US 2804755 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 3, 1957 H. R. ANSI-:L 2,804,755
ICE CUBE TRAY Filed Feb. 10, 1955 abgHlI/zll/n 111,111-17 I 55 5g 55 INVENToR.
United States Pate-t- ICE CUBE TRAY Harry R. Ansel, Elmwood Park, Ill.
Application February 10, 1955, Serial No. 487,272
Claims. (Cl. 62-108.5)
This invention relates to a freezing and storage container for ice cubes, and more .particularly to an im proved and covered ice cube tray.
It is well known that ice cube trays now in common use consist of a pan and a separate network of longitudinal and transverse dividers. Such trays generally have no covers. Also, such trays generally have vertical side walls, and the walls of the transverse and longitudinal dividers also are generally disposed in a vertical position. A disadvantage of such trays is that, because'they have no cover, they must be carefully balanced when carried from a faucet after being filled to the freezing compartment of a refrigerator. Needless to say, some of the water is frequently spilled during this operation, and even with due care water overllows the side of the container and freezes to the outside of the tray making its removal difficult from the freezing compartment. Loose covers, such as are found on some trays, do not prevent such spilling and the ensuing undesirable results. Another disadvantage of such trays is that the vertical walls of the container, as well as those of the transverse and longitudinal dividers, make it difficult to remove the ice cubes from the tray. These trays also have the disadvantage that it is impossible to remove a single ice cub without removing all of them from the tray. The fact that a cover is generally not provided makes it possible for the ice cubes, if they are stored for a long period of time, to acquire an off-taste.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an ice cube tray with a `cover which prevents spillage of the water when lifting the tray from a water faucet to the freezing compartment.
It is another object of this invention to provide a tray in which the walls thereof, as well as the sides of the dividers, are tapered thereby facilitating removal of the ice cubes from the tray.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an ice cube tray in which the cubes may be individually removed.
It is another object of the invention herein to completely seal the ice cubes within the tray'so that they do not acquire an 4olf-taste from foods within the freezing compartment.
lt has been found that a number of the diliiculties and disadvantages occurring in ice cube trays heretofore known result from the fact that the ice cube tray and the longitudinal and transverse dividers are all in one piece, or that the dividers are formed in a single unit which is inserted in the tray. The invention herein eliminates these disadvantages and dilficultiesby providing an ice cube tray and cover in which a longitudinal divider is placed in the pan and the transverse dividers are located in the cover.
The majority of ice cube trays now in use are made of metal, as are also the dividers used therein. The use of metal for such purposes is rather expensive and it is an object of the invention herein to provide an ice cube tray molded of plastic, thereby reducing production costs.
2,804,755 Patented Sept. 3, 1957 Plastic has the additional advantage over metal in that it is flexible.
These and other objects will be more apparent from the detailed description and drawings hereinafter provided wherein like numerals are used to designate the same parts throughout.
Fig. 1 is a perspective View of a storage and freezing container for ice cubes showing the invention herein;
Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective View showing the pan and cover in disassembled relationship;
Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a portion of Fig. 3 showing the cover with the ice cubes aixed thereto; and
Fig. 5 is an inverted longitudinal sectional view of the cover with the ice cubes aliixed thereto.
Referring now to Fig. 2 of the drawings, there is shown therein `a tray or pan 10 and a cover 12. The pan is rectangular in shape, and includes two compartments 14 and 16, separated by a longitudinal divider 18. The pan is preferably made of plastic, but may be made of any suitable material including aluminum or other metals. The tray 10 is rounded at the corners as shown at 20 to provide a smooth internal surface thereby facilitating removal of ice cubes frozen therein. The tray is of sufiicient length to fit the normal refrigerator freezing compartment and is `of a depth similar to ice cube trays heretofore known. Axed to the side of the tray and adjacent the top portion thereof is a horizontally disposed lug 22. The purpose of the lug is to facilitate the removal of the cover of the tray from the pan portion. Its use and operation will be elaborated upon hereinafter.
Referring now to Fig. 3, and specifically to the longitudinal divider 18, it will be noted that the divider is wedge-shaped in cross section with tapered sides 24 and 26, and extends from one end of the tray tothe other. The top edge 43 of the longitudinal divider is disposed below the top edges of the side walls 2S and 30 and the end walls 42 and 44 of the tray. It will also be noted that the sides 28 and 30 of the pan 10 are also tapered. Tapering the sides of the divider and the sides ofthe pan is important because it facilitates removal ofthe ice cubes from the tray.
Referring again to Fig. 2, the cover 12 is rectangular in shape and includes on its under surface transverse dividers 32, a longitudinal rib 34, and a circumferential lip 36. As shown Vin Fig. 3, the cover also includes an internal ange 38. The longitudinal rib 34 extends throughout substantially the entire length of the cover 12 and has provided on the downwardly extending end thereof a notch 40. The notch 40 fits over the top-'43 of the longitudinal divider 13. Asis apparent from the drawings, the longitudinal rib 34 is formed integral with the cover 12. The .cover is preferably made of plastic, but may be made of any other suitable material.
The circumferential lip 36 is curved downwardly 'from the outer surface-of cover 12 and is approximately onefourth inch in height. Lip 36 is provided to prevent the ice cubes from sliding out of the cover when the tray is inverted. Its use will be more fully explained when the operation of the tray is discussed.
The internal flange 38 preferably is formed integral with the under side of the cover, and parallels lip 36, being disposed approximately one-fourth inch inwardly therefrom. The flange extends downwardlyA approximately one-eighth inch from the under side of cover,12. The ange provides a means for sealing the tray :against seepage of water such as when the tray is carried from a faucet to the freezing compartment. It will be noted that the outer edge of the flange defines the inner boundary of the sides of the tray 10, and therefore accuratelyV the'cover 12- is placedover ther-pan 10, theinner flange 38 fits snugly against the inner surfaces of the sides 2S and and ends 42 and 44 ofthe tray 10.
As will be noted in Fig. 2, the transverse dividers32 are formed integral with the cover 12 und have tapered sides 46 and 48. Each of these dividers is also provided with a wedge-shaped opening Stl in the center thereof,
which opening is adapted to accommodatethe longit'u dinal divider 18 in the pan 10. The tapered sides 46`and- 48'facilitate removal of ice cubes fromi the cover portion of the freezing and storage' container. verse dividers extend down from the under side of cover The trans-` 12 a sufficient distance so that when the cover is placedE v over the tray 10, the ends 33 of the dividers-engage'theV bottom 35 of the inside of the tray.
Thefreezin'g and storage container'for ice cubes herein is used as follows: The tray portion 10 is filledl with;
water to a' point approximately equal' to the height of longitudinal divider'l. The cover 12- is-thenplacedover" the tray 10, the flange 38 facilitating accurate placement.
The longitudinal rib 34 fits over the top'of'longitudi'nal divider 18, and the under surface S2 of the cover is pressed iirmly against the top edge 54 ofthe tray. With:4
the tray thus sealed the water cannot escape, and-thetray is moved to'the freezing compartment of a refrigerator. After the water has frozen, and it isdesired to remove ice cubesfrom the tray, the container is removed from may be disengaged fromthe longitudinal divider 18 and the sides and ends of the tray. The tray and cover are theninverted and the tray 10 is lifted away from the cover 12. The ice cubes may then still adhere to the transverse dividers 32, and, if such is the case, they may be removed by exing the cover or by inserting av knifek 56, asy shown in Fig. k5, over the edge of lip 36 and under the ice cube 57. Because the tray is filled only lto a depth equal to the height of longitudinal divider' 18,` there is always an air space 58 between the ice' cubes 57 and the underside of theV cover 12. This makes it possible to insert a knife or the lingers of an operator into the `air space to remove ice cubes adhering' tothe" transverse dividers. It is to be noted at this point that the' lip 36l prevents the ice cubes from slipping outY of the cover. This is a significant advantageV because in removing iceV cubes fromthe'trays without a cover they slide out on a counter or'intothe sink thereby rendering them unsanitary or unfit, for' use'. BecauseY the ice cubes are formed individually, and in view of theV manner in which the longitudinal and transverse dividers are disposed in the invention herein, it is obvious that cubes may be removed individually if so desired.
From the foregoing detailed description it is apparent that the invention herein provides an improved storage and freezing'container 'for ice cubes that may be' manufactured inexpensively, prevents Water from spilling such as when moving'it from a faucet to a freezing chamber, provides for individual` removal of ice cubes, and pre# vents-the ice cubes fromv acquiring anelli-taste.l Various modications in-structure and` materials are possible, and will be understood as forming a part' of'this invention insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope ofthe appended claims.
1. A freezing and storage container forY ice cubes, and comprising a substantially rectangular pan havinga` divider disposed-longitudinal1y thereofl andextending from the base of the pan upwardly toward the open end thereof, a cover for said pan and having transverse dividers integral therewith and depending therefrom a distance such as to substantially Contact the base of the pan when the cover is placed thereon, the said transverse dividers on said cover each having a notch intermediate the ends thereof to substantially complement and straddle the said longitudinal divider in abutting relation" therewith when the cover is placed onvthe pan and freelyv separabletherefrom with the cover when the cover is removed; the assembly of pan, cover and-dividersl being formedlof vflexible plastic material capable upon manual flexing torelease the ice cubes for ready removal therefrom.
2. A container as in claim 1, wherein the vertical surfaces of the pan and its longitudinal divider are tapered upwardly to facilitate removal of ice cubes, and wherein the-transverse dividers` on the coverare similarlytapered in opposite directions.
3. A container as inclaim 1, whereinthe cover is pro# vided with alongitudinal-rib dependingsubstantially'centrally therefrom to engage the top edge ofthe longitudinal divider in the pan.
4L A container as inA claim 1, wherein the peripheral portion of the cover projects laterally beyond the peripheralopen edge of the pan and is` provided with a downturned peripheral lip spaced'outwardly from the top edge of the pan and serving asa'nger grip for removal of the cover and asa drip' collection receptacle when the cover is inverted withk the ice cubes stored therein;
5l A freezing and storage container for ice cubes and comprising atsubstantiall'y rectangular pan having a divider disposed longitudinally thereof and extending from the base' of the pan upwardly toward the open end thereof,
a cover for said pan and having transverse dividers integral therewith and depending therefrom a distance such as to substantially contact the base of` the pan' when thecover is placed thereon, the saidtransverse'dividers on said cover eachihaving a not'ch intermediate the ends thereof to substantially complement and receive the said longitudinal dividerdtherein when'the cover isplaced'on the pan, the peripheral portion of the cover projecting laterally beyond the peripheral open edge ofthe-pan and terminating in a downturned peripheral lip spaced outwardlyfromthe top' edge o f the pan and serving as a finger grip for removal of the cover andas a drip collection receptacle when the cover isiinverted with the ice cubes stored therein, and iiange meansl,Vv depending from'. the cover and spaced inwardly of said lip for engagement with the inner surface around the' openy peripheral edge: of the pan topro'perly centertliecover with respect thereto; the assembly of pan, cover and'dividers-being formed of tiexiblepla'stic material capable upon manual flexing to release: the ice cubes for ready removal therefrom;
References Cited in the file of this patenti UNITEDV STATES PATENTS Re. 19,322 Tanger Y Sept.` 172, 1934 1,943,466 West 1an. 16, 1934 2,011,289 Klyce Aug. 13, 1935 2,028,047 C016 Ian. 14, 1936 2,063,100v Iohnsen Dec. 8, 1936 2,190,610 Reeves Feb. 13, 1940 2,265,349 Cole -Dec. 9, 1941 2,271,558 KittO Feb. 3, 1942 2,454,960 Berkeley NOV. 30, 1948 2,613,512 Gaugler Oct. 14, 1952