US 3302854 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
9 W67 E. L. MIDGLEY ETAL 3,302,854
CLUSTER 0F COVERS Original Filed Sept. 26. 1961 INVENTOR S ERR; L. ol
fizz 014195 69, Manes BY Jail V4. IMVMWM ATTORNEY United States Patent 2 Claims. (Cl. 22943) This invention relates to disposable plastic container covers. This application is a division of our earlier application Serial No. 140,841 now Patent No. 3,180,191.
Recently machines have been developed to fill simultaneously a plurality of cups with soft drinks and thereafter to cover the cups to facilitate the sale of beverages during periods of peak demand at parks, fairs, and other large gatherings. The need for such equipment will be appreciated upon consideration of the following typical example of Where such machines may be used. During a lull in activities at a ball park there is a great demand on the part of the spectators for soft drinks, while during periods of excitement the fans do not buy liquid refreshments. Therefore, the vendors at the park must take maximum advantage of the short periods of heavy demand if the business is to be successful. In order to take full advantage of the opportunities offered, each vendor must quickly replenish his supply of beverages when they are exhausted, and return to the fans before their thirst is subrogated by renewed activities on the field. The recently developed equipment is intended to make this possible.
The recently developed equipment alluded to above makes it possible for a vendor to replenish his inventory quickly by simultaneously filling as many as twenty or more cups. Briefly, this is accomplished as follows: trays carrying perhaps twenty cups are placed in a dispensing machine which simultaneously discharges ice, beverage syrup and water (in the case of soft drinks) into each of the cups. Thereafter, the trays are removed from the machine and lids must be placed on each of the filled cups. The cups may be covered very rapidly if the lids are formed as a cluster connected together by tabs or other means so that in one operation lids may be placed over all of the cups in the tray. Closing of the cups may then be accomplished by a machine which presses the lids firmly on the cups and thereafter severs each of the lids from the others in the cluster.
Heretofore the apparatus for filling and closing cups described briefly above has not been fully exploited as the clusters of lids for closing the cups have not been available. While the general design of the lid cluster is dictated by the arrangement of the cups in the trays, plastic manufacturers have been unable to produce the clusters at low enough prices to make them economically practical.
One important object of this invention is to provide a cluster of lids wherein each of the lids readily aligns itself with the particular cup to be covered and has a snap fit with the cup.
The cluster of lids about which this invention is centered includes a plurality of lids formed by any suitable process in a sheet of material. Each of the lids includes a-downwardly flared wall which is adapted to extend over and engage the rim or lip of the cup on which the lid is mounted. Extending outwardly from the bottom of each lid is a margin or flange oriented generally normal to the lid axis and cut from the unformed portion of the sheet in which the lids are formed. The several lids are arranged in longitudinal and transverse rows that may be normal to one another, depending of course upon the arrangement of cups held in the tray for filling, and are spaced apart a distance which exceeds the sum of the width of the margins of adjacent lids. The margins of adjacent lids in the transverse and longitudinal rows are secured together by tabs which are also cut from the unformed portion of the sheet in which the lids are originally formed. Thus, the lids, margins and tabs when severed from the sheet make up a lace-like pattern.
The individual lids of the cluster are provided with the wide flared skirts that fit over the rims of the cups and each skirt is formed with an undercut portion at the top whichsnaps over the rolled rim of the cup. Thus, the flared skirt serves as a guide to position the lid in place and the undercut portion grips the rim to retain the lid in place after it is pushed downwardly on the cup.
In detail, the lid cluster when out from the sheet has a scalloped outer margin with the scallops along each side formed by substantially 180 of arc of the lid margins lying in one of the outer rows of the cluster. The scallops are connected by straight edges formed by the sides of tabs joining the margins about the lids. Inwardly of the edges of the cup cluster are openings or cutouts each of which is defined by a portion of the periphery of four adjacent lids and the tabs which join them.
These and other objects, features and advantages of my invention will be better understood and'appreciated from the following detailed description of one embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a cluster of lids constructed in accordance with this invention; and
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of two of a cluster of lids positioned on the rims of a pair of cups.
The lids 36 in the cluster shown in FIG. 1 include a top Wall 37 and a depending flared skirt 39 surrounded by an annular margin 38 and that the margins of adjacent lids are connected together by tabs 40. Thus, the cluster of lids shown in FIG. 1 has in outline a scalloped margin wherein the scallops are defined by approximately 180 of the periphery of the margin 38, and the scallops are joined by the side edges of the tabs 40. Cutouts 42 are severed from the interior portion of the sheet and are defined by the ancs of adjacent lids and the edges of the tabs. Thus, each cutout 42 in FIG. 1 is defined by four arcs 44 each a little less than and four joining straight edges 46 defined by the side edges of the tabs. In the cluster of twelve lids shown in FIG. 1 there are six cutouts of scrap 42 between the lids arranged in longitudinal and transverse rows normal to one another.
In FIG. 2, the lids are shown in detail, as in the manner in which they fit over the rims of the cups that they cover. It will be recalled from the introductory remarks that the lids in the cluster are normally deposited manually over the cups in the tray and thereafter the cluster of lids is pressed downwardly onto the filled cups. To enable an operator to position the cluster on the cups quickly without the exercise of great care, the skirt 39 of each lid has a pronounced flare so that the lids vertically align themselves with the cups in the tray.
Because of the substantial flare, it is particularly necessary to provide some means of locking the lids in place on the rims of the cups, as the frictional engagement of a skirt on the rim of itself is inadequate to retain the lid in place. In accordance with this invention an undercut section is provided at the top of each skirt 39, which is adapted to snap on or below the rolled rim 152 of the cup 154 to retain the lid in place. Above the undercut section 150 is an inwardly open bead 156 which receives the rolled rim 152 of the cup.
Having described the several features of my invention in detail, its numerous advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the lids themselves are'self aligning and lock on the cup rims. Their shape enables them to be used with cups of virtually any shape limited only to a specific rim diameter.
From the foregoing, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many modifications may be made of the invention described without departing from the spirit of my invention. Therefore, we do not intend to limit the breadth of this invention to the specific embodiment illustrated and described. Rather, it is our intention that the breadth of this invention be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. An article of manufacture comprising a plurality of cup lids formed from a sheet of plastic material and provided with downwardly flared side walls having a diameter at the bottom substantially greater than the diameter of the rims of the cups for which the lids are intended and terminating at the bottom in a margin extending outwardly from the bottom of the side wall about the periphery of each lid, the flared configuration of the side walls causing the cups and lids to align with one another when all of the lids are simultaneously placed on the cups for capping, said side walls providing a seal about the rims of the cups for which the .lids are intended when the lids are pressed firmly onto the rims, a circular wall secured to the top of the side wall of each lid and being free of contact with the side walls of the cups when the lids are sealed on the rims of the cups and tabs connected to the margins of adjacent lids, each of said lids adapted to fit on the top of a cup and engage its rim.
2. An article of manufacture comprising a plurality of cup lids formed from a single sheet of plastic material and aligned in parallel rows with the lids in the several rows forming transverse rows normal to said parallel rows, horizontal outwardly extending margins provided as an integral part of each lid about its periphery and tabs integrally connected to the margins of adjacent lids in the parallel and normal rows, each of said lids having a downwardly flared skirt having a diameter at the bottom substantially greater than the diameter of the rim of the cup for which the lid is intended and with an undercut section adjacent the top adapted to engage the outside of the rim of a cup, the flared configuration of the skirts causing the cups and lids to align with one another when all of the lids are simultaneously placed on the cups for capping, and a circular wall secured to the top of the skirt of each lid and *being free of contact with the side Walls of the cups when the undercut sections of the skirts engage the outside of the rims of the cups.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,487,400 11/1949 Tupper 21541 X 2,604,223 7/1952 Homing 215-41 2,884,150 5/1959 Weichselbaum et al. 21541 2,934,232 4/1960 Pesch et al 21541 2,949,204 8/1960 Edwards 215--41 2,969,160 1/1961 Delk 215-41 2,992,501 7/1961 Douglas.
3,086,651 4/1963 POIlpitch 294--87.2 3,180,191 4/1965 Migdley et a1 83l37 3,202,448 8/1965 Sterm et a1 294-872 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,138,523 10/ 1962 Germany.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
D. T. MOORHEAD, Assistant Examiner.