US 3745306 A
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United States Patent 1191 1111 3,745,306 Naritomi July 10, 1973 STEAM GENERATING INSTRUMENT FOR 3,495,343 2/1970 Duncanson 219/275 ux 3,579,262 5/1971 HAIR DRESSING ,5 6/197]  Inventor: Yasumitsu Naritomi, lzum1 3 004 5 0 10/1961 Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan Assign: Shigel'u Kawayama, Tokyo, Japan Primary ExaminerWilliam F. ODea 71 Assistant Examiner-Peter D. Ferguson  Flled Apr 7 19 AttorneySteinberg-& Blake  Appl. No.: 131,871
52 vs. 01 219 272, 34/97, 219/275, 1571 ABSTRACT  Int Cl 219, 12 1 2385 Steam generating instrument for hair-dressing comprising a blower, steam generating means held integral with said blower, means for causing the blower to supply steam from said steam generating means into a venting duct, first switch for controlling said blower, and sec-  Field of Search l26/271.l; 34/97, 34/99; 219/271, 272, 275, 276, 295, 362
 References Cited 0nd switch for controlling said steam generating means.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,762,448 6/1930 MacDuffee et a1. 219/295 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Patented Ju y' 10, 1973 INVENTOR YA SUM/Ts!) NAN/Tom BY/ f ATT STEAM GENERATING INSTRUMENT FOR HAIR-DRESSING SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to steam generating instruments for hair-dressing. Main object is to provide a steam generating instrument which can blow steam containing the desired moisture against hair to soften it and yet is very simple in construction and operable in the desired angle with a single hand.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of the steam generating instrument for hair-dressing according to the present invention and shows its important parts in section;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a safety device of the steam generating section emboding the present invention in opened condition;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view showing another embodiment of the steam generating section; and
FIG. 4 is a side view showing in partial section the steam generating instrument with still another steam generating section according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention relates to a steam generating instrument which can be used to blow steam against hair to soften it.
Recently, the so-called hair-dryer is utilized for effecting hair-dressing. Such hair-dryer is used in order to blow the dried hot air against wet hair so that the hair is dried or straightened out. However, when the hair is straightened out or settled with the desired hairdo, the hot air hurts the hair rather than softens it because the hair is simply heated.
It is apparent that if the hot air contains suitably moisture, that is, steam is blown against the hair, more effective hair-dressing will be done and yet the hair will not be hurt.
In light of such aspects, the present invention provides a steam generating instrument for hair-dressing which can blow steam against the hair and supply only air stream as desired.
According to the present invention, a steam generating section is connected integral with a blower section having a duct receiving the steam from said steam generating section. Further, switches are provided for controlling the generation of steam in the steam generating section and the operation of the blower, respectively.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings.
In FIG. I, numeral 1 shows a gripping section which has one end connected integrally to a cylindrical duct 2 extending substantially perpendicular thereto. There is provided a blower 3 within the gripping section, which blower is actuated by a suitable electrical motor. Flow of air created by this blower is passed into the duct 2 and discharged therefrom at an opening 4 in the front end thereof.
Electrical leads of the blower motor are connected to electrical leads 6 in the bottom of the gripping section 1 through a electrical switch mounted on the gripping section. This arrangement is substantially the same as that of the conventional hair-dryer except a heater section.
According to the present invention, there is further provided a steam generating section 8, which is below the duct 2 adjacent to the gripping section. The steam generating section 8 has its upper end open at least in part and opposed to an opening 10 in the duct 2. Therefore, the steam created by the steam generating section 8 can be supplied into the duct 2.
The steam generating section 8 has a plurality of electrode plates which will be surrounded by liquid such as water. In FIG. 1, the electrode plates 11a, 11b, 11c and 11d are shown stacked one above another in a spaced relationship. These plates are spaced apart from each other with a suitable distance, for example, 2.5 mm, and held by insulating support rods 12 and 13 in position. The first electrode plate 11a is in contact with the bottom plate 9a of the vessel 9 of the steam generating section 8. The electrode plates are of stainless steel, for example. The electrode plates are electrically connected alternately, the plates 11a and 110 to each other and the plates 11b and 11d to each other, the respective sets of connected plates are connected to the respective contacts 14 and 15.
The contacts 14 and 15 are electrically connected with the electrical cord 6, this connection being provided with safety means by means of which these contacts are shut off from the electrical cord 6 when liquid is supplied into the vessel 9. For this purpose, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a fixed terminal box 16 is mounted on the underside of the duct 2 adjacent to the gripping section 1. Terminals 17 and 18 are located within the terminal box 16 in such a position that they are opposed to the contacts 14 and 15, respectively. One of the terminals 17 and 18 is connected to the cord 6 through a switch 19 and the other directly'to it through no switch. The switch 19 is preferably mounted on the I gripping section 1 adjacent to the switch 5 for the blower. A lead 20 connects the terminal 17 with the switch 19. An opening 21 is formed in a portion of the terminal box opposed to the contacts 14 and 15 and also an opening 22 is formed in a portion of the vessel 9 opposed to the terminals 17 and 18. The vessel 9 is hinged to the terminal box 16 at one side edge thereof by means of hinges 23. When the vessel 9 is opened in respect of the terminal box 16, the terminals 17 and 18 are separated from the mating contacts 14 and 15 and at the same time the opening in the upper wall 9b of the vessel 9 is exposed outside without being covered by the underside of the duct 2.
Each of the contacts 14 and 15 is formed as by bending the conductive and resilient strip material into U shape, one end of which is fixed to the inner surface of the vessel 9 and the bended portion of which is protruded outwardly through the opening 22. The contacts 14 and 15 enter into the terminal box 16 through the opening 21 when the vessel 9 is closed in respect to the terminal box 16, and are resiliently in contact with the respective terminals 17 and 18.
In the interior of the vessel 9 of the steam generating section there are provided two downwardly inclining plates 25 and 26 which are located above the electrode plates. Each of the inclining plates 25 and 26 has its upper end fixed to the side wall of the vessel 9 and its lower end spaced apart from the mating plate with a suitable distance to provide a passageway of the steam.
In the operation of the aforementioned steam generating instrument according to the present invention, the vessel 9 is opened in respect to the terminal box 16,
and liquid such as water containing a hair tonic is charged into the interior of the vessel 9 through the upper opening thereof..The vessel 9 is then closed in respect to the terminal box 16 and the switches and 19 are turned on. Electric current is therefore applied between the electrode plates through the body of liquid in the steam generating section thereby the liquid is heated to generate the steam. This steam is passed into the duct 2 through the opening 10. At this time, air is also suppliedinto the duct 2 by the blower 3 thereby the steam is discharged from the front opening 4 of the duct 2 together with the air. The air which is discharged from the duct 2 contains suitable moisture and is sufficiently warm to soften hair.
Owing to the use of the electrode plates in the steam generating section 8, the generation of steam is very quickened, for example, the usable steam can be obtained at about 5 seconds. The downwardly inclining plates 25 and 26 prevents the liquid from spilling from the vessel 9. Further, by controlling the switch 5 and 16, the generation of steam can be stopped so as to supply only the air, as desired.
As mentioned hereinbefore, one of the electrode plates is connected with the switch 19 and the other is connected directly with the electrical cord 6. Therefore, even if the switch 19 is turned off, there is the risk of receiving an electric shock without shutting off from the cord 6. In the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the water cannot be supplied into the interior of the vessel 9 unless it is opened in respect of the terminal box 16. In this condition, both the contacts 14 and 15 are separated from the terminals 17 and 18 so that any electric shock can be eliminated.
In another embodiment shown in FIG. 4, a mounting bracket 27 isattached to the underside of the duct 2. The vessel 9 is removably mounted on this bracket 27 by forcing thereinto the vessel 9. The bracket 27 has a back plate on which the terminals 17 and 18 are mounted. On the other hand, the contacts 14 and 15 is located on the side wall portion of the vessel 9 opposed to the terminals. The connection of the contacts and terminals may by obtained by such manner that a plug is inserted into a jack. In this case, the electric current is applied to the electrode plates by the insertion of the plug into the jack when the vessel 9 is received on the bracket 27. On the contrast, when the vessel 9 is removed from the bracket 27 in order to supply water into the vessel 9, the contacts 14 and 15 are separated from the terminals 17 and 18.
In still another embodiment shown in FIG. 3, there is provided a heating chamber 29 within the vessel 9 at the bottom thereof. The heating chamber 29 is partitioned off by a shielding plate 28 which is made of material having large heat transfer rate. In the interior of the heating chamber 29 there is located a coil of nichrome wire the ends of which are connected to the contacts 14 and 15, respectively. Instead of the inclining plates 25 and 26, a steam reservoir 32 is mounted on the underside of the upper wall 9b of the vessel 9. This reservoir 32 is aligned with the opening in the upper wall of the vessel 9 and has an aperture 31 at the bottom thereof. The reservoir 32 prevents the liquid from spilling from the vessel 9 in any inclination of the steam generating instrument. However, the generated steam can pass into the duct 2 through the aperture 31 and the upper opening 10 to be discharged from the front opening 4 of the duct 2.
Although the embodiments have been described with no heater, it is understood that a heating device may be located in the duct. In such case, the heating device is positioned in the upper half of the duct and separated from the passageway of the steam by any suitable partition. Owing to this arrangement, the steam generating instrument can be used as a hair-dryer by blowing only hot air against hair. Thus, it will be seen that with the above-described structure of the invention the vaporgenerating means 8 includes the heating means formed by components lla-11d which is connected into an electrical circuit means which includes the contacts 14, 15, 17, 18, and the switch 19 as well as the leads 6, the switch 19 forming a switch means available to the operator for turning the vapor-generating means 8 on and off. The electrical circuit means includes also the blower means 3 and the switch means 5 which is available to the operator for turning the blower means 3 on and off, so that the pair of switch means 5 and 19 are available to the operator for selectively operating either the vapor-generating means 8 or the blower means 3 or both. The vapor-generating means 8 includes the container 9 for a liquid which is to be converted into a vapor by the heating means 11a -11d, this container 9 communicating through its top opening with the duct 2, at the opening 10 of the latter, for introducing vapor into the stream of air which is directed by the blower means 3 through the duct 2. In accordance with a further feature of the invention, the component 16 of FIGS. 1 and 2 and the component 27 of FIG. 4 form a means for mounting the container 9 at the duct 2' in a manner necessitating separation of the heating element contacts 14 and 15 from the circuit contacts 17 and 18 normally connected thereto, respectively, when the container 9 is displaced away from the duct 2 in order to render the top filling opening of the container 9 accessible.
1. A device for producing a stream of air with or without vapor therein,.comprising a duct for directing a stream of air in a given direction and electrical blower means communicating with said duct for blowing a stream of air therethrough, said duct being formed with an opening, vapor-generating means located next to said duct and communicating through said opening thereof with the interior of said duct for generating vapor to be carried in the air stream which flows through said duct, said vapor-generating means having an electrical heater means, and electrical circuit means electrically connected with said electrical heater means and with said electrical blower means and including a pair of switch means accessible to the operator for selectively turning said heater means and blower means on and off, respectively, whereby said heater means and blower means may be operated separately from each other or simultaneously, said vapor-generating means including a container for liquid to be converted into a vapor by said heater means, said container having a top filling opening normally registering with said duct opening for directing vapor therethrough into a stream of air in said duct, and mounting means mounting said container of said vapor-generating means at said duct with said filling opening registering with said duct opening, said mounting means carrying a pair of circuit contacts of said electrical circuit means and said heater means including a pair of heater contacts normally engaging said circuit contacts, respectively, for
connecting said heater means into said electrical circuit means, said mounting means mounting said container of said vapor-generating means at said duct in a manner compelling said heater contacts to be separated from said circuit contacts when said container is displaced away from said duct to render said filling opening accessible for introducing into said container liquid to be converted into vapor by said heater means.
2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said heater contacts are in the form of substantially U- shaped springy metallic elements which normally press against said circuit contacts.
3. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said heater contacts are in the form of prongs while said circuit contacts form part of a plug which receives said prongs.
4. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said mounting means includes a support component fixed to said duct and hingedly connected to said container for compelling the latter to be turned away from said support component to render said filling opening accessible while at the same time separating said heater contacts from said circuit contacts.
5. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said mounting means includes a bracket carrying said circuit contacts and supporting said container in a manner compelling the latter to be shifted away from said bracket to render said filling opening accessible while simultaneously compelling said heater contacts to be separated from said circuit contacts.