|Publication number||US3815734 A|
|Publication date||Jun 11, 1974|
|Filing date||Mar 6, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 19, 1971|
|Also published as||DE2113434A1, DE2113434B2, DE2113434C3|
|Publication number||US 3815734 A, US 3815734A, US-A-3815734, US3815734 A, US3815734A|
|Original Assignee||Schwan Bleistift Fabrik|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (17), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Kriickel DISPENSER  Inventor: Peter Alexander Kriickel, Nurnberg,
Germany  Assignee: Messrs-Schwan-Bleistift-Fabrik Schwanhausser & Co., Nurnberg, Germany  Filed: Mar. 6, 1972  Appl. N0.: 231,912
 Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 19, 1971 Germany 2| 13434  U.S. Cl 206/443, 206/380, 220/22, 220/41  Int. Cl... B65d 83/02, B65d 25/04, B65d 43/20  Field of Search 206/56 AC, 56 R, 67; 220/21, 41, 22
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,286,810 12/1918 Sheppard 206/56 AC UX 1,744,388 l/l930 Johnson 206/67 X 1,982,112 11/1934 Lang 206/67 2,353,819 7/1944 Duell 206/42 [451 June 11, 1974' 2,534,815 12/1950 Fields 206/56 AC 2,722,309 11/1955 Waterman 206/42 2,812,851 11/1957 Kinnebrew.... 220/41 X 2,868,360 1/1959 Donkin 220/41 X 3,079,028 2/1963 Rosner 220/22 3,207,566 9/1965 Grieco et a1. 220/22 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 882,475 3/1943 France 206/56 AC 399,950 10/1933 Great Britain 220/41 208,885 11/1966 Sweden 220/20 Primary ExaminerLeonard Summer [5 7] ABSTRACT A dispenser for elongate articles, such as pencil leads,
comprising a rectangular housing, open at one end, and divided into upper and lower chambers by an intermediate wall. Downwardly and upwardly projecting sills are formed on the upper and lower walls of the housing at the one end, to define a discharge aperture for each chamber. A slider openably closes the two apertures, the sill of the lower chamber preventing a lead sliding from the lower chamber, when the dispenser is tilted, while a lead from the upper chamber can slide out.
11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 DISPENSER The present invention relates to a dispenser for elongate articles, such as pencil leads.
In the sphere of technical drawing in particular, it is often necessary to change from one hardness of pencil to another. In order to meet this requirement pushbutton or propelling pencils have long been in use which enable one lead to be rapidly and simply exchanged for another. So as always to have a specific stock of such pencil leads of different hardness in readiness, lead dispensers which serve for receiving these pencil leads have become known. A known embodiment of such a lead dispenser essentially comprises a housing having an opening in one face or end which can be closed by a slide. By means of the slide an insert disposed in the housing is simultaneously displaceable, in which insert individual compartments serving for receiving the pencil leads in side-by-side arrangement have been formed. When the slide is displaced longitudinally of the housing the end of'the housing opens and the pencil leads slide out on slight tiltingof the housing, so that one of the leads can be withdrawn.
it is a disadvantage of lead dispensers of this kind that after opening and tilting the housing virtually all the leads slide out so that with a little carelessness there is always a risk of all the leads dropping on the floor. Furthermore, one always has manually to take the lead and insert it into the push-button or propelling pencil which is often undesirable, since, more particularly with soft pencil leads, the hands are thereby soiled.
A lead dispenser has, therefore, become known already, with which there is the possibility of selectively on each occasion withdrawing only a single lead and inserting it into a push-button or propelling pencil without the lead having to be touched with the fingers, see for example, US. Pat. Nos. 2,852,160 and 3,055,546. This known lead dispenser also has a housing wherein the leads are arranged side-by-side. At one of the ends of the housing a permanently open aperture is provided and the leads are biased transversely of their longitudinal extent by a spring force so that, by virtue of the thus created friction contact, they cannot exit through the aperture in an undesirable manner. Withdrawal of these leads is by advancing a slide means movable in longitudinal direction of the housing and engaging behind the rear end of the lead and thus pushing the lead out of the aperture. The lead dispenser can thereby be held in such away that the lead is directly pushed into. the push-button pencil.
This known lead dispenser is of extremely complex construction and therefore very expensive. Not only must the spring which ensures the firm mutual adherence of the leads be provided, but separate structural elements must be provided which ensure that the slide means can always engage behind the next following lead. These structural elements also contain a spring element and are movable relative to the housing.
In addition, with this lead dispenser, in contrast to the earlier mentioned one, it is very difficult to introduce into the dispenser the lead which is to be replaced from the push-button pencil, without touching the lead.
According to the present invention, there is provided a dispenser for dispensing elongate articles such as pencil leads, such dispenser comprisingupper, lower and two side walls forming a housing closed at one end, at least one intermediate wall between the upper and lower walls, dividing the housing into at least one pair of chambers, having a height in excess of the transverse dimension of the article to be dispensed, a first sill extending downwardly from the other end of the upper wall of-a pair of chambers, a second sill extending up-' wardly from the other end of the lower wall of a pair of chambers, the sills, the-side walls and the intermediate wall, which divides the chambers of a pair, defining an outlet aperture for each chamber having a height substantiallyequal to the transverse dimension of an article to be dispensed and progressively openable means closing the discharge apertures of each pairof chambers.
Such a dispenser is suitablefor receiving a great number of leads, it permits selective withdrawal and direct insertion into the push-button or propelling pencil of one lead at a time, and it is at the same time more simple and therefore less expensive than are the known lead dispensers.
Because in the construction of the invention at least two chambers for receiving the leads are formed by the intermediate wall therein, a large number of leads can be accommodated in the lead dispenser. By virtue of the sills which are not provided on the intermediate wall which separates the chambers of a pair, but only on the upper and lower walls in the region of the discharge aperture or at any successive intermediate wall between adjacent pairs, whenthe housing is tilted, the leads at any time situated in the bottom chamber abut the sill and are prevented from sliding out. On the other hand, one of the leads contained in the upper chamber of a pair and for which the discharge aperture has been opened just wide enough, can slide easily out under the influence of gravity and into the push-button or propelling pencil held in readiness. If a lead from the lower chamber is to be removed the lead dispenser need only be turned over. In that case the sill associated with the other chamber then prevents the remaining leads sliding out. It is clear that by means of a sequence of such chambers associated in pairs and by associating a closure element with each pair of such chambers it is possible to arrange a large number of diverse leads in the most confined space, each chamber advantageously containing leads of a different quality or hardness.
In an advantageous embodiment it is proposed for the closure element to be a slider movably guided between the sills of and the front edge of the intermediate wall. Suitably it is further contemplated for the chambers separated by the intermediate wall to be subdivided into individual compartments for each lead by partitions perpendicular of the intermediate walls. The leads are thereby more securely safeguarded against shocks. In this embodiment the closing edge of the slider serving to shut the discharge aperture can then be selectively set to a pair of superimposed individual compartments at a time. The slider advantageously consists of a thin strip of flexible material positively guided along the side wall of the housing, bending into the plane of the aperture around a preferably rounded corner of the housing and having an actuation element at one end. With this design of the slider it is very simple to so set the closing edge of the strip, by moving it farther or less far, that it opens a specific individual compartment with the lead contained therein.
The construction of the lead dispenser according to the invention permits of an extremely simple and inexpensive method of manufacture. For example, the
housing and the intermediate wall can be produced as one piece while the sills are formed by a moulding placed on the aperture. Thus a lead dispenser of the invention having two lead chambers comprises a total of only three. components, i.e., a housing with intermediate wall, the moulding forming the sills and the slider. In an alternative embodiment also comprising only three individual components it is envisaged that the intermediate wall should be formed by an insert secured within the housing. In this embodiment a guide for the slider has simply been left as a gap between the side wall of the housing and the insert while the actuation element of the slider projects through an elongate slot in the side wall of the housing and is displaceably guided therein.
Other advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment, given by way of example, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a lead dispenser according to the invention, the upper covering surface of the housing having been cut away;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the lead dispenser illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the closable opening at the front of the lead dispenser illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a slider used in the lead dispenser of FIGS.
} l to 3; and
'FIG. 5 is a view in perspective which demonstrates the way of using the lead dispenser.
As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3 the embodiment of a lead dispenser according to the invention shown therein comprises essentially an elongate housing'l of shallow rectangular cross-section, comprising upper, lower and two side walls and an end wall at the righthand end. Within the housing is secured an insert 2, and the lefthand end wall of the housing has a closable discharge aperture 3. The insert 2 is a body substantially corresponding to the internal dimensions of the housing 1 as to length and height, and forms an intermediate wall extending between the upper and lower walls of the housing, dividing the housing into upper and lower chambers. The body is provided at either side of its median plane parallel to its largest surfaces with a plurality of parallel, longitudinal grooves 4 forming compartments intended for receiving pencil leads (not shown). The longitudinal grooves 4 are closed at the end of the insert 2 which end is remote from the housing opening while they are open at their ends adjacent the discharge aperture 3 so that the leads disposed therein can slide out without being obstructed. The longitudinal grooves 4 form individual compartments for one lead at a time and are rounded off to match the shape. of the leads, whereby the leads can be held stationary in the dispenser and protected from shocks. In the illustrated embodiment the insert 2 has been pushed into the housing 1 and secured therein by pins 5. Many other means of fixing the insert 2 in the housing 1 are, of course, possible.
As can be seen, especially in FIG. 3, the closable discharge opening 3 of the housing 1 is defined by the rims of the housing walls and the frontal groove apertures of the longitudinal grooves 4. The width of the frontal groove apertures is such that a pencil lead disposed in the groove can exit through its associated aperture without being obstructed. The rims of the opening associatedwith the narrow side walls of the housing I lie outside the location of the adjacent groove apertures, while the rims of the opening which are formed by the upper and lower housing walls are provided with downwardly and upwardly extending sills 6 respectively. As a result, the ends of the leads contained in the lower situated grooves 4 contact the sill 6 and are prevented from sliding out, while the leads contained in the-upper longitudinal grooves 4 slide in the bottom of the groove and are free of the associated sill 6.
For the purpose of closing the discharge aperture 3 there is provided a slider 7 (FIG. 4) consisting of a narrow, rectangular strip of flexible plastics material and having at its end remote from the opening 3 an actuation element in the form of a ridged block 8, which may be produced unitarily with the slider 7. The slider 7 is guided in a slit or gap 10 formedbetween one side wall of the housing 1 and a recess 9 of the insert 2 as well as between the face of the insert 2 facing the aperture 3 and the sills 6. In order to enable the slider 7 to slide easily, the corner 11 of the housing is rounded off. The wall of the insert 2 is also shaped corresponding to this radius. An elongate slot 12 is provided in the side wall of the housing in the region of the recess 9 of the insert 2 through which slot the ridged block 8 of the slider projects and wherein it is guided. The ends of the slot act as stops and define the closing and opening stroke of the slider 7.
The extent of projection of the sills 6 from the plane of the upper andlower walls associated therewith corresponds to about one quarter of the diameter of a lead. But this is notcritical and any height is practicable which ensures retention of the leads contained in the lower lying grooves 4.
Suitably the entire housing is made of a transparent plastics material which makes it possible to see how many leads are contained in the dispenser and, if appropriate, of what hardness these leads are. The insert 2 also advantageously consists of plastics, e'.g., polystyrene. As an alternative to the illustrated embodiment, the housing 1 and the insert 2 may be made as one unitary plastics component. In that case, however, a separate moulding must be provided for forming the rims of the aperture 3 provided with the sills 6, which moulding is fitted to the face of the housing 1 and connected thereto. I
In the illustrated embodiment only two groups of grooves 4 are created by the insert 2 and as a whole represent receiving chambers for the leads. By using the concept of the invention it is also possible to provide a larger housing wherein several such pairs of chambers are created by the provision of additional intermediate walls with or without suitable grooves. A separate slider, however, must then be associated with each such pair.
The use of the lead dispenser of the invention is apparent from FIG. 5. The leads are conveniently so arranged in the dispenser that only leads of a specific hardness are contained in each respective one of the two chambers. If it is then intended to remove a certain lead, the dispenser is turned such that the chamber containing this lead is on top and then the slider 7 is retracted, by actuating the ridged block 8, until it just opens'the first longitudinal groove 4 containing a lead. Detents in the form of indentations may be provided in the guideway 10 or at some other place, which detents cooperate with corresponding protuberances on the slider 7. Setting the closure edge of the slider 7 to the When now the lead dispenser is tilted forwardly about its transverse axis, then all the leads slide forward, but only the wanted lead can slide out of the dispenser since all other leads located laterally of this lead are retained by the slider 7 and the lead located below the one which slides out is retained by its associated sill. The lead whichslides out can be directlyinserted into a push-button or propelling pencil. In a similarly simple way the lead to be replaced can be introduced from the pencil into an unoccupied longitudinal groove 4 of the lead dispenser, either prior to or after removal of the lead from the dispenser.
If the insert 2 is only in the form of an intermediate wall devoid of longitudinal grooves 4 the slider 7 need at any time only be opened by an identical amount which must then result in an opening gap of at least one lead cross-section. In this case the lead dispenser must also be slightly tipped about its longitudinal axis when a lead is being removed, so that the upper lead to be removed rolls against the side wall of the housing 1 and then lies with its end opposite the aperture.
The dispenser of the invention is not limited to dispensing pencil leads, but is suitable for dispensing any elongate articles, such as ball point pen refills.
1. A dispenser for dispensing elongate articles such as pencil leads, said dispenser comprising articles to be dispensed and, in combination:
a; upper, lower and two side wall defining a housing;
b. an end wall closing one end of the housing;
c. an intermediate wall between said upper and lower walls, dividing said housing into a pair of chambers, said pair of chambers being an upper chamber and a lower chamber, each chamber having a height in excess of the transverse dimension of the article to be dispensed;
d. a first sill extending downwardly from the other end of the upper wall to the extent that the article in the upper chamber is able to slide past said first sill and out of the dispenser;
e. a second sill extending upwardly from the other end of the lower wall to the extent that the article in the lower chamber is unable to slide past said second sill, thereby being retained within the dispenser, said sills defining a discharge opening for said pair of chambers, and
f. progressively openable means closing the discharge opening of the pair of chambers.
2. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1, and further comprising partitioning walls subdividing each of said chambers into longitudinally extending compartments for individual articles.
3. A dispenser as claimed in claim 2, wherein the intermediate wall which divides the chambers of a pair has upstanding ribs dividing the compartments from one anotherythe lower portion of the compartments being rounded.
4. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the closing means comprises a slider displaceably guided between said sills and an end of said intermediate wall, which end is adjacent said other end of the upper wall and said other end'of the lower wall.
5. A dispenser as claimed in claim 4, wherein partitioning walls subdivide each of said chambers into lon gitudinally extending compartments for individual articles, and wherein said slider selectively opens a pair of superposed individual compartments.
6. A dispenser as claimed in claim 4, wherein said slider comprises a thin strip of flexible material, positively guided along a side wall of said housing, and extending across said discharge opening and further comprising an actuating element on said slider extending through an opening in said side wall.
7. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one intermediate wall comprises an insert secured in said housing.
3. A dispenser as claimed in claim 7, wherein said insert defines a gap with one of said side walls, and wherein said closure means comprises a slider consisting of a thin strip of flexible material positively guided in said gap and extending across the end of said insert adjacent said discharge opening, and further comprising means defining an elongate slot in said side wall, and an actuating element carried by said thin strip of flexible material displaceably guided in said slot.
9. A dispenser as claimed in claim 8, wherein said side wall and said discharge opening are interconnected by a rounded portion facilitating sliding of said thin flexible strip.
10. A dispenser as claimed in claim ll, wherein the housing is of flat rectangular shape.
11. A dispenser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the housing is formed of transparent plastics material.
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|U.S. Classification||206/443, 221/288, 206/380, 221/69, 221/246, 220/507, 220/523, 220/350|