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Publication numberUS2816689 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1957
Filing dateDec 14, 1954
Priority dateDec 14, 1954
Publication numberUS 2816689 A, US 2816689A, US-A-2816689, US2816689 A, US2816689A
InventorsStoner Harry B
Original AssigneeStoner Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Merchandise vending mechanism
US 2816689 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1957 H. B. sToNER 2,815,689

MERCHANDISE VENDING MECHANISM Filed Dec. 14, 1954 Y 2 sheets-sheet 1 HA-IQQYvr B. STONE/.2;

Dec. 17, 1957 Filed Dec. 14, 1954 H. B. sToNER MERCHANDISE VENDING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 HAB/'2y B. ToNE/a United States l Patent MERCHANDISE VENDING MECHANISM Harry B. Stoner, Aurora, Ill., assigner to Stoner Mfg. Corp., Aurora, lll., a corporation of Illinois Application December 14, 1954, Serial No. 475,210

5 Claims. (Cl. 221-274) The invention relates to improvements in merchandise vending machines and, more particularly, to the novel structure, assembly, and operation of the merchandise dispensing mechanism therein.

Merchandise vending machines of the type embodying the present invention are of the kind that have a plurality of upright racks, each to contain a stack of vend-able merchandise. One piece or package of merchandise is vended from the racks when a customer deposits a coin or coins of the proper denomination and then manually actuates a selected one of a plurality of dispensing mechanisms, one of which is associated with each rack. Merchandise vending machines now in use, such as the one disclosed in the co-pending Gordon R. Rogers application, Serial No. 453,861, led September 2, 1954, embody vending mechanism which is manually reciprocal and which includes an ejector plate that normally partially underlies the Istack of merchandise in the related rack 'but which is withdrawn from beneath the stack during a vending operation and then returned to its normal position. This return movement of the ejector plate pushes the lowermost piece of merchandise in the related rack ahead of it and causes it to be discharged from the rack through a vending opening provided in the back wall thereof. The distance the ejector plate travels during such vending operation corresponds to the vstroke of the plunger. `One of the main problems involved in merchandise vending is that created by a customer who seeks to cheat the machine, that is, one who seeks to obtain merchandise without depositing a coin or to obtain merchandise in excess of that normally and properly vended when a coin is deposited. One such problem arises from the fact that, on occasion, skillful manipulation of the plunger, accompanied by tilting or striking the machine, two packages of merchandise may be vended instead of one. It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a novelly constru-cted ejector plate mechanism that will function to defeat such fraudulent operation.

Many operators of vending machines of the character under discussion are now vending merchandise other than cigarettes for which the machine primarily is intended. For example, but not by way of limitation, packages of cookies, candies, etc. are presently being vended from machines of the aforementioned character but with most unsatisfactory results. This arises -for the most part from the fact that the packages of cookies, etc. are loosely wrapped and their wrappers tend to bulge endWise as soon as the package drops below the bottom end of the rack walls. This bulging is much more objectionable when the cookies, etc. within the package are not rectangular and do not occupy the same total area as a package of cigarettes. More specifically, usually two cookies, etc. are supported upon a rectangular piece lof cardboard and both are enclosed within one wrapper. The irregular size and contour of the cookies increases the amount of excess wrapping material. Because of the weight of the stack of cookies upon the lowermost package to be vended, the

yvarious brands of cigarettes, cookies, candy, etc.

wrapper is bulged excessively when it leaves the contines of the rack prior .to being ejected therefrom. It is for this reason that the presently disclosed vending mechanism includes lan ejector plate movable through a greater distance than that of the plunger so as to be carried furtheraway from a package when said package drops down into position to be vended. This increased movement of the ejector plate carries its forward or pusher end clear of the bulging wrapper. It is, therefore, another object of the invention to provide a novelly constructed plunger actuated vending mechanism for a machine adapted to vend loosely wrapped packages of merchandise.

Another object is to provide a plunger ejector mechanism with novel means to allow the ejector plate thereof to move a greater distance than the distance the plunger is moved.

1 Another object is to provide, in a plunger-ejector plate mechanism, novel means to carry the ejector plate through a greater distance of travel than that accomplished by the plunger during a cycle of operation.

Another object is to provide a novel structure and association of parts operable automatically for increasing the stroke of a reciprocal ejector plate beyond the limits of movement effected by its reciprocal operating plunger.

Another object is to provide, in a vending machine, a novel reciprocal plunger and ejector plate assembly with a novel bell-crank assembly and an associated cam track.

Another object is to provide a novel plunger-ejector mechanism -for a merchandise vending machine that is not expensive to manufacture, is easily assembled, positive in operation, and very efficient in use.

With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and 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, proportion, size and minor details lof the structure may be made without departing from the Ispirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.

For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of my invention, I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages, should be readily understood and appreciated.

Referring to the drawings in which the same -characters of reference are employed to indicate corresponding or similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through a merchandise vending machine disclosing the features of the present invention, showing the reciprocal elements in their normal retracted position.

Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. l, showing the reciprocal elements in withdrawn position.

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the ejector plate.

Fig. 4 is a perspective View of a fragmentary portion of the vending machine chassis showing one of the cam tracks mounted thereon.

Fig. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially on line 5-5 of Fig. l.

Fig. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view through a package of merchandise of the type which may be vended by the vending mechanism disclosed herein.

Referring now particularly to the accompanying drawings, a vending machine disclosed is adapted to vend a variety of packages of merchandise such as, for example,

latented Dec. 17, 1957 The f packages of merchandise are arranged in stacks and selective means in the form of novelly constructed plungerejector plate mechanisms are provided, one in association. with eachof the several racks in the mach-ine,v to cause ai selcctedpackage to-b`e vendedupon the deposit inthe machine ofacoin or coins of the proper denomination.V Inview of the fact` that: the coin-controlled mechanism' constitutes no part of the` present invention, itis not disclosed. It` should, therefore, be sucient to observe atthis-time that when a1 coinor coins of proper denomination are deposited-in the machine-suitable mechanismiis conditionedito permit reciprocation of any one of anumber of plunger-ejector plateA mechanisms, one of which is associated witheachrack.

Referring particularly to the Fig. l disclosure, the merchandise vending machine, generally indicated atl 11, includes a plurality of merchandise containing yracks 12 (only one shown). Each rack has associated with it thc novel plunger-ejector plate mechanism, generally indicated at 13, so'that when said mechanism is actuated through a complete cycle of operation, the lowermost package of merchandise 14-contained in the related rack is ejected therefrom and delivered to the customer. The rack 12 ismounted in an upright position on a chassis 15,` which includes a front wall 16, the top wall 17, and a back wall 18. The chassis topwall is slotted,` as at- 19, to permit portions of the plunger ejector-plate mechanism to be arranged on each side of the top wall 17. As illustrated, the plunger-ejector mechanism 13 includes a normally retracted reciprocal plunger 21 which projects through the chassis front wall 16 and has on its front end aV knob 22 to facilitate manual engagement therewith for withdrawing said plunger from the position illustrated in Fig. l into substantially the position illustrated in Fig. 2 during a vending cycle. The vending cycle is completed when the plunger 21 is returned to its normally retracted position.

Mounted on the plunger 2l, so as to move normally therewith, is a slidable vending assembly 23. This vending assembly is fabricated' from sheet material and, as is perhaps best illustrated in Fig. 5, it has the form of an inverted U and includes a top wall 24 and downwardly extending sidewalls 25. The side walls-2S are connected at their forward ends by a front wall 26, which has a centrally located aperture therein through whichthe plunger 21 extends. Firmly mounted on the top wall 24 of saidslide assembly, as by means of rivets 27, is a laminated` assembly 28 fabricated from strap stock. This laminated assembly 2S extends upwardly through the slot 19 in the chassis top wall 17 and includes a top plate 29 having upwardly extending side walls 30 which terminate at their upper margins in outwardly turned horizontally disposed flanges 31. These ilanges constitute a slidable'mounting for the merchandise ejector plate 32.

The merchandise ejector plate 32 is perhaps best illustrated in Figs. 3 and 5' and, upon reference to these disclosures, it will be observed that the ejector plate is of a width so as to be accommodated betweenv the side walls of the rack with which it is associated and has a length that normally locates a substantial portion thereof beneath the lowermost merchandise package 14 in said rack so as to constitute aflloor therefor (Fig. l The rear margin of said ejector plate 32 is turned downwardly to provide a depending flange 33 which functions in a manner to become apparent presently to push a package of merchandise ahead of itduring a vending operation. The slidable assembly 23 and the ejector plate 32 normally move with the plunger 21 as is perhaps best illustrated in Fig. 2. v

The rearmost endv of the. plunger 21 carries a pin 34 which projects laterally through slots 35 in the side walls 25 of the slidable assembly 23. A spring 36, arranged around the plunger 21 between the pin 34 and the slidable assembly front wall 26, normally holds the plunger 4. retracted relative to the slidable assembly 23. When the plunger is pulled outwardly, during the 'rst half of a vending operation, the slidable assembly 23 is carried therewith notwithstanding the presence of the spring 36. This is accomplished by providing, on at least one of the side walls 25 of the slide member 23, a spring-held latch 37 that normally engages over the pin 34. Should some obstruction prevent normal movement of the slidable assembly 23with the plunger 21, outwardly, the pin 34 is cammed. out of engagement with the latch 37 whereupon said plunger may move through its full cycley of operation with the pin travelling in slot 35 without movement of the slidable assemblyl 23.

When the plunger 21- and slidable assembly 23 are moved from their normally retracted positions, as illustrated in Fig. l, into the forwardly withdrawn positions illustrated in Fig. 2, the ejector-plate 32 thereon is carried out from beneath the stack of merchandise into substantially the position illustrated in Fig. 2'. When this occurs the stack` of merchandise in the related rack drops down into the position shown iny Fig. 2. The return of the plunger and` slidable assembly 23 to their initial retracted positions, causes the depending flange 33 on the leading end of the ejector plate 32 to push the lowermost package of merchandise 14 rearwardly through a vending opening 39 provided in. the back wall of the related rack 12. ln order to insure foolproof operation of the vending mechanism each time the plunger 21 is moved through one complete operating cycle, it is essential that the end of the ejector plate 32 having the flange 33 thereon is withdrawn a sufficient distance forwardly of the forward end of the package of merchandise to be vended so that said package is not in any manner whatsoever interfered with in its falling down onto the top wall 17 of the chassis 15.

It has been noted hereinbefore that when merchandise such as cookies or candy is vended by means of the apparatus disclosed herein, the apparatus must be capable of functioning in a manner to permit such packages to be vended without possible jamming or improper machine operation. The situation is particularly critical when cookies or candies are packaged and wrapped in individual wrappers substantially in the manner illustrated in Fig. 6. As there shown two cookies 41 are placed upon a substantially rectangular sheet of paperboard 42 and the cookies and paperboard are enclosed in a transparent wrapper 43. When the cookies or other commodity are of a perimeter not corresponding to that of the paperboard 42, the wrapper 43 obviously is relatively loose, particularly at the ends thereof where said wrapper is carried down over the ends of the commodity 41 and secured beneath the bottom of the paperboard 42. So long as the loosely wrapped package 14 remains within the connes of the rack 42, no difficulty is occasioned by reason of such loose wrapping. However, when a package 14 falls onto the top wall 17 of the chassis 15, as is best illustrated in Fig. 2, its ends are clear of the related walls of the rack 12 and because of the pressure of the stack of packages supported thereby within the rack, the ends tend to buckle or bow outwardly, as at 44, thus increasing the eiective length of the package 14. It is because of this increase in the effective length of the package that means is provided to increase the length of the stroke of the ejector plate 32 with respect to the length of stroke of the plunger 21 and slidable assembly 23. Should no such means be provided, it would necessarily entail the enlargement of the vending apparatus as a whole and the increasing of the length of the stroke of the plunger 21. However, since this type ofa Vending apparatus is used to vend cigarette packages, which do not bulge or otherwise have their effective length increased, the vending apparatus primarily designed for vending packages of cigarettes may be used for vending loosely Wrapped packages of the lcharacter referred ,to-by the simple expedient of increasing the relative stroke of the ejector plate 32.

In order to permit relative movement between the ejector plate 32 and the slidable assembly 23, said ejector plate has its side margins turned downwardly and then inwardly to dene inturned flanges 45 which underlie the out-turned margins 31 on the U-shaped member 29--30. This mounting affords free sliding of the ejector plate relative to said U-shaped member. As is best illustrated in Fig. 3, the ejector plate 32 is formed, adjacent its forwardly disposed end, with an opening 46 having upturned opposed flanges 47 for a purpose to be described presently. The U-shaped member 29--30 has, pivotally mounted therein, a bell-crank structure 48 which is pivoted thereto by means of a rivet or the like 49. One arm 51 of the bell-crank structure 48 carries a roller 52 that is at all times disposed in the ejector plate opening 46 for rolling engagement with one or the other of the opposed ilanges 47. The other arm 53 of said bell-crank extends forwardly beyond the forward end of the U- shaped element 29--30 and it carries a lateral pin 54 having a head 55 on one end thereof outwardly of the bell crank assembly 48. The head 55 is slotted, as at 56, to receive freely therein a track S7.

Upon referring particularly to Fig. 4, it will be noted that the track 57 is fabricated from sheet metal stock and it has a depending reinforcing flange 58 on one edge which merges with a base ange 59. The base flange 59 is firmly secured to the top surface of the chassis top Wall 17 in any suitable manner such as, for example, by spot welding at 61. Referring now to Fig. l, it will be observed that when the ejector plate 32 is in its retracted position, underlying substantially the entire bottom of the stack of merchandise 14, the bell-crank is likewise retracted, the slotted head 55 being engaged with the substantially horizontal portion of the cam track 57. During a Vending operation when the plunger is withdrawn, the head 55 will travel along the cam track 57 and follow its contour so as to impart rotation in a counter-clockwise direction, as is best illustrated in Fig. 2. This independent movement of the bell-crank 48 during withdrawal of the plunger 22 causes the ejector plate to slide relative to the U-shaped element 29-30 of the slide assembly thereby causing it to withdraw a greater distance than it normally would were no such bell crank cam structure associated therewith. It is this additional movement of the ejector plate 32 which carries the depending flange 33 thereof forwardly a distance sufficient to prevent the bulging end of a loosely wrapped package from entangling therewith and becoming jammed. When the plunger is returned to its retracted position, for ejecting the merchandise package, the ejector plate 33 moves towards its retracted position at a greater rate of speed and for a greater distance than that through which the plunger and associated parts travel.

ln addition to avoiding entranglement or jamming of a loosely wrapped package with the ejector plate, the bellcrank cam track structure provides a mechanism that permits the retracted ejector plate 32 to extend a greater distance beneath the merchandise whether it be loosely wrapped packages of cookies, etc. or cigarette packages to prevent unauthorized vending of one or more packages of merchandise by fraudulent operation or by mishandling of the apparatus.

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 de- 6 tails 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 vending machine including a rack to contain merchandise to be vended through an opening therein, means operable to vend merchandise from said rack, said means comprising a reciprocal plunger assembly located beneath said rack, an ejector plate slidable on said plunger assembly normally lying beneath and supporting a stack of merchandise in said rack, means operably connecting the plunger assembly and ejector plate for movement jointly, said plunger assembly being manually reciprocal during a vending operation to initially withdraw the ejector plate from beneath said stack and then cause said ejector plate to push the lower-most piece of merchandise from the rack for delivery to customer, and means engaged by the said connecting means for sliding the ejector plate relative to the plunger assembly so as to move the ejector plate a greater distance than that traversed by the reciprocal plunger assembly.

2. In a vending machine of the character recited in claim 1, in which said connecting means comprises a bellcrank journaled in the plunger assembly and engageable with the ejector plate.

3. In a vending machine of the character recited in claim 1, in which said connecting means comprises a bellcrank journaled in the plunger assembly and engageable with the ejector plate and the means engaged by said connecting means comprises a fixed cam track.

4. In a vending machine of the character recited in claim l, in which said connecting means comprises a bellcrank journaled in the plunger assembly, a guide on one bell-crank arm, a cam track engaged by said guide, and means in the ejector plate engageable by the other bellcrank arm.

5. In a vending machine including a rack to contain merchandise to be vended through an opening therein, means operable to vend merchandise from said rack, said means comprising a reciprocal plunger assembly located beneath said rack, an ejector plate slidably mounted on said plunger assembly normally underlying and supporting a stack of merchandise in said rack, a bell-crank carried by said plunger assembly, one arm of said bellcrank engaging said ejector plate, a xed cam track, and means on the other bell-crank arm engaged with said cam track, said plunger assembly being manually reciprocal during a vending operation to initially withdraw the ejector plate from beneath said stack and to then cause the ejector plate to push the lowermost piece of merchandise from the rack for delivery to a customer, said bellcrank and cam track cooperating during operation of the plunger assembly to slide the ejector plate relative to the plunger assembly so as to move said ejector plate a greater distance than that travelled by the reciprocal plunger assembly.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 416,340 Moodie Dec. 3, 1889 538,173 Loewenbach et al Apr. 23, 1895 2,105,644 Gebert et al. Jan. 18, 1938 2,231,952 Rowe et al Feb. 18, 1941 2,267,144 Steiner Dec. 23, 1941 2,399,612 Auerbach May 7, 1946 2,616,573 Grady Nov. 4, 1952 2,707,543 Stoner et al May 3, 1955

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US416340 *Aug 31, 1889Dec 3, 1889 Toilet-paper safe
US538173 *Apr 23, 1895 Device
US2105644 *Oct 30, 1935Jan 18, 1938Advance Machine CoVending machine
US2231952 *Aug 19, 1938Feb 18, 1941Rowe Mfg Co IncCoin vending machine
US2267144 *Dec 28, 1939Dec 23, 1941Need A Pak Products Corp UVending machine
US2399612 *Oct 9, 1943May 7, 1946Standard Vendors IncVending machine
US2616573 *Jan 26, 1950Nov 4, 1952Grady Henry WPackage dispenser
US2707543 *May 20, 1950May 3, 1955Stoner Mfg CorpVending apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3042250 *Nov 17, 1960Jul 3, 1962Watlington Lee SNewspaper vending apparatus
US3095115 *May 27, 1960Jun 25, 1963Seeburg CorpDelivery mechanism for vending machines
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/274, 221/243
International ClassificationG07F11/16
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/16
European ClassificationG07F11/16