US 2648396 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. B. KIRBY VACUUM CLEANER Aug. 11, 1953 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 5 1949 IN1/EN TOR. JHM E5 B. /'RBY BY l1g 11, 1953 J. B. KIRBY 2,648,396
VACUUM CLEANER Y'Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 5, 1949 JNVENTOR. Jal/w55 B.' /RB Y fb@ yq/d5.
J. B. KIRBY VACUUM CLEANER Aug. 11, 1953 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 5, 1949 JNVENTOR. JAY/w56 B. /f/'RBY BY /TTOR/VEY J. B. KIRBY VACUUM CLEANER Aug` 11, 1953 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.
Filed Feb. 3 1949 l j H TToRn/fy J. B. KIRBY VACUUM CLEANER Aug. l1, 1953 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 5, 1949 I INVENTOR. JBA/IE6 /f/'RB Y F/TTORNEY'S J. B. KIRBY VACUUM CLEANER Aug. 1l, 1953 '7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Feb. 3, 1949 INVENTOR. JCM/:E6 B. /f/'RBY HT TOR/VE Y6 Patented Aug. 11, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2 Claims. l
This invention relates to vacuum cleaners and more particularly to a vacuum cleaner of general utility that may be quickly and easily converted from a floor cleaner to an or-the-oor-cleaner Without adding or removing parts of the cleaner.
Numerous efforts have been made to provide a household vacuum cleaner of general utility, that is, a cleaner that is ready for use as a floor cleaner or a cleaner for upholstered furniture. The reason such efforts have been generally unsuccessful is that to transform or convert the conventional door cleaner to an oiT-the-floor-cleaner is that the conversion operation required the use of sep arate attachments involving the exercise of mechanical skill in their manipulation and adjustment above and beyond the skill cf the average housewife. The result is that in those establishments where the use of both a floor cleaner and an othefloorcleaner are warranted, two separate cleaners are generally employed, one for each type of cleaning. Among the attempts to convert a floor cleaner to an oi-the-floor-cleaner the most common expedient has included the bodily removal of a part of the oor cleaner so as to gain access to a suction chamber and thereafter attaching to the floor cleaner a dusting h-ose which is a separate device that is not transported with the cleaner when it is employed as a floor cleaner.
According to the present invention a cleaner is provided that may be operated by the housewife in the usual manner as a floor cleaner and which may be readily converted to an off-theoor-cleaner for use with a dusting hose without removing any of the parts of the cleaner and one wherein the dusting hose is carried by the cleaner in an operative position with respect to the dus-t separating functions of the cleaner so that movement of the dusting hose by the operator into a position of use automatically transforms the cleaner into an off-the-oor-cleaner. It is generally known that the dust bag used to separate the dust from the air in a conventional cleaner drops off in eiciency as the cleaner is being used due to the clogging of the minute openings around the threads of the fabric with fine particles of dust. Such particles are not removed by a mere emptying of the bag and the decomposition of such particles produces an unsanitary and odoriferous condition. I have found that the dust bag may be eliminated and the dust separating functions thereof effected with an arrangement of parts that maintains its initial high efflciency and one which will remain clean and sanitary throughout its continued use. I have found that this may be accomplished by means of a rotary filter having a very small lter area where that small iilter area is rotated at an optimum speed so that the air may pass through the lter during its rotation without appreciable resistance and yet the lter is maintained free of dust by the centrifugal force resulting from its rotation.
It is an object of my invention to provide a cleaner wherein a rotating dust separating lter is continuously cleaned by centrifugal force and the optimum speed to effect the separating and cleaning is obtained even though that speed differs from the speed of the fan and motor employ-ed to move the air through the cleaner.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a cleaner having a dust separating chamber Within the body of the cleaner wherein the dust is separated from the air moving through the cleaner by a rotary filter that is turned at a speed less than the rotational speed imparted to the fan which moves the air through the cleaner. It is a further object of my invention to provide a cleaner in accordance with the preceding object, wherein the reduced rotational speed of the lter, with respect to the fan, is obtained by means of a fluid coupling.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a cleaner wherein a motor fan and rotary filter are connected in alignment in the sequence named and wherein an encient relationship between filter and fan is maintained by means of a iiuid coupling.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a vacuum cleaner having a dus-t separating chamber, a iioor cleaning nozzle having a rotary brush therein and connected to the dust separating chamber and an off-the-floor-cleaning hose carried by the cleaner and also connected to the dust separating chamber with an interlocl: arrangement which effectively prevents simultaneous use of the cleaning hose and floor cleaning nozzle.
t is a further object of my invention to provide a cleaner having an inlet chamber where 3 tion taken along the plane indicated at 2-2 of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a plan view with parts in section of the cleaner of Fig. l;
Fig. 3a is a sectional view taken as indicated at 3a-3a of Fig. 3;
Fig. 4 is a sectional view of the pivoted dusting hose coupling;
Fig. 5 is an elevation of the dusting hose coupling showing the parts in open position;
Fig. 6 is an elevation of the dusting hose coupling showing the parts in closed position;
Fig. '7 is a sectional view showing details of the air pressure seal between the rotary lter and the fan;
Fig, 8 is an elevation or end View showing details of the air pressure seal and parts of the iiuid coupling employed to drive the rotary iilter;
Fig. 9 is a plan view showing the interlock arrangement between the dusting hose coupling and the control for the floor nozzle;
Fig. l0 is a front elevation showing the interlock arrangement;
Fig. 1l is a diagrammatic showing of the dusting hose coupling and the iioor nozzle control showing the dusting hose coupling in open position;
Fig. l2 is a view similar to Fig. 11 showing the dusting hose coupling in closed position;
Fig. 13 is an elevation of the cleaner in its entirety showing the dusting hose in position for use;
Fig. 14 is a sectional view of the handle for the cleaner;
Fig. 15 is a plan view, with parts broken away, showing the dusting hose in stored position on the handle of the cleaner;
Fig. 16 is a side elevation showing the cleaner in position for use as a floor cleaner;
Fig. 1'7 is a sectional View of a modified form of my invention particularly adapted for the sterilization of the air moved through the cleaner;
Fig. 18 is a plan view with parts in section taken on the plane IIB-i8 of Fig. 17.
Referring to the drawings, the cleaner body indicated in its entirety as at 5 comprises an elongated casing having a removable dust box 6 at the underside thereof and a transverse iioor nozzle 'I at the forward end thereof. The body is given a generally semi-circular contour in the upper half thereof, as shown best in Fig. 2, and a forward web or wall 8 is apertured to receive the resilient motor support ring 9 extending therethrough. The cleaner body is provided with opposed bosses 19 to receive fastenings II carried by a supporting band I2 which embraces the underside of the fan and motor assembly I3. A resilient cushion i4 encircles the fan and motor assembly so that the noise developed by the fan and power unit will not be transmitted to the body 5. The motor casing I5 is provided with oppositely extending webs I6 as best shown in Figs. 3 and 3a which are shaped to conform to the inner side walls of the body and cooperate with other parts of the assembly to form a dust separating chamber I'I. The arrangement of the motor, fan and lter is such that the air is drawn toward the rear of the cleaner body beneath the fan casing as indicated by the arrows 20 and thence through the walls of the iilter indicated in its entirety as at 2I and thence to the fan inlet 22.
The air from the fan is discharged from the fan casing through the openings 24 and out through the opening 25 in the motor casing. The
motor shaft is extended forwardly of the motor as at 29 to provide a driving pulley for the belt 21 to drive the brush 28 mounted for rotation in the iioor nozzle l. The motor shaft is extended rearwardly of the motor as at 29. That portion of the extension 29 immediately adjacent the motor is employed to-turn the fans 39 and 3| fixed to the shaft and the portion therebeyond is utilized to support and drive the rotary filter 2 I.
