US 2530429 A
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Nov. 21, 1950 E. HEDENsKooG BOWLING BALL RETARDING DEVICE FOR BOWLING ALLEY RUNWAYS 3 She ets-Sheet 1 Filed March 5, 1945 A llllllllllll Nov, 21, 1950 E. HEDENsKooG 2,530,429
BOWLING BALL BETABDING DEVICE FOB BOWLING ALLEY RUNwAYs 'Filed Maron 5, 1945 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 4 BY ,W can L@ Nov. 2-1, 1950 E. HEDENsKooG BOWLING BALL RETARDING DEVICE FOR BOWLING ALLEY RUNWAYS 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 5, 1945 INVENToR. rn/e@ Z fedez@ Patented Nov. 21, 1950 BOWLNG BALL RETARDING DEVICE FOR BOWLING ALLEY RUNWAYS Ernest Hedenskcog, Muskegon, Mich., assignor to The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, Chicago, ill., a corporation of Delaware Application March 5, 1945, Serial No. 580,999
9 Claims. 1 This invention relates to bowling alleys and is particularly concerned with means for retarding the movement of bowling balls on the return runway of a bowling alley.
One object of the invention is to provide. a new and improved ball retarding device. Another object of the invention is to provide a ball retarder having a plurality of ball engaging members adapted to be positioned successively in active relation to the return runway and to be automatically shifted into and out of active position by the passage of a ball along the runway. A further object of the invention is to provide a ball retarding device having a plurality of ball engaging members which are automatically and successively brought into operative position to provide for handling a plurality of balls arriving in rapid succession. More specifically the invention involves the provision of a rotatable device having a plurality of arms extending radially at equal intervals and adapted to be projected successively into the space between the ball supporting rails constituting the return runway, together with braking means on the device to retard or stop a ball as it encounters one of said arms, and to permit the ball, due to its weight and stored energy, to rotate the device through an angle suiiicient to swing one arm to release the ball and to bring the next arm into ball encountering position.
In accordance with one form oi the invention, at least one of the arms of the rotatable device is adjustably connected to the hub of the mechanism so that when desired it can be swung out of ball obstructing position, the object of this feature being to permit the use of the runway in a game employing a smaller ball for which a retarding mechanism is not necessary.
-An additional form of the invention is designed with the object of keeping the ball obstructing arm or member normally lowered below the surface of the runway and out of sight until just prior to the arrival of a ball, the mechanism including means whereby the ball itself throws the obstructing arm into active position in which it absorbs the momentum of the ball and then yields to permit the ball to pass along the runway to the rack portion thereof.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description taken in connection with the drawings, in which:
Fig. l is a side elevation of the terminal portion of a return runway of a bowling alley with a retarding device embodying this invention associated therewith.
Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the same.
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the retarding device taken on a larger scale with the position of the runway indicated in dotted outline. i
Fig. 4 is an end elevation of the structure shown in Fig. 3 and with part of the runway in section.
Fig. 5 is a View similar to Fig. 3 showing the retarding device in operation.
Fig. 6 is a detail side elevation showing an optional construction of the retarder.
Fig. 7 is a detail section taken as indicated at line 'l-'l on Fig. 6.
Fig. 8 is an enlarged side elevation of the dash pot cylinder, with parts shown in section,
Fig. 9 is a plan view of a modified form of retarding device embodying this invention.
Fig. l0 is a vertical section, as indicated at line lll- I0 on Fig. 9, and shows most of the mechanism in elevation.
Fig. 11 is a view similar to Fig. l0 showing the mechanism in active ball retarding position.
The invention is susceptible of various modications and alternative constructions and it is herein shown and described in more than `one embodiment, but it is not intended that the invention be understood as limited to the specic forms disclosed but rather that it embraces all modifications and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
In a standard bowling alley the ball is returned to the player, from the pit, by way of a runway extending at one side of the alley and terminating adjacent the approach end of the alley so that the ball shall be conveniently at hand for the next play. As shown in Fig. l the terminal portion of the return runway preferably includes an upwardly inclined track l reaching its maximum elevation at the hump 2, from which point a downwardly inclined section 3 connects with the final horizontal portion 4 sometimes termed the rackf It is desirable to retard the ball as it approaches the rack 4 so that it shall not arrive with so much force as to be dislodged therefrom or to strike other balls on the rack in a manner tending to injure them. For this purpose the present invention provides a rotatable device comprising a hub composed of plates 5 and t from which there extend radially disposed arms 'I arranged at equal angular intervals around the axis of the hub, as clearly seen in Fig. 3. This structure is carried by a shaft B which is journaled on suitablesupporting side walls 9, S at an axis disposed below the downwardly inclined portion 3 of the return runway.Y This portion Aof the runway is composed of a pair of rails or track members providing a space I between them, and one of the arms '1 normally projects upwardly into and through this space I0. By rotative adjustment of the retarding device each of the arms I may be successively brought into this ball engaging position. Preferably the outer end of each arm carries a rotatably mounted rubber roller II to avoid injury to a bowling ball upon contact therewith and to eliminate any tendency of the ball to ride up on the arm.
As shown, there are four arms 'I disposed at QOQdegree intervals around the axis of the shaft 8. A gear wheel I2 is rigidly connected with. the hub of the rotatable device as by a sleeve I3 extending from one of the hub plates 5 to the gea;l I2. This gear meshes with a smaller gear I4. As shown, the ratio between the gears I2 and I4 is 4 to l; thus a quarter turn of the gear l2, effects one complete revolution of the gear I4. A crankpin I5 is carried eccentrically ona flange l5" on the gear I4 and is connected to a pistonV rod I6 having a piston I'I disposed in a cylinder I8, and' the cylinder I8 is pivotally supported on a fixed pivot' I9 extending from onev of the side walls 9. The rotation of thel gear I4 thus causes reciprocation' of the piston I-l in its cylinder I8, and this structure is employed as a dash pot or braking device serving to resist rotation of the projecting arm 'I' when a bowling ball A encounters it, as indicated in' Fig'. 1.
The resistance of the dash pot structure is sup'- plemented. by a spring 25 disposed about the piston rod I6 and reacting between the upper end ofthe cylinder I8 anda terminal head 2| on the piston rod; Rotation of the retarding device in a counter-clockwise direction (as viewed in Fig. 3') initially requires the spring 2I)` to be compressed as the piston Il is driven downwardly in its cylinderY I8; It may be understood that the strength of the spring 2li and the resistance offered by the dashpot device are so' adjusted that the horizontal component of the' weight of a ball` disposed at A on the downwardly inclined portion'3`of4 the runway is suicient to overcome the spring and. the. resistance of. the dashpot,.
and normally the ball will have some momentum at this'point to supplement its'weight.A The cylinderIpreferably contains a quantity of fluid; such as oil. The confined iiuid is forced to' pass through aV restricted; port 22 in the' piston I'I as the piston descends in the' cylinder I8;
When the arm 'I has been swung through an angleof about 45 degrees, ther gear Il!l will have been rotated: through a half turn, bringing itsr crank-pin I5 from its initial position above the center of the gear to a positionl directly below the center. At this pointi the spring '20 Will be under maximum compression and thereafter'fur.-
therrotation of the arm 'I will be accompaniedV by upward travelof the crankpin I5' and expansionof the spring The energy stored in the spring in compressingit will thusiassist in completing a single rotation' of' the gear I4`A to bring the crankpin I5back to itsinitial position above the center of the gearl even though the ball may.' be removed before it passesentirely over the arm it engages. Such a full rotation when completedA will cause the arm 'I which was encountered" by. the ball A to be swung toa horizontal position below the level of the runway, while the adjacentA arm 'I ofthedevice will be swung from its original horizontal position to vertical position ready for encounter with the next ball arriving on the.
runway section 3.
During the upward travel of the crankpin' l5" the piston Il will be drawn upward in its cylinder I8, requiring the fluid therein above the piston to be transferred to the space in the cylinder below the piston. To facilitate the final portion of the movement of the. device a supplemental port 23 may be provided in the4 piston Il! having a larger capacity than the restricted port 22, and a check valve 24 may be arranged to close the supplemental port during the downward movementor the piston and to open it automatically during the upward movement thereof. With this arrangement thev dashpot will operate principally during the initial portion of the rotation of the retarding arm 1, while the spring 20 will insure the completion of the movement of the arm so as to release thed ball to the rack portion 4 of the track and bring the retarding device into ready position to receive@ the next ball.
Fig. 6 illustrates a special construction which may be provided' in the rotatable. retardi-ng d`e. vice if the alley is sometimes employed. in play-- in'g a game in which a ballwhichis too smallt'o operate the retarding device is used.. For this purpose one arm 'I'.rf of the device. is pivotally mounted? between the hub'plates 5 and 5. and locked in its normal' radially extending position by means of a pin` 25. having. athreadedv shank engaged in a threaded hole inthe flange 6v of the hub and; in ahole 25A in the arm. When the pin 25 is partially unscrewed' from the. ange.. as shown in Fig.. 6', the arm Ta; may bel swung.A about its pivot 21 into a position at. which it will'` lie. below the track 3 so' thatthe mechanism will not, be operated by balls rolling`v along thisl track;
It' may be preferable, from the standpoint oi appearancato arrangeallthe armsof the device so that normally the arm whichisto obstructY the passage of a ball will be swung below the. surface of therunway and will remain out. oi' sight. until. just before the arrival of. a ball 'which to be arrested. Such an arrangement is shown inligs. 9, l0 and 11 in which the upwardly inclinedi portion oi4 the. runway is indicated at 311 with the highest portion or crest of the-rise at.32, a downwardly inclinedV section at 33, andv a. 'l'nal4 hori. zontai' section, of which a portion. is shown,.`at 34. The rotatable retarding device includes a hub member 35 with a circular flange or. plate. 36 rigidly associated therewith and with a pluralL ityoi ball obstructingV arms 31 attached' to this.` hub at equal angular intervals aroundV its axis.. The hub is carriedby a shaft or axle Sisupported in side walls 39;.35 directly below thepart. of '.the. runway at which; the. downwardly inclined portion, 33 joins the. horizontal.. portion 341 As im.
the structure already described. the runway iscomposed' of a pair of` rails or track members` providing a space. between them, indicated at 4D in Fig. 9', and' the hub 35"with its arms 31,' is. mountedV forV rotation in this space. Preferably the outer end of eacli'arm is providdwitli. a. cushioning roller I I' for contact.witli-.tle bowling ball.
The hub' structure 3536liasri'gidl`y connected. to it a' sleeve, TeXtendingt'o. a gear 43' whicl'iis,v rigidlyv connected tothe hub for. rotationtherewith. As in the. form previously described'. there are four of the ball; obstructing arms, 3l connected to' the hub and at` each. operation of.' tliedevice the. hub is designedl to turn through. an. angle of .90 degrees. The gear 43. therefore mesheswith a pinion 44' so dimensicnedlthatV the. ratio ofthe two gearsis 4 to ll causinga quarter. turn of the gear 43 to eiect a complete revolution of the pinion44 A crankpinionthe pinion engages a piston rod 46 having a piston 41 disposed in a cylinder 43, the cylinder being supported on a fixed pivot 49 secured to one. of the side walls 39. The cylinder 48 preferably contains oil so that the structure may be employed as a dashpot or braking device to yieldingly resist rotation of the pinion 44, gear 43 and hub structure 35, 36.
. Each of the arms 31 is attached to the plate 36 of the hub by a pivot 5U and the inner end portion of the arm 31 is accommodated in a notch or recess I formed in the hub member 35.- The recess 5l is shaped to provide clearance which permits the arm 31 to swing through an angle of approximately 90 degrees about its pivot and each arm carries a crank pin 52 disposed at a relatively short distance from its pivot 50 and extendingf laterally beyond the face of the hub 35, as seen in Fig. 9.
As the bowling ball, indicated at B in Fig. 1,0, travels up the inclined portion 3l of the runway, it encounters a lever arm or treadle 53 carried on a pivot 54 and disposed in the space between the rails of the runway. The free end of the arm 53 is thus depressed by the weight of the` ball and swings downwardly to the position shown in Fig. 1l. The lever arm carries a metallic extension 55 having an arched terminal portion 56 which overlie-s and carries downward with it the crank pin 52 of the arm shown at Sla in Fig. l0. causing said arm to be swung suddenly about itsv pivot 5B into upstanding position, as seen at Sly in Fig. 1l. Because the distance between the pivot 55 and the crank pin 52, which is the effective crank arm, is relatively short as compared with the length of the arm 31 and as compared with the dimensions of the lever 53 and its extension 55, a rather small angular movement of the lever 53 is sufiicient to shift the arm 31 quickly from its inoperative or inactive position at 31x to its obstructing position 3111v and this movement is completed before the ball passes the end of the lever arm 53 itself.
As the ball, indicated at B1 in Fig 11, strikes the upstanding arm Sly it starts the rotation of the arm and its hub 35, 33 about the axle 33, turning the gear 43 and actuating the pinion 134 to move the piston d1 in the dashpot cylinder 48. Even if the momentum of the ball has been almost absorbed in its travel up the incline 3l,
the fact that the ball is on the downwardly inclined part 33 of the runway when it reaches the arm 31g/ insures that the component of its weight acting along the runway will be suincient to move the arm 31g gradually away from its obstructing position.
It may be understood that the construction of the piston is similar to that shown in Fig. 8 including a restricted port through which the liquid in the cylinder 43 is forced to pass as the piston moves downwardly therein. This arrangement permits the arm Bly to yield slowly to the impact of Athe ball and to swing gradually downward, finally reaching a position below the track where it is clear of the ball and permits the latter to travel onto the horizontal rack portion 34 of the runway.
The latter portion of this movement of the obstructing arm will be assisted by a spring 51 coiled around the piston rod 45 and reacting between the end of the cylinder i3 and a head 5B on the piston rod, like the spring 23 in the structurepreviously described and shown in Figs. 3, 4 and 5. Thus the rotation of the hub and its arms ,S1-Operates inthe .Same manner as the .r0-
tation ofthe corresponding structure including the arms 1 of the first form of the invention beyond the inclined runway 33 is kept normally vout of sight and below the surface of the runway until the arrival of the ball operates to raise the arm into obstructing position. The force required to actuate the lever 53 and its extension 55 for swinging the arm from the position 31x to the position 31g is readily provided by the weight of a standard bowling ball, but a smaller ball, such as the four inch ball commonly used in the game of duck pins, is not heavy enough to actuate these parts; hence the runway remains automatically unobstructed for the small ball for which no retarding device is considered necessary.
It will be seen that in both forms of the retarding device herein described the provision of a rotatable hub with a plurality of arms attached thereto at intervals and adapted for obstructing the ball makes it possible to have the device rotate always in the same direction in step by Step fashion so that as the force exerted by the ball overcomes the braking resistance and swings the obstructing arm out of the way, this movement automatically bringsthe next arm to that point in its rotation at which it becomes the ball obstructing element. This point may be termed the ball obstructing station; in the form of a device shown in Figs. 1 to 5 each arm is actually in ball obstructing position as it arrives at this station because all the arms are rigidly connected to the hub and extend radially therefrom. In the form shown in Figs. 9 to 11 the arm is not in ball obstructing position when it first arrives at its ball obstructing station but is raised to operative position by the approach of the ball and becomes, for the time being, rigidly engaged with the hub as the shoulder 31a of the arm contacts the abutment shoulder 35a of the hub.
I claim as my invention:
1. In combination with the ball return runway of a bowling alley, a ball retarder comprising a rotatable device rotating in one direction only journaled at an axis adjacent the runway and including a plurality of arms extending at equal an-gular intervals outwardly from said axis in position to project successively into the path of a ball as the device is rotatably adjusted about its axis, an adjustment equal to the angular interval between said arms serving to carry one arm from a position obstructing the path of the ball on the runway to a position clear of said path and to carry the next arm into ball obstructing position, a crank geared to said rotatn able device at a ratio causing one rotation of said crank for each movement of the device' through the angular interval between its arms, and spring means connected to said crank adapted to be stressed by the first half revolution thereof and to release its' stored energyv during the nnal half revolution to assist the crank in said final half turn.
2. In combination with the ball return runway of a bowling alley, a ball retarder comprising a rotatable device rotating in one direction only journaled at an axis adjacent the runway and including a plurality of arms extending at equal angular intervals outwardly from said axis in position to project successively into the path of a ball as the device is rotatably adjusted about its axis, an adjustment equal to the angular inter- VVal.btwfell said arms .Serving t9 Carry one aun from a position obstructing th path vof the ball on 'the runway to a 'jiosi'tion 'clear of said path and to carry the next arin 'into ball obstructing position, a crank geared to said rotatable device at a ratio causing one rotation of said crank for each movement ofthe device through the angular interval between its arms, a dash-pdt dev-ice coniprising a cylinder and a `piston reciprocable therein with means operatively connecting said piston to Vthe crank, said piston having a restricted port causing' it to yieldingly resist y'niover'nent of the crankthrough its Afirst haii revolution when actuated by said 'rotatable device, said piston having also 'a larger port and a valve associated therewith,- means for opening said valve upon reverse movement 'of the piston during the next half turn or the crank, together with spring means operatively connected to said crank and adapted to be stressed by said first half revolution thereof and to release stored energy to Yassist the crank in its next half turn.
3. VIn combination with the Yball return runway o'f a bowling alley, a ball retarder lcomprising a rotatable device rotating in one direction only journale'd at an axis adjacent the runway and including a pluralityof arms extending at equal angular intervals outwardly from said axis in position to project successively into the path of a ball as the device is rotatably adjusted about its axis, an adjustment equal to the angular interval between said arms serving to carry one arm from a position obstructing the path` of the ball on the runway to a position 'clear of said path and to carry the next arm into ball obstructing position, a y'crank geared to said v'rotatallle device at a said rotatable device, saidpiston having also ay larger port and a valve associated therewith, means for opening said valve upon reverse movement of the piston during `the Inext half turn of the crank, together with a springv Areacting between the crank and the `adjacent end of said cylinder whereby said spring is compressed during the irst half revolution of the crank and expands to release stored energy assisting the crank in its next half turn.
4. In combination Vwith the ball vreturn lrunway of Ia bowling alley, a ball retarder which includes a hub journaled at an axis adjacent -the runway, an armpivotally connected to said hub at an axis parallel to that of the hub, said ar-m being adjustable about its pivot to extend in substantially radial relation to the hub and lin ball obstructing relation to the runway to be connected by a ball 'rolling along the runway but being normally disposed in approximately tangential relation to the hub and clear of the path of a ball onthe runway, 'a crank pin extending laterally from said arm at a short 'distance from its pivot, a treadle device -in the 'path Yof a ball vo'n 'the 'runway ap'- preaching the retarder, said Lt'readle having a 'part overlying said crank pin 'whereby depression o-f the treadle by the weightf an approaching ball actuates the Crank pin and 'swings th retarder arm into Vrits radial, ball-obstructing position in dri-ving engager'n'enl. with A'its hub, 'and meansl "lll 8, or the hub te retard the menen ef the han 'rating along the runway.
5.Y In combination with 'the ball returnruriway of a bowling alley, a ball retarder comprising 1a rotatable device journaled at anaxis adjacent the runway and including a hub with a plurality of arms pivotally connected thereto at equal angular intervals, saidfarms being moved successively to a ball obstructing station as the device is rotatably' adjusted about its axis, each farm being' adjustable about its pivot to extend in substantially radial relation Vto the hub and in ball obstructing Vrelation to the runway when the arm is `disposed at said station but being normally positioned in approximately tangential relationto the hub and clear of the vpath of a b'all on'tilc runway, means actuated by the approach of a ball and operating to swing the arm at the ball obstructing station to its obstructing position, said hub having an abutment which the arm encounters in said position for effecting driving engagement between the arm vand the hub, Abraking means yieldingly resisting rotation of the hub but adapted to be overcome by force supplied by a ball in contact with 'the obstructing A'ai-1n, permitting said arm to be moved by 'the ball 'away from its obstructing position and effecting an adjustment of the rotatable device equal to 'the angular interval between adjacent arms, Vtl'xereby carrying the one arm from obstructing position to a 'position clear of the vpath of the ball and carrying the next arm to the ballV obstructing station.
