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Publication numberUS3902637 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 2, 1975
Filing dateMay 2, 1973
Priority dateMay 2, 1973
Publication numberUS 3902637 A, US 3902637A, US-A-3902637, US3902637 A, US3902637A
InventorsScheeler Philip K
Original AssigneeScheeler Philip K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toiletry dispenser
US 3902637 A
Abstract
A multi-port dispenser for flowable toiletry materials includes a housing in which a plurality of side-by-side compartments are provided to retain quantities of selected toiletry materials for desired continuous flow through pressure sensitive valves provided in the housing beneath each compartment. The housing includes a recessed front surface in which a decorative panel is removably seated so that the aesthetic appearance of the dispenser can be readily changed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Scheeler 1 Sept. 2, 1975 i TOILETRY DISPENSER [76] Inventor: Philip K. Scheeler, 9350 Lowell Blvd., Westminster, Colo 80030 [22] Filed: May 2, 1973 [2]] Appl. No.: 356,328

[52] U.S. Cl. ZZZ/144.5; 222/185; 222/511 [51] Int. Cl. B67d 5/60 [58] Field of Search 222/185, 181, 511, 130,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,470,049 10/1923 Barrows 222/518 X 1,974,926 9/1934 Marsh 3,015,420 1/1962 Chudnow 222/1445 3,139,219 6/1964 Gran 222/185 X 3,391,830 7/1968 Kitchens 222/132 3,587,907 6/1971 Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-James M. Slattery 5 7] ABSTRACT A multi-port dispenser for flowable toiletry materials includes a housing in which a plurality of side-by-side compartments are provided to retain quantities of selected toiletry materials for desired continuous flow through pressure sensitive valves provided in the housing beneath each compartment. The housing includes a recessed front surface in which a decorative panel is removably seated so that the aesthetic appearance of the dispenser can bereadily changed.

7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Okuda ct a]. 220/4 R PATENTEU EP 2915 3.902163? SHEET 2 2 TOILETRY DISPENSER The present invention relates generally to dispensers for flowable materials and more particularly to a new and improved multi-port dispenser for flowable toiletry materials such as liquid soap, bath oil, shampoo, etc.

Inasmuch as numerous flowable materials are fre quently used in bathrooms, showers and the like, as evidenced by the number of containers for these materials normally kept in the bathroom or shower stall, it is desirable that these materials be incorporated into an attractive compact housing adapted to be conveniently mounted in a bathroom, shower stall or the like and with the capability of selectively dispensing the desired material in selected quantities.

It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved toiletry dispenser adapted to retain a plurality of flowable toiletry materials in a manner such that the materials can be selectively dispensed in desired quantitites.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a toiletry dispenser having separate compartments in which flowable toiletry materials are retained and separate valve mechanisms associated with each compartment to allow selected continuous flow of the material from the associated compartment.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a multi-port toiletry dispenser having a plurality of compartments in which flowable toiletry materials are retained and a leak-proof pressure sensitive slide valve associated with each compartment adapted to selec' tively control the amount of material dispensed from an associated compartment.

It is still another object of the present invention-to provide a multi-port toiletry dispenser having a recessed front face in which a removable decorative panel may be seated so that the aesthetic appearance of the dispenser can be readily changed.

These and other objects of the present invention are attained with a new and improved toiletry dispenser in which segregated compartments are formed in a common housing with pressure sensitive slide valves associated with each compartment to selectively allow a continuous gravity flow of material from each compartment through and opening in the bottom wall of the housing. As will be more fully appreciated hereinafter, the housing has been designed so that the front of the housing includes a recess for removably seating a decorative panel or the like so that the dispensing apparatus can be made to fit the decor of any bathroom, lavitory, shower stall or the like.

More specifically, the toiletry dispenser of the present invention includes a generally rectangular housing havingjoined together as an integral part of the housing compartments to define a common front panel which serves as a backing for the decorative panel, and unique pressure sensitive slide valves are mounted in cavities formed in unitary downward extensions of the compartments to selectively control the gravity flow of material from an associated compartment. Each valve is operated by a push button exposed through the front lower surface of the housing and the push buttons are provided with suitable indicia thereon to designate the particular toiletry material to be dispensed from its respective compartment. In this manner the user of the apparatus is apprised of which button to depress in order to obtain a selected material. The push buttons are removable and interchangeable so that they can be made to correspond with any one of various materials retained in the associated compartments.

