US 2699885 A
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E uw RnNuTl Ulm LWC7 CET cNv Mlmwv .D Hpmw .wDl J.W,1 G .nr NR H0 PF I D Unite DIPPING-CUP DSPENSING CLOSURE FOR MEDICAMENT CONTAINERS James H. McClure, StfSimons Island, Ga.
Application November 7, 1952, Serial No. 319,365
6 Claims. (Cl. 222-126) The invention relates in general to special dispensing 'closures of the type that are temporarily attached to the discharge necks of bottles or other containers in substitution for the original sealing caps or Stoppers and has -particular reference to a dispensing closure ofnovel construction for bottles containing baby 011 to facilitate carefully regulated moistening of the Vcotton ball swab customarily used in applying oil to a babys skin to prevent or alleviate chaiing and other conditions. l
When treating a babys skin w1th o1l, 1t usually 1s ynecessary to use one hand exclusively to hold the baby 'still in position `for treatment. hand free to handle the oil bottle and the swab 1n the That leaves only one 'bottle until after the skin-swabbing treatment has been completed, which means that the vbottle is likely to be States Paten-t tipped over accidentally while still open. Sometimes, the
swab slips while the bottle is in inverted position and oil is spilled. To prevent the swabfrom slipping, it must be pressed so 'tightly against the mouth of the bottle neck that the annular area of the swab which bears against the mouth lip will become too closely packed to absorb any appreciable quantity of oil. Consequently, only the very small central area of the swab that covers the yneck mouth will be sui'liciently porous for oil absorption, due to its freedom to bulge slightlyfinto said mouth. lEven so, the amount of oil that is taken up by the swab `will be so small that several repeated moisteniug operations may be required to complete the treatment of the babys affected skin areas.
It,`therefore, is the purpose of the preesnt invention to provide a special dispensing closure primarily intended to be used on baby oil bottles to aid the -user in maintaining a firm grasp on the bottle during the necessarily singlehanded operation of moistening a Vswab with the oil contained therein and to make it possible to control discharge of oil by means Aother 'than the swab itself.
To be more explicit, the special dispensing closure which I have invented has an upwardly open dipping cup surmounting the bottle-'attaching means, which cup serves both as a convenient handle by which the bottle may be held in any position and as a well or fountain from which oil may be dipped by insertion of the swab. A linger* operated dispensing valve is provided in the closure to permit manual control of oil discharge from the bottle into the dipping cup when the bottle is inverted invposition. This valve is spring-biased into closed position but may be opened by pressure of the linger that is holding the swab in the cup. When the swab is removed from the dipping cup following restoration of the bottle to upright position, the valve will close automatically to seal the contents of the bottle and ,prevent discharge thereof in case of accidental upset.
Another object of the invention is to so construct and arrange the dispensing valve that a large area of the swab will be exposed to the oil that enters the dipping cup even though another area is compressed by the users linger in the act of forcing the valve open.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a double-acting valve for the closure which will be closed ice automatically by spring action when the swab is with- 'drawn from the dipping cup but which may be closed intentionally by finger pressure while the bottle 1s heldin inverted position to regulate the amount of .oil discharge into the dipping cup or to check leakage around the swab in the event that the latter is found to be incompletely plugging the mouth of the cup.
A still further object is to provide .the dispensing closure with a double-actingvalve having an arrangement of inlet and outlet ports which will vpermit complete drainage of any excess oil from `the dipping cup back into the bottle after the latter has been restoredto upright position.
Another object is to make Vthe closure body and its valve member of such construction that the closure as a whole is easily cleaned and sterilized and that ,dismantling of the valve member may bel elected quickly and easily to permit separate cleansing or sterilization.
The above and other objects, featuresand advantages of the present invention will be more fully Vunderstood from the following specific description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
Fig. 1 is an elevational view of a baby oil bottle lof usual form with the special dispensing `closure attached, said closure being shown in vertical cross-section withthe dispensing valve in normal spring-closedposition, aswab being also illustrated 'in the act of being applied to the dipping cup;
Fig. 2 is a horizontal section on line 2 2 oflFig. l;
Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. .1, but with the body of the bottle ybroken away, showing the dispensing Avalve after beingpressed into open position; and
Fig. 4 is a similar view, showing the dispensing valve in manually closedy position.
