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July 16» 1945 > s. ~F'. MATHERs STACKING MACHINE 2,403,94‘2 Juäy E946. s. P. MATHERS ‘ _ 2,403,942 'sTAcKlNG MACHINE Filed Feb. 8, 1945 ao.uenßvhc 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 20A 20A aoutnelà INVENTOR. - BY ß Maf/fun Juëy w, i946. ' s. P. MATHERs ' STACKING MACHINE Filed Feb. 8, 1945 ' , 2,403,942 ` ~ 9 Sheets-Sheet 3 ¿may i, ma." . s. P. MATHERS ` 2,403,942 STACKING MACHINE . Filed Feb'. s, 1945 9 sheets-sheet 4 20A Ju1y16,1946. , >-s.. P. MATHERS 2,403,942 STAGKING MACHINE Filed Feb. 8, 1945 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 BY M0676), ,4T/'on lvfXf July 16, 1946. 2,403,942 s. P. MATHE'Rs STACKING MACHINE ' Filed Feb. 8, 1945 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 58 JMW ß BY „Mr @W ,wrok/vfyf .Iu1y16,1946.4 ‘l s. P. MATHERS STACKING MACHINEFiled Feb. 8, 1945 'l I 2,403,942 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 FIB@ INVENTOR. .My 16,1946. '_ 2,403,942 s.l P. MATHr-:Rs STACKING MACHINE ` Filed Feb. 8, 1945 ‘ 9 Sheeizs-Sheet 8 Fu: 14 _F1515 ' ,- “fl-ì 17 72 ',EEAE. «nas4 R , 2 6 7) IN1/:JWMl BY Mdc/(r ßêom/ f A70/e NIW _ Jullyì? E946', ` s. P. MATHERS ‘ .294@399432 STACKING MACHÍNE Filed Feb. 8, 1945 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 Patented July 16, 1946 2,403,942 UNITED STATES? vrrr-"relazi-All'orrlclï 2,403,942 STACKING MACHINE Stephen P. Mathers, Philadelphia, Pa., assigner copartnership Application Februaryß, 1945, Serial No. 576,887L 5 Claims; (Cl. 214-6) 1 My invention relates to a new and improved stacking machine. While the invention relates particularly to the stacking of trays which are used in connection with the manufacture of candies, it is` not limited to any speciñc purpose, or tostacking any specific articles. The invention relates tothe type of Amachine which Yhas two vertical endlesschains, which have laterallyalined front ascending vertical runs, and 2 v . ably locked in said‘operative position and they remain locked until'said supporting members are automatically _moved'j'laterally outwardly away from each other, to release the respective tray, at' the rear of the machine.' ` . .. _. -, , . Fig. 5 is a side elevation which shows aresp'ec. tive 'pair of supportingmembers, assembled with their holder or mount.. . - Fig. Gis an elevationof the modiiied supporting member of the second embodiment, assembled laterally alined rear descending vertical runs. Some of the objects of `my invention `are to pro videY said laterally alined runs with holders for and supporting member of the second embodif supporting the trays or other articles, said hold ment as shown in Fig. 6, showing. how a holder is ers having supporting, members which `are moved clamped to a respective link of Ia conveyer- chain.4 laterally inwardly towards each other and lat with its holder or mount. . Fig. 7 is a side elevation of the assembled holder Fig. 8 is aside elevation of the supporting erally outwardly away from each other; to move member which is shown in Fig. 6, detached from. said supporting members laterally inwardly to wards each other, into operative position, below a. its holder or mount. , loading station which is provided at the front ascending runs, so that said supporting members'` nick the object oli" the loading device; to stack the objects on `a suitable support by unloading , Fig. 9 is a front elevation of Fig. 8. . . Fig. 10 is a side elevation of the holder or mount of the second embodiment, .detached from` its supporting. member. „ Fig. 11,.is a front elevation of Fig. 10. ’ said objects from the rear descending runs, each Figs. 12 and 13 are resp?ectivelysectional views` object being released from its holders by the next. 25 on the lines |2'---l2“and>` l3.-l3’of`Fig. 11. preceding object in the stack; to release the ob Fig. 14 is a side elevation of the coupling mem jects fromv the holders by outwardly laterally ber which connects a holder or mount of the first> moving said` supporting members away from each embodiment, pivotally to a respective link of a. other, and to operate a control by one of saidA conveyer chain, so that each holder can turn. outwardly moving supporting members, .whereby transversely, to-and~fro, relative to the respec the pile of stacked objects is moved automatically' tive link, about an axis which is parallel to the4 plane of Fig; 1.. ~ l . laterally away from the/stacking station; and to provide a machine of simple and eii‘icient design. Fig. 15 is an end elevation of Fig. 14, taken Numerous additional objects and advantages at the right of Fig. 14. _ ‘ of my invention will be stated in the annexed de scription and drawings,v which illustrate preferred embodiments thereof. Fig. 16 shows a modification of‘ Fig. 14. 'This modification is used in the second embodiment:. Fig, 1.7 is a side elevation of the trigger ofthe.. Fig. 1 is a front elevation of theiirst embodi second embodiment. . ment'of the improved machine. Fig. 18 is a detail top View, taken along the Fig. 2'is'a side elevation of Fig. 1. 40 line lä-lß of Fig.¿4, which shows the means ’for Fig. 3 is a section on the line 3'-3 of Fig. 1, connecting a coupling member rigidly to the re-lr showinga- slight modification, in which each con spective- link. It also shows the.cam.~members veyer chain has front andrear vertical runs,l a top convex run and a bottom horizontal run; said' at the setting station, whereby the supporting members are moved laterally inwardly towards runs of each chain being in the same vertical 45 each other, into operativepositionvto pick upa transverse plane. In Fig. 2,` the bottom run of tray or other object. each conveyer chain is inclined downwardly, from Fig. 19 is a side elevation'of a supportingmem front to rear. Fig. 4 is a detail frontelevation which showsI the setting station which is» located‘below the loading station, at the front of the machine. At said setting station, the supporting members are moved laterally inwardlyV towards each other, to be located in operativeY position, in order to pick up‘a tray. Said supporting members' are releas ber of the first embodiment.- Y ` ~ ` ' Fig 20. is a perspective view‘of one of the clamp ing springs which are used to clamp each tray betwcen the respective supporting rmembers. Fig. 21 is a perspective View of 'theïmount ‘_or¿` holder> for a pair of supporting members, in the first> embodiment. ` > ‘ ' 2,403,942 4 3 Fig. 22 is a detail perspective View of one of the triggers of the nrst embodiment. Fig. 23 is a front elevation of the supplemental slide-bearing for the supporting member of the first embodiment, said slide-bearing being fixed to a respective mount or holder. n Fig. 24 is a detail view which shows a switch S, which has a switch arm Sa which is biased to the broken-line position, and which can be turned , to the full-line operative position to abut con~ tact Sb. Fig. -l shows a frame which comprises uprights I and a base 2. A lateral shaft I8 is turnably mounted in bear- , member 25B has a leg 2SA. Each leg 25A is clamped to the body of a respective coupling member 25, by a nut and bolt, as shown in Fig. 18. The shank of each bolt is located in a respective bore 25 of said bar-like body. Each pair of members 25B has parallel legs 23C, which are connected by a pivot member 26D, which serves as a pivot connecting member for the next adjacent link of the conveyer chain. An anti-friction roller R is turnably mounted oneach pivot member 26D. , The conveyer chain is of standard construction, so that further de tailed description is unnecessary. In this embodiment, each coupling member 25 is offset slightly relative to the pivot pins which connect the respective flink, to the two next ad Identical conveyer chains 20 and 20A have their Y jacent links. Each conveyer chain is under sufñ» respective top convex runs meshing respectively ’cient tension, so that such slight offset is not disadvantageous. Other standard chains are with sprockets I9 and ISA. Each chain 23 and known, whereby the axis of shank 2l could be 20A has a front, vertical, ascending run, and a located on the vertical median line of the respec rear, vertical, descending run. The vertical runs ings which are ñxed to uprights I. I9 and I9A are ñxed to shaft I8. Top sprockets - of each conveyer chain are located in the same transverse plane. The respective transverse planes in which said conveyor chains 20 and 20A tive link, and I can use such standard alternative construction. ~ As shown in Fig. 4, a supplemental bearing member 341s fixed to each holder 24. As shown operate, are parallel. Fig. 2 shows that each con in Fig. 23, each supplemental bearing member 34 veyer chain meshes with additional sprockets 22 has holes 32d, throughr which the Shanks of re and 23, so that each conveyer chain has a bottom spective screws can be passed, in order to ñx each inclined run 2l, which is inclined downwardly supplemental bearing member 34 to its holder 24. from front to rear. This is an optional detail, Each supplemental bearing member 34 has re because Fig. 3 shows that the bottom run of each 30 spective cylindrical bores 32B, which are laterally conveyer chain is horizontal. alined with respective cylindrical bores of the Fig. 1 shows a pair of laterally alined mounts bottom flange 3| of the respective holder 24. or holders 24. Each holder 24 is turnably con Two supporting rods or members 32 are slid nected t0 a link of its respective conveyer chain, so that each holder 24 can turn to-and-fro, about 35 ably associated with each holder 24. Each sup porting rod 32 is laterally slidable to-and-fro. a lateral axis which is parallel to the axis of As shown in Fig. 19, each cylindrical rod 32 shaft I8. The pairs of laterally alined holders has a rounded end 32C, an integral cylindrical 24 are provided along the conveyer chains 20 and collar 33, and a reduced supporting end-portion 20A, at equally spaced intervals. Each holder 24 is located laterally inwardly, relative to the 40 32A, which is also cylindrical, save Where it is cut away to provide the bottom planar face 31. respective conveyer chain. As shown in Fig. 5, each holder 24 is provided with a pair of support This cutting away gives greater clearance, during the stacking. ing rods or members 32, upon which a respective part of the respective tray is supported. Each The cylindrical collars 33 of the rods 32 fit tray T is supported upon four respective members i , slidably in said cylindrical bores of the respective 32. Each tray T is therefore always held hori iiange 3l. As shown in Fig. 4, a compression spring 35 is located in each said bore of flange 3|. zontal, in the front and rear runs of the chains and also at the top runs of said conveyer chains. Each tray T and its two holders 24 can pass freely One end of each compression spring 35 abuts a respective collar 33. The other end of each com between the sprockets I9 and ISA, above the shaft 50 pression spring 35 abuts the end-wall of the re I8, so that each tray T is maintained in ‘a hori spective bore of flange 3i. Each compression zontal position, in the top runs of the chains 23 spring 35 therefore biases the respective rod 32, and 23A, as well as in the vertical runs of said laterally outwardly, towards an upright I. Fig. 4 and Fig. 21 show a clamping-mount 38. chains. Fig. 5 shows that each holder 24 is of triangular which is ñxed to each pair of rods 32. Each shape, clamping-mount 38 is located laterally inwardly As further shown in Figs. 4 and 5, each holder relative to its holder 24. As shown in Fig, 21, has a top bearing-hub 28, which has a cylindrical each clamping-mount 33 has respective hubs 39 bore which is parallel to the axis of shaft I8. and 39A, which have cylindrical bores, in which Figs. 14 and 15 show a coupling member 25, 60 the respective rods 32 are located. Said hubs 39 which is part of the means for fixing a holder and 39A are fixed detachably to the respective 24 to a respective link of a conveyer chain. Each rods 32, in any suitable manner. Each clamping said coupling member 25 has a cylindrical shank mount 38 may normally abut the respective 2l, which has a reduced and threaded end-por transverse face of the respective holder 24, so tion 29. Each cylindrical shank 21 fits in the that each spring 35 is maintained under initial cylindrical bore of a respective bearing-hub 28, biasing compression. Each clamping-mount 38 so that each holder 24 can turn freely on its asso moves laterally in unison with its respective two rods 32. ciated shank 21. This turnable assembly is main tained by a nut 30, as shown in Fig. 4. As shown in Figs. 14 and 15, each said coupling member, 25 has a bar-like body. Said bar-like body has parallel front and rear planar faces. The chains are provided at spaced intervals with links, each of which consists of two angular mem bers 26B, as shown in Fig. 18. Each said angular As shown in Fig,l 4, Fig. 5, and Fig. 21, each clamping-mount 33 is provided with a pair of depending lugs 45 and 45A, which have aligned lateral bores. As shown in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5, a pivot pin 46 is turnably located in the bores of each pair of said lugs 45 and 45A. Fig. 22 shows a trigger 41, which has a notched 2549359422' 51 6.. head43 and a tai1‘48. _Each said` trigger.' 41.» is~v spective; .tray~` isiunloadedi The .triggersßl caribe. ñxeditoa respective-pivot pin 46. Each trigger; thus set, at the.».tops.oficam-faces» 50.-` 'I§he;».second,embodiment of themeans for. sup-v 41;v is biased bygr-avity. or by a-springîtoftheihori-` zontal position which is shown in :brokenlinesinz Fig, 4. A conventional stop. may IbeY provided, in order to prevent each trigger 41irom turning-be» yond said horizontal position.. Referring to Fig. 4, wheneach clamping-mount` 38-is.in.the inoperative position. which is `shown portingfthe; trays T will `now be described. Fig.. '1 and Fig. .-1.1 show a. holderA frame 63. which- has vertical legs 63A which areseparated by a vertical space 1G.. As shown in Fig. 13, the; bottoms of legs;53A are connected to a 'lf-shaped in_fulllines intheflower partici Fig, ítandto>` »Asshow-n in Fig..12, each leg 53A<has¢an` which it is biasedby. therespective` two . springs. angular: horizontal.. cross-section. Intermediate> the top and bottom of holder frame 63, said;legs 63A are integral with` lateral. hubs` 64; and with another. hub 80. Hubs 64 have: laterally alined. 