US 3796348 A
A liquid pourer is attached to a bottle for automatically dispensing a predetermined amount of liquor each time the bottle is tilted to pouring position, and the number of such tilts or dispensing operations appear as a count. The count is read from a sleeve which is advanced one count. Such sleeve has saw-toothed type projections at each of its ends cooperating with complementary projections to assure advancement of the sleeve only one count for each dispensing operation. The amount of liquor dispensed is metered using a plunger assembly having apertured portions therethrough which are covered by a valve element movable on the plunger assembly. The position of the plunger assembly is adjustable to adjust the amount of liquor dispensed. To prevent dispensing of liquor unless the bottle is in substantially an upright, inverted position, a so-called antimilking device is associated with the pouring spout, and it involves a spool-shaped valve element carrying a locking ring which is engageable with an abutment on the pouring cap to prevent this valve element from uncovering openings in the pouring spout unless the bottle is in substantially a completely inverted position to thereby assure complete advancement of the counting sleeve prior to dispensing of liquor.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Zipper [451 Mar. 12, 197 4 1 1 LIQUID METERING AND COUNTING AND DISPENSING MEANS  Inventor: Walter J. Zipper, 463 Mesa Road,
Santa Monica, Calif. 90402  Filed: Oct. 18, 1971  Appl. No.: 190,006
3/1955 Germany 222/38 Primary Examiner-Stanley I 1. Tollberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lyon & Lyon  ABSTRACT A liquid pourer is attached to a bottle for automatically dispensing a predetermined amount of liquor each time the bottle is tilted to pouring position, and the number of such tilts or dispensing operations appear as a count. The count is read from a sleeve which is advanced one count. Such sleeve has saw-toothed type projections at each of its ends cooperating with complementary projections to assure'advancement of the sleeve only one count for each dispensing operation. The amount of liquor dispensed is metered using a plunger assembly having apertured portions therethrough which are covered by a valve element movable on the plunger assembly. The position of the plunger assembly is adjustable to adjust the amount of liquor dispensed. To prevent dispensing of liquor unless the bottle is in substantially an upright, inverted position, a so-called antimilking device is associated with the pouring spout, and it involves a spool-shaped valve element carrying a locking ring which is engageable with an abutment on the pouring cap to prevent this valve element from uncovering openings in the pouring spout unless the bottle is in substantially a completely inverted position to thereby assure complete advancement of the counting sleeve prior to dispensing of liquor.
8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures LIQUID METERING AND COUNTING AND DISPENSING MEANS Thepresent invention relates to improved means and techniques for dispensing predetermined amounts of liquor from a bottle with associated means for counting and indicating the number of times a bottle has been moved from a predetermined position.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved pouring spout having features of accurately dispensing predetermined adjustable amounts of liquor for each bottle inversion, for counting the number of such inversions or the number ofdrinks dispensed, and the incorporation therein of a so-called antimilking device which prevents liquor frorn being dispensed unless the bottle has been tilted to a sufficiently vertical condition that assures complete advancement of the counting device.
A specific object of the present invention is to provide an attachment to bottles incorporating a counting device and which incorporates means that prevent dispensing of any liquor unless and until the counting device is advanced. Y 1
Another specific object of the present inventionis to provide an improved dispensing device of this character in which the amount of liquor dispensed may be adjusted.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide a dispensing apparatus of this character which allows complete inventory control and portion control in a simple, expeditious and inexpensive manner.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide an improved dispensing device of this character incorporating novel sealing means for prevention of unauthorized removal or tampering with the-counting mechanism.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a pouring device of this character which is small considering the number of functions accomplished and which is also inexpensive in its manufacture and assembly.
Another specific object of the present invention is to provide an improved device of this character which assures the elimination of over-pours, unauthorized giveaways, slippage, pilferage, etc.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved pouring device of this character which allows the use of security seals individually and consecutively numbered with the assurance that the device may not be removed or impaired without destroying the seal.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. This invention itself, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a view partly in elevation and partly in section of a pouring device embodying features of the present invention mounted on the neck of a liquor bottle.
FIG. 2 is a section taken substantially on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 3, 4 and are sectional views taken on corresponding lines 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially on the line 6-6 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a view like FIG. 2 but with the bottle tilted sufficiently to cause the antimilking valve to be opened.
FIG. 8 illustrates some of the elements of FIG. 7 when the bottle is tilted insufficiently in which case as shown the antimilking valve remains closed.
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 9-9 of FIG. 8.
