US3099446A - Control system for bowling balls and the like - Google Patents

Control system for bowling balls and the like Download PDF

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Publication number
US3099446A
US3099446A US84613159A US3099446A US 3099446 A US3099446 A US 3099446A US 84613159 A US84613159 A US 84613159A US 3099446 A US3099446 A US 3099446A
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Prior art keywords
ball
means
track
return
alley
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Raymond V Stegman
William E Green
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Brunswick Corp
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Brunswick Corp
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING-ALLEYS; BOWLING GAMES; BOCCIA; BOWLS; BAGATELLE; BILLIARDS
    • A63D5/00Accessories for bowling-alleys or table alleys
    • A63D5/02Apparatus for trapping or lifting the balls; Separate devices for returning the balls
    • A63D5/023Separate devices for returning the balls

Description

y 1963 R. v. STEGMAN ETAL 3,099,446

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR BOWLING BALLS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 13, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet l IN V EN TORS mwza/vo 1 .5 KEG/174M WILL A E. 6355M y 1963 R. v. STEGMAN ETAL 3,099,446

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR BOWLING BALLS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 15, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TORS July 30, 1963 R. v. STEGMAN ETAL 3,099,446

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR BOWLING BALLS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 13, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 N 4 J M s R N e w 2 m m 5e a V n ll m 5 J M -$22153 mm "\w m em v... T #zaifi PN% n 335:3 u

I z 2 m Ill 2 m M II y 1953 R. v. STEGMAN ETAL 3099446 CONTROL SYSTEM FOR BOWLING BALLS AND THE LIKE Filed Oct. 13, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 49 51 H 4 TIME 3 o DELflV IN V EN TOR5 2,4 vMo/va l4 srse/wnw W/LL/RM E. Gees/v Jtarne .5

United States Patent 3,09,446 CONTROL SYSTEM FOR BOWLING BALLS AND THE LIKE Raymond V. Stegrnan, Burbank, and William E. Green,

San Fernando, Calii, assignors, by mesne assignments,

to Brunswick Corporation, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 13, 1959, Ser. No. 846,131 21 Claims. (Cl. 273-49) This invention relates to conveyor apparatus, and more particularly to unique means for directing bowling balls to predetermined locations.

In the operation of bowling alleys, the margin of profit depends largely on the efiiciency with which the alleys are operated. During peak periods of business, it is desirable that the maximum number of persons be able to play on the alleys. It was for this reason that automatic pin setters were devised to replace pin boys. The cost of operation of an automatic pin setter is much less than the cost of labor in employing pin boys, when such labor costs are considered together with delays required for a person to retrieve bowling balls and send them back on the return track and to set up the pins.

Although automatic pin setters and ball return mechanisms permit a greater number of games to be played on bowling alleys, the owners and operators of such enterprises recognize a need for even greater efliciency, due to growing competition and the lower margins of profits which they must sustain. One innovation that has been adopted to help speed up play is the provision of a T- shaped terminus for the return tracks at the forward ends of alleys. This is a device that has a cross-piece extending laterally on either side of the return track.

The ends of the cross-piece of the terminus are lower than its center, so that the halves of the cross-piece are inclined downwardly from its mid-point. Thus, a bowling ball reaching the end of the return lane rolls down one or the other of the inclines formed thereby.

One difficulty that arises from the use of a terminus of the type described is that there is no assurance whatever regarding which half of the cross-piece a bowling ball will pass onto. In open bowling, for example, the ball of a player in one alley often passes onto the portion of the cross-arm that is inclined in the direction of the other alley. Accordingly, when the players next turn arrives, he has to get up and walk over toward the other alley to pick up his bail, and then return to the alley in which he is playing after retrieving the ball. And if his ball is returned to the (half of the cross-arm nearest the alley in which he is playing, he still must take a few seconds to determine which of the balls resting thereon is his.

From the foregoing, it will readily be seen that throughout a busy period when many persons would like to use the bowling alleys, several minutes may be lost as a result of the seconds of delay required for each player to select his ball for each throw. Over the period of a year, the loss to the owner or operator of a single bowling alley can amount to thousands of dollars.

It is an object of this invention to provide unique means for overcoming the above and other disadvantages of the prior art.

It is another object of this invention to provide an automatic director for bowling balls that eliminates delays encountered heretofore due to the uncontrolled order in which bowling balls returned to players are presented for selection.

A further object of this invention is to provide, for bowling alleys wherein the ends of return tracks terminate in a T-shaped section, automatic means characterized by memory as to which of a succession of bowling balls are bowled from respective alleys, and for positioning or placing bowling balls in a position so that the player on his next succeeding turn does not have to waste any time selecting his ball.

A still further object of this invention is to provide unique means, for use in conjunction with bowling alleys having return tracks that terminate at the forward ends of alleys in a cross-track, for automatically directing bowling balls of players in open bowling toward the same alley from which they are thrown.

