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Publication numberUS3750913 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 7, 1973
Filing dateJun 10, 1971
Priority dateJun 10, 1971
Publication numberUS 3750913 A, US 3750913A, US-A-3750913, US3750913 A, US3750913A
InventorsWild H
Original AssigneeTe Wilo Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Solid-foods dispenser
US 3750913 A
Abstract
A solid-foods dispenser including a housing defining a chamber for receiving a stick of solid material to be dispensed, such as cold butter. An adjustable closure defines an adjustable discharge opening adjacent one end of the housing. A ratchet moves a plunger through the housing in the direction of the closure to compress the material and dispense it through the discharge opening in the form of a continuous ribbon. The plunger registers with the closure to assure complete discharge of the material from the chamber.
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United States Patent 1 Wild [451 Aug. 7, 1973 SOLID-FOODS DISPENSER [75] Inventor: Heinz K. Wild, Mentor, Ohio [73] Assignee: Te Wilo Industries Inc., East Lake,

Ohio

[22] Filed: June 10, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 151,883

[52] U.S. Cl 222/387, 222/391, 229/561 [51] Int. Cl. G0lf 11/00 [58] Field oi Search 222/391, 386, 314, 222/559, 561, 387

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2,884,877 5/1959 Nalbone et all... 222/391 X Etter 222/391 X 2,889,085 6/1959 Collins ZZZ/391 3,069,053 12/1962 Nilsson 222/391 3,029,653 4/1962 Nilsson 222/391 X 3,312,022 4/1967 Marriage 222/561 X Primary Examiner-Richard A. Schacher Attorney-Watts, Hoffmann, Fisher & Heinke [57] ABSTRACT A solid-foods dispenser including a housing defining a chamber for receiving a stick of solid material to be dispensed, suchas cold butter. An adjustable closure defines an adjustable discharge opening adjacent one end of the housing. A ratchet moves a plunger through the housing in the direction of the closure to compress the material and dispense it through the discharge opening in the form of a continuous ribbon. The plunger registers with the closure to assure complete discharge of the material from the chamber.

20 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED SHEEI 1 0F 2 INVENTOR. HEINZ K. WILD PATENIED NIB 3. 750.913

INVENTOR. HEINZ K. WILD s fizs' ATTORNEYS 1 SOLID-FOODS DISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a solid foods dispenser of the type adapted to dispense a continuous ribbon of solid material, such as cold butter, from a stick of material.

2. Prior Art Plunger operated food dispensers are well known, as are various ratchet devices for moving a plunger through a chamber to compress material being dispensed.

Most such known plunger operated food dispensers are not designed for use with solid foods such as cold butter. As will be appreciated, cold butter is a rigid, solid material which does not flow and change configuration readily in the manner of warm butter. Hence, while warm butter can readily be made to flow through a discharge opening in a smooth, continuous and even manner, cold butter is difficult to force through such an opening. Moreover, cold butter tends to dispense in the form of broken, discontinuous and uneven chips which frequently curl substantially when drawn through a small opening.

Another problem inherent in the dispensing of cold butter is that of forcing all of the butter from the dispenser as the supply diminishes. Where as warm butter will frequently flow from a dispenser under the influence of gravity, cold butter tends to cling to the walls of the dispenser and lodge in such areas as are not engageable by the plunger.

. Still another problem commonly associated with known butter dispensers is that the region of the discharge opening cannot be directly viewed by the operator. This frequently results in the operator overextending or under-extending the region of spread of the dispenser.

Another significant problem with many known butter dispensers is that they are designed to discharge directly downwardly. Such downward discharge is unacceptable for use in conjunction with cold butter fortwo reasons. First, a downward discharge necessitates that the ribbon of butter being dispensed bend so as to extend horizontally. Such bending causes the butter to break into small pieces and frequently causes the butter to curl, whereby an uneven spread results. Second, should the downwardly facing discharge opening be positioned directly in engagement with the surface on which the butter is to be spread, the butteribeing discharged will meet with an increased resistance which is frequently sufficient to entirely prevent its discharge from the dispenser.

Still another problem with known butter dispensers is that they fail to provide an adjustable discharge opening whereby the thickness of the butter being spread can readily be adjusted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the foregoing drawbacks oftprior art dispensers and provides a solid- "foods dispenser capable of evenly dispensing a ribbon movably carried adjacent one end of the housing and defines an adjustable discharge opening between the plate and the housing. An adjustment means is provided for accurately positioning the plate relative to the housing to vary the width of the opening, or to close it altogether.

A plunger is positioned in the housing. The plunger includes a block portion having sides that extend for a sufficient length in engagement with the interior housing walls to prevent the plunger from becoming cocked or jammed in the housing.

The closure plate is carried by the housing at an angle which is sufficiently inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of the housing to readily permit an operator to view the region of the discharge opening. The forward end of the plunger is correspondingly inclined whereby the plunger may be brought into registry with the interior surface of the closure plate. This assures that substantially all of the butter will be forced from the chamber at the completion of the dispensing operation.

The plunger block supports a stern which extends rearwardly of the housing to a position where it can be readily grasped for removal by an operator. The closure plate is also removable from the housing. By this arrangement, all of the surfaces which come into contact with the material being dispensed are accessible for cleaning.

A removable pivotally mounted handle is carried by the housing. The handle pivotally carries a ratchet pawl which is engageable with a toothed rack formed on the plunger stem. A novel cam biasing means biases the pawl into engagement with the toothed rack. By this arrangement, a ratchet is provided for moving the plunger through the housing toward the closure plate.

A handle biasing spring biases the handle away from the housing to a dispensing position. A locking means is also provided to selectively disable the handle biasing spring. This permits the handle to be moved to a storage position adjacent the housing. When the handle is in the storage position, the size of the dispenser is reduced to facilitate storage.

In addition to the foregoing advantages, the dispenser of the present invention provides an end discharge opening rather than a bottom discharge opening. By this arrangement, the butter is discharged immediately above the surface on which itis to be spread. Hence, the surface itself offers no resistance to the dispensing thereby permitting the butter to discharge in a continuous planar ribbon of uniform width :and thickness.

Accordingly, it is the principal object of the present invention :to provide a novel and improved solid-foods BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is atop :plan view of the solid foods dispenser at the present invention with portions broken away to illustrate detail;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view with portions broken away to illustrate detail, and showing the actuating handle in solid lines inthe dispensing position and in phantom inthe storage position;

FIG. 3 is a partial sideelevationalview showing the actuator handle removed from the housing;

FIG. 5 is a sectional elevational view as seen from the plane indicated by the line 5-5 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view illustrating the closure plate in its fully closed position; and,

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 6 showing the closure plate in a dispensing position dispensing a ribbon of solid-food.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a solid-foods dispenser is shown generally at 10. The dispenser 10 includes an elongate housing 11. The housing 1''] preferably comprises a hollow, thickwalled aluminum extrusion defining a chamber 12. The chamber 12 is of substantially uniform cross-section along its length, and is of a size which will readily receive an ordinary stick of cold butter or other solid-food to be dispensed.

A closure plate 13 is positioned within guide grooves 14 formed adjacent one end of the housing. The grooves 14 are inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of the housing. The closure plate 13 is slidably positioned within the grooves 14 for movement relative to the housing.

A discharge opening 15 is defined between the lower end of the closure plate 13 and the lower wall of the housing 11. More specifically, the width of the discharge opening is defined by the distance between an inclined edge 16 of the closure plate 13, and an inclined surface 17 formed on the lower wall of the housin 11.

in adjustment means, indicated generally by the numeral 20, is provided for adjustably positioning the closure plate 13 and thereby varying the width of the opening 15. The adjustment means 20 includes a threaded stud 21 rigidly mounted on the housing 11. An adjusting nut 22 is threaded onto the stud 21 for movement toward and away from the housing. The closure plate 13 has a through aperture 23. The adjusting nut 22 extending into the aperture 23. The aperture 23 takes the form of an elongated slot, the longer sides of which comprises parallel portions which engage the upper and lower surfaces of the adjusting nut 22. By this arrangement, the closure plate 13 is constrained for movement along the guide grooves 14 as the adjusting nut moves along the threaded stud 21.

The inclination of the guide grooves 14 and the closure member 13 is designed to permit the operator to readily view the region of the discharge opening 15. By this arrangement, the correct amount of butter or other solid food may be dispensed without guesswork.

A plunger 25 is positioned within the chamber 12. The plunger 25 includes block portion 26 having a forward end surface 27. The forward end surface 27 is inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of the chamber. The inclination of the surface 27 corresponds to the inclination of the closure plate 13. By this arrangement, the surface 27 may be moved into registry with the closure plate to force substantially all of the material being dispensed from the chamber.

The sides of the plunger block 26 slidably engage the interior walls of the housing 11. These sides are of a sufficient length to assure that the plunger block 26 cannot become twisted or jammed within the housing 11. The extended length of the sides also assures that none of the material being dispensed will pass between the plunger block 26 and the housing 11.

In the preferred embodiment, the plunger block comprises a chemically inert plastic material having a low coefficient of friction, such as a tetrafluoroethylene resin.

The plunger 25 also includes a stem 28 which extends partially into the plunger block 26. A pin 29 extends through the block 26 and the stem 28 to rigidly connect these members. The stem is thereby cantilevered from the plunger block 26 and extends through the chamber 12 to position external of the housing 11. Inorder to render the plunger 25 readily removable from the housing 11 for cleaning, a handle 30 is mounted on the outer end of the stem.

As will now be apparent, the closure plate 13 and the plunger 25 are both removable from the housing 11. By this arrangement, the interior of the housing is accessible for cleaning from either or both ends. Moreover, the surfaces of the closure plate 13 and the plunger 25 which come into contact with the material being dispensed are also accessible for cleaning.

An actuating handle, indicated generally by the nu meral 35, is pivotally mounted on the housing. The handle 35 comprises a yoke-shaped head portion 36 which extends over the stem 28, and an actuating portion 37.

The pivotal connection between the handle 35 and the housing 11 is formed so as to permit the removal of the handle from the housing. Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the yoke-shaped head includes a pair of coaxially extending opposed projections 38. A pair of slots 39 are formed in the sidewalls of the housing 11 to receive the projections 38. By this arrangement, the handle 35 may be removed from the dispenser by moving the projections 38 out of the grooves 39 and forwardly around the end of the housing 11.

A handle biasing spring 40 is mounted about a shaft 41 positioned in the handle 35. The spring 40 is a torsion spring which has end portions 42 in engagement with the handle 35 and a central portion 43 biased away from the handle 35. The central portion 43, as best seen in FIG. 1, carried two rollers 44 which are biased into engagement with the upper surface of the housing 11. By this arrangement, the spring 40 serves to bias the handle 35 upwardly away from the housing to a dispensing position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2.

A locking means, comprising a notches arm 45, is pivotally mounted about a shaft 46. The shaft 46 is carried by the actuator portion 37 of the handle 35. The locking arm 45 extends through a slot 47 in the actuator portion 37 to permit movement of the arm by engaging the end which extends above the top surface of the handle. The notched arm 45 is releasably engageable with the central portion 43 of the handle spring 40. By this arrangement the handle spring 40 may selectively be rendered inoperative whereby the handle 35 may be moved to a storage position, indicated in phantom in FIG. 2.

A ratchet arrangement is-provided for moving the plunger 25 through the housing toward the closure plate 13 in response to movement of the handle 35. The ratchet includes a toothed rack 50 formed integrally with the stem 28, and a pawl 51 pivotally mounted on the handle 35.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the pawl 51 comprises a U-shaped rod threaded at both ends 52, 53. The ends 52, 53 are threaded into circular discs 54, 55. The discs 54, 55 have off-center threaded apertures 56, 57. Screws 58, 59 are threaded through the opposed legs of the yoke-shaped head portion 36 and into the apertures S6, 57. By this arrangement, the discs 54, 55 and the pawl 51 may pivot about the screws 58, S9.

A pawl biasing means is provided for biasing the pawl 51 into engagement with the toothed rack 50. The yoke-shaped head portion 36 is provided with a pair of parallel apertures 60, 61. As is typically illustrated in H6. 5, each of apertures 60, 61 carries a plunger 62 biased downwardly by a spring 63. The lower ends of the plungers 62 engage the circumferential surfaces of the discs 54, 55. Since the discs 54, 55 are mounted in an off-center fashion, the plungers 62 serve to bias the pawl 51 to the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The biasing action of the springs 63 actually serves two functions. First, it biases the pawl 51 into engagement with the toothed rack 50. Second, it biases the head portion 36 of the handle 35 upwardly relative to the housing 11. This second function serves to reatin the projections 38 in the notches 39, and hence retains the assembled configuration of the handle and the housing.

For purposes of storage, the closure plate 13 may be moved to the position of FIG. 6 to seal the chamber 12. In order to dispense a ribbon of butter, the closure plate 13 is moved to a dispensing position as shown in FIG. 7. The handle 35 is then urged downwardly toward the housing 11 to move the plunger 25 and compress the butter stick. Such compression results in a ribbon 75 of butter being dispensed through the opening 15. The thickness of the ribbon being dispensed may be adjusted, as previously described, to provide the exact desired spread.

Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

What is claimed is:

l. A solid-foodsdispenser adapted to receive a stick of solid edible material and dispense the material in a ribbon of desired thickness, comprising:

a. an elongate housing defining a chamber having a configuration generally corresponding to the configuration of the stick of material to be dispensed;

b. closure means carried by said housing and positioned substantially adjacent, one end of said housing for'adjustably closing said" one end, said closure means defining an interior surface facing toward said chamber;

csplunger means positioned in said housingand movable from a position spaced from said closure means along the longitudinal axis of the housing to a position adjacent said closure means, said plunger means'having a foward end surface configured to mate with said interior surface;

d. ratchet means associated with said housing and said plunger means and operable to move said plunger through said housing in the direction of said closure means; and,

e. adjustment means associated with said closure means and said housing to adjustably position said closure means relative to said housing to define an outlet opening of selectively variable size between said closure means and said housing;

f. whereby the stick of material to be dispensed may be positioned in said chamber and compressed by said plunger means, and said adjustment means may be set to dispense said material in a ribbon of desired thickness;

2. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 1 wherein said one end of said housing is inclined relative to the axis of movement of said plunger sufficiently to permit the region of said outlet opening to be viewed by an operator during dispensing of said material.

3. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 2 wherein:

a. said housing has guide means formed integrally therewith substantially adjacent said one end;

b. said guide means defines a path of travel for said closure means which is incline-d relative to the axis of movement of said plunger; and,

c. said closure means is slidably carried by said guide means.

4. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 1 wherein said housing comprises a hollow elongate extrusion of substantially square cross-section, open at both endsto facilitate cleaning, and said plunger includes a stem which extends through the open end of said housing opposite said one end.

5. A solid-foods dispenser adapted to receive a stick of solid edible material and dispense the material in a ribbon of desired thickness, comprising:

a. an elongate housing defining a chamber having a configuration generally corresponding to the configuration of the stick of material to be dispensed;

b. closure means carried by said housing and positioned substantially adjacent one end of said housing for adjustably closing said one end;

c. plunger means positioned in said housing and :mov-

, able from a position spaced from said closure means along the longitudinal axis of the housing to a position adjacent said closure means;

d. said plunger having a forward end defining a surface which is inclined relative to the axis of movement of the plunger, said forward end surface being configured to mate with the inner surface of said closure means to enable said forward end surface to be brought into registry with said closure means to dispense substantially all of said material from said chamber;

e. ratchet means associated with said housing and said plunger means and operable to move said plunger through said housing in the direction of said closure means; and,

f. adjustment means associated with said closure means and said housing to adjustably position said closure means relative tosaid housing to define an outlet opening of selectively variable size :between said closuremeans and said housing;

g. whereby the stick of material tobe dispensed may be positioned in said chamber and compressed by said plunger means, and said adjustment means may be set to dispense said material in a ribbon of desired thickness.

6. A solid-foods dispenseradapted toreceive a stick of solid edible material and dispensethematerial in a continuous ribbon, comprising:

a. an elongate housing defining a chamber having a configuration generally corresponding to the configuration of the stick of material to be dispensed;

b. closure means closing one end of said housing, said closure means defining an interior surface inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of said housing and defining an outlet opening for discharging said material from said chamber;

c. plunger means positioned in said housing and movable from a position spaced from said closure means to a position adjacent said closure means;

d. ratchet means for moving said plunger through said housing in the direction of said closure means; and,

e. said plunger means having a forward end surface which is inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of said housing, said forward end surface being configured so as to mate with said interior surface of said closure means;

f. whereby the stick of material to be dispensed may be positioned in said chamber and compressed by said plunger means, and said plunger may be brought into registry with said closure means to dispense substantially all of said material from said chamber through said outlet opening.

7. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 6 wherein:

a. said housing comprises a hollow elongate extrusion of substantially square cross-section, open at both ends;

b. said closure means is removably carried by said one end; and,

c. said plunger means includes a stem which extends through the open end opposite said one end;

(1. whereby said closure means and said means may be removed from said housing to facilitate cleaning of all surfaces which come into contact with said material.

8. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 6 wherein:

a. said closure means is movab l y carried by said housing adjacent said one end; I b. said outlet opening is defined between said housing and said closure means; and,

c. an adjustment means is provided to adjustably position said closure means relative to said housing;

d. whereby the size of said outlet opening may be adjustably controlled.

9. A solid-foods dispenser adapted to receive a stick of solid edible material and dispense the material in a ribbon of desired thickness, comprising:

a. an elongate housing defining a chamber for receiving the material to be dispensed, said chamber being of a substantially uniform cross-section along its length;

b. closure means mounted on said housing adjacent one end of said housing for adjustably closing said one end;

c. adjusting means associated with said closure means and said housing to adjustably position said closure means relative to said housing to define an outlet opening of selectively variable size between said closure means and said housing;

d. plunger means positioned in said housing and movable from a position spaced from said closure means to a position adjacent said closure means;

e. said plunger means having a forward end surface of a' configuration corresponding to the interior surface of said closure means; and,

f. ratchet means assocaited with said housing and said plunger means for moving said plunger means through said chamber in the direction of said closure means and substantially into registry with said interior surface of said closure means;

g. whereby the stick of material to be dispensed may be positioned in said chamber and compressed by said chamber and compressed by said plunger means, and substantially all of siad material may be dispensed from said chamber.

10. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 9 wherein:

a. said plunger comprises a block portion slip-fitted within said chamber;

b. said block portion includes said forward end surface and side surface portions which correspond to said uniform cross-section of said chamber; and,

c. said side surface portions extend a sufficient distance along and in engagement with the interior walls of said housing to prevent said block portion from becoming twisted and lodged within said housing;

d. whereby said plunger requires no support other than that provided by the engagement of said side wall portions with said housing.

11. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 10 wherein said plunger additionally includes a stem cantilevered from said block portion and extending externally of said housing through the end of said housing opposite said one end.

12. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 11 wherein said ratchet means includes a toothed rack carried by said stem and actuator means pivotally mounted on said housing for engaging said toothed rack and moving said plunger through said chamber toward said closure means in response to movement of said actuator means.

13. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 12 wherein said actuator means comprises a handle removably pivotally mounted on said housing for movement between a dispensing position spaced from said housing to a storage position adjacent said housing.

14. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 13 additionally including handle biasing means biasing said handle away from said housing toward said dispensing position, and locking means adapted to selectively render said handle biasing means inoperable, whereby said handle may be positioned for storage in said storage position to reduce the size of the dispenser for storage.

15. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 14 wherein said handle biasing means includes a spring mounted on said handle and having portions normally extending into engagement with said housing, said locking means being operable to selectively clamp said portions adjacent said handle and out of engagement with said housmg.

16. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 12 wherein said actuator includes a handle pivotally mounted on said housing and a pawl member pivotally mounted on said handle, said pawl member being adapted to engage said toothed rack such that movement of said handle in one direction relative to said housing will cause said plunger to move in said chamber toward said closure means, while movement of said handle in the direction opposite said one direction will cause said pawl to move into engagement with another portion of said toothed rack.

17. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 16 additionally including pawl biasing means operable between said handle and said pawl member to bias said pawl member into engagement with said toothed rack.

18. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 17 wherein said pawl biasing means comprises:

a. cam means carried by said pawl member and movable therewith;

b. plunger means carried by said handle; and,

c. plunger biasing means biasing said plunger into engagement with said cam means.

19. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 9 wherein said adjustment means comprises:

a. a threaded member carried by said housing;

b. an adjusting member threadably engaging said threaded member for movement toward and away from said housing along said threaded member; and,

c. said closure means having portions in engagement with said adjusting member for moving said closure means in response to movement of said adjustable member.

20. The solid-foods dispenser of claim 19 wherein: a. said housing has guide means formed integrally therewith substantially adjacent said one end; b. said guide means defines a path of travel for said closure means;

c. said closure means comprises an end plate slidably carried by said guide means for movement along said path;

d. said end wall has an aperture tormed therethrough in a region external to said interior surface, said aperture defining spaced parallel surface portions; and,

e. said adjuster member extends into said aperture and engages said parallel surface portions to move said end wall along said path in response to movement of said adjuster member along said threaded member.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5363990 *Feb 25, 1994Nov 15, 1994Owens-Illinois Closure Inc.Dual chambered pump package for viscous products
US5518051 *May 11, 1993May 21, 1996Wells; Wesley W.Adaptive holder, extension handle and toothbrush guide for a toothpaste dispenser
US5577537 *May 16, 1995Nov 26, 1996Wells; Wesley M.Adaptive holder, extension handle and toothbrush guide for a toothpaste dispenser
US6026985 *Sep 28, 1994Feb 22, 2000Robot-Coupe U.S.A., Inc.Food dispenser gun
US6062428 *Jul 29, 1998May 16, 2000Callahan; Sean P.Viscid product dispenser
US6082596 *Oct 2, 1998Jul 4, 2000Koch; Drake L.Dispenser for stick form solid edible foods, components therefor and methods of making the same
US6471098 *Jul 10, 2000Oct 29, 2002Shi-Lin ShiauStructure of adhesive dispenser
EP1800571A1 *Dec 19, 2006Jun 27, 2007Ing. Petr Gross, s.r.o.Kneading and dosing tool of pastalike food, solidity of which was increased by cooling, in particular of butter
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/387, 222/391, 222/561
International ClassificationA47G19/00, A47G19/32, A47J9/00, A47G21/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G21/005, A47J9/001, A47G19/32
European ClassificationA47J9/00F, A47G21/00F, A47G19/32