US 2365695 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 26, 1944. Q G c 2,365,695
CLOSURE FOR CANS Filed. March 13, 1942 2 Sheets-Sheet l @L'Of J 1 Dec. 26, 1944. V Q GRICE 2,365,695
CLOSURE FOR CANS Filed March 13, 1942 2 Sheets- Sheet 2 Patented Dec 26, 1944 CLOSUBE'FOR CAKS Letchei' 0. Grlce, United Sta Washington, D. 0.
Application March 13, 1942, Serial No. 434,518
1 Claims. (01. 222-488) (Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as
amended April 30, 1928; 3'10 0. G. 757) The invention described herein, if patented, may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes, without the payment to me of any royalty thereon.
The present invention relates to portable containers for liquids and more particularly to a novel and improved type of closure adapted for use on portable containers such as gasoline cans.
It may be explained that in the present day type of modern warfare it is considered impractical to attempt to refuel all of the thousands of motorized vehicles in a modern mechanized dlvision by any of the conventional stationary types of gasoline dispensing pumps and that the preferred practice adopted by the United States Army, and almost universally adopted by all of the major armies of the World, is to refuel the equipment from relatively small containers, each having a capacity of about flve gallons. This system of refueling proposes marked advantages in that it makes it entirely unnecessary to bring large tanks, tank cars, et cetera, into the front lines where they are obvious and vulnerable targets for enemy bombardment, and substitutes the use of thousands of the relatively smaller containers that may be transported in ordinary motor vehicles and'in smaller quantities, so that they are not so obvious as targets for the enemy and also so that they are not equally vulnerable even though struck by enemy fire.
It is believed the advantages of the use of small cans as pointed out in the paragraphs above are too well known to require any extended description, and it is mentioned in this application only to .point out that while such a practice is regarded as essential'and had been universally adopted, it has at the-same time given rise to other problems of great importance that must be satisfactorily solved if the maximum eihciency is to be gained from the use of the small containers. Thus, in the use of any containers of this type, it is essential that they be arranged so that they are entirely leak-proof during handling and shipping and so that they may be opened or closed almost instantaneously. In addition, they must be of 'such a rugged construction that they are capable of withstanding the extremely rough treatment received by military equipment in the field.
Theimportance of any structure that will c'ombine extreme ruggedness with instantaneous opening and closing should be fully appreciated when it is recalled that the operation of a single mechanized division, on maneuvers 'or durin actual combat, requires thousands of gallons of fuel for a single day and that in such typical operations of the kind it is customary to refill 20,000 of the flve-gallon'cans at a single railhead each night, in order to maintain an adequate supply of fuel.
It is, therefore, the'principal object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved closure for portable liquid containers, the closure being of such design and construction that it may be fully opened or sealed in closed position almost instantaneously and without the use of any wrenches, levers, keys or tools of any description.
A further object of theinvention is to provide a novel and improved container closure including a hinged cap adapted to seat on a sealing flange; cam anchoring means associated with the flange and a, novel and improved cam operating plate including a relatively fiat top surface, flat side surfaces and internal flange cams so arranged that they are inside of the plane of the side surfaces and below the plane of the top surface and are thus protected from accidental damage.
A further object of'the invention is to provide an improved container closure including a sealing flange cap and cam handle including a wide flat gripportion designed to permit the cam to be lifted by the grip portion of the handle so that no type 01' latching means or auxiliary support is required to hold the cap of the container open during the pouring operation.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved container closure including a locking cap and a cam operating lever havtween and below the upper'plane of a triple handle. so that the cam locking plate will be proears may be accessible and easily lifted in order to open the container without the use of tools.
A further object of the invention is to provide a'novel closure adapter for liquid containers so that a conventional screw-threaded flange type of closure may be readily converted to include all of the advantages above pointed out and may be at the same time provided to receive a screwthreaded flexible spout having threads of the same pitch and diameter as the threads of the cam flange.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved container closure including a closure cap, a cam locking means, and a cam operating lever having a cutaway portion Fig. 2 is a fragmentai top plan view of the con- 7 tainer and the closure;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged central detail sectional view through the structure of the closure; I
Fig. 4 is a perspective view of the lower side of the cam locking lever;
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the container closure in closed position:
Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the container closure in open position, and
Fig. '7 is a view taken on the line of Fig. 2.
In the illustrations of the present application, the improved form of container closure is shown as attached to a standard Army gasoline container which is of generally rectangular shape including relatively flat sides II and 2 joined to the narrow end portions l3 and I4 by rounded corners i5.
As shown in the drawings, the top I8 of the container is made of a single piece of sheet metal formed into the desired shape and united to the body of the can i! by a rolled or welded bead l8 extending completely around the can. The top portion IQ of the can is drawn from a single piece of sheet metal, as pointed out above, and is shaped to include a hump 2| at one end. A closure flange '22 is provided at the other end and is mounted on an inclined portion 23 of thecan top. The inclined portion. 23 on the sealing flange 22 are both positioned at an acute angle with respect to the horizontal and at a level substantially below the top of the hump 2 I.
The center portion of the can is formed as a relatively horizontal portion 24 extending from the lower edge of the hump to the upper edge of the inclined portion 25.
The container is also provided with a triple handle structure which, in the present drawings, is shown as being formed of a single piece of sheet metal, divided to provide three separate handles extending from a point adjacent the upper end of the incl ned portion 22 to the top of the hump 2|. This handle includes a flange 25 adapted to lie flat against the upper end of the inclined portion 23 and welded onto portion 23 in order to secure the forward end of the handle. The flange 25 is folded at 26 and extends upwardly in a forward web portion 21, and this web 21 is trifurcated at its upper end to provide three separate horizontal handle portions 28, 29 and 30 each of which is rolled from the sheet metal of which the structure is constructed so that each is substantially cylindrical in shape.
It will be noted from Figs. 2, 5 and 6 that portions of the web 21 between the handles 28, 29 and 30 are cut away along a gradual curve extending well below the plane of the top of the handles. (See Fig.6.)
The container is also provided with an internal vent tube 35 welded into the threaded flange 22 at the point 36 to establish a vent port 31 on the upper flat surface of the threaded flange. The opposite end of the vent tube 35 extends into a,aes,ess
the hump 2| of the container to provide an unobstructed air inlet when liquid is being poured from the mouth of the container.
The container as thus far described my be sealed by standard flanged screw-type closures, if desired, and the screw threads of the flange 22 also adapt this container to receive a screwthreaded plug on which a long flexible metallic spout is mounted to facilitate the discharge of the liquid within the container into inaccessible filling pipes on various diflferent kinds of motorized equipment.
It is. a particular object of the present invention, however, to provide an adapter structure arranged t o be attached to the conventional screw-threaded flange and to convert the container from one in which the operation of the screw-threaded cap was necessary to open or close the can to one in which the opening and closing could be accomplished practically instantaneously and without tools by merely lifting a cam operating plate or forcing it downwardly into locked position. To this end the present invention provides an auxiliary cup 4| having an internal flange 42 at its lower end. The lower flange 42 of the cup is adapted to be clamped into sealing engagement with the upper surface of the screwthreaded flange 22 of the container by a shoulder portion 44 on a central sleeve 42, and arranged to clamp against the upper surface of the flange 42. The sleeve 43 is provided with a plurality of internal lugs 45 so that it may be tightly clamped into position, and a sealing gasket 48 is located between the internal flange 42 of the cup and the flat surface of the flange 22 to provide a permanent seal at this point. The flange 42 of the cup 4| includes a small opening 41 which is adapted to register with the vent opening 21, and
the gasket is perforated to establish an air connection for the vent. Preferrediy, the orifice in the center of the flange 42 is not concentric with the cap 4| but is located closer to the lower edge of the cup, so that the upper edge will have a wider surface and will provide unobstructed access to the vent tube. The sleeve 42 is provided with'an upwardly extending pouring spout 4| having internal screw threads 49 of the same pitch and diameter as the screw threads of the threaded flange 22 of the can.
