Title:
POCKET COIN DISPENSER
United States Patent 3726292


Abstract:
An apparatus for containing and dispensing coins of different denominations. An apparatus having separate compartments to store each size coins. Access to each compartment is afforded through a separate slot located in the walls of the dispenser. Each access slot has two upwardly diverging lateral sides and is open at the top of the wall. Covering the dispenser across the top of both the walls and slots is a deformable cover which prevents the coins from being inadvertently passed through the slots. During insertion and withdrawal through the slot, the coin makes both horizontal sliding and pivotal contact along the lateral sides of the slot and also slides upward along their diverging sides. This upward motion causes the deformable cover to flex and thereby to effect passage of the coin.



Inventors:
LARSON C
Application Number:
05/122848
Publication Date:
04/10/1973
Filing Date:
03/10/1971
Assignee:
LARSON C,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/.84, 221/309
International Classes:
A45C1/02; G07D1/08; (IPC1-7): G07D1/00
Field of Search:
133/6,5A 221
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3450308ARTICLE DISPENSER HAVING AN INCLINED BOTTOM RAMP AND A FRONT WALL ARTICLE OUTLET OPENING1969-06-17Schoenefeld
3126897N/A1964-03-31Sharpe
2569629Coin-holding device1951-10-02Everitt



Primary Examiner:
Reeves, Robert B.
Assistant Examiner:
Bartuska, Francis J.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. An article of manufacture for storing and dispensing rigid, circular, equi-sized discs comprising:

2. An article of manufacture for storing and dispensing rigid, circular discs comprising:

3. A coin dispenser for storing and serially receiving and dispensing coins of a predetermined size comprising a box having vertical side walls, a top and a bottom overlying and disposed at right angles to the side walls defining an inside cavity having an inside dimension in all traverse directions slightly larger than the diameter of said coins and having a vertical dimension smaller than the diameter of said coins, one of said side walls of said container having a truncated notch having edges extending from the top of said side wall downwardly and inwardly toward each other, the angle and the spacing of said edges of the notch being such that the upper portion of said edges are spaced a distance at least equal to the diameter of said coins and the lower portion of said edges are spaced a distance less than the diameter of said coins, the edges of said notch being spaced a distance less than the diameter of said coins at a distance downwardly from the top of said side wall less than the thickness of the coins and said top wall being formed of resilient material and mounted adjacent and overlying said notched side wall and resting over the top of said notch whereby coins are prevented from entering or exiting said container through said notch against the resilient urging of said top wall, said top wall being resiliently movable upwardly by the action of a coin against the angular edges of said side walls to raise said top wall to an elevated position whereby said coin can raise to a position to allow the insertion or removal of said coin through said notch.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to receptacles and, in particular, to coin holders which are carried in the hand or in the pocket.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

The prior art shows many different types of coin holders, each attempting to hold the coin more securely and to dispense them more facilely. One concept retains coins by a frictional engagement of the surface of the coin. Although long lasting, these dispensers often clog with dirt and lint and, therefore, they require frequent cleaning because the frictional engagement has critical tolerances.

Another dispenser concept controls the insertion and removal of coins by flexible fingers. These flexible fingers must be physically forced apart to permit the coin to pass over the threshold of the dispenser. Consequently, these fingers are required to go through frequent cycles of large displacement and very often break off from the cyclic flexing. In some of the art the fingers permit coin passage across a threshold in only one direction; therefore, the dispenser must have a separate inserting threshold and withdrawing threshold.

In addition, the prior art has never fully achieved true convenience of operation. Nearly all concepts require some precise hand motion by the user which must be conciously performed. Some even require completely different movements for insertion and withdrawal of the coins. The frictional dispensers also require a substantial positive force to overcome the frictional restraint retaining the coins. Consequently, the user is forced to be more aware of his movements when operating these dispensers than he desires.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The improved pocket coin dispenser is a hand-held, portable coin holder which is intended to contain and dispense the coins normally carried in a pocket or purse. The dispenser has a deformable top cover and four slots in its end walls. When a coin is inserted into the dispenser, it traverses the end wall slot in such manner as to deform the top cover. The mode of cover deformation depends on its construction. In all cases, however, the motion of the coin into the end wall is translated into an upward movement so that the coin forces the cover to deform. After the coin passes through the slot, it falls into an internal storage container within the dispenser. When a coin is removed from the dispenser, it traverses the same slot and deforms the top in an identical manner as the insertion.

