US 3617214 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Raymond E. Dolac 5756 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, 111. 60630 850,769
Aug. 18, 1969 Nov. 2, 1971  Inventor  Appl. No.
 Filed  Patented  DOOR-OPERATED AIR FRESHENER 12 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 21/77, 222/4021, 239/274  1nt.Cl A611 9/04  Field of Search 21/77, 55;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,704,622 3/1955 Soffer 222/40222 X 3,228,562 1/1966 Brown ZZZ/402.1 X 3,269,602 8/1966 Weber.. 239/274 X 3,351,240 11/1967 Gray..... ZZZ/402.13 X 3,420,445 l/1969 lnzerill 239/274 3,462,967 8/1969 Prasnikar 222/402.1l X 2,534,464 12/1950 Marini et al. 2.1/77 X Primary ExaminerMorris O. Wolk Assistant Examiner-D. G. Millman Attorney-Hill, Sherman, Meroni, Gross & Simpson ABSTRACT: A door-operated air frshener assembly has a bracket for supporting a pressurized fluent freshening material container having a normally closed supply nozzle and valve structure responsive to operating in response to a thrust supplied thereto through the action of a solenoid momentarily energized by closing ofa door-actuated switch.
PATENIEDmwz mm 31511214 SHEET 1 [IF 2 INVIi/V'lnk RAY/Wanna f. 004 4c PATENTEDRnvz 19w SHEET 2 UF 2 DOOR-OPERATED AIR FRESIIENER This invention relates to space or room air conditioners of the kind which are adapted to dispense limited quantities of conditioning substance such as deodorizer, perfume and the like, from a pressurized container, and is more particularly concerned with such a conditioner adapted to be operated in response to movement of a door of the room in which the assembly is mounted.
Heretofore, various arrangements have been proposed in which a spray nozzle and valve device of a pressurized container, such as the aerosol variety, is adapted to be operated in response to thrust by a device mechanically actuated by door movement. Such arrangements are dependent upon location close to the door and in proper relation to the swinging movements of the door to enable functioning of the'respective door-engaging links, levers, plungers and the like. This sometimes limits or precludes the use of such apparatus.
According to the present invention, the foregoing and other disadvantages, shortcomings, inefficiencies and problems are overcome by providing a new and improved door-operated. air freshener assembly which is not dependent upon any particular contiguity of the dispenser with respect to the door of a room in which it may be used, but which is nevertheless especially adapted to be operated in response to opening and/or closing movements of the door, the arrangement including a solenoid which is momentarily energized in response to door movement for operating a nozzle and valve means of a pressurized fluent air-freshening material container.
An important object of the invention is to provide a new and improved door-operated air freshener assembly.
Another object is to provide such an assembly havingne and improved means for operating the same, not dependent upon the close association of a fluent air-freshening material container relative to a door the movements of which are adapted to activate the dispensing device of the container.
A further object is to provide a new and improvedsolenoid operated device for operating pressurized fluent air freshening material containers.
Still another object isto provide new and improved electrical operating means for pressurized fluent air-freshening material containers.
Yet another object is to provide a novel relationship of spray nozzle and actuating structure in an air freshener assembly.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following description of certain preferred embodiments thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, although variations and modifications may be. effected without departing from the spiritand scope of the novel concepts of the disclosure, and in which:
FIG. I is a front elevationalview of an air freshener assembly according to the principles of the present invention with its cover partially broken away for illustrative purposes.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional elevational detail view taken substantially along the line ll-ll of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional detail view taken substantially along the line III-lll of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional plan view taken substantially along the line lV-IV of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view showing the assembly installed in a room for operation by a door.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional elevational view taken substantially along the line VI--VI of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional detail view taken substantially along the line VII-VII of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the switch mechanism of FIG. 6.
In a desirable assembly. a pressurized fluentair-freshening material container I0 is operatively mounted within a vertically elongated and preferably generally rectangular boxlike housing ll comprising a generally pan-shaped elongated casing l2 arranged to open forwardly and closed by a removable cover 13. A backwall 14 of the casing has means for attaching it to a support and herein including keyhole slots 15 receptive of attaching screws 17. Projecting forwardly from the backwall 14 are respective angular, opposite sidewalls 18, a top wall 19 and a bottom wall 20. For registration mounting of the cover 13 on the casing 12, the cover has complementary right angular marginal flange structure 2] adapted to telescope onto the casing about the free end portions of its angular walls and is desirably constructed of a relatively rigid but resiliently flexible material such as a suitable plastic. For snapon, snap-off retention of the cover 13, the lower and upper portions of the flange structure 2.] and the lower wall 20 and the upper wall 19 have means for interengagement, comprising a rib 22 on and parallel with the free edge of the outer face of the lower wall 20 engageable within a complementary inner surface groove 23 of the matching flange portion of the cover; and the upper wall 19 has on its outersurface one or more rounded upwardly projecting latching. projections 24 which are engageable in snap-on and snap-ofi' relation within complementary sockets 25 in the matching portion of 'the flange structure 21, enabled by resilientflexibility thereof. With this arrangement the cover can be readily mounted by first engaging the rib 22 in the groove 23 and then pressing the cover rearwardly into position until the latching projections 24 are snappingly engaged into thesockets-25. Removal of the cover. can be effected by reversing the action by snapping the upper flange portion 21 free from the latching projections 24.
Within the cabinet enclosure of the housing II, the container 10, desirably in the form of a pressurized aerosol can, is supported in a suitable replaceable manner adjacent and parallel with one of the side walls 18 as by means of a bracket 27. In one form, as shown, the bracket is secured to the back wall 14, and has a lower supporting flange 28 on which the bottom of the container rests, and resiliently spreadable gripping arms 29 which engage partially-about the'perimeter of the container and hold it firmly in upright position in the bracket.
. For controlled dispensing, the container 10 may be equipped withany'suitable normally closed spray nozzle and valve means, details of which are not shown because they are well known. In some types of such devices, the valve is'opened by pressingdown on a nozzle member. In another form, and as shown herein, an upstanding nozzle member 30 is normally biased by means of a spring into axial alignment with the top of thecontainer, but is adapted to be operated by thrustings; laterally thereagainst to tilt the same for opening the. dispensing valve whereby material is forced under the internal pressure from within thecontainer as a spray from an orifice 31 in thenozzle member directed radially therefrom.
Electrically actuated means are mounted adjacent. to the supportingbracket 27 for selectively applying operatin g' thrust to the nozzIe30; Provided for this purpose is a thruster in the form of an arm .32 which is carried on an'outer end portion of anarmature 33 ofa solenoid 34 mounted on a bracket 35 attached to the upper portion of the side wall 18 which is farthest from-the containerv I0. Thereby the solenoid 34 is supported in overlying spaced relation to thecontainer l0 and the nozzle 30, with the thruster arm 32 depending from the armature 33 and with its: lower end adjacent to the upper end portion of the nozzle 30. When the solenoid is energized and the armature 33 drawn inwardly, that is toward the right inFIG. l, intothe solenoidbfield coil, as shown in dash-outline, an angular thrusting finger 37 (FIGS. I and 4) will'apply a thrust to the nozzle 30 to tilt it, thereby causing the associated valve to open and permit astream of the pressurized fluent air freshening material to issue from the orifice 31. (FIG. 2). Upon deenergization of. the solenoid 34, the normal spring-bias on the nozzle portion 30 snaps it back to its normal closed valve position, thereby returning the thrust arm 32.and armature 33- to inactive, ready position. To avoid overthrow of the arm and armature, a stop 38 is desirably provided within the housing in the path of return movement of the arm 33 and may comprise a depending-stop flange fromthe top wall l9 engageable by the upper end of'the arm 32.
In order to assure that the container has been placed in the housing 11 with the spray orifice 31 properly positioned to discharge forwardly, the thrusting finger 37 is desirably constructed to avoid operating engagement with the tiltable nozzle 30 unless the orifice is properly oriented. For this purpose, the finger 37 is provided with a bifurcating notch 39 opening from its free end and of a depth and width to receive the nozzle 30 freely therein unless the spaced tip portions of the fingers are in thrusting confrontation to a pair of diametrically opposite head lugs or ears 40 on the nozzle located in a vertical plane with the orifice 31. Unless the container is placed with the thrust-receiving lugs 40 in registration with the fingertips, solenoid driven actuation of the thrust arm 32 will not effect spraying operation of the nozzle 30. To enable discharge of the spray stream from the orifice 31 therethrough, the cover 13 has a suitably dimensioned discharge opening 41 (FIG. 2) aligned with the discharging position of the orifice. In order to minimize the size of the opening 41 while yet affording ample area thereof for passage of the spray stream, the opening is formed in an inwardly depressed portion 42 of the cover in the bottom of the recess of which the opening is located as close as practicable to the nozzle 30 and closer than would otherwise be possible because of necessary housing spacing of the cover relative to the container 10 and the nozzle.
Means are provided for effecting actuation of the solenoid 30 in response to movement of a door of a room in which the air freshener assembly is mounted. For this purpose, the solenoid 34 is connected in a normally open electrical circuit including a power source which may be house current, in which case a suitable electrical plug may be provided for connecting into a house current circuit receptacle or outlet. However, in order to have the assembly independent of house current, for greater flexibility in mounting the assembly in a room and minimizing the electrical cord or wires that must lead to or from the housing 11, and also to minimize the cost, and more particularly the cost of the solenoid 34, a battery-operated arrangement is provided. Accordingly, battery-supporting means such as a bracket 43 is mounted within the cabinet chamber of the housing 11, and more particularly on the sidewall 18 which is farthest from the container mounting bracket 27. For maximum life and efficiency, two vertically paired sets of dry cell batteries 44 are supported by the bracket 43 on parallel axes and to function in series relationship in the electrical circuit. Each aligned pair of the batteries 44 is received in a respective longitudinal compartment of the bracket 43, separated by a medial partition 45, and with the batteries held therein by means of resiliently yieldable gripping and clamping fingers 47. The respective opposite ends of the battery pairs are disposed in confronting relation to inturned respective upper and lower contact-carrying flanges 48 of the supporting bracket each carrying a respective electrical contact 49 for the center poles of the series aligned battery pairs and a presser spring electrical terminal 50 for the base pole ends of the paired batteries. Electrical leads 51 connect the coil of the solenoid 34 with the respective terminals 49 and 50 on the adjacent flange 48. At the opposite bracket flange 48, electrical leads 52 connect the terminals 49 and 50 with respective electrical connectors 53 carried by the housing bottom wall 20 and having portions thereof extending from the outer side of this wall and to which respective switch leads 54 are detachably connected by means ofrespective clamping nuts 55.
Thereby the air freshener housing 11 may be mounted at any preferred place in a room on a wall surface 57 (FIG. 5) adjacent a door 58 or relatively remote from the door as may be best suited to gain the air freshening or perfuming results desired. Nevertheless, operation of the freshener assembly by movement of the door 58 on its hinges 59 is adapted to be accomplished by a normally opened switch 60 to which the leads 54 are operatively connected. This switch 60 may be of any preferred construction adapted to be closed to effect momentary actuation of the electrically actuated nozzle thrusting means of the assembly when the door 58 is moved in at least one direction between open and closed position thereof, and preferably when moved in either such direction. In one desirable form, the switch 60 comprises a pair of switch contacts 61 and 62 (FIGS. 6-8) of generally rounded wiper button construction mounted on door-motivated switch-operating means constructed and arranged to effect momentary contact engagement of substantially point areas of the switch contacts in relative passing movement in a common plane. For this purpose, the contacts 61 and 62 are mounted on respective narrow outer terminal end portions 63 and 64 of switch lever arms 65 and 67 which are intermediately pivotally connected by means of a pivot pin 68, and are normally biased by a torsion spring 69 coiled about the pin to swing about the pivot 68 to move the terminal end portions 63 and 64 into X-crossing relation as shown in FIG. 6 and wherein the opposite end portion of the arms 65 and 67 are in substantial divergent relation. By providing the switch arms 65 and 67 with matching right angular bearing flanges 70 through which the pivot pin 68 extends, a relationship of the arms is provided wherein not only do the contact-carrying end portions 63 and 64 pass and touch one another during swinging of the arms into X-relationship, but the contacts again pass and touch one another when the opposite end portions of the arms are brought together. After the contacts 61 and 62 have passed one another with momentary switch closing contacting engagement, in either direction, they move apart and remain spaced apart in normal switch-open relation.
Mounting of the switch assembly 64 for operation by the door 58 may be at any suitable position along the upper or swinging side edge of the door as may be preferred or found most convenient and in which the switch will function to best advantage. While the switch assembly may be mounted directly on the opening side of the door by attachment of one of the switch arms thereto with the other arm relatively pivotally movable and engageable with the door frame or wall in the closed condition of the door, especially where there is a relatively flush relationship of at least a marginal portion of the door face and the wall or trim about the door, it may be more convenient to mount the assembly on the door frame in the manner depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6 where the wall 57 has trim 71 about the door opening such that the door is closed and inset relative to the trim. In any event, one of the switch arms, herein the arm 65, is secured fixedly to the supporting structure as by means ofa screw or nail 72 driven through an opening 73 provided in the attached end portion of the arm. As mounted, the arm 65 projects substantially beyond the structure to which mounted, in the illustrated instance away from the wall in the direction of opening of the door and desirably tilted sufficiently away from the path of movement of the door to afford ample clearance for free movement of the edge of the door relative to the arm 67 which faces toward the door edge path of movement.
In the closed position of the door, the end portion of the arm 67, which generally matches the attached end portion of the arm 65, is held by the door in contiguity to the arm 65, substantially as shown in full outline in FIG. 6. When the door is opened, and moved beyond the pivot 68, the arm 67 is permitted to swing under the bias of the spring 69 into the X-relationship to the arm 65 and a momentary closing of the solenoid-energizing electrical circuit occurs as the switch contacts 61 and 62 pass and touch one another. When the door is moved to closed position, the arm 67 is swung by the door to return to the initial relationship of the switch arm, and. again. the contacts 61 and 62 momentarily close the solenoid energizing electrical circuit as they pass and touch one another. During each such momentary closing of the solenoid-energizing circuit, the solenoid 34 operates the thruster arm 32 to tilt the nozzle 30 and open the associated valve ofthe pressurized container 10 to squirt a spray of air freshener into the room space. It will be appreciated that the switch assembly 60 is adapted to be mounted at either side ofthe wall 57. depending on the direction of opening movement of the door 58, while the enclosing or dispenser box 11 is mounted in the room into which the air freshener is to be dispensed, the electrical leads 54 readily accommodating any such relative disposition of the dispenser and the control switch.
Where the switch arms 65 and 67 are made from a dielectric material such as a suitable plastic material, the switch contacts 61 and 62 may be each separately formed and mounted on the respective arm end portions 63 and 64. Where, as shown, the switch arms are metal stampings, one of the switch contacts, herein the contact 61, may be formed as a separate metal stamping attached to the arm portion 63 as by means of a rivet 73 (FIG. 7) with an insulator 74 intervening between the contact and the arm portion. For attachment of one of the leads 54 thereto, the switch contact 61 may have a solder lug terminal extension 75. The other switch contact 62 may be constructed as an integral flange extension from the inner side of the arm portion 64, with a solder lug terminal 76 electrically connected therewith as by means of a rivet 77 for connection of the other of the leads 54 of the electrical circuit.
I claim as my invention:
l. A door-operated air freshener assembly, comprising: means for supporting in a door-equipped room a pressurized fluent air-freshening material container having normally closed spring nozzle and valve means responsive to operating thrust applied to a nozzle portion thereof externally of the container for releasing a discharge of material into the air in the room;
electrically actuated means mounted adjacent to said supporting means for selectively applying operating thrust to said nozzle portion and including a normally open electrical circuit therefor;
and a normally open switch in said circuit adapted to be closed momentarily responsive to movement of said door and including door activated switch operating means.
2. An assembly according to claim 1, said supporting means comprising a boxlike cabinet housing said container and said electrically actuated means and having a discharge opening aligned with said nozzle portion.
3. An assembly according to claim 2, said cabinet having a portion about said opening indented to locate said opening closer to said nozzle portion than would otherwise be possible because of necessary housing spacing of said cabinet portion relative to said container and said nozzle portion.
4. An assembly according to claim 2, the cabinet including a cover, and means for separably retaining the cover in place, said cover having said opening.
5. An assembly according to claim 1, said electrically actuated means comprising a solenoid provided with a reciprocable armature, and a thruster arm carried by said armature and functioning to apply the operating thrust to the nozzle portion of the container.
6. An assembly according to claim 5, said nozzle portion being normally biased to return to a closed valve position, said thruster arm being operable in one direction by energizing the solenoid and movement of the armature therein for applying operating thrust to the nozzle portion and the bias of the nozzle portion being relied on to return the nozzle to valve closed position and effective through the thruster arm to return the armature to a nonoperating position relative to the solenoid, and a stop in the path of return of said thruster arm to prevent overthrow movement thereof in the nozzle biased return.
7. An assembly according to claim I, said nozzle portion having orientation lugs, and said electrically actuated means comprising a thruster having spaced fingers to engage with said lugs for applying operating thrust to the nozzle portion.
8. An assembly according to claim 7, said nozzle portion being laterally tiltable from a normal axis relative to the container, and said lugs being adjacent to the free head end of said nozzle portion, said fingers being spaced apart to receive the nozzle portion therebetween unless said lugs and said fingers are in operative registration.
9. An assembly according to claim 1, said electrically actuated means comprising a solenoid, and means carried b said supporting means for mounting a set of electrical power atteries and including means for connecting the batteries in said circuit.
10. An assembly according to claim 1, said switch comprising generally button contacts and said switch operating means comprising intermediately pivotally connected arms on adjacent ends of which the contacts are respectively carried, one of said arms having means for attaching it fixedly in position relative to an edge of the door and the other of said arms being disposed to be swung relative to the fixed arm in response to movement of the door for effecting momentary switch closing engagement of said contacts.
11. An air freshener assembly, comprising: a pressurized fluent air freshener material container having a normally closed spray nozzle and valve structure including a nozzle portion movably responsive to operating thrust applied thereto for releasing a discharge of material into air in a room within which a container is mounted;
said nozzle portion having a pair of spaced apart lugs thereon;
and means having spaced apart fingers thrustingly confronting said lugs and operative to thrust against the lugs and thereby actuate the nozzle to open the valve for spray discharge from the nozzle.
12. An assembly according to claim 11. said nozzle portion being tiltably mounted on said container, said lugs being located adjacent to a free head end of said nozzle portion and extending in opposite diametrical alignment, the spacing between said fingers being such as to receive the nozzle portion freely therebetween unless said lugs and fingers are properly aligned.