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Publication numberUS2917162 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1959
Filing dateApr 15, 1958
Priority dateApr 15, 1958
Publication numberUS 2917162 A, US 2917162A, US-A-2917162, US2917162 A, US2917162A
InventorsRichard Horland
Original AssigneeRichard Horland
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pill dispensing unit
US 2917162 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


' 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April l5. 1958 NVENTOR. RICHARD HORLAND ATTOWY Dec. 15, 1959 R. HORLAND PILL msPENsING UNIT 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 15. 1958 INVENTOR. RICHARD HORLAND I 1|||||||||||||||| I ll. llJm Dec. 15, 1959 R. HORLAND 2,917,162

PILL DISPENSING UNIT Filed April 15. 1958 s sheets-sheet s INVENTOR. RICHARD HORLAND United .States Patent n PILL DISPENSING UNIT Richard Horland, West Orange, NJ.

Application April 15, 1958, Serial No. 728,571 i z claims. (c1. 20s- 42) Y-This invention relates to dispensing devices for pills, tablets, and the like. l

rOne often has diiculty in extracting one or more tablets from a container, and this represents a considerable inconvenience, particularly when one is required to take medication in the form of tablets at relatively frequent intervals. Often, in emptying a container into the palm of the hand, one dispenses far more than the desired number of tablets, and as a result, has diiculty returning the unused tablets to the container. Or, one may actually cause a numberof the tablets to drop and become lost or unusable.

Inview of the above, the main object of the present invention is to provide a device for dispensing tablets or pills, which device will be designed particularly for facilitating the extraction of the tablets individually, without possibility of the remaining tablets of the dispenser becoming accidentally dispensed.

Another object is to provide a tablet dispenser of the kind described which will be capable of manufacture at a' comparatively low cost, considering the benefits to be obtained from the use thereof. The invention is so designed that the dispenser might be a single-use, disposable container in which the medications are sold. Alternatively, the device with some refinements might be a container to be retained permanently by the user, with said container being relled with tablets wheneverit becomes fully exhausted of its contents.

Another object is to provide a' tablet dispenser of the character described which will be compactly formed, to permit a large number of tablets to be held therein, considering the relatively small, at shape of the device.

'Still another object is to so form the devicev that one can readily determine the number of unused tablets remaining therein.

-For further comprehension of the invention, and of the objects and advantages thereof, reference will be had to the following description and accompanying drawings, and to the appended claims in which the various novel features of the invention are more particularly set forth.

In the accompanying drawings forming a material part of this disclosure:

v Fig. V1 is a perspective View of a tablet or pill dispenser according tothe present invention, with the lid raised, with tablets shown therein.

Fig. 2 is a slightly enlarged, fragmentary perspective view showing the dispensing opening of the device, with ay tablet in the process of being removed.

Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially on line 3-3 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is a still further enlarged, detail sectional view of one of the lid hinges, substantially on line 4 4 of Fig.v 1.

n Fig. 5 is a transverse sectional View on the same cuttingA plane vas Fig. 3, with the lid closed.

Fig. 6 is a plan view of a modified Iform, the container ,y 2,917,162 Patented Dec. 15, 1959 ice 2 being shown in full and dotted lines in retracted and dispensing positions respectively, a portion of a housing for the container being broken away, tablets being shown in the container.

Fig. 7 is a perspective view, a portion being broken away, of the form of the invention shown in Fig. 6, with the container partially removed from the housing to permit dispensing of one of the tablets.

Fig. 8 is a plan sectional View substantially on line 8 8 of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is a View substantially like Fig. 8 showing another modied construction, parts being sh-own broken away, the tablets being omitted.

Fig. 10 is a View like Fig. 8 showing still another modiiication, parts being broken away, tablets being shown in the container.

Fig. 11 is a front elevational View, partly in section, of a container embodying still another modified form of the invention, with the closure member in closed position, parts being broken away.

Fig. 12 is a front elevational view of the bottom end of Fig. 11 showing theclosure member in open position.

Fig. 13 is a bottom perspective view of the closure member.

