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Publication numberUS3647132 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 7, 1972
Filing dateApr 17, 1970
Priority dateApr 17, 1970
Also published asCA947248A1
Publication numberUS 3647132 A, US 3647132A, US-A-3647132, US3647132 A, US3647132A
InventorsCrabtree Kenneth L
Original AssigneeKeyes Fibre Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Egg carton with exterior windows
US 3647132 A
Abstract
A molded egg carton of the type having a cover which has depending sidewalls with egg viewing windows in the exterior facets to provide a view into all the egg pockets when the carton is viewed from above, as when the carton is the top one in a stack or is held in the hand, and in addition to provide a view into each egg pocket in the row of pockets along one side of the carton when the carton is viewed from that side, as when a number of cartons are stacked one on top of another for display purposes in retail stores and it is thus impossible to view any but the top carton from above. At least the upper part of each window is framed by a portion of the carton cover which is recessed with respect to both the top portion and the sidewalls of the cover, and the carton cover has inwardly recessed buttress structure in the sidewalls and additional support structure extending downwardly from the flat top portion to increase the strength of the carton despite the provision of viewing windows for every egg pocket in the carton.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent m1 3,647,132 C rabtree 5] Mar. 7, 1972 [54] EGG CARTON WITH EXTERIOR AnomeyConn0|ly and Hutz WINDOWS ABSTRACT [72] Inventor: Kenneth L. Crahtree, Falrfield, Mame A molded egg carton of the type having a cover WIIICI'I has de- Asslgnee! Fibre P i wamvlue- Mame pending sidewalls with egg viewing windows in the exterior [22} Filed; AP 17. 1970 facets to provide a view into all the egg pockets when the carton is viewed from above, as when the carton is the top one in i PP 29,404 a stack or is held in the hand, and in addition to provide a view into each egg pocket in the row of pockets along one side of the carton when the carton is viewed from that side, as when a number of canons are stacked one on p of another for [58] dd "5 5 44 play purposes in retail stores and it is thus impossible to view y but the p canon from above. A has the pp p of H" I E each window is framed by a portion of the carton cover which [56] Rate Clad is recessed with respect to both the top portion and the UNITED STATES PATENTS sidewalls of the cover, and the carton cover has inwardly recessed buttress structure in the sidewalls and additional sup- RFIfCI'S X port tru ture extending downwardly from the flat top portion Blxler .-229/2.5 to increase he trength of the cam despite the provision of Primary Examiner-Joseph Wegbreit Assistant Examiner-Bruce H. Stoner, Jr.

viewing windows for every egg pocket in the carton.

1 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures i r K BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The claimed invention relates to the field of articles molded to final shape from materials such as wood and paper pulp, plastics such as thermoplastics, and the like, for the retail packaging and merchandising of fragile articles such as eggs, and more particularly to the style of egg carton having a pocketed bottom section and a cover which has a top portion and front and rear side walls integrally connected therewith and extending downwardly and outwardly therefrom.

Prior to the present invention, egg cartons of the foregoing variety molded of non-transparent material such as pulp or thermoplastic have been beset with the significant drawback that the contents of the carton is not readily visible to the prospective purchaser. With most cartons of this type, it is necessary for the prospective purchaser to take the carton from the stack on the retail shelf, manipulate the lock to disengage the locking mechanism, and fold back the cover to view the contents of the carton and ascertain, for instance, the color of the eggs in the carton and that there is an egg in every pocket, and then close the carton.

As a result, designers of egg cartons for many years have attempted to overcome this drawback and devise a carton which meets the demands of modern merchandising concepts and affords an immediate and favorable view of the carton contents without sacrificing the well-recognized protective features afforded by the carton. In cartons where the cover is formed of the same nontransparent material as the pocketed bottom of the carton, the provision of visibility windows in the cover has resulted in a carton where the contents can be seen when the carton is viewed from above but, prior to the present invention, not when the carton is viewed from the side. For instance, in White US. Pat. No. 3,327,918 (1967) and Bixler US. Pat. No. 3,362,605 (I968) the visibility windows are not on exterior facets but are confined to an internal trough provided in the center of the carton cover, and the windows in this carton are rendered useless when another carton is stacked on top of it spanning and burying the central trough. Similarly, Bixler U.S. Pat. No. 3,489,270 (I970), Wade, US. Pat. No. 3,129,866 (I964), Van Dyke, US. Pat. Des. 168,664 (I953), Cauley, U.S. Pat. No. 2,009,874 (1935) and Sherman US. Pat. No. 1,99 l ,424 (1935) all provide windows in the flat top portion of the cover of different types of canons, but here again these windows permit a view of the carton contents only when the canon is viewed from above but not when it is viewed from the side.

Egg cartons with openings for one purpose or another in the side of the carton, which may inherently permit a view into the carton when it is viewed from the side, are illustrated in publications typified by Reifers US. Pat. No. 3,145,896 I964) and Mosse US. Pat. No. 3,088,644 1963), but side openings such as these certainly do not afford a view of the contents when the carton is viewed from above, and they are not really intended to provide a favorable view of the carton contents even when viewed from the side.

Egg visibility when the carton is viewed from the top as well as from the side is successfully achieved by the scalloped-edge canon covered with transparent material as in FIGS. and 6 of Crabtree, US. Pat. No. 3,375,966 (1968 but this involves a full depth style, as opposed to the foldable cover style, of molded egg carton and provides no useful teaching of how a similar desirable result can be achieved in the latter style of carton.

Thus, the problem which has been long recognized but heretofore unsolved, as outlined above, is the provision of a molded egg carton of the type having a nontransparent cover which has depending side walls and will somehow permit a view into all the egg pockets when the carton is held in the hand and conveniently viewed from above and also provide a view into every egg pocket along the side of the carton when it is viewed from the side only, as occurs when the cartons are stacked one on top of another, all without sacrificing the strength of the carton.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention solves the foregoing problems and provides a molded stackable see-thru" egg carton of the type comprising a pocketed bottom member having from and rear rows of individual egg pockets, a closable cover member having a top portion with front and rear sidewalls extending downwardly and outwardly therefrom, and egg viewing windows on exterior facets so positioned and arranged to provide a view into each egg pocket in both the front and rear rows when the carton is viewed from above and also to provide a view into each egg pocket in the front row when the carton is viewed from the front and into each egg pocket in the rear row when the carton is viewed from the rear. In the preferred embodiment, one window is located directly above each egg pocket in both the front and rear parallel rows to give the most favorable view of the contents, and at least the upper part of each window is framed by a portion of the cover member which is recessed with respect to both the top portion and the sidewalls of the cover member to provide additional protection. In addition, the bottom member includes upwardly extending support structure between the front and rear rows of egg pockets which contacts support structure extending down from the top portion of the cover member, and the bottom member includes inwardly recessed half-post structure between at least two adjacent egg pockets in one of the rows of pockets which contacts inwardly recessed buttress structure between at least two adjacent windows in one sidewall of the cover member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Numerous advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art from a reading of the detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a stack of egg cartons with exterior windows according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an egg carton according to this invention;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional elevational view on line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional elevational view on line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional elevational view on line S5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating further details of the egg viewing window of the carton of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION The egg carton 10 illustrated in the drawings includes a pocketed bottom member 12 and a closable cover member 14. The carton may be molded to final shape from fibrous pulp material, or plastics such as thermoplatic either injection molded or vacuum formed from extruded or foamed sheets, all according to known techniques.

The pocketed bottom member [2 includes an upper front margin 16 and an opposed, parallel upper rear margin I8, as well as opposed upper end margins 20. The upper margins define a rectangle within which are a plurality of downwardly dished egg pockets arranged in at least two parallel rows. The front row of egg pockets 22 is positioned along the front margin 16 and the rear row of pockets 24 is positioned along the rear margin 18 of the egg carton. In the carton illustrated, the front row includes six pockets and the rear row which is parallel therewith also includes six pockets, defining what is known as a 2x6 carton for packaging one dozen eggs for the retail market, but this invention of course has applicability to car tons having other pocket arrangements.

The egg pockets are defined in part by inwardly recessed half-post structure 26 the tops of which extend to the upper margins l6, 18, along the front and rear, respectively, of the carton. The egg pockets are further defined by upwardly extending support structure taking the form of upwardly tapering posts 28 located between the front and rear rows of egg pockets. Inverted V" or U" shaped rib structure 30 connects the posts 28 with each other and with the half-posts 26 to further define the pockets and rigidify the bottom member of the egg carton.

The closable cover member 14 includes a top portion 32 which is essentially flat and provides a smooth surface for directly printing advertisement or other messages, or for receiving labels containing the same. lntegrally connected with the top portion 32 is a front sidewall 34, a rear sidewall 36 and opposed end walls 38. The front, rear and end sidewalls are connected to each other and they extend downwardly and outwardly from the top portion 32 of the cover member to enclose the upper halves of the eggs in the closed carton condition. The front sidewall 34 includes a lower margin 40 which cooperates with the upper front margin T6 of the bottom member, the rear sidewall 36 includes a lower margin 42 which cooperates with the upper rear margin 18 of the bottom member, and the end sidewalls 38 include lower margins 44 which cooperate with the upper end margins of the bottom member when the cover member 14 is positioned thereover in the closed carton condition.

The cover member may also include inwardly recessed buttress structure 46 in the front and rear sidewalls 34 and 36 between adjacent viewing windows, described below. In the closed carton condition, the inwardly recessed bottom of the buttress structure 46 contacts the top of the half-post structure 26 to resist forces in a vertical direction.

The cover member 14 may also include support structure 48 extending downwardly from the center portion of the flat top 32. This conveniently may take the form of down-posts 50 connected by shallower ribs 52, the bottom of the down-posts 50 contacting the support post structure 28 in the closed carton condition into each egg pocket in the front row when the carton is viewed from the front forces in a vertical direction.

The cover member according to this invention includes a plurality of egg viewing windows 54 located on the exterior facets of the cover member to provide a view into each egg pocket in both the front and rear rows when the carton is viewed from above and also to provide a view into the front and into each egg pocket in the rear row when the carton is viewed from the rear. The upper part of each window is rounded or domed as at 56, and is framed by a portion 58 of the cover member which is recessed with respect to both the top portion 32 and the sidewalls 34 or 36, respectively, of the cover member. The frame portion 58, for instance, is recessed slightly below the main plane of the top portion 32, and is recessed inwardly of the main plain on its sidewall. At least the upper part 56 of each window curves smoothly inwardly in "egg hugging fashion from the main plane of the sidewall in which it is located to a position slightly below the main plane of the top portion 32. The windows have straight bottom edges parallel with the front and rear lower margins of the cover member sidewall.

Preferably, one window is located directly adjacent or above each egg pocket 22 in the front row and each egg pocket 24 in the rear row when the cover member is positioned over the bottom member in the closed carton condition. Thus there are six such windows in the front sidewall 34, six more in the rear sidewall 36, but none on the end sidewalls 38 in the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings. The windows may be formed in the cover member during the molding operation, and if the carton is molded for instance of fibrous pulp material the edges of the windows may be formed with a smooth, attractive, nonfeathery edge in the manner disclosed in Crabtree, US. Pat. No. 3,215,327 (I965).

In the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings, the lower margin 42 of the cover member rear wall is operatively hinged as at 60 in known manner to the upper rear margin ill of the bottom member. The front of the bottom member may also include carton locking mechanism, such as a locking flap 62 o ratiyel hinged as at 64 in lrnown manner to the u per fron margin 6 and carrying a pan of protruding locking ut tons 66. In the closed carton condition, the locking buttons 66 cooperate with the bottom edges of a pair of egg viewing windows S4 in the cover member front wall to secure the carton closed. The locking flap 62 may be narrower than the one illustrated, for instance, in the aforesaid Crabtree, US. Pat. No. 3,215,327 to permit a view through the windows 54 which cooperate with the two locking buttons despite the presence of the locking buttons 66 occupying the lower part of these windows. Similarly, the locking flap 62 may be made even narrower adjacent the other front windows which do not cooperate with the locking buttons 66 to permit full visibility through those windows.

