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Publication numberUS3709502 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1973
Filing dateMar 1, 1971
Priority dateMar 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3709502 A, US 3709502A, US-A-3709502, US3709502 A, US3709502A
InventorsBichell W, Wyman D
Original AssigneeGranta Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Message device
US 3709502 A
Abstract
A message device for two or more participants comprising a base having a reflective member swiveled thereon. A domed cover overlays the base and reflective member and carries an electric light which shines on the reflective member. At least part of the domed cover is translucent and has indicia, e.g., letters, numbers, words, etc., printed thereon. The reflective member is moved in response to resultant forces applied by the participants and casts a reflected finger of light on selected ones of the indicia, thereby spelling out a "message.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

0 United States Patent 1 [111 3,709,502 Wyman et al. I Jan. 9, 1973 54 MESSAGE DEVICE 2,511,377 6/1950 Richmond. ....273/l6l [75] Inventors: Dennis G. Wyman, Owings Mills; William J. Bichell, Phoenix, both of Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle [73] Assignee: Granta Corporation, Baltimore, Md. AttorneyJ0seph R. Slotnik 22 Pl d: 1 ie March 1, 1971 ABSTRACT 2| LN 122 19 I 1 App 0 A message device for two or more participants comprising a base having a reflective member swiveled [52] US. Cl ..273/l6l thereon, A domed cover overlays the base and reflec- [5 1] it. Cl. ..A63f 9/18 five member and carries an electric light which shines Fleld Search 142 1011, 101-2, on the reflective member. At least part of the domed 273/161 cover is translucent and has indicia, e.g., letters, numbets, words, etc., printed thereon. The reflective [56] References C'ted member is moved in response to resultant forces ap- UNITED STATES PATENTS plied by the participants and casts a reflected finger of light on selected ones of the indicia, thereby spelling 2,467,180 4/1949 Anderson ..273/l0l.l X out a message. 2,326,552 6/1967 Bilbao 2,220,455 11/1940 McCarthy ..273/161 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures RE T-- PATENTEU JAN 9 I975 SHEET 1 [IF 2 INVENTORS oewms s. WYMAN WILUWELL ATTORNEY PATENTED JAN 9 I973 SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG. 8

.miay i m l I I A NV 1 DENNIS s. WYMAN' WILLIAM J. BICHELL,

ATTORNEY SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a message device for two or more participants utilizing a finger of light cast upon a surface provided with indicia, wherein the finger of light is moved over the indicia surface, to spell out a message, in response to resultant forces applied by the participants. The use of a movable finger lends light tends the device for use in a dimly lit or dark room which is particularly desirable and effective in a device of this type. Desirably, the light finger moves in other than a direct, one-to-one relation to the forces applied, thereby significantly increasing the mystique and intrigue of the device, and eliminating the possibility of one or more of the participants controlling" the message spelled out. The device embodies simplicity and durability, and is particularly stimulating and enjoyable to use.

Main objects of the present invention, therefore, are to provide a novel message device for use by two or more participants which is particularly stimulating and intriguing to use, and which is particularly useful and effective in a dimly lit or dark room.

Further important objects of the present invention are to provide a novel device of the above character which utilizes a moving finger of light cast on the underside of a translucent surface having indicia thereon, wherein the light finger is moved in response to resultant forces applied by the participants, and wherein this movement is other than in a direct, one-toone ratio to the applied resultant forces.

Additional important objects of the present invention are to provide a novel device of the above character which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, rugged in construction, and reliable in use.

Other objects and advantages will become more apparent from a consideration of the detailed description to follow taken in conjunction with the drawings annexed hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a message device embodying a preferred form of the present .invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the construction of FIG. 2 showing the parts in one position;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 and showing the parts in another position during use of the device;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view ofa portion of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a reduced scale, sectional view of the structure of FIG. 3 taken along the line 6-6 thereof;

FIG. 7 is a reduced scale, plan view of a portion of the structure of FIG. 3 taken along the line 7-7 thereof; and

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 3 and showing a modified form of the invention.

