US 3491938 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan; 27, 1970 J, R, OODSWE ETAL 3,491,938
RETRACTABLE BOX LIFTER Filed April 26, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG./
IN VENTORS Jan. 27, 1970 J. R. sooosmz ETAL 3,491,938
RETRACTABLE BOX LIFTER Filed April 26, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS EDWIN A.FREM| JAM S RGOOD TE Jan. 27, 1970' 7 J. R. eooosn: ETAL 3,491,938
RETRACTABLE BOX LIFTER Filed April 26. 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIGJO F/G-H INVEN-TORS EDWIN A.FREMION BY JAMES R.GOODS|TE United States Extent 3,491,938 RETRACTABLE BOX LIFTER James R. Goodsite, Sandusky, and Edwin A. Fremion, Eaton, Ohio, assignors to Westvaco Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 724,445 Int. Cl. B65d 5/46; A47f 13/06 U.S. Cl. 22952 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lifting bracket is mounted on a container provided with at least one slot. The bracket can slide in the slot to retract when not in use.
Field of the invention This invention pertains to the packaging and material handling arts and more specifically to a new and useful container, and especially a paperboard container provided with means to facilitate the lifting and carrying thereof which means may be retracted when not in use, thus allowing a number of such containers to be stacked or stored with no voids or spaces therebetween.
Description of the prior art Those skilled in packaging or material handling arts frequently encounter and recognize the problem of providing containers with means to facilitate lifting and/or carrying. The necessity of providing such means is obvious from a consideration of the manner in which containers, such as paperboard containers or cartons, are stored or used. For example, numerous cartons of relatively small size, when stored, might be stacked one on top of the other. Alternatively, large paperboard containers are often employed to package items such as clothes dryers, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. In any of the aforementioned applications or similar uses, all of which are obvious and well known to those skilled in the art, the cartons with the articles inside must be lifted, carried, moved, etc. from the time that they are packed until their final delivery. To effect such lifting and moving fork lift trucks or equivalent lifting and transporting means are commonly used.
To allow the use of such equipment as fork lift trucks, certain storage techniques or carton designs have been leveloped. All of these techniques and designs are old in the art to which this invention pertains. Moreover, the use of each or any of them is attended by certain disadvantages which will be specifically enumerated and all of which are overcome by our invention.
An early attempt to solve the problem of storing con tainers such that they could be lifted and moved by fork lift trucks or their equivalents consisted of mounting the carton or paperboard container on pallets. As is well known, the pallets maintained spaces between stacked containers or between a container and the ground, thus enabling one to interpose between containers or between a container and the ground various lifting means, such as the fork of a fork lift truck.
Although the use of pallets provided a solution to the problem, their use Was attended by certain disadvantages. For example, since the object of using pallets was to maintain a space between the containers, of necessity the number of containers which could be stored in a given vertical space was diminished. Further, pallets represent an investment or cost which must be borne by the user of such containers. Still further, because of their cost, when not in use the pallets must be stored or returned to the shipper. The unsatisfactory nature of pallets is 3,491,938 Patented Jan. 27, 1970 evidenced by the large number of patents which have been issued on different pallet designs. Of course, none of these designs could eliminate the space problem which is intrinsic in the use of pallets.
Another attempt to solve the problem of providing means to facilitate the lifting of paperboard containers is the so-called tube and cap container. Such a container configuration utilizes a separate cap which slides over the end of the container or tube and is held in place by metal straps. This construction is frequently employed when large articles are to be packaged, e.g. refrigerators.
To lift and carry such a container a spade lift or fork maintained in a vertical plane is interposed between the tube and cap. Since the cap must sustain all the lift forces, it is necessary to use multiple layers of paperboard. Thus, it 'will be appreciated that such caps are both expensive and protrude substantially beyond the wall of the tube, thereby reducing the number of containers which may be stored in a given floor area. Still another disadvantage of this design is the time, equipment and manpower required to assemble and strap the container.
Another attempted prior art solution to this problem was the construction disclosed in the Morrison patents, Nos. 423,621 and 446,924. Morrison taught the use of a bracket, rigidly attached to the wall of the container, which bracket could be engaged by a spade lift. Although this design obviated the need for either a pallet or a cap, it suffered from the same disadvantage as those designs and approaches enumerated above in that when it Was not being used it protruded beyond the wall of the container and therefor prevented full utilization of a given storage area.
Summary of the invention It is the primary object of our invention to provide a lifting and carrying means on containers while avoiding any of the problems which are intrinsic in the prior art as heretofore discussed.
Essentially, this objective is realized by employing a bracket designed to be mounted on and cooperatively interact with a container which has been cut to receive such bracket. More specifically, instead of mounting the bracket on the container by fixedly attaching it to the container wall, the container is provided with at least one slot through which the bracket protrudes.
When mounted, a portion of the bracket is exterior to the container while the remainder of the bracket is within the container. Thus the bracket, in the slot, is retractably mounted on the container and, when not in use, may be positioned such that the portion of the bracket exterior to the container is adjacent to a surface. of the container. When the container is to be lifted, the exterior portion of the bracket is moved away from the wall of the container until the interior portion of the bracket abuts the interior of the slotted surface whereupon vertical lifting means, such as a spade, may engage the bracket.
Thus, when not in use, i.e. when the bracket is in its retracted position, there are no protuberances extending from a surface of the carton, thereby allowing containers which utilize our invention to be placed directly on the ground and/or to be stacked in abutting relationship.
Description of the drawings FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of one embodiment of our invention showing a sealed paperboard container with a lifting bracket retractably mounted thereon.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the paperboard container of FIG. 1, in an open condition and without the lifting bracket but appropriately disposed to receive such bracket.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the blank from which the paperboard container of FIG. 1 was assembled.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the bracket partially shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a bracket representing an alternate embodiment to the bracket of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a bracket utilizing an alternate construction.
FIG. 7 is a side view of the bracket shown in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of another container configuration with a lifting bracket, of the type shown in FIG. 4, retractably mounted thereon.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a paperboard container with a lifting bracket retractably mounted thereon, representing another embodiment of our invention.
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the blank from which the paperboard container of FIG. 9 was assembled.
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the bracket utilized and shown in FIG. 9.
Detailed description of invention The container 1 of FIG. 1, which may be used to practice our invention, may be assembled from the blank 1 shown in FIG. 3. The blank 1 of FIG. 3 is comprised of a plurality of surfaces, viz. side wall panels 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d hingedly connected to each other at fold lines 22a, 22b and 220. Sealing tab 7 is hingedly connected to side wall panel 2d at fold line 22d. Top wall panels 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d are respectively hingedly connected to side wall panels 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d at fold lines 23a, 23b, 23c and 23d. A tongue 8 formed partially from side wall panel 2c and top wall panel 30, is defined by slots 4, 5 and 6. While tongue 8, as shown in FIG. 3, is defined by slots (viz. slots 4, 5 and 6) it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that tongue 8 could be equivalently defined by only two slots, such as 4 and 5, which extend to the top edge of top wall panel 30. Moreover, it will be equally apparent that the use of slots, i.e cuts in the blank which have appreciable width, encompasses and is equivalent to the use of slits, i.e. cuts through the blank which do not have appreciable width. Thus, as hereinafter used, the word slot or slots encompasses the word slit or slits.
Referring still further to FIG. 3, it should be further recognized that although the blank 1 shown therein discloses the use of bottom wall panels, viz. 4a, 4b, 4c and 4d, respectively, hingedly connected to side wall panels 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d at fold lines 24a, 24b, 24c and 24d, as a means to seal the bottom of the container, our invention functions independently of the means used to seal the bottom of the container. As such, the other drawings of containers utilizing our invention are fragmentary drawings omitting the lower portion of the container.
FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of our invention, utilizing the blank of FIG. 3. When the container 1 is sealed, top wall panels 3a and 3c are maintained perpendicular to the side wall panels 2b and by sealing tape 13. The lifting bracket 12 comprised of a channel portion 11 and two tabs 9 and 10, is mounted on the container 1 through slots 4 and 5 such that the channel shaped portion of the bracket 11 is exterior to the container 1 and the tabs 9 and 10 which are connected to the channel portion 11 at the open end thereof, are inside container 1. The tongue 8 defined by slots 4, 5 and 6 is generally encompassed by the channel portion 11 of the bracket 12. When the container 1 is in a sealed condition as is shown in FIG. 1, sealing tape 14 maintains the tongue 8 in planes coincident with side wall panel 20 and top wall panel 30. The bracket 12, as shown in FIG. 1, is in its unretracted position, i.e. the position which it would occupy when the container 1 is to be lifted. To lift the container 1, a spade 25 is interposed between the tongue 8 and the channel portion 11 of bracket 12 until the engaging member 26 engages the channel portion 11 of bracket 12. When the container is lifted the vertical lifting forces exerted by the spade 25 will be transmitted to the container 1, and the item packed therein, by the tabs '9 and 10 of bracket 12 which abut the interior surface of the top wall panel 30 proximate to fold line 230. Thus, it may be appreciated that one feature of our invention is that during the lifting or carrying process, the bracket 12 exerts no force directly on the tongue 8.
Since the lifting bracket 12 does not exert any forces directly upon the tongue 8, thus it will again be appreciated that tongue 8 may be defined by only two slots, such as 4 and 5 which extend to the edge of top panel 30. In such a case, the need for sealing tape 14 Would be obviated in that sealing tape 13 would serve the dual function of maintaining the top wall panels 3a and 3c perpendicular to all side wall panels and maintaining the tongue 8 coincident with the planes defined by top wall panel 30 and side wall panel 20.
FIG. 2 shows container 1 of FIG. 1 assembled and in an open configuration, without the lifting bracket mounted but in a condition ready to receive a bracket which would be placed between tongue 8 and side wall panel 20. From a study of FIG. 1, it will be apparent that the lift: ing bracket is mounted without the use of adhesives or other means consistent with fixedly attaching the bracket to the container. Thus, another disadvantage of the approach taught by Morrison (Pat. Nos. 423,621, 446,924) viz. the time and eifort associated with fixedly mounting the lifting bracket, is avoided by our invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the lifting bracket 12 utilized in the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1. The bracket 12 may be manufactured from any material which is rigid and tough, e.g. sheet steel, aluminum, rigid polymers, etc. Considering the design of bracket 12, it may be observed that in this embodiment, tabs 9 and 10 forming two first body portions are attached to and integrally associated with the second body portion of the bracket, channel section 11. Clearly, a functionally equivalent construction would be obtained by having one first body, with one second body portion extending therefrom as shown in FIG. 5.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the lifting bracket of FIG. 4. The lifting bracket 18 of FIG. 6 utilizes two tabs 14 and 15, generally corresponding ot tabs 9 and 10 of bracket 12 in FIG. 4. However, the channel section 16 of bracket 18 has a lengthwise diminishing height, the use ofwhich (as opposed to the bracket of FIG. 4) would obviate the need for an engaging member, such as 26 on spade 25, shown in FIG. 1. The lifting bracket of FIG. 6 also employs a lip, 13, attached to and extending from the upper edge of the bracket. When this bracket is placed on the container, the
under part of the lip 13 will coincide with the upper horizontal surface of tongue 8. As a result, at least two alternate functional purposes are served. First, the lip will serve to maintain tongue 8 in a horizontal plane in the absence of tape 14 as shown in FIG. 1. Second, when a tape such as 14 in FIG. 1 is used, and if angle a as shown in FIG. 7 is less than the lip will act as a leaf spring and tend to maintain the bracket in a retracted position, i.e. the lip will force surface 16a against the container side wall.
The container 17 of FIG. 8 is an alternate container construction employing an end closure means different from that shown in FIG. 1. Container 17 is provided with flaps 19a, 19b, 19c and 19d hingedly connected to side wall panels 20a, 20b, 20c and 20d. When folded inwardly and perpendicular to the side wall panels, flaps 19a, 19b, 19c and 19d form a flange which is connected to a pad placed in the container before the flaps 19a, 19b, 19c and 19d are folded. The pad is of a size and shape such that when placed in container 17, it is generally coextensive with the interior to side wall panels 20a, 20b, 20c and 20d. To permit horizontal movement of the bracket 12 into its retracted position the pad would either be manufactured from a deformable material or, alternatively, would be appropriately cut, along the side proximate to side wall panel a, to provide recesses into which tabs 9 and 10 would be received when the bracket 12 was retracted. This general container construction, absent the tongue 8, is old in the art and is shown here to illustrate the adaptability of our invention to different container constructions.
FIG. 9 presents an alternate embodiment of our invention. Container 31, comprised of the side wall panels a, 30b, 30c and 30d, with top wall panels a, 40b, 40c and 40d connected therewith, at fold lines 34a, 34b, 34c and 34d respectively is provided with two cutouts 35 and 36 in side wall 300. A bracket 41 comprised of a first body portion, 42, and two arcuate protuberances 43, 44, is mounted on container 31 by positioning the two arcuate protuberances, 43 and 44 through cutouts 35 and 36 with the first body portion 42 of bracket 41 within container 31.
This embodiment of our invention would be utilized by engaging either or both of the arcuate protuberances 43 and 44 with a spade type lift 50 as shown in FIG. 9.
The blank from which the container 31 is fabricated is shown in plan view in FIG. 10.
Referring to FIG. 10 and referring specifically to cutouts 35 and 36 in the container 31, it will be apparent to the skilled art worker that the size and dimension of cutouts 35 and 36 are variable and are limited only by the requirement that they function cooperatively with the arcuate proiuberances 43 and 44 on bracket 41.
Bracket 41, shown perspectively in FIG. 11, may be fabricated from any material which was heretofore enumerated for the construction of bracket 12 shown in FIG. 4.
While we have recited herein numerous embodiment-s of our invention, those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will immediately perceive other embodiments. For example, a container of the type shown in FIG. 1 may be provided with slots only in the top panel 3c and a bracket of the type shown as 12 in FIG. 4 could be mounted thereon thus providing a horizontal retractable lifting bracket rather than the vertically disposed lifting bracket of FIG. 1. Alternatively, the bracket 41 of FIG. 11 could be provided with more or less than two protuberances.
1. A container with a retractable lifting bracket comprising:
(a) a paperboard container having a plurality of wall panels, top and bottom closure means and having at least one slot in at least one surface of said wall panels;
(b) a bracket having at least one substantially flat first body portion with a second body portion extending therefrom, said bracket mounted on said container such that said first body portion is within said container and said second body portion retractably protrudes through said slot; and
(c) means for maintaining said top and bottom closure means in a horizontal plane.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said second body portion of said bracket is comprised of a generally channel shaped member rigidly connected to said first body portion at the open end of the channel.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said second body portion of said bracket is comprised of a channel shaped member having a length-wise diminishing height.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said bracket includes a lip attached to and extending away from that edge of said first body portion which is generally coincident with the end of said generally channel shaped second body portion having a minimum height, said lip and said first body portion defining an angle of no more than 5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said first body portion of said bracket is comprised of two rectangular, flat tabs rigidly connected to and extending away from the open end of the channel.
6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said first body portion of said bracket is comprised of two rectangular, fiat tabs rigidly connected to and extending away from the open end of the channel.
7. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said first body portion of said bracket is comprised of two rectangular, flat tabs rigidly connected to and extending away from the open end of the channel.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said second body portion of said bracket is comprised of at least one arcuate protuberance rigidly connected to said first body portion.
9. A container with a retractable lifting bracket comprising:
(a) a paperboard container having a plurality of side walls, top and bottom panels hingedly joined thereto along fold lines therebetween, with two slots common to one side panel and its corresponding top panel which cross the fold line therebetween at a right angle and partially extend away from said fold line and which are connected together by a third slot cut across the top panel generally parallel to said fold line;
(b) a generally channel shaped bracket having two tabs extending outwardly from the open end of the channel, positioned partially within said container through said slots such that when said container is sealed said tabs are within said container with their upper surface substantially coincident with the plane defined by said top panels and the channel portion of said bracket is substantially exterior to said container; and
(0) means for sealing said container and securely maintaining said top panels in a generally horizontal plane whereby external lifting forces will be transmitted by said bracket to said container.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 423,621 3/ 1890 Morrison.
446,924 2/ 1891 Morrison. 1,027,385 5/ 1912 Gruenberg. 1,505,594 8/ 1924 Gruenberg. 2,133,590 10/1938 Stopper. 2,158,661 5/1939 Kehrer.
FOREIGN PATENTS 665,808 10/ 1965 Belgium.
1,276,543 8/ 1968 Germany.
DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 294-22