US 3338444 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ug. 29, 1967 E. D. VELT SAFETY BOTTLE TOP Filed July ll,v 1966 United States Patent O 3,338,444 SAFETY BOTTLE TOP Evert D. Velt, 6182 Roy St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90042 Filed July 11, 1966, Ser. No. 564,224 Claims. (Cl. 21S-9) The present invention relates to bottle tops and more particularly to a safety bottle top which is safe in the sense that it requires the performance of certain manipulative steps in order to remove the top from the bottle.
There has long existed a problem in the bottle top field in lrespect of closures for 4bottles containing potentially harmful materials such as medicine or pills in that such bottles are often exposed to young children or to others who might inadvertently open the bottle and consume some of the material therefrom.
Efforts have heretofore been made to provide safety bottle tops requiring manual dexterity or strength exceeding that of young children in order to remove the top, but such prior devices have not been altogether satisfactory from the standpoint of practical utility or practical manufact-ure within the permissible cost range for such items. For example, in U.S. Patent No. 3,160,301 there is disclosed a safety bottle top wherein inner and outer cap members are mounted for relative rotation one on the other and alignable key slots are provided in these members, a key being provided integrally connected to the outer cap by a resilient strap so as to be theoretically readily available to effect an interlock between the cap members whereby they may be rotated in Iunison, enabling removal and application of the top. Such tops not only pose a packaging problem due to the provision of a key on the integral strap, but also such safety tops are subject to loss of the key upon breakage of the integral strap, and use thereof 'requires visual alignment of the key slots.
An earlier approach to a safety bottle top is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,921,705. A-s in the case of the iirst mentioned patent, this earlier patent discloses inner and outer caps rotatable relative to one another and having slots in the respective caps alignable in one relative angular relationship of the caps so that a suitable tool or implement may be disposed in the slots to constitute a key uniting the caps for unitized rotation. In addition, this earlier Patent No. 2,921,705 also discloses means whereby the composite top may be rotated as a unit in a right hand direction, i.e., in the direction for applying the top to a bottle, but the inner and outer caps are free to revolve relatively so that left hand rotation, i.e., in the direction to remove the top, can be effected only upon alignment of the slots and insertion of the implement or ltool. This prior device while having certain functionally desirable characteristics is comparatively complex structurally and, moreover, requires visual alignment of the slots in order to remove the top as well as visual insertion of the tool into the slots, the tool being an element sepa-rate from the top and, therefore, being susceptible of loss.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved safety bottle top which, as in the case of the prior devices referred to above, includes inner and outer relatively rotatable caps but wherein the structure is simple and therefore inexpensive and easy to manufacture and which, moreover, requires no visual alignment of elements and is not subject to loss of any implement or tool or key whereby -to effect interlocking of the inner and outer caps.
Another object is to provide a safety bottle top which is simple in its mode of operation, if such mode is known, but which nevertheless requires manual dexterity and strength exceeding `that of young children, as a result of ICC which a safety top is provided which will not only protect young children against the -danger of certain materials stored in bottles in medicine cabinets and the like, but which also serves as a warning to others who may mistake the bottle having the present top thereon 'for a bottle having different material therein such as a difterent or harmless medicine material.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter desc-ribed or will become apparent to those skilled in the art, and Ithe novel features of t-he invention will be defined in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawing:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a safety bottle top made in accordance with the invention with a portion of the outer member broken away, the outer cap being in position to effect right-hand rotation of the inner cap;
FIG. 2 is la diametrical sectional view as taken on the line 2 2 of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view showing the outer top member in position relative to the inner Itop member to enable runitized left-hand rotation; and
FIG, 4 is a diametrical sectional view as taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
Like reference characters in the several views of the drawing and in the following description designate corresponding parts.
In the illustrative embodiment of the safety top of the invention there is an inner cap member generally denoted 1 having a cylindrical side 'wall 2 closed at its top by an end wall 3. Within t-he cylindrical side wall 1 is a thread 4 adapted for engagement with the typical thread at the mouth of a bottle as shown in broken lines. An outer cap member generally denoted at 5 is Iprovided and includes a cylindrical side wall 6 and -an upper end wall 7. The outer cap member 5 is loosely disposed about the side wall 2 of the inner cap member for relative rotative movement as well as for limited axial movement in accor-dance with one of the features of the invention.
