US 3335915 A
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Aug. 15, 1967 H. o. SHANNON 3,335,915
CONDIMENT DISPENSER HAVING PLURAL CHAMBERS WITH AXIALLY ROTARY COMMON SELECTOR Filed Aug. 11, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l l A 4a 52 l V- 022 \k 22 4 F 54 \v f "7/ A? INVENTOR. HENRY D- SHANNON kwkww,
Aug. 15, 1967 H. o. SHANNON 3,335,915
CQNDIMENT' DISPENSER HAVING PLURAL CHAMBERS WITH AXIALLY ROTARY COMMON SELECTOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 11, 1965 INVENTOR. HENRY D. SHANNON ATTORNEY United States Patent M 3,335,915 CONDIMENT DISPENSER HAVING PLURAL CHAMBERS WITH AXIALLY ROTARY COM- MON SELECTOR Henry D. Shannon, Mounted Rte. 8, Box 513, Michigan City, Ind. 46360 Filed Aug. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 478,792 Claims. (Cl. 222142.9)
This invention relates to improvements in condiment dispensers.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a condiment dispenser of simple and inexpensive character, providing two chambers for different condiments formed in separate containers assembled in a single easily handled unit by means of a novel connector having adjustable closure means accommodating selective discharge of the contents of said containers, and also accommodating closing of both containers.
A further object is to provide a device of this character having novel open ended containers releasably secured together by a connector mounted at the open end thereof, which connector includes a closure selectively positionable to control discharge of container contents from a selected one of said containers.
Another object is to provide a novel unit consisting of a holder and a plurality of condiment containers conv'eniently, compactly and securely mounted in the holder.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specifications.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view of the condiment dispenser taken on line 11 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the condiment dispenser;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a holder mounting a plurality of condiment dispensers;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the condiment dispenser;
FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 3;.
FIG. 7 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 designates a holder of condiment dispensers, and the numeral 12 designates one of my improved condiment dispensers. The holder 10 preferably constitutes an elongated block of substantially nonresilient cellular material, such as styrofoam, which has formed therein a plurality of parallel substantially horizontal openings, each of which is adapted to receive and securely mount one of the dispensers, with a portion thereof projecting to be readily grasped, as illustrated in FIG. 6, whereby the condiment dispensers may be readily inserted into and removed from the holder. The openings in the holder will preferably conform to the configuration of a portion of the condiment dispenser to snugly grip and hold the same.
In the preferred embodiment, the condiment dispensers 12 constitute two similar or complementary containers 14, each having a substantially flat wall 16, a curved or arcuate wall 18, and a bottom 20. The containers preferably taper slightly from end to end with the open end thereof having the greatest cross-sectional dimension. A shallow groove 22 is preferably formed in each arcuate wall 18 adjacent the upper margin of the container and extending parallel to the open edge of the container. The two containers 14 are adapted to abut at their fiat walls 16 and cooperate to define a unit or assembly of substantially circular cross-section and of slightly frusto conical shape.
A connector unit is mounted upon the complementary 3,335,915, Patented Aug. 15, 1967 abutting containers 14 at the upper open ends thereof. The connector unit includes an annular skirt portion 24 having a snug fit encircling the upper portions of the arcuate walls 18 of the assembled containers 14 and having an annular internal rib or flange 26 seating in the shallow groove 22 to effect an interlock with the containers at said groove. A frusto conical, crowned or upwardly tapering wall 28 projects upwardly from the skirt portion 24 and preferably defines an annular shoulder 30 at said junction, which slightly overhangs or projects outwardly from the skirt portion 24. The frusto conical wall 28 cooperates with a substantially V-shaped top wall 32 which spans the upper end of the wall 28 and projects downwardly inwardly therefrom. The frusto conical wall 28 has a pair of discharge openings 34 positioned diametrically therein and confronting the opposite sides of the V-shaped top wall, so that the latter may direct contents from the associated container 14 when the assembly is in position to pour the contents therefrom. The lower central portion of the V-shaped top wall carries a pair of depending flanges 36 spaced apart and projecting below the level of portion 24 .to snugly and releasably receive and clamp therebetween the upper marginal portions of the two flat walls 16 of the containers 14. The V-shaped top wall 32 preferably extends to a point spaced slightly below the top surface of the frusto conical wall 28 to provide an upper circumferential rib 38. An inwardly projecting lip 40 projects from the rib 38 at one point, as best seen in FIG. 5. The connector unit has a snug fit with the container units 14 and preferably has a snap fit interlock therewith at the interfitting rib 26 and groove 22 when the skirt 24 fits around the open ends of containers 14 and the depending flanges 36 straddle the container walls 16. The containers 14 and the connector unit therefor are preferably molded from plastic material, although they may be formed of metal, glass or ceramic material, if desired.
A cover unit fits over the connector unit and comprises a frusto conical wall 42 spanned by a top wall 44. The cover unit has a snug sliding or rotatable fit on the frusto conical wall 28 of the connector unit, bearing upon the top of the circumferential rib 38 thereof. An inner circumferential rib 46 is formed at the lower free end of the conical wall 42 and has a snap locking fit with the annular shoulder 30 of the connector to retain the cover unit in assembled position upon the connector unit. In the assembled position of the parts, the inner surface of the wall 42 preferably has face engagement with the outer surface of the wall 28 of the connector unit so as to form a closure for the discharge openings 34 of the connector unit when spanning said openings, while at the same time permitting relative rotation of the cover upon the connector unit.
The frusto conical wall 42 of the cover unit has a pair of openings 48 formed therein and preferably displaced slightly more than degrees as best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. The openings 48 are preferably the same size and shape as the openings 34 and accommodate any selected extent of register with the openings 34 for the purpose of modulating or regulating the discharge of condiments from the respective containers 14. In this connection it will be apparent that the openings 34 need not be single openings but may constitute a group of small openings. The openings 48 are preferably large enough to communicate with all of the openings of a group 34 in such an arrangement. Any suitable means may be provided to limit the rotation of the cover unit upon the connector unit. Thus a pair of depending ribs 52 may be carried by the top wall 44 in diametrically opposed relation at a position to engage the stop lip 40 as the cover is manually rotated by grasping the finger projections 50.
The arrangement of the discharge openings 48 of the cover unit slightly more than 90 degrees displaced permits one of the openings 48 to be fully open while the other is fully closed. Also it permits partial or progressive closing of the open outlet 48 relative to the co operating outlet 34 without opening or bringing into communication the other outlet 48 and its associated discharge outlet 34. In other words, the arrangement is such that discharge of condiment may occur from only one of the containers at any one time, and the other container will be fully closed at that time.
It will be observed that the connector unit constitutes the only means for connecting two separate containers and forms a carrier for the cover unit. The embracing of the open ends of the containers by the skirt 24 and the gripping or retention of the upper portions of the inner walls 16 of the container by the flanges 36 provides efiective but releasable interconnection of the connector unit with the containers 14 to form a single unit. This unit can readily be handled as a unit without risk of disconnection or dislocation of the parts thereof during such handling or during storage. Thus simple snap lock interconnection of the parts eifects a unit with firmly positioned parts without requiring the use of securing means or the use of tools to effect either the connection of the parts or their disconnection and release.
It will be understood that the shape and configuration of the parts here illustrated is illustrative and is not intended to be limiting, and that two or more containers may be interconnected to define the desired unit. Other modifications falling within the scope of the appended claims are also contemplated to constitute embodiments of this invention.
1. A condiment dispenser comprising a plurality of containers, each open at one end and having an inner wall abutting an inner wall of another container,
a connector member having a part encircling and releasably interlocked with the open ends of abutting containers of a group and spaced flanges projecting below the level of said interlocking part and receiving and holding in engagement therebetween the inner abutting Walls of said containers,
said connector member having a crowned part with a plurality of discharge passages, each of which communicates only with one of the containers connected thereby, and
a cover unit having an aperture and shiftably carried by said connector member to span and close the discharge passages of said connector in one operative position and shiftable to effect selected extents of registry of an aperture thereof and a selected discharge passage of said connector member, said connector member constituting the sole means interconnecting said containers.
2. A condiment dispenser as defined in claim 1, and
means defining an integral releasable snap locking interfitting rib and groove connection between each container and said connecting member.
3. A condiment dispenser as defined in claim 1, wherein said connector member has a frusto conical portion interrupted by said discharge passages, and
said cover unit has a telescoping frusto conical portion rotatable on said frusto conical portion of said connector member and interrupted by said aperture.
4. A condiment dispenser as defined in claim 1, wherein said container encircling part of said connector member constitutes a skirt having a snap locking connection with said containers, and said inner wall engaging part of said connector member straddles said inner walls and includes spaced depending wallengaging flanges.
5. A condiment dispenser as defined in claim 1, wherein said containers are of semi-circular cross-sectional shape with flat abutting inner walls,
said connector member includes an annular containerencircling skirt substantially spanned by said inner wall engaging flanges and has a substantially V-shaped top wall defining said passages.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 553,846 2/1896 Forbes 222173 X 847,726 3/1907 Brannon 222142.9 1,568,160 11/1926 Hibbert 222-1429 2,155,606 4/1939 Lewis 222-1429 2,628,743 2/1953 Newlyn 222173 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.