Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3858757 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 7, 1975
Filing dateDec 20, 1972
Priority dateDec 20, 1972
Also published asCA979863A1, DE2362755A1
Publication numberUS 3858757 A, US 3858757A, US-A-3858757, US3858757 A, US3858757A
InventorsLangdon Jr Richard H
Original AssigneeMechtronics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cigarette display dispenser
US 3858757 A
Abstract
An assembly for displaying and gravity dispensing vertical stacks of packages, e.g., cigarette packages, in which substantially the entire face of each lowermost package is visible, and in which packages of different lengths and widths may be reliably fed down to the lowermost display position for removal. The assembly is formed modularly from a plurality of side-by-side partitions molded with guide ridges defining chutes for the vertically stacked packages. The chutes are canted at their lower ends toward the front of the assembly and are in a stepped arrangement with each chute stopping short of the chute just behind so that the bottom package in each stack is displayed. At the front lower sides of each chute, the assembly provides, in flexure limiting apertures, integral injection molded leaf spring elements cantilevered from their upper ends and arranged to press against the front edge surfaces of the bottom package in the stack. These spring elements provide enough pressure to hold the bottom pack in the chute as it slides into display position, yet release with limited flexure for easy removal of the bottom package without excessive spring bending, and make it possible for the chute to accommodate packages of different lengths and widths, such as regular or king size cigarettes.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Langdon, Jr.

1 1 CIGARETTE DISPLAY DISPENSER [75] Inventor: Richard H. Langdon, Jr.,

Tarrytown, NY.

[73] Assignee: Mechtronics Corporation, Stamford,

Conn.

[22] Filed: Dec. 20, 1972 [21] Appl. No.2 316,868

[52] US. Cl 221/92, 211/49 D, 221/309 [51] Int. Cl. A47f 1/10 [58] Field of Search 221/92, 130,242, 307-310; 211/49 D.

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,715,276 5/1929 Burns 221/307 1,726,813 9/1929 Endter.... 221/309 X 3,018,001 l/l962 Combs 221/242 3,184,104 5/1965 DeDomenico 221/92 3,219,244 11/1965 Blask 221/309 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerThomas E. Kocovsky Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Haynes N. Johnson [57] ABSTRACT I An assembly for displaying and gravity dispensing ver [451 Jan. 7, 1975 tical stacks of packages, e.g., cigarette packages, in which substantially the entire face of each lowermost package is visible, and in which packages of different lengths and widths may be reliably fed down to the lowermost display position for removal. The assembly is formed modularly from a plurality of side-by-side partitions molded with guide ridges defining chutes for the vertically stacked packages. The chutes are canted at their lower ends toward the front of the assembly and are in a stepped arrangement with each chute stopping short of the chute just behind so that the bot- I tom package in each stack is displayed. At the front lower sides of each chute, the assembly provides, in flexure limiting apertures, integral injection molded leaf spring elements cantilevered from their upper ends and arranged to press against the front edge surfaces of the bottom package in the stack. These spring elements provide enough pressure to hold the bottom pack in the chute as it slides into display position, yet release with limited flexure for easy removal of the bottom package without excessive spring bending, and make it possible for the chute to accommodate packages of different lengths and widths, such as regular or king size cigarettes.

6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEU JAN 7 I 75 m "M ii SHEET 2 OF 2 'HIHHIIIHIWHNI lmmmml H WIIIH Ih Win hl CIGARETTE DISPLAYDISPENSER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to the field of gravity feed display dispensers of the type adapted to store vertical stacks of packages, such as-cigarette packages, with display of the lowermost package and a construction permitting removal of the lowermost package and its replacement by the next package in the stack.

2. Description of the Prior Art Gravity feed dispensers of many varieties are well known, as shown by the U.S. Pats. to Tone, No. 782,430; to Rockhoff, No. 1,731,544; to Lamb, No. 2,890,573; to .lelks No. 1,706,298; and-to Northcutt, No. 533,963.

Known gravity feed display dispensers, although permitting display of eachlowermost package, encounter several important problems:

Removal of the bottom package tends to pull the package immediately above it forward out of the display dispenser and so it, too, is dispensed, usually on the floor.

Tipping of tall dispensers forward to load them from the top often causes lowermost packages to fall out.

Packages, particularly cigarette packages, are made with considerable variations in length and width, and hence it is difficult to achieve the economies of modular design without some adjustment feature. The variation in package size, moreover, accentuates the tendency of the second package to be inadvertently pulled out and dispensed, since smaller packages fit more loosely in their chutes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objects of the present invention are to provide an assembly for displaying and gravity dispensing vertical stacks of' packages, e.g., cigarette packages, in which substantially the entire front face of each lowermost package is displayed, in which packages feed reliably into the lowermost display position, and in which packages of different lengths and widths can be accommodated in a modular construction made up of easily molded members.

