US 2878601 A
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E. R. BURMEISTER ET AL March 24, 1959 PUSH BUTTON STEAM IRON 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 12, 1954 lvvsurc ws immm fi, wmmr Lama ix. Bwmmmwma By M /P. Arron/var March 24, 1959 E. R. BURMEISTER ET AL 2,873,601
PUSH BUTTON STEAM IRON Filed Feb. 12, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 //v aw-alas PUSH BUTTON STEAM IRON Earl R.= Burmeister, Minneapolis, and Howard H. Schott,
St. Paul, Minn., assignors to General Mills, Inc, a corporation of Delaware Application February 12, 1954, Serial No. 409,938 8 Claims. c1; asp-77 This invention relates in general to steam irons of the domestic variety.
One object of the invention is to provide an iron of the foregoing type that may be adjusted quickly for either steam or dry ironing operation. More specifically, a feature of the invention resides in the employment of easily operated push buttons, one of which push buttons would be pressed to condition the iron for steam ironing and the other for dry ironing.
Another object of the invention is to provide a steam iron that can be utilized for steam pressing only Within a preferred or optimum temperature range.
Other objects will be in part obvious and in part pointed out more in detail hereinafter.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view, mainly in section, showing the internal construction of the iron forming the subject matter of the instant invention;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary plan view showing the external means by which the iron is adjusted for the various ironing operations it is intended to perform;
Fig. 3 is a plan view taken in the direction of line 3-3 of Fig. 1; i
Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing in detail the mechanism by which the iron is controlled, only suflicient associated structure being presented to show the general environment in which the mechanism is situated, and
Fig. 5 is a perspective detail view of the temperature adjusting control knob.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, the steam iron selected for the purpose of illustrating the invention comprises a soleplate in which is embedded a conventional heating element 12. Surmounting the soleplate is a reservoir 14. For the purpose of permitting the filling of the reservoir with water there is provided a removable filler plug 15. In the bottom of the reservoir there is anoutlet 16 through which the water is fed gravitationally via an angled passageway 18 to a steam generating chamber 20. The steam generating chamber is formed by means of a cylindrical member which also provides a steam dome 22 in its upper region. Encircling the cylindrical member in water-tight relation with the reservoir is a sleeve 23, the sleeve being Welded or brazed to the upper and lower walls of said reservoir. The steam dome 22 envelopes a steam delivery tube 24, there being an opening 26 adjacent the upper end of the steam delivery tube by which the steam is directed from the generating chamber into the interior of the tube 24. The lower end of the tube 24 has communication with the ironing surface of the soleplate 10, and steam is distributed over an area of the soleplate by virtue of a series of grooves or channels 28.
Not only, is a handle member, designated by the numeral'3t), recessed for the accommodation of the steam dome'22, but such handle member is further recessed for the "telescopic reception of the upper end of a valve rod 32,"the valve rod carrying a valve head 34 at its lower end. A tubular shield 35, communicatingv at its 2,878,601 Patented Mar. 24, 1959 forward side with the reservoirs interior, minimizes surging through the outlet 16. 'Fixedly disposed on the rod 32 is a collar 36 abutting one, end of a coil spring 38 which encircles the upper end of the rod 32. Thus, it will be observed that the spring 38 is instrumental in biasing the valve head 34 into a seating relationship with the outlet 16 inasmuch as the upper end of the spring reacts against a portion of the handle 30.
To adapt the iron for either dry or steam ironing operations, respectively, the invention envisages the employment of a pair of push buttons 40 and 42 with the instructive indicia dry and steam adjacent thereto (see Fig. 2). These push buttons 40 and 42 are mounted for vertical reciprocation in a flange 44 which flange is an integralpart of the handle 30. As best viewed in Fig. 3, it will be observed that the push button 40 is equipped with a smaller diameter flange 46 than a correspondingly disposed flange 48 on the push button 42. The reason for this will soon be made apparent.
In order to transmit movement of the push buttons 40 and 42 to the valve rod 32 an interlinking mechanism is employed which includes a yoke member 50 apertured so that it will encircle the steam dome 22. The yoke is anchored to a fixed part of the iron, such as the dome. The yoke 50 has an upstanding car 52 which carries a transverse lever arm 54, the lever arm having pivotal connection with the car 52 by means of a pin 55. One end of the lever arm 54 is bent so as to underlie the flange 46 on the push button 40 and the other end of this lever arm is bent so as to underlie the flange 48 carried by the push button 42. The end of the lever arm underlying the fiange 48 is provided with an offset extension 56 for a purpose presently to be explained. Fixedly supported by the yoke 50 are two spring detent fingers 58 and 60, the upwardly directed finger 58 acting as a catch assuring retention of the lever arm 54 in the position which it is moved by reason of the push button 40, while the downwardly directed spring finger 60 assures reten tion of the lever arm in the position into which it is urged by depression of the push button 42.
