Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3163323 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1964
Filing dateJun 27, 1962
Priority dateJun 27, 1962
Publication numberUS 3163323 A, US 3163323A, US-A-3163323, US3163323 A, US3163323A
InventorsCharles Behrens Herbert, Lewis Metzler Charles, Malcolm Mack Wayne
Original AssigneeAmerican Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable cup dispenser
US 3163323 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec- 29, 1964 H. c. BEHRENs ETAL 3,163,323

ADJUSTABLE CUP DISPENSER 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed June 27, 1962 H. c. BEHRENS ETAL 3,163,323

ADJUSTABLE CUP DISPENSER Dec. 29, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 27, 1962 l line 2-2 ofkFIG. l;

United States Patent Otlice 3,163,323 Patented Dec. 29, 1964 3,163,323 ADJUSTABLE CUP DISPENSER Herbert Charles Behrens and Wayne Malcolm Mack,

Easton, Pa., and Charles Lewis Metzler, Alpine, NJ.,

assignors to American Can Company, New York, N.

a corporation of New Jersey Filed June 27, 1962, Ser. No. 205,719 Claims. (Cl. 221-4) This invention relates to cup dispensers for paper drinking cups and the like which are dispensed one at a time trom a nested stack, and more particularly to improvements in a dispenser of the type which is adjustable to accommodate cups of various sizes.

Paper and plastic drinking cups are becoming increasingly popular in the home, in restaurants, and even in public conveyances. figurations are available today for serving a variety of comestibles, and these are ordinarily packaged lby the manufacturers in nested stacks which may be placed in a suitable cabinet or magazine from which the cups may be removed one at a time. The dispenser cabinet is a seperately manufactured and rather costly accessory, and it is recognized that an adjustable dispenser rather than a separate dispenser for the many sizes of cups in use is desirable. There are available in the prior art several Cups of various sizes and con-V adjustable cup dispensers which attempt to satisfy this requirement. These have been found generallyl unsatisfactory either because they involved complex mechanisms and are costly to manufacture or do not always ensure that only a single cup will be withdrawn each time from the nested stack and with theslightest pull.

The principal object of the present-invention, therefore, is to provide an improved cup dispenser of simple construction which is readily and conveniently adjustable to accommodate various size cups.

Another object of this invention is to `provide a cup dispenser having improved adjustable means for supporting cups of various sizes in a proper manner to enable easy and dependable extraction of the cups one at a time.

Anotherrobject of this invention is to provide an improved cup dispenser having selectively adjustable supporting means capable of accommodating nested cups of various sizes and of providing easy and dependable extraction of cups singly therefrom irrespective of the size of the cups.

A further object of this invention is to provide an improved cup dispenser yof simple and durable construction, VAwhich is attractive'in appearance, inexpensive to manufacture, and may be conveniently installed for wall or counter use in either ygravity or force feed disposition.

Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will be Vapparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof. f Y v Y In carrying out these objects, there is provided a dispenser comprising a tublar magazine having a discharge opening in an end thereof, a plurity of Aspring lingers secured in the magazine in .spaced circumferential relationand forming at their free ends cup-engaging jaws, and a rotatable selector member concentricallyrmounted to Vthe dissegments correspondingly spaced with respect to and l forcibly engaging the spring iingers for selectively positioning the jaws in the discharge opening tothe accommodat-ion of cups of differing sizes.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 2 is a sectional view Itaken substantially along v charge end of Vthe Amagazine and havingV arcuate cam FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken `substantially yalong line y3--3rof FIG. 2;

l FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 3

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially valon-g line 5 5 of FIG. `3;

FIG. 6 is a sectional viewV taken substantially along line `6 6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a sectional View similar to FIG. 4, showing the operative parts of the invention in a different position of adjustment;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating an alternate embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 9 is a partial elevational view showing the invention adapted for cup dispensing in inverted fashion.

As a preferred or exemplary form of the invent-ion, FIG. 1 illustrates =a dispenser comprising a tubular barrel or magazine 10 having a removable top closure 11 and aselector ring assembly generally designated 12 concentrically mounted to the magazine at its discharge end. Anested stack S of cups, which may be one of many types and sizes now available on the market for serving counter top use, although it is equally suited for wall 1use when suspended on a suitable hanger or lbracket (not shown). Discharge may be from the bottom of the dispenser, in which case the terminal cup 13 is presented in accessible position by gravity feed. Alternately, the dispenser may be inverted for cup extraction from the top, in which case the stack S is maintained in accessible position by a biased follower acting within the magazine (see FIG. 9).

The operative features of the interior supporting means and the selector ring assembly 12' are best shown in FIG. 3. The supporting means comprises a plurality of spring fingers 17, preferably of spring steel, which are mounted in circumferentially spaced relation about the interior wall of magazine 10. Any number of these lingers may be used, but an arrangement found to give excellent supporting control with'consistently easy and dependable cup extraction has been foury equally spaced fingers providing a 4point supporting structure. As

' shown, the fingers 17 are mounted longitudinally of magazine 10 and are secured thereto at a point remote from the discharge end of the dispenser.V The lingers may be anchored in the magazine by rivets or other suitable means of attachment, but Where the magazine lil is of easily VF2 6 on each linger which Vengages below the lip of the lterminal cup 13 to retain the entire stack S. VExtending from shoulder Ztl is a short outwardly tapered portion 21v which is bent abruptly outwardly near `the very end 'of the'nger -to provide a radially projecting control arm 22. The purpose of this ratlier uniqueconstruction of spring lingers 17 and their supporting jaws 19 will be more fully explained hereinafter in cooperative relation with the selector ring assembly 12, now to be described.

VSelector ring assembly 12 provides the actuating means for varying the radial positions oficup-engaging jaws.

for manual rotation.w As best shown in FIG. `4, illusl trating jaws I9 in their fullyv contracted position, cam segments 24 .have inner `arcuate faces 26 against which the control arms 22 at the terminal or free ends ofngers 17'forcibly engage so that rotative'movement of ring 23 is transmitted into radial movement ofarms `22 to selectively position jaws 19 within the magazine. The point of engagement of arm 22 against cam face 26 isidentical for. all four fingers so that rotation of ring 23 Will effect an equal radial translation of all of thejaws 19 between a maximum and minimum setting corresponding to the geometric shape of the cam segments 24.Y An interim selector` setting is illustrated kin FFIG. 7, s'howingkjaws 1 9 almost fully retracted to .accommodate a larger size cup.

Selector ring 23 is rotatably mounted to magazine ybetween an'upper adapter ring 27 and loweradapter ring 28, which together form a Vbearingrace for the selector ring. v Preferably, rings-271ax1dr28 areof identical and interchangeable construction and may be formed from any -materialcapable of dimensional stability, such as rnoldable resinousv plastic. These two rings are secured against rotation to magazine 10 by means of Aequally spaced raised projections or splines .29 formed on the inner face of each ring which -it within Vslots 30 cut in the discharge endV offthe magazine. These yslots are circumferentially aligned with fingers y177 andnare suciently wide to permit controlarms 22-to passtherethrough to engage cam faces'26. As can be seen in FIG.V 3, the dimensional stack of the yseveralicomponentA parts in. the selector ring assembly is such that adapter rings 27 and 28 provide a rather snug-fitting bearing race for selector ring 23 but yet do not frictionallyibind the selector ring :position the end `ofthe magazine. 'Y

Preferably, splines 29 on each adapter ring are provided with opposed lips 37 inwardly of `camfsegnzientslt Aand which are cut out to define narrow slots 38 through which control arms 22 will pass. In this case, mounting slotsq30 in magazine l10 are Yslightly'widerV than armsV 22 so rthat lips 37 will 'make abutting engagement to'each sideof control arms 22, thereby keeping these control s arms properlyC engaged -on their respective cam surfaces V26 asv well asY maintaining the other conforming surfacesv of -rings `27 and 28 frictionally free from selectorring 23.

It will be seen from Vthe arrangement just described that the'terminal cup 13`in the stack S is Aheld in the jaws V19 on shoulders 20 at a point'intermediatethe two Y ends vof spring fingers `17. The 'forcible engagement Yof radial controlarm 22 against cam face 2'6'flexes each :finger inwardly about itsran'chor point initrack 18 so that the finger Yfisfilexible between two points of support at its terminal ends. Preferably, 'the fingers are -made long enough and their anchor points are sufficiently VSpring 31 `is alsol remote from jaws 19 so thatthe reactance pressure of the iingers will vary only slightly irrespective of the radial setting of the jaws. In this manner, the jaws 19 are capable of exerting a longitudinal holding force against the stack of `cups bearing on `shoulders 220, `and yet a slight tug or pull on lthe terminal cup 13 will expand or Vbow' the fingers radially outwardly between their i terminal support-points sufficiently to free this cup` from the jaws. The next succeeding cup is ycaught on shoulders as stack S shifts vertically in the magazine, the spring iingers instantly snapping back with suiiicient Y pressure :to positively support the load. Thus,` there Ais provided a simplevjyet `foolproof supporting jaw arrangement `for ,ensuring easy and ldependablecup extraction one at a time from the magazine-regardless of the size of the cups.

Dependingon the Anumber of spring ngers 17 to be used andthe geometry of the corresponding cam segments 24, the amount of-rotation of selector ring v23 to accomplish the entire -range of Vpossible settings will vary. Thatis, V`a half turn Vor substantially 180 rotation of the selector ring could be utilized, if desired, with a 2-:point suppontingfarrangement 'to 4effect full radial translation of jaws :19 through a range of settings. Obviously,v the permissible amount ofrotationofselector ring 23 to eifect "the full range of vpossible lsettings -is a fraction :equal to the reciprocal of the number of spring fingers 'I7 lnsediin speciiicarrangement. `In the preferred 4-point embodiment hereinzdescribedQthis is. a quarter -turn or,.to lbe lmore exact, 4slightly less than -a quadrant `when Aallowing for the Awidth :of controlarms 422.` To control .the limits of this movement, `,either .of ytheadapter :rings.27 or 28Vmay be `provided-with `interrupted grooves 39 (FIG. 5.) facing and overlying the operative path -of 4the four -cam segments 24. Each vcam segment in `turn .is provided attits kterminal end with za vstop-1ugfA0 which -ridesin .the corresponding groove '39 andfis engageable less than Aa full quadrant.

against the end wallsof theagroove to limit -rotation of Yselector ring23. rThe-arcuate :length of each; groove 39 "is sufficient to .permit its lassociated lug=40 to `movcfslightly it 4will be @understood that xrone groove :and1cooperating Flugfwillfsfliceito fdefine the limits of selector ring rotation; however, it is preferred Yto use a lug and groove in each Vquadrant tofenablerthe parts to be easily-assembled Withoutregard to :alignment and to ensure that excessive twisting vby a careless user would not break -or damage the unit.

To facilitate the accurate `Vselection of as desired Y set-Y ting, the outer edge 2S of selector ring 23 may be providedwith spaced markings or indicia 41 corresponding to AcupsAof various predetermined sizes. Visual .alignment Ofanyone'of these marks with axed registering mark l 42 placed on magazine 1'0 ori-one jof .adapterfrings :27 kor 28 provldes aconvenient ldial selection `ofztheidesired cup size setting.

yOnceasetting'has'been-n1ade,vithelpressure of spring iingers` 17 acting vagainst cam segments k124 would normally hold -selector'ring `23 at this `setting against kany tendency to ,shift due tothe slight vibration occasioned by repeated Vextraction of cups. AHowever, "thecontacting take theformf ,a spring keeperelernentr43 'mounted a in a vrecess44 .in .oneof the adapter rings Y27 or 28V` .band having aspair OfprOjectin'g ratchet Yprongs 45 .which `engage in ratchet -track .serrations46 -formed infthe ,0p-

posing face of la correspond-ingi'cam ,segmenti 24@V In most positions of the selector'ring, Akeeper element "43 extends'ro'ver t-wo 'adjacent camrsegments so thatfprongs 45 make locking engagement withthese. two'sefgments L atI the' same time.V `Iffldesired,` alljfourzcam segmentsmay be'V similarly serrated so that regardless of y*the angular positionrof the selector ring 23 when the parts are initially assembled, keeper element 43 will be properly engaged with one or more of the serrated cam segments.

Although adapter rings 27 and 28 have been described hereinbefore as interchangeable, it will be understood that the structural relationship of the cooperating parts of selector ring assembly 12 in each quadrant is such that when keeper element 43 is mounted in the lower ring for engagement against serrations 46 in the bottom surface of the cam segments 24, then stop lugs 40 necessarily will be located on the upper surface of the cam segments and the cooperating grooves 39 for these lugs will be located in the upper adapter ring.

Alternately, the cam faces 26 themselves may be knurled or serrated, as shown at 46' in FIG. 8, and the contacting ends of control arms 22 may be formed into rounded points 47 to effect a ratchet-like locking action. This latter arrangement has the advantage of eliminating the keeper element 43, but obviously requires greater dimensional control in the forming of each cam segment to ensure that the radial position of each finger 17 acting thereagainst is identical for each and every circumferential position on the corresponding cam surfaces.

(FIG. 9 illustrates the instant invention adapted for cup dispensing from the top end of the dispenser. Although it may be mounted in this position on either a wall bracket or supporting lpedestal as hereinbefore suggested, the illustrated arrangement shows the dispenser inverted and recessed within a well in a counter top with only the selector ling assembly 12 in view. A collar 4S bolted or other- Iwise attached to the counter top is provided surrounding the magazine inwardly of the selector ring assembly 4for supporting the dispenser in this position. A follower 49 acting against the inner terminal cup in stack S under the inuence of a coil sprl-ng S0 is the conventional arrangement for maintaining the outer terminal cup in accessible position.

It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing de- Y scription and it Will :be apparent that Various `changes may be made in the form, construction, and arrangement of the parts .without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.

We claim:

1. A cup dispenser for accommodating cups of various diameters to .be dispensed individually from a nested stack, comprising a magazine having a discharge opening in 4one end thereof, a plurality of circumferentially spaced spring fingers having one end fixed within said magazine with said iingers extending longitudinally toward the discharge opening, said fingers being deformed inwardly toward the center of the magazine adjacent said discharge end to deiine cup-engaging jaws adapted to support the terminal cup in said stack, said cup-engaging jaws terminating in outwardly extending radial control arms formed by the ends of said fingers and an adjustable member mounted on said magazine at said discharge opening, said member having inwardly projecting cam surfaces which forcibly engage against said control arms and coact therewith upon selective adjustment of said member to control the operative position of said jaws within said magazine to thus selectively permit said jaws `to accommodate cups of varying diameters.

v2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said adjustable 6 member is a selector ring for progressively varying the diameter of said jaws in response to selective rotation of said ring.

10 position.

5. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein said cam surfaces are arcuate and knurled along their length and have outwardly projecting portions which are constructed to yieldably engage said knurled surfaces to frictionally secure said selector ring in a select position.

6. A cup dispenser for accommodating cups of various sizes to be dispensed individually 'from a nested stack, comprising a tubular magazine having a discharge opening in one end thereof, a plurality of spring fingers mounted in said magazine in equally spaced circumferential relation, said fingers extending longitudinally from anchor points yremote from said end and being formed at their yfree ends into cup-engaging jaws, said jaws having a shoulder contoured to engage under the lip of the terminal cup in said stack and a terminal .portion extending radially outwardly of -said shoulder, a housing member tXed in circumferentially spaced slots at the discharge end of said magazine and providing a peripheral annular bearing surrounding said magazine, the Iposition of said slots substan- 3() tially corresponding to the circumferential spacing of said fingers for receiving the terminal portion on each of said jaws, and a selector ring rotatably held in said annular bearing having inwardly projecting arcuate cam segments corrsponding to said terminal portions and forcibly engaging thereagainst through said slots, said cam segments being adapted upon rotation of said ring to ilex said iingers radially inwardly about their anchor points to move said jaws into operating position corresponding to the support yof cups of dijering lateral dimensions.

