US 3203580 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 31, 1965 G. ERICKSON 3,203,580
CARRYING DEVICE FOR CANS Filed Oct. 19. 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIGI FIGZ INVENTOR GERALD ERICKSON BY f m @m Mu 2 M ATTORNEY! I Aug. 31, 1965 c so 3,203,58U
CARRYING DEVICE FOR CANS Filed Oct. 19. 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR GERALD ERICKSON BY m 21m M F ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,203,580 CARRYING DEVICE FOR CANS Gerald Erickson, Westport, Conn, assignor to Snap Pac Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed "Oct. 19, 1960, Ser. No. 63,580 7 'Claims. (Cl. 220-102) This invention relates to improvements in can holding and carrying devices and more particularly relates to a can holding and carrying device adapted to rigidly and effectively hold a plurality of cans in abutting relationship as a unitary package for handling and carrying, which device is constructed from one piece of material.
In the art of packaging and carrying cans, it is most common to provide a packaging device constructed of cardboard in the nature of a carton for holding and carrying a plurality of cans. These cartons may be wrapped around six cans to hold them together and the cartons are printed or otherwise marked to carry the identification of the product within the cans covered by the carton. Although cardboard cartons for packaging cans have achieved wide acceptance in the industry they have a number of disadvantages. For example, the identification of the goods in the cans such as by trademark or the like, must also be placed on the outside of the carton. Furthermore, the cardboard cartons at times become dirty and soiled in storage and are a natural harbor for dust and insects. Cardboard cartons are destroyed by moisture such as water or rain and certain types of chemicals. Also, cardboard cartons are somewhat difficult to grasp and carrying may be uncomfortable as the handles sometimes tend to cut into a consumers hand. Furthermore, it is difiicult and annoying for the consumer to remove individual cans and such removal quite often requires complicated directions. After the cans are removed and the carton is opened it has no further utility and is quite bulky and must be disposed of. In addition, cardboard is a thermal insulator and cardboard can packages take longer to chill than if the cans were not encased in cardboard.
Therefore, it is the primary object of this invention to provide a can holding and carrying device consisting of a one-piece sheet of thin material such as sheet metal which not only allows the labels on the cans being carried to identify the product but also allows quick cooling, provides easy can removal, has utility for holding used cans and may be reused, provides means for stacking, is clean, bright and may be washed if desired and is impervious to elements with chemicals and further provides a convenient and comfortable carrying handle.
As noted above and as accomplished by this invention, the disadvantages of a cardboard carton type can carrying device can be overcome with a metal carrying device. Even though several metal can carrying devices are known in the art, they are all too complicated, complex and therefore expensive to allow wide usage. One of the reasons for the expense of the prior known metal can carriers is their complex construction which is not adapted to mass production. It is a further object of this invention to provide a relatively simple but highly effective one piece can carrying and holding device constructed of a minimum amount of material and adapted for mass production, thus having an average cost per unit substantially less than the prior metal can carriers and even less than printed cardboard cartons, which can carrying device is further adapted to increase the efficiency of an automatic can packing operation.
Further objects of this invention will be pointed out in the following detailed description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which disclose, by way of example, the principle of this invention and chimes on opposite ends of the cans.
the best mode which has been contemplated of applying that principle.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the carrying device of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the can holding and carrying device of FIG. 1 shown holding a plurality of cans in a unitary package.
FIG. 3 is an end elevation view of the can pack and carrying device therefor shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a modification of a can carrying device showing another type of can engaging means and means for stacking a plurality of can packs.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the carrying device in FIG. 4- as applied to and for holding a plurality of cans in a unitary can package.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another modification of this invention showing a separate handle device and another way of engaging the cans.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the device of the FIG. 6 modification shown holding a plurality of cans in a unitary package.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a further modification of the can carrying device of this invention.
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the can carrier illustrated in FIG. 8 and as applied to hold a plurality of cans in a unitary package.
FIG. 10 is another view of a can carrier similar to the carrier of the FIG. 8 embodiment as applied to flat top rather than chime cans.
In general, this invention contemplates a can pack carrying device adapted to hold a number of cans to gether in abutting relationship and allow the cans so held to be handled and carried. For the sake of economy and mass production, th device is made quite simply of a single piece of sheetmetal or other material, such as plastic and furthermore utilizes as little material as possible consistent with requisite strength, due to its unique construction. The one piece body contains an inside portion which is the same length as the length or height of the cans to be packaged and is adapted to be positioned in a space between abutting cans. Integrally attached to each end of the inside portions are a pair of feet portions which during forming of the one-piece blank are bent perpendicular to the plane of the inside portion so as to overlie the ends of a plurality of cans in a package and to overlie the top of each can. On the facing portions of the feet, that is, the faces of the feet which are adjacent the cans, there are provided projections for engaging the can tops. These projections may be of various forms for engaging can chimes or in the case of cans not having chimes may be formed dur-' ing production to indent the top of the can slightly for holding purposes. However, since most cans have chimes, the preferred embodiment is for engaging can Handle means may be provided by a cutout for sticking a finger through a portion of the body, or by a handle which bends out of the plane of the top of the cans, or alternatively by a separate handle which is adapted to be collapsed when the can holding device is stored. Further, for storage purposes there may be provided in the outside faces of both feet complementary dimples for stacking can packs one on top of another without any wobbling occurring during storage.
FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the can holding device 10 of this invention. The can holding device may be made from a single sheet of metal by stamping or the like; alternatively it may be made of suitable plastic. When formed, the blank consists of what will be termed inside portions 12, 14, 16 and 18.
each having a length which is substantially equal to the length or height h of cans C to be packaged, see FIG. 3. Joining the inside portions are horizontal cross connections 22, 24 and 26 so that they are all connected with suitable lateral spacing. The spacing between the upright portions is such that they will engage at the abutting edges of a plurality of juxtapositioned cans as shown in FIG. 2.
Integrally joined to the top and bottom of the inside portions are relatively large and substantially fiat feet portions. In FIG. 1 there are four feet portions 32, 34, 36 and 38 shown. The feet portions are stamped with circular shaped apertures 42, 44, 46 and 48 respectively, one in each of the feet. The apertures are of a diameter sufi'lcient for the average human finger to comfortably be inserted therethrough for carrying purposes. On the feet there are projections or means for engaging the tops of the cans in the package. In FIG. 1 these consist of triangularly shaped cut dimples 40, these dimples being directed inwardly toward the inside portions from the bottom faces of all of the feet. As can be seen in FIG. 2 the dimples are arranged so that they engage just behind the can chimes on both ends of the can to hold the can in a package. As will be evident in FIG. 1, the feet portions per so are unbroken by any hinge or bend lines and are therefore relatively rigid across their entire large flat area. The feet portions 32 and 34 are integrally joined as noted above by integral hinge connecting portions 31, 33, 35, and 37 to the inside portions 12, 14, 16, and 13, respectively. The hinge connections are to opposite sides of the feet portions 32 and 34 as shown and are in a single line X extending across a medial portion of each foot. The hinge connections along line Y at the bottom end of the inside portions are the same.
With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that a package of six cans are positioned together in abutting relationship with the can carrying device in the center thereof. The cans may be pushed toward the carrying device and the inside portions 16, 18, 14 and 12 abut against the edges of the cans while the feet portions 32, 34, 36 and 38 hold the top and bottom of the cans by means of their inwardly extending projections 40. Holes 42 and 44 provide means for inserting the fingers to carry the integral can package. It is noted from FIG. 1 that the carrier is made from a minimum amount of material, portions of the feet being originally between the inside portions and the cross connections until the feet portions are bent outwardly during the bending operation so that they are in a plane perpendicular to the inside portions and overlie all of the cans to be held by the package as shown in FIG. 2. Also evident is the fact that the cans, when inserted into the carrier device, will tend to exert an outward pressure on both feet portions on both sides of the plane of the inside portions. Due to the hinge connections along lines X and Y the forces exerted outwardly on each side of the hinge connections X and Y on the large, rigid feet will oppose each other and this interaction of forces on opposite sides of the plane of the inside portion counteract one another to give strength to the unitary package.
It will be evident that various modifications on the basic invention may be practiced. One of the modifications is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIGS. 4 and 5 a can carrying device is constructed of a one-piece unitary metal blank. This blank has inside portions 52 and 54 integrally connected to feet portions 56 and 58. The feet portions are bent out of the plane of the inside portions and extend to both sides of the plane to overlie the plurality of cans when assembled in a package as illustrated in FIG. 5. The projections for holding the cans consist in this modification, for example, of bent dimples 62 arranged at suitable locations as is evident from viewing FIG. 5 for the purpose of holding the can chimes, both at the top and the bottom of the cans, so that the carrier holds the cans in assembled relationship.
Also, finger holes 64, 66, 68 and 72 may be provided for carrying purposes as described before. The dimples 62 also face inwardly, of course, for engaging the can chimes as described above. The modification of FIGS. 4 and 5 also provides a steadying means for stacking packages of cans one on top of another. The top foot 56 has a plurality of downwardly depending dimples creating depressions 74, 75, 76 and 77 and the lower foot 58 has corresponding downwardly extending projections below dimples 78, 79, 81 and 82. It is evident that when two packages of cans are stacked, these projections in foot 58 will extend downwardly to engage in the depressions created in the upper surface of foot 56 by the corresponding indentations in an adjacent can package.
A further modification of the invention is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. In this modification the means for holding the can chimes consisting of downward projections is somewhat modified and the carrying means consists of a separate handle. More particularly, the one-piece metal carrying device contains inside portions 102 and 104 connected by an integral cross connection 106. Feet are provided at each end of the inside portions 102 and 104 and these feet are shown at 108, 110, 112 and 114. Each foot is also bent during forming as explained above, to be perpendicular and extend to both sides of the plane of the inside portions 102 and 104. The projections for holding the cans both at the top and bottom of the can package as shown in FIG. 7, consists of inwardly bent portions 116 in each of the feet. These bent portions are curved for engaging the can chimes as shown in FIG. 7. Also a grooved portion 118 is formed extending inwardly in all of the feet. This grooved portion provides a storage for a handle 120. The handle 120 has inwardly extending bails 122 which engage beneath the feet 108 and to allow the handle to carry and support the Weight of the can package shown in FIG. 7. When the handle 120 is not in use, gravity causes it to drop down into the groove 118 in feet 108 and 110 thus providing a flat can package.
FIGS. 8 and 9 show a further modification of a carrying means consisting of a bendable handle integral with the one-piece metal blank. More particularly, the unitary can carrying device 200 contains inside portions 202 and 204 integrally connected to feet portions 206 and 208 bent at right angles thereto and adapted to overlie the top of cans C as shown in FIG. 9. Cut projections 210 bent down from the inside faces of the feet 206 are positioned as shown in FIG. 9 for holding can chimes positively and the feet are also provided with stacking dimples 211 and 212 similar to those described above and for the same purpose. A handle 214 is provided integral with the one-piece blank and normally bent into the plane of the foot 206 as shown in FIG. 9. During usage, however, the handle 214 is bent up to be in the plane of the inside portions 202 and 204 as shown in FIG. 8 for carrying purposes. A similar construction is shown in FIG. 10. The handle could also be a separate pivoted handle ar ranged in a similar manner and pivotable from the plane of the foot 206.
FIG. 10 in addition to showing the handle 214 bent upwardly for carrying purposes, also shows how the device may be adapted for use with cans of the fiat top, no chime type. In this case the projections 210 are placed in the feet portions 206 and 208 during automatic assembly by suitable machines and indent into the top of the cans to hold them in place. These indentations will, of course, remain in the top of the cans and such are shown at 216 on can C of FIG. 10 which is removed from the package.
It is believed that the operation of the can carrier will be evident from the foregoing description. In use, cans may be assembled in can packages by either manual or automatic means and by means of the carrier in any of the disclosed modifications or equivalents thereof and will be rigidly held in a unitary package. To remove the can, the can is pulled outwardly against the holding force and may be pushed upwardly or downwardly to disengage the projections from the chimes or the top of the can and then pulled on out. After a can has been emptied and the contents thereof consumed, the carrier furnishes a convenient means for collecting the used cans for disposal. The cans may be merely reinserted back into position and held therein by the projections engaging the chimes. For stacking in a warehouse, the complementary dimples on the outside of the top and bottom of the outside faces of the feet provide aligning means so that the can packages can be stacked quite high without wobbling or danger of falling. The can carrier is, of course, as mentioned above, made from a single stamping of sheet metal in a single operation and can be made quite inexpensively from a small amount of sheet metal. By the construction of engaging the top and bottom of the cans, which usually have no appreciable amount of product identifying printed matter thereon, and engaging only the inside of the cans, the labels identifying the product in the cans may be easily viewed without additional printing on the can carrier. Furthermore, the carrier furnishes a clean, bright and sanitary carrier which not only exposes the contents, i.e., the cans carried thereby, but may be washed and allows for quick cooling. The handles are flat with the top of the carrier and do not take up any extra room relative to the carrier. Of course, the can carrier can be used with any number of products which are sold to consumers in cans and can easily be set up in the field by individual grocery clerks or the like as well as being set up and having the cans assembled in a pack during their production and filling.
While there has been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and detail of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, instead of sheet metal the can carrier could be constructed of plastic. Also instead of carrying metal cans the carrier is applicable to holding and carrying tumblers such as those made of glass or aluminum. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A can holding and carrying device for holding together a plurality of cylindrical, fiat end, chimed receptacles, such as chimed cans, and for handling and carrying the cans as a unitary package, the device comprising:
(a) an integral one-piece body formed as a substantially fiat blank, the one-piece body including;
(b) a fiat inside connecting portion having a length substantially equal to the height of receptacles,
(c) at least one pair of substantially flat, rigid, relatively large, plate-like feet portions integral with the inside portion,
(d) integral bendable hinge connections at both ends of the inside portion hingedly connecting the inside portion with each one of the feet portions at a medial portion thereof such that the large feet-like portions extend substantially on both sides of the hinge line,
(e) both feet portions of the pair of plate-like feet portions being bendable along the integral bendable hinge connections to thereby be positionable wholly within planes parallel to one another and at right angles to the plane of the inside portion, the rigid flat plate-like portions being relatively large and covering a substantial area such that when so bent each of the foot portions is adapted to extend to both sides of the plane of the inside portion with the inside faces of the feet portions overlying flat ends of chimed receptacles, and
(f) inwardly extending projections integral with and extending inwardly from the faces of opposite feet in the pair of flat plate-like relatively large feet, the projections positioned to engage the chimes of a receptacle to hold them in the device.
2. A can holding and carrying device as defined in claim 1 wherein the integral bendable hinge connections at both ends of the inside portion are hingedly connected to both sides of each one of the feet portions at the medial portion thereof.
3. A can holding and carrying device as defined in claim 2 further comprising an integral handle integral with the one-piece blank and integrally hingedly connected thereto to allow the handle to lie in the plane of the feet portion when the blank is assembled on cans.
4. A can holding and carrying device as defined in claim 1 wherein there are two pairs of feet portions allowing the carrying device to carry six chimed cans.
5. A can holding and carrying device as defined in claim 4 wherein each foot portion contains means defining relatively large diameter apertures therein.
6. A can holding and carrying device for holding together a plurality of cylindrical, flat end, chimed receptacles, such as chimed cans, and for handling and carrying the cans as a unitary package, the device comprising:
(a) an integral one-piece body formed from a substantially flat blank, the one-piece body including;
(b) a flat inside portion having a length substantially equal to the height of receptacle,
(c) at least one pair of substantially flat, relatively large, rigid, plate-like feet portions integral with the inside portion,
(d) hinge connecting means integral with the one-piece body connecting each of the foot portions to an opposite end of the inside portion along a hinge line which extends medially across the foot portion,
(e) both foot portions of the pair of rigid, plate-like feet portions being bendable about the connecting hinge portion to be wholly positioned within planes parallel to one another and at right angles to the plane of the inside portion, the flat plate-like feet portions covering a substantial area such that each of the foot portions extends to both sides of the inside portions and the inside faces of each foot portion overlie flat ends of chimed receptacles,
(f) inwardly extending projections integral with and extending inwardly from the inside faces of opposite feet of the pair of flat plate-like feet, the projections positioned to engage the chimes of receptacles, such that receptacles in being positioned within the carrying device will tend to exert an outward force from the inside of each face of the feet-like portions and the forces on both sides of the inside portions will act against one another to form a rigid structure while the projections hold the cans in the device, and
(g) a carrying handle integral with the one-piece blank and extending from one end thereof.
7. A can holding and carrying device as defined in claim 6 wherein the feet portion of the support include stacking dimples which are complementary to one another on the outside portions of the top and bottom feet so that packages of cans held by said device can be stacked one on top of another Without wobbling.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,477,818 12/23 Gerlat. 2,285,801 6/42 Burnet 224-45 2,312,256 2/ 43 Lumley. 2,441,834 5/48 Morse 220-104 2,667,995 2/54 Bruce.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
EARLE J. DRUMMOND, FRANKLIN T. GARRETT,
GEORGE O. RALSTON, Examiners.