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Publication numberUS3572186 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 23, 1971
Filing dateDec 15, 1969
Priority dateDec 15, 1969
Publication numberUS 3572186 A, US 3572186A, US-A-3572186, US3572186 A, US3572186A
InventorsDillard Grady Page
Original AssigneeDillard Grady Page
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Finger tab can closure opening prong means
US 3572186 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Maur'h 23, 1971 G. P. DILLARD I 3,572,186

FINGER TAB CAN CLOSURE OPENING PRONG MEANS Filed Dec. 15, 1969 INVENTOR G'RHD) PflGE D/LLHR'D 4 By w HTTORNE).

United States Patent O F 3,572,186 FINGER TAB CAN CLOSURE OPENING PRONG MEANS Grady Page Dillard, 16220 NW. 27th Court, Opa-Locka, Fla. 33054 Filed Dec. 15, 1969, Ser. No. 885,073 Int. Cl. B67b 7/36 US. Cl. 81-3.3 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A can opening implement adapted to be stationarily mounted on existing support structure in a building for providing auxiliary can opening means for detaching the finger grip ring tab and score line demarcated closure section of a beverage can or the like. The can opening implement includes a prong-like body projecting rigidly horizontally, and includes a barb-like head portion supported on the distal end of the horizontally-projecting body. In using the implement, the beverage container is held in an upright disposition and is manipulated to engage the finger grip ring tab with the barbed head structure of the implement. The container is first thrust away from the user to engage the finger ring tab of the can closure with the barbed head of the implement, then the container is pulled downwardly and toward the user to peel away the closure section of the container top wall and to form an exit opening for the contents of the container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention This invention relates to finger operative can or container closures generally and particularly relates to stationarily mounted implements adapted for use in opening small beverage cans or the like provided with finger grip ring tab closure means.

(2) Description of the prior art In restaurants, taverns or other such places serving food and drink to a large number of people, considerable difficulty is experienced in opening soft and alcoholic beverages packaged in metal can containers. Such containers typically are provided with a tear away section formed in the container top wall and with coacting finger ring tab structure adapted for finger manipulation in pulling and detaching the closure section from the container and in opening the container: Typically, the container body is grasped with one hand while the finger ring tab closure is manipulated and detached from the container with the other hand. Such actions require considerable strength and dexterity and is particularly tiresome work when repetitiously opening a large number of cans as, for example, during the busy rush hours in a restaurant or like establishment. Repetitiously opening beer cans or soft drink cans is particularly arduous work for a waitress or a barmaid in a restaurant, tavern or the like. Also, since the typical waitress or barmaid will wish to keep her hands manicured and well groomed, opening the tear away finger ring type tab closures on the beverage can containers presents a problem: There is considerable likelihood that the waitress or the barmaid will break or tear a fingernail particularly as she lifts and manipulates the finger ring tab structure of the container closure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The stationarily mounted can opening prong implement of the instant invention provides means whereby a finger 'ice ring closure tab structure may be manipulated and a beverage can opening in an expeditious manner and without the likelihood of injury to the hands or fingernails of a user. In using the stationarily mounted can-opening prong device of the present invention, the user grasps a can firmly in both hands while removing the tear away closure structure; a user does not finger or manipulate the finger ring tab structure of the can closure and only bodily manipulates the can per se during the can opening procedure. Such actions substantially obviate the likelihood of injury to the hands or fingernails of the user of the device; a large number of containers may be rapidly and easily repetitiously opened which is particularly advantageous during the busy or rush hours in a restaurant establishment or thelike.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the can opening prong implement and as being stationarily mounted on vertical support structure;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device and the support structure, taken as from FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the implement and a fragmentary showing of a beverage can and illustrating an initial stage of the can-opening procedure;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating a later stage in the can-opening procedure; and

FIG. 5 is a persepctive view of another embodiment of the invention having means for deflecting the ring tab closure of a beverage can as it is detached from the can.

The preferred embodiment of the can-opening implement of the instant invention is indicated by the numeral 11 and is adapted to be stationarily supported on the face surface 13 of existing stationary, elevated support structure 15. Can opening implement 11 includes base structure, preferably in the form of a base plate portion 17; an elongate body 19 perpendicularly projecting from base plate structure 17; head structure 21, preferably barb-like in configuration, supported on the distal portion of body 19; and abutment structure 23 subjacently arranged relative to the proximal portion of body 19 and preferably integrally connected with the base plate structure 17. The base, body, head and abutment structure respectively 17, 19, 21, 23 of the can opening implement 11 preferably is of integral form and configured as shown in the drawings. The mounting means adapted for securing the can opening implement on the support structure 15 is indicated generally by numeral 25 and preferably is in the form of screw fasteners 27 extending through apertures 29 in base structure 17. The can opening implement is adapted to be permanently secured on support 15 by screw fasteners 27 and with the back surface 31 of base plate 17 being in flatwise engagement with the face surface 13 of the support 15.

The head portion 21 of can opening implement 11 generally is configured barb-like and includes structure defining a throat recess 33 opening rearwardly and upwardly relative to elongate body 19 and includes a forwardly and upwardly facing obliquely arranged cam surface 35. The cam surface 35 generally is elliptical in shape and is disposed with its major axis being symmetrically arranged of a vertical plane extending coincident the longitudinal axis of the elongated body 19. The cam surface 35 preferably is slightly convex in minor extension and intersects the upwardly tapered undersurface 37 in a leading edge 39 disposed generally horizontally and symmetrically of the longitudinal axis of the elongated bod 19. The rearward upper boundary of cam surface 35 intersects the upwardly contoured throat 43 and defines an apex edge 41.

The can opening implement is adapted for use in opening a typical beverage can 43 having tear away tab type closure means 45 adapted to be detached from the can top wall 47 and in providing an exit opening 49 for pouring the contents of the can. In such a beverage container, the top wall 47 typically includes a weakened closure Section 51 demarcated by a circumferential score line 53. A finger grip ring 55 typically is permanently secured by rivet means 57 to the closure section 51, and in conventional use, provides finger grip tab and leverge means for tearing or peeling the closure section 51 from the parent wall structure 59 of the container top wall 47. When the can 43 is in a packaged configuration the finger grip ring 55 is disposed in flatwise, close adjacency to top wall 47, and when the can is being openend, the user lifts the finger grip ring 55 away from the can top wall and then uses the ring for peeling and detaching the closure section from the beverage container.

In using the can opening implement of the instant invention, the following substantially simple procedure is carried out: The user firmly grasps the can while holding it in an upright disposition and with the closure section and finger grip ring 51, 55 of the beverage container closure structure being generally fore and aft arranged relative to the user and with the closure finger grip ring structure 55 being disposed toward the user and away from the can opening implement 11. The top portion of the beverage can is canted slightly forwardly and the can bodily moved to a disposition whereat the leading edge 39 of the barbed head structure 21 is disposed within the circular interior of the finger grip ring and engages the upper surface of the container top wall 47. While maintaining the container in the slightly canted disposition, the container is thrust or pressed forwardly away from the user and toward the can opening implement thereby causing the leading edge 39 of head structure 21 to wedge between the ring structure 55 and the top wall 47 of the container. Continuing forward movement of the can 43 toward the implement 11 causes the bight portion 61 of the finger grip ring 55 to ridingly engage the cam surface 35 of the barbed head structure 21 and to lift the bight portion 61 of the finger ring upwardly and away from the container top wall 47. With continuing forward movement of the can 43 toward the implement 11, the bight portion 61 of the finger grip ring 55 passes over the apex edge 41 of the barbed head and is hooked into the throat recess 33 (see FIG. 3, and note also the arrow indicating the direction of movement of the can 43 during the initial stages of the can opening procedure). After the finger grip ring 55 is hooked over the head structure 21 of the can opening implement, the user pulls outwardly on the can 43 and in a direction away from and somewhat downwardly relative to the can opening implement. Such actions cause the finger grip ring 55 to be inverted and moved radially toward the rim portion 67 of the can top wall. Continuing outward movement of the can 43 away from implement 11 causes the closure sect on 51 to be severed from the can top wall along score line 53 and the combined closure section and finger grip ring structure 51, 55 to be detached from the can (See FIG. 4 and note the direction of movement of the can indicated by the arrow in this figure).

The abutment structure 23 preferably is provided for limiting the inward movement of can 43 toward the base structure 17 during the initial stages of the can opening procedure and when the finger grip ring tab structure 55 is being threaded over the barbed head structure 21 of the can opening implement. With reference to FIG. 1, the extension indicated by letter D represents generally the diameter of the container 43 and the position of the container substantially at the instant the bight portion 61 of the finger grip ring 55 passes over the apex edge 41 and is hooked in the throat recess 33 of the head structure 21 of the implement. The relative dimensions respectively of the can structure 43 and the implement 11 is such that the can rim portion 63 abuttingly engages the surface 65 0f the abutment structure 23 substantially at the instant the bight portion 61 of the finger grip ring is received in the throat recess 33 of the head structure 21 of the implement. Also, in the construction of the can opening prong device, the longitudinal extension of cam surface 35 of the barbed head structure 21 (see the dimension indicated by character B in FIG. 1) should be in accord with the distance between the can rim 63 and the outer periphery of the finger grip ring 55 (see the dimension indicated B in FIG. 3). The longitudinal extension of cam surface 35 or the horizontal distance indicated by the character B in FIG. 1 should be slightly less than the horizontal distance indicated by the character B in FIG. 3 and for permitting the bight portion 61 of the finger grip ring 55 to pass over the apex edge 41 and hook in the throat recess 33 of the barbed head structure before the leading edge 39 abuttingly engages the inside surface 67 of the can rim.

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of the invention indicated by numeral 11 and such an embodiment having deflector means 69 adapted for downwardly defleeting the finger ring tab closure structure 51, 55, as it is peelingly severed from the top wall 47 of the beverage can: The resiliently flexible character of the metal closure tab section 51, and the manner in which the device is used may cause the finger ring closure structure 51, 55 to spring upwardly and away from the barbed head 21 at the instant the closure structure 51, 55 is peelingly severed from the top wall structure of the beverage can.

The deflector means 69 preferably includes an elongated deflector sheet member 71 stationarily supported on the base structure 17 by screw fastener means 73. The deflector member 71 is cantilever supported superjacently on base structure 17' by a thumb screw 75 threadedly engaged in the upper portion of the base structure 17' of the can opening prong device. The thumb screw 75 passes through a longitudinally-slotted opening 77 formed in deflector member 71 and permits longitudinally adjustable positioning of the deflector member and with respect to the barb head structure 21' of the can opening implement. The main portion 79 of the deflector member 71 is spaced directly above the body projection 19 and preferably includes a downwardly concave hood portion 81 extending correspondingly over the head structure 21 and terminating in a transverselyextending edge 83: A severed finger ring closure 51, 55 by impinging against the underside of the deflector hood portion 81 is deflected downwardly and is prevented from flying over the work area or toward the user of the device. In certain applications of the invention, it may be desirable to support an upwardly opening container, not shown, underneath the can opening implement 11' for catching and containing the spent severed finger ring tab closures.

Although the drawings and description have been directed toward a can opening implement adapted to be supported from a stationary vertical wall structure or the like, it is contemplated that the invention also be embodied in a can opening implement adapted to be supported from horizontally extending existing stationary support structure (this embodiment not shown): In certain embodiments of the invention, it may be desirable to configure the base structure 17 generally right-angular or C-shape for mounting the can opening implement either superjacently or subjacently on a horizontally extending support. Such modifications are believed to be fully within the purview of one skilled in the art.

While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A can opening implement providing mechanical auxiliary means for use in detecting the combined score line demarcated closure section and finger grip ring tab structure from the top wall of a beverage can or the like in opening the can and when the finger grip ring tab is in flatwise close adjacency to the can top wall, the can opening implement comprising base structure, mounting means adapted for mounting said base structure on existing stationary support structure, an elongate body cantilever supported at one end portion thereof from said base structure, head structure supported on the distal end of said body adapted for engagement with the finger grip ring tab of said can, said head structure being generally configured barblike and including structure defining a rearwardly and upwardly opening throat recess and a forwardly and upwardly facing cam surface; a beverage can or the like is adapted to be opened by manipulating the uprightly held can to a disposition whereat the finger ring tab structure of the can closure is threaded over and hooked by the barbed head structure of the implement, the can is then moved outwardly and downwardly from the prong structure thereby peeling the closure section from the can top wall and forming an exit opening for the contents of the can.

2. A can opening implement as set forth in claim 1 wherein said base structure is in the form of a base plate, and said mounting means includes screw fastener means interengaging said mounting plate and the existing support structure and fixedly securing said plate on Said support structure.

3. A can opening implement as set forth in claim 1 which additionally includes abutment structure subjacently arranged relative to the roximal portion of said elongate body and having structure defining an upwardly extending abutment surface facing toward the head structure of said implement; the abutment surface being adapted to engage the lateral surface of a can in the can opening procedure and to limit movement of the can toward the base structure.

4. A can opening implement as set forth in claim 3 wherein said base, body, head and abutment structure is of integral construction.

5. A can opening implement as set forth in claim 1 wherein the cam surface of said head structure terminates forwardly in a leading edge disposed generally horizontally and symmetrically of a vertical plane lying coincident with the longitudinal axis of said elongate body.

6. A can opening implement as set forth in claim 1 which additionally includes deflector means for downwardly deflecting the finger ring tab closure as the closure is severed from each beverage can.

7. Can opening prong means for use in detaching the combined score line demarcated closure section and finger grip ring tab structure from a can top wall and when the finger grip ring tab is arranged in fiat'wise close adjacency to the can top wall, said can opening prong means comprising elevated stationary support structure, a can opening implement including base structure, an elongate body structure projecting from said base structure, means firmly mounting said base structure on said support structure with said elongate body disposed generally horizontal, head structure supported on the distal end of said body structure adapted for engagement with the finger grip ring tab structure of the can, said head structure being configured barb-like and including structure defining a rearwardly and upwardly opening throat recess and a forwardly and upwardly facing inclined cam surface; a beverage can or the like is adapted to be opened by manipulating the uprightly held can to a disposition whereat the finger ring tab structure of the can closure is threaded over and hooked by the barbed head structure of the implement, the can is then moved outwardly and downwardly from the prong structure thereby peeling the closure section from the can top wall and forming an exit opening for the contents of the can.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 784,851 3/1905 Glaessel 813.3 1,657,782 1/1928 Berg 8l3.49 3,459,075 8/ 1969 Henderson 81-334 3,460,411 8/1969 Dyer 81-3.34

ROBERT C. RIORDON, Primary Examiner R. V. PARKER, 111., Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3845675 *Nov 14, 1973Nov 5, 1974Cook WTab top can opener
US4583383 *Jan 28, 1985Apr 22, 1986Joseph BoscoKey-turning device
US4663994 *Feb 12, 1986May 12, 1987Alan HullEasy lift-tab container opener
US4712454 *Aug 18, 1986Dec 15, 1987Alan HullLift-tab container opener
US4774859 *Dec 10, 1987Oct 4, 1988Jarvis Sr Darcey LOpener for tab-top container
US5052248 *Sep 14, 1990Oct 1, 1991Himittag, Inc.Pull tab can opener
US5440910 *Jun 17, 1994Aug 15, 1995Florian; David W.Key adaptor
Classifications
U.S. Classification81/3.27, D08/37
International ClassificationB67B7/40, B67B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67B7/403
European ClassificationB67B7/40B