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Publication numberUS3926363 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 16, 1975
Filing dateSep 20, 1974
Priority dateSep 20, 1974
Publication numberUS 3926363 A, US 3926363A, US-A-3926363, US3926363 A, US3926363A
InventorsCatron Marvin C
Original AssigneeCatron Marvin C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stacking trays and container for persihable items
US 3926363 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States atent Catron Dec. 16, 1975 STACKING TRAYS AND CONTAINER FOR PERSIHABLE ITEMS Marvin C. Catron, 2983 E. 69th St., Tulsa, Okla. 73111 Filed: Sept. 20, 1974 Appl. No: 507,688


US. Cl 229/2.5; 206/499 Int. Cl. B65D 1/00 Field of Search 229/25, 30; 220/20, 22',

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1952 Schmidt 206/507 10/1960 Tupper 229/25 X 7/1966 Weiss 229/2.5

3,732,976 5/1973 Bessett et al 206/499 Primary ExaminerGeorge E. Lowrance Assistant ExaminerSteven M. Pollard Attorney, Agent, or Firml-Iead & Johnson [57] ABSTRACT Polystyrene trays for containing perishable goods such as fried pies are alternately stacked within a container such that there can be no movement of an upper tray onto the next lower tray to damage the perishables thereon. The trays are of a singular design, formed from a common mold and are unsymmetrically dimensioned yet capable of being stacked in a square opening container in a relatively rigid stable manner to protect the goods.

5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures lull/1 US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet10f2 3,926,363

US. Patent Dec. 16, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,926,363

STACKING TRAYS CONTAINER FOR PERSIHABLE ITEMS BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention has for its object to provide stackable trays for particular use with perishable goods, the tray being molded of a plastic material such as polystyrene and thus overcome the objections to the utilization of corrugated paper product protection and supporttrays heretofore used in the art.

It is a further object of this invention to provide duplicate trays, manufactured from the same mold which may be alternately stacked and contained within a shipping or storage container such that there is no interference from and between adjacent stack trays to thereby damage perishable goods thereon. The tray includes an upwardly extending central divider to strengthen the tray and provides support to the next upper tray. The tray is made to fit a square opening but is actually non-square in its outside free dimensions as is more fully described herein. A central divider divides the tray into two sections and extends parallel to a first pair of opposed and parallel outwardly extending sides. These sides include upper horizontally outward extending lips. The dimension of from outer lip to outer lip being essentially the square dimension of the container within which the trays will be positioned. The second pair of opposed and parallel sides are normally outwardly extending and are adapted to flex inwardly to be substantially perpendicular to the bottom of said tray. The free dimension of the tray between outer end of the second opposed sides is greater than the size of the square container opening. Thus when stacked in the container, alternately, the bottom edge of said second pair of sides will rest upon the outwardly extending lip of the next adjacent lower tray.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tray of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a top elevational view of the container and the top most tray therein.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in the various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology would be employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Referring now to FIG. 1 the tray of this invention is described. Essentially the tray is adapted to be stacked within the opening 11 of a square container 12 shown in FIG. 2, which in this embodiment is shown as a corrugated carboard box container well known to those skilled in the art. Opening 11 is designed to be essentially square whose sides are of a dimension, referred herein as X.

The tray includes a bottom portion 14 which in this embodiment includes a centrally located divider 16 dividing the bottom into two portions to receive perishable items such as fried pies. Extending upwardly from perishable items the bottom and, in the embodiment, parallel to said divider 16 are a first pair of upwardly and outwardly extending sides 18 and 20. These sides include at the upper end thereof horizontal lips 22 and 24 respectively. These sides are of such a dimension that the outer extremityof the lip will be slightly less than the square dimension of X 7. A second pair of opposed and parallel outwardly extending sides 26 and 28 interconnect with sides 18 and 20 are essentially perpendicular thereto. The second pair of sides 26 and 28 extend upwardly and outwardly from the bottom 14, terminating at a dimension which is identified ,as ,X

' Referring to FIG. thecontainer is a top view with the numerals 30, 32,34 and 35 indicating the closure lids of the box.

Referring now to the 'cross-sectional view of FIG. 3 the position of the'stacked trayswithin .the opening 1 1 of, container 12. The trays, in this instance, include OPERATION In the operation and usage of the invention the box container 12 is constructed to have an opening 11 of side dimension X to receive the stacked trays. A first tray is filled with perishable goods 40 and inserted into the opening. In doing so, sides 26 and 28 thereof will flex to a substantially perpendicular position as shown in FIG. 3 and thus aid in retaining the tray in a relatively fixed position within the opening. The next adjacent tray is likewise filled with the perishable or the like goods and oriented to the divider 16 of the lower tray. Again, the sides 26 and 28 of the tray will flex inwardly to a substantially perpendicular position as shown whereby the tray will be rigidly supported within the box, with the edges below sides 26 and 28 resting MODIFICATIONS Although molded polystyrene foam is the preferred material from which the trays are constructed, this is not to be held as limiting in that polyurethane or other similar foams or plastic materials that will permit the non-destructive flexure of sides 26 and 28 in the manner herein described are to be included within the scope of the invention.

The divider 16 of this invention is shown in one form. It is to be understood that other design forms of the divider may be utilized to provide strength and support to the tray. In addition, the divider 16 can be oriented so as to be parallel to the sides 26 and 28 instead of transverse thereto as shown in the FIGURES herein.

In the preferred embodiment the tray is molded such 7 3 each of said trays comprising: an essentially rectangular bottom portion having a first pair and a second pair of upwardly and outwardly sides extending from said bottom and open at the top thereof to receive said perishable goods;

said first pair of sides being opposed, each extending upwardly from the bottom and terminating at a desired height with a horizontal outwardly extending lip, the outside dimension of said lips being equal to or slightly less than said dimension X;

said second pair of sides being opposed and extending outwardly such that the free outside dimension of the upper termination of said sides is greater than said dimension X, said second pair of sides being flexible and pivotal inwardly from said bottom to a position such that said outside dimension is substantially equal to said dimension X; and;

4 said trays stacked one on top of another in said container opening alternately having said first pair of sides of one tray transverse to the said second pair of sides of the next tray.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said tray includes at least one divider formed upwardly from the bottom to the height of said first side and extending across said tray parallel to one of said first and second pairs of sides.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein a single divider is centrally positioned across said tray bottom parallel to said first pair of sides.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 where the cross-sectioned thickness of said first pair of sides is slightly larger than said second pair of sides.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said tray is constructed of molded polystyrene.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2599727 *Jun 25, 1951Jun 10, 1952Trustees Tumwater SquareStacking and nesting container
US2955044 *Dec 18, 1956Oct 4, 1960Tupper CorpMembranous shape-sustaining receptacles
US3262786 *Dec 9, 1963Jul 26, 1966Pantasote CompanyReversed stacking trays
US3732976 *Apr 12, 1971May 15, 1973Packaging Corp AmericaPackage for fragile articles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4009817 *Jun 25, 1976Mar 1, 1977Bama Pie, Inc.Tray for shipment of frozen items
US4442969 *Apr 28, 1983Apr 17, 1984Mobil Oil CorporationReinforced packaging tray
US4899925 *Sep 6, 1988Feb 13, 1990Mobil Oil CorporationCrowned meat tray
US5050791 *Feb 8, 1990Sep 24, 1991Mobil Oil CorporationCrowned meat tray
US5377855 *Jun 10, 1991Jan 3, 1995Marco Seattle, Inc.Tray for freezing seafood
US5816405 *Feb 27, 1997Oct 6, 1998Carriger, Jr.; RichardPortable catering system
US5904248 *Oct 28, 1997May 18, 1999The Whitaker CorporationReusable shipping container
US6123199 *Oct 27, 1997Sep 26, 2000Brodrene Hartman A/SPackaging element in the form of an integrally moulded encasement piece of a pulp material
US20050035024 *Aug 12, 2003Feb 17, 2005Zee Jonathan Van DerFood holding containers
EP0161594A2 *May 3, 1985Nov 21, 1985Frank W. Dipl.-Ing. ZargesStacking system
WO2005019043A2 *Aug 11, 2004Mar 3, 2005Pactiv CorporationFood holding containers
WO2005019043A3 *Aug 11, 2004Sep 29, 2005Pactiv CorpFood holding containers
U.S. Classification229/406, 206/499
International ClassificationB65D1/36, B65D21/02, B65D1/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D21/0209, B65D1/36
European ClassificationB65D1/36, B65D21/02E