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Publication numberUS3232489 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 1, 1966
Filing dateJan 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3232489 A, US 3232489A, US-A-3232489, US3232489 A, US3232489A
InventorsH. L. Buffington
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable cooler cabinet construction
US 3232489 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1966 H. L. BUFFINGTON 3,232,489

PORTABLE COOLER CABINET CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan 15, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Herman L. Buffl'ngfon INVENTOR.

BY WM):

Feb. 1, 1966 H. L. BUFFINGTON PORTABLE COOLER CABINET CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 15, 1964 Herman L. Buff/nylon 1N VEN TOR. @mm... BY WWwyF-M Feb. 1, 1966 H. L. BUFFINGTON 3,232,489

PORTABLE COOLER CABINET CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan. 15, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Herman L. Bufflhgron l I VE \TTO R Q0162. admwayfiw 2 o, t M 4 u {iv Us, IE r Feb. 1, 1966 O H. L. BUFFINGTON 3,232,489

PORTABLE COOLER CABINET CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan. 15, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Q ML Herman L. Buffingfan INVENTOR.

United States Patent Oiltice 3,232,489 PGRTABLE CGOLER GABINET CONSTRUGTIGN Herman L. Burlington, R0. Box 1981, Spartanburg, S.C. Filed Jan. 15, 1964, Ser. No. 337,923 14 (Claims. ((11. 222-108) This invention comprises a novel and useful portable cooler cabinet construction and more particularly relates to a portable refrigerated cabinet which is generally similar to the portable refrigerated bar forming the subject matter of my prior application Serial No. 169,018, filed January 26, 1962 now Patent No. 3,180,529, and constitutes and presents important improvements over the construction of my said prior application.

The principal object of this invention is to provide a portable cooler or refrigerated cabinet especially well adapted to the dispensing of beverages and for the storage 0 kegs, bottles or containers of beverages in a refrigerated condition in an extremely compact and accessible manner.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cooler cabinet having a complete mechanical refrigerating system incorporated therein in a greatly improved manner and having dispensing faucets independently operable for the dispensing of beer or other beverages from kegs and similar containers under a pressurized gas and for the mixing and dispensing of soft drinks.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a portable refrigerated cabinet having a beer dispensing faucet and/ or a soft drink mixing faucet removably carried by the exterior of the cabinet and retractable into the cabinet for storage in a refrigerated compartment when not in use.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a portable dispensing cabinet for cooled beverages for dispensing beer and other liquids on draft and wherein the entire refrigerating system and the entire pressurizing means for the beverage to be dispensed is compactly housed within the cabinet itself.

A still further object or" the invention is to provide an improved drainage means for collecting and removing liquids spilling or dripping rom the faucets of the device and storing the collected liquids in a collector within the cabinet itself.

A still further object of the invention is to provide in a device of the character above set forth a dispensing faucet for beer or other beverages contained in a keg or other receptacle and which may be readily mounted or removed for dispensing liquid or for cleaning purposes and for storage within the cabinet as may be desired.

Yet another purpose of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the preceding objects wherein an improved self arrangement is provided within the interior of the cabinet with the shelves being sectional and being folda-ble to a retracted or stored position at one side of the cabinet thereby affording a maximum access to the interior of the cabinet for various purposes or unfolded into a horizontally extending operative position for supporting bottled drinks and the like.

A still further important object of the invention is to provide a portable refrigerated cabinet in accordance with the foregoing objects having improved means for collecting and removing spillage, drippings or condensate from the interior of the cabinet from time-to-time as may be necessary.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a front perspective view of a preferred 3,232,489 Patented Feb. I, 1966 embodiment of a portable refrigerated cabinet in accordance with this invention and showing the beer dispensing faucet in its operative position upon the exterior of the cabinet;

FIGURE 2 is a rear perspective view, partially exploded and with parts broken away and with certain concealed parts being shown in dotted line therein of the cabinet in accordance with FIG. 1;

FIGURE 3 is a front perspective view upon an enlarged scale of the cabinet of FIG. 1, parts being broken away and illustrating the structural details of the cabinet with the door, and certain of the equipment and accessories of the cabinet being removed therefrom;

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but with parts broken away and illustrating in particular the positioning of a carbon dioxide pressure cylinder, a soft drink container and a container of carbonated water for drink set-ups shown in operative position therein and with certain portions of the equipment of the carriage being omitted but with the soft drink and the beer faucets being shown in their elevated operative positions;

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but showing both the soft drink and the beer or other keg beverage dispensing arrangement with an outside water supply source being connected to the soft drink dispensing faucet;

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5 but illustrating the beer dispensing arrangement only; and,

FIGURE 7 is an exploded perspective view of the beer dispensing faucet showing its detachable mounting upon the exterior of the cabinet and the faucet dripping and collection basin.

