US 2268596 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 6, 1942.
H. JERUM 2,268,596
DISPENSING APPARATUS FiledMay 18, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet l NVENT BY mtizg ATTORNEY Jan. 6, 1942. H. JERUM DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed May 18, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 [3%[0 INVENTO ATTORNEY Jan. 6', 1942. H. JERUM- DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed May 18, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 ATTORNEY Jan. 6, 1942. H. JERUM DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed May 18, 1940 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 EINVEN gR BY 9 ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 6, 1942 UNITE STATE-S PAT-NT OFFICE- 2,268,596 I DISPENSING APPARATUS Henry 'Jerum, New York, N. Y. .ApplicationMay 18, 1940, Serial No. 335,922
' 15 Claims.
This invention relates to dispensing apparatus and, more particularly, to apparatus for dispensing tableware such as spoons, knives, forks and the like.
Several suggestions have heretofore been made for dispensing knives, forks, spoons and the "like in restaurants, buffets and public eating places generally, especially of "the cafeteria or so-called automat or self-service type. All of the prior suggestions were found to be unsuitable and impractical because they did not involve simple and inexpensive apparatus that was efficient-and reliable in operation at all times and relatively free from noise. Moreover, the suggested schemes heretofore proposed operated in such a way as to wear away the plating of the tableware very rapidly.
In accordance with this invention there is provided a mechanism of simple construction for dispensing such utensils from a stack one at a time under the control of a plunger member or the like. The mechanism of this inventionwill maintain allof the utensils stacked closely adjacent to each other while permitting only the lowermost of the different utensils to be released quietly.
This invention will be better understood from the detailed description hereinafter following when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which Figure 1 is a plan view of one form of the apparatus of this invention, Fig. 2
is a vertical longitudinal sectionof the apparatus of Fig. 1 along the line2-,-2 of Fig. 1, Fig.3 is a vertical lateral section along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1, Fig. 4 is a sectional View along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1, Fig. 5 is .a vertical lateral section along the line of Fig. 1, Fig. 6 is a perspective of the apparatus of Fig. :1, Fig. '7 is a sectional view along the line 55 of Fig. 6, Fig. 8 is a plan View of a section of a complete apparatus showing a plurality of controls therefor, Figs. 9 and 10 show other views of the exterior of encased apparatus, Fig. 11 is a plan View of a modification of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1, Fig. 12 is a sectional view along line 'l-! of Fig. 11, Fig. 13 is a bottom view taken from underneath the apparatus of Fig. 11, Fig. 14 shows a sectional view of the apparatus of Fig. 11 taken along the line 8-8 of Fig. 11, illustrating also a form of chute for the utensils dispensed, Fig. 15 is a plan view of the Fig. 11 modification showing the apparatus .in engaged position, Fig. 16 illustrates a view along line 9.-9 of Fig. 15 showing the utensils upheld in the operated condition, Fig. 1''! shows a similar view through line 10-) of Fig. 11 to illustrate the positions of the utensils when the apparatus is released, Fig. 18 is a view along line H-ll of Fig. 11, and Fig. 19 shows the Fig. 11 embodiment in perspective.
Referring to Figs. 1-"? of the drawings, and
especially to Figs. 1 and 6, one form of-dispensing apparatus will be described. This form of apparatus is shown-and described in connection with the disposition of tea spoons, but it will be understood that the general principles and structural features are equally applicable to the dispensation of other types of utensils, such as knives, forks, etc. 1
The table l5 supports two fixed guides l6 and I! between which a plurality of utensils, such .as tea spoons, may be placed one above another in stacked relation. Ben'eath the table 15 and at the same time beneath the lowermost of the utensils interposed between guides l3 and I1, there are'two movable arms I 8 and l9' substantially parallel to each other, these arms being pivoted at 20 and 21 respectively The two arms l8 and I9 are linked together'by member 22. The link member 22 is coupled to acam device 23 by means-of a link member 24 of arcuate shape as shown. The cam device 23 has two grooves 25 and .26 of predetermined curvature. These grooves 25 and 26 guide the motionof two pins 21 and28, respectively, these pins being permanently fastened to clamping members 29 and 30 respectively. The clamping members 29 and 30 :support .two gripping .or holding members-'31 and 32 which are pivoted to the members 29 and 30 at 33 and 34, respectively. The pivotal-movement of the gripping or holding members 3| and .32 allows for some limited rotation of lthesefholding members so as to firmly grip the utensils at their edges and restrain the downward motion i of the utensils, as will 'be further described hereinafter.
