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Publication numberUS3633792 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1972
Filing dateNov 17, 1969
Priority dateNov 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3633792 A, US 3633792A, US-A-3633792, US3633792 A, US3633792A
InventorsSteigerwald Carl J
Original AssigneeBeltone Electronics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Small article dispenser
US 3633792 A
Abstract
A dispenser for hearing aid batteries comprises upper and lower interfitting disc portions forming a hollow housing. An annular passage is formed within the housing for carrying the batteries and a cam, operated by an exterior handle, is moveably arranged in the annular passage to either urge the batteries from the passage through an opening to the housing exterior or to urge batteries from the exterior through the opening into the passage by movement of the cam in opposite directions.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor CarlJ.Steigerwald' Wauconda, Ill. [21] Appl. No. 877,259 [22] Filed Nov. 17, 1969 [45] Patented Jan. 11, 1972 [73] Assignee Beltone Electronics Corporation [54] SMALL ARTICLE DISPENSER 9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 221/267 [51] Int. Cl B65d 83/04 [50] Field of Search 221/279, 247,267, 2, 7; 206/42 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,109,556 11/1963 Scibelli 221/279 X 3,143,207 8/1964 Wagner 221/2 3,215,309 11/1965 Holzwarth et al 221/2 3,085,679 4/1963 Burrell 206/42 FOREIGN PATENTS 712,676 7/1931 France 206/42 Primary Examiner Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon, Jr. AtlorneyBair, Freeman 8L Molinare ABSTRACT: A dispenser for hearing aid batteries comprises upper and lower interfitting disc portions forming a hollow housing. An annular passage is formed within the housing for carrying the batteries and a cam, operated by an exterior handle, is moveably arranged in the annular passage to either urge the batteries from the passage through an opening to the housing exterior or to urge batteries from the exterior through the opening into the passage by movement of the cam in opposite directions.

PATENTED mu 1 1972 3,633,792

[NV/i. 70R. CARL 1 STE/GERWALD ATTORNEYS SMALL ARTICLE DISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a dispenser and, more particularly, to a new and improved dispenser for storing and dispensing small solid articles, such as hearing aid batteries or the like.

Small solid articles, such as hearing aid batteries, 7 are generally tiny and difficult to be carried or manipulated by the person using the article. Such tiny batteries for example frequently become lost or misplaced and are difficult to manipulate with the fingers when inserting the batteries into or removing the batteries from the hearing aid. These handling difficulties become particularly troublesome where the hearing aid user is of advanced age.

A dispenser constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention facilitates the carrying and handling of such tiny batteries. A plurality of the tiny batteries may be stored in my dispenser and readily carried about in the user's pocket and may be easily and rapidly discharged from the dispenser when desired. Moreover, the dispenser of my invention is constructed to discharge its batteries directly into the housing of the hearing aid obviating the necessity of manual handling of the batteries. Such dispenser is also operable to eject the battery from the hearing aid housing and either restore the battery in the dispenser or discharge and discard the battery. The quantity of batteries present in the dispenser may be readily viewed and each of the batteries may be readily tested without necessitating removal of the batteries from the dispenser or disassembly of the dispenser. Finally, the manufacture and assembly of my dispenser is simple and inexpensive and the dispenser may be easily refilled, if desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a principal aspect, the dispenser incorporating the principles of my invention includes first and second flat circular portions interfitted together to form a hollow housing. A generally circular flange depends from at least one of the portions and a raised circular shoulder is located centrally of at least one of the portions, the flange and shoulder defining an annular passage for holding a plurality of the articles to be dispensed. An urging means is also provided in the passage and is operable from the exterior of the housing to move the articles toward an opening which communicates with the exterior of the housing to dispense the articles from the passage. A detent is arranged in the passage for normally maintaining the articles in the passage.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood through a consideration of the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the course of this description, reference will frequently be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the preferred embodiment of the dispenser of my invention being manipulated to dispense a battery into a hearing aid housing;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the dispenser shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectioned elevation view of the dispenser taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and showing a hearing aid housing being positioned to receive a battery;

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the dispenser taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment of dispenser of my invention; and

