US 3782729 A
A game device using heavy balls in which balls are discharged in a certain direction from an elevated point of a supply station and progress in free jumps along jumping stations to a catching station. The balls return along a trough from the catching station to the bottom of the supply station and are elevated therein to the point of discharge of the balls from the supply station. The catching station can be arranged to trap the caught balls in identified pockets, or channels, to provide for game possibilities.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Ernst [451 Jan. 1,1974
[ BALL GAME  Inventor: Max Ernst, Lohengrinstrasse 14,
Nurnberg, Germany  Filed: Feb. 2, 1972 [211 App]. No.: 222,913
 Field of Search..... 273/95 R, 95 C, 95 D, 273/101,103, 105 R, 105 A, 138 R, 138 A,
120 R, 120 A, 102 R, 102.1 R, 102.1 CM,
' 102.1 G, 104, 67 R, 86 C; 40/106.25; 46/43;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,662,162 3/1928 Nestor 273/120 R X 1,826,215 10/1931 Hutchison... 273/86 C X 2,522,133 9/1950 Sanders 46/43 2,998,673 9/1961 Rhodes 46/43 1,334,954 3/1920 Jancek 273/95 R X 2,205,936 6/1940 Sullivan 46/43 2,490,288 12/1949 Wickersham 273/120 R X 3,048,399 8/1962 Breitbach 4 273/67 R X 1,615,342 l/1927 Nelson 46/43 1,260,664 3/1918 Gregory 46/43 2,886,909 5/1959 Hesse et a1 40/l06.25 2,936,179 5/1960 Thurston 273/102.1 R X 2,550,249 4/1951 Hull 84/411 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant ExaminerArnold W. Kramer Att0rneyWalter Becker [57 ABSTRACT A game device using heavy balls in which balls are discharged in a certain direction from an elevated point of a supply station and progress in free jumps along jumping stations to a catching station. The balls return along a trough from the catching station to the bottom of the supply station and are elevated therein to the point of discharge of the balls from the supply station. The catching station can be arranged to trap the caught balls in identified pockets, or channels, to provide for game possibilities.
29 Claims, 27 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH H974 SHEET NF 7 Fig.16
PAIENTEDJAH 1 1914 r 3,782 729- SHEET 60? 7 1 I 1 H Fig. 20
PAIENIEDJM I m SHEEI 7 OF 7 Fig.25
BALL GAME The present invention relates to a ball game with a storing and jumping-off device for a number of identical and preferably specifically heavy balls, which game is provided with a manually operable locking and release mechanism for the balls and is also equipped with devices for catching and returning the jumped-off balls to the foot of the jumping-off device.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a ball game in which a relatively great number of balls, especially steel balls, will jump over a relatively great horizontal distance by means of free jumps to a catching device, the balls being able to jump individually as well as directly one after the other or in more or less large groups, while the jumping surfaces or jumping drums and the catching device are mountable or arrangeable in such a way that the balls after leaving the jumping-off device will at a maximum degree of safety be able to reach the catching device.
This object and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a side view of the jumping-off tower according to the invention with partially sectioned jumping-off trough.
FIG. 2 is a front view of the jumping-off tower of FIG. 1 with the foot or lower portion thereof partially shown in section.
FIG. 3 shows a top view of the jumping-off trough.
FIG. 4 represents a section taken along the line IV IV of FIG. 1 and also shows an open casing or housing for receiving the battery and the motor.
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the jumping-off tower.
FIG. 6 is a section through the cover for the casing or housing for the battery and the motor.
FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the cover of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 illustrates on the left-hand side a side view of a jumping-off drum with the holding means therefor, whereas the right-hand side of FIG. 8 is a section taken along the line VIII VIII of FIG. 9.
FIG. 8a is a longitudinal section through a cutout of the marginal portion of the drum shown in FIGS. 8 and 8a, but on a larger scale than that of FIGS. 8 and 8a.
FIG. 9 is a top view of the drum shown in FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 shows a top view of the unrolled mat provided with markings for placement of the various structures of the device according to the invention, such as the catching device.
FIG. 11 illustrates the catching cup for the balls and, more specifically, on the left-hand side is a side view of the cup, while the right-hand side of FIG. 11 represents a section taken along the line XI XI of FIG. 12.
'FIG. 12 is a top view of the cup of FIG. 11. FIGS. 13 and 14 respectively illustrate a side view and an end view of a first portion of the return trough.
