game apparatus is operated by the initial placement of the ball 70 as shown in FIGURE 1 on the top face 112 of the ball striker 106 so that the players hand or finger is moved downwardly with some degree of force upon the end 106' of the ball striker 106 thereb projecting the ball 70 upwardly through the path 82. The ball then engages the guide surface 94 and passes through the space 95 between the uppermost point 84 of the wall 80 and the guide means 86 and then comes to rest on the slideway member 18.
Through alternation of the direction of rotational movement of the wheel 54, the slideway members 18-26 are placed in their alternate inclined positions previously described above. The player thereby attempts to maintain the ball in a descending zig-zag path until the same travels downwardly on the slideway member 26 toward the end 76 thereof and drops onto the inclined path 78 for return to the pathway 82 through the slot 88 in the upstanding Wall member 80. However, if the acceleration of the ball 70 down anyone of the slideway member 18-26 is such that the player by movement of the wheel 54 and associated movement of the slideway members to an inclined position, cannot control the ball 70, then it will descend from the end of any one of the slideway members downwardly past all of the other successive slideway members to the wall 78 and return to the position shown in FIG- URE 1. Thus, the operator will have unsuccessfully played the game.
In order to provide a suflicient support for the housing 4 on a fiat surface, a pair of supporting leg members generally indicated by the reference numerals 120 and 122, are releasably attached to the housing 4, shown in FIGURE 4, so that the player cannot easily tip the entire housing over during operation of the game.
One of the support legs 120 is shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 and comprises a first member 122 having an upstanding section 124 integrally connected with a base portion 126 which rests on a table top or other fiat surface by means of the surfaces 128 and 130 at the rear and front portions, respectively. A second member 128 is integrally connected with the upstanding section 124 of the first member 122 and this second member extends perpendicular to the upstanding portion 124 so that the same may engage the rear wall 14 of the housingas shOWn in phantom line in FIGURE 7. The second member 128 is provided with an aperture 130 through which passes a conventional securing means such as a bolt 132. An aligned aperture 134 in the rear wall 14 of the housing is also engaged by the bolt and a wing nut 136 is attached thereto so that the leg 120 is releasably secured to the housing. Attention is directed to the front portion 138 of the first member 126 wherein a notch 140 and overlapping edge portion 142 are provided for engaging the front lip of the bottom wall member 10 so that the same is secured to the supporting leg member. Since each of the supporting leg members 120 and 122 are of identical construction, the above description of the leg supporting member 120 should be sufficient for a full understanding of the overall construction.
Since the game apparatu 2 of the present invention can be best played when the housing 4 is level, the same is provided with an indicating means 140 which is of the conventional bubble type for indicating a level or inclined position by means of an air bubble 142 seen through the cut-out portion 144. This level indicator is secured to the upper face 98 of the bottom wall 10 so that the player can see the position of the bubble 142 through the viewing slot 144 and thereby adjust the supporting surface of the housing 4 to the proper position in order to orient the housing in a level position.
If desired, the present invention may be used as a competitive game wherein the initial striking of the ball 70 and the descending Zig-zag path taken by the ball for its return to the defined pathway 82 can be timed by a conventional timer designated by the reference numeral 150. Such a timer is mounted on a supporting surface 152 secured to the upstanding support member 16 by means of the brackets 154 and 156. There brackets are attached to the supporting surface 152 by means of the screw members 158. The timer includes a conventional two compartment glass container having a small orifice therebetween for passage of sand or other desirable material so that a predetermined time elapses between the filling and the unfilling of the timer compartments. The timer is removable from the brackets 154 and 156 so that a new sequence can be started merely by removing the timer and inverting the same into the brackets 156 and 154.
After reading the foregoing description of the preferred and illustrative embodiment of the present invention, it should be apparent that the objects set forth at the outset of the present specification have been successfully achieved.
Accordingly, what is claimed is:
1. A game apparatus comprising, in combination:
(a) a housing including a first side wall, a second side wall, a top wall, a front wall and a rear wall, said front and rear walls extending substantially parallel to each other and ordinarily being substantially vertically disposed when said game apparatus is in use;
(b) ball means within said housing;
(c) a divider wall within aid housing spaced from said first side wall between said front and rear walls to define a substantially vertically extending pathway between said first side wall, said divider wall and said front and rear walls and extending toward said top wall;
(d) a plurality of vertically spaced apart slideway member pivotally carried within said housing between said front and rear walls, at least the portion of said front wall overlying said slideway members being transparent;
(e) control means operatively connected to all of said slideway members to simultaneously pivot the same from a first position in which said slideway member are inclined downwardly toward said divider wall to a second position in which said slideway members are inclined downwardly toward said second sidewall;
(f) the uppermost of said slideway members including one end spaced from said divider wall a distance less than the diameter of said ball means when aid uppermost slideway member is in said first position to retain said ball means thereon until said slideway members are pivoted to said second positionby said control means;
g) alternate ends of said slideway members overlying the next lower slideway member whereby said ball means is capable of descending from one slideway member to the next when said slideway members are properly pivoted alternately from said first position to said second position by said control means and with the remainder of the ends of said slideway members being spaced from said second side wall and said divider wall a distance greater than the diameter of said ball means in all positions of said slideway members whereby said ball means is capable of bypassing said slideway members when said slideway members are improperly controlled;
(h) a return wall extending between said second side wall and said divider wall and said front and rear walls and below the lowermost of said slideway members, said return wall being inclined downwardly toward said divider wall;
(i) said divider wall including an opening aligned with said return wall and communicating with said pathy;
(j) actuator means including portion extending into said pathway below the point at which said opening in said divider wall communicates therewith, said portions being operable to engage said ball means to 7 8 move the same upwardly through said pathway; and, References Cited 7 (k) guide IIIIHIIS dlSPOSfid at the 0 1) Of Said pathway UNITED to direct said ball means onto said one end of said 4 uppermost slideway member. 54 6/1882 Allen, 273 3 2. The combination defined in claim 1 further com- 5 2,159,174 5/1939 m 273-104 prising support means for maintaining said housing in 3,101,587 8/1963 Patnck 273*148 X an upstanding relationship during use with said pathway FOREIGN PATENTS extending substantially vertically. 795 01 12 1 5 France 3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said actuator 1,025,556 1/1953 Franm means includes an actuator member pivotally carried by 10 1,100,898 4 /1955 France.
said housing, one end of said member extending through said divider wall at the bottom thereof for underlying RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. said ball means whereby when the other end of said mem- F. BARRY SHAY, Emmi-nan ber is manually struck, said ball means is moved up- Wardly through Said passageway 15 L. J. BOVASSO, S. NA'ITER, Asszstant Examiners.