US 3830411 A
A container-dispenser for pills and the like having a filling opening with a sealing cap, and a dispensing device whereby pills may be discharged individually, both the cap and the dispensing device being operable to maintain a water-tight, air-tight seal at all times. The container-dispenser is especially designed for use with medications having highly volatile ingredients, and protects the medications against loss of potency due to exposure to the atmosphere.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Krechmar 3,830,411 Aug. 20, 19' 4 3,318,491 5/l967 Williamson.............. 221/266 X PILL CONTAINER-DISPENSER Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerThomas E. Kocovsky  Filed:
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John A. Hamilton  ABSTRACT A container-dispenser for pills and the like having a  US. 222/363, 22l/266  Int Cl B65g 59/06 22l/l97, 177, 266, 277,
Field of filling opening with a sealing cap, and a dispensing device whereby pills may be discharged individually, both the cap and the dispensing device being operable to maintain a water-tight, air-tight seal at all times.
[5 6] References Cited The container-dispenser is especially designed for use mw nn .mm d0 mp f .m e 3 b r. t at. W m .1 Vi w F new w W h i w W .m m o m mm n .m c m 7 v m 9 m m m0 m Se ll fi c m C t 2 3 C ma e m Pm mde .Ilnu wad xxwx 006200 66U9 BQZH 1 1 22 .2 22 2 T m m N m m E m m T m m A u n P m m m a Mme T e w w m SWSAA D E0906 T3366 9999 N MHHH U43 9 8395 795 39 3 00 5567 ,9 223 This invention relates to new and useful improvements in container-dispensers for pills, tablets, capsules, and the like, and has particular reference to such a device for use in connection with medications having volatile contents.
Many medicinal pills, tablets, and the like do include highly volatile ingredients, perhaps the most noteworthy being the nitroglycerine tablets used for the treatment of heart ailments such as angina pectoris, and loss of potency thereof due to vaporization is a serious problem. Heart patients who must carry a supply of nitroglycerine tablets, for example, are advised never to purchase more than a limited number of tablets at any one time, and to discard any unused tablets after a stated period of time, such as three months, in order to insure that their current supply will be at full potency whenever use thereof becomes necessary. Federal authorities also have adopted strict requirements as to the storage of such medications, in order to guard and insure potency at the time of sale.
Accordingly, the principal object of the present invention is the provision of a container-dispenser for pills and the like which is water-tight and air-tight at all times, and from which the pills may be dispensed one at a time without exposing the remainder of its contents to the atmosphere.
Further objects are the provision of a device of the character described which can be carried conveniently in the pocket or purse, and in which the process of dispensing a pill can be performed with extreme ease and rapidity, even in the dark, and even by persons in a panic, as heart patients often are when suffering an attack.
Other objects are simplicity and economy of construction, and efficiency and dependability of operation.
With these objects in view, as well as other objects which will appear in the course of the specification, reference will be had to the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a containerdispenser for pills and the like embodying the present invention,
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line III- -III of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line IVIV of FIG. 3,
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line V-V of FIG. 4, showing the rotary plug in its normal position,
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, showing the rotary plug turned to its pill discharging position, and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line VII-VII of FIG. 5.
Like reference numerals apply to similar parts throughout the several views, and the numberal 2 applies generally to the body portion of the containerdispenser. As shown, said body member is rectilinear in form, having a cylindrical pill reservoir 4 formed vertically therein for receiving a number of pills 6 in stacked relation therein, said reservoir preferably being of only slightly larger diameter than said pills so that the pills will normally assume a stacked relation when deposited therein. The body member is preferably formed of a transparent material as indicated, such as plastic or glass, in order to provide a clear view of its contents, but the material may be tinted, usually an amber color, to protect pills against deterioration when they are of types subject to deterioration or loss of potency by exposure to light of certain wave-lengths.
At its upper end, reservoir 4 is flaringly enlarged in diameter, and opens through an externally threaded neck 8 of the body member to provide a filling opening 10 through which pills 6 may be inserted into the reservoir. Said filling opening normally closed by a threaded metal cap 12 which is threaded on neck 8, and which is lined with a compressible gasket 14 providing an airtight, water-tight seal against said neck. Cap 12 may be molded in a block 15 of plastic or the like to extend the rectilinear configuration of body member 2. Attached at 17 to the inner surface of cap 12 is a helical spring 13 which extends downwardly into reservoir 4 and presses yieldably against the topmost pill 6 therein.
At its lower end, reservoir 4 opens diametrically into a generally circular aperture 16 formed through the body member from front to rear thereof. The central portion of said aperture is frustro-conical in form, being taperingly reduced in diameter toward the rear, as indicated at 18, and reservoir 4 opens into this zone of the aperture. At its forward end, aperture 16 is cylindrically socketed to a larger diameter, as at 20, to form a forwardly facing shoulder 22. Socket 20 is interrupted by a pair of lugs 24 and 26 spaced angularly apart relative to the axis of aperture 16, and integral with the body member. At its rearward end, aperture 16 is cylindrically socketed to a larger diameter, as at 28, to form a rearwardly facing shoulder 30.
Rotatably mounted in aperture 16 is a plug 32, which also may be formed of plastic, glass or the like. The rearward portion of said plug is frustro-conical in form, engaging closely and accurately in the conical socket portion 18 of aperture 16. A dished spring washer 34 is disposed within rear socket 28 of aperture 16 and seated on shoulder 30, and a headed screw 36 is inserted through said washer and threaded axially into the rearward end of plug 32. When the screw is tightened, washer 34 is flexed, and functions to pull the plug snugly into the body aperture, to provide an air-tight, water-tight seal between the mating conical surfaces thereof. These surfaces may, if necessary, be accurately ground to insure a proper fit.
The forward end portion of plug 32 is enlarged in diameter to form a rearwardly facing shoulder 38, and to engage rotatably in front socket 20 of aperture 16. Also formed integrally with the plug is a squared lug 40 which projects forwardly from the body member, and which may easily be grasped to turn the plug manually. Molded in the forward face of the lug is a radially directed arrow 42, the purpose of which will presently appear. The shoulder 38 of the plug is axially spaced apart from shoulder 22 of the body member, thereby forming a hollow, annular, completely enclosed tunnel 44 between the body member and the plug. Said tunnel is occupied by the previously described lugs 24 and 26 of the body member, and by a pair of lugs 46 and 48 formed integrally with the plug and spaced apart angularly with respect thereto. Also contained in said tunnel is a helical compression spring 50 abutting at one end against lug 24 of the body member, and at its opposite end against lug 48 of the plug whereby to bias the plug rotatively to turn in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in" FIGS. 3, 5, and 6. The interengagement of the lugs of the body member and the plug also serve to limit the axial turning of the plug, as will be described, but the lugs do not extend entirely through the axial depth of tunnel 44, as appears in FIG. 7, so that they do not interfere with the action of spring washer 34 in pulling the plug firmly into the conical socket 18 of the body member. Spring 50 must be sufficiently strong to turn the plug despite the frictional engagement of the plug in the socket. Plug 32 has a recess 52 formed in the periphery of the conical portion thereof, said recess being of the same diameter as reservoir 4 of the body member, and just deep enough to receive and contain one pill 6 from said reservoir when aligned therewith. Body member 2 has a discharge passage 54 large enough to pass a pill 6 therethrough, said passage communicating at its inner end with the conical portion 18 of aperture 16, and opening outwardly of the body member through one side thereof. Passage 54 is spaced angularly about 90 degrees from pill reservoir 4.
In operation, it will be understood that FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 show the plug in its normal rest position, having been turned in a counterclockwise direction by spring 50 until stopped by the engagement of plug lugs 46 and 48 with body lugs 24 and 26 respectively. In this position of the plug, which may be termed its loading position, its recess 52 is aligned accurately with pill reservoir 4 of the body member, and a pill 6 is positioned within said recess, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5. Said pill is pressed into said recess by spring 13, regardless of the attitude in which the body member is positioned, even if it is inverted. When it is desired that a pill be dispensed, the user simply grasps the forwardly extending squared lug 40 of the plug and turns said plug clockwise through about 90, or until plug lug 46 engages and is stopped by body lug 26, as shown in FIG. 6. In this position of the plug, which may be termed its discharge position, the plug recess 52 is accurately aligned with discharge passage 54, and the pill 6 previously trapped in said recess can be dumped through passage 54 into the users hand, or other container, for immediate administration. Upon release of lug 40, the plug is immediately returned to its loading position, by spring 50.
Thus it will be apparent that a pill containerdispenser having several advantages has been produced. It can be of virtually any desired size and capacity, preferably of a size convenient for carrying in pocket or purse. The conical form of plug 32 and its body member socket 18, together with the action of spring washer 34, provides an air-tight, water-tight seal for reservoir 4 which is never broken so long as cap 12 is not removed, since plug recess 52 can never communicate simultaneously with reservoir 4 and discharge passage 54. This is highly important in the preservation of potency of pills containing nitroglycerine or other highly volatile ingredients. The tubular form of reservoir 4, of only slightly larger diameter than pills 6, is of great assistance in insuring that the pills will assume the stacked relation shown, so that the lowermost pill will properly enter the plug recess 52. Spring 13 further insures that the lowermost pill will enter recess 52, in any position of the body member, and also holds the pills firmly against rattling or tumbling when the device is carried in the pocket. Such agitation can cause breaking or crumbling of the pills in many cases. Also, while the pills actually shown have the form of flat, circular discs, it will be obvious than the cross-sectional contour of reservoir 4 could be altered, as could the configuration of plug recess 52, to receive and dispense pills, capsules, tablets or the like of many different sizes and shapes. The plug turns between fixed limits. only, the limits representing the loading and discharge positions respectively, so that novisual indexing of its position is ever normally required. Thus it can be operated even in the dark, or by persons in a state of panic. In the unlikely chance that the plug might become stuck of IO jammed, the arrow 42 accurately indicates the position of plug recess 52 between its loading and discharge positions, with reference to index marks 56 and 58 on body member 2, so that said plug may be turned through its dispensing cycle by forcible means.
While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of my invention, it will be readily apparent that many minor changes of structure and operation could be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A container-dispenser for pills and the like comprising:
a. a body member having formed therein a pill reservoir, a discharge passage opening exteriorly of said body member, and a circular socket aperture formed therethrough, said reservoir and discharge passage communicating with said socket substantially radially thereof, and in angularly spaced apart relation relative thereto,
b. a circular plug carried rotatably in said socket aperture and having a recess formed in the periphery thereof of a size to receive a pill therein, said recess being adapted by rotation of said plug to be moved between a loading position in which it is aligned with said reservoir and a discharge position in which it is aligned with said discharge passage, said socket aperture of said body member, and said plug, being provided with corresponding frustroconical mating surfaces, the body reservoir and discharge passage opening through the conical surface of said socket and the plug recess opening through the conical surface of said plug,
0. a spring pressing said plug axially into said socket toward the smaller ends thereof, whereby to provide an airtight seal between the mating frustroconical surfaces thereof, said spring being of a transversely yieldable disc type bearing at its peripheral edge on said body member and having a central aperture disposed coaxially with said body aperture and said plug, in spaced apart relation from the smaller ends thereof,
d. a headed screw projecting freely through said cen tral aperture and threaded axially into said plug, whereby said spring is adjustably tensioned, and
e. manual means for turning said plug.
2. A container-dispenser for pills and the like comprising:
a. a body member having formed therein a pill reservoir, a discharge passage opening exteriorly of said body member, and a circular socket aperture formed therethrough, said reservoir and discharge passage communicating with said socket substantially radiallly thereof, and in angularly spaced apart relation relative thereto,
b. a circular plug carried rotatably in said socket aperture and having a recess formed in the periphery a spring pressing said plug axially into said socket toward the smaller ends thereof, whereby to provide an airtight seal between the mating frustroconical surfaces thereof,
d. means operable to adjust the tension of said spring,
e. manual means for turning said plug, f. cooperating stop members carried by said body member and said plug and operable to limit rotation of said plug to movement only between said loading and discharge positions thereof, there being an annular chamber between said body member and said plug, and said cooperating stop members consisting of a pair of lugs carried respectively by said body member and said plug and projecting radially into said chamber in angularly spaced apart relation, and
. means resiliently biasing said plug to one of the end limits of its rotary movement, said resilient biasing means constituting a helical compression spring disposed within said chamber, and abutting at its respective ends against said lugs.