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Publication numberUS3493122 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date3 Feb 1970
Filing date14 Oct 1968
Priority date14 Oct 1968
Publication numberUS 3493122 A, US 3493122A, US-A-3493122, US3493122 A, US3493122A
InventorsMckee Lee C
Original AssigneeMckee Lee C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tray
US 3493122 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 3,1970 MCKQE 7 f 3,493,122

TRAY

Filed Oct. 14, 1968 I NVE NTOR.

Lee GH /fee ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,493,122 TRAY Lee C. McKee, 6612 Golden Ridge Drive, Hopkins, Minn. 55343 Filed Oct. 14, 1968, Ser. No. 767,087 Int. Cl. A47f 3/14 US. Cl. 211-126 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE and tabs formed from the tray stiffener portions are inserted into cooperating slots formed in an adjacent tray section to maintain such angular relationship of the tray stiffener portions and the planar condition of the tray.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Serving trays presently used in hotels, motels, hospitals and other like business establishments are commonly constructed from metal or plastics. After each use such trays must be thoroughly cleaned and in some cases sterilized due to spillage of food and/or contamination by use of persons having communicable diseases. Such cleaning and/or sterilizing operations consume considerable time and the trays, in time, often appear rather worn and unsightly which results in expensive replacement thereof. In case of use of such trays in hotels, motels or other like businesses it is sometimes desirable to display advertising or other decorative indicia on the upper and/or lower surface of the tray. Due to the shape and the materials normally used in the construction of such serving trays they do not readily lend themselves to applications of such indicia and are, further, somewhat expensive to manufacture. Additionally, storage and/or shipping of a number of such trays is somewhat expensive due to the bulk and weight thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With the above in mind I have provided a serving tray fromed from a relatively rigid blank of sheet material such as corrugated cardboard, or the like, which has a plurality of score lines extending between opposite end edges thereof. The score lines permit folding of the tray sections, defined by the score lines, from a planar condition into a side-by-side relationship of adjacent ones thereof. A score line extends parallel to and adjacent each end edge of the tray so as to intersect the plurality of score lines and defines laterally outwardly of each thereof a tray stiffener portion. The tray stiffener portions are foldable around the last mentioned score lines, in a common direction, into an angular relationship with the tray sections to preclude folding of the tray along the plurality of score lines. A tab is cut from each of the tray stiffener portions and is engageable in a slot formed in an adjacent tray section to maintain the angular relationship of the tray stiffener portions with the tray sections and a planar condition of the tray sections.

A primary object of my invention is the provision of a device of the class described which is inexpensive to produce, light of weight, and requires but a minimum of space for shipping and storage.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a device which is disposable after one or more times of use and which provides a surface upon which advertising or other decorative indicia may be easily applied.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the class described which may be assembled from a folded condition to a tray forming condition with but a minimum of effort and skill.

These and other important objects will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following specification, attached drawings, and appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS With further reference to the drawings wherein like characters represent like parts throughout the sevenal views:

FIGURE 1 is a bottom plan view of a blank which forms the tray of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a view in top plan of the blank of FIG. 1;

FIGURE 3 is a view in perspective of the tray of FIGS. 1 and 2 assembled into a tray forming condition; as seen from the bottom;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective of the structure of FIG. 1 in a fully folded storage or shipping condition;

FIGURE 5 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIGURE 6 is a view in perspective of the structure of FIG. 4 in a partially folded condition; and

FIGURE 7 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIG. 2, on an enlarged scale.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show bottom and top plans respectively of a blank, indicated generally by the numeral 10*, utilized to form the tray of the present invention' Blank 10 is formed from a generally rectangular, relatively rigid, sheet material such as corrugated cardboard, or the like, and includes opposite side edges 11, 12, opposite end edges 13, 14, and opposite planar surfaces 15, 16 which form the upper and lower surfaces respectively of the tray. Disposed at spaced points between the side edges 11, 12 and extending between the end edges 13, 14 are a plurality of score lines 2022. The score lines 20-22 together with the side edges 11, 12 define a plurality of tray sections 25-28. A pair of score lines 30, 31 extend generally parallel to and adjacent each of the end edges 13, 14, respectively, and between the side edges 11, 12 so as to intersect each of the score lines 20, 21, 22. Score lines 30, 31 define laterally outwardly thereof tray stiffener portions 32, 33 which extend between the side edges 11, 12, and the purpose of which will hereinafter become apparent.

Score lines 20, 21 and 22 are formed by cutting partially through opposite planar surfaces 15, 16 at alternate ones of the score lines 2022. That is, score lines 20, 22 are cut through the surface 16 while score line 21 is cut through the surface 15. In this manner, tray sections 25-28 may be folded along the score lines 20-22 such as illustrated in FIG. 6 and caused to ultimately assume the side-by-side relationship of adjacent ones of the tray sections 2528 as shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. When the blank 10 has been folded to the position of FIG. 4 it will be noted that considerably less area is occupied thereby. Consequently the folded blanks 10 of FIG. 4 may be more conveniently stored and/ or shipped in containers, not shown, but which have dimensions which require but a minimum of space.

When it is desired to use the blank 10 as a tray for carrying food or other articles it is only necessary to unfold the blank 10 from the folded condition of FIG. 4 to the planar condition of FIGS. 1 and 2. Thereafter, tray stiffener portions 32, 33 are folded in a common direction along score lines 30, 31 so as to have an angular relationship with the planar surfaces 15, 16 such as illustrated in FIG. 3. It will be here noted that score lines 30, 31 like score lines -22 are formed by cutting through a common planar surface 15 for a depth less than the thickness of the corrugated cardboard of which the blank 10 is formed. In this manner tray stiffener portions 32, 33 fold easily, in a common direction, along the lines 30, 31 and resist folding along such lines 39, 31 in an opposite direction. When the tray stiffener portions 32, 33 have been folded to the angular position of FIG. 3, the tray sections -28 are maintained in a rigid planar condition wherein they will support food or other articles, not shown, on the planar surface 15.

For the purpose of maintaining the tray stiffener portions 32, 33 in the angular relationship for FIG. 3, barbed tabs 35, 36 are cut from the tray stiffener portions 32, 33 respectively. Each of the tabs 35, 36 is adapted to be folded laterally inwardly toward an adjacent tray section, in this case tray section 28, and has engagement within a respective slot 37, 38 formed in the tray section 28, see FIGS. 3 and 5.

Side edge 11 of blank 10 is cut away intermediate the opposite ends thereof as at 40. This permits the user to more conveniently position the tray upon his lap during use thereof.

In the above-described structure an extremely light Weight inexpensive tray, which is sufficiently rigid to support articles thereupon, has been provided. Additionally, a tray has been provided which is formed from a material and of a shape to readily accept advertising or other decorative indicia, upon one or both of the planar surfaces thereof, from conventional printing presses of the type now in use. Also, due to the extremely inexpensive material from which the blank 10 is formed, the trays may be used a relatively short time and then discarded should they become soiled.

What is claimed is:

1. A foldable serving tray comprising:

(a) a generally rectangular blank of relatively rigid sheet material having opposite side edges, end edges, and planar surfaces;

(b) said blank having a plurality of generally parallel score lines disposed between said side edges and extending between said end edges;

(c) said score ines and side edges defining a plurality of tray sections connected together along said score lines whereby said tray sections are foldable along said score lines into side by side relationship;

(d) a score line extending generally parallel to and adjacent each of said end edges and intersecting each of said plurality of score lines;

(e) said score line adjacent each of said end edges defining a tray stiffener portion laterally outwardly thereof which is foldable along said score line so as to be angularly disposed with respect to said planar surfaces intermediate said stiffener portions and;

(f) means maintaining said stiffener portions in said angular relationship.

2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said plurality of score lines are formed by cutting partially through said sheet material on opposite planar surfaces at alternate ones of said score lines whereby adjacent ones of said tray sections may be folded into said side by side relationship.

3. The structure of claim 1 wherein said means maintaining said stiffener portions in said angular relationship comprises a tab cut from one of said stiffener portions and tray sections, the other of said stiffener portions and tray sections being formed with a cooperating slot for the reception of said tab.

4. The structure of claim 1 in which one side edge of said blank of sheet material has a portion cut away intermediate the opposite ends thereof.

5. The structure of claim 1 in which said score lines defining said stiffener portions are formed by cutting through a common planar surface for a depth less than the thickness of said sheet material, whereby said stiffener portions may be easily folded along their respective score lines in a common direction.

6. The structure of claim 1 in which said blank of sheet material is formed from corrugated cardboard.

7. A disposable serving tray comprising:

(a) a generally rectangular blank of relatively rigid sheet material having opposite side edges, end edges and planar surfaces;

(b) a score line extending between said side edges, generally parallel to and adjacent each of said end edges;

(c) said score line adjacent each of said end edges defining a tray section therebet-ween and a tray stiffener portion laterally outwardly thereof which is foldable along said score line so as to be angularly disposed with respect to said planar surfaces of said tray section; and

(d) tabs cut from one of said tray stiffener portions and said tray section, the other of said tray stiffener portions and said tray section being formed with cooperating slots for the reception of a respective tab.

8. The structure of claim 7 in which said score lines defining said stiffener portions are formed by cutting through a common planar surface for a depth less than the thickness of said sheet material, whereby said stiffener portions may be easily folded along their respective score lines in a common direction.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 698,117 4/1902 Jordan 312261 X 1,125,902 1/1915 Downey et a1 312259 X 1,253,489 1/1918 Houghland 312261 X 2,294,641 9/1942 Walters 211132 X 2,843,305 7/1958 Myers 2293O 3,291,366 12/1966 Nemoede 2293O 3,375,935 4/1968 Whyte 312 259 X NILE C. BYERS, JR., Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US698117 *9 Aug 190122 Apr 1902Arthur Clifton JordanPaper box.
US1125902 *30 Apr 191319 Jan 1915Emmons BryantPaper box.
US1253489 *8 Mar 191715 Jan 1918Economy Folding Box CoFolding container.
US2294641 *27 May 19411 Sep 1942Us Printing & Lithograph CompaDisplay device
US2843305 *30 Sep 195515 Jul 1958Chester G MyersThick-sided box
US3291366 *18 Mar 196413 Dec 1966Container CorpPaperboard tray
US3375935 *2 Sep 19662 Apr 1968Donald E. WhyteMountable and demountable file box assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4301960 *20 May 198024 Nov 1981Westvaco CorporationPackage for foodstuffs
US4646658 *1 Jun 19823 Mar 1987Frito-Lay, Inc.Extendable shelf for a display rack
US4796801 *16 Dec 198710 Jan 1989Alco Industries, Inc.Article package
US7219830 *30 Jun 200522 May 2007West Duane EContainer for sliceable ice cream
US77313496 Jun 20068 Jun 2010Kabushiki Kaisha IsowaPrinting machine
US835359120 Apr 200615 Jan 2013Kabushiki Kaisha IsowaApparatus and method for printing corrugated cardboard sheets
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/126.16, 312/259, 229/104
International ClassificationA47G23/00, A47G23/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47G23/06
European ClassificationA47G23/06