US 1996472 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April w. H. HERMANN 1,996,472
VENDING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 12, 1953 7 Jim 6 INVENTOR. Wa/fzr/f f/ermam BY ATTORNEYS.
April 2, 1935.
IN V EN TOR. l l a/fzr Herman/7.
,r BY 0 M y W ATTORNEYS.
dividual cigarettes or the like.
Patented Apr. 2, 1935 v UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE VENDING MACHINE Walter H. Hermann, Lancaster, Ohio, assignor to Marjorie L. Burnett, Glendale, Calif.
Application April 12, 1933, Serial No. 665,627 a 1 Claim.
My invention relates to vending machines. It has to do, more particularly, with a coin actuating vending machine which is particularly applicable for use as a machine for vending in- However, it is also applicable for use as a machine for vending various other articles.
In the prior art, there have been attempts to produce a coin actuated vending machine which is capable of vending individual cigarettes. However, up to the present time, no machine has i been devised which is entirely suitable for.vending individual cigarettes. This is due mainly to the fact that the cigarettes are possessed of certain peculiarities which make it difiicult to vend them from a machine. Cigarettes are very light in weight and although they are made in cylindrical form, during packing and shipping, their shape is distorted so that they may be of various cross-sectional shapes. Consequently, due to the lightness of these cigarettes and their various shapes, particularly, if they become flattened,
, there is a tendency for them to bridge and clog in the container of the machine and thereby prevent proper discharge from the machine of such cigarettes. This difliculty has not been satisfactorily overcome with prior art machines. Furthermore, it is difiicult to provide a machine which will not injure the cigarettes during vending because of the fact that the cigarettes may be easily torn or injured in other ways. Other undesirable features have also been possessed by prior art means.
One of the objects of my invention is to provide a machine of the type indicated which is very simple in structure and which will be inexpensive to manufacture.
Another object of my invention is to provide a vending machine which is very effective for vending individual cigarettes or the like and which will not injure such cigarettes during the wand-- ing thereof.
Another object of my invention is to provide a machine for vending individual cigarettes or the like which will be of such a type that the cigarettes, even though light in weight and of peculiar and non-uniform shapes, will not bridge or pinch in the container but will always be discharged from the machine when it is properly actuated.
In its preferred form, my invention contemplates the provision of a vending machine of the type indicated which comprises a housing having a hopper-formed therein which is adapted to contain the cigarettes to be vended from the machine. This housing has a bottom wall which is inclined downwardly and forwardly so that the cigarettes will tend to feed towards the forward end of the hopper. At the forward end of the hopper a belt member is disposed andthis belt member has a series of pockets, each of which is adapted to receive a cigarette. The belt member is inclined upwardly and forwardly to a desirable extent towards the front of the machine so that the cigarettes will slide down the bottom of the hopper and willproperly feed into the pockets in the belt, as will be more fully explained hereinafter. I l
I have also provided means for vending one cigarette at a time from the machine, upon the insertion therein of a proper coin. The coin controlled mechanism which I preferably use for controlling movement of the belt member, permits step by step movement of this belt so that a single cigarette will be discharged from the machine each time the belt is moved. Movement of this belt is also adapted to agitate the cigarettes in the hopper in order to'prevent bridging or clogging of the cigarettes therein.
The preferred embodiment of my invention is shown in the accompanying drawings wherein similar characters of reference designate corresponding parts and wherein:
Figure 1 is a persepctive view, partly broken away, of a vending machine made in accordance with my invention.
Figure 2 is an enlarged detailed side elevation of the coin controlled mechanism which is used for imparting step by step movement to th vending member of my. machine.
Figure 3 is a side elevation partly broken away showing the entire machine.
Figure 4 is a plan view of the machine shown in Figure 3. t
Figure 5 is an enlarged detail in section showing the upper end of the belt member which serves as the vending member of my machine and showing the drum over which the upper portion ofthe belt passes.
With reference to the drawings, and particularly to Figures 1 and 3, my invention is shownas comprising a machine having a housing I which is preferably of the shape shown in the drawings. A hopper 2, which is adapted to receive the cigarettes or other articles which are to be vended from the machine, is formed in the rear portion of the housing I. On the forward and upper portion of the housing I, a cylindrical portion 3 is formed. for a purpose which will be later apparent. The entire upper end of the housing I is preferably closed by a removable plate 4 which is mounted thereon. The remov-v able plate 4 is provided with a. curved portion 5 which fits over the upper end of the cylindrical portion 3 and a flat portion 6 which covers the opening in the upper end of the hopper 2. This plate 4 has a hooked shaped forward edge I which is adapted to cooperate with a pin 8 which is disposed between the side walls of the housing and the forward end of the machine, in order to maintain the plate in position. A lock member 8 is provided for maintaining the opposite end of the plate in position. Thus, the plate 4 may be removed when it is desired to fill the hopper 2 with cigarettes or other such articles. Furthermore, when this plate is removed free access may be had to the mechanism disposed in the cylindrical portion 3 of the housing.
The hopper 2 is provided with a bottom wall 9 which is preferably downwardly and forwardly inclined at a comparatively steep angle. The bottom of this hopper is so disposed that the cigarettes will feed onto a belt member II! which serves as the vending member of my machine.
As shown in the drawings, the belt member In is disposed at the forward end of the hopper 2 and in reality serves as the front wall of such hopper. This belt member I is an endless belt member which passes around an idler drum member II which is rotatably mounted between the side walls of the housing I in a suitable manner (not known) and adjacent the lower end of the housing. The belt member I0 also passes around a driving drum member- I2 which is mounted in the cylindrical portion 3 of the housing at the upper end of the machine. This drum member has reduced portions at each end (not shown) which project into bearing members formed in the side walls of the housing. Thus, this drum member may be freely rotated when necessary.
The belt member I0 is provided with a plurality of baffle plates l3 which are riveted or otherwise secured to the outer surface thereof. These baflle plates are preferably bent into the shape shown in Figure and when mounted on the belt member in spaced relation as shown in the drawings, a plurality of pockets I4 are produced on, the belt member, each of which pockets is adapted to receive a cigarette.
The belt member ID is preferably so mounted in the housing I that it will be disposed at a steep angle and will be inclined upwardly and forwardly towards the front of the machine. The lower portion of the belt member III is disposed at a point slightly forward of the lower end of the bottom plate 9 of the hopper. This belt is sodisposed that the baffle plates I3 may move past the lower end of the bottom plate 8 without interference therewith. The baflle plates are bent at such an angle and the belt member is disposed at such an angle that the portions of the battle plates which extend outwardly from the belt will be substantially in alignment with the bottom plate 9 of the hopper when the belt is in a position similar to that shown in Figure 8. The belt extends up. into the cylindrical portion of the housing to a point aboeie the upper end of the hopper.
I have found that it is desirable that the belt member which I use for vending the cigarettes from my machine should not directly support the cigarettes and that it is desirable to relieve the belt of the greater portion of the weight of the cigarettes in the hopper. By disposing the belt at the angle shown in the drawings, this has been accomplished. Furthermore, the belt serves as the forward wall for the hopper and is so disposed relative to the bottom plate 9 of the hopper that a V is formed by these two members. As will be readily seen from the drawings, the pocket on the belt adapted to receive a cigarette will be disposed at the bottom of this V and consequently, the entire effect of gravity and the weight of all of the cigarettes in the housing will tend to force the lowermost cigarette at the lower edge of the plate 9 into the pocket I4 in the belt, the bottom of which is formed by the outwardly extending portions of the baflle plate I3 which is substantially in alignment with this plate 9.
It will also be apparent from the drawings that since the belt member I0 is disposed at the angle shown in the drawings, and since the outwardly extending portions of the batlle plates I3 are disposed at the angle shown relative to the surface of the belt, that the lower portions of the pockets I4 will be V-shaped and will securely contain the cigarettes therein during the time they are conveyed upwardly by the belt. Although the cigarettes in the hopper will rest on the plate 9 and the greater portion of the weight of all the cigarettes in the hopper will be supported by this plate, some of them will also rest against the belt III. Consequently each time the belt is moved all the cigarettes in the hopper will be. agitated. It will be understood that the cigarettes will always feed into the lowermost pocket of the belt which will be disposed adjacent the lower edge of the plate 9. Consequently, no matter how many cigarettes there are in the hopper, the lowermost pocket will be filled with one of such cigarettes when the pocket reaches the position shown in Figure 3. Glass windows I5 may be placed in the side walls of the hopper adjacent the bottom thereof so that it may be seen when the cigarettes in the hopper have been almost exhausted.
Adjacent the upper end of the belt member II and in front thereof, a baille plate I6 is disposed. This plate is mounted between the side walls of the housing and is adapted to prevent the cigarettes from being discharged from the pockets in the belt member until such pockets reach a predetermined position. As shown in Figure 3, when the cigarettes are discharged from the pockets in the belt member they fall onto a plate II which serves as a chute for conducting cigarettes to the operator. The inner end of this plate I1 is spaced from the belt member a sufllcient distance so that it will not interfere with the baffle plates thereon. The outer end of this plate is turned upwardly at right angles as indicated at I8, and is provided with a cutaway portion I9. Thus, the cigarette will be prevented from falling ofl the outer end of the plate and may be readily picked up and removed therefrom. Before the cigarettes are discharged from the machine they are conducted by the belt member to a point above the upper end of the hopper. This is advantageous because by having the belt extended in this manner no other mechanism is necessary to preclude discharge of more than one cigarette from the hopper.
