US 3083859 A
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A ril 2, 1963 w. A. GARDINER TRASH RECEPTACLE CLOSURE STRUCTURE Filed Aug. 4, 1960 INVENTOR. I WILLIA M A.GARDII\ IER F G 4 sywa mfvw m/ United States Patent Ofifice 3,083,859 Patented Apr. 2, 1953 3,683,359 TRASH RECEPTACLE CLGSURE STRUCTURE William A. Gardiner, 5655 Cahueuga Blvd, North Hollywood, Calif. Filed Aug. 4, 196i), Ser. No. 47,455 4 Claims. (Ci. 220-30) This invention generally relates to receptacles of the type in which materials of one form or another are deposited therein. Such receptacles, are, for example, trash containers, laundry hampers, diaper pails, wastebaskets, ash trays, and the like. More particularly, the present invention concerns a novel closure structure for such a receptacle, which is so constructed in a preferred embodiment that th material itself will, upon deposit on the closure structure, actuate an opening thereof, and thereafter effect an automatic reclosing of the closure structure as soon as it has been deposited in the receptacle.
For purposes of illustration, the present invention for a receptacle closure structure will be described from the standpoint of a trash receptacle, although it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the features of the present invention may be readily adapted to other receptacles (for example, as previously mentioned) wherein similar structures and functions thereof are involved.
The present application is a continuation-in-part of applicants co-pending application entitled Receptacle for Trash and Soiled Materials, filed October 28, 1959, and assigned Serial No. 849,408, new Patent No. 2,994,453, issued August 1, 1961. The closure structure described and claimed in the latter referred to patent application has been found to be quite satisfactory; however, the closure structure of the present invention presents some advantages and improvements particularly when applied to receptacles having lids or covers of relatively small over-all dimensions.
One of the objects of the present invention is to provide an improved trash receptacle closure structure embodying a minimum number of parts, and yet which is so constructed that it will open and close automatically in response to an extremely light load of material being deposited thereon.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure structure for a receptacle in which a single means or portion of the structure co-functions to define the fully opened and fully closed position of the closure members.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved closure structure for a receptacle in which a maximum gap or opening is provided between the closure members in response to a very limited movement thereof.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are generally achieved by providing in a receptacle, a pair of closure members pivotably carried on the side walls of the receptacle with the closure members in a closed position having their inner edge portions in substantial abutment and their outer edge portions, respectively, engaging opposing side wall portions of the receptacle. The closure members are pivotable to an open position in which the outer edge portions are positioned a given distance upwardly of the receptacle and the inner edge portions are positioned downwardly in spaced-apart relationship within the receptacle.
In a preferred embodiment, the receptacle embodies a single means coupled thereto which co-functions to limit upward movement of the outer edge portions, and which also limits upward movement of the inner edge portions to the position wherein they are in substantial abutment.
A better understanding of the present invention will be had by reference to the drawings, showing merely an illustrative embodiment, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the closure structure of the present invention embodied in a trash receptacle with the trash receptacle partially broken away;
FIGURE 2 is a partial perspective view of one of the closure members of FIGURE 1 in its open position;
FIGURE 3 is a back perspective view of the closure member of FIGURE 2; and,
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view taken in the direction of the arrows 44 of FIGURE 1 illustrating the means by which the closure members are coupled to the receptacle.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIGURE 1 a receptacle body 10 embodying an upper or top portion 11. The upper portion 11 is provided with a lower protruding flange 12 which is adapted to be re movably received on the main body 10 of the receptacle. Thus, the upper portion 11 may be removed for emptying the contents of the body 10 or the receptacle.
It is, of course, possible to provide the upper portion 11 a and body It as an integral unit according to the particular application requirements. Preferably, the body 10 and upper portion 11 are molded of plastic.
The upper portion 11 includes generally oposing side walls 13 and 14- which, respectively, embody upwardly protruding portions 15 and 16, the latter forming an important part of the present invention.
The protruding portion 15 and the protruding portion 16 are identical in construction; in consequence, a descripton of one will suffice for both.
The protruding portion 16 embodies a pair of integral flanges 1'7 and 18, inclined in opposite directions which slope inwarly relative to the center of the top portion 11. The flanges 17 and 18 are designed to, respectively, cooperatively function with closure members 19 and 2d. The closure members 19 and 29 are pivotally coupled to the upper portion 11 and co-function therewith in a manner which will be clearer as the specification proceeds.
In the position shown in FIGURE 1, closure members 19 and 29 have their inner edge portions in substantial abutment and their outer edge portions overlapping the side walls of the top portion 11. In this regard, it is referable that the side walls 13 and 14 also include flange portions 13:: and 13b (for example) which extend inwardly under the closure members 19 and 20, respectively. Equivalent flange portions for the side walls 14 would also be provided although not shown in the drawings.
As will be noted from the View of FIGURE 1, the closure members 19 and 29 are also angulated inwardly relative to a horizontal plane through the upper portion 11. Furthermore, it will be noted that the flanges 17 and 18 extend over and define the closed position of the closure members 19 and 24 In response to a deposit of materal upon the closure members 19 or 20, the slope of the members 19 and 30 will cause the material to fail or slide towards the inner edges of the closure members 19 and 20, whereupon the weight of the material will effect pivotable movement and an opening of the closure members 19 and 2.0 in the same manner as described in conjunction with applicants previously identified co-pending application.
Thus, referring to FIGURE 2, the closure member 19 will pivot to the position indicated therein whereby its outer edge portion will contact a stop means in the form of an end face 21 of the inwardly extending flange 17. Similarly, the closure member 20 upon moving to its open position will be in contact with the end face 22 of the inwar ly extending flange 1%. Of course, limit or stop means the same as end faces 21, 2-2, of flanges 1'7 and 3 1 8 would be provided in conjunction with the inwardly extending flanges forming an equivalent part of the protruding portion 15 of the side wall 13.
In consequence, it will be seen that the inwardly directed slope of the closure members 19 and 20 not only functions, as pointed in applicants co-pending application, to enable a larger gap or opening to be obtained with relatively limited pivotable movement of the closure members, but also functions to direct the material deposited thereon towards the inner end portions of the closure members 19 and 20, to effect an opening thereof. Furthermore, it is evident that the flanges 17 and 18 also perform dual functions, and that these flanges not only define the closed positions of the members 19 and 20 but also, by their respective end faces 21 and 22, define the fully opened position of the closure members 19 and 20.
In a preferred embodiment, however (as heretofore pointed out), it is desirable to have the outer end portions of closure members 19 and 20 overlap the side walls 13 and 14 and interconnecting side walls for sealing odors and fire extinguishing purposes.
Referring now to the view of FIGURE 3, one of the closure members 19 is shown in reverse perspective view, whereby it will be evident that the closure member "19 integrally embodies a plurality of ribs 23, 24, and 25. The ribs 23-25 are designed to support a weighted means or member 26, preferably in the form of a lead rod. For pivotable coupling of the closure member 19, pivot shafts 27 and 28 are provided which extend, respectively, from ribs 23 and 25. Of course, the shafts 27 and 28 could be a single integral member extending through the ribs 23, 24, and 25, in the same manner as the lead rod 26. The construction shown, however, is preferred.
For coupling of the closure member to the upper portion 11 of the receptacle, a structure such as shown in FIGURE 4 is preferably employed. Thus, the side wall 13 would have an inwardly protruding boss 29 having extending therefrom a cylindrical bearing member 30 designed to receive the shaft member 27 in such position that the inner end of the bearing member 30 would bear against the outer side of the car 23. With such construction, the bearing member 38 would not only function for pivotable coupling of the shaft 27 supporting the closure member 19, but would also function as a means of limiting lateral movement of the closure member 19 by the end face thereof being proximate the car 23.
It is, of course, evident that a similar bearing assembly would be employed in conjunction with the shaft 28, and that the structure .of closure 20 and its manner of pivotable coupling to the upper portion 11 would be identical to that of the coupling and structure of closure member 19. By providing the lead rod 26 in its position near the outer edge of the closure members, for example 19 it is possible to also provide the pivot point defined by the coupling of the shafts 27 and 28 at a point also proximate the outer edge of the closure member, whereby the closure members as such will not be a limiting factor upon the gap or opening in the upper portion 11. Thus, the lead rod 26 is of sufficient weight to provide a proper lever arm to return the closure member 19 to its closed position, such as shown in FIGURE 1. By proper design and calculation, the weight of the rod 26 and its distance from the pivot point of the closure member 19 may be made such that the slightest weight of material upon the closure member 19 will effect its opening. In this regard, it should also be noted that the inward slope of the closure members tends to effect a movement Of the ma- 4 terial in such a way as to increase the effective opening of the lever arm relative to the pivot point of the closure member, whereby the material will always be exerting a maximum lever arm tending to open the closure member 19 or closure member 20.
Thus, in contrast to conventional, present-day constructions, the material itself serves to open the closure members and bring about an automatic closure rather than requiring any manual force to be exerted to open the closure members as is characteristic of most conventional receptacles.
It will be appreciated, however, that various changes and modifications may be made in the improved closure structure for a receptacle in accordance with the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as set forth in the following claims.
What'is claimed is:
1. In a receptable: a pair of closure members defining uniplanar outer edge portions and inner edge portions, each of said closure members being pivotably carried on the sidewalls of said receptacle about an axis intermediate of said outer edge portions and said inner edge portions, and said closure members in a closed position having their inner edge portions in abutment and their outer edge portions, respectively, engaging opposing sidewall portions of said receptacle, and said closure members being pivotable to an open position wherein said outer edge portions are positioned a given distance upwardly of said receptacle and-said inner edge portions are positioned downwardly in spaced-apart relationship within said receptacle; weight members carried on the underside of said outer edge portions so as to bias said closure members to a closed position; and protruding wall portions extending upwardly from said receptacle, said protruding wall portions limiting upward movement of said outer edge portions and said inner edge portions when said closure members are pivoted to an open position and closed position, respectively.
2. The combination, according to claim 1, in which said protruding wallportions include inwardly extending flanges designed to overlie and limit upward movement of said inner edge portions and thereby define said closed position.
3. The combination, according to claim 2, in which said inwardly extending flanges are canted downwardly towards the center of said receptacle to thereby maintain said closure membersin a similar orientation in said closed position.
4. The combination, according to claim 3, in which said inwardly extending flanges embody end faces designed to cooperatively engage said outer edge portions of said closure members to limit upward movement of said outer edge portions.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,145,403 Cseh Oct. 27, 1914 1,227,463 Luyties May 22, 1917 1,237,016 Brown Aug. 14, 19:17 1,715,773 Morales June 4, 1929 1,976,720 Engels Oct. 16, 1934 2,067,406 McDonald Ian. 12, 1937 FOREIGN PATENTS 387,916 Great Britain Feb. 16, 1933 555,222 7 Great'Britain Aug. 11, 1943