US 3306566 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb- 28, 1967 D. L. PAuLsoN ETAL 3306566 DRINKING CUP APPARATUS Filed Jan. 7, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l United States Patent O 3,306,566 DRINKING CUP APPARATUS Donald L. Paulson, 2015 40th Place, Des Moines, Iowa 50310, and Tom J. Roberts, 3914 73rd St., Des Moines, Iowa 50321 Filed, Jan. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 519,247 9 Clairns. (Cl. 248-350) This inventon relates to a fiuid container and more particularly to a drinking cup apparatus.
It is an object of this inventon to provide a drinking cup apparatus which is particularly suited to use by young children because of its stability, while at the same time being particularly suited for older people due to other advantages enumerated hereinafter.
It is another object of this inventon to provide a drinking cup apparatus wherein a drinking cup is movably interconnected to a tbase unit, whereby the cup may be moved by a person drinking from same to any one of a plurality of positions relative to the base unit.
It is another object of this inventon to provide a drinking cup apparatus which is easily disassembled, thereby allowing for easy replacement of parts in the event of breakage.
It is a further object of this inventon to provide a drinking cup apparatus wherein the cup is easily removed to facilitate the Cleaning thereof.
It is yet another object of this inventon to provide a drinking cup apparatus wherein `a cup is interconnected to a weighted base by a spring, thereby allo'wing the cup to be lifted to the mouth while the base remains on the surface of the table, and the spring being of sufiicient strength to cause the cup to be reseated in the base upon releasing the tension on the spring.
Still another object of this inventon is the provision of a drinking cup .apparatus which upon being accidentally struck may tilt but is very diflicult to upset.
Yet another object of this inventon is the provision of a drinking cup apparatus wherein the cup, after being moved to a predeterrnined position, remains in said position although released by the user.
Another |object of this inventon is the provision of a drinking cup apparatus which in addition to having a practical function and use is also a novelty item and toy.
A still further object of this inventon is the provision of a drinking cup apparatus capable of attaining the above designated objects |which is economical to manufacture, functional in use and appearance, and simple but rugged in construction.
These objects, and other features and advantages of this inventon will become more readily apparent upon reference to the following description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the drinking cup apparatus of this inventon;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of t'he apparatus alone as taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, exploded perspective view of the apparatus;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the -invention with the spring in an extended position;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the inventon, showing the cup porton of the apparatus in a tilted position;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified drinking cup apparatus;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 6, as taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6; t
FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing another modified drinking cup apparatus; and
FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 8.
The present inventon preferably employs a spring of the character described and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,415,012, granted January 28, 1947 to Richard T. James.
The drinking cup apparatus of this inventon is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1 sitting yon a table top 11 adjacent to a conventional milk bottle 12. The apparatus 10 comprises a base unit 13 (FIG. 4), a cup unit 14, and a flexible spring '16 interconnecting the cup and the base units 13 and 14, respectively.
More specifically, the base unit 13 (FIG. 3) includes a round, .rubber-like surface gripping member 17, hereinafter referred to as a coaster cup, which has a bottom 18 (FIG. 2), and an annular sidewall 19 formed on the periphery of the bottom 18 and extending upwardly therefrom. Mounted in the coaster cup 17 is a disc-shaped weight 21. The coaster cup l17 is secured to a tub-u-larly shaped base element 22 which has an inner wall surface 23 (FIG. 3) and an outer wall surface 24. The element 22 is closed at one end 26 thereof and open at the other end. 'Ihe closed end 26 (FIG. 2) has ia circular cutout 27 formed concentrically in the underside there-of in which the weight 21 is disposed. The top peripheral edge 28 of the element 22 is beveled about the inner surface thereof, for a purpose hereinafter described. A split annular ridge 29 is formed on the inner surface 23 of the element, also for a purpose described hereinafter.
The cup unit 14 includes a cup 30 (FIG. 3) detachably mounted in a cup housing 31. The cup 30 has an upper section 32 integrally formed with a lower section 33. The lower section 33 is cylindrically shaped and flares outwardly into the upper section 32. The lower section 33 has a plurality 'of arcuately spaced cleats 34 on the periphery thereof.
The substantially tubularly shaped housing 31 (FIG. 3), having an inner wall 36 and an outer wall 37, has a plurality of annular, arcuately spaced bosses 38 formed on the inner wall 36 thereof. By inserting the cup 30 into the housing 31, the cleats 34 will pass between the bosses 38. Then, upon slightly rotating the cup 30, the cleats 34 will slide under the bosses 38, 'whereby the cup 30 and the housing 31 are releasably lockable together.
A split ridge 39 is also formed on the -inner wall 36 of the housing 31, below the bosses 38, for a purpose hereinafter described. The bottom peripheral edge 41 (FIG. 2) of the housing 31 is beveled to mate With the edge 28, such that the housing 31 is adapted to seat in the element 22.
The interconnecting spring 16 is secured at one end 42 (FIG. 2) thereof to the housing 31 by rotatably threadv ing the end 42 over the housing ridge 39, and is secured at the other end 43 thereof to the element 22 by rotatably threading the end 43 beneath the element ridge 29. The coi'l turns of the helical spring 16 (FIG. 2) abut each other with substantially zero lateral force in the longitudinally contracted position.
In use, the cup unit 14 (FIG. 4) is readily separable from the base unit 13 by merely lifting the cup unit `14 upwardly, whereupon the spring 16 is expanded to allow mo'vement of the cup unit 14 to the month of a user. Because of the weighted base unit 13, aided by the gripping nature of the coaster 'cup 17, the base unit 13 will normally remain stationary on the table top. To enhance the holding characteristics of the base unit 13, the coaster cup could be formed so as to provide a suction cup efliect.
Upon releasing the cup unit 14, the spring 16 contracts and functions to not only force -the cup unit 14 downwardly toward the base unit 13, but 'also to actually guide the unit 14 back to the 'base unit 13 and into the seated relationship therewith, as best observed in FIG. 2.
It will be noted that when the cup and base units are seated together (FIG. 2), the .majority of the spring 16 is below the upper edge 28 of the base unit 13, and nested snugly within the base element 22 in that its outer surface is closely related to the inner wall surface 23 of the element 22. Furthermore, the element 22 functions to substantial'ly embrace the 'spring 16 and to add to the lateral stability thereof.
By this arrangement, upon contraction of the spring 16 from the FIG. 4 condition, the close relationship of the spring 16 with the interior of the element 22 tends to provide a guiding and c'hanneling of the spring 16 downwardly into the confines of the element 22, thereby effecting a positive seating of the 'cup unit 14 in the base unit 13.
It is also to be noted that the spring 16 is connected to the 'base unit 13 at the bottom portion thereof. If the cup lunit 14 is -accidentally given a glancing blow, the cup unit will only tilt as shown in FIG. 5, or the spring 16 may be expanded such that the cup separates from its norma'l direct contact with the base unit 13. Due to the low connection of the spring with the base unit and to the capability of the spring to bridge substantially an axial semi-circle without external force, rather than the cup falling over onto or off the table 11, it will be guided back into the base unit 13 by the Cooperation of the spring 16 with the base unit 13. Additionally, due to the connection of the spring 16 close to the bottom 18 of the base unit 13, a tendency of the latter to tip over during the tilting 'and other movement of the cup unit 14 is substantially reduced.
To Wash t-he cup 30, it is necessary only to rotate the cup 30 in re'lationship to the housing 31 thereby unlocking the cup cleats 34 from the bosses 38, whereby the cup 30 can 'be readily separated from the rem'ainder of the apparatus. Similarly, break'age of one part of the apparatus can easily be re-ctified by disassembly of the broken part and by replacement thereof.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, a modified drinking cup apparatus 51 i-s illustrated, comprising 'a base 52, an interconnecting -a'rm 53, a cup housing or holder 54 for holding a cup 56. The arm 53 is movably connected to both the base 52 and the holder 54 whereby the arm 53 is movable relative to the base, and the holder 54 and cup 56 are movable relative to both the arm 53 and the base 52 for obvious advantageous reasons.
Referring particularly to FIG. 7, it is seen that a rubber-like surface g'ripping member 57 is secured to the bottom of the base 52, and that a threaded passage 58 and cylindrical passage 59 are 'formed centrally of the base 52. Within the threaded passage 58,- a plug 61 is threaded, at the upper end of which is formed a stub 62 for guiding a spring 63 biasing a ball 64 upwardly against an opening 65 formed at the top of the base 52, which opening 65 has a diameter sma'ller than the diameter of the ball '64.
The ball 64, 'rotatably held within the base 52, is integral with one end 66 of the interconnecting arm 53, the end 66 and remainder of the arm 53 being disposed at right ang'les. The other end of the 'arm 53 is formed in the shape of a socket 67 for rotatably receiving a ball 68 integral with a stem 69 secured to the holder 54.
T'hus, the cup 56 and holder 54 within which the cup is removably seated, can be Imoved relative to the base 52 to substanti'ally any position allowed by the ball and socket type interconnection of the 'arm 53 therewith. Importantly, the -cup 56 and holder 54 both may remain in a moved lcondition after release thereof by the person using the apparatus, due to sufficient friction of the movable parts.
For persons having difiiculty holding a cup or glass steady, the advantage of this feature of the embodiment of F IGS. 6 and 7 can readily be seen.
Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, a second modified drinking cup appa-ratus 71 is illustrated. This apparatus includes 'a base 72, an interconnecting arm 73, 'a cup housing or holder 74, land a cup 76, Again, the interconnecting arm `movably connects the base to the cup holder, and the cup 76 is removably seated Within the holder 74.
The base has a rubberalike surface gripping member 77 secured to the bottom thereof, and includes an upright back 78 with 'a pair of sidewalls 79 'and 80, the latter forming guides for receiving the cup 76 when biased inwardly by the arm 73. A circular depression 81 is formed in the bottom of the base 72 to further seat the cup 76.
Within the back 78, a cavity 82 is formed for receiving a conventional recoil spring device 83. The interconnecting arm 73 is actually the flexible spring of this commercially available unit, which 'arm 73 extends through a slot 86 formed in the face of the back 78.
When not in use, the cup 76 is seated in the depression 81 as best shown in FIG. 9, with the arm 73 completely in a coiled condition as illustrated. When used, the user lifts and pulls the cup 76 upwardly and away from the base, whereupon the arm 73 changes from its coiled condition to a substantially straight but flexible condition as best il'lustrated in FIG. 8. When extended, the arm 73 is actually flexibly movable upwardly and downwardly relative to the base, and can also be semi-twisted relative thereto wit-hout permanent distortion. The coil spring device 83 is capable -of maintaining the arm 73 at any predetermined extended condition by means of a looking device (not shown) built into the unit 83. When desired to recoil the arm 73, the looking device is merely tripped, whereupon the arm is pulled inwardly along with the-cup 76 toward the seated condition relative to the base 72.
Although a preferred embodiment and several modifications of this invention have been described 'and disclosed hereinbefore, it is to be remembered that various other modifications and alternate constructions can be made thereto without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention 'as defined in the appended claims.
1. A drinking cup apparatus comprising in combination:
cup means; and
means movably interconnecting said base means to said cup means, said cup means movable relative to said base means, said interconnecting means retaining said cup means in an upright condition wherein to hold a fiuid therein.
2. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further wherein said cup means is movable relative to said interconnecting means, and said interconnecting means is movable relative to said base means, wherein said interconnecting means and said cup means are adapted to assume any one of a plurality of positions relative to said base means.
3. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 2, and further wherein said cup means includes a cup and a cup housing therefor, said cup being removably seated in said cup housing.
4. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 3, and further wherein said interconnecting means tends to maintain said cup in an upstanding position irrespective of the position to which said cup has been moved, and further irrespective of said cup being deflected.
5. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further wherein said interconnecting means biases said cup means into a seated relationship with said base means.
6. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 5, and further wherein said cup means includes a cup and a cup housing within which said cup is seated, and said base means includes a base element adapted to receive said cup housing in a nested relationship.
7. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 1, and further Wherein said nterconnecting means includes an elongated rod having swivel connections at each end thereof with said base means and said cup means.
8. In a drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 7, andl further wherein said rod is adapted to retain said cup means in any predetermined position to which it has been moved relative to said base means. y
9. A drinking cup apparatus as defined in claim 5, and further wherein said interconnecting means includes an elongated, flexible member movable outwardly from said base means from a coiled condition to a straightened con- 15 dition.
References Cited by the Examiner v UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 7/1961 France.
CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examner.