US 3268198 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 23, 1966 .J. B. SWETT 3,268,198
GOASTER Filed April 27, 1964 22 F I 4 INVENTOR. JAMES B. SWETT ATTORN EY United States Patent 3,268,198 COASTER James B. Swett, Barrington, R.I., assignor to Rexall Drug and Chemical Company, Los Angeles, Calif, a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 362,793 1 Claim. (Cl. 248346.1)
This invention relates to coasters for use in combination with drinking tumblers or the like to prevent the marking of finished surfaces such as tables upon which the tumblers normally come in contact. More particularly this invention relates to coasters which have easily separable top and bottom portions and having an intermediate moisture receiving member held therebetween. The moisture receiving member serves to absorb drippings from the tumbler so that the surface of the coaster does not remain wet and the specific coaster construction is so arranged so that the coaster will not adhere to the bottom of its associated tumbler when the tumbler is elevated.
When iced drinks or the like are served in glasses or tumblers, particularly in humid weather, the moisture in the air tends to condense and accumulate on the outside surface of the glass or tumbler and roll down on to the supporting surface. The supporting surface thus becomes wet and its finish marred if such is susceptible to water marks and the like. 7
Not only will moisture from the air condense upon the outer surfaces of the cold tumbler but in those cases where the coaster itself is made of a heat conductive material the water from the atmosphere will then form upon the outside surfaces of the coaster itself and present this additional problem. It is thus desirable that the material from which the coaster is constructed and particularly those portions of the coaster which contact the tumbler be of an insulating plastic such as polyethylene and the like.
In light of the above problems associated with the serving of cold beverages it has become customary to provide coasters upon which a drinking tumbler can be placed with the idea that the drippings would be caught by the coaster and thus would not mar the furniture upon which the coaster and the tumbler were placed. Thus many coaster structures based upon this idea have been formu lated and placed upon the market. These known coaster structures however have all had one or more objectionable features. Thus the standard cup type coaster formed of wood, metal, plastic or the like is objectionable in that the condensate from the external surface of the tumbler drips into the coaster and forms a pool therein so that the drinking tumbler actually rests in a pool of water. With coaster of this type when the tumbler is lifted, drippings from the glass fall on the supporting surface and/ or on the users clothing.
Many other types of coasters utilize a construction in which a moisture absorbent material comes in direct contact with the bottom of the tumbler. These have the objectionable feature that when the tumbler is elevated the coaster will tend to stick to the bottom of the tumbler and is almost certain to become dislodged therefrom at an unknown and generally annoying instant. Thus the user of this type coaster often finds himself in the position of having a glass in hand and a coaster on lap.
A still further type of coaster construction utilizes a one piece member having a slit in the side thereof for receipt of a moisture absorbent material such as a disc of cloth or blotting paper. In this type construction the bottom of the tumbler rests upon a portion of the coaster iself and it is thus maintained out of contact from the water absorbent member which obviates some of the above mentioned difiiculties. These coasters however, necessarily must have an opening for receipt and removal of the water absorbent disc or the like and thus the likelihood of a 3 ,2 6 8,1 9 8 Patented August 23,. 1 966 wicking action and resultant dripping. A further difliculty with this type construction is that the absorbent member must be slipped in and out of its receiving slot which may become a chore if the water absorbent member becomes bent, warped or swollen especially if the slot and disc are made to approximate equal thickness so as to assure retention of the disc in the slot.
With the foregoing considerations in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a coaster which obviates the objectionable qualities of the prior art coasters above discussed. It is also an object of the invention to provide a coaster which will quickly absorb any moisture on its surface and which coaster will not adhere to a tumbler bottom so that the tumbler may be separately elevated while the coaster remains upon the supporting surface. A still further object of the present invention is to provide a coaster having top and bottom members which are easily inter-engaged with each other and form between their respective bottom portions, a chamber for use in retaining a moisture absorbent disc.
These and other objects of the invention which will be set forth in more detail hereinafter or which will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon reading the following description. The nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawing, references made to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof in which:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded view of the coaster of the present invention and showing the interrelationship of its three component parts;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the assembled coaster;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom plan view of the coaster; and
FIGURE 4 is a side view thereof taken along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.
Briefly the coaster of the present invention is composed of three separable members which are adapted to inter-engage with each other to provide a bottom supporting member, and intermediate water receiving and absorbing member and a top member which is so constructed so as to permit the water to pass from the walls of the tumbler or the like into said water receiving member and to additionally serve to space the bottom of the tumbler from said water receiving member. The component parts are easily separable from each other so that each may be readily washed and so that the water absorbent member may be removed with ease.
Referring now in more detail to the drawings, the coaster is shown as being of round configuration although it is to be understood that this is an exemplary shape only and that the coaster may generally have any overall shape desired. Thus the assembled coaster 10 as shown in the exploded view shown in FIGURE 1 of the drawing is composed of a bottom supporting member 12, a moisture absorbent member 14 and a top tumbler receiving member 16. The bottom supporting member 12 is generally cup shaped and is provided with an imperforate bottom wall 18. Surrounding this bottom wall 18 is an annular side wall 20 which outwardly extends there-around and terminates in a smooth edge the-reabove. The underside of the bottom wall 18 is further provided with raised rings 22 and 24 upon which the completed coaster structure is adapted to rest. The side wall 20 thereof is further provided with a downwardly extending annular recessed portion 26, which recess portion facilitates the receipt of the top member in a manner which will hereinafter be more clearly brought out.
The top tumbler receiving member 16 is also generally of cup shaped configuration and is provided with a bottom wall 28. An annular side wall 30 surrounds the bottom wall 28 and extends upwardly therefrom. The side wall 30 is provided with a horizontally extending wall portion 32 which serves as a connecting wall between the aforementioned side wall 30 and a downwardly extending outer side wall 34 connected thereto. Thus the side wall of the top tumbler receiving member 16 presents the configuration of a downwardly opening U-shaped lip. This lip is adapted to receive the recessed terminus 26 of the annular side wall 20 of the bottom member 12. The manner of their connection is best shown by FIGURE 4 of the drawing wherein it can be clearly seen that the terminus of the downwardly extending side wall 34 abuts against the shoulder formed in the side wall 20 by the recess 26. In this manner then the top and bottom members can be easily separated from each other merely by inserting ones finger nail underneath the downwardly extending side wall 34 and upwardly removing the top member therefrom. Also, the longitudinal extent of the annular side wall 30 'is less than that of the side wall 20 so that when the top and bottom members are engaged as shown in FIGURE '4, a small chamber is formed between the respective member bottoms 18 and 28. This small chamber 29 receives the water absorbent disc or member 14.
Other means for spacing the respective bottom mem bers could be utilized such as a peripheral raised ring downwardly extending from the under side of bottom wall 18. In such an embodiment the top tumbler receiving member can be inserted into the bottom member by means of a frictional fit, thus obviating the necessity of the downwardly opening U-shaped lip. Such lip does however provide convenient means whereby the desired member spacing is facilitated and therefore the structure as shown in the drawings is preferred.
The upper portion of the bottom wall 28 is further provided with a raised annular central boss 36 and raised ribs 38 radiating therefrom. The ribs 38 thus as can be seen clearly from FIGURE 2 of the drawing, divide the bottom wall 28 into a plurality of sectors 40. Each sector is further provided with a plurality of opening 42. Alternately, the material forming the segments 40 and that surrounded by boss 36 may be altogether removed and present a bottom wall 28 having completely open sectors 'for transmission of the condensed moisture upon the walls of a tumbler through the bottom wall 28 and into the water receiving member 14. The raised boss and its radiating ribs thus form a surface upwardly spaced from the bottom wall 28 upon which the bottom of a tumbler may rest. In this way then the bottom of the tumbler does not directly contact the bottom wall 28 and the opening 42 therethrough thus permitting the free flow of condensed moisture through the bottom wall.
"on the surface of the tumbler receiving member to be transferred to the bottom of the tumbler and in this manner dripping therefrom is prevented. The moisture passed through the openings into the chamber 29 is absorbed by the member 14 and thus is held from flowing back through the openings if the coaster is accidentally overturned. When the user desires to remove the moisture accumulated in the chamber 29 and absorbed by the member 14 it is a simple matter to peel off the top member, remove the member 14, and squeeze the water therefrom prior to replacing the member in the chamber.
The coaster of the present invention is preferably made of a yielding plastic material such as polyethylene and may be provided in complementary top and bottom colored portions. 'Plastic materials suitable for the preferably foam moisture absorbing member 14 comprise among others, polyurethane and polystyrene. Foam rubber materials may also be utilized.
In view of the foregoing disclosure, variations and modifications thereof will be apparent, and it is intended to inelude within the invention all such variations and modifications which fall within the scope of the pending claim.
A coaster for tumblers and the like comprising a top tumbler receiving member, a bottom member and a moisture receiving member; said bottom member having an imperforate bottom wall and an upwardly extending annular side wall, the outer surface of said bottom member side wall provided with an annular recess downwardly ex tending from the upper terminus thereof, said recess terminating in an outwardly directed side wall shoulder, said top tumbler receiving member having a perforate bottom wall and an upwardly extending annular side wall terminating in a downwardly opening U-shaped lip for receipt of the upper terminus of said bottom member side wall wherein the lower terminus of said U-shaped lip abuts said side wall shoulder and in part extends lateral- 1y outwardly of said shoulder for ease in fingernail engagement thereof and so as to space said bottom walls apart thus forming an intermediate chamber for receipt of said moisture receiving member whereby moisture from 'the tumbler is collected by said top member and passes through said openings to said moisture receiving member and wherein the bottom wall of said top member is provided with a raised annular centrally disposed boss and raised ribs radiating therefrom for contacting receipt of a tumbler bottom, said rib serving to divide said bottom wall into segments each of which being provided with 'openings therethrough.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,981,627 11/ 1934 Merriman 248346 2,221,177 11/ 1940 Berenson et al. 22042 2,496,157 1/1950 Gaudino 248-3461 2,606,586 8/1952 Hill 0.5 2,606,708 8/1952 Irvan 22042 2,638,261 5/1953 Poole 2295.5 2,641,911 6/1953 Raymond et al. 248346.1 2,688,858 9/ 1954 Cosmetto 24'8346.1 2,790,576 4/ 1957 Lawrence 220-42 2,893,163 7/1959 Hazel 248-3461 3,032,939 5/ 1962 Andersen 22042 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,115,331 12/1955 France.
81,276 5/1895 Germany. 542,788 1/1942 Great Britain. 714,850 9/1954 Great Britain.
CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.
FRANK L. ABBOTT, Examiner.