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Publication numberUS3894354 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1975
Filing dateMay 17, 1973
Priority dateMay 17, 1973
Publication numberUS 3894354 A, US 3894354A, US-A-3894354, US3894354 A, US3894354A
InventorsCrawley Thomas B
Original AssigneeCrawley Thomas B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable play building blocks
US 3894354 A
Abstract
It is the aim of this invention to provide foldable play building blocks suitable for erecting walk-in type enclosures. Practicability dictates that the blocks be light weight, large size, collapsible and inexpensive. Constructed of a flexible element comprising two sides and two ends without top or bottom, the blocks may be stacked in much the same manner as brick or concrete block. Notches located along the top of both sides serve as nesting grooves for the blocks in the course immediately above. These notches furnish a means of establishing modular block pattern as well as providing an interlock between adjoining blocks. The result is an integral structure of surprising stability considering the weight and rigidity of the materials used. When not in use the blocks can be readily folded flat to minimize volume for storing or packaging.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Crawley [451 July 15, 1975 1 1 FOLDABLE PLAY BUILDING BLOCKS Thomas B. Crawley, 252 Sherwood Rd, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada [22] Filed: May 17, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 361,286

[76] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl. 46/25 [51] Int. Cl A63h 33/08 [58] Field of Search 46/16, 17, 19, 24, 25, 46/30; 52/593 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,894,061 1/1933 Sanders 46/25 3,148,477 7/1964 Bjorn et a1... 46/19 3,234,682 2/1966 Frank] 46/24 3,368,316 2/1968 Crowdcr 46/25 Primary ExaminerF. Barry Shay Assistant ExaminerJ. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or Firm-McFadden, Fincham & Co.

[57] ABSTRACT It is the aim of this invention to provide foldable play building blocks suitable for erecting walk-in type enclosures. Practicability dictates that the blocks be light weight, large size, collapsible and inexpensive. Constructed of a flexible element comprising two sides and two ends without top or bottom, the blocks may be stacked in much the same manner as brick or concrete block. Notches located along the top of both sides serve as nesting grooves for the blocks in the course immediately above. These notches furnish a means of establishing modular block pattern as well as providing an interlock between adjoining blocks. The result is an integral structure of surprising stability considering the weight and rigidity of the materials used. When not in use the blocks can be readily folded flat to minimize volume for storing or packaging.

6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 F OLDABLE PLAY BUILDING BLOCKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to foldable play building blocks and more particularly to large size blocks adaptable to building walk-in type enclosures.

The undisputed popularity of toy construction sets coupled with the interesting possibility of erecting walk-in type enclosures provides the basis for this invention in the opinion of the writer, fills and apparent void in the toy market today. To demonstrate the potential of such a building set, observe a child playing with a number of empty cartons. The cartons are stacked quickly and without effort to become instant buildings, limited in scope only by imagination and ingenuity. Most play blocks presently on the market are not large enough for the purpose I suggest. The available sizes vary within a limited range dictated primarily by factors of weight, bulk and cost. To produce blocks of a size say 8 inches X 8 inches X 16 inches, suitable for walk-in enclosures, would result in units much too heavy, too bulky, or too expensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION,

The present invention overcomes the above mentioned drawbacks. Each block is constructed of a strip of cardboard or similar foldable material which forms the sides and ends without top or bottom. As such the building unit is both light weight and inexpensive. The storage problem is dealt with by providing a block which may be folded flat, reducing volume to an absolute minimum.

DRAWINGS AND DESCRIPTION In drawings which illustrate the embodiments of the invention FIG. 1 is a plan view of a standard size block.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a half-size block.

FIG. 3 is the side elevation of a standard size block.

FIG. 4 is a view of a folded block.

FIG. 5 is an elevation of a wall assembly.

The building block, constructed of cardboard or similar material, is folded with ends fastened as illustrated in FIG. 1. This configuration forms the two sides 1 and two ends 2 of the block. The ratio of length to width would be the same as commonly used in the brick and concrete block industries. A practical size would be one whose length is twice the width as shown in FIG. 1. A special block whose length equals width would be useful for fill at corners and wall openings.

Having no top or bottom the blocks may be folded flat for storage as shown in FIG. 4. Large blocks are reinforced with foldable tie members 3 fastened internally between the inner faces of the two sides. As this member is parallel to the ends 2, it does not hamper the folding action of the blocks (see FIG. 4).

Transversely aligned notches 4 are located along the top edge of both sides of the block. These notches serve to locate and anchor the blocks stacked above to maintain modularity of block spacing throughout the structure. The number of notches along each side of a block may vary however a preferred arrangement would place a notch at each end of each side with intermediate notches spaced such that the block width is an arithmetic multiple of notch spacing.

The wall assembly FIG. 5 illustrates the interlocking feature which ties adjoining blocks together. Block movement on the longitudinal axis is prevented by the ends 2 of one block nesting in the notches of the blocks directly below it. Lateral misalignment is prevented by the sides of one block overlapping the sides of adjoining blocks directly above or below it. The overall effect is a completely unified structure.

The invention outlined has been classified as a toy, however it could also serve as a professional tool in advertising, window displays and the like. Depending on the purpose, the sides could be coloured or otherwise decorated or treated to enhance their appearance or improve their utility.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A play building block comprising a substantially rectangular body portion of a foldable material, said body portion having a pair of opposed side walls and a pair of opposed end walls forming a cavity within, pairs of evenly spaced-apart transversely aligned notches located on a margin of said opposed side walls, a pair of said transversely aligned notches located at each end of said side wall margins, the length of each of said side walls being an arithmetic multiple of the notch spacing and at least one foldable tie member fastened transversely between inner faces of said side walls, said tie member being located parallel to said end walls.

2. A play building block comprising a substantially rectangular body portion of a foldable material, said body portion having a pair of opposed side walls and a pair of opposed end walls forming a cavitiy within, pairs of evenly spaced-apart transversely aligned notches located on a margin of said opposed side walls, a pair of said transversely aligned notches located at each end of said side wall margins, the length of each of said side walls being an arithmetic multiple of the notch spacing, said side walls and said end walls being foldable about fold lines whereby said body portion may be folded to a substantially flat condition.

3. A block as defined in claim 1, wherein said foldable tie member is located equidistantly from said pair of opposed end walls and maximum iiotch spacing equals the length of said end walls.

4. A play block assembly comprising a plurality of blocks as defined in claim 1, said blocks being stacked in standard brickwork patterned walls, the ends of each block in a given row being set into transversely aligned notches of blocks in the adjoining lower row to thereby maintain a block laying pattern and provide interlocking action between adjoining blocks.

5. A block assembly as defined in claim 4, said blocks having sides of blocks in one row overlapping sides of blocks in adjoining rows thereby maintaining alignment of the longitudinal axis of said blocks.

6. A play block assembly comprising a plurality of blocks as defined in claim 2, said blocks being stacked in standard brickwork patterned walls, the ends of each block in a given row being set into transversely aligned notches of blocks in the adjoining lower row to thereby maintain a block laying pattern and provide interlocking action between adjoining blocks.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1894061 *Apr 8, 1931Jan 10, 1933Sanders Reginald EToy construction block
US3148477 *Feb 3, 1961Sep 15, 1964Irma Fabrikerne AsBuilding block having flexible ribs to engage a similar block
US3234682 *Nov 2, 1962Feb 15, 1966Winthrop Atkins Co IncSelf-erecting building block
US3368316 *Jan 4, 1965Feb 13, 1968William E. CrowderOne-piece hollow block with double thickness connecting ears
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4034533 *Sep 17, 1975Jul 12, 1977Albertus Maria FaasBuilding element
US5104345 *Mar 9, 1990Apr 14, 1992Lyman Ronald LToy construction set formed from plural building blocks
US5259803 *Apr 9, 1991Nov 9, 1993Lyman Ronald LToy construction set featuring gears and radiant connectors
US6684591 *Nov 26, 2001Feb 3, 2004Richard JeanCard like construction element
US6895722 *Aug 13, 2002May 24, 2005Icosa Village, Inc.Folding structural panel unit
US7673422Nov 23, 2005Mar 9, 2010Peter William De La MarcheModular buildings
US8756894Feb 24, 2011Jun 24, 2014Impossible Objects LlcFoldable construction blocks
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/124, 446/487
International ClassificationA63H33/16, A63H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/16
European ClassificationA63H33/16