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Патент USA US3042413

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July 3, 1962
3,042,403
H. A. JONES ETAL
BOWLING BALL STOP MECHANISM
Filed June 30, 1958
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United States Patent ()1
3,042,403
Patented July 3, 1962
2
1
traveling member provided with a resilient peripheral sur
3,042,403
BGWLING BALL STOP MECHANISM
Harold A. Jones, Shelby, tibia, and Fred J. Schmidt,
Stamford, (lonm, assignors to American Machine 8:
Foundry (Iompany, a corporation of New Jersey
Filed June 39, I958, Ser. No. 745,452
7 Claims. (ill. 273—4'7)
face located substantially at the joint joinder of the up
sweep section and the infeed section of a bowling ball re
turn runway, and wherein the traveling member co-op
erates with a spaced guiding and holding device to deliver
a ball to the storage rack of the bowling ball return run
way in a greatly improved manner regardless of the weight
of bowling balls handled thereby.
This invention relates to bowling apparatus, and more
The invention is further characterized by a bowling ball
particularly to improvements in bowling ball stops or 10 return check or retarding device comprising a slowly
bowling ball retarding devices operative to reduce the
momentum of bowling balls rolling along a bowling ball
moving member such as a wheel having a tire formed
from an elastomer operative to engage bowling balls as
return of a bowling alley en route to a position of rest at
they roll along the upsweep sec-tion of a bowling ball re
the player’s location at the approach end of the alley.
turn runway, and wherein each ball engaged by the tire
The invenion relates particularly to a bowling ball 15 has its velocity reduced to substantially that of the tire
check or retarding device wherein the exit velocity of a
and is rolled along the upsweep section to a point of de
bowling ball is independent of its weight. This constitutes
livery onto a yieldingly pivotally mounted support from
which it rolls slowly onto the infeed track section of the
an important advance in the art because in all conven
ional types of ball checks known to applicants and now
on the market, exit velocity increases with the weight of 20
ball return runway to a position of rest.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a novel
ball stop or retarding device which because of its construc
the ball.
tion and operation is free from any parts or operating ele~
As used herein, exit velocity means the velocity of a
ments in the path of ‘travel of or engageable by a ball
ball at the time it is delivered by or from the ball stop or
which could damage it as by scratching or chipping, as it
retarding device onto the infeed track portion of a bowling
ball return, or the velocity of a ball at the time it is deliv 25 moved to a position of rest.
It‘ is a further object of the invention to provide a novel
red by or from the ball check or retarding device directly
ball stop or retarding device which because of its con
into the ball storage rack at the end of the bowling ball
return.
, struction is compact, easy to install and service, and does
not interfere with the movements of bowlers or constitute
In bowling alley installations with known types of ball
checks or bowling ball retarding devices, the kinetic energy 30 a hazard to them when playing the game.
of rotation and translation stored in a freely rolling ball is
partially dissipated against gravity forces in completely
elevating the ball to clear the uppermost point on the riser
or upsweep section of the bowling ball return runway en
route to the storage rack. It will be evident that with de
vices ‘of these types, there are occasions when ‘a ball does
not have su?icient momentum to insure that it will be de
livered along the riser or upsweep section into storage be
cause of insu?icient kinetic energy being stored in the ball
to insure such transit of the upsweep section. In bowling 40
alleys provided with bowling ball return runways which
are located beneath the alleys or separating members be
tween two adjacent alleys, failure of a ball to roll up and
oil? the upsweep section causes a serious problem, since if
the ball rolls downwardly and comes to rest beneath the
'alley or the separating members between two adjacent
alleys, considerable time must be used in removing boards
and reaching down in order to lift the ball manually and
carry it back to the storage rack.
‘It is a further object of this invention to provide a
mechanism that is continuous in operation rather than
one which must be re-set, automatically or otherwise to
make ready for the succeeding bowling ball.
With these and other objects not speci?cally mentioned
in view, the invention consists in certain combinations and
constructions which will be hereinafter fully described,
and then set forth in the claims hereunto appended.
