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Publication numberUS3409193 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date5 Nov 1968
Filing date20 Jun 1967
Priority date20 Jun 1967
Also published asDE1755747B1
Publication numberUS 3409193 A, US 3409193A, US-A-3409193, US3409193 A, US3409193A
InventorsDerek N G Metcalf
Original AssigneeAthena Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Utility receptacle structure
US 3409193 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. N. G. METCALF 3,409,193

UTILITY RECEPTACLE STRUCTURE Nov. 5, 1968 Filed June 20, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. DEREK /V, G METCALF I: i5. 6 70 69 M 69 W/VEYS Nov, 5, 1968 D. N, G. METCALF 3,409,193

UTILITY RECEPTACLE STRUCTURE Filed June 20, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 X 39 7 P1 9 {w mr-l-L L32 33 INVENTOR DEREK /V. G. METCALF United States Patent Oflice 3,409,193 Patented Nov. 5, 19 8 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A utility receptacle structure for mounting on an upwardly projecting support having receding side walls and wherein two relatively rigid receptacles are hinged together at the top for relative movement about a longitudinal axis and connected together at their lower regions by a flexible web, the length of which may be varied to suit the thickness of the support between its receding side walls and the height at which thereceptacles are to be maintained when the flexible web is engaged with the support. The centers of gravity of the receptacles are lowered with respect to the support by the extent thereof downwardly along the support side walls, and increased weight of the receptacle contents increases the gripping action of the structure on the support.

Background of the'invention Utility receptacle structures of the general class of those shown herein have been known in the prior art. Some are made to be suspended from a supporting part which, in most instances, is adapted to being secured to a supporting structure by a clamp or the like. These cannot always be placed where they are as accessible as might be desired; Other, even more commonly known, utilize a flexible Web weighted at its opposite ends and are adapted to be mounted with the web draped over an upwardly projecting support having receding side walls. These structures usually have a bucket or box type receptacle secured at the bottom to the mid-region of the weighted web, so that they project upwardly from and are entirely above the web and the structure on which they are mounted. They are readily subject to tipping, often extend to heights which subject them to being accidentally hit and knocked from their support and become less stable as the contents increases in weight.

The invention This invention has within its purview thepro-vision of a utility receptacle structure in which a plurality of receptacles, suited to like'or different uses, are firmly and stably supportable at a convenient position on an upwardly projecting supporting structure having receding side walls.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide a utility receptacle structure having a plurality of receptacles hingedly connected together at the tops thereof for relative swinging movements and connected together at opposed lower regions by a flexible mounting web, whereby the lower portions of the receptacles extend downwardly at opposite sides of an upwardly projecting support having receding side walls.

Another object of this invention is to provide a utility receptacle structure of the type described and wherein the length of the flexible mounting web is subject to effective variation to adapt the structure to mounting on different sizes and shapes of supports and to determine the downward extent of the receptacles along the opposite sides of the support.

This invention has for another object the provision of a utility receptacle structure of the class described and wherein the top hinge connection between receptacles and the lower flexible connecting web effect the production of a gripping action of the web and the lower portions of the receptacles relative to, the support upon which the structure is mounted.

It is further within the purview of this invention to provide a utility receptacle structure of the type to which reference has been made i and wherein the receptacles thereof may be suited to like or different uses and wherein the means by which the receptacles are hingedly connected are the same on both and in like positions on like and different receptacles and are constructed and arranged to be connectable to one another when either like or different receptacles are selectably put together in back-toback and opposed relationship.

Other objects and advantages of this invention, and a more complete understanding thereof, will be apparent by a referral to the following description and claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a utility receptacle structure made in accordance with this invention and wherein the structure is depicted as being mounted on an upwardly projecting support having receding side walls, such as the bump in the floor of an automobile which overlies the drive shaft, or the back of a seat, the support being indicated by dot and dash lines;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of a modified form of the invention, similar to FIG. 1, but wherein the two receptacles of the structure are different and suited to different purposes;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of other modified types of receptacles and wherein the forward receptacle is of the type shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, and is shown with the cover raised to illustrate interior details;

FIG. 4 is an end view of the modified structure illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an exploded plan view of parts of the structure shown in FIGS. 1-4 inclusive;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view drawn to a larger scale than FIG. 5, and wherein the section is taken substantially as indicated by a line 66 and accompanying arrows in FIG. 5;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are respectively front elevational and end views of receptacles of the type illustrated in FIG. 3, and wherein parts are broken away and separated to show details of structure;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of two receptacles having their hinge elements separated;

FIG. 10 is an end sectional viewtaken substantially as indicated by a line 1010 and accompanying arrows in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a front elevational vie-w of receptacle of the type depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is a broken end elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIG. 11; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary detail view taken substantially as indicated by a line 13-13 in FIG. 12, and in the direction indicated by the arrows.

In the exemplary embodiments of this invention which are shown in the accompanying drawings for illustrative purposes, various types of relatively rigid receptacles, such as 15, 16, 17, 18 land 19 are adapted to being utilized in pairs disposed in opposed and back-to-back relationship with the tops of adjacent back portions hingedly connected together, so that the lower regions of the receptacles are swin=gable relative to one another between closely adjacent and separate positions. At their bottoms, the hingedly connected receptacles of each pair are connected by flexible web 20 which, as shown in FIG. 4, has its opposite ends 22 and 23 secured to bottom Walls 24 and 25 of the receptacles by fastening means 26 such as staples. To facilitate the mounting of the receptacle 3 structures on different sizes and shapes of supports, such as" that illustrated by dot and dash lines at 27, the flexible web 20 is desirably provided with means for effecting variations in its effective length.

Having reference to the structures of the receptacles, each of the different types disclosed is a relatively rigid structure adapted to be made of a material such as molded plastic. The receptacles and 16 have box-type containers 28 which, in the form disclosed, have side walls 29, a bottom 30, a back wall 32 and a front Wall 33, and are open at the top. While the side walls 29 are in generally parallel relationship to one another, in the form shown, the back Walls 32 converge toward the front walls 33 toward the bottom, so that the top openings are somewhat larger than the areas of the bottoms, For decorative purposes, the front walls 33 may be provided with a ribbed panel 34 extending vertically of the mid-regions thereof and outwardly offset from the general planes of the walls. Covers 35 are hingedly mounted to the containers adjacent the back walls thereof to normally close the top openings,

which covers are readily swingable to raised positions when access to the interiors of the containers is desired.

For convenience in manufacture and assembly, and to minimize the number of molds required for the production of the containers, like types of containers are alike in structure, and are made to mount together in back-toback and opposed relationship, although hingedly connected together. For accomplishing this, the structure and arrangement of the hinge elements on the back walls of the containers is as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings. That is, the back wall of each container has a hinge pin element 36 and a slotted hinge element 37 integrally formed thereon in spaced relationship on opposite sides of the mid-region of the back wall thereof at the top of the back wall. Each hinge pin element is round in section and is supported at its opposite ends by integral posts 38 and 39 in spaced relationship to the surface of the back wall 32 of the container. As shown in FIG. 10, each slotted hinge element 37 projects from the back wall 32 of the container and has a slot 40 therein which is generally arcuate in section and is of a size to fit over one of the hinge pins 36; each slot having an extent in excess of 180, so that the hinge element must be distorted to some extent to force it over the co-acting hinge pin and so that the hinge element and hinge pin will remain in engaged relationship and will not be too readily disengageable during the use of the container, but so that the assembly and disassembly of the containers relative to one another is facilitated. By having one hinge pin element, such as 36, and one slott d hinge element, such as 37, on each container, it may be readily understood that the containers are made alike for manufacturing purposes, but will have hinge pin and slotted hinge elements in position for co-acting engagement when the containers are placed in reversed and back-to-back relationship for assembly.

For hingedly connecting each cover 35 to its container, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the top of the side wall 29 of the container has a hinge slot 42 therein, which slot is arcuate in section and has a peripheral extent of more than 180. The covers 35 have notches 43 at the rear outside corners thereof with an integral hinge pin 44 projecting outwardly at the mid-region of the notch and circular in section for engagement in the hinge. slots 42 of the side walls; the hinge pins 44 being effectively retained in the hinge slots when fully engaged therein. Some distortion of the side wall material is required for effecting full engagement of the hinge pins in the hinge slots. When thus engaged, the covers 35 are readily swingable in an upward direction from the containers to uncover the open tops thereof, while normally gravitating to the closed position.

In the modified utility receptacle structure depicted in FIGS. 2 and 4, the receptacle 17 embodies a container 45 which is of a type adapted to receive and retain an item, such as a box of cleansing tissue (not shown) which is open forwardly of the container for dispensing the tissues through an opening 46 in the mid-region of a front wall 47 of the container, This container is integrally molded and has side walls 48 at opposite sides of the front wall- 47 and also has a top wall 49 and a bottom wall 50. From the front, and also from the ends and top, the container 45 is generally rectangular in shape, and is open at the back for insertion of the item to be placed therein, such as tissues contained in the box in which they are received. To effect some gripping and retaining action against the tissue box or item which is placed in the container, ribs 52 and 53 are integrally formed on the interior surfaces of the top and bottom walls respectively and project inwardly of the container a short distance, while extending across the top and bottom walls in spaced relationship to one another on each wall. Additionally, in the form shown, the ribs 52 and 53 are wedge-shaped and are somewhat thicker toward the front of the container than at the rear, thereby to facilitate the insertion of boxed tissue, or the like, while increasing the gripping action toward the front of the container, as the box is pushed into place.

