US 3606156 A
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Sept. 20, 1971 HQMQRQDEAN, JR" EI'AL 3,605,156
DRINKING STRAW Filed Feb. 24, 1970 i INVENTORS. JOHN HOMORODEAN, JR.&
EBQWIN E. GENTILLY Mama 780M ATTOR NEYS United States Patent 01 ice 3,606,156 DRINKING STRAW John Homorodean, Jr., Seven Hills, Ohio, and Edwin E. Gentilly, 4488 W. 160th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44135;
said Homorodean assignor to Edwin E. Gentilly Filed Feb. 24, 1970, Ser. No. 13,561 Int. Cl. A47g 19/22 US. Cl. 239-33 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tube for drinking liquids from a container has end portions which connect with upper and lower ends of a spirally. shaped mid portion. Said end portions, or when said end portions are not coplanar as preferred, intersections of planes of the end portions define an angle which is greater than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees. The turns of the mid portion surround and extend downwardly from the top of the end portion adapted to be placed into the container. Said turns are also adapted to envelop the upstanding walls of the container to hold the straw in a stable position so that siphoning action does not occur.
The present invention is directed to drinking straws suitable for use by children. It particularly relates to such straws that have a tendency to stimulate the consumption of liquids by small children when they are placed in a container, such as a glass or bottle, they often become tilted so that they drip or liquid is siphoned from the container onto materials which become soiled thereby.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a drinking straw which will stimulate the consumption of liquids, such as milk, by children but which will remain in a stable position relative to a container, such as a bottle or glass, when the child removes its hands from the straw.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a nondripping, nonsiphoning, transparent drinking straw having a tortuous passageway for the fluids and having stability relative to the container with which it is used.
Other objects will be apparent from the following description of the invention as illustrated by the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a straw embodying our invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a straw embodying our invention as applied to one form of a suitable liquidcontainer which is shown in outline form; and
FIG. 3 is a top elevational view of the straw of FIGS. 1 and 2.
Referring more particularly to the drawing wherein the parts are designated by like numerals of reference throughout the several views, our straws comprise a generally vertical first portion which is preferably substantially straight and adapted to extend downwardly to the bottom portion of a suitable container for liquid, second portion 2 which is also substantially straight and which is also designated as the mouthpiece portion, and a mid portion 3 having a tortuous path of a plurality of turns which connect with the first and second portions to form a continuous tortuous passageway 'for fluids. The first portion 1 connects at its upper end with the first or upper turn of the spiral of the mid portion 3 and is disposed internally of and preferably along the axis of the spiral. The mouthpiece portion or second portion 2 connects with the last or lower turn of the mid portion 3 and extends at an angle upwardly therefrom so that when the portion 1 is vertically disposed in a container, the upper end 7 is higher than any liquid that may be in the container 5. Preferably, the top 7 of the mouthpiece 2 3,606,156 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 is higher than the upper turn of the mid portion or even at least as high as the top 6 of the first portion.
Intersections of separate planes containing said first and second portions define an angle greater than and less than The mid portion 3 has a tortuous path which connects at its upper end portion with the first portion 1 and on the lower end portion with the second portion 2. The first portion 1 is disposed internally of and preferably along the axis of the spiral.
In accordance with the present invention, the mid portion 3 is generally spirally shaped and the diameter of the convolutions or turns of the spiral is such that they will overlie, fit around and envelop the outer upper portions 4 of the upwardly extending walls of a suitable container 5. The upper end 6 of the vertically extending first portion 1 extends above the first turn of the spirally shaped mid portion 3 and each successive turn of the spirally shaped mid portion 3 preferably is vertically lower than that preceding turn. Each of the turns of the spirally shaped mid portion 3 preferably has about the same diameter. The last turn of the spirally shaped mid portion, usually the lowest, makes connection with the mouthpiece or second portion 2.
As shown by FIG. 3, the second portion 2 preferably extends substantially tangentially from the projection of spirally shaped mid portion 3 on a horizontal plane. The first portion 1 and the second portion 2 are thus preferably noncoplanar, i.e. lie in different planes. At the end of the lowermost turn of the spirally shaped mid portion, we optionally provide a downwardly extending portion 8 which forms a generally U-shaped bend with the mouthpiece or second portion 2.
The staws of the present invention are preferably made of an extruded transparent, stiffiy flexible nontoxic plastic, such as cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate-butyrate, cellulose butyrate, slightly plasticized polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate, copolymers or vinyl chloride, and relatively small amounts of vinylacetate, copolymers of methyl methacrylate with methyl acrylate or higher acrylates, or methacrylates, etc.
It is to be understood that in accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, variations and modifications of the specific device herein shown and described for purposes of illustration may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Having described our invention, we claim:
1. A drinking straw comprising a hollow, transparent tube, said straw having first and second substantially straight end portions and a mid-portion wherein the tube follows a generally spirally shaped tortuous path having a plurality of turns, said mid-portion connecting at its upper end with the upper end of said first portion and at its lower end portion with said second portion, said first portion being adapted to be vertically disposed in a container of liquid and the turns of said spirally shaped mid-portion surrounding an upper portion of said first portion and being spaced away therefrom, said second portion extending upwardly from a lower end of said mid-portion when said first portion is vertically disposed.
2. A drinking straw according to claim 1, wherein each successive spiral turn of said mid-portion is lower than the next preceding turn and each of the turns of said spiral has substantially the same internal diameter, whereby the spiral turns may envelop the outer upstanding walls of a container of liquid to stabilize the straw in said container and prevent dripping and siphoning action.
3. A drinking straw according to claim 2, wherein all planes containing said second portion are different from planes containing said first portion, and intersections of planes of said portions when intersection is horizontal, defining an angle which is greater than 90 and less than 180.
4. A drinking straw according to claim 1, wherein the upper end of said second portion is disposed above the uppermost turn of said mid-portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,229,715 6/1917 Clark 2- 239-33 2,557,411 6/1951 Butsch 239-33 2,619,770 12/1952 Dinhofer 239-33X M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner J. I. LOVE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X-R.