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Патент USA US3031761

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May 1, 1962
F. J. HART
_3,031,751
AUTOMATIC ELECTRICALLY OPERATED CAN OPENER
Filed oct. 14, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVENTOR.
FRA/VA’ J A64/F7'
May 1, 1962
F. J. HART
3,031,751
AUTOMATIC ELECTRICALLY OPERATED CAN OPENER
Filed oct. 14, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
F/G. 3
Im
Il
INVENTOR.
ffii/VA’ JI A4437'
BY y
May l, 1962
F. J. HART
3,031,751
AUTOMATIC ELEcTRïcALLY OPERATED CAN OPENER
Filed Oct. 14, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 3
United States Patent 0
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ran-.atea may i, resa
1
2
vention is shown to include a base 12 which can be con
3,031,751
veniently constructed of molded plastic material, which
AUTOMATIC ELECTRICALLY OPERATED
CAN OPENER
base is provided with a pair of rearwardly disposed ver
tical columns 13, and about which a metallic sheath 15
Frank I. Hart, Fairlawn, NJ., assignor to Jay Kay Metal
Specialties Corp., Long Island City, N.Y., a corpora
is formed.
cluding a face plate `and rear mounting plate, as will be
hereinafter more fully described. A plurality of ma
Filed Oct. 14, 196€), Ser. No. 62,771
11 Claims. (Cl. 30-4)
This invention relates to can openers and, more par
ticularly, to electric motor operated can openers.
A bracket 16 secures the base 12 to the
motor which forms a lower extension of a main frame in
tion of New York
chine screws 18 also secure a cutter `block 19 to an indent
10 in the face side of the sheath 15 and to the face plate
36 forming a part of the main frmne disposed inwardly
It is an object of the present invention to provide an
electric can opener having various operating features
of the sheath. Additional screws 20 secure the base col
umns 13 to the rear extremities of the sheath 15, and to
which provide for safe, convenient, »and completely auto
matic operation.
A further object of the present invention is to provide
a back closure plate 21 which encloses the rear portion
of the assembly and serves as a mounting plate for sus
pending the unit upon a wall, should such be desired.
a completely self-contained electrically operated can
It will now be recognized that the main o1' supporting
opener having an exterior housing of attractive design,
structure of the can opener is enclosed on the front and
including a control lever member which is selectively mov
sides by the sheath 15 which, in turn, is connected by
«able into an enclosing position with the operating parts of 20 the screws 2t) to the rear side of the frame, which screws
the can opener to provide an attractive storage position
20 also connect the rigid mounting plate to the back side
of the assembly. The skeletal framework including the
when the can opener is not in use.
Still a further object of the present invention is to pro
plastic base 12, columns 13, and the like, is simply car
vide an automatic can opener of the type described hav
ried by the sheath and supporting structure, and is pri
ing a yieldable clutch means in the transmission mech 25 marily for decorative purposes. This prevents mechani
anism ‘between the motor and cutting parts which will
cal stresses and strains set up by the operating mech
prevent damage to the operating mechanism in the event
anism from being transmitted to the molded plastic parts,
that the cutter becomes jammed or otherwise engages an
obstruction during energization of the motor.
Still a further object of the present invention is to 30
thus preventing fracture, distortion, or other adverse
effects.
-
provide an automatic can opener having a control lever
member which also functions as a shield to prevent ac
A cross shaft 23 extending between the side plates 25
of the main frame which are integral with the face plate
36, are slidably received within slotted guideways Z4 in
cidental cutting of ñngers during operation of the can
the top 26 of the molded plastic base 12. It will thus be
recognized that by means of a combination plastic base
opener, and which control lever includes a magnet for
lifting the severed end wall of the can to an elevated posi 35 and metallic sheath, a substantially rigid support and
tion upon completion of the opening operation.
An `additional object of the present invention is to pro
housing is provided for the operating parts that are nor
mally completely enclosed therewithin and completely
hidden from view.
A drive shaft 30 is rotatably carried upon the sides
of the aforementioned type in which the control lever
is automatically movable toward an initial position upon 40 of a channel-shaped mounting lever 33 that is pivotally
secured at its opposite lower end upon a horizontal pul
the completion of the cutting operation, so as to deener
vide a control system for an automatic electric can opener
gize the motor and terminate the cutting operation.
A further object of the present invention is to provide
ley shaft 35 rotatably carried by the face plate 36 and
rear mounting plate 37 of the main frame. The pulley
a can opener of the aforementioned type which will read
shaft 35 also supports an enlarged pulley 39 and a drive
ily accommodate cans having walls of dilierent thick 45 pinion 4Q. A flexible belt 42 drivingly connects the
pulley 39 on the pulley shaft 35 with a smaller pulley
nesses, and cans of different sizes and shapes.
43 secured upon the shaft 45 of the electric motor 46.
All of the foregoing and still further objects and ad
The pinion 40 is in driving engagement with a reduction
vantages of this invention will become apparent from a
spur gear 43 rotatably supported upon one end of the
study of the following speciñcation, taken in connection
50 drive shaft Si). A torsion spring 49, having one end
with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
connected to the drive shaft 30, has an opposite end
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a can opener made in
extending along one side of the spur gear 48 in driving
accordance with the present invention in actual use.
FIG. Z is an enlarged longitudinal cross-sectional view
abutment with an outwardly projecting drive tab or stop
of the can opener shown in FIG. l.
51. Thus, in response to energization of the motor 46, .
FIG. 3 is a transverse cross-sectional View taken along 55 motion is transmitted from the drive shaft 45 to the
line 3_3 of FIG. 2.
pulley 43, and thence to the drive pulley 39 through the
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal cross-sectional
belt 42. The pinion 4d secured upon the pinion shaft
View, similar to FIG. 2, showing the parts in an initial
35 along with the drive pulley 39 transmits power to the
spur gear 48 which is rotatably mounted upon the drive
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-sectional View of the parts 60 shaft 3i?. However, the rotation of the spur gear 48
shown in FIG. 4.
with the tab 51 in abutment with the terminal of the
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary rear elevational view of the
torsion spring 49, is operative to transmit rotational move
ment tothe shaft 30.
transmission mechanism of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentaiy front plan view of
In the event that the drive shaft 30 becomes jammed
the cutter blade and drive wheel forming the operating 65 for any reason whatsoever, continued limited rotation of
parts of the present invention.
the spur gear 43 and tab 51 against the torsion spring
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7, showing the drive
49 may be yieldably resisted by the torsion spring 49,
wheel in an initial retracted position prior to the in
thus partly stressing the torsion spring before the motor
sertion of the can rim between the drive wheel and cut
is forced to a standstill while still energized. By load
ter blade.
70 ing the spring in this manner, it will, upon deenergization
Referring now to the drawing, an -automatic electric
of the motor, allow for backward rotation of the entire
can opener 10 made in accordance with the present in
mechanism, thus enabling the parts to `free themselves.
position.
3,031,751
3
4
Also, the spring will absorb any major shocks to the
drive mechanism such as caused by hitting a large ob
a downwardly rotated position therefrom. Thus, with
struction on the cam rim, or the like.
Another ad
vantage of the spring is to allow the motor to gain speed
and momentum upon energization thereof, before en
gaging the major cutting load, thus allowing for the use
of a smaller motor and operating parts.
A drive Wheel 53 is secured to the outermost end of
the drive shaft 3d and has a plurality of drive teeth in
the vicinity of the cutting blade 54 carried upon the
cutter block Á19. This blade is detachably mounted upon
the cutter block -by means of a screw 55, thus facilitat
ing the replacement or sharpening thereof Whenever re
quired.
~
It will be noted that an arcuate slot 57 extends through
the front face of the sheath 15 and face plate 36 of the
main frame, thus accommodating limited arcuate move
ment of the drive shaft 36 and cutter wheel 53 relative
to the cutter blade 54. This slot 57 is normally main
tained in a completely closed condition by means of a
shield 58 having an arcuate slot 59 extending transversely
of the exposed arcuate slot 57. This shield is pivotally
supported within the interior of the main frame upon a
pivot pin 6i). Thus, as is clearly shown in FÍGS. 7 and
8, during movement of the driving wheel l53 from the
initial position shown in FIG. 8 to the driving position
shown in FIG. 7, or vice versa, the slot 57 is completely
covered at all times by the shield plate 58.
An L-shaped control lever '65 having a pair of de
no can present upon the operating structure, and with
the control lever 65 in a centered operating position,
a slight downward pressure upon the control lever will
enable the over-center spring S3 to urge the control lever
toward a downwardly extending position over the op
erating parts of the mechanism, including the cutter block,
blade, and drive wheel. A cover plate 88 is mounted
upon the control lever 65, to thus provide an attractive
and effective enclosure for the operating parts of the
mechanism when the device is not in use.
The outermost end of the control lever 65 also sup~
ports a permanent magnet 85 upon a short length of
chain 86. The magnet 85 engages with the end wall
of a can to be opened upon loading of the device, thus
restraining the L-shaped control lever in its centered
operating position and against primary movement thereof
toward an elevated position by the over-center spring
83.
However, as soon as the end wall of the can has
been severed during the opening operation, the strength
of the over-center spring 83 is sutiìcient to lift the magnet
85 and its supported can end wall relative to the can
just opened, to a slightly elevated position, thus moving
the dwell surface 77 of t-he plate 76 out of engagement
with the projection 78 of the movable contact arm 80,
to deenergize the motor 46 and complete the opening
operation.
An L-shaped spring plate secured to the cutter block
19, serves as a yieldable clamp means for accommodat
pending legs 66, is rotatably supported upon the cross 30 ing cans having different rim thicknesses and diiîerent
shapes. This spring plate 9i) is yieldable to accommo
shaft 23 of the main frame. This control lever 65 is
date the insertion of cans with different rim widths into
further provided with a depending tail piece 68 having
the can opener, without jamming of the machine parts.
an inclined cam surface 69 which is movable wi-th re
It will be also noted that the face wall of the unit 10 is
spect to an edge 71 of the mounting lever 33. Thus,
ythe L-shaped control lever 65 is supported for rotation 35 inclined downwardly and inwardly with respect to the
about a transverse axis extending substantially normal
to the -pivot axis of the mounting lever 33, whereby np
ward pivotal movement of the L-shaped control lever
base 12, thus maintaining the bottom of the can being
opened in spaced relationship with the exterior surface
finish of the enclosure sheath 15. Also, this allows for
the provision of a guide block 91 which will maintain
65 from a lowered to a raised position is operative to
effect arcuate movement of the drive shaft 30 from the 40 the can in a vertical position at all times, to maintain
engaged position shown in FIG. 7 to the disengaged
the end wall being severed at the proper cutting angle
relative to the cutter blade 54.
initial position shown in FIG. 8, against the action of a
torsion coil spring ‘62 mounted upon the pinion shaft
In actual use, the control lever 65 and supported cover
35 and acting between the main frame face plate 36
plate 88 is normally maintained in the downwardly
and the mounting lever 33. Thus, in response to down 45 extended position in closing engagement with the oper
ward movement of the L-shaped control lever 65 from
the initial position shown in FIG. 4, to the operating
position shown in FIG. 2, the spring 62 is free to rotate
the mounting lever 33 to enable the drive wheel 53 »to
move into'proximity with the cutter blade 54, as shown
in FIG. 7, from the disengaged position shown in FIG. 8.
The uppermost extremity of the cam surface 69 of
the control lever tail piece 68 is provided with an indent
73 which receives the edge 71 of the mounting lever 33
in the uppermost elevated position of the control lever
65 thus tending to serve as a detent for releasably se
ating parts of the machine so as to provide a neat and
attractive appearance. When it is desired to use the can
opener, the L-shaped control lever 65 is manually rotated
to its uppermost position as shown in FIG. 4, in which
position such is held by the engagement of the edge 71
of the mounting lever 33 within the indent 73 of the
control lever tail piece. In this position of the control
lever 65, the drive wheel 53 is also arcuately removed
from the cutter yblade 54, thus facilitating the insertion
of the rim 93 of the can 94 into the lspace between the
cutter blade 54 and the drive wheel 53. In this position
of the control lever 65, the dwell surface 77 is also re
moved from the projection "I8 of the switch contact arm
86, thus preventing energization of the motor 46. As.
curing the control lever in the elevated position and for
securing the mounting lever 33 in the rotated position
against the action of the torsion spring 62. This facili
tates the loading of the can to be opened, without requir 60 soon as the can has been positioned, the lever 65 is moved
ing the use of one hand to secure the control lever in
the elevated position.
A dielectric plate 76 secured upon one of the legs 66
downwardly toward the end wall of the can to lbe severed,
so that the magnet S5 contacts the end wall of the can
and retains the lever 65 in its centered operating posi
of the control lever 65 has a dwell surface 77 which
tion shown in FIG. 2, in which position, the dwell sur
engages with a projection 78 upon a movable contact 65
face 77 engages the projection 73 of the movable con
arm 80 of a pair of switch contacts 81 that control en
tact
80, to energize the motor 46. Energization of the
ergization of the motor 46. The shape of the plate 76 is
motor 46 supplies driving power to the drive wheel 53
such that the dwell surface 77 will engage the projection
through the aforementioned gear train and clutch mech
73 only in an intermediate operating position of the
control lever 65. An over-center torsion spring 83 act 70 anism, thus causing the hardened teeth of the drive wheel
to elevate and rotate the can with respect to the blade
ing between the main frame and the control lever 75
54, so that the can is pierced and the cutting action
acts upon the control lever 65 in its centered operating
started and continued by the operation of the motor
position shown in FIG. 2 to primarily urge the control
46. The motor 46 remains energized so long as the parts
lever toward an elevated position therefrom, and to
secondarily act upon the control lever to urge it toward 75 remain in the operating position shown in FIG. 2. How
5
3,031,751
6
ever, as soon as the end wall of the can has been com
release of said drive wheel for movement toward said
blade to energize said motor.
pletely severed, the magnet 3S will elevate it in response
to the action of the over-center spring 83, thus causing
2. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
the dwell surface 77 to move out of engagement with
l, wherein said control lever means comprises an L-shaped
member pivotally carried upon said main frame, one end
of said member being arcuately movable relative to said
blade and drive wheel.
the projection '78, to deenergize the motor 46. The lever
65 is then manually elevated to the fully raised position
shown in FlG. 4, to disengage the drive wheel 53 from
the bead 93 of the can 94 to provide for the removal ot
the can. The cover plate and control lever 65 may then
3. A motor operated .can opener »as set forth in claim 2,
further comprising a closure carried by said lever mem
be returned to the completely at-rest position, enclosing 10 ber movable into an enclosing position with said blade
the operating parts from view and providing the initial
and drive wheel in response to movement of said lever
storage position.
to a storage position.
In the event that the cutter wheel becomes jammed with
4. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim 1,
a can being opened during the operation of the device,
comprising a magnet carried by said opposite end of said
driving motion of the motor will continue to be trans 15 lever member, said magnet being attracted to a can upon
mitted to the spur gear 4S. However, since the drive
movement of said drive wheel toward said blade, over
shaft 36 is locked against rotation by the jamming action
center spring means acting between said main frame and
of the cutter wheel with the can being opened, the torsion
said lever member ryieldably urging said lever member in
spring 49 will yield suiliciently to prevent damage to the
opposite directions from a central position primarily to
parts.
Horizontal variations in metal thickness and seam
thickness of the rim for diiîerent sizes and types of cans
are compensated for by a spring type washer 95 mounted
20
ward said initial position and secondarily toward said
storage position, ysaid lever member in said central posi
tion actuating said switch to energize said motor, and mag
netic attraction between said magnet and a can Wall main
upon the drive shaft 30 and acting upon the drive wheel
taining said lever member in said central position, where
53 and bushing 96 which accommodate the arcuate move 25 by upon severance of the can wall from a can being
ment of the shaft within the slot 57. Thus, through the
opened, said control lever member is movable toward
cooperating action of the L-shaped spring plate 96 and
said initial position with a can iwall to deenergize said
spring washer 9S, a can opener is provided with a limited
motor.
amount of power, but which is capable of handling the
5. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
various shapes and sizes of cans without jamming or 30 l, further comprising overload clutch means acting be
overloading. These features also overcome diíerences
tween said drive shaft and said gear means accommodat
encountered in the size and shape of the can rim in the
ing continued rotation of said drive shaft in response to
event that the can rim has been damaged or distorted
jamming of said drive wheel.
during handling. ln the event of jamming for any rea
6. A motor operated can opener as set .forth in claim
son whatsoever, in a manner hereinbefore described, the 35 5, wherein said one end of said control member is piv
torsion spring 49 will tend to reverse the driving mech
otally -supported upon said main frame for pivotal move
anism in response to deenergization of the motor 46,
ment about an axis extending transversely of the axis of
thus automatically helping to release the can from its
rotation of said mounting lever, and cam means acting
jammed position. Also, while the initial yielding of the
between said control lever and said mounting lever for
spring 49 will absorb the extraordinary initial loading 40 controlling the arcuate movement of said drive shaft
of the mechanism which would otherwise result, it may
relative to said blade in response to mov-ement of said
also disengage the driving tab 5l in the event that the
control lever member.
motor remains energized during the initial jamming of
7. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
the parts and the gear 48 has rotated sufficiently to cause
6, wherein said cam means comprises one edge of said
the release of the terminal of the spring 49 from the driv 45 mounting lever, and a projection carried by said control
ing tab Si.
While this invention has been described with particular
reference to the construction shown in the drawing, it is
to be understood that such is not to be construed as im
lever having an arcuate slide surface slidably engaged
with said one edge of said mounting lever.
8. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
7, further comprising an indent at one extremity of said
parting limitations upon the invention, which is best 50 arcuate slide surface of Said projection .receiving said
defined by the claims appended hereto.
edge of said mounting lever in said initial position of
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new
said control lever member releasably securing said con
and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
trol lever member and said mounting lever in said initial
l. A motor operated can opener comprising, in com
position with said drive shaft spaced from said blade
bination, a main frame, a cutter block having a piercing 55 against the action of said respective over-center and en
cutting blade mounted upon said main frame, a can rim
gaging spring means.
engaging drive wheel supported upon said main frame
9. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
for arcuate movement relative to said cutter blade be
tween a retracted and an engaged position, engaging
8, further comprising yieldable clamp means mounting
the can being opened in supported engagement with said
spring means yieldably urging said drive wheel toward 60 blade and said drive wheel in said engaged position with
said engaged position with said cutter blade to etfect
said drive wheel, said clamp means comprising a yield
driving contact with the rim of a can to pierce an end
able spring element extending from said cutter blade
wall of the can and to eiiect rotation of the can relative
toward said drive wheel, and said clamp means yield
to said cutter blade, an electric motor carried Áby said
ably accommodating can wall thicknesses of different
main trame having means for connection to a source of 65 dimensions.
electrical energy, a pressure responsive switch in circuit
l0. A motor operated can opener as set forth in claim
with said motor and source controlling energization with
9, further comprising a spring washer slidably mounted
said motor, transmission means drivingly connecting said
upon said drive shaft between said drive wheel and said
drive wheel to said motor, and manually operated con 70 mounting lever, said spring washer yieldably accommo
trol lever means carried by said frame in an initial posi
dating limited longitudinal movement of said drive shaft
tion having portions restraining said drive wheel in a
relative to said blade. to accommodate cans having walls
retracted position away from said cutter blade against the
of different thicknesses.
action of said spring means, and said control lever means
l‘l. In an electric can opener having a main frame
having a portion movable relative to said switch upon 75 for supporting a motor and operating parts thereupon, a
3,031,751
8
substantially rigid sheath enclosing the sides and front
References Ciîed in the ñle of this patent
of Asaid main frame, a skeletal framework carried by Said
`
sheath, a mounting plate enclosing the rear side of said
main frame, and fasteners detachably securing said mounting plate directly to said main frame and sheath, whereby 5
stresses set up by the operating parts of the can opener
,are insulated from ysaid skeletal framework.
r
UNITED STATÈS PAFENTS
2,896,319
2,952,073
2,968,094
Finette ______________ __ July 28, 1957
Congdon ____________ __ Sept. 13, 1960
Sachs _______________ __ Jam 177 1951
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