US 3736694 A
A bubble-blowing toy comprises a hollow, compressible container having a film-forming and liquid feeding insert mounted in the interior thereof. The insert comprises a cylindrical well frictionally mounted in the container neck and having a cylinder depending centrally therefrom and a piston longitudinally slidable in the cylinder. The cylinder also has a liquid inlet tube to which is connected a pipe leading to the bottom of the container for feeding bubble-forming liquid from the interior of the container to the well when the container is compressed by squeezing. A film-forming ring is mounted on the top of the piston and is normally located in the well and submerged in the liquid therein. When the container is squeezed, pressure of the compressed air therein elevates the piston within the cylinder, thereby raising the ring, with a film formed thereon, to an exposed position above the top of said well and container neck.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent. 91
Lebensfeld [451 June 5,1973
 PRESSURE-ACTUATED BUBBLE BLOWING TOY Steven Allen Lebensfeld, Queens Village, NY.
 Assignee: Hot Items Incorporated, Newark,
 Filed: Apr. 27, 1972  Appl. No.: 248,049
3,579,898 5/1971 Hein ..46/7
Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay Attorney-Edward F. Levy  ABSTRACT A bubble-blowing toy comprises a hollow, compressible container having a film-forming and liquid feeding insert mounted in the interior thereof. The insert comprises a cylindrical well frictionally mounted in the container neck and having a cylinder depending centrally therefrom and a piston longitudinally slidable in the cylinder. The cylinder also has a liquid inlet tube to which is connected a pipe leading to the bottom of the container for feeding bubble-forming liquid from the interior of the container to the well when the con tainer is compressed by squeezing. A film-forming ring is mounted on the top of the-piston and is normally located in the well and submerged in the liquid therein. When the container is squeezed, pressure of the compressed air therein elevates the piston within the cylinder, thereby raising the ring, with a film formed thereon, to an exposed position above the top of said well and container neck.
10 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH 5 I573 SHEET 1 OF 2 FIG. 7
PATENTEDJUN 5 I975 SHEET 2 BF 2 FIG. 4
1 PRESSURE-ACTUATED BUBBLE BLOWING TOY The present invention relates to improvements in devices for blowing soap bubbles, and in particular to a bubble-blowing toy which elevates a ring with a bubble film thereon when the device is squeezed by the user.
Bubble-blowing devices of this type are known, one such device being shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,579,898 issued May 25, 1971. In these prior devices, the bubbleforming mechanism is formed as an integral part of the container so that it cannot be removed for repair or replacement. In addition, the film-forming ring is actuated by pressure of the liquid within the container, so that a substantial amount of liquid must be within the container for operation of the device. Further, the refilling of the container is cumbersome and difficult.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a bubble-blowing toy in which all of the operating parts are separately formed and frictionally mounted within the neck of the container for easy removal for replacement or repair, and for easy and convenient refilling of the container with bubble-forming liquid.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a bubble-blowing toy of the character described in which the actuation of the piston to bring the film-forming ring to its elevated position is accomplished by pressure of air within the compressed container independently of the feeding of liquid to the well, which is accomplished simultaneously by liquid pressure within the container when the latter is compressed.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of a bubble-blowing toy of the character described in which the film-forming ring is releasably connectedto the piston for ready removal for cleaning or replacement.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a bubble-blowing toy of the character described in which the film-forming ring is made of two integral half-sections folded together at a hinged joint to provide a film-retaining slot therein, the ring and other operating parts being adapted to be molded of plastic and manufactured economically.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided a bubble-blowing toy including a compressible container having a neck defining a top open end, and also having a closed bottom end, an insert mounted within the container and comprising a well member mounted within the neck and sealing off the top open end of the container, a cylinder depending from the bottom wall of said well, and a piston slidably mounted in the cylinder for movement between a raised position and a lowered position. The cylinder has a top open end communicating with the well and a bottom open end communicating with the interior of the container so that when the container is compressed, air pressure within the container moves the piston to its raised position. The well also has a liquid inlet tube offset from said cylinder, and a pipe secured to said inlet tube and depending therefrom, with the bottom of said pipe being located adjacent the bottom end of the container, whereby when the container is squeezed, the compressed air in the container forces bubble-forming liquid from the container and upwardly through said pipe and inlet tube to the interior of said well to provide a supply of bubble forming liquid in the well at the level of the top of said tube. A film-supporting ring is mounted at the top of said piston and is located in the well and submerged in the supply of liquid therein when the piston is in its lowered position. When the piston is raised to its operative position, it elevates the ring to a point where the ring is located above the top edge of the well and of the container neck.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following specification when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a bubble-making toy in accordance with the present invention, showing the container thereof in compressed position and the film-forming ring elevated, the users hand being illustrated in phantom;
FIG. 2 is a central section showing the interior of the container and the operative parts of the toy contained therein, in the non-compressed, inoperative condition of the container, and with the closure cap attached to the container;
FIG. 3 is a section taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and showing the interior of the container and the operative parts of the toy in the compressed condition of the container;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged section taken along line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged front plan view of the filmforrning ring and the upper portion of the piston, with portions of the latter broken away and shown in section to reveal inner constructional detail;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged side elevational view of the filmretaining ring;
FIG. 8 is a plan view of the plastic half-sections from which the film-forming ring of FIGS. 6 and 7 is formed;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged section taken along line 99 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged elevation taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 1 l is a front plan view of a modified type of filmforrning ring which may be used in the bubble-making toy.
Referring in detail to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the bubble blowing toy of the present invention includes a container 10 in the form of a hollow bottle sized to receive a quantity of bubble-forming liquid 12. The container 10 may be molded in the shape of a comic animal, as shown, to enhance-the attractiveness of the toy to a child. The wall of container 10 is made of a flexible, shape-retaining plastic material so that the central portion of the container may be compressed when squeezed, for the for mation of bubbles, as will be presently described. At its top, container 10 terminates in a short cylindrical neck 14 which is externally threaded for attachment of an internally threaded closure cap 16.
Mounted within the interior of container 10 is an insert 18 comprising a cylindrical well 20 and a cylinder 22 of smaller diameter formed integrally with the bottom wall of well 20 and depending centrally therefrom. Within the tube 22 is slidably mounted a piston 24, at the top end of which is mounted a film-supporting ring 26. All of these parts of the insert 18 are preferably made of a rigid plastic.
The outer wall surface of well 20 is slightly larger in diameter at its top end than at its bottom end so that it tapers inwardly slightly from top to bottom. The
outer diameter of the lower portion of well 20 is somewhat less than the inner diameter of the container neck 14 so that the well can be easily inserted therein through the mouth of container 10. At its top edge, the well 20 is formed with a circumferential, radiallyprojecting flange 28 which, in the inserted position of the well 20, overlies the top edge of the container neck 14, as shown in FIG. 3, and acts as a stop to prevent further downward movement of the well 20 in the container neck. The upper portion of the well 20 has an external diameter substantially equal to the inner diameter of the neck 14, so that when the well is fully inserted in the neck 14, its upper end portion makes a tight fit within the neck, thereby providing, together with the overlying flange 28, an effective liquid seal which prevents the bubble solution 12 from leaking from the container. I
integrally formed within the well 20, along one side thereof is a liquid inlet tube 30 which extends along the wall of said well from the bottom thereof to a point slightly above the center thereof. The tube 30 has a central longitudinal bore 32 which opens through the bottom wall of the well 20, said bore 32 being slightly tapered inwardly from bottom to top. A pipe 34, made of a flexible plastic material, is inserted at its top end within the tube 30 and is retained therein by a press fit due to the taper of the tube bore 32. The pipe 34 extends downwardly to the bottom of the container and is cut with an inclined surface 35 at its bottom end so that it may contact the bottom wall of the container without clogging the flow of the contained liquid 12 through the pipe 34 when the container is squeezed.
A small disc 36 is integrally formed within the well and projects from the inner wall surface thereof in registry with and spaced above the top open end of the tube 30. This disc 36 serves as a splash plate or baffle to prevent liquid passing through the tube 30 from squirting above the top wall of the well 20 when the container 10 is squeezed.
The cylinder 22 is formed with an inner annular flange 38 which makes a fairly snug fit with the wall of piston 24 and acts as a bearing surface to guide the longitudinal sliding movement of said piston within the cylinder 22. At its lower end, the piston 24 is formed with a radially projecting flange 40 which is sized to make sliding contact with the inner wall of cylinder 22 and also serve as a bearing surface. When the container 10. is squeezed to cause the piston 24 to slideupwardly within the cylinder 22, as will be presently described in detaiL-the piston flange 40 engages the inner flange 38 of cylinder 22 and is stopped thereby in an extended operative position shown in FIG. 3.
The piston 24 is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 6 in the preferred form of a cylindrical tube having a through central bore 42. Spaced downwardly from the top edge of the piston 24 is a wall 44 having a central bore 46 therein communicating'with the central bore 42, and of substantially lesser diameter than bore 42. It will be understood that instead of being made in the form of a hollow tube, the piston 24 may be made solid and formed with a recessed bore at the top portion thereof.
Mounted at the top of piston 24 is the film supporting ring 26 which is formed of two matching, integrally molded plastic half-sections 48 and 50, as shown in FIG. 8. The half-sections 48 and 50 are of identical size I and shape and each comprises an annular portion 52, a rectangular hinge portion 54 formed integrally therewith, and a pin portion 56 also formed integrally therewith and located diametrically opposite the hinge portion 54. The hinge portions 54 are made of thin strips of plastic and are contiguous at a score line 58 along which the half-sections 48 and 50 are folded and brought into confronting registry to form the completed ring 26 shown in FIG. 7.
FIG. 8 shows the inner surfaces 60 of the halfsections 48 and 50, each of these surfaces being provided with small projections 62 spaced around the annular portions 52. When the half-sections are folded along the hinge line 58 and the inner surfaces 60 thereof brought together in the manner shown in FIG. 7, the projections 62 on each half-section engage the flat inner surface 60 of the opposing half-section to act as spacer elements separating the half-sections slightly and forming an annular slot 64 between the inner surfaces 60 of the confronting half-sections 48 and 50. This slot 64 is used to retain a film of the bubble liquid across the ring 26, as will be presently described.
The outer surfaces of the annular portions 52 of the half-sections 48 and 50 are inclined, as shown in FIG. 7, and are provided with an annular row of closely spaced ridges 66 extending entirely around the circumference thereof. The ridges 66 entrap the bubble forming liquid 12 therebetween and thus causing the liquid to adhere to the ring 26 and aiding in the formation and retension of a film on said ring.
The pin portion 56 of each half-section 48 and 50 includes an elongated base 68 formed integrally with the annular portion 52, and a terminal pin 70 formed integrally with base 68. The terminal pin 70 has a curved outer surface, as shown in FIG. 7, and a rounded free end. When the half-sections 48 and 50 are folding along score line- 58 to form the assembled filmsupporting ring 26, as shown in FIG. 7, the 'flat inner surfaces of the pin portions 56 engage each other to form a completed cylindrical pin 70,70 which is sized to be inserted in the bore 46 of piston 22 with a tight, friction fit. In this inserted position, shown in FIG. 6, the matched elongated bases 68 engage the upper surface of wall 44, and the ring 26'is firmly mounted on the piston 24 projecting thereabove and aligned therewith.
In assembly of the toy, the piston 24 is inserted upwardly in the cylinder 22 and the folded ring 26 is mounted thereon by pressing the abutting pins 70,70 within the bore 46. A measured amount of'bubbleforming liquid 12 is now poured into the container 10 and the well 20 is press fit into the container neck 14 until its top flange 28 overlies the edge of neck 14. The closure cap 16 is now screwed tightly upon the threaded neck M to prevent accidental actuation of the assembly.
In this assembled, but inoperative position, shown in FIG. 2, the cylinder 22 extends downwardly and centrally through the interior of the container 10 to a point approximately midway of the height of the container. It will be seen in FIG. 2 that the amount of liquid 12 in the container 10 is such that the liquid level is spaced beneath the bottom end of cylinder 22. The pipe 34 extends downwardly along the rear of the container 10 and its bottom end abuts the bottom wall of the container or is spaced slightly thereabove as shown.
If the assembled toy has been previously actuated (in a manner to be presently described), there will be a supply of liquid 12 in the well 20, at a level in alignment with the top of inlet tube 30, as shown in FIG. 2. The ring 26 in this inoperative position is located at the lower portion of the well, and is completely submerged within the liquid 12 in said well.
To operate the toy, the user removes the closure cap 16 and merely squeezes the container 10. FIGS. 1 and 2 show in phantom the normal position of the users hand with the thumb 72 centrally at the front of the container and the four fingers 74 at the rear thereof. In squeezing, the front and rear walls of the container are compressed toward each other, as shown in FIG. 2, to decrease the internal volume of the container. This compresses the air within the container 10 and results in two simultaneous operations. Air under pressure is forced upwardly into cylinder 22, raising the piston therein to its operative position of FIG. 3. At the same time, the compressed air exerts a downward pressure on the liquid 12 within the container 10, causing the liquid to flow upwardly through pipe 34 and fill the well 20.
As long as the container 10 remains squeezed, the piston 24 will remain in its operative, fully-extended position of FIG. 3, in which the piston flange 40 is in engagement with the internal annular flange 38 of cylinder 22. In this position, the ring 26 projects above the top edge of the well and container neck 14, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and is fully exposed for the formation of bubbles. As the ring 26 rises from the liquid 12 in well 20, a film 76 is located across the central opening of the ring, as shown in FIG. 1, the edges of the film 76 being retained within the annular slot 64, and the film being fed by the liquid entrapped between the ridges 66. The user can now cause the formation of bubbles by blowing through the ring against the film 76.
As previously indicated, when the container 10 is squeezed, liquid 12 is forced upwardly through the pipe 34, the overlying baffle or splash plate 36 diverting this stream of liquid and preventing it from squirting up and out of well 20. The well 20 may be initially filled by squeezing the container 10 about three times, thereby supplying enough liquid to bring it to the level of the top of inlet tube 30. Each time the toy is thereafter operated to form a film on the ring 26 and raise the latter, additional liquid is fed through pipe 34 to replenish the supply in the well 20. However, the liquid level in the well never rises above the level of the top of inlet tube 30. If too much liquid is fed into the well when the com tainer is squeezed, the excess will be sucked back through pipe 34 and returned to the interior of container 10, when the latter is released and returns to its expanded position.
Because the pipe 34 extends to the bottom of the container 10, the toy may be operated to form bubbles until nearly all of the liquid 12 in the container is depleted. To refill the container, it is onlynecessary to lift andremove the insert 18 from the container neck 14, and pour fresh liquid through the neck into the container. Alternatively, liquid can be poured into the well 20 until the latter is filled to the top and the container then squeezed and released to draw the liquid through pipe 34 to the interior of the container.
It will be noted that the piston 24 is freely rotatable within the cylinder 22. The user can therefore turn the ring 26 with its attached piston, to face in any desired direction so that the user can blow through the ring regardless of the direction in whichthe container is facing while being squeezed.
Since the film-supporting ring 26 is mounted on the piston 22 with a friction fit, it may be removed for replacement by other film-supporting rings having different designs, such as rings having two or three circular openings for the formation of multiple bubbles. FIG. 1 1 shows by way of example an alternative type of filmsupporting ring formed with three circular openings 82 across which film will form for producing a bubble simultaneously from each opening.
The film-supporting ring 80 is shown with an additional feature which may be optionally incorporated'in any of the ring structures. The pin portion 84 is provided with a stem 86 terminating in a spear-shaped tip 88. The tip is formed with a shoulder of greater width than the bore 46 in piston 24. The spear shaped tip 88 may be inserted through the bore 46 with a snap fit, and in the inserted position the shoulder 90 underlies the wall 44 and locks the ring 80 permanently in mounted position on the piston 24.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described herein, it is obvious that numerous omissions, changes and additions may be made in such embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A bubble-blowing toy comprising a hollow compressible container having a top open end defined by a neck and a closed bottom end, said container being adapted to hold a supply of bubble-forming liquid, an insert mounted within the interior of said container and comprising a well member mounted within said neck, the upper portion of said well member tightly fitting said neck and forming an effective liquid seal therewith, a cylinder depending from the bottom wall of said well, said cylinder being substantially sealed by a piston slidably mounted therein for movement between a lowered, inoperative position and a raised, operative position, said cylinder having a top open end communicating with said well and a bottom open end communicating with the interior of said container, a liquid inlet tube in said well offset from said cylinder, a pipe secured at one end to said tube and depending therefrom, the bottom end of said pipe being located adjacent the closed bottom end of said container, said pipe and tube forming a passage between said bottom end of said container and said well, whereby when said container is supplied with liquid covering the bottom end of said pipe, and is compressed, air pressure within said container raises said piston to its operative position and forces bubble-forming liquid upwardly through said pipe and tube to the interior of said well to provide a supply of bubble-forming liquid in said well at the level of the top of said tube, and a film-supporting ring mounted at the top of said piston and projecting longitudinally thereabove,said ring being located within said well and being submerged in the supply of bubbleforming liquid in said well in the lowered, inoperative position of said piston, said ring being positioned above the top edge of said well and of said container neck in the raised, operative position of said piston.
2. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 1 in which said piston is rotatably mounted within said cylinder for selective adjustment of the angular orientation of said ring.
3. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 1 in which said cylinder has an internal annular flange and in which said piston has an outwardly projecting flange at its lower end sized and positioned to engage said annular flange in the raised, operative position of said piston to stop further upward movement of said piston.
4. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 1 in which said pipe has an inclined bottom open end positioned to engage the closed bottom end of said container. I
5. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 1 in which said well is sized to make a friction fit within said container neck,said well having a top annular flange overlying and engaging the top edge of said neck.
6. A bubble-blowing toy' according to claim 1 in which said well has a baffle member projecting from the inner wall thereof and spaced above the top end of said liquid inlet tube.
7. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 1 in which said piston has a central longitudinal bore opening spaced downwardly from in the top edge thereof, and in which said film-supporting ring is formed of two identical half-sections each comprising a central annular portion, a terminal pin portion, and a hinge portion,
said hinge portions being joined at a fold line upon which said half-sections are folded in registry with each other, said registering pin portions being sized for insertion within the bore of said piston for mounting of said ring upon said piston.
8. A bubble-blowing toy according to claim 7 in V which said half-sections each have a flat inner surface and a plurality of projections formed on the flat inner