US 2938363 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 31, 1960 J. R. DICKINSON ETAL 2,933,363
REFRIGERATORS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 3, 1958 INVENTOR. JHCK R- DICKINSON HAROLD E. BUSH May 31, 1960 J. R. DICKINSON ET AL 2,938,363
REFRIGERATORS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 3, 1958 INVENTOR. JACK R. D/CK/A/JON HAROLD E. BUSH WWW? m AT-roRNEYs.
May 31, 1960 J. R. DICKINSON ETAL 2,938,363
REFRIGERATORS Filed Nov. 3, 1958 a Sheets-Sheet s INVEN TOR. JACK R- mcKINso/v HAROLD Ausu BY M, flaw M 6 4.
m ATTORNEYS United States Patent REFRIGERATORS Jack R. Dickinson, North Claverack, and Harold E. Bush, Philmont, N.Y., assignors to Foster Refrigerator Corp., Hudson, N.Y.
Filed Nov. 3, 1958, Ser. No. 771,460
11 Claims. (Cl. 62-249) The present invention relates to refrigerators and more particularly to a self service refrigerator adapted for use in a cafeteria or the like. The instant application is a continuation in part of a copending application of Jack R. Dickinson, Serial No. 570,031, filed March 7, 1956, and entitled Refrigerator Cabinets.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator which facilitates the transfer of food products from a refrigerated storage space to a food carrying tray.
Another object is to provide a refrigerator having a front top section which may be opened along its entire length by an access door which serves as a cafeteria rail for supporting food carrying trays below the door opening.
Another object is to provide a refrigerator having access doors at the front and top which interengage with each other and the walls of the refrigerator to seal the joints therebetween when in closed position.
Still another object is to provide a refrigerator of the type indicated which is of simple and compact construction, adapted for economical manufacture and one which may be easily and quickly changed from a sealed chest to an open self service dispenser.
These and other objects will become more apparent from the following description and drawings in which like reference characters denote like parts throughout the several views. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not a definition of the limits of the invention, reference being had for this purpose to the appended claims.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator incorporating the novel features of the present invention;
Figure 2 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 2-2 of Figure 1 and showing the drop front and front top doors opened to provide an access opening and the drop front door locked in a right angular position to provide a cafeteria rail below the access opening;
Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 3-3 of Figure l to show another arrangement of the access doors;
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of Figure 1 to show the sealing engagement of the top doors with each other and the top of the end walls of the refrigerator; A
Figure 5 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 5-5 of Figure 1 to show the sealing engagement of the gaskets between the adjacent edges of the top and drop front access doors;
Figure 6 is a sectional plan view taken on line 6-6 'of inFigure 2.
2 tor and the manually operated latches for holding the top doors closed; and a I Figure 8 is an enlarged view of the end of the drop front door showing the locking plate slidably mounted thereon to lock the door in the right angular position illustrated Referring to Figures 1 to 3 of the drawings, the invention is shown applied to a self service refrigerator 10 particularly adapted for use in a school cafeteria. The refrigerator 10 in the illustrated embodiment is in the form of a relatively low elongated chest of a height less than the height of the children using the refrigerator. It will be understood, however, that the refrigerator 10 may be made of a height to adapt it for use by adults.
Refrigerator 10 has insulated walls so constructed as to provide a refrigerated food storage compartment 11 and a machine compartment 12 at the bottom adjacent one end. As shown in Figures 2 and 3 the food storage compartment 11 is refrigerated by a mechanical refrigeration system having an evaporator 13 therein and a condensing unit 14 in the machine compartment 12. Evaporator 13 is illustrated as a finned coil extending along the food storage compartment 11 adjacent one side wall. A baffle 15 is positioned at the front of'the evaporator 13 in spaced relation to the wall of the refrigerator, and a fan 16 cooperates with the baffle to circulate air from the bottom of the food storage compartment upwardly and then outwardly over the food storage compartment 11 adjacent the top thereof. A drain pan 17 underlies the evaporator 13 and is connected to a drain line 18 to dispose of condensate when the evaporator is defrosted.
. The condensing unit 14 in the machine compartment 12 comprises a compressor 19, condenser 20 and fan 21 for circulating cooling air over the compressor and condenser. The machine compartment 12 extends transversely through the refrigerator 10 with reticulated screens 22 at opposite sides so that ambient air is forced through the compartment and over the compressor 19 and condenser 20 by the fan 21. The refrigeration system includes a refrigerant line 23 connecting an outlet at the bottom of the condenser 20 to an evaporator 13 and has a metering device (not shown) therein, a refrigerant line 24 connecting the outlet from the evaporator 13 to the compressor 19 and a refrigerant line 25 connecting the compressor to the condenser. Thus, refrigerant in the evaporator. 13 is evaporated at a low pressure and temperature to refrigerate the air circulated in the food storage compartment 11 by the fan 16, and the refrigerant is compressed to a high pressure and temperature by the compressor 19 to adapt it to dissipate heat from the condenser 20 to the ambient air circulated through the machine compartment 12 by the fan 21 to condense the refrigerant toa liquid. Shelves 26 and 27 are provided in the food storage compartment 11 for packing food products .therein.
In accordance with the present invention the refrigerator 10 has an open top and an open front section extending throughout substantially the entire length of the front adjacent the open top. The open front section is closed by a drop front door 30 which is hinged to swing outwardly to open the front section and provide a cafeteria rail below the opening. Doors 31 and 32 close the open "top of the refrigerator 10 and extend throughout the Figure 1 to show the sealing engagement between the drop front door and sides of the door opening and the latch for holding the drop front door in closed position;
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken on line 7-7 ofFigure 1 to show the sealing engagement between the edges of the top doors'and top of the end walls ofthe refrigeralength of the refrigerator. Doors 31 and 32 are hinged at their adjacent edges to open either, the front or rear sec-,
Patented May 31, 1960.
bottom wall 33, front and' rear walls 34 and 35, and end walls'36 and 37. Each of the walls 33' to 37 comprises an outer shell 38 and inner-liner 39 with insulation 40 therebetween. The bottom wall 33 extends upwardly and. horizontally at one end to form the machine compartment 12. The. rear. wall.35. and end walls 36 andi37 extend" upwardly from. the. bottom wall 33; to the same height, while the front wall'34 extends upwardlyto a lesser height to provide the open top 41 and open section 42- in. the front wall adjacent the open top. The openfront se'ction42 is closed by the drop front door 30 and the open top 41 is closed by the top doors 31 and 32 as shown inFigure 1.
.The. drop front door 30 is connected to the upper out;
side edgeof' the front wall 34of the-refrigerator 1 0 by a. .piano'i hinge 43 extending throughout the length of the open section42', and having leaves 44 and 45'connected.
to the bottom and. top edges of the drop front door 30 andlfront wall 34, respectively, see Figure 5. Thus,.the
drop door 30. is adapted to swing outwardly and downwardly to openthe front of the refrigerator at the top of the front wall 34. The drop front door 30 is locked in its closed position illustrated in Figure 1 by sliding bolts 46 adjacent each end, see Figure 6, engaging keepers 47' in the refrigerator walls at opposite ends of the door.
As shown inv Figure 6,. each sliding bolt 46 is mounted in-a guide 48 and has a finger tab 49 projecting through a slot 50 in the guide to adapt thebolts to be manually actuated to extended position to engage the'keeper 47,
orjto a. retracted position to release the door.
' The drop front door 30 may be swung outwardly at.
an, angle of 90 to the front wall 34 and locked'to provide a cafeteria rail below the opened front section 42 as shown in Figures 2 and 8, or may be swung 180 to, overlie the front. wall, as shown in Figure 3. The
inside wall or liner of the drop front door 30 is formed.
are illustrated in detailin Figures 2, 6 and 8; Each plate 51 overlies one end of the door. 30 with one edge aligned with the front. of the door and 'has a pair of. aligned centrally positioned guide slots 54 and 55. Positioning guides 56 and- 57 each have a cylindrical shank 58 extending through one of the slots 54. and 55, respectively,
are fastened thereto by means of.a screw 60, see Figure 6. The opposite edges of. each. sliding plate 51-have. recessed" grooves formedtherein adjacent. its outer end to provide. finger grips 61 and 62 to. facilitate manual actuation of the plate outwardly to. itsv extended position. illustrated in full lines or to its retracted position illustrated by dotted lines inFigure 8.. The upper edge of each sliding plate 51. has a notched. recess 63. adjacent its inner end for engaging a correspondingly shaped detent 64 in the bracket'52. v
Each. bracket 52 also isin the form of a plate. attached to the inside face of the front wall 34 ofthe refrigerator 10 withan end projecting upwardly above the top of the front wall. The bracket plate 52 has a slot 65, see Figures 6 and. 8,.in alignment with the. end of the sliding plate 51 to receive the end of the latter when the plate. is extended; The notched recess 63 adjacent the end of plate 51 then engages the detent 64 in its cooperatingbracket' 52.
The top'doors-31 and 32 are pivotally connected to each other'at'theiradjacent'edges'on a piano hinge 70 similarto thehinge 45 for the drop front door. However, in-the te p door constructiona hinge pin 71 extends throughout the length of the refrigerator and has its ends mounted on" brackets 72 and 73. Each of the brackets 72' and 73 is of triangular shape and mounted on the top edge of the end walls 36 and 37 of the refrigerator. The separate leaves 74 and 75 of the piano hinge 70 are attached to the edges of the adjacent top doors 31 and 32 and have interleaving bearing portions 76 and 77 embracing the hinge pin 71. Door 31 overliesthe top edges of the end the particular doors by fastening screws. 88 extending walls 36 and 37 and the top edge of the drop from door30'; Door32overlies the rearward: portion of the.
sealing gaskets. 80. are of a construction like that de-- scribed and claimed in a copending application of' Jack R. Dickinson, Serial No. 734,275, filed May 9, 19S8, a nd' entitled Refrigerator Door. Construction. As. shown in Figures 4m 7, the peripheral gaskets 80 comprise a plate portion 81 positioned between the peripheral edge of the liner 82 of the door on which it is mounted and an.overlying flange 83 on the shell 84 of the door, a head 85. overlying the opposite side. of the door liner; and a web 86 connecting the plate and bead and overlyingv the.-
peripheral'edge of the liner. A flap 87. at the inner edge: of. the plate portion 81 overlies the opposite side of. the flange 83011 the door shell. Gaskets 80 are attachedto through the peripheral edge of. the door liner 82, the plate portion 81 of the gasket, the flange 83 ofthe door.-
shell and flap 87 of thegasket, as illustrated most clearly in Figure 4. The plate portion 81, head and connect-.. ing web 86 comprise inner and outer walls with cross.
or synthetic rubber or other suitable plastics, and are.
extruded as a continuous hollow tubular stripv with the tubular cells'89- formed in the plate portion 81, bead-85. and connecting web 86 as an integral part thereof. Thus,
the gaskets 80 insure a good seal, due to their-flexibility...
provide a good thermal barrier, due to the poor heatcom ducting material of which they are made, and..the. hollow plate portion. 81 permits adjusernent of the peripheral edge ofthe liner 82 with respect to the door shell 84..
As shown in Figure 4, the connecting web portions 86 of the peripheral gaskets 80 on the. adjacent edges of the top doors 31 and 32 project outwardly beyond the edges of the doors to engage each otherv and seal. the. joint therebetween when the top doors are closed. As shown in Figure 5, the head. 85 of the peripheral. gasket 80- at the forward edge of the top door 31 engages. the web 86 of the peripheral gasket at the upper. edge. ofthe. drop front door-30 to seal the joint therebe't-ween. Figure 6 illustrates. the'engagement of the web portion 86.. of'the peripheral gasket: 80 at the. inner edge of the drop front door 30 with a breaker strip 90 of a. poor heat conducting material between the outer shell- 38 and-inner liner 39-of the refrigerator walls to seal the joints between the sides and bottom of the drop front door 30 and the. front wall 34 of the refrigerator. As shown in Figure 7; the peripheral gasket 80 at the peripheral edges of the top doors31 and 3.2. engage the breaker strip. 90 onthe end and rear walls 36, 37 and 35 to seal the joints therebetween.
Manually operated latches 92 are provided for latching thetop doors 31' and.32 in. closed'position on.the..top.=of the -refrigerator; 10,. as; iilustrated. in detail; in.- Eigure 7..
aosas'ea Latches 92 comprise a pivoted latching member 93 engaging a fixed latching member 94 on the top of the end walls'36 and 37 with means for relatively moving the latching members to tightly engage the gaskets 80 on the doors 31 and 32 with the breaker strips 90 at the inner edges of the top of the refrigerator walls 35, 36 and 37. One form of the invention having now been described in detail, the mode of operation is explained below.
Assuming for purposes of description that the refrigerator of the present invention is located in the cafeteria of a school and that the doors are in the closed position illustrated in Figure 1. When food products, such as packaged'beverages, are to be placed in the refrigerator 10, the latches 92 are actuated to release the top doors 31 and 32. When released, the door 31 may be swung upwardly and rearwardly to overlie the door 32, as illustrated in Figure 2, to open the front section of the open top, or the door 32 may be swung upwardly and forwardly to overlie the door 31 to open the rear section of the open top. The food products are then inserted through the open top and stacked on the supporting shelves 26 and 27. After the food products have been placed in thefood storage space 11 the top doors 31 and 32 are closed and latched in closed position. The refrigeration system operates automatically as required to maintain the desired refrigerating temperature in the food compartment 11. Thus, the food products are cooled and maintained at the desired temperature during storage.
Just prior to lunch time the drop front door 30 is swung outwardly and locked at an angle of 90 to the front wall 34, as illustrated in Figures 2 and 8, to open the front section 42 of the refrigerator throughout its length and provide a cafeteria rail at the bottom of the opened section. This is accomplished by opening the top door 31, as illustrated in Figure 2, and withdrawing the sliding bolts 46, see Figure 6, to release the drop door 30. Drop door 30 is then swung outwardly on the piano hinge 43 to approximately the right angular position illustrated in Figures 2 and 8. The locking plates 51 at each end of the drop door 30 then are slid rearwardly to'their extended position so that the rearward ends project through the slots 65 in the brackets 52. Such sliding of the locking plates 51 is facilitated by the recessed finger grips 61 and 62 at the forward ends, see Figure 8. When the door is released the notches 63 in the ends of the locking plates 51 engage the detents 64 at the top of the slots 65 in brackets 52 to positively lock the plates in the brackets. The plate guides or pins 56 and 57 at the ends of the drop door 30 cooperate with the locking plates 51 at thesides of the slots 54 and 55 to positively hold the door 30 in the right angular position illustrated in Figures 2 and 8. Door 30 then serves as a cafeteria rail projecting outwardly from the front wall 34 of the refrigerator directly below the open section 42 of the front wall 34. The spaced ribs 53 project upwardly from the top of the drop door 30 to provide rails extending throughout the length of the refn'gerator 10 on which food carrying trays may slide. While not necessary, it is generally desirable to open the top door 31, as illustrated in Figure 2.
Children desiring food products in the food storage compartment 11 can observe the food products through the open front section 42 and open top 41, when the top door 31 is open, as illustrated in Figure 2. The cafeteria rail formed by the drop door'30 permits food carrying trays to be supported while the food product is being removed from the food storage space 11 and thereby facilitates the transfer of the food products.
' After the lunch period is over the drop door 30 is raised slightly to release the notched recesses 63 on the sliding plates 51 from engagement with the detents 64 on the brackets 52 and the locking plates are slid forwardly on the guide pins 56 and 57. The locking plates 51 then overlie the ends of the drop door 30 which may be swung upwardly on hinge 43 to the closed position illustrated in Figure 1. Door 30 is locked in closed position by sliding locking bolts 46 outwardly to engage the keepers 47 on the front wall as illustrated in Figure 6. Top door 31 then may be swung to its closed position and the latches 92 engaged to latch the top door in closed position to close the refrigerator,
When the front drop door 30 and top doors 31 and 32 are closed, as illustrated in Figure 1, the connecting web portions 86 of the gaskets at the adjacent edges of the top doors 31 and 32 engage each other, as shown in Figure 4, to seal the joint therebetween. Simultaneously, bead of the peripheral gasket on the top door 32 engages the breaker strip at the top of the end walls 36 and 37 and rear wall 35 to seal the joint therebetween. The bead 85 of the gasket 80 on the top door 31 engages the breaker strip 90 on the end walls 36 and 37 and the web portion 86 of the gasket 80 on the top edge of the drop front door 30 to seal the joints therebetween. The peripheral gasket 80 at the inner peripheral edge of the drop front door 30, in turn, engages the breaker strip 90 at the bottom and sides of the open front section 42 of front wall 34 to seal the joints therebetween. Thus, when the doors 30, 31 and 32 of the refrigerator 10 are in the closed position illustrated in Figure 1, all of the joints are sealed to prevent air from leaking into the food storage compartment 11.
When desired the drop front door 30 may be lowered to the hanging position illustrated in Figure 3 and either or both of the top doors 31 and 32 raised to facilitate packing or unpacking food products or for washing the interior of the food storage compartment 11.
It will now be observed that the present invention provides a self service refrigerator which facilitates the transfer of food products from a refrigerated storage.
space to a food carrying tray. It will also be observed that the present invention provides a refrigerator having a drop front door operable in one position to close and seal the refrigerator for cold storage of food products and operable in another position to open a front section of the refrigerator and provide a cafeteria rail adjacent the open front. It also will be observed that the present invention provides access doors at the front and top of a refrigerator which interengage with each other and the walls of the refrigerator to seal the joints therebetween when in closed position. It will still further be observed that the present invention provides a refrigerator which is of simple and compact construction, adapted for economical manufacture and one which may be easily and quickly shifted from a sealed chest to an open dispensing case having a cafeteria rail.
While a single embodiment of the invention is herein illustrated and described, it will be understood that changes may be made in the construction and arrangement of elements without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Therefore, without limitation in this respect, the invention is defined by the following claims.
1. A combined refrigerator and food dispenser comprising a generally rectangular chest having a length substantially greater than its height, said chest having insulated walls with a Wall at one side of a height less than the height of the adjacent end walls to provide an open section in the side adjacent the top thereof, a door for closing the open section, a mechanical refrigeration system having a cooling element in the chest to refrigerate the interior thereof, a hinge for mounting the door on the top edge of the side wall to swing outwardly to open the side of the chest adjacent its top, cooperating means on the front wall and door to lock the door in a position at right angles to the front wall of the chest to provide a cafeteria rail below the door opening, and said cooling element being located adjacent the. wall opposite thewalloffl'ess height andsaid. wallsiforming a well to trap the chilled air aroundthe food products below the open section when the door is opened.
2. A refrigerator comprising, a relatively low, elongated structure having insulated side and end walls to provide an open top and an open section at one side adjacent the open top, means inthe refrigerator for storing food products therein, at least one door for closing the open top of the refrigerator, a drop door extending throughout the length of the refrigerator for closing the open section at the side thereof, a mechanical refrigeration system having a cooling element in the refrigerator to refrigerate the interior thereof, a hinge for mounting said drop door to swing outwardly about its lower edge to open the refrigerator, cooperating means on the drop door and wall of the refrigerator to lock the door at right angles to the side wall and form an unobstructed cafeteria rail for slidably supporting food carrying trays below the openside of the re-, frigerator to facilitate transfer of foodproducts from the refrigerator to the tray, and said walls of the refrigerator forming a well below the open section to trap chilled air around the stored food products when the drop door is opened.
3. A refrigerator comprising insulated front, rear and end walls to forman open top and an open front section extending throughout its length adjacent the open top, a drop front door for closing the openfront section of the refrigerator and hinged to the upper edge of the front wall to swing outwardly therefrom, a gasket on the drop front door engaging the walls of the refrigerator around the open front section to seal the joints therebetween, a pair of top doors for closing the open top of the refrigerator, hinge means connecting the adjacent edges ofthe top doors to adapt them to rear and end walls to seal the joints therebetween to prevent air from leaking into the refrigerator when the doors are'closed, a mechanicalrefrigeration system having a cooling element in the refrigerator adjacent the rear Wall and below the opensection of the front, and said walls forming a well below said open front section.
to trap air chilled'by the cooling element.
4. A self service refrigerator comprising insulated walls at the rear and ends of the same height and an insulated wall at the front of less height to provide an.
open top, and an open front section adjacent the'open top, a drop front door extending throughout the lengthof the refrigerator for closing the open front section, a pair of top doors overlying the top edges of the drop front door and rear and end walls of the refrigerator for closing the open top, a mechanical refrigerationsystem having a cooling element in the refrigerator adjacent the rear wall below the open front section to refrigerate the interior thereof, a hinge for mounting said drop front door on the upper edge of the frontwall to swing outwardly about its lower edge to open the front of the refrigerator, cooperating means on the door and Walls to lock the door at right angles to the front wall and form an unobstructed cafeteria rail for slidably supporting food carrying trays below the open front,v a
gasket at the peripheral edge of the drop front door for. engaging the walls around the open section to seal the joint therebetween', said top doors being hinged at their adjacent edges to swing upwardly to selectively open the front and rear sections of the top of the refrigerator, gaskets at. theiperipheral edge of each of the v doors engaging each other at their adjacent edges and? the top of the drop front door and the rear and end Walls to. seal the joints therebetween and prevent the. air from leaking into the closed refrigerator, and the walls of the refrigerator forming a well to trap air chilled by the cooling element when the drop front door is;
moved to open the front section.
5. A refrigerator in accordance with claim 2 in which cooperative locking means on the drop front door and side wall comprises a locking plate at each end of the. door, said locking plates being mounted to slide on the: ends of the door to an extended position beyond its inner edge, and locking brackets on one of the walls.
engaged by the ends of the extended locking plates.
6. A- refrigerator in accordance with claim 5 in which each locking plate is mounted to slide on guidesprojectingfrom theend of the door, said projecting guides extending through slots in the plate and having heads.
overlying the outer face of the plate for mounting the plate thereon, and said guides interlocking. with the plates at the sides of the slots to hold the drop door in a horizontal position. i
7; A refrigerator in accordance with-claim 2 in which the inside face of the drop door has spaced upwardly projecting ribs extending longitudinally throughout the length of. the door to provide rails for slidably supporting food carrying trays.
8. A refrigerator in accordance with claim 2 in which the drop front door has a peripheral gasket at its edge engaging the walls of the refrigerator at the bottom and sides. of the open section to seal the joints therebetween.
9. A refrigerator in accordance with claim 8 in which a second door overlies the drop front door and end walls of the cabinet, and a hinge for mounting. the second' top door to swing upwardly to open the forward section ofthe top as'well as the upper front'section of the" refrigerator. 1
10. A refrigerator in accordance with claim 3 in which the hinge means comprises mounting plates on the top of the. opposite end walls, a hinge pin extending between the. mounting plates and hinge leaves connected to the adjacent edges of the top doors and having interleaving bearings surrounding the pins throughout its length to provide a piano hinge.
11. A combined self-service refrigerator and fooddispenser'for' maintaining perishable food products refrigeratedwhen open to" dispense the food products com-- prising a rectangular chest having a continuous insulatedwalltstructure forming a bottom, front, back and ends of the chest, said front being of less height than the ends to provide an open section at the front, a top wall providing an open section adjacent the open section in the front, said open sections providing access to the chest at the front and top thereof, a hinged door structure for closing the openfront and top sections of the References. Cited in the-file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 139.336 Johnson Ian. 20, 1931 2,324,527 Morrison July 20, 1943 2,425,505 Benson Aug. 12, 1947 7,622 Kahl Feb. 10, 1953 $7 ,982 Stingl May 1, 1956