US 3581970 A
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United States Patent Albert E. Colato West St. Paul, Minn. 821,296
May 2, i969 June I, 197i Plastics, Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.
Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee DISPOSABLE SERVING TRAY 5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
229/25. 220/97 Int. Cl. 865d 1/34 Field of Search 229/ l .5,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.l50,8l l 9/1964 Amberg 229/1.5B 3,1 54,2 l 5 10/1964 Le Vesconte 220/97C Primary Examiner-David M. Bockenek Attorney-Wicks and Nemer ABSTRACT: A sewing tray including a body formed of a plastic material having a thickness requiring external support including a bottom, the bottom having an upstanding wall extending about the periphery thereof with rib means formed on the outer surface of the bottom together with a flat stifi'ening member of cardboard positioned upon and in contact with the lower outer surface of the bottom and extending within the rib means and the stifiening member secured upon the bottom by an adhesive.
PATENTEUJuu 1 l97l INVENTOR. 4185?? E 601470 DISPOSABLE SERVING TRAY SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an improvement in serving trays and more particularly to a disposable tray used for serving food, beverages and the like. The use of plastic for serving trays is highly desirable due to ease of manufacture, appearance and ease of cleaning the tray. However, to provide an all plastic tray which has enough serving area and is sufficiently rigid to support the necessary objects, requires an amount of plastic material which in many requirements makes the cost of the tray prohibitive for disposable applications.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a serving tray which has substantially all of the benefits and appearance of an all plastic tray but with a cost which is materially less. With the cost materially less the tray is, from an economic standpoint, disposable. It is a further object of the invention to provide a tray formed of a plastic of a thickness requiring external support having a bottom and sidewalls with a peripheral rib formed on the bottom within which a stiffening member is secured by an adhesive. The rib aids in preventing displacement of the stiffening member and conceals the edges of the stiffening member. The stiffening member provides sufficient rigidity for the tray although the remainder of the tray is made from plastic of a thickness insufficient in itself for a tray.
These and other'more detailed and specific objects will be disclosed in the course of the following specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a tray embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and represents a section taken at any similar position on the periphery of the tray.
Referring to the drawings in detail, the tray A includes the body formed of a plastic material of such a thin nature that it requires external support for use as a tray. The tray body includes the flat bottom 12, and formed on the bottom surface thereof and extending downwardly therefrom is the rib 14 which extends substantially about the periphery of the bottom, the rib being spaced slightly inwardly of the outer edge of the bottom. The rib 14 may be formed hollow and open at the top as shown in particular in FIGS. 2 and 3, or the same may be solid in cross section. Extending upwardly from the edges of the bottom 12 about the periphery thereof is the substantially upstanding wall 16.
Further provided is the stiffening member 18 which is a flat sheet of relatively inexpensive material such as conventional corrugated cardboard. The stiffening member 18 has a thickness substantially equal to the height of the rib 14 whereby the edges of the member 18 are concealed. The rib 14 also prevents dislodgment of the member 18. The outline of the member 18 is coterminous with that circumscribed by the inner edge of the rib so that the stiffening member snugly fits at all edges within the peripheral rib 14. The member 18 is secured within the peripheral rib by adhesive 20 applied upon the upper surface of the member 18 and/or the bottom surface of the bottom 12.
With the member 18 in position as described the entire bottom of the tray is made rigid with little deflection of the tray in use.
With the stiffening member 18 in place the tray is complete and may be held'by one hand of the operator in an extended horizontal position with several articles thereon such as glasses, plates, etc. with very little deflection. This is possible due to the construction set forth although the body is formed of very thin plastic. If the entire tray was formed of sufficient plastic to provide little deflection when loaded and held in extended horizontal position, the cost of the plastic would be substantially more than the cost of the tray disclosed. ln the present day market and for many requirements the cost would be prohibitive. Further, with the construction disclosed the stiffening element is not observed from the top of the tray nor is observable from the ed e ofthe tray.
Having now therefore ully illustrated and described my invention, what I claim to be new and desire to protect by United States Letters Patent is:
l. A serving tray comprising:
a. a body formed of a plastic material having a thickness requiring external support and including a bottom,
b. said bottom having an upstanding relatively low wall extending about the periphery thereof,
c. rib means fonned on and extending downwardly from said bottom,
d. a flat stiffening member having a thickness substantially equal to the height of the rib means positioned upon and in contact with the lower outer surface of said bottom and extending within said rib means, and
means for securing said stiffening member against the bottom whereby the tray body when held at an edge thereof in an extended horizontal position does not require other external support.
2. The device of claim 1 in which said rib means extends substantially about the periphery of said bottom.
3. The device of claim 2 in which the outline of the stiffening member is coterminous with that circumscribed by the inner edge of the rib means.
4. The device of claim 3 in which the means for securing said stiffening member against the bottom and within said rib means includes an adhesive.
5. The device of claim 3 in which the stiffening member is of a material different from the material from which said body is formed.