US 3637274 A
A universal adapter plate having openings therein for engaging mounting brackets on the rear wall of a towel dispenser cabinet and projections designed to engage a variety of standard towel metering and rewinding mechanisms, a cradle pivotally affixed to the adapter plate for receiving therein a roll of clean towels and a plurality of cooperating ridgelike projections at the back of the cradle and the front of the adapter plate positioned to form a tortuous towel rewind path to produce a desired amount of tension on the towel and to smooth out wrinkles and creases so that it will rewind properly after use.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [is] 3,637,274 Manuel [4 1 Jan. 25, 1972 54 ADAPTER ASSEMBLY FOR TOWEL Primary Examiner-James C. Mitchell CABINETS Malcolm 0. Manuel, Stanton, Minn.
 Assignee: Universal Dispensers, Ltd., Minneapolis,
 Filed: Mar. 6, 1970 [21} Appl. No.: 17,262
 U.S. Cl ..3l2/38  Int. Cl ...B6$h 19/00  Field ofSearch ..3l2/38  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,860,207 5/1932 Schwartz ..3l2/38 Attorney-Merchant & Gould [5 7] ABSTRACT A universal adapter plate having openings therein for engaging mounting brackets on the rear wall of a towel dispenser cabinet and projections designed to engage a variety of standard towel metering and rewinding mechanisms, a cradle pivotally affixed to the adapter plate for receiving therein a roll of clean towels and a plurality of cooperating ridgelike projections at the back of the cradle and the front of the adapter plate positioned to form a tortuous towel rewind path to produce a desired amount of tension on the towel and to smooth out wrinkles and creases so that it will rewind properly after use.
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INVENTOR. MLcoLM O. MANUEL .AT TORNE'YS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention is designed for and especially useful in towel dispensers of the type wherein a large roll of cloth toweling is stored and a short loop of the toweling extends externally of the towel dispenser housing through parallel spaced apart slots so that the loop of toweling is available to a user. The towel dispenser housing contains apparatus for metering the fresh toweling and rewinding the used toweling so that a user can apply a light pulling force to the loop and obtain a portion of clean or unused toweling.
2. Description of the Prior Art In the prior art a great variety of standard, or commercially available, towel metering and rewinding mechanisms are available. Each of these towel metering and rewinding mechanisms is constructed to fit within a particular cooperating dispenser cabinet and any one of the variety of mechanisms will not fit within the cabinets associated with the other mechanisms. The towel dispenser cabinets have a tendency to wear out or become damaged much more quickly than the towel metering and rewinding mechanisms and, consequently, companies servicing towel dispensers eventually accumulate many additional towel metering and rewinding mechanisms which are no longer useful, because of the lack of cabinets in which they can be mounted.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to an adapter assembly including a substantially universal adapter plate mountable at the rear of a towel dispenser cabinet and having mounting means thereon for removably receiving a variety of different standard or commercially available metering and rewinding mechanisms, said adapter plate further having a clean towel receiving cradle pivotally mounted thereon and tensioning means cooperatively mounted on adjacent portions of said adapter plate and said cradle means for applying a desired amount of tension to the towel and for smoothing wrinkles and creases.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an adapter assembly for mounting a variety of different standard or commercially available towel metering and rewinding mechanisms in a towel dispenser cabinet.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved tensioning and smoothing means for towel dispensers.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the accompanying specification, claims and drawings. I
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the drawings, wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the figures:
FIG. 1 is a view in front elevation of a towel dispenser having a towel operatively positioned therein, portions thereof broken away;
FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation of the towel dispenser, por' tions thereof broken away;
FIG. 3 is a view in perspective of an adapter plate for the present adapter assembly;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from the line 4-4 in FIG. 1, portions thereof broken away;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from the line 5-5 in FIG. 1, portions thereof broken away;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view as seen generally from the irregular line 6-6 of FIG. 5, portions thereof broken away, and portions thereof removed;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view as seen from the irregular line 7 7 in FIG. 4, portions thereof removed; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional view as seen from the line 8-8 in FIG. 4, portions thereof removed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the figures the numeral 10 generally designates a towel dispenser cabinet having an upper wall 11, a rear wall 12, a lower wall 13, sidewalls l4 and 15 and a cover 16 forming the front wall thereof. The cover 16 is hingedly engaged to the upper wall 11 so that it may be pivoted upwardly out of the way during servicing of the towel dispenser. A stop mechanism 17 is cooperatively mounted between the cover l6 and the upper wall 11 to maintain the cover 16 in an upwardly pivoted position during servicing. It should be understoodthat the present invention is specifically designed for use with a variety of cabinets, all of which cannot be illustrated, and the cabinet 10 is illustrated simply for exemplary purposes.
The rear wall 12 of the cabinet 10 has two portions partially sheared therefrom and formed into upwardly and inwardly projecting hooks 20. In the present embodiment, an adapter plate, generally designated 30, is formed with means for engaging the hooks 20, which in this embodiment is a pair of spaced-apart openings 31. The openings 31 are formed so that the hooks 20 extend therethrough and the adapter plate 30 hangs downwardly generally parallel and in juxtaposition to the rear wall 12 of the cabinet 10. The adapter plate 30 is designed to mount a variety of types of towel metering and winding mechanisms, generally designated 25, in the cabinet l0.
The adapter plate 30 is generally rectangularly shaped with two portions partially sheared and bent outwardly adjacent the bottom thereof to form a pair of parallel spaced apart arms 32. Formed in each of the arms 32 are stiffening ridges 33, a slot 34 extending from adjacent the upper forward corner downwardly and rearwardly and a hole 35 spaced downwardly and rearwardly from the lowermost end of the slot 34. A cradle generally designated 36, having a bottom 37 with a generally arcuate shaped cross section and sides 38 fixedly engaged at either end of the bottom 37 and generally perpendicular thereto, is positioned between the arms 32 with the sides 38 generally parallel and adjacent thereto. A pair of pivot pins 40 are engaged through the holes 35 of the arms 32 and the sides 38 of the cradle 36 for pivotal movements of the cradle 36 about an axis therethrough. A rodlike arm 41 is positioned on each side of the cradle 36 between the side 38 and the arm 32 and a pivot pin 42 is positioned approximately centrally through each of the arms 41 and the slots 34. A second pivot pin 43 is engaged through the rear end of each of the arms 41 and the respective side 38 of the cradle 36. Thus, the cradle 36 is mounted for pivotal movements about the pivot pins 40, the bottom 37 of the cradle 36 moving between a position adjacent the adapter plate 30 and a position spaced outwardly therefrom.
A plurality of ridgelike projections 50 are formed in the eradle 36 adjacent the uppermost edge thereof. In the present embodiment three spaced apart ridgelike projections 50 extend parallel with each other and with the axis of rotation of the cradle 36. The cradle 36 is molded from a relatively hard plastic and the projections 50 are formed therein at the time of molding, in this embodiment, although it should be understood that the cradle 36 can be formed of a great variety of materials and the projections 50 can be formed integrally in the cradle 36 or added thereto at a later time. A channellike member 51 is affixed to the outwardly directed surface of the adapter plate 30 so that the sides thereof project outwardly in a spaced apart relationship. The outermost edges of the sides of the channellike member 51 are turned over to form rounded ridgelike projections and the member 51 is further oriented on the adapter plate 30 so that the rounded edges thereof are positioned interjacently with the projections 50 on the cradle 36 and generally parallel thereto. The combination of the projections 50 on the rear surface of the cradle 36 and the rounded edges of the channellike member 51 cooperate to produce a tortuous towel rewind path which provides a desired amount of tension in the towel and smoothes wrinkles and creases therefrom, as will be described in more detail presently.
A pair of plates 53, each having a tingerlike projecting member 54 extending outwardly from an upper edge thereof generally perpendicular thereto, are affixed to the rearwardly directed surface of the cradle 36 with one being positioned below each end of the middle projection 50. The plates 53 are further formed and positioned so that the members 54 are spaced apart a distance sufficient to operate as centering means for the toweling. The outwardly extending dimension of the members 54 is such that the outermost tips thereof engage the flat central area of the channellike member 51 and maintain a spacing between the projections 50 of the cradle 36 and the channellike member 51 sufficient to provide a desired tension on a towel sliding therebetween. Because tension is produced by a plurality of cooperating projections 50 and the channellike member 51, the desired amount of tension can be produced with a relatively wide spacing between adjacent projections 50 and member 51. This relatively wide spacing allows mends and large seams to pass freely through the tensioning device and maintains a relatively constant tension on the toweling.
The upper corners, designated 60 of the adapter plate 30, are bent inwardly to form mounting means for the towel metering and winding mechanism 25. The corners 69 are bent so that an upper edge thereof extends outwardly generally perpendicular to the front surface of the adapter plate 30 and stop members 61 are formed in upwardly extending relationship from the upper edge adjacent the outermost extremity thereof. The towel metering and winding mechanism 25 includes a pair of spaced apart side walls 65, which form a frame for the mechanism 25, and each have an outwardly extending offset adjacent the upper edge thereof with a slot 66, either provided or subsequently formed therein, for receiving the stop member 61 therein. The mounting means, including stop members 61 and slots 66, are designed to be a substantially universal mounting means for a variety of different towel metering and winding mechanisms. It should be understood, however, that other mounting means might be incorporated with the adapter plate 30 which would also operate to mount a variety of towel metering and winding mechanisms and the present mounting means is for illustrative purposes.
The towel metering and winding mechanism 25 includes a pair of idler rollers 67 and 68 (see FIG. mounted between the sidewalls 65 and having some means such as sprockets and chain 69 (see FIG. 4) affixed thereto to produce simultaneous rotation therebetween. Each of the idler rollers 67 and 68 have an outer surface with a relatively high coefficient of friction, similar to sandpaper, so that engagement with a towel causes rotation rather than a sliding movement therebetween. A somewhat smaller solid roller 70 is removably mounted for rotation in upwardly inclined slots 71 formed in the sidewalls 65. The roller 70 is mounted in the slot 71 so that it frictionally engages the roller 67 at the extreme lower end of the slot 7 l. A roll of fresh toweling 75 is positioned in the cradle 36 and the end thereof is threaded between the rollers 67 and 70. A stationary cradle portion 72 is affixed to the inner surface of the lower wall 13 to cooperate with the cradle 36 and position the toweling 75 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The cradle portion 72 overlies a locking mechanism 73 for the cover 16 and prevents the toweling 75 from becoming engaged therein. The end of the roll of toweling 75 is then brought around the solid roller 70 and out of the cabinet through a slot 76, formed between the lower wall 13 of the cabinet 10 and the cover 16 (with the cover 16 in the closed position). A pulling force on the end of the toweling 75 extending out of the slot 76 produces rotation of the solid roller 70 and a simultaneous downward force on the roller 70 against the roller 67. Thus, rotation of the solid roller 70 in a clockwise direction (as seen in FIG. 5) produces rotation of the roller 67 in a counterclockwsie direction and subsequent rotation of the roller 68 in a counterclockwise direction (as seen in FIG. 5). The roller 67 has attached thereto at the outside of the right side wall 65 of the towel metering and winding mechanism 25, apparatus for allowing a predetermined amount of the toweling 75 to be drawn through the slot 76 in one pulling motion. The metering apparatus has a suction cup timing device, generally designated 77, associated therewith for resetting the metering device after an adjustable period of time so that another portion of the toweling 75 can be drawn through the slot 76. The metering apparatus and timing device 77 are not illustrated or described in detail since they do not form a portion of this invention.
The towel metering and winding mechanism 25 further includes a rewind roller 80, which is removably mounted in angularly upwardly extending slots 81 in the sidewalls 65, so as to be in frictional engagement with the idler roller 68 when the roller is positioned at the lower ends of the slots 81. Prior to closing the cover 16, the free end of the toweling 75 extending outwardly from the cabinet 10 is looped, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, and inserted in the cabinet 10 through a return slot 82 in the bottom thereof. The free end of the toweling 75 is then threaded through the tensioning device, made up of projections 50 and channellike member 51, and affixed to the rewind roller 80. As predetermined lengths of the toweling 75 are drawn through the slot 76, the idler rollers 67 and 68 are rotated simultaneously and the rewind roller 80, which is in frictional engagement with the idler roller 68 is rotated so that the toweling 75 is rewound thereon. As the toweling is drawn through the tortuous path of the tensioning device, sufficient tension is supplied thereto so that a uniform roll of used toweling is formed on the rewind roller 80. The amount and type of tension applied to the used toweling 75 is important, because too much tension or corners which are too sharp produce undue amounts of wear in the toweling 75 while too little tension produces such a large roll of used toweling that the entire apparatus may become fouled or inoperative. The present tensioning device is designed with a plurality of interjacent projections so that sufficient amount of tension is distributed over a larger area of toweling and the net result is a desirable amount of tension without undue wear of the toweling. Further, because the tension is produced by a relatively large number of elements, rather than a single element and/or a large radius, the difference between the tension produced on wet toweling and the tension produced on dry toweling is minimized.
Thus, an adapter assembly is disclosed which can be incorporated in towel dispensers so that towel metering and rewinding mechanisms can be utilized in a variety of different cabinets. Further, the adapter includes an improved tensioning device designed to produce a desired amount of tension on the used toweling and to smooth wrinkles and creases therein without producing undue wear thereon. In the operation of the present apparatus, when the cover 16 is lifted into the maintenance position the cradle 36 can be rotated outwardly about the pivot point 40 so that the toweling can be quickly and easily threaded through the tensioning device and engaged around the rewind roller 80. When the cover 16 is returned to the operative position the outwardly extended ends of the arms 41 engage the inner surface thereof to maintain the cradle 36 in an operative or rearwardly pivoted position so that the tensioning device always produces the desired amount of tension. Because the adapter plate 30 is designed to receive a variety of different towel metering and winding mechanisms and because the adapter plate 30 can'be quickly and easily inserted into a variety of cabinets, the adapter is a substantially universal device. While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of this invention, further modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art. I desire it to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular form shown and I intend in the appended claims to cover all modifications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a towel dispenser including towel metering and rewinding mechanisms and a cabinet, an adapter assembly comprismg:
a. a substantially universal adapter plate having means thereon for removably engaging said plate at the rear of the cabinet;
b. said adapter plate further having mounting means thereon for removably receiving the metering and rewinding mechanism in an operative position thereon;
c. clean towel receiving cradle means pivotally mounted on said adapter plate; and
d. tensioning means cooperatively mounted on adjacent portions of said adapter plate and said cradle means and adapted to have a used portion of the towel extend therethrough for applying a desired tension to the towel to facilitate rewinding thereof.
2. An adapter assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein the tensioning means includes a plurality of spaced apart, generally parallel, ridgelike projections on the adapter plate and cradle means positioned interjacently with the cradle means pivoted into an operative position for forming a tortuous towel rewind path.
3. An adapter assembly as set forth in claim 2 including in addition spaced-apart centering members forming a part of said tensioning means for receiving therebetween and substantially centering on said projections a towel.
4. An adapter assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein the centering members are mounted on the tensioning means and include a portion projecting outwardly a sufficient distance to operate as a stop for limiting the pivotal movement of the cradle means toward the adapter plate.
5. An adapter assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein the means for removably engaging the adapter plate at the rear of the cabinet includes a pair ofspaced apart openings posi tioned to receive therein outwardly extending projections affixed to the rear wall of the cabinet and the mounting means on the adapter plate include projections extending outwardly from the adapter plate in a direction away from the rear of the cabinet positioned in a spaced apart relationship and formed to engage substantially any towel metering and rewinding mechanisms.