US 3559427 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1971 N. J. BAKER? CLOTHES STEAMING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 19, 1969 INVENTOR. NORMAN J. BAKER N; J., BAKER cLo'rnBs s'rmume DEVICE Q Feb.
FiledJMarlo h 19,- 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR.
NORMAN J. BAKER United States Patent 01 fice Patented Feb. 2, 1971 3,559,427 CLOTHES STEAMING DEVICE Norman J. Baker, 4701 N. 68th St., Apt. 142, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251 Filed Mar. 19, 1969, Ser. No. 808,616 Int. Cl. D06c N US. Cl. 68-222 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A clothes steaming device comprising a housing having an upstanding member adapted to support clothing thereon; a boilerin said housing having a flexible steam outlet and applicator for applying steam to clothing; a water supply tank in said housing communicating with said boiler and hydrostatic liquid level control means communicating with said water supply tank in said boiler to maintain a low volume low liquid level in said tank for rapid production of steam, and whereby steam may be produced very quickly, as desired.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various clothes steaming devices have been utilized for steaming clothes so that they may be properly pressed, however, these prior art devices have been relatively bulky, complicated and expensive, and have lacked suitable controls in relation to the steam boiler to provide for a quick ready supply of steam, and yet precisely to control the operation of the device during steam production.
Additionally, various prior art devices have been quite bulky and lacked portability, such as may be needed in various clothing stores and other areas where clothes steamers are normally used.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a novel clothes steamer having a wheel support portable housing carrying an upwardly extending clothes support, and having a flexible hose provided with a steam applicator; the hose communicating with a flash boiler internally of the housing adapted to provide very rapid production of steam in a very short period of time, and the boiler is provided with a feed water control means of novel hydrostatic character which maintains a low level low volume of liquid around the heater in the boiler to insure rapid steam production in a short period of time.
The hydrostatic liquid level control means of the invention employs a separate chamber member remote from the boiler and having means communicating therewith for delivering water from a water supply tank in the housing of the invention to the boiler at a low level therein, wherein an electrical heating element converts the small volume of water to steam. The liquid level controller comprising a hollow chamber member having a downwardly extending tube therein open at a low level therein, and communicating with an upper portion of the liquid or water supply tank so as to create a vacuum therein, when the water level in the tank recedes and the lower portion of the liquid level controller chamber having an outlet tube extending into the boiler and open at a low level therein near the level of the open lower end of the liquid level controller tube in the controller chamber.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel clothes steamer of portable character and which has a self-contained water supply, flash boiler, flexible hose, steam applicator, and clothes stand, all of which is very readily and easily useable, and which quickly affords a supply of steam when needed.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel steam boiler feed water control for a portable clothes steamer having novel features for controlling a low volume low water level in the boiler adjacent to a heater disposed in the lower level thereof, said heater being an immersion heater and electrically heated, and the device also comprising novel means for filling the tank, and at the same time, permitting exchange of water from the boiler to the controller tank without causing any spillage thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide a very novel clothes steamer housing and boiler arrangement, wherein the housing is provided with a hollow structure comprising a water supply tank which surrounds the steam boiler and the hydrostatic liquid level controller means to provide a very compact and self-contained housing and steam production apparatus.
Further objects and advantages of the invention may be apparent from the following specification, appended claims, and accompanying drawings:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a clothes steamer in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the housing of the invention showing the clothes stand and flexible hose of the invention disconnected therefrom;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the steam applicator of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view through the housing of the invention taken from the line 44 of FIG. 1, and showing parts and portions in elevation to facilitate the illustration;
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the housing structure of the invention taken from the line 55 of FIG. 4, and showing portions broken away and in section to amplify the illustration; and
FIG. 6 is a top view of the heater taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED- EMBODIMENTS As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, the invention comprises a housing 10 which is preferably made of plastic or any other suitable material. This housing is supported on wheels 14, also shown in FIG. 4, and a stationary stand 16 which is a tilt up stand tiltable above the surface of the floor about the axis of the wheels 14, when the invention is moved about by a handle 18 connected to a vertical stand 20. This handle and stand are secured to the housing, as will be hereinafter described, and permit the housing to be tilted up to elevate the stand 16 from the floor and to permit the invention to be portably moved on the wheels 14.
The vertical stand 20 is a hollow tubular structure having an upstanding clothes support 22 on which hangers or other devices may be supported for hanging clothes to be steamed by steam emitted from a steam applicator 24 connected to a hollow flexible hose 26 communicating with an outlet 28 of a steam boiler 30 in the housing 10. The steam boiler is best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5.
The stand 20, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, at its lower hollow end 32 is fitted over a rigidly supported upstanding stub 34 which is secured to the housing 10 and is provided With a spring loaded detent 36 extending normally through opening 38 in the side wall of the hollow tubular stand 20. Thus, the detent may be pressed inwardly against compression of a plate spring 40 to release the detent 36 from the opening 38 and to permit removal of the stand 20 from the upstanding stub 34.
As shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the housing 10 consists mainly of a plastic structure which is generally of the shape shown in FIG. 2 from a top view. This housing is hollow providing a water supply tank 42 and this tank 42 is provided with a central recess portion 44 in which the boiler 30 and a feed water controller 44 are disposed. The boiler 30 is basically a flash boiler preferably made of metal, such as stainless steel, or the like, and this boiler is supported on a pan preferably made of metal. This pan being designated 48 and being secured to a lower portion 50 of the housing 10. The wheels 14 and stand supporting stub 34 are mounted on the pan 48, and the boiler 30 is provided with brackets 52 which are secured to the upper portion of the pan 48 for supporting the boiler in the central recess 44 of the housing 10, said recess 44 being surrounded by the water supply tank 42.
The boiler 30 is generally a hash boiler having a Calrodtype electrical heating element 54 adjacent a bottom portion 56 of the boiler. This Calrod heating element 54 is an emersion-type unit having upstanding portions 58 and 60 projecting through the top 62 of the boiler 30 and provided with electrical terminals 64 for supplying electrical energy to the heating element 54. The ends adjacent the terminals 64 are suitably sealed by proper clamping and seal means 66 to prevent the escape of steam from the tank 30 around the terminals 64.
It will be seen from FIG. 6 that the generally spiral shape of the electrical heater 54 is so disposed in a fiat coil that the entire heating portion of the heating element is closely adjacent to the bottom 56 of the boiler 30, and that opposite ends of the spiral coil are constituted by the upstanding portions 58 and 60 of the electrical heating element.
A thermostat 68 is secured to the bottom 56 of the boiler 30 to sense an undesirable high temperature condition in case the boiler runs dry. This thermostat 68 being disposed to de-energize the heating element 54 under such conditions.
Communicating with a lower interior portion 70 of the water supply tank 42 is a hollow tubular conduit 72 which communicates at 74 with a lower interior portion 76 of a hollow liquid level controller chamber 78. Thus, the hollow tubular member 72 delivers water to a lower interior portion of the controller chamber 78, and a second hollow tubular conduit 80 communicates at 82 with the interior of the controller chamber 76 at its lower portion. The opposite end of the hollow tubular conduit 80 is provided with an upwardly extending open end 84 which communicates with a lower interior portion of the boiler 30 so as to deliver water at a level slightly above the heating element 54.
A liquid level control tube 86 is disposed in the controller chamber member 78 and is provided with an open lower end 88, and this liquid level control tube 86 is connected with a hollow tubular conduit 90 having an end 92 thereof communicating with an upper interior portion of the water supply tank 42. Thus, water gravitating into the controller chamber 78 rises and shuts olf the open end 88 of the liquid level control tube 86 and to thereby provide means by which partial vacuum may be created in the upper portion of the water supply tank 42, when the water level therein recedes. Thus, controlling the liquid level in the boiler 30 to substantially the level at which the upper open end 84 of the tube 80 is disposed in the boiler 30, this being a low level low volume control system, wherein a small amount of water is allowed to fiow into the boiler 30, and this is proportioned to the thermal capacity of the electrical heater 54 so that the heating element, when energized very quickly, converts the small amount of water to steam to insure quick delivery of steam through the hose 26 and to the applicator 24 for rapidly delivering steam to clothes supported on the portion 22 of the stand 20.
The boiler is provided with a tubular outlet conduit 96 extending upwardly to the outlet 28 with which the hose 26 communicates.
The liquid supply tank 42 is provided with a third opening 100 which is normally held closed by a closure 102,
and when the tank 42 requires filling, the tank is tilted upwardly into position so that the opening is disposed upwardly, and the controller chamber 46 is provided with a vent tube 104 which in this position is directed upwardly allowing water to drain back into the controller chamber 78, but which prevents the water from spilling therefrom. As shown in FIG. 5, it will be seen that an open vent end 106 of the vent tube 104 may be disposed substantially above the controller chamber 78 when the filler opening 100 of the tank 42 is directed upwardly.
