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Publication numberUS3889834 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1975
Filing dateOct 25, 1973
Priority dateOct 25, 1973
Publication numberUS 3889834 A, US 3889834A, US-A-3889834, US3889834 A, US3889834A
InventorsHarris Jr Robert M
Original AssigneeForemost Mckesson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container construction
US 3889834 A
Abstract
A container suitable for storage and shipment of various materials (e.g., drinking water) and which can be made by molding methods (e.g., by molding plastic materials.) The construction is such that the containers can be stacked (e.g., on a pallet) in interlocking relationship without the use of supporting racks or crates.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 Harris, Jr. June 17, 1975 [54] CONTAINER CONSTRUCTI N 3,765,574 10/1973 Urquiza 206/504 ux [75] Inv n or: Rober M- rr s. Jr-, R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 869,392 5 1961 United Kingdom 215/10 [73] Assignee: Foremost McKesson Inc, San l,l20,293 4/1956 1 France 215/10 Francisco, Calif. Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton [221 Flled 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Flehr, Hohbach, Test, [21] Appl. No.: 409,701 Albritton & Herbert [52] U.S. Cl. 215/10 [57] ABSTRACT [5 lnt. A container Suitable for Stora d ge an s ipment of van [58] F'eld Search 215/10 206/5O 1 ous materials (e.g., drinking water) and which can be 206/509 220/23 83 made by molding methods (e.g., by molding plastic materials.) The construction is such that the contain- [56] References cued ers can be stacked (e.g., on a pallet) in interlocking UNITED STATES PATENTS relationship without the use of supporting racks or 353,600 11/1886 Sloan 215/10 r tes- 3,369,658 2/1968 Hasselmann 206/509 X 3,474,843 10/1969 Maris 215/10 x 8 Claims, 8 Drawmg Flgures PATENTEDJUN 17 m5 SHEET FlG.-l

FIG-3 FlG.-4

CONTAINER CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION stored or transported by rail or truck, it is common to provide a rack or crate having a space to receive each container in horizontal position. Such racks or crates are relatively expensive, and they occupy considerable space for a given storage capacity. Much labor is required in the use of such racks or crates since each container must be fitted into and removed from a confined rack or crate space that is accessible only from the front of the rack or crate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTS In general it is an object of the present invention to provide a container construction which makes possible stacking of the containers one upon the other for storage or shipment, without the use of the conventional storage racks and crates. In general, this is accomplished by making the containers of a particular configuration and providing means whereby, when the containers are stacked in horizontal position, they are interlocked in such a manner as to prevent relative shifting.

Another object is to provide containers for liquid materials which have provision for effecting interlocking engagement between adjacent containers when stacked in horizontal position, and which construction lends it self to simple molding operations, utilizing materials like plastics.

Another object is to provide a container construction which lends itself to the manufacture of such containers from suitable plastic materials.

In general, the present invention consists of a container having side walls and a bottom wall joined together along their edges to form a generally rectangular configuration as viewed in plan. The upper or neck portion of the container is joined to the side walls and provides an access opening. On two opposite side walls of the container, means is providing for interlocking the container to adjacent upper and lower like containers, when stacked horizontally. The interlocking means on one side is complementary to the interlocking means provided upon the other side. In one form of the invention the interlocking means consists of adjacent ridges and valleys which are formed in the side walls of the container, and which provide the desired interlocking engagement with complementary ridge and valley portions of an adjacent container.

Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description in which the preferred embodiments have been set forth in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing a container FIG. 4 is a sectional view illustrating the manner in which two containers can be stacked with interlocking engagement between them.

FIG. 5 illustrates the manner in which the containers can be stacked in multiple rows upon a forklift type of pallet.

FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 1 but showing another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the container shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the containers constructed in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The container shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is square or rectangular in configuration as viewed in plan, and consists of the opposed two parallel side walls 10 and the opposed two parallel side walls 11, all of which are integrally joined together along their vertical edges and with the edges of a substantially flat bottom wall 12. The upper portion 13 which is joined to the upper edges of the side walls forms a neck for the container and is provided with the access opening 14.

For convenient handling of the container, it is provided with handholds 16 which preferably are formed as integral parts of the container. Thus as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, each handhold 16 can be in the form of a tube, the material of which is integral with and merges with the adjacent side walls 10 and 11 and the upper and lower walls 17. An annularly disposed corner wall 18 which extends between the adjacent side walls and between the spaced walls 17, provides the free space 19 about the handhold 16. Generally two such handholds are provided in diametrically opposite corners of the containers.

The two opposed side walls 10 in this instance are formed to provide complementary interlocking means. Thus on the uppermost one of the two side walls 10 (as shown in horizontal position in FIGS. 1 and 3) the wall is provided with an elongated ridge 21, the ends of which terminate short of the bottom wall 12 and the upper wall 13 of the container. Immediately adjacent and merged with the ridge 21, there is a valley 22 which is of the same length as the ridge. Both the ridge and the valley extend parallel to one edge of the wall 10. Near the other edge of the wall 10, as viewed in FIG. 3, a similar ridge 21 and valley 22 is formed, although in this instance the valley 22 is nearest to the edge of the wall 10. Also in this instance both the ridges and the valleys are interrupted by the space 19 surrounding one of the handholds 16. This interruption of the ridges and valleys is shown in the right hand portion of FIG. 1, while the left hand portion of FIG. 1 shows continuous ridges and valleys as in the upper right hand corner of FIG. 3.

The lower side wall 10 as shown in FIG. 3 is likewise provided with complementary ridges and valleys. Thus a ridge and valley 21 and 22 are shown near the lower left hand corner as illustrated in FIG. 3, and the interrupted ridges and valleys 21 and 22 are shown in the lower right hand corner of FIG. 3.

The interlocking means just described is utilized in the manner shown in FIG. 4. Thus, assuming that one container is placed horizontally upon a supporting surface and a second container placed on top of the first,

the ridges and valleys of the adjacent side walls of the two containers nest together in the manner shown in FIG. 4. This nesting of the complementary ridges and valleys forms an interlock which retains the containers in a desired position one upon the other, and prevents any shifting movement between two containers in a lateral direction. It likewise forms an interlock which prevents shifting of the containers in the direction of their parallel horizontal axes. In other words, the containers are interlocked in such a manner that shifting cannot occur in either one of two directions 90 with respect to each other.

FIG. 5 illustrates how such containers can be stacked in multiple rows upon a suitable supporting surface, such as a fork lift pallet 26. The individual containers are indicated at 27, and are disposed in adjacent stacks. This provides a stable stack assembly which can be transported by rail or truck without danger of the individual stacks becoming dislodged from the desired relationship. Also it greatly facilitates one-by-one removal of containers or application of containers to the stack, since it is not necessary to remove or introduce containers into a space which is open only from the front side of a rack or crate.

With the construction described above, it is evident that the interlock tending to prevent lateral shifting between adjacent stacked containers, or in other words, shifting at right angles to the side walls 1 1, is more positive in its restraining action than the restraint applied to shifting in a direction parallel to the axes of the containers. This is because of the shaping of the elongated ridges and valleys 21 and 22. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 68, the interlock is made more positive and effective in preventing shifting between adjacent containers in a direction parallel to their axes. Thus in this instance the ridges and valleys 31 and 32, instead of being elongated in one direction as in FIGS. 1-4, are made to extend over substantially U-shaped areas as shown in FIG. 6. Thus each ridge 31 has a portion which extends substantially parallel to one side edge of the corresponding side wall, and other portions or legs which extend parallel to the upper and lower edges of. the same side wall. With this arrangement, it is evident that the portions of the ridges and valleys which extend generally parallel to the side edges of the wall provide an adequate interlock to prevent lateral shifting, whereas the other portions of the ridges and valleys provide adequate interlocks to prevent shifting between containers in a direction parallel to their axes.

It will be evident that the container constructions described above greatly simplify stacking for storage or shipment and make possible total elimination of supporting racks or crates.

While the containers can be made of various materials, including metals and glass, the construction lends itself to use of plastics which can be molded to the desired form and which provide lightness and relative freedom from breakage.

I claim:

1. A container construction suitable for stacking comprising side walls and a bottom wall, the side walls being joined together and to the bottom wall along their edges to form a container that is generally rectangular in configuration as viewed in plan, the container also including upper wall means secured to the upper edges of the side walls and provided with an access opening; and locking means upon two opposite side walls of the container for locking the container to adjacent upper and lower like containers when stacked horizontally, the locking means on each wall comprising adjacent parallel ridge and valley portions formed integral with the material of the wall, said ridge portions interfitting with the valley portions of like containers to prevent shifting movement between two adjacent stacked containers the major portions of each of the side walls being in a common plane except for said ridge and valley portions.

2. A container construction as in claim 1 in which the ridge portions merge with the valley portions.

3. A container construction as in claim 2 in which at least some of the ridge and valley portions extend parallel to the vertical edges of the side wall in which they are formed.

4. A container construction as in claim 3 in which some of the ridge and valley portions extend generally parallel to the bottom wall of the container.

