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 numberUS2852157 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1958
Filing dateSep 16, 1957
Priority dateSep 16, 1957
Publication numberUS 2852157 A, US 2852157A, US-A-2852157, US2852157 A, US2852157A
InventorsFrater George G
Original AssigneeLewis Co G B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stackable and nestable containers
US 2852157 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 16, 1958 G. G. FRATER 2,852,157


BY v


- v II" 1 9,

STACKABLE AND NESTABLE CONTAINERS George G. Frater, Watertovvn, Wis., assignor to G. B. Lewis Company, Watertown, Wis, a corporation of Wisconsin Application September 16, 1957, Serial No. 684,319

6 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) This invention relates to open top containers which can be stacked one upon another without superimposing the weight of the upper containers upon the contents of the lower containers and which may, when empty, be nested together for easy handling, storing, transporting and the like.

In the handling and storing of materials or products by means of transportable containers, it is desirable that the containers be constructed so that when stacked in a vertical tier, they are supported directly upon one another to avoid damaging the products or materials contained therein by the weight of the upper containers and their contents. Further, each tier of containers should be so locked together as to form a stable stack and this objective must be accomplished without any substantial decrease in the storage space of the containers. However, when storing or transporting the empty containers, the containers should be constructed so as to telescope into each other to reduce the space requirements.

It is known to employ rectangular containers each having an upper encircling lifting flange so arranged that the containers may be rotated 90 and stacked in crisscross relation. The rectangular containers substantially overlap when criss-crossed and therefore the longest dimension extends in two directions. A substantial amount of unused space is required.

The present invention provides open top containers which may be square or slightly rectangular and which are provided with an upper encircling flange to facilitate handling. The side walls of the containers are slightly tapered with the bottom of the containers being somewhat lesser in cross-section than the top opening to allow nesting. At least one and preferably a pair of corresponding triangular openings or recesses are provided in each wall of each container and the adjacent flange. The triangular recesses are right triangles with each recess having its hypotenuse lying in the plane of the associated wall. The recesses are arranged with respect to each other so as to define an opening conforming generally to the lower portion or perimeter of the container. The containers may then be stacked into suitable tiers by disposing each con tainer with its lower corners resting within the recesses of a container immediately below it. In the case of the employment of a pair of recesses in each container wall the containers are alternately angularly stacked so that every other container lies in the same vertical plane. The recesses securely lock the containers in position and the bottom of each container does not extend beyond the lifting flange of the container below it.

Where the container is rectangular, an auxiliary ledge is formed by a reinforcing rib extending inwardly from the supporting base of the recess to provide an additional surface for' receiving the corners of a container when they are stacked in a tier.

The present invention is particularly adapted to a molded plastic container such as of resin impregnated fiberglass having all surfaces integrally joined.

The present invention provides strong, rigid containers which are capable of being stacked in tiers during the handling of products and which are also capable of being nested together during transportation, handling, storing and the like.

The drawing furnished herewith illustrates the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently contemplated and set forth hereinafter.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a square container embodying the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a side view of a plurality of containers disposed in nested relation with parts broken away to more clearly illustrate the invention;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a tier of containers disposed in stacked relation;

Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary section of one of the containers taken on line 44 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section of one of the containers taken on line 5-5 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 6 is a plan view of a container which is slightly rectangular in shape;

Fig. 7 is a sectional view of a rectangular container taken on line 7-7 of Fig. 6; and

Fig. 8 is an enlarged section taken on the line 88 of Fig. 6.

Referring to the drawing and particularly Fig. 1, an open top container is illustrated which is adapted to be extruded or molded from plastic or the like into a unitary article. A continuously molded container produces a strong and durable storage means. The container includes a fiat bottom wall 1 integrally joined with four vertical side walls 2. The side walls 2 taper outwardly from the bottom wall 1 to provide a top opening somewhat larger than the bottom wall 1 and to allow nesting of a plurality of similar containers as shown in Fig. 2. The bottom edge joining the bottom wall I and side Walls 2 is rounded as at 3 to eliminate a sharp edge which would tend to separate if the container were dropped on the edge, and to facilitate cleaning the container.

An encircling flange 4 is integrally formed with the upper edges of the side walls 2 and extends outwardly in substantially parallel relation to the bottom wall 1. The encircing flange is employed to facilitate handling of the container and also to make the container more rigid. A bead 5' is formed in the outer edge of the flange to provide a smooth handling surface and a Wire 6 of a solid or tubular material may be embedded in the bead 5 to strengthen the flange. Flange 4 adjacent the four corners of the containers is substantially removed or rounded off as at '7.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawing, a pair of horizontally disposed triangular recesses 8 and 9 are provided in the junction of each side wall 1 and associated flange 4 with an uninterrupted portion 10 of the flange 4 extending between the apexes of the respective recesses and head 6.

Each recess 8 and 9 is generally right-triangular in shape with the shortest leg or base of each recess located adjacent to the corner of the container. Each recess is formed by the horizontal edge 11 which lies in the plane of the side wall 2 and vertical edges 12 formed in the top portion of the side wall and a pair of angularly disposed vertical surfaces 13 and 14, respectively, which extend from flange 4 downwardly and inwardly on a taper corresponding to the taper of the side walls. The surface 13 of each recess comprises the base of the recess heretofore described as located adjacent a corner of the container and the horizontal edge 11 corresponds to the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by each recess. The surf-aces 13 and 14 join with a horizontal surface or ledge 15 extending outwardly from edge 11 to surfaces 3 13 and 14 and parallel to bottom wall 1 and flange 4 to completely define recesses 8 and 9.

Corresponding recesses 3 and corresponding recesses 9 are arranged to define respectively the corners of a pair of square openings of substantially the perimeter and shape of the lower portion of each container so that the bottom corners of each container are received in the recesses and the containers can be stacked in a tier in superposed relation. In the stacking of the containers alternate containers are disposed in the same vertical plane.

The containers in service are filled to the lower edge of the recesses. The containers are then stacked into tiers by rotating each container with respect to the container immediately below it until the bottom wall is aligned with either of the recesses defined by corresponding poclzets 8 and 9.

The corners of the containers rest within the aligned recesses and securely lock the containers against lateral movement. Referring to Fig. 3, the second or middle container is shown rotated counterclockwise and sup ported by the recesses 9. The third or top container is then rotated clockwise as shown and supported by the recesses 8 in the second or middle container. The corners of the third container are vertically aligned with the first container. A fourth container, not shown, to be stacked on the third container would be rotated counterclockwise relative to the third container and would rest within the recesses 9 of the third container. The corners of the second and fourth containers would be aligned. The stack of containers o formed is very stable and provides a high ratio of useful space to total space for a tier. Within each tier, the bottom of each container is located completely within the perimeter of the lifting flange 4 on the immediately lower container and the lifting flanges 4 from the bottom to the top'of the stack of containers are vertically located with respect to each other so that the flanges of the upper containers do not extend beyond the flange 4- of the lowermost container.

Referring to Fig. 2 a plurality of the containers are shown disposed in nested relation. The recesses s and 9 are aligned and are also nested together. The nested containers provide easy storage and handling of a plurality of containers.

Referring to Fig. 6, a rectangular shaped container is shown with the bottom of a second container, shown in dotted lines disposed in stacked relation thereto. Corresponding portions of the containers in Figs. 1 and 6 are given the same number.

The rectangular container shown in Fig. 6 includes a pair of opposed long side walls 16 integrally joined with opposed short side walls 17. As the ratio of length to width increases in rectangular containers, the degree of rotation of superimposed containers necessary to provide suflicient projection of the lower portion or corner of the upper container over the supporting container to support the container increases. Therefore, the present invention is generally limited to containers which are square or slightly rectangular.

To increase the degree to which the container can be formed rectangularly, a ledge 18 is provided in each short wall of the container by a strengthening rib l9 molded integrally therein. The ledge lies in the horizontal plane of the ledge 15 and is generally a continuation thereof as shown most clearly in Fig. 8.

Referring particularly to Fig. 6, the corners of the superimposed container, shown by dotted lines, illustrates the slight projection of the corners beyond the lower sidewalls and into the adjacent recesses. This provides a concentrated load on the corners of the container. The ledge 18 provides a sufficiently large supporting surface in engagement with the bottom of the next container to carry the load in the container, while the recesses 8 and 9 lock the superimposed container against lateral rotation or displacement.

Although a container of molded plastic is illustrated and described any other suitable material can be employed.

The present invention provides strong, rigid containers which are adapted to be disposed in stacked tiers or telescopcd into nested relation.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

i claim:

1. In nestable and stackable containers having an open top and four tapered side Walls formed with a bottom wall and an upper encircling flange, at least one recess Sc ne-d in each side wall and integrally connected flange L the outer extremity of each recess being inwardly spaced from the outer edge of the flange to maintain a continuous flange encircling the container, and the recesses being arranged relative to each other to define an opening corresponding to the bottom of a similar container disposed in stacked rotated relation therewith.

2. In a nestable and stackable container having an open top and four tapered side walls joined with a bottom wall and an upper encircling flange, a pair of perimetrically spaced recesses similarly formed in each side wall and connected flange, and corresponding recesses in each side wall being arranged relative to each other to respectively define the corners of an opening in the top of each container offset from the opening defined by the side walls and generally corresponding in size to the lower portion of the container to receive the corners of a corresponding container.

