US 3164880 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 12, 1965 B. M. HOTCHKISS 3,164,880
PLASTIC CASKET Filed March 24. 1961 INVENTOR. BRUCE M.l-[rc:H/ /ss ATTORNEY:
United States Patent 7 3,164,S8il PLAT1 (IASKET Bruce M. Hotchkiss, W. Highland Ave, Tracy, Calif.
Filed Mar. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 98,266 1 Claim. (Cl.'27-3) This invention has to do with improvements in casket construction as well as a method of sealing a casket. This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 812,837, field May 13, 1959, now Patent No. 2,983,024.
Conventional caskets comprise an open topped receptacle, or tub, having a cover lid adapted to be secured, as by screws or hinges, to said tub. Such a casket also includes handles secured to its sides by bolts or screws which extend through the side walls. The materials of which caskets are conventionally made are various woods and various metals, which are relatively heavy to handle and also necessitate excessive shipping costs when a casketed body is shipped by air freight, a is frequently the case.
While fibre glass materials have been used for making caskets, several difficulties have been experienced in their use. For instance, because of their thin-walled structure, it has been difficult to mount the side handles, by which the casket is-carried during mortuary and funeral proceedings, in such a way as to anchor the handles to the casket in a manner to provide the necessary structural strength. Also such caskets do not provide proper anchorage for the screws by which the conventional casket cover lid is attached to the tub. Also fibre glass is not susceptible of being consumed in cremation without leaving considerable residue and fouling the crematory retort.
Another respect in which conventional caskets of wood, metal or fibre glass have been signally deficient has been the difficulty, or practical impossibility, of permanently hermetically sealing them. For instance, the conventional manner of sealinga casket is to interpose a rubber gasket between the cover lid and the tub, the gasket being permanently affixed to the lid or tub. However, such rubber gaskets set or'harden in relatively short time so that the seal which the gasket provides between the cover and tub soon becomes ineffective. construction, the provision of an hermetic seal is usually difficult or impossible because of the holes produced in the side walls of the tub by the screws or bolts used to secure the handles. 1
Also, in conventional cakets and mortuary proceedings, due to the fact that, while the corpse is being viewed during mortuary proceedings, it has been necessary to open the permanent casket cover lid and provide its interior with appropriate decorations which are relatively expensive and which are lost when the casket is buried or cremated.
The following are among the principal objects of my present invention:
(a) To provide a practical, lightweight, durable casket constructed of material capable of being consumed during cremation, which does not injure the crematory retorts, and which does not oxidize, corrode or rot;
(b) to provide a casket construction incorporating novel means for insuring an effective permanent hermetic seal between the cover lid and the tub;
- (c) to provide a casket construction which may be interred either in sealed or unsealed condition.
Also, in conventional casket Still further and subordinate objects and advantages will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of enabling those skilled in the art to better understand and practice my invention, I shall now, by way of example, describe in detail a specific presently preferred example thereof, for which purpose I shall refer to the accompanying drawing wherein: 7
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the tub portion of my improved casket with its permanent cover lid removed;
FIG. 2 is a view, like FIG. 1, except that the cover lid is shown in place;
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken on line 33 of FIG. 2; a
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary cross section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary cross section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
Referring now to the drawings, the bottom or receptacle portion of the casket 1, which is conventionally called the tub, has a bottom wall 3, side walls 4 and end walls 6.
Said walls are composed of an outer hard exterior shell portion '7, appropriately shaped and preferably molded of a suitable plastic material. For this purpose I have found a high impact poly-styrene plastic to be peculiarly well adapted. Said walls also have an inner shell portion 8 formed of a like material, and a core 9 of a foam plastic such as poly-urathane.
Each of the exterior side shell portions 7 has a portion 7a of outwardly curved cross section against the inner surface of which longitudinally spaced blocklt) of wood or hard composition material are disposed, theblocks being substantially embedded in the core 9. a
On the exterior surface of each of the shell portions 7 there is secured an escutcheon plate 12 opposite each of the blocks 10; each of the plates 12 being secured by means of screws 13 which extend through the respective plates, through the shell 7 and are threaded into the respective blocks 10. Each of the escutcheon plates carries a lifting handle 14. While I have shown a separate handle 14 for each escutcheon plate 12, it will be understood that a single bar-like handle may be used in each side; and attached at its end portions to the escutcheon plates, as is well known in the art. By this construction, it will be apparent that not only the handles and their carrying escutcheon plates firmly anchored, but also the screws by which they are secured to the casket do not pierce the inner shell portion 8 to expose the interior of the casket, when sealed, to air.
The top edge portion 15 of the tub 1 is formed by an outwardly disposed strip or extension of the inner surface portion 8 and, as best shown in FIG. 5, presents -a flat inner portion 15a, an adjoining downwardly and upwardly curved portion forming a channel 15b, and an adjoining flat outer marginal portion 15c above the plane of said inner portion 151: which is bonded to the top edge of the exterior portion 7a; the latter portion having an integral, outwardly disposed flange 17 which underlies the marginal portion 15c. Thus portion 15a of the strip and the spaced overlying portion of the cover lid provides a passageway for enabling any sealant which is displaced from channel 15b to flow into the tub.
The permanent cover lid 29 of my casket has an arched exterior shell portion 22, preferably formed of the same plastic material hereinbefore described for the shell portions of the tub; an inner shell portion 23, preferably of 3 the same plastic material; and a core 24 preferably of a foam plastic such as before described.
The bottom edge portions of the sides and ends of the cover lid are each composed of an outward extension 25 of the inner shell portion 23, presenting a fiat portion 250, an adjoining V-shaped lip portion 2512, an adjoining fiat portion 25c and a depending marginal flange portion 255d to which the bottom edge portion 27 of the cover portion 22 is bonded.
The channel b, which extends entirely around the top edge portion of the tub, is adapted to receive a suitable plastic sealant S,to be hereinafter described, for the purpose of hermetically sealing the cover 28 on the tub.
For this purpose, I may use any of many well known plastic sealants, such as an epoxy catalyzed to have a predetermined setting period at a given temperature, and, in accordance with my sealing method, the sealant is catalyzed to have a setting period commensurate with the time required .to complete the mortuary proceedings.
For the purpose of automatically locking the cover on the tub simply by pushing the cover downwardly on the tub, I provide, at points spaced apart around the flange d of the cover, a plurality of V-shaped metal springs 30 secured to the cover by means of screws 32 extending through the cover and into the portion 30a of the respective springs. The free end portion 30b of each of these springs engages beneath the flange 17 of the tub when the cover is forced downwardly onto the tub, the portion 30b of each spring flexing outwardly during the course of forcing the cover downwardly, so as to pass the flange 17 of the tub. When the cover 20 is thus forced downwardly onto the tub, the lip 25b, which also extends entirely around the bottom edge portion of the cover, extends into the channel 15b to engage the sealant therein.
If it be desired temporarily to support the cover 20 on the tub without the lip 25b coming into engagement with the sealant, manually removable blocks, not shown, preferably of'foam rubber, may be interposed between the cover and the tub to space the lip 25b from the sealant, as shown in FIG. 7. This becomes desirable sometimes when the casket is being transported from the mortuary to the cemetery where'it must be opened, or where it is being shipped for burial at some point distant from the point at which the corpse has been casketed and where the casket must be later opened.
From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that, although my casket is made of thin walled plastic, it is extremely durable. It can also be positively permanently hermetically sealed as distinguished from being temporarily sealed as is the case when conventional casket sealing means are used. Moreover, the sealant for effecting the seal can be applied to the casket prior to the commencement of the mortuary proceedings and its setting may be controllably delayed until the mortuary proceedings have been completed. The construction of my casket is also such that the screws used to secure the handles to the tub do not pierce the inner shell of the latter. My casket is made of a material which does not oxidize, corrode or rot which may be cremated with a minimum of residue and without injuring the crematory retorts. It will also be apparent that, in those instances where it is not desired to hermetically seal the casket, and there are such instances, rny casket may be left unsealed simply by omitting the application of the sealant, whereas the rubber gaskets conventionally used to seal caskets are built into or permanently secured to the casket construction and cannot be removed without some damage to the casket construction.
in a rectangular casket, a tub portion comprised of spaced molded plastic inner, outer, bottom, end and side walls having a core of foam plastic therebetween, said outer, side and end walls having their top edge portions abovethe plane of the inner marginal portions of the top edge portions of said inner, side and end walls, said inner top edge portion spanning the space between said inner and outer, side and end walls, said inner top edge portion having a depressed portion between its inner and outer side marginal portions defining a continuous sealantreceiving channel, and a cover lid mounted on said tub and having a continuous depending lip portion of generally V-shaped cross section extending into said channel whereby to engage and displace sealant therein; said cover lid having a bottom portion sealingly engaging the outer marginal portion of said inner top edge portion and having a bottom inner marginal portion spaced above the inner marginal portion of said inner top edge portion whereby to provide a passageway from said channel to the interior of said tub for passing sealant displaced from said channel by said lip portion.
References tilted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Great Britain 2 Nov. 18, 1959