I have provided coin controlled mechanism for controlling the step by step movement of the belt member. As previously stated, the upper end of the belt member I 0 passes around the drum memill) ber I2 which is rotatably mounted in the housing. This drum member 12 has a plurality of lugs disposed around its circumference. These lugs are adapted to cooperate with openings 2| extending through the belt member and the portion of the baflle plates which lie against the surface of the belt in driving the belt when the drum i2 is rotated. As shown particularly in Figure 5, these lugs do not extend through the baille plates and into the pockets a sufiicient distance to force the cigarettes therefrom.
The means for rotating this drum member comprises a star wheel 22 which is rigidly secured to the outer end of the drum member l2 by means of a screw 23. This star wheel 22 has five pockets 24 formed therein which are adapted to receive the lower portion of a coin which is inserted into the machine as will be later more fully explained. These pockets 24 are curved in the same curvature as the edge of the coin which is designed to operate my machine. As will be later explained, the pockets are so spaced apart that when the machine is actuated the belt member ID will be moved through a distance which is equal to the distance between the outwardly project- 'ing portions of the adjacent balile plates l3 or in other words a distance equal to the width of one of the pockets [4.
A coin channel 25 is disposed directly above the star wheel 22. When a coin is inserted through this channel 25 it drops into a pocket 24 of the star wheel. In order to rotate the star wheel when a coin is disposed therein, I provide a pivoted arm 26. This arm 26 is pivotally mounted at its lower end as indicated at 21 and is provided with a rearwardly extending toe 28 which is adapted to cooperate with a stop member 29 disposed on the wall of the housing to limit rearward movement of the member 26. A stop pin 29' is provided for limiting forward swinging movement of the arm 26. The member 26 is normally held in the position shown in Figure 2 by means of a spring 30 which is attached to said member 26 as indicated .at 3| and the opposite end of which is secured to the wall of the housing by means of a screw 32.
The member 26 is so mounted at its lowe: end at the pivot point 21 that the inner surface thereof will be slightly spaced from the outer surface of the wall of the housing, in order that a sufiicient space will be provided between the inner surface of the member 26 and the outer surface of the wall of the housing i so that a coin may pass thereinto. Furthermore, by having the member 26 spaced from the wall of the housing it may swing past the star heel 22 without iterference therewitn. The upper end of the rember 26 is provided with an inwardly extending pin 33 which is adapted to contact with the coin disposed in the pocket in the star wheel when the member 26 is swung forwardly.
In the operation of this coin controlled mechanism, the various parts thereof will be disposed in the position shown in Figure 2. When a coin is inserted it will drop into the pocket 24 disposed below the lower end of the coin chute 25. A handle member 34 has its inner end pivotally secured to the member 26 as at 35. This handle 34 extends through a slot in the forward end of a housing 36 which is removably mounted on the wall of the housing I and is adapted to contain the coin controlled mechanism just described.
By pulling forwardly on the handle 34, the member 26 will be swung forwardly. When the member 26 swings forwardly a sufiicient distance,
the pin 33 will contact with the edge of the coin in the pocket 24. Continued movement of the member 26 will exert a force on the coin and will consequently cause rotation of the star wheel 22 and the drum member 12. when the pin 33 contacts with the coin and movement of the star wheel is begun, there will be a tendency for the coin to ride up over the lug in the star wheel disposed in front thereof. However, this will be precluded by a guard member 31 disposed above and slightly forward of the star wheel. This guard member is arcuate in shape and mounted on the wall of the housing I. The guard member 31 is spaced from the star wheel a suificient distance to prevent the coin from jumping out of the pocket 24. However, when the coin reaches the position shown in dotted hnes in Figure 2, it will drop from the star wheel.
It will be understood that during movement of the member 26 and the star wheel 22, if the handle 34 is released at any time the member 26 will return to its original position. However, rearward movement of the member 26 will not affect the star wheel. It will also be apparent that when the member 26 moves forwardly the toe 28 thereof will move underneath the lower end of the coin channel 25. This toe 28 has an inwardly extending flange 38 which extends across the space between the inner surface of member 26 and the outer surface of the wall of the housing I. Thus, several coins may be inserted at one time in the channel 25 without interferring with the operation of the machine. The first coin will drop into the pocket 24 and the other coins will rest on top thereof. Upon movement of member 26 the coin in the pocket will be moved forwardly and the toe 28 will move underneath the coin channel and support the other coins. When the handle 34 is released the member 26 will be returned to its original position and the next coin in the channel will drop into the pocket in the star wheel.
When the coin drops from the star wheel it strikes a bafile plate 39 extending from the wall of the housing I and this baflie plate will direct the coin through an opening 40 in such wall. The coin will then fall onto a plate member 4| disposed between the side walls of the housing i and this plate will direct the coin forwardly and downwardly. The coins will rest against a removable closure member 42 disposed in the forward end of the housing I. When this 010- sure member is removed the coins will immediately fall into the hand or a receptacle provided to receive such coins. The plate member H is plefrrably pivotally mounted at its upper end, as indicated at 43, so that its outer end may be swung upwardly when the closure member 42 is removed. This permits the placing of a wet sponge or the like 44 in the space in the housing below the plate 4|. This member 44 serves as a humidor and an upwardly extending plate 45 is provided on the bottom of the housing I so that the member 44 cannot be moved rearwardly into interfering relation with the belt member III.
In the operation of my entire machine, a coin is inserted and the handle 34 is pulled forwardly. This will cause rotation of the drum member [2 and movement of the belt member ID. It will be understood that when the machine is filled with cigarettes, all of the pockets on the rear side of ti": belt are also filled with cigarettes. Furthermore, the pockets on top of the drum member l2 are filled and the pocket directly ad- 4 iacent the baiiie plate It is also provided with a cigarette. This particular pocket will have one of the walls thereof disposed substantially in a horizontal position as indicated at H in Figure 3. However, the cigarette will not roll therefrom due to the baiiie plate It. The pocket H which is at the lower end .of the belt ID will have its lower wall substantially in alignment with the plate 9 which forms the bottom of the hopper 2, as previously exp ained.
Movement of the drum l2, as previously explained, causes movement of the belt member l0 through a suitable distance. For each coin that is inserted, the belt will be moved through a distance equal to the width of the pockets ll. Consequently, the cigarette which is disposed in the pocket i4 directly adjacent the baille plate It, will be discharged therefrom upon such movement of the belt, as indicated in Figure 3. Also, the lower wall of the pocket which will move above the lower end of the plate 9 will again be brought into alignment with this plate. It will be understood that the cigarettes will always feed into the lowermost pocket of the belt in the hopper 2, as previously explained. Each time the belt is moved, it will cause agitation of the cigarettes in the hopper.
It will be understood from the above descrip-' tion that I have provided a vending machine which is very effective for vending cigarettes or other such articles. This machine will not injure the cigarettes in any way and will always work without fail. Furthermore, the machine is of such a type that each time the machine is operated the cigarettes in the hopper will be agitated and this will preclude clogging or bridging of the cigarettes therein. The machine is very simple and consequently, inexpensive to manufacture but it is very effective for the purpose for which it was invented. Many other advantages will be apparent.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
A vending machine comprising a housing consisting of a main portion which has a substantially cylindrical portion disposed at the upper and forward portion thereof. said cylindrical portion projecting above the upper end of the main portion of the housing, the upper side of said cylindrical extension and the upper end of the main portion of said housing being open, a removable plate having a curved portion which cooperates with said cylindrical portion to close the open side thereof and having a portion which covers the upper end of the main portion of said housing, means for securing said plate in position, a hopper formed in said housing in rear of said cylindrical portion and having an inclined plate forming the bottom thereof, an inclined endless belt member disposed in said housing and adapted to form the forward side of said hopper, said belt member being inclined forwardly and upwardly in a direction opposite to the direction of inclination of the bottom of said hopper, the said belt extending up into said cylindrical portion to a point spaced above the upper end of said hopper, said endless belt member having a plurality of article-receiving pockets thereon which are arranged directly adjacent each other, the lower ends of said belt member and said inclined bottom member converging so that the articles in the hopper will be directed into the pockets of the belt, means for causing step by step movement of said belt member so that the articles will be carried up into the cylindrical portion of said housing and will then be discharged, said cylindrical portion of said housing having a chute member which receives the articles discharged'from said belt member and conducts them from said housing.
WALTER H. HERMANN.
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION.
Patent No. 1,996,472. I April 2, I935.
WALTER H. HERMANN.
It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows: Page 2, first column, line 34, for "known" read shown; and that the said Letters Patent should be read with this correction therein that the same may conform to the record of the case in the Patent Office.
Signed and sealed this 25th day of June, A. D. 1935.
Bryan M. Battey (Seal) Acting Commissioner of Patents