The filter assembly includes a sleeve mounted for free rotation on ball bearings carried by the motor shaft extension 29. integrally formed with the sleeve 32 is a rear filter wall 33 supported by the spider 34. Said wall 33 is apertured as at 35 so as to lead air drawn through the filter into the fan inlet 22 at the first stage of the fan and thus admit air to the inner end of the blades of the fan 3|. The opposite end of the filter comprises a plate 36 having an integrally formed ring 3l surrounding a driven fluid clutch part 38. The member 36 is secured to the driven clutch part 38 by a screw or the like 33. The periphery of the driven clutch part 38 is secure-d to the end of the sleeve 32 so that the two end portions of the rotary lter turn with the sleeve 32 as a unit and are freely rotatable as a unit about the motor shaft extension 29. rEhe iilter is preferably cylindrical in shape, as shown, since this shape provides for the same speed of rotation at the periphery throughout the area of the filter. Fibrous filter material forming the cylindrical wall of the filter is indicated at 40 and is held in its cylindrical shape against the centrifugal forces developed by rotation by an apertured metallic sleeve 4I, shown best in Fig. 3. Since the eiiective filtering area is limited to the area of the apertures in the sleeve 4I, a similar sleeve may be arranged inside of the porous filter 49 with the apertures in alignment so as to support the filter against collapse occasioned by the vacuum resulting from the operation of the fan. It will be observed that the filter material le may be replaced, if desired, by merely removing the fasten ing 39 and the end member of filter assembly 36.
To drive the rotary filter at a speed less than the speed of the fan and motor, a driving section 42 of the fluid coupling is secured to the end of the motor shaft extension 29. The coupling section 42 is provided with radial webs il?? forming pockets 43a which cooperate with compleriientary pockets formed on the driven coupling member 38. The sleeve 32 is spaced from the driving coupling section 4-2 so as to provide a chamber 44 to receive and hold the coupling fiuid in the event the cleaner is displaced from its normal horizontal operating position. The amount of coupling fluid employed is such that the lter will be driven at a speed about 25 per cent less than the rotational speed of the motor shaft so that the fan may be turned at a relatively high speed and thus obtain the maximum efciency from the fan. The filter is turned at a lower speed so as to obtain the maximum eiilciency from the filter. To ymaintain the efficiency of the rotary filter it is important that the diameter of the iilter and its rotational speed be such that dust particles are centrifugally thrown from the surface of the filter while the air at the same time is drawn through the filter. I have found that a two stage fan, of the type shown, having a diameter of about five and one-half inches is eiiiciently operated at a rotational speed of about 14,000 R. P. M. l have also found that a filter constructed and arranged as shown, having a diameter of about three and one--half inches should be turned at about 10,000 to 11,000 R. P. M. and that the desired fan and filter operating speeds are obtained by means of a iiuid coupling ararnged as shown, having a diameter of about one and one-half inches.
The lower part of the cleaner body is closed by the dust box 6 which is provided with an upwardly sloping flange 6a at its forward end to bear against a sloping wall 5a and sealed against said wall by a gasket 6b. The dust box has an upturned flange at the sides and rear thereof as at 50, with a groove at the bottom of' the iiange to receive a seal and thus maintain an air tight fit with the upper part of the cleaner body. The dust box 6 is detachably secured to the cleaner box by latch 5 l-52 and thus dust and dirt collected in the box 6 may be removed from the cleaner. The dust box, which in effect forms the bottom of the cleaner body, has spaced wheels 53 to support the rear of the cleaner, and the forward end of the cleaner is supported by spaced wheels 54. With the parts in position as shown in Fig. l, the cleaner may be pushed over the floor by means of the handle 55 pivoted at the top of the cleaner body and the air drawn in through the iioor nozzle 1 moves rearwardly into the separating chamber il. rihe rotation of the nozzle brush 28 tends to keep the rug or other floor covering from sealing the mouth of the nozzle. It is important that this rotation be interrupted when the dusting hose is being used so as to prevent undue wear on the floor covering by the nozzle brush 26. When the rotation of the nozzle brush is interrupted, as by lifting the belt 21 from the shaft extension 26, there is a tendency of the floor covering to be drawn upwardly against the mouth of the nozzle and this sealing of the iioor nozzle when the dusting hose is in use may be improved by the use of vertically adjustable supporting wheels such as are well known in this art. The dust drawn into the separating chamber I1 swirls about the rotating iilter where the air carrying the dust and dirt is drawn through the filter and fan and thence exhausted to the atmosphere while the dust is separated centrifugally from the moving air and deposited in the dust box 6.
The cleaner handle 55 is preferably a metal stamping having a cross section, as shown in Fig. 14, through the major portion thereof and is iiared outwardly at each end, as best shown in Fig. l5, to accommodate the hose bends and support the dusting hose 6I carried by the cleaner. The dusting hose 6i is of the usual flexible or resilient construction and is pressed into storage position between the upturned flanges or side Walls of the handle 55. The free end of the dusting hose is provided with a dusting tool 62 suited for the cleaning of upholstery, drapes, and the like. The other end of the dusting hose 6l is coupled as at 63 to a pivoted fitting 66. The fitting 64 is provided with an opening 65 that may be turned to a position below the pivot 66 carried by the cleaner body. The opening of the fitting is in communication with the tubular extension so that when the parts are in the position shown in Figs. 3, 4 and 5, the opening of the fitting is in alignment with an opening 68 in the cleaner body 5 and is thus in communication with the separating chamber il. The fitting 64 is also provided with a flat portion 6'! that serves as a closure for the opening 68 in the wall of the cleaner and when the fitting is moved to the position shown in Fig. 6, the opening 68 is closed by the portion 61. The
swinging of the fitting 64 about its pivot 66 is effected by the manual movement of the operator moving the dusting hose 6l out of its storage rack on the handle and into a position 0f use as illustrated in Fig. 13. Before the hose may be swung to such a position of use, however, the fitting 64 must be released for pivotal movement by the interlock latch bar 10, caried at the front of the cleaner.
The front wall of the nozzle has pivotally mounted thereon a belt lifter indicated in its entirety as at 'Il which comprises a handle 'l2 on the exterior of the cleaner and a member 13 carried thereby, normally disposed beneath the motor shaft extension 26. The arrangement is such that manual rotation of the member 1I, by means of the handle 12, raises the element 73 from a position beneath the shaft 26 as illustrated in Figs. l2 and l1 respectively. A notch 'I4 is provided at the periphery of the member ll so that 180 of turning movement of the member 'Il aligns the notch with the rounded end of the latch bar l0. The last described position, illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. ll, permits the latch bar T0 to move longitudinally through the support 15 therefor mounted on the cleaner body. The movement of the latch i0 in the direction of its length is effected by the swinging of the iitting 64. The fitting 64 has a notch 69 in its periphery and the edges of the notch 69 function as a cam when the tting 64 is turned about its pivot so as to move the latch bar l0 in the direction of its length whereby the other end 0f the latch bar is received in the notch 74 on the belt lifter 1l.
The result of the above described arrangement is such that the drive is interrupted between the motor and the door nozzle brush 26 so that the floor covering seals the mouth of the nozzle and the high vacuum thus produced in the separating chamber Il is made available for the dusting hose. It will be noted that the opening 68 in the cleaner body which is brought into alignment with the opening 65 of the dusting tool coupling is'below the horizontal axis of the cleaner body and near the forward end thereof so that when the dusting hose is in use `it is in a position where the operator may draw the cleaner about the floor on the wheels 513-55.
