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Publication numberUS3871522 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 18, 1975
Filing dateApr 23, 1973
Priority dateApr 23, 1973
Publication numberUS 3871522 A, US 3871522A, US-A-3871522, US3871522 A, US3871522A
InventorsFeldman Marshall H
Original AssigneeFeldman Marshall H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-closing safety container for medicinal tablets
US 3871522 A
Abstract
A self-closing safety container for medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles, comprising a two-part container, the first part of which holds the tablets, and the second part is movable relative to the first part between open and closed positions. A compression spring interposed between the parts urges them toward closed position. The container is opened by moving the movable part to open position against the pressure of the spring, and then holding the parts in said open position while tilting the container to dump out one or more tablets. The two parts may be rotatable relative to one another, or slidable linearly in telescopic manner. In one embodiment of the invention, there are apertures in the two parts that are offset from one another in closed position, and which register with one another in open position to provide a discharge opening.
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United States Patent [1 1 Feldman [111 3,871,522 [451 Mar. 18, 1975 1 SELF-CLOSING SAFETY CONTAINER FOR MEDICINAL TABLETS 21 Appl. No.: 353,494

[52] US. Cl. 206/540, 222/513 [51] Int. Cl 365d 83/04 [58] Field of Search 206/42, 37-38,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,066,813 7/1913 Heldrich 222/516 1,154,518 9/1915 Kendall ZZZ/516 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Assistant E.raminer-.loseph M. Moy Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Herbert E. Kidder [57] ABSTRACT A self-closing safety container for medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles, comprising a two-part container, the first part of which holds the tablets, and the second part is movable relative to the first part between open and closed positions. A compression spring interposed between the parts urges them toward closed position. The container is opened by moving the movable part to open position against the pressure of the spring, and then holding the parts in said open position while tilting the container to dump out one or more tablets. The two parts may be rotatable relative to one another, or slidable linearly in telescopic manner. In one embodiment of the invention, there are apertures in the two parts that are offset from one another in closed position, and which register with one another in open position to provide a discharge opening.

1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figures SELF-CLOSING SAFETY CONTAINER FOR MEDICINAL TABLETS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to a self-closing safety container for medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles such as matches and the like, and is particularly designed to make it difficult or impossible for a small child to open the same.

Hundreds of small children lose their lives each year, or are seriously injured, as a result of swallowing powerful medicinal tablets, or playing with matches or other hazardous articles they have obtained from easily opened containers carelessly left around. Poisoning by aspirin tablets, barbiturates and other sleeping pills, amphetamines, and powerful drugs such as digitalis occurs with alarming frequency.

There have been attempts in the past to devise safety closures that could not readily be opened by a small child, but to the best of my knowledge, none of these prior devices has been completely satisfactory. For the most part, such prior devices have been relatively complicated and expensive to manufacture, difficult to fill, and inconvenient to use. Another disadvantage of most of them is that the caps are removable from the containers, and therefore can be left off inadvertently. In that case, the contents of the container are exposed, and readily accessible to small children.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved self-closing, safety container for medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles which is so designed that it is difficult or impossible for a small child to open the same, yet at the same time is easily opened by an adult.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a self-closing safety container wherein the closure cap cannot be removed from the tablet container, and therefore remains in place on the container at all times, providing continuous and uninterrupted protection.

Another object of the invention is to provide a self closing saftey container that is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, compact, easy to load, and convenient to use.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially cut-away perspective view of a self-closing, safety container embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view through the same, taken at 22 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken at 33 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the invention, showing the same partially opened;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view through the same, taken at 55 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the outer part of the device shown in FIGS. 4 and 5; and

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the inner part that is slidably disposed within the outer part of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, the reference numeral 10 designates in its entirety a self-closing, safety container embodying the principles of the invention. The container 10 consists of a first part 12 and a second part 14, the latter being mounted on the first part for relative movement with respect thereto between open and closed posi' tions, as will be described in more detail presently.

The first part 12 preferably comprises a cylindrical container 16, in which the medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles are contained. Container 16 has a flat bottom 18, and a slightly raised rim 20 on the outer cylindrical surface at the upper end thereof, said rim extending down for a short distance along the length of the container. Projecting laterally inward from the inner side wall of the container 16 at the top end thereof is an arcuate shelf-like projection 22, having an arcuate, upwardly facing channel 24 formed therein. The center of curvature of the channel 24 lies on the geometric center of the cylindrical container 16, and the purpose of this channel will be explained presently. Also projecting radially inward from one side of the cylindrical side wall 16 is a limit stop 26. A circular aperture 28 is provided in the rim portion 20 of the container side wall, but if desired, the aperture could take any other shape.

The second part 14 is a cup-shaped cap having a flat,

circular top 30, with an annular, cylindrical skirt 32 projecting downwardly from the edges thereof for a short distance, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A circular aperture 33 is provided in the skirt 32, and this aperture is normally offset from the aperture 28 when the container is closed, as in FIG. 1. An inwardly projecting lip 34 at the bottom edge of skirt 32 extends under the bottom edge of rim 20 to secure the cap 13 to the container body, so that it cannot be removed therefrom. Projecting downwardly from the underside of the cap top 30 is a limit stop protuberance 36, which is engageable with stop 26 to limit clockwise rotation of the cap with respect to the container, as seen in FIG. 3. Also projecting downwardly from the underside of cap top 30 is another protuberance 38, which extends down into the channel 24 at one end thereof.

Seated within the arcuate channel 24 is a helical compression spring 40, one end of which bears against one end of the channel 24, and the other end bears against the protuberance 38. Spring 40 exerts pressure against the protuberance 38 tending to turn the cap 13 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 3. counterclockwise travel of the cap is limited by stop 36, which abuts against the end of arcuate channel shelf 22. When the cap is turned in the clockwise direction against the pressure of the spring, such clockwise travel is limited by engagement of the stop 36 with stop member 26 on the container wall 16.

The mode of operation of this embodiment of the invention is believed to be more or less self-evident from the foregoing description and the drawings. To get a pill or other object from the interior of container 10, the user holds the cylindrical body 16 with one hand, while turning the cap I4 in the clockwise direction against the pressure of the spring, until opening 33 registers with opening 28. When the two openings are thus aligned, a discharge opening is provided, through which one or more tablets can be dumped out by tilting the container. Releasing the cap allows spring 40 to return it to the closed position shown in FIG. 1. "m A'nothFembodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 4 to 7 inclusive, to which attention is now directed. In this embodiment, the self-closing safety container is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 50, and comprises a first part 52 and a second part 54. As in the preceding embodiment, the first part 52 constitutes a container for the tablets or other hazardous articles, while the second part 54 is movable with respect to the first part between open and closed positions, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The first part 52 is in the form of a rectangular, open-top box having a flat bottom 56, elongated parallel sides 58 and parallel ends 60 and 61. Projecting downwardly from the underside of the bottom 56 near side 60 and parallel thereto is a narrow, transverse rib 62, the purpose of which will be explained presently.

Second part 54 is a rectangular, box-like sleeve, open at both ends, and having a top 64, bottom 66 and sides 68. Formed in the inside surface of the bottom 66 is a shallow, flat cavity 70, which extends for the greater part of the length and width of the sleeve 54, and into which the rib 62 projects. A flat, accordion-pleated spring 74 is disposed within the cavity 70, with one of its ends bearing against the rib 62, while the other end bears against a transverse shoulder 72 at the other end of the cavity. The cavity 70 is open-ended at the end of the sleeve opposite shoulder 72, to permit assembly of the spring 74 and box 52 in the sleeve, by pushing the box 52 into the sleeve through the left-hand end thereof, as viewed in FIG. 5. As the box 52 approaches the point where it is telescoped almost entirely into the sleeve 54, the top edge of the right-hand end wall 61 engages and slides under a limit stop 75 projecting downwardly from the sleeve top 64. Limit stop 75 has an inclined ramp on its underside, and as the top edge of end wall 61 slides under it, the inclined ramp serves as a cam, pushing the sleeve top 64 upwardly enough to allow the box end to pass. As soon as the box end 61 has cleared the limit stop 75, the sleeve top 64 snaps back down into place, and the limit stop thereafter provides a perpendicular shoulder against which the box end abuts, under pressure of the compressed spring 74. A semi-circular cutout 76 is provided in the bottom 66 at the end opposite shoulder 72, to provide thumb clearance for opening the box.

To obtain a tablet, or other article, from the container, the user holds the sleeve 54 in one hand, and presses with the thumb or finger against the end 60 of box 52, pushing the latter out of the opposite end of the sleeve against the pressure of spring 74, as shown in FIG. 5. The cutout 76 allows the thumb to push the box out as far as the depth of the cutout will allow. When the box 52 extends from the sleeve, as shown in FIG. 5, the open top is exposed, and the tablets or other articles can be dumped out into the other hand by tilting the container as required. To 'reclose the container, all that is necessary is to release the box, allowing the compressed spring to retract the box into the sleeve. The limit stop projection engages the end wall 61 of the box to limit movement of the box to the left, as seen in FIG. 5.

Both forms of the invention have the following features in common:

1. Both containers are self-closing, and cannot be left open through carelessness.

2. Both of them require movement of the second part relative to the first part against the pressure of a spring, said spring pressure being sufficiently strong to keep a small child from opening the container; and

3. Both forms of the invention are simple to operate, inexpensive to manufacture, compact, and easy to fill.

While I have shown and described in considerable detail what I believe to be the preferred forms of my invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to such details, but may take various other forms within the scope of the following claims.

What I claim is:

1. A self-closing, safety container for medicinal tablets or other hazardous articles, comprising:

a container body consisting of a cylindrical side wall,

having a closure at the bottom end thereof;

a cup-shaped cap rotatably mounted on the open top end of said container body, said cap having an annular cylindrical skirt projecting down over the top edge of said cylindrical side wall;

both said cylindrical side wall of said container body and said cylindrical skirt of said cap having apertures provided therein which can be registered with respect to one another to form an exit opening, through which pills can be discharged;

an arcuate shelf-like projection extending laterally inward from the inner surface of said cylindrical side wall of said container body at the top end thereof substantially opposite the aperture in the side wall, said projection having an upwardly opening channel having closed ends;

a helical compression spring lying within said channel, and having one of its ends abutting against the adjacent end of the channel; and

a protuberance projecting downwardly from the underside of said cap into said channel, said protuberance engaging the other end of said compression spring, whereby rotation of said cap to align said apertures causes said compression spring to be compressed by said protuberance, so that when the cap is released, the spring rotates the cap to displace the apertures in the cap from the aperture in the side wall.

Patent Citations
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US1066813 *May 1, 1912Jul 8, 1913Arnold H ZifferblattDispensing vessel.
US1154518 *Jun 6, 1914Sep 21, 1915William G KendallTop for receptacles.
US1889593 *Feb 25, 1931Nov 29, 1932Davis Harry SCondiment shaker
US2018050 *May 24, 1934Oct 22, 1935Francis Bentley Bede JohnSifter cap for powder containers
US2183456 *Apr 28, 1939Dec 12, 1939Howard Kelner HenryClosure cap for paste tubes
US2636649 *Apr 11, 1950Apr 28, 1953Philip Corriveau ClarenceClosure for dispensing containers
US3125214 *Oct 1, 1962Mar 17, 1964 Article dispensing utility box
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4141461 *Jan 31, 1978Feb 27, 1979Lachance Ernest JSecure bottle with novel cap
US4364828 *Jan 9, 1981Dec 21, 1982Ward Raymond EFilter apparatus
US4544063 *Oct 5, 1984Oct 1, 1985Neward Lance MClosure for receptacle
US4591566 *Nov 25, 1983May 27, 1986Bio-Environmental Systems, Inc.Biological indicator probe for steam sterilizing systems
US4615364 *Jun 13, 1983Oct 7, 1986Konishiroku Photo Industry Co., Ltd.Developer incoming device in electrostatic reproducing apparatus
US7159720 *Mar 18, 2004Jan 9, 2007Pearson Stephen JContainer having a rotatable ring
US7588230 *Dec 28, 2004Sep 15, 2009Hans Oetiker Ag Maschinen-Und ApparatefabrikPlug-in safety coupling for pressure pipes, comprising a pivoted blocking member
US8813987 *Sep 29, 2009Aug 26, 2014Alexander Markus OelzContainer cap with inner and outer part
US20050205458 *Mar 18, 2004Sep 22, 2005Pearson Stephen JContainer having a rotatable ring
US20110180536 *Sep 29, 2009Jul 28, 2011Alexander Markus OelzContainer cap with inner and outer part
WO1994022735A1 *Mar 31, 1994Oct 13, 1994Procter & GambleVenting cap or container
WO2011117813A1 *Mar 22, 2011Sep 29, 2011S.&T. S.N.C. Di Finco Giulia & C.Child resistant closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/540, 222/513
International ClassificationB65D43/14, B65D47/26, B65D43/20, B65D47/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/263, B65D43/20
European ClassificationB65D43/20, B65D47/26D2