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Publication numberUS2880904 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 7, 1959
Filing dateApr 14, 1953
Priority dateApr 14, 1953
Publication numberUS 2880904 A, US 2880904A, US-A-2880904, US2880904 A, US2880904A
InventorsLinthicum Frank R
Original AssigneeLinthicum Frank R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container supply and dispensing cabinet
US 2880904 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 7, 1959 F. R. LINTHICUM 2,380,904


4 Sheets-Sheet 1 April 1959 F. R. LINTHICUM 2,880,904

CONTAINER SUPPLY AND DISPENSING CABINET Filed April 14 1953 4 Sheets-Sheet a April 1959 F.IR. LlNTHlCUM 2,880,904

CONTAINER SUPPLY AND DISPENSING CABINET Filed April 14, 1953 4 Sheefs-Sheer, 4 7f 1 i 4; W- #4 ya W? 7 45 W 73 4592: U 5 =i mum 0"? a? w 7/ a E L yyj v i6 6/ ////03 5/ z, 7 3 I /9 5g a 1 A? v) w I H JTTORNE S United States Fatent 2,880,904 CONTAINER SUPPLY AND DISPE SING CABINET Frank R. Linthicum, Baltimore, Md.

Application April 14, 1953, Serial No. 348,690

s Claims. (Cl. 221-125 The invention is concerned with a dispenser cabinet for small containers normally embodying a coin operated control means. The invention is particularly useful as embodied in a dispenser for bottled beverages and accordingly in the illustrative example includes a means for refrigerating the cabinet although features of the invention are also quite adaptable to dispensers employing heating means.

Among the various advantageous features is the provision of means for supporting containers on different levels with an independent freely operable, preferably transparent, door at each level and a container withdrawal and release mechanism at each level whereby a variety of different beverages are made available and a patron may select a particular one desired and easily move it to and through the corresponding withdrawal opening. Combined with these general features is a novel form of release and interlocking mechanisms whereby upon the deposit of the appropriate coin or coins the container withdrawal mechanisms at each level are concurrently released but upon the patron entraining the container in the withdrawal mechanism at one level the withdrawal mechanisms at all other levels are locked, and also a blocking means is rendered efiective at the one level, preventing removal of more than the single selected container until the mechanism is restored and the coin release mechanism again activated.

One of the features and objects of the invention resides in the character of the container supporting and guiding means which is of a type to maintain the containers suspended from overhead slots, such an arrangement being applicable to beverage bottles, for example, having a reduced neck portion receivable in the slots and an enlarged head resulting from the normal bead around the top. A plurality of different slots is provided at each level all communicating with common exit slots and passages and of particular importance is the incorporation of an effective bridging means automatically adjustable as to position whereby a substantially unbroken pair of properly spaced tracks is provided for conducting a container from one slot to another or past other communicating slots and out the exit without encountering any openings which would permit the container to drop down or become wedged. In addition to the convenience and adaptability of the bridging means in the selective movement of the containers, such means also insures against removal of a container except at a coin released withdrawal station.

In general the combination embodies means for maintaining a large supply of containers including different kinds, or having different contents, all exposed to view :and permitting the ready selection of the desired container and its convenient removal along a freely slidable path. Despite the capacity and flexibility, the interlocks :are of a type which assure against the removal of more than a single selected container for the prescribed coin pr token.

2,880,904 Patented Apr. 7, 1959 "ice which are readily removable from the cabinet and replaceable for reloading, the arrangement and association of controls being of a character to permit this convenient manner of replenishing the cabinet without disturbing the automatic control features. I The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

Reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a vertical view in perspective showing the exterior of a cabinet in which the operating mechanism may be embodied;

Fig. 2 is a horizontal section through the cabinet looking down on the tops of the containers and the supporting means therefor at one of the levels;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary horizontal view showing particularly the withdrawal mechanism at one of the levels,

' a container being shown at the point of release;

The general combinationalsoembodjes containerracks- Fig. 4 is a fragmentary vertical section taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 5 is a vertical section showing the withdrawal plunger mechanism at each of the levels and the associated interlocking means between the several plunger mechanisms;

Fig. 6 is a vertical fragmentary section on the line 66 of Fig. 5 showing particularly the forward portion of the plunger mechanisms and the vertical interlocking bar;

Fig. 7 is a similar vertical section taken on the line 7-7 of Fig. 5' showing particularly the rear portion of the plunger mechanism and the locking latches and vertical release bar therefor; and,

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary horizontal view showing certain details of the coin release mechanism.

The general features of a cabinet embodying the invention are shown in Fig. 1 comprising an upright cabinet 10 provided With a main front door 11 hinged at the left in Figs. 1 and 2. The particular cabinet shown in Fig. l is adapted to support containers C on three levels and correspondingly the main door 11 has mounted therein three auxiliary doors 12 each hinged at the upper edge on horizontal pivots in the main door 11. Each auxiliary door 12 is provided With glass panels 13 extending over substantially the entire extent of the auxiliary doors whereby the contents of the cabinet are clearly displayed to view. Each auxiliary door 12 has a handle 14 at the bot-tom whereby a customer may readily swing the door upwardly by grasping the handle with one hand and grasping and removing a selected container with the other hand, as is indicated by the figure of the customer in Fig. l. The cabinet in the present case is intended to embody a cooling means which is incorporated in the lower half thereof, the particular details thereof, however, forming no part of the present invention. It will be noted that the auxiliary transparent doors 12 normally close by gravity when released to maintain the interior at a cooling temperature. If desired, the cabinet may have associated therewith a rack for empty containers, as indicated at 15. The cabinet is of the vending type and includes a coin receiving slot 16 in the front of the door and a coin return pocket 17. The coin control mechanism may be of any conventional type obtainable as a unit on the market and may include if desired coin changing means, slug rejectors and any of the features commonly associated with coin control units. The particular details thereof are not important to the present invention and accordingly the disclosure is not encumbered therewith'except' thatFi gs. 7 and 8' 3 show sutficient details of airepresentative form associated with the coin release 5521 interlocking mechanism of the container withdrawal mechanism.

,The present invention is particularly adapted.fonthe dispensing of containerspf the common, beverage bottle type-having a neck portionof rediiceddiameter and,

upper enlarged head or bead 18, as shown particularly in Fig. 4. The bottles have the usual type or metal clinchereap 19 and conveniently the door may be provided with a bottle cap remover 20. I v I V A bottle withdrawal station is provided at the center ateach level and, as will be pointed out more in detail, any bottle on a particular level may be moved to and withdrawn at the corresponding station 25. The bottle storage levels are each divided, in. effect, into a right hand and a left hand section by a series of vertical posts 26, 27, 28 and 29 which serve as supports for the corresponding edges of the bottle carrying trays and also have mounted therein at each level the bottle withdrawal mechanism and associated locking means. As shown, the

supporting posts are U-shaped channel members and the forward two posts 26 and 27 each have housed therein a vertically movable control bar, the details of which will be described later.

An important feature of the bottle supporting means is thearlfangrnent whereby they aremade easily removable independently of each other and capable of being reloaded with bottles exteriorly of the cabinet and then thetray slidback into place in the cabinet as a unit. In this connection itis noted first that the trays or'racks are of a character in which the bottles are held suspended by .their necks in slots, as indicated particularly in. Fig. 4. Eachtray has a series ofoverhead transverse channel bars 32 having projecting ends 32a slidably received in fixed supporting channel members, one of which is secured to the outer side wall ofthe cabinet and'the other to the series, of vertical posts 26 to 29. In other words, for t-heright hand tray in Big. 2 (see also Fig.4) the outer ends of the bars are slidably received in a supporting channel shaped guide 33 fixed to the interior of the side wall of the cabinet, and the opposite ends of the bars 32 are slidably received in a channel bar 34 secured to the stationary posts at the middle of the box. Secured to the underside of the cross bars 32 and extending from the rear to near the front of each tray is a series of larger -l J-shaped channel irons 35 each of which in turn has secured to the bottom of its spaced legs a plate 36 the plates 36 being spaced apart a distance to provide slots 37 adapted to receive the necks of the bottles C. Beverage. bottles of the type for which the present dispenser is particularly adapted have a standard diameter at the neck just below the head of one inch and accordingly the slots 37 in such case have a width slightly larger than the neck diameter but smaller than the bead diameter of the bottles. As will be seen in Fig. 4 particularly, the plates 36 are adapted to span the distance from one slot to the next. For the outer side track for the slot 37 next to the side wall of the'cabinet a narrower plate 38 is provided which may comprise part of a channel member 39 likewise secured to the cross bars 32, and similarly for the other track for the slot adjacent the row of 'm id'dle posts of the cabinet a narrower plate 40 is provided comprising part of a channel member 41, sus pended from cross bars 32. There have been described the slots 37 extending from the rear to near the front-of the tray in each case. In addition the tray necessarily includes a common exit slotextending parallel to the front of the cabinet communicating with all of the slots 37 of the particular bottle rack whereby a bottle may be moved from any oneof the slots 37 into the common exit slot leading to the withdrawal station 25. For this purpose each tray has an overhead bridge supporting structure comprising aseries of short channel bars 44 secured on the upper face ofthecorresponding forwardends of the chafinclmembers '35 andthaving asforward overhanging site or inner track edge of the slot 46, being formed in.-

part by the forward edges 47 of the plates 36.

It will be noted, of course, that there are successive interruptions of the inner track for the slot 46 where the slots 37 communicate with slot 46. An important feature, however, of the present invention is the incorporation of automatically positionable auxiliary track elements comprising hinged flippers or plates 50, there being one such plate located at the outer or forward end of each slot 37, the plates being hinged at 51 upon the upper surface of the forward end of the plates 36. Each hinged element 50 is adapted to occupy either one of two functional positions. In the positions shown at the leftin Fig. 2, for example, Where the elements. are swung inw'ardly across the ends of the slots 37 they present an edge 50a adapted to bridge across. the front end of the. slot 37 whereby a bottle may be moved along the front slot 46 with anuninterrupted track at each side of the slot. Each bridging element is firmly supported in, such posi-- tion byhaving a portion resting on a surface at each side of "the corresponding slot 37. -A ,pin 52 on the upper. surfa'ce'of the track elements limits the inward movement of the bridging elementsBQ andpreferably the latter eachhave a notch 53 located to engage the corresponding pin 52. In the opposite position of the bridging elements 50, as shown for the bridging element particularly designated 50' 'infFig. 3, the element presents a curved edgeStlb slot 37 into'the transverse slot 46. In such'latter position thenos'e'of the hinged element 50 45b of the front plate 45 and is, therefore, firmlysupported. The bridging elements are supported at both ends in either position and may be made of relatively thin metal having a thickness whichneed not exceedonesixteenth of an inch. Accordingly the tracks are relatively smooth and at substantially a common level. Of particular importance is the fact that the bridging elements'insure a continuous smooth unbroken guide path for the bottle necks of uniform width whereby they may be'easily moved and are prevented from dropping down out of the slots at any point.

Continuing with the "description of the removable fea-,

rests upon the ledge turefof the trays, it will now be apparent that the.trays,

including the hinged track elements '50 just described, may be readily slid forward out of the boxin the supporting'guides 33 and 34. For this purpose the upper end =edgeof the front flange plates 45 may be grasped and a forward pull exerted to slide forward the entire tray. In the particular construction shown the traysare made removable through the'front door. However, it willbe seen that in those cases where desired a door may be'embodied' at the rear of the cabinet and the trays removed *re'arwardly of the cabinet. As has been indicated there" are two trays on each level. A removed tray may be readily reloaded with bottles by slidin the bottles into 7 the rear end of the slots 37. It will be noted that the customernnayselect a-hottle not only from anyxslotde sired but on any of the provided levels. l-I-oweven-the interl ekina-meqh fii m ao{reactions that only oneffbottle itself. The control mechanism is shown particularly in Figs. 5, 6 and 7. The mechanism is substantially duplicated at each level. At each level there is a plunger 60 movable forward and back, being guided in a rectangular opening 61 in the flat plate portion of the vertical channel post 26. The plunger is also horizontally guided on a plate 62 extending between posts 26 and 27 and a forward flange 63 secured to the front face of the post 26. The plungers each have a nose portion 64 to the top edge of which is secured an overhanging hook 65 presenting a lateral opening 66 into which the head of a bottle is adapted to be moved as it is advanced down the front guide slot 46. Each plunger has a tail portion 67 of reduced dimension which may be square in cross section and slidable in a correspondingly shaped opening 68 of the forward face of the post 27. The plunger is normally urged to its retracted position by a tension spring 69 having one end hooked into an eye in the tail end of the plunger 67 and an opposite end secured to the vertical post 28. The rearward movement of the plunger is limited and determined by engagement of the shoulder 70 on the plunger against the forward face of the post 27. The limit of the forward movement is determined by any suitable means such as a block 71 secured to the side of the plunger body engageable against the rear edge of the supporting post 26. The plungers are normally locked in their rearward position by a latch 75 pivoted at 76 between the fingers of a U-shaped member 77 secured to the rear face of the post 27, the latch 75 extending forwardly through an opening 78 in the post and having a forward hook portion 79 adapted to engage over a shoulder provided by a block 80 secured to the upper edge of the plunger 60. In Fig. the uppermost and lowermost plungers are shown in their retracted locked position, and the middle plunger in its forward position in the operation of removing a container C from that level. In this position the forward hook portion 79 of the latch rests upon the upper surface of the block 80.

As heretofore noted, the mechanism embodies a suitable coin release means the details of which may vary and only the lower portion of a suitable type of means is shown in Figs. 5 and 8. The coin release means includes the chute 85 into which the coin gravitates from the receiving slot 16 shown in Fig. 1 and comes to rest initially upon a segmental plate 86 secured to the lower end of a rotary shaft 87 substantially coextensive with the vertical posts 26 and 27 and extending through openings in the horizontal plates 62. A coil spring 88 normally tends to rotate the shaft 87 in a counter clockwise direction as viewed from above, the rotation in that direction being limited by engagement of a radial pin 88a thereon with a fixed stop pin 89 (Fig. 5). When a coin comes to rest edgewise on the plate 86, as shown at 92 in Fig. 5, it operates the spring finger 93 from the dotted line position shown in Fig. 8 to the full line position which serves to close the contacts of the micro switch 94 which closes the circuit from the electrical current source 95 through solenoid 96 which has a plunger 97 pivoted to the lower end of a link 98, the upper end being pivoted at 99 to a vertically extending control bar 100. Energizing of the solenoid 96 pulls the plunger 97 to the left in Fig. 5 against the tension of spring 97a elevating the control bar 108. The control bar 100 may be constructed conveniently in the form of a ladder having spaced side rails 100a and with a cross round 101 associated with each latch 75, the ladder 100 being slidably mounted within the channel provided by the vertical post 27, the offset portions 77a of the latch supporting bracket 77 serving to confine the ladder 100 within the channel of the post 27. The energizing of solenoid 96 lifts the ladder bar 100 causing the cross rounds 101 to engage under and lift all of the locking latches 75 to a position wherein the hook portion is above and free of the block 80 on the corresponding plungers 60.

Thecomplete operation will be described more fully in detail hereinafter, but for the moment it is noted that when a plunger is pulled forward by the removal of a bottle, such as shown for the middle plunger in Fig. 5, the block on the plunger engages a pin 103 projecting radially from the vertical control rod 87 and swings the coin plate 86 to the position shown in broken line in Fig. 8, whereupon the coin is released from the bottom of the chute and drops into the receptacle 104 which de-energizes the solenoid 96 permitting the control ladder again to drop to the position shown in Fig. 5, releasing the latches 75 into their effective position except as to the one plunger which may be in its forward position comprising in Fig. 5 the middle plunger. In that instance the particular latch is held as shown for the middle plunger until the customer releases the plunger whereupon spring 69 retracts it and the corresponding latch drops into locking position.