FIG. 6 is a view of the bottom portion of the dispenser including an enclosure handle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The preferred embodiment of the dispenser constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention includes top and bottom circular disc portions 8 and 9, the top and bottom disc portions each having raised shoulders 10 and 11, respectively, in their centers. The raised shoulders 10 and II are adapted to be aligned with each other when the disc portions are superimposed upon each other. Referring particularly to FIG. 5, disc portion 8 carries a relatively wide flaring arcuate flange 12 extending about a major portion of its periphery. the space between the shoulder 10 and flange 12 forming a recess 14. Disc portion 9 also carries a somewhat narrower arcuate flange 16 extending about a major portion of its periphery, flange 16 extending in a substantially perpendicular relationship to the plane of the disc portion 9. The space formed between the shoulder II and flange 16 also defines a recess 18. Flange 12 is adapted to fit over and encircle flange 16 in a press fit relationship, the recesses I4 and I8 combining to provide a hollow housing having an annular passage 20 therein, as shown in FIG. 4.

Each of the disc portions 8 and 9 carries rectangular notches 22 and 24, respectively, the notch 22 in disc portion 8 being somewhat shorter than the notch 24 in disc portion 9. The notch 24 in disc portion 9 is outlined by a relatively short flange 26 about three sides of the rectangular notch, the flange extending in a direction generally perpendicular to the plane of the disc portion 9. The shoulder 11 of disc portion 9 extends in partial overlying relationship into the notch 24 outline and the shoulder 11 itself carries a somewhat smaller notch 28 as viewed in FIG. 5. The disc portion 8 includes a downwardly extending tab 30 having a stepped distal end 31. When the disc portions 8 and 9 are interfitted together to form the hollow housing, the stepped distal end 31 is adapted to engage the shoulder 11 of disc 9 and a portion thereof extends through the notch 28 of shoulder 11, as best seen in FIG. 3. The tab 30 thus operates to center the notch 22 of disc 8 over the notch 24 of disc 9.

The flanges l2 and 16 terminate short and to one side of their respective notches 22 and 24 to provide a lateral opening 32 into the annular passage 20 located in spaced offset relationship to notch 24 when the disc portions are interfitted together. As shown in FIG. 2, a pair of bead detents 33 are also provided on the inner side of flange 12 adjacent the notch 22 for maintaining the articles in the annular passage 20.

An urging arrangement is provided which includes an elongated arcuate cam 34 which is moveably disposed in a portion of the annular passage 20. Flanking each face of the elongated cam 34 are a pair of abutments 36 and 37 which are also generally arcuate in shape and extend into the recesses 14 and 18, respectively. The width of each of the abutments 36 and 37 is substantially the same as the width of each of the recesses 14 and 18, the abutments acting to maintain the cam 34 parallel to the plane of each of the disc portions and guide the cam during movement.

Extending from the cam 34 toward the center of each of the disc portions 8 and 9, is a shank 38 which terminates in a substantially circular distal end 40. An operating arm or handle 42 is provided on the exterior of the hollow housing which carries a projecting shaft 44 extending from one end thereof. The shaft 44 is generally cylindrical and a pair of flat faces 46 are provided on opposed sides of the shaft, the faces extending over a portion of the length of the shaft 44 and providing the shaft with a rectangular cross section over at least a portion of its length. A pair of apertures 48 and 49 are provided in the center of each of the disc portions 8 and 9, the apertures being of substantially identical diameter as the cylindrical portion of the shaft 44. A generally rectangular slot 50 is formed in the circular distal end 40 of the shank 38. Upon assembling the dispenser, the shaft 44 is inserted through the apertures 48 and 49 and slot 50, the cylindrical portion of the shaft being disposed in aperture 48 and the rectangular portion 46 being disposed in the aperture 49 and rectangular slot 50 in keyed relationship to the latter.

The elongated arcuate cam 34 extends a greater distance to one side of the shank than to the other side, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the longer portion 52 of the cam having the ability to span the notches 22 and 24 if it is desired to reinsert a battery into the annular space 20.

A plurality of aligned apertures 53 are provided in the disc portions 8 and 9, respectively, to facilitate testing of the batteries while the batteries are located in the annular space 20. Thus, the batteries may be tested without necessitating their removal from the dispenser or disassembly of the dispenser itself.

ln operation a plurality of the small batteries, 8,, B B B B are stowed in a portion of the length of the annular space 20. When it is desired to dispense a battery into the hearing aid housing H, the housing is inserted upwardly through the wider bottom disc portion notch 24 as shown in dot and dash lines in FIGS. 1 and 3. The upward movement of the housing H is stopped by the extreme distal stepped end 31 of the tab 30 which engages a shoulder on the hearing aid housing H and aligns the housing to receive the battery B from the dispenser. To dispense battery B, from the dispenser, the handle 42 is rotated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2. When the handle 42 is moved in such direction, the arcuate cam 34 is rotated in a clockwise direction and exerts a force on battery B overcoming the pressure exerted by the detent 33 and causing the end battery B to be moved within the outline of the notches 22 and 24. Since the hearing aid housing H which is to receive the battery, has been located in the notch 24 and across the annular passage 20, the end battery B will be dispensed directly into the hearing aid housing and the spent battery previously in the hearing aid housing will be ejected therefrom and will pass outwardly through the lateral opening 32 for disposal, the latter opening being spaced from notch 24 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5.

If it is desired to remove a battery from the hearing aid housing H or refill the dispenser, operation of the handle 42 is merely reversed moving the elongated cam 34 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2. When moved in such direction, the long portion 52 of the cam will span the notches 22 and 24 and urge the battery, which has previously been positioned in the notches and in alignment with the annular passage, into the dispenser.

Since even the hearing aid housing H is itself relatively tiny and difficult to manipulate by the operator, an enclosure handle 54 may be provided to facilitate insertion into or removal of the battery from the hearing aid housing. As shown in FIG. 6, the flanges 26 which outline the notch 24 in the bottom disc portion 9 may be somewhat extended and connected by a bottom portion 56 to form a three-sided boxlike enclosure. The length of the enclosure 54 is such as to accommodate the insertion of the hearing aid housing H therein. The enclosure handle 54 may thus operate both as an enclosure for firmly holding the hearing aid housing as well as a handle, the hearing aid housing being held into the enclosure handle by grasping them between the thumb and forefinger of one hand of the operator.

Each of the urging arrangement and the handle 42 and its shaft 44 are preferably formed of a polymeric material and each, respectively, is preferably of molded one-piece construction. The disc portions are preferably transparent to enable ready viewing of the batteries within the dispenser.

Although I have described the preferred embodiment of my dispenser with relation to use for dispensing small hearing aid batteries, it should be readily understood that the dispenser may be utilized to dispense other small solid articles such as pills and the like. It should also be understood that the embodiments of the invention which have been described are merely illustrative of an application of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A dispenser for small solid articles comprising:

first and second substantially flat circular portions,

a generally circular flange depending from at least one of said portions, said flange cooperating with the other portion for interfitting said portions together to form a hollow housing therein,

a raised generally circular shoulder located in the center of at least one of said portions, said flange and said raised shoulder defining a continuous annular passage for holding a plurality of the articles to be dispensed,

an opening through said housing communicating with said annular passage for dispensing the articles from the annular passage,

detent means in said annular passage normally maintaining the articles in the annular passage,

urging means movable in said continuous annular passage for moving the articles through the annular passage toward said opening, said urging means being movable past said opening in said continuous passage, and

means external of said housing and connected to said urging means for moving said urging means with sufficient force to overcome said detent means.

2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said urging means comprises an arc-shaped cam moveably disposed in said annular passage.

3. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein a part of said urging means is disposed between said raised shoulder of said one of said portions and the other portion and said part is keyed to said external means.

4. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said first and second portions are snap fitted to form said housing.

5. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein at least one of said first and second portions includes a plurality of apertures communicating between the exterior of the housing and said annular passage said apertures being arranged to align with the articles in the annular passage.

6. A dispenser for small solid articles comprising:

first and second substantially flat circular portions,

a generally circular flange depending from at least one of said portions, said flange cooperating with the other portion for interfitting said portions together to form a hollow housing therein,

a raised generally circular shoulder located in the center of at least one of said portions, said flange and said raised shoulder defining an annular passage for holding a plurality of the articles to be dispensed,

an opening through said housing communicating with said annular passage for dispensing the articles from the annular passage, said opening being constructed and arranged to provide for insertion of article user means across said annular passage to receive the article as the article is dispensed from said passage,

detent means in said annular passage normally maintaining the articles in the annular passage,

urging means movable in said annular passage for moving the articles in the annular passage toward said opening, and

means external of said housing and connected to said urging means for moving said urging means with sufficient force to overcome said detent means.

7. The dispenser of claim 6 including a handle depending from one of said portions adjacent said opening, said handle being constructed and arranged to at least partially enclose the article user means to facilitate dispensing of the article and positioning of the user means to receive the article from the passage.

8. A dispenser for small solid articles comprising:

first and second substantially flat circular portions,

a generally circular flange depending from at least one of said portions, said flange cooperating with the other portion for interfitting said portions together to form a hollow housing therein,

a raised generally circular shoulder located in the center of at least one of said portions, said flange and said raised shoulder defining an annular passage for holding a plurality of the articles to be dispensed,

an opening through said housing communicating with said annular passage for dispensing the articles from the annular passage,

detent means in said annular passage normally maintaining the articles in the annular passage,

urging means movable in said annular passage for moving the articles in the annular passage toward said opening,

means external of said housing and connected to said urging means for moving said urging means with sufficient force to overcome said detent means, and

a lateral opening near but spaced from the firstmentioned opening and communicating with said annular passage.

9. A dispenser for small solid articles comprising:

first and second substantially flat circular portions,

a generally circular flange depending from at least one of said portions, said flange cooperating with the other portion for interfitting said portions together to form a hollow housing therein,

a raised generally circular shoulder located in the center of at least one of said portions, said flange and said raised shoulder defining an annular passage for holding a plurality of the articles to be dispensed,

an opening through said housing communicating with said annular passage for dispensing the articles from the annular passage,

detent means in said annular passage normally maintaining the articles in the annular passage,

urging means movable in said annular passage for moving the articles in the annular passage toward said opening, said urging means being movable in two directions, movement of the urging means in one direction being operative to discharge at least one of the articles from the annular passage to said opening and movement of the urging means in the other direction being operative to move at least one of the articles from the opening to the annular passage to store the articles in the passage, and

means external of said housing and connected to said urging means for moving said urging means with sufficient force to overcome said detent means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3085679 *Oct 17, 1960Apr 16, 1963American Hospital Supply CorpDispenser
US3109556 *May 1, 1961Nov 5, 1963Scibelli Eugene AApparatus for sequentially dispensing objects
US3143207 *Jul 27, 1962Aug 4, 1964David P WagnerMedication dispensing means
US3215309 *Aug 5, 1963Nov 2, 1965Philip Morris IncFlat article dispenser
FR712676A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6488176Jan 18, 2001Dec 3, 2002Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
US6581799Sep 8, 2000Jun 24, 2003Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
US6631825Apr 18, 2001Oct 14, 2003Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
US6769567Jan 3, 2003Aug 3, 2004Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
US8978885Feb 11, 2010Mar 17, 2015Phonak AgSystem and method for exchanging a battery of a hearing device
US9209442Jun 9, 2014Dec 8, 2015Akoio, LlcProduct dispenser
US9346609Nov 4, 2015May 24, 2016Akoio, LlcProduct dispenser
US20040129717 *Jan 3, 2003Jul 8, 2004Gauthier Jonathan C.Product dispenser
US20090020549 *Sep 19, 2006Jan 22, 2009Spectrum Brands, IncBattery dispenser
EP0312517A2 *Oct 12, 1988Apr 19, 1989Gn Danavox A/SDispenser for hearing aid wax filter elements
WO2002020371A1 *Sep 6, 2001Mar 14, 2002Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
WO2010052345A1 *Feb 11, 2010May 14, 2010Phonak AgSystem and method for exchanging a battery of a hearing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/267
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/0454
European ClassificationB65D83/04C1