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Publication numberUS1938985 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 12, 1933
Filing dateJun 6, 1931
Priority dateJun 6, 1931
Publication numberUS 1938985 A, US 1938985A, US-A-1938985, US1938985 A, US1938985A
InventorsStarr Raymond H
Original AssigneeStarr Raymond H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator display counter
US 1938985 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 12, 1933. R. H. STARR REFRIGERATOR DISPLAY COUNTER Filed June 6, 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet l ATTODRNEY.

Dec. 12, 1933. R. H. STARR 1,938,985


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Patented Dec. 12, 1933 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 3 Claims.

This invention relates to refrigerating apparatus and more particularly to display counters having display chambers and provided with means for maintaining a low temperature in the display chambers for preserving perishables displayed in the chambers.

The principal objects of the invention are to move perishables through cool air in the chamber of a display counter, and pass the perishables alternately through refrigerating and display portions of a counter, whereby effective cooling of the perishables may be accomplished and the perishables may be attractively displayed.

In accomplishing these and other objects of the invention, I have provided improved details of structure, the preferred form of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a display counter embodying the invention, the front and top walls, an end wall, a guide rail and a driving gear being partly broken away to better illustrate the structure.

Fig. 2 is a section of the counter on the line 22, Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a section on the line 3-3, Fig. 1, illustra-ting particularly the driving gears.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged detail fragmentary perspective view of the food-supporting conveyor.

Referring more in detail to the drawings:

10 designates a case comprising relatively thick insulated walls forming a bottom 12, front 14, back 16, and ends 18, and defining a chamber. The top of the chamber is closed by transparent panes 20. Panes 22 located in grooves formed in the edges of an opening in the front wall, afford view of the chamber from the front. The case thus forms a counter having a flat top, and goods stored and displayed in the chamber are visible through the top and front walls. Doors 24 and 25 in the back wall 16 afford access to the chamber.

Mounted on one of the vertical walls of the case, for example the front wall as shown, are brackets 26 for supporting tempering means at an intermediate position in the chamber, between the top and bottom walls. The tempering means in the illustrated application of the invention is adapted for cooling air and-food in the chamber and may consist of ans "desired elements, refrigerating coils or pipes 28 supplied with a fluid refrigerant froma' suitable source (not shown) being preferred.

The pipes extend horizontally transversely in the chamber adjacent the front wall, and are preferably mounted in radiating fins or plates 30 supported on edge by ribs 32 projecting upwardly from the bottom 34 of a drain pan 36 mounted on the brackets. The pan drains through an outlet 37, and water may flow over the bottom of the case to a suitable drain opening, as shown in 0 Fig. 2.

Air cooled by the pipes moves to the bottom of the pan and flows beneath the fins and over the edges of side walls 38 of the pan toward the lower portion of the case.

The brackets, pan and refrigerating pipes thus define a refrigerating zone comprising the lower portion of the chamber in the case, and a display zone between the refrigerating means and the transparent top wall.

In order to employ the zones efliciently for their respective special purposes, a conveyor including chain belts 40 and trays 42 suspended from the belts, is adapted to move constantly alternately into and out of the zones, for alternately cooling and displaying goods supported by the trays.

The trays have upwardly converging supporting arms 44 at each end provided with seats for laterally projecting pins or trunnions 46 mounted in links of the chain as shown in Fig. 4, and rollers 48 rotatable on the pins ride on flanges 50 of upper and lower guide rails 52 and 54 fixed to the front and back walls of the case respectively adjacent the top and bottom walls, as best shown in Figs. 2 and 3.

The ends of the refrigerating means are spaced from the end walls of the case sufficiently to provide vertical passages or path portions for the chains and trays at the ends, of the horizontal portions of the paths.

The chains pass over sprockets 56 mounted, on stub shafts 58 in bearings 60 fixed to the front and back walls of the case, to turn the conveyor from horizontal to vertical path portions and vice versa.

'In order to move the conveyor, a gear 61 fixed to one'of the sprockets 56 is rotated by a worm train 62-64 from a shaft 66 joumaled in a bearing 68 in the case, and drives a gear '70 on a shaft 72 rotatably supported by the case and having a gear 74 meshed with a large gear 76 on the corresponding sprocket 56-at the opposite side of the case. The two sprockets 56 at the upper left end of the case, as shown in Fig. 1, are thus actuated together to operate the two conveyor chains.

The conveyor may be constantly moved by a motor 78 located adjacent the case, at any desired speed to successively expose food carried by the trays to cold in the lower portion of the chamber, and display the food in the upper portion of the case.

The air in the chamber will be relatively stagnant or quiescent, the chief causes of any circulation or movement of air being the gravity flow of cold air from the refrigerating element and the displacement of air resulting from movement of the conveyor and food on the conveyor and dependent on the speed and design of the conveyor trays.

The food thus moves through relatively still air and thus effects a circulation of air over the surfaces of food portions.

The trays further include baffles or flange-like rails shaped and located to provide one means for controlling the extent of contact of air with food on the trays, and the velocity of the air relatively to the trays and food.

The bailles are shown located on the advancing edges of the trays as the trays move through the display compartment of the case, and extending. substantial distances above the bottoms of the trays to form weir-like perpendicular deflectors.

The baiiles may be high enough to project above the upper surfaces of food portions supported by the trays, and thus obstruct air which in effect would move against the advancing vertical surfaces of the food portions and pass over the entire exposed surfaces of the portions at approximately the velocity of the trays. The baffies thus will deflect air from the foods, but will cause secondary air currents of less velocity to be set up below the levels of the upper edges of the baffles.

The induced currents, together with relatively small portions of the body of air through which the trays move and set in motion by the trays and bafiles, will provide sufficient circulation of air over the food portions to maintain proper conditions.

The baffles may have any desired shape for deflecting air in any directions with reference to food portions, and preferably are sealed to the bottoms of the trays at the edges thereof. The bailles may be provided with series of perforations 82 adjacent the upper and lower edges thereof and in staggered relation, to admit small quantities of air directly to foods in the trays.

The trays may further have rails 84 opposite the rails 80, and end rails 86, which are preferably imperforate and of less height than the rails 80.

Merchandise supported on the trays will thus be partly protected by the rails from the direct draft created by movement of the trays horizontally through the chamber, and distinct reduction and modification of the draft effect will be afforded when the trays move through the upper or display portion of the chamber. The draft effect may be further controlled and modified by varying the speed of movement of the trays through the chamber portions, in accordance with the requirements of merchandise with reference to contact with relatively still or moving air.

The control of rate of movement of the trays may be effected by any suitable means, for example by providing a motor 78 of variable speed type.

Attention is called to the fact that in the form of apparatus shown, the draft over the trays is reduced and distinct secondary movement of air over the trays is induced while the trays are moving to the right in Fig. 1 through the relatively warm display space, thus limiting the wanning effect of the air on the merchandise.

Cooled air in the refrigerating portion of the chamber may contact the foods directly, however, and thus effect transfer of a maximum amount of refrigeration to the merchandise.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

l. The method of refrigerating perishables, including constantly moving portions of a perishable product into and out of a refrigerating zone for alternately cooling and displaying the product.

2. In a refrigerating display counter having top, bottom and side walls forming a chamber 110 and normally confining air in said chamber, means in the chamber for supporting a cooling element and spaced from one of said walls to define a display zone and a refrigerating zone,

a conveyor for supporting food in the chamber, 115 and means for constantly moving the conveyor through said zones.

3. In a refrigerating display counter having bottom and side walls forming a chamber, and a transparent top wall closing the 'top of the cham- 0 her, refrigerating means located intermediately between the top and bottom walls to define refrigerating and display zones respectively below and above the refrigerating means, a food support including an endless conveyor running across the 128 chamber through said zones for carrying food articles alternately through the refrigerating zone and the display zone.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2592038 *Nov 7, 1950Apr 8, 1952Kimsey John ERefrigerated display case
US2673779 *Apr 17, 1952Mar 30, 1954Stewart Fred LeeEndless article-carrying and storing system
US2710240 *Sep 15, 1952Jun 7, 1955Bennie L BergMerchandise display cabinet
US2729531 *Aug 9, 1952Jan 3, 1956Sperry Rand CorpConveyor type file
US2737431 *Nov 1, 1952Mar 6, 1956Sperry Rand CorpEndless conveyor file
US3173276 *Jun 26, 1962Mar 16, 1965Refrigeration Engineering CorpEndless conveyor type freezer
US3290104 *Feb 15, 1965Dec 6, 1966PowerfileStorage and retrieval apparatus
US4026395 *Aug 25, 1976May 31, 1977Johnson Arthur EDisplay case
US4084868 *Feb 25, 1977Apr 18, 1978Lummus J FrankMoving display rack
US4969336 *Aug 4, 1989Nov 13, 1990Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Cryogenic storage apparatus, particularly with automatic retrieval
US5022236 *Feb 20, 1990Jun 11, 1991Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Storage apparatus, particularly with automatic insertion and retrieval
US5029447 *Jun 8, 1990Jul 9, 1991Cryo-Cell International Inc.Multichamber storage apparatus and related method
US5125240 *Feb 22, 1991Jun 30, 1992Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Storage apparatus, particularly with automatic insertion and retrieval
US5176202 *Mar 18, 1991Jan 5, 1993Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Method and apparatus for use in low-temperature storage
US5205128 *Jul 8, 1991Apr 27, 1993Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Multichamber storage apparatus and related method
US5233844 *Aug 15, 1991Aug 10, 1993Cryo-Cell International, Inc.Storage apparatus, particularly with automatic insertion and retrieval
US5895104 *Apr 19, 1996Apr 20, 1999Grandi; ReneMobile device for preservation and reheating with movable thermal barriers and constant level distribution of hot and cold meal-trays
US7334851 *May 5, 2005Feb 26, 2008Whirlpool CorporationTransparent top for a refrigerator
US20060250060 *May 5, 2005Nov 9, 2006Rose Todd LTransparent top for a refrigerator
US20140145574 *Nov 28, 2012May 29, 2014Michael Paul HenneEndless Chain Frozen Vial Storage Module
EP0411224A2 *Nov 1, 1989Feb 6, 1991CRYO-CELL INTERNATIONAL INC. (a Delaware corporation)Cryogenic storage apparatus
U.S. Classification62/63, 312/268, 62/250, 312/134
International ClassificationA47F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47F3/0486
European ClassificationA47F3/04D1