US 2956806 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1960 E. J. RoUTsoN 2,956,806
CLIMBING AND sUPPoRTING STRUCTURES Filed sept. 18, 1957 /llllllllll Aria/FNEYS Unite States Patent Oliiice CLIMBING AND SUPPORTING STRUCTURES Edwin 1. Routson, 4409 Garfield Ave. S., lVIinneapolis, Minn.
Filed Sept. 18, 1957, Ser. No. 684,669
'3 Claims.V (Cl. 272-60) This invention relates to unitary and selectively variable climbing and supporting structures for playground use and the like.
It is an object of my invention to provide Vthe structure of the class described, made up of a multiplicity of Variably connectible, inexpensive rings having external portions of relatively soft, somewhat compressible material and preferably reinforced by annular core elements.
A further object is the provision of unitary structureA of the class defined in the preceding paragraph wherein the unitary ring elements are obtainable on the commercial market at extremely low cost as embodied in the annular beads which are cut off from pleasure and truck automotive tires in salvaging tread or boot portions of the used tires. v
Another object is the provision of climbing and suspending apparatus or structure for playground and gymnasium use and the like, by children wherein children may climb, straddle or suspend themselves from various portions of the interconnected units. and wherein the rings are of such size or diameter as to accommodate the body of a child climbing therethrough and wherein all peripheral portions of the interconnected units are of compressible material which will not bruise or injure children in the event of bumps during climbing, gymnasium or suspending antics therein.
Still another object is the provision of unitary-ring climbing and supporting structure consisting in a multiplicity of said rings and attached or readily attachable ring-interconnecting elements which in disassembled condition may be packaged, sold and shipped in do-it-yourself kits for selective assembly in a great variety of different forms.
Another object is the provision of said unitary supporting structure which lends itself to skeleton-cell units of three dimensions.
These and other objects will be apparent from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views and in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing an interconnected cellular unit, the dotted lines outlining a top ring indicating the positioning and interconnection of the bottom ring of the second cell unit;
Fig. 2 is a detail cross section on a larger scale of a portion of Fig. l, illustrating an exemplary interconnecting means permissive of considerable angular adjustment between abutting-ring-units;
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of a playground climbing and rotary apparatus wherein eight of said cellular units are interconnected to form a generally cubical playground device;
Fig. 4 is a top plan view of the same.
Describing as exemplary, but not in limitation and referring to the drawings:
The manifold, selective assemblies and forms which my invention may take, employ a multiplicity of annular or ring units 10 preferably constructed from compressible, form-retaining material such as rubber or plastic and preferably having a reinforcing core of non-stretchable, strong material such as the metal core wires 10a illustrated in Fig. 2. In the various forms of my invention, foruse as climbing and suspending structure for playgrounds and the like, the unit rings 10 are of an internal diameter preferably within a range between 18 and 20 inches to enable children to readily thrust their torsos and entire bodies therethrough to penetrate the exterior walls of a playground structure and when of cellular construction to obtain entrance to the interiors of the various cells. n
An excellent and preferred annulus or ring available at exceedingly low cost in the commercial market is the' core-wire reinforced bead of a used automotive tire oasing. At the present time, the cord fabric beneath the treads of used tires are salvaged for some value for subsequent use as repair boots and other luses which requires cutting and removal of the thick and heavy attachment beads of the tire casing. The stripped off beads of the tires are at present often thrown away and may be purchased in large quantities at extremely low cost. These continuous, annular beads are of the general crosssectional shape shown in Fig..2 and are heavily reinforced at the cores by endless, non-stretchable metal wire 10a, spaced apart in several concentric series.
As essential elements of my invention, I provide suitable interconnecting mechanism preferably but not necessarily permissive of angular adjustment for coupling and securing contiguous portions of interrelated ring elements together. While a variety of such coupling means may be successfully utilized, those illustra-ted in the accompanying drawings comprise eye bolts or eye screws 11 suitably secured at selected circumferentially spaced points on the peripheries of the ring units so that the assobeads with the inner ends of the screws engaging threadedly with the wires 10a of the core and if necessary, through elasticity of the rubber, spreading such wires slightly for proper treaded engagement.
As shown in the drawings, the many ring units utilized I are each provided with four of said eye screws, circumferentially spaced 90 degrees Iapart around the peripheral edge thereof.v In'the exemplary structure shown relative angular-'adjustment of two interconnected'ring units is possible through at least 90 degrees, thereby enabling the general plane defined by a connected and adjoining ring to be disposed perpendicularly or substantially in alignment with the general plane of the rst ring, whereby a plurality of the rings may be interconnected in generally cubical skeleton, cellular construction as shown in Figs. 1, 3 and 4.
A cell unit which may be utilized in multiples for playground apparatus may comprise as shown in Fig. 1 a
bottom ring interconnected at four circumferentially spaced points withl four vertically disposed side rings which side rings have medial contiguous portions also coupled and interconnected, as by the mechanism illustrated, to form an encircling body. With such an intercellular construction, the bottom ring X of an above cellular unit may be interconnected by the coupling mechanism with the uppermost eye screws or bolts 11 at the upper quadrants of the vertical side rings of the first unit.
In the multi-cell structure shown in Figs. 3 and 4, a side ring forms an end of two interconnected cell units disposed in horizontal relation with the same coupling .Patented Oct.. 18, 1.960
means sutlicing. In other words, when multi-cell structure is employed preferably on parallel attached sides of two cells, only one unit ring will be utilized in common to complete the two adjacent cells at each side.
Referring now to the particular embodiment illustrated' in Figs. 3 and 4, as previously stated, eight cell-units are interconnected, the strength and rigidity of the multiplicity of rings with their reinforced cores being fully adequate to support the weight of from si'X to eight children without deformation thereof. Users may climb externally upon the structure or may pass through the exterior vertical walls into the interior of the cells and may hang or suspend themselves by their arms from. interior or exterior of the overall playground device. The bottom of the multi-cell playground structure as shown, is suitably axed by any means to a rectangular base B which has a large depending axle or hub H rotatably mounted upon a heavy supporting pedestal P. A suitable thrust bearing` (not shown) is made between the lower end of hub H and an axial socket formed in pedestal P. Thus in this form of the device, in addition to the climbing, stretching and suspending facilities of the skeleton structure, a rotative or merry-go-round function is also provided.
From the foregoing description it will be seen that I have provided a unitary and selectively variable construction particularly well adapted for playground and gymnasium use, to enable children to climb upon and through the numerous rings or units in certain of the forms and to climb into and through various cell-units in other forms. The use of annular units, as contrasted with interconnected perpendicularly disposed bars, eliminates injuries which are sometimes caused in presently `used perpendicular bar structures through the formation of angled corners and the like. The further employment of multiple-ring construction composed of relatively soft, compressible material, prevents bumps and minor injuries.
It will be seen that with my unitary construction the structure may be packaged and sold in kits with multiplicities of the rings disposed loosely in tiers and with portions of the cooperating coupling elements either assembled in the rings or loosely disposed unassembled in the kits. The kits may contain drawings or illustrations to instruct the user how to erect and assemble a number of different formations and structures of multi-cell construction. Vertical closed geometrical figures, inverted U-shaped figures like tunnels and even spherical figures may all be formed through selective assembly of the unitary structure.
It will of course be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details and arrangement of 4 i parts without departing from the scope of my invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In unitary supporting structure, a plurality of interconnected cell units, each of said units being defined by a plurality of interconnected rings and having a first end ring, a second end ring spaced therefrom in substantially coaxial relation and a plurality of side rings interconnecting said two spaced end rings and having contiguous side portions which are interconnected, a number of said interconnected rings, each comprising an annular body member constructed from somewhat com pressible and elastic material and a reinforcing annular core element in said body member constructed of substantially nonstretchable material.
2. The structure set forth in claim 1 and coupling elements constituting the interconnections between said rings, each of said coupling elements including a screw portion projecting into the body and core of one of said rings and wherein the reinforcing core elements of said rings comprises a series of spaced wires between which said screw portion is threadedly engaged and retained.
3. Climbing and supporting structure for playgrounds` and the like, having in combination a multiplicity of interconnected, somewhat compressible rings of internal diameter to admit passage of a child therethrough, cooperating coupling means at circumferentially spaced points on each of said rings for selectively coupling rings together in a great variety of manners said coupling means having apertured projecting elements extending from the peripheries of the respective rings and related to the central planes defined by said rings so that the apertured elements of at least three of said rings may be aligned and interconnected by a common securing element,` and wherein said cooperating coupling means have inner threaded ends extending into the body of the respective rings and wherein said rings have cores consisting of a series of spaced annular wires with which said inner ends threadedly engage and are retained.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,316,570 Friedrich Sept. 23, 1919 1,619,298 Hornby Mar. 1, 1927 2,423,308 Frieder et al. July 1, 1947 2,791,868 Viken May 14, 1957 2,800,105 Ilg July 23, 1957 2,801,717 Schlumbohm Aug. 6, 1957 2,814,159 Green Nov. 26, 1957- FOREIGN PATENTS 426,690 France July 12, 1911 l l z i