US 3144961 A
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Aug. 18, 1964 1.. E. PHENNER TISSUE DISPENSING CARTON WITH FLOATING CONTROL ELEMENT Filed July 17, 1962 United States Patent 3,144,961 'llllSEiUE DISPENSING CARTGN Wl'lltl FLDA'HN G CUNTRUI. ELEMENT Lewis E. Phenner, Menasha, Wis, assignor to Kimberly- Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis, a corporation of Delaware i Filed .lluly 17, 1962, Ser. No. 210,363 I Claim. (Cl. IBM-43) This invention relates to tissue dispensing cartons and more specifically to cartons adapted for dispensing interleaved tissues.
An important object of the invention is to provide an improved carton from which individual tissues may sequentially be dispensed, and from which a plurality of tissues may be conveniently removed as a unit.
Another object is to provide an improved carton adapted for dispensing in a pop up manner, interleaved but not necessarily interbonded tissues.
A further object is to provide an improved carton adapted to insure against tissue fallback, particularly in a relatively deep dispensing carton, and when only a minor portion of the tissue stack remains.
()ther objects and advantages will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon examination of the draw ings and description, as will various modifications of the invention, without departure from the concepts herein taught and defined in the appended claim.
In the drawings, in which like parts are identified by the same reference numeral,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a carton incorporating the invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the carton of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the carton of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a control element employed in the carton illustrated.
FIG. 5 shows in elevation a stack of tissues interleaved in a manner to be dispensed from the carton shown in FIGS. 13.
As shown in FIG. 1, a rectangular carton of paperboard or the like, generically designated 10, includes a top wall 12 provided with a generally T-shaped opening 14 formed by a pair of aligned and relatively narrow slotlike portions 16, 18 and an intermediate symmetrical necklike portion 20. Portion 20 extends laterally to the top wall margin and into a registered slot-like vertical channel 24 provided in adjacent side wall 26. In conformance with industry practice, carton 10 as sold, may be completely closed, with the opening above described marginally defined by suitable treatment, such as by lines of perforations, score lines, or both, to permit manual removal prior to use. As illustrated herein, such a panel has been removed. A stack or clip of interleaved tissues 28, the stack preferably being slightly smaller than the box in terior, is shown disposed therein in a manner to permit sequential sheet dispensing from the top of the stack through the opening while also permitting easy unitary removal of a part of the stack without destroying the interleaved relation therebetween.
As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, a light weight platelike control element is provided with an opening 32 of the general configuration of the top wall opening 14 and positioned for substantial registry therewith. Preferably opening 32 is slightly smaller than the corresponding opening 14. Plate 30, which may be formed of light weight sheet stock of cardboard, metal, plastic, or the like, is of a size to permit free floatable movement vertically of the interior of carton 10 without substantial displacement from a position of alignment between plate opening 32 and top wall opening 14. Plate 30 is floatably disposed below top wall 12 and above the tissue "ice stack 28 to rest directly on stack 28 except during periods of tissue extraction when it may move upwardly thereof while functioning as a control element.
Problems inherent in the extraction of interleaved light weight facial tissues and the like have long been the subjeot of a very substantial amount of research and development by facial tissue manufacturers. While shallow cartons present few extraction difliculties, problems have been involved in obtaining satisfactory extraction from deep cartons, particularly when few tissues remain therein. A trailing tissue may separate from the tissue being extracted as the space between the top of the tissue stack and a top wall dispensing slot progressively increases as the stack height decreases. Since it is highly desirable that interleaved tissues be sequentially dispensed in a manner that the leading tissue draws a portion of a trailing tissue into the opening area during dispensing (popularly known as the pop up feature), a major problem is presented in insuring the required inter-tissue friction especially when the stack is substantially used up and a trailing tissue must therefore be drawn through a much longer path to effect pop up than when drawn from a higher stack. An additional serious problem results from customer demand not only for flawless sequential dispensing of individual tissues, regardless of the number of tissues remaining in the carton, but also for ready access to the tissue stack for the unitary removal of a plurality of interleaved tissues for pocket use, for example. Hence it is desirable that a partial stack may be withdrawn without resultant wrinkling, crumpling or bunching of the interleaved tissues during removal. The present invention satisfies, in an eifective manner, user demands for the plurality of dispensing features above enumerated.
Referring again to the drawings, the withdrawal of a tissue from a relatively large stack of tissues interleaved in the manner illustrated in FIG. 5, or any other suitable manner, results in a frictionally engaged or interbonded trailing tissue being partially withdrawn through both opening 32 and opening 14 as the leading tissue is dispensed. To insure proper pop up of a trailing tissue a dispensing opening must apply constrictional forces sufiicient to maintain suitable frictional engagement between the interleaved portions of leading and trailing tissues. When constriction forces and resulting interleaf friction fall below an optimum range the trailing tissue is apt merely to fall back into the carton rather than being drawn through the opening, whereas if constrictional forces are too great, sheet tearing may result. In general, tissues which are interleaved but not interbonded, and therefore more easily separated one from the other, require constrictional forces of somewhat lesser magnitude than those requiring bond breakage during dispensing. However that constriction resulting in inter-sheet friction decays as the distance between the tissue stack and opening increases. A top wall dispensing aperture of both optimum configurations and size may function perfectly while the top of the sheet stack remains within a certain distance range of the top wall, but may prove unsatisfactory when that range is exceeded as, for example, when three quarters or more of the stack has been dispensed and the remaining tissues are substantially spaced from the top wall.
During initial dispensing from a full tissue stack, as shown in FIG. 1, control plate 30 plays no important role in proper dispensing, since aperture 32 therein, while preferably being slightly smaller than corresponding top wall aperture 14, merely takes over to duplicate the function which would, in the absence of plate 30, be performed by aperture 14. However as the tissue stack diminishes in height, as for example to one half or less of its original height, plate 30 takes over to serve in much the same manner as would top wall aperture 14, in the absence of plate 30, during initial dispensing from a much higher stack. The major function of plate 30 is therefore to insure optimum dispensing which, though easily obtained between a suitable opening and a stack of interleaved tissues spaced closely thereunder, is difficult to maintain as the spacing increases. Those optimum conditions are maintained, regardless of diminishing stack height, by reason of the fact that plate 30 floats downwardly on the diminishing stack, while being light enough to be lifted above the stack during dispensing.
The extent to which plate 30 rises above the stack varies with the amount of applied extraction force, but under normally rapid tissue extraction the plate may rise either in somewhat parallel relation to the stack or in a position canted therefrom until it contacts the inner surface of the top wall which serves as a stop member. Assuming forceful tissue withdrawal with plate being drawn fully upwardly to abut top wall 12, plate 30 nevertheless functions as follows as a dispensing aid. As the uppermost tissue is drawn through plate aperture 32 constrictional forces are sufficient to cause upward plate movement before the top sheet is fully withdrawn through the plate aperture. During such withdrawal, counteracting inertial forces are downwardly applied throughout the plate area to maintain frictional engagement between portions of the sheet withdrawn and the trailing sheet interleaved therewith. The friction thus maintained between interleaved portions of the leading and trailing sheets causes the trailing sheet to rise with the leading sheet and plate at least until plate 30 reaches a position substantially above the top of the tissue stack. If sheet extraction is vigorous, plate 30 rises to contact top Wall 12 and is stopped thereby. The counteracting inertial forces need not be applied throughout the entire area marginally of the leading and trailing tissue however, and while no such forces are applied in the area of the neck-like portion of plate aperture 32, forces thus applied by the remaining area of the generally C-shaped plate are quite sufficient to effect the desired result. After individual sheet extraction, plate 30 settles back to rest on the top of the stack in readiness for the application of inertial forces during a subsequent extraction.
' In the above manner, the employment of the constrictional control plate 30, while functioning on a different principle, insures the optimum dispensing inherent in relatively shallow cartons.
While broadly the employment of a floatable member as an aid to tissue dispensing is known, the invention is directed to an improved light weight floatable member in combination with a carton provided with both a longitudinally extending top wall dispensing opening and an interconnected side wall opening, to provide unobstructed access to the tissue contents for the unitary withdrawal of part of the tissue stack through the longitudinal portion of the top wall opening. Thus the provision, with a carton provided with a continuous top and side wall opening, of a control plate, a margin which is laterally channeled in substantial registry with a corresponding channel in the top wall aperture, eliminates the necessity of a user reaching underneath the control plate, as in prior art structures, for the unitary removal of a plurality of tissues.
In combination, a rectangular tissue dispensing carton having substantial depth and including top, bot-tom, end and side walls, a stack of interleaved tissues disposed within said carton, and a planar control element loosely disposedwithin said carton between the top wall thereof and the top of said tissue stack, said top wall and an adjacent side wall having a removable section defining a generally T-shaped aperture therein when removed, the cross bar of said T comprising a relatively narrow elongate portion centrally disposed in and extending longitudinally of said top wall and consisting of an opposed pair of aligned and relatively narrow slot-like portions terminating near said end walls to provide constrictional' forces against individual tissues when sequentially dispensed from said carton, the pedestal of said T comprising a medially disposed symmetrical neck-like portion interconnected with said elongate portion and extending to one side margin of said top wall and downwardly through part of the adjacent side wall, said neck-like portion having substantial width in the common area of communication with said elongate portion and narrowing down to a size slightly wider than finger width at said side margin and through part of said side wall to provide easy manual access to the carton contents for unitary removal through said T- shaped aperture of a plurality of said interleaved tissues, said control element being of light-weight sheet stock freely floatable within said carton and provided with an aperture of substantially the same general configuration as the top wall aperture including said side margin opening and positioned in substantial registry therewith, the marginal opening in said element corresponding to the marginal opening in said top wall and said side wall to provide unobstructed manual access to said tissues through both the top and side wall apertures.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,977,687 Medofi Oct. 23, 1934 2,115,673 Stompe Apr. 26, 1938 2,118,380 Gresenz -May 24, 1938 2,541,933 Nail Feb. 13, 1951 3,012,692 Petersen Dec. 12, 1961