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Title:
Occupant propelled rotary amusement device
United States Patent 3873087
Abstract:
A rotary amusement device for supporting a child and enabling him to propel himself in a circular path about a vertical axis. The device includes a seat member which is rotatable relative to a stationary support member, such support member having a grippable handle affixed to it.


Inventors:
Burkart, Jacob W. (Cincinnati, OH)
Mayer, John F. (Fort Thomas, KY)
Application Number:
05/355984
Publication Date:
03/25/1975
Filing Date:
04/30/1973
Assignee:
General Mills Fun Group Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G1/12; (IPC1-7): A63G1/12
Field of Search:
272/33R,33A,33B,57A,57D,39,43,46,48,51,28S,29,32,35,36,37,47 104
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3454273EXERCISE DEVICE OF THE TWIST BOARD TYPEJuly 1969Vogt
3170687Rotary toy apparatusFebruary 1965Lugger
2785896Child's merry-go-roundMarch 1957Ellis
2779642SwivelJanuary 1957Matthews
2018655Merry go roundOctober 1935Asikainen
1839509RoundaboutJanuary 1932Swader
1368132RoundaboutFebruary 1921Gavlak
Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Kramer, Arnold W.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Juettner, Anthony Lillehaugen Meroy A. L.
Claims:
Now, therefore, we claim

1. A rotatable amusement device adapted to support a child for rotary movement comprising a substantially circular base member having an upper and a lower surface, a vertically aligned post having two ends, means for securing a first end of the post to the center of the top surface so that it is non-rotatable with respect to the base member, said first end of the post being tapered so that its tip has the smallest cross section, said means including an upwardly projecting tubular member having an upwardly diverging tapered socket therein, said socket having a plurality of longitudinally extending grooves formed in the wall of the socket, an equal number of splines being formed on the first end portion of the post, said splines adapted to fit in said grooves when said first end of the post is positioned in said socket, a substantially circular seat member having an upper and a lower surface and a circular opening at its center, means for positioning said seat member over the base member so that the post projects through the circular opening and said seat member is maintained in spaced apart relationship with respect to said base member, said means including a first annular wall which projects upwardly from the top surface of the base member, said wall being spaced from said post and having a raceway along its top edge, a second annular wall which projects downwardly from the bottom surface of the seat member, said wall being spaced from said post and having a raceway along its bottom edge, and a plurality of balls, said second wall being superimposed over the first wall so that said raceways define a prescribed orbit for the balls between said seat and base members, means for coupling the seat member to the base member to prevent substantial vertical displacement of the seat member relative to the base member by engaging a portion of said base member, and handle means secured to the other end of the post adapted to be gripped by the operator so as to effectuate relative movement of the seat member with respect to the base member when the child is positioned on said seat member.

2. A rotatable amusement device adapted to support a child for rotary movement comprising a substantially circular base member having an upper and a lower surface and an upstanding flange around its periphery, an upwardly projecting tubular member having an upwardly diverging tapered socket therein on said top surface at the center thereof, an upwardly projecting annular wall on said top surface spaced from the periphery of said base member, said wall having a raceway along its top edge, a vertically aligned post having two ends, at least one end having a tapered end portion with a reduced cross-section which forms a shoulder with respect to the main body of the post, means for lockably and detachably securing the post to the base member when said tapered end is inserted into said tapered socket with said post being non-rotatable relative to said base member, a substantially circular seat member having an upper and a lower surface, said seat member having a circular opening at its center, a downwardly projecting side wall along its periphery, and a downwardly projecting annular wall on its bottom surface spaced from the periphery of said seat member, said wall having a raceway along its bottom edge, the diameter of said seat member being slightly larger than the diameter of the base member, means for positioning said seat member over the base member so that the post and the tubular member project through the circular opening and the raceways are aligned relative to each other, a plurality of ball bearings in said raceway and maintained therein for rotatably supporting said seat member relative to the base member, means for detachably maintaining said seat member and said base member in assembled relationship so as to prevent substantial vertical displacement of the seat member relative to the base member, said seat member being interposed between said base member and the shouldered portion of the post, said detachably maintaining means including a collar securable to the projecting end of the tubular member, said collar being positioned within a recess formed by the circular opening in the seat member, circular handle means, and means for securing said handle means to the other end of the post so that it is non-rotatable with respect to the base member.

3. A rotatable amusement device adapted to support a child for rotary movement comprising a substantially circular base member having an upper and a lower surface, a vertically aligned post having two ends, means for securing a first end of the post to the center of the top surface so that it is non-rotatable with respect to the base member, a substantially circular seat member having an upper and a lower surface and a circular opening at its center, means for positioning said seat member over the base member so that the post projects through the circular opening and said seat member is maintained in spaced apart relationship with respect to said base member, a portion of the top surface of the seat member surrounding said circular opening sloping upwardly toward the upper portion of said post, said positioning means including a first annular wall which projects upwardly from the top surface of the base member, said wall being spaced from said post and having a raceway along its top edge, a second annular wall which projects downwardly from the bottom surface of the seat member, said wall being spaced from said post and having a raceway along its bottom edge, and a plurality of balls, said second wall being superimposed over the first wall so that said raceways define a prescribed orbit for the balls between said seat and base members, means for coupling the seat member to the base member to prevent substantial vertical displacement of the seat member relative to the base member by engaging a portion of said base member, and handle means secured to the other end of the post adapted to be gripped by the operator so as to effectuate relative movement of the seat member with respect to the base member when the child is positioned on said seat member.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein means are provided for maintaining the balls in the raceways.

5. The combination of claim 3 wherein the means for securing the post to the base member includes an upwardly projecting tubular member having an upwardly diverging tapered socket therein, said tubular member projecting through the opening in the seat member, the first end of said post being tapered so that its tip has the smallest cross section, said coupling means including a collar which is secured to the projecting end of the tubular member so as to rotatably couple said seat member and said base member together.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein a recess is formed in the top surface of the seat member, and said collar is positioned in said recess.

Description:
The present invention relates to an amusement device for use by children, and more specifically, to a rotatable toy or device for supporting a child for rotary movement about a vertical axis.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved amusement device for use by children.

Another object is to provide an amusement device which will support a child for rotary movement about a vertical axis.

A further object is to provide a rotatable device upon which a child can position himself, and thereafter propel himself about a vertical axis by exerting a pulling or pushing force against a portion of the device.

A still further object is to provide an amusement device which is simple and durable in construction, and which is easy to operate or manipulate.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following specification and accompanying drawings. Before proceeding with a detailed description of the invention, a brief resume of it will be presented.

In general, the invention includes a circular base member having an upwardly projecting tubular socket at its center, such base member being positionable on a support surface. A circular seat member is positioned over the base member, and it is provided with an opening at its center. The seat member is supported relative to the base member so that it is rotatable about a vertical axis. A vertically aligned post is connected to the base member by inserting one of its ends in the socket, the other end of such post projects through the opening in the seat member. A circular handle is fixedly secured to the projecting end of the post.

The invention will best be understood by reference to the following drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an amusement device illustrating one form of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view, in partial section, which illustrates the amusement device;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the device, in partial section;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 6--6 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 7--7 of FIG. 5.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a rotary amusement device designated generally by numeral 10. The device includes a circular base member 12, a circular seat member 14 which is rotatable relative to the base member 12, a vertically aligned post 16, and a circular handle member 18.

FIGS. 3-7 illustrate the invention in greater detail. As shown, the base member 12 has a generally circular cross-section with an upper surface 20, a lower surface 22, and an upstanding flange or lip 24 around its periphery. A tubular member 26 which forms a tapered socket 28, projects upwardly from the center of the top surface 20, and a plurality of webs or vanes are provided for supporting the tubular member 26 relative to the base. As illustrated more fully in FIG. 6, the wall of socket 28 is provided with a plurality of grooves 32 which extend along the longitudinal axis of the socket. A first annular wall or ring 34 projects upwardly from the top surface 20, and it is spaced a prescribed distance from the lip 24. As depicted, the wall 34 is provided with a groove or raceway 36 along its top edge 38.

As viewed in FIG. 5, the circular seat member 14 has an upper surface 40, a lower surface 42, and a downwardly projecting side wall 44 at its periphery which diverges outwardly by a small amount. The wall 44 is provided with a lip or bead 46 which surrounds its edge. As can be seen, the seat member has the general appearance of an inverted plate or dish, and it has a somewhat larger diameter than the base member 12, so that the wall 44 overlaps the flange 24. The center portion of the upper surface 40 of the seat member 14 slopes or curves upwardly by a small amount, and an opening designated generally by numeral 48, is formed therein. The opening 48 is comprised of a circular recess 50 having a bottom wall 52, and a circular bore 54 in the wall 52. The upper part of the recess 50 projects upwardly to form a top edge 56. A shallow annular recess 58 is formed in the top surface 40 for positioning a decal or decoration 60 on the seat.

A second annular wall or ring 62 projects downwardly from the bottom surface 38, and it is spaced from the wall 44 by a prescribed distance. Ring members 64 and 66 are positioned along the sides of the wall 62, and as shown in FIG. 5, they project further away from the surface 42 than the wall 62. A groove or raceway 68 is formed along the bottom edge 70 of the wall 62.

The seat member 14 is rotatably mounted relative to the base member 12. This is accomplished by positioning the seat member over the base member so that the tubular member 26 projects through the opening 54 in the wall 52, and the wall 62 is superimposed over the annular wall 34. A plurality of ball bearings, such as marbles 72 which are formed of a suitable material, are placed in the raceways 36 and 68, so that they are adjacent to each other. In this regard, note FIG. 3 as well, which illustrates the bearings 72 in a prescribed path or orbit around the post 16. The bearings 72 permit the seat member 14 to rotate about a vertical axis relative to the base 12. The ring members 64 and 66 extend below the top edge 38 of the wall 34, and as such, they aid in preventing the bearings 72 from rolling out of the raceways.

The seat and the base are coupled together by means of a collar 74 which is press-fit around the projecting end of the tubular member 26. The collar 74 is positioned within the recess 50, when the members are coupled together. While the collar can be removed from the tubular member 26 by prying it off with a suitable implement, care should be taken so that the bearings 72 do not become displaced from the raceway 36.

The vertically aligned post 16 is formed of two halves 76 and 78, although if preferred, it might be formed as a single unit. The post has a generally circular cross-section, and it includes a main body portion 80, a first or lower tapered end portion 82, and a second or upper tapered end portion 84. The end portion 82 has a reduced cross-section relative to the main body portion 80 so that a shoulder 86 is formed, and it is tapered so that the tip 88 has the smallest cross-section. Four longitudinally extending splines 90 are formed on the end portion 82 and they have substantially the same dimensions as the grooves 32 in the socket 28. It might be pointed out that since the post is formed in two halves, two of the splines on each half are only one-half the size of the other spline.

The second end portion 84 is formed in substantially the same manner as the end portion 82, except that it is somewhat shorter. The end portion 84 is slightly tapered so that the tip 92 has the smallest cross-section, and it forms a shoulder 94 with the main body portion 80. Four longitudinally extending splines 96 are integrally formed along the surface of the end portion.

The lower edge 98 of the main body portion 80 flares outwardly so that it has a diameter which is somewhat larger than the remainder of the post, as well as slightly larger than the diameter of the recess 50.

The post 16 is secured to the base member 12 by inserting the tapered end portion 82 into the socket 28 so that the splines 90 mate with the grooves 32, the tip 88 is proximate the bottom of the socket, and the lower edge 98 is adjacent to the edge 56. A small screw 102, positioned in a cavity 104 in the bottom surface 22 of the base member, threadedly engages the end portion 82, and secures the post firmly to the base member. It might be pointed out that while the lower edge 98 of the body portion 80 is proximate the surface 56, it should not bear against it to such an extent that it interferes with the rotary movement of the seat, as will be explained more fully below.

The handle 18 includes a generally circular disk 106 having an enlarged rim 108 around its periphery, and a hub 110 at its center. A tapered socket 112 is formed in the hub 110, and it is provided with longitudinally extending grooves 114 corresponding in number to the number of splines 96 on the post 16. A channel 116 is formed in the enlarged ring 108, and a shallow circular recess 118 permits a decal 120 to be secured to the top of the handle. The handle is fixedly secured to the post 16 by inserting the tapered end portion 84 into the socket 112 until the end of the hub abuts against the shoulder 94. A small screw 122, positioned in a cavity 124 in the center of the handle, threadedly engages the end of the post, thus effectively securing the handle 16 to the base member 12.

The operation of the amusement device is relatively simple. A child positions himself on the seat 14, for example by sitting on the seat with the post 16 between his legs, and grips the handle 18. By exerting a pulling or a pushing force against the handle 18, the seat 14 is caused to rotate relative to the handle, post and base member, and the child is rotated about a vertical axis. Since the handle 18 is fixedly secured to the base member 12 which supports the child's weight, it remains stationary relative to the seat. Moreover, since the seat 14 is effectively separated from the base member 12 by the ball bearings 72, a minimum amount of force is required to overcome any frictional forces created. By exerting a greater amount of effort against the handle, the child can be caused to spin or rotate at a faster rate.

In the above description and attached drawings, a disclosure of the principles of this invention is presented together with an embodiment by which the invention may be carried out.