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Publication numberUS2604371 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 22, 1952
Filing dateJun 30, 1947
Priority dateJun 30, 1947
Publication numberUS 2604371 A, US 2604371A, US-A-2604371, US2604371 A, US2604371A
InventorsSmiley Eldridge H, Storm Jr Fred K
Original AssigneeKold Krisp Apple Service
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apple vending machine
US 2604371 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 22, 1952 E. H. SMILEY ETAL APPLE VENDING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 30, '1947 l5 1N V EN TORS' FP50 A. STORM Je.

Eme/06E H. .5M/LEV July 22, 1952 E. H..sM|| |-:Y ET AL 2,604,371

APPLE VENDING MACHINE Filed June 30, 1947 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 JNVENToRs FP50 A. sroeM Je. v

ELle/GE H. .5M/LEV TTOENEV E. H. sMlL'lY-:Y :TAL

Jllly 22., 1952 APPLE VBNDING MACHINE Filed June 30, 1947 '4 sheets-sheet 4 INVENToRs eeen msroeM Je.

ELDR/DGE H. SMIL EY Y @wi HTTOENEV v Patented July 22, 1952 APPLE VEN DING MACHINE Eldridge H. Smiley, Rosemead, and Fred K. Storm,

Jr., Los Angeles, Calif., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Kold-Krisp Apple Service, Van Nuys, Calif., a corporation of California Application June 30, 1947, Serial No. 758,114

(Cl. S12- 97) 8 Claims.

This invention relates generally to a vending machine and more particularly to a refrigerated. coin-operated vending machine arranged to dispense refrigerated, perishable food objects, such as apples or the like, in response to insertion of the proper coin into coin-receiving means associated with the machine.

The machine of our invention is particularly advantageous in comparison with prior art vending machines intended for a similar purpose, since it employs a plurality of vertically arranged, endless conveyor belts laterally spaced from each other and positioned within a housing including a plurality of discharge chutes and associated, manually accessible receptacles. The conveyor belts extend substantially from the top of the cabinet to the bottom of the cabinet both above and below the intermediately positioned discharge chutes and receptacles, thus substantially, fully occupying the housing and making it possible to place a very large quantity of perishable food objects, such as apples or other fruit, ice cream or the like, within the machine at one time. This reduces the number of necessary servicing calls by the operator of a chain of such machines for the purpose of recharging the machine with fruit and removing the coins collected by the coin-receiving means. At the present time, the length of time between such servicing calls by the operator of a chain of such machines is determined primarily by the amount of the objects being vended which the machine can contain at one time, the number of coins in the coin-receiving means generally not being a deciding factor since the coin-receiving means may be made relatively large, if desired, so as to be capable of operating for a relatively long period of time before it is necessary to remove coins therefrom. x

In addition, the abovementioned object of providing a coin-operated vending machine capable of storing a relatively large quantity of the object being vended is further facilitated by the novel arrangement of the object-carrying baskets on the endless conveyor belt vertically carried within an upstanding housing cabinet. This arrangement comprises a transverse rod carried by the conveyor belt and carrying a plurality of baskets thereon which are arranged to contact separate ejector means, each longitudinally displaced from the adjacent ejector means whereby the ob-ject being carried by each basket on a given supporting rod will be ejected successively in response to successive movements of the conveyor belt in response to successive energizations of a driving means for driving the conveyor belt, controlled by the insertion of successive coins of the proper denomination into the coin-receiving means. This arrangement makes it possible for a given conveyor belt of a predetermined length to carry a maximum number of objects to be vended and provides an arrangement whereby substantially the entire space within the housing cabinet is utilized by the dispensing units, whereby a maximum number of objects being vended may be stored within the apparatus in operative position.

The machine of the present invention further provides a new and novel arrangement of driving means of relatively simple construction for driving the conveyor belts.

Ejector means provided in the machine of this invention have numerous advantages over prior art ejecting means in that the object being vended is positively ejected into a discharge chute and manually accessible receptacle connected thereto at a point immediately adjacent said discharge chute in the front central portion of the housing cabinet. Most prior art ejecting means have not had a positive ejecting action but have merely lifted the object to be vended from the carrying means carried by the conveyor belt as said carrying means and conveyor belt were driven past the ejector means. This type of ejector means is not positive in action and oftentimes has failed to function properly. Furthermore, the ejector means of this invention is such as to be capable of being longitudinally displaced relative to the adjacent ejecting means for a given supporting rod and still positively eject the object carried by the basket arranged to cooperate therewith. Prior art ejecting means would not be capable of cooperating with a supporting rod carrying a plurality of baskets thereon in the new and novel manner of the present invention.

It is an object of this invention to provide a new and novel vending machine including a a vertically arranged dispensing unit comprising a plurality of Wheels rotatably mounted within a housing in the same vertical plane, an endless conveyor belt carried by the wheels and a plurality of baskets carried by the conveyor belt, driving means arranged to drive said conveyor belt a predetermined distance on each energizationthereof, and ejector means arranged to positively eject an object carried by a basket into a discharge chute when the conveyor belt moves past a predetermined point.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and novel coin-operated, vending machine including a plurality of dispensing units, each dispensing unit including an endless conveyor belt carried by wheels and driven a predetermined distance by suitable driving means in response to each insertion of a coin into the coin-receiving means, each conveyor belt being arranged to carry a plurality of' baskets on each of a plurality of laterally extending, supporting rods, the contents ol each basket on a given rod being positively ejected by ejector means cooperating therewith at a dii-ferent point of travel of the conveyor belt.

1t is a further object of this invention to provide a new and novel vending machine having a vertically arranged, endless conveyor belt carrying a pluraliy of laterally extending rods, each supporting rod arranged to carry a plurality of object-carrying baskets, the conveyor belt having a suitable driving means for driving the conveyor belt a predetermined distance upon each energization thereof.

It is a further object of this invention toV provide a new and novel vending machine including vertically arranged, endless conveyor belts carrying baskets adapted to carry the objects to be vended, and arranged within a housing cabinet, including a discharge chute and a manually accessible receptacle in the iront thereof, with the conveyor belt extending both above and below the discharge chute and receptacle, whereby virtually the full height of the cabinet is taken up by the conveyor belt for utilizing the space Within the housing cabinet to the greatest possible advantage.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and novel vending machine including dispensing units arranged in such a manner as to more fully utilize the space within the housing cabinet for storing a large quantity of the object to be vended.

Other and allied objects will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a careful examination, study and perusal of the illustrations, specification, and appended claims.

To facilitate understanding, reference will be had to the following illustrative drawings in which: i

Fig. l is a front elevation of one illustrative embodiment of this invention.

Fig. 2 is a vertical section of the illustrative embodiment of this invention and is taken along the plane II--Il of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary View, partially in section, of a portion of the invention as shown in Fig. 2, bringing out more fully the details of the coin-controlled driving means and the ejector means of this invention.

Fig. Ll is an enlarged, fragmentary View, partially in section, similar to a portion of the View shown in Fig. 1, and brings out more fully the details of one conveyor belt, supporting rods and baskets carried thereby, and theV staggered arrangement of adjacent ejector means, and is taken along the plane IV-IV or" Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation of a portion of a conveyor belt carrying a supporting bracket and a supporting rod having an object-carrying basket pivotally mounted thereon, and cooperating with the ejector means for ejecting the object being carried by the basket.

Fig. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary side view. partially in section, of thedriving engagement between the driving means of our invention andv one of the supporting rods carried by the conveyor belt.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal view of the driving means of our invention in engagement with the supporting rod carried by the endless conveyor belt and is taken along the plane VII-VII of Fig. 3.

Fig. 8 is an enlarged, fragmentary side View, partially in section, of the coin actuated, controlling portion of the coin-controlled drivin means of our invention in one of its operative positions.

Fig. 9 is a similar view showing the coin actuated, controlling portion of the driving means of our invention in its second operative position.

Fig. 10 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal view of the coin actuated, controlling portion shown in Figs. 8 and 9.

ll. is an enlarged View, partly in section, and very similar to Fig. 3, showing the coin-receiving means, coin-controlled driving means and a change maker.

Fig. 12 is an enlarged view, partly in section, of the change maker shown in Fig. ll and taken along the plane XII-XII of Fig. l1.

Fig. 13 is an enlarged sectional view of the apparatus disclosed in Fig. l2 and is taken along the plane XXII- XIII of Fig. 12.

Referring to Figs. l and 2, a vertical upstanding, housing cabinet, indicated generally at I, is provided. This cabinet I may be and is in the example shown provided with a pivotally mounted, transparent, front window generally indicated at 2, best shown in Fig. 2. This window 2 may comprise a plurality of spaced panes 3, which may be glass or any other desired material, for providing a transparent heat-insulated window. The upper edge of the window 2 is pivotally mounted on the cabinet I at l and is provided with suitable means (not shown) for latching or locking the lower edge thereof to the cabinet I.

sulating material 5 for effectively, thermally in-l sulating the cabinet. It should be noted, however, that the front lower Wall of the cabinet I is proyvided with a heat-insulating wall 5 rearwardly spaced therefrom. The purpose of this will be eX- plained hereinafter. The lower portion of the cabinet adjacent the bottom thereof may be provided with a partition or floor, generally indicated at 6, having one horizontal portion 'I connected to a lower horizontal portion 8 offset from but parallel to the upper portion 'I and connected by a vertically arranged, intermediate portion 9. The flooring 6 may also be provided on the inner surface thereof with heat-insulation 5 or the heatinsulation 5 may be the ilooring 6. The compartment I@ in the bottom of the housing cabinet I defined by the floor portions l, 9 and the lower side portion II of the housing cabinet I, and a portion of the base I2 of the housing cabinet I, may preferably be open to ambient atmosphere while the lower chamber I3 on the other side of the floor 6 forms a portion of the thermally insulated interior of the housing cabinet I and is connected thereto. Positioned in the enclosure I0 is a portion of a mechanical refrigeration unit, in this case of the capillary tube type, including a hermetically sealed electric motor and compressor unit I4, which may be of any desired construction and which is connected to an outgoing conduit I5, which is connected to the inlet side of a condenser I6, the outlet of which is connected to a capillary tube I'I which passes through the thermally insulated portion 9 of the bottom 6 and into the enclosure I3 where it is connected to the inlet side of the refrigeration evaporator unit indicated generally at I8.

An' outlet conduit I9, which is connected to the refrigeration ejector unit I8,'passes out through the thermally insulated wall 9 and connects with the inlet side of the compressor I4. A drier of any desired construction may be positioned in the conduit I or the conduit I1, if desired. A motor driven fan, indicated generally at 2 I, is positioned adjacent the condenser I6 for blowing air therethrough for extracting the heat therefrom. A motor driven fan, `indicated generally at 22, and mounted in the chamber I3 adjacent the refrigerator expansion coils I8, is arranged to force air therethrough and upwardly into the thermally insulated interior of the housing cabinet I and to circulate the refrigerated air therein. The motor driven fans 2l and 22, and the compressor I4 may be supplied with electric power through leads, not shown. Thermostatic control means may also be employed to control the operation of the refrigeration unit, in a manner well known in the art, for maintaining a selected temperature within the cabinet I.

The cabinet I may be provided with an enclosed portion, indicated generally at 23, and having suitable illuminating means, such as a gaseous discharge tube, indicated at 24. This enclosure 23 may be provided with transparent portions therein adapted to provide illumination or advertising displays.

The front portion of the housing cabinet I adjacent the middle thereof is provided with a plurality of coin-receiving means indicated generally at 25, accessible from the exterior of the cabinet I. Below each coin-receiving means 25 the housing cabinet is provided with a manually accessible receptacle 26, extending into the forward wall of the housing and ih front of the heat-insulating wall 5, which is rearwardly spaced from the lower forward wall of the cabinet positioned behind the receptacle 26. Each receptacle 26 is connected to a discharge chute 21, which extends into the refrigerated interior of the cabinet I through and past the thermally insulated wall 5. Pivotally mounted at 28 between each receptacle 26 and discharge chute 21 is a trap door 29 which may be preferably thermally insulated for pre-` venting the admission of the cabinet I.

Vertically positioned within the housing cabinet I is a plurality of dispensing units, each dispensing unit being indicated at 30. Each dispensing unit generally comprises an endless conveyor belt 3l mounted on vertically spaced, pivotally mounted wheels 32 in the same vertical plane, carrying a plurality of transverse supporting rods 33, each rod carrying a plurality of supporting baskets 34. One of the vertical wheels 32 may be spring biased away from the other wheel by suitable spring means controlling the tension in the conveyor belt 3I. In the example shown, this is achieved by means of a spring 35 connected by a bracket 36 to a xed member 31 adjacent the base of the cabinet I, the other end of the spring 35 being connected to a bar 38, one end of which rotatably carries the shaft 26 upon which the wheel 32 rotates and the other end of which is pivotally mounted on a supporting bracket 39 carried by the rear wall of the housing cabinet I.

An individual coin-controlled driving means, indicated generally at 40, is arranged adjacent the forward face of each conveyor belt V3I and arrangedgto engage and drive same a predetermined distance in response to each energization heat into the interior of Cil thereof caused by the insertion of a proper 'coin into the coin-receiving means 25. Elector means,A

indicated generally at 4I, is positioned adjacent the rear face of the forward loop of each conveyor` belt and is arranged to be actuated at a prede-` termined point in the downward path of travel of the forward loop of the conveyor belt for positively ejecting the object being carried by the basket y34 immediately thereabove into the discharge chute 21. The objectopens the trap door 29, and falls into the manually accessible receptable 26.

It should be noted that each dispensing unit has an ejector means 4I for each basket 34 carriedv by a given supporting rod 33 and that each such.v ejector means for a given dispensing unit is arranged to eject at a different Vpoint of travel of,

that conveyor belt 3l.

