US 3763869 A
An article of manufacture consisting of a toothbrush hinged in a plastic storage container, the latter serving also as a part of the handle. Brush and paste compartments are provided in the container and a sealing lid serves in the open position as a hanger for drying purposes.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Sanders PORTABLE TOOTHBRUSH  Inventor: Fred E. Sanders, 503 E. 108th St., Cleveland, Ohio  Filed: Oct. 21, 1971  Appl. No.: 191,506
 US. Cl 132/84 B  Int. Cl .Q A45d 44/18  Field of Search 132/84 R, 84 B, 84 D;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1941 Smith et a1. 132/84 B 7/1916 Melin 132/84 R X 2,168,689 8/1939 Smith et a1. 132/84 B 1,230,279 6/1917 Coffey 15/185 2,563,455 8/1951 Brown 206/1.8 X 1,304,769 5/1919 l-lendrickson 132/84 B Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. N. Eskovitz Attorney-Joseph B. Balazs et a1.
 ABSTRACT An article of manufacture consisting of a toothbrush hinged in a plastic storage container, the latter serving also as a part of the handle. Brush and paste compartments are provided in the container and a sealing lid serves in the open position as a hanger for drying purposes.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PORTABLE 'roo'runnusa BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION This invention relates to hygienic apparatus and more particularly to a new form of toothbrush formed in part by a container which serves for storage of the brush and affords portability for same.
Little consideration has been given in the past to the storage and convenience aspects of toothbrushes and the like other than for the initial packaging of same in a container which can be retained and used for storage purposes, however usually being discarded when first opened and not conveniently available thereafter. It would be desirable to have a toothbrush which is designed specifically for portable uses which is of the size suitable for carrying in the pocket or purse and in which the container is an integral part thereof, affording easy manipulation of the brush and a ready place for storage of same.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus of this invention is especially suited for travel, overnight trips and the like where it is desired to carry a toothbrush on ones person or in a suitcase. It is also advantageous in the guest situation where it is desired that ones toothbrush is clearly identifiable and not subject to confusion or intermixing with those of the host or his family. Further the apparatus of this invention provides a product which may be conveniently carried on ones person much in the manner of a hair comb and is available for use at anytime, the usual usage of toothbrushes being limited to the early morning and late evening hours.
It is one object of this invention to provide a new form of toothbrush which is designed for carrying, having its own container as an integral part thereof.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new form of toothbrush which is especially suited for portable applications and which is clearly distinguishable from conventional forms of toothbrushes.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved toothbrush which is foldable and in the folded state is smaller in at least one dimension than the conventional toothbrush.
It is a yet further object of this invention to provide improved toothbrush apparatus which is condusive to maintenance of a sanitary brush both in sotrage and 7 portable conditions of same.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In said annexed drawings:
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the apparatus of the invention taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is an end view of the apparatus of the invention in the folded condition taken along the lines 44 of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION The improved toothbrush apparatus 10 of this invention comprises a toothbrush portion indicated generally at 11 and a container indicated generally at 12. The toothbrush I1 is of generally conventional configuration comprising an elongated handle 14 preferably made of a rigid plastic having a number of bristles l5 imbedded in one end thereof forming the brush. The
handle 14 is substantially shorter in length than the FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the apparatus of the invention shown in the folded and carrying position; 1
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the apparatus of the invention shown in the unfolded operational condition;
conventional toothbrush handle, preferably being approximately two-thirds the length of a conventional handle but it will be clear that such dimension may be scaled upwardly or downwardly depending upon the intended usage. Further, overall dimensions may be scaled similarly, for example, for adult and childrens sizes. I
The container 12 consists of a rigid plastic housing 16 of generally rectangular configuration having a pair of side 'walls 18 spaced to accommodate the greatest width dimension of the toothbrush 11 and a pair of end walls 19 spaced sufficiently to receive the full handle length of the toothbrush. The housing 16 further comprises a bottom wall 20 and preferably the side walls 18, end walls 19 and bottom wall 20 are formed from a single piece of plastic by injection molding techniques or the like. Included in the container 12 is an inner wall 21 spanning the side walls 18 of the housing 16 and dividing the latter into compartments for receipt of the bristles 15 of the toothbrush 11 in one compartment 22 and for receipt of a tube of toothpaste 24 in the second compartment 25. As will be described in greater detail hereafter such inner wall 21 forms a support member for the toothbrush I 1 when in the folded condition and serves to retain same in a predetermined position therein.
The container 12 further comprises a lid 26 for en-. closing the housing 16 consisting of a substantially flat rectangular plate 28 of semi-rigid plastic material formed into a shape as seen most clearly in FIG. 2, including angularly extending upturned legs 29, 30 at either end thereof. One leg 29 provides a means for pivotal attachment to the housing 16 having a notch 31 therein adapted to receive a boss 32 extending from the end wall of the housing, being secured by a pin 33 passing through the leg 29 and the boss 32, with freedom for pivotal movement being allowed by recesses 34 formed in the end wall 19 of the housing adjacent the boss 32. The other leg 30 of the lid 26 includes an inwardly angled portion 35 at its upper end as viewed in FIG. 2 and includes an aperture 36 therein, which leg is adapted to conform as a flap with the end wall 19 of the housing l6 which also includes an angled portion 38. A stud 39 is integrally formed on such angled portion 38 of the housing and cooperates with the aperture 36 in the leg 30 of the lid to provide a means for securing the lid 26 to the housing 16, sufficient resiliency being provided in the material forming the lid 26 so that the aperture 36 may be deformed and easily snapped in place over the stud 39. A gasket 40 consisting of a thin layer of rubber or the like is bonded to the interior surface of the lid 26 and in the closed condition engages the edges of the walls of the housing 16 as well as the end walls 19 to form a tightly sealed enclosure.
The handle 14 of the toothbrush 11 includes a bifurcation 41 at one end which is adapted to receive an upstanding boss 42 supported on and spaced inwardly of the end wall 19 of the housing, the handle 14 being'pivotally secured in place by a pin 44. The end wall 19 of the housing includes a notch 45 therein conforming to the width of the handle 14 and ofa depth to support the handle in a position substantially parallel with the lower wall 20 of the container 12. The handle 14 is prevented from substantial sideways movement by the sides of the notch 45 and from movement downwardly by the bottom of the notch 45 and the pivot pin 44. It may be seen then that the container 12 and the toothbrush 11 may be grasped by the person using same when the toothbrush is in such operative position most conveniently by placing the thumb against the top side of the handle 14, forcing same downwardly into the notch 45 while grasping the container 12 with the palm and fingers. In this manner the toothbrush 11 may be manipulated in the conventional manner for tooth cleaning purposes and the combined length of the handle 14 and the housing 16 is more than sufficient to be comparable to the length of a conventional toothbrush and afford access to any place within the mouth. In this operative position of the toothbrush the lid 26 is left free to hang from the end wall 19 of the housing 16 and extending substantially along the same line as the toothbrush l4 and housing l6, provides little or no hindrance to operation of same.
In the storage position of the toothbrush apparatus as depicted in FIG. 1 the handle 14 is pivoted on the pin 44 out of the notch 45 and into the housing 16, being supported on the inner wall 21 and on one end wall 19 on a ledge 46 formed therein. The inner wall 21 and ledge 46 in the end wall 19 are of such dimensions as to support the toothbrush 11 so that the bristles are spaced from the bottom wall of the housing 16, this configuration preventing deformation of the bristles 15 and/or contamination of same from water deposits and the like on the bottom wall 20 of the housing.
In the storage position the leg 30 of the lid 26 closely overlies the end wall 19 of the housing 16 and the aperture 36 is secured over the stud 39 to retain the lid in place. It will be noted that the gasket 40 on the leg 30 of the lid 26 effectively seals the notch 45 in the end wall 19 of the housing and that the opposite leg 29 of the lid is similarly provided with gasket material thereby sealing the container 12 to allow carrying of same without the possibility of moisture and the like ex uding from the container. The toothbrush 10 in this configuration is substantially smaller in length than a conventional toothbrush and may be readily carried from place to place, the provision of a tube of toothpaste 24 in the compartment 25 of the housing 16 allowing utilization in any location.
Referring again to the operative configuration of the apparatus 10 as depicted in FIG. 2 with the toothbrush 11, housing 16 and lid 26 in a substantially aligned position, a notch 48 in the handle 14 of the toothbrush being provided for facilitating removal of same from the container, it will be clear that all elements of the apparatus 10 are exposed and that this configuration is suitable for drying purposes. Most conveniently the apparatus 10 may be hung from a shelf, hook or the like, by placing the leg 30 of the lid 26 over an edge and disposing the apparatus 10 in a vertical position. It will be clear also that the aperture 36 in the leg 30 may be placed over a hook if desired and that the apparatus 10 will assume substantially the same vertical disposition. It will be readily apparent then that the apparatus 10 may be placed in a drying position in the bathroom area sufficiently removed from the area where other members of the household store their cleansing items to encourage a sanitary condition and that the apparatus 10 will be sufficiently distinguishable to avoid confusion.
Although a plastic container 12 is indicated as preferable it will beapparent that other materials would be suitable as well and that variations in the configuration of the apparatus are possible. For example instead of the stud 39 and aperture 36 closure shown, such components may be reversed in location or ledge-type friction closures well known in the plastic art may be employed. Additionally, if desired, the side walls 18 can be apertured to provide vents for drying the toothbrus while being carried in the closed condition.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. Portable toothbrush apparatus comprising a toothbrush, a housing for storing said toothbrush for carrying purposes, said housing having a pair of spaced apart side walls and a pair of end walls defining a cavity for receipt of said toothbrush therein, said toothbrush comprising a handle having brush bristles attached to one end, means pivotally mounting the other end of said handle within said housing adjacent one end wall thereof for pivotal movement of said toothbrush between a stored position within said housing and an operative position with said handle and brush bristles extending outwardly beyond said one end wall of said housing, said one end wall of said housing having a notch in the upper edge thereof conforming to the width of said handle and of a depth to support said handle in the desired operative position, said housing being adapted to be grasped for manipulation of said toothbrush when in the operative position, and a lid for enclosing said housing when said toothbrush is in the stored position within said housing, said lid comprising a substantially flat rectangular plate having angularly extending legs at each end thereof, one of said legs being pivotally attached to the exterior surface of the other end wall of said housing below the upper edge thereof for pivotal movement of said lid between an open position extending outwardly from said other end wall and a closed position with said legs overlying both end walls of said housing, and a gasket bonded to the inner surface of said lid for providing sealed engagement with the upper edges of the walls of said housing and the exterior surfaces of said end walls of said housing when in the closed position to form a tightly sealed enclosure, the exterior surface of said one end wall of said housing including an angled portion, and said other leg on said lid being angled inwardly to conform with said one end wall of said housing when in the closed position, said lid being formed of a semi-rigid material adapted to be flexed to allow said other leg to fit over said one end wall of said housing, a stud on said angled portion of said one end wall, and an aperture in said other leg of said lid, said other leg being adapted to be flexed to.allow said aperture to receive said stud within said housing, said support means being adapted to prevent the bristles of said toothbrush from engaging said housing.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said support means comprises a member dividing said housing into two compartments, the bristles of said toothbrush being adapted for disposition in one compartment, and the second compartment being adapted for storage of a tube of toothpaste therein.
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