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Publication numberUS3664553 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 23, 1972
Filing dateMay 25, 1970
Priority dateMay 25, 1970
Publication numberUS 3664553 A, US 3664553A, US-A-3664553, US3664553 A, US3664553A
InventorsRickmeier Carl H Jr
Original AssigneeVollrath Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3664553 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 23, 1972 c. H. RICKMEIER, JR 3,664,553


1 T MWM ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,664,553 CARAFES Carl H. Rickmeier, Jr., Sheboygan, Wis., assrgnor to The Vollrath Co., Sheboygan, Wis. Filed May 25, 1970, Ser. No. 41,139 Int. Cl. B67d 5/06 US. Cl. 222183 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to drinking water vessels. More particularly the invention relates to insulated plastic carafes.

Description of the PIlOl' art The present invention is intended as a supplement to the carafe disclosed in my co-pending United States patent, Ser. No. 875,341, new Pat. No. 3,606,104 filed Nov. 10, 1969. The object of said prior invention is to provide a carafe for use in hospitals, hotels, motels, or any other place, which carafe features a novel top cover with a hinged lid that can be swung upwardly to expose a restricted opening which allows water to be freely poured from the carafe without allowing ice cubes to escape therefrom, which can cause annoying splashing or spillage. The present carafe may be used with the novel cover and lid assembly disclosed in said prior application, although it is by no means to be limited in this respect.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises an improved all-plastic, insulated carafe for holding drinking water and ice cubes, which carafes are in widespread use in hospitals, as well as in hotels, motels, and other places. Many conventional carafes are in the form of a unitary container molded of relatively inexpensive expanded polystyrene beads and, unfortunately, it has been found that the water frequently leaks through said outer insulating container, particularly after the carafe has been in use for some time. Moreover in those carafes formed of other inexpensive plastics it has been found that the carafe is susceptible to accidental rupturing if bumped during use, with resulting leakage. With these considerations in mind, one of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a unique insulated carafe featuring an inner liner or container which fits within an outer plastic casing or shell, said inner container being formed of a material which eliminates the possibility of leakage through said outer shell.

A further important object of the present invention is to provide a novel carafe assembly featuring an outer housing or shell together with an interfitting inner container, as described, which inner container is removable to permit the same to be washed or replaced when desired.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved drinking water carafe as described which can be molded entirely of inexpensive plastic material, thereby ice providing a product which is economical to manufacture.

A further object is to provide an improved drinking water carafe formed entirely of plastic, as described, thereby providing an extremely lightweight unit which is easy to handle.

Still further objects of the present invention are to provide a new, improved insulated carafe which is otherwise particularly well adapted for its intended purposes, as will become apparent hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawing, illustrating one preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein the same reference numerals designate the same parts in all of the views:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the improved carafe with a portion thereof broken away and shown in vertical section;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the carafe; and

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the new carafe.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawing, the new carafe assembly comprising the present invention includes an outer container or shell 10 which is preferably molded of expandable polystyrene beads or similar lightweight, inexpensive rigid plastic material, said shell being relatively thick in order to provide insulation to retain the drinking water or other liquid therein cold. As will be seen in the drawing, said outer shell is generally cylindrical in shape, having a slightly concave and upwardly tapered contour. Said shell has an attractive exterior texture characteristic of the polystyrene material from which it is molded, and can be of any desired color.

Said shell 10 includes a bottom 11 having a small air hole 12 therein (FIG. 1), the function of which will be described, while formed integrally on said bottom surfaces are a pair of spaced, parallel support elements or feet 13, 14 which function to maintain said carafe bottom 11 elevated slightly above the table or other surface upon which the carafe is positioned. The top of said shell member is open, and immediately below said open upper end the shell is beveled, as at 15, to form a peripheral shoulder 16, there being an internal cylindrical bore 1Y7 extending downwardly substantially the entire height of said shell. In the illustrated form of the invention said outer shell has a handle 18 formed on one side thereof to facilitate pouring.

Referring now to FIG. 1, in accordance with the present invention an open-top cylinder or liner 21 is designed to be removably fitted within the cylindrical bore 15 in the outer shell member '10, said tubular member 21 being substantially higher than said shell to project thereabove as shown. In the preferred embodiment of the invention said inner cylinder 21 is molded of polyethylene or similar plastic material which is both resilient and leakproof. Said tubular insert is provided with a plurality of spaced vertical ribs 22 which ensure a tight Wedge fit when said resilient inner container is inserted into the outer shell 10.

Spaced below the upper end of the inner cylinder 21 is a protruding annular collar 23 which is adapted to seat snugly against the upper edge of the aforementioned shoulder 16 forming the top of the shell member when said cylinder 21 is fully inserted therein. The portion of said insert 21 projecting above said collar 23 includes a downwardly-facing annular lip or shoulder 24, the purpose of which will be hereinafter seen, while the uppermost portion 25 of said insert is tapered as shown.

With reference still to FIG. 1 of the drawing, re movably mounted in surrounding relation over the upper end of said inner cylinder 21 is a cap or cover device 28.

Said cover is preferably identical to that disclosed in the aforementioned co-pending application, Ser. No. 875,341. An inwardly-protruding shoulder 29 formed on the depending cylindrical portion of said cover is designed to be removably snapped under the aforementioned annular lip 24 formed on the upper portion of the insert member 21 to separably secure said cover thereon. Said top cover 28 can be readily temporarily disengaged from the cylinder 21 when it is desired to fill the carafe with fresh water, there being a shoulder or tab 30 formed on the exterior of said cover beneath which a users thumb can be positioned to facilitate the separation of said members. After the water supply has been replenished therein said cover can be readily remounted on the carafe.

The top wall of the illustrated cover member 28 has a longitudinal hinge line 31 defining a generally semicircular lid 32. As will be seen in FIG. 1, said lid 32 includes a downwardly-directed flange portion with a lip 33 formed on its inner surface which is designed to snap lock beneath a coacting shoulder element on the cover. A protruding tab 34 on said lid exterior permits a user to readily forcibly disengage said interfitting locking elements when it is desired to open the lid, said lid 32 being swingable upwardly about the hinge line 31 from its normal, full-line position flush with the top surface of the cover to the raised position illustrated in broken lines in FIGS. 1 and 2.

When the cover lid 32 is swung upwardly to its open position, as described, an opening in the cover is exposed which is of suflicient size to permit the smooth, steady discharge of water from the carafe without allowing the escape of ice cubes therefrom. As a result it is possible to pour a drink without the ice cubes falling out, which can cause the water to splash or spill on the bedside table or the like. A further important advantage of said cover member is that it keeps the carafe covered when not in use, including the pouring lip, for maximum sanitation.

As mentioned, the design of the novel hinged cover assembly hereinabove described is fully disclosed in my copending application, Ser. No. 875,341, now Pat. No. 3,606,104. Said cover is not an essential feature of the present invention. While the improved carafe unit comprising the present invention is well adapted for use with said novel non-splash cover assembly, the illustrated carafe can be advantageously utilized with carafes featuring various types of covers, or with a carafe that does not include a cover. The invention is not to be limited or confined in this respect. The principal feature of the present invention is the provision of a unique insulated carafe assembly characterized by an inner, leakproof liner or cylinder that can be removed when desired.

In accordance with the present invention, when it is desired to assemble the carafe the inner cylinder 21 is inserted into the open upper end of the outer shell 10. It is then manually urged downwardly therein until the collar 23 on said insert seats on the top edge of the shoulder 16 forming the upper end of said shell member, at which point the lower end of said insert is located adjacent the bottom 11 of the surrounding shell. As the inner container is pushed downwardly in the shell bore the aforementioned hole 12 in the bottom of said outer shell permits the escape of air required to allow the easy insertion of said inner cylinder. As mentioned, said cylinder 21 is resilient and is provided with longitudinal ribs 22 which ensure a. tight wedge fit of said insert within the shell. If a cover such as the illustrated cover unit 28 is to be employed it can then be snapped over the upper, projecting end of said inner container as described.

When it is desired to clean the interior of the carafe, as is frequently required in hospitals or the like where sanitation is critical, the inner tubular member 21 can be withdrawn from the outer shell for cleaning purposes, the resilient nature of said insert permitting it to be readily withdrawn with minimal effort. Thus it is not necessary to sanitize the entire unit. A further advantage is that when the inner container is empty it can be withdrawn and immediately replaced right at the patients bedside table with another inner container previously filled with ice water, thereby conserving time and effort, and promoting efficiency. The original inner container can then be cleaned and refilled when conveniet.

It may occasionally be desired to remove and dispose of said inner container, replacing it with a new, sanitized one, which can be easily accomplished without necmsitating the replacement of the entire unit. Because it is molded of polyethylene or similar relatively inexpensive plastic material said inner cylinder can be replaced with a new one for relatively little cost, thereby providing a disposable product of the type that is becoming increasingly popular for hospital use. The inner containers featured in the present invention are designed to last indefinitely, however, including numerous cleanings, and the disposal and replacement of the same will not ordinarily be necessary.

As mentioned, one of the most important features of the present invention is that the removable inner container 21 is formed of a plastic material which is not only resilient but which is leakproof. As a result the possibility of water leaking through the outer shell, as sometimes occurs with conventional plastic carafes, particularly those molded of expanded polystyrene, is eliminated.

From the foregoing detailed description it will be seen that the present invention provides a new insulated drinking water carafe having a number of important advantages over conventional carafes. With the present invention an inner plastic container is provided which not only eliminates leakage, but which insert can be easily removed from the carafe outer shell for cleaning or replacement when necessary. In addition, the molding of the present carafe entirely of plastic provides a product which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, as well as being light in weight and easy to handle.

Further important advantages of the present invention are that the present insulated carafe, with its outer polystyrene shell and inner polyethylene container, is adapted to maintain the water temperature near 32 F. for a longer period of time than conventional unitary carafes, and with the present insulated carafe there is no problem of condensation forming on the outer surface of the carafe, as frequently occurs with conventional vessels.

It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed herein, numerous variations or modifications thereof will undoubtedly occur to those skilled in the art. What is intended to be covered herein, therefore, is not only the illustrated form of the present invention but also all variations or modifications thereof as may come within the spirit of said invention.

What I claim is:

1. An insulated drinking water carafe, comprising: an outer, insulating shell of generally cylindrical shape molded of expanded polystyrene beads, said outer shell having an open top and a vertical bore extending downwardly from said open top, having a bottom with an air hole therein communicating with said bore, foot elements on said bottom adapted to maintain said shell bottom elevated above the surface upon which the carafe is positioned, and said shell having a handle formed integrally on one side thereof; an open top cylindrical container molder for resilient, leakproof polyethylene plastic adapted to be snugly removably inserted within said shell bore with its upper end portion projecting thereabove, there being an annular collar formed on the upper portion of said cylinder designed to seat on the top of said shell when said cylinder is fully inserted therein, the upper, projecting portion of said cylinder having an annular, downwardlyfacing shoulder formed thereon, and said resilient cylinder having a plurality of spaced, longitudinally-extending ribs formed on its surface to promote the snug fit of said cylinder within said shell bore, the leakproof nature of said cylinder preventing water therein from leaking out through said outer polystyrene shell, and the removable installation of said cylinder permitting the same to be readily manually withdrawn from said outer shell for cleaning or replacement; and a cover removably mounted in covering relation over the upper end of said cylinder, said cover being formed of a resilient plastic material and including a rib adapted to be releasably snap locked beneath said cylinder annular shoulder to removably retain said cover thereon, and said cover including a hinged lid adapted to be manually swung from a normal closed position to a raised position exposing an opening in said cover through which water can be poured without allowing the escape of ice cubes from said container.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner F. J. BARTUSKIA, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5267669 *Sep 9, 1991Dec 7, 1993Dixon Robert MSelf serve beverage dispenser
EP0146758A1 *Nov 13, 1984Jul 3, 1985Rotpunkt Dr. Anso ZimmermannInsulated bottle for liquids
U.S. Classification222/183, 215/12.1, D07/608
International ClassificationB65D81/38
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/3879
European ClassificationB65D81/38K1
Legal Events
Jan 18, 1989ASAssignment
Effective date: 19881228
Jan 18, 1989AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19881228
Oct 24, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850923
Oct 11, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850920