US 3023925 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 6, 1962 F. D. SHER CONTAINER FOR PACKAGING MERCHANDISE Filed Sept. 21, 1959 INVENTOR. FRED D. SHER AGENT Unite States atent ice 3,023,925 CONTAINER FOR PACKAGlNG MERCHANDISE Fred D. Sher, 4 Bogardus Place, New York, NY. Filed Sept. 21, 1959, Ser. No. 841,263 1 Claim. (Cl. 220-60) This invention relates to containers for packaging merchandise to be sold in retail stores and more particularly to such containers which are adapted to be conveniently displayed to shoppers in such stores.
Packages comprising a length of extruded transparent plastic tubing permanently sealed at one end and fitted with a removable plug or cap closure at the other end are, of course, well known. Articles such as tooth brushes and drill bits are commonly packaged in this way. The closure used in these packages is generally that of. the friction type, i.e. the type which is sized to fit the container snugly in order to offer a frictional resistance to its removal therefrom.
In the operation of retail stores, especially self-service retail stores, certain economies result when merchandise is displayed hanging from pegboards or similar devices rather than laying on counters. Consequently, this method of merchandising has become widespread and there has arisen a need for a container adapted to be suspended from a display device of one type or another. Such a container should, in addition, continue to offer the advantages of containers now in use such as transparency, for display of its contents, and reusability, as a storage container after purchase. It might appear that the conventional container described above could be readily adapted to the merchandising scheme outlined by the addition of a hanger tab to the friction closure. However, if such a course is followed a serious problem develops. Specifically, due to the nature of the common friction type closure, it happens that when the package is suspended by means of its closure, the weight of the contents within the container depending from the closure tends to pull the container from the closure, whereupon the container falls and the merchandise is spilled on the floor. This dithculty is further aggravated by the handling which the container receives from the shoppers.
It is, therefore, the object of the present invention to provide a container which may be safely suspended by its closure for display. Toward that end, the present closure is provided with an integral hanger tab projecting upwardly from the top thereof, which tab is apertured to accommodate a hook or other means of suspension, and a plurality of detents which are adapted to engage a number of deformations in the container body so as to prevent axial removal of the closure from the body, and conversely to prevent "axial disengagement of the body from the closure. The present package may be opened however, by relative rotation between closure and body, whereby the locking engagement therebetween is relieved, followed by axial removal of the closure from the body. In addition, the hanger tab mentioned above, besides being the means for suspending the container, is intended to be manually graspable whereby it becomes easier to rotate and remove the closure from the body.
It should further be pointed out that the present container is reusable by the purchaser in his household or workshop for storing small items where they are readily visible and may be conveniently reached.
The invention will now be more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present container;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the top of the container;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view similar to FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
Referring now to the drawings, a suspendable display container is shown comprising generally, a body portion 1t and a plug closure 11 adapted to be inserted therein. The body portion 10 is fabricated from a length of thinwalled or flexible plastic tubing, such as is commonly produced by an extrusion process, which is permanently sealed at one end. It is desirable to employ a transparent body material since this permits the prospective purchaser to inspect the merchandise without opening the package. A short distance from the open end of the container body 10, a pair of apertures 12 is located, the apertures being disposed apart. Each of the apertures presents a downwardly facing edge 13 transverse to the surface of the body. Although it is preferred to cut apertures in the container body, since a sharp transverse edge is thereby produced, any type of deformation which offers such an edge will be satisfactory. In addition, note that although only two apertures 12, having a radial relationship of 180, are shown, additional apertures may be employed if desired.
The plug closure 11 comprises a short cylindrical base 15, an intermediate flange 16, and a hanger tab 17, all of which are integrally formed. The outside diameter of the closure base 15 is slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the container body 10, and the diameter of the flange 16 exceeds the diameter of the container body, the purpose of the flange being to limit the movement of the plug into the body. Spaced downwardly from the flange 16 a distance at least equal to the distance from the open end of the body 10 to the apertures 12, and projecting outwardly from the closure base 15, are two detents 18. The number of detents coincides with the number of apertures 12, and the radial relationship between the detents is 180. The detents are each formed with an upwardly facing edge 19 transverse to the surface of the base 15. The front face 20 and the bottom face 21 of each detent 18, however, meet the surface of the base 15 at a relatively small angle whereby there is a more or less smooth transition between the base and these latter two faces of each detent. The hanger tab 17 is provided with an aperture 22 for accommodating a hook or other means of suspension.
In use, the container body 10 is filled with merchandise 23 to be sold. The plug closure 11 is then inserted into the open end of the container body, and as this is done, the bottom faces 21 of the detents 18 cam the flexible material of the body outwardly. The closure 11 is pushed into the body 10 until the detents reach the level of the apertures 12, whereupon the flexed material of the body directly above the apertures snaps over the transverse edges 19 of the detents and reassumes its natural shape. Further inward travel of the closure is limited by the engagement of the flange 16 with the top of the body 10. The transverse edge 13 of the container body and the transverse edges 19 of the plug closure are now directly opposed and positively prevent relative axial movement between the closure and the body. The package may then be suspended for display together with similar packages, by passing a supporting member 24 through the aperture 22 of the hanger tab 17, as indicated in FIG. 1, with no danger of the container body being pulled from the closure by the weight of the merchandise.
When it is desired to open the package in order to remove the merchandise therefrom, the container body is held in one hand, the hanger tab 17 is grasped with two fingers of the other hand, as shown in FIG. 3, and the body and closure are rotated relative to one another in either direction, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 4. The front faces 20 of the detents 18 cam the body material outwardly and the rotation is continued until the detents 18 leave the apertures 12. The elosure 11 may then be pulled axially out of the body without difficulty. It is obviousthat the closure may be reinserted into the body and rewithdrawn therefrom innumerable times making the present container reusable for a long period of time.
Having thus described the present invention, it is realized that many apparently different embodiments can be made Without departing from the spirit and scope thereof and therefore the description and drawings hereof are to "be interpreted in an illustrative rather than a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
A merchandise container comprising a length of flexible, thin-walled plastic tubing permanently sealed at its lower end and open at its upper end, said length of tubing having a plurality of holes cut through the sidewall thereof close to its upper end, each of said holes presenting a sharp transverse upper edge surface extending across the entire thickness of said tubing sidewall, said edge surface being disposed in a plane substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said tubing, and a plug closure of generally circular cross-section whose external diameter is about equal to the internal diameter of said length of tubing adapted to be inserted into said open end, said closure having a plurality of locking detents projecting radially therefrom adapted to be accommodated by said holes when said closure is inserted into said length of tubing, each of said detents having an upper edge surface disposed in a plane substanatially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said tubing but the remaining edges of said detents meeting the surface of the closure from which they project at a relatively small angle, and means for rotating said closure with respect to said length of tubing, the plastic from which said tubing is fabricated being sufliciently flexible to permit said detents to pass through the open end of said length of tubing and into said holes in order to lock said closure against axial Withdrawal from said length of tubing and to permit said detents to be rotated out of said holes whereby said closure may be pulled out of said length of tubing.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,122,881 Dye Dec. 29, 1914 1,181,862 Dye May 2, 1916 2,085,979 Hothersall July 6, 1937 2,177,504 Thompson Oct. 24, 1939 2,195,257 Paris Mar. 26, 1940 2,526,225 Gronemeyer Oct. 17, 1950 2,675,040 Raun Apr. 13, 1954 2,690,947 Roehrl Oct. 5, 1954