US 3164295 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
S. W. SHWARZ Jan. 5, 1965 CIGARETTE CASE INVENTOR. flMz/z MA JA WAZZ BY M. M0
o w A w United States Patent Gfifice 3,164,295 Patented Jan. 5, 19 65 3,164,295 CIGARETTE CASE Samuel W. Shwarz, 537 S. Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, Calif. Filed Oct. 22, 1962, Ser. No. 232,228 3 Claims. or. 221-11 ejecting or providing an individual cigarette but these have not been entirely satisfactory. The more complicated and expensive ones involve not only a high initial cost but include mechanisms which tend to malfunction requiring additional repair costs. The more simple structures tend to provide ineffective or haphazard operation or to require considerable manipulation or resetting for the ejection of each individual cigarette.
Accordingly, it is the prime object of the present invention to provide an improved cigarette case construction. It is a further object to provide such a construction which is simple and economical, yet quite eifective in operation. Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved cigarette case construction which operates without requiring-the additional or lost motion of resetting the mechanism each time a cigarette is desired. It is another object to provide such 'a structure which may be easilyand readily refilled or loaded.
A further object is to provide an improved cigarette case construction which will function effectively when the supply of cigarettes has-dwindled andonly a few remain in the case; that is, a construction which operates effectively regardless of the number of cigarettes remaining in the case.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become obvious from the following description and the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a cigarette case embodying various features of the inventionand showing a cigarette being partially raised out of the case for; ready access;
FIGURE 2 is an end sectional view of the case shown in FIGURE 1; with a wall portion broken away to reveal details of construction;
FIGURE 3 is a side sectional view of the case taken generally along line 33 of FIGURE 2, showing the biasing means in an extended position and also showing it, in phantom, in a more contracted position;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the removable side wall of the illustrated cigarette case together with the biasing means of said case;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the fixed side wall of the illustrated case, broken away from the remainder of the case to reveal the details of the ejection means; and
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken generally along line 6-6 of FIGURE 5.
Briefly, the illustrated cigarette case 10 comprises the combination of an enclosure 12 adapted to accommodate a plurality of cigarettes 14, manually operable means 16 for ejecting, at least partially, one cigarette 14 at a time from the case, and biasing means 18 urging the cigarettes into the proper position to be ejected.
The illustrated rectangular enclosure 12 (which is adapted to receive two rows of cigarettes 14 in side-byside relation) has a pair of end walls 20a and 20b, a pair of narrow side walls 22a and 22b, and a second pair of wide side walls 24.
The illustrated biasing means 18, shown best in FIG- URES 3 and 4 of the drawings, comprises a main or base spring section 26 secured to one narrow side wall 22a, and four individual action spring sections 28 secured to the free end of the main spring section 26. The combined action of the sections 26 and 28 is to ensure that there is always a cigarette 14 in position to be ejected, even when there arean odd number of cigarettes in the case 10 and when the number dwindles down to a usually troublesome number such as five or three cigarettes.
The illustrated ejection or ejector means 16, seen best in FIG. 5, includes exit means 29 in end wall 20a and a pair of elongated members 30 mounted on the narrow side wall 221; opposite the biasing means 18 and interconnected for imparting reverse longitudinal movement to one another. Each illustrated member 30 is provided with a projection or part '32 for engaging a cigarette to cigarettes, one for each movement of the' actuator in either direction.
This illustrated cigarette case 10 is very simple in construction and operation, but will consistently and readily partially eject individual cigarettes, down to the last cigarette in the case.
Now considering the illustrated cigarette case 10 in further detail, the illustrated enclosure 12 is rectangular having the general shape of a package of cigarettes.
The case 10, as illustrated in the drawing, shows what is considered the normal orientation of a cigarette pack, that is with the cigarettes disposed vertically, and the case will be described in these terms for convenience, it being understood that such orientation is not a necessary part of the invention.
The enclosure 12 may be constructed of any suitable material from which cigarette cases are normally produced such as metal, plastic, wood or the like As shown best in FIG. 1, the upper end Wall, 20a of the illustrated case It) is provided at one end with a movable or exit section 36 which is normally maintained in alignment with the remainder of the wall 20a by means such as the illustrated spring 38, but which is resilientiy movable into the position shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 when a cigarette 14 is urged upwardly against it. Thus, the movable section 36 comprises the exit means 29 and permits the partial ejection of the cigarette 14 by the ejector means 16.
The external transverse width of the'enclosure 12, measured across the narrow side walls 22, is at least large enough to receive two normal size cigarettes in side-byside relation and it may be somewhat larger. However, it is desirable that this internal width be sufficiently narrow to prevent the alignment of three cigarettes against the narrow side wall 22. I
As shown in FIG. 1, if the case 10 is fabricated from an opaque material it may beprovided with means for gauging its fullness, and the illustrated case 10 includes a window or opening 39 covered with transparent material and extending transversely of one of the wider side walls 24 of the enclosure for this purpose.
The illustrated narrow side wall adjacent the movable section 36 is designated 22b and provided with a longitudinally extending vertical slot 40, adjacent one side, the purpose of which will be explained below.
The narrow side wall 22a spaced from the movable section 36 is, as illustrated best in FIG. 4, removable to provide an entrance or loading opening for the case 10. Suitable means (not shown) are provided for releasable holding the removable wall 22a in the closing position shown in the drawings.
The illustrated case 10 may be constructed to accommodate both king size and regular length cigarettes by means of removable platform insert 41 such as outlined in broken line in FIG. 3.
In the illustrated form of the case, the main or base spring section 26 of the biasing means 18 is an elongated strip of spring material folded back upon itself to form ,four accordion oriented portions which are designed 26::
through 26d in the drawings. One end portion 26a is fixed to the removable side wall 22a and the remainder or" the main section 26 extends internally of the enclosure 12 toward the opposite narrow side wall 22b. The opposite or free end portion 26d of this section 26 lies generally parallel to that fixed side wall 22b. Fixed tothe outer face of portion 26d in the illustrated embodiment are four relatively lighter individual action spring sections 28 in the form of fingers or tongs. These fingers 28 are secured to the portion 26d and extend outwardly therefrom toward the fixed narrow side wall 22b. It
' will be noted that two of the sections 28 are disposed adjacent each half of the side wall 22b. In this way, whatever cigarettes remain in the case at any time are resiliently urged against wall 22b and jamming, particularly when only a few and an odd number of cigarettes remain in the case, is substantially eliminated. As shown in FIG. 3, which illustrates the operation of the device when only three cigarettes remain within the case, the spring sections 28 farthest. from view are deflected by the presence of two cigarettes on that side of the case, but this does not prevent the spring sections 28 closest to view from urging the third cigarette against the wall 2212 so that it may be effectively ejected from the case.
The illustrated ejector means 16 is quite simple and economical to produce and operate, yet it has been found to produce a highly effective and dependable operation. As shown in the drawings, and particularly FIG. 5, the illustrated ejector means includes a pair of elongated rack members 30 slidably mounted in the illustrated case upon the inner surface of side wall 22b in spaced relation to one another for movement longitudinally or vertically of that wall. The illustrated members 30 each have a part or projection 32 located at the end of the member remote from the exit 29 that extends into the enclosure 12. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, each member 30 is provided with gear teeth 42 extending along an intermediate portion of its edge. 'These teeth 42 on the two members 30 are along the inner edges of the members and thereby adjacent to each other- A small gear 44 is rotatably supported on the side wall 225, between the members 30 and engages the teeth 42 of both members. The members 3%) are shorter than the length of side wall 22b and are so arranged that when one of the members is longitudinally moved to position one of its ends adjacent one of the end walls 20, theother member 30 is longitudinally displaced or offset relative to the first member (as seen in FIGS. 2 3; and The members 30 move in reverse longitudinal direction when one or the other of the members 30 islongitudinally moved. As seen best in FIG. 3, a rectangular inlay of platform 45 serves to raise the level of the bottom of the enclosure 12 to general alignment with the upper. surface of the inwardly extending part 32 of the member 30 when this part 32 is at its lowest position. The member. 3% which is elevated or displaced from end wall20b,ias when a cigarette 14 is being lifted, maintains the remaining cigarettes spaced from narrow side wall 22b and prevents them fromfalling over the edge of platform 45 by virture of inwardly extending part 32.
The manually operable means 34 for longitudinally moving the members 36 comprises, in the illustrated case, a pin with an enlarged head which is fixed to one of the members 36) and extends through the slot 40 in the narrow side wall 22b.
