US 2741505 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
C. COURNEY DOOR F'ASTENER April 1o, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed June '7, 1954 IWI.
April 10, 1956 c. COURNEY 2,741,505
DOOR FASTENER Filed June 7, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Aly;
Food fzorczye Compartment /'g j IN1/EN TOR.
United States Patent 2,741,505 Doon FASTENER Clark Courney, Fairborn, Ohio, assigner to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Application June 7, 1954, Serial No. 434,847
3 Claims. (Cl. 292-341.17)
This invention relates to improvements in door fasteners for hinged doors of refrigerator cabinets and/or the like.
l am aware of the fact that hingedly mounted doors on refrigerated truck bodies, walk-in meat storage rooms and food storage compartments have been provided with a snap acting latch mechanism including a hand operated means interiorly of the refrigerated compartment therein for actuating the latch from the inside thereof to open the door and prevent freezing and/ or suffocation of a person entering such compartment. However an inner hand operated means, lever or the like for a latch on refrigerator cabinets has not been infallible in overcoming the problem of preventing children from losing their lives by being trapped in such cabinet and freezing to death or becoming sulocated. For example when a child becomes trapped in the food storage compartment of a refrigerator cabinet, by an exteriorly operable snap acting latch on the cabinet door locking when the door is swung or slammed shut, he or she gets excited and becomes panicky and is therefore incapable of endeavoring to locate a hand operated means on the inside of the cabinet for actuating the latch and releasing the door from its closed position. lt is nevertheless a natural instinct, for even a child, to push on the cabinet door from within the cabinet should the child be trapped therein. Thus I contemplate the im provement in the art of means whereby a child may free himself or herself from the interior of a refrigerator cabi net or the like upon being trapped therein by means operable under natural instincts of the child.
An object of my invention is to provide a highly improved, simplified and easy manner for a child to extricate himself or herself from the interior of a refrigerator cabinet or the like.
Another object of my invention is to provide a refrigerator cabinet or the like with means cooperating with an exteriorly operated door fastener or latch thereon which is responsive to a pressure applied directly to the door from interiorly of the cabinet to release the fastener or latch and permit the door to be opened.
A further object of my invention is to provide an inner operable latch releasing mechanism for a hingedly mounted door on a refrigerator cabinet which remains stationary while the latch is actuated from outside the cabinet during opening and closing movements of the door whereby no stresses, strains or wear are imparted thereto so as to insure of its proper functioning when the occasion arises.
A still further and more specific object of my invention is to provide a refrigerator cabinet door latch with a normally immovable spring pressed toggle-joint or emergency device rendered movable in response to a pressure applied directly to the door from' within the cabinet for operating a keeper element on the cabinet out of engagement with a keeper engaging member of the latch and carried by the door to permit the door to be swung open.
Other and further advantages of the invention will be obvious as hereinafter pointed out and consist in features 2,741,505 Patented Apr. 10, 1956 ICE of construction, combination of elements and arrangements of parts thereof in which the scope of application will be indicated by claims appended hereto.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a Vertical fragmentary sectional view through a door and door jamb of a refrigerator cabinet having my improvement embodied therein and showing the latching mechanism for the door in normal door closingV or latched position;
Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1 showing the door partially open with the door latch emergency releasing means in a position attained just prior to becoming effective to permit opening of the door from Within the refrigerator cabinet;
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figures l and 2 and shows the door latch emergency releasing means tripped and freeing the door for swinging movement about its hinged mounting on the cabinet; and
Figure 4 is a horizontal fragmentary sectional view of the door latch emergency releasing means taken on the line 4-4 of Figure l. I
Referring to the drawings I show in Figure lthereof an insulated side wall 11 of a refrigerator cabinet 10 having a door jamb with a surface 12 at the front of the cabinet and forming an opening providing access to the interior of a refrigerated food storage compartment (see Figure 4) in cabinet 10. A rigid preferably non-metallic breaker strip 13 is interposed between the outer panel of wall 11 and the liner which forms walls of the food compartment in cabinet 10 and is interlocked therewith in any suitable or conventional manner. A door, generally represented by the reference character 14, has an outer surface or metal panel 15 and a spaced inner panel or surface 16 with insulating material 17 disposed in the space between the panels 15 and 16. One sideV of door 14 is h-ingedly mounted upon the front of cabinet 10 for swinging move` ment relative thereto and is adapted tohave its other side fastened or latched to the cabinet. Door 14 is formed with an edge portion overlapping the door jamb or front surface 12 of cabinet 10 (see Figure 4) and has a resilient gasket 18 mounted thereon and adapted to sealingly engage surface 12 to close the food storage compartment in a substantially air tight manner, all of which is conven* tional in the art and should be readily understood. A handle supporting bearing plate or bushing 21 is secured to the outer or front panel 15 of door 14 by screws or the like (not shown) and a door latch handle 20 is pivotally supported inkbearing plate 19 by being mounted on a pin or shaft 21 carried thereby. Handle 20 has an integral at extension 22 formed thereon and passing through suitable openings or slots provided in parts of door 14. The openings or slots in parts of door 14 through which handle extension 22 extends may, if desired, be closed by a flexible rubber or the like bellows or diaphragm (not shown). Bearing plate or bushing 19 has walls of the aperture therethrough cut out angularly as at 23 and 24 to permit handle 20 to be moved up and down about pin or shaft 21. A coil spring 26 is torsionally mounted upon pin 21 and has its one end 27 anchored to the extension 22 on handle 2li with its other end 28 abutting against a part of bearing or bushing 19. This spring 26 biasesl the handle extension 22 upwardly or into the position thereof disclosed in full lines in Figure l of the drawings. The inner end 29 of latch handle extension 22 is formed into a hook or keeper engaging member for engagement with a molded plastic or metal roller keeper element 31 to latch the door 14 in closed position against cabinet 1i). l Roller keeper element 31 is not ordinarily' movable and the door 14 is unlatched for swinging movement about its hinged mounting relative tov cabinet 10 by pulling outwardly and upwardly on handle 20, for overcoming the biasing effect of spring 26, to cause pivotal movement of the latch gramos handle about pin or shaft 21 whereby the hooked end 29 of the keeper engaging member on extension 22 tilts downwardly away from roller 31- as shown by the dot-dash lines in Figure l of the drawings.V The cut out parts 23 and 24 of the wall of the aperture in bearing or bushing 19 permitting this movement of handle 2t) and its liar integral' extension 22. The door 14 may be closed without actuating handle 2li and in such case the curved inner edge of the flat hooked end 29 on the latch handle eXtension 22 strikes the roller keeper 31 and rides downwardly thereover whereupon spring 26 forces the hooi; upwardly around the keeper 31 to latch door 14 closed.
A metal box-like structure having side walls 33 is secured, by screws or by spoot welds, to a metal strip support 34 extending valong the inner surface of the outer Vmetal panel of 'side wall 11 .of cahinetail se Figuresv l and 4). The strip supportr34 may be rigidly secured in any suitable manner to inturncd front and rear anges on this cabinet side wall panel. Side walls 33 of the box-like structure have two stationary bolts or pins 36 and 3'7 secured thereto and extending therebetween. These pins 36 and 37 support a spring pressed snap acting toggle-joint device or emergency means for causing door 14 to be unfastened or unlatched from cabinet in accordance with the objects of my invention. Pin 36 has a somewhat triangular shaped arm 41 of the 'toggle joint device pivotally mounted thereon. Y Arm 41 is in fact a double armed metalrpiece (see Figure 4) of substantially U-shape wherein the identical arms thereof are rigidly connected together by the connecting bignt portion 42 of the U. Roller keeper element 31 isrotatably mounted upon the one or forward ends 43 of the double arms 41 by a pin or stud 44 rigidly secured thereto. The other or rear ends 46 of the double arms 41 have a pin or stud 47 passing therethrough and rigidly secured thereto. A substantially U-shaped metal clip \48 has its legs pivotally mounted upon pin or stud 47 and an elongated opening 49 provided in one end of another hat arm 51 of the toggle-joint device also its over pin or stud 47. Arm 51 extends through an opening provided in the bight portion 52 of U-shaped clip 43. The opposite end 53 of arm 51 is pivotally secured yto pin 37 and a compressed coil spring 54 is located over arm 51 with its opposed ends abutted against the bight portion 52 of U-shaped clip 5S and against the pin 37. Pin or stud 47 secured to the ends 45 of arms 41 may be moved throughout a predetermined arc with respect to and intermediate bolts or pins 36 and 37 and back and forth in the elongated opening 4g provided in arm 51 during tripping movements of the togglel joint device as is conventional of such devices. Upper and lower stops 56 and 57 respectively, formed by punched out ears from a side 33 of the metal box-like structure, are provided for the toggle-joint emergency device and are adapted to be engaged by one of the arms I 41 thereof to limit tripping movements.
The toggle-joint device is normally set in the position thereof as shown in Figure l of the drawings and holds or locks the roller keeper element 31 stationary, with respect to cabinet il), during engagement therewith and disengagement therefrom of the movable hooklike keeper engaging member 29 on extension 22 of the latch handle 20 upon opening and closing door 14 from exteriorly of the cabinet. emergency toggle-joint latch releasing device remains idle and no wear of parts thereof takes place. Should a child enter the food storage compartment of cabinet 10 and be trapped therein, by closing of door 14, while the refrigerator is in use, is in storage or after it has been abandoned and discarded, the natural instinct of the child will be to push on the door that has closed the opening through which he or she entered the cabinet. If the child gets excited and becomes panicky then he or she would be of temporarily unsound mind and incapable of searching for a door latch releasing handle,
Under this condition the f 4 lever, bar or the like located on the inside of the compartment in cabinet 16. This it is only natural for'the trapped child to brace its body against the wall of the cabinet within `the compartment thereof in which he or she is trapped and to push outwardly on the door. My emergency door latch releasing or unlocking device is constructed to be rendered efective or operable by a minimum of force applied directly to door 14 from within the cabinet. Normal children are of suilicient strength to apply enough force to the door of a cabinet having my improved emergency Vmeans'incorporated therein to cause the door to be unlatched and swing open. This feature is achieved inthe present disclosure by virtue of the fact that the compression tension of only the small spring 54 need be overcome by moving pin or stud 47 passed a straight line extended between the two pins 36 and 37 whereupon the toggle-joint device will then quickly snap roller keeper element 31 away from Yand out of latched position with` the hook keeper engaging member 29 by rotation of arms 41 about pin 36. In Figure 2 of the drawings l show the door 14 cracked or partially opened with the toggle-joint device not yet moved sufciently to trip the same. lf the door 14 is partially moved open from within the cabinet by a child trapped therein as shown in Figure 2 a decided advantage is derived from the use of a toggle-joint device as presently disclosed. and light to enter the compartment prior to completely releasing the door and this would tend to assure the child, trapped in the cabinet, that the door can be opened whereupon Ythe child will make another or continued stronger etfort or" pushing on the door. It being under-` stood of course that the pushing force applied to door 14 from within the compartment of cabinet 10 is transmitted from the door to hook 29, on latch handle extension 22,V
and through hook 29 to the roller keeper 31 for operating the toggle-joint emergency device. In Figure 3 of the drawings the door 14 is shown completely unlatched from cabinet lil with the emergency toggle-joint device having moved and released roller keeper element 31 from the keeper engaging member 29. The roller keeper 31 having moved out of the box-like structure, through a slot in the breaker strip 13 at the front of the cabinet door jamb, is accessible to be forced back into the boxlike structure to retrip the toggle-joint device into the position thereof as shown in Figure l to reset the same so that it will again serve as an emergency latch releasing means. Thus the device is not damaged when actuated and is readily resettable. The feature of resetting the toggle-joint device is also important in a structure of this type for the reason that an accidental or unintentional forward pull on door 14 or on latch handle 2d. without moving handle 2) about its pivot 21 will'trip the emergency device and permit opening of door 14 whereupon the door can no longer be latched closed until the device is reset. Thus as long as the door is latchable in its closed position to cabinet 1i) the toggle-joint device is also rendered etective to be operable in response to a pushing force applied thereto from within the cabinet. From the foregoing it should be apparent that I have provided an improved fastening or latching device for substantially air tight enclosures such as refrigerator cabinets and/or the like. My improvement particularly assists in eliminating the hazard of the likelihood of children becoming trapped in refrigerator cabinets and losing their lives. The keeper element is an essential part of a door latching means and its mounting on an arm of a spring pressed toggle-joint device as disclosed can be carried out at low cost and is not likely to become damaged or inoperative since it normallyvremains idle to hold the keeper element stationary during opening and closing of the door from ythe outside of the cabinet. My emergency door latch releasing device lends itself operable under natural instincts of a child upon being trapped and eliminates the necessity of the child search- For example it would permit some air ing for a latch releasing handle, lever, bar or push rod on the inside of a cabinet in which he or she is imprisoned.
While the form of embodiment of the invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted as may come within the scope of the claims which follow.
what is claimed is as follows:
l. A fastener for releasably latching a hinged door structure to a cabinet structure having a keeper element on one of said structures adapted to be engaged by a keeper engaging member carried on the other of said structures and movable relative thereto, said keeper element being mounted on an arm of a snap acting togglejoint device located on said one structure, means associated with said toggle-joint device normally holding said keeper element thereon stationary with respect to said one structure, said keeper engaging member being movable, without moving said toggle joint device, into and out of latching engagement with said keeper element during opening and closing movements of the door structure from exteriorly of the cabinet structure, and said holding means being overcome in response to an outward force applied directly to said door structure from within said cabinet structure for actuating said toggle-joint device to shift said keeper element thereon relative to and without moving said movable keeper engaging member whereby said force unlatches the door from the cabinet.
2. A fastener for releasably latching a hinged door structure to a cabinet structure having a roller keeper on one of said structures adapted to be engaged by a hook carried on the other of said structures and movable relative thereto, said roller keeper being mounted on an arm of a snap acting toggle-joint device located on said one structure, means associated with said toggle-joint device normally holding said roller keeper thereon sta- 6. tionary with respect to said one structure, said hook being movabie, without movingsaid toggle-joint device, into and out of latching engagent/ent with said roller keeper during opening and closing movements of the door structure from exteriorly of the cabinet structure, and said holding means being overcome in response to an outward force applied directly to said door structure from within said cabinet structure for actuating said togglejoint device to shift said roller keeper thereon relative to and without moving said movable hook whereby said force unlatches the door from the cabinet.
3. A fastener for releasably latching a hinged door to a cabinet having a roller keeper on the cabinet adapted to be engaged by a hook carried on the door and movable relative thereto, a light spring normally biasing said movable hook toward said roller keeper, said roller keeper being mounted on an arm of a snap acting toggle-joint device located on the cabinet, a relatively strong spring associated with said toggle-joint device normally holding said roller keeper thereon stationary with respect to the cabinet, said hook being movable, without moving said toggle-joint device, into and out of latching engagement with said roller keeper during opening and closing movements of the door from exteriorly of the cabinet, and said relatively strong spring being overcome in response to an outward force applied directly to the door from within said cabinet for actuating said toggle-joint device to shift said roller keeper thereon relative to and without moving said hook whereby said force unlatches the door from the cabinet.
References Cited in the ile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,016,519 Schmidt Oct. 8, 1935 2,250,447 Dwyer July 29, 1941 2,636,767 Groeger Apr. 28, 1953