BROAD STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION Broadly described, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a single reflective member movably supported upon said base, a cover overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, a light source directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means supported by said base and operatively engaging said reflective member, whereby movement of said movable member moves said finger of light over said indicia on said translucent surface, said movable member constituting the sole means for moving said reflective member.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a member supported upon said base for limited generally planar, universal movement in response to resultant forces applied thereto by at least two participants, means defining a translucent surface overlaying said base and having indicia thereon, a light source, swiveled reflective means operable to reflect light from said source and cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, said universal member operatively engaging and constituting the sole means for moving said swiveled reflective means, whereby said swivel reflective means moves in response to movement of said universal member, whereby to move said finger of light along said translucent surface.

In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a coversupported upon said base for limited universal movement in a single plane, said cover including a translucent portion having indicia thereon, a light source carried by said cover, a mirror swiveled on said base and operable to reflect light from said source and cast a finger of light upon said translucent portion of said cover, said mirror being movable in response to movement of said cover, whereby to move said finger oflight over said indicia at a rate which is a multiple of the rate of movement of said cover relative to said base.

In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a manipulable member suspended on said base and movable in substantially planar universal fashion relative thereto, said member having a peripheral finger receiving portion and being movable relative to said base by resultant forces applied to said member by a plurality of participants, a translucent member supported by said base and having indicia thereon, light directing means operable to cast a finger of light on said translucent member, said light directing means being movable in response to movement of said manipulable member, said light finger being movable oversaid translucent member other than in a direct one-to-one ratio to movement of said manipulable member.

In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a reflective member movably swiveled upon said base, a cover overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, manually movable means supported by said base and directly engaging said reflective member, a light source carried by said manually movable means and directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, whereby said finger of light moves over said translucent surface at a rate which is a multiple of the movement of said movable means.

In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a reflective member movably supported upon said base, a cover overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, a light source directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means rigidly interconnected with said cover, said manually movable means being supported by said base and operatively engaging said reflective member, whereby to move said reflective member and said finger of light over said indicia on said translucent surface.

In yet another aspect, the present invention relates to a message device comprising a base, a reflective member movably supported upon said base, a cover overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, a light source directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means supported by said base for free, universal, planar movement thereover and operably engaging said reflective member, said manually movable means including a peripheral surface portion engageable by the fingers of a plurality of participants and being moved in response to resultant forces applied thereto by said participants, whereby to move said reflective member and said finger of light over said indicia on said translucent surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now more specifically to the drawings, a device embodying a preferred form of the present in- I vention is illustrated generally at 11 in FIGS. 1 and 2 and is seen to include a base 13 having a domed cover 15 supported thereon. The cover 15 includes a translucent member 17 having indicia l9 thereon, and is movable in a generally horizontal plane relative to the base 13 by resultant forces applied thereto by one or more participants. As shown, the cover 15 may have a peripheral shelf 21 on which two or more participants place the fingers of one or both of their hands. The cover 15 is moved relative to the base 13 by resultant forces applied through the participants fingers. This causes a finger of light 23, which is cast upon the underside of the translucent member 17, to move over the indicia 19 and spell out a message.

Turning now to FIGS. 3-7, the base 13 is seen to include a platform 25 having an upwardly facing, annular ball track 27 suitably secured thereto. A plurality of balls 29, held by a carrier 30, are freely rotatably supported in the track 27 and protrude slightly thereabove, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. An annular plate 31 is suitably fixed within the translucent member 17 and rests on the protruding balls 29 to thereby support the cover l for floating or planar universal movement relative to the base 13.

The plate 31 and the ball track 27 may have overlapping annular flanges 33, 35 fixed thereto, respectively, to allow free planar movement of the cover on the base 13 while preventing the cover 15 from coming off the base 13 after assembly. In addition, a peripheral skirt 38, depending downwardly from the shelf2l on the cover 15, provides an abutment which is cooperable with the outer edge of the platform to limit planar movement ofthe cover 15.

An electric light source 41 is carried by the cover 15. As shown, the source 41 includes a housing 43 set in an opening 45 in the center of the translucent member 17. An electric light bulb 47 is supported upon the housing 43 and is powered by batteries therein. A suitable onoff switch 49 is provided on the housing 43 for control of the bulb 477 The bulb 47 is positioned to shine on a reflective or mirrored surface 51 formed on the top of a pedestal 53. The bottom of the pedestal 53 is fixed to a ball 55 frictionally swiveled in a cavity 57 formed in a member 59 fixed to the platform 25. The pedestal 53 extends through an opening 61 in the plate 31.

in use, light from the bulb 47 striking the surface 51 is reflected back against the translucent member 17 and casts a finger of light 23 thereon which is clearly visable from the upper side thereof. Two or more participants place the fingers of one or both of their hands on the shelf 21, as shown in FIG. 1. RESULTANT forces applied to the shelf 21 by the participants cause the domed cover 15 to move relative to the base 13 as described and, in so doing, cause the pedestal 53 to swivel on the platform 25 (as the edge of opening 61 engages pedestal 53). The bulb 47 remains substantially above the reflective surface 51; however, since the surface 51 tilts (as the pedestal 53 swivels), the finger of light 23 moves over the translucent member 17 and spells out a message to, or answers questions of, the participants.

Desirably, the finger oflight 23 moves over the translucent member 17 other than in a direct one-to-one ratio to movement of the cover 15 relative to the base 13. In this embodiment, the light finger 23 moves in the same direction as the cover 15 but at a rate greater than one-to-one. Thus, movement of the cover 15 over the base 13 is linear, while movement of the light finger 23 over the translucent member 17 is exponential because of the swivel action of the pedestal 53 and the reflective surface 51, This is important since it makes the movement of the light finger 23 over the translucent member 17 extremely sensitive to the finger pressures exerted by the participants, and because it renders the device essentially incapable of control" by one or more of the participants.

lt is contemplated that desirable results could also be achieved by constructing the device so that the finger of light 23 moves in a direction other than in the same direction as the resultant forces (e.g., opposite) applied by the participants to the force responsive means, here, the cover 15. In that case, the ratio of movement of the light finger 23 to movement of the force responsive means could be one-to-one or otherwise. Furthermore, it is contemplated that individual force responsive members, controlled by individual participants, and interrelated such that the resultant force thereon acts upon and moves a light casting means, could be utilized in place of a single, movable member such as the domed cover 15.

it will be appreciated that the use of a moving finger of light cast upon a translucent member, wherein the light finger moves other than in direct one-to-one relation to the resultant forces applied by the participants, renders the device of this invention particularly intriguing and mystifying, and very interesting. in addition, the device obviously lends itself to advantageous use in a dimly lit or dark room.

A modified form of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 8. Here, a'translucent dome 101 is fixed to a base 103 having legs 105 thereon. A plate 107 is suspended from the base 103 by a plurality of chains 109 which extend through large openings 111 therein. A mirror, or other reflective member, 113 is fixed to the top of a pedestal l 15, the bottom of which is fixed to a ball 1 17 frictionally-swiveled in a member 119 carried by the plate 117. The pedestal 115 extends through an opening 121 in the base 103. Light from a source 123 shines on the mirrored surface 113 and is reflected to cast a finger of light on the translucent dome 101 which has indicia thereon.

The plate 107 has enlarged openings 125, through which the legs 105 extend, and has a peripheral portion 127 extending outwardly laterally beyond the dome 101 and base 103. The participants place their fingers (of one or both hands) on this peripheral portion 127 and resultant forces applied by the participants moves the plate 107 laterally. Engagement between the edge of opening 121 and pedestal 115 causes the pedestal to swivel and the finger of light to move over the indicia surface of the translucent dome 101 in much the same manner as described in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7.

It will be appreciated that while in both embodiments, light is reflected onto the indicia surface, it is contemplated by this invention that light from a movable source could be cast directly on the indicia surface.

By the foregoing, there has been disclosed a novel message device calculated to fullfill the inventive objects set out hereinabove, and while preferred embodiments have been illustrated and described in detail,

various additions, substitutions, modifications, and omdirected at said reflective member, said reflective member being ,disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means supported by said base and operatively engaging said reflective member, whereby movement of said movable member moves said finger of light over said indicia on said translucent surface, said movable member constituting the sole means for moving said reflective member. I

2. A message device comprising a base, a member supported upon said base for limited generally planar universal movement in response to resultant forces applied thereto by at least two participants, means defin- 1 ing a translucent surface overlaying said base and having indicia thereon, a light source, swiveled reflective means operable to reflect light from said source and cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, said universal member operatively engaging and constituting the sole means for moving said swiveled reflective means, whereby said swiveled reflective means moves in response to-movement of said universal member,

whereby to move said finger of light along said translucent surface.

member movably supported upon said base, a cover 3. A message device comprising a base, a cover supported upon said base for limited universal movement in a single plane, said cover including a translucent portion having indicia thereon, a light source carried by said cover, a mirror swiveled on said base and operable to reflect light from said source and cast a finger of light upon said translucent portion of said cover, said mirror being movable in response to movement of said cover, whereby to move said finger of light over said indicia at a rate which is a multiple of the rate of movement of said cover relative to said base.

'4. A message device comprising a base, a manipulable member suspended on said base and movable in substantially planar universal fashion relative thereto, said member having a peripheral finger receiving portion and being movable relative to said base by resultant forces applied to said member by a plurality of participants, a translucent member supported by said base and having indicia thereon, light directing means operable to cast a finger of light on said translucent member, said light directing means being movable in response to movement of said manipulable member, said light finger being movable over said translucent member other than in a direct one-to-one ratio to a movement of said manipulable member.

5. A message device comprising a base, a reflective member movably swiveled upon said base, a cover overlaying said said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, manually movable means supported by said base and directly engaging said reflective member, alight source carried by said manually movable means and directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, whereby said finger of light moves over said translucent surface at a rate which is a multiple of the movement of said movable means.

6. A message device comprising a base, a reflective overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, a light source directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means rigidly interconnected with said cover, said manually movable means being supported by said base and operatively engaging said reflective member, whereby to move said reflective member and said finger oflight over said indicia on said translucent surface.

7. A message device comprising a base, a reflective member movably supported upon said base, a cover overlaying said base and having a translucent surface provided with indicia thereon, a light source directed at said reflective member, said reflective member being disposed to cast a finger of light on said translucent surface, manually movable means supported by said base for free, universal, planar movement thereover and operably engaging said reflective member, said manually movable means including a peripheral surface portion engageable by the fingers of a plurality of participants and being moved in response to resultant forces applied thereto by said participants, whereby to move said reflective member and said finger of light over said indicia on said translucent surface.

ble means is supported upon and movable laterally of said base by rolling means.

10. A device as defined in claim 3 wherein said cover includes means directly engaging said mirror, whereby to swivel said mirror in direct relation to said universal movement of said cover.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US641507 *Apr 15, 1899Jan 16, 1900Henry C HachmuthDial-planchette.
US1422042 *Apr 30, 1921Jul 4, 1922Donnelly John RGame board
US2220455 *Jul 29, 1938Nov 5, 1940Mccarthy John PAmusement device
US2326552 *Jul 16, 1941Aug 10, 1943Gen ElectricAstronomical telescope
US2467180 *Jan 26, 1946Apr 12, 1949Anderson Curtis AMachine for target practice
US2511377 *Jun 9, 1945Jun 13, 1950Richmond Raymond SFinger pressure actuated message interpreting amusement device
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/161
International ClassificationA63F9/18, A63F9/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2009/0651, A63F9/181
European ClassificationA63F9/18A