The operation of the illustrated cigarette case will be apparent to one skilled in the art from the above description of the structure. To load the case, the side wall 22a is removed, cigarettes 14, are inserted into the en closure 12', and the wall 22a is releasably secured back into position. When the case is full, the spring sections 26 and 28 of thebiasing means 18 are compressed back upon themselves. To eject a cigarette 14, the exposed head of the pin 34 is moved within the slot 40 and this will cause a single cigarette 14 to be moved upwardly against the movable exit section 36 and be partially ejected from the enclosure so that the end of the cigarette may be grasped and cigarette totally removed from the case. Removal of the cigarette allows the movable section 36 to return to its closed position. If the pin 34 was in the down position when the case was filled, its upward movement will raise the member 30 to which it is attached and thereby elevate a cigarette 14. If, on the other hand, the pin 34 was in the upper position, lowering it will raise the other member .36), which other member will elevate a cigarette to partially eject it. Thus, each movement of the pin 34, up or down, raises one or the other of the elongated members 36) to lift an individual cigarette 14 through the exit 29 of the case. The operation of the biasing means 18, as already explained in considerable detail, serves to ensure that there is always a cigarette 1 located upon the extending part 32 of that member 3t which bottomed or at its lower position.
Thus, an extremely simple and economical cigarette case, which is also highly effective and dependable, is provided by the illustrated structure. Further, the illustrated case requires no elaborate or lost motion and effective operation is insured no matter how many or few cigarettes are within the case.
Various modifications and changes may be made in the illustrated structure without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
Various features of the present invention are set forth in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A cigarette case comprising the combination of a generally rectangular enclosure sufficiently large to accommodate a plurality of cigarettes in side-by-side relation to one another and including a pair of opposite end walls adapted to lie at either end of the cigarettes, a pair of opposed relatively wide side walls extending between said end walls, and a pair of opposed relatively narrow side walls extending between said end walls and said relatively wide side walls, one of said end walls including exit means to permit end-wise removal of an individual cigarette from said enclosure, said exit means being disposed adjacent to a first of said narrow side walls, manually operable ejector means on said first narrow side Wall for at least partially ejecting an individual cigarette through said exit means, and collapsible spring biasing means in said enclosure and secured to the inside of the narrow side wall opposite said first narrow side wall and adapted to urge the cigarettes in the case into position to be ejected from the enclosure by the operation of said ejection means, said narrow side walls having an internal transverse diameter of two cigarettes but which is smaller than the combined diameter of three cigarettes, said biasing means including a collapsible spring section extending from the narrow side wall opposite said first side wall and at least two spaced individually acting resilient spring sections on the free end of said main spring section, said a one narrow side wall to be positioned for ready ejection.
2. A cigarette case comprising the combination of a generally rectangular enclosure sufiiciently large to accommodate a plurality of cigarettes in side-by-side relation to one another and including a pair of opposite end walls adapted to lie at either end of the cigarettes, a pair of opposed relatively wide side walls extending between said end walls, and a pair of opposed relatively narrow side walls extending between said end walls and said relatively wide side walls, one of said end Walls including exit means to permit end-Wise removal of an individual cigarette from said enclosure, said exit means being disposed adjacent to a first of said narrow side walls, manually operable ejector means on said first narrow side wall for at least partially ejecting an individual cigarette through said exit means, and collapsible spring means in said enclosure and secured to the inside of the narrow side Wall opposite said first narrow side wall and adapted .to urge the cigarette in the case into position to be ejected from the enclosure by the operation of said ejection means, and removable platform means positionable Within said enclosure to provide a raised bottom therein whereby the case is adaptable for regular or king size cigarettes, said manually operable ejection means including a foot member forming a lift movable to a position below the end of a cigarette for ejecting it from the said enclosure.
3. A case as in claim 1 wherein said individually acting spring sections comprising two pairs of spring sections, one pair being engageable with each of two adjacent cigarettes, said sections being sufficiently flexible to accommodate to and bias adjacent rows of cigarettes having an even number of cigarettes in one row and an odd number in another.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,616,864 Martin Feb. 8, 1927 FOREIGN PATENTS 249,300 Great Britain Mar. 25, 1926