5. A container construction as in claim 4 in which the ridge and valley portions are formed in generally U- shaped areas with the legs of such areas extending toward the center line of the wall in which the ridge and valley portions are formed.

6. A container construction as in claim 4 in which the ridge and valley portions are spaced from the vertical edges of the side walls and from the bottom wall of the container.

7. A container construction as in claim 4 in which a handhold portion is formed in a corner of the container at the junction between two side walls, said handhold being disposed to interrupt some of said ridge and valley portions that extend parallel to the vertical edges of the side walls.

8. A container construction as in claim 1 in which the material from which the container is made is a molded plastic.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US353600 *Jul 6, 1880Nov 30, 1886 Bottle
US3369658 *May 20, 1966Feb 20, 1968Heinz HasselmannPortable container transport unit
US3474843 *Aug 28, 1967Oct 28, 1969Maris David BBlow-molded containers
US3765574 *Feb 16, 1973Oct 16, 1973Urquiza IContainer for liquids
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4489839 *Aug 10, 1979Dec 25, 1984Invention Development Equity Associates, Inc.Two-way nesting container for liquids
US4589560 *Sep 25, 1984May 20, 1986Mckesson CorporationBottle and crate for containing liquids
US4609106 *Oct 23, 1984Sep 2, 1986Vittorio GentiliPortable jerrican-like container having a suitable-to-be-palletized casing
US4892207 *Mar 28, 1988Jan 9, 1990The Perrier Group Of America, Inc.Bottled water container
US5002199 *Jul 9, 1987Mar 26, 1991Reid Valve Company, Inc.Stackable bottle
US5332157 *Apr 8, 1992Jul 26, 1994Take 5Hand operated fluid dispenser for multiple fluids and dispenser bottle
US6506091Nov 29, 2001Jan 14, 2003Scott GarpowCombination toy building block and container for holding liquids and the like
US6588612 *May 2, 2002Jul 8, 2003Plastipak Packaging, Inc.Plastic container with stacking recesses
US6857530 *Dec 10, 2002Feb 22, 2005Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Package of interengaging containers for companion products
US7004336 *Dec 23, 2003Feb 28, 2006Gideon DaganStorage rack for bottles and jars
US7175498Nov 7, 2003Feb 13, 2007Scott GarpowCombination toy building block and container for holding liquids and the like
US7516860 *Feb 3, 2004Apr 14, 2009Kranson Industries, Inc.Interlocking bottle configuration
US7673764 *Feb 28, 2006Mar 9, 2010Graham Packaging Company, L.P.Container with narrow rib
US7699171Nov 21, 2005Apr 20, 2010Consolidated Container Company LpStackable containers and methods of manufacturing, stacking, and shipping the same
US7699184May 1, 2006Apr 20, 2010Rehrig Pacific CompanyBottle carrier
US8047392Jul 19, 2007Nov 1, 2011Dean Intellectual Property Services Ii, Inc.Stackable liquid container
US8065857Apr 19, 2010Nov 29, 2011Consolidated Container Company LpStackable containers and methods of manufacturing, stacking, and shipping the same
US8100273Mar 27, 2006Jan 24, 2012Rehrig Pacific CompanyRack for containers
US8104618Jul 21, 2010Jan 31, 2012Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Primary packaging and display therefor
US8201699Apr 10, 2009Jun 19, 2012Peter ZummoInterconnecting bottles utilized to create structures
US8235214Sep 18, 2009Aug 7, 2012Dean Intellectual Property Services Ii, Inc.Stackable liquid container with tunnel-shaped base
US8403144Sep 18, 2009Mar 26, 2013Dean Intellectual Property Services Ii, Inc.Liquid container: system for distribution
US8544649Sep 14, 2010Oct 1, 2013Consolidated Container Company LpStackable containers and methods of manufacturing, stacking, and shipping the same
US20110017625 *Jul 22, 2010Jan 27, 2011Simplicity Products International, Inc.Cubic eco-package for liquid products with finger engageable pull
WO2006047873A1 *Nov 2, 2005May 11, 2006Add Vanced Creations IncStackable bottle system
WO2007112598A1 *Apr 5, 2007Oct 11, 2007Dean Vincent LaneStackable ribbed bottle system
WO2011020128A1 *Aug 13, 2010Feb 17, 2011Yoctocap (Pty) LtdA container and a structure including the container as a building element
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/10
International ClassificationB65D21/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0202
European ClassificationB65D21/02B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 23, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: MCKESSON CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:FOREMOST-MCKESSON, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004173/0160
Effective date: 19830727