US 3486665 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 30, 1969 1.. T. LA CROCE 3,486,665
DISPENSING CAN WITH PLASTIC TOP Filed Oct. 2. 1967 2 Sheets-Shet 1 INVENTOR. Lid/WED THU/HA5 M09012 A rwxwz y Dec.30,1969 L. T. L CROCE 3,486,665
v DISPENSING CAN WITH PLASTIC TOP I Filed Oct. 2, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. it'd/WWO f/mA/As MZ'MM United States Patent U.S. Cl. 222-480 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A snap-on plastic top attaches to the removable end of a full-open can. The top has an annular downwardly extending skirt with an annular bead on the inner side thereof to permit the top to be pushed down and snapped over the end seam of an open can. The top has a rotatable outer cover with a spoon hole, pouring spout and a group of shaker holes and which can be turned to align either of these dispensing openings with an orifice in a stationary transverse wall below the rotatable top to select the manner in which the product is to be dispensed.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many non-liquid condiments which are used over a considerable period of time must be removed from the container in which they are sold and thereafter placed in special dispensing containers to be conveniently used by the consumer. Pepper and salt are familiar examples of such condiments, but cinnamon, paprika and any flaky, granular or powdery spice or other product is generally consumed in the same manner. Such products are usually dispensed through shakers or from containers with pour spouts or spoon holes or from containers having several of these features.
There are several disadvantages to buying such products in containers other than the container from which they are dispensed by the consumer. The removal of the product from the container and the filling of the dispenser is troublesome, oftentimes messy and always time consuming. When such products are purchased in large containers as by restaurants, and institutions, the product is not emptied completely when opened, but is emptied in several operations so that the container requires a recloseable feature. A recloseable container which may be easily reopened and reclosed is not hermetic and consequently the product can be adversely affected by its communication with the atmosphere.
In one common type of large container in which such products are sold, the end closure has an opening into which is fitted a removable plug. The plug is joined to the end panel by being bumped down in place to be held on the can end by metal to metal friction. Hermeticity is therefore impossible and consequently, the product will lose freshness during shipment or storage.
In order to provide for greater convenience, such products have also been packaged in containers which may be used as dispensers by the consumer, but may be closed when the product is not being used. In this type of container, the end closure includes members which must move relatively to each other and therefore the provision of a hermetic seal is virtually impossible if the containers are mass produced. In addition, the end panel of the can is not conventional, but must be designed in order to accommodate the additional part or parts which must be affixed to it. This tends to increase the cost of the container.
Another problem has arisen when it has been attempted to provide a dispensing end made of plastic in the packaging of such spices as pepper which contain oils which soften and expand the plastic. This chemical action makes ICC for a container in which the plastic members do not cooperate properly and therefore function poorly if at all, and the appearance of the container is adversely affected.
SUMMARY It is an object of the present invention to provide a container to package non-liquid condiments which container during shipment and storage, but which may be used to dispense the product over a considerable period of time.
It is another object to provide a container with a plastic top which permits the product to be dispensed by one of several ways but which will not be made inoperable by the chemical action of oils present in the product.
These and other objects are obtained by providing a container comprising a hermetic full-open can with a plastic snap-on top which is snapped over the end seam of the can and which has means to dispense the product. The top has a stator member with a circular panel having a product dispensing orifice therein and, outwardly of the panel, a peripheral skirt with an annular bead on its inner wall to permit the top to be snapped over the end seam of a full-open can. An outer cover with at least one dispensing opening is rotatably mounted on the panel to be turnable to either align one of the dispensing openings with the dispensing orifice to thereby select the manner in which the product is dispensed, or to prevent such alignment and close the container, both the cover and panel being concave outwardly.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION FIGURE 1 is a plan view, partly in section of a snapon plastic top made in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a full-open can upon which the plastic top of FIGURE 1 can be affixed to provide a preferred form of the present invention;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the stator member of the present plastic top;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the rotatable outer cover of the present plastic top;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged side view partly in section and partly broken away showing the present plastic top in place on the full-open can of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged side view partly in section and partly broken away, similar to FIGURE 6, but showing the plastic top on top of the full-open can of FIG- URE 2 after the can has been opened and after the outer cover of the top has been rotated to make dispensing of the product possible.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT There is shown in FIGURE 1 a plastic dredge top 10 and in FIGURE 2 a full-open can 14 upon which it is adapted to be snapped in place to provide a container from which the product can be conveniently dispensed. The full-open can 14 has a conventional double seam 16 which is joined by a countersink wall 17 to an end panel 18 (see FIG. 6). The end panel 18 has a peripheral score 19 which defines a removable area 20 which may be separated from the remainder of the can to provide an opening substantially as large as the can end. To this end, a pull-tab 22 is secured to the removable area 20 by means of a rivet 24. The pull-tab 22 has a handle portion 26 which may be lifted to force a nose portion 28 downwardly and initiate rupture of the peripheral score 19 at a location thereon proximate to the nose portion 28. Thereafter, the pull-tab 22 may be pulled upwardly to tear the removable area 20 free from the can 14.
An example of another type of full-open can which may be used with the present plastic top is shown in U.S. Patent 3,303,958, issued Feb. 14, 1967, and entitled Container Construction.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, the plastic top 10 has a convex circular cover plate 29 which is shown separately in FIGURE 5. The outer cover 29 has a spoon opening 30 which has about its periphery an upwardly extending brim 32, a number of closely spaced shaker holes 34 and a pouring hole 36, which has about its periphery an upwardly extending brim 38 which forms a pouring spout. Upwardly extending turn bars 40 are provided to permit the consumer to conveniently rotate the circular outer cover 29. In order to provide a stacking feature, the upper most points of each turn bar 40, and the upper edges of each of the brims 38 and 32 lie in a common plane. This arrangement also provides stability, should the container be stored upside down.
The outer cover 29 is rotatably mounted on a stator member 42 (shown by itself in FIGURE 4), by means of a hollow downwardly projecting stub 43 which has an annular side wall 44 terminating in an outwardly protruding annular flange 46 which engages an annular bearing bead 48 which surrounds a bearing hole 49 which is formed in a transverse wall in the form of an outwardly convex inner panel 50 of the stator member 42. There are several advantages in having the inner panel 50 and the outer cover 29 of convex configuration as will presently appear.
The inner panel 50 is formed with a product dispensing orifice 51 which is preferably of the same configuration as the largest of the openings in the cover, in the present case, the spoon opening 30, so that the inner panel will not limit the flow of product through any of the openings in the dredge top when it is used to dispense product.
About the periphery of the inner panel 50 is a circular peripheral rim or wall 52 which extends upwardly to an inwardly projecting head 54 which overhangs the peripheral marginal portion of the outer cover 29. The wall 52 and the bead 54 give the plastic top a smooth appearance and perform a useful function after the can 14 has been opened, as will be explained infra.
Projecting outwardly from the lower portion of the peripheral Wall 52 is a ledge 55 Which merges into a downwardly projecting skirt 56 which has on its inner surface an annular head 60. The annular bead 60 forms an annular pocket 62 into which the end seam 16 of the full-open can 14 fits when the present plastic top 10 is snapped onto it. The lower portion of the annular bead 60 is beveled outwardly and downwardly to cause the skirt 56 to flex outwardly during the snapping operation so that the bead can pass over the end seam 16.
FIGURE 6 shows the relationship of parts after the dredge top 10 has been snapped onto a hermetically sealed full-open can 14. The annular pocket 62 snugly fits about the double seam 16 to firmly afiix the dredge top 10 to the can 14. Temporary removal of the dredge top 10 to expose the upper end of the can 14 and permit removal of the removable area 20 is facilitated by the smooth contour of the head 60 on the upper portion thereof because as the dredge top 10 is lifted upwardly, the bead will easily flex outwardly to ride over the end seam 16.
FIGURE 7 is a cross section of the dredge top 10 and associated full-open can 14 after the removable section 20 has been detached and the dredge top 10 has been reassembled to the can 14. The circular outer cover 29 has been rotated to align the spoon opening 30 with the product dispensing orifice 51 of the inner panel 50. When the top is in this position, the product can be removed by inserting a spoon through the spoon opening 30. When it is desired to sift the product (not shown), the outer cover 29 is rotated until the shaker holes 34 are over the product dispensing orifice 51. Similarly, when it is desired to pour the product from the container, the
outer cover 29 is rotated until the pouring hole 36 is over the product dispensing orifice 51. Lastly, the outer cover 29 may be rotated to a position where it completely covers the dispensing opening 51, and prevents dispensing of the product.
The convex configuration of the inner panel 50 and the outer cover 29, and the arrangement of the peripheral wall 52 and the overhanging head 54 prevent oils in the product, which soften the plastic and cause it to expand, from making operation of the device diflicult. If the top 10 were flat or concave, its own weight would tend to cause it to buckle downwardly when expanded and softened. This would cause binding between the inner panel 50 and cover 29. It might even cause separation of those two elements at the stub 43. Convexity, on the other hand, permits the inner panel 50 to bow further upwardly under the action of product oils so that no binding at the stub 43 will occur. The peripheral wall 52 and the overhanging bead 54 prevent the cover 29 from being raised at its outer portion away from the inner panel 50 because of bowing of the inner panel 50 to result in an unsightly container in which product would become wedged between the inner panel 50 and the cover 29 to prevent easy rotation of the cover. The peripheral wall 52 and bead 54 along with the stub 43 serve to make the cover 29 a reinforcement which prevents excessive bowing of the inner panel 50.
