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Publication numberUS2696324 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 7, 1954
Filing dateAug 18, 1951
Priority dateAug 18, 1951
Publication numberUS 2696324 A, US 2696324A, US-A-2696324, US2696324 A, US2696324A
InventorsJones Alva R
Original AssigneeNorthwestern Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Selective merchandise vending machine
US 2696324 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 7, 1954 A. R. JONES SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet l Fil ed Aug. 18, 1951 paid-224427 m 2 Jww;

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Dec. 7, 1954 A. R. JONES 2,696,324

SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING MACHINE Filed Aug. 18, 1951 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 316 318 2 314 312 W 3 3 r ig 5 3 ii LLH 38 g (Z 7/01 vzgl Dec. 7, 1954 A. R. JONES SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Aug. 18, 1951 1 q 6 v r W Ha;2,2225% A w W I V.

T L M H V f w w :w 5:5: z:E a r n o- |L l w 9+ ..-T-..--.\\ w 0 I 3 Ill-m \x \WHII w w m 1 W 2 Dec. 7, 1954 A. R. JONES SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING momma 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. .18, 1951 a Wmzeg A. R. JONES SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING MACHINE Dec. 7, 1954 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Aug. 18, 1951 Hllmv- Dec. 7, 1954 A. R. JONES SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Aug. 18, 1951 United States P t t 2,696,324 SELECTIVE MERCHANDISE VENDINGMACHINE Alva R. Jones, Morris, '1ll.,-assignor to The Northwestern Corporation, Morris, Ill.

Application August '18, 1951, SerialNo. 2424480 o'Claims. (Ci. 21-40) This invention relates to a merchandise vending machine and more particularly to that class of'vending'machines adapted to selectively vend successive packaged articles such as gums and confections'stored and displayed in a rotatable magazine positioned within the mac ine housing. Specifically this invention 'is directed to improvements in the ejecting mechanism, the select ng mechanism, the magazine and the housing construction and assembly.

Heretofore vending machines of many'types and constructions have been widely utilized for dispensing rmnumerable articles, including smalLpackaged articles such as gums, candies and the like. Such vending machines have included typeswhich permitted the selection of one of a plurality of flavors and brands of sticks of gums and candies. Such machines have likewisein'cluded types in which the merchandise has been stored 'in rotatable magazines having a plurality'of columns for accommodating therein the various types 'and flavors of articles of merchandise. 7

However, an exhaustive examination of such ma: chines has revealed .thatparticularly the latter class or vending machines have not been universally "adapted for a'number of reasons.

Machines which succeeded in dispensing such inerchandise were found to be objectionable in that they were not fool proof. Others included .mechanisms which were too complicated, expensive and impracticable. The impracticability was often directly attributable to insufficient durability for withstanding the'abuse to which such machines are often subjected. So also others of these .machines were impracticable "for the reason that theservicing could'be accomplished only after considerable mechanical dismantling of the machine, and still other machines were impracticable because of various other objectionable reasons.

It is therefore a primary object of this invention -to provide a selective merchandise vending-machine which will'overcome all of the. objections set-'forth'hereinabove.

An important object of this invention is to afford a vendingmachine in which a large variety of various sizes and brandsof gums'and confections maybe temptingly displayed in full view ofthe prospective purchaser.

Another objectis to provide .a machine having anunusually large capacity but so constructed that the over-all space occupied thereby is comparatively small. I

A further object is to afford a selective vending machine provided with a number of safeguards to prevent pilfering or milking of'the machine while at .the same time safeguarding the customer by assuringthe dispensing of an article of merchandise for each coin acceptedby the machine. In the event that the 'merchandiseis exhausted, the machine is designed to refuse acceptance of a coin thereby. In this-connection his only fair to point out that many safeguards to accomplish similar functions have been utilized in the past. However, in view of thenovel construction of the present invention, novel safeguard devices are required. Moreover, it is believed that certain of these safeguard devices are simpler, sturdier and more effective than those heretofore utilized.

Still another object is to provide a vending machine having simple, manually operable, non-mechanical, selectivemeans. An object relating thereto is to construct such a machine with 'apIural-cOlumned magazine drum, freely rotatable to a selective ejectingpositiongsaid rota- "ice 2 tion being entirely independent of any releasing mechanism, whether or not coin-operated.

A further related object is to provide a cover .for the magazine housing which may be further utilized as the actuating member'for the selecting mechanism. This cover may be also constructed to affordclearly visible individual display compartments in which may be exhibitedthevarious articles of merchandise which the machine is currently vending.

Still a 'further object is to in which certain parts may be readily dismantled for servicing or'restocking the machine. .An object relatingthereto'is to so construct the housing and the assembly thereof that no tools, exclusive of the unlocking key, are required to accomplish the dismantling. I

Yet another objeetis to provide a simple, effective, exceptionally durable and fool-proof ejecting mechanism for the machine. An object relating "thereto is to so construct the machine that a single ejecting mechanism-se-rves each and every magazine .c "lumn dependent only upon the proper positioning of the column. for servi'ce b'y this ejecting mechanism.

Yet a further object is to atfordan ejecting mechanism which may be controlled by a coin mechanism, in such away that upon actuation of the coin mechanism the following functions are successively performed; first the magazine is locked against further rotationduring the-ejecting operation; then thelowest package is moved forward untilthe' same is dispensed through a "merchandise chute, and finallythe magazine cylinder is released for further selective rotation; the various mechanisms being-returned to their normal. positions in preparation of additional actuations. In thisconnection it should be noted 'thatsince the magazine columns are designed to be top-loaded, the oldest merchandise is dispensed beforethe newer articles are available for vending.

Another object is to provide novel means'for retaining the merchandise in the magazine columns. An object relating thereto is to provide novel follow-up locking weights positioned on top of each column of merchandise and adapted to cooperate with means provided in said columns to prevent unauthorized removal of the merchandise under any conditions including actual tipping ofthe machine.

And still a'furtherobject is to provide additional safeguarding devices for preventing the ejector from'being actuated in the eventthat all the merchandise in aparticular selected magazine column has been-exhausted. An object relating'thereto is'to construct the machine to providea safeguarding device which'prevents the acceptance of a coin by the coin mechanism in the event that the column'selected'has'been .exhausted of merchandise. In this connection it shouldbe pointedout that the safeguarding device is so constructed'that in such an event the selecting mechanism is not lockedasis usually the case, but on the contrary permits rotation of the magazine to any of the other columns in which the merchandise maynot yet have been exhausted.

And finally an important object of this invention is to providea selective merchandise vending machine of s1mp le,-'elfective, sturdy, inexpensive and attractive construction.

:With the foregoing and other objects in view which w1ll appear as the description proceeds, 'the invention conslsts of certain novelfeatures of construction, arrangement and a combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated 'in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in the form, proportron, size and minor details of the structure maybe made without departing from'thespirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.

"For the purpose offfacilitating an understanding of my invention, '1 have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereofyfrom aninspectiontof which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention-its-mode -of construction, assembly-aniloperation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.

=Referringto the drawings in which the same characters of referenceiare employed to indicate corresponding 01 afford a vending machine similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawm s:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled selective merchandise vending machine in which is incorporated the various features of my invention and in which a portion of the magazine housing has been broken away to reveal certain details of the magazine itself;

Fig. 2 is an elevational sectional view taken on the plane of line 2-2 in Fig. l of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 3--3 in Fig. 1 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken on the plane of the irregular line 44 in Fig. 2 of the drawings and having certain portions thereof broken away to better illustrate certain details of construction and also for convenience of illustration;

Fig. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the vending machine illustrating the method of dismantling said machine;

Fig. 6 is a bottom plan view of the magazine alone, removed from the machine itself;

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary elevational View illustrating a detail of construction;

Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the case and door assembly of the machine with the door in open position so that the enclosed mechanism may be better illustrated;

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary view taken on the plane of line 9-9 in Fig. 1 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

Fig. 10 is a perspective view of the mounting plate with the ejecting mechanism afiixed thereto, said mounting plate having been turned bottom-side up;

Fig. 11 is an isolated fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 11-11 in Fig. 2 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

Fig. 12 is likewise a sectional view taken on the plane of line 1212 in Fig. 2 of the drawings and having certain portions broken away for the purpose of better illustrating the constructional details;

Fig. 13 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 1313 in Fig. 12 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

Fig. 14 is a fragmentary top plan view of a portion of the mounting plate and particularly of the ejector mounted thereon.

Fig. 15 is a fragmentary sectional view of the ejecting mechanism taken on the plane of line 1515 in Fig. 4 showing the follow-up weight in locking position;

Fig. 16 is a fragmentary bottom view illustrating the ejecting mechanism and a portion of the mounting plate;

Fig. 17 is a sectional view taken on the plane of line 17317 in Fig. 16 and viewed in the direction indicated; an

Fig. 18 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of the irregular line 1818 in Fig. 16 of the drawing and viewed in the direction indicated.

Pedestal case and door assembly Referring now to the several figures of the drawings,

it will be noted that the machine which is generally designated in Fig. 1 of the drawings by the reference numeral 20, comprises a number of separable housing members including a pedestal base designated generally by reference numeral 22 and comprising a three sided, closed bottom case with substantially vertical walls 24, 26 and 28 and closed by a door assembly 30. The door assembly 30 is pivotally connected by means of a hinge 32 which is positioned at the top of a short bottom front wall 34. The case is completed by a bottom member 36. Pedestal legs such as 38 may be provided at each corner for the purpose of supporting the machine on a surface. The front edges of walls 24 and 28 are integrally flanged as at 40 and 42 to cooperate with the door member 30 to effect a proper closure of the case.

The door member 30 is stamped to afford a dishshaped depression 44 defined by sides 46 and 48, a front wall 50, a curved bottom portion 52 and a curved top segment 54 with an outwardly flanged portion 56. Within this dish-shaped depresison 44, a coin mechanism 58 of any suitable full-stroke type may be affixed by any conventional method.

To the front 50 of the door assembly 30 may be affixed an actuating knob 60, a coin slot 62, a coin chute delivery 4 opening 64 and a locking mechanism 66. The integration of the actuating knob with the machine itself will be set forth in greater detail as the description proceeds.

Within the pedestal case 22 may be afiixed a mounting plate which is positioned in a horizontal plane and spaced below the top edges of the casing walls as illustrated in Figs. 2, 4, 5 and 8 of the drawings. The mounting plate 70 may be removably positioned within the case 22 by any conventional method. The method chosen for illustration herein comprises a plurality of L-shaped brackets such as 72 having a vertical leg affixed to the walls of the case as by welding at 74 and the plate itself connected to the horizontal leg of the brackets 72 by means of bolts 76. The mounting plate 70 is formed with a pair of concentric annular ring-like protuberances 78 and 80, the functions of which will be described in greater detail as the description proceeds.

The mounting plate 70 is formed with a central aperture 82 designed to accommodate therein a portion of a center rod 84 centrally bored at the top as at 85, threaded at the bottom as at 86 and affixed to the mounting plate 70 by means of a pair of cooperating nuts 88 and 90 together with a locking washer 92. Lock nut 90 is designed to be tightened on the screw threaded portion 86 until the mounting plate 70 is firmly griped between the lock nut and the cooperating nut 88 as illustrated in Fig. 2 of the drawing. The function and assembly of the center rod 84 will further be described in connection with the merchandise magazine, a description of which follows herewith. It should also be noted that ordinarily the center rod is assembled with the magazine.

Merchandise magazine An important element of the vending machine is a freely rotatable merchandise magazine which may be generally designated by reference numeral 96. This magazine may comprise a drum formed with a central cylinder 98 encompassing the center rod 84. To the top of the cylinder 98 may be affixed a top closure member 100 which in turn may be affixed to the cylinder 98 by means of bolts such as 102 threaded thru flanges such as 104 provided by punching and bending portions of the top closure member 100. To the bottom of the cylinder 98 may be affixed a similar bottom closure member 106 aflixed to the cylinder 98 in the same manner as the top plate 100, that is by means of bolts such as 108 and brackets 110 formed from the bottom closure member 106 in the same manner as the brackets 104 were formed from the top closure member 100.

Both the top and bottom closure members 100 and 106 respectively are formed with a plurality of depending or upstanding flanged portions such as 112 and 114 respectively, to each of which may be attached a merchandise storage column member such as 116. Screws or bolts such as 118 may be used as a means for affixing these columns to the flanges 112 and 114 of the closure members 100 and 106 to form the drum shaped magazine illustrated in the drawings.

These columns may be formed by bending a single strip of material in rectangular cross-sectional shape affording a back member 120, side members 122 and 124 and short front wall segments 126 and 128. The front wall segments are separated by a space 130 giving front access to the merchandise chamber 132 defined by the walls previously mentioned. The width of the columns 116 may be varied to accommodate varying sizes of articles. Thus for example, it will be noted that narrow columns such as 134 may be utilized in conjunction with the wider columns 116. To vary the depth of the merchandise chamber 132 a filler plate such as 136 may be affixed to the back wall 120 of the column 116 as shown in Fig. 6 of the drawings.

The number of merchandise columns such as 116 and 134 which may be provided in a magazine is dependent upon the Width of the columns themselves, the diameter of the drum, and the number of flanges such as 112 and 114 which are provided on the periphery of the top and bottom closure members 100 and 106. As will be noted in Figs. 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the drawings, stacks of merchandise articles M may be positioned in each column such as 116 and 134 and retained therein by the walls of the column.

Vertically aligned rows of annular openings such as 138 are formed in the side walls 122 and 124. These openings are designed to accommodate therein the angular edge 140 of a locking member 142 which in turn EGQQSQQ is aflixedi toa novel self-locking. follow-up weight: 144; This follow-up weight is positioned at the topr-ofi each column of merchandise M and performs. a number of functions including. the insurance of the dispensing; of' the merchandise, the prevention of the removal of. are tic-lesfromr the merchandise columns from any position except that intended by the machine and other functions which will subsequently be revealed as the description proceeds.

The weight may be-formed in a U-shape-as definediby bottom. portion: 146 and parallelly spaced vertical walls, 148 and 150. The bottom portion 146 has a central portion -2 stamped and bent downwardly for a. purpose which: will later be disclosed. The locking mom-- ben1142. is pivotally mounted onthe inside of wall 156 by meansof a rivet 154 which serves as a pivot shaft. for: the member 142-. A washer 156- is disposed on the pivot shaft 154 between the inner rivet head 15-8 and the locking member 142. Between the-washer 156' and thelocking member 142, a springwire member 16.0 is coiled about the shaft 154 with one end affixed directly to thelocking member 142 and the other bearing against the; bottom 1460f the follow-up weight. The springthus-- urges the tip 140= of the locking member 142 into engagement with each successive hole in the column of openings 138.- This in turn prevents the follow-up weight 144-from movement upwardly so that if the machine is completelytipped over the follow-up weight will prevent the: merchandise from being removed from the: topof the column. However, the movement downwardly is not; prevented by the self-locking member 142- On. the contrary, the weight 144 ridesthe top of the merchandise and follows it downwardly as the articles of merchary disc are dispensed from the column. An outwardly punched. and stamped projection 162 may be aflforded in wall 150 for the purpose of affording a grasping edgefor aiding inthe ready removal of the follow-up weight from the column. I

To the bottom of the bottom closure member 106m'ay be. afiixed; as by riveting or welding, a spider structure 164. This structure comprises a hub 166. formed with acentral: annular opening 168' and having a plurality of shaped arms or ribs 170 extending radially fromthe hub 166. Each of these arms 170 are separatedfrom each other by means of slots 172. The slots 172 areflared outwardly as at 174. This flaring is defined by the. sides 176 of the ribs 170 converging to terminate ina straight sided slot portion 178. The functions of this; spider member 164 in the selection of the merchandise column will be set forth in greater detail as the description proceeds.

