US 3401420 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 17, 1968 3,401,420
VACUUM CLEANER DEVICE WITH HOSE AND CORD STORAGE Filed June 17, 1966 G. E. LoFclsREN 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 17, i968 G. E. LQFGREN VACUUM CLEANER DEVICE WITH HOSE AND CORD STORAGE med June 17, 196e INVENTOR. Gusmr E. [vrezen HIS ATTORNEY SePt- 17, 1968 G. E. LOFGREN 3,401,420
VACUUM CLEANER DEVICE WITH HOSE AND CORD STORAGE Filed June 17, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 GUSTAF E. Lof-'GEEN H I .5 ATTURNEY United States Patent O 3,401,420 VACUUM CLEANER DEVICE WITH HOSE AND CORD STORAGE Gustaf E. Lofgren, Riverside, Conn., assignor to Electrolux Corporation, Old Greenwich, Conn., a corporation of Delaware v Filed June 17, 1966, Ser. No. 564,464 7 Claims. (Cl. 15-323) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A maids cart having a vacuum cleaner immovably mounted on the cart but rotatable about a vertical axis whereby a length of hose is wound and unwound about the lbody of the cleaner, and a portable unit housing an electric cord reel and provided with fittings for interconnecting the lengih of hose from the cleaner and a second length of hose extending from the portable unit to a floor cleaning tool. Thus, the portable unit is movable from place to place to facilitate cleaning while the vacuum cleaner remains on the maids cart.
My invention pertains to a mobile cleaning unit including a vacuum cleaner and storage facilities for clean and soiled linens, towels and the like and my main object is the provision of a device to facilitate the cleaning of hot-els, motels, institutional buildings and similar places.
Another object of my invention is to provide a mobile unit including a vacuum cleaner having a suction hose which may be neatly and compactly stored when not in use.
Another object of my invention is to provide a mobile cleaning unit including a vacuum cleaner having a suction hose which is retractable by means of a Spring motor to a compact storage position.
Another object of my invention is to provide a vacuum cleaner which includes a portable electric cord reel for supplying electric power for operating the vacuum cleaner.
Ano'her object of my invention is to provide a portable electric cord reel which serves as an airiiow coupling between different lengths of suction hose as well as for supplying electric power to the vacuum cleaner. In addition, the cord reel has sufficient weight and frictional resistance to movement over the surface on which it is supported to resist retraction of the hose by the spring motor.
Another object of my invention is to provide a mobile cleaning unit having storage space for clean and soiled linens, towels or the like, as well as for other cleaning aids such as detergents, polish, etc.
In accordance with one illustrative embodiment of my invention there is provided a platform which is mounted on a set of wheels so that it may be moved easily along a Hoor surface, such as a hotel corridor, the paved walk in front of motel units or the like. On the platform there is mounted a vacuum cleaner tank unit or canister, a storage chamber with suitable shelving and partitions and a sack for soiled linens, etc. The vacuum cleaner tank unit has a suction-producing motor-fan unit therein as well as a dust bag for collecting dust, dirt, lint and litter which is deposited therein during the vacuum cleaning operation. Coupled with the tank unit is a length of a suction hose. While the aforesaid platform and the equipment which is supported thereon remains ,in the corridor or on walks, the suction hose may be extended outwardly from the tank unit into a guest room in the hotel or motel.
An important feature of my invention resides in providing a suction hose which is automatically Wound about Patented Sept. 17, 1968 ICC the tank unit or canister when the vacuum cleaning operation has been completed. For this purpose the tank unit is mounted on the platform so that it can be rotated, preferably by spring means, about its own vertical axis. As a result, the suction hose can be unwound from about the tank by pulling on an end of the hose thereby rotating the tank unit which serves to wind the spring, thus storing energy which is available to rewind the hose. In addition, guide means are provided for winding the hose neatly about the outside of the tank unit.
Another feature of my invention resides in the provision of a portable electric cord reel which has a centrally located conduit open at both ends for receiving two different lengths of suction hose. The cord reel is connected to the length of suction hose coming from the vacuum cleaner unit on the platform. The latter, as above stated, may be left out in the corridor or on the walk, while the cordwinder with the hose attached is carried into the guest room and its electric cord plugged into a convenient outlet in the room. Also connected to the cordwinder iS a length of preferably shorter and lighter hose to the opposite end of which is connected the usual wand and Suction nozzle. The cordwinder has sufficient weight to hold the iirst-mentioned section of hose against the force of the spring tending to rewind the hose.
Other objecs as well as the various features and advantages of my invention will appear by referring to the following detailed description thereof and to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG l is a prespective view showing a mobile cleaning unit according to my invention;
FIG. 2 is ancther perspective View showing a portion of the aforesaid mobile cleaning unit;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view 0f the Vacuum cleaner tank unit employed in my invention;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 4--4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view showing the tank unit wi.h its upper end cover removed; and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional View of a portable cord reel employed in my invention.
In FIG. 1 the mobile cleaning unit of my invention is shown as it is being readied for use. The reference number 20 designates the mobile cleaning unit generally. As shown, the cleaning unit 2G is comprised of a platform 21 which is supported on four wheels 22. Also mounted on the platform 21 is a storage chamber 23 and a vacuum cleaner tank unit or canister 24. As indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the storage chamber 23 is provided with shelves 25 on which there may be stored clean towels, linens, etc. Also lprovided at the top of the storage chamber 23 is a shallow bin 26 which may be used for the storage of containers of detergents, polish, toilet paper, cleaning tissues and other such things as are used in hotels or the like. Connected to the storage chamber 23 near the top thereof is a handle 27 and supported from this handle is a sack 28 in which soiled linen, etc. may be collected. Also connected to one side of the chamber 23 is a storage rack 29 which, as indicated in FIGS. l and 2, may be used for storing a suction hose or sections of a hollow wand shown in dotted lines.
As shown in FIG. 3 the vacuum cleaner tank unit 24 includes therein an apertured compartiment 31 within which there is situated a dust bag 32 which may be of the disposable type. Below the perforated compartiment 31 there is mounted a motor-fan unit designated generally by the reference number 33, which is comprised of an electric motor 34 driving a centrifugal fan 3S. The motor-fan unit 33 is mounted within the tank unit 24 in a suitable annular vibration damping mounting 36 which is welded or otherwise secured to the inner wall surface of the tank unit. Immediately below the fan unit is a spring motor assembly designated generally by the reference number 37. As shown in FIG. 4 the spring motor assembly 37 is comprised of four spiral springs 38, each of which is Wound on a Separate storage drum 39. The outer ends of the springs 38 are secured to a common central drum 4t) which is fixed to one end of a long vertical iixed shaft 41, While the drums 39 are rotatably mounted on spindles carried by a plate 42 secured to tank unit 24. Preferably, springs 38 are constant force springs; for example, Negator@ springs. A spring of this type tends to run to a drum of smaller diameter from one of larger diameter. Inasmuch as the larger drum is xed, the springs tend to rotate the plate 42 in the direction of the arrow A in order to unwind from the drum 40 and wind up on the smaller drums 39. This of course tends to rotate the entire tank unit 24 about the fixed shaft 41, thus Iwinding up the hose. Unwinding the hose rotates the unit 24 and plate 42 in the opposite direction, which causes the springs 38 to unwind from the drums 39 and wind up on the larger drum 40.
Plate 42, which is welded or otherwise fastened to the inner wall of tank unit 24, includes a ball bearing unit 43 on which the tank unit and plate 42 rotate about the vertical xed shaft 41. The plate 42 is provided with a number of openings 44 for the passage of air which is exhausted from the fan unit 35, the air ultimately passing out of the tank unit 24 through the openings 45 near the bottom thereof. At the lower end of the tank unit 24 there is another disc-like plate member 46 having at the center thereof an annular bearing 47 about which the tank unit may rotate on vthe shaft 41. Also profvided, below the plate 46, is a thrust bearing assembly 48.
The upper end of the tank unit 24 is provided with a removable cover 49 which has in the center thereof a short conduit 50 which is intended to enter a suitable opening provided in a cardboard end plate 51 of the dust bag 32.
In order to smoothly wind the hose around the unit 24, there is provided a winding guide assembly designated generally by the reference number 52 (FIG. l). This winding guide assembly 52 is comprised of an elongated worm 53 which has a helical thread running therearound and a winding spool 54 which moves upwardly and downwardly along the worm 53 as the spool 54 is rotated by the hose running against it to guide the winding or unwinding of the suction hose 55. The pitch of the thread is such that the rotation imparted to spool 54 by the movement of a length of hose, equal to the circumference on the unit 24, causes the spool to advance along the Worm a distance equal to the diameter of the hose.
Reference character 58 designates generally a portable cordwinder. This includes a base member 60* to which is secured a pair of brackets 62. Pivotally mounted on the brackets is a handle 64 which may be provided with retainers 66 for holding a suction cleaning tool, such as the floor brush 68.
Mounted, as by means of screws 69 (FIG. 6), on the base 60 between the brackets 62 is a cordwinder housing 70 which includes a central tubular portion 72 detiming a passage through the cordwinder. Rotatably mounted on the exterior of tubular member 72 is a reel 74 on which may be Wound an electric cord 76. One end of the cord is secured to the reel and electrically connected to a pair of slip rings 78, while the other end of the cord extends out of the housing and is provided with a male plug (FIG. l). Brushes 82 (FIG. 6) cooperate with the slip rings 78 and are connected by means of conductors 84 with receptacles 86 and I88 accessible from the exterior of the housing 70 at opposite ends thereof. An electric switch is mounted on the upper part of the housing Where it may be easily operated, and is connected in the circuit between the brushes 82 and both of the receptacles. A Negator or like type spring 92 is carried by a storage drum 94 rotatably mounted on a pin 96 carried by the housing 70. The other end of the spring is secured to the hub portion of the reel 74 and is arranged to be wound thereon by the rotation of the reel caused by unwinding of the electric cord. The diameter of the hub portion of the reel is greater than that of the drum 94 and as explained in connection with the spring motor 37, it is characteristic of this type of spring that it will tend to run from a drum of larger diameter to `one of smaller diameter, and in doing so it tends to rotate the reel 74 in a direction for winding the cord 76 thereon. A suitable latch mechanism (not shown) is preferably provided for restraining rotation of the reel 74 by the spring 92 when it is not desired to rewind the cord.
The ends of the tubular member 72 are provided with suitable means, such as the annular lip 98 for receiving the latches 100 of a conventional push connector 102 secured to the end of each hose 55 and 59. The cordwinder has sufficient weight so that when placed on a supporting surface, such as a floor, it offers enough frictional resistance to movement over the surface to prevent the spring motor 37 from retracting the hose 55. This does away with the necessity of providing latches or the like for preventing rotation of unit 24 and consequently as soon as the operator picks the cordwinder o the floor and Walks to-ward the cart 20, the spring motor will immediately start to turn the unit 24 to rewind the hose therearound.
Each hose is provided with current carrying conductors which preferably are built into the body of the hose and are connected to pigtails at each end. As above stated, one end of the hose 59 is connected to the hollow passage through the cordwinder, while the other end may be connected to a suitable cleaning tool. As shown in FIG. 1, this consists of a known nozzle 104 having a rotary brush 105 therein driven by an electric motor 107. In order to supply current to the motor 107 the hose 59 is provided with electric conductors (not shown) therein which are connected at each end to pigtails 106 and 108 (FIG. l). Pigtail 106 is provided with a plug which may be received in the receptacle 86, While pigtail 108 is provided with a receptacle 110 adapted to receive a plug on the end of a cord 112 which leads to the motor 10-7 in the nozzle 104.
Likewise, hose 55- is provided with current carrying conductors having pigtails 114 and 116. Pigtail 114 is provided with a plug which may be received in the receptacle v88 (FIG. 6), while pigtail 116 enters cylinder 24 and is connected to supply current to the vacuum cleaner motor 34.
When not in use the parts may be stored on the cart 20 in the manner indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 1. Thus, the hose 59 may be disconnected from the cordwinder 58 and from the wands 118 and 120 of the nozzle 104 and the hose and Wands supported in the bracket 29. As previously explained, when desired the hose 55 is disconnected from the cordwinder and wound around the cylinder 24. The cordwinder itself may be placed in any convenient location on the cart 20, such as on the platform 21 underneath the sack 28. Brackets 124 (-FIG. 1) may be provided on the side of the storage chamber 23 for holding the nozzle 104. In this condition the cart with all of the parts carried thereby may be moved along a hotel corridor or the wa'lk in front of motel units and stopped outside the door of a guest room. The operator merely removes the cordwinder from the cart, attaches the end of hose 55 thereto and carries the cordwinder into the room, the hose 55 automatically unreeling from the cylinder 24. When the cordwinder is placed on the oor, it will hold the hose against the tendency of the spring motor 37 to rewind it, as previously described. The hose 59 may be assembled to the wands 118 and 120 and the nozzle 104 connected to the latter. The opposite end of the hose 59 may then be connected to the cordwinder 70 and the plugs on the pigtails 106 and 114 connected to the receptacles 86 and 88, respectively. The cord 76 may then be withdrawn from the cordwinder housing 70 a'nd the plug- 80 inserted in any convenient receptacle in the room which is to be cleaned.
This serves to supply current to both the cleaner motor 34 in the vacuum cleaner unit and to the nozzle motor 107 in the nozzle 104 if the switch 90 is closed. The operator may then proceed to clean the room in the usual manner by moving the nozzle back and forth over the floor. The cordwinder, although of suicient weight so that it will remain stationary against the tendency of the spring motor 37 to rewind the hose 55, may be moved along the floor by the operator pulling on the hose 59.
When one room has been cleaned and the operator desires to go to the next, it is of course not necessary to disassembled all of the parts and place them back on the cart. On the contrary it is only necessary to remove the plug 80 from the room receptacle and pick up the cordwinder 60 together with the nozzle and attached Wands and carry them to the next room or motel unit, while moving the cart a short distance so that it is near the door of the next room. Used towels and bedding may be deposited in the sack 28 while fresh items of this nature are available in the storage compartment 23 and hence a room may be completely cleaned and made up in one trip.
While I have shown and described one preferred embodiment of my invention, it is to be understood that this has been done for purposes of illustration only and that the scope of my invention is not to be limited thereby, but is to be determined from the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. In combination, a movable support, a vacuum cleaner tank unit mounted on the support, the tank unit being rotatable relative to the support about an axis of its own, a suction hose having one end coupled to said tank unit and adapted to be wound about the exterior thereof, the tank unit beingrotated in one direction as a pulling force is applied to the hose thereby unwinding the hose from the tank unit, spring means energized by rotation of the tank unit in said one direction tending to rotate the tank unit in an opposite direction for Winding hose about the tank unit, and a portable coupling member removably connected to the opposite end of said hose and having suilicient weight and frictional resistance to movement over a supporting surface to prevent the energized spring means from rotating said tank unit in said opposite direction, an electric motor in said tank unit, a cordwinder supported by said coupling member, and electric conductors carried by said hose for supplying current from said cordwinder to said tan-k unit motor.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a second hose having one end detachably connected to said coupling member, and a cleaning tool connected to the other end of said second hose, said coupling member serving t0 establish communication between said hoses.
3. Apparatus as dened in claim 2 including an electric motor in said cleaning tool, a cordwinder supported 'by said coupling member, and electric conductors carried by said second hose for supplying current from said cordwinder to said cleaning tool motor.
4. Apparatus as dened in claim 2 including a cordwinder supported by said coupling member, a first electric motor in said tank unit, a second electric motor in said cleaning tool, and electric conductors carried by the respective hoses for supplying current from said cordwinder to each of said rst and second motors.
5. In combination, a movable vacuum cleaner unit, an electric motor in said unit, a suction hose having an end coupled to said unit, a coupling member removably connected to the opposite end of said hose, a cordwinder supported by said coupling member, and electric conductors carried by said hose for supplying current from said cordwinder to said motor.
6. Apparatus as deiined in claim 5 including a second hose having one end detachably connected to said coupling member, and a cleaning tool connected to the other end of said hose, said coupling member serving to establish communication between said hoses. f
7. Apparatus as cla'imed in claim 6 including a second electric motor in said cleaning tool, and electric conductors carried by said second hose for supplying current from said cordwinder to said second motor.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,718,655 9/1955 Cymara 15-315 XR 2,856,627 10/1958 Pierce 15--315 3,017,654 1/196-2 Allenby et al. 15-327 3,020,567 2/1962 Colt 242-107 XR ROBERT W. MITCHELL, Primary Examiner.