US 3642124 A
A shipper package containing straws formed from a sleeve which is loading with straws and then severed along a transverse tear line to form a pair of end caps. The caps are located opposite ends of straws and are closed at their ends. A transparent wrapper extends around the caps end straws to complete the shipper package.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Brown et al.
[ Feb. 15,1972
 SHIPPER PACKAGE FOR DRINKING STRAWS  Inventors: Robert William Brown, Burlington, On-
tario; Dorothy Wolf, Port Credit, Ontario, both of Canada  Assignee: Stone Straw Corporation of Canada Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  Filed: Mar. 9, 1970  Appl. No.: 17,711
 US. Cl. ..206/45.33, 206/56 AC, 206/65 R, 206/65 S, 229/51 DB, 229/D1G. 9  Int. Cl. ..B65d 65/16, B65d 83/02  Field of Search ..206/45.33, 45.34, 65 S, 56 AC, 206/65 R; 229/37 R, 51 DB, 4] C, 17 R  References Cited UNlT ED STATES PATENTS 3,547,259 12/1970 Dickert etal ..229/51 DB 3,101,167 8/1963 Styler ..229/4l C 3,037,620 6/1962 Douty ..206/65 S 3,127,273 3/1964 Monahan ....206/45.34
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 22,374 10/1913 Great Britain ..206/45.33
Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant ExaminerStephen Marcus Attorney-Fetherstonhaugh & C0.
 ABSTRACT A shipper package containing straws formed from a sleeve which is loading with straws and then severed along a transverse tear line to form a pair of end caps. The caps are located opposite ends of straws and are closed at their ends. A transparent wrapper extends around the caps end straws to complete the shipper package.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 15 I912 SHEEI 1 0F 2 INVEN'IORS ROBERT W. BROWN DOROTHY WOLF ATTORN EYS PATENTEDFEB 15 I972 SHEET 2 [IF 2 ATTORNEYS SHIPPER PACKAGE FOR DRINKING STRAWS FIELD OF INVENTION This invention relates to a shipper package. In particular this invention relates to a shipper package for shipping drinking straws and a unitary blank for forming same.
PRIOR ART Drinking straws are generally packaged in a paper board carton which has a length equal to the length of the straws. Frequently a portion of the carton is designed to be torn off to provide a dispensing opening for straws. During shipping of the packages the dispensing opening is covered with a transparent plastic material which is glued to the inside of the carton. Difficulty has been experienced in attempting to glue this plastic window into the carton such that it will present an eyepleasing appearance in use. Frequently the windows are very loose and can become creased in shipping. As a result of these packaging difficulties the viewing windows and the dispenser openings in conventional straw packages tend to be rather small. In order that the purchaser may have a clear indication of the nature of the contents of the package it is desirable to provide as large a viewing window as possible, however with the existing shipper packages the windows have been relatively small in order to overcome the difficulties encountered in securing the transparent material to the package.
Drinking straws are a relatively inexpensive item and consequently it is important to provide a package which is inexpensive to manufacture and load with the straws. The conventional packages which have a viewing window tend to be rather expensive while the inexpensive packages do not have a viewing window.
SUMMARY The present invention provides an improved shipper package for straws which is adaptable to form a convenient dispenser for straws.
According to an embodiment of the present invention a composite end cap assembly for forming a pair of end caps for a shipper package comprises a sleeve which is closed at its bottom end and open at its upper end and has top wall closure means for closing the upper end. The sleeve is weakened in a plane which extends transversely relative to the longitudinal axis thereof whereby it may be severed along the weakened plane to form an upper end cap and a lower end cap of a shipper package, the combined length of the upper and lower end caps being from one third to one half the length of the straws to be shipped therein.
According to a further embodiment of the present invention the composite end caps are formed from a unitary paper board blank.
The present invention also provides a method of forming a shipper package containing drinking straws comprising the steps of forming a tubular sleeve which is closed at its lower end and open at its upper end, loading the straws into the sleeve and tearing the sleeve along a transversely extending weakened score line to form an upper end cap and a lower end cap. The upper end cap is moved upwardly over the straws to be located at the upper end thereof and the open upper end is closed over the upper end of the straws. The straws and end caps are then enclosed within a transparent wrapper.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT This invention will be more clearly understood after reference to the following detailed specification read in conjunction with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view ofa unitary blank according to an embodiment of the present invention,
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of a first step in the assembly of the blank of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a pictorial view similar to FIG. 2 showing a further step in the assembly of the blank.
FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of a sleeve loaded with straws just prior to tearing along the weakened score line.
FIG. 5 is a pictorial view of a shipper package according to an embodiment of this invention.
