US 3410460 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 12, 1968 A. A. MLJSHER 3,410,460
DOUBLE SAFE CONTAINER CLOSURE AND MEASURING DEVICE Filed May 2, 1967 INVENTOR United States Patent 3,410,460 DOUBLE SAFE CONTAINER CLOSURE AND MEASURING DEVICE Arthur A. Musher, Silver Spring, Md., assignor to Arthur A. Musher & Associates, Silver Spring, Md. Filed May 2, 1967, Ser. No. 635,544 11 Claims. (Cl. 222-490) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A closure and plug for a container is provided with elements inter-engaging with other elements on the mouth of the container to secure it against opening by young children. In one modification, the closure is provided with a combination safety plug and measuring device.
My invention relates to a one piece safety closure so simple in design and structure that it can be made as inexpensively as a high percentage of ordinary closures now on the market; plus a container plugging device that prevents access to most of the containers contents, while at the same time doubling as a measuring device. Further, the container can be opened as easily as any present ordinary container by a knowledgeable individual, yet should be beyond the capacity of a young child of or 6 years or younger; the age group most alfected by accidental poisonings. The object of this invention is to pre-' vent accidental ingestion of toxic materials, whether medicinal or house-hold, and to do so in as simple and inexpensive a means as to possible. A further object is to provide a measuring means by simple inversion of the container. Material measured could be in liquid or powder form; also capsule or tablet etc., if medicinal. Simple design has been maintained so that manufacturing costs will not interfere with its generalized use.
To this end, the safety cap or closure is designed completelyseparate from the one piece container plugging and measuring device. In this way, they can be used together as a combination unit, or each can be used separately according to the discretion of the manufacturer or user, and the use to which it is to be put, such as the dangers and toxicity of the contents, or its susceptibility to potentially accidental use.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 represents an exploded view in prospective of the closure and upper portion of a container.
FIG. 2 is a view in plan of the closure.
FIG. 3 is a view in plan of the bottle.
FIG. 4 is a section in plan of a bottle and further modification of the closure plugging and measuring device.
FIG. 5 is a prospective view of the closure plug and measuring device shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a modification of a resilient button for the closure of FIG. 2
FIG. 7 is a further modification of a closure measuring plug and bottle in section.
FIG. 8 is a cross section view of FIG. 7, taken thru the line 8 of FIG. 7. t
The following detailed description referring to the accompanying drawings will better illustrate the manner in which the invention will operate. The cap 10, FIGS. 1 and 2 is moulded or Bakelite, urea resin, polysterene, etc., or stamped from metal etc.; has inner protuberances 12, FIGS. 1 and 2 here shown as half beads. FIG. 1 shows three on cap and bottle, FIGS. 2 and 3 show two. Instead of the usual threading arrangement of the bottle neck, that intermesh with threads, or a thread like arrangement on the cap, the threads are designed as channels so that the protuberances 12, of the cap will slide down a first portion of the channel on the bottle entering ice at points 25, gliding along the downward path of the moulded channel 25a on the bottle, and closing the bottle securely, when the protuberance 12 reaches a point approximately at bight 36 on the bottle, but above the bottle sealing and cap protecting ring 32. This securely closes the container, and it is designed so that present bottle machinery can fill and seal this bottle with this cap by exactly duplicating present precedures. In use, when the consumer uses the bottle a leftward (design reversal could of course reverse the direction) turn, will simply lock the bead or protuberance 12 at point 30. This is accomplished by using a resilient device 14, in the top of the cap shown in FIG. 2, such as polyurethane foam, a soft metal spring, or a moulded polyethelene or other soft plastic springy insert (shown in FIG. 6, but described later), such springy material being under the liner 22 of the cap 10; and exerting enough downward pres sure on the cap liner 22, so that it remains in close contact with the upper rim of the bottle neck 26. This springy material performs a dual purpose. It serves to insure that turning the bottle cap to open it will exert sufficient