US 3559865 A
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O United States Patent 1111 3,559,865
 lnventor John C. Field  References Cited 7 l N gzgkolgtgrest, [11. UNITED STATES PATENTS Egg Qf Sept 1 967 2,605,993 1/1954 Swanson 99 174  Pmemed Feb H 2,804,258 8/1957 Peiter 229/87 Assignee and compam, 2,940,861 6/1960 Multrans 99/174X Chicago In 3,100,598 8/1963 Saidel 229/87 3,338,723 8/1967 Lundquist 99/174 t f Delaware 3,371,848 3/1968 Ward 99/174X 2,578,739 12/1951 Randall. 229/2.5 3,128,030 4/1964 Davies 229/2.5
Primary Examiner-Frank W. Lutter Assistant Examiner-Robert Hal er 4 B C N C NTAINER P [5 1 2 ggrawing Figs Attorneys-Carl C. Batz and Carl Kustin  US. Cl 229/2.5,
99/ 174; 220/ 72 ABSTRACT: A container for a draft of sliced, shingled bacon  Int. Cl 865d 1/00, having a curved top surface and a relatively flat underside,
B651) 25/06 wherein the container has vertical end walls and a bottom por-  Field of Search... 99/ 1 7 1, tion havin an interior surface conformin to the eneral contour of the top surface of the bacon draft.
PATENTED FEB 2191: 35593365 sum 2 or 2 INVEN 1. BY dOHN c. FIE
ATTOR/) 5 BACON CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a new container for a draft of sliced shingled bacon.
Sliced bacon is made by slicing large slabs of bacon cut from the underside of hogs and referred to as hog bellies. In commercial operations the slicing and handling of the bacon is perfonned by a machine, such as the Anco" slicer which will cut enough slices to make approximately I or 2 pounds of whatever unit of weight is desired. As each unit of bacon is being sliced, the individual slices fall onto the bed of the slicer and on top of each other in shinglelike fashion which exposes one edge of each slice. This unit of sliced shingled bacon is referred to as a draft and has an irregularly curved top surface or top side, and relatively flat underside. After the aforesaid slicing operation, the draft is transferred to a carrying board in preparation for packaging.
The first slice that is cut will lie flat on the carrying board and the cutting of subsequent slices in a shingled arrangement results in the top surface of the draft having a contour that curves upwardly from the first slice for about two-thirds the width of the draft until reaching a maximum height and then curves downwardly to the carrying board. The underside of the draft resting on the carrying board is relatively flat and contains one edge of each of the slices in the same plane.
After slicing, each draft of bacon moves down a conveyor from the slicer and its weight is adjusted to the desired amount by adding or removing a strip or strips or a portion thereof. After the desired weight is established the draft moves further down the conveyor until reaching the packaging station where it is inserted by an attendant in a conventional bacon carton made from wax-coated cardboard and having a window for viewing the bacon. Such cartons are generally rectangular in shape and are about half the height of the bacon draft which results in some bulging of the carton when the draft is inserted therein. This bulge is eliminated, however, by compressing the draft to the same height as the canon when the cartons are stacked and pressed on top of each other in a shipping container which is subsequently sealed and stored in a cooler to await shipment.
During this chilling period the compressed slices tend to become bound to each other. When the bacon reaches the consumer the slices are usually still in this chilled compressed condition and it is difficult to remove the individual slices without first allowing the temperature of the bacon to rise to a point where the slices can be easily removed from each other without having to gouge or rip the slices apart in attempting to peel them from the draft.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new container for sliced shingled bacon that will overcome the aforesaid difficulties.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new container for sliced shingled bacon that will tend to reduce compression of the draft when the containers are stacked on top of each other.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a new container for sliced shingled bacon that will permit the easy removal of chilled bacon strips therefrom without having to unduly gouge or tear free the strips from the draft.
Yet another object is to provide a new container for sliced shingled bacon wherein one side of the draft lies at the top of the container and presents all the edges thereof in the same general plane.
Other objects and advantages of the instant invention will become apparent as the specification proceeds.
This new container is comprised of a bottom portion having a base and two sidewalls extending for the length of the slices and having an inside surface adapted to conform to the general configuration of the top surface of the draft such that when the draft is in the containei', the compression of the draft during subsequent handling of the container is reduced and each slice of bacon is more easily removed therefrom.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The container will be more specifically described in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a draft of sliced shingled bacon on sheet of waxed carrying board after leaving the slicer (not shown).
FIG. 2 is a side view of said draft.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the container of the instant invention.
FIG. 4 is a view of said container in cross section along line 4-4 in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of said container.
FIG. 6 is a view of said embodiment is cross section along line 6-6 in FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of said container.
FIG. 8 is a view of said further embodiment in cross section along line 8-8 in FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and more particularly FIGS. 3 and 4, the container of the instant invention, referred to generally by the numeral 10, comprises two vertically disposed end walls 12a and 12b and bottom portion having two sidewalls 16a and 16b and a base 18. The base 18 and sidewalls 16a and 16b have n'bs molded therefrom which project into the interior of the container to form two rows of ribs 20a and 20b in spaced relation extending from the top portion of sidewalls 16a and 16b down to said base 18.
The contour of the surface of the ribs is adapted to conform to the general contour of the top surface of a bacon draft and is illustrated in FIG. 4. This rib surface contour comprises a diagonal linear portion 22a extending from the top portion of the first sidewall 16a and terminating in the base 18; a horizontal linear portion 18: --a having one end 18b connected to the diagonal portion 220 and extending away therefrom; and a curved portion 22b connected to the other end 18c of the horizontal portion 18 and curving upwardly and away therefrom until terminating in the top portion ofthe second sidewall 16b.
The container is also adapted to support the draft of bacon by providing a plurality of ribs in each row with each rib having a width that will prevent any undue sagging of the bacon in the spaces between the ribs when the slices are laid transversely across the ribs.
A horizontally disposed flange 24 is provided at the upper end of the end walls and sidewalls and extends away therefrom. The flange 24 serves as a convenient base for the cover 26 and pennits the container to be readily sealed by any suitable means known to the packaging art.
The inside dimensions of the container are slightly greater than the bacon draft to eliminate any interference with the inside surfaces of the container when the draft is packaged therein.
In packaging the bacon draft in the container, the draft is placed such that the contour of the top surface of the draft, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, lies in and conforms to the matching contour of the rib surfaces 22a and 22b and linear portion 18a, as seen in FIG. 5, the underside of the draft lies at the top of the container and presents one edge of each bacon slice in the same general plane. The length of the draft lies transversely across the ribs and the ends of the draft is adjacent to the end walls of the container.
The draft can also be packaged in the reverse position, i.e., rather than placing the curved top side of the draft in the container to immediately match up with and conform to the inside surface of the container, the flat underside of the draft is placed into the container and will abut against the ribs adjacent to the sidewalls. However, because of its flexibility or fluidity the draft will sink or flow into the container and thereby reverse its curvature until lying in and conforming to the contour of the rib surfaces 22a and 22b and linear portion 18a.
After packaging. the cover is seated on the flange and the container is sealed and stacked in a shipping carton and transferred to a cooler to await shipment. During the aforesaid operations, the compressive forces on the draft will be carried by the walls of the container which thereby tends to reduce any compression of the draft itself.
By the time the bacon reaches the consumer, the draft will be relatively free of compression and the bacon slices can be more readily peeled therefrom while in a chilled condition without having to gouge or tear the slices.
The container of the instant invention is preferably molded from a rigid plastic that will resist the aforesaid compressive forces but any other suitable material will serve as well.
Another embodiment of the instant invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 and is generally the same as the aforesaid embodiment except that the plurality of ribs in each row extending from the two sidewalls is replaced by two long ribs 28a and 28b running for the length of the sidewalls 16a and 16b. The first long rib 28a extends from one sidewall 16a down to the base and the second long rib 28b extends from the opposing sidewall 16b down to the base to form the desired inside contour of the container.
FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate yet another embodiment of the instant invention having no end walls or ribs and comprised of a rigid bottom portion 14 with an inside surface confonning to the top surface contour of the bacon draft shown therein. The open ends 29a and 29b of the container are covered by means of ears 30a and 30b provided on the cover 32. The ears have a configuration conforming to the open end of the container and will fit in the open ends when the cover is closed on top of the container. Any other suitable means such as a cellophane wrapper and the like may also be used to cover the open ends before or after the bacon is packaged therein by any of the techniques known in the art.
The embodiments of the instant invention shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 are provided with ribs for supporting the conforming to the contour of the top surface of a bacon draft but it must be understood, as illustrated by the embodiment in FIGS. 7 and 8, that the invention is not limited to a container having ribs but comprehends any container providing an inside surface for supporting 'a draft of bacon and having the same general contour as the top surface of a draft of bacon. It must further be understood that the invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the disclosed embodiments which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A container for a draft of sliced shingled bacon having a curved top surface and a relatively flat underside, said container comprising a rigid bottom portion having a curved inside surface adapted to conform to the general contour of the top surface of the bacon draft, wherein a cross section of said curved inside surface comprises a diagonal linear portion, a horizontal linear portion having one end connected to the termination of said diagonal portion and extending away therefrom, and a curved portion connected to the other end of said horizontal portion and curving upwardly and away therefrom.