US 3848808 A
A water play toy includes a resiliently deformable tubular body to be filled with liquid under pressure to an expanded condition for providing a large pressurized reservoir of liquid to be squirted. One end of the tube is closed and the other end of the tube is open to permit filling and release of the liquid under the control of the user. In one embodiment an adapter is provided for attachment to a conventional hose bib for receiving a shaped nozzle attached to the open end of the tube. In another embodiment the adapter includes a funnel-like nozzle for conducting liquid into the tube. When the tube is filled, finger pressure, or a mechanical trigger control, is used to control dispensing a stream of liquid under pressure from the open end of the tube. A protective sleeve surrounding the tube contains the force produced by any possible bursting of the expanded water-filled tube.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Fetty et al.
1451 Nov. 19, 1974 WATER SQUIRT TOY WITH PROTECTIVE SLEEVE  Inventors: Warren Newton Fetty, Altadena;
Richard Parke Knerr, Arcadia; Richard Lee Gillespie, San Gabriel; Pierre Andre Bettencourt, Duarte, all of Calif.
 Assignee: Wham-O Manufacturing Company,
San Gabriel, Calif.
22 Filed: May 31,1973 211 Appl. No.: 365,537
 US. Cl 239/327, 239/328, 239/546,
46/1 E, 222/78, 222/183  Int. Cl. B65d 1/32, B67d 5/08, A63h 33/00  Field of Search 239/327, 328, 546; 46/1 E;
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 254,715 12/1948 Switzerland 239/546 381,069 8/1964 Switzerland ..222/183 Primary Examiner-Robert S. Ward, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Christie, Parker & Hale 57 ABSTRACT A water play toy includes a resiliently deformable tubular body to be filled with liquid under pressure to an expanded condition for providing a large pressurized reservoir of liquid to be squirted. One end of the tube is closed and the other end of the tube is open to permit filling and release of the liquid under the control of the user. In one embodiment an adapter is provided for attachment to a conventional hose bib for receiving a shaped nozzle attached to the open end of the tube. In another embodiment the adapter includes a funnel-like nozzle for conducting liquid into the tube. When the tube is filled, finger pressure, or a mechanical trigger control, is used to control dispensing a stream of liquid under pressure from the open end of the tube. A protective sleeve surrounding the tube contains the force produced by any possible bursting of the expanded water-filled tube.
16 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures WATER SQUIRT TOY WITH PROTECTIVE SLEEVE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to water play toys, and in particular to a toy used to expel a stream of liquid at a target or the like.
In the past, water squirt toys have typically included small trigger operated pump devices in a water pistol configuration. These toys have a relatively small reservoir filled by pouring water into it and thereafter plugging or sealing it off. Operation of a trigger which acts as a pump forces a charge of water through a constricted opening to expel the water in a third stream in the direction in which the toy is pointed.
Such prior art squirt toys are characterized by the use of a relatively small supply of liquid. In addition, the stream of water emitted from such a toy is in the form of a short thin burst, since the typical user of such a toy does not have great physical strength in his hands and therefore is not able to exert a large amount of pressure on the trigger of the water pistol. Typically, squirt toys of the prior art have also had a small opening into the storage reservoir, making filling awkward and difficult, while also wasting a considerable amount of water ammunition.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a water squirt toy comprising an elongatedhollow tube made of a resiliently deformable material and having a closed fluid-tight end, and a nozzle end. Adapter means for attachment to a source of water under pressure receives the nozzle end of the tube in a mating, water flow conducting relationship whereby the tube can be expanded and filled with water from the source thereof.
The water-filled tube is characterized by a number of significant advantages, including the fact that in its fully expanded form it contains a supply exceeding one pint of water which by virture of control of the nozzle end of the tube by the user can be expelled in a large stream over a distance up to thirty feet. Beacause the squirt toy is filled from a source of water having sufficient pressure to overcome the resiliency of the squirt toy tube, the water stored in the reservoir is likewise under pressure, and as the tube contracts while the nozzle is being controlled, the water is forced out, the amount expelled being dependent upon the size of the aperture allowed at the nozzle end by the user. Since the water squirt toy is self-pressurized due to expansion of the resilient body within its elastic limit during filling, the toy has the ability to release liquid in a continuous stream for the entire supply, rather than in bursts as is typical of trigger-operated water pistols. Thus the user can select whether to release the stored liquid in one continuous blast, in a number of shorter bursts, or in a combination or relatively long and short bursts depending upon the game in which the user is engaged.
In addition to the foregoing advantages, the squirt toy of the present invention also is quickly filled from a standard hose bib, and is easily extracted from the adapter, grasped by the user, and controlled when releasing a stream of water. Thus, water waste is cut to a minimum.
