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Publication numberUS2660529 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 24, 1953
Filing dateOct 26, 1945
Priority dateOct 26, 1945
Publication numberUS 2660529 A, US 2660529A, US-A-2660529, US2660529 A, US2660529A
InventorsFrank A L Bloom
Original AssigneeFrank A L Bloom
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Consumer package for fresh fruits or the like
US 2660529 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 24, 1953 F. A. 1.. BLOOM CONSUMER PACKAGE FOR FRESH FRUITS OR THE LIKE Filed act. 26, 1945 2 Sheet Sheet l INVENTOR. E4174? HA. 23700 72.

Nov. 24, 1953 F. A. L. BLOOM CONSUMER PACKAGE FOR FRESH FRUITS OR THE LIKE Filed Oct. 26. 1945 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. F7 4; H4. 740),

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Patented Nov. 24, 1953 UNITED STATES RATENT OFFICE CONSUMER PACKAGE FOR FRESH FRUITS OR THE LIKE 3 Claims.

This invention provides a consumer package or retail container of a novel construction that enables a uniform size container to be used for a substantially unform quantity by weight of a selected species of fruit or vegetables or other natural foods, whether the units of the selected species making up the given weight be all of relatively large, medium, or Small size, and which will retain the units in fixed position and preferred display arrangement.

It has come to be a very desirable practice to market some kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables in packages containing relatively small quantities which the consumer will purchase entire, and which provide for such advantageous display of the contents as to provide maximum eye appeal and minimize removal and handling for inspection. For example, pound packages are extensively used in marketing tomatoes. It is the practice in marketing tomatoes to grade them according to size, and in the trade these grade sizes are known as twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes, according to whether it requires 2, 3, l, 5, or 6 tomatoes to make up substantially a pound in weight. The most popular packages now used are usually made of cardboard of rectangular shape having a transparent panel in the side or cover through which the fruit can be viewed to some extent when being selected for purchase.

A single size of the packages now used is entirely suitable only for units of fruit of a certain predetermined size and is not satisfactory when the units vary in size from that for which the package was designed. When outsized fruit is placed in such a package, it does not fit well and must be supported therein by the adjoining unit of fruit or by additional partitions or cushioning material placed around it within the package. Furthermore, in the packages now used the contact between the walls of the container and the units of fruit are relatively small in area and consequently the unit pressure of the walls of the package against the fruit may be relatively high, and this increases likelihood of bruising and distortion. All of this tends to promote early deterioration of the fruit.

Another disadvantage of the present package is that the fruit is not advantageously displayed to view therein, and this promotes inspection removal and handling by the customer with consequent damage to the fruit. A further disadvantage of such packages is that their shape is not conducive to overall strength and rigidity considering the material of which they are usual- 1y made, and they are not suitable for stacking without damage to the contents.

I have invented a package so constructed that a single size will receive a number of different grade sizes of fruit equally well, display it to maximum advantage, provide a relatively large area of wall surface for supporting each individual unit of the fruit, minimize the dependence of each piece for support upon the adjoining piece and consequent distortion of the fruit, substantially lessen the unit pressure of the supporting walls against the surface of the fruit and consequent bruising, eliminate the use of partitioning or cushioning material to retain the fruit in position, and permit stacking of loaded containers without damage to contents.

The above-mentioned and other objects and features of novelty of the invention will be specifically pointed out or will become apparent in the following description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a sectional view of a package embodying features of this invention, containing two tomatoes of the grade size known as twos illustrated in broken lines;

Figure 2 is a plan view of the package and tomatoes illustrated in Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a plan view of the package containing three tomatoes of the grade size known as threes shown in broken lines;

Figure 4 is a plan view of the package containing four tomatoes of the grade size known as fours shown in broken lines;

Figure 5 is a plan view of the package containing five tomatoes known as fives shown in broken lines;

Figure 6 is a plan view of the package containing six tomatoes known as sixes shown in broken lines;

Figure 7 is a vertical cross sectional view of the package illustrating a modified form of the invention;

Figure 8 is a vertical cross sectional View of the package illustrating a second modified form of the invention;

Figure 9 is a vertical cross sectional view of a plurality of said containers having the side walls flared outwardly and in stacked or nested relation illustrating how the empty containers may be conveniently arranged for storage or shipment.

Figure 10 is a reduced vertical cross sectional v1ew of my container with a modified form of cover applied thereto.

Referring to Figures 1 to 6, inclusive, a con sumer package I for protecting and displaying 3 tomatoes is illustrated, comprising a container 2 having a cylindrical side wall 3 and a bottom which is curved downwardly and inwardly at 4, and then upwardly to join a central upwardly projecting cone portion 5. The side walls 3 may be outwardly flared to a slight degree as shown in Figure 9 so that the empty containers may be stacked or nested easily one within another for storage or shipping. A removable cover 6 haveither or both the container and the cover are made of transparent material, the fruit orve'getables contained therein are displayed to the ,view of the prospective purchaser without necessity ofremoval from the package.

I nFigures l and -Z, two tomatoes 8' of the ftwos grade are illustrated in dotted line in a one-pound size container. The curved body of the tomato hasa substantial continuous bearing upon the side 'wallii, the arcuate bottom portion l and the sloping wall of the upwardly projecting cone portion 5. The adjacent portions of the tomatoes will easily inter-fit and only slightly engage each. other.

The weight of each unit offruit is borne by the large supporting ,wall area provided by the side wall 3, and the arcuate portionf-"i and cone wall 5 of the bottom. The cone wall 5 is preferably inclined at an angle 'of"2 to 30 to the horizontal.

The arcuate portion '4 is developed on a radius that will accommo date a major curve of the fruit contour. It has [been found that a curve developed on a radius will satisfactorily accommodate all grades of tomatoes from twos to sixes. The preferred dimensions of the container illustrated "a'refnrairimum depth- 27 diameter inclination of cohe sidewall to 30, radius of The apex or c'uate portion of bottom- 7 "point of the coneis' blunted to avoid accidental injury to the fruit. The dimensions given are suit'able 'forthe tomatoes usually grown for market in the Florida; California, Michigan and New York regions. They may be altered to accommodate 'diiierent shapes by following the principles of design and construction hereinafter explained. In many fruits or vegetables and natural foods, it will be found that the diiierent sizes of the "same species possess a major curve or contour that is substantially common to the various marketable sizes, and by making the arcuate portion or the bottom of the container conform to this common curve or contour, a single size container may be, used for different grade sizes. Thus in a single container or package of the construction described there is provided for each unit of fruit an individual cradle comprising sides provided by the relatively straight side wall 3 and the straight cone wall 5, and a cradle bottom provided by the arcuate portion l of the container bottom. This furnishes a large supporting bearing or contact for each unit. The circular form or" the container wall 3 also conforms in substantial measure in the horizontal plane to the contour of each fruit unit, increases the area of contact, and prevents shift in a lateral direction. The

'or vegetables.

combination of the circular wall and the bottom having the raised central portion causes the fruit units to assume the general aspect and form of a cluster and thus provides a natural grouping which greatly enhances the attraction factor or eye appeal of the package. There is no need to wedge the fruit in the container. The contour of the package assists in the rapid placing of the fruit therein as the tomatoes will by gravity naturally tend to assume a position that provides the greatest area of engagement with the container and to remain in such position until the last tomato is placed therein, especially iffw hen being filled, the container is supported at anangle to the horizontal corresponding to theangle 'of' the cone side wall. This increases the rapidity 'with'which the containers can be packed.

The container and closure readily lend themselves to filling, closing, sealing and conveying by automatic type of machinery. The cylindrical wall and the arcuate bottom portion" and upwardly projecting cone portion provide a; strong container, which assures maximum protection to the" fruit or vegetables, both during transportation and display, and permits the stacking-of loaded containers after the covers are applied.

In F-igures 3, 4, 5, and 6, the tomatoes 9, it; I l,

and I2 indicated in the broken lines, are the grade sizes respectively threes, fours, fivesf and sixes, and they are supported in the manner already described by the cradles provided by the side wail 3, the arcuate channel t and the cone wall h'except that the smallersi es are turned differently than the larger sizes to presentto the arcuate portion i of the bottom the contour or curve that is substantially common to all sizes and conforms be'stto the arcuatebottom. The raised center of the bottom enables diiferences in height or length f of the difierent sizesto be taken up by the depth of the container'with'out sacrificing the cradle like support or varying a standard depth and circumference of container.

Insome states a diiference over and-under marked weight is aliowed when packaging fresh fruit, and in such cases the package herein illustrated and described is adapted to measure weight without necessity of Weighing each package separately on a scale. Thus, when the'container is filled with a selected grade size thenet weight will fall within the allowed variation without the necessity 'of actually weighing 5 the package.

In Figure 7, a modified form of the invention is illustrated. In this construction, a "base element l 3 may be made of molded plastic material, or any other material that has sufficientrigidity, when out or molded to form, to support the fruit The base has an arcuate portion M, similar to the arcuate portion t of the container 2 of Figure 1', and an upward projection forming a central cone portion Iii similar *to .the cone portion 5 illustrated in the container 2.

The cover it has a deep cylindrical sidewall I"! and a flat top portion it. The side wall of the base '13 is recessed at 26 to receive the edges of the side wall 'F of the cover 16 so that the outer surface is flush with the side wall of the-base l3. The fruit or vegetables are placed on the base in engagement with the arcuate and conical portions' I'4 and I 5, after which the cover R 'is placed thereover'and engaged with the base. Thecover may be of transparent material so that the fruit can be inspected without removal.

In Figure 8, a second modification of theinvention is illustrated. A base element 2! is formed out of thin sheet material with a contour similar to the base [3 of Figure 7. The center of the base element 2! has an arcuate portion 22 extending inwardly and joining an upwardly projecting central cone portion 23 which is similar to the arcuate and cone portions of the structure illustrated in Figures 1 and '7. An annular portion 24, U-shaped in section, is provided about the outer margin of the arcuate portion 22 for receiving the open end of the cover It which is placed thereover. Either base element 2| or cover IE, or both, may be made of transparent material through which the fruit or vegetables within the package may be viewed.

As in Figure 1, the modifications shown in Figures 7 and 8 have side walls and cone walls that are relatively straight and form continuations of the arcuate portion of the bottom.

In Figure 9, a plurality of containers 25 similar to the container 2 are illustrated, having the side wall flared outwardly from the bottom so that empty containers may be stacked one within the other for convenience in storing or shipping.

Figure 10 shows another modification of cover construction. The container body is of the same construction shown in Figure 1. The cover 26 is provided around its margin with an upwardly offset and outwardly extending flange 21 so that the body of the cover sets within and extends between the inner surfaces of the container side walls 3, while the flange 21 extends over and bears upon the upper edges of the side walls 3 and limits the extent to which the cover may extend within the body of the container. This form of cover braces the side Walls against inward collapse.

Any suitable material such as the plastics, Wood, glass, metals, cardboard, papier-mach, ceramics and the like, can be utilized for the manufacture of the covers and the containers. The covers and the containers may be made of the same or dissimilar materials and one or both may be transparent. The height of the cone portion of the bottom of the container should be governed by the largest grade size to be packed in the container and be such as to prevent the fruit units from interfering materially with each other or with the cover.

It is to be understood that I consider containers polygonal or elliptical in form which achieve substantially the same results as the truly circular a form illustrated in my application to be within the scope of my invention, as well as other modifications within the fair scope of the appended claims.

As previously explained, marketable fruits of the same species, but different sizes, frequently possess a major curve or contour that is substantially the same, i. e., having substantially the same radius. By major curve or contour I do not mean necessarily the greatest curve or contour the fruit unit may possess, but a curve or contour encompassing a substantial area of the surface of the unit and adequate to support the weight of the unit without substantial distortion. This may be the greatest curve or contour of the smallest marketable size, and substantially smaller than the greatest curve or contour of the largest marketable size. For example, in tomatoes the curve or contour of a section taken in the plane common to the blossom and stem ends of the unit of the larger sizes of the same species will usually be not substantially different from the curve or contour of a section of the smaller marketable sizes of the same species taken in the plane at right angles to the plane 6 common to the stem and blossom ends of the fruit. The shapes are naturally somewhat irregular so that the common contours may not be found always precisely at the points described, but they will be near enough to permit practical packing in the manner described.

The curve or contour of the arcuate portion of the bottom'of the container is selected to conform substantially to such a major curve or contour that is found to be common to the marketable sizes of the same species of the fruit it is desired to pack and is described in the claims as having a radius substantially the same as that of a major curve, or a major curve common to a plurality of grade sizes, of the fruit to be packed. The fit of the fruit to the arcuate portion of the bottom of the container need not be mathematically precise, it is suflicient if it will not cause material distortion during the marketing interval, and prevents material movement or chucking Within the package.

The term fruit where used alone in the specification and claims is not to be construed as limiting the claimed invention to use for fruit only. Extension of use to the packaging of other products presenting similar problems is deemed to be within the scope of the claims.

The term side wall or side walls used in the claims is intended to include not only the side wall 3 as shown in Figures 1 and 10, but also the side wall provided by the depending flange of the cover shown in Figures 7 and 8.

What I claim is:

1. A consumer package for shipping, storage and display of perishable fruit and the like comprising a container, and a single layer of fruit arranged in series relation within the container, said container provided with a substantially circular bottom formed with a concave, annular, troughlike portion around the margin thereof, an upstanding, generally conical central portion disposed in substantially tangential relation to the inner edge of said troughlike portion, and a circular, substantially vertical surrounding wall arranged in substantially tangential relation to the outer edge of said troughlike portion, said fruit being supported in and arranged in series relation in said troughlike portion, and said troughlike portion having a radius of curvature substantially the same as a major curve of said fruit so as to conform to a substantial surface area of said fruit, said conical portion and said surrounding wall being disposed on opposite sides of said fruit and co-operating with said troughlike portion to support and confine the fruit in said container without bruising the same,

2. A consumer package for shipping, storage and display of perishable fruit and the like comprising a container, and a single layer of fruit arranged in series relation within the container, said container provided with a substantially circular bottom formed with a concave, annular, troughlike portion around the margin thereof, an upstanding, generally conical central portion disposed in substantially tangential relation to the inner edge of said troughlike portion, and a circular, substantially vertical surrounding wall arranged in substantially tangential relation to the outer edge of said troughlike portion, said fruit being supported in and arranged in series relation in said troughlike portion, said conical portion and said surrounding wall being disposed on opposite sides of said fruit and co-operating with said troughlike portion to support and confine the fruit in said container without bruising the same.

3. In a consumer package of the class wherein a single'layer of fruitis disposed in a container for shipping and display purposes and wherein said fruit isarranged-in annular series relation, the combination with :said fruit-cram annular, concave, marginal, troughlike bottomportion of the container substantially conforming to and supporting a relatively large surface-area of the fruit, an upstanding, generally conical portion of portion of the container supporting the fruit at 1 the outer sides thereof.

FRANK A. L.- BLOOM.

References Cited in the-fi1e ofpthis patent -Number Number UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Harker June 13, 1905 Garritson June 20,1911 Randall Nov. 23, 1915 Milliron et a1 May 17, 1932 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date 1 Germany 1902

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Classifications
U.S. Classification426/106, 206/822, 206/526, 206/515
International ClassificationB65D1/22, B65D85/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D1/22, B65D85/34, Y10S206/822
European ClassificationB65D1/22, B65D85/34