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Publication numberUS2342716 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 29, 1944
Filing dateMar 8, 1941
Priority dateMar 8, 1941
Also published asUS2342653
Publication numberUS 2342716 A, US 2342716A, US-A-2342716, US2342716 A, US2342716A
InventorsWoodman Kenneth L
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric & Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Steam iron
US 2342716 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 29, 1944. K. L. WOODMAN STEAM IRON Filed March 8, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 F 1 G. 2 INVENTOR KENNETH L. WOODMAN.

WITNESSES:

ATI'O Feb. 29, 1944. K. 1.. WOODMAN 2,342,716

STEAM IRON Filed March 8, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 WITNESSES: INVENTOR Fla. 6; KENNETJZY L. Woom4AN. 2

ATI'OR EY Patented Feb. 29, 1944 STEAM IRON Mansfield, Ohio, assignor ectric 3; Manufacturing Kenneth L. Woodman,

to Westinghouse El Company, of Pennsylvania East Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation Application March 8, 1941, Serial No. 382,305

18 Claims.

This invention relates to steam irons and particularly to that class of steam irons which includes a valve-controlled water supply for feeding water at a predetermined rate to a steam generator provided in the iron, the generated steam being discharged to the material being pressed or steamed, and it has for an object to provide an improved steam iron of the character set forth.

It is another object of this invention to provide a construction of steam iron in which the water valve is positively maintained in either closed or a predetermined open position.

It is a further object of the invention to provide improved means for controlling the rate of steam generation in a steam iron.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a construction of steam iron in which the water valve is positively maintained in either closed or a predetermined open position and in which the open position of the valve is determined automatically.

In accordance with this invention, there is provided an adjustable stop member for determining the open position of the water valve, and a valve-operating member, preferably snap-acting, which moves the valve to either closed position or to the open position determined by the stop member. The stop member may be adjusted. in accordance with a further feature of my invention, by the adjustment of the regulating means which controls the temperature of the ironing surface of the soleplate.

Other objects are effected by my invention as will be apparent from the following description and claims taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application, in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation partly in section of an electrically-heated steam iron embodying the principles of the present invention;

Figs. 2 and 3 are bottom and top plan tiews, respectively, of the steam iron shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially on the line IV-IV of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially on the line V-V of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 6 is a perspective view of an adjustable stop forming a part of the present invention.

In the drawings, an electrically-heated steam iron incorporating the features of the present invention has been indicated generally by the reference character 5. The iron 5 comprises a body including a cover or shell 6 having a handle 1 secured to the top thereof in any suitable manner. The interior of the cover 6 is provided with partitions such as I and 9 which, together with the side and top walls of the cover, define a water-storage chamber or reservoir ID. This reservoir is filled with water through an opening in the top of the cover 6, which opening is normally closed by a removable plug l2. This plug preferably ha a vent therethrough to allow air to enter the reservoir as water is removed through an outlet opening I: provided in the bottom of the reservoir adjacent the front thereof.

A metallic soleplate or base It is secured in any suitable manner to the bottom of the cover 6 and preferably in spaced relation to the partition 8 so that the reservoir I0 is thermally isolated from the soleplate. This soleplate may be'of conventional outline, as illustrated in Fig. 2, and is provided with a U-shaped heating element l5 secured thereto or imbedded therein as illustrated particularly in Fig. 1. This heating element may be of well-known construction and comprises an outer metallic tube I6 having a coiled resistance element ll supported in spaced concentric relation thereto by means of suitable heat conducting, electrical insulating material.

Power for heating the iron is supplied to the element I5 by means of a cord l8 adapted to be connected to an electrical outlet (not shown). This cord comprises conductors I9 connected to ends 20 of the resistance element I! in series with a manually-adjustable thermostat 2| supported in a recess provided in the soleplate.

The thermostat 2| may be of conventional design and is adjusted, to regulate the temperature of the soleplate and its ironing surface, by means of a rotatable rod 22 connected thereto and extending through a sleeve 23, which is brazed, soldered or otherwise secured in fluid-tight relation in the top and bottom walls of the reservoir I0. As shown particularly in Fig. 1, the rod 22 projects into the hollow front support of the handle l and carries a knob or handle 24. This knob projects through a window 25 formed in the handle 1 and is provided with the usual scale which cooperates with a reference index 26 (Fig. 5) to indicate the temperature of the soleplate for any given setting of the knob.

The soleplate I4 is provided with a recess or hole 2'!v located within the loop or bight 28 of the heating element I5. This recess opens on the ironing surface 29 of the soleplate I 4, and is normally closed at its lower end by means of a me- 'tallic member or plug 30 which is threaded to removably engage mating threads formed on the lower side wall of the recess. It will be noted that the upper surface of this plug, together with the lateral wall 3| and the upper wall 32 of the recess, defines a chamber 21a.

The chamber 21a is divided into two communicating compartments by an annular rib or bafile 33, preferably formed integral with the plug 30. The circular space or well within this baflle provides a steam-generating compartment 34 while the annular space between the battle and the lateral wall 3| of the recess defines a steam-distributing compartment 35. As disclosed in my copending application, Serial No. 382,679, filed March 11, 1941, a pad or loose mass of asbestos, glass or aluminum wool or the like may be provided in the steam compartment 34 to aid in dispersing the water supplied to this compartment and to prevent particles of water from being carried out by the generated steam.

A plurality of steam ports 36 extending inwardly from the outer surface of the plug communicate with the steam-distributing compartment 35 and serve to discharge steam onsthe material being ironed. These ports also serve as tool-receiving openings whereby a suitable tool may be inserted therein for removing the plug from the iron.

The outlet l3 of the water reservoir Ill is preferably located directly above the steam-generating compartment 34 and receives a bushing 31 which may be brazed, soldered or otherwise secured to the partition 8 of the reservoir to provide a fluid-tight joint- The lower reduced end of this bushing which extends through an aperture in the upper wall 32 of the soleplate I4 is threaded and receives a nut 38 to provide a fluidtight joint between the bushing and the wall 32. This bushing is provided with a water passage 39 having a valve seat 40 formed therein.

The valve seat 4|) is engageable by the lowertapered end of a valve stem 4|, guided in a bearing or bushing 42, for closing the water passage 39. The bushing 42 is suitably secured, as by brazing or soldering, in fluid-tight manner in the upper wall of the reservoir Ill. The upper end of the valve stem 4| projects into the front hollow support of the handle 1 preferably in longitudinal alignment with the thermostat adjusting rod 22.

' The valve stem is raised or lowered to open or close the water passage 33 by means of a knob or button 43 (Figs. 3 and 4) slidably mounted for vertical movement in a slot 44 provided in the front handle support. This knob is positioned to be conveniently engaged by the operator's thumb or fingers.

The vertical movement of the knob 43 along the slot 44 is transmitted to the valve stem 4| by means of a bracket 45 carried by the knob and which is provided with an elongated opening or open-ended slot 46 to receive the reduced flattened portion 41 on the upper end of the valve stem. This bracket 45 is resiliently secured to the knob 43, by means of a headed screw 48 (Fig. 4) threaded into the bottom of the knob and which extends loosely through an aperture provided in an angular portion 49 of the bracket 45. A coil spring 50 surrounding the screw 48 abuts the head of this screw and engages the angular portion 49 to resiliently maintain the bracket in engagement with the bottom of the knob 43.

It will be understood that the valve may be opened or closed by raising or lowering the knob 43. Since it is usually necessary to open and close the water valve a number of times durin termined open position. Therefore. there has been provided a snap-acting means in the form of a toggle or ofi-center spring mechanism which will bias the valve stem. and hold the valve in either closed or a predetermined open position.

In the specific embodiment illustrated in the drawings, the valve stem 4| is provided with a spring-receiving groove 5| (Fig. 1), while corresponding grooves 52 are provided on spaced posts 53 secured to the upper wall of the body 5. Flat springs 54 each have one end seated in a groove 52 of posts 53 and the other end seated in the groove 5| formed on the valve stem 4|. These springs. are of such length that they remain under a compressive stress in either the open or closed position of the valve stem 4|. The groove 5| provided on the valve stem is so related to the grooves 52 of the posts 53 that when the valve is closed, it will be disposed below the grooves 52 and consequently the springs 54 will bias the valve to resiliently hold it in closed position. moved to open position, the groove 5| will be positioned about the grooves 52 so that the springs 54 will snap over from the position shown in Fig. 1 to bias the valve in open position.

It is a feature of this invention to regulate the rate of steam generation in accordance with the temperature of the ironing surface of the soleplate I4. This may be done by controlling the rate at which water is feg to the steam-generating chamber of the iron in accordance with the setting of the thermostat 2| which controls the temperature of the soleplate l4 and its ironing surface 29. To accomplish this, the thermostat adjusting rod 22 is provided with an adjustable stop which may take the form of a flanged disc 55 fixed to the upper end of the thermostat rod 22. The depending flange 56 of this disc is of graduated height as most clearly shown in Fig. 6, and is of such diameter that it projects into the path of a pin or stop 51 carried by the valve stem 4|.

It will be understood the stop or disc 55 turns with the thermostat-adjusting rod 22 so that when this rod is adjusted, by means of the knob 24, to set the thermostat for maintaining the ironing surface 29 of the soleplate at a given teman ironing period to start and stop the generaperature, a related portion of the flange 56 will lie in the path of the stop 51. The portion of the flange 56 in the path of the stop 51 will automatically limit the upward movement of the valve stem 4|, and consequently determine the date at which water is fed into the steam-generating chamber 34 for the particular thermostat setting. By graduating the height or suitably shaping the edge of the flange 45, a particular rate at which water will be fed to the steam generator may be provided for each setting of the thermostat. For example, the edge of the flange may be designed so that when the iron is adjusted to maintain a high soleplate temperature a greater quantity of water will be fed to the steam generator than when the soleplate is maintained at a lower temperature. In addition, the flange may be designed so that the portion thereof in the path of the stop 51, when.

the thermostat is moved to its off position to open the heating circuit, will cause the stop 51 to be forced down to close the water valve.

To facilitate assembly of the iron and adjustment of the mechanism within the hollow front support of the handle I, the handle may be provided with an opening 58 which may be Similarly, when the valve is closed by a cover plate 59 removably secured to the handle.

In using the iron for the purpose of steaming clothes or supplying moisture in the form of steam to an article being pressed, the operator fllls the reservoir Ill with water and adjusts the thermostat 2| to maintain the ironing surface of the soleplate It at the proper tem-- perature for the particular material being ironed. Adjustment of the thermostat also positions the adjustable stop 55 to provide a rate of water flow to the steam generator corresponding to the temperature at which the ironing surface of the soleplate I4 is maintained. The rate of water flow determines the rate at which steam will be supplied to the material being ironed.

When the iron has reached the correct heat, the controlling button 43 may be raised to open the valve and allow water to be fed from the reservoir in into the steam-generating chamber 34. The water falls on the surface of the plug within the baille 33 where it is instantly flashed into steam. The steam thus generated will pass over the bailie 33 and into the steamdistributing compartment 35 and then through the steam outlet ports 36 to the material being pressed or steamed. It will be understood that the plug 30, due to its metal-to-metal contact with the soleplate which carries the heating element, will be heated sufficiently to convert the water which drops thereon, into steam.

In doing ordinary domestic ironing it is usually necessary to terminate flow of steam for certain periods. In the iron constructed in accordance with the present invention, this is readily accomplished by closing the water valve by means of the button 43 and when steam is again required it is only necessary for the operator to raise the button to the open position, the adjustment of the proper rate of flow of water having already been determined automatically by the setting of the thermostat. In other words, it is not necessary for the operator to manually adjust the water-regulating valve each time the valve is opened.

While I have shown my invention in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof, and I desire, therefore, that only such limitations shall be placed thereupon as are specifically set forth in the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, means for regulating the temperature of said surface, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for supplying a liquid to said generator, snap-action means for maintaining said valve selectively in open or closed position, and means controlled by said temperature-regulating means for determining the maximum opening of said valve.

2. A steam iron comprising a body having a liquid-storage chamber and a steam-generating chamber, a soleplate carried by. said body, means for heating said soleplate, said storage chamber having an outlet communicating with said steam generator, a valve for said outlet, said valve being movable to open or closed position to open or close said outlet, means to resiliently maintain said valve selectively in open or closed position, means for regulating said heating means to selectively maintain said soleplate at a desired temperature, and means controlled by said regu lating means for determining the maximum open position of said valve in accordance with the maintained temperature of said soleplate.

3. A steam iron comprising a body having a liquid-storage chamber and a steam-generating chamber, means providing a passage connecting said chambers whereby liquid in said storage chamber may be fed to said steam-generating chamber, a valve including an operating member for opening and closing said passage, means engaging said operating member to resiliently maintain said valve selectively in open or closed position, a soleplate carried by said body, means for heating said soleplate, means for regulating said heating means to maintain said soleplate at any one of a plurality of desired temperatures, and means controlled by the adjustment of said temperature-regulating means for determining the maximum valve opening in accordance with the maintained temperature of said soleplate.

4. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means for regulating the heating means to maintain said surface at a selected temperature suitable for ironing, means for supplying steam to said surface, and adjustable means positioned by said adjustable regulating means for varying the rate at which steam is supplied to said surface in accordance with the setting of said adjustable regulating means.

5. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means for regulating the heating means to maintain said surface at a selected temperature suitable for ironing, means carried by said body for generating steam, means for discharging steam generated by said lastmentioned means to said surface, and adjustable means positioned by said adjustable regulating means for varying the rate of steam generation in accordance with the setting of said adjustable regulating means.

6. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means for regulating the heating means to maintain said surface at a selected temperature suitable for ironing, steam-generating means carried by said body, means for supplying water to said steam-generating means, and means controlled by said adjustable regulating means for varying the rate at which water is supplied to said steam-generating means in accordance with the setting of said regulating means.

7. A steam iron comprising a body including a soleplate, means for heating said soleplate, means for regulating the temperature of said soleplate, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for supplying water to said steam generator, and means controlled by said temperature-regulating means for determining the maximum opening of said valve, said valve being movable from the position of maximum opening to closed position independently of said temperature-regulating means.

8. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for supplying water to said steam generator, means for regulating the temperature of said ironing surface, and a stop positioned by said regulating means for determining the maximum opening of said valve.

9. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, means for regulating the temperature of said surface, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for supplying water to said steam generator, a valve-operating member, and a stop positioned by said temperature-regulating means, said stop being adapted to engage said valve-operating member for determining the maximum opening of said valve.

10. A steam iron comprising a body having a liquid-storage chamber, a soleplate carried by said body, means for heating said soleplate, means for regulating the temperature of said soleplate, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for conveying liquid from said chamber to said steam generator, and stop means controlled by said temperature-regulating,means for determining the movement of said valve.

11. A steam iron comprising a body'having a liquid-storage chamber and a steam-generating chamber, means providing a passage connecting said chambers whereby liquid in said storage chamber may be fed to said steam-generating chamber, an adjustable valve for opening said passage to provide difierent rates of flow therethrough and for closing said passage, a'soleplate carried by said body, means for heating said soleplate, means for regulating said heating means to maintain said soleplate at any one of a plurality of desired temperatures, and means controlled by the adjustment of said temperatureregulating means for adjusting said valve to provide a predetermined rate of flow through said passage in accordance with the temperature at which said soleplate is to be maintained.

12. A steam iron comprising a body, a steam generator carried by said body, means including a valve for supplying water to said steam generator, an adjustable stop for determining the open position of said valve, means for adjusting said stop, a valve-operating member adapted to engage said stop and resilient means for selectively maintaining said valve-operating member in engagement with said stop or in valve-closing position.

13. A steam iron comprising a body including a soleplate and a handle, said handle having a recess therein, a steam generator carried by said soleplate, means for heating said soleplate and steam generator, means including a valve for supplying water to said steam generator, a valveoperating member for said valve extending into the recess in said handle, resilient means for selectively maintaining said valve-operating member in valve-closing position or valve-opening position, and manually operable means for moving said valve-operating member to valveopening and valve-closing position, said manually operable means extending from said valveoperating member to a point outside of said handle and in a position to be readily manipulated by the operator of the iron.

14. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, heating means carried by said body, adjustable means for regulating said heating means, a steam generator carried by said body, means for supplying water at different rates of flow to said steam generator, and means positioned by the adjustment of I said adjustable means for selecting the rate of flow of water to said steam generator.

15. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means ior regulating said heatingmeans to maintain said surface at a selected temperature, a steam generator carried by said body, means including an adjustable valve for supplying a liquid to said steam generator, said valve being adjustable to provide different rates of flow of said liquid to said steam generator, and means controlled by said temperature-regulating means for selecting the rate of flow of said liquid.

16. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said ironing surface, adjustable means for regulating said heating means to maintain said surface at any one of a plurality of ironing temperatures, a steam generator carried by said body, means for supplying Water to said steam generator, said water supplying means including an adjustable valve to provide different rates of fiow of water to said steam generator, an adjustable stop for determining the rate of flow of water through said valve, means operating in accordance with movement of the adjustable means in one direction to position said stop to provide a reduced rate of flow and operating in accordance with movement of the adjustable means in another direction to position said stop to provide an increased rate of flow, the movement of said adjustable means in said one direction and in said other direction providing different ironing temperatures of said soleplate, and means for moving said valve between closed position and an open position determined by said stop.

17. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means for regulating the heating means to maintain said surface at a selected temperature suitable for ironing, steam-generating means carried by said body, adjustable means for supplying water to said steam-generatlng means, and means common to said adjustable regulating means and said adjustable water supplying means and adapted to simultaneously adjust said adjustable regulating means and said adjustable water supplying means.

18. A steam iron comprising a body having an ironing surface, means for heating said surface, adjustable means for regulating said heating means to maintain said surface at a selected temperature, a steam generator carried by said body, means including an adjustable valve for supplying a liquid to said steam generator, and means including a manually actuated member common to said adjustable valve and to said adjustable means for adjusting said valve to provide different rates of flow of said liquid to said steam generator and for simultaneously adjusting said adjustable means. 1

KENNETH L. WOODMAN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2441586 *Feb 10, 1945May 18, 1948Westinghouse Electric CorpSteam iron
US2655746 *Apr 25, 1951Oct 20, 1953Gen ElectricUnitary steam and temperature control for steam irons
US2713221 *Dec 15, 1951Jul 19, 1955Hoover CoElectric irons
US2755574 *Aug 30, 1954Jul 24, 1956Gen ElectricControl for combination dry and steam flatiron
US2786286 *Dec 3, 1953Mar 26, 1957Hoover CoValve control structure for steam irons
US2786288 *Dec 3, 1953Mar 26, 1957Hoover CoActuating mechanism for steam iron control valve
US2825157 *Mar 23, 1954Mar 4, 1958Steam Iron CorpSteam iron
US2871588 *Jan 26, 1955Feb 3, 1959Hoover CoElectric irons
US2887800 *May 27, 1957May 26, 1959Miller Kistner MerrillSteam iron
US2976627 *Nov 4, 1958Mar 28, 1961Steam Iron CorpSteam iron
US5526596 *May 10, 1994Jun 18, 1996Black & Decker Inc.Electric iron with storage base and method of storing the iron
US5572810 *Aug 9, 1995Nov 12, 1996Black & Decker Inc.Steam iron with rotatable temperature control
US5829175 *Sep 20, 1996Nov 3, 1998Black & Decker Inc.Steam iron with all temperature steam production
US20100257761 *Mar 19, 2010Oct 14, 2010Lung Wai ChoiElectric iron with a synchronizing temperature display
DE1039470B *Dec 15, 1952Sep 25, 1958Hoover LtdElektrisch beheiztes Buegeleisen
Classifications
U.S. Classification38/77.83, 137/374, 137/315.35, 200/61.86
International ClassificationD06F75/18, D06F75/08, D06F75/26
Cooperative ClassificationD06F75/265, D06F75/18
European ClassificationD06F75/26B, D06F75/18