US 2704444 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 22, 1955 H. CAREW 2,704,444
COMPENSATING HOLDER FOR PAPER CUPS Filed April 7, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Herman Carew' March 22, 1955 H. Ew 2,704,444
COMPENSATING HOLDER FOR PAPER CUPS Filed April 7, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 lllllll Herman Careuf March 2251955 H. cAR w COMPENSATING HOLDER FOR PAPER CUPS v 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 7, 1950 Herman Carea/ jaw/M H171] 5 4 Z? ii United States Patent COMPENSATIN G HOLDER FOR PAPER CUPS Herman Carew, Easton, Pa., assignor to Dixie Cup Company, Easton, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Application April 7, 1950, Serial No. 154,712
8 Claims. (CI. 65-61) This invention relates to improvements in a compensating holder for paper cups, and more particularly to a holder possessing characteristics which compensate for the incomplete seating of a paper cup in the holder, though such cup is held stably in the holder regardless of its incomplete seating, although the invention will have other uses and purposes as will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
In soda fountains, and other locations where various forms of hot and cold drinks are dispensed commercially, and holders for paper cups, either of the conical or flat bottom variety, are used, such holders are equipped with means for automatically engaging or gripping a part of the cup to hold it against accidental dislodgement. When that cup is seated completely in the holder, the body portion of the holder defining the cup receiving cavity has positive engagement with the cup at several different locations, if not throughout the entire cavity wall, so that the cup is securely and stably held in the holder. In picking up and lodging a cup in a holder, the attendant usually grasps the holder by the bottom, presses it over the uppermost cup of a stack of inverted nested cups, and picks up the topmost cup, with his hands only contacting the holder, relying upon the gripping means in the holder to secure and hold the cup. Should dispensers be utilized, the attendant in the same manner places the holder over the outermost cup and, still holding the holder alone, withdraws the cup from the dispenser. Obviously, in soda fountain Work ixceedingly rapid action is essential especially during rush ours.
Frequently, however, due to the hustle and bustle of soda fountain service, an attendant in making a pass to pick up a cup does not seat that cup completely in the holder, although the gripping means in the holder have engaged the cup sufficiently to retain the cup against accidental dislodgement. In most such cases, the gripping means will have engaged a conical paper cup too near the apex, or a flat bottom cup too near the bottom, so that while the cup is held in the holder, the body of the cup does not positively contact the holder especially near the mouth thereof, and the cup is unstably seated. The filling of the cup with a commodity to be dispensed most frequently does not result in completely seating an improperly seated cup. Accordingly, and this is especially true in the case of conical paper cups, after the cup is filled with the commodity it is prone to wabble in an unstable manner to the dissatisfaction and discomfort of the customer. It is a peculiar fact that the better the gripping means in the holder, that is the more positive and quick acting the gripping means may be, the more chance of incompletely seating the cup, especially during the hurry or rush hour work. Where a float, such as a ball of ice cream, is utilized in the confection being dispensed, the center of gravity of the cup and its contents is raised, and the wabbling of an incompletely seated cup is intensified. Obviously, it is not feasible to correct such a situation by relying upon the operator because he either dare not or will not take the time and care to insure a complete seating of the cup especially when overburdened with rush work.
In other instances, the same difiiculty has risen by virtue of the fact that the holder may not be directed squarely toward the outermost cup of a stack, and wherein resilient gripping means are employed, with the gripping eleice ments being in the same plane, the cup will not be engaged in a plane transversely of the axis of the cup, but may be engaged in a diagonal plane.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an important object of the instant invention to provide a cup holder designed to compensate for an insecure seating of a paper cup in the holder, and hold that cup stably regardless of the incomplete seating.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a holder for a paper cup, the holder being so shaped in the wall of the cup defining cavity as to establish several points of contact with an incompletely seated cup so as to compensate for the incomplete seating and hold the cup stably.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a holder for a paper cup embodying means for automatically grippingly engaging the cup to retain it in the holder against accidental dislodgement, and having the wall of the cup defining cavity shaped out of round at least in one location therealong to establish wall contact with an incompletely seated cup.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of a holder for a paper cup, which holder has a shape at the mouth of the cup receiving cavity that is distorted from the circular.
It is also a feature of the invention to provide a holder for a paper cup, the holder having a cup receiving cavity therein with the wall of the cavity thickened at spaced points therearound to provide points of contact with an incompletely seated cup to stabilize the cup, such thickened locations in the wall of the holder merely distorting a completely seated cup without detracting from the satisfactory usage of the cup.
Still a further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a holder for paper cups, which holder has a somewhat oval shape at the mouth of the cup receiving cavity.
It is another object of this invention to provide a holder for paper cups, which holder is provided with means for automatically grippingly engaging the wall of the cup to retain it in the holder against accidental dislodgement, such means being floating in character so as to automatically shift position and effect a proper gripping of the cup regardless whether the holder is moved over the cup in proper alignment.
A further object of the invention resides in the provision of a paper cup holder having gripping means therein in the form of a collar from which resilient fingers extend inwardly to engage the wall of the cup, the collar being fioatingly mounted so that the entire gripping assembly may shift in position at the time of engagement with a cup to effect the proper gripping action.
Broadly, it is an important feature of this invention to provide a paper cup holder designed to insure the retention of a cup in the holder against accidental dislodgement, to stably hold the cup even if it is incompletely seated in the holder, and to shorten the time heretofore required to lodge a cup in a holder, and to eliminate to a great extent the possibility of a cup ever being lodged in a holder in an unsatisfactory manner.
While some of the more salient features, characteristics and advantages of the instant invention have been above pointed out, others will become apparent from the following disclosures, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure 1 is an elevational view of a holder with a paper cup completely seated therein;
Figure 2 is an enlarged central vertical sectional view through a holder embodying retaining means, illustrating a cup partly in section and partly in elevation, but showing what happens when a cup is incompletely seated in a holder having a cup receiving cavity not in accordance with the instant invention;
Figure 3 is a transverse plan sectional view of the structure of Fig. 2, taken through the cup just above the mouth of the holder;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of the general character of Fig. 2, but illustrating a holder having a body portion embodying principles of the instant invention, and showing contact with an incompletely seated cup;
Figure 5 is a transverse plan sectional view taken gllitzillgh the cup of Fig. 4 just above the mouth of the Figure 6 is a view of the same character as Fig. 4, but illustritting the cup completely seated in the holder of Figure 7 is a transverse plan sectional view taken through the cup of Fig. 6 just above the mouth of the holder;
Figure 8 is a view similar in character to that of Fig. 4, but showing a holder embodying principles of the instant invention but of a somewhat difierent form than the holder of Fig. 4;
Figure 9 is a transverse plan sectional view taken through the cup of Fig. 8 just above the mouth of the holder;
Figure 10 is a central vertical sectional view, with the cup shown partly in elevation, taken substantially as indicated by the line X-X of Fig. 9,
Figure 11 is an enlarged bottom plan sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the line XI--XI of Fig. 4, illustrating retaining means embodying principles of the instant invention; and
Figure 12 is an exaggerated fragmentary vertical sectional view through the retaining means of Fig. 11 and the adjacent part of the holder.
As shown on the drawings:
While for illustrative purposes, the instant invention has been shown in association with a conical paper cup,
it will of course be apparent to one skilled in the art that the invention is equally usable with a paper cup of the so-called fiat bottom type, and even with other forms of cups.
Fig. l is merely an elevational view showing a cup holder, generally indicated by numeral 1, with a conical paper cup 2 completely seated in that holder. The holder 1 may be of a type heretofore known, or may embody principles of the instant invention, the showing in this figure being made primarily to illustrate that the overall general appearance is substantially the same as long as a cup is completely seated in the holder, whether the holder is of a type heretofore known or a type embodying the instant invention.
In order to properly present the instant invention, I have illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3 the effect created by a paper cup being incompletely seated in a holder having a cup receiving cavity of the type heretofore known. The holder is generally of hour glass shape, including a body portion 3 and a base portion 4. The body portion 3 defines interiorly thereof a cup receiving cavity 5, the
wall of the cavity being preferably tapered in conformity with the taper of the wall of the cup for which the holder is designed.
The cup receiving cavity 5 is open at the bottom, and
the base of the holder is provided with an annular groove i 6 just below the open bottom of the cavity. Retaining means are disposed in the groove 6 and include a disklike element comprising a collar or rim 7 from which a plurality of resilient fingers or teeth 8 extend inwardly across a portion of the opening at the bottom of the cavity to automatically engage the apical portion of a conical cup upon insertion. The retaining means are preferably removably held in position in the groove by means of a spring ring 9, or the equivalent, this retaining assembly being of the character more fully set forth, described and claimed in my copending application entitled Holder for Paper Cups, filed September 28, 1948, Serial No. 51,520, issued in Patent No. 2,610,491, September 16, 1952.
Now, with reference to Fig. 2, it will be seen that while the cup 2 has been engaged by the resilient fingers 8 sufiiciently to distort the cup walls as indicated at 10, and quite sufiicient to prevent accidental dislodgement of the cup from the holder, the cup is not completely seated in the holder, there being a definite space 11 between the wall of the cup and the wall of the cavity 5. Accordingly, when the cup is filled, the weight of the cup and its contents are greatly increased, and since the cup is only engaged in a region very close to the apex, the entire cup may wabble back and forth in the space 11. In the event the cup contains some floating matter, such as ice cubes, a ball of ice cream, or the equivalent, the wabbling is considerably more noticeable, and if actual spilling does not occur, at least the users apprehension is greatly excited.
Such wabbling of an incompletely seated cup cannot occur with the structure seen in Figs. 4 and 5. Here, while the holder includes the same base and the same retaining means assembly as above described, the body portion 12 of this holder defines a cup receiving cavity 13, and the body wall which defines the cavity is thickened at spaced points therearound as indicated at 14. As illustrated in the drawings, for purposes of clarity only, the portions 14 are shown as additions to the interior of the body wall, but it will at once he understood by one skilled in the art that these portions 14 may be molded along with the body wall. It is a simple expedient to cut segments from the male die member, so that in the regions 14 the wall is merely molded or cast thicker than elsewhere. Preferably, the holders are molded from metal or a suitable thermoplastic.
In the illustrated instance, the thicker portions 14 of the cavity defining walls are substantially triangular in shape, with the apex downward, and in the illustrated instance three such thickened regions are disclosed, evenly spaced apart. Obviously, some other number could be used satisfactorily but three is an easy number to ulse in manufacture and such number will give perfect resu ts.
As illustrated, the cup 2 has been engaged by the resilient fingers 8 in the same manner as illustrated in Fig. 2, too close to the apex of the cup. Thus, there will be a space 15 between the cup wall and the cavity wall, but in this case, such space only occurs circumferentially between the thickened portions 14 of the wall. Thus, as seen clearly in Fig. 5, three additional points of contact between the holder and the cup as indicated at 16. Preferably these points of contact are adjacent the mouth of the cup receiving cavity so as to bring the stabilizing engagement as high as possible along the cup and as far as possible from the engagement of the retaining fingers 8. With this arrangement, it will be at once noted that regardless of the incomplete seating of the cup, the cup and its contents are stably held by the holder, and there can be no wabble.
In Figs. 6 and 7 I have illustrated the structure of Fig. 4, but with the cup 2 completely seated in the holder. It will be noted that the resilient fingers 8 have now engaged and indented the cup wall in the region 100, farther from the true apex of the cup, and the cup wall contacts the wall of the cavity entirely therealong and therearound. When such contact is established, the cup is distorted as at 17 by the regions 14 of increased wall thickness, but the cup swells out to its natural shape immediately above the mouth of the holder, so that such distortion is substantially unnoticeable to the eye, and does not affect the use of the cup in any manner whatever. If anything, the distortion only augments the grip of the holder upon the cup.
In Figs. 8, 9 and 10, I have illustrated a still different shaping for the holder, wherein the holder is also given a contour distorted from the circular or out of round at one region along the cup receiving cavity, and in this instance, again, the shaping is occurrent preferably adjacent the mouth of the holder. In this instance, the holder is provided with the same base and the same retaining means assembly, but with a body portion 18 defining a cup receiving cavity 19, and near the mouth of the holder this cup receiving cavity is of generally oval shape as seen clearly in Fig. 9. The cup 2 is shown disposed in the holder incompletely so that there is a space 20 between the cup wall and the cavity wall. However, owing to the oval shape of the mouth of the holder, there will be two additional opposed points of contact 21 between the cup wall and the holder, occurring along the short axis of the oval. Should any wabbling occur with this structure, there will be only one movement of the cup along the long axis of the oval until the wall of the cup contacts the holder at the end of the oval, thereby establishing three points of contact. If that much wabble should occur, the cup and its contents will remain in position after the third point of contact is established.
In Figs. 11 and 12 I have illustrated my improved form of retaining means assembly in a somewhat exaggerated manner. It may be assumed that this improved retaining means assembly is used in the holders of Figs. 4 to 10 inclusive and in this instance, the holder of Fig. 4 has been utilized. In Fig. 11 the cup is shown in section in the holder, while in Fig. 12 the cup has been removed.
