US 3272377 A
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P 3, 1966 w. H. SCHRAY STACKING AND NESTING CASE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 6, 1964 INVENTOR WALTER H. SCHRAY F IG, 2.
Sept. 13, 1966 w. H SCHRAY 3,272,377
STAGKING AND NESTING CASE Filed Feb. 6, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4.
F IG, 3.
INVENTOR WALTER H. SCHRAY BY W 653/ ATTORNEY.
United States Patent 3,272,377 STACKING AND NESTING CASE Walter H. Schray, Battle Creek, Mich., assignor to United Steel & Wire Company, Battle Creek, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. 6, 1964, Ser. No. 342,886 (Ilaims. (Cl. 220-19) This invention relates to improvements in containers, more particularly milk cases or the like made of wire.
The principal object of the invention is to produce a milk case of rugged construction adapted to be stacked when filled with paper or collapsible cartons or the like; and which when empty may readily be nested.
A principal feature of the invention is the provision of a milk case with a moving bottom member, said member being adapted to support the contents of the case at the bottom of the case, said member being hinged in the center to permit it to form a pyramid to enable nesting of one case inside another, said member also being arranged to assume a fiat position with projecting supports to permit stacking of one case above another.
In the transportation of milk, it is desirable to provide strong, sanitary, easily handled milk cases capable of holding cartons of different sizes. In applicants case, it is possible, for example, to provide capacity for holding 16 quart cartons, or 9 half gallon cartons of milk or other liquids in collapsible containers. The cases when loaded may readily be stacked one above the other and will be securely held together to prevent slipping or toppling of stacked cases. On the other hand, when the cases are returned in empty condition, they may readily be nested and this saves substantial floor space both in vans, plants, and in warehouses.
Other objects and features of the invention are more fully described in the following description of a preferred form of the invention to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a milk case constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the case shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view showing two identical cases nesting together; and
FIG. 4 shows said cases stacked one above the other.
Considering the drawings, similar designations referring to similar parts, the lower bottom member 5 is preferably made of heavy round wire substantially square in configuration but with rounded corners. Member 5 preferably has several cross members 6 welded to it at diflerent points at the upper plane of member 5. Immediately above and spaced from member 5 in a plane parallel to that of member 5 is upper bottom member 7. Member 7 is also made of heavy wire preferably less in diameter than that of member 5 and it too is square in conformation and has rounded corners. However, member 7 is empty as no cross members span its opening. Lower bottom member 5 and upper bottom member 7 are connected together at opposite sides by connecting pins 8.
Intermediate lower bottom member 5 and upper bottom member 7 is positioned nesting and stacking member 9.
Nesting and stacking member 9 consists of two halves which we shall call swivel supports 10. These are linked together by two enveloping clamps 11 which enable supports to be hinged and hence move to nesting position as shown in FIG. 3 or in stacking position as shown in FIG. 4. Whereas the inner extremities 12 of supports 10 are hinged together by swivel clamps 11 the outer extremities 13 of supports 10 move in and out of contact with pins 8 depending upon whether member 9 is 3,272,377 Patented Sept. 13, 1966 in nesting or stacking position. When in nesting position extremities 13 abut the pins and are virtually in line with members 5 and 7 whereas when in stacking position the extremities 13 protrude beyond the bottom members as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4.
In addition to bottom members 5 and 7, applicant provides intermediate ring member 14 and top ring member 15. Members 14 and 15 are also substantially square in configuration but with rounded corners.
In a case designed to hold 16 quart cartons or 9 half gallon carton of liquid, one of applicants cases measures approximately 13% inches across top member 15, approximately 13% inches across intermediate member 14 and approximately 12 inches across each of bottom members 5 and 7. Nesting and stacking member 9 also measures approximately 12 inches across the bottom span when it is in nesting position as shown in FIG. 3 but when in flat stacking supporting position the span measures about 13 /2 inches.