The front of the housing has a peripheral recess therein with an inturned flange so that a decorative panel-can be removably seated in the recess. The aesthetic appearance of the apparatus is thereby readily interchangeable merely by using panels having different designs, colors, etc. In this manner, the apparatus can be made to coordinate with any decorative decor and, therefore, can become a permanent fixture in the bathroom, shower stall, lavatory or the like.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the toiletry dispenser of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded from perspective view of the toiletry dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the toiletry dispenser of FIG. 1 with parts broken away for illustrative purposes;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the toiletry dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an exploded rear elevation of the toiletry dispenser of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged vertical section taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3 with parts removed for clarity; and

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing the valve assembly used in the. toiletry dis penser of FIG. 1.

The toiletry dispenser 10 of the present invention is adapted to dispense flowable materials such as liquid soap, bath oil, shampoo, or the like from a common housing or case 12 and in a manner such that selected quantities of the flowable material can be obtained at variable rates. The housing 12 of the dispenser is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 to comprise a rectangular boxlike structure having a front wall 14 and opposite parallel side walls 16 extending normally away from the side edges of the front wall in a rearward direction. Four transversely aligned and vertically oriented material containing compartments 18 are integrally formed in the housing. Each compartment has a front wall 20, intermediate divider and outer parallel side walls 22 and a rear wall 24 spaced forwardly from the rear edges of the side walls 16 of the housing. The outer side walls of the two outermost compartments 18 are common with the side walls of the housing. As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, each compartment 18 has a unitary downward extension in the form of a hopper 26 defined by relatively steep inwardly and downwardly tapering side and front surfaces 20uand, 22a, and? forwardly tapering surface formed on a more gradual incline to form the bottom 24a of the compartment so that the hopper 26 is of generally rectangular horizontal cross-section and has its apex centered between. the side walls 22 and closer to the front wall 20 than to the rear wall 24. The hoppers 26 of each compartment terminate at a location spaced above the lower edge of the front wall I4 of the housing.

An integral boss 28 having a large frontal section 30 and a smaller rear section 32 both of generally U- shaped transverse cross-section extends downwardly from the hopper bottom 26 of each compartment 18 and rearwardly from the rear surface of the front wall 14 of the housing. Each boss 28 has a horizontally extending cavity 34 therethrough adapted to slidably receive a valve assembly 36 which will be described in detail hereinafter. The cavity 34 in each boss can be seen in FIG. 7 to have an enlarged cylindrical rear portion 38 with a frusto-conical portion 40 coverging forwardly from the rear portion, to communicate with an intermediate cylindrical portion or base 42 of smaller diameter than the rear cylindrical portion, and a front shallow cylindrical portion or counterbore 44 of larger diameter than the rear cylindrical portion in the front wall 14 of the housing. I

An inlet flow passage 46 establishes communication between the apex of each hopper 26 and the the frustoconical portion 40 of an associated cavity 34 at to the rear edge of the frustoconical portion. A lower discharge passage 48 is offset rearwardly from the upper passage 46 extends downwardly from the front lower surface of the rear cylindrical portion 38 of the cavity through the bottom surface of the rear section 32 of the associated boss so as to permit selective flow from the cavity 34 to the ambient environment beneath the housing. As will be described in more detail later, the valve assembly 36 which is slidably received in the cav ity 34 is operative to selectively control the flow of material from the associated compartment 18, through the cavity 34, and externally of the housing whereby selected amounts of material can be dispensed at a variable rate by the user of the apparatus.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, the valve assembly 36 is seen to include an elongated body 50 of circular transverse cross-section having a protuberance 52 at the rear end of an enlarged rear cylindrical valve body portion 54, a frusto-conical portion 56 tapering forwardly from the cylindrical body portion 54, an intermediate cylindrical valve stem portion 58 of reduced diameter relative to the cylindribody portion 54, and a further reduced diameter front cylindrical portion 60 defining a forward extension of the intermediate cylindrical portion 58. It will be appreciated that the elongated body 50 of the valve assembly substantially conforms in configuration, to the cavity 34 with the outer surface of the valve body 50 being of slightly smaller diameter than the cavity so that the valve body will slide freely within the cavity.

The rear cylindrical portion 54 of the valve body has a pair of spaced external annular grooves 62 and 64 at opposite ends thereof to receive rubber O-rings 66 and 68, respectively, establishing fluid tight seals between the valve body 50 and the wall of the cavity 34. Similarly, an annular groove 70 is provided at approximately the longitudinal center of the intermediate cylindrical portion 58 and it too seats a rubber O-ring 72 establishing a fluid tight seal between the valve body and the wall of the cavity. The valve assembly is movable between open and closed positions, and in the closed position shown in FIG. 6, the O-rings 66 and 72 are disposed on opposite sides of the flow passage 46 from the associated compartment 18 and the O-rings 66 and 68 are on opposite sides of the discharge passage 48 so that material in the compartment is prevented from flowing past the valve. However, rearward sliding movement of the valve body 50 in the cavity 34 to the open position shown in FIG. 7, shifts the O-rings 66 and 68 to a position rearwardly of the discharge pas sage 48 and the intermediate cylindrical portion 58 of the valve moves into the frusto-conical portion 40 of the cavity so that an annular bypass passage is established around the frusto-conical portion 56 of the valve body through which the material can flow. The O-ring 72 in the intermediate portion 58 of the body prevents the material from flowing forwardly through the cavity and thereby confines the material along a flow path extending from the associated compartment 18 to the discharge passage 48.

A disk-shaped push-button 74 having a cylindrical recess 76 in its rear face is releasably mounted on the forward end of the valve body 50. The cylindrical recess 76 has an internal annular groove 78 adapted to mate with an annular rib 80 on the front cylindrical portion 60 of the valve body so that the push-button can be snapped onto the valve body. It will be appreciated that the push-button thereby limits rearward sliding movement of the valve body unless a large axial pulling force is applied in a rearward direction to the valve body causing the push-button to snap off the valve body and permitting the body to be pulled rearwardly out of the cavity 34. To facilitate such a rearward pulling force, indentations 82, FIG. 7, are provided on opposite sides of the hemispherical end 52 of the body so that it can be gripped by a pair of pliers or the like. Removal of the valve body, of course, would only be necessary to clean the flow passages or to replace O-rings in the event they became worn to the extent that they allowed leakage.

The elongated body 50 of each valve assembly is biased forwardly into its closed position by one of a pair of leaf springs 84 seen best in FIGS. 5 through 7, which are anchored by screws 86 to a pair of bosses 88 depending from the walls of adjacent hopper bottoms 26. As seen in FIG. 5, each leaf spring 84 is adapted to extend laterally across the rear hemispherical end 52 of adjacent valve bodies thereby urging the bodies forwardly with the frusto-conical portion 56 of the bodies mating with the frusto-conical portion 40 of the cavity 34 so that the flow passage 46 from the associated compartment I8 is sealed by the O-rings 66 and 72. Of course, a rearward force applied against the associated push-button 74 will cause the valve body to slide rearwardly in its cavity against the bias of the leaf spring 84 to open the valve allowing material to flow from the associated compartment through the cavity and discharge passage 48 as previously described. It will be appreciated that with the valve mechanism utilized in the dispensing apparatus of the present invention, the valve body 50 can be positioned at any selected axial position relative to the'flow passage 46, so that the rate at which material flows from the compartment 18 to the ambient environment can be regulated. In other words, the valve body can be positioned to allow any selected rateof-flow of material from a compartment. Furthermore, the push-button can be manually retained in a depressed position so that the desired rate-of-flow is con tinuous for any period of time whereby the user of the apparatus can obtain the quantity of material desired.

A top 89 for the housing is shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and 6 and comprises a downwardly opening, cupped body 90 having a downturned peripheral flange 92 adapted to fit over the upper perimeter of the front and side walls 14 and 16 respectively of the housing thereby closing the open tops of the compartments 18. To releasably secure the top to the housing, outwardly protruding horizontally extending ribs 94, FIG. 5, are provided adjacent to the top of each side wall of the housing, and complementary horizontal ribs 96 are provided along the inner face of the corresponding downturned flange 92 of the top so that when the top is placed onto the housing, the ribs 96 on the top will snap over the ribs 94 on the side walls of the housing to releasably retain the top on the housing. The top portion of the top 89 has a raised gripping area 98 to facilitate quick and easy removal of the top when it is desired to refill the compartments with the desired toiletry mate rials.

In order that the dispensing apparatus can be conveniently suspended from a wall or other vertical surface in a bathroom, shower stall, or the like, brackets 100 are provided along the top rear edge of each side wall 16 of the housing 12 which extend inwardly toward each other and have a downwardly opening notch 102 adapted to receive a nail or other supporting hanger projecting outwardly from the wall. It should be noted that since the rear walls 24 of the compartments 18 are situated forwardly of the rear edges of the side walls 16 of the housing, the brackets 100 are spaced from the rear walls 24 to allow for the head of a nail or the like.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 6, it can be appreciated that the front wall 14 of the dispensing apparatus is provided with a rectangular groove 106 immediately above the push-button 74, and an inturned flange 108 extends along opposite sides of the groove and along the bottom of the groove to define a seat in which a removable decorative panel ll0 can be removably retained. The decorative panel 110 would be of rectangular configuration and could be slid into the recess 106 by removing the top 89 of the apparatus and sliding the panel upwardly as illustrated by the arrow in FIG, 2. The decorative panel 110 is thereby releasably held between the inturned flange 106, 108 which is flush with the front wall 14 of the dispenser apparatus and the front common wall of the compartments 18. By mounting the decorative panel so that it is removably retained on the housing. it is possible to alter the aesthetic appearance of the apparatus by using a decorative panel which fits the decor of the room in which the apparatus is used.

It is important to note that since the push-buttons 74 are merely snapped onto the front cylindrical portion 60 of the valve bodies 50, they can carry indicia, not shown, indicative ofthe toiletry material retained in the associated compartment and can be interchanged or replaced at will depending upon the materials selected for the various compartments Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.

What is claimed is:

l. A multi-port liquid toiletry dispenser comprising a generally rectangular housing having front, rear and opposite side walls defining upper and lower open end portions. said housing including intermediate divider walls extending between said front and rear housing walls in spaced parallel relation to one another and to opposite side walls for substantially the entire vertical distance of said housing walls to divide said housing into a plurality of liquid-containing compartments, each compartment terminating in a lower, generally funnel-shaped end portion provided with an inlet flow passage therein, a plurality of horizontally extending cavities in said housing in underlying vertical alignment with each of said compartments and opening through LII front and rear surfaces of the housing, said cavities having a rear cylindrical portion, an inwardly and forwardly tapering conical surface defining a frustoconical portion, an intermediate cylindrical portion of smaller diameter than said rear cylindrical portion, and a front cylindrical portion of larger diameter than said rear cylindrical portion, a plurality of flow passages in said housing establishing fluid communication between each of said compartments and the associated underlying cavity, a plurality of discharge passages connecting each of said cavities with a bottom surface of the housing, a pressure sensitive valve in each of said cavities slidable between open and closed positions, said valves each having an elongated body of circular transverse cross-section with a rear generally cylindrical portion, a forward frusto-conical extension from the rear cylindrical portion, an intermediate cylindrical forward extension from the frusto-conical portion of smaller diameter than said rear cylindrical portion and a reduced diameter front cylindrical portion defining a forward extension from said intermediate cylindrical portion, a pair of spaced circumferential grooves in said rear cylindrical portion of the body and a circumferential groove in the intermediate cylindrical portion of the body, a seal ring in each of said grooves whereby when the rear cylindrical portion of the body is aligned with an associated discharge passage, material will be prevented from flowing out of the associated compartment and when the frusto-conical portion of the body is aligned with the associated discharge passage material will be free to flow from the associated compartment around the frusto-conical portion of the body and out of the housing through the associated discharge passage, a leaf spring anchored to the rear surface of the housing between each pair of valve bodies, opposite ends of each leaf spring operative to urge an associated valve body forwardly in its associated cavity and to yieldingly resist rearward sliding movement of the body, a push-button on the front cylindrical portion of each valve body which can be depressed to urge said valve body against the bias of the associated leaf spring, said housing having a rectangular recess in said front surface with an inturned flange along opposite sides and along the bottom of the recess, and a decorative panel removably seated in said recess and retained thereby by said inturned flange.

2. A multi-port liquid dispenser comprising a generally rectangular housing having front, rear and opposite side walls defining upper and lower open end portions, said housing including intermediate divider walls extending between said front and rear housing walls in spaced parallel relation to one another and to opposite side walls for substantially the: entire vertical distance of said housing walls to divide said housing into a plurality of liquid-containing compartments, each compartment terminating in a lower, generally funnelshaped end portion provided with an inlet flow passage therein, a valve housing beneath each said funnelshaped portion defined by a horizontally extending cavity opening through the front wall of said housing and idsposed beneath and in fluid communication with said inlet flow passage and provided with a lower outlet passage beneath said inlet flow passage, valve means removably disposed in each said cavity movable between a normally closed position interrupting fluid flow between said inlet and outlet flow passage for each com partment and an open position establishing communication between said inlet and outlet passages for gravity flow of liquid material from a selected compartment through the lower open end of said housing, said valve means comprising an elongated body slidably disposed within each said cavity between open and closed positions. said elongated body having a large diameter portion adapted to block the flow of material through the associated outlet flow passage when said elongated body is in the closed position and a reduced diameter portion around which the material can flow from the associated inlet flow passage to the associated outlet flow passage when the elongated body is in the open position with the reduced diameter portion aligned with the associated inlet and outlet flow passages, and resilient means anchored to said housing engageable with said elongated body to yieldingly urge each said valve means to its normally closed position, and a pushbutton secured to the forward end of said elongated body adjacent to said front surface of the housing whereby rearward pressure applied to said push-button will cause said elongated body to slide against the bias of said resilient means from its closed position to its open position.

3. A multi-port liquid dispenser according to claim 2, said intermediate divider walls each forming a common wall between adjacent compartments and disposed in mutually reinforcing relation to the front and rear walls of said housing.

4. A multi-port liquid dispenser according to claim 2, said lower funnel-shaped end portion for each compartment forming a downward continuation of the front. rear and side walls of each compartment.

5. A multi-port liquid dispenser according to claim 2, said front wall of said housing including an inset portion extending for the greater length and width of said housing downwardly from the upper end of said housing, and an inturned flange extending inwardly from opposite side walls and upwardly from the front wall portion beneath the inset portion to define a peripheral groove along three sides of the inset portion, and a decorative panel removably inserted into said grooves.

6. A multi-port liquid dispenser according to claim 2, said front wall of said housing having an upper inset portion extending the greater length and width of said housing and provided with an outer peripheral groove along at least two sides of said inset portion; and a dec orative panel removably .inserted into said grooves to overlie said inset portion.

7. A multi-port liquid dispenser according to claim 6, the upper open ends of said compartments terminating flush with the uppermost edges of the front, rear and side walls of said housing.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1470049 *Apr 20, 1922Oct 9, 1923Robert Y Barrows IncReceptacle
US1974926 *Sep 13, 1933Sep 25, 1934Marsh Harry VCounter dispensing device
US3015420 *Jul 25, 1960Jan 2, 1962Chudnow Morris HDouble stroke variable control fluid dispensing valve
US3139219 *Oct 3, 1960Jun 30, 1964Magi Pak CorpMilk dispenser
US3391830 *Mar 3, 1967Jul 9, 1968Evelyn KitchensBedside liquid storage and dispensing apparatus
US3587907 *Mar 27, 1969Jun 28, 1971Mitsubishi Electric CorpBread toaster
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4039104 *May 17, 1976Aug 2, 1977Anthony J. Mijares, Jr.Wall mounted multiple-unit dispenser with rotary discharge assistants
US4143688 *Feb 14, 1977Mar 13, 1979Gill Jr Robert EApparatus for selectively dispensing pasty substances
US4159788 *Sep 12, 1977Jul 3, 1979Doyel John SWall mounted fluid dispenser
US4200206 *Jan 10, 1978Apr 29, 1980Chase Charles RShower attachable dispenser
US4530448 *May 11, 1983Jul 23, 1985Ponyicky John FWall mounted liquid dispenser
US5098174 *Apr 16, 1991Mar 24, 1992Worthley Christopher JAutomotive cleaning kit apparatus
US6769631Sep 10, 2001Aug 3, 2004Fresh Products, Inc.Combination air freshener and hand lotion dispenser
US7484675Jul 23, 2004Feb 3, 2009Fresh Products, Inc.Combination air freshener and hand lotion dispenser
US9187208 *Sep 15, 2009Nov 17, 2015Giuseppe MasciJoint building system for box structures
US20050072855 *Jul 23, 2004Apr 7, 2005Brown Douglas S.Combination air freshener and hand lotion dispenser
US20110024414 *Jan 14, 2009Feb 3, 2011Cws-Boco Supply AgHousing for a sanitary product dispenser
US20120175377 *Sep 15, 2009Jul 12, 2012Giuseppe MasciJoint building system for box structures
WO2009094789A1Jan 14, 2009Aug 6, 2009Cws-Boco Supply AgHousing for a sanitary product dispenser
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/144.5, 222/511, 222/181.2
International ClassificationA47K5/12, A47K5/00, A45D44/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45D44/00, A47K5/1214
European ClassificationA47K5/12D2, A45D44/00