In the examples shown, the conveyor belt com.-`-

prises an endless tape 3l carrying apluralityof carrying basket 34 is pivotally carried by each vend of the supporting rod 33, the convoluted baskets 34 assuming generally upwardly directedl concave form, in the example shown, for the .cooperation with the underside of a fruit. `However, they may assume any desired structure and shape.

Coin-controlled driving means Referring to Figs. 2, 3, 7 and 10, a coin-controlled driving means 40 is illustrated which comprises an electric motor 44 mounted upon a suitable vertical plate 45 carried within the housing I, which maybe connected through suitable reduction gearing 46, also mounted upon the plate 45, to a driven shaft 41 extending through the plate 45. The shaft 41 drives a sprocket 48 through a suitable clutch means, indicated generally at 49` (best shown in Fig. 10). The sprocket 48 is in engagement with a sprocket chain 5B, which extends around and in engagement with two vertically spaced sprocket wheels 5I rotatably carried by the plate 45 and passes between a vertically arranged guide flange 53 carried by the plate 45, and the front face of the forward loop of the conveyor belt 3 I. The sprocket chain 50 carries a plurality of noticed lugs 52 thereon, spaced a distance equal to the distance between adjacent rods 33 carried by the brackets 42 on the conveyor belt 3| and yarranged to engage said rods for driving the conveyor belt downwardly. This driving engagement between a lug 52 and a supporting rod 33 is best shown in Figs. 6 and 7. A virtually U-shaped angle iron section, indicated at 54, is vertically carried by a transverse supporting member 55 with the two forward unconnected edges lof the U-shaped member 54 in engagement with the rear surface of a supporting bracket 42 and on each side of the conveyor belt tape 3l carrying said bracket for forcing the supporting bracket lug 52. This presser means for causing positive engagement of the driving means and conveyor belt may be varied within wide limits.

' Ihe clutch means hereinbefore referred to 42 forward and the supporting.v rod 33 carried thereby into engagement with the and indicated generally at 49 in Fig. 10 for transmitting rotation of the shaft 41 (driven by the electric motor 44) into rotation of the sprocket wheel 48, comprises a wheel B xed to the shaft 41 and having two recesses or holes 51 therein at points 130 apart, arranged to cooperate with a projecting pin 58 carried by the sprocket wheel 48, which is journaled on the shaft`41 and which is biased against the Wheel 58 by means of a compression spring 59, one end of which is'seated upon a fixed ring 60, carried by the outer end of the driven shaft 41, and the other end of which is in engagement with one face of the sprocket wheel 48, forcing the other face thereof against the wheel 56. The purpose of this clutch arrangement is to prevent damage to the motor, reduction gearing, or various other connected parts in the event some jamming of the driven portion of the vending machine should occur. In this event, it will be seen that the pin- 53, which may be provided with a cam surface, if desired, will ride out of the hole 51 which it normally engages which may also be provided with a cam surface, if desired. This action causes a longitudinal disengaging movement of the sprocket Wheel 48 against the action of the spring 59. This disengagement will occur when the torque reaches a point determined by the loading of the spring 59. The clutch will then be effectively disengaged until such time as the other hole 51 in the driven wheel 56 has rotated around into alignment with the pin 58. This rotation is 180 in the example illustrated and the clutch will then be effectively reengaged.

The electric motor 44 is arranged to be energized in response to insertion of a proper coin into the coin-receiving means 25 through the external slot provided on the face of the machine. The details of the coin-receiving mechanism are not given here, since any standard coin-receiving mechanism might be used and many such are well known in the art. However, the coin controlled, motor actuating means of this invention is new and novel and will now -be described.

Referring to Fig. 8, a coin of the proper denomination received by the coin-receiving means 25 is fed thereby into a coin-positioning element comprising a metal strap folded back upon itself so as to have two closely adjacent walls spaced apart by a dimension slightly in excess of the thickness of the coin to be received. yThe edges of the coin-receiving strap are open. This element is angularly inclined as indicated generally at 6| and has an open slit along the edge 62 thereof out of which a coin, indicated at 63, would normally fall under the inuence of gravity except for the action of a coin-retaining holding element, indicated at 54, provided with a laterally extending coin-retaining lip 65-at the end thereof adapted to effectively close the slit along the edge 62 of the coin-holding element 6| when in the position shown in Fig. 8. The coin-retaining element S4 is pivotally mounted on the shaft 41 and has spring 68 mounted thereon by suitable bracket means 61. The free end of the spring 66 is adapted to engage either of pins 68 carried by a hub 69 fixed to and driven by a shaft 41, the pins E3 being positioned 1S0 apart.

