US 3338468 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D, WILSON Allg. 29,
RECEPTACLE Filed May 24' 1965 United States Patent O 3,338,468 RECEPTACLE James D. Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., assignor to Banner Metals, Inc., Compton, Calif., a corporation of Ohio Filed May 24, 1965, Ser. No. 458,019 3 Claims. (Cl. 220-97) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A plastic type receptacle is described lherein which is mainly conceived for transporting food, such as poultry or fish, in an ice packed condition. The receptacle is provided with an upper peripheral rim, and the cover ts down over the rim. The cover is equipped with integral lugs which serve to support and center a like receptacle on the cover, so that many like receptacles maybe stacked on one another. Drainage holes are provided at the bottom of the receptacle, and the shape of the receptacle is such that the liquid draining through the drainage holes passes over the lower receptacles in the stack without any tendency for the liquid to enter into the lower receptacles.
The present invention relates to containers of the tote box type; and it is particularly concerned with an improved type of container which is especially, though not exclusively, adapted for use with ice-packed dressed poultry, and the like.
It is the present day practice in the poultry industry to ship dressed birds in small woo-den crates with waxed paper lining. For example, a present-day standard crate of this type contains -about fty pounds of poultry, with the top leveled off with shaved ice. A cover is then placed over the top of the crate, and the resulting assembly is wired shut. The crates are then stacked on pallets an shipped, for example, to the retail outlets.
Since the prior art wood crates, such as described in the preceding paragraph, absorb odors and bacteria they cannot be re-used. Therefore, not only does this type of crate represent a costly and ineflicient distribution means, but it also poses a -disposal problem once it has been used.
In an attempt to provide a more practical type of container for the purposes discussed above, wire baskets have been proposed with waterproof cardboard linings. These wire baskets 'of the prior art are rre-usable 'and represent, therefore, a more practical means for distributing the poultry, than the aforesaid Wooden crates.
However, the wire baskets of the prior art present their own problems in that they are relatively heavy, and there is the recurring cost of replacing the cardboard liner with each subsequent use. The wire baskets also do not stand up too well under severe handling.
The container of the present invention is fabricated, for example, of plastic or -sheet metal, so that it may be easily cleaned. Since there is no problem of bacteria or odor absorption in sheet metal or plastic containers, no liner is required and the container can be cleaned after each use.
However, a problem arises in the use of any type of container in the shipment of ice-packed foodstuffs, especially when the containers Iare stacked on top of one another, as is usually the case during shipment or storage. The problem is that of melting ice running out of the containers and entering the l-ower containers. This ow of melted ice can create a likelihood of contamination of the entire load.
The improved container of the present invention is composed, for example, of yplastic material, as explained above. The container requires no liner, and it can -be easily cleaned after each use. In addition, the container of the invention is constructed so that melted ice can easily drain 3,338,468 Patented Aug. 29, 1967 ICC out 'of it, but the melted ice has no tendency to ow into stacked.
In addition, the containers of the |invention are constructed so that they can be nested into like containers, for the convenient return thereof to the distribution center when empty.
The container of the present invention, in the embodiment to be shown Iand described, is in the form of a rectangular bo-x, composed, for example, of plastic material and having a convex 'bottom in its interior which creates a trough around the lower internal periphery of the box. Drain holes are provided at selected locations in the trough -so as to permit the melted ice to flow out through the bottom.
The container of the invention also includes a cover which also embodies the invention and which is constructed, for example, to snap over Ia lip extending around the periphery of the top of the aforesaid box.- A plurality of upstanding lugs are formed on the top surface of the cover.
The aforesaid lugs serve to center an upper like container on the aforesaid cover,-.and also to space the bottom of the upper container from the top of the cover so as to permit 'free drainage of the melted ice.
The upper surface of the aforesaid cover has a convex shape so that the melted ice can ow over the cover and down the sides of lehe lower container. Since the cover forms Ia complet-e seal around the top edge of the lower container, the melted ice cannot enter the container.
As mentioned above, the containers may be constructed to permit nesting with one another when empty. Likewise, the covers also may be constructed to permit mutual nesting. This nesting feature of the containers and cover-s facilitates the convenience with which the empty oontainers can be returned to the distribution center in a minimum of space.
The features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following specification,l when the specifi-cation is considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing one embodiment of the improved container of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side sectional view of the container of FIGURE 1, taken substantially on the line 2 2 of FIG- URE 1, and also showing a fragment of a similar upper ,container stacked on the cover of the container, and
showing the container stacked on the cover of a similar lower container;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, showing the manner in which the cover of the container supports an upper like container, in a centered manner;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view, partly in section, and showing the manner in which melted ice from an upper container flows down over a lower container, without any tendency for the melted ice to enter the lower container, and also showing how the cover snaps onto the container;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view, showing the manner in which like containers, such as shown in FIGURE 1, may be nested into one another when empty; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional representation, showing the manner in which like covers, such as the covers shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, may be nested down on one another, when not in use, so as to conserve space.
The container shown in the drawing is designated generally as 10. The container 10 may be composed, for example, of an appropriate plastic or sheet metal material. The container includes a bottom 12 which is shaped to have a concave lower surface and a convex upper surface.
The container 10 also includes side walls, such as the 3 side walls 14, and end walls, such as the end Walls 16. The side walls and end walls are outwardly flared, and they are formed integral with one another and with the bottom.
The side walls and end walls define a peripheral trough with the upper surface of the bottom, the trough being designated as 18. A plurality of holes 20 are formed in the trough 18 at selected locations around the trough, and these holes extend through the bottom of the container.
The side and end walls of the container define an open top, and a peripheral lip portion is also defined which extends around the periphery of the top. This lip portion is designated 22.
The container also includes a cover 24 which, likewise, is formed of a plastic or a sheet metal material. The cover is adapted to snap over the lip portion 22, as shown, for example, in FIGURE 2.
The cover 24 has a convex upper surface, and a plurality of upstanding lugs 30 are formed on the upper surface of the cover. These lugs are shaped to support and center a like container on the cover 24, as best shown, for example, in FIGURE 2. The container supported on the cover 24 is held in position such that any melted ice from it drains out through its holes 20 and down over the cover and sides of the lower container, as best shown in FIGURE 4.
It will be appreciated, therefore, that the container may be filled with dressed poultry and shaved ice, and may then be closed by snapping the 4cover 24 over the lip 22. A plurality of like containers may then be stacked on top of one another, with the lugs 30, in each instance, supporting an upper container on the cover 24 of a lower container. When the containers are so stacked, any melted ice flowing through the holes 20 in the peripheral trough of an upper container flows down over the lip 22 of the lower container and there is no tendency for the melted ice to enter the lower container.
When the containers are empty, the flared configuration of the side and end walls is such that they may be nested down into one another, as shown in FIGURE 5, so as to conserve space. Likewise, the covers 24 may be nested into one another when not in use, as shown in FIGURE 6, likewise to conserve space.
The invention provides, therefore, an improved tote box like container which is especially adapted for the storage and transport of dressed poultry, and the like.
The improved container of the present invention may be re-used, it being merely necessary to wash it out after each use. Also, the container is advantageous in that it may be conveniently stacked with like containers, and in that adequate drainage is provided for the melted ice.
Moreover, the containers and their covers are so c011- figured that each may be nested with like containers and like covers, during the return to the distribution center, so as to conserve space.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, modifications may be made, and it is intended in the claims to cover all modifications which fall within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A container including: a bottom having a concave lower surface defining a peripheral rim and further having a convex upper surface, a pair of outwardly flared side walls extending upwardly from said bottom, a pair of outwardly flared end walls extending upwardly from said bottom, said side walls and end walls defining a peripheral trough with said upper surface of said bottom and defining an open top having a peripheral lip portion, and said trough having drain holes at the corners thereof defined by said end walls and side walls; and a cover adapted to snap over said lip portion and enclose said 4open top, said cover having a convex upper surface, and a plurality of upstanding lugs thereon adapted to engage the peripheral rim defined by the concave lower surface of the bottom of a like container along intermediate portions of the rim and displaced from the corners thereof so as to center the like container on said cover and space the bottom of the like container up from the top of said cover so as to permit free drainage from the like container over said cover and down the outer surfaces of said end and side walls.
2. The container defined in claim 1 in which said bottom and said end and side walls are formed integral with one another.
3. The container defined in claim 1 in which said bottom and said end and side walls and said cover are formed of plastic material, and in which said bottom and said end and side walls are integral with one another.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Examiner.