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Publication numberUS3269590 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 30, 1966
Filing dateDec 3, 1964
Priority dateDec 3, 1964
Publication numberUS 3269590 A, US 3269590A, US-A-3269590, US3269590 A, US3269590A
InventorsWilliam W Harter
Original AssigneeWilliam W Harter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Paper dispenser with pusher feet
US 3269590 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 30, 1966 w. w HARTER PAPER DISPENSER WITH PUSHER FEET Filed Dec. 5, 1964 INVENTOR. L W/AA M MI /4,9756 BY drrae/v y United States Patent 3,269,599 PAPER DISPENSER WHTH PUSHER FEET William W. Harter, Los Angeles, Calif. (6381 Pickett Ave., Garden Grove, Calif. 92641) Filed Dec. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 415,629 Claims. (Cl. 221-23) This invention relates to a device for automatically dispensing fiat objects, one at a time, from a stack of same. More particularly, the invention relates to such a device primarily adaptable for the dispensing of individual sheets from stacks of stationary or similar paper materials.

It is common office practice to keep immediately available supplies of stationery, second sheets, various business forms, and similar item-s constantly used in the conduct of business affairs in open boxes, stationery racks, or the like in desk or filing cabinet drawers or in other locations, such as on desk tops, of a more exposed nature. The purpose of so maintaining current supplies of these materials is to have them instantly available for use and thereby avoid the necessity of continuously opening and closing stationery boxes, or the like, as the need for individual sheets arises. A primary disadvantage of leaving stationery, or other paper materials wholly or partially exposed in this fashion is, of course, the resulting accumulation of dust, dirt and other soiling agents on the paper surfaces.

The present invention provides dispensing means for stationery and like materials, the use of which makes it possible for the daily consumer of such items to keep current supplies thereof protected from dust and other airborne soiling agents while they are being dispensed and, at the same time, making it unnecessary to open a box or other container each time a new sheet of paper or the like is needed. Moreover, the invention makes stationery supplies more readily available, as will be seen, than they would be if stored in open boxes or stationery racks in desk drawers or similar places. Another advantage of my invention resides in the fact that by its use individual sheets of paper are dispensed far more easily than they can be retrieved from stacks lying in open boxes or the like.

It is thus a principal object of this invention to provide means of rapidly and effectively dispensing stationery and like materials a sheet at a time from a fresh supply protected against dust and other airborne soiling agents.

It is another object of the invention to provide such means in sufiiciently compact and attractive form to permit its display and use in open locations, such as desk tops, heretofore felt to be unsuitable for such purposes because of space limitations.

It is another object of the invention to provide such means which performs its successive dispensing actions through the utilization of energy expended in the removal of individual sheets of material therefrom.

Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent as the description thereof proceeds.

The structural character and manner of functioning of the dispensing means of this invention will be better understood from the accompanying drawing of. which:

FIGURE 1 is a cutaway perspective of a preferred form of a device in accordance with this invention, the device being shown in the process of operation and with arrows to indicate the directions of movement of various of its component parts.

FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the device taken along cutting plane 2-2 of FIGURE 1, also showing, in phantom outline, a transposed position of the inner workings of said device illustrative of the later described manner in which they can be bodily removed for "ice purposes of loading the device with stationery, maintenance work thereon, etc.

FIGURE 3 is a stepped transverse view, mostly in section, of the operating device taken along line 33 of FIGURE 2.

Considering now the drawing in greater detail, there is shown, in operating posture, a preferred embodiment of a stationery dispensing device 1, having a housing with room for the disposition of a stack of stationery, or equivalent material, 3 with a dispensing mechanism 5, described in detail below, supported thereon, said housing consisting of a bin 7 with side walls and a back wall 67, a top enclosure 9 and hinges 11 between back wall 67 and the rear edge of the top enclosure permitting the latter to be raised and lowered for opening and closing purposes. Top enclosure 9 has a flat top 13, a downwardly depending front skirt 15 and downwardly depending side flaps 17 and 19, the side flaps each being slotted, as shown at 21, for reasons explained hereinafter.

The dimensions and geometrical shapes of the top, side flaps and front skirt of top enclosure 9 are such as to permit snug fitting enclosure of bin 7 with the side flaps hugging the outer surfaces of its side walls, and front skirt 15 partially enclosing its front end, all as depicted in the drawing, and particularly FIGURE 1. The reasons for only partial, rather than complete, enclosure of the front end of bin 7 by skirt 15 are, as will later be more evident (1) to leave room under its bottom edge for the removal of sheets from the stack of stationery 3 disposed in bin 7 and (2) to permit forward movement of parts of dispensing mechanism 5 past the skirt (although the latter is not critically essential and may be eliminated as a factor by altering the size of said parts to restrict their range of forward movement to the area rearward of skirt 15).

As previously indicated, dispensing mechanism '5 is supported atop the stack of stationery 3. While, as previously noted, the stationery in stack 3 can be an equivalent material, it will hereinafter for purposes of simplicity be referred to simply as stationery. The parts making up mechanism 5 are two friction rollers 23 and 25, having rolling contact surfaces of rubber or like material, fixedly secured to the ends of an axle 27 which thereby turns with the rollers; a crank shaft 29 disposed transversely of bin 7 with two single cranks 31 and 33 of oppositely directed fiexure spaced equally from its respective ends; a braced, four-wheeled support frame 35 for crank shaft 29, said support frame having bearings, as shown at 37 and 39 on the drawing, through which the crank shaft passes for bearing support; a spacing member 41 with bearings at each end, the bearings being so sized, positioned and configured as to receive crank shaft 29 at one end and axle 27 at its other end, member 41 being so sized and shaped as to maintain friction rollers 23 and 25 a constant distance from crank shaft 29 and, when mechanism 5 is in its working position, as shown in the drawing, in directional parallelity with the four wheels on support frame 35; and chain drive means 43 linking axle 27 with crank shaft 29 whereby rotation of friction rollers 23 and 25 causes the crank shaft to rotate about its axis. Belt drive, or other equivalent, drive means can be substituted for chain drive means 43 within the scope of this invention.

Roughly midway between the front and rear of bin 7, there are narrow slots 45 and 47 in its two side walls, respectively, the slots being directly opposite each other and of sufficient Width to permit the two ends of crank shaft 29 to slip easily thereinto. Matching these two slots, are two others, one being shown at 21 on FIGURE 2, in downwardly depending side flaps 17 and19 of top enclosure 9, these being so positioned and sized as to 3 permit their superimposition over slots 45 and 47, respectively, when the top enclosure is in its down, or closed position. The purpose of slots 45 and 47 is to provide a means of maintaining dispensing mechanism 5 in its proper position and alignment within bin 7 while permitting easy removal of that unit from the bin for purposes of reloading the bin with paper, repairing the unit, etc. The removal of dispensing mechanism 5 from bin 7 is readily accomplished, as FIGURE 2 illustrates, by opening top enclosure 9 and then lifting mechanism 5 straight up until the ends of crank shaft 29 clear slots 45 and 47.

Crank shaft 29 is, of course, made long enough to permi-t its ends to fit into bin side wall slots 45 and 47. Each end of the crank shaft is capped, or otherwise enlarged, to prevent migration thereof through its co-operating side Wall slot. Other means for preventing such migration, as for example appropriate bending of the crank shaft, the use of washers and cotter pins, etc., can, of course, be employed within the scope of my invention.

