United States Patent 3757685

A machine for issuing theatre tickets comprises a mechanism for printing and cutting individual tickets from blank ticket stock, leaving a continuous record strip to be retained in the machine. Printing of an individual ticket takes place immediately prior to its issuance, and prior to its being cut from the ticket stock. Printing wheels geared together cause the same price information to be printed on the continuous record strip as is printed on the ticket. The mechanism is installed in a cabinet having a ticket cup located underneath a glass plate arranged so that tickets ejected by the machine into the cup cannot be handled by the cashier. The ticket issuing mechanism issues from one to five tickets automatically in one operation depending on which of a group of push-buttons is selected by the operator. Electrical means are provided for the transmission of price information to a recorder. Two machines may be connected to transmit information to the same recorder. When this is done, an interlock circuit is provided to prevent the recording of confused information resulting from simultaneous operation of the two ticket issuing machines.

Woodie, Paul E. (Cockeysville, MD)
Edwards, James B. (Cockeysville, MD)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
B41F17/00; (IPC1-7): B41J11/50
Field of Search:
101/66,67,68,69,90 222
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2828687Machine for severing, printing and stacking ticket strips1958-04-01Mude
2744463Ticket vending machine1956-05-08Keefe
2111121Printing mechanism1938-03-15Mills
2044367Ticket printing, issuing, and accounting machine1936-06-16Purdy et al.

Primary Examiner:
Pulfrey, Robert E.
Assistant Examiner:
Coven E. M.
We claim

1. A ticket issuing machine comprising means for feeding ticket stock to a printing location, means for separating tickets from said ticket stock, means for delivering said tickets to an issuing location, printing means including a plurality of printing wheels, each having numerical information embossed on its periphery, selecting means for adjusting the positions of said printing wheels to determine selected numerical information to be printed on a ticket to be issued, and means for effecting printing by said wheels on said ticket to be issued of said selected numerical information before said ticket is delivered to said issuing location, means for producing an electrical impulse each time a ticket is issued, a plurality of output terminals, a single pole, multiple contact switch associated with each of said printing wheels, each of said switches having a wiper, means positioning the wiper of each of said switches for connection to a different contact for at least all but one of the possible selections of numerical information on the corresponding printing wheel, means connecting the wipers of said switches to said means for producing an electrical impulse, and means connecting each of said contacts to a different one of said output terminals.

2. In combination,

3. In combination,

4. In combination,

5. In combination,

6. In combination,


This invention relates to ticket issuing machines, and particularly to a theatre ticket issuing machine which prints information on a ticket simultaneously with its issuance.

It has been the experience of theatre owners, and particularly motion picture theatre owners, that the printing of information on admission tickets concerning the title of a performance, the date, the price, and the time at which the performance is to start, is desirable. Because of the many variables which are desirable in the printed information, it has been necessary for theatre owners either to keep large quantities of pre-printed tickets in stock, or to forego the printing of certain of these items of information altogether. It can easily be appreciated that the cost of pre-printed tickets showing the date, time, price and title of the performance would be prohibitive in a theatre in which the feature changes every few days.

A problem which has plagued theatre owners for many years is the practice known as "palming". While it is not necessary to explain the technique of palming in detail here, it refers to a collusion between a box office cashier and a doorman. The doorman, receiving tickets from a customer, pretends to tear them up and to return stubs to the customer while placing the remaining parts of the tickets in the receipt box. In fact, he has retained one or more whole tickets, which he delivers to the cashier for resale. Resale of tickets can be accomplished, for example, by causing the conventional ticket issuing machine to issue two tickets to a customer who asked for three, and issuing the third ticket by hand. With a conventional machine which issues tickets through openings in the counter surface, the cashier can easily deceive the customer into believing that all three tickets came through the openings. The doorman and the cashier share the proceeds.

Another prevalent problem is the difficulty in making accurate spot-checks of the loose contents of the conventional stub receiving box.


In accordance with this invention, only a minimum amount of information needs to be pre-printed on a ticket strip. For example, consecutive ticket numbers might constitute the only pre-printed information. The theatre identification, and the variable information is printed as the ticket is being issued. The variable information can be readily changed by the owner or manager of the theatre. The price of each ticket is printed, not only on the ticket, but on a record strip which is retained in the ticket issuing machine.

The problem of palming is eliminated by issuing the ticket directly from the machine to the customer, and by arranging the ticket cup in such a way that it is not easily accessible to the box office cashier. The cashier cannot easily pretend to cause the machine to issue three tickets to a customer while actually issuing two tickets by machine and one ticket by hand. Furthermore, since a receipt is retained by the ticket issuing machine, it is not necessary for the doorman to tear a customer's ticket. The doorman simply checks the quantity of tickets visually, and does not have any excuse to handle them in such a way that he could easily retain one or more whole tickets without being detected.

In accordance with the invention, a mechanism is provided for issuing a selected number of individually cut tickets in rapid succession. Provision is also made for the transmission of accounting information from a number of ticket issuing machines to a central recording unit, and for the interlocking of the several ticket issuing machines in a group so that they cannot be operated simultaneously.


FIG. 1 is a perspective of a housing for a pair of ticket issuing machines, partially broken away to show a ticket stock supply container and a record stub container;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the cashier's side of a typical box office installation having two of the ticket issuing machine housings shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the customer's side of the box office installation shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an elevation of a ticket issuing machine in accordance with the invention as seen from the cashier's side;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the ticket issuing machine;

FIG. 6 is a vertical section taken on the plane 6--6 of FIG. 4, showing a manually operable ticket stock slitter;

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the ticket issuing machine;

FIG. 8 is a vertical section of the ticket issuing machine taken on the plane 8--8 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of the drive gear train in the ticket issuing machine;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the ticket printing assembly, showing only the mechanism for printing date, time and price;

FIG. 11 is a vertical section taken on the surface 11--11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a vertical section taken on the plane 12--12 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a vertical section of a printing wheel assembly taken on the plane 13--13 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken on the surface indicated at 14--14 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 15 is an elevation of a clutch assembly in the drive mechanism for the ticket issuing machine;

FIG. 16 is a vertical section taken on the plane 16--16 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary elevation of the right-hand side of the ticket issuing machine as shown in FIG. 4, showing the linkage for driving a pair of counters;

FIG. 18 is an elevation of the left-hand side of the ticket issuing machine as shown in FIG. 4, showing another counter-drive linkage;

FIG. 19 is an elevation of an interlock switch;

FIG. 20 is a plan view of the ticket printing mechanism showing a removable printing plate;

FIG. 21 is an elevation of a strip of ticket stock, illustrating how a ticket is printed and cut from the ticket stock, and showing the record strip which is retained in the ticket issuing machine;

FIG. 22 is a side elevation of a thumbwheel for adjusting a price-printing wheel;

FIG. 23 is an elevation of the contact member for effecting the electrical transmission of price information;

FIG. 24 is a bottom plan view of a thumbwheel, showing the manner in which the contact member is mounted on it;

FIG. 25 is a plan view of a printed contact board which cooperates with the contact member of FIG. 23 to transmit price information electrically; and

FIG. 26 is a schematic diagram of the electrical interconnections between a pair of ticket issuing machines and a paper tape calculator.


FIG. 1 shows a metal cabinet 2, in which one or two ticket issuing machines can be mounted. A hinged door 4 on the cashier's side of the cabinet is provided with a lock 6. The key is preferably kept by the theatre manager. Door 4 is cut away in the drawings to show a bin 8, in which ticket stock is stored in a fanfold, and from which it is fed to the left-hand ticket issuing machine of a pair. Parallel metal sheets 10 and 12 constitute a storage means for a record strip which is produced by the left-hand ticket issuing machine and delivered through a chute 14. A similar bin and storage means may be provided for a right-hand ticket issuing machine within the cabinet.

Groups 16 and 18 of buttons control the respective ticket issuing machines, and thumbwheels 20 and 22 are provided for the resetting of resettable counters on the respective ticket issuing machines. Windows are provided at 24, through which indications on printer control wheels can be observed. The cover 26 is preferably hinged to provide access to the printer control wheels, and a lock is provided at 28. Again, the theatre manager should be the only person having access to the control wheels.

A transparent glass plate 30 permits observation by the cashier and by the customer of the ticket cup, which is indicated in FIG. 3 at 32.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate a typical box office installation, in which three or four classes of tickets can be issued by the cashier, there being one ticket issuing machine for each of the classes of tickets. Two cabinets are required, the right-hand cabinet in FIG. 2 being cabinet 2, already described, and the left-hand cabinet being cabinet 34, which is identical to cabinet 2.

Cabinets 2 and 32 are built into a counter 36, the front wall of which is provided with a cut-out area 38, which exposes the ticket cups. A glass partition 40 extends upwardly from the front wall of the counter, and is provided with an opening 42, through which money can be exchanged by the cashier and a customer.

Glass plates 30 and 44 on the tops of the respective cabinets can be used as surfaces for separating and counting change. But, this is not their only purpose. Since they extend to the customer's side of the cabinets, they make it very difficult for the cashier to reach into the ticket cups. Cash is passed over the glass plates 30 and 44, and the ticket passes from the machine directly to the customer underneath the glass plates, without passing through the hands of the cashier. This arrangement, by itself, substantially discourages the practice of palming.

A ticket issuing machine in accordance with the invention will now be described with reference to the remaining figures, it being understood that one or more of the ticket issuing machines can be provided in a particular installation in order to permit the issuance of different classes of tickets, with different printed information, and at different prices.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, an electrical drive motor 46 is coupled to drive worm gear 48 through shaft 50. Worm gear 48, in turn, drives wheel 52 in a clockwise direction. Gear 54, which rotates with wheel 52 on a common shaft 56 drives a main gear 58. Main gear 58 rotates a shaft 60 with gear 62, and a Geneva drive wheel 64 through a clutch which will be described later with reference to FIGS. 15 and 16. A pin 66 of the drive wheel 64 drives shaft 68 intermittently through the Geneva mechanism 70. Sprocket 72, for driving ticket stock, is driven through shaft 68.

A rotating disc 74, (FIGS. 8, 9 and 14) having a knife edge cooperating with an idler 76 for slitting ticket stock is driven through gears 78, 80 and 82 from shaft 68. Serrated wheels 81 and 83 (FIG. 14) are driven with wheel 74 and cooperate respectively with serrated wheels 85 and 87 to transport the ticket stock toward the printing location immediately above the cutter wheels. Serrated wheels 81, 83, 85 and 87 are designed so that their peripheral speed is slightly higher than that of the sprocket wheel 72, and so that they slip before tearing the ticket stock, in order to keep the ticket stock in tension.

Returning to gear 62 on shaft 60, a gear train including gears 79, 82, 84, 86 and 88 is driven by gear 62.

The operating mechanism of each ticket issuing machine is mounted between a pair of metal frame members illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 at 90 and 92.

Near the lower end of the apparatus, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, a guide is shown comprising a pair of metal members 94 and 96, between which extends a bottom guide plate 98. Plate 98 is provided with a slot 100, through which extend pins of sprocket wheel 72. A right-hand upper guide strip 102 is mounted to guide element 94, and a corresponding left-hand upper guide strip 104 is mounted on member 96. Strips 102 and 104 engage the ticket stock near its edges and prevent it from becoming separated from the bottom guide plate 98.

The ticket stock enters the guide through an opening 106. In order to permit the ticket stock to be initially inserted past the pins of the sprocket wheel, the guide assembly is pivoted near its upper end 108 so that, when the ticket stock is inserted, the guide can be moved forwardly, away from the sprocket wheel so that the ticket stock clears the pins.

In the initial insertion of the ticket stock, it is necessary to place the ticket stock in a position to be printed immediately, since the printing step takes place before the ticket stock is moved. Automatic slitting of the ticket to produce the record strip, however, takes place at a location preceding the printing position in the path of the ticket stock. Slitting is effected by cutting wheel 74 and its cooperating idler 76 near the end of the guide. These wheels do not rotate during the insertion of the ticket stock into the guide, and accordingly, provision must be made for slitting of the ticket stock prior to its reaching the cutting wheels. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, an element 110, pivoted at 112 has a knife edge 114, which can be extended through a slot 116 by the depression of a spring-loaded push-button 118. The preferred procedure for preslitting the ticket stock is to insert it through opening 106 in the guide until it is stopped by a pin on the sprocket wheel. Push-button 118 is then pressed, and the ticket stock is withdrawn. The ticket stock is then reinserted into the guide, the guide having been raised so that the ticket stock can now pass the pins on the sprocket wheel. The slit made by knife edge 114 permits the ticket stock to pass the cutting discs 74 and 76 and to be placed in the printing position. Discs 74 and 76 perform the slitting operation until it is necessary to insert new ticket stock, at which time the manually operated slitter just described will be again used.

After the ticket stock emerges from the end 108 of the guide, it passes into the space 120 which is located between a printing head 122 and a moveable plate 124. Plate 124 is provided with a bracket 126, in which there is mounted a roller 128 actuable by a cam 130. Cam 130 is rotatable with gear 82, and forces plate 124 toward the left at the beginning of a ticket issuing cycle.

On gear 82, there is also mounted a pin 132, which cooperates with the contour of an opening 134 in a lever 136 pivoted at 138, to cause the upper end 140 of the lever to move toward the left at a particular time during the ticket issuing cycle after printing takes place. The upper end 140 of lever 136 is provided with a slot 142 in which is engaged a pin 144 of an actuating arm 146 of a knife assembly. The knife assembly has a blade 148 cooperable with a member 150 on the printing head. The action of lever 136 moves blade 148 toward the left to cut the ticket stock following the printing operation. Blade 148 is so arranged that only the part of the ticket stock located to the left of the slit, as viewed in FIG. 21, produced by cutting wheels 74 and 76 is cut.

A guide member 152 (FIG. 8) directs the record strip, which remains intact despite the operation of blade 148, through a passage 154 in a guide 156. The guide 156 leads toward the chute 14 shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 7, a guide 158 is shown mounted on the printing head 122. Guide 158 cooperates with an additional ticket guide 160 having a passage 162 through which tickets are delivered to the vicinity of a pair of ticket delivery wheels including wheels 164 and 166 shown respectively in FIGS. 7 and 8, and both of which are in the form of segments having serrated edges 168. Both segment wheels are on a common shaft 170 driven by gear 88. A pair of serrated wheels 172 and 174, shown in FIG. 5, are arranged to cooperate with the respective serrated wheels 166 and 164.

Segment wheels 164 and 166 are positioned so that, as the ticket is being cut by knife blade 148, they are in the position in which they are shown in FIG. 8, having already rotated approximately one complete revolution during the initial part of the ticket issuing cycle. During, and following the cutting by blade 148, the ticket is in a position between wheels 166 and 164, and their cooperating wheels 172 and 174 such that it will be caught between the cooperating serrations on the wheels as soon as the circular portions of wheels 164 and 166 approach wheels 172 and 174 during their second revolution. The printed and cut ticket is ejected into the ticket cup by the action of these wheels. Wheels 172 and 174 are mounted on an assembly pivoted at 176 and adjustable by adjusting screw 178 to determine their vertical positions.

In FIGS. 10, 11, 12, 13 and 20, the printing mechanism is illustrated. The printing head 122, is shown in FIG. 20 with the printing plate 180 in place, and is shown in FIG. 10 with printing plate 180 removed.

As seen in FIG. 10, three printing wheels mounted on coaxial shafts are indicated at 182, 184 and 186. Wheel 182 is provided with printing type on its periphery suitable for printing hours. Wheel 184 is provided with type for printing minutes in 5 minute intervals, and wheel 186 is provided with type for printing A. M. or P. M. As shown in FIG. 13, wheel 186 is fixedly mounted on a central shaft 188, wheel 184 is fixedly mounted on a hollow shaft 190, through which shaft 188 passes, and wheel 182 is fixedly mounted on a hollow shaft 192, through which both of shafts 190 and 188 pass. An auxiliary toothed wheel 194 is provided at the side of printing wheel 186. The spaces between the teeth on wheel 194 cooperate with a spring-loaded pawl 196, as shown in FIG. 11, in order to insure that printing wheel 186 assumes proper position for printing rather than an ambiguous intermediate position. Wheel 184 is similarly provided with a toothed auxiliary wheel 198 and a pawl 200, and wheel 182 is provided with a toothed auxiliary wheel 202 and a pawl 204. The printing wheels are controlled by external, manually operable dials 206, 208 and 210, which are fixed respectively to coaxial shafts 188, 190 and 192. Indications are provided on each of the dials of the information which will be printed, and these indications are observable through window 24 (FIG. 1). Wheels 212, 214 and 216 are rotatably mounted on shaft 188, these wheels being provided with type for printing price information on a ticket. A fixed type element for a dollar sign is indicated at 218 in FIG. 10, and a type element 220 for a decimal point is shown.

Referring to FIGS. 10 and 12, printing wheel 212 is fixed to a gear 222, which meshes with gear 224. Gear 224 is fixed to a toothed wheel 226, the teeth of which cooperate with a pawl 228 to insure the proper positioning of the printing wheel 212. These gears are driven through a gear train including gears 230, 232 and gear 234, which is fixed to a printing wheel 236, which is identical to printing wheel 212, and which carries identical information. Gear 234 and wheel 236 are fixed to the outer shaft 238 of a group of three coaxial shafts which are arranged to drive wheels 236, 240 and 242 in a manner similar to the manner in which the time printing wheels were driven. Wheel 240 is coupled to wheel 214 through a set of gears similar to those shown in FIG. 12, and wheel 242 is similarly coupled to wheel 216. The gearing is such that both sets of printing wheels are controlled through dials 244, 246 and 248, and both sets of wheels print identical price information. Wheels 212, 214 and 216 print on the ticket, while wheels 236, 240 and 242 print on the record strip which is retained in the machine cabinet.

Dials 244, 246 and 248 carry contact members which cooperate with contacts on printed circuit boards 245, 247 and 249. The dials are identical, and the printed circuit boards are identical.

FIGS. 22, 23, 24 and 25 show the construction of dial 244, the units dial, and its cooperating circuit board 245. Dial 244 consists of a knurled thumbwheel 251, and a depending skirt 253. Within the skirt, there is mounted a metal contact member 255 having resilient, flexible contact arms 257 and 259. These contact arms are bent, as indicated in FIG. 23, so that they do not lie against surface 261 of the thumbwheel.

Printed circuit board 245 has printed thereon a circular conductor 263, which is connected to a common terminal 265. The radius of conductor 263 is equal to the distance between the contact at the end of arm 257 and the center of the thumbwheel. Therefore, the contact at the end of arm 257 will remain in contact with conductor 263 continuously.

Ten individual printed contacts are spaced evenly about conductor 263. Contact 267, for example, is connected by a printed conductor to a terminal 269, to which a wire connection can be made. Printed contact 271 is connected to terminal 273 by a printed conductor (not shown) on the other side of the board.

The switches are used to transmit price information to a remote recording unit each time a ticket is issued by the ticket issuing machine.

An assembly similar to those just described, but without switches, is provided for the adjustment of a wheel 250 for printing the day of the week from a dial 252. For the adjustment of dates and months, wheels 254, 256 and 258 are driven from dials 260, 262 and 264 respectively. Each of the wheels in this group is provided with a toothed wheel and pawl assembly, and as an example there is shown in FIG. 11 a toothed wheel 266 fixed to wheel 256 and cooperating with pawl 268.

Referring to FIG. 20, plate 180, which covers the printing head, and which is provided with various openings for printing by printing wheels, is provided with type for various items of fixed information such as the name of the theatre, "no refund" and "good for this performance only". The name of the current attraction is printed by a printing plate 270, which snaps into a recess provided in plate 180. The name of the current feature can be changed readily by the manager of the theatre when necessary.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a set 16 of keys 272 through 280, labelled one through five, respectively, to indicate the number of tickets which will be issued automatically when a key is depressed. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, each of the keys is provided with a stem, such as is shown at 282 for key 272 in FIG. 7. Stem 282 is provided with an opening at 284 (FIG. 6), through which there extends a lug 286 of arm 288. Arm 288 is pivoted on rod 290. A similar arm is operable by each of the remaining keys, and the arms are arranged in side-by-side fashion. In order to prevent the depression of more than one key at any given time, the forward parts of the lower edges of the arms are disposed in a conventional interlock 292 having six steel balls arranged in a trough, and providing sufficient room for only one of the arms to enter the trough at a time.

Each of the arms is urged upwardly by a spring, spring 294 being shown for arm 288.

An element 296 (FIG. 7) is slideable on rod 298, and is pivoted to arm 288 at 300. Element 296 is provided with a relatively shallow slot 302. Element 296 is operable by key 272. Similar elements are provided for the remaining keys, the depth of the slot corresponding to slot 302 being progressively deeper according to the number of tickets to be issued as the result of depression of a particular key. In FIG. 8, for example, element 304, which is operable by key 280 through arm 306 is provided with a relatively deep slot 308, the depth corresponding to the issuance of five tickets.

A slide 310 shown in FIG. 7 is provided with a slot 312 by which it is mounted to slide on and rotate about stud 314. A spring 316 urges the slide toward the right and in a counterclockwise direction with respect to the stud. Slide 310 is held in spaced relationship with frame member 92 by brackets 318 and 320. Bracket 318 is provided with a foot 322 which slides on the surface of frame member 92, and bracket 320 is provided with a similar foot 324. A bracket 318 is also provided with a transverse element 326, which is best shown in FIG. 8. Element 326, as will be apparent from the following description, enters the slots provided in the key-operated members, and the depth to which it enters a particular slot determines the number of tickets which will be issued.

In FIG. 8, an element 328 is shown pivoted on member 304 at 330 and provided with an opening 332, which cooperates with a pin 334 to determine the extent to which element 328 can rotate about its pivot. Element 328 has a nose 336 which is capable of engaging transverse member 326 to push it downwardly when key 280 is depressed. Each of the key-operated members corresponding to member 304 is provided with a pivoted member corresponding to 328 as shown in FIG. 6.

Returning to FIG. 7, a bracket 338 restrains the slide against movement away from frame member 92. It also engages the edge 340 of a notch 341 in the slide to prevent the slide from moving toward the right under the action of spring 316 until the slide is moved clockwise about pivot 314 by pivoted element 328 (FIG. 8) or one of the elements corresponding to it on one of the other key-operated members. Microswitch 342 is shown in the "open" condition, the switch being held open by the engagement of its roller 344 with projection 346 on the slide. Switch 342 is electrically connected to the motor drive circuit in the usual fashion.

Arm 348 is pivoted at 350, and its slot 352 engages a pin 354 which rotates with gear 62. The rotation of gear 62, therefore, causes the reciprocation of a pawl 356, which operates to engage the teeth 358 on the upper side of the slide 310 to push the slide one step toward the left for each rotation of gear 62. The slide, of course, is shown in FIG. 7 in its cleared position, and the movement of the slide by pawl 356 can only occur when the slide has been rotated clockwise about pivot 314 by the depression of one of the keys. Bracket 320 is provided with a notch 360, which engages pin 362 of pawl 364 to prevent the pawl from rotating in a counterclockwise direction under the action of spring 366. An element 368, which is pivoted at 370 and urged in a clockwise direction by spring 372, is also provided to restrain pawl 364 against clockwise rotation by retaining its nose 374. Element 368 releases pawl 364 when it is urged in a counterclockwise direction about pivot 370 by the action of arm 375, through which it is connected to a pin 376 at the end of arm 348. A slot is provided at 378 in which pin 376 can slide. Teeth 379 are provided on the under side of slide 310 to cooperate with pawl 364 in order to prevent reverse movement of the slide when pawl 356 is in operation.

A stud 380 is fixed to the side of slide 310, and extends inwardly through opening 382 in the machine frame member 92. Referring to FIGS. 7, 15 and 16, a dog-type clutch 384 is fixed to drive gear 58, while an arm 386 is pivoted at 388 on gear 62. When stud 380 is in the position indicated in FIG. 16, it engages the end 390 of arm 386, causing the clutch to become disengaged and permitting gear 62 and other elements rotating with shaft 60 to stop. When the stud 380 is moved out of this position, as a result of movement of the slide, spring 392 causes reengagement of the clutch.

FIG. 5 shows a resettable counter 394 having a manually operable resetting wheel 396, and a non-resettable counter 398. Both counters are viewable through windows in the top of the cabinet. FIG. 17 shows an arm 400 pivoted at 402 and having a slot 404 cooperating with a pin 406 which rotates with gear 82 causing reciprocation of a pin 408 to which arm 410 is pivoted. Arm 410 is, in turn, connected through link 412 to a shaft 414. As shown in FIG. 18, counter 398 is operated through the links 416, 418 and 420 from shaft 414. The resettable counter 394 is operated from shaft 414 through a similar linkage (not shown).

In many instances, it is necessary to issue tickets at different prices. Typically, children's tickets might sell for a lower price than adults' tickets. Separate machines may be provided to issue children's and adults' tickets.

Both machines can be made to operate a single recorder in accordance with the invention. When this is done, however, an interlock must be provided to prevent digital information from being transmitted simultaneously to the recorder by both machines, if both happen to be operated simultaneously.

In FIGS. 17 and 19, there is shown a bracket 422. This bracket supports a microswitch 424 operable by a cam 426, which operates with gear 82. Microswitch 424 is operated once each time a ticket is issued. It provides a signal causing the recorder to operate.

FIG. 26 shows a paper tape calculator 428. This calculator is of the type capable of responding to electrical signals in input wires instead of, or in addition to inputs introduced by the manual depression of keys. Such calculators (or recorders) are well-known and currently available.

Calculator 428 has at least three decades of input terminals, a units decade being indicated at 430, a tens decade being indicated at 432, and a hundreds decade being indicated at 434.

It should be understood that the electrical circuitry in FIG. 26 depicts the interconnections of a pair of ticket issuing machines, one of which corresponds to the machine described previously in this specification, and the other being identical to it in all respects except as noted. It will be assumed that the machine just described is the machine for issuing children's tickets, and that the other machine issues adult tickets.

The price thumbwheel switches 436 of the children's machine are interconnected with the price thumbwheel switches 438 of the adult machine so that corresponding terminals are connected together. The decades of calculator 428 are then connected to the thumbwheel switch interconnections so that each terminal of the calculator is connected to one switch terminal of the adult machine and to one switch terminal of the children's machine. The wipers of switches 436 are connected together and to a line 440, through which the wipers may be energized. The wipers of switches 438 are likewise connected to a line 442.

A power supply 444 consists of a transformer 446 having line terminals 448 connected to its primary, and having bridge rectifier 450 connected to its secondary to provide direct current in negative line 452 and in positive line 454.

Rectangle 456 encloses elements contained in the children's ticket issuing machine.

Rectangle 458 encloses elements contained in the adult ticket issuing machine.

Rectangle 460 encloses interlock circuitry.

The interlock circuitry consists of a relay 462 having normally closed contacts 464, 466 and 468, and normally open contacts 470 and 472.

Relay 474 has normally closed contacts 476 and 478 and normally open contacts 480.

Switch 342 is the microswitch in the children's ticket issuing machine, which is actuated except when the machine is in operation. In FIG. 26, its contacts 482 and 484 (which in practice are "normally closed" contacts) are shown in the open condition, which they are in when the machine is not operating.

Terminals 486 and 488 are connected to the a.c. line. Terminal 486 may be connected through contacts 484 to the coil of relay 462. This connection is made through the normally closed contacts 476 of relay 474. The return to terminal 488 is through line 490.

