Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2295860 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1942
Filing dateJan 9, 1940
Priority dateJan 9, 1940
Publication numberUS 2295860 A, US 2295860A, US-A-2295860, US2295860 A, US2295860A
InventorsOliver Elmo F
Original AssigneeJames Armstrong, John B Bane
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Service tray
US 2295860 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 15, 1942. E, QLIVER 2,295,860

SERVICE TRAY I Filed Jan. 9, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 w l W I Will/7% if X2 X5 P 1942- E. F. OLIVER 2,295,860

SERVICE TRAY Filed Jan; 9, 1940 2 Shee ts-Sheet 2 Patented Sept. 15', 1942 SERVICE TRAY Elmo F. Oliver, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor of one-third to James Armstrong and one-third to John B. Bane, both of Los Angeles, Calif.

Application January 9, 1940, Serial No. 313,066

6 Claims.

My invention is designated as an improvement in a service tray in view of the special developtray and thus providing a sloping undersurface which may partly rest on the portion of the ment thereof for serving beverages in glasses or bottles with or without foods.

It still is a common practice to serve beverages either in glasses, cups or bottles on service trays in which the person performing such service commonly supports the tray balanced on the fingers of one hand or requires the use of both hands gripping the edge or rim of the tray. Where only one hand is used to support and balance the tray, it is obvious that there is no special grip obtained on the tray and hence it frequently occurs that the tray is tilted and the containers of the beverages spill from the tray often causing the breakage of valuable glasse and expensive liquors.

An object and feature of my invention is to provide a service tray to be held and manipulated in one hand and of such a character that the tray may readily be balanced with the articles supported thereon on the fingers of one hand while at the same time the thumb obtains an adequate grip on the tray to hold this steady.

Hence as the fingers engage the underside of the tray, the tray being substantially wholly supported thereon and in order to provide a grip construction for the thumb, I provide the tray with an opening or perforation extending completely through from the top to the bottom and this is located spaced from the periphery and in quite close to the'center of gravity, that is, the center of balance of the tray on the fingers. The opening however is suihciently offset so that the tray may be balanced on the four fingers and the 2 thumb extend through the perforation in the normal position of the hand.

In order to afford the thumb an adequate grip on the tray, I provide a molding extending upwardly from the upper surface of the trayadjacent the opening and extending at least partly I around theedge of the opening. This permits the thumb to extend upwardly through the perforationand contiguous to the molding and then bent at the first joint for the ball of the thumb to grip the molding on the upper side of the tray. Thus the tray is firmly held gripped between the thumb and the fingers. A- further characteristic of my invention is that the-opening is made somewhat oval to accommodate the shape of the thumb adjacent its second joint and a, portion of the hand. The molding is also similarly shaped and preferably completely encircles the perforation, this molding therefore merging with thumb while the ball of the thumb engages the molding. As the tray is provided with a rim and the molding around the opening in effect gives an inside rim, articles carried by the tray and any liquid spilled thereon is prevented from entering the perforation or dripping through the opening.

' Another detail characteristic of my invention providing for convenience of serving refreshments or the like with the tray supported by one hand is that on one side the peripheral edge of the tray is concave whereas the remainder of the tray has a convex edge, therefore the concave portion may beheld close to a persons body while carrying and supporting the tray in one hand. My invention covers and includes various modifications of the type of molding in which this may be pressed upwardly from the bottom of r the tray forming a hollow space on the underside of the thumb gripping molding. This saves weight in the-tray and further, the tray may have various embossed or depressed surfaces to center different articles on the tray. The molding surrounding the thumb opening may also merge with the rim of the tray thus adding materially to the stiffness of the tray and allowing this to be made of lighter material.

- My invention is illustrated in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a, plan of oneform of the traytaken in the direction of the arrow I of Fig. 2 illustrating this supported by hand. Fig. 2 is a longitudinal vertical section on the line 2--2 of'Fig. 1 omitting the hand and illustrating the thumb engaged molding in elevation. Fig. 3 is a detail vertical section on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows taken through the thumb receiving opening or aperture.

Fig. 4 is'a vertical detail section on the line '4-4 of Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows through the short diameter of the thumb rethe .tray designated by the numeral II is shown as a type having a fiat bottom l2 and a periph-.

