US 2068763 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 26, 1937. H, K, POWELL 2,068,763.
'CONTAINER Filed June 4, 1954 gbe() di en/yfpgwew u f5 Patented Jan. 26, 1937 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CONTAINER Application June 4, 1934, Serial No. 728,915
The present invention relates to collapsible containers of the type used for such purposes as packaging ice cream or other com-modities and constructed of fibrous materials such as paperboard, and has particular reference to the construction of a collapsible container of the type described which may be collapsed into flattened condition for shipping or storage and provided with an integral bottom portion operable to be interlocked with another portion of the container toform a rigid receptacle.
A principal object of the invention is the provision of a container having a permanently attached bottom section which may be folded from flattened condition into interlocked relation with the body portion of the container to form a stable bottom mechanism and to erect the container.
An additional object is to provide a fibrous container which may be shipped from the manufacturer to the user in flattened or collapsed condition and which may be erected or set up by the user with ease.
A further object is to provide a collapsible container having a minimum number of parts, and a method of erecting the container.
A still further object is to provide a container of the type described, in which the bottom portion is permanently and integrally attached to the body section along a hinge line and other portions of the body and bottom having interlocking means for securing the bottom portion in set-up position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a collapsible container of semi-circular cross-section.
These and other objects will be evident from a consideration of the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention and by reference to the accompanying drawing, in Which- Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a container constructed in accordance with my invention;
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section taken along lineV 2 2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a cross-section of the container shown in Fig. 1 taken along line 3-3 thereof;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view showing the method of interlocking the bottom member of the container with the body portion thereof;
Fig. 5 is a view of the blank from which the container is constructed; and
Fig. 6 is a View of two of the semi-circular containers shown in Fig. 1 inserted in a cooling can in back-to-back relation.
the use of containers constructed of fiber board or similar flexible material has been found desirable in connection with the packaging, shipping and storing of various commodities, in particular ice cream and other frozen confections. In fact, such containers have largely replaced the previously used metal cans, due to such advantages as economy in manufacture and use and disposal of the empty containers subsequent to use. Fiber containers as constructed by the manufacturer are shipped in at or knock-down condition to the ice cream factory Where they are set up, filled with the materials to be frozen, subjected to a freezing process and stored in a hardening room for the requisite period and subsequently shipped to the dispenser or retailer. After the contents have been dispensed the containers are destroyed so that there is no problem of returning them or of cleaning and sterilizing them for refilling, as is the case Where expensive metal cans are employed.
One problem in the construction of ber containers of this type, which has been particularly vexatious, is the provision of a bottom structure having adequate strength which will be suitable in design and construction to withstand the hard treatment to which such containers are ordinarily subjected. The bottom structures generally are separate from the body portion of the container so that the body portion may be flattened along diametric lines. One type of ber container which has met with considerable favor consists of a body portion having inwardly extending fingers along its lower edge, an outer cap-like member fitted around the lower edge of the container, and an inner disc, of greater diameter than the diameter of the body portion of the container, which expands the lower edge of the body portion into a metal retaining member. Containers of this type which require a metal band or other eX- tra bottom retaining elements to this extent are more complicated, expensive and cumbersome than need be.
Containers of the type described customarily are of circular cross-section and in containing ice cream, for example, are placed in a suitable cooling can or refrigerating device to maintain the contents in a solid condition. These cooling devices are of standard size, as well as are the containers. Often it happens that a user will not have need for as much ice cream as will be held in an ordinary container of circular cross-section. In accordance with my invention, I have provided a container of semi-circular cross-section which will hold a half portion of the commodity to be packaged, as compared with the ordinary circular container, my improved container preferably being of one-piece construction and having a suitable interlocking mechanism by which the bottom member may be secured in set-up or erected condition to dene the shape of the container.
As shown in the drawings, the container is constructed by suitably cutting and scoring a blank 25 to form a body portion 26, a top 21 of halfmoon shape and a bottom 28 of similar shape to that of the top. The top and bottom members of the container are hinged to the body portion 2E along straight score lines 29 and 30, respectively. These score lines are 0f the same length and extend a distance slightly less than the greatest width of the top and bottom members. The bottom member 28 is hinged to the lower edge of the body portion 26 and extends from the ends of the score line 3D along outwardly curved lines into a circular shaped edge portion opposite the score line 30.
Preferably, the top member 21 and the bottom Y member 28 are secured to the body portion of the container adjacent the central portion of the latter, so that when the container is completed by securing opposite edges of the body portion together in the usual manner, the overlapped portion of the container will be opposite the central portion of the top and bottom members, as shown in Fig. 3. However, it will be understood that this particular position of the top` and bottom members along the blank 28 is not at all essential. In fact, complementary sections of the top and bottom members may be xed to the end portions of the blank so that when the ends of the blank are secured together, complete bottom and top members are formed thereby.
Along those parts of the lower edge of the body portion 28 not occupied by the bottom member 28 are provided a series of tongues or ngers 3|. These tongues are hinged to the lower edge of the body portion 25 along score lines which permit them to be rotated inwardly of the container. Ordinarily, the tongues are cut away toward their outer or free ends, as shown in the drawing, so that when rotated inwardly of the container into substantially horizontal position the tongues will be spaced apart a substantial distance. When cut away in this manner, the free ends of the tongues are of substantially less Width than the base portions thereof.
