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Publication numberUS3556345 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1971
Filing dateMay 27, 1968
Priority dateMay 27, 1968
Publication numberUS 3556345 A, US 3556345A, US-A-3556345, US3556345 A, US3556345A
InventorsRowekamp William H
Original AssigneeWilliam F Shepherd Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable magazine for gum dispenser
US 3556345 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United states Patent lnventor William H. Rowekamp Cincinnati, Ohio Appl. No. 732,360 Filed May 27, 1968 Patented Jan. 19, 1971 Assignee William F. Shepherd lnc.

Cincinnati, Ohio a corporation of Ohio ADJUSTABLE MAGAZINE FOR GUM DISPENSET! 5 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.

u.s. Cl. 221/242 Int. Cl. B65h 31/20 Field of Search 221/274,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS .DZZUZWX 2,272,682 2/l 942 Srodulski 22 l/242X 2,735,580 2/1956 Galin et al. 221/274X 2,863,587 12/1958 Schinzel 22 l/267X 3102,663 9/l 963 Albright 22 l/267X 511,865 1/1894 Sherman 22l/270X Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Att0rney-W0od, Herron and Evans ABSTRACT: A vending unit particularly adapted for dispensing packages of gum and lozengers comprising, in preferred form, (a) a magazine for storing a stack of packages, (b) a handle for the stack adapted to be pulled horizontally by a consumer to dispense a package, (c) a pusher for the stack horizontally movable into engagement with an end of the package at the stacks bottom to distribute that package, and (d) linkage interconnecting the stacks handle and pusher, the linkage serving to multiply the travel of the pusher over the travel of the handle.

PATENTED JAN] 91971 SHEET 3 BF 8 PATENTED JAN] 9 mm SHEET 5 OF 8 I NVENTOR. W

PATENIEU JAN 1 9 l9?! SHEET 8 OF 8 l cent packages of gum and/or lozen'gers. 1

- Am srrnts MAGAZINE i on an biSENscn This invention relates to pleading machines and, more particularly, relates to-vendingmachines' that dispense packages of gum and lozengcrs. I 1

vThe vending machine-industry has undc'rgone-a great period of growth over the years in the. voluntepf candy type products jOther-obj'ectives andadvantages will bc more apparent y .from the follo'wingdeta'iled description taken in conjunction Y with the drawings in which:

sold throughyendingmachines. .Duringthat period the retail price of a package ratchewing gum or lozengershas remained substantially constant at 5 cents:even thoughmost other candy-'typegproducts vende d have long since been increased to l0 cents 'pei' package. Because of-th e constant price the configuration and dimensions of the gum' and lozenger packages also has remained. substantially constant over" the. years. In the case ha nsawthe a kages s nsr na w y shapedsoaisle-accommodate five; sticks. lnthecase'of lozen- .dispenserillustrated in FIG. I;

gers t'he package isgenerally cylindrical in shapebecause of the round l zengcr-although. of course; square lozen me v s si n h s rate 'v h er sn s machinejcai'i le t dispensing othercandyetyp products in addition tothe.guri aniI/orIozenger packagcs fFor: the purtially constantover" theiyca 's an becau e the configuration dardized throughout the ndustryltheknown types of "gum e th e t at. T t h' s n ss i rma y designed only with the lex'a'ct dimensionsand configurations of the S centlguut andlozengerpackages in niind land they are designed particularly l"o'r giirnand; Ioz enger packageSand -no As mentioned. mostcandy or snack-type products, for ex 1 ample, candy barsp-cook ylpackagesgiand' 'thelikciihave-long been increased 'in price from cents to l 0 cents package.

category are chewiiig gum and lozeng'crs, B'ec'ause-ofthe profit squeeze broughtgabjou't by higher raw'mat'erial and labortcosts in the manufacture of such .prod'uctseithas finally. come to passth'at guru and; lbzengcrs are now being sold; for l"0 ;cnts.

.and dimensions jn gea'ch case'-I tave,;.becom'e' substantiallystanjfo'e sennt'srnucrunemvb oriznrtrlou omits;

FIG. I is a partially broken awa perspective view of 'the gum dispenser taken from the front formed in accordance with'the' principles of this invention;

" FIG. 2 is'a partially brokenaway'pcrspective view of gum dispenser illustrated in FIG. I taken'fr'om the rear;.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the gum dispenser illustrated in FIG.

- FIGf-l'is a partially broken:

FIG S isa partiallybrokenawaysidc viewot'the dispenser showing the product distributor in the atrcst position; 1

HQ is 1! e similar to FIG. l-showinga ackage ejector he' product; distributor in a position intermcdi te .dispensingcy le; I

] FIG. 7 is aview similar to FIG. S iIIustrating'a package ejector halfway through a dispensing cycleg i FIG.- 8 v a ,side view of the I mechanism used in combinationwit'htthe product-distributor.

" coinplatc-coin release the mechanism being illustrated in the at rest position;

s QFIG. 9 is a viewsimilar to FIGZJ illustrating release of coins not the from the coin plate halfway through a dispensing cycle; j

FIG. 10 is a view similar to' FIGS. 7 ant I8 illustrating release coins from the coin'plate bythe manually actuated coin release. mechanism;

v 1 FIG. II is a. perspective View of th c coinplate-coin release. dispensers assuciated with vending machines are only capable 1 0' i I v i I i of vending gum and lozenger packages that are sold for'j'This g plate co n releasemechanrsmwnd c I FIG. 13 is a'cross'sectionalviewtakcn along lines I l-I2 of mechanism;

FIG. to;

he gum dispenser-of this invention, illustrated in all Fios.

with the cabineto'r housing-removed. basically includes a product distributor"l0,*a coin plate-coin: release mechanism II; and 'a'coin'rejector l2ysee FIGS. I and 2; To obtain a gum Y or'l'ozenger'package l3ifrom'the'gumdispensena consumer standpoint. Therefore thequantity of chewing gum or lozengers per package nowbein gsoldifor IOcents has been inerease'd over thattquantit'y'sold :t'orQS. cents. ln thecase ofchewing gum packages, where five sticks used to besold for 5 cents, now seven, eight or more .sticks may be sold for 10:

.cents. Thus,while a chewing gum package retains substan tiallythe same length, the height of the package has been increased in an amount equal to the thickness ofthe two. three or more additional sticks in each package. In the case of lozenger packages,.fo'r the new price of 10 cents up to half 'tirst'placesa'co'in 'in 'coin slot 16. The'coin proceeds" through thecoin rejeetor 12 where it is accepted a's a valid coin or rejected as either'a slug or of the-wrong denomination. If the.

coin' is accepted by the coin rejcctor '12, it passes through the rejector and isdirected to the coiny 'plate-coin release mechanism II. The coin must be present in the coin platelpor- ,tio'n"of-mechanism-II so that one package ejector 17 (in the drawings fourpack'a ge ejectors' I7 are shown as'comprising the product distributor 10) can be completely actuated, the other ejectors being locked after actuation of the selected one begins. to provide the consumer with the selected product package. Thus, the function of thc-product distributor I0 is to store in stacked relation a series of gum or lozengcr packages I3 and to dispense those packages one at a timeafter the required'coinagc has been inserted, into the gum dispenser.

Thus, with 5 cent gum and Iozenger packages the length of those packages is substantially equal. With the'new 10 cent lozenger packages, the length of the 10 cent Iozenger package is about 50 percent longer than the length of the 5 or I0 cent gum package. with the new 10 cent gum package, the height of the 10 cent gum package may be about 50 percent or more higher than the height of the 5 cent gum package. Known types of gum dispenser units, because they have been designed to vend 5 cent gumand lozenger packages are notcapable of I vendingthe new I0 cent packages because of the. wide variance in the 10 cent package dimensions over those dimensions of the 5 cent packages.

Therefore, it hasbeen a major objective of this invention to provide a gum dispenser capable of dispensing both 5 cent and v The product distributor l0 includes a cent or l0 cent gum or'lozenger packages but in operation all.

stacks must have packages of the same denomination worth When a coin is not present in the coin plate-coin release mechanism 11, the coin'plate prevents the package ejector I7 from being completely actuated, that is the coin plate establishes a lock onthe product distributor 10. so that a gum or lozenger package cannot be dispensed.

magazine 18 of four stacks 19, see F IG. LThe stacks 19am sized to store either 5,

and each stack must have packages'of the same type, A handle 20 is provided that is to be horizontally pulled by a consumer so as to dispensea selected package 13 from the bottom of oneselected stack 19. By pulling the handle 20, a pusher tab 21 is horizontally reciprocatedbeneath the selected'stack l9 and engages the bottom most package of the stack thereby pushing the package out therear of the magazine 18 from beneath the stack into a. delivery chute 22, see FIGS. 47-6.

awaytir view the gum I Adjustment knobs 23 carried at the top 24 of the magazine 18 are for positioning stops 25 within the package release open ing 26 at the bottom rear of the stacks 19. By regulating the vertical position of stops 25 relative to the floor of each stack 19 (the floor structure comprising extension fingers 27) the gum dispenser can be adapted to vend either cent or cent gurn packages. The gum dispenser can vend either 5 cent or 10 cent lozenger packages because the length of each stack 19 is sufficient to accommodate both length lozenger packages.

PRODUCT DISTRIBUTOR The product distributor 10 basically includes the magazine 18 that establishes a series of four stacks 19. each stack being provided with a package ejector 17. The vertically disposed magazine 18 is of sufficient height to provide efficient and economical storage of gum packages or lozenger packages to be vended. The magazine 18 is established by a back plate 31 integral with two side plates 32. The front of the magazine 18 is provided with a window cover plate 33 of plexiglass or the like that is hinged at its bottom edge between face plates 34 of the product distributor 10. A hinge pin 35 carried in a support bracket 36 that is riveted to the window plate 33 provides the hinge means. The window plate 33 is held in its vertical or stack-forming position by means of a window latch bracket 37 that is pivotally mounted to the magazine side plates 32. To fill the magazine 18 the latch bracket 37 need merely be pivoted up out of engagement with the window plate 33 so that the window plate can be pivoted to a horizontal position, thereby exposing the magazine for easy filling with product packages 13. The transparent window plate 33 is also advantageous in that it permits the amount of product packages 13 remaining in. the stack'19 of the magazine 18 to be assessed at a glance.

Within the magazine 18 are provided four stacks 19 for four different types of gum packages and/or lozenger packages. The four stacks 19 are separated one from the other by dividers 40 mounted to the back plate 31 of the magazine 18. The base 41 of all stacks and. hence, the base of the magazine. are all in a single horizontal plane. The bottom 41 of each stack is established by fingers 42 extending beneath successive dividers 40, the fingers 42 being formed into a hand plate 43 that is connected by rivets 44 to a cover plate 45. The cover plate 45 is mounted between the two face plates 34 of the product distributor 10. The three fingers 42 adequately define the bottom of the center two stacks 19 but only partially define the bottom of the two end stacks. To completely define the bottom of the two end stacks ledges 46 are formed integral with magazine side plates 34 in the same horizontal plane as fingers 42. The fingers 42 and ledges 46 are provided with sufficient clearance 47 between them so that the pusher tabs 21 of the package ejectors 17 can reciprocate between them to push the bottom package in each stack 19 out from underneath the stack, and out through the package release opening 26 to the delivery chute 22.

As can be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5. the back plate 31 of the magazine 18 does not extend down to the ledges 46 at the bottom of the side plates 32. but it stops short a distance A about equal to the height of a It) cent gum package. It will be noted also that the fingers 42 and ledges 46 do not extend all the way to the back plate 31 from the window plate 33, but they stop short of the back plate a distance B. The package release opening 26 is established by the dimensions A, B. Hence. and as stated, the gum and lozenger packages are dispensed from the bottom of each stack through the package release opening 26.

Four package-sizing rods 49 are connected to the back plate 31 of the magazine 18, one rod being provided for cooperation with each stack 19. Each sizing rod 49 is configured toward its top end to provide a step 50 and at its top there is provided a cap 51. Each rod 49 extends the complete height of the magazine 18, it being passed through spaced brackets 52 punched out of the back plate 31 to maintain its desired alignment relative to its related stack 19. Toward the bottom of the magazine 18 the tip or stop 25 of each'rod 49 extends into, and may be extended through, a rod protector plate 54 mounted to the back plate 31. By virtue' of the step 51 being selectively engageable with the uppermost punched bracket 52 for each rod 49 and a notch 53 for each rod provided at the top edge of the magazines back plate 31. the stop tip 25 of each sizing rod 49 can be moved between a 5 cent package position where the step 50 rests on the upper punch bracket 52 (see FIG. 5 solid lines) and a 10 cent package position when the step 50 rests in the notch 53 on the magazine's back plate 31 (see FIG. 5 phantom lines. tip 25 is withdrawn into and hidden beneath the rod protector plate 54 in this position Thus. by adjusting the position of the tips 25 the package release opening 26 dimension A is varied to permit either 5 cent or l0 cent gum packages to be dispensed. the larger opening being used for 10 cent packages because of their greater height than the height of5 cent packages.

