US 3640420 A
The cover of a portable, thermally insulated container consists of two identical parts which dovetail together and engage the container to seal it shut. Each cover part is pivoted at its ends to the container to swing outwardly away from each other to give full access to the container. A carrying handle also consists of two identical parts, each pivotally mounted upon a cover half to draw and lock these parts together when the two handle members are drawn together to form the handle.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [151 3,640,420 Carter et al. [451 Feb. 8, 1972  COOLER CHEST 3,029,855 4/1962 Telford... 19o/4s x [721 Inventors; wiuiam ucar-1er; charles Jay slaybaugh, gggg 3x32?, .23521; 1031; of llanfdTex-i Pafck M- Hodns 3,432,025 3/1969 Luhe... ..206/4 0 en e a 3,459,327 8/1969 Harris.. 20e/16 R x  Assignee: gvard Kelley Corporatlon, Houston, FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Filed: M 19,1969 153,181 11/1920 Greatfitain 19o/55 R  Appl. No.; 886,545
 U.S. Cl ..220/9 R, 190/48, 190/55 A, 206/4, 206/16 R, 220/29 [5l] Int. Cl B65d 25/18  Field 0f Search ..220/9 R, 9 F, 29, 31 S; 206/4, 206/16 R; 190/48, 55 R  Rellerences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 517,182 3/1894 Willringhaus ..190/48 1,779,159 10/1930 2,411,946 12/1946 2,675,457 4/1954 Primary Examiner- Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-JamesR. Garrett Attorney-Lee R. Larkin, Paul E. Harris and Marcus L.
Thompson  ABSTRACT The cover of a portable, thermally insulated container consists of two identical parts which dovetail together and engage the container to seal it shut. Each cover part is pivoted at its ends to the container to swing outwardly away from each other to give full access to the container. A carrying handle also consists of two identical parts, each pivotally mounted upon a cover half to draw and lock these parts together when the two handle members are drawn together to form the handle.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures COOLER CHEST BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A wide variety of types and forms of thermally insulated chests for keeping food or beverages hot or cold, as the case may be, have been devised and marketed. All have a container base with thermally insulating walls and a cover or lid. While some eo of the covers are designed to interlock with the base container, most are completely removable. Covers which are permanently attached to the container are preferable because the danger of loss is eliminated. Also, the thermal efficiency of the chest is maximized by covers which are capable of substantially sealing the chest, not in a hermetic sense, but sufciently to prevent the passage of an appreciable amount of air into or out from the container. Desirably, the chest should be capable of being opened for substantially unobstructed access to the interior of the base container and, when closed, dependably locked against accidental, partial or complete openmg.
The object of this invention is to provide a cooler chest which embodies these desirable features. A further and very important object is to provide such a chest constructed of plastic materials and so designed that cooperating parts of the cover and handle-latch are respectively identical whereby great savings in the cost of producing the parts may be effected.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. l is an end view of a closed cooler chest embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at the line 3--3 of FIG. 2 and showing in dot-dash lines the positions of the two cover parts when open;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top view, partly in section, showing the handle-latch in open position and the cover parts slightly apart;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top view like FIG. 5 but showing the cover in closed and latched position; and
FIG. 7 is a detail view, in cross section, taken at the line 7 7 of FIG. l.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The following disclosure is offered for public dissemination in return for the grant of a patent. Although it is detailed to ensure adequacy and aid understanding, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in form or additions or further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward this purpose, as it is these that meet the requirement of pointing out the parts, improvements, or cornbinations in which the inventive concepts are found.
The cooler chest of the invention comprises a base container l of thermally insulating construction, cover halves 2 and 3 and handle-latch parts 4 and 5. As will be seen as this description proceeds, although cover halves 2 and 3 mate with each other to provide a sealing cover and normally would relate to each other as a left hand part and a right hand part, they are identical and may, therefore, be made in the same mold. Similarly, handle-latch parts 4 and 5, which cooperate with each other to form a single handle and latch the two halves of the cover together, are identical in form. Thus, although the cover of the cooler is an assembly of four parts, only two molds are necessary to produce them.
The base container l may be constructed in various ways and in various shapes. In the chest shown by way of example, it is rectangular in horizontal section, having endwalls 6 and sidewalls 7 which, while actually tapering in somewhat from top to bottom, may be regarded as substantially vertical. The space 8 between a relatively heavy and strong outer sheath 9 and inner liner l0 is filled with thermal insulating material. For purposes that will be explained hereinafter, bosses ll (FIG. 4) are provided at the upper portions of each of end walls 6. A sealing flange l2 extends entirely around the base container near its open top.
The cover of the chest may be generally cylindrical or, as shown, mansardlike to provide, when closed, an almost horizontal top portion with steeply sloping sides which terminate with intumed ilanges I4 (FIG. 3). A tongue-andgroove joint l5 is provided to establish a seal at the juncture of the cover halves when the chest is closed. Instead, however, of providing a tongue throughout the length of the juncture edge of one cover half and a groove throughout the juncture edge of the other half, a tongue 16 (FIG. 4) extends from midway between the ends of the coverhalfto one end of this edge and a tongue 17 extends from the midpoint end of the tongue to the other end of the cover half edge. It will be understood that with this arrangement the tongues and grooves of the two cover halves will mesh in forming the tongue-and-groove joint although the two halves are identical to each other.
The middle portions 18 of the endwalls 19 of the cover ex tend downwardly a substantial distance below the top of the base container 6. Short, inwardly extending pivot pins 20, which may be integral with the cover halves, are provided at these lowerrnost locations of the cover halves. As is best seen in FIGS. 4 and 7, these pins extend into holes provided in bosses 1l to pivotally support the cover halves upon the base container. Desirably, the ends 2l of the pins are enlarged to retain them after they are snapped into the holes in assembling the chest. This pivot mounting of the cover halves permits them to swing open to the positions indicated in dot-dash lines in FIG. 3.
The handle for carrying the chest consists of two parts which also serve as handles for a latch for first drawing the two cover halves sealingly together and then locking them in closed cover position. Each handle-latch part 4, 5 is provided with mounting pivot pins 22 (FIGS. 4, 5) which extend into wells 23 in bosses 24 which are affixed to, or are an integral part of, the cover halves 2 and 3.
One of the two mounting bosses 24 on each cover half also serves as the stop portion of a latch arrangement. A latch reach 25 is affixed to, or formed as an integral part of, each handle part 4, 5. As is best seen in FIG. 3, reach 25 extends from handle part 4 across handle part 5 and then turns down to engage boss 24. The inside of end portion 26 is preferably curved somewhat, as shown, and the upper part of boss 24 is also curved so that as the handle part 4 is lifted to closed latch position, a camming action at the engaging surfaces of boss 24 and downtumed portion 26 of the reach serves to draw the two cover halves tightly together. While the movement of only one of the two handle parts to carrying position serves to lock the cover in closed position, the use of the two parts to form a single handle doubles the carrying capacity, the strength of the carruning action of the latching mechanism and the security of the latch in locked position` Also, each handle part serves as a handle to close the cover and, when pivoted away from each other to disengage the latch, the handle parts serve as handles to control the movement of the cover halves in opening the chest.
As is indicated in FIG. 3, the cover halves, when released, swing apart and downwardly until the edges of their sides engage the sidewalls 7 of the chest base container l. The freedom of the cover halves to so swing open to completely uncover the base container results from the location of the pivots 20 at a substantial distance below the top of the base container. With the pins 20 as the center of rotation, the lower portion of the sides of the cover halves move outwardly away from the base container before again approaching and eventually stopping with engagement with the container. With this arrangement and design of the cover halves, a substantial volume of head room is provided above the base container to accommodate bottles or other articles that may project somewhat above the top of the container.
When the cover of the chest is closed, it is substantially sealed by engagement of the cover with the underside of flange l2. Such engagement is provided along the side edges of the cover halves by integral intumed flanges 14. These sealing surfaces are continued around the ends of the base container by the provision of shoulders 27 (FIG. 4) which are integrally formed with the end portions of the cover halves.
The cooler chest thus described is a very sturdy structure and one which is very convenient to use. Even more important, it can be manufactured at extraordinarily low cost by reason of the integrated design which permits the use of the same cover half for both sides of the cover and the same handle parts for both parts of the handle-latch so that only a single mold is necessary for each of these two plastic parts.- Cost is further minimized by providing pivot pins and latch parts as integral parts of the plastic members with which they are associated. There are no small components which must be subassembled and the final assembly of the chest consists simply in springing the handle parts sufficiently to slip into their supporting bosses and then springing the cover halves sufficiently to insert their supporting pivot pins into the holes provided in the base container. The net result is a very useful portable cooler chest at very low cost.
l. A cooler chest comprising an open-topped base container of thermally insulating construction, each end of said container having an outer sheath and having a pair of holes through said sheath at locations spaced below the top of said container, a cover comprising two cover halves formed of plastic material, each of said cover halves having end walls and a top wall and sidewall extending therebetween, said end walls having integral pivot pins inwardly extending from the extremities thereof, each of said pivot pins projecting through said sheath and into one of said holes, each of said pivot pins being provided with a head of such a size that said pin must be manually forced through its hole, whereby said cover halves can be swung upwardly and inwardly about said pivot points to form a closed cover or outwardly and downwardly to uncover said container, said heads on said pins serving as stops to prevent accidental withdrawal of said pins from said holes,
handle means aixed to said cover for lifting said chest, and latch means for locking said two cover halves together in the closed position.
2. A cooler chest comprising an open-topped base container of thermally insulating construction, a cover comprising two cover halves, means for pivotally mounting each said cover half upon said base container at opposite ends thereof and at locations spaced below the top of said container whereby said halves can be swung upwardly and inwardly about the pivot mountings to form a closed cover or outwardly and downwardly to uncover the container, a pair of spaced handlemounting bosses arranged on each cover half at the abutting edges thereof, a handle part pivotally mounted in each pair of bosses, and a latch reach attached to an arm of at least one of said handle parts, said reach being substantially L-shaped to extend over and down along the far side of the boss of the adjoining cover half whereby to lock the cover halves together when the handle part is upright and to unlock the cover halves when the handle is swung outwardly and downwardly to disengage the latch reach and associated boss.
3. A cooler chest in accordance with claim 2 wherein each handle part has intumed pivot pins for pivotally mounting said part in the bosses and the latch reach is attached to the inside of an arm of at least one of said handle parts whereby to engage one of the bosses to which the other handle part is pivoted.
4. A cooler chest in accordance with claim 2 wherein the far side of the bos engaged by the latch reach is curved in such a way that the two cover halves are drawn together by camming interaction of said reach and said boss as the handle part to which the reach is attached is pivoted upwardly and inwardly to locking position.
5. A cooler chest rn accordance with claim 2 wherein the handle part is composed of a plastic material and the latch reach is an integral part thereof.
6. A cooler chest in accordance with claim 5 wherein each of the two handle parts is provided with a latch reach, the reaches being arranged at opposite ends of the collective handle whereby to lock the two cover halves together at both sets of adjoining bosses.
U. s. PATENT ONICE UNlTED STATES PME'NT OFFICE CERTIFICATEOF CORRECTION Patent No. 2 a
3 6110 LL20 Dated Egg, 8, 1972 It is certified that error appears in the aboveidentfied patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
William R. Carter Column l, lino 8, after' "some" omit eo Column 3, line 37, after "through its" insert -pivot Column 3, line 38, change "pvot points" to read Signed and sealed this 13th day of June 1972.
EDWARDOM.FLETCI1ER,JR. ROBERT GOITSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents