Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2808191 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 1, 1957
Filing dateJul 10, 1953
Priority dateJul 10, 1953
Publication numberUS 2808191 A, US 2808191A, US-A-2808191, US2808191 A, US2808191A
InventorsCharlotte A Cramer
Original AssigneeCharlotte A Cramer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lap tray
US 2808191 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

C. A. CRAMER Oct. 1', 1957 LA? TRAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 10, 1953 C. A. CRAMER Oct. 1, 1957 LAP TRAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 10, 1955 United rates LAP TRAY Charlotte A. Cramer, New York, N. Y.

Application July 10, 1953, Serial No. 367,170

1 Claim. (Cl. 229-30) This invention relates generally to trays, and more particularly to a tray structure suitable for support by the lap of a user. There are many occasions when a low cost disposable tray adapted to be supported by the lap of a user can be effective. Among these are picnic lunches, food or drink served while people are watching television or listening to the radio, cafeteria use, in stationary locations, as well as in planes and trains, for sewing, and certain industrial applications.

It is therefore among the objects of the present invention to provide lap tray structure which can be stored compactly in a fiat form, and which may be easily and readily assembled to form a set up tray.

Another object herein lies in the provision of the structure of the class described which has means for retaining loose articles so that they will not easily slide off the tray or become upset. This feature is especially useful in the handling of small vessels containing liquids, drinks or soups.

Another object herein lies in the provision of a tray which may be used on the lap of the user and which is adapted to have the upper surface thereof maintained in a level condition.

Another object herein lies in the provision of a collapsible lap table, which in the erected condition thereof, is sufficiently rigid to maintain the articles used thereon in proper condition.

A feature of the invention resides in the multiplicity of uses to which it can be put, including: as a game board or support, as a support for writing or drawing, handwork such as embroidery and sewing, for the assembly of small parts or articles, and for the carrying of food or other objects such as drugs or instruments in hospitals.

These objects and other incidental ends and advantages will more fully appear in the progress of this disclosure and be pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings in which similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views of each embodiment:

Figure 1 is a view in perspective of a first embodiment of the invention as set up.

Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view as seen from the plane 2-2 with the device in use.

Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional view as seen from the plane 33 on Figure 1.

Figure 4 is a plan view of the device in flattened condition, and unassembled.

Figure 5 is a view in perspective showing a second embodiment of the invention.

Figure 6 is a rear perspective view of Figure 5.

Figure 7 is a fragmentary sectional view as seen from the plane 77 on Figure 5.

Figure 8 is a vertical sectional view as seen from the plane 8--8 on Figure 5.

Figure 9 is a plan View of a development of the device of i igure 5 as flattened or unassembled.

2,808,191. Patented Oct. '1, 1957 ice s In accordance with the invention, the tray, generally indicated by reference character 10, comprises broadly a top panel 11, a bottom panel 12, a front panel 13, a rear panel 14, side panels 15 and 16, side locking members 17 and 18, handle members 19 and 20 and a rear locking member 21. V

The tray 10 is preferably fabricated in the form of a planar blank 25 which maybe die cut from any suitable sheet material, preferably cardboard: The top panel 11 is provided with a plurality ofslits 26, 27 and 28, which are of a size and shape to frictionally receive the locking members 17, 18 and 21 respectively. In other words, it is desirable that the said locking members have a close fit as their frictional retention .maintainsthe tray 10 in its set up position, 1 The safety of articlescarried by the tray is assured, however, since the weight of the articles, such as the glass 22, and the plate .23, is borneby the handle members 19 and 20 when the device is carried, and is borne by the bottom panel 12 whenthe device is resting upon the lap of the user. l j, i

The top panel 11 is alsoprovided with a plurality of partially perforated areas24. Thus, the areas 24 1 nay be pushed through as needed. and they willfallontg the upper surface of the bottom panel 12 (see Figure 2). The areas 24 may be of predetermined size adapted to conform to the articles with which the device 10 is to be used.

When the article is relatively tall, its bottom may rest upon the upper surface of the bottom panel 12 as is the case with the glass 22.

In order to facilitate the assembly of the various parts of the device, the blank 25 is preferably provided with a series of score lines 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34.

In order to assemble the device, it becomes necessary only to take the blank as viewed in Figure 4, and to bend the rear panel upwardly about the score line 32 and the side panels 15 and 16 upwardly about the score lines 33 and 34 respectively. The top panel is folded upwardly and rearwardly about the score line 30, and the front panel 13 is folded upwardly and rearwardly about the score line 31, whereupon the locking member 21 may be pushed through slit 28, and the locking members 17 and 18 may be pushed through slits 26 and 27.

As may be seen in Figure 2, the front panel 13 is of greater height than the rear panel 14, and this difference enables the bottom panel 12 to lie at an angle while the top panel 11 is substantially horizontal.

Where the position of the thighs of the user would be reversed, as for example, where the feet of the user were placed upon a foot rest causing the rest to be higher than the buttock, then the rear panel 14 could be taller and the front panel 13 shorter.

It is to be noted that the locking members 17, 18 and 21 in projecting above the upper surface of the top panel, act as fence means to prevent articles which are not disposed within the areas 24 from accidentally rolling off the said upper surface. 7

When the tray has completed its service, for carrying food for example, napkins and/or other disposable utensils may be pushed through any one of the areas 24 so that the tray then acts as a container for refuse.

Turning now to the second embodiment of the invention illustrated on Figures 5 to 9, inclusive, for the purpose of avoiding needless repetition, certain of the parts corresponding to those of the first embodiment are given the same reference characters with the addition of the prefix 1.

The second embodiment is useful, where the functions performed by the bottom panel 12 of the first embodiment are not required. Punch outs, such as the areas 124, may be used with conical objects, whose shape will prevent them from falling through the opening. The front panel 113 is provided with a pair of upwardly extending indentations 151 and 152, which are adapted to rest upon the legs of the user, the portion 153 acting as adownward projection' to anchor the device between the legs of the 'user. The fold line 130-isprovided with irregularly shaped cuts, 154- and 155, which form projections 121a whenthe device is erected as-seen inFigures 5 and 6, and serve as fence means. p

The side panels and 116 extend into secondary side panels 115a and 116a,-the latter carrying the handle members 119 and 120. Therear edge is curved to accommodate-and make a close fit with the users body. The outer edges of the front panel'113 ha'ifelocking tabs and 171 which are adapted to pass through the slits 172-473 and 174 175 respectively. This connection is best seen in Figure 7. I V

In setting up the device 110, thesidepanelsllS and 116 are folded downwardly about the score lines 180, 181, while the panel 115a and 116a are folded upwardly about the score lines a and181a, the parts taking the position best seen in Figure 6. a ,7 p a The outer freeedges a and 1 91a project above the top panel 111 to act as side fence members.

I wish it to be understood that I do not desire to be 25 limited 'to the exact details of construction shown and described, for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art to which the present invention relates. t

I claim:

Collapsible tray construction comprising: a top panel; a bottom panel; a front panel connecting said top and bottom panels; a pair of trapezoidal side panels extending upwardly from said bottom panel; a rear panel connected to the rear edge of said bottom panel; said side panels each having a handle extension thereon and said rear panel having a locking extension thereon; said top member having a plurality of slits; said extensions being projectable through said slits, said front panel being of a greater height than said rear panel and said top panel having a plurality of openings for the reception of articles. 7