In the accompanying drawings which form a part of
this speci?cation, and in which like characters of refer—
ence indicate the same or like parts:
FIGURE 1 is a sectional side elevation of a preferred
form of a bowling ball check and retarding device em
bodying the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the structure shown in
FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a partial end elevation taken on line 3--3
of FIGURE 1.
The bowling ball stop mechanism or retarding device
The present invention completely eliminates the prob 50 made in accordance with the invention can be used on
lem above mentioned because due to the positively oper
ated ball engaging and rolling member which forms a part
of the invention, each ball rolling along the upsweep sec
any type of bowling alley ball return as long as it can
be mounted such that the ball engaging surface of a
slowly moving ball engaging and speed checking and
propelling member is located in the path of travel of
moving surface of a traveling member and propelled 55 balls rolling towards the ball delivery or infeed section
or into the storage rack portion of the ball return runway
thereby upwardly to the point of discharge from the riser
on which it is installed. Because of the problems referred
or upsweep section. Thus at no time can a ball roll down
to hereinabove, it will be evident that the bowling ball
wardly once it has reached a point where it is engaged by
stop mechanism of the present invention is especially
the traveling ball propelling member. A ball stop mecha
nism constructed in accordance with the invention does 60 well adapted for use with bowling alley ball return run
ways wherein the latter extend from a point adjacent
not require any resetting in order to ready it for use,
the pit of a bowling alley or between the pits of two
and therefore eliminates the chance of collision of a ?rst
adjacent bowling alleys beneath and parallel with the
delivered ball by a succeeding ball.
bowling alleys or beneath the separators between adja
It is an object of the invention to provide a novel ball
check or ball retarding device for use with a bowling alley 65 cent bowling alleys to the head ends of such alleys. Such
ball returns, therefore, are invisible and balls rolling
ball return and a novel method of checking the movement
therealong cannot be seen until they emerge from the
of balls wherein each ball is resiliently, yet ?rmly gripped,
upsweep section thereof adjacent the approach or head
by a rotating ball engaging and displacing member, and
delivered slowly to a position of rest, such as a storage
ends of the alleys served by the return as they roll to
rack.
70 a position of rest or into a storage rack.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a novel
In the preferred form of the invention disclosed in the
ball return check or stop having a slowly moving endless
drawings, the ball stop mechanism or retarding device
tion is positively and ?rmly, yet resiliently gripped by the
3,042,403
9
e9
is designated generally 2141. Mechanism 210 is used in
conjunction with a ball return. and runway track 214
having an integral upsweep section 216 which at its top
end is connected to spaced guide tracks 224, slightly 1r:
clined downwardly to the right, as viewed 1n FIGURE
1, in order to provide for a slow rolling movement of
balls into a storage rack (not shown). Track 214 and
upsweep section 216 preferably are comprised of two
41.
against the action of spring 248 into the broken line
position shown in FIGURE 1. During this movement,
ball 5 is held frictionally and yet resiliently by surface
236 against rails 217.
As ball 5 rolled by surface 236 along upsweep track
216 reaches the upper ends of rails or tracks 217 at
approximately the point designated P, arcuate guide 218
moves forwardly or to the left due to force exerted by
spring 248 as viewed in FIGURE 1, such that cam nose
spaced rods mounted on supports 215 ?xed to the ap
proach end of the alley and the crossbar 219 having 1ts 10 221 thereon moves beneath and further raises ball 5 and
ends attached to side frames 223. The ball return track
disclosed is located above the alley, although, if desired,
it could be located therebeneath. Spaced track portions
224 are supported on crossbars 225, the ends of which
are attached to the inner faces of side frames 2231.
Supported between the bars which form upsweep track
section 216, and intermediate its point of curvature with
return track 214 and the ends attached to tracks 224 is
the latter comes to rest momentarily on rearwardly curved
projecting head portion 222 at the top of arcuate guide
218, or to full line position shown in FIGURE 1. From
this position, due to slope of surface 252 of nose 221
ball 5 rolls down curved downwardly inclined head por
tion 222, and along downwardly inclined tracks 224 to
a position of rest such as a storage rack (not shown).
