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Author Topic: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top  (Read 3688 times)

ta0

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Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« on: November 30, 2013, 02:16:00 PM »

There is an auction for an ad on Ebay that includes an early true ball bearing top, the "Sally Walker Top".  Here is the relevant part of the ad:



The ad is listed as from 1939. I have this top, although before I thought it was from the 20s. It is great to have a firm date (that precedes the modern re-invention by 60 years!) Mine says Pat. Pend.  but I have not found the patent yet.

I have only seen the Sally Walker top I have.  But other Gropper tops are more common, in particular an assortment box with 3 spike point tops and 1 ball point top.  I just measured the ones on the box I have and are narrower than those listed on the lower part of the ad.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 11:13:38 PM by ta0 »
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johnm

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 06:07:34 PM »

The cross-sectional drawing of the assembly suggests a clever mounting for the actual tip since it looks impossible to fit the end of the bearing shaft of the body through the corresponding aperture in the tip.  Can you tell how it is made from the actual top?  Is there a slot in the retaining ring and is the end of the shaft a bar instead of a disc such that when aligned the tip simply pulls off?  It seems the player should be able take it appart to clean it--I suspect a few wraps of some of Sister's long hair would lock the bearing up quickly thus making it useless.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 06:14:16 PM by johnm »
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Dick Stohr

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 09:59:23 PM »

I love the prices !!! I have some with the ball on the bottom of the tip but I think I have never seen the ring bearing on an old old top.  I can say that about the year I was born.  :D
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ta0

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 12:24:58 AM »

That is a good question, John.  Here is a photo of mine:



I don't think it is meant to be disassembled for maintenance. I don't know how they made it but I think the bearings are permanently trapped.
Perhaps the axle expanded like a rivet?  :-\

Incredibly, the bearing still spins pretty well, although it has some wobble. If you flip the tip with the fingers while holding the top, it will spin for several revolutions. As expected from the drawing, it spins longer when it is sitting on the balls than when it is hanging from the retaining disc.

As you can see the ball bearings are very small. I counted 16 balls.  If you bunch them all to one side of the race, on the other side they leave a gap of about 3 balls. On the other hand, the big ball at the tip, is almost fixed on mine.  I have to rub it hard to make it move.
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Jack

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 05:32:46 AM »

That is a good question, John.  Here is a photo of mine:



I don't think it is meant to be disassembled for maintenance. I don't know how they made it but I think the bearings are permanently trapped.
Perhaps the axle expanded like a rivet?  :-\

Incredibly, the bearing still spins pretty well, although it has some wobble. If you flip the tip with the fingers while holding the top, it will spin for several revolutions. As expected from the drawing, it spins longer when it is sitting on the balls than when it is hanging from the retaining disc.

As you can see the ball bearings are very small. I counted 16 balls.  If you bunch them all to one side of the race, on the other side they leave a gap of about 3 balls. On the other hand, the big ball at the tip, is almost fixed on mine.  I have to rub it hard to make it move.
that thing looks like its built like a tank  :o is it heavy???
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ta0

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 10:27:54 AM »

that thing looks like its built like a tank  :o is it heavy???

Not really: it weighs 51 grams.
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ta0

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Oldest bearing tops
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 11:43:23 PM »

EDIT: Found the old thread about these tops and merged them.
_____________________________

Around 1997 Dale Oliver invented the modern ball-bearing tip top. However, there were older ones and Dale almost flipped when I showed him one, years ago. I just got the two on the right:



On the bigger one the bearing spun very well when I received it (like on my original on the left). But the other one was completely frozen. I took that tip out, applied lubricant and a dangerous amount of pressure with pliers and it finally got unstuck. However, from time to time it get's sticky. I suspect that one of the balls has corrosion.



Note that these ball bearings are designed for axial stress, not radial. Some Strummol8 tops came with an optional axial ball-bearing at one time, but if did not prove to be advantageous compared to the regular radial ball bearing.

The bearings of the two new tops (on the right) have larger balls than the smaller top, but otherwise the tips are the same.
I have a 1939 ad for a Sally Walker made by Gropper that looks identical. I have seen another ad with no date or manufacturer's name that lists very similar tops, but prices are considerably cheaper, 75 cents a dozen instead of $1.60, so it might go back to the 20's after all.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 11:45:54 AM by ta0 »
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Rich

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 01:22:17 PM »

Hey Ta0,

I'm wondering if that name spun into the Lady Walker that I was in search for a month back? That was from the late fifties--early sixties.

I'm still lookin'....

Rich
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ta0

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 02:18:46 PM »

I'm wondering if that name spun into the Lady Walker that I was in search for a month back? That was from the late fifties--early sixties.
I don't know. Maybe.

By the way, it seems that you were looking for tops not necessarily wider but taller.
Elongated tops, say 1.8 to 2 inches wide by 3" tall, were available in the 50s. The Fli-Back brand for example.
I'll be on the look out for your Lady Walkers with ball tips.
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SuperTaiyaki

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Re: Oldest bearing tops
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 06:54:39 AM »

Some Strummol8 tops came with an optional axial ball-bearing at one time, but if did not prove to be advantageous compared to the regular radial ball bearing.

I work with bicycle bearings occasionally, I've occasionally wondered if angular contact bearings would work better in a top because they're designed to take axial loads as well. Regular radial bearings do not seem to appreciate being dropped. Any idea if this has been tried somewhere?
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Rich

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2018, 10:29:36 AM »

Thank you Ta0,

I recently got bit on ebay with some tiny spinners (diggers).

Yes, I was spinning back in the late fifties and early sixties and the tops were larger in diameter and height. We bought 'em right from the corner candy store, so they were standard sized for the time. I'm in touch with Don Olney. Hopefully he may have something. Waiting on a reply.

Rich.
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ta0

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Re: Oldest bearing tops
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 10:53:43 AM »

I work with bicycle bearings occasionally, I've occasionally wondered if angular contact bearings would work better in a top because they're designed to take axial loads as well. Regular radial bearings do not seem to appreciate being dropped. Any idea if this has been tried somewhere?
I'm not sure if they make them small enough for a top. But you are right, they could be beneficial.
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Ad for 1939 ball bearing top
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 09:29:32 AM »

Hmmm.  Just saw a video talking about ball bearings.  In it they mentioned that previously everyone believed Leonardo da Vinci invented them.  But in this video they say that they have discovered Romans had ball bearings.  I had no idea they had been around that long!!!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 09:33:58 AM by the Earl of Whirl »
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