US 3462044 A
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7 Aug. 19,1969 I v A, MOKENNA CUP DISPENSER WITH BRISTLE, RETAINING ELEMENTS Filed Dec. 28, 1956 INVENTOR- CHARLES A. Mc KENNA ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,462,044 CUP DISPENSER WITH BRISTLE RETAINING ELEMENTS Charles A. McKenna, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Solo Cup Company, Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 28, 1966, Ser. No. 605,412 Int. Cl. A47f 1/04; G07f 11/16 U.S. Cl. 221308 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A dispenser for paper cups or the like, such as plastic, in which the means for retaining the cups in a stack in the dispenser and for discharging single cups are bristled members wherein the bristles engage the rims of the lowermost cups in functioning to retain or to discharge.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a dispenser for cups, made of paper, plastic or the like, and more particularly to the provision of a supporting and dispensing means which supports a stack of cups in the dispenser and permits their withdrawal one at a time.
In the past, many different structures have been used in cup dispensers as combination supports and dispensing means. These have included ribs of various shapes, springloaded depressible vertical segments, spring-loaded depressable balls, and others. Almost all of these earlier structures have one fault in commonthey frequently dispense more than one cup at a time. This results in a waste of cups.
SUMMARY The use of bristled retaining means in a cup dispenser solves the problem of wastage of cups. The bristles provide a continuing though individual support of the cups at the rim. As the lowest cup is pulled downwardly from the stack, the rim of that cup is pulled through the grip of many bristles, distorting those bristles with which it comes in contact. However, the movement of the lowermost cup, and, therefore, its rim, does not distort or disturb any bristles which are above the rim of that cup. Those bristles continue to support those cups above the bottom one.
It is also advantageous to provide supporting bristles adjacent the discharge opening which are longer than those farther up inside the dispenser. The shorter bristles are stiffer and tend to support the weight of the stack of cups, while the longer bristles tend to permit the withdrawal of a single cup at a time.
The primary object of this invention is to provide a cup dispenser having cup-retainer means which function to dispense the cups one at a time.
It is a further object to provide a supporting member formed of bristles and attached to the inside wall of the dispenser whereby the bristles project inwardly toward the cups so as to engage the cups in supporting relationship.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a bristled supporting and dispensing structure in which the bristles nearest the bottom of the dispenser are longer than those thereabove.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a view in vertical section of a cup dispenser having bristled retainer means, with the lowermost cup partially withdrawn.
FIG. 2 is a view in horizontal section on the line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view in horizontal section similar to FIG. 2, showing the use of three retainer groups.
3,462,044 Patented Aug. 19, 1969 FIG. 4 is a view in side elevation of one of the brush elements, showing that the upper bristles are shorter than the lower bristles.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The retainer-dispensing means which are the subject of this invention are shown in the drawings as mounted in a conventional tubular dispenser 10. The dispenser 10 is equipped with any sort of a conventional mounting means (not shown) whereby the dispenser 10 may be held in position on a vertical surface, such as a wall of a room or a cabinet. Such mounting means constitutes no part of this invention.
The retainer dispensing means 12 comprises a backing member 14, which is attached by any suitable means such as an adhesive, to the inner wall of the dispenser 10. The backing member 14 supports bristles 16 which, without a load, project substantially horizontally toward the vertical axis of the dispenser 10. The backing member 14 can also be mounted in the wall of the dispenser 10 or outside that wall in such manner that the bristles 16 project inwardly in the dispenser 1t and toward its vertical axis.
I prefer to use a construction in which the lower bristles 16 (those closer to the discharge opening of the dispenser) are longer than the bristles 16 which are located at the upper end of the dispensing means 12. The shorter and stiffer upper bristles then support the weight of the column of cups 18, while the longer lower bristles tend to separate out the single cup 26 at the bottom, from the remainder of the column of cups 18, for withdrawal.
In use the column of cups 118 is supported by the upper bristles 16 by the engagement of those bristles 16 with several of the rolled rims 22 of the cups 18. Depending on the length and relative stiffness of the bristles 16 this contact of the bristles 16 will be with one to three of the rims 22 of the cups 18. During withdrawal of the bottom cup 20, the rim 22 thereof bends the lower bristles 16 as the cup 20 is withdrawn. As the rim 22 passes the individual bristles 16, those bristles snap back toward a horizontal position and engage the rim 22 or the side wall of the next cup in the column of cups 18.
1. In a dispenser for paper cups and the like, means for retaining the cups in the dispenser and for permitting their withdrawal comprising a plurality of members presenting bristles projecting substantially perpendicularly toward the axis of the dispenser a distance sufiiciently to engage the rims of cups positioned within the dispenser.
2. Retainer means for supporting cups in a dispenser comprising a brush-like element having bristles which project perpendicularly toward the axis of the dispenser a distance sufficient to engage the cups in the dispenser in a supporting relationship.
3. Retainer means according to claim 2 wherein the bristles adjacent the discharge end of the dispenser are longer than the bristles at the opposite end of the retainer means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,108,714 10/1963 OBrien 22l308 X 3,342,375 9/1967 Johnson et al. 22l308 3,193,139 7/1965 Iannone et al. 22l308 3,315,842 4/1967 McGurk 22l310 FOREIGN PATENTS 666,030 2/ 1952 Great Britain.
STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner