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Publication numberUS3493308 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 3, 1970
Filing dateApr 2, 1969
Priority dateApr 2, 1969
Publication numberUS 3493308 A, US 3493308A, US-A-3493308, US3493308 A, US3493308A
InventorsSperry Charles R
Original AssigneeSperry C R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container with cover
US 3493308 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 3, 1970 C. R. sPr-:RRY 3,493,308

coNTANER WITH COVER Filed April 2, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet l Feb. 3, 1'9'70 ,c. R. sPERRY 3,493,308

CONTAINER WITH COVER Filed April 2, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Feb. 3, 1970 c. R. SPERRY CONTAINER WITH COVER 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 2, 1969 -Feb. 3, 1970 c. R. SPERRY 3,493,308

CONTAINER WITH COVER Filed Aprii a, 1969 4 sheets-Sheet 4 Emi nted States Patent O 3,493,308 CONTAINER WITH COVER Charles R. Sperry, 28 Church St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138 Continuation-impart of applications Ser. N o. 555,395, June 6, 1966, Ser. No. 633,863, Apr. 26, 1967, and Ser. No. 748,129, July 5, 1968. This application Apr. 2, 1969, Ser. No. 812,822

Int. Cl. B43k 21/06 U.S. Cl. 401--59 34 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container with an integrally formed, iris-style cover primarily designed for such uses as a lipstick container having in coaxial relation an elevator which carries a product such as a lipstick, a guide sleeve which holds the elevator as it is moved longitudinally, a scroll surrounding the guide sleeve for moving the elevator longitudinally, a casing surrounding and in frictional contact with the scroll and an outer casing rotatable with respect to the inner casing. A flexible torque tube forms an iris cover between the inner and outer casings so that rotation of the outer casing with respect to the inner casing causes the iris cover to stretch over the open end of the container sequentially with respect to the longitudinal movement of the elevator. In a modification means are provided to permit use of a flexible, non-stretchable, iris cover. In another modification, means are provided to lock the iris cover in closed position and means are provided for limiting the rotation of the inner and outer casings with respect to one another.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The present invention comprises a continuation-in-part application of my application, Ser. No. 748,129, filed July 5, 1968, and patent application, Ser. No. 633,863, filed Apr. 26, 1967, both applications now abandoned. The application is also a continuation-in-part Ser. No. 555,395, filed June 6, 1966, also now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates primarily to a stick-dispensing container having an integrally formed iris cover or closure and an elevator which are operatively interrelated. Such containers are useful in a variety of fields and trades such, for example, for dispensing shoe polishes, marking crayons and other products. However, such containers are primarily useful in the cosmetic trade for dispensing lipsticks, deodorants, lotions, pomades and other stick powders.

There have been a number of attempts to combine in a container a commonly actuated elevator mechanism and iris-type closure. These mechanisms are, for example, illustrated in Patent No. 2,969,142. The constructions which have been developed heretofore are not completely satisfactory in operation. One of the most cogent objections to the prior art constructions is the cost of manufacture. This type of container must be very simple in construction and easy to assemble since it has to be competitive with a conventional container having a separable cap or closure. Of further importance, especially when these containers are used for lipstick dispensers, is the adaptability of the container for manufacture on existing machinery. In addition to the cost factor, such containers must provide an airor liquid-tight seal which is not susceptible to malfunction. The prior art, exemplified by the previously cited patent, does not completely satisfy these requirements, particularly with respect to its embodiment in a lipstick container.

3,493,398 Patented Feb. 3, 1970 SUMMARY oF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and provides a container with an integral elevator and closure and which utilizes many components of containers heretofore commercially available particularly for lipstick-dispensing. The present invention is a relatively inexpensive and simple container with an integral elevator and closure.

The present invention is readily adapted for commercialization by present manufacturers of lipstick containers having separable caps because such manufacturers may use substantially all of the dies and assembly techniques which have been used until now in the fabrication of standard lipstick containers.

The present invention also provides a construction which is certain of operation and provides an effective, iris-type closure or seal.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved container primarily useful in dispensing lipstick or the like formed of a unitary structure which eliminates the need for a separate cap or closure and which effectively provides a means for sealing the interior of the container so that the container will not accidentally open while being carried.

A further object of this invention is to provide a lipstick container having a closure member which cannot come loose and which cannot pick up smudges on material contained within the container.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a lipstick container or container for similar products having a closure member which is opened and closed in part by an internal spring mechanism which is formed integrally `with an intermediate sleeve with the spring mechanism consisting essentially of a helical slit which forms this sleeve into a spring.

A further object of this invention is to provide a lipstick container having a closure member which is recessed from the extreme end of the casing and is thereby not likely to be rubbed when carried in a pocket or pocketbook and is thus protected against smudging or other damage.

In the present invention there is provided a container having a guide sleeve with an elevator positioned and longitudinally movable in the guide sleeve. Means are provided for moving the elevator longitudinally in the guide sleeve. An inner case and an outer casing open at both ends are coaxial with the guide sleeve. Means are provided for limiting the rotation of the casings with respect to one another and for frictionally interengaging the inner Casing with the means for moving the elevator. A flexible torque tube open at each end has one end engaging the outer casing and the other end engaging the inner casing. An intermediate portion of this torque tube spans the intermediate annular area between the casings at one end of these casings so that rotation of the outer casing relative to the inner casing will cause the flexible tube to stretch at its intermediate portion to effect an iris-type closure sequentially in relation to movement of the elevator to and from a withdrawn position.

In a modification of the present invention, there is provided a container having an elevator which is moved vertically within a guide sleeve or inner sleeve with this guide sleeve secured to a base. An intermediate sleeve, preferably formed of plastic, has a scroll or cam formed on its inner surface. The scroll or cam is adapted to engage and guide a pin integrally formed on the elevator in vertical movement upon rotation of the plastic intermediate sleeve. In addition, this plastic intermediate sleeve is formed with a helical slit that permits the intermediate sleeve to also function as a spring. The intermediate sleeve is frictionally engaged by an outer shell which is adapted to move relative to the base and guide sleeve. A ilexible tube has one periphery secured to the intermediate sleeve at one end and its other periphery secured to the outer shell. This fabric tube need not be stretchable although it may be. It should have a length sufficient to permit it to function as an iris closure on relative movement of the outer shell and guide sleeve.

In a modification of the present invention, means are provided for limiting the rotation of the outer casing with respect to the intermediate sleeve, and means are provided for locking the cover in closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a container embodying a preferred embodiment of the present invention with this container designed primarily for dispensing lipstick or the like;

FIGS. 2 to 7 inclusive are individual elevations of components shown in FIG. l that are coaxially arranged with respect to one another and with some of the components in partial cross-section;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional detail of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the container;

FIG. l is a cross-sectional view of a container embodying a modication of the present invention with this container designed primarily for dispensing lipsticks or the like;

FIGS. 1l to 15 inclusive are fragmentary and elevational views of components partially shown in FIG. l0 and in which FIG. ll shows an elevation of the elevator element, FIG. l2 shows a partially cross-sectioned elevation of the guide sleeve or inner shell with the base secured to it, FIG. 13 shows the intermediate sleeve, FIG. 14 shows a cross-section of the intermediate sleeve taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 13, and FIG. 15 shows a partially fragmented view of the outer shell;

FIG. 16 shows a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. l() on a smaller scale, with the iris closure in a closed position;

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary detail, partially crosssec tioned, of a modification of the invention;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of a contamer embodying a modification of the present invention with this container designed primarily for dispensing lipsticks or the like;

FIGS. 19 to 26 inclusive are fragmentary and elevational views of components partially shown in FIG. 18 in which FIG. 19 shows an elevation or" the elevator element;

FIG. 20 shows a partially cross-sectioned elevation of the guide sleeve or inner shell with the base secured to it;

FIG. 21 shows the intermediate sleeve;

FIG. 22 shows the inner casing;

FIG. 23 shows a cross-section of the inner casing taken along line 23-23 of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is an elevation in partial cross-section of the outer shell or casing;

FIG. 24A is a cross-sectioned view taken on the line 24A-24A of FIG. 24.

FIG. 25 shows an elevation and bottom view of the top ring; and

FIG. 26 is a fragmentary elevation of the outer casing of a modification of the invention.

DESCRIPTION 0F' THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. l to 9 inclusive is intended primarily for use in dispensing lipsticks. However, it should be understood that the invention may also be used in conjunction with other forms of product-dispensing, and that the inventionis not intended to be limited to the specific embodiment described in these figures.

In the preferred construction, there is provided a series of coaxially arranged components. These components comprise. principally, a lipstick 1, an elevator 2, a guide sleeve 10, a cam sleeve 20, a friction ring 30, an inner casing 40, an outer casing 50 and a torque tube 60;

The lipstick 1 may be of conventional, cylindrical shape tapered at its upper end as illustrated in FIG. 2. This lipstick is seated at its lower end in an elevator 2. The elevator secures the lipstick at its lower end, and as described hereinafter, is adapted to move it in a longitudinal direction. This elevator 2 may be of conventional design and comprises a cylindrical shell open at its upper end to receive the lipstick, and if desired, may be opened or closed at its lower end. A button or boss 3 projects radially outwardly from the shell.

The guide sleeve 10 is also cylindrical in shape and is Open at its upper end. The upper periphery or rim 11 of the guide sleeve is rolled or peened. The guide sleeve is provided with a longitudinally extending slot 12 that is closed or substantially closed at its upper end 13. The lower end of the slot 12 extends to a base 14. The base 14 is provided with a shoulder 15 that projects radially outwardly from the main portion 16 of the guide sleeve 10i. The lower end of the base 14 may be flared outwardly to form a hand grip 17. The elevator 2 is positioned within the main portion 16 of the guide sleeve 10 with the boss 3 positioned in and extending through the slot 12. The outer end of the boss 3 may be peened over or outwardly flared so as to engage the slot 12 and limit longitudinal movement of the elevator within the guide sleeve 10 to the length of the slot 12. The elevator 2 is free to be moved longitudinally within the guide sleeve on actuation of means for moving it longitudinally.

