US 3269592 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NJ. sLYE ETAL 3,269,592
UNIVERSAL TOWEL DISPENSERv l Aug. 309
2 Sheets-Shee't l Filed Sept. 26, 1963 INVENTOR5 J. 5 .c YE
A r rale/vs v5 N. J. SLYE ET AL UNvERsAL TOWEL DISPENSER Aug.. 3G, w66
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 26, 1963 United States Patent O 3,269,592 UNIVERSAL TOWEL DISPENSER Norman J. Slye, Bernard E. Blanchard, and Archie S.
Krueger, Green Bay, Wis., assignors to Alwin Manufacturing Company, Green Bay, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Sept. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 311,793 10 Claims. (Cl. 221--44) This invention relates to a universal towel dispenser.
With the aid of an insert which is readily attached and removed by the user, a dispenser embodying the invention is capable of handling without other change a wide variety of towel sizes and forms including both interfolded and C-folded towels. i
The dispenser comprises a cabinet having attached to its back a bottom wall or tray which is in part substantially horizontal and in part is inclined obliquely forwardly and upwardly, the transverse -dispensing slot extending into both of these parts and having maximum forward to rear width intermediate its ends, the ends of the slot being narrowed and forwardly directed.
The construction of the upwardly oblique forward portion of the bottom wall or tray is important. It contains easers of two different types, shouldered finger type easers alternating with upwardly embossed ribs which are of critical dimension as hereinafter noted.
The removable insert is applied at the rear of the generally horizontal portion of the cabinet bottom. It provides a supplemental bottom wall and is used particularly when interfolded towels are to be dispensed. The insert includes easers which project inwardly from the rear of the cabinet when the insert is in position. Releasably interlocking portions of the insert and the side walls of the cabinet are adapted to assist in positioning the insert and retaining it against accidental displacement.
The front wall of the cabinet is hinged to the side walls and has its own side walls lapping lthose with which the rear wall is provided. The lapping portions of the side Walls have complementary lug and channel means for limiting pivotal movement of the front wall with respect to the rear wall of the cabinet. When the front wall is moved pivotally downwardly to the limit controlled by the interlocking lug and channel means aforesaid, the bottom wall or shelf is fully exposed for the loading of towels thereon.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a towel cabinet embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 shows the same cabinet in bottom three-fourths perspective to illustrate the dispensing slot.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail view taken in horizontal section in the plane indicated by the line 3-3 in FIG. 4.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary detail view on a further enlarged scale taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary detail view in perspective showing the cabinet front wall in open position and exposing the bottom wall or shelf on which a stack of towels may be supported for dispensing.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the parts as they appear when the supplemental insert is in use for dispensing interfolded towels.
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the supplemental insert in position.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view taken in section on the line 8 8 of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view taken on the line 9-9 of FIG. 7.
The cabinet back 10 is intended to be mounted in the usual manner upon a wall or other support. To it are connected support side walls 12 and 14. Supported by the back is the bottom or shelf portion 16 of the dispenser 3,269,592 Patented August 30, 1966 which carries a stack of towels to be dispensed. This may have a ange 18 riveted or otherwise secured to the side walls 12 and 14 and the back 10 of the dispenser. As clearly appears in FIG. 4, the portion 20 of the dispenser bottom 16 is relatively horizontal but the portion 22 is inclined obliquely forwardly and upwardly andincludes an upright flange 24.
The dispensing opening 26 lies partially in the generally horizontal part of the shelf portion 16 of the dispenser and partially in the oblique inclined Wall 22 thereof. The front margin of the slot is formed by a rib 30 which is quite important to the proper dispensing of towels and is nearly rectilinear through a major part of the length of the slot 26. However, the rib has hooked ends at 32 and 34 about the forwardly directed portions 36, 38 of the slot. The rear margin of the slot is not parallel to the rib 30 but progressively diverges from rib 30 from both ends toward the center, the divergence being decreased at 40 and 42 and increased again to provide a rearward arc at 44, all as best shown in FIG. 3.
Flat topped ribs 46 which serve as easers extend from the forward wall 24 toward the rib 30. These should desirably be between nine-sixteenths of an inch and fiveeighths of an inch in width for best results in dispensing towels. Moreover, these easers should be approximately one-sixteenth of an inch lower than the top of the rib or bead 30 at the points where the easers 46 merge with the bead (FIG. 4).
The rib or bead 30 has an overall height of about onefourt-h of an inch but this is not as critical as the dierential between the height of the bead and the height of the easers 46.
In practice, the dispensing slot 26 has an overall length of ten inches. This length is determined on the basis of the currently available towels which it is desired to dispense. In other words, the length of the slot is given 'by way of example and not by way of limitation. It is, however, important that the offset provided by the hooked end portions 32 and 34 of the bead 30 should be lin the neighborhood of one-eighth of an inch. Without an ofset of approximately this amount, certain multi-fold types of towels will not be released without tearing the edges of the towel.
Between the easers 46 there are easers which have the form of shouldered lingers as shown at 50. These lingers are formed from the ange 24 and the bottom wall 22 as clearly appears in FIG. 4. The linger portions 52 converge downwardly and rearwardly toward the alreadyinclined bottom Wall 22 andare abruptly offset toward the bottom wall at the shoulders 54. The free end portions 56 are generally parallel to the portions 52. Alternating this particular type of easer with the flat topped ri'b easers 46 is very desirable for assuring that various types of towels will be dispensed satisfactorily.
When interfolded towels are to lbe dispensed, the insert generically designated `by reference character 60 is placed on the t-ray as best shown in FIGS. 6 to 9. This insert completely covers the generally horizontal portion 20 of the bottom wall or tray 16 and provides a substitute supporting surface which includes 4three separate panels 62, 64 and 66, all of which are inclined downwardly and forwardly, the inclination being progressively increased from rea-r to front as clearly shown in FIG. 7. The lower margin of panel 66 engages the tray beyond the ends of the dispensing slot 26 and, lin effect, eliminates use of all of that portion of such slot which is formed in the horizontal portion 20 of the tray. As shown in FIG. 8, the margin 68 of Ipanel 66 is parallel to and is relatively close to the lbead 30 which forms the forward margin of slot 26.
An integral flange 70 extending downwardly from the rear of panel 60 lies in substantially face contact with the rear wall of the cabinet. The ends of the insert ex- .tend to the side walls 12 and 14 and are releasably positioned by slight protnberances 72 which are struck fr-om the side walls and engaged over the ends of the insert as best shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 9. There is sufiicient exibility in the side walls so that they may be sprung outwardly to disengage the embossed protuberances 72 from the ends of the insert when it is desired to remove the insert.
Struck from the panel portion 62 of insert 60 are the easer fingers 74 which are el'bowed to extend forwardly substantially from the rear wall 10 of the cabinet in approximate parallelism with the panel 62 and somewhat spaced above the panel. The spacing is not critical but the general proportions indicated in the drawings have been found satisfactory.
Interfolded towels With the insert in place interfolded towels of a wide variety of lengths and widths can be stacked on the tray and insert shown in FIG. 6 for dispensing singly without tearing or other damage. FIG. 7 shows at S6 the position of a single towel of the interfolded type which is muc-h narrower than the front-to-rear depth of the cabitween the rib 30 and the easers 46 and insert 60.
If a relatively narrow towel tends to pull bodily forwardly when grasped by a user (as may happen when only a few towels remain in the cabinet), the towel margins will tend to engage shoulders 54 of easers 50 and will be restrained thereby against further bodily displacement.
C-fold towels If any other form of towel or the like is to be dispensed, the insert will preferably be removed. C-fold 4towels stacked on the tray with their inwardly formed margins exposed downwardly will be readily accessible through the dispensing opening 26 and have a curve or channeled form indicated at 90 as a result of the outline of the margins 40, 42 and 44 of the dispenser slot shown in FIG. 3. FIG. 4 shows at 80 a single C-fold towel to illustrate how its inwardly turned margin 84 hangs from the outline of margin 40, 42 and 44 of the dispenser slot 26, it being intended that the rear margin 84 will be the margin to be grasped by the user. A wide variety of lengths and widths of C-fold towels can be dispensed from a dispenser embodying the invention without requiring change in the dispenser, and particularly if such dispenser is equipped as shown with lbead 30 and easers 46 and S0 in relation to the bottom portion of the tray 16.
Because of the construction illustrated, each size or shape or type of towel within the capacity of the apparatus will dispense as readily as would be the case with a dispenser specifically designed for the particular towel. This is true whether the towels are made of so-called soft or hard paper and regardless of their ratio of length to width and regardless of the fold used. We claim:
1. A towel dispenser or the like adapted to handle products of a number of different types and folds, said dispenser comprising a tray for supporting a stack of the products to be dispensed and comprising a bottom having la rearwardly downwardly inclined forward portion Iand a generally horizontal rearward portion, the respective portions having a dispensing slot which extends into both of said portions, the first mentioned portion having a product supporting rib along the forward margin of said slot and having laterally spaced easer ribs extending fore and aft and projecting rearwardly to said first mentioned rib, the forward margin of the dispensing slot curving forwardly at its ends and the product supporting rib having terminal Ahooks which include forward offsets and rearwardly extending ends encircling the forwardly curving ends of the slot, the said dispensing slot following the outline of said offsets and hooks.
2. A towel dispenser or the like adapted to handle products of a number of different types and folds, said dispenser comprising a tray for supporting a stack of the products to be dispensed .and comprising a bottom having a rearwardly downwardly inclined forward portion and a generally horizontal rearward portion, the respective portions having a dispensing slot which extends into both of said portions, thel first mentioned portion having a product supporting rib -along the forward margin of said slot and having laterally spaced easer ribs extending fore and aft and projecting rearwardly to said first mentioned rib, said fore Iand aft extending ribs being rearwardly downwardly inclined toward said first rib and have lower end portions immediately adjacent said first rib which are offset downwardly therefrom, said fore and aft ribs having said lower end portions at a materially lower level than said first rib.
3. A dispenser according to claim 2 in which said fore and aft extending ribs are between five-eighths of an inch and nine-sixteenths of an inch in width and the said lower end portions are joined to the rib first mentioned .and at their juncture with the first rib being approximately one-sixteenth of an inch lower than the top of the first rib.
4. A towel dispenser or the like adapted to handle products of a number of different types and folds, said dispenser comprising a tray for supporting a stack of the products to be dispensed and comprising a bottom having a rearwardly downwardly inclined forward portion and a generally horizontal rearward portion, the.
respective portions having a dispensing slot which extends into both of said portions, the first mentioned portion -having a product supporting .rib along the forward margin of said slot and having laterally spaced easer ribs extending fore and raft and projecting rearwardly to said first mentioned rib, said tray having an upstanding flange at its forward side and easer fingers mounted entirely on said flange and extending rearwardly from said ange for a distance less than the rearward extension of the fore and aft ribs and at a level above the fore and aft ribs and in positions alternating with the fore and aft ribs first mentioned.
5. A dispenser according to claim 4 in which the fingers which extend rearwardly from said flange are struck integrally from the material of the flange and provided intermediate their ends with downwardly offset portions and a shoulder at the offset of said portions, said last mentioned fingers being convergent toward the tray both forwardly of and rearwardly of the said shoulder.
6. A towel dispenser or the like adapted to handle products of a number of different types land folds, said dispenser comprising a tray for supporting a stack of the products to be dispensed and comprising a bottom having a rearwardly downwardly inclined forward portion and a generally horizontal rearward portion, the respective portions having a dispensing slot which extends into both of said portions, the first mentioned por tion having a product supporting rib along the .forward m-argin of said slot and having laterally spaced easer ribs extending fore and aft and projecting rearwardly to said first mentioned rib and a readily removable insert superimposed on the generally horizontal rear portion of the tray bottom, said `insert being inclined downwardly toward said slot Iand having a forward margin-al portion which covers a part of said slot.
7. A dispenser according to claim 6 in which said insert includes laterally spaced easer lingers connected With the insert 'at the rear thereof and projecting forwardly over a part of the insert in upwardly spaced relation thereto.
8. A dispenser according to claim 7 in which said insert comprises a Wall having longitudinal bends eX- tending laterally of the dispenser and dividing said wall into laterally elongated panels of different inclination, the rearmost of which has the least inclination and the forwardrnost of which has the most inclination.
9. A dispenser for numerous different styles of towels or the like, such dispenser including a tray, a rear wall with which such tray is connected, side walls connected with the rear wall and extending forwardly past portions of the ends of the tray, the tray having a dispensing slot, and an insert removably mounted on the tray adjacent said rear wall and having a portion overhanging the slot and adapted to modify the form thereof, whereby articles of differing characteristics may be dispensed through said slot depending on the presence of the insert, the said side walls being yieldable and having integral inwardly projecting bosses engaged over the insert as a means of holding the insert in position.
6 10. A dispenser according to claim 9 in which said insert includes a .downwardly and forwardly inclined surface with which said bosses are engaged whereby said insert is held both to the tray and to the rear wall by said bosses. f
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,164,047 12/1915 Winter 221-55 1,179,020 4/1916 Marcuse 221-452 1,754,467 4/ 1930 Hothersall 221-53 2,253,742 8/1941 West et al. 221-52 2,256,020 9/1941 Engel 221-46 2,520,538 8/1950 Gilbertsen 221-199 X 2,830,728 4/1958 Krueger et al. 221-48 2,858,045 10/1958 Loeb 221--59 3,028,047 4/1962 Tuft 221-44 3,115,998 12/1963 Joyce etal. 221-44 X 3,121,510 2/1964 Holzwarth et al. 221-60 3,134,503 5/1964 Jones et al. 221-47 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
KENNETH N. LEIMER, RAPHAEL M. LUPO,