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Publication numberUS2775352 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1956
Filing dateFeb 9, 1952
Priority dateFeb 9, 1952
Publication numberUS 2775352 A, US 2775352A, US-A-2775352, US2775352 A, US2775352A
InventorsLee Waite Fred
Original AssigneeAmerican Mach & Foundry
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus
US 2775352 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


SELF-LEVELING, STORING AND DISPENSING APPARATUS Filed Feb. 9, 1952 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR FRED L.WA|TE ATTO R N EY United States Patent SELF-LEVELING, STORING AND DISPENSING APPARATUS Fred Lee Waite, Fresh Meadows, N. Y., assignor to American Machine & Foundry Company, a corporation of New Jersey Application February 9, 1952, Serial No. 270,796

4 Claims. (Cl. 211-134) This invention relates to self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus, and particularly to apparatus for storing articles which are normally not suited for being stacked upon one another.

Heretofore, in places where space is at a premium such as supermarkets, it has been necessary to spread many articles which are not suited for being stacked, around the floor. For example, cola beverages packaged in six bottle take-away units had to be stored in their original shipping boxes or else removed and spread across the floor since they tended to become wobbly if stacked one above the other. The same difficulty was also found in storing soft goods such as cake, bread, buns, etc. which would become crushed'if stored in stacked arrangement. In the case of the latter goods it was frequently the practice to use shelves with the result that much space was often wasted.

It is an object of this invention to provide a storing and dispensing device which will enable articles such as those just mentioned to be neatly and compactly stacked without danger of damage to the articles, and at. the same time, to place such articles within easy reach of the consumer.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a self leveling, storing and dispensingapparatus which will be of simple design and low cost construction. and yet will be sufficiently rugged and sturdy so as to hold the contents of several cases of stacked cola bottles.

Another object of this invention is to provide a self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus which will be adaptable for storing relatively heavy articles which are not readily adaptable for being stacked uponone another by using separating partitions to bind the stacked articles together. 7

A further object is to provide a method for storing material in bulk on a self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus by binding theload together to give it stability when stored in superimposed layers. by means of separating partitions.

Another object of this invention is to provide a self leveling, storing anddispensingapparatus which has separating partitions incorporated in the self leveling dispensing rack in such manner that the partitions are easily stacked at the top of the self leveling unit after they have served their purpose and will be so secured to the self leveling dispenser that they secure the stacked material to the'self leveling dispenser.

Another object of this invention is to provide separating partitions which ride up and down freely on guides forming part of the self leveling dispenser while maintaining frictional contact between the separating partitions and the. guide at a minimum.

Other objectsand features of the invention will appear as the description; of the particular physical embodiment selected to illustrate the invention. progresses. In. the accompanying drawings, which form. apart of. this specification, like characters of reference have been applied we C partition illustrating one of the collapsible legsupports of the same.

Figure 5 is an isometric view of a modified form of the novel self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus.

Figure 6 is a fragmentary sectional side elevation of the separating partitions usedin the modified self leveling dispenser illustrating the flexible guide means for said partitions.

With reference to the drawings, the self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus illustrated consists of twdsuitably shaped tubular frame members Ill and 12 which, at convenient and suitable points, are welded together to form a sturdy and lightweight supporting frame for the apparatus. The two top, aswell as the two bottom loops, of frame members ill-and 12 are furthermore connected by a pair of horizontally mounted rectangular plates 14 arranged in such a manner as to form the top andbottom support of a vertical column or post 16 employed for the purpose of supporting and guiding a cantilever arm 18 (Fig. 2).

The cantilever arm 18 consists of a pair of suitably bent and spaced tubularmembers 20 which are connected by means of two studs 22. Each stud 22 carries a loosely mounted roller 24'. The two rollers 24 having concave peripheries are arranged to ride in the center between the two spaced members 20 and are spaced in such a manner that one roller will contact the vertical front portion while the other roller will contact the vertical rear portion of the post.16.

Two spaced, horizontally arranged tubular supporting bars 26 and 28 are'welded to members 20 to which is suitably attached a horizontal carrier platform 36. A lug 32 is welded to each of the members 20 (Figs. 2 and 3). Lugs 32 both support and carry a horizontal pin or rod 34 to .eachprotruding end of which is hooked the lower end of a balance spring 36. The upper endof each balance spring is secured to the underside of the upper plate 14 byineans of a lug 38 and a screw 40. The ends of supporting bar 26 extend beyond the sides of upright frame 10 to prevent angular rotation of platform 30.

Springs 36 are of a design calibrated for the type load or articles to be supported on the carrier platform 30 so that the articles on the carrier are balanced and the top layer is maintained at substantially the same height regardless of whether layers of articles of the same type are added to or removed from the articles stacked in the dispensing apparatus. Where only a portion of a layer is added to or removed from the stack, it causes the carrier to travel only a distance proportional to the height of a layer of articles.

In order to make this self leveling apparatus available for storing soft goods or goods with soft tops, such as cakes, pies, etc., the dispenser illustrated in the drawings is provided with a plurality of separator plates 452. Each separator plate 42 is provided with two ears or eyelets 44- each of which engages loosely with a suitably bent guide rod 46, the upper end of which is secured at- 7-7 to the upper loop of frame member 12. The lowerend of each rod 46 is welded at 46' to the lower horizonta loop of frame member 10.

The two guide rods 46 are spaced exactly parallel to each other and are also'arranged so as to cause no intertubular supporting member'48 which projects from and which is welded or integral with the upper loop of frame member 12.

Each separator plate 42, on its bottom side, is provided with a plurality of collapsible legs or supports 50, each of which on one end is loosely pivoted to a pin 52, each of which is held by a U-shaped supporting member 54, all of which are properly spaced and secured to the bottom side of each separator plate 42. The end of each supporting leg 50, which projects into the U-shaped supporting member 54, is provided with a curved portion 56 (Fig. .4). This causes each leg 50 without further attentionto assume a vertical position as the respective separator plate 42 is moved by the operator from the stack on top of the apparatus onto the carrier platform 30.

The use of the separator plates 42 in conjunction with their leg supports 50 permits the placing of several layers of soft goods on the apparatus without said layers touching each other or crushing their delicate top surface. If desired and if the nature of the goods to be placed in the apparatus permits, the separator plates 42 may be used without the benefit of the leg supports 50 which, incidentally, fold or swing flat against the bottom side of each plate when the latter is stacked on the upper portion of the apparatus (Fig. 2).

In order to check the top level of the carrier platform 30, a pair of stop pins 58 projecting from the vertical portions of frame member 10 are provided. Said stop pins engage with the ends of the tubular platform supporting member 26 when the carrier platform 30 reaches its uppermost position. To eliminate the possibility of the articles being pushed accidentally too far backward to interfere with the balance springs 36, a pair of spaced, vertical shields 60 is provided. Said shields, at their upper ends 78, are attached to the upper loop 79 of frame member 10, while the lower end 80 of said shields are secured to the lower plate 14.

The self leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus illustrated in Figure is of the same construction as the one disclosed in Figures 1, 2, and 3 with the exception of the mounting and other detailed construction of the separator portions which permit and facilitate the storing and dispensing of merchandise and articles such as bottles, etc. Due to the shape of their top surface such articles cannot normally be stacked on each other in a self leveling dispenser. I have found that it is possible to store such articles in a self leveling dispenser by using partitions without leg supports between the layers of such articles.

As mentioned above, the modified dispensing apparatus itself is of the same construction as the one disclosed in Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4 and therefore its structural parts carry the same reference characters. The modified dispenser is provided with slightly different separator partitions 70 which have no leg supports and may be made from any suitable material which is of a fiat shape such as aluminum, cardboard, masonite, etc.

Each partition 70 adjacent to one edge is provided with a pair of lugs or clips 72 which are secured by rivets or other means to said board. The lugs 72 are provided with loops 74 projecting from one edge of said partitions and each loop carries a ring 76 which engages with one of the rods 46. i

The rings 76 are of suitable size to permit free movement of the same over and along the guide rods 46 so that each separator partition can easily be moved from the stack S on top of the dispenser to the articles on the carrier platform 30 while filling the dispenser. When the dispenser is being unloaded the separator partitions are moved from the top of the articles to the stack S.

The use of flat separator plates as shown in Figure 5 results in eliminating waste space in and assures a greater capacity of the dispenser and at the same time permits 4 the stacking of conical or similar shaped articles which could not be arranged in layers without such separator plates.

It has been found that the weight of the material stacked on the separators so effectively binds the material together that a vertical stack has considerable stability and there is for all practical purposes no strain on the rings 76. By stabilizing the load in this manner and by the use of free floating rings 76, applicant has eliminated frictional problems between the material supported in the self leveling dispenser and the supporting guides or side walls of a self leveling dispenser.

Since the top as well as the bottom sides of the separator partitions are smooth and unobstructed, they may be advantageously used for display advertising. This is especially effective when they are in stacked position on top of the dispenser as shown in Figure 5. This advertising matter A may be integral with or otherwise suitably attached to the surfaces of the separator partitions.

While I have shown the dispensing apparatus as being mounted on a base having legs, one may also mount the storing and dispensing apparatus on a wall so that the base can be omitted.

The invention hereinbefore described may be varied in construction within the scope of the claims, for the particular device selected to illustrate the invention is' but one of many possible embodiments of the same. The invention, therefore is not to be restricted to the precise details of the structure shown and described.

What is claimed is:

l. A self-leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus comprising a base, an upright secured to said base, a cantilever platform extending outwardly from said upright and tracking thereon, a tension spring connected to said cantilever platform for applying a counterbalancing force thereto which is proportional to the amount of weight supported on said platform to maintain the top thereof at a constant level despite changes in the amount of material stacked on the dispenser, separating partitions adapted to be stacked at the top of the self-leveling dispensing apparatus, and guides mounted on said upright to which said partitions are slideably connected to restrain said partitions to a vertical path of travel when placed in between layers of material stacked on said self-leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus.

2. A self-leveling, storing and dispensing apparatus comprising a base, an upright extending upwardly from Said base, a pair of bars bent substantially in the form of an L and having the upward leg of each bar positioned on opposite sides of said upright, a roller mounted be tween said bars to track on one side of said upright, a second roller mounted between said bars to track on the opposite side of said upright, a horizontal cantilever platform secured to said bars to ride up and down in a plane parallel to said upright, means engaging with said platform to prevent said platform from rotating about said upright while traveling up and down, calibrated tension springs connected to apply a counterbalancing force to said bars varying in proportion to the weight or the material supported on said platform to maintain the upper layer thereof at a constant predetermined elevation, guide members arranged parallel to said upright, separating partitions mounted for sliding movement on said guide members, said partitions being of a shape and size which is co-extensive with the layers of material placed on said cantilever platform to tie in and separate each layer of material supported on said cantilever platform.

3. A storage apparatus comprising, a base, a verticaitrack positioned vertically with respect to said base, an upright supported by said base, a cantilever platform mounted for up and down movement with respect to said track, guide rods arranged parallel to said track, separating partitions mounted for free up and down movement on said guide rods and positioned between layers of stacked material to prevent the stack from being moved laterally, and collapsible legs mounted on said separating partitions which are in collapsed condition when said partitions are in stored vertical position and which extend outwardly from said partitions when in horizontal position to space said partitions from one another when materials are stored on said platform.

4. Apparatus for storing material comprising an elongated support, means for supporting said support in a vertical position, a cantilever material supporting carrier mounted for up and down movement on said support, calibrated tension springs connected to said carrier to raise and lower said carrier a distance proportional to the weight supported thereon to maintain the top layer of the material at a substantially constant elevation, separating partitions interposed between each layer of material, guide rods on which said partitions are threaded to prevent the stacked material from moving laterally, and a partition storage section arranged at the upper 6. end of said apparatus forming a continuation of said guide rods to store said partitions when not in use.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 737,665 Rupley Sept. 1, 1903 1,347,846 Gelb July 27, 1920 1,488,962 Ward Apr. 1, 1924 2,335,379 Bersin et al Nov. 30, 1943 2,444,776 Kalning et a1. July 6, 1948 2,461,638 Gibbs Feb. 15, 1949 2,495,109 Kramer Jan. 17, 1950 2,525,243 Shelley Oct. 10, 1950 2,604,996 Smith July 29, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS 30,248 Sweden Jan. 25, 1910 299,129 Great Britain Oct. 25, 1928

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2806607 *Oct 6, 1954Sep 17, 1957Gen Bag & Burlap CompanySelf-leveling platform truck
US2852143 *Sep 5, 1956Sep 16, 1958Russell E TaberDisplay device
US2908395 *Jan 11, 1957Oct 13, 1959Spring A Way Displays Of CalifDisplay racks with folding and vertically adjustable trays
US2928551 *Apr 4, 1958Mar 15, 1960Abrams Bernard WDisplay rack for containers
US3045831 *Jul 19, 1960Jul 24, 1962Browning Jr Wayne FCommodity rack
US3098568 *Sep 18, 1961Jul 23, 1963E L KeathleySupport stand
US3161158 *May 2, 1963Dec 15, 1964E R Lurey CompanyDisplay rack with vertically adjustable shelves
US3283731 *Mar 30, 1965Nov 8, 1966American Mach & FoundrySelf-leveling device
US3635173 *Mar 30, 1970Jan 18, 1972Amf IncSelf-leveling dispenser
US4646922 *Feb 10, 1986Mar 3, 1987Arrow Art Finishers Co.Beverage display stand
US5624044 *May 18, 1995Apr 29, 1997Tee-Lok CorporationCustomizible display apparatus with printed signage
US5887680 *Mar 31, 1997Mar 30, 1999Carson; Steven J.Pallet level loader
US6364137 *Aug 22, 2000Apr 2, 2002Coors Brewing CompanyPortable multi-brand display rack
US6896145 *Feb 21, 2003May 24, 2005Philip Morris IncorporatedDispensing rack with high definition liquid crystal display header
U.S. Classification108/106, 108/136, 211/1, 108/2, 312/71, 211/59.4
International ClassificationB65G1/07, B65G1/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65G1/07
European ClassificationB65G1/07