US 3282462 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 1, 1966 T. M. BOX
PLASTIC CARRYING CASE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Nov. 26, 1962 I NVENTOR THEODOE/ZB X W M Q ATTORNEY Nov. 1, 1966 T. M. BOX
PLASTIC CARRYING CASE Original Filed Nov. 26, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR .THFODOEMBOX lwll ' ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,282,462 PLASTIC CARRYING CASE Theodor M. Box, 200 Plandome Road, Manhasset, N.Y. Original application Nov. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 239,891, now Patent No. 3,186,586, dated June 1, 1965. Divided and this application Mar. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 443,973 5 Claims. (Cl. 220-29) The present application is a division carved out from copending patent application, Serial No. 239,891, filed on November 26, 1962, entitled Plastic Carrying Case, now Patent No. 3,186,586.
The present invention relates to plastic carrying and stacking cases, also known as tote boxes, which serve for the storage, transport, and distribution of packaged or bottled goods, such as in the form of glass bottles, cartons and the like containers commonly used for the storage of milk, beer, fruit juices, and the like liquid and other food stuffs, or substances.
There is shown and described in the above-mentioned parent application a light weight carrying case molded in a single operation from a suitable high-irnpact plastic which, while exhibiting a requisite mechanical stability and strength, possesses an adequate flexibility in yielding to or absorbing shocks and other impact (vibrational) forces, to protect the bottles or other containers stored in the cases against damage or destruction during shipping and handlng.
In the practical use of carrying cases of the foregoing type forming the subject of the invention, a cover is often required to close the tops of the cases in an effort to shade and protect the liquids or other contents of the like containers from incident light, in particular in the case of beer or the like liquids stored in the light-pervious bottles or containers. Besides, the closing of the tops of the cases may be desirable or necessary for various other reasons, or in compliance with special existing conditions and requirements in the use, storage or transport of the liquid foodstuffs and the like substances stored.
Accordingly, an important object of the present invention is the provision of a unitary molded carrying case of the referred to type being fitted vsu'th a hinged cover, preferably forming an integral part of the case, said cover being designed for ready and easy closing and opening, substantially without the requirement of special locking means or closure devices, as well as operations during use.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a plastic carrying case of the type referred to being fitted with an integrally hinged cover which, while allowing of an easy and ready opening and closing of the case, is designed to act as a means to provide an adequate support or base for the nesting therein of another case placed upon the first case, to enable the stacking of a multiplicity of cases, as required during storing and shipping of the cases or containers stored therein.
The invention, both as to the foregoing and ancillary objects as well as novel aspect thereof, will be better understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings forming part of this specification and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a plastic carrying case fitted with an integrally molded hinged cover constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a parital view of FIG. 3, showing the cover in the position immediately prior to the reaching of the fully closed position of the case; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view, taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1, showing the case in the fully closed position.
Like reference characters denote like parts in the different views of the drawings.
With the foregoing objects in view, the invention involves generally the provision of a plastic carrying case in the form of a unitary molded structure of high-impact yet sufficiently flexible synthetic plastic, such as a known thermoplastic resin (polyethylene, polypropylene, etc.), said case comprising a pair of side walls, a pair of end walls, and a bottom wall, to a form rectangular structure, and a cover therefor being constituted essentially by a pair of preferably integrally molded hinged cover plates or panels pivoted about the outer top edges of two opposed walls of the case, in such a manner as to enable the panels to be swung inwardly towards one another, to close the top of the case upon engagement of the free inner edges of the panels meeting substantially in the center of the case. In order to effect a firm locking of the panels in the horizontal position, or position parallel to the bottom wall of the case, the inner or free meeting edges of the panels are fitted with right angular flanges and the outer ends of the panels adjacent to the hinges are provided with right angular shoulder or offsets, in such a manner as to cause the panels, in the closed position, to abut against one another through said flanges, on the one hand, and to cause the respective shoulders to abut against the inside Walls of the case, on the other hand. There is thus afforded a simple closing of the panels in the horizontal or end position by a snap action, as well as an easy and ready opening of the case by slight digital pressure in the upward direction against the edges of said flanges, for the unlocking of said panels also by a snap action, by virtue of the flexibility of the panels, in themanner as will become further apparent from the following description in reference to the drawings.
Referring to the latter, there is shown an integrally molded carrying case comprising a pair of side walls 10, a pair of end walls 11, and a bottom wall 12, said walls being constructed with a minimum thickness compatible with the requirements of mechanical strength and stability, to result in a reduced weight and cost of the cases. In the example shown, the side and end walls have their upper edges provided with a pair of outwardly projecting flanges 10a, 10b and 11a, 11b, respectively, to form an upper rein-forcing rim portion of U-shaped cross-section, and said side and end walls have their lower edges provided with at least one outwardly projecting flange lilc, 11c, respectively, whereby to enable the positioning or stacking of a multiplicity of cases with the lower flange o f one case resting upon the rim of the case below in the stack, as indicated in dot-dash lines in FIG. 3. If desired, intermediate flanges or stiffening ribs 10d, 11d and reinforcing webs 10c, 112 interconnecting the flanges 10a, 10b and 11a, 11b, may be provided to further improve the mechanical stability of the cases and resistance to withstand static and other forces or loads.
The special cushioned bottom construction of the case, forming the basis of and being more clearly described by the parent application, comprises essentially the provision of two sets of spaced parallel and outward-1y facing reinforcing channels being parallel to the side and end walls 10, 11, respectively, of the case with the channels of one set intersecting the channels of the other set (only the channels 13 of one set being visible in FIG. 3). The channels 13 have side and bottom portions with the latter forming the supporting surface of the case and with the side portions of the channels terminating in a multiplicity of raised or elevated and apertured platforms 14 equal in number to the number of containers or bottles to be stored in the case. If desirable, there may be furthermore provided sets of intersecting partition or separating walls 15 for the location of the containers, these and other details, including the provision of a pair of hand or carrying holes 17, being described in greater detail in the copending application and forming no part of the present invention.
Referring more particularly to the cover construction forming the subject of the present invention, there are shown in the drawings a pair of hinged cover plates or panels and 21 being integral with the remaining structure and extending laterally from two opposed upper edges of the case, that is, from the edges of the flanges 10a in the example shown by the drawings. As a consequence, the panels 20, 21 upon being rotated or swung inwardly, as indicated by the arrows in the drawing, towards the open top of the case about their hinges 22, consisting advantageously of integrally molded sections of weakened thickness of the material, will result in the closing of the top of the case upon meeting and frictionally locking of the free inner ends or edges of the panels, FIGS. 2 and 3. In order to eifeot a firm closure and locking in the end position of the panels 20, 21, or position parallel to the bottom wall 13, FIG. 3, without the use of and operation of any auxiliary positioning or locking means or devices, the panels are provided with flanges or projections 20a, 21a extending at right angles from the free inner ends thereof in a direction towards the case, on the one hand, and with right angular shoulders or ollsets 20b, 21b adjoining the inner ends of the panels adjacent to the hinge 22 and extending in direction away from the case, on the other hand. As a consequence, provided a proper spacing between the shoulders 20b, 21b and the flanges 20a, 20b, there results a self-locking of the panel-s with a snap action solely by the shoulder 20b, 21b engaging the inside of the walls 10 and by the flanges 20a, 21a engaging one another in the fully closed position of the case, FIG. 3, substantial-1y without the requirement of any additional locking means.
In order to facilitate the closing and opening operations, the flanges 20a and 21a consist of first right angular portions adjoining the edges of the panels 20 and 21 and being followed by second arc-shaped portions 20c and 210, respectively, with the hinges 22 preferably forming the centers of the arcs. As a consequence, there is ensured in this manner both a smooth and secure closing and opening of the case by the meeting of the flanged inner ends of panels with a snap action, on the one hand, and upon exerting a slight upward pressure against the edges of the portions 200 or 210 through suitable openings or apertures 23 in the end walls of the case, on the other hand. In order to ensure a firm grasping of the inner flanges 20a and 21a prior to the closing position of the panels, FIG. 2, the meeting surfaces of said flanges may be fluted or otherwise roughened, to increase friction and to ensure a firm closing or locking of the panels in the closed position, FIG. 3.
The snap action in looking the panels 20 and 21 is predicated mainly on the flexibility imparted thereto by the shoulders 20b and 21b enabling a slight flexing and subsequent relaxation of the panels in moving from the position, FIG. 2, to the final position, FIG. 3, substantially without affecting or distorting the case.
The thickness of the cover sections or panels 29, 21 may be the same as that of the walls 10 and 11, but is preferably less, as shown in the drawing, in the interest of providing an adequate flexibility of the hinges or sections 22, and since the cover is not required to carry or withstand any substantial loads during use. If desirable, the sections overlying the flanges 100 may be further reduced in thickness, to improve the flexibility of the hinges.
Moreover, although the hinges 22 have been shown in the drawing in the form of integral sections of the case structure connecting the walls or flanges 10a with the panels 20, 21 and being produced by the unitary molding operation of the case, it is understood that the panels 20, 21 may be hinged to the case structure in any other suitable manner, without foregoing the advantages of and novel effects obtained by the invention.
Alternatively, in order to increase the flexibility of the hinges 22, the panels are advantageously provided with a series of spaced depressions or slots 24 aligned in the direction of the hinge or pivot line of the panels.
While a compartmentalized case has been shown in the drawing fitted with reinforcing upper rim portions and lower flanges, it will be understood that the special cover construction according to the invention may be embodied with equal advantage in cases of dilferent construction, the concept of the invention consisting essentially in the abutting of the free ends of the panels 20, 21 against one another on the one hand, and in the abutting of the shoulders 20b and 21b against the respective side walls of the case, on the other hand, in such a manner as to enable the firm locking yet easy opening and closing of the case, without the use and operation of any special locking means.
Besides aflording a firm locking and easy operation of the cover 20, 21 the shoulders or offsets 20b and 21b have the further advantage and purpose of providing narrow upper edges or rims of the case in the closed position, FIG. 3, whereby to in turn enable the stacking of two or more cases one upon the other with the outermost channels or ridges 13 of the bottom wall of one case nesting with the rim of the case below in the stack, in substantially the same manner as with cases having an open top, as shown in the present application.
In the foregoing the invention has been described in reference to a specific illustrative device. It will be evident, however, that variations and modifications, as well as the substitution of equivalent parts or elements for those shown herein for illustration, may be made without departing from the broader scope and spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than in a restrictive sense.
I claim: a
1. A unitary molded plastic case for the storing of bottles and the like comprising in combination:
(1) a pair of side walls, a pair of end walls, and a bottom wall, each of said side and end Walls have first outwardly extending flanges and (2) a cover therefor consisting of (a) a pair of panels hingedly connected to the outer edges of said first outwardly extending flanges, to enable said panels to be swung inwardly toward the center of the case for the closing of the case upon the inner edges of said panels engaging one another,
(b) shoulders extending at right angles from said panels in a direction away from the case, said shoulders located adjacent the inner top edges of said walls, and second outwardly extending flanges at right angles to the upper edges of said shoulders and hinged to the outer edges of said side walls outwardly extending flanges,
(c) flanges extending downwardly at right angles from the inner edges of said panels,
(d) said shoulders and inner edge flanges having a spacing distance from one another, to position and lock said panels with a snap action in the closed position parallel to said bottom Wall solely by the action of said inner edge flanges engaging one another and by said shoulders engaging the adjoining inside walls of the case, with said second outwardly extending flanges 5 6 overlying and in engagement with said first outsaid inner edge flanges in the closed position of said wardly extending flanges. panels. 2. In a carrying case as claimed in claim 1, said se'c- References Cited by the Examiner 0nd outwardly extending flanges being connected to said UNITED STATES PATENTS first outwardly extending flanges through integral Weak- 5 ened sections forming hinges therebetween. 2,897,999 8/1959 Bls'hop 220 32 3. Ina carrying case as claimed in claim 2, said weak- 2,933,227 4/1960 Vahle ened sections provided with rows of perforations along 3,080,087 3/1963 Cloydthe length thereof' 3,148,822 9/ 1964 Yochurn.
4. In a carrying case as claimed in claim 1, said inner 10 FOREIGN P S edge flanges having curved end portions pointing away 1292 064 3/1962 France from one another in the closed position of said panels.
5. In a carrying cases as claimed in claim 1, inoluding THERON CONDON Primary Examiner openings in the remaining pair of opposed Walls of said case, said openings located to adjoin the lateral edges of 15 GEORGE LOWRANCE Examiner-