US 3054194 A
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Sept. 18, 1962 HAYES COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE CLOTHES RI 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 25. 1959 Sept. 18, 1962 R. M. HAYES COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE CLOTHES DRIER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 25, 1959 'Se t. 18, 1962 R. M- HAYES COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE CLOTHES DRIER 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 25. 1959 P 13, 1962 R. M. HAYES 3,054,194
COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE CLOTHES DRIER Filed May 25. 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent 3,054,194 COLLAPSIBLE PORTABLE CLOTHES DRIER Robert M. Hayes, 6 Sidney St, Watertown, Mass. Filed May 25, 1959, Ser. No. 815,516 Claims. (Cl. 34163) This invention relates to a clothes drier, and more particularly to such a drier which is portable.
Objects of the invention are to provide a portable clothes drier which may be manufactured from metal throughout and nevertheless be easily collapsed into a convenient form for storage or transportation; to provide for continuous flow of a stream of heated air over clothes being dried, the flow rate of the air away from the clothes drying zone being restricted a generally predetermined amount; to utilize with maximum efficiency heat generated in the drier in heating the stream of air passed through clothes; to provide for means of mounting a fan motor and a heating coil relative to each other and to the clothes drying zone in such a way that in normal operation the motor is insulated from the heating coil by a stream of incoming cool air and in the event of fan or motor failure the heating coil is automatically turned off; while at the same time heat generated by the coil and even by the motor is efficiently carried into the drier and discharged thereinto in a directional manner sweeping the entire bottom of the drier, from which it may then rise to uniformly heat the entire drier without leaving cool spots or dead zones; providing also at the same time air stream divider means whereby the outer wall of the drier is insulated by a stream of relatively cool air to prevent hot spots which might cause injury, particularly to children; and to provide novel features whereby the desired collapsibility in a drier of the character referred to is achieved. Further objects are to provide such a drier which may be operated from ordinary 110 volt household electrical outlets, without requiring expensive 220 volt installation; which is lint-free; which avoids tumbling and vibration; and which need not be left behind if a living unit is sold.
Other objects, advantages and features will appear from the following description of preferred embodiments of the invention, taken in conjunction with the drawings thereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one such embodiment in collapsed condition;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the same embodiment, opened up and ready for use;
FIG. 3 is a plan view, partially broken away and partially in section, of the opened-up drier shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view taken at 4--4 of FIG 3;
FIG. 5 is a broken away sectional view taken at 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a partially broken away view at 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a broken away sectional view at 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view at 88 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a circuit diagram of the electrical elements and connections;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment in collapsed condition;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the same embodiment, partially opened up; and
FIG. 12 is a partial sectional view of the second preferred embodiment at a position corresponding to that of FIG. 8.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a portable electric clothes drier, indicated generally by the numeral 10. In collapsed position as shown in FIG. 1 there can be seen a front panel 'ice 12 on which is mounted a handle 14 for pulling out the drier to open position, and a housing 15 including a housing side wall 16, on which is mounted handle 18 by means of which the collapsed drier may be carried as easily as a piece of luggage, a housing top wall 20, and an instrument panel 22, on which are mounted timer control 24, and pilot light 26. Centrally positioned at corresponding locations on the sides of each housing side wall 16 and front panel 12 are cooperating latches 28 and 3% respectively.
The novel features providing collapsibility may be best understood by reference to FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 6. In opened-out position, the side walls of the drier are defined not only by housing side wall 16, but additionally by side wall panels 32 and 34, said panels being foldably secured to each other at the hinges 36. Each rear side wall panel '32 is foldably secured to the respective housing side wall 16 by means of pins 38. The front side wall panels 34 are similarly secured to front panel 12 by means of pins 40, at top and bottom as in the case of the pins 38. The upper pins 46 extend through one extremity of a bracket 42 secured to the inside top surface of the front panel 12, the other extremity of which extends downwardly and supports a hook 44 adapted to accept and support front bar 46a of the generally rectangular frame 46. The rear bar 46!) of the frame 46 is pivotally mounted in brackets 48 secured to the housing side walls 16. Mounted between the front bar 46a and the rear bar 46b, for sidewise slidable movement thereover, are a multiplicity of clothing hangers 50.
Pivotally mounted in the brackets 52, which are secured to the lower inside surface of the front panel 12 at each side thereof is a drip pan 54; and extending between the opposite extremity thereof at an upper point on the front panel 12 is a cord 56 by means of which said drip pan may be lifted and rotated about the pivot 58.
Pivotally mounted along the instrument panel 22 is top plate 60, which is provided at the forward extremity thereof with dependent lip 62 adapted to rest against the hangers 50 when the latter are in a generally horizontal position to support the top plate 60 in similar position. The top plate 60 is provided throughout with a multiplicity of small holes chosen to provide the desired rate of escape of hot moist air in use, restricting flow rate away from the clothes-drying zone by a thus predetermined amount. For example, said holes may suitably be 4;" in diameter, laid out in a square pattern with the center lines spaced 2" in each direction.
An air heating and blowing unit is mounted within enclosure 64. Said unit includes a molded plastic blower 66 directly driven from a motor 68, and a heating coil 70 supported downstream of the blower and motor on a ceramic cone of conventional character. The motor is positioned relative to the heating coil so that it is insulated therefrom to prevent overheating by means of the stream of fresh air, which passes between the motor and heating coil prior to passing over the latter. The blower 66 and motor 68 are mounted on a plate 72 dependently secured to the upper portion 74a of the housing unit 74. A portion of the wall 74a, as well as the plate 72, the wall 76 secured thereto, the lower wall 74b and the wall portions 74c form a conduit to define the air passage and confine the air as it is drawn by the blower 66 through the screened aperture 78 in the drier rear wall 8th Mounted adjacent the heating coil 70 between the sides of unit housing 74 is a dividing plate 82, which separates the fresh air being blown through into the streams, and insulating cooling stream passing adjacent the rear wall 80 to prevent a hot spot. If desired, further insulation may be provided by means of a layer of insulating material, such as asbestos, placed on the dividing plate 82 or the rear wall 80. Mounted on the Wall 76 is a fusible link 84 adapted to melt any time a failure in fan or motor operation causes a decrease in cool air flow. The lower wall 74b slants downwardly to the housing bottom 86, so that air is blown out through the hole 88 in the enclosure 64 across the bottom of the drier, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 8. The bottom wall 7412 also widens as it approaches the bottom wall 86, to maximize the delivery spread of the hot air along the bottom of the drier. Integral with the bottom wall 74b are a pair of side walls 740 at an angle thereto terminating in a pair of integral fiat surfaces 74d, which are secured to the enclosure 64 for support. The wall portion 74c slants simultaneously downwardly and outwardly.
In FIG. 9 is shown a circuit diagram illustrating how the electrical components are connected. Ordinary 110 volt current may suitably be used, and only one cord need be plugged in. The timer control 24 operates a switch 90 which is in series with all the other elements. In parallel with each other are the pilot light 26, the heating coil 70, and the motor 68. The fusible link 84 i in series with the coil 7 In operation, the collapsed drier as shown in FIG. 1 may be opened by first grasping the handle 14 and pulling the same outwardly. This will have the effect of bringing the panels 32 and 34 into position from their collapsed position in which the two rested against each other after pivoting about the hinges 36, said hinges having been inwardly displaced in the collapsed position. After the panels 32 and 34 are in opened position, the drip pan 54 (which in the closed position would have been drawn up by means of a cord 56 to be disposed against the inside of the front panel 12) is lowered to position. Next, the top element 60 (which was hanging vertically downward from its pivot adjacent the instrument panel 22 in closed position) i pivoted upwardly and forwardly to above the horizontal. Now, the frame 46 supporting the hangers 50 (which in closed position was hanging vertically downward from the brackets 48) is pivoted upwardly and forwardly and made to engage the hooks 44 to support the frame in horizontal position. Then the top 60 may be lowered until the lip 62 rests on the hangers 50 to support the top in horizontal position, after the clothing or any material to be dried has been hung on the hangers 50. Now the drier is ready to be plugged in. Immediately thereupon, air is drawn in through the grill 78 by the blower 66, and forced over the heating coil 70 and out into the bottom of the drier. If for any reason there is a failure of the motor or blower. the lack of fresh air being blown by the fusible link causes it to overheat and burn out, whereby th heating coil is no longer supplied with electricity until a repair man has had a chance to overhaul the motor or fan, whereupon he may put in a new fusible link.
Another preferred embodiment is shown in FIGS. and 11. This is the embodiment which I am presently manufacturing. This embodiment is in most respects substantially the same as the embodiment previously described. However, in this embodiment the perforations are omitted from the top 160, the flow rate of the air away from the clothes drying zone being restricted a predetermined amount by the cracks remaining along the edges of the top 16%. Also, in this embodiment the hinges 136 are mounted inside the side wall panels 132 and 134, and a swinging lock 190, latchable with latch 192 has been included on each side to provide added security in use. Handles 114 and 118 of modified construction are shown, and the timer 124 and pilot light 126 are shown in changed positions.
A vertical, central, partial cross-sectional view of the lower and rear portion of this embodiment of the drier, corresponding to FIG. 8 of the first embodiment, is shown in FIG. 12. Improved motor cooling is here achieved by mounting the motor on the rear wall 180 of the drier, directly forward of the screened aperture 178, the entire motor being substantially surrounded by the molded plastic blower 166 driven thereby. Air pulled in by the blower is moved downwardly over heating coil 17 0', which is separated by dividing plate 182 from rear wall 180 to produce cool air bypass to insulate the rear wall 130 against a hot spot. Fusible link 184 is positioned in this bypass for melting in the event of any fan or motor failure to break the circuit in the manner previously described to prevent overheating. Centrally mounted below the heating coil 176 in the hot air conduit is a battle 1% comprising a symmetrical pair of generally triangular downwardly and outwardly extending faces to aid in ing air passing over the heating coil and air passing through the bypass adjacent thereto, and at the same time direct the hot air mixture throughout the entire bottom of the drier.
Other embodiments within the spirit of the above described invention and within the scope of the appended claims will occur to those skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
l. A collapsible portable clothes drier which comprises: a housing including two side walls, a rear wall, a bottom wall, and a top wall; a front panel; two pairs of side panels, one said pair disposed between said housing and said front panel at each side thereof, each said pair being pivotally secured to said housing, said front panel, and each other for inward telescoping; a drip pan pivotally mounted across the inner bottom of said front panel for folding up against said front panel or downwardly to lie horizontally across the bottom of the opened clothes drier; a hanger frame pivotally mounted across the inner top of said housing for folding vertically downwardly thereinto or upwardly to extend horizontally for- V wardly from said housing; a multiplicity of slidable hangers supported by said hanger frame; latching means carried by said front panel in the inner top portion thereof for securing said hanger frame in horizontal position; a top pivotally mounted across the top of said housing for folding vertically downwardly or upwardly to extend horizontally forwardly from said housing, and a heating unit for circulating heated air in said housing, said heating unit being mounted in fixed relation to said rear wal and comprising means defining an air flow path, an electric heating element in said flow path and a blower for causing air to move in said flow path and for causing air circulation in said housing.
2. A collapsible, portable clothes drier which comprises: a housing in the general form of a luggage piece including one transverse wall having a substantial height and width, two relatively narrow, opposed side walls, a correspondingly narrow bottom wall, and a correspondlngly narrow top wall, all of said relatively narrow walls being connected to said transverse wall; a second transverse wall of substantially the same dimensions as the first; two pairs of side panels, one said pair disposed between said housing and said second transverse wall at each side thereof, each said pair being movably secured to said housing, said second transverse wall, and each other for collapsing; a drip catching surface member mounted to extend between said housing and said second transverse wall when said wall is extended away from said housing, and to be collapsed when said second wall is in the collapsed position adjacent said housing; a hanger means mounted at the top of said drier, for folding downwardly into collapsed position or upwardly to extend horizontally between said housing and said second transverse wall; said hanger means being adapted to evenly distribute articles to be dried; a top pivotally mounted for folding vertically downwardly to collapsed position or upwardly to extend horizontally between said second transverse wall and said housing, and a heating unit for circulating heated air in the zone defined when said Second transverse wall is extended from said housing and when said top is in horizontal position, said heating unit being mounted in said housing and comprising means defining an air flow path, an electric heating element in 5 said flow path and a blower for causing air movement in said flow path, said flow path having an outlet near the bottom of said housing directed horizontally, towards said second transverse wall, thereby adapted to spread hot air direct from said heating element over the bottom of said drier from which it can rise to dry said clothes.
3. The collapsible, portable clothes drier of claim 2 wherein said hanger means comprises a hanger frame pivotally mounted across the inner top of said drier for folding vertically downwardly thereinto in collapsed position or upwardly to extend horizontally between said housing and said second transverse wall; a multiplicity of slidable hangers supported by said hanger frame; and latching means for securing said hanger in horizontal position.
4. The collapsible clothes drier of claim 2 wherein said blower is disposed upstream of said heating element, said blower being adapted to direct air downwardly, said heating element being spaced below said blower, near the bottom wall of said housing, means for permitting transverse spreading of air moving downwardly from said blower, and a baffle member disposed transversely of said housing, with its upper surface inclined, directed generally towards said second transverse wall, positioned to receive air moving downwardly and to deflect said air horizontally towards said second transverse wall.
5. The collapsible, portable clothes drier of claim 2 wherein said blower and said heating element are positioned close together, said blower being driven by a motor so mounted relative to said heating element that a stream of air passes between said motor and said heating element prior to passing over the latter, whereby motor overheating is prevented despite proximity to the heating element.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,135,267 Dieckmann Apr. 13, 1915 1,683,984 Mooney et al Sept. 11, 1928 1,687,983 Klees et al. Oct. 16, 1928 2,124,074 Mayo July 19, 1938 2,257,394- Niersbach Sept. 30, 1941 2,618,076 Miller Nov. 18, 1952 2,675,459 Pace Apr. 13, 1954- 2,850,810 Lyons et al Sept. 9, 1958 2,853,591 Fine Sept. 23, 1958