3.5„the respectivetríggerü abuts the respective. holder 24, s0 that the respective trigger t!! iszheld» in. theiinclined positionwhich is shown. inFig'. 4 in .full.lines, with. the ,-respcctiveltail 48 below the respectíve. head . 49. Fig. 4. showsone of. a laterally. alined pair of cam-.members 5l, each .of which is providedwith, a lower planar face 56 which is. upwardly and inwardly laterally inclined; with an intermediate verticalplanar .face 53, and with-atop planar facel 52 which is inclined reversely tot bottom planar face 50.. The provision ofthe top planar face 52 is optional. These cam-faces 5U'. 53, and 52 are provided in 25 a. recessed end-face `of each. cam-member 5l. The bottom of the setting station begins at. thehorizontal lateral` line which connects the . bottoms oi the lower planar; faces 5.0. insert 63B. ` . - , cylindrical bores 6.5,_and.hub 80l hasa cylindrical. bore 81, which is located:centrally,> between. legs? 63A. Fig. 16.shows the couplingmember 60 whichis. used in. the second. embodiment. This > is-similar.. to. the coupling; member 25. of the ñrst em‘bodi-»ment. Coupling member 60. has aV cylindrical. shank _8.3, a .threaded and reduced end-portion 85; and bores 6 l; The shank 83 is located in the bore8| of. a. respective.“ hub 60, so that `the- respectivel holder frame 63 is freely turnable relative to. shankV 83. This` turnable assembly is maintained“ by a nut whichis‘screwed uponfend-portion. 85.. Thefcoupling member. 60' isV clamped to` a linl:V which‘ consists of’a> pair` of members 26B, asain the first embodiment» In each embodiment, theA respective holder. canbe. turnably mounted. upon a pivot which turnably connects a pair of links` ofthe conveyor chain. Figs. 8 and 9 showa supporting frame 55; which As shown in Fig. 4, Fig. 5, and Fig. 2l, each clamping-mount. 38 has.- an` upstanding vertical armç4û, which is .provided with a vertical recess 4l, whose.end-wall.has.a.hole.44. Fig. 20. shows one oi tbe angular clamping- springs 42. Each clamping spring42has ar perforated leg 43, which. t ‘ is pivoted-to, frame 63, by» means of a pivotrpinV íits in a respective recess 4|. Asuitable bolt or ~rivet clamps each clamping spring 42 to its re spective arm 45.. The. bent. clamping springsAZ. Sëwhich is located in-the.- bores 65 of»` hubs-.64, and inthe transversely alined bores B?œof bear» ings 5S§of1frame 55. A biasing compression spring` extend laterally` inwardly. towards each other,. 68 has its; ends located in respective recesses» 62 40 and ..6 9. offrames 55~and 63. from their arms 40. Each supportingframe 55 is` provided withV a. The rods 32. are moved to the broken line oper-» ative position shown in Fig..4., below` the load-pair of supporting lugs 58, for supporting the respective part of` the respectivetray»Y T. Each ing- station at ,whicha tray. is loadedon four re spective rods 32. Hence, when a tray is thus. frame 55'also. has a. pairrof rolls 15 turnably: loaded, the respective. two springs 42=are already 45 mounted on'studs which are fixed to said-frame. in clamping position. These springs 4.2 `are bentl 55.? . Each frame 55 is; also provided with depend-` awayfromfeach other when a trayy isloadedby ing lugs. 56, which‘have alined bores 51. The'latch' sliding it. horizontally into positiornso thatsaid. 1| whichzis shown in Fig. 17 has avheadz13rand a twobent springs 42 then resiliently.. clampfthe. tail 12, anda bore 14. A latch 1| ispivotally con respective tray. At the bottom of; the setting` station, the rounded. ends32C of the respective rodsÍ 32 con.-A tact with the inwardly` inclinedcamffaces 50. so that the respective rodsY 32` of the respectivey holders 24 are pushed laterally inwardly towards. each other, against the'force- of the four respective biasing springs 35,4 while the twofront runsof. the conveyor` chains are movedupwardly. The broken~1ine position of the rod 32 in Fig. 4 shows the limit of its respective lateral inward. move-1 ment. Each trigger 41 iszthus freed from the respective holder 24, so that each trigger is turned to and held in the horizontal position. which is` shown inbreken lines in Fig. 4; by the biasing force of‘gravity'or a spring. The end-walljotthef tail 48 of'each trigger '-is‘ then. very> close to the. respective planar transverse wall of the respective » holder 24. When the rods 32‘rise above the tops ofithe'vertical faces 53, the springs 35 laterally. outwardly force the four rods 32. The end-facez of each tail 48` is thus ’firmly Apressed againstthe respective holder 24, so that the triggers 41. re.-V main in the operative .positions whichare. in-.l dicated. by broken lines in Fig, 4, untiltheare nectedztoeachipair of lugs 55, by~meansota pivot` pin-.which islocated inthe- respective bore 14, and.Y inithe'respective bores 51. As in the first embodiment, gravity or a spring-. biases each 1atch‘1lto a horizontal position, said position beinglshown in full lines in Fig. '7. A stop is provided to prevent eachlatch 1I from turning beyond’said horizontal position. ‘ The rolls 15 ride>` against .thecam faces 50, ¿3` and 52 which are shown in Fig. 4, because the cam-members5l are also used in the secondem» bodiment».v ’ Below the locking station and the loading sta~ tion in_the frontruns `of the chains, the; position of each supporting frameï55frelative to its ‘holder ` frame 63 is shown in broken lines'in‘Fig. 7. At the loadingxstation; each supporting' frameV 55 is’ located as shown. inl full lines. in Fig; ’1. Hence, when a ti'ay1is: slid horizontally into posi tion; the -two respective supportingfframes 55 have been- pre-set-into the full-lineposition of Figf'l. As thexfront runs of the chains are vmoved-'up-A wardly, the-two' `pairs ofy rolls>` 15 Contact with lthe two. carnffaces` 50,.so that. the top of‘eachi supporting frame 55 is forced"towards"theftop“ of. its companion holder’frame. 63,.th11's com:l . 2,403,942 8v pressing the two respective springs 68. This per-` mits each respective latch'iI to turn to the full line position shown in Fig. 7. When the rolls 'I5 pass above the cam-faces 5I), the end-walls of the tails l2 of the triggers ‘II abut the inserts 63B of -the frames 63, so that each frame 55 is held locked in the-full-line vpick-up position of Fig'. 7. Each-tray is held clamped between a pair of supporting frames 55. For this purpose, each supporting frame 55 can optionally be provided with a clamping spring of the type shown-in Fig. 20. Figßl illustrates the automatic unloading and stop 16A is then moved up, in order to prevent the feeding of the next tray. This stop 16A is moved up-and-down at recurrent intervals, in the usual manner. The feeding mechanism also includes the usual fixed stops 16B, which prevents the over-feed ing of a tray T, so that each tray T is fed into proper position at the loading station. After the stack of unloaded trays has reached a predetermined height, the machine automati cally pushes said stack of trays off the unloading or receiving platform, to a conveyer 'of any suit able type. For this purpose, I provide a single-revolution of thefchains ZIJ and 20A. The top tray of the 15 clutch IIA of any conventional type, such as the previously stacked, vertical pile of trays is shown “Hilliard” single-revolution clutch. This single in position A. The position of the next tray, revolution clutch IIA includes a sprocket II, stacking of the trays, at the rear vertical runs whichis to beA released from the two respective supporting frames 55,’is indicated by the refer which is coupled to slow-speed shaft 3A by chain Iû and sprocket 6. When clutch IIA is tripped, it moves the pusher-arm IIB in a single reciprocation. The are lowered to the unloading position, the heads 13 of the two respective triggers ’II strike against pusher-arm IIB is pivotally connected to a the transverse edges of the tray in the “A” posi pusher 541 When the clutch I iA is thus tripped, tion. ~Each trigger 'II is thus turned to the in pusher 54 is moved to the right of its position clinedy position, which lis illustrated in Fig. 7. 25 which i's shown in Fig. 2, in order to push the Each compression spring 68 and the force of stack of piled trays off the unloading platform. gravity will then turn the respective supporting and pusher 5d is then moved back to said posi frame 55 to the broken-line release positiontion, and its movement is then stopped until which is shown in Fig. 7, so that the tray in the clutch I IA is again tripped. “B” position willv be released from the four re 30 Fig. 1 shows the location of a switch S which spective lugsväß. Each tray is thus piled on top controls the single-revolution clutch IIA. When of the vertical pile of trays, with little or no switch S is closed, said clutch IIA is tripped', in shock. When the bottom tray of the pile is to be order to impart a single reciprocation to pusher released from the two respective frames 55, the 54, as previously stated. Switch S is closed when heads ‘I3 of the t'wo respective triggers 'il will its arm Sa is moved to touch contact Sb, by one strike against the transverse edges of the un of the descending rods 32. loading or receiving platform on which the trays Referring to the ñrst embodiment, as each are vertically stacked. Said platform can be of tray T is unloaded, the respective four rods 32 smaller dimensions than the trays, so that the are released by the respective two triggers 41, first or bottom tray is unloaded on said platform. so that said four rods 32 are moved to their full without moving the supporting frames 55 to said line positions which are shown in Fig. 4, by broken-line position. the respective four compression springs 35. This In order to unload the trays from the rods movement is transverse to the plane of the paper 32, in the first embodiment, the heads 49 of trig in Fig. 1. ’ ` 45 gers 4'! strike against Vthe respective transverse Switch S is located at a suitable height above edges of the last-unloaded tray. This turns, the the unloading platform, so that when the top triggers 41 to theirY inclined positions, so that tray of the stack is unloaded upon the top of compression springs Säcan move the rods 32 to said stack, a respective rod 32 will close switch S, their release positions, in which said rods 32 re 50 as the top tray is unloaded from the conveyer lease the respective tray. As in the second em chains to the top of the stack. bodiment, the rods 32 can be maintained in their Immediately after said top tray is thus de inner positions, in unloading'the bottom tray of posited upon the top of the stack, the one-revo the stack. lution clutch IIA is tripped, so that the pile of ence letter B. As the two respective frames 55 20 Fig. 2 shows an electric motor H which has a stacked trays is pushed off the unloading plat shaft M@ Said shaft M is co-upled by pulley 9, 55 form. belt 8, and pulley 5, to the high-speed shaft of a The arm Sa of switch S is biased to the cir speed-reducing mechanism which is located in cuit-opening position, 'so that it Will open the casing 3. This speed-reducing mechanism is not control circuit of clutch IIA, as soon as the re shown, because it is conventional` and well spective rod 32 is moved below its switch-actuat known per se. Said speed-reducing mechanism 60 ing position. _ has a slow-speed shaft 3A, whose ends project Said switch S and its control circuit are con from casing 3. ventional per se, so that they _require no detailed Slow-speed shaft 3A is coupled to shaft I8 by illustration. 'sprockets I5 and Il and chain I5. Since the switch S is operated only once, dur 65 The trays T are fed to the front ascending ing each removal of a pile of stacked trays, there runs of the conveyer chains 2li and 20A, by con is minimum Isparking at the contact Sb of said ventional feeding mechanism which includes an switch. ` endless feed-belt 16. Said feed-belt 'I6 is lo In the second embodiment, the switch S is op cated on two pulleys. The shaft of one of said erated by the movement of a holding frame 55 to pulleys has a sprocket I4, which is coupled `by the release position which is shown in broken chain I2 to sprocket 1V of slow-speed shaft 3A. lines in Fig. 7, when said frame 55 and its com Said feed-mechanism has the conventional , movable stop -16A, which is moved down in order to permit a tray T to be fed upon the conveyer chains V.by the frictional drive of belt 1B. Said panion frame deposit the top tray of a stack, upon the top of said stack. I have disclosed preferred illustrative embodi 2,403,942 10 ments of my invention, but numerous changes ative position, each said latch then holding the respective supporting means against the biasing and omissions and additions can be made without departing from its scope. The scope of the in means which bias the respective supporting vention includes the sub-combinations disclosed means to inoperative position. herein, in addition to the entire mechanism. 3. In a machine for stacking objects, endless CH In each embodiment, the ascending and paral conveyor means which have an ascending portion lel vertical runs of the conveyer chains have and a descending portion, actuating means to respective pairs of holders which are directed actuate said conveyor means in an endless path, laterally towards each other between said runs. said machine having a loading station at said Each holder comprises a member 24 or 63 which is connected to the respective run, and movable supporting means 32 cr 55. The supporting means S2 or 55 of one run are movable laterally towards and away from the other respective run. The supporting means 32 and 55 are biased to inoperative posi-tion by respective springs 35 and 68. The machine has automatic setting means, exemplified by the Cam members 5I but not lim ited thereto, which set the movable supporting means to operative position below the loading 20 ascending portions, said machine having pick-up holder-devices for picking up the objects, said holder-devices being arranged in laterally alined pairs, each holder-device comprising a holder member which is connected to said conveyor means and supporting means which are movable relative to the respective holder-member, said supporting means being laterally movable to wards each other to operative positions to pick up an object and being laterally movable away from each other to inoperative positions to re lease the respective picked-up object, said sup porting means being biased to inoperative posi tion, automatic setting means which actuate said which is movably connected to the respective supporting means to operative position below said holder and which is biased to operative position. 25 loading station so that each pair of holder-de station. Each said holder has automatic means for maintaining the respective supporting means in operative position, as exemplified by a latch vices picks up a respective object at said loading In the illustrations disclosed herein, each latch is pivotally associated with the respective sup station, each said holder-device having a latch porting means, even though there is no direct which is movable relative to the respective pivotal connection between the supporting means holder-device and which is biased to latching and the latch. Each latch is moved back into 30 position to hold the respective supporting means inoperative position when an upward force is in operative position when said supporting means are thus actuated into operative position, an un exerted thereon. loading support for supporting the released and I claim: 1. In a machine for stacking objects, a pair stacked objects, said support being located at said of endless conveyor chains which have respective 3.3 descending portions, each said latch being located to contact with the next preceding object which ascending runs which are parallel to each other, said machine having a loading station between the tops and bottoms of said ascending runs, means to actuate said chains in unison, said chains having respective pairs of holders, said holders being directed laterally towards each is supported on said unloading support, said con tact moving said latch to unlatching position. 4. A machine according to claim 3 which has a pusher for pushing the stacked objects 01T said unloading support, said machine having push mechanism for actuating said pusher, said push other between said runs, each said holder com prising a member which is connected to the re mechanism having a control member which is spective run and movable supporting means located above said unloading support, said push which are movable laterally towards and away 45 mechanism being actuated to operate said pusher from the other respective run, the movable sup in a, single stroke when said control member is porting members of each said pair being con structed and shaped to hold a respective object intermediate said runs when said supporting means are in operative position, biasing means 50 which bias said supporting means to inoperative actuated, said control member being located to be actuated by a respective supporting means when said respective supporting means is moved to in oiperlative position to release the top object of said s ac . position, said machine having automatic setting 5. In a stacking machine, the sub-combination means which are operative to force said support ing means into operative position below said load ing station so that said supporting means pick up said object at said loading station, each said holder having automatic means for maintaining the respective supporting means in operative of a conveyer, a holder-device connected to said operative position and being moved into operative member being biased to its inoperative position, position when said supporting means are moved a latch movably associated with said supporting conveyer, said holder-device comprising a holder member which is connected to said conveyer and a supporting member which is movably con nected to said holder member, said supporting member being movable relative to said holder position, said automatic means comprising a member to an operative supporting position and latch which is movably connected to the respec 60 being also movable relative to said holder mem ber to an inoperative position, said supporting tive holder, said latch being biased to move into to operative position, each said latch being moved member so that said latch and said supporting to its inoperative position when an upward force 65 member are movable in unison relative to said is exerted thereon. holding member, said latch being biased to an 2. A machine according to claim 1 in which operative latching position in which it abuts said each said latch is pivotally associated with said holder-member to maintain said supporting mem supporting means; each said latch being located ber in predetermined operative position relative intermediate the respective holder and its respec 70 to said holder-member. tive supporting means when said latch is in oper STEPHEN P. MA'I'HERS.