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Publication numberUS2504911 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 18, 1950
Filing dateNov 20, 1946
Priority dateNov 20, 1946
Publication numberUS 2504911 A, US 2504911A, US-A-2504911, US2504911 A, US2504911A
InventorsAlten E Whitecar
Original AssigneeAlten E Whitecar
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refreezable refrigerant unit
US 2504911 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


April 18, 1950 A. E. WHITECAR 2,504,911


loneratio n, and vvhen unfol ied atter" the refrigerprovision oi a container, ain-v or vihol y seamed to containafiuid either in {'liauid or 1 Patented Apr. 18, 1950 i ED S TAT ES ENT C F F ICE itiii fiE'iiZAfiLE REFMGERANT'UMT' Alten E. Whitecar, Wes-Wille K-J. fa'ppiitation-Navemter 2o, 19461SrialN0. trust 2- Claims. (01 62-95) 7 ""vaeea rehearse r'emevame Figure 2Iisan'ielevationa1 View, partly in secrfr fieciall jfad 66. far there tinn -showing the constructien in Figure 1;

" .Trlieba'sket Figure 3 is a section on line 3-3 of Figure 2;

frig'eration of a portable lunch boiz, t v w v Figure 415 a fragmentary sectional View showof refr geration for ih'ga modification of the refrigerant container;

' and the like have Figure 5*is a plan View showing an adaptafiropo d; v aife met with indifmen o'f'the invention to a collapsible removable ierentsuccn; fiy because ofde'fective dc multiple C611 unit; sign f roifi file standpoint of sanitation, on'ibact- Fieure'fi is a plan View of the removable multrees and similar teasns; in an firior an tr'uc time cell mit collapsed, showin the individual tur sofwliie am awaia'there is no oncepl f neted'formatiom tion of h aving'a refreezable refrigerant unit Figure 7 is a section on the line 1--'| of Fig- Win ham-uni easily e reneweq by a similar unit, e 16: w ort'li "caaiihgmediufiitiieredi refrozen and used F em' 1s a perspecuve v ew l br k n r g-l te v awayiof'a mod fied form of a single cell simulat- The sentinel otjctoi the. present inveeea' i u e;-and 4 V tion is the provision or arenewabi ienigeranon Be t-e 5 sectional elevatlon of e ce 'u'eit mare element seen a unit containing ewe gu f 3 W515 g a apted to be e r -z The basic idea of my invention is the provision i of a removable and/or refreezable refrigerant Qlfiilothr Object is tli bro'visio f a f l unit that may consist of a single cell or a multiable umtemtoaiyinsa safet's' ieature whichpro- *Pl e m Part of a collapsible strucvid. 3 many-emanate oritner'emgsrsm occawe; Winch he folded, forms a compact hwy sibiid bgi-thprbgg f fiz' n in wlnch the several cells are 1n removable for- Another obj e t 5 the n tm is the riiation. Irrespective or Whether the refrigerant vis a refrigerant" eleihent which may be unit 1s of'asingl'e or multiple cell construction,

it 'is coirltemplated that the unit be adapted for repeated use by making it a closed receptacle provided w th suitable means for comp nsating forthe expansion of the refrigerant when solidifyingsaid refrigerant being permanently contained within the receptacle.

w h provision of a By having therefrigerant sealed within perg gt m 1 e I 5 inanelfltt lcontaiiler malitesbglaossiible theg refrierafia 3 "(mo eim in asu a ere rigera or. wi cells which may be fold d durmg the freezing be understood that the contained refrigerant "ant is congealed constitute a l iiiiifor a cony belanyifiuid capable'oqbeing frozen 9 tam v lunch bbxlwhlihihfimg aim-ms gealed, butfor the convenience of describing a preferred-form of the invention, it will be as- 40 -sf1med 1 the refrigerant is Water.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, -it*wil1*b se'ej i'tha't the invention hasbeen applied'toa lunch box, which may be designated 'g'enrallyby the referencecharacter I and consist of "a lower compartment z -having' ah nged bict'ofthe anteatita centemt ates 'difeiastiematr Whirjh is self-sustain ng and smmgformi said unit when frozen Stimulating ubper'conipartmenta. The lower compartment 'lcl bes: xfi'aycombris an outer casing 4 and an inner Qther objects of the invention: w ll manifest cajsin fi tfie' utep i g beingf any Suitable themslvs S thed'es'crlp'fiionilflmfieedsl material suchas sheet metal, fibre or the like, t ll-"and niorecomplete understanding to and'the inner casing'beingof insulation material. fi i e r f'e'fencerfiavbehad to the To further insulate the lower comnartment' 2,

rig d seripnth ana acebmpan mg drawa cbvrplate 6 of insulation is provided which tvhrfiif 'norrnal1y rests upon the ledge formed by the e" *1 is af' rragment y'-'1 a'erbeetii/e of a topedges of the innercasi-ng 5-. Asamatter of box biiibirfi fii the'ifivrition; clesign, the upper -compartment 3-may be semicylindrical in shape and adapted to contain a Thermos bottle I which may be secured therein in any suitable manner, as for example, by clips (not shown). A clasp 8 is provided for locking the upper compartment 3 to the bottom compartment 2, and as a matter of convenience for carrying the box a handle 9 is provided at the top thereof.

The refrigeration unit, designated generally by the numeral l I, may comprise a metal container in the form of a tray l2 (see Figure 3) having a top cover l3 of elastic sheet material, such as rubber or the like. In one form of construction, the cover l3 may be bonded to the upper edges of the tray l2 by a suitable bonding agent, such as cementing, heat treating or the like. This is done preferably with the water in the tray at the time of making the bond between the cover l3 and the tray l2, but obviously it may be done with the tray empty and the water subsequently added through a small opening made in the cover l3 for that purpose, which opening is then closed by a suitable patch or the like. As the invention contemplates the repeated or continuous use of the refrigerant, there is no necessity to provide means for refilling the tray I2, but it is obvious that suitable means could be provided for this purpose if desired.

Figure 4 shows a modification of the refrigerant unit just described, in that the cover I3 is made removable by providing an outwardly formed peripheral groove [5 n the upper edge of the tray l2, and a substantially V-shaped clamping ring or frame I6 is provided. The edges of the cover l3 are adapted to overlie or overlap the groove l and be depressed'and frictionally held therein by the frame l6, when the latter is snapped into locking position within the groove l5. This construction permits the renewal of the refrigerant or easy replacement of the elastic cover I3 if desired.

The refrigerant unit I in the present instance is designed to be inserted in the bottom of the compartment 2 and is preferably substantially of the same side and end dimensions of the inside of said compartment 2. It is preferable to have the bottom of the tray l2 spaced from the adjacent surface of the inner casing 5 so as to provide a circulation of air between said surfaces.

A simple expedient for doing this is the provi-' sion of spacers or support blocks l'i transversely arranged, said members being provided with a ledge upon which the bottom of the tray I2 may rest (see Figures 1 and 2). It may also be desirable to provide small strips l8 placed across the top of the cover l3 as an expedient to allow an air space underneath sandwiches or other articles of food packed or laid over said cover.

Referring to Figures 5, 6, and '7, I have shown a modification of the refrigerant unit just described, which modification is of a collapsible nature and includes multiple cells. More particu1arly, this removable unit may comprise opposing side wall cells 20 and end wall cells 2|, said cells being movably connected by a link construction comprising links 22 and 23. The links 22 are pivotally secured at their respective ends to one of the side sections 20 and one of the end sections 2|, and are adapted to permit an outward and upward movement of the side sections 2|. During this pivotal action, the sections 2| pivot about a pivotal point 24 of the 1inks 23, so that when the complete unit is unfolded, it assumes the shape shown in Figure 5.

To collapse the unit, the reverse actions or movements of the parts involved take place, i. e., the end units 2| are folded downwardly and inwardly and are adapted to assume a nested formation, as shown in Figures 6 and '7. When thus collapsed, the multiple cells are compacted and require a comparatively small space when placed in a refrigerator, such as th well-known domestic ice box, in order to refreeze the water contained in the several cells. Of course, this reconditioning of the unit does not require that it be collapsed, which is primarily done as a matter of convenience.