Opposite sides of bottom members 5 and 7 are connected to ring members 14 and 15 by supporting wire struts 16. But at the sides where nesting and stacking member 9 protrudes between bottom members 5 and 7 when in stacking position only the upper bottom member 7 is connected on opposite sides to ring members 14 and 15 by supporting wire struts 17.
In practice, the case 18 when filled with milk cartons or the like will be stacked upon a similar case 18 and in such stacking position the outer extremities 13 of supports 10 project beyond and rest upon the top ring 15 of the case below.
When in empty condition, it is easy to nest cases one within the other as shown in FIG. 3 by allowing the swivel supports 10 to assume a pyramid position so that the ends 13 slide inwardly and become positioned between bottom members 5 and 7 while at the same time the supports move up swiveling within enveloping clamps 11. By inverting the case the weight of supports 10 will cause them to assume a pyramid position so that stacking may expeditiously take place by turning the cases upside down and piling one on top of the other. After this is done, they may be righted, if desired, to assume the appearance shown in FIG. 3.
Thus, applicant has provided a simple structure in a milk case which enables similar cases to be stacked when loaded or nested when empty. This enables great saving in storage space when transporting empty cases; consequently making it possible to use the space saved for other products. When nesting in storage, applicants invention results in a saving of one-half of the floor space which otherwise would be required for storing non-nesting cases of the same capacity.
The above disclosure has been given by Way of illustration and elucidation, and not by way of limitation, and it is desired to protect all embodiments of the herein disclosed inventive concept within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a Wire container of the character described, a lower bottom ring, an upper bottom ring, each of said rings being substantially square in conformation, pins connecting together two opposite sides of said rings, upper rings, supporting struts connecting the upper bottom ring to the upper rings on one pair of opposite sides of the case, supporting struts connecting the lower bottom ring to the upper rings on the other pair of opposite sides of the case, a pair of slidable support members, said members being hinged together at their innermost extremities located within the case, the outermost extremities of said members being positioned beyond said pins and projecting beyond said bottom rings when in flat position, said members being adapted to assume a position at an angle to one another less than 180 degrees whereupon the outer extremities of the support members are drawn inwardly between the lower rings.
2. In a wire container for carrying goods, the combination comprising:
a rod form bottom wall, opposed, rod form end walls upstanding from the bottom wall and an opposed pair of rod form side walls extending between said end walls and spaced above said bottom wall;
a rod form stacking panel disposed between said end walls, said stacking panel being supported on and extending across said bottom wall normally in a flattened condition for supporting goods, said stacking panel having side edges extending snugly but slideably through said spaces beyond said side walls for stacking on top of a further similar container, said stacking panel comprising at least two par-ts hinged together along at least one axis spaced between and substantially parallel to said side walls, said stacking panel at said hinge axis being freely movable away from said bottom wall, said stacking panel being adapted to fold along said hinge axis away from said bottom wall for withdrawing the side edges thereof from extension beyond said side walls to allow nesting of said container within another such container;
means spanning the space between each of said side walls and said bottom wall through openings in said stacking panel within said side edges thereof for limiting inward movement of such side edges.
3. In a wire container for carrying goods, the combination comprising:
a bottom wall, opposed end walls upstanding above the bottom wall and an opposed pair of side walls extending between said end walls and spaced above said bottom wall;
a stacking panel for supporting goods extending completely across said bottom wall and through said spaces beyond said side walls for supporting the container atop a further similar container, said panel being foldable at least on one line substantially parallel to said side walls to slideably retract the side edges of said panel within the bounds of said side and bottom walls to allow nesting of such container with a further similar container.
4. The device defined in claim 3 including means spanning the space between each of said side walls and said bottom wall through openings in said stacking panel within the side edges thereof for limiting inward movement of said side edges.
5. The device defined in claim 3 in which said stacking panel comprises a pair of similar, planar members having parallel edges and including hinge elements connecting said adjacent edges to permit folding of said panel.
UNITED STATES PATENTS References Cited by the Examiner 2/1958 Tartaglia 220-97 9/1964 Hare 220-97