The present invention relates to amusement devices, and more particularly to devices whereby a coaster is adapted to move along a track by gravitation.
Coaster and track amusement devices have been available for home recreation for some time. Generally, the devices have included a track assembly having varying inclinations, including dips and rises, and a coaster which is adapted to move along the track from its highest to its lowest point. However the devices known to the art have had numerous safety drawbacks which have limited their popularity and use. Most significant of these is the possibility that the coaster might derail while in motion and cause injury to the occupant. Also notable is the fact that most of these devices require the occupant to place an arm or a leg outside the coaster to initiate its motion, and then to withdraw the extremity rapidly to avoid injury thereto. Still another shortcoming of many coaster and track devices is that the coasters are substantially unenclosed, thereby exposing the occupant to the danger that a portion of the body might inadvertently strike a portion of the device while the coaster is in motion.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a coaster and track amusement device which is stable and will not derail while in motion.
It is another object of this invention to provide a coaster and track amusement device which does not require any portion of the occupant's body to be outside the coaster in order to initiate coaster movement.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a coaster which substantially encloses the occupant, and which therefore obviates the danger of inadvertent injury.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the appended claims.
Briefly stated, in accordance with the aforesaid objects, the present invention provides an amusement device comprising a track assembly including a track, having one end thereof elevated above the other, consisting of spaced apart parallel rails having a substantially convex periphery, a support assembly to which the elevated end of said track is secured, and means to support said track at a point intermediate its ends; and, a coaster adapted to move by gravitation along said track including wheels having a concave periphery defining a circumferential groove therein to receive the convex periphery of said rails.
The invention will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
FIGS. 1 and 1A are plan views of the track assembly and coaster.
FIGS. 2 and 2A are front elevations of the track assembly and coaster.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation illustrating the coaster and the tracks.
FIG. 4 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on the line 4—4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view of a joint between abutting rail sections.
FIG. 6 is a partial vertical transverse sectional view taken substantially on the line 6—6 of FIG. IA.
Referring in detail to the drawings, where like numerals designate like parts throughout, the numeral 30 designates generally the track assembly, consisting of track 12 over which a coaster 100 may move by gravitation, ■ 5 stand assembly 14 and intermediate support assembly 16. Track 12 is composed of a number of track sections fitted together to create a track configuration having portions of varying inclination and defining a coaster course which includes dips and rises as well as straight 10 portions.
Stand assembly 14 functions as a support assembly for the elevated end of track 12 and as a mounting platform for access to coaster 100. Assembly 14 consists of an essentially rectangular frame composed of con
15 nected and braced leg sections. One such leg section includes legs 18 and 20 connected by horizontal supports 22 and 24. The other leg section consists of legs 26 and 28 connected by horizontal supports 30 and 32. The leg sections are spaced apart by horizontal braces
20 34, 36 and 38. Vertical safety support sections 40,42,44 and 46 comprise the superstructure of assembly 14. They serve as hand-holds for mounting ladder 48 and climbing into coaster 100 and as protective railings. Safety support sections 40 and 42 are sufficiently
25 spaced apart to permit access to coaster 100 therebetween. Stopper bar 50 mounted on horizontal brace 34, comprising two vertical legs and a horizontal connector therebetween, engages a portion of coaster 100 when it is positioned for mounting on stand assembly 14.
30 Track 12 has one end, generally designated A, elevated above the other end, designated F, which rests on the ground. End A of track 12 is secured to stand assembly 14 at horizontal brace 34. Track 12 consists of parallel rails 52 and 54 spaced apart by separators 56.
35 The number of separators used will vary depending upon the configuration of the track. Rails 52 and 54 are preferably fabricated of galvanized metal pipe, to prevent rusting. The individual track sections are interconnected at their ends to adjoining track sections to form
40 the track configuration, as shown. At end F of track 12, rails 52 and 54 are flared outwardly to prevent coaster 100 from rolling off the track.
The individual sections of rails 52 or 54 are preferably joined together, as can best be seen in FIG- 5, using
45 sleeve 58 as a connector between the abutting rail ends. Sleeve 58 is inserted up to half its length into each rail section and bolt 60 is inserted and secured by washer 62 and nut 64 in the aligned bolt holes in sleeve 58 and the respective rail sections. The bolt hole openings in the upper peripheral surface of the rail sections are countersunk so that bolt 60 may be inserted therein and flush with the surface of the rail on which coaster 100 rides. Alternatively, sleeve 58 may be sweat fitted
55 into the end of one rail section and bolted, as shown in FIG. 5, into the other rail section.
As can best be seen in FIG. 6, track separators 56 may be secured to rails 52 or 54 by aligning the bolt holes in rail 52 and separator 56, inserting bolt 66
60 therethrough and securing the bolt with washer 68 and nut 70. The bolt hole in the upper peripheral surface of the rail is countersunk so that bolt 66 may be inserted flush with the surface of the rail on which coaster 100 rides.
55 Intermediate ends A and F, track 12 is joined to support assembly 16, consisting of legs 72, 74, 76 and 78 connected at their tops by horizontal side braces 80 and 82, and horizontal end braces 84 and 86. Diagonal