Thus, if desired, any flexible type of pouring spout provided for insertion into the conventional threaded flange may be received in the screw threads 48 to facilitate the pouring of the liquid into fuel lines that are extremely difllcult to end of the pouring spout 48 lies above the plane of the upper. extremity of the cup 4| and (since it hasalready been pointed out that the cup 4| is concentrically mounted) the space 5| between the pouring spout 48 and the cup 4| is so small that the stream of liquid will readily flow from the upper edge of the spout 48.
The upper end of the cup 4| is provided with a flat outwardly extending sealing flange 52 in order to establish a sealing surface for the container cap 6| to seat against.
The flange 52 is arranged to include an extension 53 terminating in a loop 54 to support a pivot pin 55 on which the closure cap 6| is mounted, and two side extensions 56 terminate in rounded cam anchor portions 51 extending downwardly slightly below the plane of the sealing flange 52 and closely adjacent the side walls of the cup 4|. The closure cap 6| is formed in a generally circular shape including a downward. ly extending flange 62 and a rearwardly extending web 85 terminating in a pair of ears 54 mounted on the pivot pin 55 heretofore described. The downwardly extending flange B2 is notched at both sides by the notches 85 and 85 to provide clearance for the cam anchoringmeans 58 and 59, respectively, and a sealing gasket 81 is mounted in an annular flanged gasket cup 68 so that it will bear against the upper sealing surface of the flange 52 and will seal the entire cup against egress of fluid when the cap is forced down against the upper flange of the cup. The cap is clamped against the cup by novel cam oper- Further, the cam locking plate is designed to include a handle arranged so that the entire container may be lifted by the. locking plate, so that the container may be gripped by the locking plate while the liquid is being poured from the spout in order to hold the cap in open position without any auxiliary types of retainers.
A cam operating plate H is mounted on a cross pin 12 welded to the top of the cap at 13 and the plate is formed ofa relatively flat central section 15 and two downwardly extending side webs I6 and 11. one positioned on either side of the cap 6i. This structure gives great rigidity to the cam locking plate since the opposite side edges 18 and 19 constitute the corners of the folded metal sheet and thus have relatively great strength. so that the mechanism is adapted to resist heavy impacts from external sources without damage either to the cam locking plate or to the closure structure all" essential parts of which are protected by the plate. The locking means. themselves, comprise internal flanges 8i and 82 each extending inwardly from the lower surface of the webs I5 and 11, respectively, and positioned to ride under the cam anchors 58 and 58 respectively, and to exert a cam action to force the cross pin I2 and the cap 6| downwardly into flrm sealing engagement with the flange'52 of the cup 8i. Thus, to seal the container, it is only necessary to pivot the cap 5| downwardly above the pivot pin 55, engage the cams 8i and 82 under the cam anchors 58 and 59 respectively, and force the cam plate downwardly against the container cap to the position shown in Figs. 3 and 5.
It may be well to point out that although this function may be accomplished entirely without the use of tools. yet it is possible and entirely feasible to exert a great degree of force on the cam surfaces'since the rearward end of the cam locking plate II includes a relatively flat, broad smooth surface 83 on which the operator may exert substantial force without injuring his hands.
The cam locking plate H is bifurcated at its extreme end to provide a pair of ears 81 and 85, and each of these ears is arranged to assume a position between two of the adjoining handle portions of the container and slightly below the upperhorizontal surface of the handles (see Figs. 3 and 5). These ear portions are particularly useful in releasing the cams and opening the container closure since they project well beyond the upper end of the forward web 21 of the handles so that there is unobstructed clearance below the ears 84 and 85 and between the handle portions 28, 28 and 38. With this structure the operator may reach between the handles and firmly grip either or both of the cars 84 and 85 to lift the locking plate, and can obtain a good mechanical advantage over the cam surfaces. Since the ears are at the extreme ends of the locking plate, it will be obvious that a relatively large amount of force may be exerted by use of the bare hands and that no types of tools will be required to release the cams and open the container,
In numerous types of container closures of the general class to which the present invention relates, the inventors have provided some type of slotted pivots, or similar connection, between the cap and the body of the container in order to maintain the cap in open-position while the fluid is being poured from the container. It is obvious, of course, that some provision must be made for maintaining the cap in open position at this time, but the structures known to the applicant have been entirely unacceptable for military use by reason of the fact that they latch or otherwise secure the cap in some position extending angularly outwardly from the body of the container, and so locatedthat the structure is extremely delicate and very subject to damage from rough handling of the containers. That is, if the cap is maintained by any type pivot that will resist closing movement, the cam may be damaged beyond immediate repair if dropped or thrown from the top of a tank onto a hard surface.
The present invention overcomes this difliculty by providing the cup with a simple form of pivot. namely, the pivot pin 55 which will always yield to forces tending to close the cap against the mouth of the container, but the cap may be held open during the filling operation by the simple expedient of supporting the can during pouring by gripping the top of the can by the cam locking plate H. To facilitate this operation, the locking plate H is cut away between the side webs l6 and 11 to provide a central recess 85, and the rearward edge of the recess is provided with a rolled bead 81 to afford a comfortable hand grip.
From an examination of Figs. 2 and 5, it will be seen that the side plates or webs 15 and I1 co-act with the transverse rolled head 81 to provide a structure that is, in effect, a bail type handle pivoted on the cross rod 12. Thus. the operator may support the container by the bail so that the cap will be held in completely open position during the pouring operation but will be free to pivot back into locked position whenever the cam plate II is released. 7
Under all ordinary conditions of use, the structure thus far described comprises an entirely complete closure mechanism. The friction inherent in the cam surfaces prevents the release of the cam plate unless positive force is exerted to raise the plate, and it is therefore contemplated that no additional type of latching mechanism is ordinarily required to maintain the cap against release. Under certain circumstances it may be desirable. however, to equip the closure with an additional auxiliary latching device and, when so desired, the present structure is well adapted to accommodate such a latch by merely providing a pivoted latch hook 9| on a pivot pin 82 extending through the rolled bead 81 of the cam locking plate H. To accomplish this, the
bead 81 is notched or slotted with a slot 93 approximately one-third of the distance across the length of the bead and the latch hook is provided with a coiled wire spring 94 so that its lower end may engage the under surface of the web 63 of the closure cap and prevent the latch plate from being raised. A latch release lug 95 extend outwardly into the cavity 85 so that the latch may be released by moving the lug 95 downwardly against the pressure of the latch spring 94 and a perforation 96 is provided in the web 63 of the closure cap so that the web will not obstruct the operation of the latch.
It has been stated above that this structure is regarded as auxiliary in nature rather than an essential element of the present invention, but, inasmuch as it may be desirable, under certain conditions, it is illustrated in connection with the present case, and it may be pointed out also at this time that when the design is illustrated in the present drawings it does not hinder the use of 5 the latch plate as a carrying bail or as a handle during pouring since the normal width of the unquestionable value in that it accomplishes all of the above mentioned objects of the present invention by the use of a mechanical structure adapted to mass production methods of manufacture, easy to install, practically instantaneous in operation, and at the same time of a mechanical design well adapted to resist the rough handling and abuse that structures of this character must necessarily withstand in the field, when in use by troops.
I The present invention has been developed in the United States Army and adopted by the Army as the most successful device of its character yet devised, but while it is particularly adapted to military use and has been designed essentially for military purposes, it is believed to have utility in commercial fields as well, and it is therefore requested that the scope of the invention be limited only by the limitations of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In a portable container, in combination, a container top portion including a relatively hori- 'zontal central section terminating at one end of a hump extending well above the horizontal plane of the central section and located closely adjacent the end wall of the container, and at the other end terminating in a downwardly inclined relatively flat surface lying at an acute angle with respect to a horizontal plane and having a container mouth therein, a handle structure formed of a single, integral sheet of metal, said handle portion including a flange secured to the upper end of the inclined portion of the can top, a web extending upwardly from said flange and three tubular handle elements extending from the web to the hump, and a container closure comprising a pivotally mounted sealing cap for the container mouth and a calm means interconnecting the container cap and container mouth, said cam means including a pivoted cam locking lever having ear portions at the end remote from the pivot, said ear portions being, of a width less than the spaces between said handle elements, said ear portions lying between theihandle elements and below the upper surface of the handle structure. when the cap is locked in closed position and said lever when unlocked serving as a bail to support the container in pouring position while at .the same time holding the cap open.
2. In combination, a container having 9. rectangular top having one end sloped downwardly and provided with a dispensing outlet on said sloped end and the other endraised, a plurality of spaced handles extending across the top from the raised portion to the upper side of the sloped portion, and a hinged cap and cap looking assembly mounted adjacent the dispensing outlet with the cap hinge adjacent said outlet,'said hinge lying between the dispensing opening and the adjacent ends of the handles, and acam locking plate hinged to the body of the cap and having extensions lying between the container handles and protected thereby when the plate is in looking position.
3. In combination, a container havingan internalLv-threaded outlet adjacent one side 01' its top and a raised handle extending across the central portion of the top and a combined spout and pivoted closure for the outlet comprising a cup member having an internally extending bottom flange resting on the rim of the outlet and having external cam anchors at its top, a sleeve threaded into the outlet and having an external shoulder to secure the cup flange on the rim and projecting above the cup to form a pouring spout, a cap hingedly mounted on the cup on the side adjacent the container handle, and a cam locking plate pivoted on the cap and adapted to be pressed down into cam engaging position on the side toward the hinge, said plate being bifurcated so as to lie on opposite sides of the handle and below the top thereof.
4. A combined spout and pivoted closure for a container having a screw-threaded opening comprising a cup member having an internal flange adapted to be secured to the rim of the opening, said cup member carrying cam anchor portions,
. a sleeve adapted to be threaded into the opening and having an external shoulder for securing the flange to the rim and a tubular extension forming a spout extending through the cup, a cap hingedly mounted on the cup member, and a bail-shaped cam locking plate pivoted on the cap and adapted to swing toward the hinge of the cap and having a pivoted latch for engaging the cap outside its hinge for holding the plate in cam anchor engaging position.
5. In combination, a container having an intemally threaded outlet adjacent one side of its top and -a raised handle extending across the central portion of the top and a combined spout and pivoted closure for the outlet comprising a cup member having an internally extending bottom flange resting on the rim of the outlet, a sleeve threaded into the outlet and having an external shoulder to secure the cup flange on the rim, a cap hingedly mounted on the cup member on the side adjacent the container handle and interlocking cam means on the cup member and der holding said flange on said rim, and a hinged 10 can mounted on said cup member and closing its outer end.
'7. In combination, a container having a rectangular top provided with a filler neck, an extension i'rom one side or said neck terminating in a hollow hinge head, a hinge pin in said head.
' and a. cap and cap locking assembly hingedly mounted on said hinge pin, said cap having an extension formed with downwardly turned ears to receive said hinge pin, a cam locking plate hinged to the body of the cap, said plate having a grip vportion overlying the cap hinge in locked position of the plate, and a latch pivoted on the grip portion and adapted to latchingly engage the cap extension at its outer end when the cap is in locked position.
lETCI-ER O. GRICE.