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Publication numberUS2886837 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 19, 1959
Filing dateOct 15, 1956
Priority dateOct 15, 1956
Publication numberUS 2886837 A, US 2886837A, US-A-2886837, US2886837 A, US2886837A
InventorsSchara Earl M
Original AssigneeSchara Earl M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-cleaning eating table
US 2886837 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1959 E. M. SCHARA 2,886,837

SELF-CLEANING EATING TABLE Filed 001:. 15, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 zl w' INVENTOR. EARL M. SCH/IRA May 19, 1959 E. M. SCHARA SELF-CLEANING EATING TABLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 15, 1956 INVENTOR. EARL M. SCH/IRA ATTOPNFY United States Patent 01 SELF-CLEANING EATING TABLE Earl M. Schara, Canton, Ohio Application October 15, 1956, Serial No. 615,808

8 Claims. (Cl. 4)

This invention relates generally to food dispensing tables and has particular reference to an eating table having incorporated therein a conveyor belt capable of receiving food directly thereupon and being easy to clean after consumption of the food.

At the present time, the preparation and serving of a meal involves the placing of the prepared foods upon serving dishes, which dishes are then placed on the eating table for consumption by the user thereof.

After the meal has been completed, the dishes are removed from the table and manually cleaned by immersing the same in hot water followed by a drying action. Improvements in the direction of minimizing the amount of work associated with the dishwashing operation have been directed primarily towards the provision of automatic washing means wherein the dishes are manually placed in the dishwashing machine and then subjected to a spray action of hot water followed by a drying action employing hot air or other drying means.

While this type apparatus has generally found widespread acceptance in home usage, it is apparent that the same still involves the basic manual steps of removing the dishes from the table, placing the same in the dishwasher, removing the clean dishes from the dishwasher, and resetting the same upon the table. Thus, while the amount of work involved in washing the dishes has been somewhat decreased, no reduction in the amount of effort required to clean the table and reset the same has been eifectuated.

It has been discovered that with the advent of certain recently introduced plastic compositions, that an endless movable belt can be provided having surface depressions therein corresponding in configuration to the usual size and shape of dishes employed in household usage. In this manner, the food can be placed directly in these depressions and eaten therefrom, at which time these depressions, being part of a movable belt, may be shifted into contact with a cleaning unit whereupon appropriate cleansing action may occur.

It accordingly becomes the principal object of this invention to provide an eating table having incorporated therein food-receiving depressions that are capable of being self-cleaned upon completion of the meal.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved type of self-cleaning eating table characterized by a simplicity of use, together with a minimum number of component parts resulting in a low-cost unit capable of use by the average household.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a self-cleaning eating table having food-receiving depressions incorporated therein that are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized after the completion of the meal.

These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following brief specification considered and interpreted in the light of the following drawings.

Of the drawings:

2,886,837 Patented May 19, 1959 ice Figure l is a top plan view of a preferred embodiment of the self-cleaning table.

Figure 2 is a view in cross section taken along the lines 2, 2 of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a view in cross section taken along the lines 3, 3 of Figure 1.

Figure 4 is a sectional view taken along the lines 4, 4 of Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a top plan view of a modified form of the invention.

Figure 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the modified form of this invention taken along the lines 6, 6 of Figure 5.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to Figures 1 and 3 thereof, the improved eating table, generally designated by the numeral 10, is shown spaced from floor F by legs 11, ll, so that an endless. belt 12 can move relatively thereof so as to permit food receiving depressions 13 therein to be movable from the horizontal dispensing position of Figure 1 to a position of contact with cleaning means 14 upon movement of the belt 12 as will be presently described.

Considering first the structure of the table 10, it will be seen from Figure 1 that the same is of generally circular configuration in plan, and includes an appropriate circular frame member 29 having an outer peripheral guide flange 21 provided for the purpose of guiding the endless belt 12. In addition to the aforementioned component parts, the flat surface 19 of table Ill includes an opening 22 within which is received a trough-shaped member generally designated by the numeral 23, that houses the cleaning apparatus 14, Additionally, a hinge 24 is provided for the purpose of mounting a cover 25 with handle 26 being used to facilitate opening and closing of the cover 25 to permit access to the interior of the trough member 23.

Receivable within the trough member 23 are a plurality of idler rollers 27, 28 and 29, the arrangement being such that the axis of the idler roll 27 is parallel to the planar surface 19, while the axes of the idler rollers 28 and 29 are disposed out of parallel with the plane of surface 19 so as to effectuate a tipping of the belt 12 when the same is trained over these idler rollers 28 and 29. This tipping operates to remove food from belt 12 onto bottom surface 47 of trough 23. A driven shaft 30 defines a sprocket 31 that is engageablewith a complementally shaped threaded segment 32 that is provided on the undersurface of the belt 12 as is best shown in Figure 3 of the drawings.

For the purpose of effectuating cleaning of the belt 12 as the same passes around the idler rollers 27, 28 and 29, and the sprocket 31, there is also provided interiorly of the trough 23 a revolving cleaning brush 33 and combination brush-spray unit 34, that are positioned so as to be engageable with the upper eating surface 12a of the conveyor belt 12 when the same passes through the trough 23. Also, a water spray 36 is provided for introducing water to the surface 12a prior to engagement thereof with the brush spray unit 34, with the direction of movement of the conveyor belt 12 being indicated by the arrow in Figure 3 of the drawings.

In order to accommodate silverware, cups and other utensils used in connection with the eating of meals, there is further provided interiorly of the trough 23 an open type rack indicated generally by the numeral 40 and being defined by a series of rib-like members 41, 41,

arranged so as to support therein knives, forks, and the of the detailed structure of the individual depressions,

13, 13 that are provided in the belt 12, it will be seen that four such sets of depressions 13, 13 are provided in the preferred embodiment of the invention shown in Figure l, with each set or place setting including a main depression 44, a smaller depression 4-5 and a still smaller depression 46, the arrangement being such that the depression 44 may be used to directly receive thereon the main course of a dinner while the depressions 4-5 and 46 may be respectively used for salads, and saucers for cups, or glasses.

In order that the trough-shaped member 23 may have the food and Water removed therefrom, the lowermost wall portion 4-7 thereof is shown in Figure 4 provided with a tapering surface that leads to a drain 49 which may be connected to the ordinary household drain with a minimum of effort. In this regard, it is also to be noted that the sprocket 31 is driven by a motor (not shown) located conveniently on the underside of the table while water may be supplied to the spray units 34, 36, and 42 by means of a water connection to the ordinary Water system provided in the household.

In use or operation of the improved device, it will first be assumed that the component parts are positioned as shown in Figure l with four place settings being exposed for use. At this time, the main course such as meat, potatoes and vegetable may be placed directly on the indi vidual depressions M, 44 While a salad may be placed upon the depressions 45, 45 and glasses or other cups placed upon the depressions i6, 46. At this time, utensils such as knives, forks and spoons may be positioned and the meal may then be consumed by merely eating the food directly off the individual depressions 44 45.

When the meal has been completed, it is merely necessary that the cover 25 be raised and the small utensils such as the knives, forks and cups be placed within the tray 40, and if desired some of the scraps may be re moved. At this time, the sprocket 31 may be energized by turning on the motor (not shown) in known manner so as to initiate counter-clockwise movement (Figure l) of the belt 12. As the depressions pass over the sprocket 31, the same will be subjected to a spray from the tube 36 with this water immersion being followed by a brush ing action eifectuated by the revolving brush-spray unit 34. After this preliminary cleaning has occurred, and all food particles have been loosened, the depressions will pass over the roller 29 at which time the same will be somewhat tilted until passed around the roller 28. During this tilted period, it is apparent that the loosened food particles will come off the belt 12 for collection at the lowermost surface of the trough 23 so as to be dispensed and flushed down the drain tube 49'. After passing around the idler roller 28, the eating surface will again be contacted by a revolving brush 33 that will wipe the surface clean while simultaneously effectuating a partial drying thereof. Passage around the idler roller 27 then brings the eating surface 12a of the belt into the exposed horizontal position and upon complete revolution of the belt, all four place settings will have been completely cleaned and are ready for reuse. It is to be understood that during the just-described movement of the belt 12 that a continuous cleaning action will be occurring on the utensils placed in the tray 40 with the result that the same may, upon completion of the movement of the belt 12, be left in the tray 49 until the same are needed for reuse.

The modified form of the invention shown in Figures 4 and of the drawings is similar in detail to that previously described in connection with Figures 1 through 4 except that the shape thereof is rectangular instead of circular as shown in the preferred embodiment. Accordingly, where indicated, like numerals designate like parts.

Thus, in Figure 5 a rectangular table 5t") is shown having a pair of food belts 51 and 52 that are respectively movable through cleaning units 53 and 54 that are provided at one end of table 50. As shown in Figure 6,

4- the usual idler rollers 27, 28 and 29, guide the course of movement of the conveyor belts 51, 52 with sprockets 31, 31 providing the driving force required to move the same through the path of movement indicated by the arrow in Figure 5. Additional idler rollers 55, 56, 57 and 58 are provided for determining the remainder of the path of movement of the belt 52.

In use or operation of the modified form of the invention, the belt 52, for example, moves over idler rollers 27, 28, and 2?, as well as sprocket 31 so as to be subjected to cleaning action by brush 33 and brush-spray unit 34 with return movement to the horizontal position being effectuated by the training of conveyor belt 52 about rollers 55, 56, 57 and 58.

It will be seen from the foregoing that there has been provided a new and novel type of self-cleaning eating table that is characterized by the presence of a movable belt having food-receiving depressions therein upon which the food to be eaten may be directly placed. It has been shown how the direct placement of the food on this belt completely eliminates the manual dishwashing operation now practiced, with the result that a greatly simplified procedure of washing and cleaning following a meal is possible by use of the above-described invention.

While a detailed description of this invention has been set forth, it is not intended that the application be so limited. Thus, while brush-type cleaning means have been set forth, it follows that recently developed cleaning process using supersonic or other vibration may be employed. Similarly, a germicidal lamp or air-drying apparatus may be disposed in the trough 43 to effectuate a cleaning and/or drying operation, while the brushes disclosed may include resilient fingers of rubber or plastic, if desired. It is believed also understood that the line 49 leading from trough 43 would preferably include a trap with connection to a garbage disposal unit being optional. With regard to the belt structure, it is to be understood that while the same includes the described depressions, it is within the scope of this invention to provide liners for use in these depressions. Also, so that a flat surface would be provided, it is believed apparent that filler pieces could be received in the depressions to provide a flush surface.

It accordingly follows that modifications of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the spirit hereof or the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A serving table, comprising; a fiat serving surface having an opening therethrough; an access cover overlying said opening and being shiftable into and out of covering relationship therewith; a cleaning compartment communicating with said opening and being accessible when said cover is out of covering relationship with said opening; an endless belt movable relatively of said table and said serving surface thereof and being arranged to have a first portion thereof disposed in substantially coplanar relationship with said serving surface and a second portion thereof disposed within said cleaning compartment; cleaning apparatus disposed in said cleaning compartment and cleaning said belt upon movement thereof into adjacency therewith; said belt having surface depressions therein that are disposed in the plane of said serving surface and cleaned by said cleansing apparatus during movement of said belt said belt being movable through said cleaning compartment when said cover is in covering relationship to said opening.

2. A serving table, comprising; a flat serving surface having an opening therethrough; an access cover overlying said opening and being shiftable into and out of covering relationship therewith; a cleaning compartment communicating with said opening and being accessible when said cover is out of covering relationship with said opening; an endless belt movable relatively of said table and said serving surface thereof and being arranged to have ,a first portion thereof disposed in substantially coplanar relationship with said serving surface and a second portion thereof disposed within said cleaning compartment; cleaning apparatus disposed in said cleaning compartment and engaging said belt; said belt having surface depressions therein that are disposed in the plane of said serving surface and engaged by said cleansing apparatus during movement of said belt; said cleansing apparatus including revolving brushes which contact said depressions in said belt during movement thereof said belt being movable through said cleaning compartment when said cover is in covering relationship to said opening.

3. A serving table, comprising; a flat serving surface having an opening therethrough; an access cover overlying said opening and being shiftable into and out of covering relationship therewith; a cleaning compartment communicating with said opening and being accessible when said cover is out of covering relationship with said opening; an endless belt movable relatively of said table and said serving surface thereof and being arranged to have a first portion thereof disposed in substantially coplanar relationship with said serving surface and a second portion thereof disposed within said cleaning compartment; cleaning apparatus disposed in said cleaning com partment and engaging said belt; said belt having surface depressions therein that are disposed in the plane of said serving surface and engaged by said cleansing apparatus during movement of said belt; said cleansing apparatus including revolving brushes Which contact said depressions in said belt during movement thereof; said cleansing apparatus including water spray means; said revolving brushes contacting said belt after said belt has been sprayed said belt being movable through said cleaning compartment when said cover is in covering relationship to said opening.

4. The device of claim 3 further characterized by the fact that said depressions on said belt are disposed out of parallel with said serving surface during contact with said cleansing apparatus whereby residual particles on said depressions are urged oil the same.

5. The device of claim 3 further characterized by the fact that a receptacle is provided within said cleansing apparatus the interior of said receptacle being exposed to said water spray means.

6. The device of claim 5 further characterized by the fact that said serving table is of circular plan in configuration with at least one of said endless belts movable about the periphery thereof.

7. The device of claim 5 further characterized by the fact that said serving table is of rectangular plan and configuration with at least one of said endless belts movable relatively to at least one longitudinal edge of said serving table.

8. The device of claim 4 further characterized by the fact that said depressions are of different. size and shape and are arranged in place settings.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1952568 *Aug 14, 1928Mar 27, 1934Adelbert J D SchappConvertible dishwashing dinner table
US2750611 *Apr 29, 1952Jun 19, 1956Chatel BertrandAutomatic meal table
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3075215 *Jun 8, 1961Jan 29, 1963Marue EdwardAutomatic dishwasher and meal table
US3101146 *Oct 6, 1960Aug 20, 1963Willsey Charles HWashing mechanism for egg separating apparatus
US3152599 *Dec 30, 1958Oct 13, 1964Grimes Elmer WDining table
US3230961 *Nov 22, 1963Jan 25, 1966Siemens Elektrogeraete GmbhDishwasher and sink combination
US5687752 *Nov 15, 1995Nov 18, 1997Boylan; Carroll J.Dining table having integral dishwasher
US6378537 *Jun 9, 2000Apr 30, 2002Dehart Harold F.Dining table with integral dishwasher
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/4, 119/57.92, 134/115.00R, 15/74
International ClassificationA47B31/00, A47L15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/00, A47B31/001
European ClassificationA47B31/00B, A47L15/00