Fig. 14 is a view similar to Fig. 1l showing yet another modication of the invention. Y

Fig. 15 is a vertical sectional view taken on the plane of the line 15--15 of Fig. 14.

Fig 16 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the plane of the line 16-16 of Fig 14.

Referring to the drawings in detail, in the form of the invention shown in Figs. 1 5, the pill or tablet dispenser has been generally designated at 10, and includes a container provided with ilat, closely spaced bottom and top walls 12, 14, respectively, separated by and secured to side walls 16 and end wall 18. The container, which has been generally designated at 19, may be formed entirely of a springable transparent plastic, so that one can at all times see the extent to which the container contents, comprising a plurality of tablets T, have been depleted.

In any event, it will be seen that the container has a generally flat shape, so that all the tablets are disposed in a single layer, in a common plane, At one end, the container may be squarely formed by the end wall 18 which extends perpendicularly to the respective sides, while at the other end 21, the container may be beveled, for the purpose of providing a path along which the tablets move, which path will be particularly designed to facilitate the tablets. being shifted into a dispensing position.

At one corner, the top and bottom walls are formed with angularly shaped dispensing recesses or openings 20, 22,` which are in registration with each other, and which are so associated as to permit a portion of the next tablet that is to be dispensed to be visible through the openings and to be capable of being grasped between ones thumb and index linger. The openings are smaller in diameter than the diameter of the tablets. Walls 16, 18, at this corner of the container, are free of connections to the bottom and top walls, and are of a springable nature,

providing spring tongues 24, 26 which are ten'sioned to normally extend in abutting relationship as in Fig. l, to

close the corner `and prevent the tablets from moving out u of the container.

However, if one desires a tablet, he need merely grasp l the tablet, a portion of which is exposed through the.' openings 20, 22, that is, that tablet which is nearest the The spring tongues immediately return to their normal position, by reason of the inherent spring tension thereof.

Designated at 28 is a longitudinally and centrally extending partition secured to and extending between the top aridibottom walls." Partition 2S at one end abuts the wall 1S, while at thel other end the partition terminates wellshort Lof the obliquely disposed end wall. The 'par tition and beveled end wall 21 define a tortuous path along which the tablets move toward dispensing position.

'Designated at 29 is a lid, which is swingably mounted upon hinge leaves 30. The leaves 3i? are, in actuality, of hook. shape in cross section, said leaves being loosely poistionedv through slot-like openings 31 (see Fig. 4)V of the lid. The lid thus swings between the open and closed positions shown in Figsl l and 5, respectively. Of "course, the dispenser could be made without the lid 29.

Means is provided for retaining the lid in its normal, closed position.V To4 this end, there is provided an integral latching tongue 34, having a transverse corrugation engageable in a latching recess 36 formed in the front side wall 16 of the container; The tongue is of Vspringable formation, so as to permit the same to readilyspring into and out of the latch'recess.

In Figs. 6-8, there is shown a modified construction generally designated 3S, including a container 40 and a housing 42, the housing serving the function of a lid in thatit closes the dispensing opening 44 provided in` one corner of the container.

The container 40. is of rectangular configuration, and has flat top and bottom walls lclosely spaced Vapart as shown in Fig. 7, said top and bottom walls having angular recesses, providing a dispensing'opening 44, just as in the firstform of theinvention. The diameter offthe dispensing opening is smaller than the diameter of the tablets. The side iwalls of the container 40 aresecurd to the top and bottom walls, and one side wall and one end wall.terrninate in spring tongues 46, 48 normally abutting as in Fig. 7. The spring tongues are adapted to be resiliently spread, in a manner as in Fig. 2, Whenever the container is partially extended from its associated, open-ended housing 42 to an extent sufficient to expose the dispensing openingl The partitioning of containerf40 could be that of Fig. 1. However, by way of varying the arrangement, one can have a container provided with two longitudinal partitions 50, 52, one extending from one end ,walland .thefother extendingfrom the other end wall, to provide a serpentine or tortuous path, frthe tablets.