I eral rim l3. The rim is illustrated as being conthe opening or perforation in the bottom of the 55.

vex on all of the edges I4 except the portion 15 2 which is concave and may be considered as somewhat of a considerable inward curve towards the center on one side portion of the tray. The purpose of this is hereunder defined. The characteristic of this tray is a thumb receiving opening or perforation 20 which extends upwardly through the bottom and is defined by a molding 2i surrounding the opening, this molding providing a gripping device for the thumb inserted through the perforation and also prevents liquids spilled on the tray from flowing downwardly through the opening and forms in effect an internal rim preventing articles held on the tray when slipping from contacting the thumb. The characteristics of the opening to give a proper support and grip to the tray are somewhat important and the opening is therefore made oval with the long diameter indicated by the numeral 22 in Fig. 3 and the short diameter by the numeral 23, Fig. 4. A characteristic of the molding taken on the long diameter is that this has an upwardly facing curved surface 24 slightly convex on the diametrical section shown and at the opposite side of the oval opening there is a downwardly facing sloping surface 25 also preferably slightly convex. On the transverse diameter shown in Fig. 4 and on the section line 4-4, one side of the opening has an upwardly curved surface 26 and the opposite side has a downwardly facing surface 21. It will be noted at the top of the rim that the portion 21 indicated at 28 is slightly lower than the remaining portion of the molding and further that the molding adjacent the long axis merges with the rim by a section roughly triangular in shape indicated at 29. On the transverse diameter of Fig. 4 and adjacent thereto, the molding of the finger ing the diameter 23 and the depressed top of the molding 2t allows the thumb to reach further over the molding and firmly grip the tray when this is slightly turned in the hand to offer a person the glasses or other articles carried thereon. In the illustration the trayls shown as held by the left hand as it is usually the custom to serve articles in trays from the left hand however the tray can be made in lefts and rights if desired or by merely reversing the hand and holding the tray in another manner with the convex side outwardly the tray may be readily g ped by the right hand.

It is abvious that the molding 2| may be built up from the top surface of the bottom of the tray, however it is preferable to provide recesses 35 which may be formed when the tray is made in a die or the like. Such construction makes opening also merges with the rim I3 of the tray as indicated at 30. These are matters for convenience depending of course on the size of the tray. The tray illustrated is designed for individual service and only to contain a few glasses possibly a bottle, together with possibly some articles of food.

The manner in which the tray is to be supported is that when the articles are placed thereon the tray is intended to balance on the fingers illustrated dotted inFig. 1 so that the center of balance, that is, the center of gravity, is substantially over the fingers considered with the grip given by the thumb. As above mentioned it is common practice to support trays resting only on the fingers and the thumb, these merely contacting the bottom of the tray but in contradistinction to such practice, in my tray the thumb may be inserted through the perforation or opening. The preferred manner of holding the tray is, to have the axis of the thumb substantially aligned with the long axis or diameter 22 of the opening, that is, with the axis of the section line 3-3. The underside of the thumb then comfortably contacts the surface 24 and the ball of the thumb may grip the molding. The surface 25 then may rest on the top of the thumb structure towards the wrist. This gives a steadiness to the balance of the tray. The-purpose of having a pronounced concave on one side is so that a person handling the tray in carrying articles may cause the concave part to fit closely in front of their body and thus the tray need project less distance than if the tray were convex as to its full periphery providing there is the same area for the support of articles. The slight depression in the molding is shown at 28 and on the short diameter of the perforation, this bethe tray somewhat lighter and saves material. Such a recess practically follows the contour of the molding around the opening except where it merges into the rim I 3 of the tray.

Inthe tray of Figs. 5 and 6, which is of a type made of thin pressed sheet material such as paper trays for serving foods and beverages and to be used in the nature of a plate, such construction has the tray construction 40 with the thin flat bottom 4 I the peripheral rim 42, the thumb opening 43 with upwardly extending internal molded rim 44. It :will be noted that on the short diametrical section of the opening shown in Fig. 3 the internal rim portion 45 is shaped to allow the thumb to extend thereover when it is desired to hold the thumb crosswise and as in the construction of Fig. 4, is also shaped to allow the thumb to extend over the opposite molded portion of the rim identified at 46. The molded portions 41 merging with the rim may be shaped on the underside to conform to the downwardly inclined surface 25 of Fig. Band the opposit thumb grip molding portion 48 shaped on its upwardly facing side somewhat in the manner of the upward face 26 of Fig. 3, thus although made of thin material such a pressed tray may be handled and carried in the same manner as the tray of Figs. 1 to 4. In this case however the thumb grips over the upper edge of the molding or internal rim pressed upwardly. In this construction of tray there is an internal upwardly pressed bead 50, this being shown as circular leaving a central recess 5| illustrated as in alignment with the bottom 4| to .center a glass, bottle or the like or for placing foods therein. It is obvious that this type of tray may also be made in rights and lefts where it is particularly desired to have trays to be cartied in the right hand in the same manner as the tray shown in Fig. 1 is illustrated as being carried by the left hand.

Various changes may be made in the details of the construction without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A service tray having a :bottom with a peripheral rim extending upwardly therefrom having a concave curve at one edge portion, an elliptical perforation through the bottom, a molding adjacent the edge of the perforation, the molding merging with the rim adjacent the concave curve, the thumb being adapted to be inserted upwardly through the perforation and extend in the direction of the long axis of the ellipse engaging the molding and with the fingers contacting the tray on the under side.

2. A service tray having an upper surface with a peripheral rim and an undersurface to be engaged'by the fingers of one hand to balance the tray thereon, there being an opening in the bottom of the tray positioned contiguous to the rim for insertion of the thumb therethrough, the rim of the tray adjacent the opening having a concave curve and a molding at the opening merging with the rim adjacent the concave curve, the

jacent said rim, the margin of the tray having a notch in the rim adiacent the opening with that thumb being adapted to engage the rim at the side of the notch most adjacent the opening an.-

, proximately paralleling the length of the opening.

5. A service tray having a bottom and an upstanding marginal rim, there being an elliptically' shaped thumb receiving opening in the tray adjacent said rim, the margin of the tray having a notch in the rim adjacent the'opening with that side of the notch most adjacent the opening approximately paralleling the length of the opening, a

there being an elevated surface around the opening merging with the marginal rim. 7

6. A service tray having a bottom and an upstanding marginal rim, there being an elliptically shaped thumb receiving opening in the tray adjacent said rim, the margin of the tray having a notch in the rim adjacent the opening with that side of the notch most adjacent the opening approximately paralleling the length of the opening, the other side 01' the notch being arranged at approximately rlght angles thereto.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2550959 *Oct 22, 1945May 1, 1951Bowman Irwin CFoldable stand
US3078020 *Apr 4, 1962Feb 19, 1963Boonstra Richard NHorticultural carrying apparatus
US3401858 *Aug 25, 1967Sep 17, 1968Donald C. WhiteService tray
US3597763 *Sep 26, 1969Aug 10, 1971Laura Helen Frances Funk BienvRigid bib for infants
US4966297 *Feb 14, 1990Oct 30, 1990Doty Robert WFood and beverage snack tray
US5062674 *Nov 16, 1989Nov 5, 1991Charles MageeHand table and carrying rack
US5104168 *May 15, 1991Apr 14, 1992Charles MageeHand table and carrying rack
US5797495 *Mar 17, 1994Aug 25, 1998Lerrick; Andrew J.Serving tray
US5947011 *Oct 30, 1998Sep 7, 1999Xu; YuhuanFood plate with thumb and beverage container apertures for gripping and holding with one hand
US7588163 *Mar 7, 2007Sep 15, 2009Wilson Robert TDisposable serving system having a thumb hole and thumb hole flap
US7681852Jan 22, 2008Mar 23, 2010Charles MageeVehicle cup and plate holders
US7802693 *Nov 25, 2003Sep 28, 2010Superior Devices, LlcFree moving system for stable, manual support food and drink items
US8113380 *Dec 19, 2007Feb 14, 2012Goren DafnaErgonomic serving tray
US8579145 *Sep 11, 2008Nov 12, 2013Brother Max LimitedInfant feeding bowl
US20050267946 *May 3, 2005Dec 1, 2005Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Method, media renderer and media source for controlling content over network
US20100206886 *Sep 11, 2008Aug 19, 2010Brother Max LimitedInfant feeding bowl
DE9013038U1 *Sep 13, 1990Nov 29, 1990Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Jur. Rolf Lichtenberg Industriewerbung Gmbh, 4300 Essen, DeTitle not available
WO1994007749A1 *Oct 5, 1992Apr 14, 1994Robert J ForestalConvenience tray
WO2002026088A1 *Sep 28, 2001Apr 4, 2002Gerrard Penelope AnneManually supportable device
WO2007049956A1 *Oct 25, 2006May 3, 2007Bobergo B VServing tray
U.S. Classification294/172, D07/544
International ClassificationA47G19/02, A47G19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G19/065
European ClassificationA47G19/06B