US 3445021 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1959 J. R. JOHNSON 3,445,021
COMBINATION LOCKING CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS Filed June 27, 1967 FIG. 2.
INVENTOR. day Q. /Of/IVSOA United States Patent 3,445,021 COMBINATION LOCKING CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS John R. Johnson, 6849 Hendricks St., Anderson, Ind. 46013 Filed June 27, 1967, Ser. No. 649,260
Int. Cl. 365d 55/12; A61j 1/00; F16k 35/10 U.S. Cl. 2159 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF TIE DISCLOSURE A locking closure for a container having a neck terminating in an open mouth, comprising a tubular o'ap closed at one end and axially slidable on the container neck to cover and uncover said mouth, the neck being provided with a plurality of annular grooves intersected by an axial slot, said closure having a plurality of dial rings rotatable therein and accessible for turning from the exterior of the closure, each dial ring having a lug movable through said slot and enterable within one of said grooves to lock the closure to the container neck.
This invention relates to a closure for bottles, flasks, and other receptacles, and more particularly to a bottle top closure which incorporates a combination lock.
While the present invention is susceptible to a wide variety of uses, it is intended primarily to prevent the accidental opening of containers such as jars or bottles containing poisons, or harmful drugs. Frequently young children will open a bottle containing a poison, or drug, and swallow the contents. It has also been known that adults occassionally mistake one container for another, and without reading the label will swallow some of the contents. The present invention prevents a young person, unable to read, from opening the container, and also prevents an adult from accidentally opening the container by requiring him to either remember the combination, or to read the label and follow the directions including the combination for opening it.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a container closure which is readily locked in place and cannot be removed by unauthorized individuals.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a container closure, of the above character, in which a combination lock is utilized.
A further object of the invention is to provide a container closure, of the above character, which can be readily operated by merely dialing the required combination, and then slipping the closure axially off the neck of the container.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a \container closure, of the above character, in which the closure cannot be removed from the container without knowledge of the proper combination.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a container closure, of the above character, which can be economically manufactured and assembled, which is simple in construction, and easy to use.
The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures and in which:
Patented May 20, 1969 FIG. 1 is an elevational view of part of a container on which a closure cap, according to the invention, is applied;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken from line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view at right angles to FIG. 2, taken from line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the container neck and closure cap elements.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, a closure according to the invention, generally indicated by reference numeral 10, is shown applied to "a bottle 12 containing drugs, or pills, and having a neck 14 with an open mouth 16. The exterior of the neck is provided with equally spaced annular grooves 18 intersected by a vertical, or axial, slot 20. Near the bottom of the neck is an index arrow 22 pointing to the center of the slot 20.
The closure 10 comprises a tubular cap closed at one end, and preferably having a cylindrical body 24 whose bore 26 at the open end substantially equals in diameter and slidably fits over the neck 14 of the bottle. The remaining portion of the bore of the cap is enlarged, as at 28, so as to revolvably receive a stack of dial rings 30 separated by spacer rings 32. The lowermost of these rings is seated on shoulder 34 formed by the bore enlargement. The upper end of the cap is closed by a disc-like cover 36 having a depending rim 38 which fits in the bore portion 28 and within which seats a gasket member 40 for sealing the open mouth of the bottle neck. The lower edge of rim 38 holds the stack of rings in place on shoulder 34 yet permits them to rotate in the bore of the cap. A window 42 of substantial size is formed in the cap wall 24 to yield access to the dial rings. Under the window and centrally thereof is a second indexing arrow 44 for alignment with the index 22. The rings 30, 32 are inserted within the cap bore before the cover 36 is permanently secured to close the upper end thereof by means of adhesive, glue, cement, or any other suitable adherent, not shown.
Each of the dial rings 30 is provided with an internal, or radial, lug 36 having a width slightly less than the width of the slot 20 in the bottle neck so that the lug may be moved axially along the bottle neck in applying or removing the closure thereto. The outer periphery of each ring 30, is provided with a series of spaced numerals, or other indicia 48, with one of the numerals positioned opposite the lug 46. Each dial ring and its lug has an axial thickness slightly less than the axial thickness of its corresponding groove 18 in the bottle neck, so that the dial rings are free to turn and the lugs to enter within said grooves moving away or toward the slot 20. Each of the spacer rings 32 has an axial thickness corresponding to the axial thickness of the ribs 50 separating the grooves in the bottle neck. Accordingly, each dial ring 30 is aligned with a corresponding groove 18 when the closure is locked on the bottle neck and the lug 46 of each dial ring has been turned to seat in its corresponding groove and under one of the spacer ribs 50.
Operation of the bottle top closure may now be briefly described as follows: It is assumed that the selected combination for unlocking the bottle closure is 98.6, reading from top to bottom. for applying the closure, the user will, through the window 42, manipulate the four dial rings 30 to align 9, 8, and 6 in sequence vertically above the index marker 44, and this aligns the respective lugs 46 of the dial rings vertically, so that the closure 10 may be axially slid from the top to the bottom of the bottle neck, bringing the closure to the condition illustrated in FIG. 1. Then, each individual dial ring is rotated by finger so as to move its respective lug into the corresponding groove of the bottle neck in a random manner so that the combination read in the window in vertical alignment with the index marks 22, 44 will be different from 98.6. This effectively locks the bottle closure to the bottle so that an unauthorized person not knowing the combination cannot open the bottle simply by sliding the cap axially. If desired, the two index marks 22, 44 may also be rotatably separated by turning the closure 10. When thus locked, an unauthorized person, or a child, not knowing the combination, may freely turn the closure and the dial rings in its window to a multitude of relative positions with little chance of finding the proper combination which will enable the closure to be axially slipped oil the bottle neck. 1
When an authorized person desires to open the bottle, knowing the combination, he will first rotate the cap 24 to align the index arrow 44 with the index 22 on the bottle neck. He then must individually turn each dial ring, starting at the top, to align the numerals 9, 8, and 6 respectively with the index arrows 22, 44. This, of course, vertically aligns the lugs 44 of the respective dial rings with the vertical slot 20 in the bottle neck, enabling the closure 10 then to be slid axially off the neck of the bottle.
Although the above disclosure of a preferred embodiment relates to a closure including four dial rings, it is readily apparent that as few as one, or as many dial rings as desired, can be utilized. The bottle and closure can be made of any suitable material, such as plastic, glass, or metal. The gasket member 40 is preferably compressible to provide a tight seal for the mouth of the bottle.
It should also be apparent, that although the disclosure relates primarily to a closure for bottles, or similar containers, the closure device is readily adaptable for other uses, such as covering a switch or a push button to prevent unauthorized operation thereof.
Although a certain specific embodiment of the invention has been shown 'and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a locking closure for bottles, flasks and other receptacles, the combination with a container having a neck terminating in an open mouth of a tubular cap closed at one end and axially slidable on said neck to cover and uncover said mouth, said neck being provided with a plurality of axially spaced annular grooves intersected by an axially directed slot, a plurality of dial rings each having a lug movable through said slot and enterable within one of said grooves to lock the cap to said container neck in mouth-covering position, the bore of said cap at its open end being substantially equal in diameter to and slidably embracing the container neck, said bore being enlarged internally to ro tatably seat said dial rings, and a window formed in the tubular wall of said cap, said dial rings being accessible for manual turning through said window.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein said dial rings are separated by a plurality of spacer rings each having an axial thickness substantially equal to the axial spacing of said grooves in the neck of the container.
3. The combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said dial rings are provided with indicia on their outer peripheries, said cap carrying a first index mark, and a second index mark on said container neck aligned with said slot in the neck of the container for registration with said first index mark.
4. The combination set forth in claim 3, wherein said cap is closed at one end by a disc-like cover having a rim seated in said enlarged bore portion, and means for permanently securing the cover to the cap after insertion of said dial and spacer rings.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 841,688 1/1907 Cowles 215-98 3,129,834 4/1964 Kimball 2159 3,313,441 4/1967 Fadden 215-9 X DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 167