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Publication numberUS2872950 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 10, 1959
Filing dateMar 12, 1954
Priority dateMar 12, 1954
Publication numberUS 2872950 A, US 2872950A, US-A-2872950, US2872950 A, US2872950A
InventorsCharles Castelli
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing device
US 2872950 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

C. CASTELLI Feb. 10, 195.9

2,872,950 DISPENSING DEVICE 2 Shee ts-Sheet 2 Filed March 12, 1954 (Ah/P45: 63:17:24) v II'WII'I VI I /IJWMZ 6 M2 l I [/1 4 A 2,812,950 DISPENSING DEVICE Charles Castelli, New Brunswick, N. J., assignor to Johnson 6b Johnson, a corporation of New Jersey Application March 12, 1954, Serial No. 415,721

12 Claims. (Cl. 141-2 1) This invention relates to dispensers and more particularly to those commonly referred to as, medicine droppers'. i r I A conventional dropper consists of three parts; a resilient rubber bulb,a rigidcontainerzjcap of metal or plastic and a glass dropper tube. Manufacture of such a dropper requires preforming the three parts separately, and assembling them to form the completed dropper. .The dropper is usually associatedwith a bottle containinga liquid or semi-liquid pharmaceutical formulation and such association necessarily involves an additional assembly step. Since the dropper is ordinarily discarded after. the pharmaceutical formulation has been completely dispensed, it is desirable that the dropper be manufactured at low cost. a a

A bottle of liquid, stoppered with a conventional dropper, tends to leak when shipped. It is customary practice, therefore, to seal such a bottle with an ordinary screw-type cap in packaging for shipment and to add the dropper separately in the package. Before use, the shipping cap is removed and replaced with the dropper. In some instances, the bottle is sealed with the dropper for shipment, but in such cases a gasket or equivalent means is provided toinsure effective sealing between the parts of the dropper and the container to which it is attached.

In all cases, the respective parts of the'dropper must be assembled'either by the manufactureror the consumer before it is associated with the container. The methods employed are" relatively expensive because of the number and character of the parts.

"According to the present invention there is provided a dropper having but two parts instead of three and which can be quickly and economically molded and asernbled. One .part of the dropper may consist of a cap with a hollow, resilient bulb integrally attached. The other part of the dropper'may consist of a tube flanged at oneend. The tube part and the cap part have cooperating means for uniting them in sealed 'engagenient.

The "dropper preferably is made from polyethylene plastics since such plastics are resilient, easily molded, andgenerally compatible with most pharmaceutical formulations. ,Other acceptable materials include vinyl plastics, rubber and polyvinyl chlorides. The respective parts of the improved dropper can be molded by conventional processes.

' In the accompanying drawings:

Fig. l is an elevational view of a dropper equipped with the present improvements;

Fig. 2 is a greatly enlarged vertical-sectional view of Fig. 1 on line 2-2, the dropper being shown assembled with aconventional bottle;

Fig. 3 is an exploded vertical-sectional view of the dropper of Fig. l; w b

,K'Fig. 4 is a fragmental" vertical-sectional] view of another embodilnentof'the' invention; and i r Fig. 5 is an exploded vertical-sectional view of the em bodiment shown in Fig. 4. V

The embodiment of the invention shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 generally comprises an upper cap and bulb part 1 and a lower tube part 2. The cap and bulb part has a depending skirt portion 3 defining a cylindrical opening or chamber 4 and internally threaded for conventional engagement with the neck 5 of a bottle 6.

The top of the cap is closed in part by a flat annular portion 7 which defines a centralaperture 8 and whose outer peripheral edge integrally joins the upper edge of the cap skirt 3. A hollow, resilient bulb 9 of conventional type is formed integrally with the top of the cap at the inner peripheral edge of the flat annular portion 7 thereby connecting the interiorof the bulb 9 with the cap chamber 4 through the aperture 8.

Above its threaded section, the cap is formed with a circumferential rib 10 extending inwardly into the cham} ber 1 from the inner surface of the cap skirt 3. Preferably, this rib is substantially triangular in cross-section with upper surface 11 and lower surface 12 sloppinginwardly and toward each other. The surfaces 11 and 12 terminate just short of intersecting one with the, other so that the inner edge of the rib is ineffect blunted to prevent damage to the parts during assembly. The angle which the upper surface 11 makes with the inner wall of the chamber preferably is about degrees and the angle the lower surface 12 makes. with the skirt wall is preferably about 30 degrees. The reason for the cap construction just described presently willbe made clear.

The lower component of the dropper generally comprises a tube 13 having a longitudinal bore 14 extending throughout its length and a flange 15 at its upper end adapted for sealing engagement with complementary parts of the cap. y

The tube flange 15 in its upper part is formed with a peripheral rib 16 which is of greater diameter than its lower part. The rib may be formed by recessing the flange adjacent its lower peripheral edge and this in a manner to provide betweenfthe outer peripheral surface of the rib 16 and the outer peripheral surface of the recess, a downwardly facing, interconnecting, slanted surface 17 disposed at the same angle with respect to said outer peripheral surface of the rib 16 as the upper surface 11 on the cap rib 10 makes with the internal wall of the cap chamber. The flange at the bottom ex; tends inwardly a short distance toward the tube 13 to forma shoulder 18 for a purpose subsequently made clear.

When the upper cap part and the lower tube part are assembled (Fig. 2), they are held together with the top 19 of the flange 15 in sealing engagement with the under surface 20 defining the top of the cap chamber 4 and with the slanted surface 17 on the flange in engagement with the upper surface 11 of the cap rib 10. Sealing enr, gagement between the parts is maintained by forming the flange rib 16 slightly greater in thickness than the dimension between the undersurface 20 of the cap and top surface 11 of cap rib 10 and thereby placing the rib 16 under compression. The diameter of the flange rib 16 may be slightly less than theinternaldiameter of the cap above the cap rib 10 although somewhat larger than the diametric clearance through .the aperture defined by said rib.

To assemble the two parts of the dropper, the flange 15 on the tube member 2 is placed within the cap chamber 4 and the parts urged longitudinally toward each other. In so doing, the 'flange rib 16 at its upper peripheral edge engages thelower surface 12 of the cap rib 10, which surface is disposed at an angle of ap-I proximately 30 degrees with respect to the cap skirtto provide a gentle slope.

, Patented Feb. .10, 1959 Further urging of the fian'ge' rib I v 3 against the lower surface 12 of the cap rib causes both ribs to be uniformly distorted sufficiently to permit the flange rib to pass over the cap rib. The gentle slope of the lower surface 12 of the cap rib also serves to center the flange rib in the cap as the parts are being urged together.

When the slanted surface 17 on the flange clears the tip 21 of the cap rib 10,the flange rib 16 snaps into seating engagement within the cap recess 22. Snap engagement of the flange rib into the cap recess is effected by the cooperative action of the complementary slanted surfaces 17 on the flange 15 and upper surface 11 on the cap rib. To state it differently, as soon as the outer peripheral surface of the flange rib clears the tip 21 of the cap rib 10, the forces are released that have caused distortion of the parts. Such release of the forces of distortion permits the parts to return to essentially their normal shapes. In doing this the surface 17 on the flange slides up the surface 11 on the cap rib and such are the relative dimensions of the parts that this sliding action continues until arrested by the engagement of the top surface 19 of the flange with the under surface 20 of the cap. Furthermore, the force effecting this engagement is such as to produce an air tight seal between the parts at this region.

The two parts of the dropper may also be assembled while attaching them to a container. The tube part 2 is placed within the bottle 6 with the flange shoulder 18 resting on the top 23 of the bottle neck 5. The upper cap and bulb 1 is then placed over the flange and threaded onto the container neck in the usual manner. This act of threading forces the cap rib 10 down over the sides of the flange rib 16. When the tip 21 of the cap rib, in its downward movement, clears the flange rib permitting the slanted surface 17 to engage the slanted surface 11, the flange rib snaps into seating engagement within the cap recess 22 as previously described, thereby uniting the two parts of the dropper in sealed engagement. A seal is established between the assembled dropper and the bottle by threading the cap down until the shoulder 18 on the bottom of the flange presses tight against the top 23 of the bottle neck 5.

In the modification of the invention illustrated in Figs. 4 and 5, there is provided a cap and bulb portion 41 generally the same as that in the embodiment previously described in that it has a top annular portion 42 defining a central aperture 43 through which the hollow interior of an overlying bul'b 44 formed integral with the annular portion 42 at its inner periphery communicates with a cap chamber 45 defined by a skirt 46 formed integral with the annular portion 42 at its outer periphery. It is also like the previous embodiment in that the inner face of the skirt 46 is threaded for attachment to the neck 47 of a bottle 48 which is accommodated in the chamber 45, and is provided with an internal circumferential rib 49 above the threaded portion with upper and lower sloping surfaces 50 and 51 respectively and which is active in connecting a dropper tube with the cap and bulb portion.

The cap and bulb portion differs from the previously described embodiment in that a bottom surface 52 of the annular portion 42 of the cap, or what is the same thing, the surface at the top of the chamber 45 slopes upwardly and outwardly and, together with the top surface 50 of the circumferential rib 49 which is spaced downwardly therefrom defines a recess 53. to receive the flange of a dropper tube.

A tube part 54 of this embodiment has a longitudinal bore 55 and, at its upper end, a flange 56 which easily can be flexed upwardly and downwardly. To facilitate this flexing, the flange 56 at its underside near its junction with the tube is recessed to form a thin neck or web section 57. The flange, in its lower peripheral edge, is recessed to form a horizontal surface 58 which is adapted to cooperatively engage the upper surface 50 of the cap rib 49 when the parts are assembled. A shoulder 59 is provided on the bottom of the flange adjacent the recess to effect a seal with the top 60 of the neck 47 of the bottle when the dropper assembly is associated therewith.

In its normal, unflexed state, the flange 56 on the tube part 'of the dropper assumes the configuration shown in Fig. 5. When the tube part is assembled with the cap and bulb part of the dropper, the flange is bent upwardly, as shown in Fig. 4, with the top 61 of the flange in sealing engagement with the under inclined surface 52 of the annular portion 42 and with the under surface 58 of the flange 56 in engagement with the top surface 50 of the cap rib 49. The flange, by being flexed upwardly as shown in Fig. 4, is secured in sealing engagement with the cap by its tendency to oppose such flexing and return it to its normal position as shown in Fig. 5.

The flange 56 on its top face 61 and adjacent the tube bore may be molded with a raised annular rib 62 which, when the parts are assembled, seats snugly within the aperture 43 in the cap to provide more effective sealing engagement at this point.

This embodiment of the invention may be assembled in a manner similar to the embodiment shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3. The tube part 54 is positioned within the container 48 with the shoulder 59 on the under side of the flange resting on the top 60 of the container neck. The cap is then threaded in place. In performing this operation the upper peripheral edge of the flange 56 engages the lower surface 51 of the cap rib 49. The flange 56 tends to bend downwardly but is prevented from doing so by engagement of the underlying shoulder 59 with the top of the container neck. Continued threading of the cap causes the flange 56 to pass over the cap rib 49 whereupon the flange flexes and snaps into seating engagement withinv the cap recess 53 with the top surface 61 of the flange tight against the under surface 52 of the annular portion 42 and with the upper surface 50 of the cap rib 49 tight against the surface 58 which defines the recess on the tube flange. Sealing engagement between the assembled dropper and the container is effected when the underlying shoulder 59 on the flange is tight against the top 60 of the container neck 47.

While various embodiments of the invention have been illustrated, many other modifications thereof are included within its spirit. For example, it is preferred that the cap rib 10 in Figs. 2 and 3 and the cap rib 49 in Figs. 5 and 6 be in the form of a continuous rib. However, effective sealing engagement of the dropper parts can be obtained by providing a discontinuous rib which may be three equally spaced rib segments each defining an arc say of degrees or less. It is to be understood therefore that the invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a. chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange of a given outer size at its upper end fitting within the cap chamber and sloping means on the cap skirt and on the dropper tube flange co perating to effect a substantially air tight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube, said sloping means on the cap skirt defining an opening of a size smaller than the size. of said flange whereby the parts may be snapped into engagement with each other.

2. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to. be capped, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with-a boreexte'ndirig throughout its length and having a flange of a given fouter size at its upper end fitting within the chambenandsloping shoulder devices presented internally of the cap skirt and externally of the dropper tube flange cooperating to eifect a substantially air tight passagewaybetween the interior of the bulb andthe boreof thedropper tube, said, sloping shoulder devices presented inte'rnally of the'ca'pfl skirt defining an opening of a size srn aller than the sji zeiiof said flange whereby the parts maybe snapped, into engagement with each other. H 1

3. A droppen for use in dispensingliquids.from a container, which includes a cap with depending' periph eral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of, the container to be, capped, a.=holloW,-jr'esilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating With the chamber, said cap skirt presenting on its inner surface, a circumferential rib, triangular in cross section and whose upper and lower surfaces slope towards each other, said upper surface defining an angle of approximately 60 degrees with the inner surface of the skirt, said lower surface defining an angle of approximately 30 degrees with said inner surface, and a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange at its upper end fitting within the chamber, said flange being circumferentially recessed to present a surface complementary to the upper surface of the circumferential rib on the cap skirt, and said chamber above the circumferential rib and said flange being such that when the flange is located within the chamber above said rib with said comlementary surfaces in cooperative engagement, a substantially air tight passageway is effected between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube.

4. For use in combination with a container cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to receive the portion of the container to be capped and a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap at the top thereof and communicating with the chamber; a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange at it upper end, said flange being adapted to fit Within the cap chamber and being circumferentially recessed on the bottom to present a surface for engagement with a complementary surface on the cap skirt to establish a substantially air tight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube.

5. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having an upwardly flexed flange at its upper end fitting within the chamber, said chamber being adapted at its upper part to receive the flexed flange, and shoulder devices presented internally of the cap skirt and externally on the dropper tube flange cooperating to effect a substantially air tight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube.

6. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange at its upper end fitting within the chamber, said cap skirt presenting on its inner surface a circumferential rib, said dropper tube flange being circumferentially recessed on the bottom to present a surface in cooperative engagement with the circumferential rib on the cap skirt to effect a substantially airtight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube.

7. In combination, a container with dropper which comprises a cap for the container with depending peripheral skirt defining achaniber to accommodate a portion of the containerprovided with an opening through which-'- its contents are dispensed, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tubehaving a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange formed at its upper end fitting within the cap chamber, said cap skirt presenting on its inner surface a circumferential rib, said flange being circumferentially recessed on the bottom to present a surface in cooperative engagement with the circumferential rib on the cap skirt to effect a substantiallyairtightpassageway between the interior of'the bulb-and the bore of I the dropper tube and means on the dropper tube' flange f r effecting a seal between the-dropper and the'container. 8. For use in combination with'ardroppertube having abore extending throughout its length anda flange of a given outer size at its upper end;'a cap for a container with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to receivethe portion of the container to be capped and a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, said chamber being adapted to accommodate the dropper flange within it, said cap skirt being provided with sloping means acting when the flange is so located to establish a substantially airtight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube, said sloping means on the cap skirt defining an opening of a size smaller than the size of said flange whereby the parts may be snapped into engagement with each other.

9. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow, resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange at its upper end fitting within the chamber, said cap skirt presenting on its inner surface a circumferential rib, said dropper tube flange being circumferentially recessed on the bottom to present a sloping surface in cooperative engagement with the circumferential rib on the cap skirt to effect a substantially airtight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube, said flange on said dropper tube presenting surfaces adapted to engage the portion of the container to be capped.

10. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a flange of a given outer size at its upper end fitting within the chamber, complementary sloping means on the cap skirt and on the dropper tube flange cooperating to effect a substantially air tight passageway between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube, said sloping means on the cap skirt defining an opening of a size smaller than the size of said dropper tube flange whereby the parts may be snapped into engagement with each other, additional surfaces at the top of the cap beyond said sloping means adapted to engage and retain said parts together.

11. A dropper, for use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate the portion of the container to be capped, a hollow resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a circular flange of a given diameter at its upper end fitting within the cap chamber, sloping means on the cap skirt and on the dropper tube flange cooperating to effect a substantially air tight passage way between the interior of the bulb and the bore and the dropper tube, said sloping means on the cap skirt defining a circular opening of a smaller diameter than 7 the diameter of said flange. whereby the parts may be snapped-into engagement with each other.

12. Afdropper, for-use in dispensing liquids from a container, which includes a cap with depending peripheral skirt defining a chamber to accommodate a portion of the container to be capped, a hollow resilient bulb formed integrally with the cap and communicating with the chamber, a dropper tube with a bore extending throughout its length and having a circular flange of a given diameter at its upper end fitting within the cap chamber, sloping means on the cap skirt and on the dropper tube flange cooperating to efiect a substantially air tight passage way between the interior of the bulb and the bore of the dropper tube, said sloping means on the cap skirt defining an opening of a diameter smaller than the diameter of said flange whereby the parts may be snapped into ag m t it l a hc h r, i na sur ce a he p f the cap beyo d. sa d sloping a adap e to engage and retain said parts together.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1313566 *Apr 1, 1918Aug 19, 1919 Medicine-dispenser
US1889209 *Nov 30, 1931Nov 29, 1932Whitall Tatum CompanyCombination screw cap, bottle stopper, and dropper
US1988661 *Dec 7, 1932Jan 22, 1935Faultless Rubber CoClosure for containers
US2017603 *Mar 31, 1933Oct 15, 1935Brockway Sales CompanyCombined bottle cap and fountain applicator bulb
US2058516 *Jan 31, 1935Oct 27, 1936Wilhelmina M KuhnDropper for medicines, perfumes, and other liquids
US2651437 *Oct 4, 1950Sep 8, 1953Abbott LabMedicine dropper
CH286273A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4416400 *Oct 24, 1978Nov 22, 1983Dougherty Brothers CompanyOne piece dispenser
US20110108160 *Feb 3, 2009May 12, 2011Chong Wong Co., Ltd.Manually operated dropper
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/24, D24/115, 422/934
International ClassificationB01L3/02
Cooperative ClassificationB01L3/0282
European ClassificationB01L3/02F