6. In the combination dened in claim '45,said yielding means comprising a dash vpot device resisting the initial portion of movement of the device through said angular interval, together with spring means stressed by such initial portion of the movement and reacting to corn-plete the movement through said angular interval.
7. In combination with the ball return 4runway oi a bowling alley, a ball retarder comprising a rotatable device Ajournaled at an axis adjacent the runway and including a plurality of yarms extending at equal angular intervals outwardly from .said axis in position 'to project successively into the path of a ball 'as Vthe device is rotatably adjusted about its axis, 'an 'adjustment equal to the angular interval between said arms serving to 4carry one arm from a position obstructing the path of the ball on the runway to 'a position clear of said path and to carry the next arm into ball" obstructing position and means yi'eldingly holding the device normally with one arm in ballobstructing position, one arm of said rotatable device rotatable :device rotating in one direction only j journaled at an axis adjacent 'the runway and including a plurality of arms extending at equal angular intervals 'outwardly 'from said ax'isjin positionito project successively into the path'of a ball as the device is 'rotatably adjusted about-fits axis, an adjustment equal fto the angular interval between-said arms serving to carry one arm from aposfition obstructing the path of the ball on the runway to a 'position clear of 'said path 4and ito carry the next farm into `ball obstructing position, -saidrunway being 'Provi'fled with "humpinl:
ing an inclined portion immediately before the ball retarder to absorb a portion of the speed of the ball and cause the retarder to be operated principally by the weight of the ball rolling down the inclined portion, a crank geared to said rotatable device at a ratio causing one rotation of said crank for each movement of the device through the angular interval between its arms, a dash-pot device comprising a cylinder and a piston reciprocable therein with means connecting said piston to the crank, said piston having a restricted port causing it to yieldingly resist movement of the crank through its first half revolution when actuated by said rotatable device, said piston having also a larger port and a valve associated therewith, means for opening said valve upon reverse movement of the piston during the next half turn of the crank, together with a spring reacting between the crank and the adjacent end of said cylinder whereby said spring is compressed during the rst half revolution of the crank and expands to release energy assisting the crank in its next half turn.
9. In combination with the ball return runway of a bowling alley, said runway having a raised portion over which 'the ball rolls, a ball retarder comprising a rotatable device rotating in one direction only journaled at an axis adjacent the base of the downwardly inclined part of the raised portion of the runway and including a plurality of arms extending at equal angular intervals outwardly fromsaid axis in position to project successively into the path of a ball as the device is rotatably adjusted about its axis, an adjustment equal to the angular interval between said arms serving to carry onearm from a position obstructing the path of the ball on the runway to a position clear of said path and to carry the next arm into ball obstructing position, said ball rolling down said downwardly-inclined part to contact an arm, a dash-pot retarder means operably connected to the rotatable device through a mechanical linkage transferring rotational movement of said rotatable device to reciprocal movement of the dash-pot retarder means, said dash-pot retarder means being movable in one direction for controlling the initial portion only of a movement of the device through said angular interval andl being movable in the other direction during the nal movement of the device through said angular interval, and spring means stressed by such initial portion of the movement and reacting during the final portion of the movement in said one direction through said angular interval.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 287,142 Lung Oct. 23, 1883 655,034 Verstraete July 31, 1900 886,556 Vearing May 5, 1908 1,042,598 Paumer Oct. 29, 1912 1,210,065 Hamilton Dec. 26, 1916 1,543,098 Carter et al June 23, 1925 1,979,466 Hedenskoog Nov. 6, 1934 2,236,560 Bancroft Apr. 1, 1941
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