US 3845881 A
A unit is disclosed for dispensing lighted cigarettes as for use in an automotive vehicle. A plurality of cigarettes are carried in a magazine which rotates to laterally deliver individual cigarettes to a transport mechanism. Both the magazine and the transport mechanism, as disclosed, are actuated by a lever motion. A cigarette provided to the transport mechanism is carried along an axial path to abut an energized heating element. With the cigarette positioned adjacent the heating element, a timing or lever return structure actuates a pump to provide an air current for effectively lighting the cigarette. Another element of the return structure then operates in sequence to release the cigarette for delivery to the consumer.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Sachko Nov. 5, 1974  inventor: William R. Sachko, 348 Sienega Dr.,
Fullerton, Calif. 92635 22 Filed: July 18, 1973 21 Appl. NO.I 380,324
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,483,895 5/1967 France 221/143 Primary Examiner-Robe'rt B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-H. Grant Skaggs, Jr.
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Nilsson, Robbins, Bissell, Dalgarn & Berliner  ABSTRACT A unit is disclosed for dispensing lighted cigarettes as for use in an automotive vehicle. A plurality of cigarettes are carried in a magazine which rotates to laterally deliver individual cigarettes to a transport mechanism. Both the magazine and the transport mechanism, as disclosed, are actuated by a lever motion. A cigarette provided to the transport mechanism is carried along an axial path to abut an energized heating element. With the cigarette positioned adjacent the heating element, a timing or lever return structure actuates a pump to provide an air current for effectively lighting the cigarette. Another element of the return structure then operates in sequence to releasethe cigarette for delivery to the consumer.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 1 LIGHTED-CIGARETTE DISPENSING MACHINE BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is readily apparent that a person smoking a cigarette is required to give a certain amount of his attention to handling the cigarette. Consequently. it is also apparent that a person who smokes while driving an automobile is diverted to some extent from routine as well as possible emergency driving activities.
In that regard, it is significant that the specific activity of smoking which usually commands the greatest attention by the smoker occurs in the course of lighting the cigarette. These, and similar considerations of safety and convenience, have resulted in a prior recognition of the need for a dispenser to deliver burning or lighted cigarettes. Of course, the use of such appliances in road vehicles is merely illustrative and in that regard it will be apparent that many other applications exist.
The recognized need for an appliance as considered above has resulted in a multiplicity of structural proposals. Specifically, for example, structures as disclosed in the following US. Pat. Nos. have been proposed with the objective of solving the problem:
1.526.564 I.'-)94.7l2 l.796.657 2.028.787 l,800,l40 3.l32.77l 1.802.629 EJ823355 l.8l3.3l 147L820 1.823.609 2.595.51 I.)l2.779 2.732.973 1.967.663
Recognizing that numerous structures have been proposed in the past. as indicated above, for dispensing burning cigarettes. such structures generally have not come into widespread use. In that regard, the various prior structures usually haveinvolved such attendant disadvantages as relatively high cost, frequent operating damage to cigarettes, tendencies to jam, unreliable operation and so on. As a consequence. a need continues to exist for an economical, reliable and durable appliance for safely dispensing lighted cigarettes ready for use. In general, the present invention is directed to such a structure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing. which constitutes a part of this specification, an exemplary embodiment demonstrating various objectives and features hereof is set forth as follows:
FIG. I is a perspective view of an appliance or dispenser unit constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken somewhat centrally through the structure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along a line 3-3 of FIG. 2'. and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along a line 44 of Hg. 3. 7
DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTR ATIVE EMBODIMENT As required, a detailed illustrative embodiment ofthe invention is disclosed herein. The embodiment, although deemed to be the best embodiment for present purposes and as currently contemplated. is to be recognized as exemplary. Also. it is to be recognized that the present invention may be constructed in various other forms, some of which may be quite different from the disclosed illustrative embodiment. However. the specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are deemed to be merely representative and in that regard provide a basis for the claims herein which define the scope of the invention.
Referring initially to- FIG. I. an appliance is shown embodied in a somewhat parallelepiped housing 10 supported on a mounting yoke 12. A lever arm 14 extends from the forward portion of the housing 10 and is manually actuable for movement to the left in a power, starting stroke to initiate a sequence of events within the structure to deliver a burning cigarette. Specifically, upon movement of the arm 14 to the left with an actuating stroke. a cigarette is taken from a magazine within the housing 10, transported to an igniting element and subsequently delivered through the aperture 16 to a holding trough 18. During the igniting or lighting operation, a lamp 20 is energized to provide a visual signal, indicating that the unit is currently operative to deliver a cigarette.
