US 3836045 A
A stack of small liquid-saturated folded disposable towels is sealed within a disposable container under a cover sheet, which protects and preserves the contents during storage prior to use. When the cover sheet is stripped from the peripheral flange to which it is attached, by grasping a loose tip over a depressed corner of the flange, it exposes a removable lid having a pair of opposite edges flexibly inserted under overhanging projections on a framing ridge on a dished panel, which is secured to a shelf within the rim of the receptacle. Towels are dispensed through a lobular cross-shaped aperture in the center of the dished panel, which is surrounded by a flat margin joined by sloped walls to a ledge under the framing ridge, which provides a supporting surface for the edges of the lid. The sides of the container are concavely indented and vertically ridged to stiffen and decorate them. The bottom is also inwardly dished for the same purposes.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Duhy et a1.
1451 Sept. 17, 1974 1 1 DISPENSING CONTAINER OF FOLDED DISPOSABLE TOWELS  Inventors: Kenneth W. Duhy, Mountain Lakes; John Jones, Jr., Short Hills, both of  Assignee: Pfizer Inc., New York, NY.
 Filed: NOV. 14, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 306,461
 US. Cl. 221/63, 220/60 R  Int. Cl. B65h 1/04, A47k 10/42  Field of Search 150/5; 206/57; 220/60, 220/94 A; 221/45-63  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,756,793 7/1956 Tupper 150/.5 3,266,666 8/1966 Nelson 221/48 3,325,003 6/1967 Bilezerian 221/46 X 3,326,408 6/1967 Ringlen 4 t 220/60 R 3,383,012 5/1968 Adell 211/63 X 3,391,847 7/1968 Christine et a1 220/60 R X Primary ExaminerAllen N. Knowles Assistant ExaminerFrancis J. Bartuska Attorney, Agent, or FirmConnolly and Hutz  ABSTRACT A stack of small liquid-saturated folded disposable towels is sealed within a disposable container under a cover sheet, which protects and preserves the contents during storage prior to use. When the cover sheet is stripped from the peripheral flange to which it is attached, by grasping a loose tip over a depressed corner of the flange, it exposes a removable lid having a pair of opposite edges flexibly inserted under overhanging projections on a framing ridge on a dished panel, which is secured to a shelf within the rim of the receptacle. Towels are dispensed through a lobular cross-shaped aperture in the center of the dished panel, which is surrounded by a flat margin joined by sloped walls to a ledge under the framing ridge, which provides a supporting surface for the edges of the lid. The sides of the container are concavely indented and vertically ridged to stiffen and decorate them. The bottom is also inwardly dished for the same purposes.
14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures DISPENSING CONTAINER OF FOLDED DISPOSABLE TOWELS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a disposable sealed container for dispensing disposable folded treated towels. Most disposable containers for dispensing disposable folded tissues or towels are made of thin paperboard or cardboard and are not suitable for containing liquids or odors used to saturate cleansing towels, or are not readily reclosable (US. Pat. No. 2,990,948). Such towels are commonly sealed individually within foil packages or envelopes such as described in US. Pat. No. 3,057,467, or may be packaged in bulk in a plastic jug or in an impervious wrapper as described in US. Pat. No. 3,325,003. These existing packages are either relatively expensive in material and in assembly and loading costs or not as convenient to store and use as might be desired. An object of this invention is therefore to provide a relatively simple and economical disposable container for retaining and dispensing treated folded disposable towels, and it more particularly relates to such a container which is easy to fill, load and seal by automatic machinery and which can be conveniently reclosed.
SUMMARY In accordance with this invention a stack of folded towels is contained within a receptacle of a thin moldable sheet material under an apertured panel which retains the towels for convenient dispensing through the aperture. The towels may be saturated with a solvent liquid to enhance their cleansing properties and they are conveniently loaded into the receptacle before the panel is secured within the rim of the receptacle. A framing ridge having overhanging projections retains a removable lid over the aperture for removably closing the receptacle after a cover sheet is stripped from a peripheral surface of the receptacle, which is conveniently provided by a flange. The panel may have an inwardly dished central area joined to the framing ridge by a peripheral ledge which provides a supporting surface under the edge of the lid. lndentations near the edges of the lid may provide convenient grips for flexing the lid to facilitate removal and engagement. The cover sheet seals the contents during storage; and after it is stripped, the lid provides convenient access to the towels and closure between uses. A corner of the flange may be downwardly stepped to facilitate grasping and stripping of the seal sheet. A substantially wide lobular cruciform aperture helps spread the towel being grasped and confine those under it.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Novel features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art from a reading of the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts and in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a sealed container which is one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 1 along the line 2-2 showing in phantom outline one corner of the cover sheet being peeled from the container;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the container shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 after the cover sheet is removed;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken through FIG. 3 along the line 44 with the inner lid being flexed and removed;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the receptacle of the container shown in FIG. 3 and 4 after the inner lid has been removed; and
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan of the container shown in FIGS. 1-5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown a sealed container 10 for dispensing a stack of folded towels 12 including a receptacle 14 of a thin moldable sheet material such as thin opaque polystyrene. A sheet of white polystyrene 0.030 inch thick is a suitable material.
Receptacle 14 is for example rectangular or square in plan cross-section and it includes concavely indented side walls 16 and an upwardly dished bottom wall 18 joined by rounded bottom corner edges 20. Side walls 16 are stiffened and ornamented by a series of vertical protrusions or ridges 22.
Receptacle 14 also includes a peripheral shelf 24, following the curve of and disposed upon the rim of side walls 16 upon which an apertured panel 26 for retaining towels 12 is lodged in a manner later described in detail. Flange 28 attached to the rim of shelf 26 provides a surface to which cover sheet 30, for example of laminated foil and paper is sealed to preserve the contents during storage. These contents advantageously include a liquid solvent which saturates towels 12 to enhance their cleaning properties. Cover sheet 30 accordingly preserves the liquid solvent and prevents odors from escaping during storage. The tip edge 34 of one corner of flange 28 is downwardly stepped to facilitate peeling and stripping of the unattached corner 32 of cover sheet 30 as shown in FIG. 2. Tip edge 34 forms a step having a tip surface disposed below the level of flange 28 which prevents the portion of cover sheet 30 disposed above it from being adhered to it when the main portion of sheet 30 is sealed to flange 28. This automatically maintains the tip portion of cover sheet 30 free of tip surface 34 to facilitate grasping it.
Stripping of cover sheet 30 from receptacle 14 exposes inner lid 36 engaged under a pair of opposite overhanging projections 38 on framing ridge 40 in panel 42 lodged on shelf 24 of receptacle 14. Lid 36 is conveniently flexed for removal in the direction of arrow 44 shown in FIG. 4 and also for reinsertion by gripping tapered indentations 46 in the tips of opposite fingers 48 and 50. Edges 52 of lid 36 are accordingly removed and reinserted back into spaces 54 between overhanging projections 38 and ledge 56 joining dished apertured central area 58 of panel 26 with ledge 56. The opposite sides of framing ridge 40 are straight and unobstructed and the width of lid 36 parallel to the length of indentations 46 is narrower than the length across them to permit lid 36 to freely rest on ledge 56 when turned from the position shown in FIG. 3.
Dished central area 58 includes flat margin 60 with lobular cross shaped (or cruciform) aperture 62 and sloped side walls 64. Aperture 62 in the form of a cross with an open center and generously rounded inner corners 63 and outer corner 65 helps confine underlying towels within receptacle 14 as the top towel is being removed and unfolded.
Panel 26 does not interfere with rapid and convenient loading of towels l2 and their saturated solvent into receptacle 14 because it is not installed until after loading. Its edge 25 is positioned upon shelf 24 by automatic machinery and secured to it, for example by sonic welding. The substantial area of shelf 24 engaging the edges of panel 26 dependably locates panel 26 in position without danger of its being forced too far into receptacle 14 during automatic assembly. Lid 36 may be conveniently engaged with panel 26 either before or after installation of panel 26. The entire contents including panel 26 and lid 36 are sealed by cover sheet 30, which preserves the contents during storage.
After cover sheet 30 is stripped by grasping free corner 32 over step 34, lid 36 provides a convenient closure for the contents; and it is conveniently removed and inserted back over aperture 62. The rectangular shape facilitates loose covering in one position in which it clears projections 38 and removable locking when its longer length is inserted under projections 38. Removal of towels 12 is facilitated by folding and connecting in any convenient manner, such as interlocking or spot connection, or they merely may be stacked and separately grasped.
1. A container for dispensing a stack of folded towels comprising a receptacle of thin moldable sheet material having bottom and sidewalls, an apertured panel for retaining said stack of towels for convenient dispensing through its aperture, interengaging means on the rim of said sidewall and said panel for lodging said panel on the rim of said sidewall over said stack of folded towels, a lid for closing said aperture, a framing ridge on said panel about said aperture for receiving said lid, said lid being constructed and arranged to lodge within said framing ridge for removably closing said aperture, a peripheral surface upon said rim for sealing a cover sheet upon said receptacle, said interengaging means comprising a peripheral shelf within the rim of said sidewall, the outer edges of said panel being constructed and arranged to lodge upon said shelf, said apertured panel including an inwardly dished central area about said aperture, said framing ridge having a pair of oppositely disposed inwardly overhanging projections, and said inwardly dished central area being joined to said framing ridge by a peripheral ledge disposed closely under said overhanging projections to provide a supporting surface for the edge of said lid.
2. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said lid being constructed and arranged to have a length which inserts under said overhanging projections for removably locking said lid on said container.
3. A container as set forth in claim 2 wherein said lid is rectangular and has a width which is narrower than the distance between said overhanging projections to permit said lid to rest loosely within said framing ridge.
4. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said receptacle is substantially rectangular in plan crosssection.
5. A container as set forth in claim 4 wherein said receptacle is substantially square in plan cross-section.
6. A container as set forth in claim- 1 wherein said lid includes indentations near its edges for grasping and flexing it.
7. A container as set forth in claim 6 wherein said indentations are substantially rectangular and coextensive with one pair of sides of said lid.
8. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said peripheral surface comprises a flange attached to the rim of said side walls for sealing a cover sheet upon said receptacle.
9. A container as set forth in claim 8 wherein said cover sheet is sealed upon said flange over said panel and over said lid.
10. A container as set forth in claim 9 wherein a corner of said flange is constructed and arranged in a step having a tip surface disposed below the level of said flange whereby the portion of said cover sheet above it is maintained free of said tip surface to facilitate grasping prior to stripping from said container.
11. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said apertured panel has a substantially wide cruciform aperture to help spread the towel being abstracted and confine the towels under it.
12. A container as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sidewalls are concavely indented and said bottom wall is upwardly dished to stiffen them.
13. A container as set forth in claim 12 wherein said sidewalls are ridged for additionally stiffening them.
14. A container as set forth in claim 12 wherein said sidewalls have a series of vertical ridges.