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Publication numberUS2614020 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 14, 1952
Filing dateJun 7, 1949
Priority dateJun 7, 1949
Publication numberUS 2614020 A, US 2614020A, US-A-2614020, US2614020 A, US2614020A
InventorsCollins Douglas
Original AssigneeCollins Douglas
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelf elevating mechanism and control
US 2614020 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 14, 1952 D. COLLINS SHELF ELEVATING MECHANISM AND CONTROL Y 3 Sheets sheet l Filed June 7 1949 'Douglas OZL'MS,

INVEN TOR.

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Oct. 14, 1952 D. COLLINS SHELF ELEVATING MECHANISM AND CONTROL Filed June 7, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheecl 2 DougIas Collins,

INVENTOR.

Oct. 14, 1952 D. COLLINS 2,614,020

SHELF ELEVATING MECHANISM AND CONTROL Filed June '7, 1949 I5 Sheets-Sheet 3 DoLggJas CoH/ULS,

IN1/EN T012.

lPatented er. 14, 1952 UNITED SHELF ELEVATING MECHANISM AND CONTROL Douglas Collins, Salisbury,lN. C. Application June '7, 1949, Serial No. 97,681

(Cl. S12-312) 153 Claims.

This invention relates to translatable material support means combined with means constantly tending to move the same in one direction and controllable means governing the movement in said one direction of the type permitting movement in a reverse direction independently of the controllable means.

` The invention further relates generally to refrigerators and more particularly to that type of refrigerator in which access to the refrigerator is obtained through a door in the top of the refrigerator cabinet and within which cabinet is positioned a vertical movable shelf frame.

The present invention is a continuation-inpart of my prior Ifiled application Serial No. 586,899, led April 6, 1945, now Patent-2,549,664, dated April 17, 1951, and in which patent is disclosed the general organization set forth hereinafter without the particular details of the controllable means for governing the translation of the shelf frame.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide in combination with a translatable material support or shelf frame and means constantly exerting a force sufficient to translate the frame in one direction when loaded, the provision of releasable brake means controlling the force applying means and normally effective in all positions of movement of the frame to arrest movement of the frame so long as the force applied in the direction opposite the application of force by the force applying means is no greater than the loaded condition of the frame or support.

Specically the present invention provides power means normally tending to lift the frame when it is loaded, a releasable brake normally effective to resist elevation of the frame but operative when release to permit the elevation thereof and combined with the brake an overrunning clutch operable independently of means controlling the releasable brake to permit lowering or reverse movement of the frame upon the application of a force greater than the force applied by the force applying means. It being borne in mind that the force applying means is adjustable and operative to raise the frame when the frame is loaded with material or articles and that the brake means will always hold the frame in any elevated position assumed under control of means for releasing the brake.

Specically it is an object of the present invention to provide in combination with an open topped cabinet a vertically movable shelf frame, power means constantly exerting a force on the elevate the same, means including a shaft operably connected between the frame and the power means to transmit the elevating 'force to the frame and a releasable combined brake and overrunning clutch mechanism carried in part by the shaft. The brake is normally engaged and normally eiective to resist upward movement of the frame and the overrunning clutch permitting the frame to be lowered upon application of a force in excess of the lifting power and theload on the frame, the arrangement being such that the resistance of the brake which is normally applied does not have to be overcome in lowering, the only force to be overcome being the force constantly tending to elevate the frame.

It thus follows that the present invention provides a translatable shelf frame construction which under controlof release means can be stopped in its movement in one direction in any of an innite number of positions and upon force tending to move it in the opposite direction it will be stopped in any of an innite number of positions independently of the control of the brake upon cessation of the force tending to move it in the opposite direction.

The above as well as other objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent when the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. 1 is an isometric view (partly out away) of a refrigerator embodying the invention.

frame sufficient to Fig. 2 is an enlarged isometric View of a portion of the shelf elevating mechanism thereof, shown at the right hand end of shaft ill in Fig. l,

Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view in elevation of a releasable brake mechanism located at the opposite end of said shaft.

Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the mechanism shown in Fig. 3,

Fig. 5 is an isometric View of one of the parts of the brake mechanism,

Fig. 6 is a sectional view of the clutch portion of this mechanism, taken on line -E of Fig. 4,

and

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of a portion of the cabinet.

Referring now to Fig. 1 of the drawings, reference numeral Il) designates a refrigerator cabinet of the top door or top access type having a plurality of compartments, access to each of which is obtained from the top. Although the refrigerator is illustrated as being provided with 3 three comparments it is obvious that the number of compartments may be changed as desired, each compartment being identical in design with the others.

