US 2840270 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June '24, 1958 c. F. GORE 2,840,270
MERCHANDISE VENDING APPARATUS Filed March 2, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 24, 1958 Filed March '2, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent fiice 2,840,270 Fat-tented June 24, 1958 MERCHANDISE VENDING APPARATUS Chester F. Gore, Chicago, 111., assignor to Electra-Snap ilwitch & Mfg. Co., Chicago, 111., a corporation of linois Application March 2, 1254, Serial No. 413,576
3 Claims. (Cl. 221211) The invention has for its principal object the provision of mechanism for separating the top card of a stack of cards from the stack and carrying it to a position for discharge into a vending chute, from which chute the purchaser of the card may conveniently receive the card.
Another object of this invention is the provision for dispensing cards or the like individually from a dispensing apparatus by mechanism which is positive in its operation and economical in manufacture.
Yet another and equally important object of the invention is the provision for lifting a card from a stack of cards by means of vacuum and at a predetermined point to render ineffective the vacuum, to permit the card to drop into a dispensing chute where it can be recovered by the purchaser.
Another and equally important object of the invention is the provision for maintaining a stack of cards with the top card in a proper position for engagement with the card lifting and removing means.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
The invention consists in the novel combination and arrangement of parts to be hereinafter described and claimed.
The invention will be best understood by reference to the accompanying drawings showing the preferred form of construction, andin which: 7
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of part of a vending apparatus embodying my invention;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of the same taken substantially on line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially on line 3--3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially on line 44 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional detail view taken substantially on line 55 of Fig. 2; I
Pig. 6 is a fragmentary sectional detail view taken substantially on line 6-6 of Fig. 5;
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary sectional detail view taken substantially on line 77 of Fig. 6.
The structure shown in the accompanying drawings will be enclosed within a suitable cabinet. Such cabinet has not been illustrated because any approved type of cabinet may be employed. The drawings disclose a card stacking chamber 10 which is provided by opposite side walls .11 and a back wall 12. The side walls have inturned flanges 13 which serve as guides to prevent displacement of the cards from the chamber 10. A suitable opening 14 is provided for placing the cards within the chamber 10. The cards are indicated at 15 and are of rectangular formation and intended to have pictorial illustrations and other printed matter thereon.
The stack of cards is supported on a carriage comprising a horizontal plate 16 attached to a vertical plate 17, the latter slidably arranged between the adjacent inturned flanges 13 as best shown in Fig. 2. A narrow plate 19 is secured to the plate 17 and has outwardly turned end portions 20 carrying stud shafts 21, to which are attached as at 22 the lower end portions of ribbonlike flexible bands 23. The upper end portions of these bands 23 are attached to a shaft 24 for winding thereon. This shaft 24 is journaled in the bearings 25 provided by the plate 26 secured to the adjacent flanges 13 as at 27. On the shaft 24 are provided discs 28 which serve to guide the bands 23 in their winding upon the shaft 24.
Secured to the end 29 of the shaft 24 is a ratchet wheel 30 adapted to be engaged by a step-up pawl 31. This step-up pawl 31 is pivotally carried as at 32 by a disc 33 mounted for free rotation on the end portion 29 of the shaft 24. This disc 33 has connected thereto as at 34 one end portion of a connecting link 35. The opposite end portion of the link 35 by means of a slot and bolt connection is'connected' to an arm 37. This arm 37 is pivotally connected to the adjacent side wall 11 as at 38. To the outer end portion of this arm 37 is pivotally connected as at 39 a connecting link 40 having its opposite end portion connected as at 41 to an arm 42. This arm 42 is connected to a shaft 43 journaled in the side Wall 11 and operated through the medium of a train of gears (not shown) by an electric motor 44.
Mounted on the end portion 29 of the shaft 24 is a disc 45 having a notch 46 formed in the periphery thereof to provide a cam edge 47. On the step-up pawl 31 there is provided a laterally extending pin 48 which is adapted to project into the notch 46. For purposes of manually rotating the shaft 24 to elevate the stack of cards to a proper position, there is provided on the shaft.
link 52 pivotally connected as at 53 to a rocker arm 54.
This rocker arm 54 is pivoted to a plate 55 carried by the side wall 11 as at 56. Pivotally connected-as at '57 to the rocker arm 54 opposite the link 52 is a rod 58. This rod 58 extends downwardly from the rocker arm 54 and at its lower end portion carries a card stripper 59. The rod 58 passes through a bracket 59' secured to an elongated arm 60, which arm 60 is fixedly secured as at 61 to a bracket 62 secured to the plate 26.
On the rod 53 are mounted weight elements 63 which normally urge the rocker arm 54 to tilt in an anticlockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 2.
The card separator comprises a plurality of superim-' posed fingers 64 carried by the lower end portion of the rod 58 and projecting through a bifurcation of a guide 65. I
A stripper device is indicated at 66. This stripper device is carried by the plate 60 and the face thereof is. preferably of softrubber knurled to provide a plurality of equally spaced teeth 67.
To the wall 12 of the compartment 10 is secured a relatively thin resilient finger 68 which overlies the stack of cards and which is engaged by .the card being removed, so as to efiect a lateral movement of suchcard toward the stripper finger as the card is lifted from the top of.
The card lifting mechanism includes a supporting arm 69 connected as at 70 to the shaft 38. The end of the arm 68 provides a yoke 71. An arm 72 of the yoke carries a threaded stud shaft 73 hollow in construction and which is frictionally fitted into the end 74 of an accordion-form tube 75. In the stud shaft 73 is a con ventional air valve having a valve stem 77. The valve normally closes exit of air from the tube 75 through the stud shaft 73. This valve is of a standard construction such as used in bicycle tires or the like, and in and of itself does not constitute my invention, asany'valve with a releasing stem againstthe adjacent surface of the top card of the stack,
Secured between theside walls 11 is a bar 84. Carriedby this bar '84 is a bracket 85. To this bracket 85 is secured as at 86 an elongated springleaf-like member 87". The upper. end portion ofthis leaf 87 is adapted to be engaged by. thevalve stem 77 of the air valve.
The wall 12 at its upper end portion has'a rearwardly inclined lip 88. Arranged between the sidewalls 11 in spaced relation with respect to, the wall 1'2I is dwell,
89 which provides, together with the wall 12, a card return chute 90 through which a card is delivered to the. purchaser.
It is intended that the card vending machine embodying the invention described herein be coinoperated As the coin control mechanisnr constitutes no part of the} present invention, the same is not illustrated, as any form of construction of coin control mechanism m'ay be. employed. V
I have shown, however, as supported by the wall 89 a switch 91 which is adapted to .be connected in circuit with the motor circuit 44 for controlling the completion of that, circuit. This switch includes a finger 92 whieh'i projects into the path of movement of cards through, the.
chute 90. Thisfinger 9 2 is pivotally supported as at 93 from the switch mounting plate 94 and has a portion thereof, which bears against one of the leaves 95 of the switch 91 whereby, as a card passes into the'chute 9ft for passage therethrough, it will engage thefifinge"g 2, pivot the same in a direction to bear the end portion 92' thereof against the switch leaf 9S, and break the contactsf96 of the switch 91 to deenergize aholding relay (not shown) disposed in the motor circuit 44,
By this arrangemenhthe motor will continue to operate until a card has been deposited in the chute 90 for passage therethrough, atwhich time the descending card will actuateswitch 91 to break the circuit, as before stated, to the motor holding relay. i i
In operation, upon energization of the motor 44, the arm 42 will rotate to effect rocking of the arm 37 Rock: ing of the arm 37 will rock the shaft 38.. As the shaft 38 is rock ed in an anti-clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 5, the vacuum cup 82 will be brought down upon the uppermost card of the stack ofcards, and the tube 75 will be compressed from its normal form against its material resiliency, by the action of the arm 69 to the condition shown in dotted lines directly above the stack of cards. Such action will force the air in the tube 75, out through the vacuum cup 82. t
The tube 75, as it attempts to expand following its compression, will create a vacuum which willcause the vacuum cup 82 tofirmly grip the top card and-holdthe same until the vacuum is broken by admission of air into the opposite endof the tube 75 in a manner hereinafter described. As the shaft 38 is rocked in a clockwise direc* tion as viewed in Fig. 5,it will bring the valve stem 77 into contact with the spring leaf 87- whereuponthe valve will be open to permit the entry of air into the tube 75 and allow it to expand to its normal position as shown in full lines, in Fig. 5. The entry of airinto the tube 75 will break the vacuum, releasing the card andpermitting it to drop down into the shaft 90, for delivery to the purchaser. t
The expansion and compression. of the tube 75 is permitted by reason of the fact that the yoke comprises 4 two sections 97 and 98 slidably connected together by means of a slot and pin connection 99.
