US2594023A - Infrared ray butter softener - Google Patents

Infrared ray butter softener Download PDF

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Publication number
US2594023A
US2594023A US590398A US59039845A US2594023A US 2594023 A US2594023 A US 2594023A US 590398 A US590398 A US 590398A US 59039845 A US59039845 A US 59039845A US 2594023 A US2594023 A US 2594023A
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butter
lamp
softener
electric
motor
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US590398A
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Earl F Hubacker
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BorgWarner Inc
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Borg Warner Corp
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25DREFRIGERATORS; COLD ROOMS; ICE-BOXES; COOLING OR FREEZING APPARATUS NOT COVERED BY ANY OTHER SUBCLASS
    • F25D23/00General constructional features
    • F25D23/12Arrangements of compartments additional to cooling compartments; Combinations of refrigerators with other equipment, e.g. stove
    • F25D23/123Butter compartment

Description

Ap 1952 E. F. HUBACKER INFRARED RAY BUTTER SOFTENER Filed April 26, 1945 LINE Patented Apr. 22, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT QFFICE INFRARED RAY BUTTER SOFTENER Application April 26, 1945, Serial No. 590,398

Claims.

The present invention relates to means for softening butter in an automatically operated refrigerator or other appliance. The improvements have particular reference to an arrangement in an electric refrigerator cabinet whereby the rays from a suitable lamp or the like are utilized to maintain the butter in a condition that permits it to be readily spread upon bread or other comestibles.

It is an object of this invention to provide an arrangement that is automatically operated to direct sufficient heat to the butter for raising the temperature thereof so that the butter will be softened. As is well known, when the food compartment of the refrigerator is at a low tempera ture the butter becomes too film or solid for ordinary domestic uses. The present invention aims to automatically overcome this inherent condition.

Another object hereof is to provide a butter softener that is operated at a low cost, and which is simple in construction thereby adapting it for installation in a refrigerator cabinet without materially increasing the manufacturing cost of the refrigerator.

Still another object is to providean arrangement of the character contemplated herein that embodies an infra-red lamp which is strong enough so that its rays will be directed to the butter to warm or soften it under predetermined temperature conditions. The rays from the infra-red lamp have a destructive effect upon germs and the like and therefore the use of such lamp produces a highly sanitary condition in the refrigerator cabinet especially in the coolant air in the vicinity of the butter thus tending to preserve its freshness.

The present improvements contemplate the use of electric conductors for the lamp that are connected across the contacts or switch elements in the electric motor circuit, such circuit being thermostatically controlled to regulate the tem perature in the food compartment of a refrigerator cabinet. By reason of this arrangement it is not necessary to provide a special thermostat for the butter softener assembly since the temperature control thermostat performs this function.

invention contemplate-d herein will be apparent to persons skilled in the art after the construction and operation of the butter softener is'understood from the within description. It is preferred to accomplish the numerous objects of this inven tion in substantially the manner hereinafter fully Additional objects, aims and advantages of the described and as more particularly pointed out in the claims. Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings that form a part of this specification, wherein:

Fig. l is a front elevation of an electrically operated refrigerator cabinet with the door broken away to show the present improvements in the food compartment; and

Fig. 2 is a diagram of the electric circuit and other instrumentalities of the improvements.

Fig. 3 is a plan of a modification.

The drawings are to be understood as being more or less of a schematic character for the purpose of disclosing typical or preferred em bodiment of the improvements contemplated herein, and in these drawings like reference characters identify the same parts in the different views. 4

The refrigerator cabinet 5 comprises a food compartment 6 having shelves 1, and in the upper portion of this compartment there is a chamber 8 containing the refrigerating unit with coils 9 through which the refrigerant or coolant agent is circulated by pipes i!) and H leading from a compressor l2 in the bottom of the cabinet. An electric motor 13 drives the compressor l2 and the electric current through this motor is controlled by a thermostat 14 within the cabinet preferably in the food compartment. This thermostat, which by way of example may be of the bi-metallic type, is adjustable and is effective to open and close an electric switch [5 in the motor circuit whenever its indicator arm reaches the predetermined temperatures at which the thermostat has been set.

As shown, the refrigerant or coolant chamber 8 is at one side of the food compartment, thus providing a reduced region alongside said cham her for shelves la, of shorter width than those beneath the coolant chamber, for receiving small articles of food or dishes such as those containing butter, lard and the like. Above the upper shelf la the top wall or ceilin of the compartment-is provided with a reveal or recess IE to receive an electric lamp ll preferably of the infra-red type. The lamp is arranged so that the rays thereof are directed down toward the upper shelf. The rays from this lamp are strong enough'to raise the temperature of the butter 10 to 20 above the temperature within the food compartment andthus effect a softening of the butter. It is preferred, as seen in Fig. l, to arrange the reveal and the lamp in such position'that the butter or comestible (indicated as B) may be placed in the direct path of the rays emitted from the lamp.

In the diagram (Fig. 2), the conductors l8 and i9 comprising the electric circuit through the motor l3 are interrupted by the switch i5 that is opened and closed by means of a movable member of the thermostat [4 that is set for predetermining the limits of the temperature range within the food compartment. The circuit for the lamp l'l includes conductors l8 and I9 comprising a continuous electric circuit which has in it the thermostatically controlled switch IS. The lamp H or the like is thus connected directly across the thermostat contacts so that when the thermostat is opened the electric circuit is through the motor and then through the lamp. When thermostat l4 (indicated in dotted lines in the diagram) is closed the resistance through the contacts is so low that very little current passes through the softener device. Since the resistance of the lamp or the like is extremely high and the amount of current passing through it is very small this arrangement provides a very practical and satisfactory hook-up.

t is preferred to utilize therays of a lamp for softening butter and like comestibles in a refrigerator. This function may be accomplished by other temperature raising means although a lamp of the infra-red type is preferable because of its germicidal properties. An example of such device may comprise an electric resistance coil 22 imbedded or molded in an insulating plate 23 of thermosetting material. Thi plate may be separate from a shelf member so" that it may be placed wherever desired, or it may comprise a part of a special shelf member 2 3. In either instance the terminals of the resistance coil are electrically connected by conductors i8 and I9 through the thermostat i i to be controlled there'- by.

It will be seen that, during operation of the refrigerant unit 8 and the running of the motor and compressor, the heat radiating m mber of the softener is inactive and there is no heating effect upon the butter B until the food compartment has been lowered to the desired cooling temperature, whereupon the thermostat will opcrate to cut out the motor and cut in the butter softener. The advantage of this particular hookup resides in the fact that heat is provided for softening the butter only during the period of low cabinet temperature or low running time. When the room temperature rises, the temperature in the cabinet rises and less heat is required during this period to warm the butter to a softening temperature. As the room temperature rises the running time of the motor and the compressor increases so that the infra-red lamp or heating element is on for a smaller percentage of the time. The arrangement described is there'- fore quite economical to operate and furthermore it eliminates the use of a second thermostat that would be especially designed separately adjusted to control the current for operating the butter softener device.

It is conceivable that a suitable electric illuminating lamp 25 may be introduced in the cabinet in conjunction with the infra-red lamp ll or the electric coil 22. Such introduced lamp would effect an illumination of the food compartment 6 and would be controlled by switch means 26 operatedby the opening and closing of the cabinet door.

While this invention has been described in detail "in its present preferred form or embodiment, it will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, after understanding the improvements, that 4 various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. It is aimed in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications.

I claim:

1. In a refrigerator cabinet having a cooling chamber supplied with coolant fluid from a motordriven compressor, and having conductors forming an electric circuit through the motor, which circuit is controlled by a thermo-responsive switch within the cabinet, the improvement of a butter softener comprising an electrical lamp the rays from which are adapted to heat an object upon which they impinge, said lamp positioned in close proximity to a shelf in the cabinet; and electric conductors connected to the spaced points of the switch, the arrangement being such that the thermo-responsive switch controls the electric current to the motor-driven compressor and the butter softener lamp.

2. In a refrigerator cabinet provided with a cooling chamber that is supplied with coolant fluid by an electric motor driven compressor; a lamp in said cabinet adapted to emit heat rays; means for supplying electric current to the motor to drive said compressor; means for supplying electric current'to said lamp; and a thermo-sensitive device coacting with both said means for rendering one means ineffective during the operation of the other means.

3. In a refrigerator cabinet provided with a chamber supplied with coolant fluid from a compressor driven by an electric motor; a food com partment in which said chamber is located; and

a butter softener arrangement in said cabinet comprising a reveal in a wall of said compartment; an infra-red lamp in said reveal to emit its rays to impinge upon the butter, thereby Warming the butter to a softened condition; means for supplying electric current to the motor and lamp; and a thermo-responsive switch controlling said means for predetermining the effective operation of said motor and lamp.

4. In a refrigerator comprising a cooling compartment having electrically operated means for cooling the same; and thermo-electric means including an electric motor circuit having a makeand-break device for controlling said cooling means, the improvement of an arrangement .for softening butter and like substances in said cool ing compartment, comprising an electric lamp adjacent the substance to be softened, the rays from said lamp being adapted to impinge upon the substance for raising the temperature thereof above the compartment temperature, said lamp characterized by its germicidal properties; and conductors for supplying electric current from said motor circuit to said lamp, said conductors being responsive to the make-and-break device actuated by said thermo-electric means for changing the amount of the electric current through said conductors and lamp, the arrangement being such that the lamp is ineffective when said electric motor circuit is closed and vice versa.

5. In a refrigerator cabinet having a food compartment-supplied with coolant fluid by an electric motor driven compressor, and having a door closing an access opening to said compartment; an infra-red lamp in said compartment adapted to emit heat rays when electrically charged; means forsupp'lyirig electric current to said infrared lamp, and also to the motor to drive said compressor; a thermo-respons'ive device for rendering said infra-red lamp effective when said 5 6 motor is inactive; an electric illuminating lamp UNITED STATES PATENTS in said compartment; and means responsive to the opening and closing of the cabinet door for Number Name Date controlling said illuminating lamp. 1,913,433 P June 1933 5 333%? 2% 1% i333 n erson ec. EARL HUBACKER' 2,245,837 Stoddard June 17, 1941 REFERENCES CITED 2,257,801 Hull Oct. 7, 1941 2,276,850 Lemmers Mar. 17, 1942 The following references are of record in the 10 231L446 Knight Feb 16 1943 file of this patent:

2,313,390 Newton Mar. 9, 1943

US590398A 1945-04-26 1945-04-26 Infrared ray butter softener Expired - Lifetime US2594023A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2627393A (en) * 1950-12-29 1953-02-03 Gen Electric Control arrangement for auxiliary compartments for refrigerators
US2710329A (en) * 1952-07-23 1955-06-07 United Carr Fastener Corp Electrical assembly
US2724576A (en) * 1951-07-13 1955-11-22 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerating apparatus
US2988432A (en) * 1957-10-21 1961-06-13 Gen Motors Corp Odor destroyer
US3529439A (en) * 1969-05-20 1970-09-22 Emhart Corp Refrigerated cutting room
FR2531772A1 (en) * 1982-08-10 1984-02-17 Thomson Brandt Device for adjusting the temperature of butter placed in a refrigerator compartment and refrigerator equipped with such a device
EP0805322A3 (en) * 1996-05-03 1999-04-07 FISHER & PAYKEL LIMITED Household refrigerator
EP1219909A3 (en) * 2000-12-28 2002-09-18 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Refrigeration apparatus with butter-holding container

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1913433A (en) * 1931-11-16 1933-06-13 Jr William A Doble Defroster
US2145196A (en) * 1933-11-16 1939-01-24 Hygrade Sylvania Corp Apparatus for treating foodstuffs
US2183387A (en) * 1937-07-14 1939-12-12 B F Sturtevant Co Air conditioning system
US2245837A (en) * 1939-09-09 1941-06-17 Westinghouse Electric & Mfg Co Ballast lamp for sterilamp
US2257801A (en) * 1938-11-29 1941-10-07 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerating apparatus
US2276850A (en) * 1940-12-24 1942-03-17 Gen Electric Germicidal lamp in air conditioning apparatus
US2311446A (en) * 1941-06-28 1943-02-16 Gen Electric Refrigerator cabinet
US2313390A (en) * 1939-08-14 1943-03-09 Honeywell Regulator Co Reverse cycle heating system

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1913433A (en) * 1931-11-16 1933-06-13 Jr William A Doble Defroster
US2145196A (en) * 1933-11-16 1939-01-24 Hygrade Sylvania Corp Apparatus for treating foodstuffs
US2183387A (en) * 1937-07-14 1939-12-12 B F Sturtevant Co Air conditioning system
US2257801A (en) * 1938-11-29 1941-10-07 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerating apparatus
US2313390A (en) * 1939-08-14 1943-03-09 Honeywell Regulator Co Reverse cycle heating system
US2245837A (en) * 1939-09-09 1941-06-17 Westinghouse Electric & Mfg Co Ballast lamp for sterilamp
US2276850A (en) * 1940-12-24 1942-03-17 Gen Electric Germicidal lamp in air conditioning apparatus
US2311446A (en) * 1941-06-28 1943-02-16 Gen Electric Refrigerator cabinet

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2627393A (en) * 1950-12-29 1953-02-03 Gen Electric Control arrangement for auxiliary compartments for refrigerators
US2724576A (en) * 1951-07-13 1955-11-22 Gen Motors Corp Refrigerating apparatus
US2710329A (en) * 1952-07-23 1955-06-07 United Carr Fastener Corp Electrical assembly
US2988432A (en) * 1957-10-21 1961-06-13 Gen Motors Corp Odor destroyer
US3529439A (en) * 1969-05-20 1970-09-22 Emhart Corp Refrigerated cutting room
FR2531772A1 (en) * 1982-08-10 1984-02-17 Thomson Brandt Device for adjusting the temperature of butter placed in a refrigerator compartment and refrigerator equipped with such a device
EP0805322A3 (en) * 1996-05-03 1999-04-07 FISHER & PAYKEL LIMITED Household refrigerator
EP1219909A3 (en) * 2000-12-28 2002-09-18 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Refrigeration apparatus with butter-holding container

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