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Publication numberUS3151756 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 6, 1964
Filing dateMay 31, 1963
Priority dateMay 31, 1963
Publication numberUS 3151756 A, US 3151756A, US-A-3151756, US3151756 A, US3151756A
InventorsJohn Gruen Paul
Original AssigneeJohn Gruen Paul
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety cap
US 3151756 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 6, 1964 J, GRUEN 3,151,756

SAFETY CAP Filed May 31, 1963 INVENTOR. F 2 PAUL J. GRUEN 7 1 QL/ ZM ATTOR N EYS United States Patent M 3,151,756 SAFETY CAP Paul John Gruen, 65 St. Marys St., Boston, Mass. Filed May 31, 1963, Ser. No. 284,568 1 Claim. (Cl. 2159) The present invention relates generally to bottle caps and more particularly comprises a new and improved lowcost lockable safety cap for use, especially, on such things as medicine bottles or other containers of toxic materials.

One of the principal causes of accidental death and illness among children is the swallowing of toxic materials normally stored throughout the home. Most bottles or cans containing materials of a toxic nature have conventional screw tops and normally are stored in cabinets that are accessible to small children. Even elevated medicine cabinets can be attained by some children and the easilyopened bottles are often a source of harm to the child.

While some measures have been taken to reduce the possibility of containers of toxic materials from being opened by children, the results have not been entirely satisfactory. Some closures, for example, employ a tightfitting snap cap which, while ditficult to remove by a child, is also quite difiicult to remove by an adult. Other types of safety caps have been developed but these have not been entirely satisfactory from the standpoint of cost, reliability and eflective operation.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a lockable safety cap of improved construction and design.

Another object of this invention is to provide a safety bottle closure which is readily operable by adults but virtually impossible to open by small children.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a low-cost, yet efiicient, safety closure for bottles and the like, which closure provides a simple, positive locking connection with the container.

More particularly, this invention features a lockable safety cap for use on conventional bottles or other similar containers and having a key-operated locking mechanism which, when the cap is in place, extends inwardly of the bottle for locking engagement therewith. The locking mechanism includes a pair of gear-operated rods adapted to move into and out of engagement with the annular shoulder normally formed at the base of the bottle neck. The gear is rotatably mounted to the cap body and is formed with a key engaging center slot, located at the base of a deeply recessed opening into which is inserted a key having a slot-engaging tip formed at the end thereof. Rotation of the key in engagement with the slot is operative to extend or retract the bars from locked to unlocked position.

But these and other features of the invention, along with further objects and advantages thereof, will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention with reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a safety cap made according to the invention in locking position on a bottle,

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view in side elevation showing a safety cap in locking position on a bottle with a key inserted in operating position,

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 2, and,

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the key used to operate the safety cap.

In the drawings the reference character generally indicates a safety cap for closing the top of a bottle 12. The bottle is of conventional design having a cylindrical 3,151 ,755 Patented Oct. 6, 1964 body portion and a reduced neck portion defining an annular shoulder portion 14 With the upper end of the neck formed with conventional threads 16.

The cap 10 is formed with an annular top portion 18 having a peripheral depending skirt portion 20 which is internally threaded for engagement with the threads 16 of the bottle. Extending down from the center of the top portion 18 and integrally formed therewith is a tubular portion 22 in register with the center opening of the top 18. The tubular portion 22 extends quite deeply into the neck of the bottle when the cap is in position and has suflicient length that an enlarged hub portion 24, formed at the end of the tube portion 22, is located oppositely the bottle shoulder portions 14.

The hub portion 24 has a cylindrical configuration and houses a gear 26 rotatably mounted therein. The gear, as well as the rest of the cap preferably is formed from a high impact plastic such as nylon or other moldable, tough plastic material. The gear is mounted on or may be formed integrally with a stub shaft 28, the ends of which are rotatably mounted in the tube 22. As shown in FIGURE 3, the upper end of the stub shaft 28 is diametrically slotted at 30 to receive the end of a key 32 illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 4.

The hub 24 is formed with a pair of parallel chordal openings 34 and 36 to receive a pair of rods 38 and 40. Both rods are formed with rack teeth 42 tangentially in mesh with the gear 26. It will be readily understood that the rods may be moved into and out of the openings 34 and 36 by rotation of the gear 26.

It will be noted in FIGURE 3 that the ends of the rods 38 and 40 have blank portion which provide stop means for the rods to prevent their disengagement from the gear 26. The dimensions of the gear, rods, hub and tube are such that the several parts fit snugly together, and, by reason of frictional engagement, tend to remain in a set position. In any event with the rods in their extended positions as shown, it is impossible to remove the cap 18 without first retracting the rods.

The key 32 which is employed to operate the gear 26 is a simple, one-piece blank having a rounded flat head 44 and an elongated shank 4e terminating in a straightbevel tip 48 dimensioned to fit in the slot 30. In practice, the key will be kept separate from the container to prevent unauthorized removal of the cap. It will be readily understood that the cap may be removed by merely inserting the key down through the central tube 22 to engage the gear slot 30 and rotating the key until the locking bars are retracted clear of the shoulders 14. The cap may then be unscrewed in the usual manner.

The cap that has been illustrated and described herein is of simple, low-cost construction, yet entirely effective for the purpose intended. It will be appreciated that it would be virtually impossible for a small child to remove the cap with the bars in their locked positions. Furthermore, even older children would encounter considerable difiiculty in opening the cap without the use of the key. The cap may be readily fabricated in a variety of sizes to fit any size bottle which is formed with the usual reduced neck or other inner shoulder which can cooperate in locking engagement with the bars. If desired, the screw connection for the cap may be omitted since the locking mechanism will normally suflice to hold the cap tightly to the bottle.

While the invention has been described with particular reference to the illustrated embodiment, it will be understood that numerous modifications thereto will appear to those skilled in the art. It will also be understood that the above description and accompanying drawings should be taken as illustrative of the invention and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described the invention, what I claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent of the United States is:

A safety closure for an open-mouth container having an inner shoulder located within the opening thereof, comprising a cap dimensioned to fit snugly over the mouth of said container, said cap being fabricated with a sub stantially flat annular portion and a peripheral flange portion, said annular portion being of relatively thin-walled stock, a tube extending downwardly of said annular portion from the central opening thereof, said tube being formed at the lower portion thereof with a tubular hub, a gear rotatably housed in said hub, a stub shaft fixed coaxially to said gear and having its end portions rotatably mounted in said tube, the upper end of said shaft being diametrically slotted and deeply recessed in said tube, said hub being formed with a pair of spaced parallel passages, each passage extending chordally through said hub, a locking rod disposed through each of said passages, said rods being formed with rack teeth tangentially in mesh with said gear and an elongated key having a straight tip for insertion in the open outer end of said tube and engagement with the slotted end of said shaft whereby said gear may be rotated and said rods extended into or retracted from locking engagement with said shoulder.

Devereaux Sept. 10, 1889 Oberle Jan. 21, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US410730 *Jul 26, 1888Sep 10, 1889F OneRobert m
US2820565 *Oct 5, 1956Jan 21, 1958Nat Hardware CorpLockable bottle or like container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3376992 *Jul 12, 1967Apr 9, 1968Frank O. Klapp Sr.Safety container
US3386273 *Jan 21, 1966Jun 4, 1968Michael L. GreenLockable closure
US3410434 *Jul 20, 1966Nov 12, 1968Lawrence SimonsSafety container construction
US3578196 *Jan 21, 1969May 11, 1971Ender LeeBottle-lock
US3973687 *Apr 24, 1974Aug 10, 1976Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc.Safety cap for container
US6029835 *Dec 30, 1998Feb 29, 2000Valley Design, Inc.Child resistant safety cap with built-in auto retracting key mechanism
US8365759 *Feb 5, 2013Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.Locking fire hydrant
US8662330Oct 5, 2009Mar 4, 2014Cap-N-Lock, LlcLockable cap for medical prescription bottle
US8931652Mar 24, 2010Jan 13, 2015Cap N Lock LlcLockable cap for a bottle
US8967184 *Jan 11, 2013Mar 3, 2015Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.Locking fire hydrant
US9103101Jan 29, 2014Aug 11, 2015Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.Fire hydrant control valve
US9108076Jun 17, 2011Aug 18, 2015Sigelock Systems, L.L.C.Fire hydrant locking sprinkler cap, hydrant valve seals and lubrication access
US9199773 *Aug 14, 2012Dec 1, 2015Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc.Lockable cap for a bottle
US9278789Feb 28, 2014Mar 8, 2016Gatekeeper Innovations, Inc.Lockable cap for medical prescription bottle
US20090212001 *Feb 21, 2008Aug 27, 2009Mary ClementeJurado cap assembly
US20100313965 *Dec 16, 2010George SigelakisLocking Fire Hydrant
US20110049080 *Mar 3, 2011Simpson Joseph CLockable cap for a bottle
US20110210136 *Oct 14, 2010Sep 1, 2011Chiu-Sung WangContainer
US20130043204 *Feb 21, 2013Cap-N-Lock LLCLockable cap for a bottle
US20130126006 *May 23, 2013George SigelakisLocking fire hydrant
U.S. Classification215/207, 70/168
International ClassificationB65D55/02, B65D55/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D55/14
European ClassificationB65D55/14