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Патент USA US3029781

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April 17, 1962
Filed March 21, 1960
United States Patent 0 " ice
Patented Apr. 17, 1962
FIG. 1 shows a front view of a control panel for a
Ronald Wiiiiam Todhunter, Peterhorough, and David
Balfour Urquhart, London, England, assignors to
A.E.;I.-Hotpoint Limited, ‘London, Engiand, a British
Filed Mar. 21, 1960, Ser. No. 16,476
(Jlaims priority, application Great Britain Apr. 15, 1959
5 Qlaims‘. (Cl. 116-124)
This invention relates to control panels especially ap
plicable to electric ‘washing ‘machines of the kind com
prising a motor driven agitator or clothes container and
washing machine having a motor-driven agitator and
electric water heater; and
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the panel taken
along the line A—A in FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawing a pair of control knobs 1 and
2 for pre-setting a timing device and thermostat respec
tively and effective to control the wash period and the
wash temperature are mounted on a control panel 3 of
10 transparent plastic material. Extending between the con
trol knobs 1 and 2 and applied to the rear surface 3a of
the panel 3 are three horizontal bands 4, 5 and 6 of
different colours and containing the Words “Fine Fabrics,”
“Colourfast” and “Whites and Heavy Wash” also applied
As is well known it is necessary to wash various fabrics 15 ‘to the ‘surface 3a, said colour bands being illuminated
from behind the panel if desired when the panel is ?tted
for different periods and at different temperatures if the
an electric Water heater.
to the machine. The colour bands 4, 5 and 6 contain the
best ‘results are to be achieved. For this purpose a
markings 2 and 4, 6 and 8, and .10 and 12 minute gradua
washing machine may comprise a timing device which
tions adjacent the control knob 1 so that by adjustments
can be pre-set to provide the requisite period of agitation
or wash period while the desired wash temperature may 20 of the latter the timing device can be pre-set to time any
, be obtained by suitable adjustment of a thermostat elec
trically connected in the water heater circuit of the ma
chine with a visual indication being provided if desired
wash period up to twelve minutes. The bands 4 and 5
contain the words “Cool” and “Warm” respectively adja
cent the control knob 2 while band 6 contains the words
“Hot" and “Boil.” If desired the words just vabove re
when the requisite Wash temperature is reached.
Control knobs for pre-setting and adjusting the timing 25 ferred to may be replaced by corresponding temperature
gra duations in degrees centigrade or Fahrenheit.
device and the thermostat may conveniently be mounted
The provision of a transparent panel enables the colour
such as with any indicator lamps on a control panel of
bands to be applied to the rear. surface of the panel thereby
the machine.
obviating the risk of the bands being partly or wholly
The present inventoin is directed to an improved control
panel such as for washing machines of the kind speci?ed 30 removed in the course of time due to continual cleaning
of the front face of the panel.
and other equipment in which for best results or maximum
In order to launder ?ne fabrics for example the con;
ei?ciency of the equipment under certain conditions it is
trol knob 2 will be rotated from its “off” position to the
necessary to co-ordinate various control settings.
mid-position of band 4, assuming average soiling of the
In accordance with the present invention there is pro
vided a control panel on which are mounted or which 35 fabrics, but if the fabrics are lightly or heavily soiled then
the knob will be suitably positioned on the appropriate
has associated with it at least two control knobs or other
side of the mid position. The heat control knob 2 serves
for pro-setting the thermostat connected in the water
heater circuit so that the appropriate wash temperature
markings having different characteristics and selectable
by said control knobs or other elements and whereby for 4:0 is selected. When the desired temperature is reached as
may be indicated by response of an indicator lamp 7 to
optimum results or maximum e?iciency when the equip;
the operation of the thermostat the control knob 1 will ment with which the panel is associated is required to
then be rotated from its “off” position to a position in
perform certain functions both of the control knobs or
band 4 corresponding to the position of the heat control
other elements can readily be positioned with indexing
knob 1 and as determined by the degree of soiling of
means thereof pointing to that band, line or equivalent
the fabrics. The wash control knob 1 as it is rotated from
marking appropriate to the desired function.
