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Publication numberUS3404411 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 8, 1968
Filing dateOct 31, 1966
Priority dateOct 31, 1966
Publication numberUS 3404411 A, US 3404411A, US-A-3404411, US3404411 A, US3404411A
InventorsKenneth Newkirk
Original AssigneeKenneth Newkirk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Actuating means for toilet seats and lids
US 3404411 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 8, 1968 -K.NEWKIRK 3,404,411

ACTUATING MEANS FOR TOILET SEATS AND LIDS Filed Oct. 31, 1966 v e Sheets-Sheet 1' my! 70! AiA/A/im Nan nee la- 2 M W 06h 1968 K. NEWKIRK I'aC'I'UATING MEANS FOR TOILET SEATS AND LIDS 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 31, 1966 awn me KIA/wiry Nam me Oct. 8, 1968 K. NEWKIRK 3,404,4 1

ACTUATING MEANS FOR TOILET SEATS AND LIDS Filedoct. 51, 1966 Kim/aw Nun! 6 She ts-Sh 3 v ACTUATING MEANS FOR TOILET SE-A'IS AND 1110s Filed Oct. 31, 1966 K. N EWKIRK Oct. 8, 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 HHHHHMHMQ Awawroi flaw! A inmar Oct. 8, 1968 K. NEWKIRK ACTUATING MEANS FOR TOILET SEATS AND LIDS 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 31, 1966 us-U K irraavtr' K. NEWKIRK 3,404,411-

ACTUATTNG MEANS FOR TOILET .SEATS AND LIDS Oct. 8, 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Oct. 31, 1966 lllllllll III I II I I I H I III Irv-02ml) United States Patent 3,404,411 ACTUATING MEANS FOR TOILET SEATS AND LIDS Kenneth Ncwkirk, 866 Green St, San Francisco, Calif. 94133 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 343,659,

Feb. 10, 1964, now Patent No. 3,316,561, dated May 2, 1967. This application Oct. 31, 1966, Ser.

Claims. (Cl. 4,-251) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for returning a toilet seat and lid to a closed position including hydraulic timing means actuated upon opening of the seat or lid to a vertical position. Holding means is provided for holding the seat or lid in an open position for a predetermined interval of time after which a separate closing means swings the seat or lid toward closed position and at the same time slows movement to such closed position.

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 343,659 filed Feb. 10, 1964 since matured into Patent No. 3,316,561, dated May 2, 1967.

This invention relates to toilet seats and toilet seat lids and more particularly to a mechanism for automatically returning the seat and lid to a horizontal closed position so that the fixture has a neat appearance at all times when not in use.

The above cited patent application discloses a mechanism for both opening and closing the seat and lid. The present invention is directed to a mechanism for auto matically closing the seat and lid after the same have been opened manually.

The main object of the invention is the provision of a relatively inexpensive foolproof mechanism by which the toilet seat and lid are automatically lowered to a closed position when not in use.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and from the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of a toilet bowl showing the manner in which the invention is installed thereon.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation of the structure of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the mechanism constituting the invention shown in its inoperative position.

FIG. 4 is a rear elevation of the mechanism of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken in a plane indicated by line 55 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevation showing the seat and lid in raised position.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation showing the lid only in raised position with the seat in down position.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevation showing the seat and lid in a slightly raised position when both seat and lid are being raised together.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the mechanism in the same inoperative position as in FIG. 4.

FIGS. 1012 are views similar to FIG. 9 but showing the mechanism in successive positions during the raising and lowering cycle.

FIG. 13 is a vertical cross section of the hydraulic unit.

FIG. 14 is a cross section taken in a plane indicated by lines 1414 of FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary cross section taken in a plane indicated by lines 15-15 of FIG. 3.

3,404,41 l Patented Oct. 8, 1968 In detail, and first with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the invention is adapted to be employed with a conventional toilet bowl generally designated 1 which is pro vided with the usual toilet seat generally designated 2 and lid 3. The mechanism of the present invention takes the form of a relatively small unit which may be placed rearwardly of the seat and lid and supported on the upwardly facing surface of the bowl and secured thereto by passing bolts through the existing holes in the bowl body which normally support the shaft on which the seat and lid are swingable.

As best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 the unit may be mounted on a base plate 4 to which are secured a pair of upwardly extending bearings 6, 7 on which a shaft 8 is rotatably supported. The lid 3 is provided with a pair of brackets 10, 11 which are fixedly secured by bolts 12, 13 to the main shaft 8.

