US 3131281 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
l. JPsoN April 28, 1964 HAIR DRYER 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed April 17, 1957 [lll/111,
April 28, 1954 l. JEPsoN 3,131,281
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5y Raw M l. JEPSON HAIR DRYER April 28, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Original Filed April 17, 1957 N L mw E WM @Mr April 28, 1964 Qrginal Filed April 17, 1957 1. JEPsoN HAIR DRYER 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.
IFAI? TE/50N United States Patent O 3,131,261 HAIR DRYER Ivar iepson, Oak Park, lll., assigner to Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, lil., a corporation of lilinois Original appiication Apr. 17, 1957, Ser. No. 653,336, n'ow Patent No. 3,696,079, dated Get. 31, 1961. Divided and this appiication Feb. 16, 1960, Ser. No. 9i04 2 (Ilaims. (Ci. 219--39l The instant application is a division of my copending parent patent application Serial No. 653,336, led April 17, 1957, now Patent No. 3,006,079, issued October 31, 1961, and assigned to the same assignee as the instant application. The improved cap` per se of the present invention is claimed in said copending parent patent application.
The present invention relates to a hair dryer of the portable type which may have other uses in addition to that of drying hair.
There have been on the market for some years what might be termed three separate types of hair dryers for drying the hair on the head of humans. There is, rst of all, the so-called professional dryer commonly found in beauty parlors and similar establishments, which generally comprises a heavy base for supporting a metal hood. Disposed within the metal hood are a fan and heating elements. The persons hair to be dried and a substantial portion of the head are inserted into such metal hood and hot air is blown down over the head. These professional type dryers have numerous disadvantages, particularly with respect to the nonuniform application of drying heat. Such dryers are known to subject the top of the head to unduly high temperatures, with the consequent discomfort and possible injury to the scalp while doing a very unsatisfactory drying operation to the hair adjacent to or below the scalpline. Furthermore, such professional dryers require the user to sit in a rather awkward and uncomfortable position, and the noise produced by the fan is such as to make it impossible for such person to carry on a conversation or do much of anything except to sit very straight in a constrained and uncomfortable position,
Another type of dryer which has been available on the market is the so-called hand dryer which involves a small blower for supplying heated air from a nozzle. This dryer is moved by the user around the head so that the air engages different parts of the hair and scalp for drying. Such dryers, although portable, are very inefiicient and uncomfortable to use in that the user must hold them in awkward positions to get at parts of the scalp such as the rear and the top.
The third type of hair dryers involves the use of a iiexible hood on the head of the user, to which hood is supplied heated air. Such a unit is disclosed and claimed in Nelson Patent No. 2,488,227, granted November l5, 1949, and assigned by mesne assignments to the Same assignee as the instant application. The present invention is specifically concerned with an improvement on the arrangement disclosed in the aforesaid Nelson patent.
It would be desirable to provide a controlled heat hair dryer which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the professional dryer and yet which will give high-speed, controlled heat drying with complete comfort to the user. It will be appreciated that the drying of womens hair is more of a problem than that of drying mens hair due to the fact that fashions usually decree that womens hair be worn at a longer length than rnens hair. To perform a most satisfactory drying operation, extensive studies have been made in connection with the present invention to determine the length and growth conditions of the hair in various areas of womens heads. It would be desirable to provide a hair dryer 3,131,281 Patented Apr. 28, 1964 ICC particularly adapted for drying womens hair in which the drying air enters the hair near those portions of the scalp Where the hair is thickest and most difficult to dry, and is forced through the hair over those portions of the scalp. It would, furthermore, be desirable to provide an arrangement in which, unlike the professional hair dryer, little or no drying air is discharged upon the ears or in the areas immediately adjacent the ears. As a matter of fact, in the areas adjacent the ears the hair of the average person is relatively thin and it is both unnecessary and undesirable to discharge any extensive quantities of drying air.
In recent years a tremendous number of new appliances and devices of all sorts have been available on the market for home use. Obviously, each new device increases the storage problem for such appliances and devices when not in use. lt would be desirable to provide a hair dryer which is very compact and which does not substantially add to the storage problem in the average home. Furthermore, hair dryers are often used by women in their bedrooms and it would be desirable for such a device to have a pleasing appearance so that, if exposed in such room, it will not detract from the appearance thereof, but, if anything, will enhance the appearance.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved hair dryer having the advantages enumerated above.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved hair dryer which may be Worn with comfort by the user during a drying operation and which thoroughly dries the hair and scalp of the user in a minimum of time.
Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of an improved hair dryer having a lightweight hairand scalp-enclosing cap with improved means for distributing the heated air.
Still another object of the present invention is the provision of an improved hair dryer designed to cause no discomfort to the user.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hair dryer which may be selectively actuated to direct heated air over the hair of the user as well as air at ambient temperature, unheated in any way, such as by the motor of the hair dryer.
Still another object of the present invention resides in providing a hair dryer in which the cap or scalp-enclosing portion may be detached quickly from the remainder of the dryer to give freedom of movement to the user for emergencies such as` telephone calls and the like.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a hair dryer having a quiet blower of large air capacity.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved hair dryer which is compactly arranged, comprising a lightweight unit which may readily be applied to the user and removed, and which may be stored in a very small space.
Still another object of the present invention resides in an improved hair dryer which is convenient to use, easily adapted to the user, economical to manufacture, and which will give long years of satisfactory service.
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:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the hair dryer of the present invention shown during use thereof;
FIG. 2 is a greatly enlarged View, partly in section, of the cap or bonnet portion of the hair dryer of the present invention;
FIGS. 2a and 2b are greatly enlarged fragmentary sectional views taken along lines .2a-2a and Zb-Zb of FIG. 2, respectively, assuming that FIG. 2 shows `the complete structure;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 3 3 of FIG. 2, assuming that FIG. 2 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged sectional view taken substantially on line 4-4 of FIG. l;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4, assuming that FIG. 4 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the motor-driven fan portion of the hair dryer of the present invention looking in the direction of the arrows 6-6 of FIG. 5, assuming that FIG. 5 shows the complete structure, but with certain portions of the bottom cut away;
FIG. 7 is a somewhat enlarged sectional view taken on line 7--7 of FIG. 6, assuming that FIG. 6 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7, assuming that FIG. 7 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary View taken on line 9 9 of FIG. 7, again assuming that FIG. 7 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken on line 10-16 of FIG. 4, assuming that FIG. 4 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 11 is a greatly enlarged sectional view taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 4, assuming that FIG. 4 shows the complete structure;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 12-12 of FIG, 1l;
FIG. 13a is a circuit diagram showing schematically the switch of FIG. 11; and
FIGS, 13b, 13C, 13d and 13e are fragmentary views of FIG. 13a showing different successive positions of the switch mechanism.
Brieiiy, the present invention is concerned with an improved hair drying cap or bonnet of the flexible headconforming type which is designed to aid in supplying drying air to the human scalp in a manner so that those -areas of the hair and scalp which require the maximum drying are supplied with the maximum amount of drying air, and that excessive quantities of drying air are not supplied to tender areas of the head and scalp and those areas having a minimum amount of hair. The flexible cap or bonnet is connected by means of a ilexible hose to a compact unit for supplying drying air at four different temperatures including air at room temperature. A very compact motor unit is provided with heater means for selectively supplying air at diiferent temperatures.
Referring now to the drawings, the improved hair dryer of the present invention essentially comprises three principal elements: a flexible cap or scalp-enclosing unit, generally designated at 15, which is designed to be worn by the user, a unit 16 for heating air and delivering it in a stream, and a flexible conduit 17 interconnecting the unit 16 with the cap or unit 15. Although the present invention is primarily described as a hair dryer, it is adapted for numerous other uses. For example, by disconnecting the iiexible conduit or hose 17 from the cap 15, the drying air issuing from the flexible conduit 17 is excellent for drying nail polish, lingerie, gloves, liquid shoe polish, childrens hair, pets, etc. Consequently, it is intended that the term hair dryer used in this application cover related uses of the device even though these uses may not actually involve drying hair.
Considering first the construction of the bonnet or cap 15, attention is directed to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The cap 15 comprises a generally conical-shaped fabric container which, at the large end of the cone, is open so as to receive therein the scalp portion of a human head for hair drying purposes. The periphery dening the open end is provided with a channel 1S for receiving a suitable drawstring 19, preferably formed of an elastic material so as to give a close t around the head of the user. The drawstring should be adjusted initially so that when the cap is applied to the head of the user it snugly encloses at least the scalp portion thereof. As illustrated, the drawstring enclosing channel 18 terminates in an eyelet 2i? through which the ends of the drawstring may extend so as to be accessible to the user, and the ends are preferably knotted together in the desired adjusted position as indicated at 19a For the purpose of insuring that the cap 15 has a minimum volume just sufficient to receive the scalp portion of the head and hair of the user, a ring clamp, generally designated at 23, is applied to the apex of the cone and slidable along the cone-shaped flexible material so as to reduce the volume of the cap to that required snugly to receive variable volumes of hair. The ring clamp 23 is illustrated as comprising a plurality of turns of a coil spring, with the ends bent in a manner so as not to interfere with applying the clamp to the cone. In an embodiment built in accordance with the present invention, the ends of the clamp were bent so as to extend across the central opening of the ring-shaped member 23, thereby to act as a sort of clamp to hold this member on the cone-shaped cap. This construction enables the cap 15 to be adjusted so it lits closely around the hair of the user whereby all air introduced into the cap flows through the hair.
The cap 15 may, obviously, be made of any flexible fabric. In an embodiment built in accordance with the present invention, the cap 15 is made from a single fiat sheet of a tafetized virgin vinyl in any desirable color. This material lends itself very Well to heat sealing operations so that the seams designated at 15a and 13b defining the drawstring receiving channel 13 are effectively formed by heat sealing two layers of material together, thus eliminating any requirement for sewing. In addition, the vinyl material is impervious to air and, hence, provides a good means for directing heated air in any desired manner. In a second embodiment built in accordance with the present invention, the cap or bonnet 15 is made from densely woven fabric of Daeron and nylon. This fabric is so tightly woven that it is substantially imperviour to air up to or greater than about twelve pounds per square inch pressure, but permits water from the wet hair in contact therewith to seep rapidly therethrough to the exterior of the cap to accelerate the hair drying action.