In FIG. I there is illustrated a stack of egg canons with viewing windows according to this invention. While it is possible to see into each egg pocket in both the front and rear rows when the top carton D in the stack is viewed from above, as illustrated in FIG. 2, this is not possible with cartons such as C, B or A farther down in the stack. But as can be seen in P16. 1, the windows also provide a view into each egg pocket in the front row when the carton is viewed from the front, such as carton C in the stack. Also, carton B is shown stacked backwards as sometimes occurs so that the rear is visible, and the windows according to this invention permit a view into each egg pocket in the rear row when the carton is viewed from the rear.

Thus there has been described a molded egg carton of the type having a nontransparent cover which has depending sidewalls and which permits a view into all the egg pockets when the carton is held in the hand and conveniently viewed from the above and also provides a view into every egg pocket along the side of the carton when it is viewed from the side only, as occurs when the cartons are stacked one on top of another, all without sacrificing the strength of the carton.

While the above described embodiment constitutes the presently preferred mode of practicing the invention, other embodiments and equivalents are within the scope of the actual invention, which is claimed as follows:

1. A molded stackable egg carton comprising a pocketed bottom member including an upper front margin and an upper rear margin, a plurality of downwardly dished egg pockets arranged in at least two parallel rows, a front row along the front margin and a rear row along the rear margin of the bottom member, a closable cover member including a top portion having front and rear sidewalls integrally connected therewith and extending downwardly and outwardly therefrom, the lower margin of the cover member front sidewall and the lower margin of the cover member rear sidewall cooperating with the front margin and the rear margin, respectively, of the bottom member when the cover member is positioned thereover in the closed carton condition, the bottom member including upwardly extending support structure located between the front row of egg pockets and the rear row of egg pockets, the cover member including support structure extending downwardly from the top portion to contact the support structure of the bottom member in the closed carton condition, and a plurality of egg-viewing windows through the front and rear sidewalls of the cover member, the windows so positioned and arranged to provide a view into each egg pocket in both the front and rear rows when the carton is viewed from above and also to provide a view into each egg pocket in the front row when the carton is viewed from the front and into each egg pocket in the rear row when the carton is viewed from the rear, at least the upper part of each window being framed by a portion of the cover member which is recessed with respect to both the top portion and the side walls of the cover member, and the recessed portion curving smoothly inwardly in egg hugging fashion from the main plane of the sidewalls to a location slightly below the main plane of the top portion.

i t i UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 Dated March 7, 1972 Inventor s c .TEEKQQEQLLL. Qrabtree It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, lines 35 and 36, delete "into each egg pocket in the 1 front row when the carton is viewed from the front forces in a. vertical direction" and insert to further resist forces in a vertical direction.

Signed and sealed this 13th day of June 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3362605 *Aug 16, 1966Jan 9, 1968Diamond Int CorpCartons
US3388852 *May 26, 1966Jun 18, 1968Diamond Int CorpLatch means for cartons
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3963172 *Mar 24, 1975Jun 15, 1976Keyes Fibre CompanyWindowed mid-lock carton with positive closure latch
US4462537 *Oct 7, 1981Jul 31, 1984Hendrikus GrootherderEgg container
US5656135 *Feb 16, 1993Aug 12, 1997Moulded Fibre Technology, Inc.Molded product manufacturing apparatus and methods
US5816409 *Sep 8, 1995Oct 6, 1998Moulded Fibre Technology, Inc.Molded pulp fiber interior package cushioning structures
US6048440 *Jul 21, 1997Apr 11, 2000Moulded Fibre Technology, Inc.Molded product manufacturing apparatus and methods
US6325691 *Mar 20, 2000Dec 4, 2001Global Trade Network, Inc.Packaged toy
US7225927Jul 17, 2003Jun 5, 2007Pactiv CorporationCup holder having frusto-conical cavities
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/406, 206/521.1
International ClassificationB65D85/30, B65D85/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D85/324
European ClassificationB65D85/32D