Oct; .29, 1946; W. 'H. KITTO _ 2,410,292 REFRIGERATION Filed Feb. 26, 1938 ' . INVAENTOR M11121}; 12 [(2110 ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 29, 1946 2,410,292 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,410,292 REFRIGERATION William H. Kitto, Canton, Ohio, assignor to The Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio, 2:. cor-i poration of Ohio Application February 26, 1938, Serial No. 192,723 12 Claims. ((31. 62.—108..5,) 1 2 This invention relates to refrigeration and applied to the mechanism to release a single group of ice cubes. more particularly to a means for removing ice cubes from domestic refrigerator trays. It is a further object of the invention to pro vide an ice cube release mechanism character ized by’ the fact that ice cubes are progressively released as a manual lever is moved through its range of movement, and the entire grid is then moved relatively to the tray by the same move In the past it has been customary to remove ,ice cubes from domestic refrigerator trays by melting the cubes loose from the trays or by means of a linkage mechanism which severed the bonds between the cube and the walls of the individual cube compartments. However, much ice was lost by the method of melting the ice cubes free from the ice cube tray, and the cubes so released were not only reduced in size, but they had a slick wet surface. Previous mechan ical devices designed to release ice cubes from the walls of the ice cube compartment have not been satisfactory by reason of the fact that they do not loosen the cube completely and require ‘ ment. It is another object of the invention to provide an ice cube release mechanism which simultane ously imparts to the cube to be released move ment in directions at angles each to the other. It is another object of the invention to provide an ice tray release mechanism in which the ice cubes to be released are moved‘ in a direction to separate the same entirely from the ice tray as excessive forces or impractical complex mech they are being released. anisms to achieve the desired end. It is a further object of the invention to pro~ Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to 20 vide an ice cube release mechanism which si provide a mechanism which will readily and pos multaneously moves an ice cube to be released itively release ice cubes from the surrounding into a zone having a volume greater than the vol walls of the ice cube compartment without re ume of the ice cube and simultaneously imparts quiring the operator to apply excessive forces movement to the ice cube in such large volume and which may be embodied in a simple, easily 25 zone. ' manufactured mechanism. It is a further object of- the invention to pro According to the invention, there is provided an vide an ice cube release mechanism character ice tray within which rests a grid forming a plu ized by the fact; that the ice cube is caused to rality of ice cube compartments. Ice cubes are move in a generally vertical direction while riding released from each compartment by inducing a along the surface of a plane inclined slightly relative movement between the walls of the from the vertical. compartment and the cube contained therein. It is a further object of the invention to pro More speci?cally, a simple mechanical mecha vide an ice cube tray release mechanism which nism is provided which operates to move some of simultaneously applies a Wedging action to one the walls of the ice cube compartment relatively 35 or more faces of the ice cube undergoing release. to the other walls thereof whereby the bond Other objects of the invention will become ap between the ice cube and the walls of the com parent as the description proceeds when taken in partment is broken. In one form of the inven connection with the accompanying drawing, in tion, movement of one wall of each ice cube com which: partment induces a movement of the ice cube Figure l is a perspective view, partly broken relative to another wall of the compartment and away, of an embodiment of the invention, and one of the Walls of the compartment is designed > Figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the to force the cube to move relatively to the mov device shown in Figure 1; ing wall in order that the cube may be freed com Figure 3 is_ a fragmentary view illustrating a 45 pletely from every wall to which it adheres. modifmationl. It is a further object of the invention to pro Figure 4, is a fragmentary view illustrating an vide an ice cube release mechanism in which the other modi?cation. ' total force applied to the release mechanism is The embodiment of the invention, herein, dis applied directly and entirely to individual groups of ice cubes through a leverage mechanism, and 50 closed comprises a metal ice tray ill adapted to in which a plurality of ice cubes are released pro gressively by a single movement as force is con tlnuously applied to the releasing mechanism whereby the total force applied at any given in stant need only be equal to that necessary to be be inserted in the freezing compartmentv of a domestic refrigerator, and is provided with a. bottom wall H, front and rear walls 12 and. I3, respectively, and side walls ill. The front and . sidewalls of the tray are inclined upwardly and 2,410,292 3 outwardly and terminate in a laterally outwardly extending rim [5. 