US 3508930 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A ril 28, 1970 Filed. Sept. 7. 1966 FIG. I
R. A. BENNETT ET AL PACKAGE FOR CLAMS 2 Sheets-Sheet l VENTORS ROBE A. BENNETT ERIC A. VIESTURS BY 7 4 flan/$7 ATTORNEYS April 28, 1970 BENNETT ET AL 3,508,930
PACKAGE FOR CLAMS 2 Shee'ts-Shee'lx Filed Sept.
INVENTORS ROBERT Av BENNETT ERIC A. VIESTU RS ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,508,930 PACKAGE FOR CLAMS Robert A. Bennett, 2178 Barnum Ave., Stratford, Conn. 06497, and Eric A. Viesturs, East Norwalk, Conn. Filed Sept. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 577,626 Int. Cl. B65b 25/06 US. Cl. 99174 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A package for clams which keeps them in a fresh condition consisting of two engaging pieces, each one formed with one or more depressions in the shape of half of a clam shell. The two pieces of the package, when fastened together, form a pocket or pockets for holding clams in a substantially horizontal position when the package is placed in a substantially horizontal position, thus preventing leakage of the clams natural juices. The package has one or more openings in the edge of the bottom piece for letting air communicate with the clams.
This invention relates to packaging and more particularly to a novel package for sea food articles such as clams.
In the packaging of clams the ideal package is one in which all of the clams are held substantially fiat with the opening between the two shell-halves horizontal. This places the clam in the best position for holding its juice within the shell as it breathes. Once a clam loses this juice, for example if it is tipped to a position where the juice can run out through the opening, or if the clam is not permitted to breathe air then the clam dies. This is indicated by the cam turning yellow. The package also should be substantially waterproof so that water will not enter a clam through its opening, which also can cause a clam to die. Further, the package also should make all of the clams visible to a prospective purchaser so he can see whether or not all of the clams he is buying are live.
In the past, two general types of packages have been utilized for clams. The first is a transparent plastic bag in which the desired number of clams are placed. This packaging technique has several disadvantages in that the purchaser cannot see all of the clams, the clams are not maintained in the best possible position to prevent their juice from running out, and the clams cannot breathe properly. The other package is a so-called boat in which the clams are placed with their shell-half openings located upright. This causes an uneven distribution of the juice over the meat in the clam shells which shortens the lives of the clams.
The present invention is directed to a novel and attractive package for a number of clams. The package holds the clams in the proper position to prevent the juice from dripping out and also permits the clams to breathe air without being contaminated by water when the package is placed on or in ice. This, of course, greatly increases the life of the clams permitting the retailer to hold them for sale for a longer period of time. The package also provides an attractive display for the consumer and a portion of it can be used as a tray for serving clams on the half-shell.
"In accordance with the invention a two-piece package is provided for the clams. Each piece of the package is formed with a number of depressions in the general shape of a clam-half shell so that when the two pieces are assembled a pocket is formed for holding a clam in the desired position with its opening horizontal. Provisions also are made on the package to permit air to enter the pockets so that the clams can breathe. The package is also formed to prevent water from entering such as, for exam- "ice ple, when the package is placed in ice for preservation purposes.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a novel package for holding clams and similar sea food articles.
A further object is to provide a package for clams in which the clams are held in a predetermined position and are permitted to breathe.
Still a further object is to provide a package for clams in which water is prevented from entering the package while the clams are still permitted to breathe air.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and annexed drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the package of thepresent invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an assembled package showing the clams;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an assembled package; and
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view, in cross-section, of a portion of the package.
Referring to the figures of the drawing, the package of the present invention comprises lower and upper pieces 10 and 20. Each piece has a corresponding wall section 11 and 21 which is recessed from a corresponding surrounding lip 14 and 24. The wall 11 and 21 of each piece is formed with a plurality of respective outwardly extending protrusions (or depressions) 12 and 22 in the general shape of a half of a clam shell. When pieces 10 and 20 are assembled they form a number of pockets 15 (FIG. 2), each of which holds a clam 17. The sizes of the depressions 12 and 22 forming the pockets 15 in one package preferably are made to correspond to the general size of one particular type of clam. In general, packages with one of three different sized pockets are contemplated for the so-called small (little neck), medium (cherrystone) and large (chowder) clams. Of course, different size clams can be mixed in a single package by sizing the pockets accordingly.
As many pockets as desired can be formed in a given package to accommodate a predetermined number of clams which, for example, six or twelve being the most used. Also, while the pockets are shown to be arranged in two rows it should be understood that the package can be of any desired shape, such as circular or other shape, and/or the pockets arranged in any desired pattern. For example, the pockets 15 of one row in FIG. 1 can be turned so that the tails 13 of the two rows of pockets point in opposite directions. This arrangement saves some space.
The lower piece 10 is made of a suitable material, for example, one of the foamed styrene plastics. This material is light, economical and is relatively rigid. The material for the bottom piece 10 also is preferably waterproof so that no water can pass therethrough to the clams when the package is set on ice or in liquid. Of course, other suitable material can be utilized, such as a polystyrene transparent plastic.
