US 3417863 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
24 1968 J. H. PAXTON 3,417,863
FLEXIBLE PLASTIC BAG STACK, INDIVIDUAL BAGS OF WHICH ARE PROVIDED WITH RESPECTIVELY ECHELONED FILAMENTARY CLOSURE FACILITIES Filed Aug. 24. 1967 JERRE H. PAXTON INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,417,863 FLEXIBLE PLASTIC BAG STACK, INDIVIDUAL BAGS OF WHICH ARE PROVIDED WITH RE- SPECTIVELY ECHELONED FILAMENTARY CLOSURE FACILITIES Jerre H. Paxton, P.0. Box 2098, Yakima, Wash. 98902 Filed Aug. 24, 1967, Ser. No. 662,950 3 Claims. (Cl. 20657) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A stack of flexible plastic bags in which said bags are bound together along one edge so that each bag is readily tearable from its binding, each of said bags having integrated therewith, a suitable distance below the open mouth thereof, a twistee-type bag closure for uniting the bunched neck of the bag after the latter has been detached from said stack, said closures being applied to the bags of the stack in relatively echeloned positions to minimize the thickening of said stack by the application of said closures to said bags.
Cross reference to related applications Reference is made to my co-pending application Ser. No. 629,466 filed Apr. 10, 1967, on a plastic bag with integral closing facility. That application discloses a flexible plastic bag which has integrated therewith, a suitable distance below the open mouth of the bag, a twistee-type bag closure which is thus made available to the customer after he has approximately filled the bag with merchandise, and leaving only a neck portion free for closing the same, for bunching the neck together and closing this by the application thereto of said twistee-type bag closure. In the preferred embodiment of the invention disclosed in said co-pending application said bag closure is secured to the front face of the bag approximately symmetrically with the vertical middle line of the front face of the bag.
A difficulty met with in the use of the invention disclosed in said copending application is that it does not bundle well owing to the fact that the closures are in sheet form and are of a material which is considerably thicker than the film of which the bag is made so that with a bundle of one hundred bags the thcikness of the bundle at the point where said closures are applied is excessive.
Background of the invention (1) Field of the inventi0n.The provision of facilities for use by customers in self-service markets in bagging articles picked up by them in the market which they desire to purchase so that these can be readily identified, priced and the entire transaction recorded on a cash register strip by a checker representing the merchant.
(2) Description of the prior art.-Until recently kraft bags made of relatively heavy paper have been universally used in self-service markets to facilitate the customers collecting merchandise and delivering it to the checker for identification and pricing and the rendering of an account to the customer of the prices of the individual articles and the total due the merchant for the entire lot of merchandise purchased.
The stiffness of these kraft bags has made them very serviceable in this field for this characteristic tends to give the merchandise collected therein a flat base at the bottom causing the bag to stand upright when set on the counter. Thus the checker could readily look down into the mouth of the bag and inspect and identify the merchandise contained therein. This characteristic also facilitated the handling of the bags of merchandise in packing them into larger bags or cardboard boxes for delivery to the customer. The advantages in using kraft bags for the collecting of merchandise in a self-service market has been discounted, however, by the discovery by many merchants that they are losing considerable quantities of merchandise to shoplifting which is facilitated by the use of the kraft bag. For instance, the practice has been found to be not uncommon of a customer putting a piece of expensive merchandise, such as a T-bone steak, in the bottom of the kraft bag and then covering it up with potatoes or other merchandise sol-d by weight at a much lower price than the steak. The checker, being generally in a hurry, does not detect a deception of this kind with the result that merchants are suffering substantial losses of merchandise. Efforts to use transparent flexible plastic bags for the collection of merchandise by customers in self-service has heretofore been defeated by the fact that such bags do not support the merchandise in a column as is the case in using kraft bags so that the plastic bags filled with merchandise must generally always be laid on the counter and when this is done the merchandise tends to escape from the open end of the bag.
Summary of the invention The primary object of the invention is to provide a flexible plastic bag stack in which the individual bags are equipped with a twistee-type bag closure as set forth in the aforesaid co-pending application, with the exception that the closure applied to each bag in the stack is applied in a position in which said closure is uncovered by, or what is known as in echeloned relation with, the closure on the bag neck thereabove. As illustrated in the preferred embodiment disclosed herein, in which the present invention is embodied with a stack of one hundred bags, the amount which said stack is thickened by the application of said closures to the individual bags is reduced by the present invention to A; of the thickness which would be added to a stack by closures located as shown in the aforesaid co-pending application.
Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a face view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrating in full line the twisteetype closure applied to the front face of the top bag of the stack, and, in broken lines, the twistee-type closures applied successively and in echeloned relationship to the eight bags next below the uppermost bags.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1, with the stack depleted by a number of bags being torn therefrom.
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic enlarged sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1 and showing the bags of the stack separated from each other to better illustrate the manner in which the twistee-type closures are in echeloned relation in the stack.
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the neck of a bag after it has been closed by the twistee-type closure provided on said bag in the present invention.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring specifically to the drawings, the invention is there shown as embodied in a packaged stack 10 of bags 11 made of thin polyethylene film or similar flexible plastic material. The bags 11 are preferably made by folding a Web of film as it travels linearly to form the back 12, bottom 13, and front 14 of the bag 11, and transversely heat severing and sealing the severed edges of said web at intervals to divide the same into the bags 11 and seal together opposite side edges of the back, bottom and front of each bag.
Coordinately with the heat severing of said Web in the manufacture of the bags 11, a twistee-type bag closure 15 is secured adhesively as by a spot of adhesive 16 to the front of each bag in a selected one of a plurality of spaced positions across the front of the bag 11 and with the twistee located obliquely as shown in FIGURE 1. Eachof the closures 15 includes a continuous wire filament 17 which is trapped by an adhesive between the folds of a longitudinally folded narrow paper ribbon 18 which are pressed against the wire to unite the folded ribbon with the wire.
The present invention includes the novel method of forming the stack of bags 11 in which the bags are formed as above described and in which a closure is applied as above described to each of the bags 11 in one of the aforesaid several positions across the front of the bag as indicated in FIGURE 1. The location on each bag 11 elected for applying a closure 15 thereto is advanced from right to left or from left to right, but in one of these directions, from a position in which a closure was applied to the last previous bag formed in said web of material. The closures may be applied to the web before the same is divided into bags or while it is being divided into bags, or after it has been divided into bags, but this step is preferably performed before the web is divided into bags as better control is at that time had of the material to which the closure is applied.
There is. of course, a limited number of side-by-side stations across the front of a bag 11 in one of which the closure may be applied. After a corresponding number of shifts in the location at which the closure is applied to the advancing web, the next following application of a closure to said web starts at the original or most advanced position and then skips from one position to the next through said series of positions until another restart is necessary. In this way a hundred bags are formed from the end of a continuous web of film on which closures have been applied in accordance with above described method and received from the end of the web and stacked in producing the preferred embodiment of the stack 10 of the invention illustrated in the drawings.
There are preferably nine positions across the stack 10 for receiving one of the twistee-type bag closures 15, and for each group of nine superimposed bags in the stack 10, the closure 15 on each bag is located in a different one of these positions. This is clearly shown in FIGURE 3 in which the bags in the stack are spaced apart arbitrarily to show how, in successive bags, the closure 15 is applied so as not to underlie or overlie either of the closures on the bags immediately above and below that particular bag.
In the present invention, each bag preferably has a binding strip 19 formed integral therewith in the bag making method above described, by leaving a marginal portion of the web from which the bags are made, with this marginal portion integral with the back 12 of the bag but only weakly connected thereto through a line of perforations 20. Each stack 10 is formed by assembling a suitable number of bags 11 (such as one hundred bags) as these come off the production line with said bags exactly superimposed, which means that the binding strips 19 are also superimposed. To bind the binding strips 19 of this group of one hundred bags together immediately, these binding strips are preferably penetrated at spaced points near the opposite ends thereof by hot pointed rods which melt together the material of the binding strips adjacent to said rods and thus unite the hundred bags 11 comprised in said stack against separation of any of the bags from the stack except by a tearing of the material holding the binding strip of any of the bags from the bag itself which material is located at the line of perforations 20.
The stack of one hundred bags 11 thus heat welded together by the heat welding of the binding strips 19 thereof at spaced points, is now passed through a machine which applies a cardboard strip 25 to the upper end portion of the stack and entirely covering the binding strips 19, after which the cardboard binder 25 and the binding strips 19 are punched at spaced points and a pair of hollow rivets 26 are driven therethrough and riveted in place as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. The hollow rivets 26 provide holes 27 which may be used to hang the stack 10 on any suitable pair of prongs provided in a location where it is desired to use the bags 11. With the stack 10 thus supported, it is available for dispensing a bag 11 to any customer who desires to avail himself of this means of gathering merchandise in the store providing this facility. To remove one of the bags 11 from the stack 10 with the latter supported as above described, the customer merely needs to take hold of the topmost bag of the stack near the lower end thereof and give it a jerk which separates it from the binding strip 19 which unites said bag with the rest of the stack.
In making use of a bag thus removed from the stack, only such an amount of merchandise is placed in the bag as will leave a neck portion 28 of the bag at the open end thereof unoccupied so that this neck portion may be bunched together and possibly twisted, this gathering of the neck of the bag being towards the adhesive spot 16 uniting the closure 15 with the bag. With the neck thus bunched and held together between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, the other hand is applied to opposite end portions of the closure 15 so as to wrap these around the bunched neck of the bag and the neck is then transferred from the hand which bunched it, to the fingers of the other hand which have just wrapped the twistee 15 about it. The hand thus released from holding the bunched neck of the bag is now free to seize the opposite end portions of the bag closure and twist these together as shown in FIGURE 5 thereby trapping the neck 28 of the bag and effectively closing the latter.
From the above disclosure it is believed evident that the present invention offers a solution to the problem of providing packaged thin flexible plastic bags for customers in supermarkets in which each bag will be provided with a bag closing facility readily available for use by the customer after he has collected merchandise in one of said bags whereby the customer may close the neck of the bag and thus tightly package the merchandise gathered therein.
It is also desired to point out that each of the bags of the present invention after being opened at home to re move the merchandise collected therein is readily available for use as an ice-box bag for protecting food placed in storage, as the closure 15 provided on each bag is well secured to the bag and thus always available for use on an indefinite number of separate occasions.
1. A bound flexible plastic bag stack, for providing individual bags one at a time, each of which bags is provided with a twistee-type bag closure for use in closing said bag, said stack comprising:
a stack of bags made of thin flexible plastic material such as polyethylene film, the bags in said stack being in superimposed relation, each of said bags having binding means along one edge thereof by which the bags are bound together and which permits each bag to be readily separated from the stack;
means for supporting said stack by said binding means whereby an individual bag may be pulled from said stack by grasping the bag and jerking it, each bag thus removed from the stack being open along one edge thereof to allow placing merchandise in said bag, the portion of said bag adjacent said opening being referred to hereinafter as the neck thereof; and
a series of twistee-type bag closures, one for each of the bags in said stack, which are secured respectively on the outer faces of said bags, each of said closures embodying a filamentary element such as a metal wire which takes a set when twisted, whereby when said closure is placed around the neck of said bag 5 6 and the ends twisted together it will effectively close said closures are secured to faces respectively of the said bag, said closures being applied to the respecbags in said stack with said closures disposed obliquetive bags of said stacks with adjacent closures eche- 1y with respect to the longitudinal axis of said stack. loned in depth in relation to each other so as to greatly minimize the thickness added to the thickness of 5 References Cited said stack of bags by the provision of said bags with said 105ures UNITED STATES PATENTS 2. A bound flexible plastic bag stack as defined in 2,930,314 4 19 1 Adams 229 63 cla m wherein 3,225,913 12/1965 Mines 206-58 said closures are secured to outer faces respectively of 10 3 2 5 407 11 19 Abramson 206-57 the bags in said stack with the points of attachment between the closures in said bags spaced approxi- WILLIAM DIXSON, JR" Primary Exammen mately a uniform distance from the edges of said bags at the open ends of the latter.
3. A bound flexible plastic bag stack as defined in 1 206 56; 229 62 claim 1 wherein