US 3484984 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 23, 1969 FISCHER TOY ASSEMBLY KIT WITH ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS Filed Jan. 5/1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig?) INVENTOR.
ARTUR FISCHER Dec. 23, 1969 A. FISCHER 3,484,984
TOY ASSEMBLY KIT WITH ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS Filed Jan. 5, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 v 13 Fig.6
& 19 27 13 19 23 5 22 18 0 o o o o o o Fig, 8 25 Fig.9 I UPPER FACE HAS ELECTRICAL AND I N VEN TOR.
ARTUR FISCHER BY United States Patent 3,484,984 TOY ASSEMBLY KIT WITH ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS Artur Fischer, 133 Gruenmettstetterstrasse, 7241 Tumlingen, Germany Filed Jan. 5, 1967, Ser. No. 607,586 Claims priority, application Germany, Jan. 11, 1966,
Int. Cl. A63k 33/ 08, 33/26; G09b 23/06 U.S. Cl. 46-25 17 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In an assembly kit of the type which comprises building blocks which are each provided with at least one connecting portion, various electrical components such as lamp or bulb sockets, switches, connectors and the like, carried by or embedded at least partially in block-like members which are also provided with at least one connecting portion each, which can mate with the connecting portion of the respective building blocks.
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Related applications are copending at this time, and include an application entitled Assembly Kit filed on Oct. 14, 1965, Ser. No. 492,646.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an assembly kit, and more specifically to an assembly kit of the type comprising building blocks which are provided with at least one connecting portion each. Still more specifically, the present invention relates to the provision of electrical component means in such an assembly kit.
In my copending applications, for instance the one identified above, I have disclosed assembly kits which comprise a variety of building blocks, each of which is provided with at least one connecting portion adapted to mate with at least one complementary connecting portion provided on another building block. Such connecting portions may comprise undercut grooves provided in a face of one building block and a projecting portion provided on the face of another building block and having a configuration complementary to the cross-sectional configuration of the groove or grooves, such connecting portion or portions being arranged to be introduced into the groove or grooves from respective open ends thereof and being prevented from withdrawal from such groove or grooves in the direction normal to the elongation of the latter by the fact that the groove or grooves have an undercut configuration.
Building kits of this type have met with outstanding success, particularly in the toy industry in view of the fact that they permit extremely easy connection to the various elements to one another, and at the same time assure reliable maintenance of such connection. However, building kits of this type are frequently provided with various electrical components to increase their versatility. For instance, it may be desired to provide lighting possibilities for buildings constructed with such kits, or to provide headlamps for a vehicle which is constructed from a kit of this type. This means that the building kit must be provided with sockets for light bulbs, with connectors, with switches, with conductors and soon. Heretofore, the connection of these elements to one another, as well as their securing to the mechanical building elements has provided difiiculties and necessitated the provision of auxiliary assembly means, such as screws, clamps, or similar aids. This has made such kits unnecessarily complicated 3,484,984 Patented Dec. 23, 1969 and therefore expensive, and at the same time has rendered their construction and their assembly relatively difiicult, which is particularly undesirable if the kits are to be used as toys.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the disadvantages which are known from the prior art in general, and constitutes an improvement over the assembly kits disclosed in my copending application.
In accordance with one feature of my invention I provide, in an assembly kit of the type which comprises building blocks each provided with at least one connecting portion, electrical component building means having a mating connecting portion which is adapted to cooperate with the one connecting portion mentioned above, so as to thereby make possible the connection of the electrical component means to a respective building block of the assembly kit.
With an arrangement as just outlined, the connection of the various electrical components of the electrical system with which the kit is provided, such as switches, adjustable resistors, lamp sockets, transformers and the like, to the structural elements of the kit, namely the actual structural building blocks, is greatly simplified.
At the same time, the electrical components provided in accordance with the present invention can themselves constitute electrical component building means and be utilized in conjunction with the structural elements to thus serve structural purposes.
Furthermore, an arrangement of the type hereindisclosed makes possible not only a simple mechanical connection between the electrical components and the structural elements of the novel assembly kit, but in accordance with a further feature of the invention it makes possible also a simple electrical connection between the individual electrical components of the electrical system.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the electrical component building means are provided in form of block-shaped elements having four lateral faces and two end faces extending normal to the lateral faces, and at least one of these faces is provided thereon or therein with an electrical component whereas at least one other face, extending at a right angle to the one face, is provided with a male or female connecting portion adapted to matingly cooperate with a complementary connecting portion on a structural building block of the novel assembly kit.
A further preferred embodiment of the invention provides male or female connecting means on all four lateral faces of the block-shaped electrical components building means to facilitate their connection to one another and to the structural building blocks in a great variety of different positions.
I prefer to provide each of the block-shaped building components with a male connecting means on at least one of its lateral faces, and with female connecting means, that is with electrical sockets, in the remaining lateral faces, thus assuring that any two of these block-shaped electrical building components can be connected to one another without any need for additional contacts or other current-conducting members. I
Since it is frequently necessary to position the electrical component building means at a distance from one another, and in such position to establish conductive contact therebetween, electrical conductors are provided as a part of my novel assembly kit, and in a preferred embodiment these electrical conductors are rigid so that they can serve as load-bearing structural elements. Preferably, the electrical conductors, which of course carry only low-voltage current from a transformer or from batteries, arenon-insulated so that current can be tapped at any point therealong by sliding or other contacts.
Also in accordance with the invention, I provide as a part of the assembly kit a base plate which is provided with one surface having mechanical and/or electrical connecting means thereon so that a plurality of electrical components can be mechanically and/r electrically connected to the base plate, and further having another surface which is directed oppositely to the first surface and which is provided one or more connecting portions adapted to mate with complementary connecting portions on structural building blocks of the novel assembly kit. This makes it possible to assemble all or most of the components of the electrical system on such a base pEte and in turn to secure the entire assembly quickly and easily to the structural building blocks at a suitable location of the building, vehicle or other model which has been constructed from such structural building blocks.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific I embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 illustrates a block-shaped electrical building component including a lamp socket;
FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of an electrical building component in accordance with the present invention;
FIG, 2a shows a top-plan view of the component of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 shows an electrical building component including a lamp socket in a further embodiment;
FIG. 4 shows an exemplary arrangement of several electrical building components of the type shown in FIGS. 2, 2a and 3;
FIG, 5 shows a further exemplary arrangement of electrical building components of the type herein disclosed;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of yet a further electrical building component including a lamp socket;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing an electrical building component including a switch;
FIG. 8 shows a combination of the components of FIGS. 6 and 7 in an exemplary arrangement;
FIG. 9 shows a base plate on which the various electrical building components may be mounted; and
FIG. 10 shows a perspective view, in the manner of FIG. 9, but illustrating the base plate of FIG, 9 with a cover applied thereto.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing now the drawing in more detail, and firstly FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that there is illustrated in FIG. 1 an electrical building component in form of a block-shaped member 1 having an end face which is provided with a recess accommodating a lamp socket 2. A lamp 13 is screwed into the lamp socket 2 with its base 13a. At the opposite end face of the member 1 there is provided a connecting portion, namely a male connecting member 5, which serves for mechanically connecting the member 1 to structural building blocks utilized in this kit. The male connecting member 5 is of undercut configuration, that is it has a neck which connects a head of larger cross section than the neck to the end face of the member 1. Evidently, when the male connecting portion 5 is received in an undercut groove, such as is for instance illustrated in FIG. 8 on the building blocks 25, and identified with reference numeral 26, it cannot be withdrawn transversely of the elongation of such groove or grooves 26.
One lateral face of the member 1 is provided with two male connecting pins 4 (only one shown) which project from the lateral face and are electrical contacts. The lateral face opposite the one on which the electrical pins 4 are provided, is formed with recesses in which there are provided two sockets 3 (only one shown) and it will be seen that with this arrangement a plurality of such members 1 can be connected in a series and can be at one and the same time interconnected electrically and mechanically. Of course, the pins 4 are electrically connected with the sockets 3.
Coming now to FIGS. 2 and 2a it will be seen that the electrical building component in block-shape is identified therein with reference numeral 6 and that it differs from the one shown in FIG, 1 in that it comprises several pair 7, 8, 9 of electrical sockets, with each pair 7, 8 and 9 extending inwardly into the block-shaped building component from different lateral faces thereof. Specifically, FIGS. 2 and 2a show that the pair 7 extends inwardly from two opposite lateral faces, the pair 8 from one of these lateral faces, and the pair 9 from two opposite lateral faces which extend at right angles to the lateral faces in which the pairs 7 and 8 are provided. As in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the member 6 of FIGS. 2 and 2a is provided with a male connecting portion 5 so that it can be mechanically connected to structural building blocks of the novel assembly kit.
FIG. 3 shows a further embodiment in accordance with the present invention, and the electrical building component there is identified with reference numeral 10. It constitutes essentially a combination of the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2-2a and comprises a lamp or bulb socket 2 provided in one of its end faces and arranged to accommodate the base 13a of a bulb 13, and a male connecting portion 5 of the other of its end faces. A first pair of electrical sockets is identified with reference numeral 11 and is accessible from two opposite lateral faces of the element 10, whereas a second pair of such sockets is identified with reference numeral 12 and is accessible from two lateral faces which are also opposite to one another but which extend at a right angle to the faces of the first pair.
FIG. 4 shows in an exemplary arrangement how the embodiments described before can be secured to one another in a novel assembly kit as herein disclosed. A plurality of electrical building component elements 10 is shown arranged in parallel and each of these elements 10 is provided with a bulb 13. The elements 10 are connected with one another and with a further electrical component element 6 via electrical conductors 14 which are constituted by rod-like stiff elements. The electrical sockets 7 accommodate male connecting pins 15 which in turn are connected with flexible conductors leading to a suitable source of electrical energy.
A somewhat similar arrangement is shown in FIG. 5 where an electrical building component element 10 also is provided with a bulb 13. Here, however, the electrical component element 10 is connected with a source of electrical energy (not shown) via rod-like electrical conductors 16 which lead to an electrical building component element 6 and from there via male contacts 5 to the source of electrical energy. The rod-like electrical conductors 16 are rigid and are non-insulated so that conductive contact can be established with them at any point along their length.
Coming now to the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 it will be seen that this differs from the previous embo iiments in that the electrical building component element, which here is identified with reference numeral 19, is provided with pairs 22, 23 of electrical sockets in two of its lateral faces which extend at a right angle to one another, such pairs of sockets 22, 23 being accessible only from one lateral face each, not also from the opposite face as in the preceding embodiment. At least one further lateral face is provided with a pair (only one shown) of male electrical connecting pins 24. A further difference of the embodiment in FIG. 6 over'the preceding embodiment is that all of the female sockets as well as the male pins are located in a common plane.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 7 is essentially the same as that shown in FIG. 6, except that the electrical building component element is identified with reference numeral 18 and, instead of being provided with a socket for accommodating a bulb 13 as the embodiment in FIG. 6, the embodiment of FIG. 7 is provided with a switch embedded therein and having an actuating portion 27 extending outwardly beyond one end face. The embodiments of FIGS. 6 and 7 both make possible a direct connection of two or more of the electrical component elements 18, 19 by securing the same to a common support, as this is illustrating in FIG. 8. It will be seen there that two structural building blocks 25, each provided with a plurality of the undercut grooves 26, are aligned and suitably secured to one another, and that one each of the electrical building component elements 18, 19 is secured to the structural building blocks 25 by introducing the respective male connecting portions 5 of the electrical component elements 18, 19 into the grooves 26 of the structural building blocks 25. This establishes amechanical connection of the electrical component elements 18, 19 with the respective building blocks 25 and at the same time the male electrical connecting pins 24 of the electrical component element 19 can be introduced into a pair of female connecting sockets of the electrical component element 18, thus establishing an electrical connection be tween the two electrical component elements 18, 19 so that the bulb 13 of the element 19 can be controlled by the switch which is operated by the actuating portion 27 of the element 18.
Coming, finally, to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 it will be seen that this illustrates a base plate 20 which at its under side or under face can be provided with one or more connecting portions, here illustrated as a male connecting portion 5, and at its upper side or upper face with electrical and/ or mechanical connecting means, not specifically identified herein but similar to the electrical and/r mechanical connecting means described herebefore. This makes possible the assembly of various electrical component elements of the type herebefore described on such a base plate 20 into a compact assembly, which can then be secured at a suitable location of a building, vehicle or other project constructed with the novel assembly kit, by introducing the male connecting portion into an undercut groove on a suitable structural building block. To cover the electrical building component elements thus secured to the base plate 20 against the introduction contaminants, or against other damage and accidental dislodging, a cover 21 can be provided which of course must be of height which makes it possible to accommodate electrical component elements such as those identified with reference numerals 1, 6, 10, 18 or 19 between the upper face of the base plate 20 and the inwardly directed complementary face of the cover 21. As also indicated in FIG. 10, but not specifically identified with reference numerals, the cover 21 can itself be provided with apertures through which an electrical connection can be established, for instance by introducing male contact pins through such apertures into female sockets aligned with these apertures and belonging to electrical building component elements supported on the base plate 20.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of assembly kits differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in an assembly kit, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. In an assembly kit, non-electrical components including building blocks provided with at least one connecting portion, electrical component building means including at least two building-block-shaped elements, at least one electrical component carried by each of said elements, and a mating connecting portion on each of said elements adapted to cooperate with said one connecting portion for thereby connecting said elements to respective building blocks of said kit; electrical conductor means adapted to be conductively connected to both of said elements for conductively connecting said electrical components thereof; and base plate means for mounting a plurality of said elements thereon, said base plate means having a first side'provided with at least one connecting portion for permitting mechanical coupling of said base plate means to at least one of said building blocks of said kit, and a. second side provided with a plurality of connecting portions and electrical contacts for permitting mechanical and electrically conductive connection of a plurality of said elements and the associated electrical components to said base plate means.
2. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said electrical components is a socket for a light bulb.
3. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said electrical components is a switch.
4. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said electrical components constitutes electrical contact means.
5. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one. of said elements is provided with a plurality of external faces, said mating connecting portion being provided on one of said faces, and wherein said electrical component of said one element is provided on a face other than said one face.
6. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 5, wherein said electrical component of said one element constitutes electrical contact means, and wherein said one face is inclined with reference to said other face.
7. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 6, wherein said one face extends substantially at a right angle to said other face.
8. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said elements is provided with four lateral faces and two end faces extending normal to said lateral faces, and wherein said electrical components of said one element includes electrical contact means provided on at least one of said lateral faces.
9. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 8, wherein said electrical component of said one element constitutes additional electric contact means provided on the remaining ones of said lateral faces, said mating connecting portion of said one element being provided on one of said end faces.
10. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 9, wherein said electrical contact means includes male and female contacts.
11. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 9, wherein said electrical contact means on said one lateral face is constituted by a pair of male contacts extending outwardly from said one lateral face, and wherein said electrical contact means on said remaining lateral faces is constituted by female contacts extending inwardly into said element from the respective remaining lateral face.
12. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein said connecting portions on said building blocks and on said electrical components building means include male and female portions.
13. In anassembly kit as defined in claim 12, wherein thejfemale portions are constituted as undercut open elongated grooves, and wherein the male connecting portions are constituted as projections having a cross-sectional configuration complementary to that ofsuch undercut open grooves for preventing withdrawal of the respective projections from the respective grooves in direction normal to the elongation thereof.
14. In an assembly kit as defined in claim 1, wherein said conductor means is rigid.
15. In an'assembly kit'as' defined in claim 1, wherein said conductor means is elongated and non-insulated so that electrical connection'can be made with said conductor means at any desired point thereof.
16. In an assembly kitas defined in claim 1, wherein one of said elements is provided with four lateial faces and two end faces extending normal to said lateral faces, one of said electrical components including socket means adapted to receive a light bulb and provided on one of said end faces, and said mating connecting portion being provided on theother of said end faces.
17. In an assembly'kit as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said elements is provided with'four lateral faces UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,044,735 6/1936 Pelton 4616 3,076,286 :2/1963 Czecholinski 4626 3,237,341 3/1966 Janning 4624X 3,278,736 10/1966 Pastoriza.
' FOREIGN PATENTS 613,379 5/1935 Germany.
123,170 2/1919 Great Britain. 202,983 11/1924 Great Britain. 344,668 3 1931 Great Britain;
20 F. BA'RRY SHAY; Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 35-19; 46226