In order for the vacuum cup to properly operate so as to positively grip a card for movement to a position to be dropped through the chute 90, the top card of the stack of cards should be in contact with the lowermost of the fingers 64. As soon as such top card is in contact with the lowermost finger 64, the notch 46 will be so disposed with respect to the pin 48 as to permit the pin 48, when the disc 45 is moved in an anticlockwise direction as viewed in Figure 1, to ride out of the notch onto the periphery 45 of the disc 45. This will resultin the holding of the step-up pawl 31 from engagement with the ratchet wheel 30, with the result thatwhen the disc 33 rotates in a clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 1, the ratchet wheel will not be advanced to cause the bands 2.3 to wind on the shaft 24 to elevate the card supporting carriage. However, should the uppermost card of the stack of cards be in. a horizontal positionbelow a plane necessary for effective engagement with the vacuum cup 82, the weights 63 will pivot the rocker arm 54 in an anticlockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 2. This pivotal movement of the rocker arm 54 in such direction will rotate the disc 45 in an anticlockwise direction a distance sufficient to dispose the notch 46 in, a position such that the pin 48 in its movement in an anticlockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 1, by action of the connecting link 35, will move in the. notch, with the result that the step up'pawl 31 will engage the ratchet wheel'30 and advance the same a distance equivalent to the rotation of the disc 33. This operation will take place until such time as the cards will'be elevated so as to dispose the. uppermost card of the stackof cards in a plane forproper engagement with the vacuum cup 82. i
As the lifting device for lifting the uppermost card from the stack of cards to a position where it will drop into the chute performs such operation, the end of and be thereby separated, thus to assure the vending of i but one card at a time.
From the foregoing, description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, it will be apparent that I have provided a simple and effective meehanism for lifting a card from a stack of cards and movingit to a position where it will be dropped into a discharge chute. It will also be apparent that by the use of thesconsti uc tion hereinbefore described, only one card at a time will be vended. I While I have stated the operation of my vending apparatus in connection with a card, itisto be understood that the apparatus may be used for dispensing packaged merchandise and that the characteristics'of the card may be changed so long as the card is relatively flat and of a size to fit in the storage compartment.
While I have illustrated and described the preferred form of constructionfor carrying my invention into elfect, this is capable. of variation and modification without departing from the spirit of the invention. I, therefore, do not wish to be limited to the'precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of such variations and modifications as comewithin the scope of the appended claims. i V i V A Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is: V
l. A card vending apparatus comprising means for supporting a vertical stack of cards, a chute at one side of said stack and extending in a substantially. vertical plane and into which cards from said stack are adapted to be dropped with the plane of the cards in a substantially vertical plane, means for lifting a card perpendicularly from said stack and for delivering said card to said chute with the plane of said card in said vertical plane, said card lifting means including a vacuum cup adapted for vacuum connection with the topmost card of said stack and a flexible tubular member communicating with said cup and compressible in the direction of its length, means for moving said card lifting means in one direction to bear said cup against said topmost card and to compress said tubular member in said direction of its length and perpendicularly to the plane of said card and for moving said card lifting means in an opposite direction to permit said tubular member to expand to create said vacuum connection between the card and the cup and for further moving said card lifting means in said opposite direction to dispose said card in a position over said chute with the plane of said card in said vertical 1 plane, means effective at the terminus of movement of said card lifting means in said opposite direction for breaking the vacuum in said cup to release said card for gravitation into said chute and automatic means for maintaining the uppermost card of said stack at a predetermined level, said automatic means including means for raising said stack of cards, means'for connecting said means for raising to said means for moving for actuation thereby when the uppermost card is below the predetermined level and means for disconnecting said a 6 means for raising from said means for moving when said card obtains said predetermined level.
2. The device of claim 1 characterized by the inclusion of means-adjacent the top of said stack of cards and normally in engagement with said topmost card for separating said topmost card from the card therebelow.
when said topmost card is lifted perpendicularly from said stack by said card lifting means.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for moving said card lifting means includes a rocker shaft carrying said card lifting means and means for rocking said shaft.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,749,233 Scott Mar. 4, 1930 1,846,227 Stefien Feb. 23, 1932 2,493,212 Zimmerman et al Jan. 3, 1950 2,495,094 Enock Jan. 17, 1950 2,551,477 Vore May 1, 1951 2,564,552 Verdery Aug. 14, 1951 2,680,051 James June 1, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 731,864 France June 6, 1932