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Publication numberUS3388953 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1968
Filing dateOct 6, 1966
Priority dateOct 6, 1966
Publication numberUS 3388953 A, US 3388953A, US-A-3388953, US3388953 A, US3388953A
InventorsIben Browning
Original AssigneeThomas Bede Foundation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wet and dry towel dispenser
US 3388953 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 18, 1968 l. BROWNING 3,388,953

WET AND DRY TOWEL DISPENSER Filed Oct. 6. 1966 INVENTOR. IBEN BROWNING F |G. 3 www ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,388,953 WET AND DRY TOWEL DISPENSER Iben Browning, Sunnyvale, Calif., assignor to Thomas Bede Foundation, a corporation of California Filed Oct. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 584,903 Claims. (Cl. 31239) This invention relates to a towel dispenser which can uniformly wet intermittently withdrawn towels and is further adaptable to selectively dispense towels in a wet or dry condition.

An object of this invention is to provide a towel dispenser which supplies uniformly wetted towels upon intermittent demand. The towels, supplied from a conventional source, are typically moved by frictional contact with. a driving roller or surface. In the interior of the dispenser, the towels are brought into contact with a rotatable moisture-absorbent surface or belt which has installed thereon a plurality of transverse capillary insulators; This belt moves through a bath absorbing the solution contained therein, and then rotates into contact with towels being dispensed, imparting its contained moisture to the towels by absorption. The insulators installed on the belt arrest capillary wetting along the belt surface when towels are not being withdrawn from the dispenser, thus assuring uniform towel wetting in spite of intermittent use of the dispenser.

Another object in this invention is to provide a towel dispenser which can selectively dispense wet and dry towels. Typically, towels are dispensed by frictionally passing between a drive surface or roller and a counterpressure surface or roller into the vicinity of a pivot supported rotatable absorbent surface or belt. This pivot is actuated by a linkage positioned for convenient operation by the consumer. A selective movement of the linkage moves the absorbent surface in and out of contact with the towels as they are being dispensed, thus supplying wet and dry towels respectively as desired.

A further object of this invention is to provide a rotatable absorbent surface or belt which is capable of being uniformly wetted when intermittently passed through a bath. Typically, one end of the belt is held by a support roller and the other extremity tensionally suspended in a bath by a wetting roller. The surface or belt contains a plurality of transverse capillary insulators which entrap moisture in the belt as it passes through the bath. During periods when the belt is motionless with respect to the bath these same insulators prevent the uneven wetting of the belt by a capillary or wicking action along its surface and also impede the gravitational flow of the moisture from the belt into the bath.

An advantage of this invention is that a rotatable belt having uniform absorbent quality may be inexpensively Patented June 18, 1968 "ice constructed of cotton or flannel cloth with silicone putty insulators installed at selected intervals.

An additional advantage of this invention is that a dispenser according to the present invention readily adapts to the installation of a conveyor which conveniently delivers towels to the consumer.

Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will become more apparent after referring to the following specification and attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a wet towel dispenser;

FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view of a wet and dry towel dispenser with attached conveyor; and

FIG. 3-is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the rotatable moisture-absorbent surface shown in FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings, a wet towel dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention is schematically illustrated in FIG. 1. Towel 15 is shown positioned between drive surface or roller 18 and rotatable absorbent surface or belt 20. Towel 15 consists typically of a continuing strip of paper or cloth provided from a conventional supply (not shown) as is common in the towel dispensing art. Towel 15 is mounted for movement in the direction of arrow 21 by the rotation of drive roller 18. Alternately, towel 15 may be drawn through the dispenser from the direction of arrow 21. Rotatable absorbent surface or belt 20 is positioned about an axially-mounted support roller 22 at towel contact end 23 and has bath contact end 24 tensionally suspended by wetting roller 25 in tank 27 containing bath 28. In FIG. 1, belt 20 is gravitationally suspended in bath 28 by the weight of wetting roller 25. Roller 25 is restricted in movement parallel to its rotational axis by the walls of tank 27. Alternately, wetting roller 25 may be tensionally suspended in bath 28 by an axial mounting which permits its rotation. Bath 28 is typically a solution of soap and water.

In operation, rotatable moisture-absorbent surface 20 is impelled through bath 28 as towel 15 moves through the dispenser. The belt 20 entraps the liquid of bath 28 and brings it into contact with towel 15 where absorption takes place.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, rotatable absorbent surface 20 can be constructed in the shape of a belt. The belt is typically cloth, such as cotton or flannel, which has a capillary or wicking property When placed in a liquid. This capillary or wicking property causes a measured amount of liquid in quantity sufiicient for the wetting of towel 15 to be entrapped in rotatable surface 20 as it moves through the bath 28. This same capillary property, however, transfers the absorbed liquid to towel 15 when belt 20 is stationary, causing uneven or excessive towel wetting. This excessive wetting causes oversaturated paper towels to rip or tear and cloth towels to drip. To maintain the atfinity of absorbent belt 20 for moisture and yet to avoid these undesirable side efiects, a plurality of transverse capillary insulators 30 are installed to surface 20 leaving exposed surfaces 33. These insulators, commonly of silicone putty or other similar water-repellant substance, arrest the capillary or wicking effect when the surface 20 is not being rotated. They have the added advantage of retaining Water in rotatable surface 20 by arresting the gravitational return of the entrapped liquid when an exposed surface 33 is elevated above the level of bath 28 to a height where the capillary property of the cloth will no longer support the absorbed liquid. The space 34 of capillary insulators 30 is selected to obtain maximum benefit from the capillary property of surface 20.

With reference to FIG. 2, a wet and dry towel dispenser is shown. Towel supply 36 comprises a convolute roll which is frictionally unraveled by having towel pass between driving roller 18 and counter-pressure surface or roller 37. As is apparent, counter-pressure surface 37 may either rotate as towel 15 is dispensed or alternately be a stationary surface of low friction which merely slides towel 15 as it is frictionally impelled by driving surface or roller 18. Conveyor 38 is attached to driving roller 18 and dispenses towel 15 along its surface to the consumer. Rotatable absorbent surface 20 is installed sirnilar to the description of FIG. 1, with the exception that it is brought in and out of contact with towel 15 by pivot 46 connected through mechanical linkage 47 to medially swiveled handle 48.

In operation, the operation of medially swiveled handle 48 adapts the invention so that it is the practical equivalent of a sink with supplied towels. When medially swiveled handle 48 is in upper position 49, linkage 47 is moved downward rotating pivot 46 and its supported absorbent surface 20 away from towel 15. In this position, dry towels will be dispensed. Alternately, when the consumer desires wetted towels, handle 48 is manipulated to downward position 50, moving linkage 47 to upward and rotating pivot 46 and its supported absorbent surface 20 into contact with towel 15.

A towel dispenser constructed in accordance with FIG. 2 affords additional insurance that the wetting of the towel is uniform. The frictional passing of towel 15 over drive roller 18 results in a compressing or wringing action of the counter pressure surface or roller 37. Bath 28 is positioned to cntrap any such surplus moisture.

With reference to FIG. 3, an alternate embodiment of rotatable absorbent surface 20 is shown. A cylindrical roller 52 has moisture-absorbent surface 20 radially mounted on its exterior. The insulators 30 and the exposed cloth areas 33 are contained in absorbent surface 20 as hereinbefore described. This embodiment contains the advantage of eliminating the belt and its two supporting rollers.

Drive surface 18 and counter pressure surface 37 have been shown for purposes of illustration as being cylindrical rollers. It should be understood that belts, similar to conveyor 38, and other similar methods of frictionally propelling the towel may be substituted therefor.

Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity and understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the spirit of this invention as limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A wet towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of wet towels comprising: a rotatable absorbent surface having a bath end and a towel contact end; a bath containing a liquid position for submersing said bath end therein; means for the frictional engagement of said towel with said towel contact end whereby said towel is wetted as dispensed by said rotatable absorbent surface; and a plurality of transverse capillary insulators installed to said rotatable absorbent surface whereby absorbed liquid on said surface is arrested from capillary movement and gravitational flow.

2. A wet towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of wet towels according to claim 1 wherein: said rotatable absorbent surface comprises a cloth belt.

3. A wet towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of wet towels according to claim 1 wherein: said transverse capillary insulators comprise silicone putty.

4. A wet towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of wet towels according to claim 1 and wherein: said means for the frictional engagement of said towel comprises a drive roller.

5. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in a selective wet or dry condition comprising: a rotatable absorbent surface having a bath end and a towel contact end; a bath containing a liquid position for submersing said bath end therein; a drive surface; a counterpressure surface installed for the frictional engagement of said towels between said drive surface and said counterpressure surface; a plurality of transverse capillary insulators installed in said rotatable absorbent surface whereby absorbed liquid on said rotatable surface is airrested from capillary movement or gravitational flow; and pivot means mounting said wetting surface for selective frictional engagement and non-engagement with said towels whereby said towels are wetted in a position of engagement.

6. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in a selective wet or dry condition according to claim 5 wherein: said transverse capillary insulators comprise silicone putty.

7. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in a selective wet or dry condition according to claim 5 wherein: said rotatable absorbent surface comprises a cloth belt.

8. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in a selective wet or dry condition comprising: wetting means for saturating said towels; a drive surface; a counter pressure surface installed for the frictional engagement of said towels with said drive surface whereby motion supplied to said drive surface is frictionally imparted to said towels; pivot means comprising: a handle medially swiveled; a pivot mounting said wetting means adjacent said towels; a linkage having two ends, one of said ends connected to said handle and the other of said ends connected to said pivot means; said pivot means mounted for selective frictional engagement and non-engagement with said towels whereby said towels are conveyed wet in the position of engagement.

9. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in a selective wet or dry condition according to claim 8 and wherein said wetting means comprises: a rotatable absorbent surface having a bath end and a towel contact end; a bath containing a liquid positioned for submersing said bath end therein; and a plurality of transverse capillary insulators installed to said rotatable absorbent surface whereby absorbed liquid on said surface is arrested from capillary movement and gravitational flow.

10. A towel dispenser for the sequential conveying of towels in the selectively wet or dry condition comprising: a rotatable absorbent surface having a bath end and a towel contact end; a bath containing a liquid position for submersing said bath end therein; a drive surface; a counter pressure service installed for the frictional engagement of said towels between said dry surface and said counter pressure surface; and pivot means mounting said wetted surface for selective frictional engagement and non-engagement with said towels whereby said towels are wetted in a position of engagement.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,345,179 3/1944 Close et al. 118-257 2,688,305 9/1954 Wray et al 118-257 X 3,025,829 3/1962 Smith 118-221 3,308,737 3/1967 Fukuda 118-257 X 3,311,519 3/1967 Touey et a1. 118-221 X CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.

BOBBY R. GAY, Examiner.

J. L. KOHNEN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2345179 *Apr 10, 1942Mar 28, 1944United Wall Paper Factories InTreatment of printing felts
US2688305 *Nov 6, 1950Sep 7, 1954Baldwin Morton SDevice for moistening gummed labels
US3025829 *Apr 21, 1960Mar 20, 1962Julian Smith FrederickTowel dispenser
US3308737 *Jun 9, 1964Mar 14, 1967Fuji Photo Film Co LtdDevice for applying a treating solution to sensitized copying paper
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4747365 *Sep 17, 1986May 31, 1988Gry AgToilet roll dispenser
US4984530 *Oct 27, 1988Jan 15, 1991Core Medical CorporationHand wash towel dispensing system
US6319318 *Sep 30, 1999Nov 20, 2001Scott D. PekarekApparatus for dispensing towels
US6346153Feb 5, 1999Feb 12, 2002Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Wet or dry web dispenser
US7442439Dec 28, 2005Oct 28, 2008Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.capable of generating heat upon activation; wet wipes; core composition comprising a matrix material, such as mineral oil, and a heating agent, such as magnesium chloride
US7497351May 30, 2006Mar 3, 2009Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Wet wipe dispensing system
US7517582May 10, 2007Apr 14, 2009Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.warming sensation on the skin when the wet wipe is used; contact sodium acetate, sodium sulfate, sodium sulfate activator in aqueous sugar solution, release heat to cause a warming sensation on the skin; personal care products
US7597954Dec 14, 2006Oct 6, 2009Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.warming sensation on the skin when the wet wipe is used; contact sodium acetate, sodium sulfate, sodium sulfate activator in aqueous sugar solution, release heat to cause a warming sensation on the skin; personal care products
US7654412May 30, 2006Feb 2, 2010Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Wet wipe dispensing system for dispensing warm wet wipes
US7850041Nov 7, 2008Dec 14, 2010John David AmundsonWet wipes dispensing system
US7914891Dec 28, 2005Mar 29, 2011Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Wipes including microencapsulated delivery vehicles and phase change materials
US7924142Jun 30, 2008Apr 12, 2011Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Patterned self-warming wipe substrates
US8192841Dec 14, 2006Jun 5, 2012Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Personal care products for the skin comprising an encapsulation layer surrounding an aqueous core composition of an encapsulating activator, a matrix, and an active agent where the microencapsule has a diameter of 5-5000 micrometers; stability; moisturizers, conditioners, cleaning compounds, wipes
EP1334242A1 *Nov 1, 2001Aug 13, 2003Jeyes Group LimitedLiquid delivery device
WO2000035327A1Dec 14, 1999Jun 22, 2000Kimberly Clark CoWet or dry web dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/34.9, 118/257, 118/221
International ClassificationA47K10/24, A47K10/26
Cooperative ClassificationA47K10/26
European ClassificationA47K10/26