|Publication number||US3625386 A|
|Publication date||Dec 7, 1971|
|Filing date||Nov 25, 1969|
|Priority date||Nov 25, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3625386 A, US 3625386A, US-A-3625386, US3625386 A, US3625386A|
|Inventors||Schaefer Edward E|
|Original Assignee||Res & Safety Devices Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (35), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Inventor Edward E. Schaefer Lake Forest, Ill. ] Appl. No. 879,718  Filed Nov. 25, 1969  Patented Dec. 7, 1971  Assignee Research and Safety Devices Corporation  SAFETY CONTAINER ASSEMBLY 14 Claims, 20 Drawing Figs.  U.S. Cl. 215/9, 2 l 5/46, 215/55  Int. Cl A6lj 1/00, B65d 55/02  Field otSearch 2|5/9, 55, 46
 References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS 53,479 1967 Germany 2 l 5/55 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-Hibben, Noyes & Bicknell ABSTRACT: A safety container assembly having a specially constructed closure member for the container opening comprising an extension means which projects laterally beyond the edge of the container and closure member for applying an upwardly axial force to the closure member to effect removal of the closure member, with the extension means being displaceable and adapted to be removed from the closure member or enclosed within the periphery of the container to increase the difiiculty of removing the closure member from the container opening. A groove or recess is also provided in the upper end wall of the container which is adapted to enclose the lower end of the closure member where it is desired to further increase the difficulty of removing the closure member from the container opening.
PATENTED DEC 7 l97| V 3.625.386 SHEET 2 BF 2 lfivgntor Edward E. schaefer 33%,? &@M
fl-Horneg-s SAFETY CONTAINER ASSEMBLY The present invention relates generally to containers and more specifically to containers having closures which are difficult for young children to open and gain access to the interior thereof.
Heretofore, numerous container structures with specially designed closures have been described for use as containers of medicines, poisons, corrosive and irritating household materials and like solids or liquids which are harmful to children and others not familiar with the nature of the contents of the containers. Because of the complexity of many of these structures and the increased manufacturing costs involved in their production or the limited protection afforded, few such container structures have been used commercially, and there is a continuing need for an improved inexpensive container having a safety closure.
Itis therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved container with safety closure which can be produced economically and which is difficult for young children to open.
Other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the detailed description and claims to follow when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a reduced, fragmentary side elevational view of one form of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an opener key adapted for use with the form of invention shown in FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 5 is a reduced, fragmentary side elevational view of a modified form of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an opener key adapted for use with the form of invention shown in FIGS. 5-7;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of a further modified form of the present invention;
FIG. I0 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line I0-10 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an opener key adapted for use with the form of invention used in FIGS. 9-10;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a still further modified form of the present invention;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line l3 13 of FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 14 14 of FIG. 12 in an alternate position of adjustment;
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of another modified form of the invention;
FIG. 16 is a top plan view of still another modified form of the invention;
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line I7 17 of FIG. 16;
FIG. 18 is a fragmentary front elevational view taken along the line 18-18 of FIG. 16;
FIG. 19 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 16 in an alternate position of adjustment; and
FIG. 20 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 20-20 of FIG. 19.
A preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a container with safety closure, wherein the container having an opening at only one end has in an upper end wall surface defining the opening thereof an axially extending groove which is adapted to receive and completely enclose the lower end surface of a specially designed closure or cap member adapted to coact with the specially designed groove of the container. The sidewall portion of the specially designed closure member which extends above the upper edge of the groove is preferably short and extends inwardly toward the generally flat upper surface so that there is no exposed lateral surface which can be readily grasped by either a child's hand or by an implement operated by a child to effect removal of the closure from the container. Thus, in the preferred embodiment when the closure is mounted on the container with the depending wall section frictionally and preferably sealably engaging the upper end of the container and having the lower end of the closure enclosed within the groove formed in the upper end wall surface of the container, the closure cannot be readily removed by a child inserting a knife blade or similar tool under an exposed edge of the cap and prying the cap upwardly or by gripping the walls of the cap. In order to effect conveniently removing the closure or cap member from the container without providing a surface which a young child could use to effect removal of the closure, one or more surfaces are formed on the outer wall of the cap which can be used by an adult to remove the closure from the container by applying an upwardly axial force.
