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Publication numberUS2376960 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 29, 1945
Filing dateOct 23, 1941
Priority dateOct 23, 1941
Publication numberUS 2376960 A, US 2376960A, US-A-2376960, US2376960 A, US2376960A
InventorsClem James R
Original AssigneeClem James R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vending machine
US 2376960 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

INlay 29, 1945. J, R CLEM 2,376,960

VENDING MACHINE y Filed Oct. 23, 1941 3 Sheets-Sheet- 1 dames R. C/em @www May 29, 1945. J. R @LEM 2,376,960

VENDING MACHINE I Filed Oct. 23, 1941 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 claws R. c/em May 29, 1945. J. R. cLEMy 2,376,960

VENDING MACHINE Filed Oct. 23, 1941 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Sme/YM dames R. C/em l meme May 29, 194s lUNITED STATES PATENT` AOFFICE Applicatlonvglil; No. 416,

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in vending machines.

One object of the invention is to provide an improved vending machine for dispensing a quantity of bottled goods', such as carbonated bever-4 ages of various flavors.

, A particular object of the invention is to provide an improved coin-controlled machine for receiving and storing bottled goods of various fiavors and having means for selectively dispensing the goods, whereby the purchaser or consumer mayreadily select and receive goods of a desired avor.

An important object of the invention is to provide an improved vending machine having a plurality of superposed inclined trays for receiving the bottles goods, together with means for guiding or conducting the bottles from one tray to the next tray therebelow, whereby the trays provide a continuous uninterrupted path along which the bottles travel byy gravity; the arrangement of the trays permitting a maximum number of bottles to be stored in a minimum amount of space and the gravity feed eliminating the use of mechanically actuated conveyors, carriers or the like for conducting the bottles to the access or outlet openings through which the bottles are removed from the machine.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved machine, of the character described, wherein a plurality of units of identical construction are assembled within a cabinet or housing, each unit being adapted to receive a plurality of bottles containing goods of the same flavor,

whereby the number of units employed is dependent upon the number of diierentkinds of drinks it is desired to dispense; the identical construction of the units facilitating the manufacture of the machine, since it is only necessary to varyA the assembly in order to construct machines of various sizes.

A further object of the invention is to provide a. vending machine, of the character described,

wherein the supporting trays are mounted in an improved manner so that they may be readily displaced to permit lling or insertion of the bottled goods into the machine.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a bottle vending machine of the dry cold type in which thebottles are fed by gravity along inclined trays to the outlet or access opening, said machine having means for preventing the bottles from jamming or shifting out of alinement in their downward travel, whereby eillcient operation is assured.

l.Another object of the invention is to provide an improved manually operated ejector mechanism which is associated with each bottle receiving unit of the machine for dispensing one bottle from the unit upon each operation thereof, together Vwith an improved coin receiving mechanism which coacts with the ejector in a manner to'prevent actuation of the ejector until a coin has been inserted in the coin mechanism.

A still further object of the invention is to proa time.

The construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described, together with other features of the invention.

The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawings, as an example of the invention is shown, and where- Figure 1 is an isometric view of a dispensing machine constructed in accordance withthe invention,

Figure 2 is an enlarged, transverse, vertical sectional view of the machine,

Figure 3 is an isometric view of one of the bottle receiving units of the machine,

Figure 4 is a horizontal, cross-sectional view, taken on the line 4-4 of Figure 2,

Figure 5 is an enlarged sectional detail of a portion of the uppermost trays, illustrating the guiding means between said trays,

Figure 6 is an enlarged sectional detail of the ejector drum with the coin receiving chute and operating mechanism shown in elevation,

Figure 7 is an enlarged, vertical sectional view, taken on the line 1-1 of Figure 6,

Figure 8 is a sectional view of the coin receiving chute and illustrating a portion of the operating mechanism associated therewith,

Figure 9 is a horizontal, cross-sectinal view, taken on the line 9 9 of Figure 6,

