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.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3173730 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 16, 1965
Filing dateOct 7, 1963
Priority dateOct 7, 1963
Publication numberUS 3173730 A, US 3173730A, US-A-3173730, US3173730 A, US3173730A
InventorsCollins Lawrence R
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Appliance with built-in storage compartment
US 3173730 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1965 L. R. COLLINS APPLIANCE WITH BUILT-IN STORAGE COMPARTMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 7, 1963 F'lC-M INVENTOR.

LAWRENCE. R. COLLINS W1 H\5 ATTORNEY March 16, 1965 L. R. COLLINS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG-.2.

INVENTOR. LAWRENCE R COLLINS H\S ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,173,730 APPLIANCE WITH BUILT-EN 'STQRAfiE CGR'IPA'RTMENT Lawrence R. Collins, Louisville, Ky, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 7, 1963, Ser. No. 324,13? 4 Claims. (Cl. 312-223) This invention relates to appliances, and more particularly to appliances having controls for determining the operation thereof and which further include a built-in storage compartment.

In carrying out my invention in one form thereof, I provide an appliance wherein components which cooperate to perform a useful function on articles are disposed within a cabinet having a substantially flat top surface, the surface having an opening formed therein for access into the cabinet. A control panel assembly is positioned substantially above the top surface, and supports manually operable control means for determining operation of the components at the will of the operator. The panel assembly is supported by back and side vertical walls which extend up from the top surface behind the access opening. A door is so disposed that it cooperates with the vertical walls to form a storage compartment behind the opening thereby providing effective storage utilization of the space between the top surface and the control panel assembly by the same members which support the control panel assembly.

In a preferred embodiment of my invention, the con trol panel assembly extends forward slightly from the supporting vertical walls, and a lamp is disposed so as to shine down from the bottom surface joining the bottom of the panel assembly to the vertical walls. By so positioning the panel assembly and the lamp, a substantial amount of light is provided, both for the interior of the storage compartment and Within the appliance cabinet through the access opening.

The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. My invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partly broken away, of an appliance (specifically a washing machine) incorporating my inventive concept; and

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view in perspective of the machine of FEGURE 1.

Referring now to the figures, there is provided an appliance, specifically a washing machine 1 in this case, wherein an outer cabinet 2 has a top surface 3 formed with an access opening 4 closable by a lid 5. Within the cabinet there are supported the various conventional components which together provide an operative automatic washing machine as is Well known in the art.

While these are not shown in any great detail, since their particular structure is not part of my invention, they may include a perforated clothes-containing basket 6 mounted Within an imperforate liquid-retaining tub 7. Liquid may be provided into the tub and basket through a water outlet 8, and the passage of water from this outlet is controlled by an appropriate valve 9 having electrical control components 10. Within the basket there may be provided an appropriate washing mechanism such as an agitator 11. It will be understood that a suitable electrical means, such as a motor and an appropriate transmission (not shown), are provided so as to cause ice washing motion of the agitator 11 when liquid and clothes are provided within basket 6 and tub 7, and so as to spin out the liquid from the clothes by high speed rotation of basket 6.

Normally, automatic washing machines follow an automatic sequence, first washing the clothes and then spining wash liquid out of them, then rinsing the clothes, and then finally spinning the rinse liquid out. After this, such machines normally shut themselves off. In order to initiate a desired sequence of operation, such machines are conventionally provided with appropriate manual controls. In this case, the manual control is shown at 12;, and it will be seen that it is disposed behind the access opening 4 and a substantial distance above the top sur face 3 for convenience. Manual member 12 may operate through a conventional sequence control mechanism 13 to control the various electrical components of the machine, including both those which are not shown and those which are shown such as the valve control elements Iii.

In order to support control element 12 and sequence control 13 at the desired height above surface 3, I pro vide side supporting walls 14 and 15 and a rear support ing wall 16, all extending upwardly from the flat surface 3. The control panel assembly 17 is secured in any desired manner on these supports so as to be rigidly secured thereabove. Preferably, as shown, the front of the control panel assembly extends forwardly from the main portion of the vertical wall so that there is formed a bottom surface 18. This bottom surface is formed as a transparent glass pane l9 behind which is positioned a suitable lamp 2b. In the present case, lamp 20 is of the fluorescent type, extending substantially across between walls 14 and 15, although, of course, conven tional incandescent lamps could be used equally effectively.

Pane 19 is supported on part of a supporting member 21 which extends across between the two walls 14 and 15 and is secured thereto. Member 21 also cooperates with a bottom member 22 to provide guides for a pair of sliding doors 23. Doors 23 are so formed that they may be moved to a position where they form an enclosing compartment 24 with walls 14, 15 and 16. In this manner the supporting "Walls 14, 15 and 16 for the control panel provide the additional function of forming a storage compartment which is readily and conveniently accessible to an operator of machine 1. In the case of a Washing machine, as illustrated, it will readily be seen that bleaches, bluing, small boxes of detergents, and the like, may very conveniently be stored in compartment 24. In addition, it will be seen that the structure provides a relationship of parts whereby lam-p 2t illuminates the storage compartment when it is opened, and also shines directly through the access opening 4 of machine 1 so as to illuminate the interior thereof. If so desired, an enclosed channel 24a (FIGURE 2) may be provided for the passage of the necessary electrical conductors from the control panel 17 to the main part of machine 1.

The control panel assembly also includes a member 25 which is hingedly secured at 26 on the rear wall 16. The normal position of member 25 is that shown in solid outline in FIGURES l and 2, wherein it provides a closure for enclosing the sequence control mechanism. In order to open member 25 to the position shown in dotted outline in FIGURE 1, it is merely necessary to remove the various control knobs which protrude through the appropriate openings in member 25. As soon as this is done, the sequence control assembly 13 and the lamp 2b are immediately accessible for servicing. This is particularly desirable in the case of the lamp 2%? since such articles often have a normal life shorter than that of the appliance with which they are associated, and need to be replaced at various times.

My invention thus provides an assembly of parts readily accessible to .a person operating machine 1, while at the same time the supporting structure provides storage space, and the overall relationship of the parts permits a single light source to be used both for the storage space and for the interior of the appliance through the access openmg. While in accordance with the patent statutes 1 have described What at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention, and it is therefore aimed in the appending claims to cover all such equivalent variations as fall with in the true spirit and scope of my invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. An appliance comprising: 7

(a) a cabinet having a substantially flat top surface with an opening formed therein for access into said cabinet;

(1)) a plurality of components within said cabinet for cooperatively providing a useful function on articles placed in said cabinet through said opening;

() manually operable control means for said components;

(d) a control panel assembly substantially above said top surface supporting said control means;

(e) back and side vertical Walls extending up from said top surface behind said opening and supporting said control panel assembly;

(1) and a door behind said opening forming a storage compartment with said back and side vertical walls thereby to provide effective storage utilization of the space between said top surface and said control panel assembly.

2. The appliance defined in claim 1 wherein said control panel includes an electric lamp positioned to shine downwardly thereby to provide light both for said compartment and for the interior of said cabinet through said access opening.

3. An appliance comprising:

(a) a cabinet having a substantially flat top surface with an opening formed therein for access into said cabinet;

(b) a plurality of components in said cabinet for cooperatively providing a useful function on articles placed in said cabinet through said opening;

(c) manually operable control means for said components;

(d) a control panel assembly substantially above said top surface supporting said control means;

(e) back and side vertical walls extending up from said top surface behind said opening and supporting said control panel assembly, said control panel assembly extending forward from said vertical walls and having a bottom surface joining it to the fronts of said vertical walls, said bottom surface being formed at least in part of transparent material;

(f) a lamp positioned to shine through said part of transparent material thereby to cast light downwardly;

(g) and a door behind said opening forming a storage compartment with said back and side vertical walls thereby to provide effective storage utilization of the space between said top surface and said control panel assembly, said lamp providing illumination both for said compartment and into said access opening.

4. The apparatus defined and claimed in claim 3 wherein the top of said control panel is hinged-1y mounted on said vertical walls and is movable from an operative closed position to an open position providing access to said light therein.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,381,667 8/45 Jensen 312-279 X 2,609,476 9/52 Ackemann 240-5 X 2,840,435 6/58 Campbell 312-279 2,867,488 1/59 Guild 312-107 2,893,807 7/59 Earle 312-279 2,899,253 8/59 Jacobs 312-279 X FRANK B.-SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2381667 *Oct 23, 1943Aug 7, 1945Philco Radio & Television CorpRefrigeration
US2609476 *Aug 19, 1949Sep 2, 1952Hotpoint IncIlluminated backsplasher for electric ranges
US2840435 *Mar 5, 1956Jun 24, 1958Allen Electric & Equipment ComCabinet structure for a testing apparatus
US2867488 *Jun 2, 1952Jan 6, 1959Murray CorpKitchen assembly
US2893807 *Jan 16, 1956Jul 7, 1959Earle Guyon L CKitchen-utility units
US2899253 *Sep 29, 1955Aug 11, 1959 jacobs
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3451068 *Oct 19, 1966Jun 24, 1969American Standard IncLavatory unit
US3459462 *Oct 4, 1967Aug 5, 1969Whirlpool CoReceptacle
US3837720 *Sep 26, 1973Sep 24, 1974Data Processing Aids IncAuxiliary cabinet for computer console
US4003613 *Mar 17, 1976Jan 18, 1977Whirlpool CorporationAppliance control console structure
US4288133 *Mar 17, 1980Sep 8, 1981The Maytag CompanyAppliance control housing and console construction
US4507942 *Nov 3, 1981Apr 2, 1985Hitachi, Ltd.Washing machine with drier
US4551996 *Oct 15, 1984Nov 12, 1985Hitachi, Ltd.Washing machine with drier
US5518309 *Aug 20, 1993May 21, 1996St-Pierre; JacintheDevice for catching pieces of clothes falling behind a washing machine or dryer
US5611610 *Apr 4, 1995Mar 18, 1997General Electric CompanyControl housing
US5738424 *Apr 4, 1995Apr 14, 1998General Electric CompanyAppliance backsplash assembly
US6886371 *Mar 5, 2002May 3, 2005Sharp Kabushiki KaishaWasher having a partial washing apparatus, and washing apparatus
US7562543Dec 30, 2005Jul 21, 2009Whirlpool CorporationVertical laundry module with backsplash
US7587917Dec 30, 2005Sep 15, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with shelf module
US7849717Jun 26, 2009Dec 14, 2010Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with horizontal module spanning two laundry appliances
US8286452Jul 8, 2009Oct 16, 2012Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with segmented work surface
US8322169Jul 1, 2009Dec 4, 2012Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with vertical laundry module
US8375750Jul 1, 2009Feb 19, 2013Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with vertical laundry module
US8381552Jul 2, 2009Feb 26, 2013Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with vertical laundry module
US8413470Jul 2, 2009Apr 9, 2013Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with vertical laundry module
US8459067Jul 2, 2009Jun 11, 2013Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with vertical laundry module
US8479542Jul 1, 2009Jul 9, 2013Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with work surface having a functional insert
US8499592 *Dec 6, 2008Aug 6, 2013Eyup GokceimamWasher/dryer
US9187855Jul 2, 2009Nov 17, 2015Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with work surface
US9546442May 29, 2015Jan 17, 2017Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system and laundry module
US20060117810 *Dec 30, 2005Jun 8, 2006Kendall James WModular Laundry system with segmented work surface
US20060130535 *Dec 30, 2005Jun 22, 2006Sunshine Richard AModular laundry system with horizontal modules
US20070151302 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Kendall James WVertical laundry module
US20070151303 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Doyle Colleen MModular laundry system with work surface having a functional element
US20070151304 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Kendall James WModular laundry system with work surface having a functional insert
US20070151305 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Kendall James WModular laundry system with vertical module
US20070151306 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Gilboe Kevin JModular laundry system with work surface
US20070151309 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Kendall James WLaundry module for modular laundry system
US20070266740 *Dec 30, 2005Nov 22, 2007Kendall James WVertical laundry module
US20070283723 *Dec 30, 2005Dec 13, 2007Sunshine Richard AModular laundry system with horizontal modules
US20090255300 *Jun 23, 2009Oct 15, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Work Surface Having a Functional Element
US20090255301 *Jun 26, 2009Oct 15, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with horizontal module spanning two laundry appliances
US20090260403 *Jul 1, 2009Oct 22, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Work Surface Having a Functional Insert
US20090260405 *Jul 2, 2009Oct 22, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Vertical Laundry Module
US20090266114 *Jul 2, 2009Oct 29, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Vertical Laundry Module
US20090266116 *Jul 1, 2009Oct 29, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Vertical Laundry Module
US20090266117 *Jul 1, 2009Oct 29, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Vertical Laundry Module
US20090266118 *Jul 2, 2009Oct 29, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular Laundry System with Vertical Laundry Module
US20100281925 *Dec 6, 2008Nov 11, 2010Eyup GokceimamWasher/Dryer
EP2295624A1 *Jan 14, 2005Mar 16, 2011Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.Textile product treating apparatus having an ultrasonic cleaning device
EP2312038A1 *Jan 14, 2005Apr 20, 2011Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.Textile product treating apparatus having an ultrasonic cleaning device
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/223.5, 68/3.00R, 312/279, 312/228
International ClassificationD06F39/12
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/12
European ClassificationD06F39/12