US 3067867 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 11, 1962 c. P. BONHAM ETAL PREMIUM HOLDER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 4, 1960 ATTORNEYS .the product, or (2) as a States Unite This invention relates to a container provided with a premium holder and more particularly to a premium holder adapted to be engaged in and retained by an internally recessed cavity within the lid of the container. An important use for this invention is in the internal packaging of premiums with materials normally packaged and sealed under substantially oxygen-free atmosphere.
Premiums (or certificates entitling a consumer to a premium) are usually vended with the product in one of three Ways: (1) within a container commingled with part of or the whole of the container for the product, or (3) attached to the exterior of the container.
Each one of these techniques has its own particular drawback. Alternative (1) usually makes the premium messy and difiicult to find until most of the product has been used; it also could conceivably contaminate or be deleterious to the quality of the product (e.g., a premium which discolors or promotes oxidation of a product and thereby adversely aifects its quality). The above-mentioned item (2) is restricted to boxes or to cut-outs or coupons made of the material comprising the container. Item (3) is generally more expensive due to additional assembling operations and increased storage and shipping costs due to a greater bulk per container of product. In addition, (3) subjects the premium to possible pilferage or loss while in transit or on display in the retail outlet.
It is possible to seal the premium within a protective covering (e.g., an envelope or blister) of a material which will not be afiected by the product, and to package the product and the sealed premium together without any immediate adverse effects on the product. This poses a serious problem, however, when the product is one which is packaged in an inert atmosphere (e.g., nitrogen) and sealed with the inert gas occupying outage space (the volume in a container which is not filled with product) to prevent oxidative deterioration of the product during its shelf life. (Shelf life is a term which defines the period of time elapsing between production of an article and its purchase by the consumer.) Most of the common packaging materials which are well adapted and feasible for use as a protective covering for the premium are gas permeable, permitting an interchange of gas between the interior of a sealed covering and the atmosphere surrounding it. Consequently, if the premium is sealed in a protective covering with air in the interior, and then placed in a container packaged under an inert gas blanket, the air will eventually become intermixed with inert gas, generally raising the level of oxygen within the container an undesirable extent.
If the premium were sealed in a protective covering with an inert gas in the interior, it would be necessary to use the article soon afterwards so as not to loose most of the gas (through permeation and dilution with air) in the interim. This would preclude stockpiling of scaled premiums for production purposes, and could cause supply scheduling difficulties, limit the suppliers available to make and seal the premium packs, and in genera prove very costly and inconvenient.
It is an object of the present invention to obviate the above dimculties.
atent ice Another object of the present invention is to prodive a premium holder that is pilfer-proof, non-contaminating to the product packaged, neat, attractive, easily found, economical and adaptable to many types of premiums.
Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of this invention, there is provided, in combination with a container lid having an internal cavity formed therein with a restricted mouth, a premium holder comprising a closed premium-containing chamber having resilient outwardly extending flanges of a dimension exceeding that of the restricted mouth but not that of the largest portion of the cavity, and being vented by means permitting the purging of the gaseous contents of the chamber.
While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the present invention, it is believed the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a container lid forming a part of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a section taken along the line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 invention;
FIGURE 4 is a section taken along the line rl of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view in cross-section of a container adapted to be seamed to the lid of FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view in cross-section of a container with the assembled premium holder and lid mounted thereon;
FIGURE 7 is a plan view of a premium holder of this invention having a modified form of vent; and
FIGURE 8 is a section taken along the line %8 of FIGURE 7.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the lid 11 is constructed of metal and adapted to be attached to a can body by means of a double seam. The lid ll has been formed so as to provide a plurality of concentric shoulders, flanges and the like in its surface. Shoulder I2 is dimensioned so as to fit snugly inside the rolled edge 32:: of collar 32 of the can of FIGS. 5 and 6 while annular surface 13 seats upon the top of the rolled edge. Seam flange 14- is in the form of a generally inverted U-shaped section before the seam is formed as shown in FIG. 6.
In the central portion of the lid II is a recess 15 defined by inclined sidewall 16 of frustro-conical shape and circular panel 17. The restricted mouth 18 opens to the inner side of the lid II to thereby provide open communication between recess 15 and the interior of any container upon which the lid is placed.
