US 3696586 A
This invention relates to bagging and checkout counter systems of the type used in supermarkets such as grocery stores and the like. The system includes a counter having a merchandise unloading end defined by the counter's flat deck, and a bag dispensing unit positioned directly above the flat deck at a sufficient elevation from the deck to allow for the free passage of the merchandise under the bag dispensing unit. The bag dispensing unit comprises a plurality of drawers each sized to accommodate a distinct size bag. Each drawer is divided into two bag storage compartments symmetrically disposed on either side of a vertically extending center partition wall. Means including spring means on either side of the partition wall urge the piles of bags stacked within each compartment outwardly toward a window from which individual bags can be easily withdrawn on opposite sides of the bag-dispensing unit.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Sparks atent  BAGGING AND CHECKOUT COUNTER SYSTEM  Inventor: Fred L. Sparks, 3601 Red Bluff,
Apt. 32-(3, Pasadena, Tex. 77503 221 Filed: March3l,197l 21 App1.No.: 129,722
 US. Cl ..53/390, 53/384, 186/1 A  Int. Cl. ..B65b 67/00  Field of Search ..186/1 A, 1 R, 1 AC; 53/386,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,564,814 2/1971 Graveley ..53/384 3,626,662 12/ 1971 Graveley ..53/386 Primary ExaminerHarvey C. Homsby Attorney-Michael P. Breston ll "ml IIIlIIIII/ 1 Oct. 10, 1972  ABSTRACT This invention relates to bagging and checkout counter systems of the type used in supermarkets such as grocery stores and the like. The system includes a counter having a merchandise unloading end defined by the counters flat deck, and a bag dispensing unit positioned directly above the flat deck at a sufficient elevation from the deck to allow for the free passage of the merchandise under the bag dispensing unit. The bag dispensing unit comprises a plurality of drawers each sized to accommodate a distinct size bag. Each drawer is divided into two bag storage compartments symmetrically disposed on either side of a vertically extending center partition wall. Means including spring means on either side of the partition wall urge the piles of bags stacked within each compartment outwardly toward a window from which individual bags can be easily withdrawn on opposite sides of the bag-dispensing unit.
1 Claim, 2 Drawing Figures PMENTEDnm 10 I972 3. 6 96. 586
BAGGING AND CHECKOUT COUNTER SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION checkout counter which constitutes a merchandise un- 0 loading station. The cashier himself or a packaging boy then places several bags on the counters deck and loads the merchandise into the paper bags for delivery to the customer.
Those paper bags which are not used are removed from the counter and returned to a shelf near the counter. In this system, the bags become intermingled and after awhile, the cashier invariably runs out of various bag sizes with the result that he frequently will use larger bag sizes than necessary.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved checkout bagging counter system which features a bagging and checkout counter having a flat deck at the front end of the counter provided with a bag dispenser which is positioned at a sufficient height above the deck to dispense various size bags on opposite sides thereof without interference to the normal flow of merchandise on the counters deck.
It is another object of this invention to provide a counter having a paper bag dispenser which is relatively easy to load with a multiplicity of paper bags.
A main advantage of this invention is obtained from the position of the dispenser relative to the merchandise unloading station with the result that many of the disadvantages and difficulties heretofore inherent in such checkout bagging counter systems are eliminated by this invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a reduced size, perspective view of the checkout bagging counter system of this invention; and
FIG. 2 is an exploded, perspective view'showing the principal apparatus elements of a single drawer in the bag dispenser apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, there is shown a typical arrangement of the checkout bagging counter system of this invention. Mounted at the front ormerchandise discharge end 12 of a checkout counter 14 is a bag-dispensing apparatus, generally designated as 16. Bag dispenser 16 is positioned at a sufficient vertical elevation from the counters deck 18 so as not to interfere with the normal flow of merchandise through counter 14. r
The counter 14 itself typically includes a conveyor belt (not shown) upon which the customer places his merchandise at the rear or loading end 17 of the counter. The cashier controls the movement of the belt and tallies the prices of the merchandise as it moves past a cash register 19.
The bag-dispensing apparatus 16 rests on legs 20 which are secured at their bottom ends to the deck 18 by suitable clamps (not shown). The dispenser 16 has a box-like appearance featuring a plurality of drawers. For convenience of illustration only three such drawers 22a, 22b and 220 are shown in FIG. 1. Legs 20 are secured at their upper ends to a bottom cover 24. Mounted on the bottom cover 24 is a housing generally designated as 26 having a base 28 and two side walls 30 and 32. Extending from base 28 are two partition walls, only one of which 34 is shown in FIG. 2. Housing 26 is provided with a removable top cover 36.
Thus the first drawer 22a is defined between the first partition wall 34 and side wall 30; the second drawer 22b is defined between the two partition walls 34; and the third drawer is defined between side wall 32 and the second partition wall 34.
Referring now in particular to FIG. 2, wherein the construction of the single drawer 22a is shown, base 28 is provided with a laterally-extending, center dividing wall 40 which fits inside a laterally-extending recess 42. Thus center wall 40 divides drawer 22ainto two bagdispensing compartments 22a and 22a".
To push the pile of bags forwardly in each compartment, there is provided a biasing spring means generally designated as 44 which is located between a push plate 46 and center wall 40. Each push plate 46 has two downwardly-extending ears or lugs 48 and two upwardly-extending lugs 50 as shown. The longitudinally aligned lugs ride on a rod 51 in a groove 52 having a generally rectangular cross section. Rod 51 is fixedly secured at 54 to the center wall 40.
Drawer 22a offers two oppositely-positioned bag dispensing windows 60a and 60a". The size of each window is determined by the width of window-dimensioning inserts 62. Each insert 62 is provided with a groove 64 which slides on the edge of either a side wall or a partition wall.
In operation of the bag dispenser 16, the top cover plate 36 on housing 26 is removed, the paper bags 72 are inserted into each compartment in front of each pushing plate with the folded ends 74 of the paper bags resting on the lower ends of each window. After the paper bags are loaded within their respective bag compartments, cover plate 36 is replaced and the bagging checkout counter system 10 is ready for operation.
In operation of system 10 itself, as the merchandise is conveyed to the merchandise discharge end 12 under the bag dispenser apparatus 16, the cashier will face the compartments such as compartment 22a and remove therefrom an appropriate sized bag to place the merchandise therein. The bagged merchandise will then move under the bag dispenser 16 for delivery to the customer.
0n the other hand, a packaging boy can also face the bag dispensing compartments 22a and remove therefrom an appropriately sized bag, place it upon a shelf (FIG. I) and load the merchandise therein for delivery to the customer.
Accordingly, with the system of the present invention, it will be appreciated that the flow of merchandise is not interfered with, the bags do not become intermingled, the merchandise can be easily placed in appropriately sized bags, no time is wasted in looking for bags, and the delay normally encountered in going through checkout counters is reduced to a minimum.
What I claim is:
l. A bagging and checkout counter system having a counter provided with a flat deck and having a loading end and discharge end,
a bag dispenser fitted directly above said deck at said discharge end at a sufficient elevation therefrom to prevent interference with the normal flow of merchandise through the counter from said loadgitudinal direction, ing end to said discharge end, each individual compartment has width and length said dispenser being divided into bag storage drawers dimensions adjusted to the size of a flat folded by partition walls extending longitudinally from a paper bag positioned vertically there whereby a bottom base, 5 plurality of paper bags can be stored in front of a divider wall in each drawer laterally extends from each P P e defwh compartmeut with the the base near the center thereof to divide each bag bottoms being Posltloned agamst 5ald base f drawer into two bag-dispensing compartments, y removal of the g h gh a bag-dispensing a sh l t i h compartment, window at opposite ends of said bag dispensing apeach plate is arranged to move longitudinally within Pf for pacifaglng melchandlse at Said its respective compartment, discharge end of said counter. spring means urge each plate outwardly in the lon-