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Publication numberUS3248005 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 26, 1966
Filing dateMar 7, 1963
Priority dateMar 7, 1963
Publication numberUS 3248005 A, US 3248005A, US-A-3248005, US3248005 A, US3248005A
InventorsJoschko Raymond C
Original AssigneeMalcolm J Estrem
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article vending apparatus
US 3248005 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

7 April 26, 1966 R. c. JOSCHKO ARTICLE VENDING APPARATUS firrawsrs 1N VEN TOR. Pay/10.4w CJbse/m'o 5 Sheets-Sheet Filed March 7, 1963 I April 26, 1966 R. c. JOSCHKO ARTICLE VENDING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March '7, 1963 INVENTOR Pawn/w C. fiscl/Ko gird/(wa s A ril 26, 1966 R. c. JOSCHKO ARTICLE VENDING APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 7, 1963 United States Patent 3,248,005 ARTICLE VENDING APPARATUS Raymond C. Joschko, Edina, Minn., assignor of fifty percent to Malcolm J. Estrem, Edina, Minn. Filed Mar. 7, 1963, Ser. No. 263,630 19 Claims. (Cl. 22113) This invention relates generally to vending apparatus and is more particularly directed to vending apparatus and control apparatus therefor which is adapted to selectively vend one of a plurality of articles to be vended, one at a time, in such a manner whereby like articles are vended, or dispensed, in the same order in which they are stored.

In at least one particular field of the art with which my invention is concerned, there has been a long-standing problem in providing inventory control, particularly with regard to perishable articles. There the articles have often been handled by the vending apparatus in such a manner as to vend, or dispense articles in an order not in conformity with good inventory control. In one such device, articles are stored in pockets and dispensed such that the article closest to the dispensing end of the mechanism is always vended first. This, of course, necessitates moving articles previously stored in the device to positions closest to the vending portion of the mechanism before the supply of articles is replenished.

This also means that the individual servicing the machine for inventory must spend a great deal of time merely moving articles already in the machine to provide an effective, efficient vending operating and-to prevent loss of merchandise through spoilage due to long storage in the vending apparatus.

In another example :of the prior art, the Verdery Patent No. 2,564,552, an apparatus for vending or dispensing bottles of carbonated beverages, and the like, is shown in which a pair of motor driven angers are used to provide an inventory control system which ensures proper cooling of the contents of the bottles before they are vended and the last stored bottle in the vending apparatus is described as being the last one to be delivered. My invention also provides such an inventory control which may be more aptly described as a first in first out system FI-FO) which is highly versatile in application and may also be utilized to vend the articles for which the above noted patent was intended to be useful.

As is described more fully below, my invention utilizes a shaft having a plurality of sections having characteristics which cooperate with a plurality of tab-like members so that as the shaft is rotated, the tabs, which may be suitably attached to articles to be vended, are carried to, and delivered from, one end. The tabs may easily be placed on the shaft and logically the replenishment or addition to the supply on the shaft is done in a manner which provides the above noted form of inventory control. 'I have also provided control apparatus for operating the vending mechanism in accordance with the instructions of an individual using the apparatus which l the above noted vending apparatus which is capable of ice.

controlling a plurality of separate vending devices in accordance with selections made by an operator and in accordance with the unit token value of the particular article to be vended.

These and other more detailed and specific objects will be disclosed in the course of the following spcification, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings, in which' FIG. 1 is a perspective sketch of a vending machine incorporating the principles of my invention.

FIG. 2 is a section view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 taken on section'lines 22.

FIG. 3 is a further section of one of the modular vending devices taken along section lines 3-3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a further view of a modular device shown in FIG. 3 taken along section-lines 44 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a broken away sectional representation of a further embodiment of my invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates the tab or article carrying portion of my invention.

FIG. 6A illustrates a further diagrammatic embodiment of a tab.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate further embodiments of a tab.

FIG. 9 is an electrical schematic diagram illustrating a control apparatus for use in conjunction with the article vending devices shown in FIGS. 1 through 5.

'FIG. 9A is' an electrical schematic representation, which when inserted in the appropriate indicated position in FIG. 9 illustrates a further embodiment of the control apparatus.

Referring now to FIG. 1,, there is shown a vending apparatus 10 having front and rear portions 11 and,12 which may be fastened together through suitable hinge means (not shown). Front member 12 includes a plurality of transparent Windows 13 through which articles to be selected for vending may be viewed. Front mem- .-ber 12- also includes a coin slot 14 for the insertion of suitable tokens' and a coin return slot 17 for the return of such tokens when necessary. An article delivery chute 16 is shown on the lower portion of .cover member 12 and a plurality of push buttons 15 are mounted directly beneath coin slot 14 and are intended to be actuated by the user of the vending apparatus in selecting the desired article for delivery.

In FIG. 2, certain portions of the apparatus in FIG. 1 that would normally be viewed along section lines 2--2 have been omitted for the sake of clarity and it should be rather clear from the broken representation of FIG. 2-

that a module 20 is mounted directly behind each of the windows 13 in cover member 12 and each such module will contain a plurality of articles'to be selected and vended in the manner to be described below. In FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, like reference characters have been applied to like elements of modules 20. Module 20 is provided with a frame member 24 which is generally of U-shaped construction as viewed from the side in FIG. 2 and is attached by suitable spacers and other fastening means 27 and 28 to a sliding channel-shaped member 29 which in turn is slidably mounted in a further channel member 30. Channel member 30 is attached to the inside of the rear portion 11 of the housing through support members 31 and 32 which may be attached thereto by, for example, welding or other suitable fastening means. Channel 30 and its attendant mounting members are designed to remain stationary and module 20 is adapted to be slidably inserted therein and may, in some instances, be moved forwardly for loading with articles to be vended and the like.

Module 20 includes a motor means 26 which is adapted to drive a shaft member 18 through suitable speed reduction means and coupling member 25. Shaft 18 is comprised generally of three sections 21, 22 and 23. Section 21 has a continuous, shallow, helical groove at the righthand end of shaft 18 and it will be noted-that section 21 is approximately the same size as the minor diameter of portion 22 near the left end. Portion 22 is shown comprised of a helical screw having a major diameter ofsub stantial size with respect to its minor diameter. Portion 23 is of substantially smaller diameter than section 21 as indicated by the applied arrows and reference character T. Portion 23 extends through and is journaled on frame member 24. Shaft 18 may be comprised of a number of individual components 21, 22 and 23 suitably, nonrotatably fastened together or may be fabricated from one piece of material.

Where the tabs, and articles carried thereby, on shaft 18 tend to rotate, it may be desirable to provide a stop member 34 which may extend along shaft 18 in adjustable laterally spaced relationship. Stop member 34 is attached to frame member 24 by suitable fasteners 35 and contains slots (not shown) to allow for lateral adjustment to accommodate articles of different sizes.

An article deflecting member 33 is shown mounted directly below portion '23 of shaft 18 and the dotted line extending directly from article 40A and down to delivery chute 16 indicates the direction of the path followed by an article when vended from the upper module 20. It is convenient and desirable to vend the articles in the man ner shown in this embodiment so that they follow the path described immediately adjacent to the front surface of enclosure member 12.

A plurality of articles 40A, 40B and 40Z are shown in position on upper module with article 40A in position to be vended, article 403 ready to be vended and article 40Z, the last article in the supply, shown on shaft 21. Lower module 20 inFIG. 2 is the same as upper module 20 and some of the reference characters have been omitted for the sake of clarity and it will be clear to those skilled in the art that behind each of the windows 13 on front member 12 there will be mounted like modules 20 positioned so that the articles vended therefrom will be visible through each of the windows.

In FIG. 4 the representation of upper module 20 shows the relationship between a tab 60 attached to article 40 and the diameter of shaft 18. It may be noted that, as shown in FIG. 6, tab 60 includes a square opening 61 having a slot 62 extending to the upper portion thereof which is dimensioned to coact with the diameter T of portion 23 so that it may be vended or released at such time as it reaches shaft portion 23. The embodiment of FIG. 6A is illustrative of one form which the tab 60 may assume and in this particular embodiment, a double tab 601, formed .of suitable material, is attached to an article 40 to be vended and, prior to vending, stored on shaftportions 21 in each of the modules 20.

FIGS 7 and 8 illustrate further embodiments of tabs 50 and 70, having openings 51 and 71 and slots 52 to 72 respectively, which may be attached respectively to articles 40 and 41. In FIG. 7, the upper portions of opening 51 are designed to be substantially tangent to shaft portion 21 while the dimension of slot 52 is again that shown for shaft portion 23 which has a diameter T. In FIG. 7 the tab is shown attached by a staple and in FIG. 8 the tab is attached, for example, by suitable adhesive means.

FIG. 6A illustrates a further example of a tab constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention. A tab 601, having a square opening 611 and a slot 612, may be fabricated from cardboard of suitable thickness and may be supplied in punched perforated rolls of material. Individual tab members may then be torn off, or removed, and folded in half with an opening and slot in each half in registration to provide an opening and slot as in FIGS. 6 and 7. The tab may then be suitably attached to an article. Where the folded tab, or article, carrier, is utilized, portion 22 of shaft 18 cooperates there- 4 with to effect a greater separation or spacing between the articles carried thereby as the helix may engage the opening between the folded halves of the tab.

It should be notedat this point that the article carriers, or tabs, may be attached to a variety of articles by any suitable means. As an example a tab may be constructed of suitable plastic material and have an opening at its lower end for supporting engagement with the neck of a bottle. It is further contemplated that the packaging normally used for certain articles to be vended may be utilized in place of the tabs. The material, shape and manner of attachment to the articles may easily be determined by those skilled in the art after learning the principles of my invention. In one embodiment of my invention, tab 50 was fabricated from a flexible plastic, such as sheet vinyl, having a thickness of .030 inch, which provided satisfactory operation when stapled to a wax able connecting means 125. A further shaft portion 122 1 is comprised of a helical screw element which is non-.

rotatably connected to flexible portion 123 and to 'shaft portion 121 which is of substantially the same minor di-.

ameter as portion 122. V A further portion 127 at the.

righthand end is adapted to be loosely journaled in an opening therefor in member 124 so that the shaftis free to rotate in accordance with the output of motor means 126. A plurality of articles 40A to 40Z are shown suspended in position on the shaft by tabs 50. ,Article 40A is shown in position as it is about to be vended or dis-. It may be pensed, into a deliverychute 133 therefor. noted that in the embodiment of FIG. 5 portions 121 and 122 of the shaft are inclined so that gravity provides the force for moving the articles to be vended in a direction generally toward portion 122 of the shaft.

Motor means 126 may be energized to rotate the shaft in the manner to be described below, or by providing a timed energization related to the number of revolutions.

of the shaft required for an article supporting tab to move from section 121 to section 123 of the shaft.

Referring now to FIG. 9 a pluralityof modules 20 are shown in schematic representation at the upper right-hand.

corner of the drawing. Each of the modules is provided with a motor means 160, 170 and 180, respectively, connected to gear boxes 162, 172 and 182 through suitable driving means 161, 171 and 181 respectively. The out-.

put of the gear boxes is connected to individual shaft members 18 to provide rotation in the direction shown by the arrows. shafts are chutes 33 as shown-in FIG. 2 and positioned directly below them is delivery chute 16. The arrows indicate the path normally followed by the article to be vended from the respective modules. It may be noted that an actuator 140, drivingly connected to switch con-, tact assembly 104A through driving means 141, is suitably spring biased in a position wherein an article vended from.

any of the modules Will cause actuation of normally open contact assembly A.

In FIG. 9 there is shown a block representation of a.

token handling apparatus having a pair of terminals 152 and 153 connected to terminals 81 and 80 which are adapted for connection to a suitable source of alternat ing current energy (not shown). Token handling apparatus 150 also includes a plurality of output terminals 151 which, in the present embodiment, represents a differenttoken value which is related to the articles to be. vended in the individual modules. A further plurality Positioned below portions 23 of each of the.

of terminals 154, 155, and 156 are provided for connection to the control apparatus for purposes to be described. The control apparatus further includes a pair of relays 190 and 200, a timing apparatus indicated generally by the reference character 210, a selector switch assembly indicated generally by the reference character 100, and a plurality of electrical conductors interconnecting the above described components.

Timer 210 includes a motor means 130 which is connected to drive carnming means 135, 136 and 137 in the direction indicated by the arrow through driving means 131, gear box 132 and driving means 134 upon which cam members 135, 136 and 137 are suitably non-rotatably mounted in cooperating registration. Motor means 130 includes a pair of terminals therefor which are connected to conductors 45 and 82. Cam means 135 is operative to actuate the movable contact on contact assembly 142 in accordance with the position of the movable contact on the surface of cam member 135. Cam member 136 is adapted to operate a pair of contacts 143 shown in the closed position in accordance with the position of the movable contact thereon and cam member 137 is adapted to operate contact assembly 144 in accordance with the position of its movable contact thereon. Relay19 0 includes a relay winding 191 and single-pole and doublethrow contact assembly 193 drivingly connected thereto. Relay 200 includes a relay winding 201 and contact assemblies 202, 203 and 205-drivingly connected thereto.

Selector switch assembly 100 includes a plurality of push buttons, indicated generally by reference numeral as indicated on FIG. 1, and more particularly includes a plurality of push buttons 102, 103 and 104 each of which is drivingly connected to single-pole single-throw contact assemblies 106 and 90, 107 and 91, and 108 and 92 respectively. It may be appreciated that while only three push buttons have been shown, the number of push buttons will correspond generally to the number of modules 20 embodied in the vending apparatus. The stationary contacts of contact assemblies 106, 107 and 108 are connected to terminal 109 connected to conductor 110. The movable contact on contact assemblies 106, 107 and 108 are connected to terminals 164, 174 and 184 on motors 160, 170 and 180 through conductors 111 and 165; 112 and 175; and 113 and 185 respectively. Coil winding 101 on switch assembly 100 is connected intermediate conductor 84 and conductor 110 through conductor 120 and is provided to actuate apparatus (not shown) which serves to interlock switch assembly 100, that is, to provide operation whereby only one push button 15 may be depressed to an operating position during a vending cycle so as to prevent jackpotting of the vending apparatus by initiating operation of more than one module 20 at one time. The stationary contacts on contact assemblies 90, 91 and 92 are connected to conductor 114 through conductor 93. The movable contacts on said last named assemblies are connected to terminals 151 on token handling apparatus 150 through conductors 115, 116 and 117 respectively. It may be apparent to one skilled in the art that each of the terminals 151 on token handling apparatus 150 may be provided for a particular unit value corresponding to the unit value of an article to be vended. Upon application of the suitable amount of tokens to the token handling apparatus, one of the terminals will be energized to provide suitable operation as will be explained in connection with the operation of my invention below. It will be apparent that any one of the movable contact assemblies 90, 91 or 92 may be connected to any one of the terminals 151 and in some instances, all of the contact assemblies will be connected to one terminal.

Coil winding 191 on relay 190 is connected intermediate conductor 82 and the stationary contact on contact assembly 143 through conductor 148. The top stationary contact on contact assembly 193 is connected to conductor 45. The movable contact on contact assembly 193 is connected to the left-hand stationary contact on contact assembly 144 through conductor 146. The lower stationary contact on contact assembly 193 is connected to terminal 156 on token handling apparatus 150 through conductor 43.

Coil winding 201 on relay 200 is connected intermediate conductor 82 and the top stationary contact on stationary contact assembly 202 through conductor 167. Contact assembly 146A on switch means is connected intermediate the upper end of coil winding 201 and the movable contact on contact assembly 202 through conductors 168 and 169. The movable contact on contact assembly 202 is connected to the right-hand stationary contact on contact assembly 142 through conductor 149. The top stationary contact on contact assembly 203 is connected to terminal 154 on token handling apparatus through conductor 45. The movable contact on contact assembly 203 is connected to the left-hand stationary contact on contact assembly 142 through conductor 157 and the lower stationary contact on contact assembly 203 is connected to terminal on token handling apparatus'150 through conductor 46. The stationary contact on contact assembly 205 is connected to conductor 110 through conductor 42 having a terminal 44 thereon for connection to relay assemblies 166, 176 and 186 through the connection indicated by reference character X.

The right-hand stationary contact on contact assembly 144 is connected to conductor 45 through conductor 147. The movable contact on contact assembly 142 is connected to conductor 147. Terminals 163, 173 and 183 on motors 160, 170, are connected to terminal 80 through conductors 84 and 82.

A plurality of relay assemblies 166, 176 and 186, each having contacts therefor, are connected in the manner shown intermediate conductor 84 and conductors 165, 175 and respectively. The dotted outline representation includes a conductor directed downwardly to which has been applied the reference character X for connection to terminal 44 when the apparatus is to be used in connection with the embodiment of FIG. 9A.

In FIG. 9A, a selector switch assembly 100A is diagrammatically shown and like reference characters have been applied with the suflix A where applicable. Selector switch assembly 100A includes a selector knob 96 mounted to rotate a shaft 97 upon which are mounted a pair of Wiper assemblies 95 and 94 each having corresponding movable contacts 98 and 99 respectively. Movable contact 98 is connected to conductor 110A and movable contact 99 is connected to conductor 114A. Positioned around the periphery of the movable wiper assemblies are shown a plurality of contacts which are in correspondence with the contact assemblies shown in FIG. 9 in contact assembly 100. A plurality of stationary contacts may be selectively engaged by wiper 98 and are connected to conductors 111A, 112A, and 113A. On the lower portion of the assembly a similar plurality of stationary contacts are shown connected to conductors 115A, 116A, and 117A. The drawing of FIG. 9A may be inserted into that shown in FIG. 9 in place of switch assembly 100. In this embodiment of my invention, the top portion of conductor 42 is removed and a connection between conductor 110 on the top stationary contact on contact assembly 193 is established and the conductors to which the reference symbol X have been applied are connected.

While it is believed that a clear understanding of my invention will enable one skilled in the art to readily utilize any one of the plurality of token handling devices commercially available at the present time, in one operative embodiment of my invention, a Series 15 (2-price) with escrow was obtained from Coin Acceptors, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri. This device is operable on 115 volt, 60 cycle alternating current and provides an output at terminals 151 corresponding to a predetermined unit value according to the tokens, or coins, applied thereto. Terminal 156 on token handling apparatus 150 is provided to allow energization of a coin return electromagnet which is operative to allow tokens to enter token handling apparatus 150 and to reject tokens when de-energized;

Operation The operation of my invention will first be discussed in connection with the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 6A, 7, 8 and 9.

The first step in the operation is loading a plurality of articles, 40, on portions 21 of the shafts in modules 20. These may be easily snapped in place as the tabs 50, 60 and 70 are so designed. Each of the modules in the present embodiment is provided with the necessary merchandise which may then be viewed through windows 13 in front enclosure member 12 and individuals desiring to purchase the merchandise apply tokens or coins, in the correct amount to slot 14 and depress one of the push buttons 15 corresponding to the desired article.

Actuation of, for instance, push button 102 serves to close normally open contact assemblies 106 and 90. The application of the tokens to token handling apparatus 150 will be assumed to have caused energization of righthand terminal 151 from terminal 81 through the internal circuitry of token handling apparatus 150. The closing of contact assembly 90 serves to energize relay winding 191 on relay 190 through conductor 115, contact assembly 90, conductor 114, contact assembly 143, conductor 148, coil winding 191 and conductor 82 connected to terminal 80. Energization of relay winding 191 connects the movable contact on contact assembly 193 to the top stationary contact. This serves to energize motor means 130 on timer assembly 210 from conductor 83, through con ductor 145, contact assembly 144, conductor 146, contact assembly 193 and conductor 45 and to supply energization for motor 160 for operation of its associated module through a circuit which includes terminal 81, conductor 83, conductor 145, contact assembly 144, conductor 146, contact assembly 193, conductor 45, conductor 147,

contact assembly 142, conductor 158, contact assembly right-hand and movable contacts on contact assembly 142,

through conductor 158, contact assembly 205 on relay 200, conductor 42 and conductor 110. The motors 130 and 160 will continue to rotate.

Assuming that an article A (FIG. 2) has reached the delivery position, that is, it has passed through portion 22 on' shaft 18 and is released from portion 23, it

I will drop through the delivery chute as indicated by the tokens during the time relay winding 191 is energized.

Simultaneously, coil winding 101is energized through its connection between conductor through conductor to conductor 84 and serves to interlock switch assembly 100 to prevent actuation of any of the other push buttons, 103, 104 and the like.

At this time, motors and 160 are energized and the cam members 135, 136 and 137 on timer assembly 210 will rotate in the direction shown by the arrow. Likewise, shaft 18 in module 20 will rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow and the articles 40A to 40Z (as shown in FIG. 2) will progress toward the delivery end of module 20.

As timing assembly 210 continues to operate, the.

movable wiper on contact assembly 144 is engaged by earn 137 to a position in contact with the right-hand staarrows and will engage switching means 140 to close the. associated contact assembly 140A through driving means 141. When contact assembly 140A is closed, coil wind- 0 ing 201 on relay 200 is energized through a circuit from conductor 147, contact assembly 142, conductor 149, contact assembly 140A, conductor 168 and coil winding 201 connected to conductor 82. Energization of coil winding 201 completes a holding circuit therefor from conductor 149, through contact assembly 202, conductor 167 and coil winding 201 connected to conductor 82. Contact,

assembly 205 is opened to immediately de-energize motor 160 and coil winding 101. The movable-contact on contact assembly 203 is in engagement with the top stationary contact thereon to complete a circuit from the left sta-'. tionary contact on contact assembly 142 through conductor 157 and conductor 45 to terminal 154 on token handling apparatus so as to provide a circuit for conducting a valid delivery signal when the movable contact on contact assembly 142 engages the left stationary contact thereon. This occurs near the end of the cycle of. operation of timing assembly 210. As the timer approaches the end of its cycle of operation, the movable 1 contact on contact assembly 142 engage the left stationary contact before contact assembly 144 returns to the position shown on the drawing in FIG. 9 and the tokens, or coins, are then released to a storage box therefor. At the, time the tokens are released by the energization of terminals 154 or 155, token handling apparatus 150 is also operative to reset its token counting mechanism and according deenergized terminals 151 so that relay winding 191 is do energized. Continued operation of the timing assembly 210 allows contact assembly 144 to return to its initial position and at such time, timing motor 130 is de-energized and the apparatus is in readiness for another cycle of operation.

Assuming that the module containing the article selected held therein to the user and to reset the token counting mechanism.

It may be noted that the articles 40A to 40Z in module tion between the major diameter of the helix forming a part of portion 22 and the size of the opening in the tabs, the articles are maintained at a predetermined minimum separation dependent upon the pitch of the helix. Each of the articles and tabs engaged by the helix are moved in a left-hand direction to the .pontion 23 of the shaft which is of suitable dimension, T, so that the slots extending from the opening in the tabs will release the article and the tab and it is dispensed, or vended, to the delivery chute 16. It may now be apparent to one skilled in the art that the type and size of articles to be vended is practically unlimited as long as the size and/oi 9 weight do not make the application of my invention economically unfeasible. F orexample, a plurality of bottles of carbonated beverages may be suspended from suitable tabs in a manner similar to that used for the bags of material 40 shown in FIG. 2.

While the shaft shown in the module on FIG. 2 is comprised of three rigid portions 21, 22, and 23, it may to one skilled in the art be apparent that other configurations of my invention are possible as for example as illustrated in FIG. 5. In FIG. 5, each of the three portions 121, 122, and 123 are rigidly connected to be rotatable from a coupling member 125 attached to the output of a gearbox 126. Again, section 123 is of a size, T, so as to allow the dispensing of articles carried by the tabs through the slots provided therefor. Section 123 is made of a flexible material so that portions 121 and 122 may be inclined to allow the articles stored on portion 121 to move toward the left end by the force of gravity. The right end of portion 121, as indicated by the reference numeral 127, is provided with a smaller diameter equivalent, or smaller, than that of portion 123 to allow for easy insertion of articles and tabs on the shaft.

The apparatus of FIG. 9 utilizing the selector switch shown in FIG. 9A is similar to that explained above in connection with the operation of FIG. 9. Upon substitution of rotary selector switch 100A for selector switch 16! in FIG. 9, conductor 110 is connected to conductor 148, the top portion of conductor 42, between terminal 44 and conductor 110 is removed, and the relay assemblies 166, 176 and 185 are connected to terminal 44 through the connection identified by the reference character X. As explained above, each of the stationary contacts on the top portion of switch assembly 100A corresponds to one of the plurality of moduies 20, in the apparatus, and positioning of knob 96 and wipers 98 and 99 serves to allow a user to select the module containing the article desired. The lower stationary contacts associated with wiper 99 are connected to suitable terminals 151 on token handling apparatus 150 which, as explained above, are energized only when the proper amount of tokens corresponding to the unit value of the particular article associated with the contact pairs has been inserted into the token handling apparatus. Assuming that knob 96 has been positioned to engage wipers 98 and 99 to the center one of the three pairs of contacts, conductor 116A provides an energizing potential to wiper 99 and conductor 114A to energize relay winding 191 of relay 190. Contact assembly 193 completes a circuit to motor 130 through conductor 45. Timer assembly 210 is thereby energized and simultaneously motor 170 is energized, as above, from conductor 110, through con-,

ductor 110A, wiper' 98, conductor 112A to conductor 112. Simultaneously, relay assembly 176 is energized and the holding contact therefor completes a circuit through the stationary and movable contacts on relay contact assembly 205 and through conductor 158 to conductor 147 which is first energized from the energization of relay 190 and then from the operation of cam 137 on contact assembly 144. After motor 130 has rotated sufficiently to open contact assembly 143, relay 190 is deenergized and only motor 170 associated with the module containing the article selected can continue to run until such time as an article is delivered or one cycle of the timer has been completed. Therefore, regardless of the position of knob 96 on selector assembly 180, none of the rest of the motors in the individual modules may be energized.