A spring 35 is interposed between the armfl9 and the projecting device 36 which is fastened to the table [5. The spring acts to hold the arms 18 and IS in their normal positions, i. -e., substantially perpendicular to the edgeof table 15, as shown in Fig. 1. A plunger 31 controlsthe movement'of the various rotatable membersas will be pointed out .more clearly hereinafter. The plunger 31 is maintained .in its outermost position under the action of a spring 38. The plunger 31 may be moved inwardly against the retarding influence of spring 38 and when so moved, it will project a toothed rack 39 inwardly,the teeth of rack 39 meshing with the teeth of a pinion d0 to rotate the pinion 40 in a counter-clockwise direction. The pinion 40 is fixedly coupled directly to the cam device 23 and hence the latter device will also be rotated counter-clockwise to the position shown in Fig. 6. Upon release of the plunger 31 the rack 39 will return to its normal or outermost position, returning the pinion 40 and the cam device 23 by a clockwise rotation to their normal positions as shown in Fig. 1.
The general operation of the apparatus just described is as follows: The stack of utensils such as spoons are normally supported by the arms l8 and I9 between guides l6 and I1, the
handles (or left hand portions) of the spoons being supported by one end of arm I8 and the bowls (or right hand portions) by the corresponding end of arm l9. Assume now that the plunger 31 is then pressed inwardly the required distance. The rack 39 will then be moved inwardly and pinion 40 in turn will be rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. The cam device 23 will likewise be rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. The pins 21 and 28 will then traverse the respective grooves 25 and 26 of the cam device 23. Hence the pins will be moved closer to the center or axis of the cam device 23, as indicated in Fig. 1. Acting under control of the motion of pins 21 and 28, the members 29 and 3|] willthen be rotated through equal but small angles about their pivots 4| and 42 respectively. In other words, the members 29 and 39 will be moved closer together in a manner analogous to the action of a nutcracker. At the same time, the cam device 23 will swing the arcuate link 24 to the left and thereby rotate the mechanically coupled arms l8 and IS in a counter-clockwise direction. The ends of arms: l8 and I9 will then swing further and further away from their normal positions. At the limit of travel, however, the holding members 3| and 32 will be brought under substantial side pressure into intimate contact with the edges of the spoon (or spoons) immediately above the lowermost spoons (see Fig. 7) and hence all of the spoons above the lowermost one will be, retained in position. The lowermost spoon will be released when the arms I8 and I9 reach their most extreme positions in a counter-clockwise direction, as shown in Fig. 6.
Only one spoon will be released with each operation of the plunger 31. As the plunger 31 is released, it will move outwardly aided by the action of spring 38. Moreover, under the influence of spring 35, the arms l8 and I9 as well as the cam device 23 will be rotated in clockwise directions and returned to their normal positions, as shown in Fig. 1. In returning to their normal positions, the holding members 3| and 32 will again be spaced by short distances from the edges of the lowermost spoon or spoons, which they theretofore firmly gripped (see Fig. 4) but the release of the spoon or spoons previously gripped will find the ends of arms l8 and I9 underneath the array of spoons, supporting this spoon array as before.
Fig. 2a sectional view taken along the line .2-2 of Fig. 1shows the spoon 44 in dot-anddash lines. The bowl of the spoon, which is designated 45, is shown supported by arm l9 which is shaped so as to reduce friction with the under surface of the bowl to a minimum. This is also shown in Fig. 5 which is a view taken along line 55 of Fig. 1. The handle end 46 of the spoon is shown similarly supported by the arm IS in Fig. 2. The rack 39 and pinion 40 are in meshed engagement below the table l5. The pinion 40 is firmly fastened about a shaft 41 on which the cam device 23 is also permanently mounted.
Fig. 3 shows the plunger mechanism as viewed along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1. Here the plunger 31 is in its normal or released position. When pressed inwardly against the resistance of spring 38, the plunger will move the rack 39 inwardly because of the mechanical coupling between the two elements, the coupling being established by pin 48 which is common to said elements. The pinion 40 rotates as already described hereinabove.
Fig. 4 illustrates a sectional view of the apparatus taken along the line 44 of Fig. 1. The
handles 46 of the various spoons, shown in dotted lines, are supported by the arm l8 in the normal or released position of the apparatus. Fig. 7 shows a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of Fig. 6 which shows the apparatus after the plunger has been fully actuated. It will be observed that the lowermost spoon ofFig. 4 has been released (and hence does not appear in Fig. 7) but the edges of the next lowermost spoon or spoons are gripped between the holding members 3| and 32. In this illustration the jaws of members 3| and 32 grasp the edges of the spoon or spoons, but it will be understood that the contact may be limited to but one spoon if so desired.
It will be observed that the members 3| and 32 are made rotatable through a limited angle about their respective axes 33 and 34 so that these members may be fully aligned with the edges ofthe spoons in their operated positions. This alignment is essential where some of the utensils have somewhat different shapes or curvatures. If desired, the contacting surfaces of members 3| and 32 may be formed of some flexible or resilient material, such as rubber, or plastic materials for example. These are important features of this invention. If non-metallic contacting materials are employed, the tendency to remove the plating of the utensils will be reduced to a minimum.
Fig. 8 shows an assembly of four arrangements similar to the one already described. The plungers 31, 31', 31" and 31" may be operated to dispense tea spoons, soup spoons, knives and forks one at a time. Fig. 9 shows a platform on which the encased apparatus of Fig. 8 may be carried. In a restaurant or cafeteria or the like, trays, shown in dot-and-dash lines, may be slid under the dispensing apparatus as shown. Fig. 10 represents another view of the encased apparatus, the sides of the casing being hinged for filling the apparatus with utensils whenever necessary.
In the apparatus of Figs. 11 to 19, the plunger 50, slidable between guides 5|, 5| and 52, 52 controls the motion of two arcuately-shaped gripping or holding members 53 and 54. The members 53 and 54 normally rest in pockets 55 and 56, respectively, formed in the sides of plunger 50. The members 53 and 54 are shown in their normal or released positions in Figs. 11, 13 and 19 and in their operated positions in Fig. 15. The members 53 and 54 also control the clamping elements 51 and 58 respectively which are pivoted to the members 53 and 54 at 59 and 60, respectively. The clamping elements 51 and 58 are movable toward and away from corresponding stationary clamping elements 6| and 62. A stack of knives 63 may be positioned between elements 51 and BI and numerous forks 64 may be similarly located between elements 58 and .82. These utensils will :be gripped with sub-- stantial tpressure -at their edges in the .region of the handles of these utensils as they (come within range of "the :pairs of clamping elements .51, BI and 58, 62, as shown in the drawings.
'When'the plunger 50 is actuated, the members 53 and 54 will be rotated through limited angles about their pivots'65 and66 respectively. Acam 61 which is integral with and is carried byplunger ;50,.-assists' in displacing the'member 53 through a sufficient angle in a clockwise direction about its axis 65. The clamping elements 51 and 58 will then both be moved toward the corresponding stationary elements 6| and 82 to firmly grip theedges of the intermediately positioned utensils. The operated conditions of the apparatus just referred to are illustrated in the plan view of the apparatus in Fig. 15. Fig. 16 illustrates the operated positions of the clamping elements when viewed along the line 9-9 of Fig. 15. The
clamping elements are also shown in their areleasedpositions in Fig. 1'7 which is a view taken along line -l8-I0 of Fig. 11.
The apparatus controlling the release of the utensils 63 and 84 will now be described. The
plunger 50 carries a cross-bar 68 which is permanently fastened in perpendicular relation to the plunger 50. Two pivots 69 and 1.0 are supported at the opposite ends of the cross-bar 68. Two links 1| and 12, which may revolve through small angles about pivots 68 and 10, couple the cross-bar 68 to two other links 13 and 14, respectively. The interconnection of links 11 and 13 is established at point and a similar tie-up between links 12 and 14 is established at point 16.
The link 13 directly couples two rotatable arms 11 and 1.8 which are shown in their normal positions in Figs. 11, 13 and 19. A sectional view of this coupling taken along line 1-1 of Fig. 11 is shown in Fig. 12. When the plunger 58 is actuated, the arms 11 and 18 will rotate in clockwise directions about the aXes 19 and 88, respectively, and in turn rotate the arms 8! and 82 through substantially equal angles in the same directions. The arms 8| and 82 are employed to support the stack of knives 63 under normal conditions as shown, for example, in Fig. 18.
The link 14 similarly couples two substantially parallel arms 83 and 84 which, when plunger 59 is actuated, move in counter-clockwise directions about the axes 85 and 86 respectively. These arms 83 .and 84 in turn cause the rotation of arms 81 and 88 about these same respective axes, the rotation being through substantially equal angles. The arms 81 and 88 are employed to support the stack of forks'64 under normal conditionsas shown, for example, in Fig. 14.
It .will be observed that in response to the actuation of plunger 58, the arms 8| and 82 are rotated, through the motion of intermediate linkages, so as to remove support from the lowermost utensil (knife) 63. Moreover, the arms 81 and 88 are likewise rotated, through the motions .of similar intermediate linkages, so as to remove support from the lowermost utensil (fork) 64. This is shown in Fig. 15. The removal of these supports will be accompanied by other coordinated holding forces acting upon the edges of the next lowermost of the utensils as will be shown hereinafter.
As will be observed from the underview of the structure shown in Fig. 13, there is a long, narrow slot.89 formed in the table or base 98. This narrow slot is inthe direction of the plunger 50 and is immediately adjacent the ,plunger 50.
This slot allows one-end of a coil spring 9| to be attached to the plunger 58 at 92. The other end of spring 9| may be fastened to'the table or base 98'at point 93. Thus the spring 9| acts to return the plunger 58 to its normal or unoperated position after it has been actuated or to maintain it in that position while unoperated. The plunger 50'may be moved against the opposing force of spring 9| when desired to operate the apparatus.
Two additional slots 94 and 95 are similarly formed in the table 90 as shown in Fig. 13. The slot 94 permits one end of a coil spring 95 to be fastened to the member 53 at point 91. A connection is also established by way of slot 95 between member 54 and spring 98 at point 98. The spring 96 is employed to maintain members 53 and 54 in their unoperated positions or to return them .to their unoperated positions after they have been operated, in response to the plunger displacement, to assist in releasing one (or more) of the pieces of table silver at their edges.
As the plunger 58 is moved inwardly the memers 53 and 54 will be rotated about 85 and 86 respectively so as to bring the elements 51 and 58 into firm engagement with the edges of the intermediate utensils. At the same time the arms 8! and 82 will be progressively removed from the lowermost knife 63 and the arms 81 and 88 will also be progressively removed from the lowermost fork 64. Thus the supports for these utensils will be entirely withdrawn only after the elements 51 and 58 have completed a firm grip on these utensils.
The two forms of dispensing apparatus illustrated in the drawings have been used successfully for the purposes indicated. In the first form of the apparatus shown, for example, in Fig. 1, the grippin members are both movable whereas in the other embodiment of, for example, Fig. 11, only one of the gripping members 61 is movable while the opposite member BI is stationary at all times. Both types of gripping means have been found satisfactory in practice.
It will be noted also that each of the movable gripping members such as 3| of Fig. 1 or 51 of Fig. 11 is rotatable through restricted angles. The center of rotation for member 3! is point 33, for example, and member 51 has asimilar axis at 59. This is an important feature of this invention as it permits of an accurate alignment of the gripping member with the corresponding edge of the utensil. This alignment as well as the holding action is accomplished without removing any of the silver plating and without burring the flatware. 1
It has also been found that a flexible material such, for example, as rubber or other plastic or resilient material may be interposed at 49 between the two gripping members 31 and 32 and the respective arms 29 and 38 of Fig. 1; or between the members 51 and '53 as, for example, at 99 of Fig. 11; and/or on the gripping surface of member 8| as, for example, at 188 of Fig. 11. 'Such materials afforda resilient connection to be established with the utensils. This is another important feature of the apparatus of this invention.
Thus the resilient material may be affixed to the contacting surface of each of the gripping members referred to or the resilient material may be interposed between the gripping members and the arms which support the gripping members, as already shownand described. sired,u.both types of .resilient connections may be If deassembled in each installation and this type of cushion action has been found to be of importance in practicing this invention.
Many forms of utensils available in the market are substantially rectangular in cross-section. Furthermore, they vary somewhat in the distances between their opposite edges as well as in their longitudinal curvatures. Both of these different types of utensils may be contained in any one of the various stacks to be dispensed with the apparatus of this invention and, despite th'ese fortuitous variations, the apparatus will efiiciently dispense these utensils one at a time. The aligning process of the self-adjusting clamping elements, such as 3| and 32 of Fig. 1 and 51 and 58 of Fig. 1.1, and the resilient means interposed between the clamping elements and the holding members (or arms) which support the clamping elements are of importance in the practice of the apparatus of this invention. This invention may of course be used for utensils of difierent cross-sections, such, for example, as elliptical cross-sections, etc.
Wh'en one or more utensils are gripped at the edges, no element whatever is inserted between any two of the various utensils. Thus the equilibrium of the retained utensils will remain undisturbed and, moreover, the plating will remain intact.
In the two types of apparatus described hereinabove, it has been shown that only the lowermost utensil is released. The released utensil may, if desired, be allowed to slide down a gently inclined chute such as I02 of Fig. 14 to an outlet (not shown) which has a restricted opening in order to limit the travel of the utensil, while at the same time allowing for the prompt and uninterrupted removal of the utensil. This will be apparent without further specification.
While this invention has been shown and described in-certain particular embodiments merely for the purpose of illustration, it will be understood that the general principles of this invention may be applied to other and widely varied organizations without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of th'e appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Dispensing apparatus for flatware such as knives, forks, spoons, etc., comprising a pair of supports for said flatware, two members for gripping said flatware at its opposite edges, resilient means for applying said gripping members to said opposite edges of said flatware, and means for removing said supports from said flatware after thegripping means has been applied to said flatware.
2. Dispensing apparatus for flat silverware comprising a pair of removable supports for said silverware, two members for gripping the opposite edges of said silverware, and means for aligning said two members with said opposite edges and for firmly contacting said opposite edges.
3. Dispensing apparatus for flat silverware comprising a pair of removable supports for said silverware, a plurality of members for gripping the opposite edges of said silverware, and means for resiliently engaging said gripping members with the opposite edges of said silverware.