downward pressure to insure the bead 12 riding close to the upper guideline 39 in channel portion 39a overlying channel 25a on the bottle, and so be trapped into the safety locking feature at point 30. It also insures that the inner liner of the cap remains evenly pressed downward against the upper rim of the bottle 26, so that when unoflicial access to the contents are attempted, nothing will leak out in this locked on position. The cap is marked at each head with a mark 18, moulded or stamped into the cap at manufacture. The bottle contains a corresponding alignment mark at 34. When these two marks align as the turn to remove is made, it is necessary to press with a firm downward motion on the cap at bight 36 to avoid the bead or protuberance 12 entering the trap 30. Then the bead will follow the path of the lower thread or guideline 31, allowing the bead and the cap 10 itself to come off the bottle at point 25. From the drawing it will be readily seen, that if the individual so desires, he or she can exert a downward pressure continually on the cap in conjunction with the turning motion, and the protuberance. 12, FIGS. 1 and 2, will just as easily escape entrance into the trap at 30, allowing the cap to be removed the same way at point 25. It is readily apparent that when the protuberance 12, is seated in the channel 39a, at approximately the position 30, a mere vertical application of pressure will be inefiective to remove the closure. Removal can only be accomplished in the instance of a rotation of the closure in a one direction, and thence reversal thereto, concomitant with the application of pressure. This motion requires additional education not normally available to children.
The new art is represented by the presence of two distinct, overlying, interconnecting but reversing channels. These two channels are arranged in relation one to the other, that closure rotation, either right or left directionally will always result in the closure remaining locked or closed on the container. This assurance that the protuberance 12, will automatically always select the upper blind end or locking channel during accidental or unauthorized rotation of the closure is accomplished by placing a resilient packing or spring member 14, FIG. 2, be tween closure top 20 and closure liner 22, with sufiicient resilience to exert a constant downward torque on liner 22. This downward force, exerted on the terminal end of the container neck 26 creates a reverse pressure on the closure, forcing it upward, and thereby assuring that the protuberance 12 will follow the guideline 39, FIGURES 1 and 3, into the upper closed or locked channel. The only way in which closure can be removed, is for sufficient downward pressure on cap to be exerted to force the protuberance 12 to enter the lower or opening channel FIGURE 1, 27. To effect this, alignment marks are provided on bottle cap 18, FIGS. 1 and 2, and bottle collar 34, FIGS. 1 and 3. The vertical alignment of these two marks indicate the presence of the protuberance 12 at the bight of the two channels, the only position where sufficient pressure concomitant with the correct rotation will cause the protuberance 12 to pass into the lower, free, or open ended channel, and so allow for the closures removal.
Because young children are incapable of exerting two coordinated efforts involving and creating two forces at approximately 90 degrees of each other consistently and at sufiicient pressures, the closure is child safe, and in consequence a safety closure.
To provide an added or double safety feature, the invention includes a plug like device that is designed to function as a measuring device also, increasing its utilitarian advantages, and capable of being moulded in one operation from a soft plastic such as polyethylene. In this way only the one does or one measure would be available if an unauthorized individual should accidentally succeed in removing the cap. Yet when used by authorized personnel, it would satisfactorily measure one does or application. This could best be accomplished by having the measuring plug open to the containers contents when the closure is secured to the bottle, and closed to the containers contents when the cap or closure is removed from the container. This is accomplished by proper placement of holes 56, FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 4 illustrates the plug designed for liquids in the bottle with the cap removed. The dotted lines 66 indicating its position with the cap secured to the bottle. Again referring to FIG. 4, when the cap is secured on the bottle the filling holes are in the dotted position 57, and below the bottle shoulder 40 and thus open to receive the contents when inverted.
Since the inserted plug is designed as a measuring device also, it follows that it should be available in a variety of sizes, such as /2 teaspoonful, 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoonsful, 3 teaspoonsful, one-half ounce, 1 ounce, 2 ounces, 3 ounces, etc., depending on its use and if medicine etc., for whom prescribed. In the liquid measurer, the space beneath the holes 56 and bottom 64 in FIGS. 4 and 5 constitute the measurement. Thus to reduce unnecessary inventory and confusion, it is recommended that all containers from one or 2 ounces on up to even a quart or gallon size (for use with household bleaches, floor polishes etc.) should be made with the same size neck. Thus after filling the bottle, the plug with the correct measuring capacity can be stamped or lightly hammered into the neck. In manufacturing, this would be a simple machine procedure between the filling and caping motions of the machines.
In FIGURES 4 and 5, the measuring insert 68, has an upper lip 44, that when capped is compressed downward by the closing motion of the cap against the upper rim of the bottle 26. When this is so closed, the holes 56 FIG. 5, that allow the contents to enter are compressed to the dotted position 57 in FIG. 4, which carry it below the inner shoulder of the bottle 40 (shoulder). If the contained liquid contains a sediment material, the bottle should be shaken first, then tilted or inverted to allow an aliquot portion of the contents to enter the insert plug. When the bottle is returned to the upright position, there are sufficient holes around the circumference to allow any liquid over the amount measured by the measurement area 62 to flow back into the container quickly. To gain access to this measured portion it is simply necessary to remove the cap and the insert will rise in the container neck 24, causing the inner shoulder 40, of the bottle to close the holes, preventing any additional contents of the bottle from leaving, and assuring accurate measurement. Appropriately placed Wedges 60, FIGS. 4 and 5, are provided with a broad catch surface 58, that stop the insert plug from leaving the container, thru contact with the container shoulder 40, thereby preventing accidental removal of the combination safety and measuring plug. This rise in the bottle neck is accomplished by one or two possible methods, or by both together. The insert from the wedge to its top 44 slopes outward from /2 to 1 /2 degrees or so, depending on the material used and its thickness, etc. This will provide an upward torque on the insert since it will cause the insert to rise seeking the position of less pressure. It is of course stopped by the wedges 60 moulded to the sides of the insert against the inner shoulder 40 of the bottle, also closing the openings 56. It is this locking of the insert in the container with the holes closed, that provides the additional safety factor as well as its measuring function. The rise is also accomplished by bent fingerlike projections 46 and 48 of FIG. 5 moulded in a number of positions around the outer rim 44 of the insert 68. The moulded finger has a leg 46, that carries the flat finger 48, that rests against the upper rim of the bottle (rim 26) leaving a space 52, so that when the lip 44 of the insert is compressed against the upper rim 26 of the bottle, by tightening the cap, it will have sufficient room to stretch out and remain flat while the cap is secured. Yet, being of resilient material, when the cap is removed it will return to its moulded original shape forcing up into the neck the insert 68, until it is caught against the shoulder 40 of the bottle by the Wedges 60 moulded into the measuring insert.
The design of the fingers are better illustrated in FIG. 6, where they are reversed, for this represents an alternate means (instead of the spring or the polyurethane foam) of exerting a downward pressure on the liner of the cap assuring that sufficient pressure is exerted on the liner 22, to prevent any leakage of the liquid contained (or powder, etc.) and at the same time insuring that the beads 12 will lock into the traps 30, unless access is being performed by an authorized individual, in which instance sufficient downward pressure will be exerted at the correct moment (or thru out the turn) so that the head 12, will be guided past the trap at position 36, so that the cap can be properly removed.
The cap of this invention is simple enough to use by normal adults, teenagers, etc., so that if it was provided on all containers of medicine, household products (except food), insecticides, or what have you, there could be no serious objection to its use. Mass produced, it would be equally economical with present closures. It is equally true that any adult or teenager capable of exerting the effort necessary with most present closures would experience no difficulty with this one. It merely requires downward pressure continually, or at the correctly indicated moment in addition to the turning motion.
In the case of the insert being supplied routinely, at the dispensing or manufacturing level, it is conceivable that a family having no children or senile individuals that could be accidentally harmed by the contents, and not desiring the use of the measuring feature of the product, particularly if it is a household item, would prefer to have access to the contents without the inserts present. For such cases, there is provided on the upper rim 44 of the insert a small group of holes 50, into which an ice pick, the tines of a fork or any other readily available pointed household object can be inserted, and then using the opposite side of the bottle as a fulcrum, the insert can easily be pried out and discarded. For easiest removal, partial lifting from one side should be completed, and the procedure repeated on a hole 50, nearly opposite the original one.
Also moulded into the top surface of the rim 44 of the insert are at least two po'urinig ridges 54, so that access to the [measured contents of the insert 'Will flow easily. It will be obvious to one skilled in the art, that by inverting the container partially as required, and pressing on one portion of rim 44, the contents of the container 'will be dispensed continually until pressure is replaced, when the insert will return to its cap off position closing the insert to any additional container contents. This dispensing feature also pertains to the solid material variation described in the next paragraph. This feature does not materially lessen the safety feature since a young child is incapable of the coordinated inversion of container and pressure necessary.
As previously stated, the use of an insert for solid material such as powders, granules, and in the case of medicine tablets or capsules also; will require a variation of the insert plug, and the bottle or container will require an enlanged collar inside 74 in FIG. 7.
FIG. 7 illustrates this modification, and FIG. 8 is a cross-section thru the bottle and insert at point 8 on FIG. 7. As in the liquid insert 68, FIG. 4, there are a group of two or more wedges 60, which will catch at their upper larger surface 61 against the shoulder of the bottle 40, preventing accidental access to the entire contents of the container.
In the powder container there is an inner collar 74, that narrows the neck of the container below that point 77. When a pair of similar wedges 76 opposite each other are pressed against this collar 74 by the cap 10 forcing the insert down when screwed on, it will compress the side walls of the insert inward, forcing open a slit in the bottom. This slit 78, follows a direct path between the two upper wedges 76 FIGS. 7 and 8. In this opened position, this slit will allow material to enter the insert and till the area between the insert and the liner 22 of the container cap. Thus in this variation, the upper area becomes the measuring area. The slit is reinforced by moulding in a thicker area of plastic at its end points 80', so that it will not split further than designed. To vary the measuring capacity of this insert, it will be necessary to leave the bottom 64 open, and curved inward 65 to a point even with the container shoulder, between the wedges 60 so that the bottle can be completely emptied into the insert in its last use. To vary the measuring capacity it is also necessary to vary the position of the bottom 65, FIG. 8, so placing it that the distance from it 65, to the top of the rim 44 will represent the volumetric quanity is designed to hold. Again it would be best to make the bottle neck andinserts the same size, varying the inventory only by supplying inserts with different measuring capacities thru changing the position of bottom 65 in the inserts.
The versatility of the insert could be greatly increased if the user could adjust measurement to his own requirements. This is readily possible by molding the insert in two pieces instead of the aforesaid one. Thus the inside of the insert would have molded into the area beneath the holes (explanation is on liquid insert, but dry material variation would be similar), threads that would mesh with a movable, separate bottom having threads on its outer surface; and a thickened area with a slot making adjustment of the position of the bottom possible by knife blade, screwdriver, etc., inserted thru the container neck while the insert remained in place in the container. It could also have attached (molded) to this movable bottom, an indicator stick whose position at varying points along the side, etc., of the insert, would indicate thnu graduations or other markings the amount of material being measured at any one position of the movable bottom of the insert. The bottom of the insert has molded into it as part of its structure a stop to prevent the movable insert bottom from being accidentally screwed out of the insert. Since the indicator stick is attached to the movable bottom, the indicating graduations would be on the side of the insert.
