US 3251188 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 17, 1966 L, DEAN ETAL 3,251,188
DI SPENS ING APPARATUS Filed 001:. 50, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS LESTER M. DEAN BY WILLIAM D'ESOP'O ATTOFNE' 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 L. M. DEAN ETAL DISPENSING APPARATUS III ln u itiix May 17, 1966 Filed Oct. 30, 1964 35 pki' INVENTOR-S LESTER M. DEAN I BY WILLIAM D E?OPO ATTORNEY.
5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 30, 1964 95 Ari 4 INVENTORS LESTER M. DEAN BY WILLIAM D'ESOPO ATTOPN K United States Patent 3,251,188 DISPENSING APPARATUS Lester M. Dean, 167 Newburgh Ave, Buffalo, N.Y., and William DEsopo, 405 Capen Blvd., Eggertsville, N.Y. Filed Oct. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 407,754 12 Claims. (Cl. 62-3) This invention relates to dispensing apparatus and is particularly concerned with such apparatus which is designed for the sanitary dispensing of individual servings pf food, drug, and like products that require sanitary, refrigerated storage.
It is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus of the character described which is adapted to permit the dispensing of individual servings of such products from a stock therein while preserving the stock from contamination.
More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide novel apparatus of the character described which is provided with means for cooling a stock of servings of such products in a dispenser.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the character described which prevents or minimizes atmospheric contamination of refrigerated products stored therein.
A further object of the invention is to provide novel apparatus of the character described which is inexpensive to produce and convenient to use.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of dispensive apparatus according to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view along section line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of an individual butter pat on a serving tray of a type adapted for use in the apparatus of FIGURES l and 2;
FIGURE 4 is a horizontal sectional view along line 44 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical sectional view along line 5-5 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG- URE 2 of a modified form of apparatus according to the invention.
The above mentionedobjects of the present invention are achieved by providing in dispensing apparatus an insulated container which provides room therein for one or more columns of serving packages of comestibles and cooling means for such packages. The container is so designed and constructed as to permit easy access to and removal of the bottom package in each column while at the same time keeping the remainder of the packages in each column refrigerated and protected from dust, flies and casual handling.
Use of novel dispensing apparatus according to the invention permits restaurants, lunch counters, and other eating places to store serving packages of comestibles at points convenient for service by employees or for selfservice by patrons and at the same time avoids the unsanitary conditions usually present in such storage. For example, butter pats are now frequently kept by restaurants in a vessel, along with water and chunks of ice, on a counter or serving table. Not only is there necessarily contamination by dust and dirt falling in thevessel, but flies and other insects can readily light on the butter. Further, the butter is often so chilled as to be brittle and consequently difficult to remove from the vessel with out breaking the pats. Such breakage is, of course, undesirable.
In FIGURES l-4, inclusive, the numeral 10 designates a dispensing container according to the present invention.
This container is generally rectangular in shape and formed of durable plastic material such as high impact polystyrene, polypropylene, or other suitable material, the front wall 11, back wall 12, and side walls 13 being preferably hollow, thereby to provide dead air insulating spaces within said walls. A top or lid 15 is provided for the container 10.
The lid 15 is preferably formed of the same plastic material as the container sides. It comprises a rectangular inner portion 16 which, like the sides of container 10, is preferably hollow to provide an insulating space 17 and a peripheral outwardly flanged portion 18. The latter rests upon the tops of the container walls when the lid is in place while the inner portion 16 of the lid, which is thicker, extends downwardly into the top of the container. A reasonably close fit of the lid is desirable to minimize air circulation through the container.
The interior of the container 10 is adapted to contain two columns of comestible packages. As illustrated, the packages are individual servings of butter, i.e. butter pats, each in a suitable tray. As best shown in FIGURE 3, each butter pat 20 is carried in a tray or dish 21 which is preferably formed of heavy paper or cardboard and is covered by a small sheet of parchment or waxed paper 23. There are commercially available cartons which contain a plurality of butter pats of predetermined size arranged on such trays, and it is contemplated that the container 10 will be loaded with the butter pats by removing the front of the carton and sliding the carton into the top of the container. In such case, as shown'in FIGURES 2, 4 and 5, the remainder of the cartons, designated by the reference character 22, would maintain the column of trays 21 in alignment and out of direct contact with the walls of the container.
At the lower ends of the back 12 and sidewalls 13 of the container is a bottom 24 preferably integral therewith. The bottom 24 is provided in its front edge 25 with a pair of spaced generally arcuate cutouts 26. The front 11 of the container 10 terminates above the bottom 24 leaving a space 27 (FIGURE 2) through which the butter pats 20 on their trays 21 may be removed from the container. The cutouts 26 permit the convenient grasping of the lowermost tray 21 in each column between the thumb and forefinger of the person withdrawing the pat.
The interior of the container 10 is divided into two sections by a vertical partition 30 which extends inwardly from the front 11 intermediate the sides 13. The partition 30 is preferably formed integrally with the front 11 and extends upwardly from the bottom 24 to a point somewhat below the top of the container so as to provide clearance for the lid 15.
Each of the vertically extending compartments 31 formed in the interior of the container 10 by the partition 30 is adapted to contain a column of butter pats 20 on trays 21, the partition 30 serving to separate the columns. Between the columns of butter pats in the compartments 30 and the back wall 12 of the container Ill is a space 32 in which there may be located cooling means for the butter or other comestible kept in the con tainer. While cracked ice or similar refrigerant may be employed, it is preferred to employ a removable, sealed, refrigerant canister.
Such canisters, which are desirably made of stainless steel to obviate corrosion, are sealed and may contain liquids known to the art, such as mixtures of water with alcohols and/ or ethylene glycol. The canister is subjected to low temperatures, preferably at least l0-15 C., thus freezing the liquid therein and may then be used for refrigerating or cooling products or articles placed near or adjacent thereto. The canister 35, as shown, has a substantially rectangular, block-like body 36 and a handle 37 that projects upwardly from the top of the body 36 and is bent over to provide a lifting flange 38. The canister 35 is preferably of such size as to substantially fill the space 32.
Extending downwardly from the sides 13 of the container and preferably formed integrally and parallel therewith are elongated legs 39 stabilized by gussets. The legs 39 form a base which permits convenient access to the butter pats in the container when the latter is set on a counter or table (not shown). If desired, however, the container may be hung on a wall, partition, or other support (not shown) by any suitable and appropriate well known means (not shown).
In FIGURE 6 there is illustrated in vertical section a modified form of dispensing apparatus according to the present invention. ,The container 42 is substantially like the container 10 shown in FIGURES 1, 2, 4 and 5, butis modified to provide for the use of thermo-electric cooling means for the comestible packages stored therein. Like the container 10, the container 42 comprises a front wall 43, side walls 44, and a bottom 45. It is also provided with a lid or cover 46 which may be substantially identical with the lid as well as a vertical partition 47 intermediate the side 44.
From FIGURE 6, it will be observed that the back of the container 42 comprises an insulated wall 48 and spaced rearwardly thereof a second wall 49 extending upwardly, and preferably parallel to the wall 48, from the lower ends of the side walls 44 for a substantial distance, thus providing a passage 50 between walls 48 and 49. Adjacent its upper end there is provided in the insulated wall 48 an inwardly recessed, single walled portion through which extend thermoelectric elements 53 and 54. At their outer ends the thermoelectric elements are in heatconductive contact with a metallic heat sink or radiator 55. A thin metal plate 56, preferably of aluminum or stainless steel, is secured by suitable means (not shown) to the inner ends of the elements 53 and 54. The plate 56 is spaced inwardly a short distance from the insulated back wall 48 and is parallel thereto and of slightly smaller dimensions so as to fit within the container 42.
The thermoelectric elements 53 and 54 may be of 1 any suitable and desired materials and be constructed in any desired and convenient shape. Such devices are commercially available. U.S. Patents Nos. 2,977,400, granted March 28, 1961 to A. I. Cornish, and 2,896,005, granted July 21, 1959 to R. W. Fritts et al., for example, disclose compositions and procedures suitable for producing the elements 53 and 54. The heat sink 55 may be of any desired type. Many such devices are known to the art and are commercially available.
In the modification of FIGURE 6 it is desirable to minimize heat transfer through the bottom and accordingly it is formed with double walls to provide an insulating air space therein which may, as shown, be in communication with the interior of the insulated back 48. The bottom 45 is also provided with cutouts 58 in the forward edge thereof.
A base 60 is provided for the container 42 to facilitate removal of the butter pats from the container and to enable it to be conveniently used on a counter or table. This base has walls that extend downwardly from the side walls 44 and rear walls 48 and 49 of the container and also serves to house elements of the refrigerating mechanism. The base 60 has a front opening 61 which is preferably closed by a grid or screen 62. Within the enclosed space or chamber 67 beneath the main part of the container there may be suitably mounted a rectifier 63 of any desired and suitable design and construction to convert conventional alternating electrical current to direct current for supplying the thermoelectric elements 53 and 54. Also within this space there may be provided ventilating means such as the motor 64 and the fan or I blower 66 which draws air from the chamber 67 through be air cooled. If desired or necessary a suitable ventilating means such as an electrically driven fan or blower 63 of any desired and convenient design to provide a flow of cooling air over the heat sink or radiator 55 and the rectifier transformer (not shown) may also be provided to obtain electrical current of the proper voltage.
