US 3532633 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 6, 1970 L. B. WITHERS I 3,53 ,633
CLEANSER BARS Filed May 29, 1968 .Ffaj
INVENTOR. 7 4,4025: 5 W/THERS United States Patent Oflice 3,532,633 Patented Oct. 6, 1970 3,532,633 CLEANSER BARS Laurel B. Withers, 11494 Holmes Ave., Mira Lorna, Calif. 91752 Filed May 29, 1968, 501'. No. 732,992 Int. Cl. Clld 17/00 US. Cl. 252-0 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A stack of breakaway soap bars including a start bar and a number of cupped bars. The start and cupped bars fit together in nesting relationship and are joined around adjacent edges in such manner as to permit their easy breakaway separation. The start bar can be used until it is partly worn away, then melded with one of the cupped bars to form a composite bar of approximately the same size as the start bar. The composite bar can then be partly used and combined with another cupped bar, and this procedure repeated until the cupped bars are exhausted.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to soap bars of new and improved design. More particularly, the invention relates to such bars adaptable for packaging in breakaway stacks from which individual bars can be easily removed as needed and used to completion without the formation of worn residual pieces too small for further satisfactory usage.
Soap, in bar form, is one of the most widely used commodities of the civilized world. As a general rule, soap bars are separately packaged and sold. Sometimes, however, the bars are sold in packages of several from which individual ones can be obtained as needed. In any event, such bars are generally used until they are worn down too far for further ease of handling and then discarded. While there are no doubt ways of salvaging the worn remnants of soap bars for continued usefulness in the home, there can be little doubt that such measures of thrift have little appeal to most individuals in the afiluent society of today and that such soap scraps are simply thrown away in the great majority of cases. In the long run, these scraps add up to considerable quantities of wasted soap which are, of course, charged to the expense of the ultimate consumer.
In addition to contributing to soap wastage, the present methods of. packaging, selling and using soap bars result in relatively high packaging costs and periods of marked decline in lather producing effectiveness of the individual bars after they have been reduced in size, through usage, beyond a certain point.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The novel soap bars of this invention are characterized by unique features of design which permit them to be packaged and used without the above-noted packaging and use disadvantages of conventional soap bars. As will be seen, these bars, i.e., the soap bars of this invention, are designed for the perpetuation of a single serving bar, rather than separate consumption, in use, such perpetuation being accomplished by the incremental addition of the bars to the serving bar as needed to prevent its weardown beyond a predetermined size and maintain it within a size range commensurate with convenient handling ease and good lather producing ability. By virtue of their unique shapes, the bars can be formed into nested, breakaway stacks from which individual ones can be easily removed as needed. The bars thus lend themselves to packaging and sale in compact stacks, or bundles, of two or more, with attendant packaging costs and ease and convenience of storage and use advantages, and to utilization in such fashion as to avoid the formation of small residual scraps or pieces with accompanying waste, handling difficulty and loss of lather production consequences.
It is thus a principal object of this invention to provide such soap bars which can be used without individual weardown to small residual scraps and the resulting waste, difficulty of handling and loss of lather productivity consequences of such scrap formation.
It is a correlative object of the invention to provide soap rneans continuously available for use in the form of a cake of convenient size for handling and good lather producing effectiveness.
It is another object of the invention to provide novel soap bars which lend themselves to merchandising in compact packages of two or more with consequent savings in manufacturing, and other, costs and improvement in the ease and convenience with which they can be unpackaged and used by the ultimate consumer.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the light of subsequent disclosures herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIG. 1 is a view, partly in side elevation and partly in longitudinal section, of a plurality of soap bars in accordance with this invention formed into a stack of breakaway bars from which individual ones can be separated as needed.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the stack of breakaway bars, drawn to a smaller scale than the scale of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of any but the bottom one of the stack of bars depicted in FIG. 1, and a side elevation of a partially worn soap bar, the two bars being shown in approaching proximity and the proper orientation to illustrate an interfitting relationship important for purposes of this invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Considering now the drawing in greater detail, there is shown generally at 10 a stack of breakaway soap bars in accordance with this invention, hereinafter referred to as master bar 10. Master bar 10 is made up of six identically shaped bars 12, each having a side with a convex surface 26 and an opposite side with a concave surface, or hollow, 22, referred to hereinafter as cupped bars 12, and a more normal appearing bar 14 having two convex sides with convex surfaces 28, hereinafter referred to as start bar 14.
Each of cupped bars 12 has a laterally outwardly extending rim 17 running peripherally therearound and separating its convex surface 26 from its concave surface, or hollow 22 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. Rim 17 has a ribbon-like outer surface 15 forming a lateral edge around the cupped bar and flat upper and lower sides 19 and 18, respectively. Sides 18 and 19 of rim 17 are disposed in parallel relationship with the former encircling hollow 22 in the cupped bar, and the latter encircling convex surface 26 of that bar to form a fiat ledge around the bottom of the convex surface, as illustrated to best effect in FIG. 3. Cupped bars 12 are of oval periphery in top view, as FIG. 2 makes clear, so that the outer surfaces 15 of their rims are of cylindrical shape, representing short segments of a properly dimensioned cylinder of oval cross section.
The surface configuration of the convex surface of each of the cupped bars is substantially similar to that of its concave surface, but sufiiciently smaller than the latter to permit internesting of the bars with the convex surface of one in the hollow of the other without contact between the adjacent convex and concave surfaces. In this connection, I prefer these surfaces to differ just enough dimensionally to provide a -inch clearance therebetween, although this clearance can vary, of course, within the scope of my invention. Such a clearance is illustrated at 24 in FIG. 1. The purpose of the clearance is to prevent adherance of the nested bars at their confronting convex and concave surface for a reason hereinafter appearing. Because of the smaller compass of the convex surface 26, by comparison with hollow 22, on each of the cupped bars, side 19 of the rim 17 encircling the convex surface of the bar has a slightly greater width throughout than side 18 of the rim, as the drawing, and particularly FIG. 1, indicates.
As previously noted, the start bar 14, unlike cupped bars 12, has two convex sides. These sides, also as previously noted, are characterized by a pair of convex surfaces 28, each, as will be apparent, of the same size and shape as the other. For reasons which will soon be evident, the convex surfaces 28 are respectively equal in size and shape to the convex surfaces of cupped bars 12. Encircling the lateral edge of the start bar is a flat-sidedridge 30, somewhat similar in shape to rim 17 of the cupped bars. Ridge 30 is of the same width as rim 17, and has two flat sides 20 of equivalent size and shape and respectively equal, in size and shape, to side 19 of said rim 17.
By virtue of their physical characteristics, the individual soap bars making up master bar fit neatly together in the stacked relationship illustrated in FIG. 1, with start bar 14 at the lower end of the resulting stack, and the cupped bars internested thereabove. As FIG. 1 shows, the cupped bar immediately above start bar 14 touches the latter only where side 18 of its rim meets the upper side 20 of strip of the start bar, and each of the other cupped bars contacts that stacked immediately below it only Where the lower side (18) of its rim 17 meets the upper side 19 of the rim of the lower bar. The individual bars forming master bar 10 are fastened together, in breakaway relationship, through melding cohesion therebetween around the confronting sides of their adjacent rims (and, in the case of the lower two bars, around the confronting sides of their respective rim 17 and strip 30 portions). This melding cohesion can be easily accomplished by premoistening the meeting surfaces of the bars to a sufficient extent to cause them to stick together in easy breakaway relationship when the added moisture has been substantially removed from the soap by drying.
As previously indicated, master bar 10 can be easily packaged in a single wrapping, box, or the like, for sale and storage in the home, or elsewhere, until needed. The breakaway units of master bar 10 are preferably employed by first separating the start bar from the master bar and using it in the same way a conventional soap bar is used until it is worn to a size which fits snugly into the hollow of one of the cupped bars and extends therefrom forming a curved surface opposite, and substantially similar in size and shape to, the convex surface of the cupped bar. In this connection, attention is directed to FIG. 3, which shows, at 16, a worn start bar disposed near the hollow of a cupped bar 12 in the proper position to be inserted therein in the above-indicated manner.
After the start bar has been worn to a size consistent with the forgoing, one of the cupped bars is broken from the master bar 10. The worn start bar is then inserted into hollow 22 of the freed cupped bar and melded to the latter with moisture to provide a composite bar of essentially the same size as the original start bar. The composite bar is then used until it is worn to a size equivalent that of the worn start bar, after which a second cupped bar is broken loose from the master bar and a second composite bar formed in the same way as the first one had been. This process is continued until the last cupped bar has been used for the formation of a composite bar similar to those formed from the other cupped bars. While master bar 10 is shown to contain six cupped bars in FIG. 1, there is nothing critical about this particular number of bars insofar as the present invention is concerned. Thus master bars containing any number of cupped bars fall within the scope of the invention so long as they serve the herein-disclosed purposes of master bar 10.