For simplicity in the description, I have limited mention to a bottle and a cap; but this is not to be construed as limiting the invention in any way. The design and principles are applicable to any container, whether bottle, vial, can, or plastic or other material; and the same variability applies to the closure and insert. Many variations in design, shape, or material would all work satisfactorily, and the design in the drawings is merely illustrative, and is not intended in any way to limit the principles 6 of the invention to the existing drawings, or to the descrip-- tion.
1. A safety closure in combination with a container, the said closure having an internal cylindrical face provided with protuberances, the container having a neck and being provided with at least one engaging surface on the outer periphery intermeshing \with a corresponding number of protuberances to prevent removal thereof except with pressure force, a resilient button inserted in the closure, the said engaging surfaces comprised of a first and second channel, the first channel opening into the top of the neck of the container at one end running at least partially around the neck of the container and connecting at its other end at a bight into a second channel overlying the first channel, the said second channel extending upwardly in a direction reversing that of the first channel and terminating at an end opposite the end of connection to the first channel below the top of the neck, whereby the said protuberance enters the first end of the first channel and upon rotation of the closure, rides in the first channel circumferentially around the neck to the said second end and upon reversal of closure rotation, the said protuberance rides in the second channel thus securing the closure to the said neck in a manner requiring reverse directional rotation and downward pressure at the bight of the first and second channel to disengage the closure from the neck.
2. A safety closure in combination with a container, the said closure having an internal cylindrical face provided with at least one protuberance, and a resilient button inserted in the closure, the container having a neck and being provided with an engaging surface on the outer periphery intenmeshing with the protuberance to prevent rem-oval thereof except with pressure force, the engaging surface on the neck of the container provided with a channel around the said outer periphery of said neck, said channel comprising two portions, a first portion opening at the top of the neck and following in a first direction generally downwardly and ciroumferentially partly around the neck, a second portion overlying the first portion and connected at a bi-ght to the first portion and following a direction opposite to the first portion, the said second portion terminating at a point below the top of the neck, the said protuberance being inserted into the first portion and riding therein and thence into the second portion of the channel for engagement therewith, whereby the said protuberance enters the first portion opening at the top of the neck and upon rotation of the closure circumferentially around the neck and reversal of closure rotation, the protuberance rides in the second portion of the channel, thus securing the closure to the said neck in a manner requiring for removal reverse directional rotation and downward pressure at the bight of the first and second portions to disengage the closure from the neck.
3. The combination of claim 1 fiurther having a circumferential channel around the neck in the plane of the said big'ht.
4. The combination of claim 1, in which the resilient button is made of polyurethane foam.
5. The combination of claim. 2, in Which the button has an integral resilient extension from the face thereof, and the said button is further provided with a recession into which the extension is received on compression of the extension.
6. The combination of claim 1, further provided with a hollow cylindrical plug, closed at one end. The outer walls of the hollow cylinder having at least one resilient protuberance adapted to engage the inner shoulder of the container mouth.
7. The combination of claim 6 in which the upper end of the hollow cylindrical plug is provided with an annular flange, the said flange having resilient projections which normally rest on a terminal end of the container mouth.
8. The combination of claim 6, plus plural openings distributed around the cylinder which permit communication of material from the container to the inside of the hollow cylinder.
9. The combination of claim 6, in which the closed end of the cylinder is provided with an elongated slot, capable of opening upon application of pressure to the cylinder walls.
10. The combination of claim 9 in which is applied to the cylinder wall a further protuberance on the cylinder face, extending beyond the wall a nominal distance greater than the circumference of the cylinder at that point.
11. The combination of claim 10, in which recesses are provided on the inside surface of the mouth of the container, and in wvhich the further protuberances are permitted to ride without any pressure being applied theret0.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Paardecamp 222440 Lee et al 222440 Salk 222-490 X Nichols 2159 Thompson 222490 Focht 251-353 X Gibson 222-489 X ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.