Referring now in detail to the drawing, wherein k'like reference characters designate correspondingjparts'in the several views, the numeral 10 designates `the special dispensing closure, which in its illustrative .embodiment 'is shown vattached to the vneck"N of a bottle `B 'containing baby oil or other liquid medicament M.
ln this instance, dispensing closure 10 is -in the form of a screw cap for the reason that baby :oil bottles currently on the market have screw caps. It is '.to .be understood, however, that it iswithin the scope of the inventionto produce my dispensing closure inthe form of a plug-type stopper 1whenever 'it may be fdesired 'to adapt said closure to corkedbottles. The mode of attachment is immaterial and may vary with the type of original closure that is to be `replaced on the discharge neck of a bottle, can or other commercial. container.
Moreover, it is to be understood .that the .material from which the special dispensing closure as a whole or any of its separate parts is manufactured may be glass, plast1c,'metal, or any other suitable substance, provided it 1s not subject to corrosion and can withstand .cleansing and the high temperatureof sterilization, because it is to be expected that a single dispensing closureof this kind will be used interchangeably with along succession of bottles or othercontainers of the sarnetype. It maybe pointed out also that the thickness of .walls and vother dimensions and proportions in the Vaccompanying illustrative Ydrawing have been 'exaggerated for clarity of disclosure and may be variedsuitably inthe actual reduction of the invention to practice without departing from ,the scope thereof.
Referring particularly to Fig. l, in Awhich bottle B .is depicted in upright position, it will be observed that dispensing closure lllcomprises .a onefpiece-body :11 -and a vdispensing valve member .172. Body 11 is preferably circular Ain cross-section `and includes a downwardly directed attaching portion 13-at its lower fend-and an rupwardly open dipping cup 14 at 'its upper end. Attaching portion 13 and clipping cup 14 are connected ybyfa neck 15 that is provided with a through Vbore 16 .interc'ommunicating with the interior-of said cupfand attaching portion, which latter is inthe formfof Aan internallyl screw-threaded cap adapted to engage the lexternally screw-threaded neck N of fbottle lB.
Dipping cup 14 is preferably cylindrical-Tin the region of its mouth 17 but converges `symmetrically ltherefrom .downward to its juncture with neck to provide a semi` spherical bowl-shaped bottom 18. The internal diameter of the upper cylindrical portion of dipping cup 14 ,would ybe just large enough to snugly tit an inserted cotton ball swab of the standard size used for administration of medicaments, it being intended that the swab shall serve, in addition to the dispensing valve, as a plug or stopper for cup mouth 17 to prevent leakage of the f medicament M through said mouth when bottle B is in inverted position during the swab moistening operation to be described fully hereinafter.
Bore 16 of body neck 15 is preferably circular in cross-section and has the tubular body 19 of valve memlar ange projects radially from the lower end of body 19 and is provided with an upwardly tapered face to form a valve plug 21 for engagement with correspondingly tapered valve seat 22 formed in the lower end of bore 16. The side wall of tubular valve body 19 is provided with plural radial inlet ports 23 preferably arranged in a circumferential row immediately above end wall 2t), in which position these ports will be masked and thus closed by the inner peripheral surface of the side wall of body 19 when valve plug 21 is in engagement with valve seat 22. By the location of ports 23 at the extreme lower end of valve body 19, complete drainage of medicament from the interior of valve member 12 back into the bottle when, during a valving operation to be described fully later herein, said valve member is depressed sufciently to unmask said ports. Due to its primary function of admitting medicament from bottle B through valve member 12 to the interior of dipping cup 14 when the bottle is inverted, the valve organization of parts 21-22-23 may appropriately be termed the inlet valve.
In the chosen illustrative embodiment of the invention, it is desirable to have the upper end of valve body 19 also closed, but, for reasons to be explained presently, this is accomplished by providing said upper end with a screw-plug 24 which serves several purposes. This screw-plug 24 has an annular marginal flange 25 ush with the upper face of said plug, whereby the latter is suited to serve as a push-button for manipulation of dispensing valve member 12. Moreover, flange 25 is of sufficient radial extent to act as a stop abutment closely adjacent to the outer periphery of valve body 19 for contact with the upper end of valve spring 26 and to provide an encompassing valve plug portion 27 whose under face is shaped to closely fit the bottom 18 of dipping cup 14, which bottom 18 constitutes a valve seat for said valve plug 27. Body 19 of valve member 12 is provided with plural radial outlet valve ports 28 in its side wall. In this instance, it is preferred to have more than one circumferential row of ports. The top row is located irnmedately below screw-plug 24 to permit complete drainage of medicament M from the interior of valve member 12 into dipping cup 14 when bottle B is in inverted position under conditions to be described in detail later herein. At least the one other row of ports disclosed is needed to insure complete drainage of medicament from the interior of valve member 12 back into bottle B when inlet valve 21-22-23 is open and bottle B is in upright position under still other later described conditions.
Valve spring 26 is preferably helical in form and just large enough in diameter to frictionally t the outer peripheral surface of body 19 of valve member 12. In order that valve plug 27 may be depressed' sufliciently to engage valve seat 18, the upper portion of body bore 16 is enlarged as at 29 to accommodate the lower portion of spring 26, which latter is interposed between stop flange 25 of screw-plug 24 and the shoulder 30 formed at the base of enlarged portion 29 of body bore 16. The length of spring 26, which is a compression spring, should be such that it will normally maintain inlet valve 21-22-23 closed in the upthrust position of valve member 12 shown in Fig. l, but its axial tension should not be of a degree that will offer undue resistance to downward thrust of said valve member by fingertip pressure into the closed position of the outlet valve constituted by parts 27--18-28 represented in Fig. 4.
The mode of operation involved in moistening a swab Swith medicament M contained in bottle B by use of special dispensing closure 10 will be understood by suc cessive reference to Figs. l, 3 and 4. Regardless of whether it is desired to have swab S absorb a large quantity of medicament or just -a little, the rst step is to insert said swab into mouth 17 of dipping cup 14 while bottle B is standing in upright position as shown in Fig. l. Then, when cup mouth 17 is safely plugged by swab S, cup 14 is grasped as a handle in the palm of the free hand and, with the swab secured in position by fingertip pressure, the bottle is inverted. The mode of operation after this point has been reached depends upon the degree of swab moistening that is desired.
If a copious discharge of medicament M into dipping cup 14 and deep absorption by swab S is intended, the fingertip pressure on the swab should be increased sufliciently to force valve member 12 into the intermediate open position represented in Fig. 3 to open inlet valve 21-22-23. This action will permit medicament to ow through inlet ports 23, the interior of valve'member 12, and outlet ports 28 into the interior of dipping cup 14 for contact with and absorption by the innermost portion of swab S. Although the central part s of swab S will be rather rightly compressed between the users fingertip and the push-button at the upper end of valve member 12, the marginal portion s of much larger ex posed surface area will be uiy and thus highly porous. When it is estimated that the required amount of medicament has been taken up by swab S, bottle B is restored to upright position and pressure on the swab is released, whereupon spring 26 will automatically close inlet valve 21-22-23. In so doing, spring 26 will also serve to at least partially eject swab S from dipping cup 14. It will now be safe to withdraw swab S completely from dipping cup 14 of the dispensing closure and to use it for medicament administration, because the dispensing valve is closed and contents of bottle B cannot leak out if the bottle should accidentally overturn. However, it is possible that there may be a residue of medicament in the bottom of dipping cup 14 and the enlarged portion 29 of bore 16. To avoid loss of this residue in case the bottle should overturn during medicament administration, either of two precautionary actions may be taken. One is to thrust valve member 12 into the position shown in Fig. 4 while the bottle is still in inverted position, or, after withdrawal of swab S from dipping cup 14 by use of thumb and forefinger, some other free finger of the same hand may be used to depress valve member 12 into the position in which it will reopen inlet valve 21-22-23 and thereby permit drainage of the residue of medicament back into bottle B.
If it be desired to moisten the swab only slightly, there are two ways in which this can be done. One is to thrust valve member 12 into the intermediate position represented in Fig. 3 before inverting bottle B and then to oscillate the bottle quickly into inverted position and back to upright position so that the time during which medicament M may tiow from the bottle into the dipping cup will be so brief that only a slight amount of medicament will reach swab S. The other way is to thrust swab S downward in dipping cup 14 as far as it will go before bottle B is inverted, so that outlet valve 27-18 will be closed when inversion takes place. Then, when the bottle has been inverted, the outlet valve may be cracked just long enough to permit flow of the estimated amount of medicament desired from bottle B into dipping cup 14.
It will be understood that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for the purpose of illustration which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the i.nvention.
Having thus described the invention, I claim:
1. A dispensing closure device to replace the original sealing closure for the discharge mouth of an unstabilized invertible liquid container comprising: a body including a downwardly directed attaching portion, an upwardly open dipping cup surmounting said attaching portion, and a vertical neck connecting said attaching portion and said dipping cup, said neck and attaching portion having a vertical through bore adapted to establish communication between the interior of the dipping cup and the discharge mouth of a container to which said body is attached; a valve member mounted for reciprocation in said bore and having its upper end projecting into the dipping cup to constitute a pushbutton; a downwardly facing inlet valve seat provided in the body neck bore; an upwardly facing inlet valve plug provided on said valve member for engagement with said inlet valve seat to close the body neck bore when the valve member is in upthrust position; spring means biasing said valve member toward upthrust inlet valve closing position; an upwardly facing outlet valve seat located in the body neck bore above the inlet valve seat, and a downwardly facing outlet valve plug provided on the valve member above the outlet valve seat to engage said seat when said valve member is downthrust against the spring biasing action and thereby close said body bore while the inlet valve plug is unseated. t
2. A dispensing closure device to replace the original sealing closure for the discharge mouth of an unstabilized invertible liquid container comprising: a body including a downwardly directed attaching portion, an upwardly open dipping cup surmounting said attaching portion, and a vertical neck connecting said attaching portion and said dipping cup, said neck and attaching portion having a vertical through bore adapted to, establish communication between the interior of the dipping cup and the discharge mouth of a container to which said body is attached; a downwardly facing inlet valve seat provided at the lower end of said bore; a tubular valve member closely fitting the body neck bore for reciprocation between upper and lower limits of movement and having both ends closed; an upwardly facing inlet valve plug provided at the lower end of the valve member to engage the inlet valve seat when said valve member is upthrust whereby to limit upward movement thereof and close the lower end of the body neck bore, said valve member having a radial inlet port in its side wall immediately above the inlet valve plug and adapted to be unmasked when said valve member is downthrust and also having a radial outlet port in said side wall adjacent to the upper end of said valve member for communication with the interior of the dipping cup; and spring means biasing said valve member toward upthrust inlet valve closing position.
3. A dispensing closure device as delined in claim 2, wherein an upwardly facing outlet valve seat is provided at the upper end of said bore; and wherein a downwardly facing outlet valve plug is provided at the upper end of the recprocatable valve member above the outlet port therein to engage said outlet valve seat when said valve member is downthrust whereby to limit downward movement and close the upper end of the body neck bore.
4. A dispensing closure device as defined in claim 3, wherein the body neck bore is provided with an enlarged upper portion providing a shoulder at the bottom thereof; wherein the spring biasing means for the reciprocatable valve member is a helical spring fitted around the upper portion of said valve member with its lower portion countersunk in the enlarged portion of the body neck bore; and wherein the upper end of the valve member is closed `by a screw-plug engaged within the upper end thereof, said screw-plug being provided with a marginal annular ange at its outer end to overlie the upper end of said spring in contact therewith, the outlet valve plug being formed on the margin of said screw-plug tiange.
5. A dispensing closure device as defined in claim 4, wherein the side wall of the reciprocatable valve member is provided with a further outlet port positioned so as to be located immediately above the bottom shoulder of the enlarged upper portion of the body neck bore when the outlet valve is closed to drain liquid from said enlarged bore portion back through the inlet valve into the container.
6. A dispensing closure device to replace the sealing closure for the discharge mouth of an unstabilized invertible liquid container comprising: a body including a downwardly directed attaching portion, an upwardly open dipping cup surmounting said attaching portion, and a vertical neck connecting said attaching portion and said dipping cup, said neck and attaching portion having a vertical through bore adapted to establish communication between the interior of the dipping cup and the discharge mouth of a container to which said body is attached; a valve member mounted for reciprocation in said bore and having its upper end projecting into the dipping cup to constitute a pushbutton; a downwardly facing inlet valve seat provided in the body neck bore; an upwardly facing inlet valve plug provided on said valve member for engagement with said inlet Valve seat to close the body neck bore when the valve member is in upthrust position; and spring means biasing said valve member toward upthrust inlet valve closing position; the valve member being constructed and arranged so that its upper pushbutton end is located in upthrust valveclosing position sufficiently spaced inward from the mouth of the dipping cup to accommodate an applicator swab in stoppering relation to said mouth prior to application of inward valve actuating pressure on said pushbutton endbof the valve member through the medium of the swa References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 517,978 Lee Apr. 10, 1894 645,706 Grant Mar. 20, 1900 1,383,664 Rembe July 5, 1921 1,700,483 Bonomo Ian. 29, 1929 2,518,751 Carlton Aug. 15, 1950