US 3272202 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1955 R. HUFZTADO SOTO 3,272,202
TWO-POSITION NURSING NIPPLE WITH INTERLOCKING SANITARY COVER Filed Sept. 5, 19625 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 p 13, 1966 R. HURTADO so'ro 3,272,202
TWO-POSITION NURSING NIPPLE WITH INTERLOCKING SANITARY COVER Filed Sept. 5, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,272,202 TWO-POSITION NURSING NIPPLE WITH INTER- LOCKING SANITARY COVER Ricardo Hurtado Soto, Bogota-Suba, Colombia, assignor to Lacto-Seal, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 5, 1963, Ser. No. 306,762 10 Claims. (Cl. 128-252) This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application entitled, Nursing Unit, Serial No. 184,735, filed April 3, 1962, and now abandoned.
This invention relates to a sanitary cover for a nursing nipple, and, more particularly, to a unique combination of a sanitary cover and a nursing nipple.
One of the principal problems attendant on infant feeding is maintenance of the nursing bottle, particularly the nipple, in sterile condition. The formula or other liquid nutriment constitutes a fertile medium for the growth or organisms, and hence a variety of expedients have been followed by the prior art workers in order to achieve this desirable sterile condition of the nipple and surrounding support surfaces. Generally, the prior expedient shave utilized some kind of cap cooperating with the supporting bottle or closure which has necessitated laborious installation and removal. The complexity of the prior art expedients has made it possible for misapplication or mis-operation with a frustration of the desired objective of maintaining nipple sterility. In contrast to this, the instant invention provides a simple yet extremely effective hygienic seal for the nipple and one that operates by cooperating with the nipple itself. According to the instant invention, the sanitary cover is automatically placed in hygienic sealing relation relative to the nipple as the nipple is moved to its retracted position, and reaily removable as part of the movement extending the nipple. The provision of such a closure and the effective seal provided thereby constitutes an important object of the invention.
Another object of the invention is to provide a cooperating sanitary closure and nipple wherein the nipple is of the two-position type, i.e., the nipple tip part being retractable within the breast part to define an annular space, with the sanitary closure being releasably held in the annular space.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a uniquely constructed sanitary cover for a nipple and the combination thereof wherein the nipple and closure have juxtaposed surfaces effective to provide a secondary, gen erally cylindrical, seal for maintaining the mouth-engaging portion of the nipple in sterile condition.
Other objects and advantages of the invention may be seen in the details of construction and operation set down in this specification.
The invention is explained in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of an embodiment of the invention showing the sanitary cover in the process of being installed upon a nursing nipple;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the assembled sanitary cover and nursing nipple which would be the condition of the elements following the operation indicated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the nipple, equipped again with the sanitary cover, but in the so-called retracted position;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view, partially in section, of the sanitary cover and nipple-equipped bottle where the sanitary cover is about to be installed on the nipple, i.e., a showing analogous to that pictured in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is another fragmentary elevational view, par- 3,272,202 Patented Sept. 13, 1966 tially in section, of the parts of FIG. 4 but showing the sanitary cover just after it has been installed on the nipple;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIGS but showing the nipple in an initial stage of retraction;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the interconnecting cooperative parts of the nipple and cover at a stage just subsequent to that seen in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary elevational view, partially in section, of the assembled cover and nipple when the latter is in its retracted position;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the inter-engaging parts in the condition they assume during the retracted position of the nipple seen in FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view such as would be seen along the sight line 10'10' applied to FIG. 8;
FIG. 11 is an exploded elevational view of a modified form of the invention; and
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary elevational view, partially in section and partially in phantom line, of the modification seen in FIG. 11.
Referring now to the drawing, the numeral 20 designates a nursing bottle equipped with a nipple closure generally designated 21. The action indicated by the arrow 22 in FIG. 1 includes the positioning of a sanitary cover generally designated 23 held in the left hand 24 of a person whose right hand 25 is grasping the bottle 20.
In the illustration given, the nipple closure is equipped with a depending skirt 26 which cooperates in the usual fashion with the bead-equipped neck 27 of the bottle 20 (see FIG. 4) to hold the nipple closure on the neck. It will be appreciated that alternative forms of nipple closures may be advantageously employed in the practice of the invention such as, for example, a two-piece nipple and apertured screw top.
The nipple 21, as best seen in FIG. 4, includes, in addition to the depending threaded skirt 26, a generally planar, integral top closure part 28 arranged to contact the upper lip 29 of the bottle 20.
Upstanding from the central portion of the planar part 28 is a breast part generally designated 30 which merges into a tubular generally cylindrical tip part 31. The tip part 31 is equiped with a dispensing aperture 32.
Still referring to FIG. 4, it will be seen that the breast part includes a tubular generally cylindrical section 33 and a laterally-extending generally conical shoulder section 34. The conical shoulder section 34 is adjacent the bottom portion of the tip part 31 and extends outwardly and downwardly to the tip of the cylindrical section 33. As is shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 at the intersection of the cylindrical section 33 and shoulder section 34 there is provided a generally right-angled angular step 35. The function of the step 35 is to cooperate with a similar step 36 provided by the laterally-extending rib 36 at the lower end of the sanitary cover 23 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7.
The sanitary cover 23, as illustrated in FIG. 4, includes a generally cylindrical section 37, open at its lower end 38, and closed at its upper end 39, as indicated in FIG. 4. Intermediate the two above-mentioned ends, the cylindrical portion 37 is equipped with a radially extending, annular flange 40 which is seen to be dished at 41, i.e., concavely related to the juxtaposed, planar part 28, as illustrated in FIG. 8.
The previously mentioned step 36 is defined by convergent surfaces 42 and 43 constituting rib 36 (see FIG. 7). The surface 43 is essentially planar and radially disposed relative to the cylindrical portion 37. The surface 42 is essentially conical to develop a relatively sharp peripheral edge at 44 for engagement with the step 35 during depression of the tip part 31.
It will be appreciated that the nipple generally designated 21 is a two-position nipple wherein the tip 31 is in the extended position seen in FIGS. 1 and 4 for the seating operation, and in the retracted condition seen in FIGS. 3 and 8 during storage (as under refrigeration) pending use in feeding.
In operation, the bottle 20 is filled with formula or other liquid nutriment, after which the bottle and its contents is subjected to sterilization temperatures. Simultaneously therewith, the nipple closure 21 and the sanitary cap 23 are also sterilized. With the bottle 20 still warm, the nipple closure 21 is applied through a suitable threading action wherein the skirt 26 is grasped for manipulating the nipple closure 21. This avoids contaminating the nipple closure surfaces thereabove, particularly the flat part 28, the breast part 30, and the tip part 31, which are the parts engageable by the lips of an infant during feeding. Immediately thereafter, the sanitary cover 23 is grasped as illustrated in FIG. 1 and mounted on the tip part 31 to provide the configuration of elements seen in FIG. 2. Alternatively, the nipple and cap may be applied prior to sterilization. In FIG. 2 and also in FIG. 5, it is seen that the cap 23 has been slidably mounted on the nipple tip part 31, whereupon the application of downward pressure on the closed end of the cap 39, as illustrated by the arrow 39 in FIG. 6, converts the assembly to the condition seen in FIGS. 3 and 8. The lower end of cover cylindrical section 37 is adjacent conical section 34 and presses over against as the nipple is moved from extended to retracted position.
During the depression of the tip part 31, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the initial flexure or folding occurs in the flat part 28, and shortly thereafter there occurs a reversal of the breast part 30 to achieve the condition seen in FIGS. 7 and 8 wherein the sloping shoulder section 34 is folded upon itself to dispose the step 35 downwardly and in locking engagement with the step 43. The section 34 thereby extends around the bottom of the annular space 45 (see FIGS. 7, 8 and 9). It will be appreciated, as is best seen in FIG. 9, that the breast part 30 and the tip part 31 (when the latter is depressed) form an annular space 45 which grippingly receives the cylindrical portion 37, the wall thickness of the cylindrical portion 37 being slightly greater than the corresponding width of the annular recess or chamber 45. It will be noted that the rib 36' engages the conical section 34 immediately below its juncture with breast part section 33 as defined by step 35. Thus, the engagement of the bead or rib 36 with the overlying shoulder 35' developed by the step 35 provides an additional means of securing the cover 23 on the nipple 21. The gripping action developed by the confronting portions of the breast part 30 and the tip part 31 in itself provides a frictional engagement between the cooperating parts.
Still further, when the cap is positioned on the nipple and the latter is in the retracted position as seen in FIG. 8, there is provided a peripheral seal by the coaction of the annular flange 40 with the flat surface 28, this seal being enhanced by the dished configuration 41 and the normal reduction in interior pressure in the bottle 20 by virtue of cooling the contents subsequent to sterilization with the attendant decrease in air volume. It will be seen (as in FIG. 8) that the diameter of the flange is of the order of twice the diameter of the cylindrical portion so as to provide a substantial over-lay of the mount portion 26, particularly the flat surface 28. In instances where it is unnecessary to sterilize the surface surrounding the breast portion 30, the annular flange 40 may be made smaller, or even eliminated.
Preferably, both the nipple 21 and the cover 23 are constructed of flexible resilient material such as rubber, the portions intended not to flex substantially, as in the skirt 26, being constructed of relatively greater wall thicknesses than the parts 28 and 30. Referring to the breast part 30, it is seen that the sloping shoulder section 34 is relatively thinner than the upstanding tubular or cylindrical section 33. This construction promotes the gripping action previously described and the supplemental shoulder 35' (see FIG. 9) is advantageously oriented for coaction with the step 36 developed by the bead 36.
The tip or teat part 31 may be equipped with a longitudinally-extending, axially disposed strengthening rib 31' (see FIGS. 4 and 9) which serves to prevent complete collapse of this part of the nipple and therefore maintains a passage for the equalization of pressures, thereby eliminating the need for any looseness in the fit between the nipple mounting portion 26 and the bottle neck 27 ordinarily employed for admission of air to compensate for withdrawn fiuid. In some instances, the provision of ribbing as at 31 can be employed to stiffen the tip part and thereby develop greater frictional engagement between the nipple tip part 31 and the interior of the cylindrical portion 37. With the embodiment previously described, the removal of the cover 23 is ordinarily effective to move the nipple from retracted to extended position. Because of the engagement between the lower end of cover portion 37 and the nipple breast part 30, the lifting of the cover also lifts the breast part causing the retracted nipple to return to its extended condition for nursing use.
A modified form of the invention is seen in FIGS. 11 and 12, wherein the numeral 121 designates generally a nipple closure received on the neck 127 of a nursing bottle generally designated 120. As before, the nipple closure 121 includes a depending skirt part 126 and a flat top closure part 128 from which upstands a breast part generally designated 130. Also as before, the breast part 130 merges into a tip part 131. Slidably received on the tip part 131 is a sanitary cover generally designated 123, and shown in its outer position in broken or phantom line in FIG. 12, wherein the same is designated 123a. The retracted position of cover 123 and the nipple tip part 131 are illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 12. One difference between the showing of FIG. 12 and that of FIG. 8 lies in the provision of a plurality of interlocking ribs 136, and a plurality of coacting ribs or beads on the breast part 130. Additionally, the closure nipple 121 may include a gripping tab 146 if it is desired to mount the nipple closure 121 by a snap-on action as contrasted to the threaded action associated with the embodiment seen in FIGS. 1-10. For proper grip, the tab 146 has serrations 147.
The inventive construction provides advantages over what has gone before, particularly in the use subsequent to sterilization of the bottle contents. In one procedure, the two pieces, nipple and cap, are boiled, and while still wet, placed over the bottle top as seen in FIG. 2 for example, and thereafter the depressing force 39' applied. The lower rim of the nipple may be lifted slightly with the thumb in order to allow compressed air to escape from the bottle. Subsequent to storage and just prior to use, removal of the cap by grasping the same analogous to the showing in FIG. 1 results in simultaneous extension of the tip part 31 while maintaining the sterility of the tip part.
While in the foregoing specification a detailed description of the invention has been set down for the purpose of explanation thereof, many variations in the details herein given may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In combination, a two-position nursing nipple formed of flexible resilient material and providing an extended nursing position and a retracted storage position,
and a sanitary cover for protecting said nipple, said cover being applicable to and removable from said nipple in said extended position while bing releasably secured to said nipple in said retracted position,
said nipple in its extended position further comprising: (a) an upwardly extending tubular tip part having an apertured outer end,
(b) a breast part below said tip part including an outer shoulder section extending laterally outwardly with respect to the lower end of said tip part and a lower tubular section extending downwardly with respect to the lower end of said shoulder section, and
(c) a mount part extending laterally outwardly with respect to the lower end of said breast part tubular section;
said nipple in its retracted position having portions of said breast part and the lower portion of said tip part arranged in confronting relation with an annular space being provided therebetween;
said cover including a tubular section with a closed outer end and an open lower end, the tip part of said nipple being received in said cover section with the lower end of said cover section adjacent said nipple shoulder section, the lower end of said cover section being contractable with said shoulder section and said shoulder and tubular breast sections rolling around said cover section lower end portion as said nipple is moved from extended to retracted position by depressing the said cover lower end portion of said cover section in said retracted position within said annular space, said annular space having a lateral dimension in at least the lower portion thereof corresponding to the thickness of the lowermost portion of said cover section, the lower end portion of said cover section being provided with rib means projecting laterally outwardly, said rib means in said retracted position engaging the said breast part at the outer side of said annular space, said breast part in said retracted position having a portion extending laterally inwardly over said rib means immediately thereabove for releasably interlocking said breast part and said cover section.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said cover is provided with an annular flange extending laterally from the intermediate portion of said cover tubular section, the outer peripheral portion of said flange being engageable with the outer portion of said nipple mount part to provide a seal therebetween when said nipple is in said retracted position with said cover secured thereto.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein with reference to said retracted position the engaging portions of said cover tubular section and said nipple breast part are provided with iuterfitting rib means.
4. In combination, a two-position hollow, integral nursing nipple formed of flexible resilient material and providing an extended nursing position and a retracted storage position, and an integral sanitary cover for protecting said nipple, said cover also being formed of a flexible resilient material and being applicable to and removable from said nipple in said extended position while being releasably secured to said nipple in said retracted position,
said nipple in its extended position further comprising:
(a) an upwardly extending generally cylindrical tip part having an apertured outer end,
(b) a breast part including a generally conical section extending downwardly and outwardly from the lower end of said tip part and a generally cylindrical section extending downwardly from the lower end of said conical section, and
(c) a mount part extending outwardly from the lower end of said breast part cylindrical section; said nipple in its retracted position having the said cylindrical section and the lower portion of said tip part arranged in confronting relation with an annular space being provided therebetween, and said conical section extending around the bottom portion of said annular space;
said cover including a cylindrical section with a closed outer end and an open lower end, the tip part of said nipple being received in said cover cylindrical section with the lower end of said cylindrical section adjacent said nipple conical section, the lower end portion of said cover section being contactible with said conical section and said conical and cylindrical breast sections rolling around said cover lower end portion as said nipple is moved from extended to retracted position by depressing said cover, said cover lower end portion providing a wall thickness greater than a corresponding dimension of said annular space for gripping said lower end portion and releasably securing it within said annular space.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said breast part cylindrical section has a substantially greater wall thickness than that of the said conical section.
6. The combination of claim 4 wherein an annular rib is provided around the outside of said cover cylindrical section adjacent the open lower end thereof, said rib being positionable within the said bottom portion of said annular space in said retracted position, and being arranged with respect to said breast part sections to engage a portion of said conical section below said breast part cylindrical section.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein an angular step is provided at the juncture of said breast part conical and cylindrical sections, said step in said retracted position being positionable in overlying engagement with said cover section rib.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said breast part cylindrical section has a substantially greater wall thickness than that of said conical section.
9. The combination of claim 4 wherein said cover is provided with an annular flange extending laterally from the intermediate portion of said cover cylindrical section, said flange having a downwardly dished configuration, the outer peripheral portion of said flange being engage able with the outer portion of said nipple mount part to provide a seal therebetween when said nipple is in said retracted position with said cover secured thereto.
10. The combination of claim 4 wherein said cylindrical tip part is interiorly equipped with rib means extending longitudinally along the inner surface thereof.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,672,870 4/ 1954 Alstadt l28252 2,738,088 3/1956 Perreault 21511 2,831,596 4/1958 Eyles 21511 2,987,208 6/1961 Ransom 21511 3,113,569 12/1963 Barr et al. 128-252 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
D. S. BURKS, R. L. FRINKS, Assistant Examiners.