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Publication numberUS3288334 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 29, 1966
Filing dateMay 28, 1965
Priority dateMay 28, 1965
Publication numberUS 3288334 A, US 3288334A, US-A-3288334, US3288334 A, US3288334A
InventorsDouglas F Corsette
Original AssigneeCalmar Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Disppenser with collapsible container and pump
US 3288334 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 29, 1966 D. F. coRsETTE DISPENSER WITH COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER AND PUMP 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed May 28, 1965 HWIH. ..5 K,

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BY: mmm, G45 @@.Lfe y fd/mi ATTORNEYS Nov. 29, 1966 D. F. CORSET'TE DISPENSER WITH COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER AND PUMP Filed May 28, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 5. ad Z BY are:

ATTORNEY United States Patent tiice zsssl Patented Nov. 29, 19o? 3,288,334 DISPENSER WITH COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER AND PUMP Douglas F. Corsette, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to Calmar, Inc., City of Industry, Calif., a corporation of California Filed May 28, 1965, Ser. No. 459,702 13 Claims. (Cl. 222-107) This invention relates to improvement in a combined collapsible tube and dispensing pump for use in storing and dispensing various liquids and creams or pastelike substances, and is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, Serial No. 373,289, tiled June 8, 1964, now abandoned.

In the past it has been customary to employ collapsible, flexible walled tubes for containing and dispensing such substances. The tubes have been formed of highly ilexible materials such as thin sheet metal or sheet plastic adapted to discharge the contents of the tubes by squeezing same. This has the recognized disadvantage of requiring removal and reapplication of the container closure, such as a threaded cap, each time material is dispensed from the container, and in addition, necessitates a very substantial distortion of the tube as by rolling, in order to eifect a substantially complete discharge of its contents. Thus as the tube is gradually exhausted, the ensuing distortion tends to obscure or conceal any trade mark, instructions for use, advertising matter or the like borne on its surface.

Where such a collapsible container has been employed in conjunction with a dispensing pump, it has been necessary to make special provision for supporting the tube in a manner such that the pumping pressure or thrust applied to the pump plunger will react against some element other than the tube. Otherwise there would be a lengthwise collapsing or mutilation of the tube, since the tlexible sheet materials from which such tubes have usually been formed have not provided a tube structure having Suthcient compressive strength in the direction of its major axis, to withstand the thrust of the plunger without collapsing. Where such thrust withstanding means has incorporated a usual rigid casing enclosing the tube, the casing itself conceals or obscures the tube and any printed matter thereon, while also increasing the expense and complexity of the device. Even in instances where the tube has not been thus enclosed by a casing, it has been necessary to arrange and construct especially the pump structure and/ or tube in a manner to avoid imposition on the tube itself of any of the operative thrust which is applied to the pump plunger.

Apparently it was contemplated, according to the prior art, that only such a conventional tube of highly flexible and therefore easily collapsible material could be evacuated by a conventional dispensing pump.

In accordance with the present invention, it has been found that a reasonably efcient dispensing pump of any commercially available type will operate quite satisfactorily to evacuate substantially completely the Huid or pastelike contents of such a container even though the container is made sufficiently rigid, in the direction of its length to withstand the operative thrust of the pump plunger. Thus in accordance with the invention, the container tube is made substantially rigid in a lengthwise direction, and adapted for lateral collapsing along predetermined longitudinal fold lines under the action of atmospheric pressure. Further, in accordance with the invention, such fold lines may be employed to contribute to the longitudinal compressive strength and rigidity of the container, while also insuring an orderly collapsing and substantially complete evacuation of the container.

The container itself may be forined of various materials and of varying shapes andl sizes. It is essential only'v that the container have sulicient compressive strength in the direction of its major axis to withstand readilyA the maximum operating thrust normally applied to" it incident to the actuation of the pump plunger of a pump` operatively carried by the said container, while the laterally presented sidewalls of the container are arranged to collapse inwardly under atmospheric pressure to deliver progressively the contents of the container to the intake of the pump.

In accordance with a further aspect of the invention, the collapsible container or tube is provided at its lower end with axially presented means dening a base for supporting the tube in upright position on a horizontal surface.

