US 3369687 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 20, 1968 L. c. WALLS PLASTIC CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 2, 1966 FIEl fnz/erzfor: v Zer0y C M125 Feb.-20, 1968 c. WALLS 3,369,687
PLASTIC CONTAINER Filed May 2, 1966 -2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,369,687 PLASTIC CONTAINER Leroy C. Walls, Valparaiso, Ind., assignor to Lewals Inc., a corporation of Indiana Filed May 2, 1966, Ser. No. 546,891 8 Claims. (Cl. 215) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to closed containers for storage of foodstuffs and the like. Portions of a container and a closure member are structurally designed so that a pinrality of said containers can be stacked one on top of the other, whereby the closure can be reversed and used as a base for the container, whereby the closure when used as a base or as a cover has elements that prevent leaving a wet ring on a supporting surface and whereby a specially designed handle member can be assembled and held on the container by means of the closure when being used as a base.
This invention relates to containers and more particularly to an improved container and closure arrangement for storing, displaying, stacking and serving foodstuffs and the like.
Many different container styles and many different materials have been suggested for use in storing materials, each one serving a particular function or purpose. Relatively few of the current containers are designed for more than one purpose, namely, to store food. Of these containers that have more than the one purpose of storing food, there are one or two that provide covers or lids which can be also used as bases for the container or that provide interlocking portions for use in stacking several containers. None of the currently available containers provide for the combined effect of storing, stacking, serving and displaying goods.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved container for storing materials such as foods.
It is another object of this invention to provide an improved stacking arrangement for containers.
And still another object of this invention is to provide an improved container for serving stored materials such as foods.
And still a further object of this invention is to provide an improved container for displaying stored materials such as foods.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved container for storing, stacking, serving and displaying materials such as foods.
A further object of this invention is to provide an improved means for sealing a closure member on a container.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an improved means for attaching a closure member on the base of a container to serve as a support means for the container.
And still a further object of this invention is to provide an improved coaction between a part of one closure member and a part of another container whereby one container can be stacked on another by coaction between said parts.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved handle means for ready assembly with the container.
And a further object of this invention is to provide means whereby a container can be used as a dispenser for condiments.
And yet another object of this invention is to provide improved retaining means for securing the body member to the closure when said closure is acting as the base.
Further objects and advantages will become readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical cross sectional view taken through a vertical plane passing through the center of the container of invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross sectional view showing two of the containers of FIGURE 1 inverted and stacked one on top of the other;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged broken away sectional view through a portion of the combined closure and base member;
FIGURE 4 is a top view of a combined cover and base member;
FIGURE 4A is a broken away end view of a modified form of my invention;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical cross sectional view through a modified form of stacked containers;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view through a connection between the closure and the container;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view through a modified form of connection between the base and the container; and
FIGURE 8 is a vertical plan view of my improved container with a novel handle assembled therewith and showing parts broken away and in section.
Referring to the drawings and in particular the form of my invention shown in FIGURES 1 through 4 inclusive, wherein similar reference numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views, a container 10 is shown having a parabolically shaped body portion 11 as viewed in vertical cross section with a generally circular shape in a horizontal plane. The side walls 12 of the body member 11 taper from an open end 13 to a closed smaller end portion 14. A radially outwardly directed rib 15 is formed around the outer top edge of the open end 13 of the container 10 so as to provide a ledge-like portion extending in an overhanging relation relative to the walls 12 of the container. A ring shaped sleeve member 16 is integrally formed with said body member 11 near the closed end 14 and is adapted to project axially beyond the low part of said end. A radially inwardly directed locking rib 17 is formed around the inner surface of said sleeve so as to provide an overhanging ledge which produces an undercut portion near the inside 18 base of said sleeve 16.
A combined cover and base member 20 is provided with a dish shaped body portion 21 having an integrally formed axially extending mounting rim 22 formed with the outer edge of said body. The rim 22 extends in the same direction as the dishing 21 of the member 20 so as to overlap the undersurface of said dish. A radially inwardly directed locking rib 24 is formed around the inner lower edge of the rim 22 so as to overhang a portion of said member 20 to provide an undercut portion 25 within said cover. The combined member 20 is adapted to have the rib 24 on the rim 22 snapped over the rib 15 on the body 11 of the container 10 so that the rib 15 seats in the undercut portion 25 of the cover to lock the cover to the container.
The mid portion of the dish shaped body of the combined member 20 is offset downwardly away from the outer surface 26 of the dish shaped portion and has a cylindrical wall 27 which terminates in an arcuately shaped center portion or socket member 28. The inside of said cylindrical wall 27 has a cylindrical surface 29 while the outside of said cylindrical wall 27 has a radially outwardly directed rib 31 formed continuously around the outer edge thereof. The rib 31 creates an overhanging portion with an undercut 32 formed between said rib 31 and the undersurface of the dish shaped portion 21 of the member 21). On the outer surface 26 of the dish shaped portion of the combined member 2t) is formed at least three lugs 35 which have axially directed surfaces 34 lying slightly below the plane of the exposed edge of the member 20. Each lug 35 also has a radially directed face 36 lying substantially parallel to the axis. of the combined member 20. The surfaces 36 lie in a circle having a center located at the center line of the combined member 20.
At least three axially extending lugs 40 are molded integrally with the outer surface 26 of the dish shaped portion of the combined member 20 and extend beyond the plane of said member 219. The lugs 40 have outer surfaces 41 which lie in a common plane, which plane coincides with the plane of a supporting surface when the member 20 is positioned on said surface.
The central portion or socket member 28 of the member 20 is adapted to be snapped into the sleeve 16 on the lower end 14 of the container with the rib 31 seating in the undercut portion 18 formed by the rib 17 on the inside of the sleeve 16. With the member 29 snapped in the sleeve 16, the container 10 can he stood on a surface with the lugs 4t contacting a supporting surface. With the member 20 attached to the base of the container 10, the member 20 acts as a support or base with the container 10 positioned upright for display or for use as a serving receptacle. With the member 20 connected to the container as a base, it is possible to use another member 20 snapped on the open end 12 as a closure whereby the container contents can be displayed.
With the member 20 snapped on the open end of the container 10, it is possible to invert the container to position the container with the feet 40 engaging a surface such as a table. An additional container 10 can be stacked on the first container with the sleeve 16 on the first container snugly fitting within the lugs 35 on the cover member 20 of the second container. The surfaces 36 of the lugs 35 will engage the outer surface of the sleeve 16 so as to hold the containers somewhat interlocked in the stacked condition. Several containers can be stacked one on top of the other for display or storage.
Referring specifically to FIGURE 3, an enlarged cross sectional view of a portion of the member 20 is shown wherein the feet 40 can be clearly distinguished as can the rib 24 on the inner surface of the rim 22. The tapered surfaces on the top and bottom sides of the rib 24 serve as guides to assist the rib on the container 10 slide past the rib 24 either as the member is forced onto the open top of the container or as the member 20 is removed therefrom. With the member 20 in place over the open end of the container, the rib 15 is positioned in the undercut portion 25 of the member 20. The lugs with the surfaces 36 thereof are shown molded integrally with the dish shaped portion 21 of the member 2ft. The rib 31 producing the overhang 32 of the central portion or socket member 28 is shown in the mid portion of the member 20.
In the closed end 14 of the container 1t and within the confines of the sleeve 16, a plurality of weakened circular parts 43 can be provided as shown in FIGURE 4A. By punching out the parts 43, openings 44 are provided such that the container can be used as a condiment dispenser. That is, with the container filled with salt (for instance) and the member 20 snapped over the open end 12 thereof, the feet on the member 20 of the container can be rested on a surface with the openings 44 facing upward. Upon inverting the container the salt (or the like) will be dispensed in the usual fashion. During manufacture all containers could have the weakened parts 43 molded therein such that the container when sold can be advertised for use as a condiment dispenser after the present contents of the container have been exhausted.
As can be seen in FIGURE 4, the lugs 35 are formed 120 apart with the feet aligned radially outwardly therewith. It is to be understood that more than .three such lugs 35 and 40 could be provided without departing from the spirit of my invention.
FIGURE 5 shows a modified form of receptacle wherein a fiat bowl shaped container 50 is illustrated. A combined cover and base member 51 is provided and has the same locking arrangement for securing the member on the container 50' either as a base, a cover or as both. Specifically, the bowl 50 has a side wall 52 with a rib 53 about the edge of the open end thereof. A sleeve 54 is formed integrally with the closed end of the bowl and has a smooth outer surface and a rib 56 around the inner edge of said sleeve.
The combined member 51 has a dish shaped portion 57 with a socket portion 58 axially extending from the center thereof. A rim 59 encircles the dish shaped portion 57 and has a rib 60 formed around the inside edge thereof. A rib 62 is formed about the outer edge of the socket portion 58 and is adapted to snap past the rib 56 in the sleeve 54 to position the member 51 on the container 50 as a base. The rib 60 on the rim 59 of the member 51 is adapted to snap past the rib 53 on the container 50 for locking the member 51 over the open end of the container 50 to cover the contents of the container.
Several lugs 64 are formed on the one face of the member 51 to provide abutment surfaces 65 which engage with the outer surface of the sleeve 54 on the container so that two covered containers 50 can be stacked one on the other with the sleeve 54 on one container engaging with the surfaces 65 on the lugs 64 of the member 51 of another container.
Modified forms of interlocking rib arrangements are shown in FIGURES 6 and 7. That is, FIGURE 6 shows a more oval shaped rib 70 on a member 71 engaging beneath the rib 72 on a cover member 73 with rib 72 having slopes 74 formed on the exposed surface of the rib 72 so as to guide the interlocking rib 7t inwardly until is snaps past the rib 72 and into the overhanging section whereby the cover is secured to the member.
FIGURE 7 shows a more positive locking arrangement wherein the rib on a sleeve 81 of a body member 82 is longer, of uniform thickness, and more angularly disposed inwardly toward the center of the sleeve 81. The interfitting rib or portion 83 of the socket portion 84 of the member 85 is shaped to conform more to the internal shape of the rib 80 and has a guide surface 85 formed at an angle to the outer edge of the socket 84. The rib 80 on the sleeve 81 is rounded so as to form a smooth guiding edge as the two ribs 80', 83 are brought together during assembly of the member 85 with the container 82.
FIGURE 8 shows still another form of my invention wherein a handle which could be molded or formed is illustrated and has an enlarged ring shaped body engaging portion 91 which is adapted to encircle and snugly engage the outer surface of the member 11 of the container it) of FIGURES 14. The lower end portion 92 of the handle 90 is formed integrally with a small ring shaped member 93 which is adapted to engage around the outer surface of the sleeve 16 on the container 10. The cup shaped portion 93 is urged onto the sleeve 16 of the container 10 with the ring 91 engaging the tapered body portion of the member 11. A member 20 can be snapped into place on the sleeve 16 by urging the socket member 28 into said sleeve with the rib 31 seating underneath the undercut portion 18 to retain the member 20 on the container and to lock the handle 90 in position for use. The member 20 serves as the base upon which the container rests. The handle 90 can be readily removed from the container by removing the member 20 from the sleeve 16 and by forcing the ring shaped portion 93 and the ring 91 downwardly to disengage the rings 93 and 91 from the member 11.
The containers and cover members of the various enrbodiments described heretofore can be molded or cast by means of any of the well known methods currently in use.
The containers and cover members can be made of colored, clear or translucent material depending upon the nature of the goods to be packaged in the container. The material for the containers and cover members can be selected from any of the well known synthetics or organic materials such as plastic. An example of a suitable material is a relatively flexible and stretchable, low-density polyethylene.
It is now believed to be clear that a novel container and cover member has been described wherein a container with the cover member attached over the open end can be stood on the cover member for displaying the contents thereof, By removing the cover member, turning the cover member over and attaching it to the other end of the container, the container can be used as a serving receptacle. By using two cover members, one to cover the open end of the container, and the other snapped on the base as a support, the container can be employed to display and store the container contents in an upright position.
