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Publication numberUS2615541 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1952
Filing dateAug 16, 1948
Priority dateAug 16, 1948
Publication numberUS 2615541 A, US 2615541A, US-A-2615541, US2615541 A, US2615541A
InventorsWhitesel Jack H
Original AssigneeWhitesel Jack H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Picnic box
US 2615541 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 28, 1952 J. H. WHITESEL PICNIC BOX Filed Aug. 16, 1948 INVEN TOR. JACK H. WHITESEL ATTORNEYS Patented Oct. 28, 1952 UNITED STATES PICNIC BOX Jack H. Whitesel, Seattle, Wash.

Application August 16, 1948, Serial No. 44,462

2 Claims. 1

In the present invention, by a combination of dimensions, shapes and connective devices, I- have provided a lunch box or picnic box which not only carries and tightly encloses the food and companion articles while it is closed, but also holds them upright in convenient readiness when the box is open, and affords a rigid tray which is unlikely to tilt, and whereon the food, containers, and the like may rest with little danger of tipping over, when the box is rested in use upon the knees of a person sitting in an automobile, leaving both his hands free.

In connection with this general object, it is an object to provide a picnic box that includes a pouch compartmented for convenient stowage of food and utensils, and in particular which has one or more pockets or compartments to receive snugly a standard vacuum bottle, usually of quart size,'with its applied cap, and so shaped and arranged that although the bottle can readily be lifted and then tilted to remove it, and as Simply returned, it can not accidentally tip over so long as the box is kept reasonably upright and it is retained in its pocket or compartment. Utensils, condiments, etc., can be stowed in other compartments, where they are readily available yet out of the way.

and the seat ahead.

With these objects in mind and others as will appear as this specification progresses, my invention comprises the novel picnic box shown in the accompanying drawings, described in this specification, and the principles whereof will be defined in the appended claims.

The accompanying drawings show the picnic box in a form of arrangement such as is presently preferred by me, and it will be understood that various changes may be made in the form, character and relative arrangement of the parts without departing from the function of the invention.

Figure 1 is an isometric view of the picnic box shown open in readiness for use.

Figure 2 is a section on line 2-2 of Figure 1 from front to rear through the lower part of the 2 box and cover, the latter being shown in open position.

Figure 3 is a sectional view substantially along the line 33 of Figure 1, but with thecover in closed position.

Figure 4 is an elevational view showing the manner of use of the box.

Figure 5 is a sectional view along the line 5'5 of Figure 1, with the cover and its'brace in open position. g j

Such a picnic box may be made conveniently of sheet metal, for instance sheet aluminum, with rounded edges and corners. Thus it is attractive, light, rugged and easily cleaned, hence can be kept sanitary. Preferably it is of relatively flat shape, and is intended to be usedi'n an upright position, and it will be described with reference to that upright position. M

It comprises a back 1, sides 2 and 3, a top 4, a bottom 5 and a lower partial front Wall 6'. All these walls may be substantially closed and rigid to leave merely an opening in the upper portion of the front, which opening can be closed by a cover I hinged at 8 on an axis lying substantially in the plane of the outside of the front wall 6, along the upper edge of this front wall. Thus the hinged cover 7 can be swung upwardly into closed position or downwardly into normal open position, wherein it extends horizontally, or may be swung into fully open position where; if the box is lying down on its back I, the cover '1 will be horizontal. as shown in the dot-dash line position A of Figure 2. This latter position A is the loading position, whereby the'box may be laid flat upon a table for packing it.

The cover 1 preferably has marginal flanges 9 which may merge in contour with the rounded edges of the fixed portions of the box, and which, when the cover is closed, overlie a marginal strip [0 about the opening of the box to maintain the same reasonably tight. The flanges 9, however, have a further purpose in that they serve to prevent articles sliding off the cover when it is in horizontal position of use, or normal open posi tion, such as the position shown in Figure 1.

The cover is held in this open position, rigidly with respect to the box itself, by brace means and catch means. Thus, for example, a sectorial brace II is secured at l2 along one of its edges to an edge or an edge flange 9 of the cover]. This brace may be a piece of sheet metal and may have some resilient flexibility, but in its own plane is rigid." It is located in the vicinity of the axis of the hinge 8 and extends inwardly from the cover, or upwardly when the cover is swung into open position. Its free edge is provided with an outwardly turned flange 13 (see Figures 3 and which is engageable, when the cover reaches normal open position, within a slot H of a catch l5 that is secured to and projects inwardly from the edge of the container itself. The catch [5 serves as a striker plate and the flange I3 as the latch which engages in the slot l4, and when so engaged the cover I is held rigidly with relation to the container itself against further opening, and against closing. The brace ll, of which preferably two are employed, one at each side of the cover, is readily disengageable merely by pressing inwardly transversely of the plane of the brace H. When so disengaged the cover may be swung to closed poing is likely to slide oif the cover, which serves as a tray or table, for the marginal flange 5 will prevent such sliding. Altogether, the picnic box thus constructed may serve, not only for the packing and carrying of picnic supplies, but also as a table, when it is desired to consume the supplies under circumstances where it is otherwise inconvenient for picnicking.

I claim as my invention:

1. An upright picnic box comprising a relatively fiat container closed at back, around all sides, and having a fixed lower front wall, to define a pouch within the container, a cover hingedly sition, or, if desired, it may be swung to the fully open loading position A of Figure 2.

It will be seen that the fixed front wall B defines a pouch l 6 in the interior of the box which is deep enough and just large enough that a tall vacuum bottle V, so long as it is supported on the floor 5 of the pouch, can not rotate and so overturn. The top 4 is enough higher than the top of the capped vacuum bottle thatthe latter may be lifted vertically far enough to tilt its top outwardly and so to lift the bottle from the rather closelyconfining pouch. The requirement that .the bottle be lifted before it can be extracted from the pouch gives positive assurance against its tipping over accidentally, so long as the box itself is kept reasonably upright. Furthermore the interior of the box may be partitioned by the partitions l1, l8 and I 9 to provide various compartments, some for sandwiches, some for bottles, some for condiments, all accessible through the open front when the cover is swung open.

The box is provided with a convenient handle 19 for carrying it, and with a releasable catch '20 for a locking pin 2|, by which the cover is held closed.

For packing the box it may be laid flat open upon its back I, and the cover I is swung all the way open to the position A, and now it is possible to pack in sandwiches, utensils and vari ous other things needful for the picnic, and then when the box is set upright the vacuum bottle V may be set into place. Now the cover is swung closed, and the box is easily transported and held upright by the handle 19 in the top 4. In this position it is readily stowed in the automobile and takes up a minimum of space.

Arrived at the picnic spot, if it is desired to carry the lunch to a distant spot, it is transported in the box by the handle 19. If, on the contrary, it is preferred to eat in the car, the cover I is swung downwardly, the braces II, when swung open, engage their flanges I3 in the slots l4, and thereafter the cover is rigidly held with respect to the container as a whole. Now, since the fixed front wall 6 remains in upright position, this offers a .point against which the user may press his knees, pressing the box. as a whole, against the back of the car seat S ahead of him, or he may merely support the box by resting the cover 1 upon his knees. Figure 4 represents the box in use. In this fashion, and with no appreciable effort, he can support the box upright by his knees alone, leaving his hands free; the supplies within the box are within convenient reach, and they are not likely to be upset because they must belifted or both lifted and tilted out of the pouch lifirst before they can be withdrawn; and nothconnected to the upper edge of said lower front wall, and cooperating with the latter to close the box, brace means comprising sectorial plates of resilient material, one such plate being secured by one radial edge to one side edge of the cover, and the other such plate being similarly secured to the opposite side edge of the cover, apices of said sectorial plates being located substantially adjacent the hinge axis of the cover and, with the cover closed, inside said box, a flange directed outwardly from the other radial edge of each plate, and catches mounted substantially adjacent the forward edges of the opposite side walls, respectively, of said container, and each such catch having a slot receiving, and thereby releasably detaining, the out-turned flange of the corresponding brace, when the hinged cover is swung open into generally horizontal position, and thereby holding the cover rigidly in such position, against further opening, or closing.

- 2. A portable picnic box comprising an upright container of greater width than thickness, said container having back, bottom, top and side walls, and a partial front wall rising from the bottom to define an interior pouch in the lower part of the box and to leave an access opening extending from the upper edge of said partial front wall to the edge of the top, and intermedi-. ate the side walls, a cover hingedly mounted along the upper edge of the front wall, of a size and shape to close said access opening, or to swing downwardly through a horizontal position to a fully open position wherein it overlies the front wall, brace means carried by the cover at each side, and cooperating latch means carried by the side walls, the brace means and latch means comprising relatively movable sockets and detents which resiliently and releasably interengage when the downswinging coverreaches horizontal position, in order to prevent further downswinging or upswinging of the cover, whereby the cover constitutes a generally level tray, and the box may be supported in upright position by a support beneath the so-latched cover or tray, and articles supported in and projecting above the pouch will be held upright.


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


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2839654 *Aug 7, 1956Jun 17, 1958Jones Richard MLunch box with heating unit
US3081865 *Sep 30, 1960Mar 19, 1963Pugsley Lawrence EOuting kit
US4366999 *Sep 17, 1980Jan 4, 1983Koncelik Joseph AFold-down desk
US6113202 *Mar 2, 1999Sep 5, 2000Germano; Charles A.Portable, wall-mountable tool box-supply cabinet and work bench combination
U.S. Classification190/12.00R, 312/315, D07/709, 206/541
International ClassificationA45C11/20
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/20
European ClassificationA45C11/20