US 3430381 A
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M. PHIPPS LAUNCHER FOR SPINNING A TOP March 4, 1969 Filed Oct. 24, 1965 INVENTORI MARK PH/PPS Z 'TTO/PNEV r United States Patent 3,430,381 LAUNCHER FOR SPINNING A TOP Mark Phipps, Wheaton, Ill., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Western Publishing Company, Inc., Racine, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Oct. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 504,549 US. Cl. 4672 2 Claims Int. Cl. A63h 1/00, 1/10 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A top launcher having the shape of a gun with a handle and two spaced-apart legs extending therefrom. A top, receivable within the spaced-apart legs, has a central shaft and a disc disposed intermediate the length of the shaft. The ends of the launcher are constructed to receive the opposite ends of the shaft of the top, for holding and spinning the top prior to its release from the launcher.
This invention relates to a spinning top, and, more particularly, it relates to a combined top launcher and top.
It is a general object of this invention to provide a combined top launcher and top wherein the top can be readily and easily launched in a spinning condition so that it will strike a surface and continue to spin in the normal and well known manner of the function of a spinning top. In accomplishing this particular object, both the top and the launcher are made in an economical and simplified construction so that they can be readily and rapidly produced and thus they can be inexpensively sold.
Other objects include the provision of a combined top and top launcher which can be easily operated by a child, is safe in its operation, is enjoyable and yet a challenge in launching the top since the construction is intended so that the top can be aimed at a target area and launched through the air and onto the target area.
Other objects and advantages become apparent upon reading the following description in light of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a preferred embodiment of this invention.
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of FIG. 1.
The drawings show a top launcher, generally designated and the top, generally designated 11, assembled together and ready for launching the top 11 to have it fiy through the air and onto a target area which is not shown. It will be understood that the target area might include objects such as pins which could be knocked over with the top 11, though these pins also are not shown, but are mentioned to give a better understanding of the purpose and construction of the device of this invention.
The launcher 10 is formed by a continuous piece of wire 12 which is disposed in the shape shown to provide a handle-portion 13 at one end thereof. The launcher could of course be made of any suitable material, but it is mentioned that it can be made of a single piece of wire bent into the shape shown. One can therefore grip the handle 13 and use it in the nature of a gun in that the launcher 10 can then be aimed by pointing the free ends 14 of the piece 12 in the desired direction. Ends 14 are welded at 15.
The ends 14 have cylindrically shaped support pieces 16 fixedly disposed thereon for supporting the top 11 in a manner hereinafter described.
The support pieces 16 are of course shown spaced apart and each contains a groove 17 which is enclosed on three sides and open at one end designated 18 in FIG. 2. This is the far end of the grooves 17, that is, the end furthest from the handle 13. The members 16 may be made of wood or plastic so that a minimum of frictional resistance "ice is presented to the top 11 when the latter is spinning in the commencement of being launched.
The top 11 is shown to include an intermediate disk portion 19 and a shaft portion 21 which extends centrally through the disk 19 and to opposite sides of the latter. The shaft 21 thus presents trunnions 22 on the opposite ends of the shaft 21. The trunnions 22 are snugly disposed in the grooves 17, as shown, prior to launching, however, the top 11 can be rotated while on the support pieces 16.
The top 11 has a string 23 shown wrapped around the lower end of the shaft 21, and it will be understood that pulling on the free end 24 of the string 23 will induce rotation of the top 11 while the latter is on the launcher 10. When suitable speed of rotation is achieved by a sharp or rapid pull on the string 23, the top 11 will spin off the launcher 10 in the direction that the launcher is pointed with respect to the groove open sides 18. In this manner, the user can aim the launching of the top 11 at the target area mentioned.
It will now be appreciated that the launcher 10 is shown shaped in the nature of a gun in that it has a handle portion 13 and a comparable barrel portion in the ends 14. Thus the top 11 can be aimed when one holds the handle 13 and gives a sharp pull to the string 23, and this causes the top 11 to move off the pieces 16 in the direction that the launcher 10 is aimed. Of course the launcher 10 would have its wire material 12 of a stiffness suitable to retain a set position achieved by bending the portions 14 toward or away from each other for the necessary fit and snugness with respect to the top shaft 21. Of course the fit would be such that the shaft would be secured by the pieces 16 but yet free to rotate thereon in response to the sharp pull on the string 23. Of course the string 23 is merely wrapped around the shaft 21 and comes completely free from the shaft 21 when the launching is completed and thus the top 11 will land on the target area and spin rapidly in the usual and well known action of a top.
While a specific embodiment of this invention has been shown and described, it should be obvious that certain changes could be made in the embodiment and the invention should therefore be determined only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A spinning top and launcher wherein the top can be aimed during its release from the launcher, comprising a launcher member of a bendable wire and with one end having spaced-apart legs attached together at a location spaced from the free ends of said legs and with said legs being bendable toward and away from each other, pieces mounted on the free ends of said legs and having spacedapart grooves extending in the plane of said legs and being open toward each other and open in the direction of said free ends, the other end of said launcher member including a gun-shaped handle lying along said plane for aiming said launcher with respect to said open ends of said grooves, a top including trunnions on opposite ends thereof and spaced apart a distance to be snugly disposed in said grooves to hold said top from falling out of said grooves and for rotatably supporting said top until it is launched, and a string wrapped around said top and being releasable therefrom by pulling on said string and thereby inducing spinning of said top.
2. A top launcher comprising a member in the shape of a hand gun and including a gun-shaped hand-grip portion at one end and disposed along a plane for gripping and aiming said launcher, said launcher having spacedapart top-supporting members at the other end and extending elongated from said hand-grip portion and lying on said plane for aiming the launcher, said top-supporting members having grooves in the ends extending furthest 3 from said hand-grip portion and with said grooves having open ends in the direction pointed away from said handgrip portion, a top including an enlarged intermediate flat disc and a shaft extending on opposite sides of said disc and terminating in ends spaced apart a distance equal to the spacing of said grooves for snugly extending between the latter and being temporarily secured therein against falling under the force of its own weight so that said top can be aimed for launching, and a string wrapped pulling of said string and thereby causing said top to spin out of said open ends of said grooves.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,890,043 12/1932 Murphree 4672 2,401,866 6/1946 Greenwood 46-72 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
around said shaft for inducing rotation of said top upon 10 ROBERT F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner.