US 3018931 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 30, 1962 O. L. WESTGATE CLOSURE FOR CONDIMENT CONTAINERS AND THE LIKE Filed May l5. 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
OSCAR L. WESTGATE Jan. 30, 1962 o. L. wEsTGATE 3,018,931
CLOSURE FOR CONDIMENT CONTAINERS AND THE LIKE Filed May 15, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR. OSCAR L. WESTGATE French Company, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 15, 1959, Ser. No. 813,563 5 Claims. (Cl. 222-480) The present invention relates to condiment containers and more particularly to closures for spice or condiment containers intended for household use in dispensing condiments such as ground pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the like.
The conventional condiment can has been subject to much severe criticism by housewives for many years, not only because it is inefficient as a means of preserving the quality of the contents, but also because it is diiicult to open, inconvenient to use, and can even inflict serious physical injury. The typical condiment can is made of metal and is oblong in shape transversely. The bottom and top are spun onto the body of the can but do not make a good hermetic seal. As a result the contents, especially the aromatic spices, lose flavor slowly before the can is opened by the housewife, and rapidly afterwards because the can cannot be resealed effectively.
The top of the conventional can contains a scored or partially cut half-moon shaped flap. To open the can, it is necessary to force this flap downward into the can with the tip of a spoon. Sometimes this can be done easily, but often considerable pressure must be used with the risk of damage to the can closure, the spoon, or the housewifes fingers.
The top also contains a sliding member which has an area provided with a plurality of perforations. By moving the slide to bring its perforated area into registry with the opened area in the top, condiment can be dispensed from the can by shaking. By moving the slide so that all of the opening in the top is exposed a small spoon can be inserted for removing the condiment in bulk. Housewives complain, however, that the slide tends to stick with the result thatofen the housewife breaks her fingernails while attempting to force the slide from one position to another. Moreover, if the slide happens to stick in open position there is no longer any protection whatsoever against evaporation of the aromatic flavors; the spice `deteriorates very rapidly and `soon becomes worthless.
One purpose of the present invention is to provide a condiment container for ordinary household use which will avoid the objections to conventional constructions. To this end, one object of the invention is to provide an improved condiment can or bottle which will insure that 'the contents reach the consumer substantially as fresh as for a condiment container which can be opened and operated easily and safely with the hands alone.
Another object of the invention is to provide a closure for a condiment container with an opening large enough to accept a standard measuring spoon and with a wiping edge at one boundary of this opening to enable removing from the container a precisely measured level spoonful of condiment as ,specified and required in modern recipe practice.
Another object of the invention is to provide a closure for a condiment container which can readily be positioned to permit either of sifting or of pouring the condiment from the container without spilling or. wasting the contents.
il Patented Jan. 39, i962 A further object of the invention is to provide a cap for a condiment container which is shaped so as to permit easy stacking of condiment containers on ane another, and which is also provided with space for price-marking to facilitate merchandising display in stores.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a closure that can be used to dispense a condiment from a glass or clear plastic jar, thereby permitting the contents of the jar to be visible. This increases saleability when the container is on the shelf of a store, and, when the container is in use in a home, allows the housewife to know just how much of the contents are left in the container so that she can readily order a resupply before the contents are exhausted.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent hereinafter from the specification and from the recital of the appended claims.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view showing a glass container or jar fitted with an inner dispensing fitment constructed according to one embodiment of this invention, and having threaded thereover an outer cap or closure for sealing the jar;
FIG. 2 is a plan view on a somewhat enlarged scale of the tment;
FIG. 3 is a view of the iitment looking from the left in FIG. 2 and showing it with its flap partly open;
FIG. 4 is a diametral section taken at right angles to the view of FIG. 3 and showing in dotted lines the flap in the position of FIG. 3 and in full lines the flap fully open;
FIG.' 5 is a diametral section in the same plane as the plane of FIG. 4, but on an enlarged scale, and showing the ap closed;
FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 are fragmentary sections showing further modifications of the fitment and how these further embodiments of the invention are attached to a bottle;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view showing a mold for and illustrating one method of molding a titment according to this invention; and
FIG. 10 is a view of the mold itself with the upper and lower portions of the mold separate from one another.
Referring now to the drawings by numerals of reference, 1i) denotes a glass container or jar having a neck 11. 'Ihe neck is formed with a peripheral bead 12 at its top, and below this with a conventional external thread 13.
The fitment 15 of the present invention is molded in one piece from a suitable resilient plastic material, such as polyethylene. It is round and has a body portion 14 in the form of a collar which is provided with an annular internal groove 16, and with an annular protuberance or lip 17 below this groove. The groove 16 is adapted to receive the bead 12 of the jar and the lip 17 is adapted to snap over this bead to resiliently secure the tment on the jar.
The top wall of the fitment comprises two parts 18 and 24. One of these parts, 1S, is rigid with the collar portion 14. The other part, 24, is in 4the form of a hinged flap, that can be closed to align with the rigid part 18, or can be folded over on top of, the rigid part l. The ap Z4 has a generally semi-circular shape, and is intended, in its lowered position, to close a correspondingly shaped aperture in the top wall of the iitment. The top wall of the fitment is diametrally recessed on its under face, as denoted at 22, to provide the hinge or bending line for the flap. A reinforcing rib 27 is formed integral with the part 18 adjacent the fold line of the flap to reinforce the iitment adjacent said fold line; and the flap is recessed, that is, provided with open corners, at both ends of its hinge line as denoted at 29, to facilitate molding and better iit at these points.
The tlap is resiliently held in its closed position by an arcuate catch or locking portion 35, which is formed as an integral protuberance on the underside of the flap. This catch 35 has a recess 36 on its outer perimeter which is of V-shape in cross section and which is adapted to engage the V-shape edge 37 of a semi-circular ange or lip 33. This ange or lip is formed integral with the igtment and bounds the hole therein that is closed by the rap.
Above the flange or lip 38, the iitment hasI a semicircular bevel as denoted at 30 (FIG. 4). The flap has a straight, chordal edge 26 at its free edge, remote from its hinge line, and extending parallel to its hinge line. This portion 26 and the rest 28 of the outer perimeter of the flap are beveled. Beveled portion 28 of the tment fits the correspondingly beveled surface 3Q, but when the flap is closed, as shown in FIG. 5, the chordal edge 26 will clear the opposed portion of surface 30 so that space 32 will be provided for inserting a fingernail under the edge of the ilap to lift the llap off its seat. It can then readily be bent upwards at the hinge formed at diametral recess 22, and over onto part 1b of the top as shown in FIG. 4.
The flap 24 can be provided with sifting holes 20, or both the ilap 24 and the portion 18 of the itment can be provided with such holes, or only the portion 1S can be so perforated and the ap 24 can be made solid, that is, imperforate, or both the ap and the portion 1S can be imperforate. The last-described structure may be employed where the container holds a product not ordinarily sifted but which it is desirable at times to dispense in measured quantities, such as powdered or instan coifee, or baking powder etc. yIn the embodiment of the invention shown, both the ap 24 and the portion 18 are perforated and provided with sifting holes 20. In both hap 24 and portion 18 are perforated, as shown, the salt, pepper, or other condiment can be sifted out of jar 19 by shaking the jar when the ilap 24 is closed. The same is true if only flap 24 is periorate and part 18 is imperforate, or vice versa.
Since the ap 24 folds along a diametral line, the folded edge 4t) of the llap is a straight diametral edge. When the flap is folded over the rest of the iitrnent, then, a semicircular opening is provided in the closure through which a spoon can be inserted to take out a spoonful of salt, or pepper, co'ee or other product from the jar. The edge 49 becomes, then, a straight-edged wiping surface against which to wipe off the spoon to insure that a level spoonful is taken out of the jar. Due to the straight wiping surface, more accurate and convenient quantity measurement is possible, lending itself to more accurate recipe-cooking.
Since the closure of the present invention is made of a plastic material, such as polyethylene, it can be folded innumerable times without breaking. Because of its resiliency, moreover, when the flap is closed, the catch 35 will snap over the edge of the flange 38, and hold the llap resiliently tightly in closed position.
During shipment and non-use, a metal cap 45 may be threaded, snapped on, or secured in any other suitable manner onto the jar over the closure 15 to seal the jar tight and to prevent loss of essential oils of the condiment by evaporation. The top of this outside cover may have an annular ridge stamped therein, as denoted in 46, for strengthening purposes. The ridge 46 also aids in stacking the containers when a suitable recess 47 is provided in the bottom of each container, so that one container may be mounted on top of another With the recess in the bottom of the upper container receiving the ridge on the cap of the next lower container. The cap 45 can readily be stamped, when received in a grocery store or supermarket, to show the retail sales price of the item.
Instead of providing the container with a peripheral Vbead and of molding the titment with a groove to receive this bead, the container and tment can be made as shown in FIG. 6. Here the jar 50 has an undercut recess 51 around the top of its inside wall, and a shoulder 52 on its outside wall just below the top thereof. The peripheral surface 53 of the container above shoulder 52 may be conical and coaxial with the undercut conical surface 54 adjacent the top of the inside wall of the container, as shown, if desired. The polyethylene tment 55 itself has an annular groove in its under face whose side walls 56 and 57 are conical and of substantially the same cone angle and radius as the walls 53 and 54, respectively, of the jar. With this construction, when the titment is shoved down on the jar 50, the annular portion 5S of the fitment which lies at the inside of the groove exes and snaps under the overhanging portion of wall 54 of the jar thus securely holding the tment on the jar. The annular rim portion 59 of the tment seats over the outside wall 53 and against the shoulder 52 of the jar. Rim portion 59 protects the jar against breakage if dropped and during capping. 'Ille cap, which may be like the cap 45 already described, when threaded down on the jar squeezes the itment against the top surface of the jar so that the ftment in effect acts like a sealing gasket between the cap and the jar, sealing against evaporation of aromatic flavors and deterioration ofthe contents of the jar. The fitment may otherwise be like that previously described.
FIG. 7 showsl a further modification of the invention. Here the jar 60 has an internal groove 6i; and the titment has a skirt 68 which fits inside the inside wall of the jar. This skirt has an outside surface 67 which is vertical and of straight profile in its upper portion and which has an annular protrusion 69 thereon at its lower end. The vertical portion 67 seats against the inside wall 64 of the jar and the protrusion 69 is adapted to snap into the groove 61 when the titment is in place on the jar. The titment also has a ange 66 which seats on top of the jar and which acts as a sealing gasket when the cap, which may be like cap 45, is threaded on the jar over the fitment. This tment also may be, otherwise than described, similar to tment 15.
FIG. 8 shows a still further modification of the invention. Here the inside wall of the jar 70 itself has a rounded protrusion 74 at its top and beneath this is a groove 7l. The itment 75 itself has a flexible skirt 78 recessed adjacent its top to receive protrusion 74 of the jar, and have a bulbous portion 79 which snaps below protrusion 74 and into groove 71 when the tment is in place on the jar. The itment has a flange 76 which seats on top of the jar and acts as a sealing gasket when the enclosing cap is threaded on the jar. Otherwise the tment may be similar to fitment 15.
FIGS. 9 and l0 illustrate one way in which the polyethylene fitment of this invention can be molded. The mold here comprises three parts 80, S1 and 82. The mold is here illustrated as constructed to mold the fitment shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive, but with suitable moditication similar molds can be used to form the other tments shown or any titment made according to this invention.
`The part 30 of the mold shown constitutes the base portion of the mold and has a central boss 85, which is grooved and undercut around its periphery as denoted at 84. Groove 84 and boss 85 are shaped to produce the desired internal shape of the skirt portion of the itment. Boss 85 has a projecting semi-circular portion 86 formed on its top which is intended to form the recess in the underface of the part 18 of the itment and this portion 86 has teats 87 protruding above its upper surface to form the perforations 20 in the part 18. The boss 85 also has Va semi-circular ledge` 88 formed on its upper face which has an arcuate conical marginal edge for forming one leg of the V-shaped edge 37 of the lip 38 of the fitment, and which has an inclined diametral Surface for forming one side of the reinforcing rib 217 of the part 18 of the fitrnent. The other side of this rib is formed by ledge 86.
The other leg of the V-shaped edge 37 is formed by the conical edge surface 93 of the ledge 90 of mold part 81. Ledge 90 protrudes below a semi-circular boss 91 on mold part 81. This boss 91 is surrounded by a groove 92. When the mold parts are assembled in operating position, ledge 90 is adapted to seat on ledge 88; and the bosses 85, 91 and grooves 84, 92 form the flange or lip 38 of the itment.
Part 81 of the mold also has a beveled protrusion 94 on its inside wall at the bottom thereof that extends rectilinearly across it and that is adapted to form one side of the groove 22 in the iitment. Above protrusion 94 the inside wall of mold part 81 is formed with Iteats 97 suitably disposed relative to one `another and shaped to form the sifting holes 20 in the flap 24 of the tment. Above the teats 97 the inside wall of mold part 81 is provided with a recess 99 in its inside wall which has a conical marginal surface 102. The underface and the beveled portion 28 of ap 24 of the tment are formed in the recess 99 of mold part 81. An arcuate groove 98, that is undercut at one side and which has an inclined wall at its opposite side, communicates with the recess 99 to form the catch portion 35 of the tment.
Mold part 82 has a semi-circular recess 100 in its bottom face which has a plane upper surface and an arcuate side wall of straight profile, and which forms part of the top face and of the outside wall of trnent part 18. The inside wall 101 of mold part 82 is plane to form the plane top surface of ,the flap 24.
In use of the mold, after `the three parts thereof have been assembled together, the polyethylene is forced into the mold through a gate not shown, and is allowed to harden in the mold. Then the parts 81 and 82 are lifted oif the part 80 as shown in FIG. 10, and the parts 81 and 82 are moved away from one another, the part 81, at least, being moved at an angle of approximately 45 from the base to avoid damage to the catch portion of the hinged flap of the ftment. Thus, -the finished itment is exposed and can readily be stripped from the base 80 of the mold. Because of the flexibility of the plastic, the lip 17 of the fitment can readily be disengaged from the groove 94 in mold part 80.
It will be seen from the above that with the mold described the flap 24 is molded in upright position that is at right angles to the body portion of the tment.
Obviously, while 4the invention has been described in connection with a closure for a glass jar, it will be understood that the same type of closure can readily be used on a metal can, plastic or other container suitable for packaging any powdered, granular, flaked or similar freeiowing product. Obviously also, the fitment can be molded in other ways than described.
While the invention has been described in connection with certain embodiments thereof, then, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
l. A fitrnent for a condiment container or the like, said iitment being round and being made of a single piece of resilient plastic and having a circular top wall which is recessed in its under face along a diametral line, said top wall having an approximately semi-circular opening therethrough at one side of said diametral line, a flap integral with said top wall and lying at said one side of said diametral line, said ap being approximately semicircular in shape and being foldable over the part of said top wall which lies at the opposite side of said diarnetral line to uncover said opening through said tment, said recess forming a exible di-ametral hinge line in said top wall along which said ap can be folded.
2. A fitment as claimed in claim 1 in which said lap has a plurality of perforations therethrough.
3. A fitment as claimed in claim 1 wherein both said flap and said part of said top wall at said opposite side of said diametral line have ya plurality of perforations therethrough.
4. A litment as claimed in claim 1 wherein the marginal edge of said flap is beveled and wherein said top wall has a correspondingly beveled portion around a part of said opening at least which forms a seat for the beveled edge of said flap.
5. A resilient plastic fitment for a condiment container or the like, said tment being round and having a top wall and a depending collar portion, said collar portion being adapted to resiliently engage the neck of the container, and said top wall comprising two parts integral with one another, one of which is a flap, said top wall being recessed along a diametral line to form a fold line, said flap lying at one side of said line and being foldable thereon, said ap being generally semi-circular in shape and when folded uncovering a semi-circular opening through said -top wall, said top wall being formed with a semi-circular ledge around said opening, said ilap having an arcuate catch integral therewith and formed on its underface to engage said ledge to hold said ilap resiliently closed, and said itrnent being provided with a plurality of perforations.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,310,271 Ziehmer Feb. 9, 1943 2,529,091 Lester Nov. 7, 1950 2,576,416 Randlett NOV. 27, 1951 2,615,203 Du Pree Oct. 28, 1952 2,771,213 Lewis Nov. 20, 1956 2,777,615 De Shazor Jan. 15, 1957 2,815,893 Frank Dec. l0, 1957 2,851,188 Pavelle Sept. 9, 1958 2,891,703 Hassler June 23, 1959 2,931,541 Southwell Apr. 5, 1960 '2,940,645 Albiani June 14, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 588,922 lGreat Britain June 6, 1947