FIGS. 15 and 16 respectively illustrate a side view and an end view of a second portion of the return trough.
FIG. 17 shows a side view of an assembled ball game according to the present invention.
FIG. 18 is a top view of the assembly shown in FIG.
FIG. 19 is a top view of a modified catching device FIG. 20 is a section taken along the line XX XX of FIG. 19.
FIG. 21 shows the insert member of the device shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 as seen in the direction of the arrow E in FIG. 19.
FIG. 22 is a top view of an insert member in the form of a bingo table for the catching device illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20, but on a smaller scale than that of FIGS. 19 and 20.
FIG. 23 is a top view of an insert plate adapted to be placed upon the bingo table shown in FIG..22.
FIG. 24 is a side view of the insert plate shown in FIG. 23.
FIG. 25 shows a particularly simple design of a jumping-off drum and, more specifically, shows the drum in side view on the left-hand side, while the right-hAnd side of this figure shows the drum in a section taken along the line XXV XXV of FIG. 26.
FIG. 26 shows a top view of the drum illustrated in FIG. 25.
The ball game according to the present invention is characterized primarily in that the jumping-off device and the catching device for the balls are arranged horizontally spaced from each other by a relatively great distance or are arrangeable at such distance, while between the jumping-off device and the catching device there are provided one or more elastic jumping-off surfaces via which the balls leaving the jumping-off device can by means of free jumps reach the catching device. In particular, the elastic jumping-ofi surfaces are formed by drums which comprise a highly elastic diaphragm.
The appeal of the game can be further increased by providing within the range of the catching or returning device, devices in the manner of a number game of chance. To this end, one or more elastic jumping surfaces may be provided in a rigid frame to which is connected the jumping-off device and also the catching device.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention it is suggested to provide the jumping-off device, the jumping-off drums and the catching device as separate structures which can be arranged at a suitable distance from each other on a plane, preferably horizontal support.
For mounting the jumping -off device, the jumpingoff drum or drums and the catching device, preferably a mat is provided which can be rolled up and has at least one side thereof provided with markings which indicate the optimum position of the respective structures relative to each other.
According to another feature of the invention, the storing and jumping-off structure primarily comprises a trough which is open toward the top and is inclined toward the longitudinal plane while at least its end portion has a straight and with regard to its cross section preferably a rectangular contour. This trough has its upper end connected to a jumping-off tower.
For purposes of obtaining as slight a stray as possible of the jumping off balls, according to a further feature of the invention, the lower and especially the straight portion of the trough is provided with a cross sectionwise rectangular depression the depth and width of which is relative to the size of the balls selected so great that the balls are guided by the two upper edges of this depression.
In order to be able for all jumps to employ the same drums with a horizontal diaphragm, it is suggested according to a further development of the invention to connect a trough section with a greater inclination to the lower end of a preferably only slightly inclined straight trough section.
According to a further feature of the invention, near the lower end of the only slightly inclined trough section there is provided a locking gate which preferably extends into the slightly inclined trough section from below and which through a linkage system is connected with a key guided in the foot portion of the jumping-off tower. A spring provided in the foot portion of the jumping-off tower holds the linkage system and thereby the locking gate in its locking position. The device for releasing the balls may be so designed that the key and thus the locking gate can also be arrested in their unlocking position.
Between the expediently somewhat elevated catching device and the foot of the jumping-off tower there may be provided a return trough for automatically returning the balls to the jumping-off tower.
Furthermore, a motor-driven lifting device may be arranged in the jumping-off tower which preferably consists of a spindle lift. 1 The upwardly protruding end of the shaft of the lifting spindle may be provided with an emblem which may be, for instance, loosely rotatably mounted so that it can be rotated by the spindle shaft.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the ball game may comprise the following specific structural elements: A jumping tower with a lifting device and a jumping device for the balls (FIGS. 1-7), for instance three identical jumping drums (FIGS. 8 and 9 or 25 and 26), a simple catching cup (FIGS. 11 and 12), and/or a catching device with inserts for carrying out number chance games (FIGS. 19-24), and a major number of identical steel balls and a mat adapted to be rolled up (FIG.
As will be evident from FIGS. 1-7, the jumping tower comprises primarily a molded hollow foot 1 of synthetic material which has a rectangular contour, a ho]- low shaft 2 of substantially square cross section which is made of transparent material and is adapted from above to be inserted into the foot 1. The tower furthermore comprises a lifting spindle 3 which is rotatable in the shaft 2, an upper cover 4 for the shaft 2 with a molded-on jumping trough 5, likewise made of synthetic material, and an emblem comprising a bearing sleeve 7, a ring 8 and a plate 9 for receiving some writing or letters thereon. The emblem is freely rotatably mounted on a bearing shaft 6 of the lifting spindle 3 which shaft protrudes beyond the upper cover 4 of the shaft 2.
The foot 1 of the jumping tower has one of its longitudinal sides provided with a step 10. Above the step 10 and molded thereinto is the last portion 1 1 of the return trough which while coming from the side is curved at a right angle and has a slight downward inclination at the lower entrance opening 12 of shaft 2. The start of the trough portion 11 at the bottom thereof is provided with a depression 13 having a hole 14 into which the adjacent end of the return trough may be inserted and connected. In the central portion of the upper side 15 of foot 1 there is provided an approximately squareshaped recess 16 into which the lifting shaft 2 may be inserted and, if desired, cemented or otherwise connected.
As will be seen from FIG. 4, the lifting shaft 2 has an open back side while its central portion at the front side is bulged outwardly at 17. In the interior of the lifting shaft 2 there is provided the lifting spindle 3 which forms a hollow body and may be made as an injection molded part. The upper and lower end of the lifting spindle 3 have each a transverse wall 16 to which the continuous bearing shaft 6 of steel is rigidly connected. The lower end of shaft 6 is in any convenient manner rotatably joumalled in a partition of the foot 1, whereas the upper end of shaft 6 is rotatably joumalled in the upper confining wall of the upper cover 4 for the lifting shaft 2.
The inner cylindrical portion of the lifting spindle 3 has a helical lifting surface 19 and also has a likewise helical notch 20 extending between the helical surface 19. The upper end of wall 17 of the lifting shaft 2 is provided with an outlet opening 21 for the balls 22. At the upper end of the lifting spindle 3 there is provided a conical extension 23 which sees to it that the balls conveyed upwardly by the helical surface 19 will, when reaching the level of the exit opening 21 leave shaft 2 and drop into the jumping trough 5. The dimensions of the inner contour of the lifting shaft 2 and of the lifting spindle 3 are so selected with regard to the dimensions of the balls that the balls remain in the space between the lifting spindle 3 and the bulged out surface 17 of the lifting shaft 2 so that, when the lifting spindle 3 rotates, the balls will each time or with each revolution be lifted by the pitch of the spindle.
The following device serves as drive for the helical spindle 3. In foot 1 of the jumping tower there is provided a pan or casing 24 (FIGS. 2 and 4) which serves for receiving a dry battery 25. The casing 24 has two partitions 26 and 27 between which a small electric motor 28 is so inserted that one terminal 29 thereof is electrically connected to the bottom 30 of the dry battery 25. The other pole 31 of the dry battery 25 is engaged by a spring contact 32 which is electrically connected through a conductor 33 bent twice at a right angle to a spring contact 34 at the other end of casing 24. Adjacent to the spring contact 34 there is provided the second terminal 35 of the electric motor 28. Longitudinally displaceably mounted in a notch 36 at the upper side 15 of foot 1 is a slide 37. The upwardly protruding part of slide 37 has a notched plate 38 while the rearward end of the slide 37 has a cam 39 (FIGS. 4 and 5). As will be seen from FIG. 4, during the displacement of slide 37 toward the front, the cam 39 presses the spring contact 34 against the terminal 35 of the electric motor. As a result thereof, the electric motor will receive voltage. The shaft 41 of the electric motor 28, which shaft extends through the bottom part 40 of casing 24, is fixedly connected to a small grooved pulley 42. In the same plane as pulley 42 at the lower end of shaft 6 there is a relatively large grooved pulley 43. The pulleys 42, 43 are by a rubber belt closed in itself operatively connected to each other. Pan or casing 24 in foot 1 is covered by a cover 45 having its two narrow sides provided with protruding noses 46 adapted to spring into corresponding notches 47 in foot 1. In order to be able easily to lift off the cover 45, a depression 48 is provided in the top side 15 of foot 1 and adjacent to the cover. Moreover, the cover 45 has its central portion on the bottom side provided with a milled-out portion* 49" so thatth'e' cover can at this area/be easily lifted off. The bottom side of cover 45 has two downwardly pointing: extensions 50 which hold the electric motor 28 against the intermediate bottom 40 of the pan 24, the electricmotor 28 being inserted between the two walls- 26 and 27.
in order to be able to cause a greater number of balls to jump directly one after the other, the upper cover 4 of the shaft Zhas connected thereto a jumping trough which from the outlet opening 21 extends along a. semicircle around the cover 4. Adjacent to this semicircular trough portion there is provided a straight trough portion 5" the bottom of which has its central area provided with a depression 51. This depression 51 brings about that the balls in the last part of their travelling path in trough 5, 5 will be precisely laterally guided by the two upper edges of the depression 51.
As will be seen in particular from FIGS. 1 and 2, the jumping trough 5, 5' has a uniform slight inclination in downward direction so that the balls 22 can roll thereon at a low speed. Shortly prior to the end of this slightly inclined trough portion 5, 5 the bottom has its lower side provided with an extension 52 in which in a corresponding recess a locking element 53 is vertically displaceably guided. The locking element 53 has its upper end extending into the interior of the trough portion 5. The locking element 53 continues in downward direction in the form of a somewhat wider bar 54. The further broadened lower end 55 of bar 54 is displaceably guided in a corresponding rectangular recess 56 in the upper side of foot 1 and is also displaceably guided in vertical and in longitudinal direction. The broadened end 55 of bar 54 has its upper end provided with a key 57 which is knurled on the upper side. At the front end of the broadened portion 55, adjacent the key 57, there is provided a notch 58 the height of which approximately equals the wall thickness of the upper side 15 of foot 1. In foot 1 below the rectangular recess 56 and molded on to foot 1 is an extension 59 which has a hollow cylindrical shape and is closed at its lower end. A helical spring 60 is inserted into the extension 59. This helical spring 60 has its upper end engaging the lower edge of the broadened portion 55 and in this way keeps the bar 54 in engagement with the extension 52 on the trough portion 5'. The upper portion of the extension 59 is slotted so that by means of key 57 it is possible to displace the bar 54 downwardly to such an extent that the locking element 53 frees the inner chamber of trough 5. When releasing the key 57, the bar 54 and the locking element 53 are by spring 60 again returned to their locking position. If, however, after depressing key 57, the latter is subsequently displaced somewhat forwardly, the notch 58 snaps into the upper wall 15 of foot 1 as a result of which the bar 54 and the locking element 53 are held or arrested in the relieving position.
The last section 5" of the jumping trough extends downwardly at an angle of approximately 45. In this section of the jumping trough, a certain horizontal speed is imparted upon the balls so that the balls will at an angle with regard to the vertical plane hit upon the first jumping drum.
The length of the jumping trough 5, 5' is so dimensioned that when the locking element 53 is displaced upwardly, about twenty balls can be stored. When key 57 is depressed, these twenty balls will immediately and one after the other jump off. If, however, key 57 is by displacement in forward direction locked in its depressed position, the balls will jump at the rhythm or cycle at which they are conveyed upwardly by spindle FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a design for the jumping drums and also show the holding means therefor. The jumping drums proper consist of a rigid, preferably metallic annular body 61, for instance, in the form of a short truncated cone which tapers downwardly in a funnel-shaped manner and at its upper and lower end merges with a horizontal plane surface. The bottom side of the annular body 61 is covered by a highly elastic diaphragm 62. As material for this diaphragm, especially a synthetic material known and sold in the Federal Republic of Germany under the trade name Mipolam has proved very successful. As will be seen from FIG. 8a, the diaphragm 62 may be held in a pretensioned condition to the bottom side of the annular body 61 by a downwardly folded marginal portion 61' of the upper plane portion of the body 61.
Drum 61, 62 is in horizontal position of the diaphragm mounted in a frame which expediently is formed in one piece of an injection molded part. This frame, on one hand, comprises a flat central hollow body 63 which when viewed from the top has a square contour and which is open at its bottom side. Hollow body 63 has for injection molding purposes gaps 64 at its top side which gaps will permit the injection molding of inwardly directed holding noses 65 to the inner sides of the hollow body 63 located below the gaps. Behind the noses 65 there is provided a heavy square-shaped plate 66 or iron which is preferably sprung-in. Provided on the top side of hollow body 63 and molded thereto are strips 67 arranged at the same angle with regard to each other which strips are united at 68 in the center of the hollow body 63. These strips 67 extend upwardly to the rim and form six arms 69 the upper end of which on the inside is provided with conically downwardly extending surfaces 70 and horizontally extending locking notches 71. The distances of the surfaces 70 from each other and of the notches 71 from each other are so dimensioned that ring 61 of the jumping drum can be sprung into the notches 71 when the arms 69 are resiliently bent outwardly so that ring 61 is detachably held in the frame.
Each other strip 67 is equipped with a leg 72 the lower end of which is formed by two surfaces extending toward each other so that the leg will rest upon the support merely by means of an edge 73 the length of which substantially equals the thickness of the strip 67 or leg. This arrangement in cooperation with the loading weight 66 brings about that at the three supporting areas of each frame a specific surface pressure occurs which is so high that with the somewhat soft and rough support, the jumping drums retain a safe location on the respective suport and are secured against slipping. This is of great importance so that the jumping drums cannot be displaced from their once adjusted optimum position on the mat by the relatively heavy balls which hit the diaphragm at an angle.
As will be seen from FIG. 10, a rectangular mat or foil 74 adapted to be rolled up serves for placing the individual structures of the device according to the invention thereon. The mat or foil 74 may consist of a thin synthetic sheet or a wax cloth or oil cloth. This mat or foil 74 has its top side provided with markings in the shape of rectangular or round fields in different colors,
or by corresponding lines. These markings indicate where the structures are to be placed for optimum results. This left-hand rectangular field 75 indicates the place to be occupied by the jumping tower, whereas the jumping drums are to be placed upon the three central round fields 76. The right-hand round field 77 with an additional marking for the return of the balls indicates the proper position for placing the catching cup. The mat or foil 74 expediently has a somewhat rough surface and may at least at the surface be relatively soft so that in cooperation with the relatively pointed legs of the frames of the jumping drums and the catching cup, a very slide-resistant placing of these structures will be assured.
FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate the catching cup which is to be placed in the field 77 of mat 74. This cup comprises primarily the catching body proper which advantageously has the form of an open hollow cylinder 78 with a bottom 79 extending conically downwardly. The cylinder 78 may be of synthetic material. The catching cup furthermore comprises two legs 80 molded to the hollow cylinder 78 and also has a discharge trough 81 which serves as third leg. The conical bottom 79 is provided with a foam rubber cover 82 having a rectangular cutout 83 the end of which leads to the exit opening 84 in the catching cup. Below the cutout 83 the bottom of the cup is so designed that it has a slight drop toward the outlet opening 84. The foam rubber cover or lining 82 brings about that the balls which have entered the cup will be prevented from jumping out and will be able through the trough formed by the cutout 83 and through the outlet opening 84 to pass into the outlet trough 81.
In order also to secure the catching cup against sliding in view of the balls jumping into the cups, there is provided below the conical bottom 79 a hollow extension 85 which is molded on to the cup and at its bottom side is open and hollow. The extension 85, when seen from the top, has a substantially square-shaped cross section. Sprung into the extension 85 from below is a plate 66 of iron, expediently of the same size as that employed with the jumping drums. The plate 66 is sprung behind the locking noses 66. Inasmuch as the catching cup is somewhat elevated, the balls arrive at the lower end of the outlet trough 81 at a certain speed so that they will be able to overcome a slight inclination and pass through the inlet opening 12 into the jumping tower.
In order to bring about the automatic return of the balls caughtby the catching cup to the jumping tower, there is provided a return trough (FIGS. 13-18) which comprises a first trough section 87. Trough section 87 has its somewhat elevated end provided with a plate 89 equipped with a pin 88 by means of which this trough section 87 can be suspended in the recess 13 and in the hole 14 in the last trough section 11 at the foot 1 of the jumping tower. A second trough section 90 with plane bottom is then inserted into the trough section 87 while the lower end of the outlet trough 81 of the catching cup leads into the trough section 90.
FIGS. 17 and 18 illustrate the placing of the jumping tower, of the three jumping drums, and of the catching cup and also show the arrangement of the two return trough sections 87 and 90. The emblem 7, 8, 9 placed upon shaft 6 of the jumping tower will rotate during the operation of the lifting device and will thereby catch the players eyes.
As mentioned above, the ball game according to the invention may in the region of the catching and return device be provided with devices in the manner of a number game of chance. For instance, FIGS. 19-24 show two devices of this type in cooperation with a catching device.
As will be seen from FIGS. 19 and 20, to this end the catching device comprises a substantially squareshaped bowl or basin 92 which rests on four legs 91. Bowl 92 has an inclined bottom 93, and a plate of foam rubber 94 rests on the bottom 93. Molded to the lowermost marginal area of bottom 93 is an inclined discharge trough 95 the lowermost area 96 of which leads to a passage in the marginal area of bowl 92. This area 96 communicates with a discharge trough 97 which extends to the lower leg end (see catching device of FIGS. 11 and 12). As will be seen from FIGS. 19 and 20, all balls entering the bowl 92 will be able through the two troughs 95 and 97 to return to the lifting device.
In order to be able with the ball game according to the invention also to carry out a number chance game, the catching bowl 92 has an insert which consists primarily of a bottom plate 98 and an upwardly pointing gate plate 99 which is molded to the bowl 92 and forms a continuation of the bottom plate 98 while extending at substantially a right angle thereto. Bottom plate 98 and gate plate 99 are interconnected by lateral reinforcing ribs 100. Molded to the left-hand portion of the bottom plate 98 (with regard to FIGS. 19 and 20) are short pins 101 which are offset with regard to each other in seven rows. Adjacent to the pins 101 on the right-hand side of the bottom plate 98 there are molded to the bottom plate strips 102 by means of which there are formed troughs 103 which are located along the extension of the seven rows of pins. At the start of the two outer and of the two intermediate troughs 103, the bottom plate 98 is provided with circular openings 104 the diameter of which approximately equals that of the balls. These openings 104 are provided with the numerals 4, l, 2, 3. The three troughs 103, which are located between the troughs 103, lead to the gates 105 in the gate plate 99. Each gate 105 forms a ball opening through which balls can pass. The gate plate 99 has at its upper rim a handle 106 and at the two lateral edges is provided with outwardly pointing ears 107 which prevent the balls which pass through gates 105 of gate plate 99 from entering the discharge trough 95. Lifting of the insert will release the balls between ears 107 to trough 95 and release balls in troughs 103 to trough 95 via holes 104. Balls so released to trough 95 will roll to exit point 96 and then into trough 97.
The operation of the device illustrated in FIGS. 19-21 is as follows: Most of the balls entering the bowl 92 will through gates 105 enter the space between ears 107. Occasionally, however, one or the other ball will enter one of the numbered troughs 103 which is closed at its lower end by the gate plate 99. Inasmuch as, with a certain number of played balls, each player can accummulate a different number of points, the device may also be employed as a number chance game. At the end of a player's turn, the insert is lifted and all of the balls are released for use by the next player.
A further additional device makes it possible to ascertain for each player certain numbers which can be used for filling-in bingo cards. To this end, the foam rubber plate 94 has to one side thereof glued a card or sheet 108 which in a manner known per se is provided with-the bingo numbers 1 to 49. Instead of the arrangeme'nt shown in FIGS. 19 to 21, the plate 109 is placed upon-the foam rubber plate 94 which has its card 108 pointing-upwardly. Plate 109 consists of transparent material and is provided with circular holes 110 coinciding with'the location of the numerals 1 49.
The-top side of plate 109 has a handle 111 and also a strip" l'l2 oftriangular cross section, whereas the bottomsideof plate 109 has legs 113 and 114 of different lengths. Plate 109' is so inserted into bowl 92 that the longer legs 1 14 rest at the lower area on card 108. Strip 112 serves for returningthe balls from the lowermost edge of plate 109 back onto higher areas of plate 109 so that they may drop into one of the holes 110. Also in this'in'st'ance the operation of the device is very simple. Four or five balls are allowed to jump into the bowl 92' and the bingo numbers occupied by the balls are listed-on the betting sheet or card. In order to obtain a new combination of numbers, it suffices to lift plate 109 by means of the handle 111 slightly upwardly whereby the balls from the inclined foam rubber plate 94"which' is covered by sheet or card 108 will through troughs 95 and 97 again return to the lifting device so that'a new set of balls can be jumped off from the tower and caught by the bowl 92.
FIGS. 25 and 26 show an embodiment for the jumping d'rums whichis characterized particularly by its simplicity and low manufacturing costs.