In FIG. 1 of the drawings the reference numeral 10 refers generally to a unitary paperboard blank according to an embodiment of the present invention. The blank 10 consists of six sidewall-forming panels 12, a pair of top wall closure panels 14 and bottom wall forming a panels consisting of a hexagonal panel 16, a pair of panels 18, a pair of panels 20 and a single panel 22. A closure flap 24 is integrally connected to one longitudinal edge of the sidewalls forming panels 12 and adapted to be secured as will be shown hereinafter to the glue patch 26 which is formed adjacent to the other longitudinal edge of the sidewalls forming panels 12.
In the first step in the assembly of the package the panels 16, 18 and 20 are folded inwardly upon panels 12 to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 1. In this position the panel 16 is folded along the transverse fold line 28 and the panels 20 are folded along the obliquely disposed foldline 30. Glue patches 32, and 34 are formed on the panels 16, and 20 respectively and these patches are arranged to face outwardly when the flaps are folded to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 1.
A further step in the assembly of the package is shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings wherein the panels 12 are folded along a vertical hinge line so that the glue patch 32 on the panel 16 will be secured to the panel 22 and the glue patch 34 formed in the panel 20 is secured to the panel 18. The blank is then folded along a further vertical fold line as shown in FIG. 2 to secure the glue patch 34 of the other panel 20 to the other panel 18. In addition the glue panel 26 is secured to the flap 24.
The knocked down configuration of the assembled sleeve is shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. To erect the sleeve from the position shown in FIG. 3 the panels 12 are moved away from one another in the direction of the arrows shown in the FIG. 3. .The bottom wall forming panels 16, 18, 20, and 22 are connected to one another such that upon moving the side wall panels in the direction shown in FIG. 3 they will automatically move into a position in which they'form a bottom end wall closure as shown in FIG. 4. A plurality of drinking straws 36 are loaded into the open upper end of the sleeve as shown in FIG. 4.
An important feature of the present invention is the provision of a weakened tear line 40 which extends transversely along the side walls panels 12 from one end thereof ,to the other. When the sleeve is assembled as shown in FIG. 4 it issevered along the weakened score line 40 to form a lower end cap forming portion 42 and an upper end cap forming portion 44. The upper end cap forming portion 44 is slid along the straws in the direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 4 to a position wherein the end walls forming flap 14 may be folded over the free ends of the straws.
A transparent wrapper 46, preferably in the form of a heatshrink wrapping material, is wrapped around the assembled straws and end caps to form a composite shipper package as shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings. When a heat-shrink wrapper is used the packages are heated in a conventional manner to shrink the wrapper into a close fitting engagement with end caps and straws.
When the package is opened in use the wrapper is removed and discarded. If the total amount of paperboard material in the end is reduced to a minimum the overall height of the bottom end cap may not be sufficient to retain the straws therein if the upper end cap were removed. This difficulty is overcome by sliding the top end cap forming portion downwardly over the straws so that it is returned to the position shown in .FIG. 4. In this position the combined height of the lower and upper end caps cooperate to form a dispenser package with the straws projecting out of the upper end thereof. When the combined length of the upper and lower end caps is equal to one third to one-half of the total length of the drinking straws the package will then act as a convenient dispenser.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention provides a simple and inexpensive shipper package for drinking straws and the like.
Various modifications of the present invention will be apparent to those secured in the art without departing from the scope of the invention; For example only one end wall closure panel may be employed and this may include a small tuck tab for securing it in the closed position.
What we claim as our invention is:
l. A drinking straws shipper package and dispenser comprising, 1
an upper end cap having sidewall means and releasable top wall means defining a tubular enclosure which is open at its lower end and closed at its upper end,
and a lower end cap having sidewall means and bottom wall means which is open at its upper end and closed at its lower end,
a plurality of drinking straws of uniform length mounted in said end caps and extending therebetween,
transparent wrapper means enclosing the portions of the straws extending between said end caps and securing said end caps with respect to one another to form a shipper package,
said sidewalls of said end cap having a combined length in the range of one-third to one-half the length of said straws such that on release of said upper closure wall said end cap may be moved longitudinally of said straws into engagement with said lower end cap to cooperate with said lower end cap to form a dispenser container having a combined height of from one-third to one-half the height of the straws.
2. A drinking straw shipper package and dispenser as claimed in claim 1 wherein said upper and lower end caps are formed from a unitary paperboard blank comprising sidewalls panel means having a pair of opposed transversely extending marginal edges, and a pair of opposed longitudinally extending marginal edges, said longitudinally extending marginal edges being connectable for an assembly to form a tubular sleeve, bottom flap means hingedly connected to one of said transversely extending marginal edges to form an end closure panel on assembly and top flap means hingedly connected to the other of said transversely extending marginal edges to form a second end closing panel assembly, a weakened score line extending across said blank between said longitudinal marginal edges whereby after assembly of said blank to form a tubular sleeve, said sidewall panel means may be separated along said weakened tear line to form said end caps.