In addition to the parts described above, dispensing mechanism 5 has two pusher foot members 49 and 51 (hereinafter referred to as pusher feet) linked to single cranks 31 and 33 by connecting rods 53 and 55 in the manner shown in the drawing. Pusher feet 49 and 51 are of equal size and shape, each consisting of a length of downturned channel, as shown at 57, a strip of resilient material such as foam rubber or plastic, as shown at 59, of substantially the same length as the channel member and tightly fitted or otherwise secured therein, and a rearwardly projecting stop, as shown at 61, integral with, or affixed to, and in alignment with said channel member. The strip of resilient material is of rectangular cross-section and so sized as to depend partly out of its channel socket, thereby providing a soft contact sole for the pusher foot of which it forms a part. Each pusher foot has a pair of longitudinally off center (in the forward direction) brackets, as shown at 63, for a pin which links the lower end of the appropriate one of the connecting rods to that foot.

As the drawing shows, dispensing mechanism 5 in operating position has its friction rollers 23 and 25 forwardly disposed. All of the parts of dispensing device 1 are so designed that dispensing mechanism 5 is in coextensive longitudinal alignment with, and transversely centered in, bin 7. To operate the device, the top sheet 65 of stack of stationery 3 is pulled forwardly of the stack in the direction indicated by the applicable arrows on FIGURES l and 2. The movement of sheet 65 under friction rollers 23 and 25 causes them to rotate in the direction indicated by arrow on FIGURE 1. This movement, transmitted through axle 27 and chain drive means 43 causes crank shaft 29 to rotate in the direction indicated by the appropriate arrows on the drawing. By virtue of the direction of flexure of crank 31, and the orientation of crank shaft 29 at the illustrated point of travel of sheet 65, pusher foot 49 has been lifted out of contact with the top surface of stationary stack 3.

Upon clearing the surface of stack 3, pusher foot 49, because of the forward of center location of its connecting rod pin brackets, was caused to swing backward, suspended by connecting rod 53, until its rearwardly projecting stop 61 made contact with the back wall 67 of bin 7. This is the position of the pusher foot shown in the drawing. As FIGURE 2 shows particularly well, when stop 61 reached back wall 67, the bottom of the rear of the sole of pusher foot 49 had dipped until it was again in contact with the top of stationery stack 3. Thereafter, a crank 31 continues its motion the angular relationship of connecting rod 53, pusher foot 49 and the crank is undergoing continual change conducive to lowering of the pusher foot until its sole is again flat on the top of stack 3, from whence it is in position to repeat its forward movement in the manner described below. However, it is pointed out that the continued movement of crank 31 is dependent upon continued driving motion of friction rollers 23 and 25 which is, in turn, dependent upon continued forward movement of top sheet in friction contact therewith. Consequently, since top sheet 65 has been pulled almost entirely from device 1 there is not enough pulling potential on friction rollers 23 and 25 in the illustrated situation to do more than return pusher foot 49 to the above-mentioned starting position for forward movement.

I have made the discovery that the presence of stop members, such as stop 61, on the pusher feet of my device aid immeasurably in its trouble free operation. While I am not certain of the reason, or reasons, for this, I have observed that in the absence of such stop members, there is a tendency for the pusher feet to jam hard against their work site surfaces upon backward and downward movement thereof in their return (from forward movement) cycles of operation. Possibly the presence of a stop on a pusher foot, since it prevents backward travel of the foot to its otherwise full limit and acts somewhat as a pivot at its point of contact with back wall 67 (or its equivalent) results in an approach of the sole of the foot to its work site surface somewhat like the heel-first manner in which the descending shoe of a walking person approaches the ground. The advantage of this kind of walking approach over the stomp-like pusher foot approach resulting where there is no stop equivalent to stop 61 on the foot is believed apparent to those skilled in the art without further elaboration, especially when it is realized that the former far more readily permits the horizontal component of the force exerted on the pushed foot by its connecting rod to move it in a forward direction than does the latter. In any event, I have found the presence of pusher foot stops to be highly advantageous in the utilization of the illustrated embodiment of my invention.

Considering now the movement of pusher foot 51, that foot, as the drawing shows, has its sole fiat against the top surface of stationery stack 3 and it is in a forwardly advanced position by comparison with the position of pusher foot 49. This represents a phase of the pusher foot cycle of travel just the opposite to the phase represented by the illustrated position of pusher foot 49, that is, a point near the end of the forward pushing action (discussed below) of the foot rather than one incipient to it being jockeyed into place for a repeat of that action. This oppositeness of pusher foot travel phase is the result of the opposite directions of fiexure of cranks 31 and 33 which, as FIGURE 1 shows especially well, causes the crank pin ends of connecting rods 53 and 55 to be driven through orbital cycles which are degrees out of phase.

The manner in which the pictured dispensing device functions will, it is believed, be obvious from the drawing considered in the light of the foregoing comments. Briefly, the device performs its dispensing action as a result of alternate and non-synchronous forward thrust of pusher feet 49 and 51 in friction contact with the top surface of stationery stack 3, each pusher foot passing through a cycle of alternate forward movement while exerting just sufiicient pressure contact with the sheet of stationery on the stack immediately below that being withdrawn (sheet 65) to move it forward without moving the sheet directly under it, and backward movement of the abovedefined character to return it to its starting position for another forward thrust. The object achieved by the pictured device is the advancement of the sheet of stationery immediately below top sheet 65 (at the same time that sheet 65 is being withdrawn by hand) a short distance whereby, its front edge projects just enough from bin 7 for easy grasping and withdrawal when needed. An optimum distance of advancement is illustrated by projecting sheet edge 69 on FIGURES 1 and 2.

It will by now be clear that all parts of the illustrated embodiment of my dispensing device are preferably so shaped, dimensioned and assembled as to co-operate in the above-indicated manner while satisfying certain obviously desirable conditions of timing and co-ordination of working part movements. Following is a description of idealized usage and functioning of the pictured embodiment of my dispensing device. The front edge of a sheet of stationery advanced as a result of a previous use of the dispensing device is grasped and pulled forwardly out of bin 7. The movement of the sheet being withdrawn causes friction rollers 23 and 25 to turn. The turning of the rollers actuates crank shaft 29 to drive pusher feet 49 and 51 in the manner previously discussed. So long as the sheet being withdrawn remains under friction rollers 23 and 25, the rollers continue to rotate and transmit drive energy through the crank shaft to the pusher feet. During this time at least one of the pusher feet is pushing ahead and at the same time exerting sufficient downward pressure on the sheet immediately below that being withdrawn to cause its forward movement a short distance. By the time the top sheet clears friction rollers 23 and 25 the sheet immediately below it has been advanced the desired distance and is ready for withdrawal when needed with consequent repetition of the necessary cycle of mechanical events for advancement of the sheet below it the desired distance of projection from bin 7.

During withdrawal of the top sheet of paper from my dispensing device, a pusher foot undergoing forward movement bears partly on said top sheet and partly on the sheet immediately below it, the relative areas of contact of the two sheets changing as the upper one moves outwardly. This is apparent from the fact that the sheet being advanced by the pusher foot moves a mere fraction of the distance covered by that being withdrawn during the withdrawal operation. This, however, presents no problem since I have discovered that there is a readily determinable range of pressure conditions under which a pusher foot will permit easy hand withdrawal of a sheet of paper caught thereunder while still exerting sufiicient force to advance a single sheet of the same paper to the extent necessary for purposes of this invention.

While the foregoing discuss-ion seems to imply that during the backward cycle of pusher foot travel, the foot is out of contact with its work site surface, this is not necessarily true since some dragging contact between pusher foot sole and work site surface is permissible. It is only necessary, in this respect, that such con-tact be minimal to the extent that it has substantially no adverse effect on the forward progress of the sheet then being advanced by the dispensing mechanism.

While the pictured embodiment of my dispensing device has two non-synchronously operating pusher feet, the invention is not limited to the use of two such feet. One or any number of pusher feet can be incorporated in my device so long as each performs its function as taught herein. Furthermore, although I have found non-synchronous operation of the pusher feet, that is, simultaneously oppositely directed movement of said feet, much preferred to synchronous movement thereof the latter is fully within the scope of operation of the invention.

There is no difiiculty in arriving at the proper connecting rod dimensions, distance of crank shaft above work site surface, and other design requirements for successful operation of my device, as I have discovered by unscientifically constructing a crude working model thereof from scraps of wire, cardboard, and other junk materials, and finding that the model actually worked. It will be appreciated that the particular version of my dispensing device illustrated in the accompanying drawing is merely exemplary of a preferred embodiment thereof and that there are many variations of the device within the scope of my invention. Some of these variations have already been touched upon and other will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art from the present teachings.

As an example of the latter type of variation, a dispensing mechanism adapted to operate atop a stack of sheet material but without the elaborate bin and top enclosure of the pictured embodiment of my invention would fall within its scope. Such a mechanism would not necessarily have to be limited to use withpaper sheet materials and it could be enlarged'to any extent necessary to adapt it for use with larger and heavier sheets such as, for example, sheets of cardboard, or the like. Also, it could be employed in manufacturing plants, the wrapping departments of stores or the like, or any place where sheet materials are dispensed. While the foregoing description has lain emphasis on the use of my device for the dispensing of stationery and similar types of material, as the foregoing remarks indicate, the device is not functionally limited to such use and it can be employed for the dispensing of any sheet materials to which it lends itself. Another obvious variant of the drawing embodiment of my dispensing device would be one of different pusher foot size or configuration.

In summary, my invention has been described in considerable detail in order to comply with the patent laws by providing a full public disclosure of its preferred embodiment. However, such detailed description is not intended in any way to limit the broad features or principles of the invention or the scope of patent monopoly sought.

While the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices.

What is claimed is:

1. Means for dispensing flat objects from the top of a stack thereof comprising, in combination:

(a) roller means adapted to make dynamic frictional contact with a flat surface;

(b) means maintaining said roller means in frictional contact with the top of a stack of said fiat objects whereby as the top one of said objects is pulled out from under it the movement of the object causes roller actuation of said roller means;

(c) pusher foot means adapted to make frictional contact with a flat surface;

(d) support and movement control means for said pusher foot means whereby driving actuation of the latter causes at least one pusher foot to travel through alternate cycles of forwardly pushing contact with the top of a stack of said flat objects to effect a shearing action on said stack and cause forward movement of a top one of said objects, and rearward movement, of nonadverse effect on said forward movement of a top one of said objects, to a position from whence it can begin its forwardly pushing movement again; and

(e) means drivingly connecting said roller mean? with said pusher foot means whereby actuation of the former in position atop the stack of said flat objects by pulling the top one of the objects out from under it causes the roller means to drive said pusher-foot means and thereby partially push the second one of the fiat objects in the stack to a position from whence its forward edge can be easily grasped for subse- I quent removal from said stack. 2. Means for dispensing sheets of paper, one at a P time, from the top of a stack thereof comprising, in combination:

(a) a housing for a stack of paper sheets and the be- -low described dispensing mechanism, said housing having a front opening to permit withdrawal of said paper sheets therefrom;

(b) roller means adapted to make dynamic frictional contact with a flat paper surface;

(0) means maintaining said roller means in such frictional contact with the top of a stack of said paper sheets whereby as the top one of the sheets is pulled out from under it the movement of the sheet causes synchronous and alternating forwardly pushing and rearroller rotation of said roller means; ward movement control of the two elongated pusher feet (d) pusher foot means adapted to make frictional conunder driving actuation of said pusher foot means.

tact with aflat paper surface: 4. The means for dispensing sheets of paper of claim (e) support and movement control means for said 2 in which the means drivingly connecting said roller pusher foot means whereby driving actuation of the means with said pusher foot means is chain drive means.

