US 2946148 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 26, 1960 Filed Dec. 8, 1958 FIG, 1
E. MIHALEK VARIABLE DISPLAY DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Emery Maize/Z6 6 July 26, 1960 E. MIHALEK 2,946,143
VARIABLE DISPLAY DEVICE Filed Dec. 8, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
EmeryMi/zalek United States Patent 2,946,148 VARIABLE DISPLAY DEVICE Emery Mihalek, Chicago, IlL, assignor to Hershey Mfg.
Co., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Illinois T Filed Dec. 8, 1958, Ser. No. 778,691
4 Claims. (Cl. 40-34) This invention relates to a new and improved device for displaying various messages, indicia, designs or the like. The display device is particularly well adapted for use with a vending machine for displaying a different advertising message, word, slogan or the like, for each time the vending machine is operated.
Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved display device having a rotatable display member with various indicia thereon together with means for rotating the display member to bring the indicia into view individually through a window, and additional means for closing the window while the display member is being rotated, so that the rotation of the member will not be seen.
A further object is to provide a device of the foregoing character in whichthe display member is spun by the engagement of a pawl with a toothed wheel, and in which the pawl is also operative to stop the toothed wheel and to operate the shutter so as to expose the window when the displaymember is at rest.
Another objectis to provide a new and improved display device of the foregoing character which is adapted to be operated electrically, so that the device may be controlled by an electrically operated vending machine, in a manner to change the display of the indicia whenever the vending machine is operated through a vending cycle.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following description, taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:
" Fig.1 is a small-scale View showing the general external appearance ofa display device to be described as an illustrative embodiment of the present invention. 7 Fig. 2 is a front elevational view of the display device, with the housing or front panel removed.
' [Fig 3" is a side elevational view of the display device. Fig} 4 is a fragmentary enlarged frontelevational view with various parts broken away for clarity of illustration.
'As already indicated, Fig. 1 illustrates a display device installed in a vending machine 12. It will be seen that the machine 12 has a housing 14 with a compartment 16 formed in the upper end thereof to receive the display device 10. Of course, the display device has frnany applications, the illustrated use being disclosed merely ,bywa y of example. The vending machine 12 may ,be' adapted to dispense soft drinks, confections, or any other merchandise. I
It will be seen that the housing 14 has a front panel 18 with an opening or window 20 formed therein. The display device 10 is adapted to present various advertising messages, words, slogans, designs or the like, for view through the window 20. By connecting the display device to the vending machine 12, the displayed material may be changed each time the machine is operated. The changeable matenial seen through the window 20 may be adapted to cooperate with other, unchanging advertising matter or other display material on the face of the front panel 18. Thus, for example, the face of the front panel 18 might carry the slogan: The drink enjoyed in every city. As shown, the display device 10 may then be arranged to. show the names of various principal cities. Figs. 2-4 illustrate the display device 10 with the front panel 18 removed. is provided with a member or shield 22 mounted in front of a self-supporting plate or frame 24. In this case, the
members 22 and 24 are vertical. A window 26 is formed in the shield 22 and is adapted to'be disposed behind the window 20 in the front panel 18. In this case, the window 26 is rectangular and enlongated in a vertical di-.
Behind the window 26is a display member 28 which is movable to change the material apearing in the window. As illustrated, the display member 28 comprises a rotatable disk mounted on a shaft or stud 30 which extends forwardly from the supporting plate 24. The illustrated disk 28 is vertical and is rotatableabout a horizontal axis. .Various display'elements 32 are carried on the face of the disk 28. Asalready indicatedthe display elements may take the form of advertising messages, words, pictures or the like. As shown, the elements 32 take "the form of names of cities, arranged to be viewed individually through the window or slot 26.
Means are provided to rotate the disk 28 andthereby change the display. It is preferred to start the disk 28 rotating, and then allow it to spin freely, so that the display elements 32 will be presented in a random manml, and not in any regular or predetermined sequence.
Thus, the illustrated disk 28 is rotated by the action of a pawl 36 upon a toothed wheel 38. The illustrated wheel 38 is secured to the rear side of the disk 28 and is rotatable therewith. Around its periphery,|the wheel 38 is formed'with a large number ofratchet teeth 40.
The illustrated pawl '36 takes the form of an elon' gated bar having a pin 42 thereon for engaging the toothed wheel 38. Asshown, the bar 36 extends generally in a vertical direction. A pin 42 projects forwardlyfrom theba-r36j Ihe pawl or bar 36 is operated by a lever 44 which may be connected to a solenoid 46. ln'this case,the
' lever 44 is generally horizontal and isswingable about a pivot 48 mounted on the supporting plate 24. The lower end of the pawl and the outer end of the lever 44 are connected together by means of a pivot 50. It will be seen that the lever 44 is disposed below the shaft 30. The illustrated solenoid has an armature 52 which is connected to the lever 44 by means ofa link 54. Pivots 56 and 58 are employed to connect the opposite ends of the link 54 to the lever 44 and the armature 52. When the solenoid 46 is energized, the armature 52 and the lever 44 are pulled downwardly. This results in abrupt downwardmovement of the pawl 36. As shown to advantage in Fig. 2, the solenoid 46 has a coil 60. Leads 62 and 64 extend from the coil 60 to a source of electric energy represented by input termiinals 66 and 68. A switch 70 may be connected in series with the lead 64 to control the energization of the coil 60. It will be understood that the switch 70 may take the form of a suitable control switch or set of relay contacts in the vending machine 12,1the contacts being adapted to be closed during each vending cycle. With this arrangement, the solenoid 46 will be energized during each vending cycle, and will be de-energized betwee cycles.
When the solenoid 46 is not energized, the pawl 36 is held in an upwardly displaced position by a biasing spring 70, stretched between the pawl and a fixed anchor 72. The spring 76 :angles toward the axis of the wheel 38 so as to bias the pin 42 against the wheel. 'Thus, in
Patented July Itw-ill be seen that the device 10.
42 is held against the wheel 38, between two of the ratchet teeth 40.
When the solenoid 46 is energized, the lever 44, the pawl 36 and the pin 42 are moved downwardly. Such movement of the pin 42 rotates the wheel 38 and the disk 28 counterclockwise.
In order that the disk 28 may spin freely, means are provided to disengage the pin 42 from the toothed wheel 38 when the pawl 36 is pulled downwardly. In the illustrated construction, such means take the form of a cam 76 adapted to swing the pawl 36 away from the wheel 38 when the pawl is moved downwardly. As shown, the cam 76 is formed as a slanting ramp on the right-hand edge of the pawl 36, near the upper end thereof. The cam 76 is adapted to cooperate with a guide member 78 having a slot 80 therein to receive the pawl 36. The guide member 78 is secured to the supporting plate 24.
When the pawl 36 is pulled downwardly, the pin 42 remains in engagement with the toothed wheel 38 until the ramp or earn 76 engages the right-hand edge 82 of the guide slot 80. Further downward movement of the pawl 36 causes the ramp 76 to swing the pawl to the left, so that the pin 42 is disengaged from the toothed wheel 38. The disk 28 then spins freely. When the solenoid 46 is de-energized, the pawl 36 is returned upwardly by the spring 70. As the ramp 76 passes the guiding edge 82, the spring 70 swings the pawl 36 to the right so that the pin 42 is again engaged with the toothed wheel 38. Of course, the pin 42. stops the wheel, if it is still spinning. In any event, the pin 42 moves between two of the ratchet teeth 40 so that the wheel 38 and the disk 28 are definitely indexed. This indexing action insures that one of the display elements 32 will be aligned accurately with the window or slot 26.
The value of the display device is considerably enhanced if the disk 28 is completely hidden from view while it is spinning and being indexed by the pin 42. Thus, the illustrated display device 10 includes a shutter 86 adapted to close the window or slot 26. As shown, the shutter 86 is formed at the lower end of an arm 88 formed on an L-shaped lever 90, which is swingable about a pivot 92 disposed above the disk 28. As shown in full lines in Figs. 2 and 4, the shutter 86 is in, its inactive position, away from the window 26, but is movable into an active position, indicated in broken lines in Fig. 4, in which the shutter closes the window 26. The shutter is preferably biased toward such active position, in this case by the weight of the lever 90, and the force of a spring 93.. In some cases, the spring will not be needed. The lower end of the shutter 86 is movable in a guide slot 94 which is formed in a flange 96 on the lower end of the shield 22. The slot 94 prevents the shutter 86 from moving to the right beyond its active position. Movement of the shutter to the left beyond its inactive position is prevented by a flange 98 which is formed on the shield 22 for engagement by the lefthand edge of the shutter.
In the inactive condition of the display device 10, the shutter 86 is held away from the window 26 by the engagement of the upper end of the pawl 36 with a generally horizontal arm 100 on the lever 90. When the pawl 36 is pulled downwardly to spin the disk 28, the upper end of the pawl is disengaged from the arm 100, so that the shutter 86 can move by its own weight to its active position in front of the window 26. The disk 28 is thus concealed while it is spinning. When the pawl 36 is returned upwardly, the pin 42 engages the wheel 38 and stops the disk 28 before the pawl engages the arm 100 and swings the shutter 86 away from the window 26. Thus, the indexing movement ofthe disk 28 is not apparent through the window 26.
When the vending machine is operated, the closure of the switch 70 energizesthe solenoid 46,-which causes downward movement of the lever 44 and the pawl 36. The initial downward movement of the pawl 36 permits the shutter 86 to move by its own weight across the window 26.
The downward movement of the pawl 36 also causes the pin 42 to rotate the toothed wheel 38. Near the end of the downward stroke of the pawl 36, the cam 76 swings the pawl 36 to the left, so as to disengage the pin from the wheel 38. The disk 28 and the wheel 38 then spin freely. The person operating the machine sees the closing action of the shutter 86, but not the spinning movement of the disk 28. a
At the end of the vending cycle, the switch 70 opens. This tie-energizes the solenoid 46 and permits the spring 78 to return the pawl 36 upwardly. The pin 42 engages the toothed wheel 38 and indexes it to a definite position with one of the display elements 32 aligned with the window 26. At the end of the upward movement of the pawl, it engages the arm and swings the shutter 86 away from the window 26, so that the display element will be visible. Because of the free spinning movement of the disk, the various display elements are selected in a substantially random manner. This adds interest to the operation of the vending machine and enhances the value of the advertising message or other material presented by the display device.
It will be understood that the display device may be employed in any suitable position. Thus, the device may be turned on its side so that the slot 26 will be horizontal. The lettering or other indicia on the display device may be arranged for easy readability.
Various modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents may be employed without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as exemplified in the foregoing description and defined in the following claims.
1. A display device, comprising a vertical disk rotatable about a horizontal axis and having a plurality of display messages spaced around the front face thereof, a member in front of said disk and having a window therein for exposing each of said display messages in turn as said disk is rotated, a swingable lever pivoted above said disk and having a downwardly extending vertical arm with a lower shutter portion swingable in front of said window to obscure the disk from view, a toothed wheel secured to the rear of said disk and rotatable therewith, a. generally vertical bar having a pin thereon engageable with said toothed wheel, a generally horizontal actuating lever having its outer end pivotally connected to the lower end of said bar, a solenoid connested to said actuating lever for moving said lever downwardly, said bar and said pin thereby being pulled downwardly to rotate said toothed wheel and said disk, a guide member engaging one edge of said bar, a spring biasing said bar upwardly and also edgewise against said guide member, said edge of said bar having a cam por tion engageable with said guide member upon downward movement of said bar and angling upwardly and laterally to swing said bar away from the axis of said disk so as to disengage said pin from said toothed wheel and thereby release said toothed wheel for free spinning movement, said cam providing for re-engagement of said pin with said toothed wheel for definitelyiudexing said wheel upon upward return movement of. said bar, said first mentioned lever having a generally horizontal arm for engagement by the upper end of said bar'upon upward return movement thereof to swing such lever in a direction to move said shutter portion away from said window, said shutter portion being swingable in front of said window by the weight of said first mentioned lever upon downward movement of said 'bar away from said arm.
2. A display device, comprising a rotatable disk having a plurality of display elements spaced around the front face thereof, a member in iront of said disk and having a window therein for exposing each of said display elements in turn as said disk is rotated, a lever having a shutter arm swingable in front of said window to obscure the disk from view, a toothed wheel secured to the rear of said disk and rotatable therewith, a bar having a pin thereon engageable with said toothed wheel, an actuating lever having its outer end pivotally connected to one end of said bar, a solenoid connected to said actuating lever for moving said lever in one direction, said pin thereby being effective to rotate said toothed wheel and said disk, a guide member engageable with one edge of said bar, a spring biasing said bar in a direction opposite to said one direction and also edgewise toward said wheel, said edge of said bar having a cam portion engageable with said guide member upon movement of said bar in said one direction, said cam portion angling laterally to swing said bar away from the axis of said disk so as to disengage said pin from said toothed wheel and thereby release said toothed wheel for free spinning movement, said cam portion providing for reengagement of said pin with said toothed wheel for definitely indexing said wheel upon upward return movement of said bar, said first mentioned lever being engageable by said bar upon return movement thereof to swing such lever in a direction to move said shutter arm away from said window.
3. A display device, comprising a rotatable disk having a plurality of display elements spaced therearound, a window member in front of said disk and having a window therein for exposing each of said display elements in turn as said disk is rotated, a shutter member movable in front of said window to obscure the disk from view, a toothed wheel secured to said disk and rotatable therewith, a movable operating member having a pawl thereon engageable with said toothed wheel, a solenoid connected to said operating member for moving said operating member in one direction, resilient means biasing said operating member in the opposite direction and also toward said toothed wheel, a guide member engageable with said operating member, said operating member having a cam portion engageable with said guide member and angling laterally to move said operating member away from the axis of said disk so as to disengage said pawl from said toothed wheel and thereby release said toothed wheel and said disk for free spinning movement, said cam portion providing for reengagement of said pawl with said toothed wheel for definitely indexing said wheel upon return movement of saidoperating member, said shutter being engageable by said operating member upon return movement thereof to move said shutter away from said window.
4. A display device, comprising a rotatable display member having a plurality of display elements spaced therearound, a window member having a Window therein in front of said display member for exposing each of said display elements in turn as the display member is rotated, a shutter movable between an open position away from said window and a closed position obscuring said window, a toothed wheel secured to said display member and rotatable therewith, an operating member movable between an initial position and a displaced position, resilient means biasing said operating member toward said initial position, a solenoid connected to said operating member for moving said member to said displaced position, a pawl on said operating member and engaging said toothed wheel when said operating member is in said initial position, said pawl being efiective to spin said wheel upon movement of said operating member to said displaced position, said pawl being out of engagement with said toothed wheel when said operating member is in said displaced position so that said toothed wheel and said disk will spin fleely, and means on said operating member for engaging and operating said shutter so as to move said shutter to said open position when said operating member is in'said initial position while returning said shutter to said closed position when said operating member is in said displaced position, said shutter thereby being efie'ctive to close said window while said display member is spinning.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 737,940 Leatherbarrow Sept. 1, 1903 891,175 Ingram June 16, 1908 53, 1 8 B n -'1 i 1 2