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Publication numberUS3415385 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1968
Filing dateJun 27, 1966
Priority dateJun 27, 1966
Publication numberUS 3415385 A, US 3415385A, US-A-3415385, US3415385 A, US3415385A
InventorsFox John B, Rossello Anthony M
Original AssigneeRosse Fox Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic garment handling machine
US 3415385 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 10, 1968 A. M. F QQSSELLQ ETAL 3,415,385

AUTOMATIC GARMENT HANDLING MACHINE Filed June 27, 1966 7 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS.

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United States Patent 3;415,385 AUTOMATIC GARMENT HANDLING MACHINE Anthony M. Rossello, Chagrin Falls, and John B. Fox, Shaker Heights, Ohio, assignors to Rosse-Fox Company, Cleveland, Ohio, a partnership Filed June 27, 1966, Ser. No. 560,429 14 Claims. (Cl. 2111.5)

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A garment handling apparatus including a plurality longitudinal reciprocable support arms having retainer means on their outer ends for releasably carrying a garment, a power-driven member mounted for movement in the same general direction as the support arms, and a carriage mounted for movement substantially transversely of the support arms, such carriage having selector means thereon for securing the engaging means of certain preselected support arms to the power-driven member for movement therewith between retracted and extended positions.

Disclosure The present invention relates generally, as indicated, to an automatic garment handling machine and, more particularly, to delivery apparatus for presenting automatically from a collection of hanging garments certain preselected ones.

Unlike a retailer's shop where garments (which are herein taken in the broadest sense to include suits, coats, dresses, slips, trousers, etc.), are stored first according to size and then according to color, style, and the like, a wholesalers shop stores garments first as to style or design and then as to secondary attributes or characteristics of the garments, such as color and size. Accordingly, when a retailer places an order, the wholesaler locates initially the style or design ordered and then picks manually from that collection the quantity, sizes, and colors of the design ordered. At present this is quite a tedious and time-consuming operation. A principal object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide apparatus to replace this manual operation.

Another object is to provide automatic apparatus adapted to move preselected garments laterally of a group of similar garments for easy collection.

A further object is to provide automatic apparatus adapted, preferably in response to electrical signals as from a tape, a punched card system, or the like, to eject preselected garments from a group of the same style but differing in size and/or color onto conveying means for easy collection of the desired garments.

Other objects will become apparent as the description proceeds.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention then consists of the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawing setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but several of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.

In said annexed drawing:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partially broken away, of a preferred form of garment handling machine embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 and its continuation FIG. 2a are vertical sections of the machine of FIG. 1 taken on the plane of the line 2-2, FIG. 2 also showing in phantom one support arm in its extended position;

FIG. 3 is an isometric fragmentary view of the outer terminus of several of the support arms of the machine with one arm extended to illustrate the hanger release mechanism;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the hanger release mechanism of FIG. 3 with one of the side plates removed;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section similar to FIG. 2a;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view of the contacts for controlling the actuation of the carriage solenoid for the machine;

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram showing the manner in which the garments are stored in the machine according to style, color, size and quantity;

FIG. 8 is a typical wiring diagram for the machine of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a wiring diagram showing schematically the manner in which a computer may be incorporated to select the desired garments from the machine;

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view, partially broken away, of the machine of FIG. 1, but including in addition apparatus for automatic stocking of the machine support arms with garments;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section showing the details of the automatic stocking apparatus of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary side elevation view similar to FIG. 4, but showing another embodiment of hanger release mechanism.

In general, the present apparatus includes, in one form, a plurality of support arms mounted, in retracted position, in a side-by-side relation for reciprocal movement in a longitudinal direction, that is, in the direction of their length with retainer means on the outer end of each support arm for releasably carrying a garment. A powerdriven member located adjacent the support arms is also mounted for movement in the same general longitudinal direction, and means are provided for selectively securing the arms to the power-driven member, whereby the selected arms and power-driven member may move outwardly together to project the support arms from the sideby-side relation to a delivery position. Above these support arms there is mounted a. carriage for movement substantially transversely to the described longitudinal direction, such carriage having selector means thereon for securing the engaging means of certain preselected support arms to the described power-driven member, where by in operation only those preselected support arms are moved as described to a delivery position.

Structure Referring now in detail to the drawing and first of all to FIGS. 1-5, the preferred form of apparatus illustrated therein is indicated at 1 and includes a plurality of units or modules, one of which is represented by the numeral 10. A large number of the units 10 may be placed sideby'side for an appreciable distance, for example for the length of one entire installation. Each unit or several consecutive units may accommodate a certain style of garment, differing only in size, color and quantity for that particular style or design. Since the unit 10 is repeated merely to provide a length of installation desired, only one such unit is illustrated and described in detail.

Unit 10 is enclosed within a housing having a top plate 11 and sides 12 and 13 which is supported in any desired position as by means of a pair of spaced-apart support bars 14 and 15 running the full width of the apparatus. Between the sides 12 and 13 there are a plurality of horizontally spaced support arms 16 which are normally held in a retracted side-by-side relationship such as shown in solid lines in FIG. 2, but are mounted on end blocks 17 and 18 connected by vertically spaced rods 19 and for reciprocating movement bet-ween such solid line position and an extended position shown in phantom lines. Fixed blocks 21 and 22 rabbeted to the top plate 11 and a bottom plate 23 guide the movement of the rods 19 and 20. Between the rods 19 and there may be provided an additional rod 24 having one end attached to the block 21 and the other end freely slidable through the end block 17 to help prevent bowing of the rods 19 and 20 during their outward travel.

Preferably, the rod 20 is hollow for receipt of a flexible wire 34 which extends from a plug 35 adjacent the inner end of the rod 20 to a point forwardly of the block 18 where the wire is attached to a lever 36 at 38 (see FIG. 2). The plug 35 is disposed in a longitudinal slot 32 in the rod 20 and is yieldably urged against the forward end 33 of the slot 32 by a compression spring 37 seated within the block 17.

The lever 36 is pivotally supported between a pair of substantially parallel spring plates 39 which project from each terminal block 18. Mounted on the opposing faces of the spring plates 39 are a pair of hanger retainers 40 preferably in the form of semicircular blocks having upper surfaces 41 converging toward each other. The retainer blocks 40 are normally maintained in engagement with each other through the spring action of the spring plates 39 by a force sulficient to support the weight of a hanger H and garment G. As clearly shown in FIG. 2, the lever 36 is normally in light contact with the hanger H or spaced just above the hanger, but is adapted to be swung about its pivot to spread the retainer blocks 40 apart for effecting release of the hanger H when the support arms 16 are extended, as will be presently described.

A suitable power-driven means 45 is stationed below the unit 10 for engaging and moving selected support arms 16 from the retracted position to the outward delivery position shown in phantom lines in FIG. 2. In the illustrated embodiment, the power-driven means 45 includes a reversible electric motor 46 supported on the underside of the fixed bottom plate 23, a threaded shank member 47 coupled to the drive shaft 48 of the motor, and a nut member 49 including a threaded collar 50 in threaded engagement with the shank member 47 and having an overlying straddling platform 51 with top 52 and sides 53 bolted to the collar 50. The top 52 extends substantially the full width-of the unit 10 and has a plurality of laterally spaced openings 55 therein, one for each support arm 16, into which preselected support arm pins 56 are adapted to be pushed in a manner to be explained hereafter for locking together the nut member 49 and associated support arms 16.

The support arm pins 56 are retained in the openings 55 of the platform 51 for locking the support arms 16 and nut member 49 together as aforesaid, or held clear of such platform 51 by a spring-loaded detent 57 in each end block 17 which is adapted to be received in one or the other of a pair of axially spaced circumferential grooves 58 and 59 in such pins.

For removing the pins 56 from the openings 55 in the platform 51 to release the support arms 16 subsequent to their having been extended and retracted, there is provided a solenoid 60 mounted on the underside of the top plate 52 having a plunger 61 to which is pivotally connected a link 62. The link 62 is in turn pivotally connected to a bell crank lever 63 pivotally supported by flanges 64 depending from the top plate 52. The free end of the lever 63 lies beneath a plunger 65 which is slidably received in a vertical passage 66 in axial alignment with one of the openings 55 in the top plate 52. While only one such plunger 65 and actuating means therefor is shown, it should be understood that there is a similar plunger and plunger actuating means for each of the support arms 16. As seen in FIG. 5, upon actuation of the solenoid 60 by suitable limit switches or the like, the plunger 65 will be urged upwardly into engagement with the lower end of the associated pin 56 to force the same out of the opening 55 to its upward position whereat it is held by the spring detent 57, thereby disconnecting the associated support arm 16 from the power-driven means 45. Upon de-energization of the solenoid 60, the plunger 61 and associated levers are returned to their normal positions by a spring 67 wound about a pin 68 secured to the side 53 and having its free end connected to the plunger.

The mechanism 69 for pushing selected ones of the pins 56 into the respective openings 55 in the platform 51 to connect the associated support arms 16 to the power means 45 as previously described as contained within a cover 70 bolted to the top plate 11 mounted on a carriage 71 for sliding movement along two cylindrical rails 73 transversely of the support arms 16, such carriage 71 preferably having enlarged sides provided with arcuate slots 74 for embracing the rails 73 over wear sleeves 75. A reversible electric motor 76 secured to the carriage 71 by suitable fasteners has a gear 77 coupled thereto in meshing engagement with a rack 78 fixed to the top plate 11 for effecting movement of the carriage 71 along the guide rails 73. Current is supplied to the motor 76 through a brush 72 contacting a bus bar 80 running the full width of the apparatus 1. The vertical position of the guide rails 73 and thus the carriage 71 may be adjusted through adjustment of threaded shanks 79 which support the guide rails.

In the form of the invention illustrated, the pin depressing mechanism 69' comprises a bell crank lever 81 which is adapted to be pivoted into engagement with the top of the pins 56 upon actuation of a solenoid 82 bolted to the underside of the carriage 71. The bell crank lever 81 is pivotally connected both to a pair of flanges 83 depending from the carriage 71 and the plunger 84 of the solenoid 82, and a spring 86 wound about a pin 87 is attached to the solenoid plunger 84 for automatically returning the plunger 84 and lever 81 to their original positions when the solenoid 82 is de-energized.

A bus bar 88 connected to the solenoid 82 through a brush 89 on the carriage 71 is electrified upon sequential actuation of three series-connected microswitches 90, 91 and 92 also mounted on the carriage 71 for movement therewith, one switch 90 being the style selector switch, the second switch 91 being the color selector switch, and the third switch 92 being the size selector switch. When all three microswitches 90, 91 and 92 are actuated by a series of buttons 93, 94 and 95 respectively located in slots in the cover 70 adjacent the beginning of the style of garments, color within that style, and size within that color which are to be selected, the circuit for the solenoid 82 is completed through the associated microswitch brushes 86, 97 and 98 and bus bars 99, 100 and 101, whereby the pin 56 directly beneath the lever 81 at that time is pushed into its respective opening 55 in the platform 51. When a quantity of the selected garments is desired, the solenoid remains energized until a number of pulses corresponding to the number of garments wanted is sent through a bus bar 104 to a counter stepping switch of conventional type upon engagement of a brush 105 on the carriage 71 with a series of spaced contacts 107, one for each garment in the apparatus 1, after which the solenoid 82 circuit is opened. To facilitate movement of the lever 81 from pin-to-pin 56 to depress the same while in the operative position, the outer end of the lever 81 may be beveled.

While only three microswitch actuating buttons 93, 94- and 95 are shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, it should be understood that there could be a button 93 adjacent the beginning of each style of garment contained in the apparatus, a button 94 adjacent the beginning of each color within each style, and a button 95 adjacent the beginning of each size within each color, with all of such buttons 93, 94 and 95 electrically connected to one of three stepping switches 110, 111 and 112, schematically illustrated in FIG 8. These stepping switches 110, 111 and 112 may be preset by actuating selector buttons 113 on a console 114 or the like to give any preselected order of garments desired. Thus, although a pulse will be sent to the stepping switches 110, 111, and 112 to cause them to step each time the respective microswitches 90, 91 and 92 engage the buttons 93, 94 and 95 during a single traverse of the carriage 71, the solenoid 82 will only be energized when all three selector stepping switches 110, 111 and 112 are series connected through the actuated selector buttons 113. Another stepping switch 115 with associated selector button 116 may be connected to the quantity bus bar 104 for supplying the desired number of selected garments. 1

Moreover, if desired data may be fed into the selector switch circuit as by means of electronic circuits known in the art and computer programming such as is embodied with punch cards and standard computers to indicate the style desired, the color within that style and the size and quantity of a particular order, as illustrated schematically in FIG. 9.

In the example shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, there is one garment style A, two colors red and blue within that style, three sizes 7, 9 and 11 within each color, and eight garments within each size. Now assuming that a retailers order calls for four, size 9, blue, style A garments, all that the operator need do is press the appropriate selector buttons 113, 116 on the console 114 and start the carriage 71. As the carriage 71 passes under the various buttons 93, 94 and 95 and over the contacts 107, pulses are sent to the respective stepping switches 110, 111, 112, and 115, causing them to step in a clockwise direction one position for every pulse received. Of course, the stepping switches 110, 111, 112 and 115 are automatically returned to their initial starting positions after the last positions. However, not until all of the stepping switches are in contact with closed switches 113, 114 will the solenoid 82 be energized and the aligned support arm pins 56 depressed into the openings 55 in the platform 51 for later extension of the associated arms 16 and ejection of the associated garments G when the carriage 71 reaches the end of the unit 10. At that time, the motor 46 is energized either manually or by known automatic means such as a limit switch actuated by the carriage 71 passing a unit to drive the nut 49 and platform 51 to the left as viewed in FIG. 5, carrying with it the selected garments G. Dur ing this outward movement of the arms 16 to the phantom line position of FIG. 2, the plug 35 strikes the end of the slot 115 in the fixed bottom plate 23 to halt further outward movement of the wire 34, causing the lever 36 to pivot and eject the hanger H from the semicircular blocks 40 of the outer terminus of the support arms 16. The shock of the plug 35 striking the end of the slot 115 is resiliently absorbed by the spring 41 in the hollow rod 20.

If desired, suitable means such as a rod 116 may be provided for catching the ejected garments G, after which the operator may collect them from the rod 116. Alternatively, the rod 116 may have a spiralling circumferential groove 117 thereon for moving the garments toward one end of the rod as it is rotated, or the rod may be stationary or provided with a concentric spiralling wire which revolves around the stationary rod for forcing the ejected garments to one end of the rod Where they may be readily collected.

In another form of the invention illustrated in FIG. 11, the ejecting lever 36 is merely pivoted to the support arms 16' spring biased out of contact with the semicircular retainer blocks 40 by means of a compression spring 117, and a cam member 118 is mounted for swinging movement into engagement with the ejecting lever 36 as the arms 16 reach their extended positions for ejecting the hangers H as aforesaid. Moreover, a horizontally movable pick-up arm 119 is shown for collecting the ejected garments.

Now that all of the preselected garments have been ejected from the extended support arms 16, the arms 16 are retracted and the solenoid 60 energized to cause the lever 63 to force the pins 56 out of the openings 55 in the platform 51 for retention in their upper positions by the detent 57. Finally, the carriage 71 is returned to the starting end of the apparatus 1 in preparation for supplying another customers order.

While in the form illustrated, only one color, size and style can be selected in a single pass of the carriage 71 unless the same size and style of a different color is also desired, it should be understood that this could be done with other circuitry.

Stocking of the apparatus 1 with garments may either be accomplished by hand or automatically. For automatic stocking the mechanism 119 shown in the FIGS. 10 and 11 embodiment may be used, which includes a first link 120 received in a downwardly extending slide 121 connected to the outer end block 18, and a second link 122 the outer end of which has a longitudinal slot 123 therein for receipt of a pin 125 on the first link 120, and the inner end of which is pivoted to the arm 16' at 126. A spring 127 extending between a hook 128 on the free end of the first link 120 and the slide support 129 normally maintains the automatic stocking mechanism 119 in the inoperative solid line position shown in FIG. 10.

