US 2895639 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 21, 1959 J. w. LITTLE APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING NEWSPAPERS Filed oot. 1. 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet ,1
July 21, 1959 J. w. LITTLE APPARATUS FOR DISPENSING NEWSPAPERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 1, 1956' V IlIlI\Iillllllllllllllllllllllll [HIV "nil-:71
a 7 M I! Z M M Unite This invention relates to the distribution of newspapers, and more particularly to coin-operated vending machines and methods of dispensing newspapers of the type disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 467,000, filed November 5, 1954, and now abandoned of which this is a continuation-in-part. 7
One of the problems encountered in the newspaper field is that of handling sales at remote locations where the volume of business will not support a vender. It has been the practice to provide a rack and collection box, the public being relied upon to deposit the proper cost when a paper is taken from the rack, but this is not entirely satisfactory. Although vending machines have been devised for a wide variety of products, newspapers are not readily handled by conventional vending apparatus. They are awkward to manipulate by machine, not only because of their shape and flexibility, but also because the size of a newspaper varies from day to day. Moreover, the volume and profit per item are very low, hence the cost of the machine must be held to a correspondingly low figure.
Accordingly, it is an object of inexpensive vending apparatus for handling newspapers at a point of low-volume distribution. Among the several other objects of the invention may be noted the provision of a method of and apparatus for handling newspapers, despite variation in the size thereof; the provision of apparatus of the character referred to that protects the papers against the elements; and the provision of apparatus of this class which is substantially foolproof in operation.
In the attainment of these objectives, briefly'stated, the newspapers are rolled in loose cylinders of such diameter as to permit variation in the thickness of the paper without variation in the diameter of the roll. Preferably, the papers are inserted within annular members, such as might be formed of paperboard or stiff wire, the sleeves necessarily being of uniform diameter and preferably although not necessarily rigid. The wire rings have the advantage of being easy to handle in large quantities.
These rolled newspapers are then dispensed by a device having an enclosed vertical rack, which is open at the bottom but for a semi-circular dispensing trough. This trough is journalled at its ends, and a handle is provided at one end thereof to rotate the trough. The handle is connected to coin-operated mechanism that prevents such rotation, except When a coin has been deposited. Upon deposit of a coin, the handle may be actuated to invert the trough, thereby dropping the contained paper through the open bottom of the housing. In a preferred embodiment, the leading edge of the trough is formed with a lip, which projects at the center (near the ring) somewhat beyond the end margins. The lip has the advantage of more positively separating a paper to be dispensed from the next one thereabove, as the trough is rotated.
Other features of the invention will be in part apparent from and in part pointed out in the following detailed States Patent the invention to provide ice description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is an oblique view of a newspaper, as prepared for use in the dispenser of this invention;
Fig. 2 is an oblique view of the dispensing apparatus of this invention, parts being broken away;
Fig. 3 is a detailed oblique view of the dispensing element, parts being broken away;
Fig. 4 is a horizontal section of the dispenser;
Fig. Sis a view similar to that of Fig. 4, but showing certain parts moved to indicate a sold out condition;
Fig. 6 is a front elevation of the trough showing an alternative embodiment; and
Fig. 7 is a section taken on the line 7-7 of Fig. 6.
It may be noted, initially, that the invention involves shaping the newspapers. for dispensingas well as the construction of a dispenser. For example, it is possible that newspapers might be dispensed in their flat folded condition, as delivered from the press, but a dispenser for handling such an article would be excessively expensive, bearing in mind the low volume of sales to be expected. Accordingly, this invention contemplates that the newspapers 1 will be rolled so as to provide an article which can be handled by a very simple vending machine. Moreover, the thickness of a daily newspaper varies substantially from day to day, and ifconventional rolling practices were followed, the diameter of the article would likewise vary. Rather than provide a machine that can handle variable-size articles, however, this'invention contemplates that the diameter of the. rolled papers 1 will be held to a predetermined uniform diameter. Q
Such uniform size is achieved through the use of telescoping annular .members 3 of predetermined uniform diameter. The rolled papers 1 are inserted within the members 3, thick papers being tightly rolled and the thin ones being relatively loosely rolled. Normally, the papers expand sufficiently. to conform with the sleeves therefor, buta semi-rigid ring will assure that the diameter of the article is uniform although that of the rolled paper may vary. The rigid or stiff rings might be formed as paperboard sleeves (Fig. 1) or as wire rings (Fig. 6), the latter form being more convenient to handle because they are less bulky. 7
Referring now to Figs. 2-5, the vending apparatus of this invention is shown to comprise an enclosure formed with a wide back 5, narrow side walls 7 and 8, and a closed top 9. The bottom of this enclosure is open and a pair of paper-holding hooks 11 depend therebelow from the back 5. A door 13 is hinged at 15 to the side wall 7' so as to close the front of the device, and an apertured car 17 may project from the opposite side 8 through a slot 19 in the door, thereby to permit the enclosure to be locked, as. with a conventional padlock (not shown). v
The width of the enclosure corresponds to the width of the newspaper, which is of uniform value, but the depth of the enclosure corresponds roughly to the diameter of the sleeves 3. The rolled papers are then stacked one upon the other so as to extend horizontally within the enclosure, a retaining rack therefor being formed by vertical reinforcing ribs 21, which project from the back 5, and by a pair of guide members 23, which project inwardly from the side walls of the enclosure. These guide members 23 terminate short of the top 9 so that the papers may be readily inserted behind the guide members to load the rack. The capacity of the rack is necessarily determined by the height of the box, which may be varied in accordance with the the volume of business to be expected at any given location.
Otherwise, the papers are supported upon a relatively movable, semi-circular dispensing element 25 of radius corresponding to that of the annular members 3. This dispensing element is in the form of a trough, which is journalled at its ends on the side walls 7 and 8 of the enclosure. A pair of discs 27 are welded to the-ends of trough 25, and a pin 29 extends from one of these discs through an aperture in the side wall 7. The opposite disc is supported upon a shaft 31, which is journalled in a coin-operated mechanism 33. A handle 35 is then secured to the opposite end of the shaft where it projects outwardly from the coin-operated mechanism 33, the latter being secured within a suitable opening in the side wall 8.
It will be understood that such coin-operated mechanism is known in the art, and hence is not illustrated in detail. It may suffice to note that the mechanism could comprise a housing having a coin slot 37 at the top. Aplate 39 notched in its margin to receive a'coin C, would be journalled within the housing with the notch 41 normally opposite the coin slot. A spring biased .pawl 42 normally prevents rotation of the notched plate, but when a coin is inserted, it actuates the pawl outwardly so as to permit such rotation of the plate. In being rotated, this plate carries the coin to the bottom of the coin mechaiiism whence it drops into a coin receptacle 43. This receptacle may be a small tray slidably held at the bottom of the housing adjacent the side wall 8.
In addition to the above, the vending apparatus may include an indicator for preventing insertion of a coin after all of the papers have been sold. In the disclosed embodiment, the indicator is in the form of a stud 45, which projects through the side 8 of the housing for movement toward and away from the coin slot 37. The stud 45 is formed at the end of a crank 47, which is otherwise journalled in the reinforcing ribs 21, so that the stud is movable from a position (Fig. 4) clear of the coin slot 37 to a position (Fig. blocking entrance to the coin slot. A finger 49 on the inner end of the crank is normally held against the back wall 5 of the housing by the stack of papers therein, and when so held, the stud 43 is held clear of the coin slot. As the last paper within the housing is dispensed, however, this finger 49 is released to permit the stud 45 to swing down over the coin slot. Since the stud might be pushed back by one not aware of its purpose, a window 51 may be provided in the door 13 in order that a purchaser can observe the empty condition of the dispenser, after such fact has been called to his attention by blocking of the coin slot.
In operation, the door 13 would be opened and the device loaded, sleeve-secured rolled papers being inserted at the top over the guide members 23. The door is then closed and locked. Dispensing of the papers is accomplished by rotation of the handle 35, such rotation normally being prevented by the coin mechanism 33, but being permitted upon deposit of a coin within the coin slot 37. When the handle 35 is rotated, the semi-circular dispensing element 25 swings from a lower position to an upper position and is inverted to drop a contained paper. A spring 53 operating upon an eccentric 55 on shaft 31 normally biases the dispensing element 25 to its lower position, so that the device is automatically prepared for the next customer upon release of the handle.
From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that I have provided a vending device for newspapers that will handle varying-size papers and which can be made at a very low cost. Although only one embodiment of'the invention is disclosed in detail it will be i-ngedge relative to rotation, which projects 'beyond the end portions 163 of the lead edge. The lip 161 may have a slight flare, its function being to engage the ring 113 and lift the stack of papers in the magazine slightly so that they do not interfere with rotation of the dispensing trough.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A newspaper dispenser comprising a vertical rack, a plurality of rolled newspapers stacked within said rack, each of said rolled newspapers being centrally secured in its rolled condition by a rigid endless ring formed of stiff wire, a dispensing trough of generally semi-circular cross section rotatably disposed across the bottom of said rack for dispensing a rolled newspaper received from said rack, means for rotating said trough to dispense a newspaper from the trough, each of said rings being of a diameter approximately equal to that of the semicircular trough.
2. A newspaper dispenser as set forth in claim 1, wherein the leading edge of said trough is formed with a center portion disposed forwardly of the end portions of said edge and is flared outwardly so as to engage the stiff ring of a rolled newspaper lying immediately above the trough, thereby to lift said rolled newspaper clear of the end edges of the trough upon rotation of the trough.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 652,370 Murphy June 26, 1900 668,808 Stuart et a1 Feb. 26, 1901 962,283 Whistler et a1. a June 21, 1910 1,415,337 Grover May 9, 1922 1,951,239 Friel Mar. 13, 1934 2,156,196 Romanoski Apr. 25, 1939 2,189,641 Slezak Feb. 6, 1940 FOREIGN PATENTS 154,711 Germany Oct. 5, 1904