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Publication numberUS3529531 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 22, 1970
Filing dateApr 23, 1968
Priority dateApr 23, 1968
Also published asDE1919767A1, DE1919767B2, DE1919767C3
Publication numberUS 3529531 A, US 3529531A, US-A-3529531, US3529531 A, US3529531A
InventorsSwett James B
Original AssigneeDart Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container for head lettuce having internal support
US 3529531 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor James B. Swett Barrington, Rhode Island Appl. No. 723,513

Filed April 23, 1968 Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 566,628, July 20, 1966, Patent No. 3,451,328

Patented Sept. 22, 1970 Assignee Dart Industries Inc.

Los Angeles, California a corporation of Delaware CONTAINER FORHEAD LETTUCE HAVING INTERNAL SUPPORT 5 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs. US. Cl. 99/269, 99/! 54, 99/l7 l 150/5, 220/42 Int. Cl A47j 47/02, A23l 1/02 Field of Search 312/284,

Hill

Primary ExaminerCasmir A. Nunberg Attorneys-Paul R. Wylie, Robert P. Whipple and Harold R.

Beck

ABSTRACT: A container particularly suited for the storage of head lettuce in a refrigerator, said container having a support formed in the bottom thereof, said support being adapted to position a head of lettuce in a centered symmetrical relationship with the container walls and inflxed spaced relationship above the container base. A moisture collection zone is formed below and outwardly of the lettuce contacting surfaces of the support whereby water draining from the lettuce will be maintained separately therefrom. Drainage is facilitated by the presence of drainage openings on the upper surface of the support. A tight sealing cover for the container maintains an evenly moist atmosphere around the stored lettuce.

Patented Sept 22, 1970 Sheet FIG}? ATTORNEY Patented Sept. 22, 1970 2 3,529,531

- m R W ATTORNEY CONTAINER FOR HEAD LETTUCE HAVING INTERNAL SUPPORT This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application, Ser. No. 566,628, filed July 20, 1966, now US. Pat. No. 3,451,328. a V p This invention generally relates to containers. More specifically, it relates to a container that is uniquely adapted for the storage and preservation of a head of lettce. The containers provided according to this invention have an internal support adapted to position a head of lettuce in centered symmetrical relationship with the container walls and in fixed spaced relationship above the base of the container. Features of the invention include the provision, in such a container, of a moisture collection zone whereby collected moisture will be maintained out of contact with the stored head of lettuce. Drainage openings on the upper surface of the support facilitate the drainage of lettuce positioned thereon. The support is adapted to maintain a head of lettuce in fixed spaced relationship with the container walls so that the possibility of the lettuce contacting the wall is minimized. Limited contact between the support and the lettuce is also provided.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a storage container for head lettuce or the like that will maintain the lettuce in an evenly moist atmosphere.

Anothei object of t hisinvention is a pro vision of a container for head lettuce or the like wherein the lettuce will be positioned out of contact with collected moisttirein the cont airter.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of a container of the foregoing type wherein the lettuce will be positioned in spaced relationship from the walls of a coni'ls l A still further object of the invention is a provision of a storage container for head lettuce or the like that will support the lettuce out of contact with collected moisture by means of a support member, such support member providing limited 7 contact surfaces with the head of lettuce.

tegral container structure which will accomplish the foregoing objects.

Another object of the" invention is the rovision sra'ear tainer of the foregoing type that can be formed of plastic materials by conventional fabrication methods such as injection molding.

Yet another object of the invention is a provision of a storage container for head lettuce or the like of a relatively compact size. I

A further object of tainer of the foregoing type that is adapted to fit in a household refrigerator. w

A still further object of the invention is the provision of a storage container having a support member with open portions to permit drainage of moisture from a head of lettuce supported thereon.

The accompanying drawi ngs showv arious e'mbodiifiefitsof the invention v In the drawings: m

FIG. I is a side elevation view of a container accordin gto' the invention with portions thereof broken away for convenience of illustration;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the container in FIG. 1 with portions broken away to show details of the support portion thereof;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the container in FIG. 1 with a portion of the cover broken away;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of a container showing an alternative embodiment of the invention with portions thereof broken away for convenience of illustration;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the container shown in FIG. 4 with portions broken away to show details of the support portion thereof;

the invention is the provision of a 26in FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the container as shown in FIG. 4 with a portion of the cover broken away;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross section taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention with a portion thereof broken away for convenience of illustration;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a container of another embodiment of the invention with portions broken away;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken on line 10l0 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of still another embodiment according to this invention with a portion thereof broken away to show interior details of a support member; and

FIG. 12 is across-sectional view taken on line 12-12 of FIG. 1 1.

Referring now to the drawing, the storage means for head lettuce or the like as embodied in the containers according to the invention includes a container portion 10 and a cover portion 11. The containers include supports I2, l3, l4, 15, or 16, as shown respectively in FIG. 1, FIG. 4, FIG. 8, FIG. 9 and FIG. II. The support member in each case has a protruding portion adapted to position and secure a head of lettuce in a centered symmetrical relationship with container walls 17 and in fixed spaced relationship with base 18.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. I, the supporting element 12 is forrned'asan upstanding spike form element 19 and radially disposed rib members 20. Spike form element 19 is adapted to impale a head of lettuce, preferably in a cavity therein formed by the removal of the hard central core portion. Due to the variations in the cavities formed by removal of the core portions of various heads of lettuce, the spike form element may not be large enough to maintain a given head of lettuce in the desired position above the moisture collected in the bottom of the container. However, ribs 20 can provide the necessary spacing function. As shown in FIG. I, the spike form element 19 provides the required centering function. The ribs 20 maintain the head of lettuce in fixed spaced relationship above base 18. Spaces 21 between ribs 20 provide drainage openings.

Support 13, as shown in FIG. 4, includes a dome portion 22 formed centrally of base 23. The dome portion has spaced protuberances 24 extending upwardly therefrom. The protuberances are evenly spaced in a peripheral ring radially outwardly from the central axis of said dome. Open portions 25 between protuberances 24 permit drainage of liquids from the head of lettuce. As best seen in FIG. 7, the open portions slant downwardly from the center of dome 22. The protuberances 24 slant downwardly both radially inwardly and outwardly and can be curved to promote drainage and limit surface contact. For the purpose of centering the head of lettuce in symmetrical relationship with the container walls, four equally spaced protuberances are provided and positioned to secure and position a head of lettuce placed on the dome 22. A peripheral moisture collection zone 26 is provided between the lower sloped wall 27 of dome portion 22 and the wall 17 of the container.

Support member 14 as shown in FIG. 8 has a dome section 28 of circular cross section centered on base 29. Raised elongated protuberances 30 are located on top of the dome portion and extend radially outwardly of spike form element 31. The upper surfaces 32 of protuberances 30 can be slanted and/or curved to facilitate drainage and minimize surface contact with the lettuce. The surfaces 33 formed between elements 32 are slanted downwardly to promote drainage of fluid into the peripheral moisture collection zone 34 formed between dome section 28 and the walls 17 of the container. Spike form element 31 is adapted to impale a head of lettuce in the cavity formed by removing the central core portion. The lettuce thus impaled is maintained in centered symmetrical relationship with the container walls. Depending on the size of the cavity formed by removal of the core, spike form element may also maintain the impaled head of lettuce in fixed spaced relationship above the container base. If the cavity is extremely large, protuberances 30 provide the latter function.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 9, support member is formed of, a dome section 35. The dome section is circular in cross section and disposed centrally of base 36. Upstanding protuberances 37 which are mounted on the upper surface of dome 35 extend radially upwardly outwardly from the central axis of said dome. The upper surface of protuberances 37 is slanted upwardly in the direction extending outwardly of the center of the dome portion. The slanted upper surfaces 38 of protuberances 37 maintain a head of lettuce placed on support 15 secured and positioned in centered symmetrical relationship with the container walls. Moreover, dome 35 and protuberances 37 maintain the head of lettuce in fixed spaced relationship above container base 36. The upper surface 39 of dome portion 35 is slanted downwardly between protuberances 37. Thus, liquids draining from a head of lettuce positioned on support 15 will be permitted to flow away from the support. The liquids thus drained will be collected in peripheral moisture collection zone 40 that is formed between support 15 and the walls of the container.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, support member 16 includes a dome portion 41 and spike form element 42. The upper surface of dome 41 is slanted downwardly to facilitate drainage of a head of lettuce impaled on spike form element 42. A moisture collection zone 44 is provided between dome portions 16 and the walls of the container.

