US 3344974 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 3, 1967 J. D. BOSTROM 3,344,974 v COMPOSITE CONTAINER PACKAGE 7 Filed Aug. 18, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. John Dona/d Bosfrom wit His Aft'ys Oct. 3, 1967 J. D. BOSTROM 3,344,974
, COMPOSITE CONTAINER PACKAGE Filed Aug. 18, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 4
Illlllllllllllllllll llllllllIIIIVH'IIll!lllll'IIIII H IHIHIIHY INVENTOR. a John Dona/d Bosfrom His A My;
O t- 3, 1967 J. D. BOSTROM 3,344,974
.COMPOS ITE CONTAINER PACKAGE Filed Aug. 18, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 v H3 1:! 40d 12c lOd s2 INVENTORY 60 John Dona/d Bosfrom 32d BY W His Ally;
-dux United States Patent 3,344,974 COMPOSITE CONTAINER PACKAGE John Donald Bostrom, Niles, Ill., assignor to Illinois Tool Works Inc., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 18, 1965, Ser. N 0. 480,655 3 Claims. (Cl. 229-43) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container package having a replaceable closure member and a manually removable element initially joined to and hermetically sealing the contents of the container package.
Prior art developments in the field of re-closeable container packages have taken many forms ranging from simple lid-container combinations with reclosure features to packages which expose replaceable closures when opened by a key, tear strip or the like. In most packages of this type, hermetic sealing is desirable, particularly where package shelf life is to be considered, that is where it is necessary to determine the extent to which products can be kept without spoilage. Where recloseable container packages have been designed for hermetic or air tight sealing, complications are encountered not only in the manufacturing technique-s employed, but also in the package itself such as the manner of opening the same, and the unit cost per package is increased.
Little consideration, if any, has been given to hermetically sealed, recloseable containers in the plastic packaging field. It is, of course, well known to design thermoplastic lids or containers with resilient interlocking features for opening and reclosure purposes, but where this has been done, replaceable closure and hermetic sealing aspects have not been entirely satisfactory. Typical of this is the difiiculty that has been experienced in removing or replacing lids on containers that have a satisfactory hermetically sealed relationship. Similarly, lids which can be easily removed from containers with which they are associated do not provide the necessary interlock for an air tight seal. Fusing or bonding of thermoplastic lids and containers, which will be recognized as another hermetic seal approach, does not provide for quick removal or reclosure even where tear strip features are incorporated. There has thus been a long felt need for a container package in the plastic packaging field which will provide a hermetic seal as well as an easily removable, replaceable closure member.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a container package which achieves a sustained period of product freshness or long shelf life prior to opening thereof, and facilitates initial opening as well as reopening and reclosure of the package.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container package with a loose fitting easily removable, closure member with a manually removable sealing element which hermetically seals the package contents.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a container package of the aforementioned type wherein the manually removable element is a light Weight, corrosion-resistant cover element which is capable of receiving printing information thereon.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a container package of the aforenoted type including a stackable container and lid, the latter being of the coin-fed variety for storing and handling the same, and for accommodation to high speed filling and capping equipment.
Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of a container package of the aforementioned type wherein the lid and container can be economically and mass produced from thin thermoplastic material by conventional sheet forming techniques.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view illustrating one form of container package constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view, partially in section, of the assembled container package, the various components thereof being shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the container package in assembled form with the sealing element thereof partially removed to expose the replaceable closure member;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of a plurality of stacked container bodies is nested, telesooped relation, each container body adapted to be used in constructing a package such as shown in FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a stack of replaceable closure members, each of which is used in constructing a package such as shown in FIGS. 1-3, and showing the manner in which the lids can be separated from each other;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view showing a plurality of sectioned closure members in stacked relation, and illustrating another manner in which the closure members can be separated from one another;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a modified form of closure member and sealing cover which may be used with the container package of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of a pair of modified closure members;
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view showing another form of container package with a modified container body, closure member and sealing cover;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view of the container package shown in FIG. 9 with the various part-s thereof in assembled relation; and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view of yet still another form of container package with the various com ponents thereof assembled to one another.
The container package of the present invention is primarily designed for used with refrigerated food product-s such as butter, margarine, ice cream and'the like, but it will be appreciated that the invention is not restricted to any particular food products as other uses thereof will become apparent. Since container packages for refrigerated food products and the like are preferably. of the disposable or throwaway variety, the unit cost of the package must be kept to a minimum. Yet it is also important that product freshness be kept in mind as the package will be of no value if it does not have the necessary shelf life. In achieving the above enumerated goals, it has been found desirable to mold containers and lids from thermoplastic thin sheet stock material in a manner to provide finished products having a thickness in the range of .002 to .034 inch in thickness. The preferred form of material is impact polystyrene, although polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and other similar thermoplastic materials may be employed if desired. Coupled with the manufacturer of containers and lids from thermoplastic material, the present invention contemplates the utilization of a cover element which substantially increases package shelf life without substantially increasing the unit cost per package.
Referring now to the form of invention shown in FIGS. 1-6 of the drawings and first to FIGS. 1-3, there will be seen a package 10 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The container package 10 includes an open-mouthed container body 12, a replaceable closure member 14 receivable within the open mouth of the container body, and a sealing cover 16. As stated above, the container body 12 and the closure member 14 are preferably made of thermoplastic material, such as impact polystyrene, while the sealing cover is made from the material which will readily bond or fuse to the container body, such as treated paper, paper-backed foil, foil, thermoplastic film and the like. The usefulness of this particular relationship will become more apparent from the discussion that is to follow.
The open-mouthed thermoplastic container body 12 has a frusto-pyramidal shaped body which includes a bottom wall 18, peripherally continuous side walls 20 which extend upwardly and outwardly therefrom, and a rim area 22 adjacent the open mouth of the container body. Although the container body 12 may be of any desired shape and size, the substantially frusto-pyramidal shape has been chosen to provide a container body with a substantially stress-free condition which is important from a stress-crack resistant standpoint, while maximizing the strength or rigidity imparted to the container body due to their being made from thermoplastic material. Along this line, it will be noted that the corners 24 of the container body 12 are rounded in shape to minimize stress at these points, yet they still provide sufiicient strength to resist a large amount of force within and outside of the package. Increased strength is also imparted to the side walls 20 of the package by the plurality of adjacently positioned, inwardly extending recesses or flutes 26 formed in the side walls adjacent the bottom wall portion 18 of the container body 12. The recesses 26 provide an inter-connected series of inwardly and outwardly extending formations which are designed to resist side wall deformation, and thus impart rigidity thereto. It will be noted in FIGS. 1 and 3 that the preferred form of container body 12 includes five adjacently positioned recesses on the longer side walls, there only being three recesses on the shorter walls. The number, size, and configuration of the recesses 26 may vary depending upon the configuration of the container body, and its wall thickness.
As previously indicated, the peripherally continuous side walls 20 terminate at their upper ends in a rim area 22 adjacent the open mouth of the container body. This rim area includes at least one circumferentially extending laterally offset shoulder or lip portion upon which the replaceable closure member 14 rests. In the form of invention shown in FIGS. 1-6, this shoulder portion is the upper internal shoulder of a stacking ring means provided in the rim area of the container body as will now be described.
The rim area 22, as best seen in FIG. 2 of the drawings, is provided with a container stacking ring 28 including an upper internal shoulder 30 and a lower external shoulder 32, each of which are preferably peripherally continuous. The intermediate section 34 of the stacking ring between the upper and lower shoulders 30, 32 respectively is reversely tapered with respect to the axis of the container body to provide a resilient stacking means which is most advantageous in thermoplastic container bodies as described in detail in US Patent No. 3,139,213. The stacking ring 28 as shown herein operates in the same manner as those described in US. Patent No. 3,139,- 213 in that when a plurality of container bodies are stacked in telescoped relation in the manner shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the container bodies will be stacked in non-jamming, nested relationship with a slight space between the walls thereof. Additionally, the back tapered or reverse tapered intermediate section 34 imparts resiliency to a stack of cups to facilitate separation; and prevent the formation of a rigid column of container bodies which is undesirable during handling and dispensing thereof. As best seen in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the lower external shoulder 32 of all but the lowermost container body will be engaged by the upper internal shoulder 30 of a subjacent container body to provide support for a plurality of container bodies in stacked, telescoped relationship to each other without jamming therebetween.
The internal shoulder 30 of the stacking ring 28 supports the outer peripheral portions of the replaceable closure member 14 which in the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment is a laterally outwardly projecting rim portion 36. The replaceable closure member 14 also includes a covering wall 38 for the open upper end or open mouth of the container body 12, the covering wall diverging outwardly as it proceeds upwards in a skirt portion 40 which terminates at its upper end in the laterally outwardly projecting rim portion 36. Spaced radially inwardly of the skirt portion 40 is a knob means 42 which is centrally positioned relative to the outer peripheral portions of the closure member. This knob means 42 includes a hollow stem portion 44 integral and extending upwardly from the covering wall 38 of the closure member, and terminating in a head portion 46 which has a diameter exceeding that of the stem portion by an amount suffiicent to permit the grasping thereof by a user in removing and replacing the closure member 14. The head portion in the area of juncture between the head and stem portion defines an undercut surface 48 which is substantially larger than that which could be obtained by mere thermoshrinkage. This type of undercut surface is disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 3,105,607, and the manner of forming the same is disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 3,284,553. If desired, finger gripping portions may be formed in the head portion 46 as will be apparent.
The head portion 46 is generally aligned with the rim portion 36 of the replaceable closure to prevent nesting between stacked and aligned similarly configured closures as will now be explained. In particular, it will be noted that the distance between the lower extremity of stem portion 44 and the corresponding lower extremity of the skirt portion 40 is greater than the dimension between the head portion 46 and the upper extremity of the skirt portion 40 in the vicinity of the rim portion 36. This particular relationship will afford coin-feeding between stacked, similarly configured closures as best seen in FIGS. 5-6 of the drawings. FIGS. 5-6 are intended to depict the manner in which lids may be separated from a vertical stack of lids or closures such as will normally be found in high speed filling and capping equipment. With such equipment, it is customary, due to space requirements, to arrange the lids or closure members in a vertical stack from which they are subsequently removed for capping on the open mouthed containers. The individual lids are separated from the stack, usually from the bottom thereof, in timed or synchronous relationship with the container filling operations for movement to a container-lid assembly station where the capping operation takes place. The arrows shown in FIGS. 5-6 of the drawings are intended to represent in a diagrammatic sense the means by which movement is imparted to the bottommost lid in the stack. Such means commonly takes the form of a reciprocating, mechanically operated means, but fluid pressure, either for driving the apparatus or for engaging closures during removal may be used if desired.
When removing the bottommost lid from a stack of lids as indicated diagrammatically by the arrows in FIGS. 5-6 of the drawings, there will be not tilting or misalignment of the lid being removed with respect to the other lids of the stack due to the aforesaid dimensional relationship. Thus, as the bottommost lid is moved to the right as viewed in FIG. 6 of the drawings, the covering wall 38 of the penultimate lid will engage in a sliding fashion the top wall 50 of the bottommost lid which spans the hollow stem portion 44 at the upper end thereof, and which terminates at its outer extremity in the head portion 46. This established relationship will continue until the bottommost lid is stripped away from the remainder of the stack so as to permit sliding removal or coin-feeding of the closure members. The same result will be obtained if sliding removal is effected in a direction generally parallel to the short side walls of the container body as is depicted in FIG. 5 of the drawings.
When the container body 12 is filled with the desired product, the replaceable closure member 14 is then positioned within the open mouth thereof so that the rim portion 36 comes to rest upon the upper internal shoulder of the stacking ring 28. The preferred dimensional relationship between the replaceable closure 14 and the container body 12 is such that a loose fitting connection therebe-tween will be provided so as to facilitate subsequent opening and reclosure of the package. In the preferred form of the invention shown in FIGS. 16, the rim portion 36 is positioned within the container body 12 so as to lie in flush relationship with a peripherally extending portion thereof as shall now be explained.
The rim area 22 of the container body 12 also includes a circumferentially extending shelf or flange portion 52 which is both laterally outwardly directed and axially upwardly spaced relative to the upper internal shoulder 30 to accept the rim portion 36 in flush relationship therewith. It is to this portion that the cover element 16 is heat sealed to hermetically seal the contents of the container package in the FIGS. 16 embodiment. Paperbacked foil or thin thermoplastic material is suitable for heat sealing the cover element '16 to the shelf portion 52,
while also permitting a suitable legend or indicia to be pre-printed thereon prior to being united to the shelf portion 52 of the container body 12. The cover element 16 is adapted to contact the shelf portion 52 in a manner to overlie the replaceable closure member 14 as well as the area of the contact of the container body 12 therewith to hermetically seal the contents of the container package.
It has been found that this type of foil or film cover element will substantially increase the shelf life of the container package while permitting a much more permeable thermoplastic to be used for the container body and closure which would also be cheaper. The most notable examples in the plastic packaging field are polyethylene which has a crystalline structure as compared with the amorphous structure of polystyrene. Although the polystyrene would be much more permeable than the polyethylene, it is substantially cheaper because it is easier to handle in sheet form, and it cools much faster during the forming operation for enhancing the speed of the forming cycle. These factors make polystyrene more desirable from an economics standpoint, and with the use of the foil or film cover element to increase the shelf life of the package, a most desirable product is obtained.
It will be noted that the corners of the container body 12in the vicinity of the rim area 22 as well as the replaceable closure member 14 are substantially curvilinear in form such that the corner portions 54 of the rectangular shaped cover element 16 will overlie the curved corner portions of the container body 12 and the closure member 14 to provide tab means for effecting manual removal of cover element 1'6. Other tear tab features and the like which will enable grasping of at least a portion of the cover element 16 may be used as will be apparent.
In assembling the various components of the container package 10, the container body 12, after being filled, is ready to accept the closure member 14 within the open mouth thereof. When this has been accomplished, the cover element 16 is then heat sealed or otherwise secured to the circumferentially extending shelf portion 52 of the container body by suitable means. The cover element 16 is preferably pre-printed with suitable indicia, and may be pre-out to the shape shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, or first united to the container body in strip form, after which severance is effected to obtain the container package shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings.
A modified form of cover element and replaceable closure member is shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings as Cir indicated by the application of identical reference numerals with the suffix a employed to designate like parts. In this particular embodiment, the replaceable closure member 14a includes a pair of knob means 4212, each of which includes a stem portion and a laterally outwardly extending head portion similar to the FIGS. 16 embodiment. These knob means are symmetrically arranged on the replaceable closure member 14a in such a manner that coin-feeding of similarly configured closures will be permitted. In conjunction with this, the cover sheet 16a, which is shown in phantom or dotted lines in FIG. 7 of the drawings, may be perforated transversely along the mid-portion thereof in such a manner that the line of perforations 54 lies substantially equidistant the pair of knob means 42a. This line of perforations will enable removal of only part of the sealing cover 16, and enable the portion thereof which remains adhered to the container body to hold the replaceable closure member 14a in assembled relation to its associated container body. In order to remove the replaceable closure member 14a in this embodiment, it is merely necessary to grasp that knob means 42a which is exposed, and slide the closure member over the container body and beneath that portion of the cover element 16a which remains adhered to the shelf portion of the container body. Various types of knob configurations with a line of perforations bisecting the same is, of course, possible as will be apparent.
In FIG. 8 of the drawings, there will be seen a modified form of closure member which is substantially identical to the closure member shown in the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment, and this is identified by corresponding reference numerals with the sufiix b employed. It is to be noted that closure member 10!) illustrated in this embodiment includes an inwardly extending folded-over portion 56 in the area of juncture between outwardly projecting rim portion 36b and upwardly and outwardly extending skirt portion 4%. This folded-over or reversely bent portion 56 defines an internal undercut surface which is preferably formed in the same manner as the head portion 46b of knob member 42b. Portion 56 is aligned with the head portion 46b, and projects inwardly an amount sufficient to completely overlie all areas of the upwardly and outwardly extending portion 40b to prevent any possibility of nesting between stacked closures. This particular modification reduces the size of the opening in the upper area of the closure member to a greater extent than is available with the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment as will be apparent. Coin-feeding of lids constructed in accordance with the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment is, of course, permitted, but the opening in the upper area of the closure member, due to the upwardly and outwardly extending skirt portion 40, may still be large enough to cause partial telescoping in certain instances. To forestall this possibility, the inwardly extending portion 56 is provided to virtually eliminate any partial nesting or telescoping between adjacent stacked closures.
Another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9-10 of the drawings, and is generally similar to the previous embodiment as indicated by the application of identical reference numerals with the suffix c employed to designate like parts. As best seen in FIG. 9 of the drawings, the container or composite package has the same components 120, 14c and 160 as the FIGS. l-6 embodiment, except for the modified forms illustrated. The container body 120, although still retaining a substantially frusto-pyramidal shaped body, has the depth, width and length thereof increased to accommodate a greater supply of the desired food product to be placed therein. In addition to this, the rim area 22c of the container body has been substantially modified over the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment. This is best seen in FIG. 10 of the drawings wherein the rim area includes a stacking means 28c including upper internal and lower external supporting shoulders 30c, 320 respectively. The upper internal shoulder 30:: provides a thickened rim structure,
preferably twice as thick as the side wall thickness of the container body, and an internal undercut surface so as to provide an enlarged rim or bead structure on the container body of the type disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 3,190,530. In this invention, however, the enlarged bead structure also forms the upper internal shoulder of the stacking ring for supporting the lower external shoulder of an adjacent, upwardly positioned container to aiford non-jamming stacking of a plurality of container bodies generally similar to the FIGS. 16 embodiment. The stacking in the FIGS. 9-10 embodiment differs primarily in that there is no back or reverse tapered ring intermediate the upper and lower shoulders 3th., 320; however, the arrangement of the upper and lower shoulders is such that non-jamming stacking of a plurality of container bodies is permitted. This will be due largely to the extent to which the shoulders project inwardly and outwardly relative to each other and the intermediate section 34c so as to enable the external shoulder 320 of one container to rest and be supported by the internal shoulder 300 of a subjacent container in the desired manner.
Except for the size of the replaceable closure member and its integral knob 420, the component is essentially the same as that shown in FIGS. 1-6 of the drawings. In-
stead of having a rectangular shape substantially conforming to the outer peripheral portions of the replaceable closure member 140, the knob 42c thereof is substantially cylindrical in form, and is formed over a substantially smaller area than the knob 42 of the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment. The knob 420 still is provided with a stem and head portion 440, 46c respectively which has the same dimensional relationship as the corresponding parts of the FIGS. 16 embodiment so as to permit coin-feeding from a vertical stack of lids in a similar manner.
The cover sheet or element 16c in the FIGS. 9-10 embodiment is provided with a peripherally extending depending flange portion 58 which extends away from the plane of the cover sheet or element in a direction substantially normal thereto. The depending flange portion 58 is designed to overlie the replaceable closure member 140 and the area of contact with the container body, and thus is required, in this embodiment, to surround and be united to the external surface of the intermediate section 340. As best seen in FIG. 10 of the drawings, the rim portion 360 of the repdaceable closure member 140 overlies the upper shoulder 30c and rests thereupon in the same manner as the previous embodiments, but in this case, the closure member 140 completely overlies the upper end or extremity of the container body. Thus, it is necessary to provide a depending flange portion 58 from the cover sheet or element 16c to overlie the area of contact of the closure and container body which is located on the side, rather than the top, of the container package. The cover sheet or element 16c, including tear tab means (not shown), may be formed as shown in FIG. 9 of the drawings prior to application to the container body, or may be so formed by suitable machinery during the heat sealing or uniting thereof to the container body.
A final illustrated embodiment is shown in FIG. 11 of the drawings and is similar to and comes within the scope of the present invention as indicated by the application of like reference numerals with the sufiix d employed to designate corresponding parts. The only substantial difference between the package 10d shown in the FIG. 11 embodiment and the package 10 shown in the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment is that there is no laterally outwardly projecting rim portion as the corresponding portion 36 in the FIGS. 1-6 embodiment, while there is provided a reversely curving lip portion 60 at the upper and radially outermost portion of the container body 12d. The cover sheet or element 160? is adapted to be united or secured to this reversely curving portion as readily depicted on the left hand side in FIG. 11 of the drawings. Additionally, it will be noted that the outer peripheral portions of the replaceable closure member 14d, primarily in the area of juncture between the bottom wall 38d and the skirt portion 40d, will contact the upper internal shoulder 30d in supporting relation thereon. To enable the replaceable closure member 14d to lie wholly within the confines of the open mouth of the container 12d, there is provided a generally axially extending connecting section 62 which extends between the upper shoulder 30d and the radially innermost extremity of the reversely curving portion 60. Connecting section 62 is larger than the greatest axial dimension of the replaceable closure member 14d so as to accommodate the same within the open mouth of the container 12a.
From the foregoing, it will now be appreciated that the present invention contemplates a novel container or composite package which can be economically and mass produced under conventional techniques in a rapid and eificient manner. The package that is formed permits stacking of container bodies and coin-feeding of stacked lids for adaption to high speed filling and capping equipment as well as for handling and storing of similarly configured parts. The package has an easily removable, replaceable closure member which lies substantially within the open mouth of a complementary container body, the lid and container being made from thin thermoplastic material so as to provide a light weight, yet compact reusable container package. Additionally, a cover sheet or element is provided to hermetically seal the contents of the container package so as to increase the shelf life thereof while permitting more economical materials to be used for the container body and closure member. The cover sheet or element is designed to be easily removable by hand to expose the replaceable closure member for access to the contents of the package.
It is to be understood that the specific examples of the invention herein shown and described are for illustrative purposes only. Changes in structure will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and will be understood as forming a part of this invention insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A container package for food products comprising, a container body having a peripherally continuous side wall which terminates in an open upper end, a rim area adjacent said open upper end and having laterally ontwardly offset, peripherally extending upper and lower axially spaced lip portions, a replaceable closure member having a covering wall for the open upper end of said container, an upwardly extending skirt portion projecting generally axially from the outer margin of said covering wall and terminating at its upper end in a laterally outwardly projecting rim portion adapted to rest upon the lower lip portion of said container body, said closure member also being provided with at least one hollow knob means extending upwardly from the plane of said covering wall to facilitate application and removal of said closure member relative to said container body, said knob means projecting from said covering wall no further than the upper lip portion of said container body rim area to lie within the confines thereof, and a manually removable, heat sealable element initially joined to the upper lip portion of said container body in a circumferentially continuous manner to hermetically seal the container body, said element being provided with tab means facilitating grasping thereof by a user in removing said element from the container package to expose the replaceable closure member, the knob means of said replaceable closure member having an upper generally planar surface substantially aligned with the upper lip portion of said container body and being of greater transverse dimension throughout its full extent than the height thereof to provide underlying support for said manually removable, heat sealable element at a location laterally inwardly offset from the upper lip portion of said container body.
2. A container package for food products including, a container body having a bottom wall, peripherally continuous side walls joined to the bottom wall at the outer margin thereof and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom, said side walls terminating at their outer free ends in a rim area defining the outer boundary for the open mouth of said container body, the rim area of said container having container stacking means including a lower external shoulder and an upper internal shoulder, the lower external shoulder of one container body being engageable with the upper internal shoulder of a subjacect container body to support a plurality of container bodies in stacked, non-jamming relationship relative to each other, a replaceable closure member including a covering wall for the open mouth of said container body, an upwardly extending skirt portion projecting generally axially a predetermined distance from said covering wall and defining the outer peripheral portions of said replaceable closure, the dimensional extent of said outer peripheral portions being of sufficient size to permit said replaceable closure member to rest upon the upper internal shoulder of said container body, knob means extending upwardly fro-m the plane of the covering wall and projecting no flirther than the outer free extremity of said skirt portion, said knob means including a stem and a head portion, the head portion of said knob means having a diameter exceeding that of said stem portion to facilitate grasping thereof by a user and being generally aligned with the skirt portion of said closure member to prevent nesting between similarly configured stacked closure members, and a manually removable, heat scalable element united to said rim area in a manner to overlie the contacting portions of said container body and closure member to hermetically seal the contents of said container package, said element including tab means for removing said element from said container package upon opening thereof to expose said replaceable closure member for subsequent opening and reclosure.
3. A container package for food products comprising a container body having a bottom wall and a peripherally continuous side wall which extends upwardly therefrom and terminates in an open upper end, a rim area adjacent the open upper end of said container and having laterally outwardly oifset, peripherally extending upper and lower axially spaced lip portions, a replaceable closure member having knob means to facilitate grasping thereof by a user, said closure member including said knob means being configured and dimensioned to lie within the c fines of the open upper end of said container body v the outer peripheral portions of said closure member ing supported by the lower lip portion of said contai body, and a substantially planar, manually remove element of flexible character joined to the upper lip 1 tion of said container body in a circumferentially c tinuous manner to hermetically seal the contents of 5 container package, said element including tab means removing said element from said container body u opening said package to expose the replaceable clos member for subsequent opening and reclosure ther said knob means having an upper generally planar surf normally substantially aligned with the upper lip port of said container body and being of greater transve dimension throughout its full extent than the height the of to provide underlying support for and to maintain s manually removable element in generally planar relati ship at a location laterally inwardly otfset from the up lip portion of said container body,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,130,355 9/1938 Magill 229 2,298,814 10/1942 Weis 220 2,972,432 2/1961 Flack et al 220 3,05 6,492 10/ 1962 Campbell 229 3,064,874 11/1962 Kouffeld 229- 3,13l,827 5/1964 Wheaton 220 3,139,213 6/1964 Edwards 220 3,140,807 7/1964 Bostrom 229 3,154,215 10/1964 Vesconte 220 3,163,311 12/ 1964 StOlk 220 3,172,801 3/1965 Cantelow 229- 3,185,578 6/1965 Scharre 229 3,207,651 9/1965 HOOd et al 229 3,261,530 7/1966 Cave 229- FOREIGN PATENTS 1,231,761 4/1960 France.
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner. DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Examiner.