US 3853250 A
Cap for fluid dispensing container has a peripheral wall or skirt attachable at its lower portion to container neck, an open top on the upper portion of the wall defining a peripheral rim, and pouring spout. A closure plate is mounted within the peripheral rim of the cap for movement around an intermediate axis behind the pouring spout, generally centrally of the rim, e.g., by tongue and groove means. Means, e.g., the tongue and groove hinge connection, normally yieldingly maintains a spout closing portion of the plate against seat means on pouring spout located forwardly of said axis. Manual pressure applied downwardly against the plate at a point rearwardly of the axis lifts the spout closing portion from the spout for dispensing fluid from the container. The wall has no handle and is long enough to be grasped by the thumb and at least one finger of a user's hand, leaving the index finger free to apply the downward pressure when pouring liquid out of the opened spout.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Alpern 1111 3,853,250 1451 Dec. 10, 1974 COVER FOR DECANTER OR LIKE DISPENSING CONTAINER Melvin Alpern, 9800 McKnight Rd.,
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerJoseph J. Rolla Attorney, Agent, or Firm-George H. Mortimer  Inventor:
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15237 22 Filed: Feb. 4, 1974  ABSTRACT Cap for fluid dispensing container has a peripheral  Appl' 439013 wall or skirt attachable at its lower portion to con- Related US. Application Data tainer neck, an open top on the upper portion of the  Continuation of Ser. No. 291,874, Oct. 16, 1972, Wall defining 8 Peripheral rim, and Pouring Spout A abandoned. closure plate is mounted within the peripheral rim of I the cap for movement around an intermediate axis be-  US. Cl 222/517, 222/545, 222/556 hind the pouring spout, generally centrally of the rim,  Int. Cl 867:! 3/00 g, by tongue and groove means. Means, e.g., the  Field of Search 222/472, 473, 505, 517, tongue and groove hinge connec normally y 222/545, 556, 567, 569, 570, 470, 474, 475 ingly maintains a spout closing portion of the plate M against seat means on pouring spout located forwardly  References Cited of said axis. Manual pressure applied downwardly UNITED STATES PATENTS against the plate at a point rearwardly 0f the axis lifts the spout closing portion from the spout for dispensing 2: fluid from the container. The wall has no handle and is 2 272,867 2 1942 Cobel.::....... 2 22/517 x enough to be grasped by the thumb and at least 2,312,380 3/1943 Bernhardt... 222/517 one finger of a users hand, leaving the index finger 3,201,011 8/1965 Brocken 2'22/517 x free to apply the downward pressure when pouring li uid out of the opened spout.
I 8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures N) I I 24. 2.3 1 ll 20 1 PAIENTEb 3.853.250
SHEET 20F 2 WWW 7 'IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII III! II II II 111 I COVER FOR DECANTER OR LIKE DISPENSING CONTAINER The present application is a continuation of my prior application Ser. No. 291,874 filed Oct. 16, 1972, now abandoned in favor hereof.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Known prior art types of removable caps employing movable plates to open and close pouring spouts of liquid containers have generally been complicated multipart devices that were expensive to manufacture and difficult to keep clean and in working order. As an example, a known type of container cap employed an integral protruding handle to be grasped by the fingers of the users hand in close proximity to the place of attachment of a cover plate for the cap and required provision of a rigid, integral protrusion on the cover plate above and beyond the rim of the attaching ring for opening and closing the pouring spout by the thumb of the holding hand. The cover plate in this device was made relatively thin to permit bending of the plate between the points of attachment of the protrusion to the cover and of the cover to the cap. Other known related types of cap structures having hinged cover plates similarly employed handles and other protruding parts which were relatively difficult and expensive to produce.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a simple handle free, two piece dispensing cap that is economical to manufacture and assemble, and easy to operate and keep clean, which is adapted for use on decanters or containers of the type having slender, tubular necks. The two separately produced pieces or parts are easily assembled for ready attachment to the neck of the container in fluid tight relation and have no objectionable protruding parts.
The two pieces of the improved pouring spout cap are each preferably formed of a suitable plastic material in sectional molds of known types. A base, body or main part of the cap may be generally tubular in shape provided with suitable internal means for removably attaching the same totheneck of a liquid container. The tubular wall has anupper portion having an open upper end or top defining an upwardly presented peripheral rim with an integral pouring spout having an upwardly presented spout closure seat. A closure plate, received and supported on an axis of movement within said peripheral rim, has a spout-closing extension which is normally biased and seated against said spout closure seat. For convenience of description said extension will sometimes be referred to as a front portion, the axis of movement as an intermediate axis and the portion of the cover plate on the side of the intermediate axis opposite the spout closing portion as the back portion. A convenient means for removably and pivotally supporting the plate, biased normally to the closed position thereof, comprises integral lug means on the underside of the closure plate projecting into tight reception within slot means extending diametrically across the upper portion of the tubular body, generally centrally or diametrically of the same yieldingly flexibly to anchor or hinge the plate horizontally within the tubular body to maintain the spout closing extension of the plate in'fluid sealing engagement with spout closure seat. The arrangement is such that, for the purpose of pouring fluid material from a bottle upon which the improved cap is attached, the tubular wall may be held between the thumb and at least one of the fingers of one hand in a manner to have the index finger, for example, free to depress the back portion of the closure plate at the side of the hinge connection remote from spout into the space within the side wall, thereby to pivot the spout closing extension of the closure plate upwardly of the spout closing seat, against the resilient connection between the closure plate and the integral lug means of the plate. Upon release of the finger pressure against the closure plate, the latter will be returned to the spout closing position thereof, by the spring-like resiliency of the connection of the closure plate to the integral lug means.
Objects of the invention, other than as touched upon above, will be manifest from the following brief description and the accompanying drawings.
Of the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation illustrating one form of the pouring spout cap of the present invention, attached to the tubular neck of a glass or like fluid container or bottle, showing in dotted lines the hinged connection of the cover to the body as seen from the end thereof.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the cap shown in FIG. 1, on the same scale, illustrating in dotted lines the mode of hinged attachment of a closure plate to the body of the pouring spout cap as seen from above.
FIG. 3 is a vertical section of a cap having the same structure in the upper portion as the cap illustrated in FIG. 1, but with a modified form of snap-on attachment taken on a vertical plane through the equivalent of line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a vertical section of the form of cap shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, taken substantially on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2, on the same scale, and showing other oradditional means to bias the cover to closed position.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the cap shown in FIG. 4, on the same scale but with the closure plate removed to show the internal structure of the upper portion of the cap body.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the same scale.
.FIG. 7 is a cross-section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6, also on the same scale.
Referring to FIGS. 1 to 7 of the drawings, in general, and to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 in particular, the numeral 10 designates generally a closure cap of molded hard plastic, such as polystyrene, including a tubular side wall or skirt 11 having an upper portion with an open top defining an upwardly presented peripheral rim portion 12 lying in a first horizontal plane, and a forwardly protruding pouring spout 13, providing an upwardly presented curvate seat 14 lying in a second horizontal plane shown slightly below and parallel to the first horizontal plane of the upper edge of the rim portion 12 (see FIG. 1). At an intermediate level spaced below the curvate seat 14 and across the top of a lower portion of skirt 11 is a transverse wall 15, in parallelism with said horizontal plane and integral with the skirt 11. The wall 15 is provided with an aperture 16, closely adjacent to and the closure plate, on
communicating directly with the inner portion of the spout 13, for pouring purposes. The lower end of pouring spout 13 starts at a point approximately at said intermediate level, e.g., just above wall 15 as seen in FIG. 4, from which it, diverge's radially outwardly from and upwardly along the side wall which terminates at the juncture with the spout to provide direct communication through the side wall to aperture 16.
Means for attaching the cap to a tubular neck 21, usually circular in cross section, of a glass or like container or bottle 17 located in the lower portion of the cap body, usually of cylindrical shape as is the extension thereof in the upper portion, may comprise an integral sleeve 18 extending downwardly from transverse wall so as to terminate below the upper edge of the neck 21 and defining with the skirt 11 an annular groove for tight, resilient, fluid-sealing reception of a substantial extent of the tubular neck 21, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. In FIGS. 1 and 4 sleeve 18 terminates above the bottom edge of tubular wall 11. By extension of the lower end portion of the sleeve 18 below the lower end of the tubular wall 11 as seen in FIG. 3, insertion of the container within the groove 20 is greatly facilitated.
Rearwardly of the spout l3, and adjacent to the diametrical or central axis of the cap 10 there may be provided a vertical cross-member or partition wall 22, which is integral with the wall 15 and the skirt 11, and which extends to the aforesaid second horizontal plane in which the curvate seat 14 at the upper edge of the spout l3 lies. Rearwardly spaced from and parallel to the wall 22 may be a similar cross-member or wall 23, which may be of lesser height than wall 22. Walls 22 and 23 define or form between them a transversely extending groove 24.
A disc-like closure plate 25, preferably molded of the same plastic as the cap body, is adapted to fit with a slight clearance within the tubular rim portion 12 which-terminates between said first and second horizontal planes on the extension of the lines of the outer V-shaped walls of the top of spout 13 through the side wall 11, as clearly seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, and adapted to rest in horizontal relationship against the upper edge 26 of the partition wall when in closed position. Plate has a tapered forward portion or extension 27 conforming in shape to and adapted to rest in fluid-sealing relationship upon the seat 14 of spout 13 when in closed position. As clearly seen in FIG. 4, when cover plate 25 is in horizontal position closing the upper end of side wall 11 and overlying spout 13, the liquid contained in a bottle or decanter 17, if upturned when a cap 10 is affixed thereto as described, would be prevented from flowing outside the cap in any significant quantity by the fluid tight engagement of neck 21 in the groove or channel 20, by the sealing contact of cover plate 25 with the seat 14 of spout 13, by the wall 15 and partition wall 22 integral with walls 15 and 11 which has sealing contact with cover plate 25 along its upper edge 26, and by the narrow space between rim l2 and plate 25. The upper surface of cover 25, as shown in FIGS. I and 4, is plane over the major portion of its area and conveniently lies in the first horizontal plane at the top of peripheral rim 12. The lower surface of cover 25 as shown in these same Figures is plane over the major portion of its areaand lies in the second horizontal plane at the top of spout l3 and partition wall 22. The distance between the first and second horizontal planes is thus predetermined by the thickness of plate 25 which is preferably thick enough to assure good contact of the lower surface with seat 14 and edge 26 under the bias or resilient pressure imposed on plate 25 as described.
The closure plate 25 may be pivotally mounted in the cap body so as to be movable from this sealing position shown in full lines in FIG. 4 to the open position shown in dash lines. A suitable hinge means may be provided in the form of at least one and desirably two transversely spaced lugs or tabs 28, 28 integral with the underside of plate 25 for tight downward reception with the transverse slot 24. Although the lugs 28 are conveniently made of the same plastic material as the cap body and the closure plate 25, they are dimensioned to be sufficiently flexible that in cooperation with the shorter groove-forming wall 23, they may be flexed in the manner of a hinge connection upon application of downward digital pressure on the rear portion of the closure plate 25 to depress it into the space within the side wall 11. This causes plate 25 to pivot about the aforementioned intermediate axis to the angular position shown in dash lines in FIG. 4, and thereby expose the pouring spout opening for pouring purposes. Upon release of the digital pressure the inherent resiliency of the integral lugs on the cover plate 25 return it to closed position.
The above described resilient closing action may be facilitated by providing the lugs at a suitably slight forward angle to a plane at a right angle to the plane of the plate as seen in FIG. 7. Accordingly, upon pressing the lugs 28 into the slot 24 until the closure plate 25 engages the top edge of the forward cross member 23, the forward portion of the plate is yieldingly compressed against the curvate seat 14 of the spout to maintain a tight fluid seal.
In use of the improved cap attached to the neck 21 of a bottle 17 containing fluid material, such as a salad dressing, the user may grasp the bottle neck in one hand, in any suitable manner, by which the thumb or index finger may be used to depress the rearward portion of the closure plate 25 to swing the same axially inwardly of the rim portion 12 against the resiliency of the anchored hinge lugs 28, to the tilted position of the plate shown in chain-dotted lines in FIG. 2, and thereby to expose the spout opening for pouring liquid therethrough from the container. If the liquid in the container is hot, so that contact of the hand with the neck of the glass bottle during pouring would be uncomfortable, the side wall 11 may be made of grasping length, i.e., long enough to be grasped between the thumb and at least the finger next to the index finger of a users hand so that the index finger can open the cover as described while the container is tilted for pouring with the hand in contact only with the plastic side wall 11 that acts as an insulator against the heat.
For cleaning the inside portions of the improved cap 10, the closure plate 25 is readily removable from the cap, as by engaging a fingernail or a thin blade under the plate, to permit disengagement of the hinge lugs 28 from the slot 24 (see FIG. 5).
In some instances it may be desirable to include a resilient tonguebetween the rear portion of the plate 25 and the wall 15, e.g., to anchor a blade-type spring 30 to the wall 15 to be yieldingly engaged by the rear portion of the closure plate 25, as it is depressed, to replace or bolster the above-described spring action of the resilient hinge lugs 28 (see FIG. 4) to bias the plate or cover to closed position.
It is also contemplated that thecap 10 may be attached to the bottle neck 11 by use of a known type of screw-threaded means, in place of the snap-on type attachment shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4.
With particular reference to FIG. 3, the modified snap-on sleeve attachment 18a, extends below the lower edge of the skirt 11, and is generally frustoconical in shape to diverge radially outwardly, as well as being of appropriately reduced wall thickness toward its lower end, to be relatively rigid but sufficiently flexible to permit yielding reception of and fluid tight contact with the bottle neck 21 within the annular groove 20. Insertion of the bottle neck 21 within the groove 20 is materially facilitated by extension of the snap-on sleeve 18a to at least a relatively slight extent below the lower edge of the cap skirt 11. In other words, the beaded upper edge of the container may be initially engaged between the lower edge of the cap skirt 11 and the extended portion 18a of the snap-on sleeve, and then the neck 21 of the container is urged up into the groove 20 against the strong resiliency of the sleeve, thereby to provide a tight, fluid-sealing contact of the sleeve against the inner surface of the neck. The lower portion of the side wall 11 has to have the same cross sectional shape as, and be larger than, the neck of the container and the cross sectional shape of the sleeve must be the same as the inner surface of the neck in order for the cap and neck to fit together as described with at least a portion, e.g., the lower portion, of the sleeve in tight engagement with the inner surface of the neck and the side wall having at most a relatively small air space between it and the neck so as to havea good grip between the cap and the bottle neck (see FIGS. 3 and 4). i
What is claimed is:
l. A cover for a liquid dispensing container with a neck portion comprising a cap having a tubular side wall with an open top defining an upwardly extending peripheral rim, a forwardly protruding pouring spout with upwardly presented seat means in the upper portion of said side wall, means in the lower portion of said side wall for attaching said cap to a container neck portion, a transverse wall at an intermediate level spaced below said rim joined to said side wall and having an aperture therein adjacent to said spout, a closure plate received within said peripheral rim having a front portion resting on said seat means and closing said spout, a partition wall extending upwardly from said transverse wall rearwardly of said aperture and entirely across the interior of said tubular side wall, a second wall extending upwardly from said transverse wall spaced rearwardly from said partition wall and forming therewith an elongated slot, said partition wall having a top edge disposed slightly below said rim to provide a stop engagement for the bottom of said closure plate when it is closed, said second wall extending upwardly to a level substantially below said plate, and a resilient hinge lug extending from the bottom of said closure plate slidably wedged in said slot whereby a compact dispenser cover for a decanter is provided that may be opened by pressing the rear portion of the closure plate downwardly, and resilient means to engage the rear portion of said closure plate yielding biasing it toward closed position. i
2. A handle free dispensing cap adapted for use on a decanter or like liquid dispensing container having a straight neck comprising:
a. a tubular side wall of grasping length having spaced lower and upper ends including:
l. a lower portion extending downwardly from an intermediate level to said lower end adapted to fit over a neck of such container and having means to make fluid tight engagement therewith, and
2. an upper portion extending upwardly from said intermediate level to said upper end having an upwardly opening pouring spout;
b. a cover of size and shape to fit entirely within said side wall and close the upper portion of said cap mounted thereon adjacent to said upper end'for movement around an intermediate axis behind said pouring spout and between said side wall having:
1. a portion in front of said axis adapted for swinging movement from one position closing said pouring spout to a second position opening it, and
2. a portion at the rear'of said axis that can be depressed within said side wall to swing the front portion upwardly from the closed position to the open position; and
0. means within said side wall resiliently biasing said cover to close position.
3. A handle free dispensing cap as set forth in claim 2 in which said means to make fluid tight engagement includes an integral transverse wall at an intermediate level in said side wall below said pouring spout having an opening adjacent to the spout through which liquid can be discharged from a container to which the cap is attached.
4. A handle free dispensing cap as set forth in claim 3 in which said cover has an integral hinge lug extending downwardly at said intermediate axis, and said transverse wall has integral slot forming walls extending upwardly behind said opening engaging said hinge lug.
5. A handle free dispensing cap as set forth in claim 3 in which said means resiliently biasing said cover to closed position includes'a resilient tongue between the rear portion of the cover and the transverse wall.
6.. A handle free dispensing cap as set forth in claim 4 in which the upwardly extending slot forming wall adjacent to the pouring spout engages the under surface of the cover in its closed position.
7. A handle free two piece dispensing cap adapted for use on a container having a neck of circular cross section comprising:
A. a one piece molded plastic body to be removably affixed to a neck of such container comprising a side wall of grasping length having:
1. a lower cylindrical portion large enough in cross section to fit over the neck of such container with at most an annular air space of short radial length between said wall and neck,
2. an upper portion including:
' a. a pouring spout diverging upwardly and outwardly from a lower point to an upper end, and
b. an upward extension of said lower cylindrical wall portion connecting with the pouring spout terminating at said open upper end in a plane above the open upper end of said pouring spout, and
3. means adapted to make fluid tight engagement of said lower cylindrical portion with said neck comprising an integral transverse wall extending across the top of said lower cylindrical portion, a wall extending downwardly from said transverse wall to form with said side wall a groove to receive the upper end of the neck of such container, and a dispensing opening in said trans verse wall adjacent to said pouring spout inside said downwardly extending wall, and B. a one piece molded plastic cover of size and shape to fit entirely within said side wall and close said open ended upper portion pivotally mounted on said cap on a pivot axis between said side wall behind said pouring spout having a front pouring spout closing portion at one side of the pivot axis and a rear portion at the other side of the pivot axis depressible into the space within said side wall, 1. said cover having a generally flat upper surface lying, in closed position, in said plane.
8. A handle free dispensing cap adapted for use on a' container having a neck comprising:
a. a side wall of grasping length having upper and lower ends and a pouring spout in the upper portion,
l. said side wall, except for the pouring spout, having the same cross sectional shape as, but larger than, the neck of such container over which it is adapted to fit with at most a relatively small air space between them, i I
2. said pouring spout diverging upwardly and outwardly from its lower end to its upper end,
3. the upper end of saidside wall terminating in a first plane and the upper end of said pouring spout terminating in a second plane parallel to, but lower than, said first plane by a predetermined distance,
b. a transverse wall integral with said side wall extending across the cap at approximately the level of the lower end of said pouring spout having a dispensing opening therein adjacent to said spout,
c. a cover having a size and shape to fit entirely within said side wall and close the upper end of said side wall and to overlie said pouring spout and thickness corresponding to said predetermined distance pivotally mounted in said cap,
1. at least the major portion of the upper and lower surfaces of said cover being plane and, in a closed position, having its upper surface in the said first plane and its lower plane surface in said second plane and closing'said pouring spout,
2. the axis of said pivotal mounting being behind the spout and between said side wall at an intermediate position of the cover that permits the portion of the cover behind the pivot axis to be depressed within said side wall to lift the-front portion to open the pouring spout, and d. means to bias the cover resiliently to close posi tion.