US 2717574 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 13, 1955 w. T. LA BORE GUMMED STRIP MOISTENING DEVICE Filed Dec. 11, 1953 I INVENTOR A1 TORNEY United States Patent GUMlVlED STRIP MOISTENING DEVICE Walter T. La. Bore, Stamford; Conn assignor t0=Pifl19y- Bowes, Inc., Stamford, COIllL, a. corporation of Delaware Application December 11, 1953, Serial No. 397,582-
3 Claims. (Cl. 118-401) This invention relates to strip moistening and especially to the moistening of gumrned paper strips as they are fed'forward from a strip dispensing device, e. g. a postage printing, meter.
Heretofore it has been the practice to provide a moistening station at a position to perform amoistening' operation on a dispensed strip section, as the last oper ation while the tape is drawn from the supply by the operator, orfedforwardly by' automatic feeding means, and the moistening equipment has quite uniformly consistedof a brush composed of natural or'artificial bristles whose bases are submerged in a water supply and whose tips brush lightly against. the gummed under surface of the issuing strip. While very reliable and effective moistening can be obtained in. this fashion, at" least. for awhile, it has been found from experience that ordinary water supplies contain suificient foreign organic matter to cause a progressive fouling of the brush with resulting unpleasant appearance and odor, and. eventual impairment: of its moisture, feeding properties; While some relief from these conditions can be obtained by periodic cleaning of the. brush, this is only partially successful since it is; impractical to clean the brush thoroughly at the base where the bristles are in close juxtaposition and the undesirable fouled condition returns rapidly unless the brush is removed and replaced by a new one.
It is an object of the presentinvention to provide moiste'ning equipment for a gummed strip dispenser which will be substantially free from any tendency toward fouling due to impurities in the water, and one which can be readily cleaned and returned substantially to new condition even if it should become partially fouled so as to obviate any necessity for replacement on account.
The foregoing object is achieved, according to the present invention, by placingin close proximity to each other; a plurality of smooth-surfaced plates. which are held at the desired optimum capillary spacing by thin shims or spacer elements-and positioned withtheir lower portions in the water supply and their upper portions in contact with the gummed surface of the. strip.
In. one form of the invention the plates are circular andfixed to a common operating shaft so that by rotation of the shaft the portions used for moistening can be changed,,or the moistener can be readily primed in case it becomes dried out after a failure in the water supply;
With the above and other objectsv in. view, which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention resides in the combination and arrangement ofjparts and in the details of. construction hereinafter described and claimed, it being understood that various changes in. the
departing from-the spirit of the invention.
'A preferred. embodiment of the invention is illustrated.
in. the. accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a front elevation of a strip printing and I 2,717,514 Patented. Sept. 13, 1.955
dispensing device having a moistener constructed according to the principles of the present invention, parts.
illustrating another form of the invention.
Referring to the drawing,.the.moistener of' the present invention is shown as embodied in a printing and dispensing mechanism for a. gummed paper strip 8,, which is led from a supply roll R' mounted on suitable. roll holding means 11 carried by a. member 13 which may, be the frame or body of the machine.
As seen in Fig. 1 the strip S travels over a guide plate power to take the strip from the roll R and feed it.
forward to.- dispense the same.. The roller. 19 may be, and in the device shown is, a rotary printing head, and makes aprinted impression, upon the tape atthe same time that it is being fed. The roller 21 in: that case servesas. an impression roller for. urging the tapeagainst the printing surface of. the roller. 19.
Associated with. thev impression. roller 21 is a guide. bar 23 which may include one or more elements curved to fit approximately against the surfaceof the roller 21 adjacent thepoint where itmakes contact. with the roller 19'. The guide bar 23 is so disposed as to avoid. conflict with the printing portions of the roller 19 by being positioned either at the ends of. the printing area or in suitable slots in the roller 19 provided therefor. By. means of the guide bar. 23 and. any other suitable guide means which may be caused to cooperate therewith,
the paper strip, S is led accurately into the nip of the rollers 19, 21 and beyond the same to and through. a cutoff device 25 which may be. either manually. or automatically operated to sever sections of the desired length from, the. strip being fed. forward by the rollers 19, 21.. An additional guidebar. 27 conducts. the end of the strip from the cutter 25. to. a moistening station 29 where it retains thegummed surface of the strip (the lower sur-- face in the form shown) in effective contact with amoistening head 31 including aconstant level water tank 33 and a moisturev distributing-mechanism 35 mounted in the tank.
Instead. of the usual; brush for conducting the moisture from the tank 33 to. the underside of the strip S, the moisture distributing device 35 has a plurality of fin like por tions or plates 37., preferably of metal, positioned closeto but out of contact with each other by a small amount, just sufficient. to provide for a capillary actionwhich; will raise the liquid from the normal tank level to the uppermost edges of the plates where it is brought into contact with the surface; of the strip S. When, as is preferable,
hard, smooth, non-absorbent plates. of impervious material are used, they donot tend to become easily fouled oy foreign organic matter in the liquid, and in case any fouling should occur, their surfaces are quickly restored o normal condition by. merely flushing them off in a ap'idly flowing stream.
The plates 37 are accurately spaced and setby insert? mg between. each pair a spacer 39, having exactly the desired thickness, preferably a shim of metallic material. which is corrosion and moisture resistant.
As seen particularly in Fig. 2, a water supply in the Fig. 5 is a perspective. view of a moistening head tank 33 is maintained at the level X so that a substantial proportion of each of the plates 37 is normally immersed. For the sake of convenience and in order to have a water supply larger than could be maintained at the moistening station 29, the tank 33 is connected to a master supply 41 by a flexible plastic tube 43 which is connected to a side of the tank 33, for example by means of tight friction fit on a nipple 45. The master water supply 41 in cludes a receptacle 47 which is kept filled by means of an inverted water bottle 49 having at its mouth a valve 51. The valve 51 normally closes the mouth of the bottle 49 whenever the bottle is inverted, but is forced aside by a projection 53 in the receptacle 47 whenever the bottle 49 is in place thereon. So long as the bottle 49 contains a supply of water, the water level in the receptacle 47 will remain constant as determined by the position of the bottle mouth, and the level is the same as the water level X in the tank 33.
In the preferred form of the invention shown in Figs. 1-4, the plates 37 are circular in outline and are coaxially mounted on a hollow shaft 55, with a spacer 39 between each pair. Collars 57 and 59 clamp between themselves the plates 37 and spacers 39 in a compact stack, and serve to substantially fix the plates to the shaft. The shaft 55 is rotatable on an elongate stud 61 suitably aflixed to one side of the tank 33 and passing through an aligned opening 62 in the opposite wall above the water level. The shaft 55 also extends to the exterior of the tank 33 through a bearing 63 provided in the said opening. At the exterior of the tank the shaft 55 carries a toothed wheel T 65 engageable with a spring detent 67 on the outside of the tank which maintains the shaft 55 in any desired angular position about its axis. The end of the shaft 55 carries a handwheel 69 by means of which the shaft assembly including the plates 37 may be rotated when desired. A flange or head 71 is preferably provided on the end of the stud 61 to act as a stop for locating the shaft 55 in a predetermined axial position on the stud.
As seen in Figs. 1, 2 and 4, the lower portions of the plates 37 dip well below the water level X and the upper portions project somewhat above the top of the tank 33 through an opening 73 therein. The plates are so positioned that the upper edges thereof extend in a direction substantially parallel with that in which the strip moves in being fed forward or withdrawn during a dispensing operation.
By reason of the rotary mounting for the plates 37 and the provision of the handwheel 69 by which they can be rotated, a fresh moistening surface can be presented to the strip S from time to time as desired. This arrangement is particularly advantageous, however, since it inaterially simplifies the priming of the moistener in those cases when it becomes dried out due to a failure in the water supply. Thus, if the bottle 49 is allowed to become empty and the water level drop's far enough below the level X to be out of contact with the plates 37, the capillary films between the plates will disappear by evaporation and the surface of the plates will become dry. When the supply of water is replenished and the water level returned to its proper position, i. e. to level X, rewetting of the plates by capillary action tends to proceed rather deliberately so that the dispensing device cannot be put into full operation directly after a water replenishment without priming the moistening head 31 in some fashion or other. According to the present invention, this operation is simply and quickly performed by merely rotating the handwheel 69 through about 180 degrees or more to bring the moistened portion of the plates 37 into a stripcontacting position.
Another form of the invention is shown in Fig. 5 and includes a tank 33a similar in most respects to the tank 33. In this case the moisture distributing mechanism 35a is made up of a plurality of plates 37a arranged side by side and spaced apart very slightly like the plates 37. Each of the plates 37a is irregular in outline and includes a vertical water-conducting portion 74 and laterally extending arms 75. The plates 37a are preferably held in assembled relation by through-bolts '77, one passing through each set of aligned arms 75, and the desired spaced relationship of the plates is maintained by suitable spacers (not shown) surrounding the bolts 77 and located between each pair of adjacent arms 75. The materials used in constructing the plates 37a and their spacers have the same properties heretofore set out as being suitable for the plates 37 and spacers 39 of the form of the invention shown in Figs. 14.
The upper ends of the vertical water-conducting portions 74 project through a suitable opening 73a in the top of the tank 33a in a position to come into contact with the gummed surface of the strip S as it is moved thereacross.
In use the tank 33a and its contents are merely substituted for the tank 33 of Fig. l and the tank preferably has suitable located means (not shown) corresponding to nipple 45 for connection with the end of the flexible tube 43.
As seen in Fig. 1, either of the tanks 33 or 33a are carried by a bracket 81 fastened to a bar 83. When the moistening head of the type shown in Fig. 5 is employed,
'- the bar 83 preferably forms a part of the impression assembly, which mounts the impression roller 21 movably on the frame 13 so as to be retractable downwardly from the printing roller 19 against suitable spring pressure. Under these circumstances, if it should become necessary to prime the moistening head this may be accomplished by merely manually lowering the tank 33a against the force of the impression bracket spring until the standard liquid level X coincides with the top of the tank to wet the major portion of the vertical water-conducting portions 74, and then permitting the parts to return to their normal positions.
Having described the invention, what is claimed is:
l. A moistening device comprising a constant level supply reservoir; a liquid container having an opening at its upper end and designed to hold liquid standing normally at substantially a predetermined level which is the same as the level in said supply reservoir when the container is at a predetermined elevation; a flexible conduit connecting said supply reservoir and said container; moisture conducting means in said container comprising a plurality of smooth-surfaced plates arranged in parallel relation; means holding said plates in fixed relation to each other with spacing therebetween of capillary dimensions, each of said plates being positioned to extend from below the predetermined level through said opening to a point above the top of said container, and the mounting means for said plates being arranged to provide an unobstructed capillary space between each adjacent pair of plates extending from below said predetermined level to the upper edges of said plates; and means resiliently mounting said container to permit depression thereof below said predetermined position to provide for temporarily raising the water level relative to the container for priming said moisture conducting means.
2. A moistening device comprising a liquid container having an opening at its upper end and designed to hold liquid standing at substantially a predetermined level; moisture conducting means in said container comprising a plurality of circular smooth-surfaced plates arranged in parallel relation; mounting means for said plates holding the plates in fixed relation to each other with spacing therebetween of capillary dimensions, each of said plates extending from below the predetermined level through said opening to a point above the top of said container, and the mounting means for said plates being arranged to provide an unobstructed capillary space between each adjacent pair of plates extending peripherally of the plates; means to rotate said plates in unison to bring different parts of their peripheries to exposed position exteriorly of the container at will; and detent means for holding said plates in any desired angular position about their axes in which they are set.
3. A moistening device comprising a liquid container having an opening at its upper end and designed to hold liquid standing at substantially a predetermined level; moisture conducting means in said container comprising a plurality of equal diameter circular smooth-surfaced plates arranged in parallel coaxial relation and each extending from below the predetermined level through said opening to a point above the top of said container; a circular spacer of lesser diameter than the plates and of capillary thickness disposed between each adjacent pair of plates coaxially therewith; mounting means for said plates and spacers comprising a shaft rotatably mounted in said container and passing through central openings in said plates and spacers, and clamping collars on said References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,241,104 Van der Grinten May 6, 1941 2,412,538 Ryan Dec. 10, 1946 2,482,989 Mussett Sept. 27, 1949 2,604,199 Govan July 22, 1952 2,673,549 Frucki Mar. 30, 1954