US 3412897 A
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Nov. 26, 1968 c. R. SLATER 3,412,897
STORING AND DISPENSING DEVICE Filed Sept. 6, 1966 31 INVENTOR.
CHARLES RAYMOND SLATER BY 26 28 4,242 241 My FIG. 2
United States Patent 3,412,897 STORING AND DISPENSING DEVICE Charles Raymond Slater, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as-
signor, by direct and mesne assignments, to Random Consumer Products Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Filed Sept. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 577,318 Claims priority, application Canada, Dec. 3, 1965, 946,859 2 Claims. (Cl. 221-226) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for retrieving, storing and dispensing articles, in which by manipulating the device an article may be centered before a restricted opening and passed therethrough for storage and withdrawal. The device consists of an elongated housing having at one end expandable and outwardly flared fingers defining the opening.
The present invention relates to a device for storing, dispensing and retrieving articles and more particularly to a device carrying a plurality of articles for individual manual withdrawal.
Containers allowing for manual withdrawal of individual articles are well known. Such devices are used, for example, in dispensing spherical articles such as golf balls. Such devices employ a cartridge tube having one closed end spring loaded to urge a row of balls against a yieldable stop at the open outlet end. The problem with such devices is that they are difficult to manipulate because the ball to be withdrawn protudes only partially from the tube and cannot be grasped properly.
The present invention overcomes this difliculty by providing a retriever, container and dispenser for articles which allows manual access to an individual article within the container in order that the article may be manually withdrawn with facility.
An example embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which;
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the device loaded with golf balls and showing the cap removed from its open end;
FIGURE 2 is a view in elevation, partly in section, showing the device of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the device showing the open end with a ball partially removed.
The device shown in the drawings consists of a tubular housing having an open end 11. A mounting block 12 within housing 10 is spaced remotely from open end 11 and is fixed to the housing by a plurality of nails 13. Block 12 contains a vent passage 14. A compression coil spring 15 is positioned between block 12 and opening 11, one end 16 of the spring bearing against block 12 and the other end 17 of the spring being fixed by a screw 18 to a second block 19 having a flat surface 20 facing opening 11.
Housing 10 terminates at opening 11 in a plurality of fingers 21 which are each curved inwardly to form a shoulder 22 restricting the diameter of opening 11. Each finger 21 flares outwardly along portions 23b toward its tip 23, providing an elbow 23a. The outwardly flaring portions are shaped to guide articles pressing toward said opening and on said flared portions, past the restricted portion of the opening.
Block 12 is anchored to housing 10 at a point spaced from end 24 of the housing remote from opening 11. A cup 25 having an external diameter slightly less than the internal diameter of housing 10 is located within the housing in the pocket formed at end 24 by block 12, rim 26 of cup 25 being flush with rim 27 of end 24 of the housing. A
cap 28 fits over rim 27, engaging housing 10 by an outer annular flange 29 and engaging rim 26 of cup 25 by an inner annular flange 30. A bead 31 on inner annular flange 30 engages an annular trough 32 on the outer surface of cup 25 adjacent its rim 26. By this construction cap 28 is removable and draws cup 25 from end 24 of housing 10 after which cup 25 is disengageable from cap 28.
A cover or cap 33 fits over opening 11 of housing 10 to cover fingers 21, wall 34 of cap 33 being adapted to press fit over the housing and abut an upstanding ring 35 on its outer surface. Wall 34 is thickened adjacent closed end 35 of cap 33 to provide a shoulder 36 adapted to clear tips 23 of fingers 21 but abut shoulders 22 of the fingers when the cap is press fitted onto housing 10 against ring 35. An annular trough 37 in closed end 35 extends into shoulder 36 and is of a width and depth to receive tees 38 with a press fit.
In the example embodiment fingers 21 are four in number and are spaced one from another to provide two pairs of opposed slots 39 and 40. Slots 39 are both wider and more elongated than slots 40. Slots 39 are sufiiciently wide to enable insertion of a persons thumb. Thelength of slot 40 is sufficient to provide flexibility for fingers 21 when outward lateral pressure is exerted against the fingers. Viewing housing 10 axially through opening 11 it will be noted that the longitudinal lines of fingers 21 do not form a square but form a rectangle because of the greater width of slots 39 over slots 40.
The operation of the device is illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. When a row of balls 41 is placed within housing 10 the pressure of block 19 urged by compression spring 15 forces the uppermost ball 41a ragainst shoulders 22 of fingers 21. However, this pressure is not sutficient to flex fingers 21 laterally and the balls are restrained in the housing by the fingers. When it is desired to remove ball 41a the ball is gripped by inserting a thumb and finger through opposing slots 39 allowing a firm grip to be established. Ball 41a is then pulled axially with respect to housing 10 against shoulders 22 of fingers 21 and this pressure forces the fingers to flex outwardly as shown in FIGURE 3 and by arrows 42 in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, allowing ball 41a to pass. When the thickest portion of ball 41a has passed elbows 23a, fingers 21 return to their original positions of rest and restrain the next succeeding ball 41 from passing through opening 11.
When cap 33 is pressed onto housing 10 over opening 11 to meet ring 35, shoulder 36 of the cap will press against shoulders 22 of fingers 21 and aid in keeping the fingers closed about opening 11 against the pressure of ball 41a urged against the fingers by spring 15.
When it is desired to retrieve a ball tor storage the device is held remote from opening 11 and the end with the opening 11 is directed and moved relatively toward the ball so that the outwardly flaring portions of the plurality of fingers contact the ball surface; which, due to such relative movement and the reaction of the surface on which the ball rests, causes the ball to expand the fingers as shown in FIGURE 3 (though with ball movement in the opposite direction to that shown) so that the ball moves into the housing 10 making a place for itself by moving any earlier present articles and surface 20 against spring 15so that the retrieved ball is now stored for removal when desired. The fingers will be flared at an angle and of a length to achieve this result whether for golf balls or for whatever other article the device is used.
1. A device for retrieving, storing and dispensing spherical iarticles comprising a tubular housing adapted to contain a single row of said articles, said housing terminating at one end in an opening circumscribed 'by a plurality of laterally flexible fingers curved inwardly to provide shoulders restricting said opening to less than the diameter of said articles, spring means mounted in the housing and spaced from the opening, the spring means being adapted to urge the articles axially of the housing against the fingers and comprising a compression spring hearing at each end against a block, one of said blocks being anchored to the wall of the housing at a point spaced fnom the end of the housing remote from the opening to provide two chambers therein, the other of said blocks being slidable within the housing between said one block and the opening, said fingers being spaced to define at least one pair of substantially opposed slots therebetween, said slots having a length greater than the radius of the articles and a width enabling manual grippin-g of that article bearing against the fingers, the fingers being flared outwardly from said shoulders towards their free ends with the flared portions being designed and constructed to centre one of said articles before said opening and to cause said fingers to enlarge and pass such article into said opening when said one article bears thereagainst.
2. A device for retrieving, storing and dispensing spherical articles comprising :a tubular housing adapted to contain a single row of said articles, said housing terminating at one end in an opening circumscribed by a plurality of laterally flexible fingers curved inwardly to provide shoulders restricting said opening to less than the diameter of said articles, spring means mounted in the housing and spaced from the opening, the spring means being adapted to urge the articles axially of the housing against the fingers, said fingers being spaced to define at least one pair of substantially opposed slots therebetween, said slots having a length greater than the radius of the articles and a width enabling manual gripping of that article bean'ng against the fingers, the fingers being flared outwardly from said shoulders towards their free ends with the flared portions being designed and constructed to centre one of said articles before said opening and to cause said fingers to enlarge and pass such article into said opening when said one article bears thereagainst, and a cap adapted to press fit on said housing over said opening and said fingers, the cap having a shoulder internally thereof adapted, on press-fitting on the housing, to abut against the fingers whereby restraint of said articles is reinforced.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,810,491 6/1931 McClure 22l309 X 2,294,001 8/1942 Ritter 221-310 X 2,747,768 5/1956 Raines 2213l0 X 2,768,775 10/1956 Houser 22l309 3,206,067 9/1965 Smith et al 221-310 X STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner.