US 3700275 A
A container package for a plurality of bottles or the like including a carrier device which holds and retains the bottles in spaced positions adjacent the lower ends thereof, and a separator device which is positioned adjacent the tops of the bottles and is attached to the carrier device to provide a unitary package, the separator device further including handle means for carrying the package.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 51 Oct. 24, 1972 United States Patent Deasy 3,325,004 6/1967 Wanderer'................206/65 E FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS CONTAINER PACKAGE 1,341,300 9/1963 France.............L.....224/45.25
Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blulnk Ill.
 Filed: May 20, 1970 Assistant Examiner-Johnny D. Cherry Attorney-Robert W. Heart, Michael Kovac, Barry L. Clark and Jack R. l-lalvorsen App]. No.: 39,670
 ABSTRACT A container package for a plurality of bottles or the  US. Cl. ............294/87.2, 206/65 E, 224/45 AA  Int. Cl. 71/00  Field of Search.......294/87.2; 206/65 C; 224/45,
like including a carrier device which holds and retains the bottles in spaced positions adjacent the lower ends 56] References Cited thereof, and a separator device which 15 positioned ad- UNITED STATES PATENTS jacent the tops of the bottles and is attached to the carrier device to provide a unitary package, the separator device further including handle means for carrying the package.
2,823,063 2/1958 Toensmeier..........;...294/87.2 3,314,712 4/1967 H0111 eta1.................294/87 2 3,570,663 3/1971 Cunningham et a1.'...206/65 E 1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures Patented Oct. 24, 1972 3,700,215
. Ray/ wand E Deasy His Arr s CONTAINER PACKAGE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The multipackaging of breakable containers, such as glass bottles and the like, in handy six-bottle carrying packs is being commercially practiced today without regard for the potentially dangerous problems of hottle-to-bottle contact. It is well known to all carbonated, alcoholic, and soft drink bottlers that glass bottles are easily scratched or marred in such a way that the pressure within the bottle may be sufficient to cause bursting of the bottle. Scratched or marred carbonated beverage bottles are thus virtually bombs which create anobvious hazard to users and is also a great concern to bottlers.
Despite these known problems, the bottling industry has permitted the use of economical overwrap paperboard carrier devices, a typical example of which is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,248,004. Although there has been some attempt to provide separation of bottles in paperboard carriers of this type, there has been little success in achieving the desired objective. As a result, there has been a need for a container package for breakable containers which avoids the bottle-to-bottle contact which currently plagues the bottling industry.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a container package for breakable containers.
More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved container package which obviates contact between breakable containers.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention include the provision of a unitary container package which is easy to carry, is economical, provides a billboard face, permits quick removal of the bottles from the package, and is otherwise well adapted for the purposes intended.
These and other objects and advantages are attained by the provision of a container package for a plurality of bottles or the like including a carrier device positioned adjacent the lower end of the bottles which is provided with means for holding and retaining the bottles in spaced relationship together as a group, a separator device adjacent the upper ends of the bottles which is attached to the carrier device to provide a unitary package thus preventing bottle-to-bottle contact throughout the full heighth thereof, and the separator device including handle means for carrying the package.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a container package which is constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the container package in the vicinity of the lower end of one of the bottles thereof;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a modified form of container package in the vicinity of the lower end of one of the bottles thereof;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view, reduced in size, of the separator device which is utilized as one of the elements of the container package; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of two additional modified forms of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawing, the container package 10 includes a plurality of glass bottles or containers 12, each of which is provided with a generally cylindrically shaped side wall 14, a reduced neck portion 16, a crown or closure cap 18, and at the lower end of the bottles, there is provided a radially enlarged portion 20, as best seen in FIG. 2 of the drawing, all as is well known. Typically, there are six bottles 12, as illustrated, in the commercial multipackage which is distributed in various store outlets throughout the country. As pointed out previously, any scratching or marring of the glass bottles or containers 12, which is occasioned by bottle-to-bottle contact, creates potential problems which require to be obviated.
This is achieved, in accordance with the present invention, by the'use of a carrier device 22 which is arranged to be positioned on the cylindrical body portions 14 adjacent the lower ends of the bottles 12 and retain them in spaced relationship together as a group in conjunction with a separator device 24 which is positioned adjacent the upper ends of thebottles 12 in the vicinity of the reduced neck portion 16, the separator device 24 being attached to the carrier device 22 to provide a unitary package which prevents bottle-tobottle contact throughout the full heighth thereof. More specifically, the carrier device 22 is preferably of the plastic sheet carrier type which is disclosed and claimed in US. Pat. No. 2,874,835. Such a plastic sheet carrier device comprises a substantially unsupported sheet of resilient, elastic, and deformable material having a plurality of apertures therein which correspond in number to the containers desired to be secured. The apertures of such a carrier device 22 are constrictive in nature so that when containers are inserted through the apertures, the material adjacent or surrounding each of the apertures is stretched and deformed to the shape of axially directed necks which embrace and resiliently grip and retain the bottles in firm and spaced positions relative to one another. As seen in FIG. 2 of the drawing, the carrier device 22 circumferentially embraces the cylindrical side wall 14 of a container 12 immediately above the enlarged portion 20.
The separator device 24 is shown as a blank in FIG. 4 of the drawing. The separator device may be made either from paperboard or, if desired, plastic sheet material. In order to perform its function of separating the bottles 12 from one another in the container package 10, the separator 24 includes a plurality of apertures 26 which are preferably larger than the maximum diameter of the reduced neck portion and crown cap 16, 18 of each bottle so that the separator device can be easily positioned thereover. However, the size of each of the apertures 26 and their spacing from one another in the separator device 24 is such that the bottles 12 are maintained in spaced, nonengaged relationship relative to one another. Since the separator device 24 is positioned in the vicinity of the reduced neck portion 16 of the bottles, it spaces the bottles at the upper ends thereof while the carrier device 22 cooperatively spaces the bottles 12 at the lower ends thereof.
In order to provide a unitary package it is important that the separator device 24 is attached to the carrier device 22. This is preferably accomplished through the use of the depending flange elements 28, 28 which are oppositely disposed relative to one another and which are capable of being folded downwardly from the flat position illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawing along the dotted line to the generally vertical position illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawing. The depending flanges 28 on opposite sides of the separator device 24 are attached to one another, by several methods hereafter to be described, in order to give a firm support to the bottles as well as a firm feel to the user of the package. In this latter regard, handle means in the form of finger holes 30 are provided in the separator device, as is well known, in order to permit carrying of the container package 10.
Several methods or techniques of securing or attaching the carrier device and separator device 22, 24 relative to one another are depicted in FIGS. 2-3 of the drawing. In FIG. 2 the lowermost portion of the depending flange 28 is joined to the carrier device by being adhesively bonded or heat sealed thereto. As is well known in the art, there are numerous adhesive compositions which are usable for this purpose. Additionally, heat sealing of the carrier and separator devices 22, 24 to one another is achievable by making or coating one or both of the carrier and separator devices 22, 24 with complementary materials which can be united as is well known.
FIG. 3 of the drawing illustrates a mechanical interlock between the depending flange 28 of the separator device 24 and the carrier device 22. As is illustrated, the lower or tab portion of the depending flange is provided with a pair of outwardly folding tab elements 32 which underlie the carrier device 22 in order to secure the carrier device and separator device to each other, as will be appreciated.
While the depending flange elements 28 are preferably triangular in shape, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4 of the drawing, in order to provide maximum protection and billboard to the containers while offering minimum use of material from an economic standpoint, other shapes of depending flanges 28 are possible. This is illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawing where the container package includes, in the full line representation, depending flanges 34 which have a generally rectangular shape. Another shape illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawing in dotted line representation is the plurality of generally triangularly shaped depending flange elements 36. In other instances the rectangularly shaped flange elements 34 and the plurality of triangularly shaped flange elements 36 will be attached to the carrier device to provide the unitary container package 10 of the present invention.
Removal of the containers 12 from the container package 10 is easily accomplished by detaching the separator device 24 from the carrier device and then simply lifting up the separator device 24 over the reduced neck and crown caps 16, 18 of each of the bottles 12. The bottles are then capable of being twisted and removed from the carrier device 22, as is well known.
From the foregoing it will now be appreciated that the present invention contemplates a new and improved container package which achieves bottle-t0- bottle separation in accordance with the foregoing obects.
Iclaim: 1. A container package for a plurality of bottles or the like comprising a carrier device formed from an unsupported sheet of resilient deformable plastic material, said carrier device comprising a plurality of constrictive apertures therein arranged in a mutually spaced apart relationship, said carrier device mounted on the lower ends of 'said bottles with said apertures grippingly engaging the circumferential surface of the lower ends of said bottles, a separator device formed from a sheet of supported substantially rigid material capable of being folded and having a plurality of apertures and having the central portion thereof mounted over the upper ends of said bottles with each of said apertures encircling one of said bottles, said separator device being formed so that said apertures thereof are mutually spaced apart to an extent preventing any adjacent bottle contact between said carrier device and said separator device, said separator device including integral flange elements folded to depend from the opposite sides of said central portion, means for attaching the lower marginal edge of said flange elements to said carrier device, said central portion of said separator device further including handle means for carrying the package, and wherein said means for attaching the lower marginal edge of said flange elements to said carrier device comprises outwardly formed tab elements formed on said lower marginal edge of said flange elements and said tab elements being disposed between the outer surface of said bottles and said carrier device to mechanically interlock said carrier device and said separator device.