US 3311992 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 4, 1967 L. o. sL-:LEY
POPCORN DISPENSER 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed DSC. 2l, 1964 L. O. SELEY POPCORN DISPENSER April 4, 1967 Filed Dec. 2l, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet E girl-111 die@ veavr ,by -f M j raggi April 4, 1967 L. o. SELEY 3,311,992
POPCORN DI SPENSER Filed DeO. 2l, 1954 5 Sheets-Sheet agg. 3 2| [l5 2| 1 5' United States Patent O 3,311,992 POPCORN DISPENSER Lyman 0. Seley, 13 Old Farm Road, Wayland, Mass. 01778 Filed Dec. 21, 1964, Ser. No. 419,631 6 Claims. (Cl. 34-57) This application relates to a popcorn dispenser, in which popped corn is circulated in the dispenser in a manner simulating the appearance of popping corn.
Most of the popcorn today dispensed and purveyed in motion picture houses, drive-in theaters, and other places of amusement is previously popped outside the premises by commercial distributors, and is delivered to the motion picture house and other point of sale in large containers. This has created a demand for a popcorn dispenser in which the previously popper corn is placed and can be displayed and dispensed therefrom in an attractive and sanitary container. Preferably the popcorn should be kept warm, and it greatly enhances the sales appeal and the appearance of the popcorn dispenser if the popcorn can be circulated in a moving stream through the dispenser, thereby creating the illusion that the corn is being popped on the spot. Modern merchan disers are well acquainted with the psychology of moving objects for attrae-ting attention.
I have accordingly sought to design a popcorn disperser which would achieve these objectives, results and advantages.
Briefly my invention comprises a popcorn dispenser, comprising in combination, a cabinet having a top, a base, and four side walls of translucent material, a panel dividing said cabinet into top and bottom compartments sloping downwardly from the sides toward the center, at the center of which is an aperture. Beneath the aperture a circular dellector plate is mounted on a shaft extending through the aperture, and having an electric motor 'atthe top for rotating the shaft and deilector plate. It will be understood that kernels of popcorn drop `down onto the rotating deflector plate |and are tossed off into the main or bottom compartment of the cabinet, simulating a heavy snowfall. A well or `depression is arranged in the floor of the base where popcorn accumulates, and -a rotary blower is provided in the base with a nozzle for directing la stream of air across the well. An electric motor rotates the blower, and a suitable heating coil is provided to heat the air. A tube having an orifice opposite the blower and opening int-o the top compartment then conducts popcorn carried by the air stream from the blower, where it is discharged int-o the top compartment and thence onto the rotating dellector plate, where it falls into the bottom compartment of the cabinet creating the illusion of popping corn. One of the rear side walls preferably is formed of two hinged doors, and below an outwardly tiltable access tray is mounted, to provide -access to the interior of the cabinet, for lling bags or cartons with popcorn. It will be understood that the cabinet is tilled with popcorn through .a door in the top, and that the popcorn is continuously circulated through the dispenser in the manner described.
Other advantages and features of my invention are described in more detail in the following specification and accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of my dispenser shown from the rear;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
In thedrawings represents my dispenser cabinet generally, which comprises the top or roof member 11, the base 12, and four side walls, of which 13 is the rear side wall generally, 14 the left side wall (as seen in ice FIG. l), 15 the front side wall, and 16 the right side wall. As seen in FIG. 1, rear side wall 13 provides means for access into the dispenser, and for this purpose comprises two hinged doors 17a and b, which open outwardly on hinges 18a and `b by pulling handle knobs 19a and b, and beneath doors 17a and b, a tiltable access tray 2l) is mounted which again -opens outwardly, and when open permits the loperator to ll bags iand cartons with popcorn. The four side walls are preferably made of a transparent material such as plate glass or clear plastic. Pour vertical rect-angular corner posts 21 of sheet metal connect top 11 to base 12 and provide support for the side walls, with suitable vertical channels 22 in which side walls 14, 15 and 16 are mount ed. Left front post 21a (FIG. 1) provides support for air tube 68 referred to below. A hinged trap door 24 in the top or roof member 11 provides means for filling the cabinet 10 which popped corn. A housing 26 also mounted on top 11 encloses electric motor 28, vertical shaft 29 rotated by the motor 28, and bearing housing 30. Shaft 29 extends through the top of housing 26, and carries on its upper end the revolving sign 32.
Shaft 29 also extends downwardly through the top 11, and bearing housing 33, and carries on its lower end the deflector plate 35, which also revolves. As more distinctly shown in FIG. 2, the cabinet, generally shown at 10, on its interior, is divided into a top compartment 40 and -a main or bottom compartment 42, by means of a panel 44 sloping downwardly from its sides toward lits center, where it opens into a central aperture 45. A ball bearing bracket 46 by having radial arms 43 connecting to the inner top edge 5G of the central aperture 4S rmly supports the lower portion of the rotating shaft 29 against vibration.
It will be understood as described more fully below, that popcorn blown from the tubular conduit is directed onto the sloping panel or bottom 44 of the top compartment 4l) (or directly to the central aperture 45), and thence through the central aperture 45 onto the revolving plate 35, where it Iis tossed or bounced off into the main or bottom compartment 42, thereby creating the illusion of popping corn.
It will be understood that my popcorn dispenser can be made in cylindrical, elliptical, hexagonal or other shape, instead of square or rectangular .shape .as shown in the drawings, without departing from my invention.
In the bottom of main compartment 42 a floor 52 is provided, which has a well or trough 54 substantially rectangular in shape larranged therein, with sloping end wall 56, oor S7, vertical end lwall 58 and vertical side walls 59 and. 60 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4). In the compartment 53 beneath the floor 52, :and outside the well 54, a hot air rotary blower 62 is provided with nozzle 64 (FIG. 2) and is rotated by la standard electric motor (not shown). A standard electric heating coil (not shown) is preferably provided within the blower nozzle 64 for heating the current of air passing therethrough. As best shown in FIG. 2 the blower nozzle 64 terminates in the right side wall 6l), and directly across from noz` zle 64, in the left side wall 59, is the opening nozzle 66 yof the tubular conduit generally indicated at 68, cornprising horizontal section 68a, vertical section 68h, .and discharge nozzle 68C. As seen in FIG. 2, popcorn falling into the well 54, will be carried by the air stream from blower 62 and nozzle 64 into the nozzle 66 of the tubular conduit 63, and thence carried upwardly to discharge nozzle 68e, and to be blown therefrom into top compartment 40 and thence into the main or bottom compartment 42 with the snow-falling effect previously described. If necessary, or desir-able a second or auxiliary blower, not shown, can be provided at the bott-om of the vertical section 68b to furnish an augmented air stream to carry the popcorn upwardly to the discharge nozzle 69C, Without departing from my invention.
It will be seen from the foregoing that I have devised a popcorn dispenser of a pleasing and lattractive design, which will dispense popped corn, and will circulate it through the dispenser in a manner simulating the appearance of popping corn, and `which will thus stimulate popcorn sales to patrons of the motion picture houses and other establishments Where my popcorn dispensers are placed.
It is apparent that modifications of `my invention may be made Without departing from my invention :as disclosed herein, and as described in the appended claims.
1. A popcorn dispenser, comprising, in combination,
a cabinet having a top, a base, and side Walls, the
side Walls being of transparent material,
a generally horizontal panel dividing said cabinet into top and bottom compartments, said panel sloping downwardly from the side toward the center, and having anaperture in the center,
a horizontal deflector plate beneath said aperture, said plate mounted on a vertical shaft, said shaft extending downwardly into said bottom compartment, yan electrical motor for rotating said .shaft and said detlector plate,
a Well arranged in the floor of said base,
a rotary blower in said base having a nozzle extending through one Wall of said Well for directing a stream of air across said Well,
and a tube extending from said well to Said top compartment` said tube terminating at said Well in an lll orice located in a wall of said well directly opposite said blower nozzle, said tube conducting popcorn in the stream of air created by said blower from said well to said top compartment.
2. A popcorn dispenser according to claim 1, in which said top compartment has a hinged door for access into said compartment.
3. A popcorn dispenser according t-o cla-im 1, in which said bottom compartment has a hinged door in the side wall thereof for access into said compartment.
4. A popcorn dispenser according to claim 1, in which said bottom compartment has an outwardly tiltable access tray in the side wall thereof for dispensing popcorn from said compartment.
5. A popcorn dispenser according to claim 1, in which said sidewalls are four in number, and are supported on corner posts at their adjacent edges.
6. A popcorn dispenser according to claim 1, in which the vertical shaft mounting said deector plate is rigidly supported by a bearing bracket attached to said panel.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3 FREDERICK L. MATTESON, JR., Primary Examiner.
D. A. TAMBURRO, Assistant Examiner.