US 3807601 A
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United States Patent [191 Frankenb'erg [451 Apr. 30, 1974 TABLET DISPENSER USING A FLEXIBLE PARTITION [75 Inventor: Henry E. Frankenberg, Hinsdale, Ill.
 Assignee: Continental Can Company, Inc.,
New York, NY.
 Filed: Sept. 15, 1972  Appl. No.1 289,522
 US. Cl 221/289, 221/307, 221/274, 206/42  Int. Cl B65h 3/36  Field of Search 221/92, 100, 98, 101, 251, 221/274, 307, 310, 289, 295; 206/42  References Cited.-
UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,917,162 12/1959 Horland 206/42 2,108,902 2/1938 Rasmussen.... 221/307 3,061,082 10/1962 Schenker 206/42 908,364 4/1908 Wallace 221/307 2,149,445 3/1939 Kreiten 221/289 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,062,013 3/ 1967 Great Britain 206/42 Primary ExaminerStanley H. Tollberg Assistant ExaminerH. Grant Skaggs, Jr.
Attorney, Agent, or FirmJohn J. Kowalik; Joseph E. Kerwin; William A. Dittmann [5 7] ABSTRACT A tablet dispensing container or box having a plate in spaced relationship to the base of the single layer of tablets. The plate is formed with an opening for discharging single ones of the tablets therethrough. The plate is formed with a partition member defining a compartment which communicates with the opening in the plate and limits the number of tablets that may discharge through the opening. The partition member is flexible adjacent one end to be movable from a position permitting entry of tablets into the compartment and a position closing-off entry thereto.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures A TABLET DISPENSER USING A FLEXIBLE PARTITION BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to containers for tablets and the like and more particularly to an improved container which is constructed and arranged to limit the number of tablets which may be simultaneously dispensed therefrom.
The containers of the general type intended for use in dispensing tablets such as aspirin tablets are frequently placed so as to be readily accessible to children. The ease with which the tablets may be removed from the containers and consumed by children is a hazard if the aspirin tablets are consumed in great numbers.
By the invention, it is proposed to provide a container constructed so that the number of tablets that may be removed at one time without manipulation is limited to a number which is not hazardous to the health of the child if consumed. The construction limiting the number of tablets is arranged so that the manipulation required to remove a further limited number is usually not capable of being achieved by a child having an understanding less than years of age.
This is accomplished by providing the tray of the generally standard aspirin box with an insert having a top plate which is supported therein to overlie a layer of tablets. The plate is provided with an opening through which single ones of the tablets may be dispensed. The opening communicates with a compartment which is capable of accommodating only a limited number of tablets. The compartment is defined by a partitioning means depending from the plate. The partitioning means is flexible adjacent one end so as to be flexed to a position providing an entrance passage through which the tablets enter the compartment and a normal nonflexed position closing-off passage of the tablets to the compartment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top fragmentary plan view in the open position of a container embodying the structure of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.
F IG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the lines 44 of FIG. -1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now present the drawings, there is shown a container made from a relatively thin gauge metal. The container 10 includes a tray 11 to which there is hingedly attached a cover 12. An insert 13 embodying the structure of the resent invention is seated within the tray 11.
The container 10 may be generally similar to tins or containers used to package small quantities of aspirin tablets and the like. To this end, the tray 11 is formed with a base 14 from which there project upstanding side walls 16 and front and rear walls 17 and 18, respectively. The tray is rather shallow so as to accommodate a single layer of the pills or tablets P to be dispensed.
The cover 12 is of standard construction may be hingedly fastened to the tray 1 l by means of a hinge pin 19. The cover 12 is formed with a top 21 and depending side and front walls (not shown) and rear wall 22 which nest over the upstanding walls of the tray 11. The front wall of the tray 11 may be formed with an indentation 23 which co-acts with a complementary projection (not shown) formed on the front wall of the cover 12 to form a latch. The back or rear wall 18 and side walls l6l6 may also each be formed with indentations or nibs 24 which along with indentation 23 co-act to retain the insert 13 in the tray 11 as more fully to be explained hereinafter.
The insert 13 comprises a top plate 27 supported on posts 28. The insert 13 is preferably made from plastic as for example, an opaque high density polyethylene and formed by molding so that the posts 28 are formed integral with the plate 27. One corner of the top plate 27 is formed with a cut-out or opening 29 sized to permit the dispensing of a single pill or tablet P therethrough. The insert is retained in the tray by the indentation or nibs 23 and 24 which engage the upper surface of the plate 27 as shown.
A partition member 31 projects downwardly from the plate along one side of the opening 29 and substantially parallel to the adjacent side wall 16 to define a compartment 30. The end portion of the partition member 31 remote from the front wall 17 terminates in a pin 33. As shown, the end portion 32 lies in a leg 34 of a generally inverted L-shaped slot The partition end portion 32 is thus flexible so that the pin 33 may be shifted into a transversely extending leg 36 of the slot 34, spaced from a post 28a to permit entry of tablet P into the compartment 30. Upon release of the pin 33, the partition member, end portion 32 because of the memory of the plastic, returns to the full line position. In this position, the pin 33 is in sufficiently close spaced relationship to the post 28a to prevent further tablets P from entering the compartment 30. In this manner, the compartment 30 is limited to two tablets of which only singles ones can be dispensed through the opening 29 without first manipulating the flexible partition member to the phantom line position.
In the event the two tablets are removed from the compartment 30, the gate or pin 33 co-acting with the posts 28a prevents the other tablets from entering the compartment 39 and thereby from being dispensed from the container. It is first necessary to flex the end portion 32 of the partition 34 to the phantom line position whereupon two of the tablets are free to enter the compartment 30. The tablets may then be discharged through the opening 29. These manipulative maneuverers required to discharge the tablets P from the container and to load the compartment 30 generally have been found to be incapable of being performed by a child having a mental age less than 5 years.
What is claimed is:
1. A tablet dispensing box comprising a tray having upstanding walls and a dispensing plate inserted in said tray for limiting the number of tablets that may be removed from said tray, said tray having a bottom and upstanding walls, supporting means supporting said plate in said tray above a layer of tablets, and opening means in said plate for discharging single tablets there- .through and a partition member depending from said I plate and defining a compartment in said tray and communicating with said opening, said partitioning member being flexible adjacent one end thereof and being movable from a normal unflexed position closing-off passage of the tablets in said tray into said compartment to a position permitting passage of single ones of the layer into said compartment.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said partition member is parallel to one of said upstanding walls said plate being supporting on a plurality of posts, and said flexible one end of said partition member cooperates with one of said posts to close-off entry to said molded plastic.