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Publication numberUS2990084 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 27, 1961
Filing dateMay 14, 1956
Priority dateMay 14, 1956
Publication numberUS 2990084 A, US 2990084A, US-A-2990084, US2990084 A, US2990084A
InventorsProbasco Harold T
Original AssigneeOak Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vending machine
US 2990084 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 27, 1961 H. T. PROBASCO 2,990,084

VENDING MACHINE Filed May 14, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Ei e: 3-

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June 27, 1961 H. T. PROBASCO 2,990,084

VENDING MACHINE Filed May 14, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 w ZiWQ WW United States Patent 2,990,084 VENDING MACHINE Harold T. Probasco, Inglewood, Calif., assignor to Oak Manufacturing (10., Inc., Culver City, Calif., a corporation of California Filed May 14, 1956, Ser. No. 584,778 2 Claims. (Cl. 221-422) This invention relates to a vending machine and, more particularly, to a vending machine adapted to dispense a variety of edible articles which are formed in substantially rectangular, flat shapes or which are provided in packages having substantially rectangular, flat shapes.

'Conventional vending machines of the character of that under consideration here usually incorporate a rotatable dispensing head having a plurality of recceptacles provided thereupon, each of the receptacles containing one variety of gum, candy, or the like, to be dispensed therefrom and each receptable being bottomless to permit the lowermost of a stack of gum or candy to be discharged from the lower extremity of the receptacle upon dispensing means incorporated in the vending machine. However, the use of such bottomless receptacles in rotating dispensing heads necessitates the frictional engagement of each of the lowermost articles in each of the receptacles with the adjacent surface of the bed with reference to which the dispensing head rotates and thus considerable frictional drag is encountered during the rotation of the dispensing head to select a commodity to be dispensed and considerable wear and tear will result on the packages or wrappings for the commodities disposed in the lowermost position.

It is, therefore, an object of my invention to provide a vending machine incorporating a movable dispensing head, said dispensing head being provided with a plurality of vertically oriented receptacles having bottom portions upon which the lowermost of a stack of edible commodities may rest so that the commodities do not engage the surface of the vending machine adjacent the lower extremities of the receptacles and thus the frictional losses encountered in conventional vending machines are eliminated.

An additional object of my invention is the provision of a vending machine of the aforementioned type wherein the receptacles are each provided with rearwardly oriented discharging openings and wherein the bottoms of the receptacles are provided with apertures, said apertures permitting the entry of a portion of a dispensing plate so that a selected commodity may be discharged rearwardly through the discharging opening in a selected receptacle by a customer operating the vending machine.

Another object of my invention is the provision of a vending machine of the aforementioned chanacter which includes a longitudinally reciprocatable dispensing plate, said plate being movable with reference to a selected receptacle and through the aperture formed in the bottom thereof to expel a selected commodity through the discharging opening in the hack of said receptacle.

One of the major problems encountered by vending machine operators is the fact that customers will attempt to obtain merchandise from the machine Without inserting the coin necessary to operate the machine in a conventional manner. To accomplish their unlawful ends, such individuals will tilt, invert, or otherwise abuse the machine, in an attempt to dislodge merchandise from the receptacles toward the discharge chute of the machine. Such tactics, in addition to involving considerable loss of merchandise, have the undesirable side effect that, even when unsuccessful, merchandise is jammed between the receptacles and adjacent portions of the vending machine and render the vending machine inoperative and unuseable by legitimate customers.

2,990,084 Patented June 27, 1951 A further object of my invention is the provision of a vending machine of the aforementioned character which includes substantially continuous barrier means disposed on the bed of the vending machine adjacent the discharge openings in each of the receptacles so that, as the machine is tilted, inverted, or otherwise moved or shifted, merchandise will not be dislodged from the discharge openings of the receptacles since the barrier means will retain the merchandise Within the receptacles. The provision of the barrier means also prevents inadvertent dislodgement of merchandise from the receptacle during transportation or other adjustment of the vending machine by personnel engaged in restocking, servicing, or otherwise handling the machine.

Another object of my invention is the provision of a vending machine of the aforementioned character which includes a rotatable dispensing head incorporating a plurality of receptacles of the character described hereinabove, and wherein the barrier wall preventing the unauthorized or unintended dislodgement of merchandise from the receptacles is circular in character and disposed adjacent the inner orbit of rotation of the receptacles of the dispensing head.

An additional object of my invention is the provision, in a vending machine of the aforementioned character, of barrier means incorporating a displ'aceable gate, said gate being disposed in operative relationship with the dispensing plate of the machine so that, as a particular commodity is extracted from the juxtaposed receptacle by said dispensing plate, the gate will be displaced by the movement of the commodity on the plate to permit the commodity to be discharged by said plate into the dispensing opening of the vending machine.

