US 2949204 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 16, 1960 B. EDWARDS CLOSURE DEVICE Original Filed Dec. 31. 1954 INVENTOR United statesPat fi V Patented Aug. 16,1960,
CLOSURE DEVICE Bryant Edwards, Chicago, 11]., assignor to Illinois Tool Works, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Original application Dec. 31, 1954, Ser. No. 479,031,
now Patent No. 2,814,405, dated Nov. 26, 1957. Divided "and this application Oct. 1, 1957, Ser. No. 687,505
11 Claims. (Cl. 215-41) This invention is concerned generally with the art of sealing containers such as bottles and jars, and is concerned more specifically with a new and improved sealing cap adapted for lifting the bottle or the like on which the cap is mounted.
This application comprises a division of my copending application for Closure Device, Serial No. 479,031, filed December 31, 1954, now Patent No. 2,814,405, granted November 26, 1957, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
Most caps which seal a container such as a bottle or jar have required deformation for removal, thereby rendering the caps unsuitable for further closure of a bottle or jar, particularly when it is necessary or desirable to form a tight closure approximating a seal to prevent passage of air and other fluids into or out of such containers. It is true that screw caps generally can be re used, but screw caps often are diflicult to remove, and the production of screw caps and accompanying screw topped bottles or jars is expensive. Various types of non-metallic closure members for jars or bottles have been utilized, but these closure members also have had serious defects. Many of them have been too expensive for throw-away use. Others have failed to seal the container with which they have been associated, and in general the non-metallic closure members have been too easily dislodged from the containers with which they have been associated. Certainly they have been incapable of lifting or supporting the containers on which they have been mounted.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved closure member of plastic or other elastic or deformable material which is capable of sealing a jar or bottle, and which is adapted for lifting the jar or bottle.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a bottle or jar cap of elastic material comprising a cap element and a retaining member integral therewith and telescopically associated with the cap element for holding the same tightly in place wherein the cap element is provided with a tab or the like serving as a convenient means for lifting the bottle or jar.
A further object of this invention is to provide a plurality of interconnected bottle or jar caps of elastic material adapted to serve as a carrier of such jars or bottles.
It is another object of this invention to provide a removable and replaceable cap structure for jars or bottles which is adapted for use in sprinkling material, such as salt or the like from a bottle or jar.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view showing'a plurality of cap structures in accordance with the principles of my invention interconnected for use in carrying a plurality of bottles;
Fig. 2. is a perspective view of the invention shown in 2 Fig. 1 before telescoping of the cap. elements and retains g Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially along the line 3--3 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a plan view of the invention;
Fig. 5 is a perspective view showing a modified form of the invention;
Fig. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view showing the modification of Fig. 5 as applied to the top of a bottle with the parts of the cap structure in telescoped relation;
Fig. 7 is a view similar to Fig. 5 showing a furtheri modification of the cap structure adapted for use as a salt shaker cover or the like; and
Fig. 8 is a longitudinal sectional view showing a bottle adapted for use. as a salt shaker or the like by means of the cap structure of Fig. 7.
Referring now in greater particularity to the drawings, and first to Figs. 1-4, there will be seen a pluralityof cap structures each identified generally by the numeral 30. Each such cap structure comprises a cap element 32 having a flat top or diaphragm 34 adapted to .lie across the top of a bottle 36 or the like, and a depending circumferential flange 38. The flange 38 is provided with an inner, annular ridge or bead 40 adapted to lie beneath the bead 42 of the bottle 36. The bead or ridge 40 in the cap flange 38 is spaced from the diaphragm 34 by a groove or neck portion 46 adapted to receive the bottle bead 42.
Each capstructure 30 also includes a ring 48 which may be a separate element or which may be joined to the cap element 32 along the junction of the diaphragm 34 to fit tightly over the cap element 32 resiliently to clamp the latter in place on the top of the bottle.
