US 2979932 A
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April 18, 1961 CLOTHES WASHER HAVING MEANS FOR PRE-TREATING THE CLOTHES Filed Nov. 18, 1959 P. G. HUGHES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 -EIi J 24 27 25 g Ii. )7
PHILIP C1. HUGHE$ BY w P M HIS ATTORNEY April 18, 1961 P. G. HUGHES 2,979,932
CLOTHES WASHER HAVING MEANS FOR PRE-TREATING THE CLOTHES Filed Nov. 18. 1959 2 SheetsSheet 2 INVENTOR PHILIP G. HUGHES BY www- H I S ATTORNEY United States Patent CLOTHES WASHER HAVING MEANS FOR PRETREATING THE CLOTHES Philip G. Hughes, Anchorage, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 18, 1959, Ser. No. 853,819
9 Claims. (Cl. 68-18) This invention relates to automatic clothes washing machines, and more particularly to apparatus in such machines which provides for a necessary pre-treatment of clothes having excessively soiled portions.
Automatic clothes washing machines customarily proneed through a sequence of operations in order to wash, rinse and dry clothes. The sequence ordinarily includes a washing operation, a first centrifugal liquid extraction operation in which the wash water is removed from the clothes, a rinsing operation in which the clothes are rinsed in clean water, and the final centrifugal liquid extraction operation in whichthe .rinse wateris removed from the clothes. Such machine's having this type of cycle, or a variation thereon, generally produce highly satisfactory results in that the clothes come out clean and, as opposed to the old fashioned scrubbing action which was deliberately provided by the earliest washing .machines and by manual washing methods, cause little wear on the clothes. This may be, in part, attributed to the relatively gentle washing action in which the clothes are washed by the circulation through them of water containing a cleaning agent. There is, however, the factor that sometimes particular portions of clothing may be come substantially more soiled than others: for instance, the cuffs and collars on shirts are two such items because the continual rubbing againstthe human skin produces soil deposits in the material which are exceedingly difcult to remove without actual mechanical scrubbing.
Because of this, in the case of highly soiled portions of clothing, it is quite customary to pre-treat the clothing having such highly soiled portions manually by actually scrubbing the soiled clothing portions, either by rubbing them against themselves or by using a scrubbing board. Either one of these entails a considerable amount of work on the part of the person performing the operation. Ac-
cordingly, it is proposed to provide in an automatic washing machine apparatus which will facilitate this type of pre-treatmcnt of clothes, that is, the manual scrubbing of any small highly soiled portions of clothing so that the gentle action of the machine will then be able to produce substantially complete cleanliness in the garment as a whole.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide, in a washing machine, improved apparatus for permitting the scrubbing type of pre-treatrnent for clothes having particularly soiled areas.
A further object of the invention is to provide such apparatus which eliminates a substantial part of the labor required by the person performing the pro-treatment by causing the moving parts of the machine to do the major part of the work involved.
Yet a further more specific object of the inventionis to provide a Washing machine having an attachmentto the agitator thereof, which attachment has a corrugated surface against which clothes may be held and'which by the movement of the agitator performs the desired pretreatment.
washing action, the basket'Z is rotated at high speed toice Another more specific object of the invention isto-provide, in combination with the moving corrugated member, a stream of water having a relatively high concentration of'soil removing material such as detergent which emerges onto the clothing being ,pre-treatedduring the pre-treatment. V
In one aspect of my invention I provide a washing machine which has the conventional clothes receiving receptacle with a removable clothes Washing agitator extending upwardly through the receptacle and terminating thereabove. The agitator is moved by suitable driving means in a substantially horizontal plane, and has a member secured to it above the receptacle. The member is provided with an exposed surface formed with washing corrugations therein. The machine is also provided with recirculating means which takes the washing liquid from the receptacle and recirculates it onto the member so that, while clothes are being pre-treated by holding them against the corrugations on the member, a stream of washing liquid passes through the clothing. The member is formed so as to then guide the liquid flow back intothe receptacle to complete the recirculation path of the liquid.
The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and'method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings,
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of a clothes washing machine including my invention, the view being partially broken away and partially in section to illustrate details Figure 2 is a view in cross-section along line 2--2 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is an enlarged view in perspective, partially broken away, of an improved pro-treatment member se cured to the agitator of the machine of Figure 1; and v a Figure 4 is an enlarged view in perspective, partly broken away, of a second embodiment of a pre-treatment member intended to be secured to the agitator of a washing machine.
Referring now to Figure 1, I have shown therein a'n agitator-type clothes washing machine 1-having a basket or receptacle 2, preferably provided over its entire side wall with perforations 2:1, as shown, in turn disposed within an outer imperforate tub or casing 3. The tub ,3 is mounted within an appearance cabinet 4 which includes a cover 5 secured by a hinge 6 to the top portion 7 of the cabinet for providing access through opening 8 to the clothes basket. At the center of the basket 2 there is positioned a vertical axis agitator 9 which includes a center post 10 and a plurality of radially extending vanes 11. The agitator is further provided with an outwardly and downwardly flared skirt 12 to which the vanes 11 are joined at their lower ends.
Both the clothes basket 2 and the agitator 9 are rotatably mounted. The basket is mounted on a flange '13 of a rotatable hub 14 and the agitator 9 is mounted on a shaft (not shown) which extends upwardly through portion 15 of hub 14 and through the center post 10. The agitator is secured to the shaft by any suitable means (not shown). During the cycle of operation of the machine 1 the agitator is first oscillated back and forth on its axiswithin the basket to wash the clothes Then, after a predetermined period of this extract centrifugally the washing liquid and discharge it into the outer tub 3. Following this extraction opera tion a supply of clean liquid is introduced into 'the basket for rinsing the clothes and the agitator is again oscillated. Finally, the basket is once more rotatedit high speed to extract the rinse water and discharge it into the outer tub.
The basket 2 and agitator 9 may be driven by any suitable means as the drive means form no part of the present invention. However, by way of example, I have shown them as driven from a reversible motor 16. The motor 16 drives the basket and the agitator through a drive including a clutch 17 which is mounted on the motor shaft. The clutch 17 allows the motor to start ,withouta load and then picks up the load as it comes up to speed. A suitable belt 18 transmits power to trans mission assembly 19 through pulley 20; thus, depending upon the direction of motor rotation, pulley 2% of transmission 19 is driven in opposite directions.
The transmission 19 is so arranged that it supports and drives both the agitator drive shaft and the basket mounting hub' 14. When motor is is rotated in one direction the transmission causes the agitator 9 to oscillate in a substantially horizontal plane within the basket 2. Conversely, when the motor 16 is driven in the opposite direction, the transmission rotates the wash basket 2 and the agitator 9 together at high speed for centrifugal extraction. While the drive mechanism forms no part of the invention, reference is made to Patent 2,844,225 issued to James R. Hubbard et al. on July 22, 1958 and owned by the General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. That patent discloses in detail the structural characteristics of a transmission assembly suitable for use in the illustrated machine.
In order to introduce washing and rinsing liquid into the basket 2 a suitable conduit 21 is provided having an outlet opening 22 over the basket so that liquid (normally water) introduced into conduit 21 flows into the :basket. The liquid may be supplied in the usual manner, as is well known in the art, and the liquid supply struc- Iture will not be further described herein.
The conventional controlling mechanism for the machine (not shown) causes water to be introduced through a conduit 21 into basket 2 to fill it until the water reaches a predetermined level in the tub to close a water level responsive switch 24. Switch 2 may be manually controlled by a member 24a so as to close at different water levels in the tub, as is well known in the art. Switch 24 then causes the control mechanism to start operation of the drive motor in the direction to cause operation of agitator 9. During such washing operations, a pump 25 driven directly by motor 16 through a flexible coupling 26 causes liquid, which flows into the tub 3 through the openings 2a, to be discharged into a conduit 27 which leads to a nozzle 23. Nozzle 28 is positioned relative to a filtering member 29 so that liquid is recirculated by the pump 25 up through conduit 27 and out of nozzle 28 into the filter pan 29. Reference to Figure 3 shows that the filter pan has a substantial number of small openings 30 formed therein so that the water passes through the openings and back into the receptacle 2. The filter pan 29, with its many small openings 3%) and its upstanding side wall 31, causes the lint which has separated from the clothes during the washing operation to be filtered out of the water and thus prevented from redeposition on the clothes. This type of structure is more fully described and illustrated in Patent 2,481,979 issued to Russell H. Colley on September 13, 1949 and assigned to General Electric Company, owner of the present invention.
Filter pan 29 may be removably secured on agitator 9 above basket 2 by any suitable means. One such suitable means is shown by the cross-sectional view in Figure 2 which shows that secured about the top of the center post of the agitator there is provided a member 32 of resilient material such as rubber which may preferably have a serrated outer surface as shown. The inside surface 33 of the upstanding central portion 34 of the filter pan 29 has inwardly extending projections 35 .which engage-the serrated surface, of member 32 so names:
4 as to retain the filter pan on the agitator and to cause it to move with the agitator. However, by a direct upward pull it is readily possible to remove the filter pan from the agitator for the purpose of inserting clothes into the basket 2.
Returning now to Figure 1 for the completion of the general description of the washing machine, when enough washing has been provided and it is intended to remove the washing liquid from the clothes, the direction of rotation ofmotor 16 is reversed. As described above, this causes the basket 2 and agitator 9 to rotate together at relatively high speed so as to centrifuge the washing liquid out through openings 2a. The washing liquid thus removed is caused by pump 25, rotating in the re verse direction to theprevious rotation thereof, to discharge into a conduit 36. Conduit 36 is adapted for discharge to a stationary tub or drain line so that the pump is effective to drain tub 3. While any suitable pump may be used for draining purposes, the one generally described hereabove is representative and is described in detail in Patent 2,883,843 issued on April 28; 1959 to John Bochan and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.
As stated before in connection with the description of the agitator and filter pan in Figures 1, 2 and 3, the filter pan 29 is secured on the agitator 9 above basket 2 so as to move with the agitator during washing, that is, so as to have a substantially oscillatory movement in a generally horizontal plane. As a feature of my invention I propose to provide suitable corrugations 37 on the horizontal surface 38 of filter pan 29, the corrugations preferably extending in a generally radial direction, as shown, so as to be at right angles to the direction of the path of movement. Also, as shown, the vertical annular wall 38a of pan 29 may be provided with inner and outer corrugations 38b and 38c respectively, preferably formed substantially parallel to the axis of movement of agitator. It will readily be seen from the previous description that during the washing operation the pan 29 moves in an oscillatory horizontal path while at the same time a stream of washing liquid is discharged onto it from nozzle 28. It thus becomes merely necessary for the operator of the machine who Wishes to pro-treat a garment having a particularly soiled area to hold the garment firmly against the bottom surface 38 of filter pan 29 or against the inner or outer surface of wall 38. By so doing, the movement of the machine will itself cause the corrugations 37, 38b or 38c to effect a scrubbing action on the part of the garment held against them, while at the same time a stream of washing liquid is discharged onto the garment part. By proper setting of control 24a, a relative high concentration of detergent may be provided by providing for a minimum quantity of water to close switch 24. This combination provides an ideal washing situation, suitable for removing the most tenacious stains with, however, no effort required on the part of the operator other than the maintenance of the soiled portion of the garment firmly against the bottom surface 38.
It will further be observed that the horizontal surface 39 forming the top of upstanding portion 34 may also be provided with suitable corrugation 4% which, as shown, may also preferably be radial in formation. It
'will readily be seen that corrugations 40 serve the same purpose as corrugations 37 with the single exception that a substantially smaller amount of washing liquid will contact the portion of the garment being held against them.
Referring now to Figure 4 there is shown a modified pretreatment member 41 wherein like parts are provided with the same numerals as for the first embodiment of the invention. The member 41 is provided with an up be removed from the agitatorwhen its presence is not desired. Member 41 is provided with a substantially flat surface 42 having corrugations 43 which, again, are shown as substantially radial in character in order to be at right angles to the path of movement although it will be recognized that other corrugated formations may also be effective. Member 41 is used in the same manner as member 29, that is, during the operation of the washing machine when the agitator is oscillating and water is being recirculated so that the stream falls on the surface 42, a garment having a soiled portion to be .pre-
treated may be held firmly against the surface 42, and a scrubbing action will consequently be performed by corrugations 43 due to the oscillation of the agitator. At the same time, washing liquid again is forced over the soiled portion of the garment by the recirculation action. It will further be observed that where the filtering action of the member 29 of Figure 3 is not desired, the surface 42 of member 41 maybe formed without any openings therein; the formation of the surface 42 as a circle which is substantially smaller than'the receptacle opening below it is effective to cause the water to flow over the edge 44 thereof in all directions and then back While in accordance with the'patent statutes I have described what at present areconsidered to be the preferred embodiments of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention, and I therefore aim in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secureby Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A washing machine comprising a clothes receiving receptacle having a top opening, a movable clothes washing agitator extending upwardlyth'rough said receptacle v 6 for recirculating liquid from said receptacle onto said member, said means secured to said agitator being formed to guide the liquid flow back into said receptacle.
2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the movement of said agitator in said horizontal plane is oscillatory.
3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said exposed surface having washing corrugationsformed therein is in a substantially horizontal plane.
4. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said exposed surface having washing corrugations formed therein is substantially vertical.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said exposed surface having washing corrugations formed therein is formed as an annulus about the axis of said agitator.
6. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said means secured to said agitator is a member substantially in the form of a pan, said exposed surface being formed by the bottom of said pan and having a plurality of small openings therein. g
7. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said means secured to said agitator is a member having its exposed surface formed in a substantially horizontal plane as a solid surface with corrugations thereon, said 1 member and said surface being s bstantially smaller than of said surface are directly over said receptacle.
8. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said movement of said agitator is substantially oscillatory on its p own axis, and said exposed surface of said means secured to said agitator is in ahorizontal plane and has substantially radial corrugations formed thereon.
9. The apparatus defined in claim 1 including water supply means, means for starting said agitator drive means and closing saidvwater supply means after a predetermined amount of water has entered said receptacle,
\ and manual adjusting means and terminating thereabove, driving means connected to said agitator and moving said agitator in a substantially with washing corrugations therein, recirculating means 1,826,030 2,164,070 Keil June 27, 1939 2,298,624 Labisky Oct. 13, 1942' 2,447,755 Kirkland Aug. 24, 1948 2,481,979 Colley Sept. 13, 1949 2,502,702 Castner Apr. 4, 1950 2,807,949 Molnar Oct. 1, 1957 2,885,879 Bloom May 12, 1959 2,911,811 Clark 2.-. Nov. 10, 1 959 for varying said predetermined amount of water.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Snyder Oct. 6, 1931