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Publication numberUS3603499 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1971
Filing dateJun 5, 1969
Priority dateJun 5, 1969
Publication numberUS 3603499 A, US 3603499A, US-A-3603499, US3603499 A, US3603499A
InventorsSnow Gerald A
Original AssigneeSnow Gerald A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Egg carton cells
US 3603499 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] lnventor Gerald A. Snow 5 Pine Ridge Road, Cumberland Foreside, Maine [21] Appl. No. 830,606 [22] Filed June 5, 1969 [45] Patented Sept. 7, 1971 [54] EGG CARTON CELLS 7 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs.

[52] [1.8. CI 229/2.5, 229/29 M, 206/46 FR [51] Int. 865d 1/00 [50] Field of Search ..229/2.5, 45, 15, 29 M; 206/46, 46 FR; 217/265 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,600,130 6/1952 Schilling 229/29 M 3,144,972 8/1964 Hartmann et a]. 229/25 3,326,443 6/1967 Burkett 229/2.5 3,375,966 4/1968 Crabtree 229/2.5 3,420,395 1/1969 Boyd et a1 217/265 Primary Examiner-Joseph R. LeClair Assistant Examiner-Stephen Marcus AIt0rney-Abb0tt Spear ABSTRACT: Egg receiving cells of egg cartons are disclosed that have a funnel portion, a closed bottom end portion, and an intermediate portion defining with the bottom end portion an annular support for the lower end of an egg, the upper end of which is in contact with the funnel portion. Desirably the cell wall is thicker in the intermediate portion than it is in the funnel portion.

EGG CARTON CELLS The present invention relates to egg cartons and particularly to the egg-receiving cells thereof.

The cells of an egg carton are designed to receive and support eggs in a predetermined size and range and to prevent their breakage during normal carton handling. Breakage results, however, during the loading of the cartons, particularly with automatic apparatus, when eggs are released before they bottom in their cells. As a consequence, the upper portion of 21 released egg often comes into contact with the upper portion of an egg seated in an adjacent cell. The dimensions of an egg in relation to those of its cell, the cell construction, and the manner in which the egg engages the walls of the cell during loading are factors that result in an egg bouncing, toppling or moving otherwise and determine the extent of its movement.

The principal objective of the present invention is to pro vide an egg cell construction that ensures that an egg being deposited therein is so centered and cushioned as to prevent any unwanted movement thereof that might result in its becoming broken or cracked or similarly damaging an egg in an adjacent cell. In accordance with the invention, this objective is attained with an egg cell construction having an upper funnel portion, a closed bottom end portion dimensioned to receive the lower end of any egg that the cell is designed to accommodate and an intermediate portion of greater axial ex tent than the combined axial extent of the funnel and bottom portions. The intermediate portion is downwardly and inwardly curved and merges with the other portions of the cell, its curvature approximating that of the received portion of the largest egg the cell is designed to receive. The junction between the intermediate and bottom portions provides an annular support for the lower end of the egg.

Another objective of the invention is to provide an egg cell with its wall thickness of the cell being substantially greater in the intermediate portion than it is in the upper end or funnel portion.

Another objective of the invention is to provide an egg cell in which the upper end or funnel portion is downwardly or inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis to provide a cross-sectional area that decreases from that greater than to one that is less than the maximum cross sectional area of the largest egg for which the cell is designed.

Yet another objective of the invention is to provide each egg cell with a bottom portion that is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis, the angle being greater than that of the cell wall in the upper end portion and, desirably, the bottom wall of the bottom end portion has a cushion in the form of a ring providing centering support for an egg whose dimensions are such that its lower end does not engage the cell wall at the junction of the intermediate and end portions thereof.

In the accompanying drawings there is shown an embodiment of the invention illustrative of these and other of its objectives, novel features, and advantages.

In the drawings:

FlG. l is a plan view of an open egg carton in accordance with the invention, and

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary section taken approximately along the indicated lines 2-2 of FIG. i.

The egg carton shown in the drawings is molded from pulp or a suitable plastic, polystyrene foam being a preferred example, and is of the type having a bottom section 5 with a cover section 6 integrally and hingedly connected to its rear edge and a locking flap 7 integrally and hingedly connected to its front edge;

The bottom section 5 includes two parallel rows of egg cells 8, six cells to a row, and a central row of posts 9, each cornmon to four cells and constituting a part of their boundaries. The locking flap 7 is provided with projections llll adapted to extend through holes H2 in the front wall of the cover section 6 when the flap 7 is swung upwardly and inwardly into a position in which the front wall of the cover section 6 may overlie it when closed thereby to relcasably interlock the bottom and cover sections. In addition, the cover section 6 is shown as having a pair of lengthwise aligned, hollow, depending ribs 13, each disposed to engage a pair of posts 9 to provide central support for the cover section 6 when the carton is closed. The egg carton will not be further detailed as it is, except for its cells 8, of the type more fully disclosed and described in U.S. Ser. No. 642,002, filed May 31, 1967..

Each cell 8, as may best be seen in FIG. 2, includes an open upper end or funnel portion 14. In the funnel portion M, the cell wall is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis, the angle being in the neighborhood of 10. It is preferred that the faces MA of posts 9 that establish part of the cell boundaries be similarly inclined. The wall structure in the funnel portion has a crosssectional area that decreases from that greater than to that less than the maximum cross-sectional area of the eggs the cells 8 are designed to receive.

Each cell 3 also has a lower ehd portion 15 closed by a bottom wall id. The cell wall of the lower end portion is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis, desirably at an angle in the neighborhood of l7 and is dimensioned to receive the low-er end of any egg.

The intermediate cell portion 17 is the major part of the cell since its axial extent is substantially greater than the combined axial extent of the end portions. The wall structure of the intermediate portion ll7 is downwardly and inwardly curved and merges with both end portions, the curvature being approximately that of the largest egg the cells will accommodate.

Where the intermediate portion 17 and the bottom end portion 15 merge, an annular support is provided for the bottom end of an egg. In the event an egg is so shaped and dimensioned that its lower end fails to engage with the annular support, the bottom wall 16 is provided with a centering and cushioning ring 18 to provide support for such abnormallyshaped eggs.

It will be noted that the cell wall is substantially thicker in the intermediate portion 17 than it is in the upper end or funnel portion 14. This has the advantage of providing a maximum cushioning effect, particularly when the cartons are molded from a polystyrene foam, with minimum interference with carton nesting.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that an egg, the egg l9 for example, released over an egg cell 8 will engage the sharply inclined walls of the funnel portion 114 and be directed inwardly and downwardly to come to a cushioned and centered rest on the annular support provided by the junction of the bottom portion i5 and the intermediate portion E7 or by the cushioning ring I8. Typically, the egg 19 will also be in en gagement with the wall of the funnel portion.

Iclaim:

i. In an expanded foam plastic egg carton, a plurality of egg receiving cells arranged in parallel rows, each cell comprising a funnel portion, a closed bottom end portion dimensioned to receive the lower end of any egg the cell is designed to receive, and an intermediate annular cushion portion in which the wall structure is substantially thicker than the wall thickness of the funnel portion and is downwardly and inwardly curved and merges with said funnel and bottom end portions, the curvature of the intermediate portion being approximately that of the received portion of said largest egg, the junction between the intermediate and bottom end portions providing an annular support above the bottom of the cell for the lower end of the egg.

2. The egg carton of claim l in which the wall structure of the funnel portion is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis to provide a cross-sectional area that decreases from that greater than the maximum crosssectional area of the largest egg the cell is designed to receive to a cross-sectional area less than said maximum cross-sectional area of the egg to provide an. annular egg-supporting shoulder at the junction of the funnel and intermediate portion.

3. The egg carton of claim 1 in which the wall structure of the bottom end portion is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis to define with the intermediate portion the annular support.

4. The egg carton of claim 1 in which the wall structure of the funnel portion is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis to provide a cross-sectional area that decreases from that greater than the maximum crosssectional area of the largest egg the cell is designed to receive to a cross-sectional area less than said maximum cross-sectional area of the egg, and the wall structure of the bottom end portion is downwardly and inwardly inclined at an acute angle relative to the cell axis.

5. The egg carton of claim 4 in which the angle of the wall structure of the bottom end portion is greater than that of the wall structure of the upper end portion.

6. The egg carton of claims 5 in which the angle of the upper end portion is in the neighborhood of 10 and that of the lower end portion is in the neighborhood of l7 7. The egg carton of claim 1 in which the bottom wall of the bottom end portion includes an upstanding cushion engageable by the lower end of an egg and being in the form of a ring dimensioned to provide centering support for the lower end of an egg whose dimensions are such that it does not engage the cell wall at the junction of the intermediate and bottom end portions.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2600130 *Dec 3, 1945Jun 10, 1952Shellmar Products CorpEgg carton
US3144972 *Jan 3, 1962Aug 18, 1964Hartmann As BrdrContainer of fibrous material for hens' eggs
US3326443 *Jul 19, 1965Jun 20, 1967Dow Chemical CoEgg carton
US3375966 *Feb 10, 1967Apr 2, 1968Keyes Fibre CoFull depth carton for large eggs
US3420395 *Sep 26, 1966Jan 7, 1969Packaging Corp AmericaTray construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3942707 *Aug 7, 1974Mar 9, 1976Alan P. McGregorShoe box construction
US4349146 *Nov 28, 1980Sep 14, 1982Mobil Oil CorporationPackaging tray
US5595811 *Sep 1, 1994Jan 21, 1997Stout, Jr.; William A.Packaging material
US6702139 *Dec 30, 2002Mar 9, 2004Tekni-Plex, Inc.Packing tray
US6811050 *Feb 22, 2001Nov 2, 2004Tekni-Plex, Inc.Packing tray
WO1994013558A1 *Dec 3, 1993Jun 23, 1994Hartmann As BrdrEgg tray
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/521.8, 206/592, 206/521
International ClassificationB65D85/32, B65D85/30
Cooperative ClassificationB65D85/324
European ClassificationB65D85/32D