US 3317177 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
L. H. BRAND I CE CUBE TRAYS May 2, 1967 Filed Aug. 14, 1964 9 4. 3 7 7 I H d m w A A w A 1 A A m; A A. 1 A A Jr A United States Patent 3,317,177 ICE CUBE TRAYS Lawrence H. Brand, Rte. 3, Box 200, Eldon, Mo. 65026 Filed Aug. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 389,541 4 Claims. ((11. 249-119) This invention relates to refrigeration, particularly ice cube trays.
When using the type of ice cube trays now on the market it is difficult to fill the pockets or cells with the amount of water that will produce uniform, full-sized cubes. And after these trays have been filled with water it is diflicult to carry them to the refrigerator without spilling water on the floor. Moreover, after the cubes are frozen it is difiicult to remove them without bending, heating, twisting or inverting the tray. Then after they are removed they are found to lack a really pleasing appearance. Also, the cubes are of a shape that makes them difficult to grasp, with the fingers or with tongs.
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an ice cube tray each cell of which can be easily and quickly filled with the optimum amount of water.
It is a further object to provide a tray which, after being filled, can be easily carried without spillage of water from it.
Another object is to provide a tray from which ice cubes can be removed easily with .one hand.
Another object is to provide a' tray that molds ice cubes having a more pleasing appearance.-
Yet another object is to provide a tray that molds ice cubes that can be daintily but firmly grasped with either the fingers or with tongs.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of an ice ing the present invention embodied therein.
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view thereof.
FIGURE 3 is a side view of the tray taken along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 1 partly in elevation and partly in section.
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view of the right end of the tray shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional elevational view taken along lines 5-5 in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to the drawings for illustrating my invention there is shown in FIGURE 1 thereof an ice cube tray comprising a plurality of pockets or cells 11a and 11b in which ice cubes are formed. 11a refers to cells in the near side of the tray;11b refers to cells in the far side of the tray. All cells are identical in construction.
A boundary wall encloses the cells 11a and 11b except at the right end of the tray where a notch 12 is provided in the wall 10 as shown in FIGURES 1, 3 and 4. This notch is of a size and shape designed to fit snugly against the under side of a thumb placed in it. This notched boundary wall 10 extends around the periphery of the tray at a height of approximately one-fourth inch above the elevation of the lips of the cells at their wide ends.
Each cell has, in plan View, an outline configuration that resembles the profile of a candy bonbon. The connotation of this bonbon outline adds to the interest and attractiveness of ice cubes frozen in these cells.
Each cell is constructed as a segment of a hollow hemisphere and as such as a concave arcuate floor wall 110 extending from the lip at the narrow end of the cell to cube tray havthe lip at the wide end of the cell. The body of the cell is tapered vertically and horizontally. Each of the two side walls 111, except the small upper portion 11g adjacent the arc-shaped lip 1111 at the wide end of the cell, lies within a single tilted plane. At the junction of the upper portion 11g of each side wall 11 with the areshaped lip 11h at the wide end of the cell each side wall 11) flares outward to form, in conjunction with the areshaped lip 11h a pointed enlargement 19, in each side of the cell cavity. This enlargement 19, which resembles somewhat an inverted pyramid, tapers downwardly to blend with the body of the cell at the junction 20 of the concave floor wall and the inclined side wall 11 These enlargements 19 in the cell cavity serve to mold points on ice cubes frozen within the cell. They also provide, in that part of the cell, added width which necessitates tilting the tray through fewer degrees in order to drain away excess water while the tray is beingfilled.
Within, and adjacent, the boundary wall 10 is a low, flat horizontal surface 17 which extends between the wider portions of adjacent cells. It is separated from a higher flat surface 18 by an ofiset 17a. The higher flat surface 18 surrounds the narrow portion of each cell, said narrow portion having walls approximately one-eighth inch higher than the walls of the wider portion of the cell.
The low flat surface 17 also extends horizontally across the tray adjacent the wall 10 where this wall bounds the right end of the tray, said low fiat surface 17 having an opening 14 cut through it at a point midway between the long sides of the tray near the notch 12. The opening 14 is here shown in FIGURE 1 as circular in design however, other shapes which can be covered by the ball of the thumb may be used.
In another construction, not illustrated, notch 12 and opening 14 are combined as one continuous opening extending through both the horizontal low flat surface 17 and the bounding wall 10.
At the right end of the tray is a depending flange 16, FIGURES 3 and 4, which extends around the adjacent corners of the tray to form the flanges 16a and 16b in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4. These three flanges may be formed separately or as a unit as shown. The lower edges of the flanges 16a and 16b are inclined approximately eight degrees from the horizontal so that when the tray rests in normal position these said lower edges contact the supporting horizontal surface only at their lowest points.
The operation of this tilt-and-fill type of ice cube tray may be described as follows: To fill the tray with water tilt it slightly so the bottom edges of the flanges 16a and 16b are in an approximately horizontal position. Hold the tray under a faucet so the cell-s at the upper end of the tray are filled first. As the water is being curbed between the wall 10 and the offset 17a it flows down across the wide ends of the cells 11a and 11b filling them with the desired amount of water. Immediately all cells are filled and the excess water flows from the tray through the opening 14 and the notch 12.
Lower the raised end of the tray to the normal, approximately horizontal, position. The water in each cell now stands at the same level. Some persons prefer to first fill the tray while it is in a horizontal position and then tilt it to drain away the excess water. Regardless of which procedure is followed the result is the same: each cell contains the amount of water whic when frozen, will form an ice cube that amply fills the large end of the cell but does not overhang the wall around the narrow end of the cell.
Now grasp the filled tray with your thumb extending through the notch 12 and covering the opening 14. You can now carry it confidently to the refrigerator. No water will spill.
After the cubes are frozen remove one or more of them without heating, bending or inverting the tray. Do it with one hand. Simply press the narrow end of a cube with the forefinger. This causes the wide end of the cube to rise between your thumb and second finger so they can grasp the pointed projections which were formed on the cube by the protruding enlargements 19 in the cell.
While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. In an ice cube tray having a plurality of cells, each of which is provided with a higher lip at one of its ends and a lower lip at its opposite end, said tray having a horizontal wall at the elevation of and adjacent the lower lips of said cells and extending to a vertical peripheral wall bounding the tray the improvement for draining excess water from the tray, said improvement comprising a portion of said horizontal wall lying adjacent said vertical peripheral wall and having therethrough an opening through which excess water may flow.
2. In an ice cube tray having a plurality of cells and a peripheral wall enclosing the cells and a horizontal wall adjacent the peripheral wall the improvement for providing a hand ing, in combination, a portion of said peripheral wall having therein a notch designed to receive the thumb of a hand gripping said tray and a portion of said horizontal wall having therethrough a hole disposed in such relation to said notch that the ball of a thumb resting in said notch can rest simultaneously upon said hole in said horizontal wall.
3. In an ice cube tray having a plurality of cells and a peripheral bounding wall the improvement for facilitating the filling of said cells with water to be frozen therein,
grip on said tray, said improvement comprissaid improvement comprising a higher horizontal surface adjacent a lower horizontal surface; said cells being so disposed that approximately one-half of each cell lies within said higher horizontal surface while the remainder of each said cell lies within said lower horizontal surface so that the crest of the wall at one end of each said cell is higher than the crest of the wall at the opposite end of each said cell.
4. In a cell for freezing ice cubes, said cell being formed so that, in plan, it tapers from a wide end to an opposite narrow end, said cell having an arcuate concave floor wall extending from an arc-shaped lip at said wide end of said cell to another arc-shaped lip at said opposite narrow end of said cell the improvement for facilitating removal of ice cubes from said cell, said improvement comprising an arc-shaped lip at said wide end of said cell having a crest lower than the crest of said arc-shaped lip at said opposite narrow end of said cell.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,159,338 5/1939 Murphy 249-419 2,752,762 7/1956 Gangler 249-l27 2,756,567 7/1956 Martin 249--70 3,021,695 2/ 1962 Voigtmann 249--127 3,120,112 2/1964 Davis 249-127 3,143,866 8/1964 Frohbieter 249-1l9 FOREIGN PATENTS 311,179 1/ 1956 Switzerland.
J. SPENCER OVERHOLSER, Primary Examiner. G. A. IQXP, R. D. BALDWIN, Assistant Examiners.