Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3233821 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1966
Filing dateJul 22, 1964
Priority dateJul 22, 1964
Publication numberUS 3233821 A, US 3233821A, US-A-3233821, US3233821 A, US3233821A
InventorsWilliam Ehlers Otto
Original AssigneeWilliam Ehlers Otto
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package opening device
US 3233821 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 8, 1966 o. w. EHLERS PACKAGE OPENING DEVICE Filed July 22, 1964 I NVEN TOR. 0774 14/26 /4/I/ (59556 United States Patent 3,233,821 PACKAGE OPENING DEVICE Otto William Ehlers, 301 29th St., Hermosa Beach, Calif. Filed July 22, 1964, Ser. No. 384,387 1 Claim. (Cl. 229-66) The present invention relates to a device to facilitate the opening and subsequent closing of sealed bags and other similar containers. More specifically, the invention herein relates to a device for facilitating the opening and subsequent closing of heat-sealed bags of polyethylene or other thin plastic sheet material.

The use of polyethylene bags has become a reasonably widespread practice since it affords a simple and inexpensive means of packaging small items for the consumer market. In many instances, polyethylene has replaced cellophane and waxed paper as a medium for packaging due to its lower cost and more efiicient sealing properties. Such bags are ordinarily closed by a heat sealing method. Due to the high strength and resiliency characteristics of the material, it is often difficult to open the bags in a manner to permit effective re-closing after removing a portion of the contents thereof.

It is an object, therefore, of this invention to provide an improved device for opening polyethylene bags.

More specifically, it is the object of the present invention to provide a finger tab inserted between the two open sides of a polyethylene bag prior to heat sealing, thereby affording a means by which the bag may be readily opened without damage, and subsequently reclosed.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become clear upon reading the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a heat sealed bag having a finger tab therein.

FIGURE 2 is a partial side view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged partial perspective view showing a heat sealed bag having a finger tab with the bag partly opened.

A polyethylene bag is generally designated in the drawings. Such bags are frequently used to package various foodstuffs such as nuts, potato chips, candy, etc. In addition, such containers are often used to package other small items such as hardware whenever individual packaging is required. In order to close the container and particularly in the case of food packaging, to seal the container, the open end or ends of the bag are closed under heat and presses which forms a heat seal. Even though a small amount of unsealed material is left above the seal, there is usually not enough to grasp with the fingers to open the seal without tearing the bag apart. Such a heat sealed strip is generally designated 11 in the drawings.

A finger tab 12 is inserted into the mouth at any point between the two sides or panels of the bag 10 prior to the heat sealing thereof. Tab 12 should be of suificient length so that it will afford a grip on its exposed portion and so that another portion projects into the interior of the bag 10. Tab 12 may be made of any suitable material but it should have a tear strength exceeding that of the heat seal strip 11. A tab constructed of polyethylene of a heavier grade than the material for the bag 10 affords a good heat seal around the tab, which is important to maintain the freshness of foodstuffs and keep them moisture free. An aperture 13 may be provided in tab 12 to allow means for hanging such bags on a display rack.

The opening of a bag by the use of the present invention is accomplished by inserting a fingernail, as shown in FIGURE 2 in phantom lines, between the tab and one edge of the unsealed portion of the bag, and then grasping the tab with the other hand to separate the heat sealed sides.

An additional device 14 may be incorporated into the tab for use in reclosing a partially emptied bag. Such device 14 has a hole or aperture 15 at one end, one side of which is slit at 16 to provide a lateral opening to said hole 15. To reclose a partially emptied bag, the top of the bag is twisted and closure device 14 is attached at the twisted portion by forcing it through the slit 16 into the hole 15, thereby maintaining the seal afforded by the twisted portion.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects, and it is the aim of the appended claim to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true scope and spirit of this invention.

I claim:

A heat sealed polyethylene bag assembly comprising the combination: a polyethylene bag having a front panel and a rear panel having edges forming a mouth, a polyethylene tab having opposed faces, the tab being positioned in the mouth between the front panel and the rear panel, the mouth of the bag being closed by heat scaling to join the front panel to the rear panel on opposite sides of the sides of the tab and to join both the front panel and the rear panel to opposite faces of the tab, the tab projecting both inside and outside of the bag, the tab having a slotted aperture, and the tab being removable upon manually breaking the heat seals between the tab and the panels of the bag, to permit use of the slotted aperture to receive the panels after twisting to re-close the bag.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,349,247 5/1944 Coghill 22962 2,981,990 5/ 1961 Balderree.

3,001,689 9/1961 Burton 229-62 3,097,788 6/1963 Nichols 229--55 FOREIGN PATENTS 883,771 12/1961 Great Britain.

JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2349247 *Aug 23, 1941May 23, 1944Du PontBag closure
US2981990 *Sep 20, 1957May 2, 1961Balderree Jr Henry NBag closure seal
US3001689 *Oct 24, 1958Sep 26, 1961Dow Chemical CoMouth closure means for bags comprising heat sealable material
US3097788 *Feb 23, 1962Jul 16, 1963Nichols Robert GReenforced bags
GB883771A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3334805 *Oct 22, 1965Aug 8, 1967Halbach Robert WPlastic bag closure
US3439867 *Oct 25, 1967Apr 22, 1969Paxton Floyd GBag enclosing re-closing facility
US4619021 *Jul 23, 1984Oct 28, 1986Johnson James RClosure strip to be applied to bags
US4795270 *Feb 2, 1987Jan 3, 1989Heyden Eugene LReclosable bag with a folded portion engaged by a unitary material separation arrangement
US4964515 *Oct 19, 1989Oct 23, 1990Heyden Eugene LBag construction including easy-opening provision
US7422105 *Dec 30, 2005Sep 9, 2008Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Packaged tampon and applicator assembly
US20070104398 *Nov 10, 2006May 10, 2007Ours David CContainer With Peelable Seal Assembly and Method of Making
US20070151885 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007Adrienne Rae LoydPackaged tampon and applicator assembly
US20120128271 *May 24, 2012Dias Kathryn VShoe bag
EP0330812A1 *Jan 7, 1989Sep 6, 1989Societe Des Produits Nestle S.A.Opener for packages
U.S. Classification383/210, 24/30.50S, 383/70, 383/35, 383/62, 383/25, 24/30.50R, 383/22
International ClassificationB65D75/52, B65D75/58
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2575/586, B65D75/5855
European ClassificationB65D75/58F