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Publication numberUS3367536 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 6, 1968
Filing dateJan 27, 1967
Priority dateJan 27, 1967
Publication numberUS 3367536 A, US 3367536A, US-A-3367536, US3367536 A, US3367536A
InventorsFleagle Paul F
Original AssigneeDixie Narco Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slant shelf can vender
US 3367536 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 6, 1968 P. F. FLEAGLE 3,367,536

SLANT SHELF CAN VENDER Filed Jan. 27, 1987 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.

P41/L fi' IZEA LE #5 flTTOENEYS Feb. 6,1968 7 P. F. FLEAGLE 3,367,536

SLANT SHELF CAN VENDER Filed Jan. 27, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOIR. P41/L F FLEAGLE HTTOR/VE Y5 United States Patent Ofihce 3,367,536 Patented Feb. 6, 1968 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A manually movable slide, in a can vending machine, for pushing a can of beverage through a discharge opening having a normally locked gate blocking withdrawal of a can. The slide being blocked by the gate, when locked, and acting to open an unlocked gate when moved forwardly, and frictional restraining means engageable with a can being pushed to prevent hurling the can from the machine when the slide is pulled too rapidly.

Background of the invention There are on the market and in use automatic vending machines for vending bottled drinks. Particular reference is made to that type of machine known as a slant shelf vender in which rows of the bottled drinks are provided on sloping shelves terminating at their low ends in discharge stations. A purchaser may deposit the required coin or coins in the machine, which unlocks the mechanism and permits withdrawal of a selected bottle. Such a machine is shown in Patent No. 3,115,274, issued to Burton and Fleagle on Dec. 24, 1963. That patent illustrates a known form of the machine referred to wherein the bottles are accessible at a plurality of delivery stations. When the mechanism is unlocked it permits a purchaser to grasp a bottle at any selected one of the delivery stations and draw it forwardly from the machine, swinging a gate which normally prevents withdrawal of any of the bottles. The necks of the bottles project forwardly past the gate where they are readily accessible and easily grasped by the purchaser. Manufacturers of packaged beverages are now packaging many of their products in flat-topped cans, which have become very popular. Those cans, however, cannot readily be dispensed in slant shelf venders of the type heretofore used since the locked gates partly closing the discharge openings from the dispensing stations prevent the purchaser from reaching in and grasping a selected can. The principles of operation of the slant shelf vender, however, are desirable, and recently some attempts have been made to adapt such machines to the vending of flat-topped cans, see particularly the patent to Craven 3,190,492.

Summary of the invention The present invention constitutes an adaptation of a slant shelf vender for vending flat-topped cans wherein a blocking gate extends across each dispensing station to prevent unauthorized removal of a can therefrom but wherein a selected can, after the machine is properly unlocked, is moved forwardly by grasping a handle on a slide structure which has a pusher element engaging the rear end of the selected can to push the same forwardly to a position where it can be readily grasped by the purchaser. Flat-topped cans are not well adapted to directly swing an unlocked gate to open position. by contact therewith so the slide referred to is provided with means to swing the blocking gate out of the way before it is engaged by the forwardly moving can; In pusher type can dispensers, unduly rapid forward movement of a slide could result in hurling the can forwardly from the machine before the purchaser grasps'thesame and the present invention includes damping or'snubbing means to frictionally engage the can and prevent such hurling, irrespective of the speed of operation of the slide. Other improvements will be apparent in the course of the detailed description.

Brief description of the drawings FIG. 1 is a fragmentary front view of a portion of a slant shelf can vender embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged front view of a portion of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing a slide in different positions during operation of the machine; and

FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

Detailed description 0] a preferred embodiment In FIG. 1, numeral 2 designates a cabinet of the general character of that shown in Patent No. 3,115,274 and which will be provided with the usual coin slot, locking mechanism and slant shelves as shown in the patent. The cabinet is provided with a plurality of slanted shelves .4, upon each of which a row of cans 6 is placed so that the cans may roll by gravity to the lower ends of the shelves 4- and enter compartments constituting delivery stations 8. The forward end of each delivery station 8 is open to define a delivery opening through which a selected can may be withdrawn but each of the openings is normally blocked by a pivoted gate 10 to block withdrawal of any can. When the proper coins are deposited, a locking mechanism, to be referred to later, is released whereupon the purchaser may withdraw one, and only one, can from a selected one of the delivery compartments 8. As described, each of the gates may be provided with a suitable tab 12 identifying the product available at that particular station. Each of the blocking gates 10 may be of the type indicated in more detail in FIGS. 2 and 3, each being provided with a pair of trunnions 14 by which it is pivotally mounted on the cabinet structure for forward swinging movement. At its lower end each gate is provided with a transverse pin 16 on which a roller 18 is journalled. The pin 16 extends laterally beyond one side edge of the gate, as shown in FIG. 2 and extends through an arcuate slot 20 in a cabinet side wall 22, which defines one side of the delivery station 8. The portion of pin 16 projecting through the slot 20 corresponds to the pin 50 shown in FIG. 6 of Patent No. 3,115,274. The locking mechanism, which will not be described herein, may be identical to that shown in the previously mentioned patent and which is also shown in the patent to Burton and Fleagle No. 3,187,941, issued June 8, 1965. As fully described in those patents, the locking mechanism, when locked, prevents swinging movement of any one of the gates 10 so that none of the gates can be swung to unblocking'position. However, when the mechanism is unlocked by deposit of the proper coin, any selected one, but only one, of the gates can be swung to open position i to permit withdrawal of an article from the selected deto closed and locked position shown at the top of FIG.

3. This feature is also shown and described in Patent No. 3,115,274 and need not be described in more detail here.

The slanted shelves 4 are each provided with upstanding edge flanges 26 (FIGS. 2 and 4) to properly guide the cans 6 toward the respective delivery station. As shown in FIG. 4, the shelves 4 and flanges 26 not only slope downwardly toward the delivery stations but also slope upwardly and rearwardly therefrom. The cans 6 customarily comprise a cylindrical body with end closures secured to the body by means defining laterally extending beads 28 at each end of each can. As shown in FIG. 4, the rearward slope or angle of the flanges 26 ensures that the cans 6 will be placed on the shelves 4 in such a manner that the forward bead 28 of each can approaching the delivery station is located forwardly of the corresponding head on the next following can and likewise the rearward beads of the can are related in the same offset relation. When a can 6 first enters a delivery station 8, it engages a flange 30 (see FIG. 2) on a shelf or platform 32 defining the bottom of the delivery station, and the flange 30 thus arrests movement of the can. However, the other cans are urged by gravity into contact with the can in the delivery station and, as shown in FIG. 4, with the forward bead 28 of the can in the delivery station being forwardly of the corresponding bead on the next succeeding can, the can in the station can then slide forwardly while still in contact with the succeeding can and the beads 28 will not interfere with such forward sliding movement. As the gate swings to open position, however, the link 24 will be lowered and is arranged to move the next succeeding can on shelf 4 a slight distance away from the deliver station so that there will then be no interference between the beads on the can thus shifted and the rear bead of the can in the delivery station and the latter is then free for complete withdrawal through the front opening of the machine.

Mounted on the side wall 22, at each delivery station, is a slide plate 34. Each plate 34 is slidably mounted on the side wall 22 by a pair of headed guide pins 36 extending through an elongated slot 38 in the slide 34-. Each of the slides 34 is provided with a forwardly projecting portion 40 curved to define a hook-like handle, seen best in FIG. 4, and by which the slide may be manually pulled forwardly. Each slide 34 is provided with a laterally extending cam flange 42 near its forward end but normally located rearwardly of its corresponding gate 10 when the gate is closed and the slide is in its inner position, as shown at the top of FIG. 3. When a slide 34 is pulled forwardly, after the gates 10 have been unlocked, the leading portion 44 of the cam flange 42 engages the gate roller 18 and swings the roller and gate upwardly out of the path of movement of the flat front end of the can 6, thus permitting the can to be pulled further forwardly where it can be grasped by the purchaser and withdrawn from the machine. A laterally extending finger 46 is fixed to an upper edge portion of each slide 34 and extends laterally across the rear flat end of a can in the delivery station. As seen in FIG. 4, the finger 46 is provided with a forwardly extending projection 48 engagcable with the end of a can 6 inwardly of its rear bead 28. A tension spring 50 has one end secured to the finger 46 and its rear end is secured to suitable cabinet structure, as at 52, whereby to normally urge the slide 34 rearwardly to its reanmost position. As is evident from FIG. 3, the guide pins 36 and the ends of slot 38 limit the forward and rearward movement of the slide 34.

At this point it is to be noted that the mechanism for locking the gates 10 in closed position (as described in the prior patents identified earlier), when unlocked, permits one and only one of the gates 10 to be swung to open position. For convenience in illustraton, FIG. 3 shows two of the gates 10 and ther corresponding slides in outer positions but they are so shown merely for convenience of illustration. In the actual structure only one of them could be in the forward position shown. At the top of FIG. 3 the gate 10 is shown in a locked position and any attempt to draw the top slide 34 forwardly is prevented by engagement of the portion 44 of cam plate 42 with gate roller 18. The intermediate slide shown in FIG. 3 is shown in partially forward position, not yet having reached the forward limit of its sliding movement. The slides 34 are provided at their rear ends with more or less conventional ratchet elements 54 cooperating with spring activated pawls 56 to prevent rearward movement of a slide 34, after it has moved forwardly a predetermined amount, until it has reached the end of its forward movement. The locking mechanism, as described in the aforementioned patent, provides for returning the locking elements to locking position after a gate has been swtunig through a portion of its opening movement. If ratchet 54 and pawl 56 were omitted and slide 34 is inadvertently released before the article has been withdrawn, the spring 50 would pull the slide back to its inner position and the mechanism would relock and the purchaser will not get his purchase even though he has deposited a coin. However, in the device shown, if the purchaser should lose his hold on the handle 40 after the slide has been moved forwardly far enough to condition the locking mechanism for relocking, the pawl 56 cooperating with ratchet 54 prevents rearward movement of the slide and thus permits the purchaser to regrasp the handle 40 and complete his withdrawal of the article.

The slide at the bottom of FIG. 3 is shown in its fully projected position wherein the forward end of the can 6 has been moved outwardly far enough to permit the purchaser to grasp the same and manually withdraw it from the delivery station. As is apparent, the gate 10 is held in its open position by the cam flange 42 and is completely clear of the can 6 whereby the latter may be withdrawn from below the opened gate as shown. When the slide 34 is returned to its inner position, after withdrawal of the can, the delivery station must be completely free of obstructions whereby another can may enter the same under the influence of gravity alone. However, if one were to unlock a gate 10 and pull the corresponding slide outwardly at great speed, the can 6 being moved thereby would be hurled or projected outwardly of the machine where it could conceivably strike and injure the punchaser or fall to the ground and be damaged or contaminated. Means are provided to prevent such hurling. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the pusher fingers 46 has secured thereto a leaf spring 58 bent upwardly and forwardly to normally overlie a can 6 in the delivery station. As shown, the leaf spring extends forwardly and slightly upwardly just out of contact with the periphery of the rear can bead 28 and terminates in a reversely bent loop 60 at its upper end. The resilience of the spring 58 presses the loop 60 against the under surface of the platform or shelf 32 of the delivery station immediately thereabove, and the spring is thus held out of contact with the rear can bead 28 and permits a can to roll freely into the delivery station from a shelf 4. Forward sliding movement of a slide 34 will merely cause the loop 60 to slide along the bottom surface of the shelf 32 immediately thereover. As the slide approaches its most forward position, as shown at the bottom of FIG. 3, the loop 60 engages a downwardly and outwardly extending cam surface defined by a portion 62 struck downwardly and flexes spring 58 downwardly to frictionally engage the rear bead 28 of the can being moved. This frictional engagement acts as a restraining means to prevent hurling the can outwardly even when the slide 34 is pulledforwardly at high speed and abruptly reaches the end of its forward movement. As shown, when the slide is in its forward position, the loop 60 is sufficiently elevated so that it does not engage the rear bead 28 of the can and the latter may then be withdrawn manually.

FIG. 4 also shows, above the shelf or platform 32, a reversely bent obliquely oriented flange 64 secured to a flange'65 on the cabinet 2 and which acts to ensure guidance of can 6 through the forward discharge opening of the machine even in the event it should be inadvertently or accidentally displaced toward the slanted shelves 4. The upstanding flange 39 defines a smooth continuous guide surface along which the other side of the can slides during dispensing movement thereof.

While a single specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described herein, the same is merely illustrative of the principles involved and other embodiments may be resorted to within the scope of the appended claims. 1

I claim:

1. In a vending machine comprising a cabinet having means therein defining a delivery station, an opening in said cabinet through which an article may be withdrawn from said station, a movable gate for blocking withdrawal of an article through said opening, and means for locking said gate in blocking position and for selectively releasing said gate for opening movement, the improvement comprising: a manually operable slide adjacent said station, mounted for sliding movement in a direction outwardly of said opening; manually engageable handle means on said slide projecting outwardly through said opening past said slide; pusher means on said slide projecting into said station in position to engage the rear of an article therein and push the same outwardly of said opening in response to forward movement of said slide; and interengageable but separable abutment means on said slide and gate for preventing outward movement of said slide when said gate is locked in blocking position.

2. A vending machine as defined in claim 1 wherein said interengageable means comprises means for moving said gate, when unlocked, to open position in response to forward movement of said slide.

3. A vending machine as defined in claim 2 wherein said interengageable means comprises a cam element on said slide and cam follower means on said gate.

4. A vending machine as defined in claim 1 including restraining means responsive to forward movement of 6 said slide for frictionally engaging an article being pushed and thereby prevent hurling said article forwardly in the event said slide is pulled forwardly at high speed.

5. A vending machine as defined in claim 4 wherein said restraining means comprises a leaf spring carried by said slide in position to normally extend adjacent to but spaced from a side surface of said article, and means on said cabinet in the path of forward movement of a portion of said spring for flexing said spring into frictional engagement with said side surface.

6. A vending machine as defined in claim 1 wherein said means defining said delivery station includes an upstanding side wall; said slide comprising an upstanding plate slidably mounted on said side wall and projecting forwardly through said opening; the forward end of said plate comprising said manually engageable handle element.

7. A vending machine as defined in claim 1 including guide means for directing successive similar articles laterally into said station, said guide means being arranged to guide said articles into said station so that each article entering said station is offset forwardly from the next following article whereby any lateral projections on the article in said station are forwardly of corresponding projections on said next following article.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,614,363 1/1927 Hicks 221--248 XR 1,919,017 7/1933 Giles 221248 3,023,873 3/1962 Horton 221248 3,115,274 12/1963 Burton et al 221 3,187,941 6/1965 Burton et al 221125 3,190,492 6/ 1965 Craven 221-248 XR WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1614363 *Sep 12, 1924Jan 11, 1927Hicks Otto NVending and display case
US1919017 *May 28, 1931Jul 18, 1933Collier Advertising Service InVending machine
US3023873 *Dec 22, 1955Mar 6, 1962Prec Metal WorkersCoin controlled dispensing machine
US3115274 *Feb 7, 1962Dec 24, 1963Dixie Narco IncVending machine
US3187941 *Jan 27, 1964Jun 8, 1965Dixie Narco IncVending machines
US3190492 *May 10, 1963Jun 22, 1965Vendo CoArticle advancement mechanism for inclined shelf vending machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3489315 *Dec 11, 1967Jan 13, 1970Vendo CoMultiple price slant shelf dispensing machine for cylindrical articles
US5632408 *Nov 21, 1995May 27, 1997Mitchell; Jerry B.Apparatus for securing and dispensing currency
EP2548182A4 *Feb 21, 2011Dec 9, 2015Coca Cola CoVendor
U.S. Classification221/248, 221/125, 221/251
International ClassificationG07F11/02, G07F11/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/32
European ClassificationG07F11/32