US 3001564 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 26, 1961 D. M. HOPKINS QUICK-DETACHABLE MULTI-CONTAINER ASSEMBLY Filed May 15. 1959 FIG.
INVEN TOR. DAVID M. HOFKI NS ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,001,564 QUICK-DETACHABLE MULTI-CONTAINER ASSEMBLY David M. Hopkins, Hilltown Township, Pa.
(RD. 1, Hatfield, Pa.) Filed May 13, 1959, Ser. No. 812,862 4 Claims. (Cl. 150.5)
This invention relates generally to means for organizing a plurality of containers and more particularly to improved means for detachably securing together a plurality of individual containers in end-to-end relation.
Very often it is desired to store in one place a multi' plicity of different materials or articles, and at the same time keep each of the same separate from the others, in which event it is common to employ a group of separate individual containers respectively for the different materials or articles, or a single container suitably partitioned to form a group of compartments respectively for the different materials or articles. In many circumstances the use of a group of separate individual containers is unsatisfactory because there are too many for convenient handling and there is nothing to keep the several containers in any predetermined order so that any particular one thereof may be readily located with a minimum expenditure of time and effort. In many circumstances, the use of a unitary container internally divided into a multiplicity of compartments isunsatisfactory because when one particular material or article is being placed in its compartment or withdrawn therefrom, that one compartment cannot be handled alone. Instead, the whole container must be handled and this can prove to be inconvenient and awkward.
Accordingly, an important object of the present invention is to provide improved means for detachably securing together a plurality of individual containers in end-toend relation.
Another object of the present invention is to provide such means permitting snapping of said containers out of and back into engagement with one another so that the entire assembly may be handled as a unit or optionally each container may be handled individually.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a one-piece self-closing container with such means.
Other objects of the present invention will appear more fully hereinafter.
In the accompanying drawing:
FIGURE 1 is an elevation, with parts broken away, of an assembly of containers constructed in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view showing one of the containers of FIGURE 1 alone and with finger pressure being applied thereto for opening the top thereof for access to the interior of the container; and
FIGURE 3 is similar to FIGURE 1, showing a modified form of container.
Referring particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2, the exemplary assembly of containers constructed in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention comprises three vertically stacked identical containers and a cover over the topmost container. Each container, generally designated 10, is provided with a bottom end wall area 12 domical in shape and a bottom end wall area 14 extending about and radially outwardly from the wall area 12. The inner periphery of the wall area 14 is provided with an annular recess 16, and im mediately below the latter is an annular radially inwardly extending lip 18.
The container also is provided with an upwardly and inwardly tapering side wall 20 integrally formed with the wall area 14.
Patented Sept. 26, 1961 At its crown the container is provided with a top end wall area 22 domical in shape and a top end wall area 24 extending about the wall area 22 in the form of a bead, generally semi-circular in transverse section and projecting radially outwardly from the side wall 20,
being integrally formed with the latter. The head 24 and the recess 16 are complementary in size and shape. A slit 26 extends diametrically across the domical top end area 22.
The containers may be formed by moulding or any other suitable means and may be made of a somewhat flexible plastic material, preferably polyethylene or an acetate. Other materials may be used, e.g., rubber, natural or synthetic, or any other rubber-like material having sufiicient elasticity to return to a definite shape after being deformed.
Referring particularly to FIGURE 2, it may be noted that an individual container may be held in the hand and the top thereof squeezed by application of finger pressure at opposite ends of the slit 26 to afford an opening 28 for access to the interior of the container, whereupon the contents of the container may be emptied or the container filled. Upon releasing the top of the container, the opening 28 automatically closes, due to the inherent resilience of the material out of which the container is made. It may be noted that the bead 24 is a thickened wall area having a correspondingly greater tendency to return the container to its initial shape after it has been squeezed in the manner aforesaid. In addition, the bead 24 secures the slit in the crown of the container against undesirable tearing. it
The containers .10 are connected together in one unitary assembly merely by placing them one upon the other and pressing them together, whereupon the annular lips 18 and the beads 24 of the containers 10 are deformed as required for passage of the lips 18 over the beads 24, whereupon the latter snap into the recesses 16. The containers 10 are disassembled merely by pulling them apart, whereupon the annular lips 18 and the beads 24 are deformed as required for passage of the lips 18 over the beads 24, whereupon the latter snap out of the recesses 16. Any one or more of the containers 10 may be snapped out of engagement with the others.
