US 2700284 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 25, 1955 G. A. LYON, JR
COMPARTMENT PLATE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 00*.- 50, 1951 .ZI YVEHZ Ur GQ zgeAbarZZyOIgJi? Jan. 25, 1955 O JR 2,700,284
COMPARTMENT PLATE Filed Oct. 30, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 [177E171 Ur kmgegzberz'lyozam United States Patent() This invention relates -to a food tray and more particularly to a tray especially adapted to be used as a part of the mess kit of military personnel.
An object of this invention is to provide a food tray of very light construction and which can be economically manufactured on a large production basis.
2,700,284 Patented Jan. 25, 1955 having the features of this invention and which is pro vided with multiple dished food receiving compartments 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. These compartments are circularly arranged around an elevated section 16 disposed above the plane of the bottoms of the compartments (Fig. 2) and slightly dished at 17 for receiving fragile food such as butter or the like which might be deleteriously affected by heat such as that which might be given off by heated food in the compartment. By elevating this section 16 I am enabled to carry the butter or the like at a point remote from the other food compartments and where it would be least apt to be affected by the contents of the other compartments.
Each of the compartments is completely separated from all the others and as shown in Fig. 2 has curved side walls so as to facilitate cleaning. Actually the compartments Another object of this invention is to provide a food serving tray which is of such construction that it can be easily cleaned and that is adapted for suspension on hooks during washing or when not in use.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a multiple food compartment tray wherein the compartments are so formed that their margins reinforce the tray and thereby permit the use of thinner gauge material than otherwise would be possible.
Another still further object of this invention is to provide a multiple food compartment tray with a raised central section located above the plane of the bottoms of the other compartments so as to hold butter or the like removed from the contents of the tray.
In accordance with the general features of th1s invention, there is provided a food serving tray comprising a member having a plurality of separated dished food receiving compartments arranged around a central raised section for receiving and holding food substantlally elevated above the plane of the bottoms of said compartments.
Another feature of my invention relates to so forming the aforesaid tray member that at least two of the compartments are separated by a flattened finger grip portion elevated above the plane of the bottoms of the compartments and whereby a digit of ones hand may be inserted between it and a support on which the tray may rest for lifting the tray.
A still further feature of my invention relates to providing the tray with a marginal flange formed at least at two corners with notched ears whereby the tray may be suspended or hung on books or the like A further feature of my invention relates to providing a modification wherein a marginal flange of the tray is turned downwardly along side and beyond the bottoms of the compartments for supporting the compartments above and spaced from a table top and the like on which the tray is disposed.
A further feature of my invention relates to the provision of a tray which is of such construction that it may be economically manufactured from a metallic stamping pressed from a very thin gauge sheet metal such, for example, as stainless steel sheet in the range of .020 of an inch thick.
Other objects and features of this invention will more fully appear from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which illustrate several embodiments thereof and in which:
Figure 1 is a plan view of one form of my novel food serving tray;
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on line IIII of Fig. 1 looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary plan view of a modified form of tray; and
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view through the modified form of tray illustrating the marginal skirt for supporting the tray.
As shown on the drawings:
The reference character 10 designates generally a tray are separated from each other by ribs 9 so that there is clean line of demarcation between the compartments.
The larger compartments 11 would, of course, contain the major food such for example meat or other proteins and the like and the other compartments are designed to contain vegetables, dessert and probably a biscuit.
The foregoing dished and ribbed construction results in the corrugation of the member so that it is greatly reinforced and, hence, can be made from substantially thinner material. For example, if the tray of my invention was stamped from sheet metal, I find that it can be made of sheet metal .020 of an inch thick as distinguished from metal .035 of an inch thick which is sometimes used in mess kits. In fact, I contemplate making the stamping of this tray from stainless sheet for purposes of cleanliness. However, it is also possible to manufacture the tray from a synthetic plastic material since the tray lends itself readily to molding from plastic.
In addition, by reason of the dished and ribbed construction, 'I find that I am enabled to provide a tray with greater content area at lesser cost than would be feasible with types of trays I have heretofore seen on the market.
In the event that the tray is made from a stamping two corners 19-19, which would ordinarily be scrap, may be utilized as ears for the suspension of the tray in a vertical position. This may be accomplished by providing the ears with undercut notches 20--20 whereby the tray may be hung on books during washing or when not in use, the latter hanging preferably being face to the wall to exclude dust from the dish compartments 11, 12, 13 and 14. It will also be appreciated that the ears 19-19 serve as a gripping or handle means when the tray is being presented for filling with food.
Now, since it is contemplated that the person using the tray may want to use one hand for holding the tray and one hand for holding a cup of coffee or the like, I propose also to provide the tray with medialgripping portion 21. This gripping portion 21 comprises an elevated flattened portion in the tray between the adjoining compartments 13 and 14. By reason of this portion 21 being elevated above the plane of the bottoms of the compartments, a digit of ones hand hand may be inserted between it and the support, on which the tray is disposed or is to be disposed, for gripping or lifting the tray.
Also, while the compartments are shown as being in the form of pie shape segments of a circle for purposes of compactness their general shape, of course, may be modified without deviating from the invention as long as they are dished and separated from each other as described above.
In Fig. 3 I have illustrated a modification of my invention wherein the corners of the tray 1001 on opposite sides of the food compartment 11 are formed into gripping ears 19a19a which, like the ears 1919 of Fig. 1, are adapted to be used as handle portions in the use of the tray. Thus, in this modification all four corners of the blank from which the tray is stamped may be utilized thereby reducing to a minimum the around the tray, except for the front portion where the ears 19 and finger gripping portion 21 are located as shown in Fig. 1. In other words, the supporting skirt 25 extends around three sides of the tray 10b which with the exception of this skirt is like the trays shown in Figures 1 and 3. The front edges of the skirt may be turned inwardly as shown, for example, in Figure 4 at 26, or in other words at the points of tangency of a line drawn across the outer peripheral edge of the hooks 20, as viewed in Figure 1 leaving the fourth side of the tray open for manual gripping. Since it is intended that the tray be hung from its hooks 20 in a face-to-the-wall condition, the flange 26 will clearly not interfere with the hanging operation. It will be noted that the skirt is of a depth greater than that of the compartments of the tray so that the compartments are supported above the table top or other member on which the tray is disposed.
I claim as my invention:
1. As an article of manufacture, a food serving tray comprising a member having a plurality of dished food receiving compartments separated by narrow upstanding hollow ribs, at least one of said ribs having an enlarged flattened finger grip portion forming its top surface adjacent the outer periphery of said member, said member having a peripheral flange extending around substantially three sides thereof and projecting downwardly beyond the bottoms of said compartments, said finger grip portion meeting the periphery of said memher at a point on unflanged side thereof, whereby 1 said compartments are supported above and out of contact with the surface upon which said flange rests and whereby said tray may readily be grasped above the level of said compartments by said large finger grip 'portion without first lifting said flange.
2. A tray constructed according to claim 1 wherein said member at said unflanged side is provided with a slot extending inwardly from the outer peripheral edge of said member and angularly backwardly upon itself toward said outer peripheral edge to provide a hanging hook for 'storingsaid tray.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 74,477 Bronsther Feb. 21, 1928 D. 88,285 Blenker Nov. 15, 1932 D. 101,730 Blackinton Oct. 27, 1936 334,993 Smith Jan. 26, 1886 1,047,318 Smith Dec. 17, 1912 1,191,672 Crosby July 18, 1916 1,527,141 Kirkpatrick -2 Feb. 17, 1925 1,595,356 Moseman Aug. 10, 1926 1,938,909 Huif Dec. 12, 1933 2,115,862 Leppke May 3, 1938 2,352,684 Braddock July 4, 1944 2,563,694 Selten et al. Aug. 7, 1951