US 3250422 A
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May 10, 1966 R. K. PARISH CUP AND TRAY SET Filed Feb. 23. 1965 II I I I III/III! I I a IIl/(IlI/lIlllII/l nvmwrae ROBERT K. PARISH United States Patent 3,250,422 CUP AND TRAY SET Robert K. Parish, 3628 Dresher Road, Cornwells Heights, Pa. Filed Feb. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 434,556 2 Claims. (Cl. 220--23.83)
This invention relates to a cup and tray set. More particularly, this invention relates to a cup and tray set for use in feeding young children or as a lap tray.
The feeding of young children has always presented certain difliculties, particuarly with respect to the spillage of liquids. Children who are of an age where they eat solids and no longer take theirliquids from a bottle often are difficult to feed because of their lack of coordination and inattentiveness. As a result of their lack of coordination they often upset liquid containers in an attempt to feed themselves. Moreover, due to their inattentiveness they often knock over liquid containers. The present invention provides a means for aiding in the feeding of young children whereby they may more easily help feed themselves. Means are also provided for preventing the accidental knocking over of liquid containers.
It therefore is a general object of this invention to provide a new and unobvious cup and tray set.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a new and unobvious tray support for a liquid container.
It is still-another object of this invention to provide a new and unobvious means for guiding a container into a tray support therefor.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a new and unobvious tray and cup set with barrier means thereon.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings a form which is prescntlypreferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the cup and tray set in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the cup and tray set shown in FIGURE 1 taken along the line 22.
FIGURE 3 is a partial sectional view of the cup and tray set shown in FIGURE 1 taken along the line 33.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view similar to that shown in FIGURE 3 showing the cup disposed partially outside its support.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIGURE 1 a perspective view of the cup and tray set in accordance with the present invention designated generally as 10.
As shown in FIGURE 1, the cup and tray set includes a tray 12 and cup 14 supported thereon. The tray 12 has a generally planar surface 16 which is shown as being rectangular but may take other forms if desired. The surface 16 of tray 12 is surrounded on all sides by a barrier 18 which extends vertically upwardly from the surface 16. In the preferred embodiment, the height of barrier 18 on three sides including sides 20, 22 and 24 is substantially higher than the height of barrier 18 on the fourth side 26. Thus, the height of sides 20, 22 and 24 may be as much as four to five'times as high as the height of side 26.
The barrier 18 provides a means whereby liquids that may be spilled are retained on the tray without running over onto the furniture or floor. Such spillage may occur when the support provided hereon is not used or when other containers such as a soup bowl is supported by the tray. The side 26 defines the front of the tray, and it is made shorter so as to make it easier for the child to reach the food and utensils while using the tray. If the 3,250,422 Patented May 10, 1966 ice side 26 of tray 12 is elevated relative to the side 22, then the portions of barrier 18 along sides 20, 22 and 24 will retain spilled liquids in amounts that would normally have run over the lower portion of barrier adjacent side 26.
The surface 16 supports an upstanding annular wall 28 in the corner thereof adjacent the sides 22 and 24 of barrier 18. As shown, the annular wall 28 is spaced away from barrier sides 22 and 25. The wall 28 may be an integral part of the surface 16. It is the purpose of wall 28 to prevent the cup14 from being tilted so as to spill liquids contained therein. As shown, the cup 14 is cylindrical in shape as is the annular wall 28. The inner diameter of wall 28 will be slightly larger than the outer diameter of cup 14 adjacent its bottommost surface. This slight difference, which may, for example, be one-sixteenth of an inch, permits the cup 14 to be freely inserted and removed from the boundaries defined by annular wall 28. The height of wall 28 is such that it limits the tilting of the cup 14 so that it cannot be tilted from a vertical to a horizontal position while disposed within its boundaries.
The surface 16 of tray 12 also supports an upstanding conical projection or guide 30. The guide 30 extends to a height which is substantially greater than the height of wall 28. In the preferred embodiment, the height of guide 30 will be at least twice that of wall 28. The base or any other circular section taken through conical guide 30 will be concentric with the annular wall 28. As shown, the diameter of the base of guide 30 is substantially than the inner diameter of wall 28. Thus, in one embodiment of the present invention the base diameter of guide 30 may he one inch while the inner diameter of wall 28 is 2% inches. This provides an annular portion of surface 16 through supporting the bottom of cup 14.
The cup 14 includes a handle 32 and a hollow recess or bowl 34 for receiving and retaining liquids. The bottom of cup 14 is provided with a conical recess 36 which is similar in shape to the conical guide 30 but of a slightly larger dimensions- This is best shown in FIG- URE 3. The apexes of both conical guide 30 and conical recess 36 are rounded 011 to be spherical in form. As thus rounded, the apex of guide 30 is better able to guide the cup 14 into the boundaries of annular wall 28.
In guiding the cup 14 into the boundaries of wall 28, the guide 30 cooperates with the conical recess 36 in the following manner. A young child will not ordinarily have sufiicient dexterity to quickly and easily place the cup 14 in the boundaries of wall 28. However, the provision of conical guide 30 will aid the child in inserting the cup. This is accomplished because the apex of conical guide 30 is relatively narrow in comparison with the base of conical recess 36. Accordingly, it is quite simple for the child to get the cup over the conical guide 30 so that it is received within the recess 36. Once this point is reached, the conical guide 38 will guide the cup 14 into the boundaries of the annular Wall 28. In FIGURE 4, the cup 14 is shown in a position wherein the conical guide 30 is partially received within the recess 36 but the cup is generally at an angle with respect to the vertical axis of guide 30. It will be noted that the apex of guide 30 is in contact with the side of conical recess 36. Accordingly, when the child lets go of the cup, the apex of conical guide 30 will slide along the side of conical recess 36 thereby directing the cup into the boundaries defined by annular wall 28. In other words, so long as the child is capable of getting the cup into a position wherein guide 30 is received within recess 36 the conical sections will serve to guide it into proper position within annular wall 28.
The tray 12 and cup 14 may be made of any one of several materials such as plastic, metal, or ceramic. However, in a preferred embodiment the tray and cup are made of a molded plastic material.
Although the foregoing invention has been described with relation to a childs feeding tray, it will be readily understood by those skilled in the art that it may be used as a lap tray for watching television or the like.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims, rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope of the invention.
1. A tray and cup set comprising a tray having a planar upper and lower surface, an annular wall extending from said upper surface at a position remote from the center of said tray, a substantially conical guide extending from said upper surface, the axis of said guide being normal to the plane of said tray, a circular section of said conical guide being concentric with said annular wall, the height of the conical guide being at least twice the height of said annular wall, the inner diameter of said annular Wall being greater than the base diameter of said conical guide, and a cup adapted to be received between said conical guide and said annular wall, said cup including a bottom Wall, said conical guide and said annular wall positioned to cooperate together to guide said cup onto said tray, said bottom wall defining a substantially conical recess similar to the conical guide, the apices of said conical guide and said conical recess being spherical curves, the
spherical radius of said conical guide apex being smaller than the spherical radius of said conical recess apex, the outer diameter of said cup bottom wall being less than the inner diameter of said annular wall, the vertical height of said conical member being less than the vertical height of said conical recess so that the bottom of said cup is firmly supported by the upper planar surface of said tray, an inner diameter of said annular Wall being small enough to engage the cup and limit tilting during placement of said cup over said conical guide.
2. A tray and cup set in accordance with claim 1 Wherein a barrier is mounted adjacentthe perimeter of said planar surface, a portion of said barrier having a height less than the remainder of said barrier.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,101,401 12/1937 Leppke 220--23.83 3,122,257 2/ 1964 Soehrman 220-23.83
FOREIGN PATENTS 22,695 1900 Great Britain.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Examiner.