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Publication numberUS3101713 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1963
Filing dateFeb 23, 1961
Priority dateFeb 23, 1961
Publication numberUS 3101713 A, US 3101713A, US-A-3101713, US3101713 A, US3101713A
InventorsSargent David O
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tampon applicator
US 3101713 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 27, 1963 D. o. sARGENT TAMPON APPLICATOR Filed Feb. 25. 1961 k ill?! 11111 u n ull n l INVENTOR Ax//o 0- ,LTA/@55AM BY 4" d ATTORNEY UnitedStates Patent O 3,101,713 TAMPN APPLICATR David 0. Sargent, Westfield, NJ., assignor, b'y mesne assignments, to Johnson Sz Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Feb. 23, 1961, Sen'No. 91,050 11 Claims. (Cl. 12S-263) 'Ihis invention relates to catamenial devices and more particularly to applicators of improved construction and of reduced length for inserting tampons into the Vagina.

One form of applicator for tampons which has receiVed wide acceptance includes a pair of telescoped tubes of cardboard or similar material with the inner tube longitudinally movable within the outer tube. U'Ihe applicator and a tampon of compressed absorbentliibrous material are pre-assembled as a unit to provide a complete article ready for use. The tampon is positioned within one end portion of the outer tube and the inner tube telescopically positioned inthe other end lwith a major portion of its length extending beyond the end of the outer ltube. To eject the tampon, the inner tube, which acts as a plunger, is moved longitudinally in the outer tube in the direction of the tampon.

Such tampon applicators, while acceptablek and satisfactory in operation, are considerably longer than the tampon with which they are used. `For example, in a tampon applicator of the above type the outer and inner tubes are each about three inches long, while the tampon is about two inches long. Therefore, the tampon occupies a major portion of the outer tube within which it is positioned, and the telescoped inner tube extends tor more than yone half its length beyond the end of the outer tube, thereby making the over-all length of the assembled tampon and applicator more than yone and one half times the length of either tube, and about two and one `half times the length of the tampon. l

It is customary to package each of such assembled applicators and tampons individually and then package a number lof them together, e.g. ten, toprovide a sufficient number of tampons vfor a single menstrual period. Consequently, the individual packages and the combined packages are quite large in, comparison to the size of the tampons which are t be ultimately used. By reducing the over-al1 length of assembled applicators and tampons, the size of the packages used to `contain them may also be reduced and substantial savings in costs of packaging, Iof packaging materials and of storagespace can be eftected.

It would also be desirable to reduce the over-all length of assembled applicators and tampons because it is customary for one or more lof such assembled units to be carried on the perso-n, as for yexample in a purse, during the menstrual period. A package of smaller size would not only be more aesthetic and less noticeable lbut would also permit a greater number to be carried.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a tampon applicator of reduced size which may be furnished assembled with a tampon to provide a complete article ready for use. The over-all length of the assembled applicator and tampon is about the lengthy of the outer tube with a portion `of the inner tube extending just beyond the end of the outer tube to provide a lingergripping portion. The applicator is economical to construct and package and is simple and eicient in operation.-

A tampon applicator which achieves such objects includes an inner tube telescopically positioned within the outer tube and longitudinally movable therein. The inner tube, which acts as a tampon-ejecting plunger and which is about the same length as the outer tube, is fitted substantially entirely within the outer tube in its assem-` bled, prior-to-use position. When the applicator is asarenile Patented Aug. 27, 1963 sembled with a tampon to provide a complete package ready for use, the forward end portion of the inner tube is positioned between the tampon and the inner wall of the Outer tube; in eliect, the tampon is held within the forward end portion of the inner tube.

When the inner tube is moved longitudinally outwardly from the outer tube in a direction away from the tampon, the forward end portion of the inner tube positioned between the tampon and the inner wall of the outer tube is withdrawn from such position. When the end of the inner tube has cleared the inner end ofthe tampon, the tampon is transferred tothe outer tube, and the inner tube may then be moved longitudinally into the outer tube towards the tampon. During such movement, the front end of the inner tube engages the inner end of the tampon, causing the tampon to be ejected trom Within v the -outer tube.

v tampon from the outer tube simultaneously with retraction of the inner tube. In addition, the invention includes devices for holding the inner and outer tubes in aligned relation during longitudinal movement 'of the inner tube in the outer tube to insure `direct application of the ejecting forces applied to the tampon when the inner tube is moved longitudinally into the outer tube.