The cap structure, including both the cap element. and the ring, is made of elastic or deformable material, plastic material being preferred, and polyethylene plastic being a preferred example. The inside diameter of theretaining ring '48 and the outside diameter of the cap element flange 38 are substantially equal prior to installation ona bottle. Hence, when the cap element is placed over the top of a bottle, it is stretched somewhat, thereby causing the outside diameter of the flange 38, to be enlarged some what overthe inside diameter of the retaining ring 48, this flange also being tapered slightly outwardly away from the ring. Thus, when a force is applied to the ring toforce it down over the cap, by. meanssuch as a blow of a mallet or hammer, the ring will be stretched ,over the flange and thereby will grip thetflange and force it tightly about the top of the bottle, the bead 40 of the. cap element being deformed substantially into conformity with the bottle beneath the head 42 thereof. The bottle thus is sealed sufficiently tightly for shipment in commerce, and any numberv of items could be shipped in the bottle, Such items might include catsupand other types of spices or condiments, or any of avarietyof other items or substances. The cap element will be held tightly in place as long as the ringencircles the cap flange. Following removal of the ring, the capelement cantbe pulled otfthe top of the bottle by the fingers, generally without the aid of any additional implement, and at the most requiring a simple implement such as a table knife for added force. Since the cap is formed of elastic material, the capfele ment is not damaged by forcing it from the top of ,a bottle, and it may readily be reinstalled over the top of the bottle, again stretching somewhat in being so applied. The stretching of the flange of the cap element causes it to hold rather well on the top of the bottle for home storage, but
it will be understood that the cap in this manner is not mounted on the bottle top nearly so securely as when the retaining ring is in place.
The bottle cap structure, in accordance with nay-invention, is capable not only of closing the top ofa bottle or jar, but also serves as a carrier or support foi' a plurality of bottles or jars. It is now common practice to carry various beverages, either in bottles orin cans, in units of a half dozen or so. Special carriers or containers of various types have been devised for this purpose, and the most advanced of these attach only to a can bead or the like for carrying. However, it has heretofore been necessary to support jars or bottles from below, no satisfactory structure having as yet been devised for carrying bottles and jars only from the top. My bottle or jar cap structure is capable of so carrying bottles and jars.
In accordance with the principles of this invention, there is provided a plurality of flexible strips 70' interconnecting the cap elements 32 of a plurality of cap structures 30. These strips 70 in turn are interconnected by cross strips 72 corresponding to the runners of the forming mold which are integrally connected at the intersection 74 corresponding to the sprue. Thus, the connecting strips 70 secure a plurality of bottles 36 in abutting relation, and the group of bottles can be lifted simply by slipping the fingers under one or more of the connecting strips 72. The material of the strips and of the cap elements also is of an elastic nature, preferably comprising polyethylene, and this material is sufficiently soft that the bottles readily can be separated by cutting the strips 70 by means such as a knife or scissors, or the bottles may be separated one by one by removing the cap structures therefrom.
A further embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6. In this embodiment of the invention, the parts which are similar to those heretofore described are identified by similar numerals with the addition of the suffix b. The cap element 32b of the cap structure 30b remains substantially as before, comprising a top wall or diaphragm 34b having a depending peripheral flange 38b. The flange again is provided with an internal ridge or bead 40b and with a groove or space 46b for receiving the bead 42b at the top of a bottle 36b. The retaining ring 48b in the present instance is provided with a tab or finger piece 56 for facilitating removal of the retaining ring from the cap element. The retaining ring is not integrally connected to the cap element by a shear section in the present instance, but rather is integrally connected by means of a flexible strip 58. This flexible strip is flexed into place and readily can be grasped by the fingers for lifting the bottle. Furthermore, it keeps the retaining ring from being lost when the cap is removed from the bottle, and it readily can be forced down over the cap element during reuse for tightly resecuring the cap on the bottle. It is to be understood that as in the previous embodiment of the invention, the flange of the cap element normally has an outside diameter equal to the inside diameter of the retaining ring, but that stretching of the flange upon insertion over the top of the bottle increases this outside diameter so that the retaining ring must be stretched to fit over the cap element flange. Thus, a secure grip is had by the cap structure on the top of the bottle. As will be understood, the flexible strip 58 could be cut off with a scissors or the like if desired and the cap element could be reused alone in the absence of the retaining ring' The material again is elastic, and preferably comprises polyethylene plastic.
Afurther embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figs. 7 and 8 for adapting a bottle or the like to use as a salt shaker or the like. This embodiment of the invention is generally similar to that shown in'Figs. 5 and 6, and similar parts to those previously described are identified by the same numerals with'the additionof'the suflix e. The cap structure 300 again comprises a cap element 320 having a top wall, diaphragm, or web 340. This diaphragrh is joined to the depending flange 38c by a score 4 line 60. The depending peripheral flange 380 has an internal bead 340 for facilitating association of the cap element with the top of a bottle 360. The retaining ring 480 is provided across its upper end with a diaphragm or web 62 having a plurality of holes 64 therein, and the ring is secured to the cap element by' an integral flexible strip 580. The strip again can be used for lifting the bottle. For initial shipping, the cap element and retaining ring are placed over the top of a bottle as heretofore. For use by the consumer, the diaphragm or web 38c of the cap element is removed from the flange 38c by a simple punching or cutting operation, and the retaining ring 480 is reinstalled over the flange of the cap element. The holes 64 in the diaphragm or web 62 preferably would be preformed, but if not, it would be a simple matter to punch them in the rather soft material of which the cap structure is made, this material again being of an elastic nature, preferably polyethylene. Thus, the bottle 360 can be inverted and salt or other granular material can be shaken therefrom. Such salt or the like could be supplied in the bottle initially, or the bottle could be converted for this use. Also, the bottle and perforated cap structure could be utilized for sprinkling water or other liquid from the bottle for purposes such as dampening clothes that are to be ironed. Furthermore, the Web 34c could be perforated instead of being removed, and ring 430 could be rotated relative to the cap element to align these perforations with the perforations 64.
It will now be apparent that I have invented a bottle cap which not only effectively seals a bottle or the like, but which also serves as a carrier therefore. The webs 72 or the strips 58, 58c greatly facilitate lifting of the bottle, and it will be noted that the attachment of at least one end of each web or strip to the cap element 32, etc., imposes no strain tending to separate the retaining ring from the cap element during such lifting.
It is to be understood that the embodiments of the invention as disclosed herein are for illustrative purposes only. Various changes will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and are to be understood as forming a part of the invention insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A closure device comprising a cap element of readily deformable elastic material having an annular peripheral portion with a lateral surface adapted to engage and closely to conform to the wall of a bottle or the like adjacent the opening thereof, said cap element further including an integral transverse wall spanning said annular peripheral portion substantially to close off the opening in the bottle or the like, annular retaining means of the same deformable plastic material as said cap element and separate therefrom telescoping with said annular peripheral portion and engaging opposite to said wall engaging surface to force said wall engaging surface tightly into close conformation against the wall of the bottle or the like, said annular retaining means having aperture means opening axially in both directions, and a projection on said cap element of substantial length relative to the diameter of said cap element and adapted to be grasped by the fingers for lifting the bottle or the like.
2. A closure device as set forth in claim -l, wherein the projection extends laterally beyond said retaining means.
3. A closure device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the retaining device comprises a ring, wherein the cap ele ment annular peripheral portion has upper and lower margins, the opposite wall being cylindrical and said retaining means having a complementary cylindrical surface, and wherein the projection extends laterally from one of said margins.
4. A closure device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the projection comprises a strap.
5. A closure device comprising a cap element of elastic material having an annular peripheral flange with :1 lateral surface adapted to engage the wall of a bottle or the like adjacent the opening thereof, said cap further having a transverse wall spanning said flange, retaining means of the same elastic material telescoping with said flange and engaging said flange opposite to said wall engaging surface to force said wall engaging surface tightly against the wall of the bottle or the like, and a strip of said elastic material integrally joining said cap element and said retaining means, said strip being adapted for gripping by the fingers to lift said bottle or the like.
6. A closure device as set forth in claim 5, wherein the retaining means also includes an annular peripheral flange and a spanning transverse wall, wherein one of the transverse walls is adapted for removal and the other for perforation whereby to dispense material from the bottle or the like.
7. A closure device as set forth in claim 6, wherein the transverse wall of the cap element is joined to the flange thereof by a readily severable section.
8. Closure means comprising a plurality of like closure devices, each such closure device comprising a cap element of readily deformable elastic material having an annular peripheral portion with a lateral surface adapted to engage and to conform intimately to the wall of a bottle or the like adjacent the opening thereof, said cap element having an integral transverse wall spanning said annular peripheral portion for closing olf the opening of said bottle or the like, retaining means complementary to and telescoping with said annular peripheral portion and engaging opposite to said wall engaging surface to force said wall engaging surface tightly and intimately against the wall of said bottle or the like, and means interconnecting said closure devices and integral therewith, being of said readily deformable elastic material and adapted for gripping by the fingers to lift a plurality of bottles References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,430,685 Sampson Oct. 3, 1922. 2,655,282 Dunbar Oct. 13, 1953 2,659,511 Rice Nov. 17, 1953 2,754,962 Scrymgeour July 17, 1956 2,814,404 Towns Nov. 26, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 498,744 Belgium Nov. 14, 1950 77,923 Denmark Aug. 2, 1954-