It will be seen that ‘we have provided a simple and
extremely effective ball top mechanism or retarding de
an arcuate ball track and snubbing and camming member
218 having a rearwardly curved projecting head portion 20 vice which is capable of handling balls of all Weights
and insuring that they will be delivered into a ball storage
222. The functions of these parts will be described in
rack with a minimum exit velocity in a markedly im
more detail hereinafter. One end of ‘member 218 is
proved manner and with a minimum of damage to a ball
pivotally mounted on pins 244, suitably supported in the
handled thereby.
bars which form curved upsweep track section 216. See
FIGURE 3. The lower end of member 218 is provided
What we claim is:
l. Mechanism for checking the rolling movement of
with an extension 246 to which is attached one end of
a spring 248, the other end of which is attached to a
a bowling ball along a bowling ball return of a bowling
bracket 250 ?xed to block 226 between side frames 223.
alley, said return having an infeed track section, storage
rack and an upsweep track section for delivering bowling
Upsweep track section 216 is spaced from a moving ball
speed checking and handling member 228, such as a 30 balls into said storage rack, comprising a rotatably
rotating wheel, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2.
Spring '
mounted wheel having a resilient peripheral ball-engaging
surface located in the path of travel of a ball en route
2418 normally maintains snubbing and camming member
along said infeed track section, means rotatably support
218 spaced from member 228 a distance less than the
ing said wheel a distance less than the maximum diameter
'maximum diameter of a bowling ball. Tracks 217 com
prising upsweep track section 216 are substantially con 35 of a bowling ball from said track for positively engaging
said ball rolling along said track, means for rotating said
centric with the periphery of the resilient surface of tire
wheel at a relatively low rate of speed in comparison to
236 mounted on member 228 ?xed to shaft 242. Tracks
217 are spaced from surface 236 a distance less than
the rotation of said ball en route along said track, said
the maximum diameter of a bowling ball 5 so as to
upsweep track section of said return comprising arcuate
insure a ?rm, yet resilient and frictional engagement be 40 rails substantially concentric with and spaced from said
tween tracks 217 and surface 236 which is somewhat
' ball-engaging surface of said wheel, an arcuate snubbing
compressed, as shown in FIGURE 1, when a ball is in
member, the degree of curvature of said snubbing mem
engagement with surface 236, The ends of shaftv 242
ber being substantially the same as that of said rails of
are suitably journalled in bearings mounted on side
said upsweep section, means pivotally mounting said snub
frames 223. The point at which the upper ends of rails 45 bing member for movement between the rails of said up
217 are joined to tracks 224 preferably is slightly above
sweep section, means normally biasing said snubbing mem
the center line of rotating member 228.‘
ber towards said wheel into frictional engagement with
Shaft 242 is driven by a driving unit designated gen
a ball being moved along said upsweep section at a slow
erally D including a conventional motor and speed re
rate of speed by said Wheel and means maintaining said
duction unit, which may be similar in construction and 50 snubber in resilient engagement with said ball until said
operation to that disclosed in copending application,
ball is moved clear of said upsweep section by said wheel
Serial No. 742,908 ?led June 18, 1958. It is considered,
for delivery to said storage rack.
therefore, unnecessary to describe drive unit D more in
2. The invention as de?ned in claim 1 wherein, said
detail. Member 228 is driven at a very much slower
snubbing member is provided with a cam nose adjacent
rate of speed than that of a ball rolling along track 214
it's uppermost portion for supporting said ball after said
‘ and onto upsweep section 216 where it is engaged by sur
face 236 and wedged thereby against tracks 217, because
ball moves out of engagement with said wheel, said nose
being operative to urge said released ball toward said
of the spacing of surface 236 and tracks 217 described
storage rack.
hereinabove. Member 228 preferably is driven continu
3. Mechanism for checking the rolling movement of a
ously thereby making it ready for succeeding balls with -60 bowling ball along a bowling ball return of a bowling
out requiring resetting for use.
alley, said return having an infeed track section, storage
In operation, a ball 5 rolling along runway track 214»
rack, and an upsweep track section for delivering bowl
at the position designated I, has a momentum and veloc
ing balls into said storage rack, said track sections com
ity resulting from the force at which it was propelled
prising spaced rails and said return comprising means
mechanically or pushed manually along the return track 65 mounting said rails to extend from a 'ball receiving posi
from a point adjacent the pit of the alley (not shown).
tion adjacent the pit of the alley to a ball rest position
When ball 5 reaches the position designated II, it will be
adjacent the approach end thereof, the combination of a
engaged by resilient surface 236 of member 228, and also
ball-engaging member located in the path of travel of a
will be pressed thereby against resiliently mounted arcuate
ball en rounte along said infeed track section, means
guide 218 and held frictionally against rails 217. The 70 rotatably mounting said member at a distance from said
effect of this action is to reduce the velocity of the ball
markedly, or to a velocity substantially equal to that of
surface 236 of member 228. In the continued move
ment of surface 236, as it rolls ball 5 upwardly along
track which is less than the maximum diameter of a bowl
ing ball for positively engaging said ball rolling along
said track, means for rotating said member at a rate of
speed substantially less than that of a bowling ball en
rails 217, arcuate member 218 is pressed rearwardly 75 gaged thereby, a snubber, means pivotally mounting said
5
3,042,403
6
snubber between the rails of said upsweep‘ track section,
and means normally biasing said snubber into the path of
movement of a bowling ball along said upsweep track
section for exerting a frictional force on the ball when the
same is located between said ball-engaging member and
said upsweep track section for reducing the kinetic energy
and speed of the ball as it is travelled by said ball-engaging
member and delivered at a slow rate of speed onto said
toward the upper end of said upsweep section; and biasing
means connected to said snubbing member and operative
to resiliently bias the same toward said ball-engaging sur
face of said ball-controlling member and thus into en
gagement with a bowling ball when the ball is being
rolled along said upsweep section by said ball-controlling
surface.
S. A bowling alley installation in accordance with
storage rack.
claim 4 and wherein said ball-controlling device is a wheel
4. In a bowling alley installation, the combination of 10 having a resilient periphery, and the upper end of said
a return runway extending from a ball receiving position
upsweep section is located slightly above the axis of ro
adjacent the pit of the alley, said return runway including
tation of said wheel.
an upwardly curving upsweep section disposed adjacent
6‘. A bowling alley installation in accordance with
the approach end of the alley, said upsweep section com
claim 4 and wherein said snubbing member extends from
prising transversely spaced rails; guide track means for 15 its pivotal axis to the upper end of said upsweep section
guiding balls from said upsweep section to a storage de
and is there provided with a downwardly slanting end
vice, said guide traok means comprising transversely
surface joined to said ball-engaging surface of said snub
spaced rails disposed above the alley bed and extending
bing member by a rounded nose, pivotal movement of said
longitudinally of the alley from the upper end of said
snubbing member by said biasing means causing said
upsweep section; a movable ball-controlling device 20 snubbing member to assume a position in which said
mounted above said upsweep section and presenting a
downwardly slanting surface is engaged beneath the ball
travelling ball-engaging surface spaced from the rails of
when a bowling ball is rolled beyond said nose by said
said upsweep section by a distance su?iciently less than
ball-controlling member.
the maximum diameter of a bowling ball that a bowling
7. A bowling alley installation in accordance with
ball rolling along said upsweep section is positively en 25 claim 6 and wherein said ball-engaging surface of said
gaged between the rails of said upsweep section and said
snubbing member has at least generally the same curvature
ball-engaging surface; power means connected to said
as said upsweep section.
device to drive the same at a rate and in a direction such
that, when a ball is engaged between the rails of said
upsweep section and said ball-engaging surface, the latter 30
will roll the ball upwardly along said upsweep section
at a predetermined slow rate of speed; a snubbing mem
ber disposed between the rails of said upsweep section
and mounted for pivotal movement about an axis which
extends transversely of said upsweep at a point substan 35
tially below said ball~controlling device, said snubbing
device having a ball-engaging surface which extends from
the location of the pivotal axis of said snubbing member
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
832,250
1,160,018
2,207,643
2,491,349
Frish _________________ __ Oct. 2,
Vearing ______________ __ Nov. 9,
Strong ________________ __ July 9,
Wilson ______________ a- Dec. 13,
1906
1915
1940
1949
2,566,379
Strong ________________ .._ Sept. 4, 1951
2,796,261
Turner ______________ __ June 18, 1957
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