Recognizing that the illustrative embodiment is simply exemplary, the housing 10 may be fabricated of plastic and is adjustably supported on the yoke 12 by thread-bearing knobs 22. The yoke 12 may carry a pressure-sensitive adhesive on the underside (not shown) for convenient mounting, as on the dashboard of an automobile or truck. Thus embodied, the unit is compact, convenient and attractive.
Considering the operating components of the unit of FIG. 1 in somewhat greater detail, reference will now be made to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 showing the internal structure of the housing 10. A magazine 26 (FIGS. 2 and 3) includes a belt structure 28 defining an aligned plurality of semi-cylindrical exposed grooves or slots 30 (FIG. 2) for receiving individual cigarettes, e.g.. cigarettes 32.
The belt structure 28 is supported on cylindrical shafts or rollers 34 and 36 (FIG. 3) which in turn are supported on bearings contained in terminal posts 40 and 42 (FIG. 2). The shaft or roller 34 (FIGS. 3 and 4) is mounted on jaw clutches for stepped motion of the belt to deliver individual cigarettes. Specifically, adja cent the right end (FIG. 4) of the roller 34, a drive jaw clutch 52 is provided for advancing the roller in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2. At the opposed end of the roller 34 (FIG. 4) an oppositely oriented ratchet jaw clutch 54 locks the roller 34 against return or clockwise motion opposed to that indicated above.
The drive jaw clutch 52 is actuated through a radial arm 56 (FIG. 3) which is coupled by a linkage 58' to a bell crank 60, the actuating arm of which comprises the lever 14 and is employed to initiate the sequence of operations resulting in the delivery of a burning cigarette. Thus, the delivery operations are motivated by displacing the lever 14.
The bell crank 60 is supported on a pivot 62 and urged counterclockwise (FIG. 3) by a torsion spring 64. The actuating arm or lever 14 of the bell crank engages a transport-drive lever 66 which is supported at a pivot 68, the pivot containing a spring (not shown) for urging the transport-drive lever 66 to the lower position, as indicated.
The load arm 70 of the bell crank 60 is coupled to the linkage 58 and additionally connected to a piston structure 72 which is reciprocally mounted in a compression chamber 74. The piston structure 72 incorporates a seal 76 for engaging the walls of the chamber 74 so that during a downstroke of the piston 72 air is forced through a tube 78.
In addition to the other functions indicated above, the bell crank 60 also actuates an electrical switch 80 which serves to control the delivery of electrical current to a resistance heating element 82 and the lamp (FIG. 2). Generally, the switch 80 may comprise any of a variety of small switches for closing an electrical circuit through the lamp 20 and the element 82 at a time when the arm 70 moves from the switch 80. Thus, component operating parts are powered and sequenced somewhat by the actuation of the lever 14.
The electrical resistance element 82, in addition to receiving electrical current as indicated above, also axially receives a stream of air through the tube 78. Ac-
cordingly, the end or tip of a cigarette placed in contig-.
uous alignment with the element 82 is effectively ignited by heat and an air stream from the element 82.
Cigarettes are carried from the magazine 26 to be ignited by the element 82, by a transport mechanism 84 (FIGS. 3 and 4). Specifically, the mechanism 84 is supported on a pair of rails 86 and 88 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 4) for sliding motion between alignment with the magazine 26 and a position adjacent the element 82 (as illustrated The transport mechanism 84 includes a sloping platform 90 (FIG. 2) for supporting an individual cigarette, e.g., cigarette 92 and a swinging retainer 94 the weight of which retains the cigarette 92 in the position as indicated in FIG. 2. After ignition, a cigarette is permitted to roll away from the element 82.
Recapitulating, as the lever 14 (Flg. 3) is moved (left or upward as depicted) the transport mechanism 84 is aligned to receive a cigarette 32, after which the mechanism is released when the transport lever 66 disengages. The springs 101 and 102 then move the transport lever (right or downward as depicted) to bring the cigarette into contact with the resistance element 82.
When the transport mechanism 84 is released, the lever 14 has not completed a power stroke. The remaining portion ofthat stroke fully displaces the piston structure 72 and affords a brief contact period of the cigarette 32 with the element 82. The return stroke of the lever 14 (powered by the spring 64) actuates the piston structure 72, and releases the cigarette 32. In the latter regard. the cigarette retainer 94 (FIG. 2) includes a cam extension 103 which engages a camming ridge 104 on the lever 66. Accordingly, the retainer 94 is raised to release the cigarette 32 just as all components return to the quiescent configuration.
Considering the total sequence of operation in greater detail, the unit is initially loaded by raising a friction-fitted cover 110 (FIG. 1) for access to the slots (FIG. 2) in the belt structure 28. As indicated, some 10 cigarettes 32 may be placed in parallel alignment. lying in the slots 28. It is to be noted that the cigarettes may be of varying lengths and in that regard, the system as disclosed herein is designed to accommodate the case of most unsatisfactory placement of cigarettes from standard short to long sizes. Consequently, random standard sizes of cigarettes may be randomly laid in the grooves 30. Thereafter, upon closure of the cover the unit is ready for operation to dispense burning cigarettes.
The basic operation involves manual motion of the actuator arm 14 to move the transport mechanism 84 as well as the magazine 26 with the result that a cigarette is transferred from the magazine 26 to the transport mechanism 84. As indicated above, at the time of such delivery, the transport mechanism 84 returns to place the cigarette contiguous to the resistance heating element 82 which is energized. However, the arm 14 is moved through the remainder of a stroke to provide a brief delay and complete the upstroke of the piston 72. Subsequently, the actuating arm 14 is released to complete a return stroke, during which it moves at a controlled rate back to the starting position and during the course of which movement it sequences the operations of providing an air stream, releasing the cigarette and deenergizing the electrical resistance heating element 82. The sequence will now be considered in complete detail.
The initial motion of the arm 14 toward the left as depicted in FIG. 1, immediately results in displacement of the transport lever 66 and actuation of the switch 80. As a consequence, the resistance heating element 82 is immediately energized to initiate the flow of current for bringing the temperature to an ignition level. The other immediate action involves the initial movement of the transport mechanism 84 away from the element 82.
The motion of the transport mechanism 84 continues until the lever 66 reaches a position at which it disengages from the transport 84. At that point, the jaw clutch 52 (actuated by the linkage 58) has moved the roller 34 through approximately a 60 rotation with the result that an individual cigarette has been dropped from the magazine 26 onto the transport 84.
Subsequent to disengagement of the transport 84 with the lever 66, the springs 101 and 102 move the transport 84 back to the illustrated position with the result that the individual cigarette carried in the transport is moved to abut the resistance heating element 82. The individual cigarette is held on the transport 84 by the very light force of weight from the retainer 94. As a consequence, the cigarette 92 (FIG. 2) will slide in the transport 84 to accommodate the positional arrangement in which the transport 84 has returned to the quiescent position and the cigarette 92 abuts the heating element 82 (FIG. 3).
As the resistance element 82 begins to heat the cigarette, the arm 14 of the bell crank 60 (along with the lever 66) are manually urged to complete the stroke thereby bringing the piston 72 to the top of the chamber 74. Additionally, the magazine 26 is also advanced preparatory to the next dispensing cycle. When the lever 14 has moved through a full stroke, it reaches a stop and is simply released by the operator. The return motion is driven by the spring 64 (located at the pivot mount 62) and is regulated to a relatively-slow speed by the piston 72 functioning somewhat in the manner of a dashpot.
As the piston 72 moves through a downward stroke in the chamber 74, a charge of air is forced through the tube 78 to pass through a central aperture in the heating element 82 carrying heat to the tip of the cigarette on the transport 84. As a consequence, the cigarette is ignited to a state of sustaining combustion. In the final motion of the arm 14, as it approaches the quiescent position, the ridge 104 (FIG. 2) engages an extension modified; however, certain aspects thereof will be apparent as providing the effective combination as described. Accordingly, the scope hereof shall be deemed ii) to be as set forth in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
'l. A lighted-cigarette dispenser comprising:
a magazine means including a rotatable member defining a plurality of slots for receiving a plurality of cigarettes for containing a plurality of cigarettes at separate locations;
a ciagarette carriage means mounted for reciprocalmotion strokes along a path aligned withthe axis of a received cigarette carried thereon;
a lighter means for igniting a cigarette;
an actuating means including, a power arm to move said carriage in an initial stroke of reciprocal motion to receive a carried cigarette from said magazine means, and a dash pot mechanism for moving said carriage in a return stroke of reciprocal motion to abut said lighting means then discharge said I carried cigarette; means connecting said actuating means to control energization of said lighting means; and means connecting said dash pot mechanism to pro- 1 vide an air current to ignite said carried cigarette.
2. A lighted-cigarette dispenser according to claim 1 wherein said magazine means further includes means for supporting said rotatable member for rotation to release said cigarettes.
3. A lighted-cigarette dispenser according to claim 1 wherein said power arm includes a manually-operable member for engageably driving said carriage means.
4. A lighted-cigarettedispenser according to claim 1 wherein said actuating return means includes means for opening said carriage means to release said cigarette to roll therefrom.
5. A lighted-cigarette dispenser according to claim 1 further including a signal light and means for energizing said light concurrently with the energization of said lighting means.