The operation of the modified form ofcontainer is very simple. It is only necessary to load the container 42 with serving packages of comestibles and supply electrical current through a suitable line (not shown). The flow of electrical current through the thermoelectric elements 53 and 54 causes their inner ends to become cold and their outer ends hot. The heat from the latter is dissipated in the heat sink 55, while the inner ends of the elements are secured to the metal plate 56 which thereby serves as a cold wall that absorbs heat from the interior of the container and keeps the contents cool.
In using the container 10 it is usually desirable to employ at least two refrigerant canisters 35 so that one can be freezing while the other is in use cooling the contents of the container. Depending upon the ambient temperature a canister will keep the contents of the container at about 38-40 for 6 to 8 hours before it must bereplaced.
As previously mentioned the refrigerated containers are preferably molded from a suitable plastic with hollow Walls to provide dead air insulating spaces therein. The molding may be done in any suitable known way. If desired, however, the walls may be filled with an insulating material such as foamed polyurethane resin or the walls may be solid and other insulating material, such, for example, as glass wool, exfoliated vermiculite, cork, or the like, be provided in suitable form as a wall lining. The container may also, of course, be formed of other materials such as metal or sheet plastic if desired. In general, however, such materials are not as satisfactory since molding permits the ready production of rounded interior corners and joints, thus facilitating the maintenance of sanitary conditions.
It will be understood that the design and construction of refrigerated dispensing containers may be varied and modified to a considerable extent in other respects without departing from the invention. Thus, the container may be designed to hold only one column of comestible serving packages, or three or more if desired. So also, a plurality of refrigerant canisters or cartridges may be placed in the container instead of one and such canisters may be of any desired shape and size. Further, means may be provided, if desired, for varying the size of the dispensing opening at the front of the container to permit the removal of a plurality of packages at once.
Other possible modifications will present themselves to those using such containers and it is desired, therefore, that the invention shall not be considered as limited to the construction shown and described. It is intended, rather, that it should be construed as broadly as permitted by the appended claims.
It will be further understood that, while the foregoing description of the invention has been illustrated by reference to the storage and dispensing of butter pats, the invention comprehends the use of such dispensers as described for storing under cool, sanitary conditions until required, small packages of other comestibles such, for example, as cream, mayonnaise, and sauces, as well as drugs, vaccines, and other perishable products.
1. A dispensing container adapted for holding and cooling packages of comestibles and other products requiring sanitary, refrigerated storage and dispensing the same which comprises a body having insulated front, back, and side walls, a closely fitting lid for said body, and a bottom supported by a base, said body being rectangular in shape and being provided with at least one internal partition,
said partition being integral with and projecting inwardly from said front but terminating short of said back, and
extending from said bottom substantially to the upper end of said body whereby to divide the interior of said body into a plurality of intercommunicating compartments, each of said compartments being adapted to receive and contain a plurality of vertically stacked comestible packages, said front terminating at its lower end above and spaced from said bottom and said body having a cutout below each of said compartments whereby the lowermost package in each of said compartments may be conveniently grasped by the fingers for removal, and said body having a space therein adjacent to and communicating with each of said compartments adapted for the reception of refrigerating means.
2. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 in which said space is provided between the stacked comestible packages and the back of said container and is accessible from the top of said body.
3. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 in.
which said base is of such height as to permit easy access to the cut out portion of said bottom and is adapted to provide stable s-upport on a flat surface.
4. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 in which said front, back, and side walls are hollow thereby to provide dead air insulation therein.
5. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 in which said partition is integral with said bottom.
6. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 in which said compartments are in open communication throughout their lengths with each other and with said space.
7. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 6 in which said compartments are adapted for receiving said packages from the top only of said body.
8. A dispensing container as set forth in claim 7 in which said body is free from openings except at said top and said bottom.
9. The combination with a dispensing container as set forth in claim 1 of refrigerating means in said space.
10. The combination set forth in claim 9 in which said refrigerating means comprises a closed container.
11. The combination as set forth in claim 9 in which said refrigerating means comprises a cold plate.
12. The combination as set forth in claim 11 in which said plate is cooled by thermoelectric means.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,633,588 6/1927 Klinenberg 62-378 1,771,933 7/1930 Lehrman 62-378 2,582,155 1/1952 Pedersen 221-92 2,860,941 11/1958 Fromwiller 312-36 3,018,6 3 1 1/1962 Bury 62-3 3,097,899 7/ 1962 Dean 312-36 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner.