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Publication numberUS2929541 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 22, 1960
Filing dateMay 22, 1956
Priority dateMay 22, 1956
Publication numberUS 2929541 A, US 2929541A, US-A-2929541, US2929541 A, US2929541A
InventorsCharles Castelli, Gershen Irvin J, Meares Arthur R
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispenser for dental floss and other filaments
US 2929541 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

c. CASTELLI ETAL 2,929,541

DISPENSER FOR DENTAL FLOSS AND OT Filed May 22, 1956 March 22, 1960 HER FILAMENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 2.

yNVENTORS Ai CfRNEY March 22, 1960 c. CASTELLI ETAL 2,929,541


FIG. 7. W

United States Patent DISPENSER FOR DENTAL FLOSS AND OTHER FILAMENTS Charles Castelli, New Brunswick, Arthur R. Meares, Westfield, and Irvin J. Gershen, Springfield, N32, assignors to Johnson Johnson, a corporation of New Jersey Application May 22, 1956, Serial No. 586,590

6 Claims. (Cl. 225-51) This invention relates to dispensers for dental floss, thread, and other filament.

More particularly, the invention relates to dispensers of the type in which a'spool of floss or the like is enclosed in a casing provided with a cutter for cutting off the desired lengths of floss.

The general object is to provide an eflicient, inexpensive dispenser adapted to manufacture from plastic such as polystyrene, or other rapid molding cycle inexpensive thermoplastic.

In the dispenser of the invention, a metal floss or filament guide and cutting element is combined with plastic casing elements in such a way that the forces exerted on the parts in normal use tend to hold the assembly together, and in this way close fitting or interlocking between plastic parts and the casting of the metal part as an insert may be eliminated. In consequence, a very simple, compact and reliable dispenser may be made at comparatively low cost.

A floss dispenser embodying the invention in a preferred form will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawing, and the features forming the invention will then be pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawing:

Fig. 1 is an isometric view of the floss dispenser;

Fig. 2 is an enlarged section on a central of axial plane 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is an exploded view showing the various parts in side elevation; Figs. 4 and 5 are, respectively, inside plan views of the cover and body elements of the casing;

Fig. 6 is a top plan view of the metal cutter and guide element of Fig. 2;

Fig. 7 is an isometric view of a modified dispenser;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged side elevation of the cap element of the casing of Fig. 7, part of the bottom element being shown in section;

Fig. 9 is a bottom elevation of the cap of Fig. 8;

Fig. 10 is a central axial section on the line 10-10 of Fig. 7;

Fig. 11 is a front elevation of the cutting element of the device of Fig. 7; and,

Figs. 12 and 13 are, respectively, bottom and top plan views of this element.

The floss dispenser comprises a bottom or body casing member 19 fitted with a cover 11 and metal cutter element 12, a package of floss 13 being enclosed by these elements and the end 14 being pulled out and cut off in the manner indicated and later described in detail.

The body or bottom casing element It is shown in detail in Figs. 2 3 and 5. It is provided with a pin 15 for locating the lower end of the floss spool, a notch or opening 16 to permit passage of the floss and with recesses 17 adjacent its upper edge for holding the cover 10 in place. The cover 10 which is shown in detail in Figs. 3 and 4, has a shoulder 18 which seats on the top of the bottom 10 and a flange portion 19 which extends Patented Mar. 22, 1960 below the shoulder and fits snugly within the bottom. An opening 20 accommodates the metal cutter fitting 12 and ribs or projections 21 are snap fitted into the recesses 17 for holding the two parts of the casing together. The floss or thread package 13 may be of various forms without departing from the invention in its broader aspect, but convemently takes the form of a flangeless tube 22 on which the floss 23 is wound, the pin 15 fitting in the lower end of the tube 22, and the tube extending sufliciently close to the top of the cover so as to prevent its coming off the pin.

The metal cutter fitting 12 which is shown in detail in Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 6, comprises a central table portion 25 which fits in and fills the cover opening 20, being approximately flush with the outer surface of the cover member 11. This central table portion 25 is surrounded by side flanges 26 which fit under and against the inner surface of the cover 11 surrounding the opening 20, a. lower flange 27 which has a notch 28 registering with the notch 16 previously referred to and which fits inside and against the inner surface of the bottom 10 of the casing. A projecting tongue 29 at the upper end of the fitting 12 fits into a groove 30 formed in the cover 11, holding the fitting 12 at this point against both inward and outward movement, and the lower flange portion 27 fits over somewhat recessed portions 31 of the cover 11, so that the fitting 12 is held against inward movement at this point as well as being held against outward movement by the casing bottom 10.

Immediately above the upper edge of the bottom 10, the metal fitting 12 is formed with a rib or. shoulder 32 which preferably engages the upper edge of the bottom 10 and above this ridge the fitting 12 is formed with a depression 33 across which the floss passes on its way to the cutter proper which consists of a tongue 34 partially punched out of the element 10 and having sharp edges against which the floss may be severed. It will be noted that the bottom 10 is considerably longer than the top 11 and that the top 11 is curved or tapered inwardly having a roughly frusto-conical configuration, so that the natural and convenient way to grasp the floss dispenser is as indicated in phantom in Fig. 1, the thumb and finger grasping principally the bottom 10 instead of the top 11. In use, the required length of floss is pulled out, the floss is wrapped around the cutting tongue 34, as indicated in Fig. l, and a pull on the floss then severs it against an edge of this tongue (the right hand edge in Fig. l), the end of the unused floss remaining in place and being gripped by the other edge (the left hand edge in Fig. 1) of the tongue 34. Depression 33 permits ready grasping of the end of the floss over the depression 33 for disengaging the floss from. the cutter 34, pulling out a required length and severing the same. It is possible to join the element 12 to the cover 11 adhesively, the adhesive being applied in any convenient locations such as over the flange portions 31, but no particular strength of joint between member 12 and the cover is required for the eflicient functioning of the dispenser.

It will be noted that in tugging on the floss end to sever the same, a pull is exerted downwardly toward the.

bottom 10 on the member 12, tending to seat the ridge 3-2 more firmly against the edge of the bottom 10 and not tending to cause separation of any of the parts from each other. In point of fact, the device Works entirely satisfactorily with a loose piece 12, the adhesive joining the piece 12 to the cover 11 being desirable only for preventing detachment and loss of the part 12 when the cover is removed from the bottom for refilling with a new spool of floss. Pin 15 is preferably set back off center as indicated, so that when in unwinding the floss the spool is pulled over toward one side of the unit (to the casing topand bottom once 1 snapped together.

left in Fig. 2) so as to take up clearance, the bottom of the spool will occupy a substantially central position.

In the modification of Figs. 7-13, the parts involved andtheir cooperation with each other are generally similartothe corresponding parts of= Eigs-..- 1-6 and are, in.

I general, identified by the same reference-numerals with the addition ofqa suflix letter a-. The description ofthese" parts will not be repeated except-- to the extent necessary for explaining the modified features.

7 The casing formedas;before; in two parts. 10a and- 11a, butanimproved interlock or joint between thesev elements isprovided. The.- casing cap; element 11a has a depending,flange-extension. 19 1', as. before,.with projections or ribs 21a for interlocking. with: the bottom.

However, the corners of this project-ion or. flange: are enlarged. outwardly asat 40, and made. somewhat deeper at this point. The walls of the lower casing element 10a. maybe slightly convex, as indicated in Fig.7, and the parts are dimensioned so that the corner enlargements at dtl when pushed within the bottom 10a will spread the upper; part of the casing bottom 10a slightly, straightening out the side walls and bringingthem inwardly toward the projections 21a, so that the recesses 17a are forced. against projections 21a, engaging and holding the parts firmly together. Adjacent the openingv cutter. fittinghaving an upwardly extending; upset tongue around which "the filament may'be wrapped and severed, the'casing. top element. having; an:- aperture interrupting; the flange and extending; aboveatlde shoulder, the said apertureslidably: receiving thezfittingl and-the fitting having flange elements. fitting. within the casing top element above theslioulde'r' and" outside the flange for holding it against movement inwardly and outwardly thereof, and theffitting having also a shoulder seating against the upper edge of the bottom part of the casing so as to sustain force exerted upon the fitting by wrapping filament around the said tongue and pulling. downward on the:

same. 7

2;.A dental floss or similar filament dispenser accord.- ing to claim 1, in which the said depending flange; has

7 recesses to each side of the aperture and flange elements 20a which takes the cutter. fitting. 12a, the flange 19a is 7 formed with recessed areas 41,. for a purpose later described. I 2 The cutter fitting 12a is generally similar to the fitting. 12 previously described; except in the particulars now to be pointed? out. Inthe. first place, the tongue 34a has a second or subsidiary tongue 42 strucklback on. its cen.-- tral part as indicated- The tip of this tongue extends" to .orslightly beyond-the pl'aneoithe table portion'ZSa generally, so that the floors end 14a when wrapped around in back of'tongue 34a will be in front or outside or" the subsidiary tongue 42-instead of catching in back of. this subsidiary tongue. Towardthe base of tongue 42. it di- 1verges at an angle from tongue 34a, as can be seen from. FigylO; so that the floss end 14a :when pulled downwardly is wedged intotheangular openingdefined by elements.

34a and 42 andis rather securely gripped. This gripping tion until the dispensing of: another length as desired. In this way, loss of the floss end due toits slipping back through the opening defined by notches 16a and 28a is prevented. The dispenser can be made so economically that theeinptycasingrmaylbe discarded instead of being refilled, and since'the loss of the floss end is effectively.

prevented, it will' ordinarily be unnecessary to spread the At the bottom, the flange 27a is modified by cutting oh? its lower corners,: leaving two'- laterally projecting ears 43 which .fit over and. against the recessedareas v41 previously mentioned. These ears are bent inwardly at their lower edges 44, as indicated, and will bite into the plastic maj terial of the casing top 11a to a sufiicient extent so as to Y hold the parts firmly together.

assists in preventing slipping of the floss when pulledso asto cut it. against an end of the cutter tongue 34a, and

also serves .to hold the remaining floss securely in posion the said metal cutter fitting within the said recesses and inside the bottom element of the casing.

3. A dental floss or similar filament dispenser according to claim 2, in which the flange elements fitting; in. the.

i said recesses arebent inwardly at their lower edges, and

bite. into the materialof the dependingfiange for holding the metal cutter fittingin position. g

. 4..A, dental floss or similar filament dispenser accord? ring to claim. 1, comprisingalsoprojections formed'on the: two sides of thes'aid depending flange adjacent" to the;

side edges interrupted by the said aperture and corresponding recesses formed in the bottom element, the said projections and recesses snap fittingv together when the casing top and bottom elements are assembled.--

5,. A dental floss or similar filament dispenser accord ingto claim 4, in which the upper edges of the walls of the bottom element of the casing are slightly convex, and

the said depending flange has outward enlargements at its corner for tensioningv and spreading the upper edge of the bottom element When inserted therein.

V 6. A dental floss or similar filament dispenser aceorde; ing to claim 1, in whichlthe said metal fitting has a'downwardly opening notch positioned belowthe edge: of the;

bottom element wall: and the bottom element wall has an upwardly opening notch registering therewith, the two.

said notches forming an aperture for emergence of; the

filament from the casing.

References Cited. in thefile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Shaleck" May 15,

1,455,673 a v 1923 1,642,805 Carlson Sept. 20, 1927 2,239,185 Withey Apr. 22,. 1941: 2,499,130 Chase Feb. 28, 1950 2,550,944 Stack May l, 1951.

Sharp Dec. 29,, 19:53

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1455673 *Jan 12, 1922May 15, 1923Shalek Victor JDental floss dispenser
US1642805 *Jan 20, 1927Sep 20, 1927Carlson Henry FCord and thread container
US2239185 *Sep 23, 1939Apr 22, 1941Tempe G RhcdesString receptacle and dispenser
US2499130 *Oct 16, 1947Feb 28, 1950Gladys ChaseThread holder
US2550944 *Sep 8, 1949May 1, 1951Stack Cedric CHolder for a spool of thread
US2664194 *Jul 24, 1950Dec 29, 1953Sharp Ewing LContainer and spool for leader lines and the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4073419 *Apr 19, 1976Feb 14, 1978John O. Butler CompanyThread storage and dispensing system
US4290223 *Jul 27, 1979Sep 22, 1981Creative AnglersFisherman's leader/line dispenser and decoiler
US4881560 *Jun 9, 1988Nov 21, 1989Eric BlankDispenser for dental floss
US5016661 *Jul 29, 1988May 21, 1991Gina IsraelApparatus for holding dental floss containers
US5054674 *Feb 23, 1990Oct 8, 1991Fortman Eugene JDisposable dental floss cassette dispenser system
US5156311 *Feb 21, 1992Oct 20, 1992W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.Dental floss dispenser
US5246022 *May 16, 1991Sep 21, 1993Gina IsraelApparatus for holding dental floss containers and spools
US5299723 *Sep 16, 1992Apr 5, 1994Hempel Jeffrey DContamination-free dental floss dispenser
US5566872 *Jul 8, 1994Oct 22, 1996W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.Vial floss dispenser
US5607050 *Nov 1, 1995Mar 4, 1997W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.Vial floss dispenser
US5666782 *Jan 31, 1995Sep 16, 1997Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc.Fixture for assembling dental floss dispenser products
US5806666 *Jun 18, 1997Sep 15, 1998Gillette Canada Inc.Dental floss container
US5826594 *Jan 15, 1997Oct 27, 1998Sokal; David C.Floss dispenser with memory aid for flossing upper and lower teeth in separate sessions and method
US5839259 *Apr 9, 1997Nov 24, 1998Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc.Method for assembling dental floss dispenser products
US6152147 *Aug 9, 1999Nov 28, 2000Sanchez; MariaDental floss holder
US6688607May 29, 2002Feb 10, 2004Henkel Loctite CorporationPolydimethyl siloxane and filler
US6694667 *Aug 22, 2001Feb 24, 2004Scott B. DavisMethod and apparatus for dispensing filament such as tippet fishing line
US8231734Jan 23, 2003Jul 31, 2012Jordco, Inc.Porous material for insertion cleaning of instruments
US8635735Jul 30, 2012Jan 28, 2014Jordco, Inc.Porous material for insertion cleaning of instruments
WO1997016131A1 *Sep 9, 1996May 2, 1997Gore & AssImproved vial floss dispenser
U.S. Classification225/44, 132/321, 242/138, D28/66
International ClassificationA61C15/04, A47F13/04, A47F13/00, A61C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/043, A47F13/04
European ClassificationA61C15/04C, A47F13/04