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Publication numberUS3112046 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1963
Filing dateAug 23, 1960
Priority dateAug 23, 1960
Publication numberUS 3112046 A, US 3112046A, US-A-3112046, US3112046 A, US3112046A
InventorsGeorge Szekely
Original AssigneeGeorge Szekely
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tablet dispenser
US 3112046 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 26, 1963 e. SZEKELY TABLET DISPENSER 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 25, 1960 Nov. 26, 1963 a. SZEKELY TABLET DISPENSER 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 25, 1960 INVENTOR. GEJRGE $25 125) WSjKCVh.

5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 25, 1960 Na E INV EN TOR. 650/?65 625K 4) wmh United States Patent Ofi ice 3,1 12,046 Patented Nov. 26, 1963 3,112,046 TABLET DISPENSER George Szekely, 2508 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Filed Aug. 23, 1960, Ser. No. 51,433 15 Claims. (Cl. 221-4),

The present invention relates to tablet dispensers and has for one of its objects to provide a low-cost tablet dispenser which may be carried around in a pocket or in a handbag without breaking, crushing or otherwise damaging the tablets.

It is well known that many persons carry with them one or more types of tablets wherever they go not only to use the tablets as a medicament against certain ailments but also as a source of vitamins, as a substitute for sugar, and for many other purposes. The user of tablets prefers to take his dose without being observed by others, and the industry has made a number of attempts to provide inconspicuous, comparatively small, noiseless and preferably low-cost dispensers which can be handled by unskilled persons with little loss in time. For example, it is known to provide a dispenser with an opening which is large enough for one but too small for the simultaneous passage of two or more tablets. It is also known to subject the tablets in a tube to permanent pressure of a helical spring so that a tablet is ejected more or less automatically whenever the cover of the dispenser is removed. However, such dispensers may be utilized only if the dimensions of all tablets are absolutely identical and if the tablets are not too brittle so that they will not break or crumble under spring pressure or upon repeated collision with other tablets in the compartment of a rather large dispenser. Such known dispensers are not suited for use with comparatively small tablets, such as grains of saccharine, very small vitamin tablets or the like. One can observe diabetics picking small fragments of saccharine from a box-like container or from a big-necked bottle which is a tedious, unsanitary and time-consuming task.

Accordingly, it is another object of my invention to provide a dispenser which is particularly suited for use in connection with very small and brittle tablets, which can be manipulated by unskilled people, which may be readily refilled when the supply of tablets is exhausted or which may be produced at such a low cost that it may be discarded after the last tablet is dispensed, and which requires very little force for the expulsion of tablets through its discharge opening.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a safe dispenser for tablets having a low mechanical strength which cannot withstand a constant spring pressure or repeated collision with similar tablets.

A further object of the invention is to provide a tablet dispenser whose tablet receiving compartment is airtightly sealed from the surrounding atmosphere, which is constructed and assembled in such a way that it can control the discharge of differently configurated tablets, and which can properly retain and dispense tablets even if the dimensions of the tablets should vary within a rather wide range, i.e. due to unequal compression, unequal drying or for any other reason.

An additional object of the instant invention is to provide a tablet dispenser which may be readily adapted to the chemical composition or to the intended use of the tablets, and which may be manufactured at a very low cost so that the expenditures involved in its production represent but a fraction of the cost of tablets contained therein.

Still another object of my invention is to provide a tablet dispenser of the above outlined characteristics which may be tightly sealed Whenever not in use, which may be constructed in such a way that it can take prefabricated refills, which is of eye-pleasing appearance, and which may receive a large number of tablets of any kind, size or configuration.

A concomitant object of the invention is to provide a low-cost Wrapper for tablets which may simultaneously serve as a dispenser or which may form part of a tablet dispenser.

With the above objects in view, the invention resides in the provision of a tablet dispenser which, in its elementary form, comprises an elongated preferably cylindrical barrel having an airtightly closed and sealed rear end and an open forward end, outlet means at the forward end of the barrel forming a discharge opening of such dimensions that the tablets contained in the compartment defined by the barrel are normally prevented from passing therethrough but which may be deformed by the tablet nearest thereto so as to permit discharge of this tablet when sufiicient pressure is applied to the column of tablets, tablet advancing means including a smooth-surfaced, prefer-ably spherical or cylindrical piston received in the aforementioned compartment and disposed between the rearmost tablet and the airtightly closed rear end of the barrel for applying pressure to the stack of tablets in a direction to advance the tablets toward the discharge opening, and removable sealing means in the form of a cap, cartridge or adhesive strip for normally airtightly sealing the discharge opening of the outlet means. According to one embodiment of my invention, the manually operable advancing means for applying pressure to the stack of tablets, i.e. a cylindrical or spherical piston which is received in the end of the compartment defined by the barrel, is advanced by the squeezing pressure applied thereagainst by two fingers of a user so as to expel the tablets, preferable one at a time, through the deformable discharge opening. Alternately, and if the barrel contains spherical or similar tablets, the rean'nost tablet may serve as a piston provided that its mechanical strength is suificient to bring about an advance of the entire stack of tablets toward the discharge opening when subjected to finger pressure.

The barrel may consist of an inelastic but deformable material, such as paper, a metallic foil or the like; in such instances, the discharge opening may be formed by outlet means in the form of a series of inwardly extending annularly arranged small lips or fiaps integral with the forward end of the barrel, the flaps normally extending into the path of the foremost tablet but being weak enough to yield to a given finger pressure so as to permit the discharge of the foremost tablet. However, if the barrel consists of a resilient material, such as a suitable synthetic plastic or the like, the discharge opening may be defined by outlet means in the form of a continuous annular flange which is integral with or connected to the forward end of the barrel. In some instances, it is advisable to manufacture the barrel of an extremely thin and highly elastic material whose elasticity is such that the entire barrel will expand in its longitudinal direction when the column of tablets is subjected to a pressure necessary to enlarge the discharge opening of the dispenser. It is then necessary to reinforce the barrel so that it cannot expand longitudinally, for example, by inserting into its wall one or more flexible metallic wires, by forming the barrel with one or more longitudinally extending reinforcing ribs or beads, or in any other suitable way.

Furthermore, and particularly if a rather flexible barrel is utilized for reception of comparatively brittle tablets, the dispenser may comprise a rigid external shell or casing which fully receives the deformable barrel so that the latters rear end may be anchored in the rear end of the shell, and the shell may be combined with a suitable piston advancing means in the form of a manually operable slider or the like which is guided in the shell and may be advanced by finger pressure. Of course, the piston advancing means may assume a number of other forms, such as a follower which is guided in a spiral groove provided in the interior of the casing, a small plunger which extends directly into the barrel and is controlled from the outside, or any other suitable means.

The area of the discharge opening formed by the outlet means is normally only slightly smaller than the crosssectional area of the tablet receiving compartment in the barrel and, when the outlet means is subjected to the pres sure of the foremost tablet in said compartment, the area of the discharge opening will be enlarged to equal the cross-sectional area of the foremost tablet but will never increase to such an extent that the outlet means could not at least frictionally hold the next tablet from passing through the discharge opening. In other words, the deformation of the discharge opening in response to the pressure exerted against the outlet means is very small so that no substantial finger pressure is required to move the tablets in the barrel. Even a non-elastic outlet means will not expand to such an extent that the tablets could drop freely through the discharge opening. A small finger pressure is always necessary to discharge a tablet regardless of whether the outlet means consists of highly elastic, slightly elastic or inelastic material.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following detailed description of certain specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a half elevational and half sectional view of a tablet dispenser embodying one form of my invention, the barrel of the dispenser consisting of an inelastic deformable material;

FIG. 2 is a rear end view of the dispenser as seen in the direction of the arrow H in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front end view of the dispenser as seen in the direction of the arrow III in FIG. 1, with the sealing means for the discharge opening at the forward end of the barrel removed;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary part elevational and part sectional view of a slightly modified tablet dispenser wherein the discharge opening is defined by outlet means in the form of a deformable annulus of inelastic material;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal central section through a different tablet dispenser in fully assembled condition, this dispenser comprising a barrel of at least slightly elastic material and a different tablet advancing piston;

FIG. 6 is a front end view of the tablet dispenser as seen in the direction of the arrow VI in FIG. 5, with the front cap removed;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section through a tablet dispenser whose reinforced barrel consists of a very thin and highly elastic material, and which comprises a rigid tubular cartridge adapted to completely conceal the barrel when the dispenser is not in actual use;

FIG. 8 is a transverse section through the dispenser as seen in the direction of the arrows from the line V1II VIII of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a transverse section through a slightly modified tablet dispenser whose highly elastic barrel is formed with integral reinforcing ribs preventing the barrel from longitudinal expansion during the discharge of tablets;

FIG. 10 is a partly elevational and partly sectional view of a modified dispenser which comprises a slotted tubular shell adapted to receive and to guide a manually operable tablet advancing slider;

FIG. 11 illustrates the rear end portion of the tablet dispenser shown in FIG. 10 with a rear cap applied to the slotted shell;

FIG. 12 is a front end view of the rear cap as seen in the direction of the arrow XII in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a longitudinal central section through the fully assembled tablet dispenser but turned through degrees from the position of FIGS. l0 and 11;

FIG. '14 is a rear end view of a slightly modified tablet dispenser which comprises a slotted shell but operates without a rear cap;

FIG. 15 illustrates the front end of a modified dispenser which also comprises a slotted shell and whose front cap is formed with a chamber to receive a tablet from the barrel; and

FIG. 16 is fragmentary elevational view of a further modification according to which the chambered cap is removably mounted directly at the forward end of the deformable barrel and is formed with means indicating to the user that its chamber is in a position to receive one, two or more tablets.

Referring now in greater detail to the illustrated embodiments, and first to FIG. 1, there is shown a tablet dispenser A which comprises an elongated tubular receptacle or barrel 1 consisting of an inelastic but deformable material, such as paper, cellophane, metallic foil or the like. The barrel defines therewithin an elongated substantially cylindrical compartment 2 which receives a series of tablets 4 each of which is shown in the form of a short cylinder. The airtightly sealed rear end of the barrel is flattened and forms a transverse reinforcing rib 3 whose length preferably slightly exceeds the diameter of the barrel. At its open forward end, the barrel 1 is integrally formed with an outlet means comprising a series of inwardly inclined outwardly deflectable flaps or lips 5 which form a barrier or stop for preventing uninten tional discharge of the foremost tablet 4n. As is shown in FIG. 3, the lips 5 reduce the area of the discharge or dispensing opening 6 so that the area of this discharge opening is slightly less than the cross-sectional area of the compartment 2. Consequently, the tablets will be safely retained in their compartment excepting when subjected to a force suflficient to consecutively expel the same through the discharge opening 6 by deflecting the flaps 5 in outward direction so that the area of the enlarged discharge opening will approximate or at most equal the cross-sectional area of the compartment 2 and hence of the nearest tablet 4a.

The discharge opening 6 is normally sealed in an airtight manner by a cover in the form of an adhesive strip 7. The means for advancing the tablets 4, one at a time, through the discharge opening 6 comprises a piston in the form of a spherical element 8, preferably consisting of a suitable substantially rigid and lightweight synthetic plastic material, which is inserted between the rearmost tablet 4b and the transverse reinforcing rib 3 adjacent to the flattened or deflated rear end portion 1a of the deformable barrel. If the user desires to expel the foremost tablet 40, he merely applies with one hand a small finger pressure to the barrel immediately in the rear of the piston 8, as at in, so that the piston is forced to slide in forward direction, i.e. to the left as viewed in FIG. 1, and will cause the tablet 4a to deflect the lips 5 in outward direction and to enlarge the discharge opening 6 sufficiently so that it may drop from the barrel 1 and directly into a container if it is not desired to touch the tablet with the hand. The length of the deflated barrel portion 1a rearwardly of the piston 8 increases progressively as the number of tablets 4 in the compartment 2 decreases.

The barrel 1 is preferably of the throw-away nature though it is possible to refill it after the last tablet is expelled from its compartment. This is especially advisable when the barrel consists of cellophane which cannot be permanently deformed with such facility as paper or metallic foil. The barrel may but need not be transparent or translucent; for example, it may consist of brightly colored material to enhance the appearance and the sales appeal of the tablet dispenser A.

FIG. 4 shows a slightly modified tablet dispenser B whose barrel .101 is filled with spherical tablets 104. The discharge opening 106 of this dispenser B is formed by an outlet means here shown as a continuous barrier or stop in the form of an annulus 105 whose smallest diameter is less than the diameter of the tablets 104 but which is deformable sufficiently to permit the discharge of tablets when subjected to a requisite expanding force by a manually operable advancing means or piston in the same manner as described in connection with FIG. 1. The material of the non-elastic barrel 101 may be the same as that of the barrel '1. The discharge opening 106 is normally sealed by a readily removable metallic or like cap 107 which provides an airtight covering means for the open lefthand end of the barrel 101.

FIG. 5 illustrates a modified dispenser C whose barrel 201 consists of at least slightly elastic synthetic plastic material, such as polyethylene, Teflon (trademark) or the like. The compartment 202 of this barrel is at least partially filled with lenticular tablets 204, and its flattened and sealed rear end again terminates in a transverse reinforcing rib 203. The modified piston or tablet advancing means 203 assumes the shape of a cylinder whose axis coincides with the axis of the barrel 201. The forward or left-hand end of the barrel is formed with an outlet means here shown as an inwardly extending annular flange 205 which forms a circular discharge opening 206 whose diameter is normally slightly smaller than the diameter of the tablets 204. However, since the flange 5 is at least slightly elastic, it will expand in response to a pressure generated by two fingers applied against the barrel 201 immediately in the rear of the piston 208 so that the foremost tablet 204a can pass through the enlarged discharge opening 206. This opening is normally sealed in an airtight manner by a preferably hard, elongated tubular cover or cartridge 207. In its preferred form, the cartridge 207 consists of a suitable synthetic plastic material, eag. Bakelite or the like, and is removed from the barrel 201 prior to the discharge of one or more tablets 204 through the discharge opening 206. This cartridge receives the periphery of the barrel 201 and extends all the way to the rib 203. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the cartridge is formed with a conical bottom 207a.

As is shown in FIG. '6, the outlet means or flange 205 forms a continuous annulus which need not be slotted because the flange consists of an elastic material. The diameter of the opening 206 is selected by considering the elasticity of the material of which the barrel 201 and its flange 205 are made, as well as the brittleness of the tablets 204.

It should be noted that the outlet means 5, 105 or 205 normally define dis-charge openings whose diameters differ only slightly from the diameters of compartments in the respective barrels, and that the dimensions of these outlet means are shown exaggerated for the sake of clarity. For example, the annulus 105 or the flange 205 may be hardly noticed at the forward ends of the barrels 101, 201 but, of course, this flange or annulus is always large enough to retain the tablets in the barrel excepting when the user intentionally expels one or more tablets.

The modified dispenser D of FIGS. 7 and 8 comprises a tubular barrel 1 which consists of an extremely thin elastic synthetic plastic material whose elasticity is such that the barrel might expand in its longitudinal direction when finger pressure is applied rearwa'rdly of the spherical piston 308, i.e. when the flattened portion 301a of the barrel is squeezed by two fingers. In order to prevent such lengthwise expansion of the barrel 301, the latter is formed with two or more longitudinal rein-forcing elements which may assume the form of flexible metallic wires 309 embedded in two diametrically opposed external ribs 310 forming integral parts of the barrel 301. The compartment 302 receives a stack of short cylindrical tablets 304 the foremost of which (304a) abuts against the inner side of the outlet means again shown as an elastic inwardly oriented annular flange 305 forming an integral part of the elastic barrel 301 and defining a circular discharge opening 306. The diameter of this opening, in unstressed condition of the flange 305, is smaller than the diameter of the tablets 304, but the flange expands readily when the spherical piston 308 is forced in a direction to the left, as viewed in FIG. 7. It will be readily understood that any substantial longitudinal expansion of the barrel 301 is undesirable because it would interfere with the tablet advancing action of the piston 308 by requiring a longer forward movement of the piston. The purpose of the highly elastic barrel 301 is to facilitate the discharge of tablets, particularly if the configuration of the tablets is such that there develops a comparatively large frictional force between the inner side of the barrel 301 and the annular peripheral surfaces of the tablets 304 during an advance of tablets toward the outlet 305.

It will be readily understood that the outlet means may form a separate component of my improved dispenser which is then connected to the forward end of the barrel, especially when the material of the barrel is not sufliciently elastic or when the material of the barrel might not withstand repeated expansion and contraction at its outlet end.

When not in use, the very thin barrel 301 is shielded by a less flexible cover in the form of an elongated cylindrical, preferably rigid cartridge 307 which may extend all the way to and sealingly abuts against the modified annularly expanded rear end portion 303 of the barrel to prevent unintentional discharge of a tablet 304 in the pocket or in the handbag of a user. As shown, the cartridge 307 may consist of a suitable synthetic plastic material. Since the reinforcing means 309, 310 we vent a sealing contact between the outer side of the barrel 301 and the inner side of the cartridge 307, the sealing engagement of the beaded rear end portion 303 and the open end of the cartridge insures an airtight seal for the discharge opening 306 when the dispenser is not in use.

FIG. 9 illustrates a modified dispenser E whose very thin and highly elastic barrel 40 1 is prevented from expanding in its own longitudinal direction by two longitudinal beads or ribs 410 which do not contain any flexible wires or other reinforcing means. The barrel 401 has a beaded rear end sealingly engaging with the open end of a cartridge 407 which may be identical with the cartridge 307 of FIG. 6.

The length of the dispensers A-E may be selected at will and depends on the desired number of tablets to be received in the compartment of the barrel, on the thickness of tablets, as well as on the intended use of the dispenser, i.e. whether the dispenser is to be used in a medicinal cabinet or by a physician, or whether it is intended to be carried around in a pocket or bag. For example, the dispenser may be of such length that it will accommodate between about 40 and 60 tablets, partic-ularly if the tablets are of cylindrical (FIGS. 1 and 6) or lenticular shape (FIG. 5).

It will be understood that the elastic barrels 201, 301 and 401 may be readily refilled merely by forcing a number of tablets through the respective discharge openings until the pistons return all the way to the closed rear ends of the barrels. For example, a pharmacist may readily introduce a number of tablets through the open end of an empty barrel so that a purchaser will be served with a dispenser containing tablets obtained with or without a prescription. Since the discharge opening defined by the outlet means is only slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of a tablet, the pharmacist may load an empty barrel with very little effort. Such procedure is especially advisable if the purchaser is to obtain a small number of rather expensive tablets.

Since the elastic material of the barrels 201, 301 and 401 may reassume its cylindrical shape as soon as the finger pressure at a point rearwardly of the respective pistons 208, 308 and the non-illustrated piston of the dispenser E is terminated, it is often advisable to form the elastic barrels of a transparent or translucent material so as to insure that the user will know at a glance where to apply a squeezing finger pressure in order to expel the next foremost tablet through the expandible discharge opening. The dimensions of the pistons are preferably selected in such a way that they always remain in abutment with the rearmost tablet even if the rear portion 301m of say the barrel 301 should expand and reassume its cylindrical shape. This insures that the user need not move the piston a given distance into abutment with the rearmost tablet prior to actual expulsion of the foremost tablet through the discharge opening, and such arrangement also insures that the tablets remain neatly stacked in the compartment of the respective barrel to thereby avoid any breaking and chipping of the tablets by preventing shifting of the tablets or the formation of spaces between the inidividual tablets.

Furthermore, the barrels may be imprinted with directions for use of their contents and with information as to the composition of tablets so that the user can readily determine the nature of tables in the dispenser.

Referring back to FIG. 4, it will be readily understood that the dispenser B need not utilize a special piston if the material of spherical tablets 104 can withstand the finger pressure necessary to expel the tablets through the discharge opening 106. In such instances, the rearmost spherical tablet will perform the function of a piston. It is preferred to utilize a smooth-surfaced spherical or cylindrical piston which may consist of a suitable plastic material because such pistons are more readily shiftable in the barrel but will still retain their position merely by friction with the wall bounding the respective compart' ment when the finger pressure is terminated.

Referring to FIGS. 10 to 13, there is shown a modified tablet dispenser F which comprises a barrel 201 of elastic material whose compartment 202 receives a stack of short cylindrical tablets 4 and Whose transverse reinforcing rib 203 is received in two open recesses 511 formed at the open rear end of a dispensing shell 512. This shell 512 is formed with a longitudinal through slot 513 which extends from its open rear toward and all the way to its open forward end. This forward end of the shell 512 is normally sealed by a plastic cover or cap 507, the latter also sealing the discharge opening 206 defined by the elastic inwardly extending annular outlet means or flange 205 at the forward end of the barrel 201. The open rear end of the shell 512 removably carries a second cover or cap 514 which is formed with a forwardly opening axially parallel cutout 515, this cutout 515 being alignable with the longitudinal slot 513 of the shell 512 when in the position of FIGS. 11 and 13. The channel defined by the cutout 515 and slot 513 receives the radially extending stem 517 of a slider 516, the latter forming part of the manually operable tablet advancing means and comprising a semispherical head 518 at one end of the stem 517 and a knob or handgrip means 519 at the other end of the stem. By moving the slider 516 in the direction to the left, as viewed in FIGS. 11 and 13, the user will cause the head 518 to engage and to deform or squeeze the barrel 201 just in the rear of the spherical piston 508 so that the latter is compelled to advance ahead of the head 518 and to expel the tablets 4, one at a time, through the enlarged discharge opening 206. Of course, the front cap 507 is removed before the user starts to move the slider 516 by engaging the outwardly extending knob 519. The barrel 201 is safely retained in the shell 512 because the ends of its transverse reinforcing rib 203 are retained in the recesses 511.

When the user desires to replace an empty barrel 201 by a loaded barrel or refill, he merely moves the slider 8 516 back into the cutout 515 of the rear cap 514 (see FIGS. ll and 12) whereupon the rib 203 may be readily withdrawn from the recesses 511 followed by the entire barrel 201 which is extracted from its shell 512 in a direction to the right, as viewed in FIG. 10.

The preferably metallic or hard plastic shell 512 protects the elastic barrel 201 against flexing and also prevents any crumbling of the tablets 4 when the dispenser F is carried in a purse or in a pocket. Furthermore, the shell 512 enhances the appearance of the dispenser. The slider 516 facilitates the expulsion of tablets so that the dispenser F may be handled by unskilled persons since an arrow on the shell 512 is normally sufficient to indicate the direction in which the slider must be moved in order to expel the tablets. The shell 512 is provided with a clip 512a so that it may be secured to the wall of a pocket or to a partition in a ladies handbag.

FIG. 14 illustrates a slight modification of the dispenser F. The dispenser G of this illustration is without a rear cap 514 and the rear end of the longitudinal slot in the slightly modified shell 612 is closed, as at 620, so that the slider 516 must be introduced from the forward end of the shell. The rear rib 203 of the barrel 201 is received in the diametrically opposed recesses 611 of the shell 612 whose forward end is sealed by the front cap 507.

Referring to FIG. 15, there is shown a tablet dispenser H which comprises a deformable barrel 701 whose compartment 702 receives a stack or column of tablets 704. The barrel 701 is received in a shell 712 formed with a longitudinal slot 713 for a tablet advancing slider of the type shown in FIGS. 11 to 14. The forward end of the shell 701 receives a removable cover or cap 707 which comprises a cylindrical portion 707a formed with an internal shoulder 707c which abuts against the front end face of the shell 712, and a bottom portion 70712. The cap 7 07 defines therewithin a chamber 707d which extends between the forward end of the shell 712 and the bottom portion 70711. This chamber 707b may receive a tablet 7040 after the latter is discharged through the outlet means at the forward end of the barrel 701. The advantage of the dispenser H is that a tablet may be discharged into the cap 707 without removing this cap from the shell 712 so that the user may remove the cap with the tablet 704a in the chamber 707d to transfer the tablet into a cup or directly into his mouth. The distance between the shoulder 707c and the bottom portion 707b is selected in such a way that the chamber 707d may accommodate at least one tablet.

FIG. 16 illustrates a slightly modified tablet dispenser K which comprises a deformable barrel or roll tube 801 defining a compartment 802 for the tablets 804 and formed at its forward end with outlet means in the form of an inwardly extending annular flange 805 surrounding the discharge opening 806. The portion of the barrel 801 adjacent to its forward end is received in a cylindrical cover or cartridge 807 which seals the discharge opening 806 from the atmosphere by sealingly engaging with the outer side of the barrel and which consists of a transparent material so that the user may readily observe the transfer of tablets 804 into the chamber 807d formed between the bottom portion 8071; of the cartridge and the outlet flange 805. The cartridge 807 is provided with indicating means in the form of graduations 8072 whose distance from each other approximates the thickness of the tablets 804. Thus, if the user desires to dispense say three tablets, he moves the cartridge 807 to the position of FIG. 16 so that the flange 805 is aligned with the rightmost graduation 807a. The chamber 807d is now of such axial length that it can accommodate three tablets 804. Of course, the cartridge 807 may carry more than three graduations 807e, or it may be formed with only two or even with a single graduation, if desired. The graduated tablet receiving cartridge or cover 807 enables a user to dispense a requisite number of tablets and prevents a clumsy or sick person from dispensing more tablets than necessary. This feature of my dispenser is of considerable advantage when it is handled by an invalid or by a patient whose fingers tremble and who, therefore, cannot properly control the pressure applied to the barrel in order to move the tablets toward the flange 895.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a closed rear end and an open forward end; manually operable tablet advancing means provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel in response to deforming pressure externally applied against said barrel; and at least slightly elastic outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said outlet means deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment when said advancing means is operated to move the tablets toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

2. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a closed rear end and an open forward end; manually operable tablet advancing means provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel in response to deforming pressure externally applied against said barrel; at least slightly elastic outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening With an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said outlet means deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment when said advancing means is operated to move the tablets toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; and means removably secured to the barrel for sealing said discharge opening.

3. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a closed rear end and an open forward end; manually operable spherical tablet advancing means provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel when finger pressure is applied externally to the barrel intermediate said tablet advancing means and said rear end; and at least slightly elastic outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said outlet means deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment when said advancing means is operated to move the tablets toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

4. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a closed rear end and an open forward end; manually operable cylindrical tablet advancing means provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel when finger pressure is applied externally to the barrel intermediate said tablet advancing means and said rear end; and at least slightly elastic outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said outlet means deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment when said advancing means is operated to move the tablets toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

5. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated tubular barrel of highly elastic material, said barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment and having a closed rear end'and an open forward end; reinforcing means provided on and extending in the longitudinal direction of said barrel for preventing lengthwise expansion of the barrel; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel; and an elastic inwardly extending annular flange integral with the forward end of said barrel, said flange forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said flange elastically deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment to enlarge said discharge opening when said piston is moved toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

6. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated tubular barrel of highly elastic material, said barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment and having a closed rear end and an open forward end; reinforcing means comprising at least one flexible wire member secured to and extending in the longitudinal direction of said barrel for preventing lengthwise expansion of the barrel; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compantment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel; and an elastic inwardly extending annular flange integral with the forward end of said barrel, said flange forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said flange elastically deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment to enlarge said discharge opening when said piston is moved toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

7. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated tubular barrel of highly elastic synthetic plastic material, said barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment and having a closed rear end and an open forward end; reinforcing means comprising at least one elongated reinforcing rib integrally formed with and extending in the longitudinal direction of said barrel for preventing lengthwise expansion of the barrel; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston pro- Vided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel; and an elastic inwardly extending annular flange integral with the forward end of said barrel, said flange forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said flange elastically deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment to enlarge said discharge opening when said piston is moved toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening.

8. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated tubular barrel of highly elastic material, said barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment and having a closed rear end and an open forward end; reinforcing means provided on and extending in the longitudinal direction of said barrel for preventing lengthwise expansion of the barrel; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel; an elastic inwardly extending annular flange integral with the forward end of said barrel, said flange forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the crosssectional area of said compartment, said flange elastically deformable in response to the pressure of tablets con tained in said compartment to enlarge said discharge opening when said piston is moved toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; and an elongated tubular cartridge of rigid material for removably receiving said barrel and for sealing said discharge opening.

9. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end and an open forward end; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the crosssectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; an elongated tubular shell surrounding said barrel, said shell having an open forward end adjacent to the forward end of said barrel, a rear end connected with the rear end of said barrel, and formed with a longitudinal slot extending from said rear to said forward end thereof; and manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider shiftably received in said slot and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said barrel whereby, when the slider is moved in said slot toward the forward end of said shell, said piston moves the tablets in said compartment toward the forward end of said barrel to deform said outlet means and to permit discharge of tablets through said opening.

10. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated tubular shell having an open forward end, a rear end, and an elongated slot extending from said forward end to said rear end, and formed with recess means at said rear end; an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end removably anchored in said recess means and an open forward end, and said barrel received in said shell with its forward end located in the proximity of the forward end of said shell; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; and manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider shiftably received in said slot and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said barrel whereby, when the slider is moved in said slot toward the forward end of said shell, said piston moves the tablets in said compartment toward the forward end of said barrel to deform said outlet means and to permit discharge of tablets through said opening.

11. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end and an open forward end; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the crosssectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; an elongated tubular shell surrounding said barrel, said shell having an open forward end adjacent to the forward end of said barrel, a rear end connected with the rear end of said barrel, and formed with a longitudinal slot extending from said rear to said forward end thereof; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider shiftably received in said slot and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said barrel whereby, when the slider is moved in said slot toward the forward end of said shell, said piston moves the tablets in said compartment toward the forward end of said barrel to deform said outlet means and to permit discharge of tablets through said opening; and a cap releasably secured to the forward end of said shell for sealing said discharge opening.

12. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end and an open forward end; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normal slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; an elongated tubular shell surrounding said barrel, said shell having an open forward end adjacent to the forward end of said barrel, a rear end connected with the rear end of said barrel, and formed with a longitudinal slot extending from said rear to said forward end thereof; a cap releasably secured to the rear end of said shell and formed with a cutout alignable with said slot; and manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider shiftably received in said slot and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said bar-rel whereby, when the slider is moved in said slot toward the forward end of said shell, said piston moves the tablets in said compartment toward the forward end of said barrel to deform said outlet means and to permit discharge of tablets through said opening.

13. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end and an open forward end; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; an elongated tubular shell surrounding said barrel, said shell having an open forward end adjacent to the forward end of said barrel, a rear end connected with the rear end of said barrel, and formed with a longitudinal slot extending from said rear to said forward end thereof; and manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider including a stem shiftably received in said slot, a head connected with said stem and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said barrel, and handgrip means connected with said stem externally of said shell for moving said head toward the forward end of said shell whereby the piston advances the tablets in said compartment toward said outlet means to deform the same and to permit the discharge of tablets through said opening.

14. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a rear end and an open forward end; outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normaly slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment and deformable in response to pressure of tablets contained in said compartment whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; an elongated tubular shell surrounding said barrel, said shell having an open forward end adjacent to the forward end of said barrel, a rear end connected with the rear end of said barrel, and formed with a longitudinal slot extending from said rear to said forward end thereof; manually operable tablet advancing means comprising a piston provided in said compartment intermediate the rear end of said barrel and the tablet nearest to said last mentioned rear end, and a slider shiftably received in said slot and deformingly engaging with said barrel intermediate said piston and the rear end of said barrel whereby, when the slider is moved in said slot toward the forward end of said shell, said piston moves the tablets in said compartment toward the forward end of said barrel to deform said outlet means and to permit discharge of tablets through said opening; and a cap removably secured to the forward end of said shell, said cap having a bottom portion spaced from the forward end of said shell and defining there within a tablet receiving chamber adjacent to said bottom portion whereby the tablets consecutively discharged through said opening are received in said chamber.

15. In a tablet dispenser, in combination, an elongated deformable barrel defining therewithin a tablet receiving compartment, said barrel having a airtightly sealed rear end and an open forward end; manually operable tablet advancing means provided in said compartment for moving the tablets contained therein toward the forward end of said barrel in response to deforming pressure externally applied against said barrel; at least slightly elastic outlet means at the forward end of said barrel, said outlet means forming a discharge opening with an area normally slightly smaller than the cross-sectional area of said compartment, said outlet means deformable in response to the pressure of tablets contained in said compartment when said advancing means is operated to move the tablets toward the open end of said barrel whereby the tablets may pass through said opening; and means removably connectable with said barre-l for airtightly sealing said discharge opening from the atmosphere, said last mentioned means comprising a graduated transparent cover longitudinally shiftably receiving at least a portion of said barrel, the spacing of graduations on said cover at least approximat- 14- ing the thickness of the tablets contained in said compartment whereby said cover defines therewithin a tablet receiving chamber when the barrel is shifted with respect thereto to move the outlet means into alignment with a selected graduation.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/2, 221/267, 221/279, 221/312.00R, 221/64, 221/306, 221/198
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2583/0431, B65D2583/0477, B65D83/0409
European ClassificationB65D83/04A