US 3651983 A
A plastic container expressly designed and adapted for use by customers of a photo-developing and finishing establishment and which serves to protectively store negative. It is amply spacious and constitutes a compact and convenient filing case for the negatives and such other suitably marked and dated media as the user desires to protectively store therein. Accordingly, the related contents can be orderly grouped for such purposes as are desired.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Haugen [4 1 Mar. 28, 1972 [5 4] NEGATIVE CONTAINER  Inventor: John M. l-laugen, 2421 Hewitt Avenue,
Everett, Wash. 9820]  Filed: May 22, 1970  Appl. No.: 39,651
 U.S. Cl ..220/3l5, 220/35 [51 Int. Cl. ..B65d 45/20, 865d 43/16  Field of Search ..220/3l S, 31 R, 35; ISO/0.5;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,381,850 5/1968 Haugen ..220/3l S 5,106,602 10/1963 Hartz ..220/3l S X 2,687,157 8/1954 Cowan ..220/31 S X 3,458,113 7/1969 Swartzbaugh ..229/44 R Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance Attorney-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT A plastic container expressly designed and adapted for use by customers of a photo-developing and finishing establishment and which serves to protectively store negative. It is amply spacious and constitutes a compact and convenient filing case for the negatives and such other suitably marked and dated media as the user desires to protectively store therein. Accordingly, the related contents can be orderly grouped for such purposes as are desired.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PAIENTEDMAR28 1972 Fig .3
John M. Hau gen INVENTOR.
NEGATIVE CONTAINER This invention relates to a unique elongate boxlike container which lends itself to acceptable use in a photo-developing and finishing establishment and which has been found to be useful for protectively storing memorable and keep-sake negatives and closely related memoranda and which well serves the purposes and needs of the aforementioned establishment and customers who patronize the same.
Briefly the container is characterized by a boxlike case which embodies an open-top relatively deep elongated tray and a cover or lid therefor. The tray or receiver embodies a flat bottom wall which is marginally encompassed by upstanding front, rear and interconnecting transverse end walls which, conjointly, provide a receiver of desired depth and elongated dimension. The lid or cover is provided with encompassing marginal depending front, rear and end walls which coordinate with the aforementioned receiver walls. The lower edges of the cover walls are provided with outwardly offset depending lip-like flanges which fit down over and conformingly encompass the coordinating walls of the receiver. A pliant web is commensurate in length with the length of the rear walls of the receiver and cover, respectively, and is integrally joined and provides a cover and receiver connecting hinge. The median portions of the front walls of the cover and receiver are provided with snap-action detents. In addition the median part of the flexible bendably resilient front wall of the receiver has a vertical indented or recessed channel which is open at its bottom and provides a guide for reception of the users thumb and which when pressed upon functions to flex the front wall, release the detents, and permits the cover to spring automatically to an open position.
An object of the present invention is to improve upon similarly constructed and performing small article containers which are boxlike in form and have integrally connected tray and cover components. For background purposes and as indicative, generally stated, of the state of the art to which the invention relates, the reader may if desired refer to U.S. Pat. No. 3,381,850 of May 7, 1968 or, ifpreferred, to U.S. Pat. No. 3,489,313 of Jan. 13, 1970. Both of these patents are characterized by shallow pocket-size boxes which embody hinged lids serving as covers for open-top trays or receivers. In addition the median portions of the coacting front walls have connectable and releasable pressure responsive detents.
By comparison the present invention lends itself to use as a container for negatives. The marginal lower edges of the front and end walls of the cover are provided with overhanging stabilizing lip flanges and the median portion of the front wall of the cover has a lug or detent which is releasably engageable with a projecting detent at the upper end of the centrally channeled portion of the front wall of the receiver.
Of particular significance is the molded or indented channel which is formed in the median portion of the front wall of the receiver and which extends from the bottom to the top thereof and which is provided at its top with a forward overhanging projection which constitutes one of the separably connectable detents. This inwardly indented feature provides a guide for the thumb of the user and facilitates the required step of exerting slight pressure on the bendably resilient front wall in a manner to expedite releasing the coacting detents and permitting the cover to spring to a partly open position.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a negative container constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention and showing the lid or cover closed.
FIG. 2 is a view also in perspective and showing one manner of use, that is, wherein the thumb of one hand of the user is lined up with and guidingly and retentively inserted in the inwardly offset guide channel in a manner to press the front wall toward the rear wall and to release the normally interconnected detents.
FIG. 3 is a central transverse section through the improved container.-
It is reiterated that the overall container is characterized by an elongated or substantially rectangular boxlike structure which, in turn, is made up of a relatively deep receiver or tray 4 and a complemental lid or cover 6. The tray of desired depth and length and comprises a flat bottom wall 8, a front longitudina] wall 10, an opposed parallel rear wall-l2 and duplicate transverse end walls 14 which interconnect the end portions of the front and rear walls. The upper mouth portion of the overall receiver is open, that is when the lid or cover is open, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2. It is within the purview of the invention to provide the respective left and right half portions of the front wall on interior portions with vertical reinforcing ribs 16 brought out in both FIGS. 2 and 3. The front wall is structurally distinct and adapted for the purposes desired in that it is provided with a vertically indented offset portion 18 which provides a centralized finger (thumb) receiving channel 20. It will be noted that the upper end of this vertical guide channel is provided with an outstanding abutment 22 which is flangelike in construction (FIG. 3) and which provides a relatively stationary detent. The complemental lid or cover is denoted by the numeral 24 and is likewise substantially rectangular in plan and is controllable for coaction with the walls of the receiver. This cover comprises a top wall 26, a rear longitudinal wall 28, a front or forward wall 30 and transverse end walls 32. The lower edge (FIG. 3) 34 of the wall 28 is integrally joined by a novel hinge to the coacting upper edge of the wall 12. This is to say, an integral plastic molded web is provided and this web is folded upon itself between its ends to provide components 36 and 38 which conjointly provide a springy hinge. This hinge or web is substantially commensurate in length with the length or the rear walls 12 and 28. The tendency of the inherent spring action is to cock the cover to a partially open position when the detents are released in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2. The lower edges of the walls 30 and 32 are provided with depending flange means which is substantially L-shaped in cross section and which comprises a horizontal outstanding flange 40 and a depending lip flange 42. These flanges cooperatively fit over the upper underlying edges of the open top tray and provide a firmly reliable seal. It will be evident that the depending flange on the front wall is provided on its intermediate portion with a rearwardly projecting lug 44 which constitutes the second detent and which is releasably engageable with the front wall detent 22. These two detents provide the desired snap-action result. All that is necessary is to push down on the cover or lid and the detent 44 will snap over the detent 22 and thus releasably fasten the cover in its closed or down position. Assuming that the cover or lid is closed with the lip flanges 42 encompassing the upper edge portions of the walls 10 and 14 it will be evident that by simply placing the thumb of one hand in the guide channel 20 and pressing inwardly the resilient front wall 10 will be pressed toward the rear wall with the result that the detents 44 and 22 respectively will be separated. Then the self-opening hinge means 36 and 38 comes into play and the cover springs to its partly open position.
In actual practice the material which is used in constructing the novel box is preferably but not necessarily non-transparent and is of an appropriate as well as an attractive color. The containers which are currently being used are bright yellow but, obviously, can be of any suitable color and may be employed in keeping with the desires of the manufacturer, distributor or photo-establishment using the same.
Experience has shown that because of the fact that the container is made from plastic material it has been found that it is in some instances difficult to spring the lid or cover from a closed position to an open position. This is because of the fact that the plastic material tends to stick slightly and since it is desirable to keep the container effectively closed the depending walls 30 and 32 are provided with flange means 40 and 42 to effect the desired seal. However by providing the novel detent arrangement illustrated in FIG. 3 in particular, it is evident that thumb pressure with the thumb seated in the guide channel enables one to readily push in on the yieldable front wall and to allow the cover to spring automatically to its open position.
The container above set forth provides a desirably practical storage file for negatives. In actual practice, the negatives are returned to the customer in a specially. constructed negativeprotecting envelope (not shown). This envelope has a tear-tab or coupon on one end thereof. More particularly, a customer takes or sends his film to a predetermined photo-developing and finishing establishment after which the negatives are placed in and handed or otherwise returned in the specially prepared premium-type envelope. When the customer has accumulated five of the tear-off coupons he is eligible to receive, free of charge, a negative container or box such as the one herein disclosed.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable K modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed is:
l. A portable manually usable container for storing and protecting negatives and relative memoranda comprising, in com' bination, an open-top boxlike tray having a bottom wall marginally encompassed by oriented upstanding front, rear and transverse end walls, a lid providing a cover, said cover normally closing the open top of said tray, said lid having a rear depending marginal wall terminating contiguous to and registering with an upper part of an underlying edge portion of said rear wall and having depending front and endmarginal flanges aligned with and cooperating with the front and end walls of said tray, a pliant web substantially commensurate in length with the length of the rear marginal edge of said rear wall, said web being bent upon itself between its lengthwise edges and providing component portions constituting a yieldable self-opening hinge, said component portions being joined with and hingedly connecting the cooperating rear walls of the tray and cover, respectively, said pliant web having inherent resilient properties which serve to automatically spring the cover from a normally closed position to a properly open position, the lower edge portions of the front and end flanges being substantially L-shaped in cross section, offset outwardly and providing depending lips, said lips encompassing coacting.
upper edge portions of said front wall and transverse end walls, said front wall being flexible and bendably resilient, the median portion of said front wall being vertically indented and recessed to provide a finger-receiving outwardly opening guide channel, the main vertical wall of said channel being offset and projecting into the interior portion of the tray, the upper end of said main wall having a lateral outstanding liplike flange constituting a first detent, a median portion of the front depending lip, that is, the lip which is in line with and above said indented channel, having a lug, said lug providing a second detent, the latter detent being aligned and releasably engaging said first detent.
2. The container defined in and according to claim 1 and wherein said guide channel is of a length substantially equal to the height of said front wall and is unobstructedly open at a bottom end, said detents being structurally alike and corresponding in length to the width of said channel, the inherent resiliency of said front wall serving to retain the detents in snap-action engagement when the lid is closed, said first detent being releasable from the second detent when finger pressure is intentionally applied to the main vertical wall of said channel.
3. The container defined in and according to claim 2, and wherein interior surface portions of said front wall to the left and right of said guide channel are provided with individual reinforcing wall stabilizing ribs, said ribs assisting in maintaining said front wall in a normal unflexed condition.