It is also an object of this invention to provide unique means, as characterized in the preceding paragraph, for directing predetermined bowling balls used in league bowling to the side of the cross-track that extends toward the adjacent alley.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide automatic bowling ball director means which comprises a minimum number of component parts of simple design and rugged construction.

The above and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of illustrative embodiments thereof, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of adjacent bowling alleys wherein the ball return track terminates in a cross-piece, showing the location of a tiltable element centered in the cross-piece, and reset switches adjacent each end of the tiltable element, and showing the doors in the rear pits for operating switches;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the cross-piece as seen from the front, showing the electro-magnets located below the tiltable element adjacent the ends thereof;

FIGURE 3 is a schematic diagram of the tiltable element, the electromagnets land the reset switches, showing movable contacts positioned for actuation by a bowling ball that rolls off the tiltable element;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic diagram of the doors in the rear pits and the initiation switches to be actuated by opening of the doors by bowling balls passing therethrough;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary top plan view of one of the doors hinged to the side wall of the rear pit, and showing a plunger-operated switch disposed in the path of the door;

FIGURE 6 is a schematic diagram of a unique circuit of our invention operable for open bowling to position the tiltable element to direct a ball onto the end of the cross piece that extends toward the alley from which the ball was played, [and for league bowling to position the tiltable element to direct a ball onto the end of the crosspiece that extends toward the alley adjacent the one on which the ball was played;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified director element, showing a vane pivotally mounted on the cross-piece at the end of the ball return, and a motor forpositioning the vane so as to block passage of a ball onto one end of the cross-piece;

FIGURE 8 is a schematic diagram of a tiltable element that is spring-biased so as to be normally tilted in one direction, showing a single electnomagnet for tilting the element so as to direct balls onto the other end of the cross-piece; and

FIGURE 9 is a schematic diagram of another circuit of our invention, showing the use of time delay means to effect energiZ-atiocn of an electromagnet a predetermined period of time after an initiation switch is operated.

Referring to FIGURE 1, there is shown a pair of bowling alleys I0, 11 of the type that use automatic pin setters (not shown) for placing pins (tenpins, duckpins, candle pins and the like) on marked spots 12, 13.

Behind the spots 12, 13 are pit areas 14, 15 into which bowling balls roll from the alleys.

The adjacent side walls 16, 17 in the pit areas 14, 15 support swinging door elements 18, 19. Referring to FIGURE 4 along with FIGURE 1, the floors in the pit areas 14, 15 are inclined toward each other, as indicated at 20, 21. Stop bars '22, 23 in the pit areas are struck by the balls, which then run down the incline 20, 21 and through the doors 1'8, 19. The doors are normally biased to the closed position; however, such bias is easily overcome by the heavy balls.

When a ball rolls through one of the doors 18, 19, it is picked up by a conveyor mechanism (not shown) and carried to the top of a chute, the lower portion of which is shown at 25. The ball is dropped down the chute 25 to roll onto a return track element 26 that extends under 'the flooring to the front of the alleys. The track 26 extends forward of the foul lines 28, 2% of the alleys 11), 1-1 where it curves upward out of the floor as a housing 30, and then slopes downwardly to a point above the floor where it terminates in a cross-piece 31.

downwardly away from the center of the cross-piece. In

this manner, balls placed on. one side of the center of the cross-piece are urged by gravity toward the outer end thereof.

As previously mentioned in connection with prior art ball returns that have a T-shaped terminus, there is no way of determining on which half of the cross-piece a ball will roll. To insure that a ball leaving the return track 26 will move in a known direction along the cross-piece 31, we employ a rectangular plate positioned so that balls leaving the return track will roll to the center thereof. The plate 35 is arranged to tilt on an axis parallel to the return track 26, as on a fiulcrum element 36. As will be seen, if the plate is tilted toward the end of the cross-piece adjacent the alley 10, any ball leaving the return track 26 is made to roll down the plate and into that end.

In so -called open bowling, players. on each alley bowl all their frames on that alley. In accordance with our invention, the plate 35 is controlled so that the balls of players on the alley 10 are always returned to the half from the respective iaileys 10, 11, the plate 35 is tilted toward the alley 11 when the ball played from the alley 1b arrives at the end of the return track. Then when the ball that was played on the alley 11 reaches the end of the return track 26, the plate 35 is tilted toward the alley '11.

To effect the controlled positioning of the plate 35, the plate is made of magnetic material. Electromagnets 4t 41 are supported adjacent the bottom of the cross-piece 31, as in a housing 42 located on the base 33. The cores of the electromaguets 40, 41 are situated below the ends of the plate 35. Thus, energization of the coil of each eleotromaguet results in the adjacent end of the plate 35 being pulled down. When the electromagnet is energized, the plate is tilted toward the alley 1i and such plate is tilted toward the alley 11 when the electromagnet 41 is energized.

To control the electnomagnets 49, 41, the doors 18, 19 in the pit areas 14, 15 are adapted (to actuate switches in a control circuit. Referring to FIGURE 5, one of the doors 18 is. shown hinged to the side wall 16. A switch 45 mounted on the side wall 16 is a plunger-actuated type, e.g., a micro-switch, having its plunger 4-6 in a position to be depressed by the door 18 when it is opened by a ball passing therethrough. FIGURE 4 illustrates the switch 45 disposed in the path of the door 18, and a similar switch 47 disposed in the path of the door 19.

The control circuit of FIGURE 6 illustrates a control circuit employing relays and solenoid-controlled wafer switches for positioning the plate 35. The initiation switches 4-5, 47 are connected between a D.-C. source 48 and the coils 49, 55 of respective solenoids that are adapted to rotate respective pains of wiper or contact arms 51, 52 and 53, 54. The coils 49, 56 are connected to the contact arms 55, 56 of respective water switches, such contact arms normally being connected to a grounded cont-act. Thus, upon the switches 45, 47 being tripped, the coils 49, '50 are connected between the source 48 and ground.

The water switches including the contact arms 52, 54 are utilized to control the positioning of the plate 35 tor open bowling. To this end, ganged switches 60, 61, 62 are provided which, in the position shown in solid lines, re-

sults in the source 48 being connected through the switch 61 to the contact arms 52, 54.

As shown, the contact arms 51, 52 and 53, 54 are each adapted to engage respective fixed contacts a, b, c, a. in each case, the contacts a, care open-circuit contacts. For the contact arm 52, the contacts b, d are both connected to a relay control coil 63, and the contacts b, d associated with the contact arm 54 are both connected to a relay control coil 64.

The coil 63 is adapted to actuate a pair of armatures 65, 66 of respective sets of fixed contacts 67, 63. One contact of the set 67 is connected to the electromagnet 40, and a unidirection ally conductive device, shown as a diode 69, is connected in the forward direction between the relay coil 63 and the armature 65. Similarly, the coil 64 is adapted to actuate a pair of armatures 70, 71 of respective sets of contacts 72, 73. One contact of the set 72 is connected to the electromagnet 41. A diode 74 is connected in the forward direction between the relay coil 64 and the electromagnet 41.

The operations of the electromagnets 40, 41 are effected in the same manner. When the switch 45 is tripped, due to the door 16 at the rear of the allay 1%) being opened by a ball, the coil 49 is energized to step the contact arms 51, 52 from the neutral contacts a to the contacts b. In this position (of the contact arm 52, the relay coil 63 is energized to cause the ele'ctromagnet 40 to be connected to the source 48. This in turn causes the plate 35 to be tilted toward the alley 10, so that a ball rolling off the return track 26 will automatically .be directed onto the side of the cross-piece nearest the player who bowled that ball.

Where players on the adjacent alleys bowl substantially simultaneously, the initiation switches 45, 47 are tripped in succession. In this connection, we make use of the fact that automatic ball return mechanisms handle balls only in succession. To insure this, the doors 13, 19 of FIGURE 1 may be made sufiiciently large that they cannot be opened simultaneously to permit balls to pass therethrough. Also, the switches 45, 47 are so located that neither can be tripped until the associated doors are open sufiiciently to permit a ball to pass through them.

When the initiation switch 47 is tripped immediately after the switch 45, the electromagnet 41 is connected to the source 48 after the electromagnet 40 is energized. The electromagnets 40, 41 have substantially the same strength. Accordingly, since the electromagnet 46 is holding one end of the plate 35 adjacent thereto, the subsequent energization of the electromagnet 41 occurs at a time when the end of the plate 35 adjacent the electromagnet 41 is spaced its greatest distance therefrom. Thus, the smaller gap is between the electromagnet 40 and the end of the plate adjacent thereto, to insure that the plate will be held tilted toward the alley 10 When the ball from that alley reaches the cross piece 31.

When the ball from the alley 10 reaches the crosspiece and rolls down the plate 35 onto the half of the cross-piece adjacent the alley 10, the electnoirragnet 40 is de-energized to permit the electromagnet 41 to tilt the plate 35 toward the alley 11. To accomplish this we provide a switch 75 in the path of the ball that rolls off the plate toward the alley 10.

The switch 75 is connected between the electromagnet 40 and the armature 66 that is controlled by the relay coil 63. The switch 75 is normally biased in the open position. When it is closed by :a bowling ball rolling over it, a connection from one contact of the set 68 is completed to the coil 49 to cause the contact arms 51, 52 to be stepped to the contacts c. This breaks the connection [from the source 48 to the relay coil 63 and the electromagnet 40, so that they are de-energized. Where the electromagnet 41 has been energized as above explained, it immediately tilts the plate 35 toward the alley 11 from which the succeeding ball was played.

