US 3463536 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 26, 1969 A. V. UPDEGRAFF ET AL CON'IAINER HANDLE Filed Jan. 10, 1967 30 as I wll lllll. F|Q5 FIG.
United States Patent 3,463,536 r CONTAINER HANDLE Alfred V. Updegralf, Lakewood, and Lawrence A. Beyer,
Shaker Heights, Ohio, assignors to Haynes Manufacturing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Jan. 10, 1967, Ser. No. 608,441 Int. Cl. A47j 45/00; B65d 23/10 US. Cl. 294--31.2 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to the art of handles and more particularly to a handle for containers.
The present invention is particularly applicable to a handle for glass milk or juice bottles and will be described with particular reference thereto. However, it will be appreciated the invention has broader applications and may -be used with other types of containers,
Glass milk or juice bottles ordinarily include a rim or portion close to the upper or open end of the bottle of larger diameter and a necked-in-portion of lesser diameter immediately therebelow. The lower surface of the rim may be either perpendicular to the vertical or may taper downwardly and inwardly to the necked-in-portion.
Various handles for such bottles have been provided in the past including an annulus having an inner diameter less than the outer diameter of the rim which annulus was forced over the rim so that it engaged the downwardly facing shoulder when the bottle was being carried.
Heretofore difliculty has been experienced to obtain a tight fit of the annulus with the necked-in-portion, particularly when the ratio of the outer diameter of the rim to the necked-in-portion was relatively large. While it was often possible to heat the annulus so it could be stretched :and forced over the rim, still the heating was an expensive step. To obtain the desired tight fit, it was normally necessary to manufacture one size annulus for each size bottle with which it was to be employed. This required a large number of mold sizes which unduly increased the expense of manufacture.
Furthermore difficulty was often experienced in the annulus stretching under the weight of the bottle and slipping over the shoulder such that the bottle would drop and oftentimes break.
A further problem with such handles has been their overall cost of manufacture. These handles are oftentimes used with non-returnable bottles and as such their cost of manufacture must be held to the minimum.
The present invention contemplates :a new and improved handle for containers of the general type described which overcomes all of the above-referred to difficulties and others and provides a handle which is cheap to manufacture, is simple in construction, attractive in appearance and wherein one size of handle will fit a number of different size containers.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a container handle formed of a flexible, resilient, thermoplastic material comprised of a generally flat annulus having a plurality of radially inwardly extending ice fingers and a generally U-shaped bail having the end of its legs integral with the outer periphery of the annulus and a finger grip portion lying in the plane of the annulus but outside of its periphery. The inner diameter of the annulus is preferably approximately equal to the outer diameter of the bottom rim on which the handle is to be used while the inner diameter of the opening defined by the ends of the fingers must be at least less than the minimum diameter of the necked-in-portion of the container such that the annulus can be readily slipped over the rim by flexing the fingers upwardly and when the anriulus surrounds the necked-in-portion, the fingers will be in engagement therewith and flexed upwardly. In some instances the entire annulus and fingers will be flexed upwardly from the outer periphery inwardly such that the entire annulus lies snugly against the bottle. In any event, the weight of the bottle is transferredfrom the downwardly facing surface to the ends of the fingers and thence to the annulus. Because of the angular position of the fingers, this weight is readily resisted.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a new and improved container handle which is economical to manufacture, easy to use and which is easily installed on containers with which it is intended to be used.
Another object of the invention is a provision of a new and improved container handle of the general type discribed capable of statisfactorily mating with a plurality of different sized containers.
Still another object of the invention is a provision of a new and improved container handle which provides a tight fit on the neck portion of the bottle and which can be installed without heating same to enable it to be stretched.
Another object of the invention is a provision of a new and improved container handle which is self-locking on a container.
The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangements of parts of preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which are a vpart hereof and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic, pictorial view of a preferred embodiment of container handle in accordance with the present invention, installed on a container;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic, plan view of the container handle in the as manufactured and unstressed condition shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic end view of the container handle shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic section view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a schematic section view taken generally along line 5-5 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 6 is a schematic section view taken generally along line 6-6 of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 7, is a schematic section view taken generally along line 7-7 of FIGURE 2.