A plurality of closed containers, i.e., containers with the cover members in place over the open end of the container, can be stacked one on top of the other with the socket portion on one container coacting with the socket portion in the cover member to hold the containers in stacked relation.
The feet on the cover member serve to space the cover from a supporting surface so as to prevent the cover member from leaving a ring shaped stain on a supporting surface due to moisture on the cover member. When the cover member is snapped on the closed end of the container to serve as a base, the rim on said cover member serves to collect moisture either spilled over the edge of the open end of the container or collecting and running down the outer surface of the container.
The provision of weakened means in the closed end portion of the container which can be punched out to provide a dispenser opening adds further utility to my new and novel container.
It is to be understood that the present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated. The scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.
1. A container for storing and serving foods comprising in combination a body member having walls tapering from a relatively large open end to a generally parabolically shaped closed end, a radially directed locking rib formed about the outer edge of said open end, a ring shaped sleeve integrally formed with said body member near said closed end and projecting axially beyond said closed end, a radially inwardly directed locking rib formed about the inner edge of said sleeve, a combined base and cover means having a dish shaped body portion, an axially extending mounting rim integrally formed about the edge of said means in overlapping relationship to said dish shaped portion, a radially inwardly directed locking rib formed on the inner edge of said mounting rim adapted to coact with the rib on said body member for securing the means on said body member, an axailly directed hub formed integrally with the center section of the dish shaped portion of said combined means, an overhanging rib formed about the edge of said hub and adapted to snap past the rib on said sleeve for locking the combined means in place on the closed end of the body member to serve as a base for said container.
2. A container as claimed in claim 1 wherein said combined means has a plurality of short radial ribs formed on the face of said dish shaped portion which terminate near the center of said portion to provide a plurality of 6 abutments, and said abutments being adapted to engage with the outside of a sleeve on another body member for stacking one closed container on another.
3. A container as claimed in claim 2 wherein said dish shaped portion has a plurality of lugs formed on said face thereof which extend beyond the plane of said portion so as to serve as feet for engaging a surface upon which said container stands.
4. A container for storing and serving foods comprising in combination a body member having walls tapering from a relatively large open end to a substantially smaller closed end, an outwardly directed locking means formed about the outer edge of said open end, projecting means integrally formed with said body member near said closed end and extending beyond said closed end, an inwardly directed locking means formed about the inner edge of said projecting means, a combined base and cover means having a dish shaped body portion, a mounting rim integrally formed about the edge of said combined means in overlapping relationship to said dish shaped portion, an inwardly directed locking means formed on the inner edge of said mounting rim adapted to coact with the locking means on said body member for securing the combined means over the open end of said body member, a projecting hub formed integrally with the center section of the dish shaped portion of said combined means, and overhanging means formed about the edge of said hub and adapted to snap past the locking means on said projecting means for locking the combined means in place on the closed end of the body member to serve as a base for said body member.
5. A container as claimed in claim 4 wherein said dish shaped portion has short radial lugs formed on the face thereof and terminate near the center of said portion to provide at least three abutments, said abutments being adapted to engage with the outside of the projecting means on another body member for stacking one closed container on another, and a plurality of support means formed near the edge on said face of said dish shaped portion and extending beyond the plane of said portion so as to serve as feet for engaging a surface for supporting the combined means and body member on said surface.
6. A container as claimed in claim 4 wherein a plurality of apertures can be formed in said body member within said sleeve for dispensing powdered condiments from said container.
7. A container as claimed in claim 4 having a handle means engaged with said container and being locked thereon by said base and cover means engaging with said projecting means.
8. A container as claimed in claim 4 having a laterally projecting handle means engaging both the body of the container and said projecting means, said base and cover means locked to said projecting means to hold said handle means assembled with said container.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,715,169 5/1929 McKee 222-541 2,816,589 12/1957 Tupper. 2,996,208 8/ 1961 Schroeder 215-99.5 2,981,562 4/1961 Long 215- X 3,080,964 3/1913 Robinson et al. -.5 X 3,140,007 7/1964 Nettleship 21510 X 3,183,624 5/1965 Swett 150.5 X
FOREIGN PATENTS 245,219 6/ 1963 Australia.
DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner.