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Publication numberUS2797524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 2, 1957
Filing dateSep 17, 1954
Priority dateSep 17, 1954
Publication numberUS 2797524 A, US 2797524A, US-A-2797524, US2797524 A, US2797524A
InventorsNelson Walter A
Original AssigneeNelson Walter A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible container
US 2797524 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

W. A. NELSON COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER July 2, 1957 Filed Sept. 17, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet l IINVENITORQ Wa/fel' a Ale/s0 17M 6 W Arrow/5k July 2, 1957 WQA. NELSON 2,797,524

COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Filed Sept. 17, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I IN VEN TOR. Wal/zr 62 Nelsen A rrok/vEy;

United States Patent COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Walter A. Nelson, Kansas City, Mo.

Application September 17, 1954, Serial No. 456,300

6 Claims. (Cl. 4355) This invention relates to containers and refers more particularly to a collapsible container equipped with buoyant means for causing it to float on top of a body of water. The container is specially suitable for fisherman and other outdoor sportsmen, being capable of serving either as a live bait holder or as a container for storing the catch in a live condition.

A primary object of the invention is to provide a container of the character described which is readily collapsed from an open box-like character to a flat compact arrangement easily carried from place to place and taking little space for storage. The unique feature of the invention is the quick and facile manner in which it can be unfolded and again collapsed. One person can accomplish either with no difliculty and the container is self locking in the open or expanded condition.

Another object of the invention is to provide a container which although constructed of sturdy and long wearing material is sufiiciently buoyant to stay on or near the surface of a body of water with the main portion of the container submerged. My container folded or unfolded will not sink, and it may conveniently be moored to a boat by a line during use.

A further object of the invention is to provide a container of the character described which, although collapsible, is sufliciently rigid when in its folded or extended condition to serve as a stout box capable of supporting on its top considerable weight.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a container of the character described which is easily manufactured, is composed of inexpensive material and which is safe and fool-proof in operation.

In the accompanying drawings which form a part of and are to be read in conjunction with the instant specification, and in which like reference numerals indicate like parts in the various views;

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of my invention in its folded or collapsed condition;

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 1, but in its unfolded or expanded condition and ready for use;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the unit showing the relative disposition of the parts at an intermediate phase during transition between the expanded or unfolded condition and folded or collapsed condition;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 2 in the direction of the arrows, and shows also in the broken lines the relative disposition of the side walls and bottom at still another point in the transition from collapsed to expanded condition;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 5-"5 of Fig. 2 in the direction of the arrows;

Fig. '6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line '66 of Fig. '2 in the direction of the arrows; and

Fig. 7 is an enlarged perspective of a modification of the intermediate coupling :between the adjacent hinged panels of the side members.

. Referring to the drawings and initially to Fig. 1, in

its preferred form my container, when expanded, takes the form of an elongate rectangular box having top 10, sides 11, ends 12 and a bottom 13. The top is formed of two substantially square hollow rectangular cells 10a and 10b disposed end to end, the adjacent ends being provided with recessed portions which complement one another to form an oval top opening. Preferably, the hollow sections 10a and 10b are formed from metal sheet and are airtight. They are hingedly connected with one another on each side by pins 14 which pivotally secure together arms 15a and 15b welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the sides of the sections 10a and 10b and depending therebelow (see Fig. 3).

The end members 12 are swingably connected with the respective sections 10a and 10b on hangers 16 depending from and secured to the ends thereof. Each end member is preferably constructed of a plurality of rectangular slats 17 spaced from one another to provide guideways or slots 18 therebetween. The upper end of each slat 17 is provided with spaced ears 17a curled at their ends around. a pin which is rotatably carried by the corresponding hanger 16 so that the slats are swingable about the pin axis. The slats 17 are locked together in a common plane so as to form a rigid unit by a locking member 19 bent around and welded or otherwise secured to the lower ends thereof (see Fig. 5).

The bottom 13, like the top 10, is constructed of two hingedly connected sections 13a and 13b. Each section 13a and 13b is substantially equal in dimensions with the dimensions of the corresponding top section 10a or 1% and the bottom sections are hingedly connected by hinges 20 along an axis located at the same distance intermediate the ends as the hinge axis for the top. The opposite ends of the bottom 13 are slidably connected with the end members 12 by means of tongues 21 which project outwardly through the gui-deways or slots 18. Preferably, tongues 21 are formed of rods which are bent double and welded to the upper and lower surfaces of the respective bottom sections 13a and 131) (see Fig. 5). Each tongue is formed with an eye through which is passed a removable latching bolt or rod 22 as shown in Fig. 2. Rod 22 is slidably received in the eyes of the tongues 21 and is provided with a hooked end 22a having a jogged portion adapted to engage the endmost tongue 18 and releasably lock the rod in engagement with the tongues.

As is best seen in Fig. 2, the sides 11 are each constructed-of four rectangular panel sections 11a, 11b, 11c, and 11a. The panels are of substantially equal length with the top sections 10a and 10b, and the upper panels 11a and 11b are hingedly secured thereto by hangers or brackets 23. Preferably, the hinge connection is made by means of a rod 24 secured to the upper edge of each of the panel sections 11a and 11b, the hangers 23 encircling the rods at spaced intervals through apertures 25.

The lower panels and 11d are hingedly connected respectively with the upper panels 11a and 11b, preferably by means of a conventional leaf-type hinge connection having the interlacing lugs 26 through which passes a common hinge pin 27. It will be noted that the panels 11:: and 11c are hinged together independently of the panels 11b and 11d, the ends of the respective hinge pins 27 adjacent the center of the side member being spaced from one another. Likewise the adjacent ends of the upper panels 10a and 10b and lower panels 110 and 11d are spaced from one another. To connect these ends, there is provided a web of flexible material 28 such as a rubberized canvas which is secured to the ends of the panels by any suitable means, for example, staples 29 (see Fig. 6).

in a modified form of the invention, the flexible web 28 is replaced by a loose male and female coupling at the center of each of the four panels making up the side member as is illustrated in Fig. 7. On the end of one of the hinge rods 27' there is provided a bell-shaped member 30 in which is received the adjacent end of the other hinge rod. The function of the'web 28, or the alternative type of connection illustrated in Fig. 7, will be explained in the course of describing the operation of the unit.

The lower edges of each of the lower side panels 11c and 11d are hingedly connected with the side edges of the bottom sections 13a and 1312 by a hinge connection similar to that between the upper and lower side panels.

The side panels 11a, 11b,'11c and 11:! are restrained from flexing outwardly about their hinge axes 27 by the inwardly directed flanges 17b on the outermost end slats 17. The weight of the container, when resting upon a fiat surface, is borne by the end members 12 which are prevented from swinging about their pivot axes by the tongue and slot connection with the bottom member 13. It will thus be understood that so long as the bottom 13 remains spaced below the top, the ends 12 will remain normal to the top and the box cannot and will not collapse.

To provide means for transporting and conveniently handling the container, there are provided two generally U-shaped pivotal bail type handles 3]. fitted at their centers with hand grips 32, in this instance of wood. The ends of each handle are pivotally secured to the sides of its respective top section 101: or b in bosses 33, the ends of the handles being bent and inserted in holes in the bosses.

A swingahle cover 34 is pivotally secured to the top section 10!; by hinge 35. The cover is preferably formed from a thin sheet of a springy metal, for example, steel, and is retained in its open position by a fixed dog 36. A pivotal latch 37 is provided on the opposite side of the top opening for engaging the end of the cover when it is swung to the closed position. To close the cover, it is first sprung or bowed outwardly at its center to slip the edge out from under the dog 36, and then it is brought to a position covering the opening. The pivotal latch 37 can subsequently be engaged to releasobly lock the cover in the covering position.

To collapse the container is a simple and quickly accomplished procedure. First the container is inverted (top to bottom). A slight shake in the inverted position causes the sides 11 to collapse inwardly (Fig. 4, viewed upside down), the upper and lower panels 11a, 11b, 11c and 11d folding inwardly about their respective hinge axes and the bottom 13 moving toward the top guided by the tongues 21 in slots 3.3. As the bottom 13 reaches the position illustrated in Fig. 3, that is, with the sides 11 folded fiat between the top and bottom, the end members 3.2 swing inwardly 90 degrees to lie flat upon the bottom as shown. It will be understood that the spaced slots or guideways 18 and tongues 21 at each end cooperate to prevent tilting of the bottom 13 to either side, and insure that it will quickly proceed to its folded or collapsed position adjacent the top. It is also important to note that the hangers 16 provide a means for hinging the end members 12 about axes spaced sutliciently below the lower surface of. the top 10 to permit the end members to be folded inwardly 90 degrees, or parallel to the top with the bottom 13 and side members 11 therebetween.

When the parts of the container are in the position illustrated in Fig. 3, the connecting hinge axis for the bottom sections 13a and 13b (hinges is substantially aligned with the pins 14 in brackets 15. It is important in constructing the unit to so locate pins 14 that when the bottom is collapsed the respective hinge axes for the top and bottom are substantially aligned. The final step in the collapsing or folding procedure is to grasp the hand grips 32 at the opposite ends of the unit and pull them upward and inward. This results in pivoting of the two halves of the top about their pins 14, pivoting of the two halves 13a and 13b of the bottom about hinges 20, and folding and bending of the flexible webs 23 in the side members 11 so that in the final folded position (Fig. l) the two halves of the top are parallel with the remaining parts sandwiched between them. The handle bails or wires 31 are formed to engage the corners of the respective top sections as shown, so that by grasping the hand grips 32 with one hand the container may be carried without difficulty and without danger of accidental unfolding. In a container in which is employed the modified coupling illustrated in Fig. 7, and hereinbefore described, the loose fit of the end of the pin 27' in the bell-shaped member 3%) provides the necessary flexibility to permit folding of the unit about the hinge axis of the pins M. So long as the sides 11 remain partially or fully extended, the coupling 30 will insure that the two adjacent panel assemblies (11a, 11c and 11b, 11d) move as a unit during folding and that the respective hinge rods 27 will remain in substantial alignment.

To open the container to its expanded or Fig. 2 position, the procedure is essentially the reverse of that just described. The first step is to separate the two halves Ida and 16b together with their connected parts to the laid out position shown in Fig. 3. The container is then flipped over by the hand grips 32 thus causing the end members 12 to drop degrees to the position shown in Fig. 2. At the same time the bottom 13 also drops causing the bellows-like sides 11 to unfold and begin to straighten as is shown by the broken lines in Fig. 4-. The final position is achieved when the sides 11 are fully extended with the panels 11a, 11b, 11c and 11d in substantially the same plane.

The air-tight cells 10a and 1% provide the means for floating the container in the water, the sides and ends being submerged. The container can be used either as a storage tank for live bait or instead to store the catch in live condition. In the latter case, the fish are dumped into the container through the top opening formed by the complementary recessed portions 100. When it is desired to remove the contents of the container, it is lifted from the water slowly thus allowing the water in the interior to drain therefrom. Then the rod 22 is pulled axially from the eyes of the tongues 21. By lifting the opposite end of the container, the contents are forced against the end member 12 causing it to swing outwardly in the manner of an opening gate and permitting dis charge. Once empty, the end member 12 is swung back to its original position with the tongues 21 projecting through slots 18 and the rod 22 is again inserted through the eyes of the tongues to lock the bottom 13 and end member 12 together.

The buoyant construction of the container makes it admirably suited for use in lake fishing or river fishing where a boa-t is used. The container, once expanded, can be dropped into the water and tied to the boat with a line. It thus provides a convenient and entirely safe place to store the fish as they are caught. Likewise, the buoyancy of the container insures against accidental loss since it will not sink even in the collapsed portable state. The material of which it is constructed (virtually all metal) insures that it can be used for a long period of time with little danger of accidental breakage.

It will be understood that certain features and subr combinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.

Since many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. In a collapsible container, a rectangular top comprising two end abutting half sections hingedly connected along the line of abutment for movement about an axis spaced below the lower surface thereof, a foldable panel assembly depending from the side edges of each of said half sections, each panel assembly comprising a rectangular, upper panel hingedly connected with the top section and a rectangular lower panel hingedly connected with the bottom edge of said upper panel, said panels being substantially of equal length with said top sections, flexible means connecting the two panel assemblies on the same side of said container together to maintain the intermediate hinge axes between the upper and lower panels in each assembly substantially in alignment with one another, a rectangular bottom member substantially parallel with said top and suspended between and hingedly connected with the lower edges of the respective lower panels of said panel assemblies, said bottom member comprising two end abutting half sections hinged together about an axis lying in substantially the same vertical plane with said top hinge axis, a pair of rectangular end members swingably depending from the opposite ends of said top for movement about axes substantially parallel with the ends of said top, and means connecting the respective ends of said bottom with said end members for vertical movement of the bottom relative thereto to a point near the lower surface of said top, said panel assemblies when said bottom is in the latter position being folded inwardly between said top and bottom with the upper and lower panels of each assembly superimposed upon one another and the top, bottom and panels lying in substantially parallel planes, and the hinge connection between said end members and said top and the sliding connection between said end members and said bottom being constructed and arranged to permit swinging of said end members inwardly to a position adjacent and parallel to said bottom when said bottom is in said latter position whereby said top, bottom and panel assemblies can be folded once again about the top hinge axis to bring the half sections of said top into parallel arrangement with the remaining parts folded and sandwiched therebetween.

2. A container as in claim 1 wherein said top sections are formed as air-tight hollow cells, the cells being provided in their abutting ends with recessed portions complementary to one another to form a top opening.

3. A container as in claim 1 including pivotal U-shaped handles secured to each top section, the handles being movable from a central disposition above the top to an extended position generally parallel thereto with portions of the respective handles crossing and engaging the upper surfaces of their respective top sections.

4. In a collapsible container, a rectangular top comprising two end abutting half sections hinged at the line of abutment for movement relative to one another about an axis spaced below the lower surfaces thereof, a rectangular bottom of substantially equal dimensions with said top comprising two end abutting half sections hinged along the line of abutment for movement relative one another about an axis parallel with said top hinge axis, bellows-like side members connecting said top and said bottom along the longitudinal sides thereof and adapted to be folded between said bottom and top on movement of said bottom toward said top, said side members being divided vertically into two sections each of equal length with said top and bottom half sections, the two sections on the same side being coupled with a flexible connection to permit folding of the sides about an axis substantially parallel with said top and bottom hinge axis when said side members are folded fiat between said bottom and top, rectangular end members hingedly depending from opposite ends of said top, and cooperating means on the 0pposite ends of said bottom and the adjacent end members connecting the ends of said bottoms to said end members for sliding movement of said bottom toward said top between said ends, said means being constructed and arranged to prevent inward movement of said end members about their respective hinge axes until said bottom is disposed adjacent said top with the side members folded flat between them.

5. A container as in claim 4 wherein said last named means includes vertical. guideways in said end members, tongues mounted on said bottom and received in said guideways, and means locking said tongues in said guideways.

6. A container as in claim 5 wherein said locking means is removably engaged with said tongues at at least one end of said container.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 335,119 Flint Feb. 2, 1886 664,719 Brinck Dec. 25, 1900 882,184 Willard Mar. 17, 1908 887,060 Boisvert May 12, 1908 1,054,561 Kennedy Feb. 25, 1913 2,079,458 Leichtfuss May 4, 1937 2,539,260 McCurdy Jan. 23, 1951 2,714,465 Blair Aug. 2, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 166,124 Germany Dec. 28, 1905 503,272 Great Britain Apr. 4, 1939

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3570698 *Dec 9, 1968Mar 16, 1971Dougherty Robert SPortable and collapsible shipping container
US4870778 *Sep 14, 1988Oct 3, 1989Sheppard Harold ALive bait and fish container
US7861458 *Dec 13, 2007Jan 4, 2011Rehrig Pacific CompanyCollapsible container
US8371245 *Mar 29, 2010Feb 12, 2013Ernest D. PapadoyianisAquaculture production system
US20100224136 *Sep 9, 2010Papadoyianis Ernest DAquaculture production system
U.S. Classification43/55, 217/15, 220/6
International ClassificationA01K97/05, A01K97/04
Cooperative ClassificationA01K97/05
European ClassificationA01K97/05