US 3379363 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 23, 1968 H. A. sUTPHEN, JR 3,379,363
sTuFFEn SEALED ENvELoPEs Filed May 20, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG-9 u E5 l I I l I I j l D April 23, 1968 H. A. SUTPHEN, JR
STUFFED SEALED ENVELOPES 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 20, 1965 United States Patent Ol 3,379,363 STUFFED SEALED ENVELGPES Harold A. Sutphen, Jr., Longmeadow, Mass., assigner to United States Envelope Company, Springfield, Mass., a corporation of Maine Filed May 20, 1966, Ser. N 551,573 3 Claims. (Cl. 229-85) This invention relates generally to stuffed, sealed envelopes, and more specifically, this invention relates to stuffed, sealed envelopes having a unique opening feature for readily exposing the contents, and a method for eiiiciently manufacturing such envelopes from continuous webs of paper or similar iiexible material.
The term stuffed envelope is commonly used in the art when referring to an envelope into which its intended contents have been inserted, The contents, however, are usually inserted, either mechanically or manually, after the envelope has been completely folded and sealed except for the closing or sealing iiap, which customarily remains free until after the inserting operation is performed.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a stuffed, sealed envelope, or an envelope-insert combination, in which the envelope portion and insert portion are interrelated in structure so as to function as a unit in a unique manner, whereby a single, simple application of opposed lateral forces acting at opposite ends will open the envelope and expose its contents simultaneously.
It is another object of this invention to provide a method of efficiently manufacturing such stuffed, sealed envelopes, or envelope-insert combinations, from two ycontinuously moving webs of exible material. Furthermore, if it is desired, more than two webs of material may be used to provide multiple insert portions.
Such stuffed, sealed envelopes are particularly useful in the distribution of game coupons, advertising material, etc. at grocery stores, service stations, and many other places which distribute such material as an incentive for a customer who receives one of the stuffed, sealed envelopes to return to the distributor, and hopefully, bring additional business to that distributor. For example, the stuffed, sealed envelopes, according to this invention, may conveniently be used in the distribution of coupons on which there is printed a portion of a simulated check or bill. Envelopes containing portions of such simulated checks or bills are distributed by some stores and service stations to persons who visit their places of business. As soon as any visitor collects enough portions to make up a complete check or bill, he becomes eligible to win a prize. Obviously, such coupons must be hidden from View prior to the distribution thereof, and tightly sealed envelopes have been found to be a very successful means for properly concealing the coupons. It is also highly desirable in this particular envelope to incorporate therein some kind of a novelty opening device, such as that provided by the present invention, to aid in attracting attention of customers, and thus derive the proper benefit from the advertising feature of the envelope and its contents.
Also, a particular advantage of the stuffed, sealed envelope according to this invention is the fact that it lends itself easily to the efficient and speedy manufacture of large quantities of such envelopes from two or more webs of paper. The webs may conveniently be preprinted with the intended message, advertisement, or game material. The webs are superimposed in a manner such that they assume a particular relationship to each other and are secured together at pre-determined locations, rendering the resultant product a unique envelope-insert combination which functions in the intended manner described above.
With the above and other objects in View, as will 3,379,363 Patented Apr. 23, 1968 ICC hereinafter appear, the invention comprises the devices, combinations, arrangements of parts hereinafter set forth and illustrated in the accompanying drawings of a preferred embodiment of the invention, from which the several features of the invention and the advantages attained thereby will be readily understood by those skilled in the art.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a plan View of a sheet of insert material placed in position over an envelope blank prior to its being enclosed in the envelope blank, in accordance with this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional View of the insert sheet and envelope blank, taken substantially along line 2 2 of FIGURE l.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the insert sheet and envelope blank, taken substantially along line 3 3 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a plan View of a folded stuffed, sealed envelope in accordance with this invention.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional View taken substantially along line 5 5 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a sectional View taken along line 6 6 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 7 is a plan view illustrating the envelope after opening, exposing the message sheet.
FIGURE 8 is a plan View of an insert sheet and envelope blank, illustrating a ditferent embodiment of this invention.
FIGURE 9 is a plan view of a folded stuffed, sealed envelope according to this invention, made from the envelope-insert shown in FIGURE 8.
FIGURE l0 is an elevation View in schematic, illustrating how two webs of tiexible sheet material may be combined as a first step in a method of making the stuffed, sealed envelope illustrated in FIGURES 1-7 inclusive.
FIGURE 11 is a plan view showing the successive stages of forming the stuffed sealed envelope in accordance with this invention.
Referring to the drawings, FIGURE 1 shows a sheet of insert material 20 placed in face to face relation with a central section of the envelope blank 22. As shown in this embodiment of the invention, the sheet of insert material 20, hereinafter referred to as insert for simplicity, and envelope blank 22 are coextensive at two opposite ends so that they both may be cut simultaneously, as a unit, from two superimposed webs of paper or similar iiexible material. It is not necessary in this invention, however, that the insert 20 and envelope blank 22 be coextensive at the opposite ends, as will be described in detail hereinafter, but this embodiment is easily adaptable to an etiicient method of manufacture.
Both the insert 26 and the envelope blank 22 are suitable for use in existing printing processes and machinery. The envelope blank 22 may be printed on the outside with advertising material if desired, and on the inside with a tinting or design to prevent the printing on the insert from showing through the envelope.
As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, the insert 20 and envelope blank 22 are connected near their coextensive ends, preferably by adhesive areas 24 and 26. Actually, this connection may be spaced inwardly from the edges more than that shown in the drawings if desired, as long as the insert 20 and envelope blank 22 are free of each other between the line of weakening 2S on the insert and the line of weakening 30 on the envelope blank.
The lines of weakening 2S and 30 are preferably positioned near the ends of the insert 20 and envelope blank 22, so as to provide the largest possible span between said lines of weakening, while still allowing room between each of the lines of weakening and the end of the envelope to grasp with the hands, as will be described in more detail hereinafter. The lines of weakening 28 and 3) may conveniently be lines of perforations.
The envelope blank 22 is scored along lines 32, 34, 36, and 38, dening flaps 40, 42, 44, and 46 respectively, each being hingedly connected to the central panel 48. Each of the said aps is foldable along its fold line, to enclose the insert 20. Preferably, the envelope blank as illustrated in FIGURE l is folded around insert by first folding Hap 46, then 42, which adhesively connects to flap 46 by means of adhesive strip 43, and the smaller end aps 40 and 44 last, resulting in the stuffed, sealed envelope shown in FIGURES 4, 5, and 6. The aps 48 and 44 become adhesively connected to flaps 42 and 46 by means of adhesive strips 45 and 47. It should be understood that various types of flap arrangements may be utilized in accordance with this invention, and the particular flap arrangement shown in the drawings is not intended to be restrictive in any sense of the word. For instance, the well-known triangular ap style envelope may be utilized. Also, it is contemplated that the so-called seamless style envelope, ie., front and back walls adhered directly to each other without the use of intermediary end aps (such as 40 and 44 in FIGURES 1-7 inclusive), may be utilized in accordance with this invention.
As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 4, the insert 20 is slightly more narrow than the space between score lines 34 and 38 to permit easy folding of the flaps 42 and 46 around the insert 20, into overlapping relation along an adhesively connected seam 50 (FIGURE 5). The folded flaps 40, 42, 44 and 46 form one main panel of the envelope, and the aforementioned main panel 48 forms the other. When the aps are completely sealed to each other, the contents of the envelope are completely hidden.
As mentioned previously, it may be desirable in certain situations to use multiple inserts with this envelope. The invention is not restricted to the single insert shown in the drawings. When multiple inserts are used, the additional inserts would be superimposed over the single insert illustrated in FIGURE l, with the weakened line 28 of each insert substantially at the same position. Multiple inserts may be connected near their ends, and also to the ends of the envelope blank 22. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 1-7 inclusive, the inserts 20, whether single or multiple, are firmly connected to opposite ends of the envelope by being incorporated into the end folds and by the adhesive areas 24, 26, 45, and 47. In all cases, however, the insert, or inserts 20 are completely free of the envelope blank 22 between the weakened line 28 of the insert or inserts 20 and the weakened line of the envelope blank 22.
Referring now particularly to FIGURES 4 and 7, application of opposed lateral forces to the opposite ends of the stuffed, sealed envelope 22 in the indicated manner, will cause the envelope 22' to open, or separate along the weakened line 30, which extends completely around the girth of envelope 22. Simultaneously as envelope 22 separates along weakened line 30, the insert 20, being firmly anchored at both ends of envelope 22', separates along its weakened line 28, leaving a stub 52 in the larger portion of envelope 22'. Due to the relative positions of the weakened line 28 on the insert and weakened line 30 on the envelope 22', an appreciable message-carrying portion of insert 20 is exposed with the end stub of envelope 22. As shown in FIGURE 7, a single, simple operation is all that is required to break open the previously completely sealed envelope 22', and to expose the major, usable portion of the insert 20. If desired, the insert 20 may be removed from the end stub of envelope 22 by tearing or cutting.
FIGURE 8 illustrates a modification of this invention in which the insert 6) is not coeXtensive with opposite ends of the envelope blank 22. ln this embodiment of my invention, the end of the coupon falls short of the edge of flap 44, and is secured `thereto by adhesive areas 62 and 64. It should be understood, however, that the insert 60 could just as well be connected to panel 48, to the right of weakened line 30 (as viewed in FIGURE 8) if desired, instead of being connected to flap 44. Here again, the edges of the insert 60 lie inside fold lines 34 and 38 of envelope blank 22 to permit each folding of the flaps 42 and 46. As shown in FIGURE 8, the other end of insert 60 is free of the envelope blank 22. The only place of connection between insert 60 and envelope blank 22 is to the right of weakened line 30, as viewed in FIGURE 8. The left end of the insert falls short of the score line 32 which will define the end of the stuffed, sealed envelope. It should also be understood that the ilaps will be folded and adhesively connected in the same manner as described hereinbefore for the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES l-7 inclusive.
FIGURE 9 illustrates the completely folded envelope 22 and the hidden insert 60 is shown in dotted lines. Weakened line 30 extends completely around the girth of the envelope 22. This envelope 22 may be opened,
or pulled apart, in the same manner as that described for the embodiment shown in FIGURES 1-7 inclusive Referring to FIGURE l0, a web 7tl of flexible sheet material, later to be cut into individual inserts for stuffed, sealed envelopes, is passed over guide roll 76 and through the pair of perforating rolls 74 and 76. Any convenient web perforating mechanism well known in the art may be used to create a line of perforations extending across substantially the entire width of the web. It is not necessary to this invention that the weakened line be perpendicular to the edges of the envelope 22 as shown in FIGURES l-7 inclusive. The weakened line of the insert may be at an angle to the edges of the envelope 22', or alternately, several different angular configurations may be utilized if desired, resulting in the weakened line across web 70 being other than in a perpendicular relation to the side edges of the web 70.
Patterns of adhesive are printed on predetermined areas of web 70 by the applicator pads 78 and 80, carried by the roll 82, which pick up adhesive by peripheral contact with reservoir roll 84. Reservoir roll 84 `rotates inside box 86 which contains adhesive material. Roll 82 rotates in timed relation with the web 7 0 and perforating rolls 74 and 76, so as to apply the adhesive in patterns substantially as shown 'at 88 and 90 in FIGURE 1l. Web 70 is then fed under roll 92 and into contact with web 94, in timed relation with the movement of web 94, so that the two webs are united and adhesively connected at 88 and 90as they pass between rolls 92 and 96. t
The web 94 of envelope material is first fed through perforating rolls 98 and 100 before being united with web 70. Perforating rolls 98` and 100 rotate in timed relation with the perforating rolls 74 and 76 acting on web 70, such that the lines of perforations 28 on the insert material web 70, and the lines of perforations 30 on the envelope material web 94, will assume a predetermined, spaced relation with each other, as best shown in FIG- URE 11. It should also be understood that the weakened line 30 extending across the envelope 22 does not have to be perpendicular to the edges of the envelopes 22', but it may be in an angular position as hereinbefore described.
Webs 70 and 94 are combined in a manner such that the connections therebetween, i.e., the adhesive areas 88 and 90, lie on each side of an imaginary line through which cuts will be made in the combined web to separate adjacent envelopes. This can easily be seen by an examination of the FIGURE 11 as a whole. Thus, when the webs 70 and 94 are combined, the adhesive areas 88 and 98, the lines of perforations 28, and the lines of perforations 30 assume a predetermined spacing and relationship with each other whereby the envelopes and inserts described in FIGURES l-7 inclusive may be formed.
After Combining webs 70 and 94, portions of web 94 at laterally opposite positions are removed to dene the flaps 42 and 46 of adjacent envelopes. This is sometimes called notching in the art, and in this invention, the notches 102 and 104 may actually cut slightly into the web 70 of insert material. It should be understood that both the webs 70 and 94 at this point have been printed. These notches 102 and 104 may be formed by any convenient well-known means, such as llying cutters.
As viewed in FIGURE 11, the two webs 70 and 94 move from left to right in unison. After notches 102 and 104 are cut, the tlaps 42 and 46 dened thereby are folded into overlying position with the web 70 and adhesively connected along a seam S0 by means of the adhesive strip 43, which is applied by well-known, conventional means. Adhesive strips 106 and 108 are applied to the web 70 between the notches and will be used to seal the end aps 40 and 44. Partially folded envelopes 22 are then severed from the -united webs along an imaginary line between the areas 106 and 108 of adhesive. Leading flap 44 is next folded and adhesively connected by its adhesive 106 to the aps 42 and 46. Trailing aps 40 is then folded and adhesively connected to flaps 42 and 46 by means of its adhesive area 108. The stuffed, sealed enevelopes 22 are then gathered for packing.
Other and further modifications apart from those indicated herein could be made within the spirit of this invention.
1. A stuffed, sealed envelope comprising, in combination, a sheet of insert material, an envelope enclosing said sheet, two opposite ends of said sheet and envelope being substantially coextensive and said sheet and envelope being connected only near said coextensive ends, a Weakened line extending around the girth of said envelope and spaced inwardly from one end of said connected ends, a weakend line extending across said sheet at the opposite connected end but inward from said connection, whereby the end of said envelope and said sheet may be pulled apart as a unit exposing an appreciable area of said sheet.
2. An envelope according to claim 1 which includes multiple sheets enclosed within said envelope.
3. An envelope according to claim 1 in which said sheet is divided into a plurality of portions by weakened lines.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 702,100 1/1902 Keller 229-85 1,180,542 4/1916 Roden 229--85 3,061,174 10/1962 Zalkind 229-85 JOSEPH R. LECLAR, Primary Examiner. R. PESHOCK, Assistant Examiner.