Referring first primarily to FI 1 it will be observed the numeral It) designates generally the novel and improved portable beverage cooler in accordance with this invention and which as shown consists of a compact cabinet having a top 12, and a bottom 14, see FIG 3, together with side walls 16, one of which is provided with a door 18 by which access is had to the interior of the cabinet. Casters as at 20 serve to support the device and render it mobile whereby it is ideally adapted for portable use in recreational rooms, patios, and the like.

Referring particularly to FIG 3 it will be observed that the top 12 has an opening 22 therein partially covered by a top wall 24 overlying one end of the opening and having a manually operated sliding closure 26 slidable to and fro beneath the top wall 24 for controlling the opening 22.

As shown in FIG. 3, the top, bottom and the side walls of the cabinet are of a double thickness having an insulating material as at 2'8 therebetween to thereby thermally insulate the cabinet. For orientation purposes, the door 18 may be considered to be disposed in the front of the cabinet side walls and serves to open the entire front of the cabinet to obtain adequate access thereto as for the purpose of inserting or removing a keg 30 of beer or other beverage and for the purpose of introducing or removing other equipment from time-to-time as will be more readily apparent hereinafter.

Referring now especially to FIG. 7 in conjunction with FIGS. 5 and 6, it will be observed that the top 12 in addition to the opening 22 is provided with a partition 32 which with one side wall defines a depression or tray-like compartment 34 which may be covered by a grating or grille as suggested at 36 in FIGS. 2-6, inclusive. The chamber or compartment 34 comprises a spillage or dripping collecting tray which is disposed beneath one or a pair of faucets to be described hereinafter and which is connected as by a flexible conduit or hose 38 with a collector 49 in the form of a bottle which as will be understood from a consideration of FIGS. 3 and 6 is releasably secured in a mounting bracket 42 carried by a side wall or on the interior of the cabinet and having a hinged clamping arm 44 thereon'for embracing and retaining the collector 40. Thus, any spillage or dripping from the faucets will be collected in the container 4i in the interior of the cabinet to be subsequently discharged from time-to-time thereby rendering the device more attractive in use.

In accordance with this invention a mechanical refrigerating system is compactly but accessibly disposed within the confines of the cabinet. For this purpose there is provided a refrigerating system compartment indicated generally by the numeral 46 in FIG. 2 and which is formed between the back and bottom walls of the cabinet and two opposite side walls, consisting of a horizontally extending partition 48 from which depends a vertical partition t}. These partitions are joined to the opposite side walls, to the bottom wall and to the rear wall of the cabinet with the partition 48 defining a horizontal shelf for the purpose of storing various articles of equipment and appliances for use with the refrigerated cabinet. As shown in FIG. 2, a removable closure member 52 is secured to the rear wall for closing the rear end of the compartment 46 so that by its removal complete access can be had to the interior of this compartment. Received in the compartment 46 is a conventional electric motor and compressor unit indicated generally by the numeral 54 together with a refrigerant condenser 56.

Refrigerant delivery conduits or tubes 58 connect this unit with the evaporator unit 64) of the system which latter is likewise mounted upon the rear wall of the cabinet in a suitable housing which extends transversely across any desired portion of the width of the back wall and above the platform 48. As shown in FIG. 2, the refrigerant conduits are recessed in a vertically extending channel 62 where they are readily accessible for servicing or repairs as may be necessary. Inasmuch as the details of the mechanical electricity operated refrigerating system are well known to those skilled in the art and in themselves form no part of the invention claimed hereinafter, a further description thereof is deemed to be unnecessary.

As shown at 64 in FIG. 3, an electrical connection is provided in a side wall of the cabinet whereby any suitable source of electric current may be connected to the refrigerating system for powering the latter.

A drainage system for collecting and dischanging spillage, drippings or condensate from the interior of the cabinet is provided. Thus, the bottom wall 14 is provided with a suitable drain opening therethrough, not shown, and which discharges into a condensate or drainage collecting pan 66 disposed beneath the bottom wall. This pan is preferably provided with a laterally projecting flange 68 at its upper edge or periphery which is slidably received in the Z-shaped mounting and guide rails '75 secured to the underside of the bottom wall in a position to enable the pan to be slid outwardly from the cabinet in order to empty it of its contents.

Suitable support hooks as at 72 are secured to the interior side walls of the cabinet and support a grille 74 which constitutes a supporting surface upon the bottom wall. Condensate or drippings pass through this grille 74 and collect upon the bottom wall and are discharged through the drainage means previously described.

When the door 18 is open, a keg 30 or other container of beverages to be dispensed on draft may be inserted into or removed from the interior of the cabinet, resting upon the grille 74.

In order to dispense beer or other beverage from the keg 30 or other container there is provided a source of gas under pressure such as a carbon dioxide cylinder 76 which may be conveniently mounted upon the platform '48 and which by the usual control valves and a conduit 78 communicates with a fitting 80 upon the keg for applying pressure thereto. The beverage is dispensed from the keg by means of a fitting 82 adjacent the bottom of the keg and to which is removably connected a discharge or supply conduit 84 extending upwardly through the interior of the cabinet and connected to one of the faucets to be subsequently described.

Reference is now made again to FIG. 3 wherein it will be observed that the interior of the cabinet is provided with two foldable horizontal shelves. It will be appreciated that in some instances either of the shelves may be omitted if desired in the interest of a simplified construction. The shelf arrangement includes a lower shelf indicated generally by the numeral 86 and an upper shelf indicated generally at 88. Each of these shelves is of a foldable sectional construction.

The lower shelf 86 includes a pair of sections 9t? and 92 preferably in the form of grilles which are hingedly connected together along an adjacent edge of each as at 94. The section 99 in turn is hingedly mounted as at 96 to a side wall of the cabinet and the arrangement is such that the two shelves may be folded against each other and against the side wall into a compact position thus exposing the entire interior of the cabinet for access. The outer end of the section 92 is detachably engaged upon and secured to suitable fastening brackets as at 98 carried by the opposite side wall whereby to support the shelf in horizontally extending position. Any desired means may be provided to impart rigidity to the shelf in its horizontally extended position. Either or both of the sections 99 and 92 are provided with centrally disposed notches or cutout portions or openings 100 therein. As shown in FIG. 3, the openings 1% in the two sections are complementary to and register with each other to provide an elongated opening therethrough. The purpose of this opening is to Permit the passage of the delivery conduit 34 from the keg 30 to the top of the cabinet and to the dispensing faucets thereon.

The upper shelf 88 preferablycomprises a pair of horizontally projecting rails or supports 192, see also FIGS. 5 and 6, which overlie the shelf 86 and are disposed in a horizontal plane but are in a direction perpendicular to that of the shelf 86. The shelf 88 is positioned adjacent the lower surface of the evaporator housing 6d and consists of a plurality of sections each indicated at 104 and which are pivotally connected to each other. The end section 1G4 adjacent the back wall may be either fixedly secured thereto, hinged thereto or merely abutted thereagainst, with the other sections being hinged to each other whereby they may be folded upon each other in a compact manner. Preferably the endmost section 104 which is remote from the back wall is provided with a stop means, not shown, which maintains it in an upwardly inclined position with respect to the adjacent section to thereby provide a trough ideally adapted for the storage of bottled drinks and the like.

The lower shelf 86 serves a variety of purposes such as containing bottled or canned drinks or storing other comestibles within the refrigerated cabinet.

Reference is now made particularly to FIG. 7 in conjunction with FIGS. 46. A beer dispensing faucet is provided which is mounted upon the exterior of the cabinet and to which is releasably connected the beverage delivery or discharge conduit 84. The top Wall 12 includes a mounting base 112 and cooperating therewith upon the lower end of the faucet 110 is a mounting flange 114. A closure flange 116 is also mounted upon the faucet 110 above the flange 114. The mounting base and the mounting flange 112 and 114 are provided with a cooperating quick detachable fastening means. Thus, headed bolts or other fasteners 118 projecting upwardly from the mounting base 112 engage in keyhole slots 12% disposed in a portion of the mounting flange 114. The arrangement is such that the faucet may be moved downwardly with the fasteners 118 received in the keyhole slots 12% and by a relative rotation of the faucet the latter will be locked in place upon the mounting base. The reverse movement will detach the faucet therefrom.

