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Publication numberUS3381329 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1968
Filing dateJun 14, 1966
Priority dateJun 14, 1966
Publication numberUS 3381329 A, US 3381329A, US-A-3381329, US3381329 A, US3381329A
InventorsWied Julius P
Original AssigneeSunbeam Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum cleaner
US 3381329 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 7, 1968 '6 J. P. WIED 3,331,329

VACUUM CLEANER Filed June 14, 1966 6 Sheets$heet 1 J. P. WIED 3,381,329

VACUUM CLEANER 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 May 7, 1968 Filed June 14, 1966 HQ km. .1 E mw Qww J. P. WIED VACUUM CLEANER May 7, 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed June 14, 1966 J. P. WIED VACUUM CLEANER May 7, 1968 Filed Jung 14, 1966 My mm 2 3 May 7, 1968 J. P. WIED 3,381,329

' VACUUM CLEANER Filed June 14, 1966 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 y 968 J p. WIED 3,381,329

-"'VAGUUM CLEANER Filed June 14, 1966 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 United States Patent 3,381,329 VACUUM CLEANER Julius P. Wicd, Oak Park, Ill., assignor to Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed June 14, 1966, Ser. No. 557,412 13 Claims. (Cl. 15-327) This invention relates to a vacuum cleaner, and more particularly, to an improved portable vacuum cleaner.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved portable vacuum cleaner for home use which is low cost and easy to manufacture and lightweight and convenient to use.

In the preferred form of the invention the vacuum cleaner housing comprises essentially two metallic shells and an intermediate or centerframe single piece plastic member. The plastic member and one of the shells defines the vacuum chamber or compartment of the vacuum cleaner, and the plastic member and the other shell defines the exhaust chamber or compartment of the vacuum cleaner. Sealing means is provided between the peripheral portion of the plastic member and the peripheral portion of the vacuum chamber shell to air seal the vacuum chamber closed. The peripheral contour of the intermediate plastic member is similar to the contour of the periph eries of the two shells so as to provide a continuous molding about the vacuum cleaner housing "between the peripheries of the two shells. In the preferred form of the invention the periphery of the intermediate plastic member is provided with a continuous flange which provides the mentioned molding entirely around the vacuum cleaner housing. In addition to the mentioned continuous flange the plastic member also includes a generally flat wall portion. The wall portion and the peripheral flange portion are integral with each other. In the invention essentially all the internal working parts or mechanism of the vacuum cleaner are mounted, supported, or formed on the intermediate or' centerframe plastic member. This construction makes the vacuum cleaner compact and lightweight. It also reduces the number of separate pieces or parts required in prior art vacuum cleaners and makes the vacuum cleaner easy to assemble. In the preferred form of the invention the vacuum cleaner housing has the shape of a rectangular piece of luggage. In other words, it is quite similar in size and shape to a small suitcase. The bottom side of the housing is provided with wheels or the like to support the housing on a subadjacent floor surface. A carrying handle is provided on the top side of the housing, and also a vacuum bag indicator and latch means for latching the vacuum compartment closed. One end of the housing which is considered its front end, is adapted to have a vacuum cleaner hose connected thereto. This front end of the housing also has a foot operated control switch. The rear end of the housing is provided with an exhaust opening and also with means for connecting a vacuum cleaner hose thereto in the event it is desired to use the vacuum cleaner as a blower. The motorfan assembly of the vacuum cleaner is mounted inside the vacuum cleaner housing between its two shells on the intermediate plastic member. Preferably the motor of the motor-fan assembly is located in the vacuum compartment. The fan is mounted on the motor shaft and is positioned in the exhaust compartment. A removable air permeable dust collecting bag is positioned in the vacuum compartment. The means for connecting a vacuum cleaner hose to the vacuum cleaner is formed in the mentioned flange portion of the plastic member and also includes means for aligning the entrance opening to the vacuum bag with the vacuum cleaner hose. The means for eX- hausting air from the vacuum cleaner comprises an exhaust passageway formed in the flange portion of the plastic member. In the preferred form of the invention a heat dissipating and reinforcing plate is provided for the intermediate plastic member. This plate is positioned in the exhaust compartment against the wall portion of the plastic member and is fixed thereto. Aligned openings are formed in the plate and wall portion to resiliently mount the motor-fan assembly in the vacuum cleaner housing. In addition, preferably a cord reel mechanism is provided for the electric extension cord of the vacuum cleaner. The cord reel is mounted on the plate in the exhaust compartment. The outer end of the electric cord extends through an opening formed in the exhaust compartment shell at the rear end of the vacuum cleaner housing. The cord reel mechanism biases the cord in an inward direction, and means is provided at the rear end of the vacuum cleaner housing for releasably holding the withdrawn electrical extension cord in its pulled out position. Preferably the electric control switch at the front end of the vacuum cleaner and the cord release mechanism at the rear end of the vacuum cleaner are foot operated.

The vacuum compartment shell is hinged to the flange portion of the plastic member along the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. The mentioned vacuum bag indicator, carrying handle, and latching means for the vacuum compartment are mounted on integral portions of the flange portion of the plastic member. The latch mechanism is finger operated to open the vacuum compartment to afford access to the removable dust collecting bag. Actually, the vacuum compartment is subdivided into two sub-compartments by a transverse wall integral with the plastic member. These two sub-compartments are about equal in volume. The removable dust collecting bag is positioned in one of these compartments at the front end of the vacuum cleaner. The motor of the motor-fan assembly is positioned in the other sub-compartment adjacent the rear end of the vacuum cleaner. The intermediate plastic member also includes an integrally formed cover housing for the motor. Also the sub-compartment which contains the motor includes means integrally formed on the intermediate plastic member for the purpose of storing vacuum cleaner tool attachments in the motor sub-compartment.

The features of the invention which are believed to be novel are set forthwith particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may vbest be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vacuum cleaner constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged side elevation view of the vacuum cleaner partly broken away and viewed from the motor or vacuum compartment side of the vacuum cleaner housing;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged end elevation View of the vacuum cleaner when viewed from the exhaust end of the vacuum cleaner housing;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the cord reel release mechanism to better illustrate the detailed parts thereof;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view of the vacuum compartment latching means to illustrate the detailed parts thereof;

FIG. is a sectional view taken along the section 10-- 10 of PEG. 9;

FIG. M is a side elevation view of the heat dissipating and plastic member reinforcing plate when viewed from the motor or vacuum compartment side of the vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along the sect-ion IQ-d2 of 1 1; and

'FIG. 18 is a side elevation view of the intermediate plastic member when viewed from the fan or exhaust compartment side of the vacuum cleaner.

Referring now first to 'FIGS. 1 and 2, the improved vacuum cleaner of the invention comprises a housing 10 which has the general size and shape of a small suitcase or overnight piece of luggage. The top of the housing =10 is provided with a carrying handle '11, and on the bottom the casing 10 is supported by a pair of front wheels 12 and rear wheels 13. A vacuum cleaner hose -1-4 is adapted to be connected to the front end of the vacuum cleaner. As is well known in the art, a wand 15 carrying a floor cleaning tool !16 may be connected to the outer end of hose .14. The inner end of hose 14 is adapted to be removably connected to the front end and vacuum pressure side of the vacuum cleaner, in a manner which will be described more fully hereinafter, and a foot operated control switch 17 is located at the front end of the vacuum cleaner housing adjacent to the hose connection for purposes of turning the vacuum cleaner on and off.

The housing 10 comprises essentially a pair of generally rectangular pan shaped metallic shells i8 and 1? and an intermediate plastic material member 20 which provides a continuous molding 21 about the housing 10 and between the peripheral portions of the two shells 18 and 19. As will be described more fully hereinafter, when the easing 10 is viewed from the front thereof the left hand side thereof is the vacuum pressure side thereof, and the right hand side is the above atmospheric pressure exhaust side thereof. The plastic member 20 in reality divides the easing 10 into a vacuum compartment 22 and an exhaust compartment 23. A motor-fan assembly, indicated generally by the reference numeral 24 is supported by the plastic member 20 within the housing 10. Its motor 25 is positioned in the vacuum compartment 22, and its fan or blower 2.6 is positioned in the exhaust compartment 23. A vacuum cleaner bag 27, see FIG. 8, is also located in the vacuum compartment 22. The bag 27 is interposed between the inner end of hose 14 which enters the vacuum compartment 22 and the motor 25. -In the invention a cord reel mechanism 28 is positioned in the exhaust compartment 23. An electric extension cord 29 which is wound on the reel 28 extends out through the rear end of the housing 10. A foot operated cord release mechanism 30 is located at the rear end of housing .10 for purposes of releasably holding the cord 29 in withdrawn position. The rear end of housing 10 is provided with an exhaust 31 for the vacuum cleaner. As will be apparent more fully hereinafter, the vacuum compartment shell 1'8 and the intermediate plastic member 20 are hinged with respect to each other along the bottom of housing 10 so that the vacuum compartment 22 may be opened whereas the exhaust compartment shell 19 and the intermediate plastic member 20 are fixed with respect to each other. The shell 18 is retained in closed position by a finger operated latch mechanism 32 located on the molding or trim 2'1 adjacent to the carrying handle 11. Also mounted in the molding or trim 21 is a vacuum bag indicator mechanism 33 which is positioned adjacent to the handle 1\1.

Referring now also to FIGS. 3, 8, and 13, the intermediate plastic member 20 is a single piece member formed from a plastic molding composition. It comprises a flat wall portion 34. T he integral peripheral portion 34 thereof has the molding or trim 21 integrally formed thereon. Molding or trim 21 is like a flange which continuously extends about the periphery of wall portion 34. The molding, trim or flange portion 21 is disposed generally perp'endicular to the wall portion 34. The contour or outline of the flange portion 21 is similar to the contour or outline of the peripheral portions of the shells 18 and 19 and is disposed therebetween in engagement with the peripheral edges of the shells 18 and 19 to provide the continuous molding or trim 21 which extends about the housing =10. The end of the flange 21 which faces the shell 18 is provided with a continuous groove 35. A sealing gasket 36 is seated in the groove 35. Gasket 36 is for the purpose of sealing closed the vacuum compartment 22. The plastic member 20 and the shell 18 are pivotally connected to each other along the bottom of housing 10 by a hinge element 37 which is fixed to the bottom of shell 18 and the bottom of the flange 21. Shell 18 is retained in closed position by latch mechanism 32 which will now be described in connection with FIG. 6.

A hole 38 is formed in the flange 21 adjacent to the carrying handle '11 which may be molded integral with flange 21 if so desired. A finger operated button 39 is disposed in the hole 38. Positioned beneath the inside of button 39 and connected to the wall portion 34 is a latching finger 40. The latching finger 40 makes engagement with a fixed latch element 41 on the shell v18. The latching finger 40 is a resilient element. When the shell 18 is closed on the intermediate member 21 the parts 40 and 41 latchably engage each other. However, when the button 39 is pressed these two parts are disengaged so that the shell 18 can be pivoted away from the intermediate plastic member 21 so as to open and afford access to the vacuum compartment 22. As just described, it will be seen that the latch mechanism 32 and the hinge mechanism 37 are mounted on integral portions of the intermediate plastic member 20. In the invention essentially all the internal mechanism and working parts of the vacuum cleaner are mounted on the intermediate or centerframe plastic member 20.

For example, and as previously mentioned, the motorfan assembly 24 is supported on the intermediate plastic member 20. The details of the motor 25 and the details of the manner of mounting or supporting the motor-fan assembly 24 are particularly described and claimed in co-pending patent application Ser. No. 492,504, filed on Oct. 4, 1965 and assigned to the same assignee as the instant patent application. Therefore, these features will be only generally described herein. Adjacent to the exhaust end of housing 10 the intermediate plastic member 20 has a large circular opening 42 formed therein. The opening 42 is bounded by a cylindrical motor cover portion 43 which is formed integral with the wall portion 34-. The cylindrical motor cover portion 43 extends from the wall portion 34 towards the shell 18. At its end adjacent to the shell '18 the cylindrical portion 43 is provided with an integrally formed vented grid portion 44 to provide an air inlet into the motor-fan assembly 24. A fan 45 is mounted on the shaft 46 of the motor 25. The shaft 46 is disposed perpendicular to the wall portion 34 with the motor 25 being located in the vacuum compartment 22 and the fan 45 being located in the exhaust compartment 23. The fan 45 is provided with an air diffuser and muffler structure 46 which is well known in the art. The diffuser structure 46 is fixed to a motor shell 48 in which the motor 25 is positioned. Located between the bottom of the motor shell 48 and the diffuser structure 46 is a generally cylindrical mounting plate 49 which is provided with a crenelated or scalloped peripheral edge. This crenelated edge is bounded by a rubber or the like vibration damping ring 50. The ring 50 is positioned in the circular opening 42 in the wall portion 34 and is clamped between an adjacent shoulder 51 and a plate 52. The plate 52 has an opening 53 formed therein in alignment with the opening 42. The peripheral edge of the opening 53 is also crenelated or scalloped, see FIG. 11. The motor-fan assembly 24 is mounted in position by first passing the motor 25 through the opening 53 and then slightly rotating the plates 49 and 52 with respect to each other so that the notches on one will pass the tabs on the other. Thereafter the damping ring 50 can be positioned on the edge of plate 49 and the two plates 49 and 50 rotated with respect to each other so that their tabs are in alignment with each other. Thereafter, the motor is inserted into the motor cover 43 to position the damping ring 50 in the shoulder 51 and then the plate 52 is fixed in position by a suitable means such as screws extending through the plate 52 into integral portions of the intermediate plastic member 20. The central portion of the plate 49 is provided with a suitable bearing support for the fan end of shaft 46, and the other end'of the shaft is supported by suitable bearings located at the end of shell 48 disposed adjacent to the air inlet grid 44. In addition, as will be obvious to those skilled in the art, the central portion of plate 49 is provided with air openings so that incoming air entering the grid 44 can pass over and into the motor 25 and then therefrom into the eye of the fan 45 and thenout through the diffuser structure 47 into the above atmospheric pressure exhaust compartment 23.

The motor 25 and its surrounding shell 48 and the diffuser structure 47 with fan 45 and also the crenelated plate 49 are retained in a unitary motor-fan assembly by fastening means such as bolts 54 passing through the periphery of the shell 48 and plate 49 into the diffuser structure 47. After the plate 49 is with its ring 50 positioned in the shouldered opening 42 the motor-fan assembly is fixed in position .on the wall portion 34 by fastening means such as screws extending through openings 55, see FIG. 11, formed in the plate 52 and openings 56, see FIG. 13, formed in'the wall portion 34. For purposes of retaining the motor fan assembly 24 mounted on the wall portion 34 and compressing the vibration damping ring 50, the plate 52 may comprise merely an annular ring plate surrounding the opening 42. However, in the preferred form of the invention the plate 52 is made coextensive with the wall portion 34 of the intermediate or centerframe plastic member 20 so as to serve as a reinforcing element therefor and additionally as a large heat dissipater. By comparing FIGS. 11 and 13 it will be seen that the parts 34 and 52 have a similar shape. The plate 52 is affixed to the exhaust compartment side of wall portion 34 by means such as screws 57, see FIG. 6, extending through openings 59 in the plate 52 into openings 58 formed in the wall portion 34 adjacent to the peripheral flange 21 thereof. The end of the flange portion 21 of the intermediate plastic member 20 which faces the shell 19 is provided with a continuous groove 60. The periphery of plate 52 is provided with a continuous shoulder flange 61 which is seated in the groove 60 so as to assist in aligning the plate 52 with respect to the intermediate member 20. The peripheral edge portion of the exhaust compartment shell 19 is nested in the shoulder flange 61 inside the continuous groove 60. Both the peripheral edges of the shells 1-8 and 19 have inturned lips 62 and 63 formed thereon. The lip 62 of the shell 18 seats against the sealing gasket 36. The inturned lip 63 of the shell 19 is seated in the groove 60 against the shoulder portion 61 of the plate 52. The fastening means 57 for fixing the wall portion 34 and the plate 52 together are provided with suitably shaped washers 64, see FIG. 6, to retain the shell :19 in fixed relationship with the connected together intermediate member 20 and plate 52. With the plate 52 being co-extensive with the wall portion 34 it is possible to conserve on plastic material inasmuch as the plate 52 is constructed from metal and reinforces I the wall 34. It will be appreciated that the air which is exhausted into the compartment 23 has had its temperature raised inasmuch as it has previously passed over the motor 25 to cool the same. Therefore, the metallic plate 52 prevents the wall portion 34 of intermediate 20 from becoming overheated inasmuch as plate 52 serves as a large heat collector and dissipater.

The vacuum bag 27 inside the vacuum compartment 22 is a removable air permeable dust collecting receptacle. Actually, the vacuum compartment 22 is subdivided into two compartments 65 and 66 by a cross wall 67 which is integral with the intermediate plastic member 24] and extends between opposite portions of the flange portion 21 across the wall portion 34. The integral wall 67 in effect provides the sub-compartment 65 for the bag 27 and the sub-compartment 66 for the motor 25 and a tool storage space. A plurality of integral formations 68, 69, and 72 are provided on the plasticmember 20 inside the sub-compartment 66. The formations 68 and 69 can have not shown dust brushes and upholstery nozzles mounted thereon and the formations 70-72 are for the purpose of storing a not shown elongated crevice tool therebetween. The formations 71 is adapted to have a not shown elongated resilient latching finger mounted therein for the purpose of removably latch storing an elongated crevice tool between itself and the formations 70 and 72. The plastic member 20 is also provided with an integral wall portion 73 which surrounds the latch mechanism 32 so that the sharp edges of parts such as the latching elements 40 and 41 will not tear the bag 27 which is conventionally constructed from paper. When the vacuum cleaner is in operation the paper bag 27 expands to fill substantially the entire volume of the sub-compartment 65. The walls of the sub-compartment 65, and especially the cross wall 67, serve to confine the bag 27 against overstressing by overinflation and consequent bursting. This is especially true of the cross wall 67 which backs up that end of the bag 27 towards which the incoming dust and dirt is thrust by the incoming air stream. The bag 27 is interposed between the inlet end of the hose. 14 and the air inlet 44 for the motor-fan assembly. The means for connecting the inner end of hose 14 with the bag 27 will now be described.

The bag 27 is provided with an entrance opening 74. This entrance'opening 74 is bounded by a piece of stiff cardboard or the like 75. Cardboard 75 is adapted to be fitted into a pair of groove portions 76 and 77 integrally formed on the member 20 in the lower right hand corner thereof when viewing FIG. 3. The board 75 is mounted in the groove portions 76 and 77 by sliding the board therein. The outer end of the board 75 provides a finger grip portion 78 and it extends toward the shell 18 and in abutting relationship therewith so that the board 75 will not fall out of the groove portions 76, 77 when the shell 18 is closed. The cardboard 75 of course is provided with an opening in alignment with the entrance openings 74 of the bag 27. The mentioned groove portions 76, 77 are integrally formed on the flange portion 21 of the plastic member 20. Also formed in the flange portion 21 is a double walled opening 79 in alignment with the opening in the cardboard 75. An inlet tube 86 on the inner end of hose 14 is adapted to be inserted into the aligned double walled opening 79 and through the opening in the cardboard 75 into the entrance opening of bag 74. A suitable not shown latching element on the tube 80 is intended to catch between the double walls of the opening 79 so as to lock the tube 80 in position. As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, the not shown latching element is intended to be finger operated by a button or the like 81, see FIG. 1, on the tube 80. Accordingly, it will now be obvious to those skilled in the art that the flange portion 21 provides the means for removably connecting the hose 14 and the bag 27 together. When the motor 25 is energized air and dust or dirt is carried by the hose 14 into the bag 27. The dust or dirt is trapped or collected in bag 27 and the incoming air continues out through the air permeable bag past a motor filter 82 into the motor 25 to cool the same and thereafter into the fan and out through the diffuser structure 47 past a diffuser filter 83. Thereafter the air exhausted into the exhaust compartment 23 is exhausted into the atmosphere by way of exhaust opening 31. The

7 details of the means for exhausting the compartment 23 to the atmosphere will now be described.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 3, 4, 8 and 13, the flange portion 21 of the intermediate plastic member 20 is provided with an exhaust passageway 84 which is integrally formed in the flange portion 21 at the exhaust end of the vacuum cleaner housing. The exhaust opening 31 in fact is an integrally formed exhaust or vent grill on the flange 21. This is the outer end of the exhaust passageway 84. The inner end of the exhaust passageway 84 is provided with an opening 85 in the wall portion 34. The part of passageway 84 which faces the exhaust compartment 23 is closed by the plate 52. An opening 86, see FIG. 11, is provided in plate 52 in alignment with the inlet end opening 85 in the passageway 84. In addition, a filter element 87 is positioned in the exhaust passageway 84 just ahead of the exhaust grid 31. Air exhausted into compartment 23 will pass through the aligned openings 86 and 85 into the passageway 84 and then through the filter 87 out into the atmosphere through the integral vented exhaust grill 31. Below the exhaust vent grid 31 and opposite to the opening 85 a pivoted cover 88 is provided on the outside corner of the plastic member 20 when viewing FIG. 13. This pivoted cover is intended to close an opening '89 formed in the flange 21. The opening 89 is for the purpose of inserting the hose tube 80 therein into communication with the inlet end 85 of the exhaust passageway while simultaneously blocking otf the remainder of the exhaust passageway from communication with the opening 85 whereby the vacuum cleaner can be utilized as an air blower. The hose tube 80 does this by being inserted through opening 89 up against an insert 85 (see FIG. 13) located between opening 85 and the inner end of passageway 84. Insert 85 is held in position by a grooved portion 85" integral with the plastic member 20. Insert 85' and grooved portion 85" together define a circular aperture in alignment with opening 89 in a manner well known in the art for engagement by the inner end of tube 80. The cover 88 is hinged on the flange portion 21 and it and a portion of flange portion 21 adjacent to the opening 89 are provided with not shown latch portions to retain the cover 88 in closed position except when it is desired to use the vacuum cleaner as a blower mechanism.

The cord reel 28 is supported off the wall portion 34 of the plastic member 20 within the exhaust compartment 23 by being mounted on the heat dissipating and reinforcing plate 52 which is fixed to the wall portion 34. The cord reel mechanism is Well known in the art and readily available on the marketplace. The reel 28 is biased .by a not shown spring so as to Wind the cord 29 thereon automatically. Reel 28 is mounted on plate 52 by a support strap or the like 90. Reel 28 is positioned in the housing 10 adjacent the front end thereof. The cord 29 extends from the reel 28 out through the rear end of housing 10 through an opening 91 formed in the shell 19, see FIG. 5. A foot operated cord release mechanism 30, which is described in detail and claimed in copending Eugene B. Szymczak patent application filed in 1966 and assigned to the same assignee as the instant patent application, comprises a pivoted member 92 pivotally mounted on the exterior of shell 19 by a generally U-shaped bracket 93. The member 92 has an opening 94 therein which is olf center with respect to the opening 91 when member 92 is moved to its full line position illustrated in FIG. 5. With the apertures 91 and 94 offset with respect to each other as shown in FIG. the cord 29 is trapped or stopped in its withdrawn position. However, when the element 92 is moved to its dotted line position illustrated in FIG. 5 the aperture 94 becomes aligned with the aperture 91 so that the cord 29 can travel freely therethrough for rewindin-g on the reel 28. In operation of the device when the cord 29 is withdrawn the element 92 is automatically moved to its broken line position to align the two openings 91 and 94. When the withdrawn cord is manually released as the reel tries to pull in the cord the element 92 moves to its full line position to misalign the holes 91 and 94 to stop the cord in Withdrawn position. When it is desired to reel in the cord if the element 92 is stepped on with the foot and retained in its depressed position, the two holes 91 and 94 are aligned to permit the cord to be freely reeled into the vacuum cleaner.

The switch mechanism 17 for controlling the motor 25 is mounted on the opposite end of shell 19 adjacent to the inlet opening 79 for the hose 14. The switch mechanism 17 comprises a switch assembly 95 mounted in the shell 19 and an overlying foot operated switch control 96. The foot control 96 is pivotally mounted and successively stepping on element 96 will successively turn the switch 95 on and off. The switch 95 is electrically connected by suitable leads and commutator contact mechanisms with the cord reel 28 and the motor 25 in a manner which will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

By viewing FIG. 13 it will be obvious that the flange portion 21 of the intermediate plastic member 20 actually has a double wall construction with the double walls thereof being spaced and reinforced by a plurality of integral struts or the like 97. The shouldered peripheral portion 61 of the plate 52 actually rests against the ends of these integral struts 97. The two double walls of the flange portion 21 are indicated by reference numerals 98 and 99 in FIG. 13. The space therebetween is spanned by a wall 100 which defines the bottom of the sealing gasket groove 36, see FIG. 8. This construction for the flange portion 21 makes it possible to mold the required configuration and portions of the intermediate member 20 while still conserving on the quantity of plastic molding compound required but yet providing the necessary structural strength and rigidity.

The vacuum bag indicator 33, which is described in detail and claimed in copending Robert S. Waters patent application filed in 1966 and assigned to the same assignee as the instant patent application, will now be described. Integrally formed in the top of flange portion 21 adjacent to the handle 11 is a semicylindrical Well 101. The top of well 101 is open, and its opposite ends are closed by walls 102 and 103 except for a small air outlet opening 104 formed in the wall 103. The open top of well 100 is closed by a clear plastic cover element 105 having an integral cylindrical depending portion 106. The outer surface of cover part 105 is masked except for a window 107. One end of cylindrical portion 106 is closed by a wall 108 positioned adjacent to the Wall 102. The other end of the cylindrical portion 106 is closed by a removable bearing disc 109. Contained inside the cylindrical portion 106 is a rotatably mounted indicator 110. The indicator 110 is shaped like a drum and is rotatably mounted on its opposite ends in the wall 108 and the closure disc 109. Half of the drum 110 is solid to provide a counterweighted part 111. The cylindrical well 101 has two vanes formed therein indicated by reference numerals 112 and 113 which extend in parallel relationship with the rotary axis of the drum 110. A spiral vane 114 is formed on the outer circumference of the drum 110. An air inlet opening 115 is formed in the cover portion 105, and the cover part 105 is sealed closed around the open top of the well 101 by a gasket 116. When the motor-blower assembly is energized, if the bag 27 is empty, the rush of air in the air inlet 115 into the cylinder 106 and past the spiral vane 114 and then out the air outlet 104 through an aligned opening 104 in disc 109 is not suflicient to rotate the drum 110 in a clockwise direction suflicient to give a reading that the bag needs to be replaced or checked because of overfilling with dirt, dust, or other obstructions in the air flow path inside the vacuum cleaner. However, should the bag 27 be filled with dirt or the air fiow path be otherwise obstructed the motorblower unit will pull a very high vacuum inside the vacuum compartment 22. This will increase the air pressure differential between the outside of the vacuum cleaner and the inside of the vacuum cleaner. Therefore, there will be an increased rush of air in the opening 115 and past the vane 114 to rotate it sufliciently in a clockwise direction against its counterweighted bias to give a reading for the necessity to check or change the filter bag. Actually the drum 110 has two markings on it, namely, off and check." When the motor is not operating the ofi' mark is aligned with window 107. When the motor is energized the drum 110 is rotated clockwise slightly to make the off mark disappear. This indicates that the vacuum bag indicator is operative. However, should the bag 27 be overfilled the drum 110 will rotate clockwise some more to place the check mark opposite the window 107 to tell the vacuum cleaner user to check the bag to see if it is full and needs replacement or if there is some other obstruction in the air flow path such as in the air hose 14.

In a constructed form of the invention the vacuum cleaner was very easy or convenient to use for several reasons. The width of the vacuum cleaner is about eight inches. This means that it can be readily wheeled inbetween closely spaced pieces of furniture. In addition, due to its narrow width it is quite comparable in size to that of a large briefcase. Due to its narrow width it may be readily placed on narrow stairs or the like. When the device is used on step a flip down strut 117, see FIG. 3, is provided at the front end of the cleaner to hold it steady on the stairs. This strut 117 is pivotally connected to an integral portion 118 formed on the molding or trim portion 21 of the intermediary plastic member 20. The wheels 112 at the front end of the vacuum cleaner in fact are swivel type wheels or casters. This makes it possible to turn the vacuum cleaner around within a very small space. The sides of the vacuum cleaner are provided with rubber bumpers or the like 119 to prevent marring of furniture or similar accidents. The larger rear wheels 113 are positioned in recessed portions 120 of the shells 118 and 119 so that they do not project beyond the mentioned eight inch width of the vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner provides readily accessible foot controls for the switch and the cord reel mechanism so that it is unnecessary to stoop over to operate the device. The carrying handle is located on the top of the vacuum cleaner so that the vacuum cleaner can be conveniently picked up and carried about. The latch mechanism 32 is likewise located in a convenient position adjacent the handle 11 and the same is true of the vacuum bag indicator mechanism 33 where it is readily visible. The vacuum compartment 22 can be easily opened by operating the latch button 39 to afford access to the vacuum cleaner bag 27. The bag 27 can be readily removed and replaced by virtue of the handle portion 78 thereof and the slotted or groove portions 76, 77 for aligning the bag entrance with the inlet hose connection opening 79. When not in use the vacuum cleaner provides the storage space 66 and fittings 68-72 for storing the various vacuum cleaner tool attachments inside the vacuum cleaner housing 10. The cord 29 is likewise stored within the vacuum cleaner housing so that the vacuum cleaner is a compact and self-contained unit.

While there has been shown and described a particular embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention, and therefore, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a vacuum cleaner comprising two generally pan shaped shells which face each other and are retained closed on each other to provide a closed housing for the internal working parts of said vacuum cleaner; the improvement of a single piece plastic member positioned between said shells for mounting the internal working parts of said vacuum cleaner inside said housing and dividing said housing into a below atmospheric pressure vacuum compartment and an above atmospheric pressure exhaust compartment and sealing said vacuum compartment closed, said plastic member including a wall portion having an integrally formed peripheral portion, said peripheral portion having a contour similar to the peripheral portions of said shells and being disposed therebetween, a sealing gasket positioned between said plastic member peripheral portion and the peripheral portion of one of said shells to define a sealed vacuum compartment between said plastic member and one shell, the peripheral portion of said plastic member also engaging the peripheral portion of the other shell to define an exhaust compartment between said plastic member and other shell, a motor-fan assembly mounted on said plastic member wall portion, said assembly having an air inlet and an air outlet, the air inlet of said assembly being in communication with said sealed vacuum compartment and the air outlet of said assembly being in communication with said exhaust compartment, a removable air permeable dust collecting receptacle positioned in said sealed vacuum compartment, said receptacle having an entrance opening formed therein, means integrally formed in said plastic member peripheral portion for removably connecting an air hose and said entrance opening together, and means integrally formed in said plastic member peripheral portion for exhausting air from said exhaust compartment to the atmosphere.

2. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 1, the further improvement of said shells comprising sheet metal members, said plastic member peripheral portion comprising a continuous flange on the periphery of said wall portion, said flange being disposed perpendicular to said plastic member wall portion and being positioned between the peripheral portions of said shells to provide a continuous plastic material molding therebetween, a continuous groove formed in the opposite ends of said flange, said sealing gasket being seated in one of said grooves for sealing engagement with the peripheral portion of said vacuum compartment shell, the other groove being adapted to having the peripheral portion of said exhaust compartment shell seated therein, means retaining said last mentioned peripheral portion fixedly seated in said other groove, means connected to said flange and vacuum compartment shell for hinging said vacuum compartment shell open and closed with respect to said plastic member, and manually operable releasable latch means mounted on said flange for retaining said vacuum compartment sealed closed.

3. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 1, the further improvement of said plastic member peripheral portion comprising a continuous flange portion on the periphery of said wall portion, said flange portion being disposed generally perpendicular to said plastic member wall portion and being positioned between the peripheral portions of said shells to provide a continuous plastic material molding therebetween, a continuous groove formed in the end of said flange portion which faces the peripheral portion of said vacuum compartment shell, said sealing gasket being seated in said groove for sealing engagement with the peripheral portion of said vacuum compartment shell, and manually operable releasable latch means for retaining the vacuum compartment shell closed on said plastic member.

4. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 1, the further improvement of said plastic member peripheral portion comprising a continuous flange portion on the periphery of said wall portion, said flange portion being positioned between the peripheral portions of said shells to provide a continuous plastic material molding therebetween, said means for removably connecting said air hose and said dust collecting receptacle entrance opening together comprising a hole formed in said flange portion and means integrally formed on said flange portion inside said vacuum compartment adjacent said hole for aligning said dust collecting receptacle entrance opening with said hole.

5. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 4, the further improvement of said means for exhausting air from said exhaust compartment to the atmosphere comprising an air exhaust passageway integrally formed in said flange portion, said passageway having an inlet end and an outlet end, said inlet end being in communication with said exhaust compartment, said outlet end being in communication with the atmosphere, and a vented grill cover for said outlet end, said vented grill cover being integrally formed on said flange portion.

6. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 5, the further improvement of said shells comprising sheet metal members, said shells being generally rectangular in shape, means fixedly connecting said exhaust compartment shell to said plastic member flange portion, hinge means connecting said vacuum compartment shell and plastic member flange portion together for opening and closing movement of said vacuum compartment shell with respect to said plastic member, said vacuum cleaner in normal use thereof having its shells and intermediate plastic member wall portion positioned in vertical planes with one of the corresponding longer sides of said shells located horizontally above a subadjacent floor surface, a pair of support wheels mounted at opposite ends of each of said corresponding longer sides of said shells for engaging said floor surface, the other corresponding longer sides of said shells comprising the top of said vacuum cleaner housing, a carrying handle connected to said flange portion along the top of said vacuum cleaner housing, said means for removably connecting said air hose and said dust collecting receptacle entrance opening together being formed at one end of said vacuum cleaner housing, the other end of said vacuum cleaner housing comprising its rear end, and said means for exhausting air from said exhaust compartment to the atmosphere being formed at said rear end, said hinge means being disposed along the bottom of said vacuum cleaner housing, and manually operable releasable latch means mounted on said flange portion adjacent said carrying handle for releasably latching said vacuum compartment shell closed on said plastic member.

7. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 1, said motor-fan assembly comprising a motor having a drive shaft and a fan mounted on said shaft, the axis of said shaft extending perpendicular to said plastic member wall portion, an opening formed in said plastic member wall portion, said assembly being mounted in said wall portion opening with said motor being disposed in said vacuum compartment and said fan being disposed in said exhaust compartment, and a cover integrally formed on said wall portion for said motor, said cover comprising a cylindrical portion integrally formed on said wall portion about said wall portion opening, said cylindrical portion extending from said wall portion opening into said vacuum compartment, and the air inlet of said assembly comprising a grid integrally formed on the end of said cylindrical portion opposite to said wall portion opening.

8. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 7, the peripheral portion of said wall portion comprising a continuous flange formed on the periphery of said wall portion, said flange being perpendicular to said wall portion, a cross wall integrally formed on said plastic member, said cross wall extending across said wall portion between two opposite sides of said flange alongside said cylindrical portion to subdivide said vacuum compartment into two subcompartments, said dust collecting receptacle comprising a vacuum cleaner bag, said bag being disposed in one of said sub-compartments and said cylindrical portion being disposed in the other sub-compartment, and a plurality of integral projections formed on said plastic member in said other sub-compartment for removably mounting vacuum cleaner tool attachments thereon for storage in said other sub-compartment.

9. In a suitcase styled vacuum cleaner, a single piece plastic member, said plastic member including a generally flat wall portion bounded by a continuous peripheral flange portion, a pair of metallic shells positioned along opposite sides of said wall portion to define a vacuum compartment on one side of said wall portion and an exhaust compartment on the other side of said wall portion, said flange portion being positioned between and engaging the peripheral portions of said shells to provide a continuous plastic material molding therebetween, a motor-fan assembly mounted on said plastic member between said shells, said assembly including an air intake and an air outlet, said air intake and outlet being in communication with said vacuum and exhaust compartments respectively, an air inlet opening formed in said flange portion, an air permeable dust collecting receptacle in said vacuum compartment between said air inlet opening and air intake, an air exhaust opening formed in said flange portion in a part thereof located opposite to said air inlet opening, a carrying handle connected to said flange portion in a part thereof located between said air inlet and air exhaust openings, and means formed on the side of said vacuum cleaner opposite to said carrying handle for supporting said vacuum cleaner on a floor surface.

10. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 9, a well integrally formed in said flange portion adjacent said carrying handle, an air pressure responsive indicator mechanism positioned in said well for indicating the fill condition of said dust collecting receptacle, a hinged connection between said flange portion and said vacuum compartment shell for hinged open and closed movement of said vacuum compartment shell with respect to said plastic member, said hinged connection being located on the same side of said vacuum cleaner as said supporting means, and a manually operable latch releasable latch formed on said flange portion adjacent said carrying handle for releasably latching said vacuum compartment shell and plastic member closed.

11. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 9, a heat dissipating and reinforcing plate for said plastic member, said plate being positioned in said exhaust compartment against said wall portion, means fixing said plate and wall portion together, said plate being generally co-extensive with said wall portion, aligned openings formed in said plate and wall portion, said motor-fan assembly comprising a motor having a fan mounted on its shaft, said motor being positioned in said vacuum compartment and said fan being positioned in said exhaust compartment, and means resiliently mounting said motor-fan assembly in said aligned openings in clamped relationship between the peripheral portions of said aligned openings.

12. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 11, a foot operated control switch for said motor-fan assembly, said switch being mounted in said exhaust compartment shell adjacent said air inlet opening, a spring biased cord reel in said exhaust compartment, said reel being mounted on said plate, an electric extension cord stored in wound position on said reel, a cord opening formed in said exhaust compartment shell adjacent said exhaust opening, the outer end of said cord extending through said cord opening, and foot operated releasable cord stop means mounted on said exhaust compartment shell adjacent said cord opening for retaining said cord in withdrawn position against the spring bias of said reel.

13. In a vacuum cleaner as in claim 12, said exhaust opening comprising an exhaust passageway integrally formed in said flange portion, said passageway having an inner end and an outer end, an aperture formed in said plate in alignment with said passageway inner end, a vented grid cover for said passageway outer end, said grid cover being integrally formed with said flange portion, and a hose opening formed in said flange portion, said hose opening being formed in said passageway and being References Cited located between said passageway inner and outer ends for UNITED STATES PATENTS insertion of a hose thereinto to connect said hose to said 4 passageway inner end an simultaneously isolate said pas- 2,875,466 3/1959 Nyberg 15-J27 sageway outer end from said passageway inner end, and 5 3090181 5/1963 Kormn et a1 15 323 a closure cover for closing said hose opening when said hose is withdrawn from said hose opening. ROBERT MICHELL Primal); Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2875466 *Jun 21, 1955Mar 3, 1959Whirlpool CoVacuum cleaner
US3090181 *Jun 2, 1960May 21, 1963Whirlpool CoVacuum cleaner
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4446594 *Jun 1, 1982May 8, 1984Hitachi, Ltd.Upright type electric cleaner
US4993105 *Oct 26, 1989Feb 19, 1991The Hoover CompanyVacuum cleaner
US5440780 *Dec 9, 1993Aug 15, 1995Gmi Holdings, Inc.Tip-resistant canister for upright vacuum cleaners
US5898971 *Jun 26, 1997May 4, 1999U.S. Philips CorporationVacuum cleaner housing with a minimized number of unmoulding directions
US6611989 *Aug 6, 2001Sep 2, 2003Lg Electronics Inc.Vacuum cleaner having cooling features
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/327.2, 15/323
International ClassificationA47L5/36, A47L5/22
Cooperative ClassificationA47L5/362
European ClassificationA47L5/36A