US 3351209 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV- 7, 1967 J. F. KOFOEDTAL 3,351,209
PACKET DISPENSER Filed Aug. lO, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS Jc )lf/@7265 BY/tw f7 7? 757677 Nov. 7, 1967 v J. F. KOFOED ETAL PACKET DISPENSER 3 sheets-sheet Filed Aug. lO, 1965 Nov. 7, 1967 J. F. KOFOED ETAL PACKET DISPENSER Filed Aug. lO, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheei 3 United States Patent O 3,351,209 PACKET DISPENSER .lack F. Kofoed and Fred F. Tlden, Lynnfield, Mass., assgnors to Diamond Crystal Salt Company Filed Aug. 10, 1965, Ser. No. 478,621 2 Claims. (Cl. 211-49) This invention relates to dispensing means for packets or packaged articles, primarily of substantially flat and elongated or rectangular configuration. More specifically, this invention concerns an improved carton an-d combinations thereof adapted to contain and permit dispensing therefrom packets or packaged articles, associated with food service to humans, such as salt, pepper, napkins, utensils and the like. This invention also concerns dispensing means for serving predetermined packaged condiments, seasonings, and substitutes associated with special diets, including a plurality of cartons containing desired combinations of diet condiments, seasonings and substitutes.
In the past preparation of special diets for each meal, as for example for the patients in a hospital, has involved detailed atttention by institutional personnel carrying out dietary programs in the way of preparing numerous special diet supplements. Hospital personnel had to inventory salt, pepper, salt substitutes, straws, napkins, etc., on an individual basis, and place each of these items on a tray before it was sent to the patient. To prepare and disseminate these items for a large number of persons on an indivi-dual basis is time consuming and expensive especially from a personnel standpoint, and it is advantageous to have a relatively simple and uncomplicated dispensing arrangement to aid in the distribution of such diet supplements, with said dispensing arrangement enabling easy preparation of the items by a limited number of personnel.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a new dispensing carton for packaged articles.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a new dispensing carton for use in hospitals, schools and other institutions for the purpose of providing a readily available, dispensing system for packaged dietary items for those persons being served.
It is another object of the present invention to provide novel dispensing cartons containing packaged dispensable items which can be readily set up in an arrangement of several cartons in a compact fashion enabling easy dspensing of the packaged items from any of the cartons.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent on a reading of the following description taken in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 illustrates a single article dispensing carton embodying certain of the features of this invention;
FIGURE 2 illustrates a packet of the type adapted to be dispensed from the carton of FIGURE 1, and which package has shown thereon identification portions similar to indicia carried on the carton which is to retain it;
FIGURE 3 illustrates several article dispensing cartons supported lby and held in fixed relationship by a supporting rack;
FIGURE 4 illustrates a single carton of the general 3,351,209 Patented Nov. 7, 1967 type shown in FIGURE l and illustrating a preferred form thereof;
FIGURE 5 illustrates a carton of the general type shown in FIGURE 1 having modified, reclosable dispensing aperture means;
FIGURE 6 illustrates another modification of the dispensing aperture means on a carton of the general type shown in FIGURE l;
FIGURE 7 illustrates a collapsible carton of the general type shown in FIGURE 1 provi-ding perforate dispensing means positioned in the side and end surfaces thereof;
FIGURE 8 illustrates an alternative carton arrangement showing two or more of the cartons attached together to form a group of dispensing cartons by means integral with the sides of the cartons;
FIGURE 9 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention comprising a rectangular dispensing carton with a perforated fiap member in the front thereof through which interior packages can be dispensed when the flap member is removed;
FIGURE 10 illustrates a dispenser combination cornprising several of the cartons shown in FIGURE 9 mounted ina support rack;
FIGURE ll illustrates a detailed view of a rack for use in the dispenser combination of FIGURE 10; and
FIGURE l2 illustrates another carton embodiment of the invention having closable flap means at the top and bottom thereof and a perforated oblong flap member on one side panel of the carton through which packets can be dispensed.