In order to have the container 45, which is of a size to fit a particular item, adapted in size for mounting with a receptacle such as 16, for mounting purposes, an upper panel 54 is integrally formed on the container 45 and extends upwardly therefrom with its inner surface in flush relationship to the rear edges of the side walls 48, thereby to provide a rear mounting surface. Hinge elements of the type and in the arrangement shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 are provided on the top of the panel 54 for engagement with the hinge elements of another receptacle of the same or a different type.

In the modified structure depicted in FIGS. 3, 7 and 8, containers 55, like the others described, may be made of a relatively rigid molded plastic material with generally planar back walls 56 and front walls 57 in spaced relationship to one another and adjoined at opposite sides by side walls 58. The containers are integrally formed with bottoms 59 and an open top. The containers are generally rectangular in shape, but desirably have the top edges of the side walls sloping downwardly toward the front wall 57 from the back wall 56 to improve accessibility to and a view of the contents. Covers 60 are provided for the containers which are generally of the structure and are mounted in the same manner as those described for the receptacles 15 and 16 shown in FIGS. 1, 12 and 13.

To facilitate the carriage of items, such as recorded tapes which are commonly used in automobiles for musical entertainment, the containers 55 have a partition wall 62 extending interiorly between the front and the back walls and desirably terminated below the tops of the side walls. The compartments provided on opposite sides of this partition are of a size to receive items, such as the recorded tapes, which are normally used. In addition, wedge-shaped supports 63 are integrally formed with the bottom and back walls of the containers in spaced relationship on opposite sides of the mid-region of each compartment on the opposite sides of the partitioning wall 62, which supports slope upwardly toward the back, so that the items, such as 64, supported thereby are in successively offset relationship to one another in each compartment, as shown in FIG. 3.

Since recorded tapes and such items are desirably kept in an accessible position in an automobile when it is in use, but are desirably movable readily from the auto mobile or placed in the truck to be locked up when the automobile is parked and not in use, because of the value of the items, this utility receptacle structure is provided with a top handle 65 by which it can be readily lifted and moved from its position of use to one of safety when not desired for use.

To provide the handle 65, each of the container 55 has an upwardly extending panel portion 66 integral and in coplanar relationship with the back wall 56 of the container and extending upwardly therefrom. The hinge elements which connect the containers in use are like those shown and described in connection with FIGS. 9 and 10, and are disposed at the tops of the panels 66. Each panel 66 has a hand opening 67 in the mid-region thereof which adapts the receptacle structure to being gripped and readily carried.

The flexible web 20 which connects the bottoms of the containers and which is adapted to engage the support 27 when the receptacle structure is mounted for normal use may be made of a suitable flexible plastic material or the like. In the form disclosed, and as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the flexible web 20 has a second layer of flexible material 68 at the mid-region thereof and secured thereto along spaced seam lines 69 to provide a series of sleeves 70 between the same lines. A resilient clip 72 having relatively long fingers 73 and 74 resiliently biased toward one another and into gripping engagement is insertable into selectable ones of the sleeves 70 which are brought into opposed relationship to one another to form a loop, as shown in FIG. 4, to effectively shorten the effective length of the web. By use of this expedient, the mounting height of the receptacles may be varied with respect to the support 27 and the receptacle structure will be adapted to mounting on supports of different heights, widths and shapes.

By utilizing the structures and arrangements shown and described herein, with the hinge connection at the tops of paired containers connected at their bottoms by a flexible web, it may be readily understood that the center of gravity of the receptacle structure is lowered with respect to the top of the support, although the containers utilized may be relatively deep. The adjustability of the length of the web adapts the structure to being mounted on supports of different heights, widths and shapes. Additionally, the flexible web, in its position spaced below the axis of the hinge connection between the receptacles, has a tendency to draw the containers inwardly toward the support when mounted, so that gripping action between the receptacle structure and the support is elfected, which gripping action increases as the weight carried by the receptacles is increased.

From the foregoing description and by reference to the accompanying drawings, it may be readily understood that the utility receptacle structures shown and described herein are readily producible by normal manufacturing processes and machines and are adapted to be selectively paired to suit the desires and needs of a user. Furthermore, the upward projection of the receptacles may be selectively varied to suit the user and to provide stability in use, which stability is further improved by the normal gripping action which the structure has with respect to its support.

From the foregoing, it is believed that those familiar with the art will readily recognize and appreciate the unique features and advancement of the present invention over previously known devices of this character. Further, it will be understood that while the present invention has been described in association with particular and preferred embodiments thereof as set forth in the accompanying drawings and above described, the same nevertheless is susceptible to change, variation and substitution of equivalents without departure from the spirit and scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. A utility receptacle structure for mounting over an upwardly projecting support having oppositely receding side surfaces and comprising, in combination, a pair of receptacles having parts in adjacent and face-to-face rela tionship and hingedly connected together at their upper regions for relative swinging movements toward and from one another about an axis which has a relatively fixed relationship to each of the parts, and a flexible support engaging web extending between lower regions of said parts and having spaced portions thereof secured to the parts,.so that when said web is extended, the parts and web define a triangle, and whereby, when the mid-region of said flexible web is engaged with said raised support and its oppositely receding side surfaces, the lower regions of said parts are drawn toward one another :and the support and the receptacles extend downwardly along the sides of the raised support.

2. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein the combination is further characterized by means for selectively changing the effective length of the flexible support engaging web which extends between the lower regions of said parts.

3. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein said flexible web comprises a plurality of layers of flexible material secured together along spaced and generally parallel lines to form a series of sleeves, and clip means having portions insertable in said sleeves to form a tuck and thereby change the effective length of said web.

4. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein said receptacles are relatively rigid boxtype structures.

5. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claims 1, and wherein said adjacent parts extend to positions above said receptacles, and said axis about which said parts swing relative to one another is above said receptacles, and the regions of said adjacent parts between said axis and said receptacles having aligned openings therein which serve to provide a handle by which the receptacle structure may be carried.

6. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein said receptacles are relatively rigid boxtype structures, at least one of which is open at the top, said one of the receptacles having a partition in the midregion thereof dividing it into compartments, and at least one of said compartments having support means in the bottom thereof presenting surfaces sloping downwardly in a direction away from said parts.

7. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein one of said receptacles has a cavity which is open toward the other receptacle, and also has an opening in the mid-region of a wall defining the front surface of the cavity.

8. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein the hinge connection between said parts is provided by means comprising a hinge pin and a releasable hinge clamp in like spaced relationship on each of the parts and disposed for movable engagement with releasable hinge clamp and hinge pin of another part when the parts are in reversed relationship to one another.

9. A utility receptacle structure as defined in claim 1, and wherein at least one of said receptacles has an open top, and a cover for the open top hingedly connected thereto for normally closing the top opening.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 253,975 2/1882 Carpenter 22444 2,979,098 4/1961 Greaves 20619.5 2,807,371 9/1957 Johnson 224-43 3,285,398 11/1966 Larkin 206- WILLIAM T. DIXSON, JR., Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2979098 *4 Sep 195811 Apr 1961Greaves Ruth KSaddle bag for automobiles
US3285398 *25 Feb 196515 Nov 1966Larkin Daniel CharlesLitter and tissue box container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3561595 *26 Nov 19689 Feb 1971John H WeggelandTape cartridge holder
US3771754 *13 Mar 197213 Nov 1973W SwartzLitter container for automobiles
US3804233 *26 Oct 197216 Apr 1974D GreggMiscellaneous article holding and storing tray with detachable hold-down anchoring means
US3908828 *17 Apr 197330 Sep 1975Kurt LohwasserContainer for foodstuff or other material
US4300709 *16 May 198017 Nov 1981Allied Plastics, Inc.Automobile console
US4735313 *5 Jul 19855 Apr 1988Kenneth SchoenbergCarrier for cans
US4938402 *10 Apr 19893 Jul 1990Anatra Enterprises, Inc.Coupon holder
US5004105 *16 Mar 19902 Apr 1991Tommyca FreadmanPackaging arrangement for transporting audio system components to and from an outdoor marine site
US5007569 *31 Jan 199016 Apr 1991Zarb Constance KBackseat storage container apparatus
US5048736 *26 Jun 199017 Sep 1991Anatra Enterprises, Inc.Coupon holder
US5213243 *15 Aug 199125 May 1993Landon Kimberly A BAutomobile tissue dispenser
US5242071 *8 Sep 19927 Sep 1993Goebel Scott AStackable multi-compartmental container
US6092684 *18 Jul 199725 Jul 2000Tanakaya, Inc.Connectable cases and the manufacturing method thereof
US8763810 *19 Jan 20111 Jul 2014T.T.S. S.R.L.Stackable cleaning bucket
US20080231063 *23 Mar 200725 Sep 2008Michelle Anne BowersAccessory holder for use in vehicles
US20120292222 *19 Jan 201122 Nov 2012T.T.S. S.R.L.Stackable cleaning bucket
CN102770058A *19 Jan 20117 Nov 2012Tts手推车装置有限公司Stackable cleaning bucket
U.S. Classification224/540, 224/928, 220/23.4, 206/233, 312/235.3, 206/387.1
International ClassificationB65D25/20, B60R7/04
Cooperative ClassificationB60R7/04, B65D25/20, Y10S224/928
European ClassificationB60R7/04, B65D25/20