Balls rolling off the plate 35 toward the alley 11 also pass over a reset switch 76 which, like the switch 75 above described, causes the relay coil 64 and the electromagnet 41 to be de-energized. As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the switches 75, 76 are actuated by short elements 75', 76' mounted in the iloor of the cross-piece 31 adjacent the ends of the plate 35. The elements 75, '76 correspond to the movable contacts of the switch, and may in [fact constitute the same. They are mounted :for movement about the ends thereof nearest the plate 35, and are normally biased so that their remaining ends extend above the floor of the cross-piece.

Inspection of the above described circuit will show that each time the initiation switch 45 is actuated, the contact arm 52 is stepped two positions. In the first position (engaging contact b or d) the arm eifects energization of the relay coil 63 and the electnomagnet 40, and in the succeeding position (contact a or these elements are de-energized. The same is true of the contact arm 54.

For league bowling, our system has several functions. For normal play, when the players first ball reaches the end of the return track 26, the plate 35 is tilted toward the alley from which it was played. And when the players second ball reaches the end of the return tnack, the plate 35 is tilted toward the other alley. However, if the player bowls a strike with his first ball, the plate 35 is tilted toward the other alley when the ball reaches the end oi the return track 26. In the case of a foul which nullifies a strike, the plate directs the ball toward the alley from which it was played.

To carry out the desired functions for league bowling, the switches 60-62 are thrown to the position (shown in dotted lines) wherein the switch 61 connects the source 48 to the contact arms 51, 53. Simultaneously, switches 81-84 are closed, wherein the switches 81 and 84 connect strike signal sources to the coils 85, 86 of respective solenoids, and wherein the switches 82, 83 connect foul signal sources to relay coils 87, 38. As indicated, the switches 81$4 may be ganged with the switches 6062 so that when the switches 60-62 are connected for open bowling, the switches 8ll84 are all open.

The coil 85 is normally connected to ground through an armature 89 that is controlled by the relay coil 87. The coil 85 controls the contact arm 55 and the contact arms 91, 92 of different switches having three contacts a, b, 0. Similarly, the coil 86 is normally connected to ground through an armature 93 associated with the relay coil 88, and the coil controls the position of the contact arm 56 and the contact arms 94, 95 of respective switches having contacts a, b, 0. With the arrangement of the contacts a, b, c as shown, the contact arms 55, 91, 92 and 56, 94, 95 are adapted to be stepped clockwise.

Initially, the contact anms 55, 91, 92 and 56, 94, 95 are connected to their a contacts. The a contacts to which the arms 55, 56 are connected are grounded, so that energization of the coils 49, 50 is effected upon closing the initiation switches 45, 47. Closing the initiation switch 45 by the first ball of a player in the alley results in the contact arms 51, 52 being stepped firom the a contacts to the b contacts. In this position of the arm 51 and the switches 6062, the switch 60 is connected directly to the relay coil 63, thus, the source 48 is connected through the arm 51 and the switch 60 to the relay coil 63, and thence through the diode 69 and armature 65 to the electromagnet 40. The relay coil 63 and the electromagnet 40 are de-energized by the reset switch being tripped by a ball, as in the manner previously explained for open bowling. And in the same manner, the coil 49 is simultaneously energized to step the arms 51, 52 around to the neutral c contacts.

When the initiation switch 45 is again tripped (by the players second ball), the arms 51, 52 are stepped to their d contacts. In this position, the arm 51 is connected through a diode 96 to the electromagnet 41. Accordingly, when the second ball played in the alley 10 reaches the end of the return track 26, the plate 35 is tilted toward the other alley 11. This results in the ball riding down the plate to trip the reset switch 76. Closing the reset switch 76 in this situation closes a circuit through the armature 71 of the set of relay contacts 73 to the coil 49, thereby causing the arms 51, 52 to be stepped to their neutral a contacts. The circuit is thus conditioned to repeat the cycle for the next player.

The same operations take place for balls thrown from the alley 11. A diode 97 is shown connected from the d contact for the arm 53 to the electromagnet 41, so that the second ball played in the alley 11 is directed along the plate 35 towand the alley 10.

When one playing his first ball on the alley 10 bowls a strike, a strike signal (from the automatic pin setter) is applied to the coil to cause the arms 55, 91, 92 to be stepped to their b contacts. This action occurs before the initiation switch 45 is tripped; thus, when the switch 45 closes, the coil 49 is not energized. Since the contact arm 51 is connected to one of its neutral contacts a, 0, there is no connection through the arm 51 to permit the relay coil 63 or the electromagnet 40 to be energized. However, the arms 41, 91, 92 are conductively connected to-.

gether, so that the source 48 is connected through the arm 92 and its b contact to a relay coil 100.

The coil 100 when energized actuates armature ele ments 101, 102 to place them against contacts that are connected to the coil 85. The armature 101 is connected to the fixed contact of the reset switch 76, and through one of the contacts 73 and the armature 71 to the armature 102. The armature 102 is also connected, as at 1.03, to the switch 45. Accordingly, when the switch 45 is closed, the source 48 is connected to the coil 85 to again energize it and cause the arms 55, 91, 92 to be stepped to their c contacts. This operation results in the source 48 being connected through the arm 91 to the electromagnet 41, and through the arm 92 to the relay coil 100;

With the above described arrangement, it will be seen that when the strike ball reaches the end of the return track 26, the plate 35 will be tilted so as to direct it toward the other alley 11. When this ball trips the reset switch 76, the coil 85 steps the arms 55, 91, 92 to their a contacts, thereby breaking the connections between the source 48 and the electromagnet 41 and coil 100.

To efiect the same operation in the case of a strike on the alley 11, there is provided a relay coil 105 with associated contacts 106, 107 corresponding to the coil 100 and armatures 101, 102.

In the event of a foul when a strike is made with the first ball, the foul signal (from the automatic pin setter) is created immediately upon the player stepping on the foul line. In such case in the alloy 10, the coil 87 is energized to move the armature 89 to a position that breaks the ground connection to the coil 85. Accordingly, the strike signal is not effective to set the previously described cycle of events into operation. Instead, our system operates in the normal manner so that when the ball reaches the end of the return track, the plate 35 is tilted to direct it toward the alley 10. The same operation occurs of course, when a foul is made in bowling a strike on the other alley 11.

FIGURE 7 illustrates a director element in the form of a rectangular plate 114 that is operated as a swinging barrier. The plate 110 is pivoted at one end, as on a shaft 111 extending through the floor of the cross-piece 31. The free end of the plate is located adjacent the end of the return track 26, and is adapted to swing between the sides of the return track. Support stops 112, 113 on the sides of the return track serve to prevent the free end of the plate 110 from being forced past the sides of the track. Thus, if the free end of the plate 110 abuts the stop 112, a ball leaving the return track is deflected by the plate to move onto the right-hand portion of the crosspiece.

The plate 110 is controlled by a motor 114 that is drivably connected to the shaft 111. In such arrangement, the motor 114 is a reversible motor operated from the control circuit.

FIGURE 8 illustrates an arrangement wherein only one solenoid 41 is utilized to actuate the plate 35. In this arrangement, the other end of the plate is continually urged down by a spring 115. Thus, the plate is normally held in a position wherein it is tilted toward one alley. The solenoid 41 upon being energized pulls the adjacent end of the plate down. The strength of the magnetic field is suflicient to overcome the pull of the spring 115.

FIGURE 9 illustrates other variations in circuit arrangements for directing a bowling ball in the desired manner. In this circuit, the b and contacts are connected to time delay means 1116. This apparatus operates, when the arm 51 is connected to such contacts, to delay the operation of the electromagnet all for the period of time required for a ball that :actuates the switch 45 to reach the end of the return track.

From the foregoing, it will be readily apparent that various modifications can be made in the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of our invention. Accordingly, We do not intend that our invention shall be limited, except as by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A directing system for spherical articles comprising: conveyor means for spherical articles, said conveyor means at one point having different branches for storage along which said spherical articles can move from said conveyor means; means for directing said spherical articles along different paths onto said conveyor means at another point thereon; movable means at said one point adjustable to cause spherical articles arriving at said one point to be directed onto one of said branches; and means coupled to said movable means and selectively responsive in accordance with the specific paths by which said spherical articles pass onto said conveyor means so that, upon each such article reaching said one point, said movable means is positioned to direct it onto a predetermined one of said branches, whereby the branch onto which an article is directed is determined by the path from which it passed onto said conveyor means.

(2. In combination with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys having rear pits, wherein the pits have adjacent doors through which balls pass to a return mechanism for effecting their passage along a return lane to the front of the alleys, and wherein the balls on reaching the front end of the return lane pass onto the center of a crosspiece that extends on either side of the return lane, director apparatus comprising: a magnetic element tiltably supported in the center of the cross-piece; respective inductive means adjacent the ends of said magnetic element; and memory switching means to energize said inductive means, including respective switches to be actuated upon the doors in the rear pits being opened by the balls, said memory Switching means being operable so that the magnetic element is tilted toward one end of the cross-piece when balls returned from the alley reach the cross-piece,

and toward the other end of the crosspiece when balls returned from the other alley reach the cross-piece.

3. In a bowling alley construction wherein a pair of adjacent alleys are provided with a common return track extending from the rear portions of the alleys to the forward ends thereof, and wherein balls leaving the rear portions pass to a ball return mechanism to be returned to the front ends along the return track, ball control means comprising: means providing ball retaining track terminals that extend in different directions from the forward end of the return track; a movable element located intermediate said track terminals adjacent the forward end of the return track, said movable element having respective positions wherein it directs balls arriving at the forward end of the return track onto the respective track terminals; means for moving said movable element to its respective positions; control means for operating said moving means including respective switches positioned at the rear portions of the respective alleys so as to be actuated by balls leaving such rear portions, said control means being responsive to each switch when actuated to position said movable element so that the ball that actuated the switch is forced to pass onto a particular one of said track terminals.

4. The combination defined in claim 3, wherein said control means includes a vertical shaft supporting said movable element for horizontal movement; and means for changing the angular position of said shaft upon actuation of one of said switches to selectively place said movable element in one of said respective positions.

5. The combination defined in claim 3, wherein said movable element is supported to be selectively tilted toward said track terminals, said movable element having magnetic means, and wherein said control means includes means below said movable element to selectively attract said magnetic means downwardly to tilt said movable element toward a respective track terminal upon actuation of a particular switch.

6. The combination defined in claim 3, wherein said movable element is an elongated tiltable element; means normally biasing said movable element at one end so that it tilts toward one track terminal; magnetic means affixed to the opposite end of said movable element; and means below said movable element and operable upon actuation of one of the switches to attract said magnetic means downwardly so as to tilt said movable element toward the other track terminal.

7. A bowling ball handling apparatus associated with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys each having a pit, comprising, bowling ball storage means located adjacent the bowlers end of a pair of adjacent bowling alleys including a plurality of separate ball storage areas, ball return means including a common ball return track for delivering balls from the pits of adjacent alleys to the storage means, movably mounted means for directing balls on the track selectively to the separate storage areas, ball detecting means respectively associated with the adjacent pits respectively for sensing movement of balls from adjacent pits toward the common return track, and means responsive to the ball detecting means and controlling the movably mounted ball directing means for moving the latter to direct a particular ball to a particular storage area dependent upon the pit from which it comes.

8. A combination as defined in claim 7, including means associated respectively with the separate storage areas for sensing ball return to the areas and providing a signal indicative of ball arrival ctor conditioning the said responsive means to be suitably actuated for directing the next ball.

9. A bowling ball handling apparatus associated with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys each having a pit, comprising, bowling ball storage means located adjacent the bowlers end of a pair of adjacent bowling alleys including a pair of separate ball storage areas associated respectively with the two alleys, ball return means including a common ball return track for delivering balls from the pits of adjacent alleys to the storage means, movably mounted means for directing balls from the track selectively to the separate storage areas, ball detecting means respectively for sensing movement of balls from adjacent bowling alley pits toward the common return track, and means responsive to the ball detecting means and controlling the movably mounted ball directing means for moving the latter to direct a particular ball to that storage area associated with the alley from which the ball came.

10. A bowling ball handling apparatus associated with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys each having a pit, comprising, bowling ball storage means located adjacent the bowlers end of a pair of adjacent bowling alleys including a pair of separate ball storage areas associated respectively with the two alleys, bali return means including a common ball return track for delivering balls from the pits of adjacent alleys to the storage means, movably mounted means for directing balls from the track selectively to the separate storage areas, ball detecting means respectively for sensing movement of balls from adjacent bowling alley pits toward the common return track, and means responsive to the ball detecting means and controlling the movably mounted b all directing means for moving the latter to direct a particular ball to the storage area associated with the alley opposite that from which the ball came.

11. A bowling ball handling apparatus associated with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys each having a pit, comprising, bowling bali storage means located adjacent the bowlers end of a pair of adjacent bowling alleys including a pair of separate ball storage areas associated respectively with the two alleys, ball return means including a common ba-ll return track for delivering balls from the pits of adjacent alleys to the storage means, movably mounted means for directing balls from the track selectively to the separate storage areas, ball detecting means respectively for sensing movement of balls from adjacent bowling alley pits toward the common return track, and means responsive to the ball detecting means and controlling the movably mounted ball directing means for moving the latter to direct a particular ball, the first time it is rolled on one alley, to that storage area associated with the alley from which it came, and to direct said particular ball, the second time it is rolled on said one alley, to the storage area associated with the other alley.

12. A combination as defined in claim 11, including means for receiving a signal if a strike occurs on said one alley the first time said particular ball is rolled thereon and controlling said movably mounted bail directing means for moving the latter to direct said particular ball, following said first rolling, to the storage area associated with said other alley.

13. A combination as defined in claim 12, including a control for receiving a signal in the event a foul is committed on said one alley when said strike is made and disabling said last recited means.

14. A bowling ball handing apparatus associated with a pair of adjacent bowling alleys each having a pit, comprising, bowling ball storage means located adjacent the bowlers end of a pair of adjacent bowling alleys including a plurality of separate ball storage areas, a common ball return track for delivering balls from adjacent alleys to the storage means, ball return means associated respectively with the pits of adjacent alleys for directing balls therefrom toward said common return track, movably mounted means for directing balls on the track selectively to the separate storage areas, drive means for moving the ball directing means, ball detecting means associated respectively with the ball return means for sensing movement of balls from adjacent bowling alley pits toward the common return track, and means responsive to the 10 ball detecting means and controlling the drive means for moving the ball directing means to direct a particular ball to a particular storage area dependent upon the pit from which it comes.

15. A combination as defined in claim 14 including means associated respectively with the separate ball storage areas for sensing ball return to the areas and providing a signal indicative of ball arrival for conditioning the drive means to be suitably actuated to direct the next ball.

16. In bowling apparatus having a ball return track and means to direct balls from adjacent alleys onto one end of the return track, the combination of: terminal track elements extending along two paths away from the opposite end of the return track, said terminal track elements having ball retaining track portions tilted downwardly from the end of the return track, whereby balls leaving the return track and rolling onto said terminal track elements are retained thereon; switch means positioned at the rear portions of each alley so as to be actuated by balls passing from the respective alley to the ball return track; director means at the end of the return track being selectively movable to a position to cause a ball reaching the opposite end of the return track to be deflected toward and to roll onto a desired terminal track element; and control means for selectively operating said director means, said control means being operable by each switch means to cause the director means to move to a predetermined position to preselect the terminal track element onto which to cause a particular ball to roll and be retained dependent upon the alley from which it came.

17. A control system for bowling apparatus comprising: a common return track adapted at one end for receiving balls rolled along a pair of adjacent alleys; switch means positioned at the rear portions of each alley so as to be actuated by balls passing from the respective alley to the common return track; a pair of terminal track elements extending along two paths away from the opposite end of the return track, said terminal track elements having ball retaining track portions tilted downwardly from said opposite end of the return track, whereby balls leaving the return track can roll onto and be retained on said terminal track elements; a ball deflector at said opposite end of the return track being selectively movable to cause a ball reaching the end of the return track to roll onto one or the other terminal track element; and control means operable by balls operating said switch means to set the ball deflector in a position to direct a particular ball onto a particular terminal track element dependent upon the alley from which the ball came.

18. In a bowling alley construction, the combination, with a pair of adjacent alleys having a common return track extending from the rear portions of the alleys to the front ends thereof, wherein the rear portions of the alleys are constructed to cause balls to pass from the alleys to a mechanism for returning them along the common return track, of: ball control means including means providing track terminals at the forward end of the return track that extend in different directions from such forward end; a movable element located intermediate said track terminals, said element having respective positions wherein it can direct balls arriving at the end of the return track onto either of the track terminals; means for moving said element; switch means positioned at the rear portions of each alley so as to be actuated by balls passing from the respective alley to the ball return mechanism; and control means for said moving means operable in response to a ball passing from either alley and operating the associated switch means to cause said moving means to move said element to a predetermined one of its positions by the time such ball reaches the forward end of the return track, thereby to preselect track terminals onto which balls from either alley are directed.

19. The combination defined in claim 18 wherein said control means is adapted during open bowling to cause 11 each ball to be directed onto the track terminal nearest the alley from which it was bowled.

20. The combination defined in claim 18 wherein said control means is adapted during team bowling to cause successive balls of a. player to be directed alternately onto the respective track terminals that are adjacent to and remote from the alley from which the player bowled.

21. The combination defined in claim 20, further including means to generate respective signals to indicate strike and foul when the first ball a player bowls is a strike ball, said control means operating in response to the strike signal to cause such strike bfll to be directed onto the track terminal remote from the alley on which the ball was bowled, said control means operating in response to the foul signal to cause such strike ball to be directed onto the track terminal nearest the alley from which the ball was bowled.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,037,931 Schmidt Apr. 21, 1936 2,146,581 Kaufman Feb. 7, 1939 2,570,923 Dodge Oct. 9, 1951 2,668,483 Sykes Feb. 9, 1954 2,683,602 Dumas et a1 July 13, 1954 2,765,172 Zuercher et al Oct. 2, 1956 2,788,972 Turner Apr. 16, 1957 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent, N0. 3,099 ,446 July 30 1963 Raymond V. Stegman et a1.

It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patant requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 8, line 1, for "the", first occurrence read one column 9, line 61, for "handing" read handling Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1964.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWIN L. REYNOLDS ERNEST W. SWIDER Attesting Officer AC g Commissioner of Patents

Claims (1)

1. A DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR SPHERICAL ARTICLES COMPRISING: CONVEYOR MEANS FOR SPHERICAL ARTICLES, SAID CONVEYOR MEANS AT ONE POINT HAVING DIFFERENT BRANCHES FOR STORAGE ALONG WHICH SAID SPHERICAL ARTICLES CAN MOVE FROM SAID CONVEYOR MEANS; MEANS FOR DIRECTING SAID SPHERICAL ARTICLES ALONG DIFFERENT PATHS ONTO SAID CONVEYOR MEANS AT ANOTHER POINT THEREON; MOVABLE MEANS AT SAID ONE POINT ADJUSTABLE TO CAUSE SPHERICAL ARTICLES ARRIVING AT SAID ONE POINT TO BE DIRECTED ONTO ONE OF SAID BRANCHES; AND MEANS COUPLED TO SAID MOVABLE MEANS AND SELECITVELY RESPONSIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFIC PATHS BY WHICH SAID SPHERICAL ARTICLES PASS ONTO SAID CONVEYOR MEANS SO THAT, UPON EACH SUCH ARTICLE REACHING SAID ONE POINT, SAID MOVABLE MEANS IS POSITIONED TO DIRECT IT ONTO A PREDETERMINED ONE OF SAID BRANCHES, WHEREBY THE BRANCH ONTO WHICH AN ARTICLE IS DIRECTED IS DETERMINED BY THE PATH FROM WHICH IT PASSED ONTO SAID CONVEYOR MEANS.
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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3215433A (en) * 1962-06-14 1965-11-02 Elmer R Thomsen Control system for returning bowled balls to selected racks
US3309085A (en) * 1963-08-05 1967-03-14 Cleveland Trust Co Collapsible rail section for directing bowling ball into storage pocket
US3466041A (en) * 1963-04-25 1969-09-09 Brunswick Corp Control system
US3501145A (en) * 1963-07-16 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Apparatus for selectively returning bowling balls to storage pockets
US3501146A (en) * 1963-10-22 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Ball storage pockets and means for selectively tilting same toward adjacent alleys
US3501147A (en) * 1964-04-10 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Ball return apparatus with selective direction of balls to accessible pick-up areas
US3753561A (en) * 1971-09-29 1973-08-21 Brunswick Corp Cluster ball rack with ball director
JPS4918679U (en) * 1972-05-24 1974-02-16
US3806119A (en) * 1972-09-11 1974-04-23 N Mosciatti Miniature soccer-football game toy

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2037931A (en) * 1934-08-10 1936-04-21 Continental Can Co Can conveyer
US2146581A (en) * 1934-11-12 1939-02-07 Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp Method and apparatus for classifying metal sheets
US2570923A (en) * 1946-08-29 1951-10-09 Continental Can Co Distributor for gravity runways
US2668483A (en) * 1951-01-11 1954-02-09 Toronto Star Ltd Stacking device
US2683602A (en) * 1950-01-28 1954-07-13 American Mach & Foundry Foul detecting and signaling mechanism
US2765172A (en) * 1951-05-01 1956-10-02 American Mach & Foundry Bowling ball handling and return mechanism
US2788972A (en) * 1955-06-20 1957-04-16 Martin F Turner Ball return terminal units

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2037931A (en) * 1934-08-10 1936-04-21 Continental Can Co Can conveyer
US2146581A (en) * 1934-11-12 1939-02-07 Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp Method and apparatus for classifying metal sheets
US2570923A (en) * 1946-08-29 1951-10-09 Continental Can Co Distributor for gravity runways
US2683602A (en) * 1950-01-28 1954-07-13 American Mach & Foundry Foul detecting and signaling mechanism
US2668483A (en) * 1951-01-11 1954-02-09 Toronto Star Ltd Stacking device
US2765172A (en) * 1951-05-01 1956-10-02 American Mach & Foundry Bowling ball handling and return mechanism
US2788972A (en) * 1955-06-20 1957-04-16 Martin F Turner Ball return terminal units

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3215433A (en) * 1962-06-14 1965-11-02 Elmer R Thomsen Control system for returning bowled balls to selected racks
US3466041A (en) * 1963-04-25 1969-09-09 Brunswick Corp Control system
US3501145A (en) * 1963-07-16 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Apparatus for selectively returning bowling balls to storage pockets
US3309085A (en) * 1963-08-05 1967-03-14 Cleveland Trust Co Collapsible rail section for directing bowling ball into storage pocket
US3501146A (en) * 1963-10-22 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Ball storage pockets and means for selectively tilting same toward adjacent alleys
US3501147A (en) * 1964-04-10 1970-03-17 Brunswick Corp Ball return apparatus with selective direction of balls to accessible pick-up areas
US3753561A (en) * 1971-09-29 1973-08-21 Brunswick Corp Cluster ball rack with ball director
JPS4918679U (en) * 1972-05-24 1974-02-16
US3806119A (en) * 1972-09-11 1974-04-23 N Mosciatti Miniature soccer-football game toy

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