A cam sleeve 20 is coaxial with the guide sleeve 10 with the inner surface of the cam sleeve 20 in facing relation with the outer surface of the main portion 16 of the guide sleeve 10. The cam sleeve has its lower end 21 resting on the upper surface of shoulder 15 and its upper edge 22 positoned just below the lip 11. The outer diameter of the cam sleeve 20 is substantially no more than the outer diameter of the guide sleeve 10 at its lip 11. The cam sleeve 2] is provided with a helical slot 23 that terminates at the lower end of the cam sleeve in a horizontal portion 24, and at its upper end is an upper horizontal portion 25. This slot 23 is adapted to engage the outer end of boss 3 which projects through slot 12 and into slot 23. Cam sleeve 20 is free to be rotated with respect to guide sleeve 10 While the boss 3 is in engagement with the slot 23. Thus, rotation of cam sleeve 20` will move the elevator 2 vertically by virtue of the engagement of the boss 3 in slot 23.

The friction ring 30 is a narrow ring having a projection boss or tab 3l extending upwardly from its upper surface for a radial distance of approximately 15 or 20 degrees. This friction ring is coaxially positioned about cam sleeve 20 with the lower edge 32 of the friction ring 30 resting and supported on the upper surface of shoulder 15. This friction ring 36 is free to rotate with respect to cam sleeve 20.

The inner casing 40 is a cylindrical member open at each end. Its upper end is inwardly peened or beveled as best illustrated at 41 in FIG. 1, with this peened-over or beveled edge 41 overlying the lip 11 of guide sleeve 10. The lower edge 42 of the casing 4) is provided with a dog or tab 43 that extends downwardly. This inner casing 40 frictionally engages the cam sleeve 20 and is normally adapted to rotate with it until the boss 3 engages the ends of either portion 24 or 25. The sleeve 40 is free, however, to rotate with the cam sleeve 20 relative to friction ring 30. Thus, the inner casing 40` may rotate somewhat less than 360 with respect to the friction ring 3l) With this relative movement being limited by the interengagement of the boss or tab 31 on the friction ring 30 with the dog or tab 43 on the inner casing 40, as illustrated in FIG. 8.

An outer casing 50 is cylindrical in shape and is open at both its upper end 51 and its lower end 52. The casing 50 has an inner dimension such as to frictionally interengage the outer surface of the friction ring 30 in a firm engagement. This ring 30 has a thickness such as to project outwardly slightly beyond the outer surface of the inner casing 4t). ln this regard, the outer casing 50` will extend longitudinally beyond the inner casing 40- at both ends. Thus, the outer casing 50 is free to rotate with respect to the inner casing 40 with the relative rotation of the outer casing 50 and the inner casing 40 being limited to somewhat less than 360 degrees by the friction ring 30 which, as indicated, is frictionally engaged with the outer casing 5t) but is free to rotate with respect to the inner casing 40 within the rotational limits defined by the interengagement of the boss 31 and tab 43.

The torque tube 60 is formed of a flexible, rubber-like or elastic material that is preferably stretchable and resilient. It may be formed of rubber or a synthetic rubber material. The lower end 61 of this torque tube 60 is fitted about the upper outer surface of the casing 40I over a distance which may be varied but should be sufllcient to firmly anchor the torque tube 60 to the inner casing 40 at one end. To attain this, the torque tube 60 may be formed with a normal diameter substantially less than that of the outer diameter of the inner casing 40 with the torque tube being stretched to fit over and frictionally interengage the torque tube 40. The other end 62 of the torque tube is illustrated in FIG. 6 in its unassembled position. This end 62 should be formed with a means suitable for engaging the other surface of the outer casing 50 at its upper end 51. Several different means may be utilized, but in the embodiment illustrated the torque tube 60 is provided with a thickened end 62. This thickened end 62 is reversely bent over the upper end 51 of the outer tube 50i, as best illustrated in FIG. 1, so as to anchor the end 62 to the upper end of the outer casing 5t?. There is thereby effectively provided an intermediate area or annular portion 76 in the torque tube 60 that spans the narrow annular portion between the inner and outer casings 40- and 50 respectively. If desired, other anchoring means than that shown at 62 may be used.

The embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 18-26 are also intended primarily for the use in dispensing lipsticks. However, these embodiments may also be used in conjunction with other forms of product-dispensing means. In this preferred embodiment, a series of coaxially arranged components comprise, principally, a lipstick 201, an elevator 292, an inner shell or guide sleeve 210, a cam sleeve 229, an inner casing 240, an outer casing 250, a torque system comprising preferably a torque tube 269, and a top ring 2.7i).

The lipstick 201 may be of conventional, cylindrical shape tapered at its upper end as illustrated in FIG. 19. This lipstick is seated at its lower end at an elevator 202. The elevator secures the lipstick at its lower end, and as described hereinafter, is adapted to move it in a longitudinal direction. This elevator 202 may be of conventional design and comprises a cylindrical shelf open at its upper end to receive the lipstick, and if desired, may be opened or closed at its lower end. A button or boss 203 projects radially outward from the shell.

The guide sleeve or inner shell 210 is also cylindrical in shape and is open at its upper end. The upper periphery of rim 211 of the guide sleeve is rolled or peened. The guide sleeve is provided with a longitudinally extending slot 212 that is closed or substantially closed at its upper end 213, The lower end of the slot 212 extends to a base 218. The base 218 is provided with a flange 215 that projects radially outward from the main -body portion 216 of the guide sleeve 210. An annular groove 214 is defined by the flange 215. The base 218 may be of conventional design and may, if desired, be provided with a lower outwardly-flared knob portion 217 integrally formed with the flange 215 and groove 214. The guide sleeve 210 is secured to the upper surface 219 of the flange 215. The recess or groove 214 should be of sufficient width to receive inwardly extending peripheral lips 254 and 254A of outer casing 250, as more fully described hereinafter. The elevator 202 is positioned within the main body portion 216 of the guide sleeve 210 with `boss 293 positioned in and extending through the slot 212. The outer end of the boss 203 may be peened over or outwardly flared so as to engage slot 212 in limit longitudinal movement of the elevator within the guide sleeve 210 the length of the slot 212. The elevator 202 is free to move longitudinally within the guide sleeve on actuation of means for moving it longitudinally. Cam sleeve 220 is coaxial with the guide sleeve 210 with the inner surface of the cam sleeve 221) in facing relation with the outer surface of the main body portion 216 of the guide sleeve 211). The lower end 221 of the guide sleeve 210 rests on the surface 219, and the upper edge 222 is positioned just below the lip 211. The outer diameter of the carn sleeve 220 is substantially no more than the outer diameter of the guide sleeve 210 and its lip 211. The cam sleeve 220 is provided with a helical slot 223 that terminates at the lower end of the cam sleeve in a horizontal portion 224 and at its upper end is an upper horizontal portion 225. This slot 223 is adapted to engage the outer end of boss 203 `which projects through the slot 212 and into slot 223. Cam sleeve 220 is free to be rotated with respect to guide sleeve 210 while the boss 203 is in engagement with the slot 223. Thus, rotation o-f cam sleeve 22() will move the elevator 202 vertically by virtue of the engagement of the boss 203 in slot 223. Cam sleeve 220 is also provided with means of locking with inner casing 240, which is coaxial with and outwardly of cam sleeve 220, In this preferred embodiment, the means for locking include holes 226 and 226A on cam sleeve 220. Holes 226 and 226A are placed on cam sleeve 22) so that one of them interlocks with tab 246 on inner casing 240 regardless of how cam sleeve 220 is assembled with respect to guide sleeve 210.

The inner casing 240 is a cylindrical member open on each end. Its upper end is inwardly peened or beveled, as best illustrated at 244 in FIG. 22, with this peened-over or beveled edge 244 overlying the lip 211 of guide sleeve 210. The lower edge 242 in the casing 240 sets on surface 219 of base 218. This inner casing 240 interlocks with cam sleeve 220 by engaging interlocking means 246 and 226 or 226A and is normally adapted to rotate with cam sleeve 220 until the boss 203 engages the ends of either portion 224 or 225. The inner casing 240 is also fitted with radially outward extending detent or tab 248. This tab 248 is adapted to engage means inwardly protruding from outer casing 250. Such inwardly protruding means may comprise a stop means 252 that extends inwardly `from the inner surface 256 of outer casing 250, as shown in FIGS. 24 and24A.

The outer casing 259, cylindrical in shape, is open at both its upper end 251 and its lower end 253. The inwardly extending detent or stop 252 on surface 256 includes a radial angle of approximately degrees and is designed to engage radially protruding tab 248 of cam sleeve 220. The bottom edge of casing 250 is inwardly flared at 254 and 254A to engage the annular undercut 214 of base 218. The engagement of the inwardly flared portions 254 and 254A in the annular undercut 214 prevents longitudinal movement of outer casing 250 relative to base 21S. The lower end 253 of outer casing 250 is also fitted with a recess 258 of a size corresponding to and positioned to receive the tab 299 on base 218 for the purpose of engaging tab 299 to snap lock or secure the cover in closed position against accidental opening. Outer casing 250 is also reduced in diameter at the top 257 so as to present a continuous right circular cylinder surface to which flexible tube 260 and top ring 270 are assembled, To rmly anchor tube 260 to outer casing 250 the portion of decrease diameter 257 has protruding radially ange or portion 255 having a diameter such that when top or exible tube 260 is assembled thereon the top ring 270 must be forceiit.

The top tube 260 is formed of flexible, rubber-like or elastic material that is preferably stretchable and resilient. It may be formed of rubber or synthetic rubber material. The lower end 261 of this top tube 260 is fitted about the upper outer surface of casing 240 over a distance which may be varied but should be suiiicient to anchor the top tube 260 to the inner casing 240 at one end. To attain this, the torque tube 260 may be formed with a normal diameter substantially less than that of the outer diameter of the inner casing 240 with the top tube being stretched to fit over and frictionally interengaging the top tube 240. The other end of top tube 260, 262, is reversely bent over the upper end 257 of outer casing 250, as is best illustrated in FIG. 18, so as to anchor the upper end 262 to the upper end of the outer casing 250 when top ring 270 is forceiit thereon. Top ring 270 is of cylindrical shape with a partially closed top 271. Top ring 270 has an inner diameter so as to be forcet over the assembled combination of torque tube 260 and outer casing 250 along surface 257. To attain this, the inner diameter of top ring 270 should be substantially less than the diameter of the assembled combination of torque or flexible tube 260 and outer casing 250 at the radially extending portion or ange 255 on surface 257.

Of the elements described, a number of them are standard and conventional with lipstick containers that have separable covers or caps. The elevator 202, the guide sleeve 210, and the cam sleeve 220 maybe of conventional design.

In the operation of this device, the container is designed to sequentially actuate the elevator and the iris shutter. When the shutter is closed, as illustrated in FIG. 9, the inner casing 40 and outer casing 50 are rotatably displaced whereby the torque tube 60 is stretched so that its intermediate portion 70 is drawn tightly across the opening 73 with the portion 70 of the tube converging in an iris shutter-form to a point 75. The opening and the closing of the iris shutter as well as the vertical movement of the elevator 2 is controlled by rotation of the hand grip 17. Rotation of the hand grip 17 while the operator holds the casing 50 causes the guide sleeve 10 to rotate. Initial rotation of the guide sleeve 10, if the lipstick container happens to be in a position with the iris open and the lipstick withdrawn or within the container, forces the boss 3 upwardly in slot 12. Since the outer casing 50 is interengaged with the inner casing 40 through the torque tube, the two casings 40 and 50 will normally move together, and since inner casing 40 is in frictional engagement with cam sleeve 20, the cam sleeve will remain in a tixed position relative to casing 50 as the guide sleeve 10 is rotated, thereby eiecting a longitudinal movement of the elevator 2. When the operator wishes to close the container, the hand grip 17 is rotated in the reverse direction. This causes the reverse movement of the elevator which is guided downwardly by interengaging of the boss 3 with the slot 23 of the stationary cam sleeve 20. When the boss 3 reaches the lower horizontal portion 24, continued rotation of the hand grip 17 will cause the boss 3 to engage the end of the slot 24 and rotate the cam sleeve against the restraining movement of the operators fingers which are holding the outer surface of the outer casing 50. This in turn causes relative rotation of casings 4i) and 50 since casing 40 is frictionally engaged by sleeve 20. The torque tube is thus stretched along its intermediate portion 70 by the relative movement of casings 40 and 50, thereby eiecting a closure of the iris type. The continued rotation of the hand grip 17 is limited by the interengagernent of the tab 43 with the tab 31,

and thus the operator cannot overturn the torque tube and thereby cause a rupturing of the tube.

In the modication of FIG. 18 the continued rotation of the hand grip 217 is limited by the interengagement of the tab 248 with the tab 252, and thus the operator cannot overturn the torque tube and thereby a rupturing of the tube. Also, when the shutter is closed, tab 299 engages recess 258 of outer Casing 250 so as to lock the iris in closed position.

The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 18-26 is also intended primarily for use in dispensing lipsticks. However, it should be understood the invention may also be used in conjunction with other forms of productdispensing means and that the product is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments described in these features.

In a further modication of the invention cam sleeve 220 and inner casing 240 may be incorporated into one piece having the features of both. Such a combination piece is coaxial with the guide sleeve 210 with the inner surface of it in facing relation with the outer surface of the main portion 216 of guide sleeve 210. This combination piece has its lower end resting on the upper surface 219 of shoulder 215 and its upper edge position just below the lip 211. It is provided with a helical slot, It terminates the lower end of the cam sleeve in a horizontal position 224 and its upper end in a horizontal position 225. The slot is adapted to engage the outer end of boss 203 which projects through the slot 212 and into slot 223. Thus, rotation of this piece will move the elevator 202 vertically by virtue of the engagements of boss 203 and slot 223. The outer surface of this piece is provided with a tab or dog 248 to engage inwardly protruding detent 252 on outer casing 250.

The combination piece rotates until the boss 203 engages the ends of either portion 224 or 225 of the helical slot. The piece also rotates somewhat less than 360 degrees with respect to the outer casing 250 being limited by the interengagement of tab 248 and the inwardly protruding detent 252.

The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 10 to 16 is also intended primarily for use in dispensing lipsticks. However, it should be understood the invention may also be used in conjunction with other forms of product dispensing means and that the invention is not intended to be limited to the speciiic embodiments described in these figures.

In the preferred construction, there is provided a series of coaxially arranged components. These components comprise, principally, a lipstick 101, an elevator 102, an inner shell or guide sleeve 103 having a base 104 secured to it, an intermediate sleeve 105, a fiexible fabric tube or iris 106 having one end cemented or otherwise secured to one end of the plastic intermediate sleeve and the other secured to an outer shell or casing 107. Sleeves 103 and 105 and shell 107 are all rotatable with respect to one another within certain limits hereafter described.

The lipstick 101 may be of conventional, cylindrical shape, tapered at its upper end as illustrated in FIG. 11. The elevator secured to the lipstick at its lower end and as described hereafter, is adapted to move in a longitudinal direction, as defined by the longest axis of the elevator 102 and lipstick 101 combination. This elevator 102 may be of conventional design and comprises a cylindrical shell open at its upper end to receive the lipstick 101, and if desired, may be opened or closed at its lower end. A button or boss 110 projects radially outward from the shell intermediate its upper and lower end.

The guide sleeve or inner shell 103 is also cylindrical in shape and is open at its upper end 111. This sleeve may be conventionally formed of this sheet material, such as steel, with a longitudinally extending slot 112 having a Width suihcient to receive the neck of the button or pin 110 for guiding this pin in a vertical direction.

The lower end of the guide sleeve 103 is formed with an annular groove or shoulder section 114. The base 104 may be of conventional design and may, if desired, be provided with a lower, outwardly flared knob portion 115 integrally formed with a cylindrical upper portion 116 with the cylindrical upper portion having its upper surface 117 suitably secured to the guide sleeve 103. The recess or groove formed by this shoulder 114, should be sufficient to receive an inwardly extending peripheral lip 119 of the intermediate sleeve 105, more fully described hereafter. The upper end of the base 104 is forcet about the lower end of sleeve 103, and thus sleeve 103 and base 104 are adapted to be rotated together.

Surrounding the guide sleeve 103 is an intermediate sleeve 105 shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. This intermediate sleeve 105 is prefer-ably formed of plastic for ease in manufacturing but may also be formed of any other material which affords the desired torque characteristics and other characteristics referred to in this specification. The plastic intermediate sleeve is cylindrical in shape, open at its ends, `and is formed with an inwardly extending lip 119 at its lower periphery with this lip adapted to interengage the annular groove 114 in a relatively free interengagement which permits relative rotational movement of the sleeve 105 with respect to the guide sleeve 103, but restricts relative longitudinal movement. The upper end 120 of the sleeve 105 extends upwardly and beyond the upper edge 111 of the guide sleeve 103. The inner surface of the sleeve 105 has an inner diameter greater than the outer diameter of the sleeve 103. It is also provided with a helical groove or channel 122 having a width suicient to receive and guide the end of pin or button 110. The thickness of the sleeve 105 and the depth of the groove 122 should be selected as to permit the formation of an integral sleeve 105 while at the same time providing `a groove 122 of sufficient depth to satisfactorily engage the end of the pin or button 110 for guiding it in a helical movement upon relative rotation of the sleeve 105 and sleeve 103. The sleeve 105 is also provided with a helical slit 124 which preferably circumscribes the sleeve 105 several times at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to 45 degrees, as illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14. This sleeve 105 functions in part essentially as a spring with the helical length formed by the slit 124 normally closed, as illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14, whereby the sleeve in that position functions as a relaxed spring. The direction of the slits 124 are preferably -angular to the direction of the internal cam or groove 122. The upper and lower ends of the cam or groove 122 are formed with segments 125 and 126 respectively at the upper and lower ends that are substantially perpendicular to the axis of sleeve 105.

The outer shell 107 is preferably formed of a tubular metal member having a lower edge 128 which rests on the upper surface of the base 104 with this periphery having a radius substantially the same or perhaps slightly less than the radius of the base, as illustrated in FIG. 10. The outer shell 107 is adapted to be held by the hand of an operator and rotated relative to base 104. The inner surface of this outer shell is frictionally engaged with the outer surface of sleeve 105, and is adapted to rotate with it. The upper end of the outer shell 107 extends substantially beyond the upper edge 111 of sleeve 103 and the upper edge 120 of the sleeve 105. Preferably, the upper edge 131 of the outer shell 107 is peened-over and inwardly, as illustrated at 132 in FIG. 15, with this peened-over section engaging the upper periphery 133 of the flexible sleeve or tube 134. The peened-over section 132 should have a substantial length extending perhaps in the order of 1s-inch to IAL-inch in a lipstick tube or container having an overall length of two inches to three inches. This arrangement will thereby recess the sleeve 134 from the outer end of the outer shell 107 and protect it against abrasive action from other articles when it is carried in a pocket or pocketbook. The sleeve 134 is preferably a fabric or flexible plastic and may or may not be stretchable. It has been found in this embodiment that a stretchable fabric sleeve 134 is not necessary. The lower or inner periphery of the tubular sleeve 134 is suitably secured to the upper end 120 of the intermediate sleeve 105, with this lower or inner end 137 preferably butting the upper edge 111 of the sleeve 103.

The operation of the closing mechanism of the container of FIG. l0 may be understood from a description of the mechanism starting from the position illustrated in FIG. 10. In the position illustrated in FIG. 10, the elevator 102 is in its lowermost position and the iris cover formed by the fabric tube 134 is in its open position. Further, in this position the sleeve having slits 124 is the equivalent of a relaxed helical spring. When the iris is to be closed, the operator turns the base 104 in a clockwise direction, as viewed from the upper end of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 10. On turning, the pin which engages the slot 112 and the end 126 of groove 122, causes the inner shell 103 and the intermediate sleeve 105 to remain in fixed rotational positions i'n relation to one another. However, due to the continued application of rotational force by the pin 110 on the intermediate sleeve 105, this sleeve starts to elongate with the helical slit 124 spreading. This causes the bottom end of the fabric tube 134 to move upwardly and thereby relaxes it. At the same time, the outer shell 107 is being rotated relative to the intermediate sleeve 105 thereby causing opposite twisting of the opposed peripheral ends of the fabric 134, which effectively causes an iris-type closure at the upper end. The outer shell 107 is turned until the iris is completely closed, as illustrated in FIG. 16. At this point it will remain in its closed position due to the frictional engagement between the base 104 and the outer shell 107.

FIG. 17 illustrates a modification of the invention in which parts not shown are the same as corresponding parts of the embodiment of FIG. 101 and in which like numbers illustrate like components. In this embodiment, means are provided to assure a positive frictional interengagement between the base 104 and outer shell 107. These means comprise a series of radially arranged spring ngers 140, pressed from the upper end of the peripheral wall of the base 104 with these fingers 140 having their free ends 141 projecting downwardly. The intermediate portions 142 of these fingers are in pressured engagement with the lower, inner surface of the outer shell 107, thereby effecting a frictional interengagement. The lower edge of shell 107 may be reversely bent to form a continuous barb-like lip 143 that provides an interference fit with the ends 141 to prevent the outer shell from being moved longitudinally with respect to the base 104. Such frictional interengagernent is necessary to prevent inadvertent opening of the iris which would occur in the absence of friction. If desired, this arrangement may be used in the embodiment of FIG. l. Alternately, an arrangement may be used in which continuous friction may be avoided by providing intermittent frictional engaging positions. In such an arrangement, a detent on the casing may be restrained in selected recesses in the base with the detent designed to be moved from one recess to another upon application of sufficient rotational force of the casing with respect to the base.

I claim:

1. A container comprising,

a tubular casing,

an elevator positioned and longitudinally movable in said casing,

means for longitudinally moving said elevator in said casing,

a torque tube at one end of said tubular casing comprising an annular, exible, thin-walled tube,

means securing one end of said exible, thin-walled tube to said casing,

restraining means securing the other end of said tube within said casing whereby said restraining means and casing may be rotated together through said torque tube unless said restraining means is restrained relative to rotation of said casing, means for limiting rotation movement of said restraining means relative to said casing adapted on relative lmovement of said casing and restraining means to cause said tube to open and close, and

means operatively interengaging said longitudinally moving means and said restraining means for sequentially actuating said tube and said longitudinally moving means.

2. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said restraining means comprises a rotatable sleeve supported for rotation within and coaxially with said tubular casing.

3. A container as set forth in claim 2 having a guide sleeve with a longitudinal slot positioned coaxial with said tubular casing, and

said means for longitudinally moving said elevator includes a means for forming a scroll-like slot engaging a boss projecting from said elevator through said longitudinal slot in said guide sleeve.

4. A container as set forth in claim 2 including spring means integral with said iris.

5. A container as set forth in claim 4 wherein said spring means is provided by the resilient, elastic, stretchable characteristics of the material of which said iris is formed.

6. A container as set forth in claim 4 wherein said spring means is provided by said rotatable sleeve with said rotatable sleeve having a longitudinally extendinff, helical portion with a portion of said rotatable sleeve fixed relative to said tubular casino.

7. A container as set forth in claim 6 wherein said scroll-like slot is formed on the surface of said rotatable sleeve.

8. A container as set forth in claim '7 wherein said portion of said rotatable sleeve comprises a lip extending radially from one end and engaging a shoulder in said guide sleeve.

9. A container as set forth in claim 1 including spring means normally tensioning said iris toward an open posi tion, and means for retaining said iris in a closed position against the force of said spring means.

10. A container as set forth in claim 9 wherein said spring means is provided by the resilient, elastic, stretchable characteristics of the material of which said iris is formed and said means for retaining said iris in a closed position against the force of said spring means comprises a frictional interengagement between components adapted for relative movement.

11. A container as set forth in claim 9 wherein said spring means is provided by said rotatable sleeve with said rotatable sleeve having a longitudinally extending, helical portion with a portion of said rotatable sleeve fixed relative to said tubular casing, and

said means for retaining said iris in a closed position against the force of said spring means comprises a frictional interengagement of components adapted for relative movement.

12. A container as set forth in claim 11 wherein said means comprising a frictional interengagement comprises projecting portions extending between adjacent parts of said tubular casing and said guide sleeve with said projecting portions frictionally engaging one and secured to the other of said adjacent parts.

