US 2852327 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 16, 1958 1'. H. MASON CAN DISPENSER FOR REFRIGERATOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 001:. 20, 1954 INVENTOR. 790/146 b. fliv vM ATTORNEYS.
Sept. 16, 1958 MASON 2,852,327 CAN DISPENSER l oR REFRIGERATOR Filed Oct. 20, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 wmw 1 I 31' J0 2 wwww Esjlf A770 NEYS.
United States Patent U 2,852,327 r CAN DISPENSER FOR REFRIGERATOR Thomas H. Mason, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to The Brunhofi Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, a cor- 'porah'on of Ohio Application October 20, 1954, Serial No. 463,538 2 Claims. 01. 312-45) My invention relates to a dispenser for cans and more specifically to a dispenser particularly adapted for use in a conventional domestic refrigerator.
The dispenser is adapted to receive a plurality of cans, the cans moving through the dispenser in such fashion that they will be sequentially presented for removal in the order in which they were inserted, thereby assuring the user that the coldest can will be removed first. In essence, the dispenser comprises an elongated receptacle divided into an upper can receiving channel along which the cans move from the front to the rear of the dispenser, then downwardly into a lower or dispensing channel along which the containers move to the front of the dispenser. The upper channel is inclined downwardly from front to rear so that the cans will travel rearwardly by gravity; and similarly, the lower channel is inclined downwardly from rear to front so as to return the cans to the front of the dispenser. Suitable stop means are provided at the front of the lower channel to retain the cans in the dispenser, but the arrangement is such that the cans may be readily lifted out bythe user.
It is a principal object of my invention to provide a device of the character described which is of simple and yet sturdy construction and which can be readily fabricated at low cost.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a storage dispenser of the character described which may be used in any standard domestic refrigerator and which consequently can be provided as an accessory usable in both new or old refrigerators.
Yet a further object of my invention is the provision of a compact dispenser which maybe selectively supported on a shelf of the refrigerator or suspended beneath it, as the conditions of use may require.
Still a further object of my invention is the provision of a compact dispensing unit which occupies a minimum amount of space in the refrigerator, occupying-substantially no more space than would the assembly of cans which it is adapted to receive.
These and other objects of my invention which will appear hereinafter or which will be apparent to the skilled worker in the art upon reading these specifications, I accomplish by that construction and arrangement of parts of which I shall now describe certain exemplary embodiments.
Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings wherein:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of my device loaded with a full complement of cans.
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional, view taken along the line 22 of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a vertical sectionalview taken along the line 3-3 of Figure 2.
Figure 4 is an enlarged partial perspective view with parts broken away of a preferred form of dispenser supporting means.
Figure 5 is a partial vertical sectional view illustrating 4 alternate ways of supporting the dispenser in a refrigerator.
Figure 6 is a vertical sectional view of a modified form of the dispenser particularly suited for use in a freezer compartment.
Figure 7 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 77 of Figure 6.
Figure 8 is a perspective view'of the device shown in Figure 6.
Referring now to Figures 1, 2 and 3 of the drawings, I have therein illustrated a dispenser comprising opposed side walls 1 and 2 spaced apart by a distance slightly in excess of the length of the cans 3. The side walls are provided with inturned flanges 4 and 5 extending along the top, rear and bottom edges of the side walls; and
the opposed side walls are connected to each other by means of cross straps 6, 7, 8 and 9 which may be conveniently spot welded or otherwise secured to the inturned flanges 4 and 5 in the manner illustrated. The dispenser is divided into an upper can receiving channel and a lower dispensing channel by means of the side rails 10 and 11 which are struck from the side walls 1 and 2, respectively. As can be best seen in Figure 3, the side rails extend inwardly from the side walls and are of such width that they will support the ends of the cans placed thereon. As can be best seen in Figure 2, the side rails are inclined downwardly from front to rear and terminate short of the rear of the dispenser by a distance somewhat greater than the diameter of the cans, thereby permitting the cans to move rearwardly and downwardly into the lower channel of the dispenser where they are supported on the lower flights 4a and 5a of the inturned flanges 4 and 5, respectively.
To effect the transferral of the cans from the upper to the lower channel, I have found it desirable to curve the rear edges of the side walls, thereby curving the rear portions of the inturned flanges, as at 4b and 5b. This permits the cans to roll downwardly along the curved portions of the flanges as they pass beyond the side rails 10 and 11 without an abrupt drop.
The bottom of the dispenser will be inclined downwardly'from rear to front so that cans in the lower channel will be rolled toward the front of the dispenser. Preferably the bottom edges of the side walls 1 and 2 will be inclined, the depth of the side walls being greater adjacent the front of the dispenserthan at the rear, thereby providing a corresponding incline of the bottom flights 4a and 5a: of the flanges. Where this relationship is observed, the dispenser may be suspended from beneath a refrigerator shell with the top edges of the side walls lying in a plane paralleling the plane of the shelf. Where, on the other hand, the dispenser is to be supported on a shelf or on the bottom wall of the freezer compartment, a I
suitable elevating member, such as the bar 12 (Figure 2) may be provided to raise the rear portion of the dispenser to the desired inclined position.
The cans are retained in the lower channel of the dispenser by means of abutments l3 and 14 which may be conveniently formed as extensions of the lower flights of the inturned flanges 4 and 5', respectively. The abutments will arrest forward movement of the cans and yet they will not interfere with the removal of the cans.
Where the dispenser is to be suspended from beneath a shelf of the refrigerator, I prefer to employ brackets by means of which the dispenser may be detachably secured to the shelf. These brackets may comprise wing-shaped members 15 pivotally secured by studs 16 to the cross straps 7' and 8, the brackets being of a size to pass between Patented Sept. 16, 1958' bars so as to engage thereabove, in the manner best seen in Figure 2.
Where it is desired to support the dispenser on the shelf or on the bottom of the freezer compartment, means will be employed to elevate the rear portion of the dispenser. In Figure 4, I have illustrated a convenient means for this purpose. As seen therein the cross strap 8 may be provided with integral extentions 19 and 20 which may be bent downwardly to form supporting legs. If desired, the extensions 19 and 20 may be of a length such that they may be bent again to provide supporting feet, such as the foot 21, of a size to span adjacent rods of aeonventional refrigerator shelf.
In the operation of my device, warm cans will be placed in the upper receiving channel, resting on the side rails 10 and 11 along which the cans will roll rearwardly until they pass beyond the ends of the side rails. As they leave the side rails the cans will contact the curved portions 4b and b of the inturned flanges which will convey them downwardly onto the lower flights of the flanges where they will move forwardly until the leading can comes to rest against the abutrnents 13 and 14. As cold cans are removed from the lower channel, additional warm cans may be placed in the upper channel. The arrangement assures that the coldest can, i. e. the one in the dispenser the longest, will be removed first. It will be apparent, also, that the dispenser provides a convenient, easy to reach storage receptacle for the cans from which they may be easily removed.
The device may be easily fabricated in that its major components comprise the side wall units, which include the inturned flanges, the side rails and the abutments. These units may be stamped from sheet stock. The only other parts are the cross straps which join the units, the bracket members for securing the dispenser to the refrigerator shelf and, if desired, the elevating member. This latter member may, however, be formed integrally with one of the cross straps, as shown in Figure 4.
In Figures 6, 7 and 8, I have illustrated a modification of my invention which is particularly suited for use in f the freezer compartment of a refrigerator, although it will be understood that its utility is by no means limited thereto. In this embodiment the side wall units 22 and 23 are joined together along their top and rear edges by means of a cover 24 which terminates at its lower end in an integral foot 25. On their lower edges the side wall units 22 and 23 are provided with inturned flanges 26 and 27 which have their inner ends turned upwardly, as at 28 and 29, so that the cans 30 ride on the edges of the flanges. This arrangement is particularly desirable where the dispenser is to be used in the freezer compartment since it minimizes the area of contact between the cans and the rails and prevents the cans from freezing to the rails. The cover 24 is also helpful in this connection since it serves as a hood preventing external moisture from settling on the rails.
As before, the side wall units have side rails 31 and 32 struck therefrom; but instead of being turned at right angles to the side wall units, the side rails are inclined upwardly in the manner illustrated, thereby again supporting the cans on the edges of the rails.
Forward movement of the cans in the lower channel is stopped by means of abutments 33 and 34. In this instance, the abutments comprise enlargement of the forward ends of the upturned inner portions 28 and 29 of the bottom flanges. It is also preferred to provide a cross strap 35 connecting the side wall units across the bottom.
While the embodiment just described is primarily intended for use in the freezer compartment, it Will be readily understood that its use is not so limited, and it may be provided with suitable bracket means secured to the top of cover 24 for suspending the dispenser from a refrigerator shelf.
In Figure 5, I have diagrammatically illustrated a refrigerator 36 having a storage compartment 37 in which 4 the dispenser of Figure 1 may be conveniently suspended from beneath the shelf 38. Similarly, a dispenser, preferably of the character illustrated in Figure 8, may be placed in the freezer compartment 39, being supported on the bottom wall 40.
Modifications may, of course, be made in my invention without departing from the spirit of it. For example, while I have illustrated the invention as it applies to dispensers for conventional flat-ended cans, they may also be employed for capped cans having shoulders at their upper ends. Where such cans are to be used, the devices may be modified by simply widening the inturned flanges 4 and 5, and the side rails 10 and 11 of the dispenser of Figure 1 sufficiently to contact the cylindrical portions of the cans. The dispenser of Figure 8 may be modified in similar fashion.
Having thus described my invention in an exemplary embodiment, what I desire to secure and protect by Letters Patent is:
l. A can dispenser for a refrigerator composed essentially of a pair of side frame units secured together in spaced apart relation, said frame units having integrally formed inturned flanges extending along at least the bottom edges thereof and side rails projecting inwardly intermediate the top and bottom edges of said frames, said side rails dividing the dispenser into an upper can receiving channel and a lower can dispensing channel, said side rails being inclined downwardly from front to rear and terminating short of the rear edges of said frame units by a distance suflicient to permit the cans to pass beyond the said side rails for downward movement onto said lower channel, the rear edges of said frame units being curved and arranged to provide a curved trackway along which the cans may roll as they pass from the upper channel to the lower channel, the inturned flanges extending along the bottom edges of said frame units and said side rails being inclined upwardly so as to present free edge portions thereof for contact by the cans.
2. A can dispenser for a refrigerator consisting essentially of a pair of opposed side wall units having integrally formed inturned flanges extending along the top, rear and bottom edges thereof, and side rails extending inwardly from the said side wall units intermediate the upper and lower edges thereof, cross members connecting said side wall units together in spaced apart relation, said cross members being secured at their ends to said inturned flanges, said side rails lying in substantially parallel relation and dividing the dispenser into anupper can receiving channel and a lower can dispensing channel, said side rails being inclined downwardly from front to rear and terminating short of the rear edges of said side wall units by a distance sufiicient to permit cans to pass beyond the side rails for downward movement into the lower channel, the rear edges of said side wall units, including the rear portions of said inturned flanges, being curved so as to permit the cans to roll downwardly along the curved portions of the flanges as they pass beyond the said side rails, bracket means on the top of said dispenser for attaching it to a refrigerator shelf, said bracket means comprising Wing-shaped members pivotally secured to said cross members and of a size to be passed between adjacent bars of a refrigerator shelf when aligned therewith.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 576,865 Leonhardt Feb. 9, 1897 1,004,998 Crecelius Oct. 3, 1911 2,122,322 Kidwell June 28, 1938 2,125,000 Considine July 26, 1938 2,562,015 Cattanach July 24, 1951 2,588,618 Di Renzo Mar. 11, 1952 2,589,214 Andrews Mar. 18, 1952 2,711,241 Abrahamsen June 21, 1955