They Invented What? (No. 7)
U.S. Pat. No. 4,465,208: Chewing Gum Dispenser.
“While difficulty in removing the gum from the sheath occurs initially, and while subsequentially having to deal with loosened sticks of gum may not be a pressing problem, it can, however, be a nuisance, and even dangerous. It can be dangerous, for example, if the habitual gum chewer attempts to provide himself with a stick of gum while driving an automobile. The need to use two hands to remove the initial sticks of gum from the sheath, or the need to look away from the road in an effort to locate a loosed stick, can have serious consequences.”
1. A dispenser for dispensing sticks of chewing gum, which sticks have a given thickness, one at a time, comprising, in combination:
a container having a bottom wall, two side walls, two end walls, and a top wall, and having size to receive a plurality of sticks of chewing gum arranged contigiously in a stack such that the sticks lie substantially parallel to one another and to said top and bottom walls of said container;
a plate disposed within said container substantially parallel with said top and bottom walls;
means in the form of a resilient element for urging said plate and any stack of gum sticks disposed thereon toward the underside of said top wall;
the top wall being formed by a first portion and second portion; said second portion of said top wall being adjacent to one end wall and extending from one of said two side walls to the other; said first portion is retractable in the plane of said top wall in the direction away from said second portion;
said first portion of said top wall having an opening formed therethrough which opening is elongated along the centerline of said top wall in the direction of the ends of said containers;
said one end wall having an outlet opening formed therethrough which is rectangular in shape and extends in width from one side wall to the other side wall of said container, and extends in height from an upper edge which lies a distance less than the height of said outlet opening below the plane of the underside of said top wall to a lower edge which is greater than said thickness of a stick of chewing gum but less than twice said thickness.