US 3610512 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Harry J. Hermalin 1961 Vista Del Mar, Los Angeles, Calif. 90028  Appl. No. 6,908  Filed Jan. 29, 1970  Patented Oct. 5, 1971  HANDHELD FOOD HOLDER 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 229/32, 229/41 B, 229/DlG. l3, 229/4l A  Int. Cl 865d 5/36  Field of Search 229/DlG. 13,32,41 R,4l B, 30, 31 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,271,962 2/1942 Weiner 229/32 X 2,536,639 l/l95l Guyer 2,943,780 7/l960 Bolding Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney-Allan M. Shapiro 229/30 UX 229/41 B X ABSTRACT: The food holder is made of paperboard stock and has front and back panels which are interconnected by ac cordion-folding ends and bottom. The open top of the holder is for the insertion of a food product, such as a hamburger or a piece of pizza. The accordion-folding ends are infolded when the holder is in its collapsed position, while the accordionfolded bottom is outfolded in such circumstances. In the open, food-holding position, the ends and bottom are slightly outfolded. In this position, the food holder is locked open by overcenter action.
HANDHELD FOOD HOLDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention is directed to handheld food holders, particularly made of paperboard stock, and thus is related to the field of paperboard cartons and boxes.
2. Description of the Prior Art At the very beginning of the carton-making industry, it was determined that empty packaging materials could not be economically shipped any great distance from the point of manufacture of the cartons to the point of filling thereof. Accordingly, in the paperboard carton field, even the earliest cartons were shipped either in a folded condition or in a nested relationship. The nesting of empty cartons is a special field because the cartons must be particularly configured for nesting. Since this configuration usually requires a fairly open taper in the carton, and such is often inconsistent with the manner in which goods are ultimately packed in the carton, nesting is a special circumstance not often employed.
On the other hand, the shipment of cartons in a collapsed condition is the more usual mode. In these circumstances, the top and bottom flaps of the rectangular carton are left open and the box is parallelogramically folded along its corner fold lines. Upon arrival at the point of filling, the box is parallelogramically unfolded, the bottom flaps are turned in, and adhesive, staples or tape is applied to hold the bottom flaps in their carton-unfolded position. After the carton is filled, the top flaps are folded across and secured, when such flaps are provided.
Occasionally, especially where considerable strength is not required, and in the case of some open-top cartons, the sides are folded down against the bottom and, when erected normal to the carton bottom, the positioning of goods therein holds the sides upward. This construction is usually employed where greater strength is not required.
However, in the case of handheld food holders, neither of the foregoing general constructions is entirely satisfactory for reasons of relatively high cost of construction, lack of ease and speed of assembly, necessity for skills in assembly by personnel who primarily are food handlers, not carton assemblers, inadequacy of food-holding functions, and tendency for the container to collapse in an undesirable manner when subjected to normal article-holding force by the intermediate'user, i.e., the food handler, prior to insertion of the food.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to aid in the understanding of this invention, it can be stated in essentially summary form that it is directed to a handheld food holder having front and back panels which are joined by accordion-folding end and bottom sections. The end and bottom sections are interconnected by corner tabs so that the end and bottom flaps cooperatively fold. The end and bottom sections are accordion-folding, with the bottom sections folded outward and the end sections folded inward in the food holder closed condition but with all the sections folded outward in the food holder open condition. The corner tabs interrelate the sections in this latter condition to lock the food holder in its open condition.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a handheld food holder which is capable of being shipped in a closed position, and being easily opened to an open condition wherein it can retain food therein. It is another object to provide an economic food holder which can be employed to retain such foods as hamburgers and pieces of pizza for transfer at time of sale, and for the buyer to hold the good during eating. It is a further object to provide a food holder which has accordion-folding sections on the ends and bottom which interconnect front and back panels so that the food holder can be readily expanded from the collapsed to the open position. It is still another object to provide a handheld food holder made of paperboard stock and arranged so that it can be held in the hand so that the handheld food holder can be economically employed for sanitary handling of food articles.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth in particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the handheld food holder of this invention, showing it in its open position with a food article therein.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the handheld food holder of this invention, showing it in its closed condition.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, showing the food holder in a partially opened intermediate condition.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2, showing the food holder in its fully opened condition.
FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a vertical section taken generally along line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of a paperboard blank from which the handheld food holder of this invention is made, on reduced scale as compared to FIGS. 2 through 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The handheld good holder of this invention is generally indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1, 4 and 6. It has front and back panels 12 and 14, left and right ends 16 and 18, bottom 20 and open top 22. The front and back panels are identical and are identified by that language strictly for convenience as the food holder I0 can be oriented in any position with respect to the user. Similarly, the left and right ends are symmetrically identical so that either end may be held to the right of the user. Open top 22, as defined by the panels and ends is of sufficient size to hold a food article, such as the one indicated at 24. The hamburger type of food article indicated at 24 is exemplary, and the food holder 10 is of such dimensions as to be particularly useful in holding a hamburger. However, it is clear from the following description that the particular dimensions and size relationships of the various parts of the present food holder 10 are merely exemplary, and different relative dimensions can be employed so that it is useful in holding other typesand sizes of food articles.
As is seen in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7, front and back panels 12 and 14 have upstanding flanges 26 and 28 integrally formed therewith and defined by score lines 30 and 32 respectively. Flanges 26 and 28 are illustrated as being of such relative dimensions as to suitably retain and engage upon a food article 24 in the nature of a hamburger. The flanges 26 and 28 can be configured and, thus, be of suitable dimension for any food article for which the food holder 10 is dimensioned and configured, as well as having an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Referring principally to the blank of FIG. 7, the bottom 20 of the handheld food holder is comprised of bottom sections 34 and 36 which are respectively joined to back 14, to each other and to front 12 along fold lines 38, 40 and 42. These fold lines are parallel to each other and define the upright direction along the front and back panels 12 and 14 as being substantially normal to these fold lines. The handheld food holder is folded along these lines with fold line 40 at the juncture of the bottom sections extending downwards, so that the front and back panels are substantially parallel, as indicated in FIG. 6.
The left end is formed of left end sections 44 and 46 which are respectively integrally formed with back panel 14 and front panel 12. The end sections are respectively joined thereto at fold lines 48 and 50. Glue tab 52 is joined to left end section 44 along fold line 54 so that the glue tab 52 can overlap and be glued to left end section 46, as is illustrated particularly in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. Corner tab 56 is joined to both bottom section 34 and left end section 44 along the indicated fold lines and carries its own diagonal fold line 58. Similarly,
corner tab 60 is connected to left end section 46 and bottom section 36 along appropriate fold lines, and carries its own diagonal fold line 62. The fold lines 58 and 62 are folded inward between the front and back panels as the side sections and bottom sections are folded towards the perpendicular direction with respect to the general plane of the front and back panels. Corner tab 60 has a nose 64 which is positioned to extend over the corner tab 56 so as to close the slot between the corner tabs.
Similarly, the right end 18 is formed of right end sections 66 and 68 which are secured together by glue tab 70. Corner tabs 72' and 74 are infolded along their diagonal fold lines, the corner tab 74 having a nose which extends across the opening between the corner tabs, as illustrated. The right and left ends are symmetrically identical and have the same fold lines and overlap features.
There are two significant and critical features of the layout and configuration of the food holder which make it particularly useful and suitable for the task. The first critical feature is the fact that the dimension between fold lines 38 and 40, and 40 and 42, which is the lateral width of the bottom sections 34 and 36, is larger than the dimension of the end section 44, and the end section 46. In other words, the bottom is farther across than the ends when the total across the sections dimensions are added. For example, in a handheld food holder of a suitable size for containment of a hamburger, the dimension across the bottom section is preferably fifteen-sixteenths inch across each bottom section. In the same food holder, the distance across each of the end sections is seven-eighths inch This means that when the end sections are positioned so that the end sections lie in a single end plane, the bottom still extends slightly downwardly, as is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. With this configuration, the ends can be swung outwards past an over-the-center position to a point where they are locked with the food holder in the open position. This position is illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6. In this case, the bottom is still extending somewhat downwardly to exert a closing force, while the ends are swung slightly outward past their planar position to counter the closing force of the bottom. Furthermore, the closing force of the bottom holds the ends in the folded, outward position illustrated in FIG. 4.
