US 3388837 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent O 3,388,837 BEVERAGE DISPENSING DEVKCE Richard T. Cornelius, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to The Cornelius Company, Anoka, Miun., a corporation of Minnesota Filed June 28, 1966, Ser. No. 561,257 3 Claims. (Cl. 222-156) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates generally to a beverage dispensing device, and more specifically to such a device of the pressurized-tank type normally stored in home refrigerators for use.
Although the principles of the present invention may be included in various dispensing devices, a particularly useful application is made in a pressurized home beer dispenser. Heretofore, these devices have not included any means by which the user could readily ascertain the quantity of beer remaining. An approximation could be obtained by lifting the device, but owing to its own mass, such an evaluation at best is extremely unsatisfactory. About the only simple method remaining for the user to determine the quantity of beverage remaing was to pick up the tank and shake it and thus feel or sense the amount of beverage sloshing around therein. However, such agitation of beer immediately prior to its being dispensed renders its carbonation entirely unstable so that in some instances virtually nothing but foam can be withdrawn therefrom. This is because the beer in its agitated or unstable state upon being depressurized as it enters the drinking vessel at ambient pressure breaks into such foam.
The present invention contemplates the utilization of a cover of transparent plastic material to enable a visual determination of the quantity of remaining beer. Further, the cover of transparent plastic material forms a part of a dispensing valve, and thereby any party interested may readily ascertain the cleanliness of the valve visually. Such determination may be made prior to filling or at any time thereafter in the trip-cycle of the container before it is again refilled.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a simple means by Which the user may ascertain the quantity of beer remaining in a pressurized type of home beer dispenser.
Another object of the present invention is to enable the ascertainment of the quantity of beer remaining in a beverage dispenser without any agitation thereof.
A still further object of the present invention is to enable visual determination of cleanliness within the dispensing device.
Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest .to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying drawing in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.
On the drawing:
The single figure is a side elevational view, partly broken away and cross-sectioned, of a pressurized hometype of beer dispenser provided in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
As shown on the drawing:
The principles of this invention are particularly useful when embodied in a beverage dispensing device such illustrated in the drawing, generally indicated by the numeral 10. The dispensing device 10 includes a pressurizable tank 11 of cylindrical configuration which is provided with protective means 12, 13 at its ends. One axial end of the tank 11 is provided with a relatively large oval aperture which is surrounded by a flange 14. On the inner side of the flange 14, there is provided an O-ring 15 against which a cover 16 is disposed. The arrangement described provides a pressure-tight seal wherein internal pressure aids in holding the cover 16 in pressure-tight relation against the flange 14. As the cover and opening are oval-shaped, the structure is readily installed in and removed from such position by hand from the outside in the absence of internal pressure.
A carbonated beverage such as beer 17 is disposed within the tank and is kept under pressure by means of structure generally indicated at 18. Such pressure forces the beverage through a line 19 leading to a valve chamber 20 which forms a part of the cover 16. A valve element 21 is selectively moved through the agency of an actuator 22 to cause the beer to be dispensed through a spout 23.
The cover 16 is made of transparent plastic material, and the user is thereby enabled to see therethrough to see the level of beverage 17 within the tank. Slight gentle rocking of the tank on the curved end 12 facilitates such determination when the level of beer 17 is below the lowest part of the cover 16. Further, as the material of the cover 16 is transparent, the viewer is also enabled to determine the cleanliness of the valve chamber 20. Such viewing is particularly helpful at the brewery prior to filling, and is a desirable merchandising or commercial feature as the prospective purchaser can readily establish that the interior of the opaque tank is most likely clean. If an unwanted film were deposited on the interior of the tank, it would also appear on the inside of the cover, and thus impair viewing and indicate a lack of cleanliness. However, ordinarily, it will be expected that the device will be internally clean, and therefore the most important aspect of this invention is the ability of the user to ascertain the liquid level without agitation of the same. This feature is particularly desirable in that the manufacturer can provide this feature without additional components, machining, or labor.
Although various minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such embodiments as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.
I claim as my invention:
1. A beverage dispensing device comprising in combination:
(a) a pressurizable opaque tank of cylindrical configuration having an oval opening at one end thereof defined by a radially inwardly directed flange;
(b) an oval cover disposed inside said tank in sealing relation to the inner side of said flange, said cover comprising transparent material and enabling the quantity of beverage in said tank to be visually ascertained from the outside; and
(c) a manual dispensing valve having a housing, a portion of which housing is integral with the cover and therefore transparent, said housing portion being so arranged that the internal cleaniness of the valve may be visually ascertained from the outside.
2. A beverage dispensing device according to claim 1, in which said flange is spaced radially inwardly from the perimeter of said tank and in which the end of the tank adjacent to said cover is provided with an end member having a convex lower surface substantially tangent to the cylindrical portion of the tank and disposed below the outlet of the valve and radially spaced from said cover and onto which convex lower surface the tank may be gently manually rocked from its normal supported position for enabling viewing of an otherwise out-ofsight quantity of contents without agitation thereof.
3. A beverage dispensing device comprising in combination:
(a) a pressurizable tank having an opening at One end thereof defined by a radially inwardly directed flange, said flange being spaced radially inwardly from the perimeter of said tank;
(b) a cover disposed on said tank in sealing relation to said flange, said cover comprising transparent material;
(c) a manual dispensing valve secured to said cover;
((1) an end member secured to the end of said tank adjacent to said cover, said end member having a convex lower surface substantially tangent to the side of said tank and disposed below the outlet of said valve and radially spaced from said cover and onto which convex lower surface said tank may be gently manually rocked from its normal supported position for enabling viewing of an otherwise out-of-sight quantity of contents without agitation thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 827,465 7/1906 Piller 222399 1,704,925 3/1929 Robertson 73-334 1,949,098 2/1934 Becker 222156 X 3,021,976 2/1962 Tracy 220-385 X 3,152,723 10/1964 Perl et al 222-157 X 3,238,574 3/1966 Martin et al. 22082 X FOREIGN PATENTS 141,781 4/1920 Great Britain.
703,430 2/ 1954 Great Britain.
N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.