US 3301293 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 31, 1967 1-. R. SANTELLI COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 16, 1964 FIG. I
THOMAS R. SANTELLI lllllllllll .IIIlIII/I/ ATTORNEYS.
Jan. 31, 1967 T. R. SANTELLI COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER 2 sheets-sheet 2 Filed Dec. 16, 1964 FIG. 7
. INVENYTOR. THOMAS SANTELLI ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,301,293 COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Thomas R. Santelli, Sylvania, Ohio, assignor to Owens- Illinois Inc., a corporation of ()hio Filed Dec. 16, 1964, Ser. No. 413,689 10 Claims. (Cl. 150-.5)
This invention relates to collapsible containers and has for one of its objects the provision of an improved container which may be selectively varied in size, such as for shipment or storage purposes.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible container that may be quickly and conveniently collapsed into a number of different positions in which it will be eifectively retained against restoring movement. Included in this object is the provision of such a container that may be easily restored out of collapsed position.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible con-tainer having a flexible bellows-like construction in which adjacent pleats may be interlocked to hold the container in collapsed position.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a container which will achieve the above objects while being susceptible to economical manufacture.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with associated drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a container embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but with the container in a collapsed position;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal cross-sectional view of a fragment of the container side wall in normal position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but with the container side wall shown in a collapsed and interlocked position;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a modification of the container of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged longitudinal cross-sectional view of a fragment of the container side wall in normal position.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIG. 1 illustrates a container generally designated, 10, representing one embodiment of the present invention, which is integrally formed from flexible material such as plastic or a semiplastic. Container 10 is comprised of a pan-like base 12 having a recessed bottom wall 14; a conical top wall 16 merging into a cylindrical threaded neck 18 and a generally cylindrical side wall 20 interconnecting the base and top wall.
In the preferred embodiment, side wall 21 of the container is formed with a bellows-like construction consist ing of a series of longitudinally spaced annular pleats 22 each comprising a pair of radially extending walls 24, 26 converging at an annular ridge 28, with overlying wall portions 24, 26 of successive pleats meeting at annular bights 29. It will be apparent that because of this bellows construction, the length of the container may be selectively diminished from the position shown in FIG. 1 by manually compressing the container longitudinally to bring pleats 22 closer together.
In accordance with the present invention, the container is provided with interlocking members for positively holding the container in its collapsed position. In the illustrated embodiment these members include a projecting tongue 30 and a correspondingly shaped groove 32 formed in opposite disposition on each of pleats 22 to be co- 3,361,293 Patented Jan. 31, 1967 operable with an associated groove and tongue formed on the adjacent pleats respectively.
In the specific embodiment, tongues 30 and grooves 32 are annularly and continuously formed and positioned adjacent ridges 28 of the pleats. Additionally, the crosssection of each tongue 30 in the illustrated embodiment includes a recti-linear portion 34 projecting at an angle of approximately from the plane of pleat wall 26 and an arcuate portion 36 extending between the outer end of rectilinear portion 34 and pleat wall 26. Annular grove 32 is similarly shaped and dimensioned to snugly receive and retain the tongue 36 of an adjacent pleat in the manner shown in FIG. 4.
In use, assuming that a portion of the container contents has been dispensed and it is deisred to correspondingly diminish the size of the container so as to require less storage space or facilitate handling, the container or a portion thereof is merely depressed longitudinally to interlock one or more of the pleats 22 as desired, for example, as shown in FIG. 2. This may be effected conveniently without prepositioning the tongues and grooves since they are aligned longitudinally of the container. In cases where the container is to be refilled, for example, the tongues and grooves of the interlocked pleats may be readily released by manual pressure exerted longitudinally of the container.
Formation and arrangement of the tongues and grooves may be modified from that shown on the FIG. 1 embodiment Without departing from the invention, and FIGS. -5, 6 and 7 illustrate one example of such a modification wherein the tongues 40 and grooves 42 are discontinuous or intermittently formed in pleats 44. As shown in FIG. 6, three equally spaced tongues 40 and grooves 42 are provided on each pleat 44 and it will be appreciated that a greater or lesser number of tongues and grooves may be employed within the spirit of the present invention. Likewise, the relative position of the tongues and grooves on each pleat may be reversed as illustrated in FIG. 7 from that shown in FIG. 1.
As will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, other modifications and adaptations of the structure above described will become readily apparent without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claims.
1. A collapsible container comprising opposite top and bottom walls and a flexible side Wall interconnecting said top and bottom walls to enclose a space, said side wall having a plurality of longitudinally spaced bellowslike pleats each defined by a ridge and outwardly extending wall portions converging at the ridge, and interlocking means formed on a number of adjacent pairs of said pleats for retaining the container in any selected one of a plurality of collapsed positions.
2. A collapsible container comprising a bottom wall and a flexible side wall formed by a plurality of bellowslike pleats each including a ridge and outwardly extending portions converging at the ridge, and retaining means on at least tWo adjacent pleats including a projecting tongue adjacent the ridge on one pleat and a groove adjacent the ridge in the other pleat dimensioned to receive the tongue to hold the container in a collapsed position.
3. A collapsible container comprising a bottom wall and a side wall formed in part at least by a plurality of flexible bellows-like pleats each including a ridge and outwardly extending portions converging generally at the ridge, a number of said pleats each having a tongue and a groove oppositely disposed on said wall portions thereof dimensioned to co-operate with a groove and tongue respectively formed on adjacent pleats for retaining the container in a collapsed position.
4. A collapsible container comprising a bottom wall and a generally cylindrical side wall formed by a plurality of annular flexible bellows-like pleats each including an annular ridge and radially extending wall portions converging generally at the ridge, a number of said pleats each having an annular projecting tongue and an annular groove disposed at opposite sides of the ridge dimensioned to co-operate with an associated tongue and groove formed in adjacent pleats for retaining the container in a collapsed position. 7
5. The container as defined in claim 4 wherein said tongue and groove are provided in each of said pleats.
6. The container as defined in claim 4 wherein the container including said pleats is integrally formed from a plastic-like material.
7. The container as defined in claim 4 wherein said tongue projects generally radially outwardly from said pleat at an angle of approximately 80.
8. A collapsible container comprising a base and a side wall projecting upwardly from said base and enclosing a space, said side Wall having a plurality of flexible bellows-like pleats spaced longitudinally of the container, and co-operable tongue and groove means on a number of adjacent pleats for retaining the container in a collapsed position.
9. A collapsible container comprising a first Wall, a second wall connected to said first wall and extending from said first wall to enclose a space, the lengthwise dimension of the second wall including at least a pair of flexible bellows-like pleats, and co-operable tongue and groove means on said pleats for retaining the container in a collapsed position.
10. A collapsible container comprising a first wall, a second wall connected to said first wall and extending from said first wall to enclose a space, the lengthwise dimension of the second wall including at least a pair of flexible bellows-like pleats, and interlocking means on said pleats for retaining the container in a collapsed position.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,685,316 8/1954 Krasno 150 .5 3,083,877 4/1963 Gash 150-.5 X 3,172,577 3/1965 Hartung 22220'6 FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Examiner.