US 3156358 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 10, 1964 B. F. RANDRUP CARRIER AND MULTI-CONTAINER PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 2, 1962 INVENTOR. BEN RAND/PUP ATTORNEYS Nov. 10, 1964 B. F. RANDRUP 3,156,353
CARRIER AND MULTI-CONTAINER PACKAGE Filed Feb. 2. 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR, BEN RAND/PUP 4 T TOPNE rs United States Patent 3,156,358 CARRIER AND MULTI-CONTAINER PACKAGE Benjamin F. Randrup, Pleasant Hill, Califl, assignor to John Burton Machine Corporation, Concord, Calif. Filed Feb. 2, 1962, Ser. No. 170,757 12 Claims. (Cl. 296-65) This invention relates to a carrier for a plurality of containers, and to a multi-container package of the type in which the containers are upright and have upwardly extending necks at their upper ends, and caps secured over said necks projecting radially outwardly therefrom to provide axially downwardly facing surfaces. Such containers may be conventional glass bottles such as are commonly used for malt beverages, or they may be cans of metal or of any suitable material.
Heretofore it has been the common practice to substantially enclose one or more rows of bottles in a carton or sleeve of cardboard to form a package. Such cartons or sleeves have been formed with handles or with finger openings for carrying the package, but usually the containers, such as the bottles, have been supported on the bottom of the carrier and said bottom has been connected with the lifting means so that the load or contents of the carton is transmitted to the lifting means through the bottom and vertical walls.
The high costs involved in forming packages in which the cartons or sleeves have been employed has heretofore been considered unavoidable due to the fact that the use of non-enclosing carriers have not held the containers together with sufficient security. In most instances the containers have been loosely held, or where attempts have been made to hold them more securely, it has been too difficult to remove them and the means employed has been either too costly to make economically or too difficult to attach.
One of the main objects of the present invention is the provision of a package of containers, of the type hereinabove described, in which the containers are firmly held together at their upper ends and when carried they do not swing outwardly at their lower ends relative to each other, but automatically stay in firm engagement with each other.
Another object of the invention is the provision of more economical means than has heretofore been provided for forming a package of bottles and the like, and which means is of a structure that is easily applied and is of relatively cheap cardboard, but strong and relatively rigid.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a package of containers, such as glass bottles, in which means, carried by each bottle, protects it against breakage in the package and which means does not obscure the labels on the bottles nor does it insulate the bottles against cooling, and which means cooperates with means for holding the bottles together.
An added object of the invention is the provision of means in a package of bottles providing a gripping means on the bottles for gripping and for holding cold bottles without obscuring the labelling on the bottles, and which means insulates the hand against transfer of heat to the bottles.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a multi-container package that is readily separated into sub-packages each of a plurality of containers.
An added object is the provision of a package of con- 3,156,358 Patented Nov. 10, 1964 tainers of the type hereinabove described, in which the means for providing a seat for a superposed package is adapted to be removed to facilitate removal of bottles or containers, one at a time from the package, as desired.
Other objects and advantages will appear in the description and in the drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the blank that is used in forming the carrier and package.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion of the blank of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a package incorporating the blank of FIG. 1, a portion of said blank that is adapted to be torn therefrom being indicated in dotted lines projecting laterally therefrom.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the package of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view of a portion of the package, as seen from one end thereof.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5, except in cross section, a dotted line position of the bottle being indicated to show the tendency of the bottle to swing when the carrier is lifted.
FIG. 7 shows a plan view of a blank adapted for only four bottles, and
FIG. 8 is a reduced size end elevational view of a package in which the bottles are each enclosed in a protective, open work sleeve of plastic shrunk onto the bottle.
Hereinafter the word bottle or bottles is not intended to be restrictive to bottles of any particular material, unless specifically qualified.
The blank of FIG. 1, generally designated 1, is rectangular, having four straight edges, and while the blank is substantially square in outline the two opposite edges 2 will be called end edges, while the edges 3 will be called side edges. This is because the edges 2 will be at the ends of the completed package, while the edges 3 will extend longitudinally of the package.
Blank 1 is intended for use in forming a 6-pack package, or a package of six bottles, and it is formed with a central line of perforations orslits 4 midway between the side edges 3.
Equally spaced from opposite sides of the central line of weakness 4 are folding creases 5 that are parallel with said side edges 3. These folding creases define the limits of the central body of the blank that is horizontal and is to remain horizontal in a position extending over the main bodies of the bottles after the package is formed.
Adjacent to each of the folding creases 5 and between the central perforated line 4 and creases 5, are three neck receiving openings 6. These are closer to creases 5 than to the central line of Weakness 4.
As best seen in FIG. 2, which shows two of openings 6, these openings are elongated, being generally elliptical. The major axis of the end openings are substantially at right angles to a line 7 (FIG. 2) that extends from a point 8 that is centrally between the end and side edges of the blank, while the major axes of the two central openings are also substantially at right angles to a line 9 extending to said point 8.
The marginal portions of each of the openings 6 are formed with a plurality of cuts or slits 16 that extend radially outwardly from a point 11 that is on the minor axis of each opening 6 and closer to the edge of each opening that is nearest point 8 than the opposite edge, and said slits 19 extend to points on a circle developed about each point 11, hence the sections 13 of each marginal portion between slits 19 that are at the side of each opening 6 nearest point 8 are longer than the sections 14 at the opposite side of each opening. The importance of this structure will later be described more in detail.
Oppositely outwardly of the pair of folding creases are relatively wide marginal portions or extensions of the blank, generally designated 15 each of which is formed with a pair of spaced folding creases 16, 17 that are parallel with creases 5.
The marginal portions 15 are each formed with substantially semicircular, similar cuts 18, that are aligned with the openings 6 in direction across the blank along lines perpendicular to the line 4 and to creases 5, 16, 17. These cuts are formed in the terminating outer marginal portions 19 that lie between the folding creases 17 and the side edges 3, and the ends of the cuts 18 in each portion 19 terminate on the crease 17.
Extending slightly divergently from the terminating ends of cuts 18 across the portions 21 that are between creases 16, 17 and across portions 22 that are between creases 5, 16 are lines of weakness 25 that may be perforations or slits or the like that will facilitate tearing along said lines.
These lines of weakness 25 terminate adjacent to the outer ends of slits 10 that are formed in the marginal portions around each of the openings 6. A continuation of the lines of weakness 25 from each of the cuts 18 would extend to the circular line at the root ends of slits 10, hence upon pulling the tab 26 within each cut 18 out of the plane of the blank, the portion 27 between lines 25 would be removed to the outer ends of the cuts 1t? around the opening 6 adjacent thereto.
It should be noted that the creases 17 do not extend across the portions 27 between the ends of the semicircular cuts 18, out creases 16 extend across said portions.
The central portion of blank 1 along the central line of weakness 4 is cut along circular lines to form a pair of tabs 28. The cuts that form each of these tabs terminate at their ends at points equally spaced from the opposite sides of line 4, and creases 29 extend across the line 4 to connect said ends.
These tabs 28 are bendable along creases 29 to leave openings 30 into which two of the fingers of the hand of a person may be inserted, carrying the package to be formed. These openings 30 are equally spaced from the end openings 6 at the ends of the blank and from the central pair of openings 6.
In forming the package, six bottles are aligned in a pair of parallel rows in side by side relation. These bottles each have a neck 36 (FIG. 6) of restricted diameter, and a cap 37 is secured over the upper end of each neck. Each cap projects radially outwardly of the neck and has an axially downwardly facing surface 39.
The caps 37 are aligned with the openings 6 and the blank is forced over the caps so that the sections 14, 13 of the blank around the marginal portions of openings 6 will yield or spring to one side out of the plane of the blank to permit the caps to pass through the openings. The lengths of the slits 10 are such as to permit the sections 14, 13 to so spring past the caps, and once the sections clear the caps they will snap below the axially facing surfaces 39 of the caps so that the terminating inner end edges of the sections 13 will face and engage said surfaces 39. Once the sections 1 13 spring past the caps, the bottles cannot be withdrawn from openings 6.
