|Publication number||US3773214 A|
|Publication date||Nov 20, 1973|
|Filing date||Sep 7, 1971|
|Priority date||Sep 7, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3773214 A, US 3773214A, US-A-3773214, US3773214 A, US3773214A|
|Original Assignee||Lemon W|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (12), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 Lemon Nov. 20, 1973 CONTAINER CARRIER  Inventor: William C. Lemon, P.O. Box 182,
Tiburon, Calif. 94920  Filed: Sept. 7, 1971  Appl. No.: 178,149
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 16,623, June 2, 1969, abandoned, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 616,234, Feb. 15, 1967, abandoned.
 US. Cl. 220/115, 220/116 B65d 5/46 Field of Search 220/102, 110, 111, 220/112, 113,115, 116; 206/65 B, 65 E, 65 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,701,661 2/1955 Murray 220/113 2,106,276 l/1938 I-Ieincman 206/65 B 3,279,648 10/1966 Worthington 220/116 2,919,829 l/l960 Forrer 220/115 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,290,250 3/1962 France 220/1 12 1,270,068 7/ 1961 France 220/1 12 728,975 4/1955 Great Britain 220/1 15 Primary ExaminerDonald F. Norton AttorneyPrutzman, I-Iayes, Kalb & Chilton [5 7 ABSTRACT A thermoplastic sheet material carrier for a plurality of single service containers such as bottles, having a carry-handle integral with the carrier body. Various styles utilize formed bottom-wall container wells, formed side-wall container wells, and an apertured carrier requiring no forming or molding. Integral strengthening sheet portions, container well drain facilities and reverse-folded insertion of the sheet ends through a central slot also are features of the invention.
12 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Pmimmnveoma- 3,773,214
VENTOR. WIL M C. LEMON IBYL'MLZ,
ATTORNEYS Pmmnnumzmm 3.773.214-
ENTOR. WILL! C LEMON PATENIED NOV 20 ms FIG. /4
CONTAINER CARRIER The present application is a continuing application of my copending application Ser. No. 16,623 filed June 2, 1969 and entitled Container Carrier, now abandoned, and such application Ser. No. 16,623 was a continuing application of then copending application Ser. No. 616,234 filed Feb. 15, 1967 and entitled Container Carrier, now abandoned.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to devices for carrying small articles, such as bottles, cans and the like, and more particularly to thermoplastic sheet material carriers for such articles.
Carriers have been provided heretofore to receive several bottles or cans. Many of these are formed of cardboard or molded pulp. They often include central folded carry-handles and boxlike extensions on opposite sides of the handles to receive a plurality of containers, commonly three to a side. This structure is the six-pack. I
The fibrous variety of carrier just referred to has a number of drawbacks, not the least of which is its low utilizability. As inexpensive as it may be to fabricate, its economy overall is questionable, for replacement must be frequently made. It tears easily, and disintegrates when wet.
Metal carriers, even with their relatively high-count reuse properties, are uneconomical because of their high cost. Plastic carriers maintain their shape and strength when wet. They are easily cleaned, light in weight, can be made flexible enough to conform to container shapes, and while more expensive to fabricate than cardboard, are considerably less expensive than metal and can be used repeatedly.
There are prior art carriers that employ container pockets or receiving portions which are formed from depending central walls, e.g., the U. S. Pat. No. 2,998,899 of Sept. 5, 1961 to D. Telesca for Multiple Compartment Carrier for Beverage Containers; or are formed from central walls in part, and from upturned side walls in part, e.g., the U. S. Pat. No. 2,961,123 of Nov. 22,1960 to J. P. Boydak et al. for Molded Pulp Bottle Carrier; or indeed that have no formed pockets at all, either in the base or in the side walls of the carrier, e.g., the U. S. Pat. No. 2,701,661 of Feb. 8, 1955 to A. J. Murray for Carrier for Canned or Bottled Goods.
The present invention is directed to a carrier of sheet material such as thermoplastic using pockets or cups formed in base walls, and, alternatively, formed in side walls. Unformed, apertured carrier structure is also disclosed. Except for the apertured version, the various embodiments utilize sheet material which is assembled by reversing the sheet ends and inserting the ends either through a central slot or into a central fold to form a handle structure.
It is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved container carrier.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved container carrier having container pockets formed in the base of the carrier.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved container carrier having container pockets formed in the side walls of the carrier.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved container carrier having container receiving structure in the nature of apertured portions of the carrier body.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved container carrier having means to maintain. the carrier erect when it is empty.
' Other objects will be in part obvious and in part pointed out more in detail hereinafter.
A better understanding of the invention will be obtained from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings of illustrative applications of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one assembled embodiment of the invention, showing bottles partly cut away and in phantom, in the carrier;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the unassembled sheet form of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, absent the bottles;
FIG. 4 is an end view in section of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, absent the bottles, and taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 a perspective view of a second assembled embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the unassembled sheet form of the embodiment of the invention shown' in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a third assembled embodiment of the invention; j
FIG. 8 is a plan view of the unassembled sheet form of the embodimentof the invention shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a fourth assembled embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the unassembled sheet form of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 9;
FIG. 1 1 is a perspective view of a fifth assembled embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 12 is a plan view of the unassembled sheet form ,of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 11; and
FIGS. 13 and 14 are perspective views, partly in phantom, showing carriers with other embodiments of carrier handle structure according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Five carrier embodiments and two alternative carrier handle structures incorporating the present invention are disclosed. To ensure clarity each carrier embodiment and each alternative carrier handle structure is described with a different set of reference numerals. Each carrier embodiment and handle structure is substantially symmetrical, with respect to its matching sides viewed in end elevation. Reference numerals derial, in FIG. 2. Scored fold lines 11, 12 and 13 are provided to facilitate erection of the carrier from the sheet form. Carry-handle flaps 22 are swept around, folded and inserted through the carry-handle receiving slot or slit-like aperture 25 to effect erection. When erected, the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4 has a rather rigid and dimensionally stable rectangular structure for holding bottles and the like, and includes a top cover 14 having container receiving apertures 19, side panels or covers 15 with charnfers 16 and panels 17 offset from the side panels by means of the chamfers. The side covers, chamfers and offset panels enhance rigidity of the erected carrier. The side covers and offset panels also provide impact or bumper protection from adjacent plural pack carriers. Transmission of any impact shock laterally across the carrier from one side to the other is partly absorbed by the strengtheners or webs disposed centrally and vertically of the rectangular body structure. To this extent, the laterally remote containers are spared some degree of shock. The webs 20 also provide dimensional rigidity and stability at the critical point through which lifting forces pass.
The rectangular body structure also includes the base wall or cover 18 having container receiving pockets or cups 21 formed therein. FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a tapered configuration for these pockets. The tapering walls serve to grip containers disposed therein. By careful positioning of the apertures 19 in the top cover 14; the pockets 21 in the base cover 18; and by using tapered pockets, a carrier manufacturer is able to provide a very high degree of protection for each container in the carrier. No container can physically strike directly against an adjacent neighbor container. Each longitudinal container row has at least two bumper webs between it and impact. Each container is firmly nested at two well-spaced points in the carrier: its base and upper portions. Even the end and exposed containers have upperand lower bumper portions of the sheet material protecting and separating them from, for example, other carriers and containers.
As has been noted above, considerable rigidity and dimensional stability is inherent in the carrier design even as disclosed to this point. These properties are manifested particularly when the carrier is full of bottles or the like. Additional rigidity is imparted to the carrier through the carry-handle structure. As the carry-handle flaps 22 are brought up through the flap receiving slot or slit-like aperture 25, the carry-handle notches 26 engage the top cover 14 adjacent the slot 25 and lock with relation thereto. The carry-handle flaps may be permanently joined thereafter at points such as 27 by conventional thermal welds. The carry-handle apertures 24 are proportioned to comfortably receive ones hand, and the handle flap ears 23 are folded over as in FIG. 4 to enhance the comfort of the grip. The
' erect, locked and joined configuration of the carrythe carrier. The top cover 34 has container receiving apertures 39 appropriately positioned therein. Formed within the side covers are container receiving cups or pockets 41 so positioned as to cooperatively snugly receive containers. The side covers 35 and the top cover 34 are preferably so proportioned as to form an equilateral triangle when the carrier is erect. It is well known that an equilateral triangle provides strong frame structure, having great rigidity and dimensional stability. Additional rigidity is conferred upon the embodiment now under consideration by use of the strengtheners or webs which are disposed vertically from the inverted apex of the triangle, and which extend through the top cover 34 and slot or slit-like aperture 45 to form carry-handle flaps 42, cars 43 and carry apertures 44. The flaps 42 lockably engage the top cover 34 with notches 46 and may be welded at points such as 47, as in the first embodiment. Drain holes 48 may be provided as before.
As in the first embodiment, individual protection is provided for each container, with respect to the other containers. The strengtheners again act as part of this protection.
FIGS. 7 and 8 disclose a modified form of the second embodiment. The body shown generally by 50 has scored fold lines 51, 52 and 53 to facilitate erection of the carrier from the sheet form of FIG. 8. When erected, the carrier defines a combined rectangular and triangular cross section. This construction has properties of rigidity and stability and also provides nameplates 58 for name imprinting and like indicia. These nameplates also act as impact bumpers, albeit to a lesser extent than panels 15 and 17 of the first embodiment. The top cover 54 has container receiving apertures 59 appropriately positioned therein. Formed within the side covers are container receiving pockets or cups 61 so positioned as to cooperatively snugly receive containers. Additional rigidity is conferred upon the embodiment under consideration by use of strengtheners or webs which are disposed as before, and the extensions of which passing through the slot or slit-like aperture 65 form carry-handle flaps 62, ears 63 and carry apertures 64. As before, the flaps 62 lockably engage the top cover 54 with the notches 66 and may be welded at points such as 67. Also as before, drain holes 68 may be provided.
The above-described third embodiment also provides individual protection for each container, with respect to the other containers. The strengtheners again act as part of this protection.
FIGS. 9 and 10 disclose a fourth embodiment of the invention. The body shown generally by 70 has scored fold lines 71, 72 and 73 to facilitate erection of the carrier from the sheet form of FIG. 10. When erected, the carrier defines an inverted channel member having a short-trunk inverted Y member joinably fitted therein. Of the various embodiments of the invention disclosed herein, this embodiment offers the greatest area of skirt protection for containers in the carrier. By the same token, more readily utilizable printing space is available on this embodiment than on the others. And as before, the structure affords rigidity and dimensional stability, empty or full. The top cover 74 has container receiving apertures 79 appropriately positioned therein. Formed within the inner side webs 78 are container receiving cups or pockets 81 so positioned as to cooperatively snugly receive containers. Abbreviated strengtheners or webs 80 provide a central backstop to somewhat inhibit flexing and lateral motion of either the inner side covers 78 or the outer side covers (skirt portions) 75. Additional rigidity is conferred upon the embodiment under consideration by use of the usual carry-handle flap extensions 82 (including flap ears 83 and apertures 84) inserted through the slot or slit-like aperture 85, and lockably engaged with the top cover 84 by the notches 86. The flaps may be welded at points 87, for example, as before. Drain holes 88 may be provided, also, as before.
FIGS. 11 and 12 disclose an unformed embodiment, in contrast to the preceding embodiments, each of which requires some forming or molding process. On the other hand, each of the preceding embodiments provides cup or pocket structures, which feature is absent in this last embodiment. The body shown generally by 100 has scored fold lines 101, 102 and 103 to facilitate erection of the carrier from the sheet form of FIG. 12. When erected, the carrier defines a cross section view of a trapezoid whose nonparallel sides come together most closely at the base. This embodiment is the least expensive version to manufacture, but is just as reusable as the other embodiments. It too affords rigidity and dimensional stability. This embodiment may find greater use with can containers than with bottle containers simply because it offers limited impact protection. The top cover 104 has container receiving apertures 109 appropriately positioned therein. Side apertures 111 are so positioned in side walls or covers 105 as to cooperatively with apertures 19 snugly receive containers disposed therein. Although true of all embodiments, it is particularly significant with respect to the present embodiment that the thermoplastic stock of the carrier to some extent conforms itself to the container contours. Thus, the side apertures 111 and side covers 105 cooperate to ensure snug receipt of containers. Base supports 108 and strengtheners or webs 110 form right angle supports for containers. The base supports 108 also prevent the containers from falling through side apertures 111. The webs 110 add considerable rigidity to the carrier and have the usual carryhandle flaps 112, ears 1 13 and apertures 114 extending upwardly therefrom and through the slot or slit-like ap erture 115. The flaps 112 lockably engage the top cover 104 by means of notches 116 and may be welded at such points as 117.
FIGS. 13 and 14 disclose four-ply handle structures 130, 150 respectively which may be employed with the previously described carrier embodiments instead of the two-ply handle structure disclosed with those embodiments. The handle structure 130 employs a fourply handle formed by elongated carry-handle flaps 132 inserted through the central receiving slot or slit-like aperture 133. The elongated flaps 132 have scored fold lines 134 and are folded outwardly to provide a fourply double strength handle. The four plies of the carryhandle are secured together as for example by spot welding, heat sealing, staples, adhesive and/or sewing. The four plies of the handle are formed with mating handle apertures to comfortably receive the hand. The outer plies (and also the inner plies if desired) are preferably formed with handle flap ears 139 which are folded over to enhance the comfort of the grip.
The handle structure 150 is formed by a central folded portion 152 between the top cover portions 154 and for this purpose suitable score lines 155, 156 are provided to facilitate erection of the carrier from the precut and (where formed pockets are provided) preformed carrier stock. The handle flaps 158 are inserted into the central fold 152 to provide a four-ply sandwich-like handle structure. The four plies are provided with suitable cooperating carry-handle apertures 160 and the outer plies (and also the inner plies if desired) are preferably formed with handle flap ears 162 which are folded over to enhance the comfort of the grip. The four plies of the handle are secured together as by spot welding, heat sealing, adhesive, staples and or sewing.
The four-ply handle structures 130, provide for doubling the strength of the carrier at the handle and therefore at the place of greatest strain. Consequently for any given handle strength the gauge of sheet stock employed for manufacturing the carrier may be reduced as much as one-half without decreasing the strength or life of the carrier. Also, the exterior surface of the handle lies on the same side of the sheet stock as the top, side and bottom exterior surfaces of the carrier. Accordingly the entire or any part of the exterior surface of the carrier may be printed or otherwise embellished by treating only one side of the carrier stock.
There are disclosed three basic styles of carriers: a carrier with formed pockets which are approximately one-third the depth of the containers to be inserted; a carrier with formed pockets which are approximately two-thirds of the depth of the containers to be inserted; and the apertured style carrier in which the container pockets are provided by apertures. The first and second style carriers lend themselves to modification such that instead of a plurality of separate pockets on each side, the body might have pocket portions or a continuous trough underlying the top cover apertures. That is, one pocket might be common to a plurality of containers. Also, three different handle structures are disclosed which may be employed with each of the three basic carrier styles.
It will be readily understood that the invention lends itself to a number of forms. All forms offer lightweight, inert stock which is erected into rigid and stable form for highcount reuse. The article lends itself to facile cleaning, and offers impact protection to the containers therein. In all but the unformed embodiment the pockets are formed either entirely in the base walls or entirely in the side walls. These same embodiments are easily erected by reverse folding and inserting the flaps either through a central slot or slit-like aperture or into a central fold.
The invention has been illustrated in terms of the common and popular six-pack. No limitation to sixpack configuration is understood or intended. The invention clearly lends itself, generically, to plural-pack configuration.
As will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, various modifications, adaptations and variations of the foregoing specific disclosure can be made without departing from the teachings of the present invention.
1. A container carrier formed from a unitary sheet having an apertured top cover portion forming a web to protect individual containers, skirt portions attached to the top cover portion, side cover portions attached to the skirt portions and having pockets formed therein to protectively surround containers, strengthener portions attached to the side cover portions, and apertured carry-handle tab end extensions of the strengtheners,
said carrier cross-sectionally generally defining a centrally reinforced inverted channel member and inverted short-trunk Y member joinably fitted within the channel member, with the strengthener portions forming the short-trunk of the Y member and providing the central reinforcement.
2. A container carrier according to claim 1 wherein said side cover portions are formed to provide depending pockets.
3. A reusable container carrier constructed from plastic sheet stock having an upstanding handle with a carry opening, top cover portions on opposite sides of the handle having apertures for receiving containers, inclined portions formed with pockets below the top cover apertures for supporting the containers and central strengthener portions providing central reinforcement between the pockets and extending upwardly to the handle.
4. A container carrier as set forth in claim 3 wherein the inclined portions extend generally downwardly and inwardly to the central strengthener portions.
5. A container carrier as set forth in claim 4 further comprising skirt portions between the top cover portions and the inclined portions.
6. A container carrier as set forth in claim 4 wherein the inclined portions are formed with depending molded pockets below the top cover apertures.
7. A container carrier as set forth in claim 3 further comprising skirt portions between the top cover por-- and the strengthener portions, wherein the inclined portions extend generally downwardly and inwardly to the base portions and wherein the inclined portions have openings extending from the base portions to form pockets below the top cover apertures for supporting the containers with the base portions.
10. A container carrier as set forth in claim 3 wherein the top cover portions are attached and comprise a slot at their juncture and wherein the central strengthener portions extend through the slot and the handle comprises folded end portions of the central strengthener portions.
11. A container carrier as set forth in claim 3 wherein the handle comprises a first two-ply folded handle portion between said top cover portions and a second handle portion within the first folded handle portion formed by end portions of the central strengthener portions.
12. A carrier for a plurality of containers constructed from plastic sheet material having a central upstanding handle with a carry opening, top cover portions on opposite sides of the handle having apertures for receiving and securing containers in the carrier in two rows on opposite sides of the handle, strengthener portions to protectively isolate the container rows within the carrier and extending upwardly to the handle, outer skirt portions attached to the top cover portions, and side cover portions attached between the skirt portions and strengthener portions and having pockets therein to protectively receive the containers, the container carrier cross-sectionally generally defining a centrally re inforced inverted channel member and inverted shorttrunk Y member joinably fitted within the channel member with the strengthener portions forming the short-trunk of the Y member and providing the central reinforcement.
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|U.S. Classification||206/194, 206/197|
|International Classification||B65D71/48, B65D71/40|