The pouring device has a base element 10 with a downwardly extending tubular portion 10A adapted to fit into the neck N of the liquor bottle B, the tubular portion 10A having a flange portion 108 limiting downward movement of the base member into the bottle. A rubber sealing device 12 in the form of a resilient sleeve extends around the flange portion 108 to prevent leakage in that area when the bottle is tilted during a dispensing operation.
This base element 10 includes an annular grooved portion 10C attached to snugly receive the lower end of cylinder element 14 within which a plunger structure. 16 is closely seated for sliding movement therein, and a special counting sleeve 17 is slidably mounted on the outside surface of the cylinder element 14.
The base element 10 is formed with a vent channel 10E which as seen in FIG. 1 terminates as a vent opening 10F, and the lower end of such vent channel 10E in FIG. 2 is fitted with a vent tube 18 which extends through the neck of the bottle and is formed with a ball cage portion 18A for retaining the ball check valve element 18B. This cage 18A is formed with two diametrically opposed openings 18C anda lower. opening 18D against which the ball 18B is seated in the upright position of the bottle in which case venting occurs through the side openings 18C, tube 18 and channel 10E.
The base element 10 is also formed with a semiannular pouring opening 106 which as seen in FIG. 5 is somewhat less than a complete ring opening. This opening in the upright position of the bottle B is closed by an inverted cup-shapped valve element 20 which is of the following construction:
This valve element 20 is of plastic, is adapted to seat against the base element 10 to close off the opening 106, and such element 20 is integrally formed with a central tubular portion 20A, the lower end of such tubular portion 20A being bifurcated and of resilient plastic, and one of the bifurcated portions 20B, 20C is fonned with a lug 20D. This lug 20D is in the nature of a hook and is retained within a slotted portion 10H of the tubular portion 10K of base element 10. The upper end of the sleeve portion 20A screw threadedly receives adjusting screw 22 of plastic material formed with an enlarged end portion 22A to facilitate turning of the same. This element 22 is adjusted before the pouring device is mounted on the bottle and serves as an adjustment in that it contacts a portion of the movable plunger structure 16 to close a valve thereon to thereby provide adjustment of that closed volume 26 defined by the following elements: plunger 16 in that position where it contacts the rod 22; a portion of the cylinder 14; base element 10 and valve element 20 in its sealed position. The valve element 20 is maintained in its sealed position against the base plate 10 by the weight of the plunger element 16 contacting the upper end of the adjustment screw 22.
This plunger assembly 16 incorporates a plastic piston element 16A which has an outer cylindrical wall 16B slidably contacting the inner wall of cylinder 14, and it also incorporates a central generally conical portion 16C terminating in a rounded end 16D. This central conical portion 16C is integrally formed with the ring portion 16A by a pair of web members 16F, 160. These web members 16F, 16G (FIG. 4) define openings 16K, 16L, and such openings are closed in FIG. 2 by a metal disk 16M contacting an annular valve seat I6N. Movement of this valve element MM is guided by its rod-like portion 161 which is slidably mounted in a central apertured portion 16R. Also, this rod 16? extends downwardly and is contacted by the previously mentioned adjustment screw 22. To limit movement of the valve element 16M, a plastic spider 165 of resilient plastic material has the outer end of its three legs engaged by an annular grooved portion 16T. This spider 165 is readily assembled by deforming the leg portions and allowing them to snap into the grooved portion 16T. It will be observed that the premissible travel of the valve element 16M on the plunger structure 16 is the distance between the retaining spider 16S and the shoulder portion 16V'on pin 16P.
On the other hand, the complete plunger assembly 16 is movable from the position shown in FIG. 2 to the position shown in FIG. 7 wherein the round conical end 16D closes the central opening 148 of the recessed portion 14C of cylinder 14.
The previously mentioned counting sleeve 17 is constructed for counting movement as described in the copending US. Pat. application of Robert R. Johnsonand Walter J. Zipper, Ser. No. l24,235, filed Mar. 15, 1971, to which reference may be had for perhaps a more detailed description.
In general, the ends of the counting sleeve 17 are provided with projections 17A, 178 as indicated in FIG. 1, and these projections cooperate respectively with complementary projections 14F on cylinder 14 and like projections 10M on base element 10. There is a pair of such elements 14F and a pair of such elements 10M with elements of the same pair being diametrically disposed.
The counting sleeve 17 is advanced one notch corresponding to one count each time the bottle is tilted from an upright position to a substantially vertical dispensing position and then returned to its upright position. These cooperating projections prevent the counting sleeve from moving more than one count and produce movement only in the advance direction as more fully described in the previously mentioned co-pending application.
