US 3509659 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 5, 1970 J. KAU
SPINNING AMUSEMENT DEVICE Filed Feb. 29, 1968 HVVILN TOR. JOSHUA K40 awa M United States Patent O 3,509,659 SPINNING AMUSEMENT DEVICE Joshua Kau, 44749 Malulani St., Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii 96744 Filed Feb. 29, 1968, Ser. No. 709,315 Int. Cl. A63h 1/10 U.S. CI. 4647 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A generally circular wheel-like rim having a first rotatable handle at its axis and an axially extending rigid helical portion, fixed to the rim and terminating in a second rotatable handle coaxial with the first rotatable handle. The center of gravity of the device being eccentric to the common axis of rotation of the handles.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a rigid structure having a wheel-like rim at one end and to which a central rotatable handle is connected. The rigid structure extends from the rim in a generally axial direction to a remote point on the rim axis where it terminates in a second rotary handle, both handles being rotatable about the common axis of the rim portion. In one embodiment the portion extending from the rim to the second handle is arranged as a helix about the common axis. The center of gravity of the device is eccentric to the axis so that it can be maintained in a spinning condition by properly coordinated movements while being balanced in an upright position from either of the rotary handles or while being otherwise manipulated by the user.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1 but viewing the toy in the opposite direction from FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the amusement device is a substantially unitary rigid structure designated generally by numeral 2. As illustrated the device is constructed of a length of hollow tubing of metal or the like, one end portion of which is bent to define a substantially circular rim portion 4. The very end portion of the tubing, at the rim end, is turned inwardly, as at 6, to define a generally radial spoke having a supporting sleeve 8 rigidly fixed to its inner end and substantially coaxial with the central axis 10 of the wheel-like rim portion 4. As shown, the rim portion 4 is formed by bending the tube into a tight helix for approximately 1 /2 turns. The tube is then bent to extend at least partially in an axial direction away from the rim portion 4 and to define an elongated rigid portion 12 of generally helical shape in which the diameter of the helix keeps diminishing in a direction away from the rim portion 4. At its other or remote end the elongated rigid member 12 terminates in an axially extending portion 14, which is also substantially concentric to the axis 10 and in axial alignment with the supporting sleeve 8.
As more clearly shown in FIG. 3, the end 14 of the member 12 has a plug member 16 pressed therein and threadedly receiving a threaded rod 18 which is locked in position therein by lock nut 20. The rod 18 extends axially outwardly of the plug 16 in the form of a shaft portion 22 terminating in a transverse head 24 at its outer end. A rotary handle 26, shown herein in the form of a sphere or ball, is provided with a bore 28 therein in which a bearing member 30 is press fitted and in which shaft 22 is journalled. The bearing 30 obviously prevents retraction of the shaft portion 22 since the head 24 thereon is retained by the bearing portion. The head 24 is formed with a spherical seat 32 therein which faces a concave seat portion 34 in the bottom of the bore 28. A ball bearing 36 is positioned to engage the seats 32 and 34 and thus serve as a thrust bearing to rotatably support the device when manipulated in a manner to be described later.
The support sleeve 8 previously referred to rotatably supports a first handle 38, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as a substantially spherical handle but which may be of other forms, for example, like shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 also shows the details of the bearing structure supporting the handle 38 in sleeve 8. As shown, the sleeve 8 has a bearing member 40 press-fitted therein and in which a rotary shaft 42 is journalled. The shaft 42 extends outwardly of the sleeve 8 and bearing 40 in a direction away from the second handle 26 and its outer end is threaded to receive a handle core 44 about which a soft or resilient sheath 46 is positioned. The sheath 46 and core 44 are held clamped in fixed position on the shaft 42 by a lock nut 48. Obviously a spherical handle such as that shown in FIG. 1 may be employed in place of the resiliently covered handle 44-46 of FIG. 4.
At its inner end the shaft 42 is provided with an enlarged head 50 having a spherical seat 52 therein and in which a thrust bearing ball 54 is seated. The ball 54 is held in position by a plug 56 threadedly engaging the interior of the inner end of sleeve 8 and is provided at its inner end with a spherical seat 58. The ball 54 serves as a thrust bearing to support the weight of the device when it is caused to spin While being supported or balanced on the first handle 38, just described.
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate some of the many manners in which the amusement device may be employed. For example, in FIG. 5 the device is shown as being balanced on the users hand by engagement with the second handle 26. Since the center of gravity of the device is eccentric to the central axis, it will be apparent that properly coordinated hand movements will maintain the device spinning while in the positi n of FIG. 5 and clearly considerable skill and practice is necessary to properly manipulate the device in this manner to keep it balanced in an upright position and to keep it spinning.
As shown in FIG. 6, the device may be supported by both hands of the user, one hand engaging each of the handles 26 and 38. Clearly, orbital movement of both hands in a synchronized manner will cause the device to spin about its central axis. In this manner initial spin can be imparted after which the upper hand may be removed to produce the conditions shown in FIG. 5.
As shown in FIG. 7, the device may be supported by a floor or other surface 60 and by engaging the upper handle 26 and properly moving the hand, the device may be caused to spin about its vertical axis and maintained in a spinning state.
Generally, it is necessary to cause the device to start spinning about its central axis by positively twirling the same and the described modes of operation are then resorted to to maintain spinning while otherwise balancing or manipulating the device in the manners described.
While the basic principles of operation may be accomplished by extending the rigid elongated portion 12 in a generally straight line from a point on the rim 4 to the handle 26, it is preferred that the portion 12 be configured to define the tapered helix described since the spinning of the device about its axis thus creates a different visual reaction and renders it somewhat more diflicult to properly coordinate hand movements to keep the device spinning. The optical effect of the rotating helix is found to produce considerable amusement.
If desired, those portions of the device comprising at least the rim portion 4 and an adjacent portion of the rigid member 12 may be covered by tubing or other coating material 62 providing a relatively soft or cushioned surface to minimize damage to furniture or objects with which the device may impact. Clearly, the metal or other tubing and the coating 62 may also be of different colors, thus adding to the attractiveness of the device.
Since the device described is of a generally tapered configuration from the rim 4 to the handle 26, it may also be placed on a floor or other surface to rest thereon and caused to roll over the floor. The handle 26 will be substantially the center of rotation while the rim 4 will roll in a circle therearound. This mode of operation is attractive to small children and the device can be kept rotating for a substantial period of time during which the child may jump over the device each time it rolls around. Obviously many other modes of operation may be devised by the user and a multitude of games can be devised to be played by one or more users.
While a limited number of specific embodiments of the invention are shown and described herein, it will be apparent that the invention is not limited thereto but is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. An amusement device comprising: a generally circular rim portion having a central axis; support means at said axis, closely adjacent the plane of said rim portion and fixed thereto; a first handle journalled in said support means for rotation about said axis; an elongated rigid member secured at one end to said rim and extending generally axially therefrom with its other end substantially at said axis but axially remote from said rim portion; and a second handle journalled in the said other end of said rigid member for rotation about said axis, the center of gravity of said device being eccentric to said axis.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said support means is fixed to said rim by a single spoke-like member extending inwardly from said rim portion.
3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said elongated rigid member is configured to define a helix around said axis.
4. A device as defined in claim 3 wherein said helix diminishes in diameter, from said rim to said other end.
5. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said generally circular rim portion and said rigid member comprise a single length of hollow tubing having a portion adjacent one end thereof bent to define said circular rim portion.
6. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein the rigid member part of said length of tubing is bent to define a helix about said axis, of diminishing diameter from said rim to said other end.
7. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein said one end of said length of tubing extends generally radially inwardly of said rim portion, said support means being fixed to said one end.
8. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein at least that portion of said tubing defining said rim and an adjacent portion of said rigid member is sheathed in a layer of rubber-like material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,149,677 3/1939 Hojnowski 4647 2,877,597 3/1959 Brant 4647 3,023,000 2/1962 Hess 4647 X 3,216,725 11/1965 Hing 4651 X ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 4 1