Title:
GIMBALLY MOUNTED RECEPTACLE
United States Patent 3840204


Abstract:
A gimbally mounted receptacle comprising: yoke means, bracket means for rotatably supporting the yoke means, a receptacle member swingably supported by the yoke means, and locking means coacting between the yoke means and the bracket means for facilitating the rotation of the yoke means therein about an axis or rotation and for precluding movement thereof transversely of the axis.



Inventors:
Thomas, Paul P. (Bryan, OH)
Burnett, Frank (Bryan, OH)
Application Number:
05/306099
Publication Date:
10/08/1974
Filing Date:
11/13/1972
Assignee:
WINZELER STAMPING CO,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/241, 211/81, 224/406, D07/621
International Classes:
B60N3/08; B63B29/12; (IPC1-7): A47C7/70
Field of Search:
248/311,309 211
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3683737DETACHABLE TWO-PARTITE CONNECTING ARRANGEMENTAugust 1972Oeticker
3637184EXTENSIBLE AND RETRACTABLE SUPPORTJanuary 1972O'Brien
3370820Ashtray constructionFebruary 1968Liss et al.
3268198CoasterAugust 1966Swett
3045962Glass holder with gimbal mountingJuly 1962Paulus
2926879Tumbler holderMarch 1960Dietrich
2893675Beverage holderJuly 1959Smith et al
2693194Smoker's ash trayNovember 1954Jones
2147861Pivotally mounted soap trayFebruary 1939Shopen
1468372Ash receiverSeptember 1923Bendlin
1450910Cigar holder and ash receptacleApril 1923Bialick



Primary Examiner:
Foss, Franklin J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Reising, Ethington & Perry
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows

1. A mounted receptacle comprising: a mounting bracket comprising a closed cylindrical portion terminating in a flange adapted to mount said mounting bracket, a journal box disposed within said closed cylindrical portion at the end of said closed cylindrical portion terminating in said flange, a shaft receiving and locking member disposed at the end of said closed cylindrical portion opposite the end of said closed cylindrical portion terminating in said flange, said shaft receiving and locking member including an aperture having a keyway, a yoke, a receptacle member rotatably carried by said yoke, and a shaft provided with a mounting tang extending from said yoke, the distal end of said shaft being rotatably disposed within said journal box, the tang of said shaft being disposed intermediate said journal box and said aperture, and said tang being adapted to be aligned with the keyway of said aperture to permit withdrawal of said shaft from said mounting bracket.

2. A mounted receptacle as in claim 1 wherein said journal box is a member inserted within said closed cylindrical portion.

3. A mounted receptacle as in claim 2 wherein said receptacle member is adapted to receive a manually graspable object and wherein said receptacle member includes first and second elongated longitudinal slots, of sufficient width to permit manual grasping therethrough of a manually graspable object carried in said receptacle member, extending unobstructed from the top thereof to the bottom thereof whereby the manually graspable object carried in said receptacle member can be grasped to facilitate manual removal of that object from said receptacle member.

Description:
This invention is directed toward a gimbally mounted receptacle which facilitates the mounting of a receptacle on a moving or swaying mounting surface such that the receptacle is maintained in a substantially upright position independent of the motion of the mounting surface. The invention is particularly adapted for use in marine vessels, such as sailboats and motorboats which are subjected to substantial rocking and swaying while in the water.

Generally speaking, the use of gimbals to maintain an object in a horizontal position, regardless of the position of the mounting surface, is old, as evidenced by ship's compasses which have been mounted in this manner for years. It is very desirable, however, to provide special gimbal mountings for other objects on marine vessels, such as beverage holders and ash trays which are prone to tip over and dump their contents. Attempts to devise an inexpensive and yet dependable gimbally mounted receptacle are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,893,675 and 3,184,201.

As shown in these patents, it is important that the gimbally mounted receptacle be easily mounted in or removed from a mounting bracket which is secured to a mounting surface. One major drawback associated with this particular design is that the receptacle is not entirely restricted to swinging movements and, due to the design of the receptacle, may move in a vertical direction thus causing the receptacle to bounce. This problem is produced by the particular design expedients which enable the receptacle to be mounted in and removed from the mounting bracket. In other words, the rotatable shaft is not completely enclosed by the mounting bracket and, therefore, is not exclusively restricted to rotational movement. Due to this design the rotatable shaft holding the receptacle oftentimes bounces entirely out of the mounting bracket. The purpose of the device is therefore defeated because the contents of the receptacle are thus spilled. Furthermore, the design of the device is adapted to receive receptacles, such as drinking glasses, of different heights by providing a plate or shelf for supporting a small glass above the bottom of the receptacle. If the shelf was not provided, it would be extremely difficult to remove the glass. However, inserting and removing the shelf is inconvenient and, furthermore, the shelf has a tendency to adhere to the bottom of the glass if there is any condensation formed on the glass. Additionally, it would be impossible to use the device for holding cups or mugs which include handles because the sides of the receptacle would interfere with the handle and prevent the cup or mug from being placed in the receptacle. It is also noted that the relatively large number of parts required makes the manufacture of the device difficult and unattractive.

It is, therefore, an object and feature of the instant invention to provide a gimbally mounted receptacle including yoke means, bracket means for rotatably supporting the yoke means, and a receptacle member swingably supported by said yoke means; and locking means coacting between the yoke means and the bracket means for facilitating the rotation of the yoke means therein about an axis of rotation and for precluding movement thereof transversely of the axis.

In accordance with the foregoing object and feature, it is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide locking means which includes keyway means disposed on the bracket means and key means disposed on the yoke means wherein the yoke is adapted to be removably held for rotation within the bracket means and is predisposed to rotate within a predetermined range of angular positions with respect thereto whereby the key means is misaligned with the keyway means when the yoke is within the predetermined range of positions.

It is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide a yoke member having inwardly extending fingers wherein the fingers include an annular groove adjacent the terminal end thereof for receiving a snap ring for swingably holding a receptacle thereon.

It is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide a gimbally mounted receptacle comprising a cup member adapted to receive a cylindrical object wherein the cup member includes longitudinal slots extending from the top end thereof, a raised platform disposed at the bottom of the cup member for facilitating grasping the cylindrical object, and a plurality of apertures disposed adjacent to the lower perimeter of the platform for draining fluid from the top member.

It is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide a gimbally mounted receptacle comprising a cup member which includes an inwardly extending funnel member disposed at the top thereof having a helical coil disposed around the opening therein such that the cup member may be employed as an ashtray or the like.

Other objects and attendant advantages of the instant invention will be readily appreciated when the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gimbally mounted receptacle constructed in accordance with the instant invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the gimbally mounted receptacle shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a gimbally mounted receptacle;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along Line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along Line 5--5 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a portion of the instant invention.

Referring to the drawings, a gimbally mounted receptacle is shown generally at 10.

The gimbally mounted receptacle 10 includes yoke means comprising a yoke member generally indicated at 12 which includes a shaft 14 and a pair of bifurcated arms 16 extending from the shaft 14. The shaft 14 of the yoke member 12 includes a protrusion 18 extending radially from the side thereof. The protrusion 18 serves as a key or male member as will hereinafter be described and may be formed by any convenient method such as stamping a portion of the shaft 14 outwardly.

The bifurcated arms 16 of the yoke member 12 extending from the shaft 14 are curved arcuately inwardly and include an inwardly extending finger 17 at their distal end. Each of the inwardly extending fingers 17 include a groove adjacent the terminal end thereof for receiving a suitable snap ring 19. The groove may comprise slots on each side of the finger 17 or an annular groove extending around the finger 17.

The gimbally mounted receptacle 10 further includes bracket means comprising a bracket member generally indicated at 20 for rotatably supporting the yoke member 12. The bracket member 20 includes a body 22 having an internal cavity 24 disposed therein. An aperture 26 is disposed in the body 22 for communication with the cavity 24.

The bracket means 20 includes mounting means comprising at least one flange member 28 extending outwardly from the body 22 wherein the flange member 28 includes fastener receiving openings 30 only one of which is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. It is contemplated that the mounting means be of any desired configuration and, alternatively, may be provided with two or more tongue-like flange members extending therefrom as shown in FIG. 6. The only criterion is that mounting means be provided on the bracket means 20; however, the specific configuration of which may be chosen based on aesthetic considerations. Furthermore, the body 22 of the bracket means 20 is shown as having two parallel elongated sides 32 connected at their ends by arcuate portions 34. It is also contemplated that the configuration shown in FIG. 6 may be used wherein the body includes a substantially cylindrical body portion and the mounting means include three tongue-like flange members having fastener receiving openings therein.

As hereinbefore stated the object of the invention is to provide a gimbally mounted receptacle for maintaining a receptacle in a horizontal position. One such receptacle is generally indicated at 36 and comprises an ashtray for receiving ashes, cigarette butts, and the like. The ashtray 36 includes a cup member 38 which is substantially hollow and open at the top end thereof. Furthermore, the cup member includes two openings 40 disposed near the top thereof for receiving the fingers 17 of the bifurcated arms 16 on the yoke member 12. The snap rings 19, hereinbefore alluded to, are adapted to hold the cup member 38 swingably on the fingers 17.

The ashtray 36 includes an inwardly extending funnel member 42 disposed in the top end thereof having a helical coil 44 disposed around the opening therein. The funnel member 42 is adapted to guide materials such as cigarette ashes or cigarette butts into the interior of the ashtray 38 and to simultaneously provide a lid thereon with an opening of minimal size to prevent the contents from being blown out of the ashtray. The coil spring 44 is provided to serve as a holder for a cigarette. Additionally, the ashtray 36 may be provided with a windshield member 45 which is disposed partially about the funnel member 42 for protecting an area within the ashtray 36 from the wind. The windshield member 45 includes tabs 47 for holding the windshield member 45 on the ashtray 36. The tabs 47 are tightly held beneath the coil spring 44; however, it is noted that the windshield member 45 may be rotated around the funnel member 42 to change its position.

The lower portion of the cup member 38 of the ashtray includes a nonflammable heat resistant insert 46 made of metal, for example, so that in the event that live ashes or cigarettes are deposited into the ashtray there will be no chance of melting or otherwise damaging the cup member 38. Furthermore, the funnel member 42 includes a peripheral flange 48 and a depending portion 50 to securely hold the funnel member 42 on the cup member 38; however, it is noted that the funnel member 42 may be easily removed from the cup member 38 so that the ashtray may be emptied. The cup member 38 is preferably made of a plastic material which is heat-resistant and fireproof.

Alternatively, the receptacle may take the form of a cup member generally indicated at 36' adapted to be used as a beverage container as shown in FIG. 3. To this end the cup member 38' is adapted to receive a cylindrical object (not shown) such as a drinking glass, beverage mug or the like. The cup member 38' is also swingably supported by the fingers 17. To prevent the ends of the fingers 17 from interfering with the beverage container held therein, the cup member 38' includes outwardly extending raised portions 39 through which the openings for receiving the fingers 17 extend. The cup member 38' includes longitudinal slots 52 communicating with the top end thereof for facilitating the removal of the cylindrical object therefrom. These longitudinal slots 52 enable the cylindrical object held within the cup member 38' to be manually grasped and thereby removed. It has been found most advantageous to form the longitudinal slots 52 as close as possible to positions which are diametrically opposed. This positioning of the slots 52 insure that the cylindrical object held therein can be firmly grasped on a diameter as one would normally grasp a glass or container. The openings 40 for receiving the fingers 17 are disposed on a diameter to keep the cup member 38 or 38' substantially upright, therefore, the slots 52 are formed such that their inner edges are as close to the diameter or swing axis as possible. The cylindrical object may be of any height; no problem arises if the height is below that of the cup member because the cylindrical object can easily be grasped through the slots 52. Furthermore, if the cylindrical object includes a handle, the handle merely slips into one of the slots 52 such that it extends from the cup member 38' and may be easily grasped.

The cup member 38' also includes a raised platform portion 54 disposed at the bottom of the cup member 38' to elevate the cylindrical object from the bottom thereof. In other words, the cylindrical object such as a glass or beverage container is displaced from the bottom of the cup member 38' to provide a space below the beverage container. The platform portion 54 comprises a substantially truncated conical portion as shown in FIG. 5. Disposed about the lower perimeter of the conical portion or platform member 54 are apertures 56 to provide drainage holes for any fluid which may accumulate in the space at the bottom of the cup member 38'. As in the case of the ashtray configuration, the cup member 38' is preferably made of a nonflammable plastic material.

The aperture 26 in the bracket means 20 includes keyway means comprising a radial slot 58 or female member extending from the perimeter thereof. The keyway 58 in the aperture 26 and the protrusion 18 on the shaft 14 comprise locking means for facilitating the rotation of the shaft 14 in the aperture 26 while also precluding lateral movement of the shaft 14. The bracket means 20 includes a journal box 60 disposed in the cavity 24 thereof in axially horizontal spaced relationship with respect to the aperture 26. The journal box 60 includes a bore 62 for rotatably receiving the shaft 14. The receptacle comprising the cup shaped member 38 or 38' of either configuration, having the yoke member 12 attached thereto, as described above, is mounted within the bracket means 20 by inserting the shaft 14 in the aperture 26 and rotating the same until the protrusion 18 on the shaft 14 aligns with the keyway 58. The cup member 38 or 38' and the yoke member 12 are then pushed through the aperture 26 so that the shaft 14 enters the bore 62 in the journal box 60. Upon releasing the assembly, the cup member 38 or 38' assumes a vertical position and the yoke member 12 assumes a horizontal position due to natural gravitational forces whereat the protrusion 18 is misaligned from the keyway 58. In other words, the shaft 14 is predisposed to rotate within a determined range of angular positions with respect to the body 22 whereby the key means comprising the protrusion 18 is misaligned from the keyway means 58 when the shaft is within a predetermined range of positions. It is contemplated that the keyway 58 and the protrusion 18 be so disposed on their respective parts that a rotation of the shaft 14 of either 45° or 90° from the normal horizontal position is required to insert the shaft 14 into the aperture 26.

The shaft 14 is, therefore, held securely within the bracket member 20 such that the yoke member 12 is restricted to rotational motion with respect to the bracket member 20 and is positively precluded from lateral movement so that the yoke member 12 is prevented from bouncing out of the bracket means 20. As described above the locking means includes a key 18 and keyway 58 connection for selectively maintaining the shaft 14 rotatably within the aperture 26. The shaft 14 may be removed by manipulating the yoke member 12 as hereinbefore noted. It is also contemplated that other locking means may be employed and in some instances, may be equally as suitable. For instance the male and female members may comprise a spring loaded ball disposed in the bracket member 20 such that it is urged into the aperture 26 and into an annular groove disposed on the shaft 14. In other words, the shaft 14 is inserted into the aperture 26 forcing the ball out of the way until the annular groove on the shaft 14 becomes aligned therewith. The ball is then urged into the groove thereby holding the shaft 14 against further inward or outward axial motion and also against lateral motion but allowing the shaft 14 to rotate. In some applications it may be desirable to include a substantially permanent connection between the yoke member 12 and the bracket means 20, in other words, it should be made more difficult to remove the shaft 14 from the aperture 26. In this situation a snap ring could be disposed in a groove on the shaft 14 inside the cavity 24 before the bracket member 20 is mounted on a support surface. This would prevent unwanted or unauthorized removal of the receptacle from the bracket member 20. Furthermore, the number of parts are kept at a minimum and are designed such that they are easily manufactured and assembled.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than limitation.

Obviously many modifications and variations in the instant invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described yet remain within the scope of the depending claims.