It may be noted that in the assembled condition of the containers, each domical wall area 22 is nested snu y in the domical wall area 12 of the overlying container 10, whereby the latter wall area serves as an effective closure for the slit 26 in the wall area 22. In
this connection, a cover 30 is provided for the topmost container 10, this cover having essentially the same shape as the bottom end wall of a container 10, being provided with a domical wall area 32 and an annular wall area 34 extending about the wall area 32, the inner periphery of the latter being provided with a recess 36. Obviously, the cover 30, preferably made of the same material as the containers 10, may be snapped out of and back into engagement with the topmost container 10 and serves effectively as a closure for the slit 26 in the underlying wall area 22.
Referring particularly to FIGURE 3, showing a modified exemplary form of the present invention, each container 38 is provided with a bottom end wall area 40 domical in shape and a bottom end wall area 42 extending about and radially outwardly from the wall area 40. The inner periphery of the wall area 42 is provided with a recess 44, and immediately below the latter is an annular radially inwardly extending lip 46. Integrally formed with the wall area 42 is a side wall 48, reversely curved and decorated to afford a pleasing appearance, as shown. At its crown, the container is provided with a top end wall area 50 domical in shape and slit, as at 52. Circumferentially spaced equally about the wall area 50 are four elements 54 projecting outwardly from the container, being integrally formed with the side wall 48 and wall area 50. The tips of the elements 54 and the recess 44 are complementary in size and shape. A cover member 56 may be provided for the topmost container 38, and the containers and the cover therefor may be formed in the same manner and of the same material as the containers and the cover 38.
The containers 38 may be disassembled and reassembled as in the case of the containers 10, the essential difference between the two embodiments of the invention being that in lieu of the bead embracing the top of the container as in the case of the head 24 of the container 10, the container 38 is provided with the elements 54 circumferentially spaced equally about the top of the container.
In view of the detailed treatment of the assembly comprising the containers 10, a more detailed treatment of the assembly comprising the containers 38 appears to be superfluous and, accordingly, is omitted.
It will be understood, of course, that the exemplary embodiments of the invention shown and described are susceptible of various changes and modifications which may be made without any departure from the general principles or real spirit of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended to claim the present invention broadly as well as specifically as indicated in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a container for articles, a unitary envelope of material having elastic properties similar to those of soft rubber and defining a substantially fully closed interior volume comprising a cross-axially extending bottom wall having a raised central area and a marginal area with a radially inwardly facing recess extending about the inner periphery thereof, a cross-axially extending top wall having a through slit extending diametrically thereacross, an axially extending outer peripheral wall interconnecting said bottom and top walls, and means protruding radially outwardly from said container at the top thereof, said radially inwardly facing recess and radially outwardly protruding means being disposed approximately the same radial distance from the principal axis of said container, the bottom of said container being thereby adapted for being snapped over the top of a second identical container and thereby detachably seated thereon with the radially outwardly protruding means of the second identical container removably nested in said radiallyinwardly facing recess.
2. In a container for articles, an envelope as defined in claim 1 wherein both the bottom and top walls are domical in shape and said bottom wall is adapted for receiving the top wall of the second identical container closely fitted and nested therein with said bottom wall serving etfectively as a closure for the slit in the top Wall of the second identical container.
3. In a container for articles, an envelope as defined in claim 2 wherein the means protruding radially outwardly from the container is a bead extending about said container and semi-circular in transverse section.
4. In a container for articles, an envelope as defined in claim 2 wherein the means protruding radially outwardly from the container are a plurality of elements protruding respectively from a plurality of areas spaced circumferentially about said container.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 820,067 Richardson May 8,. 1906 1,587,167 Marsden June 1, 1926 2,631,747 Stolte Mar. 17, 1953 2,675,040 Raun Apr. 13, 1954 2,695,115 Roop Nov. 23, 1954 2,714,471 Sherman Aug. 2, 1955 2,766,796 Tupper Oct. 16, 1956 2,834,507 Metzler May 13, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,169,856 France Sept. 15, 1958