US 3624346 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Raymond J. Guth  Inventor Rochester, N.Y.  Appl. No. 24,568 I  Filed Apr. 1, 1970  Patented Nov. 30, 1971  Assignee Michael Kolvan Rochester, N.Y. a part interest  BOWLING BALL BAG 9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 219/201, 219/370, 273/54 B  Int. Cl 1105b 1/00  Field of Search.....' 219/200, 201, 202, 229, 359, 366-370, 374, 380, 381, 385, 386, 526, 528, 529, 533; 150/1; 273/54 R, 54 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-C. L. Albritton Attorney-Dennis M. DeLeo ABSTRACT: A bowling ball bag, including either a means to conduct heated air into the bag or an electrical heating means and a fan means to provide a forced flow of heated air within the bag, or both in combination, provides efficient, uniform and rapid heating of the contents, such as a bowling ball and bowling shoes. The heating and fan means can be thermostatically controlled to maintain a desired ambient temperature within the bag. Additionally, the power supply for the heating means and fan means can be incorporated in the bag, or a means for making an electrical connection with an external power supply can be provided as the sole or an alternative method of power supply, The bag can be insulated to promote heat retention.
PATE'NTEU MW 3 0197! VII INVENTOR v RAYMOND J.GUTH
nowuuo BALL BAG This invention relates generally to bowling ball bags and more particularly to heated bowling ball bags designed for use in colder climates.
Bowling balls are conventionally formed from hard rubber or a wide variety of resinous materials, having the necessary physical properties such as dimensional stability, impact resistance and the like. In general, they are substantially thermally insulating and once raised or lowered in temperature, they achieve equilibrium with a dissimilar ambient temperature at an extremely slow rate. This is due in part to the thermal transfer characteristics of the bowling ball material and in part to the large mass of most bowling balls. If the temperature of a bowling ball has been substantially lowered, i.e., under 40 F. its coldness causes certain problems for the bowler, and these problems are not alleviated until the temperature of the ball has risen to substantially the ambient temperature present in a bowling alley hall or other bowling location.
It has be observed that moisture tends to condense on the exterior surfaces of a bowling ball whose temperature is substantially lower than the surrounding ambient temperature. Such moisture formation renders the ballss exterior surfaces, including the surfaces of the finger grip recesses, extremely slippery and difficult to handle. it is common practice for most reasonably experienced bowlers to purchase a bowling ball which is drilled to fit their individual hand grips. it is felt that a bowling ball which provides a comfortable, easy grip will permit the bowler to achieve higher scores more consistently. When the finger holes are made slippery by moisture, however, the advantages sought to be achieved by special drilling of finger holes is lost, since a firm grip cannot be obtained. Repeated wipings do not seem to remedy this disadvantageous situation, and it is only when the ballss temperature rises sufficiently that condensation of atmospheric moisture ceases and a proper grip can be obtained.
In addition to impairing the bowlers grip, it has been thought that the presence of condensed moisture on the exterior surface of the bowling ball lessens frictional interaction between the ball and the surface of the bowling lane. Experienced bowlers generally impart a spinning motion to the ball. It is thought that a spinning ball striking the pins tends to throw them outwards with some force and thereby heighten the chance of upsetting all ten pins. it is also typical that such a spinning ball does not travel in a straight line to meet the pins but rather begins its travel angled outwards toward the edge of the bowling lane and angles'in to the desired point of contact as it progresses toward the pins. Such a technique is generally termed hooking or curving the ball, and the balls change of direction is dependent upon the existence of an appropriate friction between the spinning ball and the surface of the bowling lane.
If this friction is decreased, e.g., due to the condensed moisture on the ball, then the pattern of travel anticipated by the bowler will not take place. Instead, the ball may hit the pins at the wrong point or the ball may even leave the edge of the bowling lane and miss the pins entirely. At best, the consistence of a bowler's game suffers in the event that he must use a moist bowling ball. 1
It has been proposed that heated plugs be inserted into the finger holes of a cold bowling ball. This, however, does not heat the entire ball and after removal, it is likely that the small heated regions surrounding the finger holes will again lower in temperature to equilibrate with the remaining portions of the ball. Additionally, the problem of decreased friction between bowling ball and bowling lane is not solved thereby.
it has also been proposed that the bowling ball be contacted by heated pads conforming to the sides of the bowling ball bag. This offers a greater degree of relief than do the aforementioned heated plugs, but fully half the bowling ball is not covered by such pads. Moreover, the insulating qualities of such pads prevents the heat from migrating, such as by convection, to the portions of the bowling ball not contacted by the heated pad. As a consequence, the bowling balls exterior surface is nonuniformly heated, thereby producing patterns of condensed moisture on the cooler portions of the ball. The occurrence of such patches of slipperiness can prove even more frustrating for the bowler than a uniformly cold bowling ball. It is also generally true that the region of the ball which is supported by an appropriate, usually cuplike, member within a bowling ball bag is often left cold, even in heated bags, since no measures are taken to heat the ball at the supported region.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a novel bowling ball bag.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new bowling ball bag containing a means to heat a bowling ball contained therein.
it is still another object of the present invention to provide a novel heated bowling ball bag which produces uniform heating of substantially the entire bowling ball.
It is yet an additional object of the instant invention to provide a new heated bowling ball bag wherein the heating is accomplished by directing heated air against and around substantially the entire ball.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new heated bowling ball bag wherein uniform heat is provided by an electrical resistance heating element and a fan means to direct heated air against and around substantially the entire ball.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a novel heated bowling ball bag wherein the interior of said bag can be maintained at a preset ambient temperature.
Yet an additional object of this invention is to provide a new heated bowling ball bag wherein either the power source for heat generation can be carried in the bag or the bag can be electrically connected to an external power source.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel heated bowling ball bag wherein the means for supporting the ball in a desired position within the bag is adapted to allow heated air to contact substantially the entire supported regions of the ball.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent from a reading of the following specification and appended claims.
The objects of this invention are accomplished with a bowling ball bag that has incorporated in the bag a means to conduct heated air against and around the contents (i.e., a bowling ball, bowling shoes, etc.) of the bag to substantially uniformly heat those contents and especially a bowling ball. Advantageously, the heated air is externally heated air that is available at such temperatures, i.e., above about F. and in such amounts as will heat a bowling ball bags contents to at least about 65 F. within a reasonable time, 20-30 minutes for example. Exemplary air conduction means include ports or other suitable openings in the bowling ball bag through which heated air can be introduced into the bag interior. Optionally, the heated air conducting means can include a hose to receive heated air from a remote heater, i.e., a vehicle heater, and duct it towards and into the bowling ball bag. Preferably, the air conducting means includes air deflecting means located within the bowling ball bag interior to promote the direction of warm air against the contents and especially the bowling ball. Desirable air deflecting means include, for example panels or fin structures arranged to concentrate the flow of heated air against the contents. The air deflecting panels or fins preferably do not inhibit free travel of heated air throughout the bag interior once it has initially been directed towards the bags contents. The panels can be fabricated from a wide variety of materials such as metals or plastics, and they can be arranged in an extensively variable selection of suitable air-deflecting configurations.
In another aspect, the objects of this invention are accomplished with a bowling ball bag that has incorporated in the bag a forced air heating means to impel heated air against and around the contents of the bag to substantially uniformly heat the contents, for example a bowling ball, bowling shoes and related accessories. The forced air heating means can be used in lieu of the heated air conducting means described elsewhere herein, or it can be employed in conjunction with the air conducting means to supplement the heating of the bag interior.
As noted elsewhere herein, it is conventional that a bowling ball bag include a means, typically a cuplike receptacle to accommodate and support a bowling ball in a specific, desired position. .In the subject bowling ball bags, this support means does not substantially interrupt or impair heating uniformity. Rather, it is adapted to allow warm air conducted into the bag or impelled by the forced air heating means to contact essentially the entire supported region of the bowling ball, thereby maintaining uniform heating of the entire ball surface.
The selection of component, complimentary apparatus to form a forced air heating means is subject to wide interchange, but generally it includes two major parts, a heating means and an air impelling or blower means to provide the forced air means. Additionally, ancillary related items, e.g., switches, temperature sensors, power sources, etc., can be included if desired.
The choice of a particular heating source is extensively variable, and generally any heat source including catalytic combustion heaters and the like are useful. However, for reasons of safety, convenience of operation and flexibility of design, electrical resistance heating elements are especially desirable. They do not require an open flame; they are conveniently insulated from each other and from surrounding combustible materials; they can be powered by a great variety of electrical supply apparatus; they can be arranged in any desired configuration, i.e., planer, defining a curved surface, gridlike, coillike; etc.
In conjunction with a heat source such as described herein, there is included an air blower or impeller to force air over or through the heat source, whereafter such air, then heated, is further impelled against and around the bags contents. The choice of a particular forced air blower is also susceptible of wide variation and blower means such as rotary blade fans, squirrel cage blowers or the like are advantageous, with the selection of any specific blower apparatus being largely dependent upon design considerations pertinent to any particular bowling ball bag of this invention. lt is preferred that a blower or air impeller be conveniently and compactly powered in order to minimize space occupied by the forced air heating apparatus.
