US 2615773 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 28, 1952 M. L. HOLT ETAL 2,615,773
VENDING MACHINE FOR CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES Filed June 26, 1948 3 Sheets-Shut 1 V E N TOPS 77Zczrczzs L Holt and JQ/UL Brock Oct. 28, 1952 M, L HOLT TAL 2,615,773
VENDING MACHINE FOR CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES Filed June 26, 1948 5 Smets-Shoot 2 5,5; I. 77I i BY Jo/UL mc/ 79 82 Magg@ Zifoflzgg 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 /A/ VEN TOPS.' llaf'cusl. /olt and Jokin rock BMM fZ-e allor/gy M L HOLT E1' AL VENDING MACHINE FOR CYLINDRICAL ARTICLES Oct. 28, 1952 Filed June 26, 1948 the like.
Yl'atenteci ct. 28, 1952 Marcus L. Holt, Lbokout Mountain, Tenn., and John B.' Brock, Adarsville, Ga.
A Applicaupmne '26, 194s, seriai No. 35,414
This invention relates to vending machines,
and more particularly to such machines ofthe l coin operated type adapted tothe dispensing, of
packaged goods, such as bottledsoftdrinks and One of the objects of our invention is '-,to "prim vide a vending machine wherein efectivemuse is made of package holding space within the .machine, and from which space the `f packages gravtate in an orderly mannerv for 'unitary dispensing controlled by a rugged and relatively inexpensive'control mechanism.
y Considered somewhat more specifically, `.our vending machine has within its purview 'the provision of a vending mechanism in which packaged goods are sequentially fed by gravity intoy al double row column from sloping shelves oriOppQ- site sides of the column, and in which 'column the packaged goods are disposed in anjalte'rnating staggered relationship for individual release by a single dispensing control mechanism.
Another object of the invention is to provide a vending machine for packaged articlesfwherein said articles await singular release for dispensing in a double row vertical column, in
iioia'imis. (ci. S12-4s) l ,ingmechanism shown "an exemplary illustration of the installation of which column the rowslaterally overlap`,. with ,v
the articles in contact and supported by two movable elementsoperable in timedsequence by a single driven actuating mechanism to release the lowermost article of the column While those above it are supported and lowered. ,4 As a ,further object, our invention comprehends the provision of a dispensing control mechanism for effecting singular release ofharticles from a doublerow Vertical columnin which the articles overlap in alternate relationshipl lat-` f erally of the columnan`d inywhich mechanism two driven article supporting elements are actuated from a common power source and in predetermined relationship to release the ylowermost articlel from the column, support vtheref maining articles in the column while the one is released, and lower the .articles of the' column so that another is positioned for release. o'
Other objects and advantages of the inven tion will be apparent from the following description and the` accompanying drawings in which similar characters of reference indicate) similar parts through `the several views.
Referring to the three sheets of drawings,
Fig.. l is a frontpelevational view cfa storage and vending unit for a vending machine embodying a preferred form ofourinvention;
Fig. 2 isa fragmentary side elevational view of the vlower portion -ofthek storage andv .vend-, v
' the articles to be vended so as to minimize the in Fig. 1 which provides the storage and vending unit in an enclosure, and whereinthe section is taken substantially 'on a line"2-2 of Fig. l and in the'direction indicatedv by the arrows; y V
Fig. 3 is a top sectional view wherein the section is taken substantially on the line 3-3 of Fig. l and an'ex`ern1olary enclosure for the storlines;A and l f Figs; 4 and 5 are fragmentary front sectional 'age and vending unit'is depicted in dot and dash ,viewsr taken' substantially on a line--44 of Fig.
3 and wherein different Aoperating positions of Lthe vending mechanism are illustrated.
In the` exemplary embodiment of our inven- `tion whichfis show inthe accompanying drawrings for illustrative purposes, our vending machine is depicted in an yadaptation to the dispensing of bottled beverages. For the vending of any particular kind or sizeof article which is suited to the use ofthe mechanism, the sizes of the parts andthe type of enclosure sares'uited to the article. `4In the present instance, and as is usual, the bottled beverages are cooled before being dispensed. lFor such purposes, an outerenclosure I0 `(indicated in Figs. 2r and 3) is utilized which has heat insulating walls such as I2, I3 and I4, a heat insulating front panel I5 and a movable service door I6. Spaces such as II and I8 are provided at the sides and vtop of the heat insulating front panel for access to a storage and vending unit I9 which is 'mounted within the outer enclosure for holding and effecting controlled `dispensing of articles-from Within the enclosure. A dispensing chute 20 extends through an opening 22 in the door, which,A chute provides an outlet for the articles from the interior of the enclosure as they are dispensed. By preference, an insulating trap door 23 has a top hinge support 24 and is mounted in the inner end of the dispensing lchute 20 for outward swinging movementv rto allow` vpassage of vended articles outwardly of the chute while reducing heat losses and pref venting unauthorized persons from gaining acce'ss'to'the interior of the enclosure. y
j Invending machines for bottled goods or other packaged articles, the conservation andv efiicientv "use of storage space are of importance.
It is not only desirable to store a large quantity of frequency of relling operations, but also to provide cooling time for refrigerated articles. From the service standpoint, it is of further irnportance that; the articles shell be fed automatically to a dispensing control mechanism by a structure having little likelihood of jamming or getting out of order in other ways.
In the disclosed embodiment of our invention, we have provided an effective and efficient storage and dispensing unit which not only has the aforementioned desirable characteristics, but which is also readily and easily rellable. As depicted in the drawings, the storage and dispensing unit |9 is preferably constructed as a unitary assembly, which assembly vincludes -aV base frame 25 forming a part of a support structure, and which base frame includes front and rear lateral support members 26 and 12.1 respec tively secured together near their lateral midportion by parallel frame members '28 and v 29 which frame members 28 and 29 define an opening 3| through the mid-portion of the frame base structure and are disposed equidistantly on opposite sides of a lateral center line of the base.
y Atvopposite sides of the base frame I25, side panels 30 and 32 are secured toandsupported by side channel members 33.and 34 respectively, which side channelmembers are secured .to the outer ends of the lateral support members Z6 and It is by preference also, that the width of the side panels 30 and 32 is dependentsomewhat upon the length of the articles which are to be dispensed, and that they are disposed in opposed relationship at the longitudinal mid-portion of the side channel members and spaced-somewhat from each of the front and rear lateral support members 26 and 21. At the opposite sides of the Vside panels 30 and 32, we have provided flanges 35, 36, 31 and 38 for stifening purposes. Also,
`a front panel 39 (shown in Figs. 2 and 3 and removed for purposes of disclosure in Fig. 1) is secured to and covers the space `between the fronts of the opposed side-panels 39 and 32.
Extending inwardly of the frame structure from the panel 30 is substantially parallel and vertically spaced relationship is a series of shelves 40 which, at their outer ends, have integrally formed flanges 42 `secured to the inner surface of the side panel 3D by spot welding or the like.
In like manner, the panel 32 carries a series of vertically spaced and substantially parallel shelves 43 having vintegral mounting flanges 44 secured to the panel 32 by spot welding or the like. In the disclosed structure, the shelves 40 and 43 also have integral flanges 45 and 46 respectively extending along the edges .thereof remote from the front panel 39. The shelves of each series slope downwardly toward the shelves of the other series; the downward slope and vertical spacing of the shelves =being such that articles such as bottles 41 are received for free movement between the shelves and will be moved by gravity inwardly along the shelves. The last shelf of each series has its inner end resting against one of the parallel frame members 28 and 29, and all of the shelves preferably terminate substantially at the planes -of the opposed surfaces of the parallel frame members 28 and 29, so that their inner ends dene an'open channel 48 extending upwardly above the opening 3|.
In the disclosed embodiment of our invention, the lateral spacing of the vadjacent ends of the shelves 4|) and 43 is such, and is so related to the lateral dimensions of the articles to be dispensed, that the articles gravitating into the laterally overlapping and vertically staggered with respect to those of the other row. With this arrangement of parts, the articles or bottles in the double row column are in contact, and gravitate downwardly as articles are released from the bottom of the column. It may be noted that as the articles are singly. released at the bottom of the column, the bottommost article of the column is first on one side of the column and then on the other. It may be further be noted that the articles pass from the holding and dispensing structure .I9 through the opening 3| between the parallel frame members 28 and 29.
When the holding and dispensing structure is initially filled, articles are placed in the channel between the shelf ends and on the successive shelves until the column and shelves are filled to their capacity. As the articles are then removed at the bottom of the column, articles from the. shelves gravitate sequentially into the column and downwardly through the column. As'shown in Figs. 1 and 3,;the lowermost shelf such as 43 of one series has on its vupper surface a switch plate 49 which may be either thin and resilient or hinged near its outer end, as at a line 50-(Fig. 3), with the outer end portion thereof secured tothe shelf. The switch plate 49, near its inner end, engages a switch actuating lever 52 and Vis biased upwardly away from the shelf surface. The switchactuating 'lever 52, in turn, -actuates a switch 53 in response to movements of the switch plate. Thus, as long'as'there is an article on the rshelf which carries the switch plate 49, Vthe weight ol' that article on the'swltch plate will hold the switch in one of its operating positions. However, when the last article is removed from the switch plate, the switch 53 willvbe changed to the other of its operating "positions and will remain in the latter 'position` until additional articlesare placed in the holding anddispenslng structure and on the shelf which carries the switch plate. -V
In the preferred embodiment of our invention which is disclosed herein, we effect control of the .dispensing of articles fromthe lower end ,01E the double row column and through the opening 3| by two movable article-retaining elements 54 and v55, both of which areactuated in a predetermined manner and sequence, singly to releasethe lowermost article of .the column and to retain and lower the remaining articles'of the column. By preference, the article-retaining elements which we `have utilizedhave bail type mid-portions displaced Afrom an axis of lateral swinging-movement and are so disposed with referenceto the lateral mid-portion of thelower end of the channel 48 that they are separately movable into engagement with articles of either row. That is, the
K 'article-retaining element '54 has va bail type, midment 55 has a bail type mid-portionV 64 displaced .channel 48 from the shelves 40 and'43 form a.,
from an axis of swinging movement defined by aligned end portions 65 and 66, which vlatter end portions are supported for rotationalmovement in bearing bores 61 and v68 respectivelyin the lateral support strips 62 and |53. These bail type article-retaining elements extend longitudinally across 'the opening 3| between `the parallel-'frame members ZBand 29,with the axes of their lrespective 'aligned end portions displaced vertically Ifrom one another in a plane which is substantially midway between' the planes defined` by the opposed ends of the shelves A40 and 43. i
v At their front or forward ends, the article-retaining elements 54 and 55 are provided with crankV type end portions B9 and 10 respectively, which crank type end portions, in the present instance, each lie in the general plane of their respective end bearing portions and jmid-portions. The crank type end'portions 69 and "10 havev forwardly Vprojecting 'ends 1 2 and13 respective'ly.
' At a position spacedk forwardly of the crank type end portionsv E9 and 18, a shaft 14' is'supported for rotation by laterally displaced support brackets and 18 which" are v,secured to the frontY lateral support 'member 26 of the base frame.v Between'the support brackets 15 and 1t, a cam 11 ismounted upon and drivinglyvconnected to the shaft14. The cam 11 has a channel typeftrack 18 whichissubstantially concentric with the axis of` the Ishaft 14 and has axially displaced dwell fand :swing portions 19' and`v80resp'ectively which slidably receive Aand control the y positions of fthev ends :12' and 13 `of the articleretaining elements.
Normallyl and -whenuthe disclosed mechanism lis at'rest, the ,camV and article-retaining elements occupy positionssubstantially as shownin Fig. 5. As'there shown and viewed, the mid-portion of the article'retaining element 55 underlies and supports'the lowermost article of 'the column which, inthe instance shown, is the lowermost article of the left'hand row.` The article'sabove that lowermost one, and in both rows, are supported through the said lowermost article., As viewed in Figs..4 andf5,the direction of rotation of the shaft 14 vand cam 11 is such that the fiorward surface -of the cam moves downwardly.
Thus,ffrom the normal position'show'n in Fig. 5,'
the end 1320i the article retaining element 55y is entering oneswing portion 80 of the cam, so that the mid-portion 64 of that article-retaining element will be swung away from its supporting position 4beneath the bottommostI article during the first` part of the cam movement. The end 12 of the articleretaining element 54, however, enters one dwell portion 19 of the cam which is'of substantially the .same length as the swing portion 80. As the bottommost article is released by the retaining element 55, the retaining element 54 remains in a position such that the mid-portion 56 thereof engages the succeeding article and thus'suppo'rts the remaining articles of the column. y o
The cam 11 turns one-half of a revolution for the release vof each article. It yhas two similar dwell portions on opposite sides thereof and also has similar swing portions on its opposite sides, adjoined at their ends to provide a continuous channel. The previously described release of the bottommost article, in the present instance, during which release the upper articles are supported by the retaining element 54, requires about half of the shaft-and cam movement necessary for vending each article. During the latter part of the cam movement, the end'13 of the articleretaining element '55 rides in a dwell portion of the cam and thus stays under the row to which it was moved during the first part of the cam movement. The end 12 of the article retaining element 54, however, moves laterally during the latter part of the cam movement to let the articles supported thereby gravitate downwardly to a position for dispensing another-article from the other row `and'by a similar sequence of operations withy the movements vof the article-retaining elements alternating" invdire'ctions #for the successive dispensing operations'. Y f
' ner chute and slide alongthat chute to 'the chute 20 and by their force'of movement open ajtrap door `23 `and 'emerge from the vending'machine.
For actuating the dispensing control mechanism, we utilize av motor 83 (carried bya bracket ,8 4 from the front lateral-support member 26` of the base frame. The motor 83 is drivinglycon- Y nected to a shaft 85th`rough `speed reducing `gears 86.` At `one end,y the shaft 85 is drivingly connected through a ratchet release clutch81to Athe shaft 14;' the ratchet release clutch being of a'conventional type, provided by AVpreference, to relieve the driving force applied'to thef'shaft 14 from the motor if, by some 'unusual circumstance, the vending mechanism should become jammed i in the process of releasing an article. 30
On the end of the shaft`85, opposite the ratchet release clutch 81, a switch actuator 88 'is mounted for rotation with the shaft.'` The switch actuator is so constructed and'arranged that` each 'time the.y motor'83 is started, .asv by the'l insertion'of a coin through a coinfslide, the rswitchactuator effects operation of a swit'ch afterA each cycle of dispensing movementof thecam 11 to stop ythe motor. rIn the presentinstanomvthe Switch 89 iS Supported from the lateral support;Y member 25 of the base frame.
- As maybe observed withrespect `to the described structur'e, of `rour lvvending machine, the article storage and vending unit, Whichyincludes the shelf structure withY the intermediate channel, the innerchute and `the dispensing'control mechanism including the drive and control parts therefor, is .assembled as a unitary structure for mounting'within the outer enclosure l0. Itmay ,also be removed, as such, for repair service orreplacement, if desired. In the present instance, thebase frame issecured to the enclosure walls, and a plate 90 which is secured to the unit and extends along the back surface thereof hasedge flanges 92 which arealso ,removably secured to the housingr Wall. l
From the foregoing description ofl vstructure and operation of the preferred embodiment of our invention which is' disclosed herein, it "may be readily vunderstood that we have provided a storage and vendingunit for an article vending machine, which unit effectively utilizes space for the storage of articles to be vended and is so constructed andarranged that relatively few moving parts are employedfand consistnt,trouble free operation is attained.' i
While we have illustrated afpreferred embodiment of our invention, many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, and we do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail ourselves of all changes within the scope of the appendedclaims. Having thus described our inventiom what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
einem 1. In a vending machine for packaged articles,
-tion of the lower end of-achannelthroug'h which said articles freely gravitate in adouble -row col- .umn with the articles -of :one row laterally voverlapping and vertically staggered with respect to the articles of -the other row, .said elements 'having aligned .end portionsdening .axes of swinging movementv at .the lateralmid-.portion of the channel and eachhavinga `bailportion displaced'from ,proportioned .and .disposed Vat lpositions such that l.the bail ,portion of the article-retaining elements 'normally extend angularly downwardly .and to-oppositesides o'f-the respective axes so as to underlie the bottom articles ofthe rows to support said articles, said cammeans and the relative .positions of engagement of the crank-type .end portions 4therewith further being such 'that said article-retaining elements are swung in reverse directions `from oneside of the axes to the other in timedsequence .to release the bottom articleand to retain andlower'the other articles, and means 'for driving the cam means.
