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Publication numberUS2635370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1953
Filing dateJul 11, 1949
Priority dateJul 11, 1949
Publication numberUS 2635370 A, US 2635370A, US-A-2635370, US2635370 A, US2635370A
InventorsHalladay John F, Mann Jr Fred A
Original AssigneeHalladay John F, Mann Jr Fred A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry shake-out device
US 2635370 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 21, 1953 F. A. MANN, JR, ET AL LAUNDRY SHAKE-OUT DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 11, 1949 4 INVENTOR. Fem 4. Mfl/VM e, w 'JOH/V fi/mz 140m. M

ATTOi/Vffj April 1953 F. A. MANN, JR, ETAL 2,635,370

LAUNDRY SHAKE-OUT DEVICE Filed July 11, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. F250 14 MAN/z Jet Aw JOHN #41 Mom.

April 2l, 1953 F. A. MANN, JR, ET AL 2,635,370

LAUNDRY SHAKE-OUT DEVICE Filed July 11, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 fzfo 4. M4/V/Z J2, w

Patented Apr. 21, 1953 2,635,370 LAUNDRY SHAKE-OUT DEVICE Fred A.-Mann, Jr., South Bend, and John'F.

Halladay, Elkhart, Ind.

' "ApplicationJuly 11, 1949, Serial No. 103,986

17 Claims. 1

"This invention relates to'a device forsmoothing laundereditems;and'particularlytp a device adapted for use in commerciallaundries" which have roller'type'ironing machine 'ior ironing flat work.

Thedanndering of flat workin a commercial laundryfsuch as the laundering of sheets, pillowcases, large towels, bedspreads, tablecloths and other items, 'entails 'thewrinkling and compacting of the-dampwork pieces into a compact mass of ,smallpompass. Consequently, when work "pieces areto'be fed into an ironing machine, it is necessary thattheybe extended to their fiat form 'to avoid'ironing'ina n'lanner which would cause creasesor wrinkles in the finished work. Where the workpieces employed are small, an operator can grasp the piece at an edge thereof and give it'ashake toextend'it to a condition where it is adapted to be received in an ironing machine. Where large fiat pieces, such as sheets, large towels, 'tablecloths;'large scarves, bedspreads and the like, are'laundered, however, manual spreading or extending of the damp work piece is dinicult and time consuming. Such items are of a size that, in order to insure proper positioning of the leading edge of the item into the ironing machine,itisnecessary that two operators do the Worlggrasping opposite sides of the work piece and introducing it into the ironer and stretching or smoothing it as it is fed into the ironer. Where such large work pieces come to the iron feeders in a wadded condition'in which they are commonly'discharged from the washing machine, a large amount'of time and effort is required by the ironer operators to stretchand smooth the sheet and position it to be fed to the ironer in proper squared relation relative tothe direction of travel of the work piece through the ironer. The ironing machine therefore cannot operate at its rated capacity, and'considerable loss is experienced, by the laundry. 7

It is the primary'object of this invention to provide a device which is easily and rapidly operated by a single attendant and which will permit the discharge of Work pieces to a delivery pointad jacent the feeding endjof an ironing machine in an-extended condition ready'for inser'tion into the 'ironer.

A further object is to provide a device of this [character which is novel and'simple'in construction, which will-remove Wrinkles from flat laundered farticles, and which will remove excess inoistiire therefrom so as tofreduce the" time-reduiredfor ironing, thereby permitting the speed of theironer to be accelerated.

of the invention.

A furtheriob jeot "is to provide a" device of this character having 'aconveyor' adapted toengage a launderd article at a central paittheredf'ihd to carry the item to adischarge'point with its side portions suspended alongside a guide carrying a plurality of nozzlesfromwhich air is'er'nittedi'n jets to vibrate said side portions. I

j A'further objectis to'provi'dea device of this character having a conveyor for gripping 'the central portion of a laundered item and conveying it, with its side portions suspended and'positioned Within the influence of vibratingmeans, to a delivery station at which is locatedfspreader means for laterallyoutwardly deflecting said suspended side portions and thereby facilitating grasping thereof by operatorslocated at said station on opposite sides of said spreader. I

A further object is to provide a device of this character having 'a conveyor positioned above oppositely inclined panels which are adapted to be engaged by side portions of a laundered item propelled'by the conveyor, and also having guides projecting'forwardly from the panels at the'feed end 'of the device to spreadthe'laundereditem as it "is gripped by said conveyor andadva'nced toward said panels. 7

Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.

In the drawings: 7 Fig. lis a perspective View of the device. Fig. 2 is a view of'the device in side elevation with parts brokenaway to illustrate the interior construction thereof.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary detail sectional view taken on line 33 of Fig; 1.

Fig. iis an end view of a'modified embodiment Fig. 5 is a fragmentary side view ofainodifie d embodiment of thein'v'ention. 4 p v Fig. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on lined-'6 0f Fig.5.

Fig. '7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view similar to Fig. 6 but illustrating another modias pipes, from the opposite ends of each of which extend upright portions H extending substantially vertically at their lower portions and in- Clilled upwardly at i 2. The inclined'portions l2 terminate'inspaced relation and have plate portions l 3"secur'e'd'at their ends and iii'turn -secured to Elongated figid ir me e 4 Whichare "mnec'ted ysuitable spacers (not shown); rite frame uprights I2 are connected to the longitudinal frame members I4 in spaced relation to the opposite ends of said frame members I4 so that the latter project beyond the frame defined by the parts II2. Longitudinally extending inclined panels I5 are secured at their opposite ends to the inclined frame portions I2, said panels being formed of any suitable material, such as metal, plywood or the like. The frame supports the longitudinal portions I4 at a substantial elevation, and preferably an elevation greater than one-half the dimension of the largest laundered item to be used therewith. The panels I5 which diverge downwardly and outwardly from the frame portions I 4 extend for the major portion of the height of the frame and, as here shown, for the full length of the inclined portions I2 of said frame.

The longitudinal frame members I4 mount suitable bearings or journals (not shown) at each end thereoflupon which are rotatably mounted a front roller I6 and a rear roller I1, said rollers being positioned with their axes substantially horizontal and transverse of the frame members I4, and their peripheries projecting beyond the ends of the frame members I4. A belt is trained around the rollers I6 and I1, said belt including an upper horizontal run I8 preferably of a width substantially equal to the spacing between the frame members I4. A run I9 of the belt is inclined downwardly and rearwardly from the front roller I 6 and extends around a roller or pulley 26 which is suitably journaled upon a cross-shaft .2I which may be mounted in bearings 22, best seen in Fig. 4, in turn carried by upright crossbraces 23 which reinforce each of the panels I5. An elongated bar or yoke 24 is preferably pivoted upon the shaft 2I, and at its lower end carries a shaft 25 upon which is joumaled a roller or pulley 26. The belt is trained in a run 21 downwardly around the upper pulley 20 and thence forwardly and downwardly around the lower pulley 26. From the pulley 26 a run 28 of the belt extends rearwardly and upwardly to the rear roller IT. The upper free end of the bar or yoke 24 is preferably urged by a spring 29 anchored at one end thereto and at its opposite end to an anchor member 30 preferably carried by one of the panel reinforcing members 23. The spring 29 serves normally to so position the shiftable pulley or roller 26 as to cause the belt to be drawn taut. The shaft 25 preferably mounts a second pulley 3I around which is trained a belt 32, in turn trained around a pulley 33 carried by the shaft 34 of an electric driving motor 35. The drive motor 35 is preferably mounted upon a support or framework 36 carried by the lower part of the frame of the device, as by the frame parts I0.

A second outer frame is provided in the device which preferably includes transverse bottom frame parts 40, such as angle irons, upon which the ends of the frame parts I0II bear, and to which they may be soldered, bolted, welded or otherwise fixedly secured. The frame parts 40 project laterally outwardly into spaced relation to the frame parts I0 and II, and upright frame parts M are carried by the outer ends of each of the lower horizontal frame parts 40. The frame parts 4| merge with inclined upper frame parts 42 spaced outwardly a substantial distance from the adjacent panels [5, and the upper ends of the inclined frame parts 42 at each end of the device are connected by upper cross-frame members 43. The cross-frame members 43 are positioned in spaced relation above the frame mem- 4 bers I4. The end frame parts may be suitably reinforced and interconnected by the longitudinal brace members 44. The upper cross-braces 43 at the opposite ends of the outer frame are preferably provided with two or more spaced apertures through which extend elongated substantially upright screw-threaded shafts 45. Nuts or other internally screw-threaded fittings 46 which are threaded upon said shaft serve as stops engaging the upper surface of the frame members 43 and positioning the members 45. Each of the members 45 preferably has an enlarged head 41 at its lower end, said members passing through apertures in horizontal flanges of angle brackets 46 which bear on said heads 41. The angle brackets 48 are secured to opposite side members 49 of an elongated rigid frame unit of substantially the same length as the frame members I4 and suspend said frame unit in a position above the frame members I4 and substantially parallel thereto. The members 46 provide means for positioning the frame members 49 and for leveling the same. It will be understood that the frame members 49 are interconnected by suitable cross-braces (not shown) and constitute a substantially rigid elongated frame unit of substantially the same width as the frame unit of which the members I4 form a part.

The frame unit 49 carries suitable journals (not shown) upon which a front roller or pulley 50 and a rear roller or pulley 5I are journaled. One of these rollers is adjustably mounted, for which purpose lugs 52 are provided carried by the frame members 49 and threadedly mounting or supporting an elongated screw-threaded member 53 adjustably positioned with respect to the frame members 49 and abutting or connected at one end to a projecting portion 54 of a shaft mounting a roller, here illustrated as the roller 50. The rollers 50 and 5| are of a diameter greater than the vertical dimensions of the frame unit 49 and are preferably substantially of the same axial dimensions as the rollers I6 and H.

