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Publication numberUS3738723 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 12, 1973
Filing dateMay 5, 1972
Priority dateMay 5, 1972
Publication numberUS 3738723 A, US 3738723A, US-A-3738723, US3738723 A, US3738723A
InventorsHoward J, Rudolph G
Original AssigneeHoward J, Rudolph G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible capsule container
US 3738723 A
Abstract
A container for capsules that is formed of an outer transparent parallelepiped-shaped enclosure open at one end and closed at the other, the closed end comprising a wall having a slot therein, and of an article-holding tray or drawer slidingly fitted in said enclosure, one end wall of the tray being provided with a tab. Said container being convertible to have two operative positions - one position with the tray disposed in the enclosure and the tab thereof extending through said slot in the closed end of the enclosure, the tab being adapted to be engaged with a hanger and the container thereby suspended for display of its contents - and the other position with the tray reversed end-for-end in the enclosure with the tab extending from the open end of the enclosure and serving as a drawer handle for the tray. Such containers by reason of their parallelepiped form, being adapted to be arranged in side-by-side stacks in file-case arrangement so the trays may be selectively withdrawn from the enclosures partly or entirely, as desired. Interlocking tongues and grooves retain the containers in stacked relation, and the stacks in desired position.
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United States Patent [1 1 Rudolph et al.

[ CONVERTIBLE CAPSULE CONTAINER [76] Inventors: Gerald A. Rud0lph,3521 W. Beverly Boulevard, Montebello, Calif. 90640; James S. H0ward, 12740 Woodcliff Circle, Riverside, Calif. 92503 [22] Filed: May 5, 1972 [21] Appl. No.1 250,668

Primary Examiner-James C. Mitchell Attorney-Hyman Jackman [111 3,738,723 1 June 12, 1973 [57] ABSTRACT A container for capsules that is formed of an outer transparent parallelepiped-shaped enclosure open at one end and closed at the other, the closed end comprising a wall having a slot therein, and of an articleholding tray or drawer slidingly fitted in said enclosure, one end wall of the tray being provided with a tab. Said container being convertible to have two operative positions one position with the tray disposed in the enclosure and the tab thereof extending through said slot in the closed end of the enclosure, the tab being adapted to be engaged with a hanger and the container thereby suspended for display of its contents and the other position with the tray reversed end-for-end in the enclosure with the tab extending from the open end of the enclosure and serving as a drawer handle for the tray. Such containers by reason of their parallelepiped form, being adapted to be arranged in side-by-side stacks in file-case arrangement so the trays may be selectively withdrawn from the enclosures partly or entirely, as desired. Interlocking tongues and grooves retain the containers in stacked relation, and the stacks in desired position.

8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures CONVERTIBLE CAPSULE CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 2. Description of the Prior Art: v

The following U. S. Pat. Nos. were located in the course of an art search.

Story 1,076,076 J osinsky 1,864,440 2,042,799 Gibbons One or more of these patents disclose telescoping type containers which include hanger tabs. The present invention suggests convertibility of the container parts from a hanging position wherein the container is gravitationally retained in closed position, to a position enabling the item holding tray or drawer, after endforend reversal thereof from its hanging position, to be moved between closed and opened positions relative to the enclosure thereof to enable removal of the tray contents. The containers, when thus converted, present their tabs at the open ends of the enclosures enabling retraction and replacement of the drawers thereof with easy one-handed facility when the containers are arranged in side-by-side stacks in file-case arrangement. Such convertibility has no'teaching in any of the above patents.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A convertible two-element container comprising, generally, an enclosure of parallelepiped form closed at one end and open at the opposite end, and an articleholding tray or drawer telescopically fitted in said enclosure, said tray being provided at one end with a longitudinally directed tab, and the closed end of the enclosure having a slot through which said tab extends when the tray has one position in the enclosure and adopting the container to be hung by the tab in a display position of the contents of the tray. By withdraw ing the tray from the enclosure, after the tab has been disengaged from its hanging position, and reinserting the same into the enclosure, tabless end first, the tab is accessible to serve as a drawers pull for effecting onehanded opening and closing of the tray for easy access to the tray contents.

The four sides of the enclosure are provided with slidably interlocking tongues and grooves that retain the containers in stacked arrangement, and adjacent stacks'in desired card file position.

The'foregoing generally describes and has for an object to provide a simple, inexpensive and highly efficient display and dispensing container that is easily converted from one to the other of itstwo operative positions.

Another object of the invention is to provide a convertible container of the character above indicated in which conversion is easily effected by a simple reversal of the article-holding tray of the enclosure thereof, whereby the tab means on the tray is changed from a hanger position to a position serving as a drawer pull.

Still another object of the invention is to provide containers of the characterabove referred to that, independently of any outer enclosure, may be arranged in adjacent interlocked stacks, whereby any of said containers may be removed in their entirety and replaced by another without disturbing the stacks, as arranged.

This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily installed in a working position and easily disconnected therefrom, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability The invention also comprises novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description, which is based on the accompanying drawing. However, said drawing merely shows, and the following specification merely describes one embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.

In the drawing, like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly in section, of a convertible article container according to the invention and shown in one operative position, i.e., as a display device.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view, as seen from the lower end of FIG. 1 with the tray or drawer reversed from its position in FIG. 1.

,FIG. 3 is a further enlarged longitudinal sectional view as taken on line 22 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a view, similar to the upper end of FIG. 3, of a modification.

FIG. 5, to a reduced scale, shows the side view of a stack of several such article containers, one of which is shown partly open, said containers being shown in the other operative position of FIG. 2, i.e., as capsuleholding and dispensing devices.

FIG. 6 is a broken front view of a plurality of such stacks of containers in side-by-side arrangement.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present container comprises, generally an enclosure 5, a tray 6 telescopically housed in said enclosure, and a tab or like projection 7 provided on one end of said tray. The enclosure is preferably transparent, in whole or in part and is advantageously formed of a synthetic resin of which any of the methacrylate ester polymers are exemplary. In fact, any of the so-called clear plastics, resistant to breakage, form-retaining, and inexpensively moldable, are suitable as a material from which the above components may be made.

Although not necessarily proportioned as shown in the drawing, the enclosure 5 preferably has a parallelepiped form with similar rectangular front and rear walls 8 and 9, similar side walls 10, and an end wall 1 l. Opposite the end wall 11, the enclosure is open at 12. Thus formed, the enclosure 5 has a cavity 13 that is enclosed by the walls 8, 9, 10 and 11, and is open at the mentioned end 12.

The tray or drawer 6 slidingly fits into said cavity 13, the same having a bottom wall 14, similar side walls 15, an end wall 16, and a wall 17 opposite the wall 16. The tray 6, therefore, has a capacity for holding capsules or other such articles 18 confined by the walls of the tray 6 and by the walls l4, l5, l6 and 17 of the tray and the wall 13 of the enclosure. The items 18 in said space,

with the tray housed in the enclosure, are retained in said space irrespective of the vertical, horizontal or other disposition of the container.

The tab 7 may vary in shape. As shown, the same is a flat rectangular extension projecting from the outer surface of the tray end 17 and preferably parallel with the bottom wall 14 of said tray. A slot 19 in the end panel 11 of the enclosure 5 allows said tab to project from the enclosure when the tray 6 is inserted into said enclosure tab end first. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, said slot 19 is provided in the enclosure wall 11 located adjacent the wall 13 of the enclosure with the tab 7 located accordingly, coplanar with the open top of the tray. In the modification of FIG. 4, the slot 190 is positioned on the end wall 11 midway between the walls 8 and 9, with the tab, accordingly, shifted along the wall 17 to register herewith. It is clear that, when held by the tab with the container vertical or substantially so, the enclosure 5 will hang from the upper end of the tray and, thereby, will retain the articles 18 in the tray cavity. Thus, by engaging an opening 20 in the tab with a hook or other hanger 21 on a wall, display card, or other device, the present containerremains suspended and in capsule-housing position.

When access to the articles 18 is desired, the container is removed from its hanger 21 and, with the tray bottom 14 down, the tab 7 is pushed to dislodge the tray 6 from the enclosure 5. The tray is then turned 180 and the same, tray wall 16 first, is reinserted into the enclosure 5. The tab 7 now extends from the open end of the enclosure as shown in FIGS. 2, S and 6 so the same may be used as a pull to slide the tray 6 to a position partly or fully from the enclosure 5, as desired, to give access to the articles 18.

To provide an orderly arrangement of a plurality of such containers, the same may be arranged in side-byside stacks, as suggested in FIGS. 3 and 4. The arrangement is similar to that ofa card file in which the stacked enclosures 5 remain stationary and in their prearranged order, and the trays may be pulled by their respective tabs partly or fully from the enclosures and returned to their assigned positions as initially arranged. To this end, the four faces of the enclosure walls may be provided with longitudinal tongues 22 and grooves 23 in such arrangement that the tongues 22 on the sides 10 of one container and the grooves 23 in the sides 10 of a container adjacent thereto on either side, interfit, as shown in FIG. 6. Similarly, the enclosure walls 8 and 9 are provided with tongues 22 on the wall 8 and grooves 23 in the wall 9, as best seen in FIG. 2.

Except that the number of such tongues and grooves in the respective enclosure walls 8, 9 and 10 may vary, those on the walls 8 and 9 should be so selected, i.e., have tongue only on wall 8 and their grooves always in wall 9. Thus, as can be seen from FIG. 6, the containers interfit with the tray of each open at the top.

By dovetailing said tongues and grooves, the containers of a plurality of stacks thereof may be interlocked by merely sliding them relatively while in endwise engagement.

While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is not contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

l. A convertible container for capsules or like items, comprising:

an enclosure having a wall at one end, the opposite end being open, said wall having an opening therein,

a tray telescopically engaged in said enclosure and having an end wall provided with a tab extending longitudinally from said end wall,

said tab, when the tray is entered into the enclosure tab-end first, extending through the mentioned opening in the end wall of the enclosure and adapted to serve as a hanger for the container, the enclosure of which retains the items in the tray while so hung, and

said tray, when the container is removed from its hanger, withdrawn from the enclosure, turned and reinserted into the enclosure so the tab on the tray extends outwardly from the open end of said enclosure serving as a pull to slide the tray at least partly to a position affording access to the items in the tray.

2. A convertible container according to claim 1 in which the tray is provided with a bottom and the tab comprises a flat member in parallelism with said tray bottom, the mentioned opening generally conforming in shape to that of the tab.

3. A convertible container according to claim 1 in which the enclosure has a parallelepiped form, a plurality of said containers with the tabs thereof extending from the open ends of their respective enclosures, being adapted to be arranged in a stack, each container resting on the container therebeneath, the trays of said containers being individually slidable from their respective enclosures when the respective tabs thereof are pulled.

4. A convertible container according to claim 3 in which a plurality of such stacks, in side-by-side relation form a card file-like assembly of containers in which the enclosures thereof retain their positions in the several stacks during removal and replacement of the trays of the containers.

5. A convertible container according to claim 1 in which the tab is coplanar with the open top of the tray and the opening in the end wall being located to receive said tab when the tray is entered into the enclosure tabend first.

6. A plurality of convertible containers according to claim 3 in which each of the four walls of each container enclosure is provided with interfitting tongues and grooves on the adjacent outer surfaces of the adjacent containers.

7. A plurality of convertible containers according to claim 6 in which said tongues and grooves are formed to have a dovetail interfit.

8. A plurality of convertible containers according to claim 7 in which the mentioned tongues and grooves are slidingly engaged and extend longitudinally parallel with the longitudinal extent of the trays engaged with the enclosures of said containers.

t I i i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1076076 *Jul 20, 1913Oct 21, 1913Edwin Burnham StoryFolding case.
US1864440 *Oct 29, 1930Jun 21, 1932John JosinskyMatch box
US3392903 *Mar 3, 1966Jul 16, 1968Edwin E. Morgan Jr.Folded hang-up display and utility receptacles
US3514170 *Mar 1, 1968May 26, 1970Shewchuk DonaldStackable and interlocking containers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4231626 *Feb 12, 1979Nov 4, 1980The Stanley WorksStorage system
US4290659 *Mar 21, 1980Sep 22, 1981Takara CompanyCabinet system
US4407663 *Jun 30, 1982Oct 4, 1983Dollinger CorporationModular spin filters and housing therefor
US5437390 *Feb 11, 1993Aug 1, 1995Romick; Jerome M.Medication control and dispensing package assemblage
US6651947Jul 30, 1999Nov 25, 2003Jonathan Anton PricePopcorn bag support device
US6733095Dec 5, 2001May 11, 2004Lorie E. RiebCompartmented vitamin storage organizer
EP0640308A2 *Feb 8, 1994Mar 1, 1995TOX-DÜBEL-WERK RICHARD W. HECKHAUSEN GmbHSelf-service sales cupboards
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/45.24, 312/107, 206/540, 229/125.125, 206/216, 220/23.86, 206/528
International ClassificationF16B12/00, F16B12/20, B65D6/06, B65D6/00, B65D21/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0204, F16B12/20, B65D11/12
European ClassificationB65D21/02B2, B65D11/12, F16B12/20