The extension 56 is engageable with a laterally extending ear 62 integral with a second lever arm designated by the numeral 64. For the purpose of pivotally mounting the arm 64, there is provided on the yoke 50 another upstanding car 66 carrying a pivot pin 67 which extends through said arm 64. The arm 64 is bent inwardly and is formed at the end opposite the car 62 with a pair of spaced fingers 68. Stated otherwise, the end of the arm 64 now under discussion is bifurcated or forked, the fingers 68 straddling the valve rod 32 and engaging the underside of the collar 36. In this way, motion of the push button 42 is transmitted to the valve 34 via the two lever arms 54 and 64, the forked end when urged upwardly acting against the lower side of the collar 36 to lift and open the valve.
From the foregoing it can readily be seen that in order to operate the iron in a dry manner only the dry, button 40 need be depressed and that the spring finger 58 will in conjunction with the biasing action of the spring 38 assure that the valve 34 remains in a closed condition. On the other hand, depression of the push steam button 42 acts through the interlinking mechanism comprising the levers 54 and 64 to overcome the biasing action of the spring 38 to hold the valve 34 in an opencondition, the spring finger 60 assuring retention of the valve in such open position until the dry push button40 is again actuated. However, depending upon the particular design of steam iron, it has been found-thatf there is a preferred temperature range in which the iron should be us'edas a steam iron in order to assure generation of steam'having the proper dryness.
. For example, in .the lfiash type ofiron should the sole-I 3 plate temperature be of a relatively low value then the water coming from the reservoir will not be completely converted to steam and droplets of moisture are likely to pass through the soleplate and contact the fabric being ironed. In other steam irons, it has been found that the boiling action can be so vigorous as to carry over splashed particles of water so that here again the fabric is apt to be contacted by actual drops of water, which of course is to be avoided wherever possible. To this end, the invention contemplates a blocking arrangement so that the steam push button 42 cannot be depressed unless the iron has been adjusted for a proper temperature range that will produce the desired quality of steam.
Before describing the actual means by which the steam button 42 is blocked or precluded from being actuated, it should first be pointed out that the heating element 12 is controlled by a thermostat 70 superjacent a portion of the soleplate 10. A control shaft 72 extends upwardly through a water-tight sleeve 73 in the reservoir and at its upper end has an adjusting knob 76. The detailed configuration of the knob 76 can best be seen from an inspection of Fig. 4. In this figure it will be observed that the knob is equipped with a flange 78 which underlies the flange 48 carried by the push button 42. Inclined surfaces 80 and 82 make certain that the flange 48 will be urged upwardly should the steam push button 42 be depressed when the adjusting knob 76 is rotated so as to adjust the iron for a temperature range in which good quality steam will not be generated. While we do not wish to be limited to any specified range of temperatures for the generation of steam, since to a large extent the generation will depend upon the particular design of iron with which the invention is associated, however, solely for the purpose of illustration it may be assumed that it is desired that steam will be generated only when the adjusting knob 76 has been rotated to provide an ironing temperature in the range of 325450 F. Thus, should the knob 76 be turned so as to to produce a temperature of 550 F., then a section of the flange 78 will be moved beneath the flange 58 and the steam push button 42 cannot then be depressed. Similarly, if the knob 76 is rotated so as to produce an ironing temperature of only 250 F., then the flat portiton of the flange 78 intermediate the inclined surfaces 80 and 82 will underlie the flange 48, thereby precluding actuation of the button 42 at this temperature.
By reason of the inclined surfaces 80 and 82 it will be discerned that the flange 78 never creates any interference with the flange 48, for the inclined surfaces merely ride under the flange 48 to urge the flange and the button 42 with which it is associated upwardly, should the button 42 be in a depressed position. On the other hand, should the knob 76 be rotated so as to produce an ironing temperature of 400 F., then the segment of the flange 48 that would otherwise engage the flat portion of the flange 78 will reside in an arcuate position intermediate the sloping surfaces 80 and 82. When in this intermediate position there will be no obstruction and the push button 42 can be pressed downwardly to overcome the bias of the spring 38.
As already indicated, the movement of the push button 42 is transmitted to the valve rod 32 by way of the lever arms 54 and 64. To return the iron to a dry ironing condition, all that is necessary is that the push button 40 be depressed, since its flange 46 overlies the opposite end of the lever arm 54 from that end which is actuated by the flange 48 on the push button 42, the spring 38 functioning to close the valve 34.
As hereinbefore mentioned, every design of steam iron incorporating therein the teachings of the present invention would not necessarily require a blocking action of the steam button 42 in both a low and high temperature region. Accordingly, the foregoing description is furnished by way of illustration and not of limitation and it is therefore our intention that the invention be limited only by the appended claims or their equivalents wherein we have endeavored to claim broadly all inherent novelty.
1. In a steam iron, a soleplate, a reservoir surmounting the soleplate, a steam generating chamber for supplying steam to the pressing face of the soleplate, a valve for controlling the flow of liquid from said reservoir to said generating chamber including a valve rod and a fixed collar on said rod, a coil spring abutting one side of said collar to bias said valve to closed position, a pivotally mounted lever having one end adapted to underlie the other side of said collar, a second pivotally mounted lever having one end engageable with the other end of the first lever to rock said lever in a direction to open the valve, and respective push buttons overlying each end of said second lever, depression of one push button acting in a direction to open said valve and depression of the other push button acting in a direction to effect closing of said valve.
2. The structure in accordance with claim 1 in which a spring detent is engageable with said one end of the second lever to retain said lever in the position into which it is urged by depression of said one push button.
3. In a steam iron, a soleplate, a reservoir surmounting the soleplate, a steam generating chamber for supplying steam to the pressing face of the soleplate, a. valve for controlling the flow of liquid from said reservoir to said generating chamber including a valve rod and a fixed collar on said rod, a coil spring abutting one side of said collar to bias said valve to close position, a pivotally mounted lever having one end adapted to underlie the other side of said collar, a second pivotally mounted lever having one end engageable with the other end of the first lever to rock said first lever in a direction to open the valve, a pair of push buttons, one of said push buttons having a larger base than the other, said push button with the larger base overlying said one end of said second lever and the other push button overlying the other end of said second lever, depression of the larger base push button acting in a direction to open said valve and depression of the other push button acting in a direction to effect closing of said valve, and means for adjusting the temperature of the iron including a rotatable knob equipped with a radially extending flange adapted to underlie the push button with the larger base, but not the other, within a prescribed temperature range to prevent depression of said larger base push button in said temperature range and thereby preclude opening of said valve means within said range.
4. The structure in accordance with claim 3 in which a spring detent is engageable with said one end of the second lever to retain said lever in the position with which it is urged by depression of said larger base push button.
5. In a steam iron, valve means biased to closed position for controlling the amount of fluid flow, lever means engageable with said valve means, a spring detent retaining disengageably the lever means in a position corresponding to open position of the valve means, a pair of push buttons operatively associated with said lever means, the lever means including a pair of pivotally mounted rocker arms, the opposite ends of one of said arms being engageable, respectively, by said push buttons and the other arms having one end engageable by said one arm and its other end in engagement with the valve means for overcoming the bias of said valve means, actuation of one of said push buttons effecting closure of the valve means to condition the iron for dry ironing and actuation of the other push button effecting opening of said valve means to condition the iron for steam ironing.
6. In a steam iron, valve means including a recipro cable rod having a valve head at one end for controlling the amount of fluid flow, lever means engageable with the rod for said valve means including a lever arm pivotally mounted intermediate its ends, a pair of push buttons operatively associated with said lever arm, and means guiding said push buttons in a reciprocable path so that one push button will act against one end of said lever arm and the other push button will act against the other end of said lever arm, actuation of one of said push buttons effecting closure of the valve head of the valve means to condition the iron for dry ironing and actuation of the other push button effecting opening of said valve head of the valve means to condition the iron for steam ironing.
7. The structure in accordance with claim 6 including means for biasing the valve means in a direction so as to urge said valve head to closed position, and a spring detent disengageably retaining the lever means in a position corresponding to open position of the valve means.
8. In a steam iron, a soleplate, a reservoir surmounting the soleplate, a steam generating chamber for supplying steam to the pressing face of the solepl'ate, valve means including a reciprocable rod having a valve head at one end and a collar mounted on and secured to said rod in a spaced relation with said valve head for controlling the flow of liquid from said reservoir to said generating chamber, means biasing said valve means to closed position, a push button, means guiding said push button in a reciprocable path, and a pivotally mounted lever having one end engaging the underside of said collar and the other end actuatable by depression of said push button to overcome the action of said biasing means and thus open said valve head of the valve means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,277,555 Meuer Mar. 24, 1942 2,342,653 Edwards Feb. 29, 1944 2,642,027 Kircher June 16, 1953 2,664,653 Voskresewski Jan. 5, 1954 2,713,221 Smellie July 19, 1955