Referring to the drawings, wherein a preferred embodiment ot" the invention is illustrated by way of example: v

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of an applicator incorporating .the invention, and containing a tampon to provide a complete article ready for use;

FIG. 2 is a view of the applicator -with the inner tube moved outwardly from Within the outer tube and illus- -trating the position of the inner tube yprior to moving it into the outer tube to eject the tampon;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the parts of the appli. cator, cut away in part to reveal its inner construction, an-d with the tampon removed;

IFIG. 4 is a view of FIG. 1, taken along lines 4-4, illustrating the tampon held within the forward end portion of the inner tube;

FIG. 5 is a View of FIG. l, taken along lines 5-5';

FIG. 6 is a View similar to FIG. 5, illustrating withdrawal of the "inner tube from Within the outer tube and the transfer of the tampon from within the forward end portion of the inner tube to the forward end portion'of the outer tube;

FIG. 7 is a View of FIG. 4, taken along lines 77;

FIG. 8 is a view of FIG.` 4, taken along lines 8--S;

FIG. 9 is a view of FIG. 6, taken along lines 9 9; and

FIG. 10 is a view illustrating ejection of the tampon from the applicator.

In thel embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, the applicator 10` includes an inner tube 12 and anouter tube 14 arranged in telescopic relationship and in this respect has the general appearance of conventional cardboard tube applicators. The tubes are of approximately the same length, with the inner tube being slightly longer to provide a linger-gripping portion 16 in the form ot a raised rib or liange extending just beyond the end of the outer tube. The finger-gripping portion also acts as a stop as will be explained below.

The inner tube has one or more longitudinally extending grooves or slots in its wall. One longitudinally extending slot 18, Whose length is shorter than the over-all length of the inner tube and whose ends therefore terminate inwardly of the ends of the tube, is provided in the wall of the inner tube to co-operate with a radially extending protuberance 20 on the inner wall of the outer tube to act as =a means for stopping :complete withdrawal of the inner tube from the outer tube during retraction. The protuberance 20 fits into and rides in the slot 18l in the wall of the inner tube during inward and outward longitudinal movement of the inner tube in the outer tube. The end 22 of the slot 181 adjacent the forward end 214 of the inner tube, i.e., the end which engages the tampon during ejection of the tampon 26, ds located inwardly from the forward end of the tube a sufficient distance so that when the inner tube is withdrawn rearwardly from the outer tube, the end 22 will engage the front end of the protuberance 20' in abutting relationship, thereby stopping further rearward movement of the inner tube, just after the end 24 of the inner tube clears the inner end 28- of the tampon.

The inner and outer tubes, when arranged in assembled prior-to-use relationship, are substantially coextensive, with the tampon-engaging end 24 of the inner tube adjacent the forward end of the outer tube and with the finger-gripping portion 1-6 of the inner tube extending slightly beyond the rear end of the outer tube; thus the inner tube is contained substantially entirely within the outer tube. With the tubes so assembled, the tampon 26 of absorbent, fibrous material is positioned and held within the forward end portion of the inner tube. If the tampon is provided with a withdrawal cord `30, as is customary, the cord may extend through the opening in the rear of the inner tube and beyond. The applicator and tampon so assembled comprise a complete package ready for use.

To use the applicator as thus described with a tampon contained therein, the inner tube is Ifirst :drawn longitudinally rearwardly 'from within the outer tube. Since the tampon is held within the forward end portion of the inner tube, it may tend to move rearwardly simultaneously with .such rearward movement of the inner tube. To prevent the tampon from so moving, the inner surface of the outer tube may be provided with another radiallyextending protuberance 32 having an abutting forward surface 34 extending at an angle to the inner wall of the outer tube and disposed at a sufficient distance from the forward end of the outer tube so that it will be at a point just beyond the inner end 28 of the tampon when the tampon is positioned within the applicator.