13. A container comprising,

an elevator for reciprocally carrying material in longitudinal directions,

a pair of coaxially arranged members adapted to be rotated relative to one another surrounding said elevater,

torque means including an iris of iiexible material, said iris positioned at one of said coaxial members and having opposed ends and an intermediate portion,

means securing said opposed ends each to one of said coaxial members whereby rotational movement of one of said coaxial members will rotate the other coaxial member unless said other coaxial member is restrained against rotation, and

means for restraining rotational movement of said othe coaxial member whereby continued movement of said one coaxial member will reposition said intermediate portion of said torque tube with said intermediate portion covering said one end of said inner casing of said coaxial members.

14. A container as set forth in claim 13 having means for sequentially stretching said intermediate portion and moving said elevator in a longitudinal direction.

1S. A container as set forth in claim 14 wherein said one coaxial member comprises an outer cylindrical casing open at both ends and said other coaxial member comprises an inner cylindrical casing open at both ends.

16. A container as set forth in claim 15 wherein said torque tube is secured at one tend t0 the outer surface of said inner casino.

17. A container as set forth in claim 15 having means for limiting relative rotation of said inner and outer casing to less than substantially 18() degrees,

18. A container as set forth in claim 17 wherein said means for limiting relative rotation comprises a ring coaxial with said casings, and intcrengageable means carried in part by said ring and in part by one of said casings with said ring secured to the other of said casings.

19. A container as set forth in claim 17 wherein said means for moving said elevator includes a guide sleeve coaxial with and containing said elevator and a cam sleeve having a scroll-like slot formed therein and engaging a boss projecting from said elevator through a longitudinal slot in said guide sleeve.

2?. A container as set forth in claim 19 wherein said cam sleeve engages said inner casing and normally is movable with it.

21. A container as set forth in claim 13 wherein said torque tube is formed of a flexible, nonstretchable material.

22. A container as set forth in claim 13 wherein said torque means includes said iris having longitudinally stretchable properties.

25. A container as set forth in claim 13 wherein said torque means includes spring means integrally formed in one of said coaxial members.

24. A container as set forth in claim 5 wherein said means for limiting relative rotation comprises a projection extending from one of said restraining means and said casing, and adapted to be engaged on relative rotation by the other of said restraining means and casing.

25. A container as set forth in claim 13 wherein said means for limiting relative rotation comprises a projection extending radially from one of said casing and restraining means.

26. A container as set forth in claim 24 wherein said means for limiting relative rotation comprises interengageable means secured in part by means projecting radially from one of said casings and in part by means projecting radially from another of said casings.

27. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for limiting rotation comprises an inwardly extending projection on the inner surface of said casing and extending radially about the axis thereof less than degrees, and means projecting from said restraining means adapted to engage said inwardly extending projection or relative rotation of said casing and restraining means to limit said relative rotation to more than 180 degrees.

28. A container as set forth in claim 1 including lock means for disengageably locking said restraining means and casing.

29. A container as set forth in claim 3 including lock means comprising a tab and a recess formed one each on said restraining means and casing and adapted to snap lock together on relative rotation to a position of radial alignment, said restraining means including said guide means, said position of radial alignment comprising a position in which said torque tube is closed.

30. A container as set forth in claim 29 wherein said means for limiting relative rotation comprises interengageable means secured in part by means projecting radially from one of said casings and in part by means projecting radially from another of said casings.

31. A container as set forth in claim 30 including a tab projecting from said restraining means and adapted to engage said recess in said means forming a scroll-like slot.

32. A container as set forth in claim 30 including inwardly extending flanges formed at one end of said easing and engaging an annnular undercut formed in said restraining means to limit relative axial movement thereof.

33. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means receiving one end of said exible thin-walled tube to said casing comprises means forming a recessed shoul- References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,431,918 10/1922 Arthur 150-3 1,986,484 1/1935 Schuster 251--4 2,486,073 10/1949 Sommer 401-59 2,969,142 1/1961 Mack 401-59 3,366,363 1/1968 Hogan et al. 251-4 LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. XR, 401-107

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1431918 *Aug 10, 1921Oct 17, 1922Lemwel Arthur ErnestBag
US1986484 *Nov 18, 1932Jan 1, 1935Ernest SchlueterValve stopper
US2486073 *Feb 25, 1948Oct 25, 1949Herbert C P DannLipstick container
US2969142 *May 9, 1958Jan 24, 1961William MackIris type closure for lipstick holders and other containers
US3366363 *Aug 9, 1965Jan 30, 1968H & E Aircraft CompanyVent valve
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3737241 *Feb 9, 1972Jun 5, 1973Fenn LContainer
US5067837 *Nov 22, 1989Nov 26, 1991Panopoulos Peter JVariable point writing instrument
EP0483418A1 *Oct 29, 1990May 6, 1992The Bridgeport Metal Goods Mfg. Co.Smooth drive cosmetic container
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/59, 401/107
International ClassificationA45D40/06
Cooperative ClassificationA45D40/065, A45D40/06
European ClassificationA45D40/06