latter causes at least one pusher foot to travel through 5. The means for dispensing sheets of paper of claim alternate cycles of forwardly pushing contact with 2 i whi h;

the top of a stack of paper sheets in said housing (a) the pusher foot means comprises two elongated to effect a shearing action thereon and cause forward 10 her feet;

movement toward the aforesaid front opening of said (1 ea h pusher foot ha a b k top hi h make onhousing of a top sheet on said stack, and rearward tact with the rear wall of said housing prior to the movement, of nonadverse effect on said f w r time the pusher foot would otherwise complete the movement of a p Sheet on Said stack, to a Position rearward movement phase of its cycle of travel from whence it can begin its forwardly pushing IIIOVC- whereby jamming of the fact upon complete ontact ment again; and of its sole with the top of said stack of paper sheets, means dfivingly Connecting Said roller means With after said rearward movement phase of its cycle of said pusher foot means, whereby actuation of the t l i l t d, i t d former, in position atop a stack of paper sheets in said housing, by pulling the top sheet on said stack References Cited by the Examiner out from under it causes it to drive said pusher foot UNITED STATES PATENTS means and thereby partially push the second one of the sheets in the stack to a position from whence its 3 5/ 1337 p y 221-43 forward edge can be easily grasped for subs quent 1,964,498 6/1934 Brasseur 271-42 removal from Said housing. 2,635,875 4 1 53 erner 271-44 3. The means for dispensing sheets of paper of claim 2 in which the pusher foot means comprises two elongated M. HENSON WOOD, JR" Primary Examiner. pusher feet, and the support and movement control means for said pusher foot means are adapted to effectuate non- C. H. SPADERNA, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US363694 *May 24, 1887 Julius heney speert
US1964498 *Oct 30, 1931Jun 26, 1934Dick Co AbSheet feeding device
US2635875 *Oct 28, 1948Apr 21, 1953United States Steel CorpReciprocating feeder for sheet material
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3871641 *Jan 16, 1973Mar 18, 1975Kalle AgSheet feeding device
US3910567 *Nov 5, 1973Oct 7, 1975Addressograph MultigraphSheet material feeder
US4471693 *Aug 24, 1983Sep 18, 1984Kabushiki Kaisha Shinko Kikai SeisakushoApparatus for feeding cardboards to a carton making section
US4781305 *Apr 27, 1987Nov 1, 1988Carberry Gerald OSingle sheet paper dispenser
US5142129 *Nov 6, 1989Aug 25, 1992Ncr CorporationPassbook transport mechanism
US7086644 *Aug 8, 2003Aug 8, 2006Silverbrook Research Pty LtdMedia cartridge for a low power printer
US7349216Nov 8, 2004Mar 25, 2008Silverbrook Research Pty LtdModular electronic device
US7399076Feb 25, 2005Jul 15, 2008Silverbrook Research Pty LtdMedia cartridge having body which receives printer
US7742078Jun 13, 2008Jun 22, 2010Silverbrook Research Pty LtdModular pen-shaped imaging and printing assembly having a timer module
US8052011 *Nov 24, 2004Nov 8, 2011Doron TamApparatus and method for dispensing bags
US20040032502 *Aug 8, 2003Feb 19, 2004Silverbrook Research Pty LtdMedia cartridge for a low power printer
US20050093928 *Nov 8, 2004May 5, 2005Kia SilverbrookModular electronic device
US20050140085 *Feb 25, 2005Jun 30, 2005Kia SilverbrookMedia cartridge having body which receives printer
US20070051744 *Nov 24, 2004Mar 8, 2007Doron TamApparatus and method for dispensing bags
US20080246827 *Jun 13, 2008Oct 9, 2008Silverbrook Research Pty LtdModular Pen-Shaped Imaging And Printing Assembly Having A Timer Module
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/23, 271/42
International ClassificationB42F7/14
Cooperative ClassificationB42F7/14
European ClassificationB42F7/14