In a preferred embodiment of a closure member extension means comprising a groove formed in the upper surface of the closure, and, a removable lever or key member which forms a locking engagement with said groove and which facilitates applying an upwardly axial force to effect removing the closure from the container. The groove which is formed in the upper surface of the closure is such that any implement readily available to a young child cannot be inserted into the groove or if inserted the groove does not permit sufiicient axial force being applied to effect removal of the closure from the container.
In the drawing, FIGS. 1-3 show a container 10 having a generally cylindrical shape, but which can be of any desired shape and formed of any suitable material, such as glass, plastic or metal. The upper end wall 11 of the container 10 defines an opening extending into the interior of the container and is provided with a cylindrical groove 12 which surrounds the opening. The container wall sections l3, 14 forming the groove 12 extend axially and are spaced sufficiently to permit the groove 12 to receive and completely enclose a lower end section of a closure member 20.
The closure member 20 of the container 10 is preferably formed of plastic, but can be formed of any suitable material, which is preferably semiresilient and yet sufficiently rigid to be form-retaining. In FIGS. 1-3 the closure number 20 has a depending cylindrical lower end wall section 21 which is adapted to be fully seated within the groove 12 and form a secure frictional engagement and preferably sealing engagement with a surface of at least one of the container wall sections l3, 14, so that the closure member 20 cannot be removed from the container 10 without applying considerable force in an upwardly axial direction. The lateral surface 23 of the closure member 20 which extends above the upper end of the groove 12 slopes or tapers inwardly at an angle of about 45 or more so that it is difficult to grip the lateral surface 23 to effect removal of the closure 20 from the container 10. If desired, however, the lateral surface can have a slight convex curvature without, however, providing any gripping Surface. The length of the inwardly tapered surface 23 is kept to a minimum to limit the amount of exposed lateral surface.
The upper surface 24 of the closure member 20 is preferably planar, although a slight convex curvature can be provided. The upper surface 24 of the closure 20 has formed therein two spaced grooves 26, 27 on opposite sides of a diameter line with the upper edges parallel and extending partially across the closure member 20. The grooves 26, 27, are inclined downwardly and inwardly toward the longitudinal axis of the container 10 and the closure member 20 mounted thereon. The depth of the grooves 26, 27 and the angle of inclination which the sides of the grooves 26, 27, form with the longitudinal axis are kept to a minimum (i.e., about 15) in order to avoid providing a surface which a child could use to pry the closure member 20 from the container 10. A rigid key member 30 having depending lateral sections 31, 32, is provided to engage in the grooves 26, 27, by insertion from the side. The outer end 35 of the key 30 extends laterally beyond the periphery of the closure member 20 to facilitate applying thereto a vertical axial force which effects removal of the closure member 20 from the container 10.
In FIGS. -8 of the drawing a slightly modified form of the invention of FIGS. 1-3 is shown, wherein the container 40 has a groove 42 formed in the upper wall 41 thereof as in FIGS. 1-3. The groove 42 is adapted to receive the lower end wall section 51 of a closure member 50. The lateral surface 53 of the closure member 50, like surface 23 in FIGS. 1-3, is inclined inwardly, and the upper surface 54 is preferably planar, as in the closure 20 of FIGS. 1-3. Closure member 50 as provided in the upper surface 54 thereof spaced parallel grooves 55, 56 extending across the upper surface, and the inner lateral wall of each groove is inclined inwardly toward the longitudinal axis of the closure member 50 and container 40 so that the lower portion of each groove 55, 56 is wider than the upper portion thereof. The grooves 55, 56 are adapted to receive a key member 57, shown in FIG. 8, having parallel spaced prongs 58, 59 adapted to be inserted in the grooves 55, 56 and engage the opposite lateral wall surfaces of the grooves 55, S6 to form a locking engagement therein. The outer end of the key member 57 is adapted to extend beyond the edge of the closure member 50 and container 40 when the key 57 is operatively engaged in the grooves 55, 56. The key 57 can be removed from the grooves 55, 56 to prevent a young child from opening the container. It is difficult for a young child to insert a knife or other implement beneath the lower edge of the container closure inside the groove 42 or in the shallow grooves 55, 56 and exert sufficient leverage on the closure member 50 to effect removal of the closure member 50 from the container 40.
In FIGS. 9-11 of the drawing showing a further modified form of the invention, the container 60 has a structure similar to that of the container of FIGS. 1-3. Thus, a groove 64 is formed in the upper end wall 63 thereof, and the groove 64 is adapted to receive the lower end section 71 of a molded closure member 70 with the lower end section 71 of the closure 70 adapted to being completely enclosed within the groove 64. The lateral surface 73 of the closure member 70 is inclined inwardly and has a plane upper wall 74, as with the closure member 20 of FIGS. 1-3. The closure member 70 differs from the closure 20 of FIGS. 1-3, however, by having formed in the upper surface thereof a groove 75 comprising a generally concave, semicylindrical passage having its upper concave surface partially exposed and its lower or inner surface defined by a concave semispherical portion 76 formed along a diameter line extending transversely in the upper exposed surface of the closure member 70. The groove 75 is adapted to receive a key 78 which forms a locking engagement in the groove 75. The key 78 has a length such that it can, if desired, be contained completely between the ends of the groove 75 when not slidably moved so that one end thereof extends laterally beyond the periphery of the container when it is desired to remove the closure 70 from the container 60. An upwardly axial pressure can be applied to the lower surface of the key 78 when in extended position to effect removal of the closure member 70 from the container 60. The key 78 can be completely removed from the groove 75, if desired. When it is desired to have the key 78 enclosed completely within the ends of the groove 75 when not in use, the key can be made to conform with the contour and appearance of the upper surface 74 so the presence of the key will not be apparent to a young child, and the child will not be likely to discover the presence of the key 78 in the closure member 70. Thus, in the latter form of the invention, the key can be left in the groove when not in use without providing a child with an obvious means of opening the container. Also, by making the key 78 fit snugly within the groove 75, a child will not have the dexterity to move the key transversely within the groove 75, even if the presence of the key 78 is discovered.
In the modified form of the invention shown in FIGS. 12-14, a container 80 has sealably secured to the upper end thereof a molded plastic section forming the upper end wall 81 of the container 80. A preferably circular axial opening 83 is formed in the end wall 81 providing access to the interior of the container 80. A groove 85 is formed in the end wall 81 about the opening 83 with the groove 85 adapted to receive therein a cylindrical lower end wall section 91 of a cap member 90. The lower end wall section 91 is sealably enclosed within the groove 85. The cap member is secured to the end wall 81 by means of a narrow flexible strip 88 or other hinge means which enables the cap member 90 being moved out of sealing engagement with the end wall 81 without being completely separated from the end wall 81. As in the preceding embodiments of the invention, the cap member 90 has the lateral wall 92 thereof tapered inwardly sufficiently to make it difficult to grasp and also has spaced grooves or slots formed in the plane upper surface thereof to receive a key member, of the type shown in FIGS. 1-4, in order to facilitate removing the cap member 90 when desired. It will be evident that the embodiment shown in FIGS. 12-14, like the embodiments in FIGS. 1-11, also has the lower end of the wall section 91 enclosed in the groove 85 in order to make it difficult for a young child to remove the cap by inserting a knife blade below the cap and prying upwardly.
As a further deterent to a young child removing the cap member 90 by inserting a knife blade beneath the hinge means comprising a flexible strip 88 connecting the cap member 90 to the end section 81, the end wall 81 has the wall portions 93, 94 adjacent the edges of the flexible strip 88 extend axially upwardly substantially to the same height as the outer surface of the flexible strip 88 when the end wall section 91 of the cap member 90 is seated in groove 85, as best shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. A young child would thus have difficulty in finding where to insert a knife blade or other utensil below the flexible strip to pry the cap member from the groove 85.
In the further embodiment of the broad invention shown in FIG. 15, the container body 95 has a conventional upper cylindrical end wall section 96 defining an axial opening and has a closure member 97 frictionally mounted on the end wall section 96 to form a firm engagement therewith. Spaced grooves 98, 99 are formed in the upper surface of the closure member 97. The grooves 98, 99 have the configuration and function specified for the grooves 26, 27 shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 of the drawing; whereby the closure member 97 can be removed from the container 95 by inserting a removable means, such as the key 30 disclosed in FIG. 4 of the drawing, with which an upwardly axial force can be applied to the closure member 95. It should be understood, of course, that any of the groove key structures shown in FIGS. 1-14 or equivalent means can be used in connection with the container 95 and closure member 97 of FIG. 15.
In the improved structures of FIGS. 16-20, the container 100, which is shown formed of glass but which can be of any suitable material, has a neck portion 101 defining a cylindrical discharge opening 102. The container has provided in the upper end wall 103 thereof a preferably cylindrical groove 104 which is preferably rectangular in cross section and which is formed by the spaced axially extending parallel wall sections 105 and 106. The groove 104 preferably has along the entire length of the inner lower surface 107 thereof an enlarged portion in the form of a narrow preferably rectangular-shaped axially extending recess 108. A closure member 110 coacts with the neck portion 102 to close the opening 102 of the container 100 with the depending skirt section 111 of the closure member 110 preferably having its inner cylindrical surface 112 forming a sealing engagement with the outer cylindrical surface of the wall section 106 which can, if desired, extend axially upwardly a greater distance than the outer wall 105. The lower edges of the cylindrical skirt section 111 is preferably adapted to be enclosed in the recess 108, as shown in 11a. The closure member 110 has provided on the outer surface of the cylindrical skirt section 111 an enlarged diameter portion or extension section which projects laterally slightly beyond the normal circumference of the skirt section 111. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the enlarged diameter portion is spaced upwardly from the lower edge thereof and is in the form of a laterally extending tab portion 113 to permit the end section 111a being enclosed by the recess 108. The tab portion 113 is adapted to be retained or enclosed within the groove 104 when the closure member 110 is in the position of adjustment shown in FIGS. 16-18 and has the lower surface thereof in contact with the surface 107 of the groove 104 when the closure member 110 is operatively maintained on the neck portion 101 so as to close the opening 102.
The closure member 110 is adapted to be rotatably movable within the groove 104 from the position shown in FIGS. 16 and 17 wherein the tab 1 13 is enclosed within the lateral walls forming groove 104 to the position shown in FIGS. 19 and 20.
wherein the tab 113 projects laterally through a lateral opening 115 formed in the groove 104 where one portion of the wall section 105 is removed to expose a section of the groove 104. When the closure 110 is in the position of adjustment shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 with the tab 113 extending laterally beyond the neck portion 101, an upwardly axial pressure can be applied with a finger to the lower surface 116 of the tab 113 to effect removal of the closure 110 from the groove 104 and recess 108. A rib 117 is also preferably provided on the surface 107 of groove 104 which extends inwardly about onethird the width of the groove 104 and is elevated slightly above the surface 107 over which the outer end portion of the tab 113 can ride without unseating the closure member 110. The rib 117 serves as a temporary stop which the leading and trailing edges of the tab 113 engage to prevent accidentally rotating the closure member 110 from the position of FIGS. 16-18 to the position of FIGS. l9-20.
As in the previous embodiments of the invention, the closure member 110 has the lateral surface portion 119 thereof preferably inclined inwardly sufficiently to avoid providing a lateral surface which can be gripped by a youngster to effect removal of the closure member 110 from the container 100. In order to facilitate rotatably removing the closure member 110 from a position with the tab 113 enclosed within the groove 104, as illustrated in FIGS. 16, 17 and 18 to the position with the tab 113 extending laterally beyond the surface of the neck portion 101, as shown in FIGS. 19, 20, a slot 120 is formed in the upper surface 118 of the closure member 110 which is adapted to receive therein the edge of a penny or like implement to permit readily turning the closure member 110 in the groove 104.
It will be understood that in each of the embodiments illustrating the present invention the closure member or cap can be provided on the inner lateral wall surface thereof with either a groove or ring which coacts with a complimentary ring or groove, respectively, formed in the neck portion of the container to provide a snap on" type of frictional engagement between the cap and the container.
1. A container assembly comprising; a container body section with an upper end wall section defining an opening which provides access to the interior of said container, a closure member adapted when operatively mounted on said container for closing said opening with a lower end section thereof adapted to be frictionally held on said upper end wall section against axial movement outwardly from said upper end wall section, and displaceable extension means carried on an outer surface portion of said closure member for applying an upwardly acting force to said closure member for effecting moving said closure member axially away from said upper end wall section for removing said closure member from said container opening.
2. A container assembly as in claim 1, wherein said extension means comprises a contoured upper surface of said closure member adapted to having secured thereto a key member which forms a locking engagement with said closure member while one end of said ey member extends transversely beyond the periphery of said closure member.
3. A container assembly as in claim 2, wherein said means comprises a transversely extending groove which is adapted to slidably receive therein at least an end portion of said key member.
4. A container assembly as in claim 3, wherein said key member and said groove are proportioned so that said key member is adapted to be slidably moved in said groove with the opposite ends of said key member disposed between the ends of said groove.
5. A container assembly as in claim 1, wherein said upper end wall section of said container body section has formed in an end surface thereof a groove encircling said opening, and said lower end section of said closure member adapted to have the lower end thereof enclosed within said groove when said closure member is operatively mounted on said container body section.
6. A container assembly as in claim 5, wherein said lower end section of said closure member comprising a cylindrical section is enclosed within said groove when said closure member is operatively mounted on said container body section.
7. A container assembly as in claim 5, wherein a portion of said upper end wall section of said container body section forming an outer wall of said groove is removed to form a lateral passage extending into said groove.
8. A container assembly as in claim 7, wherein said closure member is adapted to be rotated while operatively mounted on said upper end wall section and has an integrally formed enlarged diameter section extending laterally along a limited portion of the circumference of said lower end section thereof with said enlarged diameter section adapted to be enclosed within said groove in one rotatable position and adapted to extend outwardly through said lateral passage in another rotatable position.
9. A container assembly as in claim 8, wherein an upper surface portion of said closure member is provided with a transversely extending slot which facilitates rotatably moving said closure member while seated in said groove from a position with said tab section enclosed within said groove to a position with said tab section extending transversely through said lateral passage in said groove.
10. A container assembly as in claim 7, wherein said groove has an axially extending recess formed in a lower surface thereof which is adapted to enclose the lower edges of the said lower end section of the closure member when the closure member is operatively mounted on said container body section.
11. A container assembly as in claim 5, wherein said closure member has formed in an upper surface thereof a recess adapted to receive therein a removable key member which forms a locking engagement with said closure member while one end thereof extends transversely beyond the periphery of said container upper end section.
12. A container assembly as in claim 11, wherein said closure member has the lateral surface portions thereof which extend axially above said groove when said closure member is operatively mounted on said container extending inwardly toward the longitudinal axis thereof.
13. A container assembly as in claim 5, wherein said closure member has the lateral surface portions thereof which extend axially above said groove when said closure member is operatively mounted on said container extending inwardly toward the longitudinal axis thereof.
14. A container assembly as in claim 1, wherein said closure member is secured to said upper end wall section by a hinge means and said end wall is provided with means for partially enclosing said hinge means.
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|U.S. Classification||215/215, 215/302, 215/235, 215/316, 215/305|