US 3091681 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 8, 1963 A. H. MAYER 3,091,681
HEATER FOR BOWLING BALLS Filed April 3. 1961 IN V EN TOR.
ATTORNE Y5 This application relates generally to improvements in bowling apparatus and associated equipment, and more particularly to new and improved means for heating a bowling ball to a desired playing temperature.
The sport of bowling has grown considerably in recent years as evidenced by the large number of bowling establishments and bowling leagues which exist throughout the country. While an individually owned bowling ball generally is protected Within a bowling bag between playing days, it has become commonplace for many bowlers to leave the bowling bag in the interior or trunk of their automobiles, to be removed only during actual bowling periods at the bowling alley.
As a result, the bowling ball is subjected to large extremes of temperatures-particularly during the winter monthsand due to the characteristics of the materials used in bowling balls, it has been found that such temperature variations may adversely affect the performance of the ball on the alley, and hence lower the score of the player.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide novel means for insuring that a bowling ball be brought to a desired playing temperature prior to periods of play.
It is another object of this invention to provide heating means adapted for use with an auto-mobile electrical circuit for bringing a bowling ball to a desired playing temperature just prior to its intended use.
It is still another object of this invention to provide bowling ball heating means, as above, which is adapted for simple connection to an automobile battery, such as at the cigarette lighter receptacle on the automobile dashboard.
It is a further object of this invention to provide novel bowling ball heating means, as above, which may be operatively connected to the bowling ball itself, or which may be operatively connected to the bag for the bowling ball.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide bowling ball with unique heating means characterized by its relatively low cost and simplicity, and by its ease of adaptation to a source of energizing potential in an automobile.
The novel features which are characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claim. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is :a perspective view illustrating one embodiment of the invention as utilized With the cigarette lighter receptacle of an automobile;
FIGURE 2 is a view, partly in cross-section, showing the heating element of FIGURE 1 operatively inserted in a finger aperture of a bowling ball;
FIGURE 3 is a view illustrating an embodiment of the invention having a more permanent type of installation in an automobile; and
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of another embodiment of bowling ball heater in accordance with the invention wherein the heating element is positioned within a bowling ball bag.
Referring now to the drawing, and more particularly to FIGURE 1 thereof, there is shown an illustrative emtates Patent 3,691,681 Patented May 28, 1963 bodiment of the invention operatively connected in heating relationship with a bowling ball. In accordance with standard procedures, the bowling ball is formed with a plurality of generally cylindrical finger-receiving apertures 12 which extend into the bowling ball for enabling the latter to be carried and thrown during play. The materials forming the bowling ball comprise certain plastic ingredients, and as a result, the rolling characteristics of the bowling ball on the alley may be greatly affected by extreme temperatures. Thus, it has been found that a bowling ball which has been lowered substantial-1y below normal room temperatures will become more brittle and will not perform in the same fashion on the bowling alley as a bowling ball at normal room temperatures. This condition can adversely affect the game of the player and substantially reduce his score until the ball gradually warms up to normal playing temperatures.
It has become a practice for many players, to store their bowling ball in their automobile, and particularly in the trunk of the automobile, between playing days. Thus, during the extreme low temperatures of the winter months, the bowling ball when removed from the trunk may be extremely cold and adversely affect the pl-ayers game as described hereinabove, until the ball has had the opportunity to warm up to normal playing temperatures.
In accordance with the present invention, this undesirable condition is eliminated by the provision of a novel heating means which is adapted for simple con nection to the bowling ball and which receives its energization from the battery of the automobile. Thus, as shown in FIGURES l and 2 of the drawing, one particular embodiment of the invention may take the form of a heating element adapted to be inserted into one of the finger-receiving apertures 12 of the bowling ball for heating the ball when the element is energized by the automobile battery. This embodiment of the invention comprises an elongated heating element 14 having a transverse dimension smaller than the diameter of the finger-receiving aperture 12 so that the heating element I4-may easily be inserted therewithin. Advantageously, the heating element 14 may comprise a ceramic cartridge 16 having a coil of electrical heating wire 18 embedded therewithin. The heating element 14 is securely fastened to a handle 20 of any suitable electrical and heat insulating material such as plastic, wood, or the like, for facilitating the insertion of the heating element into the fingerreceiving aperture. Preferably, the extent of this insertion may be limited by a suitable flange 22 at the base of the handle 20, which flange 22 is formed with a diameter greater than the diameter of the finger-receiving aperture 12.
In accordance with one particular feature of this invention, the heating element 14 is associated with suitable resilient gripping means which serve to hold the heating element firmly in place within the finger-receiving aperture after the heating element is inserted therewithin. Thus, such resilient gripping means may take the form of a plurality of spring clamps 24 which are fastened to the handle 20 and extend downwardly therefrom adjacent the heating element 14. As illustrated in FIG- URE 2, the spring clamps 24 normally are biased outwardly for an extent greater than the diameter of the finger-receiving aperture, and when the heating element 14 is inserted within the latter, the spring clamps 24 are resiliently pressed against the interior walls of fingerreceiving aperture to hold the heating element firmly in place therewithin. Manifestly, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the spring clamps 24 are merely illustrative of one type of resilient gripping means which may be utilized for this purpose with the heating element, and
that other types of resilient gripping means may be used with equally advantageous results.
The electrically energizable heating coil 13 in the heating element 14 is electrically connected to a pair of power conductors 26 and 28 which extend through the handle 20 and through a suitable insulating cable 30 to a terminal plug 32 adapted to be connected tothe automobile battery, either through any suitable switch or, if desired, through the automobile cigarette lighter.
In the particular illustrative embodiment shown in FIG- URES 1 and 2, the terminal plug 32 takes the form of a connector shaped to fit within the cigarette lighter receptacle 34 normally provided in many automobiles. Thus, the terminal plug 32 advantageously is provided with a central terminal contact 35 separated by means of the insulator 36 from the annular terminal contact 38 such that the insertion of the terminal plug 32 into the cigarette lighter receptacle 34 connects the heating element 14 to the automobile battery for energization of the heating element. If desired, it is contemplated that a suitable temperature responsive switch 40', such as a thermostatic switch, may be provided in the handle 20 in circuit with the power conductors and heating element for opening and closing the electrical energizing circuit to maintain the heating element 14 at a desired temperature.
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that it is necessary merely for the player to insert the terminal plug 32 into the cigarette lighter receptacle 34 at a time prior to the desired playing time for causing the bowling ball to be heated to a desired playing temperature when the bowling ball is ready for use.
It further will be appreciated that the invention may easily and simply be connected to the bowling ball and to the automobile battery circuit-either by a direct connection or through the cigarette lighter receptaclewhen the heating operation is desired, and at the completion thereof, the invention may be removed with equal ease and simplicity.
It may be desirable to provide a semi-permanent type of circuit in the automobile so that it will be necessary only for the player to connect the terminal plug when he leaves his home or ofiice for the bowling alley. This may be achieved simply through the use of an elongated power cable 30 which extends from the dashboard 42 of the automobile to the trunk thereof, either by running under the seats of the automobile, or by being wired in a position on the frame of the automobile.
It is appreciated that many bowlers prefer to store their bowling ball in a bowling bag 44to protect the same and to facilitate the carrying of the ball. Towards this end, the bowling bag may be provided with a suitable opening through which the heating element and handle may be inserted for operative connection between the heating element 14 and the bowling ball.
In lieu of such an arrangement, the bowling bag itself may be adapted as shown in FIGURE 4 for heating the bowling ball by means of a specially constructed ball stand 46 having heating wires-48 distributed therein. Manifestly, it is desirable that the ball stand 46 be formed of a suitably constructed heat and electrically insulated material having the heating wires 48- embedded therewithin such that heat is transmitted to the bowling ball when the ball 10 is rested thereon.
In this embodiment, the power cable 30 may be connected between the heating wires 48 in the ball stand 46 and a suitable terminal receptacle 50 positioned in a wall of the bowling bag. Thus, in this embodiment, it merely is necessary to plug a power cord from the automobile battery into the terminal receptacle 50 for providing energizing current from the battery to the heating wires 48.
Those skilled in the art will now appreciate that whether the heating means is in the form of an elongated heating element adapted to be inserted into a finger-receiving aperture of the bowling ball, or whether the heating means is in the form of a specially wired ball stand within the bowling bag, it is fairly simple to connect the heating means to the battery by the use of the cigarette lighter receptacle of the automobile.
It further will be appreciated that in accordance with a feature of this invention, the heating means could easily be connected to or removed fromthe bowling ball so as notto interfere with the latter or require any special adaptation thereof.
, While there has been shown and described a specific embodiment of the present invention, it will, of course, be understood that various modifications and alternative constructions may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended by the appended claim to cover all such modifications and alternative constructions as fall within its true spirit and scope.
What is claimed as the invention is:
The improvement of heating means for heating a bowling. ball comprising an elongated electrically energizable heating element, said heating element having a transverse dimension less than the diameter of the finger-receiving opening in the bowling ball to enable said heating element to be inserted in said opening, elongated resilient gripping means attached to said heating element and of a length approximating the length of said heating element for gripping the walls of said finger-receiving opening to maintain the heatingelement in placewhen said element is positioned within said opening, handle means connected to said heating element, flange means of greater diameter than said finger-receiving opening in the bowling ball positioned intermediate the heating element and the handle means for limiting the insertion of the heating element Within said finger-receiving opening, conductor means connected at one end to said heating element and extending through said handle means, anda terminal plug connected to the other end of said conductor means, said terminal plug being shaped to operatively fit within the cigarette lighter receptacle in an automobile for electrically connecting sa1d heating element to the automobile battery.
References (Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,098,735 Yentis Nov. 9-, 1937 2,214,084 Lovice Sept. 10, 1940 2,396,591 Melniczak Mar. 12, 1946 2,469,468 Judd May 10, 1949 2,482,665 Geyer Sept. 20, 1949 2,554,231 Wymore May 22, 1951 2,617,012 Westley Nov. 4, 1952 2,920,243 Taren Jan. 5, 1960 3,013,141 Ellis Dec. 12, 196 1 C FOREIGN PATENTS 632,023 Germany July 1, 1936