US 2972434 A
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Feb. 21, 1961 L. A. JAMES 2,972,434
BLEACH AND DETERGENT VENDING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 my 51mm FIG. 2.
LEW/S A. JAMES INVENTORD A T TORNE Y Feb. 21, 1961 L. A. JAMES 2,972,434
BLEACH AND DETERGENT VENDING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 5E lllllll! 48 76 75 H6 69 j I LEW/S A. JAMES INVENTOR.
AM 2M A TTORNE Y Feb. 21, 1961 A. JAMES 2,972,434
BLEACH AND DETERGENT VENDING MACHINE Filed Jan. 12, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 9.
as I 80 43mg t a7 90 90 I 94 as A I I 9/ 48 FIG. /0.
LEW/3 A. JAMES INVENTOR.
MW/E A TTORNE) Un d S at s t n o BLEACH DETERGENT VENDING MACHINE Lewis A. James, Independence, Kans., assignor to Nu- Way Foundation, Fort Worth, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed Jan. 12, 19 59, Ser. No. 786,176 3 Claims. (Cl. 222
This invention relates to coin operated vending machines and has reference to apparatus for dispensing liquid bleach and powdered detergents or the like, such as granulated soap.
The primary object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the described class for use in coin operated laundries, apartment buildings, trailer courts and other places where automatic washing machines are used as a convenience to customers. The use of the present apparatus, .by measuring selected amounts of detergent and bleach, prevents damage due to overloading washing machines with soaps and detergents and also eliminates the need of an attendant to make detergent and bleach sales. Another object of the invention is to povide means for readily adjusting quantities of detergents and powders dispensed, as for example, when changing from one brand of detergent to another having a different density.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparams of the described class which will not be subject to. deterioration due to chlorine in the bleach.
Another object of the invention is to provide a detergent and bleach dispenser which is simple to operate and one which is fully automatic in its operation.
Another object is to provide means for rejecting deposited coins when the supply of dry detergent or liquid bleach is exhausted.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dispenser for detergents and liquid bleaches whichwill not accidently unload either or both ingredients at one time.
These and other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, wherein: p
. Figure 1 is a front elevation of a combined detergent and liquid bleach dispenser embodying the features ofto Figure l but showing the Figure 7 is anenlarged exploded view, shown partly in vertical section, of the bleach dispensing mechanism.
Figure 8 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Figure 7. l
' Figure 9 is a wiring diagram of exemplary circuits which may be employed in connection with operating the present dispenser, and
Figure 10 is a vertical sectional view of a liquid bleach pump employed in a modified form of the invention.
In the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates an upright rectangular cabinet having removable upper and lower front panels 11 and 12, the latter being spaced from each other so as to provide an excess opening- 13 2,972,434 Patented Feb. 21, 1961 therebetween. Illuminated signs 14 and 15 may be mounted in the upper corners of the cabinet 10 for designating the position of a pointer type selector 16 when depositing a coin in the coin switch box 17.
Referring now particularly to Figures 5 and 6, the detergent dispensing mechanism 18 includes a gravity flow hopper 19 in the upper portion of the cabinet 10 for holding a supply of powdered detergent 20, and which hopper includes a spout 21 on, the lower front portion for dispensing the detergent into cups 22 placed therebeneath through the access opening 13. The amount of detergent 20 dispensed at one time is partly determined by the pc sition of upper and lower closure discs 23 and 24 which open and close the discharge tube 25 located in the lower portion of the hopper 19 and in the upper portion of the dispensing spout 21. The closure discs 23 and 24 are mounted on a vertical actuating rod 26 and are adjustable relative to each other by means of nuts 27 threadedly engaged on said rod. It is to be noted that the upper disc '23 seats in an annular shoulder 28 in the upper end of the tube 25 and that the lower disc is convex and makes contact with the tube periphery. The upper end of the rod 26 is slidably supportedin' a bracket 29 mounted on the inner surface of the hopper 19. That portion of the rod 26 beneath the lower disc 24 is curved, as at a, and extends upwardly parallel with the outer front surface of the hopper 19 where it is slidably supported by and extends above a bracket 30 mounted on the hoppers front surface. A solenoid 31 is also mounted on the last referred to bracket 30 and the armature 32 of which extends upwardly where it is connected with a horizontal extension 33 which, in turn, is connected with the upwardly extending end of the rod 26. The position of the extension 33 on the rod 26 is determined by means of a nut 34 on the upper surface of the extension, and a coiled compression spring 35 extends from the'bracket 30 and bears against the extensions lower surface. The uppermost end of the rod 26 is provided with a laterally extending U-shaped spring 36, one end of which is secured to the rod' by nuts 37, whereas the remaining end of the spring is positioned to contact a limit switch 38 mounted'on theouter surface of the hopper 19. Also mounted on the outer surface of the hopper 19' there is an air cylinder 39 having a vertically extending piston rod 40 positioned to make contact with the spring 36 prior to contact with the limit switch 38. The air cylinder referred to is for delayed action and is of conventional construction and is not, therefore, herein described in detail. A detail shown in Figure 5 includes a guard plate 41 mounted on spacers'42 on' the hopper 19 for partially closing the otherwise open forward side of the spout 21.