When detached, the faucet may be stored in the interior of the cabinet where it will be protected, maintained in a clean condition and in a refrigerated condition. Upon opening the top 7.5, the faucet may be removed from the interior of the cabinet and may then be applied to the mounting base thereof. When so applied, the sealing flange 116 will overlie the grille or grating 36 over the drain base 34.

In addition to dispensing draft beer, the cabinet also contains a dispensing means for carbonated soft drinks and the like. For this purpose, a soft drink container 139 and a fresh water container 132 are likewise removably supported upon the platform 43 adjacent to the gas cylinder 76. Any suitable soft drink, syrup or the like be received within the container 13(3 and as shown in FIG. 4, the gas pressure supply conduit 78 may be connected thereto. By means of a further conduit 134, water may be supplied to the container 139 to mix with the beverage therein and be supplied by a delivery conduit 136 extending upwardly through the opening 22 and connected with a second or soft drink faucet assembly 138. The latter may be of the type disclosed in my above identified prior copending application. The details of this faucet are in themselves no part of the present invention other than the fact that the faucet, as shown in FIG. 3, is hingedly mounted as at 14 3 to the underside of the top closure tracks 142 upon which the top closure 26 slides. The arrangement is such that the faucet may be lifted upwardly about its hinge to an erect position rising above the top wall of the cabinet as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, or may be folded into the cabinet in a retracted position as indicated in dotted lines at 144 in FIG. 3 and in full lines at 146 in FIG. 6. Thus, this faucet also is maintained in a clean and chilled condition until it is withdrawn from the cabinet in readiness for use.

As shown in FIG. 4, the bottled gas under pressure is utilized to deliver the carbonated beverage from the container 139 through the conduit 136 to the faucet 138. In this arrangement, the entire soft drink supply, its pressurizing means and its water supply are contained within the cabinet itself so that no external connections are necessary other than the connections for electric power.

However, it is also possible and is an important feature of this invention to provide an extrenal source of water whereby carbonated beverages maybe mixed at the faucet. For this purpose the arrangement shown in FIG. 5 is utilized. Here the carbon dioxide or other gas under pressure is delivered from the gas pressure cylinder 7 a through the valve assembly to a first gas supply conduit 15b to the soft drink container 136 and by a second gas supply conduit 152 to the water container 132. The conduits 154 and 156 respectively deliver the soft drink and the water to the soft drink faucet 133. Thus, drink set-ups can be provided as well as soft drinks or other beverages.

Further, as shown in FIG. 5, a conduit 16%) extending through the top wall 24 is connected to the soft drink faucet 138 and to an external source of water supply, not shown. Thus, when desired water can be supplied by the faucet 138 independently of the supply of other liquids thereto, it being understood that suitable control valves, not shown, are provided in the appropriate conduit system for this purpose.

In FIG. 5 there is shown the arrangement whereby the keg St is received within the interior of the cabinet and connected to the gas pressure cylinder 76 in the manner shown in FIG. 6, while the soft drink container 136 and the water supply 132 are likewise connected to the source of pressure and to the second dispensing faucet.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A cooler for beverages and the like comprising a mobile thermally insulated cabinet with a mechanical refrigerating therein system, said cabinet having top, bottom and side walls with a door in a side wall and an opening and closure in said top, a beverage container in said cabinet, a beverage dispensing faucet mounted upon the exterior of said cabinet, a conduit connecting said faucet with the interior of said container, at source of gas under pressure in said cabinet and connected to said container, a mounting base on said top, said faucet having a mounting flange engageable upon said base, quick detachable fastening means releasably securing said faucet mounting flange upon said mounting base, said quick detachable fastening means including a plurality of headed bolts secured to said mounting base, said headed bolts being adapted to releasably engage a plurality of keyhole slots provided in said mounting flange, said opening being of such size so as to admit said faucet into the interior of said cabinet when said faucet is detached from said mounting base.

2. The combination of claim Zl including a drain basin on said cabinet below said faucet, a drain collector in said cabinet, a drain conduit connecting said drain basin to said drain collector.

3. The combination of claim 2 including a mounting bracket on said side Wall within said cabinet, said drain collector comprising a receptacle releasably secured in said mounting bracket.

4. The combination of claim 1 including a foldable shelf in said cabinet overlying said beverage container, said shelf consisting of a pair of hingedly connected sections, means pivotally securing one section to a cabinet side wall whereby said sections may be retractably folded against the latter and a shelf support in said cabinet whereby said sections may be supported in horizontal transverse alignment across the interior of said cabinet.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein at least one of said shelf sections has an opening therethrough for passage of said faucet conduit.

6. The combination of claim 1 including a platform in said cabinet disposed adjacent but above said bottom and supporting thereon said source of gas under pressure.

7. A cooler for beverages and the like comprising a mobile thermally insulated cabinet with a mechanical refrigerating system therein, said cabinet having top, bottom and side walls with a door in a side wall and an opening and closure in said top, said cabinet having a horizontal platform extending transverse said cabinet between and engaging a pair of opposite side walls and joined to an adjacent side wall and a vertical wall extending between said platform and bottom and defining a refrigerating system compartment, said refrigerating system including motor-compressor and condenser components housed in said compartment and an evaporator component mounted within said cabinet above said compartment, said compartment having an access opening and closure in a side wall of said cabinet, and a pair of foldable shelves mounted in said cabinet, said shelves being foldable in directions perpendicular to each other.

3. The combination of claim 7 wherein each shelf comprises hingedly connected sections, each shelf having an end section secured to a side wall with their other sections being foldable upon said end sections.

9. The combination of claim 1 including means connecting said faucet to a source of water outside said cabinet for mixing soft drinks.

it). The combination of claim 9 wherein said faucet is hingedly mounted upon said cabinet top at the edge of said top opening for selective swinging movement between a retracted and stored position within said cabinet and a projected and operative position "above said top.

11. The combination of claim 10 including a water container within said cabinet operatively connectible to said conduit and selectively delivering water to said faucet.

12. The combination of claim 9 wherein said faucet is hingedly mounted upon said cabinet top at the edge of said top opening for selective swinging movement between a retracted and stored position within said cabinet and a projected and operative position above said top, a beverage keg in said cabinet connected to said pressure source, a second faucet mounted upon the exterior of said cabinet and connected to said keg.

13. The combination of claim 12 including 'a drain basin on said cabinet below said faucet, a drain collector in said cabinet, a drain conduit connecting said drain basin to said drain collector.

14. A cooler for beverages and the like comprising a mobile thermally insulated cabinet with a mechanical refrigerating system therein, said cabinet having top, bottom and side walls with a door in a side wall and an opening and closure in said top, said cabinet having a horizontal platform extending transverse said cabinet between and engaging a pair of opposite side walls and joined to an adjacent side wall and a vertical wall extending between said platform and bottom and defining a refrigerating system compartment, said refrigerating system including motor-compressor and condenser components housed in said compartment and an evaporator compo nent mounted within said cabinet above said compartment, said compartment having an access opening and closure in a side wall of said cabinet, drain means in the bottom of said cabinet collecting spillage and condensate and discharging them through said bottom to the exterior of said cabinet, a pair of support rails mounted on said cabinet beneath said bottom and a drainage collection tray slidably mounted on said support rails.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 128,956 7/1872 Fellows 222131 145,955 12/1873 Loesch 63-390 X 752,810 2/1904 Sweeney 222131 X 1,150,674 8/ 1915 Grunewald. 1,320,429 11/1919 Wackman et a1 222538 1,772,111 8/1930 Rice 222131 X 2,090,665 8/1937 Carter 222108 2,092,430 9/ 1937 Stratton. 2,103,479 12/ 1937 Magee. 2,134,852 11/1938 Bogan 222538 X 2,149,633 3/1939 Schnoor 222399 X 2,262,043 11/ 1941 Perlick 222131 X 2,285,137 6/1942 Ahrens 211150 X 2,520,380 8/1950 Wegman 222108 2,630,259 3/1953 Stein et al 222131 X 2,727,667 12/1955 Booth 222129.1 X 2,828,889 4/1958 .Toschko 222129.4 X 2,834,190 5/1958 Andrews et al. 222129.1 X

FOREIGN PATENTS 409,518 5 1934 Great Britain.

RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/108, 222/538, 222/146.1, 222/129.1, 222/399, 222/130, 62/306, 62/291, 312/302, 62/389, 211/150, 222/146.6
International ClassificationB67D1/08, B67D1/00, B67D1/06
Cooperative ClassificationB67D2210/00041, B67D2210/00133, B67D1/0858, B67D1/06
European ClassificationB67D1/08D2, B67D1/06