According to the invention, the display dispenser assembly is of the type in which vertical stacks of packages are gravity fed through chutes to bottom stops which support the lowermost packages in display position. The chutes typically have a stepped arrangement, with each chute stopping short of the chute just behind so that the bottom package in each stack is seen from, and can be removed from, the front of the assembly. The display dispenser assembly according to the present invention is characterized by leaf spring elements cantilevered from their upper ends and located at the sides of each chute for engaging the front edge surfaces of the packages as they descend into display position, thereby providing reliable package feeding, and enabling packages of different lengths and widths to be dispensed uniformly. The leaf spring elements terminate above the bottom stop of each chute to permit packages to be withdrawn thereunder.

In further aspects of the invention, the leaf spring elements are located behind front stops to prevent excessive forward bending; the display dispenser assembly is formed from modular partitions mounted side by side;

the partitions have guide ridges defining the chutes; the adjacent chutes on each side of a partition are served by a single leaf spring element; the single leaf spring elements are confined in apertures in the partition to limit forward bending; and the leaf spring elements are formed as continuations of the guide ridges.

Other objects, aspects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out in, or apparent from, the detailed description hereinbelow, considered together with the following drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display assembly according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a parital perspective view of the display assembly of FIG. 1, drawn with greatly enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional elevation, as on line 3-3 of FIG. 2, drawn with enlarged scale;

FIG. 4 is a section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation ofa modular partition from which the display dispenser assembly is formed; and FIG. 6 is a front elevation of two adjacent partitions in the assembly, seen from the left side of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates a display dispenser 1 0 according to the invention. As will be described below, the display dispenser 10 has a modular construction, and is arranged to accommodate many vertical stacks of packages P, such as cigarette packages. The packages are loaded into the display dispenser 10 through its top sur face 12, and are carried by gravity down to package display and dispensing positions at its front surface 14.

The display dispenser 10 is assembled from end partitions 16L and 16R and center partitions 16C, mounted in side-by-side relationship to a front panel 18, a bottom panel 20, and a back panel 22. The front panel 18 conveniently may be used for displaying advertising copy. The partitions 16L, 16R, and 16C are spaced apart sufficiently to accommodate packages P therebetween, and are joined to panels 18, 20 and 22 with tabs (not shown) interfitting with the panels. Center partitions 16C, as described below, have package engaging means on both surfaces, whereas end partitions 16L and 16R have such package engaging means only on their inner surfaces and have a plain outer surface. Be cause the package engaging means on each partition is similar, a description of center partitions 16C, shown in FIGS. 2 through 5, will serve to describe all the partitions.

Partitions 16C, illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 5, comprise a center dividing wall 30 having a series of guide ridges 32 extending outwardly and defining chutes 34 therebetween for the vertical stacks of packages P. At the lower ends of chutes 34, bottom stops 36 extending from dividing wall 30 define the package and display dispensing positions for the lowermost packages P.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, the chutes 34 are canted slightly at their lower ends toward the front surface 14 of the display dispenser 10. The chutes 34 also are in a stepped arrangement with each chute stopping above the one just behind it. The bottom package in each stack thus is displayed prominently at the front of the assembly 10 with substantially the entire front face of the package visible, and is positioned for easy removal. The slight incline of the chutes, moreover, aids in moving the next package into display position.

Near the bottom of each chute 34, the partition 16C is provided with leaf spring elements 40 which, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, are formed as continuations of the guide ridges 32 and are secured only at their upper ends, extending downwardly like a cantilever to engage the front edge surfaces of packages P as they descend into display position. The leaf spring elements 40 also extend at a slight rearward angle to guide ridges 32, to create a space 44 behind the lowermost packages for finger clearance. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, adjacent chutes 34 on opposite sides of dividing wall 30 are served by a single leaf spring element 40 which is free to flex in an opening 42 in the dividing wall 30. The front edge 46 of opening 42 acts as a stop which limits forward flexure of the leaf spring 40, and thereby prevents excessive bending of the leaf spring when a package is removed.

The leaf spring elements 40 preferably have a length L which is relatively long in relation to the length of packages P to allow packages of many different lengths to be accommodated in the display dispenser l0, and to permit the leaf spring elements to press against packages P at a smaller angle so that uniform pressures will be exerted on packages of differing thicknesses. The distance D between the bottom stop 36 and the bottom end of leaf spring element 40 is selected to be slightly less than the length of the shortest package P to be accommodated in the display dispenser 10. The width W (FIG. 4) of the leaf spring element 40 is selected so as to engage the narrowest packages P to be accommodated. Although illustrated as being rectangular, the shape of the leaf springs 40 can be varied. Their resilience is selected to permit packages to be easily removed. Generally a slight confining pressure on the packages is sufficient.

As packages P descend down chutes 34, the leaf spring elements 40 press against the front edge surfaces of the bottom package in the stack, and resist any tendency of the bottom package to be pulled out along with the removed package. (See FIG. 3). The leaf spring elements are resilient enough to yield when the bottom package is removed, so that dispensing of packages is not difficult. The leaf spring construction thus easily accommodates packages of different widths and lengths while permitting reliable feeding and easy removal of packages. As described below, the leaf spring construction also lends itself easily to economical molding techniques, and minimal assembly requirements.

Construction of partitions 16L, 16R, and 16C is preferably by plastic injection molding techniques, using, for example, high impact styrene. Since the partitions have only guide ridges 32, stops 36, and leaf spring elements 40, all of which extend outwardly from a central dividing wall 30, or through an opening 42 in the wall 30, the partitions can be easily formed with a two piece mold, and can be completely formed without any assembly steps. Economical modular partitions are therefore possible. Since the partitions 16C are identical, display dispensers 10 may be constructed to receive any number of different vertical stacks of packages P, simply by extending the length of the display dispenser 10 using longer panels 18, 20 and 22.

Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been disclosed herein in detail, it is to be understood that this is for the purpose of illustrating the invention, and should not be construed as necessarily limiting the scope of the invention, since it is apparent that many changes can be made to the disclosed structures by those skilled in the art to suit particular applications.

I claim:

1. A cigarette package display dispenser, formed from modular partitions, in which a plurality of vertical stacks of cigarette packages of varying dimensions are to be gravity fed in an upright fashion through chutes defined by the modular partitions to bottom stops which support the lowermost cigarette packages in a display position in which substantially the entire face of the cigarette package is visible and in which individual cigarette packages are to be dispensed from the display position by manually removing them forwardly from the front of the display dispenser out of the chutes and out of engagement with the bottom stops, the display dispenser being characterized by fixed bottom stops; and

elongate flat leaf spring elements cantilevered from their upper ends, the elongate flat leaf spring elements being carried by the modular partitions and extending along at the front sides of each chute and terminating above the bottom stops and below the tops of cigarette packages in display position for slidingly engaging the front edge surfaces of the cigarette packages as they descend into the display position and for urging the cigarette packages rearwardly as they descend to maintain them confined in the chutes and to bring them into engagement with the fixed bottom stops, said elongate leaf spring elements being arranged to hold the packages within the chutes and to flex forwardly through a small angle as a cigarette package is dispensed by removing it forwardly from the front of the display dispenser out of engagement with a fixed bottom stop, thereby providing reliable cigarette package feeding, and enabling packages of different lengths and widths to be accommodated without adjustment and to be conveniently dispensed.

2. A display dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein the chutes are defined by guide ridges, and wherein the leaf spring elements are formed as continuations of the guide ridges.

3. A display dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein adjacent chutes have a single leaf spring element for engaging the two packages in the adjacent chutes.

4. A display dispenser as claimed in claim 1 further comprising means for limiting forward flexure of the leaf spring elements to prevent excessive bending thereof as a package is removed.

5. A display dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein said modular partitions have dividing walls and guide ridges defining said chutes, and wherein said leaf spring elements are formed as continuations of the guide ridges.

6. A display dispenser as claimed in claim 5 wherein adjacent chutes on either side of a modular partition have a single leaf spring element for engaging the two packages in the adjacent chutes, the leaf spring element resting in an opening in the dividing wall, the front edge of the opening limiting forward flexure of the leaf spring element to prevent excessive bending thereof as a package is removed.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1715276 *Apr 7, 1928May 28, 1929Burns Harold DGrocery cabinet
US1726813 *Mar 16, 1928Sep 3, 1929Endter Waldemar ACarton dispenser
US3018001 *Jul 26, 1960Jan 23, 1962Combs Clyde MAdjustable display and storage rack
US3184104 *Dec 5, 1963May 18, 1965Golden Grain Macaroni CoDispenser
US3219244 *Mar 18, 1964Nov 23, 1965Blask Bennett CShotgun shell dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3957174 *Dec 16, 1974May 18, 1976Display Originals, Inc.Storage and dispenser unit for boxes
US4773543 *Apr 8, 1987Sep 27, 1988Royston CorporationCigarette merchandizing device
US4779745 *Sep 18, 1987Oct 25, 1988Trans-World Manufacturing Corp.Dispenser for displaying and dispensing merchandise
US4881787 *Aug 5, 1987Nov 21, 1989H. King And AssociatesPackage storage, display and dispensing apparatus
US4925037 *Jan 26, 1989May 15, 1990Holley Jr Nelson EStorage rack for canned goods accommodating varying diameters and axial lengths
US5072997 *Oct 9, 1990Dec 17, 1991The Meyer CompanyDispenser
US5172815 *May 11, 1990Dec 22, 1992Mel Bernie & Company, Inc.Gravity feed jewelry display system and dual-flange display card
US5918954 *Nov 5, 1997Jul 6, 1999Philip Morris IncorporatedLimited access sales apparatus
US7810350 *Mar 22, 2007Oct 12, 2010Shelton Andrew CBeverage dispensing cooler
US20110024443 *Jul 26, 2010Feb 3, 2011Mezzi Alternativi Mais & Associati S.R.L.Dispenser of boxed articles for retail shops
WO1991000702A1 *Jul 5, 1990Jan 24, 1991George LeighRack storage and dispensing system
WO2008138354A1 *Mar 6, 2008Nov 20, 2008Skorik MikhailHigh volume stack storage and rack dispenser for good packages using it
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/92, 221/309, 211/59.2
International ClassificationA47F1/00, A47F3/00, A47F1/08, A47F3/024
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/08
European ClassificationA47F1/08