7. The dispenser of claim 6 wherein said selector -ring is provided with indicia corresponding to differing cup sizes of predetermined .lateral dimensions.

8. The dispenser .of claim 6 wherein a biased follower element is provided internally of said magazine to act against said stack opposite said discharge opening and maintain said terminal cup in accessible position.

9. The dispenser of claim 6 wherein said cup-engaging jaws comprise la sharply inturned portion defining said shoulder and an outwardly tapering portion extending longitudinally from said shoulder and connecting with said terminal portion.

10. The dispenser of claim 6 wherein said housing is provided with circumferentially spaced surfaces defining limits of rotation of said selector ring and at least one of said cam segments is provided yWith a projection adjacent its terminal end engageaible with said surfaces to limit rotation of said ring between a maximum and minimum select setting.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 749,671 `Hall Jan. 12, 1904 1,076,967 Fisher Oct. 28,V 1913 5 1,468,913 IMiller Sept. 25, v1923 2,315,827 Tansley Apr. 6, 1943 '2,534,169 Hope Dec. 1.2, 1950 2,885,110 Tregilgas May 5, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US749671 *Jun 6, 1903Jan 12, 1904 Henry j
US1076967 *Nov 20, 1911Oct 28, 1913Frank L TarbellIce-cream-cone dispenser.
US1468913 *Aug 21, 1922Sep 25, 1923Porter Miller DavidWrench
US2315827 *Jan 6, 1941Apr 6, 1943White Castle SystemMachine for holding and dispensing drinking cups
US2534169 *Nov 8, 1946Dec 12, 1950Griffith Hope CompanyPaper cup dispenser
US2885110 *Jun 6, 1955May 5, 1959Tregilgas Harold RPocket type automatic tablet dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3295718 *Aug 25, 1965Jan 3, 1967Graham Jr Andrew StuardAdjustable cup dispenser
US4234101 *Jul 13, 1979Nov 18, 1980Cal Pak Industries, Inc.Cup dispenser employing universal adjustment apparatus
US4658983 *May 28, 1985Apr 21, 1987Royston CorporationCup dispenser
US4881660 *May 3, 1988Nov 21, 1989Royston CorporationJumbo cup dispenser
US5038970 *Sep 25, 1989Aug 13, 1991Dci MarketingDispensing device
US5040761 *Oct 1, 1990Aug 20, 1991Yu Tseng HsuHandy adjusting assembly for disposable cup holder
US5135136 *May 14, 1991Aug 4, 1992A. J. Antunes & Co.Device for use in varying the effective cross-sectional area of an outlet opening of a dispensing unit
US5560514 *Sep 23, 1991Oct 1, 1996Kimberly-Clark Tissue CompanyWet wipe dispensing nozzle with rotatable port
US5941415 *May 12, 1997Aug 24, 1999The Meyer CompanyCup dispenser
US7207462Sep 29, 2005Apr 24, 2007Acry Fab, Inc.Lid dispenser
US8763854 *May 18, 2011Jul 1, 2014The Meyer CompanyAdjustable dispenser for cups and other cup-shaped articles
US20110284572 *May 18, 2011Nov 24, 2011The Meyer CompanyAdjustable dispenser for cups and other cup-shaped articles
US20140312057 *Jun 30, 2014Oct 23, 2014The Meyer CompanyAdjustable dispenser for cups and other cup-shaped articles
DE3239315A1 *Oct 23, 1982Apr 26, 1984Blanc Gmbh & CoCup dispenser
EP0457528A1 *May 13, 1991Nov 21, 1991A.J. ANTUNES & CO.Device for use in varying the effective cross-sectional area of an outlet opening of a dispensing unit
WO1996006549A1 *Aug 22, 1995Mar 7, 1996Egido Florencio GarciaManual dispenser of disposable heat-shaped cups
WO2011146598A1 *May 18, 2011Nov 24, 2011The Meyer CompanyAdjustable dispenser for cups and other cup-shaped articles
U.S. Classification221/4, 221/304
International ClassificationA47F1/00, A47F1/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/085
European ClassificationA47F1/08C
Legal Events
Sep 28, 1982ASAssignment
Effective date: 19820924