US 3612595 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventors Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee Alfred V. Updegraff Lakewood;
Lawrence A. Beyer, Shaker Heights, both of Ohio Nov. 12, 1969 Oct. 12, 1971 The Haynes Manufacturing Company Cleveland, Ohio 3,269,530 8/1966 Wanderer 3,463,536 8/1969 Updegrafi' ABSTRACT: A container handle is punched or cut from a flat sheet of polyethylene so as to have a ring portion with a substantially oval opening therein. The oval opening has a major axis and a minor axis and the arms of a bail are integrally formed with the ring portion. The arms are connected with the ring portion in areas adjacent points where the major axis of the oval opening intersects the ring portion. The ring portion is deformable to change the oval opening into a substantially circular shape. Under this deformation, the ring portion adjacent the intersection of the major axis curves upwardly so as to slope downwardly on opposite sides of the major axis. The arms of the bail are connected with the ring portion at one of the downward sloping areas so that the bail is biased downwardly to tightly hug a jar or bottle on which the container handle is fitted.
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sum 3 [1F 3 3; ,5 mvsw'rons E ALFRED l4 UPDEGRAFF BY LAWRENCE A. BEYER ATTORNEYS CONTAINER HANDLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application pertains to the art of container handles and more particularly to flexible plastic handles which are applied to the neck of a jar or bottle. Previous handles of the flexible plastic type have been molded. With molded handles, it is possible to preform the handle bail so that it normally extends downwardly from a ring portion to closely hug the neck of a bottle. With bails which extend outwardly from a container on which the handle is used, the bail interferes with compact storage of the containers and is sometimes accidentally snagged by a person's fingers and the container is overturned. Necessary molds for making container handles with a bail which will extend downwardly and tightly hug the exterior surface of a container are very expensive and complicated to make. In addition, molding of container handles is a very expensive and time consuming operation, and expensive equipment is required for mass production.
,1. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION tainer handle is punched or cut to a unique shape so that when it is applied to the neck of a bottle or jar the handle bail will be biased downwardly to tightly hug the surface of the bottle or jar. The handle of the present invention includes a ring portion having a substantially oval opening therein. The ring portion has flat opposite faces and a width which is many times greater than its thickness. The ring portion also has an outer peripheral edge and an inner peripheral edge defined by the periphery of the oval opening. The oval opening has a minor axis and a major axis, with the major axis intersecting the ring portion at major axis intersection points. A bail having a pair of spaced-apart arms and a finger grip portion is integrally formed with the ring portion and the arms are connected with the ring portion adjacent the major axis intersection points. When originally formed, the ring portion and the bail lie in a common plane. When the handle of the present invention is applied to the neck of a bottle or jar, the ring portion is deformable so that those portions of the ring which are on opposite sides of the major axis of the oval opening will lie on the surface of a cone with their inner peripheral edges facing upwardly. Under such deformation, the ring portion curves upwardly adjacent the major axis intersection points so as to provide downward sloping portions extending from the major axis intersection points toward the conical arcuate portions. The arms of the bail are connected with the ring portion at a downward sloping area so that the downward slope is imparted to the entire bail and causes the bail to tightly hug the surface of a bottle or jar on which the handle is fitted.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a flexible plastic container handle which is economical to manufacture and simple to apply to the neck of a bottle or jar.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a container handle with a bail connected in such a manner that it will be biased downwardly against the surface of a bottle or jar on which the handle is fitted.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangements of parts, a preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof.
FIG. 1 is a plan elevational view of a container handle con- Structed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan elevational view of the handle of FIG. 1 applied to a neck of a bottle or jar;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view looking in the direction of arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a plan elevational view similar to FIG. 2 and showing the bail in a carrying position; and
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevational view looking in the direction of arrows 5-5 of FIG. 4.
I DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting same, FIG. 1 shows an integral one-piece container handle constructed in accordance with the present invention. In accordance with the invention, a flat sheet of polyethylene plastic is punched or cut to provide a single piece of plastic having the exterior peripheral shape shown in FIG. 1. In addition, this piece of plastic is punched or cut to 20 openings 12 and I4 shaped as shown in FIG. 1. With this punching or cutting, it will readily be recognized that a container handle is formed with a ring portion A and bail B. Ring portion A and bail B will lie in a common plane because they have been punched or cut from a flat sheet of plastic material. In accordance with one arrangement, the sheet of plastic from which the handle is punched or cut may be 0.06-inch thick while ring portion A has a width of around 0.50 inch.
In accordance with the invention, opening I4 is substantially oval shaped, and includes a major axis [6 and a minor axis 18. It will be recognized that the periphery of oval opening 14 defines an inner peripheral edge for ring portion A. Ring portion A also has an outer peripheral edge which is interrupted only by the points of connection between ring portion A and bail B. Major axis 16 of oval opening 14 intersects ring portion A at major axis intersecting points or lines 20 and 22. Ring portion A then has arcuate portions 24 and 26 lying on opposite sides of major axis 16.
In accordance with the preferred arrangement, bail B includes a pair of spaced-apart arms 28 and 30 which are integrally connected by a finger grip portion 32. Arms 28 and 30 of bail B are integrally formed or connected with ring portion A adjacent the major axis intersection points 20 and 22. Connecting areas as at 34 and 36 connect ring portion A with arms 30 over areas lying on the same side of major axis 16 as finger grip portion 32 of bail B. Arcuate portions 24 and 26 include arcuate inner edges 38 and 40 defined by portions of the periphery of oval opening 14. As shown in FIG. 1, arms 28 and 30 of bail B slope toward one another from their points of connection to ring portion A and finger grip portion 32 of bail B has a length which is less than the width of ring portion A across major axis 16. With this arrangement, bail B will not project outwardly from the sides of a cylindrical bottle or jar as is the case when bails are formed with substantially parallel arms.
In accordance with the invention, a conventional bottle or jar C includes a neck portion 42 having an outwardly projecting bumper roll 44 thereon. Jar C may be provided with threads 46 for receiving a cover or the like although it will be appreciated that the handle of the present invention is also usable with jars or bottles which do not have threaded covers. In accordance with the invention, the container handle is positioned above neck 42 of jar C with oval opening 14 substantially axially aligned with the top opening of jar C. Arcuate portions 24 and 26 may then be grasped adjacent the intersection of minor axis 18 therewith and pulled away from one another. This action deforms ring portion A so that oval opening 14 takes on a circular shape. Downward-pushing force on arcuate portions 24 and 26 of ring portion A will then cause ring portion A to move downwardly on neck 42 of jar C and beneath bumper roll 44. In a preferred arrangement, the periphery of oval opening 14 is substantially the same as the exterior circumference of bumper roll 44 so that ring portion tially circular shape as shown in FIG. 2, and substantially conforms to the circular shape of jar C beneath bumper roll 44. The memory of the plastic from which the handle is formed is such that arcuate portions 24 and 26 attempt to return to their flat oval shape shown in FIG. 1 so that arcuate edges 38 and 40 are constantly biased into tight engagement with surfaces of jar C beneath bumper roll 44 thereon. This very tight engagement of ring portion A with jar C prevents ready removal of the handle from jar C under normal conditions of use.
When arcuate portions 24 and 26 of ring portion A are deformed to the condition shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, those portions of ring A adjacent major axis intersecting points 20 and 22 will curve upwardly as best shown in FIG. 3. Those areas of ring portion A on opposite sides of major axis intersecting points 20 and 22 will then slope downwardly toward the outer edges of arcuated portions 24 and 26 as shown in FIG. 3. This downward slope is also imparted to connecting areas 34 and 36 between arms 28 and 30 and ring portion A. With areas 34 and 36 lying on the same side of major axis 16 as bail B, this downward slope will also be imparted to bail B. The downward slope biases bail B tightly against the outer surface of jar C as shown in FIG. 3. This strong downward bias also makes it possible for finger grip portion 32 of bail B to curve slightly in confonnance with the curvature of jar C. Therefore, finger grip portion 32 of bail B along with arms 28 and 30 tightly hug the exterior surface of jar C so that bail B does not interfere with packing or storage of a plurality of jars C closely adjacent one another, and bail B is not likely to be snagged by a persons fingers or other articles to accidentally overturn jar C.
