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Publication numberUS3428988 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 25, 1969
Filing dateAug 11, 1967
Priority dateAug 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3428988 A, US 3428988A, US-A-3428988, US3428988 A, US3428988A
InventorsJohn A Blackburn
Original AssigneeJohn A Blackburn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Credit card cleaning apparatus
US 3428988 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1969 J- A. BLACKBURN CREDIT CARD CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Aug. 11,- 1967 JOHN A. BLACKBURN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,428,988 CREDIT CARD CLEANING APPARATUS John A. Blackburn, 3601 El Camino Real at Matadero, Palo Alto, Calif. 94306 Filed Aug. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 660,009

A container for cleaning solution that has plural brush bristles between which a card is passed during insertion into and removal from the cleaning solution.

This invention relates to apparatus for effecting efficient cleaning of semi-rigid members, such as credit cards. Although the invention finds particular utility in connection with gasoline credit cards, it is not limited to such.

In the efficient performance of his duties, an attendant in a gasoline station soils his fingers and hands with grease, oil and the like. When his duties include writing up charge transactions, it is customary for the attendant to receive a credit card from the customer and return the credit card to the customer when the charge transaction has been recorded. Transfer of grease and oil from the attendants hands to the credit card is inevitable and is unpleasant to the customer. Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide an apparatus for quickly and conveniently cleaning a credit card after its use by the gas station attendant and before its return to the customer.

The above object is achieved in accordance with the present invention by providing a container for a detergent solution and a pair of rows of brushes adjacent the surface of the solution. The rows of brushes confront one another so that when the credit card is moved between the brushes, both sides of the credit card are contacted by the brushes. Such contact, together with the detergent action of the solution, effects quick and efiicient cleaning and degreasing of the credit card.

Another object of this invention is to provide a card cleaning apparatus that conserves detergent solution and permits rapid cleaning. This object is achieved by providing a detergent container that has a height greater than half the length of a credit card and less than the full length of the credit card. Because the container has a height less than the full length of the credit card, it is impossible for the user inadvertently to lose control of the credit card; because the container has a height greater than one-half of the credit card, the entire card can be cleaned by sequentially submerging the card from both ends thereof.

Still another object is to provide -a card cleaning apparatus that requires but minimum operator attention in use. This object is attained in the present invention by providing a slotted plate overlying the brush rows and the liquid, the slot being aligned over the region between the two brush rows so that a card inserted through the slot will be guided between the brushes. A feature and advantage of the slotted plate is that it assists in keeping contaminating materials out of the detergent solution.

Other objects, features and advantages will be more apparent after referring to the following specification and accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of card cleaning apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view in cross section taken along line 33 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view in cross section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

Referring more particularly to the drawing, reference numeral 12 indicates liquid impervious container having a bottom wall 14, mutually parallel side Walls 16 and end walls 18. In FIG. 1 the container is shown secured to rigid structure such as a post P of the type typically seen in service stations. The side walls and end walls define a rectangular mouth 20 opposite bottom wall 14. Spanning side walls 16 adjacent mouth 20 is a plate 22 that is formed with a slot 24 located approximately midway between side walls 16-. In one apparatus designed according to the present invention, slot 24 has a length equal to about 2 /2" and a width of about 4'. Such exemplary structure was designed to accommodate a typical credit card that is 3%" x 2 /8", such card being indicated in phantom at C in FIGURE 3.

Plate 22 is supported in spanning relation across mouth 20 by mounting blocks 26, which blocks are secured rigidly in the container. Exemplifying a suitable means for so securing the blocks are screws 28 which extend through side walls 16 into the blocks. Plate 22 is rigidly mounted along the top of blocks 26, an adhesive connection as at- 30 in FIG. 4 being exemplary. Plate 22 is foreshortened to define a drainage opening 31 and is sloped toward the drainage opening to return such fluid to container 12 as may drip onto plate 22. Opening 31 also affords access to the interior of container 12 for cleaning and filling it.

Blocks 26 are at least as wide as the length of slot 24 and support a plurality of brush bristles 32. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, there is at least one row of bristles 34 above the surface S of detergent solution and there is at least one row 36 below surface S.

As can be seen more clearly from FIG. 3, upper row 34 is spaced above bottom wall 14 by an amount greater than one-half the length of card C and less than the full length of card C. The spacing between plate 22 and bottom wall 14 is similar, namely: greater than one-half the length of card C and less than the full length of the card. The individual bristles of brush 32 extend from side walls 16 by an amount greater than half the width of container 12 so that the bristles overlap somewhat, thereby assuring that both sides of the card will be contacted by the bristles. Such overlapping relationship is shown at 38 in FIG. 4.

Thus it will be seen that the present invention provides a container that affords convenient cleaning of credit cards. In so doing, the invention fulfills a need that has long been felt by charge customers in service stations. The advantages are achieved in a simple, attractive and inexpensive device that is rugged and requires virtually no maintenance.

Although one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent that other adaptations and modifications can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for cleaning a planar credit card of the type that has a length of about 3%" comprising a liquid impervious container having a bottom wall and a mouth opposite said bottom wall, first and second pluralities of rows of brushes confronting one another within said container and adjacent said mouth, said pluralities being disposed relative to one another and having bristles of sufficient length that the bristles overlap to assure that both faces of the card are simultaneously contacted by the brushes, at least one row in each said plurality being positioned to reside above the surface of liquid in said container and at least one row in each said plurality being positioned to reside below the surface ofliquid in said container, said pluralities of rows being spaced from said bottom wall by an amount greater than one-half the length of the credit card and less than the length of the credit card, and a plate spanning the mouth of the container and having a guide slot therein in alignment with the region between said confronting rows of brushes so that insertion of a card through said slot guides the card intermediate said confronting brush rows, said plate being foreshortened at one lateral extremity thereof to define an opening for aifording access to the interior of said container, said plate sloping toward said opening so that liquid dripping onto the upper surface of said plate runs thereacross to said opening.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1932 Laing 1521 8/1937 Dietterle 15-39 6/1938 Swift 1539 XR 1/1941 Costa 1539 3/ 1959 Hermance 15-10492 11/1964 Dirks 118637 10 PETER FELDMAN, Primary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1859626 *Aug 5, 1929May 24, 1932Laing Edward MGolf ball washer
US2089114 *Jan 27, 1937Aug 3, 1937Dietterle Edwin WComb cleaning and sterilizing device
US2121307 *Aug 3, 1936Jun 21, 1938 Cleaning and sterilizing device
US2228443 *May 15, 1939Jan 14, 1941Costa John ADevice for cleaning combs
US2877479 *Apr 2, 1956Mar 17, 1959Bell Telephone Labor IncFountain type cleaner for scrubbing tools
US3155546 *Sep 24, 1962Nov 3, 1964Plastic Coating CorpApparatus for the liquid toning of latent electrostatic images
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3534425 *Dec 11, 1968Oct 20, 1970Agnes Helena WattsRecord cleaning device
US3800349 *Apr 28, 1972Apr 2, 1974Green PCredit card cleaning system
US4087878 *Mar 12, 1976May 9, 1978Grieshaber Herman RTool cleaning device
US4104758 *Apr 4, 1977Aug 8, 1978Stotler James LCredit card washing device
US4380839 *Jun 29, 1981Apr 26, 1983Charles CaradonnaGolf iron washer
US4439884 *Mar 18, 1982Apr 3, 1984Gastone GiorniContainer with bristles for cleaning instruments
US4704760 *May 16, 1986Nov 10, 1987Grieshaber Herman RSurgical blade cleaning device
US4752983 *Jul 9, 1987Jun 28, 1988Grieshaber Herman RSurgical instrument cleaning device
US4872235 *Feb 4, 1988Oct 10, 1989Nielsen Ernst P FApparatus for cleaning medical hand instruments and implements for treatment of the hair, skin and/or body
US4879779 *Oct 11, 1988Nov 14, 1989Zalevsky Harvey ADevice for cleaning a cooking grate
US4940349 *May 30, 1989Jul 10, 1990Jansen Van Rensburg Johannes CGolf club cleaner
US5191670 *Dec 30, 1991Mar 9, 1993Lake Ron WFork scrubber
US5454131 *May 2, 1994Oct 3, 1995Mackenzie; Madeline E.Apparatuses for cleaning and sanitizing combs through mechanical bristles and disinfectant fluids
US5461747 *May 19, 1994Oct 31, 1995Allsop, Inc.Data card cleaner
US5626272 *Jun 30, 1995May 6, 1997Klemansky; Darryn M.Drywall pak
US20100083450 *Oct 7, 2008Apr 8, 2010Naider AriehApparatus for cleaning magnetic stripes
WO1995031925A1 *May 19, 1995Nov 30, 1995Allsop, Inc.Data card cleaner
WO1999040835A1 *Feb 15, 1999Aug 19, 1999Computer Cleaning Technology International AsCleaning device for information-bearing cards
U.S. Classification15/160, 15/104.92, 401/10, 15/39
International ClassificationA46B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA46B2200/3073, B08B1/00, A46B15/00
European ClassificationA46B15/00