US 3565281 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Stafford D. Collie Kansas City, Mo.  Appl. No. 782,895  Filed Dec. 11, 1968  Patented Feb. 23, 1971  Assignee Phillips Petroleum Company  CONTAINER 4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 220/69  Int. Cl B65d 7/42  Field of Search 220/69, 68, 23, 83, 97 (C), 97 (F) [5 6] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 547,225 10/1895 McLaughlin 220/68 2,05, 01 7 9/1957 Hill et a1. 220/69x 3,025,948 3/1962 Appelt 1 220/97(F)x 3,051,303 8/1962 Daanen et a1... 220/69X 3,079,037 2/1963 Schechter 220/69X FOREIGN PATENTS 793,395 11/1935 France 1. 220/69 Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-James R. Garrett Att0mey-Y0ung & Quigg PATENTED' m2 sigh- INVENTOR. S D. COLLI E A T TORNEVS CONTAINER In the food packaging industry, considerable effort has been made in recent years to provide containers which are sufficiently attractive and functional to be-used as serving dishes. This is particularly true in the packaging of such foodstuffs as dips, nuts, candies, margarine and the like. The present invention provides a container which is particularly suitable for this purpose.
In accordance with this invention, a container is provided which is constructed of a generally bowl-shaped receptacle having a base secured thereto. The receptacle is provided with a depending shoulder, the inner surface of which is provided with a recess which serves to lock the base to the receptacle. The top portion of the base is provided with a plurality of locking arms, the outer edges of which are provided with projections which engage the recess in the shoulder of the receptacle. The base is formed of a material which has a certain flexibility and is of such a configuration as to permit the locking arms to be snapped into'p'lace when the container is assembled. The base can advantageously be in the shape of an inverted bowl such that the final container has the general configuration of a compote dish. In thedrawing:
FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the assembled container of this invention. FIG. 2 is a top view of the base of the container of FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a view, shown partially in section, of the latching mechanism of the container. FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a portion of the assembled container having a false bottom member therein.
Referring now to the drawing in detail and to FIG. 1 in particular, there is shown a container which is formed of a generally bowlshaped receptacle ll and a base 12. Receptacle i1 is open at the top to permit the container to be filled with the material to be packaged and to serve as a sewing dish for this material. After filling, a lid of any suitable configuration can be secured to the top of receptacle 11. As illustrated, base 12 can advantageously be in the form of an inverted bowl so that the final assembled containeris in the shape of an at tractive compote dish.
The container of FIG. 1 is constructed of two separate elements which are secured together when the container is assembled. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the top of base 12 is provided with a plurality of raised locking arms 13 which can form an integral portion of the top of the base. As illustrated in FIG. 3, receptacle 11 is provided with a circumferential depending shoulder 14 having a flat lower surface. The inner surface of shoulder 14 is provided with a recess 16 which serves to receive projections which form the ends of locking arms 13. The container is assembled by positioning receptacle II on base I2 in the position illustrated in FIG. 3. The top portion of base 12 is formed of a somewhat flexible material which is of such a configuration that the'center of the base can be snapped upwardly by applying a force to' the central region of the top of the base. This serves to snap projecting arms 13 upwardly so that projections 15 engage recess 16, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The top of base 12 thus has two stable positions, and can be deformed from one position to the other by the application of a force to the central region of the base top. The outer ends of locking arms 13 serve as pivot points for this movement. The peripheral region of the top of base 12 has the same general configuration as the bottom of receptacle 11 so that the two members fit together tightly.
It should be evident that the container of this invention can be formed of any convenient material. This container is advantageously formed of thermoplastic materials such as portion thereof.
polyolefins or poly(vinylchloride), for example, because such materials are easy to mold, are light in weight, and are relatively inexpensive. They also provide the needed flexibility to permit the two members to be snapped together. It is not necessary that the top and bottom be formed of the same material. However, the base must be formed of a material which is sufficiently flexible to permit the locking arms to be snapped into place when the container is assembled.
From an inspection of FIGS. 3 and 4, it can be seen that an annular depression 18 is formed in the region of shoulder M. In the packaging of certain materials, It is desirable to eliminate this depression in order to permit the material to be removed more readily. This can be accomplished by the addition of a false bottom 19 which is positioned within receptacle l1 and extends between the sidewalls thereof. In the packaging of liquid and semiliquid materials, member 19 can be a disc sealed to the wall of receptacle 11 to prevent the contents of the receptacle from entering region 18.
In view of the foregoing description, it can be seen that a low cost, attractive container for foodstuffs and the like has been provided in accordance with this invention. The upper receptacle and the base are transported separately to a packaging plant in which the container is filled. These two members are of such configuration that they can be stacked for convenient transportation and storage. The container is readily assembled by placing the receptacle on the base and snapping the locking mechanism in place.
While this invention has been described in conjunction with presently preferred embodiments, it should be evident that it is not limited thereto.
I. A container suitable for use in packaging foodstuffs and the like comprising a generally bowl-shaped receptacle open at the top, the bottom of said receptacle being provided with a circumferential depending shoulder the inner surface of which is provided with a continuous circumferential recess, the portion of said inner surface below said recess being convex in radiant cross section and the portion of said inner surface above said recess being concave in radial cross section and a base secured to said receptacle, the top of said base being provided with a plurality of raised radially extending locking arms, the outer surfaces of which are of substantially the same configuration as the inner surface of said shoulder the top portion of said base being sufficiently flexible to cause the outer surfaces of said projections to matewith the inner surface of said shoulder and be locked therewith when the container is assembled by said base being positioned adjacent said receptacle and a force being applied to the central region of said base in a direction toward said receptacle.
2. The container of claim 1 in which said base is of generally bowl-shaped configuration and is inverted relative to said receptacle, said base being of smaller size than said receptacle to form a compote dish.
3. The container of claim 1 wherein said shoulder has a flat lower surface, the peripheral top region of said base has a flat upper surface, and said locking arms are integral with said base and extend upwardly from the central region of the top 4. The container of claim 1, further comprising a generally flat member positioned within said receptacle and extending across the bottom thereof, said member engaging the sidewalls of said receptacle to form the interior bottom of said receptacle.