US 3126570 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Mafch 31, 1964 R, GREEN 3,126,570
CONVERTIBLE UPRIGHT AND TANK TYPE VACUUM CLEANER Filed March 29, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l v 1 /TOR.
ROBERT A. GREEN 73 4 y AT TORNE Y R. A. GREEN March 31, 1964 CONVERTIBLE UPRIGHT AND TANK TYPE VACUUM CLEANER 2 sheets sheet 2 Filed March 29, 1962 INVENTOR.
ROBERT A. GREEN V 26) I M ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,126,570 CONVERTIBLE UPRIGHT AND TANK TYPE VACUUM CLEANER Robert A. Green, Lake Oswego, 0reg., assignor to Labbe- Green Corporation, Portland, Greg, a corporation of Nevada Filed Mar. 29, 1962, Ser. No. 183,631 3 Claims. (Cl. 15331) This invention relates to a convertible vacuum cleaner which may be used either as an upright cleaner or as a tank type of cleaner.
For the purpose of establishing definitions, an upright cleaner is generally understood as a fully self-contained machine equipped with wheels to run bodily over the surface to be cleaned. The suction nozzle is usually integral with the fan and motor housing and a dust collecting bag is carried by this housing and by a handle with which the machine is pushed and pulled. The dust bag is usually connected on the discharge side of the suction fan. This unitary type of machine is generally preferred for rugs and carpets since it will operate conveniently over the area of a large room.
In a tank type cleaner the suction nozzle is mounted at the end of a flexible suction tube which is connected with a rather cumbersome piece of apparatus containing the fan, motor, and dust bag. The dust bag in this case is connected to the suction line on the intake side of the fan. This type of cleaner is used principally for upholstery, drapes and bare floor. It may also be used on small rugs and carpet areas under furniture, but is less convenient on extensive carpet areas as in rooms having wall to Wall carpeting. There exists a need for a compact universal cleaner that will serve all the foregoing purposes without a multiplicity of attachments which increase the cost of the cleaner and are awkward to use and cumbersome to store.
The general object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a convertible cleaner which is compact and light in weight and which combines the advantageous features of both upright and tank type cleaners.
Other objects are to provide a highly efiicient suction cleaner, to provide a cleaner which is easy to move from room to room and to carry upstairs, and to provide a cleaner which is relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture but which is durable and long lived in service.
The present cleaner comprises a two-wheeled base unit having a pivotally mounted suction head which is adapted to lie flat against the floor or carpet. Pivotally connected with the base unit is a tank and motor unit equipped with a handle for operating the machine as an upright cleaner. The base wheels are arranged to operate as a dolly for convenience in moving the cleaner about from room to room and up and down stairs. The cleaner is converted to a tank type of cleaner by merely tipping it over on its back and disposing it in horizontal position on the floor. Upon removing the handle, a flexible suction tube may be attached to the tank for the use of upholstery and drapery types of suction heads on the suction tube.
Still further objects and advantages will become apparent and the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Various changes may be made, however, in the details of construction and arrangement of parts, and all such modifications within the scope of the appended claims are included in the invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view of a vacuum cleaner embodying the principles of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view showing the base unit latched to the tank and motor unit to form a dolly;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 showing the base unit unlatched from the tank and motor unit for operation as an upright cleaner;
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 with the tank cover in open position for replacing the dust bag;
FIGURE 5 is a front elevation view with parts broken away to show the interior tank structure;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a side elevation view of the structure shown in FIGURE 6 with parts broken away;
FIGURE 8 is a bottom plan view of the suction head in the base unit;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view showing the latch between the base unit and the tank and motor unit; and
FIGURE 10 is a side elevation view showing the cleaner converted to a tank type of cleaner.
Referring first to FIGURES 1-4, the present cleaner comprises, generally, a base unit A and a tank and motor unit B which are pivotally interconnected through the axles 10 of the two wheels 11. The two units are automatically latched together when the tank and motor unit is brought to upright position so that the lower end of the motor housing rests on top of the base unit as shown in FIGURE 1. Then, when the cleaner is tilted backward as shown in FIGURE 2, the base unit is lifted off the floor and the wheels provide a dolly for wheeling the cleaner from room to room or up and down stairs. In such position the total weight of the appliance is in approximate balance on the wheels, the motor then being directly over the wheel axis.
By depressing the release lever 12 the latch is disengaged from the tank and motor unit, allowing the latter to pivot relative to the base unit A for use as a conventional upright cleaner as shown in FIGURE 3.
The base unit A comprises an outer housing 13 equipped with a rubber bumper strip 14. A pair of frame arms 15 extend rearwardly from this housing for pivotal mounting on the axles 10. A suction head 16 is pivotally mounted at 17 near the forward end of frame 15 as shown in FIGURE 7. The rearward portion of the suction head can pivot up and down Within the housing 13, the vertical movement being limited by a pair of pins 18 on opposite sides of the suction head which travel in arcuate vertical slots 19 in the frame members 15.
The rear ends of the suction head connects with a flexible hose 25 leading to the lower end of a rigid suction tube 26. The lower end of suction tube 26 is also equipped with a pair of forked supporting arms 27 which are rigidly connected to the stub axles 10. Suction tube 26 is welded or otherwise integrally connected witha U-shaped shroud or housing member 28 connected on the rear side of tank shell 30. The lower end of tank shell 30 carries a motor 31 equipped with a suction fan which draws air through the suction head 16, tube 26 and tank 30 and discharges it through the vent louvers 32. The motor is energized from a flexible electric cord 33 and is started and stopped by means of a push button switch 34 near the top of the tank shell. Tube 26, shroud member 28, tank shell 30 and motor 31 are all rigidly interconnected to constitute the tank and motor unit B.
The upper end of the tank is closed by a cover 35 mounted on a hinge 36. The opposite side of the cover is equipped with a catch 37 to latch the cover closed. The cover has a central suction opening within which there is detaohably mounted a hollow suction connection fitting 39. This fitting carries the handle 40. Fitting 39 and handle 40 are removable as a unit from cover 35 by releasing the spring catch 38.
An elbow tube 41 on the fitting 39 engages a bellrnouth '3 a 9 resilient seal 42 on the upper end of tube 26 when the cover is closed. Fan suction is thereby communicated through the tank and elbow 41 to the tube 26 and suction head 16. When the cover is open as shown in FIGURE 4 there is access to the interior of the tank for changing the dust bag.
The handle carries a hook 43, and the tube 26 and shroud 28 are provided with a similar hook 44, on which the electric cord 33 may be wound. The latter parts are also provided with a skid 45 for supporting the cleaner in horizontal position as shown in FIGURE 10. The wheels 11 project behind tube 26 in FIGURE 1 for this purpose, to provide, in cooperation with skid 45, a three point support.
Referring now to FIGURE 5, the tank shell 30 contains a perforated cylindrical inner shell 50 within which is disposed a porous dust bag 51. The dust bag has a flanged collar 52 on its upper end in order to suspend the bag within the tank shell as shown. The cover 35 is provided with an interior resilient gasket which seals against the collar 52 when the cover is closed. The air intake for the suction fan is indicated at 55. This air intake opening is covered by a screen 56 which supports a filter 57. An inverted dished perforated shell 58 overlies the filter.
The suction head 16 is preferably of the type described and claimed in the Rockwell Patent No. 2,785,432, issued March 19, 1957. This suction head has a narrow suction opening 65 between a pair of vertical walls 66 having rounded undersides provided with a multiplicity of depressions 67 as shown in FIGURES 6 and 8. Air is drawn across these depressions from a pair of chambers 69 on opposite outer sides of the walls 66. Air is admitted into chambers 69 through a series of slot-like nozzles 70.
By reason of the pivotal connection of the suction head at 17, the suction head remains flat on the carpet or floor when running on or off the end of a rug. Instead of the carpet being pulled up to the suction head, the latter bears lightly against the carpet. When used as an upright cleaner as shown in FIGURE 3 any downward force applied to handle 40 is not transmitted to the suction head, nor is the Weight of the motor impressed thereon. The suction head floats on the nap of the carpet under the weight of only the base unit A and independent of the weight of unit B.
The latch between base unit A and tank and motor unit 3 is shown in FIGURE 9. The catch 71 automatically engages with latch 72 when unit B is moved to upright position. Release lever 12 is a bell crank arm of latch 72, pivotally mounted at 73 and spring actuated by tension spring 74.
When it is desired to use the present cleaner as a tank cleaner it is necessary only to lower it to horizontal position as shown in FIGURE and remove the handle and suction connection fitting 40 and 39. The opening in the cover 35 will then receive the connector 75 of a conventional suction hose 76 which may be used with or without a rigid tubular wand and with any desired type of suction head for cleaning upholstery, drapes, bare floors and the like.
Having now described my invention and in what man- 4 ner the same may be used, what I claim. as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A vacuum cleaner comprising a base unit, a pair of wheels on the rear end of said base unit, a suction head flexibly mounted in the front end of said base unit, a rigid suction tube pivotally connected to said base unit on the axis of said wheels, a flexible suction tube connecting said suction head and said rigid suction tube, a tank and motor unit mounted on the front side of said rigid suction tube, a cover on said tank having a suction opening, a handle for operating the cleaner as an upright type cleaner, said handle having a detachable connection with said suction opening, said handle having a hollow portion in said opening communicating with said tank, and a suction connection extending from said hollow portion for engagement with said rigid tube to operatively connect said suction head with said tank, said suction opening being available to receive a flexible suction hose for use of the cleaner as a tank type cleaner when said handle is removed.
2. A vacuum cleaner as defined in claim 1, said cover being hinged on said tank and said suction connection comprising an elbow pipe engageable with the upper end of said rigid tube when said cover is closed with said handle attached.
3. A convertible vacuum cleaner comprising a base unit, a pair of dolly wheels on the rear end of said base unit and projecting behind the rear end thereof, a suction head flexibly mounted in the front end of said base unit so as to rest flat against a supporting surface, the front end of said base unit being supported by said suction head, a rigid suction tube pivotally connected to said base unit on the axis of said wheels, a flexible suction tube connecting said suction head and said rigid suction tube, a tank and motor unit mounted on the front side of said rigid suction tube with the upper end of the tank extending substantially to the upper end of said rigid suction tube, a latch releasably connecting said base unit to said tank and motor unit so that the two units may be tilted back together and wheeled as a dolly, a skid on said rigid tube forming with said wheels a three point support for the cleaner in horizontal position when said two units are latched together, a cover on said tank having a suction opening, a handle detachably mounted in said suction opening, and a suction connection on said handle detachably engaging the upper end of said rigid suction tube to operatively connect said suction head with said tank.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS