US 3425594 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 4, 969 v o. J. BRIDENSTINE CONTAINER Sheet Filed Feb. 19, 1968 INVENTOR. O.J.BR|DENSTINE A TTORNEYS CONTAINER Filed Feb. 19. 1968 Z of 3 Sheet INVENTOR O.-J. BR! DENSTINE ATTORNEYS Feb. 4, 1969 0.1 BRIDENSTINE Sheet of 5 Filed Feb. 19, 1968 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF DISCLOSURE A container wherein two opposed sides have cutout portions for receiving another container in an interlocking relationship, the container having lower corner recesses for receiving the upper corner of a similarly constructed container disposed below the recesses for interlocking at the corners.
This invention relates to a new and improved container. This invention also relates to new and improved containers which can be stacked empty at 90 degree angles to one another to rigidly interlock and to take up a minimum of space when so stacked.
Heretofore containers have been made wherein all the sides of the container were of substantially the same height. Even though grooves could be provided in the bottoms of these containers for some type of interlocking thereof when stacked on one another, these containers, when stacked empty, took up substantially the same amount of space as when stacked full. Also, the empty containers, when stacked, did not interlock with one another sufficiently to provide a stable stack. Thus, these containers, even though empty, could not be stacked to a significant height and therefore took up additional storage volume. These containers, when stored empty, took up a substantial amount of space because their stacked, empty volume was substantially the same as their stacked, full volume, and because the stacked empty containers were not very stable and therefore could not be stacked up to any significant height. This inability to form high stacks of empty containers necessitated a larger number of stacks of lower height and this took up yet additional floor space.
According to this invention a container is provided which not only takes up substantially less space when stacked empty as opposed to being stacked full, but also interlocks not only with the container next below but also with the container below the next below container.
This interlocking feature provides a very rigid stack of r containers thereby allowing the containers to be stacked to very significant heights and thereby obviating the necessity for a larger number of shorter stacks.
According to this invention there is provided a container having at least a first pair of side sections which have a cut out portion therein and a second pair of side sections having recessed corners. Thus, when a container of this invention is set down as a first lower container, a second similarly constructed container can be fit down into the cut outs of the first lower container when the first pair of side sections of the upper container are arranged substantially parallel to the second pair of side sections of the lower container. In this manner these two containers are interlocked. Then, when a third similarly constructed is fitted down into the cut outs of the second container the recessed corners of the third container receive and interlock with the corresponding upper corners of the first lower container so that the first and third containers are interlocked at their corners and thereby lock the second container between themselves.
This twofold interlocking action provides a very rigid stack of containers so that the containers can be stacked United States Patent 3,425,594 Patented Feb. 4, 1969 to very substantial heights. The fitting of the upper container into the cut outs of the lower container substantially reduces the vertical space taken up by the stacks so that, when stacked empty, the two interlocked containers of this invention take up only slightly more vertical space than is taken up by the same containers when stacked full.
In addition, the containers of this invention can be provided with a divider means which will divide the article carrying zone of the container into two, i.e., upper and lower, zones.
The containers of this invention are pre-eminently useful in the bakery industry. For example, the containers of this invention can be used for intra-plant handling and/or delivery of bakery products. The container of this invention when not fitted with a divider means can be used as a bread tray, for example a tray which will carry ten loaves of bread at one time. When fitted with a divider means the container of this invention can carry two levels of smaller bakery goods such as mufiins, hamburger rolls, frankfurter rolls, doughnuts, and the like.
Therefore an object of this invention is to provide a new and improved container.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved container for the bakery industry, the containers being stackable in an interlocking manner when full of goods and also being stackable when empty in a doubly interlocking manner and in a manner which takes up less vertical space than when stacked full.
Other aspect, objects and the several advantages of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description, drawings, and appended claims.
FIGURE 1 shows two containers according to this invention stacked when full.
FIGURE 2 shows the side view of a container of this invention when empty.
FIGURE 3 shows four containers of this invention stacked when empty.
FIGURE 4 shows a bottom view of the containers of FIGURES 1-3.
FIGURE 1 shows two containers 1 and 2, container 1 stacked on top of container 2 in the manner in which the containers of this invention are stacked when full of goods such as boxes of Imuffins 3. In the cutout portion of container 1 there is shown a divider 4 which in turn has a cut out portion to better show spacers 5 that form the main bearing surface of divider 4. Note boxes 3 are shown above divider 4 in container 1 for the sake of simplicity and clarity although in the normal situation there will be another layer of boxes below divider 4 as shown for container 2. Divider 4 is provided with handle means 5 for ease of removal of the divider from the container when loaded with goods.
Each of containers 1 and 2 are provided with a bottom portion 10 and an upstanding side portion composed of a first pair of spaced apart, opposed, substantially parallel side sections 11, 11 and a second pair of spaced apart, opposed, substantially parallel side sections 12, 12'. The two pairs of side sections, the pair 11, 11 being hereafter referred to as the first pair and the pair 12, 12 hereafter being referred to as the second pair, intersect one another to form four corners 13, 14, 15 and 16, the lower portion of each corner intersecting the bottom 10.
The first and second pairs of side sections are upstanding and terminate in an upper edge 18 which upper edge of each of the side sections 11, 11', 12 and 12' define the configuration of the open top of the open topped article carrying zone in which boxes 3 and divider 4 reside. As shown in the cut out portion for side section 1'1 of container 1, the bottom portion 10 and side sections can be formed from two spaced apart substantially parallel walls 19 and 20, the walls being joined to one another to form the upper edge 18 of the overall side portion.
The cut out portions of container 1 described above with respect to divider 4 and side section 11 of container 1 are provided for sake of description of the container of this invention and are not normally present in the finished articles of this invention. There is, however, a cut out area in the first pair of side sections 11, 11' which is normally present in the final article of this invention for reasons which will be disclosed with respect to FIGURE 3 hereinafter. These normally present cut out areas for the first pair of side sections and are defined by end parts 23, and by a lower part 22 which extends for a substantial length of the side section and is substantially parallel to bottom 10. End parts 23 join the upper edge 18 of side section 11 and 11 by extending downwardly from upper edge 18 and inwardly toward lower part 22 as shown by surface 24. The juncture of the sloping, downwardly extending upper edge 24 with the actual upper edge 18 is made by way of a first recess which provides a first recess surface 25 which is substantially parallel to bottom 10, and an upstanding shoulder 26 which connects first recess surface 25 and upper edge 18.
The lower corners of each container are recessed to provide inner and upper bearing surfaces 27 and 28, respectively. These bearing surfaces will abut upper edge 18 of the first and second pairs of side sections and a portion of bottom 10 will abut the first recess surface 25 and shoulder 26 thereby providing a very rigid interlocking relationship for the two containers in each corner, e.g., area A of FIGURE 1, when the containers are stacked in the position shown in FIGURE 1, this being the normal interlocked stacking position when the containers are full of goods.
The second, corner recesses defined by surfaces 27 and 28 at each lower corner of the container define a recess that extends around each corner and along each of the first and second pairs of side sections for a finite length. In order to have interlocking of the containers as shown in area A, the finite length of the recess which extends along the first pair of side sections, e.g., recess B, must be at least as long as the finite length of upper edge 18 denoted as C, length C being the length of upper edge 18 that extends from shoulder 26 to the closest corner, corner 14 in the case of container 1 and length C. The length of recess B should not be greater than the length of upper edge C plus the length of first recess surface 25 and is preferably not substantially greater than the length of upper edge C so as to provide greater bearing area for first recess surface 25 between stacked containers.
A second shoulder 30 can be provided where downwardly and inwardly angling upper edge 24 joins lower part 22 of the cut out. Shoulder 30 can be employed, if desired, for better interlocking of the containers in the manner to be described with reference to FIGURE 3.
A third shoulder 31 can also be provided along the inside of the second pair of side sections 12, 12' and along the inside of the first pair of side sections 11, 11' out to the full length of first recess surfaces 25. The third shoulder 31 is provided as a surface for abutment with bottom 10 when upper edge 18 fits into the recessed portion of the corner recesses that extends along side sections 12 and 12. This abutting feature is shown for upper surfaces 28 of container 1 and upper edge 18 of side section 12 of container 2 in the area denoted D, the similar abutting relation made between bottom 10 of container 1 and third shoulder 31 of container 1 not being shown for sake of clarity.
The portion of the corner recess that extends along second side sections 12, 12' of containers 1 and 2 extends the full length of those side sections instead of the limited, finite length B for the first pair of side sections 11, 11. This is to allow that portion of the corner recesses to receive the entire upper edge 18 of the second pair of side sections of a lower container, this being shown in the area D and along the full length of abutment of the side sections 12 of the containers 1 and 2. In other words, the full length of the upper edge 18 of side section 12 of container 2 is received into that portion of the corner recess of container 1 which extends along the full bottom length of side section 12 of that container 1.
Indentations 33 are provided in the second pair of side sections to provide both rigidifying and handle means. Indentations 34 are provided in the first pair of side means for a rigidifying effect and/ or to provide space for decoration or advertising by way of conventional methods of application such as silk screen or hot stamping processes.
Each container is provided with a pair of spaced apart, substantially parallel grooves 35, 35'. These grooves pass fully across the bottom portion 10 and extend through the first pair of side sections 11, 11. The spacing between grooves 35 and 35' along the length of the first pair of side sections is predetermined so that the length is substantially the same as the distance between the first pair of side sections. Such spacing is predetermined in order to obtain maximum interlocking of the containers when stacked in an empty condition as will be discussed with reference to FIGURE 3. The spaced apart grooves 35, 35 are also positioned under lower part 22 to facilitate stacking in the manner to be discussed with reference to FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 2 shows a side view of container 1 of FIG- URE 1 to present a true picture of the extent and configuration of the cut out in the first pair of side sections, the relationship of the cut out to grooves 35 and 35 and the length relationship of C of upper edge 18 to B of the corner recess defined by upper bearing surface 28. Angularly oriented upper edge 24 need not be angularly oriented but could be a substantially vertical shoulder in the same manner and coextensive with shoulder 26. Edge 24, whether angularly oriented or substantially vertical, can either directly join lower part 22 or can join shoulder 30 which in turn joins lower part 22. For example, sloped upper edge 24 and shoulder 30 can be omitted and shoulder 26 extended downwardly to meet 22.
FIGURE 3 shows four containers of this invention stacked in the double interlocking manner provided for when the containers are empty. In order to stack the containers of this invention when empty so as to provide a rigid doubly interlocked stack and so that the containers take up less space than when stacked full as shown in FIGURE 1, the containers are oriented at a degree angle with respect to one another so that the upper container fits down into the cut outs of the lower container.
More specifically, lower container 2 is in the same position as shown in FIGURE 1. However, upper container 1 no longer has its first pair of side sections parallel to the first pair of side sections of lower container 2 as shown in FIGURE 1, but rather is turned 90 degrees so that the first pair of side sections 11, 11 of container 1 are substantially parallel to the second pair of side sections 12, 12 of lower container 2. When container 1 is oriented at right angles to container 2, upper container 1 fits down into the cut outs of lower container 2 so that the vertical space of these two stacked containers is less than the vertical space of the two containers when stacked in the manner shown in FIGURE 1 thereby saving vertical space upon stacking the containers empty. In addition, when upper container 1 is fit down into the cut outs of lower container 2, grooves 35, 35 of upper container 1 fit over and receive up into those grooves lower parts 22 of lower container 2 thereby interlocking these two containers to one another.
When a third similarly constructed container 3 is oriented so that its second pair of side sections 12, 12' are parallel to the side sections 12, 12 of lowermost container 2, container 3 fits down into the cut outs of container 1 and the grooves 35, 35 of container 3' interlock with the lower parts 22 of container 1. Besides the interlocking of the grooves 35, 35 of container 3 with the lower parts 22 of container 1, a second interlocking takes place between the corner recesses and bottom of container 3' and the upper edges 18, first shoulders 26, surfaces 25, and third shoulders 31 of container 1 as shown in area A of FIGURE 3.
Thus, container 3 is doubly interlocked, i.e. interlocked not only with container 1 by way of grooves 35 and 35, but alsowith lowermost container 2 by way of its corner recesses so that container 3- is interlocked with lowermost container 2 and intermediate container 1 at the same time. This double interlocking provides a very rigid stack of containers so that the stack of containers can be made quite high without fear of relative movement of the containers in the stack thereby causing misbalancing and toppling of the stack.
A fourth similarly constructed container 4 is fit down into the cut outs of container 3" and interlocks with container 3' by Way of its grooves 35, 35', and also interlocks with intermediate container 1 by way of its corner recesses as hereinabove described with respect to containers 2 and 3'.
From the above it can be seen that extremely rigid stacks of empty containers can be made thereby allowing very high stacking of the containers while at the same time the stacked containers take up less vertical space than they would if stacked as shown in FIGURE 1. The net effect of this is that fewer stacks need be made of the empty containers of this invention thereby saving floor space.
In FIGURE 3 container 4 shows additional features of the containers of this invention in the form of drain holes 40 in bottom portion to prevent liquid from collecting in the bottom of the container, and flange means 41 on the inner side, i.e. the side facing into the article carrying zone, of the second pair of side sections 12, 12.
Flange means 41 are provided as supporting members for divider 4 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 shows container 1 of FIGURE 1 rotated 180 degrees about an axis parallel to the long axis of the first pair of side sections 11, 11' to show that grooves 35, 35 pass completely across bottom portion 10 and to clearly show upper corner recess surfaces 28.
It is shown in FIGURE 4 that bottom portion 10 can be substantially flat and smooth. However, it is within the scope of this invention to provide any suitable type of appendage, be it a leg or divider to protrude downwardly from bottom portion 10 or upwardly from bottom portion 10 into the article carrying zone defined by bottom portion 10 and the upstanding side portion. The upstanding side portion described in this invention can be composed of two pairs of sides to provide a rectangular article carrying zone, but it is to be understood that the container of this invention is not limited to four sided carrying zones, i.e. more than four sides can be provided so long as the requirements set forth hereinabove are still met.
It is to be understood that although this invention is described with respect to a preferred embodiment of a double walled container, the containers of this invention can very readily be formed using single wall construction if desired. It is also within the scope of this invention to define grooves 35 and 35" with two rows of spaced apart appendages that protrude from the bottom of bottom portion 10 and serve as legs means in lieu of the upstanding groove in bottom portion 10 that is shown in the drawings.
The containers of this invention can be formed from any conventional 'material desired, e.g. wood, fiberglass, fiber board, sheet metal, wire, and polymers. Particularly suitable materials include polymers formed from one or more mono-l-olefins having from 2 to 8 carbon atoms per molecule, inclusive, the polymers being formed in conventional manners known in the art. Polymeric materials that are thermoplastic can conveniently be used to form double walled containers using conventional blow molding techniques. A full and complete description of a suitable method for forming a double walled container can be found in US. Patent 3,113,831, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
That which is claimed is:
1. A container having (1) a bottom portion; (2) an upstanding side portion which is at least partially connected to said bottom portion and which defines an article carrying zone that is at least partially closed on the bottom by said bottom portion, at least partially closed on the sides by said side portion and substantially open at the top; (3) said side portion terminates in an upper edge that defines the configuration of said substantially open top; (4) said side portion comprises at least first and second pairs of opposed side sections, the opposing side sections of said first pair being spaced apart and substantially parallel with one another, the opposing side sections of said second pair being spaced apart and substantially parallel with one another, the opposing side sections of said first pair intersecting the opposing side sections of said second pair at an angle thereby defining corners where said first and second pairs of side sections intersect with themselves and with said bottom portion; (5) said first pair of side sections each have a cut out area, each cut out area having a lower part and end parts that join the upper edge of said side section said the lower part of the cut out, the junction of said upper edge of the side section and said end part of the cut out defining a first recess that provides a first recess surface, said first recess surface being slightly below the upper edge of the side section so that the first recess surface and the upper edge of the side section are joined by an upstanding shoulder, there being a first finite length of upper edge of the side section between each upstanding shoulder and the corner closest to said each shoulder, the length of said lower part of the cut out being such that a second similarly constructed container will fit down into the cut out and have its bottom portion contact the lower part of the cut outs when the first pair of side sections of said second upper container are oriented so as to be substantially parallel to said second pair of side sections of the lower container; and (6) a second, corner recess at each of the corners defined by the intersection of said first and second pairs of side sections and said bottom portion, said corner recess extending around each corner and along a second finite length of the bottom side of each side section that defines the corner, said second finite length being at least as long as said first finite length so that when a second similarly constructed container is fitted down into the cut outs of a first similarly constructed container and a third similarly constructed container is fitted down into the cut outs of said second container, the corner recesses of said third container receive the upper edge of the corresponding corner of said first container thereby interlocking said first and third containers by way of their corresponding corners and also locking said second container between said first and third containers.
2. The container according to claim 1 wherein each end part of said cutouts angles downwardly and inwardly from'said first recess toward said lower part of the cut outs, the juncture of the end parts with the lower part of the cut out defining a second upstanding shoulder.
3. The container according to claim 1 wherein a pair of spaced apart groove means is carried on the bottom of said bottom portion said groove means being substantially parallel to one another and to said second pair of side sections, said groove means extending across said bottom portion and through said first and second side sections, said groove means being spaced apart a distance substantially the same as the distance between said first pair of side sections, said groove means being oriented under the lower part of said cut outs so that when a second similarly constructed container is fit down into the cut outs said lower part of the cut outs in the lower container extend upwardly into the groove means of the second, upper container.
4. The container according to claim 1 wherein said side portion carries means for holding a divider in said article carrying zone, said divider being held intermediate of said bottom portion and the highest point reached by said upper edge that defines the configuration of the substantially open top.
5. The container according to claim 4 wherein said means for holding the divider is a flange means carried on the inner side of at least each of said second pair of opposing side sections.
6. The container according to claim 3 wherein said bottom portion is formed from two spaced apart walls and has drain holes therein, and said side portion is formed from said first and second side sections to thereby provide a substantially right angled parallelogram which is closed on the bottom side by said bottom portion, each section of said side portion being formed from two spaced apart walls that are joined to one another to form said upper edge that defines the configuration of said substantially open top, said first and second pairs of side sections having at least one indentation in the side facing out from said article carrying zone, said second finite length of said second, corner recesses extending across the full length of each of said second pair of side sections, and a shoulder means carried at least along the inner sides of said second pair of side sections at substantially the same height as said first recess surfaces.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,341,064 9/1967 Ricci 220- 97 FOREIGN PATENTS 820,036 7/ 1937 France. 1,186,306 8/1959 France. 1,241,114 8/1960 France.
964,930 7/ 1964 Great Britain.
GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 211126