When the dispensing head of the vending machine is rotated by a customer to juxtapose a receptacle containing a desired commodity adjacent the dispensing plate, optimum registration between the pick-off portion of the dispensing plate and the aperture in the bottom of the juxtaposed receptacle is necessary and I provide indexing means on the rotatable dispensing head and the adjacent bed of the vending machine which automatically locates the dispensing head in registration with the chosen receptacle.

Furthermore, rotation of the dispensing head during the dispensing operation would cause damage to both the machine and to the commodity being dispensed with possible jamming of the operative components of the machine and injury thereto.

A further object of my invention is the provision of an automatic interlock between the dispensing head and the bed of the vending machine so that upon initiation of the dispensing cycle the dispensing head is locked against rotation relative to the bed of the machine and remains so locked until the completion of the dispensing cycle.

Another object of my invention is the provision of an interlock of the aforementioned character which includes a movable locking member engageable with the dispensing head and energizable simultaneously with the initiation of the dispensing cycle to prevent rotation of the dispensing head in the vending machine.

A further object of my invention is the provision of a lost motion connection between the aforementioned interlock and the actuator of the vending machine so that if the interlock is not in proper registry with the dispensing head, rotation of the actuator which would cause damage to either the actuator or the interlock is'automatically prevented by causing the actuator to lock against the interlock and thus prevent rotation or energization thereof.

It is, of course, undesirable to energize the dispensing plate of the vending machine unless the dispensing head has been so located that one of the dispensing receptacles is properly indexed with rmpect to the dispensing plate.

Another object of my invention is the provision of automatic interlock means energizable by the actuator of the vending machine which prevents longitudinal movement of the dispensing plate unless the dispensing head has been properly rotated to locate a selected dispensing receptacle in juxtaposition to the dispensing plate.

Dispensing machines of the character under consideration here must be sold at relatively low prices to the ultimate users thereof and it is, therefore, necessary to utilize every economy which can possibly be incorporated in the design of the dispensing machine in order to reduce the total price thereof. In the past, it has been conventional practice to use steel shafts in the actuator mechanism and to fasten the die cast sector gear, or the like, to the opposite ends of the shafts. I have discovered, however, that the sector gear and the shaft incorporated in the actuator of the vending mechanism of my invention can be die-cast as a unitary structure with suflicient draft on the shaft to permit it to be readily withdrawn from the die-casting mold. Moreover, I have discovered that such a tapered shaft can be readily installed in a tapered bore provided in the bed of the vending machine of my invention and that it is not necessary to lubricate the die-cast shaft since there is a natural lubrication effect resulting from the powdery deposits on the surface of the shaft which occur during the tumbling of the part.

Other objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent from the following specification and the accompanying drawings which are for the purpose of illustration only and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view showing a vending machine constructed in accordance with the teachings of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical, sectional view taken on the broken line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary view showing the relationship of the pick-off portion of the dispensing plate with the lower extremity of a selected receptacle;

FIG. 4 is a transverse, sectional view taken on the broken line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing the operation of the dispensing plate incorporated in the vending machine;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, sectional, fragmentary view showing the manner in which the dispensing plate carries a selected commodity toward the dispensing opening of the vending machine;

FIG. 7 shows another position of the dispensing plate;

FIG. 8 shows the Withdrawal of the dispensing plate from operative relationship with the dispensing opening of the machine;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken on the broken line 9--9 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken on the broken line 10-40 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the gate incorporated in the dispensing mechanism;

FIG. 12 is a schematic, top plan view showing the manner in which the actuator and interlock means of the vending machine co-operate with each other;

FIG. 13 shows the operative relationship between the actuator and interlock means at the conclusion of a dis pensing cycle;

FIG. 14 shows the interlocking of the actuator and interlock means should the interlock means not register with an appropriate receptacle on the dispensing head;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view showing the relationship between the dispensing plate and the associated portion of the actuator means;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the interlock means; and

FIG. 17 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing the relationship of the actuator means shaft and the adjacent area of the interlock means.

Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. l2 thereof, I show a vending machine 10 for dispensing fiat, substantially rectangularly shaped edible commodities 12, said vending machine incorporating a head section 14 and a base section 16. The base section 16 is substantially rectangular in cross-sectional configuration and defines a coin receptacle 18.

Secured to the four corners of the base section 16 are suction cups 20 which serve to maintain the vending machine 10 in operative relationship with a selected surface 22.

Mounted in the front face 24 of the base section 16 is a dispensing chute 26, said chute being provided with a cover plate 28 at its lower extremity which prevents egress of comestibles therefrom until said cover plate is lifted by the hand of a customer disposed therebelow. Also mounted in the front face 24 of the base section 16 is a coin receiving means 30, said coin receiving means including a substantially rectangular plate 32 which incorporates a coin receiving slot 34 in the upper extremity thereof. Projecting from the plate 32 is an actuator 36 for rotating a coin carrier 38 and causing said carrier to be moved into a position in which a coin inserted in the coin carried is dispensed into the coin receptacle 18 in the base section 16.

Rotation of the coin carrier 38 is accomplished by a shaft 40 whose outer extremity is operatively connected to the actuator 36 and whose inner extremity has a bevel gear 42 mounted thereupon for rotation thereby, for a purpose which will be described in greater detail below.

The base section 16 includes a lower portion 46 having an upstanding, vertical flange 48 formed integrally therewith and engageable with an upper portion 50 to maintain said upper and lower portions in operative relationship with each other. Located centrally of the lower portion 46 is an upstanding boss 52 which is provided with a threaded bore 54, for a purpose which will be described in greater detail below.

An upper, integral flange 56 is formed on the upper portion 50 of the base section 16 for the reception of a depending skirt 58 integrally formed upon a bed plate 60 incorporated in the head section 14 of the dispensing machine 10. The head and base sections 14 and 16 and the component parts thereof, hereinabove described, define and constitute the housing 62 of the vending machine 10 and there is a rotatable dispensing head 64 disposed in operative relationship with the bed plate 60. A peripheral groove 66 is formed in the bed plate 60 for the reception of the lower extremity of a transparent enclosure 68, said enclosure being provided on its upper extremity with a radially and inwardly oriented flange 70 defining a centrally located opening 72 in the top of said enclosure which is closed by a cover 74.

Located centrally of and formed' integrally with the bed plate 60 is an upstanding boss 76 having a threaded bore 78. A bearing column has its threaded lower end engaged in the similarly threaded bore 78 in the upstanding boss 76 on the bed plate 60 and the rotatable dispensing head 64 is mounted for rotation upon said bearing column. The bearing column 80 is, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, provided with an elongated bore 82 and may be formed from tubing or similar stock.

The rotatable dispensing head 64 includes upper and lower mounting discs 84 and 86, respectively, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, said mounting discs having centrally located bosses 88 and 90 thereupon which are provided with bores which encompass the periphery of the bearing column 80. The upper extremity of the bearing column 80 is threaded, as at 92, for the reception of a lock nut 94 which maintains the rotatable dispensing .head 64 in operative relationship with the bearing column 80.

The upper and lower mounting discs 84 and 86 are provided with a plurality of integral prongs 96 which are receivable in mating recesses 98 formed in the back walls 102 of elongated, channel-shaped receptacles 104. The elongated receptacles 104 are of substantially rectangular, cross-sectional configuration and define elongated recesses of substantially the same cross-sectional area as the standard cross-sectional area of fiat, rectangularly shaped edible commodities deposited therein. Elongated openings 106 are formed in the front wal-ls thereof to permit the customer to view the contents of said receptacles to make a selection therefrom of the variety of edible commodities afforded thereby.

A slot or aperture 108 is formed in the bottom wall of each the receptacles 104 and a discharging opening 110 is provided in the lower extremity of the back wall of each of said receptacles, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 6 of the drawings, to permit the lowermost in a stack of edible commodities 12 to be discharged rearwardly from a selected receptacle 104 in the manner shown in FIGS. 6-8 of the drawings and to be described in greater detail hereinbelow.

The height of the discharging opening 110 in the back wall 102 of each of the receptacles 104 is such that it will permit the lowermost of a stack of edible commodities to be expelled from the lower extremity of the receptacle 104, but will not permit the expulsion of a weight 112 which is superimposed upon a stack of edible commodities which has been selected by a customer, for a purpose to be described in greater detail below.

A- plurality of tie rods 113 is provided for maintaining the upper and lower mounting discs 84 and 86, respectively, in operative relationship with each other, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. The upper mounting disc has integrally formed upon the peripheral edge thereof a plurality of upstanding cylindrical bosses 114 which are engageable by a sprocket wheel 116 mounted for rotation on a drive shaft 118 which is operable by means of a knob 120 secured to the upper extremity of said drive shaft. Therefore, rotation of the knob 120 causes concomitant rotation of the sprocket wheel 116 which, because of its engagement with the cylindrical bosses 114, .will cause rotary movement of the dispensing head 64. Therefore, when a customer grasps the knob 120, he can rotate the same to cause concomitant rotation of the dispensing head 64 to bring a selected receptacle 104 containing a desired edible commodity to'the front of the vending machine and into a position, as will be described hereinbelow, wherein the lowermost of a stack of said edible commodities in said receptacle can be expelled therefrom.

To accomplish accurate indexing of the dispensing head 64, in order to locate the selected receptacle 104 in a desired position, there is provided indexing means 122, best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, said indexing means including a detent ball 124 which is biased upwardly by a spring 126 located in a socket 128 formed in the bed plate 60. The ball 124 is engageable with any one of a plurality of concave recesses 130, one of each of said recesses being aligned with an adjacent receptacle 104 to insure the indexing of said selected receptacle at the dispensing station which is located in dead center above the coin receiving slot 34 in the plate 32 of the coin receiving means 30'. Thus, as the dispensing head 64 is rotated by rotation of the knob 120, the ball 124 successively engages the recesses 130 provided on the underside of the lower mounting disc 86 and will locate the lower mounting disc 86 to properly index the selected receptacle 104 at the dispensing station, which is generally indicated at 132 in the drawings.

The bed plate 60 is provided with a dispensing opening 134 therein, said opening being adapted for the reception of an edible commodity discharged thereinto and having a dispensing tube '136 associated therewith and formed integrally upon the underside of the bed plate 60, said dispensing tube being, in turn, engageable with the upper extremity of the dispensing chute 26 to carry a dispensed commodity downwardly to a point adjacent the cover plate 28 of the dispensing chute.

Formed in the bed plate 60 is a substantially rectangular recess 138 in which is located a longitudinally movable dispensing plate 140' having a substantially rectangular body 142, as best shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings, upon which are formed rearwardly extending guide legs 144 which are located in elongated guide slots 146 formed in the bed plate 60. Formed on the underside of the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140 are first and second racks 1'48 and 150, respectively, which are successively engageable, in a manner to be described in greater detail below, by a sector gear or pinion 152. The pinion 152 is formed integrally with the upper extremity of a shaft 154 to the lower extremity of which is secured a gear 156, said gear being engageable by the gear 42 which is rotated by the actuator 36.

It will be noted that one leg 144 of the dispensing plate 140 is provided, as best shown in FIG. 15 of the drawings, with a slot 145, for a purpose which will be described in greater detail below.

As previously indicated, the pinion 152 and the shaft 154 are formed integrally with each other and, as a matter of fact, by die-casting to reduce the cost of the pinionshaft combination. It will be noted that there is considerable taper in the shaft 154 entailed by the die-casting process and that, as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 6 of the drawings, the tapered shaft 154 is received in a tapered bore 159 provided in a die-cast boss 158 depending from the underside of the bed plate 60. By die-casting the pinion 152 as an integral part of the shaft 154, the necessity for providing a separate steel shaft and for the machining thereof is eliminated and an equally serviceable part which is much cheaper is thereby obtained. The powdery metallic dust which remains on the die-cast pinion and shaft after the part has been tumbled to remove the hash therefrom serves as sufiicient lubrication for the bore 159 and no necessity for additional lubrication has arisen.

A flange 160 is formed on the base of the pinion and is, as best shown in FIG. 17 of the drawings, provided with a semicircular cut 161 therein, said cut terminating in hook-like end walls 163, for a purpose which will be described in greater detail below.

Formed in the bed plate 60, immediately adjacent the opposite sides of the rectangular recess 138, are spring receptacles 162, said receptacles being adapted for the reception of leaf springs 164 whose outer extremities are engaged upon lugs 166, as best shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings, and whose inner extremities are engaged in notches 168 formed on the opposite edges of the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140.

Also formed in the bed'plate 60 is a substantially rightangularly shaped cavity 170 in which is disposed interlocking means 171 mounted for rotation in said cavity upon a pin 172 which is formed integrally with and extends upwardly from the bed plate 60'. The interlocking means is provided on one end with a contact surface 173, as best shown in FIGS. 5 and 12-1'4, and 16 of the drawings, said contact surface being arcuate in plan and conforming substantially to the arcuity of the semi-circular flange 160 on the pinion 152 and the cut 161 therein. The contact surface 173 is provided on a hook-shaped pro+ trusion 174 which is' engageable with the trailing hookshaped end wall 163 of the cut 161 in the flange 160, as best shown in FIG. 14' of the drawings.

Mounted on the interlocking means 171 adjacent the hook-shaped protrusion 174 by means of a boss 175 integrally formed upon said interlocking means is a lost motion connection 176 constituted by a curvilinear leaf spring 177 whose inward movement is limited by' impingement of one end of an upright integral pin 178 adjacent the boss 175; p

Also formed upon the interlocking means 171" is an upwardly directed arcuate rib 179 which terminates in an interlocking lug 180 for preventing rotation of the dispensing head 64 during a dispensing operation, as will be described in greater detail hereinbelow.

Formed integrally upon the interlocking means 171 is locating tongue 181 which is receivable in a slot 182 formed in the bed plate 60 and underlies said bed plate in order to retain the interlocking means 171 in operative relationship with the bed plate 60. Provided on the interlocking means 171 is an interlocking finger 183 which is, as best shown in FIG. 14 of the drawings, engageable with the slot 145 formed in the leg 144 of the dispensing plate 140 to dog said dispensing plate against longitudinal movement by the pinion 152 and the shaft 154 constituting a part of the actuator means, in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

A centrally located opening 184 in the interlocking means 171 encompasses an integral boss 185 on the bed plate 60, said boss serving both to limit movement of the interlocking means 171 in'the cavity 170 and to assist in maintaining the interlocking means 171 in operative relationship with the bed plate 60.

Formed upon the outer extremity of the dispensing plate 140 is a bifurcated pick- E portion 190, said pick-off portion, as best shown in FIGS. 2-4 of the drawing being normally located outside the orbit of rotation of the dispensing head 64 by the action of the leaf springs 164 which serve to maintain the dispensing plate 140 in the first, retracted position shown in FIGS. 2-4 of the drawings. Moreover, as best shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings, the underside of the lower mounting disc 86 is provided with concave recesses 192 which are engageable by the interlocking lug 180 on the interlocking means 171 to lock the lower mounting disc 86 and thus the entire dispensing head 64 against rotation during the dispensing of a selected edible commodity by the dispensing plate 140.

At this juncture, it might be well to consider the interaction of the various parts of the dispensing mechanism of the vending machine which have been described hereinabove. When a coin is inserted in the coin carrier 38 of the coin receiving means 30, rotation of the gears 42 and 156 by the actuator 36 is permitted, causing simultaneous rotation of the pinion 152 and shaft 154 of the actuator means in the direction indicated by the arrow 194 in FIG. 5 of the drawings. During the inital rotation of the pinion 152, it engages the first rack 148 to shift the dispensing plate 140 from its first inoperative position to a second intermediate position shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 of the drawings. As the dispensing plate 140 approaches the second intermediate position, the pinion 152 releases the rack 148 and the toggle-like action of the leaf springs 164 carries the dispensing plate 140 into rest at the second intermediate position.

Continued rotation of the pinion 152 causes the pinion to engage the lead tooth on the rack 150 and to overcome the bias of the leaf springs 164 by initiating movement of the dispensing plate 140 to its original first position. As the dispensing plate 140* approaches the first position, the leaf springs 164, having been moved overcenter, complete the movement of the dispensing plate 140 into said first, inoperative position by their togglelike action.

Of course, prior to the rotation of the actuator 36 by a customer, the receptacle 104 containing the desired commodity has been located at the dispensing station 132 immediately adjacent the pick-cit portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140, as illustrated in FIGS. l-3 of the drawings. Therefore, the inward movement of the dispensing plate 140 by the pinion 152 causes inward movement of the pick-off portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140 which passes through the front opening 106 and the bottom opening 108 of the receptacle 104, as illustrated in FIG. 7 of the drawings, to propel the lowermost of a stack of edible commodities through the discharge opening in the back wall 102 of the receptacle located at the dispensing station 132.

Since the receptacle 104 containing the desired commodity has been properly located at the dispensing station 132, the interlocking lug 180 on the interlocking means 171 has been properly juxtaposed to one of the concave recesses 192. Therefore, as the pinion 152 is initially rotated in a counterclockwise direction, as indicated by the arrow 186 in FIG. 13 of the drawings, the teeth of the pinion 152 will engage the lost motion connection 176 constituted by the leaf spring 177, thus rotating the interlocking means 171 in a clockwise direction about the pin 172 and urging the interlocking lug 180 into the juxtaposed cavity 192 to lock the dispensing head 64 against deliberate or inadvertent rotation during the dispensing cycle.

The manner in which normal operation of the dispensing mechanism takes place is graphically illustrated in FIG. 12 of the drawings which shows the interlocking lug 180 of the interlocking means 171 seated in a juxtaposed cavity 192 and which shows the pinion 152 about to return the dispensing. plate from its intermediate to its original positions. It will be noted that, during normal dispensing operations, the contact surface 173 on the interlocking means 171 is located adjacent the outer periphery of the flange 160 on the base of the pinion 152, thus maintaining the interlocking means 171 against counterclockwise rotation and preventing displacement of the interlocking lug 180 from the cavity 192 in which it is located during the dispensing operation.

Clockwise movement of the interlocking means 171 also frees the interlocking finger 183- of the interlocking means from operative engagement with the slot in the leg 144 of the dispensing plate 140 to permit the pinion 152 to freely move said dispensing plate between its first inoperative to its second intermediate position and back to its first inoperative position.

When the dispensing plate 140 is returned to the first inoperative position, as best shown in FIG. 13 of the drawings, the interlocking lug 180 remains in the registered cavity 192, but free rotation of the dispensing head 64 is not prevented since, when the dispensing head 64 is rotated, the interlocking lug 180 will be displaced outwardly and the hook-shaped protrusion 174 moved into the semi-circular cut 161 in the flange on the base of the pinion 152. Thus, after the conclusion of the rotation of the dispensing head 64, the hook-shaped protrusion 174 usually lies in the semi-circular cut 161 in the flange 160.

However, initial rotation of the pinion 152 causes the pinion 152 to engage the lost motion connection constituted by the spring 177, as best shown in FIG. 13 of the drawings, to urge the interlocking means 171 in a clockwise direction and thus remove the hook-shaped protrusion 174 from the semi-circular cut 161.

Should a person rotate the dispensing head 64 in such a manner that a receptacle 104 containing the desired commodity is not properly located at the dispensing station 132, the interlocking lug will not be located adjacent a cavity 192, as best shown in FIG. 14, and the interlocking finger 183 will be located in the slot 145 in the leg 144 of the dispensing plate 140, thus preventing reciprocation of the dispensing plate 140 through a dispensing cycle. Therefore, if a coin is deposited and initial rotation of the shaft 154 takes place, the pinion 152 will engage the spring 177. However, since the impingement of the interlocking lug 180 of the interlocking means 171 prevents rotation of the interlocking means 171, the spring 177 will be deflected, as best shown in FIG. 14 of the drawings, and the hook-shaped protrusion on the interlocking means 171 will engage the trailing hook-shaped end wall 163 on the end of the cut 161 in the flange 160 to dog the shaft 154 against rotation and thus prevent the initiation of the dispensing cycle. However, as soon as the dispensing head 64 is rotated to locate the interlocking lug 180 adjacent a cavity 192, the interlocking means 171 will immediately rotate in a clockwise direction and the hook-shaped protrusion 174 will be released from the semi-circular cut 161 to permit free rotation of the shaft 154 and the pinion 152.

In addition, clockwise movement of the interlocking means 171 will free the interlocking finger 183 from the slot 145 in the leg 144 of the dispensing plate 140 to permit said dispensing plate to be reciprocated by the pinion 152.

The dispensing plate 140 and the operating leaf springs 164 associated therewith are maintained in operative relationship with the bed plate 60 by means of retainer plates 196, said retainer plates being of identical but oppositely oriented configuration and being secured in operative relationship with the bed plate 60 by means of screws 198, as best shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The retainer plates 196 are, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 6-10, provided with laterally spaced, parallel mounting arms 202 in which is supported a pivotally movable gate 204, said gate being provided with longitudinally extending spaced arms 206 having integral pivot pins 208 thereupon which are engageable with registering openings in the mounting arms 202 on the retainer plates 196 to support the gate 204 immediately adjacent the dispensing station 132 and in the path of movement of the dispensing plate 140.

The gate 204 is provided with a barrier portion 210 having an arcuate outer periphery, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 11 of the drawings, and being provided in the underside thereof with an opening 212 to permit the passage of the pick-off portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140 therethrough. A centrally located guide prong 213 is provided in the opening 212, for a purpose which will be described in greater detail below. The undersides of the barrier portion 210 and guide prong 213 of the gate 204 are provided with cam surfaces 214, as best shown in FIGS. 6-8, which are engageable by an edible product being expelled from a selected receptacle 104 through the discharge opening 110 of the back wall 102 of said receptacle.

Mounted in overlying relationship with the dispensing opening 134 in the bed plate 60 is a spring plate 216 which, as best shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 6-8, is provided with a body portion 218 having a centrally located opening 220 therein which encompasses the periphery of the bearing column 80 and thus maintains the Spring plate 216 in operative relationship with the associated portions of the dispensing mechanism. A pin 222 formed integrally with and projecting upwardly from the surface of the bed plate 60 engages a corresponding opening in the spring plate 216 to prevent relative rotation between the bed plate 60 and the spring plate 216.

Formed upon the forward end of the spring plate 216 is a longitudinally extending tongue 224-, said tongue lying between spring fingers 226 extending parallel thereto. The spring fingers 226 engage the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 and bias it downwardly into contact with the upper surfaces of the retainer plates 196.

Formed integrally with and extending upwardly from the upper surface of the bed plate 60 is an arcuate rib 230, said rib, as best shown in FIGS. 2, and 4-5 of the drawings, constituting the major portion of barrier means 232 which prevents inadvertent or intentional dislodgement of the edible commodities from the discharge openings 110 in the back walls 102 of the receptacles 104. Such dislodgement is prevented because the barrier means is juxtaposed to the inner orbit of rotation of the re ceptacles 104 and extends, as best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, upwardly to overlie the lower portions of the discharging openings 110 in the receptacles 104. The arcuate rib 179 and the arcuate forward edge of the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 also constitute extensions of the barrier means 232 and thus a substantially continuous barrier means is interposed between the discharging openings 110 of the receptacles 104 and the dis- 10 pensing openings 134 in the bed plate 60 of the vending machine 10.

Therefore, when a customer rotates the knob 1-20 to cause a selected receptacle 104 to move to the dispensing station 132 adjacent the pick-off portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140, the discharging opening of said selected receptacle is disposed adjacent the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 so that,-until the dispensing cycle is initiated, the lowermost of a stack of edible commodities disposed in the selected receptacle cannot be inadvertently or deliberately expelled from the receptacle through the discharge opening 110 without the deposit of a coin in the coin receiving slot 34. However, as soon as the dispensing cycle is initiated by the deposition of a coin through the coin slot 34 and into the coin carrier 38 to permit rotation of the actuator 36, longitudinal movement of the dispensing plate is initiated by engagement of the pinion 152 with the rack 148 on the dispensing plate 140 has been permitted to pass through the dispensing plate to move through the front opening 106 of the selected receptacle and the aperture 108 in the bottom thereof, thus initiating the expulsion of the lowermost edible commodity through the discharge opening 110, as best illustrated in FIG. 7 of the drawings.

As further illustrated in FIG. 7 of the drawings, continued movement of the dispensing plate 140 causes the inner end of the edible commodity being moved thereby to engage the cam surface 214 on the underside of the guide prong 213 of the gate 204, carnming said gate upwardly against the bias of the spring fingers 226 and permitting the selected edible commodity to pass the barrier means 232 by virtue of the gate 204 therein. Moreover, when the position shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings has been reached by the edible commodity, the leading edge of the spring tongue 224 engages said edible commodity and urges it downwardly into engagement with the upper surface of the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140. Furthermore, since the prong 213 engages the center of the edible commodity cocking or twisting thereof will be prevented. It will also be noted that the guide prong 213 will bypass the pick-off portion 190 on the dispensing plate 140.

Continued movement of the pick-off portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140 ultimately causes complete expulsion of the edible commodity through the discharge opening 110 in the receptacle 104 and the deposition thereof upon the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140 in the manner shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings wherein the outer extremity of the selected edible commodity is shown as juxtaposed to an adjacent surface of the pick-01f portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140. When located in this position, the selected edible commodity underlies the spring tongue 224 and overlies the dispensing opening 134 in the bed plate 60.

At this juncture, the pick-off portion 190 of the dispensing plate 140 has been permitted to pass through the opening 212 in the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 and the dispensing plate 140 has been carried into its second intermediate position by the action of the overcenter toggle springs 164 until the inner extremity of the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140 engages the adjacent wall of the dispensing opening 134, as best shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings.

When the outward movement of the dispensing plate 140 is initiated by the engagement of the pinion 152 with the rack thereupon, as illustrated in FIG. 8 of the drawings, the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 engages the commodity supported on the upper surface of the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140 so that, as the dispensing plate 140 is withdrawn from operative relationship with the selected commodity, it is restrained from moving outwardly therewith by the impingement thereupon of the barrier portion 210 of the gate 204 and when the body 142 of the dispensing plate 140 moves beyond the barrier portion of the gate 204, the selected edible commodity 1 1 drops in the dispensing opening 134 in the bed plate 60 and ultimately into the dispensing chute 26.

Should the commodities in any receptacle 104 be exhausted and a customer inadvertently rotate the dispensing head 64 to bring the exhausted receptacle 104 to the dispensing station 132 and attempt to initiate the dispensing cycle, the Weight 112 will prevent inward movement of the dispensing plate 140. The prevention of inward movement of the dispensing plate 140 by the weight 112 is accomplished because, as previously explained hereinabove, the weights 112, as best illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings, are of much greater height than the height of the discharging openings 110 in the back walls 102 of the receptacles 104. Thus, when the dispensing plate 140 is urged inwardly by rotation of the actuator constituted by the actuator 36 and the gear train previously described hereinabove, continued inward movement of the dispensing plate 140 will be prevented because the weight 112 cannot be ejected through the discharging opening 110. In this manner, disappointment to and loss of a coin by a customer is prevented and the dispensing head need merely be rotated to bring another receptacle to the dispensing station.

The cover 74 of the vending machine is maintained in operative relationship with the remaining components of said machine by a vertically oriented tie rod 249, the threaded lower extremity 242 of which is threadedly engaged in the bore 54 of the boss 52 in the lower portion 46 of the base section 16 and the upper threaded extremity 244 of which is engaged by the housing of a lock 246. In order to remove the cover 74 to service the vending machine 10, a key 250 is inserted in the lock 246 to permit rotation of the body of said lock and release of said body from the threaded upper extremity 244 of the tie rod 240. Once the lock 246 has been disengaged from the tie rod, the cover and the transparent enclosure 68 can be lifted vertically to expose the receptacles 104 for refilling with the desired commodities.

As a matter of fact, all of the components of the housing 62 of the vending machine 10 are maintained in operative relationship with one another by the tie rod 240 since the bed plate 60 and the dispensing head 64 can be removed as a unit merely by slipping the bearing column 80 vertically ofi the tie rod 240. To reassemble the vending machine, it is merely necessary to drop the transparent enclosure 68 and the cover 74 over the dispensing head 64 and to engage the lower extremity of the lock 246 upon the upper extremity 244 of the tie rod 240, rotating the lock 246 to secure the cover and thus the remaining components of the vending machine 10 in operative relationship with one another.

I thus provide by my invention a vending machine which is characterized by its resistance to tampering or other action intended to cause the machine to dispense its contents without the deposition in the coin receiving means of the machine of the necessary coin. Moreover, the edible commodities disposed in the receptacles of the machine are not engaged with the bed plate disposed beneath the dispensing head so that they are not dragged across the surface of the dispensing plate every time the dispensing head is rotated for the selection of a desired receptacle by a customer.

Moreover, an automatic interlock is provided which insures that the dispensing head will automatically be locked against rotation during the dispensing cycle so that any possibility of jamming of the machine, due to deliberate or inadvertent rotation of the dispensing head during the dispensing cycle, is obviated. Also of significance is the provision of the continuous barrier means and the utilization in said barrier means of a gate which serves to permit the deposition of a selected edible commodity in the dispensing opening of the machine, but which also serves to prevent the discharge of an edible commodity unless the necessary coin has been deposited in the vending machine. Furthermore, the interlock means includes lost motion means for preventing rotation of the interlock means by the actuator if the dispensing head is not properly located at the initiation of the dispensing cycle and also dogs the dispensing plate against longitudinal movement if said head is not properly located.

In addition, the actuator means is itself prevented from being energized, thus eliminating the possibility that the interlock means may be damaged by the imposition of excessive loads thereupon.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a vending machine, the combination of: a housing; a bed in said housing having a dispensing opening therein; a dispensing head mounted for rotary movement in said housing relative to said bed, said head incorporating a plurality of receptacles for articles to be dispensed and having rearwardly oriented discharge openings for said articles therein, said discharge openings being arranged about the perimeter of a circle and said head having detent means thereupon; circular barrier means on said bed located inwardly of said discharge openings to prevent discharge of articles from said discharge openings, said barrier means including a movable detent member engageable with said detent means on said head to prevent rotation of said dispensing head with reference to said bed when an article is being discharged from one of said discharge openings and a displaceable gate portion; pick-01f means mounted on said bed to extract an article from a juxtaposed receptacle and to urge it past said gate portion prior to its discharge into said dispensing opening; and actuator means in said housing for simultaneously energizing said pick-01f means and said detent member.

2. In a vending machine, the combination of: a housing; a rotatable dispensing head on said housing for storing articles to be dispensed, said dispensing head having a portion with detent openings in the perimeter thereof; a dispensing plate engageable with a selected article to remove it from said dispensing head, said dispensing plate having a dogging slot in the edge thereof; an actuator in said housing operatively connected to said plate for causing movement of the same, said actuator including a pinion rotatable in a horizontal plane; and interlocking means connected to said actuator for simultaneously dogging said dispensing head against move ment and releasing said dispensing plate for movement and for releasing said dispensing head for movement While dogging said dispensing plate against movement, said interlocking means including a lever rotatable in a horizontal plane and having an interlocking lug engageable with one of said detent openings in said head and an interlocking finger engageable in said dogging slot, said lever being movable by initial rotation of said pinion to simultaneously free said finger from said slot and engage said lug in one of said openings.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 691,511 Watts Jan. 21, 1902 707,112 Horrocks Aug. 19, 1902 736,980 Kneedler Aug. 25, 1903 766,968 Packard Aug. 9, 1904 961,066 Behler June 7, 1910 1,075,527 Whitmore Oct. 14, 1913 21,804 Coulson Dec. 22, 1914 1,395,941 Beattie Nov. 1, 1921 1,567,977 Nessling et al. Dec. 29, 1925 1,650,304 Sidebotham Nov. 22, 1927 6,324 Rogers Mar. 19, 1929 1,758,373 Richardson et a1 May 13, 1930 1,771,199 Webber July 22, 1930 1,889,318 Larsen et a1. Nov. 29, 1932 1,981,467 Radtke Nov. 20, 1934 :(Other references on following page) 13 UNITED STATES PATENTS Vanderput Nov. 9, 1937 Hackett Nov. 16, 1937 Given May 28, 1940 5 Makibbin Nov. 7, 1950 Bressler Apr. 3, 1951 14 Greenwald Jan. 22, 1952 Curlee Aug. 17, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain of 1906 Great Britain of 1903 Germany Nov. 28, 1907

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/122, 221/152, 221/275, 221/267
International ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/54
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/54
European ClassificationG07F11/54