US 3758912 A
A device for easily and quickly cleaning the balls used in a bowling or tenpins game and soiled with the oil applied to an alley, the dirt from the bowlers' hands and the like without interrupting the progress of the game. The device essentially comprises means for applying a cleansing agent onto the surface of the ball to be cleaned, means for wiping the ball, and means for drying the ball.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Shibuya et al.
[ Sept. 18, 1973 1 BALL CLEANING DEVICE  Inventors: Moritada Shibuya, 601-14 Nishinagai-cho, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka; Iku Shibuya, c/o Matsubara Apt. House, 2470 l-landa, Shibukawa-shi, Gumma-ken, both of Japan Filed: May 25, I972 Appl. No.: 256,744
 US. Cl 15/302, 15/21 A, 15/97 R, 15/310, 34/202, 401/10  Int. Cl. A63b 47/04, A63d 5/10  Field of Search 15/21 A, 97 R, 302, 15/303, 310, 320; 34/202; 401/9, 10
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,500,681 7/l924 Mudra 15/21 A 8/l946 Cloutier l5/2l A UX 12/1967 Casbarro lS/2l A Primary Examiner-Daniel Blum Attorney-Donald Gunn et a].
[5 7] ABSTRACT A device for easily and quickly cleaning the balls used in a bowling or tenpins game and soiled with the oil applied to an alley, the dirt from the bowlers hands and the like without interrupting the progress of the game. The device essentially comprises means for applying a cleansing agent onto the surface of the ball to be cleaned, means for wiping the ball, and means for drying the ball.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures BALL CLEANING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, ball support 1 is a hollow hemi- This invention relates to a device for cleaning balls sphere substantially shaped like a bowl and made of used in bowling or the game of tenpins.
2. Prior Art Balls used in bowling or the game of tenpins have usually been cleaned by wiping them with a cloth, but this method has failed to make the balls sufficiently clean. The dirt remaining on the balls adheres to the hands and clothes of the players. Such dirty balls also lessen the players chance of success in the game. There has also been a ball cleaning apparatus using an electrically driven brush, but this apparatus is too big to be employed for cleaning the balls being used in the game.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore, an object of this invention to provide a new and improved device which permits perfect cleaning of the balls used in the game of bowling or tenpins quickly without interrupting the progress of the game however dirty the balls may be.
It is another object of this invention to provide a ball cleaning device which is very easy to use, and enables the players to clean the balls without soiling their hands or clothes.
The ball cleaning device according to this invention essentially comprises a substantially hemispherical bowl-shaped ball support lined with a piece of wiping material, means provided above the ball support for applying a cleansing agent onto the surface of the exposed upper half of the ball, and an air inlet provided at the bottom of the ball support for drying the ball. When the ball is not very dirty, it can quickly be cleaned by rolling the ball in the bowl-shaped support, rubbing it against the wiping material with which the ball support is lined, and simultaneously impinging dry air against the ball. When the ball is seriously dirty, it can also be cleaned quickly by applying a cleansing agent onto the exposed upper half of the ball, turning it over, and then rolling it so that the cleanser-applied surface may be rubbed against the wiping material, and simultaneously directing dry air against the ball through the inlet at the bottom of the ball support. The device of this invention permits perfect cleaning of balls quickly without interrupting the progress of the game no matter how dirty the balls may be. The means provided for applying a cleansing agent is cylindrically shaped and of a size such that it may be insertable into one of the finger holes of theball, so that the cylindrical cleanser applying means may be used as a handle for rolling the ball to thereby allow the bowler to clean his ball very easily without substantially soiling his hands or clothes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view, partly broken away, of a preferred embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the means for applying a cleansing agent, the left-hand half of which is shown in vertical cross section;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the portion marked A" in FIG. 1.
hard plastics or similar material, and is lined with a removable piece of wiping material 2 which may be paper, cloth or the like capable of absorbing oil. It is needless to say that the ball support 1 is so sized as to be able to accommodate the lower half of a ball B. The ball support 1 is provided with an air inlet 3 which is slightly outwardly projected from the bottom center of the support 1. The air inlet 3 is adapted for connection with any source of dry air not shown but available in or near the center of a ball stand in a game house. The support 1 is formed with a generally T-shaped guide groove 4 along the entire outer circumferential edge thereof. A pair of generally parallel semicircular movable rails 5 are provided in such a manner as to surround the upper half of the ball B when the ball is placed in the support 1. The two rails 5, which are generally parallel to each other, converge at each of the diametrically opposite ends thereof, and form a combined end thereat. Each of the two combined ends of the rails 5 is carried on a pin 6 slidably fitted in the groove 4 of the support 1. The rails 5 are adapted to be horizontally moved around the ball placed in the device as the pins 6 carrying the rails 5 thereon are slidable along the groove 4, and also vertically tilted in either direction about the pins 6 along the upper half of the ball. The inside or underside of the rails 5 is provided with means 7 for transfer of a supply of a cleansing agent onto the ball, which means 7 may be made of rubber, cloth or any other appropriate material, and so positioned as to maintain a constant contact with the surface of the ball B.
A member 8 attached to the rails 5 is slidable along the rails 5, and carries thereon means 10 for supplying an agent for cleaning a dirty ball to the means 7 for further transfer onto the ball. The slide member 8 is a generally rectangular plate in plan view (FIG. 4) formed with a circular opening in the center thereof, and has a relatively elongate cylindrical projection extending downward from the edge of the central opening and having a projection which is slightly larger in diameter than the lower projection and considerably shorter as compared with the latter. The upper cylindrical projection of the member 8 is formed with a thread 9 along the entire outer surface thereof.
The cleansing agent supplying means 10 is generally a double cylinder comprising an outer cylinder 10a and an inner cylinder 13. The lower end portion of the outer cylinder 10a is formed with a thread 11 along the entire inner surface thereof. The outer cylinder 10a is inserted over the upper cylindrical projection of the slide member 8, and connected thereto by the threads 9 and 11 engaging each other. The inner cylinder 13 extends into and through the lower cylindrical projection of the slide means 8, and is vertically slidable relative to the outer cylinder 10a and the slide means 8. The inner cylinder 13 has a plurality of holes 14 through which a cleansing agent 12 flows from the outer cylinder 10a into the inner cylinder 13. Attached to the lower end portion of the inner cylinder 13 is an applicator means 15 through which the cleansing agent 12 oozes out to be applied onto the surface of the ball B. As the cleansing agent 12 leaves the applicator means 15 and is applied onto the surface of the ball, the applicator means 15 is adapted to receive continuously an additional supply of the cleansing agent 12 and ensure continuous application of the agent onto the ball. Applicator means 15 may be a brush with bristles, hairs or the like set so densely as not allow the cleansing agent 12 to drip from the applicator means 15 while not in use for application of the applicator means 15 while not in use for application of the agent 12 onto the ball surface. A cap 16 is secured to the uppermost end of the inner cylinder 13, and slidably inserted over the upper end portion of the outer cylinder 10a. A compression spring 17 is housed within the cap 16 in a position between the upper inner end of the cap 16 and the upper end of the outer cylinder 10i a, 1 so that the inner cylinder 13 secured to the cap 16 is always urged upward by the spring 17 (FIG. 3). The lowermost end of the inner cylinder 13 is thus positioned just above the surface of the exposed or upper half of the ball B when the rails are tilted and the slide member 8 slid along the rails 5.
The cap 16 is provided in the center thereof with a hole 18 for supplying a cleansing agent, and the hole 18 communicates through a check valve 19 into the inner cylinder 13 and thus to the outer cylinder a.
A description will now be made of a method of cleaning the ball B which has become dirty as used in the game. First, when the ball B is not very dirty, it is placed in the ball support 1 into which dry air is blown through the air inlet 3, and rolled by hand. The weight of the ball B presses it against the wiping material 2 with which the ball support 1 is lined, and the ball B is rubbed against the wiping material 2 as it is rolled, whereupon the ball is cleaned of the dirt adhering thereto, for example, the oil which is applied to the alley and has adhered to the ball while the ball is rolled along the alley. At the same time, the dry air which is blown into the ball support 1 against the ball removes moisture from the ball. The wiping material 2 is replaced with a new one whenever it has become dirty.
When the ball B is seriously dirty and it has been placed in the ball support 1, the rails 5 are turned upright to a position shown by solid lines in FIG. 1 and 2, and the cap 16 is pressed down by overcoming'the elastic force of the compression spring 17, whereupon the applicator means attached to the lower most end of the inner cylinder 13 is brought into contact with the surface of the ball B, and allows the cleansing agent 12 to ooze out onto the surface of the ball B. The outer-cylinder 10a is gripped with the cap 16 pressed down, and turned in either direction to tilt the rails 5 about the pins 6; the rails 5 are horizontally rotated by sliding the pins 6 along the guide groove. 4 of the ball support 1; and the cleanser supplying means 10 is slid along the rails 5. A suitable combined repetition of these tilting and sliding motions ensures continuous, uniform application and distribution of the cleansing agent 12 over any desired portion of the surface of the ball B by the cleanser applying means 7 attached to the rails 5 and the applicator means 15. The ball B to which the cleansing agent 12 has been applied in the abovementioned manner is rolled and rubbed against the wiping material 2 with which the ball support 1 is lined, and receives the dry air blown against it, whereupon the cleanser 12, together with the dirt of the ball, is removed from the ball The rolling of the ball B to rub it against the wiping material 2 may be done by hand, or alternatively by moving the means 10 to a position to insert into one of the finger holes of the ball B not shown. In this alternative method, the lowermost end of the inner cylinder of the means 10 is inserted into one of the finger holes of the ball by pressing down the cap 16, and the means 10 or the outer cylinder 10a thereof is gripped by hand, moved along or with the rails 5, and thereby causes the ball B to roll along the wiping material 2. This method prevents any transfer of the cleanser from the ball to the hands.
1. A device for cleaning a ball used in the game of bowling or tenpins, comprising:
A bowl-shaped ball support provided with an inlet for dry air at the bottom thereof;
movable rail means formed in a shape corresponding to the circumference of that portion of said ball which is exposed above said ball support, having applicator means adapted to contact the surface of said exposed portion of said ball for applying a cleansing agent onto said surface of said ball, said rail means supported at the ends thereof on said ball support in such a manner that said rail means can be rotated along the upper circumferential edge of said ball support and tilted downward in either direction relative to said ball support; cleaning agent supplying means means slidably carried on said rail means and mounting said applicator means.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said ball support is so sized as to enclose nearly half of said ball.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said ball support includes a guide groove provided along the upper circumferential edge thereof.
4. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said movable rail means comprises a pair of generally parallel rails formed to converge toward each other at the ends thereof and includis a pair of pins slidably fitted in said guide groove and carrying thereon the ends of said rails in such a manner as to permit the rotation and tilting of. said rails relative to said ball support.
5. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said clensing agent supplying means comprises a member slidably carried on said rail means;
an outer cylinder joined at the lower end thereof with the upper end of said slidable member;
an inner cylinder extending through said outer cylinder and said slidable member and movable vertically relative to said outer cylinder and said slidable member; and cap means secured to the upper end of said inner cylinder and slidably inserted over the upper end of said outer cylinder, said cap providing an actuator means providing an actuator for moving said inner cylinder vertically relative to said outer cylinder and said slidable member.
6. The invention as defined in claim 5, including a coil spring positioned between the upper end of said outer cylinder and said cap, and when said cap means is pressed down, said inner cylinder is lowered and said applicator means contacts the surface of said ball and applies said clensing agent onto said ball surface, the lower end of said inner cylinder being insertable into one of the finger holes of said ball when said cap means 6 is pressed down with a stronger force, while said inner for said clensing agent. y f f broPght P its elevated mopifrauve 8. The invention as defined in claim 5, wherein said posltion by said COll spring upon release of said cap means cleansing agent supplying means holds a supply of said 7. The invention as defined in claim 5, wherein said 5 cleansing agentcap means is provided at the top thereof with an inlet