The top closure member may be formed with a cen traloff-set portion 180' affording a depression in which may be positioned a nut 182 threaded on the top end; 184 of'the center rod 84. By this means. the center rod is assembled as an integral member of the magazine 96. v To. complete the magazine, an inverted U-shaped strip 186. is positioned over the top end of the center rod 84, with the nut 182 threaded thereon, and fastened to the top. closure member 100 by means of screws such as188 threaded through outwardly flanged end portions 190 of the strip 186. The central portion 192 of the strip 186 is off-set and thereby spaced from the top closure member 100 as shown in Figs. 4 and 12 of the drawings- This off-set portion 192 has a central open= ing194 formed therein defined by a depending short wall 19'6'formed integrally from the strip 186 as by stamping or drawing. Also formed in the oif-set strip portion 192; are a pair of openings 198 and 200 respectively. It will be noted that these are spaced equidistant from the central. opening 194 and that opening 198 is smaller in diameter than. opening 200. The function of this strip and the openings therein will likewise be described as the description proceeds.

Ejector mechanism assembly A; most important feature of this dispensing machine is the simple, sturdy but positively effective merchandise ejecting mechanism which will now be described in detail. Attention is therefore directed to those figures of the drawings which best illustrate this mechanism such as Figs- 2', 8, 1'0, 14 and 1'618- inclusive.

in: these figures the entire ejector assembly is desig noted generally by the reference numeral 202., This: mechanism. is positioned on a central front: portion of;

thenioiintingl plate 70. and is adapted to be controlled by the: coin: mechanism 58 as actuated by the knob 60. For" this: purpose attention is invited first to. the. transmissionmeehanismwhich comprises the coin wheel shaft 204ijournaled' through thefrfont. of the door 30 and upon the; outer; end of which: is mounted. the actuating knob 601. The. inner: end ofthe shaftv 20.4 protrudes through coin mechanism 58. and. transversely.- the'retlirough.

Thiapin 206 is; adapted to'rbe engaged by a bifurcated yoke. 208 rigidly mounted'on the outer end; of: acam shaft 210. so that the. two shafts may be. readily operaa t-ionally joined together by merely closing the door" so that the bayonet points of the pin 206 are seated. in; the bifurcations of: the: yoke 208.

Rigid-lymounted. orrthecam shaft .210 may be a uniqfue 1y designedwobbleeplate cam 212 which in. turn: is positioned beneathan operating lever 214. The lever 214' is pivotally mounted at one end below the mounting plate 70. The other end is free but bifurcated. to. affordtwo arms 216 and 218. spaced apart by an open slot 220. Within the slot 220 may be slidingly positioned the shaft 222' of a. bolt or'rivet 224 having an enlarged head 226 at thel'ower end. Theslraft 222 extends through a. longitudinal slot: 228: formed in an offset. plate 230 atfixed to the bottom of the mounting plate as by welding along both sidesas at 232' and 234. The upper end of the bolt 224 is rigidly joined to an ejector slide plate 236 by means of a rivet 238. p

Positioned intermediate of the-length of the lever 214 are a. pair of depending pins 240 and 2.4-2 spaced apart a-distan'ce suificien't to accommodate therebetween a marginal. portion of the. wobble plate cam 212.- In Fig. 1 7 of thedrawings it will be noted that the earn 212 isdisposed ina plane inclined to a vertical axis. Thus" when the cam. rotated. the rotativemotion is translated by meansof therpins 240 and 242, the lever 214- and the belt- 224 to impart a reciprocating motion to' the ejector slide 236.- As? the ejector slide movesback-wards towards the-center of the mounting plate 70;. the merchandise which is positioned directly above within the column 116, drops down into the space vacated by the ejector slide. As, the rotary motion of the cam shaft is continued' the ejector slide is caused to move forward again pushing ahead of it the. bottom piece of merchandise forward for delivery into' a chute which will be subsequently -descr-ibed.-,

Turning. now to a more detailed description of themechanism described hereinabove in general terms. It willbe noted from. an examination of Figs. 16 and l7 thatthe cam; shaft210 is journaled through apair of aligned openings 244 and 246 formed in the depending spaced-apart arms 248 and 250 of a bracket 252. The depending arms248 and 250 of the bracket 252 are integrallyconnected bymeans of atop portion 254 which. is afiixedtto thebottomof the mounting plate 70 as by spotwelding 256. Retaining washers such as 258 may bemou nted. on the shaft 210 and positioned adjacent the arms 248 and 250 respectively to retain the shaft in (operational positionwithin the bracket arms: 248 and 25 'lihe wobble plate. cam 212 may be assembled on the shaft 210betweenthe arms 248 and 250- by means of. acentrally bored hub 260, having a flange 262 formedat one. end and against which the eccentric wobble plate 264- abuts; The two pieces may then be assembledas by welding. It will further be noted that the eccentric wobble plate 264 is elliptically shaped rather than perfectly round. This shape is found to be. necessary to maintain the marginal edge thereof in contact with the lever 214 and bet-ween the pins- 240 and 242 since the distance between the lever 214 and the shaft 210 at the point that the hub 260 is rigidly mounted thereon varies; as the lever 214' is reciprocated back and forth.

As :wasstated above. the lever 214 is pivotally connected to the mounting plate. This may be accomplished by means of a pivot 266 riveted at the upper end to-theplate 70. The lower end of the pivot is formed with a head 268 on top of which is positioned a split retaining washer 270 and a bearing washer 272. The lever am 214 is spaced from the top portion 254- of the bracket 252 by means of a boss 274.