To insure that dust in the separating chamber l1 will not be admitted to the fan chamber, I have provided an air pressure seal which comprises the arrangement shown best in Fig. 7, wherein a centrally apertured plate 8i, provided with iiange 82 and secured to the end of the fan casing adjacent the filter member 4l, is provided with an annular shoulder or rib 83 which projects axially so as to overlap the end plate 33 of the filter. rIhe end wall of the fan chamber is apertured at 84 about its periphery so that air under pressure from the first fan stage may be discharged through the openings 84 and driven radially inward therefrom so as to flow out into the separating chamber through the passage 85 adjacent the inlet to the first stage of the fan. The air moved through the passages 84 and 85 again moves radially outward so as to pass into the separating chamber through the gap between the rotating'lter and the rib 83. This gap is indicated at 66 in Figs. 7 and 8. The air passages, which provide the air pressure seal just described, have been exaggerated in the drawings for purposes of illustration and are proportioned in actual practice to provide only sufficient air between the 7 xed member 8| of the fan chamber and the rotating filter part 33 to insure that dust particles in chamber I'| will not be drawn between the lter and the fan housing into the space between the xed and moving parts.
To insure that an extremely high vacuum condition, such as would disturb the air pressure seal described in the preceding paragraph, would not occur, the separating chamber I'l is provided with a relief valve indicated in its entirety as at 81 in Fig. 1. lThis valve includes a disc 8B spring pressed so las to close the apertures 89 in the wall of the casing 5. In the event that an extremely high vacuum condition is produced in the separating chamber I1, such as would be produced by sealing the dusting nozzle E2, the relief valve 81 is opened to the atmosphere and thus reduces the pressure differential between the fan and the separating chamber. It will be understood that the adjusting screw 90 of the relief valve B'I may be turned so as obtain a balanced condition corresponding to that provided by the air pressure seal between the separating chamber and the fan chamber.
The cleaner shown in Figs. 17 and 18 is a form of my invention with the parts constructed and. arranged to subject the air exhausted from the cleaner to germicidal radiation of ultra violet light so that the bacteria drawn into the cleaner and carried through the lter by the air passing through the cleaner will be killed by the ultra violet radiation of a germicidal lamp. Recent developments relating to ultra violet irradiation of air by germicidal lamps show a marked sterilization of the air. Such developments have also shown the adverse effect of such radiation directly on the human body and accordingly, the accepted installation of germicidal lamps is an installation near the ceiling of the room and well shielded with respect to the occupants of the room. Such installation and shielding limits the circulation of the air with respect to the lamp and places the lamp where dust tends to settle on it with the result that its germicidal effect is greatly diminished. According to the embodiment of my invention illustrated in Fig. 17, the large volume of air moved by the cleaner is carried through a spiral path prior to discharge from the cleaner casing and a germicidal lamp is arranged so as to subject the air moving in the spiral path to ultra violet radiation. The dust box in this modied form of my invention is so constructed that incoming dirt laden air may be washed by water in the dust box prior to the movement of such air toward the rotary lter. The cleaner of Fig. 17 comprises a pair of complementary cylindrical shells or cases |I and |02, the lower casing IOI being the dust box and the `upper casing |02 being the cover for the dust box and the housing and support for the power unit and the air sterilization unit. The upper casing |02 is detachably latched by means of a toggle clamp to the lower casing as at |08 and is provided with a horizontal supporting member |03 which is apertured centrally to receive and support the lter fan and motor unit |04, |05 and'l, respectively. The lter fan and motor unit is constructed and arranged substantially as described in connection with the preferred embodiment of my invention except that the air is discharged from the motor through a spiral outlet |09 rather than through openings spaced around the motor casing as in the preferred embodiment.
The supporting wall |03 separates the inlet or dust separating side of the cleaner from the outlet or exhaust side formed in the upper casing |02. The lower wall |03 is detachably secured by thumb screws as shown to the casing |02. The dirt laden air is moved into the lower casing |0| through a downwardly inclined tangential inlet tube ||0 so that such dirt laden air moves in a spiral path downwardly of the casing |0I against a layer of water indicated at II|. The violent agitation of the swirling water washes the air, the moisture laden dust is thrown centrifugally from the lter |04 and becomes a part of the liquid contents of the container. The washed dust free air is moved by the fan through the motor casing and discharged from the motor casing through the spiral outlet |09 which, along with the correspondingly curved wall of the casing |02, produces a long spiral path. The Spiral path continues upwardly along the wall of the casing |02 Where the radius of the spiral is reduced by discharge of the exhaust air through the opening Iii formed centrally in the top of the casing |02.
Depending from the top of the casing is a germicidal lamp ||3 and the ultra violet rays emanating therefrom penetrate the spiral path of the clean exhaust air so that the radiant energy is more effective in killing the air borne bacteria. Although I have shown a conventional U-tube germicidal lamp, it will be understood that the tubular element may have a circular form with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the spiral air ow path in casing |02. The fact that dust has been removed from such air contributes to the germicidal effect of the ultra violet rays. The casing |02 serves as a shield to protect the user of the cleaner from the ultra violet rays. A filter glass window IM provides visual evidence as to operation of the light H3. The top of the casing |02 is preferably depressed in the area surrounding the outlet |I2 as shown, and a handle IIT fixed to the end cap of the motor |06 is contoured to eniciently direct the exhaust air from the casing. This form of my invention is also provided with a high vacuum relief valve IIG in separating chamber or dust box constructed and operated as described in connection with the form of Fig. 1. For convenience in handling the cleaner when emptying the casing IBI, three depending legs |5, equally spaced from each other, are carrled by the wall |03. Said legs project downwardly to a plane below the filter it so that the top unit of the cleaner may be supported in a stable position on the floor while the box |0| is being emptied. It will be understood that the lamp ||3 and the motor |06 are connected in parallel yto a suitable source of electrical energy and that, if desired, the use of water in the casing |0| may be dispensed with and the cleaner eiciently operated without the use of the washing feature. It is also pointed out that the inlet I I0 may be enlarged and bushed so that when the inlet is used as an air conditioner to wash and sterilize the air the volume of air handled will be increased.
Reference is made to my earlier led co-pending applications disclosing and claiming certain features embodied in the cleaner that is the subject matter of the instant application, namely, my application for a Filtering Device For Vacuum Cleaners, Ser. No. 709,555, rlled November 13, i946, and now abandoned, and an application for a Convertible Vacuum Cleaner, Ser. No. '797, led January 6, 1948, and now abandoned. Al-
though have shown and described two forms of my invention in considerable detail and have disclosed certain of the features found in the instant invention in my earlier co-pending applications, it will be understood that the invention is not coniined to the particular details described but that the protection herein applied for covers variations and modications within the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A vacuum cleaner comprising a motor, a rotary filter, a fan to move air through said lter, means connecting said lter to said motor including a iiuid coupling having driving and driven parts normally turning about a horizontal axis and a coupling fluid chamber coaxial with the uid coupling parts in communication with the interior of the iiuid coupling to receive coupling fluid upon displacement of said axis from its normal horizontal position.
2, A vacuum cleaner comprising an elongated casing, a transverse iioor nozzle at the forward end of the casing, and a dust separator chamber at the other end of the casing, a motor, fan and centrifugal iilter unit coaxially arranged Within l0 said casing in the sequence named, said unit being spaced from the bottom of the casing to provide a passageway for dust laden air leading from the floor nozzle rearwardly beneath said unit, and means operatively connecting the motor and lter comprising a fluid coupling having a driving part secured to the motor shaft and a complementary driven part secured to the lter, whereby the lter turns at a speed less than motor speed due to slip in the fluid coupling.
JAMES B. KIRBY.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,631,549 Pease June 7, 1927 1,936,751 Hoover Nov. 28, 1933 2,046,684 Hoover July 7, 1936 2,202,999 Smellie June 4, 1940 2,242,163 Bargeboer May 13, 1941 2,244,165 McFarland et al. June 3, 1941 2,302,548 Heuberger Nov. 17, 1942 2,404,657 Roberts et al July 23, 1946 2,484,491 Daugherty Oct. 11, 1949 2,524,117 Storm Oct. 3, 1950