'2. In a vending machine -for packaged articles, the .combination comprising two article-retaining elements having portions movable laterally at the lower end of a channel 'through 'which `said articles freely gravitate in a double .row column .with the articles of one row laterally overlapping and vertically staggered with respect tothe articles of the other row, each element `having a path of movement extending across the vlateral midplane 'of the channelfthe said paths `of -movement of .the article-retaining elements 'being spaced vertically AVof the channel so that each is independently movable `relative to `the other, saidar- -ticle-retaining elements'also each having camengagingportions at one end of and extending -from the laterally movable portion thereof, a single Acam engagingsaid cam engaging-portions of the article-retaining elements 4atgsepavrated positions, said cam having -dwell and actuating Aportions shaped `and disposed at positions such that Lthe laterally movable portion of the article-retaining elements normally-extend to oppositesides 'of'said mid-plane of the channel so as to underlie the bottom articles of the rows to support thev articles, said cam .drivingly engaging with 'the cam engaging portions at separatedpositionsso as to effect a lateral movement o'f saidarticle-retaining elements in reverse directions and in timed sequence to release the bottommos't article and to retain .and'lower the others, .and means for driving the cam.
3. In a vending machine for packaged articles, the combination comprising .two article-retaining .elements having portions movable laterallyat the lower end ofa channel through which said arti- `cles fjrreely-glavitate inadouble row column with thearticles oflone row laterally overlapping and vertically .staggered -with respect to the .articles of the other frowfeach element 'having a path 'of movement extending across the late ral'mtd-plane .of .the channel, the said paths of movement of said movablezportions-of the article-retaining Blements being spaced vertically 'of the channel so that each is 'independently .movable relative 'to the other, said movableportions or `the articleretaining elements .each normally extending t0 one side of said mid-.plane of the 'channel 'so 'as to underlie the lowermost article of Yone .of the rows, single cam means drivingly connected 'to said article-retaining elements to 'eiect movements of .said article-retaining elements across saidmid-plane 'of fthe channel .in reverse directions andin'timed sequenceto one another to reylease'the lowermost article of 'the column andto retain and flower the others, and'm'eansior drivingthecam.
.4. In a vendingmachinefor packaged articles, the combination comprising two ball type .articleretaining elements extending across the lower end of a channel 'through which said 'articles freely gravitate ina double 4row column with'the articles of one row laterally overlapping 'and 'vertically staggered with respect to 4the articles ot the other row, .each element extending longitudi- .nally of the articles and having valignedefnd porit-underliesithe bottom varticle of one row y'tn'support the articles, said cam also having saicl dwell and swing portions alternated so that the 'cranktype actuating portions effect swinging vmovements of said article-retainingelements in'reverse directions and from one row 'tothe other in timed sequence to one another Yto release 'the bottom article and to .retain and 'lower the other articles, andmeans for driving the cam.
MARCUS L, HOLT. JOHN B, BROCK.
REFERENCES CITED The following references .are of record `in .the
Afile .of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,351,432 Jennings -et al. June '13, T1944 2,369,882 Brock Feb. 20, 1945 A2,438,503 Holt Mar. v30, r1948 2,440g251 Devens Apr. 27, '1948 '2,453,280 Stewart Nov. "9, 1948