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Publication numberUS2731996 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 24, 1956
Filing dateJan 10, 1955
Publication numberUS 2731996 A, US 2731996A, US-A-2731996, US2731996 A, US2731996A
InventorsHarold L. Hayes
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Removable insert for a lunch box
US 2731996 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 24, 1956 H. 1.. HAYES REMOVABLE INSERT FOR A LUNCH BOX Filed Jan 10, 1955 ll/l ul/l/ IN V EN TOR.

a W n 2 H. Vo L T M M D MM R Y m Un ed States Pawfa 59 REI'VIOVABLE INSERT FOR A LUNCH BOX Harold L. Hayes, Long Beach, Calif. I Application January 10, 1955, Serial No. 480,655 1 Claim. or. 150-5) i The present invention relates generally to portable food containers and more particularly to a novel insert that may be removably mounted within a lunch box.

The conventional metal lunch box includes a rectangular open-topped food-receiving lower section or compartment and a generally hemispherical upper section for ent. Another disadvantage of the conventional lunch box results from the fact that solid foods, such as sandwiches, pies or cakes, tend to rapidly dry out after being packed within the food-receiving compartment. This is especially true during periods of dry weather.

A major object of the present invention is to provide a novel insert for the food-receiving compartment of a conventional lunch box which makes it possible to carry foods of a liquid nature in said lunch box.

Another object of the invention is to provide an insert of the aforedescribed nature having an open-topped container and a removable cover therefor with unique sealing means being formed between the container and its cover.

A further object is to provide an insert of the aforedescribed nature which protects solid foods against drying out once they have been packed therein.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an insert of the aforedescribed nature which may be molded from a plastic material at a very low cost per unit.

An additional object is to provide an insert of the atoredescribed nature which will afford a long and useful service life.

Another object is to provide an insert which is readily removable from the lunch box for washing.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, when taken in conjunction with the appended drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a conventional lunch box wherein is mounted a preferred form of insert embodying the present invention;

Figure 2 is a side elevational view of said insert, partly broken away in vertical section;

Figure 3 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 3--3 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a top plan view of the lower portion of said insert; and

Figures 5 and 6 are enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional views of a unique sealing means incorporated in said insert.

a conventional lunch box L. The lunch box L includes a rectangular open-topped food-receiving compartment F and a generally hemispherical upper compartment U adapted to removably receive a Thermos bottle T. The two compartments F and U are hingedly secured together at their rear portions.

The insert I includes a rectangular container, generallydesignated 10, and having a bottom wall 12, side walls 14,- and 16 and end walls 18 and 20. The intermediate portion of theside walls 14 and 16 are interconnected by a pair of vertically extending transverse spacers 22 and 24. A longitudinal vertically extending spacer 26 interconnects the midportion of the spacer 22 and the adjacent end wall 18. It will be noted that the upper ends of the spacers 22, 24 and 26 terminate a short distance below the upper ends of the side and end walls, as indicated in Figures 2 and 3.

The insert I also includes a cover, generally designated 28, for the container 10. This cover 28 incorporates a flat horizontal plate 30 which corresponds in plan view to the horizontal cross-section of the container 10 whereby it may telescopically interfit within the confines of the upper end of the container. The plate 30 is formed along its side edges with flanges 32 and along its end edges with flanges 34. These flanges 32 and 34 slant outwardly and upwardly relative to the plate 30. The intermediate portion of the underside of the plate 30 is formed with two pairs of depending transverse sealing lips 36 and 38 for receiving the upper portion of the spacers 22 and 24. The underside of the plate 30 is likewise formed with a pair of similar longitudinally extending sealing lips 40 for receiving the longitudinally extending spacer 26. An upstanding lifting tab 42 is formed adjacent the right-hand end of the plate 30. The lower ends of the lips 36, 38 and 40 are normally disposed closer to each other than the upper ends thereof.

Preferably, both the container 10 and the cover 28 will be completely formed of a washable, heat and moistureresistant plastic material. This plastic material will also be pliable yet form-retaining. Two suitable plastic materials are polystyrene and polyesterene, however other materials may also prove to be suitable. Where such plastic materials are utilized, both the container and the cover may be formed by molding or casting whereby the cost per unit will be comparatively small.

Referring now to Figures 2 and 4, with the arrangement shown, the spacers 22, 24 and 26 define foodreceiving sections 44, 46, 48 and 50. The section 44 may conveniently be utilized for sandwiches. The section 46 is suitable for use in receiving cake or other pastries. The section 48 may receive foods such as salads. The section 50 may conveniently receive a soup or broth. In order to restrain foods of a liquid nature from leaking from within the container 10, the cover 28 must be sealed thereto. In this regard, the flanges 32 and 34 will form a liquid-tight seal with the side and end walls, respectively, of the container, such seal being eifected by the wedging of these flanges within the upper extremities of the side and end walls of the container as the cover is urged downwardly within the upper portion of the container. Similarly, referring to Figures 5 and 6, the lower ends of the sealing lips 36, 38 and 40 will be wedged apart so that these lips will frictionally encompass the upper extremities of the spacers 22, 24 and 26 as the cover 28 is urged downwardly into the upper portion of the container. This arrangement not only prevents leakage of foods of a liquid nature from within the container 10, but it also restrains drying out of foods disposed therewithin.

While there has been shown and described hereinabove what is presently considered to be the preferred form of Patented am: 24, 1956;

. V 3 the present invention it' will be apparent that various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the following claim.

A re'rnov'ab'le insert fora lunch box having a rectangular opemtopped compartment, said insert being formed enti'rely of a pliable form-retaining, washable and liquid resista'iit'f material, comprising: a rectangular container having integral bottom,- side arid end walls; integral yet 10 tiehl spacers interecinn'eeting said walls so as to define food-receiving chambers; and a cover for said container, said never having a rectangular fiat plate which telescopieally ititerfits Within the upper portion (it said can:

miner; fiange's' formed on the sides and endsof said plate 1 which slant upwardly and outwardly relative to said plate so as to be wedgeable within the upper portions of theside' and end walls of said 'Eon'taiii'er, and sealing lips depending from the underside of said cover for frictionally engaging the upper portions of said spacers, the lower ends of said lips being normally spaced closer together than the upper ends thereof whereby said lower ends will be wedged apart as said cover is fitted upon said container.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 471,517 Barry et al. Mar. 22, 1892 1,710,363 Kramer Apr. 23, 1929 1,893,186 Thomas et al. Jan. 3, 1933 2,465,910 Mills Mar. 29, 1949 2,645,332 Martin et a1 July 14, 1953

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Referenced by
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US2883041 *Jun 27, 1955Apr 21, 1959Pfeifer Edwin FContainer
US2884977 *Jun 25, 1957May 5, 1959Aaron R BermanCarrier
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U.S. Classification220/555, 220/528, 312/293.2, 206/542, 220/553, 220/23.87, 206/544, 206/546, 220/526
International ClassificationA45C11/20
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/20
European ClassificationA45C11/20