US 3161342 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
F. A WENZEL Dec. 15, 1964 SERVICE TRAY Filed April 1, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 F. A. WENZEL SERVICE TRAY Dec. 15, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 1, 1964 3,161,342 SERVICE TRAY Frederick A. Wenze], Milwaukee, Wis., assignor to St. Regis Paper Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 1, 1964, Ser. No. 356,374 3 Claims. (Cl. 229--28) This invention relates to improvements in service trays of types adapted to be used for carrying food and beverages.
Such trays are often used in dispensing food and beverages from establishments such as roadside stands, and it is highly important that same be quite inexpensive because of competitive conditions and inasmuch as such trays are generally discarded after a single instance of use. Furthermore, it is important that they be capable of being sold in quantities in collapsed condition and to have constructions such as a waitress can very quickly grasp one of the collapsed trays and immediately set it up into condition for use.
More particularly, the invention concerns an alternative for the general types of service trays such, for example, as disclosed in my US. Patent No. 3,001,684. In that patent, a collapsible tray of economical construction is disclosed and in which the two end portions thereof when the tray is set up, each have receptacles for receiving cups or beverage containers, whereas centrally of the construction a generally rectangular cavity is provided for receiving items such as sandwiches or other food items. In many cases, however, it has been found that the customers using such trays will on occasions desire either a tray, for example, which will hold four beverage cups without food items, or in many cases alternatively they may want to be served with only a pair of beverage cups instead of four, but at the same time may want to be served a sandwich or other food item.
The present invention provides a simple, economical and reliable form of tray construction which may be shipped in collapsed condition, and which may be readily set up for use in such situations where the customer may want to be served with only one or two beverage cups, together with a sandwich or the like, or where alternatively, in lieu of provision for holding a sandwich, it is desired to have provision for holding more than two beverage cups, for example four cups. Thus with the tray according to the present invention, after it has been set up, the waitress may either use it for receiving, for example, four beverage cups, or, by a quick motion of her fingers, she may collapse certain portions thereof along perforated lines, rendering two of the beverage cup apertures or compartments readily adapted to be joined to form a single and generally rectangular compartment for a sandwich or other food item, without materially interfering with the strength of the tray or with two other compartments adapted for receiving beverage cups.
Various further and more specific objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear from the descrip tion given below, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example a pre ferred form of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tray embodying the invention in its preferred form after same has been set up for use in a condition adapted to receive four beverage cups;
FIG. 2 is a similar view showing how portions may be collapsed to transform two of the beverage cup cavities into a single cavity for holding food;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 1; and
United States Patent 3,i5l,342 Patented Dec. 15, 1964- FIG. 4 is a plan view of a die-cut blank for forming the tray as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings in further detail, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the tray 10 as set up ready for use, has a top surface area 11 connected along fold or score lines .to side walls 12 and 13 respectively, the latter at their bottom edges being connected by fold or score lines to bottom wall portions 14 and 15.
Bottom wall portion 14, along the mid-portion of the tray, may be formed integrally and connected by a fold or score line to upstanding central partition ortions 16 and 17. An edge of the bottom wall portion 15 may overlap and be adhered as at 18 to the underside of the other bottom wall portion 14. The upper edges of partition portions 16 and 17 respectivelymay be integrally formed and connected by score lines to elongated tab portions 19 and 2i) respectively adhered or otherwise secured to the underside of the top surface 11.
The top surface in the particular form shown is provided with four apertures as at 21, 22, 23 and 24, for receiving beverage containers or cups, one of which is indicated by dotted lines at 25 These apertures, which may largely be generally circular in form, may in accordance with known practice he formed at their peripheries with inwardly protruding tabs, as at 26, to aid in frictionally securing the cups in place.
As further shown in FIG. 1, the apertures 23 and 24 at their opposite sides are joined by lines of perforation or weakening as at 2'7 and 28 in the top surface 11, so that the areas 39 of the top surface between these two apertures may readily be severed from the top surface upon pressing same with the fingers generally downwardly, or downwardly and angularly somewhat forwardly, as viewed in FIG. 2, thereby opening the space between apertures 23 and 24 to form one larger and generally rectangular aperture (or rectangular with somewhat arcuate end portions) and providing a suitable aperture for receiving sandwiches or other food items in lieu of beverage cups.
From FIG. 2 it will be noted that, as area 30 is pushed down, the vertical partition portion 17 will be collapsed therewith against the bottom of the tray and oifer no further obstacle to placing objects of food in the enlarged opening. To this end, the vertical partition 17 may be slit along a vertical line 31 to separate same from a small partition portion 17a, which remains in vertical position as a supporting post for the top edge of the tray after the partition portion 17 has been collapsed. I
From FIG. 1 it will be noted that the area 3i) may include not only the portions of the tray surface located between apertures 23 and 24, but also portions as at 30a and 30b, which form parts of the peripheries at the sides of the apertures, whereby the perforated line of severance 27 may be so located as to be in alignment with the end edges of the notches 32, 33, at the peripheries of the apertures. Thus when the area 30a is severed, it will leave a space with a straight line boundary extending from notch 32 to notch 33, rendering the large aperture now formed free of obstructions against receiving items such as sandwiches.
Various forms of simple locking means may be used for retaining the tray in erected condition. ample shown, and as best shown by FIGS. 3 and 4, the vertical partition 16 at its inner end may be undercut along an incline as at 35, and joined portions of the bottom wall as at 36a, 36b may be folded up, these having a central slit 37 into which the overhanging depending portion 35 of the partion may be engaged securely to lock the partition portion in vertical position. It will be noted that this form of means for holding the tray in erected condition will be effectively operative regard- In the ex-,
less of whether the severable area 30 has been depressed. The die-cut blank, made for, example of semi-rigid paperboard, for forming the tray, is shown in FIG. 4, and the construction and operation of its several parts and features, will be readily apparent from the above description of the set-up tray. a
Although a certain particular embodiment of the invention is herein disclosed for purposes of explanation, further modifications thereof, after study" of this specification, will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. Reference should accordingly be had to the appended claims in determining the scope of the invention.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is: a
1. A collapsible service tray comprised of an area of sheet material shaped to provide a toprsurface, side walls and bottom wall portions connected thereto along score lines,whereby the tray maybe collapsed to substantially fiattenedtcondition or erected to operative condition with the top surface spaced from the bottom wall portions, said top surface having atone end thereof at least one opening for receiving a beverage container and having at the other end thereof at least a pair of openings normally adapted to receive beverage containers respectively,
between said pair of openings being relatively severable at eachend thereof along weakened lines of perforations. or the like from the remainder of the top surface, said severable portion being attached to a vertical partition portion along a score line, which partition is also attached to the bottom wall along a score line, whereby top surface and, together with its said vertical partition,
said pair of openings will become joined to form a single larger opening adapted to receive a sandwich or other I v, V 4 3 sheet material shaped to provide a top surface, side walls and bottom wall portions connected thereto along score lines, whereby the tray may be collapsed to substantially flattened condition or erected to operative condition with the top surface spaced from the bottom wall portions, said top surface having at least a pair of openings normally adapted to receive beverage containers respectively,
, a portion of the sheet material of said top surface located .a portion of the sheet material of said top surface located a between said pair of openings being relatively severable at each end thereof along weakened'lines'of perforations or the like from the remainder of the top surface, said severable portion being attached to a vertical partition portion along a score line, which partition is also attached to the bottom wall along a score line, whereby upon applying generally downward pressure against said severable portion, same will become severed from. the top surface and, togetherwith its said vertical partition, become swung down and collapsed toward the bottom in the tray, whereby said pair of openings will become joined to form a'single larger opening adapted toreceive a sandwich or other food items. v
3. A- collapsible servicetray comprised of an area of sheet material shaped to provide a top'surface, side Walls and bottom wall portions connected thereto along score lines, whereby the tray may be collapsed to substantially flattened condition or erected tooperative condition with the top surfacespaced from the'bottom wall portions,
said top surfacejhaving at least a pair. of generally cir- "cular openings normally adapted to receive" beverage conupon applying angularly downward pressure against said severable portion, same will become severed from the become collapsed toward the bottom in the tray, whereby tainers respectively, a portion of the sheet material of said top surface locatedbetween said pair of openings and including substantial portions of the circumference of each opening, being relatively severable along widely spacedap'art'weakened lines of perforations or the like from the remainder of the top surface, saidseverableportion being attached to a collapsible vertical partition, whereby upon applying generally downward pressure against said severable portion, same will become severed from the top surface and, together with its said vertical partition, become collapsed toward the bottomin the tray, whereby saidpair of openings "will become 'joined toform a single larger opening adapted to .receive a sandwich or other food items.
' No' references cited. GEORGE o. RALSTON, Primary Examiner.