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 920,180 Potter May 4, 1909 1,323,170 Dodge Nov; 25, 1919 1,380,561 Kaufmann June 7, 1921 1,684,002 White Sept. 11, 1928 2,172,172 Mount Sept. 5, 1939 2,547,716 Murphy Apr. 3, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 651,199 Great Britain Mar. 14, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US920180 *Jun 4, 1906May 4, 1909Burnitol Mfg CompanySputum-cup.
US1323170 *Apr 10, 1918Nov 25, 1919 Paper bos
US1380561 *Oct 20, 1919Jun 7, 1921Albert WolfDisplay-box
US1684002 *Jun 8, 1926Sep 11, 1928Standard Fibre CompanyTool box for automobiles
US2172172 *Nov 19, 1936Sep 5, 1939Bassick CoDisplay stand for furniture casters, slides, or the like
US2547716 *Jan 4, 1949Apr 3, 1951Elsie M MurphyFoldable vending tray for ice-cream cups and the like
GB651199A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2875940 *Jul 23, 1957Mar 3, 1959Lyman D DunnPortable food and beverage container or holder
US2903311 *Feb 8, 1956Sep 8, 1959Earhart Oscar CTray
US3115251 *May 16, 1961Dec 24, 1963Farrell James EPlate and cup holder
US3148636 *Nov 13, 1961Sep 15, 1964American Hospital Supply CorpServing tray
US3151577 *Aug 13, 1962Oct 6, 1964George L MackayIndividual serving tray
US3151578 *Aug 13, 1962Oct 6, 1964George L MackayTray
US3162462 *Feb 14, 1962Dec 22, 1964Elders Irene RUtility cart
US3201024 *May 28, 1963Aug 17, 1965Container CorpCollapsible service tray
US3326445 *May 26, 1965Jun 20, 1967Harford E GoingsCar seat tray
US3326446 *Jun 7, 1965Jun 20, 1967Harford E GoingsCar seat tray
US3394864 *Sep 2, 1966Jul 30, 1968Brown CoCarry-out tray having end wall panels
US3497128 *Jan 31, 1968Feb 24, 1970Packaging Corp AmericaCarton blank
US3506302 *Apr 22, 1968Apr 14, 1970House Linda LeeBox toy
US3640380 *Nov 20, 1969Feb 8, 1972Marketers IncPortable food and drink carrier
US3768710 *Jun 28, 1971Oct 30, 1973Eggers WAll purpose carrier
US4079873 *Jul 21, 1976Mar 21, 1978Mora Juan DeCarrying tray apparatus for automotive vehicles
US4095533 *Apr 15, 1977Jun 20, 1978Jean Claude LeveilleTrays combinable into an assembly
US4404915 *Dec 18, 1980Sep 20, 1983Simpson Lewis HPortable desk-work bench
US4662676 *Sep 11, 1985May 5, 1987Ken HavelockArm tray for chair
US4705173 *Dec 3, 1986Nov 10, 1987Westvaco CorporationCarryout tray with diverse apertures
US4795210 *Nov 20, 1987Jan 3, 1989Milat Lloyd EPortable table for use in vehicles
US5071002 *Jul 24, 1989Dec 10, 1991Bradley Donald SInvertible holder for containers
US5119967 *Jul 5, 1991Jun 9, 1992Ercolani David AOne handed controllable plate and cup holder
US5127339 *Aug 16, 1991Jul 7, 1992Hood Jr John JFoldable lap tray
US5301871 *Feb 8, 1993Apr 12, 1994Three Hands, Inc.Plate and cup holder
US5370064 *Nov 4, 1993Dec 6, 1994Sgabellone; TonyTravel table
US5425455 *Jul 25, 1994Jun 20, 1995Miller; BobFolding lap tray
US5429057 *Apr 4, 1994Jul 4, 1995Buescher; John C.Cantilevered snack tray buttressed by lower torso
US5497885 *Nov 17, 1994Mar 12, 1996Sussman; SyLap tray for carrying food
US5520119 *May 26, 1994May 28, 1996Eisenberg; Seth G.Fast food lap tray
US5522537 *Jan 31, 1995Jun 4, 1996Nestec S.A.Carton having triangular corners
US5580132 *Nov 30, 1994Dec 3, 1996Rediske; Thomas E.Inflatable tray seat
US5669313 *Mar 11, 1996Sep 23, 1997Cottingham; DavidTub table
US5720226 *Sep 25, 1995Feb 24, 1998Padovano; Diane GailObject retaining device
US6079563 *Apr 14, 1999Jun 27, 2000Katchmazenski; Robert A.Container for compressors and other goods
US6173656Mar 30, 1999Jan 16, 2001David K. BlanchardLap table for children
US6349729 *Mar 29, 2000Feb 26, 2002Pop Up Nails, Inc.Portable nail polish table
US6422453 *Feb 7, 2002Jul 23, 2002Big Tom International Ltd.Foldable paper container having a top opening
US6945398 *Mar 31, 2003Sep 20, 2005Hunt Holdings, Inc.Carrier with integral accessories for portable display device
US6986308 *Feb 4, 2003Jan 17, 2006Anthony John KingComfortable serving tray
US7008656 *Feb 23, 2001Mar 7, 2006The Heatermeals CompanySelf-heating meal package and tray
US7025199 *Feb 13, 2004Apr 11, 2006Edmond Heng LimFolding serving tray
US7096797May 14, 2004Aug 29, 2006Sharpe Melanie APortable collapsible table and game board
US7870951 *Mar 27, 2009Jan 18, 2011Mark Anthony OrsiSingle use ink cup holder and hand tray
US8033285 *Nov 3, 2008Oct 11, 2011Fitz Joseph RGrooming station
US8215242 *Feb 4, 2010Jul 10, 2012Aguayo Todd MPortable lap tray
US9033760 *Jan 31, 2013May 19, 2015Battle Foam LLCInterchangeable modular display and carrying system
US20030205489 *Mar 31, 2003Nov 6, 2003Shumake Patsy ViarsCarrier with integral accessories for portable display device
US20050205571 *Feb 18, 2005Sep 22, 2005John CarpenterFood tray
US20050252422 *May 14, 2004Nov 17, 2005Sharpe Melanie APortable collapsible table and game board
US20070012754 *Jul 12, 2006Jan 18, 2007Stier David ESlanted Clamshell Container with Sauce Holder
US20070029848 *Sep 13, 2006Feb 8, 2007Starr Products, Llc D/B/A Star Kids ProductsChild's Travel Tray
US20070113757 *Nov 23, 2005May 24, 2007Lilly Carol WLap tray
US20090229623 *Mar 13, 2008Sep 17, 2009Raymond FrickerNail Grooming Appartus
US20100025930 *Jul 30, 2009Feb 4, 2010Kenneth Paul RankFamily meal time board game
US20100108087 *Nov 3, 2008May 6, 2010Fitz Joseph RGrooming Station
US20100307385 *Mar 22, 2010Dec 9, 2010Lap Solutions LlcPortable Computer Table With Clear Reading and Writing Surface
US20110185951 *Feb 4, 2010Aug 4, 2011Aguayo Todd MPortable lap tray
US20110186621 *Feb 3, 2010Aug 4, 2011Andre ParkerPizza box with storage compartments
US20130196567 *Jan 31, 2013Aug 1, 2013Romeo FilipInterchangeable modular display and carrying system
US20160022065 *Jul 22, 2014Jan 28, 2016Dan BachFood and Beverage Tray
USRE37239 *May 28, 1998Jun 26, 2001Seth G. EisenbergFast food lap tray
WO1982001983A1 *Dec 15, 1981Jun 24, 1982Lewis H SimpsonPortable desk-work bench
WO2001068458A1 *Mar 13, 2001Sep 20, 2001Hemingway George FFolded fast food tray
U.S. Classification206/562, 108/46, 294/172, 229/117.13, 229/164, D06/406.3, 206/217, 108/43, 108/26, 294/159, D07/549, 229/904
International ClassificationA47G23/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47G23/0608, Y10S229/904
European ClassificationA47G23/06B