US 3168212 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1965 E. w. EDWARDS DISPENSING APPARATUS FOR HORIZONTALLY DISPOSED ARTICLES 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 16, 1962 INVENTOR ERIC W. EDWARDS BYI Mg ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 1965 E. W. EDWARDS DISPENSING APPARATUS FOR HORIZONTALLY DISPOSED ARTICLES Filed Aug. 16. 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2
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Feb. 2, 196 E. w. EDwADs DISPENSING APPARATUS FOR HORIZONTALLY DISPOSED ARTICLES 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 16., 1962 INVENTOR ERIC "W. EDWARDS United States Patent Qfifice 3,1fi8,2i2 Patented Feb. 2, 1965 3,168,212 DISPENSING AIPARATUS FOR HORIZGNTALLY DISPOSED ARTICLES Eric W. Edwards, 15 London Road E., Guelph, Ontario, Canada Filed Aug. 16, 1962, Ser. No. 217,476 10 Claims. (Cl. flit-39) My invention relates to dispensing apparatus and more particularly to machines of this kind which are coin controlled for the vending of articles of a flat pliant character, such as shopping bags, newspapers, etc.
This application comprises a continuation-in-part of my now abandoned, copending application Serial No. 780,478 filed December 15, 1958.
In machines of this character, articles to be vended are placed in a stack upon a movable platform which is capable of moving the stack upwardly in a step-by-step movement whereby when one article is vended from the top of the stack, the stack of remaining articles is subject to upward movement so that the next article at the top takes its place for a dispensing operation, and so on, until all the articles of merchandise are exhausted.
A paramount object ofmy invention is to provide an improved vending machine of the class referred to which is particularly adapted for the vending of shopping bags and comprises a mechanism, which upon actuation of the machine as by insertion of a coin, or otherwise, is adapted to cause the uppermost article of a stack to be expelled or displaced toward an outlet in a cabinet through which a customer may grasp the article and remove it in its entirety for subequent use in the carrying of goods purchased.
A further and important object of my invention is to provide a practical and serviceable machine of this kind which occupies a minimum of space and which is highly serviceable and moreover can be manufactured at low cost.
With these and other objects in view, the invention comprises a novel construction and arrangement of vending apparatus as set forth in the ensuing specification and shown in the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a selected embodiment of the invention showing part of the casing broken away along with inner frame elements in order to disclose the construction and arrangement of the operating mechanism to better advantage;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary sectional elevation of the machine viewed in the plane of line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary side elevation of the platform structure and its mounting;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary front View depicting more particularly the hold-down mechanism for the stack of articles supported on the platform;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a conventional shopping bag which is dispensed by the machine and which is shown in the condition in which it is folded for stacking in multiples on the supporting platform so as to be dispensed in a vending operation;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary elevational view of the dispensing mechanism showing more particularly the dispensing fingers and the manner of holding down the stack on the platform to facilitate the removal of the topmost bag from the stack;
FIGURE 7 is a similar fragmentary view, but showing the dispensing fingers advanced into flexed contact with the uppermost bag in a wiping action in which the fingers sweep toward the handle or bale;
FIGURE 8 is a similar view of FIGURES 6 and 7 but showing the dispensing fingers engaged in the loop-shaped handle with the mouth portion of the bag raised in the initial act of the dispensing operation; and
FIGURE 9 is a further similar view but showing the top portion of the uppermost bag raised with the handle forwardly projecting and grasped by the hand of the operator in the act of removing the uppermost bag through the dispensing opening.
Now, referring more particularly to the drawings there is illustrated a machine which is designed particularly for the vending of the ordinary shopping bags commonly used and made available in many retail stores for the convenience of customers for the carrying of purchases and which can be purchased cheaply by the. customer. The use of the machine for the dispensing of conventional paper shopping bags is to be considered exemplary inasmuch as newspapers and the like lend themselves to being dispensed by the machine of my invention. The shopping bag is clearly shown in FIGURE 5 and is designated as a whole by the reference numeral 14. It has the usual satchel bottom 15 and is folded flat, the mouth portion 16 is reversely folded or retroverted so that the loop handles 17 project rearwardly. A quantity of the bags are stacked in such folded condition to provide a good supply for vending singly by my machine which utilizes the special fold of the mouth portion of the bag for a positive and reliable pickup of the bags individually in the use of the machine. It will be noted that in FIGURE 5 a corner portion of the mouth of the bag is shown in a more or less opened condition which is merely for the purpose of more clearly indicating the side fold of the bag represented at 18. v
The bags are stacked upon a support platform 19 with their loop handles projecting rearwardly with respect to the front of the machine, denoted at 20.
The body of the machine is in the form of a generally upright cabinet indicated as a whole by the reference numeral 21 and comprises a front wall 22, side walls 23, a rear wall 24 and a top wall 25. In addition to which there is a base or floor 26. The front wall will have a suitable aperture to admit the hand of the user and to permit of removal of the shopping bags. The cabinet will be suitably constructed and may be equipped with one or more doors to render the interior accessible, which doors are not shown.
Within the cabinet there is shown an inner framework comprising the side walls 27, front panel 28, and top member 29. This specific arrangement is essential for the invention but is given by way of example, but not of limitation. The front panel 28 is shown as supplied with an opening 30 which will coincide with the opening in the front wall 22 for extraction of papers and may be of increased depth.
The platform 19 forms a part of an elevating mechanism devised for elevating a vertical stack of the bags, so that as one bag is removed the immediately subjacent bag will take its place and when this bag is removed the succeeding bag will assume a position for removal, and so on, until the supply of bags is exhausted.
Platform 19 is shown as supported upon a pair of horizontally arranged arms 31 Which are integrated and guided for vertical up and down movement as by means of the guide post 32. The guide post is a fixed member and has its lower end secured to base member 26 and has its upper end secured to a supporting element, such as that indicated at 33. The arms 31 have a common bearing 34 which is a slide fit on the corresponding supporting post 32. The rear end 35 of each arm is firmly secured to one run of a belt 36 vertically arranged and trained over a lower pulley 37 and an upper pulley 38. The pulleys 37 are made fast on a horizontal shaft 39 journalled in the inner side members 27 of the frame, as
shown in FIGURE 1. Similarly, the upper pulleys 38 are made fast with the horizontal shaft 40 which is shown as journalled in the side members 27 of the inner frame. According to this arrangement the pulleys turn in unison along with their belts; and corresponding runs of the belts are connected together by a transverse strap 41 having securing clamps 42 by which attachment to the belt is effected. Said strap is connected to the upper end of a helical tension spring 43 which has its lower end secured to the base 26. From an inspection of FIGURE 3 it will be seen that the connecting strap 41 is attached to the corresponding runs of the beit opposite the corresponding runs to which the supporting arms 31 are secured. From this it will be gathered that tension applied by spring 43 acts to turn the belt in a direction to raise the supporting arms 31 along with the platform 19 mounted thereon. Spring 43 is tensioned by manually turning the shaft 40 by means of a hand crank 44 (FIGURE 1) in a direction to raise the strap 41 and to lower the arms 31. When platform 19 is fully lowered a supply of the bags is placed thereon in stacked formation and the tension of spring 43 is of the required magnitude to urge the stack of bags upwardly. If desired, a weight or weights may be placed on the strap 41 as by the provision of the spigots 45see FIGURE 3. Such Weights are not shown as they do not form a part of the'invention and are expedients common to the art. The crank 44 is indicated in phantom lines and will be applied on an end portion of the shaft 40 which is caused to project through a side wall 23 of the cabinet so as to be accessible. This hand crank will only be used when a platform is to be lowered for a loading operation, and therefore, will be detachable which, of course, is'notnovel since detachable cranks are old exp'edients for turning shafts of one kind or another.
Desirably, the platform is tiltably mounted upon the supporting arms 31 for the purpose of having a rocking action about a transverse axis 46. The rocking action is limited as by means of stops 47 at each side of the transverse axis 4-6. The stops are shown in the form of bumpers arranged on the arms 31. The swivel mounting of the platform may be achieved by a pintle 4S engaged in knuckles 49 on the arms 31 and knuckles 56 on the bottom face of the platform 19.
Desirably, the upper bag-receiving surface of platform 19 is supplied with a transverse bump 51 which functions 7 so desired.
Foot pieces 59 are rigidly carried by a slide plate 60 which is slidable vertically in grooves 61 provided in the side parts 62 of the inner front wall 28 and which define in part the opening 30. Said slide plate 60 forms a part of an automatic brake means for the elevating mechanism, which will be dealt with later. Slide plate 60 is cut away intermediate of its width to provide an aperture 63 which is in register with the aperture 36 and is of a size to permit a users hand to be inserted for removal of a displaced top bag in a dispensing operation, as depicted in FIGURE 9. The brake mechanism referred to acts to limit the upward movement of slide plate 66 and in consequence the abutment elements 59, which are in the path'of upward movement of the stack of bags and operate to engage the uppermost bag at the folded mouthedge portion to serve as hold-down devices which resist the upward pressure brought about by the elevating springs 43 and co-act with the stop device 52 in arresting the upward movement of the platform and bags/thereon.
The abutment elements 59 are inflexible and medially thereof there is provided a pair of flexible hold-down fingers 64, which are carried by the slide plate 60 and have distal enlargements 65 in the form of pads which may be of rubber or a suitable plastic material for frictional engagement with the rebent mouth portion of the upper most bag within the handle area. These hold-down fingers 64 are strongly tensioned in order that the exerted pressure on the handle area the mouth portion of the uppermost bag will tend tocause the handle of this bag to upstand, 'so that the bight portion will be more or less free from the underlying surface of the bag body.
The means for displacing, or at least partly displacing, the uppermost bag of the stack toward the outlet is preferably coin controlled, but could be manually controlled if This coin-controlled means functions for the purpose of at least partly displacing the uppermost article to retain intermediate portions of the stacked bags in more or less of an abruptly raised condition, such that the handles 17 of the bags thereon have an upward slope at their rearwardly disposed bight ends for: the purpose of enabling them to be more easily engaged by the ejector fingers of the bag-displacing means, presently to be recounted in detail.
Rearwardly disposed, above the platform 19 and the bags supported thereon, is a fixed stop device, generally indicated at 52, which is shown as comprising a transverse bar 53 disposed to overlie the rear ends of the bags on the platform 19 and having its ends secured in the side members 27 of the inner frame. On this bar 53 is a plurality of C-shaped leaf springs 54, spaced longitudinally thereon and having ends fixed thereto with the springs.
curved about the bar and terminating in free ends 56see FIGURE 3. Springs 54 yieldably and resiliently abut the 'uppermost bag of the stack and this abutment tends to tilt the forward end 57 of the platform 19 upwardly.
Co-acting with the stop device 52 there is provided at the frontal end of the platform 19 a stop device, generally indicated at 58, and comprising a plurality of abutment elements or footpieces 59 in the path of upward movement of the stack of articles for contacting the uppermost article thereof. Said abutment elements are'shown as consisting of foot piecespressing on the return-bent mouth portion of the uppermost article of the stack and disposed lateraly of the handles 17, as is clearly shown in FIGURE 1. a
so that it may be freely taken manually from the machine. The coin-controlled means comprises a shaft 66 disposed above the stack of bags and journalled at its ends in relatively fixed elements 6'7. Shaft 66 has a sprocket-andchain drive 68 connected to an driven by an electric motor 69, desirably constructed as a unit with speedreductiongearing contained within a case 70. An electric timing device 71 is in the circuit '72 of the electric motor and operates to permit the electric motor to turn the shaft 66 through a complete turn when the circuit is energized, as by the deposit of an appropirate coin in the coin control 73 which is of a standard type well known in the art.
Shaft 66 carries ejector fingers 74, two in number, which project radially and terminate at their distal ends in friction pads '75 of rubber or other suitable material. The ejector fingers are radial members of flexible material which, in the normal inactive position of shaft 66, reside in a forwardly projecting disposition as shown in FIGURE 6. When shaft 66 is motivated the ejector fingers 7S sweep downwardly into flexing engagement with the uppermost bag within the handle area, as depicted the ejector fingers sweep upwardly which pulls the uppermost bag upwardly with an unfolding movement on the part of thereturn-bent mouth portion 16. To assist the unfolding and displacement of the uppermost bag-there is provided radial prop members in the form of a wiper plate 76 attached to the ejector fingers 74 and curved reversely thereof at the trailing side of the fingers. Wiper plate 76 makes contact with the mouth portion of the bag after the handles are engaged and swung upwardly, as shown in FIGURE 8, and in the continued rotational movement of the ejector fingers the mouth portion 16 of the uppermost bag is elevated above the shaft 66 and 'the ejector fingers dis-engage themselves from the loop handles, as shown in FIGURE 9.
Additional wiper fingers 77 are also carried by shaft 66 and trail the wiper plate 76 in order to engage and the body of the bag to more effectively displace it with an elevating movement, as will be seen from an inspection of FIGURE 9. After having made a complete turn the shaft 66 is arrested as the ejector fingers 74 come to rest in their original positions to which they are returned and the uppermost displaced bag is retained in its displaced position, as shown in FIGURE 9, in order that the user may insert his hand through the. front of the machine and grasp the handles and pull the'bag free of the machine. An overhead guide plate 78 may be used in order to assure that the displaced top bag will not be elevated beyond the desired upward displacement, and this overhead guide plate is shown as hinged at its rear end at 79 in FIGURE 1.
From this it will be selen that in the dispensing opera- 7 tion a person merely inserts the required coin in the coincontrol device which automatically sets the machinein operation and displaces a bag to an elevated position clear of the stack, such that the person merely has to insert his hand and remove the freed bag.
An important feature which is novel is the automatic brake means for the elevating mechanism, which functions to arrest upward movement of the platform at the time of removing a bag, so that the bag, which is being removed, is not subject to undesirable clamping stress as it is being withdrawn from the top of the stack and freed from the co-acting stop means 52 and 59. This provides a more efiicient and reliable mechanism that has proven highly satisfactory in use.
This automatic brake means comprises a pair of parallel levers 80, having forwardly-extending arm portions and rearwardly-extending arm portions. The forwardlyextending arm portions are the elements 67 which jointly support the shaft 66, the rearwardly-extending arm portions being indicated at 81. Levers 80 are pivoted at 82 and are identical in construction, the forward arm por tions 67 thereof are pivotally united with the slide plate 61) as at 83, and it will be understood that due to the contact of the hold-down fingers 59 with the uppermost article of the stack, the slide plate is urged upwardly and thus exerts an upward force on the forward arm portions 67 which tends to move the rear arm portions 81 downwardly. On the pulley shaft forward of the elevating mechanism, there are provided two brake devices, generally indicated at 84, comprising drums 85 fixed on the outer ends of the shaft 40 and associated with a pair of circumscribing brake shoes 86, one of which is carried by a lever 87 and the other is carried by a lever 88. The levers are pivoted together at 90 for scissor-like opening and closing action and the lever 87 has an end pivoted at 91;, and the corresponding end of the other lever is connected to the end 81 of the corresponding lever 80 by a link 92.
Now, it will be gathered that these brake devices co-act to relieve clamping pressure on the uppermost bag as it is being withdrawn from the stack by the displacing means previously recounted. The brake devices, due to the upward force impressed on the hold-down fingers 5 and transmitted to the slide plate 60 to the levers 80, cause the braking action to arrest movement of shaft 40 while the uppermost bag is being displaced and removed, but when this has been effected the brakes free the shaft 40 so that the elevating mechanism may again function to impart the necessary raising movement to the platform required by the removal of the uppermost bag, and this is automatically carried out as the bags are dispensed individually.
From the preceding description it will be manifest that my invention provides a highly serviceable and efficient article-dispensing machine of the kind described.
What is claimed is:
1. A dispensing apparatus for dispensing one-by-one, horizontally disposed articles, such as shopping bags, newspapers and the like, comprising a cabinet having a portion forming an access opening in one vertical wall thereof, an elevating mechanism in said cabinet comprising a substantially horizontally disposed platform for supporting a stack of horizontally disposed articles thereon, said elevating mechanism including means connected to said platform and continuously urging said platform upwardly, an access control plate displaceably mounted in said cabinet and normally positioned in closing relation to said access opening in said one vertical wall, and a brake mechanism connected to, controlled and operated by movement of said access control plate, said brake mechanism including braking portions engaging an element of said means urging said platform upwardly, and preventing said platform from moving upwardly when said access control plate is in a position whereby removal of articles through said access opening can be effected, said access control plate maintaining said braking mechanism in an inoperative condition when said access control plate is in closing relation to said access opening, whereby said platform is constantly urged upwardly by said means continuously urging said platform upwardly.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said horizontally disposed platform includes a transverse, intermediate raised portion for disposing articles in an optimum position for removal.
3. A dispensing apparatus for dispensing one-by-one horizontally disposed articles such as shopping bags, newspapers and the like comprising a cabinet having a portion forming an access opening in one vertical wall thereof, an elevating mechanism in said cabinet comprising a substantially horizontally disposed platform for supporting a stack of horizontal disposed articles thereon, said elevating mechanism including means normally urging said platform upwardly, an access control plate displaceably mounted in said cabinet normally positioned in closing relation to said access opening of said one vertical wall, and a brake mechanism operatively connected between said access control plate and said means normally urging said platform upwardly, said brake mechanism including means for preventing said platform from moving upwardly when said access control plate is in a position to permit an article to be removed from said platform, said horizontally disposed platform being intermediately pivoted on a horizontal pivot axis, fixed abutment means disposed in said cabinet in the path of pivotal movement of a rear end portion for normally urging the forward end portion of said platform upwardly, said access-control plate including abutment means disposed in the pivotal path of the forward end portion of said horizontal platform.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 including mechanically-operated article-displacing means comprising a horizontally disposed shaft overlying the forward portion of said horizontal platform, said shaft including radially projecting ejector finger means rotatable with said shaft for engagng an uppermost article on said platform and orienting 1t lnto a position for ready manual withdrawal through said access opening.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 including radial wiper finger means on said shaft in spaced angular relation to said ejector finger means for engaging and orienting an article after it is engaged by said ejector finger means.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 including guide plate means overlying said article-displacing means for limiting upward movement of the article displaced by said ejector finger means.
7. A dispensing apparatus for dispensing one-by-one horizontally disposed articles such as shopping bags, newspapers and the like comprising a cabinet having a portion forming an access opening in one vertical wall thereof, an elevating mechanism in said cabinet comprising a submounted in said cabinet normally positioned in closing re- 1 lation to said access opening of said one vertical wall, and a brake mechanism operatively connected between said access control plate' and said means normally urging said platform upwardly, 'said brake mechanism including means for preventing said platform from moving upwardly when said access control plate is in a position to permit an article to be removed from said platform, said means normally urging said platform upwardly comprising at least one vertically-disposed, endless belt element journaled on vertically spaced, horizontal shafts, said belt element including one run secured to said horizontal plat: form and vertically movable therewith, said endless belt including another run normally urged downwardly for causing said platform to be urged upwardly,
8. The apparatus of claim 7 including tension means engaged with said another belt run for causing said platform to be-urged upwardly.
9. The apparatus of claim 7 in which said brake mechanism comprises at least one lever intermediately pivoted between said access-control plate and one of said vertically spaced, horizontal shafts for said belt element and pivotally connected at one end to said access-plate, and brake shoe elements operatively connected to the other end of said lever and engageable with said one of said vertically spaced shafts.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 in which said brake shoe elements include a pair of crossed, intermediately pivoted link elements, one of said last mentioned intermediately pivoted link elements being .pivotally anchored, and'the other of said crossed link elements is pivotally connected to said intermediately pivoted lever.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS