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Publication numberUS3137409 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 16, 1964
Filing dateJan 23, 1963
Priority dateJan 23, 1963
Publication numberUS 3137409 A, US 3137409A, US-A-3137409, US3137409 A, US3137409A
InventorsPaul Davis
Original AssigneeSweetheart Plastics
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container cover
US 3137409 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 16, 1964 P. DAVIS 3,137,409



ATTORNEY S United States Patent 3,137,409 CONTAINER COVER Paui Davis, Beverly, Mass., assignor to Sweetheart Piastics, Inc., Guildware Park, Wilmington, Mass, a corporation of Maryland Filed .ian. 23, 1963, Ser. No. 253,491 8 Claims. (Cl. 22tl97) This invention relates to container covers and more particularly comprises a new and improved disposable plastic lid for drinking cups and the like, which nests with identical lids when stacked one above the other.

The quality of disposable lids made of plastic or paper commonly used as covers for drinking cups and the like is measured in terms of the effectiveness of the seal which they form about the mouth of the container, how easily they may be mounted on and removed from the containers with which they are used, how well they nest one upon the other when stacked in a column and how many lids may be stacked in a given stack height. A high quality product provides a very eifective seal, is easy to manipulate on the containers, forms a stable stack when nested with other lids and easily separates from other lids in the stack, and nests very close to other lids to form a very dense stack. It is an object of this invention to provide a lid which is inexpensive and relatively easy to fabricate and which possesses the high quality characteristics herein noted.

While it is not particularly difiicult to design a lid which 2 forms an effective seal with a container, such lids which provide the necessary seal are very often extremely difficult to remove. Very often lids which form a tight seal on the container mouth tend to peel oif the mouth rather than snap off when a lifting pressure is exertedupon them. When such a lid is removed from the container mouth by an upward and outward pull applied to the downturned skirt of the lid outside the container rim, a substantial part of the remaining portion of the skirt is pulled more tightly against the container wall and binds against it beneath the container rim. This action particularly prevalent with lids made of thin stock increases the difiiculty of removing lids from the containers and often jars the containers and spills the contents because of the considerable force required to finally remove them.

It is essential that the lids be designed to cooperate with one another so that they form a stack without one lid binding upon an adjacent lid in a manner which would make it diflicult to separate them. Moreover, the lids when stacked should provide some means which enables any lid to be engaged at its periphery. The lids should so loosely fit together that when one lid is supported at its periphery the lid or lids disposed beneath it will drop freely from the stack. This feature enables the lids to be used in vending machines and the like where automatic dispensing of them is essential.

It should be apparent that considerable savings may be realized if in a selected stack heighta great number of lids may be nested together. required for a given number of lids, the less costly is packing and shipping of the lids in quantity. Moreover, lids which stack or nest very close together place lesser storage demands not only upon the user of such lids but on the manufacturer as well.

In accordance with the present invention the lidincludes a side wall extending upwardly and outwardly from the periphery of the bottom wall, which walls are joined together by an outwardly convex bead. An outwardly extending flange is secured to the top of the side wall, and depending from the outer edge of the flange is an inwardly concave arcuate wall which forms the upper portion of the lid skirt. A downwardly and outwardly flared lower skirt portion extends from the lower edge of the arcuate The smaller the package 3,137,409 Patented June 16, 1964 portion of the skirt, and the lower portion is designed to rest upon the arcuate portion of the next lower lid in a stack when the lid is nested with like lids. The inwardly concave portion of the arcuate wall is designed to form a seal about the month. of the container with which it is used by engagement with the rolled rim of that containe over a substantial area.

These and other objects and features of this invention along with its incident advantages will be better understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of one'embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which: FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a lid and container constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional fragmentary view of a number of identical'lids constructed in accordance with this invention and illustrating the manner in which they nest together; V

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrateditferent characteristics of the. prior art. r i The lid of this invention includes a bottom wall 10, a side wall 12, an outwardly extending flange -14, and a skirt 16. As shown in FIG. 1',the lid is designed to fit within the rim 18 of a container 20 and form a seal about the container mouth so as to prevent the container contents from spilling. The manner in which the lid forms the seal at the mouth of the container and nests with like lids formed in a stack, are described-in detail below.

g The bottom wall 10 of the lid is shown in FIG. 1 to be provided with a rib 22 onits upper surface which may cooperate with the bottom of a container standing on'its upper surface to" prevent that container from tipping. The rib 22 may bear against the inner or outer edge of the bottom of the container side wall to achieve this purpose. The inverted well 23 disposed inwardly of the rib 22 has a central perforation 23' which permits air or steam within the container to escape without spilling the liquid contents. i

I The sidewall 12 of the lid is connected to the bottom wall 10 by an outwardly convex bead 24, and the side wall is flared upwardly and outwardly at an angle to the vertical which is somewhat greater than the angle with the vertical formed by the side wall 26 of the container 20. Intermediate its ends the side wall 12 turns upwardly in a more acute angle with the vertical to provide an upper side wall portion 28 joinedto the lower portion 30 at the bend 32." While the lower portion 30 of the side wall 12 forms a greater angle with the vertical than the side wall 26 of the container, the upper portion 28 of the side wall forms an angle with the vertical which is less than that formed by the side wall 26, and therefore, the side wall 12 of the lid bears against the side wall 26 of the container at the region of the fold 32. The lid is dimensioned so that when theskirt 16 extends about the rolled rim 18 of the container, the fold 32 bears heavily against the inner surface of the side wall 26 and forms a seal at that region about the mouth of the container. The pressure of the lid against the container may cause either or both of the side walls 12 and 20 to deform somewhat arc is approximately Because the arcuate portion 34 extendsover an appreciable arc beneath the rim 18,

it serves to bind the lid on the mouth of the container and prevents it from loosening on the mouth and impair the eifectiveness of the seal formed by the inner wall 12 of the lid with the inner surface of the container wall 249. Moreover, the arcuate portion 34 of the skirt is in contact with the rolled rim is of the lid over a very appreciable area because their radii are matched for this purpose, and the very appreciable contact between the rolled rim 1S and the skirt 16 forms an additional seal about the mouth of the container which will prevent the contents of the container from spilling even should the seal be less than 100% effective between the side Wall 12 of the lid and the wall 26 of the container.

Flared downwardly and outwardly from the edge 36 of the arcuate wall as is the lower skirt portion 38 which serves two important functions. First, the lower portion 38 forms a finger grip which facilitates the removal of the lid from the container and second, as is shown in FIG. 2 the lower portion serves as a support for the lid by engaging the upper arcuate wall of the skirt of the lid beneath it when the lids are stacked.

In FIG. 2 it will be noted that when the lids are nested, I

the bead 24 at the junction of the walls It and 12 does not engage the inner surface 46 of the side wall 12 of the next lower lid but rather stands away from that wall a very short distance. It would be difiicult to machine the mold on which the lids are formed so precisely that when the lids are stacked one upon the other the bead 24 contacts the inner surface 419 of the wall 12 of the next lower lid just as the lower portion 38 of the skirt of the upper lid engages the arcuate wall 34 of the next lower lid. Because it would be so difficult to achieve this match of contacts at the head 24 and skirt 16, the lid is designed so that contact is made at the skirt alone, and the head 24 is formed so as not to engage the Wall 12. Thus, while the skirt 16 serves to support the lid upon the next lower lid in the stack, the head 24 prevents any appreciable shifting of the lid upon the next lower lid by limiting the amount of lateral displacement permitted. While the skirt portion 38 of each lid rests upon the upper portion 34 of the skirt of the next lower lid, the bottom edge 42 of each skirt extends beyond and is free of contact with the skirt or" the next lower lid so as to enable a stack of lids to be supported by mechanical fingers or some other device which engages the lower edge 42 of one lid without interfering with the lids beneath it. Thus, the lids of this invention are particularly suitable for use in automatic vending machines which discharge the lids one at a time. It is; apparent that when the stack of lids is supported by engaging the lower edge .-2 of the bottom most lid in a stack, that lid may readily be discharged by withdrawing support of that lid and engaging the lower edge 42 of the next upper lid in the stack. With this action the lower most lid is permitted to fall away from the stack and will do so readily as it is free of any binding contact with the next upper lid.

It will be noted in FEGS. 1 and 2 thatthe gap between stock in the range of .010 to .012 inches. The heavier stock has several advantages. First, the lid does not so readily bend and therefore does not have a tendency to peel from the container mouth when being removed. Rather, the lid tends to remain flat and snaps ed and on the container rim when being opened and closed. Furthermore, with the heavier material, when an upwardly.

and outwardly directed pull is applied to one area on the lower portion 38 of the skirt, the remainder of the periphery of the skirt does not have a tendency to bend or draw inwardly toward the wall of the container on which it is mounted to form a more positive grip upon the rolled rim of the container. Lids made of lighter stock have a' i very definite tendency to bend in this manner so that the effect the seal.

the outer surface of the wall 12 andthe lower end of the arcuate wall 3% is substantially less than the overall width of the upper portion of the lid from the inner surface 46 of the wall 12 to the outer surface of the arcuate cave portion of the next upper lid in the manner of the rim of the container shown in FIG. 1. As a result, it is not possible without a very appreciable force being appreciable force being applied to the stack of lids to cause one lid to bind upon the next lid and make it thereafter difiicult to separate lids in the stack.

In the preferred embodiment of this invention the plastic sheet material from which the lid is made is between .015 and .017 inches in thickness, which is significantly heavier than the material from which ordinary disposable plastic lids are made. Customarily such lids are made of pelling action of the lid is accentuated and the lid is even more diificult to remove. 'This is suggested in FIG. 3] wherein the lid is shown to be partially removed from the cup and the skirt is binding tightly against and under the rim of the container wherever it is not free of it.

The location of the seal at the bend 32 between th wall 12 of the lid and the wall 26 of the container also contributes to the ease with which the lid may be removed. Because the seal is adjacent the top of the container rather than at the region of the bead 24, the lid need be tilted through a relatively slight angle to break the seal. Furthermore, the configuration of the side wall 12 of the lid does not require that a cavity be formed on the inner surface of the lid to receive the head to the container wall to break the seal as would be the case with a cavity which receives the head 24. In FIG. 4 the prior art lid is shown to form a seal primarily at the head of the lid, and in broken lines the considerable angle through which that lid must be pivoted to free the;- y p 5 V head from the inner surface is suggested.

From the foregoingit will be appreciated that the numerous advantages referred to in the introduction are derived from the present invention- An effective seal is formed between the lid and the container without employing a lid which is difiicult to remove and mount on the container. loreover, the lid nests readily with like lids in a stack without binding one upon the other, and

the lids nest relatively close together so that a large While the foregoing description has been limited to container lids, it will be appreciated that many of the features of this invention may be used advantageously in other nestable articles. Y Moreover, it will be appreciated from the foregoing description that numerous modi-' fications may be made of this invention without depare ing from its spirit. Therefore, it is not intended that the breadth of this invention be determined by the specthe periphery of the bottom wall and joined theretoby an outwardly convex head, 7 said side wall of the lid having upper and lower por tions which diverge inwardly in an upwardly and downwardly direction, respectively, from the inner surface of the container side wall and adapted to form a seal at the junction of said uppe'r'and lower portions of the side wall of the lid with the inner surface of the container side wall when the lid' is mounted on the container,

Theref re, it is not necessary to spread an outwardly e tendingflange, secured to the top of the side wall,

a downwardly extendingskirt secured to the outer edge edge of the flange and spaced from the side wall,

the bead of the lid being spaced inwardly from the inner surface of'the lower flared portion of the side said skirt having an inwardly concaved upper portion 5' wall of a like lid nestedwith it in a stack.

adapted to wrap around a substantial portion of the 6. A lid and container combination as defined in claim beaded rim of the container and be in surfac'eeto- 3 further characterizedby a surface contact therewith over a substantial ,area, l the space between the concave portionof the skirt and I said skirt also having a downwardly and outwardly the upper portion ofthe side wallof thelid being flared lower portionimmediately beneath the upper less than the horizontal distanceacross the container portion and spaced and diverging downwardly from from the outermost point of the curled rim 101116 the outer surface of the container side wall, inner surface of the side wall thereof whereby the c I the lower portion of said. skirt being adapted to rest. region of'the junction of the upper and lower sec 5 upon and support the lid on the upper portion of tions of the side wall compresses and forms-a seal the skirt of an identical lid disposed beneath it and with the inner surface of the sidewall of the com with the bead of the lid spaced from the inner sur-i tainer. V a face of the side wall of thelid beneath it. v 7. A lid for a container having a flared side wall and 2. A container lid as defined in claim 1 further charabeadedrimcomprising I I acterized by 1 p a bottom wall, Y g I I said lid being made of plastic sheet material between a side wall extending upwardly and outwardly from and .015 and .017 inches in thickness. joined to the periphery of the bottorn' wall, saidside 3. A lid and container combination comprising wall of the lid having upper and'lowe'r portions a container having an upwardly flared side wall terwhich diverge inwardly in an upwardly and downminating in a rolled r'irn, g wardly direction respectivelyffrom' the inner surface a lid having a bottom wall connected by an outwardly of the container side wall with said upperand lowconvex bead to a side wall, I er. portions being joined at a bend in the side wall said side wall having a lower portion flaring upwardly of the lid, said bend beingadapted to abut against from the bead at an angle with the vertical greater and form a seal with the inner surfac'e of the con 7 than the angle of flare of the side wall of the container side wall," a I tainer and having an l pp 1 g aICOH- 30 means including a downwardly eirtending skirt secured tinuation of the lower portion and flaring outwardlyy" to the upper edge of the side wall of the lid and at a lesser anglewthan the side wall of the container having an inwardly concave portion adapted to wrap WheTebY Said lower and pp POItiOBS 0f Side arounda substantial portion of the beaded rim of wall of the lid diverge respectively in a downwardly the containerforretainingthe lid on the container, and upwardly direction from inner Suffa'c? 0f '35 said skirt having an outwardly and downwardly flared the container side wall, lower portionsse'cured to thebottom ofthe concave the region of the junction of the upper and lower portion with 'said' flaredgportion' diverging downportions of the side wall bearingragainst the inner wardly from the'outer'surfa'ce of the container side-' Surface of the id Wa l f fi COIiiaiHer and i wall when the lid ismountedon the container. thebead of the lid disposed away from the inner sur 40 8. A lid as defined in claim 7- further characterized by face of said'side wall, V the side wall of the lid extending downwardly below all-outwardly extending flangfl secured to the p of g i the bottom of theinwardly concave portion *of the the side wall of the lidand extending over and in ki t d ith th h i ont l di t n e b tw th I contact with the top of the rolled rim of the con-. i bottornedge of the inwardly concave portion of the u tainer, skirt and the outer surface of the sidewall of the 1 an inwardly concave downwardly ex n ing skir -selid beinglle'ss thanthe maximum horizontal-distance Cure t0 the Outer and 0f the flange and @ngaging between theouter surface of theinwardly concave a substantial area of the rolled rim outwardly and; orti n of the skirt'and the inner surfacev of thesid I downwarly from the rim top, wall 'ofthe lid. 5 T

and a downwardly extending extension. of the skirt '50'-' H g i p i flared outwardly from the concave portion and References Cited'in the tile of this patent diverging from the side wall of the container. i 1 N Df T Q TE c 4. A lid and containerv combination as defined in claim f c I V 3 further characterized by x v Re. 2 4,889. 7 Tupper Oct. 18, 1960 1 2901161 Henchert 'Aug..25,:'1959;

said downward extension oftheskirt of thehd adapt- 1 1 ed to rest upon the=outer surface of'the "concave 33? 1960 7 portion of-the skirt of an identical lid stacked beneath Feb. 21,1961 1

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2901161 *Dec 27, 1955Aug 25, 1959Continental Can CoContainer closure and method of forming same
US2922563 *Aug 5, 1957Jan 26, 1960American Can CoSnug fitting container closure
US2972432 *Feb 27, 1958Feb 21, 1961Lily Tulip Cup CorpFlexible thermoplastic nestable closure lids
USRE24889 *Dec 24, 1952Oct 18, 1960 Container and cover therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3380307 *Feb 7, 1966Apr 30, 1968Stuart & Co Inc C HLid scoop
US3384265 *Dec 12, 1966May 21, 1968Frank Corp Alan I WContainer lid
US3460711 *Jul 15, 1968Aug 12, 1969Monsanto CoSealed reclosable container having stacking features
US3504823 *May 6, 1968Apr 7, 1970Monsanto CoContainer
US3632016 *Jun 11, 1969Jan 4, 1972Continental Can CoCover interlocking preventive device
US4004710 *Dec 31, 1975Jan 25, 1977Mammoth Plastics, Inc.Container and closure therefor
US4054229 *Feb 11, 1976Oct 18, 1977Reynolds Metals CompanyContainer
US4770318 *Sep 30, 1982Sep 13, 1988Dart Container CorporationInterlocking lid and associated container
US6685049 *May 15, 2000Feb 3, 2004Landis Plastics, Inc.Thin wall closure for use with a container
US7025206 *May 8, 2003Apr 11, 2006Michael Matthew SommerDisposable plate with handle and method of stacking
US8322530Jan 6, 2009Dec 4, 2012Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage container and container system
US8777043Feb 9, 2007Jul 15, 2014Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage container and container system
US8777046 *Oct 7, 2011Jul 15, 2014Berry Plastics CorporationDrink cup with rolled brim
US8967416Jan 9, 2009Mar 3, 2015Rubbermaid IncorporatedFood storage container and container system
US9145231Dec 3, 2012Sep 29, 2015Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage container and container system
US20040222120 *May 8, 2003Nov 11, 2004Sommer Michael MatthewDisposable plate with handle and method of stacking
US20070187277 *Feb 9, 2007Aug 16, 2007Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage container and container system
US20090173656 *Jan 6, 2009Jul 9, 2009Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage Container and Container System
US20100176022 *Jan 9, 2009Jul 15, 2010Rubbermaid IncorporatedFood storage container and container system
WO2007092954A2 *Feb 9, 2007Aug 16, 2007Rubbermaid IncorporatedStorage container and container system
WO2007092954A3 *Feb 9, 2007Sep 27, 2007Brian FurlongStorage container and container system
U.S. Classification220/380, 220/792, 220/781, 206/515, 229/125.25
International ClassificationB65D43/02, B65D51/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/1666, B65D2543/00537, B65D2543/00796, B65D43/0212, B65D2543/00509, B65D2543/00638, B65D2543/00731, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/00092, B65D2543/00685, B65D2543/00555, B65D2543/00027
European ClassificationB65D51/16D3B, B65D43/02S3E