US3272300A - Ice vending machine - Google Patents

Ice vending machine Download PDF

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Publication number
US3272300A
US3272300A US47033165A US3272300A US 3272300 A US3272300 A US 3272300A US 47033165 A US47033165 A US 47033165A US 3272300 A US3272300 A US 3272300A
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Prior art keywords
means
ice
drum
ice cube
storage bin
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Inventor
Walter H Hoenisch
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King-Seeley Thermos Co
McGraw-Edison Co
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King-Seeley Thermos Co
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/0064Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for processing of food articles
    • G07F17/0071Food articles which need to be processed for dispensing in a cold condition, e.g. ice and ice cream
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23GCOCOA; COCOA PRODUCTS, e.g. CHOCOLATE; SUBSTITUTES FOR COCOA OR COCOA PRODUCTS; CONFECTIONERY; CHEWING GUM; ICE-CREAM; PREPARATION THEREOF
    • A23G9/00Frozen sweets, e.g. ice confectionery, ice-cream; Mixtures therefor
    • A23G9/04Production of frozen sweets, e.g. ice-cream
    • A23G9/22Details, component parts or accessories of apparatus insofar as not peculiar to a single one of the preceding groups
    • A23G9/228Arrangement and mounting of control or safety devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23GCOCOA; COCOA PRODUCTS, e.g. CHOCOLATE; SUBSTITUTES FOR COCOA OR COCOA PRODUCTS; CONFECTIONERY; CHEWING GUM; ICE-CREAM; PREPARATION THEREOF
    • A23G9/00Frozen sweets, e.g. ice confectionery, ice-cream; Mixtures therefor
    • A23G9/04Production of frozen sweets, e.g. ice-cream
    • A23G9/22Details, component parts or accessories of apparatus insofar as not peculiar to a single one of the preceding groups
    • A23G9/28Details, component parts or accessories of apparatus insofar as not peculiar to a single one of the preceding groups for portioning or dispensing
    • 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
    • F25CPRODUCING, WORKING OR HANDLING ICE
    • F25C5/00Working or handling ice
    • F25C5/20Distributing ice
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F11/00Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles
    • G07F11/02Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines
    • G07F11/04Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines in which magazines the articles are stored one vertically above the other
    • G07F11/16Delivery means
    • G07F11/24Rotary or oscillatory members

Description

6 Sheets-Sheet 1 SEP- i3, 1966 w. H. HoENlscH ICE VENDING MACHINE Original Filed Aug. 5, 1962 Sept. 13, 1966 W. H. HOENlscH 3,272,300

ICE VENDING MACHINE Original Filed Aug. 5', 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept li3, 1966 w. H. HoENlscH ICE VENDING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed. Aug. 3, 1962 INVENTOR. fer/ Haerinw ,v1-r zr/5',

c' dept 13, 966 w. H. HoENlscH 3,272,300

ICE VENDING MACHINE original File Aug. s, 1962 e sheets sh t 4 INVENTOR. f

Sept 13, 966 W. H. HoENlscH IUE VENDNG MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed Aug. 5, 1962 INVENTOR.

Sept 13, 1966 w. H. HoENlscH ICE VENDING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Original Filed Aug. 5, 1962 INVENTOR.

United States Patent O M 3,272,300 ICE VENDING MACHINE Walter H. Hoenisch, Albert Lea, Minn., assignor to King- Seeiey Thermos Co., Ann Arbor, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Continuation of application Ser. No. 214,666, Aug. 3, 1962. This application June 29, 1965, Ser. No. 470,331 26 Claims. (Cl. 194-2) This invention relates to automatic ice cube vending apparatus and more particularly to combined apparatus for manufacturing ice cubes, storing ice cubes, and dispensing predetermined quantities of ice cubes in response to coin-generated signals. This application is a continuation of my prior application Serial No. 214,666, led August 3, 1962.

Automatic vending machines are widely used to vend a variety of articles. This invention relates specifically to a vending machine for vending predetermined quantities of unpackaged ice cubes from a common mass of ice cubes in a storage bin. The term ice cube is used in a generic sence and is not intended as a geometrical limitation of the ice products which may be used with the present invention. It is contemplated that the quantity of ice cubes in the storage bin will be normally replenished by automatic ice cube manufacturing apparatus of conventional design associated with the vending machine. In addition, the ice cubes may be supplied to the storage bin from sources external to the vending machine when necessary to meet demands beyond the capacity of the automatic ice cube manufacturing apparatus.

In any event, the quantity of ice cubes in the storage bin will normally vary over a period of time from a maximum amount under fully loaded conditions to a minimum amount under near empty conditions depending on the demand `and the time required to replenish the supply. Accordingly, the freshness of the ice cubes in the storage bin will also vary. The term freshness is intended to mean the length of time that the ice cubes have been stored in the storage bin. Even though the storage bin may be refrigerated, the ice cubes invariably melt to a certain extent because of external factors. Consequently, the size of the ice cubes in the storage bin will likely vary depending on their freshness. Furthermore, the melting of the cubes results in a water drainage problem.

Another problem in storage of unpackaged ice cubes is the tendency of the ice cubes to adhere and become fused to one another. It is, therefore, necessary to provide means to agitate the stored ice cubes to prevent fusion. Since the ice cubes are relatively fragile and it is desirable to dispense them with a minimum amount of breakage, the means to agitate the ice cubes should be designed to eliminate as much breakage as possible. Therefore, a minimum amount of agitation is preferable. In addition, unnecessary agitation or movement of the ice cubes to prevent fusion may also result in increased melting because of friction and the like. Furthmore, continuous agitation or movement requires continuous operation of the apparatus and, therefore, results in increased wear and resultant maintenance. Another problem related to agitation of the ice cubes is the necessity to agitate all the stored ice cubes. Consequently, the vending apparatus should be associated with the storage bin so that all of the ice cubes to be stored will be held in the storage bin for agitation therein and completely separated from all ofthe ice cubes to be dispensed during a particular vending cycle.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide ice cube vending apparatus incorporating agitating and dispensing means which will be capable of vending a 3,272,390 Patented Sept. 13, 1966 predetermined quantity of ice cubes of varying freshness without excess water or breakage or ice fusion.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide ice cube vending apparatus having ice cube storage means defined by movable ice cube support means and fixed ice cube coniining means, and having drive means to cause movement of the movable ice cube support means relative to the iixed ice Cube confining means resulting in dispensing of a predetermining quantity of ice cubes a'nd/ or agitation of the ice cubes in the storage means suflicient to prevent fusion. A further object is to provide ice cube vending apparatus having means to intermittently agitate ice cubes in a storage area.

Another specific object is to provide a combination ice cube dispensing and ice cube agitating means which is operable in response to a coin generated signal to dispense ice cubes and is operable intermittently in response to a control singal to agitate ice cubes without dispensing thereof.

Another object is to provide a combination ice cube dispenser for dispensing unpackaged ice cubes from a storage bin and an associated bag dispensing unit for dispensing packaging means which may be utilized to receive the ice cubes as they are dispensed.

A further object is to provide an ice cube vending machine having improved construction promoting cleanliness and sanitation. To this end it is proposed to provide storage and delivery apparatus formed from a plastic material having the characteristic of rejecting dirt and stains.

Still another object is to provide an ice cube dispensing device having a simplified control system requiring a minimum number of electrical components.

Another object of the present invention is to provide ice cube manufacturing apparatus having a unique arrangement for delivering ice cubes from a storage bin to a measuring chute without any accompanying water and with a mixture of cubes of varying sizes and freshness.

A further object is to provide ice cube delivering means for use in an ice cube vending machine which operates in a manner facilitating drainage of Water from the cubes and agitation of the cubes to prevent freezing to one another.

Still another object is to provide ice cube delivering means for use with an ice cube dispenser capable 0f measuring a quantity of ice to be dispensed by volume rather than by weight.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide combination storage means and ice cube dispensing means for use in an ice cube vending machine which will reduce loss in volume of ice cubes due `to evaporation and melting by storing the ice cubes in a novel manner and intermittently agitating the ice cubes in a manner preventing fusion of the cubes with a minimum of agitation.

Another object is to provide ice cube vending apparatus which will uniformly vend predetermined quantities of ice cubes when the storage bin associated therewith is full and also when the storage bin is nearly empty even to the last full load of ice cubes available in the storage bin.

Still another object is to provide ice cube vending apparatus in Which the volume of ice cubes delivered in a vending cycle may be readily varied by the machine owner.

A further object of the present invention is to provide control circuitry for an ice cube vending machine which will prevent opening of the vending chute during delivery of ice cubes from the storage bin and which will return the customers coins unless a predetermined volume of ice cubes have been delivered.

The aforementioned objects, and others, have been attained by the application of the principles of the present invention in an illustrative embodiment of an ice cube vending machine as shown on the accompanying drawings, wherein:

' FIGURE 1 is a front elevational View, with portions broken away, of an ice cube vending machine incorporating the principles of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the machine shown in FIG. 1; Y

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 2;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 5 5 in FIG. 4; Y

FIGURE 6 is a partial side elevational view, in section, of a portion of the machine shown in FIG. 2 in an alternative operational position;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the machine of FIG. 1;

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the portions of the machine shown in FIG. 7 in another operational position; and

FIGURE 9 is a circuit diagram illustrating the operational sequence of the machine.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the subject vending machine comprises a substantially rectangular metallic outer casing 10 having conventional ice cube making apparatus 12 mounted on the top thereof and communicating through an ice cube delivery opening 14 with a centrally located ice cube storage bin 16 therebelow. A drive motor 17 and a condenser unit 18 are mounted below the storage bin 16 at the bottom of the machine to provide for maximum stability. The front panel 20 of the casing is provided with an ice cube vending chute cavity 22, a conventional coin receiving chute and return mechanism 24, and a bag dispenser cavity 26. The bag dispenser unit is described in detail in copending application Serial Number 214,667, iiled August 3, 1962, for Bag Dispensing Apparatus. The ice cube maker 12 periodically manufactures ice cubes in a conventional manner and delivers them through the opening 14 into the storage bin 16 to maintain a predetermined supply of ice cubes therein. The level of ice cubes in the bin will vary depending on the demand for ice cubes and the time required to replenish the supply.

As shown in FIG. 2, the storage bin may be formed by metallic inner partition walls 30, 31 and is insulated from the rest of the machine by a urethane foam ller 32 or the like. The partition provides a substantially vertical rear Wall 33, a flat bottom wall 34, an inclined front wall 36, and a diagonally extending top wall 38 which extends substantially transversely relative to the inclined front wall 36. Side Walls connect the front and rear walls and an inwardly extending transverse flange shown at 39 and 40, is secured to the partition wall 30. The inner edge 41 of the flange terminates in a substantially circular opening lying in a plane parallel to the inclined front Wall 36. A plastic liner 42, 43 overlies all of the partition wall so that ice cubes in the storage bin will have contact only with the plastic material. In some cases the plastic liner may be mounted directly over the insulation material. A satisfactory plastic material is white linear polyethylene which has the characteristic of rejecting dirt and stains. A water basin and drainage outlet 44 are provided in the lower portion of the storage bin `and communicate with a sump (not shown). A delivery chute cavity 45 is provided in the inclined front wall 36 near the upper end thereof.

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, combination .ice cube agitating and dispensing means in the form of a rotatable drum 50 and a control shutter 52 are rotatably mounted in and form part of the storage bin 16. The drum provides an ice cube elevator and agitator assembly,

and may be made of a white plastic material, such as linear polyethylene, having smooth radius corners to promote cleanliness. In some cases other materials such as anodized aluminum may be satisfactorily utilized. The drum is substantially cup-shaped having a bottom wall 54 which extends substantially parallel to the inclined front wall 36 and an oppositely located circular opening 55 dened by a rim portion 56. The side wall of the drum is formed by a series of stepped and inclined surfaces 57, 58, 60. The rim portion 56 is provided with a radially outwardly extending flange 62 which is adapted to be closely spaced relative to the end 41 of the ilange 39, 40 to prevent passage of ice cubes therebetween but to also provide a drain passage for water accumulating in theV storage bin.

A hub housing 64 is integrally formed in the center of the bottom wall 54 by a conical wall portion 66 which connects radially extending end wall portions 68, 70. The end wall portion 70 terminates in a cylindrical side wall portion 72 to define a ange cavity. A plurality of outwardly projecting hollow ribs 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 are equally spaced around the periphery of the hub housing and a plurality of longitudinally extending drainage slots 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, are provided at spaced intervals between the ribs in the side wall of the drum. As shown in FIG. 5 with reference to rib 76, each of the ribs comprises a conical portion 87 extending inwardly from the end wall portion 68 along the conical wall portion 66, a radially outwardly extending portion 88 extending across the bottom wall 54, and an outwardly extending portion 89 extending along the side wall of the drum.

The side wall 72 is longitudinally outwardly extended along an arc of yapproximately 90 to form an arcuate bottom wall portion 90. A generally radially outwardly extending yabutment Wall 92 is integrally connected to the bottom wall portion 90 and the bottom wall 54. An outer side wall 94 connects the bottom wall 90 and the abutment wall 92, and forms an ice cube scoop means therewith. The rear (relative to the direction of rotation of the drum) portion 96 of the outer side wall 94 adjacent the wall 92 extends radially outwardly the full length thereof and the major circumferentially extending front portion 98 of the outer side Wall 94 extends radially outwardly a comparatively shorter distance in a somewhat L-shaped pattern. An ice cube dispensing slot 100 is formed in the bottom wall 54 behind the scoop means and extends arcuately therewith from an edge 102 closely adjacent the abutment wall 92 to an edge 104 spaced rearwardly of the lead-ing edge 106 of the scoop means. Hollow ribs 107, 108, 109 terminate at the bottom wall 90 of the scoop means. The rib 109 is connected by a portion of reduced cross section to the rim of the drum. Suitable reinforcement em'bossments 110, 111 may be provided on the bottom wall 54.

The drum is xedly mounted on a hub member 112 made -from a lightweight material such as aluminum and provided with a plurality of projecting solid ribs 114 adapted to be received Within the hollow ribs of the drum. The hub has a conical side surface 116 adapted to match the conical side surface 66 of the drum and ter- :minates in a ange portion 118 adapted to be snuggly received within the flange cavity defined by the annular side wall 72. The drum is secured to the hub by a plurality of bolt members 120 and steel inserts integrally cast in the hub in a conventional manner. A spline means in a central bore 121 of the hub is adapted to receive a drive s-haft 122 which iixedly supports the drum and imparts rotary motion thereto. The shaft 122 extends through a bearing plate 124 which freely rotatably mounts the shutter 52 on the shaft and through a bear-ing unit 126 of conventional design which is ixedly mounted in the inclined side wall of the storage bin. Referring to FIG. 2, the drum is thereby mounted in a xed position within the storage bin for rotational movement therein in the direction of the arrows 128. A coll-ar 130 secures the drive shaft 122 in place and a plurality of timing cams 132 and associated switches 134 may be mounted in any suitable manner for control of the machine operation in response to rotational position of the drum as hereinafter described. The drum drive shaft 122 is connected through suitable gearing 136, 138 to a drive shaft 140 of the motor 17.

In the illustrative embodiment, the shutter 52 comprises an annular plate lof sheet metal or the like which is freely rotatably mounted relative to the shaft 122 and the drum by the bearing plate 124 between the bottom wall 54 of the drum and the inclined front wall '36 of the storage bin. The shutter is closely spaced in substantial abutting .slidable engagement with the bottom wall of the drum. 'Referring now to FIG. 3, the shutter 52 is provided with a pair of oppositely located slots 142, 144 which extend circumferentially through areas of approximately 45. Shutter control mechanisms 146, 148 are provided on the shutter adjacent each iof the slots 142, 144 and are displaced rearwardly (relative to the direction of drum rotation) approximately As shown in FIGS. 3, 7 and 8, the control mechanisms comprise oppositely located latch shelves 150, 152 which terminate in abutment surfaces 154, 155 facing opposite to the direction of rotation of t-he drum. Stops 156, 157 are iixedly secured to the outer side surface of the shutter below each of the latch shelves and provide -abutment surfaces 158, 159 which face the direction of the drum rotation.

The shutter control mechanism further comprises latch means 160 xedly mounted on the drum approximately 45 in front (relative to the direction of drum rotation) of the leading edge 104 of the slot 108. Referring now to FIGS. 7 and `8, the latch means comprises a latch bar 161 which is pivotally supported by bracket means 162, 164 on the side wall of the drum. The latch bar is con :stantly biased into engagement with the periphery 165 of the shutter by spring means 166. 'Ihe nose portion 168 `of the latch bar is adapted to Ebe depressed onto the shelves 150, 152 and into abutting engagement with the surfaces 154, 155 at predetermined intervals during rotation of the drum.

Latch release means 178 are xed to a portion 180 of the machine frame adjacent the outer peripheries of the drum and shutter in a position located approximately 40 in front of (relative to the direction yof drum rotation) top dead center at 181 in FIG. l. The latch release means comprises a latch release arm 182 which is pivoted to the frame portion 180 by breacket means 183, 184. The end of the latch release arm is provided with a latch engaging cam surface 188 which terminates in an abutment surf-ace 190 facing opposite the direction of movement ofthe drum. The latch release arm is movable between a lowered shutter release position, shown in FIG. 7, and a raised latch release and shutter hold position shown in FIG. 8. A control solenoid 192 is iixedly mounted relative to the latch release arm and is controllably connected thereto by 4an armature member 194. A snap-in roller 196 mounted in a slot 198 in a spring plate 20) is provided to maintain the latch release arm in t-he lowered and raised positions. It may be seen that the drum is drivingly engageable with the shutter through engagement of the latch bar 161 with one of the shelf abutment surfaces 154, 155. After driving engagement of Ithe drum with the shutter, the shutter rotates with the drum until the latch release arm is raised and engages the latch arm. The cam surface 1188 is contoured to raise the latch arm over the abutment surfaces 154, 155 and to provide a positive stop by engagement of the abutment surface 190 with one of the stop members 156 or 157. Accordingly, the shutter can be selectively rotated between fixed positions. It is contemplated that other shutter arrangements may be utilized. For example, it will be obvious, that the shutter means may be provided by a plate fixed relative to the drum with the drum being variously positioned relative to .an vice cube dispensing passage in the plate.

lReferring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a Vending chute 210 is fixedly secured in the machine `frame and extends inwardly through the inclined front walls 36 of the storage bin at substantially right angles to Ithe shutter 52 and the bottom wall 54 of the drum. The upper end of the chute 210 terminates in a substantially at face 212 lying closely adjacent the shutter 52 and having yan opening 214 substantially corresponding to the configuration of the openings 142, 144 in the shutter. The chute opening 214 is located at top dead center 181 of drum rotation. The central portion 216 of the chute is offset and extends downwardly and outwardly to the top of the ice dispensing cavity 22. The lower end 218 of the chute extends into the cavity 22 as shown in FIGURE 2 and `is connected to a dispensing unit 220 mounted in the cavity.

The dispensing unit 220 comprises a plate member 222 having support bracket means 224 provided on the lower end and an ice cube dispensing cavity 226 integrally formed in the upper end. The upper end otf the ice cube dispensing cavity is adapted to be connected directly to and form a continuation of the lower end 2l18 of the dispensing chute 210. An escutcheon plate 228 is provided at the top of the dispensing -unit and has a glass viewing window 229 or the like through which the interior of the dispensing chute may be viewed. A gate member 231 is pivotally mounted at 232 for movement from a chute closing position, shown in FIG. 2, to a chute opening position shown in FIG. 6r. Spring means are provided to -bias the gate to the closed position. The gate 231 is substantially U-shaped in cross section and is provided with an arcuate bottom wall 233 which extends between substantially triangular side walls 234, -2-35. An ice ycube delivery opening 236 is provided at the front end of the gate and has a flange or lip 238 provided around the periphery thereof to receive and locate bag means for packaging ice cubes to be delivered from the machine. The bracket means 224 may be provided with a bag seat 240 on its upper surface to help support a bag during dispensing and packaging of -ice cubes. A portion 244 of the plate member 2122 of the dispensing unit is inclined and positioned at right angles to and prowides a st-op for the rear end 246 of the gate in its o-pen position `as shofwn in FIG. 6. The gate opening 2%36 is connected t-o the lower end of the chute 210 by means o-f a variably positionable volume control plates 250, 252. The plate 250 is adapted to -be replaced or repositioned as sho-wn at 254 to vary the volume of the cavity 226 connecting the gate opening 236 with the lower end 218 of the chute 2,10. A portion of the plate 250 is formed from a translucent material 2156 to enable the contents off the dispensing cavity to be viewed through the windoiw 230. In this manner the volume of ice cubes receivable in the chute means from the storage b-in for delivery to a customer can be va-ried by the machine owner. A gate latch in the form olf a solenoid 260 and a solenoid controlled latch pin 262 may be mounted adjacent the dispensing unit to lock the gat-e 232 in the upper chute closing position, as shown in FIG. 1. In addition, a chute tf'ull switch 264 may be suitably positioned in the chute to give an indication as to lwhether a suflicient quantity of ice has been placed in the delivery chute to provide a full bag of ice for the customer.

Referring now to FIG. 9, an illustrative circuit diagram is shown. The coin collection and return mechanism 24 is conventional in design and is well understood by those skilled in the vending art without a detailed description. Consequently, only a schematic representation of that mechanism is provided. In general, the coin collection and return mechanism comprises a series of contacts A, B, C, D, E, F which are connected in a novel manner as hereinafter described. The control circuit of the present invention utilizes a minimum number of parts and provides an arrangement whereby a full measure of ice cubes will always be delivered in response to coin generated signals without fusion of the ice cubes to one an other, without an excessive amount f water, and with a mixture of cubes of varying freshness.

One of the primary purposes of the present control circuitry is to provide for intermittent rotation of the drum and agitation of the ice cubes stored in the storage bin without any dispensing of ice cubes. When a predetermined time period has elapsed after the last vending cycle or the last intermittent agitation of the ice cubes, the drum is automatically rotated through at least 360. To this end, an electrical source 300 is connected by a line 302 and a line 304 to a conventional timer 306. The timer 306 is connected as indicate-d at 308 to a switch 310 and is adapted to actuate the switch 310 after the elapse of a predetermined time interval between rotations of t-he drum. Switch 310 is adapted to complete a circuit through lines 312, 314 and a switch 316 of a relay 318 t0 a line 320. A line 326 connects line 320 to the coil 322 of a relay 324. The line 320 is also connected to a line 328 and a line 330 4through a switch 332. The switch 332 forms part of the timing cam switch unit 134 and is adapted to be actuated by a timing cam 334 of the timing cam unit 132 in a predetermined position of rotation of the drum. The drum driving motor 17 is connectable by a line 336 and a switch 338 of the relay 324 to a line 340 which is connected to the source 300 through the line 302.

When timing cycle is initiated at the completion of each vending cycle and when the timer times out after a predetermined interval following the last rotational movement of the drum 50, the switch 310 is closed to connect the lines 312 and 320, and energize the coil 322 of the relay 324. The switches of the relay 324 are actuated to the dotted positions shown and the motor 17 is energized Aby the source 300 through the line 302, the line 340, the switch 338, and the line 336. The drum motor 17 drives the drum through the motor shaft 140, the bevel gearing 136, 138 and the drive shaft 122. Actuation of the relay 324 by the timer 306 also energizes a holding circuit comprising a line 342, a switch 344 of the relay 324, the line 330, the switch 332, the line 328 and the line 326. The timer switch 310 opens as the timer continues, but the coil 322 remains energized through the holding circuit. As the drum is rotated, the timing cam 334 is also rotated and opens the switch 332 after a predetermined amount of drum rotation. In the preferred embodiment it is desired to move the drum through a full rotation of 360. When the switch 332 is opened, the holding circuit for the relay 324 is deenergized and the switch 338 is returned to its normal position to cause deenergization of the drive motor 17.

A dispensing cycle of the apparatus is initiated by the presence of one or more coins 350 which complete a circuit through the coin receiving unit 24 and connect a line 352 from the source 300 to a line 354. Energization of the line 354 causes energization of the coil 356 of the relay 318 through relay switch 358, line 360 and line 361. Line 360 is connected through a make-before-break switch 362 to a line 364. Energization of the coil 356 actuates the relay 318 and moves the switches 316, 358 to the dotted position. A holding circuit is formed by the line 314, the switch 316, a line 366, the line 364, the switch 362, the line 360 and the line 361. The drum drive motor 17 is energized from the line 364 through a line 368, a switch 370 of the chute gate lock means 260, a line 372, the switch 338 and the line 336. Energization of the line 372 through the switch 370 also results in energization of a solenoid 374 which moves a latch pin into engagement with the gate 231 and maintains the gate in the chute closing position during rotation of the drum. If the gate is not locked in the closed position, the switch 370 cannot close and the motor 17 will not be energized.

Simultaneous with the energization of motor 17 through the line 372, a line 370 is energized through the line 342 and the switch 344 to energize the latch bar solenoid 1192 through a line 371-8, and a timing cam switch 380. The switch 380 is associated with a timing cam 382 and eac-h forms part of the timing cam and switch units 132, 134. As the drum rotates the timing cam 382 causes actuation of the switch 380 at a predetermined position of the drum to locate the shutter in a predetermined manner relative to the drum and to the dispensing chute 210. When the switch 380 is actuated the solenoid 192 is energized. Actuation of the solenoid 192 moves the latch release arm 182 upwardly to displace the latch bar from engagement with the shutter and prevent further movement of the shutter relative to the drum by engagement of the abutment surfaces 159 and 190.

The drum continues to rotate until a complete dispensing cycle ha-s been completed at which time a timing cam 384 actuates the make-before-fbreak switch 362. The timing cam 384 first causes energization of a line 386 from line 360. The line 386 is connected by a switch 368 of the chute full control 264 to a line 390 when the chute is full. The line 390 is connected to a coin release device 392 which releases the coin 350 to a coin collection box. If there is insuflicient ice in the chute to actuate the chute fuI mechanism, the switch 388 Will be connected to a line 394 and actuate a coin release and return device 396 to return the coin to the customer. Continued instantaneous movement of the timing cam 384 subsequently breaks the connection between line 3160 and line 364 to disable the holding circuit for the relay 3118 and causes deenergizaztion of the coil 356 to return the switches 316 and 358 to the normal positions.

In addition to the aforementioned controls, circuits responsive to the supply of ice cubes in the storage bin are also provided. A line 400 is connected to the line 302 and is adapted to energize a light 402 indicating proper operational conditions in the vending machine through a control switch 404 of a storage bin control 406. The storage bin control mayV be of any conventional type indicating the fullness of the bin. When the bin has an insufficient supply of ice cubes to dispense the proper volume, the switch 404 will be actuated to the dotted position to connect the line 400 to a line 405 to actuate a coin release and return device 408, and prevent the initiation of a vending cycle.

Operation In operation of the subject vending machine, a quantity of ice cubes is stored in the storage bin 16 between the plastic liner and the drum 50. A quantity of bags is stored in the machine and the bags are adapted to be dispensed one at a time through the bag dispenser 26. 'When a suflicien-t number of ice cubes are present in the storage bin 16 to provide ,a full measure for a vending cycle, the Vending cycle will be initiated by the deposit of the appropriate coin or coins in ythe coin chute 24. At the start of a vending cycle the apparatus is in the position shown in FIG. 1 with the .shutter slots 142, 144 located at top dead center and bottom dead center respectively. The latch assembly 160 is located at the bottom of the drum in the lower left hand quadrant as viewed in FIG. 1. The latch bar 161 is biased downwardly onto the shelf 150 and is in .abutting engagement with the side Surface I154 of the shelf. rPhe latch release bar 182 is in its lowered position as seen in FIG. 7 to permit the stop 157 to rotate foriwardly thereover.

The rear edge 102 of the opening 100 in the bottom wall of the drum and the rear portions of the scoop means are located approximately `30" forwardly of top dead center. In this position t'he abutment wall 92 of the scoop means extends substantially vertically and the bottom wall thereof curves downwardly. Consequently, any water accumulating on the scoop means will drain to the bottom of the drum. The dispensing chute 210 is com- 9 piletely empty and the gate 231 is in the closed position shown in FIG. 2 whereat lthe latch pin 262 extends inwardly into latching engagement with t-he gate.

When the coins have been properly deposited, the drum motor 17 is energized as hereinbefore described. The motor rotates `the drum in the directions of the arrows y128 by means of the shafts 122, 140 and the bevel gears `136, 138. As the drum rotates, the shutter which is freely rotatably mount-ed relative to the drum and the shaft 122, is caused therewith by the driving engagement of the latch bar 161 with the abutment surface 154 of the shelf 150'. The scoop means starts from the position shown in FIG. l and is rotated downwardly through Athe mass of ice cubes in the `storage bin. As the scoop means moves through the mass of ice cubes, all of the stored cubes throughout the storage bin are agitated and Iare continuously displaced and replaced in the area immediately in front of the scoop. The shutter provides a complete closure for the drum opening 100 during the rotation. As the drum rotates any excess water is continually drained through the drain slots 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 in the side wall of the drum to the bottom of the storage bin and to `a suitable receptacle through the passage 44. As the scoop means is iilled with cubes during rotation through the bottom portion of the storage Ibin, the open downwardly facing initial position of the iscoop means is changed to an upwardly facing position whereat ice cwbes will be trapped within the scoop means against the abutment wall 92.

It should be noted that the lowermost point in the :storage bin is defined by the bottom wall and the side wall of the drum. Consequently, the subject apparatus is capable -of dispensing a full load of ice cubes as long as there are suiiicient ice cubes in the storage bin. In other words, as the amount of ice cubes in the storage .bin is reduced the remaining cubes will accumulate in the drum at the bottom of the storage bin. Consequently, when the drum is rotated and the scoop means passes through the lowermost portion of the storage bin, all of the available ice cubes will be trapped in Ithe scoop means and carried upwardly thereby. Furthermore, as the scoop means are rotated upwardly the excess water which ymay accumulate in the bottom of the drum will drain iaway therefrom during Ithe upward movement. The abutment wall 9.2 of the scoop means is slightly inclined downwardly during such movement to facilitate drainage. 'T-he drainage slots in the drum are operative at all positions of rotation of the drum to insure complete drainage. Thus one of the prime advantages of the present apparatus is the top delivery feature whereby complete drainage of the ice cubes in the storage bin is attained.

As the drum rotates upwardly the lowermost shutter opening 142 precedes the drum opening 100 and the shutter driving latch bar 161. As the drum is rotated Iupwardly, the solenoid 192 is actuated by its associated timing cam 382 to move the latch release bar 182 to its uppermost position shown in FIG. 8. In the upper position of the latch release bar 182, the abutment surface 190 is in alignment with the abutment surfaces 154, 159 of the stops 156, 157. In addition, the cam surface 188 is in alignment with the nose portion 168 of the latch bar. As the drum passes the latch release means, the latch bar 161 is cammed out of driving engagement with the abutment surface 154 on the shelf 150 of the shutter and the shutter is brought to rest in a predetermined position by engagement of the abutment surfaces 154 and 190. In the predetermined position, the shutter opening 142 is exactly aligned with the chute opening 214 at top dead center. The drum is continuously rotated and continues to move a load of ice cubes trapped on the scoop means towards the aligned openings 142 and 214. As the leading edge 104 of the drum opening 100 reaches the openings 142 and 214, ice cubes trapped by the scoop means are displaced through the aligned openings into the chute 210. The drum continues to rotate and ice cubes are continuously displaced through the aligned openings until the chute 210 is completely iilled. The trailing edge 102 of the drum opening subsequently passes the chute opening and the shutter opening, and the drum continues to rotate until the scoop means and the drum openings return to the position shown in FIG. 1. At that time, one of the timing cams 384 actuates a switch 362 to deenergize the drum motor. All of the ice cubes are at this time either completely displaced into the vending chute or completely displaced back into the storage bin by the shearing action of the trailing edge of the drum as it moves past the shutter opening and the chute opening. Accordingly, it may be seen that the drum rotates 360 for each 180 rotation of the shutter. It may be observed that, when the shutter plate 52 is fixed, the bottom wall of the drum rotates thereover with the ice cube dispensing slot being closed by the plate until the ice cube dispensing slot 100 becomes aligned with the vending chute opening 214 and the connecting slot in the plate. Thus, the shutter plate 52 is effectively a fixed portion of the ice cube storage :bin during the dispensing cycle and acts as a shutter means by closing the dispensing slot 100` in the drum until the dispensing slot 100 becomes aligned with the vending chute opening 214.

After the drum has completed its rotation and providing that a suiiicient number of ice cubes have been dispensed to the chute 210 to actuate the chute full switch 264 and release the coins to the collection box, the chute latch solenoid 374 is deenergized to retract the latching pin 262. Simultaneously with the dispensing cycle of the ice cubes, a plastic bag for packaging the ice cubes is dispensed through the bag dispensing unit 26 as described in the before mentioned copending application. The customer takes the bag from the bag dispenser and fits the bag around the lip 238 on the gate 231. The customer can at this time see the ice cubes in the vending chute through the window 229 and the translucent material 256. The customer pivotally displaces the gate downwardly until the stop 246 engages the rear wall 244 as shown in FIG. 6. At this time all of the cubes in the chute are dispensed into the bag. When the cubes have been dispensed the customer releases the gate 238 which is returned by a biasing spring to its closed position whereat the latch pin 262 is movable into locking engagement with the gate.

If it is desired to vary the amount of ice delivered to the vending chute, control plate 250 at the bottom of the chute may be repositioned or replaced by the machine owner with plates having varying peripheral configurations which vary the volume of the dispensing chute. Consequently, during a vending cycle when the drum is rotated past the shutter opening and the chute opening, only a predetermined quantity of ice cubes can 4be dispensed before the chute will be filled.

If the machine is not operated within a predetermined time, such as an hour, the timer 306 will time out and energize the drum motor 17 to canse a complete revolution of the drum. During the periodic ice cube agitating rotation of the drum every hour, or other predetermined time interval, the latch is not released by actuation of solenoid 192 and therefore the relative positions of the drum and the shutter remain the same throughout the rotation. Accordingly, no ice cubes are dispensed and the shutter provides a backup wall behind the drum opening 100 at all times. The periodic rotation of the drum prevents the ice cubes from freezing and fusing to one another. In addition, freshly made ice cubes at the top of the storage bin are dispersed throughout the storage bin so that cubes of varying freshness will be dispensed at the next dispensing cycle.

Since the principles of the present invention have obvious application in alternative embodiments and may be utilized in varying manners, it is intended that the scope ice cube agitating and dispensing means provided in said storage bin means and forming a part of the ice cube storage area enclosure and including the lowermost portions of said storage bin means, whereby all of the icel cubes in said storage bin, means are at least partially supported by said ice cube agitating and dispensing means and are subject to agitation during movement thereof, ice cube vending means communicating with said storage bin means at a point spaced above the lowermost portions of said storage bin means and adapted to receive predetermined quantities of ice cubes from said storage bin means, and power means to actuate said ice cube agitating and dispensing means and move ice cubes from said storage bin means into said ice cube vending means by movement of ice rcubes from the lowermost portions of said storage bin means upwardly to said point spaced thereabove.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 and wherein said ice cube agitating and dispensing means comprises a drum, support means rotatably supporting said drum for rotation relative to and within said storage bin means, scoop means carried by said drum in a position adapted to lift ice cubes from the lowermost portions of said storage bin means to the point spaced thereabove whereat said vending means communicates with the ice cube storage area in said storage bin means.

3. The invention as defined in claim 1 and wherein said ice cu'be agitating and dispensing means comprises a drum having a central wall portion and a side wall portion forming part of said storage bin means, said side wall portion terminating in a rim portion defining a drum cavity opening into the ice cube storage area of said storage bin means, drum rotating means rotatably supporting said drum for rotation relative to said storage bin means about a central axis of said drum, said central axis being inclined relative to a vertical axis and locating said drum in an inclined position whereat the central wall portion and side wall portion of the drum intersect a vertical axis passing through the intersection thereof at an acute angle and whereat the intersection of the lowermost portions of the bottom wall and the side wall forms the lowermost point in the storage bin means, and ice cube scoop means provided on said drum to carry ice -cubes from the lowermost point to said ice cube vending means as said drum is rotated.

4. The invention as defined in claim 3 and wherein said drum is made from a plastic material having the characteristics of rejecting dirt and stains, and said storage bin means having plastic liner means made from a plastic material having the characteristics of rejecting dirt and stains and forming all of the inside ice cube contacting surfaces of the ice cube storage area provided by said storage means.

5. The invention as defined in claim 3 and wherein drainage means are provided below Ksaid drum and said storage bin means, and drain slot means formed in said drum and providing a drain passage at the lowermost point of said drum during rotation thereof. 6. The invention as defined in claim 3 and wherein said scoop means comprises an arcuate circumferentially extending wall extending outwardly from the central wall of said drum toward the ice cube storage area, and a substantially radially extending abutment wall intersecting said arcuate wall and extending outwardly from the central wall of said drum toward the ice cube storage area.

7. The invention asF defined in claim Y6 and having an arcuately extending dispensing slot formed in the central wall of said drum adjacent said scoop means, and shutter means closing said dispensing slot to the passage of ice cubes until said dispensing slot is located opposite said ice cube vending means whereat said dispensing slot is connected to said ice cube vending means to permit ldispensing of lice cubes into said ice cube vending means from the storage area of said storage bin means with said dispensing slot in 4an open condition.

8. Ice cube dispensing apparatus for simultaneously dispensing a quantity of ice cubes comprising storage bin means providing anice cube storage area, movable ice cube agitating and dispensing means provided -in said storage bin means and forming part of the ice cube storage area enclosure including the lowermost portions of said storage bin means whereby the ice cubes in said storage bin means are at least partially supported by said ice cube agitating and dispensing means and are subject to agitation during movement thereof, said movable ice cube agitating and dispensing means having means to support and carry a numerable amount of ice cubes toward a dis- Ipensing position, ice cube dispensing means communicating with said storage bin means at a point spaced above the lowermost portions of said storage bin means adapted to receive a numerable amount of ice cubes from said storage bin means, and means to actuate said ice cube agitating and dispensing means to move a numerable amount of ,ice cubes from said storage bin means into said ice cube dispensing means. Y

9. In an ice cube vending machine, ice cube storage means providing an ice cube storage space, rotatable drum side wall portion formed by said drum means, dispensingV means connecting the ice cube storage space to said vending chute means through said drum means, and4 ice cube delivery means associated. with said drum means to deliver ice cubes from said storage space to and through said dispensing means during rotation of said drum means.

10. The invention as defined in claim 9 wherein the side wall and bottom wall portions of said storage space formed by said drum means are located at and form the lowermostportion of the storage space whereby all the -ice cubesv 1n said sto-rage space are at least partially supported there-A by and said ice cube delivery means including a scoopmovable with said drum means through said lowermost portion to deliver ice cubes of varying freshness to said vending chute means from various portions of said storage space including said lowermost portion.

11. An ice cube vending machine comprising ice cube storage means providing an ice cube storage area, ice cube manufacturing means connected with said storage means and being operable to deliver quantities of ice cubes to said storage means for storage in said storage area, drum means forming part of the confining walls of said storage means, drum support means movably supporting said `drum means for movement relative to said storage means, said drum means being supported and located -in a position providing the lowermost point in said storage means whereat ice cubes in said storage area are continually directed onto said drum means toward the lowermost point, an ice cube outlet provided in said storage means and being spaced vertically above the lowermost point, scoop means associated with said drum means =to move a quantity of ice cubes from the lowermost point to the ice cube outlet, an ice cube discharge port provided in said drum means and being alignable with said ice cube outlet during portions of the movement of said drum means relative to said storage means, shutter means associated with said drum means to open and close said ice cube discharge port relative to said ice cube outlet at predetermined intervals during drum movement, vending chute means communicating with said ice cube outlet and adapted to receive predetermined quantities of ice cubes from said storage means when said ice discharge port is aligned with said ice cube outlet, and gate means provided at the end of said vending chute means and being movable from a chute closing position for Storing a predetermined quantity 'of ice cubes in said chute means to a c-hute opening position for vending said predetermined quantity of ice cubes.

12. The invention as defined in claim 11 and having an ice cube vending unit mounted in said machine and including a vending cavity connected to said vending chute means, said gate means being mounted over the lower portion of said vending cavity, a bag support provided in said vending unit and being spaced below said gate means, and bag locating means provided on said gate means to receive the upper open end of a bag supported on said bag support in the chute opening position for receiving the predetermined quantity of ice cubes in said vending chute.

13. The invention as defined in claim 11 and wherein said gate means comprises a substantially U-shaped channel member having a central portion connecting substantially parallel leg portions, pivot means connected to said leg portions and mounting said gate means in pivotal sliding relationship with the lower end of said vending cavity, and said centr-al portion being movable about said pivot means from a position closing the end of said vending cavity for storing a quantity of ice cubes therein to a position opening the end of said vending cavity for discharge of ice cubes stored therein.

14. The invention as defined in claim 13 and wherein said central portion is arcuate in shape and extends between a front lip and a rea-r lip, said front lip providing means to actua-te said central portion to the open position, and said rear lip providing a stop limiting opening movement of said `centr-al portion.

15. The invention as defined in claim 11 and having an escutcheon plate surrounding the end of said vending chute means, and viewing window means formed in said escutcheon plate to permit visual inspection of the interior of the end of the vending chute means.

16. The invention as defined in claim 11 and having adjustable vending chute volume control plates mounted at the end of said vending chute means to vary the volume of ice cubes receivable in said vending chute from said storage bin means.

17. An ice cube vending machine comprising ice cube manufacturing means, ice cube storage means, agitation means for agitating and mixing stored ice cubes in said storage means, vending chute means connected to said storage means for receiving a predetermined quantity of ice cubes therefrom, delivery means for delivering a quantity of ice cubes to said vending chute means, -delivery control means for selectively permitting or preventing delivery of ice cubes to said vending chute means, said delivery control means locating and maintaining all ice cubes within the confines of said ice cube storage means and subject to agitation and mixing by said agitation means until positioned to permit delivery of ice cubes, motor means 4for actuating said delivery means and said agitating means, motor control means operable in response to a coin gene-rated signal to energize said motor means and actuate said agitating means, a delivery means control to selectively operate said delivery means in response :to said coin generated signal and the position of said agitating means, and a timing control means to periodically energize said motor means without operating said delivery means to actuate said agitating means Without delivery of ice cubes from said storage means.

18. An ice cube vending machine comprising storage means defining a vertically extending ice cube storage area, drum means forming an ice cube confining portion of said storage means, support means rotatably supporting said drum means relative to said storage means, said drum means being formed by a central wall portion and a side wall portion terminating in a rim portion defining an opening facing the ice -cube storage area, an ice cube delivery slot formed in the drum means, a vending chute having an inlet opening communicable with said delivery slot, shutter means for closing said delivery slot and for connecting said vending chute to said storage means :through said inlet opening and said delivery slot and maintaining the stored ice cubes within the ice cube storage area until said vending chute is selectively connected to said storage means, and power means to rotate said drum means in response to a coin generated signal to selectively connect said inlet opening and said delivery slot and lill said vending chute with a mixture of ice cubes from said storage means of varying freshness.

19. The invention as defined in claim 18 and having timing means to periodically energize said power means without connecting said inlet -opening and said delivery slot and to cause Irotation of said drum means for agitation of said ice cubes without delivery to said vending chute.

20. The invention as defined in claim 18 and having measuring means to determine whether said vending chute receives a full measure of ice cubes during .a vending cycle, and circuit means responsive to said measuring means to return the coin generating the signal initiating the vending cycle to the customer when a full measure of ice cubes are not received in said vending chute.

21. An ice cube vending machine comprising a storage bin defined by substantially vertically extending side wall means and bottom wall means, a rim portion formed in said storage bin and defining a substantially circular opening lying in an inclined plane extending between the side walls, a drum rotatably mounted in said circular opening and having a central wall portion extending substantially parallel to said plane and being spaced therebelow, a peripheral side wall portion provided around said drum and extending upwardly from said central wall portion toward said storage 'bin and terminating in a drum rim spaced closely adjacent said rim potion and foming a substantially coextensive surface therewith, a portion -of said drum forming the lowermost area in said storage bin whereby the lowermost layers of ice cubes in said storage 'bin will be received in said drum, shaft means rotatably supporting said drum land being drivingly connected thereto, an ice cube dispensing slot formed in `the central wall portion of said drum, scoop means provided in said drum adjacent said dispensing slot, and vending means associated with said drum to selectively deliver predetermined quantities of ice cubes from said storage bin through said dispensing slot.

22. The invention as defined in claim 21 and wherein said Vending means comprises a shutter plate freely rotatably mounted on said shaft means beneath said bottom wall, slot means formed in said shutter plate and being located for alignment with said dispensing slot in said bottom wall, a vending chute, a vending chute inlet opening being located for alignment with said dispensing slot and said slot means, power means to rotate said drum through said shaft means, latch means to selectively drivingly connect said drum to said shutter plate with said slot means misaligned relative to said dispensing slot and said shutter plate closing said dispensing slot and to cause rotative movement of said shutter plate with said drum means, stop means to locate said shutter plate with said slot means in .alignment With said inlet opening, and latch Irelease means to release said latch means and permit said drum to rotate .relative to said shutter plate until said dispensing slot moves through and beyond a position of lalignment with said slot means and said inlet opening Whereat said vending chute is filled with ice cubes to a position whereat said shutter plate again closes said dispensing slot.

23. In an ice cube vending machine, a power source, a coin collection and return mechanism, power driven ice cube dispensing means, an ice cube dispensing chute, a gate controlling movement of ice cubes through said chute, latch means to lock said gate in a closed position relative to said chute to prevent ice cubes from moving therethrough, means to measure the volume of ice cubes in said chute, means to generate a vending cycle initiating signal in response to the deposit of a coin or coins in said coin collection and return mechanism, means to actuate said ice cube dispensing means in response to said initiating signal, means to prevent actuation of said ice cube dispensing means when Said latch means is inoperative and said gate is unlocked, means to prevent actuation of said ice cube dispensing means when an insuicient supply of ice cubes is available for delivery of a full measure of ice cubes, means to return the coin or coins when said ice cube dispensing means is inoperative, means to return the coin or coins when said ice cube dispensing means is operative but fails to deliver a full measure of ice cubes, and means to collect the coin or coins only when a full measure of ice cubes are dispensed into said chute.

24. Ice cube dispensing apparatus for simultaneously ydispensing a quantity of ice cubes comprising ice cube storage means providing an ice cube storage space for a numerable amount of ice cubes, rotatable ice cube supporting means and fixed ice cube conning means forming the side and bottom Walls of and dening said storage space, ice cube dispensing means for dispensing -a numerable amount of ice cubes including passage means extending through said rotatable ice cube supporting means, and drive means for rotating said ice cube supporting means relative to said fixed ice cube confining means to selectively open and close said passage means to cause movement of a numerable amount of ice cubes in said storage space through said passage means.

A 25. The invention as'dened in claim 24 and having control means operable in response to a coin Vgenerated signal to actuate said drive means for dispensing ice cubes from said storage means and operable intermittently without a coin generated signal to actuate said drive means for agitation of ice cubes in said storage means to prevent fusion thereof.

26. In an ice cube vending machine operable by a coin generated signal through vending cycles causing delivery of predetermined quantities of ice cubes from a storage space to a vending chute, agitating means to agitate all ice cubes in said storage space at times other than times during said vending cycles, and control means to intermittently actuate said agitating means only to an extent su'icient to prevent fusion of said ice cubes.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,741,033 12/1929 Neidlinger 221--203 X 2,597,515 5/1952 Nitsch 62381 X 3,196,625 7/ 1965 Nicolaus 222--146 X References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,290,090 1/ 1919 Cole.

. 2,421,835 6/ 1947 Durant. 2,791,887 5 1957 Hennig. 2,804,996 9/1957 Werner et al. 2,957,604 10/ 1960 Goldman et al.V 2,969,650 1/ 1961 Eshenburg et al. 2,986,897 6/1961 Howard. 3,034,312 5/1962 Harle.

3,144,965 8/1964 Burton et al.

ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. AN ICE CUBE VENDING MACHINE COMPRISING ICE CUBE MANUFACTURING MEANS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF ICE CUBES, STORAGE BIN MEANS PROVIDING AN ICE CUBE STORAGE AREA FOR ICE CUBES MANUFACTURED IN SAID ICE CUBE MANUFACTURING MEANS, ICE CUBE DELIVERY MEANS CONNECTING SAID ICE CUBE MANUFACTURING MEANS AND SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS FOR DELIVERING ICE CUBES TO SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS, MOVABLE ICE CUBE AGITATING AND DISPENSING MEANS PROVIDED IN SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS AND FORMING A PART OF THE ICE CUBE STORAGE AREA ENCLOSURE AND INCLUDING THE LOWERMOST PORTIONS OF SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS, WHEREBY ALL OF THE ICE CUBES IN SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS ARE AT LEAST PARTIALLY SUPPORTED BY SAID ICE CUBE AGITATING AND DISPENSING MEANS AND ARE SUBJECT TO AGITATION DURING MOVEMENT THEREOF, ICE CUBE VENDING MEANS COMMUNICATING WITH SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS AT A POINT SPACED ABOVE THE LOWERMOST PORTIONS OF SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS AND ADAPTED TO RECEIVE PREDETERMINED QUANTITIES OF ICE CUBES FROM SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS, AND POWER MEANS TO ACTUATE SAID ICE CUBE AGITATING AND DISPENSING MEANS AND MOVE ICE CUBES FROM SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS INTO SAID ICE CUBE VENDING MEANS BY MOVEMENT OF ICE CUBES FROM THE LOWERMOST PORTIONS OF SAID STORAGE BIN MEANS UPWARDLY TO SAID POINT SPACED THEREABOVE.
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