The premium holder illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 comprises two sheets of film, flat cover sheet Zll and dished cavity sheet 21, joined together along the border flange portion 22 surrounding cavity 23. The two thus form a chamber adapted to be used for enclosing the premium. The joint is preferably effected by heat sealing; however, materials which are not well suited to this method of attachment could be treated with a solvent or sealed with an adhesive. In the embodiment shown, the cavity 23 is a rectangular trough having its entire upper end framed by the border flange portion 22. The cover sheet 2% is flat and has an outline which matches that of the flange portion 22. Its periphery may be described, when viewed in plane, as comprising circular portions 24- and parallel straight portions 24. The straight sides 24 of both the cover sheet Zil and the cavity sheet 21 lie outwardly-0f the side walls 25 of the cavity 23 and are of substantially the same length as the cavity. The straight sides 24 are provided for economy of material and to allow is a plan View of a premium holder of this the premium holder to be inserted and removed from its mounting recess with ease, as will be understood more fully after reading subsequent disclosures herein. Centrally located on the cover sheet is a vent 26 consisting of two intersecting cuts 27 which penetrate the full thickness of the sheet. The projecting circularly shaped ends 24 of flange portion 22 and the overlying attached area of cover sheet 20 are dimensioned so as to be approximately the same diameter as that measured across recess 15 at the mid point of the height of sidewall 16. Thus, at least one of the dimensions of the flange is larger than the restricted mouth 18 but preferably smaller than the planar dimension of the largest portion of the recess. It is necessary that the flange be larger than the restricted mouth 18 so that the premium holder will not fall out of the recess. From the standpoint of security it is preferred that the diameter of the flange exceed the length of a diagonal line extending from a point on the internal periphery of the recess at its greatest diameter to the furthermost point on the restricted mouth 18. Adherence to this preference eliminates the possibility of the premium holder becoming dislodged from the recess upon being tilted at an angle. The reason for a preference for a flange which has dimensions smaller than those of the largest portion of the recess will be discussed hereinafter in connection with the vent 26.
The cavity 23 may be formed in sheet 21 by means of techniques which form no part of the present invention. An example of such a technique is the Well known vacuum forming process wherein sheet stock is warmed until it becomes rubbery and then it is placed over an opening and deep-drawn by the application of vacuum. Through such means, however, it may be made in varying shapes and depths adapted to receive a variety of articles or premiums P, shown in this particular embodiment to be a cookie-cutter.
A material which is particularly well adapted for use in forming the cavity sheet 21 is unplasticized oriented polystyrene. In the size of holder shown, with overall dimensions of approximately 2% x 3%" and having a cavity about /4 deep, the thickness of material is preferably in the range of about .008 to .012". Such a thickness permits good formation and strength in the cavity while retaining suflicient flexibility in the border flange portions to perform the functions later to be described. Other types of heat-deformable thermoplastics are also suitable for use in this connection; for example, cellulose acetate, polyethylene, rubber hydrochloride and the like.
The cover sheet, too, is preferably made of unplasticized oriented polystyrene having thickness in the range of about .003" to .007 depending upon the thickness of the material used in the sheet 21. With a cavity sheet 21 having a thickness of about .010" it has been found highly desirable to use a cover sheet 20 having a thickness of about .005. Such a combination results in a premium holder whose heat-sealed area is about .015" thick, found to be suitable for the intended purpose. The other types of thermoplastics mentioned in connection with the cavity sheet 21 may also be used for cover sheet 20, provided that they are capable of being well bounded to the cavity sheet material.
The vent 26 provides a means for purging the atmosphere within the sealed premium holder. In the present case, purging may be effected by subjecting the premium holder to a vacuum, exhausting the air contained Within the cavity, and thereafter exposing the premium holder only to an inert gas. In the usual case, the purging may be accomplished by means of the vent 26 without substantial danger of viscous liquids or pumpable plastic substances (which may be packaged in the container) entering the cavity 23. This danger is minimized because the location of the vent on the premium holder and the way in which the premium holder is mounted within the recess of the lid successfully reduce the probability of contact with the product packaged in the container. If
physically prevent penetration.
The vent 26 may be located in the center of the cover sheet as shown in FIGURE 3, or between the cover sheet 20 and cavity sheet 21 in the flange portion 22 as disclosed in FIGS. 7 and 8. In the latter case, one or more vents 26 are formed by leaving one or more gaps in the seal so that the adjacent surfaces of sheets 20 and 21 are not joined between lines 28 and 29, thus forming small passageways through which the atmosphere may be purged from the interior of the cavity. In FIG. 8 the separation between the sheets at vent 26 has purposely been exaggerated for the sake of clarity. It is seen, then, that by using either way of venting or an equivalent, such as minute perforations in the cover sheet 20, the vents are positioned so as to be normally out of contact with the product packaged in the container in which the premium holder is suspended.
The dimensions of the cuts 27 or the seal gap which form the vent 26 may be varied according to the type of product in the container and the thickness of the sheets 20 and 21. For example, if the product has a viscosity approximating that of water, it has been found that the cuts 27 in a cover sheet having a thickness of about .005" are preferably in the range of about in length. If seal gaps are to comprise the vents under the same conditions, a gap between lines 28 and 29 of about /e to A" has been found desirable.
In the prior description of the premium holder, it was disclosed that the flange is preferably smaller in dimension than the largest portion of the recess. The reason for this is that it permits the flange to return to its original substantially flat condition, whereas it would otherwise remain bowed. A bowed condition would not necessarily be disadvantageous from the retention standpoint; however, it may have a highly undesirable effect upon the efficacy of the vent 26 in preventing the entry of the product into the cavity 23. It is dependent upon the vent construction and the way in which the flange is bent as to whether a vent is or is not adversely affected.
The empty container body 30 of FIG. 5 is illustrative of a common type capable of being used with the lid of FIGS. 1 and 2. An outwardly extending annular flange 31 is dimensioned to fit within the U-shaped seam flange 14 of lid 11. By well known seaming operations the lid 11 may be double seamed to body 30 as shown in FIG. 6.
As shown, the body 30 has mounted within it a collar 32 which has rolled edges 32a and 32b and which is held in place within an annular groove 33 formed in the sidewall 34. Parallel lines of weakening 35 and 36 encircle the sidewall 34 above the annular groove 33. Line 36 is aligned with the top edge of groove 33, While line 35 is located slightly above the position of rolled edge 32a of the collar. The lines of weakening 35 and 36 define a tear strip which is integrally connected with a metal tab (not shown) adapted to be inserted in the slot of the familiar opening key widely used for opening seamed containers. Through the use of such a collar and opening device, both of which are old in the art, sharp edges are eliminated from the opened container.
In use, the premium holder with 21 contained premium, which has been previously assembled and sealed as described above, is snapped into the recess 15 in lid 11. The flexible properties of the materials comprising the flange portion 22 permit the flange to bend sutficiently to be forced through restricted mouth 18. Thereafter, the resiliency of the flange portion 22 causes the unstressed flange to return to its normal shape and size within the recess 15. Since the restricted mouth 18 is somewhat smaller in dimension than the maximum dimension of flange 22, the premium holder is retained within the recess 15 until enough outwardly directed force is applied to the holder to cause the necessary temporary deformation of .5 the flange and permit the holder to be snapped out of the recess. After the premium holder ismounted Within the recess, the combination may be handled as a unit and can be inverted or otherwise moved about without great concern over accidental separation of the two. FIG 6 shows a premiumholder which has been placed within the recess of lid 11. V I
As mentioned briefly in the general statement of the object and nature of the invention, an important use for this invention is with products which are. preferably packaged so as to be in contact with a substantially inert gas during their shelf life, e.g. shortenings and the like. Packaging equipmentfor such products is generally designed and constructed so that the container is substantially completely purged of air by first pulling a vacuum on the package and then filling it'in a nitrogen atmosphere in order to prevent oxidative deterioration of the product during its shelf life. Another precaution usually taken is that the lid to be appliedto a filled container is first passed through a chamber and there similarly purged of oxygen. After that, the lid is applied under a blanket of -nitrogen or some other inert gas and the top seam effected. The result, of course, is an oxygen-free prodnot having arelatively lengthy shelf life.
Because of the way the premium holder of this invention is designed and used, it is not necessary to replace existing equipment in the product packaging lines in order to produce premium containing packages. Of course, it iriight be necessary to make adjustments or minor changes if a part of the premium holder projects slightly below the lower surfaceof the lid. In most cases, however, this poses no particular problemand the possibility of com tamination is effectively eliminated.
