US 3400873 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 10, 1968 c. H. BESSETT MOLDED RECEPTACLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 22. 1966 Sept. 10, 1968 c. H. BESSETT MOLDED RECEPTACLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 22. 1966 l 13 27 az 61M (WM M290 United States Patent 3,400,873 MOLDED RECEPTACLE Clifford H. Bessett, South Holland, Ill., assignor to Packaging Corporation of America, Evanston, Ill., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 22, 1966, Ser. No. 567,277 4 Claims. (Cl. 229-25) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A molded receptacle for accommodating a fragile product. The molded receptacle includes a pair of hingedly connected complemental sections which, when in superposed relation, accommodate the product therebetween. Each section is provided with flange means which extends from a product supporting surface and causes the accommodated product and any portion of the surface to be spaced from a predetermined reference plane engaged by the flange means.
Background of the invention In the packaging of fragile articles, such as ice cream cones and the like, extreme difficulty has been encountered in preventing breakage or damage to the accommodated product during handling of the package therefor. In an effort to minimize such breakage, hand packing of the product has oftentimes been required. Such a packing method is not only time-consuming and expensive but frequently involves sanitary problems as well.
Normally a large number of ice cream cones are arranged in stacked or nested relation and then placed into an elongated tube-like carton. The shape and size of such cartons render same awkward to handle, carry, or store, and therefore the cartons are susceptible to knocks or abusive treatment with injurious effect on the contents.
Furthermore, with the conventional elongated tubular cartons, the fragile contents thereof are free to rattle and slide therein and as the contents are depleted through consumption, sliding of the contents within the carton becomes more pronounced.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a receptacle for fragile articles that avoids the aforenoted shortcomings which beset prior structures.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a receptacle for fragile articles which enables the receptacle to be readily loaded with automatic high speed equipment.
'It is a still further object of this invention to provide a package for fragile articles which is of a size and shape that is convenient to handle, carry, or store on a shelf.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a receptacle for fragile articles wherein regardless of the number of articles disposed within the receptacle, said articles will be protected against sliding or rattle.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a receptacle which is of simple, yet sturdy construction, is inexpensive to produce, and is effective in operation.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawing and appended claims.
Summary 0 the invention In accordance with one embodiment of this invention, a molded receptacle is provided for accommodating a plurality of fragile articles. The receptacle includes an elongated bottom section having an article-accommodating cavity formed therein and an elongated top section having a peripheral segment thereof integral and foldably connected to a corresponding p ripheral segment of the bottom section. The top section is adapted to overlie the bottom section and is provided with an article-accommo- 3,400,8 73 Patented Sept. 10, 1968 dating cavity which is complemental and in registration with the cavity in said bottom section. The receptacle, when the top section thereof overlies the bottom section, may be slidably positioned within an outer carton.
For a more complete understanding of this invention reference should be made to the drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an improved pack age for fragile articles showing the receptacle disposed within an outer carton;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of one form of the improved receptacle with the top section in a fully open position;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of the receptacle of FIG. 1 with the top section thereof overlying the bottom section;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the opposite end of the package shown in FIG. 1 and. with the outer carton removed;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG. 5 of a modified form of receptacle;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged top plan view of the receptacle of FIG. 6 and showing the top section in a fully open position;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 9 is similar to FIG. 4 but of the modified receptacle shown in FIG. 6.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1, an improved package 10 is shown for use in packaging fragile articles 11, which in the: illustrated embodiment are ice cream cones of the conventional edible variety. The cones when packaged within the illustrated package 10 are nested in two stacks A and B; the number of cones in a stack may vary from 6 to 36 depending upon the quantity purchased.
Package 10 includes an outer folding carton 12 of appropriate size and shape, and a receptacle 13 formed preferably of molded pulp material of substantially uniform thickness. It is to be noted, however, that the receptacle may be formed from various other types of material such as expanded polystyrene, polypropylene, polyethylene, and the like, without departing from this invention. The method of forming the receptacle may vary from pulp molding, thermoforming, vacuum forming, to injection molding, and will depend upon the type of material being used.
The interior dimension and shape of carton 12 are such that it will slidably, yet snugly, envelop the receptacle. The front and back walls 12a, the narrower side walls 12b, and the end walls 12c of the carton 12 are of sufficient area to permit attractive printing thereon and in addition provide stability for the package whether it is resting on its side or end wall.
The receptacle 13, as shown in FIGS. 1-5, includes a bottom section 14, a top section 15, and an end panel 16, which separates the two sections and is foldably connected to adjoining ends thereof' In the illustrated embodiment sections 14 and 15 are of like configuration; however, this is not essential.
Bottom section 14 comprises a pair of elongated cavities 17 and 18 which are adapted to subtend and partially accommodate stacks of cones A and B. The longitudinal axes of cavities 17 and 18 are substantially parallel to the planes of the carton side walls 12a. The end of each cavity, which is adjacent panel 16, terminates short of the foldline connection 20 between bottom section 14 and panel 16. The opposite end of each cavity, on the other hand, is enlarged and is exposed when the top section is folded into overlying relation with respect to the bottom section, see FIG. 4.
In FIG. 2 it will be noted that each cavity has a substantial portion thereof which is tapered toward the closed end. The taper, in this instance, conforms to an appreciable extent to the taper of the lower part of the ice cream cone. At the enlarged end of each cavity there is provided a protuberance 21 which projects upwardly a slight amount and thus prevents the end cone from accidently falling out the end of the receptacle when the top section is in overlying relation. The protuberance 21 may, if desired, be hollow and collapsed by finger pressure, so as to enable the articles 11 to be individually withdrawn endwise from the receptacle 13 without necessitating the latter being first removed from the outer carton 12.
Both cavities 17 tnd 18 are spaced inwardly of the elongated peripheral edge of the section so that an elongated relatively narrow shoulder 22 is formed along each side. The adjacent inner sides of the cavities are separated by a center elongated ridge 23. The extent of projection, or height, of ridge 23 is greater than shoulder 22, so that when top section 15 is in overlying position, the ridges 23 of the two sections will abut one another, see FIGS. 1 and 4.
It is to be noted that as shoulders 22 approach the foldably connected end of the sections, the height of the shoulders increases, so that corresponding shoulders of the sections in the vicinity of panel 16 will abut one another, see FIG. 1.
The cavities of the top section 15 will be aligned and in inverted superposed relation with the corresponding cavities of the bottom section 14, when top section 15 overlies the bottom section. Thus, the corresponding aligned cavities cooperate to form a tube-like compartment for the stack of cones A or B. By reason of the shoulders 22 being relatively short, adjacent the open end of the tube-like compartment, an elongated void or space C is created whereby the number of cones remaining in the compartment can be visually ascertained when the receptacle 13 is pulled out of the carton 12. On the other hand, if the side walls 12b of the carton are provided with windows, not shown, removal of the receptacle from the carton would not be required in order to determine the number of accommodated cones 11 in a compartment.
The peripheral edge of both sections 14 and 15 terminate in a continuous ledge or lip 24 thereby providing added stiffness to the periphery of each section. When the receptacle 13 is disposed within carton 12, the ledges 24 of the sections 14 and 15 will engage the front and back walls 12a.
It is to be noted in FIG. 4 that the depth of each cavity 17 and 18, taken from a reference plane including the top of ridge 23, is less than the distance of the ledge or lip 24 from said reference plane. Thus, when the receptacle 13 is disposed within carton 12, the underside of each cavity is spaced from the back or front wall 12a of the carton. In a like manner, by reason of shoulders 22, the outer edges of the cavities are spaced from the side walls 12b of the carton, therefore the tube-like compartments are suspended, so to speak, between the walls of the carton so that the shock from a blow struck on the exterior of the carton will be dampened by the carton and the ledge 24 of the receptacle so as not to damage the accommodated articles 11.
As further protection for the closed end of each cavity, panel 16 is of such dimension that it spans the distances between the side wall and between the top and bottom walls of the carton. To provide added stiffness for panel 16, the exposed side thereof is concave. Two spaced apertures 25 may be formed in the concave surface of the panel 16. The apertures are aligned with the otherwise closed ends of the cavitie and thus, provide a small passageway for each cavity whereby the closed end of the bottom cone in a stack will not abut the receptacle. Also, the apertures 25 permit cones 11 having closed ends of varied configuration to be readily accommodated Within the formed tube-like compartment.
FIGS. 6-9 illustrate a modified form of receptacle 26, which includes a bottom section 27 and a top section 28. Sections 27 and 28 are shown as being of like configuration, however, this is not essential in the practicing of the disclosed invention. Sections 27 and 28 are made integral with one another by a double-hinge foldline 30, see FIG. 7, and therefore an intermediate panel such as 16 in receptacle 13 is omitted.
It will be noted in FIG. 8 that end faces 31 of the sections 27 and 28 are disposed in parallel planes which, when the receptacle 26 is positioned within carton 12, form a plane which is substantially parallel with the end wall 12c of the carton. Each of sections 27 and 28 comprises a pair of elongated cavities 32 and 33 which closely resemble the shape of cavities 17 and 18 of sections 14 and 15 previously described. The principal difference in configuration between cavities 32-33 and 17-18 is that a transversely disposed hollow rib 34 is formed in sections 27 and 28. Rib 34 in each instance extends across the width of the section and the ends thereof terminate at inclined sides 35 of each section, see FIG. 6. The rib 34 is preferably spaced a substantial distance from foldline connection 30. The function of rib 34 is to increase the stiffness of each section. If desired, however, reinforcing rib 34 may be omitted.
In either receptacle 13 or 26 by having a pair of elongated parallel cavities in each section thereof, two relatively short tube-like compartments are formed, thereby resulting in the outer carton 12 to be used therewith, having a more conventional rectangular shape than an elongated narrow carton as was previously used.
In loading either of the aforedescribed receptacles with automatically operated equipment, the sections thereof are arranged in a manner as shown in FIGS. 2 and 7 whereby the cavities formed in the bottom section 14 or 27 will be exposed. The receptacle in such a position is then moved by conveyor past a load station where two stacks of nested articles (cones) of proper overall length are placed into the respective cavities with the open ends of the cones facing away from the hinged or foldably connected end of the section. Once the stacks of articles are properly disposed in the cavities, the top section is then plowed into overlying relation with the bottom section. With the section of the receptacle in a closed position with respect to the accommodated articles, the receptacle can be loaded endwise through the open end of a set up carton closed at one end. In the endwise loading of the carton, the open end of the receptacle will be disposed adjacent the end of the carton which will be opened when the articles are to be dispensed.
In instances where an overwrap is to be substituted for a carton, the overwrap will be brought into enveloping relation with the receptacle after is has assumed its closed position. Furthermore, where the articles are to be consumed or used shortly after being packed in the receptacle, both an overwrap or carton might be omitted; however, where edible articles, not individually wrapped, are involved, the overwrap or carton will be used to ensure the purity of the product.
The present invention has heretofore been described with regard to ice cream cones or the like; however, the invention is not limited thereto as other articles such as Christmas tree ornaments, light bulbs, etc., may be accommodated in the receptacles. In such a situation, however, the cavities formed in the sections may vary in size, shape, and number.
Thus, it will be seen that a package for fragile articles has been provided which is simple in construction, inexpensive to produce, and is highly effective in providing protection for a plurality of articles. The improved package enables individual articles to be removed therefrom while the remaining articles are held in proper position within the package.
While several embodiments have heretofore been described, the invention is not intended to be limited thereto as further modifications may be made and it is contemplated by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall Within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
1. A molded receptacle for a fragile product, comprising a pair of hingedly connected complemental sections, said sections being movable between an open and a closed position, when in said closed position, being in inverted superposed relation for accommodating therebetween the fragile product, and when in said open position, having the complemental sections disposed in side-by-side relation for resting on a common plane; each section, when disposed in said open position, including a panel provided with a recessed product-accommodating portion depending towards said common plane, and substantially continuous peripheral flange means extending downwardly and outwardly from the periphery of said panel whereby the lowermost portion of said flange means terminates at said common plane and positions said panel and the recessed portion thereof in elevated spaced relation with respect to said plane, the panels of said sections being in adjacent registered relation when said sections are in said closed position.
2. The receptacle of claim 1 including an end panel hingedly connected at opposite peripheral portions to segments of the flange means of said sections, said end panel being disposed intermediate said sections when the latter are disposed in said second open position.
3. The receptacle of claim 1 wherein corresponding areas of said panels outside of said recessed product-accommodating portions are in abutting relation when said sections are disposed in said closed position.
4. The receptacle of claim 1 wherein there is provided a protuberance which projects partially into the recessed product-accommodating portion of each of said complemental sections at the end thereof opposite said hinge connection to prevent the product from accidentally falling out of the end of the receptacle when the sections are in closed position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,020,454 11/1935 Bisbee et a1. 21721 2,750,028 6/1956 Bode et al 229-2.5 2,990,945 7/ 1961 Smith 2222.5 X
JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.