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Publication numberUS2595456 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1952
Filing dateNov 17, 1950
Priority dateNov 17, 1950
Publication numberUS 2595456 A, US 2595456A, US-A-2595456, US2595456 A, US2595456A
InventorsLester H Hinkel
Original AssigneeInt Harvester Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination drip tray and ice cube storage and dispensing device
US 2595456 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

| H. HINKEL 2,595,456

COMBINATION DRIP' TRAY AND ICE CUBE STORAGE AND DISPENSING DEVICE May 6, 1952 Filed Nov. 1'7, 1950 ....&,li A

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Patented May 6, 1952 COMBINATION DRIP TRAYAND ICEV CUBE STGRAGE AND DISPENSING DEVICE Lester H. Hinkel,V Evansville, Ind., assignor to.

International Harvester Company, a. corpora.-

tion ofNew Jersey Application November 17, 1950; Serial No. 196,308

6 Claims- (Cl. (i2-F103) This invention relates to refrigerator cabinets, butl moreparticularly to a unit adapted for storingL and dispensing ice cubes therein and addi-` tionally arranged for collecting condensate re. leased by a refrigerant exaporator. f

In the conventional household refrigerator cabinet: there is usually provided a drip tray that is slidably positioned beneath a horizontally extending evaporator for the purpose of catching and collecting any moisture that, otherwise, might drain off thewalls thereof and damagel the food stored therebelow. During normal operation ofV the refrigerator the. amount of moisture draining into the drip tray isusually very limited and thusfa very shallow traywould ordinarily suiice for this purpose. However, duringthe defrostingcycle the amount of moisture collected in the drip tray is substantial; hence it has been found most desirable to utilize a reasonably deep tray to avoid the possibility of over-spilling during suchperiod. The use of a deep trayis somewhatdisadvantageous because the space between the bottom of said tray and the bottom of the evaporator has very little use and, more frequently than not, is wasted. The present inventiontherefore, is directed to a device which will permitutilization of this space without intertionable in close proximity to an evaporator unitv in a refrigerator cabinet.

'5A further object is to provide a refrigerator evaporator drip tray that includes means for storing ice cubes therein and for dispensing said cubes therefrom as desired.

A still further object is to provide a rotatable ice cube storing and dispensing device suitable for mounting in a refrigerator evaporator drip tray.

A yet still further object is to provide a wheellike partitioned or grid member, pivotally mounted in a refrigerator evaporator drip tray, that is adapted for storing ice cubes and manually rotatable for' dispensing said cubes through an opening inthe tray. l

Another object is to provide a combination drip tray and ice cube storing and dispensing device thatv is adapted for removable mounting directiy beneath and in close proximity to the outer botrator.

tom surfacev of; a household refrigerator evapo-` Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from thefull description, reference being had to the accompanying drawing wherein a preferred. form of the present invention is clearly shown:

Fig. l is a front view of a conventional re,- irigerator cabinet, with the door, removed, in which the proposed invention has been incorporated.

Fig. 2. is a perspective View of. the combined drip ,tray and ice cube storing and'dispensing def. vice of the present invention.

Figj is a top plan-view of the device shown in perspective in Fig. 42. 1 e

Fig. 4.is4 a Sectional View takenon lineY GT4. of; Fig. 3.

Fig. 5. is 'an enlarged fragmentary Section.. oi one side of the tray and shows theY sliding means for guiding the tray beneath the evaporator.

in a preferred embodiment, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, the invention is shown incorporated in a conventional front-opening type refrigerator cabinet indicated generally by the numeral iii. As is well understood in the art such cabinets generally includeV an yinnerliner that provides inner walls H and formsl a food storage compartment I2, andy an outer liner spaced therefrom that provides outer walls l3. A Ihorizontally extending refrigerant evaporator unit I4, 4positioned in iit'he upper portion of' the food storage compartment l2," is usually provided with aV pivotally mounted door I5, Since the remaining details of, the cabinet and of itsl associated reirigerating apparatus are not particularly essential to the present invention, no attempt has been made to show them `in the drawings and' no further description thereof will be had,

In accordance with the proposed invention i5 is a liquid tight drawer-like tray or container having a, bottom wall il, upstanding side walls i8, arear wall i9 and a iront wall 2i). The botltorn wall may, ifLdesired, be pitched as shown toward a drain opening ila that ordinarily would beclosed by a plug il'b of suitable material such as rubber or the like. Such tray or container may be Vof any suitable material, but preferably, it is fashionedA from oney of the many plastics `well, known in the art suitable for this purpose. It is dimensioned, preferably, so as to slightly over# lap the exterior horizontal dimensions of the evaporator ill. The tray is adapted for slidable positioning beneath the evaporator in any suit-l able manner such as, for instance, by means oi the horizontally extending rib-like member l2l preferably fashioned integrally with the side wall I8 and further adapted for slidable mounting in a channel member 22, in turn, affixed by any suitable means to the side wall ll of the cabinet inner liner. A similar rib and channel, it will be understood, will likewise be provided for the opposite side wall.

Projecting upwardly from the iioor Il, of the tray I6, is a pedestal 23 into which has been xedly mounted a pivot pin 24 thatprojects outwardly therefrom for reasons which will be presently explained. Concentrically arranged and radially spaced with respect to said pedestal 23 and projecting upwardly from the floor of said tray is a ring-like ledge or shelf 25, which, like the pedestal, preferably is fashioned integrally with said floor, but if desired, may be separately fabricated and then suitably affixed thereto. The upper surface 25a of said shelf, preferably, is slightly crowned for reasons which presently will appear. An opening 26 in said ledge 25 cooperates with an outwardly extending lip portion 21, of the floor of said tray, to form a chute-like passage 28 the opposite end of which connects with an opening 29 in the front wall 20 of the tray to provide a passage between the inside and outside of the tray.

A partitioned wheel-like turntable or grid dispenser member, indicated generally by the nu- .l

meral 30, includes a central pivot post 3l with an opening 32 therethru, and a cup-shaped member having a at circularportion 33 from the peripheral edge of which depends an annular ring or flange 34. spect to said flange member `3Ll and radially spaced therefrom is a vertically disposed ring 35 which is connected theretoby the radially extending, axially disposed and circumferentially spaced partition members 36. Concentrically arranged with -respect to the circular ring 35 is a channel shaped wall member 31, which, in turn, is connected to saidiring by similar circumferentially spaced partition members 36. This wheel-like grid member or turntable, as in the case of the drip tray, is fashioned, preferably, fromone of the many well known plastics. The external dimensionsof this circular dispenser, it is understood, will, of course. be governed by the dimensions of the drip tray, but the dimensions ofthe individual partitioned compartments will be governed by the dimensions of the ice' cubes used therewith. An opening 38. in the front vertical wall of the tray I6, is provided so that a portion of the outer periphery of the circular dispenser may project therethrough, after said dispenser member has been pivotally mounted around the pin 24, and thus facilitate the manual operation of the dispenser.

In using the invention the circular dispenser is pivotally positioned in the tray and the assembly then slidably positioned beneath the refrigerator evaporator so that any moisture draining off said evaporator may be collected in the tray. The collection of such moisture in no wise interferes with the use of the device as a storage and dispensing device for ice cubes because the cubes are stored on the top of the shelf or ledge which is spaced vfrom the oor of the tray. In the use of the invention for storing and dispensing purposes ice cubes 39 may be placed in the small compartments formed in the circular dispenser and bounded by the radial partition and the ring members, and, the cubes, when so positioned, will rest on the crowned top 25a, of the upstanding Concentrically arranged with ref ledge 25. As the ice cubes are desired by the user the circular wheel-like dispenser 30 is manually rotated by turning the portion of the periphery thereof that projects through the front wall of the tray, whereupon the cubes are pushed along the top surface of the ledge 25 till one of the compartments, and the cube therein, comes into vertical alignment with the opening 26, in said ledge, whence the cube will drop into the chute 28 and out through the front opening 29. The crowned surface 25a, on the ledge 25, will factilitate drainage of any moisture from the ice cubes into the tray before reaching the opening 26.

Itwill new be appreciated that the present invention provides a very simple and effective removable drawer-like unit that not only permits more eicient utilization of otherwise wasted storage space in a refrigerator cabinet for storing ice cubes but also incorporates into said unit a means for dispensing said cubes as well as a meansl for collecting moisture or condensate as it drains off a refrigerator evaporator. Since the ice cubes will be stored in close proximity to the low temperatured evaporator unit there will, of

course, be no substantial melting of the cubes before use. In the event, however, Vsome melting of the cubes should be experienced there will, be no damage to the food in the compartment below because the resulting moisture will drain directly into the liquid tight drip tray.

Although only a preferred form of the invention has been illustrated, and that form described in detail, it will be apparent to those skilled .in the art that various modications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the'invention o r from the `scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1,'A drawer-like device of the class described, comprising: a container having 'a bottom with upstanding side, end and front walls secured thereto and having the top open; the front wall of said' container being fashioned with an opening therein; a circumferentially extending shelf within sai'dcontainer; said shelf being fashioned with an opening therethrough which is arranged to register with said front wall opening to provide a chute-like passage from the inside to the outside of said container; a circular grid member pivotally mounted in said container in spaced relation to said shelf; said grid member being fashioned so as to provide a plurality of openended cells adaptable for receiving individualice cubes therein; and having said grid member disposed so that each cell therein may be rotatably brought into registration with the opening in said shelf whereby an ice cube positioned in the cell may be released and discharged through said opening.

2. An article of the class described, comprising: a drawer-like container having a bottom wall and upstanding side, end and front walls aflixed thereto with the top thereof open; the front wall of said container being fashioned with an opening therein; a circumferentially extending shelf horizontally disposed within said container and spaced from the bottom wall thereof, the upper surface of said shelf being slightly crowned; said shelf being fashioned with an opening therethrough which is positioned so as to register with the opening in said front wall to'provide a chute-like passage from the inside touthe outside of said container; a circular grid member pivotally mounted within said container in spaced relation to said shelf; said grid member being fashioned so as to provide a plurality of open-ended cells adaptable for receiving individual ice cubes therein; and having said grid member disposed so that each cell therein may be rotatably brought into registration with the opening in said shelf, whereby an ice cube positioned in the cell may be released and discharged through said opening.

3. An article of the class described, comprising: a drawer-like container having a bottom wall and upstanding side, end and front walls with the top thereof open; the front wall of said container being fashioned with an opening therein; a circumferentially extending shelf horizontally disposed within said container and spaced above the bottom wall thereof, the upper surface of said shelf being slightly crowned; said shelf being fashioned with an opening therethrough which is positioned so as to register with the opening in said front wall to provide an inclined chute-like passage between the inside and outside of said container; a fiat circular grid member pivotally and horizontally mounted in said container in axial alignment with but spaced from the upper crowned surface of said shelf; said grid being fashioned so as to provide concentric rings of circumferentially spaced compartments adapted to receive and maintain ice cubes in spaced relation therein; said grid being arranged so that each compartment therein may be rotatably positioned above and in registration with the opening in said shelf, whereby an ice cube positioned in the compartment may be released and discharged through said opening.

4. In a refrigerator cabinet having inner and. outer walls and an evaporator unit mounted upon said inner walls, the combination, comprising: a liquid container having the top thereof open and having an opening provided in one wall thereof; said container being slidably mounted below and in close proximity to the evaporator unit whereby condensate drained oif said unit may be collected in said container; said container having a circular upwardly projecting rib disposed therein and secured to the bottom wall thereof; said rib being fashioned with an opening therethrough which is positioned so as to register with the opening in said wall to provide a chute-like passage between the inside and outside of said container; a turntable pivotally mounted in said container in parallel spaced relation to said rib member; said turntable member being fashioned so as to provide a plurality of circumferentially spaced and concentrically arranged open-ended cells therein; and having said turntable disposed so that ice cubes placed in the cells thereof will rest on said circular rib until said turntable is rotated so as to bring each of said cells in registration with the chute opening whereupon the ice cube in each cell will be released and discharged through the wall opening.

5. In a refrigerator cabinet having inner and outer walls and an evaporator unit mounted upon said inner walls, the combination, comprising: a drawer-like unit disposed beneath an evaporator; means for slidably mounting said drawer unit in close proximity to the evaporator; said drawer unit having two openings in one wall thereof; a turntable pivotally mounted Within said drawer unit; said turntable being arranged so that a portion of the periphery thereof projects through one of the openings in said drawer wall whereby said unit may be manually rotated; said turntable member being fashioned so as to provide a plurality of open-ended cells therein adapted to receive individual ice cubes; and having said turntable disposed so that each cell therein may be rotatably selectively brought into registry with the other of said openings in said drawer wall, whereby the ice cube in an individual cell .may be released and discharged through said opening.

6. An article of the class described, comprising: a drawer-like container having a bottom wall and upstanding side, end and front walls affixed thereto with the top thereof open; the front wall of said container being fashioned with an opening therein; means serving as a shelf circumferentially extending and horizontally disposed within said container and above the bottom wall thereof; said shelf means being fashioned with an opening therethrough positioned to register with the opening in said front wall to provide a chute-like passage from the inside to the outside of said container; a flat circular grid member pivotally mounted in said container in axial alignment with said shelf means but spaced from the upper surface thereof; said grid being fashioned so as to provide concentric rings of circumferentially spaced compartments adapted to receive and maintain in spaced relation therein ice cubes positioned on said shelf means; said grid being arranged so that each compartment therein may be rotatably positioned above and in registration with the opening in said shelf means, whereby ice cubes positioned in these compartments may be selectively released and discharged through said opening.

LESTER H. HINKEL.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Wallace May 31, 1949

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1777269 *Mar 17, 1928Sep 30, 1930Polar Vend CorpDistributing machine
US1937690 *Aug 16, 1928Dec 5, 1933Eugene L VidalApparatus for refrigeration
US2471801 *Feb 28, 1946May 31, 1949Wallace Dorothy LAutomatic frozen cube dispenser for refrigerators
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2975935 *Nov 7, 1957Mar 21, 1961Fred Hebel CorpDispensing machine
US3207366 *Dec 3, 1962Sep 21, 1965Feistel Jr Robert BIce cube making and vending machine
US4809877 *Aug 14, 1987Mar 7, 1989Albright Marie OMedicament capsule dispensing device
US5906110 *Sep 30, 1997May 25, 1999Daewoo Electronics Co., Ltd.Direct cooling type refrigerator having a defrosted water receiving/discharging apparatus
US7032406 *Aug 5, 2004Apr 25, 2006Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Inc.Ice machine including a condensate collection unit, an evaporator attachment assembly, and removable sump
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/291, 62/381, 62/344, 62/382, 221/82
International ClassificationF25C5/00, F25D21/14
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/002, F25D21/14, F25D2321/1441
European ClassificationF25D21/14, F25C5/00B