In use, finger grip portion 32 of bail B may be grasped in a person's fingers and lifted upwardly to the shadow line position shown in FIG. 3, and to the full line position as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In this position, finger grip portion 32 extends above and across the top of ring portion A. Arms 28 and 30 are readily flexible so that they may bend under a lifting force applied to finger grip portion 32 so that bail B will move to the shadow line position shown in FIG. 3. As an important feature of the present invention, it will be noted that a lifting force applied to finger grip 32 of bail B, and movement of bail B to the shadow line position shown in FIG. 3, will operate to apply forces on connecting areas 34 and 36 which will attempt to return those areas to their flat condition of FIG. 1 from the downward sloping condition shown in FIG. 3. This action, which attempts to return connecting areas 34 and 36 to their fiat condition, also creates forces which attempt to pull arcuate portions 24 and 26 of ring portion A toward one another. Therefore, lifting action on bail B causes arcuate edges 38 and 40 of arcuate portions 24 and 26 to grip jar C beneath bumper roll 44 thereof with even greater force. When the lifting force is removed from bail B, the resilient memory characteristics of the thermoplastic polyethylene from which the handle is made will cause bail B to automatically move from the shadow line position shown in FIG. 3 back to the full line position in which it tightly hugs the exterior surface of jar C. Due to the wedging action provided by lifting forces on bail B, which cause arcuate portions 24 and 26 to be squeezed toward one another, it is possible to use the handle of the present invention on jars or bottles having bumper rolls of varying diameters. That is, it is not necessary that oval opening 14 become completely circular when applied to the neck of a jar. For example, a jar having a neck diameter sufficient to require positioning of arcuate portions 24 and 26 on the surface of a cone will still make the handle operable even though opening 14 does not become completely circular and is still somewhat oval shaped.
It will be noted that the downward bend of connecting areas 34 and 36 causes arms 28 and 30 to be deformed not only along lines radially of major axis 16, but along lines sloping with respect to minor axis 18 as well, so that arms 28 and 30 are twisted slightly. This twisting of arms 28 and 30 is in a direction which causes finger grip portion 32 to curve slightly C. In addition, this curvature of finger grip portion 32 remains even when bail B is raised to the position shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. With this desired curvature, the center of finger grip portion 32 lies more nearly in a position directly above the centerline of the neck opening in jar C even though arms 28 and 30 are connected with ring portion A on one side of major axis 16. This permits jar C to hang more nearly vertical when being carried by.a person holding finger grip portion 32 of bail B. While many different dimensions may be provided for oval opening 14, it has been found that the desired action of the container handle made in accordance with the present invention is optimum when major axis 16 is approximately one and one-half times as great as minor axis 18. That is, an oval opening 14 having a major axis 16 in the range of one and onefourth to two times as great as minor axis 18 provides a most desirable gripping action and downward bias to bail B. While an oval opening 14 having such a relationship may be elliptical, it will be recognized that shapes deviating from an ellipse may also be used as long as the desired gripping action and downward bias of the bail is achieved.
While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it is obvious that modifications and alterations will occur to others upon the reading and understanding of this specification.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A one-piece container handle formed of flexible plastic material comprising: a ring portion having a substantially oval opening therein, said ring portion having substantially flat opposite faces, an outer peripheral edge and an inner peripheral edge defined by said oval opening, said oval opening having a major axis and a minor axis, said major axis intersecting said ring portion at major axis intersection points, a handle bail formed integrally with said ring portion said bail including a pair of spaced-apart arms having first and second ends, said first ends of said arms being integrally connected with said outer peripheral edge of said ring portion at connecting points adjacent said major axis intersection points, said bail including a laterally extending finger grip portion integrally formed with said arms and interconnecting said second ends of said arms, said ring portion and said bail lying in substantially a common plane, said finger grip portion of said bail lying outside of said ring portion on one side of said major axis said connecting points between said arms and said ring portion including connecting portions lying on the same side of said major axis as said finger grip portion, said connecting portions extending over areas starting at said major axis intersection points and lying along said outer peripheral edge of said ring portion on said one side of said major axis, said ring portion being deformable out of said plane so that arcuate portions of said ring portion extending between said major axis intersection points lie on the surface of a cone with said inner peripheral edge facing upwardly and said ring portion adjacent said major axis intersection points being curved upwardly to slope downward from said major axis intersection points to said arcuate portions, said connecting portions also sloping downward toward said finger grip portion to bias said bail downwardly out of said plane to a normal static position, said arms being deformable under force to position said finger grip portion above said ring portion, said bail automatically returning to said static position when said force is removed.
2. The handle of claim 1 wherein said major axis is substantially one and one-half times said minor axis.
3. The handle of claim 1, wherein said arms slope toward one another from said connecting points and the length of said finger grip portion is less than the width of said ring portion across said major axis.