US 3195272 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 20, 1965 E. G. MosHER ETAL 3,195,272
REUSEABLE CONTAINER Filed Jan. 2l, 1963 Trf/vs y United States Patent O Calif Filed Jan. 21, 1963, Ser. No. 253,526 2 Claims. (Cl. 47-37) This invention relates to a reuseable container and more specifically to such a container particularly useful for receiving plants.
For years purchasers of plants from nurseries have taken the plants home in disposable tin cans. In order to remove the plant the cans are cut either at the nursery or at the home of the purchaser. Accordingly, the use of the cans has the inherent disadvantage that the edges produced by the slit often times cut the hands of the person handling the container, and dirt spills through the cut.
Naturally, the time and efort spent in slitting the can is a disadvantage inherent in the use of the cans.
In the past, several proposals have been made to eliminate the above problems. However, such reuseable containers have been too expensive to make, too heavy, too fragile, and take too long to use.
, Accordingly it is an important object of this invention to provide a new better reuseable container.
Another object of this invention is to provide a lightweight container suitable for receipt of a plant.
A further object of this invention is to provide a molded plastic reuseable container which can be swung apart to facilitate removal of the contents thereof.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a reuseable container which is inexpensive to produce.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a reuseable container in which the various parts thereof are joined together so as to prevent loss of such parts.
Another object of this invention is to provide a reuseable container which takes little space when stacked with like reuseable containers.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a useable contained which can be made of a thin material of a substantially constant thickness.
Other and further objects of this invention will become apparent in the detailed description below in conjunction with the appended drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a pictorial view of one embodiment of this invention shown in the closed position;
FIGURE 2 is a pictorial view of the embodiment in FIGURE 1 disclosing the container in the open position FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional View of the bottom of the container where the two container halves are integrally joined together, taken along line 3 3 in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of one side lof the edge of the container taken along line 4 4 in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the side edge of the container taken along line 5--5 in FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a 'fragmentary View taken along lines 6,-6 in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the upper rim of the container; and
FIGURE 8 is -a pictorial View disclosing how the containers may be stacked for storage. f
Referring now to the drawings there is shown a con tainer, indicated generally by the arrow 10, made in accordance with the present invention. As illustrated in the drawings and as will be more specifically pointed out in the description below, containers made according to the 3,1%,272 Patented July. 20, 1965 ice present invention comprise two container sections which are integrally joined together by a flexible joinder portion. Preferably the container sections each form half of the container in order that the container will be more symmetrical, although such is not necessary.
An important feature of the present invention is that containers made in accordance with it maybe quickly and cheaply molded as a result of the thin cross-section of the container. As will become apparent in the description in conjunction with the drawings, this constant thin cross-section of the container material is afforded by the structural innovations for the container which have bee conceived by the applicants.
In the preferred embodiment, the container 10 comprises left and right container halves 11 and 12 integrally joined together along the bottom edge at joinder portion 13. Preferably the container is made of resilient tough plastic such as linear polyethylene. This material will permit the two halves 11 and 12 to be pivoted about the joinder portion 13, between a closed position such as shown in FIGURE 1 and an open position such as shown in FIGURE 2.
The left container half 11 comprises a side wall 14 and a bottom 1S of a thin cross-section. In order to give the container half 11 rigidity and hold the bottom 15 at a right angle to the side wall 14, a central rib 17 is provided. As can best be seen in FIGURES 1, 3 and 4, the central rib 17 is formed by offsetting a portion of the container material from the portions of container material on either side of the rib. The rib 1'7 extends from the bottom of the side wall 14 up to a point adjacent the top of the container 1) where the rib terminates at 18. The rib 17 also extends across the bottom 15 to the line of joinder of the halves where it terminates at 19. With this arrangement structural rigidity is given to the side wall 14 and bottom 15 without the necessity of an increased Wall section which would increase the cost of production.
The container half 12 also has a central rib 20. The central rib 20 is formed in the same manner and shape as central rib 17 and therefore, will not be described in detail.
On either side of the central rib 17 there is provided an intermediate rib 22 in the side wall 14. Similarly to the rib 17, the intermediate rib 22 is formed by offsetting a portion of the container wall material from the portion of wall material on either side of the rib. Preferably, each rib 22 extends approximately three-fourths of the heighth of the side wall 14. In large containers the intermediate rib 22 would extend down the side Wall 14 and across the bottom 15 similarly to the rib 17.
Intermediate ribs 23 are provided on the container half 12. These ribs 23 are of the same configuration as the ribs 22.
It will be noted that joinder portion 13 projects below the bottom of the container, forming a flange which rigidities the container bottom in a direction at a right angle to the ribs 17 and 2li.
llt is necessary that the user be able to grasp the container 1d at the upper edge thereof in order to lift the container. Similarly it is necessary that the upper edge of the container have structural rigidity in order that the container `will hold its circular shape when vthe dirt and the plant is being located inside of the container. To this end .the container half 11 is lprovided with a rim 2S having a semi-circular cross-section (see FIGURE 7 in particular). yThe rim is formed of thin material as in the case of the rest of the body, and therefore, a plurality of lgussets 26 extend across the rim 25. These gussets 26 lgive the rim structural rigidity without the penalty of increasing the cross-section of the material.
rThe container half y12 has a rim 27 with gussets 26 formed in the same shape as the rim 25 and gussets Z6. The container half if has two side edges 3ft and 3l respectively, extendingrup from the :bottom 15. of the container half. When the `container halves 11 and 12 are swung together these side edges. 30 and 31 abut op` pose-d side edges 33 and 34 on the container half lli Since, because of the thin cross-section of the material,V
.The tlangecio is provided with a long narrow rib 38' formed by offsetting a portion of the Iflange toward the flange 37. By this means the rib 33 provides a male protuberance on the face lof the ilang-e 36 yfacing the 4flange 37 and provides a female groove on the opposite face of the flange. The flange 37 is shaped complementarily to the flange 36 by offsetting a portiontof the flange 37 to form rib 39. By this Ameans a female groove is provided to receive the male protuberance on flange 36 while a male protuberancel is provided on the face of the flange 37y away from the tlange 36. It will be noted that the ribs 3d and 39 not onlyfunction to secure the flanges 36 and 37 against lateral movement when the flanges are held together but lend structural rigidity to the flanges.
In order to hold the flanges 3o and 37 in abutting relation we Vpreferably use a resilient U-shape channel member 47 swingably secured to the container by a means to bedescribed. (ln FEGURE l, the member 47 has been 4ben-t somewhat from its normal straight position to demonstrate this resiliency.) p
The channel member 47 has left and right legs ligand 49 respectively joined by a web. -As can best be seen in FIGURE 4 the left `leg d'8 is provided with a long narrow protuberance l on its inward side, while the right leg 49 has formed on its inward side a female groove 52... With this shape, when the channel member 47 is moved to a posi-tion partiallyencircling the flanges 36 and 37 (as .shown in phantom lines 54) the -protuberance 51 is received into the female groove formed by the rib 3S as aforesaid. Similarly the female groove 52 on the right leg 49 receives therein the male protuberance formed by the rib 39 on the flange 37. By this cooperation between.
the various protuberances and grooves` the channel member 47 is removably held in 4the position shown in the phantom lines.
As mentioned above the channel member 47 is swing-` ably secured to the container half. To this end we provide Ian upstanding portion 56 having a `hole 57 therethrough at its upper end. In FIGURE 6 it can be seen that there are four slits 58 radiating a small distance from` the hol-e 57 for a purpose to be described.
On the flange 36 there is a stub shaft `6th having an enlarged pointed head `61.` The stub shaft 6d is slightly smaller than the hole 57 while the ,head 6l is slightly larger. resiliency `of the upstanding portion material, permit the head 6i to be passed through the hole 57 by lhand pressure. With this arrangement the channel ymember may be quickly mounted on the container half by merely pushing it over the head di onto the stub shaft et).
The edge 33 of the container half l2 is provided with a flange il having a rib 43 `formed therein, which flange and rib are preferably like the flange 36 and rib 38. Swingably secured to flange 41 is a resilient channel member -63 having an upstanding portion 64 by which it is held to a stub shaft not shown. `The stub shaft and the However, the slits 55S, in combination with the details -of Ithe upper end of the opstanding portion `64S is exactly like the stub shaft et? Aand upstanding portion 56. Therefore,` they will not be Ishown and described in detail.
The edge Sti has -a flange 4Zextending radially from the center of the container with a rib 4d formed therein. The flange 42 and rib 44 are `exactly like flange 37 and rib 39. Therefore,l they will not be discussed n detail.
Referring now to FIGURES it can be seen that on the bottom `of the container there is provided a p-lurality of buttons-t37 Von which the container rests in the closed position. These buttons 67 ,extend below the bottom of the container the same distance as the lower edge of the j-oinder portion f3;s between'ithe two halves lit and l2.`
This provides a good stable support for the container.
In use, the plantsv in the container kare watered. Accordingly, provision is made for Water to drain out of the container such as a plurality of holes 63 located adjacent .the bottom of the side walls of the container. v
In use, Ithe container halves ll and 12 are swung to the closed position where the respective flanges 36, 37, 4l and 42 abut each other. At that time the channel members 47 vand 63 are moved into position where the legs of the respective channel members grasp the .protuberances and grooves on the respective flanges. At that time the plant is located in the container and the container is filled with dirt.
When -it is desired lto move the plant from the container the channel members 47 and 63 yare rotated outwardly away from the respective flanges at which time t-he container halves 11 and yl2 'may be swung apart. At this point the plant may be easily removed from the container. When the containers are not in use they may be stacked together asV disclosed in .FGURE S 'and thus take up little space. Y Y
While only one embodiment of the present invention yhas been shown and described in detail, such is by way of illustration only.v lt will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes and modifications may be made to the embodiment shown without departing from the present invention which is to be limited solely by the appended claims;
l. A container comprising:
a pair of container halves adapted to be located together to form a container having an open top, side f walls and a bottom, said container halves being integrally joined together along the bottom thereof at a lineV of joinder and having side edges, said halves being formed of thin flexible materialV of a substantially constant thickness, said side wall of each half having reinforcing ribs, one of said ribs on each half extending from the bottom of the 4respective side wall 11p to a point adjacent'the top thereof and to the line of joinder of the halves Where the rib terminates, each of said side edges ofone half abutting an opposed edge of the other half when the halves are swung together; Y
a thin flange on each of said side edges, said flange extending radially relative to the center -ofthe container, each of said flanges on one halfbeing positioned to abut a corresponding flange on the other half when the halves Vare swung together, one of the flanges of eachpair of abutting flanges having a male ribV formed therein by having a portion ofthe flange material offset toward the abutting flange, the other flange of the pair'having a rib formed by having a Y portion of the flange material offset away from said oneange of the pair thereby forming -on the face abutting `said kone flange a female groove Vto receive the male rib on said one flange; and means for selectively securing said side edge together by holding each pair of flanges in abutting relation whereby the ribs on each pair prevent lateral movement of the pair of flanges.
, 5 6 2. The container set forth in claim 1 wherein References Cited bythe Examiner said last mentioned means comprises a channel mem- UNITED STATES PATENTS ber having a first and a second leg joined by a Web,
channel member may be moved to a position, par-y 10 1,252,090 12/60 France.
tially encircling the pair of fianges and will be re- 305,222 1/30 Great Britain movably heldthere by cooperation between the male ribs and the grooves on the anges and side Walls. T. GRAHAM CRAVER, Primary Examiner.