To enable the abutting surface to engage the inner end of the tampon, the inner tube is provided with another longitudinally-extending :groove or slot 3d in its wall which extends rearwardly from the tampon engaging end 214 of the inner tube for a major portion of its length. The protuberan-ce 32 fits into and rides in the slot 36 as the inner tube is moved. The height of the prot-uberance is sum.- cient to extend through `and beyond the slot in order to` engage the inner end of the tampon, i.e., the height of the protuberan-ce is slightly greater than the thickness of the wall of the inner tube.

Accordingly, as the inner tube is withdrawn rearwardly from the outer tube, the inner end 28 of the tampon enga-ges the abutting surface 34 of the protuberance 32 on the inner wall of the outer tube, and movement of the tampon is stopped. During such rearward movement of the inner tube, the tampon is transferred from its position Within the forward end portion of the inner tube to the forward end portion of the outer tube.

When the tampon engaging end 24 of the inner tube has cleared the inner end 28 of the tampon, the tampon will be wholly transferred from the inner tube to the outer tube. Since the tampon is usually of compressed fibrous material, it will expand to some extent, as illustrated b-y the direction of the arrows in FIG. 9, to contact the inner surface of the outer tube to fill or parti-ally fill the void between the outer surface of the tampon and the inner surface of the outer tube which occurs when the forward end portion of the inner tube is withdrawn from that position. The inner tube may then be moved longitudinally inwardly into the outer tube to eject the tampon. In such movement, the tampon-engaging end 24 of the inner tube, which has just cleared the inner end 28 of the tampon during rearward movement of the inner tube, engages the inner end of the tampon. Continued inward movement of the inner tube into the outer tube causes the tampon to be ejected from the forward end portion of the outer tube when the tampon-engaging end of the inner tube reaches the end of the outer tube.

While one .longitudinally-extending slot 18 which cooperates with the radially extending protuberanoe 20 on the inner wall of the outer tube te provide a stop to prevent withdrawal of the inner tube from the outer tube, and one longitudinally-extendin-g slot 36 in the wall of the inner tube which permits the protuberance 32 on the -inner wall of tlre outer tube to engage the inner end of the tampon to prevent its withdrawal provides a satisfactory way of effecting the results desired, it is preferred that there be -a plurality of each of such slots and each of such protuberances. As illustrated in the drawings, the wall of the inner tube is provided with two diametrically-opposed, longitudinally-extending slots 18, 18 which `co-operate with two `diametri-cally-opposed, radiallyextending protuberances 20, 20 on the inner wall of the outer tube t0 provide the means for stopping complete withdrawal of the inner tube. Similarly, the wall of the inner tube is also provided with two other diametricallyopposed, longitudinall-y-extending slots 36, 36 extending rearwardly from the tampon-engaging end which cooperates With two diametrically-oppo-sed protuberances 32, 32 on the inner wall of the outer tube to provide the means for preventing withdrawal of the tampon during rearward movement of the inner tube in the outer tube. As illustrated, the respective pairs of slots and inwardlyextending protuberances may be disposed alternately at with respect to each other.

The inwardly extending protuberances 32, 32` which act as stops to prevent withdrawal of the tampon during .retraction of the inner tube may be relatively small providing they are of suflicient height to extend through the slots 36, 36 and beyond the inside surface of the inner tube. As illustrated, they may be rectangular shaped blocks integrally molded on the inner wall of the outer tube. They may, `of course, be of other forms.

The other inwardly extending protuberances 20, 20 which ico-operate as stops with grooves 18, 1'8 in the inner tube are preferably wedge shaped, inclining upwardly 'from the rear end of the outer tube towards the end which contains the tampon. This permits the inner and outer tubes to be :associated more easily. As the inner tube is moved into the outer tube, the front ends of the inner tube will ride up on the inclined surfaces of the protuberances, causing the ends to converge, and thus enabling .them to clear the protuberances 32, 32. When the forward ends 22 of the slots 118 clear the forward ends of protuberances 20, the protuberances will snap into the slots, `and the front ends of the inner tube will diverge into Contact with the inner wall of the outer tube. The two tubes are then associated, ready to receive the tampon.

The respective slots in the wall of the inner tube and the respective protuberances on the inner surface of the outer tube also `act yas guides for directing movement of the inner tube in the outer tube during longitudinal movement. Such guiding action insures positive ejection of the tampon by controlling the direction of the forces applied to the tampon by the inner tube during its inward longitudinal movement. Canting, twisting and similar movements of the inner tube in the outer tube during such longitudinal movement, which may cause binding, are prevented.

'I'he inner `and outer tubes are preferably made from `a plastic material, such as polyethylene, which may be readily molded .by conventional techniques. In view of the cost of materials, and in view of the simplicity of molding the applicator, the applicator of the present invention may be economically produced consistent with its use as a disposable item.

It is apparent that numerous variations, modifications, and substitutions in the foregoing illustrative embodiment can be made without departing from the spirit of` the invention and that such variations, modifications and changes are contemplated to be therein.

What is claimed is: ll. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and `an inner tube :telescopically positioned substantially withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of a tampon positioned within said applicator.

2. A tampon applicator according to claim- 1 wherein said ringer-gripping portion is in the form of a raised surface. f

3. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and an inner tube telescopically positioned substantially within said outer tube and longitudinally movable therein, said inner tube being slightly longer than said outer tube, an end of said inner tube extending beyond said outer tube to provide a iinger-gripping portion, the opposite end of said inner tube being open to receive a tampon, said inner tube having a plurality of longitudinally extending slots in its wall for a portion of its length, said slots terminating inwardly of the end of said tube opposite the extending end providing said linger-gripping portion, and means on said outer tube co-operating with the terminal portions of said slots to check Withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of a tampon positioned within said applicator.

4. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and an inner tube telescopically positioned substantially Within said outer tube and longitudinally movable therein, said inner tube being slightly longer than said outer tube, an end of said inner tube extending beyond said outer tube to provide a finger-gripping portion, the opposite end of said inner tube being open to receive a tampon, said inner tube having a longitudinally extending slot in its wall for a portion of its length terminating inwardly of the end of said tube opposite the extending end providing said finger-gripping portion, and an inwardly extending protuberance on the inner wall of said outer tube Afitting into said slot and co-operating with the terminal portion thereof to check withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of a tampon positioned within said applicator.

5. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and an inner tube telescopically positioned substantially within said outer tube and longitudinally movable therein, said inner tube being slightly longer than said outer tube, an end of said inner tube extending beyond said outer tube to provide a finger-gripping portion, said inner tube having a iirst and a second longitudinally extending slot in its wall for a portion of its length, said iirst slot terminating inwardly of the end of said tube opposite the extending end providing said iinger-gripping portion, said second slot extending from said opposite en d of said inner tube towards said Iinger gripping portion, means on said outer tube co-operating with the terminal portion of said rst slot to check withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of a tampon positioned within said applicator, and means on said outer tube extending through said second slot to engage the inner end of said tampon.

6. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and an inner tube telescopically positioned substantially within said outer tube and longitudinally movable therein, said inner tube being slightly longer than said outer tube, an end of said inner tube extending beyond said outer tube to provide a finger-gripping portion, said inner tube having a first and a second longitudinally extending slot in its Wall for a portion of its length, said iirst slot terminating inwardly of the end of said tube opposite the extending end providing said finger-gripping portion, said second slot extendingfrom said opposite end of said inner tube towards said finger-gripping portion, an inwardly extending protuberance on the inner wall of said outer tube iitting within said iirst slot and co-operating with the terminal portion of said slot to check withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of atampon positioned within said applicator, and another inwardly extending protuberance on the inner wall of Said outer tube extending through said second -slot to engage the inner end of said tampon. v

7. A tampon applicator according to claim 6 wherein said protuberance extending through said second slot is in the form of a surface inclined upwardly from the finger-gripping portion of said inner tube.

8. A tampon applicator comprising an outer tube and an inner tube telescopically positioned substantially within said outer tube and longitudinally movable therein, said inner tube being slightly longer than said outer tube, an end of said inner tube extending'beyond saidouter tube to provide a finger-gripping portion, said inner tube having a plurality of iirst and a plurality of second longitudinally extending` slots in its wall for a portion of its length, said rst slots terminating inwardly of the end of said tube opposite the extending end providing said iingergripping portion, said second slots extending from said opposite end of said inner tube towards said nager-gripping portion, inwardlyextending protuberances on the inner wall of said outer tube tting within each of'said irst slots and co-operating with the terminal portions of said slots to check withdrawal of said inner tube from said outer tube when said opposite end of said inner tube has cleared the inner end of a tampon positioned within said applicator, and other inwardly-extending protuberances on the inner wall of said outer tube extending through said second slots to engage the inner end of said tampon.

l9. A tampon applicator according to claim 8, wherein said `trst and said second slots are disposed alternately with respect to each other.

10. A tampon applicator according to claim 8 wherein said first and said second slots each compose a pair of oppositely disposed slots.

l11. A tampon applicator according to claim 10 wherein said iirst and said second slots are disposed alternately with respect to each other.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3196873 *Aug 27, 1962Jul 27, 1965Kimberly Clark CoTampon and applicator
US3424159 *Dec 12, 1966Jan 28, 1969Kimberly Clark CoTampon insertion device
US3467088 *Dec 22, 1966Sep 16, 1969Robinson Ralph RIntrauterine device inserter
US4048998 *Feb 19, 1976Sep 20, 1977The Gillette CompanyTampon inserter
US4053051 *Sep 10, 1976Oct 11, 1977Mine Safety Appliances CompanyEarplug package and method of making it
US4148317 *Sep 14, 1977Apr 10, 1979Personal Products CompanyReduced length tampon-applicator assembly
US4269187 *Oct 11, 1979May 26, 1981Kao Soap Co., Ltd.Tampon
US4276881 *Oct 22, 1979Jul 7, 1981Kimberly-Clark CorporationCompact tampon applicator
US4286595 *Sep 27, 1979Sep 1, 1981Johnson & Johnson Products, Inc.Compact tampon applicator assembly
US4291696 *Sep 27, 1979Sep 29, 1981Johnson & Johnson Products, Inc.Compact tampon-applicator assembly with ribbed inner tube
US4479791 *May 9, 1983Oct 30, 1984Tampax IncorporatedTampon applicator
US4846802 *Jun 12, 1987Jul 11, 1989Tambrands Inc.Tampon applicator
US4891042 *May 6, 1988Jan 2, 1990Playtex Family Products, Inc.Portable tampon applicator
US4895559 *Oct 11, 1988Jan 23, 1990Shippert Ronald DNasal pack syringe
US4911687 *Aug 22, 1988Mar 27, 1990Playtex Family Products, Inc.Compact tampon applicator with snap-action hinged panels
US4973302 *Feb 14, 1990Nov 27, 1990Playtex Family Products CorporationCompact tampon applicator
US5330421 *Dec 4, 1992Jul 19, 1994Tambrands Inc.Tampon applicator
US5385542 *Feb 10, 1992Jan 31, 1995Smith & Nephew PlcTampon applicators
US5395309 *Oct 8, 1993Mar 7, 1995Merocel CorporationNasal pack applicator
US5643196 *Mar 3, 1995Jul 1, 1997Tambrands Inc.Tampon applicator
US6517509Feb 2, 2000Feb 11, 2003Ronald D. ShippertAbsorbent pack insertion into a human body cavity
US6890324Jun 28, 2001May 10, 2005Playtex Products, Inc.Tampon applicator
US7727210 *Jun 5, 2007Jun 1, 2010Playtex Products, Inc.Multiple-component tampon applicator
US7862533May 25, 2005Jan 4, 2011Playtex Products, Inc.Multiple-component tampon applicator
US8246570 *Dec 21, 2007Aug 21, 2012Japan Medical Materials CorporationDevice for cell transplantation
US8556845May 25, 2005Oct 15, 2013Playtex Products, LlcMultiple-component tampon applicator
US8574210Feb 5, 2008Nov 5, 2013Ontex Hygieneartikel Deutschland GmbhTampon with improved absorption capacity
US20120029415 *Feb 23, 2010Feb 2, 2012Uni-Charm CorporationTampon
Classifications
U.S. Classification604/16, 206/363
International ClassificationA61F13/20, A61F13/26
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/263
European ClassificationA61F13/26A