US 3647104 A
A food tray, pressed or stamped from thin plastic material, provided with dividing partitions for separating the various foods and accessories and provided with a depressed strengthening rib completely encircling the tray.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
'ilifie Seems Goings Mar. 7, 1972  DKSPOSABLE TRAY  inventor: Harfiord E. Goings, 5428 Center Drive,
Camp Springs, Md. 20031  Filed: Feb. 24, 1970  Appl. No.: 13,611
 US. Cl ..220/20, 220/23.8, 229/25  Km. Cl ..B65d 11/36  Field of Search ..220/20, 22, 23.6, 23.8; 229/25, 15
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,342,397 9/1967 Duitsman ..229/2.5 3,483,908 12/1969 Donovan ..220/23.8 X
D204,475 4/ 1966 Mackay ..D44/4 2,652,702 8/1953 l-iintze.... ...220/23.8 X 3,502,241 3/1970 Smith ..220/23.8 X
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,424,687 12/1965 France ..229/25 Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance AttorneyAlexander 18. Blair  ABSTRACT A food tray, pressed or stamped from thin plastic material, provided with dividing partitions for separating the various foods and accessories and provided with a depressed strengthening rib completely encircling the tray.
2 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEBMAR H872 3,647, 104
SHEET 1 OF 2 IN VEN TOR.
9 42/020 1.. 60mm B PATENTEDHAR 7 I972 SHEET 2 [IF 2 INVENTOR.
6/12/020 t. 60/4/68 W 4770mm.
DHSPOSABLE TRAY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to disposable trays of the type used in outside service restaurants, airplanes, hospitals, schools and trains for holding the food, silverware, cups of hot or cold drinks etc., and for prepackaged meals.
2. Summary of the Invention The present invention is directed to a disposable tray pressed or formed from extremely thin plastic material and formed into a plurality of open top compartments adapted to hold in separate condition the various food items served as well as the silverware, cups and various dishes. The tray is provided with an inverted rib completely surrounding the upper edge thereof to strengthen and stiffen the tray and to permit its use without additional outside support. The tray being of extremely thin plastic material is inexpensive to manufacture and is disposed of after use.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a disposable tray which is usable without outside support and which is formed of extremely thin plastic material.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent in the following specifications when considered in light of the attached drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the preferred form of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a transverse section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. I, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a transverse section taken along the line 44 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a modified form of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken along the lines 6-6 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional view taken along the lines 7-7 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 8 is a transverse sectional view taken along the lines 88 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures, the reference numeral 10 indicates generally a disposable tray constructed in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention and illustrated in FIGS. 1 thru 4.
The tray 10 is preferable formed of a single piece of flat plastic stock of an inexpensive type. The tray 10 is provided with a generally rectangular top wall 11 having a continuous inverted rib 12 formed therein closely adjacent and parallel to the peripheral edge 13 of the top wall 11. The inverted rib 12 is formed in the top wall 11 by pressing or molding.
A generally rectangular compartment 14 is formed in the tray 10 adjacent one corner thereof. The compartment 14 has a depth substantially greater than the depth of the inverted rib 12. A generally rectangular compartment 15 is formed in the tray 10 adjacent a second comer thereof and spaced apart a substantial distance from the compartment l. The rectangu' lar compartment 15 has a depth equal to the depth of the compartment 14.
A generally rectangular compartment 16 is formed in the tray 10 adjacent still another comer thereof and widely spaced from the compartment 15. The compartment 16 has a depth equal to that ofthe compartments 14,15.
A substantially circular compartment 17 is formed in the tray 10 adjacent the forth corner thereof and has a depth equal to the compartments 14,15 and 16. The compartments 14,15 are positioned adjacent one end of the tray 10 and the compartments 16,17 are positioned adjacent the other end of the tray 10.
An elongate generally rectangular compartment 18 is formed in the tray 111 intermediate the compartments 1 8, 1'7 and closely adjacent the peripheral edge 13 of the tray 10. The compartment 18 is separated from a pair of compartments 19,20 in the tray 111 by an upstanding rib 21. The rib 21 has a height approximately half that of the compartment 18 and the compartment 18 has a depth equal to that of the compartments 14,15,16 and 17. A compartment 22 is formed in the tray 10 intermediate the compartments 15,16 and adjacent the peripheral edge 13 of the tray 10 at the side thereof opposite the compartment 18. The compartment 22 is separated from the compartment 19 by an upstanding rib 23 and is separated from the compartment 20 by an upstanding rib 24. The compartments 19,20 are separated by an upstanding rib 25. The ribs 212d and 25 have a height equal to the rib 21 and the compartments 19,20,22 have a depth equal to the depth of the compartments 14,15,161? and 18.
A generally circular compartment 26 is formed in the tray 11] intermediate the compartments 14,15 and with a depth equal to the compartments 14,15. A generally circular compartment 27 is formed in the tray 10 intermediate the compartments 16,17 and with a depth equal to that of the compartments 16,17.
The tray 11) has a depressed area 28 lying between the compartment 1d and the compartment 13 and having a height approximately half that of the compartments 14 and 18. A second depressed area 29 is formed in the tray 10 intermediate the compartments 15,22 and having a height equal to that of the depressed area 28. A third depressed area 30 is formed in the tray 10 between the compartments 17,18 with a height equal to that of the depressed area 28. A forth depressed area 31 is formed in the tray 10 between the compartments 16 and 22 with a height equal to that of the depressed area 28. The depressed areas 2829,3031 provide access from one compartment to another as desired.
In the use of the tray 10 the compartments may be used in any manner desired however the compartment 18 has been found to be most useful for placement of the tableware such as a knife, fork, spoon and napkin, the compartment 17 for the coffee cup, compartment 27 for the creamer, compartment 16 for the bread, compartment 1 1 for dessert, compartment 15 for salad, compartment 26 for salad dressing, compartment 22 for the entree, and the compartments 19 and 20 for the vegetables. Obviously the tray 111 may be used for any com-' bination of food items and articles normally served with the meal and may either hold the food directly or may support a dish containing the food article. The inverted rib 12 not only serves to strengthen the tray 10 but will also be found useful in preventing overflow from the tray 10 from reaching the lap of the diner.
The tray 10 is formed of relatively inexpensive plastic material so as to be disposable upon completion of the meal to eliminate the expense of cleaning and sterilizing required when reuse is made of eating utensils.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 thru 8 a modified form of the invention is illustrated wherein a tray generally indicated at includes a generally rectangular top wall 111 formed of a single piece of flat plastic stock of an inexpensive type. An inverted rib 112 is pressed or molded into the top wall 111 adjacent the peripheral edge 113 thereof. The tray 1111 is shorter than the tray 10 of the preferred form of the invention in that the compartments 16,17 and 27 and depressed areas 30,311 of the preferred form of the invention are omitted in the tray 110. The remaining portions of the tray 10 and the tray 1141 are identical in all other respects.
A compartment 11% is formed in the tray 1111 adjacent one corner thereof and identical to the compartment 14. A compartment 115 is formed in the tray 110 adjacent another comer thereof an identical compartment 15. An elongate generally rectangular compartment 118 identical to the compartment 18 is formed in the tray 1111 adjacent the compartment 1M. Compartments 119,121) are formed in the tray 110 adjacent the compartment 118 and separated therefrom by a rib 121 having a height substantially half that of the compartment 118. A compartment 122 is formed in the tray 1W adjacent the compartment 115 and separated from the compartments 1l9,l20 by ribs 123,11243 having a height equal to the rib 121. A rib 125 separates the compartments H19, 120 with the rib 125 having a height equal to that of the ribs 123, 23 and 124%.
A circular compartment 126 is formed in the tray 110 intermediate the compartments 114,115. A depressed area 12% is formed intermediate the compartments 114,118 identical to the depressed area 28. A depressed area 129 is formed intermediate the compartments 1l5,ll22 identical to the depressed area 129.
The function of the tray 1110 is identical to that of the tray with the exception that the tray 110 would be used for smaller meals such as breakfasts, snacks, and light lunches.
Having thus described the preferred embodiment of the invention, it should be understood that numerous structural modifications and adaptations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention.
ll. A one piece plastic disposable food tray comprising a generally rectangular plastic sheet, a portion of first depressed means formed from said sheet, said portion capable of holding a certain level of matter therein, and second depressed means formed from said sheet having the bottom thereof at the same level as the bottom of said first depressed means and capable of holding matter therein to a level greater than that of said certain level, said first depressed means including a plurality of portions other than said first-mentioned portion, each of said plurality of portions capable of holding said certain level, and all of said portions together capable of holding said greater level of matter.
2. A food tray as claimed in claim 1 including a depressed rib integrally formed in said plastic sheet adjacent the peripheral edge thereof, said depressed rib having a depth substantially less than the depth of said first and second depressed means.