US 3655952 A
A counting device sensitive to change of position of a body involves two spaced stationary notched rings between which a ring notched along both of its edges moves. The cooperation between the notches of the spaced stationary rings and the movable ring is such that when the stationary structure is inverted or tilted, the movable member advances a predetermined distance, and it carries the sequence of numbers, one of which is visible, to indicate the number of such inversions or tilts.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Johnson et al.
LIQUID DISPENSER COUNTING MECHANISM Inventors:
Robert J. Johnson, Culver City; Walter J.
Zipper, Santa Monica, both of Calif.
Portion-Trol Liquor Systems, Inc.
Mar. 15, 1971 user. ..235/94 R, 235/91 R, 222/38,
Int. Cl. ..G06m 1/00, 367d 5/22 Field of Search ..235/91 R, 94 R, 1 C; 222/36,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lepperhoff.... ..235/1 C Kuckl ....222/309 Geary et a1. ..222/38 McKay ..235/91 R [is] 3,655,952 [451 Apr. 11, 1972 3,085,745 4/1963 Auberger ..235/94R 3,148,801 9/1964 Radeloff et a1. ..222/38 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 176,858 10/1906 Germany ..235/94 244,080 3/1912 Germany ..235/94 Primary ExaminerStephen J. Tomsky Assistant Examiner-Stanley A. Wal Attorney-Lyon & Lyon  ABSTRACT A counting device sensitive to change of position of a body involves two spaced stationary notched rings between which a ring notched along both of its edges moves. The cooperation between the notches of the spaced stationary rings and the movable ring is such that when the stationary structure is inverted or tilted, the movable member advances a predeterv mined distance, and it carries the sequence of numbers, one of which is visible, to indicate the number of such inversions or tilts.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures LIQUID DISPENSER COUNTING MECHANISM The present invention relates to improved means and techniques for counting, indicating or recording the number of times a bottle has been moved from a predertermined position, and the same has particular usefulness in connection with the dispensing of liquors from bottles for producing an indication of the total amount of liquor dispensed from such bottle.
A specific object of the present invention is to provide a simple, rugged, foolproof and small apparatus which is suited for counting, indicating or recording the number of drinks dispensed from a bottle.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide apparatus of this character which involves only one movable element in a position where its freedom of movement may not be effected by outside influences.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide an improved mechanism involving two spaced notched elements between which a cooperating notched element is disposed and advanced for each change in position of an object upon which the apparatus is mounted.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. This invention itself, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in elevation of the top of a bottle on which the counting apparatus embodying features of the present invention is attached.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view through a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1. 7
FIG. 3 illustrates a modified and preferred form of the present invention.
The invention is described in FIGS. 1 and 2 in relation to a bottle B containing whiskey or other liquids upon which is releasably secured a conventional device 10 whose function and purpose is to cause equal predetermined amounts of liquid to be dispensed from its outlet laeach time the bottle is tipped to its dispensing position. Such a device illustrated at may, for example, be of the character and/or construction described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,317,068issued on Apr. 20, 1943. In accordance with the present invention, a new device 12 in the general form of a ring structure is secured to the device 10 to record the number of times such bottle has been so tipped and thus the total amount of liquid dispensed from the bottle is recorded.
The device 12 is a position-responsive counting, indicating and recording device and involves a stationary structure 14 in the form of an inner ring 16 with an integrally formed outwardly extending flange portion l6aand outer ring 18 with an inwardly extending flange portion 18awhich when assembled as shown in FIG. 2 defines a closed annular space or chamber 20.
F ixedly secured within such chamber 20 as, for example, by press fitting, are two spaced ring shaped elements 24 and 26 between which a movable member 28 is disposed. This member 28 carries a series of numbers 32, one of which is visible through a transparent window 30 in the outer ring 18 when the bottle B is in its upright position. The member 28 is advanced one count, corresponding to the distance between adjacent members 32, each time the bottle is tipped to dispensing position. i
To assure this accurate counting, indicating and recording, the elements 24, 26 and member 28 are of special construction and cooperate in a special manner, all in accordance with important features of the present invention.
It is noted that the two spaced elements 24 and 26 each have toothed portions 24aand 26bextending towards each other and that the movable member 28 between these two spaced elements 24 and 26 has toothed portions 28aand 28bcooperating respectively with the toothed portions 24aand 26b.
The axial distance between tips of the toothed portions 28a,28bis somewhat greater than the distance between the ends of the toothed portions 24a, 26b,and the differences between these two distances may .amount to, for example, 0.050 of an inch to 0.100 of an inch so as to provide some interference in preventing unlimited movement of the movable member 28, i.e. to assure movement of the member 28 a distance corresponding to the distance between adjacent toothed portions 28afor each dispensing operation and no further.
It is also noted that the toothed portions 28a,28bare each generally triangular and each terminates in an apex portion. In contrast, each of the toothed portions 24a,26bare generally truncated and thus each terminates in a blunt end portion 24c,26c.
In repated dispensing of drinks involving successive movements of the bottle from an upright position to a tilted dispensing position to an upright position, to a tilted dispensing position, etc., the member 28 moves progressively from left to right in FIG. 2 as indicated by the sequence of numbers 3,4,5,6,and 7; and to produce movement, the toothed portions of elements 24, 26 and 28 are of special construction and cooperate in a special manner. For this purpose, each of the triangular toothed portions 28a,28bare each defined by a surface 28cwhich extends generally perpendicular to the direction of the movement of the member 28, i.e. extends in the axial or longitudinal direction, and the other surface 28fof these toothed portions are each inclined in the direction of movement of member 28. Actually the toothed portions 24aand likewise the toothed portions 26bdefine notches into which the toothed portions of the movable member 28 enter. In FIG. 2, the toothed portions 28bsubstantially fill the notches defined by the toothed portions 26b. This corresponds to the tipped condition of the bottle, and for that reason the sequence of numbers 3,4,5, 6,and7, which are subsequently visible through the window 30, are in their illustrated inverted position. When and as the bottle is subsequently returned to its upright position shown in FIG. 1, the toothed portions 26bprogressively leave the notched portions of member 26 and immediately before the tips of the toothed portions 28bcompletely leave the notched portions of member 26, the tips of toothed portions 28aare within the confines of the notched portion of member 24. This is so since as described previously the longitudinal distance between the tips of toothed portions 28aand 28bis somewhat greater than the longitudinal distance between the blunt ends of the toothed portions 24aand 26b. Thus the toothed portions 28aenter the notched portions of member 24; and in doing so, the member 28 is carried or advanced so that ultimately the next count number is visible in the window 30.
In the modification shown in FIG. 3, the movable member 28 is attached to and becomes part of the piston which is part of that metering device used to meter out the predetermined quantity of liquid following each tip of the bottle to dispensing position.
The spaced members 24 and'26 are secured as, for example, by press fitting to the inner portion of the cylindrical chamber within which the piston 100 moves and through which the liquid actually flows. As in the arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the piston 100 is gravity actuated without springs and the spacing between the members 24 and 26 relative to the movable member 28 and the cooperation of the toothed portions and notches is as described above in connection with the description of FIGS. 1 and 2. The piston 100 and chamber 110' correspond respectively to the piston 33 and chamber 10 of the above-mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 2,317,068.
The arrangement shown in FIG. 3 is preferred because of simplicity and since it involves minimizing the number of elements. Thus in comparing FIGS. 1 and 3 during dispensing operation, in FIG. 1 there are two elements which move; namely, the piston in the metering device 10 (comparable to the piston 100 in FIG. 3) and the movable member 28. On the other hand, in FIG. 3 the piston 100 and movable member 28 are secured together for movement as a unit, and there is greater assurance that the member 28 will move as desired, because in this case there is an additional force exerted on the member 28 not only as a result of liquid flow within the chamber 100 within which the piston 100 moves, but also because of the weight of piston 100.
While the particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
We claim: g
1. A counting device sensitive to change of position including a stationary structure which is mountable on an object whose position is subject to change, said stationary structure including two spaced elements, each having first and second toothed portions respectively extending towards each other, a member movable between said spaced elements and having first and second toothedportions engageable respectively with the first and second toothed portions of said stationary structure.
2. A counting device as set forth in claim 1 in which the minimum spacing between said first and second toothed portions of said stationary structure is somewhat less than the minimum distance between the ends of said first and second toothed portions of said movable member to limit movement of movable member to a distance equal to adjacent toothed portions of said stationary member.
3. A counting device as set forth in claim 1 in which engageable first toothed portions of said stationary structure and said movable member cooperate such that one toothed portion of one enters a notched portion in the other defined by two adjacent toothed portions of the other.
4. A counting deviceas set forth in claim 3 in which said one toothed portion is a generally triangular portion and extends towards said two spaced portions and terminates in an apex portion, each of said two toothed portions each being generally a truncated triangular portion and extending towards said one toothed portion and terminating ina blunt portion.
5. A counting device as setforth in claim 4 in which said tri angular portion and said truncated triangular portions are each defined by a surface which extends generally perpendicular to the direction of movement of said movable member and a surface is inclined in the direction of movement of said movable member. v
6. A counting device as set forth in claim 5 in which there is engagement between said triangular portion and said truncated triangular portion which prevents said movable member from moving a distance greater than one of said notched portions.
7. A counting device'as set forth in claim 1 in which said two spaced elements are in the form of rings and said member is also in the form of a ring all encircling the pouring opening of a bottle upon which said stationary structure is mounted.
8. A counting device as set forth in claim 7 in which said stationary structure is mounted on a liquid measuring device on said bottle which serves to meter out a predetermined amount of liquid from said bottle for each inversion thereof.