The refrigerator cabinet I is of double wall type in which the space between the walls is at least partially evacuated, as in my prior Patent No. 2,549,644, dated April 17, 1951, although thermal insulating material may optionally be used. A pump II which operates automatically upon the opening of the refrigerator door may be provided to maintain a partial vacuum in the space between the walls. This arrangement is described in detail in my prior patent referred to above, to which reference may be made for details of construction. The latter wall structure is shown in the cutaway portion of Fig. l, reference numeral I2 indicating an inner side wall, and I4 indicating an outer side wall. The sides, front, bottom, and back of the cabinet I 0 are constructed in similar fashion. A plurality of windows I6 are provided in the front and side, inner and outer walls of the cabinet I0 so that the inside of the refrigerator may be inspected easily.

Each compartment of the cabinet I0 is provided with a top door I8, all of the doors being identical in structure.

Each of the three compartments in the cabinet I0 is provided with an identical vertically movable rack or shelf frame 20. The rack is made up of four vertical corner rods 22 on which are mounted horizontal wire shelves 24 at spaced vertical intervals. An upper reinforcing and handle member 26 having a front overhanging lip 28 is provided on each rack 20. The overhanging lip 28 rests in two grooves 30 and 32, formed in the upper edge of the front wall, when the rack 20 is in its lowermost position. The shelves 24 are of the usual refrigerator shelf type comprised of a plurality of slender rods 34 stretched across a horizontal frame 36, and secured thereto as by welding or the like.

Mounted on the inner front and back walls of the cabinet I0 are a plurality of rollers 38 (see Fig. 7) on which the vertical posts 22 of the rack 20 ride during vertical movement of the rack to reduce friction and to guide the rack during movement.

The mechanism for raising and lowering the racks 20 and thereby the top doors I8 will be described now. At one end of the rear and lowermost portion of each of the compartments is mounted a journal bracket 42 (Fig. 3) in which is journaled a horizontal shaft 44. Around the opposite end of shaft 44 is a coiled spring 46, one end of the spring 46 being secured to a collar 48 fast to the shaft 44. The other end of the spring 46 is secured to the hub of a gear 50 loosely mounted on the right end of the shaft 44, the hub being journalled in bracket 40.

The tension of the spring 46 may be adjusted by means of a worm 52 cooperating with the gear 50. The worm 52 may be rotated from the front of the cabinet I0 by means of a handle 54 connected to the worm gear 52 through a universal joint 56 and shaft 58. Mounted on and extending at right angles to the shaft 44 is a rocker arm 60 having at its outer end a roller 64. The roller 64 is situated to bear upon and ride along a bear- 'ing rod 62 extending centrally lengthwise of lowermost shelf 24 (see Fig. '7). Upon rotation of the shaft 44 by the action of spring 46, rocker arm 60 is rotated, roller 64 riding along the bot- -tom of the rod 62 of lower shelf 2'4' as the rack 20 rises vertically under the force applied to it through the rocker arm 60.

On the left end of the shaft 64 is mounted the combined clutch and brake mechanism utilized for control of the rack lift mechanism just described, and best shown in Figs. 3 to 6 of the drawings. The friction brake comprising two sections, one of which identified by reference numeral 66 is fixedly keyed or secured to the shaft 44, the other brake section 68 is mounted on shaft 44 to permit relative rotation between the shaft and brake section 68. As shown in Figure 4, the brake section or disc 68 is journalled on the hub of journal bracket 42. 'Ihe two brake sections 66 and 68 are normally held together by the thrust of a spring 'I0 biased between the journal member 42 and the collar 'I2 of a yoke or shift member 14. The brake section 68 is formed as an overrunning clutch, details of which are illustrated in Figs. 4 to 6. As shown, a friction facing disk 68 is secured to the face of brake section or disk 68 in any conventional manner, for example by means of rivets. The overrunning clutch includes a fixed 4-lobed cam 'I3 and spring-pressed rollers 'I5 whose one-way action permits counter clockwise motion of the brake portion 68 while in brake-applying position with respect to brake section 66. In the construction illustrated, the rollers 'I5 are housed within the brake disc 68. The brake sections can be separated by means oi a bell crank 16 actuated by means of a Bowden wire 'I8 one end of which is mounted on the outside of cabinet I0 and provided with an operating knob (Fig. l)

To elevate the rack 20 and to open the door I8 simultaneously it is necessary only to pull knob 80. This compresses spring 'I0 and separates the brake elements 66, 68 thus permitting spring 46 to rotate the shaft 44. Rotation of the shaft 44 urges roller 64 at the end of the rocker arm 60 against the rod 62 at the bottom of the rack 20, forcing the latter to rise vertically. The vertical travel of rack 20 causes it to contact the under surface of door I8 and open it as the rack 20 continues its upward movement. 'Io lower the rack 20 it is necessary only to grasp the lip 28 of the rack and push down. The overrunning clutch contained in brake section 68 permits downward movement of the rack 20 unimpeded by brake 66, 68, which movement rewinds the spring 46 to its original tensioned condition.

