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Publication numberUS2820591 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1958
Filing dateAug 30, 1954
Priority dateAug 30, 1954
Publication numberUS 2820591 A, US 2820591A, US-A-2820591, US2820591 A, US2820591A
InventorsSaunders Patricia Houston
Original AssigneeSaunders Patricia Houston
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Registering key for mechanical stores
US 2820591 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 21, 1958 C. SAUNDERS REGISTERING KEY FOR MECHANICAL STORES Filed Aug. 30, 1954 4 Sheets-Sheet .1


ATTORNEY Jan. 21, 1958 SAUNDERS 2,820,591

REGISTERING KEY FOR MECHANICAL STORES Filed Aug. 50, 195 4 Sheet S-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY Jan. 21, 1958 C. SAUNDERS REGISTERING KEY FOR MECHANICAL STORES 7 Filed Aug. 50, 1954 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 ATTORNEY Jan. 21, 1958 Filed Aug. 30, 1954 .20. I J I i V (D (D '5: l w I grgl W 4 W? u 4 c. SAUNDERS- REGISTERING KEY FOR MECHANICAL STORES 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 www ATTORNEY United rates 2,820,591 REGISTERING KEY FOR MECHANICAL STORES Application August 30, 1954, Serial No. 452,746

2 Claims. (Cl. 235-1) This invention relates to a store for the sale of merchandise, and it is' an object of the same to provide for an improved substantially automatic store having means for registering the items purchased by a customer and simultaneously registering the selling price of each separate item of merchandise, and the total of the purchases made by the customer.

Referring now to the drawings, in which is shown a form of the invention at present preferred, which drawings are made a part of this application, and in which similar characters of reference indicate similar parts:

Fig. 1 is a perspective of a portion of a store, showing a section or unit such as can be duplicated to any desirable extent, as for providing a walkway between units of the store, said walkway preferably forming a continuous path for customers, with control means at the exit, whereby customers can enter only at the entrance end of such a Walkway and can pass out only at the exit end of the said Walkway,

Fig. 2 is a cross section on line 22 of Fig. 1,

Fig. 3, an enlarged detail of parts shown in Fig. 2,

Fig. 4, an elevational view of the key and the cooperating channel for actuation of the register of the key, showing the parts in position for operation of a key that controls the dispensing of goods and registers purchases,

Fig. 5, a detail perspective of one of the upright guides for the key,

Fig. 6, a section on line 6-6 of Fig. 5,

Fig. 7, a section on line '77 of Fig. 5,

Fig. 8, a section on line 8-8 of Fig. 6, showing the switch-operating means,

Fig. 9, a section on line 9-9 of Fig. 6, showing the switch-operating means at the bottom of the trough,

Fig. 10, a top front elevational view of the operating y,

Fig. 11, a rear elevational view of the same,

Fig. 12, a section on line 12-12 of Fig. 11,

Fig. '13, a section on line 1313 of Fig. 11,

Fig. 14, a section on line 1414 of Fig. 10, showing inner parts of the registering key, and

Fig. 15, a perspective of said key, as it appears when ready for use.

In the drawings, reference character 20 indicates one unit of a number of units that may be alined in upright position, to form a part of a sinuous pathway, as in the well-kno.wnPiggly Wiggly stores, said unit comprising a lower receiving trough for goods that are dispensed from inclined shelves or troughs or other containers or supports suitably constructed to hold boxes or cans or other containers, or any variety of articles or containers for goods, such as may be dispensed by the means herein disclosed. In the form herein disclosed the dispensing means include or comprise inclined shelves or troughs as indicated at 21, which may be arranged in superposed units as shown or in any other arrangement suitable for the dispensing of goods or articles of any character suitable for dispensing by such means as those herein disclosed.

4 -*atent O i Patented Jan. 21, 1958 The units, preferably arranged in stacks as shown to form a store, includes stacks of inclined shelves which can be loaded from the rear upper end, the goods or packages sliding down toward the lower front end and being arrested as by a catch as at 22, provided at the lower front end of each inclined trough 21, said catches being moved out of the way of the next following article on the shelf, by means to be described.

Each catch 22 is pivoted at 23 on a casing 26, secured to the underside of its individual trough 21, and is guided by a pin 25 passing through a slot 27 in the catch and a slot 26' in the casing. A magnet 32 is also secured to the underside of the casing and its armature 31 is connected to a link 30 sliding in the casing 26. The link has the pin 25 secured thereto and is biased to the right (Fig. 3) by a spring 28.

When the magnet is energized the armature 31 and the link 30 will be pulled to the left and the pin 25 will pull on the catch 22. The latter will pivot on the pin 23 and its upturned end will move out of the path of an article on the trough 22, allowing said article to drop onto the inclined surface of a member 33. When the magnet is deenergized the upturned end will block the end of the trough and the action is so quick that only one article will be dispensed at each actuation of a catch.

Upon release of an object on the slide 21 by the action of the pin 25 on the cam edge of the hook 22 an article on the floor of the slide is released to the action of gravity and passes the hook-shaped end of the detent 22, then sliding down the inclined upper face of the trough 21, down the chute 33 and so on until it comes to rest on the floor 34 at the end of the chute. The inclined upper surface of chute 33 is preferably covered with rubber or other friction material to retard the movement of articles down the chute, permitting them to move but retarding them Sllfi'lClIl'tlY to avoid bursting of packages or other injury. A conveyor may be placed along the space in front of the chutes to expedite deliveries.

The units of the store include upright partitions 35 to which are secured vertical ladder-like shelf supporting elements 36. Shelves 37 are provided with hooks (not shown) to cooperate with the slotted ladders and allow vertical adjustment of the shelves, as is well known in the art. Each shelf has a parallel plate 37' secured to the shelf by a vertical member 37', the shelf, plate and member forming a unitary frame. Secured to the forward edge of each shelf and plate there are guide channel members 39 for guiding a customers key 38 (Fig. 15), the latter in passing through the guide adding the cost of an article taken from an adjacent shelf to the total amount of the customers purchases and also releasing the article purchased from one of the chutes 21.

Shelves 37 and plates 37 have upright channel guide members 39, 39 secured thereto, arranged in pairs to form oppositely facing guides of U-shape for guiding an actuator slide carrying a customers combined actuator slide and calculating key, as shown at 38. Said device has a top plate 38b and side plates 33c and the top plate is bent at 48 to form a jog with a flat bottom having a window for exposing the figures on the numeral wheels exposed at the slot. The key registers have handles 38a and have shoes 40, id at opposite sides to fit back of inwardly-directed flanges 41, 41 on the side walls 41a, 41a of the channel guide member trough that guides the key. At its upper end each guide trough is bent outward at 42, 42 so as to aid in guiding the key into position in a trough 39.

The channel guide members or troughs are provided with sets of outwardly facing teeth at the bottom of the troughs, as at 44 and 45, each set of teeth actuating a wheel of the adding device in calculating the cost of an article purchased by a customer. These sets of teeth are formed on upstanding edges of the L-shaped bars mounted in the trough so as to actuate the wheels of the calculating means as the key passes along the trough. They are fixed to the bottom of the trough by means of screws or rivets 45a passing through slots at the bottom of the trough as at 45b. Another set of teeth is formed at 49 for engagement by a detent 50 for preventing movement of the customers slide in the wrong direction, as by a customer who might wish to gain several articles for the price of one. (See Fig. 13.)

The open slot at 48 provides means for the customer to read the aggregate of his bill at any time, as a matter of convenience, the calculating disks 60,61, 62, 63 being visible through said slot.

The lower end of the casing of the key register is rounded as shown at 46a in Fig. 4, so as to make easier the entry of the key register into the guideways 39, 39.

Teeth are provided along the under or inner edge of the lefthand side plate of the key register in Fig. 13 at 49 for coacting with a yieldably supported pawl 50 that serves (Fig. 6) to engage the square corner opposite the rounded end a of the shoe member 40 and thus restrain the actuator slide against movement in the wrong direction.

Spaced from the front ends of the dispensing shelves 21 there are display devices for indicating the nature, size, etc., of the articles on the inclined dispensing shelves 21, said display devices being spaced forwardly from said shelves. tween shelves to prevent removal of display articles through the space between a pair of said bars, or to prevent accidental displacement of the articles displayed as samples.

Calculating means of known types may be used on the slides, with numeral wheels 60, 61, 62, 63 of known type, and the wheels are operated by means of price racks such as those shown at 44 and 45. The racks are adjustable along the guideways and removable and replaceable therein in accordance with changes in the prices of articles and maintained in position by set screws a. Bars 65, 65 define the paths for the calculating devices, including the numeral wheels that lie in planes between pairs of actuator gears.

As a key register moves downward over the finger 68 in Fig. 8 the cam edge at 40a presses the spring finger 68 clockwise as seen in Fig. 8 until it engages the contact 70 and so closes a circuit to an .electromagnet 31. pulling the link 30 and the pin 25 to the left in Fig. 3

and thereby tilting the detent 22 to permit an article r held thereby to slide off the lower end. Bars 65, .65 cover the numeral wheels and define the paths of movement of parts of the calculating devices including the numeral wheels that lie in planes between pairs of actuator gears 64.

The key register slide 38 is held in the hand by means of handle 38a and is passed downwardly through the channel in channel member 39, the flaring portions 42, 42 at the top of the channel member serving to guide the lower ends 40a, 40a of the shoes 40, 40 and the slide is guided by the inturned flanges 41, 41 and can only be moved downwardly being prevented from reverse movement by the detent (Fig. 9) acting against teeth 49 (Fig. 13) of the slide. The rounded portion 40a of one of the shoes contacts the spring finger 68 causing such spring finger to move clockwise until it engages the contact 70, and so closes a circuit to an Bars extend across the space be- .electromagnet 31, pulling the link 30 and the pin 25 to the left in Fig. 3 and thereby tilting the detent 22 to permit the article held thereby to slide on the lower end of the shelf 21 dropping onto inclined surface 33 in line therewith, from which it passes to floor 34 to be packed for delivery, or to a conveyor that passes over said floor.

In the operation of the store it will be evident that after the chutes have been supplied with merchandise a customer who has taken a key will apply it to a vguide 39 that is allocated to an article of merchandise to be purchased. As the shoes 40, 40 pass along the guideways unidirectionally entering at the top and leaving at the bottom the corresponding trips 22 will be operated to release an article, and additional articles can be released by successive movements of the key along the same guideway. At each movement of the key through the guideway the trip will be released to feed out another article. During the passage of the key the counting means on the calculating key will be actuated to add the price of the selected article to the total on the key, and at the end of the shopping tour the total cost of the articles purchased will appear on the calculating key, while the articles themselves will have been fed into a receptacle as at 34 or to some other receiving means.

It will beobvious to those skilled in the art that many changes can be made in the devices shown in the drawings and described in the specification, all without departing from the spirit of the invention, and therefore the invention is not limited to what is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.

The invention having been thus fully described, what is claimed is:

1. A store for automatic dispensing of articles and registering the total cost of the articles, said store comprising guide channels mounted adjacent a dispenser for a supply of articles, said guide channels having actuating racks fixed therein for cooperation with a register key arranged to-pass in one direction only through said guide channels, said register key including a housing having outwardly extended shoes for sliding in the guide channel, cooperating detent means on said guide channel and said key to limit movement of said key in one direction only therethrough, said register key means including indicatordials, gear teeth operatively connected to said dials and adapted to be exposed toward said channel guide member for engagement with said racks in said channel whereby movement of said key in said one direction will cause said dials to move in accordance with the arrangement of said racks, and article dispensing means controlled by said key in passing through said guide channel for dispensing a single article to a position accessible to the holder of the key.

2. The invention according to claim 1 in which the article dispensing means includes a switch operated 'by said key for rapidly actuating a detent for discharging an article.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2127769 *Apr 1, 1935Aug 23, 1938Charles Arthur JeanMerchandise dispensing system
US2545670 *May 13, 1946Mar 20, 1951Noonan John JMerchandising apparatus
US2645416 *Nov 9, 1944Jul 14, 1953Frank MassaVending system
US2661682 *Aug 30, 1945Dec 8, 1953Automatic Systems CorpAutomatic store
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
DE1296848B *Jun 25, 1963Aug 22, 1974 Title not available
U.S. Classification235/1.00R
International ClassificationA47F1/12, G07F11/02, A47F1/00, G07F7/02, G07F7/00, G07F11/32
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/12, G07F7/02, G06Q20/343, G07F7/00, G07F11/32
European ClassificationG06Q20/343, A47F1/12, G07F11/32, G07F7/00, G07F7/02