4. Dispensing apparatus for flat silverware comprising removable supporting means for said silverware, a plurality of members for gripping the opposite edges of the said silverware, means for aligning at least one of the members with the adjacent edges of said silverware, and means for resiliently engaging said gripping members with the opposite edges of said silverware.
5. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a removable support for said utensils, means for firmly gripping the opposite edges of one-of said utensils, said gripping means including a movable arm which may be swung in the direction of said utensil to be gripped, and a clamping element mounted in resilient engagement on said arm, said clamping element being movable into intimate contact with the edge of said utensil 6. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising removable means for supporting said utensils, means for gripping the opposite edges of one of said utensils, said gripping means including an arm movable toward or away from the utensils to be gripped, a clamping element mounted on said arm so as to be rotatable through a limited angle to parallel the edge of said utensil to be gripped, and a resilient member interposed between said clamping element and the arm on which it is mounted.
'7. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a plurality of supports for said utensils, two arms both simultaneously movable toward or away from said utensils, two clamping elementsaxially mounted respectively on said arms so as to be rotatable through small angles about their axes, and resilient means interposed between each clamping element and the arm on which it is mounted.
8. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a base having an opening through which said utensils may be discharged, two arms movable about independent axes mounted in said base, two clamping elements carried by said'arms respectively, each clamping element being freely rotatable about the arm on which it is carried, a plurality of removable supports for said utensils, and means for retating said arms so as to cause said clamping elements to become aligned with and to grip the edges of said utensils.
9. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a removable support for said utensils, means for gripping the opposite edges of a selected one of said utensils, said gripping means including a movable arm which may be swung in the direction of the selected utensil, and a clamping element rotatable freely about said arm, whereby the clamping element may be aligned with one of the edges of said selected utensil and then firmly engaged with said edge.
10. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a'base having an opening through which said utensils may be discharged one at a time, a plurality of supports positioned beneath the lowermost of said utensils, means for gripping the opposite edges of the next lowermost utensil, means for actuating said gripping means, and means for subsequently removing said supports, said gripping means including two arms movable in the direction of the next lowermost utensil, each of said arms supporting a member for resiliently engaging one of the edges of said next lowermost utensil.
11. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a plurality of supports positioned beneath the lowermost utensil, means for gripping the opposite edges of the next lowermost utensil, means for actuating said gripping means, and means for subsequently removing said supports, said gripping means ineluding two arms positioned adjacent the opposite edges of the next lowermost utensil, said arms when actuated, being in intimate engagement with said opposite edges.
12. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a plurality of separated supports positioned beneath the lowermost utensil, means for gripping the opposite edges of the next lowermost utensil, cam-controlled means for actuating said gripping means and for removing said supports a predetermined interval of time thereafter, said gripping means including two elements which may be aligned with said opposite edges and means for applying efiective pressure on said elements against said opposite edges.
13. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of table utensils comprising a plurality of separated supports normally positioned beneath the lowermost utensil, means for gripping the opposite edges of the next lowermost utensil, means for actuating said gripping means and for removing said supports from said utensils a brief time interval thereafter, said gripping means including a stationary member adjacent to one of the edges of said next lowermost utensil and a movable member which may be aligned with and brought into intimate contact with the opposite edge of the next lowermost utensil.
14. In a machine for dispensing a plurality of utensils such as knives, etc., each of substantially rectangular cross-section, comprising means for releasing the lowermost utensil and for supporting all of the remaining utensils, said means including two members of substantially rectangular cross-section each having a flat face which is adjacent one of the edges of the next lowermost utensil, and means for aligning said two members with the corresponding opposite edges of said next lowermost utensil and for firmly engaging the faces of said members against the latter corresponding edges.
15. Dispensing apparatus for a stack of flat silverware each having a handle comprising means for guiding said stack of silverware, means for supporting said stack of silverware, a reciprocating structure for firmly engaging and gripping the opposite edges of the handles of a plurality of the stack of flat silverware above the lowermost of said stack, and means for releasing the lowermost of said stack.