When it is desired to insert the portable refrigerant unit into the lunch box it is removed from the refrigerator and unfolded, in which position it assumes a rectangular-shaped caisson corresponding substantially in dimensions to the inner walls of the lower compartment 2. Consequently, when inserted within the box I, it constitutes a liner within the insulated chamber of said compartment and the cooling effect is thus more evenly distributed over the entire contents of food or the like, which may be packed in said compartment.

A further modification of my refreezable unit is shown in Figures 8 and 9. In Figure 8, a small single cell, which may be regarded as a simulation of the conventional ice cube, consists of a cubical container 25 hermetically sealed and if desired made of a plastic material. A commercial form of suitable plastic material is known under the trade name of Tygon. The plastic from which the container is made may be sufficiently elastic to provide for any expansion which may occur from the solidification of a volume of water approximately equal to that of a conventional ice cube.

In Figure 9, I have shown a container 26 also simulating an ice cube, which is somewhat similar to the container 25 shown in Figure 3, but differing in that it may have only one wall consisting of an elastic material such as rubber, which may be vulcanized to the edges of the surrounding wall portions, which may be non-elastic as in the case of the larger single cell unit I 2.

By making the refrigerant unit correspond to the conventional ice cube, it will be appreciated that they may be used casually or placed at random in packing a picnic basket or the like. That is to say, such single cell units may be tossed among the contents of the picnic basket. and when the refrigerant has become melted, it does not in any way spoil or mess the contents of the basket or the basket itself, as would be the natural result by the melting of ice cubes similarly used.

I have foundit preferable to fill completely therefrigerating unit, whether of the single or multiple cell type, with the contained liquid be cause otherwise an air space or pocket is created within the container, and this lowers the efficiency of the unit in many obvious respects. As set forth above, whatever expansion occurs in the freezing of the refrigerant is fully compensated for by the elasticity of the material from which the unit is fabricated, and therefore, there is no necessity to have an air space for expansion purposes.

It should also be appreciated that whatever materials the refrigerant unit may be constructed of, it is preferred that the container proper be of a form or kind of construction material that is self-supporting, and will retain its original or general configuration, irrespective of whether the refrigerant is in a liquid or solid state. Furthermore, it will be noted that in the case of units simulating the conventional ice cube, such units are especially adapted for the cooling of beverages or the like, where it is desired that no dilution of the beverage be caused by the cooling agent, as for example, by the melting of ice cubes used principally for their cooling effect.

It is obvious that certain modifications of my invention, as illustrated, will occur to those skilled in the art, as for example, the hollow container may take a variety of forms not only with respect to its contour and duplication of cells, but also with respect to the materials employed for the container, such materials being either metal, all rubber, semi-plastic and plastic, etc. The constructional details may also vary from a completely sealed receptacle, to one provided with means for renewing the refrigerant from time to time; also with respect to whether the main container assumes the geometrical form of a pan, dish, or the like.

It ismy desire and intention to include all such modifications as may be provided in putting the invention into practice within the purview of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a lunch box including a storage compartment of rectangular formation defined by side, end, and bottom walls, a pair of containers corresponding in shape to said end walls but of slightly smaller dimensions, a pair of containers corresponding in shape to said side walls but of slighter smaller dimensions, a refreezable refrigerant in said containers, and means for form- 6 ing said container into a collapsible rectangular structure whereby they are adapted to assume a vertical position in said compartment lining said side and end walls.

2. In a lunch box including a storage compar ment of rectangular formation defined by side, end, and bottom walls, a pair of containers corresponding in shape to said end wails but of slightly smaller dimensions, a pair of containers corresponding in shape to said side walls but of slightly smaller dimensions, a refreezable refrigerant in said containers, and links pivotally connected to adjacent containers and joining them in a collapsible rectangular structure that is adapted to be positioned in said compartment lining said side and end walls.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the die of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,716,551 Hayes June 11, 1929 1,752,553 Folger Apr. 1, 1930 1,923,522 Whitehouse Aug. 22, 1933 1,979,617 Heidman Nov. 6, 1934 2,087,966 Clark July 27, 1937 2,152,467 Crosby Mar. 28, 1939 2,187,387 Trigg et al. Jan. 16, 1940 2,248,607 Cooper July 8, 1941 2,393,245 Hadsell Jan. 22, 1945

Patent Citations
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US1716551 *Jul 24, 1924Jun 11, 1929Harry C FolgerRefrigerating apparatus
US1752553 *Jun 17, 1927Apr 1, 1930Waltham System IncRefrigeration cabinet
US1923522 *Oct 23, 1931Aug 22, 1933John N WhitehouseRefrigerator device
US1979617 *Mar 22, 1933Nov 6, 1934Kold Hold Mfg CompanyMechanical refrigeration unit
US2087966 *Nov 27, 1935Jul 27, 1937Charles E HadsellHeat insulated container
US2152467 *Feb 8, 1936Mar 28, 1939Stephen A CrosbyCooling device
US2187387 *Oct 29, 1937Jan 16, 1940Gen Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus
US2248607 *Nov 30, 1939Jul 8, 1941Gen ElectricRefrigerating system
US2393245 *Jan 18, 1944Jan 22, 1946Charles E HadsellRefrigerating container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2781643 *Jan 19, 1953Feb 19, 1957Starr W FairweatherApparatus for refrigerating foodstuffs
US3000190 *Jul 15, 1959Sep 19, 1961Stark VirgilApparatus and wearing apparel for body refrigeration
US3156105 *Aug 9, 1963Nov 10, 1964Bahner Wilburn ERefrigerated lunch box
US3213641 *Mar 6, 1963Oct 26, 1965Agee Louis EInsulated lunch box
US3255607 *Mar 24, 1965Jun 14, 1966Lester E BairThermal chests
US3406532 *Nov 9, 1966Oct 22, 1968Aladdin Ind IncFood and beverage containers having integral compartments containing a freezable liquid
US3850486 *Apr 24, 1973Nov 26, 1974Saxe LCooled counter display case for packaged edible products
US3974658 *Aug 20, 1975Aug 17, 1976Starrett Richard FContact refrigeration unit
US4037428 *Mar 19, 1976Jul 26, 1977Giannotti Albert JBeverage cooler assembly
US4078397 *Nov 26, 1976Mar 14, 1978Brande Bruce RBeverage container cooling device
US4551988 *Jun 19, 1984Nov 12, 1985Joseph PetrantoniChambered cooler
US4630671 *Feb 12, 1985Dec 23, 1986Victor ShermanLunch box
US4781243 *Dec 11, 1986Nov 1, 1988The Boeing CompanyThermo container wall
US4819793 *Oct 13, 1987Apr 11, 1989Charles, Fong And AssociatesBeverage carrier
US4936377 *Jun 29, 1988Jun 26, 1990The Boeing CompanyFood storage cart with thermo wall
US6966450May 30, 2003Nov 22, 2005Askew Stacy WPartitioned ice chest
US7861552 *Apr 19, 2007Jan 4, 2011Sean O HughesInsulated food carrier and organizer
US7968132 *Jun 28, 2011Contain This!, LlcDual compartment sandwich containers having a hinged divider and removable hot/cold pack
US20050037113 *Aug 15, 2003Feb 17, 2005Archie Will N.Dual compartment sandwich containers having a hinged divider and removable hot/cold pack
US20090095757 *Sep 30, 2008Apr 16, 2009Michael RamundiContainer with thermal storage member
US20100139499 *Dec 7, 2009Jun 10, 2010Wik Far East Ltd.Milk holder for a beverage making machine
U.S. Classification62/457.2, 62/530, 62/457.7, 62/326, 62/298
International ClassificationF25D3/08
Cooperative ClassificationF25D3/08, F25D2303/08222, F25D2331/804, F25D2303/0822
European ClassificationF25D3/08