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Publication numberUS2970026 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 31, 1961
Filing dateJan 27, 1958
Priority dateJan 27, 1958
Publication numberUS 2970026 A, US 2970026A, US-A-2970026, US2970026 A, US2970026A
InventorsSmith William J
Original AssigneeS & S Vending Machine Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vending machine
US 2970026 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 31, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 2'7, 1958 INVENTOR.

' 50m J Sm z'Z/z A TTO/P/VEVS w. J. SMITH VENDING MACHINE Jan. 31, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Jan. 27, 1958 34 FIG. 6

INV EN TOR. WmAZSmifh A TTORNEVS Jan. 31, 1961 w. J. SMITH VENDING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 27, 1958 INVENTOR. ZUm.JSmiih ATTORNEYS VENDING MACHINE William J. Smith, San Jose, Calif., assignor to S S Vending Machine Co., San Jose, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Jan. 27, 1958, Ser. No. 711,243

4 Claims. (Cl. 31235) This invention is directed to, and it is a major object to provide, a novel machine for vending a productsuch as milk in a carton-from within a cabinet to a customer standing outside the latter.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a vending machine which embodiesin combination, and within the cabinet-a carton receiving and delivery rotor manually actuated by the purchaser, and an electric motor driven pusher unit adapted to feed cartons one at a time from a storage platform into the receiving and delivery rotor.

' The front or carton feed-off end of the storage platform lies above the rotor and the latter has a normally upwardly opening pocket therein for reception of each carton as it is fed olf said end of the platform and falls downwardly therefrom; an additional object of the invention being to provide the rotor, within the same, with a novel decelerating device which absorbs the shock of, or cushions the fall of, the carton into said pocket, whereby to prevent rupturing of the carton and escape of the contents.

Another object of the invention is to provide a carton receiving and delivery rotor which is constructed for ease of manual operation; for gravitational return to a carton receiving position after each delivery; for the prevention of unauthorized access to the carton storage platform from exteriorly of the machine and through the rotor; and for drainage of any moisture which may accumulate in the bottom of the pocket in said rotor.

The carton storage platform is adapted to support a plurality of transverse rows of cartons in longitudinally guided courses, and a further object of the invention is to provide the pusher unit with a transversely stepped front or carton engaging face having each step corresponding to, and longitudinally alined with, a related course of the cartons, whereby with a predetermined advance of the pusher unit only a single carton is fed ed the front end of said platform to fall into the rotor.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an electric motor driven pusher unit, for the purpose described, of novel construction and mounting, including the securing of the drive motor in the unit for travel therewith, and a rack and pinion mechanism responsive to the motor operative to advance said pusher unit along the carton storage platform.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a vending machine which is designed for ready and economical manufacture, and long, continued, and effective service with a minimum of maintenance or repair being required.

Still another object is to provide a practical and reli able vending machine, and one which will be exceedingly effective for the purpose for which it is designed.

These objects are accomplished by means of such structure and relative arrangement of parts as will fully appear by a perusal of the following specification and claims.

In the drawings: Fig. 1 is a side elevation of the vending machine as mounted in a refrigerated cabinet; the latter being in section.

Fig. 2 is an elevation of the front of the machine;v

Fig. 5 is an enlarged end view of the rotor showing the rotor actuating device in detail.

Fig. 6 is an enlarged front elevation, partly broken away, of the pusher unit; the carton storage platform being in section.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation, mainly in section, showing the rotor in its initial or carton receiving position, and as disposed below the feed-ofl? end of the carton storage platform.

Fig. 8 is a similar sectional elevation of the rotor in the same position as shown in Fig. 7, but after a carton has been fed into the pocket.

Fig. 9 is likewise a similar view, but shows the rotor as part-rotated to carton access and delivery position.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and to the characters of reference marked thereon, the vending machine is mounted in an insulated and suitably refrigerated cabinet, indicated generally at 1, which cabinet may be supported--at proper elevation-by legs 2; the cabinet including a front wall 3, a rear wall 4, andat one sidean access door 5 normally maintained closed by a locked hasp 6. The door 5, when open, permits of access into the cabinet 1 for the purpose of loading the vending machine, servicing it, or the like.

The front wall 3 is initially formed with a rectangular opening 7, which opening is closed by the front portion of the vending machine; the latter comprising the followmg:

A rectangular mounting frame 8 is secured in-and extends about-the rectangular opening 7, and such mounting frame 8 supports an upper tranversely extending insulated panel 9 and a lower transversely extending insulated filler 1! Such panel 9 and filler 10 are spaced apart vertically to leave an access opening 11 therebetween and extend from the left hand end of mounting frame 8 toward, but terminate short of, the opposite end, as shown in Fig. 2; such frame at said opposite end being formed with a box-like recess R on the rear of which is mounted the coin reception slot 12 for a coin controlled energizing circuit for the machine, but which circuit forms no part of the present invention.

The rectangular mounting frame 8 supports-in fixed relation at the ends of the upper panel 9 and filler 10- rigid end plates 13 disposed in facing relation and projecting rearwardly into the cabinet 1. The forward portion 14 of the end plate adjacent the recess R defines the corresponding side of said recess for a purpose which will hereinafter appear.

A cylindrical rotor 15 is disposed horizontally and extends between the end plates 13, being axially journaled at the adjacent ends in connection with said end plates, as at 16, whereby said rotor is turnable about a horizontal transverse axis.

The rotor 15, which terminates at its ends adjacent Th e*'pbrtion"0f the rotor which is to the rear of the"accessand delivery opening llwhen said rotor is init's"initial' or carton receiving position is insulated,

as at 22, and the'rear portion of the insulated upper panel 9 is provided with a concave 23 disposed in close symmetr'icalrelationto the rotor 15. up t in a"pl ane"above the' rotor 15 the machine includes? within the refrigerated cabinet 1a carton storage 'plat form, indicated generally at 24, which is comprised of a plurality "of sideby side guideways 25, each defined by a plurality of longitudinally extending, transversely spaced rods ;26"of relatively small diameterJand-at the sides of each guidewaylongitudinally 4 extending rods 27 of larger diameter (see Figs. 3 and 6).

The'rods 26and 27 are secured to and supported by p at longitudinally spaced;pointscrossbars, one of which is'indicated at 28." The cross bars 28 are in turn s ecured to longitudinal side bars 29 attached at the rear end to the'rear wall 4, and attached'at the front end to the upper panel 9. v i j The carton supporting platform 24except' for the side bar's29 'term'inates some distance short of the upper panel 9, and in'a'vertical transverse plane substantially ali'n'ed with the rear edge of the top opening 18 of the pocket 17 in the rotor '15 when the latter is in its initialor carton receiving position, as shown in Fig. 7. This formsa throat 30 ahead}of-'and extending downwardly frorri'the front end of the carton storage platform 24, with such threat in register with said top opening 18. v

A transvc'rsely extending, substantially full-width, carton pusher unit'311rests on and spans the carton storage platform 24; such pusher unit 31 including a front '32,

a top 33, a back 34, and ends 35 and 36.

The front 32 of the pusher'unit 31 is transversely stepped, as shown, with each stepped portion correspondingto', and being alined with, one of the guideways 25; the purpose of such transverse stepping to be hereinafter described. I

The pusher "unit 313s retained on, and adapted to be driven'along the canton storage platform 24, as follows:

A crdssshaft 37 disposed relatively close'to the bottor'n'of said pusher unit extends within the same from side to side-projects; through the ends 35 and 36, and thence extends a short distance therebeyond; the outer endsfof said cross shaft 37 being formed astrunnions 38 whieh are engaged "between the adjacent side bar 29 and a laterally inwardly projecting or overhanging flange-39 included in longitudinal channels 40 which extend along opposite sides of said carton storage platform 24.

The side bars 29 also support'in fixed relationup'- wardly facing; longitudinal racks-'41, and driven pinions 42 engage and runon-saidracks' 41;" The pinions 42,"

which are fixed on the cross'shaft37' are driven as fol- IOWSZ A reversible electric motor 43 is disposed within the pusher 31, being mounted on the end 35 thereof," as shown in Fig. 6;" such electric motor 43 including a reduction gearyhead 44, and a laterally outwardly projecting" drive'sh'aft 45' which'extends through said end 35. Atits outer end the drive shaft 45 is fitted with a pinion 46 which engages in driving relation with the adjacent pinion'f42 on' said cross shaft 37. H

With energir'ation of the electric motor 43 and its operation in brie direction; theifab ove arrangement resultsin both' of"the"piriions"'42 being driven-{with said 4 pinions then traycling forwardly on the racks 41 to ad- Vance the pusher unit 31.

The electric motor 43 is placed in operation by the aforementioned coin controlled energizing circuit, and which circuit is responsive to a coin (or coins) being deposited in the slot 12 inthe back of the recess R, and which of course is accessible to a purchaser standing in front of the cabinet 1. H v I A flexible electric cord 47 leads into the pusher unit 31 through the end '36 to supply current to the reversible electric motor 43, and"within which pusher unit 31 a part of the controlled energizing circuit is disposed.

A manual push button switch 48 and a snap-action or toggle switch 49- mounted on said end 36, and accessible to the attendant from within the cabinet 1-are operative to cause forward and rearward travel, respectively, of said pusher unit 31. Of course, the switches 48 and 49 are'used by theattendant solely during loadingof themachine p Immediately below the forward or discharge end of the carton storage platform 24,;there is a full-width;

cross shaft 50 suitably:journaled'adjacent its ends, and providedbetween such ends witha full-width, normally forwardly projecting, trigger ,plate 51 which extends into the throat 30, as shown in Fig.7. At one end the cross shaft 50 projects through the adjacent end plate 13,.

and beyond the latter is formed with a radial finger 52 which carries a counterweight 53 which normally rests downwardly against a stop 54; the counterweight then engaging a switch 55 mounted on said end plate 13 (see Figs. 1 and 3).

The rotor 15 is provided-interna'lly thereofwith a carton decelerating -device, indicated generally at 56; such device being operative to cushion the fall-in-to the rotorof a carton fedfro-m the platform 24, in the manner as will hereinafter appear,

The carton decelerating, device 56 comprises a normally horizontal, full-width catch plate 57 disposed in the pocket 17 lengthwise thereof and normally adjacent the top opening 18. The catch plate 57 is mounted in connectionwith, andnorrnally-maintained in its raised position by, a pair of spaced arms 58 fixed in connection with, and radiating from, a cross shaft 59 journaled in connection with, and spanning between, the ends 60 of the rotor at the normally back side there- The radial arms 55 extend; from the cross shaft 59, in normally upwardly and forwardly inclined relation, passing through corresponding slots 61 in the rear wall 20, and. thence being attached to the catch plate 57; the. slots from their upper .inception extending substantially tothe bottomof said rear wall 20 whereby to permit of downward swinging of the catch plate 57 from its initial raised position, as in Fig. 7, to a lowered position, asinFig .8. :3 H

Lowering of the cateh plate 57 is yieldably resisted by adjustable torque gspring'units 62 connected between eachend portion of the cross shaft 59 and the adjacent rote-rend 60. U v

The rotor 1 is adapted to be manually part-rotated from its normal carton receiving position, as shown in Fig.7, to a carton "access and delivery position in register with the opening 11, as shown in Fig. 9, by means of the following rotor actuating device:

Theforward portion 141'ofthe end plate 13 which forms one side of the recess'R has a vertical slot 63 therein, and 'a vertical slide'64 is disposed immediately laterally inwardly of such slot for up and down travel;

there being a handknob 65 fixedlto said slide 64 and projecting through the 'slot 63 into the recess 'Rifor' rearwardly" "projecting;' flat', vertically disposed fork 66'1' which straddles a flanged roller 67 securedas at 6S to the adjacent end 69 of the rotor in offset relation to the axis of the latter.

Upon a purchaser grasping the knob 65 and pressing downwardly, the fork 66, working through the flanged roller 67, part-turns the rotor from its carton receiving position to its access and carton delivery position.

The arcuate extent of the concave 23 is such that the top opening 18 of the pocket 17 is full-closed by said concave before such opening 18 begins to register with the opening 11; this being of advantage in that it prevents the introduction of a tampering instrumentality into the machine from said opening 11.

When the above described vending machine is in use, a multiplicity of the cartons C are placed on the storage platform 24, with a longitudinal course of such cartons in each guideway 25, and with the corresponding cartons of the courses in transverse rows.

The cartons in each transverse row are staggeredrelative to each other, and lengthwise of the platform 24-a distance equal to the depth of the corresponding steps on the front 32 of the pusher unit 31; such stepped front 32 of the pusher unit engaging against the rearmost row of cartons.

Such pusher unit 31, when the storage platform 24 is fully loaded, occupies a retracted position, as shown in broken lines in Fig. 1; the unit progressing forwardly with successive dispensing operations, and-as shown in Fig. 1 in full linesthe unit is disposed at an advanced position, with only a limited number of cartons remaining to be dispensed.

Each time that the electric motor 43 is energized in a direction to move the pusher unit 31 forwardly, and which occurs in response to a deposit of a coin (or coins) in the slot 12, one carton escapes the front end of the platform 24 and falls downwardly therefrom; this result being accomplished more specifically as follows:

With forward movements of the pusher unit 31and at which time all cartons on the platform are advanced, the individual cartons progressively reach the front end of the platform 24 and are moved successively (by reason of their staggered relation in each row) partly oif of said end and tilt forward at the top against the rear face 69 of the front wall 3, yet while remaining supported at the bottom by said front end of the platform.

As it requires further relatively short forward move ments of the push unit 31 to fully push each tilted carton off the front end of the platform 24, a number of such cartons are tilted at all times against the front wall, except when only one carton remains to be dispensed.

In Fig. 3 there is illustrated-for example-three cartons in tilted position; i.e., the remaining one from the second from the last row, and two from the next to the last row.

With one or more cartons in tilted position, with differential extent of bottom engagement on the front end of the platform 24, each subsequent forward movement of the pusher unit 31 causes the tilted carton having the least bottom engaged with said front end of the platform to be pushed entirely off the latter, whence said carton falls downwardly through the throat 30; all remaining cartons on the platform being progressed one step.

Of course, when the machine is initially loaded, the pusher unit is run forward manually by the attendant to cause one or more of the cartons to assume a tilted position with at least one of said tilted cartons far enough advanced at the bottom so that upon the first operation of the machine said one carton will dispense.

As each carton is dispensed-Le. falls olf of the forward end of the platform 24 and drops downwardly through the throat 30-such carton engages and lowers the trigger plate 51, which results in operation of switch 55; the latter being included in the motor energizing circuit in any suitable manner to open the same and stop the pusher unit 31. By the time said pusher unit is stopped it has moved another tilted carton to position for discharge upon occurrence of the next following operation of the machine.

Each carton C, as fed off the front end of the platform 24, is receivedas it dropsin the normally upwardly opening pocket 17 of the rotor 15; the fall or drop of such carton being greatly decelerated or cushioned to prevent any damage to the carton by means of the hereinbefore described device 56. Thus, as a carton C falls into the pocket 17 it is received on the catch plate 57, Whose lowering is yieldably resisted by the adjustable torque spring units 62; such spring units 62 being set so that While they cushion the fall of the carton, its weight will depress the catch plate 57 to the bottom of the pocket, in the manner shown in Fig. 8, and at which time the carton is wholly within said pocket 17.

Nextly, the purchaserfrom exteriorly of the cabinet 1-grasps the knob 65 and pushes it downwardly to its limit of movement, part-turning the rotor 15 until the pocket opening 18 is in register with the opening 1i. Thereafter, the purchaser merely reaches through said registering openings and withdraws the carton (see Fig. 9).

As will be obvious, the catch plate 57 will then exert a pressure against the bottom of the carton, tending to slide the same out of the pocket. In order to prevent this pressure from being effective until the purchaser is ready to withdraw the carton, a rigid lip 7d extends part way across the pocket opening 13 from the Wall 19, leaving a space between the lip and the opposite wall 20 of sufficient Width to freely receive a carton therethrough; said walls diverging upwardly relative to each other so that the width of the pocket at the bottom is not materially greater than the width of a carton, as clearly shown in Fig. 8. Thus, when a carton is to be withdrawn from the pocket, it must first be lifted at its outer end sufficiently to clear the lip 7i? before the urging pressure of plate 57 can be effective in aiding the withdrawal of the carton. By this arrangement there is no danger that the carton will be ejected from the pocket and catch the purchaser unawares.

After the carton is so withdrawn by the purchaser and the knob 65 released, the rotor 15 returns by gravity to its initial or starting position, with the pocket opening 18 uppermost; this being accomplished by counter- Weighting the rotor, as at 71.

In order to prevent actuation of the machine after the last carton is dispensed, the pusher unit 31 is pro videdat the front-with triggers 72 normally depressed by the cartons which said triggers engage. However,

when the engaged cartons have been dispensed, said.

triggers operate switches (not shown) within the pusher unit 31, and which switches are operative in any suitable manner to open the motor energizing circuit. Such switches-together with the other switches hereinbefore described, and the coin controlled energizing circuit generally-form no part, as previously indicated, or" the present invention, as sundry electrical circuits can be employed for the purpose.

From the foregoing description it will be readily seen that there has been produced such a device as will substantially fulfill the objects of the invention, as set forth 7 herein.

While this specification sets forth in detail the present and preferred construction of the device, still in practice such deviations from such detail may be reclaimed as new and useful, and upon which Letters Patent are desired:

1. In an article vending machine which includes an enclosing cabinet having a wall provided with an access opening, a horizontal-axis rotor forming a closure for said access opening, means forming a pocket in the rotor open at one end to the periphery thereof, the rotor-being normally disposed with the pocket-opening at the top and out of register with the access opening and into which pocket an article to be vended is then received from the machine, means journaling the rotor for turning to a position with the pocket openingin register with the access opening, means to so turn the rotor, said pocket forming means comprising walls extending chordally of the periphery of the rotor, and a lip projecting transversely of the pocket in overhanging relation to the pocket opening'from the wailthereof which is on the side of the rotor nearest said cabinet wall and disposed at the open end of the pocket; said lip terminatingfrom the opposite Wall a distance greater than the Width of the article; the access opening being disposed so that when the pocket opening is in register therewith, said first named pocket wall will be disposed at a downward slope toward the access opening; and a shock absorbing device for the article as received in the pocket mounted in the rotor and including an article-engaging plate tending to urge the article out of the pocket subsequent to a shock absorbing action and when the rotor is turned so that the pocket opening is in register with the access opening.

2. In an article vending machine which includes an enclosing cabinet having a wall provided with an access opening, a horizontal-axis rotor forming a closure for said access opening, means forming a pocket in the rotor open at one end to the periphery thereof, the rotor being normally disposed with the pocket-opening at the top and out of register with the access opening and into which pocket an article to be vended is then received from the machine, means journaling the rotor for turning to a position with the pocket opening in register with the access opening, means to do turn the rotor, and a shock absorbing-device for the article as received in the pocket mounted in the rotor and including an article-engaging plate tendingto urge the article but of the pocket subsequent to a'shock absorbing-action and when the rotor is turned so that the pocket opening is in register with the access opening.

3. A structure, as in claim 2, with means provided with the pocket preventing such urging pressure from being*-eifective until the article in the pocket is engaged and initially manually lifted at its outer end.

4. A structure, as in claim 2, in which the pocket forming means comprises opposed walls, and means provided withthe pocket preventing such urging pressure from being effective until the article in the pocket is engaged and initially manually lifted at its outer end; said last named means comprising a lip projecting transversely in overhanging relation to the pocket opening from the wall thereof which is onthe side of the rotor nearest the cabiuetlwall and disposed adjacent the pocket opening so that when the rotor is turned to aline the pocket opening with theaccess opening an article in the pocket will rest on'said pocket wall and the lip will project upwardly to form a stop ,for the adjacent end of the article.

References Cited in the file of this patent 'pmreo STATES PATENTS 1,213,433 Terry Jan. 23, 1917 1,998,625 'Kirk Apr. 23, 1925 2,094,765 Barnes Oct. 5, 1937 2,308,532 Mills Jan. 19,1943 2,500,438 Tandler et al.' Mar. 14,1950 2,521,036 Bun--1. Sept. 5, 1950 2,550,884 Tandler et al May 1, 1951 2,621,994 Sadler Dec. 16, 1952 2,752,065 Schupp June 26, 1956 2,765,101 Shanhouse et a1 Oct. 2, 1956 2,796,181 Smith June 18, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1213433 *Jun 11, 1914Jan 23, 1917George E TerryButter container and cutter.
US1998625 *Feb 5, 1934Apr 23, 1935John F MeyerDelivery device
US2094765 *Aug 29, 1935Oct 5, 1937Barnes Harold HDisplay and dispensing rack
US2308532 *Feb 29, 1940Jan 19, 1943Mills Novelty CoVending machine
US2500438 *Sep 8, 1945Mar 14, 1950Vendomatic Machine CorpDispensing and vending machine
US2521036 *Apr 15, 1946Sep 5, 1950Edward F BrillShelf mechanism for refrigerated display cases
US2550884 *Apr 17, 1947May 1, 1951Vendomatic Machine CorpMotor-operated article dispensing machine
US2621994 *Dec 19, 1949Dec 16, 1952Sadler Harold WVending machine
US2752065 *Apr 25, 1952Jun 26, 1956Schupp Alfred JDispensing device for cylindrical objects
US2765101 *Mar 16, 1955Oct 2, 1956Shanner Equipment CompanyMilk carton dispensing machine
US2796181 *May 31, 1955Jun 18, 1957S & S Vending Machine CoGravity-fed vending machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3064856 *Dec 6, 1960Nov 20, 1962Anderson Council DansbyBelt-operated merchandise dispensing cabinet
US3413052 *Nov 24, 1964Nov 26, 1968Petrus M.R. SchoenmakersAutomatic vending device
US5860714 *Apr 16, 1997Jan 19, 1999Skord, Jr.; Charles RobertVandal-proof vending machine
U.S. Classification312/35
International ClassificationG07F11/02, G07F11/42
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/42
European ClassificationG07F11/42