US 3789538 A
A vehicle elevator for a toy parking garage includes a vertically movable car guided in a shaft, and an endless drive means for moving the car up and down in the shaft. A hand crank is rotatable in either direction for moving the endless drive means, and a coupling arm is pivotally coupled to the car and to the endless drive means to follow the full course of the endless drive means so that rotation of the hand crank in either direction can move the car either up or down. The toy also includes a bell, stop signs raised by the vehicle car, a simulated passenger car, and a vehicle car floor that tilts to roll a vehicle out of the car.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
O United States Patent 1191 [111 3,789,538
Spengler et al.  F b, 5, 1974  ELEVATOR FOR TOY PARKING GARAGE 3,483,653 12/1969 Genin 46/12  Inventors: Duane E. Spengler; Charles 0.
B n b th fw k Primary ExammerLou1s G. Mancene a o 0 es 3 N Assistant Examiner-D. L. Wemhold Asslgneez The Quaker Oats p y, Attorney, Agent, or FirmCumpston, Shaw &
Chicago, Ill. Stephens  Filed: Aug. 9, 1972 21 A l N 278 945  ABS CT 1 PP i A vehicle elevator for a toy parking garage includes a Related U.S. Application Data vertically movable car guided in a shaft, and an end-  Continuation of Ser, No. 119,654, March 1, 1971, less drive means for moving the Car p and down in abandoned the shaft. A hand crank is rotatable in either direction for moving the endless drive means, and a coupling  U.S. Cl 46/12, 46/202 rm is pi lly co pl o h ar n to he n less  Int. Cl A63h 33/00 drive m n o f ll w the f ll cour of th ndless  Field of Search 4 6/ 12, 201, 202, 1 i e m n o h r tion f he hand r nk in either direction can move the car either up or down. The toy also includes a bell, stop signs raised by the  References Cit d vehicle car, a simulated passenger car, and a vehicle UNITED STATES PATENTS car flOOl that tiltS to roll a vehicle out Of the car. 3,457,668 7/1969 Genin 46/12 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Patented Feb. 5, 1974 3,789,538
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG- 5 INVENTORS DUANE E SPENGLER GEORGE O BARTOO ATTORNEYS Patented Feb. 5, 1974 3,789,538
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2 L3 INVENTORS DUANE E- SPENGLER GEORGE O. BARTOO ATTORNEYS Patented Feb. 5, 1974 I5 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG- 4- INVENTORS DUANE E- SPENGLER GEORGE O. ARTOO BY FIG. 3
ATTORNEYS ELEVATOR FOR TOY PARKKNG GARAGE RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a continuation of U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 119,654, filed Mar. 1, 1971 now abandoned.
THE INVENTIVE IMPROVEMENT Toy vehicle parking garages are generally known, but there is a continuing need for simple, versatile, and entertaining toy simulations of parking garages. The invention involves the recognition of a functional and entertaining elevator for use with a multi-level toy parking garage. The invention aims at safety, simplicity, economy, ruggedness, and durability in an attractive and versatile toy capable of a variety of action and play possibilities.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventive toy vehicle elevator is intended for use with a multi-level toy parking garage, and it includes an elevator shaft and an elevator car vertically movable in the shaft for carrying vehicles. An endless drive means is arranged alongside the vertically guided path of the car, and a coupling arm is pivotally connected to the car and to the endless drive means so that the arm can follow the entire course of the endless drive means. A hand crank rotatable in either direction is arranged for moving the endless drive means in either direction to raise or lower the car. The toy also preferably includes a bell, movable stop signs, and other features.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the inventive toy;
FIG. 2 is an upper fragment of the toy of FIG. I with the elevator wall removed;
FIG. 3 is a partially cutaway cross-sectional view of the toy of FIG. 2 taken along the line 3 3 thereof;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, elevational view corresponding to FIG. 3 with some of the foremost parts removed; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a vehicle car for the toy of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Elevator as best shown in FIG. I is associated with a multi-level, toy parking garage having a ground level 11 and upper levels 12 and 13. Elevator 10 carries vehicles and passengers up and down between levels 11 I3, and the details of operation of elevator 10 are best shown in FIGS. 2 5.
Elevator 10 includes a vertical shaft 14 in which a car 15 is vertically movable for carrying vehicles. Shaft 14 has a vertical slot 16, and a passenger car 17 is connected to vehicle car 15 by an arm 18 extending through slot 16 so that passenger car 17 goes up and down with vehicle car 15. Passenger car 17 is preferably outside of shaft 14 as illustrated for better visual effect.
Car 15 is guided in vertical motion in shaft 14 by a sleeve 19 sliding on a vertical rod 26. An endless drive means best shown in FIG. 3 moves car 15 up and down in shaft 14. The endless drive means includes a lower pulley 21 and an upper pulley 22 vertically disposed above one another alonside the path of motion of car 15, and a flexible, endless belt 23 is reeved over pulleys 21 and 22. Belt 23 is preferably formed of flexible, synthetic resin with evenly spaced drive lugs 24 that fit in notches 25 in pulleys 21 and 22 for a positive drive relationship between belt 23 and pulleys 21 and 22 similar to a chain and sprocket drive.
A gear 26 is coaxial with lower pulley 21, and a gear 27 meshes with gear 26. Gear 27 is turned by a hand crank 23 outside of shaft 14, and crank 28 can be turned in either direction for turning pulley 21 in either direction. This produces movement of endless belt 23 in either direction in its course over pulleys 21 and 22.
A coupling arm 29 has one end pivotally connected to car 15 through a pivot pin 30 lodged in a journal 31 on sleeve 19 of car 15. The other end of coupling arm 29 is pivotally coupled to endless belt 23 through a pivot pin 32 lodged in a sleeve 33 formed on the outside of belt 23. This allows pin 32 to follow the outside of belt 23 around its entire course of travel over the vertical reaches between pulleys 21 and 22, and over the top of pulley 22 and under the bottom of pulley 21. Through the coupling of pivot pin 30 to sleeve 19 riding on guide rod 20, car 15 follows along in straight vertical motion. This means that crank 28 can be turned continuously in either direction to move car 15 repeatedly up and down, or crank 28 can be reversed at any time. This is an important feature in a toy designed for use by small children who have the freedom to operate crank 28 any way they choose without harming the toy and with the capacity of producing any result they may desire.
Another action feature of elevator 10 is a bell 35 that rings periodically as the toy is operated. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a vertically movable slider 36 is supported by a compression spring 37 and carries a loosely held and vertically movable striker 38 that normally rests out of contact with bell 35 as shown in solid lines in FIG. 4. A cam lobe 39 on gear 27 is arranged to engage a pair of followers 40 extending inward from slider 36. Cam lobe 39 can either lift or depress followers 40 depending on the direction of rotation of cam 28 at the moment. If one of the followers 40 is lifted, slide 36 is merely raised above spring 37 a distance insufficient to bring striker 38 into contact with bell 35, and then slider 36 is allowed to drop back down onto spring 37 without any ringing of bell 35. When lobe 39 forces a follower 40 downward, it moves slide 36 down to compress spring 37 so that slide 36 jumps upward when follower 40 moves past cam lobe 39. Spring 37 then snaps slide 36 upward to a limit position established by a fixed stop pin 41 and a pad 42 on slide 36. Striker 38 is just short of contact with bell 35 in this upward travel limit for slider 36, but striker 38 overtravels upward from the inertia motion allowed by its loose fit in slider 36 to strike and ring bell 35 and then fall back out of contact with bell 35. Hence, each revolution of crank 38 in either direction produces a ringing sound from bell 35.
Another feature of the inventive toy is automatic stop signs best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Stop signs 43 and 44 respectively at upper level 13 and middle level 12 are cam operated by car 15 to be pivoted upward automatically when car 15 registers with each level. This is accomplished by pivotally mounting stop signs 43 and 44 as illustrated, so they are over balanced to drop normally to the closed position illustrated by sign 44 in FIG. 2. A pair of cams 45 and 46 engage bar-shaped followers 47 and 48 of stop signs 43 and 44 to accomplish the desired raising and lowering.
In the situation shown in FIG. 2, cam 45 has engaged follower 47 to hold stop sign 43 in a partially elevated position. If car 15 moves upward toward registry with upper level 13, cam 45 further raises stop sign 43 by engagement with follower 47 until stop sign 43 is swung vertically out of the way, and follower bar 47 is nearly vertical. When car 15 lowers from its uppermost position, cam 45 moves downward and allows stop sign 43 to drop back down toward the horizontal position.
A similar action occurs in operating stop sign 44 at level 12. As car 15 moves upward from ground level 11 to mid level 12, cam 45 engages follower 48 of stop sign 44 in the same way as the illustrated engagement with follower 47 of stop sign 43. If car 15 moves vertically above level 12, cam 46 engages the opposite side of follower 48 which is in a nearly vertical position, and this engagement holds stop sign 44 upward until car 15 moves above registry with level 12, when the lower end of cam surface 46 allows follower bar 48 to pivot counter counterclockwise as illustrated in FIG. 2 to drop stop sign 44 back to the horizontal position shown. In downwardmotion of car 15 toward level 12, cam 46 engages follower bar 48 to elevate stop sign 44, which is held in an upright position as car 15 moves downward until cam 45 passes under follower bar 48 and allows stop sign 44 to move back to the horizontal position.
Stop sign 49 at ground level 11 is similar to stop signs 43 and 44, but is on an opposite wall of shaft 14. Hence, a separate cam 50 arranged on the opposite edge of car 15 engages a similar follower bar 51 to pivot stop sign 49 upward when car 15 is in registry with ground level 11.
Car 15 preferably has a floor 52 that is pivotally mounted on an off center pivot 53 so that floor 52 normally rests in a horizontal position at the bottom of car 15. Upper level 13 is shaped to extend far enough toward car 15 to engage the free end 54 of floor 52 so that if car 15 moves somewhat above the position of registration with upper level 13, floor 52 is pivoted as illustrated in FIG. so that a vehicle 55 rolls out of car and onto upper level 13. This action occurs as pivot pin 32 of coupling arm 29 travels up over the top of upper pulley 22 in the uppermost travel of car 15. Of course, such action can be avoided if desired in play by reversing the rotation of crank 28 so that car 15 can move downward from upper level 13 without pivoting floor 52. This adds one more play variation to the inventive toy.
There are several ways that an endless drive for car 15 can be arranged within shaft 14, and chains, ropes, or other endless drive means can be substituted for flexible belt 23. Any such endless drive means can be turned 90 on the vertical axis from the orientation illustrated, and several hand crank drive means are available for moving the endless drive. There are other ways that bell 35 can be operated, and many different cam and follower systems can be used for raising and lowering stop signs. The preferred embodiment is simple, efficient, and rugged, but other workable arrangements having comparably desirable characteristics are also possible.
Persons wishing to practice the invention should remember that other embodiments and variations can be adapted to particular circumstances. Even though one point of view is necessarily chosen in describing and defining the invention, this should not inhibit broader or related embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate the many ways that the inventive concepts can be applied to specific toy parking garage toys.
1. In a multi-level, toy parking garage having a vertically movable elevator car for carrying toy vehicles, the improvement comprising:
a. endless drive means vertically oriented alongside the path of said elevator car, said endless drive means including an upper pulley and a lower pulley and a flexible belt reeved over said pulleys;
b. a coupling arm;
c. means for pivotally connecting one end of said coupling arm to said elevator car and pivotally connecting the other end of said coupling arm to said flexible belt so said other end of said coupling arm can clear said pulleys and travel around the entire course of said flexible belt; and
d. hand crank means rotatable in either direction for driving said flexible belt over said pulleys in either direction for moving said coupling arm up or so that a continuous rotation of the hand crank in either direction will alternating down raise or lower said elevator car.
2. The toy of claim 1 including a vertical rod in said garage and a sleeve on said elevator car for sliding on said rod.
3. The toy of claim 1 including a simulated passenger car connected to said elevator car so said passenger car moves up and down with said elevator car.
4. The toy of claim 1 wherein the floor of said elevator car is pivotally mounted and arranged to engage the upper level of said garage as said elevator car moves to its uppermost position to tilt said floor for rolling one of said vehicles off said elevator car.
5. The toy of claim 1 including a bell and means responsive to said hand crank means for periodically ringing said bell.
6. The toy of claim 5 wherein said bell-ringing means includes a cam and spring operated slider, and a bell striker loosely carried on said slider.
7. The toy of claim 1 including pivotally mounted stop signs arranged at said garage levels and cam means on said elevator car for raising said stop signs as said elevator car registers with said garage levels.
8. The toy of claim 2 including a bell and means responsive to said hand crank means for periodically ringing said bell.
9. The toy of claim 8 including pivotally mounted stop signs arranged at said garage levels, and cam means on said elevator car for raising said stop signs as said elevator car registers with said garage levels.
10. The toy of claim 9 including a simulated passenger car connected to said elevator car so said passenger car moves up and down with said elevator car.
11. The toy of claim 10 wherein the floor of said elevator car is pivotally mounted and arranged to engage the upper level of said garage as said elevator car moves to its uppermost position to tilt said floor for rolling one of said vehicles out of said elevator car.
PO-1O5O UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 4 n (589 ICATE OF CORRECTION.
Patent 3'789538 Dated Feb. 5.1974
Inv'entor(s)' g r et a1 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
F Inventors: Duane E. Spengler; George 0. Bartoo, both of West Falls, -New York 1 Signed and seeled this 17th day of December 1974" (SEAL) Attest:
McCOY' M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents