US 3333727 A
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Aug. 1, 1967 s. L. BELCHER ETAL 3,333,727
BEVERAGE BOTTLE CASE 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 18, 1965 INVENTOR.
L.. BELCHEPL THOMAS C. 5ANDERSON L E U M A s g- 1967 s. L. BELCHER ETA L 3,333,727
BEVERAGE BOTTLE CASE Filed March 18, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS SAMUEL L. BELCHER THOMAS C. SANDERSON W12 C9 /9 h Amas 1957 s. L. BELCHER ETAL 3,333,727
BEVERAGE BOTTLE CASE Filed March 18, 1965 3 Sheets$heet 5 FIG. 5
SAMUEL- L.BELCHER BY'THOM S C- SANDERQJN United States Patent 3,333,727 BEVERAGE BOTTLE CASE Samuel L. Belcher and Thomas C. Sanderson, Toledo, Ohio, assignors to Owens-Illinois, Inc., a corporation of Ohio Filed Mar. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 440,779 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cell-type beverage bottle case formed of a rigid plastic material and incorporating exteriorly of its bottom, a multiplicity of isolated arcuate stops engageable with only fractional side portions of the bottle necks or caps to interlock stacked cases against lateral shifting, these stops also being tapered to facilitate manual stacking and unstacking.
Our invention relates to open-top beverage bottle cases or crates of those types widely used in the packaging of bottles of soft drinks, whether such bottles are positioned directly in permanent cells of the cases, or in either sixor eight-pack, take-home carriers, which can be accommodated by such cases when not already provided with cells creating partitions.
In the interest of space conservation it is common practice on the part of the retailer, for example, to stack these cases one upon another, whether or not all such cases contain the same beverage and irrespective of whether are in case cells or take-home carriers. Because of this situation and particularly since the bottles may not even be of the same capacity and/or diameter, it has been most difficult, if not impossible, heretofore to create really stable stacks which will not tumble at times and result in substantial bottle breakage. It is therefore most desirable to provide some effective, yet simple means for interlocking the stacked cases in such fashion as to insure against accidental relative lateral shifting of the cases, yet permit ready manual separation, when desired.
An important object of our invention, therefore, is the provision of means externally of the bottom of each case which will interlock with the head or capped end of bottles in a lower adjacent case and thereby effectively hold the cases against undesired relative lateral shifting under normally encountered circumstances.
Another object of our invention is the provision of means of the above character which is equally effective for the purpose stated, irrespective of whether the bottles are of uniform size and capacity and whether they are in case cells, or take home carriers, placed in a plain cell-less case.
A further object of our invention is the provision of a beverage case in which the lower surface of the bottom is shaped to accommodate snugly the capped end of a sufficient number, but not necessarily all, of the bottles in a lower adjacent case of a stack, to insure against undesired relative lateral shifting of the cases.
It is still another object of our invention to provide a beverage case in which the lower surface is formed with isolated recesses with walls so contoured as to provide stops or shoulders capable of having effective interlocking engagement with bottles in an adjacent lower case,
irrespective of whether such bottles are in case cells, twenty-four in number, for example, or in either sixor eight-pack take-home carriers. Thus it is apparent that we can safely stack loaded beverage cases, almost without concern as to the bottle size, or number and position, or center-spacing.
It is also an object of our invention to provide in a beverage bottle case of twenty-four-bottle capacity, whether such bottles are in case cells or either sixor eight-pack paper carriers, means on the lower surface of the case bottom for ready releasable interlocking engagement with the capped end of at least a suflicient number of bottles in an adjacent lower case to preclude any undesired relative lateral shifting of the cases.
Finally, it is an object of our invention to provide a novel arrangement of groups or sets of vari-shaped stops or abutments on the lower surface of a beverage case bottom which will insure effective engagement between at least a sufiicient number of the stops and necks of bottles in another case, when stacked, to preclude any undesired relative lateral shifting of the cases comprising the stack. To this end the stops are arranged in groups, certain of which are duplicates, both as to contour, dimensions, and location relative to the side and end walls of the case. As a consequence, and as will be apparent hereinafter, irrespective of which of the several conventional methods of easing beverage bottles is utilized, there will always be interlocking of a sufficient number of bottles and stops, or abutments, to prevent accidental lateral relative shifting of the stacked cases.
Other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.
In the accompanying drawings forming a part of our application:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a beverage case embodying our invention and in dot and dash lines indicating the manner in which bottles in another case of a stack interlock with stops which are provided on the bottom of the case shown in full lines.
FIG. 2 is a schematic or diagrammatic plan view indicating the preferred arrangement of stops or abutments as distributed over the bottom of a conventional twentyfour cell case.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary detail plan view of approximately one-quarter of the case bottom with the groups of stops distributed thereover.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of two stacked beverage cases, embodying our invention.
FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of one of the cases.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional elevational view taken along the plane of line 6-6 of FIG. 5, with the addition of a capped bottle neck.
In the illustrated embodiment of our invention it is shown in conjunction with a beverage bottle case C comprising a generally rectangular elongated bottom 10 which, if desired, may be of reticulate, or lattice-Work form, and upstanding side and end walls 11 and 12 respectively, the end walls being provided with handles bottle cases of present-day construction is rather risky in that they in general are free to shift laterally relative to one another, with well known objectionable results. This also is true where several loaded cases are stacked upon a conventional hand-truck. At the time the operator tilts the truck and pulls it from beneath a stack of perhaps three or four cases, quite often there is relative slippage between the cases, resulting in bottle breakage. Also, as explained above, some cases have built-in cell creating partitions 14 providing, for example, a twenty-four cell case, while others are devoid of such partitions and cells so as to accommodate the widely used paperboard take-home carriers. These may be either the well-known six-pack or eight-pack, viz., each carrier constructed to hold either six or eight bottles. The fact that beverages are packed in bottles of different capacity also means that the bottle diameter varies so that the spacing-apart of the axes or centers of adjacent cased bottles, correspondingly varies.
Our invention has taken the foregoing factors into account and provides a novel formation and pattern or grouping of stops, abutments, or shoulders, such as will in any situation, holdingly engage a sufficient number of bottles to preclude undesired lateral relative shifting of stacked loaded cases.
In FIG. 2 we have shown somewhat schematically a pattern or grouping of stops or abutments designed to eifectively engage bottles, whether placed in a twentyfour cell case or in take-home carriers. The bottles, as shown in FIG. 2, are placed in individual cells 16. Only the necks 15 of the bottles appear and it will be observed, that with the exception of the eight bottles in the central area, the necks or capped upper endsengage the outermost stops or abutments. In this figure we have shown a conventional case of twenty-four cells and bottles and i in FIGURE 3 the alternate long and short dash circles of the necks 15 show in better detail the precise points of contact between these bottles and the stops. In FIG. 2 the case C and cells 16 are shown more or less schematically and the pattern of stops or abutments appearing, is actually that on the bottom of the next adjacent upper case of a stack.
We have determined that the pattern of stops illustrated will perform quite satisfactorily. The stops, although shown in FIG. 2 as continuous walls, in fact need not be, but instead may be interrupted as indicated in FIG. 1 to provide drain openings 17. At each end of the case C and at each side of the longitudinal center thereof is a set or group of stops 18 of identical form with each created by a pair of spaced apart parallel tapered side walls 19 extending in a direction transverse to the length of the case. At the inner end, viz., the end nearest the longitudinal center line of the case, the side walls 19 are joined together by an outwardly projecting tapered end wall 20 of generally obtuse V-shape in plan, with quite long radii at the juncture of the several wall sections. The radius of the wall at each corner 21 is that, or approximately that, of the capped neck-end of the botles involved. Each curved wall section 21 (FIG. 3) or radius and contiguous short straight sections 22 of the end walls 20, comprise the total eflective, working stops 18. The remaining sections of the walls exist merely in the interest of production procedures. Because these walls or stops 18 are tapered, or inclined transversely (FIGS. 4 and 6) it is apparent that manual unstacking as well as stacking is facilitated.
The opposite ends of the side walls 19 are joined together by a straight end wall 23 disposed at an obtuse angle to the innermost side wall and an acute angle to V the other side Wall. Here again arcuate or curved wall sections 24 creating the stops 18, join the end and side walls 23 and 19, respectively. Inwardly from each of these groups or sets of stops is a second set 18a which is created by parallel spaced apart tapered side walls 25 corresponding to the walls 19, with their ends connected together by end walls 26 which, together with arcuate corner sections 27, produce the stops 18a. It will be observed that the inner of the end walls 26 is'generally of the contour of the other inner end wall 20, except that the apex 28 is ofiset slightly from the center line between the side walls 25. The outer end wall 26 is similar to the other outer end wall 23, but is disposed at a much sharper angle to the outer side wall 25.
In the central area of the case bottom 10 are two adjacent rectangular walls 29, each comprising four transversely inclined or tapered straight sections joined at the corners by arcuate sections 30, Only in some instances do these walls actually function as stops physically engageable with the bottles.
In stocking cases each comprising twenty-four cells and therefore containing that number of equidistantly spacedapart bottles B, the capped neck-ends .15 will engage the stops as shown in FIG. 2 and occupy positions in engagement with the stops in the areas indicated by the circles of alternate long and short dash lines. Thus it is seen that the necks, or caps, of the bottles engage the stops 18 in proximity to the outer side Walls 19 and 25, thereby preventing undesired accidental'relative lateral movement of stacked cases.
In the event a case without cell-forming partitions is being used to accommodate, for example, take-home carriers of bottles of 16 oz. capacity and of the six or eight pack variety, their axes or centers will be differently spaced than in the twenty-four-cell case. As a result, the caps or necks will, for example, occupy the positions indicated by the circles represented by the alternate dash and double dot lines. If, however, eight-pack carriers of 10-02. bottles are being cased, the necks or caps then will occupy the positions of the dot and dash circles (FIG. 3), thus being in contact with yet another segment of the stops. It is therefore clear that with the varied Stop patterns illustrated, we can very reliably stack cases of beverage bottles and convey them on hand trucks with assurance that they will remain stacked. If, however, one wishes to slide one case off of another, that is facilitated by reason of the tapered or inclined walls which create the stops 18 and,18a. Furthermore, as indicated, the patterns of stops as shown are such that some portions thereof invariably will effectively engage a sufiicient number (not necessarily all) of the bottle necks to preclude acci-' dental case shifting, regardless of the number, capacity or specific placement of bottles in the case or cases.
Modifications may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A beverage bottle case comprising a generally rectangular bottom and marginal upstanding side walls, and means for holding the cases, when stacked, against relative lateral shifting, comprising a multiplicity of isolated arcuate stops depending from the bottom surface of each case bottom and engageable with only a minor fraction of the circumference of side portionsof the necks of at' least some of the bottles in an adjacent lower case of a stack.
2. In a structure as defined in claim 1, the stops being arranged in groups comprising arcuate wall-like sections interconnected by straight wall-like sections.
3. A structure as defined in claim 1, the stops being tapered transversely of their length to facilitate stacking and unstacking.
4. A beverage bottle case comprising an elongated rectangular bottom, and upstanding side and end walls, the bottom having on its lower surface at each side of the longitudinal center line thereof a longitudinal series of substantially continuous Walls, each defining an elongated generally rectangular open space to accommodate the necks of several upstanding bottles of those in a case beneath said bottom, portions of the walls substantially at the ends of each said open space forming stops to engageable only with one side of some of the bottle necks to hold the bottles against bodily lateral movement.
5. A beverage bottle case comprising a generally rectangular elongated bottom, upstanding side and end walls about the margin of the bottom, and means for holding several such cases against relative lateral shifting, when stacked one upon another with upright bottles therein, said means comprising a multiplicity of isolated arcuate wall-like stops spaced apart both longitudinally and transversely of the lower side of the case bottom and engageable with a minor fraction of the side portions of the bottle necks, there being at least two parallel spaced-apart rows of said stops extending lengthwise of the bottom at each side of its longitudinal center with the concave sides of the stops of each said two rows facing one another and spaced apart a distance greater than the total diameters of two bottles in a case.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,155,268 11/1964 Fogerty 220-21 3,261,495 7/1966 Beesley 220-21 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Examiner.