The. ejector slide plate 236 is formed with an upstanding pin 276 formed near the inner edge of the plate. The function of this. pin 276 will become apparent when has a cross-pin 206 afiixed the operation of the machine is described in full. The side edges of the ejector plate 236 are formed with a plurality of tongues such as 278 which are adapted to be slidingly retained between the bottom of the mounting plate 70 and the top of the offset portion of the plate 230; the offsetting providing a space to accommodate said tongues 278 therein. Also formed transversely in the ejector plate 236 is a slot 280 positioned intermediate the depth of the plate 236 and formed with its leading edge 282 in a straight plane and with its trailing edge 284 curved as shown in Fig. 14 of the drawings. The ends of the slot 286 and 288 are beveled or inclined for a purpose which will become apparent as the description proceeds.

The front corners of the offset plate 230 are stamped and bent upwardly to afford notched standards 290 and 292. Stretched between these standards 290 and 292 is a coil spring 294. The function of this coil spring will likewise be revealed when the operation of the machine is subsequently described in detail.

Magazine housing In the objects of the application set forth hereinabove, it was stated that it was highly desirable to display the merchandise in tempting full view of the prospective purchaser. This is accomplished by means of a novel housing designated generally by reference numeral 295 which will now be described in further detail. Attention is accordingly invited to Figs. 1, 2 and 5 of the drawings. Examination of these figures will reveal a housing comprising a transparent, substantially cylindrical casing 296 the bottom marginal edges 298 of which are fitted into an adaptor ring 300 which in turn is designed to join the magazine housing 295 to the pedestal case 22. The vertical walls of the casing 296 are closed by an integrally formed top 302. This top 302 is formed with a central aperture 304 and an upstanding annular marginal ridge 306. This marginal ridge 306 is adapted to fit into an undercut annular groove 308 formed in a top ring member 310. This top member 310 is formed with a central, raised portion 312 which terminates in a central opening 314 defined by an annular upstanding boss 316 which in turn provides a central passageway 318. The transparent casing 296 may be made of glass but I prefer a clear transparent plastic.

In assembling the housing 295 a plurality of tie rods such as 320 are provided for joining together the various parts of the case. The tie rod 320 may be threaded into the metal top member 310 as at 322. It may then be passed through an opening such as 324 provided in the transparent top member 302. The bottom end is likewise passed through an opening 326 formed in the bottom of the inner flange of the adaptor ring 300 and the entire assembly retained in place by means of a nut 328 threaded on the bottom portion of the tie rod 320 as at 330.

The adaptor ring 300 is also provided with means for joining the magazine housing 295 to the pedestal case 22 and for locking the entire assembly together. These assembling and locking means comprise respectively a transversely notched depending hook 332 with said hook having a notch 334 formed therein. The function of this hook member 332 will be described in greater detail in connection with the cooperating mechamsm.

The locking means comprises a depending metallic strip 336 apertured as at 338. The function of this locking strip will likewise be subsequently described in connection with the mechanism for locking the entire machine.

Selecting mechanism assembly The selecting mechanism which may be generally referred to by reference numeral 340 is a mechanism which may be actuated to revolve the magazine 96 in either direction until the selected column of merchandise is positioned in alignment with the ejector assembly 202 as indicated by the pointer 341 and the indicia 343 shown in Fig. 5 of the drawings. This selecting mechanism may be assembled from several parts including an inverted cup-shaped display tray 342 comprising a sloped annular wall 344 terminating at the bottom in an outwardly flanged portion 346 and with an integrally formed top 348. Portions of this flange 346 are stamped and bent upwardly to afford sheared spikes such as 350, upon which may be impaled the various articles of merchandise M which are to be dispensed by the vending machine. The spikes 350 are positioned in alignment, one with each column in the magazine. Hence the article of merchandise contained in each respective column may be displayed directly thereabove on the display tray.

A plastic display cover 352 is provided for completing the assembly and covering the merchandise contained in the merchandise display tray. So that the merchandise may be displayed in full view it is important that at least that portion of the cover wall 354 which is positioned in front of the merchandise M should be transparent.

The display cover 352 is formed with a central depending boss 356 in which may be permanently afiixed the top end 358 of a display cover shaft 360. The lower end of this shaft 360 is pointed as at 362 and is formed with a reduced portion 364. An annular groove 366 is undercut near the bottom of the portion of the shaft which is larger in diameter than the reduced section 364. This shaft is adapted to be journaled through a short hollow bushing 368 the top portion of which is threaded through a central opening formed in the top of the display tray 342 and retained therein by a lock nut 370 threaded on a reduced upper portion 372 of the bushing 368. Thus the top 348 of the display tray 342 is retained between the nut 370 and the shoulder of the bushing 368 provided by the reduced portion 372. In operational position the bottom reduced portion 364 of the shaft 360 is positioned in the central bore 85 of the center rod 84.

The display cover 352 is retained by means of a sliding lever plate 374 positioned below the top ring member 310 and the display tray 342. The bottom end of the bushing 368 may be forced into, and rigidly affixed within, a central opening 378 provided in a plate 376. The lever plate 374 may be slidingly affixed to the plate 376 by means of a headed bolt 380, the shaft of which is positioned within a slot 382 formed in the plate 374. A keyhole shaped slot 384 is also formed in the plate 374 with an enlarged portion 386 and a reduced portion 388 This keyhole slot is so positioned that either the reduced portion or the enlarged portion as desired may be moved into alignment with the central opening 378. The reduced portion of the keyhole slot 384 is adapted to be engaged within the groove 366 of the shaft 360 to lock the cover in position.

A pair of depending pointed pins 390 and 392 are provided on the plate 376 for the purpose of engaging in the openings 198 and 200 formed in the strip 186 of the magazine 96. This forms an operational connection permitting rotation of the magazine when the top cover is revolved. To insure proper alignment it should be noted that the diameter of pin 390 is somewhat larger than pin 392 and hence can be accommodated only when aligned with the proper opening, in the magazine.

To operationally connect the display cover to the display tray a plurality of depending projections such as 394 are provided in the bottom of the top of the display cover as shown in Figs. 11 and 12 of the drawings. These projections are adapted to be engaged in openings such as 396 formed in the top 348 of the display tray 342.

Locking mechanism An extremely simple locking mechanism 66 is provided for locking the assembled housing members and thereby the machine itself. This comprises a locking tumbler 398 journaled through a bushing 400 afforded in the door 30 and retained therein by means of the nut and washer assembly 402. The inner end of this tumbler is threaded as at 404 and positioned to be threaded through the opening 338 provided in the strip 336 which in turn is affixed to the adapter ring 300 of the globe casing 295. The outer end of the tumbler is formed with a keyhole 406. Thus to open the machine all that need be done is to insert the key into the keyhole 406. This releases the tumbler 398 and permits it to be rotated until the tumbler is unscrewed free of the opening 338 in the strip 336. The door may then be opened giving free access to the interior of the pedestal casing 22.

Assembling mechanism For the purpose of assembling the magazine housing 295, with the pedestal casing 22 an extremely simple but effective mechanism is provided. The mechanism comprises a locking lever 408 formed with the outer end bent as at 410 anddesignedtobe'slidingly 'retained by means of a clamping structure 412 adjacent the inner side of the pedestal casing wall 20 and near the top thereof. The inner end of-thelever 403-;hasforrned near-the end a protruding'pin 414. This pin is designed to be engaged in the notch 334 of the depending hook 332 which in turn is aflixed to the globe housing 295.

The clamping device 412 comprises .a strip of :metal having portions thereof stamped'andbentto provide lever guides such as 416 and 4 1-8. When it is desired to assemble the machine, the globe housing 295 is positioned over the magazine 96 so*thatthe depending hook 332 is aligned with the pin 414. The lever 408 is then shoved inwardly until the pin is engaged within the notch 334, thereby assembling the two housings inoperative position.

Coin box and merchandise chute The machine is completed by the provision of a coin box 420 adapted to receive coins from the coinmechanism 58 through a front opening 422, and.amerchandisechute 424 having a merchandise-receiving opening 426an'd a delivery'chu-te-428 aligned with 'the'delivery opening64 formed in the door 30. The chute may be directly mounted on the door 30 and positioned with the receiving opening 426 aligned with the front of the ejector slide 236.

Loading and assembly To load and assemble the vending machine, assuming that the machine has been-dismantled in the usual-manner prior to loading, ,the magazine 96 is first positioned on the mounting plate 70 with the lower 'end of the center rod'84 positioned within the opening "82. The lock washer and nut 92 and 9.0 respectively :are then threaded on the lower threaded pend'86 of the rod 84 and tightened until they abut the mounting plate 70. The stacks of merchandise M are then inserted from the top and front of the columns 116 and 134 until .the said columns "are filled to capacity or as desired. The. follow up weights 144 are then positioned within the columns on the top of each stack of merchandiseM with the angular tip 140 of the locking member 142 positioned so that it may enter one of the openings 138 in the side wall of the column.

A sample of each article of merchandise which has beeninserted in the'magazine is then impaled 'on each'of the sheared spikes 350 in the display tray 342. Care should be taken that the sequence ofmerchandisearticles displayed in the display tray should correspond with the sequence of merchandise loaded in the columns andthat the proper sample is aligned with its respective column. The display cover 352 may then be inserted over the display tray, with the shaft 360 inserted through the bushing 368 untilthe same 'protrudes'below the bottom oft-he magazine housing top 302. Care'should be taken that the display cover project-ions 394 are aligned with the display tray openings v396. This is necessary'to insure proper assembly of the display cover and display tray. As a matterof fact :unless'the projections 394 are properly seated in the openings396, the twomembers cannot be locked together.

In assembling the two members it will be necessary to position the enlarged portion 3860f the keyhole opening 384 of the sliding lever plate 374 in alignment with the shaft 360. The slidinglever 374 is then moved untilthe reduced opening 388 engages the groove 366. As soon as this is accomplished, it will be found that the display cover 352 is securely locked over the display tray and on the top of the magazinehousing 295.

The assembled magazine housing may then be positioned over the magazine 96 and lowered until the hook notch 334 is aligned with the pin 414 of the lever 408. The-end 410 of the lever 408 may then be grasped by the operator and pushed back until the pin 414is-engaged within the notch 334.

This completes the assembly'of the'machine, with the exception of the closing'of the pedestal door 30 for the purpose of'operationally connecting the coin mechanism with the ejecting mechanism assembly and also locking the machine. This is accomplished by positioning the yoke 208' with the bifurcations disposed in a horizontal plane so=that when the door -is-closed they will engage the coin shaftpin 206. In closing the door, it is important that the top flange 56 be engaged below the 'front edge of the adapter ring 300. This is accomplished by lifting up onthe front of the'adapter ring 300 sufiiciently to permit 1 0 clearance of the'top of the flange 56 therebelow. The locking of the entire machine may then'be accomplished by inserting a key in the kzyhole 406 and rotating the locking tumbler 398 until the same is threaded-through the opening 338 in-the lockingstrip 336.

To dismantle the machine the operations hereinabove described may be performed :in reverse sequence. Because of-the noveldesign and assembly, the dismantling, loading and assembly may be performed in .a surprisingly short period of time, with a minimum'of effort and withoutthe use of tools.

Operation In describing the operation of the machine'various conditions will be assumed .so that the many features and full performance of the machine may be appreciated.

To begin let-us assume that a prospective customer approaches'the machine and proceeds to manipulate the device under the usual and normal circumstances. Ashe approaches he seesdisplayed in fulliview behind the clear glass or plastic walls 296 of the magazine housing 295 the many merchandise-filled-columns ofthe'magazine 295. He also immediately recognizes that a sample M of the merchandise contained in each columnis displayed above each respective column impaled on the sheared spikes 350 ofthe tray 342 so that the front 'of the package 'or label is clearly visible. 'Each such sample is positioned within its respective compartment and behind the transparent walls 354 of the display cover 352. Hence each such sample readily identities and indicates the location of the merchandise contained in the machine without necessitating additional indicia.

The customer determines the brand or fiavor'of gum or other merchandise he desires and selects the same by grasping the display cover, rotating it in either direction until thesample M is alignedW-ith thepointer 341 formed on the topmember310 of'the housing 295. When .properly aligned it will be noted that the indicia 343 is likewise aligned with the selected columndirectly -behind it. At this point the customer may still change :his selection in the event he has changedhis mind. As amatter of'fact the selection may be changed at any time up 'to the actual actuation ot the ejecting mechanism.

The customer next inserts the proper coin in the slot 62 *and'then grasps theactuating knob 60 and begins the rotation thereof. As the rotation begins the coin drops into the coin'wheel (not shown) which in turn is moved by the coin wheel shaft 204 to release the shaft so that it may rotate completely through its predetermined orbit. As the shaft rotates the pin206 bears against the sides of the bifurcations in the yoke 208 thereby rotating the cam shaft 210 with the wobble-plate cam 212 mounted thereon.

As the eccentric .cam 212 rotates a horizontal path is'described on the plate 230 as the cam moves from the initial position illustrated in Fig. 2 to the position shown in Fig. 17. During this phase of the operation the rear side of themarginal edge of the cam bears against the ejector slide-plate pin 242, thereby moving the ejector plate 236back -to the positionshown in Fig. 17.

As the ejector plate is moved back, the upstanding pin 276 is likewise carried rearwardly therewith. If the magazine is properly positioned the pin will slide into one of the slots 172 of the spider 164 proceeding back until the full stroke of the ejector plate has been completed. In the event the magazine is not properly aligned the pin will strike against the straight front of the rib .170 thereby preventing further rearward movement of the ejector plate 236 until the magazine is rotated further by the operator to the proper position, viz. to a position where a slot 172 is aligned with the pin 276. In the event the slot 172 is not exactly in line with the pin but only slightly off-alignment, then the pin will strike the cambere'd side 176 of the rib 170. Continued actuation and hence exertion'of force by the pin on the camber will cause the magazine to rotate sufiiciently until the straight-sided slot portion 178 is aligned with the pin. The pin may then complete its predetermined path.

As the ejector plate moves rearwardly it slides back from underneath the merchandise in the column so that the bottom article M drops down into the space thereby vacated. The article then rests on the top of the plate 230 and in front of the leading edge of the ejector 23 6.

Continued rotation of the knob 60 (assuming that the coin mechanism is a full-stroke type) rotates the wobble-plate cam back through the same path. The front face of the marginal edge of the wobble-plate is then brought to bear against the front pin 240, thereby reciprocating the ejector slide forward. As the slide moves forward it pushes the article M in front of it until it enters the merchandise chute opening 426. The article drops down through the delivery chute 428 to be dispensed through the delivery opening 64 in the front of the door 30.

Attention is again momentarily directed to the upstanding pin 276 and spider structure 164. It should be noted that immediately upon the entrance of the pin 276 within the slot 172, rotation of the magazine 96 is limited thereby. The magazine is locked against rotation during the time the pin remains in the slot and can only be unlocked by reciprocating the pin out of the slot. Hence, it is obvious that the only time that the selecting mechanism is made inoperative is during the actual ejecting operation.

For the purpose of minimizing friction during the selecting operation a very simple construction has been provided. Attention is accordingly invited to the concentric annular protuberances 78 and 80 formed in the mounting plate 70. These protuberances are provided for the purpose of affording one-point support of the magazine drum 96 and stacks of merchandise M. The inner protuberance 78 is of slightly higher elevation than the protuberance 80. Upon this protuberance rests the bottom of the spider structure 164. Since con tact is limited to only the top of the protuberance, the friction therebetween is minimized to the point that rotation of the magazine may be accomplished with very little effort.

The outer annular protrusion 80 it will be noted in Fig. 2 of the drawings is positioned directly under the front portion of the merchandise M in the columns. Again friction therebetween is limited to but a single point but additionally it will be noted that the merchandise is inclined downwardly and rearwardly. This canting of the merchandise insures better engagement by the leading edge of the ejector plate and hence, tends to make the ejecting operation more positive.

The next condition to be considered in the operation of the machine will be that existing when a column of the magazine is selected in which the merchandise has been exhausted. In such a case the operator after inserting his coin will find that the actuating knob 60 cannot be rotated beyond the point of ordinary play provided in the machine. To comprehend the reason for this, attention is now invited to Fig. 15 of the drawings. In this figure it will be noted that the column 116 has been exhausted of merchandise so that the follow-up weight 144 rests at the bottom of the column and on the ejector slide 236. In this position the downwardly bent finger 152 rests within the slot 280 provided in the ejector slide. Hence When the knob is actuated the rearward movement of the ejector slide 236 is prevented by the abutment of the front of the finger 152 against the leading edge 282 of the slot.

When the customer realizes that this condition exists, he may then once again grasp the display cover 352 and rotate the magazine to align another column for dispensing. To enable this additional selecting operation it will be noted that the ends 286 and 288 of the slot 280 have been formed with inclined portions which permit the finger 152 to ride up the incline and out of the slot. It should further be noted that the locking of the ejector slide against backward movement in turn prevents the coin wheel from turning. Thus no coins can be accepted by the coin mechanism under such conditions. This of course is a safeguard for the benefit of the customer.

Completing the description of the operation of the mechanism, the safeguard afforded by the coil spring 294- stretched in front of the magazine column bottom opening will now be described. Primarily the spring is intended to prevent the unlawful dispensing of merchandisc as by shaking or tipping the machine. Thus the spring is designed of sufficient strength to hold back the merchandise articles but has suflicient resilience to permit the passage of the columns of the magazine as the same is rotated past the spring during the selecting operation.

It is believed that my invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages should be readily understood from the foregoing without further description, and it should also be manifest that while a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are nevertheless capable of wide variation within the purview of my invention as defined in the appended claims.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a selective merchandise vending machine having a plurality of article receiving compartments; an ejecting mechanism, a followup weight member positioned in each of said article receiving compartments and a rigid element with inclined ends depending from said weight member, said ejecting mechanism including a movable ejector plate, said element and said ejector plate adapted to cooperate to prevent the actuation of said ejecting mechanism in the absence of at least one article in said compartment while simultaneously permitting selection of others of said article receiving compartments, said rigid element comprising a depending protuberance formed in the bottom of said weight member and said ejecting mechanism including an ejector plate movable beneath said compartment to eject the bottommost article from said compartment, said ejector plate formed with a slot therein, said slot adapted to accommodate therein said rigid element, said slot further formed with inclined end walls permitting substantially lateral movement of the ejector plate and follow-up weight with respect to each other.

2. In a selective merchandise vending machine having a plurality of rotatable article receiving compartments; an ejecting mechanism, a follow-up weight member positioned in each of said article receiving compartments and stop means carried by the follow-up weight member and preventing operation of the ejecting mechanism, operation of said stop means being rendered ineffective by any article positioned therebelow in said compartment, said follow-up weight member having a depending finger, said ejecting mechanism including a plate having a lateral slot adapted to accommodate therein said depending finger, said slot formed with inclined end walls up which said depending finger may ride when said article receiving compartment is rotated.

3. In a selective merchandise vending machine adapted to dispense packaged articles and having a plurality of rotatable article-storage columns with a follow-up weight positioned in each column; ejector actuating means, an ejector plate movable to permit the dispensing of at least one article of merchandise from a preselected one of said columns, said ejector plate formed with a trans verse slot therein, said slot adapted to receive a depending element of said follow-up weight to lock the ejector plate against dispensing movement in the event said column is empty of packaged articles, said slot further formed with upwardly and outwardly inclined end surfaces up which said depending element may rideup out of said slot thereby permitting continued rotation of said article-storage columns until an articlecontaining column is operationally associated with said ejector plate.

4. In a selective merchandise vending machine adapted to dispense packaged articles and having a plurality of rotatable article-storage columns with a follow-up weight positioned in each column; ejector actuating means, an ejector plate movable to permit the dispensing of at least one article of merchandise from a preselected one of said columns, said ejector plate and said follow-up weight each having means adapted to cooperate to lock the ejector plate against dispensing movement in the event said column is empty of packaged articles, said latter-mentioned means capable of further cooperating to permit continued rotation of said article-storage columns until an article-containing column is operationally associated with said ejector plate.

5. In a selective merchandise vending machine having a plurality of rotatable article-storage columns; a follow-up weight positioned in each column; ejector actuating means, an ejector plate adapted to dispense at least one article of merchandise from a preselected one of said columns, said ejector plate formed with a slot therein, said slot adapted to receive a depending element of said follow-up weight to lock the ejector plate against dispensing actuation in the event said column is empty of packaged articles, said slot further formed with upwardly and outwardly inclined end surfaces up which said depending element may ride-up out of said slot thereby permitting continued rotation of said articlestorage columns until an article-containing column is operationally associated with said ejector plate.

6. In a selective merchandise vending machine having a plurality of article-storage columns; the combination of a follow-up weight positioned in each column, an ejector plate, and ejector actuating means, said ejector plate formed with a slot therein, said follow-up weight having an element adapted to being positioned in said slot to prevent the actuation of said ejector plate in the event said column is empty of articles, said slot further formed with end portions for disengaging said element from said slot thereby permitting continued rotation of said article-storage columns.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Number McDowell Number Number 20 228,264 786,874

14 Name Date Scheble Jan. 5, 1904 Whitney Apr. 24, 1906 Thrasher Feb. 18, 1908 Schrum July 7, 1908 Axt et a1. July 9, 1912 Tily et a1. Oct. 29, 1918 Mortensen Dec. 2, 1924 Folger Oct. 22, 1934 Graillat Feb. 25, 1936 Mills Dec. 22, 1936 Hackett Nov. 16, 1937 Scofield Dec. 7, 1937 Schlofi Feb. 2, 1943 Makibbin Nov. 7, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date Germany Nov. 7, 1910 France Sept. 11, 1935

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/20, 221/198, 221/273, 221/282, 221/154, 221/5, 221/122
International ClassificationG07F11/54, G07F11/46
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/54
European ClassificationG07F11/54