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Publication numberUS2774187 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 18, 1956
Filing dateMay 18, 1954
Priority dateMay 18, 1954
Publication numberUS 2774187 A, US 2774187A, US-A-2774187, US2774187 A, US2774187A
InventorsSmithers Vernon L
Original AssigneeSmithers Vernon L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package for transporting cut flowers
US 2774187 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. Dec. 18, 1956 v. SMITHERS PACKAGE FOR TRANSPORTING CUT FLOWERS Filed May 18, 1954 Ira FIGB

INVENTOR. VERNON psmmeaas BY Y ATTORNEYS Ill PACKAGE FOR TRANSPORTING CUT FLOWERS Vernon L. Smithers, Akron, Ohio Application May 18, 1954, Serial No. 430,590

5 Claims. (CI. 47-41) The present invention relates to a special package for use in transporting cut flowers. The particular field for which this package is designed is in the shipping of roses direct from the grower to the ultimate purchaser. The present practice is for the grower to cut the roses and lay them in boxes to be refrigerated and shipped to the florist. The florist takes the roses out of the boxes and places them in vases for display. When the customer selects the roses they are repacked in boxes or made into floral pieces. If they are sold in loose form, the customer removes the roses from the boxes and makes his own floral arrangement. This operation requires four handlings of the roses from the time they are cut by the grower until the ultimate purchaser puts them in the vases in which they are displayed.

The repeated handling of the roses and the fact that they are without water during certain periods tends to reduce the life of the flowers and it is the purpose of the present invention to provide a suitable package which will eliminate the multiplicity of handling operations, and provide water at all times.

In accordance with the present invention, the flowers are cut and immediately placed in a container which has a mass of water-containing material such as a highly absorbent foam made from a phenol-formaldehyde resin, a urea-formaldehyde resin, or other type of highly absorptive material which is penetrable by the stems of flowers, but has suflicient strength to support the cut flowers and supply the requisite moisture to keep them fresh. The flower grower will have on hand at the field, a large number of the containers and as the workers cut the flowers, they will stick a definite number, say a dozen, in the water-absorbent material in the container. The containers, with the flowers therein, will be immediately covered by a transparent, impervious sheeting which enclosesthe flowers and conserves the moisture in the package. It is preferred that the package be provided with a handle or other device by which it may be carried.

As soon as the packages are completed they should be placed in a refrigerated car or truck and shipped to the florist. The florist now displays to a prospective customer the complete package, the flowers of which have been in a bed of water containing absorbent material from the time they were first cut and have not been handled since that time. The water is supplied to the flowers in such form that it will not spill but will be retained so as to be available to the flowers.

In the drawings accompanying this application, the invention is shown in its best known and preferred form. However, this does not prevent the making of improvements or modifications thereof, all within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims appended hereto.

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a complete package as it is made up by the grower and as it would be sold to the ultimate purchaser.

ilited States Patent f) 2 ,774,187 Patented Dec. 18, 1956 Fig. 2 is a vertical section through the base of the package on the line 22 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a cross section on the line 3--3 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a perspective view looking at the underside of the block of water-absorbent and retaining material.

In the preferred form of the invention there is employed a waterproof holder or container 2 which, for the sake of lightness and economy, may be made of a heavy boxboard stock and coated with a waterproof coating of a wax or other coating which will retain the water therein. In the form shown, this is a cubical box, but it may be cone-shaped if desired. The upper edges of the box are provided with inturned flaps 3 which extend downwardly for a substantial distance. The function of these flaps is to hold the block of absorbent material in place and to provide a substantial space above the block so as to allow flooding of the block.

Within the box is the block of rigid, cellular, waterretentive and absorbent material which is given the reference numeral 5. This material is of such a nature that the stems of flowers may be inserted therein. As indicated above, this is preferably made of a phenol-formaldehyde foam which is made by known processes from a phenol-formaldehyde resin, a foaming agent, and a hardening agent. This material, if properly treated, is capable of absorbing and retaining a large quantity of water. Other plastic materials are also adaptable, urea-formaldehyde foam being commonly used. These materials are characterized by a cellular structure which affords an excellent medium for absorbing and retaining water.

In order to cause the water to be absorbed by the block, it is treated with an outer surface coating of wetting agent which will cause the water to penetrate the block very rapidly. The presence of the wetting agent is indicated by the heavy line 6 on all sides of the block, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The wetting agent is normally applied to the block by spraying such surfaces as are desired to be treated. The wetting agent may be of any well-known type, that which is preferably employed being known as Igepal manufactured by The Antara Products Co., and which is said by the manufacturers to be alkyl phenoxy polyoxyethylene ethanol. This material is diluted with about an equal volume of water and may, if desired, contain a floral preservative. Without the wetting agent the block of foam would absorb water so slowly as to make the proposed device impractical.

In order to assist the complete and rapid absorption of water by the block, the block is relieved at certain points to allow water poured on the top of the block to pass to the bottom and completely around the block. In the form shown here, the corners of the block are cut away as at 8 to provide vertical channels which allow the water to pass immediately to the bottom of the container. The underside of the block is preferably provided with additional channels 19 which extend from the channels 8 across the block. The location and formation of these channels is subject to variations and changes as desired, the arrangement shown being merely the one selected.

The upper surface of the block 5 lies beneath the lower ends of the flaps 3 which prevent it from floating on the water and hold it in place during shipment.

Preferably, the block does not extend to the base of the container but rests upon a bed of shredded foamed material, the composition of which is similar to the block. Such a layer is shown at 14. A bed of this type will form an excellent reservoir for water at the base of the block and will provide an additional wickiness to assist in the absorption of the water. This bed may also contain some sugar or other material to assist in preserving the life of the flowers.

A large number of the containers are supplied to the grower, and when the flowers are to be cut a supply of the "containers with the absorbent material therein will'be given to the cutters, who flood each container with water;

A thefl w r are. eut,,,t e rst m rl ar i t n block 5, which will support'gthem and. from which'ihey will receive water.

.A soo a i e equisit mber fl w r i Pla neiach conta ne th co taine n t e w i Lb covered with a flexible, transparent, waterproof sheet 16 v h wil ,be sealed aro nd h con aine n pr j c over theiflowers. There are anumber of these materials available-as is wellflknown undermany trade names, I s c as 5C r han -Tli filmf f a t l k M st o th s mat ri lsa fiap .Q ;v us n rsea in with the application ofdocialized heat. A heat-sealed ream across the'jaottornof the .container is indicated Zat i 17. LAbovethe' flowers the wrapping material is brought together at ,18 where the walls thereofare sealedpreferab y vi ,hat ?n Th -m k a c mpl te, a i h package by which the flowers .areprotectedand preserved, but through which they are visible at a1l times.

As a convenient means of carrying the package, a folded r oply'rc t c t r ie or h nd 29 is s ap e along e e 1 5. 6 p v s e i it 'fin engrip 5.

fW thepa ka m y be pe y timeit -prsfe edrfiflt em i se led f e t me h fl we i r gn ere u t the ,nliim t p rch se P ace them in the vase or in the floral arrangement. Theo evice' shown anddescribed herein will preservetheflife of flowers very substantially and will obviate 'the nurner- "onshandlings to which they arenow subject'edfromthe growerto the. consumer.

Whati 'c aim 'd 15 at the top,-a block'of a water-absorbent and retentive cellular synthetic resin material having sufficient rigidity to support the stems of flowers, a coating of a wetting; agent on the surface of the block, 'means to hold the ceive the stems of cut flowers, means to hold the block V substantially below the top of the container, said block having a coating of a wetting agent thereon, channels extending along the blti'cltdoconduct water directlyto the bottom of the container, and a transparent ,waterproof and airproof wrapping surroundingithei container and the flowers, the stems pf which are inserted in the block." a

3. A package for} the preservation and transportation of cut flowers, comprising .a waterproof container open block in the container, and channels in the block through which water may flow intothe-bottom of the container.

4. A package for tha -preservation and transportation of cut flowers, comprising a waterproof container open at the top, a block of a ,water-absorbentand retentive cellular synthetic resin: material" having 'suflicient' rigidity. to support'the stemsofflow'ers, a coating of a wetting agent onthe surface-of the blookymeans to hold the.

block in the container, channelsfin the block through which water may flowinto-the bottom of the container, and a bed of loose water-absorbent material between the underside of -the-block-and the bottom of the container. 5.- A package in accordance with-claim 4' having a wrapping of transparent flexible waterand airproof sheet- 7 ing surrounding. and enclosing the container and the ISA. package for the preservationand'transportation 7 of cut flowers comprising a water-retentive container openat the top, a block of a cellular Water-absorbent synthetic resin material in the container adaptedto-receive the .stems. of 'cut 'flow ers, and means to hold the block substantially below the top of the container,., said block having a coating of a wetting agentthereon, and

.a transparent waterproof and airproof wrapping surrounding the container and the flowers, the stems of which areinsertedin the block.

flowers, the stems of whichare inserted in the block; 7 p

' References Cited inthe file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 ,669,617 Kennedy MaylS, 1928 2 48 "McLe lanret,a1.,, M y-9, 9

2,416,136 -,Arlington Feb. 1 8, 1947' 2,601,658 Bussert glune 24, 19 52 2,632,286 Newhall ---Mar. -24, 19 53

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Classifications
U.S. Classification47/41.12, 206/423, 504/114, 428/13, 426/124, 47/84, 426/110, 426/112, 428/24
International ClassificationB65D85/50
Cooperative ClassificationB65D85/505
European ClassificationB65D85/50B