4 from the front to the rear of the tray, and there after the cam 4| engages the cam seat 42 to raise the grid it. The grid assembly is removably sup ported in the tray by means of open-topped bear wardly tapered partition H and transverse plates 5 ings 45 formed in the end walls of the tray to accommodate a lateral extension 48 on the lever l8, I9, 29 and 2 l. The transverse plates and cen 43 and a portion 41 of the rearmost projection 35 ter partition cooperates with the tray to form on the center partition I1. pairs of ice cube chambers 22, 23, 24, 2'5 and 28 In order to loosen the ice cubes from the grid on opposite sides of the partition H. Partition Removably disposed in the tray I0 is a grid it which includes a central upwardly and out I‘! is provided with slots 21 to loosely and slidably 10 and tray, the lever 43 is rotated through a verti cal arc of substantially 186° until it rests on the rim I5 of the side wall of the tray opposite to the position shown in Figure 1. Rotation of the lever 43 causes the cam 38 at the front of the tray to engage the upper de?ning edge 39 of the open ing 48 in the transverse plate l8 and raises the receive the unbroken portions of the transverse‘ plates, the latter being provided with slots at their lower ends for loosely and slidably receiving the unbroken portions of the partition l1, whereby the transverse plates and the partition may be moved with respect to each other. As shown at 2B in Figure 1, the upwardly and outwardly tapered partition is undercut to re ceive the portions of the transverse plates adja cent their upwardly extending slots. In Figure 2 the transverse plates I8, i9, 29 and 2| are broken away to show the cooperation of these plates with latter with respect to the partition I‘! and the tray 50. Raising the transverse plate 18 causes the ?ange 33 to lift the ice cubes in the cham bers 22, 22 to free the ice cubes from the adja cent walls of the tray. As the ice cubes in the chambers 22, 22 are lifted they are moved with their raising means to be later described. The central partition I1 is also shown partly broken respect to the outwardly and upwardly tapered verse ‘plates cooperate. As can be seen from this away from the transverse plate l8. Every sur face of the ice cubes in the chambers 22, 22 which is in contact with any part of the tray or grid wall of the center partition I1, and due to this away adjacent the transverse plate 28 to show 25 tapered wall the ice cubes are forced toward the side walls I4 of the tray, whereby they are sheared how the slots of the central partition and trans ?gure, the partition I‘! extends from end to end of the tray below the slots 21. Each transverse plate is provided at its lower assembly is accordingly loosened from the grid and tray and supported on the ?anges 30, 30 on the transverse plate l8. Continued rotation of the lever 43 causes the next cam 38 to engage the lower end of the center partition I‘! is a ?ange upper de?ning edge 39 of the opening 40 in the 3! extending into the ice cube chambers 26 at the opposite sides of the partition IT. The shelves 35 transverse plate l9 to raise the latter with re end with a ?ange or shelf 30 extending into the ice cube chambers 22, 23, 24. and 25. while at the spect to the center partition I‘! and the tray, to 3!) and 3| operate to support and lift the ice cubes thereby break the bonds of the ice cubes in the in their respective chambers when the transverse chambers 23, 23 from the grid and tray. Upon plates are raised with respect to the tray and further rotation of the lever 43, the ice cubes in center partition. In order to shear the ice cubes from the transverse plates, the center partition A10 the chambers 24 and 25 will be released in suc cession. I1 is tapered, that is, its upper portion 32 is wider This release of the ice cubes in pairs is ac than its lower portion 33, and operates to force complished due to the fact that the cams 38 the ice cubes towards the side walls of the tray come into engagement with their respective to free the ice cubes from the transverse plates 45 transverse plates in succession from the front to as the latter lifts the ice cubes. the rear of the tray, and accordingly very slight Disposed along the upper portion of the parti manual effort is required to rotate the lever 43 tion I‘! are spaced aligned projections 35, each to completely release the ice cubes from the' provided with a circular bore 38 in which is rotat grid and tray. Furthermore, it will be observed ably mounted a shaft 31 of hexagonal cross sec tion extending throughout the length of the tray. 50 that a very considerable force is applied to the frozen bonds between the ice and the tray ele Arranged between the projections or bearings 35 ments because of the mechanical advantage pro and rigidly secured to the shaft 31 are cams 38 vided by the novel arrangement of levers, cams which are disposed for engagement with the up and inclined surfaces of my grid assembly. per de?ning edges 39 of the openings 48 provided in the transverse plates, so as to raise the latter 55 After the ice cubes in the chambers 25, 25 have been loosened, the cam 4| engages the cam with respect to the partition I‘! and the tray l8. seat 42 which raises the center partition I‘! with‘ Referring to Figure 2 it will be noted that the respect to the tray. Raising the partition I‘! upper de?ning edge 39 of the opening 40 in the causes the flanges 3| to lift and loosen the ice transverse plate l8 normally rests upon its cam 38, and the upper de?ning edges 39 of the open (:0 cubes in the chambers 26, 26 from the tray l0, and the ice cubes will cling to the center parti- ings 49 in the remaining transverse plates are tion I‘! and be supported on the ?anges 3! from spaced progressively a greater distance from their which they can be easily removed by the opera respective cams 38 from the front to the rear of tor. The operator may then remove the grid the tray. Attached to the rear end of the shaft 31 is a cam 65 from the tray, and the ice cubes in the cham bers 23, 24, 25 and 26 will be supported on their 41 staggered with respect to the cams 38 and is respective ?anges, whereby the grid when re; adapted to engage a cam seat 42 formed by moved from the tray also provides a holder for punching out a portion of the rear wall 13 of the the ice cubes which may be removed from the tray Ill. The shaft 3‘! and cams 38 and 4| are rotated by a lever 43 secured to the forward end 70 grid as needed. A modi?ed form of transverse plate I 0| is illus of the shaft 31. Rotation of the lever 43 through trated in Figure 3. This plate is identical with a vertical arc of substantially 180° causes the the plates l8 to 2! except that the ?ange 30_has cams 38 to successively engage the upper de?n been eliminated and one face of the plate is ing edges 39 of the openings in the transverse plates to raise the latter singly and in succession 75 tapered forwardly and downwardly; that is, the 2,410,292 rear faces I02 of the transverse plates are sub stantially vertical but the bottom portions I03 of the plates are appreciably wider than the top por tions I'M thereof. This form of the invention operates similarly 6 stood that this embodiment is to be taken as il lustrative. only and not in a limiting sense. I do not wish to be limited to the structure shown but to include all equivalent variations thereof except as limited by the scope of the appended claims. to the form ?rst described except that the in I claim: clined faces of the transverse plates not only lift 1. A removable grid for forming ice cubes in an the ice cubes vertically, but they tend to shear or ice tray including a partition and a plurality of twist the cubes with respect to the other walls of transverse plates movable with respect to said the ice cube chambers including the tapered por 10 partition, said transverse plates having cam en tions of the center partition. Therefore, there gaging surfaces lying in successively higher are forces tending to move the cubes simulta planes, a cam associated with each of said cam neously in three directions when the manual lever surfaces, and means operable to bring said cams 43 is rotated. These forces are as follows: Ver into engagement with said cam surfaces for mov tical or lifting forces applied by the inclined faces 15 ing said transverse plates with respect to said of the transverse plates; forwardly (of the tray) directed forces applied by the inclined faces of the transverse plates; laterally directed forces applied by the inclined faces of the center parti tion. These forces insure a complete and easy .20 separation of the ice cubes and the walls of the ice cube compartments. If desired, the ice cube supports 3| on the center partition I‘! may be removed and the transverse plate 2| provided with ?anges 30’ that extend into 2.5. the ice-cube chambers 25 and 26, as shown in partition. 2. A removable grid for forming ice cubes in an ice tray including a partition and a plurality of transverse plates movable with respect to said partition, at least certain of said transverse plates having means to support ice cubes, said transverse plates having cam surfaces, a cam for each of said cam surfaces, and means operable to bring ?rst one and then another of said cams into engage ment with said cam surfaces to raise said trans verse plates and ice supporting means with re Figure 4, whereby upon raising the transverse spect to said partition to loosen ice cubes from said partition. plate 2|, the ice cubes in the chambers 25 and 26 will be loosened from the tray, center partition 8. An ice tray and an ice 'cube forming grid and transverse plates. 30 therefor, said grid comprising a longitudinal Although I have shown the upper de?ning edges plate and a plurality of transverse plates associ 39 of the openings 46 in the transverse plates ated therewithv and cooperating with one another staggered with respect to the cams 38, they can and said tray to form ice molds, and manually be arranged in alignment and the cams 38 stag controlled lever means journaled on said tray and gered with respect to each other, or the cams 38 operable upon rotation thereof to raise said trans may be provided with different cam surfaces, to verse partitions in a predetermined sequence raise the transverse plates one by one in succes whereby the operating force on said manual sion from the front to the rear of the tray. means is applied solely to the breaking of the ice bonds between certain of the partitions and The ice cube release mechanism herein dis certain of the ice cubes at any given instant. closed provides a means whereby a moving wall of each ice cube compartment moves the cube 4. In combination with an ice tray, an ice cube therewith into a portion of the compartment forming grid comprising an elongated partition having a, greater volume and cross-sectional area and a plurality of shorter spaced apart partitions than that portion originally occupied by the ice disposed crosswise of and freely movable in a cube. As the ice cube is moved into the zone of 45 vertical direction with respect to said elongated large volume, it is caused to shift within such partition, and lever means having a control han zone in a direction at an angle to its original di rection Of movement and relatively to the moving wall whereby to free the cube from that moving wall. The force moving the cube in one direc- ‘' tion is applied through a mechanical force trans mitting mechanism having a large mechanical advantage. The force moving the cube in the other direction is applied by moving the cube along the surface of an inclined plane which again has a large mechanical advantage. The individual pairs of cubes and the grid are re leased from the tray by force applied to a manual dle movable in a continuous manner in substan tially the same plane to move ?rst one of said cross partitions and then another to free the ice cubes therefrom and to raise all of said partitions simultaneously with respect to said tray. 5. In liquid congealing apparatus, the combina tion of a pan member, a metallic grid structure removably positioned therein for dividing the pan member into a plurality of cells for contain ing ice cubes, said grid structure including a central longitudinal wall member and ‘longitudi nally spaced elements each independently ver lever which moves in a plane but the various pairs tically movable with respect to said longitudinal of cubes and the grid are released separately and 60 member, means on the grid structure for raising progressively as the manual lever reaches differ the grid structure from the pan member and ent points in its range of movement. These fea means carried by said grid structure for actuat ing the movable elements to break the bond be tween the ice cubes and the grid structure, said completely the ice cubes and the grid by a single 65 last mentioned means being operable to afford movement of a lever by the operator and with movement of said movable elements to effect sep a minimum instantaneous application of force to aration of less than the entire number of the the lever. entire number of ice cubes from the grid struc If desired, the grid may be released from the ture. tray prior to release of the individual ice cubes by 6. The combination with a tray adapted to con changing the relative positions of the cams 4| and tain a substance to be frozen, of a grid structure 38. Also the cam 4! may be placed at the forward normally positioned in the tray and having a portion of the ice tray if desired. longitudinal wall and a plurality of transverse While I have illustrated and described only one walls dividing the interior of the tray into a plu_ embodiment of my invention, it is to be under 75 rality of compartments, means carried by said tures combine to produce an ice cube release mechanism which may be operated to release 2,410,292 7 8 grid and disposed in a position to exert a force ,9. In a device of the character described, a tray, a longitudinal wall having a plurality of sleeves on its upper edge, a plurality of transverse walls, each having an opening therethrough ad against the tray to thereby move the grid together with. frozen substance thereon relative to the tray,- and means associated with and operable by said ?rst named means for engaging and moving ,jecent its upper edge, said walls being loosely each of said transverse walls vertically relative to the longitudinal wall progressively from one end to the other end of the grid structure to thereby release the frozen substance therefrom. mortised in one another, a shaft having straight extending transversely to said longitudinal wall in spaced apart relation along the length there of and dividing the tray into a plurality of ice block compartments, said single transverse walls relative to' the longitudinal wall. portions and offset portions, said shaft extending through said sleeves and openings, with said straight portions in the sleeves and said offset 7. A freezing apparatus for liquids comprising 10 portions in said opening, a lever for actuating said shaft, said leverv being connected to said in combination, a tray having a grid structure shaft at one end thereof and adapted, when being removably disposed therein, said grid structure moved, to lift said shaft and walls as a unit and, including a vertically disposed longitudinal wall to rotate said shaft to move said transverse walls and a plurality of vertically disposed single walls being vertically movably attached to said grid structure, means on the grid structure for elevat ing said grid structure together with ice blocks thereon relative to the tray, and means for mov ing 'said'transverse walls vertically relative to said longitudinal wall progressively from one portion to another portion of said grid structure to break the bond between the ice blocks and, said grid walls. . - 8. A freezing apparatus for liquids comprising ' . ' 10. In combination with a freezing tray, a grid having a longitudinal partition removably sup ported therein, a series of transverse partitions vertically movably carried by the longitudinal 20 partition and extending some distance above the same, and an operating bar carried by the grid and adapted to extend through openings in said extensions and adapted to vertically and succes sively move said transverse partitions. 11. In combination with a freezing tray, a grid having a longitudinal partition removably sup ported therein, a series of transverse partitions vertically movably carried by the longitudinal partition and extending some distance above the movably disposed therein, said grid structure in 30 same, aligned openings in said transverse parti tions above the longitudinal partition, and an cluding a longitudinal wall and a plurality of operating bar adapted to be supported by the walls extending transversely to said longitudinal longitudinal partition and adapted to extend wall in spaced apart relation along the length through the openings in the transverse partitions, thereof, and dividing the interior of the tray into said bar being adapted to vertically move the a plurality of ice block compartments, means for transverse partitions by a rotary motion thereof. elevating said grid structure together with ice 12. In combination, an ice tray for a domestic blocks‘ thereon relative to the tray, means lying refrigerator, a grid assembly positioned therein over said longitudinal wall and having a portion to form a plurality of compartments, said grid as thereof ‘engageable with each of said transverse walls adjacent the point of intersection of said 40 sembly comprising a longitudinal grid member and a plurality of lateral grid members inter?t Walls for movably securing the transverse walls ted therewith along the length thereof for move to the grid structure, and means connecting said ment in a vertical direction thereto, a rotatable two means together and being so constructed and shaft associated with said grid assembly, said arranged that operation of said ?rst named shaft having means thereon for moving said lat means actuates said second named means to eral gridmembers vertically with respect to said move said transverse walls vertically relative to longitudinal grid member. said longitudinal wall progressively from one end to the other end of said grid structure to break WILLIAM H. KITTO. the bond between the ice blocks and said grid in combination, a tray having a grid structure re walls.