It will be seen that rotation of the driven shaft 41, which is driven through the reduction gearing 4B by the electric motor 44, will cause one of the pins 58 to strike the spring 66 carried by the coin-retaining bar 64 and swing sam-e in clockwise direction about the axis of the shaft 41 and into the position shown in Fig. 9, thus moving the coin-retaining lip B5 away from the slot along the edge 62 of the coin-positioning strap 6| and allowing the coin to fall out of said coin-positioning element 6|. This will take place at each half revolution of the driven shaft 41. The coinpositioning element Gl also is provided with an arcuate slot 1U therein, having one end of a -switch-actuating wir-e 1I laterally positioned therein, the other end of the switch actuating wire 1| being connected to a switch 12, which may be a normally open, single pole, single throw electric switch and may normally 4be held in open position by suitable spring means (not shown). t will be seen that when the coin 63 is received in the coin-positioning element 5| in the position shown in Fig. 8, it engages the end of the switchactuating wire 1| and moves same into the position shown in Fig. 8, effectively closing the switch 12, which is in the circuit with the electric motor 44, thus energizing and starting same. The motor 44 through reduction gearing 46 then drives the shaft 41 and the hub 69 for a half revolution until one of the pins 68 strikes the spring 66 and pivots the coin-retaining bar 64 into the position shown in Fig. 9, allowing the coin to fall out of the coin-holding element 5|, which allows the normally open switch 12 to open the circuit to the electric motor 44, thus stopping same. This arrangement, generally speaking, comprises a coin-actuated drive and limit switch arranged for energizing the motor and driving the conveyor belt a predetermined distance upon each insertion of a proper coin into the coin-receiving means.

Ejector means Each ejector means, indicated generally at 4| in Figs. 2, 3 and 4., and more specically in Fig. 5, comprises a pivotally mounted finger 13 carried by a pivot pin 14, mounted in a supporting bracket 15, attached to the transverse supporting member 55, which is fixedly mounted `within the housing cabinet with the forward free end of said finger positioned in the path of travel of one side of the supporting rods 33 carried by the conveyor belt 3|. A downwardly extending flange 15a is also xed to the supporting bracket 15 and has a compression spring 16 positioned between the rear wall 11 of the ejector finger T3 and said flange 15a, whereby the finger is normally spring biased into a horizontal position and shown in the dash lines in Fig. 5. It will be seen from Figs. 5 and '7 that when the ejector finger 13 is in its normal horizontal spring biased position, the outer end of the nger underlies-the supporting rod 33, carried by the conveyor belt tape 3| and as said belt 3| is driven downwardly by the driving means 49, the rod 33 engages the outer end of the finger 13, pivoting same about its pivot point against the action of the biasing spring 16 into the position shown in solid lines in Fig. 5. Further slight downward movement of the tape 3| and supportingrod 33 releases the finger 13, allowing same to resiliently snap back and into ejecting contact with the contents of the basket 34 immediately thereabove, thus flipping the contents of said basket 34 vinto the discharge chute 21 (best shown in Fig. 2) and thence through the pivotally mounted trap door 29 and into the manually accessible receptacle 28 where the object may be removed by the person who placed the coin into the coin-receiving means 25.

It will be noted from an examination of Fig. 4 that the ejector means 4| in line with the righthand vertical column of baskets 3 4 carried by the supporting rods 33 is longitudinally displaced with respect to the ejector means arranged inline with the left-hand vertical column of baskets 34 carried by the supporting rods 33, the left-hand ejector means in this case being lower than the right-hand ejector means. This arrangement of having the ejector means for each basket carried by a given supporting rod, at a different point along the path of travel of the conveyor belt, is provided so that the ejection of a basket on one side of a given supporting rod will take place at one predetermined point and the ejection of the contents of the other basket carried by the same supporting rod will take place at a second predetermined point. In other words, the coin-controlled driving means lill, upon each energization thereof in response to insertion of the proper coin into the coin-receiving means, will drive the conveyor belt a distance equal to onehalf the distance between succeeding supporting rods 33, actuating the ejector and ejecting the contents of a basket on one side of the conveyor belt 3l. The insertion of a second proper coin into the same coin-receiving means will cause a second energization of the driving means 40 and will move the conveyor belt downwardly a sufcient distance to cause the ejector means on the other side of the conveyor belt 3l to become actuated and eject the contents of the other basket on the other side of the same supporting rod 33.