Referring now to the drawings where the showings are for the purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for the purpose of limiting same FIGURE 1 shows a container A having a handle B in operative position thereon, such handle being made of a flexible resilient or semi-elastic plastic material.
The container A forms no part of the present invention and may take any one of a number of different forms. In the embodiment shown, the container A includes, reading from top to bottom, an open mouth 12, a rim 14, a downwardly facing shoulder or surface 15, a necked-inportion 16 of a diameter at least less than the rim 14 and a base portion 17 of a diameter larger than the neckedin-portion 16. The surface 15 may take a number of different shapes such as being perpendicular to the vertical axis of the bottle but in the preferred embodiment tapers downwardly and inwardly to the necked-in-portion 16. The necked-in-portion is generally arcuate such that the bottle surface then tapers outwardly and downwardly from the necked-in-portion 16 to the base portion 17. The impotrant thing, insofar as the present invention is concerned, is that the bottle has a downwardly facing surface and a necked-in-portion of a diameter less than the diameter of the rim 14.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, the handle B as manufactured is comprised generally of a flat washer or annulus 20, with its inner edge having a plurality of radially inwardly extending flexible fingers 24, 32 disposed in the plane of the annulus.
The handle B also includes a generally U-shaped bail having a pair of spaced parallel arms 28 and a base 30 which forms a finger grip.
The bail and the annulus in the unstressed condition before assembling the handle B on the bottle A all lie in a flat plane, generally as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. The handle B is made out of a flexible semi-elastic thermoplastic material, such that the fingers 24, 32 and the annulus 20 can flex from the flat position shown when installed on a container A and the bail may be flexed from this plane when a person grasps the finger grip all as shown in FIGURE 1. Also the annulus 20 can be stretched slightly so that it will slip over the rim 14.
The parallel arms 28 are sufliciently long that the finger grip 30 in the unstressed condition is spaced from and outside of the circumference of the annulus 20 and the ends of the arms 28 are integrally joined with the outer periphery of the annulus 20 on a line close to but located on the remote side of the diameter of the annulus parallel to the finger grip 30. In this position, the grip 30 extends radially beyond the surface of the base portion 17 and can in this position serve as a means to space adjacent bottles one from the other.
The flexible fingers 32 have an arcuate width of approximately 60 on an arc generally symmetrically located relative to the ends of the parallel arms 28 where they join with the annulus 20. The length of the flexible fingers 24, 32 may be as desired, but in accordance with the invention, the diameter of the opening defined by the radially inward ends of the fingers 24, 32 must be of a diameter less than the minimum diameter of the neckedin-portion 16 with which the handle is to be employed. Also the inner diameter of the annulus 20, which in effect is the diameter of the base of the fingers 24, 32, is such that taking into consideration the ability of the material to be stretched, can be made at least greater than the maximum diameter of the rim 14 of the container with which the handle is to be employed. With this arrangement, the annulus with the fingers 24, 32 may be readily slipped over the rim 14 by siztnply flexing the fingers 24, 32 upwardly and slightly stretching the annulus 20. When the annulus 20 is in the plane of the necked-inportion 16, these fingers 24, 32 will remain in an upwardly flexed direction. In some instances, the fiexure on the fingers 24, 32 will be transmitted to the annulus 20 such that the annulus 20 will be flexed upwardly from its outer periphery inwardly. The fingers and annulus in this position exert a self-locking action making removal of the handle much more difiicult than initially installing it. This locking action is improved by having the fingers 32 much wider than the fingers 24. The annulus 20 and the fingers 24, 32 snugly engage the necked-in-portion 16 and the downwardly facing surface 15. The amount that the annulus 20 will engage this necked-in-portion 16 will in some respects depend upon the diameter of the necked-inportion 16 relative to the inner diameter of the annulus 20.
It is to be noted that fingers 32 have a substantial circumferential width to provide a somewhat stiffer engagement with shoulder 15 than do fingers 24. This is desirable at the points where parallel arms 28 are joined to annulus 20, because the stresses exerted by the container on the handle are concentrated at these points, and consequently a relatively stiff member is required to satisfactorily resist these stresses.
Annulus 20 is further provided with circumferentially extending reinforcing head 34 positioned at the bases of fingers 24, 32. The structural integrity of container ha'ndle 18 is further improved by providing the edges of arms 28, at least at the near ends thereof with reinforcing beads 36. These portions of arms 28 are subjected to substantial flexing and tensile stresses when the handle is used to lift the container.
Finger grip 30 comprises a main strip 38 for-med integrally with the distal ends of arms 28, and an auxiliary strip 40 extending laterally of and joined to main strip 38, and having ends spaced from arms 28. Main strip 38 and auxiliary strip 40 are joined by a section 42 of flexible, resilient, thermoplastic material of reduced crosssection, compared to the cross-sections of the strips. This arrangement adds an additional degree of flexibility to finger grip 30, so that this element will conform to the joints of the fingers when the handle is grasped. Finger grip 30 may be reinforced by providing reinforcing beads 44 extending around the integral juncture of main strip 38 with the distal ends of arms 28 as shown.
The handle B may be formed from a variety of flexible, resilient thermoplastic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and others. Of these, polyethylene is presently preferred as being the lowest cost synthetic resin having satisfactory properties. Thus, the material flexes easily, stretches slightly and has a memory to return to its molded shape.
The handle of the invention may be made by conventional injection molding processes or may be stamped from a flat sheet of suitable plastic material. In any event, it is relatively economical to manufacture and has proven to be a satisfactory handle for containers of the type for which it is designed.
It will thus be seen that a handle for containers of the general type described has been provided wherein one size of annulus will readily slip over a plurality of different diameters of rims 14 and will snugly fit a plurality of different diameters of necked-in-portion 16. In fact the handle shown will operate generally satisfactorily with containers wherein the rim varies from a diameter greater than the inner diameter of the ends of the fingers 24, 32 to a diameter just greater than the inner diameter of the annulus 20 and with a necked-in-portion having a diameter just greater than the inner diameter of the ends of the fingers 24, 32 up to a diameter less than the inner diameter of the annulus 20 and less than the diameter of the rim 14.
The present invention has been described in conjunction with certain structural embodiments; however, it is to be appreciated that various structural changes may be made in the illustrated embodiments.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A container handle made flat in one piece and lying in a single plane, said handle being formed of a flexible, resilient thermoplastic material, said handle comprising:
(a) a circular annulus having inner and outer peripherial edges,
(b) bail means extending from said outer peripheral edge,
(c) a plurality of flexible fingers extending radially inward from said inner periphery and terminating in finger ends,
(d) said annulus and said fingers defining a band having a width substantially greater than the thickness of said annulus and said fingers,
(e) said annulus and said fingers being deformable out of said single plane about a circumferential axis coincidental with said annulus to a position in which said finger ends are facing upwardly and lying in a second plane parallel to and spaced above said single References Cited plane, (f) said fingers extending around substantially the en- UNITED STATES PATENTS tire periphery of said inner peripheral edge, 2,759,756 8/1956 51km? 294-412 (g) said bail means being connected to said annulus at 5 3,000,527 9/1961 Jenmngs substantially opposite connection points, 3,186,544 6/1965 Curry (h) said fingers including a pair of large fingers of sub- 3,311,252 3/1967 294-312 stantial arcuate width adjacent said connection points, 2,936,070 5/ 1960 Poupltch (i) said fingers including a plurality of small fingers intermediate said pair of fingers, and 10 EVON BLUNK 'Pnmary Exammer (j) said small fingers being of substantially lesser arcu- H. C. HORNSBY, Assistant Examiner ate width than said pair of fingers whereby said small fingers are more readily deformable than said pair U.S.C1.X.R. of fingers. 2 l5100