A manual on-olf switch 110 is disposed for controlling operation of the electrical heating element 54 and is disposed on the upper side of the housing 10 directly above the central recess portion 44 in which the boiler and controller chamber member 78 are disposed.
As shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the applicator 24 is provided with brush portions 25 and steam emission openings 27 for direct application to clothing in order to steam the clothing preliminary to pressing.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the novel compact portable construction of the invention provides for clothes steaming in a very convenient manner, and that the novel hydrostatic liquid level controller in the housing 10 and communicating with the boiler 30 provides for rapid heating of low level low volume liquid in the boiler 30 around the heating element 54 so that steam may be produced very quickly when desired. Additionally, the novel features of the housing, the water supply tank, and the disposition of the boiler will be appreciated when one recognizes the compact, lightweight, and portable convenience of the invention. Furthermore, the filling of the tank 42 by means of the opening 100, when disposed upwardly, allows a portion of the tank to extend thereabove and to provide for air space, such that when the tank is disposed in FIG. 4 of the drawings, there is sufficient air space above the water therein to provide for the pneumatic and hydrostatic mode of operation, hereinbefore described. Thus, the tube 92 is automatically disposed in communication above the liquid level when the tank 42 is filled through the opening 100.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. In a clothes steaming device, the combination of: a housing; a water supply tank therein; a hollow steam boiler in said housing; a steam outlet communicating with an upper interior portion of said boiler; a flexible hollow hose connected with said outlet; a steam applicator adapted to apply steam directly to clothing, said steam applicator coupled to said flexible hollow hose and adapted to receive steam therefrom; an electrical heater disposed in a bottom interior portion of said hollow boiler; a boiler feed water controller; said controller comprising a hollow controller chamber member; a first hollow liquid conduit disposed to deliver water from a lower interior portion of said water supply tank into the interior of said hollow controller chamber member; a second hollow liquid conduit disposed to deliver water from said hollow controller chamber member and into said boiler at a lower interior location therein; a water level control tube having a lower open portion disposed in a lower interior location in said controller chamber member; an upper portion of said water level control tube communicating with the interior of said water supply tank at a normally upper location therein, whereby when said controller chamber member fills up close to said lower open portion of said water level control tube, subsequent vertical recession of the water level in said tank causes a partial vacuum therein to thereby limit the water level in said boiler and said controller chamber member to a level below said Water level in said supply tank and to thereby maintain a low level and low volume of water in said boiler to correspond with the rapid steam production in relation to the energy capacity of said electrical heater.
2. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: Wheels support said housing and a clothes hanger stand is carried by said housing and projects upwardly therefrom to support clothing thereon.
3. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said water supply tank at one side of said housing is provided with a filler opening therein, and said controller chamber member is provided with a vent tube normally disposed above said open lower portion of said liquid level control tube so that water normally in said boiler may drain into said controller chamber, when said tank is being filled in a position tilted at substantially 90 degrees to the normal position thereof, and whereby said vent tube permits water to flow from said tank into said controller chamber and said vent tube in this position extends vertically to a level such as to prevent spillage of water from said controller chamber member, when said water drains from said boiler thereinto, while said water supply tank is being filled.
4. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: the lower open portion of said water level control tube is nearly on a level with the open end of said second hollow liquid conduit which delivers water from said hollow controller member into said boiler.
5. The invention, as defined in claim 3, wherein: a lower open portion of said liquid level control tube is nearly on a level with the delivery end of said second hollow liquid conduit in said boiler.
6. The invention, as defined in claim 4, wherein: a thermostat is disposed in contact with said boiler adjacent said electrical heater therein, whereby said electrical heater may be automatically shut off in the event supply of water from said water supply tank is exhausted and said boiler runs dry.
7. The invention, as defined in claim 6 wherein: a manual switch is disposed to control on-off operations for energizing and shutting off said electrical heater, and said thermostat is disposed automatically to override said onoff switch in the event said boiler runs dry.
8. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said tank comprises a major portion of said housing and surrounds said boiler, and is spaced therefrom, such that said boiler is substantially centrally located with respect to the surrounding structure of said water supply tank.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 763,032 6/ 1904 Wasser Theurer 68222 2,117,419 5/1938 Hamrick et al 68222 X 2,861,838 11/1958 Wyatt et a1. 68222 X FOREIGN PATENTS 882,121 9/1937 France 68222 WILLIAM T. PRICE, Primary Examiner