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Publication numberUS3426888 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1969
Filing dateMay 22, 1967
Priority dateMay 22, 1967
Also published asDE1771421A1
Publication numberUS 3426888 A, US 3426888A, US-A-3426888, US3426888 A, US3426888A
InventorsMeth Harry
Original AssigneeRainbow Crafts Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Coloring set
US 3426888 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. METH CGLORING SET Feb. 11, 1969 Filed May 22, 1967 INVENTOR. HARRY METH J MQ ATTORNEY H. METH COLORING SET Feb. 11, 1969 Sheet Filed May 22, 1967 FIG.'6



ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,426,888 COLORING SET Harry Meth, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to Rainbow Crafts, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 22, 1967, Ser. No. 640,016 US. Cl. 2061.8 Int. Cl. B4411 3/00, 3/04; Bc 11/00 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to a coloring set, and more particularly to a spill-proof container or receptacle for storing or holding a liquid such as paint, a colored dye, or marking ink.

Coloring sets which include a plurality of diflferent colors, are well known in the art for coloring or painting purposes. Painting for example, is often a favorite pastime for children. Accordingly, numerous attempts have been made in recent years to improve the state of the art relating to paint sets, not only as to the type of paint used, but also as to the type of brush or marking implement used for applying the paint, the type of surface which is to be painted or marked upon, the container for holding or storing the paint, and the like. It has been found that when children are the primary user of a product of this type, extra care should be taken to make sure that the paint is non-toxic, that the paint is easy to remove from the skin and clothing, and that the paint is stored in a container which is easy and convenient to use and store.

Containers of many types are available for storing liquids such as paints, dyes, and marking inks. In some instances such liquids are removed from the container by inserting or dipping a brush or other instrument into an open-ing provided in the container. During periods of non-use, the container opening must be covered or closed in some manner to prevent the contents from spilling or leaking out if the container is inverted or tipped, and to prevent evaporation of the contents out of the container. Ofttimes, a cover is provided for this purpose; in other instances, a marking instrument such as a brush or pen, is stored in the opening, thus effectively plugging or blocking the opening. Containers of this type are not always the most convenient and easy to use however. If a cover is used for example, it must be removed and replaced each time some of the contents are removed from the container, to insure that the contents are not accidentally spilled, this is especially true when children are using the container. If the brush or instrument is used to plug the opening, the combined unit is awkward and unhandy to carry around and store; moreover, the container is still uncovered while the instrument is being used.

Pads, formed of absorbent material, are sometimes placed within containers for absorbing the liquid contents so that the problem of leakage through an opening in the container is minimized. According to the known prior art, some container devices of this type still plug the opening by inserting and storing a marking instrument of some type in the opening during periods of non-use. For those systems which do not cover or plug the opening, evaporation of the liquid ingredients poses a serious problem.

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide an improved coloring or painting set.

Another object is to provide a paint set wherein liquid paints of various colors are stored in spill-proof containers or receptacles.

A further object is to provide an improved spill-proof container for storing liquid ingredients.

A still further object is to provide an improved container which can be readily stored without danger of spilling its contents, and which can be stored for prolonged periods of time with very little, if any evaporation of the contents.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be come apparent from a consideration of the following specification and drawings. Before proceeding with a detailed description of the invention however, a brief description of it will be presented.

Briefly, the invention concerns a container which defines a reservoir for storing a liquid such as paint or ink. The top of the container is provided with an opening therein which forms a passage into the reservoir, through which a marking instrument such as a paint brush, can be inserted. A compressible and expandable sponge block is positioned within the chamber for absorbing a liquid introduced into the container, and a plate member is interposed between the sponge and the top of the container, for blocking the passage into the reservoir.

The invention will best be understood by reference to the following drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a paint set which includes a plurality of receptacles or compartments for storing dif- -ferent colored paints;

'FIG. 2 is a front elevational view, in partial section, of the paint set shown in FIGURE 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 1 FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view illustrating how a receptacle or compartment is filled with a fluid medium;

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view showing a marking instrument inserted in a receptacle or compartment;

FIG. 6 illustrates a marking instrument which can be used for removing the contents from a receptacle or compartment;

FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view illustrating another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 8 is a partial sectional view of FIG. 7.

FIGURE 1 illustrates a coloring set designated generally by numeral 10. The set includes an outer rectangular box or tray 12, and a compartmented insert or container 14 which fits within the tray 12. The tray 12 includes front and back walls 16 and 18, end walls 20 and 22, and a bottom surface 24. The container 14 likewise includes front and back walls 26 and 28, end walls 30 and 32, and a bottom surface 34. Both the tray 12 and the container 14 should preferably be formed of an impermeable material such as plastic.

The container 14 is divided into a plurality of equal size receptacles or compartments 36 which form reservoirs which are aligned along the back side of the tray 12. The receptacles 36 are formed by means of a wall member 38 which extends the length of the container, and a plurality of transverse, spaced apart wall members 40, which connect the wall members 28 and 38 together. An elongated chamber 42, which extends the entire length of the tray, is formed between the walls 26 and 38, and an elongate compartment 44 is formed between the walls 16 and 26. Spacers 46 attached to the wall 26, separate the walls 16 and 26 from each other.

A top member or cover 50 forms the top surface of the compartments 36 and chamber 42, and it fits relataken along line 8-8 tively snugly between the walls 18, 20 and 22, so that it v does not readily become dislodged. If preferred, of course, the cover 50 could be permanently attached to the container 14 in any suitable manner. A plurality of openings 52 are provided in the cover 50 for forming passages into each compartment 36, and an opening 54 forms a passage into the chamber 42. As noted, each opening 52 is provided with a boss 56 which surrounds the opening.

An absorbent, resilient pad or block 60, preferably formed of a compressible and expandable sponge material, is positioned within each of the compartments 36. The resilient sponge block 60 when expanded, is formed so that it has substantially the same size and shape as the compartment 36. It has been found that a compressed cellulose sponge material works with excellent results. As well known in the art, such sponge material can be produced in the form of a compressed sheet, which is then cut into pieces of desired shape and size. When the sponge is moistened, it expands in directions opposite to the direction in which it was compressed, until it reaches its normal expanded condition. When pressure is exerted against a surface of the block, the sponge is caused to compress; when the pressure is released, the sponge resumes its expanded condition. While a cellulose sponge material is preferred because it can readily be compressed and expanded, other types of compressible and expandable material might be used as well.

A small plate 62 is also positioned within each compartment 36, so that it lies on the top surface 64 of the sponge 60. As depicted in the drawings, the plate 62 is thus interposed between the sponge 60 and the cover 50. As shown in FIG. 3, when the sponge 60 is in an expanded condition, the plate is forced against the cover 50, and more specifically the boss 56, so that it effectively blocks the passage into the compartment. The plate 62 should be large enough so that it covers the opening 52 even though it might be closer to one side of the compartment than the other side; it should not however, be so large that it prevents the liquid from being forced up between the edges of the plate and the inside wall of the compartment when the sponge is compressed. As shown in FIGS. 1-5, the plate has the same cross-sectional shape as the receptacle, but it is slightly smaller.

Different types of paints, inks, or dye solutions can be stored in the container, by saturating the sponge 60. If for example, the coloring set is to be used by children, it might be preferred to saturate the sponge with a water soluble dye solution, which can be readily removed from the users skin and clothing. Numerous dyes of this type are commercially available which can be used with satisfactory results. As an example, dye powders are commercially available in many different hues. A dye solution can be made by mixing a quantity of the powder with a prescribed amount of water; the compartment is then filled with this solution so that the sponge becomes saturated. In some instances, it might be preferred to fill the compartments with a concentrated solution, and dilute the solution at the time it is to be used by moistening the coloring instrument with water either prior to or after the instrument is dipped into the compartment.

A marking instrument or implement 70 is provided for withdrawing the dye soltuion out of the compartments, and applying it onto a coloring surface. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the instrument 70 is conveniently stored in the compartment 44, and it rests on the spacers 46. The wedge 76 aids in maintaining the instrument in place within the compartment. Different types of marking instruments can effectively be used. In FIG. for example, a brush 72 is illustrated having bristles 74 secured to the handle by a shank 76. As shown, the bristles are relatively short; this feature prevents the tips of the bristles from becoming caught between the plate 62 and the boss 56.

FIG. 6 shows another marking instrument which includes a hollow cylindrical barrel 8, out of which an 4 wick projects. The nib 78 might be if preferred, a felt absorbent nib or formed of a sponge material or material.

The painting set is assembled by placing a compressed sponge in each of the compartments 36, and thereafter placing the plate 62 on its top surface. In this regard, note FIG. 4, which shows the sponge and the plate at the bottom of the compartment 36. The cover 50 is then placed over the compartments and the compartments are ready for filling. The solution is introduced into the compartment by means of a nozzle 82 which is inserted within the opening 52 in the cover 50. As the dye solution flows into the receptacle, the sponge pad 60 expands and becomes saturated with the fluid medium. After the compartment has been filled, the sponge block assumes an expanded condition so that the plate 62 is forced against the boss 56, thus effectively preventing any of the dye solution from leaking out through the opening 52, or the contents from evaporating out through the passage. Each compartment is filled in this manner with a different color so that a complete coloring set is available for painting purposes. A marking instrument is positioned within the compartment 44, and the coloring set is now ready for use.

Prior to beginning the painting operation, the chamber 42 is at least partially filled with water so that the brush can be rinsed or cleaned after it has been used to apply a specific color. A selected paint is extracted from a specific compartment by inserting the brush within the opening 52 and applying a slight pressure on the upper surface of the plate 62. As shown in FIG. 5, pressure exerted on the top surface of the sponge block causes the dye solution to ooze onto the top surface of the plate 62 so that it can be absorbed by the coloring instrument. When the coloring instrument is removed from the opening 52, the resiliency of the sponge causes it to expand so that the plate 62 is again forced against the opening 52, in other words, the sponge acts somewhat like a spring in that it keeps the compartment sealed shut by forcing the plate 62 against the opening. When the painting operation is completed, the water can be removed from the compartment 42, e.g., through the opening 54 (or an opening in the bottom surface 34 if preferred) and the device stored until future use.

Under normal conditions, the sponge will remain moist for an extended period of time, depending of course upon the tightness of the seal between the plate and the boss, the amount of times the paint is used, and the like. If, after a prolonged period of time the sponge dries out and becomes hard, it can be reactivated by remoistening it with a prescribed amount of water. If there is any dye left in the sponge, a new supply of paint will be available.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate another type of storage device for holding a paint or dye solution, which is especially useful when only a single color or a minimum of colors are to be used. In this arrangement, the storage device comprises a cylindrical container 84 which defines a reservoir. The container 84 is provided with a cylindrical wall 86 and a bottom surface 88. An annular projection 90 is integrally connected to the bottom surface 90 so that it forms a shoulder 92 with the bottom surface. A cover or top portion 94, having an opening 96 therein, is attached to the top of the container in any suitable manner, so that a reservoir or compartment is formed. A circular boss 98 surrounds the opening 96. A cylindrical sponge block 100, having substantially the same cross-sectional shape and size as the container 84 is placed within the reservoir, and a plate or disk 102, which is at least slightly smaller than the cross-sectional size of the container, is interposed between the cover 94 and the top surface of the sponge block 100. The plate 102 effectively blocks the opening or passage 94 formed in the cover 92 when it is forced against the boss 98. As shown, the cover 94 is recessed within the cylindrical wall by a small amount.

If more than one color is desired, additional containers are provided. Two or more containers can be conveniently stored by stacking them in the manner illustrated in FIG. 7. As shown, the projection 90 of a first container fits within the recess formed in the top portion of a second container, in such a manner that the end of the wall 86 of the second container abuts against the shoulder 92 of the first container. They can be stacked in this manner, thus requiring a minimum amount of storage space.

Each container is assembled and is filled in substantially the same manner as that described above in connection with FIG. 4. Preferably, a compressed sponge is used which expands to substantially fill the reservoir when the sponge is moistened with a liquid. The liquid is removed by exerting a pressure on the plate 102, thereby causing the sponge to compress and the liquid to be squeezed out of it.

The coloring sets described herein can be used for containing and storing a variety of liquids. It is especially useful and practical for containing a coloring fluid such as paint, dye, or ink, which is to be used by children. The construction of the storage container is such that the contents will not spill out, and the container can be conveniently stored for prolonged periods of time with only a minimum amount of evaporation, if any, of the liquid contents out of the receptacle.

In the above description and attached drawings, a dis closure of the principles of this invention is presented together with some of the embodiments by which the invention may be carried out.

Now, therefore, I claim:

1. A storage device comprising a container defining a reservoir, said container including a top surface having an opening therein which forms a passage into said reservoir, an absorbent block formed of a compressible and expandable material positioned within the container, said block being saturated with a fluid medium, and means positioned within the container for blocking the passage when the absorbent block is in an expanded condition, said means including a plate member positioned on the resilient block so that it is interposed between said block and the top of the container.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein an annular boss surrounds the passage within the reservoir, said boss being integrally connected to the top surface, said boss and said plate member cooperating to prevent the fluid medium from leaking from the reservoir when the sponge is in an expanded condition.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said fluid medium is a water soluble colored dye solution.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said absorbent block is formed of a compressed sponge material which is expandable when moistened with a fluid medium, said sponge block when moistened with said fluid medium expanding so as to force the plate member against the top surface thereby blocking said passage, said passage being readily openable by exerting a force against said plate thereby causing said sponge block to be compressed.

5. The combination of claim 1 wherein the cross-sectional size and shape of said plate member is larger than the passage so that said passage is effectively blocked and sealed by said plate when said plate is forced against the opening.

6. A paint set combination comprising a container formed of a plurality of compartments for storing a plurality of different colored dye solutions, each compartment including a top portion having an opening therein which forms a passage into the compartment, an absorbent block formed of a resilient material positioned within each compartment, each block being saturated with a colored dye solution, a plate member positioned within each compartment interposed between the absorbent block and the passage, each plate member blocking its respective passage when the absorbent block is in an expanded condition, and brush means for withdrawing the dye solution from a compartment, one end of said brush means being insertable within the passages so that a force is exerted against the absorbent block and the dye solution is caused to flow onto the plate member.

7. The combination of claim 6 wherein the container includes a compartment for storing a cleaning fluid.

8. The combination of claim 6 wherein the brush means includes bristles having a predetermined length and shape.

9. The combination of claim 6 wherein the brush means includes a tip formed of an absorbent material.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 809,891 1/1906 Baldwin 6O 1,950,203 3/1934 Wilson 2061.8 2,258,030 10/1941 Oxley 12057 2,565,912 8/1951 Davis.

2,659,935 11/1953 Hammon.

2,674,757 4/1954 Keyes 12057 2,932,906 4/1960 Chamberlin 2061.7 WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US809891 *Mar 30, 1905Jan 9, 1906Stephen G BaldwinInk-well.
US1950203 *Apr 8, 1933Mar 6, 1934Wilson Walter EPackage
US2258030 *Jun 7, 1940Oct 7, 1941American Crayon CompanyInk container
US2565912 *Nov 25, 1949Aug 28, 1951Davis Edward DWater color paint set
US2659935 *Mar 18, 1950Nov 24, 1953Christopher L WilsonMethod of making compressed sponges
US2674757 *Jun 2, 1953Apr 13, 1954Keyes Jr Charles WPaint dispensing device
US2932906 *Oct 13, 1955Apr 19, 1960Chamberlin Catherine DChild's coloring apparatus
Referenced by
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US4852742 *Dec 8, 1988Aug 1, 1989Kathleen ScuorzoKit assembly for oral hygiene care
US4901846 *Aug 25, 1989Feb 20, 1990Lehman Charles WArtist's paint carrier system
US4903633 *May 19, 1989Feb 27, 1990Pitney Bowes Inc.Fluid supply apparatus
US4991711 *Mar 15, 1990Feb 12, 1991Cheng Nancy CArtist storage container having scalloped handles
US5325958 *Feb 4, 1993Jul 5, 1994Western Publishing Co., Inc.Combination paint tray and storage box
US6802715 *Aug 28, 2003Oct 12, 2004Polyconcept Usa, Inc.Paint tray activity desk
WO2010118713A1 *Apr 14, 2009Oct 21, 2010Karan DadgarContainer
U.S. Classification206/1.8, 434/84, 118/270
International ClassificationB44D3/12, B44D3/04
Cooperative ClassificationB44D3/04, B44D3/122
European ClassificationB44D3/04, B44D3/12D
Legal Events
Jan 7, 1988AS06Security interest
Effective date: 19871013
Jan 7, 1988ASAssignment
Effective date: 19871013