US 3602007 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 7 1 1 3,602,007
 Inventor Philip J. Drieci 2,136,558 11/1938 lnanshel 62/377 WheatonJll. 2,717,495 9/1955 Anderson 62/71 211 App]. No. 866,832 3,009,336 11/1961 Baystoy... 62/137  Filed Oct. 16, 1969 3,146,601 9/1964 Gould 62/344  Patented Aug. 31, 1971 3,218,111 11/1965 Steiner 62/377  Assignee General Electric Company 3,280,578 10/1966 Linotrombery 62/137 3,308,632 3/1967 Winfield 62/377 [541 REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING THROUGH-T1112- Wye DOOR ICE SERVICE AttorneysWalter E. Rule, Harry F. Manbeck, Jr., Frank L. 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs. Neuhauser, Oscar B. Waddell and Joseph B. Forman  11.8. CI 62/344, 62/377, 62/71, 62/441, 62/137  Int. Cl F250 5/118  Field ofSearch.... 62/377,
137, 441 ABSTRACT: A refrigerator having an automatic ice maker includes an ice piece storage receptacle carried by a pivotally  References Cited mounted ice access door in the freezer door and tiltable to an UNITED STATES PATENTS open position for providing access to the stored ice without 1,275,511 8/1918 Welch 62/377 opening of the freezer door.
PATENTEB M83] 19?:
, FIG! INVENTOR.
PHILlP J. DRlECl BY y gfiw ms ATTORNEY REFRIGERATOR INCLUDING THROUGI-ITI-IE-DOOR ICE SERVICE CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The ice service of the present invention is incorporated in the later invented ice maker apparatus of 1) an earlier filed copending application Ser. No. 812,992 filed Apr. 3, 1969 by William M. Webb and Daniel N. Toma and (2) an earlier filed copending application Ser. No. 826,541 filed May 21, 1969 by John E. Sterling; both of which applications are entitled Household Refrigerator Including Automatic Ice Maker and Door Mounted Ice Storage Receptacle" and are assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
BACKGROUND'OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a household refrigerator including a freezer compartment and means providing access to ice pieces stored in the compartment without opening the freezer door.
A number of modern household refrigerators feature automatic ice makers including a receptacle for receiving and storing a supply'of ice pieces in a freezer compartment at below freezing temperatures. Most of the commercially available refrigerators including this feature require opening of the freezer compartment door whenever the user desires to obtain ice pieces from the receptacle. Each door opening results in entrance of moist air into the freezer compartment and a loss of refrigerated air therefrom. There is presently available on the market one refrigerator including a through-the-door or exterior ice service by means of which ice pieces can be obtained without opening the freezer compartment door. This refrigerator, as described and claimed in the copending application Ser. No. 835,689 filed June 23, 1969 by Dwight W. Jacobus and William C. Bodong and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, features an ice maker and a dispensing receptacle mounted within the freezer compartment of the refrigerator and a normally closed passage in the door through which ice pieces from the dispenser are conveyed to a dispensing recess in the face of the freezer door.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention has as its general object the provision of a household refrigerator including a freezer compartment and low cost exterior ice service means. The ice service means comprises an ice storage receptacle mounted on the freezer door and means providing access to the receptacle so that ice pieces can be removed therefrom without opening of the freezer door.
More specifically, there if provided in accordance with the present invention a household refrigerator including a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof and a main insulated door closing that opening. An automatic ice maker is supported within the compartment and the door is provided with a passage normally closed by a secondary or ice service door. An ice storage receptacle is mounted on the inner surface of this secondary door in a position to receive ice pieces produced by the ice maker so that upon opening of the secondary door, the receptacle is accessible for removal of ice pieces therefrom.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. I is a front view of a refrigerator including the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view, partly in section, of the freezer portion of the refrigerator of FIG. 1 including the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken generally along line 3-3 ofFIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawing, there is illustrated a household refrigerator cabinet including, in side-by-side relationship, a freezer compartment I and a fresh food compartment. The access opening at the front of the freezer compartment is closed by a closure structure including a main door 2, and the fresh food compartment access opening is closed by a door 3.