The bottom member 28 is provided with a series of tongue-receiving openings 32 positioned in a semi-circular manner about the curved portion thereof. These openings 32 are shaped in somewhat similar fashion to the shape of the bottom member itself, and are spaced from the curved edge of the bottom member to provide a ringlike supporting shelf along the unattached edge of the bottom member. The openings 32 are spaced apart a substantial distance, thereby providing suicient material between the adjacent openings to maintain the rigidity of the bottom member at its outer edge.
In manufacturing the container, one end of the body portion 26 is placed in overlapped relation with respect to the opposite end, and the ends are secured together by means of staples 33, or by any other suitable means. The container is collapsed into flattened condition along opposite score lines and is shipped in this shape to the user, with the bottom and top members attached in integral fashion.
The dimensOns of the bottom and top members are such that they may be received within the body portion 2G of the container to form a snug t, thereby imparting to the body portion of the container the desired half-moon shape. Since the bottom and tcp members are attached to the blank of the container along straight score lines 29 and 3G, the back portion retains its piane shape, while the insertion of the curved portion of the top and bottom members within the container causes the front of the container to partake of a circular shape, as shown in the drawing.
In the preferred embodiment of my invention and as will be seen in Figs. l, 2 and 5 the hinge or score line 29 by which the top member 2'1 is secured to the body portion of the container is offset with respect to the upper edge of the container. That is, the top member is joined to the body portion below the normal level of the upper edge thereof. This lowered position of the cover member insures reception within the interior of the body portion when the cover is in horizontal position. `In packaging frozen products such as ice cream, the container is filled to a point somewhat below the hinge line 29, and expansion upon freezing brings the level of the contents substantially to the horizontal level of the cover member. If the cover member is not positioned within the walls of the body portion during freezing, the'body portion will assume a more rounded shape adjacent the top, thereby destroying the semi-circular or half-moon shape which it is desired to impart to the container. Also, if the top is not hinged below the top edge of the body portion, the free edges of the top tend to be dislodged from the interior of the container walls, particularly adjacent the hinge lines. two of the semi-circular containers maj7 be filled and frozen in a can, as shown in Fig. 6, so that each will act as a shape retainer for the other. However, it is preferred to close the cover and to freeze the contents in the usual manner.
The hinge line 29 does not extend the entire width of the container. Instead, the free edges of the top extend beyond the hinge and are flared about along a curved line to be joined with the semi-circular front of the container, thereby forming rounded sides which make the contents of the container at these points available for removal therefrom by the customarily used dipper.
To set up the container from its flattened shape, the body portion 26 is distended and the bottom member 28 is rotated about score line 3|] from its normal collapsed position substantially parallel to the back of the body portion inwardly of the container, the bottom portion taking substantially the position shown in Fig. 4. The tongue members 3| then are rotated from their normal position in the plane of the body portion inwardly of the container. To render the parts of the bottom of the container more accessible, it will be found desirable ordinarily to invert the container for setting-up purposes, particularly where the erection is to be performed by hand. When inverted, the bottom portion 23 will be rotated downwardly within the container and beyond the horizontal plane of the lower edge of the body portion. For clarity, however, the setting-up of the container will be discussed as if the container were in its normal position and the rotation of the bottom member and fingers, as shown in Fig. 4, are referred to as being upwardly within the container.
The openings 32 of the bottom member are so positioned as to be in line with the rotation of tongues 3|. Therefore, as the tongues 3| are pressed upwardly within the container, as shown Of course, f:
in Fig. 4, these tongues strike openings 32 and project therethrough when the bottom member 28 is again rotated toward horizontal position. In erecting the container the tongues 3| nearest the hinge line 30 rst are pressed downwardly into engagement with the corresponding opening 32, and then the next adjacent tongues similarly are engaged with the pro-per openings 32. As a greater amount of rotation of the bottom member 28 is required to engage the tongues near the score line 3|] with the openings 32 in the bottom portion, these tongues are not released when the tongues further away from the line of rotation of the bottom member are pressed into engagement with the openings 32. This action will be seen from consideration of Fig. 4, in which the bottom member is pressed downwardly a suflicient distance to engage the tongues opposite the hinge line 30 with the openings 32 in the bottom member. After engagement of all the tongues 3| through the openings 32 the bottom member then is rotated downwardly into the closed position shown in Fig. 2. Rotation of the bottom member 28 back into the horizontal position shown in Fig. 2 causes the tongues 3| also to assume a substantially horizontal position, due to engagement of the outer portion of the bottom member with the base portion of the tongues. By progressively shortening the tongues adjacent the back of the container toywhich the bottom member is hinged, the distance necessary to rotate the bottom member for engagement with the tongues may be made equal for all the tongues, whereby the tongues may be simultaneously engaged with the bottom member. The bottom member has suflicient resilience to cause it to tend toward rotation back into horizontal position, so that when the tongues are pressed downwardly into engagement with the openings 32, the release of pressure against the bottom member by insertion of the tongues into the openings causes the bottom member to snap upwardly to lock the tongues into the openings 32. Preferably, this action is assisted by the provision of a resilient pressure-exerting device for biasing the bottom toward horizontal position.
After the bottom member is interlocked as described, an inner disc-like auxiliary bottom member 34 is closely iitted within the container and against the walls of the body portion thereof, as shown in Fig. 9. Although the shape of the container is defined by the snug engagement of the bottom member 28 against the walls of the body portion 26, as shown in Fig. 3, this second or auxiliary bottom member 34 additionally may support the container walls in position. A principal function of the auxiliary bottom member, however, is to increase the strength of the bottom closure. The pressure exerted by a commodity package within the container on the auxiliary bottom member largely is transferred to the bottom closure along the base portions of the tongues 3| and the hinge line, where the parts are integral with the body portion.
A particular advantage of employing a bottom member which is integrally hinged to the body portion of the container is that the openings 32 automatically are aligned with their respective tongues 3|, so that normal rotation of the latter will insure engagement of the tongues in the proper opening. Therefore, it is not necessary to produce relative rotation between the body portion and the bottom member to obtain alignment of the tongues 3| with openings 32. It will be understood that it is not necessary to have so substantial a hinge as shown in the drawing, but,
in the case of `a half-moon container, this substantial hinge line provides a flat or plane-shape back portion.
After filling the container with a commodity such as ice cream, the top member 2'| may be.
rotated about hinge line 29 to a position within the body portion 26, whereby to form a closure for the container and to provide additional means fo-r maintaining the body portion 26 inv proper shape. As the top 21 is of the same shape as the bottom member, the container will have a regular cross-sectional shape. It will be noted that in set-up condition .both the bottom member and the top member are within the body portion.
Before the container is assembled, the blank 25 is provided with longitudinal score lines throughout its length, as shown in Fig. 5, even though the top and bottom members and the tongues 3| are not deformed into curved shape. In the case of the body portion, these longitudinal score lines insure regular curvature when the bottom and top members are inserted within the container. It will be seen from Fig. 3 that when the bottom and top members are rotated into closed position the longitudinal score lines therein become opposed to the body portion. After interlock of the bottom members in place, the container may be filled with the liquid or semi-liquid ingredients of ice cream. Such ingredients then may be subjected to further freezing or hardening to complete the ice cream manufacture. The top of the container is closed before the final hardening occurs, in order that the container may have a symmetrical half-moon shape from top to bottom when the ice cream freezes, expands and hardens. The score lines in the container may be of any desired distance apart, and preferably the score lines are of sufoient distance apart that a score line is provided at the terminal base portions of the tongues 3|. As shown in Fig. 5, the score lines are of one-half the width of the base portions of tongues 3|.
Extensive use of containers of the type described herein has proven that the bottom structures are simple, easily erected, economical, and quite durable when used` for the purpose for which they .are intended. Even though no metallic rim is provided on the bottom structure, a heavy load may be carried by the container and in no case has it been found that the bottom structure will give way or break down.
Changes in the structure described hereinbefore for purposes of illustration and explanation are possible without departing from the scope of my invention and all such changes and variations are intended to be included in the appended claims.
l. A container of the type described, comprising a fiber blank cut and scored to form a collapsible body portion, a bottom member adapted to fit within and joined to the lower edge of said body portion along a score line of substantial length to form a hinge, a plurality of juxtaposed tongues along the remainder of the lower edge ci said bottom member, and interlocking means on said bottom member for progressively engaging said tongues when in upwardly inclined position to form a closure for the container, the entire portion of said blank being provided with closely spaced continuous score lines.
2. A blank for forming a container of the type described, comprising a sheet of fibrous material cut and scored to form a body portion, a bottom member hinged to the lower edge of the body portion along a score line extending substantially the entire width of the body portion and having a series of tongue receiving openings spaced from its periphery, a top member hinged to the upper edge of the body portion, and a series of juxtaposed tongues along the lower edge of the body portion not occupied by said bottom member, said body portion, bottom member, top member and tongues being provided with score lines.
3. A container of the type described, comprising a bre body portion having vertically scored walls adapted to be collapsed into flattened condition along oppositely positioned score lines and to be set up into substantially half-moon shape, and a semi-circular cover member hinged to the upper end of said walls along a substantially straight score line, said score line being positioned below the upper edges of said vertically scored walls, whereby to impart to said container a at back below said score line and a curved front.
4. A container of thetype described, comprising a ber body portion having vertically scored walls adapted to be collapsed into flattened condition along oppositely positioned score lines and to be setup into semi-circular shape, a semicircular bottom member hinged to the lower end of the body portion along a substantially straight score line, means on said body portion for forming an interlock with the curved portion of the bottom member when the latter are in position within the body portion, and a top of similar shape to the shape of the bottom member and being hinged to the upper end of the body portion below the upper edges of the walls thereof and along a substantially straight score line positioned above the score line by which said bottom member is hinged, said top and bottom members imparting a flat shape to said body portion between said score lines and a curved shape between the semi-circular portions thereof.
HENRY K. POWELL.