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Publication numberUS3407533 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1968
Filing dateMar 1, 1965
Priority dateMar 1, 1965
Publication numberUS 3407533 A, US 3407533A, US-A-3407533, US3407533 A, US3407533A
InventorsMahlou Hughes Larry
Original AssigneeColiet Toy Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy train and undercarriage assembly therefor
US 3407533 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 29, 1968 L. M. HUGHES 3,407,533

I TOY TRAIN AND UNDERCARRIAGE ASSEMBLY THEREFOR Filed March 1, 1965 2 Sheegs-Sheet '1 Tj ]Z7 mvmoa.

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Oct. 29, 1968 L. M. HUGHES 3 TOY TRAIN AND UNDERCARRIAGE ASSEMBLY THEREFOR Filed March 1, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

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United States Patent 9 M 3,407,533 TOY TRAIN AND UNDERCARRIAGE ASSEMBLY THEREFOR Larry Mahlon Hughes, Coloma, Mich., assignor to Coliet Toy Manufacturing Company, Watervliet, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Mar. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 436,056 7 Claims. (Cl. 46217) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Leading and trailing vehicles made of tubular, flexible, synthetic plastic material of self sustaining strength, the tubular bodies of the vehicles being cut to simulate the shape of train vehicles, including holes and slits formed in the end of one tube forming a segment of the tube that can be bent up and twisted inside out to simulate the cab of a steam locomotive, a combined smoke stack and cowcatcher formed by a smaller tu-be projected through a hole in the body with the lower end of the smaller tube slit and unrolled and bent forwardly through the front end of the body tube. Flat integral carriage members connected to the bottoms of each vehicle with integral spaced transverse axle portions connected by central link portions, and integral forwardly projecting couping portions having holes releasably engageable with coupling pins secured to the rear ends of the tubular bodies; the link portions of the undercarriage of trailing vehicles being rendered flexible by longitudinally stretching the link portion of an undercarriage member of the same size as that on the leading vehicle.

Summary of invention This invention comprises a one-piece undercarriage (hereinafter referred to as a leader undercarriage) for the body of a toy leader vehicle such as, for example, a toy locomotive and the like. With a slight structural modification of one embodiment of this leader undercarriage, this invention provides another undercarriage (referred to hereinafter as a follower undercarriage) for a follower type toy vehicle such as, for example, a tender, box car, passenger car, caboose and the like, which is intended to be coupled'to a lead type toy vehicle such as, for example, a toy locomotive and the like, and be pulled thereby. The leader undercarriage is made from stiff, plastic sheeting and in a preferred embodiment has a plan view shape similar to that of a patriarchal cross. The follower undercarriage of this invention has the same general shape in plan view as this preferred embodiment of a leader undercarriage of this invention, but differs therefrom in that the linking portion between the two cross-arm portions is flexible. In a preferred embodiment of the follower undercarriage of this invention the material employed in the undercarriage is a stiff plastic sheeting which can be permanently stretched between two points to make the sheeting flexible between those two points. An example of such a material is stiff sheeting made from normally solid polyethylene resin. In one way of making this preferred embodiment a leader undercarriage of the patriarchal cross shape is formed from the sheeting and then the link portion between the two cross-arm or axle-tree portions is permanently stretched to the desired degree of flexibility.

This invention is further described in conjunction with the drawings which are a material part of the disclosures. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of a toy, steam engine type locomotive of this invention to which is coupled a preferred embodiment of a tender or coal car according to this invention;

Patented Oct. 29, 1968 FIG. 2 is a front end view of the embodiment of the toy locomotive of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear end view of the embodiment of the toy coal car of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a section of plastic tubing as it appears after performance of the first steps in a preferred procedure for manufacturing the body of the locomotive shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5, shows a side view of the section of plastic tubing of FIG. 4 after performance of the second steps in said preferred procedure for manufacturing the locomotive body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the section of plastic tubing of FIG. 5 after the third steps in said preferred procedure for manufacturing the body of the locomotive illustrated in FIG. 1 have been performed;

FIG. 7 is a side view of a section of plastic tubing after performance of the first step in a preferred procedure for manufacturing the smoke stack and cowcatcher of the locomotive of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the section of tubing illustrated in FIG. 7 after carrying out the next steps in said preferred procedure for manufacturing the smoke stack and cowcatcher of the locomotive of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of the section of tubing of FIG. 8 after performing a third sequence of steps in said preferred procedure for making the smoke stack and cowcatcher of the locomotive of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the section of tubing of FIG. 9 after it has been turned on its longitudinal axis and after a fourth sequence of steps in said preferred procedure in the manufacture of the smoke stack and cowcatcher of the locomotive of FIG. 1 has been performed;

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the preferred embodiments of the toy, steam engine type locomotive and toy tender of FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the preferred embodiments of the toy locomotive and toy tender of FIG. 1, which view shows these embodiments going around a curve;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of a leader undercarriage of this invention after it has been formed from plastic sheeting;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of a follower undercarriage of this invention;

FIG. 15 is a cross sectional view of a coupler assembly employed in both the toy locomotive and toy tender of FIG. 1, which view is taken as indicated by the sectioning lines 15-15 of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of a fastener assembly employed in the toy locomotive of FIG. 2, which view is taken as indicated by the sectioning lines 1616 of FIG. 2.

In greater detail, FIGS. 1-3, 11 and 12 illustrate a toy, steam engine type, locomotive 20 of this invention and coupled thereto a toy tender or coal car 22 of this invention.

The toy, steam engine type, locomotive 20 comprises a body member 24, a smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26, a fastener assembly 28 for securing the smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26 to the body member 24, a leader undercarriage member 30 on which are rotatably mounted wheels 32, and fasteners 34 and 36 for securing the leader undercarriage member 30 to the body member 24, and a coupler assembly 38.

The body member 24 is generally a round (in cross section) tube of a resilient, flexible, plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride resin or the like. The tube wall is of sufficient thickness and strength that it can be hand twisted and squashed without tearing and permanent deformation. In the region of the front end of the body member 24 and in the top thereof is a smoke stack hole 40. Extending rearwardly from the back end of the body member 24 is a roof portion 42 which simulates the cab of a steam engine type locomotive.

A preferred procedure for making the locomotive body member 24 is as follows. A round hole 40 is made as by a punch through the top hole in the region of the front end of a piece or section of round, plastic tubing. Two, substantially round, rear holes 44 are made as by a punch adjacent the back end of the section of tubing, one on each side with the centers of each being in a straight line and with the periphery of each touching the back end of the section of tubing. Two, substantially round, forward holes 46 are made as by a punch, one on each side of the tubing and near to, but spaced forwardly from, the two rear holes 44 just mentioned with the centers of each being in a straight line in a plane of the straight line of the two rear holes 44, which plane generally either is parallel to or bisects the longitudinal axis of the section of tubing. The resulting section of tubing appears in FIG. 4. The section of tubing is then cut on a line from one of the rear holes 44 around the top of the section of tub ing to the other of the rear holes 44. The resulting segment of the tubing section is removed. The section of tubing is again cut on a line from one of the forward holes 46 around the bottom of the section of tubing to the other of the forward holes 46. The portion of tubing rearwardly of this line is the roof portion 42 of the body member 24. The section of tubing at this stage appears as in FIG. 5. The roof portion 42 with the corners cut off or beveled is then twisted into upright position as shown in FIG. 6, and then turned inside out as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 6. The resulting shape of the roof portion 42 and back of the body member 24 is as shown in FIG. 1.

The smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26 of the toy locomotive 20 comprises a round (in cross section) tube or stack portion 48 having at one end a rim 49 and at the other end a sheet or skirt portion 50 which in position has the appearance of a cowcatcher. The smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26 is made from a round tube of a resilient, flexible, plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride resin or the like. The tube wall is of sufficient thickness and strength that it can be hand rolled back on itself, hand twisted and squashed without tearing and permanent deformation.

A preferred procedure for making the smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26 is as follows. Two small holes 52 are made as by a punch in the wall of a section of round, plastic tubing having an outside diameter less than the inside diameter of the body member 24. The holes are at a longitudinal distance from the smoke stack end of the section of tubing greater than the outside diameter of the body member 14, for example, equal to about twice said outside diameter, with one hole being on one side of the tube section and the other being diametrically opposed on the other side of the tube section. The section of tubing as it appears at this stage is illustrated in FIG. 7. The smoke stack end of the section of tubing is then rolled over so as to form the rim 49 of the smoke stack portion 48. In addition the section of tubing is cut on a transverse line from one of the holes 52 to the other of the holes 52 and is cut on a longitudinal straight line mid-way on the transverse line between said holes 52 to the cowcatcher end of the section of tubing. The section of tubing, uncurled at the longitudinal cut, as it appears at this stage, is shown in FIG. 9. The corners of the cowcatcher portion 50 thus formed in the section of tubing are then beveled. The resulting section of tubing is the smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26. A plan view of the front of the smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26, that is, with the section of tubing turned 180 on its longitudinal axis so that the curl of the cowcatcher portion is into the plane of the drawing, is presented by FIG. 10.

