|Publication number||US3676892 A|
|Publication date||Jul 18, 1972|
|Filing date||May 19, 1970|
|Priority date||May 19, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3676892 A, US 3676892A, US-A-3676892, US3676892 A, US3676892A|
|Inventors||Nordeen Erwin E|
|Original Assignee||Whirlpool Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (16), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Nordeen  Appl.No.: 38,804
 U.S.Cl ..l5/359,lS/333  Int. Cl. ..A47l 5/34  Field ofSearch ....l5/333, 354, 358-361  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,329,563 9/1943 Taylor ..15/361 2,616,116 11/1952 Humphrey 15/333 2,677,847 5/1954 Smellie ....l5/333 Primary Examiner-Walter A. Scheel Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore Attorneyl-lofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman & McCord, James S. Nettleton, Thomas E. Turcotte, Burton H. Baker, Gene A. Heth, Franklin C. l-larter, Anthony Niewyk and Robert L. Judd  July 18,1972
[ ABSTRACT A vacuum cleaner having an elongated floor portion propellable over a floor during cleaning and supported on the floor by a plurality of spaced front and rear wheels, a nozzle unit forming the floor portion of the cleaner having a front suction opening end carrying a floor contacting brush and rockable or pivotable in a vertical direction with respect to the wheels, a first spring means constantly urging the carriage downwardly at the front end to hold the brush in cleaning position with respect to the floor regardless of the nature of the floor or its covering, a propelling handle rockably attached to the cleaner and movable between an operating position and a storage position, second spring means stronger than the first and operably positioned between the front wheels and the front and operably positioned between the front wheels and the front suction end of the nozzle unit and means operated by the handle in moving the handle to the storage position for distorting the second spring means thereby to apply an overcoming spring force to retain the nozzle unit front end away from the floor against the urging of the first spring means. The cleaner can then be operated in the customary off-the'floor cleaning of furniture, draperies and the like by the use of auxiliary equipment without permitting the brush to contact the floor.
5 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures VACUUM CLEANER NOZZLE LIFTING DEVICE One of the features of this invention is to provide an improved vacuum cleaner having the above features of construction employing the pair of spring means, one of which constantly urges the front brush end of the nozzle unit downwardly against the floor during ordinary floor cleaning and the second spring means which is distorted in moving the handle to storage position preparatory to off-the-floor cleaning with the result that the second spring means overcomes the force of the first spring means thereby inactivating it.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of one embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Of the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a semi-diagrammatic side elevational view partially in section and partially broken away for clarity of disclosure of a vacuum cleaner embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but further simplified in illustrating the position of the nozzle unit when the handle is in vertical storage position as during off-the-floor cleaning.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating the yieldable feature which prevents damage to the cleaner if a heavy force is accidentally applied thereto.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but illustrating the supporting frame in relationship to the wheels and nozzle.
In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings the vacuum cleaner comprises a carriage or supporting frame 10a including a plurality of front 11, and rear 12 supporting wheels forming a part of this frame, and a noule unit 13 forming the floor portion of the cleaner having a front suction end 14 carrying a floor contacting brush 15 which is illustrated only in FIG. 1 to avoid unnecessary duplication. As can be seen by comparison of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the nozzle unit 13 is rockable in a generally vertical direction with respect to the frame wheels 11 and 12.
Located within the confines of the nozzle unit 13 is a first spring means 16 which is in the form of a helical tension spring that is operatively positioned between the front wheels 11 and the front end 17 of the nozzle unit 13 with this first spring means constantly urging the nozzle unit 13 downwardly at the front end as indicated by the arrow 18 in each of the figures normally to hold the brush 15 in cleaning position with respect to the floor 19. The action of the spring 16 in thusly holding the brush against the floor provides a compensating function so that the vacuum cleaner automatically adapts to any type of floor or type of floor covering to press the brush against the floor or covering during the cleaning operation.
The vacuum cleaner also includes a propelling handle structure here illustrated as a dust bag enclosing casing 20 that is rockably attached to the cleaner and movable between a lowered operating position as illustrated in FIG. 1 and a raised storage position as illustrated in FIG. 2.
There are also provided second spring means 21 stronger than the first spring means and operably positioned between the front wheels 11 and the front suction end 17 of the nozzle unit. Operating means are also provided operated by the handle and moving it to the storage position of FIG. 2 for distorting the second spring means 21 and thereby applying an overcoming spring force to retain the nozzle unit front end 17 away from the floor 19 against the urging of the first spring means 16.
In the illustrated embodiment this second spring means comprises an arcuate leaf spring 22 located intermediate the sides of the nozzle unit 13 and having one end curved toward the inner surface 23 of the nozzle unit front end 17 and its opposite end attached to a cam follower 24 that is in the form of a flat lever. The outer or upper surface of the nozzle unit 13 is inclined with respect to the substantially horizontal floor 19 as indicated at 13a and the inner surface 23 of the nozzle unit is provided with a cam-like downwardly projecting portion 23a which forms a flat, substantially horizontal surface against which leaf spring 22 may be pressed as will appear. The projecting portion 23a may comprise a thickened portion of the material forming the nozzle unit 13 or may be formed by a series of parallel ribs (not shown) with the projecting portion 23a against which spring 22 is pressed being substantially tangent to the curved periphery of spring 22. As indicated in FIG. 2 the provision of the projecting portion 23a facilitates elevation of the nozzle unit 13 to a higher level than would be possible without such provision. The operating means that is operated by the handle 20 in moving it to the storage position of FIG. 2 comprises a motor-fan unit housing 25 forming a rotatable cam having an extended or projecting cam portion 26 formed thereon adapted to engage the rear end of the cam follower lever 24. This engagement as illustrated in FIG. 2 when the handle casing 20 is in storage or elevated position causes the cam follower 24 to be rotated in a counterclockwise direction as can be seen by comparing FIGS. 1 and 2 to raise the leaf spring part 22 to press against the downwardly projecting portion 23a of surface 23 thereby applying an upward spring force to the front end 17 of the nozzle unit 13. Because the leaf spring 22 is so much stronger when distorted than the first spring 16, it not only elevates the front end 17 but also inactivates the first spring means 16 so that it can no longer hold the front end brush against the floor. So long as the handle casing 20is in its elevated position as shown in FIG. 2 the extended cam portion 26 holds the second spring means 21 in this position so that the brush 15 is away from the floor and the cleaner is ideally adapted for customary off-thefloor cleaning with flexible hose, wand, wand unit, all in the customary manner.
Because the leaf spring portion 22 of the second spring means 21 is distortable, any accidental downward force on the nozzle unit or nozzle 13, such as by a foot 27 stepping on the nozzle and pressing it downwardly, does no damage because the leaf spring 22 flexes to accommodate this accidental pressure. It is obvious that if the elevating mechanism were rigid and unyielding, the heavy pressure as of a person stepping on the cleaner could do considerable damage.
The second spring means 21 in a manufactured version of this invention was located at approximately the side to side center of the nozzle 13.
The cleaner shown in the drawings for illustrative purposes is shown only diagrammatically to illustrate the features of the invention and omits those portions not necessary to the invention such as the dirt laden air passages, motor-fan unit detail and the like. However, it should be pointed out that the cam 25 is actually formed by the motor-fan unit housing and that the cam portion 26 that actually engages the lever cam follower 24 is a projection from this housing.
Having described my invention as related to the embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings, it is my intention that the invention be not limited by any of the details of description, unless otherwise specified.
The embodiment of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed is defined as follows:
1. A vacuum cleaner having a floor portion propellable over a floor during cleaning, comprising: a plurality of spaced supporting front and rear wheels; a nozzle forming the floor portion of the cleaner having a front suction end carrying a floor contacting brush and rockable in a vertical direction with respect to said wheels; first spring means urging said nozzle downwardly at said front end to hold said brush in cleaning position with respect to said floor; a propelling handle structure rockably attached to said cleaner and movable between an operating position and a storage position; second spring means stronger than the first and operably positioned between said front wheels and said front suction end of the nozzle; and operating means operated by said handle in moving it to said storage position for distorting said second spring means, thereby applying an overcoming spring force to elevate and retain said nozzle front end away from the floor against the urging of said first spring means, said operating means comprising a cam means rockable with said handle, an inner wall portion of said nozzle being formed to provide a downwardly projecting substantially horizontal portion for engagement by said second spring means, said second spring means comprising an arcuate leaf spring and said downwardly projecting portion of said nozzle inner wall being substantially tangent to the curved surface of said leaf spring thereby to facilitate elevation of the front end of said nozzle.
2, A vacuum cleaner having a floor portion propellable over a floor during cleaning, comprising:
a plurality of spaced supporting front and rear wheels;
a nozzle forming the floor portion of the cleaner having a front suction end carrying a floor contacting brush and rockable in a vertical direction with respect to said wheels;
first spring means urging said nozzle downwardly at said front end to hold said brush in cleaning position with respect to said floor;
a propelling handle structure rockably attached to said cleaner and movable between an operating position and a storage position;
second spring means stronger than the first and operably positioned between said front wheels and said front suction end of the nozzle and having a cam follower; and
cam means operated by said handle as a result of movement of said handle from said operating position for engaging said cam follower and distorting said second spring means against said nozzle, thereby applying an overcoming spring force to elevate and retain said nozzle front end away from the floor against the urging of said first spring means, said second spring means being arranged to permit movement of said nozzle downwardly by an abnormal downward force on said nozzle notwithstanding the disposition of said handle in said storage position with said cam means causing application of said overcoming spring force by said second spring means, whereby said first and second spring means cooperatively bias the nozzle to resiliently displaceable selected dispositions.
3. The vacuum cleaner of claim 2, wherein said propelling handle structure comprises a motor-fan unit housing provided with an actuator portion forming said operating means.
4. The vacuum cleaner of claim 2 wherein said actuator portion comprises a projection formed on said motor-fan housing.
5. The vacuum cleaner of claim 2 wherein an inner wall portion of said nozzle is formed to provide a downwardly projecting substantially horizontal portion for engagement by said second spring means.
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|U.S. Classification||15/359, 15/333|
|International Classification||A47L5/32, A47L5/22|