It is understood that suitable modifications maybe made in the structure as disclosed, provided such modifications come Within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Having now therefore fully ilustrated and described my invention, whatI claim to be new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. Article vending apparatus, comprising in combination; a shaft'comprised of first and second sections, said second section being of smaller diameter than said first section and said shaft having a helix of greater diameter than said first section disposed on said first section adjacent said second section; mounting means rotatably mounting each end of .said shaft; at least one article supporting means having an aperture at least the size of the first section of said shaft and a slot extending to its top end from said aperture, said slot having a lateral dimension less than the diameter of the first section of said shaft and at least the diameter of said second section of said shaft, said article supporting means being adapted to pendulously support an article to be vended and to be slidably disposed on the first section of said shaft; and driving means operably connected to said shaft for rotating the same whereby an article supporting means and an article carried thereby, may be progressively moved from an article supporting position on the first section of said shaft toward the second section of said shaft so that said article supporting means and an article supported thereby will be released from said shaft.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which the second section of the shaft is comprised of flexible material and the first section of the shaft is at an angle to the remote end of the second section.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 in which the first section of the shaft has a helical groove in the surface thereof.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 in which operation of the driving means is provided for a predetermined interval of time.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 in which release of an article .and carrier during the predetermined time terminates operation of the driving means.

6. Article vending apparatus, comprising in combination; a shaft comprised of first and second sections, said second section being of smaller diameter than said first section and said shaft having a helix of greater diameter than said first section disposed on said first section adjacent said second section; means rotatably journaling each of said shaft; driving means operatively connected to said shaft for rotating said shaft in response to energization thereof; at least one article to be vended; and at least one article supporting :means disposed on said article to be vended, said article supporting means having an article engaging portion and a further portion, said further portion including an aperture at least the diameter of the first section of said shaft and a slot extending from said aperture to an outside edge, said slot having a lateral dimension less than the diameter of the first section of said shaftand greater than the diameter of the second section of said shaft whereby said article supporting means and said article carried thereby may be pendulously supported from the first section of said shaft and, upon rotation of said shaft in a predetermined direction, said article supporting means and said article are conveyed through the helix on said shaft and released from the second section of said shaft.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 in which the article supporting means is comprised of a thin, flexible member that is generally vertically disposed when in article supporting engagement with the shaft and the aperture and slot are disposed at the .top end thereof and the bottom end is adapted to engage and support an article to be vended.

8. The apparatus of claim 6 in which the first section of the shaft includes means, operable upon rotation of the shaft tending to move the article supporting means toward the first section of the shaft.

9. Apparatus .of the class above described comprising in combination;

(a) a housing;

(b) a plurality of article vending means disposed in said housing, each of said article vending means including a generally horizontally disposed shaft, said shaft having first, second and third portions, said first portion having a first diameter, said third portion having a diameter less than said first portion and said second portion comprising means for controlling the transmission of article supporting means from said first portion to said third portion;

(c) mounting means in said housing, said mounting means rotatably journaling each end of said shaft;

(d) driving means operatively connected to one end of said shaft;

(e) article discharge means in said housing, said article discharge means extending from the third portion of said shaft to an access opening in said housing;

(f) and a plurality of article supportnig means in article supporting engagement with a like plurality of articles to be vended, said article supporting means including an aperture substantially the size of the first portion of said shaft and a slot extending upwardly therefrom, said slot having a lateral dimen sion greater than the diameter of the third portion of said shaft whereby said article supporting means and said articles to be vended are slidably disposed on the first portion of said shaft and are sequentially vended from the third portion of said shaft.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 in which token responsive means are operable to energize the driving means and means responsive to the presence of an article to be vended in the article discharge means are operable to deenergize said driving means. 1

11. The apparatus of claim 9 in which the first portion of the shaft on the article vending means includes means operable with the shaft for conveying the article supporting means toward the means for controlling the transmission of the article supporting means from said first portion to the third portion of said shaft.

12. The apparatus of claim 9 in which the driving means are operable in response to a first source of signal to selectively rotate the shafts in the article vending means and further means are operable to de-energize the driving means in response to the discharge of an article supporting means, and article engaged therewith, from the third portion of one of said shafts.

13. Article vending apparatus, comprising in combination: a shaft comprised of first and second sections, said second section being of smaller diameter than said first section and said shaft including conveying means disposed intermediate said first and second sections; mounting means rotatably mounting each end of said shaft; at least one article supporting means having an aperture at least the size of the first section of said shaft and a slot extending to its top end from said aperture, said slot having a lateral dimension less than the diameter of the first section of said shaft and at least the diameter of said second section of said shaft, said article supporting means'being adapted to pendulously support an article to be vended ture to an outside edge, said slot having a lateral dimension less than the diameter of the first section of said shaft and greater than the diameter of the second section of said shaft whereby said article supporting means and said article carried thereby may be pendulously supported from the first section of said shaft, and upon rotation of said shaft, said conveying means is operable to convey said article supporting means and said article from the first section to the second section of said shaft whereat said article supporting means and said article are released from the second section of said shaft.

15. Article vending apparatus, comprising in combination:

a shaft having first and second sections, said first section being of a first diameter and said second section being of a second smaller diameter and including means intermediate said first and second sections for consecutively conveying article carriers from said first section to said second section upon rotation of said shaft;

means rotatably supporting said shaft;

motor means drivingly connected to rotate said shaft;

and

at least one article carrier adapted to be slidably disposed on said shaft and to support an article to be vended, said article carrier having an aperture at least the size of the first section of said shaft and a slot extending to its top end from said aperture, said slot having a lateral dimension less than the diameter of the first section of said shaft and at least the diameter of the second section of said shaft whereby said article carriers remain on said shaft in article supporting relationship thereto when disposed on the first section of said shaft and are-released from said shaft when conveyed to the second section of said shaft.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 in which a means for providing a first signal and means for providing a second and to be slidably disposed on the first section of said shaft; and driving means operably connected to said shaft for rotating the same whereby an article supporting means and an article carried thereby, may be progressively moved from an article supporting position on the first section of said shaft toward the second section of said shaft so that said article supporting means and an article supported thereby will be released from said shaft.

14. Article vending apparatus, comprising in combination: a shaft comprised of first and second sections, said second section being of smaller diameter than said first section and said shaft including conveying means operatively disposed thereon intermediate said first and sec- 0nd sections; means rotatably journaling each end of said shaft; driving means operatively connected tosaid signal indicative of the release of an article carrier from the shaft are operatively connected to start the motor means in response to said first'signal to rotate said shaft and to stop said motor means when an article carrier is released from said shaft.

17. Vending apparatus comprising in combination:

.a plurality of article supporting racks, each of said racks including a rotatable shaft including means to convey article carriers from supporting to releasing sections thereon, said releasing section being .of smaller diameter than said supporting section;

at least one article carrier on each of said racks, said article carriers having an opening of greater diameter than the supporting section on said shafts and a slot extending therefrom, said slot being wider than the releasing section on said shafts and narrower than the supporting section on said shafts, whereby said article carriers, whenattached to an article to be vended, pendulously support said article when on the supporting section of said shafts and are vended with said article when conveyed to the releasing section of said shafts;

a likeplurality of motor means each being drivingly connected to rotate a shaft;

token responsive means for providing a first source of signal;

means operable to supply a second source of signal in response to the release of an article carrier and article from one of 'said racks;

' control means;

switching means connected to said control means and operable to selectively connect one of said motor means to said control means; and

means interconnecting said first and second sources of signal and said control means, said control means being operative in response to said first source of signal to energize a selected one of said motor means to rotate one of said shafts and being responsive to said second source of signal to de-energize said selected one of said motor means whereby said selected motor means associated with one of said racks operates to convey an article carrier thereon from the supporting section of the shaft on said rack to the releasing section of the shaft on said rack.

18. The apparatus of claim 17 in which the racks are slidably mounted in a housing for the vending apparatus.

19. Vending apparatus comprising in combination:

a plurality of article supporting racks, each of said racks including a rotatable shaft including means to convey article carriers from supporting to releasing sections thereon, said releasing section being of smaller diameter than said supporting section;

at least one article carrier on each of said racks, said article carriers having an opening of greater diameter than the supporting section on said shafts and a slot extending therefrom, said slot being wider than the releasing section on said shafts and narrower than the supporting section on said shafts, whereby said article carriers, when attached to an article to be vended, pendulously support said article when on the supporting section of said shafts and are vended with said article when conveyed to the releasing section of said shafts;

selectively operable motor means including switching means operable to drivingly connect said motor means to rotate a selected one of said shafts;

token responsive means for providing a first source of signal;

means operable to supply a second source of signal in response to the release of an article carrier and article from one of said racks;

control means; and

means interconnecting said first and second sources of signal, said motor means and said control means, said control means being operative inresponse to said first source of signal to energize said motor means to rotate said selected one of said shafts and being responsive to said second source of'signal to de-energize said motor means whereby said selected one of said shafts associated with one of said racks operates to convey an article carrier thereon from the supporting section of the shaft on said rack to the releasing section of the shaft on said rack.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS LOUIS J. DEMBO, Primary Examiner.

KENNETH N. LEIMER, RAPHAEL M.

LUPO,

Examiners.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/13, 221/75, 221/277, 221/312.00R, 221/129
International ClassificationG07F11/46, G07F11/60
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/60
European ClassificationG07F11/60