The second critical part of the arrangement and design is the fact that the fold lines between the end sections and the front and back panels, such as fold lines 48 and 50 and their corresponding fold lines on the right end, are not normal to the bottom section fold lines 38 and 42. The fold lines 48 and 50 lie at a slightly obtuse outwardly directed angle with respect to the bottom fold'lines. This angle, coupled with the fact that the corner tabs are integrally formed with both the bottom sections and end sections, causes the diagonally folded edges of the corner tabs, such as along diagonal fold lines 58 and 62, to interfere with the bottom sections 34 and 36 when the handheld food holder is almost completely open. Thus, the comer tabs extend slightly downward and in engagement with the bottom sections to lock the handheld food holder open, even when the end sections are positioned slightly inward from the planar position. It is this latter lock-open feature which is important to the intermediate user, i.e., the food handler, as he can open the food holder from the closed position of FIG. 2 simply by grasping either the front or back panel and thrusting down so that the fold line 40 strikes a table or counter surface. This causes spreading of the front and back panels and, when the end sections reach almost the planar position, the corner tabs engage the bottom to lock the food holder in the open position. At this point, the food handler manually engages the end the planar position to the overcenter position illustrated in FIG. 4.
In this position, the front and back panels are locked apart so the food handler can grasp the food holder by grasping around it. Thus, he can handle the food holder with one hand and insert the food item, such as a hamburger, with the other. Upon insertion of a food item of the type for which the holder sections and thrusts them out, past.
is intended, the food item strikes the noses 64 and 74 and thrusts them down. This in turn causes the end sections to swing inward from the outer, locked position of FIG. 4 to a position where the front and back panels engage upon the food item. By this means, the food item is grasped by the food handler and the consumer by squeezing on the front and back panels.
These features, plus the fact that the food holder can be stamped from a single blank, as illustrated in FIG. 7, and assembled with a minimum of gluing, make the food holder an economic and highly desirable structure for employment in the handling and using of food stuffs.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects, and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A handheld food holder, said holder having a front panel and a back panel, a left end, a right end and a bottom interconnecting said panels and said ends to form a receptacle;
said bottom comprising bottom sections attached to each other and to said panels along substantially parallel fold lines;
said ends each comprising two end sections attached to each other and to said panels along substantially parallel fold lines;
the distance between said fold lines defining said bottom sections being greater in a direction normal to said fold lines than the distance between said fold lines defining said end sections in a direction normal to said end section fold lines.
2. The holder of claim 1 wherein said ends formed by said end sections are foldable on said fold lines inwardly between said front and back panels and said bottom formed by said bottom sections being foldable along said fold lines in a direction away from said panels so that said food holder can be reversibly compressed to a point wherein said front and back panels substantially contact each other.
3. The holder of claim 2 wherein said holder can be moved to an open position wherein said end sections and said bottom sections are positioned away from between said front panel and said back panel so that said food holder is in a lockedopen position.
4. The holder of claim 3 wherein corner tabs are positioned between said bottom sections and said end sections, with each corner tab being integrally formed with adjacent bottom sections and end sections, each of said corner tabs having a diagonal fold line, said corner tabs lying against said bottom sections in both the folded and open positions of said holder.
5. The holder of claim 4 wherein one of said corner tabs has a nose therein, said nose bridging across adjacent corner tabs to substantially cover an opening therebetween.
6. The holder of claim 3 wherein the fold lines between said end sections and said bottom sections with the same panel are at an obtuse angle so that the open end of said holder is wider across the top than across the bottom of said panel parallel to said fold lines between said panel and said bottom section.
7. The holder of claim 6 wherein corner tabs are positioned between said bottom sections and said end sections, with each comer tab being integrally formed with adjacent bottom sections and end sections, each of said corner tabs having a diagonal fold line, said corner tabs lying against said bottom sections in both the folded and open positions of said holder.
8. The holder of claim 7 wherein one of said corner tabs has a nose therein, said nose bridging across adjacent corner tabs to substantially cover the opening therebetween.
9. The holder of claim I wherein comer tabs are integrally formed between said end sections and adjacent of said bottom sections, each of said corner tabs having a diagonal fold line and being folded along said diagonal fold line so that said said bottom sections when said holder is in its substantially comer tab lies against its adjacent bottom section when said holder is folded and when said folder is open.
10. The holder of claim 9 wherein said corner tabs are so dimensioned andso folded that said e g er tabs interfere with imp m open position thereof.