Figure 10 is an enlarged sectional detail of the clutch and cam which forms part of the operating mechanism,

Figure 11 is a transverse sectional view of one of the trays and illustrating said tray adaptabe for receiving smaller bottles, and

Figure 12 is a. partial, vertical sectional view of the cabinet illustrating a modified form of tray arrangement. I

In the drawings, the numeral Ill designates a vertical cabinet which is illustrated as substantially rectangular in cross-section. The cabinet is mounted on suitable rollers II, and the interior of said cabinet is divided into an upper chamber I2 and a lower chamber I3. The upper chamber I2, which, as will be explained, is adapted to receive the bottled goods to be dispensed, has its walls constructed of a suitable heat insulating material, and continuous cool-` ing coils I4 are disposed within the interior of said chamber for cooling the same. As is clearly shown in Figures 2 and 4, the coils are disposed on opposite sides of the chamber, being located contiguous to the side walls of the cabinet.

The lower chamber I3 has the refrigerating equipment mounted therein, and it is not necessary that the walls of this chamber be insulated.` As shown in Figure 2, the refrigerating equipmentincludes a compressor I5 and a motor I6, as well as the usual condenser I1. The coils I4 have connection with the condenser I1 and the re'frigerating equipment operates in the usual manner. Manifestly, since the coils I4 are disposed within the interior of the chamber,

tray are contiguous to the inner surface of the side plates 26. y The trays B, D and E are stationary or fixed in position and their flanges are provided with openings 29 through which the tie rods 21 extend. The trays A and C are removable and their flanges 28 are formed with notches 30, whereby said trays may be engaged over the said upper chamber will be maintained at the desired temperature at all times.

Access to the interior of the upper chamber I2 maybe had through a hinged door I8 which is provided with a suitable lock I9. This door is provided for the purpose of introducing the.

bottled goods into the chamber, as will be hereinafter explained. The lower portion of the chamber I2 is provided with a plurality of outlet openings through which the bottled goods is'ejected, and immediately Abelow these open ings, a receiving trough 2| is mounted. When aV bottle is ejected through one of the openings 20, it falls into the trough 2| and is removed from the trough by the purchaser or consumer. Each opening 20 is normally closed by a hinged door or gate 24 which has its upper end hinged 'to a supporting bracket 23 secured to the inner wall of the chamber. The lower endof the door or gate 24 normally abuts an upstanding flange 25 which limits the inward swinging movement of the door. The door is adapted to be engaged by a bottle, as will be explained, and is swung outwardly by the weight of said bottle to permit the same to fall downwardly into the receiving trough 2|.

A plurality of bottle receiving and supporting units U are adapted to be mounted within the receiving chamber I2 and the number of lthese'` `units will Vary in accordance with the number of different kinds of bottled goods to be dispensed. Each unit is arranged to receive the bottles of one particular drink or avor, and

thus, if it is desired to dispense two different types of drinks, only two units are provided; if a greater number of different kinds of drinks are to be dispensed, then the units are increased accordingly. As shown in the drawings and as i described herein, only two units are illustrated,

but it is t'o beunderstood that any desired `70 construction, and it is believed that a description Each unit includes a pair of y vertical side plates 26 which are connected to each other in spaced relationship by a plurality y number may be employed.

The various units U are all of an identical of one will suflice.

of tie-rods 21.l The rods 21 not only connect the side plates, as is clearly shown in Figures 2 and 3,

and above this top, the side plates have their central portions cut out or recessed as shown at 34 to permit a free circulation of air past or transversely of the unit.

The trays A to E extend transversely between the side plates 26 and are disposed vin staggered relation Ito each other. Adjacent trays are inclined in opposite directions (Figure 2), that is, the uppermost tray is inclined downwardly and forwardly, while the next below tray is inclined rearwardly and downwardly, and so on. The lowermost tray E has its forward end terminating adjacent the opening 2li associated with the unit. It will be evident that the disposition of the trays in this manner forms a continuous downward path from the uppermost tray A to the lowermost tray E, and thus, a bottle placed on the tray A may roll downwardly by gravity onto the trays B, C and D respectively and then onto the lowermost tray E. From this latter tray, the bottles may be directed through the outlet opening 20, as will be explained, and into the receiving trough 2| on the exterior of the cabinet I0: Y

The spacing between the side plates 26 is suf- F cient to accommodate the largest bottle which is to be dispensed by the machine. The bottles are arranged to be placed on the trays so that each bottle extends transversely of the trays between the side plates. For maintaining the bottles in transverse alinement and also for guiding said bottles from one tray to the tray immediately therebelow, an alining reel 35 is disposed adiacent the lower end of each of the trays A, B, C and D. This reel is mounted on a rotatable shaft 36 which has its ends journaled in the side plates 26. Each reel is provided with. a plurality of radially extending blades 31, and the space between the blades is suilcient to receive one bottle. Cooperating with the rotatable reel 35 is a curved deiiector or baille 38 which extends transversely across the unit between the side plates. The lower end of the baille is secured to the tray immediately below the reel, while its upper end is fastened to a transverse rod 21a which extends between the side plates. It will be obvious that as the bottles roll downwardly from one tray,

each bottle will enter one of the spaces between the blades 31 of the yreel, and the weight of the bottles will cause a rotation of said reel, whereby the bottles will be carried downwardly to the next tray. The bottles are maintained between the blades of the reel by the curved deiiector or bale 38, as is clearly shown in Figure 2.

The reels 35, which are associated with the trays B and D and are located at the lower ends of these trays. are mounted in a fixed position. The ends of the shaft 33 of these reels are journaled in circular openings formed in the side plates 25. However, the reels 35 which are located at the lower ends of the trays A and C, which are the removable trays, are alsomovable within the unit. The ends of each shaft 35 of eachof the reels 35 adjacent the trays A and C are mounted within inclined slots 33, being normally located at the lower ends of said slots. Obviously, each shaft 35 may be slid or moved upwardly within the inclined slots 39 and maybe engaged within an offset 45 at the upper end of said slot. In such position, the reel would be disposed in the position shown in dotted lines in Figure 5. The purpose of making the reels 35, which are associated with the trays A and B, movable is to facilitate filling of the unit. When it is desired to place the bottles within the unit, the top 3| is first removed and then the tray A is swung upwardly, as indicated by dotted lines in Figure 5, after which the reel 35 associated with this tray is moved upwardly through the inclined slots 33 and its shaft engaged with the offset 40.

The reel would thus act to maintain the tray in a y raised position. The tray C is then swung upwardly in the same manner and the reel 35 associated therewith moves upwardly through its inclined slots 33 so that its shaft may be engaged with the oifset 40, so as to maintain both the reel and the tray C in this raised position. The bottles are then introduced, the lower trays D and E being filled iirst. After the lower trays are illled, the tray C is again moved downwardly to its original position as shown in Figure 2, and said tray is filled. 'I'he tray B is then lled, the placing of the bottles on this tray being permitted since the uppermost tray A has been swung upwardly. After the tray B is lled, the uppermost tray and its reel are returned tothe position shown in Figure 2, and this uppermost tray filled with the bottles. The top 3| is then replaced and if desired, bottles may be placed on this top, the space thereabove providing a storage for additional bottles.

For controlling the individual ejection of the bottles from the lowermost trayl E and through the outlet opening 20, an ejection drum 4I is mounted adjacent the lower end of the tray E. This drum is provided with dlametrically opposed channels or recesses 42, which are of such size as to receive a bottle. The drum 4I is mounted on a shaft 43 (Figure 7) and the ends of this shaft extend outwardly through openings 44a formed in the side plates 26, and one end of this shaft is journaled in a bearing 44 which is mounted in oneof the side plates 25 of the unit. The other en'd of the shaft extends outwardly through an opening 45 inthe other side plate 25 and has its end journaled in the bearing 44 of the side plate of the adjacent unit. The extended end of the shaft 43 has a drive sprocket 45 secured thereto, said sprocket being disposed between the adjacent side plates of the adjacent unit. When the sprocket 45 is rotated, a rotation is imparted to the shaft 43 and to the ejection drum 4|. The arrangement, as will be hereinafter explained, is such that normally the drum is in the position shown inl Figure 2, withA the lowermost bottle of the tray E resting within one of the recesses 42 of said drum. Upon an actuation of the mechanism, the sprocket 45 is rotated ,through 18u degrees whereby the bottle within the recess is carried around and forces the door 24 outwardly, thereby permitting the bottle to roll downwardly through the opening 20 and into'the receiving trough 2i. Upon such a rotation ot the drum 4I, the opposite recess is moved to a position contiguous tothe lower end of tray E, whereby the next bottle rolls into this recess. It is obvious that upon each ejection of one of the bottles, gravity will cause the bottles thereabove `on the various trays to move downwardly a distance equal to the space which was taken up by the ejected bottle.

The various units U are placed within the` chamber I2 side by side, as is indicated by the dotted lines in Figure l, and connecting rods 41 serve to connect the various units together, said connection rods passing through openings 45 provided for this purpose in the corner of the side plate 25. As previously explained, the shaft 43 of the ejector drum 4I extends outwardly through an opening 45 in one of the side plates, and has its'end supported in the bearing 44 of the plate 25 of the adjacent unit. With this arrangement, it will be evident that the end unit within the chamber will have no support for the extended end of the shaft 43, and in order to provide such a support, a supporting plate 25a which is similar to the side plate 25 carrying the bearing 44, is provided. 'Ihis plate, as is clearly shown in Figure 4, is disposed adjacent the cooling coil I4 at one side of the cabinet, and is preferably connected to the unit Within the chamber I2 by the connecting rods 41.

For imparting rotation to the sprocket 45 and thus to thevejector drum 4I, the sprocket 45 connected by a chain 49 with an enlarged sprocket- 50. The sprocket 50 is freely rotatable on the extended end of a shaft 5I which is mounted within the unit between the forward endsof the` lowermost trays D and E. The shaft 5I is mounted in a manner similarIi to the mounting of the shaft 43 of the ejector drum and has one end mounted. in a bearing 52 provided in one of the side plates 25 of each unit. The opposite or extended ends of the shaft on which the sprocket 55 is mounted is supported within the bearing 52 within the side plate 25 of the adjacent unit. Since the sprocket 50 has a direct connection with the sprocket 45 through thel chain 48, it follows that when the former is ro-A tated, a rotation'will be imparted to the latter.

As explained, the sprocket 5I! is freely rotatable on the shaft 5I which merely serves as a support therefor. The sprocket is formed with an inwardly directed, integral collar 53 which has a general square shape, as is clearly shown in Figure 10. The collar is formed with a circular bore 54 which is adapted to receive aclutch ele,-y

ment 55. The clutch element is also freely rotatable on the shaft 5I and is formed integral with a drive gear 55. The gear 55 is also rotatable on the supporting shaft and is confined against the collar 53 by a retaining ring 51. The clutch element 55 which is formed integral with the drive gear 55 is formed with a plurality of radially extending shoulders 58, and the outer periphery of the elment is arranged so as to gradually curve from the base of one of the shoulders 55 to the high point of the adjacent or next shoulder.

A spring pressed pin 59 is mounted within the.

collar 53 and when the drive gear and clutch element 55 are rotated in a clockwise direction (in Figure 10) one of the shoulders 58 on the clutch element will strike the pin 59 and will impart a clockwise rotation to the collar 53 and the sprocket 50 integral with said collar. However, a rotation of the drive gear and cam element in a reverse direction, that is, a counter-clockwise. direction (in Figure will merely result in a the unit. The outer end of the gear rack is pro-` vided with an extension or bar 62 whichA projects outwardly through an opening 63 formed in the front wall of the cabinet. The operator may grasp the extension 62 and impart an outward sliding movement to the gear rack 66, and such movementwill result inl a clockwise rotation of the gear 66 (Figures 6 and 10) whereby the clutch element 66 and pin 69 will coact .to rotate the sprocket 66 and thereby revolve the ejector drum 6| through the chain 66 and sprocket 66. Thus, rotation of the ejector drum to dispense 4a' bottle is controlled by the outward movement of the bar 62, and each time said baris actuated, a bottle is ejectedv through the outlet opening 26 in the front wall of the cabinet. For preventing a lockwise rotation of the gear 66 by means of the gear rack 66 to actuate the ejector drum, as has been explained, alocking bar 66 is pivoted on `a pin-66, as is clearly shown in Figure 10. The horizontal leg of the locking bar 66 is adapted to .co-act with a plurality of lugs 66 which are formed onthe periphery of the collar 66, these lugsA being spaced equidistant from each other around said periphery.- The locking bar 66 is formed with an upstanding portion 66a which extends upwardly through a. slot 61 provided within the lower end of the rectangular sleeve or guideway 6| within which the gear rack is slidable. 'I'he extreme upper end of the bar is inclined, as i1- lustrated at 66. When the locking bar is in a lowered position, as shown in full lines in Figure 10, the end of the horizontal leg or portion of said bar is engaged by one of the lugs 66 of the collar 63 which is made integral with the upper sprocket 60. Obviously, if an attempt is made to rotate the gear 56 to impart rotation` to the collar,'said collar cannot rotate in a clockwise direction because of the engagement of this lug with the locking bar. bar yis swung on its pivot 65 to the position indievident that the rib 1| wlii engB-Se the coin and will cause the same to moveiorwardly into the guideway. This forward movement of the coin will torce the same over the inclined upper end 66 ofthe lockingy bar 66. whereby said bar is swung on its pivot and its end is moved out ot the path oi' the lug 66 on the collar 66. It is Pointed outthat the clutch'element`66 is so disposed with relation to the spring pressed pin 66 within the collar 66 that a partial rotation oi' the clutch element may occur before one of the shoulders 66 thereon engage the pin 66. 4 This lost motion between the clutch element 66 andthe collar 66 is suiiiclent to permit thecoin to move from the position indicated at 16 to the position indicated at 16a as shown in Figure 10. Thus, upon initial outward movement of the'liand bar 62 and the gear rack 66, the coin which has been inserted swings the locking bar out bf.-V the path oi the lug 66 on the collar 6I.; a continued `outward movement of the hand bar their imparts a rotation to the collar 66 and the sprocket 66 which is made integral with said coilarf- As explained, the rotation of the sprocket 66 resultsin a rotation of the ejection drum 6I. whereby a bottle is ejected throughthe opening 26 inthe wall of the cabinet. It is noted that the continued outward movement of the bar and gear Y rack, which results in an operation of the ejector drum, causes the rib 1| on the gear rfacl;Y to move the coin opposite an opening 12 in the forward portion of the guideway, and this opening is in communication with a' coin box-or holder 16 which is locked within a recess 13a in the front wall of the cabinet.

For preventing thel operator frommoving the gear rack inwardly prior to the time that a completeoutward movement of the gear rack is com- However, when the locking vcated in dotted lines in Figure 10, the end of said bar is swung upwardly out of the path of the lug l 66, whereby a clockwise rotation of the collar 63 and sprocket 60 may be accomplished.

The locking bar 66 is adapted to beswung by a coin which is inserted into the machine. The

coin is inserted into an inclined coin chute 69 I which has its upper end extending through the front wall of the cabinet, as is clearly shown in Figure 8. The lower end of the coin chute communicates with the rectanguar sleeve or guideway 6|, and the coin falls downwardly into the guideway behind the upper end of the locking` bar. This position of the coin is illustrated by the dotted line 16 in Figure 10. In order to move'.v

the inserted coin forwardly and over the 'upper end 66of the locking bar so as to effect a swinging of said bar, the gear rack 66 is provided with a longitudinal rib 1| which is located at one side thereof.A As is clearly indicated in Figure 9, the.l

coin falls into the guideway 6|v between one wall of said guideway and the gear rack, so .as to be disposed in the same plane as the rib 1I. When the end bar or extension 62 which is made integral with. the gear rack is pulled outwardly, it will be,

pleted, a pawl 16 is secured on a rotatable shaft 16, which shaft is mounted in one wall26 of the unit. 'I'he pawl 16 is disposed opposite teeth of thegear 66 and is constructed so as to ratchet over the teeth when the gear is moved in a clockwise direction (Figures 6 and l0) However, a counter-clockwise rotation of the gear wlil result in the pawl engaging the teeth to prevent such counter-clockwise rotation. The swinging of the pawl is controlled by an arm 16 which is also secured to the shaft 16. The arm extends inwardly and is adapted to ride on the periphery oi the collar 63 and obviously, 'as the various lugs 66 on said collar move opposite the arm 16, the arm is swung to rotate the shaft 16,v and thereby swings the pawl 16 outwardly out of engagement with the teeth oi' the gear 66. As thecoliar 66 v rotates and the lug 66 disengages the end of the arm 16, said arm rides downwardly on the inclined surface of the collar and permits the pawl 16 to engagev the teeth of the gear 66. 'For limiting the outward swing of the pawl, a-su'itabie stop been explained, continued movementv of the gearrack imparts a clockwise rotation to the gear 66 and collar 63 whereby the lug 66'is disengaged from the arm 16 which permits the pawl 16 to engage the teeth of the gear 66. 'I'he pawl merely rides over the teeth as the clockwise rotation of the gear is continued. However, if it isattempted to move the gear rack inwardly and thereby impart a counter-clockwise rotation to the gear 66, the pawl will prevent such reverse rotation. After the outward movement of the lever 62 and gear rack is completed to eject the bottle, the next lug 66 on-the collar 53 has moved opposite the arm 16 and hasv swung the pawl outwardly out of the path of the teeth of the gear 56. When. this occurs, the locking bar 64 has also engaged the next lug and the gear rack 60 may be moved inwardly, suchf inward movement resulting in a counterclockwiserotation of the gear 56 and of the clutch element 55. Obviously, due to the slippage arrangement between the clutch element 55 and the collar 53, the collar is not rotated in a' counter-clockwise rotation with the gear.

Prior to the insertion of a coin into the machine, the parts are in the position shown in Figures 2, 6 and 10. In such position, the lowermost bottle on the bottom tray E has entered one of the recesses 42 in the ejector drum 4|. The hand bar 62 cannot be pulled outwardly because the locking bar 64 is engaged with the lug 66 on the collar 53 which is made integral with the operating sprocket 56. When a coin is inserted into the coin chute 69, said coin falls downwardly into the guideway behind the upper extended end 66 of the locking bar and in advance of the outwardly extending rib 1I on the gear rack. After insertion of the coin, the operator grasps the hand bar 62 and moves the gear rackl outwardly, whereby a clockwise rotation is imparted to the gear 56. This clockwise rotation of the gear is permitted without moving the .collar 53 because of the clearance between the shoulder 56 on the clutch element 55 and the spring pressed pin 59 within said collar. This initial movement of the gear rack moves the coin forwardly and over the inclined upper end 68 of the locking bar, Whereby said locking bar is swung on its pivot, so as to move said bar out of the path of the lug 66 on the collar 53.

After the locking bar is swung, a continued outward movement of the hand bar will result in further clockwise rotation of the gear, and this rotation will be transmitted to the collar 53 through the clutch element 55 and the pin 59. As explained, the rotation of the `collar 53 will impart rotation to the sprocket 50 and then through the chain 49 to the sprocket 46 on the ejector drum shaft 43, whereby the drum 4I is rotated to move the 'bottle Within the recess of said drum outwardly through the opening 20' in the front wall of the cabinet.

Upon the initial movement of the collar 53 in a clockwise direction, the lug 66 on said collar, which has been in engagement with the arm 16, is moved out of engagement with said arm, whereby the pawl 14 may fall against the teeth of the gear 56. As explained, clockwise rotation of this gear allows the pawl 14 to ratchet overV the gear teeth and thus the clockwise rotation of the gear may 'be completed without interference from the pawl. However, if an attempt is made to return the rack to an inward position, the pawl will immediately engage the teeth to prevent a counter-clockwise rotation of the gear 56 and a resultant inward movement of the gear rack 66.

After the outwardmovement of the gear rack rack was completed, the coin was moved past the locking bar and into the coin box or recep- 1 tacle 13. As soon as the coin passed the upper end of the locking bar, the weight of said bar caused the same to fall downwardly on the periphery .of the collar 53. Thus, as the collar completes its movement, the next lug 66 engages the locking bar, and further rotation of the collar and the sprockets 56 and 46 is prevented. At the same time that the lug 66 engages the locking bar to halt the rotation in a clockwise direction, the next lug also engages the arm 16 to swing the pawl 14 out of engagement with the teeth of the gear 56. When this occurs, the hand bar may then move inwardly and the gear rack will -be returned to its original position within the guideway. The inward movement of the gear rack 60 will result in a counter-clockwise rotation of the gear 56, but this counter-clockwise rotation will not be imparted to the collar 53 and the sprocket 56 because of the slippage ot the clutch element 55 within the collar 53. Thus, the parts are again returned to their original position and are ready for the next operation.

From the above, it will be seen'that a simple and eiiicient dispensing machine is provided. The bottles are fed by gravity from the various trays downwardly to the ejector drum 4l. As each bottle is dispensed, the Weight of the additional bottles causes the next bottle to engage the ejector drum. The units are preferably identical in construction, and obviously, any desired number may be incorporated within a single is complete and the ejector drum has rotated.

cabinet to dispense any desired number of different kinds of drinks. 'Ihe mounting of the trays facilitate the filling of the various units and also makes for an exceptionally simple construction.

The device is actuated by a single outward movement of the hand bar 62.- The mechanism associated with the hand bar prevents the operation of the device until the insertion of a coin into the machine. The device is fool-proof because it is necessary that the outward movement of the hand bar and gear rack be entirely completed before it can again be returned to an inward position. This arrangement makes it essential that a bottle be ejected each time that the bar is actuated. It is pointed out that the clearance between the ejector drum 4i and the bracket 23, to which the door 24 is hinged, is such that the bottle will barely clear the bracket as the drum is rotated. Thus, it is impossible for any one to reach into the machine through the opening 20 and remove a. bottle, because when the drum is in a position shown in Figures 2 and 6, the space between the periphery of the drum and the bracket is insuiiicient to pass a bottle. Thus, the unauthorized removal of bottles from the machine is prevented.

As has been stated, the width of each tray is preferably sufdcient to accommodate the largest bottle which will be dispensed. The unit might be constructed to dispense bottles of a given size and it might become desirable to dispense smaller bottles. In such case, it would only be necessary to attach an angle bar 60, as shown in Figure 11, to the upper surface of the tray. The provision of this angle bar would in effect narrow the width of the tray, whereby a bottle of smaller size may be dispensed from the unit without changing the construction of said unit.

Itis pointed out that the reels 35 not only aid in guiding the bottles from one tray to the next Atransverse position at all times.

but also maintain the bottles in an alined or The provision of these reels prevents the bottles from assuming a position parallel to the longitudinal axis of the trays and thus becoming jammed with a resultant inefilcient feeding of the bottles to the ejecting mechanism.