The freezer compartment I contains an automatic ice maker generally indicated by the numeral 4 which may be supported for example on a side wall 5 of the freezer companment. This ice maker may be of any of the well-known types supplied in household refrigerators for the automatic production of ice pieces to be stored at below-freezing temperatures until used. The illustrated ice maker is of the type described in US. Pat. No. 3,163,017-Baker et al. and US Pat. No. 3,163,01 8-Shaw, issued Dec. 29, 1964 In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an ice service comprising an automatic ice maker and means for obtaining access to stored ice pieces without opening of the main closure member closing the access opening to the freezer compartment 11. To this end, the closure structure for the main access opening to the freezer compartment 1 comprises an insulated main closure member such as the door 2 for closing the main access opening to the freezer compartment 1, which closure member 2 is provided with a relatively small opening or passage 8 that is normally closed by an insulated secondary closure member such as a door 9. In the illustrated embodiment of this invention, the secondary or ice service door 9 is hingedly supported at its lower edge as indicated at 10 for tilting movement about a horizontal hinge axis from the closed position to a tilted, open position. The access opening 8 is preferably at about counter height.
More specifically, as shown in FIG. 4, the inner surface of the illustrated main door 2 is provided with inwardly and vertically extending projections 11 and 12, overlapping the sides of the freezer compartment access opening and forming a recess on the interior surface of the door 2 which may be provided with shelves for food storage. The passage 8 opens into this recess. An ice storage bin or receptacle 14 is supported within this recess between the projections I1 and 12 and generally below the ice maker 4 so that ice: pieces periodically discharged by the ice maker may be conveyed by a chute 15 into the receptacle. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the ice storage receptacle 14 is removably supported on hooks 16 on the'inner surface of the ice surface door 9 in a position such that the ice pieces from the chute 15 will be discharged into the receptacle 14 carried by the door 9 whenever both the main and ice service doors are closed.
By this arrangement, access of the contents of the bin 14 is obtained merely by tilting of the door 9 forwardly to a position in which the open top 18 of the bin is exposed in front of the outer surface of the main door 2 so that the user can then reach into the bin to remove ice pieces. To facilitate the opening of the door 9, it is provided with a handle 19 adjacent its upper edge and suitable stop means (not: shown) may be provided for limiting the opening or tilting movement of the door 5. Thus, ice pieces can be removed from the receptacle 9 without opening the main door 3 and hence with the minimum entrance of moist air into the freezer compartment or the loss of refrigerated air from the freezer compartment during removal of the ice pieces.
It will be obvious that the exterior ice service of the present invention is not limited to cabinets in which the main and ice service closure members are in the form of doors. For example, the main closure member may be in the form of a drawer from having an ice access opening or passage therein. Also,
What I believe is new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A refrigerator cabinet comprising a freezer compartment having a main access opening;
a main closure member for closing said access opening and having a secondary access opening therein and a secondary closure member mounted on said main closure member for closing said secondary opening;
an automatic ice maker mounted on a wall of said compartment;
an ice storage receptacle positioned on the inner surface of said secondary closure member for receiving ice pieces from said ice maker when said access opening is closed by said closure structure and for removal of ice pieces therefrom upon opening of said secondary closure member; and
a chute for conveying said ice pieces from said ice maker to said receptacle.
2. The cabinet of claim 1 in which said secondary closure member is a door mounted on said main closure member for tilting movement to an open position.
3. A household refrigerator including a freezer compartment having an access opening at the front thereof and a main insulated door for closing said opening;
an automatic ice maker mounted on a wall of said compartment; said main door having a passage therein below the level of said ice maker and communicating with the interior of said compartment and a secondary insulated door mounted on said main door for closing said passage; an ice storage receptacle supported on the inner surface of said secondary door for receiving ice pieces from said ice maker; a chute for conveying said ice pieces from said ice maker to said receptacle; said secondary door opening outwardly from said main door whereby ice pieces may be removed from said receptacle without opening said main door. 4. The refrigerator of claim 3 in which said receptacle is supported on the inner surface of said secondary door.
5. The refrigerator of claim 4 in which said secondary door is pivotally mounted on said main door for tilting movement to an open position.