The portions 22 between creases 5, 16 are then bent upwardly to extend across the oppositely outwardly facing sides of the pair of rows of caps 37 on the bottles 35, and it should be noted that the width of each portion 22 is such that the portion 21 adjacent thereto and disposed between creases 16, 17 will be positioned horizontally on caps 37 when the free end edges of sections 13 are substantially against the axially downwardly facing surfaces 39 of caps 37, and when the said portions 22 are against the lateral oppositely outwardly facing sides of the pair of rows of caps 37 (FIG. 5).
When the portions 21 and 22 are in the above positions, the creases 17 will extend across the upper ends of the caps 37 about centrally thereof, and by bending the terminating end portions 19 downwardly toward the central portion of the blank that lies between creases 5, cap receiving openings 38 (FIG. 6) will be formed between the edges of the tabs 26 and the portion 19 through which the caps 37 will project along the adjacent sides of the rows of caps.
The proportions and arrangement of the portions 21, 22 and the edge of each opening 18 in portion 19 from which each tab or seat 26 is stamped are such that the said edge of each of such openings 18 will spring past the lower edge of each cap, and will be held in engagement with said lower edge. At such time, the portion 22 will engage the side of each cap opposite to the edge of the opening 18 that engages the cap (FIGS. 5, 6).
The portions 22, while inclined slightly relative to vertical, form reinforcing ribs, or webs, that resist bending of the carrier blank when the latter is lifted for carrying the bottles.
The finger openings 39, already described, are positioned between the free side edges 3 of the carrier, hence they are always accessible to the fingers of the hand. Tabs 2% in openings 30 are bent downwardly upon insertion of the fingers in the openings.
It is to be understood that the provision of finger openings in carriers for containers is not in itself new.
In FIG. 6 the dot-dash lines 41 indicate the tendency of the bottles to swing toward the central vertical axis extending through point 8 (FIG. 2) when the package is lifted by fingers in the finger openings 30. This is more than a mere tendency, since the bottles are lifted from the points below the caps at the adjacent sides of the rows. Actually the bottles will fulcrum about the upwardly directed edges of the longer sections 13. This arrangement and the result thereof must not be confused with the mere swinging of the lower ends of the rows of bottles laterally toward each other, as is common in can carriers and the like. In the present instance the lower ends of the bottles will swing toward the central axis of the carrier until they engage each other along lines extending radially from said axis. The carrier itself will hold the upper ends of the bottles against relative movement.
As seen in FIG. 4 the tabs 26 and intermediate marginal portions 21 provide fiat, horizontal platforms for stacking one package on another, and as the bottles project slightly outwardly of the end edges of the carrier and the lateral sides of the latter, the packages of bottles may be packed within cases of the same area as though there were no carriers, and there is nothing to interfere with the use of the egg-crate type of partitions in such case, if desired.
The provision of the line of weakness 4 centrally between the rows of bottles does not in any way impair the carrier for lifting and carrying the bottles, but it does enable the separating of a package into two rows of bottles where the purchaser desires only three bottles.
A transverse line of weakness, such as a row of slits or perforations 42 (FIGS. 1, 3) extends transversely across the blank between two of the end springs 6 and the remainder of the openings. This enables the purchaser to separate the package into a package of two bottles leaving a package of four, or the blank of FIG. 1 may be modified, as seen in FIG. 7, to form a package of four bottles. Obviously, the blank may be further modified to form a package of only two containers.
The single finger opening 43 in FIG. 7 is adequate for lifting a package of two bottles, and where only two bottles are in a package, the fingers of the hand can readily span the carrier to lift it from its edges.