Terminals 492 and 494 are likewise a.c. line terminals. Switch 496 is a microswitch in the adult machine which corresponds to the microswitch 342 in the children's machine. Line terminal 492 is connected through its contacts 498, line 500, contacts 466 and line 502 to the coil of relay 474. The return to terminal 494 is made through line 504.

Motor 46 of the children's machine is connected to line terminal 488 through line 506. The other terminal of motor 46 is energized by connection to line terminal 486 through contacts 484, line 508, line 510, contacts 472, line 512 and contacts 482.

One terminal of motor 514 of the adult machine is connected to terminal 494 through line 516. The other terminal is energized from terminal 492 through contacts 498, line 500, line 518, contacts 480, line 520 and contacts 497.

At the junction between contacts 482 and motor 46, there is connected a line 522, which is connected through contacts 478 of relay 474, and through line 524 to a relay 526.

At the junction between contacts 497 and motor 514, there is connected a line 528. Line 528 connects to contacts 464 of relay 462, and, from there, through line 530 to relay 526.

The other terminal of relay 526 is connected through resistor 532 to line terminal 488. It will be apparent that, whenever either of the two motors is energized, relay 526 will be energized. Relay contacts 464 and 478 prevent feedback which would require both motors to operate simultaneously.

Relay 526 has one set of contacts 534. The positive terminal of the power supply is connected to these contacts through line 536, and through them to a line 538, which connects to a terminal of normally closed contacts 468 and also to a terminal of normally open contacts 470 of relay 462. Line 538 is also connected through line 540 to a terminal of the paper tape calculator 428 in order to cause delivery of operating power to the motor of the calculator. Line 542 connects the negative power supply terminal to the paper tape calculator.

Line 440, which is connected in common to the wipers of the thumbwheel switches 436 in the children's ticket issuing machine, is connected to normally open contacts 470 of relay 462. Line 442 connects the wipers of the corresponding switches in the other machine to normally closed contacts 468. Current in line 538 will therefore be directed either to line 440 or to line 442, but cannot be directed to both lines simultaneously.

In order to distinguish between adults' tickets and children's tickets on the paper tape record produced by calculator 428, the calculator is provided with a two-color ribbon and with means by which the color of the printed digits can be controlled electrically. Such systems are well knwon and are incorporated in currently available machines. A control signal for effecting printing, for example, in red, in response to operation of the children's ticket machine, is derived from contacts 470 and delivered through line 544, contacts 546 of switch 424 and line 548 to the calculator.

Switch 424 is the microswitch shown in FIG. 19. It closes for a short interval each time a ticket is issued at an intermediate part of the ticket issuing cycle. Its contacts 550 connect the positive supply line 454 to a relay 552 through line 554. Relay contact 556 connects the positive supply line 454 to line 558 which connects to the terminal of calculator 428 to effect a printing operation.

The adult ticket issuing machine has a switch 560, which corresponds to switch 424 in the other machine. It does not need contacts corresponding to contacts 546. Contacts 562 correspond to contacts 550 and are connected in parallel with contacts 550 through lines 564 and 566.

The overall operation of a ticket issuing machine will now be described with particular reference to FIGS. 7 and 8.

Assuming that the ticket stock has been loaded into the machine in the manner described, a portion of the ticket stock is within space 120 and ready to be printed. If the operator wishes to issue five tickets in a single transaction, he depresses push-button 280. Element 304 (FIG. 8) is moved downwardly, and the nose of element 328 engages transverse member 326 of slide 310. Referring now to FIG. 7, slide 310 is rotated clockwise about stud 314 against spring 316 until the edge 340 of notch 341 clears bracket 338. At this time, spring 316 urges slide 310 toward the right as viewed in FIG. 7. Slide 310 is free to move toward the right until transverse element 326 enters all the way into slot 308 in element 304. Slot 308 is below the other elements corresponding to element 304 at this time, and they do not impede the movement of element 326 into slot 308. Push-button 280 remains in a depressed condition, and will not return to its normal condition until the transverse element 326 disengages slot 308.

The slide, as viewed in FIG. 7, having moved toward the right, microswitch 342 is closed, and the motor 46 is energized. Stud 380 is also moved toward the right with slide 310 so that it clears the arm 386 (FIG. 16) of the clutch, thus allowing the clutch to become engaged. Gear 62 now rotates with gear 58 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 7. Slide 310 having moved toward the right, it is held against counterclockwise movement by bracket 338. As gear 62 begins to move, link 375 is pulled toward the left, and element 368 releases pawl 364. Pawl 364 falls into one of the notches provided by teeth 379, the particular notch depending on how far the slide has been moved toward the right.

Pawl 356 is also engaged with one of the notches provided by teeth 358. Again, the particular notch depends on the position of slide 310. Pawl 356 is reciprocated by the action of pin 354 in slot 352, and for each rotation of gear 62, pawl 356 moves into the next adjacent notch. It therefore causes the slide to move one step toward the left for each rotation of gear 62. After five rotations are completed, stud 380 is in position to cause disengagement of the clutch, microswitch 342 opens, slot 360 is in position to pick up pin 362 to reset pawl 364, and notch 341 is in position to clear bracket 338. At this point, slide 310 returns to the position in which it is shown in FIG. 7, and transverse element 326 clears slot 308, permitting push-button 280 to pop up. Gear 62 returns to the same position each time, even though the motor continues to run for a short time following opening of microswitch 342, since the clutch is disengaged.

Each rotation of gear 62 is accompanied by the issuance of one ticket.

The process of issuing a ticket consists first of the step of printing, which is accomplished by the action of cam 130 (FIG. 8) against roller 128. This causes movement of plate 124 to effect printing at the beginning of the ticket issuing cycle. Gear 82, as viewed in FIGS. 8 and 9 continues to move in a counterclockwise direction, and pin 132 in cooperation with the contour of opening 134 causes lever 136 to move toward the left about pivot 138 as a second step in the ticket issuing cycle. Lever 136 moves knife blade 148 toward the left to cut a ticket. The ticket, at this time, is in position underneath guide 152 to be picked up by segment wheels 164 and 166. These segment wheels, in cooperation with wheels 174 and 172 deliver the completed ticket to the ticket cup 32 (FIG. 3).

In summary, the apparatus just described issues one or more tickets in one operation, depending on the operator's choice, and prints variable information on a ticket immediately prior to its issuance. Following printing, the ticket is cut from the ticket stock and delivered to a ticket cup. The tickets are cut from the ticket stock in such a way that a continuous strip of the stock is retained in the cabinet of the machine. The price of each ticket is printed on this continuous strip. The ticket issuing machine in accordance with the invention eliminates costly pre-printing of ticket stock, and substantially eliminates the practice of palming tickets by making it both unnecessary and difficult for the ticket to pass through the cashier's hands, and by making it unnecessary for the ticket to pass through the hands of a doorman. In addition, the wastage of preprinted ticket stock is avoided since tickets are printed only as they are needed, and there is avoided the existence of preprinted tickets which might be sold.

It will be apparent that numerous modifications can be made to the apparatus described. For example, ticket serial numbers can be printed in the machine, or, alternatively, more information can be pre-printed on the ticket stock. More information can be printed by the machine on the record strip, if desired. The number of tickets which are issued upon the depression of a button is not necessarily limited to five, since simple modifications to permit the issuance of more than five tickets can be easily made.

When two ticket issuing machines are used, connected in common to a paper tape calculator as shown in FIG. 26, the operation of the interlock circuitry is as follows.

Assume that one of the five buttons on the children's ticket issuing machine is pressed. The contacts of switch 342 (FIGS. 7 and 26) will immediately close, and will remain closed until all of the selected number of tickets have been issued.

Relay 462 will be energized and motor 46 will operate. Line 440 will be energized, and therefore the information input lines of calculator 428 will be selectively energized in accordance with the positions of switches 436, these positions being controlled by the price thumbwheels of the children's ticket issuing machine. Line 442 will be disconnected from the power source by contacts 468. Line 554 is also energized through contacts 470. Line 544 will be connected to line 548 when switch 424 closes to cause the calculator to print in red.

Relay 474 is disabled by the opening of contacts 466. Since contacts 480 are open and contacts 464 are open, motor 514 in the adult ticket issuing machine cannot operate.

Switch 424 will be closed once for every ticket issued by the children's ticket issuing machine, effecting closure of contacts 556 of relay 552 to cause printing by the paper tape calculator of the price set on switches 436. Printing will be in red when children's tickets are issued, since line 548 will be energized through contacts 546 of switch 424 each time switch 424 closes.

It will be apparent that the adult ticket issuing machine operates in an identical manner with the exception that the paper tape calculator is not made to print in red when adult tickets are issued, the printing being in black.

Contacts 470 and 468 of relay 462 insure that only one of the two sets of switches can be energized at any given time. This prevents erroneous information from being recorded on calculator 428.

If the pair of machines are being operated by different operators, it may occur that buttons on both machines will be actuated simultaneously.

In this case, the interlock circuitry will cause the machine which is actuated first to issue the number of tickets selected, and will subsequently cause the other machine to issue its ticket or tickets. The operator of the later-selected machine does not have to do anything. The button which he selected on his machine will remain down until his machine goes through the selected number of ticket issuing cycles. He will simply observe a brief delay in the operation of his machine while the other machine issues the selected number of tickets.