|Publication number||US2887204 A|
|Publication date||May 19, 1959|
|Filing date||Mar 25, 1957|
|Priority date||Mar 25, 1957|
|Publication number||US 2887204 A, US 2887204A, US-A-2887204, US2887204 A, US2887204A|
|Inventors||Giuliano Fred A|
|Original Assignee||Giuliano Fred A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (25), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
May 19, 1959 F. A. GIULIANO 2,887,204 com CONTROL APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING AND RECOVERING REUSABLE ARTICLES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 25.- 1957 72: WEL.
DISPLA v [NSEET (Eu/v:
Rm mm G. A w
y 1959 F. A. GIULIANO 2,887,204
COIN CONTROL APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING AND RECOVERING REUSABLE. ARTICLES Filed March 25, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 vszkr INS T'o ERE Eurcrnvc cu.
ON TROL PO WEI? LINE INVENTOR. f IPEDA. GIL/L. IA No.
United States Patent COIN CONTROL APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING AND RECOVERING REUSABLE ARTICLES Fred A. Giuliano, Livingston, N J. Application March 25, 1957, Serial No. 648,271
6 Claims. (Cl. 194-4) This invention relates to coin-operated apparatus for dispensing reusable articles, for again receiving such articles after use, and for automatically refunding a part of the payments made therefor.
The invention is particularly applicable for use in dispensing towels and for receiving back the soiled towels, whereupon parts of the payments made upon dispensing the towels are refunded to the users in compensation for their return of the soiled towels. However, the equipment is adapted also for use in connection with the dispensing and return of other fabric items and the like such as bathing trunks, among other items.
It is the common practice in the locker rooms at some clubs, and at swimming pools and the like, for an attendant to hand out towels and to receive payments therefor and after the towels have been used, usually the attendant must gather them up for sending to a laundry. This practice, however, is often unsatisfactory because there is no incentive for the towel users to pick them up and return them, so that they are often allowed to be scattered over the floor and become unnecessarily and badly soiled, or some of them may be unintentionally, or otherwise, carried away with consequent losses to the proprietors. Furthermore, the expense of retaining attendants for more or less constantly taking care of towels, has become excessive.
In meeting these problems, I have found it possible to construct a coin-operated towel dispensing machine, which preferably is combined with a machine for receiving back the soiled towels andat the same time refunding to the user a coin, equivalent to a part of the coins which he deposited when receiving the towels. Preferably the arrangement is such that the towels are caused to be dispensed one by one upon inserting two coins, such as two twenty-five cent pieces, in the towel dispenser. One of these coins falls into a storage box and is kept by the proprietor, whereas the coin control mechanism is arranged to deposit the second of these coins in another containerorstack from which a coin is released, on the return of each soiled towel to the machine.
Preferably thetowels are treated in some manner so that the coins return'apparatus will operate to return a coin only selectively in response to receiving such a treated towel. This is to avoid the return of coins in response to the insertion of some valueless object or a towel other than the proprietors and which may not be worth a refund.
Preferably the towels are so treated that they will cause radiations such as of light of a certain band of wave lengths to emanate or to be reflected therefrom selectively in response to a beam of light or other radiations also within a certain band of wave lengths and a photoelectric cell and control means therefor is arranged to be selectively responsive to such emanated or reflected light, and to cause actuation of means to refund the coin. As hereinafter explained, the towels may be treated with a materialwhich will iluoresce responsive to ultraviolet light, for example, the resulting fluorescence causing actuation 2,887,204 Patented, May. a1 9, 1959;v
Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing the exterior of a typical assembly of apparatus embodying the invention;' Fig. 2 is a somewhat schematic vertical sectional view particularly of the soiled towel receiving apparatus and associated parts, some of which are shown in elevation; Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of Fig. 2; and
Fig. 4 is a sectional view of certain parts broken away and taken substantially along line 4-4 of Fig. 2.
Referring now to the drawings in further detail; thecabinet as shown in Fig. 1 includes a coin-operated towel dispensing apparatus 10 and a soiled towel receiving and coin-dispensing portion 11. i
The towels which are to be dispensed are preferably folded and wrapped as in cellophane for example, before a supply of same is inserted in the machine. One of them may be located for display in back of a window as at 12.
When two predetermined coins are inserted asin a coin slot 13, the coin control mechanism of the machine acts to discharge one of the wrapped towels as at 14 into a dispensing hopper 15, which is adapted to pivot outwardly, as shown, to permit the towel .to be removed.
The particular mechanism used for dispensing the towels in response to the insertion of coins may be the same or similar to that of any of the various well known types of article dispensing machines adaptedfto dispense packaged articles of sizes comparable to the wrapped towels, and since such apparatus is well known in forms adaptable to act in response to inserting a plurality of coins, same need not here be further described.
The side of the cabinet adapted to receive the used or soiled towels may be formed of an outwardly pivoted hopper as at 16, which can be pulled out asshown to receive a soiled towel,an'd then, when this hopper is shut, the mechanism in the machine is adapted to refund a coin, which will fall into a cup 17 therefor, which is noted on the drawings as the Coin Return. The soiled towels, after causing actuation of the coin-refunding means, fall to a removable hamper, as indicated at 17a. The chamber portion containing this hamper may normally be closed by a locked door 18. A known form of mechanism for actuating the towel dispensing means responsive to the insertion of coins may be located in a chamber indicated at 20. This mechanismmay readily be so designed as to deflect every other coin through a chute or the like 21 for deposit in a locked coin-storage box 22, which receives the coins which are not to be refunded. Alternate coins are deflected to a stack of refundable coins as hereinafter explained. In other re: spects, the coin-control mechanism 20 may be made in any one of the various common wellknown forms for controlling the dispensing of articles;
The photoelectric cell and its accompanying control apparatus for acting responsive to insertion of soiled towels 'to dispense refunded coins, may be contained'in a slidable drawer or cover portion indioatedat 23.
Referringnow to Fig. 2, a lamp is indicated at, 25 accompanied .by a suitable reflector 26 and preferably a lens 27 for projecting a light beam downwardly and forwardly in the direction indicated by the arrow 28 onto a soiledtowel. orotherspecially treated object, as indicated at 29 and which hasjust beenintroduced into thestructed thatthe, projectedbeam of light or. other radiation therefrom will be of wave lengths withina predetermined bandv to whichthe treated, object 29-will be selec tively responsive as by becoming fluorescent, thereby causing radiation of a particular selected band of Wave lengths to..be directed as indicated by the arrow 3%} to a photoelectric cell and accompanying control apparatus, as indicated at-31. Photoelectric cells selectively responsive; to predeterminedbands of radiationand accompany ing control apparatus therefor arewell known, and hence need not be described here in further detail. The photocell and its control apparatus isfur nishe-d with power from. the power line. indicated, through connections and 33,. and the .lamp supplied with power through connections,.-32 and 34. The-circuits controlledby the photocell responsive toitheselectedradiation received by the .celhare connected as by connections 35 to actuate a solenoid 36, the plunger of the lattenbeing connected throughlinkage 37 to operatea slide 38 for ejecting refunded coins from a stack thereof at 39. That is, the coin-controlled device 20,:asabove referred to, discharges alternate coins, that is the refundable coins, into the stack or receptacle therefor indicated at 39, and when the slide 38 is actuated, the lowermost refundable coinwill; be discharged through a return slot 40- to the exposed coin return cup 17.
Thepivoted hopper 16 for receivingthe soiled towels is, shown as hingedly mounted at 41, the hinge being accompanied by a spring-42 for normally holding the cover of the hopper in closed position as shown in Fig. 2. Thehopper, when in such position, has an inclined wall portion 43 so that when a towel is placed in the hopper when open, as in Fig. 1, and the hopper is thereafter shut, as indicated in Fig. 2, the towel or other returned object will slide down such inclined surface.
Then in order to bring the returned object 29 into the scope of the projected beam of radiation, it may be advanced as by a power-driven belt 44 which passes over suitable pulleys 45, 46 and 47 as shown, the belt being arranged as hereinafter explained to be driven for an interval long enough to cause the returned object to be rather slowly carried through the projected beam of radiationand thence dropped into the hamper below. The
pulley 46 causesa hump to occur in the belt, which will preventthe returned articles from'sliding down too fast or faster. than the travel of the belt.
The belt 44 may be driven as by a motor 50 connected through suitable reduction gearing or pulley means 51 to a drive/belt on the shaft for belt'pulley 47, for example.
In order to hold the hopper 16 in closed position for a. predetermined time during actuation of the coinrefunding apparatus, a solenoid as at 52 may be mounted to engage an armature 53 mounted on the inside of the inclined hopper portion 43. This solenoid, or a plurality of them if desired, may be made of sufiicient strength safely to hold the hopper against being opened during this predetermined period, or if preferred of course, such solenoids could be arranged to operate any known form of positive locking latch. Any suitable known form of electrical timer may be mounted in the box indicated at 55, .the timer receiving electrical power through the connectiqns '56 and being of a type adapted for example to be controlled by a microswitch 57, mounted up near the hoppen portion 43and actuatable thereby to control the timer for' example through a three-wire circuit 58. The rinalso connected by circuit wires indicated at 59, 60 to contr oil the motor 50and the solenoid 52. That is, the timer may be of a type such that when the hopper 16 is; closed and its portion43 engagesa lever as at 61 for closing themicroswitch 57,'then .the timer will start .4 and thereby start the motor 50 and energize the solenoid 52. Then, after the timer has operated fora predetermined time for which it has been set, it will stop, thereby disconnecting the motor 50 and the solenoid 52 from the source of power, but the microswitch and its circuit will be of a known type such as when the microswitch-operating lever 61 is released upon opening the hopper 16 again, then the timer will be setready to start another cycle of operations when the hopper 16 is again closed.
The timer may be so adjusted that the predetermined period of travel of the returned article 29 over the belt 44 will be long enough to insure that enough radiation will be directed or reflected onto the photocell to insure actuation of its associated control means. And the photocell and its control means may be so adjusted in known ways, as not to be responsive unless and until it receives a considerable amount of the radiation of adequate strength such as will occur in case the returned article is atowel having an extended area treatedashereinafter explained. This will guard against actuation of the comrefunding mechanism in response to objects of a different character than intended, or having treated areas of a. different magnitude.
In case the returned objects are towels, the path thereof ontov the belt 44 may be surmounted by a roller 65 supported on spring biased levers as at 66 against resilient stop means as at 67. Suchroller will facilitate passage of the towel past a lower stationary edge 67a of a hood 68 which encloses the hopper 16.
In case the apparatus is to be operated for handling reusable articles in the nature of towels or other fabric articles, same may be treated-for example. with a ma: terial which will fluoresce in response to ultraviolet light for example. Materials of such nature have been known in the laundry business for some time as suitable for pr o-, viding a laundry mark on clothing, which will be. invisible in daylight but which will fluoresce under ultraviolet light of suitable strength and thereby indicate to the laundry owner that the article is one which has been thus marked distinctively, rather than being an article which was not one which was laundered by the proprietor, For example, a substance known as a fluorescent pigment No. 2200 put out by US. Radium Corporation of MOI'XIS: town, New Jersey, is one example of a material which. has been found to besuccessful for the purposes of treating towels in accordance with this invention in cases. Where the radiation projector has a light filtering lens adapted to selectively pass ultraviolet light and where the photoelectric cell is effectively responsive to fluorescence of such substance. Such material may be mixed with a water solution of a suitable cellulosic carrier with. which the towels may be saturated. Upon washing, the carrier medium may be largely or substantially wholly washed out, whereas the fluorescent material will remain on and in the fabric after repeated laundering and still be able to fluoresce with adequate intensity to operate the coin-refunding apparatus as above explained.-
The ultraviolet lamp used may, if desired, project a beam of sufficient intensity so as to provide some substantial sterilizing effect upon the towels or suitable lamps for that purpose may be located in other parts of the apparatus.