The upper piece 20 also is preferably formed of a waterproof material. A polystyrene transparent plastic is preferably used so that the purchaser can see all the clams in the package. It is preferred that both pieces 10 and 20 be made of a material which can be molded so that the package will be relatively economical to produce.
Opposite ends of the lip 14 of bottom piece 10 are formed with an integral handle 18. These permit the package to be handled very easily. The bottom piece also makes an attractive serving tray when the top piece 20 is removed.
The edges of the opposing side pieces of lower piece lip 14 are scalloped at 19 either along the entire edge thereof or at specific portions. As is described below, the scalloped portions provide air to the clams and permit them to breathe.
The lip 24 of upper piece 20 has a continuous downturned edge 25 completely therearound which is inwardly inclined. Lip 24 is formed to fit over the lower piece lip 14 with its down-turned edge 25 completely covering the lower piece lip 14. Thus, the upper piece lip 24 is also formed with corresponding portions 26 to fit over the handles 18 on the lower piece.
FIGS. 2 and 3 show a complete package assembled with clams therein. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the downturned edge 25 of the upper piece lip fits over the lower piece lip 14 and covers its edge with an overhanging portion. Since both top and bottom pieces and are made of waterproof material, no water can enter into the package when it is placed in the position shown in FIG. 2 in a bed of ice.
At the same time, as shown in FIG. 3, the scalloped edge 19 of the lower piece lip provides communication into the package for air to provide an air supply for the clams. It should be understood that the top and bottom pieces are only snap-fit to each other. Therefore, a perfect air seal is not formed (and is preferably not desired) on the corresponding lips 14 and 24 of the two pieces 10 and 20.
As shown best in FIG. 2 the package of the present invention maintains the clams 17 with their openings in a substantially horizontal position when the package is placed on a generally fiat surface or laid flat in a bed of ice. As explained above, this is highly desirable since this permits the clams 17 to breathe by appropriate action of their muscles, such as 41 for clam 17-2. At the same time the clam juice cannot run out of the clam, as shown by numeral 43.
As shown in FIG. 2, the package can accommodate a range of sizes of a particular type of clam, small, medium or large. To do this the lower and upper pieces 10 and 20 are formed between adjacent protrusions 12 and 22 and between each protrusion and the corresponding side wall extending above walls 11 and 21 with a slightly bowed portion 35. When a small clam is placed in a pocket, such as in pocket 15-1, the bowed portions 35 contact each other over a substantial area. As seen in pocket 15-3, when a slightly oversized clam is placed therein the material of portions 35 moves slightly to accommodate this clam.
As explained above, the package is not air-tight so that air admitted through portion 19 can pass into the pockets 15.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described above it will be understood that this embodiment is illustrative only and the invention is to be limited solely by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A package for holding clams with the medial plane of the clams in asubstantially horizontal position when said package is placed in a substantially horizontal position comp-rising bottom and top pieces, each of said bottom and top pieces having a peripheral lip portion, said bottom piece having a central recessed section which lies below its peripheral lip portion and is joined thereto by a downwardly extending step, said top piece also having a central section, a plurality of depressions formed in the central sections of each of said bottom and top pieces, each depression being in the shape of half of a clam shell of a predetermined size With two opposed depressions of said top and bottom pieces when juxtaposed forming a pocket in the shape of a clam for holding the clam with its medial plane generally parallel to the planes of said two sections, the lip of said top piece overlying the lip of said bottom piece and having a downwardly turned portion which engages the lip of the bottom piece to form a seal around the edge of the bottom piece lip, said lip of said bottom and top pieces being spaced from one another, and at least one opening in the lip of the bottom piece covered by the lip of the top piece and located where said lips are spaced with respect to each other to permit air to flow through said opening and the space between the lips into the central recessed section of the bottom piece and the clams held in the pockets.
2. A package as in claim 1 further comprising means for holding the top and bottom pieces together in said juxtaposed relationship.
3. A package according to claim 1 wherein the edge of the lip of said bottom piece is scalloped to provide a plurality of openings.
4. A package according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the two pieces is formed of a resilient material and the base of the central section of said one piece surrounding a depression is formed to permit expansion to hold a clam slightly larger than the size of the pocket in a relaxed state with no clam therein.
5. A package according to claim 1 wherein both pieces are made of a substantially waterproof material.
6. A package as in claim 1 wherein said opening extends out to an edge of said lip of said bottom piece.
7. A package as in claim 2 wherein said lip is formed around the entire periphery of each of said pieces and also comprises said holding means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,074,798 1/ 1963 Palmer 99174 3,184,047 5/1965 Gilman et al 99-174 3,228,168 1/1966 Grindrod et a1. 99174 3,257,062 6/ 1966 Whiteford 99177 3,107,027 10/ 1963 Sheng-Chiao Hong. 3,234,030 2/1966 Knirim 99l77 LIONEL M. SHAPIRO, Primary Examiner W. C. LAWTON, Assistant Examiner