When, in the normal course of events, the lid and premium holder combination is purged of oxygen, the vent or vents 26 located in the premium holder permit the air to be withdrawn (by vacuum) from the cavity 23. When using the type of vent 26 illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the gas exhausted from the cavity is rapidly replaced with the inert gas used in the blanketing operation due to the tendency of the cuts 27 to permit a balancing of pressures. If the vents of FIGS. 7 and 8 are used, however, the difference in pressure causes the vents 26 to become sealed and a vacuum will be maintained within the cavity-at least until the inert blanketing gas permeates the material from which the sheets 20 or 21 are constructed. It will be noted that in no case will there be a possibility of product contamination by the gas within the premium holder at the time it is sealed.
Many modifications of the above invention may be used and it is not intended to hereby limit it to the particular embodiments shown or described. The terms used in describing the invention are used in their descriptive sense and not as terms of limitation, it being intended that all equivalents thereof be included within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a container lid having an internal recess formed therein with a restricted mouth, and a premium holder comprising a closed premium containing chamber constructed of a gas permeable material and having resilient outwardly extending flanges, said chamber having venting means for permitting the purging of the gaseous contents of said chamber, said flanges having planar dimensions smaller than those of the largest portion of said recess but at least one of said dimensions exceeding that of said mouth whereby said flanges may be snapped into said recess and held in removably secured engagement by means of the resilient properties of said flanges.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which said venting means comprises a pair of intersecting cuts in the top wall of said chamber,
3 The combination of claim 2 in which said intersecting cuts are each approximately /s" in length and the material of said top wall is oriented polystyrene having a thickness of about .005".
4. The combination of claim 1 in which said flanges are integrally connected with said chamber and comprise two sheets of material heat sealed together and said venting means comprises at least one gap in the heat seal, the gap extending continuously from said chamber to the edge of the flange in which the vent is formed.
5. The combination of claim 4 in which said gap is approximately in width and in which said sheets of material are oriented polystyrene having a combined thickness of approximately .015".
6. In combination, a container filled with a product packaged in an oxygen-purged atmosphere, a container lid having an internal recess formed therein with a restricted mouth,and a premium holder resiliently mounted within said recess, said premium holder comprising a cover sheet and a cavity sheet, each of said sheets being made of a'heat scalable thermoplastic film, the cavity sheet having formed therein a cavity containing a premium, the open side of said cavity being surrounded by a continuous outwardly projecting flange, the cover sheet being of substantially the same length and width as said flange and heat sealed thereto to form a mounting flange, said mounting flange having suflicient flexibility to permit the bending thereof required in order to pass through said restricted month which is of slightly smaller dimension, said mounting flange having planar dimensions smaller than those of the largest portion of said recess and having suflicient resilience to cause the mounting flange to return substantially to the shape which it had before being bent, said holder being vented by a pair of intersecting cuts ,in the part of the cover sheet which overlies said cavity, said cuts permitting the purging of the gaseous contents of said chamber.
7. In combination, a container filled with a product packaged in an oxygen-purged atmosphere, a container lid having an internal recess formed therein with a restricted mouth, and a premium holder resiliently mounted within said recess, said premium holder comprising a cover sheet and a cavity sheet, each of said sheets being made of a heat scalable gas permeable thermoplastic film, the cavity sheet having formed therein a cavity containing a premium, the open side of said cavity being surrounded by a continuous outwardly projecting flange, the cover sheet being of substantially the same length and width as said flange and heat sealed thereto to form a mounting flange, said mounting flange having sufficient flexibility to permit the bending thereof required in order to pass through said restricted month which is of slightly smaller dimension, said mounting flange having planar dimensions smaller than those of the largest portion of said recess and having suflicient resilience to cause the mounting flange to return substantially to the shape which it had before being bent, said holder being vented by at least one gap in the heat seal between said sheets, said gap providing a passageway permitting the purging of the gaseous contents of said chamber.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 941,302 Borden Nov. 23, 1909 1,798,339 Soulis Mar. 31, 1931 1,357,015 Gere May 3, 1932 2,263,969 Ingram Nov. 25, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS 339,738 Great Britain ,g, Dec. 18, 19.30