My novel soap bars can, of course, vary in size, and they can assume shapes other than those particularly illustrated in the drawing, within the scope of this invention. For example, the bars can be of round shape (as seen from the top), rather than the oval shape illustrated in FIG. 2, although the latter shape is slightly preferred, as a more convenient one for most practical purposes. Soap bars of preferred design in accordance with this invention, as presently contemplated, include bars conforming to the shapes of those illustrated in the drawing with oval plan view outlines having major and minor axes of 3% and 2% inches respectively; a rim (or ridge, in the case of the start bar) dimension between its flat sides of inch; and oval convex surface base line peripheries having major and minor axes of 3 and 1%; inches, respectively. The start bar is preferably 1 inches thick, measured from center to center of its two convex surfaces, and the edges between the cylindrical outer surfaces and fiat sides of the rims of the cupped bars, as Well as between the corresponding ridge surface and sides of the start bar, are preferably rounded through a radius of curvature of about inch. The latter feature (rounded rim and ridge edges) of the soap bars, in addition to enhancing the general appearance of the bars, has the advantage of assuring easier access to the melded areas between the cupped and start bar units of a master bar in accordance with this invention for purposes of breaking the units apart to permit their use in the manner taught herein. This advantage can be easily comprehended by a glance at FIG. 1, which shows rounded rim and ridge edges on the units of master bar 10 and grooves around the wall of the master bar where the edges of adjacent units come together. It will be appreciated that these grooves provide access to the melded areas between the units of the master bar into which the fingernails, or a prying tool, can be easily inserted to help break the units apart for use as indicated above.
As will now be clear, the separate soap bar units of master bar 10 can, when employed as taught herein, be used to completion without the formation of a plurality of residual scraps, or pieces, too small for continued practical usage and with the attendant advantages of consistently good lather production, handling size convenience, and avoidance of wastage discussed at some length above. While the final composite bar would, of itself, be eventually worn to a small size if there were not additional cupped bars with which to combine it and it were used to substantially complete consumption as an ordinary soap bar might be used, the resulting handling, soap wastage, etc., difi'iculties Would be minimal by comparison with the difiiculties of like character inherent in the use of a quantity of soap equal in amount to that of master bar 10 formed into conventional soap bars. Such difiiculties could, moreover, be virtually eliminated by the provision of adequate supplies of cupped bars (which can, of course, be made available in packages of one or more) to assure the perpetuation of composite bars in accordance with this invention for indefinite periods of time. For convenience of reference, the term serving bar has sometimes been employed in this disclosure to designate a bar of the foregoing type, that is one which can be perpetuated for continuing usage through periodic combination with cupped bars in the herein-taught manner.
This invention has been herein described in considerable detail in order to comply with the legal requirement for a full public disclosure of at least one of its forms. Such detailed disclosure is not, however, intended to in any way limit the broad features or principles of the invention, or the scope of patent monopoly sought to be granted. Thus, while my invention has been illustrated in the accompanying drawing, and described above in what is conceived to be a preferred embodiment, it is emphasized that departures may be made therefrom without exceeding the scope of the invention. Some of these departures have been specifically mentioned above, and others will occur to those skilled in the art in the light of present teachings. Exemplary of the latter are noncritical variations of the shapes of various features of the subject soap bars; the addition of decorative, or other noncritical, addenda to the soap bars; melding of the adjacent ones in a stacked arrangement of bars such as exemplified by master bar 10, at spaced intervals, rather than continuously, around their meeting surfaces; etc.
While the novel bars of this invention have been referred to almost exclusively herein as soap bars, it should be made clear that this does not reflect any intention on my part to limit the invention to soap in the narrow sense of that term. To the contrary, the invention is contemplated as of sufficient breadth to encompass bars of any suitable cleanser, such as, for example, detergent bars. All such bars which meet the design requirements of the invention fall, therefore, within its scope.
It is emphasized, in final summary, that the scope of my invention extends to all variant forms of its drawingillustrated embodiment (or, perhaps, embodiments) encompassed by the language of the following claims.
