US 3409009 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 5, 1968 J. a. VASSE LIQUID DISPENSING CONTAINER Original Filed July 6, 1964 INVENTOR.
JOHN G. VAS
SE I w ATTRNEYS United States Patent 3,409,009 LIQUID DISPENSING CONTAINER John G. Vasse, 14856 Faust St., Detroit, Mich. 48223 Continuation of application Ser. No. 380,560, July 6, 1964. This application Sept. 5, 1967, Ser. No. 665,641 6 Claims. (Cl. 128249) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A dispensing container for the administration of a medicinal eye wash including a cup part and an administering part with alignable liquid passages therebetween for conducting the liquid to be administered.
This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 380,560, filed July 6, 1964, now abandoned.
The present invention relates to an improved liquid dispensing container and, more particularly, to an improved assembly of components for the dispensing or administration of a liquid medicinal eye wash or other solution in the manner of an eyecup, so that the eyeball of the user is thoroughly bathed with the liquid in question.
The usual eyecup, as an alternative to an eye dropper, has certain drawbacks in common with the latter, such as forcing a non-economical and sometimes ineffective use of the liquid, as well as some difiiculty in manipulation. Moreover, the eyecup requires a significant degree of skill or manipulation in use, since the filled eyecup must be transferred to the eye area, and substantial leakage commonly takes place upon inversion for application, due to an improper sealing engagement of the rim of the cup with the zone surrounding the eyeball.
It is therefore a general object of the invention to provide an improved special dispensing container in substitution for these well-known devices, which incorporates in a single unitary assembly all necessary components to contain a major volume of the liquid eyewash or other bathing or medicating agent; to receive directly from such container, upon inversion and application to the eye area, a plentiful but adequately measured charge of the liquid in a recess or cavity of an eyecup member associated with a cap of the container; and to confine the liquid medium thus received in this recess for application to the direct eye socket area, in the manner of the usual eyecup. Upon re-inversion of the container and its associated, unitarily assembled cap and eyecup members, the residue of the bathing liquid remains in the eyecup recess, to be dumped therefrom without likelihood of return to the main body or volume of liquid within the container proper.
Thus it is seen that provision is made to dispense the eye wash into the eyecup, wherein it is held captive while being administered to treat or cleanse the eye, without separating the eyecup component from the container and container cap components, and still without possibility of contaminating the main body of liquid in the container.
As the result, safe, sanitary, elfective and highly convenient means are provided for bathing the eye. The nature of the components of the dispensing container are such, and are sufficiently inexpensive of production, that the entire assembly may be discarded when its content is consumed.
More specifically, for the purpose of attaining the foregoing objectives, the dispensing or eye wash-applying unit of the invention comprises a container body having a cap applied, preferably removably, thereto, which cap is of generally semi-spherical convex outline and has an eyecup member of quasi-spherical concave bottom outline mated thereover. Both of the cup and cap parts have metering passages opening through the respective arcuate mating surfaces in question, and the container cap and cup also have control valve provisions associated therewith to govern communication of these passages, such that a relative rotation of the cup and cap parts about the axis of the container may be employed to seal off or open a dispensing passage or channel extending through the eyecup member.
Thus, with the eyecup part passage sealed off in one relative position of rotative adjustment, the container unit as a whole may be inverted and the cup applied snugly to the eyeball area, whereupon a predetermined relative rotation of the container will bring the valve provisions referred to to position to open the administering passage in the eyecup member, and thus permit the gravitational drip entry of a desired charge of liquid to the outer eyecup recess. Following a desired bathing interval, the direction of rotation is reversed to reseal the cup passage, whereupon the unit is removed from the eye and reinverted.
Further in accordance with the invention, it is contemplated that when the bathing treatment is completed the eyecup member may be bodily removed from the coacting container cap for cleansing, then returned into original position, ready for another treatment. Accordingly, no possibility exists of contaminating the remaining content of the container proper, so that a high degree of sanitation and safety is always had.
For the purpose of enabling intended and proper manipulation of the eyecup relative to the container cap, or vice versa, these parts are formed, preferably by integral molding, to provide appropriate track and groove formations permitting the valving manipulation referred to above, as Well as the removal and replacement of the cup after cleaning.
Still another aspect of the invention is the contemplated provision of a removable closure element to complete the dispensing unit or assembly, This is contoured at its top in conformity with the usual non-circular or oval contour of the eye socket-engaging portion of the eyecup, for mating engagement with the latter. The closure is provided with an integral bead or other formation of circular shape adapted to nest snugly with a coacting top formation of the container body; so that with the closure applied as intended, rotation of the enclosed eyecup member of the unit relative to the container cap is prevented.
Generally considered, it is a broad object of the invention to provide an improved unitary but multiple-part dispensing and administering container assembly, including a container part proper and a special administering part or cup directly applicable to a member to be treated, with simple adjustable valving connections between these parts to enable the easy, sanitary, controlled and leakfree application of a sub-volume of the major volume in the container part to the member in question, all without requiring separation of the parts for this last named op eration.
The foregoing as well as other objects will become more apparent as this description proceeds, especially when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating the invention, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view showing basic components of the improved dispensing and/or treating container, including closure, cup and cap-container members, being partially broken away:
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged scale view through the assembled container, showing the general relationship of its valving and track and groove guiding provisions, this view being in vertical cross section along broken line 22 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the eyecup member of the container, which is mated from above with the containers cap;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the cap;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view in still further enlarged scale in vertical cross section along the broken arcuate section line 55 of FIG. 3, being in effect a linear development of the section 55, outlines of the cap being indicated in dot-dash line;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view in vertical section along a line corresponding to line 66 of FIG. 5, and further showing the cup as mated to the cap;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view in vertical cross section along arcuate line 77 of FIG. 4, showing valve features of the container cap in the same way that FIG. 5 shows valve features of the eyecup member; and FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view in vertical section along line 88 of FIG. 7.
The improved liquid dispensing container of the invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, is shown in FIG. 2 in fully assembled condition of all of its parts. These, reference also being made to FIG. 1, comprise an upper closure member 12, an eyecup member 14 and a two-part container 16 composed of a container body proper, designated 17, and its top cap, generally designated 18.
Such components are all preferably molded of a suitable synthetic plastic, transparent, translucent or opaque; and the material is such as to render the several parts 12, 14 and 16 self-sustaining, yet with a sufficient degree of flexibility to permit manipulation thereof in use in the manner to be described.
The basic components of the container 10, insofar as its actual manipulation in use is concerned, are the cup and cap members 14, 18, respectively; and the description to follow will therefore pertain in the main to them, features of the closure member 12 and container body 17 being thereafter dealt with.
It is to be observed by reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 that the container cap 18 and the coacting body 17 are threaded at 20 for releasable engagement with one another to constitute the container proper; and this connection will be such as to be liquid tight when the filled dispensing unit 10 is inverted in use.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 6, the eyecup 14 is molded or otherwise formed in one piece to provide an upper cup portion 22 defined by an annular rim 23 which is of oval outline at its top for snug engagement with the eye socket area of the user about the eyeball. This rim or wall 23 shapes downwardly in curved outline to provide an eye wash-receiving recess 24 of adequate capacity to receive a metered charge of the bathing liquid, and the wall merges downwardly at a re-entrant-curved waist portion 24 of eyecup 14 which is of circular external cross sectional shape.
The wall or rim 23 is formed at one point of its interior with a somewhat thickened and upwardly projecting integral formation 26 which has a metering passage 27 (shown in FIG. 5 as being slightly tapered, but not necessarily so) extending therethrough from an opening to the eyecup recess 24 through an opposite, lower concave surface 28 of the eyecup, the special recessing and contouring of which will be hereinafter referred to. Naturally, the formation 26 does not extend sufiicient for any possibility of engaging the users eye, and it is preferably so located to deliver the bathing liquid to the inner corner of the eye opening. It also serves to prevent possible contamination of the liquid content of the container, as will be described. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the body of the eyecup member 14 flares outwardly and downwardly in an annular skirt portion 30 of circular outline, the portion 30 being curved in general conformity with a semi-spherical convex external surface 32 of the cap 18. Concave cup surface 28 and cap surface 32 have mating engagement for relative rotation in a manner to be described, the surface 28 being quasispherical.
As best shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, the eyecup 14 is 4 formed to provide a segmental arcuate recess 34 of rather substantial extent opening upwardly from its arcuate concave bottom surface 28, this recess being of somewhat more than 90 in arcuate extent (FIG. 3) and being defined by inner and outer arcuate side walls 35, 36, respectively, and opposite end walls 38, 39.
The formation of the bottom of cup 14 is also such (see FIG. 5) as to provide a small, arcuate or luneshaped projection at the lower opening of its metering passage 27; and the recess 34 is medially subdivided along the length of its arcuate extent by a rib 42. This rib may be formed at its bottom to provide an integral, downwardly projecting, rounded protuberance 43 similar to the protuberance 40 at the cup passage 27, for a purpose to be described. It is to be noted that the upper wall of the cup recess 34 is flat and horizontal, although the recess is arcuately concentric with the common axis of cup 14, cap 18 and container body 17.
Radially outwardly of the recess 34, the cup 14 is formed to provide a circumferentially continuous, circular groove 45 coaxial of the common axis referred to; and still further radially outwardly of the groove 45 the cup skirt 30 has its concave arcuate surface relieved somewhat at 46, from which perimetral zone there project three equally spaced cup lugs 47, 47' and 47" (FIG. 3). The purpose of this will be hereinafter referred to, but it will be noted that the lug 47 is radially centered between the protuberances 40, 43 on the rib 42 of the eyecup recess 34.
Now referring particularly to FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8, the cap member 18 of the container 16 (which has mating and relatively rotatable engagement about a common axis with the cup 14, as indicated above) has its outer semispherical surface 32 formed with certain integral and outwardly projecting formations for such mating engagement with the cup formations mentioned above.
One of these formations is an upright valve body projection 49 which project axially of and generally normal to surface 32, and is arcuate in outline (FIG. 4) for a mating and sliding engagement within the cup recess 34, the valve body 49 being horizontally flat-topped for sliding engagement with the top of the cup recess or groove 34. As arcuately constructed along radii corresponding to those of the walls of recess 34, the valve body portion 49 extends approximately 90 between opposite end walls 50, 51; and the body 49 is provided along its top with an arcuate central groove or trackway 52, into which the arcuate rib 42 of the cup recess 34 is received, as appears in FIGS. 2 and 6. As shown in FIG. 7, the bottom of the top body groove or trackway 52 is formed to provide a pair of small arcuate or lune-shaped indentations or depressions 53, 54 spaced equally from the body end walls 50, 51; and a metering passage extends from the depression 53 through the opposite convex arcuate face 32 of the cap 18. The bore of passage 55 is slightly smaller than that of the passage 27 in the eyecup 14. Depressions 53, 54 corresponding in shape with the protuberances 40, 43 of the cup recess 34, for a purpose to be described. Their spacing through one another is the same as that of the protuberances 40, 43; and they are, as shown in FIG. 7, equidistant from the upright center of the valve body 49.
The valve body is shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 as being of solid cross section, but it may also be hollow to provide, as indicated in dot-dash line in FIG. 7, a chamber 49, to which a short passage 55 opens upwardly from the container body, the chamber 49' having a part opening upwardly through the depression 53. The formation of such an apertured valve body may be accomplished by constructing the latter of two parts adhesively or otherwise secured together.
Radially outwardly of the valve body 49, the arcuate surface 32 of cap 18 is formed to provide a continuous circular, outwardly projecting guide rib 56, which, as best shown in FIG. 2, is adapted to matingly engage within the circular groove or trackway 45 of the eyecup 14. In still further radially outwardly spaced position, the convex surface 32 of cap 18 is formed to provide three outwardly projecting guide ribs 58 shaped as segments of a circle and circumferentially spaced from one another by gate opening-s 59, which are sized to accommodate the three guide lugs 47, 47', 47" of the cup skirt 30. It will be noted that one of these gate openings 59 aligns radially with the circumferential center of the projecting valve body 49 of the cap 18, as shown in FIG. 4.
Thus, in assembling the eyecup 14 to the cap 18, the cup is brought downwardly onto the cap with its projecting guide lug 47 in circumferential alignment with the last mentioned gate opening 59, bringing the concave arcuate surface 28 of the cup in mating engagement with the convex outer surface of cap 18. So positioned, the cap may be rotated in either direction to bring the metering passage 55 of the cap into register with the corresponding passage 27 of the cup (as indicated in FIG. 3); or a rotation in the opposite direction will seal off the cap passage 55. In the first named position, the small protuberance 40 through which passage 27 is formed mates into the small recess 53 of valve body 49 surrounding its passage 55; and under slight axial pressure applied by the user, a liquid tight seal is made at this joint. When the cup 14 and cap 18 are rotated to the other position, the recess 53 of body 49 is brought into register with the protuberance 43, thus sealing off flow into cap passage 55 under slight pressure exerted by the user.
It is to be emphasized that the size of the rib protuberances 40, 43 and mating depressions 53, 54 of body 49 is very slight and, coupled with the fact that the material of the parts is somewhat compressible and yieldable, no difficulty is experienced in effecting the desired relative rotation of cup and cap. When it is desired to remove the cup for cleaning, it may be rotated to an intermediate position to register the lugs 47, 47, 47" thereof with the gate openings 59 of the cap to facilitate separation. However, this may not be necessary since in most cases the cup may simply be forced readily into and out of engagement with the cap. The primary purpose of the cup and cap formations is to assist in guiding the two parts for a limited relative rotation.
Again referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, they show the container body 17 as being provided about its top edge with an integral enlarged bead 61; and the closure member 12 is provided about its bottom with an inwardly directed annular thickened bead 62, for snap'over coaction with the bead 61 in releasably holding the closure over the e yecup 14. Closure 12 is formed at its top surface 63 in a noncircular or oval outline matching that of the rim or wall top of eyecup 14. Thus, as operatively applied in the manner shown in FIG. 2, the closure 12 not only seals and protects the eyecup against external contamination, but also prevents possible rotation of the eyecup about the container cap 18.
In production, the proportions of the various projecting and recessed parts of the cup and cap are such as to permit a frictional interfit thereof which will normally prevent relative rotation of the cup and cap parts, yet still not interfere with ready manual manipulation in use.
The operation of the dispensing container unit is believed to be clear from the foregoing description. Briefly, with the container body appropriately filled with the eyewash or other bathing liquid, and the cap 18 tightly applied to the aforesaid body 17 at thethreaded connection, the closure 12 being removed, the user positions the cup 14 and cap 18 rotatably relative to one another to seal ofl? the cup metering passage 27 in the manner described above. He then places the eyecup against the eye socket area, tilting his head back while holding the cup snugly against the area under slight pressure, thereby preventing ensuing leakage. He then turns the container body 17 relative to the cup to align the cap metering passage 55 with the cup passage 27, maintaining sufficient pressure to effectuate a seal of the passage connection at the surrounding small protuberance 40 and recess or depression 53. The bathing liquid gravitates into the eye area, the upward projection 26 of the eyecup through which passage 27 extends directing the drops in a desirable manner; and such administration is continued to the extent desired. It may be expedited by expelling the liquid more forcibly under slight manual compressive pressure applied to container body 17.
When the appropriate quantity has been dispensed, the container body is re-rotated to its original, closed position, maintaining gentle pressure for proper sealing, so as to re-position the cup protuberance 43 across the cap depression 53, thus sealing the cap metering passage 55. The unit 10 is then re-inverted, and any liquid remaining within the eyecup will be trapped in the recess 24, rather then reentering the container; and may be thrown away. Thus insurance is had against contamination of the remaining content of the container. The eyecup 14 may be removed, cleansed and replaced if desired; and the unit is conditioned for another use.
While the invention has been shown and described as including a container cap part having an external, upwardly convex surface 32 of quasi-spherical outline, and an administering eyecup member having a bottom surface 28 also of quasi-spherical outline for mating engagement with the cap and adjusting rotation about the axes of the container cap and administering cup parts, it is to be understood that the principle of the invention is not necessarily limited to these contours or specific relative movement. For example, cap and cup parts having mating, interfitted and relatively sliding surfaces of other kinds, or other types of rotative generation other than spherical, may be utilized. Similarly, the specific provision shown for valving the dispensing and administration of the liquid in question may be altered. It is considered that the invention basically relies in the provision of a special kind of dispensing and administering unit, including a container for a volume of the liquid to be dispensed and administered, and an administering part of special character devised for direct application to a member to be treated, so as to supply to that member a desired bathing or treating volume of the liquid in question, valving off that sub-volume from the major content of the container as administration proceeds. The administering part remains on the container throughout the dispensing and treating operation.
All components of the improved unit are simple and inexpensively fabricated. It is seen that actually the unit 10 combines the functions of both the conventional eyecup and the conventional eye dropper in a single unit, whose valve provisions permit quick, safe and sanitary administration of an eye wash with maximum economy as to the bathing liquid. It is contemplated that the unit 10, including the container 16 constituted by portion 17 and cap 18, the cup 14 and the closure 12 shall be furnished for retail sale, to be thrown away when its content is exhausted. However, this is not necessarily the case, inasmuch as the provisions of the invention enable the container to be refilled as many times as the user desires, or to be cleansed or sterilized whenever necessary.
What is claimed is:
1. A container unit for dispensing and administering eye wash or other liquids, comprising a container body including a cap part, and an administering part in relatively slidable engagement with said cap part, said parts having non-threaded means guiding the same for a relative sliding adjustment at axially contacting meeting surfaces thereof, said surfaces having substantially constant pressure engagement in different positions of rotative adjustment of the parts, each of said parts having a metering passage therethrough and said passages being adapted to be brought into and out of register with one another by said relative sliding adjustment, thus to establish and interrupt liquid flow communication therethrough without lateral leakage, due to said constant pressure engagement, said administering part being formed to provide a recess engageable about an area to be administered with said liquid and adapted to confine liquid obtained from said container body through said passages of said parts, the respective parts being provided with formations through which the passages extend, one of which formations projects axially of the container body and has an arcuate trackway therein, and the other of which is recessed axially and has an arcuate rib which coacts with said trackway, in a direction generally normal to the meeting surfaces of said parts, said formations having mating engagement with one another in one relative position of said parts for a flow of liquid through the passages of said formations and to the recess of the administering part. 1
2. The container unit of claim 1, and additionally com prising a further non-passaged formation on one of said parts matingly engaging axially a portion of the passaged formation on the other part in another relative position of said parts to provide a seal preventing flow of liquid to said recess of the administering part.
3. The container unit of claim 1, in which the axially projecting formation is on the cap part.
4. The container unit of claim 2, in which the axially projecting formation is on the cap part.
5. The container unit of claim 1, in which said guide means comprises mating arcuate trackway means located on the respective cap and administering parts radially outwardly of said passaged formations thereof.
6. The container unit of claim 2, in which said guide means comprises mating arcuate trackway means located on the respective cap and administering parts radially outwardly of said passaged formations thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 25,906 11/ 1965 Livingstone 220-60 X 963,933 7/1910 ONeill 128249 2,092,137 9/1937 Punte 222-548 2,524,720 10/1950 Watrous 128-249 2,585,264 2/1952 Mock 128-249 2,669,232 2/1954 Borowick 128249 2,138,992 12/1938 Baker 222545 2,834,501 5/1958 Nutter 2204 3,118,578 1/1964 Collins 222-212 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.