Heretofore one of the main objections to carriers of the type that have been attempted for carrying bottles from their upper ends has been the difficulty in removing the bottles from the carriers. This has resulted in the making of carriers in which the necks extend loosely through openings in the carriers, and the carriers must be tilted to engage the caps. In these structures the bottles are not held tightly and frequently fall from the carriers.
In the present instance the tearable strips 27 enable the user to quickly and easily remove said strips by pulling tabs 26 upwardly, and since the inner ends of the strips or portions 27 terminate at the outer ends of slits that are at the sides of the necks adjacent to the strips, the bottles may readily be removed, as desired, from the carrier, through the space left by removal of each strip 27. The tabs 26 thus perform the double function of being seats and covers for the caps and means for engagement by the fingers for tearing out strips 27 to the bottle necks to facilitate removal of the bottles. The dot-dash lines 43 in FIG. 3 show a strip 27 and the tab torn from the carrier.
Referring back to FIG. 5 it is seen that were it not for the fact that the portion 22 engages the side of each cap, the yieldability of the sections 14, 13 would permit the necks of the bottles in one row to move laterally outwardly relative to the bottles in the other row, but said portion 22 in combination with the edge of the opening 38 prohibits such movement. Also, the fact that the edges of each opening 38 extends across the lateral opposite sides of each cap that face longitudinally of each row prevents movement of the upper ends of the bottles longitudinally of each row relative to each other. Thus the structure shows means for locking the upper ends of the bottles against withdrawal from the carrier blank axially of the carrier in a downward direction, and separate means for locking the upper ends of the bottles against lateral movement relative to each other and against downward movement of the carrier relative to the bottles, and which last mentioned means includes frangible or detachable means connected with both of said locking means tearable therefrom for releasing said bottles for lateral movement thereof out of the carrier.
In the construction so far described the outer surfaces of the bottles are uncovered except for whatever labelling is desired. The packages may be readily packed in cases, as has already been mentioned.
The package illustrated in FIG. 8 is the same in every respect as the package of FIG. 3 except that the bottles have open-work, or net-like sleeves 4i of flexible, relatively soft, plastic material, frictionally held thereon. A plastic such as a polyethylene is suitable. The mesh openings are so large relative to the material forming the mesh that very little of the outer surface of the bottle is covered by the material of the sleeve, hence the sleeve does not obscure the label on the bottle, and the filled bottles may be cooled with substantially the same efliciency as though the mesh sleeve were omitted. However, the combination of the carrier with the sleeve provides a package having substantially all of the advantages of one in which the bottles have no covering, plus the provision of means for preventing rattling and breakage of the bottles due .to contact with each other. In addition, the mesh covering provides a roughened surface adapted to be easily grasped by the fingers of a hand and having heat insulating properties it makes the bottle, when chilled, more comfortable to hold in the hand, and reduces the transfer of heat from the hand to the bottle.
Heretofore in packages it has been customary for the carrier to provide the protective means for the containers, with the result of substantially increasing the cost of the carrier, and the containers will still swing against the spacing means. With the sleeves 40 in combination with the carrier as the latter is constructed, the sleeves will be held in close engagement with each other, thus avoiding the injuries and noisy impacts between bottles where there are extraneous spacers or spaces that are not carried by the containers, or where there are no spacers.
Before concluding, attention is called to the fact that the opposedly opening, channel-like structure formed by the portions between folding creases 4, 5, and portions 21 and 22 along each row of bottles, is what gives extreme rigidity to the carrier when the package is formed. In other words, without the vertically disposed ribs provided by portions 22 (FIGS. 3, 5, 6, 8) which form the bottoms of the opposedly opening channels, and the opposed horizontal sides of the channels, the upper of which sides are portions 21, and the lower sides of said channels, the desired and essential rigidity would be lost, The fact that the top and bottom sides of the channels are held snugly to the caps against upward movement of said sides is also important to the rigidity of the package.
It will be understood that changes in the size, form and construction of parts of the package and carrier blank may be made in the forms specifically disclosed herein without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of which is set forth in the appended claims.
1. A package comprising:
(a) a pair of upright containers in side by side relation each having a restricted diameter neck at its upper end and a cap secured over said upper end having an axially downwardly facing surface around said neck;
(b) a carrier for said containers comprising;
(c) a sheet of bendable, resilient material formed with a pair of neck receiving openings through which said necks extend,
(d) the marginal portions around the edges of said neck openings being in yieldable engagement with said necks and extending upwardly out of the plane of said sheet into engagement with said axially facing surfaces of said caps to hold said containers and caps against withdrawal from said openings,
(a) said sheet having relatively wide marginal exensions projecting oppositely outwardly of said pair of neck receiving openings in the vertical plane in which said containers are positioned and upwardly across the oppositely outwardly facing outer lateral sides of said caps and then toward each other and over said caps and terminating in free edges spaced between the caps on said containers,
(1) a pair of cap receiving openings formed in said extensions through which the inner sides of said caps that areopposite to said outer sides project, and
(g) the edge of each of said cap receiving openings at said inner sides of said caps being in engagement with the said axially downwardly facing surface of said caps.
2. In a construcion as defined in claim 1 (h) said caps being substantially circular in horizontal outline and (i) the portions of said extensions extending over said caps being horizontal tabs having free edges substantially U-shape in outline, the curved portions of said edges substantially following the circular outlines of the respective 'caps along the adjacent sides of said pair,
.(1') said extensions being weakened along spaced lines in continuation of the ends of said U-shaped edges to points relatively closely adjacent to the oppositely outwardly facing sides of the pair of necks on said containers for tearing to said points to facilitate separation of said containers from said sheet.
3. In a construction as defined in claim 1,
(h) said marginal portions around the edges of said neck openings being an annular row of separate fingers integral with said sheet at their lower ends and having free upper end edges in said engagement with said axially facing surfaces of said caps,
(i) the fingers of said marginal portions that'are at the sides of said. neck receiving openings nearest a point on said blank centrally thereof being longer than the fingers that are at the opposite sides of said openings whereby the lower ends of said containers will swing toward each other when said sheet is lifted to suspend said pair of containers therefrom.
4. A package comprising:
(a) a pair of parallel rows of upright containers in side by side relation, each container having a restricted diameter neck at its upper end and a cap over said upper end having an axially downwardly facing surface;
(b) a carrier for said containers comprising:
(c) a single substantially horizontally disposed sheet of relatively resilient material formed with a pair of rows of neck openings through which said necks extend,
(d) the marginal portions of said sheet around the edges of said neck openings extending upwardly out of the plane of said sheet into engagement with said axially facing surfaces of said caps and in yieldable engagement with said necks below said caps,
(e) cap covering means on said sheet integral therewith extending over and in engagement with the upper surfaces of said caps providing horizontal, coplanar seats for stacking one package on the other,
(f) cap engaging means integrally connected with said cap covering means extending angularly downwardly relative to said cap covering means into engagement with the axially downwardly facing surfaces of said caps at the adjacent sides of said rows of containers,
(g) and finger receiving openings formed in the portion of said sheet between the necks of said pair of rows of containers for the fingers of a hand to enable lifting said rows of containers suspended from said sheet.
5. In a construction as defined in claim 4,
(/1) said cap covering means comprising tear-tabs partially stamped from said sheet and (i) said sheet being weakened along pairs of spaced lines extending from two opposite edges of said tabs, respectively, to points adjacent to the oppositely outwardly disposed sides of said pair of rows of openings for removal of material of said sheet at the oppositely outwardly facing sides of the necks on said pair of rows of containers by pulling said tabs away from said sheet for tearing the latter along said spaced lines to thereby facilitate selective removal of containers from said carrier as desired.
6. In a construction as defined in claim 4.
(11) said portion of said sheet between said necks of said pair of rows being weakened along a line parallel with and spaced between rows of openings for tearing along said line to divide said package into a pair of packages each having a row of said containers.
7. In a construction as defined in claim 4,
(It) said sheet being weakened along lines extending at right angles to said rows and midway between the corresponding adjacent pairs of containers in said rows respectively, for tearing along said lines to separate said package into a plurality of smaller packages each having a pair of containers.
8. In a package that includes a pair of parallel rows of upright bottles in side by side substantially engaging relation, each bottle having a restricted diameter neck at its upper end and a cap secured over said upper end having an axially downwardly facing surface around said neck, and a horizontal sheet of cardboard at a level below said caps formed with openings through which each of said necks extend with the edges of said sheet around said openings in engagement with said axially downwardly facing surfaces on said caps, and said sheet having two opposite edges parallel with said rows adjacent to said caps along the oppositely outwardly facing sides of said pair of rows, the improvement that comprises;
(a) extensions of said blank integral therewith along 55 said two edges extending upwardly across the oppositely outwardly facing sides of the caps adjacent to said oppositely outwardly facing sides of said rows,
(b) continuations of said extensions, integral therewith extending over the upper sides of said caps in engagement therewith, and
(c) means on and integral with said continuations extending below and in engagement with the axially downwardly facing surfaces of the caps on the bottles of said rows at the adjacent opposedly facing sides of said rows.
9. A package comprising:
(a) a pair of parallel rows of upright containers in side by side relation, each container having a closure at its upper end providing a radially outwardly projecting annular extension having an axially downwardly facing annular surface,
(b) a carrier for said containers comprising:
(c) a single substantially horizontally disposed sheet of relatively resilient material formed with a pair of rows of openings through which the upper ends of said containers extend,
(d) the marginal portions of said sheets around the edges of said openings extending upwardly out of the plane of said sheet and into engagement with the axially facing surfaces of said closures,
(e) closure covering means on said sheet integral therewith extending over and in engagement with the upper surfaces of said closures providing horizontal, coplanar seats for stacking one package on the other,
(i) closure engaging means integrally connected with said closure covering means extending angularly downwardly relative to said closure covering means into engagement with the axially downwardly facing surfaces of said closures at the adjacent sides of said rows of containers.
10. A package as defined by claim 9 wherein said closure engaging means is formed in the opposite marginal portions of said sheet and said marginal portions terminate in side edges of said sheet in engagement with upper side of the horizontal portion of said sheet that is between said rows.
11. A package comprising:
a pair of upright containers in side by side relation each having a restricted diameter neck at its upper end and a cap secured over said upper end having an axially downwardly facing surface around said neck,
a carrier for said containers comprising:
sheet of bendable resilient material including a horizontal portion formed with a pair of neck openings through which said necks extend,
the marginal portions around the edges of said neck openings being in yieldable engagement with said necks and extending upwardly out of the plane of said horizontal portion into engagement with said axially downwardly facing surfaces of said caps to hold said containers and caps against withdrawal through said openings,
said sheet having a relatively wide marginal extension including a portion extending upwardly from the plane of said horizontal portion alongside one of the corresponding sides or the caps of said pair of containers and then completely over the tops of said caps and then angularly downwardly and terminating in a free edge adjacent said horizontal portion,
a pair of cap receiving openings formed by slits in said extension and through which openings the sides of said caps opposite said one side project,
one of the corresponding edges of the slits defining said cap receiving openings being in engagement with the said axially downwardly facing surfaces of said caps at said opposite sides.
12. A construction according to claim 11 wherein the portions of said extensions extending over said caps being horizontal tabs having free edges substantially U-shaped in outline, the curved portions of said edges substantially References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Goodman Dec. 13, 1932 Hutafi Nov. 10, 1942 Kruea June 1, 1943 10 10 Mueller July 4, 1950 OSullivan Oct. 28, 1952 Taylor Mar. 9, 1954 Toensmeier Mar. 6, 1956 Toensmeier Feb. 11, 1958 Williamson July 26, 1960 Stone Oct. 24, 1961 Lawrence Jan. 9, 1962 Powell June 12, 1962 Baker Jan. 15, 1963