The jumping drum shown in FIGS. 25 and 26 comprises only two individual elements, namely an annular cylindrical frame 1150f strong synthetic material and a diaphragm 120 which near its margin is provided with perforations 121. in order to clamp the diaphragm 120 onto the frame 115, the latter is near its upper margin provided with radially outwardly directed cylindrical elevations with a head 118 and a neck 119. The neck 119 is reduced in diameter with regard to the head 118 which latter is somewhat rounded in order to avoid damage to the perforations when mounting the diaphragm 120.
The perforations 121 are spaced from the center of the diaphragm 120 by such a distance that when the diaphragm is tightly clamped to or placed over the frame,
the perforations can be pulled over the extensions 1 18, 119 so that these perforations will then have an oval shape as shown in FIG. 25.
The diaphragms 120 may be made of a tough elastic synthetic material or rubber. A synthetic material sold in the Federal Republic of Germany under the trade name Mipolam has proved particularly suitable for the diaphragms 1 20.
Numerous tests have. proved that the perforations 121 will not tear, neither when mounting and tensioning the diaphragm nor later when using the jumping drums,- and tests have also shown that the tension of the diaphragm will not lessen during the use of the jumping drums.
Flame 115 is provided with three legs 116 each of which ends at its lower end in a point 117. Frame 115 may form a single integral piece with the extensions 118,- 119, with the legs 116 and the points 117 and may be made-of injection moldable material. The weight of the frame in cooperation with the points 117 will suffice to prevent the jumping drums from being displaced by the impacting balls, especially when as direct support there is provided a mat as mentioned above which has a relatively soft and/or rough surface.
In FIG. 26, on the right-hand side thereof, the extensions 118, 119 on frame and the perforations 121 in diaphragm 120 are indicated merely by radially extending dot-dash linesl22. 1 j i It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited tothe particular showing in the drawings but also comprises .any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: g j i 1. In a game device using balls, especially heavy balls: a first supply station means having means for discharging balls in a predetermined direction at a predetermined first level, a second receiving station means spaced horizontally from said first station means and having an upwardly facing opening at a second level below said first level, and third jumping station means in the form of at least one jumping station located between said first and second station means and each jumping station comprising a substantially horizontal elastic member with an upwardly facing surface on which a ball discharged from said first station means can bounce so as to progress from said first station means toward said second station means with at least one free jump, said second station means comprising an upwardly opening container which is generally rectangular when viewed from above, said container having an inclined bottom wall and an inclined discharge trough leading from the lower edge of said bottom wall, a damping plate on said bottom wall, a sheet having indicia printed thereon in a uniform rectangular pattern on said damping plate, and an apertured plate supported over said sheet adapted to receive and retain balls in the apertures thereof and liftable to release the balls to roll into said discharge trough.
2. A game device according to claim 1 in which each said third station means comprises a drum-like support and the said elastic member is a highly elastic diaphragm mounted on the upper end of said support.
3. A game device according to claim 1 in which said first, second and third station means are independent units and are adapted to be disposed in spaced relation to each other on a planar and preferably horizontal support.
4. A game device according to claim 1 which includes a support mat adapted to be disposed substantially horizontally and having markings thereon indicating the optimum position thereon of said first, second, and third station means.
5. A game device according to claim 4 in which said mat on at least that side bearing said markings is provided with a surface configuration which inhibits slipping of said station means thereon.
6. A game device according to'claim' 1 in which said first station means includes an inclined upwardly opening trough along which balls roll to the point of discharge thereof from said first station means, at least the terminal portion of said trough being straight and rectangular in cross section.
7. A game device according to claim 6 in which at least said terminal portion'of said trough is provided with a central depression presenting edges for guiding engagement with said balls.
8. A game device according to claim"6 in which the major portion of said trough is inclined to the horizontal at a small angle while said terminal portion of said trough includes an end region adajcent the point of discharge of the balls which is inclined to the horizontal at an angle of about 45.
9. A game device according to claim 8 which includes a lock member extending into said trough from below near the beginning of said end region to prevent balls from entering said end region, a linkage leading from said lock member downwardly toward the base of said first station means, a spring biasing said linkage in the upward direction, and means on the linkage for movement thereof against the bias of said spring to withdraw said lock member from said trough to permit balls to enter said end region.
10. A game device according to claim 9 which includes means to latch said linkage in position to hold said lock member in ball releasing position.