FIG. 5 illustrates 5 cent gum packages in a magazine stack 19 and it will be noted that the length of the gum packages is such that they do not completely extend the full breadth of the stack 19. that is they do not extend the full distance between the window plate 33 and the back plate 31 of the magazine 18. Thus. a substantial clearance is present when 5 cent or 10 cent gum packages or 5 cent lozenger packages are stored in the magazine 18. However, the additional breadth is needed when 10 cent lozenger packages are stored because of their increased length over 5 cent lozenger and gum packages. Thus. the stack 19 breadth dimensions. in combination with adjustable stop tips 25 of the sizing rods 49, permit the magazine 18 to store and. hence, dispense either 5 cent or l0 cent gum or I lozenger packages.

Spring clips 57 are also mounted to the magazine's back plate 31, one clip being provided in alignment with each stack travel no further. On the other hand, when a package ejector v 17 is actuated the pusher tab 21 forces the gum package past the spring clip 57 out through the package release opening 26.

A weighted follower block 58 is positioned on top of the uppermost package 13 in each of all stacks 19 and is permitted to ride down on top of that package as the stack is depleted by removal of packages from the bottom of it. The function of the follower block 58 is to prevent tipping of 5 cent lozenger, 5 cent gum, and/or 10 cent gum packages which are shorter than the breadth of the magazine stacks 19. This prevents the packages from jamming in the stacks 19 if they become misaligned. see FIG. 4. Also, once the last product package 13 is removed from the stack 19 the follower block 58 drops to and rests on the fingers 42. Because the follower block 58 is of a height greater than the distance A at the bottom of the back plate 31 the follower block itself cannot be pushed out of the magazine 18. Thus, the follower block 58 acts as a brake on the pusher tab 21 so that a consumer cannot lose coinage in the machine by actuating a package ejector 17 when no more gum or lozenger packages remain in the stack 19.

The product distributor 10 includes, as mentioned. a package ejector 17 for each stack 19. Each ejector 17 comprises a pusher bar 61 and pusher tab 21 mounted for reciprocal movement in the cover plate 45, the cover plate being permanently mounted to the two distributor face plates 34. Each pusher tab 21, through its pusher bar 61, is adapted to reciprocate between the fingers 42 of it associated magazine stack 19 so as to engage the end of the bottom gum or lozenger package in that stack and push that package out through the package release opening 26 to the delivery chute 22. Each pusher tab 21 is pivotally mounted between sides of its related channel-shaped pusher bar 61 at the bars leading end. Each tab 21 is continually spring biased in the counterclockwise direction by a spring 62 connected to the bar 61 at one end and to the tabat the other, the counterclockwise movement ofth'e' tab being limited by engagement with bar 61 so that when the tab is in the at rest position, illustrated in FIG. 5, the tab is in the upright position. As the pusher bar 61 follows the dispensing stroke of avvending cycle, that is. as the bar 61 is reciprocated to the right in FIG. 5, the tab 21 engages the end of the lowermost gum package 13 and pushes that package out the package release openingI26 into the delivery chute 22. On the return stroke of the vending cycle,'the tab 21 is deflected in the clockwise direction because the stack has dropped one package immediately after the previous package was dispensed. Hence, on the return stroke the tab 21 deflects into a horizontal position until it again reaches its at restposition where it pops up into the verticaliposition illustrated in FIG. 5. Thus. the function of the tab 21 is to provide a pushing member which is rigidly upright on the forward stroke of a vending cycle and deflectable on the return stroke so the pusher bar 61 and tab 21 can return to the at'rest or starting point ofthe vending cycle.

Also included with each-package ejector 17 mechanism is a handle having a knob mounted'to a pull bar 63. The pull bars 63 are reciprocally mounted in a base plate 64 that is carried between face plates ,34 of the product distributor 10. Each pull bar 63 is related'to a pusher bar 61 by linkage that includes a throwarm 60 pivotally carried on a connecting rod cycle the pawl 78 again engages the ratchettceth 82-so that" the pull bar 63 must be permitted to return substantially to its terclockwise direction with its at rest position being such thatthe pawl finger 81 is horizontally positioned to engage the ratchet teeth 82 on the ratchet arm 77 as the cam plates 7! are pivoted. This cooperation of the pawl finger Stand ratchet teeth 82 provides two benefits. First of all. on thevpullout or dispensing half of a vending cycle. when the pull bar is.

at rest position before the pawl disengages from the ratchet teeth, see FIG. 5. Hence, on the dispensing as well as on the returning portions of a vendingcycle the pull bar 63 cannot be reversed. This structure effectivelyprccludes a package ejecv tor 17 from being actuated so rapidly that more than one gum or lozenger package can be dispensed from any one stack for a I single coin.

A latch mechanism is also provided'to cooperate with the 7 package ejectors'17. the latch mechanism including a series of 65, the rod 65 being mounted between face plates 34 of the product distributor. A first bearing roller 66 is rotatably mounted at the tip of each pull bar 63 anda second bearing roller 67 is rotatably mounted substantially intermediate the length of each'pusher bar 61. The tines 68 at the ends of each throw. arm 60 are configured to engage and cooperate with the respective bearing rollers 66,67. Thus,'as the pull bar 63 is pulled, outwardly .b the consumer this outward motion is transmittedto inward motion of the pushertab 21 and pusher bar 61 through the throwarm 60, this-operational sequence being more particularly illustrated in FIGS. 6 7.

It ,will be noted that the length of the throw arm 60 from the connector rod 65 to the pull arm roller 66 is substantially less than the lengthof the throw arm 60 from the connector rod 65 to the pusher bar roller 67. By regulating these distances the travel or length of the throw" for the pusher tab 21 can be multiplied over the travel orlength of pull of the knob 20. Thus. for a rather short pull distance of the handle 20 required of the consumer, the pusher tab 21 will travel a greater distance so that a gum or lozenger package may be completely dispensed or pushed out of the package release opening 26. A limit stop rod 74 is connected between opposing face plates 34 of the product distributor 10 to stop clockwise movement of the throw arm 60 when the pusher tab 21 achieves its extended limit, that is, when it completes the dispensing half of a vending cycle, see FIG. 6.

As the pull bar 63 is pulled by the consumer, a third bearing roller 69 rotatably mounted beneath the pull bar engages an inner tooth 70 of a cam plate 71 mounted to a drive shaft 72. The drive shaft 72 is pivotally mounted between face plates 34 of the product distributor 10. Each package ejector 17 is provided with a cam plate 71, all cam plates being permanently mounted to the drive shaft 72. Thus, when any one pull bar 63 is pulled by a consumer the drive shaft 72 and all cam plates 71 are rotated because the bearing roller 69 mounted to the pull bar being pulled engages the inner tooth 70 on its related cam plate 71. This simultaneous pivoting of all cam plates71 does nothing to effect the otherpackage ejectors 17 because the outer tooth 73 of the camplate 71 is configured to pass other three bearing rollers 69 mounted to the other pull bars- 63 so as not to engage them and.'thereby, not to actuate the other package ejectors.

One of the cam plates 71 is preferably provided with a ratchet arm 77 formed integral with that cam plate. The ratchet arm 77 is cooperatively engageable with a pawl 78, the pawl being pivotally mounted to face plate 34 on pin 79. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the pawl 78 is spring 80 biased in the counlatch retainer plates 85 each holding a lock block 86 in position. The latch retainer plates 85 are mounted to the base plate by screws 87. The lock-blocks87- are thus restrained from movement in the same direction as the pull bars 63 and pusher bars 61, but arepermitted-movement in a direction transverse to the directional movement of the pull bars and pusher bars. The lock blocks 86 are sodimensioned relative one to the other, and are so positioned relative to abutments '88 mounted to each face plate 34 of the product distributor space is provided for two bolts 89 to pass because the lock blocks 86 .are so dimensioned relative one to the other and relative to the abutments 88 that only one bolt 89 canpass between the blocks at any one time. This effectively prevents more than one package ejector 17 from beingactuatedby a consumer at the same time, thereby preventing more than one The coin plate-coin release mechanism 11 comprises the locking mechanism for the package ejectors 17 in the sense that only when a coin is present in the coin plate can a package ejector 17 be completely actuated to dispense a gum or lozenger package. The coin plate is positioned beneath a coin rejector 12. both the coin plate and coin rejector being mounted to the outside of one face plate 34 of the product distributor 10. Substantially any coin rejector adapted for nickels and dimes can be used with the gum dispenser of this invention, such coin rejectors being well known in the art and forming no part of the inventionherein.

When a coin has been deposited in the coin slot 16, it is directed by the coin slot into the coin rejector and exits from the rejector into the coin plate see FIG. 3. The coin plate provides two coin packets, a dime coin pocket 93 is adapted to receive a single dime and a nickel coin pocket 94 is adaptable to receive either two nickels or one nickel. The coin pockets 93, 94 are partially established by a main slide 95 that is reciprocable parallel to the face plate 34, the coin plate being guided in its reciprocal movement by studs 96 afi'ixed to face plate 34. The main slide 95 acts as a divider that cooperates with a dime face plate '97 and a nickel face plate 98 (the face plates 97, 98 being secured to the main slide 95) in establishing the dime 93 and nickel 94 coin pockets respectively.

Establishing the bottom of the dime coin pocket 93 is a dime ledge 107 provided by a yoke bar 108. see FIG. 13. The dime is thus held in the dime pocket 93 between main slide 95. dime face plate 97, and dime ledge 107. Establishing the bottom of the nickel coin pocket 94 when two nickels are used is a nickel seat 109 and when one nickel is used is a nickel ledge 110. both the nickel seat and nickel ledge also being provided by the yoke bar 108. The nickel ledge 110 is established by a finger 111 pivotally mounted, as at 112. to extension 113 so that ledge 110 can be pivoted into and out of the nickel coin pocket 94 to, in effect. divide that pocket in half, see FIGS. 11-13. When the machine is adapted for use by either two nickels or one dime the ledge 110 is pivoted out of the nickel coin pocket 94 so the first nickel into the pocket can descend to nickel seat 109, see FIG. 13. The bottom nickel is held in that position on its sides by main slide 95 and nickel wall 114 directly connected to the yoke bar 108. The second nickel is then'seated on top of the first nickel in the pocket 94 and held in that position by main slide 95 and nickel face plate 98. When the machine is adapted for use by only one nickel and the nickel ledge 110 is pivoted into the pocket 94, as shown in FIG. 13, thereby effectively cutting the depth of the pocket 94 so the coin plate 11. as well as the product distributor 10, can be actuated by only one nickel, as will subsequently be described in greater detail.

The main slide 95 is maintained in its at rest position (where the ends of slots 99 in the main slide are abutted against the studs 96), as are the knobs maintained in their at rest position, by a tension spring 101 continuously biasing drive fork 102 in the clockwise direction, see FIG. 3v The drive fork 102 is directly connected to the drive shaft 72 for the product distributor 10 so that. by spring 101. the package ejectors 17 are always being urged toward the at rest position illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4. One end of the drive fork 102 is provided with tines 103 that engage stud pin 103 104 mounted intermediate the ends ofthe main slide 95. Thus, because the drive fork 102 is continuously urged clockwise, the main slide 95 is continuously urged rearward, the limit of the main slide movement being determined by the ends of the two slots 99.

The yoke bar 108 is also mounted on distributor face plate 34 for reciprocal movement, it being supported by studs 96, 115 integral with plate 34. The yoke bow 119 embraces stud 96 at its forward end and its rearward end is supported by stud 115 in slot 116. The yoke bar 108 is continually biased into its rearward most position, as limited by slot 116 and illustrated in FIG. 10, by means of a coin release finger 117 pivotally engaged with a pin 118 mounted to one side of the yoke bow 119, see FIGS. 7-9. The finger 117 is itself pivotally mounted to face plate 34 by stud 121 and is continually biased counterclockwise by a tension spring 120 connected between the coin release finger and the face plate 34 of the product distributor 10. Thus, the yoke bar 108 is reciprocable relative to the main slide 95. is guided in its reciprocative movement by fixed stud pins 96, 115, and is continually urged to the right (as illustrated in FIGS. 810 by spring 120.

The dime ledge 107 and the nickel seat 109 and nickel ledge 110 are so positioned relative to the top edge of the main slide 95 that the edge of the uppermost nickel or the edge of the dime extends in front of the catch end 123 ofa lock notch 124 provided in the top edge ofthe main slide. The main slide 95 is prevented from substantial forward movement (that is, is prevented from movement to the left as illustrated in FIGS. 8- 10 when no coin is present in either coin pocket 93, 94, by a locking arm 125 that is also pivotally mounted to face plate 34. This for the reason that thumb 126 of the locking arm 125 is continually spring 127 biased into the lock notch 124. By merely josteling or tipping the gum dispenser the working tip 126 of the locking arm 125 cannot be disengaged from the lock notch 125. This means that when the coin slide plate is reciprocated forwardly by pulling a handle with pull bar 63 outward the working tip 126 of the locking arm 125 will engage the lock notch 124 unless a coin is present in either the upper position of the nickel pocket 94 or in the dime pocket 93. If a coin is so present the working tip 126 of the locking arm 125 is cammed up out of the lock notch 124 by following the curved edge of the coin up over that notch onto the top edge of the main slide 95. Of course. when a coin is so present in one of the pockets 93. 94. and the working tip 126 is cammcd up out of the locking notch 124. the main slide can be completely reciprocated into its forward most position and a package ejector 17 thereby permitted to complete a vending cycle for dispensing a gum or lozenger package. The coin plate thus provides a locking device for the product distributor 10 when no coin has been deposited in the gum dispenser.

A manual release arm 128 is also provided for use during servicing of the machine. This comprises a first bell crank 131 pivotally mounted to stud 96 and provided with a slot 132 at one end for engaging the locking arm 125. As end 133 of the first bell crank 131 is depressed (when the coin plate-coin release mechanism 11 is exposed for servicing by a serviceman the working tip 126 is lifted out of lock notch 124 so the package ejcctors 17 can be actuated as often as desired without depositing coinage.

Associated with the coin plate part of the mechanism is the coin release assembly that permits the nickel (s) or dime deposited in the coin pockets 93. 94 to be removed therefrom if, once they have been deposited, it is the desire of the consumer to retrieve his money without buying a product from the gum dispenser. The coin release includes the yoke bar 108, the coin release finger 117. and the tension spring 120. Also connected to the yoke bar 108, at one end, is a second bell crank 137. The second bell crank 137 is pivotally mounted to the face plate 34 at 138 and its other end 139 is pivotally connected to an extension finger 140 that extends up behind and over the top of the coin rejcctor 12, see FIG. 3. The extension finger 140 mounts a pin 141 at its top end to actuate release mechanism in the coin rejcctor. By pushing the top 142 of the coin release finger 117 rearwardly, and assuming a coin is present in either coin pocket 93 or 94, the yoke bar 108 is reciprocated in the forward direction to remove the nickel and dime ledges 107, 109 and from beneath the nickel and dime face plates 97, 98, thereby permitting the coinage to drop into a return chute 145 illustrated in phantom lines in FIG. 1. This for the reason that the yoke bar 108 (to which the ledges 107, 109, 110 are mounted) is movable relative to the main slide 95 by pivoting release finger 117 clockwise. On the other hand, if there is a hang up of coinage in the coin rejcctor 12, pushing on the coin release finger 117 would, through operation of the second bell crank 137, move the extension finger and pin 141 at the top of the rejcctor into operating engagement with release mechanism in the coin rejcctor to release those coins. too.

DETAILED OPERATION OF THE PRODUCT DISTRIBUTOR & COIN PLATE MECHANISM Each stack 19 of the magazine 18 is provided with either gum packages or lozenger packages, however, all of the stacks must be provided with packages that sell for either 5 cents or for I0 cents. That is, some of the stacks 19 cannot be provided with 5 cent merchandise and some provided with 10 cent merchandise because in this embodiment, the coin plate 11 only operates with (a) one nickel or (b) one dime or two nickels. The stacks 19 are made accessible by pivoting the window plate 33 into the horizontal position. Once the stacks 19 have been filled, and a follower block 58 placed on top of each stack, the sizing rods 49 are positioned so each step 50 seats either on the top punched bracket 52 or in the notch 53 at the top of the magazine's back plate 31, depending on whether 5 cent gum or 10 cent gum, or 5 cent lonzengers or 10 cent lozengers are to be sold. After the window plate 33 has been returned to its vertical position where it is held by bracket 37, the magazine 18 is considered filled and ready for vending purposes.

A consumers coin is inserted into the coin slot 16 which directs it into the coin rejcctor 12 where it is either accepted delivery chute22 for delivery back to the consumer access opening, not shown, of the gum dispense.

Assuming the coin is accepted by the coin rejector 12 it exits from the rejecto'r as at I51 from where it is directed into and seated in, for example, the cent coin pocket 94. When the gum dispenser is adapted to dispense 5 cent packages, the adjustable nickel ledge 110 is positioned between the nickel face plate 98 and the wall 114 (see FIG. 13) so that a single nickel will permit the productdistributor to be operated.

At this point, a packageejector .17 can be operated or the .nickel returned to the consumer if the consumer determines that he does not like the selections presented by the gum dispenser. 1f the nickel is to be returned, the consumer merely actuates the coin release finger -1 17 by pivoting it clockwise, see FIG. 10, which movesthe nickel ledge 110 (by moving the yoke bar 108) out from underneath the nickel face plate 98 as the main slide 95 remains at rest. This permits thev nickel to drop into the coin returnchute145 where it is directed tothe hole 149 in the face plate 34 and, hence, out to the'consumer access opening, not shown-,ofthegum dispenser. The coin return or release apparatus functions in this manner whether or not one nickel, two nickels, or one dime is present in the coin pockets 93,94. l 1 If it is desired to operate a package ejector 17 when a nickel is seated in the coin plate and the coin plate is adapted for operation by a'single nickel, the knob 20 is pulled toward the consumer thereby'engagingthat ejectors bearing roller 69 .with the large or inner tooth 70 f of the cam plate 71 to commence the vending cycle. As the pull bar 63 continues to be pulled toward the consumer the cooperationof the bearing roller 69 with the cam plate 71 causes the cam plate to rotate counterclockwise and, hence, the drive shaft 72 is also rotated counterclockwise. Asthe drive shaft 72 is rotated counter clockwise the drive fork 102 is also pivoted counterclockwise, thereby carrying the main slide 95 in the forward direction. The nickel ledge 110 remains motionless because it is mounted on the stationary yoke bar 108. As the main slide 95 moves in the forward direction, it draws the nickel with it because the nickel is maintained in fixed position relative to the slide by nickel face plate 98. see FIGS. 8, 9 and 13. Thus,

the nickel is ultimately moved off the fixed nickel ledge 110 carried by the stationary tail end of the yoke bar 108. As the nickel is moved off the ledge 110 it drops into a coin box, not shown, by following a drop path behind the coin return chute 145. As the pull bar 63 is being pulled in the forward direction, and because there is a nickel in the nickel coin pocket 94, the working tip 126 of the locking arm 125 is cammed up out of the latch notch 124 in the main slide 95, see FIGS. 11 and 13, to permit the main slide to complete its travel path in the forward direction and, thereby, permit the package ejector 17 to be completely actuated to dispense a package 13.

As the pull bar 63 is pulled forward, the push bar 61 and push tab 21 are pushed rearward through rotation of the throw arm 60. That is, as the pull bar 63 is pulled forward it pivots the throw arm 60 in the clockwise direction to reciprocate the push tab 21 between the fingers 42 positioned at the bottom of the stack 19. Asthe push bar 61 is reciprocated into the stack the pusher tab 21 sticking up frontthe top surface of the bar engages the end of either a gum or lozcnger package 13 that is at the bottom of the stack. That package. 13 that is is then pushed out the package release opening 26 at the war of the magazine 18 where the associated spring clip 57 deflects it downward into the delivery chute 22 so it can be distributed to a consumer at the access opening, notshown, of the gum dispenser. As package 13 after package is distributed from the bottom of a stack 19, the stack gets progressively smaller and the follower block 58 eventuallyreaches the bottom of the stack. Hence, in any subsequent attempt to purchase a package 13 from an empty stack, that is, a stack 19 where the follower block 58 itself is positioned on the finger 42, the pusher tab 21 cannot be reciprocated because the tab contacts the block and the block is dimensioned so that it cannot be pushed out the opening 26 at the rear of the magazine 18. At this point, a consumer has two choices, namely, choose a gum or lozenger package from one of the other stacks 19 in which some packages remain or actuate the coin release finger 117 to return the coinage in the coin plate.

Although the gum dispense of this invention has been described in its preferred form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations andmodifications may be made inthc unit without departing from thespirit and scope of the invention as definedin the appended claims. Therefore, having completely and fully described my invention, what I desire to claim and protect by Letters Patent is:

lclaim:

1. Apparatus for storing a stack of gum or lozengers in a vending unit comprising: I H

a magazine that is vertically positioned, said magazine being suitably sized to store in a stack packages of gum and lozengers of varying lengths;

va bottom associated with the side walls of said magazine which cooperates with the magazine's back wall to define Y a package opening at the bottom of said stack through which a purchased package is discharged;

a sizing rod having astop tip that is adjustably positionable within said opening for adapting the size of said opening to dispense that price package stored in the magazine, said sizing rod extending from the top of said magazine to the bottom of said magazine and said sizing rod's stop tip being adjustably positionable through manipulation of said sizing rod from the top of said magazine; and

first means fixed to the magazine's back wall at an upper position and second means fixed to the magazine's back wall at a lower position, said sizing rod including a step intermediate its ends adapted to cooperate with said first means and said second means as desired to adjustably position said stop tip within said opening.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said first means is a notch in the top edge of said backwall and said second bottom thereof for easy filling of the magazine.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039181 *Nov 10, 1975Aug 2, 1977Egg Sales Promotion Inc.Automatic coupon dispensing apparatus
US6945427Aug 7, 2003Sep 20, 2005The Vendo CompanySelf-learning depth logic for multi-depth vendor control
US7032776Aug 8, 2002Apr 25, 2006The Vendo CompanyVending machine bucket drive control
WO2004014780A2 *Aug 7, 2003Feb 19, 2004Vendo CoRetractable gauge step for flexible multi-depth vending
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/242
International ClassificationG07F11/16, G07F11/22
Cooperative ClassificationG07F11/22
European ClassificationG07F11/22