US3292925A - Bowling pin handling and setting apparatus - Google Patents

Bowling pin handling and setting apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US3292925A
US3292925A US325561A US32556163A US3292925A US 3292925 A US3292925 A US 3292925A US 325561 A US325561 A US 325561A US 32556163 A US32556163 A US 32556163A US 3292925 A US3292925 A US 3292925A
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pins
pin
discharge
playing surface
ball
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US325561A
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George D Barry
Fabian F Soukup
James E Rankin
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING GAMES, e.g. SKITTLES, BOCCE OR BOWLS; INSTALLATIONS THEREFOR; BAGATELLE OR SIMILAR GAMES; BILLIARDS
    • A63D5/00Accessories for bowling-alleys or table alleys
    • A63D5/08Arrangements for setting-up or taking away pins
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING GAMES, e.g. SKITTLES, BOCCE OR BOWLS; INSTALLATIONS THEREFOR; BAGATELLE OR SIMILAR GAMES; BILLIARDS
    • A63D5/00Accessories for bowling-alleys or table alleys
    • A63D5/02Apparatus for trapping or lifting the balls; Separate devices for returning the balls

Definitions

  • the present invention generally relates to a pin and ball game apparatus in which the pins are spotted at one end of an elongated playing surface in a particular pattern and the ball is projected toward the pin from the opposite end of the elongated surface with the object of the game played with the apparatus of the present invention being to knock down as many of the pins as is possible with an allotted number of balls.
  • An object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus in which the pins are symmetrical in construction along their longitudinal axis with each end thereof being provided with a ferrous insert or plate subject to magnetic attraction whereby the pins may be elevated from or discharged onto the target area or pin deck of the elongated playing surface or alley by employing magnetism preferably in the form of an electromagnet whereby the pins may be picked up, transferred in a suspended position and lowered back to a desired position all by the use of an electromagnet thereby simplifying the operation of lifting remaining pins to an elevated position when sweeping the playing surface and the gutters alongside thereof after which the pins are spotted back in their exact position or for lowering a group of pins after all of the pins on the playing surface have either been swept therefrom or knocked therefrom by impact from the ball.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus in which the pins may be picked up from either end inasmuch as they are symmetrical in configuration along the longitudinal axis and provided with a ferrous insert on each end thereof.
  • a further important object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus involving a novel ball return mechanism requiring no lifting operation whatsoever together with a novel pin separator and elevator arrangement together with a plurality of guide tubes guiding the pins back into a pin holder which will hold the pins in the desired pattern until they are picked up by the electromagnet and deposited onto the playing surface at the desired position.
  • Yet another important feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus including a single electromagnet for positioning the pins on the playing surface thereby enabling the pins to be picked up from the playing surface even if they have been skidded slightly out of their normal position without actually being toppled over thus enabling the pins to be set in exactly the same position due to the single magnetic surface which will equal the pin setting surface area.
  • Still another important feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus having a push-type sweeper that moves longitudinally along the playing surface and then upwardly and forwardly around spaced head and tail sprockets.
  • Still another object of the invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus having an elevating and spotting mechanism employing a magazine which stores the pins and then discharges them all at one time into a holder from which the magnet picks them up by the ⁇ top end ICC in a suspended position and resets them on the playing surface.
  • Yet another feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus employing a gravity ball return together with a novel separating mechanism for separating the pins from the balls and also feeding the pins into an elevated mechanism one at a time in a longitudinal direction whereby the elevating flights on the elevating mechanism will properly receive a single pin.
  • the pin is provided with a groove in the center thereof for matching with a projection in the flights for orientating the pins properly in relation thereto for discharge into the storage magazine which will receive only a predetermined number of pins with any excess pins being discharged back int-o the hopper rearwardly ofthe playing surface.
  • the present invention is generally compact in construction and does not require any elaborate building modification such as pits and the like and can be readily transported to another location with very little problems regarding modifications of building structures and the like. Moreover, the invention is relatively simple and foolproof in operation and requires very little vservice and maintenance.
  • FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the ball and pin game apparatus illustrating the end of the playing surface together with the association of the structural components of the elevating mechanism and pin spotting mechanism;
  • FIGURES 2 and 2A are vertical sectional views taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2-2 of FIGURE l illustrating the orientation of the pin separating mechanism, the sweeper, the spotting mechanism and the elevating mechanism;
  • FIGURES 3 and 3A are transverse, sectional views, with portions thereof broken away illustrating further relationships between the components of the invention and also illustrating certain structural details thereof;
  • FIGURE 4 is detailed sectional view of the pin storage magazine
  • FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of one of the pins ernployed in the present invention.
  • FIGURE 6 is a detailed lsectional view of one of the pins illustrating the structure thereof which is associated with the storage casing for positioning the pin accurately thereon;
  • FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the projecting implement employed for projecting the balls toward the pins.
  • the numeral 10 generally designates the pin and ball game apparatus of the present invention which includes an elongated playing surface or alley 12 having generally U-shaped gutters 14 along each side thereof with the playing surface or alley being relatively narrow and covered with a cushioning material such as felt or the like such as is normally ernployed in pool tables and the like.
  • the playing surface and the entire game apparatus may be constructed in the form of a table with one end thereof being a target end and the other end being a projecting end in which event a player will stand at the projection end and will project a spherical ball 16 towards the target end by employing an elongated tapered stick 18 which may be called a lance having a ball engaging tip 2t) on the small end thereof and provided with a disk-type stop 22 thereon -to limit the stroke of the lance 18 with the stop 22 being disposed an appropriate distance from the tip 20 so that the stop 22 will effectively limit the length of stroke of the lance or stick 13.
  • pins 24 At the target rarea of the pin and game apparatus, there is provided a plurality of pins 24.
  • the pins 24 are spotted in a triangular pattern with the apex of the triangle being in the center of the alley 12 and nearest to the projection end somewhat in the nature of a pin spot arrangement employed in bowling. When the ball comes into contact with the pins 24, some or 4all of the pins will be knocked over in a known manner.
  • Each pin 24 is symmetrical about its longitudinal axis and includes a solid body 26 of generally oval-shaped external configuration with .the ends thereof tapering as at 28.
  • a peripheral groove 30 that is U-shaped in crosssectional configuration or semi-cylindrical in cross-sectional configuration and at each end of the body 26 there is provided -a fiat plate or washer 32 held in place by a wood screw 34 that is countersunk so that the external surface of the wood screw 34 is fiush with the external surface of the plate 32 thereby presenting smooth end surfaces for positioning on the playing surface or alley 12.
  • the plate 32 and the wood screw 34 are both constructed for a ferrous material whereby each end of the lpin 24 is subject to magnetic attraction so that the pins may be picked up from either end by a magnet for positioning the pins initially in place on the playing surface 12 or for picking up the pins from the playing surface and repositioning them in place after the playing surface has been swept.
  • the playing surface or alley 12 terminatesin spaced relation to a rear wall 36 which may or may not be cushioned as desired.
  • a rear wall 36 which may or may not be cushioned as desired.
  • an inclined bottom wall 38 Depending downwardly from the rear wall 36 and inclined inwardly is an inclined bottom wall 38.
  • an inclined bottom wall 40 Depending downwardly and inclined from the -rear edge of the playing surface 12 is an inclined bottom wall 40.
  • the inclined walls 3S and 40 are interconnected by vertically disposed side walls 42 and 44 thus defining a hopper with inclined bottom walls 38 and 40 which converge towards each other but which also slope downwardly and to the right as illustrated in FIGURE 3 when viewed from the rear.
  • the bottom edges of the inclined bottom walls 38 and 40 of the hopper are spaced from each other to define an elongated narrow entrance opening 46 for receiving the pins.
  • the entrance opening 46 is of insufficient width to receive the ball 16.
  • an opening 48 in the wall 40 communicating with a generally U-shaped trough 50 which is inclined downwardly and forwardly thereby enabling discharge of the ball 16 inasmuch as the balls will gravitate down the inclined walls 38 and 40 until the entrance opening 46 is engaged and then since the balls cannot proceed downwardly through the opening 46, they will gravitate to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3A and be discharged through the opening 48 onto the return trough 50 for return to the projection end ofthe playing surface.
  • a deflector 52 is mounted adjacent the upper end of the side walls 44.
  • the deflector 52 is arcuate in configuration and provided with a concave lower edge 54 which is disposed inwardly of the confines of the opening 48 thus deflecting any pins away from the opening 48 when they are discharged into the hopper to assure that lthe pins 24 will be discharged through the entrance opening 46 prior to their passing downwardly along the slope of the walls 38 and 40 towards the opening 48 thereby assuring that only the balls 16 will be discharged through the opening 48.
  • the discharge opening 46 is defined by spaced walls 56 and 58 which are connected with the side walls 42 and 48 which are shaped to conform to the configuration of the hopper as illustrated in FIGURE 2A. Moreover, the side wall 42 is connected with an elongated slanted bottom wall 60 that extends completely under 4 the opening 46 but is spaced therebelow inclined downwardly and to the right as illustrated in FIGURE 3A.
  • the side wall 44 is provided with an inwardly inclined wall 62 between the walls 56 and 58 and then this terminates in a vertical wall portion 64 all of which defines a discharge chute for the pins '24.
  • the lower end of the discharge defined by the walls 56 and 58, the bottom wall 60 and the wall portions ⁇ 62 and 64 is communicated with an inclined discharge conduit or tube 66 which in turn communicates withV an inclined chute 68 extending laterally from the inside of the tube 66 to discharge the pins 24 into a pin elevator generally designated by the numeral 70.
  • a mechanism for assuring that the pins are orientated properly when discharged into the tube or conduit 66 includes a slowly driven roller 72 of relatively large diameter having the upper periphery thereof projecting through an aperture 74 in the lower end of the discharge tube 66.
  • a spring loaded roller 76 is disposed above the tube 66 and has a portion thereof projecting through an opening 78 in the top of the discharge tube 66 and this roller acts as a spacing or timing device for feeding the pins 24 to the eleva-tor mechanism 7 0.
  • Disposed at the entrance end of the tube 66 is a driver roller 80 having knobs ⁇ 82 on the peripheral surface thereof with the periphery thereof projecting through an opening 84 in the wall 64 where it joins with the discharge tube 66.
  • the knobby surface 82 of the roller serves to agitate the pins 24 to insure continuous flow of pins 24 into the spacing rollers 72 and 76.
  • the driven rollers 72 and 80 are carried by shafts 86 and 8S respectively journalled in bearings 90 and 92 of any suitable configuration with the shaft y86 having a drive pulley 94 thereon and the shaft 88 having a drive pulley 96 thereon which are interconnected by a belt 98.
  • These pulleys are driven by a suitable source of power such as an electric motor 100 provided with suitable output mechanisms connected .to the various pulleys as required.
  • the elevator mechanism 70 includes a vertically elongated housing 102 having a 4bottom roller 104 and ⁇ a top roller 106 disposed at the extremities of the housing 102 with the rollers 104 and 106 being disposed in vertical alignment with a generally lightweight conveyor belt 108 entrained thereover. Adjacent the bottom end of the housing 102 and at one side thereof the chute surface 68 is communicated with an opening 110 with the side edges of the opening 1.10 being defined by side walls 112 to guide the pins 24 into the space between the conveyor belt 108 and the housing 102. A plurality of longitudinally spaced fiights 114 are secured to the conveyor belt 108 for receiving the -pins 24.
  • each of the flights is generally fiat, inclined and provided with a notch 116 in the center thereof aligned with the groove 30 in the pin body 26 as illustrated in FIGURE 6 land the lower pulley or roller 104 is driven from the same power source by lan output shaft 118 as illustrated in FIGURE 3 and the housing 102 may or may not be provided with end walls since it is not necessary to close the ends of the flights.
  • the alpper and lower ends of the housing 102 are both arcuately rounded as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 2A.
  • the elevator mechanism discharges the pins 24 into a storage magazine 120 which includes an inclined entrance chute or tube 122 at the upper end thereof that is communicated with a discharge opening 124 at the upper end of the housing 102 on the opposite side from the inlet chute 68 for the elevator.
  • the bottom of the inlet tube 122 includes fingers 126 projecting inwardly beyond the outer edges of the flights 114 to pick up the pins 24 therefrom and discharge the -pins down the inclined entrance chute or tube 122 into a vertical housing 128.
  • the housing 128 includes spaced walls 130 and 132 and also Walls 134 and v136.
  • the inlet conduit or tube 122 communicates with a vertical passageway 138 defined by the Walls and pivotally mounted along one edge of the passageway 138 is a plurality of deectors 140 each being pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 142.
  • the bottommost deflector is designated by numeral 144 and is stationary but provided with a ,generally troughshaped lower end 146 for receiving the pin.
  • the inner surface of the wall 130 and the bottom of the entrance chute 122 and chute 68 include a rib 148 which is received in the ⁇ groove 30 in the pin body 26 as illustrated in FIGURE 6.
  • the other deectors .140 above the bottorn deflector 144 are pivotally mounted on the pins 142 and each includes -a weight 149 on the end thereof adjacent the wall 132 whereby the weight 149 will normally swing the deilector 140 into substantially a vertical position as illustrated in dotted line in FIGURE 4. However, when a pin 24 rolls down a lower deilector into the trough 146, the next uppermost deflector will be pivoted through an inclined position so that it will engage and deflect the next succeeding pin.
  • the uppermost dellector 140 does not have the trough ⁇ and becomes aligned with a discharge opening 150 in the wall 132. Actually, there will be ten troughs 146 and any excess pins will be discharged from the opening 150 since they will merely roll out of the opening 150 and back into the hopper area for circulation through the elevator mechanism again.
  • the plate 156 is operated by a pair of solenoids (not shown) which will act on the push plate or push bar simultaneously for operating the plungers or push rods simultaneously to move inwardly in the plunger .guides 154 thus ejecting the pins 24 from the storage magazine housing 128 by .projecting the pins out of the trough 146 and into a -plurality of discharge tubes 158 which ⁇ are xed to the wall 136 Iand which are all downwardly inclined and terminates in the same horizontal plane in a discharge end 158 which discharge ends S are orientated in a particular pattern
  • the pin holder 160 is illustrated in FIGURE 3A as is the relationship of the discharge end 158 of the tubes 156 whereby the pins 24 will be placed in sockets or pockets 162 conforming to the shape -and configuration of the end portion of the pins 24.
  • the pattern of orientation of the discharge end 158 of the tubes 156 is the same as the pattern of the sockets or pockets 162 whereby the pin 24 being discharged down the tube Will come to rest with the lower end thereof in the pocket or socket 162.
  • the tubes 156 are all curved thus retarding the rate of descent along the tubes thereby Iassuring that lshe pins will be lproperly orientated in the pockets 162 in the holder 160 which is lalso generally triangular in configuration.
  • the holder 160 is provided with a bracket structure 164 that is supported pivotally from an upstanding post or support 166 for swinging movement from a position underlying the discharge end lof the tube 156 to a position underlying an electromagnetic assembly 168 which includes an elevatable head 170 having a planar magnetic surface 172 which is magnetized when the electromagnets are energized thus picking up the pins 24 and supporting them in suspended relationship as illustrated in FIGURE 2.
  • the electromagnetic assembly 168 is orientated in elevated position above the horizontal swinging plane of the holder 160 so that the holder 160 may swing under the magnetic surface 172 whereby all of the pins 24 may be engaged by the magnetic surface 172 thereby suspending the pins 24 as illustrated in FIGURE 2.
  • the holder 160 When the holder 160 swings into position aligned with the electromagnetic surface 172, it moves upwardly to engage the magnetic plate 32 on the end of the pin 26 with the magnetic surface 172 and then is moved downwardly and back to its original position in alignment with the tubes 158.
  • the electromagnetic assembly at the appropriate time will be lowered so that the pins 24 will be dropped down into engagement with the playing surface 12 at which time the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be deenergized thereby releasing the pin 24 and the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be elevated back to its normal position.
  • the electromagnetic assembly 168 includes a mounting plate 174 and an elongated rigid tube 176 fixed thereto and extending through a guide 178.
  • a exible cord or cable is attached to the upper end of the elongated guide member 176 and is entrained over a pulley 182 whereby linear movement of the cable 180 will cause longitudinal movement of the guide 176 thereby reciprocating the electromagnetic assembly 168.
  • the cable 180 is attached to an eccentric pin 184 carried by an enlarged drive wheel 186 supported on suitable bearing blocks 188 and by a shaft 190 supported by the bearing blocks 188.
  • the Wheel 186 is grooved as at 192 for receiving a drive belt 194 whereby the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be elevated and reciprocated as becomes necessary.
  • a pair of endless chains 196 and 198 which are entrained over head sprockets 200 and tail sprockets 202.
  • the tail sprockets 202 are mounted on ⁇ a transverse shaft 204 while the head sprockets 200 are mounted on stub shaft 206 journalled on suitable side plates 208 which do not project beyond the periphery of the sprockets 200 and 202 thereby enabling a transverse brush member 210 mounted on a transverse rod carried by the chains 196 and 198 to follow the path of movement of the chains.
  • the brush 210 has an arrangement of structure 212 which conforms with and engages the upper surface of the playing surface 12 as well as the alleys 14 as illustrated in FIGURE 3A so that any pins or balls laying in this area will be swept to the rear and ofrr the rear edge of the playing surface.
  • the brush 210 will proceed around the tail sprockets 202 and due to the flexible or pivotal connection to the sprocket chain, it will be able to pass by the shaft 204 and also the brush will normally be in an out-of-the-way position either in the upper run of the chain or at least elevated above the lower run of the chain.
  • the side walls 42 and 44 include upward extensions 214 to prevent the pins or balls from lying laterally from the pin deck area and these side walls also are attached to vertical supporting frame members 216 at the rear thereof and forward vertical supporting frame members 220 as illustrated in FIG- URE l and the frame members 220 may include a fron-t board or wall 222 in order t-o conceal the working components of the structure of the present invention.
  • Various supporting structures may be provided as desired including a vertical support member 224 which includes a transverse member 226 underlying and engaging the playing surface 12 to rigidify such surface and the support member 224 may be attached to transverse bottom frame members 228 thus rendering the entire structure independent of the floor surface for enabling easy portability thereof as desired.
  • FIGURE 3A illustrates the construction of the ights 114 including the notch or groove 116 therein which forms a pair of fingers so that the projecting fingers 126 can pass therethrough for picking up the pins 24 from the conveyor ights 114.
  • a suitable light 230 carried by a socket 232 may be adjustably mounted on the inner surface of the front wall 220 for illuminating the pit deck area so that the target may be properly illuminated. The light is in the center of the alley so that no undesirable shadows will be produced.
  • the discharge opening 150 is preferably provided with a guide tube 234 for directing overflow pin back into the hopper. Also, spaces 236 may be provided between the side members where the chains 196 and 198 are disposed for spacing the guards 206 as well as the side walls 214 in properly spaced relationship.
  • the person using the lance stick 18 will project the ball at the set of pins at the target end of the playing surface 12.
  • the ball 16 upon contact with the pins 24 will knock down all or some of the pins 24.
  • the electromagnetic assembly 168 will then lower and pick up any pins 24 which are left standing regardless of their position and rise again to its original position.
  • the ball 16 meanwhile has rolled into the hopper and rolled down a sloping surface into the ball return tube or trough. Any pins 24 left on the playing surface or in the gutters are then swept off by the sweeper mechanism into the hopper.
  • the electromagnet After the sweeping operation, the electromagnet then lowers and places the remaining fpins 24 -back on the playing surface thus giving the player an opportunity to knock down the remaining pins 24 and increase his score.
  • the pins 24 After the pins 24 have entered the hopper, they roll into the restricted trough which aligns them all lengthwise.
  • the pins 24 then slide down the Ibottom inclined surface 60 of the trou-gh and are rolled through between the slowly driven roller 72 and a spring loaded roller 76 which acts as spacing or timing devices for feeding the pins 24 to the elevator mechanism 70.
  • the knobby driven roller 80 agitates the pins 24 to insure continuous flow of pins 24 into the spacing rollers 72 and 76.
  • the pins 24 are fed into the elevator 70 and ride up on the fingered flights or brackets 114 which are attached to a fiat lightweight -belt 108. At the top of the elevator, the pins 24 roll by gravity onto the fingers 116 which protrude into and Amesh with the 'brackets or flights 114. The pins 24 then roll down an inclined surface of the chute 122 and are guided and prevented from turning sideways by the half-moon rail or projection 148 on the wall 130 and also this projection 148 is found on the inclined surfaces of the inlet 122.
  • the projection or rib 148 fits into the groove at the center of the pin 24 and the .pin 24 falls by gravity until reaching a deflector or gate which has been deflected by a previous pin and held in position which diverts the following pin into the next compartment directly above.
  • the tenth pin goes into its storage compartment or trough 146, it closes the -nal gate or defiector 140 thus permitting any surplus pins 24 to fall out through'the opening 150 and back through the overow tube 234 into the hopper.
  • the pins 24 are all ejected into their individual feeding tubes 156 by the push rod or plun-gers which are all activated at the same time.
  • the :pins 24 will slide endwise down the tube 156 by gravity and drop into the pin resetting holder 160.
  • the resetting holder 160 has ten properly shaped and placed depressions or pockets 162 which insure seatin-g and the proper setting position of pins 24.
  • the resetting holder 160 swings in and up under the electromagnetic assembly 168 which has a magnetized surface 172 whereby the :pins 24 are attracted -by and become attached to the surface 172 'by virtue of the metal ferrous plug in each end of the symmetrical pin 24.
  • the resetting holder 160 is then returned to its normal position and at the appropriate time, the electromagnetic assembly 168 comes down and releases the pins 24 in position on the playing surface 12 and another cycle is begun.
  • the system is fully automated in the timing of the respective .action and is controlled by electrical limit switches and other mechanical means commonly known to the trade .and the details of the control circuit and various electrical limit structures have not been illustrated in the present invention.
  • the system can be installed inside of buildings of standard ceiling heights and requires no pits or special foundations and can be easily removed and relocated to different quarters if desired and the structure is also capable of -being mounted onto or incorporated into a table-type structure which may be some- ⁇ what of Ia portable nature in that the structure could be moved to any desired location without any necessity to modify the location except to provide adequate room for the device and also to provide an electrical supply for supplying electrical energy to the various electric drive motors and controlsl therefor and also energy must be supplied to the electromagnetic assembly for energizing the yassembly at the appropriate time and also raising and lowering the assembly at the appropriate time.
  • a game area having an elongated playing surface thereon with a plurality of pins at one end and at least one ball projectable from the opposite end toward the pins for knocking the pins over, each pin having a -portion thereof subject to mag- ⁇ netic attraction, a hopper disposed rearwardly of and below the end of the playing surface having the pins thereon for receiving the pins and balls, said hopper including a bottom having a discharge slot of a dimension sufficient to receive the pins when disposed lengthwise but insufficient to receive the balls, discharge means communicating with the bottom of the hopper for receiving the balls, a defiector over the discharge means for the balls to defiect pins therefrom whereby the pins will be discharged from the discharge slot in the bottom of the hopper andthe balls discharged from the ball discharge means, an inclined chute under the hopper for receiving the pins therefrom, said chute terminating in a discharge tube, and oppositely disposed rollers having pen'pheries thereof projecting through the
  • said means receiving the -pins include a plurality of tubes extending from the storage casing downwardly and terminating in a single horizontal plane, a pin holder mounted for swinging movement in a horizontal plane under said discharge end of the tubes for receiving the pins therefrom, said holder Ibeing in the form of a plate having a plurality of pockets therein arranged in the same pattern as the discharge ends of the tubes and receiving the pins therefrom, and magnetic means mounted over the playing surface under which the holder for the pins may -be swung for enabling all of the pins to be picked up by the magnetic means after which the holder is moved to its normal position and the pins lowered onto the playing surface and released.
  • each pin is symmetrical about a longitudinal axis, and a central transverse axis, and provided with a central peripheral groove, said inclined chute under the hopper and the inclined entrance surface of the storage means including a longitudinal rib received in the groove of the pin to guide vthe pin straight during rolling movement thereof.
  • a pin and ball game apparatus comprisin-g a playing surface, a plurality of pins normally resting on said playing surface, a ball for launching at said pins for knocking the pins over, a hopper disposed adjacent the playing surface for receiving the ball and .pins which leave the playing surface, said hopper including downwardly converging bottom walls having the lower edges spaced apart to form a slot suiiicient in dimension to receive pins therethrough but insuicient fto permit passage of the ball, one of said walls having a ball discharge opening adjacent one end edge of the hopper, said lower edges of the botttom walls being inclined toward the ball discharge opening, and a downwardly and inwardly inclined deflector disposed above the ball discharge opening in order to deflect pins away from the ball discharge opening when they fall into lthe hopper, a pin discharge chute below the hopper in communication with the slot and having an inclined surface, each pin having a peripheral groove therein, said inclined surface having a longitudinal rib thereon engaged in said groove for retaining the pin
  • said casing includes deector means for deflecting the pins into the chambers in a vertical sequence, and means discharging excess pins from the casing back into the hopper.
  • An apparatus for storing and setting a plurality of pins employed in a vgame apparatus comprising a vertically disposed casing, a plurality of substantially horizontal compartments oriented in vertical alignment, said casing having an inlet at the upper end thereof for receiving pins for filling each of the compartments, means for discharging all of the pins from the compartments simultaneously, and means receiving said .pins from said compartments, said means receiving the pins from the compartments including individual tubes each extending downwardly to a discharge end, a plate underlying the discharge ends of the tubes, said plate having a plurality of sockets therein for receiving said pins from the tubes, a pin lowering and raising mechanism having means for lifting the pins from said plate, and means pivotally supporting said plate for swinging movement in a horizontal plane from a position underlying the disch-arge ends 0f the ltubes to a position underlying said pin lowering and raising mechanism whereby the pins may be lifted from the plate and lowered to a playing surface.

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Description

Dec. 20, 1966 G. D. BARRY ETAL 3,292,925
BOWLING PIN HANDLING AND SETTING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 22, 196s 5 sheets-sheet 1 WA y w /P i Q 94 m N r9 Q` N Fab/'an E 50u/rap James E Ran/rin [N VENTOKS Y #M3/Mx@ Dec. 20, 1966 G. D. BARRY ETAL 3,292,925
. BOWLING PIN HANDLING AND SETTING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 22, 1965 5 Sheets-Slfnaefl 2 Fig. 2
g //4 3 /r Y P 2 e l lw02 e ff i '2 g George 0. Barry Fab/an E Sou/rap James E Rank/'n INI/[ZN'I'ORS m ana/Wawy x De.2o,1966 G DBARRY ETA.. 3,292,925
BOWLING PIN HANDLING AND SETTING APPARATUS Filed NOV. 22, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 3v Fig. 2A
4 George D. Barry [02 Fabian 50a/kap James E Rankin ana/Wawy 29%,?,
De@ 20, 1966 G. D. BARRY ETAL y 3,292,925
BOWLING PIN HANDLING AVND SETTING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 22, 1963 5 sneet-sheet 4 l v Fig. 6 F,g 3 /54 George D. Barryv Fab/'an Sou/rap James E Ran/rin [N VNTOKS HY A d/away M@ Dec. 20, 1966 G. D; BARRY ETAL BOWLING PIN HANDLING AND SETTING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 22, 1963 George D. Barry an 50u/wp James E Rankin INVENTORS ma BY United States Patent O 3,292,925 BOWLING PIN HANDLING AND SETTING APPARATUS George D. Barry, P.0. Box 72S; Fabian F. Soukup, P Box 322; and .lames E. Rankin, 104 University, all of Healdsburg, Calif. 95448 Filed Nov. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 325,561 Claims. (Cl. 273-43) The present invention generally relates to a pin and ball game apparatus in which the pins are spotted at one end of an elongated playing surface in a particular pattern and the ball is projected toward the pin from the opposite end of the elongated surface with the object of the game played with the apparatus of the present invention being to knock down as many of the pins as is possible with an allotted number of balls.
An object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus in which the pins are symmetrical in construction along their longitudinal axis with each end thereof being provided with a ferrous insert or plate subject to magnetic attraction whereby the pins may be elevated from or discharged onto the target area or pin deck of the elongated playing surface or alley by employing magnetism preferably in the form of an electromagnet whereby the pins may be picked up, transferred in a suspended position and lowered back to a desired position all by the use of an electromagnet thereby simplifying the operation of lifting remaining pins to an elevated position when sweeping the playing surface and the gutters alongside thereof after which the pins are spotted back in their exact position or for lowering a group of pins after all of the pins on the playing surface have either been swept therefrom or knocked therefrom by impact from the ball.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus in which the pins may be picked up from either end inasmuch as they are symmetrical in configuration along the longitudinal axis and provided with a ferrous insert on each end thereof.
A further important object of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus involving a novel ball return mechanism requiring no lifting operation whatsoever together with a novel pin separator and elevator arrangement together with a plurality of guide tubes guiding the pins back into a pin holder which will hold the pins in the desired pattern until they are picked up by the electromagnet and deposited onto the playing surface at the desired position. The fact that all of the pins are picked up at one time and released at one time enables the playing surface to be completely free =of holes or other areas of weaknesses thus enabling the playing surface to have the same characteristics throughout the length thereof.
Yet another important feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus including a single electromagnet for positioning the pins on the playing surface thereby enabling the pins to be picked up from the playing surface even if they have been skidded slightly out of their normal position without actually being toppled over thus enabling the pins to be set in exactly the same position due to the single magnetic surface which will equal the pin setting surface area.
Still another important feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus having a push-type sweeper that moves longitudinally along the playing surface and then upwardly and forwardly around spaced head and tail sprockets.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus having an elevating and spotting mechanism employing a magazine which stores the pins and then discharges them all at one time into a holder from which the magnet picks them up by the `top end ICC in a suspended position and resets them on the playing surface.
Yet another feature of the present invention is to provide a ball and pin game apparatus employing a gravity ball return together with a novel separating mechanism for separating the pins from the balls and also feeding the pins into an elevated mechanism one at a time in a longitudinal direction whereby the elevating flights on the elevating mechanism will properly receive a single pin. The pin is provided with a groove in the center thereof for matching with a projection in the flights for orientating the pins properly in relation thereto for discharge into the storage magazine which will receive only a predetermined number of pins with any excess pins being discharged back int-o the hopper rearwardly ofthe playing surface.
The present invention is generally compact in construction and does not require any elaborate building modification such as pits and the like and can be readily transported to another location with very little problems regarding modifications of building structures and the like. Moreover, the invention is relatively simple and foolproof in operation and requires very little vservice and maintenance.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which;
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the ball and pin game apparatus illustrating the end of the playing surface together with the association of the structural components of the elevating mechanism and pin spotting mechanism;
FIGURES 2 and 2A are vertical sectional views taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2-2 of FIGURE l illustrating the orientation of the pin separating mechanism, the sweeper, the spotting mechanism and the elevating mechanism;
FIGURES 3 and 3A are transverse, sectional views, with portions thereof broken away illustrating further relationships between the components of the invention and also illustrating certain structural details thereof;
FIGURE 4 is detailed sectional view of the pin storage magazine;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of one of the pins ernployed in the present invention;
FIGURE 6 is a detailed lsectional view of one of the pins illustrating the structure thereof which is associated with the storage casing for positioning the pin accurately thereon;
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the projecting implement employed for projecting the balls toward the pins.
Referring now to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the pin and ball game apparatus of the present invention which includes an elongated playing surface or alley 12 having generally U-shaped gutters 14 along each side thereof with the playing surface or alley being relatively narrow and covered with a cushioning material such as felt or the like such as is normally ernployed in pool tables and the like. The playing surface and the entire game apparatus may be constructed in the form of a table with one end thereof being a target end and the other end being a projecting end in which event a player will stand at the projection end and will project a spherical ball 16 towards the target end by employing an elongated tapered stick 18 which may be called a lance having a ball engaging tip 2t) on the small end thereof and provided with a disk-type stop 22 thereon -to limit the stroke of the lance 18 with the stop 22 being disposed an appropriate distance from the tip 20 so that the stop 22 will effectively limit the length of stroke of the lance or stick 13.
At the target rarea of the pin and game apparatus, there is provided a plurality of pins 24. The pins 24 are spotted in a triangular pattern with the apex of the triangle being in the center of the alley 12 and nearest to the projection end somewhat in the nature of a pin spot arrangement employed in bowling. When the ball comes into contact with the pins 24, some or 4all of the pins will be knocked over in a known manner.
Each pin 24 is symmetrical about its longitudinal axis and includes a solid body 26 of generally oval-shaped external configuration with .the ends thereof tapering as at 28. At the center belt line of each pin 24, there is provided a peripheral groove 30 that is U-shaped in crosssectional configuration or semi-cylindrical in cross-sectional configuration and at each end of the body 26 there is provided -a fiat plate or washer 32 held in place by a wood screw 34 that is countersunk so that the external surface of the wood screw 34 is fiush with the external surface of the plate 32 thereby presenting smooth end surfaces for positioning on the playing surface or alley 12. The plate 32 and the wood screw 34 are both constructed for a ferrous material whereby each end of the lpin 24 is subject to magnetic attraction so that the pins may be picked up from either end by a magnet for positioning the pins initially in place on the playing surface 12 or for picking up the pins from the playing surface and repositioning them in place after the playing surface has been swept.
The playing surface or alley 12 terminatesin spaced relation to a rear wall 36 which may or may not be cushioned as desired. Depending downwardly from the rear wall 36 and inclined inwardly is an inclined bottom wall 38. Depending downwardly and inclined from the -rear edge of the playing surface 12 is an inclined bottom wall 40. The inclined walls 3S and 40 are interconnected by vertically disposed side walls 42 and 44 thus defining a hopper with inclined bottom walls 38 and 40 which converge towards each other but which also slope downwardly and to the right as illustrated in FIGURE 3 when viewed from the rear. The bottom edges of the inclined bottom walls 38 and 40 of the hopper are spaced from each other to define an elongated narrow entrance opening 46 for receiving the pins. The entrance opening 46 is of insufficient width to receive the ball 16. However, atthe bottom or lower end of the inclined walls 38 and 40, there is provided an opening 48 in the wall 40 communicating with a generally U-shaped trough 50 which is inclined downwardly and forwardly thereby enabling discharge of the ball 16 inasmuch as the balls will gravitate down the inclined walls 38 and 40 until the entrance opening 46 is engaged and then since the balls cannot proceed downwardly through the opening 46, they will gravitate to the right as viewed in FIGURE 3A and be discharged through the opening 48 onto the return trough 50 for return to the projection end ofthe playing surface.
In order to prevent the pins from entering the opening 48, a deflector 52 is mounted adjacent the upper end of the side walls 44. The deflector 52 is arcuate in configuration and provided with a concave lower edge 54 which is disposed inwardly of the confines of the opening 48 thus deflecting any pins away from the opening 48 when they are discharged into the hopper to assure that lthe pins 24 will be discharged through the entrance opening 46 prior to their passing downwardly along the slope of the walls 38 and 40 towards the opening 48 thereby assuring that only the balls 16 will be discharged through the opening 48.
The discharge opening 46 is defined by spaced walls 56 and 58 which are connected with the side walls 42 and 48 which are shaped to conform to the configuration of the hopper as illustrated in FIGURE 2A. Moreover, the side wall 42 is connected with an elongated slanted bottom wall 60 that extends completely under 4 the opening 46 but is spaced therebelow inclined downwardly and to the right as illustrated in FIGURE 3A. The side wall 44 is provided with an inwardly inclined wall 62 between the walls 56 and 58 and then this terminates in a vertical wall portion 64 all of which defines a discharge chute for the pins '24. The lower end of the discharge defined by the walls 56 and 58, the bottom wall 60 and the wall portions `62 and 64 is communicated with an inclined discharge conduit or tube 66 which in turn communicates withV an inclined chute 68 extending laterally from the inside of the tube 66 to discharge the pins 24 into a pin elevator generally designated by the numeral 70.
There is provided a mechanism for assuring that the pins are orientated properly when discharged into the tube or conduit 66 and this mechanism includes a slowly driven roller 72 of relatively large diameter having the upper periphery thereof projecting through an aperture 74 in the lower end of the discharge tube 66. A spring loaded roller 76 is disposed above the tube 66 and has a portion thereof projecting through an opening 78 in the top of the discharge tube 66 and this roller acts as a spacing or timing device for feeding the pins 24 to the eleva-tor mechanism 7 0. Disposed at the entrance end of the tube 66 is a driver roller 80 having knobs `82 on the peripheral surface thereof with the periphery thereof projecting through an opening 84 in the wall 64 where it joins with the discharge tube 66. The knobby surface 82 of the roller serves to agitate the pins 24 to insure continuous flow of pins 24 into the spacing rollers 72 and 76. The driven rollers 72 and 80 are carried by shafts 86 and 8S respectively journalled in bearings 90 and 92 of any suitable configuration with the shaft y86 having a drive pulley 94 thereon and the shaft 88 having a drive pulley 96 thereon which are interconnected by a belt 98. These pulleys are driven by a suitable source of power such as an electric motor 100 provided with suitable output mechanisms connected .to the various pulleys as required.
The elevator mechanism 70 includes a vertically elongated housing 102 having a 4bottom roller 104 and `a top roller 106 disposed at the extremities of the housing 102 with the rollers 104 and 106 being disposed in vertical alignment with a generally lightweight conveyor belt 108 entrained thereover. Adjacent the bottom end of the housing 102 and at one side thereof the chute surface 68 is communicated with an opening 110 with the side edges of the opening 1.10 being defined by side walls 112 to guide the pins 24 into the space between the conveyor belt 108 and the housing 102. A plurality of longitudinally spaced fiights 114 are secured to the conveyor belt 108 for receiving the -pins 24. As illustrated in FIGURE 3A, each of the flights is generally fiat, inclined and provided with a notch 116 in the center thereof aligned with the groove 30 in the pin body 26 as illustrated in FIGURE 6 land the lower pulley or roller 104 is driven from the same power source by lan output shaft 118 as illustrated in FIGURE 3 and the housing 102 may or may not be provided with end walls since it is not necessary to close the ends of the flights. However, the alpper and lower ends of the housing 102 are both arcuately rounded as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 2A.
The elevator mechanism discharges the pins 24 into a storage magazine 120 which includes an inclined entrance chute or tube 122 at the upper end thereof that is communicated with a discharge opening 124 at the upper end of the housing 102 on the opposite side from the inlet chute 68 for the elevator. The bottom of the inlet tube 122 includes fingers 126 projecting inwardly beyond the outer edges of the flights 114 to pick up the pins 24 therefrom and discharge the -pins down the inclined entrance chute or tube 122 into a vertical housing 128. The housing 128 includes spaced walls 130 and 132 and also Walls 134 and v136. The inlet conduit or tube 122 communicates with a vertical passageway 138 defined by the Walls and pivotally mounted along one edge of the passageway 138 is a plurality of deectors 140 each being pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 142. The bottommost deflector is designated by numeral 144 and is stationary but provided with a ,generally troughshaped lower end 146 for receiving the pin. The inner surface of the wall 130 and the bottom of the entrance chute 122 and chute 68 include a rib 148 which is received in the `groove 30 in the pin body 26 as illustrated in FIGURE 6. The other deectors .140 above the bottorn deflector 144 are pivotally mounted on the pins 142 and each includes -a weight 149 on the end thereof adjacent the wall 132 whereby the weight 149 will normally swing the deilector 140 into substantially a vertical position as illustrated in dotted line in FIGURE 4. However, when a pin 24 rolls down a lower deilector into the trough 146, the next uppermost deflector will be pivoted through an inclined position so that it will engage and deflect the next succeeding pin. For example, if a pin 24 engages the lowermost deflector 144 |and proceeds into t-he trough 146, this pin will engage the next upper dellector 140 and pivot it about the pivot pin 142 to a position substantially as illustrated in FIGURE 4 so that the next pin down the passageway 138 will engage the next uppermost deflector and be discharged into the trough 146 attached to Wall =132 and this movement will then cause the next upward deector to pivot in the same manner. Thus, the troughs 146 are sequentially lled and due to the timed relationship of t-he pins as they lare discharged from the flight on the elevator mechanism, each individual storage trough will receive a pin. The uppermost dellector 140 does not have the trough `and becomes aligned with a discharge opening 150 in the wall 132. Actually, there will be ten troughs 146 and any excess pins will be discharged from the opening 150 since they will merely roll out of the opening 150 and back into the hopper area for circulation through the elevator mechanism again.
As soon as ten pins have been placed in the troughs 146, all of the pins will be discharged laterally therefrom by a plurality of plungers 152 which are slidably received in hollow guides 154 rigidly affixed to wall 136. A plate 156 is attached to all of the plungers 152 so that they will be operated in unison. The plate 156 is operated by a pair of solenoids (not shown) which will act on the push plate or push bar simultaneously for operating the plungers or push rods simultaneously to move inwardly in the plunger .guides 154 thus ejecting the pins 24 from the storage magazine housing 128 by .projecting the pins out of the trough 146 and into a -plurality of discharge tubes 158 which `are xed to the wall 136 Iand which are all downwardly inclined and terminates in the same horizontal plane in a discharge end 158 which discharge ends S are orientated in a particular pattern |as illustrated in FIGURE l in .overlying relationship to a generally triangular pin holder 160.
The pin holder 160 is illustrated in FIGURE 3A as is the relationship of the discharge end 158 of the tubes 156 whereby the pins 24 will be placed in sockets or pockets 162 conforming to the shape -and configuration of the end portion of the pins 24. The pattern of orientation of the discharge end 158 of the tubes 156 is the same as the pattern of the sockets or pockets 162 whereby the pin 24 being discharged down the tube Will come to rest with the lower end thereof in the pocket or socket 162. As illustrated, the tubes 156 are all curved thus retarding the rate of descent along the tubes thereby Iassuring that lshe pins will be lproperly orientated in the pockets 162 in the holder 160 which is lalso generally triangular in configuration.
The holder 160 is provided with a bracket structure 164 that is supported pivotally from an upstanding post or support 166 for swinging movement from a position underlying the discharge end lof the tube 156 to a position underlying an electromagnetic assembly 168 which includes an elevatable head 170 having a planar magnetic surface 172 which is magnetized when the electromagnets are energized thus picking up the pins 24 and supporting them in suspended relationship as illustrated in FIGURE 2. Normally, the electromagnetic assembly 168 is orientated in elevated position above the horizontal swinging plane of the holder 160 so that the holder 160 may swing under the magnetic surface 172 whereby all of the pins 24 may be engaged by the magnetic surface 172 thereby suspending the pins 24 as illustrated in FIGURE 2. When the holder 160 swings into position aligned with the electromagnetic surface 172, it moves upwardly to engage the magnetic plate 32 on the end of the pin 26 with the magnetic surface 172 and then is moved downwardly and back to its original position in alignment with the tubes 158. The electromagnetic assembly, at the appropriate time will be lowered so that the pins 24 will be dropped down into engagement with the playing surface 12 at which time the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be deenergized thereby releasing the pin 24 and the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be elevated back to its normal position.
The electromagnetic assembly 168 includes a mounting plate 174 and an elongated rigid tube 176 fixed thereto and extending through a guide 178. A exible cord or cable is attached to the upper end of the elongated guide member 176 and is entrained over a pulley 182 whereby linear movement of the cable 180 will cause longitudinal movement of the guide 176 thereby reciprocating the electromagnetic assembly 168. The cable 180 is attached to an eccentric pin 184 carried by an enlarged drive wheel 186 supported on suitable bearing blocks 188 and by a shaft 190 supported by the bearing blocks 188. The Wheel 186 is grooved as at 192 for receiving a drive belt 194 whereby the electromagnetic assembly 168 will be elevated and reciprocated as becomes necessary.
For sweeping the playing surface 12, there is provided a pair of endless chains 196 and 198 Which are entrained over head sprockets 200 and tail sprockets 202. The tail sprockets 202 are mounted on `a transverse shaft 204 while the head sprockets 200 are mounted on stub shaft 206 journalled on suitable side plates 208 which do not project beyond the periphery of the sprockets 200 and 202 thereby enabling a transverse brush member 210 mounted on a transverse rod carried by the chains 196 and 198 to follow the path of movement of the chains. The brush 210 has an arrangement of structure 212 which conforms with and engages the upper surface of the playing surface 12 as well as the alleys 14 as illustrated in FIGURE 3A so that any pins or balls laying in this area will be swept to the rear and ofrr the rear edge of the playing surface. The brush 210 will proceed around the tail sprockets 202 and due to the flexible or pivotal connection to the sprocket chain, it will be able to pass by the shaft 204 and also the brush will normally be in an out-of-the-way position either in the upper run of the chain or at least elevated above the lower run of the chain.
Also as illustrated in FIGURE 3A, the side walls 42 and 44 include upward extensions 214 to prevent the pins or balls from lying laterally from the pin deck area and these side walls also are attached to vertical supporting frame members 216 at the rear thereof and forward vertical supporting frame members 220 as illustrated in FIG- URE l and the frame members 220 may include a fron-t board or wall 222 in order t-o conceal the working components of the structure of the present invention. Various supporting structures may be provided as desired including a vertical support member 224 which includes a transverse member 226 underlying and engaging the playing surface 12 to rigidify such surface and the support member 224 may be attached to transverse bottom frame members 228 thus rendering the entire structure independent of the floor surface for enabling easy portability thereof as desired.
FIGURE 3A illustrates the construction of the ights 114 including the notch or groove 116 therein which forms a pair of fingers so that the projecting fingers 126 can pass therethrough for picking up the pins 24 from the conveyor ights 114.
A suitable light 230 carried by a socket 232 may be adjustably mounted on the inner surface of the front wall 220 for illuminating the pit deck area so that the target may be properly illuminated. The light is in the center of the alley so that no undesirable shadows will be produced. Also, the discharge opening 150 is preferably provided with a guide tube 234 for directing overflow pin back into the hopper. Also, spaces 236 may be provided between the side members where the chains 196 and 198 are disposed for spacing the guards 206 as well as the side walls 214 in properly spaced relationship.
In playing a game, the person using the lance stick 18 will project the ball at the set of pins at the target end of the playing surface 12. The ball 16 upon contact with the pins 24 will knock down all or some of the pins 24. The electromagnetic assembly 168 will then lower and pick up any pins 24 which are left standing regardless of their position and rise again to its original position. The ball 16 meanwhile has rolled into the hopper and rolled down a sloping surface into the ball return tube or trough. Any pins 24 left on the playing surface or in the gutters are then swept off by the sweeper mechanism into the hopper. After the sweeping operation, the electromagnet then lowers and places the remaining fpins 24 -back on the playing surface thus giving the player an opportunity to knock down the remaining pins 24 and increase his score. After the pins 24 have entered the hopper, they roll into the restricted trough which aligns them all lengthwise. The pins 24 then slide down the Ibottom inclined surface 60 of the trou-gh and are rolled through between the slowly driven roller 72 and a spring loaded roller 76 which acts as spacing or timing devices for feeding the pins 24 to the elevator mechanism 70. The knobby driven roller 80 agitates the pins 24 to insure continuous flow of pins 24 into the spacing rollers 72 and 76. The pins 24 are fed into the elevator 70 and ride up on the fingered flights or brackets 114 which are attached to a fiat lightweight -belt 108. At the top of the elevator, the pins 24 roll by gravity onto the fingers 116 which protrude into and Amesh with the 'brackets or flights 114. The pins 24 then roll down an inclined surface of the chute 122 and are guided and prevented from turning sideways by the half-moon rail or projection 148 on the wall 130 and also this projection 148 is found on the inclined surfaces of the inlet 122. The projection or rib 148 fits into the groove at the center of the pin 24 and the .pin 24 falls by gravity until reaching a deflector or gate which has been deflected by a previous pin and held in position which diverts the following pin into the next compartment directly above. There are ten compartments in the storage magazine which permits the storage of one complete set of pins. When the tenth pin goes into its storage compartment or trough 146, it closes the -nal gate or defiector 140 thus permitting any surplus pins 24 to fall out through'the opening 150 and back through the overow tube 234 into the hopper. At the appropriate time, the pins 24 are all ejected into their individual feeding tubes 156 by the push rod or plun-gers which are all activated at the same time. The :pins 24 will slide endwise down the tube 156 by gravity and drop into the pin resetting holder 160. The resetting holder 160 has ten properly shaped and placed depressions or pockets 162 which insure seatin-g and the proper setting position of pins 24. At the appropriate time, the resetting holder 160 swings in and up under the electromagnetic assembly 168 which has a magnetized surface 172 whereby the :pins 24 are attracted -by and become attached to the surface 172 'by virtue of the metal ferrous plug in each end of the symmetrical pin 24. The resetting holder 160 is then returned to its normal position and at the appropriate time, the electromagnetic assembly 168 comes down and releases the pins 24 in position on the playing surface 12 and another cycle is begun.
The system is fully automated in the timing of the respective .action and is controlled by electrical limit switches and other mechanical means commonly known to the trade .and the details of the control circuit and various electrical limit structures have not been illustrated in the present invention. The system can be installed inside of buildings of standard ceiling heights and requires no pits or special foundations and can be easily removed and relocated to different quarters if desired and the structure is also capable of -being mounted onto or incorporated into a table-type structure which may be some-` what of Ia portable nature in that the structure could be moved to any desired location without any necessity to modify the location except to provide adequate room for the device and also to provide an electrical supply for supplying electrical energy to the various electric drive motors and controlsl therefor and also energy must be supplied to the electromagnetic assembly for energizing the yassembly at the appropriate time and also raising and lowering the assembly at the appropriate time.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modificati-ons and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may -be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In a pinrand ball game apparatus, a game area having an elongated playing surface thereon with a plurality of pins at one end and at least one ball projectable from the opposite end toward the pins for knocking the pins over, each pin having a -portion thereof subject to mag-` netic attraction, a hopper disposed rearwardly of and below the end of the playing surface having the pins thereon for receiving the pins and balls, said hopper including a bottom having a discharge slot of a dimension sufficient to receive the pins when disposed lengthwise but insufficient to receive the balls, discharge means communicating with the bottom of the hopper for receiving the balls, a defiector over the discharge means for the balls to defiect pins therefrom whereby the pins will be discharged from the discharge slot in the bottom of the hopper andthe balls discharged from the ball discharge means, an inclined chute under the hopper for receiving the pins therefrom, said chute terminating in a discharge tube, and oppositely disposed rollers having pen'pheries thereof projecting through the tube for timing discharge of the pins therefrom, and an elevator communicating with the discharge end of the discharge tube for receiving the pins therefrom, a knobby roller located in the chute for agi-tating the pins for insuring that the pins will be fed between the timing rollers, said elevator including an elongated vertically disposed conveyor belt, a plurality of laterally projecting flights on said belt for receiving pins from the discharge tube and elevating them to a vertical position, and storage` means communicating with the upper end of the conveyor for receiving the pins therefrom, said storage means including an inclined entrance surface having a 4projecting finger, each flight on the belt having projecting fingers straddling the finger on the entrance surface for enabling the projecting finger on the inclined surface to eject the pins from the fights, said storage means also including a vertical casing, a plurality of generally horizontal chamf bers in said `casing with the chambers being disposed in vertical alignment, deflectors for defiecting the pins into the compartments in a vertical sequence, means discharging excess pins from the casing back to the hopper af-ter` all of the compartments have `been filled, an ejector means for ejecting all of the pins from the compartments simultaneously, and means receiving the pins from the compartments.
2. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means receiving the -pins include a plurality of tubes extending from the storage casing downwardly and terminating in a single horizontal plane, a pin holder mounted for swinging movement in a horizontal plane under said discharge end of the tubes for receiving the pins therefrom, said holder Ibeing in the form of a plate having a plurality of pockets therein arranged in the same pattern as the discharge ends of the tubes and receiving the pins therefrom, and magnetic means mounted over the playing surface under which the holder for the pins may -be swung for enabling all of the pins to be picked up by the magnetic means after which the holder is moved to its normal position and the pins lowered onto the playing surface and released.
3. The structure as defined in claim 2 together with a sweeping apparatus for the playing surface including a pair of endless chains mounted over head and tail sprockets, -a transverse sweeper -member attached to the chains for movement in an oval-shaped path for sweeping the playing surface upon each cycle of movement.
4. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein each pin is symmetrical about a longitudinal axis, and a central transverse axis, and provided with a central peripheral groove, said inclined chute under the hopper and the inclined entrance surface of the storage means including a longitudinal rib received in the groove of the pin to guide vthe pin straight during rolling movement thereof.
5. A pin and ball game apparatus comprisin-g a playing surface, a plurality of pins normally resting on said playing surface, a ball for launching at said pins for knocking the pins over, a hopper disposed adjacent the playing surface for receiving the ball and .pins which leave the playing surface, said hopper including downwardly converging bottom walls having the lower edges spaced apart to form a slot suiiicient in dimension to receive pins therethrough but insuicient fto permit passage of the ball, one of said walls having a ball discharge opening adjacent one end edge of the hopper, said lower edges of the botttom walls being inclined toward the ball discharge opening, and a downwardly and inwardly inclined deflector disposed above the ball discharge opening in order to deflect pins away from the ball discharge opening when they fall into lthe hopper, a pin discharge chute below the hopper in communication with the slot and having an inclined surface, each pin having a peripheral groove therein, said inclined surface having a longitudinal rib thereon engaged in said groove for retaining the pins in guided condition down the chute.
6. The structure as defined in claim S together with pin a-gitating means mounted in said discharge chute, and a pair of opposed rollers mounted on said chute and engaging the pins to regulate the spatial relation of the pins.
7. The structure as defined in claim 5 together with elevator means for receiving the pins from the discharge chute, -a vertically disposed storage casing receiving said pins from the elevator means, a plurality of vertically aligned chambers in said casing, ejector means for ejecting all of the pins from the chambers simultaneously, and means receiving the pins from the chambers.
8. The structure as defined in claim 7 wherein said casing includes deector means for deflecting the pins into the chambers in a vertical sequence, and means discharging excess pins from the casing back into the hopper.
9. An apparatus for storing and setting a plurality of pins employed in a vgame apparatus comprising a vertically disposed casing, a plurality of substantially horizontal compartments oriented in vertical alignment, said casing having an inlet at the upper end thereof for receiving pins for filling each of the compartments, means for discharging all of the pins from the compartments simultaneously, and means receiving said .pins from said compartments, said means receiving the pins from the compartments including individual tubes each extending downwardly to a discharge end, a plate underlying the discharge ends of the tubes, said plate having a plurality of sockets therein for receiving said pins from the tubes, a pin lowering and raising mechanism having means for lifting the pins from said plate, and means pivotally supporting said plate for swinging movement in a horizontal plane from a position underlying the disch-arge ends 0f the ltubes to a position underlying said pin lowering and raising mechanism whereby the pins may be lifted from the plate and lowered to a playing surface.
10. The structure as defined in claim `9 including a plurality of pins, each pin having a ferrous metallic insert in each end thereof, and wherein said pin lowering and raisin-g mechanism includes a magnetic plate structure, and means raising and lowering the magnetic plate structure for picking up the pins from either end thereof for handling.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 857,939 6/1907 Heath 273-42 1,375,835 4/1921 Fairchild 273-43 1,449,012 3/ 19123 Lorenz et al. 273-43 1,542,804 6/ 1925 Gray 27 3-43 1,896,383 2/1933 White 273-43 1,911,436 5/1933 Cone 273-43 2,388,708 11/ 1945 Bates 273-43 2,547,203 4/ 1951 Goff 273-42 2,615,716 10/ 1952 Montooth et .al 273-43 2,668,713 2/ 1954 Anderson 273-43 2,697,605 12/1954 Montooth et al 273-43 2,944,818 7 1960 Wells 27 3-43 3,104,105 9/1963 lolitz et al 273-82 3,193,291 7/ 1965 Cariani 273-82 FOREIGN PATENTS 612,902 1/ 1961 Canada.
27 6,467 7/ 1914 Germany.
306,671 7/ 1955 Switzerland.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.
ANTON O. `OECHSLE, Examiner.

Claims (1)

  1. 9. AN APPARATUS FOR STORING AND SETTING A PLURALITY OF PINS EMPLOYED IN A GAME APPARATUS COMPRISING A VERTICALLY DISPOSED CASING, A PLURALITY OF SUBSTANTIALLY HORIZONTAL COMPARTMENTS ORIENTED IN VERTICAL ALIGNMENT, SAID CASING HAVING AN INLET AT THE UPPER END THEREOF FOR RECEIVING PINS FOR FILLING EACH OF THE COMPARTMENTS, MEANS FOR DISCHARGING ALL OF THE PINS FROM THE COMPARTMENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY, AND MEANS RECEIVING SAID PINS FROM SAID COMPARTMENTS, SAID MEANS RECEIVING THE PINS FORM THE COMPARTMENTS INCLUDING INDIVIDUAL TUBES EACH EXTENDING DOWNWARDLY TO A DISCHARGE END, A PLATE UNDERLYING THE DISCHARGE ENDS OF THE TUBES, SAID PLATE HAVING A PLURALITY OF SOCKETS THEREIN FOR RECEIVING SAID PINS FROM THE TUBES, A PIN LOWERING AND RAISING MECHANISM HAVING MEANS FOR LIFTING THE PINS FROM SAID PLATE, AND MEANS PIVOTALLY SUPPORTING SAID PLATE FOR SWINGING MOVEMENT IN A HORIZONTAL PLANE FROM A POSITION UNDERLYING THE DISCHARGE ENDS OF THE TUBES TO A POSITION UNDERLYING SAID PIN LOWERING AND RAISING MECHANISM WHEREBY THE PINS MAY BE LIFTED FROM THE PLATE AND LOWERED TO A PLAYING SURFACE.
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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3497219A (en) * 1967-09-21 1970-02-24 George D Barry Bowling pin handling and setting apparatus with trap door pin release
US5624323A (en) * 1993-06-18 1997-04-29 Mendes Inc. Automatic pinsetter

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US3497219A (en) * 1967-09-21 1970-02-24 George D Barry Bowling pin handling and setting apparatus with trap door pin release
US5624323A (en) * 1993-06-18 1997-04-29 Mendes Inc. Automatic pinsetter

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