US 2624489 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 6, 1953 w s 2,624,489
CONTAZNER OPENER Filed Jan. 18, 1950 I mmvrox E2915. FRANK A. WISH/1R7 ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 6, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CONTAINER OPENER Frank A.Wishart, Oakland, Calif. Application January is, 1950, Serial No;'1'39,159 1 Claim. (01. 220 52) This invention relates td'acontainer opening tool and more particularly to such a container opening tool which is adapted for opening general groups or various types of closures for containers, regardless of whether such closures be of types known as tear strip, rollable sheet metal, vacuum sealed pressure closures, circumferentially clinched bottle crowns or caps, punchable sifter tops, inset frictional tops, andthe like.
These various types of closures, examples of which are shown in the accompanying drawing, each presents a different form of closure means which may be simultaneously present in any ordinary household; and, therefore, it is; advantageous to provide'a simple,rugg ed, economical and efficient utility tool for opening a wide variety of such containers. Y
The invention centers around the novelty of a shank of the tool and the cooperative relationship of other features of the invention to the novel shank. I
Broadly the invention comprises a manually operable container opening tool having an elongatedshank which is slotted between overlying walls of the shank and providing a pointed shank which is preferably substantially flatly U-shaped in section transversely of the shank, the edges of the shank at the opening of the slot being substantiallyangular to the walls of the shank, and further providing for such a shank a handle member having'means for-facilitatin the exerting of a thrust force longitudinally for penetrating a container closure, as well as rotatively of the shank axis for leverage in rotating the shank for opening other containers; and in providing those facilities in the shank handle so that they may be employed for opening other types of container closures by reversing the gripping of the tool and employing the shank as a handle.
' A preferred form of the invention is described in the specification herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawing, it being understood that variations of details may be resorted to without departing from the invention which is defined inthe appended claim.
In the drawing II I I Fig. 1 is a front plan view of the device of the invention. I I I II 2 is a rear plan view of the device of the invention. I
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of Fig. 1. Fig. 4 is a longitudinalsection on lined-4 of Fig. 1. I I
Fig. 5'is an enlargedtrahsverse section on line Figs. 6" to are 'vi'ews reduced in sizesh'owing various manners of operation of the opening tool of the invention.
Referring to the drawing in which like reference characters indicate corresponding parts in 2 the several views, It indicates generally the tool of the invention referably made of sheet metal of sufficient thickness and hardness" to provide rigidity. Preferably the tool is made by suitably stamping the sheet metal to provide thetool elements and desired reinforcement.
The tool is provided with an elongated shank H at one end portion, and having a handle l2 connected thereto preferably integrally, at the opposite end portion.
The elongated shank l l comprises a-fold of the sheet metal by retroverting the sheet metal upon itself providing overlying opposed walls or layers 13 which are preferably in substantially'parallel planes. The strips of the shank are integrally joined at one edge by a closed bend it andare open relatively at the opposite edgesywhich may be termed the free longitudinal edges I5. The
shank is thus a substantially fiat U-shaped memher in transverse section and has a longitudinal slot [6 which extends lengthwise of the shank and is open at its free end portion 11, the free longitudinal edges 15 being substantially perpendicular to the slot walls I3. The free end portion of the shank'is cut at an angle from its closed edge It providing a slotted relatively sharppoint 18 at its free end. The width of the side faces of the elongated slotted shank is very slightly tapered from the handle end in the direction of its free end so that the parallel Walls of the U-shaped shank at the free pointed end portion are narrower than adjacent the handle,-such taper being hardly perceptible in the drawing, but being about twenty thousandths of an inch between opposite ends of the shank. The tapered side faces are those faces shown in side elevation in Figs. 3 and 4.
At its opposite end portion the tool has its sheet metal body flared or spread into a planar portion l9, the terminal end portion -of which provides the relatively wide planar handle I2. The cooperation of the facilities of the handle with the grooved shank may be more fully deis closed by a cross-bar 22a. The opening 22 is preferably substantially rectangulan'and in pro- 'viding such openingthere may bestamped from the plane of the opening area an integral depending tongue 23 having a hook 24 at its terminal end. Also, if desired, a sharpened edge 25 may be stamped in the inner edge of the opening 22. Intermediate the ends of the planar portion of the handle, and preferably adjacent to the connected end of the shank there is provided at the edge of the planar portion an extended ear 26.
In operation for opening containers which have a free tab connected to a well-known scored tear strip in a side wall (see Fig. 11) or containers having a scored top closure (see Fig. 14) and in which a free tab is engageable by a slotted key for progressive rotation to wind the tear strip or scored top spirally thereon, the free tab of the metal of the tear strip or scored top is engaged in the slot I6, and the shank of the tool is rotated by the planar handle to wind the tear strip or can top in a substantially spiral manner on the shank. The flatness of the shank and its body of substantial cross-sectional volume, and the angles of the faces 15 wind the tear-strip or a metal closure sheet at angles rather than in a true spiral, such angles being beyond the limit of elasticity or resilience of the metal of the tear strip or sheet top of the container, and thus make a tight roll rather than a true spiral which is springy and has a tendency to unwind when an ordinary fiat slotted key is employed. Yet by reason of the slight taper of the shank, the shank may be freely removed from the tightly wound metal coil merely by ceasing the winding tension and withdrawing the shank from the axis of the coil by sliding the tab of the tear strip along the slot and out through the open free end [8. In the event that the free tab of the metal strip of the container body should break, as frequently happens, the shank, because of its taper, may likewise readily be withdrawn from engagement within the partially coiled strip, and reinserted within the coil to engage the groove [6 with the next adjoining end portion of the tear strip or scored sheet metal, and thus continue the winding to open the container. If the tear strip or scored top tears away from its scored line, the tool may similarly be removed from the coil and the split prongs at the point l8 may be employed to split the container metal and direct the tearing edge back to the scored lines, whereupon the shank may again be inserted in the coil to continue removal of the closure.
As stated, the planar portion of the handle is substantially co-planar with the faces of the slot l6 whereby the axis of rotation of the handle is substantially coaxial with the axis of rotation of the shank faces I 5, which facilitates accurate tearing of a tear strip or container top along defined scored lines. The planar handle provides a wide planar surface which affords a grip within the palm of the hand of the operator rather than a mere finger grip as usual in ordinary slotted keys, and in addition, provides a wide transverse handle end 22a against which the thrust may be received for inserting the slotted point [8 into a partial coil or for puncturing of sealed container tops such as hermetically sealed cans of liquid ordinarily employed for fruit juices or evaporated milk.
The tongue and hook 23, 24 serve to provide lateral width to the handle, since it is always much easier to tightly grip and rotate a handle which has a lateral as well as a transverse dimension to its body; and at the same time, this desired lateral dimensional member provides a hook which may be engaged under the edge of certain types of container closures, such as crimped or crown bottle caps and vacuum sealed frictionally held closures, and be thus employed as a lever which fulcrums on the cross-bar 22a which closes opening 22. In such mode of operation it will be noted that the operation of the tool is reversed and the shank is used as a handle (see Figs. 8 and 13).
The ear 26 likewise serves dual purposes. Firstly, being at the edge of the planar portion IQ of the handle which is grasped in the palm of the hand of the operator and close to the axis of rotation of the shank, it furnishes a base against which the thumb of the operator may be pressed in rotating the shank to open containers in which the metal body is of unusually heavy metal, since the thumb is the most muscular of the fingers and can therefore exert a greater leverage force for rotating the shank; secondly, in providing such a leverage member, it has been adapted as an ear which may serve in the nature of a pry bar to be inserted between a frictionally mounted container top and an underlying bead, whereby such a container cap may be pried loose from the container (see Fig. 12). The point 18 of the tool may also serve as an instrument for puncturing scored sift top containers (see Fig. 10) for cracking ice and for other like purposes (see Fig. 7).
Having described the invention, what is claimed as patentable is:
A container opening tool comprising an elongated slotted shank U-shaped in transverse section for its entire length, a hand grip handle portion at one end of the shank, said shank being tapered the entire length of the U-shaped portion in the direction from the handle portion towards its opposite free end so that said free end portion is the smaller portion of the shank in such transverse section, said shank being pointed at its free end, and said slot extending through said point, whereby a portion of a container body engaged in the slot may be slid from the slot at said pointed free end.
FRANK A. WISHART.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date D. 51,962 Januchowsky Apr. 9, 1918 731.329 Till June 16, 1903 795,330 Brewington et a1. July 25, 1905 1,287,413 Parrella Dec. 10, 1918 1,445,905 Nerf Feb. 20, 1923 2,017,062 Hothersall Oct. 15, 1935 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 142,582 Australia Aug. 10, 1935 162,860 Great Britain May 12. 1921 237,993 Great Britain Aug. 7, 1925 251,093 Switzerland July 16, 1948 260,157 Great Britain Oct. 28, 19.26 514,790 Germany Dec. 17, 1930 554,062 Great Britain June 17, 1943 692,515 Germany June 21, 1940