Insad of providing the reels 35 at the ends of the inclined trays, such reels may be eliminated and transverse rollers 35a substituted therefore, as is illustrated in Figure 12. 'I'hese rollers are freely rotatable and cooperate with curved bailies 38a to guide the bottles from one tray to the next. Where these rollers are elnployed, it may be desirable to locate freely rotatable reels 35h midway above each tray'for maintaining the bottles in transverse alinement; in actual practice, however, it has been found that the co-action between the rollers 35a and the baiiies 38a prevents niisalinement of the bottles, and the intermediate reels 35h are not essential.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction, may be made, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention. v

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

l. As a. sub-combination in a vendingl machine, any loperating mechanism including, a

drive sprocket, a drive gear, a clutch connecting said sprocket and gear vand adapted to impart rotation in one direction only from the gear to the sprocket, -a slidable gear rack engaging the gear for rotating the same, a locking element adapted to engage the vsprocket to prevent rotation of the sprocket and gear, the gear rack adapted to actuate means for engaging the locking element when the rack is slid, whereby said means swings the element out of engagement' with the sprocketto permit rotation of the latter.

2.1A vending machine including, a casing, for receiving a plurality of articles to be vended and having a discharge opening in its wall, means for discharging an article from the interior 'of the casing through the opening 4upon each actuation of the means, a rotatable drive member having a driving connection with said discharging means for actuating the same to eiect discharge of the article, a slide bar for imparting rotation to the drive member, locking means associated with said drive member and slide bar f or locking the parts against operation, said slide bar adapted to actuate means for engaging the locking means when said bar is slid,` whereby the actuated 'means moves said locking means ral into an inoperative position to permit operation of the drive member and slide bar.

3. In a vending lmachine having a casing for receiving a plurality of articles-to be vended and means for discharging an article from the casing upon each actuation of the means, an operatin'g mechanism including, a drive sprocket having a driving connection with said discharging means for actuating the same to eilect the discharge of the article, a drive gear,.a clutch connecting the sprocket and gear and adapted to impart rotation in one direction only from said gear to said sprocket, a slidable gear rack engaging the gear for rotating the same, and means engaging said gear for preventing a reverse rotation thereof and a reverse movement of 'the gear rack until after rotation of the sprocket and actuation of the discharging means.

4. A vending machine as set forth in claim 3 wherein the preventing means is disengaged from the drive gear after actuation of the discharging means topermit reverse movement of said gear and gear rack to their original positions, the clutch permitting such reverse movement without a similar rotation of the sprocket and actuation of said discharging means.

5. A vending machine is set forth in claim 3 including means associated with the drive sprocket and adapted to actuate the preventing means upon completion of actuation of the discharging means so as to disengage said preventing means from the drive gear and thereby permit reverse movement of said gear and the gear rack to their original positions.

6. A vending machine as set forth in claim 3 including, locking means adapted to engage the drive sprocket to prevent rotation of said sprocket and the drive gear, said gear rack adapted to actuate means for engaging the locking means when said rack is slid, whereby said locking means is rendered inoperative to permit operation of the sprocket and gear.

7. In a vending machine having a casing for receiving a plurality of articles to be vended and means for discharging an article from the casing upon each actuation of the means, an operating mechanism including, a rotatable drive memberhaving a driving connection with said discharging means for actuating the same to eiect the discharge of the article, a slide bar for imparting rotation to the drive member, the slide bar being moved in one direction only -to rotate said drive member and actuate said discharging means, means for preventing a reverse movement of said slide bar until after completion of actuation of the discharging means, the preventing means being inoperative after actuation of said discharge means to permit reverse movement of the slide bar to itsoriginal position, locking means associated with the drive member for preventing, operation of the same. said slide ,bar adapted to actuate means for engaging the locking means when said bar is slid, whereby said locking means is rendered inoperative to permit operation of said drive member.

JAMES R. CLEM.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification194/255, 221/266
International ClassificationG07F11/02, G07F11/34
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/34
European ClassificationG07F11/34