Broadly stated this invention comprises dispensing cartons for substantially fiat elongated or rectangular packets having a pair of side panels, a pair of end panels, top and bottom panels, and -a dispensing aperture in at least one of the side or end panels, the aperture being located above the plane of the supporting surface of the cart-on to prevent packets contained therein from escaping from the aperture when the carton is positioned on a flat surface. The dispensing aperture, in -all cases, has its lower defining surface spaced upwardly from the plane of the supporting surface of the carton, and may extend the full width of the end or side surface in which it is positioned, or be of less width than that surface. The dispensing aperture may be formed by rem-oving a preliminarily formed perforate flap portion in the-end or side surface of the carton, or in modified forms consists of a reclosable spout, or a reclosable bellows.
A further modified form of the invention consists of a composite dispenser consisting of a plurality of the cartons of this invention which are held in single unitary relationship by integral means positioned on the adjacent surfaces of the plurality of cartons. Another form of the invention consists of la combination of the cartons of this invention, bearing identification portions in a location immediately a-bove the dispensing aperture, and a plurality of packets, each of which bears identification portions corresponding to the identification carried on the carton side or end surface. The corresponding identification marking or indicia between the carton and the packets contained therein may consist of a corresponding color code marking on the carton exterior and on each of the packets, or it may consist of corresponding names on the carton exterior and on each of the packets, or it may be a combination of corresponding color codes and names on both the carton exterior and the interior packets. In another modified form of the invention a plurality of the cartons of this invention are supported by and retained in a rack adapted to accommodate variable numbers of the cartons of this invention.
Referring now to the drawings which illustrate the embodiments of this invention in greater detail, a typical dispensing carton of this invention generally designated 1 is illustrated in FIGURES l and 4. Carton 1 consists of a pair of side surfaces 7, a pair of end su-rfaces 15, a top surface formed from a plurality of flaps 2, 3, 4 and 5 and a bottom surface, generally `designated 16. Carton 1 functions as a dispenser carton by virtue of the preliminary filling of the carton with a sufficient number of substantially at packets of the type shown in FIGURE 2 and designated 6. These packets may contain any desired single or multiple number of component food supplements including salt, pepper, salt substitutes, sugar substitutes, napkins, straws, forks, knives, etc., and each bears on its surface identification means such as, for example, a plurality of color code indicia 19. Irrespective of the component contents of the packets 6 they remain of substantially fiat elongated or rectangular form.
The packets 6 are dispensed from carton 1 through the dispensing aperture 13 defined by the edge surfaces resulting from the removal of the perforate tear-strip 14 from the end surface 15 of carton 1. Perforate tear-strip 14 is provided with a punch-out tab 25 which enables the easy insertion of .a piercing member or finger to enable the easy grasping of the perforate flap and its removal. Aperture 13 has its lower defining surface 17 spaced upwardly from the plane of the supporting lower surface 16 on which the carton rests.
The height of the lower extremity of aperture 13 from the plane of the supporting surface 16 may be Varied as a function of the thickness of the substantially flat packet 6 to be dispensed therefrom kand for most u-ses'may vary satisfactorily from about 1/z inch to about 2 inches. It is necessary, however, to locate aperture 13 in a position spaced upwardly from the plane of the lower supporting surface 16 in order to avoid the undesirable cascading and ejection of a plurality of packets when an attempt is made to remove a single packet. It was found that because of the surface friction existing between the adjacent surfaces of the packets 6 there is a tendency for the packets to become dislocated from their normal position in the carton as dispensing occurs. The packets become disarranged and tend to extend partially outwardly through the aperture either during or after an attempt is made to remove one of the packets from the carton. In the absence of a retaining wall 15a, extending upwardly from the bottom surface, the packets 6 slide out of the aperture 13 in an uncontrollable and undesirable fashion.
The end surface 15 of carton 1 is provided with an identification marking 18 which is relatively large and occupies a substantial portion of the total width of the end surface 15. The identification mark 18 as shown is -a circular color code, but it can have any desired configuration as long as its size is maintained sufficiently large to enable it to be readily seen by the user. The
packets 6 bear identification markings 19 Which correv spond to the identification on the end surface 15 of carton 1, as may be seen on the surface of the packet 6 which is visible in the aperture 13 in FIGURE l. As stated above, the corresponding identification marking between the exterior of the carton and on each of the individual packets may consist, for example, of color codes, corresponding printed matter, or a combination of both of these.
The side surfaces 7 of carton 1 are provided with a plurality of perforate tab members 8 located adjacent to each of the corners thereof. These tabs are adapted for partial removal to provide a protruding flap member in the surface of one carton and a receiving aperture in the FIGURE 7 includes an aperture 36 located substantially` corresponding side portion of the other carton to enable a number of cartons to be joined into a unitary composite form. A number of such cartons 9, 10, 11 and 12 are shown in joined relationship in FIGURE 3. The means for joining a plurality of cartons 1 into a unitary composite arrangement is illustrated in a modified form in FIGURE 8 wherein the side surfaces 7 of adjacent cartons 1 are provided with four adhesive pads 24 located at each of the corners thereof. The adhesive pads 24 may satisfactorily consist of a pressure sensitive adhesive provided with a removable protective cover layer which remains in place until it is desired to join a plurality of the cartons together. The cover layers are then stripped off the adhesive pads on the mating surfaces of the cartons to be joined together, and with the pads in contact the cartons are pressed together until they form a unitary composite dispenser. Any number of cartons are easily joined in this manner to provide the desired Variety of packets to be dispensed. The tabs 8, and pad 24 are illustrative only of suitable means for joining a plurality of cartons into a single dispenser unit and any number of other means will be apparent to those skilled in this art, for example, magnets, metallic fasteners, hooks, external bands or partially complete boxes, etc.
FIGURE 2 shows an individual packaged item or packet 6 suitable for being dispensed from a carton such as that shown in FIGURE 1. The packet 6 has three color code marks 19 on the top of the packet, which color code enables a person to quickly remove and compare the selected packaged item with the contents of the carton. The material chosen for the packet is not critical and can be chosen from a number of materials such as cellophane or the like.
The dispensing aperture 13 of carton 1 is advanta geously modified in a similar carton construction when the packets to be dispensed are smaller than the full width of the end surface 15; such modified constructions are illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 6. In FIGURE 5, the end surface 15 is provided with a flap hinged at the lower extremity or edge 33 to form a spout 28 having attached arcuate segments 28a which may .be fabricated from metal or the cardboard of surface 15. Spout 28, as shown, is unitary with end surface 15 and formed by first punching out tab 27 and then pulling the panel 28 `from the plane of surface 15 after the perforations along the line 26 have been severed. In FIGURE 6, end surface 15 s provided with a reclosable flap 29, hinged lat lower cxtremity or edge portion 33 and joined to surfacer15 -by bellows 29a.
The apertures 30 illustrated in FIGURES 7, 9 and 10 constitute another advantageous dispensing means for the packets. These apertures are formed from a perforate ap member 30a having a width less than the width of the end panel 15. An aperture of this construction as used in the cartons of the invention serves a double purpose. First, the lower extremity 33 of the aperture which, is spaced upwardly from the supporting plane of the carton serves as previously mentioned to prevent cascading out of several of the packets at one time when it is normally desired to remove only one packet. And second, the peripheral shape of the aperture 30 which is generally D-shaped provides the aperture with an upper structural outline forming small longitudinal strip portions 43 on the end panel remaining along `the sides of the aperture when the perforate fiap member is removed. These longitudinal strips 43 function to exert a retaining action against the packets in close proximity to the aperture. Since the packets are of substantially the same width as the interior of the carton the edges of the packets are caught by the strips 43, therefore, both the lower extremity of the aperture which is upwardly spaced from` the bottom panel and also the` longitudinal strips 43 cooperate in holding the remaining packets While one packet is grasped and removed by the useLThe carton shown in centrally of the side panel 31 of the carton. Such an aperture is formed by a perforate ap member 36a of generally elongated rectangular form which ap member is removed by the puncture of small perforate thumb tabs on the upper and lower parts of the perforate ap member. Conventional interlocking flap members are used to form the top and bottom panels of the carton. These iiap members designated 34 and 35 are shown on the top panel of FIGURE 7. The flaps interlock to form the panel by means of double tongue and groove inserts 70 and 71 on the aps. When the aps on the top and bottom panels are disengaged, it enables the carton to be collapsed into a attened form.
FIGURE 9 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention comprising a rectangular shaped carton suitable for dispensing packets through an aperture 30 formed from a D-shaped perforate flap member in position on the end panel 15 of the carton. Above the aperture on the carton is shown an identification marking color code 18 which is large in size relative to the end panel 15. This identification marking corresponds to similar markings on each of the interior packets within the carton thereby enabling easy identification of the packet as it is removed from the carton. The closure means for the top and bottom panels 43 and 45 are of the conventional type and may be, for example, interlocking flaps, liaps glued in place, etc. The cartons of FIGURE 9 are advantageously adapted for use in a dispenser such as shown in FIGURE containing six cartons held in place within a metal rack 47 for the purpose of providing, for example, a dispensing arrangement of several different diet packets. As shown, the cartons are held in place in the rack by a slight compression of the metal U-shaped end members 49 of the rack against the end cartons 51. The cartons are also prevented from tipping out of place or being dislodged to the rear of the rack by a rod means which extends across the rear of the rack and which is connected to the U-shaped end members 49. This means can be a non-adjustable metal rod which connects to the U-shaped end members 49 at the upper parts thereof, or it may be adjustable such as the telescoping rod means 53 shown more clearly in FIGURE 11, which illustrates a detailed View of the rack used in the dispenser of FIGURE l0. As shown, the rack 47 has two upwardly extending U- shaped end members 49, which end members are pivotally mounted about the base of the rack. The base of the rack is formed of laterally extending rods 58 which are attached at each end and held in position by the transverse rods 58a. The U-shaped end members are connected by the rod means 53 which is pivotally mounted to the rear upper part 55 of each U-shaped end member. This rod means is of a telescopic type which can be adjusted inwardly or outwardly to thereby pivot the end members about the base and thereby cause a variable adjustment of the end members on the rack to hold a variable number of the cartons. The rod means connecting the U-shaped members can be adjusted inwardly or outwardly by use of a small set screw 57 or any other such means to lock the telescoping rod in any position. The metal end members 49 have suliicient flexibility such that they can be bent outwardly a slight amount while the cartons are positioned on the rack. The end members then exert a small compressive force against the cartons to hold the cartons in place. As shown in FIGURE 10, there are six cartons on the rack, and each carton has an identification marking color code 18 on the front end panel of the carton above the aperture, which marking is of large size with respect to the width of the carton. Each of the packets within a particular carton are also marked with identication marking color codes 19 corresponding to the identification marking on the exterior of the carton. Such an arrangement of six cartons is suitable for use, for example, in a hospital kitchen for the dispensing of various diet kits. For example, the iirst carton would obtain a packet having enclosed therein sugar, salt, pepper and napkin which would constitute the supplemental condiments for a regular diet. The second carton would have packets therein each containing two sugars, salt, pepper and napkin, and this would be used for a regular diet with double sugar. The third carton would contain packets for a bland diet with said packets each containing sugar, salt and napkin. The fourth carton would contain packets for use with a sugar-free diet with said packets containing salt, pepper, a sugar substitute and napkin. The fth carton would contain packets for a low sodium diet, and each packet would include sugar, pepper, a salt substitute and napkin. While the sixth carton would be used for a sugarfree low sodium diet, and each packet therein would con tain a salt substitute, sugar substitute, pepper and napkin. Identification markings would then be used for each carton combination, such as a color code on the exterior of the carton and on each of the packets, for example, green for the regular diet packets, blue for the regular with double sugar, pink for the bland diet packets, yellow for the sugar-free diet packets, gray for the low sodium diet packets, 'and orange for the sugar-free, low sodium diet packets. Hospital personnel preparing meals would then simply go to the dispenser, check for the correct color code and remove the packet and place it on the patients tray. Such an arrangement permits rapid preparation of various diets in an easy manner and with a built-in mistakeproof selectivity for the various diet packets.
FIGURE l2 illustrates another carton embodiment suitable for dispensing a large number of packets such as, for example, sugar substitute packets or salt substitute packets. The carton has a large perforate flap member 60 positioned on the front end panel 15, or which could also be positioned on the side panel 62. The flap member is generally of large oblong shape with the widest part 63 thereof being at the central portion of the flap. Removal of the perforate iiap enables easy ingress and egress of the carton for removal of the packets. The carton can be used in an upright position as shown or in a lengthwise position resting on the back panel generally designated 65. In its preferred form, the carton would have conventional inter-locking flap means at the top and bottom thereof enabling the carton to be collapsed when said aps are out of engagement.
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiments of the invention disclosed are well calculated to fuliill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modication, variation and change without departing from the proper scope 0r fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A dispenser combination for diet kit packets cornprising means securing a plurality of dispensing cartons in side by side relationship, said means including a rack in general contact with the cartons, each carton containing a plurality of substantially iiat rectangular diet kit packets, said rack comprising a rectangular base formed of a plurality of laterally extending rods held in place by transverse rods connected to each end of said base, and upwardly extending U-shaped end members pivotally connected to each end of said base, rod means connected to the upper part of each end member to thereby form a lateral connecting support between the two end members, said rod means being at a suiicient height above the base to prevent the cartons from tipping out of the rack, and each of which cartons are similar and comprise a pair of side panels, a pair of end panels, and top and bottom panels, said rack acting to hold the cartons together in side by side relationship, means defining a dispensing aperture in at least one of said side and end panels, said aperture having a lower edge portion defining a lower extremity of said aperture which is upwardly spaced from the plane of the bottom panel on which said carton is supported, a particular identification marking proximate to said aperture on the exterior of the panel which contains the aperture of each said dispensing cartons, said marking being large in size relative to the width of said carton, and corresponding identification marking on each of said packets within said cartons, with each carton and the packets contained therein having their own identitication markings which are diierent from any other in the combination.
2. A diet kit dispenser combination comprising a plurality of dispensing cartons in side by side relationship and a plurality of substantially at rectangular packets contained Within each carton, means positioned on each said cartons securing same in side by side relationship and acting to hold the cartons together, each of which cartons are similar and comprise a pair of side panels, apair of end panels, and top and bottom panels, means defining a dispensing aperture in at least one of said side and end panels, said aperture having a lower edge portion delining a lower extremity of said aperture which is upwardly spaced from the plane of the bottom panel on which said carton is supported, a particular name and color code identiication markings proximate to said aperture on the exterior of the panel which contains the aperture of each said dispensing cartons, and corresponding name and color code identication markings on each of said packets within said cartons, with each carton and the packets contained therein having their own identification markings which are different from any other in the combination.
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934,148 9/1909 Duif 211--43 1,341,893 6/1920 Fitzgerald 206'-44.12 X 1,600,538 9/1926 Dollahi'. Y 1,716,628 6/1929 Gittleman 20S- 44.12 X 1,956,642 5/ 1934 Einson.
2,235,473 3/1941 Blinstrub 229-20 X 2,272,524 2/1942 Johnson 2l1--181 X 2,519,949 8/1950 Winton 206-44.l2 2,922,552 1/1960 Berger 20G-44.12 X
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3,306,437 2/1967 Nelson 206-56 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.