US 2931205 A
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April 5, 1960 J. F. SCHMITZ LATCH MECHANISM Filed Dec. 10, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 x J0 INVENTOR Jase ab F Salim/f:
ATTORNEY April 1960 .1. F. SCHMITZ 2,931,205
LATCH MECHANISM Filed Dec. 10, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 [0/ mvsw'ron 65 Joseph 1. Salim/f2 ATTORNEY United States Patent C LATCH MECHANISM Joseph F. Schmitz, St. Paul, Minn., assignor to Whirlpool This invention relates to an improvement in latch mechanism comprising an inside safety release for chest type freezers and deals particularly with a chest type freezer latch which may be actuated from within the body of the freezer.
During recent years there have been numerous accidents in which children have been accidentally locked in the bodies of refrigerators and freezers. If the child enters such a device and the door accidentally is closed, there is no way for the child to open the door from within the body of the unit. As freezers of this type are virtually air tight, the child soon smothers even if the freezer or refrigerator is not in operation. The present latch is designed to avoid this previous difficulty.
An object of the present invention resides in the provision of a chest type freezer having a lock mechanism and by providing a means extending through the door of the freezer and into the interior thereof by means of which the lock mechanism may be actuated. The means which extends into the interior of the freezer may be a flexible member such as a wire cord or small cable or may be a rod or lever assembly, the main object being to provide some means within the freezer which may be engaged to operate the latch mechanism.
A feature of one form of construction lies in the provision of a latch mechanism which may be opened from the interior of the cabinet in spite of the fact that the refrigerator cabinet has been locked with a key lock which would prevent the freezer from being opened from the outside. Some freezers are provided with key locks to prevent pilferage and when this lock is in place, the latch mechanism of the freezer will not function. The arrangement is such, however, that if the latch mechanism is actuated from the interior of the freezer, the door may be opened regardless of the fact that it is locked closed with the key lock.
A further feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a latch mechanism incorporating a spring which moves the door of the freezer into slightly open position when the latch mechanism is actuated from the interior of the cabinet. By this action, the lid or door of the freezer is automatically opened an amount sulficient to permit the circulation of air into the body of the freezer when the latch mechanism is operated from the interior thereof.
These and other objects and novel features of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in the following specification and claims.
In the drawings forming a part of the specification:
Figure 1 is an elevation view of a portion of the front of a chest type freezer showing the lock mechanism attached thereto.
Figure 2 is an elevation view of a portion of the latch mechanism detached from the latch handle and freezer body. I
Figure 3 is a cross sectional view through a portion of the latch mechanism and showing portions of the freezer A I 2,931,205 Patented Apr. 5, 1960 cover and body, the latch mechanism being in closed position.
Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 3 showing the arrangement of parts after the latch mechanism has been operated from the interior of the freezer.
Figure 5 is a sectional view through a modified form of latch construction.
Figure 6 is a view similar to Figure 5 showing the arrangement of parts after the latch has been actuated either from the interior or from the exterior of the freezer.
None of the figures of the drawings shows a complete freezer as chest type freezers are extremely well known in the art. Such freezers normally are provided with a generally rectangular body having an open top. A cover or door is normally pivotally supported along one edge to the body. The opposite edge of the cover is normally provided with some latch mechanism for holding the cover in closed position. In some instances key locks are provided to prevent pilferage. In the drawings the freezer body is indicated in general by the numeral 10 and the freezer cover is indicated in general by the numeral 11. The figures show portions of the freezer body and cover along the edge thereof opposite the hinged edge.
Figure 1 of the drawings discloses a freezer latch, the structure being indicated in general by the numeral 12. The main body of the latch 12 is connected to a mounting plate 13 secured in any suitable way such as by the bolts 14 to the front edge 15 of the cover 11. The mounting plate 13 includes a flat body portion 16 which is secured in surface contact with the forward edge 15 of the cover 11 and also includes a forwardly projecting flange 17 which extends across most of the length of the plate 13 at a point spaced between the longitudinal edges thereof. The flange 17 is formed rectangularly at its ends as indicated at 19 and 20. An elongated latch handle member 21 is pivotally connected with its upper portion partially enclosed by the flange 17. Aligned pivots 22 extend through the flange portions 19 and 20, through portions of the handle 21 and through suitable bearings 23 and 24 to pivotally support the handle. Springs 25 and 26 encircle the pivots 19 and 20 and urge the handle 21 toward latching position.