11. A game device according to claim 1 in which" each said third station m'eans comprises a rigid drumlike frame, of synthetic material; outwardly extending projections on said frame about the circumference thereof near the top, said elastic member comprising a diaphragm extending over the top of said frame and perforations about the periphery of the diaphragm engageable with said projections for connecting the diaphragm in tensioned condition to said frame.
12. A game device according to claim 11 in which said frame is cylindrical and has three circumferentially spaced downwardly extending pointed support legs on the bottom.
13. A game device according to claim 12 in which said frame and the said projections and the said legs form a single integral piece of synthetic material.
14. A game device according to claim 11 in which said diaphragm is formed of a tough elastomeric material.
15. A game device according to claim 1 which includes a ball return trough leading from said second station means back to said first station means.
16. A game device according to claim 1 in which said first station means comprises a tower with said ball discharge means at the top, said tower having a base, a ball return trough leading from said second station means to said base of the tower, said base having a receiving trough forming a continuation of said ball return trough, and a motor driven lifting device in said tower adapted to receive balls from said receiving trough and operable to elevate the balls in the tower and deliver the balls to said discharge means.
17. A game device according to claim 16 in which said lifting device comprises a screw extending vertically in said tower, an electric motor in said base, and a transmission connecting the motor to said screw.
18. A game device according to claim 17 in which said transmission comprises a larger pulley on said screw, a smaller pulley on the shaft of said motor and a rubber-like belt entrained about said pulleys.
19. A game device according to claim 17 in which said tower has an aperture near the top to which balls lifted by said screw are delivered, and a conical upper end on said screw adjacent said aperture to direct the balls into and through said aperture onto said discharge means.
20. A game device according to claim 17 in which said base includes a compartment in which said motor is mounted, and a battery in said compartment for the supply of energy to said motor.
21. A game device according to claim 20 which includes a control switch connecting said battery to said motor, and a control element for said switch mounted on said base.
22. A game device according to claim 17 in which said screw comprises a central metal shaft and an outer part of synthetic material, said shaft having the ends thereof journaled in said tower and having the upper end projecting from the tower and adapted to support an emblem member.
23. A game device according to claim 1 in which said third station means comprises a plurality of jumping stations in distributed relation between said first and second station means, said second station means having a ball discharge at a level above the base of said first station, and an inclined ball return trough leading from said ball discharge to the base of said first station means.
24. In a game device using balls, especially heavy balls: a first supply station means having means for discharging balls in a predetermined direction at a predetermined first level, a second receiving station means spaced horizontally from said first station means and having an upwardly facing opening at a second level below said first level, and third jumping station means in the form of at least one jumping station located between said first and second station means and each jumping station comprising a substantially horizontal elastic member with an upwardly facing surface on which a ball discharged from said first station means can bounce so as to progress from said first station means toward said second station means with at least one free jump, said secondstation means comprising an upwardly opening container which is generally rectangular when viewed from above, said container having an inclined bottom wall and an inclined discharge trough leading from the lower edge of said bottom wall, and an insert plate member in said container resting on said bottom wall and having channels for receiving balls dropping into said container from above and adapted to prevent the balls from being discharged from said container.
25. A game device according to claim 24 in which said second station means comprises an upwardly opening container having a conical downwardly tapering bottom wall, damping material on said bottom wall, and an opening in said bottom wall for the discharge of balls therefrom.
26. A game device according to claim 24 in which said second station means comprises an upwardly opening container having a conical downwardly tapering bottom wall, and ball receiving compartment means on said bottom wall adapted to be identified by indicia whereby toprovide for game possibilities.
27. A game device according to claim 24 in which the said bottom wall of said container is provided with a resilient covering member.
28. A game device according to claim 24 in which said channels are in side by side relation near the lower edge of said bottom wall and incline toward said lower edge, pins upstanding from said insert plate member in distributed relation between the higher edge of said insert plate and the entrance end of said channels, said insert plate comprising a gate plate extending laterally at the lower ends of said channels and having ball openings for some of said channels, and ball openings in said insert plate near the entrance ends of the others of said channels.
29. A game device according to claim 28 in which said gate plate has wings thereon on the side opposite said channels to entrap balls rolling from said some of said channels through the said ball openings in said gate plate, lifting of said gate plate releasing all of the balls in said container to the said-discharge trough.