3. In a nestable and stackable square container having an open top and four tapered side walls joined to a bottom wall and to an upper encircling flange extending outwardly from the upper edges of the sidewalls, a pair of right-triangular recesses similarly disposed in each side of the container one within each quarter of the perimeter immediately adjacent a corner of the container, said recesses being defined by a triangular horizontal ledge extending outwardly from the base of a notch in the side wall and in parallel with the bottom wall and by a long vertical side leg and a short vertical side leg integral joined with the edges of the ledge and a corresponding opening in the flange, and corresponding recesses in the sides of the container being arranged with the long side and short side leg respectively aligned with the short side leg and long side leg of an adjoining recess to define a pair of rectangular spaces corresponding to the lower portion of the container and rotated relative to each other to permit stacking of a plurality of containers.

4. In a nestable and stackable open top container of molded plastic having a generally square perimeter with tapered side walls integrally connected with a horizontal bottom wall and an outwardly extending upper flange, a pair of generally right triangular recesses evenly spaced along the perimeter in each sidewall of the container and within the outer edge of the flange, each triangular recess including a horizontal triangular ledge extending outwardly from and integrally with the sidewall and a pair of angularly disposed side legs extending between said ledge and said flange to define the recess, the side leg nearest an adjacent corner of the container being a short leg and the side leg furtherest from an adjacent corner of the container being a long leg, and said recesses having the short and long legs of corresponding recesses in adjoining sidewalls aligned to define a pair of rotated square openings corresponding to the lower portion of the container, said construction permitting alternate containers in a tier of the containers to be in superposed relation with a high usable volume to total volume ratio.

5. A generally rectangular shaped open top container having a bottom wall and side walls flaring outwardly therefrom with one pair of oppositely disposed side walls being of lesser length than the other opposite pair of side walls, said container having a flange extending outwardly from the upper edge of the side walls and confinuously around the top of the container, a triangular recess in each juncture of a side wall and flange in slightly spaced relation to a corner of the container to define a rectangle corresponding to the lower portion of a container whereby a plurality of containers may be stacked together, and an inwardly extending ledge formed in each short side wall in the same plane as the base of the recess to strengthen said container and to provide additional supporting surface for a superimposed container.

6. In a rectangular open top container of greater length than width and formed of molded plastic and having an integrally molded flange extending outwardly from the upper edge of the container and continuously around the container, the corners of the flange being rounded ofi, a pair of vertically outlined triangular recesses in each juncture of a sidewall and flange in slightly spaced relation to the container corners with the side legs of each recess lying Within the outer dimensions of the flange, and inwardly extending indented ribs in each end wall having an upper surface extending inwardly from the base of the pocket to strengthen the container and to provide an increased supporting surface to the immediately next succeeding container in a tier of containers.

Iarund Apr. 17, 1956 Anderson Nov. 19, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2742181 *Oct 7, 1952Apr 17, 1956Hermorion LtdContainers that can be telescopically inserted into each other and at the same time be stacked upon one another
US2813656 *Oct 19, 1953Nov 19, 1957Anderson Arthur WStacking and nesting containers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3347186 *Mar 24, 1966Oct 17, 1967Nasri KhattarNestable supports
US3379340 *Oct 21, 1965Apr 23, 1968Paul SilvioStacking trays
US3883037 *Mar 28, 1973May 13, 1975Le Presentoir Seiller SarlDisplay unit
US3958503 *May 3, 1974May 25, 1976The Frymaster CorporationSpaghetti cooking system
US4127189 *Jun 17, 1977Nov 28, 1978Sweetheart Plastics, Inc.Plastic food container
US4813543 *Nov 13, 1986Mar 21, 1989Goldberg Leslie HStackable and nestable container for foodstuffs
US4972951 *May 14, 1990Nov 27, 1990501 U.S. Cosmo Plastics, Inc.Tray for video tape
US7837037 *Dec 20, 2006Nov 23, 2010Drader Manufacturing Industries Ltd.Two stacking position square container
US8079588Feb 20, 2009Dec 20, 2011Lockheed Martin CorporationMailpiece container for stacking mixed mail and method for stacking mail therein
US8231002Feb 20, 2009Jul 31, 2012Lockheed Martin CorporationMailpiece container for stacking mixed mail and method for stacking mail therein
US8261515Feb 20, 2009Sep 11, 2012Lockheed Martin CorporationMailpiece container for stacking mixed mail and method for stacking mail therein
DE1196117B *Mar 17, 1961Jul 1, 1965Warren Holcomb LockwoodStapelbarer und verschachtelbarer Behaelter
DE1197805B *Jan 23, 1959Jul 29, 1965Warren Holcomb LockwoodBehaelter mit Einrichtungen zum wahlweisen Aufeinanderstapeln und Ineinanderschachteln mehrerer gleichartiger Behaelter
WO2014137791A1 *Feb 28, 2014Sep 12, 2014Macneil Ip LlcHelically stackable container
U.S. Classification206/507, 206/519
International ClassificationB65D21/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/043
European ClassificationB65D21/04D