Coin container device
US 3127009 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,127,099 COIN CONTAINER DEVICE Michael I. Feis, Box 255, Metuchen, N.J., and Fred C. Philpitt, National Press Bldg, Washington, D.C. Filed Oct. 25, 1960, Ser. No. 64,765 1 Claim. (Cl. 206-.8)
This invention generally relates to a novel multifunctional coin container device for receiving and holding equal groups of coins in axial alignment or staggered axial alignment in such a manner as to facilitate rapid placement, counting and verification thereof and which at the same time effectively prevents any person who handles the coin container device subsequent to its initial packaging from removing coins from the coin container device without this fact being known. The coin container device of this invention is designed to take the place of the paper coin containers now in common use. The coin container device of this invention is particularly useful for banks, stores, restaurants, hotels, turnpike toll stations, and wherever else considerable quantities of coins are received or handled.
BACKGROUND AS TO PRIOR ART COIN CONTAIN- ERS AND COIN HANDLING PROCEDURES As is well known, millions of dollars worth of coins change hands in the form of wrapped rolls during the course of daily commerce in this country. Coined money is constantly flowing from the consumer to the stores, from the stores to the bank and then from the bank back to both the stores and the consumers. Many stores and banks have a large staff of workers who do nothing else all day except to sort, count and package coined money by hand and by machine. The cost of handling coined money in this fashion is considerably greater than the ordinary consumer even suspects. As it is also well known, the almost universal method for packaging coined money in this country is to manually or mechanically count a certain number of coins of each denomination and then to wrap or stack them in individual cylindrically shaped paper envelopes. In this way, the coins are contained in a compact package and may thereafter be transported from place to place more conveniently than if the coins were simply loose in a large sack. Also, the coins packaged in this manner can be deposited in a bank with greater facility.
The following is an example of the general systems used by industries that handle coins as a means of transacting business on a cash basis.
Certain industries, such as the subway systems in large cities, surface lines, churches, turnpikes, toll bridges, vending machines, etc., daily accumulate large quantities of coins of each denomination daily. All of these coins must be counted several times before they are rewrapped for use. The person who originally collects these coins hasto count them before they are turned in. The cashier of the company then has to recount them in order to give the collector the proper credit and to balance against the mechanical recording device used by the company to arrive at his total receipts for the day. They are then recounted by denominations and placed in canvas bags holding large standard amounts for delivery to banks or to the Federal Reserve System for credit to their account. They are again recounted before they are turned over to the coin wrapping room of the bank or the Federal Reserve System. Finally, they are recounted and wrapped in conventional rolls of 50 pennies, 40 nickels, 50 dimes or 40 quarters by semi-automatic or automatic counting and wrapping machines.
3,127,009 Patented Mar. 31, I964 DISADVANTAGES OF PRIOR ART COIN CONTAIN- ERS AND COIN HANDLING PROCEDURES Although the above-described system of handling coined money has been almost universally adopted by stores and banks in this country, this system does suffer from a number of disadvantages for which no one has as yet found a solution. In the first place, this system of handling and packaging money is quite inefficient.
Another disadvantage is that the operation of wrapping and the breaking of wrapped coins is in constant motion daily. One group of companies accumulates most of the coins is circulation daily while another group of companies dispenses most of the coins in circulation daily. It is thus seen that if money is constantly passing from hand to hand in commercial operations, money handling largely amounts to a laborious procedure of counting, wrapping, unwrapping, recounting, rewrapping, etc.
It has been proven that large organizations annually lose substantial amounts of money as a result of this complicated system of handling money. Time is unnecessarily lost and effort duplicated because the cashier has to count the coins and then wrap them, only to have the clerks unwrap the coins and recount them. At the end of the day, when clerks are in a hurry to leave, it is necessary for them to collect the loose coins and individually count them before returning them to the cashier for final check. This is a nuisance and leads to inaccuracy, whereas if done earlier customers are sometimes neglected or the clerks become confused from simultaneously waiting on customers and attempting to accomplish their accounting duties. In addition, the cashier again has to go through an elaborate counting procedure to verify the coins returned by the clerks.
Although automatic machines are available to count coins, it is not practical to use these machines in most instances and even if they were, the coins would be subject to the several counting operations mentioned above and subsequently wrapped.
OBJECTS Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a coin container device which holds a predetermined number of coins and which completely eliminates the need for rewrapping. A further object of this invention is to provide an easily loadable device for holding coins in stacked relationship and which is transparent or open along at least one side thereof so that the coins contained therein can be counted without opening the container. A still further object of the invention is to provide a coin container having a plurality of the compartments to subdivide a stack of coins into small equal groups for each loading, counting and verifying and which permits visual inspection of the money contained therein when the container is closed.
Another object of this invention is to provide a device which will replace the present conventional wrapped rolls of coins, thereby eliminating most of the hand wrapping and machine wrapping presently done in industries, banks and by the Federal Reserve Systems all over the United States.
Another object of the invention is to have the companies who accumulate coins daily, place the coins as they receive them in these coin container devices and by so doing, all the counting and recounting will be eliminated.
Another object is to supply a device of the type described that is very inexpensive to produce, easy to handle, and of sufiiciently sturdy construction to withstand a onetime use. Another object of this invention is to provide a coin box in which a predetermined number of coins may be stacked without having to count them individually. A further object is to provide a coin box of the above character which will allow a sales clerk to determine quickly and accurately the number of coins therein without handling them. A still further object is to provide a coin container of the above character which may be conveniently inserted into a conventional cash drawer of a cash register, so that change may be quickly and easily made from the coin container. Another object is to provide a small, sturdy, and relatively inexpensive coin container of the type described which can be used in a simplified method of counting and handling coins by each person who handles such money. These and other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, arrangements of parts, and relation and order of each of the same to one or more of the others, all as will be illustratively described herein, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claim section.
THE INVENTION GENERALLY In one sense, the container of this invention can be considered as a plastic container for holding a plurality of coins in a grouped and aligned face-to-face relationship which comprises, two spaced apart end members, at least two longitudinal and generally parallel coin retaining members adapted to extend along a portion of the outer circumferential edges of said coins and between said end members, at least one of said coin retaining members consisting of a side member having each of its opposite terminal ends integrally molded to said spaced apart end members, at least one of said elongated coin retaining members constituting a manually lockable top member, said manually lockable top member having two oppositely positioned terminal sections, each of said spaced apart end members being provided with a locking slot, each of said opposite terminal sections being adapted to fit into each of said locking slots, said opposite terminal sections each having at least one locking projection thereon which is adapted to fit within and lock within a corresponding locking cavity so that once said locking projections have been engaged with said locking cavities, disengagement thereof cannot be accomplished Without breaking a portion of the container.
THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a side view of a container in accordance with this invention;
FIGURE 2 is an end view of the container shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a top view of the container shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary end view of a terminal section useful in connection with this invention and particularly FIGURES 1-3;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary end view of an end member, locking slot and locking cavity in accordance with this invention;
FIGURES 6 and 8 are sequential fragmentary end views illustrating how the terminal section of FIGURE 4 is adapted to fit within the end member of FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a view along 77 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 9 is a view along 99 of FIGURE 8;
FIGURES l0 and 11 are sequential fragmentary cross sectional views similar to FIGURES 7 and 9 which illustrate another embodiment of an interlocking terminal section and end member;
FIGURES 12 and 13 are views similar to FIGURES and 11 but showing slightly different embodiments;
FIGURES 14-17 are fragmentary end views of alternative types of terminal sections;
FIGURES 18 and 19 are plan views in section illustrating alternative ways for preventing the terminal section from being removed from the locking slot once it has been inserted.
THE INVENTION WITH REFERENCE TO THE DRAWINGS Referring now to FIGURES l, 2 and 3 it will be seen that these figures show various views of a coin container device in accordance with this invention. In its broader aspects, the coin container device shown in these three figures comprises two spaced apart end members 28 and 30 which are joined together by a lower coin side retaining member 52. The exact manner in which the opposite ends of lower coin side retaining member 52 are joined to the end members 28 and 30 is not important. In fact, these members (28, 52 and 30) are preferably molded as a unitary piece. As is perhaps best seen in FIGURE 1, the lower coin side retaining member 52 is preferably curved in shape (when viewed endwise in FIGURE 1) so as to conform to the contour of at least a portion of the periphery of the coins 54 which the coin device is adapted to contain. The exact degree or extent of this curvature is not critical and may be varied a great deal. In fact, in some instances where additional side members are employed or when the elongated strip 20 is wide enough, the lower coin side retaining member may even only tangentially contact the lower peripheral edges of the coins and still prevent coins from being removed. As shown in FIGURES l-3, the coin retaining device is also provided with an upper coin side retaining member 26, such member also functioning as a manually lockable top member. It will be noted that this upper side retaining member 26 consists of an elongated strip of material 20 and two terminal sections 22 and 24 which extend downwardly at substantially right angles to the elongated strip 20. The downwardly depending extremities of terminal sections 22 and 24 are adapted to be slidably engaged within locking slots 39 and 41 respectively (shown by dotted lines in FIGURE 2 and FIG- URE 1). As is best shown in FIGURE 3 the upper surface of elongated strip 20 may be provided with any suitable desired indicia such as the number of coins contained in the container and/or the name of the source of the container and/or the employee who has filled and closed the container. Other obvious arrangements will occur to those skilled in the art.
FIGURES 2 and 3 show that this specific embodiment of a coin container device is provided with a plurality of coin separator sections 56. Although these coin separator sections 56 are not absolutely essential, they are quite beneficial in that they do group the aligned coins into groups of a given number (such as five coins) and facilitate rapid visual counting of the coins. It would involve no invention to horizontally or vertically stagger the coin separator sections so as to further facilitate rapid review and checking of the number of coins contained in the coin container. It would likewise involve no invention to provide the lower coin side retaining member 52 with alternate raised and lowered portions or alternating offset portions in order to effect staggering of the groups of coins.
FIGURES 4-9 show enlarged, detailed, fragmentary views of the exact mechanism which renders the coin container device of this invention fool-proof and tamperproof.
FIGURE 4 shows a fragmentary end view of one lower end of the terminal section 24. It will be noted that the lower end of this terminal section is provided with two projections 32 and 34.
Turning now to FIGURE 5 there is shown an enlarged view of the outer extension 40 of end member 30. In this view the locking slot 41 can be seen more clearly and it is seen to comprise two sides 42 and 44, a bottom edge 50 and two locking cavities 36 and 38.
In FIGURES 6 and 7 the terminal section 24 is shown shortly after it has entered the locking slot 41. It will be observed that as the terminal section 24 starts downwardly (e.g. urged by manual pressure) into locking slot 41 the sides 42 and 44 of locking slot 41 cause the normally outwardly extending projections 3-2 and 34 to be compressed inwardly to a limited extent. The terminal section 24 and locking projections 32. and 34 are specifically designed in this manner and preferably are made out of resilient or at least partially resilient material which is capable of carrying out this function (e.g. plastic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, Mylar, etc.).
FIGURES 8 and 9 show the progress of the terminal section 2 4 as it continues to move downwardly toward the bottom 50 of locking slot 41. It will be observed that when the lower end of terminal section 24- approaches the bottom edge 50 of slot 41 the locking projections 32. and 34 will reach that position adjacent the cavities 36 and 38 wherein the sides 42 and 44 of the locking slot are no longer able to compress or restrict the locking projections 32 and 34 inwardly. When this point is reached, the natural resiliency of locking projections 32 and 34 will cause them to extend outwardly into the cavities 36 and 38 respectively. When this occurs, the locking projections 32 and 34 are designed to substantially fill the locking cavities 36 and 38 and the terminal section 24 cannot thereafter be again withdrawn from the locking slot 41 since the outwardly flared edges of projections 32 and 34 are firmly and irreversibly locked in place by the locking cavities 36 and 38.
OBVIOUS EQUIVALENTS OF THE INVENTION Whereas one specific embodiment of this invention has been illustrated in FIGURES 1-9 it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that other equivalent means could be employed. Some of these other obvious equivalents are shown in the remaining figures after FIGURE 9.
Specifically, in EIGURES 1 0 and 11 it will be seen that the terminal section 24, instead of having one or more lock-ing projections thereon, may have a locking cavity 360 which is adapted to engage with a locking projection 320 formed on the interior wall surface of locking slot 41. This in effect amounts to a reversal of the pr'ojection and cavity functions as set forth in FIGURES 1-9. Such a reversal of functions nevertheless results in a locking action which will prevent the removal of terminal section 24 once it has been inserted into locking cavity 41.
Turning also to FIGURES 12 and 13 there is shown an alternative and rather obvious arrangement wherein the terminal section 24 is provided with a locking projection 326 provided on the back surface of the terminal section 24 in contrast with providing the locking projection on the lateral or side surfaces of the terminal section as is shown in FIGURES 49. This locking projection is adapted to engage a locking cavity 360 disposed on the rear wall of the locking slot 41 in much the same manner as the locking projections 3-2 and 34 engage the locking cavities 36 and 38' in FIGURES 4-9.
FIGURE 14 shows an obvious alternative of FIG- URES 19 wherein the terminal section 24 is not of constant cross section but instead has a varying cross section. FIGURE 14 still shows that the lower narrow cross-sectional end of terminal section 24 may nevertheles contain a plurality of projections 3 20 (which would of course beadapted to fit within corresponding locking cavities located on the interior surface of the lockng slot).
FIGURE 15 shows another obvious alternative of FIG- URES 19 wherein the terminal section 24 has a cut-out portion 25 which permits the end of terminal section 24 to be compressed inwardly as it is being inserted into a locking slot. When the terminal section is inserted into the locking slot a suflicient distance so that the projections 32% come into alignment with corresponding looking cavities, then the inherent resiliency of the compressed cut-out portion 25 will cause the projections to be forced outwardly into permanent locking engagement with the corresponding locking cavities. The exact size and shape of the cut-out portion 25 can of course be varied a great deal and is not critical.
FIGURE 16 shows an obvious alternative to the arrangements shown in FIGURES 14 and 15. FIGURE 16 shows that the projections 320 can be in the form of rounded bumps or curves, rather than sharp angles. The locking cavity in such a case would preferably have a somewhat similar shape.
FIGURE 17 shows an obvious alternative of FIG- URES 14-46. FIGURE 16 shows that there can be a plurality of projections disposed on terminal section 24 for locking purposes.
FIGURES 18 and 19 show obvious alternative ways for preventing the terminal section from being moved from the locking slot once it has been inserted. In other words, in FIGURES 1, 2, 3, 7 and 913 it is shown that the outer extension 40 of end member 30* efiectively prevents the terminal section 24 from being moved in the direction of arrow C (see particularly FIGURE 7). The direction of arrow E in FIGURES 18 and 19 corresponds to the direction of arrow C in FIGURE 7. It will be seen that by choosing the cross sectional shape of terminal section 24 and the locking slot within which it is adapted to be inserted, one can effectively control and limit one possible direction of movement of the terminal section 24. Other ways of accomplishing the same thing are of course obvious.
Also, although FIGURES 1-3 show only elongated strip 20 and elongated strip 52 to retain the coins, it is obvious that any number of additional elongated strips could be provided. Cost would of course generally increase with the increased amount of plastic used. A number of obvious variations are possible.
ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION It will be seen that the coin container device of this invention is highly useful. Once the coins have been inserted and the top terminal sections locked in place, a coin package is provided which can be readily verified by any number of people without the necessity of opening the container. Also, since the package has a foolproof means for readily detecting whether the contents have been tampered with, once the package has been prepared and transferred, the transferror of the package has assurance that the number of coins that he transfers will not he questioned so long as the package shows no signs of being tampered with. Any portion of the package can be suitably designed so that when one does desire to break open the package it can be done without great physical effort or delay (e.g. as by weakening a portion of the top, sides or end of the package).
What is claimed is:
A multipart plastic container adapted to hold a plurality of coins in a grouped and aligned face-to-face relationship which comprises:
(a) two spaced apart end members,
(b) at least two longitudinal and generally parallel coin retaining members adapted to extend along opposed portions of the outer circumferential edges of any coins that are placed between said end members,
(0) at least one of said longitudinal coin retaining members functioning as a bottom member which has each of its opposite terminal ends integrally molded to said spaced apart end members,
(d) at least one of said elongated coin retaining members functioning as a manually lockable top member,
(e) said manually lockable top member having two oppositely positioned terminal sections,
(1) each of said spaced apart end members being provided with a locking slot,
(g) each of said locking slots containing at least one locking cavity,
(h) each of said opposite terminal sections being adapted to be inserted within each of said locking slots,
(1') said opposite terminal sections each having at least one locking projection thereon, each projection being adapted to fit within and to be permanently locked References Cited in the file of this patent within a corresponding locking cavity in said locking slots, (j) whereby once the desired number of coins have UNITED STATES PATENTS been placed on said bottom member and between 208984 McGovern 1878 667,104 Schlemmer Jan. 29, 1901 said end members, said top member can be posi- 10 a 2,077,977 Ahlqulst Apr. 20, 1937 tioned along the clrcumferentlal edges of said C01118 2 271 746 S h 1 F b 3 1942 at a spaced distance from said bottom member and 26O6652 1952 then permanently engaged with said bottom member 2747731 Baque e e a 1956 by inserting said terminal sections into said locking Onanno ay slots so that the coins are secured between the top 15 2969216 Hansey 1961 2,982,434 Hidding May 2, 1961 and bottom members so that they cannot be removed