1. A cleanser bar having an encircling rim, a convex side and a concave side;
said rim having generally fiat sides defined by continuous inner and outer borders, respectively;
said convex side having a convex surface which extends outwardly from the plane of one of the flat sides of said rim and has a base periphery coincident with the inner border of that side;
said concave side having a concave surface'defining a hollow extending inwardly into the body of the cleanser bar from a peripheral edge coincident with the inner border of the other of the fiat sides of said rim; and
said convex surface approximating said concave surface in shape but being sufficiently smaller in all corresponding dimensions than the latter to permit nonbinding nesting interfit between the cleanser bar and another bar of identical shape with the convex surface of the convex side of one extending into the hollow characterizing the concave side of the other and a fiat side of the rim of each in meeting contact with a fiat side of the rim of the other, whereby the two bars can be brought into positions of nesting interfit and melded together at the meeting sides of their rims to provide sufficient bonding therebetween to hold the bars against separation during normal handling yet permit them to be easily broken apart for purposes of use.
2. A first cleanser bar having two convex sides characterized by convex surfaces respectively equivalent in size and shape to the convex surface of the convex side of a cleanser bar in accordance with claim 1, said first cleanser bar having, additionally, an encircling ridge with generally flat sides respectively defined by continuous inner and outer "borders, said ridge being disposed between the convex surfaces of the convex sides of said bar; and
at least one cleanser bar in accordance with claim 1;
said first cleanser bar and said cleanser bar in accordance with claim 1 being sized and shaped to permit nonbinding nesting interfit therebetween with the convex surface of one side of the former extending into the hollow characterizing the concave side of the latter and a fiat side of the ridge of the former in meeting contact with a fiat side of the rim of the latter, whereby two cleanser bars can be brought into positions of nesting interfit and melded together at the meeting sides of their respective ridge and rim portions to provide sufiicient bonding therebetween to hold the bars against separation during normal handling yet permit them to be easily broken apart for purposes of use; and said first cleanser bar and said cleanser bar in accordance with claim 1 being sized and shaped to permit weardown of the former in normal use to a point at which it can be internested in the hollow in the concave side of the latter and fastened in place therein with moisture to yield a composite bar of generally similar size and shape to the first cleanser bar in its original form. 3. Cleanser bars in accordance with claim 2 comprising a first cleanser bar corresponding to the first cleanser bar of that claim and a plurality of cleanser bars of equal size and shape corresponding respectively to said cleanser bar in accordance with claim 1;
said plurality of cleanser bars being consecutively internested with the convex surface of the convex side of one of each pair of adjacent bars extending into the hollow characterizing the concave side, and a flat side of its rim in confronting contact with a fiat side of the rim, of the other bar of said pair;
said first cleanser bar being internested with an end one of said plurality of cleanser bars whereby the convex surface of one of its sides extends into the hollow characterizing the concave side' of, and a fiat side of its ridge is in confronting contact with a flat side of the rim of, the latter;
said plurality of cleanser bars being melded together at the meeting sides of their rims, and said first cleanser bar being melded to said end one of the plurality of cleanser bars at the meeting sides of their respective ridge and rim portions, to provide sufiicient bonding therebetween to keep the bars from separating during normal handling yet permit them to be easily broken apart for purposes of use; and
all of the cleanser bars being suitably sized and shaped to permit weardown of said first cleanser bar in use to a point at which it can be internested in the hollow in the concave side of one of said plurality of cleanser bars and fastened in place therein with moisture to yield a first composite bar of generally similar size and shape to the first cleanser bar in its original form, weardown of said first composite bar in use to a point at which it can be internested in the hollow in the concave side of another of said plurality of said cleanser bars and fastened in place therein with moisture to yield a second composite bar of generally similar size and shape to said first cleanser bar in its original form, and continuation of this sequence of alternating bar weardown and new composite bar formation steps until all remaining ones of said plurality of cleanser bars have been thereby utilized.
4. The internested cleanser bars of claim 3 in which the curved surfaces of the near sides of each pair of adjacent bars are spaced approximately /32 inch apart.
5. The internested cleanser bars of claim 3 in which each of the rims of said plurality of bars and the ridge of said first cleanser bar has a cylindrical peripheral surface between its two flat sides and the edges between said peripheral surface and said fiat sides are rounded, rather than sharp, whereby relatively easy access to the melded areas between adjacent bars can be had for purposes of breaking the bars apart.
6. The internested cleanser bars of claim 5 in which each bar is of generally oval shape, as seen from the top.
7. The internested cleanser bars of claim 6 in which the major and minor axes of the oval periphery of each bar in top view projection are approximately 3% and 2% inches, respectively, and said first cleanser bar measures approximately 1 inches thick from center to center of its two convex surfaces.
8. Cleanser bars in accordance with claim 1 in which References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1933 Ingram 25290 8/1935 Backen 252-134 U.S. Cl. X.R. 252-134, 174; 73-1.1