There is a chance that repeated filling of the tube to its maximum expanded condition eventually will cause the tube to become fatigued and burst, possibly snapping violently, which could do possible injury to the user of the toy. To protect against this occurrence, the water squirt toy is provided with an elongated protective sleeve disposed around the exterior of the water filled tube. If the tube eventually bursts due to repeated filling with water under pressure, the protective sleeve will contain the force produced when the tube bursts and thereby avoid harm to the user.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other advantages will be better understood by referring to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is an exploded elevation view, partly broken away, of a preferred embodiment of this invention showing its relation to a conventional hose bib;
FIG. 2 is an exploded cross-sectional elevation view showing an adapter, an aperture disk seated in the adapter, and a retaining washer also seated in the adapted to hold the apertured disk in place;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevation view showing an alternate embodiment of the hose adapter of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional elevation view showing a nozzle for use with the squirt toy of this invention;
FIG. 5 is an elevation view showing the body portion of the squirt toy of this invention;
FIG. 6 is a plan view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an elevation view showing a protective sleeve portion of the squirt toy of this invention;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the squirt toy of this invention in its filled condition;
FIG. 9 is an exploded cross-sectional elevation view showing a triggered alternate embodiment of this invention; and
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 9 with the trigger mechanism closed.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A water squirt toy 12 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. As shown therein, squirt toy 12 includes a tubular body 14 of a resiliently deformable material such as a thermoplastic rubber. The tube has an open end 16 and a closed end 18. A heat seal forms a fluid-tight seal at the closed end of the tube. A nozzle 20 is adapted to be slipped over open end 16 of the tube such that open end 16 seats against an interior shoulder (not shown in FIG. 1) of the nozzle. The nozzle necks down at an end 22 opposite tube 14 to a relatively narrow opening or construction to permit this end to be pinched off by finger pressure when the squirt toy is in use. An elongated protective sleeve 24 made of a resiliently deformable material, such as a thermoplastic rubber, is disposed around the exterior of tube 14. Preferably the sleeve is bonded to the exterior surface of widened portion of nozzle 20. An adapter 26 is provided as part of the structure of the present toy. The adapter comprises an internally threaded fitting for attachment to a source of fluid under pressure, such as a conventional hose bib 28.
Nozzle 20 also is preferably formed of a thermoplastic material such as a styrene butadiene copolymer, is thermoformedor injection molded, and is bonded to tube 14 by an adhesive or the like to provide a fluidtight seal at this portion of the toy.
Adapter 26 includes a central aperture at one end thereof to permit a slip-fit reception of end 20 of nozzle 18 for the expansion and filling of tube 14 without the escape of significant amount of water.
The details of hose bib adapter 26 are shown in FIG. 2, and an alternate embodiment thereof is shown in FIG. 3. In FIG. 2, adapter 26 is provided with internal threads 30 having the standard threading to mate with a conventional hose bib to permit attachment of the adapter to the bib. Adapter 26 is provided with a circular opening 32 at one end which defines an internal shoulder 34. A disk 36 of a diameter somewhat larger than opening 28 and having a central aperture 38 is seated on shoulder 34 in the interior of the adapter. A resilient washer 40 having a diameter slightly greater than the internal diameter of adapter 26 is then seated against disk 36 to frictionally lock disk 36 in place and to provide a fluid seal when the adapter is attached to a hose bib.
In FIG. 3, an alternate adapter 42 is shown with an external tube or conduit 44 for receiving pinch nozzle 22. Tube 44 is formed integrally with and extends outwardly from an end 46 of the adapter. The inside diameter of tube 44 corresponds to the outside diameter of nozzle section 22 to provide a close, slip-fitted, essentially fluid-tight, reception of the nozzle when the latter is inserted in tube 44. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the adapter of this invention is preferably fabricated of injection molded, medium density, polyethylene plastic.
A cross-sectional view of nozzle 20 is shown in FIG. 3. Nozzle 20 comprises an expanded end portion 48 which fits over open end 16 of tube 14. Expanded portion 48 which fits over open end 16 of tube 14. Expanded portion 48 tapers toward open end section 22. Nozzle 18 includes an interior shoulder 50 against which open end 16 of tube 14 abuts. In the preferred method of attachment of nozzle 20 to tube 14, an adhesive such as a methylethylketone mixed with a small amount of a styrene butadiene copolymer is prepared in a slurry. The end of the tube is dipped in the adhesive and immediately slipped into nozzle 20 until the nozzle stops at shoulder 50. When seated in position, tube 14 plus nozzle 20 have an overall length of approximately eight inches. The nozzle is made of a resiliently deformable thermoplastic rubber and has a wall thickness of approximately 1/10 inch. The nozzle is normally selfsupporting in an upright position which enables the narrowed open end section 22 of the nozzle to be easily pushed into engagement with the adapter during use as will be described in greater detail below.
Tube 14 is shown in two views in FIGS. and 6, side elevational and plan views respectively. The tube is made of thermoplastic rubber having an outside diameter of approximately 3/8 inch, and a wall thickness of approximately 1/16 inch. This construction also allows the tube to normally maintain a self-supporting upright position which allows the user to easily grasp the squirt -toy and push the nozzle section into engagement with the adapter during use. In fabrication, one end of the tube is closed to complete the reservoir for the water to be squirted. In the preferred embodiment, the closure is obtained by pinching the tube at one end and heat sealing it. Other embodiments are likewise possible, including the insertion of a plug of similar material which could be heat sealed and adhesively secured at the closed end of the tube. A resilient material such as a thermoplastic rubber is used in the body portion to provide both a material which is easily extruded or thermoformed, and also can be expanded when subjected to the pressures normally available from a municipal water supply. A preferred thermoplastic rubber is likewise a styrene butadiene copolymer.
FIG. 7 shows protective sleeve 24 which is open at both ends and made of the same thermoplastic rubber as tube 14. The sleeve also has the same wall thickness as the tube, and is identical in length to that of the tube. The top interior portion of sleeve 24 preferably is bonded to the exterior widened portion 48 of nozzle 20 by the same adhesive used to bond the tube to the interior of the nozzle.
The inside diameter of the sleeve preferably is about inch, such that the sleeve makes a loose fit around the exterior of the tube.
In use, adapter 26 is attached to hose bib 28 and end 22 of nozzle 20 is inserted into the aperture 38 or tube 44 in the adapter. The water is then turned on at the bib. Water flows through the nozzle into the tube, and the pressure, typically psi, causes the tube to expand along its length with the end adjacent the nozzle expanding first- The water fills this space and causes the tube to expand slowly along its length toward the heat sealed end, expanding as it fills. Protective sleeve24 also expands, but its expansion is less than that of the tube since the sleeve has a larger diameter than the tube. When the tube is fully expanded and filled, the water is shut off and the nozzle is retracted from the adapter. As it is retracted, the user applies pressure to the necked down end portion 22 to pinch it off and hold the fluid in the expanded reservoir as the squirt toy is transported to the location when it is desired to shoot the water. Alternatively, mechanical means are provided adjacent the open end to squeeze the tube closed.
A filled and fully expanded embodiment of the present invention 12 is shown in FIG. 8 as it is grasped at the nozzle end by the hand of a user to pinch off the supply until it is ready to be squirted. By selectively reducing the finger pressure pinching the nozzle closed, water is permitted to escape in the form of a squirted stream, the rate of escape and the size of the stream being controlled by the finger pressure on the nozzle. After a burst, the pinch nozzle can be squeezed again to cut off the supply of water entirely, waiting for the next occasion when it is desired to send a burst or squirt from the toy.
If tube 14 is used along and expanded under water pressure to its maximum size on repeated occasions, it eventually becomes fatigued and may rupture and snap violently. The force produced when the tube bursts could possibly injure a child using the toy. The protective sleeve 24 substantially prevents the chance of injury in the event the tube bursts. Since the sleeve is made of the same material as the tube and has the same wall thickness, and also since the sleeve makes a loose fit around the tube, each time the tube is expanded to its maximum size, the sleeve is not at its maximum size concurrently. Therefore, the sleeve will not be fatigued to the same extent as the tube, so if the tube eventually breaks, the sleeve will maintain its integrity and will contain the force produced with the tube bursts. Thus, the sleeve prevents voilent movement of the tube and the water is jettisoned out the open bottom end of the sleeve, doing no harm except possible getting the user wet.
In use, the tube and sleeve have been observed to become vulcanized together when the tube expands against the inside of the sleeve. This problem has been successfully avoided by coating the contacting surfaces of the tube and sleeve with a slip agent, preferably a fatty nitrogen chemical such as Adogen 58 manufactured by Archer Daniels Midland Co. of Minneapolis, Minn.
An alternate embodiment of the squirt toy of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 in which a tube 52 of a resilient material such as latex rubber is provided having an open end and a closed end. Depending upon the nature of the material selected, it is also possible to close one end by knotting the material at that end rather than heat sealing or plugging. At the other end, an adapter 54 is provided which, as in the previous embodiment of the adapter, is threaded internally to be secured to a hose bib. In this embodiment adapter 54 is provided with a nozzle or funnel 56 integrally formed with the body of the adapter which extends from the adapter and tapers toward a narrow end 58. A nozzle section 60 at the open end of the tube 52 is slipped over funnel 56 and pushed against the body 62 of adapter 54, undergoing expansion and tensioning as it is moved toward body portion 62 of the adpater. When in place, end 58 reaches a distance into the tube corresponding to its length. Once in position, it is held by the user and the water turned on at the hose bib to fill the expandable reservoir.
When filled, the water is turned off and a trigger mechanism 64 is operated to close and seal the open end of tube 52. Mechanism 64 includes a latch or trigger 66 rotatable about a pin 68. Trigger 66 is in the closed position can be locked by means of a detent 70 engaging the base of a slot 72 in a trigger housing 74. The trigger housing is secured to the end of tube 52 52 by suitable means. A protective sleeve 75 identical in construction to sleeve 24 is bonded to a portion of housing 74 to make a loose fit around tube 52. When trigger 66 is locked in the tube-closing position, tube 52 is slipped off funnel 56. Simultaneous longitudinal and diametrical thumb pressure releases trigger 66 to permit controlled release of water from the toy.
1. A water squirt toy comprising:
a hollow elongated tube made of a resiliently deformable material and having a closed end and an open end,
adapter means for attachment to a source of water under pressure, the adapter means being arranged to receive the open end of the tube at a mating, water flow conducting relationship so the tube can be filled to an expanded condition with water from the water source, and
a protective sleeve disposed around the exterior of the tube to contain the force of any possible bursting of the tube.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 including a nozzle at the open end of the tube to provide an elongated constriction through which water is squirted from the expanded tube.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which the adapter means includes an internally threaded pressure fitting for attachment to an externally threaded hose bib providing said source of water under pressure, the pressure fitting having an aperture for slidably receiving a predetermined length of the nozzle.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the tube is made of a thennoplastic rubber material heat sealed at the closed end.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 in which the nozzle is a shaped tube of a thermoplastic rubber material adhesively secured to the tube, the shaped tube having a portion of its length of a first diameter disposed over and circumscribing the open end of the tube, and a second portion of its length of a second diameter smaller than the diameter of the receiving aperture in the adapter means extending away from the open end of the tube, the shaped tube defining a pinch nozzle for finger controlled operation of the squirt toy.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the pressure fitting comprises an open ended cylinder internally threaded for attachment to the hose bib, the cylinder defining an interior shoulder at one end for receiving an apertured disk, the disk being retained in position against the shoulder by a retaining washer frictionally engaging the interior walls of the cylinder, the aperture in the disk having a diameter for a close, relatively water tight, slidable reception of the second portion of the pinch nozzle.
7. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which the nozzle includes a necked down portion for controlled closure of the open end of the tube by finger pressure.
8. Appparatus according to claim 1 including a nozzle secured to the adapter for filling engagement with the tube.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1 including a controllably closably elongated nozzle section at the open end of the tube, and in which the nozzle section is constructed from a resiliently deformable material of such longitudinal stiffness that it is normally self-supporting and thereby able to be pushed into releasable engagement with the aperture of the adapter means to provide a close, slip-fitted water pressure tight seal between the nozzle section and the aperture so the tube can be expanded and filled with water under pressure from the water source.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1 including a controllably closably elongated nozzle at the open end of the tube, and in which the adapter means includes an internally threaded pressure fitting for attachment to an externally threaded hose bib providing a source of water under pressure, and a sleeve engaged with the pressure fitting and arranged to receive the nozzle of the tube in a mating, water flow conducting relationship.
11. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the tube has sufiicient longitudinal stiffness to be normally selfsupporting and thereby able to provide an expanded high pressure reservoir for the water admitted to the interior of the tube.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which the protective sleeve is made from a material normally having substantially the same degree of resiliency as that of the tube.
13. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which the protective sleeve extends for a major portion of the length of the tube.
14. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the sleeve is made of a material normally having substantially the same degree of resiliency as that of the tube.
the latter is filled to its expanded condition.
16. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which the protective sleeve has a higher rupture strength than the mg NITED STATES PATENTVIOFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,848,808 Dated November 19, 1974 -Invent r( Warren Newton Fettv et al It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
rv v a *1 Col. 1 line 15, "third" should read thin line 43, "Beacause" should read Because Col. 2, line 2 1, "adapted" should read adapter line 66),. "of widened" should read of-the widened Col. 3, line "amount" should read amounts line 35, "Expanded por" DELETE line 36, "tion 48 which fits over open end 16 of tube 14." DELETE It is a repetition of portions of two sentences.
Col. 4, line 52', "along" should read alone-- line 66, "with" should read when line 67, "voilent" should read violent UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Page 2 CERTIFICATE I ()F CORRECTION Patent No. 5, Dated November 19, 197
Warren Newton 'Fetty et a1.
Inventor(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent 'and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Col. 5, line 2 "possible" read possibly line 28, "adpater" should read adapter line 36 "66 is in the" should read 66 in the line' 39, "tube 5252" should read tube 52 C01. 7 line 4 "to" should (Claim lS) read a Signed and sealed this 11th day of March 1975.
v C. MARSHALL DANN I RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks