US 3020941 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13, 1962 c. CORLEY 3,02
TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER AND DENTIFRICE DISPENSER Filed March 27, 1959 5' 4 s 22 I0 I Y. I I W I 48 as I I I E I6 7 .420 I2 I I-/T I 54 24 2s I E o ,5:
\ if x n 56 5? L32 Ill 2 I8 48 36 E H 1/ U34 40 J I aa 20 I U P" I 12 I8 I 26 INVENTOR. EIE Z H CLIFTON CORLEY United States 3,020,941 TOOTHBRUSH HGLDER AND DENTHFRICE DifiPENSER Clifton Corley, 232 Brazilian Ave, Palm Beach, Fia. Filed Mar. 27, 1959, Set. No. 802,540 11 Claims. (Cl. 141360) This invention relates to toothbrush holders, and more particularly to a device for storing both the toothbrush and a dentifrice, and which automatically dispenses a portion of the dentifrice on the face of the brush as it is withdrawn.
My co-pending application Serial No. 770,747, filed October 30, 1958, discloses several combination toothbrush holders and dentifrice dispensing cabinets which automatically dispense a measured quantity of dentifrice onto the face of the brush during its withdrawal motion. The present invention provides improvements upon these devices which simplify the mechanical structure and lower the cost of fabrication. The improved combined toothbrush holder and dentifrice dispensing device utilizes, as the brush holder, a simple pulleylike element having its rim groove divided into two chambers, one of the chambers being adapted to receive a measured quantity of dentifrice upon insertion of the brush into the cabinet, the other chamber being adapted to permit passage of the brush on insertion into the cabinet, and the brush withdrawal causing the pulleylike brush holder to turn and deposit the dentifrice contained in the holding chamber on the bristles of the brush head during withdrawal movement.
Accordingly, a primary objective of the present invention is to provide an improved toothbrush holder of simple construction and low fabrication cost and which is, nevertheless, adapted to deposit a measured quantity of dentifrice on the brush as it is being withdrawn from the holder.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved container for holding and dispensing the dentifrice into a measuring chamber on the toothbrush holding wheel, the container being adapted to prevent dissemination of odor outside the container and to prevent formation of a vacuum within the container which would obstruct uniform dispensing of the dentifrice.
In addition to the above stated objects, the present invention has in common with the above referenced copending application, further objects which include: to provide a toothbrush holder and dentifrice dispensing device in which a measured quantity of dentifrice is automatically deposited on the brush during its withdrawal from the cabinet to eliminate waste of dentifrice common in the use of commercially available toothpaste tubes; to store both the brush and the dentifrice in a completely sanitary manner protected from dust, germs and insects; to provide a device which is decorative in appearance and adapted to be supported in a fixed location for convenient and frequent use; and to store a large amount of a dentifrice, avoiding the need for frequent replacement or replenishment.
The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the'several figures and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a preferred embodiment of the invention with the toothbrush withdrawn from thecabinet;
FIG. 2 is a vertical, central, sectional view of the device 3,620,941 Patented Feb. 13, 1962 shown in FIG. 1 with a toothbrush stored therein shown in elevation;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 showing the relation of the parts with the toothbrush partially withdrawn from the cabinet;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, sectional, fragmentary view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 1 and showing the brush holder wheel and bearing;
F IG. 5 is a perspective view of the combined toothbrush holder and dentifrice dispensing wheel, and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified dentifrice container partially broken away to reveal the interior.
Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention as comprising a cabinet or receptacle 10 housing a dentifrice container 12 and a toothbrush holder 14. The cabinet 10 comprises a rear, boxlike section 16 open at the front and adapted to be supported in any suitable manner from a bathroom wall or other convenient surface, as by the suction cups 18. The cabinet is closed by a boxlike front section 20, open at the rear and hinged at 22 to the rear section to permit opening of the cabinet for replacement of the dentifrice container 12. The cabinet 10 may be made of any suitable material such as polystyrene, polyethylene, polythene, glass or the like. Preferably, the cabinet front section 20 is formed of a transparent plas tic, as illustrated in FIG. 1, to permit visual inspection of the interior. The material from which the cabinet is made may be suitably tinted or colored to provide a pleasing decorative appearance.
A forwardly projecting, integral wall 24 is provided on the rear cabinet section 16 to seat the dentifrice holder 12. The wall 24 has an opening 26 to receive the dentifrce dispensing nipple 13 of the container 12. Container 12 fits fairly snugly into the compartment formed in the rear cabinet section 16 by wall 24 and is held therein by the nesting of the discharge nipple 13 in the opening 26. To replace container 12, it is merely neces-' sary to lift the container slightly, to free the nipple 13, and slide it out through the open forward side of the cabinet section 20. A new and full container 12 may be easily inserted.
The cabinet section 20 is provided with an opening 32 in its bottom which permits ingress and egress of the toothbrush. An integral, inwardly projecting wall 34 provides a stop to limit upward movement of the toothbrush T upon insertion into the cabinet, and also partially defines a chamber above the brush head in which is placed a disinfectant cartridge 36. The cartridge may be suitably secured to the top Wall of the cabinet section 20 and is filled with a granulated disinfectant for rendering the interior of the cabinet germ free. Each of the front and rear cabinet sections 16 and 20 is preferably integrally formed by injection molding so that a receptacle of pleasing appearance is obtained at minimum fabrication expense.
The dentifrice container 12 of rectangular shape in vertical section and large enough to fill nearly all of the space within the cabinet section 16 above wall 24. Container 12 is considerably larger than commercially available toothpaste tubes; therefore, the time for replacement of container 12 is extended and the expense to the user is lowered by the cost of the extra tubes and containers. Although plastics, metal, cardboard or other materials may be used, preferably, the container is formed of an outer laminate layer 35 of cardboard and an inner lining 40 of aluminum foil adherent thereto. The foil layer prevents dissemination of the toothpaste odor outside the container. The laminated container 12 thus formed is sealed with the dentifrice inside to prevent drying of the paste, powder or liquid. When the container is placed in the cabinet 10, a cap on nipple 13 is removed or punctured.
As the dentifrice is used, a vacuum tends to appear within the container 12. To prevent the formation of such a vacuum, a small slit or hole 46 is provided in the upper container wall which is normally closed by a thin, flexible, resilient metal strip 48 of aluminum or brass. Air pressure outside the container exceeding that within, presses the strip 48 inwardly to permit entrance of air to the container 12. Thus, the metal strip 48 acts as a oneway valve to prevent a vacuum which would tend to hinder fiow of dentifrice from the container. I
Integral with the cabinet wall 24 is a semicylindrical chamber or casing 28 having bearing depressions 30 at each side to pivotally mount the toothbrush holder 14. The holder 1 is advantageously formed in the shape of a sheave or wheel having a grooved rim and rotatably fits within the chamber 28. The wheel and wheel casing 28 may be formed of many suitable materials, such as polystyrene, polyethylene, glass or the like. Preferably, the cabinet and casing 28 are made of a thermoplastic such as a polystyrene while the wheel is formed of polyethylene which is softer and will run smoothly in the casing without binding.
The groove of the wheel rim is divided into two passages 50 and 52 by means of the oppositely disposed partitions 54 and 56. The passage or chamber 50, being wholly closed by the rear wall of chamber 28, is adapted to receive and hold a measured quantity of dentifrice discharged through the nipple 13 and opening 26. Passage 52 permits movement of the toothbrush handle H into and out of the cabinet 10. Preferably, the walls of the groove portion 52 are inclined toward each other and roughened, stippled or coated as at 53 with an abrasivelike substance, such as carborundum, to provide frictional embrace of the brush handle H. Such handle, when fully inserted into cabinet 10, is wedged against the stippled groove walls 53 by the spring 60 to securely hold the toothbrush within the cabinet with the brush head against the stop 34.
The brush holder 14 has outwardly extending stub axles 62 which are received for rotation in the bearing openings of the compartment wall 28. Thus, the holder 14 is free to rotate when the brush T is either inserted or removed. The frictional engagement of the brush handle H with the stippled groove walls 53 is normally adequate to impart the rotational movement. However, to assist and ensure movement, the partition 54- projects slightly beyond the stop 55 at the forward end of wall 24-, into the path of the brush bristles, so that withdrawal of the toothbrush from its position shown in FIG. 2 will cause the bristles to strike the partition 54 and assist in turning of the holder 14.
Rotation of the holder wheel nearly 180 will bring the partition 54 against the lower stop 57 at the bottom of the chamber 28 and prevents further turning movement. This condition is portrayed in FIG. 3 which also illustrates the position of the curved surface of partition 56 closing the passage 26. Thus partition 56 acts as a valve to close the passage 26 and prevent the dispensing of dentifrice when the brush is removed from the cabinet 10. When the toothbrush T is inserted through opening 32 into the cabinet, the bristles of the brush head strike the projecting edge of partition 54 and cause the Wheel to turn in the opposite direction. This opens the passage 26 and permits the dentifrice again to pass into and refill the chamber in readiness for the next withdrawal of the toothbrush.
The toothbrush T will be held in the storage position shown in FIG. 2 until needed by the frictional engagement of its handle with the groove sides 53 of the wheel 14 and the pressure of spring 60 which wedges the handle against the sides 53. While in storage position, the toothbrush is preserved from contamination by dust, germs and insects by the cabinet 10 and by the disinfectant in con- 4- taiaer 36 which releases a prophylactic vapor within the cabinet through perforations 63 to sterilize the bristles. When it is desired to remove the brush, it is merely necessary to pull the brush handle H downward in one movement. The friction of the brush handle against the wheel groove sides 53 turns the wheel clockwise as viewed in FIG. 2, so that the dentifrice stored in the chamber 50 is deposited on and between the bristles of the brush head during its downward motion.
The brush having been completely removed from the cabinet is ready for immediate use since a measured quantity of the dentifrice has been deposited on the bristles. After brushing of the teeth is completed, the brush is reinserted into the cabinet 10 with a single upward motion. During this movement, the brush head strikes the protruding edge of partition 54 to start the wheel 14 turning in the counterclockwise direction as viewed in IG. 3, and this movement is continued by the frictional pressure of the brush handle against the wheel groove sides 53 until the partition 54 strikes the stop 55. Each time this cycle is repeated, a uniform amount of dentifrice is applied to the brush by the single withdrawal movement until the container 12 has been emptied of its contents.
A modified form of the dentifrice container is shown in FIG. 6. In this embodiment, the container or housing 70 is made of cardboard or other suitable material and is unsealed. Within the outer container 70 is a thin, sealed, pliofilm bag 42 containing the dentifrice which may be in powder, paste or liquid form. Bag 42 is provided with a rigid, polyethylene dispensing nipple 44 which is normally sealed by a cap until the container 70 is inserted into the cabinet 10 with the nipple seated in the passageway 26. A plurality of vents 74 pierce the upper side of container 70. These vents permit entrance of 2dr into the container so that as the dentifrice is used and bag 42 collapses, no vacuum will be formed above the bag which would tend to prevent further discharge of dentifrice through the nipple 44 into the chamber 50 of the brush holder wheel 14.
Although certain specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A device for holding a toothbrush and a dentifrice and for automatically dispensing the dentifrice upon the brush face upon removal of the brush, comprising a cabinet, a dentifrice container removably seated in said cabinet and having an opening for dispensing the dentifrice, a movable dispensing element mounted in said cabinet to move backwardly and forwardly in a fixed path and having a cavity to receive a measured quantity of the dentifrice through said opening when in a first position, a brush handle gripping means in said element separated from the cavity to receive and hold the handle of the toothbrush in a stored position within the cabinet, said means allowing entry and defining a path for movement of the brush head upon insertion of the brush into the cabinet towards said stored position, and a projection on said dispensing element engageable by the brush head to move said element into a second position in the path of the brush face to wipe the brush head through said cavity and deposit the dentifrice on the brush head upon withdrawal movement of the brush from the cabinet.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said dispensing element has a valve portion which moves to close said opening for dispensing the dentifrice during the time the toothbrush is removed from the cabinet.
3. A device according to claim 1 wherein said dispensing element comprises a wheel having a peripherally grooved rim, partitions dividing said grooved rim into two compartments, one of said compartments constituting said cavity, the other compartment constituting said gripping means and the walls of said other compartment having means to frictionally grasp the sides of the brush handle in said stored position in the cabinet until withdrawn therefrom.
4. A device according to claim 3 wherein a resilient member is provided in said cabinet for pressing the toothbrush handle against the Walls of said other compartment.
5. A device according to claim 3 wherein said means to grasp the sides of the brush handle comprises a coating of roughening agent applied to the walls of said other compartment.
6. A device according to claim 3 wherein said wheel is oscillatable about a fixed axis and is additionally provided with stop means for limiting the movement of said wheel whereby the wheel may be turned in one direction and stopped in a dentifrice receiving position upon insertion of the toothbrush and turned in the opposite direction and stopped during Withdrawal of the toothbrush and deposit of the dentifrice on the brush head.
7. A device according to claim 6 wherein said stop means includes one edge of one of said partitions which constitutes said projection on the dispensing element, said edge projecting beyond the perimeter of the wheel to be struck by the toothbrush head to turn the Wheel upon withdrawal of the toothbrush from and insertion into said cabinet.
8. A device according to claim 3 wherein said wheel rotates within a sernicylindrical casing within the cabinet, said casing having a passage communicating with said dentifrice dispensing opening and the cavity of said dispensing element.
9. A device according to claim 1 wherein said dentifrice container is formed of laminations and is provided with a dispensing nipple, one of said laminations being a layer of thin metal foil, and a one-way valve is provided in a wall of said container opposite said nipple for permitting ingress of air to the container.
10. A device according to claim 9 wherein said oneway valve comprises a slit in the container closed by a thin resilient metal strip capable of inward movement to uncover the slit on excess pressure of air outside said container.
11. A device according to claim 1 wherein said dentifrice container comprises a thin, sealed, plastic bag for holding the dentifrice and having a dispensing nipple, a housing enclosing said bag except for the nipple, and at least one air vent in said housing.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 622,285 Sprain Apr. 4, 1899 1,375,954 Doyle Apr. 26, 1921 2,105,892 Perry Jan. 18, 1938 2,180,389 Bethke Nov. 21, 1939 2,382,536 Baxter Aug. 14, 1945 2,684,183 Werner July 20, 1954 2,723,780 Clement Nov. 15, 1955 2,861,718 Winzen Nov. 25, 1958