Preferably, the air impelling means and the heating means are mutually arranged so that air exits from the blower or impeller and passes first through the heating source and thereafter around the bowling ball bag to contact and warm the contents-e.g., bowling ball, bowling shoes and related accessories. In certain cases it is desirable to have a plate or channel to cooperate with the forced air heating means by ducting air along a predetermined path to promote efficient heating and subsequent desired airflow. It will be appreciated that the interior walls, top arid bottom of the bowling bag can cooperate in this manner, although in specific cases it may be desirable to provide additional air deflectors or ducting.
For convenience, an on-off switch can be used to energize the forced air heating means, e.g., the heat source and blower. Such a switch can also be used to provide a degree of control over the temperature maintained within the bowling ball bag. For example, a rheostat can be used to modulate the supply of current to the heating source and thereby control the temperature to which the heat source rises during operation. More advantageously, however, the composite switching means can include a thermostatic control that automatically switches the heating source (and optionally the blower mechanism either at the same time or independently) in and out of operation in order to maintain a preset ambient temperature within the bag interior. Such thermostatic controls can include bimetallic thermostatic elements, thermocouples, etc.
As well as the above, a power supply for the composite forced air heating means, i.e., electrical dry-cell storage batteries maintained in appropriate sockets, can be contained within the bowling ball bag. Alternatively, provision can be made for making an electrical connection with an external power supply, i.e., a vehicle storage battery. As an example, one end of an electrical cord can be plugged into a receptacle in the bowling ball bag and the remaining end of this electrical cord can be inserted into the cigarette lighter socket of an automobile or other vehicle. A suitable switching means can be used to select the appropriate power mode, i.e., self-contained or external.
The invention has been described generally, and the above and other features of this invention will become additionally apparent having reference to the preceding and following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the novel heated bowling ball bag illustrating external details including an air conducting port, the temperature control and access panels for storage or self-contained batteries and an electrical cord (shown in phantom) for making an electrical connection with a vehicle cigarette lighter receptacle (not shown);
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the bowling ball bag taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows, illustrating the ball support means and an accessory rack above the ball for bowling shoes or the like:
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view, partially in section, showing the forced air heating means; and
FIG. 4 is a schematic view representing the forced air heating means, a temperature control mechanism and selectable internal and external power supplies.
Referring now to the drawing, where like numbers indicate similar parts, the bowling ball bag illustrated in FIG. 1 includes the bag I having a composite on-off switch-temperature control 2 and a panel 3 for access to self-contained batteries and another panel 4 for access to an electrical cord to make connection to an outside power source. An electrical cord 5 for connection to a vehicle battery via its cigarette lighter receptacle is shown in phantom. All of these controls are located in end panel 6 which is demountably mounted to the bowling bag and which when demounted, carries the forced air heating means and all related controls, etc., to facilitate repair or replacement. Also indicated is an air conduction port PORT (sealed by a removable plug in the drawing), a scalable opening through which externally heated air can be introduced into the bag interior to supplement or substitute for heating provided by the forced air heating means. It will be appreciated that the bowling ball bag can be made in a variety of configurations and from a variety of soft or rigid materials. Preferably, however, it is fabricated from a resinous plastic material, e.g., an acrylic resin, a poly a-olefin like polyethylene, polypropylene or the like, a polycarbonate resin, a polyvinyl resin, etc. The use of a pliable or rigid resin material offers certain advantages including convenient large scale manufacture, resistance to impact abrasion and humidity, as well as providing substantial thermal insulation and heat retention, thereby promoting efficient internal heating over an extended temperature range. If desired, the bowling ball bag case can be constructed such that it has an inner shell and an outer shell with a layer of thermal insulation, i.e., a closed cell foam material, sandwiched between the two shells. This particular construction is especially desirable where severe low temperatures are experienced.
As shown in FIG. 2, the bowling ball bag of FIG. 1 is shown in a sectional view illustrating the bowling ball support means 7 holding the bowling ball 8 in a predetermined position.
The support means can be any that will retain the ball in a desired position while permitting access of heated air to substantially the entire supported regions of the ball. Especially preferred are support means that are formed-from a resilient rubber or plastic material in a configuration e.g., as represented in FIG. 2) wherein the support device deforms to permit the balls insertion into a pocket region and then returns to its original form to grip the ball and thereby promote its retention in the intended supported position. The
support means can be formed from a porous material such as a substantially rigid foam or can include a plurality of spaced extensions of varying lengths, as pictured in FIG. 2, whose tips define a curve similar to the curvature of the bowling ball. The passages provided by open cells or between spaced fingers allow free access of heated air to the supported area of the bowling ball, pennitting uniform overall heating of the ball exterior surface. it is noted that a ball support means is generally present below the ball. Side supports such as indicated in FIG. 2 are optional, but can enhance the degree of support provided. Also shown in FIG. 2 is a divided, perforated rack 9, one-half of which is affixed to each hinged cover portion of the bowling ball bag. Such a rack is optional and can be demountably mounted to the cover portions. Generally the rack is adapted to separate when the bag is opened. This rack provides convenient storage for bowling shoes or the like, and its gridlike or perforated construction allows the items carried thereon to be heated in the same fashion and to a similar degree as the bowling ball. It is emphasized that the rack could be positioned below the bowling ball or alternatively to one or more sides thereof if desired. Any specific positional arrangement is dependent on the construction details of a particular bowling ball bag.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the bowling ball bag of FIG. 1 in a partial side sectional view illustrating the support means 7, bowling ball 8 and divided, perforated rack 9 are indicated, as is demountably mounted end plate 6. When end plate 6 is in the mounted position (typically being attached by a means such as screws, twist fasteners, spring loaded fasteners or the like) a gasket can be used if desired along the contacting faces between the bowling ball bag and end plate 6 to promote heat retention within the bag. As indicated, the end plate can carry the fan means 10, the heating means 11, and if desired, a temperature sensing means 12 as well as the controls, compartments and power sources illustrated elsewhere herein. Preferably, the fan means is located in the lower region of the bowling ball bag to preferentially draw in cooler air, since warm air is carried to the upper bag region by convection and by action of the fan means or blower. The heating means 11 is generally positioned in the exit airstream from the fan 10. In this fashion, air passed over or through the heater, e.g., an electrical resistance element, is heated and thereafter blown about the interior of the bowling ball bag to substantially uniformly heat the entire contents thereof. As indicated, interposed in the airstream from the fan is a temperature sensor 12. Usually, this sensor is advantageously located in a location from which the temperature of air entering the heating means can be monitored. Presumably, air at this point approximates the coolest temperature existing within the bag. lf desired, the temperature sensor, i.e., a thermocouple, can be located elsewhere, such as at the intake region of the fan means. Although not necessary, it is preferred that the temperature sensing means be positioned in the lower portion of the bag interior. It will be appreciated that the specific construction details of a particular bowling ball bag are widely variable, but that the ball support means and the components of the forced air heater should be adapted to provide substantially uniform heating of the contents of the bag.
As shown in FIG. 4, a schematic drawing of the forced air heating means including a fan means 10, a heating means ll and a temperature sensing means 12 are electrically connected to a combination on-off temperature control 2 which is itself electrically connected through a power supply selector switch 15 adapted to make electrical connection with either a self-contained electrical power supply 13 or an external electrical power supply 14 (shown in phantom). Suitable electrical power supply sources are described elsewhere herein.
The illustrated schematic is merely representative of the widely variable range of operable electrical circuitry. For example, the thermostatic control could be electrically connected to effect on-off switching of either the fan means or the heatin means as desired.
Whr e a particular embodiment of this invention lS shown,
modifications thereof will occur to those skilled in this art. The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In a bowling ball bag, the improvement comprising having incorporated therein a forced air heating means and a means to accommodate and support a bowling ball in a desired position within the bag, said support means including passages that allow free access of heated air to contact substantially the entire supported portion of said bowling ball such that heated air can be impelled against and around any contents of said bag by said heating means to substantially, uniformly heat said contents.
2. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 1 wherein the forced air heating means includes an electrical resistance heating element.
3. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 1 wherein said forced air heating means includes a forced air blower.
4. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 1 wherein said forced air heating means is thermostatically controlled to maintain a present ambient temperature within said bag.
5. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 1 and additionally including a power supply for said forced air hating means.
6. A bowling ball bag as described in claim I and additionally including a means to electrically connect said forced air heating means to an external power supply.
7. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 6 wherein said electrical connecting means is adapted for connection to a vehicle cigarette lighter.
8. In a bowling ball bag, the improvement comprising having a forced air heating means comprising an electrical resistance heater in combination with an air blower to impel heated air against and around a bowling ball, said bag also having a means to accommodate and support a bowling ball in a desired position within the bag, said ball support means including passages that allow free access of heated air to contact substantially the entire supported portion of said bowling ball.
9. A bowling ball bag as described in claim 8 wherein said forced air heating means is thermostatically controlled to maintain a desired ambient temperature within said bag and wherein said heating means is electrically connected through a power supply selector switch that can make electrical connec tion with either an internal power supply or an external power supply.