Such a base may assume various forms; through where it assumes the form of a substantially rigid horizontally disposed member, it is desirable to provide the sidewalls of the tube with fold lines adapting portions of said sidewalls adjacent the base to fold into horizontal planes generally contiguous to the base whereby to effect a complete evacuation of the tube contents from this portion of the tube.

Moreover, in accordance with the invention, the sidewall of the collapsible tube may be divided into a series of panels foldably interconnected along axially disposed fold lines to insure collapsing of the tube in an orderly and predetermined manner and preferably in such a way that certain of the panels will remain substantially undistorted and at all times freely exposed to view so that any labels, advertising matter or the like thereof may be readily visible and legible.

In the accompanying drawings are shown, by way of illustration, a number of specific physical embodiments of the invention and specic language is employed hereinafter in describing these. It will nevertheless be appreciated that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, but that such further modifications and alterations are contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art here concerned. Thus, in the accompanying drawings:

FIGURE 1 represents a side elevation of the invention including a conventional dispensing pump in operative relation to a dispensing tube in accordance with the invention.

FIGURE 2 is an elevation of a modified form of tube or container having applied thereto a pump similar to that illustrated in FIGURE 1, although in this figure the upper portions of the pump are broken away.

FIGURES 3 and 4, respectively, are views similar to FIGURE 2 showing further modifications of the dispensing tube or container.

FIGURE 5 is a detail fragmentary elevation of the lower end of the tube of FIGURE 1, as seen at the righthand side thereof.

FIGURE 6 is an elevation similar to that of FIGURES 1 to 4, illustrating a further modication of the tube or container.

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a similar elevational view representing another modification of the tube or container.

FIGURE 9 is a sectional view on the line 9--9 of FIGURE 8.

FIGURE il() is a view in elevation of a pump barrel and intake tube corresponding generally to that shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1.

FIGURES 11 land. 12 are sectional views on the lines 11-11 and 12-12, respectively, of FIGURE `10.

Referring now in detail to the accompanying drawings, the structure illustrated in FIGURE 1 comprises a hollow dispensing tube v of conventional configuration, to which is operatively applied a generally conventional pump 12 for the purpose of dispensing the contents of the container 10. Such contents might be in the form either of a liquid, or `a paste or cream of relatively great viscosity. In accordance with usual practice, the main body of the tube 10 comprises a tubular section of metal, plastic or the like, which is of cylindrical cross-sectional shape at its upper end portion. Its upper end is closed by a substantially rigid end disc 14 having centrally located thereon an upwardly projecting externally threaded neck 16 `for reception of an internally threaded closure cap 18. As is customary, t-he neck 16 is tubular Iand defines the discharge outlet or opening for the tube. At its lower end, the tube 10 is closed and sealed by flattening it in a diametrical plane and securing the flattened end portions together in fluid tight manner as at 20, in accordance with any usual or conventional practice.

Where it is desired that the tube or container support itself in an erect position on a flat surface such as a shelf, table or the like, it may be modified, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 5, to provide on opposite sides of its lower end suitable base defining members 22. These may consist simply of substantially rigid plates 22 secured to the tube at opposite extremities of and perpendieularly to the diametrically flattened lower end 20, with the lower edges 22 of the respective plates in a common horizontal plane transverse to the major axis of the tube whereby to support the latter in upright position on a horizontal surface. These plates 22 are secured to the tube in a suitable manner as by cementing thereto along vertical lines 24 (FIGURE 5) which are coincident with the diametrically opposed fold lines which will extend and be generated progressively upw-ardly of the tube from the ends of the diametrically flattened portion during its collapse.

Thus it will be readily apparent that these base or bracket members will continue their function to support the tube in its upright position until it is fully collapsed by evacuation of its contents.

The cap 18 of the tube is adapted to provide an airtight connection between the pump and the container, to prevent leakage of air into the container as its contents are withdrawn. The pump 12 is adapted to withdraw the contents of the tube by suction in the usual manner incident to manual reciprocation of the pump plunger 26, and to expel the contents of the container as desired through the discharge spout or outlet 28 of the pump. Due to its conventional structure, the internal construction of the pump is not disclosed in the present drawings, though such structure may be similar in all respects to that disclosed in the Cooprider Patent No. 3,064,310, granted November 20, 1962, except that in the present invention the -breather passages (designated 18 in the patent) for permitting inflow of air into the container are closed or eliminated. The pump barrel 17 is supported in fluid tight manner through a medial aperture in the closure cap 18. It extends axially into the tube interior and has an internally threaded enlargement 30 at its upper end for reception of a threaded portion 32 of the reciprocating pump plunger 26 to maintain same when desired in a fully depressed shipping condition, in which condition a gasket 34 on the plunger cooperates with the interior of the enlarged pump chamber or cylinder portion 30 to form a fluid tight seal to prevent leakage of fluid between the plunger and cylinder. It will be understood, of course, that the intake tube 19 of the pump cylinder opens into the tube 10 and is preferably longitudinally slotted, as at 19', to avoid clogging by the collapsed tube wall. The discharge spout 28 and the intake end or tube 19 of the pump communicate with each other through conventional valved passageways, the plunger 26 being spring projected upwardly so that it will automatically return after each pumping stroke caused by finger pressure on its upwardly presented finger piece 36.

While as above mentioned, the dispensing tube or container 1f) of FIGURE l is of entirely conventional configuration, it differs substantially over prior such tubes in that the material of which it is formed, whether metal, plastic or other, has sufficient compressive strength and rigidity in the direction of the major cylindrical axis of the tube, and thus in the direction of reciprocation of the pump plunger 12, readily to withstand the maximum operating thrust likely to be applied to the plunger. Because of its compressive strength, the tube transmits such thrust through its base defining members 22 to a stationary horizontal surface such as a shelf, table or the like, on which the device might be supported in erect position.

The encircling sidewall structure of the tube, on the other hand, is arranged to collapse laterally inwardly toward its major axis, under atmospheric pressure despite the lengthwise or axial compressive strength of the tube. Accordingly, as the tube contents are withdrawn into the intake end of the pump, the withdrawn contents may be replaced promptly by an inward flow of such contents due to collapsing of the container wall.

Contrary to what might normally be expected, a conventional spring projected reciprocable dispensing pump, such as exemplified in FIGURE l, provides sufficient suction to cause collapse of the tube, even though the latter be of comparatively rigid structure. This is explained by the fact that the effective piston or plunger diameter or cross-section of such a pump will normally be quite small, and the plunger thereby readily reciprocated by finger pressure and spring pressure, respectively, to withdraw the contents of the container even though such contents be of a comparatively highly viscous nature. At the same time the laterally presented external area of the tube exposed to atmospheric pressure is considerable. Thus the tube will be caused readily to collapse inwardly by atmospheric pressure. It is therefore necessary only that the material of which the tube is formed be sufliciently flexible or malleable to permit collapse without shattering or breaking, and that the tube have sufficient longitudinal compressive strength to withstand both the plunger thrust of the pump and the longitudinal component of atmospheric pressure.

Obviously with the form of tube shown in FIGURE l, Where same is flattened at its lower end, the action of atmospheric pressure thereon will cause the tube to flatten along diametrically opposed fold lines constituting continuations of the lines 24-24.

In the event the base defining brackets or portions 22 of the tube are omitted, the tube may either be manually supported during operation of the pump or, if desired, may be laid horizontally on a shelf with its closed lower end 20 abutting against a wall or ledge at the rear of the shelf and its plunger and spout projecting over the front edge of the shelf for actuation.

A type of tube which is adapted for operation in this manner is shown in FIGURE 2, in which it will be understood that the pump 12, its manner of application to the tube and its mode of operation are similar in all respects to those described in connection wth FIGURE 1. The tube 10A itself, however, is of somewhat different configuration than shown in FIGURE 1. In order to maintain the major diametrical dimension of the tube 10A equal to or less than that of its upper end, to adapt it for reception, when desired in a tubular holder, the flattened lower end of the tube in this embodiment is formed with inwardly directed pleats on its opposite sides. Each pleat comprises a pair of panels 42-42 integrally connected to the rest of the tube along vertical fold lines 43 extending generally in the same direction as the tube axis and connected to each other along a generally vertical or axial fold line 40 at their inwardly directed edges. The pleats thus serve to interconnect the opposed panel sections 46A.

asses-i for relative movement toward each other. It will be apparent that as the tube collapses under action of pump 12, these pleat panels and the opposed flat exterior panels 46A of the tube will gradually approach each other under the action of atmospheric pressure. The outwardly ydirected generally flat panels 46A will, however, remain comparatively flat and undistorted at all times so that any labels, advertising matter or the like thereon may be exposed to view even when the tube is fully collapsed.

In the embodiment shown in FIGURE 3, the major portion of the tube B is of generally cylindrical configuration, including a pair of relatively diametrically opposed and symmetrical panels 46B interconnected for relative collapsing movement by pleats, each comprised of the relatively opposed symmetrical sections 42B, folded inwardly about fold lines 43B coincident with said panel edges and interconnected to each other along an axial fold line 4GB such as shown. In this construction the disclike lower end or bottom 47 of the tube is foldable along a diametrical score line or fold line 48, while the lower end portions of the pleat panels or sections 42B are provided with fold lines 49 and 50 in a manner such as is conventional in folding paper bag construction. This enables all of said panels 46B, panel sections lAZB and bottom 4'7 to collapse flat against each other. The relatively diametrially opposed panels 46B of the tube or container will flatten out against the interposed panels or sections 42B, whereby any labels or other material thereon will be readily visible and legible.

In order to support such tubular container of FIGURE 3 in an upright or vertical position on a horizontal surface, the side panels 46B may be provided at their lower ends with radially outwardly projecting base portions 22B disposed in a common horizontal plane to define a horizontal supporting oase for the tube. Obviously this base will maintain its generally horizontal disposition and will remain operative throughout the collapse of the tube.

In the embodiment of the invention exemplilied by FIGURE 4, the construction and operation of the pump is similar to that shown in the preceding embodiments. In this view, the dispensing tube or container 10C will be understood to be partially collapsed. The tube has diametrically opposed panels 46C, the major portions of which are arranged to remain substantially undistorted as the tube is collapsed. The panels 46C are interconnected along fold lines 43C with the inwardly foldable pleat panels 42C, the inner edges of which are interconnected along a fold line MIC. It will be understood that all of the fold lines above mentioned extend generally axially or in an endwise direction of the tube.

In this instance, the base of the tube is defined by a closure plate 47C, which is rigid throughout its entire area to present a downwardly directed horizontal surface or base by which the tube may be supported on a table or shelf in upright position.

In the present instance, the rigid base plate 47C is of rectangular configuration and the side panels 46C have inwardly foldable lower end portions 146 connected thereto along fold lines 52 coincident with the respective end edges of the base plate 47C to lie in a common horizontal plane just above the base plate when the tube is fully collapsed. The center fold line 40C at each side of the tube is connected at its upper and lower ends by the diagonal lines 53 and 54 to the corresponding ends of fold lines 43C on either side thereof in a manner which is old per se in paper bag construction. Again, therefore, the entire device may ultimately collapse fully to completely expel substantially all of the contents of the tube under the intiuence of atmospheric pressure. At the same time, the symmetric and simultaneous inward folding of the several sections about their connections to the base plate 47C will maintain the base plate in substantially its normal or perpendicular plane with respect to the major axis of the tube to support the tube in upright position.

It Will be understood that in each of the embodiments of the invention herein illustrated and described, the tube is arranged to provide for a systematic and orderly lateral collapsing thereof in a manner to achieve substantially complete evacuation of its contents by the pump without distorting or Obscuring the panels which are adapted to bear labels or the like. The tube has sutiicient compressive strength in the direction of its axis and of the operative stroke of pump plunger to withstand the maximum operative thrust normally applied to the plunger. The fold lines at the junctures of angularly related panels will, of course, function in the manner of relatively spaced longitudinal reinforcing elements better to resist this thrust. The tube may thus have its lower or closed end in abutment with a suitable supporting surface to withstand the pumping action without the necessity for a surrounding casing or for a special arrangement of pump such as would avoid the transmission of pumping stresses to the tube.

It will be further apparent that in the embodiments of FIGURES 1, 3 and 4, there have been illustrated various of the possible ways in which such a tube may be provided with a supporting base adapted to remain operative for supporting it on a horizontal surface throughout substantially the entire period of its collapsing movement.

As hereinbefore indicated, it is important to insure collapsing of the container in an orderly and predetermined manner and preferably in such a way that certain panels of the container wall will remain substantially undistorted. This may be achieved by forming in a collapsible tube a plurality of creases or folds extending in the direction of the container length so as to present several distinct side panels. Withdrawal of material from the tube will then cause the side panels to iiex inwardly and thus avoid choking off the material below by premature collapse of the tube near its upper end. It will be appreciated that in the absence of such panels, early collapse of the upper portion of the tube, precludng withdrawal of the material below, is almost inevitable, since the material nearest the pump offers less resistance to withdrawal. Also, it is clear that choking is not prevented in a container which does not present at least three such panels.

In FIGURES 6 and 7 are shown a container 10D in which four such panels are formed by creasing, the general configuration of the container being otherwise tubular. The creases, shown at 43D, extend over a major portion, preferably over substantially the entire length of the container. The resulting panels 46D are capable of independent fiexure on withdrawal of material to provide the required orderly collapse and prevent choking.

In lieu of creasing the container as in FIGURES 6 and 7, a generally tubular container may be initially deformed to provide the necessary longitudinal stiffening and to form the slightly flattened panels to preclude choking off the passage of material in the lower portion of the container. In this modification, illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 9, reinforcing lines or ribs extending longitudinally are formed by providing slight dips in the mold. The reinforcing lines or ribs 43E extend over the major portion and preferably over substantially the entire length of the container and define between them separate and independently flexing side panels 46E. Other methods and means of providing the required side panels will readily occur to those skilled in the art.

When uniform and orderly collapse of the container is assured by the measures described herein, clogging of the pump intake tube by the collapsing container is unlikely to occur. However, when such precautions are not taken, or when additional protection against clogging is desired, the intake tube may be uniquely formed as shown in FIGURE 1 to preclude closing of the inlet passage.

A preferred form of protective intake tube is shown in more detail in FIGURES 10 to l2 inclusive. In lieu of slitting the tube 79 therein illustrated, ribs 8) are formed at spaced points on the periphery of tube 79, the ribs 80 being projected beyond the tube to form downwardly extending prongs 81. It will be perceived that in any possible manner of collapse or movement of the prongs 81 upon or across each other, the resulting cluster always maintains a through passage to the intake port at the bottom of the cylinder and central to the prongs. The outer surfaces of ribs 80 and prongs 81 preferably define with the barrel 17 a common cylinder, whereby molding of the barrel ribs 80, prongs S1 and tube 79 as an integral unit is facilitated. Conventionally used thermoplastic materials may be used in the molding of the several parts of the pump.

It will be appreciated that the protective intake tube will permit forming the container of relatively thin and fiexible material which would otherwise clog the inlet on partial collapse of the container. Use with such a container, or with any of the containers shown herein, of a relatively rigid tubular support or caddy surrounding the container, for instance as shown in dotted lines at 83 in FIGURE 8, is contemplated. Such a support or caddy effectively resists the longitudinal thrust of the pumping action whether or not the container is longitudinally stiffened or reinforced, and improves the appearance of the structure by concealing deformation of the container as it collapses.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A storing and dispensing device for fluidlike materials of varying viscosity comprising: an enclosed generally tubular container having an axially directed discharge opening through one end thereof; a -generally axially reciprocable pump supported in said opening in a fiuidtight manner, said pump comprising a barrel having an intake port in communication with the interior of the container and a discharge head opening to the exterior of the container, and a reciprocable plunger in said barrel, said container having sufficient compressive strength in the direction of its axis to readily withstand the maximum operating thrust likely to be applied to said plunger in its normal oper-ation, said container having laterally presented sidewalls arranged to collapse inwardly toward said axis under atmospheric pressure responsive to exhaustion of the container contents through the action of said pump.

2. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which said container includes means at its lower axial end for supporting said container in erect position on a horizontal surface.

3. A st-oring and dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which said container includes a rigid base defining a downwardly presented supporting surface in a plane transverse to its axis.

4. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which the tubular wall of said container is comprised of a plurality of angularly related panels interconnected along generally axially parallel fold lines, said panels jointly having sufficient rigidity in an axial direction to withstand said axial operating thrust.

5. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which the tubular wall of the container includes relatively spaced axially extending rigid reinforcing elements for contributing to the axial compressive strength of said container.

6. A combination defined in claim 5 in which said reinforcing elements comprise the fold lines between and interconnecting the angularly related panels.

7. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 1 in which said container includes a rigid base defining a downwardly presented face in a plane transverse to the major axis -of said container to support said container in an upright position on a horizontal supporting surface, the tubular wall of said container being provided with fold lines adapting portions thereof adjacent said base to fold inwardly and downwardly into generally contiguous horizontal planes against the base.

8. In a storing and dispensing device for fiuidlike materials of varying viscosities, a generally tubular container having an axially directed discharge opening, a suction type dispensing pump of the class adapted to be reciprocated by pressure thereon in an `axial direction, said pump being supported in said container opening in a fluid tight manner, said container being formed to have sufficient compressive strength in said direction to readily withstand said axial pressure, said container having its enclosing tubular wall arranged for collapse inwardly toward said axis under atmospheric pressure, while maintaining its said compressive strength in said direction.

9. A storing and dispensing device for fluid-like materials of varying viscosity comprising: an enclosed generally tubular container having an axially directed discharge opening through one end thereof, a generally axially reciprocable pump supported in said opening in a fluid-tight manner, said pump comprising a barrel having an intake port in communication with the interior of the container, a discharge head opening to the exterior of the container, and a reciprocable plunger in said barrel, the sidewall of said container having at least three circumferentially spaced, axially directed lines of deformation extending over a major portion of the length of said container to define in said sidewall at least three distinct laterally presented panels arranged to collapse inwardly toward said axis under atmospheric pressure responsive to exhaustion of the container contents through the action of said pump.

10. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 9 in which said lines of deformation are formed by creasing the container sidewall.

11. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 9 in which said container is molded and said lines of deformation are formed by altering the generally tubular mold configuration on circumferentially spaced, longitudinally extending lines to provide panel-defining ribs.

12. A storing and dispensing device for fluid-like materials of varying viscosity comprising: an enclosed generally tubular container having an axially directed discharge opening through one end thereof, a generally axially reciprocable pump supported in said opening in a fiuid-tight manner, said pump comprising a barrel having an intake port in communication with the interior of the container, a discharge head opening to the exterior of the container, and a reciprocable plunger in said barrel, said container having laterally presented sidewalls arranged to collapse inwardly toward said axis under atmospheric pressure responsive to exhaustion of the container contents through the action of said pump, and a plurality of circumferentially spaced prongs surrounding and extending downwardly from said intake port to prevent clogging of said port by the collapsed sidewalls.

13. A storing and dispensing device as defined in claim 12 in which said barrel and said prongs depend from said barrel and are `formed integrally therewith.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,623,107 4/ 1927 Goodykoontz 222-107 1,860,662 5/1932 Dunell 222-105 2,400,716 5/ 1946 Sattler 222-107 2,615,447 10/1952 Cohen 222-215 X 2,936,932 5/1960 Whistler 222-173 3,129,854 4/1964 Boehm et al 222-383 3,171,446 3/1965 Koch 222-209 FOREIGN PATENTS 798,338 7/1963 Great Britain,

ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

HADD S. LANE, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/107, 222/321.9, 222/464.1, 222/95
International ClassificationB05B11/00, B65D35/28
Cooperative ClassificationB05B11/306, B05B11/0043, B65D35/28
European ClassificationB05B11/30H4B, B05B11/00B5A2, B65D35/28