The brake mechanism just described thus operates to reta-in rocker arm 60 (and hence rack 28) against upward movement except when knob 88 is pulled out, but permits downward movement of rack -20 against the tension of spring 46 without the additional resistance of the brake mechanism which would otherwise have to be overcome.

It will 4be seen from the above specication that I have provided an improved refrigerator construction fully satisfying all of the objects of my invention, but it is to be understood that the specific details disclosed herein may be modified in various ways without departing from the spirit of my invention as defined in the appended claims.

It is therefore clear that I have provided in combination with a translatable material support, such as a storage rack or shelf frame, and power means constantly exerting a force suiiicient to translate the same in one direction, a unique combined brake and overrunning clutch mechanism. The power means specifically constituting a spring operative to normally rotate a shaft can be adjusted so as to accommodate changing loadl conditions on the material support. The brake mechanism includes friction discs associated with the said shaft and means normally holding the discs in engagement so as to prevent movement of the shaft responsive to force applied by the spring. The brake mechanism is releasable by suitable control means so that under control of the control means the sup- Y port is movable under the influence of the spring,

which movement can be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions. The overrunning clutch or one way coupling embodied with the :brake and shaft is such that the material support when moved in an opposite direction by a V.force greater than the force exerted by the power l. In a refrigerator, walls defining an open-top compartment, a storage rack assembly, guide means for guiding said rack assembly for vertical movement into and out of the top of said compartment, a shaft journaled in the lower portion of said compartment, means actuated by said shaft upon rotation thereof in one direction for elevating said rack assembly, power means for rotating said shaft in said one direction to elevate said rack assembly, manually releasable brake means normally effective in all vertical positions of said assembly to arrest movement thereof .by preventing the rotation of said shaft by vsaid power means in said one direction and operative when released to permit rotation of said shaft in said one direction, control means for releasing said brake means, and a one-way connection between said brake means and said shaft normally permitting rotation of said shaft in an opposite direction upon the application of lowering force to said assembly in excess of the elevating power of said power means, whereby said rack assembly may be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in its upward movement by the brake means under control of said control means and said rack assembly may also be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in its movement in a downward direction by said brake means independently of the control means upon the cessation of the application of a lowering force sufficient to overcome the elevating power of the power means.

2. In a refrigerator, walls defining an opentop compartment, a storage rack assembly, guide means for guiding said rack assembly for vertical movement into and out of the top of said i compartment, a shaft journaled in the lower portion of said compartment, means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith and arranged to engage said rack assembly to elevate the same upon rotation of said shaft, power spring means for rotating said shaft in one direction to elevate said rack assembly, manually releasable brake means normally effective in all vertical positions of said assembly to arrest movement thereof by preventing the rotation of said shaft in said one direction by said spring means and permitting said rotation when released, and a oneway connectionbetween said brake means and said shaft whereby lowering of said assembly restores power to said spring upon an application of lowering force to said assembly in excess of the elevating power of said power means.

3. In a refrigerator, walls defining an opentop compartment, a storage rack, guide rollers for guiding said rack for vertical movement into and out of the top of said compartment, a shaft journaled in the lower portion of said compartment, means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith and operably connected with said rack on its underside to elevate the same upon rotation of said shaft, adjustable power spring means constantly exerting a force sufcient for rotating said shaft in one direction `to elevate said rack, manually releasable brake means normally effective in all vertical positions of said assembly to arrest upward movement thereof .by preventing the rotation of said shaft by said spring means in said one direction, and a one-way overrunning clutch connected between said brake means and said shaft permitting rotation of said shaft in a reverse direction to restore power to said spring means upon application of a lowering force to said rack greater than the elevating-power of said spring means.

4. In a refrigerator, walls defining an opentop compartment, a storage rack, guide means for guiding said rack for vertical movement into and out of the top of said compartment, a shaft journaled in the lower portion of said compartment, means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith and arranged to engage said rack to elevate the same upon rotation of said shaft in one direction, power spring means for rotating said shaft in said one direction to elevate said rack, friction brake mechanism normally effective in all vertical positions of said assembly to arrest upward movement thereof by preventing the rotation of said shaft by said spring means in said one direction, a one-way connection between said brake mechanism and said shaft permitting rotation of said shaft in a reverse direction to restore powerI to said spring means upon application of a lowering force to said rack greater than the elevating power of said power means, and control means extending outside a wall of said refrigerator for controlling the release of said brake mechanism.

5. Apparatus of the class described, comprising wall structures defining an open-top cabinet adapted to receive materials for storage or treatment, a vertically reciprocable material support mounted in said cabinet for movement through said top, controllable power means constantly exerting a force sufficient to elevate the support when loaded and adapted to elevate said support, releasable brake mechanism normally effective in all vertical positions of said support to arrest movement thereof under force applied by said power mean-s in one direction for controlling the said power means, and a oneway overrunning clutch connected between said brake mechanism and said power means normally permitting lowering of said support upon the application of a lowering force thereto in excess of `the elevating power of said power means, whereby said support may be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in its elevating movement responsive to release the reapplication of said brake mechanism and said support may also be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in a lowering direction by said brake mechanism independently of the release thereof substantially immediately upon the cessation of application of a lowering force sufiicient to overcome the elevating power of the power means.

6. In combination a vertically movable shelf frame, re-energizable force applying means constantly applying force -to the frame to translate the same in one direction, and releasable normally applied brake mechanism acting in opposition to the force applying means to prevent movement of the frame in said one direction, control means for releasing said brake mechanism so that said frame will move responsive to said force applying means in said one direction and said brake mechanism including means rendering the same ineffective to oppose movement of said frame in a reverse direction'so that movement of said frame in said reverse direction reenergizes said force applying means when a force is applied in said reverse direction in eX- cess of the force applied by said force applying means, said brake mechanism being operative to substantially immediately arrest movement of said frame in any of an infinite number of positions in said one direction under control of said control means and in any of an infinite number of positions in said reverse direction independently of said control means.

7. Apparatus of the class described including wall structures defining an open top cabinet, a vertically reciprocable material Asupport and means mounting the same within the cabinet for movement within the top, re-energizable power means constantly effective when energized to apply force to move said support in one direction, releasable normally applied friction brakemeans effective to oppose movement of said support in said one direction, manually operable means for releasing said brake mechanism to permit movement of said support in said one direction and a one Way coupling-constantly effective to permit movement of said support in a reverse direction so that movement in said reverse direction re-energizes said force applying means -when a force is applied in said reverse direction in eX- cess of the force applied by said force `applying means,fsaid brake mechanism being operative to substantially immediately arrest movement yof said frame in any of an'infinite number of positions in said one direction under control of said control means and in any of an infinite number of positions in said reverse direction lindependently of said control means.

8. In combination walls defining an open top cabinet, a vertically reciprocable shelf frame mounted Within the cabinet, a shaft mounted in said cabinet and positioned beneath the lowermost position of said frame, spring means connected to said shaft and constantly eifectivewhen tensioned to rotate the same in one direction, means extending between said shaft andv said frame to -elevate -said frame when said shaft rotates in said onedirection, a brake disc carried by said shaft, a second brake disc surrounding said shaft, means normally holding said brake discs in abutting relationship/to preventmovement of said shaft, a one Waycoupling embodied in part with said second brake .disc to permit movement of said shaft in an opposite direction and .control means for said .second brake `disc for disengagng the same to controllably permit elevation of said lframe so that said spring is effective to elevate said frame while said brake discs are disengaged, said spring means being ineffective to elevate said frame when said discs are engaged and said one way coupling permitting lowering of said frame to tension said spring with said discs engaged.

9. In combination a translatable shelf frame. movable means for translating the same in one direction, a shaft for moving said movable means. re-energizable force applying means connected to said shaft for rotating the same in one direction and thus constantly applying force to said shaft and to said movable means suiiicient to translate the frame in said first mentioned direction when loaded, releasable combined clutch and brake mechanism carried in part by said shaft and normally effective in all positions of said frame to arrest movement thereof responsive to the constantly applied force tending to translate the frame in said first mentioned direction. and including means constantly permitting rotation of said shaft in an opposite direction responsive to the application of an opposing force applied in a direction opposite that of said first mentioned direction greater than the amount of force applied by said force applying means so that application of the opposing force re-energizes said force applying means for subsequent application of force in said first mentioned direction, and means for releasing said brake mechanism to controllably permit translation of said i'rame in said first mentioned direction by said force applying means whereby said frame may be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in its movement in said first mentioned direction by the brake mechanism under control of the means forreleasing the brake mechanism and said frame may also be stopped in any of an infinite number of positions in its movement in a reverse direction by said brake mechanism independently of the means for releasing said brake mechanism substantially immediately upon the cessation of the application of an opposing force in said reverse direction that is greater than the force applied by said force applying means.

l0. The combination as defined in and by claim 9 further including walls defining an open topped compartment, said translatable shelf frame constituting a vertically movable series of superposed shelf members mounted within the compartment for upward and downward movement through the open top, means for journalling the opposite ends of said shaft within the compartment beneath the lowermost position of said frame, said re-energizable force applying means constituting a spring operably connected to said shaft adjacent one end thereof, said combined clutch and brake mechanism being adjacent the opposite end of said shaft and carried in part by said shaft and in part being rotatably mounted on the adjacent journalling means.

1l. The combination as dened in and by claim 10 in which said brake mechanism includes a brake disc member carried by said shaft, a second brake disc member surrounding said shaft, spring means normally holding said brake discs in abutting relationship to prevent movement of said shaft, and the-means for releasing said brake mechanism including a shiftable member between said second disc and said spring and shiftably supporting said second disk member, a bell crank lever mounted for pivotation about a, fixed axis including two arms one of which is connected to said shiftable member and means connected to the other arm of said bell crank lever and extending exteriorly of the compartment and operable to pivot said bell crank lever to move said shiftable member against the action ofsaid spring to release said brake mechanism.

12. The combination as dened in and by claim l1 and in which the means constantly permitting rotation of said shaft in an opposite direction includes an overrunnng clutch housed Within said second disc member comprising a stationary four-lobed cam and spring pressed rollers mounted between the lobes of said cam and said second disc member, the cam surfaces being disposed so as to permit rotation of said second disc member while in brake applying position in said opposite direction.

DOUGLAS COLLINS.

Cil

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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 804,957 Keller Nov. 21, 1905 1,099,521 Sprung June 9, 1914 1,656,577 Wheeler Jan. 17, 1928 2,024,648 y Kissling Dec. 17, 1935 2,038,218 Holt Apr. 21, 1936 2,114,365 Baker Apr. 19, 1938 2,390,030 Paulson Nov. 27, 1945 2,408,179 Shuetz et al Sept. 24, 1946 2,448,836 Schonfleld Sept. 7, 1948 2,460,125 Carroll Jan. 25. 1949 2,495,046 Wolters Jan. 17, 1950 2,497,734 Kuklich Feb. 14, 1950

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3367290 *Jan 25, 1967Feb 6, 1968American Seating CoTable and cabinet combination
US3373703 *Sep 28, 1966Mar 19, 1968American Seating CoTeacher demonstration console
US3467460 *Aug 11, 1967Sep 16, 1969Acker Harold PRetractable clothes storage apparatus
US3589787 *Nov 12, 1969Jun 29, 1971Alco Standard CorpDishwasher door operator
US3910660 *Nov 22, 1974Oct 7, 1975Walter Glennon PRacks for bottles, cans and glasses
US4073555 *Dec 22, 1975Feb 14, 1978Noren Tore HDishwasher with downwardly movable door counterbalanced by spring-biased toggle joints
US6130621 *Sep 2, 1994Oct 10, 2000Rsa Security Inc.Method and apparatus for inhibiting unauthorized access to or utilization of a protected device
US6634668 *Aug 6, 2001Oct 21, 2003Urffer, Iii RusselCollapsible display cart
US7533947 *Nov 21, 2005May 19, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7600830 *Dec 30, 2004Oct 13, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator having basket lift apparatus
US8231190Feb 2, 2009Jul 31, 2012Whirlpool CorporationArticulated freezer drawers
US8277004 *Aug 19, 2005Oct 2, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator and opening/closing apparatus of the same
US8474928 *Jun 11, 2012Jul 2, 2013Whirlpool CorporationArticulated freezer drawers
US20120248958 *Jun 11, 2012Oct 4, 2012Whirlpool CorporationArticulated freezer drawers
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/312, 312/319.6, 62/378, 188/82.9
International ClassificationA47B51/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B51/00, A47B2220/0013
European ClassificationA47B51/00