US 3336773 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ug- 22, 1967 J. H. OECHSLIN 3,336,773
LOCK FOR VENDING APPARATQS l Filed July l, 1965 l 2 Sheets-Sheet l Aug. 22, 13967 1 H. oEcHsLlN 3,336,773 l LOCK FOR VENDING APPARATUS 2 sheets-Sheet 2 i F`1E- E] I FI E 4 F4 Filed July l., 1965 United States Patent O 3,336,773 LUCK FOR VENDING APPARATUS James H. Oechslin, 31 Gale Ave., River Forest, Ill. 60305 Filed July 1, 1965, Ser. No. 468,766 Claims. (Cl. 70--337) This invention relates t0 vending devices and more particularly to a novel and unique apparatus for vending potted plants or the like.
In more recent years, retail outlets such as grocery stores, drug stores and the like have expanded their line of products which they offer for sale to include many items not classically associated with such stores. For example, grocery stores may now offer for sale such items as phonograph records, toys, and even small items of furniture. In addition, such stores have initiated the sale of flowers, such as potted plants, formerly restricted only to green houses and flower shops. One problem that has arisen is that, while green houses and flower s-hops `are provided with the proper facilities for adequately controlling the climate in which the flower is maintained until the time 0f sale, this is not necessarily true of grocery stores or drug stores or the like. Thus it has become desirable to provide a suitable cabinet for displaying and vending the flowers in which the proper climatic conditions may be maintained with only -a minimum of servicing.
In addition, there are frequent occasions when one who is visiting a friend 0r relative either in a hospital or hotel may desire to purchase a plant as a gift. However, most hospital gift shops are open only for limited hours and very few hospital gift shops carry potted plants or the like. Similarly, while hotels may be provided with a flower shop in an arcade which is adjacent to the hotel lobby, these shops are only open for limited hours. Thus it is desira-ble to provide an apparatus for vending flowers, such as potted plants or the like, which may be easily operated and maintained and which provides the suitable climatic conditions for the flowers held therein.
It is therefore a primary Iobject yof this invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for vending botanical items.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel and unique apparatus for the display and vending of plants or the like which comprises a self-contained unit which maintains the proper climatic conditions for the plants stored therein and which may be operated and maintained with a minimum of personal attention.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved flower vending apparatus having a novel and unique lock for gaining access to the interior thereof.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and improved flower vending apparatus having a climatically controlled interior separated into individual flower holding and displaying compartments accessible from the exterior of the apparatus wherein the structure of the interior encourages the free circulation of the controlled climate and the structure of the exterior of the apparatus in combination with the interior permits visual inspection of the flowers contained therein.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a new and improved flower vending apparatus having a climatically controlled interior divided into a plurality of flower retaining compartments, each separated by means permitting the free access therebetween of light and climatic conditions, and each further accessible from the exterior of the cabinet lby means of a door which is normally locked by a lock apparatus which may be opened through the use of one lkey to gain access to lthe interior of but one flower retaining compartment and ice wherein the .lock holds the key therein -after the lock has been. moved to the door open position.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a new and improved flower vending apparatus having a novel and unique lock for gaining access to the interior of the flower vending apparatus which includes a first key actuated lock member having a bolt for latching engagement with the frame of the flower vending apparatus and a second lock member having a bolt which is normally urged into locking engagement with the first bolt when the first bolt is moved to the unlocking position to hold the first lock key therein and wherein the second lock member is actuable by a key to release the second `bolt from locking engagement with the first bolt to permit withdrawal of the key from the first lock member.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a partially broken front elevational view of the flower vending apparatus of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the flower vending apparatus;
FIGURE 3 is a section view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 4 is an upright sectional view of the flower vending apparatus of this invention;
FIGURE 5 is a front elevational view of the lock mechanism utilized in the flower vending apparatus of this invention;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 6 6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the lock, partially in phantom outline, showing the position of the elements after the flrst lock member has been partially turned to gain access t0 the interior of the flower vender; and
FIGURE 8 is a view similar to FIGURE 7 showing the relative position of the elements of the lock after the first lock member has been fully turned to unlock the apparatus and gain access to the interior thereof.
Referring now to the drawings, the flower vender 10 of this invention includes a generally cabinet-like frame 12 in which a plurality of flowers such as potted plants 14 are stored for display and sale in controlled climatic conditions. Preferably the cabinet is a box-like structure having a front 16a and a rear 16b, opposite sides 17a and 17b, and a top 18 and a bottom 20. A reservoir chamber 22 is provided at the top of the flower vender and the bottom has a base portion 24 in which there are located several other auxiliary components such as a collective drip pan 26, a heating and cooling unit 27 and a timing unit 28.
The cabinet 12 is divided into a plurality of individual flower compartments 30 each of which has a hinged door 32 for gaining access to the interior of the cabinet. The several doors 32 comprise the major portion of the front wall 16a of the cabinet. Preferably the doors 32 are provided with a substantial area of clear material 34 such as glass or clear plastic so that the contents of the compartments 30 may lbe viewed from the exterior.
Similarly, the side walls 17a and 17b may be provided with a substantial area of clear glass or plastic 36 to afford another large area for viewing the contents of the compartments. This ability to see the interior of the flower cabinet is desirable since it gives the potential customer a relatively complete idea as to the type and beauty of the plant which he may wish to purchase and, in fact, may stimulate purchases. Another factor is that the flower cabinet itself becomes a decorative item in that the flowers in the interior may be viewed by those in the vicinity.
The remaining walls of the individual compartments 30 are made up of a mesh material which is suitable for the transmission of light, free circulation of air, and the natural drainage of any moisture which may not be retained in the controlled irrigation system. Thus the several bottom panels 38 of the compartments, as well as the interior wall panels 40 are made of a screen-like mesh material such as a chrome-wire mesh or the like.
Each compartment is provided with a generally centrally positioned drip pan 42 on the several bottom panels 38 on which the plants are placed. Preferably, for decorative purposes, the drip pan is made of stainless steel or the like. Water which is fed to the top of the plant may be collected in the drip pan and carried away through a piping system to be described later.
A water reservoir 44 is provided in the reservoir portion 22 at the top of the cabinet. Preferably the reservoir is filled from the exterior through a normally closed filler pipe 46. A main conduit 47 leads from the reservoir to a manifold 48 to which a plurality of individual irrigation hoses 49 are connected. Preferably these hoses 49 are made of a semi-rigid material such as a clear plastic or the like so that they may ybe bent in a suitable configuration to direct water to the individual plants. The hoses extend from the manifold to each compartment for feeding water directly to the several plants. A suitable valve such as a solenoid valve is positioned in the main conduit 47 and may be actuated by a suitable timing mechanism 28 (many types of which are well known and will not be described in detail herein) for permitting gravity feeding of water from the reservoir through the main conduit manifold and several individual drain tubes to the individual plants at periodic timed intervals. Preferably this would be arranged to occur once every 24 hours at a suitable hour of inactivity, such as the middle of the night. However, it can be understood that any desired interval of feeding may be established.
Drain tubes 52 lead from each drip pan under each plant and empty into a collective drip pan 26 which is positioned in the base portion 24. This drip pan is provided with a drain valve S4 leading to the exterior of the lcabinet for draining the pan. However, it is anticipated that the combination of the relatively minute quantities of water fed to the plants and the environmental conditions which exist in the interior of the cabinet will cause evaporation of substantially all of the water which may lbe collected in the pan 26. When some compartments have been emptied because of the sale of some of the plants, the water will go directly into the collective drip pan 26 through the drain tubes. 52.
The panel which covers the base portion 24 may be removable so that access may be gained to the drip pan for cleaning out minor amounts of sludge and the like which may accumulate therein. Although it is possible that the irrigation system could be a recirculating system with the water collected in the drip pan being pumped up to the reservoir 44, in the preferred embodiment provision is not made for this, since it would necessitate several filters to remove the minute quantities of dirt which would be collected in the water as the water drains through the several plants. However, it is to be understood that the provision of such a recirculating system does not depart from the scope of this invention.
The cabinet may be placed in operation by plugging a conventional outlet cord 58 into a wall socket. This is the only external connection which is necessary, the rest of the system being a completely self-sufficient internal system. For connecting a plurality of basic units in tandem, an electrical connection 60 is provided on the eX- terior of each side of the base portion of each cabinet. The cover 60a may be removed and wiring may be easily connected between two units so that they operate off the single connection of the outlet cord 58 of the base unit.
The individual doors 32 for each flower -compartment are provided with a novel and unique lock apparatus 62 illustrated in greatest detail in FIGURES 5 through 8. The lock 62 may be mounted on a base plate or frame member 64 having a plurality of bolt holes 66 for fastening the same into the door 32 so that the front or key receiving faces of the tumblers project through the door for the reception of suitable keys for actuating the lock mechanism to gain access to the interior.
The lock apparatus 62 is provided with two individual locks 68 and 70, one of which permits access to the interior of the flower compartment and the other which is a master lock which causes retention of the key in the first lock until the master lock is released to permit withdrawal of the key from the first lock. Each lock is provided with a housing 72 and 74 in which a tumbler 76 and 78, respectively, is rotatably mounted. Each turnbler 76 and 78 is provided with a front face 80 and 82 having keyway openings 80a and 82a, respectively, for the reception of a key 84 and 86, respectively, for rotating the tumbler in the lock keyways in a well-known fashion.
At its interior end, or the end opposite the faces 80 and 82, each tumbler is provided with an outwardly projecting pin 88 and 90, respectively, which is positioned eccentric to the axis of rotation of the tumbler. Each pin 88 and 90 is positioned in a slot 92 and 94, respectively, of lock bolts or bars 96 and 98, respectively, which are mounted in the housings 72 and 74, respectively, for slidable movement of the bolts relative to the housings. Rotation of the tumbler by actuation of the key causes the eccentric pins to move the bars laterally relative to the lock housings. As is conventional with locks of this type, when the lock 68 is in the locked position as shown in FIGURE 5 with the bar 96 protruding outwardly (or to the right as shown in the drawing) the bar may engage a surface or slot in the cabinet frame to retain the door in the closed position. Movement of the bar to the retracted position (or to the left as shown in FIGURE 8) releases the latching engagement between the bar and the cabinet frame to permit the door to be opened for gaining access to the interior of the cabinet.
Bar 98 is slidably mounted in the master lock 70 for movement in an upright direction relative to the lock 68. This bar 98 is normally urged upward by a spring 100 which is positioned in the interior of the lock housing 74. When lock 70 is turned to an unlocking position, pin in slot 94 will hold the bar 98 in a retracted position against the urging of spring as shown in FIGURE 5. When the bars 96 and 98 are in the relative positions shown in FIGURE 5 and lock 70 is returned to the locking position, the abutment of the upstanding finger 102 of bar 98 against portion 96a of bar 96 will hold bar 98 inthe retracted position.
Bar 96 is notched on the underside thereof adjacent the finger 102 having a first step or retraction preventing notch 104 and a second enlarged or key retaining notch 106. When lock 68 is turned clockwise as indicated by the arrow in FIGURE 5, the pin 88 in slot 92 of bar 96 causes the bar to move to the left or retract. This initiates the withdrawal of the bar from its locking receptacle inthe door frame (not shown).
When the bar 96 is moved to the position shown in FIGURE 7, finger 102 of bar 98 lodges in the first notch 104 of bar 96 under the urging of spring 100. At this point, the keyway 80a is about 45 degrees to its original position and the key 84 which has been inserted therein cannot be withdrawn because the entry of finger 102 in notch 104 prevents the reverse movement of the lock tumbler 80 and the keyways within the tumbler prevent the withdrawal of the key. Thereafter, the lock tumbler 80 may be only turned further in a clockwise direction to a point shown in FIGURE 8 wherein finger 102 has entered the second or key retaining notch 106 under the urging of spring 100. Here the bar has been completely withdrawn from its locking receptacle in the door frame so that the door may be swung open to gain access to the interior of the ower compartment. However, the key which has been inserted in keyway 80a may not be axially withdrawn after the tumbler has been turned to the open position and the occupation of linger 102 in notch 106 prevents the reverse twisting or counterclockwise movement of the tumbler to the original position wherein the key may be withdrawn. Thus the key 84 is eiectively locked in the lock 68. The doors 32 may be hinged to the cabinet by spring urged hinge means (not shown) which return the doors to the closed position. Also, magnetic latches may be employed to hold the doors closed.
To remove key 84, the lock 70 must be actuated so that the bar 98, and in particular the inger 102, may be withdrawn to the position shown in FIGURE which permits return of bar 96 to the position shown in the iigure wherein the key 84 will be situated in an upright position in the lock keyway as to permit the axial withdrawal ofthe key.
The flower vender of this invention provides a novel and unique apparatus for storing and vending botanical products such as potted plants or the like. The several plants are held in the climatically controlled interior and are readily viewable through the transparent sides and doors with the aid of the mesh-like walls which separate the individual compartments. Moreover, the apparatus is a substantially self-contained climatically controlled unit requiring only a single outside connection to a conventional electric outlet. Only a minimum of attention is required to maintain the flower vender in continued operation. Moreover, a novel and unique lock means is provided for gaining access to the interior of the cabinet so that a further minimum of attention is required by the clerk or similar personnel with whom the money is deposited to make the purchase of the desired plant.
In operation, it is intended that each of these vending cabinets would be placed in hotels, hospitals, drug stores or the like. A person desiring to purchase a plant would deposit a suitable amount of money with the desk clerk or similar general attendant and in return would receive the individual key for that compartment containing the purchased plant. When the customer turned the individual compartment key to gain access to the interior of the compartment and withdraw the plant, the compartment key would be locked in its tumbler by the secondary bolt action of the master lock so that the customer could not withdraw the key and thereby forget to return it to the `counter or otherwise improperly dispose of the key.
Suitable magnetic catches or spring urged hinges could be provided on the door to keep the door in the closed position until the periodic visit of the attendant who would replenish the supply of flowers in the cabinet, withdraw the individual compartment keys with the use of a master key, and lock the compartment doors.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. For use with a door, a lock assembly comprising: a mounting frame; a master lock having a master lock housing and a key actuated master lock tumbler positioned in said master lock housing for movement responsive to actuation by a key; a master bolt mounted in said master housing for movement between a retracted position and a latching position; means in said master housing normally urging said master bolt toward said latching position; a door lock on said frame adjacent said master lock, said door lock having a door lock housing with a key actuated door lock tumbler mounted in said door lock housing for movement responsive to actuation by a second key from a first position wherein said second key may be inserted into and withdrawn from the door tumbler to positions away from said iirst position wherein a previously inserted second key may not be withdrawn from the door tumbler; a door bolt mounted in said door housing for movement between a retracted unlocking position and an extended door locking position, said door bolt being connected to said door tumbler for movement responsive to movement of said door tumbler by said second key so that when said key is in said tirst position, said door bolt is in a door locking position and when said door tumbler is moved away from said first position, said door bolt is moved toward said retracted unlocking position; means on said door bolt for holding said master bolt in said retracted position when said door bolt is in said locking position, said door bolt holding means being removable responsive to movement of said door bolt to said retracted position to permit said master bolt to move to said latching position; and latching means on said door bolt for engaging with said master bolt when said door bolt is moved to the retracted .position responsive to actuation of said door tumbler by said second key and said master bolt is moved to the latching position to retain said door bolt in said retracted position and thereby hold said second key in said door tumbler.
2. For use with a door, a lock assembly, comprising: a master lock having a housing and a key actuated tumbler mounted in said housing for movement responsive to actuation by a key; a master bolt mounted in said master housing for movement relative thereto responsive to movement of said tumbler, said master bolt having a bolt latching portion; means in said master housing normally urging said master bolt toward a latching position; a second door lock having a housing with a key actuated second lock tumbler mounted in said housing for movement responsive to actuation by a second key from a locking position wherein said second key may be inserted into and withdrawn from the door tumbler to an unlocking position wherein a previously inserted second key may not be withdrawn from the tumbler; a second door bolt slidably mounted in said second housing for movement responsive to movement of said second lock tumbler between a locking position for locking the door in a closed position and an unlocking position whereby the door may be opened and the second key is held in the tumbler, said second bolt having a retaining .portion which abuts said master bolt in opposition to the urging means when said second bolt is in said locked position, said second bolt further having a latching surface for engagement with said master bolt latching portion, said latching surface being spaced from said retaining portion a distance corresponding to the extent of movement of said second bolt to said unlocked position so that said master bolt and said second bolt may engage when said second lock is unlocked to hold said second bolt and second tumbler in the unlocked position and thereby hold said second Ikey in said second tumbler.
3. For use with a door, a lock assembly comprising: a mounting frame on said door; a master lock mounted to said mounting frame and including a master lock housing having a key actuated master lock tumbler mounted in said master housing for movement responsive to actuation by a key; a master bolt mounted in said master housing for movement between a retracted position and a latching position responsive to movement of said master tumbler; means in said housing normally urging said master bolt toward said latching position; a door lock mounted on said frame adjacent said master lock, said door lock including a door lock housing having a key actuated door lock tumbler mounted in said door lock housing for movement between a locking position wherein a second key may be inserted into and withdrawn from the tumbler and a unlocking position wherein a second key will be held in the door tumbler; a door bolt having an inner end and outer end and mounted in said door look housing for movement responsive to movement of said door tumbler between a retracted unlocking position and a door locking position; a master bolt retaining surface on said door bolt for holding said master bolt in the retracted position in opposition to said urging means when said door bolt is in the locking position; and a master bolt engaging surface on said door bolt adjacent said retaining surface, said engaging surface being in a position to permit release of said master bolt to the latching position when said door bolt is moved to the unlocked position responsive to movement of said door tumbler to the key holding position for latching engagement between said master bolt and said door bolt to latch said door bolt in said unlocked position and hold said door tumbler in said key holding position.
4. The lock assembly of claim 3 wherein said bolts are mounted substantially normal to each other and said door bolt is provided with a notch spaced from the inner end of said door bolt toward the outer end of said door bolt so that movement of said door bolt toward said unlocking position will bring said notch in registration with said master bolt to permit movement of said master bolt responsive to said urging means into said door bolt notch to hold said door bolt in the unlocked position and pre- References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,154,271 9/1915 Sedlacsek 70-389 1,436,925 11/1922 Wege et al 70--337 X 1,685,022 9/1928 Cleaver 70-364 2,734,373 2/1956 Scherbinski 70-134 X FOREIGN PATENTS 160,709 3/ 1921 Great Britain.
MARVINA. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
EDWARD C. ALLEN, Examiner.
P. TEITELBAUM, Assistant Examiner.