US 3088603 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
N. A. BOYETTE May 7, 1963 TOBACCO RACK Filed April 5. 1962 zNvENToR. /l/OHH/ yffrf TTF/VEKS aired States Patent 3,088,603 TOBACCO RACK Noah A. Boyette, Rte. 1, Box 200, Hahira, Ga. Filed Apr. 5, 1962, Ser. No. 185,426 6 Claims. (Cl. 214-55) The present invention relates to the curing .of tobacco leaves and more particularly to a rack which may be transported to a field loaded with tobacco and returned lto a curing barn where it holds the tobacco leaves while they are exposed to warn air for curing.
Tobacco harvesting is, for the most part, carried out by hand and is slow and laborious. Leaves `and stems of tobacco are cut from growing plants by workers who walk along rows. The leaves are tied together in small bundles with string wrapped :around the end of the stems, and the bundles of leaves are hung over -a stick at spaced intervals. The stick must be carried to a barn where they are hung on supports and the barn is filled with warm air which cures the tobacco.
The method requires considerable handling of individual sticks of tobacco which requires many workers and there may -be as many as 8 or l0 men loading a barn. There is also substantial risk of damage to the tobacco.
In addition, there are difliculties with nonuniform curing of the tobacco. The leaves must be loaded in the barn as close to each other as possible so that the maximum number of leaves can be cured at one time. Because of this, the space between the leaves may not be uniform; some of the leaves may be more easily reached by the warm air than others and hence more rapidly cured. In some cases it is necessary to use blowers to force the air among the leaves and to use very hot air at 180 F. or higher temperature to assure that :a sufcient amount of air at a curing temperature reaches the less accessible leaves. Unless this is done carefully some of the leaves will be charred by the very hot air. In addition, the high temperature requires large tires and there is a very great danger of setting tire to the barn.
'The present invention overcomes these difficulties and provides a rack and means for pinning the tobacco to the rack which can be loaded in the elds and transported to a barn where it holds the tobacco in place for curing. There is no need to tie the stems of the tobacco, to carry individual sticks in the barn or to load the individual sticks in the barn. The tobacco is more evenly spaced and the leaves are suiciently far from each other that warm air reaches them easily. Because of more uniform spacing the temperature of the curing air can be lower, e.g. 145 F. instead of 180 F. and the curing time -rnay be reduced as much as 24-30 hours. Nevertheless, this uniformity of spacing permits loading 11/2 to 2 times as much tobacco in a barn.
These and other advantages are achieved by .a rack which comprises a plurality of tiers and braces which hold the tiers in parallel planar spaced relationship. Each of the tiers has a base member and track means .at an angle to the base. Tobacco leaves are held in each tier by a stick which has a guide means which moves along the track means toward and away from the base member, a number of spaced parallel pins perpendicular to the base and adapted to be inserted -between the stems of the tobacco and a cross-wire running across the pins and holding them together. The cross-wires press the tobacco stems against the base of the tiers. That is, leaves are placed in the rack wi-th the stems lying across the base part of a tier and a stick is pushed down so that the pin passes between the stems and the cross-wire presses the stern against the base. 'Ihe stick may have a second cross-wire which is spaced above the rst cross-wire and Patented May 7, 1963 this can serve the same function as the base of the tier. Another armful of tobacco leaves is placed with the stems across the cross-wire and a second stick is pressed down against them. 'The process can be repeated several times until the tier is loaded and then the remaining tiers are also loaded. The rack then is transported to the barn and means are provided for easily moving the racks into position in the barn.
The invention and its object will be fully understood from lthe following description of a preferred embodiment and by reference to the drawing, in which:
FIG. l is a perspective view of the tobacco rack showing a stick being lowered into position;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the rack standing on end showing several layers of tobacco leaves held in place and spaced apart by sticks;
FIG. 3 is a cross-section along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.
The rack as shown in FIG. l has generally U-shaped tiers 1 each having a pair of longitudinally slotted hollow cylindrical ver-tical track members 2 and 2' which hold the sticks joined by a base member 3 which may be a piece of angle iron. Preferably the base member 3 is set ot at one side of the guide members as shown. The tiers Iare welded or otherwise joined in parallel planar spaced relationship at their tops by two longitudinal angle irons or other suitable braces 4 and 4', and at the bottoms by two similar braces 5 and 5'. At the ends of the frame the upper and lower braces are joined by cross-members 6 and `6' and 7 and 7', respectively. The lower ends of the slotted track members rest on braces 5 and 5 which ice close the lower ends of the internal hollow cores. There l also may be cross spacers not shown to maintain correct distance -between braces 4 and 4' and thereby facilitate insertion of sticks.
To pin the tobacco in place there are sticks 108 each of which has a plurality of parallel spaced pins S of substantially equal length held by cross pieces 9 `and 10. The lower cross piece 9 is between the ends of the pin and presses down against the tobacco stems when the ends of the pins, projecting below it, are inserted between the stems. The upper cross piece 10 is shown near the tops of the pins although it may be somewhat lower so long as the space between the cross pieces is sufficient to separate the several layers of tobacco. Of course, additional cross pieces may be added between the two shown for the purpose of added strength.
At the ends of the lcross pieces 9 and 10 there are guide members or rods 11 and 11' which join the cross pieces and are of somewhat larger cross section than the pins. They are shorter than t-he pins and generally of the same length as the distance between the cross pieces. Rods 11 and 11' are of a shape suited to t in the track members 2 and 2'; when the track members are hollow cylinders, the rods 11 and 11' may be round. The hollow tracks have longitudinal slots 12 and 12' racing toward the center of the rack and these are wider than the diameter of the cross pieces 9 and 10 but not as wide as the diameter of the rods 11 and 11'. This prevents the rods from slipping through the slots so that the sticks lcan only be inserted and withdrawn from the upper ends of the track.
The rack has hooks 15 and 15' to hold it on end projecting beyond one end and downwardly and rearwardly across the uprights at the corners to which they are welded and toward the lower braces 5 and 5 to which they are also secured. At the opposite ends braces 16, 16', 17 and 17 are fastened and these hold rollers 18, 18', 19 and 19' which are used when the racks are standing on end, especially when they are in the curing barn. There is also provided screening 20 which lines the inside of the rack and prevents the loss of any tobacco when pinned in place by sticks.
3 To load the rack an armful of tobacco leaves 21 is placed lengthwise inthe bottom of the rack with ythe stems 22 across member 3 and toward the upper end (i.e. the end having hooks The4 leaves are evenly distributed and then a stick is inserted in the guide members 2 and 2" and pressed down against the leaves. As shown in FIG. `3,` the lower ends of pins 8 pass between vthe stems and cross member 9 pressesk against them. The nextvarmful of tobacco is laid on the upper cross member v1t) of this stick and another stick 108 is inserted in the guides and pressed against it. Then, this loading procedure is repeated and there may be as many as ten sticks in each tier. Arfter inserting the uppermost stick, the p-in 13 is `inserted in opening 14 to secure the sticks in place. The remaining tiers are loaded in the same manner.
The` rack is then transported to the barn which can be equipped for easy loading of the racks. There are a series oftracks, side by side, running perpendicularly to the side of the barn in which there is a door and an overhead hoist is provided which moves on a runway perpendicular tothe tracks. rl`he racksy are lifted on end by the hoist and suspended by hooks 15. The hoist is moved in its runway until it is above one of the tracks and the rack kfilled with tobacco is then lowered onto the track -and rolled toward the back of the barn. This is repeated until the barn is filled.
Preferably,- the rack is about 4 feet deep, 3 feet high and l2 -feet long, with the tiers about 2 feet apart. -In Such a rack there Ywill be 6 tiers, although there may be from 4 to 6 tiers. In each tier there are about'7 to l0 sticks having pins about one inch apart yand cross members 21/2 to 31/2 inches apart. Such dimensions are preferred togpermit air to reach the tobacco during curing and are-also adaptable to using the rack in a 16 foot bar-n which would hold 20 racks. YIn such a barn, the tracks will be about 6 feet above the ground yfor inside cookers and lower for outside cookers. Of course, these dimensions as well as other Idetails of the construct-ion and mode of operation described may be modified without departing from the scope of my invention, as set forth in the claims.
l. A rackfor supporting and shaping tobacco leaves during transportation from a lield to a curing building and while being cured comprising a plurality of tiers each having track means joined at an angle to a base member, means securing said tiers in generally parallel planar spaced relationship so that when the tiers are in a horizontal position they will lie above one another and Will be separated by a distance at least equal to the length of the tobacco leaves, and sticks for pinning tobacco leaves in place each comprising guide means secured for movement along said track means toward and away from the base member of said tiers, spaced pins generally perpendicular to said base member and secured to said guide means `for movement therewith which pass between tobacco stems lying across said base members and a cross member transverse to and secured to said pins intermediate to the ends thereof which presses tobacco against said base member.
2. A rack for supporting and shaping tobacco leaves `during transportationfrom a eld to a curing building and while being cured comprising a plurality of generally .U-shaped tiers each havingy generally parallel track `means joined by a base member, means securing said tiers in gen- .erallyfparallel .planar spaced relationship so` that when ythetiers are in a horizontal position they will 4lie above one another andwill be separated by a distance at least .equal to the length of.. tobacco leaves, andsticks for pinning tobacco leaves in place each comprising guide means secured for movement alongsaid track means toward and away from the base members of said yU-shaped tiers, spacedpins generally perpen-dicularto. said base member and secured to said guide vmeans for movement therewith `which ,pass between tobacco ystems lying across; said base lmem-bers and:` a cross member transverse to and secured to .said pins intermediate the ends `thereof which presses tobacco against said base.
3. A rack for supporting and shaping tobacco leaves as ySet forth in claim 2 including screening covering at least part of the space between said tiers to prevent the loss of any tobacco leaves not held in, place by sticks.
4. A rack for supporting -and shaping tobacco leaves as set forth in claim 2 in which said tiers are suiciently deep to hold a plurality of sticks in each tier, each of said sticks having a second cross member transverse to and secured to said` pins above the rst cross member which serves as a base against which tobacco leaves are pressed.
5. A rack for supporting and shaping leaves as set ,forth in clai-m 2 having a hook extending from one end No references cited.