US 3367663 A
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Feb. 6, 1968 L. A. MARKS 3,367,663
ELECTRI CAL TIC-TAC -TOE GAME Filed Sept. 17, 1964 IIOVAC 7 45 gm? i 1F I r 25 43 37 I NVE'NTOR.
ATTORNEYS LELAND A. MARKS United States Patent 3,367,663 ELECTRICAL TIC-TAC-TOE GAME Leland A. Marks, 105 Inner Circle, Redwood City, Calif. 94062 Filed Sept. 17, '1964, Ser. No. 397,153 1 Claim. (Cl. 273135) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrical tic-tac-toe game including a playing board with light bulbs and two banks of switches with random connections between the switches and the bulbs and rotatably adjustable plug and socket connectors between the banks of switches and the playing board whereby the connections can be altered or interchanged by rotating the plug and socket connectors.
This invention relates to an electrical tic-tac-toe game and more particularly relates to such a game wherein there are purely random connections between the switches which actuate indicator lights and the lights themselves an?l wherein the random connections can be changed at wr Tic-tac-toe is such a simple game that among skilled players the ultimate outcome of the game, either a draw or a win for one side, can be predicted from the first move. Thus the game rapidly loses interest. In accordance with the present invention the game which ordinarily involves slight skill is turned into purely a game of chance wherein the players do not know when actuating a switch which of the indicator lights will be turned on. Further, the device of the present invention provides an easy means for altering the random connections between the switches and the indicator lights. Thus the game can be continuously varied so that the players will not learn which turns on a certain light. Further, the game provides means whereby the positions of the two players can be readily reversed so that the switches which would normally control one set of lights can be made to control the opposite set of lights and vice versa. Thus the simple childrens game is transformed into a game of chance having almost endless ramifications, keeping up continued interest in the game.
In the drawings forming a part of this application:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a device embodying the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view on the line 22 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of the game.
Referring now to the drawings by reference characters, the game of the present invention is conveniently mounted in a housing generally designated 5 having a fiat top surface 7, the center portion of which is divided into the nine conventional squares of a tic-tac-toe game by means of the lines 9. In each of the nine squares thus formed there is a hole 11 which is preferably covered by a translucent plastic dome 13. Mounted on each side of the playing board is a first bank of nine switches 15 having wires leading to a cable 17 and terminating in a ninepronged plug 19. Mounted on the side of the housing 5 is a mating socket 21 with the nine wires thereof leading to individual white bulbs generally designated 23, one of which has been designated 25. At the opposite side of the board is a bank of nine switches 27, the wires of which lead to the cable 29 terminating in the plug 31. A socket 33 (not shown in FIGURE 1 but diametrically opposite socket 21) is mounted in the housing 5 with the individual wires therefrom leading to the red bulbs generally designated 35, one of which has been designated 37. Mounted within the housing is a step-down transformer 39 having a secondary 41, one wire of which is connected to a common bus 43 which is connected to all 18 of the bulbs while the opposite wire 45 from the transformer leads to the switches of banks 15 and 27. It will be seen that with the plugs in the positions shown in FIG- URE 3 that there is a completely random connection between the bulbs and the switches. For instance, a white bulb No. 25 is controlled by the third switch from the bottom in bank 15 while its companion bulb 37 in the same dome is controlled by the top-most switch in bank 27. Thus the game is purely a game of chance and in flipping a switch the player does not know which of the several bulbs of his group will be lit. In addition, the plugs 19 and 31 are not polarized so that they can be placed in their corresponding sockets in any one of nine positions. Thus in order to prevent the players from learning the relationship between the switches and the lights, the plugs can be rotated into diflferent positions so that the game has almost endless variety. Further variety can be obtained since the two plugs and sockets can be interchanged. Thus the plug 19 might be plugged in the socket 33 while the plug 31 is plugged in the socket 21 so that the switches which would normally control the white bulbs now control the red bulbs and vice versa.
Many variations can be made in the exact structure described without departing from the spirit of this invention. For instance, the lights have been described as red and white but this is purely for convenience and any colors might be selected. In a less expensive model, the domes 13 might be eliminated and the bulbs either left exposed or the sockets for the bulbs moved downward with the openings covered with a translucent flat sheet. Although the device has been shown as being transformeroperated, it is obvious that a battery could be substituted for the transformer or that -volt bulbs could .be used instead of the low voltage bulbs shown, allowing the device to be operated directly from the power line. Although the two banks of switches have been shown as being mounted on the housing 5, each bank could be in a separate housing so that the players could be separated some distance from each other. Although rotatable nineprong plugs are shown as the means for changing the random connections, other means can be used.
It is believed apparent from the foregoing that I have provided an interesting game of chance operating on the tic-tac-toe principle with a number of possible variations.
1. An electrical tic-tac-toe game comprising in combination:
(a) a playing board of the conventional tic-tac-toe configuration divided into nine squares;
(b) a first bulb and a second bulb located in each of said squares whereby nine first bulbs and nine second bulbs are provided;
(c) a first bank of nine switches and a second bank of nine switches;
(d) a source of electricity leading through said switches to said bulbs whereby each of said first switches controls one of said first bulbs and whereby each of said second switches controls one of said second bulbs;
(e) random connections between said switches and said bulbs whereby a player actuating one of said switches cannot tell which of said bulbs will be lit;
(f) said random connections comprising relatively 3 rotatable plugs and sockets whereby the connections 2,460,770 between said switches and said bulbs can be altered 2,628,101 by relatively rotating said plugs and sockets. 3,145,993
References Cited 5 646,542 UNITED STATES PATENTS 328,749 2,013,958 9/1935 Hughes. 2,442,014 5/1948 Myers.
4 2/ 1949 Shirey. 2/1953 Prentice 273-130 X 8/1964 Archer 273130 FOREIGN PATENTS 8/1962 Canada. 5/ 1930 Great Britain.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.