For the purpose of supplying heated air to the scalp, the cap 15 is provided with a manifold designated at 25 defined by applying to the interior of the cap 15 a piece of material 26. The exterior shell of the cap 15, which is of conical configuration, is made from a single flat sheet of generally triangular shape including two identical sides or halves which are joined at their extremities as by heat sealing to form the seam 24 extending from the head receiving opening at the large end of the cone to the apex thereof. The effective portion of the material 26 may have a particular shape which, for one half of the cap, has somewhat a distorted mitten shape, as best shown in the cross-sectional View of FIG. 2 of the drawings. A comparable piece of material 2d will be included in the other half of the cap. The edges of the material 26, which preferably is the same as that from which the rest of the cap is formed, are heated-sealed to the remainder of the cap to define the seams 26a and 26h. The seam 24, the seams 26a and 26h, and the seams 18a and 15b are preferably simultaneously formed. The seam 24 between the seams 26a and Zeb prevents interconnection of the manifold on each side of the cap at the top of the cap. The scams 26a and 26h eifectively define the closed chamber or manifold 25 which is connected to a relatively large opening in the exterior of the cap l but not in the material 26, adjacent to the nape of the neck of the user and at what would correspond to the base of the head of the user. This opening is defined by a grommet 28 which is suitably clamped to the edges of the material defining the opening. The grommet Ztl thus comprises the air inlet opening to the manifold 25, and, when the cap is in place for use, the grommet 2S is almost horizontal so that 'the flexible conduit ll7 hangs substantially vertically, thereby causing no discomfort to the user.
It should be understood that the material 2d may be coeXtensive with the exterior shell of the cap l5, if desired, so as to define two nested conical members heatsealed along the seams ida, lb, 24, 26a and 26h.
ln accordance with the present invention, the manifold 25 is provided inside the cap 1.5 with a plurality of air distributing openings Ella, Elib and Sile which are the only openings by which air supplied to the opening in the grommet 2d may escape into the cap and, hence, into the hair of the user. The particular location of these openings is very important and has been obtained after a great deal of study and experimentation. The holes are so located that the largest quantity of air is supplied to the portions of the scalp spaced immediately adjacent to where the hair is the thickest and most difficult to dry. Specically, the holes are omitted in those portions immediately adjacent the ears so that no hot air is discharged onto the ears.
T he holes 3th: extend along a line under the base of the head of the user and are closer to the right-hand edge of the manifold Z5, as viewed in FlG. 2, than to the left-hand edge thereof. Hence, as air is supplied to the manifold through the inlet grommet 2? and the manifold inflates somewhat, the holes are directed somewhat back and upwardly along the head rather than perpendicularly to the adjacent portions of the head. That is, the jets of air from the holes 36a are directed upwardly and at acute angles to the portions of the scalp adjacent thereto, and flow along the scalp into the heavy mass of hair at the back of the head. ri`his air travels along the scalp and through the hair over the back of the head and the crown of the head to an outlet grommet .T12 located just above the forehead.
The holes Elib form a line along the sides of the head near the top and just above and forward of the ears, and are adjacent to relatively thin hair areas. The holes 363k also are off-center to the right, as viewed in FlG. 2, in the portions of the manifold in which they are positioned, so that, as the manifold is inflated during use, the holes lilik face upwardly and to the right to direct the jets of air somewhat tangentially to the scalp. The air then flows up to the crown of the head toward the opening 32 and through the heavier masses of hair immediately adjacent the openings Elib.
The holes 3th: are located over the crown of the head of the user just baci( of the mass of hair often accumulated on the forward portion of the head of a feminine user. The holes 3de are olf-center in the manifold 25 to the left of the center "of the manifold, as viewed in FlG. 2, so that, on inflation of the manifold which normally occurs during use, the jets of air from the holes rlc impinge tangentially on the scalp with substantial cornponents of direction toward the outlet opening 32. Each of the uppermost ones of the two groups of holes Stic on each side of the seam 2tlis spaced sufhciently far from this seam that these uppermost holes are not folded together or closed off as the manifold is inflated. rl`he jets from the holes lille strike the scalp just before the heavy forward mass of hair, and flow through that heavy mass of hair.
lt should be noted that each series of openings 36in, Elib and fille is so located that each opening directs a jet of air toward the scalp and generally toward the outlet opening 32;, which jet impinges against the scalp just before a large accumulation of hair. That is, the openings 30a, Bllb and 3de are at thin hair portions of the scalp immediately adjacent to heavy accumulations of hair, so that the jets flow directly into the heavy accumulations for most effective drying. In a device successfully embodying the present invention, there were employed ten of the holes Sila, three holes in each of the two groups of the holes tlb on opposite sides of the head, and three holes in each group of the holes Stic. Each hole was three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. The holes of this size provide optimum drying jets of high velocity and direct a large volume of air per unit of time onto the scalp and through the hair. Air under a pressure of from six to nine inches of water was supplied to the manifold, and the manifold and closely fitting cap kept the air flowing toward the outlet opening 32 over all parts of the scalp. About fifteen to eighteen cubic feet of air per minute were forced through the manifold, which resulted in rapid drying of the hair.
In the modified construction of the present invention where the cap l5 comprises two nested conical members, as mentioned above, the inner conical member is provided with the holes 39a, 30h, and 3de, as described above, between the seams 26a and 26h. It is additionally provided with a few holes in portions thereof not between the seams 26a and Zdb to permit the escape of any air which might get between the inner and outer conical members other than Within the manifold 2.5 if by any chance there were some slight leakage along the seams 26a. or Zub.
No holes Sila or Silb are provided in the manifold 25 for an area which would extend for an inch or so above the ears toward the crown of the head. The reason for this is that it has been found that the hair of the average person in these areas is relatively thin and these areas are not immediately adjacent to large accumulations of hair, and it is undesirable to discharge hot drying air into these areas. The manifold 2.5 is provided with relatively few openings Stic in the area adjacent the crown of the head, since a substantial portion of the air from the holes 3de also travels over the crown of the head. In any event, when air is supplied to the opening in the grommet 23 and consequently to the manifold 2S, this air is discharged through the openings 30a, Stb and 30e, which are positioned so that substantial quantities of drying air are discharged against the scalp at portions of the scalp bordering heavy masses of hair in directions flowing along the scalp into such masses. Preferably, at least about onehalf of the air going into the cap is discharged through the holes 39a against the scalp at the base of the head effectively to dry the large accumulations of hair at the rear portion of the head.
The opening 32 referred to above is provided at the upper `front of the cap d5. This opening may be defined in -any `suitable manner as by ia Washer 36 se-aled into the fabric or the like through which the air supplied to the cap lbl fnom the `openings lilla, Billy and Stic inthe manifold 25 may escape. Since the `cap is otherwise closed by virtue of the drawstring i9, snugly embracing the head of the user, the open-ing 32 is the only opening through which such air may escape from the cap l5, The pia-th of flow 'of drying air is as indicated in `the `drawing-s, with the result that warm dry lair is concentrated on the back of the head adjacent the scalpline where the hair fis heaviest, and this ravir passes over the scalp carrying moisture through the escape opening 32. 4This escape opening is dispose/d asis shown in HG. l of the draw-ings, so that the rnoist air is directed away from the face. vIt is, furthermore, clear that there can be no discomfort of heat on the falce, neck or shoulders, since `all the Warm air escaping from the cap d5 is directed through the opening 32. Thus, wiith the oap l5 the drying air is directed `where it is desired and it is unnecessary tohold a device in an awk.- ward, arm-tiring manner, as was the case with one type of prior art dryer. Furthermore, the hands of the user are completely free to do other things.
The iienible conduit ll7 for connecting the cap d5 with the source of heated air may comprise any `suit-able conduit fand is illustrated as a corrugated hose or conduit i7, reinforced by a spiral steel wire 17a (see FIG. 7) covered with a plastic material bonded to the hose `which preien ably is of a color matching that of the cap l5. For the purpose of connecting the ilexible conduit il7 with the opening in the grommet 23, fa suitable hose coupling 35, which might be formed from a suitable plastic material, is provided. The end of the hose is preferably received in the end of the coupling, as indicated in HG. 3 of the drawings, and a suitable adhesive is applied as indicated at 36 :to secure the hose coupling to the hose. Preferably, the hose coupling is provided with an annular recess 37 for receiving the grommet 2.3. lf the coupling 3S is formed from a resilient material such as natural or artificial rubber or plastic, it can be distorted :for ready insertion into f e opening in grommet 2S, with .the result that the grommet snaps into the recess 37 and securely holds the hose coupling 3S connected to the manifold This connection is readily removable, however, due to the resilience of the hose coupling 35.
It will be appreciated that the air under pressure in the conduit i7 forces the iiexible piece of material 26 away from the mou-th of the coupling 35 vto permit unobstructed flow of the air into the manifold 25. This action is aided by the downward pull of the vertically depending portion of the conduit ll adjacent the grommet l. Thus, the upper end portion of the coupling 3S in the manifold 25 need not `b-e slotted or perforated laterally to permit air ilow into `the manifold 2S.
Considering now vthe unit i6 for supplying drying air of selectively diierent temperatures to the cap l5, attention .is directed to FIGS. 4 to l0 of the drawings. As there illustrated, the unit 16 `is la compact so-ca-lled ian heater comprising a molded one-piece housing 4h open at the bottom. The bottom `opening of housing 4b is adapted to be closed by a suitable base plate 4l. To secure the base plate 41 to the bottom open end of the housing 40, suitable screws or fastening means 42 are provided for engaging suitable tapped :inserts 43 molded into `the housing 4i) or other suitable threaded means. Preferably, the housing 4@ is molded from a suitable plastic material and may have a color corresponding to that of 4the hose 17 and the cap i5, if desired. Essentially, the housing or casing 4d comprises a somewhat domeshaped shell having an open bottom with la lateral projection ella at the bottom serving as an outlet passageway for heated air to be supplied to the hose 17. The top of the housing is provided with slotted openings 4S through which motor cooling air may enter the motor housing. The casing is also provided with discharge openings 4d through which the motor cooling fair is discharged. Additionally, `a relatively large .opening 47 (see FIG. 4) is provided near the upper par-t of one side :of the housing through which a suitable control shaft cooperating with a control knob 48 may extend.
For the purpose of operating a suitable lian for supplying drying air to the hose i7, there is disposed within the housing `or casing 4t) and forming an integral part of the unit 16 a motor and fan assembly generally designated at 50. This motor and fan assembly comprises an electric motor 51, which may be any suitable type ot motor and is illustrated as comprising a tield structure 5.2 and an armature 53. The iield structure and armature are preferably suitably mounted in a diecast housing 54. The armature 53 of the motor 5l is suitably mounted within the housing S4, with 4the axis of the yarmature shaft 53a thereof disposed in a generally vertical direction. The motor housing7 54 is essentially a tubular structure open `at the bottom and having spiderlike arms defining a suitable support for the upper bearing 56, which is held in place by a suitable bearing retainer 57, which in turn is secured to the housing S4 by suitable fastening means 53. As is best shown in FIG. 5, the brackets that are provided to `support the upper bearing 5d also support a pair of brushes 59 biased into engagement with a conventional oommuta-tor ed by spring means generally indicated at 61, .thus providing `the means for making electrical connections to the arma-ture. The eld windings of the motor Si may be arranged in any manner, such, for example, as in series with the armature.
The brushes 59 are slidable along bronze channels 62 seated in horizontally split boxes 63 of electrical insulating material. Bent-up ends 62a of the channels 62 have loops `62.5 vformed by piercing and are electrically secured to suitable leads. Mechanically, they :also serve as seats for lthe sprhigs di. Each box l(d3 has a bottom groove 63a `fitting interlockabiy `over the upper edge of the motor housing 54, and the boxes are pressed downwardly by spring arms of the bearing retainer S7. During assembly, pairs of notches @3b bracketing each brush box 63 support pins (not shown) to keep the arms of the retainer 57 raised un for insertion `of the brush units.
To complete the motor housing and also to provide a fan housing and lower bearing support, there is provided a combined motor housing closure member Iand fan housing generally designated by the reference numeral 64, which is a sort of downwardly directed cup-shaped member having a tangential portion dfi-a dening a fan outlet and receivable within the portion of the plastic housing 4d. The combined fan housing and closure member e4- is suitably secured to the `open end of the motor housing 54 as by fastening means do, best shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings. This closure member includes means for receiving the lower motor bearing o7, which is preferably held in position by a lower bearing retainer 68 suitably secured to the member 64 as by screws 69. The lower closure member is provided with two depending generally circular iianges, designated as 64b and 64C, respectively. The depending circular flange 64b effectively deiines an upper tan chamber for -a motor cooling fan, while the lower depending flange 64C cooperates to deine a drying air circulating fan chamber which is oo-nnected Ito Ithe tangentially disposed outlet sec-tion 64a. The armature shaft 3a is journalled in the bearings 56 and o7, respectively, and the lower end of this armature shaft extends into the ian housing deiined by the member d4, Moreover, the lower end is illustrated as being threaded as indicated at 53]: so that a suitable circulating fan 7i may be secured tothe motor shaft 53a as by means of a suitable nut 72. Essentially, the fan 7l is a double fan having a circular disk pontion 71a, the periphery of which corresponds to the periphery of the depending circular iiange 64b and is disposed immediately below the depe .ding flange 64b so as effectively to divide the fan housing into an upper fan chamber 73 and a lower -fan chamber 74. integrally ,formed with the disk 71a and on the upper face thereof are a plurality `of fan blades 71h which are rotated in ian chamber to draw cooling air through the openings in the ltop of the plastic housing 4t) in a direction generally parallel with the longitudinal .axis of `the motor :sha-ft 53a and into the fan chamber 73. As best shown in PEG. 4 of the drawings, the fan chamber 73 is provided with' a lateral opening 76 delined in :the member 64 which is aligned with the openings 46 in the plastic housing From the above description it twill be apparent that the peripheral depending lip or tlange 64b and the cooperat- `ing disk portion 7M of the fan 7i effectively isolate the fan chamber 7? `from the fan chamber 74 so that motor cooling air is kept completely out of the tan chamber 74 and, consequently, is kept out of the air supplied to the hose `or liexible conduit i7. The drying air supplied to conduit 17 is delivered by Vir-tue of the fan defined by a plurality of depending blades 7llc integrally formed with disk 'la and blades Tilb. The motor and fan assembly 5i? is secured with the housing 4d by the same screws 42 which hold the base or closure plate 4l in position. The closure plate `41 is shaped so as substantially to close fthe bottom of the plastic housing ttl and, hence, it extends beyond the peripher/ of the flange 64C of member 64 in various places. As illustrated, the member 64 is provided with `lateral projections 7de, 731), 73C and idd which have openings therein Ialigned with the tapped openings for receiving the screws 4,2. The center of the closure plate iAll is provided with a plurality of openings. 79 at the vortex of the tan chamber 74 through which air may be dnawn .and discharged tangentially through the portion @da `ot the combined I`fan housing and motor housing closure plate d4. The portion @da terminates in a circular -air discharge opening dit.
The flexible conduit l7 is connected to the discharge opening Sil by a metal sleeve Si v(iFlGt. 7) locked by pressiitting it :in the opening Sti. The iiexible conduit is secured to the sleeve lil by the spring steel wire `17a extending along a spinal groove or thread @la and the corrugations in .the flexible conduit i7 to key these elements together. The wire 17a, :as the conduit i7 is screwed on the sleeve d1, tends to be drawn temporarily into a looser spinal on the sleeve 8l, thus not obstructing the threading oat the conduit onto vthe sleeve. However, when the conduit :is grasped at :a poi-nt away from the sleeve land it is attempted to` unscrew `the conduit from the sleeve, the wire is drawn more tightly on the conduit and the conduit is very diicult to remove. When the very end of the conduit on the sleeve is grasped and the conduit lis turned in ,an unscrewing direction, the wire is not tightened and the conduit may be unscrewed. rlihis construction prevents .accidental removal of the conduit from the sleeve.
For the purpose of providing drying lair, it is obvious that means must be provided to heat .the air supplied to the conduit l', .and in accordance. with the present invention `a suitable multiheat heater, generally designated at 85, is disposed Within .the tangential housing extension 6ft-a, `as is best shown in FIGS. 4, 6 :and 7 of the drawings. As there illustrated, the heater 85 comprises two sepa-rate heater elements designated :as 85a .and S512. rlhese heaters each comprise an insulating card 36 such las a mica card, having corrugated edges and about which is Wrapped a suitable resistance wire, the corrugations causing the turns .thereof to rein-ain separated. Preferably, the heater element 85a is a higher Iresistance element so as to produce :a lower wattage output, while the resistor 35h is `a lower resistance element so as to produce a higher wattage output. ln one embodiment constructed in accordance with the present invent-ion, .the cards 86 of both the heater elements 35a and 85h are identical and are wound with lthe same number of turns of resistance wires, but .the wire of the heater element Elio is `smaller in cross section .than .the wire of the heater element 85h. Por the purpose of suitably supporting the heater dii coniprising the two separate elements 35u and 85h within the discharge portion of the dan chamber 7d, the upper walls of the chamber are provided adjacent each end of the heater d5 with projections 87a, -37b and 87e :so as to support the cards d'6 in spaced parallel relationship, as best sholwn in FlGS. 4, 6 and S of the drawings. To similarly suppont the bottoni `of the insulating cards d6 delining the heater b5, :a clip member `o1' heater clip 89 is provided which comprises a sort of handle-shaped element having at each end thereof a pair of spaced recesses for receiving .the insulating cards 86` .and holding them in spaced parallel relationship in the same manner :as the upper 4ends thereof are held by the projections 87a, 37b and 87o. To tur-ther support the lower end of the members, the cover or base plate il is provided with a depression 41a which has a centrally disposed smaller depression dlb thereof for snugly receiving the lower portion of the heater clip v39. Thus, in an :assembly operation, the heater elements with the heater clip 39 secured thereto are inserted between the projections $7 and then the cover or base plate l1 .is put into position, which insuresI properly supporting the heater elements a and `llSb in insulated relationship within the discharge portion of lthe fan chamber 74. The heater elements `85a and 85h are connected .together by `a suitable connector 90, and a conductor 91 connects the common terminal or tenrninal link 9) ot the two heater elements to one side of the source for energizing the motor, while conductors 92 and 93 connect the other ends of the low heat heating element 85a and the high heat heating element Sb, respectively, to suitable control means. These leads 91, 92 and 93` enter the discharge portion 64a of the fan chamber 74- through suitable openings donned therein.
To aid in the assembly operation and .also to serve as supporting feet `for the unit 16, the member `64 is provided with a plurality of depending projections 9.6 which .are preferably integrally formed therewith. These projections, as best shown in the drawings, are adapted to extend through suitable openings delined in the base plate 4l. Suitable reet 97, formed of natural or artificial rubber, are adapted to slip onto the extensions 96. These feet are designed so as to grip the projections 96, and during assembly operation serve to hold the plate l1 in assembled relationship with the fan tand motor housing until .the screws 42 are applied to hold the motor and fan unit in the plastic housing d@ and the base plate 41 in position. The reet 97 yadditionally provide a resilient cushion so that no damage will Ioccur tot any support upon which the unit i6 is placed. i
To keep the fan 7l very quiet, a large number of the blades lb and 71C are provided, and the speed of the motor 5d is made high so that the blades 71b and 71C move past all points adjacent to the fan at a frequency higher than the frequency of sound. In a device built in accordance with the present invention, thirty-tive blades 7lb, and thirty-tive blades 71C were employed with the fan rotating at about 12,000 r.p.m. Also, a curved rib ld (FlG. 5) is delined in the base plate 41 around the air openings '79 to keep the air from sharply changing direction as it enters the fan. Further, a wedgelike baille plate portion 64d of the flange 64a (FIGS. 4 and 6) extends into and helps deiine the outlet opening. The portion 64d tapers from full width at point 64e to substantially no width at point 641. Thus, as the fan 71 rotates counterclockwise, as viewed in FlG. 6, the air llow to the tangential outlet from the blades 71e is gradually cut off. This construction keeps noise at a minimum.
For the purpose of selectively controlling the fan motor, and particularly for controlling selectively the temperature ot drying air supplied to the conduit 17, there is provided a live-position switch generally designated at 99. As best illustrated in FIGS. 4, l1, 12 and 13a, this switch 99 comprises an insulating support 100, preferably in the form of a flat plate, which is secured as by a suitable screw 101 to the motor housing 50 in a position adjacent the opening 47 in that housing. Secured to one side of the insulating switch plate are a plurality of spring lingers lilla, ltllb, lille and lllld. These spring lingers are secured to one side of the insulating support as by a suitable rivet or the like, and the free end of the spring nger is bent at right angles and adapted to protrude through suitable openings 102 in the insulating support lill?. These openings 102 are designated as 102e, 1Mb, 102C and 192ml, corresponding to the spring lingers lill bearing identical letter subscripts. It will be apparent that the free ends of the lingers 101 protruding through the openings ltlZ are engageable by suitable conducting means disposed adjacent that face of the insulating support 100.
For controlling an electrical circuit associated with the fingers lill, there is provided a rotatable conducting member or switch plate 103 rotatably supported on a suitable shaft Mld secured to the switch plate 100 and projecting through the opening 47 when the unit 16 is assembled. The rotatable switch member 103 is illustrated as a conducting disk of copper or other suitable material and designed to selectively contact one or more of the spring fingers 101. As illustrated best in FIG. 1l of the drawings, the conducting disk 1413 has a plurality of notches in its periphery to control the selective engagement with the `contact fingers 1&1. In order that these notches will not interfere with rotation of the disk into and out of engagement with the different spring fingers 102, the edges of the notches in the disk are bent up as indicated at ltlSa in FIG. l2 of the drawings. Thus rotation in either direction of the disk is obtainable without jamming of the spring fingers relative to the notches.
In order to understand the purpose of the individual contacts 101, reference may be had to FIGS. 13a, 13b, 13C, 13d and 13e of the drawings, where the electrical circuit diagram of the unit 16 is schematically illustrated. As there illustrated, the spring finger 101:1 is connected by means of a conductor 1415 with one side of the power source which is indicated as being supplied to the unit by conventional plug connector 1% connected to a twin conductor 107. The switch 99 is so constructed that the contact lilla is always in electrical engagement with the rotating switch disk 1&3. The contact 1Mb is connected to the motor S1 by means of a conductor 1413, which in turn is .connected to one conductor of the twin conductor 107 by means of a conductor 1119. The spring linger 19117 .controls the energization of the motor 50, and in the position of the switch 99 shown in FIG. 13b of the drawings, drying air will be supplied to the conduit 17 at room temperature, since the heater 85 is unenergized. FIG. 13a illustrates the condition of the unit when the switch 99 is in the off position.
FIG. 13e illustrates the condition where warm air is supplied to the conduit 17 and shows both the energization of the motor Sti as well as the low wattage element 85a of the heating unit 85. Thus, contact 101C controls the energization of this low wattage element 85a through a circuit 4comprising conductor 91, terminal link 9i), heater element 85a, conductor 92, spring finger 101C, rotatable switch disk 103, spring finger ltlib, conductor S, and the motor circuit including conductor 1tl9. It will be apparent that instead of energizing the low wattage heating element 85a, the high wattage heating element SSb alone can be energized, and this is controlled by spring finger 10M, as represented by FIG. 13d of the drawings. When the maximum heated drying air is desired, the switch 99 is moved to the position represented by FIG. 13e of the drawings, in which case the heating elements 85a and 85b are connected in parallel. In an embodiment built in accordance with the present invention, the low wattage heating element had a resistance of between 130 and 144 ohms, while the high wattage heating element 85h had a resistance between 82 and 901/2 ohms.
For the purpose of manipulating the rotatable switch disk 163, this disk is secured to a suitable shank 111i which may be molded from a suitable plastic or the like and disposed in concentric relationship with the switch supporting shaft 14M. Preferably, the shank 111i is provided with an integrally molded key l10n for cooperating with a suitable keyway 48a defined in the knob 43. The knob is provided with a knob retainer clip 111 which preferably tends to latch the knob d8 to the shank 111D in a manner that will permit removal thereof without the necessity of removing any screws or the like.
In order that the particular operating condition of the fan motor unit 16 is known, the knob it is preferably provided on its periphery with suitable indicia such as indicating the off condition and the four other conditions of the switch represented by FIGS. 13b to 13e, respectively. For the purpose of indexing the knob eti in the various positions of the switch 99, as evidenced by FIGS. 13a to 13e, respectively, a portion of the interior of a peripheral ange db defined on the knob i5 is provided with notches 113, which notches may selectively engage a knob indexing spring 114 (see FIG. l of the 12 drawings) which may be secured to the housing 4t? in any suitable manner at a point so as to engage the interior of the peripheral flange litb.
For the purpose of providing an improved appearance and also to function as an air baflie, there is provided an arcuate baflie 11d having a plurality of elongated slots 1164.1 therein secured to the top of the motor housing 54 by any suitable means. This bafiie is illustrated as having the imperforate portions thereof disposed beneath the slots i5 in the plastic housing dit, and the perforate portions 11651 are disposed beneath the imperforate portions defining the slots d5. The portion of the baflie 116 visible through the slots d5' is preferably polished or of a pleasing appearance. In an embodiment built in accordance with the present invention, this baiie had the appearance of polished brass.
For the purpose of providing a strain relief where the power cord 197 enters the housing f-ltl of the unit 16, the lug 78C attached to the fan housin 64 is provided with an upwardly directed projection 117 spaced from the peripheral fiange 64C. In addition, a pair of integral spaced parallel flanges 11de and 118i: (see FIGS. 7 and 9) extend on either side of projection 117 so as to define a somewhat channel-shaped member. The power conductor 1117 is adapted to lic on top of the flanges 11S-z and 113i) against one side of the lug 1.17, as is clearly shown in FIGS. 7 and 9 of the drawings. A suitable insulating clip 119 is preferably disposed between the conductor or power cord 167 and the parallel iianges 11Std and 11%. The plastic cover d@ is provided with a notch 12@ along the bottom periphery (see FIG. 6), so that when the plastic cover is assembled with the unit, the power cord may extend through the notch 124i. To afford a satisfactory stran relief, the plastic casing it? is provided with an integral shoulder-defining member 121 which is engageable with the top of the power cord 107, as clearly shown in FIGS. 7 and 9 of the drawings when the casing lil is assembled with the motor and fan unit 5).
In view of the detailed description included above, the operation of the present invention will readily be understood by those skilled in the art. The user will adjust the cap 15 to the head in any desired manner, as best shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, so as to snugly fit the head, and the spring clip 23 is adjusted as shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. This adjusting ring or clip 23 is moved as close to the head as possible. Gnce this is done, no further adjustments are necessary. The drying operation is now ready to begin and it is recommended that the knob 48 be set to the highest heat position initially and thereafter can be set to any lower position which is most comfortable. If desired at the completion of the drying operation, cool air may be supplied to the scalp when the control switch is in the position shown in FIG. 13b of the drawings. The flexible cap 15 is completely washable, since it is made of a plastic material.
Wlm'le there has been illustrated and described a particular embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood that numerous changes and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art. Itis, therefore, aimed in the appended claims to cover any such changes and modiiications as 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. In an air heater and blower unit having a fan for blowing air, a heater for heating the blown air, a motor for driving the fan, and a housing for enclosing the unit; the improvement of a casing for said motor, said housing being open at the bottom thereof for insertion of said vcasing and its motor into said housing, said casing being pen at the bottom thereof, a downwardly facing generally cup shaped member secured to said casing to close the same and provide a fan chamber beneath said motor, a motor shaft extending from said motor through said cup shaped member into said fan chamber, said fan being disposed in said fan chamber on said shaft, said cup shaped member being insertable into said housing through the bottom opening thereof with said motor casing, and a downwardly facing generally U-shaped lateral projection integrally formed on said housing adjacent the open bottom thereof, a downwardly facing generally U-shaped tangentially disposed exhaust channel integrally formed on said cup shaped member, said exhaust channel being insertable into said U-shaped lateral projection through the bottom thereof when said casing and cup shaped member are inserted into said housing, said heater being positioned in said exhaust channel, a single piece closure plate for closing said cup shaped member and exhaust channel and retaining said heater positioned in said exhaust channel, said single piece closure plate also closing the bottom of said housing and its lateral projection, first securing means comprising a plurality of depending support feet integrally formed on said cup shaped member, a plurality of apertures formed in said closure plate for extending said feet therethrough, and cup shaped rubberlike members positioned on said extending feet for temporarily retaining said closure plate against the bottom of said cup shaped member and its exhaust channel to retain said heater in assembled position, and second securing means comprising aligned openings formed in peripheral portions of said plate, cup shaped member and housing and fastening means extending into said aligned openings to complete the assembly of said closure plate to said cup shaped member and of said cup shaped member to said housing.
2. In an air heater and blower unit as in claim 1, wherein said heater comprises a pair of vertically disposed parallel and spaced insulating cards, a plurality of integral projections formed on the underside of said exhaust channel for retaining the upper edges of said cards parallel and spaced, a concave shaped supporting clip connected to the lower edges of said cards for retaining the lower edges parallel and spaced, and a depression formed in said closure plate for seating said supporting clip.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,343,967 Gilson lune 22, 1920 1,349,586 Siegel Aug. 17, 1920 1,419,712 Bassette June 13, 1922 1,946,665 Bieth Feb. 13, 1934 2,004,488 Kelley June 1l, 1935 2,027,158 Forsberg lan. 7, 1936 2,138,333 Martin Nov. 29, 1938 2,285,215 Lotz June 2, 1942 2,432,067 Morse Dec. 2, 1947 2,466,915 Shields Apr. 12, 1949 2,474,165 Roberts June 21, 1949 2,479,387 Matthews Aug. 16, 1949 2,646,496 Takash July 21, 1953 2,834,866 Bentzman May 13, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 715,291 Great Britain Sept. 8, 1954