US 2686330 A
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Aug. 17, 1954 N. B. WALES BALL-ROLL VACUUM CLEANER Filed Jan. 2, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet l NORM/IL. 411/7 05 INVENTOR.
Aug. 17, 1954 N. B. WALES 2,686,330
BALL-ROLL VACUUM CLEANER Filed Jan. 2; 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I I). fi 27 3 iU 6/ 2394 57% INVENTOR.
Patentecl Aug. 17, 1954 BALL-ROLL VACUUM CLEANER Nathaniel B. Wales, New York, N. Y., assignor to Industrial Patent Corporation, New York, N. Y.
Application January 2, 1953, Serial No. 329,315
This invention relates to an extremely easily movable vacuum cleaner and more particularly wherein the case enclosing the vacuum cleaner is formed as a revolvable hollow sphere.
The several operative components of the vacuum cleaner, such as the motor, turbo-fan and dust bag and controls therefore, are coordinated and sustained within the hollow sphere as a pendulum. The center of gravity of the motor and turbo-fan, the heaviest components, are po-- sitioned eccentric to the axis of the spherical casing and sustained by a supporting duct member journalled in two axial bearings which are formed in the diametrically opposite sides of the sphere.
The axis of said supporting duct diametrically transverses the sphere to permit the spherical casing of the vacuum cleaner to roll on the floor as a ball, while the abovedescribed components are pendulously sustained therein in a substantially stationary position due to the center of gravity of their weight being eccentric to the axis of the supporting duct member. However, the center of gravity is also positioned in a plane normal to said axis at its midpoint so that there is a positive pendulous bias tending to maintain the axis of rotation paralle1 to the floor. This pendulous assembly within the ball-like case eliminates all need for any moving joint in the suction line.
Ihus, a pendulous weight, the vacuum cleaner components, is sustained within the sphere by bearings in its shell. The sphere, having substantially a single point of contact with the floor, results in a highly maneuverable vacuum cleaner.
Conventional cleaning tools connected with a conventional suction hose forms a suction communication through a bifurcated exterior duct member which in turn is secured to the abovementioned supporting duct member, the ends or" which extend exteriorly beyond the bearings journaling this duct in the shell of the sphere. [he suction displacement then flows to the suction entry of the turbo-fan through a connecting passage between the supporting duct and the suction entry of the turbo-fan. The bifurcated duct secured to the ends of the supporting duct is normally maintained in a balanced position substantially parallel to the floor by the abovementioned pcn'dulous weight Oi the motor and turbo-fan and hence will not restrict the free movement of the rolling ball case.
The support-duct member within the spherical shell which acts as the pendulous support for the vacuum cleaner components may be journalled in ball or other low friction type of bearings 2 where it passes through the shell of the spherical case.
Means are provided to use preferably a paper disposable bag which is inserted through a door formed in the spherical shell and secured thereto by snap lock or other convenient means for easy access when it is desired to change paper dust bags. The open top of the paper bag is formed with a cardboard flap which maintains the bag normally closed by an elastic bias on the flap which, however, is displaced to an open position when the rigid cardboard head of the bag is inserted into a fixture formed as the terminus of the discharge duct from the turbo-fan within the spherical case of the vacuum cleaner.
When the paper bag is thus positioned to its fixture, the shutter is in open position. The relatively flexible body of the bag is supported on a platform which is biased by a predetermined spring tension whereby when the bag has received a specific weight of dirt as discharged from the turbo-fan, the added weight thereof overcomes said bias and opens the motor switch. It is evident that this switch actuation means also may close a circuit for a buzzer, light or other indicator toadvise of its filled condition.
The objects of my invention are:
(1) A compact, highly maneuverable and lowcost vacuum cleaner.
(2) The suction-generating and dirt-collecting components of a vacuum cleaner entirely positioned within a hollow unitary sphere;
(3) Wherein the components of the Vacuum cleaner, such as the motor, turbo-fan, dirt-collecting means and controls, are pendulously suspended within said hollow sphere;
4) By a support shaft serving as a duct which is in open access to the suction of the turbo-fan.
(5) The hollow support shaft is journalled in two bearings secured to the wall of the sphere and formed on a line passing through the diametrical axis of the sphere to permit the sphere to rotate about the hollow support shaft as it is moved in respect to the floor.
(6) The center of gravity of the above-mentioned vacuum cleaner components so coordinated as to be eccentric to the above-mentioned hollow support shaft to maintain the components in a pendulously substantially stationary position in respect to the spherical casing. The center of gravity, however, remains in a plane normal to the diametrical axis at its midpoint so that there is a positive pendulous bias tending to maintain the axis of rotation of the sphere 3 parallel to the fioor and thus defines the stability of the spherical case on the floor.
(7) lhe spherical casing is perforate to permit the filtered air to escape.
(8) The suspension shaft-duct to which the pendulous weight of the vacuum cleaner components are journalled within the sphere is formed where it extends through the sphere beyond its bearings as a bifurcated guide element and this bifurcated portion is normally substantially horizontal to the floor, maintained thus by the pendulous weight factor of the vacuum cleaners components within the sphere.
(9) Means are provided to insert the dust bag and remove the same through a door formed in the hollow spherica1 shell.
Further objects of my invention are implicit in the accompanying specifications and drawings in which:
Figure l is a perspective view of the invention and illustrated as manipulated by an operator.
Figure 2 is an elevation with the sphere partially broken away looking through the diametrical axis on which the sphere revolves on the fioor.
Figure 3 is a plan view, the sphere being broken away to show the co-ordination of the vacuum.- producing and dirt-collecting components.
Figure 4 is a section of the spherical casing taken 90 degrees out of phase in respect to Figure 2 with interior ducts partially in section and showing in dotted lines the movement of the door segment of the spherical case.
Figure 5 is a erspective view of the top of the dirt-collecting bag showing in particular the cardboard facing connected to the bag and the hinged closure commanding an orifice in the cardboard facing.
Figure 6 is an enlarged fragment in elevation of the spherical case showing the locking means to lock the door in the sphere; also, the dirt-collecting bag in operational position.
Figure '7 is an exterior view in elevation of the spherical case showing a modification of the sphere to that extent wherein a narrow cylindrical mid-portion thereof normally contacts the floor.
Referring to the drawings in which similar elements are designated by similar numerals, numeral I is the unitary spherical case of the vacuum cleaner which for easy manufacturing and assembly purposes is formed of two semispherical portions, one section having an internal flange 35, seen in Figure 2, with which the other portion engages and the two semi-spherical portions are secured one to the other by screws 36. In a diametrical axis of the sphere I, as seen in Figure 3, internally-formed flange members 23 in each hemispherical portion form suitable support means which center and engage ball bearings 22. J ournalled in bearings 22 is the tubular shaft or duct member 6-6a which terminates at its respective ends exterior to sphere I into a bifurcated guide member 2, the bifurcated arms being designated as 2 and 2a. The guide member 2 may be suitably connected in any known manner to the duct member 66CL. A conventional hose 3 is suitably secured to bifurcated member 2 at its mid-portion 20, which in turn is connected to a staff 4 by which the operator manipulates suction nozzle 5,.see Figure l.
A partition 47, see Figure 3, formed in member 2, confines the suction flow of the suction-generating components in sphere I to duct 7 in the lower branch ofv the bifurcated member 2, as
seen in Figure 3, which in turn communicates with duct 8 in the Ga end of the tubular duct 6-6a. A partition 9 in the tubular member 68a guides the suction flow into the inlet 35 of turbo-fan H), which is directly connected to motor II, which is seen to be positioned in an extreme eccentric position in respect to the diametrical axis :c--y of sphere I which also is the axis of journalled tubular shaft EI-6a. A discharge duct I2 from turbo-fan l0 rises within the sphere I across the diametrical axis of shell I and terminates in a flange 2I against which registers bag insert fixture I3 which is hinged to duct I2 at M which permits fixture I3 to pivot about I l after latch 26 formed as a part of the upper portion of fixture I3 is disengaged from flange 2I so that the cardboard face I5 of dirtcollecting bag it, see Figure 5, can be inserted into the recesses 49 formed in fixture 3, and then the fixture I3 may be moved about hinge I4 into a position as is seen in Figure 6, wherein the projecting finger 39 secured to duct I2 contacts fiap or closure Il, displacing it to an open position through the medium of hinge I8 which may be biased to maintain closure I? into a normal bag-closing position, as is seen in Figure 5. The discharge from turbo-blower It thus deposits the dirt content from suction nozzle 5 into porous bag I6, the air passing through the porous bag I6 and then issuing through orifices 3a in spherical case I. The door 31 formed of a segment 40 of sphere I is hinged to sphere I at 38 and is retained in its closed position by the locking bar 42 which is secured to manual actuator 39 journalled in recess ii of door 3?. The locking bar 42 in its locking position engages stop [as secured to sphere I.
It is evident to those skilled in this art that the invention could be embodied in a vacuum cleaner assembly within sphere I, wherein the suction fiow of the turbo-fan could be conducted into the dirt bag It before the induced suction flow entered the turbo-fan.
A slightly modified spherical casing I is shown in Figure 7 and designated as Ia, wherein the mid-portion normal to the diametrical axis of the sphere may be flattened as at 44 to increase the stability of the sphere on the floor l6 beyond the sphere stabilizing bias factor as obtained by the center of gravity as seen at z in Figure 4 of the vacuum cleaners assembly. The bag It, preferably made of porous paper, see Figure 4, is supported on the table 28, which in turn is secured to pedestal 29. Pedestal 29 freely passes through the two walls of tubular support member 6 which act as a cross-head therefor. I'he lower end of pedestal 29 rests on spring-biased actuator 3! of microswitch 28 which controls the energization of motor I I by supply cable 25 connected thereto. As dirt collects in bag IS, its accumulation increases the weight of bag it, which increase of weight opens switch 28 through the increased pressure on its actuator 3!. In this manner, indicating that the bag should be emptied or renewed. The extension of feed cable 25 after it passes through switch 28 is designated as cable 21, which is seen emerging from duct 24 in Figure 3, through grommet 33, and cable 2! may be of any suitable length, as is seen in Figure 1, terminating into a plug-in member insertable in any electric outlet panel.
The operation of the vacuum cleaner per se is too well known to recite here in detail, but it is evident from the drawings and specifications that a unitary spherical casing wherein the vacuum-generating and dirt-collecting components of the cleaner are encompassed in a pendulous assembly, the pendulous action including the exteriorly positioned bifurcated guide member, form a vacuum cleaner having a maximum factor of maneuverability and ease of movement over rugs, carpets and thresholds, whereby the bifurcated guide member does not contact or dig into floor coverings as the sphere transverses the fioor, its normal position being designated by the dotted lines 13-13 in Figure 2.
What I desire to protect by United States Letters Patent is defined in the following claims:
1. A vacuum cleaner adapted to be rolled on the floor by forces exerted on its portable hose by the operator, comprising a substantially spherical hollow Wheel, a horizontal transverse duct member positioned within said hollow wheel and emerging therefrom at two diametrically opposite points thereon, bearing means to journal said transverse member in said hollow Wheel, vacuum generating means located Within said hollow wheel and secured to said transverse duct member, dirt collecting means located Within said hollow Wheel and communicating with said vacuum generating means, the center of gravity of said vacuum generating and said dirt collecting means being below the axis of journalling of said transverse duct member at its mid-point, a guiding duct member exterior to said hollow wheel and secured to said transverse duct member at least at one exterior end thereof, said. guiding duct member communicating with said vacuum generating means through the axis of said transverse duct member and terminating at its outer end at a point lying in the plane approximately normal to said axis of journalling at its midpoint, a vacuum nozzle, and a portable hose connecting said nozzle to said guiding duct member whereby to form a vacuum flow path from said nozzle to said dirt collecting means and said vacuum generating means.
2. A vacuum cleaner in accordance with claim 1 provided with perforations in said spherical hollow wheel.
3. A vacuum cleaner in accordance with claim 1, a door in said spherical hollow wheel giving access to said dirt collecting means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number