US 3698123 A
A round rod is bifurcated at both ends in a plane. Near each end, in the plane, a hole is drilled. Each end is slotted in the plane back from the hole for a short distance. Small round rods are provided having the diameter of the hole. Short lengths of tubing are provided to fit over the bifurcated round rod.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Heldt STRUCTURAL TOYS  lnventor: Carl R. Heldt, 320 South Country Club Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85716  Filed: Dec. 6, 1971  Appl. No.: 204,896
 U.S. CL. ..46/29  Int. Cl. ..A63h 33/10  Field of Search ..46/23, 27, 28, 29
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,662,335 12/1953 Calverley ..46/28 3 ,43 2,960 3/ l 969 Bombaci ..46/29 1,843,115 2/1932 Ferris ..46/29 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 6,225 1914 Great Britain ..46/29 Primary Eraminer-Louis G. Mancene A sszstant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney-James A. Eyster 51 Oct. 17, 1972 [5 7] ABSTRACT A round rod is bifurcated at both ends in a plane. Near each end, in the plane, a hole is drilled. Each end is slotted in the plane back'from the hole for a short distance. Small round rods are provided having the diameter of the hole. Short lengths of tubing are provided to fit over the bifurcated round rod.
When a small rod is placed in one of the holes in the bifurcated rod and the tubing is slid toward the small rod, the latter is locked in place in the jaws of the bifurcation.
Small tori are provided, made of round stock having the diameter of the holes in the round rod; these tori can be placed in jaws of the bifurcated rod, instead of the small rods.
Small wheels having rims of the size of the holes in the rod also are provided.
Long tubes also are provided to connect two bifurcated rods and to act as locks.
Out of these elements extensive rigid structures can be built.
8 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDncI 17 m2 SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTOR. CARL R. HE LDT PATENTEDucI 17 I972 3.698.123
sum 2 (IF 3 INVENTOR.
CARL R. IHELDT BY Mag g P'A'TENTEDum 11 I972 SHEET 3 0F 3 INVENTOR. CARL R. HELDT BE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to toys and particularly to construction toy sets composed of building elements which can be combined in many ways to build structures.
Many structural toys have been devised and marketed, usually consisting of long elements connected by cubes or spheres to form an architectural structure or a replica of a machine or vehicle. The elements of such toys are of great variety; many of them are fairly complex, particularly the connecting elements, and expensive to manufacture. Some of them suffer from the fault of rapid wear, so that after a little use the parts are no longer friction tight and cannot be used.
The present invention, on the other hand, provides elements of exceedingly simple design, easy and cheap to make and easy to understand and use, and so adapted to be given to very young childrenfiFurther,
the elements, although fastening together by friction, are also locked together so that wear is neutralized and the life of the toy is long.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides only three basic elements: rods, tubes and rings. The rods are round, of two diameters and of lengths as desired. The tubes are all of the same inside diameter, to slip fit over the larger rods, and of lengths as desired. The rings or tori are all made of round stock equal in diameter to that of the smaller diameter rods, with toroidal diameter as desired. Some of the rings may enclose a disc having a round center hole of the diameter of the larger rods, thus forming a wheel with a rim of circular cross section. All of the larger size rods are slotted and bifurcated at each end, with a transverse round hole near each end having the diameter of the smaller of the rods.
Of course many other special elements, such as pulleys, cams, cylinders and ornamental shapes may be provided in addition, for constructing particular machines and structures.
One object of this invention is to provide a structural toy composed of a few simple elements.
Another object of this invention is to provide a structural toy composed of rods, tubes, rings and wheels.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive and simple structural toy which not only is entertaining but also promotes manual dexterity and improves manipulative skill.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toy element made from large diameter rod, bifurcated at each end.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of one end of the rod of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 depicts a wheel having a small diameter rim and a large diametercenter hole.
FIG. 8 is a cross section of FIG. 7 on the line 8--8.
FIG. 9 depicts a toy element consisting of a small diameter rod.
FIG. 10 depicts a pulley.
FIG. 11 illustrates the combination of a rod, FIG. I,
with two locking tubes, FIG. 5, and two small diameter rods, FIG. 9, to form a rigid structure. FIG. 12 illustrates the combination of two rods, FIG. 1, one long tube, FIG. 6, and two small rods, FIG; 9, to form a rigid structure.
FIG. 13 illustrates the combination of two rods, FIG. 1, with one locking tube, FIG. 5, a small rod, FIG. 9, and a wheel, FIG. 7, to form a rigid structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, one componentof the structural toy consists of a round :rod, 10, of selected diameter and length, bifurcated and slotted at each.
end. It bears near each end a transverse round hole.
One embodiment of this element may be made, for ex- FIG. 3 depicts one toy element having the form of a e.
FIG. 4 illustrates the combination of the elements of I FIGS. 1, 3 and 5 to form a rigid structure.
FIG. 5 depicts a short tube for use on the large diameter rod of FIG. 1 to look a jaw thereof onto a small diameter rod, a ring or a wheel.
two rods, FIG. 1.
ample, from one-half inch diameter round wood dowel rod stock, and may have a length of 5% inches. Each end is narrowly slotted for a distance of 2 inches by a central, longitudinal cut, as shown at 11 and 12. Two one-quarter-inch holes, 13 and 14, are drilled in the common plane of the slots 11 and 12, centered about one-half inch from the ends of the rod. From each hole to the near end of the rod, in the plane of the slots, the wood is cut away in a wide slot to form two entrance jaws or lips sothat, in conjunction with the springiness of the narrowly slotted rod, a piece of one-quarter-inch round material, such as a wood dowel, can be forced between the jaws and be seated and retained in the quarter-inch hole.
The bifurcated end of the rod 10 is more clearly illustrated in FIG. 2, in which the slot ll provides spring tension permitting the jaws 15 to be forced apart enough to allow a small rod to be placed in the hole 13, then holds the rod there by spring tension on the jaws 15 after they have sprung back into the position shown in the figure.
FIG. 3 illustrates a torus or ring 16, preferably made of metal, and having a round cross section, as illustrated at 17. In the case of this illustrative example, in which exampled dimensions are mentioned to illustrate how the parts fit together, the diameter of the stock composing the ring is one-quarter inch. Therefore this ring can be forced into one of the one-quarter holes, 13 or 14, of FIG. 1. This operation is illustrated in FIG. 4, in which the'bifurcated end 18 of the wood rod 19 embraces the quarter-inch material of ring 16.
FIG. 5 illustrates a short length of tubing, 21, having an inside diameter, d, which is very slightly larger than the diameter of the rod 10 of FIG. 1, so that the tube is a sliding or slip fit on the center or unslotted part of the rod. As a dimensional example, the tube 21 may be made of plastic with a one-sixteenth-inch wall and have an inside diameter, d,several 3, of an inch larger than the rod diameter. Its length may be, for example, threefourths of an inch.
FIG. 6 illustrates a longer length, 22, of the tubing depicted in FIG. 5, for example, 13 inches long, with inside diameterd.
FIG. 7 and 8 illustrate a wheel consisting of a rim, 23, having a one-quarter-inch circular cross section and having a middle part consisting of a disc, 24, secured to the rim 23. The disc 24 has a central round hole 26 with a diameter, for example, slightly larger than one-half inch, so that it is a sliding fit on the central part of rod 10.
FIG. 9 depicts a small rod having a diameter equal to that of the holes 13 and 14, FIG. 1. As a dimensional example, this rod may consist of aone-quarter-inch wood dowel. The length may be as desired, for example, ten inches.
A great variety of accessory parts can be added to the basic elements shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9, for use in building specific models. As a single illustrative example, the pulley 27 of FIG. is shown, having a center hole 28 which is a sliding fit on the center part of rod 10.
The elements or structural toy components shown singly in FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 6, 7,and 9 may be combined in limitless ways to form architectural and mechanical structures. FIGS. 4, 11, 12 and 13 are illustrative.
In FIG. 4 the rods 19, 29 and 31 are clipped, by means of a bifurcated end of each, to the rings 16. On each rod there is a short length of tube 21A, 21B and 21C, each being identical with tube 21. After each of the three rods has been snapped onto the ring, its tube is pushed toward the ring, forcing the jaws of the bifurcation together and locking the rod to the ring.
F IO. 11 illustrates the use of rod 10 with two locking tubes 21 to fasten together two one-quarter-inch rods, 32 and 33.
FIG. 12 illustrates the use of two rods, 10, extended and connected together by a long tube 22, to connect two one-quarter-inch rods 34 and 36, which need not be parallel. The tube 22 serves to lock an end of each rod 10 to its small rod.
F l6. 13 illustrates the use of a wheel, 37, as shown in FIG. 7, to connect a one-half-inch-diameter rod 38 to another similar rod 39 and to a one-half-inch-diameter rod 38 to another similar rod 39 and to a one-quarterinch rod 41. A short tube serves to lock rod 39 to the rim of wheel 37. The center hole of the wheel serves the additional dual purposes of locking the bifurcated end of rod 38 to rod 41, and of immobilizing the wheel so that it cannot rotate on the rod 38.
What is claimed is:
1. A structural toy comprising:
a transverse hole therethrough;
a slot connecting said hole with one end of said rod;
a slot in said rod extending from said hole away from said one end;
a locking tube surrounding said rod; and I a torus passing through said transverse hole. I
2. A structural toy comprising:
a round rod having a selected first diameter;
said rod having a round hole passing therethrough normal to the rod axis, said hole having a second diameter less than said first diameter;
a pair of opposed jaws in one end of said rod, the
space between the jaws forming a wide slot connecting said hole with one end of the rod, the slot opening being less than said second diameter; a longitudinal narrow slot in said rod in a plane comrehendin th axis of said hole a d exte din fi'om said fiole in the direction away fi'om said 011% end;
a tube surrounding said round rod and having a close sliding fit thereon; and
a ring of torus form, the diameter of the material composing the ring being equal to said second diameter, said ring passing through said round hole and being embraced thereby.
3. A structural toy comprising:
a first component comprising a round straight rod having a selected first diameter, said rod having a round transverse hole near one end of the rod and passing therethrough normal to the rod axis, said hole having a second diameter less than said first diameter;
a pair of opposed jaws in said one end of said rod, the
space between the jaws forming a wide slot connecting said hole with said one end of the rod, the slot opening being less than said second diameter;
a longitudinal narrow slot in said rod in a plane comprehending the axis of said hole and also the axis of said rod and extending from said hole in the direction away from said one end;
a second component passing through and embraced by said round transverse hole in the rod; and
a third component in the form of an open tube having a close sliding fit surrounding said rod, whereby said third component can be slid toward said one end of the first component rod, thereby locking said second component in said transverse hole.
4. A structural toy in accordance with claim 3 in which said second component is a small rod having a diameter approximately equal to said second diameter.
5. A structural toy in accordance with claim 3 in whoch said second component is a ring of torus form, the diameter of the circular cross section of the ring being approximately equal to said second diameter.
6. A structural toy in accordance with claim 3 in which said second component is a wheel having a rim of circular section with a diameter approximately equal to said second diameter and having a disc within the ring, said disc having a central round hole having a diameter approximately equal to said first diameter, whereby a second rod having the first diameter can be passed through and held by the central round hole.
7. A structural toy in accordance with claim 3 in which said third component is a locking tube surrounding said rod adjacent said second component and distal to said one end of the rod, whereby said second component is locked into the transverse hole in the rod.
8. A structural toy in accordance with claim 3 in which said thord component is an extension and/or locking tube having one end surrounding the other end of said rod, whereby another rod having said first diameter may be inserted into the other end of the extension tube.