US 3577859 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent William E. Davidson Ontario, Calif.
Nov. 20, 1969 May 11, 1971 General Electric Company Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee COMBINATION FLATIRON AND INTEGRAL CREASER 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl 38/71, 219/245, 219/254 Int. Cl A47j 51/00 Field of Search 219/245,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,055,793 3/1913 Pogue 38/71 1,095,925 5/1914 Pogue 38/71 2,458,530 1/1949 Resnick 69/20 2,807,896 10/1957 Tay 38/7183 Primary Examiner-J. V. Truhe Assistant Examiner-C. L. Albritton Attorneys-Lawrence R. Kempton, Leonard J. Platt, John F. Cullen, F rank L. Neuhauser, Oscar B. Waddell and Joseph B. Forman ABSTRACT: A combination electrical flatiron and integral fabric creaser having a s'oleplate through which steam is discharged for normal ironing. A surface of the iron body opposite the soleplate forms a second ironing surface in the form of a fabric creaser with steam supply selectively to the creaser when in use all within the iron envelope.
Patented May 11, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Inventor- William EDawdson m Attorngg Patentd 'May 11, 1971 i 3,577,859
2 Sheets-Sheet t Inventor William E. Dawdson Attorney COMBINATION FLATIRON AND INTEGRAL CREASER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a combination flatiron and creaser attachment and, more particularly, to an integral fabric creaser providing steam and which may be used horizontally or vertically as a second ironing surface to add flexiblity to the iron.
2. Description of the Prior Art Various arrangements have been proposed to convert a conventional flatiron so that it can perform additional pressing functions and the conversion means has usually involved complex attachments that are neither convenient nor compact. Some prior art devices have used the sides of a thick heated soleplate with hinged members to press fabric against the side of the iron or have used hang-on heated attachments for particular ironing problems and still others have employed steam usable in attachments whereby a rolling action is created. All of these devices have been cumbersome and present problems when the iron is to be used in the normal fashion. None of the prior art constructions has provided a compact iron arrangement that permits the iron to be used in normal fashion or to perform additional creasing operations, with or without steam, all in a device that is no larger and has the same configuration as a normal iron.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention is directed to a combination flatiron and integral fabric creaser that has an electrically heated soleplate with the usual flat ironing surface and steam generation.means on the inner surface of the soleplate opposite the ironing surface. A cover is provided extending over the steam generation means to form a steam chamber therewith and thecover is in heat-conducting relation with the soleplate. There is provided an upper surface portion, which may be the upper portion of the cover, that defines a second ironing surface parallel to and opposite the flat ironing surface. Such second surface permits use of the maximum heated area for an additional function as will become apparent. As a steam iron, steam discharge passage means are provided opening downwardly through the soleplate and upwardly through the cover to the second ironing surface. A creaser plate is hingedly connected to the iron to close over the second surface so that creasing can be done; and manual means is provided to operate the creaser plate. The upper second ironing surface is formed on the cover and is smaller than the normal flat ironing surface and the creaser plate may be provided with a protective cover and is biased, preferably through its hinge, to a closed position over the second surface. For steaming in the creaser attachment, a means selectively controls steam flow to the upper surface and this includes a valve disposed in the upper surface to project therefrom and normally blocking steam to the upper surface. The=creaser plate has recess means to accommodate the projecting valve when the plate is closed and the valve is actuated to open position by the tension on a fabric pressed and travelling between the creaser plate and the upper surface whereby steam is supplied to the second surface. The iron may be used vertically or horizontally as a presser or used as a normal iron with the creaser plate closed and out of the way over the forward and upper nose portion of the iron. Thus, the main object of the invention is to provide a combination flatiron and integral fabric creaser that is compact within the iron envelope; may be used for steaming; provides a construction that does not interfere with the normal ironing function; and one which presents an appearance of a normal flatiron.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING face and its steaming mechanism;
FIG. 3 is a partial bottom view of a steaming means for the normal or flat ironing surface;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view with the creaser plate open and the closed steam valve; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial section of the steam valve open as urged by a fabric being pressed.
The present invention is adaptable to any normal flatiron but is primarily for use with the lightweight, compact travel irons of the general type shown by U.S. Pat. No. 2,791,045 of common assignment. It is in this connection that the invention will be described, although its use is not so limited.
Referring to FIG. I, there is shown in electric travel iron having a soleplate I0 and a cover 12 forming a body, a folding handle I4 and operable by a power cord not shown. If provision for steam generation is desired, the iron may be provided with a water bottle 16 removably attached to the cover 12 in a known manner. The iron is also provided with a suitable thermostat control knob 18 to' vary the ironing temperature as desired. In accordance with usual practice as seen in FIG. 4, the iron is provided with singular or, in the case of dual voltage irons as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,095,493 of common assignment, dual heating units 20 and 22 preferably embedded in soleplate 10. Each of the units is provided with a suitable coil resistance element that is centrally supported and insulated with respect to its surrounding tube by a mass of electrically insulating heat conducting material such as compacted magnesium oxide, as is well known. For convenience in storing and handling, handle 14 has an openforward end which is folded down when not in use.
For conventional ironing, a normal lower flat ironing surface 24 may be supplied with steam discharge passage means 26 for steaming in the usual manner as shown in FIG. 3. To this end, as seen in FIG. 4, soleplate 10 may be constructed generally in accordance with the U.S. Pat. No. 2,791,045, supra, in which steam generation means 28 is formed on the surface of the soleplate opposite ironing surface 24 whereby water dripping onto 28 is instantly flashed into steam. To confine the steam, a coverplate 30 is provided and sealed in heatconducting relation to soleplate 10 to form a steam chamber 32 between the two members. Steam is subsequently controlled and distributed to eventually emerge through discharge means 26 and, by means of grooves 34, to distribute steam generally throughout the normal ironing surface.
In accordance with the invention, it is desired to provide such a flatiron with a convenient and preferably integral fabric creaser which does not hang on the iron as an attachment and does not extend beyond the iron envelope so that there is provided an additional function without additional bulk or change in the general appearance of the iron.
To this end, cover plate 30 may be flattened and provided with a polished upper surface portion 36 defining a second ironing surface located opposite the regular lower flat ironing surface 24. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the second upper ironing surface 36 is smaller than, and formed to cover substantially the forward half portion of, lower ironing surface 24.
Because of conductivity between cover plate 30 and soleplate 10, it will be apparent that second ironing surface 36 will become heated and this is further enhanced by the steam in chamber 32 when the iron is operated to generate steam.
.In order to use second ironing surface 36, there is provided creaser plate 38 conveniently hingedly connected to the iron at 40 to close over the second ironing surface in any suitable manner and provide an integral fabric creaser. Creaser plate 38 is contiguous and matching with the soleplate over the forward nose portion of the iron as shown. Thus, except for a very slight increase in the thickness of the iron body, the creaser attachment adds nothing to the envelope of the iron.
Because the creaser plate 38 becomes hot, a protective cover 42 of a heat-resistant material, such as plastic, may be provided. For operating the creaser plate 38, manual knob means 44 conveniently operated by either hand of the user, is provided to lift cover plate 38 to place a fabric 46 on the second ironing surface as seen in FIG. I. Also, to permit cover plate 38 to adjust to different thicknesses of fabric, hinge 40 is provided with means, such as slot 48, to allow vertical movement and give in the hinge portion. Further, it is desirable that the cover plate be biased to closed position over the second ironing surface to provide pressure during a pressing or creasing operation. Any suitable means, such as spring 50, as shown in FIG. 4, may be supported on the hinge connection to press down on the creaser plate 38. Generally this pressure is quite light to avoid any trouble with the bias of the fabric being pressed. If more pressure is desired, knob 44 may be conveniently pushed by the user on particularly difficult pressing operations.
In order to provide second ironing surface 36 with steam, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, a steam discharge passage means 52 opens upwardly through cover plate 30. To distribute the steam throughout the second ironing surface, the steam discharge means 52 may communicate with suitable grooves 54 to spread the steam over the surface in a manner similar to grooves 34 in the regular ironing surface 24 of FIG. 3.
It is desirable to selectively control the steam to the second or upper ironing surface and, to this end, a valve means 56 is provided. As seen in FIG. 5, this may take the form of a simple sheet metal hat section that is guided for up-and-down motion in cover plate 30 with the valve normally biased upwardly by spring means 58 so that valve seat 60 is closed by the valve to shut off passage of steam through peripherally spaced passages 62. These are sized to control the steam flow in order to avoid condensation on creaser plate 38 which is cooler than cover plate 30. In the unused and closed position of creaser plate 38, central portion 64 of the valve projects above the ironing surface 36 and into a recess means 66 in the creaser plate so the valve 56 remains normally closed as seen in FIG. 4.
It can be seen that the valve is then depressed and automatically actuated to open position by a fabric 46 placed between the creaser plate 38 and the upper second ironing surface 36 as seen in FIG. 5. The amount and rate of steam flow may be controlled by the force of spring 58 and by the size of passages 62. Thus, when the iron is set to steam, the fabric automatically starts the steam flow in the creaser and it is automatically shut off when no fabric is present. Steam to both ironing surfaces depends on the presence or absence of water bottle 16 which automatically admits water to the steam chamber so the iron may be used normally or with steam to both ironing surfaces as desired.
It will be apparent that the combined flatiron and integral fabric creaser disclosed provides a very compact adjunct to the usual iron arrangement and one that may be used in the horizontal or vertical position. For example, a skirt or trousers may be hung and the iron may be conveniently pulled down vertically to press the item with or without steam. The creaser attachment does not increase the iron envelope nor detract from the normal iron size except for a slight increase in thickness of the iron body between the handle and the top of normal cover 12. However, this is minimal and the overall size, shape, and appearance of the iron is, for practical purposes unaffected.
While there has been described a preferred form of the invention, obvious equivalent variations are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise then as specifically described, and the claims are intended to cover such equivalent variations.
lclaim: I. A combination flatiron and integral fabric creaser comprising:
an electrically heated soleplate having a lower flat ironing surface, an upwardly facing second ironing surface opposite said lower surface and in heat conduction with said soleplate, a creaser plate hingedly connected to the iron to close over said second surface for creasing parallel to said flat ironing surface, and manual means to operate said creaser plate. 2. Apparatus as described in claim 1 wherein said second upper surface is smaller than said ironing surface, and said creaser plate has a protective cover thereon and is biased to closed position over said second upper surface.
3. Apparatus as described in claim 2 wherein said second upper surface covers substantially the forward half portion of the lower ironing surface, and said creaser plate is contiguous and matching with the soleplate over the covered portion.
4. Apparatus as described in claim 3 where said hinge connection is formed to allow vertical movement and includes spring means therein to allow give for thick fabrics and function as said bias respectively.
5. A combination flatiron and integral fabric creaser comprising:
an electrically heated soleplate having a flat ironing surface,
steam generation means formed in said soleplate on a surface opposite said ironing surface,
a cover extending over said means and in heat conducting relation with said soleplate and forming a steam chamber therewith,
an upper surface portion on said cover defining a second ironing surface opposite said flat ironing surface,
steam discharge passage means opening downwardly through said soleplate and upwardly through said cover,
a creaser plate hingedly connected to the iron to close over said second surface for creasing parallel to said flat surface, and
manual means to operate said creaser plate.
6. Apparatus as described in claim 5 having valve means selectively controlling steam flow to said upper surface.
7. Apparatus as described in claim 5 wherein said upper surface is formed on said cover smaller than said flat ironing surface, and said creaser plate has a protective cover thereon and is biased to closed position over said upper surface.
8. Apparatus as described in claim 6 wherein said valve means is disposed in said upper surface projecting therefrom and normally blocking steam flow through said upper surface,
said creaser plate having recess means for said projecting valve when said plate is closed, and
said valve means being actuated to open position by a fabric pressed between said creaser plate and upper surface.
9. Apparatus as described in claim 7 wherein said upper surface is formed on said cover smaller than said flat ironing surface, and said creaser plate has a protective cover thereon and is biased to closed position over said upper surface.
10. Apparatus as described in claim 9 wherein said hinge connection is formed to allow vertical movement and supports spring means thereon to allow give for thick fabrics and function as said bias respectively.