The smoke stack and cowcatcher member 26 is placed into position in the body member 24 by thrusting the smoke stack portion 48 through the open front end of the body member 24 and then through the smoke stack hole 40 in the top of the body member 24, and then straightening the smoke stack portion 48 relative to the body member 24 with the front side of the cowcatcher portion uncurled and facing in the same direction as the front end of the body member 24. The top of the cowcatcher portion 50, which is adjacent the base of the smoke stack portion 48, is then fastened to the bottom of the body member 24. While a fastener such as, for example, a Wire staple can be employed for this purpose, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a hollow rivet type fastener assembly 28 is employed. As shown in FIG. 16 this assembly comprises a metallic cylinder 54 flanged at both ends, and a pair of metallic washers 56 and 58. Round holes are provided in the top end of the cowcatcher portion 50 and the bottom of the body member 24 for the flanged cylinder 54. One washer 56 is positioned about the flanged cylinder 54 between the cowcatcher portion 50 and the flange at the corresponding end of the flange cylinder 54. The other washer 58 is positioned about the flanged cylinder 54 between the bottom side of the body member 24 and the flange at the corresponding end of the flanged cylinder 54. The flanged cylinder 54 prior to placement is flanged at only one end. The fastening of the cowcatcher portion 50 to the front end of the body member 24 with the fastener assembly 28 is accomplished by forming the fastener holes in the top end of the cowcatcher portion 50 and the bottom of the body member 24, inserting the unflanged end of the flanged cylinder 54 through one of the washers 56 and 58 then through the fastener holes and then through the other one of the washers 56 and 58. The unflanged end of the cylinder 54 is then pressed over or flanged against the adjacent washer. In this instance the flanged ends of the flanged cylinder 54 should bear tightly against the corresponding washers 56 and 58.

The leader undercarriage rnernber 30 is in general a fairly rigid or stiff, flat piece of plastic material having in plan view preferably a shape much like that of a patriarchal cross. As shown in FIGS. 11-43 it comprises in order an optional (preferred but not necessary in this embodiment), longitudinally disposed tongue portion 60', a transversely positioned front axle-tree portion 62, a longitudinally disposed link portion 64 and a transversely positioned rear axle-tree portion 66. The tongue portion 60 and front axle-tree portion 62 together have roughly in plan view a T shape while the front axle-tree portion 62, link portion 64 and rear axle-tree portion 66 have roughly in plan view an H shape. At the outer ends of each axle-tree portion 62 and 66 are spindle portions 68 (see FIG. 13). The outer end of the tongue portion 60 has a pincer like portion 70. In the embodiment shown this is formed by a round hole through the tongue portion 60 and a keystone shaped opening from the hole to the outer longitudinal ends of the tongue portion 60. In line with the longitudinal axis of the leader undercarriage member 30 are a round fastener hole 72 in the front axle-tree portion 62 of the undercarriage member 30 and a round fastener hole 74 in the rear axle-tree portion 66.

The leader undercarriage member 30 is made as by stamping or the like from plastic sheeting having sulficient thickness to give rigidity to the undercarriage member 30. In a preferred embodiment of the leader undercarriage member 30 the plastic material consists essentially of a thermoplastic, synthetic resin such as a normally solid poly-l-olefin resin, examples of which are polyethylene, crystalline polypropylene and the like.

The wheels 32 are of conventional structure and material (for example, rubber) and need not be described further except to note that they have an axle opening therethrough. They are rotatably mounted on the spindle portions 68 of the undercarriage member 30 and thereafter the protruding ends of the spindle portions 68 in a preferred embodiment of the leader undercarriage member 30 this invention are flanged by heat and pressure so as to overlap the axle openings of the wheels 32.

The leader undercarriage member 30 of the locomotive body 24 is attached to the locomotive body 24 by means of fastener assemblies 34 and 36. These fastener assemblies are hollow rivet assemblies like the hollow rivet assembly 38 employed as the coupler assembly of locomotive body member 24. The bottom of the locomotive body member 24 comprises two round fastener holes in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the body member 24 and corresponding in position to the fastener holes 72 and 74 in the front and rear axle-tree portions of the undercarriage (member. The fastener assemblies 34 and 36 are disposed in and relative to these holes.

The coupler assembly 38 of the toy locomotive 20, illustrated in FIG, 15, comprises a first cylinder 76 flanged at both ends, two washers 78 and 80, and a spacer cylinder 82. The spacer cylinder 82 is flanged at one end and has a larger inside diameter than the outside diameter of the first cylinder 76 between the flanged ends thereof. From the flanged ends to the other end the spacer cylinder 82 is substantially equal in dimension to the thickness of the tongue portion of the undercarriage member 30 of the toy tender 22 or the like. A hole 84 in the bottom in the region of the back end of the body member 24 is provided for mounting the coupler assembly 38. To mount the coupler assembly 38 the first cylinder 76 with only one end flanged is inserted unflanged end first into one of the two washers 78 and 80, into the hole 84 therefor in the bottom of the body member 24, then into the flanged end of the spacer cylinder 82 and finally through the other of the two washers 78 and 80, whereupon the unflanged end is then flanged with the flanges at both ends bearing against the corresponding adjacent washers 78 and 80.

The toy tender or coal car 22 as illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, 11 and 12 comprises a body member 86, a follower undercarriage member 88 with four wheels 90, two fasteners 34 and 36, and a coupler assembly 38.

The body members 86 of the toy tender 22 comprises a rectangular (in cross section) tube made of resilient, flexible material such as polyvinyl chloride resin or the like. As in the case of the body member 24 of the toy locomotive 20, the tube wall is of sufiicient thickness and strength to withstand hand twisting and squashing without tearing and permanent deformation. The shape of the body member 86 can be as desired. In the em bodiment shown the side walls have been cut at acute angles to the bottom of the body member '86 and the top wall cut to match the tops of the side walls.

The follower undercarriage member 88 of the toy tender 22 has substantially the same structure and shape as the undercarriage member 30 of the toy locomotive 20, that is, it has in order a longitudinal tongue portion 60 with a pincer portion 70 at the outer end thereof, a transversely disposed front axle-tree portion 62 with a fastener hole 72 at the center thereof and with a spindle portion 68 at each end thereof, and a transversely disposed rear axle-tree portion '66 with a fastener hole 74 at the center thereof and with a spindle portion 68 at each end thereof. However, as shown in FIG. 14, the follower undercarriage member 88 has a different, longitudinal link portion 92. The longitudinal link portion 92 is characterized by flexibility whereby relative movement between the front axle-tree portion 62 and the rear axle-portion 66 can take place within the limits imposed by the longitudinal link portion 92. The material of construction employed in this follower undercarriage member 88 is plastic material. In the preferred embodiment the material is a thermoplastic, synthetic resin such as a normally solid poly-l-olefin resin such as polyethylene and the like. Indeed, in a preferred embodiment of this invention the follower undercarriage member '88 is made from the leader undercarriage member 30 used for the toy locomotive 20. In such case the leader undercarriage member '30 is made from a plastic material such as unstretched polyethylene sheeting of the desired thickness. To obtain the flexible, longitudinal link portion 92, the longitudinal link portion 64 is longitudinally stretched (as by pulling on the front and rear axle-tree portions 62 and '64) until the desired degree of flexibility is obtained.

The wheels are generally of the same structure as the locomotive wheels 32, except that they are generally of smaller diameter to simulate those of an actual tender. The wheels 90 are mounted in the same way on the spindle portions 68 of the follower undercarriage member 88 as are the locomotive wheels 32 on the spindle portion 68 of the leader undercarriage member 30.

The follower undercarriage member 88 is fastened to the body member 86 of the toy tender 22 by means of the two fasteners 34 and 36. The structure of the two fasteners 34 and 36 is the same as the structure of the coupler assembly 38 with each of the fastener holes 72 and 74 of the follower undercarriage member 88 containing the spacer cylinder 82 of the fastener assemblies. To accommodate the fasteners 34 and 36 two fastener holes are provided in the bottom of the body member 86 of the toy tender 22. However, the two fastener holes in the bottom of the body member 86 are located sufficiently close together as to cause the link portion 92 to be substantially downwardly (or upwardly) bowed or slack and not taut when the follower undercarriage member 88 is fastened by the fasteners 34 and 36 to the bottom of the body member 86 and the wheels 90 are longitudinally aligned. As a result of this construction, with the toy tender 22 coupled to the toy locomotive 20 as in FIG. 11, when the toy locomotive is moved in a curve the toy tender 22 tracks and follows the curve without tipping over. In such case as shown in FIG. 12 the back axle-tree portion 66 of the tender undercarriage member 88 does turn relatively dependently of the front axle-tree portion 62 of the tender undercarriage member 88.

Thus, this invention provides a toy vehicle having a number of features and advantages. The simplicity of construction and the use of readily available articles, particularly plastic tubing, leads to many economies in manufacture. A variety of bright and attractive colors is possible. Moreover, a variety of body shapes is available. In the toy train embodiment of this invention, other train cars in addition to the tender 22 can be readily made from available plastic tubing and the follower undercarriage member 88 of this invention. A major advantage of the toy vehicle of this invention is that it can be roughly handled, for example, dropped, stepped on, etc. without substantial damage thereto.

Other embodiments, features and advantages of this invention will be readily apparent to those in the exercise of ordinary skill in the art after reading the foregoing disclosures. In this connection, while specific embodiments of this invention have been described in considerable detail, variations and modifications of these embodiments can be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed and claimed.

I claim: 1. Leading and trailing undercarriage members adapted to be connected to vehicles of a toy train having forward and rear carriage connecting pins and rear coupling pins projecting from the bottom:

said undercarriage members being formed of flat, stiff plastic sheeting with a pair of transverse axle tree portions with wheel spindles on each end and central holes adapted to receive said connecting pins,

integral connecting links extending between the axle tree portions of each undercarriage member,

an integral relatively rigid tongue projecting forwardly from the front axle tree portion of the trailing undercarriage members and having an opening formed in it's forward end adapted to be releasably engaged with the coupling pin on a preceding vehicle,

the connecting links of the trailing undercarriage mem bers being relatively transversely flexible as compared to the transverse flexibility of said tongue,

and four wheels on the four spindles of each undercarriage members.

2. Undercarriage members as defined in claim 1 in which the relative flexibility of the connecting link of said trailing undercarriage member is created by a leading undercarriage member having the connecting link thereof stretched longitudinally and reduced in cross section.

3. Undercarriage members as defined in claim 2 in which the opening in the forward end of the tongue is a keyhole opening with a slot opening to the forward end of the tongue.

4. Undercarriage members as defined in claim 1 in which the relative flexibility of the connecting links of said trailing undercarriage members is created by stretching the links to lesser thickness than the thickness of the sheet material forming the remaining portion of the links.

5. In a train of toy vehicles each having front and rear carriage connections and rear couplings on the bottom:

leading and trailing undercarriage members for said vehicles comprising sheets of flat plastic cut to provide a pair of transverse axle tree portions with wheel spindles on each end,

integral connecting links extending between the axle tree portions of each undercarriage member,

an integral relatively transversely rigid tongue projecting forwardly of the front axle tree portions of trailing undercarriage members,

the connection links of the trailing undercarriage members being relatively transversely flexible as compared to the flexibility of said tongues,

pivot means connecting the centers of said axle tree portions to the front and rear connections of said vehicles,

and means pivotally connecting the front ends of the tongues of trailing carriage members to the rearcouplings of preceding vehicles, said pivot means on trailing vehicles being closer together than the free length between the axle treeportions of the undercarriage members connected thereto whereby the connecting links of trailing undercarriage members are bowed. 6. Undercarriage members in a train as defined in claim 5 in which said pivot means connecting the axle tree portions to the front and rear connections are pins projecting from the vehicles through holes in the axle tree portions. 7. Undercarriage members in a train as defined in claim 6 in which the connecting links of said trailing undercarriage members are stretched to a lesser thickness than the remainder of the members to provide the relative flexibility of the links.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,597,588 5/ 1952 Mandil 46-221 2,987,851 6/ 1961 Bonanno 46218 3,120,719 2/ 1964 Simonds 46-216 3,224,137 12/ 1965 Wright 46-221 3,242,610 3/ 1966 Christiansen 4626 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2597588 *Oct 15, 1948May 20, 1952Manoil Mfg Co IncToy vehicle wheel and axle
US2987851 *Sep 13, 1957Jun 13, 1961Lionel CorpPlastic truck
US3120719 *Jul 17, 1961Feb 11, 1964Simonds June MToy making wheel assemblies
US3224137 *Mar 4, 1963Dec 21, 1965Spalding A G & Bros IncToy construction block set
US3242610 *Jan 17, 1963Mar 29, 1966Interlego AgFlexible connector for toy construction sets
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4568300 *Jan 15, 1985Feb 4, 1986Marvin Glass & AssociatesToy team racing set
US4892502 *Nov 25, 1986Jan 9, 1990Kurt HesseToy vehicle with own motor drive
US5873727 *Sep 9, 1997Feb 23, 1999Fundex Games, Ltd.Apparatus for moving game pieces during a game playing period and an associated method of playing a game
US8708770 *Feb 17, 2009Apr 29, 2014George S. Hudimac, Jr.Model motor vehicle highway system
WO1987004362A1 *Nov 5, 1986Jul 30, 1987Kurt HesseSelf-propelled toy car
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/467
International ClassificationA63H17/26, A63H17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H17/262
European ClassificationA63H17/26B