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Publication numberUS3105297 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 1, 1963
Filing dateNov 13, 1962
Priority dateNov 13, 1962
Publication numberUS 3105297 A, US 3105297A, US-A-3105297, US3105297 A, US3105297A
InventorsRoger Clowers Earl
Original AssigneeSunbeam Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Can lid retaining mechanism for can openers
US 3105297 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 1, 1963 Y E. R. CLOWERS 3,105,297

CAN LID RETAINING MECHANISM FOR CAN OPENERS I Filed Nov. 13, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 9' Z l Z3 .11

Oct. 1, 1963 Filed Nov. 13, 1962 E. R. CLOWERS CAN LID RETAINING MECHANISM FOR CAN 3,105,297 OPENERS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 30 I", 27 4?; 18 :5 {i h 25 1'7 3 16 fl -fl 7 a1 a6 5; 56 7 My MENTOR- n a; 52 2 24 PM United States Patent 3,165,297 CAN LID RETAINEG MECHANHSM FOR CAN GEENERS Earl Roger Clowers, Chicago, IlL, assignor to Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, 11., a corporation of Illinois Filed Nov. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 237,264 8 Claims. (Cl. 30-62,)

This invention relates generally to can openers and more particularly to an improvement for automatically moving the can lid holding device into engagement with the top surface of the can.

Can lid retaining devices on can openers are old in the art and are designed to retain the lid after it is severed from the can in order to prevent the lid from dropping into the food contained therein. This invention relates to an improvement in the can opener disclosed in the Jepson et al. Pat. No. 3,002,274 which is assigned to the same assignee as the instant application. Briefly, the Jepson patent discloses a can lid holding mechanism which includes a pivotally mounted lid holder on which a magnet is loosely supported. The assignee has manufactured the Jepson electrically powered can opener for some years with substantial commercial success and has thus far sold large quantities thereof throughout this country. While this appliance has performed exceptionally well on all types of cans, one problem has come forward. Since can openers are used to sever the lids from cans containing viscous liquids, small amounts of such substances become lodged in the bearing surface between the pivotal lid holder and the rigid supporting shaft after a period of considerable use. The build-up of dried food particles in the bearing restrained the movement of the lid holder to such a degree that the lid holder is no longer sufficiently free to permit the holder to be drawn downwardly into engagement with the can lid by the magnet which is loosely supported on the lid holder. When a can is placed in the severing position the can lid will normally engage the magnet due to locating motion of the can forcing the lid holder into the proper position if the holder is permitted to rotate with relatively free movement. Thus a need arose for a device to automatically lower the lid holding assembly whenever the can is placed in the severing position with respect to the can opener even though the lid holding bearing had become sticky preventing free movement thereof and to maintain the holder in that position during the cutting operation. After a build-up of dried food particles in the bearing, the movement of the lid holder is no longer sufliciently free to permit the holder to be drawn downwardly into engagement with the top can lid by the magnet which is loosely supported on the lid holder. When a can is placed in the severing position, the can lid will normally engage the magnet forcing the lid holder into the proper position if the holder is permitted to rotate with relatively free movement. Thus, a need arose for a device to automatically lower the lid holding assembly as the can is placed in the severing position with respect to the can opener and to maintain the holderin that position during the cutting operation. Also, it is apparent that a mechanism was needed which would positively engage the lid holding magnet with the can lid even though the lid holding bearing had become sticky preventing free movement thereof.

In view of the competitive condition of the electrical appliance field today, the automatic lowering mechanism for the lid holder should be designed with a minimum or nominal increase in production costs. The applicants device not only answers the problem of automatically lowering the magnet assembly, but also presents a solution which does not require an increase of cost. Obviously, if the cost were of no consequence, a manual 3,105,297 Patented 0st. I, 1963 "ice system could be easily devised by one skilled in the art to lower the magnet into engagement but this approach would require a separate operation for the user to perform. The instant design automatically lowers the magnet assembly Whenever a can of any commercial size is placed into the lid severing position.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved can opener which has a low manufacturing cost.

A further object of the invention is to provide a power operated can opener having a lid retaining device which is simple in both operation and construction.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a can opener which automatically lowers the can lid holding means into engagement with a can lid.

A further object of the invention is to provide a can opener having a lid holding magnet holder which pivots the magnet into engagement with the top of a can when the can is inserted into the lid severing position.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a front perspective view of the can opener having a can in the lid severing position before the operating handle is pivoted to the starting position;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the can opener shown in FIGURE 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged side elevational view of the can opener of FIGURE 1 with a portion of the operating handle cut away and with the lid holder in the upward position;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 3 but with a can located in the lid severing position and a portion of the supporting post cut away in order to better view the operation of the lid holder; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4.

Briefly, the present invention discloses a can opener having a can lid retaining device which is brought into effective engagement with the top of a can when the upper rim or lip of the can abuts against the projection of the lid holder. Thus, as the can is positioned so that the can lip is between the cutter wheel and drive wheel, the retaining means is automatically forced into engagement with the top of the can.

Referring now to the drawings in which like numerals designate like parts throughout the several views, the can opener is generally designated by the reference numeral 11. In FIGURE 1, the can opener 11 is supported on a stand 12 which may be placed on a counter top in a kitchen or other appropriate places. The mechanical components and operation of said can opener are described completely and in detail in Iepson et al. Pat. No. 3,002,274 and form no part of the instant invention other than to present the invention in its preferred environrnent.

A commercial sized can 13 is manually located by the operators hand 14 in the lid severing position as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5. In order to locate the can properly, the can lip or rim 15 must be positioned between a rotatable serrated drive member or wheel 2% on a fixed axis and a cutter wheel or element 21 so that the lower annular edge 16 of the lip 15 rests over said drive wheel. An operating lever 22 is pivotally connected to a can opener housing 23 within which the motor for the can is enclosed. The cutter wheel 21 is a rotatably mounted on the lever at a point spaced from the pivotal mounting of the lever 22. Therefore, when the can which has manually been placed in the proper severing position by the operator, the lever is rotated downwardly by the operator which forces the cutter means 21 to penetrate the can lid 17 adjacent the can lip 15. The cutter wheel 21 travels in a generally vertical direction and remains basically above the drive member 20. For a further discussion of this operation, the her tofore mentioned Jepson patent may be consulted.

As may be seen in PEG. 2, parallel stamped supporting posts 24 and 25 extend outwardly in substantially a common plane from the can opener housing 23 and have their ends formed over into cylindrical bearing portions 26 and 27, respectively, which are aligned to receive a supporting shaft 28 in a press fit. Since the supporting posts 24 and 25 are positioned above and on either side of the drive member 2 the shaft 28 is parallel to and spaced from the housing 23. Pivotally attached to the shaft 28 is a lid retaining device 31) which includes a plastic molded lid holder 31 and a holding means 32 which is illustrated in the preferred embodiment as a magnet assembly. It is within the purview of the invention to use alternative lid retaining means such as suction cups in lieu of the magnetic means disclosed.

As best shown in FIG. 5, the lid holder 31 includes downwardly extending side walls 33 which form a cuplike enclosure to receive a magnet 34 attached to a supporting member 35'. The magnet 34 is mounted in a free end or forward portion 31a of the lid holder 31. The two opposed side walls 33 are formed with aligned openings 36 in the forward portion 31:: to receive two tabs 37 which extend outwardly from the supporting member 35. The tabs 37 are loosely received in openings 36 in side walls 33 so that the magnet is free to pivot and to be displaced slightly with respect to the lid holder 31. The provision for relative movement between the magnet assembly 32 and the holder 31 is necessary so that the magnet may follow the movement of the can lid 17 as it is being severed. During the opening of the can, the lid may tilt with respect to the axis of the can causing a pivotal movement of the magnet 34. To pivotally support the lid holder 31 on the shaft 28, the holder 31 is provided with axially aligned bearing portions or openings 38 and 39 located in each side wall 33. A helical spring member 41 received on shaft 28 is adapted to engage and bias the lid holder 31 to an uppermost position. One end of the spring member 41 is in engagement with support post 24'w hile the other end engages the lid holder 31.

The shaft 28 constitutes the pivotal axis of the lid holder 31. The magnet assembly 32 is spaced forwardly on the holder 31 from the pivotal axis 40. Extending rearwardly from lid holder 31 and on the other side of the pivotal axis from the magnet assembly 32 is an integrally molded projection 42 which extends generally in the same plane as the forward portion 31a of lid holder. The projection 42 which extends parallel to and adjacent post 25 is sufhciently long to engage upper annular edge 18 of the rim 15 of any diameter commercial can placed in severing position and is sufficiently narrow and offset to avoid contact with the cutting means 21. Integrally formed on projection 42 is a stop member 43 which protrudes from projection 42 to engage or abut against the top surface of post 25. Thus, stop member 43 limits the uppermost position of lid holder 31 which, of course, is biased upwardly by helical spring member 41.

While the can opener is not in use, the lid retaining device 30 may be left in the uppermost position with the spring member 41 biasing the stop member against post 25 or the can opener may be stored with the lid retaining device in the lower vertical position with the magnet 34 in engagement with a ferrous portion 44 of the housing 23. When the can opener is to be used,'the lid retaining device is released from ferrous portion 44 if so stored and allowed to assume the uppermost position by the action of the spring member 41. The stop member 4 3 limits the downward rotation of the projection 42 so that the projection will be located at a position slightly below post 25 and slightly above the drive wheel 20:. Obviously, one skilled in the art could proportion the holder 31 in such a manner as to have the projection 42 even with the top of the drive means or slightly below and accomplish the same result. A can 13 to be opened is placed with the can rirn 15 located between the cutter wheel 21 and drive wheel 20. As a can is moved into cutting position, the can lip 15 will engage the holder projection 42. located above the drive wheel 24 This engagement forces the forward portion 31a of the lid holder 31 downwardly to a position where the magnet 3 is either resting on the top of the can 17 or so close thereto that magnetic engagement is assured. That is to say, that the magnet 34 will'be in such close proximity to the can lid 17 that the magnetic force Will easily overcome the weak helical spring member 4-1 which is attempting to bias the holder 31 upwardly. Thus the operator or user of the can opener is not required to lower the lid holder but the holder is automatically lowered whenever a can is positioned in the lid severing location. Since the lid holder 31 is positively displaced to assure contact between the magnet 34 and the can lid 17, it is less important that the bearing surfaces 38 and 39 become sticky and restrain rotation of holder 31.

While there has been illustrated and described in particular embodiment of the can lid holding mechanism for a can opener, it will be well understood that various changes and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art. It is intended in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A can lid retaining means for a can opener com prising a holder, means pivotally mounting said holder to said can opener, a can lid holding means attached to said holder and spaced from the pivotal axis, and a pro jection extending from said holder on the opposite side of said pivotal axis from said holding means so that said holding means will rotate downwardly when said projection moves upwardly, said projection positioned to contact the can lip when the can is inserted into a severing position causing said holding means to engage said can lid.

2. In a can opener having a lid retaining means comprising a magnet holder, means mounting said holder on said can opener for rotation about a pivotal axis, a cutter element and a can drive member associated with said can opener with said drive wheel positioned below said mounting means, a magnet connected to said holder at a point spaced from said pivotal axis and a projection extending from said holder adjacent said drive member and located on the other side of said pivotal axis from said magnet, said projection. positioned to contact the top edge of the rim of a can when the lower edge of the rim rests on said drive member in order to force said magnet to engage the can lid.

3. A can opener comprising a can opener housing, a cutter element and a rotatable drive wheel mounted on said housing, means ipivotally mounting a lid holder to said housing with the pivotal axis located above said drive wheel, a can lid holding means loosely attached to said holder at a position spaced from said pivotal axis and remote from said drive wheel, and a projection extending from said holder on the opposite side of said pivotal axis from said holding means, said projection extending above said drive wheel whereby a can lip inserted between said cutter element and drive wheel will engage said projection to cause engagement between the top of the can and said holding means.

4. A can opener comprising a can opener housing, a rotatable stationary located drive wheel mounted on said housing, a movable can lid cutting element associated with said housing and positioned generally above said wheel, a lid holder, a pivotal means adapted to receive said holder with the pivotal axis positioned above said drive Wheel and spaced from said housing, can lid holding means connected to said holder at a position spaced from said pivotal axis, and said holder having a projection extending on the opposite side of said pivotal axis from said holding means, said projection positioned generally above said drive wheel and ofiset with respect to said cutting means to insure that said projection will not contact said cutting means when a can lip is inserted above said drive Wheel causing said projection to rotate upwardly which brings said holding means into engagement with said can lid.

5. Can lid retaining means for a can opener comprising a can rotating means drivingly connected to said can opener, lid holder, pivotal means adapted to receive said holder so that the pivotal axis supporting said holder is spaced from said can opener and positioned above said rotating means, a can lid holding means loosely attached to said holder at a point spaced from said pivotal axis and a projection extending from said holder and positioned to contact the can lip when the can is inserted into a lid severing position with respect to the can opener whereby the lid holding means will be rotated into engagement with the can lid.

6. A can opener comprising a can opener housing, at least one supporting post extending outwardly from said housing, a shaft connected near the outermost portion of said post and positioned in spaced parallel relationship to said housing, a drive wheel rotatably mounted on said housing at a fixed point below said post, a cutting element movably associated with said housing above said drive wheel, a cup-shaped magnet holder pivotally mounted to said shaft, a magnet assembly loosely connected to and partially received within said cupshaped holder at a point spaced from said shaft, and a projection extending from said holder adjacent said housing and located on the opposite side of said shaft from said magnet, said projection positioned with reference to said drive wheel to engage the can lip when the can lip is inserted in a driving position with respect to said wheel whereby the engagement forces said holder to rotate the magnet suthciently close to the can lid that magnetic connection is assured.

7. The can opener of claim 6 wherein said projection is sufliciently offset from said cutting element to prevent engagement therebetween when said holder is rotated.

8. A power driven can opener comprising a can opener housing having a movable cutting element and a stationary located rotatable drive Wheel mounted thereon, a pair of parallel supporting posts extending outwardly from said housing with a post positioned above and on either side of said drive Wheel, a shaft received on said posts at a point spaced from and parallel to said housing, a magnet holder pivotally mounted on said shaft, a magnet assembly loosely attached near the end of said holder remote from said housing, said holder formed to have a projection extending from the end of said holder nearest said housing and on the opposite side of said shaft from said magnet, a stop member extending from said projection and positioned to intersect one of said posts in order to limit the downward rotation of said projection, and a torsional spring biasing said holder in a direction to raise said magnet, said projection is positioned to contact the upper lip of can insert between said cutting element and drive wheel whereby said holder is retated to bring said magnet sufliciently close to the can lid that said magnet can easily overcome the comparatively weak biasing force of said spring to make contact.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3222780 *Dec 27, 1963Dec 14, 1965Gen ElectricLid holding means for can opener
US3360853 *Jul 8, 1965Jan 2, 1968Sunbeam CorpCan opener
US5313708 *Dec 4, 1992May 24, 1994The Rival CompanyCan opener
US5666735 *Jun 22, 1995Sep 16, 1997Black & Decker Inc.Can opener with moving lid retainer
US5992026 *Jan 9, 1998Nov 30, 1999The Rival CompanyKitchen appliance with pivotal mounting
US6092292 *Apr 10, 1998Jul 25, 2000Hp Intellectual Corp.Can opener
US6189221Dec 31, 1998Feb 20, 2001The Rival CompanyCan opener appliance having a side-cutting mechanism
US6510613Jul 20, 2000Jan 28, 2003The Holmes Group, Inc.Ergonomic can opener
Classifications
U.S. Classification30/410
International ClassificationB67B7/00, B67B7/82
Cooperative ClassificationB67B7/38
European ClassificationB67B7/38