Figs. 1l, 12 and 13 illustrate a coin changing mechanism, indicated generally at 13, adapted for use in this invention. f

Generally speaking, it comprises a circular, upper plate 14 having a plurality of upstanding tubes 15 mounted thereon, the base of each tube 15 mounted on the circular plate 14 having a hole or port 16 therein connected with the tube. A similar lower plate of circular shape 11 having a similar number of similar holes or ports 18 therein is mounted below the plate 14 with the ports rotated or angularly displaced with respect to the ports 16 about a centrally disposed axis passing through screw means 19 connecting the upper and lower plates 14 and 11, respectively. Positioned between the upper and lower plates 14 and 11, respectively, which are fixed, is a central plate 80 which is freely rotatable about the screw means 19 and is provided with a projection 8| for causing such outer end of the driven shaft 41, which is driven through the reduction gearing 46 by the electric motor 44. The center plate 80 is provided with a series of ports 84 similar to the ports 16 in the upper plate and the ports 18 in the lower plate, and normally in alignment with the ports in the upper plate as shown in Figs. 12 and 13. A downwardly directed trough 85 is arranged below the ports in the plates and above the discharge chute 21. Any or all of the tubes 15 are adapted to have vertical columns of coin of a desired denomination placed therein.

The operation of the device is as follows. The shaft il rotates the link 83' and the connecting rod 82' connected to the link 83', and the projection 3| causes the center plate 80 to rotate about the screw 19 and to move the bottom coin in each column of coins positioned in the vertical tubes 15, which have been resting in the ports 85 underlying said tubes, angularly about said screw 19 until the ports 84 are in alignment with the ports 18 in the bottom plate, whereupon the coins drop through the ports 18' into the inclined trough 8'5, and under the influence of gravity are discharged into the discharge chute 21 and into the manually accessible receptacle 26. This action will take place upon each half rotation of the shaft 41 or, in other words, will take place upon each energization of the coincontrolled driving means 40 in response to each insertion of a coin of the proper denomination into the coin-receiving means 25. The purpose of this arrangement is to return the proper change to the purchaser of fruit from the vending machine when the price of the fruit is such that no coin of that denomination exists. An example might be if the refrigerated vending machine were adapted to dispense apples which are to cost 8 cents each. In this case, the coinreceiving means 25 would be adapted to receive a dime for each apple to be vended, and upon energization of the driving means 4U in the manner hereinabove explained and driving of the conveyor 3| a predetermined distance and ejecting an apple into the discharge chute 21 and manually accessible receptacle 26, the change making means 13', which in this case would have two of the vertical tubes 15' filled with pennies, would be actuated, thus releasing two pennies into the inclined trough and thence into the discharge chute 21 and manually accessible receptacle 26, thus returning two pennies to the purchaser of the apple, making the total cost of the apples to the purchaser 8 cents.

Numerous modiiications and variations of this invention will occur to those skilled in the art and all such are intended to be comprehended and included herein. For example, the structure of the housing cabinet may be varied within wide limits. The transparent window in the front may be modiiied or dispensed with entirely, if desired, as may the illuminated enclosure 23 at the top of the housing cabinet l. The refrigeration mechanism in the base of the housing cabinet may be modified within wide limits or may be dispensed with entirely, if desired, in which case the heat-insulating Walls may also be dispensed with. Only one endless conveyor belt may be utilized or any desired number may be included in the machine. The structure of said endless vconveyor belt may be modified within wide limits as may the supporting brackets, supporting rods and baskets carried thereby, this invention not being limited to the particular structure and arrangement for mounting containers with respect to the conveyor belt. A single basket only may be carried by the conveyor -belt at each station, if desired, or more than two Kbaskets may be carried by each supporting rod spaced along the conveyor belt, if desired. In Ethis case, each conveyor belt will have a similar number of ejector means longitudinally displaced with respect to each other for successively ejecting contents of the various baskets carried by a given supporting rod at different points of travel of the conveyor belt and in response to successive energizations of the driving means. l,The mounting of the endless conveyor belt may be modified substantially and the spring biasing means for maintaining spring tension in the conveyor may be modified or dispensed with entirely, if desired. The driving means may be modied considerably or suitable other driving means utilized, if desired. Various other coin-controlled, limit, switch controlling means arranged to energize the driving means for a predetermined rotation thereof may be utilized. Various other constructions of the ejector means may be employed, and the biasing thereof for positively ejecting the objects contained by the baskets may Vbe substantially modified. r.The device may be utilized without coin-receiving means and without coin control of the driving means, in response to any form of dispensing initiation.

The examples described and illustrated herein are exemplary only and are not intended to limit the scope of this invention, which is to be interpreted in the light of the appended claims only.

