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Publication numberUS3610624 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateNov 10, 1969
Priority dateNov 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610624 A, US 3610624A, US-A-3610624, US3610624 A, US3610624A
InventorsWilliam S Fleischer
Original AssigneeWilliam S Fleischer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball and helical tubing game apparatus
US 3610624 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor William S Fleischer 13361 Shady Lane, Chesterland, Ohio 44026 Appl. No. 875,371

Filed Nov. 10, 1969 Patented Oct. 5, 1971 BALL AND HELICAL TUBING GAME APPARATUS 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

us. Cl 273/112,

46/43 Int. Cl A63h 33/00 Field of Search 46/43 R, 47

R;273/l09,l12, 113, 115

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 541,155 6/1895 Farish 273/112 737,367 8/1903 Dieringer 46/43 2,747,196 5/1956 Kaye 46/43 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney-Bosworth, Sessions, Herrstrom and Cain ABSTRACT: A device for education and amusement whereby one or more players through calculated and coordinated oscillation of the device cause a ball to roll in a helical path of travel to progressively higher levels in a transparent tube. The tube is formed into helical convolutions about a generally vertical axis and the convolutions have progressivelydecreasing radii to define a generally frustoconical tower.

PATENTEUHBT ssen 3610.624


64 m 5: Gm


J/wmom 22 8am ATTORNEYS BALL AND IIELICAL TUBING GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to devices for education and amusement and especially to a device providing a practical application and demonstration of physical principles, especially those principles dealing with the science of kinetics such as kinetic energy and centrifugal force. More particularly the invention relates to a device operable by one or more players that calls upon hand-and-eye physical coordination as well as an understanding and application of certain laws of physics to accomplish a desired result that may be readily measured to indicate the skill level of the player or players.

The device of the invention may be adapted to a number of different games when used in association with other visual materials such as scoring devices, etc. For example the device may be used in connection with a game that relates to rocket science and space travel. The operation of the device calls upon the orbiting of a small ball and the travel of the ball involves rapid rising and falling such as might be related to a rocket launch and splashdown.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is among the objects of the invention to educate and amuse players by application of laws of physics to a practical game device.

Another object is to provide and education and amusement device requiring careful hand-and-eye coordination.

Still another object is to educate a player with respect to various principles of applied kinetics.

These and other objects are accomplished by means of an an amusement device including a relatively flat base that may be supported by one or more players, and a length of transparent tubing, such as polyethylene tubing, secured at one end to the base and formed into convolutions about a vertical axis relative to the base, the convolutions having progressively decreasing radii. The convolutions thus formed define a generally frustoconical tower secured on the base. At least one small ball is provided that has a diameter smaller than the internal diameter of the tube and which is adapted to be inserted into the tube at the base end and be seen by the players during its travel in the tube. By calculated oscillation of the base by the players the ball may be caused to roll about the convolutions with sufficient velocity to generate enough kinetic energy to overcome the gravitational force acting on the ball. The oscillations must be coordinated with the velocity of the ball to continue the desired travel of the ball in a path progressively advancing to the top of the frustoconical tower.

According to one aspect of the invention the upper end of the tubing has an end length which extends downwardly to an exit point within the tower to discharge the ball after it completes its upward travel.

According to still another aspect of the invention the convolutions are supported by a plurality of slanting supports converging from the base to the top of the frustoconical tower and connected to the convolutions to hold them in their desired vertical spacing. When the supports are removed the tubing may be collapsed to a generally spiral flat form on the base to facilitate storage and transport. Other objects, uses and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an education and amusement device embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of the device of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the convolutions of tubihg axially collapsed to a flat spiral condition for storage, parts being broken away and shown in section for the purpose of illustration;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the device of FIGS. 1 to 4 packaged in a carton such as for storage or for transport or display prior to sale; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view showing an alternate means for fastening the convolutions to a support to form a frustoconical tower.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the drawings there is shown a specific embodiment of the invention in the form of a device A that is adapted to be used for the amusement of two players who typically seat themselves opposite one another with the device A supported on their knees at opposite sides thereof. The devise A comprises a base 10 in the form of a flat rigid board. The top face of the base 10 is provided with a decorative game surface with appropriate scoring indicia, etc.

Mounted on the base 10 is a tower 11 taking the form of a spiral-shaped length of tubular, transparent thermoplastic material formed into convolutions 12 extending upwardly from the base 10 about a vertical axis. The convolutions I2 have progressively decreasing radii as the spiral l3 advances upwardly. Accordingly the length of tubing defines a generally frustoconical tower 11 which rises as indicated in FIG. I about 30 inches above the base 10. The convolutions 12 are supported by live upright struts or supports 15 which are slanted inwardly from the base 10 to the top of the tower 1]. The struts 15 are provided with notches 16 in which the convolutions can be received and supported at. the desired spacings.

By removing the struts 15 the spiral 13 may be collapsed so that the convolutions 12 are in a relatively flat spiral form on top of the base 10 (see FIGS. 4 and 5). This facilitates packag ing and storage of the game device A such as in a carton l7.

One or more balls 18 are provided each ball having a diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the spiral 13 of tubing so that it may be inserted into the open end of lowermost convolution 19 of the tubing on the base 10 and rolled upward within convolutions 12. Also since the tubing is transparent the position and travel of the ball 18 can be observed by the players.

According to a typical operation of the device A the players by movement of their anns or knees cause a tipping of the base 10 in such a way that the ball 18 is caused to roll in the tube toward one of the players. As the ball travels around the lowermost convolution 19 in close vicinity to that player, the tipping of the base 10 is reversed so that the ball is caused to continue rolling in the tubing around the next higher convolution toward the other player. The other player repeats the procedure and by continuing this manner of play at a rate depending upon the travel of the ball as observed in the tube, the ball is caused to move in a spiral path upwardly within tower 11. The frequency of the ball must be increased as the ball travels toward the top of the tube since the radii of the convolutions progressively decrease and less time is required to complete the travel through each convolution. Accordingly the maintaining of the travel and velocity of the ball 18 becomes more difficult due to the increasing demand on the timing and coordination of the players as the ball 18 progresses toward the top of the tower. If the skill of the players is sufficient the ball 18 will reach the top of the tower and travel downwardly through descent length 20 back to the base 10. The velocity of the ball 18 as it leaves descent length 20 of the tube will determine the point at which it hits the base 10 and the scoring indicia may be read based on the point of impact of the ball 18.

It will be apparent that the players may try to propel two balls through the spiral at the same time thus calling upon increased skill and coordination.

While the invention has been described with respect to a specific embodiment thereof this is intended for the purpose of illustration rather than limitation and other modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the specification and claims. Accordingly theinand formed into convolutions having a vertical axis relal tive to said vase,

c. said convolutions having progressively decreasing radii to define a generally frustoconical tower,

d. said tubing being sufficiently flexible to be collapsed to generally flat fonn on said base,

e. at least one ball of smaller diameter than the internal diameter of said tubing adapted to be inserted into said tubing at the base thereof whereby calculated oscillations of said base will cause said ball to roll through said tubing in a spiral path and advance to the top of said frustoconical tower, and

f. said tubing being supported by a plurality of slanting supports converging from said base to the top of said tower.

2. A device as defined in claim 1 including a length of tubing descending interiorly of said tower from the top to an exit point within said tower 3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said convolutions are removably connected to said slanting supports.


In'vento S.

It is certified that error appears in the aboveidentified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 15, change "devise" to device- Column 3, Claim 1, lines 7 and 11, change "vase" to -base Signed and sealed this 21st day of March L 1972.


ROBERT GOTTSCHAIK Commissioner of Patents 5 Emma M.FLETCHER,JR.

attesting; Officer USCOMM-DC 50376-9 59 U 5 GOVERNMENT FRINTHiG OFFICE QQII O-IGGSII DRM F'O-iOSO (10-69!

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3989255 *Oct 21, 1975Nov 2, 1976The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.Puzzle employing movable member in tubular maze
US4005865 *Sep 29, 1975Feb 1, 1977David Conrad KidderThree-dimensional amusement device
US4394016 *Dec 16, 1980Jul 19, 1983Pavlos ManosGame using the helical movement of a ball or vehicle
US4595369 *Mar 8, 1985Jun 17, 1986Downs Arthur REducational and amusement device
US4916752 *Apr 3, 1989Apr 17, 1990Thompson John GHelical visual display device
US5374217 *Feb 12, 1992Dec 20, 1994Olson; Richard A.Illusion creating for amusement and education
US6866616 *Jul 29, 2002Mar 15, 2005Michael Saunders SommerDual path helical ramp
U.S. Classification273/112, 446/170
International ClassificationA63F7/36, A63F7/04, A63H18/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/04, A63F7/3622
European ClassificationA63F7/36D, A63F7/04