Such axial movement isdetermined by an inward projection 8 on the end wall 7 of the outer cap 5, which projection is located adjacent the outer periphery of the end wall 7, and a bead or other suitable limit stop 9 within the side wall 6 of the cap 5, which bead is adapted to engage the lower end of the inner cap 1.
It will be noted that the projection 8 provides means for maintaining the end walls spaced from one another to a minimum extent, but, as clearly indicated in FIG. 2,
the projection 8, together with the outer cap 5, is free to move away from the end wall 3 of the inner cap.
Means are provided for selectively locking the cap members 1 and 5 together for unitized rotation relative to the bottle and, in accordance with one of the features of the invention, such means comprises a lug carried by one of the caps and a recess carried by the other of the caps. In the illustrative embodiment a lug 10 is provided internally of the end wall 7 of the outer cap 5 and a recess 11 is formed in the end wall 3 `of the inner cap 1 having an abutment wall 12 adapted for coengagement with an abutment wall 13 on the lug 10 when the lug is disposed in the recess, so that left-hand rotation may be imparted to the unitized caps to effect their removal from the bottle.
Engagement of the lug 10 in the recess 11 is accomplished by the application of an endwise pressure to a portion 'of the end wall 7 of the outer cap 5 so as to cause the same to be resiliently deformed toward the end wall 3 of the inner cap 1.
In the illustrative embodiment the lug 10 is at a location spaced outwardly from the center of the cap and somewhat inwardly from the perimeter of the cap, and an arcuate slot 14 is formed in the top wall 7 of the cap 5, said slot having an extent of approximately a,ass,444
thereby facilitating the resilient bending of a substantially semicircular portion 7a of the end wall 7 of cap 5 along a line extending substantially diametrically thereacross, as shown in FIG. 4.
Also in the illustrative embodiment, means are provided for facilitating the just described resilient deformation of the portion 7a of the end wall 7 of the outer cap and such means is in the form of an upwardly projecting finger piece or lever which, as seen in FIG. l, extends generally diametrically of the cap 5 and has an arched surface 16 which recedes toward the plane of the end wall 7. This finger piece 15, it will be understood, may be engaged by the index finger so as to bend downwardly the portion 7a of the end wall 7, while the cylindrical side wall 6 of the cap 5 is engaged between the thumb and second finger so as to hold the cap, as the bottle is rotated, or so as to impart rotation to the cap relative to the bottle.
While the lug 10 and recess 11 may also serve to effect application of a composite cap to a bottle within the purview of the present invention, that is to say, while right hand rotation may be imparted to the inner cap 1, the specifically illustrated embodiment also includes means for automatically effecting right hand rotation of the inner cap in response to right hand rotation of the outer cap, such means being in the nature of a one-way clutch.
More specifically, the projection 8 which serves the function of maintaining a minimum distance between end walls 3 and 7 of the respective caps also serves as an abutment which, as seen in FIG. 1, is engageable with an upstanding stop wall 8a on the end wall 3 of the inner cap upon right hand rotation of the outer cap 5. This wall 8a is formed at the high end of a cam or ramp 17 which extends circumferentially of the end wall 3 of inner cap 1 and has a ramp surface 18 merging with the upper plane surface of the end wall 3 in spaced relation to the upstanding wall 8a.
It will now be observed that upon left hand rotation of the outer cap 5 the projection 8 will ride up the ramp surface 18, the outer cap moving axially relative to the inner cap 1 and the projection 8 therefore passes the upstanding wall 8a, and under these circumstances lefthand rotation may be imparted to the inner cap 1 only when the respective caps are in the angular relationship shown in FIG. 3 and the abutment surface 13 of the lug 10 is engaged with the abutment surface 12 in the recess 11.
It will also be recognized that the inner and outer cap members are respectively adapted to be molded of suitable plastic material which should be of such strength that the cylindrical wall 6 of the outer cap cannot be readily radially deformed into frictional coengagement with the side wall of the inner cap, thereby preventing frictional driving of the inner cap in a left-hand direction which would otherwise result in its removal from the bottle.
In use, assuming the inner cap to be tight on the bottle, it is necessary to deform the section 7a of the outer cap end wall 7 until the lug 10 abuts with the end wall ofthe inner cap. If the lug is then not aligned with the recess 11, rotation of the outer cap or the bottle so as to result in such alignment must be resorted to, and if pressure engagement between the lug and the end wall 3 be maintained, such alignment will be detected by automatic movement of the lug into the recess. Thereafter, left-hand rotation of the caps as a unit may be effected by such rotation of the outer cap.
Inasmuch as the coengagement of the lug 10 and recess 11 may be manually detected, the cap assembly need not be visually observed in order to enable its removal and, therefore, the cap is useful for those having impaired vision as well as being useful in the dark, but yet the combination of operating steps which must be resorted to in order to remove the top renders the same 4 safe in respect to both young children and others who might inadvertently attempt to open the bottle.
While specific structural details have been shown and described, it should be understood that changes and alterations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. In a safety bottle top, comprising: an inner meniber having a cylindrical side Wall provided with an internal thread for engagement with the thread of a bottle and an end wall; an outer member having a cylindrical side wall loosely disposed about said side wall of said inner member for relative rotative movement of said member and an end wall; and selectively interengageable means for locking said members together for unitized rotation relative to said bottle, the improvement wherein said means comprises a lug carried by one end wall and a lug receiving recess in the other end wall; and said end wall of said outer member having a section resiliently deformable toward said end wall of said inner member to effect engagement of said lug in said recess; and means for maintaining said end walls spaced from one another to normally prevent engagement of said lug in said recess.
2. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for maintaining said end walls spaced from one another includes a projection on one end wall slidably engaged with the other end wall.
3. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 1, wherein said end wall of said outer member has an arcuate slot defining said deformable section.
4. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 1, wherein said end wall of said outer member has an arcuate slot dening said deformable section, and said section having an outwardly extended ngerpiece.
p 5. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 1, wherein means are provided cooperative with said means for maintaining said end walls spaced from one another for causing unitized rotation of said members in a righthand direction and for allowing free left-hand rotation of said outer member relative to said inner member.
6. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for maintaining said end walls spaced from one another includes a projection on one end wall slidably engaged with the other end wall; said other end wall having in the path of said projection a stop wall thereon and a ramp receding from said stop wall; said projection and said stop wall being engageable to cause unitized right-hand rotation of said member; and said ramp camming said projection over said stop wall upon left-hand rotation of said outer member.
7. A safety bottle top, comprising: an inner cap having a cylindrical side wall provided with an internal thread engageable with the threaded end of a bottle and an end wall; said end wall having a circumferentially extended ramp including a ramp surface merging with said end wall and an axially extended stop wall facing in one direction; said end wall also having in spaced relation to said stop wall a second axially extended wall facing in the other direction; an outer cap having a cylindrical side wall loosely disposed about said inner cap and an end wall overlying the end wall of said inner cap; said end wall of said outer cap having a face confronting the end wall of said inner cap; said face of said outer cap having a projection slidably engaged with the confronting face of said inner cap; said projection being disposedY for abutting engagement with said stop wall to limit relative rotation of said caps in one direction; said projection engaging said ramp surface upon relative rotation of said caps in the other direction to cause axial movement of said end walls away from one another and allow movement of said projection past said stop wall; and said surface of said end wall of said outer cap also having a projection disposed for engagement with said second axially extended wall upon depression of a portion of said end wall of said outer cap toward said end wall of said inner cap; said portion of said end wall of said outer cap being resiliently deformable to allow said depression of said end wall of said outer cap.
8. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 7, wherein said end Wall of said outer cap is provided with a circumferentially extended slot therethrough of an extent of approximately 180 whereby said portion of said end wall of said outer cap may be deformed along a line extended between the ends of said slot.
9. A safety bottle top as defined in claim 8, wherein said portion of said end wall of said outer cap is provided With an outwardly projecting nger piece.
10. A safety bottle top as dened in claim 7, wherein said cylindrical side wall of said outer cap is provided internally thereof with stop means to prevent axial separation of said caps.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,061,214 11/1936 Sentman 21S-9 2,847,139 8/ 1958 Christiansson et al 215-9 2,964,206 12/ 1960 Everett 215-9 3,160,301 12/1964 Milbourne 215-9 3,260,393 7/1966 Roberts et al. 21S-9 FRANKLIN T. GARRETT, Primary Examiner.