The handle 21 is preferably provided with an inwardly extending top flange 27 which overlaps the flange 17 and extends beneath the flange 17. This arrangement prevents condensation and moisture from draining into the latch mechanism, such moisture draining down the outer surface of the handle 21. The lower edge of the handle 21 is provided with a reinforcing rib 29 and with a flange 30 which may be engaged by the fingers in operating the latch. The latch is operated by pulling outwardly on the lower edge of the handle 21.
A keeper roller 31 is mounted upon a mounting plate 32 secured to the forward wall 33 of the body 10 of the freezer, the roller 31 being supported by laterally spaced cars 34 on the plate 32. A latch projection 35 is welded or otherwise secured to a sleeve 36 mounted upon a pivot shaft 37 extending transversely of the handle 21 and on the inner surface thereof. A pair of brackets 39 and 40 are provided with right angularly extending flanges 41 and 42 as seen in Figure 2 of the drawings. When the base plates 39 and 40 of the brackets are secured to the inner surface of the handle member 21, the flanges 41 and 42 the freezer in substantially parallel relation. The pivot shaft 37 on which the sleeve 36 is mounted is supported between the flanges 41 and 42 as is indicated in Figure 2.
The latch projection 35 is provided with a notch 43 designed to accommodate the keeper roller 31. The latch projection 35 may be disengaged from the keeper roller 31 by swinging the lower end of the handle mem extend inwardly toward the body and cover ofher 21 outwardly from the position shown in Figure 3 of the drawings until the portion of the latch projection beneath the notch 43 clears the keeper roller 31. The loweredge 44 of the latch projection 35 is inclined and acts as a cam to pivot the handle member 21 outwardly when the cover .11 is closed. In other words, if the cover is closed while the handle member 21 is in its normal latch engaging position shown in Figure 3, the cam 44 will pivot the door handle outwardly until the keeper roller is engaged in the notch 43.
An arm 45 is mounted upon the sleeve 36 to pivot in unison therewith. This arm 45 is provided with a notched end 46 as will be evident from an examination of Figure 4 of the drawings. A roller 47 is supported by a pair of arms 49 secured to a sleeve 50 which is pivotally supported upon a pivot bolt 51 supported by the flanges 41 and 42 in parallel relation to the pivot shaft 37. The roller 47 is mounted upon a shaft 52 extending between the arms 49. This roller 47 normally engages in the notched end 46 of the arm 45 and holds the arm 45 from rotation. The arms 45 and 49 are angularly related so that any tendency for the arm 45 to rotate about the pivot shaft 37 causes a tighter engagement of the lever 45 with the roller 47.
A lever arm 53 is mounted upon the sleeve 50 for rotation in unison therewith. This arm 53 extends in the opposite direction from the arms 49 so that pivotal movement of the arm 53 in a clockwise direction acts to disengage the roller 47 from the notch end of the arm 45. A spring 54 encircles the sleeve 36 and the ends of this spring are anchored to the latch projection 35 and to the arm 53 on the fixed sleeve 50 so as to pivot the latch projection 35 in a clockwise direction as soon as the notched end of the arm 45 is disengaged by the roller 47. As a result, the spring 54 acts to force the upper portion of the latch plate which is above the notch 43 against the keeper roller 31 with sufficient force to raise the forward edge of the door from the position shown in Figure 3 of the drawings to the position shown in Figure 4 thereof.
The door handle 21 is provided with a key lock 55 of a conventional type capable of rotating a latch arm 56 shown in dotted outline in Figures 3 and 4 of the drawings from an inoperative position to the operative position illustrated where the latch arm 56 engages behind a lip 57 on the keeper mounting plate 32. When this look is in the position illustrated, it prevents the opening of the freezer by engaging against the lip 57 and thus preventing the handle member 21 from pivoting sufiiciently to clear the latch projection 35 from the keeper roller 31.
An operating member which is illustrated in the form of awire cable 59 extends through the arm 53' at a point spaced from the sleeve 50 and is provided with a head 60 on its outer ends. The wire 59 extends through an aperture 61 in the mounting plate 13 and through the front wall 15 of the cover 11 and through the inner liner 62 of the cover 11 at a point inwardly of the front wall.
of the freezer body 10. By grasping the inner end of the flexible wire 59, the'lever arm 53 may be pivoted in a clockwise direction acting through the sleeve 50 to swing the roller 47 out of engagement with the notched end of the lever 45. When in the'position illustrated in Figure 4 of the drawings the spring 54 has rotated the latch projection 35 in a clockwise direction, the upper part of this latch projection being urged against the keeper roller 31 with a force suflicient to partially open the cover as shown in Figure 4.
It should be noted that this action can take place without pivoting the handle member 21 outwardly and accordingly the refrigerator door may be opened without difficulty even though the latch arm 56 of the key lock is in locked position. The lock mechanism is automatically reset as the cover is swung shut the upper portion of the latch projection 35 engaging the keeper roller 31 and swinging the latch projection in a counter-clockwise direction until the notched end 46 of the arm 45 is again in contact with the roller47.
In Figures 5 and 6 of the drawings a somewhat different form of inside safety release latch is disclosed. 'Ihese figures illustrate portions of the outer or forward edge of a hinged freezer door 64 and a portion of the side wall 65 of an upright type freezer body 66. The
door and body are hingcdly connected along the vertical edges of these portions opposite those illustrated in the drawings. a
A mounting plate 67 is attached by bolts 69 or other suitable means to the side edge wall 70 of the freezer door 64. A rearwardl; and outwardly sloping flange 71 is provided on the mounting plate 67 and upper and lower end flanges 72 form a continuation of the upper flange 71 and extend rearwardly at right angles thereto. The forward edges of the flanges 71 and 72 are integrally connected to a rearwardly extending handle panel 73. This handle panel is provided with an enlarged flange 74 near its rear extremity and an inwardly and rearwardly inclined flange 75 provides a finger hold by means of which the handle panel may be grasped.
A generally cylindrical cup shaped receptacle 76 is provided on the handle panel 73 projecting laterally therefrom toward the rear edge of the mounting plate 67. This receptacle 76 is provided with a closed inner end 77. A hollow generally cylindrical push button 79 is slidably supported in the receptacle 76. The push button 79 has a closed outer end 80 which may be pressed inwardly to move the push button. A spring 81 is interposed between the inner edge of the push button 79 and the closed end 77 of the receptacle 76 to normally urge the push button outwardly.
A lever arm 82 is pivotally supported on a pivot 83 which extends through spaced ears 84, one of which is shown in the drawings projecting inwardly from the handle panel 73. These cars 84 are generally parallel and support the pivot 83 on an axis substantially parallel to the plane of the handle panel. The operating lever 82 extends through diametrically opposed slots 35 and 86 in the receptacle 76 and also extends through diametrically opposed slots 87 and 89 in the push button 79. The push button 79 may be provided with a lip 90 which is engageable with the inner surface of the handle panel 73 to limit outward movement of the push button.
A latch cam 91 is pivotally supported on a vertical axis 92 supported by the spaced cars 84 on the inner side of the handle panel 73. A torsion spring 93 encircles the cam pivot 92 and tends to rotate the cam latch 91 in a clockwise direction as viewed in the drawings. The cam latch 91 is provided with a pair of angularly spaced shoulders 94 and 95, the shoulder 94 of which is engageable with the lower end of the lever 82. Whenthe latch is in the locked position illustrated in Figure 5 of the drawings, the lever is in engagement with the shoulder 94. When in unlocked position, the shoulder 95 moves into engagement with a fixed stop shoulder 96 on the inner surface of the handle panel 73 as shown in Figure 6 of the drawings.
The latch cam 91 is provided with a notch 97 designed to accommodate a keeper roller 99. The keeper roller 99'is supported between a pair of forwardly spaced arms 100 on a mounting plate 101 attached to the front wall 65 of the freezer body 66. The latch cam 91 is provided with an elongated projection 102 above the notch 97 which engagesthe upper surface of the keeper roller 99 throughout theentire extent of oscillation of the latch cam 91 about its supporting pivot 92.
The forward end'of the lever 82' is apertured as indicated at 103 to accommodate the end of the flexible cord or cable 104. A head or other fastening means is provided on the end of the cable 104 to attach the cable to the lever. The cable 104 extends throughan aperture 106 in the mounting plate 67, through a portion ofz'the freezer cover 64, and through the liner 107 at a point spaced inwardly from the front edge of the liner through a suitable opening 109.
The operation of this latch is extremely simple. In order to gain access to the interior of the freezer, it is only necessary to press the push button 79 inwardly. This action compresses the spring 81 and acts to pivot the lever 82 in a clockwise direction as viewed in the drawings. As soon as the lever 82 has been pivoted to the desired extent, the rear end of the lever 82 becomes disengaged from the shoulder 94 on the latch cam .91. As soon as this cam is released, the spring 93 tends to rotate the cam 91 in a clockwise direction until the shoulder 95 strikes the fixed stop 96. During this operation, the elongated projecting portion 102 engages the front surface of the cam roller urging the cover 64 forwardly a distance sufi'icient to permit the circulation of air into the freezer cabinet.
When the latch moves into the position shown in Figure 6 of the drawings, the latch cam 91 is no longer engaged with the keeper roller 99 and the freezer door 64 may be swung up into open position. The rear end of the lever 82 engages the outer surface of the cam 91 and the push button 79 remains in depressed position. When the cover 64 is closed, the projecting portion 102 of the latch cam 91 engages the keeper roller 99 and acts to rotate the cam 91 until the shoulder 94 thereof clears the rear end of the lever 82. At this point, the spring 81 acts against the push button 79 to pivot the lever 82 in a counterclockwise direction, engaging the lower end of the lever 82 with the shoulder 94 and returning the latch to its original position.
If the latch is to be operated from the interior of the freezer body, the operation is virtually identical with that described. A pull upon the operating member 104 acts to retract the push button 79 and to swing the lever 82 out of engagement with the cam shoulder 94. The latch cam then functions in the manner described to swing the door of the freezer into partially open position as shown in Figure 6 so that air can circulate into the freezer body. At this stage, the freezer door may be swung into open position. The closing of the refrigerator lid will reset the latch mechanism in exactly the manner previously described.
In accordance with the patent statutes, I have de scribed the principles of construction and operation of my safety release latch for chest type freezers, and while I have endeavored to set forth the best embodiments thereof, I desire to have it understood that obvious changes may be made within the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. A releasable latch device adapted to engage a keeper on a chest cabinet having an open top and a cover to close the open top said latch comprising a pivotally mounted handle, a latch cam pivotally supported on said handle, said latch cam having a notch therein adapted to accommodate the keeper, said cam being adapted to engage and disengage the keeper upon pivotal movement of said handle about its axis while said cam remains stationary relative to said handle, means engageable with said cam for normally holding said cam from rotation in one position relative to said handle, said cam, in anon a chest cabinet having an open top and a cover to close the open top said latch' comprising a pivotally mounted handle, a latch cam pivotally supported on said handle, said latch cam having a notch therein adapted to accommodate the keeper, said cam being adapted to engage and disengage the keeper upon pivotal movement of said handle about its axis while said cam remains stationary relative to said handle, means engageable with said cam for normally holding said earn from rotation in one position relative to said handle, said cam, in another rotative position relative to said handle, being adapted to disengage the keeper, resilient means urging the cam toward said other rotative position, and manually operable means operable, when actuated, to release said cam holding means while said handle remains stationary.
3. The structure of claim 1 and including releasable locking means engageable with said handle for holding the handle from pivotal movement about its axis.
4. The structure of claim 1 and including means on said cam adapted to engage the keeper and pivot said handle as the cover is closed while said cam remains stationary relative to said handle.
5. The structure of claim 1 and including means on said cam adapted to engage the keeper upon closing the cover when said cam istin said other position to rotate said cam relative to said handle to said one position.
6. The structure of claim 1 and including means on said cam adapted to engage the keeper upon closing the cover when said cam is in said other position to rotate said cam relative to said handle to said one position, and a second means on said cam adapted to engage the keeper upon closing the cover when said cam is in said one position to rotate said handle while said cam remains stationary relative to said handle.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 307,281 Farrar Oct. 28, 1884 2,007,854 Grill July 9, 1935 2,470,735 Young May 17, 1949 2,472,174 Schneider June 7, 1949 2,552,815 Roethel May 15, 1951 2,586,753 Whitmore Feb. 19, 1952 2,655,395 Groeger Oct. 13, 1953 2,718,421 Slopa Sept. 20, 1955 2,767,007 Burke Oct. 16, 1956 2,778,326 Guzik Jan. 22, 1957 2,803,956 Womer Aug. 27, 1957