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Publication numberUS3178128 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 13, 1965
Filing dateMar 19, 1963
Priority dateMar 19, 1963
Publication numberUS 3178128 A, US 3178128A, US-A-3178128, US3178128 A, US3178128A
InventorsAdolph Meletti
Original AssigneeVacsum Cleaner Corp Of America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cord reel appliance
US 3178128 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1965 A. MELETTI 3,178,128

CORD REEL APPLIANCE Filed March 19, 5

r I I I I I I I I I I I I p 4 I'IIIIIIIIIZ INVENTOR. E9 46 4001 PA M51 [777 United States Patent 3,178,128 (363D REEL APL1AN (IE Adolph Meletti, Fhiladeiphis, Pm, assignor to The Vacnurn Cleaner Corporation of America, l hiiadeip la,

Filed 19, 1963, filer. No. 266,3115 7 Claims. (Qt. 242-1872) This invention relates to appliances having electrical or other cords adapted to be extended therefrom and retracted thereinto, as on a reel therefor, and concerns especially improved means for gripping and releasing the cord at any extended length in electrical appliances, sue as vacuum cleaners, for example.

Many cord reels, such as are used in electrical or other appliances, contain a ratchet mechanism adapted to keep the cord from retracting except when desired. Such mechanisms include a num er of parts subject to wear and possible breakage, especially when improperly used, usually at an interior location not conducive to ready repairing or replacement of the malfunctioning parts. Original cost, as well as upkeep, is a factor that must be considered in the highly competitive appliance business.

A primary object of the present invention is provision of a durable mechanism for gripping and releasing a retractable cord.

Another object is simplification of the structure of mechanism for gripping and releasing a retractable cord in an appliance such as a vacuum cleaner.

A further object is provision of a gripping mechanism for the electrical cord of a vacuum cleaner or t e like with a readily actuatable cord-releasing action.

Other objects of this invention, together with means methods for attaining the various objects, will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying diagrams.

PEG. 1 is a sectional plan through a housing of an appliance having a retractable cord;

FIG. 2 is a side sectional elevation of a portion of the same apparatus taken at Illl of FIG. 1, the cord being ungripped;

FIG. 3 is a rear sectional elevation of the portion of apparatus shown in PEG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan of the portion of apparatus shown in FIGS. 2 and 3; and

FIG. 5 is a side sectional elevation of the same portion of the apparatus as in FIG. 2, with movable parts shown in an alternative or cord-gripping position.

In general, the objects of the present invention are accomplished, in apparatus having an extensible and retractable cord, by means of a member movable from one orientation to another by contact with the cord, having an opening therein to receive the cord and adapted to be traversed freely thereby when in one orientation, and adapted to grip the cord by frictional engagement therewith when in another orientation, a portion of the member being accessible and adapted, when pressed, to maintain the member in the first orientation despite retraction of the cord through the opening therein.

The invention contemplates particularly, in a vacuum cleaner or similar appliance having a housing and a cord extensible therefrom and retractable thereinto, apparatus for gripping and releasing the cord comprising a member having an opening therein to receive the cord and adapted to be traversed freely thereby when in one orientation and adapted to grip the cord by frictional engagement therewith when in another orientation, the housing being slotted to mount the member pivotally with a portion thereof protruding through the housing slot, the member being so supported for movement from each orientation to the other by frictional contact of the sides of the opening with the cord, from the first to the second orientation in the retraction direction and from the second to the first orientation in the extension direction, the protruding portion of the member being adapted, when pressed, to maintain the member in the first orientation despite retraction of the cord through the opening therein.

FIG. 1 shows, in sectional plan, appliance housing 11 having cord reel 12 secured thereto by bracket 1". Electrical cord i5 extends from the reel, through aperture 16 in the rear (at the right in FIG. 1) of the housing, and terminates in plug 17. Before leaving the housing the cord also passes through means 2% for gripping and releas ing it, shown in greater detail in the succeeding views. The reel is spring-loaded conventionally to bias the cord to the fully retracted or wound-up position. Details of this construction, as well as of the interconnection or" the electrical cord to the appliance proper (and other details of such appliance) are well known and, forming no part of this invention, are omitted from the illustration as superfluous thereto.

H68. 2, 3, and 4 show in side and rear elevation and bottom plan, respectively, ripping and releasing mech anism 2d of this invention in conjunction with cord 15 and the adjacent portion of housing 11. The mechanism is shown in the ungripping position, as it was in FIG. 1. This position, in which the opening through which the cord passes in the gripping and releasing mechanism prevails whenever the cord is being withdrawn or extended from the reel and housin as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 1, or when pressure is being applied externally to the mechanism as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 2, as will be readily apparent.

Gripping and releasing mechanism 2% comprises a laminar element or blade, shown in vertical position in the views already mentioned, and wing-shaped stop member 31 affixed thereto by screw 3@. The blade has wide upper portion 21 located inside the housing, and narrow lower portion 23 protruding outside below the bottom of the housing through slot 25 therein. Shoulder 22 of the blade at the junction of the wide and narrow portions thereof rests against the housing interior surface past the ends of the slot. Wide portion 21 has horizontally elongated opening 24- therein through which the cord passes.

Stop member 31 fits snugly about the side edges of lower portion 23 of the blade just underneath tthe housing and extends sideways therefrom in winglilre fashion. Stop 32 of the stop member extends to the front from the upper edge thereof, and is contiguous with the bottom of the housing when the attached blade is vertical as in FIGS. 1 to 4.

PEG. 5 shows the blade in an inclined position with the attached stop out of contact with the housing. In this position the axis (in the thickness of fore-to-aft direction) of opening 24 in upper portion 21 of the blade is tipped a like angular amount from its original alignment with the longitudinal axis of the cord. Whereas in the position orginally shown there was no obstacle to the passage of the cord, in the inclined position shown here the edges of the opening grip the cord, which is generally restrained to follow its original orientation by reel 12 (shown in FIG. 1) and aperture 16 on about the same level in the rear of the housing.

It will be readily under-stood that when the operator pulls on the plug or any portion of the cord outside the housing to withdraw the cord from the housing interior, frictional contact of the cord with the sides of the opening in the upper or interior portion of the blade causes that upper blade portion to tip rearwardly until the stop contools the housing underside, (i.e., at the substantially vertical position of the blade, when the axis of the blade opening through which the cord passes is substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis of the cord). The slight friction-al contact will not impede passage of the cord through the opening, so that the cord can be extended to its full length if desired.

Whenever the operator permits the cord to reverse directi-on, at the urging of the spring bias aotin upon the reel, the frictional contact of the cord with the sides of the opening in the interior portion of the blade tends to tip it to the position shown in FIG. 5, in which the cord is gripped thereby. This action provides a positive gripping of the .cord at substantially its extended length until the operator takes the necessary action to permit further retraction thereof.

Any desired degree of retraction of the cord can be obtained by the operator simply by pressing the rear face of the exterior lower portion of the blade (marked PRESS in FIG. 3) to tip the blade vertically to the position determined by contact of the stop with the housing, whereupon the cord will retract freely so long as such position is maintained. Release of the contact pressure will cause immediate gripping of the cord unless movement in the retraction direction is otherwise prevented; it will be apparent that contact of the plug with the housing, as occurs at the fully retracted position, will prevent further retraction of the cord despite the blade position. Advantages accruing from the simplicity of construction and operation of the apparatus of this invention have been mentioned, and other advantages will be obvious. The stop member, which is assembled to the lower portion of the blade after insertion of the latter through the supporting slot in the housing, retains the blade tiltably therein and by its Weight biases the blade towards the upright or ungripping position. Of course, if it were desirable to withdraw the cord vertically or at some intermediate angle, rather than horizontally, the blade could be mounted at another suitable location in the housing wall and could be modified in outline to carry the stop in appropriate orientation with regard to the Wall. The shape and size of the component members and their means of attachment may be varied also without departing from the concept of the invention, which is defined in the following claims.

I iclaim:

1. In an electrically actuated appliance or the like having a housing and an electrical cord horizontally extensible therefrom and retractable thereinto, apparatus for gripping and releasing the .cord comprising a member having an elongated opening therein to receive the cord, the opening being wide enough to permit the cord to pass freely therethrough when in substantial axial alignment therewith but narrow enough for the member to grip the cord by frictional contact therewith when out of substantial alignment therewith, the member resting upon and being pivotally supported by the housing for movement of the portion thereof containing the opening to and from substantial axial alignment with the cord, a portion of the member being accessible at the exterior and adapted, upon operator contact therewith, to maintain the opening in substantial axial alignment with the cord despite retraction of the cord through the opening in the member.

2. In a vacuum cleaner or the like having a housing and a cord extensible therefrom and retractable thereinto, apparatus for gripping and releasing the cord comprising an elongated member having near one end thereof an opening therein to receive the cord, the opening being large enough to permit the cord to pass freely therethrough when in substantial axial alignment therewith but narrow enough for the member to grip the cord by frictional contact therewith when out of substantial alignment with the cord, the housing being slotted to receive the elongated member, the member being pivotally supported thereby with the portion thereof containing the opening inside the housing and the opposite end portion thereof protruding to the exterior through the slotted portion of the housing, the protruding portion thereof being movable upon movement of the portion thereof containing the opening to and from substantial axial alignment with the cord, the protruding portion of the member .4 being further adapted, upon operator contact therewith, to maintain the opening in the member in substantial axial alignment with the cord despite retraction of the cord through the opening.

3. in a vacuum cleaner or the like having a housing and a cord extensible therefrom and retractable thereinto, apparatus for gripping and releasing the cord comprising an elongated member having near one end thereof a wide portion with a continuous internal edge defining an opening therein to receive the cord, the opening being large enough to permit the cord to pass freely therethrough when in substantial axial alignment therewith but narrow enough for the member to grip the cord by frictional contact therewith when out of substantial alignment with the cord, the elongated member having at the other end thereof a narrow portion and having a shoulder defining the junction of the wide and narrow portions, the housing having a bottom portion slotted to receive the narrow portion of the elongated member, the wide portion of the member containing the opening being located inside the housing with the shoulder thereof resting against the inside wall of the housing to provide .a fulcrum and with the narrow portion of the member protruding to the exterior through the slotted portion of the housing for movement of the wide portion thereof containing the opening to and from substantial axial alignment with the cord, the protruding narrow portion of the member being adapted, upon operator contact therewith, to maintain the opening in the member in substantial axial alignment with the cord despite retraction of the cord through the opening, and a removable stop carried on the protruding portion of the elongated member and adapted to abut the housing upon pivoting movement of the member upon extension of the cord so as to maintain the opening in substantial alignment therewith throughout such extension.

4. In a vacuum cleaner or the like having a housing and a cord extensible therefrom and retractable thereinto, a cord reel adapted to retract the cord thereinto under tension, apparatus for gripping and releasing the cord comprising an elongated laminar member having a wide end and a narrow end and a shoulder at the junction thereof, the wide end having an opening therein to receive the cord, the opening being large enough to permit the cord to pass freely therethrough when the laminar member is oriented substantially perpendicular to the cord but narrow enough for the member to grip the cord at the edges of the opening when the laminar member is not substantially perpendicular, the housing having a cooperative opening therein to receive the cord and being slotted at a separate location to receive the narrow end of the elongated laminar member with the wide end of the member located inside the housing, the members shoulder resting against the inside wall of the housing and being pivotally supported thereby, and a stop carried on the protruding narrow end of the member and adapted to restrain the member to substantial perpendicularity when the cord is being extended and upon constraint exerted thereagainst by an operator when the cord is being retracted, frictional contact of the cord with the sides of the opening normally being efiiective to pivot the laminar member to displace the inner end thereof in the direction of movement of the cord, whereupon the cord is gripped thereby.

5. In a vacuum cleaner, a housing, an electrical cord reel within the housing with the cord thereon biased to the wound-up position but unwindable therefrom, and means supported by the housing for gripping and releasing the cord including a unitary grip member having an opening therein through which the cord passes defined by spaced edges adjacent opposite sides of the cord, the edges being spaced apart essentially the diameter of the cord whereby the cord passes therethrough when the grip member is substantally perpendicular to the cord, the grip member being tiltable away from perpendicularity savages with respect to the cord to grip the cord by frictional con tact with the opposite opening-defining edges whereby the cord is prevented from winding up, and including depressible means for restoring the grip member to a position of penpendicularity with respect to the cord.

6. In a vacuum cleaner, 9. housing, an electrical cord reel within the housing with the cord thereon biased to the wound-tip position but unwindabic there-from, the housing having an opening therein through which the cord passes, and means supported pivota'liy by the housing for gripping and releasing the cord inciuding a laminar grip member having an opening therein through which the cord passes defined by spaced edges adjacent opposite sides of the cord, the edges being spaced apart essentially the diameter of the cord whereby the cord passes therethrough when the grip member is substantially perpendicular to the cord, the grip member being tiitable away 7 from perpendicularity with respect to the cord to grip the cord by frictional Contact with the opposite openingdefining edges whereby the cord is then prevented from winding up, the housing having another opening therein, and the means for gripping and releasing the cord including also a release member attached to the grip member and protruding through the latter opening, the release member being depressi-ble to tilt the grip member to substantial perpendicularity with respect to the cord whereby the cord is released thereby and permitted to wind up on the reel.

7. In a vacuum cleaner having a housing and an electrical cord reel inside the housing with the cord thereon biased to the wound-up position but unwindable therefrom, mechanism on the housing for gripping and releasing the cord and including a grip member having a first position characterized by substantial perpendicuiarity with respect to the cord and having a second position tilted with respect to the first position, the grip member having an opening thereth-rough for accommodating the cord, the axis of the opening in the first position paralleling the cord and in the second position being tilted with respect to the cord, and the edges defining the opening being spaced apart essentially the diameter of the cord in the radial direction from the axis of tilt, whereby the grip member is adapted to permit the cord to move freely through the opening when in the first position but to grip it from opposite sides by the edges in the second position, a depressible member located outside the housing and interconnected to the grip member so that depression of the depressible member tilts the grip member from the second position to the first position, the grip member being movable from the first position to the second position by movement of the cord in frictional contact with the edges defining the opening therein toward the woundup position of the cord, and a stop precluding the grip member from tilting from the first position to the second position by movement of the cord in frictional contact with the edges defining the opening therein toward the unwound position of the cord.

References Qiteri by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 236,031 12/80 Hookharn 24-115 X 1,667,788 5/ 23 Jovien 1 8865 .1 2,051,969 8/36 Shastock 29492 X 2,222,409 ll/40 Gottlieb 242107.2 X 2,246,863 6/ 41* Smellie 242-4072 X 2,348,966 5/44 Dow et ai. 191-42 X 2,905,274 9/59 Cook 188-67 X ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.

EUGENE G. BOTZ, Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION 5,178,128 April 13, 1965 Patent No Adolph Meletti above nomoered patpears in the honld read as rtified that error ap d Letters Patent 5 It is hereby ce ent requiring correction and that the sai corrected below.

Column 2 llne 42, for "tthe" read the llne 5O for "of" read or llne 54, for "orginally" read ord'girfally column 4 line for "effiective" read effective Signed and sealed this 24th day of August 1965.

(SEAL) Altest:

' EDWARD J. BRENNER Commissioner of Patents ERNEST W. SWIDER Attesting Officer

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US236031 *Mar 13, 1879Dec 28, 1880 hooeham
US1667788 *Sep 2, 1927May 1, 1928Frank JovienSafety device for scaffolds
US2051969 *Jan 16, 1935Aug 25, 1936Louis W ShastockAutomatic tube adjuster for telescoping tubes
US2222409 *Nov 13, 1939Nov 19, 1940David E GottliebDog leash
US2246863 *Dec 10, 1937Jun 24, 1941Hoover CoSuction cleaner
US2348965 *Dec 10, 1940May 16, 1944Wood John Mfg Co IncThermostatically operative valve
US2905274 *Dec 6, 1956Sep 22, 1959Singer Mfg CoCord control mechanisms
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3323748 *Oct 1, 1965Jun 6, 1967Singer CoCord control mechanism for vacuum cleaners
US3332637 *Aug 2, 1965Jul 25, 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpCord control mechanism
US3394904 *Oct 18, 1965Jul 30, 1968Regina CorpCord lock mechanism
US3796284 *Mar 10, 1972Mar 12, 1974Mattel IncStarting mechanism for toy with phonograph
US3964490 *Jan 14, 1975Jun 22, 1976Medtronic, Inc.Lead storage apparatus for electromedical device
US4106165 *Mar 10, 1977Aug 15, 1978The Singer CompanyRetractable cord guiding and locking devices
US5329666 *Jun 15, 1993Jul 19, 1994Trc Aquisition CorporationVacuum cleaner
Classifications
U.S. Classification242/381.3, 188/65.1, 191/12.20R
International ClassificationH02G11/02, H02G11/00
Cooperative ClassificationH02G11/02
European ClassificationH02G11/02