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Publication numberUS3384261 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 21, 1968
Filing dateSep 1, 1965
Priority dateSep 1, 1965
Publication numberUS 3384261 A, US 3384261A, US-A-3384261, US3384261 A, US3384261A
InventorsAustin Forrest L
Original AssigneeCornelius Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle carrier
US 3384261 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 21, 1968 F. L. AUSTIN 3,3 ,2 1

' BOTTLE CARRIER Filed Sept. 1, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 v INVENTO R. 0 Q F01U-es1aszzz m w -4.466 ATTORNEYS May 21, 1968 F. L. AUSTIN 3,384,261

BOTTLE CARRIER Filed Sept. 1,.1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 L i an 7 x I i I I 23% I 7 g L I 7 Z! .5 T Xi E I i g 1 I 7 i I 17 N 4 j; 2} a: m 22 a4 17 l I 6 315 1911; 1 2a i INVENTOR. .9 If ffiaflealuflzzazfrzzz ATTORNEYS W United States Patent 3,384,261 BOTTLE CARRIER Forrest L. Austin, Brooklyn Center, Minn, assignor to The Cornelius Company, Anoka, Miran, a corporation of Minnesota Filed Sept. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 484,296 12 Claims. (Cl. 220-21) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A molded plastic bottle carrier has an integral handle bar on an upper portion of an outer wall adjacent to a pair of bottle-receiving cells. The handle bar is adapted to have the thumb of one carrying hand hooked thereunder while the fingers of such hand grasp a bottle in one of the cells as an auxiliary handle, thrustingly canting the bottle toward the handle, and an arcuate saddle formation located at substantially the same height as the handle is engaged in retaining anti-slip cradling engagement with the perimeter of the bottle thrusting thereagainst.

This invention relates to improvements in bottle carriers or cases of the type especially adapted for handling, transportation and storage of crown-capped beverage bottles, and is more particularly concerned with such carriers molded from suitable plastic such as high density polyethylene in a unitary, one-piece structure.

In manually carrying bottle carriers or cases of this type made from plastic, such as may have provision for up to 24 individual bottles, a desirable manner of onehand manipulation would be according to the conventional wooden carrier handling, namely, hooking the thumb under an end handle on the carrier and grasping the four fingers of the hand around the bottle adjacent thereto in the carrier. With prior plastic carrier structures, however, the bottle has been prone to wedge or slip out of its compartment or cell in the carrier in response to the canting leverage exerted as a result of the grasping manipulation and the load-weight of the carrier and contents being lifted.

It is, accordingly, an important object of the present invention to provide improvements in a molded plastic bottle carrier or case structure which will enable such bottle-grasp carrying of the carrier without wedging or slipping dislodgment of the bottle.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved molded plastic bottle carrier having novel means associated with a handle on the perimeter of the carrier and which will effectively retain a bottle against dislodgment when grasped in combination with the handle for carrying the carrier.

A further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved molded plastic bottle carrier having novel compartment or cell wall structure aifording effective retaining grip of a bottle utilized in conjunction with a peripheral handle structure on the carrier for manual lifting and carrying of the carrier.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a bottle carrier or case embodying features of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view, partially broken away and in section, of the carrier; and

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially on the irregular section line III-III of FIG- URE 1.

In the embodiment of the invention selected, for illus- 3,334,261 Patented May 21, 1968 ice tration, a carrier or case is provided for handling twentyfour crown-capped bottles of the six and one-half to ten ounce variety. It is especially suitable for commercial sales of bottled beverages such as to the vending machine trade, bars, soft drink stands, and like large scale retailers. More particularly, the illustrated carrier is especially constructed to be efiiciently made by one-shot molding from plastic material on the order of high density polyethylene in a unitary one-piece construction and dimensioned to be usable at random with the same capacity conventional wooden carrying cases of generally elongated, rectangular construction accommodating four parallel longitudinal coextensive rows of six bottles each.

Throughout the structure of the carrier all wall areas, dividers, partitions, and the like are of minimum shell wall section thickness, comprising a bottom wall 5, opposite spaced similar longitudinal side walls 7, similar and coextensive end walls 8 and longitudinal and transverse partition dividers 9 the tray-like area above the bottom wall and within the upstanding side and end walls into separate bottlereceiving compartments or cells 11. Within each of the cells 11, the base or bottom wall 5 has reinforcing and bottle supporting structure comprising a central circular downwardly hollow, shallow, flat, boss-like upward offset area 12, having a downward opening of sufiicient size to receive the top of a crown cap or of a battle therein for stacking registration of one filled carrier upon another filled carrier. Reinforcing ribs 13 radiate in the bottom wall 5 from the offsets 12 and connect the offsets with the bounding portions of the walls and partitions. For stable stacking registration of the empty carrier with other empty carriers, upstanding registration bosses or lugs 14 are provided at the intersections of the partitions 9 and engageable in the stacked relationship within drainage holes 15 in the bottom wall 5 aligned with the partition intersections and with upward opening-extensions 17. Additional drainage holes 18 are provided in the bottom wall in any depressions therein not drained by the holes 15.

To compensate for the substantially thinner section of the side walls 7 and the longitudinal dividers 9 than comparable wooden members, the side walls 7 are inset throughout a substantial extent of their length as shown at 19, with a rib-like reinforcing and buffer upper edge flange 20 providing a filler between the portions of the side walls at the opposite ends of the inset in each instance. Additional compensation across the width of the carrier is afforded by respective vertical spacer and reinforcing post structures 21 integral with the longitudinal partitions 9 intermediate the intersections with the transverse partitions 10 and integral with the transverse reinforcing ribs 13 of the bottom wall.

Lengthwise compensation is afforded by having the end walls 8 offset endwise relative to the length of the carrier from the end-most transverse partitions identified as 10a. Thereby, the end walls afford substantial protective end buffer structure for the endmost of the bottle receiving cells 11. Additional dimensional compensation is afforded by respective vertical reinforcing and spacer post structures 22 on the transverse partitions 10, typically located centrally intermediate the intersections with the lon itudinal divider partitions 9.

In addition to its endwise dimensional compensating and buffer features, the structure at each end of the carrier affords convenient handle means. For empty carrying and for empty or loaded sliding pulling of the carrier, the end wall, itself, in each instance, afiords handle structure by virtue of its upward projection and the clearance space between such wall and the adjacent partition 18a enabling downward insertion of one or more manipulating fingers into said space. Reinforcement for the end wall 8 to reand 10, respectively, dividing sist outward pull as well as inward thrust thereagainst is afforded by the longitudinal partitions integral at their ends with the respective end walls. Additional reinforcement is provided by respective vertical connecting web flanges 23 integral with the bottom wall 5, the end walls 8 and the partitions a substantially midway between the outermost of the longitudinal partitions 9 and the adjacent ends of the side walls 7. Convenient finger-receiving, upwardly opening pockets are thus provided. Two empty carriers in side-by-side relation may be thus carried in one hand by placing the fingers of one hand into the adjacent upwardly opening finger pockets of the two carriers.

For loaded carrying of the carrier, a rugged central handle 24 is provided as a part of each of the end walls 8 comprising a horizontal, transversely elongated handle bar having its outer surface flush with the associated end wall. Each of the handles 24 is of generally upwardly opening U-shaped cross section narrower than, and preferably half as wide as the space between the end wall 3 and the adjacent partition 10a, with its upper edge in a plane with the upper edge of the carrier walls and partitions.

Vertically the handle 24 is substantially shorter than the end wall 8 and has its lower edge of rounded riblike form for reinforcement and comfortable grasping. Rigidity of the handle is assured by having its shell wall structure of substantial thickness, for example on the order of twice as thick as the mean thickness of the walls and partitions and by affording spaced integral reinforcing web flanges 25 across its interior. Drainage of the upwardly opening pockets thus formed in the handle is facilitated by bottom drain holes 27.

Ample gripping access clearance space inwardly and downwardly adjacent to the handle bar 24 is afforded by an inset 28 in the end wall 8 and across which the handle extends is bridging relation. At its opposite ends, the handle bar 24 is integral not only with the end wall but also with vertical insetting side wall web flanges 29 defining the respective opposite sides of the inset 28. These web flanges are disposed in splayed relation, extending generally convergently inwardly from juncture with the associated end wall 8 and the end of the adjacent outer longitudinal partition 9. At their inner margins, the Web flanges 29 join the transverse partition 10a integrally adjacent to the outer side of the longitudinal outwardly extending reinforcing rib 13 of the endmost bottle-receiving cell compartment 11 of the inner row of cells with which the respective web flange wall 29 is aligned. Through this arrangement the handle 24 is of a length which causes it to extend to a substantial extent opposite the endrnost cells 11 of the two longitudinal center rows of cells. While the handles 24 at the opposite ends of the carrier provide excellent means for manipulating the carrier one-handed when empty or for pulling the carrier when loaded with bottles, and for two-handed lifting for transportation when loaded, a desirable mode of one-handed loaded carrying of the carrier comprises hooking the thumb of either hand under one of the handles 24 and grasping a bottle in one of theadjacent end cells 11 by wrapping the four fingers thereabout as a supplementary handle, substantially as shown in FIGURE 3. Right handed, the bottle which faces the palm of the right hand will be grasped and left handed the bottle which faces the left palm will be grasped. Thereby, lifting and carrying of the loaded carrier with its end opposite the grasped end sufficiently elevated to avoid spilling of bottles therefrom is enabled. A service man can thus carry a fully loaded carrier in each hand.

Novel means are provided for assuring freedom from wedging out or slipping displacement of the grasped supplementary handle bottle from its receiving cell 11. In an elficient form such means comprises a bottle perimeter cradling and gripping saddle formation 30 in that portion of the bounding wall of each respective cell compartment 11 which is receptive of a bottle to be utilized as an auxiliary or supplementary handle in carrying the loaded carrier. Since the end cell 11 of each of the two inner longitudinal rows of cells are in such alignment with the adjacent handle bar 24 as to be susceptible of having the bottle therein utilized as such auxiliary handle, both of such cells are provided with the saddle formation 30 and with the saddle formation in each instance properly located to receive the bottle perimeter in direct sideward thrusting relation when grasped as the auxiliary handle. Therefore, the right hand of the two center end cells 11, considered from the viewpoint of facing-that end of the carrier, has the saddle formation 30 facing generally inwardly and rightwardly, while the saddle formation 30 of the left hand cell 11 faces generally inwardly and leftwardly. Each of the saddle formations 30 desirably comprises an arcuate, concave-convex cell wall portion with its radius center at substantially the center of the associated cell 11.

A desirable reinforced and reinforcing relationship of the two generally outwardly divergent saddle formations 36 at each end of the carrier comprises a substantially double thickness vertical reinforcement juncture post 31 where the saddle formations join the center partition 9. This juncture post 31 not only integrally joins the saddle formations 30 together and to the center partition 9, but also integrally joins the underlying transverse reinforcing rib 13 of the base wall 5 to which rib and base wall the saddle formations are also integrally joined at their lower edges. From the juncture post 31, each of the saddle formations 3t) extends on its bottle-perimeter-receiving and gripping radius to juncture with the adjacent transverse end partition ltla adjacent to juncture of the inner margin of the adjacent side wall flange panel web 29 with the partition 10a. At such juncture of each of the saddle formations 30 with the partition 10a, a reinforcing juncture post thickening 32 is provided. Further, each of the saddle formations 30 is preferably of a shell web thickness substantially the same as that of the adjacent end wall 8 and the side wall web flanges 29 and such thickness prevails also in the transistion portion of the partition 10a between the web 29 and the adjacent end of the saddle formation.

Between the companion saddle formations, an indented space 33 is provided which is utilized for thumb clearance inwardly from the handle bar 24. For this purpose, that portion of the partition 10a which provides a web connecting the outer flaringly related ends of the saddle formations 30, is shorter than the remainder of such partition, having its upper edge 34 sufficiently lower than the lower edge of the handle bar 24 to permit easy access of the thumb into the clearance space 33, when the thumb is hooked under and about the handle bar.

When the bottle in one of the center row end cells is grasped as an auxiliary handle as depicted in FIGURE 3, the bottle perimeter is drawn into the saddle 30 of its receiving cell and slightly cocked or canted into the saddle, as also schematically depicted in dash outline in FIGURE 1, and the lower portion of the opposite edge of the bottle thrusts against the opposing vertical reinforcing posts 21 and 22. Thereby the bottle serving as an auxiliary handle is thoroughly frictionally gripped and held against slipping from the cell.

It will be apparent that many modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. A molded plastic bottle carrier of the character comprising:

(a) a carrier body having plastic bottom, side and end walls defining an upwardly opening tray structure;

(b) longitudinally and transversely extending plastic partitions crossingly related and integral with said walls and subdividing the tray into bottle-receiving cell compartments;

(c) a handle bar on the top of at least one of said end walls adjacent to a plastic boundary of at least one of said cell compartments and adapted to have the thumb of a carrying hand hooked thereunder while the fingers of the hand grasp a bottle in said one cell compartment as an auxiliary handle for one hand carrying of the carrier and with a sideward thrusting relation of the perimeter of the bottle toward the handle bar;

(d) and said plastic boundary having an upper edge defining an arcuate saddle formation located in horizontal alignment with and interposed between said handle bar and a bottle in said one compartment engageable in retaining gripping frictional relation with the sideward thrusting perimeter of the bottle when grasped as an auxiliary handle as aforesaid, whereby to prevent slipping of the bottle from said one compartment in one-hand carrying of the carrier.

2. A molded plastic bottle-carrier adapted to be used at random with similar wooden carriers and comprising:

(a) a tray-like body structure including bottom, side and end walls;

(b) partitions sub-dividing the structure into individual upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells and including a partition extending in spaced parallel relation to one of said end walls;

(c) a handle bar integral with the top of said one end wall, and said end wall having an inset clearance below and inwardly of said handle bar through said one partition, at least one of said cells being opposite said handle and in part bounded by said one partition;

(d) and an arcuate saddle formation in the wall bounding said cell and joining said partition and located in horizontal alignment with and being interposed between said handle bar and the perimeter of the bottle in said one cell and engageable at the upper edge of retaining non-slip relation with the perimeter of said bottle in said cell canted thrustingly into the saddle formation when the bottle is grasped as an auxiliary handle by the fingers of one hand of which the thumb is hooked under said handle bar.

3. In a one-piece molded plastic bottle-carrier of the character described:

(a) a carrier body having bottom, side and end walls and a series of crossingly related partitions integral with said walls and subdividing the carrier into upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells;

(b) a handle bar integral with the upper portion of one of said end walls opposite and spaced from respective upper boundary portions of two of said cells;

(c) and each of said boundary portions of said two cells having an arcuate horizontally extending upper edge bottle side engaging frictional gripping saddle formation aligned with and interposed between said handle bar and the perimeter of a bottle in either respective one of said two cells and arrange-d grippingly to engage the bottle perimeter canted thrustingly into the saddle formation when grasped by the fingers of a hand of which the thumb is hooked under the handle bar for one-hand carrying of the carrier.

4. A one-piece molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described comprising:

(a) a tray-like body having a bottom wall and upstanding side and end walls and crossing partitions dividing the body into upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells;

('b) one of said end walls having a horizontal handle bar on the upper portion thereof spaced outwardly relative to two of the cells which have a common bounding wall extending normal to said handle bar;

(0) and respective upper edge horizontally extending arcuate bottle retaining saddle formations in bounding wall portions of said two cells and diverging from said common wall and disposed at a height substantially the same as said handle bar and toward which the perimeter of a bottle in either of said two cells is adapted to be canted thrustingly when the bottle is grasped by the fingers of a hand of which the thumb is hooked under the handle bar for onehand carrying of the carrier.

5. A one-piece molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described comprising:

(a) a tray-like body having a bottom wall and upstanding side and end walls and crossing partitions dividing the body into upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells;

(b) one of said end walls having a horizontal handle bar on the upper portion thereof spaced outwardly relative to two of the cells which have a common bounding wall extending normal to said handle bar;

(c) and respective upper edge horizontally extending arcuate bottle retaining saddle formations in bounding wall portions of said two cells and diverging from said common wall and disposed at a height substantially the same as said handle bar and respectively joining the opposite ends of said handle bar and toward which formations the perimeter of a respective bottle in the associated cell is adapted to be canted thrustingly when the bottle is grasped by the fingers of a hand of which the thumb is hooked under the handle bar for one-hand carrying of the carrier.

6. A one-piece molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described comprising:

(a) a tray-like body having a bottom wall and upstanding side and end walls and crossing partitions dividing the body into upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells;

(b) one of said end walls having a horizontal handle bar on the upper portion thereof spaced outwardly relative to two of the cells which have a common bounding wall extending normal to said handle bar;

(c) respective upper edge horizontally extending arcuate bottle retaining saddle formations in bounding wall portions of said two cells and diverging from said common wall and disposed at a height substantially the same as said handle bar and respectively joining the opposite ends of said handle bar and toward which formations the perimeter of a respective bottle in the associated cell is adapted to be canted thrustingly when the bottle is grasped by the fingers of a hand of which the thumb is hooked under the handle bar for one-hand carrying of the carrier;

((1) and reinforcing web means extending between and joining said saddle formations.

7. A one-piece molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described comprising:

(a) a tray-like body having a bottom wall and disposed at a height substantially the same as said handle bar and upstanding side and end walls and crossing partitions dividing the body into upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells;

(b) one of said end walls having a horizontal handle bar on the upper portion thereof spaced outwardly relative to two of the cells which have a common bounding wall portion extending normal to said handle bar;

(c) respective upper edge horizontally extending arcuate bottle retaining saddle formations in bounding wall portions and disposed at a height substantially the same as said handle bar of said two cells and diverging from said common wall portion and respectively joining the opposite ends of said handle bar and toward which formations the perimeter of a respective bottle in the associated cell is adapted to be canted thrustingly when the bottle is grasped by the fingers of a hand of which the thumb is hooked under the handle bar for one-hand carrying of the carrier;

((1) reinforcing web means extending between and joining said saddle formations;

at random with similar wooden carriers and comprising:

(a) a tray-like body structure including a bottom Wall, and upstanding side and end walls of predetermined relatively thin Web sections;

(b) partitions of thinner web section defining upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells and comprising longitudinal partitions between and joining said end walls and transverse partitions crossingly joining said longitudinal partitions and at their ends joining said side walls;

(c) the transverse partitions adjacent to said end walls being spaced inwardly from the end walls to compensate for difference in thickness of said end Walls in contrast to the end wall thickness of a wooden carrier;

(d) handle structure on said end walls utilizing the space between said end walls and the adjacent transverse partitions, and comprising on each end wall a central horizontal elongated handle bar spaced from the adjacent respective transverse partition and having clearance space below and inwardly therefrom to enable hooking of a thumb thereunder;

(e) two of the cells at each end of the body being aligned inwardly adjacent to said handle and having in the upper edges of said adjacent transverse partitions respective bottle-retaining horizontally extending arcuate saddle boundary formations disposed at a height substantially the same as and interposed between the handle and said two walls for retention of respective bottles in the two cells and which may serve as auxiliary handles when gripped by the fingers of a hand and drawn sidewardly to thrust the bottle perimeter into the respective formation, with the thumb looped under said handle, said saddle formations defining therebetween a thumb clearance recess.

9. A molded plastic bottle-carrier adapted to be used at random with similar wooden carriers and comprising:

(a) a tray-like body structure including a bottom wall,

and upstanding side and end walls of predetermined relatively thin web sections;

(b) partitions of thinner web section defining upwardly opening bottle-receiving cells and comprising longitudinal partitions between and joining said end walls and transverse partitions crossingly joining said longitudinal partitions and at their ends joining said side walls;

(c) the transverse partitions adjacent to said end Walls being spaced inwardly from the end walls to compensate for difference in thickness of said end walls s in contrast to the end wall thickness of a wooden carrier; ((1) handle structure on said end walls utilizing the titions respective bottle-retaining horizontally extending arcuate saddle boundary formations disposed at a height substantially the same as and interposed between the handle and said two walls for retention of respective bottles in the two cells and which may serve as auxiliary handles when gripped by the fingers of a hand and drawn sidewardly to thrust the bottle perimeter into the respective formation, with the thumb looped under said handle, said saddle formations defining therebetween a thumb clearance recess;

(f) and reinforcing web structure extending across the lower portion of said thumb clearance recess and integrally joining said saddle formations.

10. In a molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described:

(a) a body sub-divided into upwardly opening bottlereceiving cells and having an outer wall;

(b) an integral horizontal handle bar on an upper portion of said wall and opposite two contiguous cells having portions of their boundaries adjacent to said handle bar;

(0) respective generally oppositely facing divergently related horizontally extending upper edge arcuate saddle formations in said boundary portions and located at substantially the same height as said handle bar and defining therebetween a thumb clearance recess opening toward said handle bar and accommodating a thumb of a carrying hand hooked under said handle bar and with the fingers grasping a bottle in one of said two cells as an auxiliary handle and thrusting the bottle perimeter grippingly into the respective saddle formation.

11. In a molded plastic bottle carrier of the character described:

(a) a plastic body having an outer wall and being subdivided into upwardly opening bottle receiving cells each of which has a plastic bounding wall structure;

(b) an integral handle bar on an upper portion of said outer wall adjacent to one of said cells and adapted to have the thumb of one carrying hand hooked thereunder while the fingers of such hand grasp a bottle in said one cell as an auxiliary handle and thrusting the bottle perimeter toward the handle bar;

(c) and a horizontally extending saddle formation comprising an arcuate upper edge portion of the plastic bounding wall structure of said one cell located at substantially the same height as the handle bar and facing generally away from said handle bar into retaining anti-slip cradling engagement with said auxiliary handle bottle perimeter thrusting thereinto.

12. A molded plastic bottle carrier as defined in claim 11, in which the radius center of said saddle formation is substantially at the center of said one cell.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS space between said end walls and the adjacent trans- Zi g verse partitions, and comprising on each end wall a 60 297n715 2/1961 central horizontal elongated handle bar spaced from 5 1 2 7/1966 gg 220 21 th t l E 1 1 e a acent respective ransverse paltitio'l and hv 3,265,237 8/1966 Pache 220 21 ing clearance space below and inwardly therefrom to enable hooking of a thumb thereunder; (e) two of the cells at each end of the body being 65 aligned inwardly adjacent to said handle and having in the upper edges of said adjacent transverse par- THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. G. E, LOWRANCE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US3261495 *Jan 6, 1964Jul 19, 1966Dow Chemical CoCase for beverage bottles and the like
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Referenced by
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US4249671 *Apr 12, 1979Feb 10, 1981Rehrig Pacific CompanyCarrying case
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US5651461 *Apr 13, 1995Jul 29, 1997Rehrig-Pacific Company, Inc.Stackable low depth bottle case
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US8353402Oct 5, 2009Jan 15, 2013Rehrig Pacific CompanyStackable low depth tray
US8448806Jan 10, 2012May 28, 2013Rehrig Pacific CompanyLow depth crate
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US8636142Sep 10, 2009Jan 28, 2014Rehrig Pacific CompanyStackable low depth tray
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