US 3647159 A
A towel dispenser having automatic towel length controlling means and roll support tensioning means.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Bump 1 Mar. 7, 1972 [541 TOWEL DISPENSER 1561 11 1 8 cm 72 Inventor: Edward L. Bump, Oak Park, 111. UNITED STATES PATENTS 73 A I v m ,"L 2,380,644 7/1945 Grondona ..242/ss.2
I 1 8 2,411,293 11/1946 Roehner ..242/ss.2
22 Filed: June 18, 1970 2,592,786 4/1952 Birr ..242/ss.s3
[2U APPLNQ: 47,233 3,408,125 10/1968 Rasmussen ..312/39 Primary Examiner-Leonard D. Christian  US. Cl ..242/55.53, 312/39 Attorney-Parker, Carter & Markey  1m. 01 ..B65h 19/00 58 FieldoiSearch ..242/ss2, 55.3, 55.53; [5 ABSTRACT A towel dispenser having automatic towel length controlling m.. E means and roll support tensioning means.
7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures [B 4 1 1': II l lll i l PATENTEDMAR 7 I972 3.647. 159
SHEET 1 or 2 TOWEL DISPENSER OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to roll towel dispensers and particularly to dispensers for rolls of paper toweling.
One purpose of the invention is to provide a dispenser effective to dispense individual towels of predetermined dimension.
Another purpose is to provide automatic means applying a continuous tension on a paper towel roll as it is reduced in diameter.
Another purpose is to provide means for automatically controlling the dimension of the individual paper towels dispensed from a roll in response to user action.
Another purpose is to provide a control means for paper towel dispensers of maximum simplicity and economy in manufacture.
Another purpose is to provide a control means for paper towel dispensers of measured accuracy.
' Another purpose is to provide an economical means for predetermining the dimension of individual towel sheets removed from a roll.
Other purposes may appear in the specification and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation:
FIG. 2 is a detail view on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 3 is a top view with parts broken away; and
FIG. 4 is an internal view illustratingan element of the invention.
Like parts are indicated by like numerals throughout the specification and drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, a rear wall or back plate 1 has a bottom wall 2 extending forwardly from its lower edge.
A shell 5 is pivoted at its uppermost rear comers to appropriate flanges 6, as indicated at 7. The forward wall 8 of shell 5 terminates above a toothed or serrated cutting edge 9 positioned along the forward portion of an inclined cross wall 9a, as may be best seen in FIGS.l and 3. A sideplate 10 extends forwardly from back plate 1 and rises from bottom wall 2 inwardly of the side edges of wall 1.
Rotatably carried on the inner, upper face of plate '10 is an elongated, cylindrical boss 11 formed and adapted for reception within one end of the core of a paper towel roll indicated at R. A leafspring member 12 has one of its ends secured to plate 10 adjacent the roller boss 11, as indicated at 13. Member 12 extends angularly inwardly from plate l0v for contact with the comer edge of the paper on roll R, as indicated in FIG. 4.
A second sideplate l5 rises from bottom wall 2 and extends forwardly from backplate 1 adjacent the opposite edge of bottom wall 2 and in parallel with plate 10. Secured to bottom wall 2 adjacent plate 15 and upstanding therefrom is a leafspring strap 16. It will be realized that the bottom portion of strap 16 may be alternately secured to a lower portion of plate 15 without departing from the nature and scope of the invention. The upper portion of leafspring strap 16 rotatably carries the cylindrical boss 17 for reception within the opposite end of the core of paper roll R. Threaded through plate 15 for engagement with the spring strap 16 is a tension adjustment means which may take the form of the bolt 18.
A first guide plate 20 extends between and has its opposite ends secured to the forward edges of plates 10, 15, the plate 20 having a forwardly curved upper edge portion 21 and a rearwardly curved lower edge portionv 22. Extending between the plates 10, 15 and rotatably joumaled therein is a power roll 23. Roll 23 comprises a plurality of axially spaced segments 23a, each of which has a frictional outer surface, the roll 23.being positioned within the reverse curve portion 22 and the forward portion of guide 20.
A second guide plate 25 has its forward edge in the form of individual pickoff fingers 26, each of which extends within a space between adjacent roll segments 23a of roll 23, the guide 25 being positioned rearwardly of the axis of roll 23 and curving in a direction the reverse of that of curve 22. Guide 25 terminates in an edge 25a over which the tab of roll R lies as seen in FIG. 1. Beneath and within the guide 25 an idler roll 27 extends between and has its opposite ends rotatably joumaled in side plates 10, 15, the guide roll 27 being positioned above and within the forward, upwardly curved edge portion 25a of plate 25 and yieldingly held in contact with roller 23 by springs 28.
An axial stub shaft of roll 23 extends through plate 10 and carries adjacent the outer face of plate 10 a gear 30. Rotatable adjacent said outer face of plate 10 and supported thereon is a control gear 31, the teeth of which are in mesh with those of gear 30. A control cam or finger 32 is carried on the outer face of gear 31.
A control strap 33 extends horizontally adjacent the outer face of plate 10 and has a first horizontally disposed slot 34 adjacent one end thereof. The shaft 35, which rotatably supports gear 31, extends through the slot 34 and a retainer 36 is secured to the outer end of shaft 35 and overlies the strap 33 on opposite sides of slot 34 to retain the strap. A second slot 37 is disposed horizontally adjacent the opposite end of strap 33 and a stub shaft 38 extends from plate 10 through the slot 37, a retainer 39 being carried by the outer end of shaft 38 to retain the strap 33 for sliding action on shafts 35 38.
The end portion of strap 33 adjacent slot 37 carries a fitting 40 which extends from and in the direction of strap 33. The distal end of fitting 40 carries a suction cup 41 in axial alignment with a second suction cup 42, the latter being fixedly secured to backplate l as indicated at 43. Fitting 40 has an axial through-passage (not shown) extending from and communicating the area within cup 41 with atmosphere, a needle valve 44 being threaded into the opposite end of fitting 40 to control said communication.
Strap 33 has a first abutment or camming surface 50 extending vertically and positioned for contact by camming finger 32 in response to rotation of gear 31. A horizontally extending stop surface 51 is carried by strap 33 for contact by finger 32 in response to further rotation of gear 31 when the strap 33 is in one of its positions. It will be observed that thesurface 5.1 terminates short of the path of excursion of finger 32 when the strap 33 is in the withdrawn position shown in FIG. ,2, whereas the surface 51 will intersect said excursion path when strap 33 is at the opposite end of its travel. Thus the edge of surface 51 is positioned in substantial alignmentwith and downwardly spaced from the camming surface 50 on strap 33.
An axial stub shaft 60 extends from the opposite end of roll 23 through the plate 15 and carries at its distal end an enlarged, knurled annulus 61, the purpose of which will appear hereinbelow.
The use and operation of the invention are as follows:
As best seen in FIG. 4 the paper towel roll R is installed on the roller abutments l1, 17, member 16 being yieldable to permit such installation. Member 12 continues to insure tension on the roll R, retaining it in the desired position on members ll, 17 as the roll diminishes in diameter in response to use. Member 11 is of elongated extension, pennitting the roll R to move therealong in response to the urging of member 16 and to the inclined disposition of member 12 as the roll R diminishes in diameter.
The available edge of roll R is preferably drawn from the top of roll R and downwardly between guide 20 androll 23, the curvature 21 facilitating insertion of the forward edge of the paper therebetween. While the device of the invention is effective if the paper be drawn from beneath roll R and directed between members 20, 23, the tendency of the exposed edge of the paper to curve upwardly against cutting edge 9 in that event is less satisfactory. When the paperis drawn off the top of roll R, as illustrated, the exposed edge segment of the paper curves away from the edge 9 and therefore hangs downwardly in exposed position for ready grasping by the user. The paper from roll R passes between roll 23 and guide 20, being picked off roll 23 by fingers 26 and guided by guide about the idler roller 27, the paper escaping over the edge 25a and depending from the dispenser of the invention as shown in FIG. 1.
The user grasps the depending portion of the paper R and pulls downwardly and forwardly thereon. When a predetermined length of paper has been thus drawn from the dispenser, the roll 23 is locked as described below, and the user pulls upwardly and across the teeth 9 to tear the predetermined length from the paper. The spacing between edge 25a and 9 thus insures that an end portion of the paper R will depend from the dispenser for ready grasping of the next user. The feeding of the paper R from the top of theroll giving the paper a curvature tending to separate the edge thereof from the cutting edge 9 and to cause the endportion to drop into the position shown in FIG. 1.
When the paper was drawn from the dispenser, the roll 23 and hence gear 30 were rotated. As shown, gears 30, 31 have a 2-to-l ratio. Thus the roll 23 and gear 30 are rotated through two complete revolutions as gear 31 is rotated through one revolution. The diameter of roll 23 being known, it will thus be clear that the length of paper removed in the course of two rotations of roll 23 is predetermined at twice the diameter of roll 23. Should a greater or shorter length of individual paper towels removed from the roll R be desired, it is only necessary to change the gear 30 to provide the desired number of rotations of gear 30 and roll 23 in response to one rotation of gear 31.
in FIG. 2 gear 31 is being rotated to bring the camming finger abutment 32 into contact with vertical cam surface 50 of strap 33 and thus to move the strap 33 horizontally to the left as the parts are shown in FIG. 2, the slots 34, 37 permitting such horizontal movement of strap 33. Thus suction cups 41, 42 are brought into suction-retaining contact and the strap 33 is thus held by the cups 41, 42 at one end of its excursion. Surface 50a precludes reverse movement of finger 32 once it has passed beyond surface 50. Continued rotation of gear 31 thereafter brings finger 32 into contact with the limit stop surface Sl, locking the gear 31 and hence the gear 30 and roll 23 against further rotation. At this point, as above described, the user can withdraw no more paper and tears the sheet along cutting edge 9.
The suction action of cups 41, 42 is gradually destroyed as air bleeds through the fitting 40, the time required therefor being controlled by the bleed valve 44. With destruction of the retaining suction between cups 41, 42, spring 33a is effective to return the strap 33 to its original position at the opposite end of its excursion and to move stop surface 51 from beneath finger 32 to again permit rotation of gear 31 and thus to permit removal of a second sheet of paper toweling from the dispenser in the manner described.
Should the user find it difficult to grasp the depending end portion of the paper towel web, knurled annulus 61 is presented through an appropriate slot (not shown) in the shell 5. Rotation of annulus 61 rotates roll 23 to advance the paper web and to present a sufficient portion for grasping by the user in the manner described above. The rotation of roll 23 by annulus 61 produces the same result as rotation of the roll 23 by withdrawing of the towel from the dispenser, any rotation of roll 23 in the permitted direction resulting in rotation of gears 30, 31, advancement of strap 33, locking action of cups 41, 42 for a predetermined period and locking of gear 31 for said period. Ratchet 30a is provided to insure against rotation of roll 23 in reverse direction.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows;
1. A paper towel dispenser comprising a shell, means within said shell rotatably supporting a roll of paper toweling, a frictional power roller engaging a paper web from said roll, and means limiting the length of individual paper towels withdrawn from said dis enser, said means including a first gearlike member rotatab e with said power roll, a second gearlike member rotatable in response to rotation of said first gearlike member in predetermined ratio therewith, a finger carried by said second gearlike member, a strap mounted for linear movement on said dispenser between a first position and a second position, an abutment surface carried by said strap in a position intersecting the excursion path of said finger when said strap is in said first position, a limit abutment surface carried by said strap in a position intersecting the excursion path of said finger when said strap is in said second position, means temporarily holding said strap in said second position and means yieldingly urging said strap toward said first position, said strap being moved toward said second position by contact of said finger with said abutment surface in response to rotation of said second gearlike member.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said retaining means comprises a pair of suction cups, and bleed means secured to one of said cups, said bleed means including adjustable valve means.
3. The structure of claim 1 characterized by and including ratchet means permitting rotation of said roll and first gearlike member in response to movement of said paper web in one direction and precluding rotation of said roller and first gearlike member in the opposite direction.
4. The structure of claim 1 wherein said strap has a first horizontally disposed slot therein and characterized by and including a shaft rotatably supporting said second gearlike member and extending through said longitudinally disposed slot.
5. The structure of claim 1 characterized by and including a knurled annulus secured to said towel roller and having a portion presented through said shell.
6. In a paper towel dispenser a power roller rotatable in response to movement of the paper towel web thereabout, a first gear rotatable with said roller, a second gear rotatable on said dispenser and in mesh with said first gear, said gears having a predetermined ratio, a strap mounted for linear movement on said dispenser, a finger carried by said second gear, said strap having a first abutment intersecting the path of movement of said finger when said strap is in saidfirst position and a limit stop abutment surface carried by said strap in a position intersecting the path of movement of said finger when said strap is in said second position.
7. The structure of claim 6 characterized by and including yielding means urging said strap toward said first position and temporary suction means holding said strap in said second position.