US 3511503 A
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Ma 12, 1970 Y MANQLPE 3,511,503
AMUSEMENT DEVICE WITH CHANGEABLE SUPPORT MEANS Filed May 31, 1968 INVENTOR. Michael A. Vo/pe BY Migfi/AL rM HIS ATTORNE Y5 United States Patent 3,511,503 AMUSEMENT DEVICE WITH CHANGEABLE SUPPORT MEANS Michael A. Volpe, 447 Natchez St.,
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15211 Filed May 31, 1968, Ser. No. 733,636 Int. Cl. A63b 63/02 US. Cl. 273-105 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device including a bowl-like member having a rigid annular flange at its base and means for receiving supporting legs on said flange. A pair of removable and reversible legs adapted to cooperate with the receiving means to support the bowl-like member in position as a carom board or as a chair.
The present invention relates to an amusement apparatus having a bowl-like shape which can also be used as a childs chair and more particularly to a novel apparatus which can be used as a carom board for use in a ball return game where a ball is thrown against a rigid member and which can readily be converted into a childs chair or boat. There are many ball games played by children where the players either throw or hit a ball against a flat, or substantially flat, carom surface and other players field the ball. The use of a rebounding or deflecting member having this type of surface permits little variation in the direction in which the ball returns; and, consequently, the skill of the fielders is not utilized to its greatest extent and the thrower or hitter is limited with respect to the types of rebounds which he can effect. Efforts to provide a large degree of variation in ball return games has not met with complete satisfaction. Many of the devices limit the path of the returning ball as a consequence of their shape or require adjustments of the carom surface to obtain a change in the path of the ball. Even those devices which provide a large degree of variation in the ball return path are not entirely satisfactory in that they are usable only as a deflecting member in a ball return game.
My invention provides a novel device for use as a carom board in a ball return game wherein the return path of the ball may be predicted by the thrower, and which device is not limited solely to use in a ball return game. Due to its nonplan'ar configuration, my novel device will permit a ball return game to be played with a great degree of variation in the return path of the ball, such variation being controlled by the thrower. Additionally, the device may be readily converted into a chair that has the proper posture and height for use by a child. Changmg the device from a carom board to a chair is simply achieved by reversing the position of the supporting members. My device may also be converted into a child's boat by removing the supporting members and providing a buoyant float member.
Moreover, with the supporting members of the device removed, a pair of straps may be inserted into slots provided therefor to convert the device into a rocking or tilting vehicle in which a child can safely rock or spin without injury. These slots also receive straps to affix the bowllike member to the aforementioned buoyant member to form a boat. It is readily apparent that my device is adaptable to a variety of different apparatus for amusing children.
In the accompanying drawings, I have shown preferred embodiments of my invention in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the device assembled for use as a carom board;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation with the supporting members reversed so that the device is assembled for use as a chair;-
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a supporting member;
FIG. 4 is a rear elevation of the bowl-like member;
FIG. 5 is a rear elevation of the chair shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a section showing the bowl-like member in combination with a buoyant member for use as a boat; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the device in the form of a chair.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4-7, my device comprises a bowl-like member 1 having a concave surface 2 1n the shape of a partial hemisphere with a circular open ng 3 at its forward end or base. Preferably, the bowl-like member represents 40% of a sphere but this is not a critical limitation. Circular opening 3 is surrounded by a rigid annulus forming a flange 4 at the base of bowl-like member 1. The inner diameter of flange 4 is the same as the inner diameter of the base of bowl-like member 1 to form a smooth continuous surface at the periphery of opening 3 and the annulus extends outwardly to form the flange around the opening. As is readily apparent, the flange imparts considerable strength to the base of the bowl-like member and thereby permits the use of relatively lightweight materials in the making of member 1 while still providing the strength necessary for the bowllike member to withstand the forces applied to it durmg its multiple uses. Flange 4 also prevents bowl-like member 1 from warping out-of-round and protects the forward edge of the member against dents and chips.
Supporting member 5, shown in FIG. 3, conslsts of three sections, a short leg 5a, a long leg 5b and a connecting member 50 that connects the upper ends of both legs. As a non-limiting example, short leg 5a will have a length of 20 inches, long leg 5b will have a length of 26 inches and the angle between the legs will be approximately 65. Two supporting members are used to assemble the bowl-like member as a carom board or chair and the only difference between them is that they are opposite hand. For this reason, like reference numerals are used with reference to the like parts. Each supporting member fits through aligned, generally U-shaped, brackets 6 carried on the rear surface of flange 4; and when a supporting member is in position on the bowl-like member, connecting member 50 abuts a retaining flange 7 which is also affixed to the rear surface of flange 4. When short legs 5a of the supporting members are inserted through brackets 6 as in FIG. 1, the device takes the form of a carom board and in this arrangement the face of flange 4 is at an angle of approximately with the horizontal. When long legs 5b are inserted through brackets 6, the device is converted into a chair as shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and 7. When the legs are reversed to convert the device into a chair, the surface of flange 4 will be at an angle of approximately with the horizontal.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, retaining flanges 7 fix the position of the bowl-like member on support members 5. Removal of the supporting members is a very simple operation. The device is lifted slightly so that members 50 of the supporting members are no longer in contact with flanges 7, and each supporting member is rotated approximately so that the rear leg extends outwardly away from member 1. After the supporting members have been rotated into this position, the bowl-like member can slide down the front legs and the front legs can be then pulled upwardly from brackets 6.
Without supporting members 5, the bowl-like member can be used for other amusements. For example, flange 4 has two pairs of parallel slots 8 and 9 formed therein. The pairs are located 180 from one another and are parallel to a diameter of the bowl-like member. Straplike handles may be placed through each pair of slots and a. child can sit in the bowl-like member and effectuate a rocking motion. Because of flange 4 extending beyond the periphery of opening 3, member 1 cannot tilt so far as to throw the child out. The strap-like handles, although not necessary, permit a child to maintain balance and aid in rocking and tilting motion of member 1.
Additionally, the bowl-like member may be strapped to an inner tube or other buoyant member as shown in 'FIG. 6. Straps 10 and 11 extend through slots 8 and 9 in flange 4 to secure the bowl-like member to inner tube 12, and the combination forms a small boat. Alternative to the use of independent straps, a special buoyant ring may be used which has the securing straps attached to it and spaced to be aligned with slots 8 and 9.
When the device is used as a carom board in a ball return game, it is desirable to position the rear legs b against a rigid member such as a wall or to force them into the ground so that the impact of the ball against the bowl-like member does not move it rearwardly. The device has the added feature, when used as a carom board, of helping small children learn to tell time. As shown in FIG. 7, flange 4 has numerals 1 through 12 on its forward face in a manner identical to the hours on a clock. Learning is accomplished by correlating the entry point of a ball thrown into member 1 with the exit point. For example, when a ball enters member 1 and strikes the curved surface 2 immediately below the numeral 12, the ball will follow the contour of the surface and emerge at the opposite point on the periphery immediately above numeral 6. The older children playing the game will undoubtedly refer to the clock positions around the periphery when they are throwing and fielding the ball, and this will help younger children to become familiar with the arrangement of a clock face and, hence, assist in teaching them to tell time.
My device has additional educational value in that the path of the ball as it enters and leaves the bowl, especially if it has spin or English applied to it, requires the players to analyze a physical situation with sufficient definiteness to ascertain where the ball will exit and thereby help them to realize that a result can be deduced from the cause thereof.
While I have shown and described preferred embodiments of my invention, it may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the appended claims.
1. An amusement device comprising:
(A) a rigid bowl-like member having a circular base and a circular cross-section throughout its longitudinal extent;
(B) a flat rigid annulus aflixed to said member at its base, said annulus having an inner diameter equal to the diameter of said base and an outer diameter greater than said inner diameter so as to form a flange extending radially beyond the periphery of said base;
'(C) a pair of vertically aligned loops aflixed to the rear surface of said flange on each side of said bowllike member adapted to receive support members;
(D) a retainer flange afiixed to the rear surface of said flange in spaced relation with each pair of said loops; and
(E) a support member extending through each pair of said loops to support said bowl-like member in raised position, each support member having a short leg, a long leg and a connecting member extending between the ends of said legs to connect said legs, said connecting member abutting said retainer flange to maintain said bowl-like member in raised position,
whereby said bowl-like member is supported as a carom board when said short legs are within said loops and as a chair when said long legs are within said loops.
2. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said bowllike member comprises approximately 40% of a sphere.
3. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said flange has two pairs of parallel slots formed therein, said slots being parallel to a diameter of said bowl-like member and spaced 180 from each other.
4. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said annular flange has the numerals one through twelve equispaced upon its forward surface.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,948,995 2/ 1934 Regenold 273103 2,072,682 3/1937 Morgan 273103 X 2,930,430 3/1960 Bloom. 3,146,028 8/1964 Grosfillex 297-457 X 3,233,899 2/1966 Hershberger 273103 X 3,378,260 4/ 1968 Hartel 273102 X FOREIGN PATENTS 237,015 7/ 1925 Great Britain.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.