The primary purpose of this dispenser is to provide convenient storage for small change. The container is designed to allow the coin to be inserted and withdrawn easily without any precise hand motion. The user merely pushes the coin inward through the slot or pulls outward on the protruding coin. For any operation, the user's hand may approach the end wall from a wide range of angles. Also, the coins are inserted and removed from the same slot. The major hand motion is nearly identical in each case. From the user's point of view, this means that the motion is much simpler and can become almost instinctive.

Another purpose of this dispenser is to segregate the coins by denomination. There is a designated compartment within the dispenser for each coin denomination. The user can then easily withdraw the desired coins from the slots by denominations rather than having to select individually from among all coins in a central common container.

One object of this invention is to provide a dispenser that is long lasting. The amount of flexure of the deformable top is purposely minimized and that section of the top which does flex does so through a very small arc. Thus, any splitting at the deformable cover from either cyclic bending or fatigue is minimized. Wear on the restricting portions of the slots due to frictional contact by the coin is reduced by making the top more deformable. That is, by reducing the upward force required for top deformation, the force by which the coin bears down on the lateral edges of the slot during its passage through the side wall is correspondingly reduced.

A further object of this invention is to provide a coin dispenser that is not easily clogged by dirt. This object is achieved because the cooperation of the deformable cover and the entrance slots adjacent the cover makes any clogging by foreign materials nearly impossible.

A feature and advantage of this invention is that it provides two large, flat surfaces, the top flexible cover and the bottom wall, which are ideal for advertising slogans. Moreover, the overall shape of the pocket coin dispenser is simple and compact so that it may be easily held in the hand and lacks projections or sharp points such as would cause excessive wear on the lining of the user's pocket or purse.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention showing a coin being inserted;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal sectional view taken along lines 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view showing a coin protruding from the slot, portions being broken away to reveal internal details;

FIG. 4 is a top view of another embodiment of the dispenser showing the progressive inward travel of a coin;

FIG. 5 is a partial front elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 showing a coin making initial contact with the lateral diverging sides of the slot; and

FIG. 6 is a partial front elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 showing the coin partially through the slot.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 the pocket coin dispenser is formed by two parallel, laterally opposed side walls 12 and 14. Rigidly attached to these side walls is a bottom wall 16 which spans the side walls and is disposed normal to them. Attached to the side walls and bottom wall is an end wall 18 and an end wall 20. The end and side walls are permanently, rigidly attached to each other along their respective coincident edges. The end walls intersect the bottom wall to form a rounded surface 22. The rounded surface differentiates the end wall intersections from the normal intersection of the side walls with the bottom wall. The user then can feel the difference in the palm of his hand. Spanning the side and end walls is a deformable cover 24. The deformable cover is always attached to at least a substantial portion of top edges 26 and 28 of side walls 12 and 14, respectively. The deformable cover 24 can be attached to the end walls 18 and 20 depending upon the particular embodiment described herein.

Referring to FIG. 2 the end walls 18 and 20 and side walls 12 and 14 form the exterior boundaries of four internal compartments 30, 32, 34 and 36. The internal compartments are bounded interiorly of the dispenser by interior partitions, one such partition being identified by reference character 37. Each compartment stores a coin of different denomination, and within each compartment all the coins are of the same denomination. The four compartments store, respectively, pennies in 30, nickels in 32, dimes in 34, and quarters in 36. Each compartment within the dispenser has the same physical construction and operates in the same manner as the other compartments. They differ from each other only in size since each is individually dimentioned from the size of the coin it retains. Because of the functional and constructional similarity between the compartments, only one compartment in the dispenser will be described below. It is intended, however, that this disclosure should apply to all four compartments of the dispenser.

The dimension of compartment 36 between side wall 12 and partition 37 is slightly greater than the diameter of a U.S. quarter so that plural coins can reside in the compartment but are confined in a uniform stack therein. On the bottom of compartment 36 is a ramp 38 which spans the intersection between bottom wall 16 and end wall 18 to form an oblique surface therebetween. The ramp is an integral part of each compartment and prevents the coins from jamming or stacking up at the end-bottom wall intersection as the dispenser is tipped by deflecting the edge of the coin adjacent end wall 18 toward the upper edge of the end wall. The ramp constrains the coins to slide upward along the end wall as shown in FIG. 3 toward a slot that is described hereinafter.

The compartment has two internal partitions which form its interior boundaries. The internal partitions are dimensioned from the exterior walls so that in the compartment the distance from the side wall 12 to the opposing, parallel, internal partition is just slightly longer than the diameter of the coin intended to be stored within the compartment. This dimensioning permits the coin to lie snugly in stacked relation in the compartment. Further, in the compartment the distance from the other external wall, the end wall 18, to the nearest opposing parallel, internal partition is slightly longer than the sum of the diameter of the coin intended to be stored within the compartment and the run of ramp 38. The run of the ramp is the horizontal distance of the ramp projected upon the bottom wall. This dimensioning permits the coin to lie completely flat against the bottom wall when the dispenser is horizontal and to avoid contact with the ramp until the dispenser is tilted. In one dispenser designed in accordance with this invention the overall length of the dispenser is 2 1/4 inches and the overall width is 1 7/8 inches. Referring to FIG. 3, the distance between the deformable cover 24 and the bottom wall 16 is less than the diameter of the smallest coin to be stored in any compartment within the dispenser. By constructing the height of the compartments to be less than the diameter of the minimum size coin, the coins stored therein are prevented from vertically stacking in the dispenser. In one dispenser designed in accordance with this invention the height is approximately one half inch, a distance that prevents a U.S. dime from vertically stacking in the dispenser.

In FIG. 1 end wall 18 is excised to form two horizontal slots 40 and 42. End wall 20 contains two similar slots of corresponding construction although not shown in FIG. 1. These slots provide the only entrance to the compartments for the coins. Each compartment is centered directly behind its associated entrance slot to receive the coins as they pass through the slot. The section of the end wall having the slot therein is the front wall of the respective compartment. For compartment 36 reference character 43 identifies its respective front wall. Referring to FIG. 5, in general, each slot has four boundaries, a lower horizontal boundary 44, a lateral boundary 46 located nearer the side wall, and a lateral boundary 48 located nearer the center of the front wall, and a top horizontal boundary 50. The top horizontal boundary is coincident with and defined by the inward-facing, compartment-side surface of the deformable cover 24. Boundaries 46 and 48 are upwardly diverging away from boundary 44 toward the deformable cover. The slot is so constructed that as the coin is moved through the slot, the coin is forced to slide up the divergent lateral boundaries and thereby to deform the margin of the deformable cover adjacent to the slot.

The span of the slot at the lower horizontal boundary 44 is less than the span at the top horizontal boundary 50. The span of the slot is the horizontal distance between the two opposing, upward diverging lateral boundaries measured parallel to the plane of the cover in its undeformed position. The span of the top horizontal boundary 50 is at least as long as the diameter of the coin intended to be stored in the compartment with which the slot communicates. The slot is so constructed that at a distance measured downward toward the bottom wall from boundary 50 which is equal to or less than the thickness of the coin stored within that slot's container, the span of the slot is less than the diameter of the coin. Referring to FIG. 2, a coin 52 stored in compartment 36 is capable of protruding beyond front wall 43 but is restrained from completely falling out by the lateral boundaries 46 and 48. This protruding capability of the coin allows the operator to grasp easily the coin for withdrawal. The distance between the upper horizontal boundary and the lower horizontal boundary for every slot must be greater than the thickness of the coin intended to be stored in the slot's compartment but less than twice the aforementioned thickness so as to allow only one coin to protrude from each slot at one time.

FIGS. 1 and 4, 5, and 6 contain two different embodiments of the deformable cover 24. In FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 the deformable cover 24 is attached only to the adjacent side walls 12 and 14 along their top edges 26 and 28. The cover neither is attached to the end walls at any point nor is attached to any of the internal walls within the dispenser. The surface of the cover is unbroken by cuts, slits or penetrations. The lateral boundary 46 of the slot and top horizontal boundary 50 met at an apex to form a notch 54.

In FIG. 1, the deformable cover is attached to the side walls along their top edges 26 and 28, to the end walls between the slots at 56 and internally to the tops of the interior walls of the compartment. In addition, the deformable cover has two slits 58 and 60 over each slot which correspond at the edge of the deformable cover to the upper ends of the lateral boundaries 46 and 48 of the slot. Thus the slits 58 and 60 are spaced apart at the edge of he deformable cover a distance approximating the diameter of the coin stored within the associated compartment. The slits completely penetrate the cover vertically and project horizontally toward the center of each compartment sufficiently to form from the cover a flap on top of each slot which will open to accept the entering coin.

These two embodiments will accommodate materials of varying flexibility. The embodiment of FIG. 1 can be constructed from nearly rigid materials because the only flexing is between each set of slits in the deformable cover. The embodiment in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 for very flexible materials allows the side walls to collapse together slightly and the cover to deform arcuately as in FIG. 6. For construction materials of flexibility intermediate these extremes, the coin dispenser can be constructed with some features of both embodiments. In addition, the slits in the deformable cover can horizontally project at other angles than toward the center of the respective compartment. Slits extending parallel with the side walls are suitable in some intermediate flexibility situations.

To insert a coin into one of the compartments of the more flexible embodiment, FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the coin is first inserted into the slot until it contacts the front wall. The initial contact of the coin with the wall occurs at points 62 and 64 where the lower circumferential edge of the coin meets the outside edges of the two lateral boundaries 46 and 48 of the slot. The coin is parallel to the bottom wall and to the top wall. Next the coin is pressed into the compartment. The coin now begins to rotate about a contact point 62 because the coin is pinched between the deformable cover and the lateral boundary 46 at their apex 54. This pinching action creates a pivot. Because the other lateral boundary 48 is diverging upward, the coin begins to slide up the edge of boundary 48. The coin's pivotal contact point 62 also slides downward along the lateral boundary 46 to conform with the arcuate deformation of the cover at point 66. This sliding and pivoting of the coin continues as the con enters the slot until the halfway point is reached, indicated at 68 in FIG. 4, where the diameter of the coin coincides with the front wall. At the halfway point the coin has slid up the lateral boundary 48 and has pushed the cover upward into the deformed position of FIG. 6. From then on the coin still maintains its pivotal motion around lateral boundary 46 but the coin now slides down lateral boundary 48. In addition, the pivotal contact point 62 now slides upward along the lateral boundary 46 as the cover becomes less deformed. This aforementioned motion continues until the coin again regains its parallel position with respect to the top and bottom walls. Lastly the coin falls free from the slot and drops into the compartment.

To insert a coin into one of the compartments of the more rigid embodiment, FIG. 1, the coin is first inserted into the slot until simultaneous contact is made between the upper side of the coin and the deformable cover and between the lower circumferential edge of the coin and the two lateral boundaries 46 and 48. Next, the coin is pushed further into the slot. The coin slides upward along the lateral boundaries of the slot in order to accommodate the larger chord of the coin formed between the contact points on the coin's lower circumferential edge and the lateral boundaries. The two slits 58 and 60 in the deformable cover permit the upward traveling coin to deform the cover by pushing open the flap formed by the slits. The coin remains parallel with the bottom wall during the whole insertion process. The contact points 62 and 64 continue to slide up the lateral boundaries and the flap continues to open until the chord between contact points on the coin becomes coincident with the diameter of the coin. After this halfway point, the coin begins to travel down the lateral boundaries, and the flap starts to close. The coin is fully inserted in the compartment when the flap is completely closed and the coin is free from any pressure from the lateral boundaries.

In either embodiment to withdraw a coin from a compartment, the dispenser is first tipped so that the slot from which the coin will exit is facing downward as in FIG. 3. Consequently, the coins within the compartment will slide along the bottom wall 16 and then up the ramp 38 to the slot. The uppermost coin will protrude from the slot but is retained within the compartment by the lateral boundaries of the slot. The user next grasps the protruding coin 52 and pulls it outward from the compartment. The coin will exit from the compartment in the reverse of its entering process disclosed above.

While two embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent that other adaptations and modifications can be made without department from the true spirit and scope of this invention.