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Publication numberUS3893725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 8, 1975
Filing dateFeb 25, 1974
Priority dateFeb 25, 1974
Publication numberUS 3893725 A, US 3893725A, US-A-3893725, US3893725 A, US3893725A
InventorsGlenn A Coulter, Thomas L Coulter
Original AssigneeGlenn A Coulter, Thomas L Coulter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for latching containers
US 3893725 A
Abstract
A device for securely holding the cover of a container in place includes a pair of straps, each of which is secured to the side of the container and extends over the cover of the container. The straps have complementary separable pile-type material thereon to fasten the straps together in one embodiment, and to fasten the straps to the cover in another embodiment. In either case, the straps have an overhanging end which can be pulled to disengage the straps from overlapping relationship with the cover.
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United States Patent 1191 Coulter et a1.

1 1 DEVICE FOR LATCHING CONTAINERS [76] Inventors: Glenn A. Coulter; Thomas L.

Coulter, both of 31 13 Norris Cr., Columbus, Ga. 31907 221 Filed: Feb. 25, 1974 211 Appl. No.1 445,461

521 11.5.0. 292/258; 220/1 "r; 220/85 CH; 24/204; 24/81 AG; 220/318 511 1m. (:1 865d 51/100; B65d 45/08 [58] Field of Search.. 24/204, 73 A, 73 HH, 73 HR, 24/D1G. 18, 265 SH, 73 CF, 81 A, 81 AG;

154; 220/57, 55.7, 24 GC, 85 CH, 55 H, 318

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,636,639 4/1953 Frey 220/557 2,768,851 10/1956 Gifford 220/557 X 2,846,257 8/1958 Sherrill 292/258 3,124,381 3/1964 Geldart 292/258 1451 July 8,1975

3,241,881 3/1966 Carnahan et al. 24/204 X 3,291,515 12/1966 Lierman 292/288 3,307,872 3/1967 Marcott.... 24/204 3,328,081 6/1967 Scruggs..... 24/D1G. 18 3,363,924 1/1968 Remig 292/258 3,589,760 6/1971 Williams 292/258 3,817,563 6/1974 mcGlothlin 292/254 Primary Examiner-Geo. V. Larkin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Sherman & Shalloway [57] ABSTRACT A device for securely holding the cover of a container in place includes a pair of straps, each of which is secured to the side of the container and extends over the cover of the container. The straps have complementary separable pile-type material thereon to fasten the straps together in one embodiment, and to fasten the straps to the cover in another embodiment. In either case, the straps have an overhanging end which can be pulled to disengage the straps from overlapping relationship with the cover.

7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures I IGJS FIG? FIG-4 DEVICE FOR LATCHING CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a device or system for releasably retaining a cover on a container. More particularly, the present invention relates to a device or system for releasably retaining a cover on a container, wherein the container is one which is periodically filled and emptied, such as a garbage can.

2. Technical Considerations and Prior Art The present invention concerns an easy-on, easy-off, simplified and improved combination device for firmly holding down or latching down the cover of a garbage can which has two diametrically opposite side handles or brackets, and we choose to designate our device as a LITTER LATCH.

The usefulness and need of such a device is evident. Even well-fitting garbage can covers are often dislodged when the cans are knocked over, as by dogs, and additionally ill-fitting lids or covers are also sometimes blown off by the wind. Due to understandably rough handling by the garbage collectors, both the covers and the garbage cans themselves become bent, dented and generally beat up" after a period of use, and this adds to the problem of keeping the cover firmly in place regardless of its condition in order to prevent the garbage litter from being strewn over the ground after the garbage can has been knocked over by dogs. cars, wind, children playing, etc. The health and well-being of the human environment would be enhanced by ensuring that such bacteria-forming material be securely contained within the garbage cans, and the population density of disease-carrying flies and other insects would be diminished as a consequence of soremoving the sources of their attraction and reproduction. Aside from such much more obvious reasons, litter strewn around the sidewalk, lawn and street certainly does nothing to enhance the beauty of a neighborhood.

As becomes readily evident from the great number of patents already issure, there have been many previous attempts to provide garbage can cover locks. All of these have merit, but for one reason or another, most have failed to attain public acceptance.

With the foregoing in mind, the present disclosure envisions an improved, yet simplified, means of accomplishing the desired result.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The principal object of the present invention is to provide an efficient, rugged device for firmly latching down the cover of a garbage can, regardless of the physical condition of the can or cover, and to further provide a simplified easy-on, easy-off, fastening means which will in no way encumber the garbage collection process.

Other objects of the instant invention will become apparent from the following specification, claims and the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of one embodiment of the instant invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 show the device of FIG. 1 as attached to two types of garbage cans;

FIGS. 4 and 5 show two alternate ways of attaching the device to a garbage can; and

FIGS. 6 and 7 show perspective and side views, respectively, of another embodiment of the instant invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to FIG. I, there are shown two flat straps of flexible fabric material such as webbing, nylon or the like, designated generally by numerals IA and 18. Both straps are identical in structure and material, although strap IA may preferably be of greater length. Each strap 1A and 18 has means 2, shown in this figure as a snapclip, secured to one end as by loop 5, for attaching the straps to the side handles of a garbage can (not shown in this figure). Along one side and adjacent the other end of each of said straps IA and 1B is firmly affixed a flexible tape or strip of separable pile fastener material, such as the commercially well known hook and loop fastener material marketed under the registered trademark name of VELCRO" (U.S. Pat. No. 3,009,235 et al.) or the like, designated generally by the numerals 3A and 3B. These two tapes 3A and 3B complement each other. When pressed flat together, the tapes 3A and 3B adhere or tightly grip each other. This gripping effect is very strong in a horizontal direction; i.e., when the tapes are pulled horizontally against each other along their length, yet the tapes can be readily separated when pulled away from each other in a vertical direction. The appended loose end 4 of strap IA is provided as a breaking handle" to thus break the grip of tapes 3A and 3B by lifting tape 3A upward (vertically) away from tape 38. It is obvious that the effective gripping surfaces of tapes 3A and 38 must face each other.

The separable pile fastener material 3A, 38 may be conveniently a hook and loop fastener material consisting of two different types of tapes; one exclusively provided with loops and the other exclusively provided with hooks (such as VELCRO Touch Strip fasteners), or both tapes could be of identical structure of material which has both hooks and loops (such as is disclosed in the Izumi U.S. Pat. No. 3,l30,l II or the Savoir U.S. Pat. No. 3,387,345). In either case, two facing separable pile tapes are required in order to obtain the desired firmly adhering or gripping effect, and so the two tapes are termed complementary.

FIG. 2 shows the device of FIG. I in attached relationship to a garbage can of ordinary design. In this figure, the components of the latching device, as in FIG. I, are flat straps 1A and 1B having attaching means 2-2, complementary separable pile fastener tapes 3A and 3B, breaking handle 4, and securing loops $5. The garbage can is shown in dotted lines and is designated generally as 10, with lid or cover 11 having a top handle 12. The two side handles of the can, including their respective mounting members, are numbered I3l3. As is customary, these two side handles 13-13 are positioned diametrically opposite each other on the can [0. In this figure, the two complementary tapes of fastener material 3A and 3B are shown in face-to-face juxtaposed relationship to each other and it will be noted that the longer strap 1A passes under neath the cover handle 12.

FIG. 3 closely duplicates FIG. 2 in that it shows the device of FIG. 1 as attached to a garbage can. However, in FIG. 3 a common, smaller type of can, sometimes called a garbage pail since it has a bail handle, is shown. Again the components of the latching device are numbered as in FIG. I. The flat straps IA and 18 have attaching means 2-2 secured to them at one end as by loops -5 and have complementary separable pile fastener material tapes 3A and 3B firmly affixed to them along and adjacent to their other end portions; strap IA having an extending portion designated as a breaking handle 4. In this figure, the garbage can is equipped with a lid or cover 21 having a top handle 22. This type of garbage can, or garbage pail, has a wiretype of bail handle 23 connected as by loops 24-24 at its ends to brackets 25 positioned diametrically opposite on the sides of can 20. The means 22 of the latching device are attached to loops 2424 or brackets 252S, as is most convenient in this arrangement. As here shown, the fastener tapes 3A and 3B are again shown in face-to-face juxtaposed relationship. It will be noted that the longer strap IA passes over the cover handle 22 in this arrangement.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show other representative types of attaching means which might be substituted for the snapclips 2-2 shown in the previous figures.

In FIG. 4, a loop 7 preferably formed of metal or unbreakable plastic is secured as by strap loop 5 to the end of flat strap 1A, 1B. Loop 7 is shown as rectangular in shape, but could be of any other desired shape such as oval or round. In this FIG., 13A represents a crosssection of the side handle 13 of the garbage can.

FIG. 5 shows perhaps the simplest attaching means since the flat strap I is itself utilized, being threaded as shown through the loop 5 formed at its end, with no additional attaching component being needed. A crosssection of side handle 13 is designated by 13A in this figure.

From the drawings and the preceding description thereof, it will be seen that this device consists of two closely identical sections, alike except as heretofore and hereinafter denoted. Two flat straps of substantially non-stretchable, nomshrinkable fabric such as webbing, nylon or the like are employed as basic components. One end of each flat strap is provided with means to fasten it to one of the two diametrically opposite side handles or brackets of a garbage can. The two flat straps which differ only in length have tapes of separable pile fastener material firmly affixed to them along and adjacent their other ends. These two tapes of separable pile fastener material complement each other and will tightly grip or adhere to each other when pressed flat together. When so pressed together, they form a strong and firm bond in a horizontal direction, yet are readily detachable from each other in a vertical direction. One of the complementary tapes is positioned face upward along and preferably at or close to the end of a first lower-positioned, shorter strap, while the other tape is positioned face downward along and preferably a little further away from, although still adjacent to, the end of the longer, second, upper-positioned strap. An overhanging end of this second, upperpositioned strap can then conveniently be utilized as a breaking handle to pull upward (vertically) and thus break the grip between the two complementary tapes of the separable pile fastener material. Obviously, this releases the garbage can cover so that it can be removed in a normal manner. This pulling upward on the breaking handle is the only slight additional efi'ort or work required of the garbage collector.

Obviously, also, the garbage collector does not replace the garbage can cover.

To install the device of the instant invention on a garbage can, it is only necessary to attach one end of strap IA to one of the side handles 13 (or brackets 25) of the garbage can 11 (or 21) as by one of the attaching means 2, and one end of strap 13 to the other garbage can handle 13 (or bracket 25) by the like attaching means 2. This is clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In operation, after the device is properly installed, being sure that the flat strap IA and 1B are positioned so that the separable pile fastener material tapes are facing each other, the lower tape facing up, the upper tape facing down, it is only necessary to place strap ID with tape 33 facing upward over the top of cover 11 (or 21) of the garbage can and pull it substantially flat across the lid directly toward the opposite can handle. Repeat these steps in reverse direction with strap 1A with complementary tape 3A facing downward so that tapes 3A and 3B overlap, and then press tape 3A flat downward on tape 38. The tapes 3A and 38 will then tightly grip or adhere to each other and thus the device will hold down or latch down the garbage can cover. Pulling the two straps IA and IB (and thus the two ad hering tapes 3A and 3B) horizontally against each other will not break this grip. However, the grip can readily be broken and the two strap portions released from each other simply by pulling tape 3A upwardly from tape 38 by means of the extended breaking handle 4 at the end of strap IA. This action, of course, frees the garbage can cover.

It is to be noted, as indicated in the drawing, that this device is equally useable with any type of garbage can or the like which as diametrically opposite handles or brackets and that the strap may be positioned through or over the top of a cover handle (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3), or it could also be equally well used if the cover did not have a handle or had a broken handle. In other words, the device of the present invention, unlike the devices of many previous patents, does not depend upon or have the need of a lid handle for its operation.

Since firm gripping is obtained when only short portions of the complementary separable pile fastener material are in contact, and the entire length of this material need not be in contact, the device is thus effectively adjustable in length for reasonable size difference in garbage cans. To add to this lengthening effect, one tape portion of the separable pile material may be longer than the other if so desired.

It is to be understood that snap hooks or any other suitable means, such as for instance those shown in the other figures of the drawings, could be substituted for the snapclip attaching means shown in FIG. 1. The attaching means are preferably detachable from the bandles, but should not be free to come loose or fall off when the straps are unfastened as could be the case if simple open hooks were used. Also, any other like or similarly operable firm-gripping fastener material could be utilized instead of the separable pile or book and loop fastener material herein described, it being understood that any such adhesive or gripping material must be of dry structure and able to sustain rough usage and remain operable regardless of dirt, mud, wetting as by rain or otherwise, as is the material specified which has been well-tested under such adverse conditions.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, there is shown another embodiment of the instant invention wherein a pair of flexible straps 30-30 are disposed on opposite sides of a container 31 to hold a cover 32 in place on the container. In this embodiment, each strap 30 has a VELCRO pad 33 affixed thereto which mates with a complementaty VELCRO pad 34 affixed to the cover 32. The end of each strap 30, which is secured to the can 31, may be secured thereto by a VELCRO pad 36 affixed to the can 31 or in the alternative, may be riveted or otherwise attached to the can. Each of the straps 30 has an end portion 35 which extends past the VELCRO pad 33 affixed to the strap to provide a handle which can be conveniently gripped by the fingers to break engagement between pad 33 and pad 36 affixed to the cover 32.

Having thus described our invention, the same is to be protected and limited only by the following appended claims.

We claim:

1. A latching device for both securely retaining the cover of a container in place and providing for quick removal of said cover from said container, comprising:

a container having a pair of straps, each of which is secured at one end thereof to opposite sides of said container;

a pad of separable pile fastener material firmly affixed adjacent the other end of each strap; and

a cover having a pair of pads of separable pile fastener material firmly affixed to the cover, wherein said separable pile fastener material affixed to said cover complements the material affixed to the straps so that the straps retain the cover on the container when the material affixed thereto is pressed into engagement with the material affixed to the cover.

2. The latching device of claim 1, wherein the straps are affixed to the sides of the container by complementary pads of separable pile fastener material.

3. The latching device of claim 1, wherein the straps have end portions which extend beyond the pads affixed thereto which provide a handle for conveniently breaking the engagement of the complementary pads.

4. A latching device for retaining the cover of a container releasably thereon, comprising:

a container having a pair of flexible straps, each of which has one end secured to opposite sides of the container and each of which has a free end portion;

pads of separable pile fastener material affixed adja cent to the free end of said straps to effect a latching relationship which holds said strap in overlapping relation with said cover; and

means extending from the free end of at least one of said straps to provide a handle with which to disengage said latching relationship.

5. The latching device of claim 4, wherein the container is primarily used to periodically retain garbage and other refuse.

6. The latching device of claim 4, wherein the pad of material on one strap complements the pad of material on the other strap so that the latching relationship is effected by engaging the pads of the pair of straps.

7. The latching device of claim 4, wherein the material on the pads affixed to the straps complements separable pile fastener material on other pads affixed to the cover to effect the latching relationship when the pads on the straps are engaged with the pads on the cover. =1 i

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4158906 *Jan 26, 1978Jun 26, 1979Sheldon WatsonDiaper cinch
US4194657 *Jan 5, 1979Mar 25, 1980Gary ThorShotgun ammunition container
US4478348 *Aug 30, 1982Oct 23, 1984Lever Brothers CompanyChild resistant containers
US4715629 *Dec 12, 1985Dec 29, 1987Robinson Alan JChild proof closure device for doors
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US5209533 *Jun 12, 1990May 11, 1993Menard Louise GRefrigerator door guard
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US6908250 *Oct 27, 2003Jun 21, 2005Greenlee Textron Inc.Retainer for retaining collapsed poles within another pole
US7645352 *Nov 14, 2005Jan 12, 2010Douglass WambaughBox dispenser
US8083088 *Oct 25, 2010Dec 27, 2011Thompson Joseph HTrash pail lid lock apparatus and method of use
US8459487 *Feb 11, 2009Jun 11, 2013Rajneesh SharmaAdjustable strap-lock for securing container lids to the base container in closed position
US20040065666 *Oct 1, 2003Apr 8, 2004Walker Warren ThomasGarbage can lid securing system
US20040084915 *Oct 27, 2003May 6, 2004Greenlee Textron Inc.Retainer for retaining collapsed poles within another pole
US20100258566 *Oct 14, 2010Ernest LeeGarbage lid securing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/258, 220/318, 24/306, 220/324, 24/302, 220/908
International ClassificationB65F1/16, B65D45/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D45/02, B65F1/1615, Y10S220/908
European ClassificationB65F1/16C, B65D45/02