US 3300074 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. H EU BL BOTTLE CLOS URE Jan. 24, 1967 Filed Feb. 15, 1965 Walfer Heubl v IN VEN TOR.
UnitedStates Patent 6 Claims. 61. 215-90 The invention relates to a bottle closure comprising a plastic stopper, preferably in two parts, and a metallic stirrup lever having a U-shaped portion by which it is pivoted in the stopper and the continuation of which is Y-shaped and can be engaged below the neck rim of a bottle, the stem of the Y being split to form a bifurcate handle and incorporating a crown-cork opener or bottletop remover.
It is not unknown for metallic stirrup levers bent as described above to be joined to stoppers of various kinds. Usually plastic stoppers made in two parts are employed, the lower part having a slot-like recess in its side to receive the cross-piece of the stirrup, which is overlain by the upper part of the stopper. Closures of this kind have proved highly satisfactory in practice.
Another principle referred to in a printed prior notice concerning this closure is that of providing the metallic stirrup lever with a device for opening a sealed crown cork, the proposal being that the usual catch-piece embodied in the implements used for removing crown corks should be fitted to the wire stirrup lever.
However, closures having a crown-cork opener of the kind thus advocated have never been manufactured; and it would probably be difficult to turn theseexamples to account in practice, for the solution thus disclosed presuppose that the stopper would be placed top-downwards on the crown cork and an attempt made to bring the catchpiece under the lip of the crown cork. There would then be insufiicient leverage to enable the crown cork to be removed. There would also be the risk of the stopper slipping off the crown cork. Finally, one might expect to find the stirrup lever lacking in strength, in which case the catch-piece on the lever might well snap off without opening the crown cork.
The invention, which takes as its starting point the principle, already disclosed in print, of combining a metallic stirrup lever with a device for opening crown corks or closure caps, sets out to effect a material improvement in a bottle-uncapping device, so that such an implement can in fact be put to practical use with a certainty of success. A further aim of the invention is to enable this additional feature to be produced with minimum expenditure of working time and consumption of materials.
The invention consists in devising the CI'OWIlrCOI'k opener or the bottle-top remover as a specially shaped terminal member which clamps around, and forms an extension of, the handle portion of the metallic stirrup lever, this member having, in the vicinity of the end of the handle portion, a projection or catch-piece to engage below the lip of the crown cork or closure cap and, at a short distance from the catch-piece, a fulcrum to rest on top of the cap.
Thus, whereas the catch-piece of prior-art devices, engaging below the lip of the crown cork, lies between the handle portion of the stirrup lever and the stopper, in the device proposed in accordance with the invention it is situated at the opposite end of the handle portion, so that the stopper on the stirrup lever, instead of getting in the way while the implement is being applied to the bottle top, is enclosed in the users hand. The particular advantage of the device conforming to the invention lies in the fact that the terminal member now proposed, though made of thin sheet metal, can be made so strong that the bottle top can be reliably opened without the bottle "ice closure according to the invention suffering any deformation or damage.
Another important advantage of the invention is that any extra cost by comparison with an ordinary standard bottle closure arises solely from the value of the material in the terminal member, the cost of added labor being insignificant. With the ordinary bottle closure, that is to say one which has no crown-cork opener, a member called a gripper plate, turned over around the edges of the handle portion, has to be used in any case. This standard gripper plate calls for a stampingout process, which, in the production of the special terminal member needed for the invention, can also be used for giving it its final shape in a single operation. Thus, the only working process required is the same turning of the edges as in the case of the ordinary familiar bottle closure, so that the extra cost of making the closure now proposed is merely a matter of the additional material used.
It is therefore of particular advantage to the invention that the bottle-uncapping device should be provided as an extension of the normal sheet-metal covering of the handle portion of the stirrup lever. It is also possible, of course, and in accordance with the invention, to make the implement in several parts-for instance, the terminal member can be separately mounted on the simple bottle closure that is already known. This method, however, though included within the scope of the invention, would not be any cheaper than the method here proposed whereby the sheet-metal covering is itself made into the terminal member.
In accordance with another feature of the invention, the metallic covering may advantageously hold the parallel wire legs of the Y-shaped handle portion of the stirrup lever merely by means of turned-over sheet-metal tabs, while presenting on the outside a smooth face, interrupted only between the catch-piece and the fulcrum portion. This smooth face is particularly advantageous when the stopper is fitted to the opened bottle, in addition to which it gives the implement conforming to the invention an attractive appearance.
Pursuant to a further feature of the invention, that part of the terminal member which projects beyond the handle portion of the stirrup lever is provided with sides bent up at a sharp angle and bounded by a rounded edge, the outer ends of these sides being joined together by a face which forms the fulcrum. The rounded edge of the angular sides prevents the user from injuring himself when opening the bottle closure according to the invention, besides affording the requisite strength between catch-piece and fulcrum when a bottle top is being opened. The opposite edges of the bent-up sides, on the other hand, are cut back to provide an open space between the fulcrum face and the catch-piece that is to be inserted below the lip of the bottle cap.
The invention is diagrammatically illustrated by way of example only in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a bottle closure according to the invention, mounted on an opened bottle;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the bottle closure shown on FIG. 1, here being used as a bottle-top opener; and
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the bottle closure shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIGS. 1 to 3 show one and the same embodiment of a bottle closure conforming to the invention, in three different positions. The numeral 1 indicates the stopper, 2 the stirrup lever and 5 (FIG. 3) the special terminal member previously referred to. In the embodiment shown, stopper 1 is seen to consist of an upper cap 4, a hollow lower part 3, both made of plastic, and a conical rubber washer 21, this having been found most successful commercially. Any other kind of stopper that can be fitted to a stirrup lever could naturally be used equally well for the object of the invention.
Stopper 1 is pierced to take the cross-piece 17 (FIG. 3) of the U-shaped portion of stirrup lever 2 whose arms 6 merge with prongs 7 of a split, generally Y-shaped handle 10. Prongs 7 engage below the neck rim 8 of bottle 9, resting in the recess just below this rim, and hold stopper 1 firmly onto bottle 9 by means of the short arms 6 (FIG. 1). The ends 18 (FIG. 3) of handle portion 10 of stirrup lever 2 are turned over. The handle 10 has a terminal member beaded on to it, this attachment preferably being achieved by means of special tabs 11 on member 5. There is no need for the inturned ends 18 of the wires in this embodiment to be bent over as well.
Terminal member 5 is intended to serve, on the one hand, as a hand grip while the plug 21 is being fitted to an opened bottle and, on the other hand, as an opener for bottle 9 when this is closed with crown cork or cap 16. In FIG. 1, the implement is shown in use as a bottle closure member 5 serving merely to lengthen the handle of stirrup lever 2, so as to provide a longer lever arm and to facilitate the tensioning of the bail 6, 17.
In FIG. 2, the device according to the invention is shown in use for opening the crown cork 16. As can be observed, the turned-over tabs 11 are interconnected on the underside of member 5 by a smooth-faced metal bridge 22, and have upstanding side walls 12 bent sharply upwards and bounded by a convex edge 23 at the top. An extension of bridge 22 forms a catch-piece 13 for engagement under the lip of crown cork 16, while the outer ends of bent-up side walls 12 are joined together by a strip 15 which, as shown in FIG. 2, forms a fulcrum for member 5 on top of crown cork 16. When stirrup lever 2 is raised by the end that carries stopper 1, catchpiece 13, engaged under the lip of the crown cork, is lifted accordingly, extremity 15 of member 5 bearing down upon the crown cork.
The edge of side walls 12 opposite edge 23 is cut away at 14, leaving an open space (FIG. 3) between fulcrum 15 and catch-piece 13. This facilitates the application of member 5 to crown cork 16. It will be noted that catch-piece 13 is a tongue projecting toward the extremity 15 and lying substantially in one plane therewith.
FIG. 3 also makes it clear that the provision of the two turned-over tabs 11 on member 5 is quite suificient to give this member a firm hold on stirrup lever 2. The end of bridge 22 nearest to the stopper is bent back onto itself over 180 to form a nose 19, the purpose of which is to stifien the bridge 22 and prevent it from splitting at this end.
Terminal member 5 is stamped-out cleanly from a sheet of metal and is preferably shaped in one and the same operation, side Walls 12 and tabs 11 being bent through about 90 away from bottom face 22. In this condition, member 5 is mounted on handle portion 10 of stirrup lever 2 and the bending of the tabs is cornpleted. This bending operation is necessary in any case for ordinary bottle closures that do not incorporate a crown-cork opener, so that any extra cost for the production of the bottle closure according to the invention over that of ordinary bottle closures resides solely in the additional material used for member 5.
The invention contemplates the possibility of member 5 being separately mounted next to a stirrup lever 2, all that is required being to shape member 5 in the region of its handle portion, so that this portion can be inserted and held in a laterally extending position.
It will also be obvious from the embodiment illustrated that various constructional modifications can be made without departing from the basic principle of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. An implement for opening and reclosing capped bottles, comprising:
a plug carrier having a pair of arms defining a bifurcate handle portion;
a sheet-metal covering rigidly engaging said arms and formingan extension of said handle portion;
and a terminal member integral with said covering,
said member having an extremity adapted to bear upon a bottle cap and a projection located intermediate said extremity and said plug carrier, said projection being engageable with the lower rim of said cap for lifting same off its bottle upon a pivoting of said member about said extremity.
2. An implement as defined in claim 1 wherein said covering includes a bridge piece spanning said arms, said projection being a tongue forming part of said bridge pieceand lying between said arms.
3. An implement as defined in claim 2 wherein said member has a pair of upstanding side walls each bounded by an arcuate edge which is upwardly convex in a caplifting position of the implement, said side walls having angular cutouts accommodating said cap between said tongue and said'extremity.
4. An implement as defined in claim 2 wherein said tongue and said extremity lie substantially in a common plane.
5. An implement as defined in claim 2 wherein said bridge piece is formed with a pair of lateral tabs bent around said arms, thereby joining said covering to said plug carrier.
6. An implement asdefined in claim 1 wherein said plug carrier is generally Y-shaped and has a cross-bar spanning said arms, further comprising a plug traversed by said cross-bar.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 48,300 6/1865 Moyer 215- 731,798 6/1903 Lucas 2l590 784,350 3/1905 Rommer 21546 1,582,442 4/1926 White 813.46
2,010,502 8/1935 Watson. 2,014,753 9/1935 Weber 2l546 2,132,775 10/1938 Casablancas 2l546 X JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
D. F. NORTON, Assistant Examiner.