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Author Topic: Gibbs: an American spinning top family  (Read 7739 times)

ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2020, 11:34:10 PM »

I think I found the original Gibbs patent for the top that was used in McKinley-Hobart 1896 presidential campaign! The inventor was William C. Maynard, and although it's not assigned to Gibbs, it looks very similar to those tops, was issued September 1, 1896 and, even more telling, he was from Canton, Ohio!  8) By the way, President McKinley had also settled in Canton after the Civil War.



What's patentable here? The starters? The acoustics?
These patents are mostly about the starters, except for the spring tip patent. But even the oldest one says it's an improvement "to that class of tops known as spring-tops".
Curiously, a man named Edward Segassie from New Orleans was awarded the same day a patent (US 567,008) for another top with a detachable spring starter (but the top is of the flywheel type).
By the way, the spring tip was not really new. On November 1st, 1910, Charles Burton Winzer, from London, England, was awarded US Patent 974,731 for a generic spinning top spring bouncing tip.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2020, 03:37:59 AM »

Interesting history. Wouldn't have thought any of that still patentable by 1896. But I get the feeling from Lourens' book that commercial mechanical tops were more advanced in Europe and Japan than in the US -- at least in the late 19th century.
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Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time ... and with spinning tops, we decorate both.
—after Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1960-1988

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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2020, 06:29:28 PM »

Interesting history. Wouldn't have thought any of that still patentable by 1896. But I get the feeling from Lourens' book that commercial mechanical tops were more advanced in Europe and Japan than in the US -- at least in the late 19th century.

Although I believe many US patents at that time were copycats of European patents, most likely Winzer applied for a British patent not too much before his US patent. The delay in toy technology across the Atlantic was likely not more than 2 or 3 years. I think tops in Japan at that time were all wooden, except for the shafts and rims, so in top technology they were behind, but not in top creativity.

I bet you that you could still patent a mechanical top similar to these in 2020  ;) You just need to respond enough times to the actions of the examiner until he/she gives up. It's funny how the patent system works.  ::)

I have seen and own off brand gibbs style tops from japan, some identical except for paint and launcher.
This is from Canada:

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Texture

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2020, 08:33:37 PM »

Interesting history. Wouldn't have thought any of that still patentable by 1896. But I get the feeling from Lourens' book that commercial mechanical tops were more advanced in Europe and Japan than in the US -- at least in the late 19th century.

Although I believe many US patents at that time were copycats of European patents, most likely Winzer applied for a British patent not too much before his US patent. The delay in toy technology across the Atlantic was likely not more than 2 or 3 years. I think tops in Japan at that time were all wooden, except for the shafts and rims, so in top technology they were behind, but not in top creativity.

I bet you that you could still patent a mechanical top similar to these in 2020  ;) You just need to respond enough times to the actions of the examiner until he/she gives up. It's funny how the patent system works.  ::)

I have seen and own off brand gibbs style tops from japan, some identical except for paint and launcher.
This is from Canada:
Ooooh!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:41:29 PM by ta0 »
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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2020, 08:43:41 PM »

Here is a list of their models at one time.



Note that it says that #2 had been sold since 1898, so there might be another patent we are missing.
I don't know why the #13 says that it features a cowboy theme while in the photo (and in another I have) there are planes  :-\
It's nice that the plunge top is a real top (no foot) :)
I wonder what's the deal with the numbering. Are the missing numbers prototypes? The other toys they sold?
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2020, 09:25:35 PM »

Here is a list of their models at one time....
I don't know why the #13 says that it features a cowboy theme while in the photo (and in another I have) there are planes  :-\
It's nice that the plunge top is a real top (no foot) :)

Those are cowboy airplanes, silly!

Had the same thought about the plunge top. Thanks for posting this delight for the eyes. I want all of them!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 09:33:18 PM by Jeremy McCreary »
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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2023, 07:26:28 PM »

There is a top on Ebay that looks like it might be an example of an early Gibbs top as the body is wooden. It also has a similar tip as the McKinley tops:



What is funny, is that among the photographs on the auction there is a screen caption of the thread on this forum:





Actually, it's not very unusual to find material from the forum used or referenced. That's why I prefer to post on this forum than on social media: we serve as an archive of Top culture.

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Texture

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2023, 08:18:53 PM »

I’ve seen this top on eBay. I think it isn’t wooden, but metal, just like the other newer gibbs tops. Although for the longest time there was a wooden gibbs old glory flag top on ebay that was only recently purchased by someone. I’m still a little disappointed that I never bought it myself   :-\
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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2023, 05:03:03 PM »

I’ve seen this top on eBay. I think it isn’t wooden, but metal, just like the other newer gibbs tops.

I sent a message to the auctioneer but he answered that he is traveling and will check when he is back home. He listed it as wooden and that is what he believes, but now I'm with you: the stem is metal and has a metal disk facing the starter, so the body is likely metal too.

This is the all-wooden "Gibbs" that I have:





The stem is wooden as in the McKinley tops:



On the Lassanske auction video at 17:18 you can see two tops, one to each side of the McKinley top, with the same conical tip.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 09:28:54 PM by ta0 »
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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2023, 11:45:40 PM »

The auctioneer confirmed that the body is metallic.

The patent from 1907 shows a metallic body, but of the rounded type and with whistling holes. That strongly suggest to me the one on the auction is from earlier than the filing date for that patent.
So the top must be from somewhere between 1896 and 1906, likely closer to the latter date.
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ta0

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Re: Gibbs: an American spinning top family
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2024, 05:55:09 PM »

Lindstrom was a competitor of Gibbs in the 1920's with a very similar top:





and had similar patents, by Frank L. Lindstrom from Bridgeport, Connecticut:













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