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United States Patent im
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[ii] Patent Number: 5,527,076  Date of Patent: Jun. 18, 1996
 BAG HANDLE
 Inventor: Robert Randels, 602 W. Franklin St., #3, Baltimore, Md. 21201
 Appl. No.: 333,644
 Filed: Nov. 3, 1994
 Int. CI.6 A45C 13/26; B65D 33/06
 U.S. CI 294/25; 294/171
 Field of Search 294/25, 27.1, 31.2,
294/33, 137, 153, 156, 159, 166, 170, 171;
16/110 R, 114 R, 1KB; 383/6, 12, 13, 15, 23, 25, 26, 29; 224/217-219, 222, 251,
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
D. 288,278 2/1987 Bright 294/33 X
562,027 6/1896 Reaser 294/25 X
670,023 3/1901 Jump 294/25 X
1,359,717 11/1920 McCarthy 294/25
2,301,842 11/1942 Abdella 294/25 X
2,556,189 6/1951 Johnson 294/25
2,967,071 1/1961 Deschene 294/31.2
3,486,684 12/1969 Dills et al 294/171
3,912,140 10/1975 Franges 294/171 X
4,004,722 1/1977 Olivier 294/171
4,590,640 5/1986 Enersen 294/171 X
4,606,484 8/1986 Winter et al 294/25 X
4.846.518 7/1989 Hamel 294/27.1 X
4.846.519 7/1989 Leonard 294/171
4,923,235 5/1990 Stewart 294/171 X
4,936,619 6/1990 Salazar 294/171
5,029,926 7/1991 Dieterich 294/171
5,199,758 4/1993 Howell 294/171
Primary Examiner—Johnny D. Cherry
A bag handle for carrying one or more plastic bags typically used in grocery stores or other handle-bearing objects such as paint cans. The handle has a slotted cylindrical portion which is used to house the bag's handles. The slot is angled allowing a sliding motion to access the holding cylinder easily. The handle is flexible for convenience and comfort and has a support strap which the hand is inserted into to provide enough rigidity to support the bags.
5 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
"Paper or plastic" is an expression commonly heard by 5 anyone checking out of a grocery store today. However, for years before stores started using plastic bags, the only option available to consumers was to use the brown paper bags, either in single strength or in doubled-up for over-stuffing strength. While these bags were inconvenient as being 10 difficult to lift, transport, store, and fold, they did offer an additional use as a waste receptacle liner. Noticing major difficulty associated with carrying and transporting groceries in these paper bags, the grocery stores began using thin plastic bags with handles and unknowingly gave birth to the 15 expression "paper or plastic". As people began to realize the advantages offered by plastic bags, in that they are easier to carry, easier to store, and are kinder to trees, popularity grew.
Since the plastic bags' handles made them easier to carry, multiple bags can now be transported without using the two arm-four bag technique mastered by anyone shopping in the "paper" era. The ease in carrying multiple bags has not come without sacrifice. The weight associated with carrying many bags creates an uncomfortable pressure on the palm of the hand as the weight of the bags squeezes the hand into a painful concave position.
In an effort to alleviate these problem and additionally provide added comfort, Stewart in U.S. Pat. No. 4,923,235 and Dieterich, Jr. in U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,926 disclose two similar devices for carrying bags. The two devices are rigid, elongated, straight members which contain slots at the ends to hold the bag's handles and are narrow to fit inside the palm of a hand.
Other U.S. Patents in this area include U.S. Pat. No. 35 4,590,640 issued to Enerson, U.S. Pat. No. 4,936,619 issued to Salazar, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,199,758 issued to Howell. Enerson's handle incorporates a rigid, elongated member evenly slotted on a side to accept the bags' handles and is elongated to fit into the palm of a hand. 40
Salazar discloses a handle for carrying multiple bags in an elongate tubular member incorporating outwardly diverging panels to facilitate the handle's entrance into the device.
Howell's handle incorporates a tubular member, elongated and having a slot spiraling through its body. Bag 45 handles are inserted by rotating the tube with the handle at the beginning of the slot. The tube is narrow so that the apparatus is easily carried.
However, none of these references show a handle which is both flexible for carrying many bags or other other articles having different sized handles which is also supporting.
This present invention relates to a bag handle. More particularly, this invention relates to a bag handle that is used for carrying one or more plastic bags commonly used in grocery stores.
The invention has been tested and reduced to practice by g0 the applicant and provides several advantages over the prior art.
The handle is to be fabricated out of flexible material to allow it to be carried with little inconvenience when not in use. Furthermore, the flexible material will add to the 65 comfort of using this device when carrying bags of substantial weight.
Although the handle is designed to be flexible, it will become rigid when in use as it completely wraps around the user's hand. Extending upward from the palm portion of the wrap-around segment is a slotted cylindrical portion also made of a flexible material, designed to accept and contain the handles of one or more plastic bags.
The slotted cylindrical portion of the handle advantageously incorporates an angled slot. This enables and facilitates entrance of the bag handles into the device. The handles are pulled into the wide opening of the angled slot and slid across and out the narrow end where they are then situated within the cylinder. The next bag is then easily slid on top of its predecessor.
However, the slot in the slotted cylinder is narrow enough to retain the bag handle even when pressure is removed and the bag and the handle are free standing.
The slotted cylinder is also flexible and acts as a locking mechanism when pressure is applied to it by a hand. When this happens, by gripping the handle to carry the bags, the slotted cylinder's sides overlap one another closing the cylinder and thereby prevent any accidental release of the bags.
The device may be made as one complete entity or may be a strap that is fastened into a similar entity by a hook and slot or other fastener located on the two ends of the support loop.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a comfortable device to aid in carrying multiple plastic grocery bags, paint buckets, pails, and packages wrapped with twine.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an embodiment of the invention that is singular and flat to aid in manufacture.
It is even another object of this invention to provide a means to keep plastic bag handles together when not being carried so that the bag will remain closed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the device depicting the oblong opening in which the user's hand is inserted.
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the device depicting the slotted cylindrical cavity which is to hold the bag handles.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the device depicting the angled edges of the slotted cylindrical cavity.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the device in its alternative embodiment showing the hook and slot fastener in a layout for efficient manufacturing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 illustrates the connection between the oblong hand opening 2 and the slotted cylinder 8. The oblong opening 2 is shaped to receive a human hand when the palm and fingers are grasping the slotted cylinder 8. The lower support strap 4 of the hand opening 2 wraps around the back of the inserted hand and is crucial to supporting the entire device.
Since this invention is made of a flexible material so that it is comfortable to use, it will need the rigidity offered by the support strap 4 to effectively carry the plastic bags. When a hand is inserted into the device, the lower strap 4 experi