the “off” position causes the agitator motor to be ener
In one contemplated form of control panel according
gised and simultaneously a timing device is started into
to the invention bands of different colours, extend between
operation for timing the wash period (eg. two minutes
the control knobs and if desired the colour bands may
be further identi?ed such as by letters or words in con 50 in the case of lightly soiled ?ne fabrics) the agitator
motor being de-ene'rgised by the timing device at the end
trasting colours for example. For instance, in applying
of the selected wash period.
a control panel to an electric washing machine of the kind
In the case of “Colonrfast“ and “Whites and Heavy
hereinbefore speci?ed the control knobs will be arranged
Wash” articles bands 5 and 6 will be respectively selected
for pro-setting the timing device and thermostat respec
movable control elements between which or substantially
between which extend bands, lines or equivalent panel
tively While bands extending between the control knobs 55 by the control knobs, slight positional adjustments of the
knobs being made within the colour bands according to
hear such words as “Fine Fabrics,” “Colourfast,” “Whites
and Heavy Wash” respectively so that an operator Will
know at a glance to which band the control knobs should
point in order to get the best results when washing articles
From the foregoing it will be apparent that the inven
tion as applied to a Washing machine enables an operator
of the respective categories.
60 to select the wash period and wash temperature appro
priate to particular fabrics without having to refer to
The control panel may be composed of transparent pref
instruction books or to memorise the various wash periods
erably plastic material with the bands, lines or equiv
and temperatures. Furthermore the wash period and
alent panel markings being applied to the rear surface of
wash temperature may be varied to take into account the
the panel (i.e. the surface which will be adjacent the cas
ing of a washing or other machine when the panel is 65 extent of soiling so that each of the colour bands 4, 5 and
6 in effect de?nes a small range of wash periods and tem
attached to the latter) so that not only can the markings
peratures for particular fabrics within which the best
be viewed through the panel from the front but the
markings will be safeguarded against deterioration which
results can be obtained. The control knobs ‘1 and 2 not
would otherwise result from the panel being wiped down
being interlocked mechanically or electrically enable an
from time to time.
70 operator to depart from the various ranges if necessary.
What we claim is:
By way of example the invention will now be described
with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:
1. A control panel comprising a transparent plate mem
ber, a plurality of spaced apart manually movable control
elements extending forwardly from the front face of said
member, indexing means provided on said elements, and
band-like panel markings having different visual char
7 claim 2 wherein said bands are horizontally arranged one
over the other.
acteristics extending between said control elements and
applied to the rear surface of said transparent plate mem
claim 2 wherein said control knobs are mounted for rota
3. The washing machine control panel as de?ned in
ber, said panel markings being selectable by the indexing
' means on said movable control elements.
2. A washing machine control panel for use in man- ,
4. The washing machine control panel as de?ned in
tion about axes extending normal to said plate member
and contained in the same horizontal plane which inter
sects one of said bands.
5. A control panel comprising at least two manually
ually setting a wash time period and a wash temperature, 10 adjustable control elements, indexing means on said con
said control panel comprising a transparent plate member
trol elements, and a plurality of band-like panel mark
of plastic material, a manually manipulatable timing con
ings of different colors'extending at least substantially
' trol knob operable to set the wash time period and having
between said manually adjustable control elements so
at least one indicating pointer, a manually manipulatable,
thermostatic control knob operable to set the wash tem 15 that any of said panel markings can be selected by the
indexing means on said control elements.
perature and having at least one indicating pointer, said
control knobs being arranged in spaced apart relation for
rotation on the front of said plate member, and a plurality
of parallel bands of different visual characteristics extend
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
’ ing between said control knobs and applied to the rear 20
surface of said transparent plate member, said bands being
selectable by said indicating pointers which are each dis
posed to be movable in overlapping relationship from one
band to the other by rotation of said knob.
Re. 18,283
Johnson _____________ __ Dec. 15, 1931
Sullivan ___________ _...__ July 1, 1952
Lantz _______________ _.. Nov. 10, 1959
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