US 3258288 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 28, 1966 L. L. COURTER 3,258,288
CAN CARRIER Filed Nov. 14, 1958 Ink/Paw? Z. ("ouerze .22- T I IN V EN TOR.
United States Patent 3,258,288 CAN CARRIER Lawrence L. Courter, Newport Beach, Calif., assignor, by
mesne assignments, to R. A. Jones & Co., Inc., Covington, Ky., a corporation of Kentucky Filed Nov. 14, 1958, Ser. No. 773,862 3 Claims. (Cl. 294-87.2)
My invention relates to devices for carrying containers and more particularly .relates to devices for grasping a plurality of the ordinary beaded-top type of can by their tops and thus enabling them to be transported in a group.
The uses of the invention may be particularly considered with respect to beer cans, although of course cans containing other commodities may equally well be picked up and carried by my carrier. A feature of present day merchandising of beer is that not only are cans used in place of bottles, but the cans are frequently sold in units of six cans, called picnic-packs or partypacks. These units are customarily put up in paperboard containers of egg-crate construction, having a bottom and four side walls and compartment dividers, and having two opposed walls continued upward and bent inwardly to form handles. Unfortunately such unit carriers do not stack particularly well, and being made of cardboard they can not sustain exposure to dampness such as might result from refrigeration by ice or ice-water. Furthermore their bulk when empty is the same as when full, and when discarded on beaches and picnic grounds they make an unnecessary and unsightly clutter.
It is an object of my invention to provide a carrier of flat configuration which will permit the so-called picnic packs .to be stacked one on top of another.
Another object of my invention is to provide a carrier which, when stacked, is substantially flat on its upper surface except only for centering rings for positioning cans in a superimposed layer.
A further object of my invention is to provide a carrier having hooks for lifting cans and flanges cooperating with the hooks to maintain the hooks in contact with the beaded rims of the cans.
Still another object of my invent-ion is to provide a carrier of limited flexibility, capable of being snapped on with a single pressure motion to a suitably grouped number of cans, and capable of releasing one can at a time as it may be called for.
Another object of my invention is to provide a carrier which covers the minimum area of cans carried thereby and none at all below the upper ends of the cans, so that the cans are practically fully exposed for rapid refrigeration, or advertising.
A further object of my invention is to provide a plastic carrier which may be used with cold water to refrigerate cans, and which yet contains so little material that it is economically practical.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a flexible carrier having a handle so constructed and so secured to the body of the carrier that it will normally lie in the plane of the body and yet may be lifted to a carrying position, due to flexibility of the material.
In the accompanying drawing, forming a part of this specification, but like the specification not intended to be limiting but merely disclosing a presently preferred embodiment of my invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, as seen from above, of my carrier applied to a group of cans;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view on an enlarged scale showing how the flexible handle may be raised from the plane of the carrier body to a lifting osition;
3,258,288 Patented June 28, 1966 "Ice FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view on the scale of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view on the line 44 of FIG. 1 but on the scale of FIG. 3, showing the hookand-flange structure by which the cans are grasped.
Having reference now to the details of the drawing, I have shown a can carrier having a body 10 which is substantially flat, the actual overall height of a carrier for l2-ounce beer cans being approximately five-sixteenths of an inch. The body 10 is divided into as many can-covering portions 1'1 as there are cans to be carried by a unit; as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 there are six can-covering portions 11, to pick up the usual halfdozen beer cans 12. To economize on material the portions 11 are preferably annular and are arranged in two parallel rows of three portions each, with the portions 11 of each row joined by webs '13, and the adjacent end portions of the two rows joined by Webs 14. However, if it be preferred to have the portions 11 diskshaped instead of being annular, the centers of the portions 11 may be left in the carrier; their presence or absence is not important functionally.
The preferred material for the manufacture of my carrier is a hard plastic of limited flexibility, of suflicient elasticity and resiliency to allow it to snap onto and to release from cans as hereinafter described, and the preferred method of manufacturing is by molding. By the molding process, all excess and non-functional material may be eliminated. To economize on space as well as material the outer arcs of the can-covering portions 1 1 may be flattened as shown at 15 in FIG. 3, and the webs 13 and 14 may also be deeply indented as shown at 16.
Each of the annular portions 11 has, on its arced portions between the flats 15, dependent circularly arranged hooks 17, shown to best advantage in FIG. 4, and comprising curved flanges 1'8 tipped with co-extensive 45 degree barbs '19 with flat upper surfaces 20. The hooks 17 are designed to snap over the beaded rims 21 at the ends of the cans 1'2 and to catch under the rims. 00- operating with the hooks 17 are annular flanges 22 depending from each of the portions 11, which fit within the beaded rims 211 of the cans, and by pressing down upon the can top insure a tight grasp by the barbs 19 upon the rims 2 1.
On the opposite side of the body 10 from the hooks 17 and flanges 22, the annular can-covering portions 11 are provided with slightly raised annular ridges 23. The ridges 23 are designed to fit within the lower beaded rims of another set of cans stacked upon the cans 12, in order to center the cans and to stabilize a stack. It will generally be found necessary to place the annular ridges 23 only upon the end portions 11, and they are thus shown in FIG. 1.
A handle 24 is provided for lifting the carrier 10 with a load of cans. The two rows in which the portions are arranged are not contiguous at the center of the body 10 but are split apart to provide an elongated opening 25. The opening 25 has enlargements 26 at its ends, these enlargements corresponding in the interior of the body 10 to the indentations 16 on the exterior of the body. V-shaped members 27 have the ends of their branches secured to the sides of the enlargements 26 with their apices 28 pointed oppositely toward the ends of the opening 25. The handle 24 is secured to the apices of the members 27, bridging between the apices and normally lying flat in the elongated opening 25 in the plane of the body 10. The members 27, being quite thin, have suflicient flexibility to yield to a lifting force; and when the handle 24 is lifted as shown in FIG. 2, the oppositely pointed apices 28 are raised from the opening enlargements 26 and provide raised arches for connecting the ends of the handle '24 to the body 10. The distance between the apices 28 shortens as the apices are flexed upward, thus permitting the handle 24 also to flex upward and provide space for inserting the fingers comfortably.
To apply my carrier to a group of cans it is only necessary to group the cans in the same arrangement as the portions 11, with the beaded rims of the cans all contiguous, and to press the carrier down upon the assembled group. The arcuate books 17, being disposed where the can rims do not touch, will slide over the can rims and hold the cans securely. The carrier and the cans may then be stacked, refrigerated, or be transported by the handle 24. When being transported, the cans will tend to hang clumped together, by the action of gravity slightly flexing the carrier. When it is desired to remove a can from the carrier, the can is grasped by its lower part and pulled outward from the other cans. The outward and upward twist upon the carrier will cause the hooks 17 to release the can so twisted. The carrier is not aflected by water, takes up almost no space, and may be sold as a returnable item.
The disclosed embodiment is not to be construed as a limitation upon the invention, the scope of which is deemed to include any desirable constructive modification within the spirit and breadth of the appended claims.
1. A carrier for cylindrical containers having beaded end rims comprising a substantially flat body of plastic material of limited flexibility having a plurality of portions adapted to overlie the tops of containers and arranged in two parallel rows, said portions having means for engaging the rims of containers to lift said containers, said body having an elongated opening between said rows, said opening having enlarged portions at its ends, V-shaped members secured to the sides of said enlarged portions and having their apices pointed toward the ends of said opening, and a handle strip joining said apices and normally lying fiat in the plane of said body, said V-shaped members yielding to lifting force exerted upon said handle strip to turn their apices upward and to permit the insertion of fingers beneath said handle strip.
2. A carrier for cylindrical containers havingbeaded end rims comprising a substantially flat body of plastic material of limited flexibility having a plurality of portions adapted to overliethe tops of containers and arranged in two parallel rows, said portions having means for engaging the rims of containers to lift said containers, said body having an elongated opening between said rows, said opening having enlarged portions at its ends, members secured to the sides of said enlarged portions and extending toward the outer ends of said enlarged portions in the plane of said body, and a handle strip joining the central portions of said members and normally lying within said opening in the plane of said body and being adapted, when lifted from said plane, to lift said members from said plane.
3. A carrier for containers comprising a substantially fiat body of limited flexibility having a plurality of means for engaging the tops of containers to lift said containers, said body having an elongated opening between at least two of said engaging means, V-shaped members secured to the sides of said opening and having their apices pointed toward the ends of said opening, and a handle strip joining said apices and normally lying flat in the plane of said body, said V-shaped members yielding to lifting force exerted upon said handle strip to turn their apices upward and to permit the insertion of fingers beneath said handle strip.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,757,192 5/1930 Hothersall 206 2,038,990 4/1936 Barr 20665 2,090,477 8/ 1937 Graham 220-97 2,301,594 11/1942 Voigtritter 29487.2 2,650,128 8/1953 Failor 29487.2 2,814,405 11/1957 Edwards 2l5-41 2,866,573 12/1958 Gordon et al. 22097 2,913,140 11/1959 Villemenot 22097 X 2,936,070 5/1960 Poupitch 20665 FOREIGN PATENTS 662,500 12/ 1951 Great Britain.
GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner.
LEO J. LEONNIG, JAMES S. SHANK, LEO QUACK- ENBUSH, Examiners.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, E. L. BROWN, M. J. HILL,
GEORGE F. ABRAHAM, Assistant Examiners.