Referring to Fig. 9, there is here shown a modified construction generally designated 54, which is identical in all respects to the ,form s hownY in Fig. 6, -with the exception that .the dispensing container 56 has dispensing openings atboth ends, in diagnally'opposite corners. Thus, lat one end there is a dispensing opening 52Sv normally closed b'yv spring tongues 62, v64, while in the other end there is a dispensingopening 60, normally closed by spring tongues 66, 68. The container'can 4b e extended out of either end ofthe open-ended' housing, to permit tablets to bewithdraw'n from both ends, thereby eliminating Vto a considerable extent 'the necessity of shiftingthe tablets to dispensing position.

In Fig. l there is shown another modification wherein the device is generally designated 70 and includes an openended housing 72 similar to that of Figs. 8 and.9 Designated at 74 is a dispensing container 'containing a large number of tablets. This is a large size of the dispenser, but in principle the construction is unchanged from that of 9. Thus, there are a plurality of Vpartitions76 extending fromrthe opposite walls of the device, fo., ing a tortuoiis path, with oppositeends `of said path term' atiuga dispensing openings 7.81130 located inldiagncornersndfno'rmally closed by.` spring .Saland Spring fis'ue'S 136,. jspeti ly! 'nss'l S0, arefsiualler, 'than the Referring now to Figs. 11-13, the dispenser 90 shown herein is `in the form of a rectangularfshaped transparent.

springable plastic shallow box-like container 91. The interior of the container is divided by a partition wall 92 to form a circuitous path for movement of the tablets T. At one corner the top and bottom walls are cut away providing a dispensing opening 95. The side and end walls 96 at said corner meet but are notfastened together thereby forming fiexible tongues 97 and 98. The dimensions of the tablets are larger than the'dir'nensions of the opening 9S so that normally ,the tablets will. not fall through the opening.' i i m In accordance with the invention, a hinged closure member 100 is providedfor yieldably. closing the opening 95. This closre'inember comprises a strip 101 of flexible plastic or other suitable material and secured to one end of the strip is a cap 102 formed of thin resilient sheet metal. Cap 102 has a box-like body with three sides 103 and a top, 104, conforming'to theshape ofthe opened corner of the container, the sides beingreadilL spreadable. The strip 101 is readily fastenedy to theend as shown in Fig. 12 and the tablet positioned in the, opening grasped by the fingers and pulled .against lthe tongues 97 and 98 whereby said tongues are spreadapart per, mitting the tablet to be removed from the container.

The modification of the invention shown 1nV Figs. 147,16

diiers from the form shown in Figs. lil-13 in 'thatthev container 105 is formedvwith an inletopening 106;,inthey same end ofthe container with theV dispensing, opening 107. The inlet opening is at the other corner ofwsail` end and is sufficiently large to permit thecontainer to be filled with Atablets through said opening.l TheV inlet opening 106 is normally closed by a hinged closure member 108 comprising a strip 109 of plastic or other suitable material fastened at one end to the top'wall4 1 10 ofthe container, the other end 111 of the strlp spanning,

closing the opening 106 and extending Lover .the adiacent. corner of the container and being secured to .thev adgaceut end thereof.

In all other respects the form of linvention shownin,

Figs. 14-16 is similar to the form' offligs: llllfb'fand similar reference numerals are used to indicate similar parts..

In every form, the dispensing action isgtheV samgas will be readily apparent, and it will be seen th fin `no circumstances can more thanY one tabletlbe acoA entaily y. dispensed at a particular time. This ellrninates theY 1n-k convenience and waste resulting from theloss of .tablets from` ordinary containers in which said tablets 91j?, me?,

chandised ordinarily.

Of course, the sliding housings and containers could be., formed with complementary4 rounded V protuberanes and recesses for yieldingly holding the housings in closedposi tions.

While I have illustrated and describedthe preferred4 embodiments of my invention, it is to bevunderstoodl that I do not limit myself to the precise constructions hereinv disclosed and that various changes and modifications may be made within the scope` of the invention as `defined in the appended claims.

Having thus described my. invention, what I Claim as.

new, and desire to secure by United States LettersPatent is:

1. Arabtdispenser comprising a container adapted for holding a quantity of ,tablets lto be clispenssedsaid.:- container having a rectangular-shaped body with a dis,-v

pensing openingfat 'one corner at one end thereofithe body including walls ineetingat saidcorner to normally restrictl the opening,` themeeting' 'portions ofY said"walls` constituting as spring tongues spreadable against the spring tension thereof to permit passage of a tablet out of the container, said tongues meeting at right angles, said body having an inlet opening at the other corner of said one end for filling the container with tablets, and a hinged strip of plastic secured to the top wall of the body for closing said inlet opening.

2. A -tablet dispenser comprising a container adapted for holding a quantity of tablets to be dispensed, said container having a rectangular-shaped body with a dispensing opening at one end corner thereof, the body ncluding walls meeting at said corner normally to restrict the opening, the meeting portions of said walls constituting spring tongues spreadable against the spring tension thereof to permit passage of a tablet out of the body, said tongues meeting at right angles, a partition extending along the longitudinal center of the body from one end to a point short of the other end forming a tortuous path Within the body along which the tablets move, and a hinged closure member carried by the end wall adjacent the opening for closing said opening, including a llexible strip of plastic secured at one end to said end of the body and a thin sheet metal box-like structure secured to the other end of the strip, said structure having opposed exible side walls and a top wall closing said opening.

References Cited in the file of this patent FOREIGN PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
FR989125A * Title not available
GB460460A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3033355 *Sep 26, 1961May 8, 1962Sickle Wilton E VanTablet container and dispenser
US3041692 *Mar 6, 1961Jul 3, 1962Edwin R OlilaCombined clamp and article holder
US3202268 *Feb 25, 1964Aug 24, 1965Ray Craft IncCoin holder
US3831808 *Feb 12, 1973Aug 27, 1974Bender LPill cartridge for a pill dispenser
US4169531 *Aug 18, 1977Oct 2, 1979Packaging Components Industries, Inc.Plastic container with individual product pockets
US4304249 *May 16, 1979Dec 8, 1981T.I. Domestic Appliances LimitedControl units
US4372445 *Feb 19, 1981Feb 8, 1983Keffeler Paul JMedication dispenser
US4497432 *Oct 7, 1983Feb 5, 1985Carlisle Laboratories, Inc.Dispenser package assembly
US4735318 *Aug 26, 1987Apr 5, 1988Keffeler Paul JMedication dispenser with removable liner and full skirted compartment covers
US5123539 *Mar 20, 1991Jun 23, 1992Sara Lee/De N.V.Tablet dispensing container
US5242076 *Nov 17, 1992Sep 7, 1993Merck & Co., Inc.Child resistant medication container assemblage
US6625955Jun 25, 2001Sep 30, 2003Aylward Enterprises, Inc.Methods for forming product package with recloseable locking mechanism
US7540383Oct 23, 2007Jun 2, 2009Sonoco Development, Inc.Self-opening blister package
US9060625 *May 19, 2014Jun 23, 2015Target Brands, Inc.Tester display fixture
US20060037484 *Aug 23, 2004Feb 23, 2006Dixon Keith AContainer with sliding lid
US20060049202 *Mar 11, 2004Mar 9, 2006Martin PrescheTablet dispenser
US20060251779 *May 9, 2005Nov 9, 2006Rathbone Jonathan EComestible product dispenser including a tensioned cover and method of using same
US20070062964 *Jun 13, 2006Mar 22, 2007Item Source, LlcReclosable container with easily openable closure
US20090101537 *Oct 23, 2007Apr 23, 2009Scott HufferSelf-opening blister package
US20140251931 *May 19, 2014Sep 11, 2014Target Brands, Inc.Tester display fixture
EP0448175A1 *Mar 20, 1991Sep 25, 1991Sara Lee/DE N.V.Dispenser designed for containing and dispensing products such as tablets
EP0537997A1 *Oct 14, 1992Apr 21, 1993MERCK & CO. INC.Child resistant compliance device
U.S. Classification206/536, 220/836, D24/230, 206/538
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/04, B65D2583/0436
European ClassificationB65D83/04