For actuating the automatic stocking mechanism 119, there is provided a plug 130 disposed in a slot 131 adjacent the inner end of the upper connecting rod 19 with a spring 132 normally maintaining such plug 130 against the forward end of the slot 131, and a wire 133 interconnecting the second link 122 and plug 130, similar to the connection between the ejecting lever 36 and plug 35, previously described. There is also provided a pair of stop members 134 and 135 with suitable actuating means 136 and 137 for selectively halting the movements of one or the other of the plugs 130 and 35, respectively, during outward movement of the arms 16, depending on whether the garments are to be loaded or unloaded. The stop member 135 in its extended position serves the same purpose as the end of the slot 115 in the bottom plate 23 of the FIGS. 1-5 embodiment; i.e., it causes the ejector lever 36 to pivot into engagement with the retainer blocks 40' for releasing the garments G. However, when the stop member 135 is retracted and the stop member 13 4 is extended, the plug 130 rather than the plug 35 is halted during outward movement of the arms 16 to cause pivoting of the automatic stocking mechanism 119 to the solid line position shown in FIG. 10 with the hook 128 engaging the hook portion 140 of the hanger H for automatic loading of garments onto the arms during the return movement of such arms. Thus, as the arms 16' are retracted, the tension on the wires 133 is released to permit the springs 127 to lift the automatic stocking mechanism 119 for each arm during which the hangers H are lifted from the rod 141 and forced between the opposing blocks 40" for retention thereby.

From the above discussion, it can now be seen that the garment handling apparatus of the present invention is of a unique construction which permits selection either fully automatically or simply by actuating a few selector buttons of any style of garment that is in stock, any color within that style, and any size within that color. In addition, novel means are provided for selectively loading the apparatus with garments as well as unloading the same. Moreover, although not shown this apparatus may be modified to keep an up'to-the-minute inventory of all of the garments in stock, and a garment directional system could be used to guide garments to the proper location adjacent the apparatus for loading.

Other modes of applying the principles of the invention may be employed, change being made as regards the de tails described, provided the features stated in any of the following claims or the equivalent of such be employed.

We, therefore, particularly point out and distinctly claim as our invention:

1. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, and means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, comprising a second carriage mounted for transverse movement across said support arms, and selector means supported by said second carriage for selectively connecting said support arms to said first-mentioned carriage.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein each of said support arms has a pin therein which is adapted to be moved to one of two positions either into engagement with said second carriage for connecting said support arms thereto or out of engagement therewith, and said selector means comprises a solenoid-actuated lever means for selectively pushing said pins into engagement with said second carriage, and means are provided on said second carriage for disengaging said pins from said second carriage.

3. The apparatus of claim '1 further including retainer means on each support arm for releasably carrying a garment or the like, a plurality of series-connected switch means supported by said second carriage for movement therewith, each of said switch means corresponding to a characteristic of the garments to be selected, and means for actuating said switch means in response to said second carriage traversing support arms carrying garments having such characteristics, said switch means when all actuated being adapted to operate said selector means.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further including retainer means on each support arm for releasably carrying a garment or the like, a plurality of microswitch means supported by said second carriage for movement therewith, each of said switch means corresponding to a characteristic of the garments to be selected, a corresponding number of series-connected stepping switch means connected to said second carriage traversing a support arm carrying a garment having the same characteristic as said microswitch means, said microswitch means whenever actuated being operative to cause their respective stepping switch means to ad'vancce one position, and means for activating selected ones of the positions of said stepping switch means, said stepping switch means when all in such selected activated positions being operative to actuate said selector means for selectively connecting the adjacent support arms to said first-mentioned carriage.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising another stepping switch means in series with said plurality of stepping switch means, and a plurality of contact means corresponding to the number and location of said support arms engaged by said second carriage during a traverse of said support arms to cause successive stepping of said another stepping switch means from one position to another, and means for activating selected ones of the positions of said another stepping switch means for connecting a corresponding number of support arms to said first-mentioned carriage when all of said stepping switches are in such selected activated positions.

6. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said means for effecting such pivotal movement of said lever comprises a cam means mounted for swinging movement into engagement with said lever during outward movement of said support arms.

7. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said means for effecting such pivotal movement of said lever comprises a wire connected to said lever for movement with said support arms, and means for limiting the extent of movement of said wire during outward movement of said support arms to trip said lever and thereby eject such hanger.

8. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein said garment positioning means comprises a first link having a hook on one end for engaging and supporting a hanger or the like, a slide for guiding said first link toward and away from a hanger to be positioned on said retainer means when said arms are in the extended position, a second link pivoted to said support arms and slidably connected to said first link for moving said first link in opposite directions along said slide in response to pivoting of said second link in opposite directions, and means for effecting such pivotal movement of said second link in response to outward and inward movements, respectively, of said support arms.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said retainer means includes a pair of substantially parallel spring plate members attached to said support arms for releasably supporting a hanger or the like therebetween, and there is a lever pivotally mounted adjacent said spring plate members for swinging movement therebetween to spread said spring plate members apart for ejecting the hanger therefrom therefrom, and means for elfecting such pivotal movement of one or the other of said lever or second link in response to outward and inward movements of said support arms.

10. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, retainer means on each of said support arms for releasably attaching an article thereto, and cam means for releasing the retainer means of said selected support arms as said selected support arms approach the extended position.

11. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, means on each support arm for releasably carrying a garment or the like, said retainer means including a pair of substantially parallel spring plate members attached to said support arms for releasably supporting a hanger or the like therebetween, a lever pivotally mounted adjacent said spring plate members for swinging movement therebetween to spread said spring plate members apart for rejecting the hanger therefrom, and means for effecting such pivotal movement of said lever in response to outward movement of said support arms to eject such hanger.

12. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, means for driving said carriage including a threaded shank member mounted for rotation and extending in a direction substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said support arms, a nut member attached to said carriage and adapted to travel along said threaded shank member, and means for rotating said shank member to effect such movement of said nut member therealong.

13. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, retainer means on each support arm for releasably carrying a garment or the like therewith, and means for positioning a garment on said retainer means in response to said support arms approaching the extended position.

14. An article handling apparatus comprising a plurality of longitudinally movable support arms arranged generally in a side-by-side relation, a carriage mounted for reciprocable movement in the same direction as said support arms, means for operatively connecting selected ones of said support arms to said carriage for movement therewith between a retracted position and an extended position, comprising a second carriage mounted for transverse movement across said arms, a pin in each of said support arms adapted to be moved to one of two positions either into engagement with said second carriage for connecting said support arms thereto or out of engagement therewith, and selector means supported by said second carriage for selectively connecting said arms to said firstmentioned carriage, including a solenoid actuated lever means for selectively pushing said pins into engagement with said second carriage, and said apparatus further includes means on said second carriage for disengaging said pins from said second carriage, retainer means on each support arm for releasably carrying a garment or the like, cam means for releasing the retainer means of said selected support arms as said selected support arms approach the extended position, a plurality of microswitch means supported by said second carriage for movement therewith, each of said microswitch means corresponding to a characteristic of the garments to be selected, a corresponding number of series-connected stepping switch means connected to said microswitch means, means for actuating said microswitch means in response to said second carriage traversing a support arm carrying a garment having that particular characteristic, said microswitch means whenever actuated being operative to cause their respective stepping switch means to step from one position to another, and means for activating selected ones of the positions of said stepping switch. means, said stepping switch means when all in such selected activated positions being operative to actuate said solenoid actuated lever means for selectively connecting the adjacent support arms to said first-mentioned carriage, and another stepping switch means in series with said plurality of stepping switch means, and a plurality of contact means corresponding to the number and location of said support arms engaged by said second carriage during a traverse of said support arms to cause successive stepping of said another stepping switch means from one position to another, and means for activating selected ones of the positions of said another stepping switch means for connecting a corresponding number of support arms to said first-mentioned carriage when all of the said stepping switches are in such selected activated positions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,659,647 11/1953 Lyon 312-234 2,587,111 2/1952 Cashen 211-123 X 2,778,504 1/1957 Byrne 2111.5 2,873,159 2/1959 Becker 3l2223 3,235,319 2/1966 Anders 312223 CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Primary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R. 211-124, 162

Patent Citations
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US2587111 *Jun 7, 1949Feb 26, 1952Cashen Jr Ralph WTelescopic hanger
US2659647 *May 17, 1951Nov 17, 1953Bronson Lyon WilliamConveying mechanism
US2778504 *Jun 30, 1954Jan 22, 1957B & G Machinery Co IncGarment dispenser
US2873159 *Jun 5, 1956Feb 10, 1959Becker Otto AlfredSelectively power-operated drawer structure
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5156513 *Oct 4, 1991Oct 20, 1992Investronica, S.A.Apparatus for handling clothes on hangers
EP0333891A1 *Mar 21, 1988Sep 27, 1989Investronica S.A.Assembly for handling clothes on hangers
WO1991004931A1 *Oct 4, 1990Apr 18, 1991John David EdwardsArticle handling apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/1.57, 211/124, 211/162
International ClassificationB65G1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65G1/0457
European ClassificationB65G1/04H