It should be noted that it is particularly advantageous to have the coin-controlled towel dispenser associated with the soiled towel receiving and refunding apparatus, for the following reasons. At the ends of suitable periods of operation, for example once, twice or more times a day,
an attendant may remove all of the coins in the machine,
both the non-refundable coins as well as the coins intended to be refunded, or at least all but possibly a few of the latter. This will insure avoiding losses due to theft as well as possible losses due to any repeated actuation of the refunding mechanism through any methods of trickery. Then, after the coins have been removed, the equ pment is eady to e s ain to d pen e u th r newest towels and in so doing, the supply of refundable coins will be built up, but never to an extent greater than the actual number of towels dispensed. Accordingly the maximum possible losses due to any operation of the machine through trickery without the return of the proprietors soiled towels, will never need to exceed the number of soiled towels dispensed. This of course arises from the fact that the dispenser is so associated with the refunding means that the dispenser supplies all the coins to be refunded. While the proprietor may be defrauded as before by the stealing of towels, with this machine the towel user will have a substantial inducement to return the towels and receive his refund, and the possibilities or likelihood of losses through theft with the machine will thus' ordinarily be far less than in the case of where the soiled towels had to be collected by an attendant from various places where they were dropped.
Since this coin-refunding machine offers a definite inducement for the return of the soiled towels, they ordinarily can be maintained in a more sanitary condition than in cases where they are left scattered about with no such inducement. The machine further provides a convenient way for supplying the towels on a cash basis with a deposit charge collected, thereby discouraging accidental or intentional carrying away of the towels, or efforts to induce the attendant to extend credit to the towel users.
While as suggested above the apparatus might be so constructed for example as to dispense towels responsive to the insertion of two twenty-five cent coins, one being refundable, yet it will be understood that the coin receiving mechanism in the dispenser might alternatively be of a type, or be so adjusted, as to receive coins of two or more denominations, one or more of which would fall into the locked coin storage box and one or more of the others of which would fall to a stack or stacks of coins refundable by the action of the soiled towel receiving mechanism. In the latter case, the coin or coins to be refunded, instead of being directed into coin receivers for particular denominations and adapted for use in automatically making change in known ways, would instead be directed into one or more coin stack containers as at 39.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention is herein disclosed for purposes of explanation, various modifications thereof, after study of this specification, will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. Reference should accordingly be had to the appended claims in determining the scope of the invention.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. Apparatus adapted to refund coins upon insertion therein of towels and the like articles which have been treated to become fluorescent when radiations of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprising: means for projecting such radiations onto the articles; photoelectric cell means for receiving radiations emanating from the articles as the result of said projected radiations thereon; electromagnetic means and control means therefor associated with the photoelectric cell means and operative responsive to the emanations received by the cell from such articles; a receptacle for refundable coins associated with said electromagnetic means, whereby the latter when actuated displaces and refunds a coin; motor driven conveyor means on which the articles are conveyed past said projected radiations; a hopper for receiving the articles into the apparatus and having a portion from which same may advance onto said conveyor means; means for locking said hopper in closed condition after an article has been inserted therein; a timer for controlling the period during which said locking means locks the hopper and the period during which said conveyor means is operated; and means associated with said hopper and connected to start the operation of the timer each time said hopper is closed, whereby the locking means is kept locked and the conveyor is kept in operation until after the article is discharged from the conveyor and the coin is refunded.
2. Apparatus adapted to refund coins upon insertion therein of used towels which have been treated to emanate radiations of a predetermined character when radiations of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprisingzmeans for receiving the towels and conveying same through a predetermined path; means for directing such projected radiations onto the towels as thus conveyed; means sensitive to and for receiving radiations emanating from the towels: as the result offsaid projected radiations thereon; electromagnetic means and control means therefor associated with said sensitive means and operative responsive to the emanations received thereby from such towels; a receptacle for refundable coins associated with said electromagnetic means whereby the latter when actuated displaces and refunds a coin.
3. Apparatus adapted to refund coins upon insertion therein of reusable articles of fabric which have been treated to emanate radiations of a predetermined character when radiations of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprising: means for receiving the articles and for conveying same in a generally spread out condition past a predetermined region; means for directing such projected radiations onto the articles at said region; means sensitive to and for receiving radiations emanating from the articles as the result of said projected radiations thereon; and coin refunding means associated with said sensing means and operative responsive to the emanations received thereby from such articles.
4. Apparatus adapted to refund coins upon insertion therein of reusable articles which have been treated to emanate radiaions of a predetermined character when radiations of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprising: means for directing such projected radiations onto the articles; means sensitive to and for receiving radiations emanating from the articles as the result of said projected radiations thereon; electromagnetic means and control means therefor associated with said sensitive means and operative responsive to the emanations received thereby from such articles; a receptacle for refundable coins associated with said electromagnetic means, whereby the latter when actuated displaces and refunds a coin; motor driven conveyor means on which the articles are conveyed past said projected radiations; a hopper adapted to be opened for receiving the articles into the apparatus and adapted to discharge the articles onto said conveyor means when the hopper is closed; a timer for controlling the period during which said conveyor means is operated; and means associated with said hopper and connected to start the operation of the timer each time said hopper is closed, whereby the conveyor is kept in operation until after the article dis charged from the conveyor and the coin is refunded.
5. Apparatus adapted to refund coins upon insertion therein of reusable articles which have been treated to emanate radiations of a predetermined character when radiations of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprising: means for directing such projected radiations onto the articles; means sensitive to and for receiving radiations emanating from the articles as the result of said projected radiations thereon; coin refunding means associated with said sensing means and operative responsive to the emanations received thereby from such articles to refund a coin; motor driven conveyor means on which the articles are conveyed past said projected radiations; a hopper adapted to be opened for receiving the articles into the apparatus and adapted to discharge the articles onto said conveyor means when the hopper is closed; means for locking said hopper in closed condition after an article has been inserted therein and the hopper closed; a timer for controlling the period 1 during which said locking means locks the hopper and the period during which said conveyor means is operated; and means associated withsaid hopper and connected; to start the operation of thetimer each time said hopper is closed, whereby the locking means is kept locked and the conveyor is kept in operation until after the article is discharged from the conveyor and the coin isrefunded.
6. Apparatus: adaptedv to refund coins upon insertion therein of reusable articles which have been treated to emanate radiations of a predetermined character when radiations. of predetermined wave lengths are projected thereon, said apparatus comprising; means for directing such projected radiations onto the articles;. means;sensitive to andfor receiving radiations emanating from the articles asthe result, of said projected radiations thereon; coin refunding means associated with said sensing means and operative responsiyeuto the,err1anations received thereby from such articles to refunda coin; a hopper adapted to be opened for receiving the articles into the apparatus and for discharging-same after the hopper is closed; means for lockingsaid hopper in closed condition after an article has beer1;,ins erted;therein and the hopper closed; a timer for controlling theperiod during which said locking means locks the hopper; and means associ-. ated with said hopper and connected to start the operation,
UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,901,528 Olsen Mar:v 14, 1933 2,571,596 Meredith .Oct. 16, 1951 2,609,928 Doust Sept.- 9, 1952v 2,782,791 Sigo;. Feb."6,l19.57
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|U.S. Classification||194/211, 194/241, 194/212, 232/43.2, 194/216, 194/346, 194/219|
|International Classification||G07F17/00, G07F7/00, G07F7/06, G07F17/18|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F7/06, G07F17/18|
|European Classification||G07F17/18, G07F7/06|