A unique feature of the invention has to do with a switch 43 mounted on the inner surfaceof the detergent hopper 19 at an upper side thereof. The purpose of the switch 43 is to de-energize the detergent dispensing mechanism 18 when the detergent 20 therein is exhausted. In construction the switch 43 is similar to a toggle type switch but the leverof which is an extending arm of relatively light weight and rides on the surface of the. detergent. When the arm 45 is in its raised position the switch is on, but "as the level of the deother suitable synthetic resin for resisting the corrosive,
action of the chlorine, and it is to be understood that all parts herein described in direct contact with the bleach are of corrosion resisting materials. The tank 48 includes a removable cover 50, including a fi ller plug 51 therein, and on the top of the cover there is mounted a bearing support 52 which rotatably receives the lower bent end of a vertically extending arm 53 which sup? ports a mercury switch 54 on its upper end. Alsoconnected with the referred to bent end of the arm 53 there is a rod 55 having a float 56 on the end thereof within the tank. As will become apparent in the following description, the mercury switch 54de-energizes the bleach dispensing mechanism 47 when the liquid bleach 49 in the tank 48 reaches a predetermined low level;
As particularly shown in Figure 7, the upper portion of the bleach dispensing mechanism 47 includes a U- shaped frame 57 mounted within the cabinet and over one end of the tank 48. One end of the frame 57 supports a bleach dispensing solenoid 58, the armature of which is directed downwardly where it is pivotally connected with one end of a lever arm 59 pivotally mounted on a fulcrum projection 60 intermediate the ends of the arm. As shownin the drawing, the projection 60 is comprised of a transverse sheet of metal mounted at its lower edge on the frame 57 and curved at its upper edge. Adjacent the projection 60 and on the side thereof toward the solenoid 58, there is an upwardly projecting rod 61 pivoted at its lower end to the frame 57 and provided with a nut 62 on its upper end for retaining a coiled compression spring 63 around the rod, the lower end of which spring bears against the arm 59. The remaining end of the arm 59 is connected with the upper end of a connecting rod 64 for actuating a bellows type pump 65. The connection between the arm 59 and the connecting rod 64 is by means of convex washers 66 and nuts 67.
The bellows type pump 65, shown in detail in Figures 7 and 8, is comprised of a horizontal base 68 spaced above the bottom of the tank 48 by means of projections 69 on one side of the pump and vertical guides 70 on the other side. The horizontal top 71 of the pump is provided with openings, .not numbered, for slidably engaging the vertical guides 70. Upper and lower holding plates 72 and 73 engage opposite ends of the bellows 74, which plates are secured in place, first, at the pumps upper end, by the threaded lower end of the connecting rod 64 and, second, at the pumps lower end, by, a. screw 75 extending downwardly through the lower holding plate 73 into the base 68. The inlet of the pump 65 iscomprised of aligned inlet ports 76 through the base 68 and its holding plate 73'. A valve for the inlet ports 76 is comprised of a sheet 77 of flexible synthetic rain held in place by the screw 75. Aligned ports 78 in the pump top 71 and upper holding plate 72 have a fitting 79 containing a check valve 80 secured thereover, and a flexible hose 81 connects the fitting with a bleach. dispensing spout 82 in the cabinet access opening'13. Vertical partitions may be provided onthe sides of the two dispensing spouts 21 and 81 as shown in Figures 1 and 2.
The pump 85, illustrated in Figure 10 as a modified form of the invention, includes the described fitting 79, the check valve 80. and flexible hose 81,. but the fitting is thread'edly engaged inand positioned through a" disclike piston 86, the center of which is connected with the previously described connecting rod 641 The piston 86 operates in a cylinder 87, the ends' 88 and 89 of which are secured by bolts" 90 through their projecting edges. The lower ends of the bolts 90' are threaded in projections 91 on the bottom surface of thetank 48. Inlet ports 92 are provided in the lower cylinder end 89 and a sheet of flexible material 93, held in place by a-fscrew 94, covers the inlet ends of'the ports to pro vide-xan inlet' valve. An o ring'seal 95 is positioned in agro'ove around the piston 86. In both forms of the 4 invention, Figures 7 and 10, there is a limit switch 96 on the frame 57 beneath the arm 59 and relatively near the connecting rod 64.
The coin operated switch contained in the box 17 is a commercially available device and is herein described only to the extent to show its relation with the circuits illustrated in Figure 9. The coin operated mechanism includes a momentary switch 96 which is acted upon by the dropping of a coin such as 97, but which coin is rejected if the normally closed switch 43 in the detergent hopper 19 is opened by reason of the fallen position of the arm 45 therein, or if the normally closed mercury switch 54 is open by reason of the liquid level of the detergent 49 in the tank 48. The rejection of the coin is carried out by means of a solenoid 98 having a normally retracted finger 99 which extends into the path of the dropping coin in the event either of the circuits to the primary actuating solenoids 31 or 58- is broken. Anindicator lamp 100 connected with both circuits is energized when either referred to circuit is complete. The selector switch 16 consists of two] single pole double throw switches controlled by one knob (16) for selectively energizing either of the two circuits. The switch armature 101 connects with the dispensing solenoids 31 and 58 and the armature 102 connects with the normally closed detergent empty switch 43 or the bleach empty switch 54. The momentary switch 96 energizes a holding relay 103 which, in turn, connects either of the two circuits with a source of power. It is to be noted that there is a fuse 104 in one lead between the source of power and the holding relay 103.
In operation, the selector 16 is set for dispensing either detergent or bleach and after which a coin is dropped in the coin box- 17. If the coin is accepted the momentary switch is. closed thus energizing the holding relay 103. If the soap dispensing solenoid 31 is actuated there is a downward movement of the actuating rod 26 which in turn opens the lower disc closure 24 in the bottom of the hopper 19, but continued downward movement closes the same by reason of the presence of the upper closure disc 23. During the last referred to operation there is a delayed action by reason of the contact of the horizontal U-shaped spring 36 on the air cylinder piston rod 39. Physical contact of the spring 36 on the limit switch 38 opens the circuit after which the compression spring 35 returns the lower disc closure to its closed position; If the selector 16 is positioned for dispensing detergent, the dropping ofthe coin energizes thebleach dispensing solenoid 58. The upward movementof the solenoid 58 armature moves the connecting rod- 64 downwardly against the action of: the-compression spring 63. As in Figure 7, the bellows type pump 65 is compressed, but when the arm; 59 contacts the limitswitch- 96 the circuit is opened and the action of the compressionspring raises the connecting rod 65 admitting additional liquid bleach through the lower ports 76. In the constructionillustrated inFi'gure 10 substantially the same: action takes place. The downward movementof the connecting rod 64 ejects liquid bleach from the? cylinderv 87; and upward movement admits additional liquidbleach. In either form of the invention, the liquid' detergent dispensed from the spout 82.
' The invention is not: limited to the exemplary constructions herein shown and described, but may be varied within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a machine for selectively dispensingboth' pulverulent and liquid materials, and wherein said machine includes an upright cabinet having pulverulent dispensing mechanism: in the upper portion thereof, a liquid dispensing" mechanism comprising": a tank in. the lower portion of said cabinet a bearing on the top of said tank,
' a vertically extending arm having its} lower end journallcd arm, a float on the extending end of said rod, a mercury switch mounted on said arm above said bearing, a frame supported above said tank, a lever arm, a fulcrum on said frame pivotally supporting said lever arm intermediate its ends, a solenoid on said frame and operatively connected with one end of said lever arm, a pump in the bottom of said tank, means operatively connecting said pump with said lever arm at the end thereof opposite said solenoid, an electrical source connected with said solenoid through said mercury switch, and tube means connected with said pump dispensing liquids beneath said pulverulent dispensing mechanism.
2. In a machine for dispensing liquids as defined in claim 1, the construction wherein said pump is of the bellows type and includes a liquid dispensing hose extending therefrom.
3. In a machine for dispensing liquids as defined in 9 claim 1, and including spring means coactive with said 5 lever arm normally maintaining said pump in its ex-" panded position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS
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