Of the foregoing embodiments, those utilizing a spike form element are particularly well suited for supporting a head of lettuce from which the central core portion has been removed. It would also be possible to impale the head of lettuce on the spike form element without removing the core portion by simply forcing the lettuce on the element. The support members of the foregoing embodiments without spike form elements are suitable for supporting and securing a head of lettuce from which the core has not been removed, as well as providing support for lettuce heads from which the core has been removed.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 8, the containers according to the invention can be sized to an individual head of lettuce. In providing a container of that size, walls 17 are outwardly bowed to provide sufficient spacing for a head of lettuce so that such will not come into contact with the walls. In all of the embodiments shown, the container is circular in cross section.

The walls 17 of the container terminate in a peripheral edge portion adapted to form a moisture-tight seal with cover 11. The upper edge of walls 17 is formed as an outwardly flared peripheral flange 45. Cover 11 has a peripheral sealing edge portion 46 adapted to form a seal with said outwardly flared peripheral rim. The peripheral sealing edge portion 46 is formed as a downwardly directed U-shaped groove having inner wall 47 connecting wall 48 and outer wall 49.

Adjacent to the peripheral edge portion 46 of cover 1 l is an annular flat portion 50 of the upper wall of the cover. An upwardly raised dome section 37 is provided centrally of cover 11 adjacent said annular flat portion 51. As best seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 4, dome portion 51 is of a height and configuration to approximate the upward curvature of a head of lettuce. Again, as seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 4, the distance between the support surfaces which maintain the lettuce in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof and the bottom portion of the center of dome 51 approximates the height of a head of lettuce Although a dome portion 51 is shown as a preferred form of cover 11, it is not required if the container 10 is sufficiently tall to accommodate a head of lettuce without the extra room provided by the dome. However, even in this case, it may be desirable to utilize a dome since it suggests to the observer that the container is particularly well adapted for the storage ofa head of lettuce.

Each of the embodiments of the invention is uniquely designed so that the container according to the invention can be formed as an integral structure of thermoplastic materials by injection molding processes. To this end, it should be noted that the containers and supports are free of undercut portions which would prohibit such molding. By forming the container and the components thereof with thermoplastic materials, the sealing characteristics between the cover as described and the container member are enhanced. It is preferable to form the cover of a yieldable locally deformable material such as low density polyethylene. The container can be formed of a relatively rigid thermoplastic material such as linear polyethylene or polypropylene.

In designing the article according to the invention it is important that the various designs be capable of being molded by conventional molding techniques. v

The base of the container is sufficiently wide to maintain the container in stable resting position during storage. The container can be inserted into a refrigerator and placed on the bars'of common refrigerator shelves. Moreover, as shown, the containers are compact and will fit into the shelf space normally provided in household refrigerators.

Reasonable variation and modification are possible within the foregoing disclosure, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

I claim:

I. A storage means for head lettuce or the like comprising a container and lettuce positioning means therefor, and a cover: said container having a base and upwardly and outwardly extending side walls terminating in an opening and a head lettilce positioning support including means projecting inwardly of the container with respect to the base and side walls for securing said head of lettuce;

said last means consisting of means formed centrally of the base of said container and extending upwardly therefrom for positioning said head of lettuce against lateral displacement and in symmetrical spaced relationship with the container walls and further in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof;

said centrally formed means having a surface such that water draining from said head of lettuce will be maintained out of contact with said head of lettuce; and

said cover being adapted to form a seal with said opening to prevent moisture ingress and egress.

2. A storage means for head lettuce or the like comprising a container and lettuce positioning means therefor, and a cover:

said container having a base and outwardly bowed side walls terminating in an opening and a head lettuce positioning support including means projecting inwardly of the container with respect to the base and side walls for securing said head of lettuce, said last means consisting of a dome formed centrally of the base of said container,'said dome having positioning means extending upwardly therefrom, said dome and positioning means being arranged for positioning said head of lettuce against lateral displacement and in symmetrical spaced relationship with the container walls and further in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof, said dome and positioning means defining opened portions to permit water draining from said head of lettuce to pass said support and collect below said head of lettuce; and

said cover being adapted to form a seal with said opening to prevent moisture ingress and egress.

3. A storagemeans for head lettuce or the like comprising a container and lettuce positioning means therefor, and a cover:

said container having a base and outwardly bowed side walls terminating in an opening and a head lettuce positioning support including means projecting inwardly of the container with respect to the base and side walls for securing said head of lettuce, said last means consisting of a dome formed centrally of the base of said container, said dome having spaced protuberances extending upwardly therefrom, said dome and protuberances being arranged for positioning said head of lettuce against lateral displacement and in symmetrical spaced relationship with the container walls and further in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof, said dome and protuberances defining opened portions adjacent said protuberances to permit water draining from said head of lettuce to pass said support and collect below said head of lettuce; and said cover being adapted to form a seal with said opening to prevent moisture ingress and egress. 4. A storage means for head lettuce or the like comprising a container and lettuce positioning means therefor, and a cover:

said container having a base and outwardly bowed side walls terminating in an opening and a head lettuce positioning support including means projecting inwardly of the container with respect to the base and side walls for securing said head of lettuce, said last means consisting of a dome formed centrally of the base of said container, said dome having spaced protuberances with curved upper surfaces extending upwardly therefrom and being evenly spaced in a peripheral ring radially outwardly from the central axis of said dome, said dome and protuberances being arranged for positioning said head of lettuce against lateral displacement and in symmetrical spaced relationship with the container walls and further in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof, said dome and protuberances defining opened portions adjacent said protuberances to permit water draining from said head of lettuce to pass said support and collect below said head of lettuce; and said cover being adapted to form a seal with said opening to prevent moisture ingress and egress. 5. A storage means for head lettuce or the like comprising a container and lettuce positioning means therefor, and a cover:

said container having a base and outwardly bowed side walls terminating in an opening and a head lettuce positioning support including means projecting inwardly of the container with respect to the base and side walls for securing said head of lettuce, said last means consisting of a dome formed centrally of the base of said container, said dome having a spike form element extending upwardly therefrom, said dome and spike form element being arranged for positioning said head of lettuce against lateral displacement and in symmetrical spaced relationship with the container walls and further in fixed spaced relationship above the base thereof, said dome being of a shape and configuration such that water draining from said head of lettuce will collect below said head of lettuce; and

said cover being adapted to form a seal with said opening to prevent moisture ingress and egress.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3752547 *Mar 26, 1971Aug 14, 1973Miller Herman IncStackable drawer and cover
US4556147 *Feb 4, 1985Dec 3, 1985Magnussen Jr Robert OFresh fruit package
US4605127 *Apr 25, 1985Aug 12, 1986Magnussen Jr Robert OFresh fruit packaging
US4757899 *Sep 10, 1987Jul 19, 1988Magnussen Jr Robert OCell packaging for fruit
US5029802 *Feb 23, 1990Jul 9, 1991Athar AliSoap saving device
US5720389 *Apr 5, 1996Feb 24, 1998Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.Plastic case for photographic film cassette
US5992679 *Jun 25, 1998Nov 30, 1999S. C. Johnson Home Storage, Inc.Container Having a selectively detachable lid including an interrupted reinforcing bead
US7448162 *Feb 24, 2006Nov 11, 2008Paternostre LilianSystem and method for displaying and marketing indoor flower bulbs
US20060242897 *Feb 24, 2006Nov 2, 2006Paternostre LilianSystem and method for displaying and marketing indoor flower bulbs
US20130280395 *Jun 24, 2013Oct 24, 2013Sambrailo Packaging, Inc.Produce packaging system enabling improved drainage for hydrocooling
US20150114239 *Mar 11, 2014Apr 30, 2015Discovery, Inc.Caps For Fruits and Vegetables
USD798720 *Apr 30, 2014Oct 3, 2017Clariant Production (France) SasContainer
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/802, 426/112, D07/629, 99/646.00R, 206/525, 426/124
International ClassificationA47G19/00, B65D85/50, A47G19/30, A47J47/10, B65D25/10, A47J47/00, A47J47/02, B65D81/26
Cooperative ClassificationA47G19/30, A47J47/02, A47J47/10
European ClassificationA47J47/02, A47J47/10, A47G19/30