US 3427065 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11, 1969 H. EPSTEIN POURING HANDLE FOR MILK CARTONS Fil ed Aug. 8, 1967 INVENTOR. Herman 52.5fm BY Afro/nay.
a m M a United States Patent Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application discloses a pouring handle for cardboard or plastic milk cartons, said handle comprising a length of resilient strap metal having one end portion thereof bent to form .a cradle adapted to engage beneath and support the lower portion of the carton, the other end portion of said strap extending upwardly along the side of the carton and having a portion thereof oifset outwardly to form a hand grip, a barb being carried .at the upper end of said strap and adapted to pierce a top wall of said carton, said barb being controlled by an auxiliary handle or lever adjacent said hand grip to prevent withdrawal of said barb from said carton by the weight of the carton, despite the flexibility of said strap.
This invention relates to new and useful improvements in devices for holding and manipulating containers for pouring liquid therefrom, and has particular reference to such a device for use in connection with cardboard or plastic milk cartons. The mechandising of milk in such cartons is of course common, said cartons customarily being generally rectilinear in form, and being provided with a folded top closure which can be unfolded or otherwise opened to provide a pouring spout. However, such cartons are often difficult to handle during pouring, especially for women whose hands are small, particularly the half-gallon and larger sizes, which are of course larger and heavier and correspondingly cumbersome and difficult to manipulate.
Accordingly, the principal object of the present mvention is the provision of a pouring handle of the general character described which is extremely easily applied to and removed from such a carton, and which supplies a handle for the carton much in the nature of the handle of a pitcher.
Another object is the provision of a pouring handle of the character described having a hand grip portion having aifixed thereto a lower cradle portion adapted to engage and support the lower portion of the carton and an upper barb adapted to pierce a top wall of said carton to affix the device in assembly with the carton, said device being flexibly resilient whereby to hold said barb in engagement with the carton,
A further object is the provision of a pouring handle of the character described having stiffening means operable to prevent flexure of the device by the weight of the carton as it is supported by the hand grip from permitting withdrawal of the barb from the carton.
Other objects are simplicity and economy of construction, efflciency and dependability of operation, and adaptability for use with containers other than milk cartons.
With these objects in view, as well as other objects which will appear in the course of the specification, reference will be had to the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of .a pouring handle for milk cartons embodying the present invention, said handle being shown operatively mounted on a milk carton of ordinary construction, illustrated in dotted lines.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the handle only,
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the handle only,
3,427,065 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken on line IVIV of FIG, 2, including a fragmentary showing of the carton itself, and with the handle structure deformed as in actual usage.
Like reference numerals apply to similar parts throughout the several views, and the numeral 2 applies generally to a milk carton to which the pouring handle is to be applied. Said carton is of common construction, being of generally rectilinear form and being of square horizontal cross-sectional contour. It is provided at its top with a system of folds 4 sealed to close the carton securely, but which can be unfolded to provide a pouring spout 6. The particular system of folds used is not pertinent to the present invention, and is not shown in detail, the only requirement so far as the present invention is concerned being that the folds provide a top wall 8 (see FIG. 4) which is generally horizontal, although it may be inclined somewhat as shown.
The pouring handle forming the subject matter of the present invention includes an elongated flat strap 10 of spirng steel or the like, said strap being formed to present, in sequence, a generally vertical leg 12 adapted to lie along the side of carton 2 directly below spout 6 and being curved outwardly at its upper end as indicated at 14, a horizontal leg 16 connected to the lower end of leg 12 and extending across the bottom of the carton, a. vertical leg 18 extending upwardly from leg 16 and adapted to lie along the side of carton 2 opposite spout 6, an outwardly projecting leg 20, an upwardly and outwardly inclined leg 22, constituting a hand grip, and an inwardly and upwardly inclined leg 24. The inner end of leg 24 is adapted to overlap the edge of top carton wall 8, and said leg is preferably normally parallel to the inclination of said top wall. A lever member 26 is formed of a heavier gauge metal than strap 10 and constitutes an arm 28 lying along the top surface of strap leg 24 and aflixed thereto by a rivet 30 adjacent the forward end of said strap leg, and an arm 32 depending from the outer end of arm 28 through a slot 34 formed in leg 24 adjacent the outer end thereof. Arm 32 is normally downwardly divergent from the inner surface of hand grip 22, as shown in FIG. 1. Lever arm 28 extends forwardly of the forward end of strap leg 24, and is bent downwardly to form a sharpened barb 36.
In usage, it will be seen that legs 12, 16 and 18 of strap 10 form a cradle adapted to receive and support the lower portion of carton 2 as shown in FIG. 1. The curvature 14 of the upper end of leg 12 facilitates this insertion, which is made with the strap 10 deflected so as to position barb 36 outwardly from the side of the carton. Leg 24 of the strap is then pulled upwardly and moved inwardly to position the barb over top wall 8 of the carton, then pressed down to cause said barb to pierce said top wall, as best shown in FIG. 4. When holding the carton by means of the handle, the user grasps hand grip 22 and arm 32 of lever 26 in one hand, pulling said arm toward said hand grip as shown in FIG. 4, thereby holding the carton much as he would a pitcher, so that said carton can be held and manipulated conveniently even when of bulky size so that it cannot be conveniently held by grasping the carton itself, and even when the carton is of substantial weight. The handle can be left attached to the carton till its contents are exhausted, requiring very little extra space in a refrigerator or the like.
Lever 26 greatly improves the action of the device. It will be appreciated that if strap 10 is sufficiently flexible to permit convenient application thereof to the carton as described above, and if barb 36 were carried by strap 10 and there were no lever, then the weight of the carton, when held by hand grip 22, might easily dislodge barb 36 by lifting it out of top wall 8. The weight would tend to straighten the bends of the strap between legs 18 and 20,
and between legs and 22, so that leg 24 would be elevated bodily to tend to lift the barb out of the top wall. Moreover, hand grip leg 22 would tend to bow inwardly at its midportion, tilting the upper portion thereof more sharply outwardly and tilting leg 24 more sharply upwardly, thereby further tending to elevate barb 36. However, when lever arm 32 is pulled toward grip 22 as in FIG. 4, the lever, being of stiffer material than the strap, exerts a strong downward force of the inner end of strap leg 24, with at least three effects tending to prevent accidental release of the barb. First, it causes the barb to be pushed more deeply into the carton due to tilting of the inner end of leg 24 into a more nearly horizontal position. However, this effect may be slight, since the barb cannot move downwardly to any great extent, the inner end of leg 24 (or rivet being supported directly on the carton. Second, the action of lever 26 applies a downward force to the inner end of leg 24, resulting in upward bowing of said leg. This prestressing of leg 24 provides that even if legs 20 and 22 should yield upwardly as previously described when the carton is lifted, it will not result in lifting the barb free of the carton, but only in straightening of leg 24. Third, lever arm 32, by its proximity to strap leg 22 and as a result of being gripped thereagainst, tends to reinforce said leg against flexure as previously described.
Another description of the operation of lever 26, perhaps clearer, can be made by viewing strap 10 as an essentially C-shaped flexible clamp, the midportion thereof forming the hand grip 22, one end thereof carrying barb 36, and the other end portion thereof forming cradle 12-16-18, which opens in opposed relation to the barb, with elongated lever 26 secured to the barb end of the C-clamp and extending therealong to be spaced inwardly apart from the hand grip portion thereof. Thus any force tending to move the lever closer to hand grip 22 applies a force tending to close the C-clamp to hold the barb in engagement with the carton even if the clamp itself should otherwise tend to be spread farther open by the weight of the carton.
While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of my invention, it will be readily apparent that many minor changes of structure and operation could be made within the purview of the invention. For example, barb 36 could form a part of, or be attached to, strap 10 as well as to lever 26, with little or no functional change. Also, the entire length of lever 26, outwardly from rivet 30, could be disposed inside of strap 10, rather than having the midportion of said lever pass through slot 34 of the strap as shown, since any force tending to pull lever arm 32 and hand grip 22 together would still tend to close the C-clamp formed by the strap to maintain barb 36 in engagement with the carton. However, with this arrangement movement of lever arm 32 toward the hand grip could occur only, or principally, when the carton was lifted and the C-clamp tended to be deformed by the weight thereof. This relative movement of the lever and the hand grip during actual handling might be disconcerting or deceptive to the user, and is not therefore considered desirable. With the lever inserted through hole 34, the lever can be drawn against the hand grip before the carton is actually lifted, so that no relative movement therebetween need occur during actual handling. Instead, the lever action pre-stresses the strap to cause deformation thereof, principally the upward bowing of leg 24 thereof, so that deformation of other portions of the strap by the weight of the carton during actual handling is taken up by resilient recovery of the pre-stressed portions. The structure shown is therefore preferred.
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A pouring handle for milk cartons and the like having walls of a material capable of being pierced by a sharp barb, said pouring handle comprising:
(a) a generally C-shaped clamp formed of resilient material, the midportion of said clamp forming a hand grip and one end of said clamp being formed to present a cradle adapted to receive and support the lower portion of said carton,
(b) a sharpened barb carried at the opposite end of said clamp and confronting said cradle in spaced apart relation therefrom, and adapted to pierce a top wall of said carton, and
(c) an elongated lever affixed at one end to said clamp adjacent said barb and extending generally along said clamp, terminating at its opposite end in an arm extending along and normally in inwardly spaced relation from the hand grip portion of said clamp.
2. A pouring handle as recited in claim 1 wherein said lever is relatively rigid as compared to said clamp.
3. A pouring handle as recited in claim 1 wherein the portion of said lever at and adjacent its point of afiixation to said clamp is disposed at the outer side of said clamp, and wherein the said terminal arm of said lever is disposed in normally inwardly spaced apart relation from said hand grip.
4. A pouring handle as recited in claim 1 wherein a vertically extending portion of said C-clamp constitutes said hand grip, and wherein said C-clamp includes a leg extending horizontally from the upper end of said hand grip, said leg having a hole formed therethrough adjacent the upper end of said hand grip, said barb being carried at the free end of said leg, and wherein said lever constitutes two angularly related arms, one of said arms being affixed at its free end to said leg adjacent said barb and extending along the outer side of said leg, and the other of said arms extending downwardly through said hole to be disposed normally in spaced relation from the inner side of said hand grip.
5. A pouring handle as recited in claim 1 wherein said C-clamp comprises a continuous length of resilient strap material having one end portion thereof formed in upwardly opening -U-shape to constitute said cradle, having an intermediate portion thereof offset horizontally outwardly from said cradle to form said hand grip with a vertically extending portion thereof, and having its opposite end portion forming a leg extending horizontally from the upper end of said hand grip, said leg having a hole formed therethrough adjacent the upper end of said hand grip, and wherein said lever is formed of a material relatively more rigid than said clamp and comprises a pair of angularly related arms, the first of said arms being aflixed adjacent its free end to said leg and lying along the outer side of said leg, the extreme end portion of said first leg extending beyond the free end of said leg and being angled downwardly to form said barb, and the second of said legs extending downwardly through said hole to be disposed normally in spaced apart relation from the inner Side of said hand grip.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,988,107 1/1935 Berkowitz 29428 X 2,369,902 2/1945 Krueger 294-28 3,056,534 10/1962 Kasper et al 22445 EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner. R. D. GUIOD, Assistant Examiner.
U.S. c1. X.R.