For a reason which will be pointed out later the seat 2 is not integrally connected to shaft: 8 but is provided with a flat bracket 15 which is formed along its opposite side edges with a pair of opposed upwardly directed lugs 16, 17 which are connected at their upper ends by a horizontally extending rod 18. Lugs 16, 17 are provided with relaiiveiy large elongated apertures 20 for receiving therethrough the main shaft 8. At spaced points along the length of rod 18 and shaft 8 there are provided a pair of circular springs 21, 22 which, as best seen in F IG. l5, yieldabl-y connect rod 18 to shaft 8.

At this point it may be noted that upon upward swinging of lid 3 the shaft 8 to which it is connected will rotate in bearings 6, 7. However upon upward swinging of both the seat and the lid means is provided for interconnecting the two automatically. As best seen in FIGS. 5-8 lid brackets 10, 11 are provided with upwardly projecting extensions 23 which, when the lid only is raised as seen in FIG. 7, clears the rod 18. However when both the seat and lid are raised as shown in FIG. 8 the rear end of bracket 15 moves downwardly relative to the shaft 8 carrying with it the rod 18 so that the extensions 23 butt against the rod 18 thus interconnecting the seat and lid which remain interconnected until lowered to the down position. Secured to the underside of seat 2 adjacent its rear end are a pair of yieldable bumpers 25 on which the seat pivots so as to raise the bracket 15 to its up position as seen in FIG. 7, thus permitting the lid to be raised alone if this is desired.

Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 4 there is provided at one end of shaft 8 a bevel gear 26 which is in mesh With a pinion 27 rotatably supported on a bearing pin 28 which is in turn mounted on the vertically extending leg 29 of a bearing bracket 30. Fixedly secured to pinion 27 for rotation therewith is a driving arm 31 which extends radially outwardly from pinion 27 and. which is provided at its outer end with a driving pin 32. Driving pin 32 extends through slots in a release lever 33 and an actuating cam 34 and pivotally supports at its end a cocking lever 35. This cocking lever 35 is adapted to cooperate with a timing cam 36 to which is secured a cocking pin 37. As best seen in FIGS. 9-12, upon counterclockwise rotation of pinion 27 and driving arm 31 cocking lever 35 is moved to the left as seen in FIG. 9 so that the hooked end 38 of the cocking lever engages cocking pin 37 on timing cam 36 urging the latter to the left.

Timing cam 36 is connected by means of a pivot pin 39 with the outer end of a piston rod 40 of a hydraulic unit generally designated 41. The hydraulic unit 41 will be described in greater detail later on but at this point it will be noted that upon counterclockwise movement of pinion 27 in response to raising of the seat 2 or lid 3, or both, the cocking lever 35 engages cocking pin 37 urging timing cam 36 to the left and pulling connecting rod 40 out of hydraulic unit 41. The action of the mechanism is best seen in FIGS. 9-12 wherein the structure is in an inoperative position in FIG. 9, is initiating its forward stroke in FIG. 10, has completed its forward stroke in FIG. 11 and has gone through a portion of its return stroke in FIG. 12.

Secured to the actuating cam 34 is a pin 45 which is received within a slot 46 formed in the timing cam 36. Since driving pin 32 is received through a slot 47 in actuating cam 34 counterclockwise movement of the driving arm 31 causes the actuating cam 34 to swing also in a counterclockwise direction about its pivot 48 which is mounted on a vertically extending bearing plate 49. As seen in FIG. 10, upon counterclockwise movement of actuating cam 34 pin 45 engages the slanting edge 50 of slot 46 thus urging the timing cam 36 upwardly so that pin 45 enters the straight portion of slot 46 and avoids engagement with the shoulder 51 formed at the upper portion of slot 46.

Pivot pin 39 on timing cam 36 is sufficiently long to be received within a horizontally extending slot 53 formed at one end of a horizontally elongated plate 54 which is bifurcated at its opposite end to provide upper and lower legs 55, 56 which slide on the upper and lower sides respectively of the hub of pinion 27. The free ends of pivot pin 39 also extend through horizontally extending slots 58, 59 formed in a pair of horizontally elongated bracket plates 60, 61 which in turn are secured at their corresponding ends to hydraulic unit 41 by screws 62. This structure insures that the pivot pin 39, and therefore the piston rod 40, are constrained to move along a horizontal path at all times.

As cocking lever 35 urges timing cam 36 to the left as seen in FIGS. 912 pivot pin 39 engages the inner end of slot 53 in plate 54 (FIG. 11) and moves plate 54 to the left against the urgency of a tension spring 64 extending between a lug 65 formed along the upper edge of plate 54 and the upper portion of hydraulic unit 41. Cooking lever 35 is urged into engagement with cocking pin 37 at all times by a light tension spring 43 extending between said cocking lever and timing cam 36.

When cocking lever 35 approaches its extreme position (FIG. 11) at which the lid 3 is raised to a vertical position, said cocking lever is swung to a released position relative to cocking pin 37 by the coaction between a cam surface 57 on lever 35 and pin 45 on actuating cam 34. However, before such release is elfected, means is provided for holding the lid 3 (and seat 2 if both are raised) in a vertically extending position. Such holding means will now be described.

As best seen in FIG. 3 bolt 12 which secures lid bracket 10 to shaft 8 also secures, by means of nut 68, an elongated pin 69 which may be formed from heavy wire to provide an eye at one end to receive bolt 12 therethrough. When shaft 8 is rotated through 90 degrees as the lid 3 is raised to a vertical position pin 69 is swung from the vertical position of FIGS. 3, to the horizontal position of FIG. 11. As the lid 3 is raised to its vertical position pin 69 is engaged by a hook 71 which is swingably connected at pivot 72 to a plate 73. This plate 73 is formed along one edge 74 so as to be engaged by pivot pin 39 as the latter is moved to the left (FIGS. 912) and is swingably mounted on the pivot pin 72 which in turn is secured to an upstanding lug 77 on base 4. Hook 71 is urged in a counterclockwise direction at all times by tension spring 79 extending between said hook and plate 73. However such counterclockwise movement is limited by a stop pin 80 fixed to plate 73. As plate 73 is swung toward pin 69 by the movement of pivot pin 39 to the left said pin 69 engages the upper camming surface of hook 71 and swings the hook clockwise against the urgency of spring 79 so that said hook snaps over pin 69 to the holding position of FIG. 11. By the time cocking lever 35 has been disengaged from pin 37 on timing cam 36, hook 71 is in engagement with pin 69 (FIG. 11) thus holding the lid in its raised vertical position.

Referring now to FIG. I3 it will be noted at this point that connecting rod is connected to a piston 82 received within a cylinder 83 formed in hydraulic unit 41. As will be pointed out in greater detail later on movement of piston 82 to the right (FIG. 13) under the urgency of spring 64 is dampened by the hydraulic fluid within hydraulic unit 41. However it will be apparent that when the lid 3 is in raised position and hook 71 is holding the positioning pin 69, the sliding plate 54 and the piston rod 40 controlled thereby are both held in a locked position by virtue of the position of driving pin 32 relative to the bearing pin 28 (FIG. 11). It is therefore necessary to provide means for reversing the movement of the mechanism so that the piston 82 may move at a controlled rate to the right in FIG. 13 to provide a gradual closing of the lid (and seat if both are connected). Such means is provided by release lever 33 which is interposed between the driving arm 31 and the actuating cam 34. This release lever 33 is provided with a longitudinally extending slot 86 through which driving pin 32 extends. Release lever 33 rides on top of the vertically disposed leg 29 which serves as a support for pinion bearing pin 28. Secured to one end of the release lever 33 is one end of a tension spring 87 which is fastened at its other end to a support 88 fixed relative to the base 4. By reference to FIGS. 9-11 it will be seen that as the mechanism is moved to its cocked position release lever 33 will be forced downwardly to the position of FIG. 11 under the urgency of driving arm 31 when driving pin 32 engages the end of slot 86 in release lever 33. In the position of FIG. 11 it will therefore be apparent that tension spring 87 exerts a generally upwardly directed force through release lever 33 on driving pin 32. Such upwardly directed force urges driving arm 31 in a clockwise direction and therefore applies a torque to shaft 8 through pinion 27 tending to lower the lid 3. Thus it will be apparent that when piston 82 has moved to the right under the urgency of spring 54 a suflicient distance to release the hook 71 from the pin 69 the torque impressed on shaft 8 by spn'ng 87 will cause the lid 3 to be moved from its vertical position so that it may start downwardly by its own weight. After this movement has been initiated and the driving arm 32 is no longer in a locked position it will be apparent that the resistance offered by the hydraulic fluid in hydraulic unit 41 will regulate the speed at which the lid 3 (and the seat 2 if connected) moves downwardly to its lowered position.

It will be noted when the torque created by the weight of seat 2 or lid 3 is driving the piston to the right as seen in FIG. 12 that the actual driving connection is between pin on actuating cam 34 and shoulder 51 formed along the upper edge of slot 46. Pin 45 engages the shoulder 51 just after sliding plate 54 has traveled a sufficient distance to the right to disconnect hook 71 from pin 69 (FIG. 12). It is for this reason that slot 46 is shaped to provide a straight portion in which pin 45 may move to the right during the cocking movement (FIG. 11); and it is also for this reason that the slanting edge of slot 46 is provided for raising timing cam 36 to the position of FIG. 10.

At this point it will be apparent that means is provided for closing the lid and seat at a predetermined rate f speed after the same have been raised to a vertical position. It is of course necessary to prevent the above described action if a person is seated on seat 2. This is accomplishd by the present invention through the use of a brake which is actuated by the weight of such person and which brake will now be described.

The sliding plate 54 is provided with a downwardly extending leg 90 to which is secured a horizontally extending shoe 91 adapted to slide on the upper surface of base 4. Shoe 91 is provided at its outer end with an upwardly extending flange 92 which, as best seen in FIG. 7, extends upwardly to a point just below the bracket 15 of seat 2. As was noted above, seat 2 is provided adjacent its rear end with a yieldable bumper 25 which when the weight of a person is on seat 2 yields sufliciently to cause the bracket to move downwardly into abutment with the upper edge of flange 92. Thus when the mechanism has moved to its cocked position of FIG. 11 and brake 91 has imparted to it the load on seat 2 then movement of the mechanism to the right is prevented despite the urgency of spring 64. However .when the weight is removed from seat 2 the mechanism may then continue its return movement under the urgency of spring 64. In order to avoid interference between brake flange 92 and seat bracket 15 when the mechanism is in its normal position of FIGS. 3, 4 and 9, bracket 15 may be provided with a rectangular notch 95 (FIG. 3) to pevent interference between the backet 15 and brake flange 92 at the time the seat 2 is raised.

From the above description it will be apparent that there has been provided an effective mechanism which is actuated upon the raising of the lid 3 or raising of the lid 3 and seat 2 and which mechanism provides a time delay after which the lid and seat are closed automatically. In the event a weight is applied to seat 2 then the closing action is arrested until such weight is removed at which time the closing action is automatically set in motion and carried through with the lid closing at a predetermined rate of speed to its horizontal position.

The hydraulic unit illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 not only operates as a timer but also provides means for regulating the rate of closing of the lid and seat. Under the urgency of spring 64 the piston 82 is urged to the right within cylinder 83 and escapes from said cylinder through passageway 97 into an internally threaded bore 98 provided with an orifice 99. A horizontal extension 100 of bore 98 leads to a reservoir 101 which in turn is connected to the left hand end of cylinder 83 by passageway 102. The outer end of threaded bore 98 is provided with an internally and exteriorly threaded fitting 105 in which a threaded needle valve 106 is rotatable so as to adjust the clearance between the inner end of needle valve 106 and the orifice 99 thus regulating the speed at which the seat and lid close.

The opposite ends of cylinder 83 are interconnected by a pair of transverse passageways 108, 109 which connect with the longitudinally extending passageway 110. This passageway 110 is restricted as at 111 to form a seat for a ball check 112 which is held in a position closely adjacent restriction 111 by a longitudinally extending screw 113 threadedly received is a fitting 114 secured to the end of passage-way 110. By rotating screw 113 the position of ball 112 relative to its seat may be regulated.

If it is desired to lower the lid and seat to their horizontal positions without awaiting the action of the hydraulic unit a release mechanism is provided in a form of an elongated element 115 slidably mounted within the left hand end of bore 110 and provided with a hole 116 in which is received the offset end of a horizontally extending shaft 117 mounted within a fitting 118 and actuable by a handle 119 for urging the ball 112 away from its seat thus permitting the hydraulic fluid to be bypassed and removing all resistance to lowering of the seat and lid.

The very specific description given above of the preferred form of the invention should not be taken as re strictive as it will be apparent that various modifications in design may be resorted to by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for controlling the lowering movement of a member that is adapted to be swung about a horizontal axis fom a generally vertical position to a gener- 5 ally horizontal position and vice versa comprising:

holding means for holding said member in said verti cal positions,

time delay means for releasing said holding means after a predetermined interval of time after said member has been swung to said vertical position,

means interconnecting said member with said time delay means whereby the moment created by said member when inclined to the vertical is resisted by said time delay means,

whereby the movement of said member from said vertical position to said horizontal position is slowed to a predetermined rate,

and means for arresting action of said time delay means when a weight is applied to said member.

2. Apparatus for controlling the lowering movement of a member that is adapted to be swung about a horizontal axis from a generally vertical position to a generally horizontal position and vice versa comprising:

holding means for holding said member in said vcrtical position,

time delay means for releasing said holding means after a predetermined interval of time after said member has been swung to said vertical position, means interconnecting said member with said time delay means whereby the moment created -by said member when inclined to the vertical is resisted by :said time delay means,

whereby the movement of said member from said vertical position to said horizontal position is slowed to a predetermined rate,

and a spring urging said member away from said vertical position toward said horizontal position to initiate movement of said member away from said vertical position after release of said holding means.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said time delay means includes a fluid cylinder and a piston therein, and wherein a linkage is provided for transferring the weight of said member to said piston after movement of said member away from said vertical position, whereby said weight is resisted by said piston to control the rate of downward movement of said member.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said time delay means includes a fluid cylinder and a piston therein, and wherein said piston is movable to one of two eX- treme positions by swinging movement of said member to a vertical position, and wherein said piston moves a substantial distance toward said other position from said one position before said time delay means releases said holding means.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said member is interconnected by a linkage with said piston for so resisting said movement.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner. H. l. GROSS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2200687 *Apr 14, 1939May 14, 1940Bercot Fernand LToilet bowl
US2772422 *Jul 27, 1954Dec 4, 1956Knudsen Richard RLifting mechanism for toilet seats
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4338690 *Dec 28, 1979Jul 13, 1982Hsieh Jung HAutomatic mechanism for flush and raising toilet seat
US4491989 *Apr 2, 1984Jan 8, 1985Mcgrail John FClosure device for toilet seats
US4575879 *Oct 5, 1983Mar 18, 1986Chavelo CabralFor a toilet commode
US4853983 *Sep 2, 1987Aug 8, 1989Grant Denis AMechanized toilet seat
US5153946 *Apr 22, 1991Oct 13, 1992Calvin Yoke WApparatus and method for automatically closing a toilet bowl lid and seat
US5267356 *Dec 10, 1992Dec 7, 1993Gideon William WCommode seat lowering apparatus
US5307524 *Apr 29, 1993May 3, 1994Veal Bennie NAutomatic toilet seat device
US5388281 *Sep 27, 1993Feb 14, 1995Wiklund; KenAutomatic closure mechanism for a toilet seat
US5603127 *Oct 30, 1995Feb 18, 1997Veal; Bennie N.Auto flush for tank toilet
US5819327 *Jan 30, 1997Oct 13, 1998Miller; Rex L.Automatic toilet seat lowering apparatus
US5884342 *Jul 18, 1997Mar 23, 1999Maake; Roger W.Toilet seat and lid hinge
US5974595 *Oct 20, 1998Nov 2, 1999Mccabe; Robert J.Toilet
US6182301Aug 16, 1999Feb 6, 2001Creative Innovation, Inc.Apparatus and method for automatically pivoting a first member relative to a second member
US6321393Mar 5, 2001Nov 27, 2001Darryl A. JonesAutomated toilet seat lowering device
US7636956Jan 26, 2006Dec 29, 2009Sheryl DoucetHands free toilet seat system
US7788741Feb 17, 2006Sep 7, 2010Lohss Kurt LAutomatic toilet lid and seat
US8613115Nov 5, 2010Dec 24, 2013Airbus Operations GmbhMonitoring device for a vacuum toilet
DE102009052046A1 *Nov 5, 2009May 12, 2011Airbus Operations GmbhÜberwachungsvorrichtung für eine Vakuumtoilette
EP0191880A1 *Feb 20, 1985Aug 27, 1986Wei Chih ChuangLifting device for stool cover
WO1991012760A1 *Feb 27, 1991Sep 5, 1991W Calvin YokeApparatus and method for automatically closing a toilet bowl lid and seat
WO1994024918A1 *Apr 29, 1994Nov 10, 1994Veal Ind IncAutomatic toilet seat device
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/246.1
International ClassificationA47K13/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47K13/10
European ClassificationA47K13/10