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Publication numberUS3102762 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 3, 1963
Filing dateMay 31, 1960
Priority dateMay 31, 1960
Publication numberUS 3102762 A, US 3102762A, US-A-3102762, US3102762 A, US3102762A
InventorsBookout Floyd V, Johnson Elmer C
Original AssigneeVendo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Universal vending machine
US 3102762 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 3, 1963 E. c. JOHNSON ETAL 3,102,762

UNIVERSAL VENDING MACHINE Filed May 31, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS.

r .6, Job/750m BY 27 25/ 0 #5001600? y A TTOENEV Sept. 3, 1963 E. c. JOHNSON ETAL 3,102,762

UNIVERSAL VENDING MACHINE Filed May 31, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. E/mer 62 Jafl/rsou f'7qya K 500 60 (IT BY WVM 4 W013 NE 75 P 1963 E. c. JOHNSON ETAL 3,102,762

UNIVERSAL VENDING MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 51, 1960 INVENTORS.

6/750 M fiaakouf Max 6' J0 F/oyd BY 7 i ATTORNEYfE fzaa flay. .3.

United States Patent 3,102,762 UNIVERSAL VENDING MACHINE Elmer C. Johnson, Kansas City, MIL, and Floyd V.

Bookout, Rockford, IlL, assignors to The Vendo Company, Kansas City, Mo, a corporation of Missouri Filed May 31, 1960, Ser. No. 32,829 17 Claims. (Cl. 312-4971) This invention relates to vending machines and particularly to equipment for vending a substantially infinite variety of articles from a single machine and with little if any modification of the structure thereof being required in order to accommodate different articles.

One of the most serious defects of prior vending machines was the fact that only one type of merchandise could be vended from a specific machine, or the choice of articles, if the machine handled a number of products, was limited not only by the necessity of providing all of the articles of uniform size, but also by requirement of the machine vending products at a uniform price or within a relative narrow range. Multi-article machines have been developed Within recent years, but the same have not completely solved the problems referred to above in that the selection of products is still within a relatively small range and it generally is necessary that the products be packaged in containers of generally uni-form size.

Vending machines have not heretofore found widespread acceptance in the prepared foods field, not only because of the defects noted, but also because of the necessity of either maintaining the food in a hot or cold condition. These requirements restricted the size of the machine and made it very difficult to vend all types of food products regardless of the price thereof and with a relatively large number of each of the individual food products being available for vending.

It is, therefore, the primary object of the instant invention to provide a vending machine overcoming the disadvantages specifically defined and capable of dispensing a substantailly infinite variety of prepared food products in either a hot or cold condition as desired.

It is a further important object of the invention to provide a vending machine as described, having a housing mounting a plurality of independently rotatable shelves, each in turn having a number of radially disposed compartments t-herein succesively alignable with respective vertically spaced openings in the cabinet of the machine and including novel antipilfering mechanism for precluding opening of more than one door at a time normally disposed in blocking relationship to the product delivery openings, to the end that the customer may select a desired product in any of the vertically aligned compartments, and permitting him to remove such article from its corresponding compartment by simply inserting coins of predetermined value in the machine followed by opening the door in normal blocking relationship to the compartment.

A still further important object of the invention is to provide (a vending machine of the type referred to above wherein products of different sizes may be ven'ded from the rotatable shelf structures, since the size of the separate compartments may be changed at will through the expedient of moving the walls defining opposed sides of respective compartments to positions presenting compartments of predetermined equal Width around the circumference of the shelf structure.

Also another important aim of the invention is to provide a vending machine capable of dispensing food products or the like of substantially any character, wherein vending of more than one article at a time is precluded by the fact that each of the individual shelf structures supporting the products to be dispensed, is not ro- Patented Sept. 3, 1963 '3 A?! tated through an arc to bring the next successive compartment into alignment with the corresponding delivery opening until after the respective door has been completely closed, either by the customer or by suitable spring biased means.

An equally important object of the invention is to provide a vending machine for dispensing a. large number of food products wherein the individual vend doors are transparent to permit the customer to examine the product in a corresponding compartment, and wherein the mechanism is designed so that the customer receives the product which he has visually observed.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a vending machine wherein the are through which the independently rota-table shelf structures move after each vend operation, is determined by the width of a respective compartment inasmuch as rotation of the corresponding shelf structure is being effected by virtue of opening of a switch as the wall of the next successive compartment is rotated into engagement with the switch to open the latter. 7

Other important objects of the instant invention include the provision of novel antipilfering mechanism having improved interlocking means thereon for locking all of the remaining doors against opening when the customer commences to move one door toward a position that would provide access to the respective compartment aligned therewith but before such access has been granted; to a coin-operated vending machine wherein the antipilfering mechanism includes structure precluding movement of any of the vend doors to an open position until after coins of predetermined value have been inserted in the coin-receiving means, and with the antipilfering mechanism being designed so that upon insertion of coins corresponding to the value set up for a particular shelf structure, the door aligned with that shelf structure may be opened, but doors aligned with shelves set up for vending at different values, are precluded from being opened until the correct amount of coins is inserted in the machine; to a machine wherein loading of products into the housing thereof is facilitated by virtue of the fact that the housing is provided with a rear access door whereby products may be inserted in the individual compartments and as the individual shelves are independently rotated; to the provision of a machine wherein the vend door is maintained in an open condition after the customer has swung the same through an arc suflicient to preclude movement of anyyof the remaining doors, whereby loss of the product by the customer is prevented if he inadvertently lets go of the door; and to other iniport-an-t objetcs and details of construction of the present machine which will become obvious or be explained in greater detail as the following specification progresses.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of a vending machine embodying the preferred concepts of the instant invention with portions of the front wall and supports for the product delivery doors being broken away to illustrate the details of construction of the mechanism therebehind;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal, fragmentary, cross-sectional view through the machine as illustrated in FIG. 1 and taken on a line directly above one of the shelf structures and the tray therefor, and with certain parts of the components being broken away and in section to reveal details thereof;

LFIG. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged, side elevational view of the antipilfering mechanism, with a part of the cam arm means for actuating the antipilfering mechanism being shown in section;

FIGS. 4, 5, 6, and 7 are horizontal, cross-sectional views taken on the irregular lines 4--4, 5-5, 66 and 77 respectively of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one of the cam arms for actuating the antipilfering mechanism;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, vertical, cross-sectional view taken on line 99 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 10 is a partial schematic illustration of the wiring assembly forming a part of the vending machine and illustrating the electrical components associated with three of the doors on the vending machine.

A vending machine embodying the preferred concepts of the present invention is broadly numerated in the drawings and preferably includes an insulated cabinet or housing 22 having opposed side walls 24 and 26 extending the full vertical dimension of cabinet 22, as well as a top .wall 28 across the upper part of the housing.

The front wall 30 of housing 22 constitutes a door which is also insulated and is disposed above a slotted panel 32 at the lowermost extremity of housing 22 and thereby permitting air to pass freely into the lower part of the cabinet to ventilate any mechanical equipment which maybe placed therein, as Will be pointed out hereinafter. The back wall 34 of housing 22 has a relatively large rectangular opening 36 therein of a vertical dimension substantially equal to the corresponding length of front door 30, and a rear door 38 provides access to the interior of housing 22 from the rear thereof.

, Coin controlled mechanism is provided within housing 22 behind panel portion 40 of door 30 and thus, panel portion 40 has a coin slot 42 therein and a rotatable operating handle 44 connected to the coin rejector unit forming a part of the coin controlled mechanism to permit the customer to return coins which do not pass through the rejector.

Door. 30 also has a rectangular, upright, centrally disposed opening 46 therein and it is to be preferred that a pair of angularly disposed, inwardly converging plates 48 and 50 be provided on door 30 and extending outwardly from the opening 46 to the front face of door 30. As previously noted, door 30 is insulated so that the front and rear faces thereof are in spaced relationship, thereby permitting plates 48 and 50' to be at substantial angles with respect to the major faces of door 30. r Plate 48 has a series of vertically spaced and aligned openings 52 therein, with a plurality of transparent members 54 being positioned behind each of the openings 52. It is contemplated that selection designator cards may be placed in openings 5-2 behind members 54 and, as will be hereinafter described, light means is provided behind members 54 to illuminate the signs carried by plate 48.

Mounted within housing 22 are a plurality of vertically spaced tray structures broadly designated 56, and each provided with an article-receiving shelf structure 58. Each of the tray structures includes a bottom wall '60 of generally rectangular configuration and having upturned peripheral flange portions 62 which are interconnected at adjacent ends thereof by corresponding L- shaped brackets 64.

Each of the bottom walls 60 is of only slightly less Width transversely thereof than the distance between opposed inner surfaces of walls 24 and 26, and in this respect, it is to be pointed out that suitable support means is provided on the inner faces of walls 24 and 26 for releasably receiving tray structures 56 and for maintaining the latter in predetermined vertically-spaced relationship and aligned with opening 46 in door 30. Although not illustrated in the drawings, it is to be preferred that the tray structures 56 be removable from housing 22 for cleaning purposes, or to permit replacement or repair of the components of each tray structure 56 without interfering with the remaining tray structures.

Since all of the tray structures 56 are of substantially identical construction, only one of the same has been illustrated in detail and the description thereof will be 4 restricted to the one tray. Mounted on the inner surface 66 of side wall 26 and extending the full length of door 30, is antipilfering mechanism broadly designated 68 which is illustrated in detail in FIG. 3 and will be described hereinafter.

Each of the tray structures 56 is provided with a generally rectangular product delivery opening defining member 70 which has upper and lower, normally horizontal, vertically-spaced planer sections 72 having integral, inwardly turned, vertical, parallel flange portions 74 thereon which maintain planer sections 72 in spaced relationship to the front flange 62 of a corresponding tray 56.

Generally U-shaped brackets 76 on opposed sides of flange portions 74 each have a'bight section 78 secured to the front flange '62 of a respective tray structure 56, and have a vertical dimension substantially equal to the height of member 70. Relatively narrow outer legs 80 project outwardly from corresponding bight sections 78 in perpendicular relationship while the inner legs 82 of brackets 76 are of irregular transverse configuration and include a first leg portion 84 in perpendicular relationship to bight portion 78 projecting outwardly therefrom and of a transverse width substantially equal to flanges 74, the latter in turn being secured to leg portions '84 through suitable means such as by welding or the like.

Intermediate leg portions 86 of inner legs 82 are in perpendicular relationship to leg portions 86 and project outwardly in opposite directions as shown in "FIG. 2. Relatively long outer leg portions 88 integral with the outer margins of intermediate leg portions 86, are disposed at an angle with respect to the latter and diverge as the outer extremities thereof are approached. It is to be pointed out that member 70 is of a vertical height substantially equal to the effective vertical dimension of each of the tray structures 56, and that members 70 and brackets 76 are thereby positioned in vertical, superimposed alignment and are discontinuous throughout the effective length of the same. However, in order to effectively interconnect all of the vertically disposed members 70 and brackets 76, a pair of transversely irregular channels 90 and 92 are provided in overlying relationship to brackets 76 and extending the full vertical dimension of the tray structures 56. Channels 90 and 92 have outer legs 94 complemental with, and suitably secured to the inner faces of legs 80 while the opposed legs 96 of channels 90 and 92 are at angles complemental with the angular position of leg portions 88. Means is provided for securing legs 96 to leg portions 188 so as to effectively interconnect all of ,the brackets 76. Channel 90 is preferably provided with a series of rectangular openings 98 therein to permit light from a fluorescent bulb 100 to pass therethrough and thereby illuminate product designation sheets positioned in underlying relationship to members 54.

A product delivery door broadly numerated 102, is mounted on the leg portion 88 of bracket 76 in proximity to channel 90 and is of a size to close the rectangular product delivery opening defined 'by horizontal planer sections 72 and flange portions 741 of respective members 70. As illustrated in FIG. 2, each door 102 comprises a rectangular, relatively thick sheet 104 of methylmethacrylate or similar material, and hinge means 106 is secured to the vertical margin of sheet 104 in proximal relationship to channel 90, as well as to the corresponding opposed face of the adjacent leg portion 88- of bracket 76 to thereby permit door 102 to be swung about a vertical axis.

A rectangular strip 108 of insulating material, such as sponge rubber, is secured to the outer faces of leg portions 96 of brackets 76 and also across planer portions 72 of members 70 with the inner peripheral margins of corresponding doors 102, engaging the outer faces of strips 108 to provide a seal around the edges of each of the doors.

A metal .channel 110 is secured to the lower mar-gin of each of the sheets 104 in embracing relationship thereto and operating handle 112 is mounted on channel 110 ad jacent the margin of each door1tl2 remote from hinge means 106 to facilitate opening of a corresponding door 162.

Each of the shelf structures 58 includes a lower circular disc 114 and an upper annular disc 116 coaxial therewith of substantially equal diameters and extending across the front to rear dimension of each tray structure 56. An upright, polygonal, inner wall 118 extends between opposed faces of discs 114 and 116 as shown in FIG. 2, to maintain the discs in predetermined spaced relationship. Inner radial walls 120, projecting outwardly from a central hub 122 also substantially equal in length to the space bet-ween discs 1 14 and 116, are connected to certain of the inner surfaces of polygonal wall 118 to maintain the latter in predetermined relationship with respect to the axis of hub 122. A shaft 124 secured to a corresponding bottom wall 60 of each tray structure 56, rotatably receives a respective hub 122, while a C-snap ring 1 26 serves to releasably maintain the corresponding tray structure 56 on corresponding shelf structure 58 on the defined shaft 124, yet permitting removal of each of the shelf structures 58 when desired.

Radially disposed outer walls 128, projecting outwardly from inner wall 118, define a series of product receiving compartments 131) therebetween, it being seen in FIG. 1 that the outer margins 132 of walls 128 are disposed at an angle with respect to opposed surfaces of discs 114 and 116 with margin 132 being in closer proximity to the outer peripheral edge of disc 116 and disc 11-4. Walls 128 are preferably positioned so that the distance between the margins 132 thereof is substantially equal to the distance between flange portions '74 of members 7 i to thereby provide access to only one compartment 131) when a corresponding door 102 is opened.

Means for rotating each of the shelf structures 58 comprises an electric motor 134 for each tray structure 56 and mounted on the upper surface of the bottom wall 61) thereof by a transversely U-shaped mounting bracket '136. The output shaft of motor 134 extends downwardly below bracket 136, and a pair of friction plates 138 are mounted on each motor output shaft for concentric rotation therewith. Plates 138 are of suflicient diameter that the same partially overlap the proximal disc 114 of a corresponding shelf structure 58, with the peripheral marginal portion 140 of the respective disc 114 being disposed between marginal portions of plates 138 as best shown in FIG. 9. A series of screws 142 extending through plates 138 adjacent the margin thereof, and maintained in place by a nut 144, cause plates 138 to be biased toward each other by virtue of a coil spring 146 interposed between the head of each bolt 142 and the proximal surface of a plate 138.

An elongated link 148 is pivotally secured to the lower surface of each of the channels 110 on corresponding doors 162 with links 148 extending into housing 2 2 through appropriate slots therefor in the lower planer sections 72 of the associated member '70, as well as through a slot in the proximal flange 62 of a corresponding tray structure 56. Each of the links 1 43 is in slidable overlying relationship to a proximal bottom wall 60 and has a series of ratchet teeth 150 in the margin 152 thereof and adapted to engage a pawl 154 pivotally mounted on a plate 156 overlying the respective bottom wall 68 and biased into a position directed toward teeth 150 by a spring 158 connected to pawl 154 and plate 156 respectively.

The inner extremity of link 1148 has a longitudinally extending slot 160 therein which receives an upstanding pin 1'62 mounted on plate 156 and which thereby serves to restrict each of the links 148 to a substantially rectilinear path of travel as corresponding doors 102 are opened.

A cam arm, broadly designated 164, is pivotally mounted on plate 156 between link 148 and the flange 62 of each tray structure 56 adjacent Wall 26 by virtue of an upstanding pin 166 which also rotatably carries an elongated member broadly numerated 168, and disposed in overlying relationship to cam arm 164. Viewing FIG. 8, it can be seen that cam arm 164 includes a main lever portion 170 having an opening 172 therein for clearing pin 166, as well as an opening 174 in the opposite extremity thereof for receiving a vertical pin 176 which is pressfitted in a complemental semicircular recess in the margin 17-8 of link 148. By virtue of this arrangement, it can be seen that as each link 148 is reciprocated during opening and closing of a corresponding door .102, the cam arm 164 is rotated about the axis of pin 1 66 and as pin 176 turns in the recess therefor in margin 11 73 of the defined link 148.

L-shaped section 1 811 integral with the normal outer margin of lever portion 170 of cam arm 164, and a cam element broadly designated 18-2, is releasably secured to the upper horizontal segment 184 of section by a plurality of screws 1'86 extending through the planer section 188 of element 182, as well as into the segment 184.

An upright, transversely curved cam wall 190 integral with the outer marginal portion of planer section 188 of element 182, has an inclined leading edge 192, a generally horizontal intermediate margin 194, a second inclined margin 196 of greater elevation than edge 192, and an upper horizontal edge 198 which is provided with a downwardly extending U-shaped notch 200 therein remote from inclined edge i192 and inclined margin 196. A third inclined trailing margin 202 of cam wall 190, extends downwardly from the outer part of notch 200 in a direcrtion opposed to the angle of inclination of edge 19 2 and margin 196, and terminates at a relatively straight upright edge 1294 extending downwardly to the correspond ing marginal portion of planer section 19:8. Cam element 1182 cooperates with antiplifering mechanism 68 as will be described hereinafter.

Member 168 mounted on each of the cam arms 164, has a relatively straight margin 206 adjacent the proximal cam element 182, with the tip 208 of member 168 being disposed to engage an upstanding lug 210 integral with lever portion 170 of the respective cam arm 164 adjacent L-shaped section 180 thereon. A spring 212 connected to member 2168 adjacent margin 206 thereof, and on the opposite side of the axis of pivoting from tip 208, is connected to lever portion 170 of the respective cam arm 164 in a manner to bias each of the members .168 in a counterclock-wise direction, as shown in FIG. 2.

A U-shaped locking component 214, carried by the outer extremity of each of the members 168 remote from respective pivot pins 166, is adapted to receive the marginal portion of the corresponding disc =1-14 therewithin, while the margin 216 of each component 214 has at least a pair of notches 218 therein adapted to receive the margin 132 of one of the walls 128.

It is to be preferred that another spring 220 be connected to the lever portion 170 of each of the cam arms 164 adjacent the proximal pivot pin 176, and to the corresponding bottom wall 60 of the defined tray structure 56, to bias each of the cam arms 164 in a clockwise direction.

A door switch 222 is mounted on the bottom wall 60 of each of the tray structures '56 and is provided with a lever arm 224 connected to the pole piece of the switch and disposed to be engaged by lug 210 on a respective cam arm 164.

A bracket broadly numerated 226 is also pivotally mounted on a plate 228 carried by the upper surface of bottom wall 60 of each of the tray structures 56, with bracket 226 including a lower, substantially horizontal portion 230 which is rotatable about an upright pivot pin 232 extending upwardly from plate 228. The upper leg section 234 of bracket 2'26 and spaced vertically from lower portion 230, carries a motor switch 236 having a lever arm 238 thereon which in turn has a spring unit 240 on the outer extremity thereof disposed to be engaged by the margin :132 of one of the walls 128 of a corresponding shelf structure 58.

An arm member 242 is pivotally mounted on pin 232 and normally extends in a direction toward a corresponding link 148 as shown in FIG. 2, with the outer extremity of each arm member 242 having an upstanding lug 244 thereon disposed to be engaged by the inclined cam surface 246 forming a part of margin I178 of the respective link .1 48 as well as by the shoulder 249 forming a part of margin 178. Each of the arm members 242 has an upright lug 248 thereon and which is engaged by one end of a coil spring 250 which passes around pin 232 and bears against the upright surface 252 of bracket 226, to thereby normally bias respective arm members 242 in a clockwise direct-ion. A projection 254 is provided on each of the arm members 242 and disposed to engage a side edge of upright portion 252 of bracket 226. Projection 254 on each of the arm members 242 does not bias the corresponding bracket 226 in a clockwise direction under the influence of spring 2 50, inasmuch as a second spring 256 is positioned in surrounding relationship to pin 232 and has one leg thereof bearing against surface 252 while the other leg of the same is in engagement with a pin 258 on plate 228 to thereby cause bracket 226 to be biased in a counterclockwise direction and into normal engagement with a stop 259 extending upwardly from plate 228.

Each of the tray structures 56 is provided with a switch 260 thereon adjacent the rear flange '62 to permit individual shelf structures 58 to be rotated by a person filling the individual compartments 130 with products to be vended. The switch arm 262 is illustrated in FIG. 2 in its normally open position, but when the operator pulls arm 262 to the rear to close the same, it is also necessary that a substantially L-shaped member 264 be moved therewith, inasmuch as the same has a plate 266 thereon positioned within the path of travel of arm 262. An elongated link 268 coupled to one leg of member 264 for movement therewith, is in turn pivotally joined to a dog 270 which is rotatably mounted on a pin 272 provided on the upper face of each of the bottom walls 60. The extremity of each of the dogs 270 remote from the point of pivotal connection of corresponding links 268 to the dogs 270, has an upright lug 274 thereon adapted to be received within a notch 276 provided in the margin 152 of each of the links 148 adjacent the extremities thereof remote from corresponding doors 102.

Antipilfering mechanism which is common to all of the tray structures 56 and positioned on the inner face of wall 26, includes an elongated, transversely irregular main plate 276 which-includes a pair of outwardly turned, generally parallel end portions 228 and 280 which are adapted to be secured to the face 66 of wall 26, while a pair of inwardly projecting, parallel portions 282 and 284 integral with end portions 278 and 280' respectively, carry a transversely L-shaped midsection comprised of a main segment 286 integral with the outer margin of portion 282, and an angularly disposed secondary segment 288 integral with segment 286 and the outer margin of portion 284 respectively.

Main plate 276 carries a number of movable plates 290 which are slidable along the outer surface of main segment 286 as illustrated in FIG. '3, it being pointed out that there is a movable plate 296 for each of the tray structures 56. The uppermost plate 290a is identical with the remaining plates 290 except for certain small differences which will be pointed out hereinafter. Means for mounting the plates 290 including plate 290a on main segment 286 of main plate 276, includes a plurality of arms 292 pivotally mounted on the rear face of main segment 286 through utilization of pivot pins 294 carried by main segment 286 intermediate portion 282 and secondary segment 28 8. The ends of arms 292 opposed 'to pins 294 are pivotally joined to the lower extremity of corresponding plates 290 by pivot pins 296 which extend through curved notches 1298 provided in main segment 286 directly behind the lower ends of corresponding plates 290. The upper extremities of all of the plates 2% with the exception of plate 290a, carry pins 300 which extend through curved notches 302 provided therefor in main segment 286 in direct alignment with notches 298.

'As best shown in FIG. 7, the rearmost extremity of pins 300 is enlarged as designated by the numeral 304, to maintain pins 300 within respective notches 302.

The upper plate 290a also has an upper pin 304 which extends through a notch 302 in main segment 286, but it is to be noted that a lever 306 is pivotally mounted on the rear face of main segment 286 by a pin 308 and is in turn pivotally joined to the upper pin 304.

The extremity of lever 306 opposed to pin 304, carries a pin 310 which extends through secondary segment 288 and is movable within a notch 312 provided therein. An elongated bar 314 overlying secondary segment 288 is movable downwardly in response to upward movement of plate 290a, As shown in FIG. 3, secondary segment 28 8 has a series of elongated, vertically aligned notches 312 therein which receive pins 316 to limit bar 314 to a rectilinear path of travel. Again it is to be pointed out that the extremities of pins 316 adjacent the inner face of segment 288, are enlarged as at 318 so as to maintain bar 314 in flat engagement with plate 276.

Extensions 320, secured to the upper ends of all of the plates 290 with the exception of plate 290a, are positioned directly above corresponding pins 300 and will engage the lower surface of segment 184 of a respective cam arm 164- when the latter has been swung about the axis of a pivot pin 166'. It should also be notedthat each of the pins 296 mounts a roller 322 which is disposed to ride on edge 1'92 and margins 194 and 196 of a corresponding cam element 182. Bar 314 carries a number of outwardly projecting pins 324 which are disposed to be received within notches 20-0 in corresponding cam elements 182 when bar 314 is moved downwandly under the action of the uppermost plate 290a being. shifted upwardly.

A main interlocking door switch 326 is mounted on the outer face of main segment 286 adjacent plate 290a and has a switch arm 328 positioned with the outer extremity thereof in overlying relationship to plate 290a and adapted to be operated by a dog 330 pivotally mounted on a bracket 332 through a pivot pin 334. As shown in FIG. 4, bracket 332 is substantially U-shaped in configuration and is mounted on the outer face of end portion 278 of plate 276, while a pin 333 pivotally couples dog 330 to upper plate 290a.

A transversely L-shaped bracket 336 secured to the outer surface of end portion 280' of main plate 276 and in direct opposition to dog 330, carries a solenoid 338 having a coil 340 and a reciprocable armature 342. An L-shaped lever 344 is mounted on a bracket element 346 welded to the rear face of segment 288 of main plate 276 (FIG. 5) by bolt and nut means 348 with one leg 350 of lever 344 being pivotally joined to armature 342 through clevis means 352. The lower, normally downwardly extending leg 3 54 of lever 344, has a series of notches 356 therein which are adapted to engage a generally L-shaped member 358 having one leg 360 secured to bar 3 14, while the other leg 362 of the same extends rearwardly toward portion 280 of main plate 276 and disposed to be engaged by notches 356 in leg 354; an extension 364 projecting outwardly from bar 314 adjacent the lower extremity of plate 290 immediately below plate 290a receives one end of an elongated spring 366 which is also connected to the lower extremity of leg 354 of lever 344 (see FIG. 3).

The electrical components of machine 20 are illustrated schematically in FIG. 10, wherein, for purposes of clarity and simplicity, the upper tray structure, the tray structure next below the upper unit, and the lowermost tray structure are indicated in the schematic representation. It is to be understood that as many tray structures as desired may be incorporated into the machine with a duplication of the electrical components illustrated in FIG. 10.

The power source terminals 368 and 370 have primary leads 372 and 374 connected thereto respectively, lead 372 being coupled directly to coil 340 of solenoid 333, while lead 374 is joined to the switch arm 323 of switch 326. Coil 340 of solenoid 338 is also connected to a totalizer unit 376 by a line 378 which is joined to the totalizer arm 380. t

It is to be understood that the machine 20 will preferably include conventional coin handling units, such as coin-deposit chutes, coin-deposit responsive switches, escrow and totalizing equipment, coin return mechanism and the like, all of which are well known in the art and are available on the open market for use in known manner. Accordingly, since the details of such coin handling units are not per se novel and do not constitute the sub ject matter of this invention, this disclosure has been simplified with respect to such units by merely representing the function thereof necessary to the understanding of operation of the real subject matter of this invention. This has been done by means of schematic depiction of simplified, equivalent structures.

Such simplifications also include the omission of illustration and description of parts whose details are not individually essential to the principles and construction of the primary invention being disclosed.

Thus, the totalizer 376 has been represented merely by the contacts 382, 384, 386 and 387 and the arm 380, together with coin-deposit responsive means broadly designated 381 operably coupled with the arm 380 for appropriately positioning the latter. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that means 381 will, in this connection, normally include electromagnetic structure-s, coin deposit operable switches and interconnecting circuitry for controlling an arm or the like 380, all of which is conventional and is not shown in detail.

As previously pointed out, machine 20 is adapted to vend products of different prices from the various tray structures 56, and it is to be preferred that each of the tray structures have its individual rotary switch construction or expanded price board mechanism for coupling the control units of each tray structure 56 to totalizer 376 and thereby permit the price at which articles are to be vended from a respective shelf, to be changed to any value within a preselected range. For purposes of the present description, these selective switches for each or" the tray structures 56 have not been shown, but some of the contacts 384, 386 and 387 of the totalizer 376 have been illustrated as merely being connected to individual tray structure control units in a manner so that two of the dispensing units operate at one price selection, while the third tray structure vends articles at a different price.

For purposes of the present description it is therefore assumed that the contact 332 of totalizer 376 is the standby contact where the arm 380 remains until some coin has been deposited, the contact 384 of totalizer 376 is equivalent to a deposit of five cents, the contact 386 equal to ten cents, while the contact 387 represents a deposit of fifteen cents into the coin receiving mechanism of machine 20.

The switches 222, 236 and 260 as well as motors 134, are designated by the indicia a, b and respectively and corresponding to the upper, next to the top and the lower shelf structures respectively as discussed above. Contact 388 of switch 326 is connected to a lead 390 by a line 392, while lead 390 in turn is joined to switch arm 238a of switch 236a and to the switch arm 262a of rear loading switch 260a. Line 394 connects lead 372 to the windings of motor 134a, while another line 396 electrically connects motor 134a to the switch arm 262a of switch 266a. One contact 393 of switch 260a is joined to contact 406 of switch 236a by a line 402 and another contact 404 associated with switch arm 262a of switch 26062 is joined to lead 374 by a line 466. One of the contacts associated with switch arm 262a" of switch 260a and designated by the number 468, is connected by a line 416 to lead 412 which joins contact 415 of switch 236a with line 414, the latter in turn joining switch arm 23812 of switch 236]) to switch arm 26215 of switch 26%.

'Line 418 couples switch arm 422 of back door loading safety switch 424 to the coil 512 of electrical means 498 in the nature of a holding relay or reset solenoid. The contact 426 of switch 222:: is connected to line 428 by lead 436. Line 428 serves to join contact 384 of totalizer 376 to one of the contacts 432 of switch 222b,

The windings of motor 134!) are coupled to lead 372 by a line 434 and to the switch arm 2621) of switch 26Gb by a line 436. Contact 438 associated with switch arm 1262b of switch 266!) and contact 449 of switch 236k are joined by a line 44-2. The other contact 444 of switch 236!) is connected to line 446 by lead 448.. Line 446 serves to join switch arm 2330 of switch 236a to the switch arm 2620" of back loading switch 260a. Contact 452 associated with switch arm 2621) of switch 2606 is coupled to lead 374 by a line 454 and the con-tact 456 of switch 26% associated with switch arm 26212 is connected to lead 448 by a line 458.

Contact 460 of switch 222k is joined to switch arm 224a of switch 2220 by a line 462 while the switch arm 22412 of switch 22% is joined to contact 464 of switch 222s by a line 466.

A line 468 couples the windings of motor 1340 to lead 372 and another line 470 is connected to the windings of motor 1340 and the switch arm 262c' of rear loading switch 26%. The contact 472 associated with switch arm 262a of switch 260c is joined to contact 474 of switch 236c by a line 476. The other contact 478 associated with switch arm 2620' is joined to lead 374 by a line 480. The contact 482 disposed to be engaged by switch arm 262a of switch 2600 is coupled to a line 484 by a lead 436, with line 484 in turn joining contact 488 of switch 2360 to line 418. The switch arm 224c of switch 222C coupled to lead 374 by a line 490 and a switch 492 having :a switch arm 494 and a contact 496 adapted to be engaged by switch arm 494, are interposed in line 490. Line 508 joins coil 512 directly to lead 372.

It is to be pointed out that electrical means 498, when energized, as it normally is until switch 326 is opened, closes switch 492 and maintains such switch in closed position until switch 326 is opened as hereinafter described.

The other contact 500 of switch 222a is connected to contact 386 of totalizer 376 by a line 502. Line 504 couples contact 566 of switch 424 directly to line 392.

It is initially assumed that all of the compartments of tray structures 56 are filled with products to be vended and that the two upper shelf structures 58 contain articles to be vended at a price of live cents, while the lower tray structure contains articles which are to be sold for ten cents. As pointed not previously, the other tray structures may be set up to vend at different prices depending upon the position in which the rotary switch or expanded price board corresponding to each shelf structure 58, is set up -by the operator filling the compartments 130 of machine 20.

With machine 20 thereby in condition for vending, it is to he pointed out that rear loading switch 424 is maintained in an open condition by virtue of the door 38 engaging switch arm 422 to maintain the same out of engagement with contact 506. By the same token, switch 326 is in a normally closed condition with switch arm 323 thereof in engagement with contact 388, while all of the rear loading switches such as 260a, 260 b and 2600 are in the positions illustrated in FIG. 10 and thereby in engagement with the upper contacts associated with respective switch arms 262a, 262a, 262b, 26212, 2620' and 262C. Motor switches including switches 236a, 236b and 2360 are positioned with the switch arms 238a,

238b and 2380 thereof in engagement with contacts 415, 444 and 488 respectively. The switches 222 associated with corresponding tray structures 56 are also in their upper positions viewing FIG. 10, with the arms such as 224a, 2241) and 2240 in engagement with contacts 416, 460 and 464 respectively. Switch 492 is in its closed condition and the switch am 380 of totalizer 376 is in engagement with the standby contact 382.

As previously pointed out, it is to be understood that the interior of housing 22 may be either cooled by suitable refrigeration means, heated by a resistance heater or the like, or in the alternative, the top part of the housing maintained at one temperature while the lower section thereof is at a different temperature. The means for maintaining the food products in a hot or cold condition forms no part of the instant invention and has not been illustrated in the drawings or described with particularity herein.

The customer desiring to purchase an article contained within housing 22, views the products within compartments 130 directly behind doors 102, to determine which article he wishes to select. It is to be understood that the signs in underlying relationship to members 54 indicate the particular product as Well as the price thereof.

After the customer has selected a product, he deposits the correct amount of :coins in slot 42 where the same pass to coin testing and totalizing mechanism (not shown in detail) and thereby effect, through means 381, appropriate positioning of totalizer switch arm 380. Electrical means 498, being energized through a circuit including lead 372, line 508, the coil 512 of electrical means 498, line 418, line 484, switch 2360, line 466, lead 448, switch 236b, line 414, lead 412, switch 236a, lead 390, line 392, switch 326 to power lead 374, is holding switch 492 closed.

More specifically, as the coins pass through the coin controlled mechanism behind panel '40 of door 30, the switch arm 380 of totalizer 376 is moved in a counterclockwise direction viewing FIG. 10 into engagement with a contact corresponding to the total price deposited. For example, if the customer wishes to select a product from either of the upper shelf structures '8, the deposit of a nickel in the coin controlled mechanism will cause switch arm 380 to be shifted into engagement with contact 384 whereby the solenoid 338 may be energized as soon as one of the upper doors 102 is opened.

The customer grasps the handle 112 of the uppermost door 102 for example, and swings such upper door outwardlyas the latter pivots about the axis of a corresponding hinge 106. During outward swinging movement of the door 102, the corresponding link 148 is moved therewith along a rectilinear path of travel which is assured by virtue of pin 162 sliding in elongated slot 160 in the inner extremity of the respective link 14 8. As the customer continues to pull the upper door 102 outwardly,

link 148 causes cam arm 164 to be rotated about the axis of pin 166 by virtue of the connection of planar portion 170 of cam arm 164 to the respective link 148 by pivot pin 176. As the cam arm 164 begins to rotate, lug 210 thereon permits switch arm 224, in this case arm 224a, to move out of engagement with contact 416 and into engagement with the respective contact 426. Closing of switch 222a in the manner indicated, completes a circuit to solenoid 338 and includes lead 372, coil 340, line 378, switch arm 380 of totalizer 37-6, contact 384, line 428, lead 430, contact 426, switch arm 224a, line 462, contact 460, switch arm 224b of switch 222]), line 466, contact 464, switch arm 2240 of switch 2220, line 490 including closed switch 492, and lead 374. Energiza'tion of solenoid 338 causes the armature 342 thereof to be retracted and effecting swinging movement of lever 344 about the axis of bolt and nut means 348. Since leg 354 of lever 3 44 is shifted out of the path of travel of L-shaped member "358, bar 314 is free to move downwardly as will be hereinafter defined.

It is to be understood that as the uppermost link 148 is reciprocated in response to opening of the upper door 102, the respective cam arm .164 is rotated as defined above, whereby the edge 192 of cam element 182 on cam arm 164, bears against roller 322 on the upper pin 296 carried by the top arm 292 and thereby resulting in the uppermost plate 290a being biased upwardly as roller 322 rides on edge 192. Note in this respect that the curved upper notch 29'8 clears pin 296 during movement thereof, but restricts the shifting movement of plate 290a to a predetermined path.

Upward movement of plate 290a causes lever 306 to be rotated about the axis of pin 30 8, thereby moving bar 314 downwardly a corresponding distance and past the notches 356 in leg 354 of lever 344 by virtue of the fact that the latter has been rotated upon energization of solenoid 338 as set forth above.

The dog 330 is rotated about the axis of pin 334 in response to upward movement of plate 290a to cause the outer tip of dog 330 to engage switch arm 328 of switch 326 and thereby move the same out of engagement with contact 388 and maintaining switch 326 in an opened condition throughout the time that the upper door 102 is open.

As bar 3 14 moves downwardly, the pins 324 thereon move into notches 200 in all of the cam elements 182 which have not been rotated and thereby precluding opening of any of the other doors 102 inasmuch as the elements 102 corresponding to such additional doors engage corresponding pins 324 and prevent opening of such other doors while the upper door 102 is open.

The inclined surface 246 of the upper link 148 engages l-ug 244 on arm member 242 during outward reciprocation of upper link 148, but since arm member 242 is pivotally mounted on pin 232, arm member 242 simply pivots against the action of coil spring 250 and with projection 254 moving away from the corresponding proximal surface of bracket 226. The result of the movement of cam surface 246 past lug 244 is to place the shoulder 249 on the outboard side of lug 244 when door 102 is in its completely open condition.

It should be noted that if the customer inadvertently releases the upper door 102 during opening thereof, pawl 154 engaging one of the teeth 150' in margin 152 of the upper link 148, prevents retrograde movement of door 102 until after the same has been moved to its completely open position.

The customer then reaches into compartment and removes the article which he has observed behind the transparent sheet 104.

It is to be noted that the upper margin of each of the cam elements 1'82 is substantially irregular in configuration so that as corresponding rollers 322 ride on the inclined edge 192, the corresponding plate 290 is shifted upwardly until the horizontal plateau 194 is reached, whereby the plate does not continue to rise as the respective cam arm 164 is rotated until the corresponding roller 322 engages the margin 196 of the cam arm. Then, as the defined roller 322 moves up the inclined margin 19'6, dog 320 shifts switch arm 328 of switch 326 to an open condition, which incidentally results in return of ,totalizer 376 to its standby condition with arm 380 back at contact position 382, through a circuit not shown. When arm 380 of the totalizer 376 returns to the initial position thereof, the circuit to coil 340 of solenoid 338 is broken and another solenoid, not illustrated, is activated to permit the cash deposited in escrow to gravitate into the coin box. Spring 366 pulls leg 354 of lever 344 downwardly to retract the armature 342 from coin 340 and moves the notches 356 in leg 354 into position to again be engaged by L-shaped member 358. It can be seen that the leg 362 of member 358 is disposed at an angle so that as member 358 moves upwardly, the lever 354 is rotated sufliciently to move leg 354 thereof outwardly to a position clearing leg 362.

When the upper door 102 reaches the fully open position thereof, member .168 mountedon the upper cam arm 164 has been shifted to a position where the outer margin 132 of a wall 128 in proximity to locking component 214, is received Within one of the notches 216 to thereby preclude the customer from reaching into the compartment 130 accessible through the delivery opening, and then manuallyrotating the corresponding shelf structure 58 to permit vending of more than one article upon deposit of proper coinage.

After removal of an article from theuppermost shelf structure 58, the customer than grasps handle 112 of the upper door 102 and moves the latter toward the closed position thereof. As door 102 approaches the inner location thereof in closing relationship to theproduct delivery opening, the Spring 220 between the upper cam arm 164 and bottom wall 60 of the upper tray structure 56, assists in biasing the door 102 toward the closed location thereof.

Thenext cycle of operation involves the customer pushing the upper door 102 toward the closed disposition thereof, whereby the respective link148 is moved. in wardly and resulting in rotation ofthe upper cam arm 164 in a clockwise direction viewing FIG. 2,- whereby roller 322 on the upper plate 290a rides along the upper surface of the cam element -182 associated therewith, to result in the upper plate 290 returning to the original position thereof while bar 314 is again moved upwardly. During return movement of the upper cam element 182, surface 202 thereon engages the proximal pin 324 on bar 314 and thereby cams bar 314' upwardly.

During inward return movement of the upper link 148, the shoulder 249 thereon engages lug 244 of the upper arm member 242 tothereby swing the latter and the upper bracket 226about the axis of pin 232. -It is to be noted that projection 254 on the corresponding arm member 242 engages bracket 226 to rotate the latter in a clockwise direction againstthe action of spring 256 having a leaf in contact with pin 258, whereby spring unit 240 and the uppermost leverarrn 238 of switch 234, clears the wall 128 in proximity thereto and causing spring unit 240 to be positioned on the opposite side of the defined wall 128 (FIG. "2) as bracket 226 is permitted to return to its normal position under the influence of spring 256 and as lug 244 rides on the outer margin of link 148 defining the outermost extremity of shoulder 249.

Disposition of spring unit 240 and switch arm 238 of the upper switch 236 on the opposite side of the proximal wall 128 causes the switch arm designated 238 in FIG. to move into engagement with contact 400. In this manner, motor 134a positioned on the uppermost tray structure 56 is energized through a circuit comprising lead 372, line 394', the windings of motor 1342;, line 396, switch arm 262a of switch 262a, contact 398, line 402, contact 400, switch arm 23811 of switch 236a, lead 390, line 392, contact 388, the switch arm-328 of switch 326 which is now closed since door 102 has been returned to the initial position thereof, and power lead 374. During actuation of the uppermostmotor 1134a, plates 138 coupled to the, output shaft thereof are rotated to elfect simultaneous rotation of the uppermost shelf structure 58. However, since shelf structure 58 is being rotated in a clockwise direction viewing FIG. 2, the next successive wall 128 is mo-vedinto engagement with the upper spring unit 240 to thereby shift the corresponding switch arm 238a out of engagementwith contact 400 and into engagement with the respective contact 415, to break the circuit to motor 134a. It is to be pointed out that switch 236 is positioned so that one of the compartments 130* and in the next succesive order from the compartment from which an article has just been removed, is disposed in exact alignment with the product delivery opening of the correspondingshelf structure 58. s

It is also pointed out that after the door 102 has been completely closed, cam arm 164- associated with the upper link 148' is moved into a position engaging the upper 14 switch arm 2241:, thereby moving the same out of engagement with contact 426, thereby returning the electrical components to their original condition for another vend cycle.

After deposit of proper coins into the coin controlled mechanism and through slot 42, it is impossible for a customer toopen more than one of the doors 102, inasmuch as simultaneous rotation of a pair of the cam arms 164 moves the upper segments 184 thereof into positions where the same are engaged by outwardly projecting extensions 320 on corresponding bars 290, thereby precluding further upward movement of plates 290 and preventing more than very initial movement of one or more of the doors 102 toward the final open positions thereof.

The .antipilfering mechanism 68 also serves to prevent opening of more than one door 102 when one of the lower product delivery doors is actuated, inasmuch as the plate 290 corresponding to the door 102 which is being opened, engages the lowermost extremity of the plate 290 therenext above which in turn engages the next successive plate until the upper plate 290 is moved upwardly in exactly the same manner as described above upon actuation of the uppermost door 102. Pins 324 on common bar 314 move into notches 200cm all of the cam elements 182 which have not been moved and thereby preclude opening of additional doors 102 after one of the same has been actuated to permit removal of a product from one of the shelf structures 58.

Even if an attempt is made to open more than one door for one price deposit and in such a manner that the pins are in alignment with oorrresponding notches 200 in cam elements 182, because a pair of the same have been moved in response to a pair of doors 102 being opened slightly, it is impossible to open more than one door at the same time with sufficient movement of any one to free the antipilferinlg mechanism 68 because of the interference presented by the lower surface of segment 184 of the uppermost cam am 164, when contacted by the extension 320 on the plate 290 immediately below the upper plate 290a. Furthermore, the mechanical requirement that all of the cam arms 164 except one must be locked by engagement of pins 324 on common bar 314 within corresponding notches on the 'cam arms which have not been moved, results in prevention of movement of a plurality of doors to actuate the solenoid 338 to move lever 344 into a position clearing L-shaped member 358. This construction prevents transfer of opening effort from one door to another, after the captive system is released, with the possible consequence of the customer being able to obtain a higher priced item than the one purchased.

Whenever it is desired to refill any of the compartments in shelf structures 58, this operation may be accomplished by disabling one of the shelf structures 58, while a customer may obtain a product from any of the remaining tray structures 56. 1

Immediately upon opening of the rear door 38, switch arm 422 of switch 424 is biased into engagement with contact 506 thereby providing a circuit in bypassing relationship to the motor switches 236. By virtue of this construction, the customer will not lose his deposit, even though he has not yet opened one of the doors 102, if the shelf structure of one of the tray structures 56 has been disabled by a person loading the compartments 130 thereof, from the rear of the machine. Note that a circuit may be traced through lead 374, closed switch arm 328 of switch 326, contact 338, line 392, line 504, contact 506, switch arm 422 of switch 424, line 418, the coil 512 of electrical means 498, line 508 and lead 372. Thebypass circuitry around motor switches 236 provided by back door loading switch 424 prevents the customer from losing his money in the event one of the trays is shut down, because normally the holding circuit for elec trical means 498 is traced through lead 372, line 508, coil 512, line 418, line 484, contact 488, switch arm 2380 of switch 2366', line 446, lead 448, contact 444, switch arm 23% of switch 236b, line 414, lead 412, contact 415, switch arm 238a of switch 236a, lead 390, line 392, contact 388, switch arm 328 of switch 326, and lead 374. It can be seen that under these circumstances, if one of the motors 134a is being actuated by an operator during loading of the associated shelf structure, movement of one of the switch arms 238a into engagement with an opposed contact, would break the circuit to reset solenoid or relay 498 and thereby possibly result in the customer losing his money before he had an opportunity to open one of the doors 102.

When the operator desires to reload the compartments 130 in one of the shelf structures 58, [he opens. rear door 38, thereby closing switch 424 as set forth above, and manually pulls member 264 outwardly to shift link 268 in a direction to pivot dog 270 about the axis of pin 272 to thereby move lug 274 on the corresponding dog 270 into notch 276 in the proximal link 148. This mechanical interlock precludes a customer from opening the door 102 which is being loaded by the operator.

If it is desired that the respective shelf structure 58 be rotated in order that additional products may be in sorted in compartments 130, the toggle switch arm 262 of the respective switch 260 is moved to thereby complete a circuit to the corresponding motor 134. Assuming that the uppermost 'shelf structure 56 is deactivated for loading purposes by the mechanical interlocking structure referred to above, and that the switch 260 thereof is actuated, it can be seen that the double pole switch arms 262a and 262a" are moved into engagement with contacts 404 and 410 respectively. In this manner, a circuit is completed to motor 134a through lead 374, line 406, contact 404, switch arm 262a, line 396, the windings of motor 134a, line 394 and lead 372. Under these conditions the motor 134a is operated continuously and the operator may push products into the compartment 130 as the same are rotated into alignment with the rear opening 36 in cabinet 22.

Since the motor switches 236 are actuated by the walls,

128 of a respective shelf structure 58, it can be seen that even though motor 134a is operated continuously and the associated switch 236a is actuated with the switch arm 238a thereof moving back and forth between contacts 400 and 415, the circuit illustrated in FIG. provides power to the remaining motors such as 13412 and 1340 without interruption of operation thereof.

An exemplary circuit would therefore include lead 374, closed switch arm 328 of switch 326, contact 388, line 392, lead 390, switch arm 262a" of switch 260a, contact 408, line 410, lead 412, line 414, switch arm 2381) of switch 2361), contact 440, line 442, contact 438, switch arm 262b of switch 260b, line 436, the windings of motor 134b, line 434 and lead 372. A similar circuit would be traced through motor 1346 if switch arm 2380 is in engagement with contact 474.

Movement of double pole switch arms 26217 and 262b" as well as shifting of switch arms 2 62c and 2620 would produce similar results.

It will be clear to those skilled in the art that a number ofmino-r modifications or changes could be made from the exact details of the preferred structure disclosed for illustrative purposes without departing from the true spirit and intention of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the invention should be deemed limited only by the fair scope of the claims that follow. 1

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

' 1. In avending machine, a housing provided with a means operably coupled to each of said shelf structures for independently rotating each of the latter; means on the housing for each movable means and operated thereby for actuating a corresponding power operated means only after the movable means which has been moved to a position providing access to one of the compartments, has been returned to said normal position thereof in blocking relationship to the opening aligned therewith; meansoperably coupled to each of said power operated means and shiftable by a respective shelf structure into an operated'position for deactivating each of the power operated means after actuation thereof as soon as the corresponding shelf structure has been rotated through an are sufficient only to bring the next successive compartment ofthe respective shelf structure into alignment with the corresponding opening; and means operated by each of said movable means for moving respective deactivating means into a location to again be operated by a corresponding shelf structure upon commencement of operation of a corresponding power operated means whereby compartments are brought into proper alignment with respective openings regardless of the width of said compartments. 7

2. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product delivery openings; movable means for each 10f said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; shelf structure for each of said openings and rotatably mounted within the housing for independent movement, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of compartments therein successively registrable with a corresponding opening; control means on the housing and actuatable by said movable means to prevent more than one movable means from being moved at a time to a position providing access to a compartment aligned therewith; electrically operated means operably coupled to each of said shelf structures for independently rotating each of the latter; means on the housing for each movable means and operated thereby for actuating a corresponding electrically operated means only after the movable means which has been moved to a position providing access to one of the compartments, has been returned to said normal position thereof in blocking relationship to the opening aligned therewith; shiftable switch means on the housing, operably coupled toeach of said electrically operated means, and normally disposed to be engaged and thereby shifted by a proximal part of a respective shelf structure for deactivating each of the electrically operated means after actuation thereof as soon as the correspond ing shelf structure has been rotated through an arc sufiicient only to bring the next successive compartment of the respective shelf structure into alignment with the corresponding opening; and means operated by each of said movable means during movement thereof to said normal positions of the same for shifting respective switch means out of the normal disposition thereof to locations to again be operated by a proximal part of respective shelf structures upon commencement of operation of a corresponding electrically operated means whereby the next 'successive compartments are brought into proper alignment with respective openings regardless of the width of said compartments.

3. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product delivery openings; movable means for each of said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; shelf structure for each of said openings and rotatably mounted within the housing for independent movement, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of radially extending, spaced walls defining compartments therebetween and successively registrable with a corresponding opening; control means on the housing and actuatable by said movable means to prevent more than one movable means from being moved at a time to a position providing access to a compartment aligned therewith; power operated means operably coupled to each of said shelf structures for independently rotating each of the latter; means on the housing for each movable means and operated thereby for actuating a corresponding power operated means only after the movable means which has been moved to a position providing access to one of the compartments, has been returned to said normal position thereof in blocking relationship to the opening aligned therewith; shiftable means on the housing, operably coupled to each of said power operated means, and normally disposed to be engaged by a proximal wall of a respective shelf structure for deactivating each of the power operated means after actuation thereof as soon as the corresponding shelf structure has been rotated through an arc suflioient only to bring the next successive compartment of the respective shelf structure into alignment with the corresponding opening and means operated by each of said movable means during movement thereof to said normal positions of the same for shifting respective deactivating means out of the normal disposition thereof to locations to again be operated by a proximal wall of a respective shelf structure upon commencement of operation of a corresponding power operated means whereby the next successive compartments are brought into proper alignment with respective openings regardless of the width of said compartments.

4. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product delivery openings; shelf structures within the housing and aligned with each of said openings, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of compartments therein successively registerable with a corresponding opening; movable means for each of said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; link means coupled to each of said movable means for movement therewith and extending into said housing; a cam arm connected to each of said link means and pivotal about corresponding fixed axes in response to shifting of said lin-k means; a series of plates disposed in vertical, endto-end abutting relationship, there being a plate for each of said cam arms and disposed in proximal relationship thereto, extension means projecting outwardly from each of said plates; cam means on each of said cam arms disposed to engage said extension means on respective plates and cam the corresponding plate and all of the plates thereabove, in an upward direction; a bar connected to the uppermost of said plates for movement therewith; pin means on the bar for each of said cam arms and projecting outwardly toward the latter, each of said cam arms having means therein receiving opposed pin means of those cam arms which have not been swung in response to opening of a corresponding movable means whereby opening of more than one movable means at a time is precluded.

5. A vending machine as set forth in claim 4, wherein said bar initially moves in a direction opposed to the initial direction of movement of the plates.

6. A vending machine as set forth in claim 5, wherein said plates are restricted against movement in an initial downward direction.

7. A vending machine as set forth in claim 4, wherein said plates are restricted against movement in only one direction.

8. A vending machine as set forth in claim 4, wherein is included means for restricting the plates against initial movement in a downward direction and coin controlled means provided with check mechanism operable to pre- 18 clude initial movement of the bar and thereby the uppermost plate in respective directions, and means for releasing said check mechanism to permit movement of said bar and the upper plate upon insertion of coins of predetermined value in said coin controlled means.

9. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product delivery openings; movable means for each of said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; shelf structure for each of said openings and rotatably mounted within the housing, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of radially disposed walls presenting individual compartments therebetween and successively registerable with a corresponding opening; link means coupled to each of said movable means for movement therewith and extending into said housing; a cam arm connected to each of said link means and pivotal about corresponding fixed axes in response to shifting of said link means; coin controlled means on the housing and actuatable by said cam arms in response to movement of each said movable means to respective open positions thereof to prevent more than one movable means from being moved at a time to a position providing access to a compartment aligned therewith; and stop means for each of said shelf structures and movably mounted on the housing, shiftable in response to movement of a corresponding movable means to said open position thereof, each of said stop means being provided with notch means therein disposed to receive one wall of a respective shelf structure therein to preclude rotation of the latter when a corresponding stop means is shifted upon movement of said one movable means into said position thereof.

10. A vending machine as set forth in claim 9, wherein said last-mentioned means includes an element mounted on each of the cam arms, movable therewith and each provided with a notch therein for receiving one of the walls of a corresponding shelf structure therein when said movable means is in said open position thereof.

11 A vending machine as set forth in claim 10, wherein each of said elements is pivotally mounted on a respective cam arm, there being spring means interconnecting each of the elements and a corresponding cam arm for biasing the extremity of each of the elements having a notch therein toward a corresponding shelf structure, and lug means on each of the cam arms and disposed to be en gaged by the opposed extremities of respective elements and limit swinging movement of the latter toward the proximal shelf structure.

12. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product delivery openings; movable means for each of said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; shelf structure for each of said openings and rotatably mounted within the housing for independent movement, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of radially disposed walls presenting individual compartments therebetween and successively registerable with a corresponding opening; power operated means operably coupled to each of said shelf structures for independently rotating each of the latter; link means coupled to each of said movable means for movement therewith and extending into said housing; a cam arm connected to each of said link means and pivotal about corresponding fixed axes in response to shifting of said link means; coin controlled means on the housing and actuatable by said cam arms in response to movement of said movable means to prevent more than one movable means from being moved at a time to a position providing access to a compantment aligned therewith; means on the housing and operable in response to movement of said one movable means from said position thereof to the initial location of the same for actuating the power operating means corresponding to the movable means that has been shifted;

and means for deactivating the power operated means coupling the output shaft to a respective shelf structure.

14. A vendingmachine as set forth in claim 13, wherein each of said shelf structures is provided with a circular panel and wherein each of said clutch means includes a pair of circular plates secured to respective output shaft for rotation therewith and receiving a peripheral marginal portion of a corresponding shelf structure panel therebetween, there being means on each of said pair of circular plates biasing the same toward each other.

15. A vending machine as set :forth in claim 12, wherein each of said power operated means includes an electric motor and wherein is provided electrical circuit means coupled to each motor and switch means interposed in each of said circuit means for controlling passage of electrical current to a corresponding motor, each of said switch means having a contact and pole piece means normally maintained in engagement with said contact, and lever means operably coupled to said pole piece means and disposed to be engaged by one of the compartment defining walls on a respective shelf structure during rotation of the latter for moving the pole piece out of engagement with said contact to break the current to the associated motor and thereby discontinue rotation of the respective shelf structure.

16. A vending machine as set forth in claim 15, wherein is provided means operably coupled to said lever means jfor moving the latter on the opposite side of the wall engaging said lever means to maintain said pole piece out of engagement with a corresponding contact, after one of the movable means has been moved to an open position thereof and then returned to the initial location thereof in blocking relationship to a corresponding product delivery opening.

17. In a vending machine, a housing provided with a series of vertically spaced product. delivery openings; shelf structures within the housing and aligned with each of said openings, each of said shelf structures being provided with a number of compartments therein successively registerable with a corresponding opening; movable means :for each of said openings and mounted on the housing for independent movement and in normal blocking relationship to respective openings; link means coupled to each of said movable means for movement therewith and extending into said housing; a cam arm connected to each of said link means and movable in response to shifting of said link means; a series of plates disposed in vertical, end-to-end abutting relationship, there being a plate for each of said cam arms and disposed in proximal nelationship thereto; extension means projecting outwardly from each of said plates; cam means on each of said cam arms disposed to engage said extension means on respective plates and cam the corresponding plate and all of the plates thereabove, in an upward direction; a bar connected to the uppermost of said plates for movement therewith; pin means on the bar for each of said cam arms and projecting outwardly toward the latter, each of said cam arms having means therein receiving opposed pin means of those cam arms which have not been moved in response to opening of a corresponding movable means whereby opening of more than one movable means at a time is precluded.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS SchW-ab et al. Oct. 15, 1935

Patent Citations
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US2017078 *Feb 12, 1934Oct 15, 1935Norris William JVending machine
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3190706 *Nov 20, 1963Jun 22, 1965Melikian Inc RuddCommodity vending machine
US3205994 *Apr 1, 1963Sep 14, 1965Ferro Mfg CorpMechanical can vending system
US3232400 *Nov 29, 1963Feb 1, 1966Universal Match CorpControl system for vending machine
US4317604 *May 5, 1980Mar 2, 1982Merrill KrakauerAll-purpose merchandiser
US4927051 *Oct 26, 1987May 22, 1990Unidynamics CorporationMultiple-product merchandising machine
US5048717 *May 16, 1990Sep 17, 1991Unidynamics CorporationMultiple-product merchandizing machine
US5067630 *Nov 29, 1988Nov 26, 1991G. T. Norton, Inc.Vending machine
US5285926 *Oct 13, 1992Feb 15, 1994Unidynamics CorporationMultiple-product merchandising machine
US5360134 *Aug 12, 1993Nov 1, 1994Unidynamics CorporationMultiple-product merchandising machine
US5697519 *Oct 3, 1995Dec 16, 1997Fawn Engineering CorporationSplit door for vending machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/97.1, 221/125, 194/239
International ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/50
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/50
European ClassificationG07F11/50