US 3042257 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 3, 1962 D. E. DAILEY 3,042,257
' CAPSULE DISPENSER Filed March 2. 1959 United States Patent O 3,042,257 j CAPSULE DISPENSER Donald E. Dailey, Evansville, Ind., assignor to Mead Johnson & Company, a corporation of Indiana Filed Mar. 2, 1959, Ser. No. 796,379 1 Claim. (Cl. 221-309) This invention relates to a dispenser for capsules, tablets, pills and similar articles.
Capsules and the like are normally packaged in jars, small vials, bottles or comparable containers and are dispensed by removing a closure from the container and shaking the desired number of capsules into the hand. Often more than the required number spill out and must be returned to the container. Most such containers are relatively small in size and it is not practical to reach in and extract the capsules.
A principal object of the present invention is the provision of a novel and improved capsules dispenser which facilitates the delivery or removal from a container of exactly the desired number of capsules.
One feature of the invention is the provision of a dispensing closure for a capsule container having a mouth, comprising a container engaging portion having an openended tapered nozzle portion extending therefrom terminating in a pair of spaced fingers, the length of the lingers being of the same order as the length of one of said capsules. Another feature is that the nozzle has the form of a truncated conical surface with a pair of slots in the walls thereof `defining opposed fingers which grip and lightly hold a capsule. A further feature is that the side edges of the slots are diametrically opposed to each other and are disposed parallel to a longitudinal axis of the nozzle, the said slots being disposed along opposite sides of the nozzle.
Yet another feature is that the closure has a first conical surface adjoining the open mouth of the container and a second conical surface terminating in the pair of spaced fingers which engage the capsules. Yet a further feature is that the second conical surface defines an angle with the axis of the nozzle of the order of one-half the angle defined by the first conical surf-ace with the axis, the first conical surface serving to guide and align the capsules, directing them into the outer nozzle portion defined by the second conical surface.
Further features and advantages will readily be apparent from the following specific-ation and from the drawings, in which:
FIGUR-E l is an elevational view of a container and dispensing closure embodying the invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of the nozzle and closure, illustrating its operation;
FIGURE 3 is `an enlarged plan View of the closure;
vFIGURE 4 is an enlarged longitudinal section through FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary detail of the fingers;
FIGURE 6 is a transverse section taken generally along line 6-6 of FIGURE 4; and
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating the initial sealing of the container.
The term capsule as used herein means both objects which are covered by the technical definition of capsule (a cylindrical or sphercial container, usually gelatin, for medicament or the like) and other objects or articles of similar size and shape as pills, tablets or pellets which may be spherical, ellipsoidal, parallelepipeds of square or rectangular cross-section and modifications thereof. Such objects are usually, but not necessarily, medicinal in nature.
Turning now to the drawings and particularly to FIG- URE l, a container 15 having capsules 16 therein is pro- ICC vided Wtih a unitary closure 17 having an open-ended nozzle portion 18 extending upwardly therefroin and covered with a cap 19, The nozzle portion 18 of the closure has a general form of a truncated cone or circircular pyramid. A pair of slots 22 and 23 are formed in the -wall of the nozzle, diametrically opposite each other leaving opposed tinger portions 24 and 25 which terminate in a blunt truncated tip 26.
The dispenser is utilized by removing cover 19 from the nozzle 18 and inverting the container whereupon the capsules 16 drop into the nozzle portion of the closure and are retained individually by the fingers 24 and 25; Slots 22 and 23 permit the user to grasp a capsule 16 held by the fingers 24 and 25 between the thumb and for'enger, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, whereupon it may be removed by pulling it outwardly against the light holding force of the fingers. The interior conformation of the closure 17 directs another capsule 16 into dispensing position held by fingers 24 and 25 as the previous capsule is removed.
The interior of closure 17 includes a horizontal shoulder portion 17a engaging the open end of the container and two generally conical surfaces 29 and Sil. The surface 29 in the intermediate portion of the closure adjacent the mouth 30 of container 15 merges with the mouth providing an initial guiding surface for capsules 16. Second conical surface 30 corresponds generally in extent with nozzle 18 of the closure. The angle between the surface 29 and the axis of the closure is larger Ithan the angle between surface Sil and the closure axis, and is preferably about twice the latter angle. The exact angular dimensions depend to a certain extent upon the size and conforma-tion of the container 15 and of the capsules 16. In a speci-fic dispenser for ellipsoidal capsules, as illustrated in the drawings, the surface -29 forms an angle of the order of 30 with the closure axis while the surface 30 has an angle of the order of 12 therewith.
The edges of slots 22 and 23, and thus of fingers 24 and 25 are preferably defined by the lines of intersection between a pair of parallel planes, parallel with the closure axis and the surface of the nozzle 18. rIhis construction provides straight edged slots facilitating removal of the capsule held by the lingers; and having a wide base portion for the fingers to provide adequate strength. The depth of the slots is preferably of the order of' or slightly less than the length of an individual capsule, as ninety-five percent thereof, and the spacing between the fingers is such that a little less than half the capsule projects below the blunt tip 26 when it is held by the fingers. With this relationship, the user may easily grasp the exposed capsule without touching the next following capsule. The angular extent of the blunt tip 26 of fingers 24 and 25 is preferably of the order of 60. This provides an adequate holding surface to prevent the capsule from falling out accidentally while permitting easy removal. The closure 17 is preferably molded of a slightly resilient plastic ma-terial so that the fingers 24 and 25 flex outwardly upon removal of the capsule without damage to it.
Ideally, one capsule follows another into position in the nozzle 18 so that the desired number may be removed by the user. It sometimes happens that the conformation and surface characteristics of the capsules and the container cause the capsules to jam or lodge in the throat 29 of the closure. A slight shake of the container rear ranges the capsules and causes them to feed into the nozzle 18.
-In FIGURE 7, a container is shown as it is packaged by a manufacturer. A sealing element 33, which may be a disc of cardboard or the like, is interposed between the closure and the mouth of the container to maintain the contents of the container fresh and prevent them from entering the dispensing portion of the closure during shipment and other handling. The consumer merely removes the closure 17 and discards the sealing disc 33 before use. The cover 19 for nozzle 18 has frictional engagement with an annular surface 34 (FIGURE 4) at the base of Ithe nozzle and is removed and replaced by the user each time a capsule or capsules are dispensed.
' While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of many modifications. Changes therefore, in the construction and arrangement may be made Without departing 'from the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed in the appended claim.
, I claim:
y A dispensing closure for a capsule container having a mouth, said closure embodying a unitary structure and comprising a container engaging vertical portion, means defining a rst conical inner surface portion adjoining the container engaging portion of the closure by means of a horizontal shoulder portion and merging with said inner surface portion, and an open ended tapered nozzle portion extending from said iirst said inner surface portion and having a second conical inner surface portion, the second conical inner surface portion forming a smaller angle with the longitudinal axis of the closure `than the angle formed therewith by the iirst conical surface portion, the tirst surface portion and shoulder portion providing a transition between Vthe container engaging vertical portion and the second named surface portion, said tapered nozzle being truncated normally to the said longitudinal axis and having a pair of slots therein the side edges of which are parallel to the said longitudinal axis, the slots being diametrically opposed to each other, said slots being separated by a pair of diametrically opposed capsule gripping resilient fingers of generally similar configuration, each -iinger having a circumferential angular extent with respect to said axis of the order of 60, at the tip thereof.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,955,559 Narrow -Apr. 17, \1934 2,026,188 Parrish Dec. 31, 1935 2,036,621 Brunetti Apr. 7, 1936 2,294,001 Ritter Aug, 25, 1942 2,838,204 Snyder .lune 10, `1958 2,949,215 Mudge et al. Aug. y16, 1960