If the inner panel 50 were flat, the action of the product oil Would tend to cause it to di stend downwardly under the force of its own weight and the weight of the outer cover 29. Inverting the container to dispense product would bring the weight of the product down against the inwardly bowed inner panel 50 to flex it downwardly, that is, to make it more flat and push the skirt outwardly and away from the end seam 16. As a result, the top 10 could loose its grip on the can 14. This possibility is especially present when the container is being shaken to sprinkle the product, because with each shake the product bears against the inner panel 50. A convex inner panel 50, on the other hand, will only become more convex if softened and expanded. This ensures that the skirt 56 will be tightened about the seam 16 when the product bears against the top 10'. The overhanging bead 54 prevents the outer portion of the cover 29 from being pushed away from the inner panel when the inner panel is flexed downwardly, and consequently, the product will not be caught between those members to interfere with the operation.
The peripheral wall 52 and the bead 54 also prevent localized outward distortion of the portion of the outer cover 29 which bridges the product dispensing orifice 51 to come in contact with the product and the oils therein which soften and expand plastic.
The foregoing describes only one preferred embodiment. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the described embodiment may be modified and other embodiments designed without exceeding the preview of the present invention.
1. The combination of a can having a can body, an end panel, an end seam joining said end panel to said can body, a large removable section in said end panel defined by a score line adjacent to said end seam and a pull tab secured to said removable section so that said pull tab can be manipulated to remove said removable section, and a snap-on plastic top, said top comprising an outwardly convex stator member having a generally circular transverse wall, a product dispensing orifice in said wall, an annular skirt extending downwardly from the periphery of said transverse wall, an annular head on the inside of said skirt and encircling said can below said end seam, an outwardly convex circular outer cover, a stub extending downwardly from said outer cover and through an aperture in the center of said transverse wall, an annular bearing bead extending outwardly from said stub and under said transverse wall to rotatably secure said outer cover to said transverse wall and a dispensing opening in said outer cover whereby said outer cover can be rotated to align said opening with said orifice.
2. The combination defined in claim 1 further comprising means projecting from said transverse wall and over said outer cover to assure that the peripheral portion of said outer cover will be maintained adjacent to said transverse wall.
3. The combination of a hermetically sealed can and a plastic top, said can including a top end secured in place by a laterally projecting seam and having a removable section set off inwardly of said seam by a score, a pull-tab secured to said removable section, said plastic top being in snap-fit replaceable engagement with said seam and having at least one dispensing orifice formed in it in vertical alignment with said removable section, said plastic top comprising a stator member having a transverse wall, said dispensing orifice being located in said wall, and a circular outer cover for closing said dispensing orifice and having a peripheral portion adjacent to the periphery of said stator member, said circular cover being rotatably secured on said transverse Wall, means on said stator member projecting over said cover for maintaining the peripheral portion of said cover adjacent to the upper surface of said transverse wall, a dispensing opening formed in said cover and being openable by rotating said cover until said opening is aligned with said orifice and closeable by rotating said cover to bring said opening out of alignment with said orifice.
4. The combination defined in claim 3 further comprising an aperture in the center of said transverse wall, a stub extending downwardly from said outer cover and through said aperture, an annular bearing bead extending outwardly from said stub and under said transverse wall to pivotally secure said outer cover to said transverse wall.
5. The combination defined in claim 4 wherein said transverse wall and said outer cover are convex outwardly.
6. The combination defined in claim 1 further comprising an annular rim wall extending upwardly from said transverse wall, a rim bead extending inwardly from said rim wall and over a marginal portion of said outer cover.
7. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein said outer cover has a plurality of product dispensing openings including a spoon hole, a pouring hole and a number of shaker holes, said device further comprising a pair of turn bars projecting upwardly from said cover.
8. The device defined in claim 7 wherein said spoon hole and said pouring hole have at their peripheries upwardly extending brims.
9. The device defined in claim 8 wherein the uppermost portions of said brims and turn bars are disposed in a common planefi References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,765,094 10/ 1956 Ryan 220- X 2,961,132 11/1960 Ankney 222480 3,100,589 8/1963 Love 222--480 3,217,949 11/1965 Davis 222541 X 3,273,760 9/1966 Frankenberg 222570 X 3,332,565 7/1967 Elser 220-29 X 3,366,270 1/1968 Khoury 22054 3,372,832 3/1968 Yeater et al 220-60 X STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.