A protective metal cover 25 which is generally bellshaped surrounds the counting sleeve 17; but to allow a person to see the count, the same is apertured as indicated at 25A in FIG. I wherein it is seen that the counting sleeve has been moved to its last count, namely count 40. Further movement of sleeve 17 is prevented as a result of engagement of the projection 17D on counting sleeve 17 with the projection 258 on the cover 25. To prevent unauthorized tampering, the cover is secured by a means now described.
A stiff wire 26W hooked at each of its ends is retained by a paper strip 27 in the form of aseal which may have printed thereon certain data. As seen in FIG. 2, the upper end of the wire 26W is pivotally mounted in an apertured portion of the cover 25 and extends through one of the forty slots 10R (each indexed and corresponding to one of the individual forty counts) and the lower end of wire 26W is in the form of an open hook to allow the paper band or seal to be inserted within the confines of the hook portion 26X.
A so-called antimilking device 30 is mounted on the upper end of the cylinder 14 with a portion of the cover 25 being sandwiched therebetween.
A pouring tube 30A of metal is secured within the plastic closure member 308, and such tube is closed at its lower end. Diametrically disposed side openings 30C in tube 30A (FIG. 2) are closed or covered by a valve element 305 which is slidably mounted on the tube 30A and which as seen in FIG. 2 is generally spool-shaped. Loosely mounted but confined on such spool-shaped valve element is locking ring 30F which may move radially with respectto pouring tube 30A and become-engaged with an annular internal shoulder portion 30G of the cap 308.
Certain precautions are taken to prevent tampering, i.e., false readings of the counting cylinder 17. These involve the provisions of end stops 17D, 258 which cooperate to prevent movement of the cylinder 17 beyond the 40 count should one be inclined to attempt to produce a false reading by tilting of the bottle holding his finger over the pouring spout 30A. Also the cover apertured portion 25A is provided with a transparent window 25W which prevents one from projecting an object through the opening and impeding movement of the counting cylinder 17. For the same general purpose the base member has an integrally formed flange portion 108 which projects upwardly beyond the space betweencover 25 and the outer rim of base 10 to deny access to the counting cylinder 17 and also to provide a guide for the cover 25 and to prevent any possible movement of the lower end of cover 25 into engagement with counting cylinder 17.
In operation when the device is mounted as shown on a bottle B containing liquor, one or two preliminary tilting operations are performed to assure complete filling of the volume 26A above the plunger assembly 16 with liquor and also complete fillingof the volume 26 below such assembly 16. A subsequent tilting of the bottle through progressive positions shown in FIGS. 2, 8 and 7 in that order results in the following: There is no dispensing of liquor in the position shown in FIG. 8 because the antimilking valve element 30F is still locked beyond the abutment 30G in its closed position preventing any fluid from leaving the bottle. However, the counting cylinder 17 is allowed to and does slide downward in FIG. 8 towards the cooperating pair of cam abutments 14F to achieve an advancement of counting cylinder 17 to the next count. Further slight tilting movement towards the position shown in FIG. 7 results in the previously locked valve ring element 30F with a rounded corner thereon sliding over abutment 30G due to the gravity forces acting on the element 30F to thereby open the antimilking valve, i.e., to uncover the tube openings 30C in which case the liquor is then dispensed of an amount determined by the preadjusted volume 26A which is defined in FIG. 2 by the upper portion of piston assembly 16 and inner walls of cylinder 14 and also by the closed end of tube 30A. In such dispensing, the plunger assembly 16 moves downwardly from its position shown in FIG. 2 to its position shown in FIG. 7 in which case the plunger rod 16F no longer contacts the valve stem 22 and thus valve 20 is allowed to open to allow liquor flow from the bottle into the then expanding volume 26. The volume 26A becomes smaller as the liquor is being dispensed therefrom as the plunger assembly 16 moves downwardly towards the position shown in FIG. 7 where substantially all liquor is dispensed and further dispensing is prevented because the rounded nose portion 16D is seated in its valve seat 14B at which time also the valve element 20 is in an open position to allow the expanded volume 26 to be completely filled with liquor. Return of the bottle from its inverted dispensing position to its upright position results in the gravity actuated valve element 20 returning to its closed position in which case when and as the plunger assembly 16 descends, liquor flows through the then open valve 16M, 16N to allow the then expanding volume to be filled. Ultimately the plunger stem 16? contacts the rod 22 to cause the valve 16M, 16N to close and also to prevent further downward movement of the assembly 16.-
It will be seen that the volume dispensed is that volume 26A in FIG. 2, and it is established by the upward protruding length of rod 22 which as seen is adjustable but in some cases a fixed adjustment may be provided by first securing the rod 22 in position and then cutting off the rod to establish a predetermined protruding length, and when this is done, it is no longer necessary or desirable to have the rod 22 protrude below the valve element 22. In further explanation of the operation it is assumed that the spaces 26A and 26 are each void of any liquid. The first tilting of the bottle from the position shown in FIG. 1 or 2 to inverted position results in the following: Valve 20 opens under the combined influence of gravity and liquid pressure causing liquid to flow through channel 106 and through valve 20 into lower chamber 26 and thereby causing the plunger 16 to move to its end position indicated in FIG. 7; however at this time no fluid enters the upper chamber 26A, i.e., the space above plunger 16, because the valve element 16M covers the openings 16K and 16L. The bottle is then reinverted to its original normal position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and during this reinversion valve 20 closes under the influence of gravity and liquid forces acting on valve 20 thereby trapping the liquid in space 26 and at the same time gravity forces acting on valve element 16M causes it to uncover the ports 16K, 16L to allow fluid to enter the upper chamber 26A and the plunger 16 to descend to its original position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. At this point chamber 26A is substantially filled with liquid. The next succeeding inversion of the bottle from FIGS. 2, 8 to 7 results in the liquid in chamber 26A being dispensed through the antimilking valve as described previously.
While the particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
1. In a measuring dispenser for mounting on the neck of a bottle or the like including a base having a liquid entrance portion adapted for attachment to the neck of a bottle; means defining a cylinder on said base; a twosided plunger assembly slidably mounted in said cylinder in substantially fluid tight relationship; first valve means on said plunger assembly for communicating one side of said plunger assembly with its other side in the open position of said valve means and for disestablishing communication in closed position; second valve means movable on said base and in its open position establishing communication between said other side of said plunger assembly and said liquid entrance portion and disestablishing the last-mentioned communication upon closure of said second valve; pouring spout means on said cylinder; third valve means in its open position establishing communication between said spout means and said one side of said plunger assembly and in its closed position disestablishing the last-mentioned communication; counting means mounted on said base and actuated upon tipping of said base from an upright position to a dispensing position; and means associated with said third valve means for preventing its opening until and unless said base has been tilted sufficiently to produce actuation of said counting means.
2. A dispenser as set forth in claim 1 in which said third valve means includes side openings in said pouring spout, a spool-like valve element for closing said openings, a ring loosely mounted in said spool-like valve element and having a corner thereof engageable with an annular shouldered portion of an extension of said base-to prevent movement of said spool-like element. 7
3. A dispenser as set forth in claim 2 in which said corner is a round corner.
4. In a measuring dispenser for mounting on the neck of a bottle or the like including a base having a liquid entrance portion adapted for attachment to the neck of a bottle; means defining a cylinder on said base; a two-. sided plunger assembly slidably mounted in said cylinder in substantially fluid tight relationship; first valve means on said plunger assembly for communicating one side of said plunger assembly with its other side in the open position of said valve means and for disestablishing communication in closed position; second valve means movable on said base and in its open position establishing communciation between said other side of said plunger assembly and said liquid entrance portion in the open position of said second valve and disestablishing the last-mentioned communication upon closure of said second valve; counting means mounted on said base and actuated upon tipping of said base from an upright position to a dispensing condition; said counting means including a sleeve slidably mounted on the outside of said cylinder; a cover member mounted on the upper end of said cylinder and extending around said sleeve; a wire pivoted on said cover and extending downwardly therefrom to the neck of said bottle; and a frangible sealing band wrapped around said neck and a portion of said wire.
5. A dispenser as set forth in claim 4 in which the lower end of said wire is bent to partially embrace said band.
6. A dispenser as set forth in claim 4 in which said wire extends through one of a series of grooves in said base, said grooves being equal in number to the total number of counts on a circumferential portion of said sleeve.
7. A dispenser as set forth in claim 4 in which there are cooperating stop means on said cover and said sleeve preventing movement of said sleeve beyond the last count on said sleeve.
8. A dispenser as set forth in claim 4 in which said cover has transparent means in an apertured portion of the cover to prevent access to saidsleeve and said base has a flange extending upwardly into said cover to provide a guide for same and also to prevent access to said cylinder.
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