It will be especially noted from the showing in these figures, that the disk-like retaining member including the collar 7 and the resilient fingers 8, is not of the same diameter as the groove 6 in the holder. Likewise, the composite thickness of the spring ring 9 and the collar 7 of the retaining element does not equal the width of the groove 6 in the holder. Therefore, the retaining element is what may be termed floatingly mounted, and is free to move to the extent defined by the groove both vertically and laterally. Consequently, the retaining means are relatively self-adjusting, so that in the event the attendant does not hold the holder in alignment with the outermost cup of a stack when seating a cup in the holder, the retaining means may shift position and thus insure correct lateral engagement of the cup, so that the resilient fingers 8 engage the cup in substantially the same lateral plane approximately perpendicular to the axis of the cup, rather than in an oblique plane which might occur if the retaining means were rigidly fixed in position.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that I have provided a cup holder which in fact expedites the process of seating a cup therein, because the attendant can move as rapidly as possible, even in a careless manner, but by virtue of the construction of the holder, the cup will be stably seated even if incompletely seated. The stable seating of the cup will result from the irregular or out of round shape of the cavity wall at least one location or region therearound, but with the use of a floating securing or retaining means assembly in combination with the shaping of the cavity wall there is virtually no opportunity for a cup to assume an unstable position in the holder. Further, the holder may be as economically manufactured and just as long lived as a holder not embodying the improvements of the instant invention.
It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a holder for a conical paper cup, a body portion including a tubular surface defining a cup receiving cavity having at least one portion near its mouth congruent to a cup when completely seated therein, cup retaining means in said holder to engage the lower part of the paper cup and retain the cup against accidental dislodgement, and the upper part only of the tubular surface being out of round in a transverse plane to provide spaced points of contact with a cup held by said retaining means but incompletely seated in said cavity to stabilize the cup.
2. In a holder for a paper cup, a tubular body portion having an inside contour to intimately fit a preformed flexible-walled paper cup, said body portion being of such size that a fully seated cup projects well without the holder at the month end, cup retaining means in the lower part of said body portion, and a formation in said body portion in a region remote from said retaining means deviating inwardly from the normal size and shape of the cup to insure wall engagement by the holder with the cup to steady a cup incompletely seated in said holder but engaged by said retaining means to eliminate wobbling of the incompletely seated cup.
3. In combination, a preformed flexible-walled conical paper cup, and a holder for said cup having a body portion including a tubular surface defining a cavity to receive said cup apex first, gripping means in said holder positioned to hold the cup firmly near the apex against accidental dislodgement from the holder, and the mouth end of said tubular surface being out of round to con tact the cup at a plurality of points and stabilize the cup against wobbling if the cup is incompletely seated in the holder but engaged by said gripping means.
4. In combination, a preformed flexible-walled conical paper cup, and a holder for said cup having a body portion including a tubular surface defining a cavity to receive said cup apex first, gripping means in said holder positioned to hold the cup firmly near the apex against accidental dislodgement from the holder, and the mouth end of said tubular surface being out of round to contact the cup at a plurality of points and stabilize the cup against wobbling if the cup is incompletely seated in the holder but engaged by said gripping means, the flexible wall of the cup shaping itself in accord with the mouth of the holder when the cup is snugly seated in the cavity of the holder.
5. In a holder for a preformed paper cup, 9. body part including a tubular portion defining a cup receiving cavity having at least one portion near its mouth congruent to a cup completely seated therein, retaining means in said holder to engage the lower part of the cup and retain the cup in the holder against accidental dislodgement, and said tubular portion being inwardly thickened at spaced points adjacent the mouth of said cavity to contact the wall of a cup engaged by said retaining means but incompletely seated in the holder to stabilize the cup.
6. A holder for a paper cup, including a body part having a tubular portion defining a cup receiving cavity, a disc-like retaining element having inwardly extending resilient fingers mounted in said holder for free bodily movement laterally a limited extent, and the mouth end of said tubular portion being out of round to contact the cup at a plurality of points and stabilize the cup against wobbling if the cup is engaged by said fingers but incompletely seated in the holder.
7. In a holder for a preformed paper cup, a body part including a tubular portion defining a cup receiving cavity having at least one portion near its mouth congruent to a cup completely seated therein, retaining means in said holder to engage the lower part of the cup and retain the cup in the holder against accidental dislodgement, and said tubular portion being out of round but symmetrically so to provide spaced points of contact with a cup engaged by said retaining means but incompletely seated in the holder to stabilize the cup.
8. A holder for a conical paper cup, including a body part having a tubular portion defining a cup receiving cavity having an opening at the bottom through which the apex of a received cup may extend, said body part having a substantially laterally extending surface adja cent the bottom, a cup retaining element in the general form of a disc disposed adjacent said surface, said retainmg element having a central opening defined by resilient cup engaging fingers extending inwardly at least partially over said first mentioned opening to engage the apical portion of a cup, and a member engaging an inner wall of sa1d body part sufliciently below said surface and said retaining element to maintain said element in operative position but leave it free for limited bodily vertical movement, and said element having an outside diameter less than the inner diameter of said body part below said surface to permit limited bodily movement of the element in a lateral direction.
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