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Wall mounted earplug dispenser with ratchet

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #6241120.

An earplug dispenser for manual operation by a user includes a bottle member to receive a plurality of earplugs. A dispensing mechanism is located at an open end of the bottle member so that when the bottle member is turned upside down, the dispensing mechanism projects downward and the earplugs fall by gravity to the dispensing mechanism. The dispensing mechanism includes an impeller member having a plurality of impeller openings to have individual earplugs located within the impeller openings by gravity and additionally includes a knob member projecting downward from the impeller and including a ratchet mechanism so that the rotation of the knob provides for rotation of the impeller and any individual earplugs captured in the impeller openings in only one direction. The dispensing mechanism also includes a separate dispensing opening and a chute located adjacent the knob member and in line with the impeller openings so that as the knob is rotated progressive ones of the impeller openings containing individual earplugs are directed above the dispensing openings to allow the earplugs to fall out of the dispensing mechanism through the chute into the hand of the user.

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