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Publication numberUS2994469 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1961
Filing dateOct 9, 1959
Priority dateOct 9, 1959
Publication numberUS 2994469 A, US 2994469A, US-A-2994469, US2994469 A, US2994469A
InventorsEffie M Troup, Woodrow W Troup
Original AssigneeEffie M Troup, Woodrow W Troup
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container opening and resealing device
US 2994469 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 1, 1951 w. w. TROUP ETAL 2,994,469

CONTAINER OPENING AND RESEALING DEVICE Filed Oct. 9, 1959 INVENTORS. Woo/mow V14 77zoup 5 By EFF/e ML Teoup AfTOP/VEY n 2,994,459 CONTAINER OPENING AND RESEALING DEVICE Woodrow W. Troup and Eflie M. Troup, both of 1701 Wilshire, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Filed Oct. 9, 1959, Ser. No. 845,576 4 Claims. (Cl. 229-51) As indicated, this invention relates to improvements in devices for opening a container and then resealing the container, and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to a novel zipper-type device for opening and hermetically resealing a container.

As it is well known in the art, a great variety of perishable food products are sold in hermetically-sealed packages or containers in order that the food products will be fresh when opened by the ultimate consumer. When a consumer opens such a package and does not use all of the contents, it has been the practice to repackage or wrap the food products in waxed paper or foil, or place the food products in plastic containers to prevent spoilage of the unused portion of the products. Many times large quantities of perishable food products, such as bread, cookies, potato chips, etc., have been discarded because improperly repackaged, since it is virtually impossible to reseal the majority of the present-day packages or containers.

The present invention contemplates a novel device which may be installed on a container or package containing perishable food products during the packaging operation by the manufacturer, and by which the consumer may open the package, remove a portion of the contents and then reseal the package and prevent spoilage of the remainder of the products in the package. Broadly stated, the present invention may be defined as a device for opening a container and then resealing the container, comprising interlocking zipper panel means sealed along the opposite edges thereof to one wall of the container; zipper slide means on the panel means for separating and, alternately, closing the panel means, and knife means carried by the slide means for slitting the wall of the container along the line of separation of the panel means. Once the wall of the container has been slitted, the package may be opened and reclosed by simple operation of the slide means along the panel means.

An important object of this invention is to minimize spoilage of perishable food products, and the like.

Another object of this invention is to hermetically reseal a package of perishable food products after the package has been opened and a portion of the contents removed.

A further object of this invention is to retain the freshness of perishable food products in the hands of the ultimate consumer.

Another object of this invention is to provide a device for opening a container and then resealing the container, which device is light-weight; simple in construction; may be economically manufactured, and which may be applied to the container during the packaging of food products in the container.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be evident from the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate our invention.

In the drawings: 7

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view 'of a device constructed in accordance with this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view through the zipper panels installed on a wall of a container, illustrating the interlocking tongue and groove used to seal the panels together.

FIGURE 3 is an elevational view of one side of the zipper slide member.

fiMAW Patented Aug. 1, 1961 2 FIGURE 4 is an" end' elevational view of the zipper slide member.

FIGURES 5 and 6 are member.

FIGURE 7 is an elevational view of the zipper slide member illustrating the construction of the side of the" zipper slide member opposite the side shown in FIG. 3.

FIGURE 8 is an elevational view of the zipper slide member taken at the end of the member opposite the end illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of the preferred knife means.

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view of a typical package illustrating the installation of the present device on the ferred construction, the panels 14 and 16 are formed ofa plastic material similar to the panels of present-day plastic zippers and with the adjacent edge portions 20 and 22 thereof arranged in overlapping relation, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The adjacent and overlapping edges 20 and 2.2 of the panels 14 and 16 are provided with a mating groove 24 and tongue 26 extending lengthwise along the respective panels and which are alternately pressed together and moved apart by action of the slide member 18, as will be described. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that any desired number of mating grooves 24 and tongues 26 may be provided on the panels 14 and 16 to provide the desired seal between the panels when the device 12 is closed to reseal a package, as will be described.

As shown in FIGS. 3 through 8, the slide member 18 comprises a block-shaped body 2'8 having a large end 30 and smaller end 32, with the walls of the body member being tapered from the large end 30 to the small end 32. The body 28 may be formed of any desired material, but is preferably formed of a plastic material to be of light-weight and economical construction. Slots 34 and 36 are cut lengthwise in the opposite sides of the body 218 and are shaped to receive the adjacent edges 20 and 22 of the panels 14 and 16. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, the groove 34 extends upwardly from the large end 30 of the body 28- to the small end 32 and is extended inwardly toward the longitudinal center line of the body 28 at approximately the medial portion of the body. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the groove 36 is curved generally downward from the large end 30 of the body 28 to the smaller end 32 and is also extended inwardly to the center line of the body 28 at approximately the medial portion of the body. As a result, the adjacent edge portions 20 and 22 of the panels 14 and 16 will be pressed together in overlapping relation to interlock the mating groove 24 and tongue 26 when the body 28 is moved along the panels 14 and 16 to the right when viewed as in FIGS. 1 and 3. Conversely, the adjacent edges 20 and 22 of the panels 14 and 16 will be separated by the grooves 34 and 36 when the body 28 is moved in an opposite direction. Thus, the slide member 18 acts in substantially the same way as the conventional slide member on a plastic zipper to alternately seal the panels 14 and 16 together and open or separate the panels. It will be noted, however, that the ends of the slots 34 and 36 at the large end 30 of the body 28 are separated both transversely and vertically, such that the adjacent edges 20 and 22 of the panels 14 and 16 will be separated both vertically and horizontally adjacent the large end I plan views of the zipper slide a 30 of the zipper member. This separation is illustrated in FIG. 1.

A knife member, generally designated by reference character 38, is movably carried by the body 28 for slitting a container along the line of separation of the panels 14 and 16 when the panels are separated, as will be described below. The knife member 38 comprises (see FIG. 9) an elongated, slender body 40 of a size to provide a rather tight, sliding fit thereof in a mating groove 42 (FIGS. 7 and 8) extending vertically through the longitudinal center line of the body member 28 adjacent the larger end 30 of the body. Thus, the knife member 38 may be moved up and down with respect to the body member 28 and the friction between the walls of the body 40 and the slot 42 will hold the knife member 38 in any position in which it is placed. It may also be noted that the knife member 38 extends vertically downward between the grooves 34 and 36 adjacent the larger end 30 of the slide member, such that the knife will not have contact with either of the panels 14 or 16. The upper end 44 of the knife member 38 may be provided with a flange in the nature of a push button, and the lower end 46 of the knife member 38 is preferably sharpened to provide a cutting edge facing the smaller end 32 of the slide member body 28.

A typical installation of the device 12 is illustrated in FIG. 10 wherein the device 12 is secured along the top wall 48 of a package 50, such as a container housing a loaf of bread. The outer edges of the panels 14 and 16 are sealed to the top wall 48 of the container 50 in any desired manner, such as by the use of suitable glue or cement (not shown), or by using materials of construction for the panels 14 and 16 and the top wall 48 of the container 50 which will become sealed upon the application of heat, as is conventional in the packaging art. It should also be noted that the extreme end portions of the panels 14 and 16 are sealed to the wall 48 of the container 50 with the extreme ends of the mating groove 24 and tongue 26 being in looking relation. It will be understood that the slide member 18 is installed on the panels 14 and 16 with the adjacent edges of the panels being in the grooves '34 and 36 at the time the outer edges of the panels are sealed on the wall 48 of the container.

In use of the present invention, it is contemplated that the device 12 will be installed on the container 50 at the time that the container 50 is sealed by the manufacturer, with the contents of the container in place. In this use, the slide member 18 will be adjacent the end 52 of the panels 14 and 16 with the mating groove 24 and tongue 26 of the panels being locked together in sealing relation, except for those portions of the panels 14 and 16 contained within the slide member 18 and immediately adjacent the large end '39 of the slide member.

When the container 50 reaches the ultimate consumer, the consumer presses downwardly on the knife member 38 to force the cutting edge 46 of the knife member through the top wall 48 of the container 50. The consumer then moves the slide member 18 toward the end 54 of the panels 14 and 16 to simultaneously unlock the mating groove 24 and tongue 26 for separating the panels 14 and 16 and slitting the top wall 48 of the container 50. The consumer may then spread the separated panels 14 and 16 apart the desired distance to remove a portion of the contents of the container 59.

In order to preserve the remaining products in the container 50 and to reseal the container 50, the consumer pulls upwardly on the knife member 33 until the cutting blade portion 46 of the knife member is above the container wall 48, and preferably within the body 28 of the slide member 18. The slide member 18 is then moved along the panels 14 and 16 toward the end 52 of the panels to provide an interlocking of the mating groove 24 and tongue 26 which seals the panels 14 and 16 together. When additional portions of the contents of the container 50 are to be removed, the slide member 18 is merely moved along the panels 14 and 16 to reopen the container and then moved in an opposite direction to reseal the container.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the present invention provides a novel device for opening a container and then resealing the container, which device is simple in construction, may be economically manufactured, is of light weight and will have a long service life. The device is in the nature of a zipper which may be easily installed on a container during the original sealing of the food products or the like in the container by the manufacturer, and the device may be easily operated by the ultimate consumer without any special training. The device will minimize the spoilage of perishable food prodnets and will retain the freshness of perishable food products over a maximum length of time.

Changes may be made in the combination and arrangement of parts or elements as heretofore set forth in the specification, and shown in the drawings, it being understood that changes may be made in the embodiment disclosed without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

We claim:

1. A device for opening a flexible-wall container and then resealing the container, comprising a pair of zipper panels secured in parallel relation on top of one wall of the container with the adjacent edges of the panels being in overlapping relation, said adjacent edges of said panels having mating grooves and tongues for sealing said panels together when said grooves and tongues are engaged, a zipper slide member having slots in the opposite sides thereof receiving said adjacent edges of said panels, one pair of ends of said slots being separated at one end of the slide member and the opposite pair of ends of said slots being merged at the opposite end of the slide member, and knife means movably carried by the slide member, said knife means being manually movable to a position to extend between said panels into the wall of the container for slitting the container upon movement of the slide member in a direction to separate said tongues and grooves, and said knife means being manually movable to a position above the panels, whereby the slitted wall of the container is sealed upon movement of the Slide member in a direction to engage said tongues and grooves.

2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said knife means slidingly extends through the slide member adjacent said one end of the slide member.

3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said one pair of ends of said slots are separated both vertically and horizontally at said one end of the slide member, and said knife means extends vertically through the slide member adjacent said one end of the slide member.

4. A device for opening a flexible-wall container and then resealing the container, comprising interlocking zipper panel means sealed along the opposite edges thereof to one wall of the container; zipper slide means on the panel means for separating and, alternately, closing the panel means, and knife means carried by the slide means for slitting the wall of the container along the line of separation of the panel means, said knife means being movably carried by the slide means for movement between and, alternately, out from between said panel means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,929,599 Millholland Oct. 10, 1933 2,057,748 Smith Oct. 20, 1936 2,323,335 Kaye July 6, 1943 2,641,037 Gossner June 9, 1953 2,756,172 Kidd July 24, 1956

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1929599 *Jul 7, 1931Oct 10, 1933Millholland James HSheet-wrapped package and opener
US2057748 *Dec 24, 1935Oct 20, 1936Smith Faith TBag structure
US2323335 *Jun 29, 1940Jul 6, 1943Lee Kaye RobertCarton having attached carton opener
US2641037 *Apr 24, 1950Jun 9, 1953Treg IncSealing closure
US2756172 *Dec 27, 1955Jul 24, 1956Alexander C KiddPipe coverings
Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification383/202, 383/64, 383/203, 30/2, 383/63, 229/87.8, 229/87.5, 24/400
International ClassificationA44B19/24, A44B19/26, A47J47/06, A47J47/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44B19/267, A47J47/06, B65D33/2591
European ClassificationA44B19/26D, A47J47/06, B65D33/25C