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Publication numberUS3709403 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1973
Filing dateAug 5, 1971
Priority dateAug 5, 1971
Publication numberUS 3709403 A, US 3709403A, US-A-3709403, US3709403 A, US3709403A
InventorsHarriman A
Original AssigneeForster Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Web carried toothpick dispenser
US 3709403 A
A device for dispensing wrapped toothpicks from a supply that is in the form of a continuous web of protective material within which the toothpicks are sealed, either singly or in pairs, in parallel spaced relation transversely of the web. When a sealed toothpick package is taken from the dispenser, the next toothpick package is brought to delivery position before the first toothpick or toothpick pair still sealed in its envelope, is detached from the web.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Harriman 1451 Jan. 9, 1973 WEB CARRIED TOOTHPICK DISPENSER Inventor: Allen C. Harriman, Lewiston,

Maine Assignee: Forster Mtg. (30., Inc., Wilton,

Maine Filed: Aug. 5, 1971 Appl, No.: 169,341

U.S. Cl ..221/70, 225/106 Int. Cl. ..B65h 5/28 Field of Search ..221/70, 71, 251, 74, 25, 26;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,332,194 3/1920 Arcus ..225/13 Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney-Kenway, Jenney & Hildreth [57] ABSTRACT A device for dispensing wrapped toothpicks from a supply that is in the form of a continuous web of protective material within which the toothpicks are sealed, either singly or in pairs, in parallel spaced relation transversely of the web. When a sealed toothpick package is taken from the dispenser, the next toothpick package is brought to delivery position be fore the first toothpick or toothpick pair still sealed in its envelope, is detached from the web.


INVENTOR ALLEN C. HARRIMAN Y Wl/Wj T PAIENTEUJAN 81973 3.709.403 SHEET 3 0F 3 INVENTOR ALLEN C. HARRIMAN WEB CARRIED TOOTHPICK DISPENSER SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Conventionally, toothpicks have been made available, loosely and unwrapped, in a tray or dish for the convenience of the patrons of clubs, hotels and restaurants. There have also been devices in which unwrapped toothpicks have been dispensed from small hopper-type units suitable for use on counters and tables. More recently, wrapped toothpicks have begun to take the place of the unwrapped toothpicks, but still dispensed loosely as separate packages from an open tray or dish.

In accordance with the present invention, an automatic dispenser for wrapped toothpicks is provided wherein a long continuous web of spaced wrapped toothpicks (singles or pairs) may be contained within a compact and convenient dispensing unit from which the sealed toothpick package units may be taken from the dispenser one at a time while at the same time advancing the web to delivery position for the next sealed toothpick package. Simple but effective automaticallyoperating means insures proper detachment of each sealed toothpick package from the web.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an oblique view of the dispenser.

FIG. 2 shows a portion of the supply web of spaced, wrapped toothpicks.

FIG. 3 is a sectional detail of one type of supply web, showing on an enlarged scale a separated section of the web with a single toothpick sealed therein.

FIG. 3A is a sectional detail view of another form of supply web, showing a detached toothpick package containing a pair of toothpicks sealed therein.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the dispenser on a somewhat enlarged scale partly in section with the front wall broken away to show interior mechanism in front elevation.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4 but including the front wall of the dispenser, showing a top view of the operating mechanism. A portion of the toothpick shown in this view has been broken away for the purpose of clarifying the sectional views of FIGS. 6, 7 and 8.

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 are sectional views taken on the line 6--6 of FIG. 5, showing in side elevation the operating mechanism and its sequence of positions in the dispensing of wrapped toothpicks fromthe supply web.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION As best shown in FIG. 1, the dispenser is provided with parallel spaced side walls 12 and 14 to which cover 16 is pivotally attached at 17. The dispenser also includes a sloping front wall 18 having a central slot or opening 20 at which the toothpicks are presented for delivery. The front wall encloses only the upper portion of the front of the dispenser so as to leave a relatively clear open space below the front wall for a person to reach in with his fingers to grasp and remove a wrapped toothpick package visible within the delivery opening 20. To prevent marring the surface of a counter top or table, the lower edges of the side walls are provided with non-metallic channel strips 22. The side walls are held in spaced relation by a cross-member 24 just above the protective edge pieces, and by the front wall 18 whose side flanges 26 overlie and are secured to the side walls.

Within the dispenser, means are provided for rotatably supporting a roll 30 containing toothpicks 32 in parallel spaced relation transversely of a web 34 composed of two strips of thin protective material between which the toothpicks are: sealed. FIG. 3 shows in enlarged sectional detail a single toothpick within the protective enclosing material that forms the sealing enclosure as well as the carrier web, while FIG. 3A shows a package in which two toothpicks are sealed.

To facilitate the separation of wrapped toothpicks from the web without breaking open the protective wrapping, the web as part of the manufacturing process is partially severed between tooth-picks, as shown at 35 in FIG. 2, leaving pairs of short unsevered portions 36 to maintain continuity of the web for packing, shipping, and dispensing most effectively from the supply. The web is preferably although not necessarily arranged in a roll as shown, and is conveniently supported in centerless fashion on bottom member 24 between oblique plates 42 secured to the walls of the casing.

From the supply roll the web passes over a roller 44 near the top of the front wall and then downwardly along the rear of the wall, as best shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. To position the web during its advance to the delivery aperture 20, guiding means are provided which are illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. Members 50, disposed on each side of the delivery aperture, are spaced from the rear surface of the front wall member 18 a distance to accommodate the outer, tapered end portions of the toothpicks and the web margins projecting beyond. To provide clearance for the effective operation of the trigger mechanism to be described, the front wall of the dispenser has a forwardly offset central region 52 (see top sectional view, FIG. 5). The guide members 50 advantageously are in the form of channel members whose outer flanges 54 serve to support the guide members from the side walls 12 and 14 by the same rivets 55 which secure the flanges 26 of the front wall member.

As has been indicated, a feature of the invention resides in the provision of means by which the removal of a toothpick package from the delivery point serves to advance the web the correct distance to render the following package accessible at the delivery point, while causing the web to be severed to release the first toothpick unit withprotective covering intact. To accomplish the foregoing, a trip or trigger device is mounted behind the web in the vicinity of the delivery opening so as to be actuated by and to act upon the web and its contents during the .web advance.

The trigger device comprises a pair of spaced bars 60 pivotally mounted on separate shafts 62 and 63 extend ing through the outer and inner flanges 54 and 64 of the guide members 50. Cotter pins 66 inwardly of the flanges 64 prevent the shafts from sliding out of position in their supporting flanges. The inner ends of the shafts terminate just inside the bars 60 to provide an open region behind the toothpicks in the delivery opening 20. At the ends of the bars remote from the delivery opening, they are joined by a connecting member 70 which may be formed of a solid rod! of metal which also serves as a weight tending to rock the bars 60 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. A stop pin 72 limits the clockwise rocking movement to a predetermined amount.

The forward ends of the trigger bars 60 extend into the path of the toothpicks in their advance down the guideway. The portions of the bars that are engaged indirectly by the toothpicks within the web are the end surfaces 76 in the lower end region of the bars and the top corners 78. The upper end regions of the bars below the corners 78 may have oblique surfaces 80 to form a shallow notch or recess terminating in a sloping shoulder or ledge 82.

In the operation of the dispenser, it is first loaded with a supply roll of toothpicks by opening the cover 16 and placing the roll on cross-member 24 between the plates 42. The lead end of the web is then pulled from the supply roll, brought over the roller 44 and fed downwardly into the guideway toward the delivery opening. When the first wrapped toothpick package reaches a visible position within the opening, the dispenser is ready for use and the cover may be closed.

The partsare now in the position shown in FIG. 6, with the trigger bars resting at the limit of their counterclockwise rocking movement as a result of engagement of their lower corners 86 with the rear surface of the guideway formed by the region 52 of the front wall (note also FIG. This places the shoulder region 82 in the path of the toothpick. When a person wishes to take a wrapped toothpick from the dispenser, he may readily reach into the opening and grip with his fingers the central portion of the web containing the leading toothpick and follow with a downward pull. As the web moves downwardly, the leading toothpick comes into engagement (in effect, since the web is still intact over and around the toothpick) with the shoulders 82 on the trigger bars to tilt them to the position shown in FIG. 7. In this position, which is maintained by engagement of the leading toothpick with the end surfaces 76 as it moves down the guideway, the upper corners 78 are caused to extend into the path of the preceeding toothpick.

Continued downward advance of the web now causes the second toothpick to engage the top ends of the trigger bars and rock the bars to the limit of their clockwise rotation, defined by engagement of stop pin 72 with the edge of flange 64. With the guideway passage effectively closed off by the close approach of corners 78 to the guideway surface rearwardly of region 52, further downward advance of the web is thereby prevented, as shown in FIG. 8. The web thereupon separates at the narrow connecting regions 36 to release the first toothpick package with its wrapper intact. As soon as the web severs, the weight 70 drops to raise the forward ends of the trigger bars to their open position of FIG. 6, with the preceeding toothpick package still connected to the supply web, now in accessible position within the opening 20.

While the invention has been described in terms ofa supply web in which a single toothpick is enclosed in each web portion between lines of severance, the supply web may readily be formed with pairs of toothpicks sealed within each web section and dispensed in the same manner as described for the singly-wrapped toothpicks.

With either type of supply web, the mechanism shown and described permits a large supply of wrapped toothpicks to be dispensed from a continuous web from which individual packages may be successively detached with their toothpicks still sealed in their particular section of the web, with the step-wise feeding of the web occurring automatically with each withdrawal of a toothpick-containing web section from the access opening.


1. Apparatus for dispensing wrapped toothpicks from a supply web of protective material within which the toothpicks are sealed in spaced parallel relation transversely of the web, the web having partial transverse cuts to provide lines of severance defining sealed toothpick packages, said apparatus comprising a casing for containing the web, the casing having access opening at which the central portion of a toothpick package is exposed, a guideway for the web to and past the access opening of the casing, the casing having an opening the full width of the web and communicating with the access opening, said guideway having laterally spaced portions which engage portions of the web on each side of the access opening, and package detaching means pivotally mounted rearwardly of the web on each side of the access opening, said pivotally mounted means having first end portions extending into the path of an advancing first toothpick to rock the pivotally mounted means upon withdrawing the exposed toothpick package along the guideway toward the full width opening, said detaching means having second end portions movable into the path of the toothpick of the following package to stop the advance thereof and sever the web between packages when the pivotally mounted detaching means has been rocked by the withdrawal of the first toothpick package.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which the pivotally mounted detaching means comprises levers connected by a member rearwardly of the access opening, which member serves as a counterweight tending to tilt the first end portions of the levers into the path of the toothpick of the first package.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the first end portions of the pivotally mounted detaching means comprise shoulder regions and the second end portions comprise corner regions.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein the pivotally mounted detaching means includes end surfaces engaged by an advancing toothpick following engagement of the latter with the shoulder regions to maintain the corner regions of the detaching means in the path ofthe following toothpick.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 including stop means for limiting the rocking movement of the pivotally mounted means across the guideway to a posi tion in which the shoulder regions of the pivotally mounted means block the advance of a wrapped toothpick along the guideway.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the casing comprises side walls between which a supply roll of wrapped toothpicks is supported on an axis transversely of the side walls, the casing having a sloping front,

the upper portion of which contains the guideway means and the central access opening, a resilient roller behind the guideway adjacent the upper portion of wrapped toothpicks in roll form within the casing.

8. Apparatus according to claim 6 having centerless roll supporting means within the casing comprising oblique spaced plates for rotatably supporting a supply web of wrapped toothpicks in roll form.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1332194 *Jul 3, 1916Mar 2, 1920Arcus James SRoll-ticket-dispensing device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4341333 *Jul 30, 1980Jul 27, 1982National Research Development CorporationBlock handling apparatus
US4883197 *Sep 18, 1987Nov 28, 1989Revlon, Inc.Sample strip and dispensing apparatus therefor
US4884719 *Dec 30, 1986Dec 5, 1989Revlon, Inc.Single-sample dispensing
WO2002095721A1 *May 16, 2002Nov 28, 2002Toothpak Pty LtdPersonal toothpick and/or condiment dispenser for promotional and advertising purposes
U.S. Classification221/70, 225/106
International ClassificationA61C15/00, A61C15/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/02
European ClassificationA61C15/02