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Publication numberUS2851791 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1958
Filing dateMay 19, 1954
Priority dateMay 19, 1954
Publication numberUS 2851791 A, US 2851791A, US-A-2851791, US2851791 A, US2851791A
InventorsOlthuis Eugene G
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes conditioner
US 2851791 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 16, 1958 E. G. OLTHUIS CLOTHES CONDITIONER Filed May 19, 1954 FIG. I

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 6

INVENTOR. EUGENE G. OLTHUIS Bi I HIS ATTORNEY p 16, 1958 E. G. OLTHUIS 2,851,791

CLOTHES CONDITIONER Filed Hay 19, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.2

h N o K INVENTOR.

EUGENE G. OLTHUIS BY I J o W no N HIS ATTORNEY United States Patent 2,851,791 Patented Sept 16, 1958 ice CLOTHES CONDITIONER Eugene G. Oltliuis, Louisville, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application May 19, 1954, Serial No. 430,794

11 Claims. (Cl. 34-90) This invention relates to clotheslaundering appliances, and more particularly to clothes tumbling. machines for conditioning articles of clothing.

As Well known in the domestic laundry field, the complete operation requires not only washing and drying, but many items also require ironing. As a preparatory "step to ironing, the articles must be properly dampened,

which operation consists of adding a carefully controlled and limited quantity'of water to the articles uniformly.

There are also other instances where it is desirable to add a small quantity of liquid uniformly to a fabric or article of clothing. For example, liquid moth proofing compounds are available for application in limited quantitiesuniformly'to a garment. There may, of course, be other examples where it is desirable to add a limited quantity of a disinfectant, impregnating compound or deodorant to aifabric or article of clothing.

Correspondingly, it is a primary object of my invention to provideclothes conditioning apparatus, especially suitable for domestic use.

removable device for a clothes dryer, which device functions to'a'dd a limited quantity of liquid to articles being tumbled within thedryer at a limited rate, whereby such ."liquid is uniformly deposited on the tumbled articles of clothing.

Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of this invention, liquid container means are provided within the .rotary tumbling drum or basket" having discharge'means arranged to distribute the'liquid in the container at a relatively slow rate "and to distribute it'through the clothes "as rtheyare tumbled within'the rotating drum. Thus, by placing liquid in the drum the machine will'function to add liquid: gradually to the clothes, whereas if the'container be empty the machine may be operated only to evaporate liquid from the articles of clothing.

lnanother ofits aspects, the liquid supply means in accordance with one" specific and preferred embodiment of this invention comprises a liquid container arranged to-bedetachably mounted in the drum; preferably adjacent one'of the tumbling ribs .or-bafilea'on the trailing side thereof with respect to the direction of rotation. Thecontainer, .being removably mounted within the turnbling drum, can be filled W-itha clothes conditioning liqvuid. "Thecontainer, in accordance with this form of the invention, hasa plurality of-relatively small liquid dischargeopenings. for depositing the liquid at a relatively slow rate upon articles being tumbled within the basket. Arelativelylarge filling. opening is provided'in the container adapted to be closed by a special filler plug. This .plug is provided with.an'openingextending therethrough and with a small-tubesecured within the opening and extending to a point adjacent the opposite side of'the container when the plug is in place. This tube is flared at its mouth located at the outer surface-of the filler plug. This particular construction of the filler plug functions to permit entrance of air into the liquid container to facilitateits discharge, while obviating any rapid-discharge of the container through the filler'plug itself.

My invention will be better understood from the' following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, and its scope will be pointed out in the appended claims. In the drawing, Fig. 1 is a perspective view with portions thereof broken away to illustrate detail of a clothes conditioning machine embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is an enlarged partial cross-seetional view through a portion of the machine illustrated by Fig. 1 to illustrate details of the conditioner container and attachment means; Fig. 3 is a partial view takenon the line 3-3 of Fig. 2 in the direction of the arrows; Fig. 4 is an end view of the liquid container shown by' Fig. 2; Fig. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line '5--5 of Fig. 2; and Fig. 6 is a schematic electrical wiring diagram for the machine illustrated by Fig. 1.

Referring now to a preferred embodiment "of my'invention as shown by the drawings,'a domestic clothes dryer is illustrated in Fig. l of the type having a clothes containing drum I mounted for rotation on asu'bstan- 'tially horizontal axis within a suitableenclosure, includ- "any appropriate construction, and which may include a lint screen 8 and a lint trap door 9 hinged on ahori- Zontal axis along its lower edge as illustrated. Thus, the lint trap door may be moved to a closed position'or pivoted about the hinge to an open position as shown.

Tumbling basket or drum 1 may'be'of the type having a cylindrical outer wall 10 to which is connecte'da rear wall 11 and front wall 12. Rear wall 11 in aco'nventional manner includes appropriate means (not shown) for rotatablym'ounting'the drum within theenc'losur'e, which mounting means includes a driven pulley 13secured to'an'dfforming a part of drum or basket assembly .1. Front wall .12 ofvthefbasket includes an "outwardly extendingflange 14 to define a loading op'ening throu'gh which articlesof clothing may be placed inthe'ba'sket. Projecting radially inwardly from cylindricalwall ro or 'thebasket are one "or more tumbling ribs'or bafiles'1'5,

functioning in the well understood manner upon' basket rotation to lift the articles of clothing to 'an'upper'position whereupon they fall under the influence of gravity backtothe bottom of thebasket.

The basket is driven at tumbling speed and airfiow is provided by use of a suitable driving source, 'such-a'sa'n electric motor 16 mounted 'on'an appropriate'base bracket 17. Motor 16 drives both a fan blade'18 and a'di'ive pulley 19, with a belt ZO'transmitting'rotation-to' tlie basket through pulley13. An appropriateheatingilement, consisting preferably'of 'two'sectionsll and'f'22 is positioned within the dryer WherebyfanISforces heated .air throughthe basketand the clothes contained therein for evaporation of moisture, which-spent air'isdirected outwardly through the lint'trap' assembly 7. "I have shown the'construction of the heating elemenfand air flow arrangement schematically herein since" the specific form thereof does not form a part of'this invention.

This invention is particularly concerned with' an a'rrangement for adding a liquid-to articles'of clothing being tumbled within basket. 1. In thisxpreferred embodiment,

The cabinet is provided with the usual 'resuch liquid is adapted to be supplied at a relatively slow and uniform rate from a liquid container or cylinder 23 removably mounted within basket 1 adjacent a tumbling rib 15, and preferably on the trailing side thereof as regards the direction of rotation. It is also contemplated that container 23 may be shaped and positioned within the basket to function as a tumbling rib itself, although I prefer the arrangement shown.

The exact nature of this liquid container 23 will be better understood by a reference to Figs. 2 to 5. As shown, the container is in the form of an elongated cylinder hav ing a front end cap 24 welded, pressed, or soldered to the cylinder. The front end cap includes an appropriately shaped locating key 25, a form for which may be as illustrated by Fig. 4. Key 25 is adapted to fit in a correspondingly shaped recess 26 in front wall 12 of the basket. The opposite or rear end of the cylinder is provided with an end cap 27, likewise soldered, pressed, or provided with other sealing connection means to the cylinder. A centrally located projecting pin 28 forms a part of end cap 27. The back wall 11 of the tumbling basket is dimpled as indicated at 29 and apertured to receive locating pin 28. A leaf spring 30 secured to end Wall 11 of the basket provides a biasing force retaining key 25 in recess 26 of the front basket wall. Hence, it can be seen that container 23 is insertable in or removable from basket 1, by first moving the cylinder axially toward the rear wall, deflecting leaf spring 30, permitting key member 25 to be disengaged from slot 26, and thereby permitting complete removal of the container from the basket. Container 23 may be returned to the basket at any time by reversing the procedure, that is, inserting pin 28 in the aperture in dimple 29 of the basket rear wall, and then locating the key 25 of the container in recess 26 in the front wall of the basket.

As clearly shown by the Figs. 2 and 3, container 23 is provided with a plurality of liquid discharge openings 31 of relatively small size whereby liquid is discharged from the container during tumbling at a relatively slow and uniform rate. Adjacent one end of container 23 is a liquid filling opening 32 adapted to be closed by a filler plug 33. Since the container 23 may be contacted by the articles of clothing tumbling within the basket, preferably the filler plug 33 is located in a recessed area 34, thereby obviating any projections above the normal cylindrical surface of the container. While this filler plug may be fabricated from any suitable material and might be arranged with a threaded engagement with the filler opening 32, it is preferred to employ a plug of flexible resilient material such as rubber to frictionally engage the flanged walls defining the filling opening into the container.

Filler plug 33 serves the additional function of admitting air into the interior of container 23, while preventing any rapid discharge of water therefrom. This is accomplished in accordance with this invention by providing a small tube 35 extending through filler plug 33 to a point adjacent the opposite wall of the container. When container 23 is in the position shown by Fig. I, obviously there is no tendency for the liquid therein to flow outwardly through either the filler plug or the apertures 31. However, as basket 1 rotates, the container 23, being keyed in position, reaches an inverted position, whereupon liquid may flow outwardly through apertures 31 for deposition upon the clothes. At this time, the tube 35 will extend slightly above the liquid level within the container providing a passage for air into the interior of the container. This arrangement prevents a vacuum lock, which might otherwise occur and prevent toutward flow of liquid through apertures 31. It may also be noted from an examination of Fig. that tube 35 is outwardly flared, as at 36, defining the mouth of the tube and located at the outer surface of plug 33. When using liquid such as water in container 23, the liquid forms a meniscus in tube 35 in the well known manner. With tube diameters such as are appropriate for use in domestie laundry equipment, the surface tension of the liquid plus the attraction between the liquid and tube walls prevents prompt drainage from the tube during tumbling and thus blocks entry of air into the container. By providing the outwardly flared walls at 36, it is found that this meniscus can be broken whereupon any liquid within tube 35 immediately drains therefrom when the container is in the inverted position. It is found in practice therefore that this particular arrangement of the filler plug and vent tube prevents a vacuum lock within container 23 and thus permits an even and uniform discharge from apertures 31.

To illustrate more clearly the operational nature of this invention, reference is now made to Fig. 6 of a schematic wiring diagram of a form useful for carrying this invention into practice. Electrical power may be supplied to the machine at a conventional terminal block 37 providing connection points for lines L1 and L2 and an electrical neutral N. A fusible link 38 may be employed in the usual manner. Lines L1 and L2 are connected to an electrical sequence controller indicated generally at 39 and comprising a pair of cams 40 and 41 for actuating switches 42 and 43 respectively. These cams may be rotated by a manual control knob 44 or by an electrical timing motor 45, motor 45 being of the type commonly used for electric clocks. An electrical door actuated switch is indicated schematically at 46, which switch is in its closed or circuit making position when dryer door 6 is closed; and is opened to break the circuit when the door 6 is opened.

One or more thermostats may be employed within the machine for control of temperature. In the present instance I have shown a thermostat 47 in series with a second thermostat 48. One of these thermostats, for example 48, may be a cycling thermostat normally operative to limit maximum temperature in the machine and to thereafter cycle between on and off positions to hold substantially this same temperature throughout operation. The second thermostat 47 is known as the safety thermostat and is set to open the circuit at a higher temperature in the event of failure of any other part of the device. Thermostat 47 is of the so-called wide differential type and does not reclose its contacts until the temperature within the machine has dropped to a point well below normal operating temperature.

Motor 16 is illustrated as including a main or run winding 49 and a start winding 50, the motor herein represented being of the split-phase induction type. Included within motor 16 is a centrifugal actuating mechanism 51 for controlling a switch having a normally closed position 52, when the motor is at rest, and an open position, as shown in dotted lines at 53, when the motor is running.

Typical operation of the machine may occur as follows. The tumbling basket 1 is loaded, for example with a load of damp clothes to be dried. Door 6 is closed thereby closing switch 46. Manual control knob 44 is rotated in a clockwise direction and set for the desired drying time. This rotation of knob 44 rotates cams 40 and 41, whereby these cams through their respective switches 42 and 43, close circuits for machine operation. Switch 42 may be referred to as the motor control switch, since its closure controls operation of motor 16 commencing with line L1, switch 42, motor terminal 54, main winding 49, motor terminal 55, switch 46, fuse 38, to the electrical neutral. Appropriate voltage for example volts is thereby supplied to the motor for its operation. When the motor is at rest, start winding 50 is in the electrical circuit from motor terminal 54 through the normally closed centrifugal switch 52, start winding 50, to motor terminal 55. In the usual manner, as soon as the motor has come up to operating speed, the centrifugal mechanism opens the normally closed switch 52 and closes switch 53. The motor start winding is therefore removed from the circuit.

Cam actuated switch 43 is the so-called heater switch, and a circuit to the heating elements may be traced from line L2 throughv switch-.43, .the. thermostats 47 vanda48,

heating elements .21 and 22,..the normally. opencentrifugal switch 53 (closed only .whenthe motor is operating), motor terminal-.54, switch 42, .to-line L1. A manually operable switch .56.may .beincluded in the circuit for temperature selection. When :switch.56 .is closed, both sections of the heating elements 21 and 22 are .eiiective; while if switch .56. is open,. th en.only heater section'22 is operative.

Continuing with the cycle of operations, it a sufficiently Ilongtime hasbeenset bycontrol .knob 44, the temperaof the motor without heater, commonly referred to as the cool-down period, .continuesfor approximately five minutes whereupon switch .42likewise is opened shutting the "machine down. whenever door. operated switch 46 is opened, motor operation is terminated, and becauseof vthe centrifugalzswitch in the heater circuit, vtheIheater operation likewise is terminated.

Control knob-44, in additionto two oif positions anda timed .dry' arc, includesa sprinkle arc. Whenthe control knob. .is; rotated .into .the .sprinkle .arc, .cam actuated switch 42 is closed as shown, whilerswitch 43,remains open. Therefore, motor 16 can be operated 'for an appreciableperiodtof time, as determined by the setting of knob 44, to tumble clothes within the basket, blow air through the basket, butwithoutheater'operation. If

container 23, filled with an appropriate; liquid, has been placed within the tumbling drum;as ;previously described, the articles of clothing can be dampened preparatory to droning, .or otherwise treated or impregnated within the basket. Rotation of cams 40 and Y41 in the sprinkle arc is likewise ,provided automatically by .timingmotor 45 and therefore it is possible with thiscontrol arrangement 'to-set anladjustable sprinkle period,.thereby controlling the amount of liquid added to the articles being tumbled. Alternatively, a measured quantity of liquid may be placed within container 23 to control the quantity of liquid supplied to the articles. In either event, the clothes are gently tumbled within the basket and upon each revolution, a small amount of liquid from container 23 is deposited upon the articles uniformly. If desired, the exhaust passage through the lint trap may be closed by hinged door 9. This of course may not be essential when dampening with water, but is advantageous when adding certain other liquids. The fan may continue to operate as an aid in the complete dispersion of the impregnating liquid throughout the articles being tumbled.

While the present invention has been described by reference to a particular embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without actually departing from the invention. 1, therefore, aim in the appended claims to cover all such equivalent variations as come within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of theUnited States is:

1. In clothes conditioning apparatus, a tumbling basket mounted for rotation on a non-vertical axis, means rotating said basket at a clothes tumbling speed, a clothes tumbling baflie projecting inwardly within said basket, means including heaters for extracting moisture from the clothes being tumbled thereby to dry said clothes, and means for optionally sprinkling the dry clothes thereby to prepare said clothes for ironing, said sprinkhng means comprising a liquid container removably mounted on said basket adjacent said tumbling battle for containing .a

quantity of liquidand having discharge means for slowly discharging liquidtherefrom responsive to basket rota tion, said liquid container being filled prior to the sprinkling operationandsaid discharge means discharging only a smallportion of-the contents of said container upon each revolution ofsaid basket.

2. Clothes conditioning apparatus comprising a tumlbling basket mounted'for rotation on a non-vertical axis,

means for rotating said basket at a tumbling speed, means including .heaters for extracting moisture from the clothes being tumbled thereby to dry said clothes, and means'for optionally sprinkling the dry clothes, said sprinkling means comprising a 'liquid container secured to said basket therewithin, said container having a liquidffilling opening, and also" liquid discharge openings arranged so 'that' liquid contained in said container may be'discharged .slowly therefrom responsive to' basket rotation, said liquid.

container being "filled prior .to the sprinkling operation and said dischargeopenings discharging only a small portion of the contentsofsaid container upon each revolutionof saidbasket.

3. In a clothes conditioning machine of the type having a tumbling basket including means for driving said basket at tumbling. speed, .lthat improvement for adding liquid to articles beingtumbled within said'basket comprising a liquid oontainer,..means. mounting said container within said basket, means defining aplurality of relatively small liquid dischargeiopenings. in said container, a filling opening' in said container, afiller plugfor said opening having a-tubular member,exteriding throughsaid plug from the outer. surface thereofto. apoint adjacent the opposite'wall of said container, and.said tubular member having an outwardly flared .mouth portionextending toward'the outer surface of said'fillenplug.

4. vIn clothes,conditioning.apparatus;a tumbling basket .mountedforrotationonanon-vertical axis, means rotatingsaidbasketata clothes tumbling speed, a clothes tumbling baffle projecting inwardly within said basket,

. means including heatersjfor extracting moisture from the clothes being .tumble'd 'thereby to dry. said clothes and means for optionallysprinkling the dry clothes, said means comprising .liqui'd container means removably mountedton saidbasket.adjacentsaid tumbling ba'fllefor containing a quantity of liquid and having discharge means for slowly discharging the liquid therefrom responsive to basket rotation, said liquid container being filled prior to the sprinkling operation and said discharge means discharging only a small portion of the contents of said container upon each revolution of said basket, and means providing air circulation through said basket during said liquid discharge.

5. In clothes conditioning apparatus, a tumbling basket mounted for rotation on a non-vertical axis, means rotating said basket at a clothes tumbling speed, a clothes tumbling rib projecting inwardly within said basket, means including heaters for extracting moisture from the clothes being tumbled thereby to dry said clothes, and means for optionally sprinkling the dry clothes, said sprinkling means comprising a removable liquid container mounted on said basket therewithin for containing a quantity of liquidand having a filling opening, and also a plurality of discharge openings through which liquid may be discharged onto articles tumbling within said basket.

6. In a clothes dryer, a tumbling basket, means driving said basket at tumbling speed including means enforcing air fiow through said basket, a plurality of clothes tumbling ribs projecting inwardly within said basket, heating means evaporating'moisture from articles being tumbled within said basket, control means for selectively operating said driving means with and without heater operation, and a liquid container arranged in cooperation with said 7 basket to be removably positioned therein adjacent one of said ribs on the trailing side thereof as regards the direction of rotation, and having liquid discharge means arranged so that liquid within said container is added to articles being tumbled within said basket.

7. In a clothes dryer, a tumbling basket, means driving said basket at tumbling speed including means enforcing air flow therethrough, electrical heating means for heating the air flow through said basket whereby said air flow dries the clothes being tumbled, and means for optionally sprinkling the dry clothes, said means comprising a liquid container removably mounted on said basket, said container having a relatively large filling opening and a plurality of relatively small discharge openings, a filler plug for said filling opening and having a central opening therein, and a tubular member extending through the central opening in said plug to approximately the full depth of said container.

8. In a clothes dryer, a tumbling basket, means driving said basket at tumbling speed including means enforcing air flow therethrough, a plurality of clothes tumbling bafiles projecting inwardly within said basket, electrical heating means for heating the air flow through said basket whereby said air flow dries the clothes being tumbled, and means for optionally sprinkling the dry clothes, said means comprising a liquid container arranged in cooperation with said basket to be removably positioned therein adjacent one of said baffles on the trailing side thereof as regards the direction of rotation, said container having a relatively large filling opening and a plurality of relatively small discharge openings, a filler plug for said filling opening having acentral opening therein, and a tubular member extending through the central opening in said plug to approximately the full depth of said container, said tubular member having a diverging mouth portion in said plug.

9. In a clothes conditioning machine of the type having a tumbling basket including means for driving said basket at tumbling speed, that improvement for adding liquid to articles being tumbled within said basket, comprising a liquid container, means defining a plurality of relatively small liquid discharge openings in said container, a filling opening in said container, a filler plug for said opening having a tubular member extending through said plug from the outer surface thereof to a point adjacent the opposite wall of said container, and means for removably securing said container on said tumbling drum for rotation therewith.

10. In a clothes conditioning machine of the type having a tumbling basket including means for driving said basket at tumbling speed, that improvement for adding liquid to articles being tumbled within said basket comprising a liquid container, means defining a plurality of relatively small liquid discharge openings in said container, a filling opening in said container, a filler plug for said opening having a tubular member extending through said plug from the outer surface thereof to a point adjacent the opposite wall of said container, and means for removably securing said container on said tumbling drum for rotation therewith, said tubular member having an outwardly flared mouth portion extending toward the outer surface of said plug.

11. A liquid sprinkling container adapted to be positioned within the tumbling basket of a clothes dryer or the like, comprising wall means defining said liquid container for retaining a quantity of liquid therein, means defining a plurality of relatively small liquid discharge openings in said container through said wall means, a filling opening into said container, a filler plug for said opening having an air vent opening therein, a tubular member extending from said air vent opening to a point adjacent the opposite wall of said container, said tubular member having a diverging mouth portion extending to the outer surface of said filler plug to keep said tubular member free of liquid during flow of liquid through said discharge openings thereby permitting entrance of air into said container.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 683,306 Lichten Sept. 24, 1901 791,541 Danforth June 6, 1905 1,799,649 Schenck Apr. 7, 1931 2,079,280 Couch May 4, 1937 2,187,671 Suddarth Jan. 16, 1940 2,193,495 Rolkern Mar. 12, 1940 2,584,070 Walker Jan. 9, 1952 2,657,951 North Nov. 3, 1953

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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/90, 239/141, 68/20, 34/597, 68/200
International ClassificationD06F58/20
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/203
European ClassificationD06F58/20B