A belt or other web is trained around the rollers 50 and 5|, the same having an upper run 55 and a lower run 56. In the normal position of the parts, the run 56 of this belt will preferably con tact the run I8 of the belt trained around the rollers I6 and Il so that said belt runs will be in drive-transmitting relation, the belt 55, 56 being an idler and traveling only as a result of its contact with the run I8 of the driven belt. It will be observed from Figs. 1 and 2 that the roller 50 at the feeding end of the machine is positioned with its axis located in slightly rearwardly spaced relation to the axis of the roller I6.

A pair of guides or spreaders are carried by the device at each end thereof. These spreaders include an upper front spreader formed of rigid wire or any other suitable material having longitudinal runs or portions 51 anchored to the frame members I4 at the rear ends 58 thereof. The runs 51 of this spreader extend alongside and are laterally spaced from the frame members I4, and at their forward ends 59 are bent around the front roller I6 at a level slightly below the level of the belt run I8 and forwardly spaced from the roller I6. A lower front spreader is preferably formed of tubular material, such as copper tubing of comparatively small bore, the same being anchored or secured, as by means of clips or brackets 69, to the frame portions I2 adjacent the junction of said frame portions I2 with the frame portions II. The lowertubular spreader is generally of U-shape with itsend portions 6| inclined forwardly and upwardly from the brackets 60 and thence converging upwardly and inwardly at portions 62 which merge in a central curved portion 63. The central curved portion 63 is preferably positioned substantially directly below the curved portion 59 of the upper spreader, but the arms 6| of this spreader are spaced apart laterally a greater distance than the arms 51 of the upper spreader. The spreader tube (it-63 has a plurality of apertures or jets 64 formed therein facing outwardly and laterally with respect to the longitudinal dimension of the device. At the rear of the device a rigid wire spreader has a longitudinal portion 65 extending alongside the frame portions 1 4, the same preferably being secured to the panel l5 'or the frame of saidpanel at the inner face or portion thereof, for which purpose the forward end of the spreader is bent at 66. The spreader B5, 66 may be U-shaped with its central portion extending around and clear of the roller I! or may comprise two elongated wires; one extending along each side of a frame member I l. The lower spreader at the rear of the device is also preferably formed of rigid wire and is of substantially U-shape, having longitudinal portions 61 which are secured to the inner surfaces of the panels H3 or to the framework supporting said panels, said portions 6'! extending longitudinally rearwardly upwardly and thence diverging laterally outwardly at portions68 which are also rearwardly and upwardly inclined. The portions 68 are joined by a transverse portion 69. The width of the portion 69 is'preferably greater than the width of the frame of the device, i e. longer than the frame members 49, and is positioned at a level or elevation substantially the same as the level or elevation of the feeding station of an ironing machine (not shown). I

Each of the panels l5 has a plurality of apertures 70 formed therein in spaced relation. As here illustrated, the apertures 10 are spaced substantially uniformly along the length of the panel in a single horizontal row or series. It will be understood, however, that a number of rows or series of these openings may be provided. Each of these openings receives a jet or nozzle H, best shown in Fig. 3, the jet or nozzle preferably being positioned within the opening 16 but not projecting beyond the outer surface of said panel. The jets H are mounted upon short conduits 12, here illustrated as being slightly bent along their length, each of which conduits is connected by means of a T-fitting '53 with a conduit 14. A conduit 14 extends lengthwise of each of the panels [5, and the forward ends of said conduits preferably extend downwardly at 15 and may be connected to any suitable source of air under pressure. Each of the conduits extends adjacent to the rear end of an arm 6! of the lower front spreader and mounts a T-fitting 16, by means of which'the end of said lower front spreader is connected to the compressed air line or lines.

In the use of this device a container of washed or laundered items is placed in front of the device, for example below the spreader unit 6l53, and an operator stands in front of the device within reach of the laundry carrier and of the feed end of the conveyor of the device. It will be understood that the device when conditioned for opera.- tion will entail driving of the lower belt by the operating motor 35, causing the run I6 of the belt to travel from the right to the left, as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2. This causes similar movement from right to left of the lower run-56 of the belt 55, 56. Also the line 15 will be connected with an air compressor or other source of air under pressure, which air is ejected in jets at the apertures 64 of the front lower spreader 6I63 and at the nozzles H illustrated in Fig. 3.

The operator grasps a work piece, such as a sheet, a towel, pillowoase, bedspread or table-' cloth, adjacent the center of one edge or margin thereof and lifts the sheet, placing the said central portion upon the run I 8 of the lower belt to cause it to enter between the belt runs I8 and '56. The work piece is permitted to hang freely from the part which is grasped during the movement, and in the movement to insert the sheet into feeding position the side and trailing end portions thereof drape around the upper spreader 5!-59 and the lower spreader 6l--63. As the conveyor continues to operate, the work piece is moved horizontally from the right to the left in the device, the only attention being required in the initial feeding operation being to insure that the work piece is substantially squared so that it will extend substantially parallel to the belt runs 18 and 56 as it is propelled by the conveyor. The conveyor belt runs l8 and 56 are so positioned as to grip the work piece with a friction grip suflicient to insure that the work piece will be propelled longitudinally of the device. As the leading portion of the work piece progresses, it is spread laterally by the upper-and lower spreaders 5l-59 and 6|-63, causing the side portions of the work-piece to assume an inclined position by reason of the greater width of the lower spreader 6l63- as compared to the upper spreader. Consequently, as the work piece is propelled and reaches the panels IE, it will be suspended from between the belt runs l8 and 56 with its side portions bearing in face engagement with at least a part of each of said panels l5. As the work piece is fed into the machine, the weight of its trailing portion tends to extend it longitudinally, and the free suspension of its side portions tends to extend it transversely. Thus by the time the entire work piece is gripped between the conveyor belts IB and 56, which belt runs will preferably be of a length in the neighborhood or ten feet, or longer than the length of the work piece, the work piece will have been extended and the major folds and wrinkles thereof will have been removed incident to such extension. It will be understood, of course, that the dimension of ten feet mentioned is illustrative and is not intended to be limiting, inasmuch as the device will operate satisfactorily in cases where the belt runs l8 and 56 are much shorter and even in cases where such runs are shorterthan the length of the work piece.

When the leading edge portion of the work piece approaches the discharge end of the machine, that is, when it passes beyond the rear ends of the panels 15, it engages the rear spreaders 6566 and 6169. The former prevent the work piece from following or catching upon the frame is which mounts the belt rollers l6 and H, in which respect its function is the same as the function of the spreader 5l-59.- The lowerrear spreader serves the purpose of-raising and laterally deflecting the side portions at the leading edge of the work piece, bringing the opposite ends of the leading edge of the work piece to a position where they can be grasped conveniently by two operators positioned at opposite sides of the device at the discharge end, that is, operators who stand alongside the opposite portions 68 of the spreader 61 -69. Thus these operators grasp the- 7 leadin edge; ofthe work. piece. and; shiftit to a positionatwhich it. is fed into an ironing; ma,- chine'juxtaposed to. said discharge station.

The ironing machinescommonlyusedin com.- mercial laundries are of, the roller type, and the level at. which the, work passes through. the rolls thereof is preferably substantially the same. as they level at which; theportion 69 Qf.v the real. preader. is: p ioned. The. work piece. will have been extended as it is discharged from the instant. device so that the only requirement of the operators located at. thedischarge end of the machine will be to pulllaterally upon the leading edge portionof the workpiece and, to insure that that leading edge portion is positioned substantially transversely of the directionflof. travel through the. ironer; in other words, to be sure that the work piece will be squared with the ironing machine. Havinginserted the work piece into the honor. the same will propel or pull the work piece progressively into the ironer and only slight attention by the. operators is required to keep the work piece squared and occasionally to pull longitudinally or laterally on the work piece as it is, fedinto the ironing machine. It, will, be observed that, in the event the operators stationed at the discharge end of the machine do not pay any attention to the work piece after it is properly inserted into the ironer, no danger occurs of either soiling of the work piece or catching thereof; In this connection the ironer can be set to operate at substantially the same speed of linear travel as the speed at which the belt runs 18 and 56 of the smoothing device operate,

so that no tension will be exerted due to a greater speed of operation, of the ironer than of the smoothing device, Furthermore, any slack in the work piece between the two devices which may occur is not critical or important inasmuch as the slack portion can rest upon and be supported by the lower rear spreader 61-69, holding the work piece out of contact with the floor or with any part of either-of the devices which might be oily or soiled. The lateral divergence of the portions 68 of the rear spreader insures that the side edge portions of the work piece will be engaged at points which will prevent the work piece from touchingthe floor. Observe also that the rear lower spreader'6169 projects rearwardly beyond the roller I! so that the work piece will fall onto the spreader after its trailing edge has been released or discharged by the belt'conveyor I8, 56.

The action ofthe air jets emitted from the apertures 64 and the nozzles H is of particular importance in the operation of this device. The air jets emitted from the apertures 64 assist in the extension of the work piece and the removal offolds therefrom as the work piece moves therepast. Thus the portions of the damp work piece which engage the spreader 6l-63 are prevented from sticking or adhering to that spreader by reason of the fact that the air jets blow against the suspended portions of the work piece, billowing out the same at least slightly so that the work piece is out of contact with the spreader adjacent each aperture 64. In this connection the apertures 64 will preferably be formed with their axes extending substantially horizontally at the outer portion of the tube which constitutes the member 6l63. While only a limited number of, apertures 64 have been shown herein, it will be understood that any number of such apertures andany location thereof found suitable may be employed, it being preferred that saidapertures will extend along each of the side runs 61,, 62 in substantially uniform spaced, relation.

As the work piece advances and hangs over or spans one or more of the apertures 10 of the panels I5, it is subjected to the action of the air. jets emitted by the adjacent nozzle or nozzles ll. As bestillustrated in Fig. 3', assuming that the work piece is traveling in the direction of the arrow, the. nozzles will, beso positioned that the axes thereof and of the jet of air emitted there. from will extend at an angle and in the same direction as the work piece is moving. Consequently, if the engagement of the leading edge of the work piece with, the panels l5 tends to cause that leading edge to curl or roll, the action of each of the air jets from nozzles II upon that leading edge portion will be to puff or billow the same outwardly with the air entering in the curled portion and acting to straighten or flatten, the edge portion to remove the curl or roll therefrom. This, action, coupled with the fact that the, central portion of the work piece is held flat and is substantially clamped between the flat belt runs 18, 5B, insures that the work piece will remain extended and that its edge will not be rolled or curled.v

The beneficial effect, of the air jets emitted from the nozzles TI is not limited to the prevention of rolling or curling, however. inasmuch as they tend to billow out progressively the portions of the sheet along the full length of that sheet as. the sheet progresses, by the well known Bernoulli action. In other words, theaction of, the air jets tends to cause vibration of the suspended side portions of the work piece, which vibration is helpful in insuring that the work piece will hang fiat and that folds and creases therein will be eliminated. Consequently, by the time the work piece reaches the discharge end of the machine, it will be effectively extended, creases and folds thereof will be removed, and the requirement for a high degree of care and close attention bythe operators who transfer the work piece from the smoothing machine to the ironing machine will be unnecessary.

The inclined panels [5 form means for positioning the extended side portions of the laundered article or work piece. Particularly, these panels insure that the suspended portions of the work piece will not engage each other or be adhered together, and abo insures that the suspended portions of the work piece will not engage the framework of the device which supports the conveyor, the lower runs of the belt, the motor, or the motor drive. While the inclination of the panels [5 as shown is preferred, it is not essential, the important feature being that the panels or other positioning means be located below the side edges of run 18 of the conveyor belt or web. Thus the panels [5 may be positioned substantially vertically, if desired. The inclination is of advantage primarily from the standpoint of insuring that the work will normally bear in substantially flat engagement with the panel l5 and thus be located at a point to be subject to the full action of the air jets emitted from the nozzles ll. Also, it will be apparent that While the use of panels I5 is preferred, positioning means assuming other forms than panels and serving the function of holding the Suspended portions of the work piece in desired relation to the nozzles ll, may be provided.

The spacing of the outer frame units -1 ing the parts -43 at each endof the device from the frame units ll--l2, the panels I5, and the conveyor run l8 and its mounting, is sufiic-ient to insure against contact of the laundered article therewith as it is propelled through the device. Thus the spacing should be adequate to insure that the outward billowing action of the article under the influence of the air jets will not cause contact of the work piece with these outer frame parts or with the longitudinal members 44 connecting said outer frame parts. Thus the outer frame parts ii-43 bridge or arch over the central portion of the structure, thereby providing for the suspension of the mounting for the upper endless web 55, 56 and for the necessary clearance for travel of the work piece from end to end of the device out of contact with said outer frame structure. It will be understood that the use of an arching frame structure as shown is illustrative and not limiting, and that any other means, such as ceiling brackets, may be employed to suspend the frame structure 49 around which the conveyor web 55, 55 is trained.

A further advantage of the device, and particularly of the air jets therein, is that there is a tendency to remove any loose drops of water which may be carried by the sheet, thereby conditioning the work piece for quicker travel through the ironing machine than would be pos: sible if a greater amount of moisture were present in the work piece.

. Experience with this device in actual practice has disclosed that an ironing machine can be operated with a much' higher output per hour, day or other unit of time than is possible where the smoothing device is not used, and the increase in output of the ironing machine more than offsets the expense of employing an additional operator Whose duty it is to feed the smoothing device. This operator, being required only to grasp the central leading portion of a Work piece and to insert it upon the belt conveyor, is enabled to supply a constant flow of work pieces separated only slightly as they pass through the machine one after another, thereby enabling a constant flow of smoothed work pieces to be fed to the ironing machine. This is to be contrasted with previous practices in feeding ironing machines where two operators stationed at the feeding end of the ironing machine have been required to untangle and laterally extend the Work piece at its, leading edge and then to extend it both longitudinally and'transversely as it is fed into the ironing machine. The attention of these operators to a given work piece passing through the ironing machine must continue until all of the work piece has entered the ironing machine, whereupon the operators reach for and manipulate the succeeding work piece preparatory to inserting it into the machine. The time required for the latter operation is such that substantial intervals occur in feeding successive Work pieces, whereas with the present machine a substantially continuous feeding of the work pieces With only slight intervals or spacing between successive work pieces is required.

a The function of a conventional commercial ironing machine and the speed of output thereofare conditioned upon several factors, namely, the size of the machine and the amount of moisture contained in the damp laundry fed thereto. Thus, if an ironing machine has a given number of heated rollers, the linear speed of travel of a work piece therethrough may be greater than the speed of travel through a device having a smaller number-of heated rollers. Likewise, if the amount of moisture contained in a work piece, as that'work piece is fed into the ironer, is reduced, the speed of travel of the work piece through the ironer may be proportionately increased. An increase in output of any given ironing machine can be secured, as compared to the output possible by feeding from a smoothing device of the character shown in Figs. 1 to 3, by constructing that machine in the manner illustrated in Fig. 4.

The embodiment illustrated in Fig. 4 is preferably the same in all particulars and includes the same elements and combination and arrangement of parts as have been illustrated in Figs. 1 to 3 and described hereinabove. There is added thereto, however, an outer casing spaced outwardly from the outer frame members ll-43, which includes vertical side walls and a top panel 8 I. These panels are preferably of a length substantially equal to the length of the panels l5 and terminate at their front and rear ends adjacent to the front and rear outer frame units 4I43. A partial housing of the unit shown in Figs. 1 to 3 is thus provided, which housing is open at its opposite ends so that the feeding and discharge stations of the smoothing device are spaced outwardly from said housing. Within this housing and mounted upon suitable supports or brackets, such as the brackets 82 shown as being carried by the side walls 80 at opposite sides of the device, are heating means 83. The heating means 83 may constitute infrared bulbs electrically energized and having reflectors cooperating therewith to direct and focus the rays against the work as the Work is carried lengthwise along the device. Any selected number of heating means found desirable may be utilized. The heating means, being focused upon the suspended side portions of the work piece, have a drying action upon the work piece so that by the time the work piece reaches the discharge end of the device, it will contain less moisture than was contained therein as it was fed to the device. The drying, of course, must not be permitted to proceed to completion so that the ironing action of the ironing machine is interfered with. However, it can proceed to a point which will reduce the time required for passage of the work piece through the ironing machine. In other Words, enough moisture can be removed from the work piece as it travels through the smoothing device and is acted upon by the heating elements 83 to enable the linear speed of travel of the workpiece through the ironing machine to be increased and the output of that ironing machine to be similarly increased. The use of the heating elements 83 will be understood to be optional.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in Figs. 1 to 4 as requiring the use of air blasts or jets as means for vibrating the laundered items passing along the inclined panels l5, other means may be provided for vibrating the laundered items. Thus the laundered items can be subjected to vibration by mechanical means. A construction for this purpose is illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6 wherein the inclined side panels 15 of the device have formed therein a plurality of elongated rectangular apertures which preferably are formed inclined slightly relative to vertical as shown, but which may be positioned with their long dimension vertical, if desired. The slots 90 will preferably extend for a substantial portion of the vertical dimension of the panels I5 but the length thereof may be substantially shorter than as here illustrated. The panels IE,

or framework mounting said panels, carry. suitable bearings which journal shafts SI, each parallel to and substantially centrally positioned between the side edges of the openings 90 but inwardly offset therefrom, as illustrated in Fig. 6. The shaft 9| may mount a cylindrical carrier of any desired construction designated in Fig. 6 by the numeral 02 and serving as a carrier for flexible fiails 93. The shafts 9| are adapted to be driven by gearing or other transmission means 96 from the elongated shaft 94 which is driven or carried by a motor 95 or any other suitable driving means.

The parts are preferably so constructed that,

as the laundered item 91 is propelled between the belt runs I8, 56 as above described with its opposite-side portions restin upon the inclined panels I5, said side panels will be subjected to the action of the flails 93 as shown in Fig. 6, thereby causing mechanical vibration of the work piece 97 incident to its movement longitudinally of the machine. The parts are preferably so arranged and constructed that the fiails 93 in passing through the opening 90 in the panel I5 will have a whiplike action upon the work piece 91'. The flails may constitute cord, fabric or any other flexible'elementfound suitable and of the character well understood in the art. Fig. 7 illustrates a slightly different form of construction wherein the shafts SI driven by the motor 95 mount cylindrical members 92 from which brush bristles 98 project. In other words, Fig. 7 illustrates a rotary brush whose bristles are adapted to project through apertures 90 in the panel I5 to engage and agitate the work piece 9'! passing therealong.

It is frequently desirable to provide means for controlling the rate at which work pieces are fed to this device and to correlate said rate of speed with the rate at which work pieces discharged from the device can be applied to anironer. A simple means by which the rate of feeding of the work can be governed or controlled is illustrated in Fig. 2, wherein the numeral I designates a suitable guide extending lengthwise of the machine and illustrated as being supported upon the longitudinal frame members 44 at the top of the device. Upon this guide is mounted slidable bracket IOI which may carry a. mirror I02. The mirror is'so positioned and carried at such an angle that the operator who feeds the machine, by viewing the same in the approximate direction of the arrows I03 in Fig. 2,will observe the work positioned below the mirror. Suitable means for adjusting the position of the mirror longitudinally of the machine may be provided and, as here illustrated, the same may constitute a lever I 04 pivoted to the frame of the device and connected by a link I to the bracket IOI. As the lever I04 is swung, the bracket IOI is caused to slide on the guide I00, thereby varying the position of the mirror lengthwise of the frame. Any other suitable means for varying the position of the mirror lengthwise of the arrows "may be employed.

The purpose of this construction is that for any given-setting of the ironing'machine to which the'work-pieces from the instant machine are to be fed, there will be calibrated a suitable setting of the mirror I02 so that an operator, feeding work pieces into the present machine, can do so by simply observing the time when the trailing edge of the preceding work piece passes out of her line of vision in the mirror I02. In other words, the operator picks up a piece of laundry but refrains from .placing it upon the machine until the trailing end of the Work piece is no longer visible in the mirror, and then feeds the new piece into the machine. The interval or time aiforded between the successive work pieces by this means insures correlation of the operating time with the time required for operation of the ironing machine.

While the preferred constructions of the device have been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood that changes may be made therein within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.

We claim:

1. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run. and means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor and longituoinal guide members carried by said frame below and at opposite sides of said conveyor.

-2. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor-mounted on the upperportion of said frame and including an "elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, and a positioning member carried by said frame and extending downwardly from at least one side of said first conveyor run to position the hanging portion of said article.

3. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, means carried by said frame and extending below said first conveyor run at the side thereof to engage and position the hanging portion of said article, and means for vibrating the hanging portion of said article.

4. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, "a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said a'rticiehanga downwardly from said conveyor, and means for vibrating the hanging portion of said article.

5. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and includin an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, and means for discharging a jet of air under pressure transversely of the path of movement of and against the hanging portion of said article.

6. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an' article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said convey-or being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, a positioning member located below th conveyor and engageable by the hanging portion of said article, and an article spreader projecting forwardly from said positioning means and beyond the feed end of said conveyor, the trailing end of said article being drawn over said spreading means as it is pulled into said conveyor.

7. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, and spreading means below the discharge end of said conveyor, said spreading means including a laterally outwardly extending portion engageable by the hanging portion of said article.

8. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a frame, an article conveyor mounted on the upper portion of said frame and including an elongated substantially horizontal run, a structure spaced outwardly from and bridging said frame, an elongated substantially horizontal web carrier suspended from said structure and including an endless web having a run in face engagement with said first named conveyor run, means for driving said first named conveyor, said conveyor being narrow compared to said article whereby at least a portion of said article hangs downwardly from said conveyor, and an open ended enclosure housing at least an intermediate portion of said frame, conveyor, bridge structure and web carrier, and heating means in said enclosure.

9. A device for smoothin laundered articles, comprising a conveyor including a narrow endless web having a substantially horizontal upper run, asupport mounting said conveyor in an elevated position and including parts projecting laterally of said upper run adjacent the opposite ends thereof, work deflectors carried by said support below the level of said upper run and extending around said laterally projecting support parts, drive means for actuating said conveyor, article-positioning panels positioned below the opposite side edges of said web, the upper edges of said panels being positioned below the side edges of said upper web and said panels being inclined downwardly and outwardly and hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally bearing upon the upper face of the upper run of said first named web and in frictional engagement therewith.

10. A- device'for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a conveyor including a narrow endless web having a substantially horizontal upper run, a support mounting said conveyor in an elevated position, drive means for actuating said conveyor, downwardly and outwardly inclined longitudinal article-positioning members having their upper end portions positioned below the opposite side edges of said web, hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally bearing upon the upper face of the upper run of said first named web and in frictional engagement therewith, and a U-shaped longitudinal article spreader extending around and beyond the feeding end of said conveyor. t 7

11. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a conveyor including a narrow endless web having a substantially horizontal upper run, a support mounting said conveyor in an elevated position, drive means for actuating said conveyor, substantially upright article-positioning members positioned below the opposite side edges of said web, and hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally hearing upon the upper face of the upper run of said first named web and in frictional engagement therewith, said article-positioning members constituting panels engageable by portions of said article suspended from the sides of said web, each panel having an aperture, and means for discharging a jet of compressed air including a nozzle located at each panel aperture.

12. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a conveyor including a narrow endless web having a substantially horizontal upper run, a support mounting said conveyor in an elevated position, drive means for actuating said conveyor, substantially upright article-positioning members positioned below the opposite side edges of said web, hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally bearing upon the upper face of the upper run of said first named web and in frictional engagement therewith, said article-positioning members constituting panels engageable by portions of said article suspended from the sides of said web, each panel having an aperture, and means for discharging a jet of compressed air including a nozzle located at each panel aperture, each nozzle being positioned with its axis angularly displaced relative to the plane of the adjacent panel and to the perpendicular to direct a jet of air outwardly and forwardly in direction of travel of said article.

13. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising a conveyor including a narrow endless web having a substantially horizontal upper run, a support mounting said conveyor in an elevated position, drive means for actuating said conveyor, substantially upright article-positioning members positionedbelow the opposite side edges or 'said'web, hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally bearing upon the upper race of the upper run of said first named 'web and in frictional engagement therewith, -a"tubular U-shaped -s'preader having sid'e rims positio'ned longitudinally and below the feed end or said eonveyor and -'a central bent portion betwensaid side runs and projecting beyond the feed end or said conveyor for en agement with said article as it is fed to and along the front portion of-said conveyo'r, said tube having a plurali'ty of apertures at the portion thereof engage'd by said article, and means for supply-ing gas under pressure to said tube.

14. A device :for smoothing laundered articles,

comprising -'a conveyor including a narrow endlessVeb having a substantially horizontalnpper run, a support mounting "said conveyor in an elevated position, drive means for actuating said conveyor, substantially uprigh't article-positioning members positioned below the opposite side edges'o'f said web, hold-down means including an endless web having a run normally bearing upon the upper face of the upper run of said first named web and in fric'tio'nal engagement therewith,"and a sp'reader projecting longitudinally rearwardlyibelow and beyond the delivery and 'of said conveyor and adapted for engagement with the suspended portions of 'said article, said spread'er including rearwardly diverging articleengaging portions.

15. A devioefor'smoothin'g laundered articles, comprising upper and lower endless belts, supporting means including members for training said belts in positions with substantially horizonta1:runs iii-frictional engagement, means for driving one belt, article-positioning means below the horizontal run of the lower belt and at opposite sides of the remaining portions of said lower belt Jfor engagement by article portions depending fromsa'id horizontal belt run, and means carried by said article-positioning means for vibrating the 'dependingportions of said article.

16. A-device for "smoothing laundered articles, comprising upper and lower endless belts, supporting means including members for training said belts in positions with substantially horizontalruns in frictional engagement, means for driving one belt, downwardly and outwardly inclined panels located below the horizontal run of 'th'e lower belt, each panel having an aperture, means for supplying gas under pressure, and a nozzle located at each panel aperture and connected with said gas supply means to discharge a jet of gas outwardly and against a depending portion of said article.

'17. A device for smoothing laundered articles, comprising upper and lower endless belts, supporting means including members for training said belts in positions with substantially horizontal runs in frictional engagement, means tor driving one belt, article pos'itioning means below the horizontal'run o'f the lower belt and at opposite sides of the remaining portions of said'lower belt for engagement by article portions depending from said horizontal belt run, and means for vibratin the depending portions of said article, a tubular spreader located below said belt runs and projecting forwardly therebeyond at the feed end thereof, and means connecting said tubular spreader to a source of gas under pressure, said spreader having an aperture for discharging a jet of gas outwardly and against an article engaging said spreader.

'FRIED -A. 'MANN, JR.

JOHN F. HALLA'DAY.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,827,336 Sager Oct. 13, 1931 1,912,466 Remington June 6, 1933 1,925,582 Couch Sept. 5, 1933 2,171,493 Hockheimer Aug. 29, 1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1827336 *Jan 2, 1929Oct 13, 1931Antone Wayne JulienLaundry flat piece spreader and rack
US1912466 *Sep 25, 1931Jun 6, 1933Stokes & Smith CoMethod of and apparatus for spreading fabrics
US1925582 *Sep 26, 1930Sep 5, 1933American Laundry Mach CoFabric spreader and feeder for ironing machines
US2171493 *Sep 1, 1937Aug 29, 1939Hochheimer ErnstMirror device for looms for ascertaining from the position of the weaver breaking of warp threads or the like in the loom
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2976625 *Oct 28, 1958Mar 28, 1961Wilhelmus J C M BazelmansDevices for removing creases from individual pieces of fabric by means of a current of air
US3145491 *Feb 26, 1962Aug 25, 1964Mazzolla Dan DFlatwork feeding and smoothing attachment for ironer
US3315385 *Nov 25, 1964Apr 25, 1967Manlove Alliott & Co LtdFeeding of laundry flatwork
US3414991 *May 21, 1964Dec 10, 1968OelkersTextile processing and handling apparatus
US3414996 *Aug 26, 1965Dec 10, 1968Helmer Petterson AdolfFeed beam for a mangle
US3442036 *Sep 24, 1965May 6, 1969Manlove Alliott & Co LtdFeeding of laundry flatwork
US3464131 *Apr 21, 1966Sep 2, 1969G A BraunCombination spreader-feeder for flat work ironer
US5046272 *May 1, 1990Sep 10, 1991Kimberly-Clark CorporationFluid-operated stabilizing apparatus and method
US5595467 *Jan 30, 1995Jan 21, 1997Ejnar Jensen & Son A/SMethod and an apparatus for feeding a laundry article to a laundry processing apparatus
US6618968May 3, 2000Sep 16, 2003Jensen Denmark A/SMethod and an apparatus for introducing substantially rectangular pieces of laundry into a laundry treatment apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification38/143, 271/272
International ClassificationD06F67/00, D06F67/04
Cooperative ClassificationD06F67/04
European ClassificationD06F67/04