US2229201A - Amusement apparatus - Google Patents

Amusement apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US2229201A
US2229201A US26450439A US2229201A US 2229201 A US2229201 A US 2229201A US 26450439 A US26450439 A US 26450439A US 2229201 A US2229201 A US 2229201A
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Prior art keywords
car
gravity
acceleration
shaft
means
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Williford Marsh Earl
Partee Clarence Eck
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Williford Marsh Earl
Partee Clarence Eck
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63GMERRY-GO-ROUNDS; SWINGS; ROCKING-HORSES; CHUTES; SWITCHBACKS; SIMILAR DEVICES FOR PUBLIC AMUSEMENT
    • A63G31/00Amusement arrangements
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63GMERRY-GO-ROUNDS; SWINGS; ROCKING-HORSES; CHUTES; SWITCHBACKS; SIMILAR DEVICES FOR PUBLIC AMUSEMENT
    • A63G31/00Amusement arrangements
    • A63G2031/002Free-fall

Description

Jan. 21, 1941.

Filed March 27, 1959 M. E. WILLIFORD ETAL AMUSEMENT AEPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 mlqla Uen OOOOOOOOO oooooooo ,Marsh Earl M/zzyafa Clarence E07( FcLTZee @QM M Jan. 21, 11941. M. E. WILLIFQRD ETAL I 2,229,201

AMUSEMENT APPARATUS.

Filed March 27, 1939 2 Sheng-sheet 2 g: AV

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Patented Jan. 21, 1941 UNITED STATES 2,229,201 AMUSEMENT APPARATUS- Marsh Earl Williford and Clarence Eck Partee,

Mount Carmel, Ill.

Application March 27, 1939, serial No. .264,594

6 Claims.

Our invention relates to certain new and useful methods and apparatus for employment in amusement parks, fairs, carnivals, and other similar locations to impart thrills to the riders or passengers.

Generically, the invention provides a method which consists` in the use of a 'suitable mechanical device operated within a vertical shaft which shall permit the passengers to travel downward- 1y for a period of time, unsupported, at the same acceleration as that of gravity.

Further, it is an object to provide a method of operating an elevator car in such a way that the car will drop by gravity for a certain distance and then be accelerated at a greater rate so as to leave the passengers suspended in the car during this time, thereafter reducing the acceleration of the car to that of gravity, and nally bringing the car to rest.

operating a carin a vertical shaft so that the occupants of the car will be given the illusion of falling, suspended in space, and accomplish this in a safe way without danger to the passengers.

In the drawings we have illustrated, more or less diagrammatically, apparatus by the use of which the method constituting the essential part of the invention may be practiced.

In the drawings,

Figures 1 and 1A when joined on the lines A-B, constitute a diagrammatic vertical sectional view of one example of apparatus that may be employed.

Fig. 2 is a similar View of another embodiment of the apparatus.

Fig. 3 is a circuit diagram of the control for the electromagnets.

In the drawings I represents the shaft which should be so designed as to present as little air resistance to the car 2 as possible.

At a suitable distance from the top of the shaft one or more accelerating solenoids 3 are provided through which the car passes and which act on the car to accelerate it at an acceleration greater than that of gravity. The solenoids 3 are energized at the proper time under control of an electric eye or photo-electric cell 4 when the rays of light from the lamp 6 are cut ofi'. When the rays of light are interrupted by the passing car 2 the relay 5 is closed and latched to maintain a closed circuit through the coils 3. The latch I4 is released by a magnet I5 controlled through a second relay I6 that is actuated by a second photo-electric cell II when thev Again, it is an object to provide a method of beam from light I8 is broken as the car passes the lowermost solenoid 3 of the group.

As the car passes the electric eye 4 the beam of light from lamp 6 is again established so that as soon as latch I4 is released the relay 5 opens the solenoid circuit.

A set of decelerating solenoids 3a, operated similarly to the solenoids 3, is provided farther down the shaft near the bottom where the car is to bestopped for unloading passengers. These magnets 3ab o-perate reversely to the magnets 3.

'The car 2 is suspended by cables I0 from a windlass II whoseshaft I2 is motor driven to raise the car to the top of the shaft, a suitable brake device I3 being provided.

A safety dash-pot arrangement may be proe vided at the bottom of the shaft and consists` of a cylinder Ia into which the car 2 ts with a sliding iit, as a piston. Graduated vents 8 may be provided to permit, first, a rapid air escape and, then, gradually a slower yair escape to slow down the car and, finally, to provide a trappedair-cushion at the extreme bottom of the shaft.

According to another embodiment of the apparatus that may be used, we provide the car with cables Il)a attached top and bottom and wound 4on a motor-driven drum Ila, the motor being controlled as to speed and acceleration by means of any suitable timing device (not shown) which will cause the car to move at the desired speeds and accelerations (see Fig.` 2)

The attraction of gravity is known to be 32.2 feet per second per second. A body without support will commence to fall and continue to fall in a Vertical line toward the earth with the acceleration of gravity The distance it will fall, disregarding air resistance, is time in seconds squared, multiplied by onefhalf the acceleration of gravity; for example, three seconds falling time equals three times three equals nine. Thus:

By regulating `the acceleration of the car so that it remains constant, say for three seconds, at the rate of thirty-three feet per second per second, then the car will have fallen 148.5 feet during the three seconds and all unattached objects in the car will have fallen only 144.9 feet; hence, these objects are 3.6 feet higher than the oor of the car (if they were on the floor of the car when the power drive started) thus giving to persons within the car the sensation of being without weight and floating in the air.

As the car falls farther, it is decelerated until the occupants again stand on the floor (or sit on the seats, as the case may be) and the car moves at the gravity rate until it is brought to a stop near the bottom of the shaft.

Summary of operation Passengers board the car at the ground level and the car is raised to the top of the shaft by the windlass. At this point the occupants are seated comfortably on chairs, or are standing on the floor of the car. The operator then permits the car to fall downwardly in the shaft. As the car falls, it breaks the beam of light to the electric eye 4, which causes current to flow through solenoid coils 3, energizing them sufliciently to attract the car and cause it to travel at an acceleration greater than that of gravity, it being assumed that the car is made of magnetic material or is provided with a suitable band of magnetic materi-al.

As long as the car travels downward at the same or a less rate than the acceleration rate of gravity, the passengers and any unattached objects within vthe car will maintain their same relative position within the car. (See position No. 1.)

When force is applied to the car to cause it to travel downward at a greater acceleration rate than -that of gravity, the passengers and any unattached objects within the car cannot and will not keep pace with the car. (See position No. 2.) Without force, pasengers and all other unattached objects within the car will continue to fall downward at the same acceleration rate of gravity, which is universal. At any given time while the car is traveling downward at a greater acceleration than that of gravity the passengers will assume a new relative position within the car (see position No. 2) because of differential in mean velocities between the car and passengersalso in acceleration rates-which results in the car traveling a greater distance downward than the passengers and any unattached objects within the car.

The passengers and unattached objects within the oar will travel downward at the same acceleration rate of gravity as long as the car travels at the same or greater acceleration rate of gravity. At any particular time while the car is traveling downward at a greater acceleration rate than that of gravity, the passengers and any unattached objects within the car will be at a higher altitude than the floor of the car. (See position No. 2.)

As the force causing the carto travel downward at a greater acceleration rate than of gravity is removed in whole or in part, the car will again approach and even equal the acceleration rate of gravity, and in so doing, the passengers and any unattached objects within, relatively speaking, will assume new relative positions within the car, to wit: become nearer the oor. As the car slows down, relatively speaking, the passengers -will resume their original positions at that distance downward and at that time that the decelerating solenoids 3a, these solenoids will slow it down until the occupants are again in their original positions and will ,bring the car to a stop. Should the decelerating magnets fail to function to stop the car, the dash-pot air-cushion at the bottom of the shaft will do so.

The shaft may assume any design, depending of course upon the design of the car. If the car is to be rectangular, then the shaft would probably be constructed of four steel columns with sufoient steel braces and ties to make the structure sturdy and strong. Its height will vary with the time element; that is, the length of time the passengers are to be permitted to ride (or fall) unsupported within the car, and the time necessary to bring the car to rest at the base of the shaft.

The car may assume almost any design and size so long as it is practicable. It will, however, be necessary for it to be of such height as to allow persons to rise from the fioor several feet and still be below the roof or ceiling of the car. Probably a tear-drop shaped car, as shown, would create less air resistance in its travel or fall downward. Assuming that the car is twelve feet in diameter, sixteen feet in height, and constructed of one-fourth inch steel sheet metal, the approximate mass of the car would be ve tons and the mass of approximately twenty passengers would be one and one-half tons, and the mass of fixtures, chairs, etc., would be one-half ton, making a total mass of seven tons.

Within the car assuming the above-suggested proportions, an additional acceleration of five,

feet per second per second would be needed to overcome friction and air resistance and to give approximately one to two feet per second per second acceleration in excess of gravity.

Magneto-motive force of solenoids is proportional to the number of ampere turns. A force of 54 105 dynes will be needed to accelerate the tear-drop car above suggested. rTheoretically .54x107 ergs of work will be done and that requires 43 107 ampere turns for the solenoid. If the passengers are to be permitted to travel unsupported for three seconds, then they would fall unsupported for a distance of 146 feet, approximately, and for a four seconds fall they would travel approximately 259 feet.

In practice the car should be built to travel with the least possible amount of friction; it should be equipped with stationary furniture and should be padded sufficiently to avoid any injuries. should operate controls from within, and, at the same time, automatic'brake controls should be employed from without.

In Figure 1 is shown the second series of solenoid coils 3a which operate as brakes. Current is run through these coils; as the car passes through this magnetic field thereby created it must overcome the resistance created by the magnetic field before it can pass through. Otherwise it will be brought to rest because of the tendency of the magnetic force of the solenoid coils to force the car upward. The current can be so regulated as to eiliect any desired result.

Mechanical brakes may or may not be employed in the actual operation of the apparatus, but probably would be present for added safety.

The air chamber, which extends downward into the ground, varies in depth with the distance which the ride is to extend upward into the air. Practically a fifty-foot air chamber itself would be suicient to stop a car as above described after a three seconds fall without any casualties. This air chamber is to be used, and is for safety only in case all other devices fail.

The cable brake I3 at the top of the shaft may An operator will ride in the car, who

be employed to serve as a safety device for stopping the car.

The ordinary principle of the elevator can be employed both to lift the car to its position at the top of the shaft and to pull the car down- Ward at the increased acceleration desired. (See Fig. 2.)

Theoretically, the result may be obtained by any quick jerk or force giving or imparting to the car a greater initial acceleration than gravity. The air resistance and friction would, however, soon cause the car to resume the same o-r less rate of acceleration as gravity and the passengers Would resume their seats within the car.

It should be understood that the car may be either an open car or a closed car. If the illusion of levity is to -be accomplished, however, the car must be a closed one; if the car is left open so that the passengers can feel the air rushing by them and they can View external objects, a different illusion or sensation will be experienced from that experienced Where the car is a closed one.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, it is thought that our invention will be clear to those skilled in the art.

What We claim is:

1. In apparatus for the purpose described, an

` elevator comprising a vertical shaft and a car to travel therein, means to lift .the car to a predetermined height in the shaft, to be released at that place, the car when released being accelerated under the inuence of gravity, and means operating at one predetermined place in .the cars travel and for a predetermined distance to increase the acceleration of the car, but not of its passenger, beyond lthat of gravity.

2. In apparatus for the purpose described, an elevator comprising a Vertical shaft and a car to travel therein, means to lift the car to a predetermined height in the shaft, to be released at that place, the car When released being ac'- celerated under the influence of gravity, means operating at one predetermined place in the cars travel and for a predetermined distance to increase the acceleration of the car, but not, of its passenger, beyond that of gravity, and means operating at another predetermined place in the cars travel and for another predetermined distance to decrease the cars acceleration again to that of gravity, and finally bringing the car and passenger to rest.

3. In apparatus for the purpose described, an elevator comprising avertical shaft and a car to travel therein, means to lift the car to a predetermined height in the shaft, to be released at that place, the car when released being accelerated under the influence of gravity, means operating at one predetermined place in the cars travel and for a predetermined distance to increase the acceleration of the car, but not of its passenger, beyond that of gravity, and means operating at another predetermined place, in the cars travel and for another predetermined distance to decrease the cars acceleration again to that of gravity, and iinally bringing the car and passenger to rest, said acceleration-increasing means and said acceleration-decreasing means including electro-magnets and means controlled by the movement and position of the car for energizing said magnets at the proper times.

4. In apparatus for the purpose described, an elevator comprising a vertical shaft and a car to travel therein, means to lift the car to a predetermined height in `the shaft, to be released at that place, the Icar when released b-eing accelerated under the inuence of gravity, means operating at one predetermined place in the cars travel and for a predetermined distance to increase the acceleration of the car, but not of its passenger, beyond that of gravity, means operating at another predetermined place in the cars travel and for another predetermined distance to decrease the cars acceleration again to that of gravity, and finally bringing the car and passenger to rest, said acceleration-increasing means and said acceleration-decreasing means including electro-magnets and means controlled by the movement and position of the car for energizing said magnets at the proper times, and a safety dash-pot air-cushion at the bottom of the shaft.

5. An apparatus for creating the illusion of levity in a person, which includes a vertically movable car, means to raise the car to a determined height to be released at that height, the car When released being accelerated under the influence of gravity for a portion of its journey, means to increase the acceleration of the car, but not its passenger, beyond that of gravity for a portion of the cars journey, then decelerate the car until its acceleration returns to that induced by gravity, and finally bring the car and passenger to rest.

6. An apparatus for creating the illusion of levity in a person, Which includes a vertically movable car, means to raise 'the car to a determined height to be released at that height, the car when released being accelerated under the influence of gravity for a portion of its journey, means to increase the acceleration of the car, but not its passenger, beyond that of gravity for a portion of the cars journey, means to decelerate the car until its acceleration returns to that induced by gravity, and then further decelerate the car until the passenger is at rest in the car and finally bring the car and passenger both to rest.

MARSH EARL WILLIFORD. CLARENCE ECK PARTEE.

US2229201A 1939-03-27 1939-03-27 Amusement apparatus Expired - Lifetime US2229201A (en)

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Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2803756A (en) * 1948-12-13 1957-08-20 Mandrel Industries Viewing chamber for gravity sorter
US3262518A (en) * 1964-10-29 1966-07-26 James E Webb Emergency escape system
US3484953A (en) * 1967-05-15 1969-12-23 Ray H Norheim Jr Apparatus for simulating free fall through air
US4487410A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-12-11 Sassak John J Fluid suspended passenger carrying spherical body having universal attitude control
US4545574A (en) * 1982-09-30 1985-10-08 Sassak John J Fluid suspended passenger carrying spherical body having universal attitude control
US4997060A (en) * 1990-03-05 1991-03-05 Sassak John J Apparatus for controlling the descent of a passenger carrying body
US5203744A (en) * 1991-08-30 1993-04-20 Checketts Stanley J Device for vertically oscillating participants
US5417615A (en) * 1994-04-05 1995-05-23 Beard; Terry D. Air driven amusement ride
DE9414609U1 (en) * 1994-09-08 1995-10-19 Funex Ag Amusement apparatus comprising at least one movable along guides height variable passenger carrier
US5597358A (en) * 1994-05-25 1997-01-28 Marcu; Mihail I. Free fall system
US5704841A (en) * 1996-08-15 1998-01-06 Checketts; Stanley J. Device for accelerating and decelerating objects
EP0848973A1 (en) 1996-12-19 1998-06-24 HUSS MASCHINENFABRIK GMBH & CO. KG Mobile business device with gondola conveyable to changeable heights
DE29800144U1 (en) * 1998-01-08 1999-05-12 Spieldiener Robert amusement facility
US6001022A (en) * 1998-09-21 1999-12-14 Spieldiener; Robert Amusement facility
US20100193289A1 (en) * 2005-12-19 2010-08-05 Guillermety Manuel Ivan Multistory building fast escape and rescue device
EP2266667A1 (en) * 2009-06-24 2010-12-29 Dropzone (UK) Limited Regulated descender
WO2014113548A1 (en) 2013-01-16 2014-07-24 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Amusement park elevator drop ride system and associated methods
US9242181B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2016-01-26 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Amusement park elevator drop ride system and associated methods
US9259657B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2016-02-16 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Motion simulation system and associated methods
US9536446B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2017-01-03 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Motion simulation system controller and associated methods
WO2017122016A1 (en) * 2016-01-12 2017-07-20 Frontgrid Limited Apparatus for simulating a parachute experience

Cited By (27)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2803756A (en) * 1948-12-13 1957-08-20 Mandrel Industries Viewing chamber for gravity sorter
US3262518A (en) * 1964-10-29 1966-07-26 James E Webb Emergency escape system
US3484953A (en) * 1967-05-15 1969-12-23 Ray H Norheim Jr Apparatus for simulating free fall through air
US4487410A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-12-11 Sassak John J Fluid suspended passenger carrying spherical body having universal attitude control
US4545574A (en) * 1982-09-30 1985-10-08 Sassak John J Fluid suspended passenger carrying spherical body having universal attitude control
US4997060A (en) * 1990-03-05 1991-03-05 Sassak John J Apparatus for controlling the descent of a passenger carrying body
US5203744A (en) * 1991-08-30 1993-04-20 Checketts Stanley J Device for vertically oscillating participants
US5417615A (en) * 1994-04-05 1995-05-23 Beard; Terry D. Air driven amusement ride
WO1995026793A1 (en) * 1994-04-05 1995-10-12 Beard Terry D Air driven amusement ride
US5597358A (en) * 1994-05-25 1997-01-28 Marcu; Mihail I. Free fall system
DE9414609U1 (en) * 1994-09-08 1995-10-19 Funex Ag Amusement apparatus comprising at least one movable along guides height variable passenger carrier
WO1996007459A1 (en) * 1994-09-08 1996-03-14 Funex Ag Amusement ride system with passenger units which can move up and down a tower
US5704841A (en) * 1996-08-15 1998-01-06 Checketts; Stanley J. Device for accelerating and decelerating objects
EP0824032A2 (en) 1996-08-15 1998-02-18 Stanley J. Checketts Device for accelerating and decelerating objects
EP0848973A1 (en) 1996-12-19 1998-06-24 HUSS MASCHINENFABRIK GMBH & CO. KG Mobile business device with gondola conveyable to changeable heights
US5893802A (en) * 1996-12-19 1999-04-13 Huss Maschinenfabrik Gmbh & Co. Kg Amusement ride system with passenger units being movable up and down
DE29800144U1 (en) * 1998-01-08 1999-05-12 Spieldiener Robert amusement facility
US6001022A (en) * 1998-09-21 1999-12-14 Spieldiener; Robert Amusement facility
US20100193289A1 (en) * 2005-12-19 2010-08-05 Guillermety Manuel Ivan Multistory building fast escape and rescue device
US8122999B2 (en) * 2005-12-19 2012-02-28 Guillermety Manuel Ivan Multistory building fast escape and rescue device
EP2266667A1 (en) * 2009-06-24 2010-12-29 Dropzone (UK) Limited Regulated descender
US9242181B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2016-01-26 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Amusement park elevator drop ride system and associated methods
US9259657B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2016-02-16 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Motion simulation system and associated methods
US9536446B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2017-01-03 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Motion simulation system controller and associated methods
US9675894B2 (en) 2012-12-03 2017-06-13 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Amusement park elevator drop ride system and associated methods
WO2014113548A1 (en) 2013-01-16 2014-07-24 Dynamic Motion Group Gmbh Amusement park elevator drop ride system and associated methods
WO2017122016A1 (en) * 2016-01-12 2017-07-20 Frontgrid Limited Apparatus for simulating a parachute experience

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