We claim:

l. A coin-operated, refrigerated, vending machine including a plurality of parallel dispensing units, and a refrigeration and air circulating unit mounted in an upstanding, thermally insulated housing cabinet, a discharge chute and a connected, manually accessible receptacle in the front thereof adjacent each dispensing means, wherein each dispensing unit comprises: two wheels rotatably mounted one above the other within the housing in the same vertical plane; an endless conveyor belt carried by said wheels and lying in said plane, one of said wheels being spring biased vertically away from the other for maintaining a predetermined tension in said conveyor belt; a plurality of equally spaced, outwardly extending,y laterally ported, supporting brackets mounted on said conveyor belt; a laterally extending, supporting rod carried by each of the supporting brackets; a convoluted wire basket carried by each end of each supporting rod on each side of the conveyor belt at equal distances therefrom; driving means arranged to drive said conveyor belt half of the distance between adjacent supporting rods upon each energization thereof; and ejector means arranged to eject the contents of a basket into the discharge chute and receptacle when the conveyor belt is driven past a predetermined point, the ejector means cooperating with baskets on one side of the conveyor being displaced longitudinally with respect to ejector means on thel other side of the conveyor, whereby contents of baskets carried by the same supporting rod will be successively ejected in response to successive energizations of the driving means; each ejector means including a spring biased ringer pivotally mounted Within the housing adjacent the conveyor belt whereby a downwardly driven supporting rod will engage the free end thereof, pivoting same against the spring biasing thereof and suddenly releasing and allowing same to resiliently snap into ejecting contact with contents of the basket immediately thereabove.

2. A coin-operated vending machine including a plurality of parallel dispensing units mounted in a housing cabinet provided with a discharge chute, a connected, manually accessible receptacle in the front of the housing adjacent each dispensing means, and energizing means associated therewith, wherein each dispensing unit comprises: a plurality of wheels vertically arranged and rotatably mounted within the housing in the same vertical plane; an endless conveyor belt carried by said wheels and lying in said vertical plane, one of said wheels being vertically biased for maintaining a predetermined tension in said conveyor belt; a plurality of equally spaced, laterally extending supporting rods carried by the belt; a plurality of baskets carried by each supporting rod; driving means arranged to drive said conveyor belt a predetermined distance upon each energization thereof; and ejector means arranged to eject the object carried in a basket into the discharge chute and manually accessible receptacle when the conveyor belt moves past a predetermined point, whereby ejection of the object being carried by each basket will take place successively with respect to successive energizations of the driving means, the ejector means being arranged to eject contents of each basket carried by a rod at a diierent point of travel of the belt; each ejector means including a spring biased nger pivotally mounted within the housing adjacent the conveyor belt and arranged to be engaged and depressed by a supporting rod, further motion of the belt and supporting rod releasing the ringer into resilient and ejecting contact with contents of a basket suspended from a succeeding supporting rod.

3. A coin-operated vending machine including a dispensing unit mounted in a housing cabinet provided with discharge chute means and coin receiving means, wherein said dispensing unit comprises: two wheels vertically, rotatably mounted within the housing in the same vertical plane; en endless conveyor belt carried by said wheels and lying in said vertical plane, one of said wheels being biased away from the other of said` wheels for maintaining a predetermined tension in said conveyor belt; a plurality of equally spaced supporting brackets mounted on said conveyor belt; a laterally extending supporting rod carried by each of the supporting brackets; a basket carried by each end of each supporting rod on each side of the conveyor belt; driving means arranged to drive said conveyor belt half the distance between adjacent supporting rods upon each energization thereof; and ejector means arranged to eject an object carried by a basket into the discharge chute means when the conveyor belt moves past a predetermined point', which is different for each basket carried at opposite ends of a given supporting rod, whereby ejection of the object being carried by each basket will take place successively in response to successive energizations of the driving means; each ejector means including a spring biased finger pivotally mounted within the housing adjacent the conveyor belt, whereby a downwardly moving rod engages the free end thereof, pivoting same about its pivot point and suddenly releasing and allowing same to resiliently snap back to its former position, ejecting an object carried by a basket.

4. A coin-operated vending machine including a dispensing unit mounted in a housing cabinet provided with a discharge chute, and coin receiving means, wherein said dispensing unit comprises: a plurality of wheels rotatably mounted within the housing in the same vertical plane; an endless conveyor belt carried by said wheels and lying in said vertical plane; a plurality of equally spaced supporting brackets mounted on said conveyor belt; a laterally extending rod carried by each of said brackets; a plurality of baskets carried by each of said supporting rods; driving means arranged to drive said conveyor belt a predetermined distance upon each energization thereof in response to insertion of a proper coin into the coin receiving means; and ejector means arranged to eject an object carried by a basket into the discharge chute when the conveyor belt moves past a predetermined point, which is diierent for each basket carried by a given supporting rod, whereby ejection of the object being carried by each basket will take place successively; each ejector means including a biased finger pivotally mounted within the housing adjacent the conveyor belt, whereby a driven supporting rod will engage the free end thereof, pivoting same about its pivot point and suddenly releasing and allowing same to snap back to its former position, ejecting into the discharge chute an object carried by a basket adjacent thereto.

5. In a vending machine including a housing having a front wall, an accessible compartment within the front wall, a discharge chute leading to said compartment and actuating means adn jacent said compartment, the combination of: a dispensing unit within the housing, comprising an upper rotatable wheel above the level of the chute and compartment, and a lower rotatable wheel below the level of the chute and compartment; a continuous band carried by and extending between saidwheels; vmeans for maintaining the band under tension; a plurality of spaced supporting rods carried on the outer surface of the belt, said rods extending laterally beyond the sides of the belt; a container pivotally suspended from each rod on each side of the belt; a belt driving means energized by the actuating means in engagement with the rods; an ejector means operable by contact with each rod and cooperable with each container on the same side of the belt, the ejector means on one side of the belt being displaced with respect to containers on the other side of the belt, whereby said ejector means becomes effective successively at dierent points in the travel of the belt.

6. In a vending machine including a housing having a iront wall, an accessible compartment within the front wall, a .discharge chute leading to said compartment, and actuating means adjacent said compartment, the combination of: .a dispensing unit within the housing comprising an endless conveyor means movably operable within the housing; a plurality of horizontal object carrying means pivotally supported in spaced relation on said conveyor means, each object carrying means being adapted to carry a plurality of objects in horizontal spaced relation; driving means for driving said conveyor means a predetermined distance upon actuation by said actuating means; a plurality of ejector means arranged to forwardly eject an object carried by said object carrying means into the discharge chute when the conveyor means moves past a predetermined point which is different for each object carried by said carrying means whereby ejection of the horizontally spaced objects will take place successively, each ejector means including a biased finger pivotally mounted within the housing adjacent to the conveyor means whereby an object carrying means will engage the free end thereof when passing thereby for pivoting said finger about its pivot point and suddenly releasing to allow said finger to snap back to its former position to eject into the discharge chute an object carried by the following adjacent object carrying means.

'7. In a vending machine including a housing having a front wall, an accessible compartment within the front wall, a discharge chute leading to said compartment, and actuating means adjacent said compartment, the combination of: a dispensing unit within the housing comprising an endless conveyor means movably operable within the housing; a plurality of object carrying means each lying in a horizontal plane and pivotally mounted in spaced relation on said conveyor means and adapted to carry a plurality of horizontally spaced objects; and a plurality of forwardly projecting ejector means pivotally carried by the housing and operable by contact with each object carrying means to forwardly eject an object carried by a following object carrying means, each ejector means being displaced along the conveyor means with respect to the adjacent ejector means and becoming eiiective successively at different points in the travel of the conveyor means.

8. In a vending machine including a housing having a front wall, an accessible compartment within the front wall, a discharge chute leading to saic1 compartment, and actuating means adjacent said compartment, the combination oi: a dispensing unit within the housing comprising an endless conveyor means operable within the housing; a plurality of object carrying means each lying in a horizontal plane and pivotally mounted in spaced relation on said conveyor means and adapted to carry a plurality of horizontally spaced objects; and a plurality of ejector means mounted on the housing, each operable by contact with object carrying means and cooperable with objects carried by said carrying means for ejecting said objects outwardly and away from said conveyor means, each ejector means being displaced along the axis of the conveyor means with respect to adjacent ejector means whereby said objects are ejected successively at diiierent points in the travel of the conveyor means.

ELDRIDGE' H. SMLEY. FRED K. STORM, Je.

REFERENCES CTED The following references are of record in the iile of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,074,337 Schwab Sept. 10, 1913 1,184,697 Cutler May 23, 1916 1,609,244 Goodyer Nov. 30, 1926 1,713,466 Butler May le, 1929 1,752,592 Gilburg Apr. 1, 1930 2,249,236 Tratsch July 15, 1941 2,272,750 Miller Feb. 10, 1942 2,355,311 Linkner Aug. 8, 194A

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2687824 *Jun 4, 1952Aug 31, 1954Hughes HeinigIce-cream cone vending machine
US3422987 *Apr 5, 1967Jan 21, 1969Pomona Service & Supply Co IncBulk storage fruit-vending machine
US5097986 *Apr 16, 1990Mar 24, 1992Deutsche Wurlitzer GmbhVending machine
US5335818 *Jun 3, 1993Aug 9, 1994C-Power Companies, Inc.Cold drink vending mechanism
US5392953 *Jun 3, 1993Feb 28, 1995Rowe International, Inc.Cold drink vending machine with window front panel
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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/81, 312/36, 194/246, 221/150.00R
International ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/58
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/58
European ClassificationG07F11/58