US 2587131 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 26, 1952 E.Y H. FICKEN GERMICIDAL CAB Filed March 7; 1950 IEW TIA R O T N E V m EDWARD H- Fcncfv EY Mx ATTCRNEY andtop and bottom I5 and I6.
Patented Feb. 26, K 1952 UNITED j STATES PATENT orties invention relates to steriliz'ing apparatus and particularly to a germicidal cabinet adapted vespecially to be used in bathrooms for sterilizing toilet accessories.
'I'he principal object of the invention is to provide a germicidal cabinet for bathrooms in which toothbrushes, razors, dentures, nipples, teething rings, and any other small articles requiring sterilization, may be stored when not in use and in which they will be subjected to germicidal radiation.
Another object of the invention is to provide a germicidal cabinet in which toothbrushes may be placed in such a manner that they will be maintained out of contact with each other but inthe eld of germicidal radiation.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent as the description of the invention proceeds.
One embodiment of the invention is illustrated inthe accompanying drawings, in which: y
Figure l is a front view of a cabinetmbodying the invention; Y Y
y Figure 2 is a sectional side view of the cabinet taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a sectional front view of the cabinet taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a sectional plan view of the cabinet taken on the line 4-4 of Figure l; and
Figure 5 vis a perspective view of the toothbrush rack shown in the other figures.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings the embodiment of the invention chosen for purposes of illustration comprises a box or housing I0 of rectangular cross section having back and front walls II and I2, side Walls I3 and I4, The housing may be made of any suitable material, such as plastic or sheet metal, for example, sheet steel or aluminum. If the material is plastic, the housing may be molded in one piece; if sheet metal, the front and back and side walls may be made of one sheet bent into the proper shape with the ends welded (if steel is used) or otherwise attached. The top and bottom may also be welded or otherwise attached to the side walls.
An opening I1, preferably rectangular in shape, is provided in the front wall II and a door I8 is hinged at the lower edge of the opening, as by hinges I9, so that the door swings outwardly. A suitable handle is provided at the top of the door for opening and closing it and a suitable member 2| is provided for holding the door in closed position in a manner to be described later.
The opening I1 is spaced from the top of the cabinet a sul'l'icient distance to provide a space 22 within the cabinet in which is positioned an ultraf- 2 violet light source 23. This source may be, for instance, a standard four watt ultra-violet lamp and is mounted in a socket 24 secured to the upper `side wall I4 in any desired manner.
The ultra-violet radiation from the source 23 illuminates the interior of the cabinet, and to take advantage of the well-'known germicidal eiects of such radiation I provide a rack 25 for supporting` a number of toothbrushes in the path of the radiation. The rack 25 may be made of plastic or a single sheet of any suitable material, such as sheet steel or aluminum, and is bent to form a plurality of corrugations or grooves 26 wide enough and deep enough to permit each toothbrush to lie in its own groove 26, completely separated from those on either side of it. The rack is mounted in the cabinet with the grooves or corrugations extending from top to bottom and the entire rack is slanted towards the rear of the cabinet so that toothbrushes may stand erect in the grooves with their bristles uppermost and extending towards the front. The rack may be attached to the cabinet in any desired manner, or it preferably may be left unattached to permit removal for cleaning. The rack is long enough so that the upper edge is near the lamp 23 but below it, as indicated.
I preferably make the rack 25 narrower than thel inside of the cabinet, so as to leave a space on the left of the rack for additional supports for' other toilet articles. One such support may be Amade of plastic or a single sheet of steel or aluminum, bent to form shelves 21 and 28 spaced by upright portions 29 and 30. This support may also be secured in place or it may be loosely positioned in the cabinet to permit easy removal for cleaning.
Above the shelf 21 I provide a pair of hooks 3I which may be attached to the rear wall I I in any desired manner. These hooks are spaced horizontally insuch a manner as to form a support for a safety razor.
The space 32 behind the rack 25 and the support forming the shelves 21 and 28 provides a convenient place for the necessary ballast 33 and starter 34 for the lamp 23. These parts may be attached to the bottom I6 of the cabinet in any desired manner and may be connected to the lamp by a cable 35 and by means of a cable 33, which may be supplied at its end with an ordinary cap plug (not shown), to the household lighting circuit.
I preferably arrange for the lamp to be deenergized when the door is opened, so as to eliminate any deleterious eiects of the ultra-violet radiation to the eyes or skin of a person in the vicinity of the cabinet. In order to accomplish this purpose I provide a switch 3l on the iront wall i2 of the cabinet which cooperates with the member 2| on the door lu. 'line switch is positioned on the inner face of the Wall I2 and an opening 38 is provided in the wall to receive the member 2l and permit it to operate the switch. The arrangement may be such that the member 2| frictionally engages the switch 3i so as to hold the door closed until a gentle pull is exerted on the handle 2li for opening the door. A cable 39 is provided for making the necessary connections to the lamp and ballast apparatus 33.
The inside of the cabinet and the rack 25, shelves 21 and 28, and hooks 3l, may be finished in any desirable manner. For instance, they may be coated with enamel and baked which gives them an excellent surface for easy cleaning. However, I may prefer to provide a nish which will make a good reflector for ultra-violet radia- `tion so that such radiation Will be reected back and forth within the cabinet to increase the sterilizing effects by causing the various objects to receive radiation from several directions. A surface of aluminum, whether polished or unpolished, or even rough, has a high index of reection for the short waves of the ultra-violet radiation, and hence all the parts, including the cabinet, may be made of aluminum and left unpolished, giving a satin finish.
Ventilation for the cabinet may be provided by suitable holes, such as the holes 40 shown in Figure 2 in the bottom I6. Also, if necessary, openings (not shown) may be provided in the top to provide a current of air for cooling the lamp, but where the cabinet is made of metal, the large radiating surface is usually suicient to prevent overheating. If such holes are provided it is desirable to provide bales just inside the cabinet adjacent the holes to prevent ultra-violet radiation from passing through them.
It will be seen from the above description that I have provided a germicidal cabinet, particularly for bathroom use, which will form a convenient place for the storage of small articles, preferably in need of sterilization, where they will be subject to continuous sterilizing action as long as the power is 0n and the door of the cabinet is closed. Toothbrushes, especially, may be stored in the cabinet without the necessity of hanging them up or inserting them in slots and Without danger of their coming into-contact with each other. The cabinet is also substantially dust-proof and is easily cleaned. If desired, the cabinet may be mounted on the wall, or it can be set into the tile work as a permanent fixture, similar to the ordinary medicine cabinet. In the 4 latter case the electric wiring would be permanently connected to the house lighting circuit.
Various modifications may be made in the arrangement aisciosed without departing from the spirit of the invention, and I do not therefore desire to limit my invention except by the limitations defined in the appended claims.
What I desire to claim and secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A germicidal cabinet comprising a housing having an opening in a side wall thereof, a door for closing said opening, a source of ultra-violet radiation in a portion of said housing removed from said opening, a rack comprising a single sheet of corrugated material, the corrugations being large enough to form separating grooves for toothbrushes and said sheet being positioned so that its bottom edge is near one wall of said cabinet and its top edge is near the opposite wall, whereby toothbrushes niay stand up in the grooves with the bristles uppermost and directly under the source of ultra-violet radiation, and electrical connections from said source connectable to a source of power supply.
2. A germicidal cabinet, as defined in claim l, in which the means for supporting other objects comprises at least one shelf at the side of said rack.
3. A germicidal cabinet, as defined in claim 2,
` in which there are a plurality of shelves spaced so that each may receive radiation from the source.
4. A germicidal cabinet, as dened in claim 3, in which the shelves are formed or' a single sheet of material bent in stepped formation.
5. A germicidal cabinet, as defined in claim 4, further comprising switch means in the electrical connections for controlling the energization of the source of ultra-violet radiation, and means attached t f he door and controlled by the movement the "of for operating said switch means to energize said source when the door is closed and decnergize said source when said door is open.
EDWARD HARRY FICKEN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,954,085 McMillan Apr. 10, 1934 2,167,233 Dorcas July 25, 1939 2,212,330 Thomas Aug. 20, 1940. 2,235,296 Muncheryan Mar. 18, 1941