US 3054680 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 18, 1962 F. c. MENNEN 3, 4 0
CONTAINER COVER Filed Feb. 15, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FEADEE/CKC MFA/MM Sept. 18, 1962 c, MENNEN 3,954,680
CONTAINER CQVER Filed Feb. 15, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 'J'TE. 5
3,054,681) (IGNTAINER COVER Frederick C. Mennen, La icrte, ind, assignor, by mesne assignments, to American Home Products Corporation, New York, NE a corporation of Delaware Filed Feb. 15, 196i), Ser. No. 8,553 11) Claims. (Cl. 99171) This invention relates to a container cover, and particularly to a paperboard cover for a metal pan or container.
The practice of packaging foods in metal containers in which they may be heated to prepare them for serving is widespread. These containers are commonly formed of aluminum foil and some provision must be made to protect the food contents from contamination between the time the same are packed and the time of ultimate use by the consumer. Such protection is usually provided by enclosing the food container within an outer container, wrapper or package as is commonly done with many packaged frozen foods of the heat and serve type, or a protective cover may be applied to span the foil container in a manner to seal it. In the latter case, a problem arises with respect to the difficulty of accommodating or making provision for quick and easy removal of the cover preparatory to heating the container and its contents in cases where an effective seal has been provided between the cover and the container.
One type of package in which a paperboard cover is used upon a metallic container contains popcorn and popping oil, which packages may be of the type shown in the Mennen and Robins Patent No. 2,815,883, dated December 10, 1957, wherein a metallic container or pan is spanned by a wrinkled sheet of aluminum foil expansible during heating of the container and its contents to accommodate popping of the corn without burning the corn. The aluminum foil used in such a cover is of thin gauge and hence is readily damaged or perforated. Consequently, it is desirable to use a paperboard cover over the aluminum foil cover for protective purposes, and also for the purpose of permitting display of advertising material and other identifications of the product. A paperboard cover can be anchored in sealed relation on the container by crimping the margin of the aluminum foil of the container and the aluminum foil cover therearound. However, the release of a cover so anchored requires manipulation and release of the metal crimp and is objectionable because it is time-consuming and difiicult and also might involve undesired release of the crimped joint between the metal pan or container and its aluminum foil cover, which cover is to be retained in place during heating of the container to pop the corn.
The primary object of this invention is to provide a container cover of simple and inexpensive construction formed of paperboard which can be anchored in a sealed manner at its margin and which can be opened or released or removed by a simple manual manipulation which does not require the use of tools, and which does not destroy or release the sealed joint or connection between the margin of the cover and the container which it spans.
A further object is to provide a container cover formed of paperboard or other fibrous material spanning a container and anchored continuously at its margin, and provided with scores so arranged and of such character as to accommodate ready gripping of a score-defined integral tear strip portion by the fingers and accommodating releasing pull upon the tear strip to separate the central portion of the container from a narrow marginal portion outwardly of said scores.
A further object is to provide a container cover formed of paperboard having a plurality of spaced score lines therein, formed at opposite faces thereof and terminating in tab-defining end cuts accommodating gripping of a tab 3,054,689 Patented Sept. 18, 1962 ice by the fingers and a pull thereon in a manner to separate the marginal and inner portions of the container by controlled tearing of the paper between juxtaposed score lines.
A further object is to provide a container of this character having score lines extending therearound in spaced adjacent relation to the marginal edge of the container and adapted to be subjected to a tearing action by the hands of the user to define a tear strip for separating the central portion of the cover from its margin, and wherein said central portion has connection with said tear strip to be completely released from the container as tearing of the strip is completed.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a container having one embodiment of my improved container cover mounted thereon;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the container;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view of the container illustrated in FIG. 1, showing the start of the operation of tearing the central portion of the cover from its margin;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on line 44 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a container cover constituting a modified embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the marginal portion of the cover alone, taken on line 4- 1 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view taken on line 77 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary bottom face view of the cover illustrated in FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8, which illustrate one embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 designates a pan or container preferably formed of aluminum foil and having a bottom 12, upwardly and outwardly flaring side walls 14, and an outturned top flange or margin 16, which is adapted to be folded inwardly at 18.
The container 10 is adapted to be spanned by an aluminum foil inner cover 20 which is preferably wrinkled and which may be of a construction disclosed in the Mennen and Robins Patent 2,815,883, dated December 10, 1957, so as to accommodate extension thereof by expansion of gaseous contents of the food (not shown), such as popcorn and popping oil mentioned above, when heated. The marginal portion 22 of the metallic cover sheet 20 bears upon the flange 16 of the container 10 and may include a crimped portion 24 underlying the crimped flange 16 of the container 111. If desired, the crimped portions 18 and 24 may be bent around a wire ring 26 to reinforce the margin of the container or to provide anchorage for a wire handle (not shown) in the manner shown in my Patent 2,791,350, dated May 7, 1957.
My improved outer container cover 30 conforms in shape to the shape of the flange 16 of the container and bears upon that flange overlying the margin 22 of the metallic inner cover 20 of the container, as best seen in FIG. 4. The container and its covers are here shown as circular, but it will be understood that they may be of any other shape desired, such as rectangular, oval, hexagonal or other selected or desired configuration. The cover 30 may define a form around which the portions 18 and 24 of the metal foil may be bent in cases in which the wire 26 is eliminated. It will also be understood that it will serve as a form in cases in which both the wire 26 and the metal foil cover 20 are eliminated, in which event it is held in place by crimping of the container margin 18 firmly against the upper face of the margin thereof while said panel 30 bears upon the container flange or shoulder 16. a
acegeeo The outer face of the cover 39 is provided with a continuous or endless outer score line 32 which preferably is spaced uniformly from the outer margin of the paperboard cover panel 30, but which may assume any other configuration desired. The score 32 preferably constitutes a cut extending for only a fraction of the thickness of the paperboard or other fiber cover. For example, the score 32 may extend to a depth of from twenty to eighty percent of the thickness of the board, and preferably from twenty-five to fifty percent of its thickness. A short portion 34 of the score is constituted by a cut extending completely through the board, as illustrated in heavy lines in FIG. 1. A second score line 36 is formed in the outer face of the board, preferably in substantially uniformly spaced relation to the score 32. The score 36 is discontinuous and is preferably of the same depth as the score 32. As seen in FIG. 1, one end of the score 36 terminates at 38, and the other end thereof merges with the cut 40 extending completely through the board and terminating at 42 spaced from the score end 38. The cut 40 is preferably configured at its central portion 44 to provide increased spacing between cut 40 and cut 34 at the central adjacent portions thereof. A cross cut 46 extends between cut 34 and the center of the cut portion 44. This arrangement outlines tabs 48 and 50 in the cover 30 which normally extend in coplanar relation and in edge abutment with each other and with the adjacent parts of the cover.
The bottom surface of the cover 30 is provided with an endless score line 52 preferably conforming in shape to and uniformly spaced inwardly from the outer score 32 and between the scores 32 and 36. A second inner endless score 54 is formed in the inner face of the cover 30, preferably in uniformly spaced relation to the score 52 and between the scores 32 and 36.
The cover 30 is preferably formed of paperboard, such as Fourdrinier board of suitable thickness, such as a thickness of .020 inch. The paperboard, after scoring and cutting thereof and suitable printing, is applied to the container in flat form with the edges of the board at the cuts 34, 40 and 46 abutting one another for seal ing purposes, and is anchored and maintained in'this flat form by crimping of the container margins 18. The scored container cover 30 is preferably sufliciently sturdy and shape-retaining to accommodate stacking of the packages without injury to the scored cover 30 in cases where light weight products, such as food, popcorn or the like, are contained within the container.
When it is desired to remove the cover 38 to condition the container for insertion in an oven or for heating thereof upon a stove, the user presses inwardly upon the tab '50 in order to secure a grip on the tab 48. Thereupon, the user pulls upon the tab 48 in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of the cover. This first bends the tab 48 out of the plane of the cover and then exerts a pull progressively upon the tear strip 56 which progressively separates the central portion 58 of the container within the outline of the innermost score line 36 from the outer marginal portion 60 of the cover outwardly of the outer score line 32.
The inner scores 52 and 54 are preferably of substantially the same depth which is a fraction of the thickness of the board 30 and preferably from twenty to eighty percent of the thickness of the board. The combined depths of adjacent scores in the inner and outer faces of the board, such as the combined depth of the adjacent scores 32 and 52 or the combined depth of the adjacent scores 36 and 54, will preferably be less than the thickness of the board. Thus, in one preferred embodiment, the outer scores 32 and 36 are of a depth equal to approximately thirty percent of the thickness of the panel 30, and the inner scores 52 and 54 are each of a depth approximately sixty percent of the thickness of the panel 30. As a result of the pull upon the tab 48 to form the tear strip 45, the material of the cover panel '30 is torn substantially in its plane between the bottom of the outer score 32 and the bottom of the inner score '52 to define a thin marginal residue or flange 62 projecting inwardly from the marginal portion 69 of the cover, as seen in FIG. 3, while the tear between the inner portions of the scores 36 and 5 defines a similar thin residue or flange 64 upon the central inner part of the part 58 being torn away from the container, as illustrated in FIG. 3.
As the separation of the parts by pull upon the tear strip approaches its end, the tear to separate the tear strip 56 from the central portion 58 of the cover ends at point 38 at the end of the inner score 36 but continues progressively between the scores 32 and 52 until the cut 46 is reached, which permits complete separation of the tear strip from the outer margin 60 of the cover. The interruption between the end 38 of the score 36 and the end 4-2 of the cut 40 insures that the central portion 58 of the cover will maintain an integral end connection with the tear strip 56 as the latter is formed. Hence, upon conclusion of the pull upon the tear strip which separates it from the marginal portion 60, the cover center 58 will be suspended from the end of the tear strip, and the two parts separated from the container may be handled as a unit to place them in a wastebasket or other receptacle.
The outer score 32 will preferably be located adjacent to the inner margin on the flange 16 of the container 10 so that the container 10 will be substantially completely opened upon removal of the tear strip. This limits the inflammable portion of the paperboard cover remaining upon the container during the heating of the container and also limits restriction of extension of the expansible metallic cover 20 in cases where the latter is used.
A modified embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7 and is characterized by the provision in a cover 70 of an endless score line 72 extending around the margin at one face thereof and of a depth less than the thickness of cover 70. A cut 74 extending completely through the paperboard of which the cover is formed registers with score 72 for a portion of its extent. A second score or groove 76 of a depth less than the thickness of the cover is formed in the opposite face of the cover and preferably extends continuously and in substantially equally spaced relation to and out of register with the score 72. A second cut 78 of approximately the same length as the cut 74 extends completely through the material of the cover, preferably out of register with the score 76 as shown, and preferably communicating with cut 74 by cross-cut 80 so as to define two tabs 82 and 84.
In the use of this cover, it is mounted upon a container in the same manner described above, being suitably secured or anchored in place on the container at its margin. Opening of the container is accomplished by pressing inwardly one of the two tabs 82 and 84 so as to secure a finger grip upon the other tab, whereupon a pull on the tab being gripped first flexes the tab being gripped and then tears or separates the cover substantially in its plane between the inner portions of the two score lines 72 and 76. In this instance no tear strip is formed and, instead, the pull is applied progressively around the edge of the central portion of the cover outlined by the score line 72, resulting in the tearing of that central portion of the cover away from the marginal portion, leaving a thin flange or edge at the torn part outlined between the score lines 72 and 76, as in the previous embodiment.
While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be understood that changes in the construction may be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. A cover adapted to span and be marginally secured to a container, comprising a substantially flat paperboard sheet having two scores extending therearound in spaced relation to the edge thereof and out of register, said scores being substantially uniformly spaced and formed in opposite faces of said sheet and each penetrating partially through said sheet, and a pair of spaced cuts extending completely through said sheet and connected intermediate their ends by a cross-cut to define an integral finger tab normally lying in the plane of said sheet, one of said spaced cuts coinciding with a part of one of said scores, said cuts being spaced apart a distance greater than said scores whereby one score extends between said cuts.
2. A cover adapted to span and be marginally secured to a container, comprising a paperboard sheet having a pair of spaced elongated cuts therethrough and a crosscut therebetween, said cuts outlining a pair of tabs integral with and normally positioned in the plane of said sheet, a score in one face of said sheet extending between the ends of one cut and outlining an opening in said cover, and a second score in the other face of said sheet and spaced substantially uniformly from said first score and less than the spacing of said first cuts, the combined depths of said scores being less than the thickness of said board.
3. A cover as defined in claim 2, wherein a second score is substantially uniformly spaced from the first named score in said one face and has at least one end extending from an end of the other of said first cuts, and a second score is substantially uniformly spaced from the first named score in said other face, the scores in said other face being located between and out of register with said cuts and with the scores in said one face.
4. A cover as defined in claim 2, wherein a second score is spaced inwardly and substantially uniformly from the first named score in said one face and has at least one end extending from an end of the inner of said first cuts, and a second score is substantially uniformly spaced from the first named score in said other face, the scores in said other face being continuous and located between and out of register with the scores in said one face.
5. In combination, a container having a marginal outturned flange and a crimped inturned marginal portion, material to be heated in said container, an inner foil cover sheet spanning said container to overlie the contents thereof, said cover sheet bearing on said container flange, and an outer cover formed of paperboard and marginally supported by said container flange, said inner and outer covers being anchored marginally by said crimped container marginal portion with said outer cover overlying said inner cover sheet, said outer cover having integral marginal and central portions delineated by a plurality of spaced scores formed at opposite faces thereof and extending adjacent said flange and out of register, said outer cover being cut adjacent said scores to define finger grip means integral and normally coplanar with said outer cover, said grip means transmitting a tearing pull to tear said outer cover progressively in its plane between adjacent scores and thereby separate said central cover portion from said container and expose said inner foil cover sheet without releasing said marginal cover portion or said inner foil cover.
6. In combination, a container having a marginal outturned flange and a crimped inturned marginal portion, popcorn in said container, an inner foil cover sheet spanning said container to overlie the contents thereof, said cover sheet bearing on said container flange, and an outer cover formed of paperboard and marginally supported by said container flange, said inner and outer covers being anchored marginally by said crimped container marginal portion with said outer cover overlying said inner cover sheet, said outer cover having a cut shaped to define a finger grip normally lying in the plane of said outer cover and a score in each face of said outer cover extending from said finger grip and adjacent and inwardly of said crimped marginal container portion to outline a central portion of said cover, said cut having a part thereof joining one score and a part thereof extending transverse of 6 said scores, said finger grip transmitting a pull to progressively separate said central portion from the anchored margin of said outer cover by tearing thereof between said scores.
7. In combination, a container having a marginal outturned flange and a crimped inturned marginal portion, popcorn in said container, an inner foil cover sheet spanning said container to overlie the contents thereof, said cover sheet bearing on said container flange, and an outer cover formed of paperboard and marginally supported by said container flange, a wire member supported by said container flange, said crimped container marginal portion anchoring said wire member and the marginal portions of said inner and outer covers, said outer cover being scored at its inner and outer surfaces adjacent to and inwardly of said flange and having a cut shaped to outline a finger tab normally coplanar with said outer cover and located to accommodate tearing of said outer cover progressively between said scores when said tab is gripped and pulled whereby the central portion of said outer cover outlined by said score is separated from the anchored marginal portion of said outer cover to expose said inner cover sheet.
8. A container for food adapted to expand when cooked, said container being formed of metal foil and having a marginal outturned shoulder and a crimped inturned flange, food in said container, a wrinkled foil inner cover sheet adapted to be extended by expansion of container contents generated by cooking, said inner cover sheet being normally confined within the outline of said container, and an outer substantially rigid cover overlying said inner cover and marginally supported on said flange, the margins of said inner and outer covers being anchored by said crimped container flange, said outer cover being scored therearound and partially therethrough adjacent to the inner edge of said crimped container flange and having a cut merging with a score and extending through said cover and outlining a coplanar integral finger grip tab adjacent to said score, said outer cover flexing to accommodate gripping of said tab and pulling thereon to progressively tear said outer cover along said score and thereby remove the central portion of said outer cover and provide an opening therein through which said inner cover sheet may extend during cooking of food within said container.
9. In combination, a container having a marginal rim portion, an expansible inner container cover, popcorn in said container, and an outer cover formed of shape-retaining material which is readily torn, said cover being supported on and secured to said rim portion, said outer cover having a plurality of scores therein extending therearound at opposite faces in spaced relation inwardly of said rim portion to outline a central outer cover portion, said scores penetrating partially through said outer cover, a plurality of cuts completely penetrating said outer cover, one cut registering with one score, a second cut spaced from said first cut and a cross-cut connecting said first and second cuts, said cuts outlining tabs in the plane of said outer cover, each adapted when pulled upon to pro duce progressive tearing of said outer cover along and between said scores to separate said central cover portion from the outer cover portion secured by said container rim portion.
10. In combination, a container having a marginal rim portion, popcorn in said container, and a shape-retaining cover supported on and secured to said rim portion and formed of material which can be torn, said cover having a plurality of scores therein extending therearound at opposite faces in spaced relation to outline a central cover portion, said scores penetrating partially through said cover, and a cut extending through said cover and having parts joining said two outer scores and a part extending between said scores, said cut outlining a pull tab in the plane of said cover to impart tearing :force to said cover between said scores when said tab is subjected to a pull angularly outwardly of said cover.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 Taylor et a1 2. Aug. 19, 1930 Burr Jan. 2, 1943 Engle June 4, 1946 Eckman Aug. 26, 1952 0 c1 Hickin Jan. 20, 1953 Colman Mar. 30, 1954 Gaudreau May 29, 1956 Abrams Aug. 21, 1956 Mennen May 7, 1957 Robins et a1 Dec. 10, 1957 Conerty Oct. 20, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS Belgium Jan. 15, 1957