US 2507843 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1950 A. WHEELER CONVERTIBLE CONTAINER Filed April 23. 1946 INVENZOR. I ZEONAQD .1-1' W/EEL 5e,
Patented May 16, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CONVERTIBLE CONTAINER Leonard A. Wheeler, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application April 23, 1946, Serial No. 664,223-
This invention has to do with a convertible container and it is a primary object of the invention to provide a simple, improved and commercially practical device primarily useful as a container to carry popcorn or like material, and convertible at will and by a simple, easily performed operation, into a megaphone that can be used to advantage at games or in situations where megaphones are employed.
Popcorn, peanuts and like products are commonly dispensed at public gatherings Or where crowds of people assemble, as for instance at games, theaters, picnics, etc. In many such situations the people gathered have use for megaphones. In the case of handling or dispensing popcorn, for example, this material is bulky and is desired to be buttered and warm, making it impractical to package a substantial volume of it before it is to be handed to the consumer, and yet in situations such as I have referred to it is necessary to dispense great quantities of such material in a very short time. In the past it has been common to dispense popcorn in paper bags and a limited quantity of the material is commonly prepacked. There have also been cases where popcorn has been packed and dispensed in paper cartons, but in either base the factors that I have outlined materially limit the quantity that any one person can dispense in a given length of time. Furthermore, paper bags and ordinary cartons are for the most part useless and present a disposal problem as soon as the contents have been consumed.
It is a general object of my present invention to provide a convertible container which, prior to actual use, can be stored flat and consequently in a limited space and which, when desired for use, can be grasped by a person dispensing popcorn, peanuts, or like products, and in the position that it is first picked upit can be opened by mere squeezing and can be filled in the desired manner by merely dipping or passing it into a body of popcorn.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a container of the general character referred to having a removable part prepared ready to be torn off to convert the container into a megaphone so that when the contents have been consumed the device is still useful.
Another object of my invention is to provide a device of the general character referred to in which the main part or body is formed primarily of two sections, one a bottom section and the other a top section, which bottom section is bowed "or curved as the container is open for use,
while the top section folds to break or form into a polygonal element. Through the construction that I have provided the bowed bottom section forms an effective dependable part in the nature of a scoop and may be provided with a lip so that it acts effectively in directing material such as popcorn into the container when the opened container is dipped into a body of popcorn.
Another object of the invention is to provide a container of the character mentioned which is provided with a handle convenient when the device is being used as a container and also convenient when it is being employed as a megaphone.
The various objects and features of my invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description of a typical preferred form and application of the invention, throughout which description reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the container provided by the present invention showing it filled with material such as popcorn. Fig. 2 is a View illustrating the structure converted and in use as a megaphone. Fig. 3 is a plan or fiat view of the container in its initial form ready to be grasped for use. Fig. 4 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken as indicated by line 4-4 on Fig. 3. Fig. 5 is a perspective view showing the container in its fiat or initial form ready to be grasped and pressed for opening. Fig. 6
is a view similar to Fig. 5 showing the container pressed so that it is open. Fig. '7 is a front elevation of the container opened showing the manner in which the mouth end is shaped and is formed for ready reception of material such as popcorn or the like, and Fig. 8 is a View of the blank or material out of which the device is formed. a
The device that I have provided is primarily a convertible container and although it can be used to handle or carry various materials or objects it is most useful, generally, for popcorn, peanuts, or like products, and I will, throughout this description, refer to it as being a container for popcorn, it being understood that I do not, by such reference mean to limit in any way the use to which the device may be put.
The device of my invention involves, generally a body A which is tapered in form to have a pointed lower end and a wide unobstructed opening or mouth at its upper end, a handle B projecting from the body in a manner to be conveniently grasped by a person using the device either as a container or as a megaphone, a lip C projecting from or beyond the upper end of the body serving to aid in filling popcorn into the body and as a part that will aid in holding popcorn once the body has been filled, and a flange or tab D acting as a connecting means establishing the single seam involved in the entire construction.
The body A is formed of a single sheet of material preferably of heavy paper or a suitable cardboard, although I may obviously employ any other material having the general characteristics of heavy paper, or light cardboard. The sheet of material or blank from which I form the device is substantially triangular when in the original or blank form except for certain projections at the sides or edges. When in the blank form the handle B projects from one edge of the blank, the flange D projects from another edge and the lip C projects from the last or third edge.
The generally triangular blank that I have just referred to and which will be understood from Fig. 8 of the drawings, has a single main fold along the line ill extending from one corner which becomes the pointed tip end ll of the container, to the center of the opposite side of the blank, thus dividing the blank into two like substantially triangular sections. One of base sections of the blank or body I will refer to as the back section It, while the other I will term the front section 13. The fold H! is a full or complete fold by which the sections are allowed to overlie so that they are adjacent or one over the other, as shown in Fig. 4. In the folded flat or adjacent relationship illustrated in Figs. 41 and of the drawings, the body sections I2 and 13 form a thin compact structure so that the resulting device is suitable for stacking in much the same way that paper bags are commonly stacked prior to use and during handling and storage. The edges of the sections l2 and is opposite to those joined by the line of fold Ill may be termed the free edges of the body sections and, in accordance with my invention, these edges or edge portions are permanently joined I or fastened together when the sections l2 and 13 are folded into the flattened or folded form illustrated in Fig. 4 of the drawings. The flange D that I have illustrated serves as a means for fastening the free edge portions of the body sec-- tions and as shown in the drawings the flange is preferably formed on or integral with one of the sections. In the particular case illustrated the flange extends lengthwise of and projects be yond the free edge of one section, say the back section 52, and a fold I5 is established along the line where the flange joins the free edge of the section l2. The flange is folded back onto or against the inner side of the section I2 50 that the inner side of the section l3 contacts it when the sections I2 and I3 are folded together as shown in Fig. 4. A suitable adhesive is preferably applied so that the flange D is permanently joined to the section 13 where these parts engage. Through the construction that I have just described the fold l5 joining the flange D to the section [2 forms a hinge that works or flexes freely when the device is manipulated as hereinafter described, and the main fold Ill forms a corresponding or like hinge that likewise works freely when the device is manipulated.
It is to be observed that when the blank shown in Fig. 8 is folded up and the overlying parts are joined through the flange D, as above described, the body is fiat and is tapered in plan configuration. from the lower end. or point i l to the upper end or mouth iii which is wide or of substantial length, as will be apparent from an examination of the drawings.
handle B is preferably formed as an integral continuation of the blank of the body as in Fig. 8 in which case it projects from or beyond the free edge of the other section which, in the case illustrated, will be the front section of the body. The handle may continue uninterrupted in the plane of the front section l3 of the body, or if a slight fold may be provided along the line it where the joins the free edge of section In the preferred form tion of the device I locate the handle B so 11 the device is lying fiat be ore a person who to use it in dispensing popcorn the handle T from the person, with the result that the person grasps the device with the right hand the fingers or". the band pass through the opening is provided in the handle while the thumb onthe opposite edge portion of the device, making it possible for the person thus manipulating the device to pick it up, manipulate it as ill b er describe to open it, scoop it of oops 1d then hand it to a customer at the handie is presented to the customer to be grasped in a convenient manner. Inc finger opening provided in the handle B may be of any suitable size and shape. However, pre"'"r to make it in the form of an elongate perforation extending substantially parallel with the edge of the body from which the handle projects and large enough or wide enough so that the tips of the dis-pensers fingers can be engaged in it, leaving ample opening for the customer to pass his fingers into it when he receives it from the dispenser.
The lip C that I have provided projects out from or beyond the mouth It ol the body and is in the nature of a projection on or extension of the back section :2 of the body. The lip is preferably continuous from the back section l2 of the body without interruption, that is without folds, seams, or other points of weakening, so that it is rigid and flrm making it suitable for insertion into a mass of popcorn in the course of the filling operation. The outer marginal edge 2%: 0f the lip extends from the corners where the sections it and it of the body join at the corners of the mouth. opening and is generally curved out to be convex except that at the middle or central portion 2i it is curved in or made concave, as appears throughout the drawings. This formation of the lip is highly important for if the Zip is made with a continuous, conventionally curved margin 28 as would occur if the curved portions were uniformly and continuously curved and joined together without the concave part the lip would tend to spread or disperse popcorn as it is thrust through a body of the popcorn, whereas with the concave central portion formed as I have shown and described the lip tends to feed or direct the popcorn inward with the result that it is more effectively packed into the body.
A feature of my invention is the formation and relationship of the body sections 52 and I3 so that when collapsing pressure is applied edgewise of the body, that is to the edge portion of the body where the handle occurs and at the opposite edge of the body, the body readily opens for the reception of popcorn. The desired opening action is obtained when edgewise pressure is applied to the body as indicated by the arrows X and Y in Fig. 3, and when such pressure is applied suflicient to deflect or bend the material out of which the body is formed the body springs from the flat folded position shown in Figs..3 and to the open position shown in Figs. 6 and '7. It is to be observed that I form the bottom section i2 of the body so that it is free of ribs, folds, scoring or points of weakening with the result that when the body is opened as I have just described the bottom section bows downwardly in a gentle curve and the lip is correspondingly bowed with the body thus forming an effective scoop to enter a body of popcorn and for receiving popcorn into the body. The top section l3 of the body, on the other hand, is provided with one or more lines of weakening, for instance, lines of scoring 25 extending lengthwise of the body from the lower end or tip I I to the upper edge at the mouth l6, so that the top section instead of bowing into a curved form breaks into a polygonal form so that it has several panels, each of which is substantially flat. In the particular case illustrated in the drawings I have shown two lines of scoring 25 at the top section I3 with the result that the top section breaks or folds into three panels 26, 21 and 28. It is preferred to locate the lines of scoring so that the panels 26, 21 and 28 are substantially equal in size as I have shown throughout the drawings. An examination of Figs. 6 and 7 of the drawings will make clear the manner in which the body opens so that the bottom is sprung or curved downwardly while the top breaks into the polygonal form to have several substantially flat panels. By providing the body with the folded parts or hinges established by the lines of fold Ill and I5 and by providing the top section I3 with the scoring 25, the body is substantially weakened so that when once sprung open by pressure applied at points such as X and Y and filled with popcorn, it will remain open and will not spring back to a flat or substantially flat form and eject the popcorn in the course of so doing.
A further and important feature of my invention is the provision of a transverse line 30 of weakening, for instance, a line of perforations entirely around the tip end portion of the body A at a point suitably removed from the actual end or tip H of the body so that when the popcorn has been consumed the user can readily tear along the weakened line 30 removing the tip end portion 3! of the body, leaving an opening so that the device is suitable for use as megaphone. The means D and handle B terminate short of the end portion 3| so they do not in any way interfere with its ready separation from the remainder of the body. The device is shown in Fig. 2 after the tip 3| has been removed. It will be readily understood that by suitably proportioning or shaping the body and by removing the line of weakening 30 from the tip H a suitable distance the desired mouth opening can be obtained. It is also important that by providing a line or perforations or weak ening 33 such as I have described the tip portion 3| when removed or torn off leaves the body with a soft edge that will not cut or injure the user as would be the case had the edge been cut in the manner that paper or cardboard is ordinarily cut in the preparation of cartons or the like.
From the foregoing description it is believed that the features and advantages of the device will be fully understood. Preliminary to actual use the device can be stored fiat and a large quantity of the devices can be piled or packaged in the manner similar to paper bags. When a dispenser is ready to use the device or devices the supply is made handy and as customers wish popcorn the dispenser merely grasps the device in the right hand, as hereinabove described, squeezes it to open the mouth l6, and scoops or passes the device into a supply of popcorn with the result that the desired quantity of popcorn is caught and held in the device, as shown in Fig. 1. The fact that the lip C projects above the front section l3 of the body causes the popcorn to stack or pile higher at the mouth end of the body than would be otherwise possible and the popcorn held by the device is thus very much in evidence and attractive to the purchaser. Without changing grasp on the device the dispenser is able to hand it to a purchaser and the purchaser can take the filled device by the handle in the manner above described. Thus in one simple continuous operation a person dispensing popcorn can take the device from a supply, fill it and place it in the hand of a customer and as a result can dispense a great quantity of popcorn in a very limited length of time and dispense the popcorn in a most effective, convenient and satisfactory manner. It is to be borne in mind of course that after the user has consumed the popcorn he can conveniently remove the tip portion 3| along the weakened line 30 and can thereafter use the device as a megaphone and at all times can handle the device by the handle, which is most conveniently located.
Having described only a typical preferred form and application of my invention I do not wish to be limited or restricted to the specific details herein set forth but wish to reserve to myself any variations or modifications that may appear to those skilled in the art and fall within the scope of the following claims.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. A container of the character described comprising a single sheet of flexible material substantially triangular in form and having a straight fold from one corner formingtwo like overlying substantially triangular sections, an inwardly turned flange on the edge of one section opposite the fold and secured to the corresponding edge portion of the other section establishing a body having a closed pointed lower end and a wide mouth opening at the upper end, an integral projection on the said corresponding edge portion of said other section forming a handle, and a lip projection integral with one section at the upper end of the body projecting beyond the said mouth opening of the body, one section being free and uninterrupted to flex from said fold to the edge opposite the fold into arcuate form when pressure is applied inwardly at the fold and at the edge of the body opposite the fold and the other section having lines diverging from said corner and along which it is weakened for bending to establish a plurality of substantially flat panels when such pressure is applied there being a line of weakening transverse of the body spaced from the pointed lower end establishing a lower end portion of the body subject to being readily torn away.
2. A container of the character described comprising a single sheet of flexible material substantially triangular in form and havinga fold extending straight from one corner forming two like overlying substantially triangular sections, an inwardly turned flange on the edge of one section opposite the fold and secured to the corresponding edge portion of the other section establishing body having a closed pointed lower end and awide mouth opening at the upper end, an integral projection on the said corresponding-edge portion of said other section forming a handle, andalip projection integral with one section at the upperend of .the body projecting beyond the said mouth opening of thebody, one section being free and uninterrupted to bend uniformly into arcuate form when pressure is applied inwardly at the fold and at the edge of the body opposite thefold andthe other section having lines divergingfrom said corner and along which it is-weakened for bendingto establish a plurality of substantially flatangularly related panels when such pressure is applied, there being'a line of weakening transverse of the body spaced from the pointed lower end to-establish a lower end portion of 8 the body subject to beingreadily torn fromthe remainder of the body to convert the said remainder of the body into'a megaphone, the outer marginal edge of the lip being generally convexly 5 except at the middle portion where it is concave.
LEONARD A. WHEELER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the 10 file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,125,171 Provandie Jan. 19,1915 m 1,129,778 Baldwin Feb. 23, 1915 2,099,412 Seidler Nov. 16, 1937 2,127,631 Nagle Aug. 23, 1938