US 3497210 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 24, 1970 R. E, MCCLHITON 3,497,210
OCCUPANT PROPELLED PLAYGROUND DEVICE Filed Jan. 4. 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Feb. 24, 1970 R. E. MCCUNTON 3,497,210
OCCUPANT PROPELLED PLAYGROUND DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 4. 196e INVENTOR United States Patent G 3,497,210 OCCUPANT PROPELLED PLAYGROUND DEVICE Ronald E. McClinton, Troy, Mich., assignor of iive percent to Donald L. Penrod, Detroit, Mich. Filed Jan. 4, 1968, Ser. No. 695,670 Int. Cl. A63g 1]/00 U.S. Cl. 272-55 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Playground equipment in which a support structure is firmly anchored in the ground and extending from the support structure is a boom having a seat and handlebar assembly at the outward end. The boom is connected to the support assembly to permit the seat and handlebar assembly to move in a vertical plane up and over the support. Counterbalancing means are provided to compensate for the weight of the occupant so that the occupant may, with ease, propel himself over the support. The seat and handlebar assembly is pivotally mounted for rotation about the axis of the boom.
This invention relates to playground devices and more particularly to a type of device which permits an occupant to ride up and over a support structure, and being counterbalanced so that the occupant may experience a feeling of weightlessness.
There are all manners and conditions of playground devices available, on or in which an occupant can propel himself or be propelled in a variety of different directions and in a variety of different ways. However, there are none available which will permit an occupant to jump or ride over the top of a support structure, taking advantage of a counterweight or counterbalance assembly to permit the occupant to experience the feeling of weightlessness.
It is here proposed to provide a structure which is easily constructed, inexpensive to manufacture and assemble and is safe for occupation and use by youngsters of most ages.
The device in which this invention is embodied comprises, generally, a support structure firmly anchored in the ground or other solid base, and a boom pivotally mounted on the support structure and rotatable in a vertical plane over the top of the support structure. A seat assembly is mounted at one end of the boom, and a mechanism is provided to counterbalance the Weight of the occupant, thus permitting the occupant to propel himself with ease over the support structure in the vertical plane. The counterbalance assembly may be adjusted to compensate for different weighted individuals, thus permitting the device to be used by a number of different people. The seat structure is pivotally mounted on the boom, so that in going over the top of the support structure the occupant does not come down headrst, and thus the overall assembly is extremely safe for anyone who can conveniently sit in the seat and maintain a hold on suitable handlebars. The device is extremely simple in construction and is easily assembled and mounted in an existing facility.
These and other advantages Willbecome more apparent from the following description and drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational vie'w of a preferred embodiment of the playground device.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged elevational view with parts broken away and in section of the structure shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the structure shown in FIGURE 1 taken substantially along the line 3--3 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
FIGURE 4 is an elevational end view of the' structure shown in FIGURE 1 taken substantially along the line 3,497,210 Patented Feb. 24, 1970 ICG 4 4 of FIGURE 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective View of another prefe'rred embodiment of the structure.
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIGURE 5 taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, FIGURES 1 through 4 best illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention. A support member, illustrated generally by the numeral 10, is suitably secured in the ground 11, or any other fixed and solid support, and extends upwardly therefrom. At the top of the support member 10 is a cam plate, indicated generally by the numeral 12, mounted on the support 10 by means of a cap 14 secured to the underside of the cam plate 12 in any suitable manner, as by weldments 16. The upper surface 18 of cam plate 12 is formed to arcuate configuration, although the side surfaces 20 and 22 are substantially vertical. At the ends of the arcuate surface 18 are flanges 24, the purpose for which will become hereinafter more apparent.
Extending outwardly from the cam plate 12 is a boom structure indicated generally by the numeral 26 having at its outward end a seat assembly, indicated generally by the numeral 28. Boom structure 26 includes an outer tube 30 having disposed therein, in telescopic fashion, an inner boom member 32, terminating in spaced flanges 34 receiving a pivot shaft 36. The pivot shaft 36, in turn, carries a cam wheel 38 that engages the cam surface 18 of the cam plate 12 in a manner to be hereinafter more particularly described.
Secured in the outer boom tube 30 are retainer members 40 and 42, each of which is secured at its opposite end in the side surfaces 20 and 22 of the cam plate 12. The boom assembly 26 is thus allowed to pivot about the cam plate 12 and support 10 in a vertical plane, the pivot axis being the juncture between the retainer members 40 and 42 and the cam plate 12.
At the opposite end of the boom assembly 26, a seat assembly 28 is pivotally secured to the outer boom tube 30 by means of a cap member 44, to which is secured the seat brace 46 and the seat member 48. Extending also from the cap 44 is a handlebar assembly 50, formed in any suitable fashion and conveniently located for grasping by the occupant of the seat. Cap 44 is rotatable about the end of the tube 30 and suitable retaining means 52 -are provided to prevent the cap from inadvertent removal from the boom 30.
Disposed within the boom 30 is an adjustment bushing, indicated generally by the numeral 54, having outwardly directed tabs 56 slidably received in corresponding slots 58 in the interior wall of the boom tube 30. Thus, the adjustment bushing 54 may be slid along the inside of the boom tube in a manner to be hereinafter more particularly described.
Disposed between the outward end of inner boom tube 32 and the adjustment bushing 54 is a compression spring, indicated generally by the numeral 60. Acting between the bushing 54 and inner tube 32, the spring forces the caml 38 against the cam surface 18, thus biasing the boom assembly against the retainer members 40 and 42. The effect of the force of the cam 38 on the cam surface 18 is to counterbalance the weight of Ithe occupant on the seat 48, such that the occupant, by pushing upwardly with his feet on the ground, will propel himself up and over the support structure 10. The cam wheel 38 rides on the cam surface 18, the retainer members 40 and 42, along with the cam assembly maintaining the boom structure in the vertical plane. Since the seat assembly 28 is rotatably mounted on the outward end of the boom 26, the occupants weight will cause the seat to pivot in a plane normal to the axis of the boom 26, thus swinging around so that he does not return to the ground on the opposite side of the support 10 headfirst. The action of the seat assembly 28 and boom structure 26, as it is propelled, is illustrated in dashed and dotted lines in FIGURE 1, showing the seat assembly traversing from the righthand side to the lefthand side under the push given by the occupant.
The outwardly directed flanges 24 at the ends of the cam plate 12 limit the travel distance of the boom structure 26 by stopping the movement of the cam wheel 38 and thus the remainder of the assembly.
As different occupants occupy the seat 28, it becomes necessary to adjust the counterbalancing effect of the spring 60. This may be accomplished by means of a threaded rod 62 received in a threaded aperture in the adjustment bushing 54. A suitable chank 64, attached to the end of the threaded rod 62 and available to the occupant of the seat assembly 28, may be rotated to rotate the threaded rod 62, thus advancing or retracting the adjustment bushing 54 within the tube 30. As the bushing is moved in one direction or the other, the spring rate of the spring 60 changes, due to its change in length, thus varying the counterweighting force of the cam 38 against surface 18. Thus the assembly is adaptable to occupants of varying weight.
Referring next to FIGURES through 7, another preferred embodiment of the device is illustrated. As shown in FIGURES 5 through 7 a support yoke, indicated generally by the numeral 70, includes a post 72 suitably received in a receptacle 74 in the ground 76 or any other fixed and solid structure. The arms 78 and 80 of the support yoke 70 extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in eyes 82 and 84. Extending between the eyes 82 and 84 is a pivot shaft 86, on which is journaled a boom structure, indicated generally by the numeral 88, for rotation in a vertical plane between the arms 78 and 80 of the support structure 70.
At one end of the boom structure 88 is a seat assembly 90, similar to that previously described, including a seat member 92 attached to a cap 94 by a seat brace 96. A handlebar assembly 98 is also secured to the cap 94, the cap being rotatably mounted on the boom assembly 88 for rotation in a plane normal to the axis of the boom.
Boom 88 includes a boom tube 100 which receives the cap 94 on the seat assembly 90, and suitable retaining means 102 prevent inadvertent removal of the cap from the boom tube 100. Also mounted on the boom tube 100, and on the opposite side of the pivot shaft 86 from the seat assembly 90, is a counterweight, indicated generally by the numeral 104. Counterweight 104 is slidably mounted on the boom tube 100, the tube having suitable slots 106 receiving pins 108 passing through the counterweight 104 and received in a bushing 110 disposed within the boom tube 100.
Threadedly received in the bushing 110 is a threaded rod 112, coaxially disposed within the boom tube 100 and journaled in an end plate 114 disposed in the tube adjacent the end with the seat structure 90. On the end of the threaded rod 112 is a gear member 116 which meshes with a second gear 118, suitably secured to a chank handle 120 adjacent the seat structure 90 and Within easy reach of the occupant. Upon rotation of the crank handle 112, the gears may be rotated in their respective directions causing the threaded rod 112 to rotate, either advancing or retracting the bushing 110 and the counterweight 104 as desired, and as necessary according to the Weight of the user.
The boom assembly 88 may also include reinforcing members 122 and 124 should such be necessary, it being important to provide such reinforcing in a manner so as not to interfere with the support yoke 70 as the boom is moved in its vertical plane about the axis of the pivot shaft 86.
The operation of the structure illustrated in FIGURES 5 through 7 is substantialy the same as previousy indicated with respect to the embodiment of FIGURES l through 4, it being noted that an occupant may push off from the ground to cause the boom and seat structure to fly about the axis of the pivot shaft 86 and in a vertical plane. The weight of the occupant maintains the seat 92 in a downward position as much as possible so that the occupant does not corne down on the other side headfirst.
By properly counterweighting the seat structures of the devices in either modification, the occupant, upon propelling himeslf upwardly, can experience a feeling of weightlessness along with the feeling of travelling a tremendous distance by jumping off the ground. This provides an entirely new form of entertainment, an entirely new form of playground equipment and an entirely new type of ride. It is to be understood, however, that the structures hereinbefore described are not limited to playground facilities but may be mounted in any area so long as there is firm support for the device.
While numerous changes and modifications will occur to those having skill in the art, after having had reference to the foregoing description and drawings, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention by the foregoing but by the scope of the appended claims in which:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An occupant propelled playground device comprising: a support; a boom pivotally mounted on said support for arcuate movement in a vertical plane about said support; a seat structure pivotally mounted on one end of said boom for rotation about the axis of the boom and having a seat portion offset with respect to the axis of the boom and adapted to receive an occupant; and means on said boom for counterbalancing the weight of an occupant of said seat portion to permit said seat structure and said boom to be pivoted by the occupant about said support whereby the occupant may travel over the support from one side to the other while starting and linishing such travel in a substantially upright position.
2. The playground device set forth in claim 1 wherein said support includes a post member extending upwardly from the ground, and acam plate secured to the top of said post.
3. The playground device set forth in claim 2 wherein said counterbalancing means includes a cam follower mounted on the other end of said boom and engaging a cam surface on said cam plate, and adjustable means for maintaining said cam follower in engagement with said cam surface.
4. The playground device set forth in claim 3 wherein said adjustable means includes a spring member disposed in the boom and operatively engaging said cam follower, and a member engaging said spring and being selectively movable to vary the spring rate of said spring and the force of said cam follower against said cam surface.
5. The playground device set forth in claim 1 wherein said support includes a yoke member extending upwardly from the ground, and a pivot shaft extending between the upper ends of said yoke member, said boom being pivotally mounted on said pivot shaft.
6. The playground device set forth in claim 5 wherein said counterbalancing means includes a weight movably mounted on said boom on the opposite side of said pivot shaft from said seat structure, and adjustable `means for moving said weight along said boom.
7. The playground device set forth in claim 6 wherein said adjustable means includes a rod threadedly received in said counterweight and extending along said boom toward said seat structure, and means for rotating said rod to selectively advance or retract said counterweight therealong.
8. The playground device set forth in claim 1 wherein said seat structure includes a handlebar assembly.
9. A playground device comprising:
a support member anchored in the ground and extending upwardly therefrom;
a cam plate secured to the upper end of said support member and having an arcuate upper surface;
a boom extending outwardly from said cam surface and having a earn follower telescopingly received in the end thereof and engaging said cam surface;
yoke means pivotally mounted in said cam plate and secured to said boom for restricting movement of said boom in a vertical plane about said cam plate;
a seat structure pivotally mounted on the end of said boom remote from said cam plate, said seat structure being rotatable in a plane normal to the axis of said boom;
a spring in said boom and engaging the end of said cam follower remote from said cam plate;
an adjustment bushing slidably mounted in said boom and engaging the outer end of said spring;
and means adjacent said seat structure for selectively moving said adjustment bushing axially along said boom to vary the spring rate of said spring and the force of said cam follower against said cam surface and counterbalance the weight of an occupant in said seat structure.
10. A playground device comprising: a support yoke anchored in the ground and extending upwardly therefrom; a pivot shaft extending between the upper ends of said support yoke; a boom journaled intermediate the ends thereof on said pivot shaft for rotation in a vertical plane thereabout; a seat structure pivotally mounted on one end of said boom and rotatable in a plane normal to the axis of said boom and having a seat portion depending from the boom to receive an occupant whereby the occupant may travel over the support yoke from one side thereof to the other while starting and nishing such travel in a substantially upright position; a counterweight slidably mounted on said boom on the opposite side of said pivot shaft from said seat structure; an adjustment rod threadedly received in said counterweight and extending along said boom toward said seat structure; and means for rotating said adjustment rod to advance or retract said counterweight along said boom and counterbalance the weight of an occupant of said seat structure.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,532,444 12/ 1950 Ger-mana 272-85 2,920,889 1/1960 Keeling 272-50 X 3,103,356 9/1963 Heines 272-30 X 121,094 11/1871 Fowler 272-56 1,139,232 5 1915 Schwartz 272-33 1,418,999 6/ 1922 Wilson 272-36 FOREIGN PATENTS 448,360 11/1912 France.
17,937 1889 Great Britain. 523,943 7/ 1940 Great Britain.
ANTON O. OEHSLE, Primary Examiner ARNOLD W. KRAMER, Assistant Examiner