The mechanism also embodies an interlock whereby for the insertion of a coin only one bottle may be removed which means that the plungers on the other two levels are locked against operation, and also that only the one bottle may be moved into the withdrawal position on the selected level. Such an interlock includes the vertical bar vertically slidable in the U-shaped opening formed by the channel of the front post 26 being held therein by cross plates 111 secured to the chan-- nel post 26 and bridging the rear leg portions thereof. Similarly to the control bar 100 the locking bar 1110 may conveniently be constructed of two vertical spaced rails 110a and 110]) having a pair of cross rounds 112 at each plunger. The spacing between the cross rounds 112 of a pair corresponds to the vertical width of tht body portion of the plunger 60. The location of the pairs of cross pins 112, however, is such that if the locking bar 110 is suitably positioned to permit the forward movement of one plunger 60, a pin 112 will be located in one of the notches 113 or 114 of each of the other plungers such as to prevent forward movement of such other plungers. It will be noted that each notch 113 and 114 has a rear cam surface 113a or 114a respectively whereby when the corresponding plunger is pulled forwardly, assuming the other two are in their retracted position, the locking bar 110 will be automatically cammed to the proper vertical position to permit the particular plunger to move forwardly. Such a condition is indicated for the middle plunger in Fig. 5, and it will be noted that the upper pin 112 at the lower plunger 60 prevents it from being pulled forward far enough to release a bottle and likewise for the upper plunger 60, its lower pin 112 occupies such a blocking position. In general whenever anyone of the plungers 60 is pulled to its forward position the other two plungers will be blocked by one of its pins 112. In addition to the interlock between different levels, the mechanism prevents the removal of more than one container at any one selected level. For example in Fig. 5 the customer has selected a bottle on the middle level and moved it down the slot and into the opening 66 provided by the hook 65 attached to the plunger. When the customer pulls the plunger forward to the position shown, the head portion 64 of the plunger blocks oi the front slot 46 preventing another container being moved into the exit position from either the right hand or the left hand rack until the plunger is permitted to move back to its retracted position.

Before describing a complete cycle of operation, one additional feature of importance is referred to comprising a pivoted track element 115 associated with the withdrawal station and plunger mechanism at each level. The element 115 is pivoted by a screw 116 to the underface of the corresponding bracket 63 and is limited in its angular movement from the center position shown in Fig. 2 by pins 117 and 117a shown particularly in Fig. 3 'engageable by the tail portion 115:; of the pivoted.

element 115. The element 115 has a concave edge at each side as indicated for example at 11512 in Fig. 3. The element performs a function generally similar to that of the pivoted elements 50. In other words, it comprises an auxiliary track element adapted to be moved into appropriate position by engagement therewith by a bottle neck and swung into an appropriate position to form a section of the guiding track for the bottle bridging the otherwise normally open space across the front slot 46. as the bottle is moved into the space in the plunger and then outwardly for removal.

A complete typical operation in the removal of a bottle from the cabinet will now be described. It is assumed'that the cabinet has been stocked with a variety of, bottles containing, for example, different flavored beverages. Normally the bottles in any given front-toback slot 37' will be the same. The customer may examine through the glass auxiliary doors 12 the beverages on display and insert an appropriate coin in the slot,1'6 and raise the door 12 at the level selected, which in-. the present case has been assumed to be the middle level. Fig. 3' indicates that a bottle has been selected from the slot 37 in the right hand rack next to the middle post, and the customer grasps the depending body portion of the bottle and pulls it forward in the slot 37, the neck of the bottle engaging the hinged flipper 50' swinging it to the position shown in Fig. 3 and the bottle is automatically guided into the slot 46 extending along the front and isthen moved by the customer into engagement with the hinged flipper 115 and into the space 66 (Fig. As the bottle was moved down the slot 46, continuous side tracks are provided by the flange 45b on the frontplate and on the opposite side by the front edge of the bracket 63 and the edge of the flipper.115. Continued pressure on the bottle in a lateral direction and then forward serves to pull forward the corresponding plunger 60 to the position shown for the middle such plunger in Fig; 5, whereupon the bottle is completely freed by a slight downward movement.

In the meantime, as the plunger 60 was pulled forward, the'block 80 thereon has engaged the radial pin 103 on the vertical rod 87 swinging the coin supporting plate 86 to. the broken line position shown in Fig. 8, releasing the coin from the bottom end of the chute 85, as has been described, de-energizing the solenoid 96 which permits the lock release bar 100 to drop to the position shown locking the uppermost and lowermost plungers 60. The hook portion 79 for the middle latch 75, however, rests on top of the block 80 until the bottle C has been removed and the plunger permitted to retract under the force of the spring 69.

Assuming that, instead of selecting a bottle from a slot nearthe. plunger mechanism, a bottle has been selected from a remote slot such as the last one to the right in Fig. 2, then. as this bottle is moved forward the corresponding flipper 50, if it extends across the forward end of the slot 37, will bev moved forward to the position shown, and if any of the other flippers 50 between the bottleand the withdrawal station 25 are bridging the slot 46; theneck of the container will engage against the ed-geof the corresponding flipper and automatically cam it back into the position across the front end of its slot 37 whereby it then constitutes a bridging element for the bottle being moved down the front transverse slot 46 to the-withdrawal station. Fig. Z'indicates, for example, a bottle C which has been moved from the slot 37 at the extreme right into the transverse slot 46 and is being moved to the left and engages a flipper 50" at the second slot and is swingingthe. flipper 50 clockwise out of the path, of the container C' and into a position bridging across its slot 37.

It willbe understood that the. principles of the invention may be. embodiedin different types'of cabinets havinga' different number of levelsfor. containers, that the containers may be of a different character and that in general various changes may be made in the construction and difierent embodiments of the invention made wlthout departing from the principles or scope thereof, and

, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. In a dispenser for small containers having a neck and an enlarged head portion, a slot formed by a pair of tracks spaced apart a width adapted to receive. the container necks and support the containers suspended from their enlarged heads, guide parts defining a transversely extending exit opening communicating with said slot, a. transfer mechanism mounted at said opening including an element provided with a side opening aligned with said slot in normal position of said element and adapted to receive therein the head of a container advanced down the slot, said element being. movable outwardly transversely of the slot by corresponding manual shifting of an entraining container previously moved into said side opening, said outward movement releasing the container head portion, and means coupled with said element and moved thereby across the slot to block the advance of another container into said exit opening while said element is in an outwardly moved position.

2. In a dispenser cabinet for small containers having a neck and an enlarged head portion, a slot formed by a pair of tracks spaced apart a width adapted to receive the container necks and support the containers suspended from their enlarged heads, guide parts defining a transversely extending exit opening communicating with said slot, a plunger at said opening mounted for movement. transversely of said slot provided with a side openingl aligned with said slot in normal position of saidplunger and adapted to receive therein the head of a container advanced down the slot, said plunger having a front hook portion engageable by the container head when manually moved outwardly transversely of the slot and correspondingly to shift outwardly the plunger, said outward movement releasing the container head portion, said plunger having a part adapted to extend across the slot to block the advance of another container into said exit opening when said plunger is in an outwardly moved position.

3. In a dispenser cabinet for small containers having a neck and an enlarged head portion, a slot formed by a pair of tracks spaced apart a width adapted to receive the container necks and support the containers suspendedfrom their. enlarged heads, guideparts defining a trans versely extending exit opening communicating with saidslot, a transfer mechanism mounted at said opening including an. element provided with an opening extending. from th'eside and upwardly from the bottom aligned with said slot in normal position of said element and arranged to receive therein the head of a container advanced down the slot, said element being movable out wardly transversely of the slot by corresponding manualshifting of an entraining' container previously moved into said element opening, said cabinet. having an opening permitting the ready grasping. of the body of a container below the tracks for movement thereof along the tracks and the succeeding outward movement, said outward movement of the element releasing the container head portion, and means coupled'with said element and'moved thereby across the slot to block the advance of another container intosaid exit opening while said element is in an outwardly moved position.

4. In a dispenser cabinet for small containers, said cabinet being adapted to support a supply of containers on a plurality of vertically spaced levels, with a withdrawal opening at each level, the means for supportingthe con-- tainers at each level embodying a guideway communicat-- ing with the withdrawal opening at the respective level, said cabinet having openings pennittingthe individual containers tobe grasped manually and movedfrom the cab inet out the corresponding withdrawal opening, a-con tainer withdrawal mechanism at the opening at each level operable by the movement of a container in its manual removal from the cabinet, said mechanism including a plunger movably mounted for outward and inward movement and engageable by a container in a container withdrawal operation thereby to move the plunger in the outward direction and a spring means for moving the plunger in the inward direction, and an interlocking means connected to each withdrawal mechanism comprising a vertically reciprocable locking bar having a connection with each plunger, said bar being adapted to assume a plurality of difierent vertical positions in each of which it frees a different one of said plungers while locking the others, said connection for each plunger including a cam means for shifting the locking bar to its freeing position upon initial movement of the plunger in a container withdrawal operation.

5. In a dispenser cabinet for small containers having a neck and an enlarged head portion, said cabinet being adapted to support a supply of containers on a plurality of vertically spaced levels, guide parts defining a withdrawal opening at each level, the means for supporting the containers at each level embodying a pair of tracks spaced apart a width adapted to receive the container necks and support the containers suspended from their enlarged heads, said slot communicating with the withdrawal opening at the respective level, a container withdrawal mechanism at each level including an element having an opening aligned with said slot in normal position of said element and adapted to receive therein the head of a container advanced down the corresponding slot, said element being movable outwardly by corresponding movement of a container engaged in the element opening, said outward movement releasing the container, and an interlock means operable by each withdrawal mechanism and effective when one of said elements is moved to an outward position to prevent outward movement of the elements at the other levels and prevent withdrawal of a container at such other levels.

6. In a dispenser of containers of the type having a neck and an enlarged head portion, a supporting rack having a plurality of container supply slots communicating with a common transverse slot leading to an exit, each of said slots comprising a pair of tracks spaced apart a width slightly larger than and adapted to receive the container necks and support the containers suspended from their enlarged heads, a track element movably mounted at the end of each of the supply slots adjacent the transverse slot, each element being adapted in one position to bridge across the transverse slot and having a curved edge at one side adapted to form a curved continuation of the appropriate side track of its corresponding supply slot and guide a container therefrom into the transverse slot toward the exit, and in an opposite position to bridge across the end of its supply slot and present an edge forming a section of the corresponding track side of the transverse slot.

7. In a dispenser cabinet for small containers adapted to support a supply of containers at each of a plurality of vertically spaced levels, the supporting means at each level comprising a rack with a plurality of main container slots including spaced guides adapted to confine containers therebetween extending from back to front and adapted thereby to display simultaneously at the front a plurality of individual containers, container exit guide means at the front communicating with said slots, withdrawal mechanism for controlling the removal of individual containers at the respective exit, coin operated control means for simultaneously releasing said withdrawal mechanisms for each of said levels, an interlocking control means connected to all of said withdrawal mechanisms and efiective While one of said withdrawal mechanisms is in a container removal cycle to lock the other withdrawal mechanisms against operation, and a separate freely openable door mounted in the cabinet at and extending across the front of the cabinet at each level embodying transparent panel means for viewing the containers therethrough, whereby a patron may View the containers in the several main slots and upon release of the coin controlled locking mechanism may reach in and grasp the desired container in one of the main slots and move it therefrom out the corresponding exit.

8. In a dispensing cabinet for small containers having a door opening and a door therefor, a container release and withdrawal mechanism mounted in said cabinet, a. container supporting rack insertable and removable from the cabinet through said door opening, said rack having a plurality of slots each adapted to receive and slidably support a plurality of containers suspended by the neck, said cabinet having spaced guides for the rack and the rack having parts adapted to be slidably supported upon the corresponding guides, said rack being removable relative to said mechanism but having means for guiding containers to said mechanism when the rack is in position in the cabinet.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 443,365 Jewell Dec. 23, 1890 652,408 Sullivan June 26, 1900 700,721 Ames May 27, 1902 943,810 Carr Dec. 21, 1909 1,257,062 Adams Feb. 19, 1918 1,603,012 Andrews Oct. 12, 1926 1,852,299 Gray et a1 Apr. 5, 1932 1,921,109 Webb et a1 Aug. 8, 1933 2,171,110 Feicht Aug. 29, 1939 2,174,712 Warner et a1 Oct. 3, 1939 2,228,972 Pinder Jan. 14, 1941 2,230,975 Gratz Feb. 4, 1941 2,248,916 Opper July 8, 1941 2,305,342 Fry Dec. 15, 1942 2,311,449 Lilly Feb. 16, 1943 2,332,214 Forsthoefel et al. Oct. 19, 1943 2,423,265 Stewart July 1, 1947 2,512,502 Paschell June 20, 1950 2,513,595 Stewart July 4, 1950 2,562,795 Kelly July 31, 1951 2,599,173 Hamilton June 3, 1952 2,615,545 Dolman Oct. 28, 1952 2,620,691 Gould Dec. 9, 1952 2,681,842 Rabkin et al June 22, 1954 2,727,654 Childers et a1 Dec. 20, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 46,459 Netherlands Aug. 15, 1939 457,990 Great Britain Dec. 10, 1936

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GB457990A * Title not available
NL46459C * Title not available
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U.S. Classification221/125, 221/133, 221/303, 221/155, 221/102, 211/74, 194/244, 312/292, 221/197, 221/150.00R
International ClassificationG07F11/38, G07F11/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/38
European ClassificationG07F11/38